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#513642 - 05/10/16 12:13 PM Today's Belize News: May 10, 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

A bird’s eye view of the Belize Blue Hole
Tropic Air has begun offering this new aerial tour to observe the giant sub marine sinkhole “the way it was meant to be seen…from the air”. The entire tour was an experience in itself. I could see the break where our barrier reef ensures our island’s protection, and I could only marvel at the various shades of blue that stretched as far as the eye could see. The one-hour ride took us over the deep blue of the Caribbean Sea, turning to the Lighthouse Atoll…which meant the Blue Hole was getting closer. But even before the star of the morning could be revealed, I along with other guests in the plane oohed and awed over the change in scenery. That stunning turquoise and clear waters of the atoll that make snorkelers’ hearts sing…the unmistakable drop off where divers can delight nearby, and unspoiled islands. My heart nearly stopped at the sight of a lone kayaker just paddling away.

Still no arrests in murder of Melvin Almendarez
The San Pedro Police Department continue their investigation in the murder of 31-year-old local athlete Melvin Almendarez, Honduran National. At the crime scene, investigators were unable to find an expended shell from the presumable weapon used in the murder. As to the motive for his murder, that remains a mystery, as the police are still trying to put all information together on the incident. “So far we have been unable to establish a motive as the investigation is very young,” said Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit Superintendent Sandra Bowden. “We have some information we are working on, however, at this time there isn’t much that we would be able to reveal in terms of what has been done so far and where are going with the investigation.” Bowden indicated that no evidence was found that could point to any illicit activity that would have led to the murder. She also mentioned that Almendarez was not known to be a trouble maker to the police, and in fact, was well known in the community as a talented football player.

Ambergris Today

NASA Astronaut Gives Belize the Ultimate Shoutout from Space
“Good Morning! Beautiful Belize coastal waters, where Central America meets the Caribbean Sea,” stated NASA Astronaut Jeff Williams in this ultimate shoutout to Belize from outer space. He included six pictures of Belize on his Facebook post from his spaceship on Saturday, May 7, 2016. Jeff commented that spotting coral reefs is a fun past time of his.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Helpage Belize honoured Dr. Jane Usher
Helpage Belize honoured Dr. Jane Usher in its first Citizen Recognition Gala. Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow had the pleasure of addressing the gala. Here's an excerpt from her remarks on amazing accomplishments of Dr. Jane Usher: "Dr. Jane Ellen Mary Usher nee Price is a Belizean grand dame. A woman who is owed much recognition and gratitude for all the nation building work that she has done and continues to do even at the very tender age of 98. Just a casual perusal of her biography or even if you were to just recall what you were taught in primary school social studies, it is patently clear that Ms. Jane is one of the matriarchs of political, economic and social life in Belize. Ms. Jane has served in two of the three branches of government. In the executive branch as a Deputy Minister; sitting as the lone female voice in a Cabinet of men. She also served in both chambers of the legislative branch as both a government and then opposition Representative in the lower house. She was the President of the Senate in the upper house.

Government Announces Limited Access to Sarstoon
The Government of Belize (GOB) rejects the demand made by the People's United Party for the immediate rescission of the Sarstoon Prohibition Regulation. At the time of passage Government gave two rationales for the Regulation. One was to avoid the possibility of any harm coming to Belizeans going to the Sarstoon in organized numbers to make a political point, given that tensions had reached a fever pitch with Guatemala. The latter's armed forces, especially its navy at the Sarstoon, were on a declared hair-trigger mobilization. The second reason for GOB's position was to allow an opportunity for Belizean diplomacy to work. We felt confident that Guatemala would be obliged, under the confidence building measures, to change its stance and negotiate with us over the Sarstoon on the basis of respect for our rights. We believe that we have now obtained objective 2, and we expect formal bilateral negotiations, in which we invite the Opposition to participate as equal partners, to start shortly.

Cayo Cancer Walk 2016
The 2016 Cayo Cancer Walk is this Saturday, and it goes from Camalote, starting at 5:15am, to Belmopan. "This is our official Cancer Walk Poster. Walk is on 14th May from Camalote to Belmopan. For more information please call 634-4254 or 604-1441."

Rotaract Delivers Fruit Basket's
Mother's Day was celebrated with something special at the Wester Regional Hospital, thanks to the Rotaract Club of Belmopan. Thanks, Rotaract! In related news, they recently attended the 2016 Bidistrital Conference in Panama City. "The Rotaract Club of Belmopan delivered fruit baskets to the mothers' at the Western Regional Hospital for Mother's Day. On behalf of the Rotaract Club of Belmopan, we wish all mothers a Happy Mother's Day!!!!"

Basic equipment used by Gold panners to crush rock
These operate at altitudes of 900 meters in the Chiquibul-Maya Mountains.

Geology 101 for Belizean Students and Investors
I have decided late this Sunday evening to extract a small portion of the content in the Geography section of Belize Facts and Figures and write a brief post on the geology and to a lesser extent, the geologic resources of Belize. The accompanying map was created by Mr. Jan Meerman. I am fascinated with the geology of this country because there may be opportunities to attract investments for the creation of high value tiles and table tops from granite or pink limestone. One company tried but did not do the necessary ground truthing to find the correct type of unfractured granite. The geological resources of Belize include oil, clays, barite, sand and gravel, granite, gypsum, quartz sand, dolomite and limestone. There are indications that Belize may have deposits of molybdenum in the Maya Mountains. Sites with high quality silica deposits have been identified. A few rubies are said to have been discovered in the south of the country during colonial times. Oil has been extracted from the Spanish Lookout Reservoir since 2006. This oil is located at a depth of 3,000 feet.

Belize’s Cacao Industry
A pleasant Sunday morning to all you friends and family. I was in the south last Friday and stopped off to buy some original organic Belize chocolate from Mr. Julio Saqui in Maya Center Village. This chocolate is great. The flavor is exceptional. Here is a snippet of the Cacao Industry section in my book, Belize Facts and Figures. Hopefull this book will be out by January or February 2016: Belize has had experience in the global cacao supply chain since the 1950s. The price crashed in 1991, but by 1994 Green and Blacks launched Maya Gold chocolate bars in the United Kingdom Fairtrade market. This was the world’s first organic certified chocolate bar and was made from organic cacao supplied by farmers of the Toledo Cacao Growers Association (TCGA).

My new book Belize Facts and Figures: Landmarks of Belize – San Luis Rey Roman Catholic Church, San Antonio Toledo District
In my new book, I have an extensive section featuring the landmarks of each district. I refer to landmarks as man made (women included) sites that all Belizeans should know about and visit. I will feature some of these sites in internet posts over the coming months until January or February when the books are printed and are ready for sale. Here is the first landmark of Belize which I feature. Located on a hill in San Antonio village, Toledo District is the San Luis Rey Catholic Church. This church was constructed in the 1940s by villagers of San Antonio who brought stones from the surrounding landscape. Construction of the church which has old and unique stained glass windows was organized by Father William Urlich, a Jesuit priest. The stained glass was donated from a church in the United States.

U.S. Embassy Belmopan Announces Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program!
Entrepreneurs! We are looking for you! The Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is looking for 250 young entrepreneurs from Latin America and the Caribbean to bring to the United States for business and social entrepreneurship training in October and November 2016. YLAI Professional Fellows will become part of the larger YLAI Network, an online space to obtain resources and make regional connections necessary to foster positive change in their local communities. 2 U.S. EMBASSY Belmopan, Belize Office of Public Affairs

Hands Across the Sand 2016
Next Saturday, May 21st, Oceana is doing their Hands Across the Sand initiative, and they'll be in Cayo, at the wooden bridge. Be there at noon if you wish to participate. Say 'no' to offshore oil. Thanks, Oceana! "Join Oceana and our Wavemakers as we host the second annual countrywide 'Hands Across the Sand' in Belize on May 21st at 12 noon. Find your community's designated location on the flyer and come join hands as we stand in solidarity against offshore oil development in Belize's economically important marine environment!"

FREE online college fair for international students Wednesday May 11th
Learn more about studying in the U.S.! Register for this free online college fair NOW! There’s still time to register! Sign up here:

Channel 7

Bulgarian ATM Scammers Busted in Belize
Tonight, two Eastern European men are being held by Belize City police in connection with a massive ATM scam. Now, don't panic - because from what we've learned so far, they didn't scam local accounts, but here's what they did do. The two men from Bulgaria stole ATM pin numbers in another country, then created their own ATM cards, and came to Belize to make huge withdrawals on those cards. As we understand it, all the cards they scammed were international bank cards - meaning they can make withdrawals from any bank, anywhere in the world. And how did they steal the pin numbers? Well, our information says they installed hidden cameras on the ATM's - and got the pin numbers. Again, that did not happen in Belize - those pin numbers were stolen internationally - the scammers just came to Belize to make the withdrawals. According to our information, they conducted hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent transactions - and all that money was withdrawn from the Belize banking system.

Popular Footballer Killed In San Pedro
Police in San Pedro are investigating the murder of Melvin Almendarez, an island football star. He was found dead in the Mosquito Coast Area of South Ambergris Caye. Original reports were that he was shot once to the head, and that the cops had detained a Canadian national for it. But no arrests have been made. And the community is left to speculate, and grieve for the well-loved footballer. Today Emanuel Pech traveled to San Pedro to find out. This is Melvin Almendarez- a 31 year old Honduran National, who moved to Belize over a decade ago with the woman who became his wife and mother of his three kids. He didn't have a regular 8 to 5 job. He worked in San Pedro as a freelance artist and did just about anything to sustain his small family. But if there is anything that Melvin will always be remembered by it is his passion and love for football.

BNTU's Black Friday Rally To Demand That GOB Rescind Sarstoon S.I.
Three weeks ago, the Teachers Union launched its "Stand Up for Belize" education campaign in Benque Viejo. It's a forum on all things related to the Belize Guatemala Territorial Dispute, and on Friday, the campaign comes to Belize City. But, this time, the focus is laser sharp on the "Sarstoon SI," which restricts movement of Belizeans through the River that forms Belize's southern border. The Government says that it's just a temporary measure to not jeopardize the fragile negotiations with Guatemala over a peace keeping protocol for the Sarstoon. But the BNTU says, "Baloney!". Belize's most powerful union today joined the PUP and the National Trade Union Congress of Belize in calling for the law to be rescinded. That, and other issues related to the territorial Dispute, are scheduled to be discussed at a rally that the Teachers will hold this Friday. Today, the Leaders of the BNTU called a press conference to inform their membership that the plan has changed for Friday's Teachers Day.

Prensa Libre Says Guat Military Did Weekend Operations on Sarstoon
And while the teachers want the law rescinded - it seems the Guatemalans are just fine with it as is. The Prensa Libre today reported that this weekend, the Guatemalan Army's Caribbean Naval Command and the Marine Brigade did operations in the Sarstoon to, quote, "be prepared for any eventuality in the region." The article explains that go-fast vessels were used to quote, "protect the waters" of the Sarstoon. It adds that the Guatemalan Army had intelligence that NGO's from Belize would go into the Sarstoon on Sunday to plant a flag on the island, so the military was in place, to, quote, "check foreign vessels approaching national waters." The article adds that Guatemalan immigrant and tax officers were also on hand to process any Belizean arriving at the river, to ensure that they had their travel documents.

PUP NPC Makes Demands Of GOB
Well, they might have to get ready to see the PUP - because on Saturday the opposition held a National Party Council meeting - and various party officials made it clear they want to challenge the government and the Guatemalans and go to the Sarstoon. The meeting was held at the Belize Elementary Gym and when it was over, the party chairman gave us a synopsis of the resolutions:... Henry Charles Usher, Chairman - PUP: "The resolution has 6 faucets to it. First of all we condemn the Guatemalan escalation of troops at the border and we require that the Guatemalans de-escalate that immediately. 2.) We demand that the government of Belize rescind the unconstitutional Sarstoon law immediately. 3.) We have gotten approval of the national party council to re-engage with the government when it comes to the national effort, but it has to be done on an item of respect - terms of respect, requirement that the law be rescinded. 4.) That if the law is not rescinded, the People's United Party National Party Council has resolved to travel to the Sarstoon." "In terms of the rescinding of the law, that takes immediate effect. We are requiring or asking or demanding that the government rescinds the law immediately." Jules Vasquez: "And if they don't rescind it, the PUP is going to the Sarstoon. When is there a timeline for that?>"

GOB Tells PUP "No"
The Government issued a response to the PUP resolution this afternoon. It says GOB rejects the PUP demand for the SI to be rescinded. Now, government says that through diplomatic measures, quote, "the military tensions regarding the Sarstoon are no longer as explosive as they were when we passed the Regulation." But the release adds, "until the negotiations actually begin, we are not comfortable enough to conclude that all danger has been eliminated regarding large-scale, civilian political expeditions to the Sarstoon." End quote. But, the release adds, quote, "all non-political, legitimate Belizean civilian traffic into the restricted area will immediately be given lawful authority...to proceed. The only requirement for this is that they check in at our Sarstoon Forward Operating Base so that our military can confirm the legitimate nature of their use of the river." End quote. The release adds that on Tuesday, the BDF went upriver to do its normal change-over at Cadenas.

Bustillos Will Be Charged For Double Murder
Andy Bustillos was released from the hospital this evening and, tonight, he has been charged for two counts of murder. The Anchor Security Guard allegedly murdered his ex-common law wife Miriam "Betty" Mai and her sister in law Daisy Miralda on Saturday April 30th. It happened inside Betty's Beauty Salon in Cayo. Mai and Miralda and some friends were inside the salon when Bustillos came in around 5:00 and handed Mai a bag. She refused the bag and he threw it on the floor and shot and killed both Mai and Miralda. He also tried to shoot their other persons in the salon, but the gun jammed and they were able to dash away. Bustillos then shot himself in the head in an apparent suicide attempt. But he survived, and is expected to be arraigned at 10:00 am tomorrow in Cayo.

The Curious Case Of Canadian John Burke
Canadian John Burke is in custody of San Pedro police tonight, and he's a person of interest in an ongoing investigation. But, first, he's been charged for drug related charges. Police say they found an undisclosed amount of drugs on him when he was taken into custody on Saturday night. Information to channel 7 is that he was offered bail but could not meet it, so he remains in custody at the San Pedro Police Station.

Island Cops Say San Pedro Drugs Moving South
And while John Burke may have to answer for other crimes, San Pedro police already have enough on their hands with the island's drug gangs. Last week Tuesday they came up big when they arrested three men for drugs and fire arm offences in the Mosquito Coast Area, at the Southend of the Island. They are 20 year old Christian Espat, 19 year old Rene Kumul Jr., and 20 year old Jose Armando Guillen, all three of them well known to police. Supt. Sandra Bowden - O. C. San Pedro/ Caye Caulker: "Police was patrolling in the south, where they received information of suspicious persons in the area. They visited the area where they detained 3 male persons. They conducted a search on a knapsack which lead to the discovery of 7 -12 gauge cartridges. It also lead to the discovery of a 12 gauge pump action shotgun, 4 other 12 gauge cartridges and one MP-40, 9mm submachine gun. Like I said 3 persons were detained at the time and they have since been arrested and charged for kept prohibited firearm, kept unlicensed firearm without ammunition and also for drug trafficking."

Garbage And The Int'l Cruise Port
Last week Thursday, the management of the Fort Street Tourism Village sent a curt email to its tenants saying abruptly: "the Fort Street Tourism Village is no longer working with the Belize Waste Control." That's after FSTV management told Waste Control not to come back into the village, and to remove their containers. Tenants were told that if they wanted to get rid of their garbage, they would have to do so themselves. That's after a blow-up between FSTV and Waste Control - one that got pretty heated from what we are told. Well today, it seems saner heads prevailed as both sides had in a cordial meeting. But, they still had one big issue: who's going to pay for the 330 cubic yards of garbage generated at the village every month? Waste control says the garbage load far exceeds what the village is paying for - and BWC claims it is losing major revenue every month. Today we spoke to Phillip Willoughby who acted as a mediator:.. Phillip Willoughby, City Councilor: "We came up with a remedy to remedy this impasse between FSTV, the tenants and Belize Waste Control Limited." Jules Vasquez: "Now one week ago you were basically driven from in here. Today you went in here for meetings. Would you say that there's been any type of breakthrough?"

Brown To Face Trial For Castro Headshot
39 year-old Frank Brown, a taxi driver from Belize City, will have to stand trial for the near fatal shooting of 33 year-old Albert Castro which happened in June 2014. A preliminary Inquiry was held today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. That's when the police prosecutor provided the court with all the witness statements and other pieces of evidence that the DPP's Office intends to use against him in the trial. He did not contest any of that evidence, and after the Senior Magistrate reviewed the documents, she ruled that there is a case against him. With that she committed him to stand trial in the June Session of the Supreme Court, which will start on June 21, 2016.

The Update On Refugees
For the past few months, Belmopan Residents have probably seen hundreds of persons lined up in front of the Help for Progress Office on Forest Drive. That's because they've been signing up for refugee status to try to get regularized so that they can legally remain in Belize. For a few months now the Government's own Refugee Committee has been activated after years of dormancy. It has been reviewing applications from persons seeking the refugee status in Belize. But, there are questions coming forward following reports that the refugee application process has been conducted with very little screening, even for persons who have lived illegally in Belize for years. So, for clarification, on last week Thursday, we asked Beverly Castillo, the new Minister responsible for the Immigration Department, about daily influx of persons at the Help for Progress Office. Here's what she had to say on the topic, which up until last week, had not been discussed publicly before. Reporter: "Do we already know how many refugees are currently in Belize?" Hon. Beverly Castillo, Minister Responsible for Immigration: "I am pretty sure that we do not have the precise number and that's the reason for reactivate the Refugee Committee to look at those and that is why you see an influx into the office for the applications. The office last year - was reactivated earlier this year and so that is now where you see the influx."

Maria Marin Moves Over to Refugee Dept
The Head of the Refugee Department which is handling the applications coming in is Maria Marin, who happens to be the former Acting Director of Immigration. As we told you last week Wednesday, she was replaced by Career Foreign Affairs Officer Diana Locke. Marin reported to work at her new post on Thursday, and in the evening, we asked her new boss, Immigration Minister Beverly Castillo, about the need for the change. She told us that the change is an infusion of new blood, and is not in any way a demotion for Maria Marin: Hon. Beverly Castillo, Minister Responsible for Immigration: "I believe that with all that has happened in Immigration, I know that we are in the media spotlight on that matter and for me as the new minister responsible I thought we should inject new blood, bring new focus and move forward in a positive way in trying to restructure, to enhance and to build on what we have in Immigration for improvement of service delivery." Daniel Ortiz: "Can you talk to us about the conversations you've had with Ms. Marin and what was the sentiment she had when you informed her of your decision that a change would be in your mind appropriate?"

The Ride Of Their Lives For A-List Politics And CEO's
We have covered several Cancer awareness rides all across the country but the ride on Saturday was the first of its kind. That's because it was all the CEO's from the various government ministries riding for cancer. The Big Deal CEO Caucus Challenge Ride started at Mile 24 on the George Price Highway and ended at the Agriculture Showgrounds in Belmopan. A few of the participants discussed the importance of this ride and their personal connection with this cause. The CEO Caucus raised $56,666 and the money was divided between the Belize Cancer Society, the Belmopan Cancer Society and the Dangriga Cancer Center. The Caucus plans to make this an annual event.

Woes For Sandhill Mother of Three
A woman and her kids spent Mother's Day in a desperate search for a place to stay after their house was destroyed in a fire. 35 year old Sandhill resident Kafi Davis went to spend Mother's Day in Corozal. But her weekend plans were cut short when she got the call about her burnt house. She and her kids lost everything, and she suspects it was triggered by a domestic dispute. Courtney Weatherburne went to SandHill to find out more: This morning, a small flame still danced among the scorched debris where Kafi Davis's house used to be. Davis moved from Lords Bank to live here on her mother in law's land in Sandhill. She lived with her husband and 3 kids. But during their 9 years of marriage, she said they have been through a lot and he just recently moved out of the house. Voice of: Kafi Davis, House Burnt Down: "We just could not see eye to eye because of his alcohol abuse. We've been together almost 10 years, 9 years. In that 9 years we had a lot of difficulties, a lot of ups and downs like a rollercoaster ride." According to Davis all those "up's and down's" are what led to her house being burnt down early Sunday morning, luckily neither she nor the kids were in the house.

Yoga Instructors Trained
Yoga, its proponents tell us that from ancient times, it's been providing physical, mental and spiritual wellness. And, now, yoga is gaining popularity in Belize, and along with that comes a demand for more trained instructors. And that's why today, The Om Shanti Belize Yoga School, based in Belize City, was excited to graduate its first cohort of internationally trained instructors. We stopped by and found a familiar face among the 4 graduates. Here's what they told us about the milestone they achieved: As you heard, these 4 newly certified instructors will be able to teach Yoga anywhere in the world.


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#513643 - 05/10/16 12:13 PM Re: Today's Belize News: May 10, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Channel 5

B.N.T.U. to Stand Up for Belize on Teachers Day
There is mounting opposition against the controversial Sarstoon Law, which came into effect on April twenty-ninth and was essentially designed to prevent an expedition of the Belize Territorial Volunteers. But [...]

Teachers Union Demands the Immediate Withdrawal of Sarstoon Law
While the union has only just formulated a position to repeal the Sarstoon Law over the weekend, it is prepared to return to its executive should the Barrow Administration refuse [...]

What’s the Next Step for B.N.T.U. if G.O.B. Refuses to Rescind Statutory Instrument?
So, with all the talk of parading through the streets of Belize City on Friday, what else is on the union’s itinerary for Teachers Day?  Palacio told the media this [...]

P.U.P. National Party Council Meets in Belize City Over the Weekend…
Still on the issue of the controversial Sarstoon Law….as we said, the People’s United Party held its first National Party Council meeting at the Belize Elementary Auditorium. The N.P.C. discussed [...]

N.P.C. Demands Rescission of Contentious Sarstoon Law
In his press conference last week Prime Minister Dean Barrow claimed that if the P.U.P. goes to the Sarstoon it could undermine all the progress that has been made in [...]

G.O.B. Rejects P.U.P. Demand to Remove Controversial Legislation
The government of Belize has rejected the P.U.P.’s demand to rescind the Sarstoon Prohibition Regulation, via a release interestingly titled Government Announces Limited Access to Sarstoon. The release clarifies that [...]

Guatemala Customs & Immigration Deployed to Sarstoon
Government says it is cautiously optimistic about progress to solve the situation at the Sarstoon. But the Guatemalan military is not indicating any such optimism. Over the weekend, press reports [...]

A Football Player is Slain on La Isla Bonita
The last time we reported on a murder in San Pedro AC was back in March of this year. It appeared that violence and crime were on pause, but on [...]

Drugs and Firearms Seized on San Pedro, Several Persons Arrested
Also on the island, police have made a significant firearm bust. Last Tuesday, a high-powered MP-Forty submachine gun was found south of San Pedro Town in an area known as [...]

Alrick Smith Targeted by Gunman in Ladyville
He has been in the news in recent months for a number of criminal offences, including attempted murder and drug trafficking. But on Friday night, the notorious Alrick Smith, aka [...]

Belize City Taximan to Stand Trial for Attempted Murder
A Belize City taxi driver will stand trial in the June session of the Supreme Court for the attempted murder of a taxi operator. At the end of a preliminary [...]

Guatemalan Tour Guide Arraigned for Theft of Vehicle in Benque Viejo
A brazen thief stole a 2014 Mazda pick-up truck from Police Superintendent Selvin Tillett who heads the Orange Walk formation. The incident happened back on February fourteenth; Tillett was robbed [...]

No Charges for Arenal Seven

The Story of Refugees and Amnesty in Belize
Last week News Five delved into the story of local refugee slash amnesty program which has been in effect since November of last year, completely under the radar. We got [...]

N.T.U.C.B. President Says He Learned About Amnesty Program on the Local News
There you have it…a refugee program with exceptional oversight from a committee which includes the social partners – Churches, unions and business sector. So we decided to check with the [...]

What’s the Union’s Role on Refugee Committee?
Mora promised to conduct an immediate internal check to determine the union’s role, if any, on any committee dealing with the registration of refugees under any current refugee program.   [...]

BWC and FSTV Mend Fences…
On Thursday, we reported of an impasse between the Fort Street Tourism Village and Belize Waste Control Limited, involving the cost of garbage collection from tenants at FSTV.  BWC complained [...]

Garbage Collection to Resume at Fort Street Tourism Village
According to General Manager George Lamb, BWC was in the process of ironing out the details of a new arrangement with FSTV.  He told News Five that services would have [...]

Football and Basketball Stats in Weekend Sports
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Game 2 of the NEBL Championship series saw Smart Belize Hurricanes confidently sail to scenic San Pedro Saturday night [...]

CTV3

Is Commercial Free Zone On The Verge Of Closing?
A report issued recently by the Mexican news page ‘La Verdad TV’ alleges that entrepreneurs from the Corozal Free Zone have been informed by the government of Belize and the administration of the free zone, that they face the imminent risk of the commercial area closing down, due to the difficulties being faced at the time by the banking sector as it relates to closing ties with US correspondent banks. According to the report, the Central Bank of Belize has lost correspondents with at least three major banks in the United States, including City Bank and Chase Manhattan, which handled transactions of merchants with their suppliers in the free zone. In the report the reason given for the loss of correspondent banking is, because Belize is recorded in the 2013 Red List of the Financial Action Task Force (GIFE) in Central America and the Caribbean, on suspicion of money laundering.

Drunken Brawl Nearly Leads To Death
Tonight twenty five year old Linsford Daniel Rabateau, a resident of #2 Otro Benque Road, is tonight recovering at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was stabbed with an ice pick. Reports are that at about 7:00 on Saturday night, Rabateau along with three other friends were playing checkers at a residence located in the village of Trial Farm in Orange Walk and were consuming alcohol when an altercation broke out between Rabateau and twenty six year old Ruben Perez. CTV3 News understands that both men were arguing about issues concerning their respective jobs and that is when the situation escalated as Perez inflicted a stab wound to the right side of Rabateau’s chest puncturing his lung. Rabateau was transported to the Northern Regional Hospital where he underwent surgery for the punctured lung. He was then transported to the KHMH where he is currently listed in a stable condition.

Has Tensions De-escalated At The Sarstoon?
In their release issued this afternoon responding to the PUP’s demand to rescind the Public Safety Act regulations introduced on Friday, April 29th, GOB makes mention that they are of the opinion that the military tensions regarding the Sarstoon are no longer as explosive as they were when the Sarstoon law was passed. But have tensions really de-escalated? We question that statement especially after reading a report issued by La Prensa Libre of Guatemala. The newspaper reports that immediately after receiving word that Non-governmental organizations from Belize were planning to visit the Sarstoon this past Sunday with the intention of installing a flag on the Sarstoon Island, members of the Guatemalan Navy, and soldiers were deployed to the area. Similarly, employees of the Directorate General of Migration and Tax Administration arrived at the area to check on the visitor’s relevant documentation for their immigration status. At the end the report states that the Navy received word that the NGO’s would no longer carry out the trip to the Sarstoon out of respect for the Sarstoon Law imposed by GOB for one month but organize differently to accomplish its mission.

PUP Passes Six Motion And Demands That The Sarstoon Law Be Rescinded
On Saturday the people’s United Party held its first National Party Council meeting under its new administration since the national convention, and the main topic of discussion was Guatemala’s claim over the Sarstoon and GOB’s decision to implement the statutory instrument that impedes Belizeans from entering the Sarstoon. During their meeting the People’s United passed a very important resolution that includes six main points that essentially highlights their disapproval for the Public Safety Act regulations introduced on Friday, April 29, restricting movement in the Sarstoon and calls on GOB to rescind the law. Henry Charles- People’s United Party Party Chairman: “A very critical resolution was passed this morning and the resolution has six faucets to it; first of all we condemn the Guatemalan escalation of troops at the border and we require that the Guatemalan de-escalate that immediately. (2) We demand that the Government of Belize rescind the unconstitutional Sarstoon Law immediately. (3) We have gotten the approval of the National Party Council to reengage with the government when it comes to the National Effort when it has to be done on items and terms of respect, the requirement that the law be rescinded. (4) That if the law if not rescinded the People’s United Party, Party Council has resolved to travel to the Sarstoon and finally the amendment made this morning was that the Area Representatives of the People’s United Party be respected in their various constituencies and that the system of caretakers be abolished immediately.”

OWTC To Celebrate Mothers Day
Tomorrow Belizeans will celebrating Mother’s Day…..a special day that is set aside to honour and cherish all mothers for their continuous support and unconditional love. Here in Orange Walk the town council will be hosting their annual Mother’s Day Program tomorrow at the Central Park where a number of activities are scheduled to take place in which mothers will have the opportunity to win fabulous prizes. Kevin Bernard – Mayor, Orange Walk Town: “Every year we try to do something to celebrate with our mothers, you know our mothers are very special to every children in this world, they come from a mother, one that cares one that has nurtured us and so the Council feels that it is very important that we continue again in the tradition, what we will be doing tomorrow is having a short mass at five o’clock...”

BNTU Scraps Teachers Day And Plans Rally
The People’s United Party is not the only one that wants the Sarstoon law to be revoked……so does the Belize National Teachers Union. Following a heated discussion, the BNTU’s council of management agreed to scrap its annual Teachers' Day celebrations and replaced it with a rally as part of its ongoing "Stand up for Belize" campaign in Belize City. Luke Palacio – President of BNTU: “The Belize National Teachers Union and its council of management meeting held out on Saturday decided that instead of celebrating our teacher’s day in the manner that we had originally planned we are going to continue the stand up for Belize campaign with a rally here in Belize City on Friday march 13th. Our council has agreed that this time instead of celebrating teachers day the way we usually do, and let me make it absolutely clear, the discussion was lengthy and heated because a number of our branches had already had plans as to what they would have been doing for teachers day but none the less they have agreed by the majority to come to Belize City for this rally that we intent to have on Friday.”

Prime Minister Dean Barrow Leaves Country To Seek Medical Attention
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country today to attend a medical appointment. According to the Press Office the P.M is scheduled to return to Belize on Wednesday, May 11th, 2016. During his absence, the Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment and Sustainable Development will act as Prime Minister.

GOB Says Sarstoon Law Stands But Makes Exceptions
And GOB did adhere to the PUP’s demands…..well….at least when it comes to the request for an immediate response. Before one this afternoon fired off a release where they are rejecting the PUP’s demand for the immediate rescission of the Sarstoon Prohibition Regulation. While the Sarstoon Law remains in vigor, GOB does state in their release that all non-political, legitimate Belizean civilian traffic into the restricted area will immediately be given lawful authority, under the Regulation, to proceed. But there is a requirement and that is for Belizeans to check in at the Sarstoon Forward Operating Base so that the military can confirm the legitimate nature of their use of the river.

Zumba Invasion Raises More Than Five Thousand Dollars For Cancer Group
On Friday the Crystal Palace Auditorium came to life as hundreds of Orange Walkenos came out for the 2016 Zumba Invasion dance party. As we reported, the event was organized with the main objective being to raise funds to offer assistance to the Orange Walk Cancer Support Group. Today, organizers of the event proudly handed over a check amounting to five thousand two hundred and eleven dollars to the president of the Orange Walk Cancer support group, Badhra Coleman, who expressed her immense gratitude at the generous donation that will greatly assist many individuals who are currently in the fight against cancer. Badhra Coleman- President- Cancer Support group “I am very happy that Margie and Divas Under Construction took out this time to do this fund raising for us and you know that every little bit counts and five thousand dollars is a lot and it is going to go a long way with our patients.”

LOVE FM

Belize District Teachers Meet in Prayer at Bird’s Isle
Teachers within the Belize District converged at the Bird’s Isle Court this afternoon to join in their annual Ecumenical Service as part of Education Week 2016. Katherine Flowers is the head of the Belize District Branch of the Belize National Teachers Union; in speaking with Love News, she noted that this event is crucial for […]

Guatemalan Gold Panners Continue to Desecrate the Chiquibul Reserve
Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) reported this week that Guatemalan Gold Hunters, known in Spanish as ‘Oreros’ have devised creative ways on how to reach gold reserves higher in the mountain. FCD reported that on April 16, a resident of a Guatemalan Village, El Naranjon, Juan Che Zuc was detained and he confessed that […]

45-Year-Old Home Collapses in the City
This morning a house on Racecourse Street, Belize City, collapsed. A family of three had been residing in the home. One person was in the home when it collapsed, luckily no one got hurt. One of the occupants of the house, Dennis Lucario told us the building had been there since 1971. He told us […]

Teachers Will Rally for Belize’s Sovereignty
Coming out of last Saturday’s meeting of the Belize National Teachers Union is the organization of a rally in Belize City with the participation of teachers from around the country. It is an event being planned against the tradition of having the teachers getting some sun and fun but President Luke Palacio says it was […]

Coronado and Prado Face Drug Charges
Nineteen year old Darwin Prado, a construction worker of Marage Road, Ladyville, charged with drug trafficking for two hundred and thirty four grams of cannabis, was fined ten thousand dollars today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after he pled guilty to the charge. Prado was given until September 30 to pay. If he defaults on payment he […]

PlusTV

Police update on Camalote double murder investigation
Police say they have someone detained in relation to the Camalote double murder that claimed the lives of [AKEEM THIMBREL PIC] cousins Akeem Thmbrell and Shawn Lopez. [SAHWN LOPEZ PIC] The two men were gunned down as they walked on a street in Camalote village on Sunday night. Police say they have made some headway they believe and have boost patrols in the Camalote area which led to the discovery of two weapons in the Camalote area. Sr. Supt Howell Gillett, OC Belmopan Police: The specialized units of this area have taken off two guns off the street, an AK47 and a pump 12 shot gun, so we’re happy for those two recovery of weapons from the streets, that makes it a lot safer. Both weapons have been packaged and they will be sent to the forensic laboratory for testing. They will be tested against those ballistic information that were gathered from all those previous murders to compare them for comparison purposes.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

After Shyne’s house broken into, man accuses police of brutality
A few days ago, the home of the Prime Minister’s son, Shyne Barrow in the Buttonwood Bay area of Belize City was broken into. Officer Commanding Precinct 4, Senior Superintendent Lynden Flowers said police are still investigating and have detained some persons for questioning. […]

New Magistrate sworn in
This past Friday, new Magistrate Emmertice Emmerita Anderson, a native of Roaring Creek, Cayo District, was sworn in by Chief Justice, Kenneth A. Benjamin. Anderson is the ex-wife of former Belize Director of Public Prosecutions, now judge of the Jamaican Supreme Court, Kirk Anderson, and is currently common law wife of Richard Flowers […]

Tropic continues to give back
Making its way across the country and giving generous donations along the way, Tropic Air’s fundraising campaign entitled “#TropicGivesBack”, handed over a check of $450 to the Octavia Waight Centre in San Ignacio, Cayo District. The check was handed over last Friday after $1 […]

Girl, 14, reported missing since Saturday evening
Kimberly Mejia, a 14-year-old student of Progresso Village in the Cayo District, was reported missing00 on Saturday evening, his daughter left home and has not been seen or heard from […]

BNTU gives up Teachers’ Day over Guatemala claim
Following a heated discussion, the Belize National Teacher’s Union (BNTU) has agreed to forgo its annual Teachers’ Day celebrations in favor of a rally as part of its ongoing “Stand up for Belize” campaign in Belize City. The Union has also called for the […]

Guatemalan tour guide remanded to prison for robbery
A Guatemalan tour guide of Melchor de Mencos has been remanded to prison after being arrested and charged by police for robbery on Friday. Bryan Geovanny Corado, 21, reportedly held Superintendent Selvin Tillet at gunpoint on February 14th and stole his Mazda pickup truck […]

Belize’s coral reef captured from space by NASA astronaut
NASA astronaut Jeff Williams, who is currently aboard the International Space Station (ISS), posted stunning images and video of the bright coral reefs off the coast of Belize City to his social media page over the weekend. “Good Morning! Beautiful Belize coastal waters, where Central America […]

“No” for now to removing Sarstoon restriction, says GOB
While rejecting the demand made by the People’s United Party (PUP) for the immediate rescission of the Sarstoon Prohibition Regulation, the Government of Belize has announced that, quote, all non-political, legitimate Belizean civilian traffic into the restricted area will immediately be given lawful authority, […]

Is the Belize Tourism Board dysfunctional?
What is tourism? There are several definitions, however, I am going to use this definition – “the promotion of tourist travel, especially for commercial purposes.” The Minister of Tourism is the elected official, Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. According to the Ministry of Tourism, […]

Police investigate latest San Pedro murder
Investigations into the death of San Pedro resident, Melvin Almendarez, are ongoing after his body was discovered near a sports bar south of San Pedro Town. It was on Friday night at around 11:39 p.m. that police received information of a body being found, which was […]

Man arrested for weed in Belize city
Police on motorcycle patrol Saturday morning in Belize City, stopped and searched 27-year-old Carlos Roland Coronado who was seen walking on Armadillo Street with a cream plastic container in his hand. Inside that container, officers found two black plastic bags with a total of […]

Man stabbed with ice pick in Orange Walk
An Orange Walk man was detained by police on Saturday night for the stabbing of 25-year-old Linsford Daniel Rabateu, with an ice pick while socializing at a friend’s residence. Officers visited the Northern Regional Hospital at around 7:15 p.m. and saw Rabateu with a […]

Ryan Alvarez, Patrick Castillo to be tried for murder
Almost a month ago, 22 year old Devon Sankey, on remand for six months for the murder of 55 year old Edward Albert Robinson, and the attempted murder of notorious street figure, 33 year old Jamil Betancourt which occurred on October 20, 2015 in the North […]

Blogs

Jalapeńo Cheese Bagels
No Stand mixer needed. This is the easiest way to make fantastic Jalapeńo Cheese Bagels. You will be making these or a variation of these over and over again.

How About a Shout-out for Belize’s Community Baboon Sanctuary?
If you’d like to meet Belize’s most enigmatic primates, plan to spend time at the nation’s Community Baboon Sanctuary. Bermudian Landing is the site of the main sanctuary, but the Creole villages that have joined the effort to nurture Black Howler Monkeys include Flowers Bank, Double Head Cabbage, Scotland Half-moon, Isabella Bank and Big Falls/St. Paul’s Bank. The reserve runs along the banks of the Belize River and it’s the pride and joy of landowners who have committed to maintaining this area for this species and other local wildlife, flora and fauna. The Sanctuary is located just 30 miles from Belize City. Ask your lodgings host to arrange a formal tour that includes transport to and from the site, or you can rent a car to make the 30 mile drive. With an estimated 1500 howlers roaming the 20 square mile epicenter of the CBS, you’ll probably hear them before you see them!

Ever heard of the Forest Trust of 1922?
By the early 1900s, it was commonly known that the primary hardwoods such as mahogany and cedar had been cut over multiple times on many mahogany works in Belize. A report commissioned by the Colonial Research Committee between 1920 and 1921 (The Hummel Report of 1921) confirmed that much of the accessible Crown lands of the colony were seriously depleted of mahogany and that the chicle industry was in decline because of unsustainable tapping methods. A four-pronged forest policy elaborated by the Hummel Report included efforts to (1) decrease the costs of extraction using better logging methods, (2) use silvicultural management of mahogany in favourable areas, (3) develop the secondary species and (4) improve communication in the colony through more systematic exploitation and less “hand-to-mouth” forestry. In line with these new goals, the Forest Trust was established in April of 1922 with Cornelius Hummel as the first Conservator of Forests. Shortly after, five forest reserves were declared: Silk Grass Reserve, Punta Gorda Reserve, Belize Pine Reserve, Sibun-Stann Creek Reserve and Tillett’s Pond Reserve (adjacent to the Botanical Garden in the Belize District). The Freshwater Creek Reserve was added in Corozal in 1926. These reserves were created to improve the sustainability of wood extraction and implement the first attempts at forestry science in Belize. The first effort in scientific forestry was the devising of a method of mahogany silviculture at the Botanical Station on the Belize River. These initial experiments were the basis for further research in the area of mahogany and sapodilla improvement in Belize. Apart from the Botanical Station, efforts in scientific forestry extraction focused on exploration, silvicultural improvements, secondary species and fire control. The Forest Trust eventually became Belize’s Forestry Department.

THE National Tapir Day Party at the Belize Zoo – Cake, Chocolate and, of couse, Tapirs
Badass Auntie here, reporting for San Pedro Scoop. It’s an honour and a privilege to be bringing you the story from Belize Zoo’s celebration of National Tapir Day, or as I like to call it – the day I get peed on by a mountain cow. I had more than one badass mission to complete though and the most important was a delivery of handmade chocolate tapirs from The Belize Chocolate Factory in my special chicken bag. More about those later. Let’s start like normal people do – from my arrival at the zoo. Something about this bus made me think I was in the right place. I must admit that I’m a bit of a Belize Zoo groupie and so I was excited to be greeted by the first caged animal I always see when I arrive, Edson, the every cheerful guy who will sell you your tickets into the best little zoo in the world. Although it was a tapir jubilee at the zoo today, I have the sneaking suspicion they don’t have any tapir outfits in which to dress unsuspecting volunteers. For people, who I know were fast on their way to dehydration, they were having a little bit too much fun on the bouncy castle. Seriously, as soon as adults are in a country that doesn’t ban them from the children’s play areas, this is what happens.

International Sourcesizz

Forgotten Mayan city 'discovered' in Central America by 15-year-old boy
A 15-year-old boy believes he has discovered a forgotten Mayan city using satellite photos and Mayan astronomy. William Gadoury, from Quebec, came up with the theory that the Maya civilization chose the location of its towns and cities according to its star constellations. He found Mayan cities lined up exactly with stars in the civilization's major constellations. Studying the star map further, he discovered one city was missing from a constellation of three stars. Using satellite images provided by the Canadian Space Agency and then mapped on to Google Earth, he discovered the city where the third star of the constellation suggested it would be. William has named the yet-to-be explored city in the Yucatan jungle K'aak Chi, or Mouth of Fire. Daniel De Lisle, from the Canadian Space Agency, said the area had been difficult to study because of its dense vegetation.

Local team gets radar training in Belize
A local team comprised of Technical Engineer Michael Carey from Cayman Islands National Weather Service, Earl Lindo from the Cayman Islands Airports Authority and Danny Salmon from Aviation Communication was sent to Belize to partcipate in a training workshop for technical support of the Weather Radar from 14-15 April. The workshop was facilitated by the Belize National Weather Service and funded by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The training was provided by SELEX, the manufacturer of a number of weather radars installed across the Caribbean. The week-long training session was repeated over two weeks and afforded the opportunity for the Cayman representatives to participate in hands-on training utilising the Belize Weather Radar.

ELC worth supporting
To say that I have not traveled widely is an understatement. At home in the West for 60 years, I have been east of the Rockies on only one occasion and barely across our southern border on two others. Some 10 years ago when financial fortune smiled on me, however briefly, I took my family to Belize. Why Belize? Three reasons: coral reefs, tropical forests and because English is the official language there. You see, I am a "cultural chicken." I don't want to go anywhere that I can't understand what people are saying about me and where I can't easily convey my immediate needs. Just too scary, it's vacation after all. Yet every year, thousands of brave people from all over the world come to America not for vacation, but to escape poverty, war and repression, to find economic opportunity and to give their children a chance at a better life through education and hard work. Cultural chickens they are not. Key to their success integrating into our communities is learning our language, and English is a very difficult language to learn, especially for adults.

Videos

  • Belize trip 2016. Creative Tours and Coco Beach, 15min.

  • Belize taxi drivers, 1.5min.

  • Belize Audubon Society Activities 14, 4.5min.

  • Belize Zoo Celebrates National Tapir Day, 1min.

  • Diving in Belize, 2.5min.

  • Belcampo Belize, 2min. Take a tour of Belcampo Belize, located in Punta Gorda, Belize and watch how coffee goes from a bean to your cup. Coffee experts will take you through the process of roasting to brewing. After your tour, enjoy a pound of coffee that you roasted yourself.

  • STD 5 STUDENTS DEBATE ON THE LONG STANDING TERRITORIAL AND MARITIME DISPUTE TO THE ICJ, 3.5min. One of the most controversial and most discussed topics at this moment is the long standing territorial and maritime claim that Guatemala has over Belize and whether this claim should be settled at the International Court of Justice. As a mean of educating their students on this topic of national importance and in commemoration of education week, teachers at the San Jose Government School organized a friendly debate among the standard five students.

  • LA VOZ KARAOKE 2016 - WEEK 4 GROUP B, 2.25 hours.

  • Humpback Whale Necropsy, Belize, 2min. The Toledo Institute of Development and Environment investigates why the first ever humpback whale to be spotted in Belizean waters has died.

  • The Beer Diaries World Tour: Belize - Belikin Full Tour, 21min. The Beer Diaries is proud to present The Beer Diaries World Tour: Belize, a series dedicated to using beer as an introduction to history, culture and the geo-political state of countries around the world. In this episode, host Mike Mann tours Belikin Beer with Nolan Michael, Head Brewer of Belize Brewing Company, discussing his journey, the art of brewing and the beer portfolio of The Beer of Belize. Additionally, Mike visits with Shelly Bowen-Stonesifer, Head of Marketing for Bowen and Bowen/Belikin, about the origins of the companies name, along with the social responsibility her company has to the people of Belize.

  • Randy ' house San Pedro Belize, 3.5min.

  • Diving South Water Caye Belize, 7min. First honeymoon dives at Caribo and Jason's Wall near South Water Caye on May 2nd 2016. 70 ft. dive and 60 ft. dive 45 mins.

  • Belize Night Snorkel 2016 Hol Chan, 3.5min. Night Snorkel at Hol Chan. 1-4-2016.

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