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#513985 - 05/26/16 11:57 AM Today's Belize News: May 26, 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

Ministry of Health Confirms Zika in Pregnant Woman
The Ministry of Health has received another confirmed case of Zika in the country by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). The case is being closely monitored by the Ministry of Health staff as the patient is a pregnant woman. This patient is from the Cayo District. The case was picked up through the heightened and strengthened vector borne disease and vaccine preventable disease surveillance, which now includes the monitoring of Zika, currently underway across the country. The Ministry this morning collected a sample from another pregnant woman with symptoms of the virus. The sample will be sent to CARPHA for further testing.

Mayor Guerrero makes education a priority
Education is definitely the key to success, and as a part of Education Month, Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Councilor Ruben Gonzalez, and members from the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) visited the San Pedro High School, Holy Cross Anglican School, Ambergris Caye Elementary School, Isla Bonita Elementary School, New Horizon Seventh-day Adventist School, and the San Pedro Roman Catholic School. The initial purpose for the Mayor’s visit was to emphasize the importance of education and to assist schools in renovating, improving, or aiding all schools visited. Mayor Guerrero’s agenda included giving a welcome to the student body of each school, touring each classroom and interacting with teachers to hear their needed requests. “After various school visits, it is apparent that many schools are in need of repairs, and improvements to infrastructure are needed,” said Guerrero. He pledged to put a commitment on education, and promised to supply schools with needed materials to improve the overall quality of the education system in San Pedro.

Ambergris Caye residents join Hands across the Sands against offshore oil exploration
On Saturday, May 21st Belizeans from among 13 municipalities joined hands as part of the second annual “Hands across the Sand,” in order to promote and highlight the issues of offshore oil exploration and drilling. This year, the campaign was also aimed at spreading the message of saying ‘NO’ to filthy fuels and saying ‘YES’ to clean energy. The event, which also took place in over 80 countries around the world, was spearheaded in Belize by Oceana in Belize who rallied citizens to take part in this worthy cause. In San Pedro Town a total of 19 residents gathered on the beach in front of the Central Park. For around 15 minutes, the group held hands in solidarity against offshore oil development in Belize’s marine environment. Hundreds of Belizeans across the 13 municipalities also joined in. Orange Walk Town, Corozal Town Belize City, Belmopan City, San Ignacio Town, Hopkins Villa, Placencia Village, Sarteneja Village, Caye Caulker Village, and Punta Gorda Town said NO to filthy fuels.

Full Moon concert highlights local talent
The glow of the full, beautiful moon inspired the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), the San Pedro House of Culture (SPHC), and the San Pedro AIDS Commission (SPAC) to host a full moon concert on Saturday, May 21st. The event took place at Central Park, where dozens of people viewed the full moon while enjoying free entertainment from four local artists. The concert featured Wil Nuñez, Oscar Aguilar, Natalie Arceo, and Rompe Raja for a night of family fun. Vice President of SPAC, David Jenkins, and his committee was productive throughout the night raising funds from their food and drink sales. “The weather is perfect and the concert finally happened after many attempts. On behalf of our AIDS Commission, all proceeds will help our organization to continue to stand up for people living with HIV/AIDS in San Pedro,” said Jenkins. The night was perfectly clear, and people danced and applauded the musical talents of the artists. Overall, the concert was a success and the SPHC is hoping to plan a Full Moon concert each quarter of the year.

SPTC celebrates teachers and nurses
In honor of Teacher’s and Nurse’s week, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), along with Area Representative and Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., organized a celebration to commemorate their tremendous contribution to the island on Thursday, May 19th. Nurses, doctors, and medical practitioners from Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II, as well as teachers, administrators, and principals from schools across San Pedro packed the Angel Nuñez Auditorium for a night of fun. Prior to starting the ceremony, guests enjoyed socializing and mingling with colleagues and business friends. With an apology given for the absence of Hon. Heredia, Councilor Ruben Gonzalez gave the official vote of thanks for the night. “The purpose of this event is to celebrate all our teachers, nurses, and medical practitioners. We are all very thankful for the commitment from them and we recognize their hard work, long hours, patience, and grace they have. I encourage them to keep up the good work,” said Councilor Gonzalez.

Ambergris Today

Belizeans Across the Nation Hold Hands for a Cause
Residents across Thirteen municipalities join hands as part of the Second Annual “Hands Across the Sand” to Say ‘No’ to Filthy Fuels and ‘Yes’ to Clean Energy - On May 21, 2016, at noon, Belizeans around the country joined hands on beaches, across bridges, along sea walls and in other public areas to stand in solidarity against offshore oil development in Belize's economically important marine environment. Belize was one of 83 countries to observe Hands Across the Sand with participation from hundreds of residents across the following municipalities: Orange Walk town, Dangriga, Belize City, Placencia, Corozal Town, San Ignacio, Hopkins, Sarteneja, Punta Gorda town, Caye Caulker, San Pedro (Headline Picture) and Belmopan.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Habaneros Pepper Sauce
This stuff is just onions in vinegar with maybe a few habaneros or jalapenos cut up and tossed in for a little kick and some other secret spices. Rosita's Burrito stand had it in a big jug and you could put it on burritos/hotdogs.

Village Initiative Arcadia San Pedro Seminar Series August 8 – August 19
Arcadia University is being hosted in San Pedro for the purpose of bring free education and seminars to the community. With focus on Education, Nutrition, Physical Therapy, Medical and Psychological Support, and Business, Supervisory and Leadership initiatives.

Republic of China (Taiwan) to Disburse First Installment for Renal Failure Prevention Project to the Ministry of Health
The Ministry of Health on behalf of the Government and people of Belize will be receiving the first disbursement of US$34,500 for the capacity building project for the prevention and control of chronic renal failure in Belize at a ceremony to be held at the Best Western Biltmore Hotel on May 30th, 2016 at 9:00a.m. The “Renal Failure Prevention Project” is a three-year project with a total approved budget of US$2.2 million. It was signed on February 10, 2016 between Belize and Taiwan to treat patients at the early stages of renal failure or kidney disease, ultimately reducing the socio-economic burden to families and to the health system. Training will be provided to general practitioners and dialysis nurses in Taiwan, while local training programs will be conducted for Case Managers and Community Health Workers in identification and management of risk factors for kidney failure. Furthermore, the project also includes the establishment and launch of a tracking and management system for chronic disease cases in medical facilities.

Minister Panton delivers Keynote Address at Galen University Graduation
On Sunday, May 22nd, 2016, Galen University graduated ninety-nine students at its 13th Commencement Exercises held at the Muffles College Auditorium in Orange Walk Town. Graduates received degreesin various fields including Anthropology, Environmental Science, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Elementary Education, Accounting and Business Administration. Hon. Tracy Taegar- Panton, Minister of State in the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade & Commerce, delivered the keynote address, highlighting the emerging socio-economic needs and challenges in the public and private sectors and how Belizeans can combine their skills, talents and experiences to shape a new future. The minister stressed the importance of diversifying our economic base using technology, promoting innovation and entrepreneurship as well as maintaining open dialogue to foster co-ordination and objectivity on matters of national importance.

Empower Yourself Belize Movement
Empower Yourself Belize Movement (EYBM) recently held a event to commemorate IDAHOT Day. EYBM is a Belize NGO that works with People Living with HIV and focuses on delivering health tips and the importance of medication adherence, addressing nutrition, increasing prevention education interventions for HIV/STI, and advice on personal hygiene. Currently EYBM is funded through The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). PEPFAR is the U.S. Government initiative to help save the lives of those suffering from HIV/AIDS around the world. This historic commitment is the largest by any nation to combat a single disease internationally, and PEPFAR investments also help alleviate suffering from other diseases across the global health spectrum. PEPFAR is driven by a shared responsibility among donor and partner nations and others to make smart investments to save lives.

Education in Belize: Breaking bad habits
I commend the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) for defiantly standing up to Guatemala during its escalating armed border incursions into Belize. An age old, yet formerly non-violent, border dispute has now turned violent. Guatemala has defiantly stationed its military at Belize's Southern Sarstoon border, and may want to push armed contingents even further into our Southern and Western borders. Our government ignored the first armed encroachment, and then urged Belizeans to stay away from the Sarstoon border. Yet, we now have incurred loss of life on both sides. Many Belizeans have reached a boiling point (against their own government as well as Guatemala), and are taking defiant actions to protest Guatemala's armed bullying and the Belize government's sudden Sarstoon Prohibition law. BNTU members/teachers have set a positive example for thousands of students in Belize, and showed them the importance of "taking action".

May 2016 External Trade & Consumer Price Index
During the month of April 2016, the prices of goods and services purchased by Belizean households were a marginal 0.1 percent higher than in April 2015. According to latest statistics released by the Statistical Institute of Belize, the All Items Consumer Price Index was 102.9, up from 102.8 in April of last year. For the first four months of the year 2016, an inflation rate of 0.2 percent was recorded.
Belize’s total imports for the month of April 2016 were valued at $168.9 million. This was an increase of 7.2 percent or $11.3 million over last April’s imports, which totaled $157.6 million. Of the various categories, ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ was the primary reason for the rise in total imports during the month, growing considerably by $25 million dollars, from $31 million in April 2015 to $56 million in April 2016. This increase was mainly attributable to purchases of telecommunications equipment valued at $17 million dollars made during the month. The ‘Other Manufactures’ category had the only other observable increase, growing by a lesser $2 million due mostly to purchases of construction material along with plastic boxes and crates.

2nd annual Summer Music Camp, Caye Caulker
You have seen what our children are capable of accomplishing with a dedicated and excellent music instructor like Mr. Carlos Perrote so Come join us during the summer as we get ready for our 2nd annual Summer Music Camp. Our Saturday music classes will continue as scheduled. The music camp is not only designed for children but adults as well. If you would like to join us or sponsor a child give me a call at 605-5904 or visit my Tutoring center at the corner of Estrella Street and Avenida Mangle.

Bartending Training in Belize City
Belize Mixology is finally coming to Belize City for bartending training. Details are as follows: Venue: BTEC building at the ITVET compound. Introduction to Bartending: Tuesday June 7th to 9th from 9am to 12pm. Cost $350 Advanced Bartending: Friday June 10th to 13th from 9am to 12 pm. Cost $450 We are offering a 10% discount for the first 10 persons to to sign up and pay the required 50 % deposit. Payment can be made via cash, cheque, or bank deposit to our Scotia company account. This is a great oppurtunity to gain knowledge in a rapidly growing sector of the hospitality industry. We also help in finding jobs for qualified participants after training. If a participant would like to take just the Advanced course, he/she would need to have a minimum of 5 years of experience at a fully functioning bar. If not then the Introduction training is required first. Certificates are awarded for each training. Spaces are very limited.

De-escalating the Working Poor's Mental Health Issues
We are all challenged with emotional distresses. As men it is harder as we are expected to be stronger. There is a correlation with physical work. The more physical the environment is, the more macho a male is expected to be. The only therapy that most of us receive is when we chat with a friend or in a group, social setting. You ever see a bunch of guys hang out and drink? In the middle of the loud music and chatting about which woman is sexy, there will be moments when relationship issues are brought up. The only help they get is the release, depending on the quality group they may or may not receive good advice. But they will get the "I feel yo pain" response, which is all the therapy they receive. Earlier in the week you may have noticed a series of "high school fights" of mostly girls and maybe one with adult females. The quality of the discussion by the friend who recorded these attacks, that's what they were, attacks to shame the victim who they expected to lose. They didn't want a fight, they wanted a victim whose pain can be repeated continuously. If you look at the comments, they range from "this boring" "They can't be from this neighborhood because they so lame". People have no empathy. People are cold.

Submit your application today to the BETEX Committee
Deadline for applications is April 29, 2016.

Ministry of Health Confirms Zika in Pregnant Woman
The Ministry of Health has received another confirmed case of Zika in the country by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). The case is being closely monitored by the Ministry of Health staff as the patient is a pregnant woman. This patient is from the Cayo District. The case was picked up through the heightened and strengthened vector borne disease and vaccine preventable disease surveillance, which now includes the monitoring of Zika, currently underway across the country. The Ministry this morning collected a sample from another pregnant woman with symptoms of the virus. The sample will be sent to CARPHA for further testing. Vector control and public health officers, along with staff from the Epidemiology Unit and Maternal and Child Health Departments, are actively engaged with the community and are further scaling up efforts in the monitoring of Zika.

The Ombudsman of Belize Assumes Presidency of the Central American Council of Human Rights Defenders/Ombudsmen
The Ombudsman of Belize welcomes the Central American Council of Human Rights Defenders/Ombudsmen to Belize City, Belize from 25 to 27 May, 2016. During the Council’s visit, the Ombudsman of Belize will assume the Presidency of the Council for the year 2016 to 2017. On May 25, the Council will host a Forum on Internal Displacement and Forced Migration, a topic of important concern to the region at the moment. The Council will also have closed meetings to discuss other important topics, including the formulation of plans and projects, adoption of resolutions and other matters. The Council was reconstituted in February 2015 and consists of the seven Central American Countries: Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. The Presidency rotates among the member countries annually.

Poets Corner: Shock Wave
By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. Pause for a cause Let’s look at our laws The Mayan cause Is Belize’s cause Their ICJ victory Made legal history Setting precedence for indigenous peoples throughout the territory This makes the status quo uneasy Sending shockwaves throughout the hegemony The NGC, NCC and the East Indian Council Need to seek legal counsel Join together taking your indigenous cause to the judiciary This will put a stop the hegemony’s corruption in country We all have rights to this territory We won’t be able to accede any land and territories To any other countries

Power interruption from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday May 29th for the entire Corozal District.
BEL to conduct critical maintenance of equipment at the Corozal Substation.

2016 Frenchie's Offshore Open
First place honors for the 2016 Frenchie's Offshore Open went to Team Venator out of Chetumal who boated a 135lb Blue Marlin, a 15lb Wahoo and 5lb Tuna. 2nd Place winners were Princesa Del Mar out of San Pedro who released a Sailfish on Day 1 and a White Marlin on Day 2 while 3rd Place went to Fishizzle also from San Pedro who released a White Marlin on Day 2 and took heaviest Dorado which weighed 18lbs. In all the tournament boats released 2 Sailfish, 3 White Marlin and weighed 1 Blue Marlin. Thanks to all our sponsors for their support and to all 17 boats who competed. We'll see you again next year Caye Caulker!

Men at Work art Exhibit in Corozal
Mark the date, as we celebrate Corozal's talented male artists at the 4th annual Men at Work art exhibit.

I AM Belize scholarship Program
Belize Electricity Limited and RESTORE Belize entered into a four-year partnership on May 25, with the Company committing to provide a $36,000 total contribution towards the “I AM Belize scholarship Program”. BEL’s contribution will provide tuition, books, and uniforms for 9 new scholarship students for the 2016 – 2019 school years. A total of 38 students have graduated from the program since its inception in 2010, with a success rate of 80% in 2014 – 2015.

ATLIB Professional Development 2016
ATLIB had their 2016 Professional Development Sessions last week, where most of the country's tertiary level professors met to learn everything from technology in the classroom to grant writing to statistics. Sacred Heart Junior College, Belize hosted the event. Minister Faber was there to kick off the learning, and he gave a great speech about quality and the need to strive for that goal in the field of education.

Public Service Info Day 2016
Public Service Information Day is Friday, May 27th, and it'll be celebrated at Sir George Brown Field in Belmopan. The Benque Marimba Academy will be there along with entertainment for everyone. There will also be chocolate making. Thanks, MoEYSC! "Happening on Friday May 27th 2016 @ The Sir George Brown Field in Belmopan!!! Come out and view our booth MOEYSC from 9:00 am to 3:00pm!!!"

Belize Zoo Conservation Camp 2016
The Belize Zoo is gearing up for their 23rd annual Conservation Camp. Now is the time to apply because the camp will start on June 27th. "CONSERVATION CAMP 2016!: TBZ will once again be accepting young Belizeans join our Education team as we explore Belize's natural wonders through our week long conservation camp. This will be the 23rd year of 'Zoo Camp.' Special guest presentations, field trips, scientific studies and role play are just a few of the many activities planned this year. The goal of Camp, as always, is to foster conservation-minded attitudes in the next generation of stewards of our natural heritage. June 27th to July 1st are the dates this year, so, parents, start applying! Campers must be 12-17 years of age, and come prepared for 4 nights and 5 days of activities. More info and registration forms can be requested from education@belizezoo.org, or outreach@belizezoo.org, or call the Zoo at 822-8000."

Maypole Dance w/ the Charikanari Dancers in San Pedro
Join us this Friday at the San Pedro House of Culture as we revive the traditional Maypole dance. Performing will be the Black & White Charikanari Dancers. This events will be a fundraising event for the cultural dance group. Food & drinks on sale. Performing will be the Charikanari Dancers and local children. See you there!

Learn more about The Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project
Public Engagement meeting #2, June 15th

Channel 7

PM Was Curt When Discussing Istanbul Talks
Yesterday bilateral talks between the Foreign Ministers of Belize and Guatemala concluded in Istanbul, Turkey. At the conclusion of that meeting, the Foreign Affairs Ministries of both Belize and Guatemala sent out a joint press release. Although it was lengthy, and mentioned that both parties recognized the need to avoid further incidents along the border, it did not give much specifics as to what was actually discussed. However, as a result of these talks, the Prime Minister, who sits as the chair of the National Security Council, saw it fit to revoke the Sarstoon SI. That was a surprising action, given that the Prime Minister ended the 30-day Sarstoon Ban a few days early. So, what did the Belize delegation relay back to give him that kind of confidence? That's what we asked when we caught him Orange Walk Town after attending Elijio Joe Briceño's funeral. Here's how that very brief conversation actually went:

Ambassador Courtenay Was More Forthcoming On Bilateral Talks
We had a few more important questions for the Prime Minister on this topic, but he declined to entertain anymore and walked off. We did however meet Eamon Courtney at that same event, who had returned home early. He was a bit more candid in speaking with us about the bilateral talks at Istanbul. He attended the summit as a representative of the Leader of the Opposition and as a member the Belize delegation. Here is his take on the Istanbul discussions. Eamon Courtenay - Representative of the Leader of the Opposition: "First of all I think the most significant thing is that Belize and Guatemala have now agreed that it is necessary to have a protocol for the free navigation in the Sarstoon and the parties have agreed that they will start the negotiations very shortly of that protocol. As the Foreign Minister indicated during the course of the meeting the basis on which Belize will start is that we will have full sovereignty and territorial integrity over our side of the Sarstoon River as well as the Sarstoon Island; so that was the basis from which we will start. The second important thing is a sort of informal understanding from Guatemala that there will be free navigation even whilst we are negotiating so we do not expect that the Guatemalan naval forces and military are going to continue to stop Belizeans or other people from using the Sarstoon River."

The Opposition Leader's Representative Is Cautiously Optimistic
But just how confident is the Belize Delegation that Guatemala will hold true to this "informal" agreement? We couldn't get the Prime Minister's thoughts on that issue but according to Eamon Courtney, it is all but a waiting game now. He added that, at least for their part, the PUP remains confident - but not too confident - on the way forward. Here is how he put it. Eamon Courtenay - Representative of the Leader of the Opposition: "I would say it's important for us to see what happens. Saying something in a diplomatic meeting is one thing, the proof of the pudding is in the eating so we need to see what happens beginning now when we exercise our rights to use the Sarstoon when our citizens and when the military exercise their right. We expect based on the understanding at the meeting that they will be entitled to do so as we have always done. Now as you say the important thing is whether or not the Guatemalan forces in the Sarstoon is going to respect that. We are hopeful that they will, we insisted that the information be communicated not only to the top of the military but to the soldiers and the naval forces in the area. So there should be no defence that the message didn't reach the people in the field and that type of thing; we expect full compliance and respect for our territorial rights."

When's the Next Bilateral Talks On Sarstoon Protocol?
So, the SI is revoked and tensions at the Southern border are expected to de-escalate given the "Informal" agreement that allows for the free passage of Belizean military and civilians along the Sarstoon. It's is a good start, but just for how long will this "informal" agreement stand? Both countries have agreed that it is necessary to set the protocol of operation at the Sarstoon but no timeline has been given for when that protocol will be fleshed out; however according to Eamon Courtney, negotiations are expected to begin soon in that regard. And, it better, he says, because the PUP have all intentions of continuing to assert their sovereignty over Belize's portion of the Sarstoon. Eamon Courtenay - Representative of the Leader of the Opposition: "The understanding is that Ambassador Roldan and Ambassador Rosado will meet very shortly and set the time table for the meetings which we expect to start as a matter of urgency. We expect the meetings to take place very quickly and to be progressed with some deliberate speed because we need certainty and we need a clear understanding because we will be exercising our rights in the Sarstoon."

PUP's Failed Trip Could Have Affected The Outcome Of Istanbul Talks
Full respect of our rights to even visit the Sarstoon… this is very a strong position from a PUP senator. As you know, the party's trip didn't happen for the reasons the Opposition Leader described last night. Nevertheless the members of the Guatemalan delegation caught wind of the planned expedition and at the diplomatic talks at Istanbul yesterday it was briefly brought up. Eamon Courtenay - Representative of the Leader of the Opposition: "The Foreign Minister of Guatemala did mention the fact that the proposed trip by the PUP was in his view and in his words provocative. Our side didn't respond to it but as you know we believe that we have a right to travel in the Sarstoon and to travel anywhere in the 8,867 square miles of Belize. It is regrettable that Guatemala would regard that as being provocative but it is our right that the PUP believes that every Belizean has a right to exercise and we as a party if necessary will do it."

Opposition Leader's Rep. Sees Purpose For PUP Lawsuit
So now with the SI revoked, it makes another PUP Trip to the Sarstoon a little less meaningful by way of political standards. The main reason for the PUP's visit to the Sarstoon was to challenge the - what they called- unconstitutional move by the Government. So no SI, no political meaning. But is the same true for the Constitutional Challenge which the opposition filed against the Government? Today we asked Eamon Courtney for his legal opinion on this matter. Here is what he said. Eamon Courtenay - Representative of the Leader of the Opposition: "It's not mute and it is not pointless because we expect the challenge to continue. You see what you have there is in our view an unlawful exercise of state power. As I said before it is bad policy and it is bad in law. The public safety act has a specific criteria for the Governer General to exercise that power to restrain people from moving in the Sarstoon or anywhere else. We believe that the facts were not there for him to do it and therefore he acted unlawfully and we have to set a precedent, the court has to speak to the circumstances in which that kind of power can be exercised in the future. So it is a very important case, it violated our constitutional rights and the constitutional rights of many Belizeans who attempted to go there and we ask the court to still pronounce on it for the future."

2nd Zika Confirmed In Belize; This Time It's A Pregnant Woman
Belize has another confirmed case of Zika in country, and this time, it's a pregnant woman who is infected. That's not the type of news that the Ministry of Health wants at this time, since the woman's baby is at risk of being born with the medical condition as micro-cephaly, a birth defect where newborns have abnormally small heads and under-developed brains. The Ministry of Health confirmed before news time that it has received the confirmation of the pregnant woman by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). Their statement says, quote, "The case is being closely monitored by the Ministry of Health staff as the patient is a pregnant woman. This patient is from the Cayo District. The case was picked up through the heightened and strengthened vector borne disease and vaccine preventable disease surveillance, which now includes the monitoring of Zika, currently underway across the country.

Police Constable Killed Himself
Suicides don't normally make the evening news, but one of them is tonight after a cop killed himself this morning. Another cop attempted to take his life less than 5 days before, and we'll get to that, but first to the very tragic story of Constable Edward Gonzalez. Right now, the Queen Street Police Formation, where he was stationed is still trying to grapple with his death. The 34 year-old constable shot himself in the head early this morning around 2. Gonzalez was with 2 other officers outside of the Queen Street Police Station when he suddenly pulled out his licensed gun and shot himself. Gonzalez's suicide has stunned his colleagues and today at a press briefing, they told us they didn't see this coming. Courtney Weatherburne has the story. PC Edward Gonzalez went to work every morning at 7:00 sharp. He was always right on time for the routine inspection and briefing sessions. Gonzalez became known for his promptness, tidiness and good police work.

Another Cop Tried Suicide; Very Fortunately, He Failed
Now while it is very unfortunate that Gonzalez lost all hope and ended his life, there is hope for Precinct 2 Police Constable Melvin Nah. He is recovering at the hospital right now after he tried to poison himself on Monday night. Luckily his family and friends got to him quickly and rushed him to the hospital. Nah was saved. Police told us more about this other troubling case. ACP Chester Williams - OC, Chester Williams: "There was an incident on Monday night where a police officer who is assigned to precinct 2 apparently drank some noxious substance and was rushed to the KHMH. He is currently in the hospital admitted in a stable condition. From what we have been made to understand he's slowly recovering and he should make a full recovery in a very short space of time."

Police Counsellor Trying Assist With The Stressors Of The Job
So Now, what is being done in the police department to help officers like Gonzalez and Nah? Well as you heard, there is an Employee Assistance Program which provides counseling to police officers. Today we spoke to the coordinator of the program Shawn Vargas and he highlighted some of the stresses that police offices face and he also discussed how to manage that stress. Shawn Vargas - Coordinator, Employee Assistance Prog.: "It's a high stress job. There are several factors that police officers have to contend with. Many among them is putting your life at risk on a daily basis and so as to some of the challenges that they are faced among the general public on their job it's the idea of walking to know that you might be a target; now that's a level you have to work with. It is important for us to understand ourselves, it is important for us to understand our body; our body tells us a lot in terms of dealing with stress and coping with personal challenges. So if you believe that you are a point, at a breaking point then it is best to get professional help. It is best to get professional help for guidance and professional help is available through the employee assistance programme."

Eastern Division South Commander Wants In-House Personal Constable
But is this Employee Assistance Program enough? Well, the Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams doesn't think so. Williams explained that there needs to be a greater focus on having in house counsellors at the different divisions. ACP Chester Williams - OC, Chester Williams: "Our department have grown so huge and I think that the police department is the largest organization in the government service, bigger than the BDF, bigger than the coast guard. The only organization bigger than us are the teachers and I think that we have grown to the extent that we should be able to have our own in house counsellors and I think that what we need to do is look seriously at how we can achieve this to have at least one at each of the different divisions within the police department. That is only 6 regions so to hire 6 counsellors to be available at any given time to provide counselling to our officers I do believe that the benefit will surely outweigh the cost. While we do have the employee assistance programme it is a good idea, good initiative but I think that if we have our own in house counsellors our officers will be more use to those person and they'll be more willing to open to those persons."

Calaney's Attorney Says She Has No-Case To Answer To
For the past 16 days now, 30 year-old Calaney Flowers has been standing trial in the court room of Justice Troadio Gonzalez for the capital offenses of murder and attempted murder. Police say that on August 28, 2012 she used her car to intentionally knock her ex-boyfriend, 29 year-old Lyndon Morrison, down. He was on his motorcycle with his new girlfriend Sochyl Sosa, and the impact of the collision caused them to suffer serious injuries, which ended up claiming Lyndon Morrison's life. Well, since we last reported on the trial without jury, a lot has taken place. The prosecutor, Crown Counsel Sheneiza Smith, has called a number of witnesses including Morrison's mother Laurel Grant, as well as Sochyl Sosa, the woman who survived the deadly accident. She told the court last week from the stand that, on that night, at around 9:00 o'clock, she was at home, when Lyndon Morrison arrived at her house to pick her up on his motorcycle. They stopped at Friendship Restaurant on Mahogany Street to buy a burger and headed to a Chinese shop near to get a juice.


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#513986 - 05/26/16 11:57 AM Re: Today's Belize News: May 26, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The Newco Ghost of Previous Government's Past
You may remember Newco, as a European Consortium which had a brief 30-year concession agreement with the Previous Musa Government over the Management and control of the Philip Goldson International Airport. That business deal eventually led a legal dispute which for which a 4.2 million US dollar award has been hanging over the current Government's head. Well, it appears that this ghost of the Musa Government past is coming back to haunt the current Goverment once again. It's a dispute that dates back 11 years ago to May of 2005 when Newco, sued the the Musa Government. The company's claim is that the then Government of the day entered into that concession agreement and 11 months later, they terminated it without cause. If that deal hadn't ended abruptly, Newco would have been entitled to operate the airport and make improvements to it. You'll remember that the Belize Airport Concession Company, the group of well-connected local investors, got the deal to run the airport after the canceled Newco agreement.

BEL Teams Up With Restore Belize For Scholarships
Every year, Restore Belize sources business partners to help fund four years of secondary school expenses for a number of underprivileged students. Today they signed a formal agreement with the Belize Electricity Limited, BEL, in which the electricity company is granting $36 thousand dollars to the "I AM Belize scholarship Program". The grant will provide tuition, books, and uniform for 9 new scholarship students for a period of four years. We spoke with Restore Belize and the BEL representatives who signed the document. Here's what they told us about this new partnership. Roger Bradley - Sr. Prog. Officer, RESTORE Belize: "What is happening is we are embarking on a partnership between RESTORE Belize and the Belize National Energy Charitable Trust to riase funds for another 4 years and this morning we really appreciate the assistance of the Belize Electricity Limited and this will enable 9 students to have an opportunity to complete their secondary education."

A Discrepancy In the Narrative Of Chester's Alleged Shooter
You may remember the high speed city chase that almost got Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams shot by a gunman, or worse. As we told you, On May 13th Williams was driving in his personal vehicle when he got word of a shooting on Euphrates Avenue. He was also alerted of a fleeing black truck that was nearby when the shooting happened. Williams was in the area and set chase after the men in the vehicle. He caught up with them and that is when he came face to face with 19 year old Zacharia Knox. Knox fired 3 shots at Williams but he missed. Knox along with 2 others were charged in connection with the shooting. But there is one thing that does not quite add up, Knox somehow ended up in the hospital in a critical condition after that brazen encounter with Williams. So how did he get there? Well we asked Williams about it today and he said plainly : he does not know! Mike Rudon - Channel 5 News: "That fellow last report we got he fired at you, he was apprehended that same evening and somehow from there to this point he is at the KHMH in what was critical condition up to a couple days ago. Could you take us from the apprehension to the KHMH."

Don "Joe" Laid To Rest
Earlier you heard the Prime Minister's comments on the latest developments on the diplomatic front between Belize and Guatemala. We met him in Orange Walk earlier this evening, but he was not there on official business. He was actually there in a sort of informal capacity, to attend the funeral service of the late Joe Briceño, a stalwart PUP, former Government Minister, and two time representative for Orange Walk. He is also happens to be the father of the now leader of the People's United Party. Today, the Prime Minister and a few other UDP Ministers paid a courtesy visit to the Leader of the Opposition and attended his father's funeral. Minister for Port Loyola even offered a few kind words to the late Briceno during the official funeral service. Today we spoke to the PM who told us that while He and the Briceno's are political enemies, outside of that political arena is no space for animosity. And so today it was just right to join in honor the legacy of the late Briceno.

Come Have Lunch With A Cop
You know all about the weekly meet and greets that the different Eastern Division commanders hold to become more friendly and available to the communities they serve. Well, the Eastern Division's commanders are offering another means to reason with them on a one-on-one basis. It's called the Lunch with a Cop initative, in which, as the name suggests, members of the public can sit down and share a meal, with the different Eastern Division leaders. Assistant Superintendent of Police Desiree Phillips told us more about it today. The first edition of the Lunch with a Cop initative is set for tomorrow at 11;30 to 1 at the Sea View Restaurant at the Princess Hotel. Everyone is invited to come and have lunch with 12 officers at your own expense.

The ESRI User Conference Is Here Again
The 2016 Belize Esri user conference was held today at Biltmore Plaza. The two day event saw key note speaker Jacqueline DaCota, the Chairperson of the Land Information Council of Jamaica, presenting her expertise in the field of applied Geographic information system (GIS). Other speakers included lecturers, GIS students, business owners, bank managers, members of Government agencies, and just about anybody else you could think of- all sharing their knowledge and experiences in the use of GIS technology. The wide variety of participants set the background for what ESRI and its local partners are trying to do- and that is to get everyone using this GIS technology.

Channel 5

Suicide at Queen Street Precinct: On-duty Police Officer Shoots Himself
Today, the Belize Police Department is reeling from the sudden death of one of their own, Police Constable Edwardo Gonzalez – not in the line of duty, but allegedly by [...]

Another Officer Ingests Deadly Poison in Suicide Attempt
That suicide this morning follows what we are told was an attempt by another police officer on Monday. In that case the officer allegedly ingested some form of poison, reportedly [...]

Police Department Addresses Critical Turn of Events
When and if that officer does recover, he will be placed into counseling which is provided by the Employee Assistance Program. It’s a twenty-four hour service available to those within [...]

Counseling to be Provided for Traumatized Colleagues
That counseling is sorely needed by officers who deal with long hours at a very difficult job. The suicide and attempted suicide this week highlight the need. But there’s some [...]

‘Papa’ Mena Discusses U.D.P.’s Upcoming Special Convention
On Sunday at the ITVET in Belize City, the United Democratic Party will be holding a special convention to elect a First Deputy Leader.  Belmopan Area Representative John Saldivar is [...]

A Pregnant Mother in Cayo Tests Positive for Zika
There is another confirmed case of zika in Belize. Late this evening, the Ministry of Health issued a release confirming that another patient has tested positive for the virus. This [...]

Did Police Pummel Zachry Knox Following Incident Involving Top Cop?
On May twelfth, nineteen-year-old Zachry Knox allegedly fired three shots at Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams during a high speed chase in the city. Knox was picked up that [...]

A Date for Decision in Calaney Flowers Murder Trial is Set
Thirty-year-old Calaney Flowers, a former employee of Atlantic Bank who is accused of the vehicular homicide of her ex-boyfriend, appeared before Justice Troadio Gonzalez today.  Flowers has also been charged [...]

Youths Charged for Beating Up Elderly Man Near BTL Park
Two Belize City youths were today fined five hundred dollars each after they both pled guilty for badly beating a sixty-four-year-old fisherman over the weekend. Today, twenty-year-old Justin Marin and [...]

Public Service Day Celebrated with Information Fair
An all-day information fair concluded in Belize City this evening.  The event was part of the annual celebration of Public Service Day and saw the participation of a number of [...]

B.E.L. and Restore Belize Sign MOU for High School Scholarship
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed earlier today between Belize Electricity Limited and Restore Belize for a grant of thirty-six thousand dollars.  The money, given for a specific purpose, has [...]

Skills Training Center Showcases Talented Young Students
Over four hundred students have been graduated from the Skill Training Center in Belize City since its inception in 2012. There has been a fifty percent success rate so far [...]

Belize Wins Gold in COCABA Men’s Volleyball Tournament
The Belize Male National Volleyball Team wins the Copa Cancun 2016 Tournament. Over the weekend, three teams from Belize, including the MOEN Stars female team and the UB Black Jaguars [...]

Special Edition Sports Wednesday – Football and Softball Stats
Good evening, I’m James Adderley with a Wednesday edition of Sports Monday. You know some days are better than others so let’s jump into the action.   Monday’s Belize City [...]

PlusTV

Sarstoon Restriction SI revoked
The Government of Belize has announced that it has revoked the Sarstoon Prohibition SI which was placed into effect on April 29th of this year. Government made the announcement on Tuesday May 24, 2016, following a cabinet session, just 5 days shy of when the restriction would have been lifted accor...

Guatemala-Belize Foreign Ministers agree to “work on formal cooperation mechanism”
That agreement to start work on “a formal cooperation mechanism” between the two countries was reached when the Foreign Ministers attended the World Humanitarian Summit held by the United Nations Secretary General. There, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Belize and Guatemala, Hon. Wilfred Elringt...

PUP blames Government for postponed Sarstoon trip
The People’s United Party (PUP) says it has postponed, not cancelled, its planned educational trip to the Sarstoon River for party leaders that was scheduled for Saturday. According to an official statement from the party issued Saturday evening, “..this unfortunate postponement in no way signals an...

BPP and BTV go to Sarstoon
However, while the PUP backed out, the Belize Territorial Volunteer leader Wil Maheai and Belize Progressive Party member Bobby Lopez, did not . The two organizations teamed up and took a boat to the mouth of the Sarstoon River on Saturday before the law was revoked. Also with Maheia and Lopez on...

Teacher drowns on fishing trip with Coast Guard friends
A teacher drowned after he and two of his Coast Guard friends went on a fishing trip in the Orange Walk district. According to reports, on Sunday May 22, 31-year-old Coast Guard Elijio Reyes of Xaibe Village, Corozal District and another Coast Guard, Genaro Chan, were along with their friend 31...

Two injured after car slams into concrete wall
Two Santa Elena residents were injured on Saturday May 21st after the car they were travelling in slammed into the concrete wall by the San Ignacio market. Police say they were called out to Savannah Street, San Ignacio, near the low wooden bridge area sometime around 4 o’clock Saturday morning wher...

RTA on Hummingbird Highway
There was another traffic accident over the long holiday weekend. This one happened on the Humingbird Highway on Monday May 23 somewhere near St. Margaret’s village. There is not much information to go on except that a black SUV apparently lost control and ran off the road flipping and landing with...

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Deadly accident in OW kills one, several others hospitalized
Tonight the Gongora family are mourning the death of one of their loved one, 55 year old Elba Gongora, who perished in a fatal traffic accident on the San Felipe Road in the Orange Walk District. Breaking Belize News was made to understand that a […]

Teenagers, 20 and 19, pleaded guilty to wounding 64 year old man
Senior citizen and fisherman 64 year old Lester Hernandez was allegedly caught taking public relief at the BTL Park on Newtown Barracks this past Sunday. He received a beating for his trouble and today two teenagers were made to pay fines for taking the law […]

Belmopanese charged for beating senior citizen
Two young men from Belmopan are accused of beating up a La Democracia villager ten days ago, such that he may lose an eye. 22 year old Justin Ashley Clark and 20 year old Edmond Anthony Pascascio appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, accused […]

Judge to decide fate of woman accused of murder
Justice Troadio Gonzalez is to hand down a ruling next Monday, May 30, 2016 in the case of Calaney Flowers, accused of the August 28, 2012 murder of her ex-boyfriend, Lyndon Morrison, and the attempted murder of his new girlfriend, Sochil Sosa, a Honduran national. […]

Belizean taxi driver hijacked by Guatemalan
Credible information reaching our newsroom indicates that a Guatemalan has been detained for allegedly hijacking a Belizean taxi driver in the Cayo District. BBN Sources have indicated to us that sometime this afternoon a taxi driver was stopped by two men who requested to be […]

Police United represent Belize in CONCACAF Champions League
Newly crowned national football champions Police United Football Club is Belize’s representative to the CONCACAF Champions League, as winner of the overall Premier League of Belize season 2015-2016. When all points won in competition are taken into consideration, Police, which won the opening season […]

Council of Churches supports ICJ resolution
During Friday’s press briefing in Belize City, the Belize Council of Churches, which represents the three largest Christian denominations in Belize – Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism and Methodism – and other smaller churches, revealed that it supported taking Belize and Guatemala’s territorial dispute to the […]

Melchor vendors did not demonstrate; say it’s safe to shop there
This past Friday there were reports that merchants in Melchor de Mencos, Peten would hold a protest targeting their leadership in Government. But the demonstration never happened. In the weeks following the death of a Guatemalan minor in the adjacency zone on April 20th, […]

Elijio Briceno buried today
Past government minister under the People’s United Party (PUP) from 1979-1984, Elijio ‘Joe’ Briceno, passed away on Saturday night in a Belize City hospital after falling gravely ill. Elijio, the father of current PUP leader, John Briceno, was laid to rest today and given […]

Weed and shotgun found in Santa Elena
San Ignacio Police with the assistance of its K-9 Unit, conducted searches in two areas of Santa Elena Town yesterday morning, resulting in the discovery of cannabis and a shotgun. At around 6:00 a.m., the team searched along the banks of the Macal River, […]

Sixth ESRI User Conference reaches out to businesses
Total Business Solutions’ 6th annual ESRI User Conference showcases development of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology and how to adopt it to modern work. This year, the benefits to businesses are being discussed. Location intelligence – maximizing where you are to be more attractive […]

Police officer kills himself in Belize City
A police officer posted in Precinct 3 of the Queen Street Police Station killed himself last night. Information is still sketchy and according to reports, he shot himself with his own weapon. The police officer is Edwardo Gonzales P.C 944 of Santa Elena, Cayo District. […]

Blogs

A Trip to A New Beach On the Leeward Side of Caye Caulker – Koko King
Monday was a holiday in Belize. I celebrated by joining a bunch of friends on a boat trip to Caye Caulker – actually…to a small caye with a sandbar off the northern tip of Caye Caulker. My friend Jackie had spotted it from her Tropic Air plane and thought it would be a great place to lounge and enjoy the day. There was a sandbar…of sorts. But, the area was extremely grassy and the sandbar, more of a…smushbar. We decided to head to the backside (the leeward side of Caye Caulker – about another 15 minutes) and try the new cleared beach just north of the famous Split in the island. I believe the name is Koko King. A large plot of white sand beach with a beautiful dock and lots of lounge chairs. We pulled up and paid $10bzd each to have access to all the chairs and the sails used for shade. Perfect. To the left, The Split. To the right, a hammock in the water…and lots of kids kayaking and swimming. A few families were up here too for a day in the water.

10 Reasons to visit Belize, Central America
After travelling through Guatemala, the final stop on my Central America itinerary was Belize. Crossing the border from Guatemala to Belize was a surreal experience in itself; armed border police watched on as we dragged our wheelie cases through the ‘no mans land’ between both countries. I didn’t expect to see or feel a whole lot of difference as soon as we crossed the border, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Despite being located next to one another, the identities of Guatemala and Belize are a world apart. Guatemala is full of vibrancy, colour and has a strong Hispanic cultural influence, with Spanish being the first language. In contrast, Belize has a much more laid-back Caribbean vibe and being located right on the Caribbean sea, there is a geographical logic to this strong cultural influence. Like much of the Caribbean, English is the first language in Belize. The country has become an on-trend honeymoon destination in recent years, and after visiting for myself, it’s evident why. And if that hasn’t tempted you enough, here are 10 reasons to visit Belize…

Driving directions from Belize City Airport (BZE) to Placencia, Belize!
You will depart the airport and follow the “International Airport Road” – signs should say – to Belize City. You’ll drive with the airplane runway on your left as you depart the airport. Next, you’ll turn left onto the “Northern Highway”. This is a little different (easier) than going through Belize City. It will probably add about 10 minutes to your drive, but will make the drive a lot easier to manage. You will proceed North for only about 10 minutes. You will make a left onto the “Burrell Boom Cut”. Burrell Boom is a town and this “cut” will take you around to the Western Highway. Follow the Burrell Boom Cut all of the way to the Western Highway, where you will make a right turn onto the Western Highway (this turn is in the area of Hattieville). Go West on the Western Highway.

Dry/Fire Season …. Rain/Hurricane Season
According to a forecast released last Friday by The Weather Company, the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be the most active since 2012. Perhaps more alarming to me are some studies that point to climatological and meteorological conditions mimicking weather patterns from 1998, the year that produced Hurricane Mitch. Preliminary analysis of the 2016 fire season in Belize: In terms of the environmental impacts of fires, thus far in the current fire season, 89% of fires occurred outside of protected areas (a similar percentage to previous years), and when fires did occur in protected areas, they generally affected pine savannas. In the case of the Caracol Archaeological Reserve and the Chiquibul National Park, however, fires detected signified illegal encroachments (clearing of forest) from Belize’s western neighbor. If the 2016 fire season is similar to that of 2012 (when a similar number of fires occurred in the January-April time frame), another 300 or so fires might be expected prior to the end of the year. So it would seem we have not had a record fire/dry season and my early reports are that we did not have an intense dry season. It would seem, though, that when it starts raining it just might pour.

Oscar Generale and Denny Mendez expect a new star!
Leading female character of La Isla Bonita Telenovela, Denny Mendez is soon expecting a bundle of joy. Actress/model Denny Mendez and husband Oscar Generale, a Hollywood producer are living the charmed life in Southern California. The Italian superstar couple were spotted shopping in Beverly Hills among the famous store fronts and top designer labels. The glitz of ritzy Rodeo Drive was matched by the sparkle in Oscar and Denny’s eyes, due in no small part to Denny’s baby bump. Generale and Denny took time off from the Cannes Film Festival this year in anticipation of their new addition to the family. Denny recently completed filming a promotional campaign for Festina watches with Gerard Butler. Oscar Generale was the force behind the deal. The couple will welcome their new little star late in the summer of 2016.

Pleasure over Business a Tropical Tip and a Cheap Dinner
Reef week in Belize has just finished it’s 11th year of recognizing and highlighting the importance of the Belize Eco-system. The 7 day event included fishing tournaments, beach clean ups, a swim to the Belize Barrier Reef and back from the shores of San Pedro, and a kayak race. The event I made it to was the kayak race and had a great time cheering the women’s division (our friends), Cindy Vigna and Lara Goldman on with my other friend Jack. After having a blast chasing the race a bit we continued to hitch our way around town and the last driver we picked up, Terry, decided to keep us for a while :) We got did a joyride to the bridge, down the beach road, made a stop at Palapa Bar then all headed back to my place to hang out.

BELIZE IS HOME TO 5 OF TRIPADVISOR’S TOP 25 LANDMARKS IN CENTRAL AMERICA FOR 2016!
Five landmarks in Belize were named in TripAdvisor’s Top 25 Landmarks in Central America for the year 2016. This should come as no surprise as the country boasts thousands of years in unearthed history owed to the Mayan Civilizations that flourished in what is now Belize. At #4 – Caracol Mayan Ruins – Located deep within the Mayan Mountains, Caracol rests on the Vaca Plateau at an elevation of about 500 meters or 1640 feet above sea-level. The actual size of Caracol is approximately 200 square kilometers (124 Sq Miles). In real time comparison – this would be an area much larger than present-day Belize City. #7 – Xunantunich – One of my personal favorites. Xunantunich was named the 7th top landmark in Central America. The word Xunantunich has several meaning in Maya including “Maiden of the Rock” or “Stone Woman” and is situated on the Western Highway across the river from the village of San Jose Succotz. The site of Xunantunich provides an impressive view of the entire river valley.

Bucket List Family portraits on a caribbean island: Caye Caulker
Peachie and her family took 1 year off from their regular routine in USA and moved on our island… to live the experience of their lives here! And.. was a year full of extraordinary things who gave them an entire different perspective of life. Each had his own Bucket List and they checked most of them… At the end of the list, the mom have her “family photos” checked… she decided to have me snap them. We went in Caye Caulker and had a blast! Life on a tropical island in caribbean.. yeah… you can write a novel! Thank you, guys, for visiting our country and make it your home for this past year! I look forward to see you again!

International Costa Maya Festival – A Week of Culture and Festivities
First conceived as a celebration of the wider Maya world with participants from Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Mexico in 1992, the festival has since blossomed to become one of the most popular events on the Belizean calendar. The festival begins with a beauty pageant featuring contestants from the “Mundo Maya” countries and then explodes in a celebration of dance, food, art, games, and music. The International Costa Maya Festival is held in the streets of San Pedro Town, the capital of Ambergris Caye. Various locations in the town feature musical entertainment, games, face-painting booths, food stalls, and local arts and crafts. The three-day festival is always held in August on a weekend but the dates vary from year to year. In 2016, the festival will be held from August 4-6. A celebration of all things Maya, the festival is a colorful mix of a beauty pageant, music including Punta, Salsa, Merengue, Soca, Reggae, and traditional Maya melodies, riotous parades, and a celebration of food, art, and merrymaking. The first night of the festival begins with a beauty pageant featuring the winners of regional contests from neighboring countries as well as representatives from Europe, North America, and Australia. Contestants demonstrate elegance, poise and beauty in evening gown, bathing suit, and talent categories, with the winner given the coveted title of Miss Costa Maya International.

International Sourcesizz

Chicxulub 'dinosaur' crater drill project declared a success
The effort to drill into the Chicxulub Crater off the coast of Mexico has been declared an outstanding success. A UK/US-led team has spent the past seven weeks coring into the deep bowl cut out of the Earth's surface 66 million years ago by the asteroid that hastened the end of the dinosaurs. Rocks nearly 1,300m below the Gulf seafloor have been pulled up. The samples are expected to reveal new insights on the scale of the impact and its environmental effects. The original target was to get down to 1,500m, cutting through a feature called the "peak ring" in the process. This ring was created at the centre of the impact hole where the Earth rebounded after being hit by the city-sized space object. In earlier geophysical surveys that were able to sense below the seabed, the feature looked like an arcing chain of mountains. Rocks from the ring have certainly been sampled. And even if the 1,500m mark was not reached, the team believes it has more than enough material now to answer its key science questions.

The most amazing museums around the world
Technology is not the only tool that museums are using to transform themselves. Institutions around the world are breaking rules that were once set in stone. Remember those hushed, dusty halls you visited as a child? They are well and truly gone. Today's museum is a place where DJs set you dancing, where visitors are encouraged to touch the exhibits, and where you can run loose through the storage areas. This new approach has been a resounding success. Attendance numbers are soaring at museums across the globe. However, according to one Australian expert, the most powerful tool any museum has remains its exhibits. "People are looking for the real and authentic," says Kim McKay, the director and chief executive of the Australian Museum, who has a reputation for encouraging innovation. "These days, we can see just about everything on a screen, but there is nothing like the real thing." They may be more entertaining than ever before, but the mission of today's museum remains the same as ever: education. Or, as McKay puts it, "Museums take you to new places."

Mexican narco arrested in Nigeria
An article forwarded to me a few days ago reminded me that we will never know the extent of narco trafficking and the involvement of particularly the Colombian/Mexican/Guatemalan cartels in Belize. One of the names and picture of one of the detainees, a Mexican, caught the eye of one of my sources who thought he looked familiar. The man was known in Belize as Christobal Castillo, a Mexican and he was held and questioned by Belize police here in connection with a shipment of pseudo-ephedrine pills and the violence, which included murders, which accompanied that discovery. Drug transshipment in Belize has gone through several distinct periods. In the 70’s it was weed and that came to the public notice in a sensational way when a ship was busted with literally tons of weed in bales as cargo. It was piled so high at the Queen Street police station it towered over the fence and reached to the top of the second floor of the CIB building.

CDB to fund US$400,000 road project in Belize
The village of Crooked Tree in Belize is home to approximately 1,000 residents, many of whom need to commute daily for employment or educational opportunities. Currently, the village can only be accessed via a 5.6km-long unpaved road, or causeway across the lagoon. During periods of high-intensity rainfall, high water levels in the lagoon regularly overtop the causeway and portions of the road, interrupting access to the community. To assist with ensuring uninterrupted access to the village, the board of directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved funding in the amount of US$400,000. The funds will be used to partially finance a feasibility study and the preparation of designs to upgrade the Crooked Tree Road and Causeway.

Green & Black's co-founder says travel industry could do more to exploit Fairtrade demand
The travel industry could do more to exploit demand for Fairtrade products, according to the founder of Green & Black’s, the organic chocolate brand. Jo Fairley told the Global Travel Group conference in Dubai said she was surprised more ethically-sourced holidays aren’t made available by agents and operators. She said in the early days of Green & Back’s the firm worked with Bristol-based travel agent Trips to offer customers the chance to visit where it sources the cocoa for its chocolate in Belize. “Today I think there are more and more people who want to do that. We live in a more caring world. People are more conscious of the impact they are having.

Shyne Has a Documentary and World Tour Coming
The headline-worthy moments from this past weekend’s Bad Boy reunion concert event are too numbered to count, but among them was the surprise return of Shyne. While he wasn’t quite live in the flesh on stage, the Bad Boy affiliated artist did perform his hit “Bad Boyz” from Belize with the performance shown on the stage’s large screen. What’s more, the Brooklyn-bred rapper is reportedly making a more official return to centerstage with an upcoming documentary and tour. Sources close to the rapper tell XXL he’s been hard at work on a documentary which will hit theaters along with an accompanying soundtrack. He is rumored to be going on tour as well, joining Puff Daddy once he hits Europe and embarking on his own world tour with Barrington Levy, who is featured on “Bad Boyz” and “Bonnie & Shyne,” another of the rapper’s early 2000s hits.

Sugar shortage cuts Coca-Cola production in Venezuela
A sugar shortage has forced Coca-Cola to stop producing soft drinks in Venezuela amid an escalating food and energy shortage. Coke said that suppliers in Venezuela will "temporarily cease operations due to a lack of raw materials". The announcement comes after the country's biggest brewer, Empresas Polar, closed plants due to a barley shortage. Venezuela's economy has contracted sharply as oil prices plunge. A Coca-Cola spokesperson said the company would continue producing sugarless drinks such as Coca-Cola Light (Diet Coke). "We are engaging with suppliers, government authorities and our associates to take the necessary actions for a prompt solution," she said.

Videos

  • Manatee encounter, 1min. Woooohaaaaa!! Ik word gek!! Vandaag enorm vette nieuwe opnames gemaakt voor Freeks Wilde Wereld 2016 (Zapp/VPRO) Wat een dag! Zo bijzonder en uniek! Kippenvel. Woooohaaaaa!! I'm going crazy!! Today huge fat new recordings made for freeks wild world 2016. What a day! So special and unique! Goose Bumps...

  • Belize 2016, 7min.

  • Snorkeling Mexico Rocks in Ambergris Caye, Belize, 4min. This is a video of me snorkeling (for the first time) at the Mexico Rocks Patch Reef in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

  • Lionfish getting speared, Belize, 1min.

  • The Great Kayak Race Reef Week Ambergris Caye Belize, 2min. My friend Jack and I went out to support our Friends Cindy Viga and Lara Goldman in the Kayak Race. We were also there to support Emil Teck and his mom Angelica Teck. Lara was helping get them a kayak that morning and how I leaned that Amil was challenging himself to do the race, he has Spina bifida. What an inspiration.

  • KELLER WILLIAMS REDDAY 2016,BELIZE, 7min. Painting of the Macal Park,San Ignacio,Cayo,Belize by Keller Williams Redday 2016

  • THINKING ABOUT MOVING IN WITH YOUR MAN??? THINK AGAIN!!, 2min. Want to get married? what not to do. Morning Matters

  • B.P.P'S PATRICK ROGERS DISCUSSES THE ICJ, COMPROMIS & GUATEMALA'S CLAIM TO BELIZE (PT. 2), 21min. The featured interview here on Belizean Legends highlights the work of the Belize Progressive Party's (BPP) political leader, Patrick Rogers, who has emerged today as a progressive voice on the Belize political scene after many years as an activist for many Belizean causes on the ground in Belize. Rogers, who is also an astute Belizean historian with credible historical facts to drive home his political views on the Belize / Guatemalan Dispute, spoke with Belizean Legends producer and host, Bilal Morris, about the insidious and treacherous Compromis signed by the Belize and Guatemalan governments in December of 2008, without the consent of the Belizean people, to take the aged old Anglo Guatemalan Dispute to the International Court of Justice (I.C.J).

  • El Pilar La Ciudad Perdida, 26min. El Pilar is highlighted in this special. Dr. Anabel Ford explains El Pilar's significance in the Maya world. The El Pilar exhibit at the SISE House of Culture is in full swing.

  • Global Service Partnerships, 2.5min. Global Service Partnerships (GSP) creates and designs service projects in partnership with schools and communities in Belize to address educational challenges. We believe international service and travel, combined with intentional learning, broadens the mind and heart, giving us global perspectives on ways we mutually impact one another's lives.

  • Belize 2016, 6min.

  • Belize, 2.5min. First in swimming with stingrays and a barracuda.

  • BELTRAIDE - BELIZE INVEST, 3.5min.

  • BELTRAIDE - EXPORT BELIZE, 4.5min.

  • Belize 2016, 4min. My trip to Belize in May of 2016.

  • Diving Belize 2016, 9min.

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