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#513414 - 04/30/16 11:22 AM Today's Belize News: April 30, 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

How to Cacao in Toledo
Steeped within the Maya culture, and a revered commodity that only the privileged hierarchy of the civilization were once allowed to indulge in, chocolate is now a sweet treat that thankfully all of us are allowed to enjoy and celebrate…and celebrate we do! A Wine and Chocolate reception kicks off the festival on Friday evening with live music, fine wine, hors d’oeuvres, Belizean chocolate, and Belikin’s specially brewed Chocolate Stout. How can it be a more perfect paring? The following day is the Taste of Toledo street fair, held on Front Street in Punta Gorda town which is closed to traffic during the fair. Cultural displays and areas showcasing Toledo’s five main ethnic groups: Kriol, Maya, Garifuna, Mestizo and East Indian are featured at the event.

SPHS students spread drug awareness at RC School
San Pedro High School’s (SPHS) Drug Awareness week came to a close on Friday, April 22nd with a visit to San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS). Drug abuse is a major issue for youth in the community, and as such, drug awareness week serves to highlight the effect of the said abuse. Drug awareness week was organized by guidance counselor of SPHS, Alexis Guerrero, along with Principal Emil Vasquez, to raise an alarm on the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol, with the hope of preventing the student body from falling victim to substance abuse. A group of 13 peer helpers gathered to give an important presentation on drug awareness to the SPRCS students. Since the ages of these students ranged from 11-14, it was the perfect opportunity for SPHS to instill the prevention of drug use in minors before they enter high school. As Kristina Romero of the National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) addressed in her lectures, the misuse of drugs and its effect on students are common within high school students. According to the studies from the National Institute of Drug Abuse, “almost 70% of students will have tried alcohol, half will have taken an illegal drug, nearly 40% will have smoked a cigarette, and more than 20 percent will have used a prescription drug for a nonmedical purpose during their time in secondary school.”

Five-a-Side football tournament approaching first round finale
It was another weekend of exciting football action at the Five-a-Side Football Tournament. The San Pedro High School (SPHS) and Island Citizen Sporting Club (ICSP) continue delighting football fans, and excitement grows as only a few games are left in the first round of the regular season. The different matches played on Sunday, April 24th saw players competing in the Under 13, Under 11 and Seniors category. The football action continues this weekend with games set for Sunday, May 1st at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium starting at 11AM.

Government of Belize Places Temporary Restrictions on Movement in Belize’s Portion of the Sarstoon River for One Month
The Government of Belize announces that, after consulting with the Prime Minister, His Excellency the Governor General of Belize has made Regulations under Section 2 of the Public Safety Act, Chapter 142 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, RE 2011. The regulations prohibit persons and vessels, without lawful authority, from entering into Belize’s portion of the Sarstoon River.

Despite warning from the PM, BTV’s expedition to the border is a go!
Saturday, April 30th will mark the 157th anniversary of the 1859 Boundary Treaty that defined the borders between Belize and Guatemala. In honour of the historic occasion, the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) have organized an expedition to the border at the mouth of the Sarstoon River, while the Northern Territorial Volunteers (NTV) are organizing a trip to the Garbutt Falls monument. However, given the recent tensions with Guatemala, and the amassing of Guatemalan troops at the border, the Government of Belize (GOB) is strongly discouraging both treks. Despite GOB’s attempts to dissuade such activities, both group leaders have announced that the expeditions will go on. According to Wil Maheia, leader of the BTV, one of the main reasons for the trip is to demonstrate support for not only maintaining, but also regaining full control of the Belizean territory. “Amid the most recent acts of aggression by Guatemala in the form of them claiming not only the Sarstoon Island, but the entire Sarstoon River, it is clear that a heightened awareness campaign must be maintained,” said Maheia. He reiterated that the losing of Belize’s sovereignty in that part of the country is greatly due to GOB’s continued, wilful negligence of the issue with Guatemala taking over the area.“ We are losing our country and we all must stand up and defend it.”

8- Ball Pool Tournament semi-finals are a week away
The pre-season 8-ball Pool Tournament is draws closer to the end, and games are high-stakes. Each match continues to draw great intensity as different teams battle each weekend to stay in the competition. The games last weekend took place at Average Joe’s Sports Bar and after tallying the points, Team Amigos continues in the lead with 118 points. The next set of games for this coming weekend will be at One Barrel Bar. Games for Friday and Saturday start at 7PM, while Sunday games begin at 1PM.

BTB holds SICCS Consultation
On Wednesday, April 20th, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) hosted a consultation on the Central American Quality and Sustainability Integrated System (SICCS) seal certification project. The SICCS is a new project being launched and supported by BTB in an effort to form a centralized brand that is aimed at improving the standards of the tourism product offered in the country. Held at the Sunbreeze Conference Room, the consultation saw the attendance of several island tourism stakeholders from hoteliers, to restaurateurs and even tour operators. Opening up the consultation was Director of Quality Assurance and Industry Standards at BTB, Herbert Haylock, who introduced the concept behind SICCS. This program will provide certification based on various levels of commitment and adherence to standards focused on four areas: quality standards, procedures and policies, various aspects of operation (cleaning, complaints, customer service, etc.), sustainability of environment, and social responsibility. Attendants were given the opportunity to become familiar with the regional SICCS certification program and its main goal. With the increasing growth of the tourism industry across Central America, SICCS will ensure quality service and continued growth of the industry.

Ambergris Today

Norwegian Getaway Makes First Call to Belize
On April 27, 2016, Belize welcomed the Norwegian Getaway in its first call to Belize. The ship arrived with 4,360 passengers, which is considered double occupancy. The customary plaque exchange ceremony took place on-board the ship between the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and Captain Rune Myre of the Norwegian Getaway. Miami's Ultimate ship, the Norwegian Getaway combines the most magnificent amenities Norwegian has to offer with The Waterfront, an innovative, industry-first open-air promenade designed to connect guests with the ocean like no other cruise line. It hosts twenty eight (28) dining options, five water slides, and three levels of action-packed activities in the sports complex. The excitement and entertainment continues with Illusionarium, a surreal magical experience and Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet.


The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development through the Agriculture Department announces this year’s Farmers of the Year winners. This year, the Farmers of the Year reign from the Cayo and Toledo Districts. The male farmer is Ever Blandon of Valley of Peace, Cayo District; the female farmer is Maria Lara of Trio Village, Toledo District; and the junior farmer is Eric Can Jr. of Succotz Village, Cayo District. The National Agriculture and Trade show is an event which has been celebrated since the 1960's. The first one was held in El Cayo which is today known as San Ignacio. Later in 1972, the show moved to the National Agriculture and Trade Show Grounds in Belmopan and one of the most important highlights over the years has been the recognition of the Farmer of the Year.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Fake SMS sent to Atlantic Bank Customers
If you receive an SMS with a link to Atlantic Bank (or any other bank for that matter), it may be fake. It might take you to a site that LOOKS like Atlantic Bank, but is actually a scam to get your username, password, and other data. Please check with the real Atlabank at 223-4123 to be sure.

Belize Gov't restricts movement on Sarstoon for one month
The Government of Belize announces that, after consulting with the Prime Minister, His Excellency the Governor General of Belize has made Regulations under Section 2 of the Public Safety Act, Chapter 142 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, RE 2011. The regulations prohibit persons and vessels, without lawful authority, from entering into Belize's portion of the Sarstoon River. The regulations take effect from today and the restrictions will remain in force for one month. Government advises that this course of action has become necessary in order to prevent any "commotion" or "threat to public safety" that might arise in consequence of the continuing tense and dangerous standoff between Belize and Guatemala over the Sarstoon, and the tipping point that could be caused by the unregulated insertion of members of the Belizean public into this very volatile mix.

Newspapers on Caye Caulker AMANDALA, REPORTER, GUARDIAN, BELIZE TIMES
You can get your copy at Sea N Sun Guesthouse near the split or at Marty's Lumber Yard/Caye Supplies and Hardware.

Labour Day Holiday Monday:
Monday May 2nd will be a Public and Bank Holiday in lieu of May 1st. Enjoy it and be safe!

The Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project
One of the objectives of the Belize City House of Culture and the Downtown Rejuvenation Project is to establish an Eco-Museum in Downtown Belize City. Today's post is one of many posts that will highlight the sites that will be included in the Eco-Museum tour once completed. Today's highlighted site is Channel Five Building. "Preserving and Enhancing Downtown Belize City."

Paradise Theatre closed this weekend
The movie theater is closed this weekend due to all of the key masters being out-of-town at the exact same time. Also, because of certain people who've committed to keep it going this weekend pulling out last minute. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Posting for Inspector, Caye Caulker
There was a last minute cancellation by the Youth Cadets of San Pedro so the community service/sports day event has been postpone till the end of May. As the time comes closer, the date and time will be shared. For those who had donated, a huge thank you goes out to you. If you have any questions, feel free to check with the Inspector.

Kokomo Beach Suites Job Opportunity
Job Opportunity for part time office/cleaning help. Fri/Sat/Sun. Must have great customer service skills and also be willing to clean rooms daily and do laundry. Private Message for more information.

Ms Helen Haylock
Meet the beautiful Ms Helen Haylock who will be representing Ambergris Caye at the Belize YWCA organization's Miss Y Pageant fundraising event. Miss Helen is an incredibly courageous and resiliant woman. Despite the challenges she has faced in life she radiates warmth and love.

Channel 5

Government Enacts ‘Wil’s Law’ to Prohibit Local Travel to Sarstoon
If at first you don’t succeed, send in the big guns. And if they don’t succeed, just change the law. And they have. Via release issued today, the government informs [...]

Wil Maheia Says Trip to Sarstoon Still on Despite Last-ditch Legal Obstacle
Those immediately affected by the law, and in whose honor the law was drafted are the Belize Territorial Volunteers. The group had planned an expedition to the Sarstoon on Saturday. [...]

P.U.P. Decries GOB’s Sarstoon Regulations
Maheia isn’t the only one disappointed by the new law. The P.U.P. has been engaged in the Guatemala discussion, and committed to a bi-partisan approach to resolution, but today the [...]

COLA Calls “Knee-jerk” Law a Gross Act of Cowardice
The grassroots activist organization known as COLA, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, has been quiet lately. But today it re-emerged with a fiery release condemning G.O.B.’s new law, which [...]

…Grassroots Organization Condemns Temporary Restriction on Sarstoon Travel
Brackett says COLA is prepared to go a couple steps further than condemnation by calling for a national shutdown. He told News Five that “For far too long Belize has [...]

Part Two of Recent Military Standoff at the Sarstoon
On Thursday, we aired the first of a two-part series of amateur footage provided exclusively to News Five showing what transpired on the Sarstoon River between the BDF and the [...]

Two Guatemalans Murdered in Belize, Police say it’s a Drug Deal Gone Wrong
Three men were killed in two separate incidents within hours of each other in the west. The first, a double murder, occurred on Thursday afternoon, in the San Francisco area [...]

A Camalote Resident is Chopped, Shot and Killed Near Cedar Hill Farm
There was also a murder in the wee hours of this morning in the village of Camalote. A father of four was killed near a farm off the George Price [...]

Guatemala’s Sovereignty over Sarstoon River Concerns Maya Communities
As we’ve mentioned in our previous newscast, the immediate effects of the present situation at the Sarstoon are being felt by the indigenous communities within the vicinity.  The Garifuna village [...]

How Will the Sarstoon Temash National Park be Monitored Following Restriction?
Of equal concern is that the SATIIM rangers were recently stopped by the Guatemalan military from traveling upstream to conduct routine checks within the Sarstoon Temash National Park.  The area [...]

Commonwealth Secretary General Meets the Belizean Press
Baroness Patricia Scotland, Secretary General of the Commonwealth, held a brief session with the media this afternoon where questions pertaining to her visit to Belize were fielded.  Baroness Scotland is [...]

…Baroness Patricia Scotland Talks OAS and Belize and Guatemala Issues
During her stay, the Secretary General will also be visiting the Office of the O.A.S. in the Adjacency Zone, where she will be received by the Chief of the O.A.S. [...]

A Belizean Movie Debuts in Los Angeles!
True Belizean, it is a U.S. corporation from Los Angeles, California that produces movies, music videos, music and the like. They were featured last year in the Belize International Film [...]

LOVE FM

Government Flexes Muscles and Bans Local Traffic on Sarstoon
What has only been about ten days of heightened tension and waves of criticisms and opposition against the Government of Belize on how they are handling the Belize/Guatemala issue, things have come to a head with the Barrow administration pulling out their strong guns and making it illegal for any Belizean to enter the Sarstoon […]

Wil Says Adjustments Will Be Made But Expedition Is A-Go
With the latest move by the Government, we spoke with Head of the Belize Territorial Volunteers, Wil Maheia. He told us while they are unhappy with Government’s position, the trip will proceed with some adjustments.

Briceno Calls Recent Sarstoon Regulation, A Draconian Measure
A few weeks ago we heard of a bi-partisan approach being taken by both the Barrow administration and the main Opposition, People’s United Party. Since then the opposition, represented by Ambassador Assad Shoman was working hand in hand with the country’s Foreign Minister, Wilfred Elrington and had even agreed that one cannot and should not […]

COLA Wants a National Shut Down
The Government of Belize has flexed their muscles against the Belize Territorial Volunteers and the People’s United Party has expressed their discontent with the move to present a Statutory Instrument. The Citizens organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), however, has no time for talk and press releases. Tonight, the group, led by Geovanni Brackett is […]

Camalote Village Murder Under Investigation
Belmopan Police are investigating a murder that occurred in the wee hours of this morning in Camalote Village. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports.

Lead Investigator Speaks on Double Homicide in Cayo
Western Regional Commander of the Belize Police Department, Senior Superintendent Andrew Ramirez has issued an official report on the double homicide uncovered yesterday on a road off the George Price Highway between the towns of San Ignacio and Benque Viejo del Carmen, Cayo District. Police were alerted of the two male bodies in the area […]

Baroness Patricia Scotland Hosts Round Table with Media
The Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Baroness Patricia Scotland met with the media today to answer questions on pertinent issues going on in the country at the moment. Having visited the office of the OAS peace fund at the Adjacency Zone, the Secretary General says she is hopeful of a resolution But the tensions […]

Dangriga Fire Claims Residence
A house was destroyed by fire in Dangriga. We get the details of the incident from correspondent Harry Arzu.

Labor For Belize Day Moves to Parks and Playgrounds
Belize City Council is having their fifth annual Labor for Belize day tomorrow. Every year the cleanup campaign takes place on the highways however, the city council has decided to change location this year. The focus for this year will be on playgrounds and parks around the city. Public Relations Officer of the Belize City […]

Belize vs Guatemala In Mixed Martial Arts
Belize is Adran “Fifty cal” Ramirez and the Guatemalan fighter is Saulo “El Experimento” Barrios. Today, the fighters met at a face off in Belize City. Shihan Kelly, Grandmaster, House of Shotokan Karate told us about the upcoming fight. Love News spoke to Belizean fighter Adran Ramirez. He told us how he has been training […]

The Reporter

Drug rehab workers get OAS training
Forty seven care providers received certification from the Organization of American States (OAS) and the University of the West Indies (UWI) for six months of training in prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of drug abuse and violence under a program named PROCCER. The 47 trainees received their UWI accreditation certificates in […]

Belize Internet Exchange Point speeds up service
Nine of Belize’s internet service providers (ISPs) have partnered to establish Belize’s first internet exchange point (BIXP), which will greatly speed up local internet traffic, allowing for greater efficiency and reduced costs. The partners officially launched the new exchange point at a ceremony hosted by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) […]

IICA wins OAS kudos
The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA) was recognized by the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) for the importance of IICA’s technical support to farming and food production. IICA’s Director General Víctor M. Villalobos reported on the main results achieved by IICA’s technical cooperation initiatives […]

ROC Taiwan gives BDF 2 helicopters
The Belize Defence Force (BDF) has acquired two Bell UH-1H “Huey” helicopters, gifted from the Republic of China/Taiwan, allowing the BDF to now provide air support and to more easily transfer patrols into Belize’s more remote border areas. Taiwan’s Ambassador to Belize H.E. Benjamin Ho officially handed over the two […]

Santander field worker crushed to death at job site
An employee of Santander Sugar Company was killed by an accident in the cane field at around midday on Monday. The accident happened when the worker, 24 year-old Francisco Andres Sebastian, a Guatemalan who resided in Cotton Tree village was mowed by a harvester while […]

UB gets $560,435 grant to study acid seas effect on Barrier Reef
The University of Belize has been awarded a $560,435.93 grant from the International Atomic Agency’s Technical Cooperation Program (IAEA-TCP), which will be used to study how the acid seas impact the marine ecosystems of Belize’s Meso-American Barrier Reef. The funds will be used to purchase laboratory instruments and for the […]

UN: Belize is most dangerous Caribbean country
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says Belize is the most dangerous Caribbean country and is even more dangerous than the United States. In an article name, “Ten Caribbean Nations More Dangerous Than the U.S.”, News America quotes the UN as saying that […]

Police make arrest for January murder of taxi driver
Belmopan police have charged Lincoln Bejerano, 25, with the January 8th murder of taxi driver, Isidro Suar. Bejerano was a suspect early in the police investigation, as he was one of three persons found in Suar’s stolen taxi in Ontario village less than an hour […]

Police charge SSG affiliate with murder of GSG leader
Ten days after the shooting murder of George Street Gang leader, Gerald “Shiny” Tillett, police have charged South Side Gang affiliate, Nicholas Swazo, for the killing. Swazo was remanded to the Hattieville Prison until June 19 on charges of ‘murder’ for Tillett’s death and two […]

Editorial
All of Guatemala, and it now appears that even the Organization of American States, hold the view that our BDF patrol was at fault and bears responsibility for the death of 13 year-old Julio Alvarado Ramos. The boy was shot and killed at Cebada, in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve on […]

ACP Ministers support Belize’s territorial integrity
The Council of Ministers of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group (ACP) resolved to commit their support for Belize’s territorial integrity and sovereignty at the conclusion of its 103rd meeting in Dakar, Senegal on Tuesday and Wednesday. The ACP also supported Belize’s call for confidence […]

CJ to rule on libel suit against Guardian
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin has reserved judgement for one month in the libel suit against The Guardian’s Editor Alfonso Noble, brought by former PUP Secretary General Myrtle Palacio for an article published in December 2014 with the headline “PUP Secretary General endorses the use of […]

PM says crisis over – Guatemala says “it is not!”
Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced at a press conference on Monday that the crisis with Guatemala over the shooting of a 13 year-old boy by BDF soldiers had been averted. Steps were being taken to de-escalate the tension, he said, but Guatemala’s Foreign Minister says it’s far from over. At […]

Women charged with $300,000 pension fraud walk free
Three women, all former public servants, charged with embezzling more than $300,000 from the government through a pension fraud scheme walked free of all charges on Wednesday. Monica Aurdette Escarpeta, 31, a pension clerk; her mother, Yvonne Bevans, 60; and Rhea Kadecia Pennell, 34, […]

Zika sample returns negative
The Ministry of Health confirmed this week that results of the first test for Zika sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) showed no sign of the Zika virus. The results come a month after Belize was blamed by an American woman for allegedly […]

Two Guatemalans murdered in San Ignacio
San Ignacio police are investigating the murder of two Guatemalan men, who were shot execution style around 1:30 Thursday afternoon near San Ignacio, Cayo. The Reporter confirmed Thursday evening with Deputy Commanding Officer of San Ignacio, Superintendent Richard Rosado that the shooting took place on […] […]

BTV still planning to visit Sarstoon island, despite dissuasion
The Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) members headed by activist Wil Maheia, are making final arrangements to travel to Sarstoon Island on Saturday despite military and governmental dissuasion. Brigadier General David Jones, Foreign Affairs CEO Lawrence Sylvestre and Rear Admiral John Borland of the Belize Coast […]


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#513415 - 04/30/16 11:23 AM Re: Today's Belize News: April 30, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The Belize Times

Briceño Defends Belize – From Rio Hondo to Sarstoon!
PUP Leader Hon. John Briceno stands ready to defend Belize[/caption] Belize City, April 27, 2016 As concern and even fear spread throughout the entire country like wildfire following the sudden announcement by Guatemala’s President Jimmy Morales last Thursday that his Government would deploy 3,000 troops to Belize’s border area in response to the fatal shooting of a Guatemalan minor in Belizean territory, Opposition Leader Hon. John Briceño was the only credible and conspicuous voice of defense for our country. Prime Minister Dean Barrow had left Belize earlier that day enroute to New York City, U.S., to attend an UN climate change event. Unlike at least one instance in the past when the Prime Minister has chosen to cancel a major trip and return home upon being summoned by gang leaders to a meeting, Barrow was apparently not convinced that the Guatemalan President’s threats required him to be among his citizens. The Government of Belize was leaderless, voice-less and direction-less. Unless Barrow really believed the serial joke that Acting Prime Minister Gaspar Vega could provide the leadership needed by Belizeans during such a crisis.

Saldivar’s “Harrowing” Weekend!…Minister attended more UDP parties than National Security meetings
A harrowing weekend…that is what Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that he and his National Security Council team that includes Minister of National Security John Saldivar endured while Guatemala’s threat of military aggression became very real, very fast between last Thursday April 21 and through to the weekend. The Prime Minister was quite dramatic about this at a press conference held on Monday morning. “..we just went through an absolutely harrowing weekend…all of us sitting at this table,” he bellowed. But how frightening or traumatic was the entire episode really for the PM and his National Security Minister? Were they shaking in their boots? Did they become super nervous and their blood pressures went up? Did Saldivar lose a few pounds from running from meeting to meeting to ensure that our security units were in place in case of a military invasion (it’s already happening in the Sarstoon)? We don’t have any evidence of any kind of “harrowing” experience for either of them but what we do know is that once Barrow left to New York on the morning of April 20th, there was no turning back for him. Not even Guatemala’s proclaimed amassing of troops at the borders convinced him to return to Belize to provide calm to concerned Belizeans. Throughout Guatemala’s belligerence, Prime Minister Barrow remained in New York, far away from our troubles.

Was Joseph Budna a Target of Irate Guatemalans?
Details are sketchy but the BELIZE TIMES has learned that the very strange and perpetually sensational former freelance journalist Joseph Budna was injured in a prison brawl last week in Granja Penal Cantel, Quetzaltenango. Unofficial reports are that Budna, incarcerated on abduction charges, was attacked by 12 inmates in retaliation for the death of Guatemalan minor Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano near Cebada in the Chiquibul. Budna is no stranger to Guatemalan or Belizean law enforcement officials. Most recently, he is serving thirty years for abduction, with additional time for escaping from custody back in 2014. In Belize, dating back more than a decade, Budna had been charged then for an unnatural crime and for aggravated assault of a minor. He has also, in his storied past, been the alleged victim of a hijacking attempt and has accused the Police of illegal detention. In Guatemala, he has been busted with drugs and has also been accused of being a sexual predator. That was even before the convictions on separate counts of kidnapping.

Christie’s Killer Gets Life in Prison
Osmar Sabido, 26, will spend the rest of his life behind bars for the savage murder of his girlfriend, Christie Carrasco, on February 28, 2011. That decision was handed down by Justice Herbert Lord on Tuesday in Orange Walk Town, in a 69-page judgment which took an hour and a half to read out. Carrasco, 22, was stabbed to death at around 8:30pm on February 28th, in front of the home she and Osmar Sabido shared in the San Lorenzo Housing Site area. When Police responded to reports of an altercation, they saw Carrasco running towards them, bleeding profusely and screaming for help. Sabido stood nearby, a bloody knife on the seat of the car beside him. In his defence, Sabido claimed that he was provoked by Carrasco, who he claims had accused him of cheating on her, and then told him that she was possibly pregnant with another man’s child. In a sworn statement from the dock, Sabido told the Court that Carrasco attacked him with a knife inside the house and they struggled and fell, at which time she accidentally stabbed herself.

Think About It
If Belize owns the northern portion of the Sarstoon River then any Belizean can go on that river at any time. If Belize does not own the northern portion of the Sarstoon River and it is in fact under the ownership or the control of Guatemala, then Belizeans cannot go on that river without permission from its owner. Guatemala has always owned a portion of the southern part of the Sarstoon River. They patrol it. They control it. Belize used to own a portion of Sarstoon. Belizeans used to come and go on this portion of the Sarstoon River. We owned it for more than a hundred years. But starting in February last year, Guatemala started to test the Belize government. By May 2015 Guatemala took complete control and displayed their ownership by demanding that a Belize Coastguard patrol at the Sarstoon Island must leave. The Coast Guards refused. The Prime Minister of Belize ordered them to leave our own island in Belize’s portion of the Sarstoon River.

Gunboat Diplomacy
This past week, Belize came as close to serious conflict with Guatemala as it has been for the past 40 years or so. Sometime during the day last Thursday, news began to filter in that a Guatemalan minor had been shot by BDF soldiers. By evening, the town was abuzz with the news and the tension thickened further, when Channel Seven aired an address by the Guatemalan president hurling threats and declaring the incident “cowardly and excessive”. The news sent shockwaves through the country and the subsequent belligerence from the Guatemalan president added more to the anxiety. Always in the back of the minds of Belizeans, is the Guatemalan claim that has long cast a shadow on our development and remains a permanent asterisk to our Independence. Recent aggression at the Sarstoon and a campaign promise by newly elected President Jimmy Morales to “recover Belize for Guatemala” has revived the feeling of uneasiness quite common to older Belizeans. There is a whole generation of Belizeans that has grown up removed from the constant cry of “Guatemala di come” so familiar to those of us born pre-Independence. Last Wednesday’s event and subsequent news that Guatemala had amassed troops at our border however, legitimized for our young, the stories they had only heard around the dinner tables.

Fiat Accompli!
Guatemala’s President Morales, using the unfortunate death of a child caught in the cross fire in a justifiable use of force by the BDF, massed the Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF) along the Sarstoon River and announced to the world that the GAF will enforce Guatemala’s sovereign rights over the entire Sarstoon. Morales’ pronouncement culminates eight years of an extremely poor diplomatic and national security strategy designed by Dean Barrow and executed by Sedi Elrington. It must be exceptionally clear to all Belizeans that the Guatemalans have used the diplomatic space provided to them by Sedi and Dean, to obtain a strategic advantage on the world stage. So much so that Guatemala can threaten the peace of the entire region by annexing the Sarstoon River and amassing military forces along Belize’s western border with not a single word of condemnation from anybody of substance! When in September 2015, Morales signaled that the recovery of Belize was the most important item on his agenda, Dean Barrow, with his usual arrogance, said: “We will deal with what happens when it happens. Look, he’s made at least one statement that is troubling, but I am hoping that if he does win the Guatemalan foreign policy establishment, the Guatemalan political elite and certainly the international community will make absolutely clear to that gentleman that any notion of pursuing their claim in a way that is disruptive of the good relations between Belize and Guatemala, that is threatening to Belize simply will not be tolerated. So, I am sure that we will be able to deal with that situation if and when it occurs.”

The Guatemala Conundrum
I certainly didn’t think that I would be writing about the Belize-Guatemala issue once again so soon after my entry for this column of a month or so ago. I called it “The Beds Are Burning,” signifying the very serious nature of the problem that we find ourselves in with this Guatemalan difficulty. I think it is accurate to call this situation a conundrum. My trusty Concise Oxford dictionary, my spelling and meaning bible for my writing, defines conundrum as “a confusing or difficult problem or question.” We do have our hands full with this one. My reference to the beds burning brought to the forefront my considered view that the Dean Barrow government has been sleeping big time on this conundrum. How can they sleep while the beds are burning? I repeat. There has been an, again, big time lack of leadership, and now we have had the spectacle of ghastly and frightening saber-rattling on the part of the Guatemalan president and his generals, or should I say the Guatemalan generals and their president?

Carla’s Confessions
Carla Barnett’s endorsement of John Saldivar for First Deputy Leader has triggered major political tremors in the United Democratic Party as the handful of choice delegates consider who to vote for. Carla’s pick, in a sense, is a confession of sorts as to who those she represents will also be supporting. It is then important to analyse the political confessions in her decision. The first confession is that Barnett is a “Barrowite”. She was pulled from the board room into the political realm by no other than Dean Barrow. She is now in the Senate because of Barrow. She answers only to Barrow and had Barnett been successful at fooling the people of Freetown into electing her, there is no doubt that she would have been Dean’s candidate for first Deputy of the UDP.

Labor Day 2016: Together We Can Build A Belize That Works for Everyone
Labour Day is a time to honour the contribution of the working people of Belize. We pay tribute to their work and recognize that they are the foundation upon which our nation is being built. In paying tribute to the Belizean worker we also celebrate the accomplishments of the activists and organizers who brought about the birth of our Nationalist movement. After all it was organized labour, which gave rise to our political movements in Belize. It was the brave Belizean workers who, back in the 1950’s, resisted the colonial masters of their day, fought for more respect and responsibility so that today the Belizean workers’ rights are protected. What we have accomplished as a nation is due in great part to the persistence and the sacrifices of earlier working class Belizeans, and if we are to move our nation forward, then we must be more like them. It must be our goal to ensure that the rights of workers are maintained and enhanced. We in the PUP believe that the best way to do this is to start by increasing the minimum wage. We also say that every working person in Belize deserve a chance at a decent life. We call it economic justice, which is also integral to our creed, which is rooted in social justice.

Hard Knocks
When the Forward Operating Base was launched at the Sarstoon, Minister of National Security John Saldivar said this – “their supposed counter proposals were flatly rejected because it says precisely what was asked. They want us to ask permission. And we flatly reject that.” One week after that, in response to a question asked by the BELIZE TIMES, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sedi Elrington said (regarding those same Guatemalan counter-proposals) – “That was not correct actually. The counter-proposal has been sent to us and we see it as now the basis for us to now go into greater detail in working it out…we didn’t have any difficulty with it other than the very first proposal.” So who’s lying? What exactly happened in Cabinet? Were the Guatemalan proposals rejected or what? See why Belizean people are worried? We can never get a straight answer out of Sedi.

Alleged Killer of George Street Don Arraigned
On Monday he was released from the Western Regional Hospital and on Tuesday morning Dangriga resident Nicholas Swazo was arraigned for the murder of notorious George Street don Gerald “Shiny” Tillett. Swazo was also arraigned on two counts of attempted murder for shooting Wadani Shed owner David Rodriguez and Carlos Sharp, with Tillett at the time of the execution-style murder. Swazo had been receiving treatment for two gunshot wounds to the back, received during the same incident. Police say that as he killed “Shiny” and fired into the crowd with him, an unnamed person who was under the shed, drew his licensed firearm and shot Swazo. The injured man reported for medical treatment at the Dangriga hospital, claiming that he had been injured by the same gunman who killed Tillett. That story would likely had held up except that he was positively identified as the shooter who coldly walked up to the notorious gang leader as he played dominoes at the popular establishment and killed him with one shot to his temple.

BNTU says it self-funded “Stand Up for Belize” forum
The National Executive of the Belize National Teacher’s Union has written to the BELIZE TIMES to clarify that the “Stand Up for Belize” Forum held on Friday April 15th 2016 in Benque Viejo del Carmen was totally funded by their organisation. In a letter written on behalf of the BNTU, Executive Secretary Keesha Young, took umbrage with the Think About It Column published in the Sunday April 24th 2016 newspaper edition which stated that the forum was “a Ministry of Foreign Affairs sponsored event”. “…the entire event was planned and fully funded by the BNTU. Not a penny was offered or would have been accepted from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” Young said in her letter.

Failed Foreign Diplomacy: The Guatemalan threat is real
If we did not realize that the Guatemalan claim over Belize was serious, then you might as well continue sleeping. The Guatemalan President took the unfortunate occasion of the recent death of a Guatemalan child in Belizean territory to justify an increased military presence along our borders. The death of the child, like the death and injury of our own in the recent past, are equally regrettable events. Except that in this case, it appears that our own BDF may have done the justifiable shooting. I have a tendency to believe a soldier’s account, even though on more than one occasion, recently, our diplomats appear to prefer proof from third parties. The flexing of Guatemalan military muscle is just another case of bullying and continued disrespect towards us. Make no mistake people, Guatemala and its armed forces have been guilty of committing human atrocities towards their own people. To the best of my knowledge there has never been a history of Belizeans fleeing to Guatemala seeking refuge. Thousands of Guatemalans living in Belize today enjoy privileges and wealth that was never afforded to them in Guatemala.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Early morning murder in Camalote Village
In the wee hours of this morning, Belmopan Police discovered the lifeless body of Hispanic man identified as Gelion De Leon with a large cut wound to the neck and gunshot wounds to the head and left shoulder. Police responded to a call of […]

Cayo man charged for four rounds of ammunition
Floyd Neal, a 25-year-old resident of Young Bank in the Cayo District, was arrested and charged yesterday for four rounds of ammunition found inside his house. Belmopan Police on special operation conducted a search at Neal’s residence at around 5:45 p.m., which resulted in […]

One remanded for the murder of Gilberto Sarcenio Najarro in Corozal
Angel Cahueque, 22, was charged with possession of controlled drugs, aggravated assault, and murder. Chueque was arrested in the Halls Layout area in Corozal Town late Wednesday evening as Corozal Police closed in on him during their investigation into the shooting death of 43 year old Gilberto Sarcenio Najarro in Paraiso Village, Corozal on Monday this week. […]

Belmopan man injured in drive-by shooting
A Tuesday night drive by shooting in the San Martin Area of Belmopan City has left 24-year-old Jose Alberto Marquez Jr. hospitalized in a critical but stable condition at the Western Regional Hospital. At around 10:05 p.m., officers responded to a shooting and upon […]

Mentally challenged man detained for chopping incident
San Ignacio Police have detained a mentally unstable man for an incident in which he inflicted four chop wounds to 35-year-old Amir Tun of San Antonio Village, Cayo District, for no apparent reason. Last night at around 9:50, officers met a vehicle that was […]

Two Guatemalans murdered in suspected drug deal gone bad
The lifeless bodies of two Guatemalan nationals were found between miles 69 and 70 in the San Francisco road area of Cayo District, off the George Price Highway yesterday afternoon. Police arrived on the scene shortly after 2:00 p.m., where they saw two Hispanic […]

Nine BDF Soldiers Face Disciplinary Charges Following Sarstoon Standoff
Brigadier General David Jones, Commander of the Belize Defence Force, steadfastly declined to comment on reports that nine of his men are to be internally disciplined for the March 12 incident at the Sarstoon. The group, assigned to the construction site that now houses […]

Maheia “disappointed” at new Sarstoon regulation but expedition still on
“I am disappointed” says Will Maheia after learning of the Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young’s decision to pass a regulation to prohibit persons and vessels to enter the Sarstoon River for one month. Maheia says that government is trying all it can […]

Governor General halts travel into Sarstoon under Public Safety Act ahead of BTV visit
Governor General of Belize Sir Colville Young, acting in his capacity as representative of the Head of State, has made regulations prohibiting persons and vessels, without lawful authority, from entering into Belize’s portion of the Sarstoon River with effect from today, Friday. The move comes […]

Governor General halts travel into Sarstoon under Public Safety Act ahead of BTV visit
Governor General of Belize Sir Colville Young, acting in his capacity as representative of the Head of State, has made regulations prohibiting persons and vessels, without lawful authority, from entering into Belize’s portion of the Sarstoon River with effect from today, Friday. The move […]

Government of Belize Places Temporary Restrictions on Movement in Belize’s Portion of the Sarstoon River for One Month
Government of Belize just issued a press release informing the nation that they have placed a temporary restriction on movement in Belize’s portion of the Sarstoon River for a whole month. The official release reads: Belmopan. Friday, April 29, 2016. The Government of Belize announces that, after […]

Saldivar or Faber?
May 29th United Democratic Party (UDP) delegates will select either John Saldivar or Patrick Faber as its new Deputy Leader to replace Gaspar Vega. Whoever wins that post will also most likely become the UDP’s party leader when current leader Dean Barrow retires at the end of […]

Blogs

The Many Colors of Fanta in Belize and A History You Might Not Have Imagined
Fanta is a critical part of my day to day life in Belize – much like these products that I never used in the states. Today it is a product of the Coca-Cola company and those products, Coke, Coke Light, Sprite and Fanta are bottled in Belize by Bowen & Bowen Ltd. The company that produces Belikin beer. And it is for sale at every single supermarket in the country. But Fanta’s origins are not in the Latin world at all. In fact, they are in…super strangely…Nazi Germany. Where it was invented when they were cut off from importing American-made Coca Cola. The head of Coca-Cola Deutschland “decided to create a new product for the German market, using only ingredients available in Germany at the time, including whey and apple pomace – the “leftovers of leftovers”. It was named after the word “fantasie” in German. (All Wikipedia.) For more information on the connection, check out this uber-interesting blog post.

Best restaurants in San Ignacio Belize
If you’ve ever found yourself at a loss as to which restaurant to visit for good food in San Ignacio Belize, we’ve got you covered! San Ignacio, the other half of the “Twin Town” duo, separated from Santa Elena by a river and connected by two bridges has become somewhat of the culinary capital of the district and infact of Belize, boasting some of the best and high rated restaurants in the area. The diversity and styles of cuisine are almost enough to make your head spin, and for those of you who need a little guidance, in no particular order, are the best places to grab a good bite to eat in San Ignacio Belize. Pops Restaurant, Ervas Restaurant, Crave Restaurant, Cenaida’s Restaurant, Caoba Restaurant, The Guava Limb Restaurant Café (Restaurant of the Year 2015), Ko’ox Han Nah. Honorable mentions: Mincho’s & Mickey’s.

Belize Bike Rally Unites Enthusiasts from Latin America and Beyond
Who knew Belize had bikers? Who knew that there was an official Harley-Davidson store in Belize City? Who knew that there was an active biker community in the country? With the stereotypical biker being pictured as a 300lb, bearded and scary man, one would be surprised to encounter some of the friendliest people in the world at the Belize Bike Rally. It is an entire weekend scheduled with parties, sightseeing, concerts and showing off those really cool bikes that scream for attention. Belize serves as a middle meeting point for hundreds of bikers who ride thousands of miles from Mexico, Central America, South America and those who travel from Europe, USA and Canada to join the camaraderie that brings everyone together under one passion – to ride gnarly bikes.

Not even the US trusts the decisions of the ICJ
The United States has long had an uneasy relationship with the International Court of Justice, which primarily arbitrates legal disputes among UN member nations that recognize its jurisdiction. The United States withdrew from the court’s compulsory jurisdiction in 1986 after the court ruled it owed Nicaragua war reparations. The United States also disagreed with the court’s stance that it failed to fulfill its obligations under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations in 2005 in cases involving Mexican nationals on death row. “There’s always been a little bit of a love-hate relationship” between the United States and the International Court of Justice, says Judge Joan E. Donoghue, the U.S. member of the court. However, she notes that more recently, the United States has increased its engagement with the ICJ especially with respect to individuals who are facing the death penalty in the United States. She says the United States is making considerable efforts to come into compliance, despite serious obstacles within its own constitutional system. Donoghue says she does not see herself as a representative of the United States to the court. “When I was at the State Department I served my country by representing it,” she says, “and now I serve my country by being independent of it.”

Mango Chamoyada
Boil water with sugar to a syrup. Let it cool. Clean the mangoes and slice the pulp. Blend with syrup and ice. Serve in glasses with liquid chamoy, powder enchilada chamoy and fruit.

Marie Sharp's Factory Tour
Sauces are an important part of Central American cuisine and no sauce better epitomizes Belize more than Marie Sharp’s Habanero Pepper Sauce. The flavorful habanero peppers that go into the sauce are all locally grown and harvested in southeastern Belize on a small 400-acre farm with just 17 employees. Still mixed and blended under the personal supervision of Marie Sharp herself, this unique Belizean hot sauce available in 10 different heat levels is exported all over the world. In April 2016, Marie Sharp was personally inducted into the New York City Hot Sauce Hall of Fame. The word “factory” calls to mind a giant industrial complex with machines churning out thousands of gallons of product. The factory that makes Marie Sharp’s famous sauces is Belizean in scale, a small and friendly workshop with just two dozen employees. In typical Belize fashion, the employees are more than happy to greet visitors and explain how their famous sauces are made. The factory runs Monday through Friday except for holidays but it’s always best to call ahead to arrange for a tour. The phone number for tours is (501) 532-2087 and they can be contacted at the very appropriate email address of fierylady70@yahoo.com. The factory is open during the week but it’s a good idea to call ahead to arrange for a tour, especially if you want to get a chance to meet Marie Sharp herself. On-site is a small gift shop where you can stock up on all of the company’s sauces.

12 Amazing Instagram Travel Photos of Belize for April 2016
April didn’t fool any travelers visiting Belize this year, as it was a fairly warm and dry month; making it the perfect destination for relaxation and outdoor activities. Whether you were visiting the Belize Zoo to get up close and personal with Belize's national animal – The Tapir, diving the Great Blue Hole to capture spectacular images of the marine life or simply catching up with family and friends on a local beach, we’re pretty sure you’ve managed to gather some pretty amazing travel photos along the way. There were thousands of travel photos taken in Belize this April that were shared via the Instagram App and we’ve decided to share our top picks:

International Sourcesizz

Braselton teen collects books for Belize orphanage from which she was adopted
What began as a child’s question about other children without toys remaining in the Belize orphanage from which she was adopted has become an ongoing mission of a Braselton family. Alina Gives Back is a nonprofit for which Alina Rodriguez, now 13 and a 10th-grader Georgia Cyber Academy student, returns to Belize to deliver toys and toiletries and host a dinner meal and a summer day camp at the orphanage. Dominique Rodriguez and her husband had struggled for years to conceive a child and began to explore adoption. Her mother, who was born in Belize and returned there after retirement, joined the mission to find them a child. One day, the couple got a call from her. “I have found your daughter,” she said of the orphaned toddler she took home with her, thus began the lengthy formal process to adopt Alina and bring her to the United States. The bond between grandmother and granddaughter developed as Alina lived with Dominique’s mother for several months.

A Boost for Internet in Belize
The Belize Public Utilities Commission announced that Belize’s first Internet exchange point, named BIXP, was successfully launched in Belize City last week at the campus of the University of Belize. The launch was the culmination of unprecedented collaboration between Belizean Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the highly competitive local telecommunication sector. The Belize Public Utilities Commission, the national regulator, facilitated the process, with support from regional and international agencies. An Internet exchange point is a piece of physical infrastructure through which ISPs exchange traffic between their networks. Many ISPs in the Caribbean pass the data through faraway networks in the United States or Europe, before rerouting to their consumers in their own country.

Belize bound!
South Dakota State University’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) is gearing up for a mission trip to Central America, this time to Belize. Twenty-one of its student members, and many more family and friends, will stay at the Calvary Baptist Church in Belize City from May 21-27, where they will make a difference in many ways. They have the opportunity to serve in an orphanage, speak in churches, work in construction, hold sports camps and much more.

What Is “Coral Bleaching” And Just How Bad Is It?
Last week, scientists delivered the news that more than 90% of Australia's Great Barrier Reef is suffering from bleaching. Researchers flew in helicopters and small planes over 911 of the individual reefs that comprise the Great Barrier Reef and found that only 68 of them had escaped bleaching entirely. Many of the rest have turned a ghostly white. "It's like 10 cyclones have come ashore all at once," said Terry Hughes, a researcher at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University and head of Australia's National Coral Bleaching Task Force. Reef-related tourism and recreation as an industry would simply not be viable in a world of boring, bland, bleached coral. Millions of divers and snorkelers visit reefs throughout the world specifically because of the beautiful ecosystems they support, spending some $9.6 billion dollars annually to do so. Fifteen percent of Belize's economy is derived from tourism, and in Southeast Asia each square kilometer of healthy reef within tourism-appropriate areas can draw between $23,000 and a $270,000 each year.

Belize launches Caribbean's latest internet exchange point
The Belize Public Utilities Commission announced that Belize’s first Internet exchange point, named BIXP, was successfully launched in Belize City on April 27 at the campus of the University of Belize. The launch was the culmination of unprecedented collaboration between Belizean Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the highly competitive local telecommunication sector. The Belize Public Utilities Commission, the national regulator, facilitated the process, with support from regional and international agencies. An Internet exchange point is a piece of physical infrastructure through which ISPs exchange traffic between their networks. Many ISPs in the Caribbean pass the data through faraway networks in the United States or Europe, before rerouting to their consumers in their own country.

The Caribbean's 'Disappearing People' renew claim for rights and survival
In many Caribbean lands, they now exist only in history books, having moved, been killed off or exiled when conquering Europeans came in the 16th and 17th century. In Belize, Guyana, Suriname, Dominica, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago, they remain, many in small numbers, their territory shrunk to deep rural lands or coastal fringes where modern services and the arm of the state often do not reach. Once, all was theirs. They are the Caribbean's First Peoples – among the Maya and Garifuna, Saramaca and Maroon, Carib and Kalinago, and a host of Amerindian nations within a nation. For the last five centuries they have been the disappearing people of the Caribbean, as disease, displacement, disproportionately high poverty, discrimination, and the loss of tenure over land and resources have combined to decimate their populations.

Videos

  • Drone Footage of Leonardo DiCaprio's Private island, Blackadore Caye, 2min. Drone Footage of Leonardo DiCaprio's private island and soon to be multi million dollar resort development in Belize just off the coast of Ambergris Caye.

  • A Firsthand Look at the B.D.F./Guatemalan Sarstoon Encounter in March, 7min.

  • Belize 2015 - 2016, 26min. Another amazing Study Abroad trip with EF Educational Tours.

  • Belize Bike Rally 2016, 4min. With the stereotypical biker being pictured as a 300lb, bearded and scary man, one would be surprised to encounter some of the friendliest people in the world at the Belize Bike Rally. It is an entire weekend scheduled with parties, sightseeing, concerts and showing off those really cool bikes that scream for attention.

  • The Making of Kanantik - Featuring: Bob McMahon - Master Planner, 8min.

  • The Making of Kanantik - Featuring: Casey O’Callaghan - Golf Course Designer, 9min.

  • The Making of Kanantik - Featuring: Kenneth Ussenko - Architectural Designer, 9min.

  • Labour Day, 6.5min. Minister of Labour Hon. Hugo Patt would like to take the time to wish the country a happy and safe Labour Day!

  • From Belize: A lesson in cleaning and cooking Lionfish, 1.5min. Eating non-native lion fish helps native waters. Learn how to clean and cook lionfish, now a local dish in Belize.

  • Belize city International Airport, 6min. Belize City International Airport 2016.

  • Caye Caulker, Belize - April 2016, 5min. Some of the video and put together from a trip to Caye Caulker, Belize.

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