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#513803 - 05/18/16 11:54 AM Today's Belize News: May 18, 2016
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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

Three students to participate in US exchange program
For the past fifteen years, exchange programs at San Pedro High School (SPHS) have given students opportunities to explore new cultures. In the latest exchange program, three students from the SPHS drama club: Marthalicia Vasquez, Jubilee Garcia, and Bessy Gongora, have been selected to travel to Los Angeles, California, USA, to perform a skit at the Los Angeles Harbor College. The students will depart on Saturday, May 28th, and will be there for one week, along with other exchange students from Mexico and London. The group is rehearsing weekly to perfect their 30-minute dramatic skit at the college. The piece reflects social issues that are relevant to Belize. Coordinators Debbie and Larry Heimgartner have been consistently working with the students, composing the skit to demonstrate conflicts faced in the homes of many teenagers. “In our skit, we were able to take the problems people face here on the island and write about them on a global perspective. We are giving light to San Pedro and inviting the world to see that we experience the same problems like anyone else,” said Heimgartner.

San Pedro Reef Week- Highlighting our Marine Eco-system
The 11th annual Northern Belize Reef Week kicked off on Monday, May 16th with an early 6AM swim to the reef. The full week features a variety of events, ranging from Lionfish Tournaments to clean -up campaigns to Kayak Races, all in an effort to create awareness of our marine ecosystem. In the opening event, around 15 swimmers took on the challenge and swam to the reef and back. According to The San Pedro Town Council’s Sports Coordinator Kent ‘Bob’ Gabourel, the race was not about competing, but to raise awareness on the need to protect the reef system. Participants swam at their own pace, and many of them even wore their snorkelling gear in order to make it an enjoyable swim.

San Pedro Tiger Sharks Sub-Champions of the 2016 NEBL championship
For the third consecutive year, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks were in the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) finals as they played the third and final decisive game against the Smart Belize Hurricanes. The game was played on Friday, May 13th at the Belize Elementary School gymnasium in Belize City and despite the Tiger Sharks lead in the first half of the match; they were overcome by the Smart Belize Hurricanes who claimed the NEBL 2016 Champions with a final score of 98-92. San Pedro Tiger Sharks were led by Caleb Sutton with 19 points, 4 steals, 2 assists and 2 rebounds, while Douglas Valley netted 17 points to go with 2 rebounds and 2 assists, and 4 three-point shots. Andrew “Bynum” Ortiz tallied 16 points and 5 rebounds and Ashton Edwards sank 15 points, including three shots from behind the arc. Gene Myvett recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, to go with 6 assists and 2 steals, while Raul Roches finished with 9 points and 9 rebounds. San Pedro Tiger Sharks shot 43% from the field, 34% from behind the three-point arc and 55% from behind the charity stripe.

Ambergris Today

Lion Fish Excitement During Reef Week
What better way to celebrate the Belize Barrier Reef, creating awareness and protecting it than by a massive hunting of Lion Fish which are so detrimental to the health of our reef. This was the purpose for Hol Chan Marine Reserve in San Pedro in organizing a Lion Fish Tournament as part of its Reef Week activities. Only four out of an initial seven boats were able to participate in the tournament, but it was enough to kill and rid our reef of over 300 invasive Lion Fish that pose a threat to the marine life on the coral reef. “The tournament was not about winning,” said Josue (Chino) Vasquez of team Sea Star Tours/Dive Bar. “It is about getting rid of as much Lion Fish that we can from our waters. It’s about having fun and supporting the efforts of Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Reef Week.”

No Need to Panic as First Zika Case Confirmed in Belize
Late yesterday, Monday, May 16, 2016, the Ministry of Health announced the first confirmed case of the Zika virus in Belize with the infected individual being a Belizean national. Fortunately, the virus is not widespread and only this one case has been confirmed to date. In a press release to the country’s tourism stakeholders, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) asked them to continue keeping guests aware of the risks associated with this virus and encourage the use of proper precautionary measures to avoid Zika transmission. “We will continue to monitor the works and information from public health officials locally, regionally and globally, to share with you in order to ensure that our visitors have the information they need to protect themselves,” stated the message to stakeholders in the industry.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

I am Ricardo Ignacio, a published author
I was born in Mexico, and yes I speak Spanish, but I am NOT Hispanic, nor am I Latino, and neither the language that I speak nor the country on which I was born can define who I am nor identify the people I descend from. I once took a DNA test, and the results came out looking like this: 82% Native American, 11% West African, 3% Asian (Mongolian), and 4% Greek. Nowhere in those results did I see Spanish, Latino nor Hispanic, and it has puzzled people to no end to see that I am born in Mexico, speak Spanish fluently but yet not a drop of Spanish blood in me. “How could this be possible?” People ponder. Well, the puzzle is simple actually, see: People have this misconception that all Spanish speakers who are born in Mexico, Central & South America are Latinos/Hispanics/Spanish people, but that’s false, it’s disrespectful, misleading, and it contributes to the ongoing misplacement and ethnic cleansing that indigenous people of the Americas have dealt with for several centuries now since Europeans' arrival, occupation of land, colonialism, and the forced assimilation of Native Americans.

US EMBASSY Belize has Gay Pride
Flag flying high!

Date & venue for the National Classification System for Accommodation Stakeholder Consultations in Toledo
May 19, 6:30pm in PG

ETI PUERTO RICO TRADE SHOW 2016
The ETI Puerto Rico Trade Show is a tourism event which brings together stakeholders interested in promoting and selling Caribbean destinations. This show also attracts leading travel advisors and wholesalers.

Amelita Knowles, National Grassroots Coordinator and Outreach Officer, Oceana Belize
Congratulations to Mrs. Amelita Knowles, National Grassroots Coordinator and Outreach Officer, Oceana Belize that will be participating on the International Leaders Visitors Program(IVLP): "Our Ocean Protection and Sustainable Use". During her program she will participate in a combination of meetings, site visits, federalism briefing, panel discussion, and cultural events in different states in the U.S. The program will examine U.S. efforts to address coastal and marine management issues, particularly marine debris, pollution, and sustainable fishing; provide opportunities to interact with U.S. professionals at federal, state and local levels engaged in developing public policy frameworks for coastal zone management and climate change adaptation; share institutional and technical strategies to integrate local level projects with regional and international marine protection and clean-up efforts; and discuss efforts to promote sustainable fisheries and livelihoods by eliminating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing practices. Mrs. Amelita met with the U.S. Ambassador to discuss her expectations and future plans.

Cabinet Announcement on Help for Progress
Today, at its regular Tuesday meeting, Cabinet determined that NO formal, nor legal, agreement exists between the Government of Belize and the NGO called Help for Progress that authorizes personnel of said NGO to accept applications for refugees status in Belize, and to further conduct interviews and determine which applicant has a legitimate case or not. All applications and the processing for recognition of refugee status must be presented to the recently reactivated Refugee Eligibility Committee. During the few years of inactivity of the Refugee Eligibility Committee, no entity was empowered to conduct interviews to determine whether refugee applicants for refugee status had a legitimate case for consideration. The guidelines for consideration of refugee status are very rigid, and are only considered if the applicant can prove a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons such as race, religion, nationality, and political opinion.

Walk for a Green Belize
Last year the Department of the Environment (DOE), in conjunction with the Belize Solid Waste Management Authority and the Belize Audubon Society, carried out a Walk For A Green Belize activity. Walk For A Green Belize is a clean-up activity conducted by numerous organizations, students, activists, both government and non-government agencies, and the general public. The activity resulted in the collection of 2,363 (20 to 55 gallon-sized) bags of garbage yielding a weight of approximately 16,541 pounds! As we gear up for the celebration of World Environment Day 2016 (June 5), the DOE is once again collaborating on the “Walk For A Green Belize” cleanup. This event is aimed at building awareness and sustaining a culture of an environmentally friendly and conscious Belize! This year, the "Walk For A Green Belize" will be held on Saturday, May 21st, 2016 along the entire George Price Highway encompassing a total of 77 miles of roadway. It will begin at 7:00 a.m. and expected to conclude by 11:00 am. In order to ensure the safety of the volunteers cleaning up both sides of the highway from Benque Viejo del Carmen to Belize City and up through Ladyville area, the Police Department, Department of Transport and City Traffic will be mobile along the George Price Highway to caution drivers to drive with extreme care.

Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission Zone Meetings
The Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission is obligated to ensure that the Maya people do not become voiceless in the process of implementing the CCJ order as it relates to Maya customary land rights. The Order did not cede the autonomy of villages to any group. The Commission is therefore disappointed by the statements made by the Toledo Alcalde Association as it relates to a meeting held on Monday, May, 16, 2016. The planned meeting was held and present were 32 of the 36 village leaders, the participants were very engaged and welcomed the opportunity to commence dialogue with the Commission. What was not allowed was an interruption to the planned meeting, but an offer was made to meet with the Steering Committee at a mutually convenient time.

SBDCBelize participates in Art in the Park
On May 14 & 15, 2016, Corozal Organization Leading Culture, Heritage and Art (COLCHA) hosted its annual Art in the Park. This event provided an excited and interesting display of productions by local artists. As many as 30 artists and artisans proudly displayed their talents and products. Vicky Heredia, Business Advisor of the Small Business Development Center (SBDCBelize), a unit of the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), was there to promote the services of the centre and attract new clients while provide advising services to the rising entrepreneurs. Art, talent and ideas are alive in Corozal Town!

Commentary: Guatemala must stop its citizens from coming into Belize to commit crimes
By Wellington C. Ramos. For centuries now the Mayas and the Garifuna people have been going back and forth to Guatemala to meet with their relatives, trade and seek refuge when the Guatemalan military is slaughtering them. The Belize government does not have the military to stop and apprehend the Guatemalans who are entering Belize. When the Guatemalans enter Belize illegally and are arrested, they are charged by the Belize Police Force for “illegal entry” taken to court given a small fine and escorted across the border back into their country. As soon as they are handed over to the Guatemalan authorities, they are released back into civilian life without any penalty. They then leave the customs and immigration and make another attempt to come across the border back into Belize. If the Belize Police Force does not arrest a Guatemalan or any other citizen of another country who enters Belize illegally, they can remain in Belize for a long period of time until they are granted amnesty and later Belizean citizenship. Due to Guatemala’s human rights record, the Mayas and the Garifuna people have the right to file for political asylum in Belize.

TOLEDO MAYA LAND RIGHTS COMMISSION GIVES THEIR SIDE OF EVENTS
The Toledo May Land Rights Commission has issued a press release in which it expresses its dissappointment with the Toledo Alcalde Association's version of events after a meeting with the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission last weekend. The press release starts off establishing the TMLRC's position, stating, "The Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission is obligated to ensure that the Maya people do not become voiceless in the process of implementing the CCJ order as it relates to Maya customary land rights. The Order did not cede the autonomy of villages to any group." The rest of the release goes toward providing the other perspective of what went on at that meeting.

ACP Chester Williams speaking about the life style of young gang members
Clean gospel music for the entire family.

Channel 7

PUP Call On Government To Investigate Plett
Last night, you heard the first hand account from Roger Plett, the Mennonite farmer working in the Green Hills area west of Spanish Lookout who was taken into Guatemala and tied up by uniformed persons he says were Guatemalan soldiers. It's a story that only the media has taken seriously, and we've heard nothing from the police, national security, or foreign affairs. But, today the PUP issued a statement supporting Plett, and calling out the government. The statement says, quote, "His story...should be cause for alarm, and certainly cause for IMMEDIATE and decisive action from the proper and pertinent authorities." It continues, quote, "We understand that any incident that happens...anywhere along the Adjacency Zone must be treated with sensitivity...But it MUST be investigated. Five days have passed since this alleged incident and we have heard nothing from our Police and nothing from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs."

The Guat Plot Against Plett
And as we told you last night, there is a lot to investigate. Roger Plett says that on Thursday, he was working near the Belize Guatemala border in the Green Hills Area when uniformed Guatemalan civilians accompanied by about 20 persons appearing to be in military apparel - kidnapped him from the Belize side, took him over to Guatemala. They tied him up, took his tractor, and also commandeered his co worker's bulldozer. It's quite a story, and here are some more elements which we didn't have time to include last night:... Jules Vasquez reporting: Under the canopy, in the underbrush, with only the din of crickets to bear witness, lies a row of Belize Guatemala border markers - just like this one, on a cleared path every quarter mile.

Alleged Killers Sent Back To Jail After 100 Hours of Freedom
Accused murderers Tarique Gillett and Lyson James Cacho are back behind bars tonight after being re-arrested for a 2015 murder. They had just been released last week Friday because the prosecutor did not provide them with disclosure of evidence, and tonight, after 100 horus of freedom, they were picked up and re-arrested for the very same shooting. This time, the prosecution wants to submit fingerprint evidence against both. They are charged for a fatal shooting which happened on March 1, 2015 on Periwinkle Street in Belize City. That's when cousins Michael Welch and Kingsley Morrison, were hanging out at a house and 2 gunmen rode up on bicycles and opened fire on them. Welch was injured multiple times, and he died within minutes. Morrison was shot once to the upper shoulder, and survived.

ZIKA, Ministry of Health Says It Is Responding
As we told you last night one case of Zika has been confirmed in Belize! The first victim is a woman from the Belize City Northside, who turned up at the hospital with a rash. As far as the health professionals have been able to find out, she did not travel anywhere recently or just before she got sick. So, they are now trying to find out where the Zika originated. There are no other known cases around where the woman lives, and the Central Health Region is hoping to keep it that way. Today, we spoke with the Doctor in charge of the Zika watch in Belize City and the surrounding communities. He told us what his office is doing to contain possible outbreaks: Dr. Javier Zuniga - Manager. Central Health Region: "Zika which is an emerging infectious disease has been affecting most of South America and now Central America and the Caribbean. We were basically awaiting a positive case for Zika because of course all the other countries are affected and we had already put in place some measures to be able to increase our surveillance and also to protect the population specifically from the vector which is the mosquito, Aedes aegypti..."

ZIKA: Will It Cause A Tourism Tumble?
And from public health to tourism. Will the presence of Zika in Belize trigger a decline in tourist arrivals? It certainly affected other countries especially those Caribbean getaway destinations like Barbados and Bahamas. But according to both the Belize Hotel Association and the Belize Tourism Industry Association - the industry hasn't been and won't be drastically affected. First we spoke to the President of the Belize Hotel Association Lisa Carr-Caceres. She admitted that since January, tourists specifically those traveling in groups for weddings and family trips, have been cancelling their bookings, as well as pregnant women. Carr-Caceres told us that while those are significant cancellations, it will not affect the overall business at their member hotels. She explained it's all about keeping the guests informed and also about training staff. Lisa Carr-Caceres - Pres. Belize Hotel Association: "The reports that we have received have not been so much individual cancellations. Unfortunately yes there have been more of reports group cancelations, because allot of times groups may have just 1 person responsible for the group so they don't want to run a risk or maybe insurance issues whatever. So, there is more that have been reports of group cancellations which actually we take that very seriously. We do not want that because those are big cancellations. So yes we have received reports of some groups cancelling, very few individual cancellation and most of them are probably related to someone who is pregnant..."

When Shrubs Snare A Shotgun...
A Frank's Eddy villager is lucky to be alive tonight after he was shot with a 16 gauge. But, police say it was most likely an accident. Here's what happened: around 2:oo this afternoon, Doni Polanco and his father in law Emilio Arevalo were returning from a fishing trip Polanco's licensed 16 gauge shotgun got tangle din some shrubs, and the gun went off. The stray shot hit Arevalo in the lower back. He was taken to the Western Regional Hospital where he is in a stable condition. Police have taken custody of the shotgun, but do not suspect any criminal wrongdoing.

MAR Wants You!
The Meso American Reef Fund, "MAR Fund" for short, was launched back in 2005 with the purpose of empowering emerging conservation leaders in four different countries including Belize. The first group of leaders was trained in 2010. Since then up to 60 persons from participating countries like Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and El Salvador have received this training. Today the program director of the MAR leadership program was in Belize to oversee the launch of this year's call for applications under the theme "Blue economy." We found out more:... Maria Eugenia Arreola, Dir., MAR Leadership Program: "Every year we open a cohort for applications as we are doing right now and we recruit between 12-14 people coming from 4 different countries. These people come from different sectors, as I've said before, they can be working in any sector and they can also have different backgrounds. So far, in the program we have different people that are Biologists, Engineers, Communications experts, Tourism experts, Lawyers, Marine Biologists, so there's a lot of people that are being interactive, exchanging information, and collaborating."

Putting Fishers First
And on that same note the Wildlife Conservation Society is also calling on applicants to submit their entries for the Punta Fuego's Outstanding Fisher of the year award. Last year's outstanding fisher went to Punta Gorda resident, Ana Ramirez. Today we spoke to the assistant country director for the Wildlife Conservation Society who told us more about this annual recognition of fishermen and women. For more information about the application you can check out the Punta Fuego Belize Facebook page. Deadline for submission is May 31st.

Cabinet Puts A Hurting On Help For Progress
The Refugee Eligibility Committee, and its reactivation for refugee applications has been under public scrutiny since it was publicly disclosed after the fact. That's after the press started investigating why mass numbers of persons living illegally in Belize started showing up at the Help For Progress Office. Well, the Government of Belize has done a complete about turn about the Help For Progress NGO. They are calling for all applications at Help for Progress to stop. But that's not what Government said last Tuesday. That release said, quote, "Help for Progress, a nongovernmental organization, represents the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and has the responsibility to receive applications from potential asylum seekers and conduct an initial interview. Those applicants who meet the criteria for refugee status are referred to the Immigration Department, where a second interview is done and the successful applicants are then given an appointment for a more in depth interview. The asylum seeker is then given a Special Permit which is valid until the time of the in-depth interview in order to allow him legal status in Belize." End Quote.

One Held For Ladyville Shooting
Police have detained one of the suspects in the Ladyville fatal shooting. He is 19 year old Darwin Estuardo Prado. But police are still looking for the other suspect Egbert Baldwin. As we told you, 21 year old Lionel Rhamdas was shot and killed while 3 other men were injured in a Ladyville shootout. It happened early Saturday morning on Marage Road. 23 year old Casey Lozano along with 3 others were hanging outside the Lozano family home when 3 gunmen appeared and opened fire on them. One of the men from the Lozano crew shot back and it's during that exchange of fire that Rhamdas, allegedly one of the gunmen, was killed. Casey Lozano and Lyndon Gillett were also hit to the arm while Terence Flowers was shot to the hand, chest and neck. As we told you, a series of retaliations started after Rene "Fatcat" Chavarria's murder in March.

Hostel Girls Still Missing
3 youth hostel girls are still on the run tonight. As we told you, 11 girls escaped on Sunday evening and so far the police have found 8 girls. They have all been taken back to the youth hostel. Now the story is that 3 of the girls jumped the fence while the others walked right out the front gate. The Deputy Director of the Community Rehabilitation Department Maureen Williams had told us yesterday that again, in this case it was a breakdown in protocol. We say again because this is not the first time girls have run away. In fact, looking back at the November 2015 fire , those girls had escaped before the fire. Police continue to look for the remaining 3, who might be heading south.

PM's Wife, US Embassy Supports Belize's LBGT Population
Today Gays, Lesbians, and all other colors of that LGBT rainbow celebrate what is known as International Day against Homophobia. Now we don't know of any activities that took place in Belize to mark the occasion, but the Prime Minister's wife Kim Simplis Barrow did post a video on her facebook page making an acknowledgment. The US Embassy also issued a statement saying, quote, "On this day we acknowledge the occurrence of everyday actions that result in discrimination and acts of violence towards members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered communities in Belize and its allies around the world." It continues, "The U.S. remains steadfast in its policy that LGBT rights are universal human rights, and will continue to support the promotion of LGBT rights in Belize."

Riding For Prostate Awareness
Over the weekend the Belize Cancer Society held the first ever Cancer ride challenge. This was in an effort to promote the awareness of prostate cancer. About 70 persons participated in the 2 day cancer ride which covered roughly 160 miles. The first leg of the race began in Dangriga by the drums of our father's roundabout. The contingent of riders made its way to San Ignacio where they stayed for the night and rested before tackling the next 80 miles. On Sunday the contingent made its way to Belize ending at Hour Bar, by the Marine Parade. This ride was a part of Cancer awareness month that is currently being celebrated. The theme for this year's cancer month is, "I can, we can- understand that early detection saves lives." The cancer awareness activities go on up until the 31st of May.

Guatemalan Voices Dissent Against Pro Military Tactics
A week ago, we showed how a Guatemalan analyst criticized his Government for militarizing the territorial dispute. Well, this past weekend the Guatemalan Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church, Óscar Julio Vian Morales, publicly accused his Government of attempting to use the territorial dispute with Belize as a distraction from the real problems facing Guatemala. Archbishop Oscar Vian told the press that the territorial dispute should have been solved some 40 years ago. He added a lasting solution has never been really sought, and the territorial dispute continues to surface exactly when Guatemalan is experiencing other huge problems. As we told you, protests continued in Guatemala on last week Wednesday when thousands of indigenous people blocked roads all across the country in protest.

Morales And Talamas On The Border
In related news, the Guatemalan Foreign Minister, Carlos Raul Morales, the Guatemalan Defense Minister, William Mansilla, and OAS Representative Magdalena Talamás went on a tour of the Adjacency Zone this weekend. They were in the Peten Area which ends right at Belize's Western Border. The Official Guatemalan Foreign Minister's social media pages say that Talamás, who they refer to as the Special Representative of the OAS Secretary General, was present for an overflight of the communities in the area. The Guatemalan Officials then held meetings at the OAS Adjacency Zone Office, at the Benque Viejo Border. The purpose, they say, is to "assess the situation of these communities" near the western border. They were received by community members, seen here, in this photo. The Guatemalan Foreign Ministry also posted these pictures, saying that those officials oversaw infrastructure works in the Peten area. We note that the OAS has invested about half a million dollars in one of the most troublesome communities, Monte Los Olivos, but the encroachments form that village persist.

Channel 5

Much More on the Guatemalan Detention of Mennonites
Tonight we have more details on the alleged kidnapping of two – not one, Mennonite farmers who were clearing fire breaks on a large plot of land which adjoins the [...]

Police Detained Foreman of Plett’s Ranch for Questioning
There was another incident on the farm the next day. Watchman Rogelio Barrientos was allegedly approached by fifteen military officers, and a request was made for heavy equipment to be [...]

Who Detained Roger Plett and Why?
That brings us to officialdom – first the Police. San Ignacio Police aren’t talking. They would only say that an investigation is underway and a release was sent out from [...]

P.U.P. Call for Investigation into Border Incident
While the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Police Department stay silent on the alleged seizure of Mennonites by Guatemalans, the opposition People’s United Party is not. In a release issued [...]

The Opposition Will Go to the Sarstoon This Saturday
Tonight there is confirmation that the People’s United Party will be going to the Sarstoon on Saturday to challenge the Sarstoon Law which prevents Belizeans from visiting the area. That [...]

Should G.O.B. Be Negotiating a Protocol for Sarstoon River?
And tonight’s question is: Do you think G.O.B. should be negotiating a protocol for Sarstoon River when it owns half of the river? Send your comments and responses using your [...]

Traditional Farming Practices Clash in Trio
The headlines in the past week have been about events in the Toledo District in southern Belize. And that’s where we headed today again. The following story, however, has to [...]

Lisel Alamilla and TAA Still At Odds
On Monday, the Toledo Alcaldes Association issued a release, following an incident where the chair of the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission reportedly evicted TAA President Alfonso Cal from the [...]

Steven Young Arraigned for Attempted Murder after Bar Fight
Twenty-five year old Steven Young is serving his first night in prison for the attempted murder of a Lord’s Bank resident, who was stabbed during an altercation inside Ruba’s Bar [...]

2 Men Surrender in Shooting Death of Lionel Rhamdas
Two men, twenty-eight-year-old Egbert Baldwin and nineteen-year-old Darwin Estuardo Prado, are in custody for the shooting death of their friend Lionel Rhamdas. The duo surrendered to Ladyville police earlier today [...]

Duo Freed and Rearrested on Murder Charge
Tarique Gillett and Lyson Cacho were arraigned in March and July 2015 for the murder of Michael Welch and the attempted murder of Kingsley Morrison. Last Friday, both were set [...]

Was Shooting After Fishing Trip an Accident?
A man is currently listed in stable condition at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan after he was rushed there this afternoon with a gunshot injury. According to a very [...]

US Vice President Speaks on International Day Against Homophobia
International Day Against Homophobia, known as IDAHOT, was celebrated today in many countries. Across the border in Mexico, President Enrique Peña Nieto proposed that same-sex marriage be legalised as part [...]

Help for Progress Not Authorized to Process Applications for Refugee Status
For weeks now, we have been running the story of a program for refugees. We have showed you images of persons lining up at the Help for Progress offices in [...]

MAR Leadership Program Calls for Applications
The 2016 Mesoamerican Reef Leadership Program officially made the call for applications today at a press conference at the Radisson. This year, the theme for the program is “Promoting Blue [...]

Wildlife Conservation Society Looks for the Fisher of the Year
The second annual fisher of the year award by the Wildlife Conservation Society will be presented on June twenty-ninth to a local fisherman or fisher woman who practices sustainable fishing [...]

Dmitri Fabro to Join Soccer Team in Spain
Eighteen-year-old Dmitri Fabro is a Belizean football star on the rise.  After playing locally with the Belmopan Bandits, FC Belize and the Belize Defense Force, Fabro is presently on the [...]

Celebrating Cashew Fest in 2016
Crooked Tree is located just off the Phillip Goldson Highway at mile thirty-one. On Saturday and Sunday, the village was overflowing for the annual cashew festival.  Cashew jams, jellies, wines [...]

CTV3

MOH Carries Out Plans To Mitigate ZIKA Virus
Last night we informed you about the first case of zika virus that was recorded here in Belize after the results were returned last week from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) where it was sent for testing. Immediately after the information was obtained, the Ministry of Health launched an investigation of which several measures were set into place in order to prevent the virus from spreading throughout the rest of the country. And while there is currently no links to any trace of the virus in other parts of the country, the Director of Public Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero told us during an interview earlier this evening that Belizeans must still be concerned due to the fact that our country possesses ideal environmental conditions for vector bourne diseases.

Belize Celebrates International Day Against Homophobia
International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) is celebrated each year on May 17th, and today marks the twenty sixth anniversary of when the World Health Organization made the decision to officially remove homosexuality from its list of International Classification of Diseases. The day is mainly celebrated to raise awareness and recognize the fact that there are countless actions that occur on a daily basis which causes major discrimination and violent behaviours that are directed towards individuals who belong to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) group of people from all across the globe. The US Embassy stated in their release earlier today that and we quote, “Despite these unfortunate incidents of discrimination, the commemoration of IDAHO should be seen as a great opportunity to highlight the positive aspects of the LGBT community and celebrate the rich diversity, accomplishments and contributions the LGBT community brings to Belize and the world”. End of quote.

PUP Calls On GOB To Investigate Allegations Made By Mennonite Farmer
As you heard Plette alleges that he was taken off Belizean soil and forcibly moved into Guatemalan territory by elements of the military and civilians, some armed with guns and others with machetes and then tied up and threatened. Plette’s story is cause of concern for many Belizeans and the People’s United Party who believe that immediate and decisive action from the proper and pertinent authorities should be taken. In a release issue today by the party states that “any incident that happens at and in close vicinity to the border anywhere along the Adjacency Zone must be treated with sensitivity and handled meticulously.”

CDC Issues Travel Advisory For Belize
Keeping in line with the Zika Virus, the Embassy of the United States in Belmopan also issued a release stating that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel advisory for Belize concerning the topic of the zika virus. CDC indicates that travels made to elevations higher than 6,500 feet above sea level is less likely to have mosquito-borne zika transmission. CDC concludes by stating that pregnant women should refrain from traveling to areas in which the elevations are less than 2,000 m above sea level especially in countries that have an active transmission of zika.

Corozal Fisherman Charged With Illegal Fishing
Forty seven year old Errol Wiltshire, a fisherman of Chunox Village, Corozal was charged with fishing in a special zone when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Court reports indicate that Wiltshire was found in an area prohibited for fishing on March 24th at around 12:50pm. Accounts given by a female fisheries officer revealed that while patrolling the Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve, she came upon a canoe that had 95 conch in shell in it. Investigations reveled that Wiltshire was the owner of the canoe and that he had taken the conch from the reserve. In his defense Wiltshire stated that he was unaware the area he was fishing was a reserve and that only 41 conch were in the canoe. He pled not guilty to the charge and his case was adjourned until July 17th.

How Mennonite Farmer Escapes From Guatemalans.
In yesterday’s newscast we reported on an incident where two Belizean Mennonites were allegedly kidnapped and held hostage for several hours by Guatemalan Military. The heavily armed military personnel had been helping Guatemalan NGOs and fire personnel fight a fire at the border between both countries when the encounter unfolded. The incident played out on Thursday of last week in an area known as the Green Hills area of Cayo behind Spanish Lookout. Yesterday we brought to you the first part of the story narrated by 21 year old Belizean Canadian Mennonite, Roger Plett, where he explains how he was captured by Guatemalan military and held hostage for almost four hours. Yesterday we left off the story where Roger was being pushed by Guatemalan military toward the forest on the Guatemalan side. This was after he was surrounded while in his tractor by Guatemalan military in the middle of his Green Hills ranch. He was heavily questioned while his hands were tied behind his back. But how did he escape? Here is his account:


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#513804 - 05/18/16 11:54 AM Re: Today's Belize News: May 18, 2016 [Re: Marty]
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LOVE FM

FOPREL Plans Emergency Meeting to Mediate B/ween Belize and Guatemala
Belize’s Speaker of the House, Michael Peyrefitte is said to be preparing for a meeting in Managua, Nicaragua for Thursday, May 19 where Parliamentarians and Presidents of Congress for El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala have confirmed their presence at the emergency meeting. According to an online publication by Nicaragua’s National Assembly, the […]

PUP’s Expedition to Sarstoon Planned for May 20
On Monday Government announced that on Saturday, Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington will lead a delegation to meet with his Guatemalan counterpart to discuss a cooperation mechanism for the Sarstoon River. According to the release, a mechanism must be found to guarantee peaceful use, stability, and navigational security at the Sarstoon River. If the Istanbul […]

Mixed Messages on the Belize/Guatemala Issue
In the last several months the Belize/Guatemala issue has been on the front burner of the news. There are the persistent incursions being done by the Guatemalans into our territory; there are the aggressive confrontations by the Guatemalan Armed Forces to our soldiers of the Belize Defense Force and then there are the diplomatic talks […]

Taken by the Guats in Green Hills – Part 2
In continuation of the story we aired yesterday regarding the incident between Roger Plett, his workers and suspected Guatemalan men, we join Renee Trujillo for part two of the situation. RENEE TRUJILLO REPORTING “Yesterday we told you of the Belizean/Canadian Roger Plett who was taken by a group of Guatemalans whilst he was working on […]

PUP Wants Immediate and Decisive Action on the Green Hills Incident
And while we await a response from the authorities, the People’s United Party has sent out a release on the reported incident in the Green Hills area. The release came this afternoon and reads, quote, “The People’s United Party treats with great concern an allegation made by a Mennonite farmer/businessman of Spanish Lookout that he […]

Toledo Alcaldes vs Land Rights Commission
Yesterday the Toledo Alcalde Association issued a release expressing concern at the way they said representatives were treated by the Chair of the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission. They claim they went to a scheduled meeting with the commission however they were put out of the office. Today the Commission issued a release saying it […]

ZIKA on a Tourism Angle
Yesterday the Ministry of Heath confirmed the first case of Zika in the country. Today the Belize Tourism Board has issued a release to stakeholders in the tourism industry. Love News spoke to Noriko Gamero, Marketing and Public Relations Manager at the BTB. NORIKO GAMERO “We are in constant collaboration with the Ministry of Health […]

Special Envoy Marks IDAHOT
Today marks the celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. The special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Siimplis Barrow, released a video to commemorate the day stating that this day is an opportunity for us as a society to celebrate our individualism. KIM SIMPLIS BARROW “ The US Embassy also issued a […]

Countdown for Teachers to Obtain Full Teacher’s
The Ministry of Education had requested that all teachers with provisional licenses further their studies and apply for a full teacher’s license; since they would not be allowed for renewal of provisional licenses. A mandatory special permit was introduced for applications which was to last until the end of March. This permit was to be […]

PlusTV

Farmer gives story about Guatemala kidnapping
Last week , PlusNews broke the story of a Mennonite farmer who was working on his farm in Green Hills, Spanish Lookout, when Guatemalan soldiers came over and took him into Guatemala, tied him up and only released him three hours later when he told them that he was Canadian. And while the Ministry o...

Another Guatemalan shot by BDF in Chiquibul
Another Guatemalan was shot in the Chiquibul reserve on Friday night. This latest illegal poacher survived the bullet to the arm that he received after aggressive behavior displayed to the Belize Defense Force patrol that was on duty near the border. According to a government press release, a joint...

Bilateral Talks to Commence on Sarstoon Protocol
And while all this confusion over the truth regarding the farmers and their Guatemalan kidnappers continues , a date has finally been set for bilateral talks to commence on the Sarstoon protocol. According to a press release from Government of Belize, that discussion will take place this Saturday, ...

ZIKA confirmed in Belize
The Ministry of Health has confirmed the first Zika case in the country of Belize; identified in a Belizean national from Belize City. The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has returned the results of samples that were sent out and one positive result was received last week. According to Minis...

Feud leaves one more dead in Ladyville
One man is dead and three others were injured in an apparent shoot-out early on Saturday morning in Ladyville; but the actual details are a bit more complicated. Indeed, Police needed a PowerPoint presentation at this morning’s press conference to take us through it all. Assistant Commissioner of Po...

Early morning home invasion and chopping in Camalote
There was a home invasion and chopping incident in Camalote village early Friday morning. According to police reports, 36-year-old Eddie Fuentes, a Belizean farmer of Camalote Village, was at home on Friday 13th May 2016 at about 3 o’clock in the morning, sleeping. He reported to police that three ...

Citco burglar caught on camera
Donavan Tillett was found guilty of burglary today and sentenced to five years in prison. According to police, Tillett broke into the Belmopan City Council office over the weekend and stole a few items including petty cash. The burglary was caught on camera and police moved quickly to locate the ...

Amandala

3 illegal Guat gold panners captured in Chiquibul
Just as Belize and the Republic of Guatemala are preparing to enter talks in Ankara, Turkey, this weekend over what a Government of Belize press office release described today as “a cooperation mechanism for the Sarstoon River,” another incident involving the Belize Defence Force (BDF) and Guatemalans who were found to be illegally panning for gold in Belize occurred last Friday night, May 13, in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. A government press release dated Saturday, May 14, explained that a joint patrol involving BDF soldiers and members of the Belize Police Department and Friends for Conservation and Development encountered a group of between 10 and 15 Guatemalans in the Ceibo Chico area of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve.

1st Zika case is north side Belize City woman
A Belizean woman who turned up at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital with fever and a rash has been confirmed as the first case of Zika in Belize. “The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has returned the results of samples sent to their laboratory from a heightened surveillance being carried out across the country. Of the samples sent to CARPHA thus far, one positive result was received last week,” said an official release from the Ministry of Health today. Director of Health Services Dr. Marvin Manzanero told Amandala that as far as they are aware, the woman, who lives in north side Belize City, had not recently traveled outside of Belize, suggesting that the virus may have been locally acquired. Manzanero said that Health officials are working to prevent an outbreak of Zika in Belize.

Belize police behaving like “cowards!”
Roger Plett, a Mennonite farmer who was putting out a forest fire on his lands in the Green Hills area of Spanish Lookout, near the border with Guatemala, was abducted for about 4 hours on Friday by men believed to be Guatemalan soldiers, and mistreated before being released. Plett told Belize police that he was working on his land in the Green Hills area near the border, fighting a forest fire that had been burning in the area, using a tractor with a water sprayer. He had also hired a bulldozer operator to make a fire pass, but at approximately 2 o’clock that afternoon, about 10 men in military uniform surrounded him and began hitting the windshield of the tractor he was driving, with machetes. Plett reported that he stopped because he feared he would have been shot.

Ladyville gunman shot dead at crime scene
Funeral preparations are well on the way for Lionel Rhamdas, 21, who was found shot to death, with a firearm by his side in Ladyville. According to Ladyville police, at around 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, while patrolling on Marage Road, they heard multiple shots and saw several individuals running from the area. On pursuing those individuals, police found Rhamdas dead on the ground. According to police reports, four men were socializing around a picnic table at the premises of Cynthia Lozano when they were ambushed by gunmen. According to ACP Edward Broaster, two gunmen, believed to be Darwin Estuardo Prado and Egbert Baldwin, emerged from behind Lozano’s premises, joined by Lionel Rhamdas, who emerged from in front of the premises with his gun in hand.

BNTU backed by BPP and PUP in Teachers’ Day protest
The Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) militantly marched through the streets of Belize City today. The usual festivities of Teachers’ Day were replaced by defiance and demonstration as hundreds of teachers, backed by the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) and the Opposition PUP, marched through the streets to express their objection to the government’s recently imposed “Sarstoon Law.” One of the main messages of the march was that the “Sarstoon Law,” which was passed to prevent the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) and other like-minded groups and individuals from their expeditions to the Sarstoon River, infringes on our right to freedom of movement in our own country and it has been one of the most controversial and unacceptable laws passed by the current Barrow administration.

Lisel Alamilla calls cops on alcaldes, TAA claims
Up to press time tonight, the Government of Belize has not reacted to a statement issued by the Toledo Alcaldes Association (TAA), claiming that alcaldes who had gone to the office of the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission, led by former minister Lisel Alamilla, were told to “Get off my premises!” and chased from the office when they showed up to attend a meeting earlier today. The TAA said that last week, the Commission had invited the alcaldes and other persons to a meeting scheduled for this morning. According to the TAA, the organization, the highest governing body of the Maya people, had met on Saturday, May 14, to discuss the invitation from the Commission to a single observer from the Steering Committee. “The general assembly of the TAA resolved that they be led by President Alfonso Cal to deliver the collective position of the traditional leaders in writing to the Chair of the Commission on Monday, May 16, 2016.

Smart Belize Hurricanes crowned NEBL champions
The third and decisive Game 3 of the NEBL finals was played on Friday night at the Belize Elementary School gymnasium in Belize City. The massive crowd that was in attendance was a testament to the significance of the game and the fanfare that enveloped this season. The intensity in the gym was palpable from tip-off, as the two-time defending champions, San Pedro Tiger Sharks jumped out to an early 15-10 lead, which was narrowed to 24-22 at the end of the first quarter. At intermission, the visiting squad was still holding on to a marginal 47-45 lead; and mid-way through the third quarter, Smart Belize Hurricanes took a 60-58 lead, which they increased to 4 points, 72-68, at the end of the third.

WW Cashew Fest Race 2016 results
Here are the results from Weekend Warrior (WW) Cashew Fest Race held yesterday from Leslie’s Imports to Mile 33, Philip Goldson Hwy, via Boom Road and back to Crooked Tree Junction, for 48 miles. The race started at 10:05 a.m. Top finishers in Category “A/B” – 1st place Warren Coye (Santino’s, 2:04:10); 2nd Preston Martinez (Megabytes, st); 3rd Isaiah Willacey (FT Williams, st); 4th Colin Maheia (FT Williams, st); 5th Kent Gabourel, Jr. (Megabytes, st); 6th Daniel Cano (Santino’s, st); 7th Mark Gentle (FT Williams, 2:06:08); 8th Santino Castillo (Santino’s, 1st “B”); 9th Wilbert Jones (Megabytes); 10th Steven Robinson (Caribbean Tires, 2nd “B”); 11th Francis Cassasola (Santino’s, 3rd “B”); 12th Ernest Olivera (FT Williams, 4th “B”); 13th Barney Brown (Scotiabank); 14th Mark Reid (Santino’s, 5th “B”); 15th Vallan Symns (Megabytes); 16th Dean Belisle (Smart); 17th Kareem Flowers (Santino’s); 18th Gilroy Robinson (Santino’s); 19th Andrew Brown (Megabytes); 20th Kenny Gooding (FT Williams); 21st Arden Garay (BFSC – El Pescador); 22nd Ian Abraham (Smart); and 23rd Joe McKoy (Caribbean Tires). One rider did not finish.

Attention: Belizean Americans
We do not believe that the Republican Party nominee, Donald Trump, will be elected President of the United States in November this year, but the mere fact that a Trump presidency is even a possibility should become a kind of wake up call for Belizean Americans. The United States of America has been a godsend for Belizeans for about a century. In the early part of the twentieth century, dark-skinned British Hondurans tried to reach New York City and Chicago, slavery having been abolished by the U.S. following their civil war of 1861-1865. British Hondurans who could pass for white mostly headed for New Orleans, which was the first American port of call once you left Belize by sailing ship in the old days. The racist American quota system controlled the immigration into the U.S. from the black British Caribbean, and favored immigration from the Latin Central American republics. But Belize had a land bridge to the United States through Mexico, and once workingclass Belizeans reached the border between the U.S. and Mexico we could enter the United States posing as black Americans who had been partying in Mexico border cities. Constitutionally, British Honduras was black British Caribbean, but the land bridge to America through Mexico made us unique.

From the Publisher
I’ve asked a senior member of the newspaper’s staff to help me begin research into a sensational incident which took place on the Hummingbird Highway in early 1998. Through this medium, I am also now requesting that you readers help us in this research. Now that our neighbors in the west and south are forcing Belize to militarize our society and to become conscious of matters military on a daily basis, it seems to me that the Hummingbird Highway incident of 1998 may have seen Belize’s first military casualty/martyr in the framework of Guatemalan aggression. One Saturday morning, and I believe it was a holiday weekend of some kind, armed Guatemalan(?) bandits locked off a section of the Hummingbird Highway which they had chosen with strategic precision. Every vehicle which entered that section of the highway was held up and its occupants systematically robbed of money, jewelry, phones, and all valuables. (Cell phones already existed in Belize, though they were not as common as they are today.) The bandits, and they displayed a substantial amount of military training and discipline, controlled that area for an hour and a half to two hours, if I remember correctly. Everything coming south from the direction of Belmopan and moving north from the direction of Dangriga and Punta Gorda was gobbled up inside this militarily controlled piece of highway.

ICJ, it’s not a simple Yes or No
One of these days Belize and Guatemala may very well end up before the court. But, right now, tensions over the Guatemalan military’s recent aggressions and Guatemala’s propaganda war make it understandably difficult to support going to the ICJ at this juncture. Guatemala is not acting responsibly nor giving any indication whatsoever that it intends to respect an ICJ ruling that it may very well find to be unfavorable. Instead, it has been flexing its military muscle which is admittedly intimidating and more sophisticated compared to that of Belize and has been ramping up its belligerent rhetoric, painting Belize as the aggressor and brazenly making accusations of human rights violations against Belize. Most Belizeans believe that we have a strong case based on the 1859 Treaty that recognized British sovereignty over our territory. This is what makes the most recent Guatemalan encroachments and blatant disregard for international norms so infuriating and tiresome. An ICJ ruling in Belize’s favor based on this treaty would certainly be a welcomed endorsement and affirmation of the illegitimacy of Guatemala’s territorial claim. But, the court does not enforce its rulings. Therefore, Belizeans must be prepared themselves to defend and stand up in peaceful solidarity against Guatemala’s bullying. We cannot simply rely on a court ruling. It is therefore not illogical to celebrate the 1859 Treaty and point to it as evidence of the righteousness of patriotic Belizean activism, while refusing to expend limited resources, for what, at best, given the immediate set of circumstances, would be tantamount to another paper win.

The betrayal of BAM
It is sad, though not surprising, how the leaders of the ruling UDP have chosen to mark what is the thirtieth anniversary of the Heads of Agreement uprising and the political independence of Belize. Both events took place in 1981, the uprising in late March and early April, and our independence on September 21. The UDP have chosen to ignore the rebellion against the Heads of Agreement by the people of Belize, and concentrate everything on independence. This, to our mind, constitutes a betrayal of the Belize Action Movement (BAM). The BAM leaders were Odinga Lumumba, Wilfredo “Shubu” Brown, Rodwell Pinks, Kenworth Tillett, Sam Rhaburn, and Leroy Panting. The unlikely star of the uprising was a Belize Technical College student by the name of Soccorro Bobadilla. A few years ago, Soccorro disappeared on the way from Los Angeles through Texas to Belize by road, and she has not been heard from since. Lumumba, Brown and Pinks are deceased. Leroy Panting is in the United States. Kenworth Tillett is employed with the ruling UDP. Sam Rhaburn is an accountant who was elected a UDP area representative for Belize Rural North in 1984, and again in 1989. In 1991, he joined Hon. Philip Goldson’s NABR group, but soon returned to the UDP. Rhaburn was a Cabinet Minister in the 1984–1989 UDP administration.

Sarstoon-Temash National Park subject to military incursions by GAF
Spanning 41,000 acres in the south-eastern tip of Belize, the Sarstoon-Temash National Park was established in March 1994 under the hand of then Natural Resources Minister Eduardo “Dito” Juan, with the southern edge of the park running right along Belize’s international border with Guatemala. Amandala has been able to confirm from official sources, as well as the legislation itself, that the national park actually includes Sarstoon Island. There was one amendment to the law in 2000, when then Natural Resources Minister John Briceño, who is now the Opposition Leader, de-reserved about 40 acres between Boom Creek and Barranco, near the mouth of the Temash River. Briceño told us today that there was never any intention to exclude Sarstoon Island from the national park. The revelation is noteworthy in the face of Guatemala’s assertion that it would exercise sovereignty over the entire Sarstoon. In fact, we have recently reported that Belizean military, as well as conservationists working with the Sarstoon-Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, (SATIIM) have recently been blocked from entering the park. The Belize military was impeded by the Guatemalan military, but it was the BDF which reportedly stopped SATIIM.

BNTU backed by BPP and PUP in Teachers’ Day protest
The Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) militantly marched through the streets of Belize City today. The usual festivities of Teachers’ Day were replaced by defiance and demonstration as hundreds of teachers, backed by the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) and the Opposition PUP, marched through the streets to express their objection to the government’s recently imposed “Sarstoon Law.” One of the main messages of the march was that the “Sarstoon Law,” which was passed to prevent the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) and other like-minded groups and individuals from their expeditions to the Sarstoon River, infringes on our right to freedom of movement in our own country and it has been one of the most controversial and unacceptable laws passed by the current Barrow administration. The prevailing sentiment among today’s protesters is that the Government of Belize should immediately rescind the “Sarstoon Law.” That sentiment was coherently expressed after protesters gathered at the BTL Park, where community activists such as Wil Maheia, Mose Hyde, Audrey Matura and other union leaders surgically slammed into the “Sarstoon Law” using numerous lines of reasoning and forceful rhetoric.

The Reporter

Belizean government ministers arrive in Taiwan for official presidential swearing-in ceremony
Arriving in Taipei Taiwan on Wednesday were Belize’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Gaspar Vega and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, for the official swearing-in on Friday of Taiwan’s first female President, Tsai Ing-wen. The senior ministers were greeted by a Taiwanese delegation upon their disembarkation from the China Airways airbus and ushered to the VIP lounge for a private meeting. They are among several others government and diplomatic officials from 38 countries around the world who were invited by the Taiwanese government to witness the historic event. Journalists who were also invited to cover the swearing-in, started arriving on Wednesday and will remain for a series of official receptions and tours at various tourist destinations as part of a week-long itinerary.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Fatal traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway claims 1 life
A late traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway has claimed the life of 49 year-old Richard Orellana. The accident occurred on the outskirts of Carmelita Village in the Orange Walk District. According to information received, Orellana was on his way to Orange Walk […]

DOE to hold cleanup campaign on Saturday
A press release issued by the Department of the Environment (DOE) earlier today, invites the general public, as well as the media, to participate in this year’s “Walk for A Green Belize” cleanup. Last year’s cleanup was very successful, yielding a total of 16,541 […]

Cabinet calls halt to Help for Progress refugee program
Cabinet has recommended that NGO Help for Progress “cease and desist” from processing applications for refugee status considerations, and that such applications must be redirected to the newly formed Refugee Eligibility Committee. This follows a finding that the organization had and has no legal standing […]

BTB monitoring Zika
The Ministry of Health is conducting surveillance following the confirmation of the first case of Zika in the country. Other sectors are also monitoring the issue. Today the Belize Tourism Board issued a press release that educated more on the virus and what measures can […]

Warm weather conditions continue
Gusty southeasterly airflow will maintain mainly fair and warm weather the next couple days. The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mostly sunny skies during the day time and partly cloudy skies tonight with showers being generally isolated. Only a few showers can be […]

Orlando Habet calls out government dictatorship
A recent complaint from the duly elected Area Representative of Cayo North East, PUP’s Orlando Habet, brings to light many of the deficiencies of this authoritarian, winner takes all government that Belizean people have allowed to continue. Habet complains that he visited the Lands Department office in his area to […]

Pair charged for illegal firearm, ammunition and vest in Dangriga
At around 8:00 last night in the Monument Site area of Dangriga, police’s Special Branch Tactical Response Squad searched the residence of Anna Garcia and found several illegal items. Present during the search were Garcia, 32, and Angel Hernandez, 57, who were both charged […]

Meso-American Reef System leadership program seeks new members
If you have ideas for a “Blue Economy,” you can become a member of the 2016 class of Meso-American Reef Leadership Program. Co-sponsored by the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature, the program is seeking 12 to 14 persons from different sectors to address […]

Blogs

10 Resorts in Belize Where You are Most Likely to Mingle With the Rich & the Famous
I am totally celebrity crazed. I check TMZ.com a few times a week, I love to read US Weekly on my Kindle and I really enjoy Keeping Up with The Kardashian. It’s my thing! Don’t judge! We know that Belize is a vacation hotspot. And in recent years, it’s becoming a hotspot for celebrities. During the Christmas and winter season, there were constant rumors of celebs on Ambergris Caye… It makes me crazy…in a good way. I LONG to be a representative of TMZ in Belize…sigh. What fun that would be. SO, if you want to stay at the spots in Belize that host the rich & the famous, here’s my handbook on those hot spots. AND the celebrities that I know have stayed there. I bet there are many many more that I do not know. Please let me know!!! AND, I am currently collecting funds that will buy a TURBO telescope to spy on Blackadore Caye (Leo’s island) once it is up and running I will also accidentally wash ashore there by stand up paddle board. But that’s not for a few more years. Until then…

GRAND CARIBE BELIZE HONORS OUR MOTHERS!
Our mothers at Grand Caribe Belize not only carry out their daily motherly duties, but they serve as providers as well to their homes. Our mothers are champions! They work tirelessly to assure that their professional jobs are done to the best of their abilities, and then go home to their children, husbands, and household to start their other full time job. Grand Caribe Belize, last Thursday honored the many mothers that make up our staff in the form of a luncheon. Complete with soothing music, our 26 mothers enjoyed a hearty meal of baked turkey, stewed chicken, rice & beans, stuffing, cranberry and potato salad. For dessert, our accountant and a mother herself, Ms. Anna provided some delicious cupcakes complete with caramel frosting and drizzled with colorful sprinkles. As the mothers dined, it provided for the perfect opportunity for chit chat while interacting in a rather casual manner as our gentlemen from maintenance catered to their needs.

A Mural Tour in San Ignacio
San Ignacio has always been a hub for tourists interested in exploring Western Belize, however, through the years, the town has gained a new appreciation for street art, which in its own right, should be a good reason to visit. Take, for example, the mural above that welcomes everyone to San Ignacio. This art is at the center of town and is part of the San Ignacio Police Station’s façade. Renowned local artist Pedro Cruz painted the Mural with assistance from his daughter, Chelsea. The mural pays tribute to San Ignacio by showcasing various historic depictions, Maya emblems, and Belizean wildlife. Next to the Police Station, on the historic Hawksworth Bridge, you can find a less conspicuous piece of art, which is actually my personal favorite. The toucan is the national bird of Belize and can be easily spotted throughout San Ignacio. If you don’t believe me, visit the San Ignacio Hotel or the Cahal Pech Maya Ruins, preferably during the mornings.

Don’t Worry—Be Happy (and Healthy)—by Moving to Belize!
Are you seeking a happier, healthier life? If your pursuit of both haven’t yielded the result you long for, we have your three-word solution: move to Belize. Residents come from all over North America–particularly areas that don’t offer much in the way of sun, affordability and lifestyle options. Can you live a happier, healthier life in Belize? It’s going to be up to you to provide the happy part, but you would have to work hard not to enjoy a healthier standard of living in this Caribbean paradise, and these incentives prove it: Even during the rainy season, the sun pops in and out, spreading myriad benefits in its wake. Sun combats Seasonal Affective Disorder, mood changes that leave one feeling blue even when life is terrific. Sun helps the body absorb vitamin D, benefitting your bones and energy levels. Just imagine the sunshine you will spread by donating your hats, coats, gloves and boots to charitable organizations.

International Sourcesizz

Maroon 5 Members Speak Out On Illegal Logging After Rainforest Trip
Members of Maroon 5 and Guster, who traveled last year to the Guatemalan rain forest, are featured in a new documentary on illegal logging of the hard woods used to create musical instruments. The project also explores sustainable sources for wood. The 20-minute film, Instruments of Change: Lessons from the Rainforest, premieres tonight (May 17) at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.

Evergreen E-Pay Solutions Inc. sues Visa and three Belize banks owned by Lord Michael Ashcroft for billions in damages
Florida-based Evergreen E-Pay Solutions charges it has incurred billions of dollars in damages in a newly filed federal lawsuit against Visa Inc., as well as three Belize banks in which UK businessman Lord Michael Ashcroft, recently implicated in the Panama Papers scandal, is a majority shareholder. Evergreen E-Pay Solutions, an e-commerce payment processing company headquartered in Palm Coast, is claiming it was improperly terminated by the banks under pressure from Visa, which was allowing the banks to process international transactions without proper licensing, while turning a blind eye to some 800,000 Visa sales transactions fraudulently miscoded by defendant banks, processed by Credomatic International Corp. through VisaNet and settled through a Miami correspondent bank. The lawsuit contains 21 damage claims, including deceptive and unfair trade practices, fraud, breach of contract, negligence, aiding and abetting, and business defamation. The lawsuit (1:16-cv-21695), filed in U.S. District Court in Miami, names defendants including: Visa, Inc., Visa International Service Association, Inc. Caribbean Investment Holdings LTD., BCB Holding, LTD, British Caribbean Bank International LTD, Belize Bank, LTD, Belize Bank international, LTD, Credomatic International Corp. and three bank officers.

Venezuela's Collapse And The Risks For Emerging Markets
Chavez's XXI Century Socialism has failed and (sadly) has Venezuela on the brink of one of the major humanitarian crisis in the region. There it goes another lost decade for a Latin American country. Between 2004 and 2008, Venezuela experienced an economic miracle. Its economy grew 10% on average every year, while GDP per capita expanded by 26%. Now Venezuela is going backwards. By 2018, the country will reach the GDP seen in 2005, but with a population 6 million (20% larger). GDP per capita will fall to 2000 levels by 2018, as if 18 years had never occurred for the economy. Recent events have shown how complicated the economic situation is. President Nicolas Maduro declared last week a 60-day state of emergency due to what he called plots from the opposition and the United States to topple his government: "Washington is activating measures at the request of Venezuela's fascist right, who are emboldened by the coup in Brazil," Maduro said. Mobs have stolen flour, chicken and even underwear this week as looting increases across the nation where many basic products have run short and prices have gone up and are by far the highest in the region.

THE IMPORTANCE OF DEVELOPING A CARIBBEAN JURISPRUDENCE
Perhaps the most compelling argument for all Caribbean countries to accede to the Appellate Jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is to establish and develop a Caribbean jurisprudence. The term jurisprudence has evolved over the years with varying meanings. In the present context, jurisprudence refers to the science of law which ascertains the principles upon which legal rules are to be determined and settles the manner in which new or doubtful rules should be treated. Whilst a number of laws are settled laws which are either established by constitutional provisions, legislation or by case decisions, there will always be new situations which will tax judicial discretion and reasoning to a maximum. In such situations, all the cultural and sociological experiences of judges will in fact have tremendous influences on their decisions. It seems therefore that Caribbean judges would be ideally suited to settle any new and doubtful Caribbean issue. At the present time a number of Caribbean countries, including Grenada, although participating in the Original Jurisdiction of the CCJ, have yet to accede to its Appellate Jurisdiction and so enable the replacement of the Privy Council as their final court of appeal. As long as this situation remains, the growth of Caribbean jurisprudence will remain stultified to the detriment of Caribbean people. It is posited that the original concept of the Privy Council has become outmoded. Since the Norman conquest of England by William the Conqueror in 1066 AD the King was recognized as the fountain of justice throughout the Dominions and exercised jurisdiction by way of his Council or “Curia Regis” which sat in an advisory capacity to the Crown.

President Enrique Peña Nieto proposed that same-sex marriage be legalised in Mexico
Following a progressive move in the country toward marriage equality. Mr Peña Nieto announced his proposal at a Tuesday event marking the national day against homophobia. After meeting with LGBTI groups, he said, the president said he signed initiatives that would secure marriage equality in the Mexican Constitution.

Call for emergency meeting: Translated by Sarstoon Territorial Volunteers
"Presidents and representatives of the Congress of El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Belize, have confirmed their presence in Managua on May 19 for an emergency meeting of the Forum of Presidents of Legislative Bodies of Central America and the Caribbean basin FOPREL, to seek a diplomatic solution to a border dispute between Guatemala and Belize.The Executive Secretary of this regional body, Santiago Rivas Leclair said Tuesday that the presence of these countries, there will be quorum to listen to the two Central American parties points and avoid any armed conflict.Leclair said to have faith in God that this meeting will reach an agreement, and that a message of peace is sent to executives and foreign ministers of Guatemala and Belize. "Both President Jimmy Morales of Guatemala, and Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow.He explained that Guatemala confirmed its presence by the president of Congress, Congressman Mario Taracena Belize and President of the House of Representatives, Michael Peyrefitte.For Nicaragua, President of the National Assembly, Rene Nunez Tellez engineer, will host and witness of the agreements that are reached in this extraordinary meeting of FOPREL number 18.On 5 May President Nunez Tellez, was visited by the head of FOPREL, deputy Mario Taracena Diaz and Executive Secretary of this regional organization, Dr. Santiago Rivas Leclair, to arrange the holding of this meeting in order to promote peace between Guatemala and Belize, both members of the forum."

Videos

  • International Day Against Homophobia, 2min. Transphobia and Biphobia: Human Rights for all!

  • BELIZE, 4min.

  • MESSING AROUND WITH SHARKS in Belize 2016 - Holiday Vlog#1, 3.5min. A good friend and I went to Mexico early this year. After two nights in Tulum we had to move on to Dangriga (Belize) to take the boat heading for Glover´s Atoll. I had a Shark bite (1:20) but this little rascal got away ;-).

  • HelpAge Belize Pays Tribute to an Icon, 7min. Jane Usher has led an extraordinary and exemplary life. Over the years she has touched so many lives through her involvement in community affairs, politics and the credit union movement. Like her iconic brother, George Price, Miss Jane, has lived her life striking a balance between her beloved family of ten children with her work and at the same time always upholding Christian values. At the age of ninety-eight, she has travelled many roads and crossed many bridges, but it is her deep sense of service to others that motivates her existence. This past weekend, HelpAge Belize paid homage to the woman who is regarded as the oldest C.E.O. who still reports to work every day. For that occasion, Duane Moody and Rick Romero produced a documentary of her life and tonight we share highlights of her story.

  • Belize Audubon Society Activities 19, 4.5min.

  • Belize, Caye Caulker Jan 2016, 3.5min.

  • BUCEO EN BLUE HOLE BELIZE. DIVE IN BELIZE BLUE HOLE, 7min. DIVING IN BLUE HOLE.

  • Brooke Burke in Belize, 3min. Brooke swimming in Belize.

  • Diving in Belize, 2.5min. Ramon's Village Divers at Mermaid's Lair and Tres Cocos. April 24th, 2016. Music by Donna The Buffalo.

  • Belize Audubon Society Activities 20, 4.5min.

  • Blazing Saddles 2016 - Mexico and Belize, 4min. Cycling from Cancun to Quito.

  • AMBERGRIS BELIZE, 3.5min. BUCEO EN EN BELIZE DIVE IN BELIZE.

  • Shark and Ray Alley Belize, 4min. Nurse sharks and Atlantic stingrays in Caye Caulker.

  • Teachers rally with fury in Belize City, 6.5min.

  • Top

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