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#514083 - 05/31/16 06:43 AM Today's Belize News: May 31, 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

San Pedro’s Lobster Festival is a culinary celebration
There are three official celebrations held in honor of the crustacean delicacy known as the Caribbean Spiny Lobster. Every year on June 15th, after a 4-month honeymoon phase, lobsters can once again be harvested for consumption. Our sister island Caye Caulker originally began celebrating the lobster with a weekend-long festival that has become an annual event warranting a pilgrimage to the sleepy island. The festival boasts a pageant, all-day grilling and feasting, and of course, parties all along the beach! Placencia Peninsula joined in on the festivities as well, celebrating in its own uniquely cultural way. Then San Pedro Town joined in, adding its own unique spin to the revelry. From nightly pub crawls to restaurants’ lobster specials to specially-priced daily tour activities and more, there is something for everyone. Taking advantage of the incredible array of services, talented chefs and bartenders on our island, the organizers came up with a weeklong party that culminates in a rocking block party in Central Park. The party is the culmination of the week-long event, and sees booths serving up all manner of culinary delights specializing in the star of the evening: the lobster!

Honourable Patrick Faber is elected as UDP’s First Deputy Party Leader
Honourable Patrick Faber, Minister of Education has officially been elected as the First Deputy Leader of United Democratic Party (UDP). At a convention held on Sunday, May 29th in Belize City, Faber overcame his opponent Honourable John Saldivar, Minister of National Security receiving 57% of the votes against Saldivar who only received 42%. Faber took the victory with a lead of 88 votes. Voting began at 9AM and ran through 3PM. According to UDP Chairman Alberto August, 585 of the possible 589 delegates cast their votes, with only one being rejected. Faber had 336 ballots cast in his favour, while Saldivar only had 248 in his favour. It was previously reported that Faber had an edge over Saldivar with the delegates, even though the majority of Cabinet ministers were on Saldivar’s side. However, according to UDP senior member Michael Finnegan, Cabinet support would be of little support at the convention, since the delegates would be the ones who would elect the new party deputy leader.

SPTC attempts to take over collection of dock fees
If local authorities were to be in charge of docks, they would also enforce the rules that come with the approval of docks. According to the SPTC, upon approval, Central Government provides a set of rules on the maintenance of the structures. “We would create a post for an inspector to check each dock from time to time to ensure that all rules are followed,” said Guerrero. “All underneath these docks need to be clean; however that is not the case at the moment.” In the meantime, despite the Central Government’s stand, the SPTC hopes to soon obtain this jurisdiction. This additional revenue, according to local authorities, would allow for a more rapid development of the island’s needed infrastructure. Other plans are on the table for the future upgrade of San Pedro’s status to a city, with the ultimate goal of making Ambergris Caye the seventh district in the country. We will follow up on those developments as changes occur.

Ambergris Today

Unbelievable Freak Show at Belize Tattoo Expo
Among all the excitement and ‘literal’ buzzing of the tattoo needle guns during the first ever San Pedro Belize International Tattoo Expo, one man stood out in the crowd for obvious reasons. Victer Max is tattooed from head to toe, has a slit tongue, modified ears, sharpened teeth, pierced all over, has silicone implants on his arms and boasts a couple horns! Yup! He is a bit out of the ordinary, maybe normal in some circles, but he was the main attraction at the international tattoo expo that took place over the weekend in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Cameras flashed his direction as he made his way through the crowded venue as people were excited to meet him, see his tattoo-covered body and touch his implanted horns.

Eight Belizeans Detained in Guatemala to Return as Deportees
The Embassy of Belize in Guatemala City has reported that this morning the eight (8) Belizean nationals who were detained in Guatemala last week Friday, May 27, 2016, have been allowed to travel to the Embassy in order to facilitate their travel documents, pending deportation proceedings, for their return to Belize. All individuals are once again confirmed to be in good health and it is expected that the group will be deported back to Belize by road later this week. The eight Belizean nationals were detained by the Guatemalan Navy when they were found disembarking from their vessel at the Punta Manabique Beach, Dept. of Izabal, Guatemala.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Basic Wildland Fire and Fire Behaviour Training
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development is currently implementing a five-year Global Environmental Facility funded project entitled, “Management and Protection of Key Biodiversity Areas Project”. One of the key components of the project is to support forest protection and sustainable forest management. Earlier this year a firm from California, Fire Management Consultant International, was hired to train personnel from the relevant regulatory agencies, NGOs, and protected areas co-managers in enforcement and forest fire reduction techniques for rapid response team. Two one-week training sessions were held from the 16th to the 27th of May. The class room sessions were held at the Aguada Hotel in Santa Elena Town and the field component was held at the D’Silva Forest Station in Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. A total of 49 persons were trained.

Update on Belizeans Detained in Guatemala
As an update to Friday evening’s report on the eight (8) Belizeans detained in Guatemala, the Embassy of Belize in Guatemala City has reported that this morning the eight (8) Belizean nationals have been allowed to travel to the Embassy in order to facilitate their travel documents, pending deportation proceedings, for their return to Belize. All individuals are once again confirmed to be in good health and it is expected that the group will be deported back to Belize by road later this week.

Commonwealth Jubilee Scholarship Program in Grenada, West Indies
Full Scholarship Graduate and undergraduate degree programs. Applications Available. Take advantage of this opportunity.

CEMJC (Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College) GRADUATION
Graduation is a special time for students, and yesterday Sunday, May 29th was no exception as a special graduation ceremony was held for graduates of CEMJC at their auditorium in the village of San Roman. Here is wishing all graduates our warmest and sincere congratulations and may the best continue to guide you in your new endeavors. Stay the course and with God's guidance nothing is impossible.

Ocean Academy's Ubuntu event today
Tuesday, May 31st from 1-3 pm on the beach beside Rainbow Restaurant. Come on out and show your support to our students! See our student art exhibit and mentor appreciation display and ceremony honoring 70 of the businesses and professionals who are mentoring youth and inspiring the national Ubuntu movement! Call 226-0321 for more information. SEE YOU THERE!!!!

Letter: GOB complacency, rather complicity, amid Guatemala's unprovoked aggression
By Paco Smith, Chairman, Belize Progressive Party. With the overabundance of chicanery being promulgated by the various enemies to Belize's territorial integrity, sovereignty and overall well-being, who include: the PUDP, the OAS and the government of Guatemala, I sincerely hope that Belizeans are not only making note, but are also setting aside their inherent political biases via taking a sober look at the status of matters afoot. Make no ghost fool you, the meeting recently attended by the foreign minister and his Guatemalan counterpart in Turkey, was nothing more than an attempt to beg for funds to maintain the ever-so-ineffective OAS office at the so-called adjacency zone. That office, as well as the OAS's involvement, has clearly proven biased in favour of Guatemala and that translates into it being of no good toward engendering confidence and even worse insofar as Belize's best interest is concerned. After all, Belize is not claiming anything from, nor any part of Guatemala.

Poets Corner: UN Resolutions
By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. The ICJ has no power To litigate this matter Unless both Belize and Guatemala Give them that power No exchange notes were given to the UN by Guatemala From 1931 when we were demarcating the border Their Congress did ratify the matter Britain was snubbing Guatemala with the compensation section Then in 1946 they denounced the 1859 Treaty But claimed the 1931 notes conveniently This also fell with the 1858 treaty This UK, Britain, Ireland territorial difference of opinion Should have no territorial bearing on us as a nation Belize role was only to do consultation

Channel 7

Faber First, Saldivar Second
The campaign to decide on the new First Deputy Leader of the UDP had the intensity and duration of a general election campaign. It went from mid February until the end of May, and in-between, hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on advertising, signage, and wining and dining the UDP's pool of delegates. And it all came down to Sunday at the ITVET compound in Belize City. 7News was there from the polls opened at 9:00 am - until a winner was declared after at 3:30 pm. Jules Vasquez has the full story:... Patrick Faber strode into the convention under the propulsive percussion of a marching band. He only needed the votes of 295 delegates to win the first deputy seat, but this is no low-key event, and the prospective winner must also have the appearance of a winner - and so Faber's entrance was calculated as a kind of political carnival. Patrick Faber, Aspirant - UDP First Deputy: "While it is a race for the delegates and while yes we go house to house and my constituencies to persuade the delegates to go with us, there is the public sway. We must sway not only the massive of the UDP, but also the wider population, so that they can be convince that we are winning."

Julia Arana Passes, Will Hon. Jose Be Charged?
Two months after she was knocked down on April first in Trial Farm Village by Orange Walk South Representative Jose Mai, Julia Arana succumbed to her injuries yesterday. Reports are that Arana was rushed to the Northern Regional in an emergency and pronounced dead on arrival. Today her son, the cyclist Nissan told us that the family is devastated. He says his mother was released from the hospital by doctors on Mother's Day - but she still had pain. He says that her health took a turn for the worse and she died at his home on Sunday morning, just after 10:00. Julia Arana was 59 and the mother of four. Now that she has died Orange Walk police will have to decide whether to bring charges against Jose Mai. He knocked her down in his Toyota Hilux on the night of Friday April first as she was crossing the highway in Trial Farm. Today, we got a chance to speak with Jose Mai's attorney, Eamon Courtenay, about the drastic turn of events which could see criminal charges brought against him. Here's what he told us just before the start of news:

Belizeans Caught Fishing In Guate Will Be Deported
On Friday night we told you about the eight Belizeans who were arrested by the Guatemalan Navy when they were found on the Punta Manabique Beach in Izabal, Guatemala. Well, the news tonight is that all eight are expected to be deported to Belize by road later this week. This photo was taken this morning at the Belizean Embassy in Guatemala City when the eight were allowed to go there to straighten out their travel documents before they are deported. The Embassy sent this picture and confirmed that they are all in good health. They are accused of fishing in Guatemala, and Punta Manabique is a point diagonally across from Punta Gorda.

PUP to GOB: Recall The Ambassador
Last Tuesday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow revoked the 30-day ban on the Sarstoon a few days early. That was a decision which his Cabinet took following bilateral Talks in Istanbul, Turkey between Belize and Guatemala. That Cabinet release said that the outcome of that meeting was that, quote, "the two sides have informally accepted a situation in which there will be untrammeled traffic for Belize's military and civilians along the Sarstoon." End quote. Well, on last week Friday, Channel 5 and Krem News tested that this supposed informal agreement which would allow Belizeans to travel the river freely. And, not surprisingly, they were stopped by the Guatemalan military. So, this agreement appears to have been exposed as nothing more than just diplomatic talk. And the PUP released a statement today to note their concern. Their statement says, quote, "This latest incident is evidence of Guatemalan bad faith which erodes the very limited progress achieved at the bilateral meeting between Belize and Guatemala held in Istanbul, Turkey on 23 May 2016.

Mafia Style Hit At Mile 9
Last week Thursday we told you about the mafia style execution of suspected narco-trafficker Delmar "El Diablo" Guerra. It happened in El Paraiso village in the Corozal district - and cell phone video appearing now shows the gruesome desperation of those moments after he was shot multiple times - and his gun lay on the pavement. Just 48 hours later, another mafia style strike played out, except this one was in Belize City and it is gang related. 22 year old Michael and 29 year old Richard Wallace along with their friend were shot at 8 times as they drove along the Western Highway. Police say it was a retaliatory attack. But who were the gangs involved? And what message were they trying to send? That's what Courtney Weatherburne found out today. Saturday was family day at the Belize Central Prison. Many relatives and friends were there to spend some time with their loved ones. Among those families were the Wallace's. Both Michael and Richard Wallace went to visit their under-aged brother who was charged for murder.

ZIKA: What Health Is Doing
In just a few weeks, Belize has confirmed at least two cases of Zika, and very worryingly, the second case is a pregnant woman. Worrying because, if a pregnant woman is infected with the virus, there is a high possibility that her child will be born with microcephaly- a disease associated with incomplete brain development. Today we spoke to CEO Figueroa who gave us a status update on this particular case. Dr. Ramon Figueroa, CEO, Ministry of Health: "As far as I remember it's not 100%. There's a very high prevalence of microcephaly as a result of Zika infections. There was initially the notion that is dependent on which trimester the person got infected but more of the data is revealing that all trimesters there is some neurological effect. It could be microcephaly, it could be other developmental issues. What has been proven is that there are certain parts of the brain that the Zika virus tend to have a predilection for affection. It might be minor developmental issues, might be major, so that's what we need to monitor. I know the maternal and child health personnel are monitoring the case. We will be following the Pan American health organization guidelines in terms of doing the ultrasounds to monitor and looking forward to the delivery and following up the child when it is born. There's nothing really you can do except monitor and provide the kind of support and hopefully we don't have major complications at delivery or with the child."

ZIKA Is A Community Concern
Now while health authorities have to take a "wait and see" approach in that case, they have to be proactive when it comes to the larger public health threat. So what is the plan? And when can we expect it to start rolling out? Well according to Health CEO Figueroa that plan is already rolling, but the ZIKA fight has to be more than just a Government response. Dr. Ramon Figueroa, CEO, Ministry of Health: "The activities continue to be basically the same, heighten surveillance. We continue to do our monitoring, rash and fever illness and taking samples to send to CARPHA for testing and at the same time doing interventions to eliminate the root causes or the root determinants of the disease which is eliminating mosquito breeding sites, cleaning up yards, drains and so on. Over this past weekend on Sunday, was a major activity, the Ministry of Health personnel took together with the city council in Belmopan and the village council in Cotton Tree doing major clean up campaigns. This is the kind of partnership that we want to continue to foster and implement as we address the issue of the breeding sites for the mosquito."

The Renal Failure Fix?
Renal or kidney failure, we're seeing it more and more in Belize, as chronic conditions like hypertension and Diabetes become more prevalent. And, the Taiwanese are seeing it in Belize too! That's why the island nation signed Belize up to a $2.2 million US dollar project called the "Renal Failure Prevention Project". The three-year initiative aims at treating patients in the early stages of renal failure. Today at the Biltmore Plaza, the Taiwanese Ambassador along with members of the Far Eastern Memorial Hospital from Taiwan, presented the Ministry of Health with the first disbursement of $34,500 US dollars in addition to some 100 dialyzers. Minister of State with responsibility for NHI, Primary Health and clinics Dr. Angel Campos was on hand to receive the donations. Hon. Dr. Angel Campos, Min. State, NHI, Primary Health & Clinics: "Today we received the first disbursement of $8,500 U.S. Dollars with an additional $26,000 U.S. Dollars. Being disbursed directly for the purchase of a vehicle and a donation of a hundred dialiters to be used for patients presently undergoing dialysis in Belize especially in KHMH and Loma Luz."

Calaney's Court Case Committed
Last Wednesday, we told you how the attorney for Calaney Flowers made a submission that she has no case to answer. She's accused of intentionally knocking down and killing her ex-boyfriend, 29 year-old Lyndon Morrison, and seriously injuring his new girlfriend, Sochyl Sosa. Her attorney, Arthur Saldivar is of the opinion that none of the evidence that the prosecution has submitted against her is enough to prove the charges of murder and attempted murder. Well, today, Justice Troadio Gonzalez returned his ruling on the submission, and he said she does indeed have a case to answer to. He then outlined a short list of the prosecution's evidence put forward to prove their case against her, and then instructed her and her attorney to prepare a defence for the continuation of the trial.

POLICE FC To Play In Group E, Champion's League
The Police United football club is representing Belize in the upcoming 2016-2017 CONCACAF Champions League tournament. Today the club committee of Police United is in Miami for the drawing. It concluded just a few minutes ago, and at the end of it all, Belize's Police United is set to participate in Group E for the first leg of the tournament. In Group E they will be going up against CF Pachuca from Mexico and Club Deportivo Olimpia from Honduras. Each team will be playing four games in all, a home and away game with the other two teams in their respective groups. The winner of each group, based on points, will move on to the next round. Although clearly the underdog in its group, Belize's Police United FC is hopeful that they might make it past this first round.

Vega Walks Away For His Kids' Safety
As you saw at the top of the news, the UDP has a new first Deputy Leader - who will soon be named Deputy Prime Minister. That seems to effectively close the chapter on Gaspar Vega's political life. He rose to first Deputy in May, 2006 and exactly 10 years later, in May 2016, he has been replaced by Patrick Faber. And that's just fine by him. On Sunday Vega told us that he walked away from politics for the wellbeing of his children:... Jules Vasquez: "I know that we had spoken some months ago and you said that it had gotten so ugly between yourself and Mr. Cervantes. Your kids received threats by texts and they had to be accompanied by security to school. Does that situation still persists and how much of a factor was that in your big decision?" Hon. Gaspar Vega, Area Rep., OW North "I think that was the biggest factor. I would always hope that politics never gets to that extreme in Belize. I would never encourage it, because we want to ensure that the democracy and the freedom continues to prevail. I sincerely believe that 15 years of my life for my country - I've paid my dues."

Vega Still Splashed At Special Convention
And while Vega won't have to deal with Monchie Cervantez anymore, he's not exactly going "gentle into that good night." On Sunday, his Orange Walk North Constituency represented with the usual largesse, bringing in a massive crowd from the north. We asked him about proportionality and purpose: Jules Vasquez: "This morning just looking on and in every constituency, I saw about 5 buses come with Vega flags, but at the end of the day its only 15 people from Orange Walk North and yourself will vote." Hon. Gaspar Vega, Area Rep., OW North: "I will tell you, 16 buses came. It's not 5. They want to come, they want to be part of it. It's a family affair."

Is Elodio On Deck In North?
And now that Vega is walking away from that family, who will become the big Poppa in the north? With Patrick Faber positioned to take up the party;s leadership in a few years, his closest elected ally in the north is Elodio Aragon Jr. Aragon rode hard with Faber who is also his senior Minister in Youth, Sports and Culture. So we asked if he will get the nod to become the King of The North:... Jules Vasquez: "There will be a vacuum for new leadership in the north for the UDP. We have senior ministers in there. But do you feel that since you are the only elected representative from the north who is with Faber, that if he ascends, you will then ascend along with him?" Hon. Elodio Aragon, Area Rep., OW East: "Jules, I am here to serve the people. The people have given me an opportunity from Orange Walk East to serve and that is my first priority, is to serve our people in Orange Walk East and to serve this nation. Nobody can promise you anything."

Adios Diane?
And while he is not so sure about the north, Aragon does know about NICH. Long time President Diane Haylock is reportedly taking up the diplomatic posting we reported on months ago. On Sunday, Aragon told us that change is the only constant:... Hon. Elodio Aragon, Area Rep., OW East: "There is always change. We live in a time where there is always will be change and we are hopeful that the change will be for the better. At this point in time there is nothing that has been confirmed, that Diane will move on. It is something that we are looking at and when that time comes, you will hear from me definitely on what the position is. But at this time I know there have been an offer for her to go to Taiwan and that is yet to be seen, because we haven't gotten anything official. That is where we are at this point in time." There is no word on when Haylock will be demitting office.

Praying For Peace At Border
10 days ago, we told you how the Belize Council of Churches intended to try its hand at ecclesiastical diplomacy between the churches of Belize and Guatemala. Well on Saturday, May 28, the the National Evangelical Association of Churches, organized its own event, with the same objective. The NEAB estimates that about 60 to 70 pastors and a total of about 130 people from both Belize and Peten, Guatemala gathered at the OAS Adjacency Zone Office in Benque. The weekend gathering was a bilingual fellowship of prayer and worship for, quote, "peace, for cooperation, for partnership, and against violence and bloodshed, declaring with authority and calling forth solution to our border conflict and tensions." End Quote.

Melchorenos Protest
And while the pastors prayed on Saturday, on Sunday, the people of Melchor protested. The protest was principally against the OAS Adjacency Zone office and the armed forces of Belize for causing the death of 13 year old Carlos Alvarado Ruano. They wanted to go all the way to the adjacency zone office in Belize - which had security forces on standby, but that never happened. We are told they were met by a counter protest representing Melchor business interests who don't want to antagonize or intimidate their Belizean patrons any more. As we've reported, visits to Melchor are way down in the last two months.

Channel 5

Patrick Faber is the U.D.P.’s First Deputy Leader
The Big Deal versus the Real Deal – kind of sounds like a WWE Wrestle Mania event, but it wasn’t. The U.D.P. convention on Sunday saw John Saldivar going against [...]

Will Campaign Mudslinging Divide the Party?
With the decided underdog declared victorious, it remains to be seen if time will heal the rift between camps. Much of the campaign was heated some of it very pointed [...]

Detained Fishermen Will Be Deported to Belize
In our newscast on Friday we reported that eight fishermen had been detained and were being processed by immigration authorities in Guatemala. The group was detained on the beach of [...]

Guatemalans Deny Media’s Account of Sarstoon Incident
Guatemala has issued a formal letter of protest to Belize with reference to a trip to the Sarstoon last Friday.  Tonight, we can say that Guatemalan Ambassador to Belize Manuel [...]

P.U.P. Calls for Urgent Action by G.O.B. to Assert Sovereignty
Based on the incident in the Sarstoon last Friday, today the People’s United Party issued a very strong release demanding that the government, “Act to re-establish full sovereignty and control [...]

Is There Really An Informal Agreement Allowing Free Access to the Sarstoon?
There continues to be much reference to what was referred to in a government release last Tuesday as an informal acceptance of a situation in which, “there will be untrammeled [...]

Eamon Courtenay Says No Excuse for Lack of Communication
You’ll notice that while Guatemala did not reject the assertion by Minister Elrington, they didn’t accept it either, so therein may lie the confusion. As was stated by Prime Minister [...]

P.U.P. Calls for Competent Team to Handle Belize/Guatemala Matters
The P.U.P. release issued today also specifically issues a call for the appointment of a, “national team to competently manage Belize/Guatemala.” So is the P.U.P. saying that the current team [...]

Police Believe Wallace Murder was Retaliation for Murder of GSG Don
Police are perplexed over a weekend murder and are putting all the clues together. A white Nissan Altima traveling to Belize City was reportedly trailed by a white Infinity SUV [...]

Gizmo Escapes Death Again
There have been numerous attempts on the life of Gion “Gizmo” Bernard, a street figure from the Victoria Street area in Belize City. In the past two weeks, there were [...]

Police Department Bids Farewell to Fallen Cop
Police Constable Edwardo Gonzalez was laid to rest this afternoon in Santa Elena, after taking his own life with a firearm while on duty last Wednesday.  Gonzalez was stationed at [...]

OW Police Waiting for Results for Post Mortem Examination of Julia Arana
Fifty-nine-year-old Julia Arana succumbed over the weekend. She was knocked down by a vehicle in Trial Farm Village on April first and a postmortem exam will determine the cause of [...]

Calaney Flowers Will Stand Trial for Murder
It was big news in August, 2012 when Calaney Flowers allegedly rammed a motorcycle ridden by her ex-boyfriend Lyndon Morrison and his new girlfriend Sochyl Sosa. Morrison died from injuries [...]

Family of Lyndon Morrison Satisfied with Judge’s Decision
The case has been adjourned till Tuesday, when the defense will present its evidence. The family of Lyndon Morrison was at Court today and told News Five that while they [...]

Shane Gillett Murder Trial Nears Completion
The trial by judge without jury case in the murder of eighty-four year old Samuel Price is coming to an end in the courtroom of Justice Adolph Lucas. Price was [...]

Case of Robert’s Grove Vs. Jean Marc Tasse Concludes
The case of Robert’s Grove Limited versus Jean Marc Tasse concluded quietly on the Supreme Court of Justice Sonya Young two years after the suit was filed. Hearings and submissions [...]

Evangelists Pray for Peace Between Belize & Guatemala
At the political level, there is tension between Belize and Guatemala as relations deteriorate over Guatemala’s assertion that it owns the Sarstoon. But over the weekend, you would not have [...]

Guatemalans Protest in Melchor de Mencos
A protest of about five hundred persons was held in Melchor de Mencos which is the nearest community across the western border where Belizeans trek to shop. Initially, Sunday’s protest [...]

Police Destroy Weed and Crack in Bulk
The Police Department last Friday morning destroyed a quantity of marijuana and crack cocaine. The drugs went up in smoke at the Tower Hill factory in Orange Walk Town. Eight [...]

Thousands March Against Cancer in Belize City
The annual Cancer Walk has been growing over the years, morphing into a powerful voice in the fight against the disease. The trek from Ladyville into the City started early [...]

Sports Monday: Football and Softball Matches Over the Weekend
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   We take you out to the MCC Grounds for yesterday’s showdown between West Lake and FC Elite in the [...]

#514084 - 05/31/16 06:44 AM Re: Today's Belize News: May 31, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline


PUP Demands Action From Government Regarding The Sarstoon Issue
The People’s United Party is calling on the Government of Belize to adopt a more aggressive and urgent approach to the Sarstoon problem in order to guarantee full Belizean sovereignty and territorial integrity. The demand follows the prevention by Guatemalan naval forces of members of the Belizean media from free passage to and through the Sarstoon River on Friday May 27th 2016 despite an informal agreement reached in Istanbul, Turkey which allows Belizeans free access to Belize’s side of the Sarstoon until protocols are set in place. In the release issue today the PUP demands that the Government of Belize act to reestablish full sovereignty and control over the Belizean internal waters of the Sarstoon River and of Sarstoon Island. The PUP views the presence of Guatemalan forces in Belizean waters as quote “illegal and a blatant violation of Belizean sovereignty.” End quote.

Guatemalan National Protest Against Belize
Last week we told you about the talks of a demonstration that was to be held in Melchor De Mencos during the holiday weekend. At the time, the Belizean media was under the impression that it was being organized by the merchants who were feeling the pressure of reduced business caused by Belizeans staying away from the shopping hub. However, reports coming from the Guatemalan press today is that the protest was actually being organized by leaders of the 36 Guatemalan communities along the adjacency zone, and according to the report in ‘La Prensa Libre’ it was a peaceful march that took place yesterday through the principal streets of Melchor. It is reported that the march was attended by about 500 residents, who were also joined by merchants of Melcor, and they marched from the entrance of Melchor de Mencos along the principal streets and concluded at the bridge near the border where they held a number of activities.


PUP Wants Action from the Government Regarding Guatemala’s Consistent Disregard for Bilateral Talks and Agreements
The recent talks in Istanbul, Turkey had given hope to not only the leaders of Belize but to some pockets of society when it was announced that a formal agreement would be developed as it relates to the Sarstoon. That hope, however, was short lived and has somewhat diminished when some fellow media colleagues ventured […]

UDP Elects First Deputy Party Leader, Replacing Gaspar Vega
The United Democratic Party via a special convention yesterday has filled the seat of its First Deputy Party Leader. Renee Trujillo has the story.

Belize and Guatemala Meet in Prayer
This past Saturday, churches from Guatemala and Belize took a different approach to solve the tensions between Guatemala and Belize. In an event called “Operation United in Christ” more than sixty people came together to pray and intercede for the border conflict to be resolved. Pastor Nelson Larios representing the Association Evangelical Ministers of Peten […]

Police Wait on Statements from Witnesses in Weekend Murder
On Saturday as a group of men was heading to Belize City from a visit at the Hattieville prison, they came under gun fire around mile eight on the George Price Highway. Three vehicles ambushed their car on the highway which resulted in the death of one of the occupants, Michael Wallace. Police believe that […]

Victoria Street Shooting Leaves Two Nursing Gunshot Wounds
A shooting on Saturday night in the old capital has left two persons injured. Just before ten o’clock on Saturday night, Natalie Clare and Gion Bernard were both standing on Victoria Street when they were shot. According an eyewitness, just before Bernard began to walk off, a white car came up the street, stopped in […]

No-Case Submission Rejected for Calaney Flowers
Judge Troadio John Gonzalez has rejected the no case submission by attorney Arthur Saldivar who represents Calaney Flowers. Flowers, a former Bank employee is accused of the August 28, 2012 murder of her ex-boyfriend, Lyndon Morrison, and his girlfriend, Sochil Sosa. The two were allegedly run over with a red car driven at the time […]

Cancer Walk 2016 – Another Success Story
The Cancer Society of Belize held its annual walk this past weekend. As has been the case over the past few years, the number of participants continue to increase. We have more on the event in this report. AVA DIAZ SOSA “On Saturday morning hundreds of individuals made their way in front of Celina’s on […]

The Future of the UDP
With Faber now holding the seat of the right hand man of the UDP’s Party Leader, Dean Barrow, it is left to be seen if he will also be given the posting of Deputy Prime Minister. According to Godwin Hulse, it is not an automatic ascension. GODWIN HULSE “The person becomes the first deputy leader […]

Excessive Monies Spent on UDP Convention …. Acceptable or Not?
The last two and a half months came with nothing short of signage, television advertisements and public meetings. The financial resources would have had to be abundant as both candidates seemingly spared no expense in marketing themselves for the seat of their party’s First Deputy Party Leader. The evident spending concerned many and it was […]

Cyclist’s Mother Dies following Accident; Area Representative to Be Charged
It made the news back in early April when the mother of cyclist, Nissan Arana was knocked down on the Philip Goldson Highway, in Trial Farm Village, Orange Walk. The man who was behind the wheel of the vehicle that hit Julia Arana was Orange Walk south area representative, Jose Mai. The news is that […]


Corozal Man murdered in Paraiso village
Delmar Guerra aka “El Diablo” a resident of San Joaquin Village, Corozal was shot and killed on Thursday evening in the Village of Paraiso Corozal. Police say that Guerra was shot multiple times by two men travelling on a white and blue motorcycle. Guerra he had just parked his white van...

One dead, one survives in separate traffic mishaps
Police in Eastern Division Rural say alcohol may have been a factor in the untimely death of a 31 year old man. The traffic accident occurred between miles 13 and 14 on the Phillip Goldson Highway and the deceased has been identified as Ernest Garcia, a coconut harvester. ACP Edward Broaster infor...

Belizean media told to “get out of Guatemalan waters” on the Sarstoon
Today reporters from Channel 5 Television, Amandala and Krem Radio and TV took a trip to the Sarstoon to get an “on the ground” firsthand view of what was happening on the river. The Government of Belize, after the return of diplomats from Negotiations in Istanbul, Turkey, issued two pre...

Zachary Knox finally arraigned; Family plans to speak out about alleged police abuse
19 year old Zachary Knox, a resident of Rio Grande Crescent who allegedly fired shots at Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, was charged with aggravated assault and use of deadly means of harm when he appeared today before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. The charge of aggravated assault wa...

What’s with stevedores’ CBA?
Yesterday as we reported, the Christian Workers’ Union (CWU) signed collective bargaining agreements with the Central Bank of Belize and Port Authority. A witness to the signing and the man whose department must ensure that the agreements conform to standards and are properly followed and enforced i...

Huge quantities of drugs destroyed by police
It is normally a quiet operation because it involves the movement of a huge quantity of drugs. Today was one of those operations where the Prosecution Branch of the Police Force spent the morning destroying drugs confiscated over a period of time. That drug destruction exercise took place between th...

SUV catches fire in San Ignacio Town
A vehicle caught fire right in front of the San Ignacio Police station earlier today . Fire fighters were immediately called to the scene to extinguish the fire that quickly engulfed the SUV. By the time the blaze was extinguished, the vehicle was completely destroyed. Thankfully, no one was injure...

Church Senator reveals thoughts on Belize-Guatemala, police stress
On Thursday we spoke with Reverend Senator Ashley Rocke, who represents the churches in the Senate, during the Lunch with a Cop initiative launch at the Ramada Princess Hotel. In addition to getting lunch with a senior police officer, Rocke shared his personal experience meeting with cops at Queen S...

Guatemalans plan protest in adjacency zone for Saturday?
There is a circular apparently making its rounds in Melchor and surrounding communities in Guatemala . The notice is a call to protest at the adjacency zone nd says in part, “On behalf of all farmers in 36 communities in the adjacency area of the four municipalities: Melchor de Mencos, Dolores, and ...

Queen Conch Problems
In February 2016, an American NGO called “WildEarth Guardians and Friends of Animals” notified US officials of their intention to sue several US Government Departments over their 2014 decision to NOT list the queen conch as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)....

Caribbean Motors introduces new line of vehicle
There is a new line of vehicles being introduced officially today into the Country of Belize by Caribbean Motors. The company that brought the Great Wall vehicles to Belize is now introducing their First World vehicles under the brand called HAVAL. Haval produces a full line of first world luxury ve...

Public Service Information Day observed in Belmopan
The Ministry of the Public Service and elections and boundaries today celebrated Public Service Information Day with over 20 different public service departments. Information and display booths were set up on the George Brown Field and a portion of the Ring Road. One of the booths on display belonge...

The Reporter

The International Court of Justice
The recent escalation of tensions between Belize and Guatemala, especially following the latter’s apparent sidestepping of the confidence building measures, is something for the international economic relations’ textbooks and scholarly journals. Particularly, if the recent reports by the Belizean media of declining bilateral trade in Melchor de Mencos are accurate, then the Guatemalan government has just become a real-time confirmation of what recent international relations research have predicted. For instance, in a 2015 study by Ryan Brutger and Austin L. Wright, entitled “The Costs of Conflict: Border Disputes and Trade Diversion”, it was found that two things are likely to happen “when a dispute between two states becomes particularly intense”: bilateral trade declines by “an average of 82%”, and it is likely that trade with third party, non-disputing trading partners increases by 2.5%. Now, let’s be clear here. Brutger and Wright’s 82 percent figure was in respect to monetary losses between the disputing countries. However, it is just noteworthy that last week’s local report suggested that immigration officials have reported “a decrease of 80% in Belizean visitors” to Melchor.

Yes to the ICJ
By:Adrian Torres. Dear Editor, The Belize Progressive Party’s (BPP) fiery rhetoric provides a necessary spark to the otherwise humdrum political discourse between the two major parties. In fact, it was the specter of the party’s activism that spooked the Barrow administration into enacting the wildly unpopular (and now rescinded) statutory instrument, prohibiting peaceful Belizeans from entering the Sarstoon River. Yet, while the BPP’s unapologetic patriotism has ensured that the Belize-Guatemala territorial dispute remain at the forefront of our national conversation, the party’s blueprint for a solution is stenciled around a fundamental misunderstanding of international law and its institutions. As such, the BPP’s proposals are not only unworkable in practice, but also dangerous and reckless. Belizeans should not be convinced of its approach.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Police draw Olimpia, Pachuca in Champions League
CONCACAF Champions League debutants Police United F.C. have a tough row to hoe following this evening’s draw in Miami, Florida. Group stage opponents Pachuca of Mexico and Olimpia of Honduras won their league’s respective closing seasons and between them have 12 appearances in the […]

Shane Gillett murder trial reaches climax
In other news from the courts, 30 year old Shane Gillett is to begin giving his defense to Supreme Court Justice Adolph Lucas, who is trying him alone for the murder of 84 year old Samuel Price in April, 2011. The brother of the […]

Ladyville man charged with land pollution
54 year old Pablo Pedro Bernard, an unemployed of corner Marage Road and Compassion Lane, Ladyville, must pay over a thousand dollars in fines for dumping his no longer wanted electronics on private property where garbage should not be collected, despite allegedly having permission. An […]

Cayo police charge two involved in Burns Avenue “video incident”
San Ignacio police are investigating a reported case of police brutality said to involve no less than a relative of the commanding officer for the town, Superintendent Richard Rosado. However, the alleged victim has refused to make an official report, and is now charged along […]

Judge rules Calaney Flowers murder case must continue
This morning at 9 sharp, Judge Troadio “John” Gonzalez made his ruling in a no case submission put forwarded by the attorney of Calaney Flowers, the former Atlantic Bank employee accused of the August 28, 2012 murder of her ex-boyfriend, Lyndon Morrison, and his […]

Belizeans detained by Guatemala to be deported
Eight Belizeans who were detained by Guatemalan authorities for alleged illegal fishing will be deported home later this week. According to a government release, the Belizean nationals were allowed to travel to the Belizean Embassy in Guatemala to facilitate their travel documents, pending deportation […]

Julia Arana dies, Jose Mai may face charges
Fifty-nine-year-old Julia Arana, who was knocked down on April 1 by Jose Abelardo Mai, has died. BBN has been reliably informed that Mai, PUP Orange Walk South Area Representative, may face charges including manslaughter by negligence. It is still unclear, however, whether Arana died of […]

PC Gonzalez laid to rest
Police Constable Eduardo Gonzalez was laid to rest today in his home town, Santa Elena in the Cayo District. PC Gonzalez is survived Errol Gonzalez JR, Orlando Gonzalez, and Neville Gonzalez; Sisters: Nechisha Ginzalez-Crawford, Gia Gonzalez, Raynell Gonzalez, Elisha Gonzales and Edilene Gonzalez. […]

Guatemalans protest “abuse” by Belizean soldiers
Some 500 residents from Melchor de Mencos, Peten, Guatemala staged a protest on Sunday in that community against what they call abuse of Guatemalans by Belizean soldiers along the adjacency zone. They have demanded justice. The residents marched from the entrance of Melchor de Mencos along the […]

Boca’s Restaurant set on fire
It is still unclear to what extent Boca’s Restaurant in San Ignacio, Cayo District, was damaged this morning but it has been confirmed that a fire was intentionally set at its 11th Street location. The restaurant, popularly known for its ceviche, reportedly received some […]

Fair and warm weather to continue
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting sunny skies with a few cloudy spells today and partly cloudy skies tonight with isolated showers. Winds will be blowing from the East to Northeast at 5-15 knots and the sea state will be light chop […]

Still no suspects in execution murder of Delmar Guerra
Delmar Guerra, 37, also known as “El Diablo”, was shot and killed late Thursday afternoon in Paraiso Village, Corozal while he was still in his vehicle. Police report that Guerra was in his parked white van when two persons, clad in black, on a grey dirt bike rode […]

Belize: Xunantunich, NICH and San Jose Succotz
The village of San Jose Succotz is one of the biggest villages in Belize, with a population of around 2,000. This beautiful village is blessed with the clear waters of the Mopan River and the majestic Xunantunich Mayan temples. The National Institute of Culture and […]


Belize Food Tours – Best idea EVER!
Have you heard about Belize Food Tours? If you know me, you know my absolute favorite thing is food! So, I was totally jealous of my parents when they told me they were going on a tour of San Pedro all about food! I can’t even tell you how excited I was when Ms. Dora and Mr. Felipe invited me to go too! Mom said I can’t tell you guys too many details about the tour, cause you all have to go check it out for yourselves. Seriously, you can go to these places all you want, and believe me I’ve been to most of them lots, but you wanna go with Mr. Fel and Ms. Dora cause they have lots of cool info about the food and places. Like I had no idea that the big tree in my grandma’s restaurant was planted on my uncles first birthday! Hello… I practically live there… why didn’t anyone tell me this? I’m so excited to share my snapchat story about the tour with you cause it’s a little peek at what you can expect on the tour. Don’t tell mom I’m sharing secrets!

Clear signs you have a case of Belize Withdrawal
If you’ve been to Belize, chances are, you loved it and miss it from time to time, but sometimes it gets more intense, more than just miss. Some people just do the smart thing and come back and others let the Belize withdrawal set in, for those wondering if we’re talking about you, Here are a few things to look out for! You know the feeling, you just got back from your trip yesterday, it’s Friday and you haven’t seen your friends for a week. They all ask you what it’s like down here and you answer with just that “It’s great here“. Thay all look on at you bewildered, then you realize “oh wait…I’m back”. but you really didn’t want to be back. Ha!

Central America, Still Caught Up in the Arms Race
In this column, Lina Barrantes Castegnaro, executive director of the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress, denounces the arms race in Central America and calls for the implementation of the Costa Rica Consensus, which urges rich countries to increase development aid to countries that cut military spending. SAN JOSE, May 25 2016 (IPS) – The recent announcement of the Nicaraguan government’s 80-million-dollar purchase of 50 Russian tanks caught the attention of the press in Latin America and caused alarm in the international community. The purchase, not an isolated acquisition, is part of an arms race seen in Latin America in recent years. The rise in military spending stands in contrast to the realities in a poor region like Central America, where the levels of defence spending are as shocking as the poverty rates. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reported that in 2015, in Belize 1.1 percent of the annual budget (19.6 million dollars) went toward military expenditure, in El Salvador 0.9 percent (223 million), in Guatemala 0.4 percent (274 million), in Honduras 1.6 percent (324 million) and in Nicaragua 0.6 percent (71.6 million).


International Sourcesizz

Rich And Adventurous Living In Corozal, Belize
It’s a bright Saturday morning a few days before I leave for the States. I always enjoy this time of day before a trip to visit family… it’s the perfect opportunity to sit in a favorite diner, June’s Kitchen, for breakfast and reflect on experiences and adventures I’ve had in Belize. I take these memories back to my family to share some tidbits of my new, exciting life with them. This breakfast spot, June’s, is a popular one, located just a few blocks off the main street of Corozal. Most mornings, expats and locals alike stop in here to greet, dine, and meet new people. The ambiance is serene… outside is a garden full of various tropical plants—it’s pleasing knowing that the fruits on your plate are fresh, growing right outside. Not once have I been disappointed by a meal served to me here. This day, in particular, I ordered pancakes and sausage—the breakfast was huge, accompanied by a whole banana and slices of papaya, cantaloupe, and watermelon. It may have been quite the plate, but I let none of it go to waste.

Caribbean urged to brace for more hurricane activity this year
A two-day Caribbean Regional Climate Outlook Forum (CariCOF) began here yesterday with the region being told to brace itself for a wetter than usual season and chances of more hurricane activity this year than in the past five years. Climatologist with the Dominica Meteorologist Service (DMS) Annie Carrette-Jospeh, who presented the Wet/Hurricane Season Outlook for 2016, said that between the period June and August, there would also be a gradual drought alleviation across the region and that “surface water reservoirs will recharge, there will be soil moisture replenishment and an increase in river flow”. She predicted that water shortage-related problems in agriculture will disappear in many places and that “where it has not already started, the wet season may start abruptly in June”. The outlook noted that the second half of the wet season will be wetter or unusual in countries like Belize and the Leeward Islands with Carrette-Joseph warning that “moist conditions may favour mosquito breeding”.

Caribbean countries expanding share in US$130 billion global seafood market
Caribbean economies are poised to benefit from a region-wide initiative to expand seafood market share, through the implementation of food safety measures to enable countries to get a bigger piece of the global pie, worth an estimated US$130 billion annually. Caribbean countries, including the Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago, are now capitalizing on a coordinated approach to broaden the gateway to the growing market. CARIFORUM (CARICOM and the Dominican Republic) now exports about US$400 million worth of fish and seafood annually. Belize and Jamaica are two Caribbean seafood exporters already tapping into markets controlled by the European Union (EU)—a tough market to access because of stringent standards which require that countries have systems in place to ensure that their exports are not only safe for consumption but also free from harmful pests and pathogens. In the case of Belize, which has traditionally exported shrimp to the EU, it is moving to export conch to that market for the first time, according to Endhir Sosa, Senior Food Safety Inspector, Belize.


  • Howler monkeys love flowers!, 1min. Yucatan black howler monkeys are herbivorous, with a highly specialized gut that is able to make the maximum use of the leaves they eat. In rehab here at Wildtracks, we help them build their foraging skills through enrichment, encouraging them to hunt to find their favourite leaves and flowers from the bamboo holders provided.

  • Belize 2016, 4.5min.

  • Belize 2016, 5min. Our week long trip to Caye Caulker, Belize

  • Belize 2016, 3min. Nice video!

  • Belize May Program 2016, 5min. Oldfield School May Program, Belize.

  • Kaitlin Michaels- Belize, 5min.

  • Belize, 9min.

  • Diving in Belize, 15min. Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort. 40th Birthday gift from my wife. Thanks Mahal!

  • Belize - MSSU 2016, 4min. Missouri Southern State University Biology Department Study Abroad with Dr. Wells and Dr. Schlink May 2016

  • Belize Adventure Honeymoon - December 2015, 3.5min.

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