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#515490 - 06/25/16 05:52 AM Today's Belize News: June 25, 2016
Marty Offline

I will be unable to do the daily news tomorrow, Sunday morning June 26. I will return on Monday morning.


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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 Food Bank thanks Crazy Canuck’s for substantial donation
The San Pedro Food Bank (SPFB) extends their gratitude to Crazy Canuck’s Beach Bar for donating over $10,000 that directly benefited dozens of local families in need here on the island. Every Tuesday, Crazy Canucks hosts hermit crab races, and 25% of the raised funds are donated to the San Pedro Food Bank and Daryl’s Kids of Belize. According to Brittney O’Daniel of the SPFB, the food bank costs about $1,000 a week to run, and the donations assist with the costs of perishable items. “Every week for the past year, the food bank gets anywhere from $150-300 a week. It’s the only consistent weekly money we get so it’s really helpful. Last week, they hit the 10k mark over the last year, and we would like to express our sincere thanks to Crazy Canucks,” said O’Daniel. Rob Burrows, owner of Crazy Canucks, explained how he carefully selects which charities he donates to. “I was encouraged by Brittney and how she runs the food bank. It’s families in need, and she helps to maintain them. We will always support her and this good cause,” said Burrows.

Inclement weather delays completion of police barracks
There is yet another delay in the completion of the second phase of a police barracks for the San Pedro Police Formation. The failure to complete the works in the building has been attributed to the recent rains, which impede the progress of labour, particularly outside of the structure. Town Councillor and contractor Gabriel ‘Gaby’ Nuñez had previously expected to complete the building by Monday, June 6th, but according to him, due to lack of man power, it did not happen. However, he stated that very minimal work is left to do. “The two main touches left to do in order to finish the building is painting the outside walls and covering the floor with marley. We have not been able to do any painting due to the recent bad weather,” said Nuñez. He also commented that even though all plumbing and wiring works have been completed in the building, they are still asking for assistance to get a meter socket to install outside of the building in order to supply the structure with electricity.

Our National Flower – The Black Orchid
Belize is full of fascinating cultures, flora, fauna and a history that is varied and colorful. Of course we have equally cool National Symbols to go along with it! They include a flower, a tree, a bird, a large mammal, and of course, our flag and its coat of arms. The Encyclia Cochleatum – or Black Orchid, is our national flower. It is a tiny cluster of bulb-like stems that grow up to half a foot long, with few leaves. The flowers bloom nearly all year round, and the petals and sepals are a mixture of green and yellow, with a purple base. The shape of the flower is similar to a clam shell valve, and is deep purple – almost black – with showy purple veins.

Fruta Bomba completely closes in Belize
Fruta Bomba, a foreign owned papaya company that was once one of the biggest employer in Belize, has officially closed its operations in Belize. Since February 19, 2016, Brook’s Tropicals, which is the founder for Fruta Bomba and Belize Food Packers Limited, informed the Ministry of Labor about its intention to close its growing and packing operations in Belize within the next six months after 20 years in business. The closing of the company, however, came sooner than expected, as Fruta Bomba closed its doors on Thursday, June 16th.

Holy Cross Anglican Primary School celebrates 10th Anniversary
On June 14, 2006, thanks to the dedication of Francis and Vernon Wilson, ground was broken for San Mateo’s Holy Cross Anglican School. Ten years later, on Saturday, June 18th, the school celebrated its 10th anniversary alongside past alumni as well as new recruits. The administrators had the opportunity to inform those in attendance what the future of the school looks like. Attendees were then shown the master plan for the school’s expansion, which will entail the relocation of classrooms in line with the school property. This move will facilitate the refurbishment of existing buildings to make way for the pre-school. The expansion project also foresees the building of a high school, which will maximize the secondary level education on the island, especially as the demand for classroom space continues to grow on Ambergris Caye. According to school administrators, as soon as the area where they plan to build is filled in, the construction of the new buildings will start. At the moment, filling the land is the main delay, but they are very optimistic that the government, through Area Representative Manuel Heredia Jr., will help. The time frame for the materialization of this master plan is five years.

GOB admits Guatemalan Armed hostility within Belizean waters
On Thursday, June 18th, nine armed soldiers from the Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF) vessel attempted to stop a Belizean vessel with two media personnel from traversing the north side of the Sarstoon Area. The incident occurred after 6AM, and the Belizean vessel was able to speed away back to Punta Gorda. The Government of Belize (GOB) is investigating the incident in an effort to verify all the particulars, including that the media vessel was in Belizean waters. Guatemalan authorities have communicated that they attempted to stop the vessel to inquire the reason the media was taking photos of their naval base. However, video footage has shown that the GAF claimed that the vessel was on Guatemalan waters. Mike Rudon, news reporter at Channel 5, recounted to officials that as they traveled, the GAF followed them. As the Belizean vessel entered Sarstoon, and turned back, the GAF ordered them to stop, but the Belizean vessel refused. The GAF continually argued with the Belizeans that they were in Guatemalan waters, and immediately ran their boat close to theirs.

Ambergris Today

EUR $8MIL Loan for DFC to Support Private Sector Development in Belize
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a EUR 8 million loan with the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) in Belize, which will help to enhance access to finance by projects implemented by small and medium sized companies and micro entrepreneurs in the country. The long term finance from the EIB provided at attractive rates will boost DFC’s ability to support private sector development in Belize. In addition to the loan, which will be supported by a guarantee from the Government of Belize (GoB), the operation will benefit from technical assistance, which will help to strengthen DFC’s credit risk management and assets and liabilities management. DFC plays an important role in providing long term finance to the productive sectors, including agro-industry, manufacturing and tourism. It is currently undergoing a restructuring process aimed at bolstering DFC’s credit delivery and administration. The EIB will support the restructuring process primarily through its technical assistance program.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Star's Island Fantasy in San Pedro
There's a new business in town! Be sure to drop by Star's Island Fantasy and in case you're shy they also post their collections on Facebook.

Government of Belize's position with regards to the Sarstoon River and Sarstoon Island
In response to this week's Editorial in The Reporter newspaper, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Lawrence Sylvester, has written a letter making clear the Government of Belize's position with regards to the Sarstoon River and Sarstoon Island

Sea cucumber season ends June 30th, 2016
In accordance with Statutory Instrument No. 67 of 2009, under the Fisheries Act Chapter 210 of the laws of Belize Revised edition 2000-2003, the Belize Fisheries Department hereby reminds all fishers and the general public that: No person shall fish for, or harvest, at any time in the waters of Belize, or buy, sell, have in possession, export or attempt to export any sea cucumber after June 30th, 2016. The season will remain closed from July 1st to December 31st 2016. Any person found in possession of sea cucumber after this date will be charged and prosecuted in a Court of Law in accordance to the Fisheries Regulations. The assistance of the fishing community and the general public is greatly appreciated in the sustainable use and conservation of this important fishery resource. For additional information or to report any illegal activity please contact the Fisheries Department at telephone number: 224-4552/203-2623 or by email: fisheries_department@fisheries.gov.bz

Vocal Workshop 2016
Jun 27 at 5 PM to Jul 7 at 7 PM. Pallotti School of Music, Belize City. Giselle E. O'Brien is a singer, composer and music teacher currently residing in Belize.

BEL to Hold Annual General Meeting
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) will hold its Annual General Meeting of Shareholders later today, to announce the results of the Company’s 2015 performance. Central to the report to shareholders, are accomplishments gained from the commitment to BEL’s Mission “To provide reliable electricity at the lowest sustainable cost, stimulate national development and improve the quality of life in Belize.” In 2015, BEL achieved net earnings of $24.9 million, resulting in dividend payments, similar to the previous year, of $0.15 per share. Following three consecutive years of proven financial viability, the Company also repaid the $10 million loan it obtained from the Social Security Board in 2012. The Company was able to achieve this robust financial performance whilst reducing electricity rates to an all-time low.

Muscle Hut Fitness Club Grand Opening
Muscle Hut Fitness Club had their grand opening here in San Ignacio. They are still running specials for signing up. Welcome to San Ignacio!

San Pedro: The History of its Lobster Industry
Come visit us at the Welcoming Booth at the San Pedro Lobster Festival. On Exhibition will be "the History of San Pedro's Lobster Industry." Lobster a Trash Fish: The first few decades of the twentieth century had brought the beginning of Belize’s spiny lobster industry. Belizeans had traditionally rejected lobsters as “trash fish” and made no effort to exploit them.

STREET CLOSURE June 24th in San Pedro
Please be advised that Barrier Reef Drive from the intersection of Buccaneer Street (Alijua Building) to the intersection of Pelican Street (Fido’s Restaurant & Bar) will be closed to all vehicular traffic from Friday, June 24th at 6:00 p.m. and will reopen on Sunday, June 26th at 8:00 a.m..

Scott's 'Flipper's Upper Deck' at Palapa Bar and Grill.
It's been a great day at Palapa Bar and Grill. Scott's 'Flipper's Upper Deck' opened and it's been booming all day with their Lobster Crawl specials.

Letter: The case for the production of industrial hemp
Last Wednesday, the Marijuana Commission of CARICOM began consultations in Kingstown, St Vincent, as mandated by the 2014 CARICOM conference of heads of governments’ decision to “examine the social, economic. health and legal issues surrounding the various aspects of marijuana use in the Caribbean and its implications and make recommendations back to the conference.” The Belize Hemp Initiative, a group of farmers, alternative medicine advocates and average citizens from Northern Belize, would like to be a part of these regional consultations as it has been on a four-year long mission to get the government to lift the ban on growing industrial hemp with all its myriad economic, agro-industrial diversity advantages for Belize. Industrial hemp is currently categorized as an illegal drug and its production is dubiously deemed a criminal offence under the laws governing the cultivation and possession of ‘cannabis’ or marijuana. Much ground has been covered and legal opinions gathered over the years:

US Embassy Flag Ceremony & Backlash to National Youth Council
The National Evangelical Association of Belize and the almost 300 Churches & Ministries it represents nationwide is appalled at the US Embassy raising of the LGBT flag over Belize yesterday. The NEAB finds it terribly disrespectful of our nation and laws, as well as provocative in the pushing and promoting of homosexuality globally. US Ambassador Moreno stated on June 24th, 2014 “I can affirmatively state that from the perspective of the United States there is no LGBT agenda. I think what the mission of the United States is to promote human rights with respect to all groups…” The truth is obvious. We repudiate efforts to redefine human rights in ways that are contradictory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is crystal clear in protecting religious freedoms and the natural family.

The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George symbolized in the Star of a Knight/Dame Grand Cross
The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is a British order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince Regent, later King George IV, while he was acting as Prince Regent for his father, King George III. (Our downtown history tells us that the street formerly known as “Front Street” in downtown was changed to “Regents Street” in 1818 so this may have had some connection to this event). It is named in honour of two military saints, St Michael and St George. The Order of St Michael and St George was originally awarded to those holding commands or high position in the Mediterranean territories acquired in the Napoleonic Wars, and was subsequently extended to holders of similar office or position in other territories of the British Empire. It is at present awarded to men and women who hold high office or who render extraordinary or important non-military service in a foreign country, and can also be conferred for important or loyal service in relation to foreign and Commonwealth affairs.

Channel 7

7News To The Sarstoon, No Guatemalan Harassment
On Tuesday, at the OAS Building in Washington DC, delegations from Belize and Guatemala spoke for 5 hours, and when it was all done, Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington and Ambassador Alexis Rosado were unable able to tell us anything more than that the negotiations over the Sarstoon River Mechanism had started. The Statement from OAS would only say that quote, "good progress was made during the meeting", and that, quote, "best practices for the de-escalation of tensions in the Sarstoon River" would be used. But, it was unclear what "best practices" truly refer to, so, today, we decided to visit the Sarstoon for ourselves to see if the Guatemalan military had truly stopped harassing Belizeans in the river. Daniel Ortiz left the Toledo Coast a little after 7:00 this morning and he has the story: When our news team entered the mouth of the Sarstoon River, the first thing we noticed was that there were no Guatemalan military vessels present and ready to intercept at a moment's notice. In fact, apart from a few other Guatemalan civilian boats, there was almost no traffic.

Eminent Panelists Debating The ICJ
Last night at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts, the SSB Debate on Belize Guatemala relations was extensive and fiery. The debate went on for 1 hour and 49 minutes as the six panelists for and against the ICJ tried to bring the audience around to their point of view. The affirmative slate, represented by of Ambassadors Lisa Shoman and James Murphy, and Gian Vasquez tackled the issue from the historical perspective. They gave the audience a history lesson outlining the more than 100 years that all persons involved tried and failed to resolve the dispute. Their main pitch for a yes vote is that Belize has tried everything and everything failed, all except litigation at the International Court of Justice. Here's the affirmative slate making the case for the ICJ, along with the rebuttal from the negative slate:

Mass Chopping In Yo Creek, Maims One, Seriously Injures Minors
Six people - three adults and three minors were very seriously injured in a chopping in Yo Creek Village in the Orange Walk District this afternoon. It happened at around 2:00 when Larry Banner - who has a history of mental illness - arrived at his family home, erupted into a rage and started flailing his machete wildly. He chopped his sister in law Adela Chuc and three minors, including her son. He then went across the street to his neighbor Moises and 54 year old Juanita Pech's home. She was celebrating her birthday - and he told them he just came to visit. But that is when he lifted his bloodied machete. Moises Pech was the most seriously injured; he raised his arm to defend himself and his hand was severed. His wife was also chopped to her head. Her daughter in law and her two year old son narrowly escaped. Neighbors tell us Banner has a history of mental illness and had been in jail for a similar crime before. We'll have more on this story on Monday's news.

Police Take Guns Off The Street
5 more guns are off city streets. For this entire week the police have been patrolling and searching hot spots on the Southside, and today Commander Chester Williams held sort of a showcase of these seizures at his Raccoon Street office. Williams told us more about the weeklong operation and its impact on crime control. ACP Chester Williams- O. C., Eastern South Division: "We have 5 firearms; 3 - 9mm pistols, 1 - 380 and 1- .38 special revolver and these firearms are the product of the hard work of the police officers on the Southside Belize City between precinct 1, 2, the Strike Team and Special Branch working in collaboration to be able to remove as much firearms as we can from off the streets of Belize city. All of them are found properties and they are a result of the police searches in different areas, known hotspots in Belize City. We have two that was found in the St. Martin's area near Flamboyant Street; we have one that was found on Euphrates Avenue, which is the .380 revolver; we have these two that were found on Mahogany Street in the Precinct 1 area. So it's a good catch for the police and these were all retrieve this week. So for this week between Monday and today, we have retrieve a total of 5 firearms off the streets."

Alleged Burglars Bangled In Court
Earlier this week we told you about the three young men who were caught inside a house on Franklin Street. The three were allegedly caught red handed burglarizing the place when police intercepted them. Today they were taken before the court where they were read charges of burglary with intent to steal. They are 18 year old James Williams, 25 year old Eric McCoy and 18 year old Elden Flowers. Now although police say they caught them red handed, all three pleaded not guilty. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that they might interfere with witnesses. Senior Magistrate upheld that objection and remanded them into custody until their next court date set for August 10th. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser told the three accused that she was remanding them to prison for their own safety. The incident occurred on Wednesday June 22nd. Police got wind of a burglary in progress on Franklin Street and found the suspects hiding inside the house.

Urbie Out Of Jail
After three days in jail, Detective Constable Urbie Alamilla is out on $8,000 bail tonight. The bail was offered on the condition that Alamilla appears in court on each and every adjourned date, that he does not commit any other offence while on bail, that he does not interfere with any of the witnesses and that he reports to the police station until the conclusion of the case. As we told you, Alamilla was charged for discharging a firearm in public. The incident happened on Saturday June 18th at the Green Jade Restaurant in Ladyville. The report is that Alamilla was trying to defuse some disagreement between 2 other persons and that is when he shot at the floor inside the restaurant. This is not the first time he has fired his gun in public. About 8 days before this restaurant incident, he fired 3 shots in the air on Perez Road in Ladyville. In both cases, Alamilla was reported to be intoxicated.

Rat Bite At Regional Hospital
Another person has been bitten at a hospital, and this time it's the southern regional. Today's Reporter newspaper reports that a male nurse was bitten by a rat while he was on duty. The paper states that he was working the night shift in the emergency room at the southern regional, when the rat but him near the right ankle while he was sitting at his desk taking a break. The good news is that he didn't get rabies or any other disease. He is on sick leave and has no illness. The bad news is that it's another case of rats on the loose at a regional hospital. If you follow the news, you'll surely remember in August of 2015 when a rat bit a newborn at the Western Regional Hospital. Today the CEO in the Ministry of Health told us that the incident was not reported to the regional health manager, or to the ministry, so they learned of it through the Reporter Newspaper. He confirms that it happened on the 7th of June and since then the public health department has set traps all around the hospital to curb the increased rodent activity.

Mek Mi Rich Legal Battle Continues
In February of this year Curtis Swasey's claim was vindicated after Justice Courtney Abel ruled that Mek Mi Rich and BTL indeed profited from his original idea. As a result the court ordered that the claimant be paid $25 thousand dollars in damages in addition to an award of costs. Today all relevant parties met inside the chambers of Justice Courtney Abel to decide on what those additional award costs would look like. But the matter got snagged on a technicality. Eventually the case had to be adjourned for next month. Outside of the courtroom we spoke to Swasey's attorney Kareem Musa, who expressed his client's frustration at having to see this matter continuously dragged on. Hon. Kareem Musa, Attorney for Curtis Swasey: "The court made an order in February of this year that the costs were to be assessed. This morning we had to rehash the same old arguments that we had in February of this year because the defendants want a different method applied to award cost, but the judge had already made an order that it be assessed. That is the difficulty that we had today, basically going through this again and now we have to come back in July for the same thing again."

Analysing Accounting Norms In Belize
Today the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean held its 34th annual conference. The main vision for this conference is to discuss ways to improve the Caribbean economy through effective accounting. Now the conference comes at a fitting time given the current state of Government's cash strapped finances, reflected in the impending sale of BEL and BTL shares to the Social Security Board. While Belize's President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Reynaldo Magana could not speak on that specific topic, he admitted that Government's accounting practices need to be improved and upgraded. Magana told us how this conference can assist. Also, one of the presenters Dr. Leroy Almendarez told us about the other major topics that have to address in Belize's outlook. Reynaldo Magana, President, ICAB: "This is not just about the figures, it's about being professional, following the standards, making sure that the accountants in the region sing one song and not be singing different songs. We, as an accounting body, here as well as the Caribbean and globally, we follow international financial reporting standards of accounting."

PUC Ignores Independent Expert and BEL
The Public Utilities Commission has made its final decision on what will be the electricity rate from July of 2016 to June of 2020, known as the "Full Tariff Review Period." This final decision comes after months of back and forth between BEL, the PUC and an independent expert. BEL first asked for an average rate of 39 cents per kilowatt hour, the PUC proposed 36 cents per kilowatt hour. That's when BEL asked for an independent expert and he recommended 38 cents per kilowatt hour - which BEL agrees with. But the PUC didn't, and today the regulator's final decision is for an average rate of 36.99 cents per kilowatt hour, nearly 37 cents. The new rate goes into effect at the start of next month.

Spaying Session For Dogs
Spaying and neutering of animals can cost anywhere from $150 US dollars to $600 US dollars depending on the size of the animal. But a group of volunteer veterinarians from the US are in Belize to give the service for free. They have joined the Belize Humane Society and the Hopkins Humane Society to conduct this three-day pet clinic at the SCA campus in Belize City. Emanuel Pech visited the clinic today to find out more. The clinic service began today and will continue up until Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm. The organizers hope to treat about 500 to 600 pets by the end of it.

Getting More Belizeans Tested For HIV
Today is known as the Regional Testing Day. It's an initiative led by Scotia Bank and Pancap every year since 2007 in an effort to get more people tested for HIV. In Belize, the National Aids Commission partnered with the Ministry of Health and the Belize Family life association to conduct free HIV tests - in an effort to increase the number of persons who know their HIV status. This year the event was held at the Scotia Bank parking lot in Albert Street. We stopped by this morning: Emanuel Pech: "What is the turn out of the event, because normally when it comes to these sort of sensitive issues, they wouldn't want to come to such an open event?" Arthur Usher, Comm. Ofc., Natn'l Aids Commission: "What we're finding is over the years Belizeans have been more sensitized and more aware of their sexual health, so they're coming out more consistently. Again, recognizing that there is more life after HIV positive or negative. If you're negative it's good to always try to continue living that negative lifestyle. If you're positive, there's also resources and help available for those who are positive. There is some fear and stigma still but its dwindling a bit because people are recognizing more and educated."

Reporter Raises Controversy
"Treason!" - that's what some said when they read today's editorial in The Reporter newspaper. The editorial makes the case that the Sarstoon River and the Sarstoon Island are not unquestionably Belizean property. The editorial argues that Sarstoon Island, quote, "maybe as much as one half of this island is on the Guatemalan side of the center line. This means that Belize cannot justify a claim to the whole of Sarstoon Island." End quote. Well, the CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was one of many who took issue with the editorial - and he immediately fired off a letter to the Editor - which was also sent out as a press release. The letter points to the 1859 treaty which specified the boundary between Belize and Guatemala and makes it clear that the Sarstoon Island is "wholly Belizean territory."

The African Message
The Universal Negro Improvement Association is inviting all members of the black community in Belize to join them on Monday for what they call the World Wind Tour forum which is taking place at the Gateway Youth Center in Belize City. The talks will be given by inspirational speaker, researcher and current president general of the UNIA-ACL Runoko Rashidi. He is on a Central American tour and will be in Belize for three days before heading back to the US. One of the main topics of the forum will be black Belizeans' influence in the region. The forum begins at 7 pm on Monday at the Gateway Youth Center in Belize City. Entrance is free.

Channel 5

Reporter Editorial on Sarstoon River Raises the Ire of Belizeans
This week’s editorial in the Reporter newspaper has managed to accomplish what little else has – accord between the Government and the Opposition. We’ll get to that, but first the [...]

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sets the Record Straight on Southern Border
The Opposition swung first this morning, via text from Senator Eamon Courtenay. He wrote, “The Reporter editorial of today is factually and legally wrong. It is a bizarre and possibly [...]

Newspaper Owner Harry Lawrence Responds to G.O.B.’s Position
As we mentioned earlier, the Reporter Editorial was written by newspaper owner Harry Lawrence. He received the letter from C.E.O. in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Sylvester this afternoon, [...]

Photographer Tony Rath Details Chiquibul Experience in Online Article
While the Reporter’s Editorial is found to be lacking in accuracy, another article in circulation today puts perspective in what really is happening in the Chiquibul. Renowned professional photographer Tony [...]

Mek Mi Rich Litigants Return to Court
On February twenty-third, Justice Courtney Abel ruled that B.T.L. and Mek Mi Rich, MMR, colluded to steal the concept for the game-show from Curtis Swasey. It was a landmark ruling [...]

B.T.L. and Mek Mi Rich Appeal Supreme Court Decision
What was also clear at the conclusion of the case in February is that the twenty-five thousand awarded to Swasey as compensation was not satisfactory to the claimant. The Judge’s [...]

Gun-toting Urbie is Released on Bail
After two nights on remand at the Belize Central Prison, thirty-five year old police officer, Urbie Alamilla is out on bail granted to him this morning by Supreme Court Judge, [...]

Trio of Thieves Remanded for Burglary of Franklin Street Residence
Three men who were caught in the act of burglarizing a house on Franklin Street, Belize City, claim it was all a police set-up. The media was called in at [...]

Petrocaribe Celebrates Eleven Years in Belize
Petrocaribe is celebrating eleven years in Belize, following the signing of an agreement with Venezuela on June twenty-ninth, 2005.  The dream of former President Hugo Chavez was to promote regional [...]

APBEL Set to Enter the Retail Fuel Market
While the program under APBEL focuses on investing in Belize, there are plans for the company to branch out into the retail sale of fuel.  Mencias provides a breakdown of [...]

Petrocaribe Agreement Deconstructed
The agreement provides for a portion of each invoice, known as the Financed Portion, to be paid over fifteen years at two percent interest with a two-year grace period.  That [...]

Head of Mission Contextualizes Hardships in Venezuela
Head of Mission Mykel Castillo Pena was also present at this morning’s Petrocaribe presentation.  He explains the current hardship in Venezuela in the context of the Petrocaribe program.   Mykel [...]

6 Persons Injured in Chopping Incident in Orange Walk
There is a disturbing report out of Orange Walk. Police are investigating a chopping incident which occurred this afternoon sometime after two o’clock.  Larry Banner, who has a history of [...]

Police Operations Yield Firearms Across Belize City
Five firearms have been taken off the streets of south side Belize City. Today, Eastern Division South Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams called the media to his office [...]

PUC Approves B.E.L.’s Rate Increase
The Public Utilities Commission announced via press release today that it has concluded a full tariff review for B.E.L. for the period July 2016 to June 2020. The final decision [...]

34th Annual Caribbean Conference of Accountants Held in Belize
Public and private sector accountants from across the Caribbean have converged on Belize for the thirty-fourth annual Caribbean Conference of Accountants. With over three thousand seven hundred members, today, three [...]

Managing Your Accounting with Enterprise Resource Planning
To assist with the implementation of best accounting practices in the region, a consulting firm from Washington DC is establishing presence in the Caribbean with an Enterprise Resource Planning software [...]

Correspondent Banking Crisis – Does it Affect Accountants?
But what are the challenges that correspondent banking relations have posed to the accounting professionals? According to Conference Chair Shawn Mahler, clients have been affected drastically, and it has forced [...]

National Aids Commission Holds Countrywide HIV Testing
The number of persons that are HIV positive is high for the size of the population. And even though men are the most affected; they are the least to be [...]

Belize at World Poker Games 2016
Starting Saturday, twenty Belizean poker players will be competing in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, Nevada. The team has doubled since last year and all the players [...]

#515491 - 06/25/16 05:52 AM Re: Today's Belize News: June 25, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline


US Embassy hoists LGBT flag in Belize
The United States of America continues to promote the LGBT agenda in other nations that have not openly embraced the lifestyle as morally acceptable. Since the arrival of the US Ambassador to Belize, Carlos Moreno, he has made it clear that this promotion was part of his mandate; despite laws in Bel...

“Witch-hunt “ of Youth Council Leaders who voted against “gender” wording in constitution?
There have been accusations of a “witch hunt” for those young leaders of the Belize National Youth Council who voted to remove references to “gender” and “gender equality” from its constitution. The terms “Gender” and “Gender equality” have become buzz words for the LGBT agenda where gender becomes...

Man charged in shooting
33 year old Anthony Crawford, an unemployed of Belize City, was charged with attempted murder when he appeared today before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. Crawford was also charged with dangerous harm, use of deadly means of harm and possession of 3.6 grams of cannabis. He pleaded guilty to possession a...

More transparent process to be applied for hiring of new Regional Health Manager
Today, we got a chance to catch up with Dr. Angel Campos, Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and follow up with him on the resignation of Audibaldo Monima as the Regional Health manager for the North. The last time Dr. Campos spoke to the media on the issue, he said that he had not seen the...

Chester: I didn’t know about Ahmad raid
A Hattieville family home was raided earlier this week and its occupants, the Ahmad family, held for hours at Racoon Street Police Station in Belize City, then released without explanation. Police did not take the firearms that the family held, but did hold all their personal electronic equipment an...

Ministry of Health receives equipment for HIV/AIDS and TB prevention and mitigation
The Ministry of Health has received a donation of two Toyota Hilux vehicles as well as 25 bicycles from the UNDP-Global Fund (GF). The handing over ceremonies took place today at the UNDP headquarters in Belmopan. The country of Belize has been granted US$3.4 million for HIV/AIDS and TB prevention a...

Former Olympian left off Olympic team for Rio
Former Olympian Kaina Martinez was surprised by the announcement by the Belize Athletics Association (BAA) that Katy Sealy, heptathlete, would be wild-card representing Belize in the hurdles event at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. The recent Central American Senior Games champion in women’s 100-...


BEL reports $29.4 million in profits for 2015
The Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) is reporting that it had a profitable 2015, with net earnings reported at $29.4 million, from which it plans to pay shareholders 15 cents per share, following the presentation of company financials at its annual general meeting held on Wednesday night at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City. The dividend payout would amount to roughly $10.4 million—70% of it going to the Government of Belize and 27% of it going to the Belize Social Security Board. The remainder would be shared among 1,500 minority shareholders. Last year, the company almost doubled its profits, hitting a record in net earnings of $36.2 million, and breaking the ceiling set by the company back in 2007, when it recorded net earnings of $29.86 million.

Fruta Bomba “is no more”
Following the final collapse of the papaya industry, two hundred and fifty Belizean men and women will be without work. Fruta Bomba, the nation’s former leading papaya exporter, has decided to move on to greener pastures. This week marks the last day of its operations which had gradually been declining since early February of this year. While Fruta Bomba moves on to the Dominican Republic, there are Belizeans who are unable to move on any at all because there isn’t much economic activity occurring in the Corozal District. For many, the papaya industry was the only real opportunity beside the Princess Casino, the cane fields and the declining Commercial Free Zone.

GOB “on crack,” says Opposition PUP!
“It is almost as if they are on crack and are trying to find every which way to get their hands on money,” declared Opposition Leader Hon. John Briceño, who slammed the Government of Belize for “red-eyeing” Social Security funds. “It has come to our attention for the past few days that the government is trying to dump their shares, mostly from BEL and BTL, to the new piggy bank, the Social Security fund, the people’s money. We are viewing this with much concern,” said Briceño following the PUP’s National Executive meeting held on Monday. A leaked letter from PM Barrow indicated that he offered the Social Security Board $10 million of the Government’s shares in BTL and $45 million of its shares in BEL, for a total of $55 million. However, Briceño told us that the Prime Minister is “risking the people’s money.” He pointed out that an investment in BTL, which is saddled with a $48 million arbitration award to British Caribbean Bank Limited (which is to be paid over twenty years as a loan), is not a good investment.

Shot for refusing to commit a crime!
One of two men who allegedly shot another man in Belize City on Monday night appeared in the Magistrate’s Court this morning and was arraigned on attempted murder and related indictable offences. He was remanded to prison. Anthony Crawford was not required to make a plea, after the charges were read to him by Magistrate Carlon Mendoza, because his case will be tried at the Supreme Court on indictment. Police charged Crawford with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm. Crawford, 33, an unemployed resident of Antelope Street Extension, is accused of being one of the two men who shot Anthony “Columbian” Leslie, 40, in the chest on Monday night, June 20, while he was on Iguana Street Extension.

Gas prices reaching for the sky
There was a sharp increase in the price of fuel at the pump during the third week of last month, but that was not enough for the cash-strapped United Democratic Party government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, which, like a thief in the night, raised the price of fuel at the pump at midnight last night. This morning the new prices, which affected premium gasoline, and kerosene, came into being, without any prior warning, and with no official reason being given for why the increase became necessary. The price of premium gasoline shot up from $9.95 per gallon to $10.41, an increase of 46 cents, while the price of kerosene was increased by 30 cents per gallon. Regular gas is being sold at $9.69 per gallon.

Still no Sarstoon mechanism after Washington talks
Belize and Guatemala were engaged in a 5-hour meeting at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) on Tuesday evening, but still, there is no definite mechanism to resolve the high-tension conflicts between Belize and Guatemala at the Sarstoon, in which Belize has been on the receiving end, having been blocked from freely accessing its side of the Sarstoon. Just last week, a group of Belizeans, including Wil Maheia of the Belize Territorial Volunteers and Mike Rudon of News 5 headed to the Sarstoon—but nine soldiers of the Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF) tried to stop them, insisting that the Belizeans, who were well on the Belize side of the river, were in Guatemala’s national waters. After the incident, the Government of Belize issued a statement saying, “…the incident [if verified] would constitute a breach of the spirit of the Confidence Building Measures and must also be rejected as prejudicial to the ongoing diplomatic efforts, including next week’s meeting in Washington, to establish a bilateral Cooperation Mechanism for the Sarstoon.”

Teams for 2016 Mundialito in Orange Walk
The following teams will be participating in the 2016 Mundialito in Orange Walk: Orange Walk Central - Germany; San Estevan – Mexico; Black Water - Croatia; Louisiana Area – Belize; Palmar - Colombia; Guinea Grass - Holland; Yo Creek - Argentina; Progresso - Spain. Tournament begins on June 26 at Louisiana Football Field. There will be a parade on June 25. President of the Mundialito Committee is Wilson “Chato” Perez.

Winty J (Vincent Johnson) – my life
A: Talk to us, Winty J; because you have been around football circles for such a long time, as well as around Belizean music circles. You mean a lot to a lot of us, because you have a lot of memories about a lot of great sportsmen and events, and you have also played a part in many of these events. Just take us back, quickly, to when you came to your senses as a child in Belize, and take us from there; e.g. your parents, etc. W: Alright. Winty J, man. My life. My understanding, from my parents; my father came from Jamaica, Manchester – Ivan Johnson. He stowed away on a ship and ended up in Punta Gorda (Toledo District), and he met a lady there, and he had a daughter, who is my sister and who wasn’t my (half) sister yet, until he met my mother; because he hadn’t met my mother yet. Now, my mother was born in La Ceiba (Honduras); but my mother’s mother (my grandmother) was from St. Vincent; and my grandmother, who was my mother’s mother, Evelyn Brooks, met William Brown, who was my grandfather, my mother’s father, in Roatan (island off Honduras).

BDFA 1st Division weekend games
The Belize District Football Association (BDFA) First Division 2016 football tournament had only 1 game played last weekend. On Saturday, June 18, Eiley FC and Ladyville Jaguars reportedly played to a 1-1 draw. Hubert Baptist put the Jaguars in front at the 60th minute; but Brian Martinez got the late equalizer for Eiley FC at the 89th minute. Both Sunday games were postponed due to weather; those same two games will be played this coming Sunday.

TIDE Primary Schools FWC 2016 championship games & awards
Today, Wednesday, June 22, at the Cattle Landing Village Football Field, female and male championship games were played in the TIDE Primary Schools Freshwater Cup (FWC) 2016 football tournament. In the female championship game at 9:45 a.m., Silver Creek School Girls won, 2-0, over Trio Primary School Girls, with Annetta Bah (12’ & 27’) scoring both goals for Silver Creek. Silver Creek Girls are therefore the 2016 TIDE Freshwater Cup Primary School Female Football Champions. And in the male championship final that followed, Golden Stream Boys were victorious, 2-1, over St. Peter Claver School Boys. Valeriano Ack (5’) and Samuel Itch (10’) shook the net for Golden Stream, while Ian Selgado (16’) got the lone goal for St. Peter Claver. Golden Stream Boys thus became the 2016 TIDE Freshwater Cup Primary School Male Football Champions.

Editorial: This belongs to Washington ...
The first thing we will say to you in this editorial, dear readers, and we say it with pride, is that the family which owns this newspaper and the Ahmad/Bulwer family are related. The matriarchs of the two families come from the Escarpeta/Kingston lines. The breadth and savagery of the Belize Special Branch attack on Monday morning against the Ahmad family suggest to us that the local secret service did not have any really hard evidence: they were searching for same. In medicine, they call this exploratory surgery. They usually perform it on guinea pigs. As we write on Thursday morning, roughly 72 hours after the raid on the Ahmads, the head of the Special Branch has yet to make himself available for questioning by the Belizean media. What is worse is that the secret service has yet to produce any evidence which would justify the massive disrespect shown to a ranking Belizean family. The Ahmad family was violated.

From the Publisher
Elizabeth I, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, was Queen of England from 1558 to 1603. That’s roughly between four to four and a half centuries ago. It seems a very long time ago to the layman: to the historian, it is just yesterday. Christopher Columbus, an Italian in the employ of the King and Queen of Spain, Ferdinand and Isabella, “discovered” the so-called New World in 1492. The German priest, Martin Luther, began the Protestant Reformation, which sparked religious wars between the Roman Catholics and the Protestants in Europe, in 1517. The Spaniard, Hernan Cortes, conquered the Aztec kingdom and its capital, Tenochtitlan, in 1521. Another Spaniard, Francisco Pizarro, conquered the Inca empire in Peru between 1532 and 1533. Elizabeth’s father, Henry VIII (who beheaded her mother, Anne Boleyn, in 1536), was declared the head of the Anglican Church by the English Parliament in 1534. Ignatius Loyola, a Spaniard, and a few followers founded the Society of Jesus in 1539.

My music story in 1960’s British Honduras
There are a few events that stand out clearly in my mind’s eye that sum up my introduction and experience with music in The Jewel. The first one is definitely 1960 Christmas, when as a boy of ten years, I was given my first guitar by my mother, Lydia Ramirez. My mom was a De La Fuente from Macaw Bank, Cayo District. Like her dad and siblings, she played the guitar and she also had a beautiful voice. That guitar (not a professional one) was bought from “Rita’s Smart Shoppe,” which was at the corner of Albert Street and Church Street and run by the two sisters, Sybil Codd and Leonie Wright. Miss Sybil was the mother of the late Francis Codd. My guitar lessons started that Christmas Day in 1960. The second event would be when we got our first record player. My dad, Jose J. Ramirez, better known as Jose Ramirez or “Boss Joe,” had travelled to Florida in 1962 for a serious surgery which turned out successfully. On his return, he brought a portable General Electric record player.

Not only academics, but creativity
Fading away all our lives, doesn’t it sound so sad? Dear Editor, Today I must express and share with you this thought. Many do not like school, many are little engaged and others like it more than home. Life out in the streets is not always welcoming, sure that you wish school could be the one place where you could express yourself. I had been helping a teacher at Benque Viejo del Carmen and here I discovered that taking the beautiful job of being a teacher is never easy. Being a teacher should be the most wonderful job someone could have.

Problem starts with UNICEF and other NGO’s
Dear Editor, It is a great disappointment to hear that a 15-year- old minor is a suspect to a police investigation in a shooting incident. To make matters worse, it involves a local police officer and three other civilians, in broad daylight steps away from the entrance of the Queen Street Police station. So what does this mean? Children have no respect for our law? Belize is a small country; these types of things should not be tolerated. Months ago the Commissioner of the Police Department set a night curfew for the kids which was a good thing to do because this way they are out of the streets at nights. Problem starts when UNICEF and other NGO’s start defending the rights of a child, which can even allow children to be out as late as they want, and decide which hand gun to use for the shooting later that night.

What is our security in Arenal?
Dear Editor, With great worry I am writing you with hope that our country knows of what the village of Arenal had been through. I want to write about two incidents that happened in the village during the nights of the 6 and 7 of May and the negligence of the government towards the community. On Friday 6 of May, some young Belizean men were having a few beers on the Arenal Guatemala. The Guatemalan police and army were called because of a bar fight. They came, but never to see what was the problem, instead came saying that they will arrest anyone who didn’t have any Guatemalan documents. When the Belizeans heard that, they started leaving the bar. The police started chasing them all the way to the Belizean side. The shouts woke up my brother-in-law. When he came out, he was surprised by the Guatemalan police and army who were approximately 25 soldiers and 5 police officers. He immediately called them out and asked what we’re they looking for at our yard and he told them that they were already in Belizean territory and on a private property. They respectfully left and stopped chasing the guys.

Who was behind the raid on the Ahmads?
Dear Editor, As I write this letter, I am fully aware that my family or any Muslim family in Belize, for that matter, could be next. For those of you who are not aware, on Monday, June 20th, the Ahmads, a prominent Muslim family in Belize, was hauled off in the back of pickup trucks to the Racoon Street Police Station in Belize City in an early morning raid at their homes. They were detained for over ten hours and not permitted even a phone call to inform their relatives, employees, community members or even a lawyer, of their whereabouts. They were not properly informed as to why they were being detained. Even after they were released, no formal explanation, or apology, was given to them by anyone in authority. This was a most frightening experience for this family of twenty persons, including elderly grandparents with medical conditions; two pregnant wives (one to deliver any day now) and a minor under 13 years old. Five of the male members are self-employed businessmen, who were not allowed to even call their workers to inform them of what they were going through.

A tribute to Ibagari
Dear Editor, A Belize audio Cd titled “Ibagari: Portraits of Garifuna Lifecycle in Song” was released three years ago in June 2013 and available online at Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. That audio Cd now has a companion book titled “Ibagari Song Reference: Portraits of Garifuna Lifecycle in Song,” written by Crique Arena, Toledo District-born Leonard Cayetano, MS, MBA, with his wife Dangriga, Stann Creek District-born Joycelin Palacio-Cayetano, Ph.D. for the Len and Joycelin Cayetano Garifuna Heritage Foundation. The music book includes compositions by Garifuna masters, musical notations, Garifuna lyrics, translations of lyrics to English, translation of lyrics to Spanish, historical context and art illustrations. Printed in the United States of America, the book contains many photographs snapped during Len and Joycelin’s inspiring 1997 visit to Yurumei,in the Garinagu homeland of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The first image in the book is of a stone plaque with the words “JOSEPH CHATOYER BLACK CARIB CHIEF FOR FREEDOM DIED HERE 14TH MARCH 1795”.

Two systems are before the world
Speaking on the recent 50,000 troop “Anakonda 16” NATO simulation in Poland, Polish President Duda said: “The aim of the exercise is clear…we are preparing for an attack “…meaning against Russia. This shows the desperation of Wall Street and the City of London. Most people in today’s world don’t know how close we are to a full nuclear World War (now worse than 1962) with the Anglo-Americans against Russia, China and India. Why? The Trans-Atlantic sector economies are in complete breakdown, and this includes our Belize. Later I will discuss Belize’s economy. Once the envy of the world, today’s United States is plagued by economic disintegration, suicide, drug addiction, and mass shootings. Europe’s economy is also in disintegration. The basic problem is that since the year 1972, America and Europe’s economies shifted from production to gambling. No economy can develop and grow unless the conditions for “demand” are satisfied, and only production in the physical economy can do that. Now the chickens are coming home to roost – These economies are bankrupt. They either change or implode, when? Soon. Only God can say the time. But soon. This, Belizeans, is the reason driving the provocations to nuclear war against Russia, China and India – the BRICS.

Belize: A destiny to be questioned
In January of 2013 in the wee hours of the night four Black Belizean young men’s throats were meticulously and professionally slashed inside their homes. Almost four years later this horrific massacre has remained intentionally unresolved. There is a variety of speculation as to who gave the orders; however, there is no doubt that this clandestine single operation was carried out by trained professional’s killers. What is not clear is whether they were foreign or domestic. On June 20, 2016 in the wee hours of the night another clandestine operation occurred in Belize. This time it was the homes of a well-known Muslim family, the Ahmads (Bulwer). According to the Amandala, 19 members of the entire family including women and children were rounded up like cattle by local police and held for hours in custody without access to any legal representation or counsel. Eventually after this traumatic experience the family was released without any charge being filed.

Confessions of a Belizean intelligence agent pt. 2
Pedro Barrera, a Guatemalan guerrilla informant, was murdered on Belizean soil almost three days after being jointly handed over to Guatemala by the Belizean and British authorities. According to an ex-Belizean intelligence officer, “Pedro Barrera wanted support — that we grant him refugee status in Belize to protect him and stay here, so he started to cooperate with us and he promised that he was going to show us a guerrilla camp south of Arenal.” The retired bilingual intelligence agent recalled serving as the translator for communications between a British patrol and Barrera, as he led them in a search for guerrilla camps inside the jungles of Belize. He further recalled that they were deposited about 15 miles south of Arenal and after hiking almost seven hours in search of guerrilla camps they slept in the jungle.

Chalillo Dam dispute goes before Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
A battle which emerged 18 years ago—back in 1998—between the developers of the Chalillo Dam on the Macal River in the Cayo District and the Government of Belize (GOB), on the one hand, and a group of environmentalists, on the other, did not block the commissioning of the dam back in 2005, but George Gonzalez and his wife, Dr. Candy Gonzalez, who lead the Belize Institute of Environmental Law and Policy (BELPO), are hoping that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an agency of the Organization of American States, will rule in their favor in a petition (P-633-04) filed as far back as 2004. “The opening of the case is, above all, a victory for the affected communities, the Maya people of Belize and local social movements, who have endured for all these years, and remain strong and determined in their search for justice and compensation,” said Candy Gonzalez, BELPO spokesperson, who told us that they are seeking “mitigation and restitution” for affected communities. Last October, the Commission approved the petition and started to receive submissions from the parties: BELPO and the Government of Belize. BELPO told us that it completed its submissions on June 16, 2016.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Mad man chops 5 villagers in Yo Creek
Breaking Belize News has confirmed that at least four of the five victims have been transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in a very critical condition after a man armed with a machete inflicted chop wounds to several parts of their bodies. One victim had an […]

NEAB condemns “targeting” of Belize by LGBT
The National Evangelical Association of Belize, several of whose members publicly protested in front of the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan when it raised the “rainbow flag” as part of an LGBT pride month, today claims that the incident is part of plans to target Belize for a […]

Taste of Belize is coming to Muffles College Auditorium, Orange Walk Town
The Belize Tourism Board is getting ready for the 2016 Taste of Belize Competition to be held on July 9 at Muffles College Auditorium, Orange Walk Town. Attendees can sample a wealth of foodie-appeal, from delectable ancient Maya flavours to the cultural spices of the Garifuna and […]

Teachers in Stann Creek certified in Early Childhood Development
This morning teachers in the Stann Creek District received their certification after completing training in Early Childhood Development (ECD) and Quality Friendly School Initiative (QCFSI). A government release states that the training is designed to “strengthen teachers’ skills in order to prepare them to deliver […]

Britain votes out of European Union
More than 16 million Britons have voted in favor of leaving the European Union in a referendum held on Thursday. While the vote is fairly close, a 52 percent majority, according to the BBC, voted against staying. Most of the anti-EU vote came from outside […]

Cahal Pech Village Resort is offering amazing last minute travel deals to Belize
The resort of Cahal Pech in San Ignacio, Belize today announced a special day for reduced rates on accommodations for travelers making reservations between June and October 2016. Any visitor who uses the website to make a reservation at Cahal Pech between June 24-30 will receive a […]

Belize: Decentralization, Rockville and Belize City
Belize City was founded (originally as “Belize Town”) in 1638 by British lumber harvesters. It had previously been a small Maya city called Holzuz. Belize City is the largest city in Belize and was once the capital of the former British Honduras. Belize City has a […]

American teen bitten by Yellowjaw in Belize makes slow recovery
A 15-year-old is recovering in the US after being bitten by a fer-de-lance known as the “Yellowjaw” or “Tommygoff” in Belize. The report was published by SFGATE on Wednesday. The teen, Audrey Benton, was reportedly visiting in Belize with her parents when she was bitten by […]


In Belize, All That Is Gold Does not Glitter
The looting, desecration and annexation of the Chiquibul Forest in Belize, Central America. by  Tony Rath. Recently I accompanied rangers from Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), the non-governmental organization tasked with managing the Chiquibul Forest, into one of the most remote areas of this protected area to document what I thought was small scale gold mining, the type where a couple of poor villagers in ragged clothes crouch by a stream swirling water and gravel in a pan. What we observed was way beyond anything I imagined. The potential environmental impacts of Guatemalan illegal gold mining in the Ceibo Chico region of the Chiquibul far surpasses the impacts of illegal xate harvesting, illegal logging, wildlife poaching and agricultural encroachments — combined. This story raises troubling questions about where we are as a people and what we value as a nation.

Ambergris Caye vs Roatán: Which Caribbean Island Would You Retire to?
So you’ve decided to retire to a Caribbean island paradise. You can already see yourself, toes in the sand, sipping a mojito by the turquoise-blue sea. Behind you, children laugh as they cartwheel down the beach, and by the waterfront fishermen chat as they haul in the catch of the day…but where are you? Narrowing down your dream retirement destination—choosing one place over another—can be the most difficult part of starting your overseas adventure. Many places may share a lot of similar attributes; many may appear downright identical. But if you look close enough you’ll discover that they may not be so alike after all. In the end it’s the little things that will make all the difference to your overall happiness. As always, we recommend that you visit somewhere before you decide to put down roots…but this infographic could help point you in the right direction. Two of our favorite Caribbean retirement havens, Ambergris Caye (the largest island off the coast of Belize) and Roatán (which lies off the coast of Honduras), go head-to-head in key topics such as cost of living, property, healthcare and more.

In Pictures: Corozal, Belize–A Subtropical Haven for Active Expats
Corozal sits on the expansive Bay of Corozal. This traditional Belizean family town is a throwback to the 1950s, with residents that are friendly and a pace that’s laidback. A growing number of expats are choosing to relocate to this region, appreciating the simple, serene, and relaxed Caribbean lifestyle. A major attraction is the reasonable cost of living. Food, entertainment, and everyday expenses are affordable; and there are plenty of real estate bargains to be found. Also, while the weather is subtropical—with an average temperature in the upper 80s F—balmy breezes blow off the bay, keeping it comfortable. Corozal Bay offers diverse water sport options such as swimming, fishing, kayaking, sailing, and motor boating. Walking and biking are also popular outdoor activities. Scuba divers and snorkelers can take day trips to the Caribbean Sea’s barrier reef. Being on the mainland, Corozal is also close to a multitude of inland activities. Hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, cave exploration, and zip lining are just a few of the options, while archaeology buffs can easily access several Mayan sites. The Santa Rita site is right at the edge of the town, while the Cerro Maya (Maya Hill) ruins are right across the bay.

Visiting Tikal from Belize
A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, Tikal is one of the most iconic and impressive Maya ruins in the world. Located in the department of El Peten in northern Guatemala, Tikal is a popular attraction for visitors in Belize because of its close proximity to the Belize-Guatemala border. Tikal is the site of one of the oldest and most powerful city states of the ancient Maya civilization with a footprint of 6 square miles (16 square kilometers). The main attractions for modern visitors are the enormous buildings, including the so-called Temple 1 (measuring 154 feet high), royal palaces, and pyramids. The site also includes three ball courts, hundreds of smaller buildings, stelae and a network of elevated causeways. Tikal is located within the Tikal National Park in the northern district of El Peten in the country of Guatemala. The entire area is now a nationally-protected biosphere and consists of dense jungle. The nearest inhabited town is Uaxactun, approximately 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Tikal. International flights depart daily from the Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize City to the town of Flores in Guatemala. From Flores, private operators offer services to Tikal (about 45 miles/70 km).

International Sourcesizz

Caribbean weighs in on BREXIT implications
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has begun responding to the news that Britain has voted to leave the European Union (EU). On Friday 52 per cent of voters in a referendum in Britain opted out of remaining in the 28-member grouping. Prime Minister David Cameron has signalled his intention to resign. The implications are far-reaching globally, with serious consequences for financial markets, investment, trade and overseas development assistant. The pound sterling has dropped to its lowest level in 30 years. At least one CARICOM Prime Minister has spoken so far about the fallout from the vote. Dominica Prime Minister, the Hon, Roosevelt Skerrit told a radio station in his homeland that he was shocked at the move. “It’s a major shockwave, it’s a major shock that has hit the world and it has been felt in Dominica from last night,”the Dominica News Online outfit quoted the Prime Minister as saying in a live interview on Kairi FM on Friday morning.

Washburn announces seventh annual Study Abroad in Belize Program
Washburn's International House provides students with a chance to study abroad and may be one of the most important experiences in any student’s academic career. However, the dazzling amount of available options could make the decision harder for Ichabods to choose. This 15 day experience is a unique opportunity for Washburn students to explore the diverse culture of Belize City while providing volunteer service among the sites. The seventh annual trip will be held over winter break, which will transport Ichabods from the cold winds of Kansas to the warm, tropical climate of Central America.


  • Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) Video, 7min. Our Promise is our Mission...To Improve the Quality of Life in Belize.

  • Belize house, 2min.

  • View from the hammock, 1min.just a normal island tuesday

  • Belize 2016, 2min. Come explore the world’s second largest barrier reef in beautiful Belize aboard the Belize Aggressor III and the Belize Aggressor IV!

  • Conducting Annual Monitoring of Sharks in the Blue Hole, Lighthouse Reef Atoll, Belize, 1min. A brief video highlighting the our annual monitoring of sharks in the Blue Hole at Lighthouse Reef Atoll in Belize. The Blue Hole is a globally important UNESCO World Heritage Site and a fully protected area.

  • Belize 2016 Go Pro Slap, 11min.

  • Adrenalina al 100%_Blue Hole, Belize, 8.5min. Espero que le haya gustado y si le gusto regalenme un LIKE ... skydiving the Blue Hole

  • Belize 2016, 39min. University of Arkansas community development trip to Dangriga, Belize Summer of 2016.

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