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#515862 - 07/10/16 11:32 AM Today's Belize News: July 10, 2016
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Specials and Events

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


The San Pedro Sun

Family and Discipline – Brandon Jones to represent Belize in Rio
As the 2016 Summer Olympics are fast approaching in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, so is the preparation deadline for Belizean athlete Brandon Jones. Jones, along with colleague Katy Sealy will be representing the Jewel at the tournament in less than a month, after they were both selected as ‘wildcards’ based on their performance over the years of competition.

Belize launches new fishing right program
In an effort to address the crisis of overfishing and illegal fishing, Belize has become the first country to launch a nationwide ‘Fishing Right’ program for small-scale fisheries. The managed access program offers a new system that empowers fishermen to conserve and protect their fishing industry, while still using its resources to provide for their families. As a result of this initiative, fishermen across the country have gathered to receive fishing licenses, and painted their vessels to match their designated fishing areas. Since 2011, the Environmental Defence Fund (EDF), along with local partners, have launched two successful trials that demonstrated how ‘fishing rights’ can reduce overfishing and illegal fishing. “Belize is a small country, but the impact of this new policy is global since it shines a path for other countries with small-scale fisheries. We’re already beginning to apply the lessons we’ve learned in Belize to our work in Indonesia, the Philippines and around the world,” said Amanda Leland, EDF’s senior vice president. Scientific surveys show that fishermen are now complying with regulations. Fishing violations are down 60% and more than 90% of fishermen are submitting their catch data, leading to more accountability. According to the Belize Fisheries Department, San Pedro is the only area that has not implemented the program into full effect. However, La Isla Bonita is on board, and is reaching out to fishermen to educate them on the benefits of the program.

San Mateo residents object to using fire refuse as landfill
After San Pedro’s big fire on Sunday, June 26th, The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) and numerous volunteers did a marvelous job of cleaning up the debris. In less than a week, the remains of the fire had been completely cleared out. However, shortly after, residents of the San Mateo community began complaining that the fire debris had been dumped in their neighborhood. According to the Department of Environment (DOE), the improper dumping of garbage is unacceptable throughout the country. “We are not fully aware of the matter, but in general, we don’t encourage or promote improper disposal of garbage, especially since the DOE does not know what kind of chemicals were released into the air. Chemicals can pose a safety hazard, and affect the environment. In the case of using this debris as landfill, it poses the risk to pollute the water,” said Environmental Officer of the DOE, Celi Cho.

Coral Reef Ed-ventures Camp is back
The 17th annual Coral Reef Ed-ventures summer camp is back. The fun, educational camp collaborates with students from Smith College in Massachusetts, USA, and Hol Chan Marine Reserve. A group of six volunteers have traveled to San Pedro to act as this year’s counsellors for the two-week summer program. Students learn about the coral and marine ecosystem, while getting hands-on experience. The camp started on Monday, June 27th with nine registered children between the ages of 7-12. The counsellors will be teaching the children about conserving the oceans’ precious resources in an innovative manner. According to Laura Henry, group leader for Coral Ed-ventures, the campers are loving science. “It’s been very busy, and the kids are super excited. We are trying to inspire the kids to conduct their own scientific research, and help them to do a biodiversity count. We are looking at accessing the beaches, mangroves, and coral reefs. Also, these kids will learn ocean acidification, where they will place eggs in different grades of acid,” said Henry.

American Airlines to start new flight from London to Belize
Starting November of 2016, visitors traveling to Belize from the United Kingdom (UK), will no longer need to overnight in the United States of America (USA) or Mexico. That is because, for the first time ever, American Airlines will be introducing a flight between London’s Heathrow Airport and Belize’s Philip Goldson International with just mere hours of connection delay in Miami, Florida USA. The launching of the new flight will be on November 4th when the first flight takes off from London, England. Outbound flights will operate four days a week, on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. While inbound flights will be daily. These flights will operate all year round.

First San Pedro Town Library Summer Camp ends
It’s summertime again, and the San Pedro Town Public Library recently concluded its first of two summer camps on Friday, July 1st. Held at the library grounds, 25 children attended “Cultures of Belize” camp, where the library focused on the Garifuna and Lebanese ethnic groups. During the camp, children’s minds were enriched with the history, music, language, dance, food, and folktales of both cultures. Special guests included the Black and White Charikinari Dance Group, who gave an array of presentations. Children learned a song in Garifuna, how to play their drums, and even a native dance. They also sampled both Garifuna, and Lebanese foods. Aside from interactive activities, lessons were given via Power Point presentations, and video clips, to bring cultural awareness to the children. According to Librarian Marlene Coral, making children aware of different cultures allows society to be more tolerant and understanding of one another’s differences.

United Kingdom’s Exit from the EU
On Thursday, June 23rd, a referendum changed the entire order of the European Union (EU); Britain voted to leave the EU by 52%. The European Union, once comprising of 28 countries, began after World War II, with the idea that countries will trade together to avoid going to war with each other. As a result of the referendum of the United Kingdom’s membership of the EU (Brexit), Prime Minister David Cameron will be stepping down from his position by October 2016. However, the country cannot leave immediately, as a two-year negotiation process follows the referendum.

San Pedro Preschoolers Graduate
San Pedro Preschool closed off the 2016 graduation season on Sunday, July 3rd at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. The ceremony took place at 4PM, when 43 toddlers dressed in their caps and gowns marched down the aisle to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance. After the National Anthem, a welcome address was given by Amy Borland, Alyssa Popper, and Jeffrey Martinez. The class of 2016 presented their song, “I’m a little graduate,” while Rachael Romero, Emir Herrera, and Jemiah Rodriguez read a poem titled “Get Ready, Get Set.” Teacher Rosela Guerrero, and Teacher Andrea Nuñez distributed preschool diplomas to the graduates. The entire class then sang “I’m a Shining Star”. After, Destiny Rodriguez, Wilson Vasquez, Tyler Smith, and Jeffrey Martinez presented an ABC poem. A rose ceremony to honor the parents took place following after. The graduates weren’t shy to show off what they learned this school year, and all 43 cuties recited all 26 letters of the alphabet to the audience. The students performed their last song, “Clap your Hands”, and the Vote of Thanks was delivered by Anne Almora, Koby Bradley, and William Reyes to close off the ceremony.

Courts donates to fire victims
On Tuesday, July 5th, the multi-national company Courts Limited made a significant donation to the San Pedro fire victims, who lost everything during the worst tragedy the island has experienced in recent memory. The handover of the donation took place at 2PM at the San Pedro Lions Den. Present to receive the items was incoming San Pedro Lions President Nigel Belisle. The donation comprised of 10 mattresses, a selection of small home appliances such as Hamilton Beach slow cookers, toasters, rice cookers, and cordless kettle. In addition there was $3,000 worth of grocery items were donated as well. Courts Belize representative Avril Eiley, said that many San Pedro residents do business with them, thus, they were happy to donate during a time of need.

Kevin Velasquez wins Corozal Bay Regatta
The 2016 Corozal Bay Regatta saw three days of sailing competition between 19 Belizean youth. The fourth national ranking regatta of the sailing season, the Corozal Bay Regatta, was held from Friday, July 1st to Sunday, July 3rd and was hosted by the Corozal Bay Sailing Club (CBSC). Like in all competitions, there needed to be a winner, and taking that big win was San Pedro’s Kevin Velasquez, who has secured his spot at the 2016 Belize National Sailing Championship. It was perfect sailing weather, as young sailors from CBSC, Belize Seas Scouts (BSS), Placencia Sailing Club (PSC), and the San Pedro Racers (SPR) took to the waters off Corozal Town in a series of six races. Sailing in the Optimist class, each sailor was allowed to discard their worst race score. In the end the sailor scoring the least points ranked highest.

Ambergris Today

BEL Apologizes to Customers in San Pedro Town for Extensive Power Interruption
In a press release, Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) extended an apology to residents of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, following an extensive power Interruption that affected the island from Wednesday, July 6 to Thursday, July 7, 2016. At 9:17 p.m. Wednesday, the entire island lost power supply, which required prompt response from BEL. A faulty substation breaker was identified as the cause, requiring technicians to re-configure the San Pedro substation to isolate the faulty equipment. Power supply was restored to all customers during the course of today. The Company’s technical personnel remained on location overnight to ensure continued monitoring and support to the San Pedro team.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Taste of Belize 2016
Congratulations Eva Longsworth top Master Chef Taste of Belize 2016, Orange Walk Town, Belize! Second place Maresha Reid of Pirates Treasure Restaurant and Bar and third place Samuel Gonzalez of Rain Restaurant & Rooftop Terrace!!!!! (L to R) Maresha Reid, Eva Longsworth, Samuel Gonzalez and judges Sean Kuylen and Rob Pronk. Judge Jennie Staines not shown.

Before and after" good news snippet - or "another one ready to return home"
This cracid chick had been confiscated from illegals in the Chiquibul Forest by FCD rangers. The Forest Department had asked BWRC for veterinary examination and reporting, as well as holding on to this animal (and rearing) until the pending court case against the poachers concluded. In the meantime in BWRC's care the chick has developed into a beautiful juvenile Crested guan and is now nearly ready for soft release.

Tourist death on San Pedro
We regret to inform the passing of a 39 year old male tourist who was on tour today, July 9th 2016 at 11:30AM with Tuff E Nuff Tours (a licensed tour operator) in San Pedro, Belize. The incident occurred at a dive site in front of Belizean Shores and not at Hol Chan as reported by other media houses. We are awaiting official postmortem reports and a statement from the Belize Tourism Board. Our sincere condolences to his wife and child who are in Belize with him.

Public Meeting in San Pedro with BEL
BEL invites customers in San Pedro Town to a public meeting on Monday, July 11 at Lion's Den, starting 7:00pm. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss power interruptions affecting the island, customer's concerns and the Company's plans to address reliability and growth on the island.

Shipstern Conservation and Management Area a Howler Monkey release site
"We are happy to report that the southern part of Shipstern Conservation and Management Area was selected as one of this years release sites for the Howler Monkey release program managed by Wildtracks in Sarteneja Village. Our guys were very happy to participate in release activities and have received some training in howler release, tracking and monitoring techniques. We now look forward to doing our part in providing a safe home to the new residents of Shipstern".

Animal Health Fair
Pictures from the Animal Health Fair in Spanish Lookout.  Cayo Animal Welfare Society and the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic were on hand, as well as many other animal based organizations.  Lot's of great food from Sweet Ting Pastries, Miss Deb's, and The Farm House Deli was there.

Jungle Love: "Burning Man Inspired" Art Festival
Jungle Love, an art and music festival, is coming to Cayo. It'll be the weekend of August 19th, at RawSpa in Bullet Tree Falls. It's 'Burning Man inspired,' so it'll be a gifting environment. There will be same amazing music at the event too. "We're having a Burning-Man-inspired art party that's about being free outside the rat race, commercialism, materialism and consumerism of modern day living, including the for-profit fests that exploit the movement Burning Man perpetuated... We're shooting for 100 core, progressive, fun-loving people to lead this movement into and through Belize. There will be no more than 200 tickets sold. At $50 per ticket, we will have just enough budget to cover grounds security and medical, hygene and bathrooms, grounds rental and artistic commissions for the event. Any additional revenue generated will go to local art grants."

Cayo International Day of Yoga
Pictures from the International Day of Yoga celebrated in Cayo at the Full Lotus Holistic Wellness Center. They had a great turnout. Airbender was there to wow everyone with some yoga dance. "What an awesome day. A big thanks to all who participated. Much love & namaste"

CODICADER Games
It's not often we see hundreds of children from six Central American nations in one place. It happened at the Opening Ceremony of the Codicader Games on Thursday evening. The theme, "Colours of Central America," was beautifully expressed by young Belizean performers and provided a rich cultural experience for the young athletes as well as family and fans in the stands. The games continue through July 12, and you can learn more the Codicader Belize 2016 Facebook Page.

Ancient World Week July 18-21
Coming to Corozal House of Culture (NICH)!

BELIZEAN LEGENDS ON THE SET OF POPULAR L.A. BELIZEAN RADIO SHOW "A WAKE OP LIKE DIS"!
It was an honor for yours truly of Belizean Legends to have had the opportunity again to sit in the company of two beautiful Belizeans, Lorna Smith, and Wil Johnson to bring to the Belizean people news, views and reviews of Belize. Sometime it is very important to sit back, relax in an informal setting to talk with the Belizean people rather than these hyped up sessions. The show, Ah Wake Up Like Dis has that informal setting, and Sista Lorna, and Brother Wil, makes one relax and enjoy the music and the vibes of a vibrant Belizean culture.

BELIZEAN ARTIST EXTRAORDINAIRE MICHAEL GORDON!
Michael Gordon, this outstanding Belizean artist extraordinaire, whom yours truly was so blessed to have known from childhood, has transcended race and politics in Belize to become one of Belize's most talented artists to date. His amazing development as a Belizean artist appeared to have developed rather haphazardly being discovered rather by accident by another one of Belize's most astute and talented artists himself, Yasser Musa. Since it appears that only an artist can see an artist undiscovered as the visionary in Musa detected in Gordon who appeared to have been thrown out of the mainstream Belizean artistic society through ignorance. Gordon struggled socially against poverty and rejection on the streets of Belize City in the 1970's sketching memories of his oppression on thrown-away pieces of cardboard that became his canvas. What came out, however, from the brilliant mind of this son of Belizean soil was masterpieces of art that maybe only Musa could immediately recognized as talent.

Ra the Osprey has been released
After exactly 2 months of medical care, therapy and flight training, Ra's broken wing was healed and strong enough for him to go it alone. It was more than we could have hoped - after leaving the crate, he did a couple of laps of the area, realised immediately where he was and landed right back on his nest post. A few hours later we had reports that he was joined by his parents and sibling. The family were reunited! Thank you to the fabulous donors and supporters that helped smooth the rehab for Ra - you are all fabulous.

Belize Screen on the Green - July Movie
Belize Screen on the Green is back for July and this month we are featuring the movie "Frozen"!!! Please bring the whole family to join us for this fun movie on Thursday, June 14th at GG Field in Belmopan. As always movie starts at dark and refreshments will be served. About the movie - When their kingdom becomes trapped in perpetual winter, fearless Anna (Kristen Bell) joins forces with mountaineer Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and his reindeer sidekick to find Anna's sister, Snow Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel), and break her icy spell. Although their epic journey leads them to encounters with mystical trolls, a comedic snowman (Josh Gad), harsh conditions, and magic at every turn, Anna and Kristoff bravely push onward in a race to save their kingdom from winter's cold grip.

Channel 7

Southside Police Calling All Gangs
Wednesday the city went wild with a spasm of gang warfare, ending with three murders in just five hours. Tonight the city is still recovering from that spree of violence, but Southside police aren't waiting around to see what happens next. They took the matter in hand when they launched an anti-gang operation, from 3:00 this morning until 10:00. According to a press release from Commander Chester Williams, QUOTE, "During this operation most of the major players in the current gang warfare were taken into custody." Williams says the purpose of the roundup was twofold; first, to conduct searches for firearms and drugs at their homes, but, probably more importantly, to bring them, by force if necessary, to the table with police to air out the grievances that have been escalating hostilities to murderous proportions. That meeting was held this afternoon at the Raccoon Street Station and when we went there we were told that all the proceedings are confidential and we were not allowed to capture any footage. Police have not announced the outcome, but we will have an update by Monday.

Alleged Bloody Wednesday Killers Charged
And, the news tonight is that the main suspects for two of those murders have been charged. Eighteen year old Lionel Kelly was charged with the murder of Tevin Palmer when he appeared today before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. He was remanded into custody until September 8. On Wednesday afternoon at 3:00, Kelly allegedly went into the Castle Street home where Palmer was eating and shot him three times in the head. Kelly is a resident of Banak Street - which is where Giovanni Gentle lived before he was killed last week Friday night. The Palma killing is believed to be a retaliation for the Gentle murder. Interestingly, Kelly's mother lived in the same house where Palma was killed and she was also detained. The home was burnt after the murder, probably as an act of counter-retaliation.

Treasury Bills, Anyone? SSB May Not Buy $55 Million In BTL/BEL Shares After All
Remember all the fuss made about that 55 million dollars in BTL and BEL shares that Social Security had agreed to purchase? Critics cried that a cash strapped government was using Social Security as a piggy bank. Well, even though a unanimous board resolution was passed to purchase the utility shares - it seems it might not go through after all. Unofficial word to 7News tonight is that government will probably end up keeping the shares, and Social security will invest its millions in treasury bills and notes - the same ones currently being sold by government to pay back the BTL debt. Best information says that Social Security would buy more than 10 million dollars in government paper, while government would stay with the shares and continue to receive the dividend payments from the shares as a revenue stream.

Hope Beyond The Blaze
There is hope beyond the blaze for San Pedro islanders. Today the town's NEMO branch sent a press release outlining the various ongoing efforts to help the 98 people who lost everything in the June 27th fire. The flames consumed 11 buildings and damaged 7 on Pescador Drive. It was a heartbreaking scene as popular businesses, cherished family homes and apartments were all gutted in the fire. Well, those 98 San Pedro residents are slowly putting their lives back together with help from the Emergency Operations Committee, the Belize Red Cross and other organizations. The fire victims have been supplied with clothes, food, mattresses, table top stoves and other household appliances and hygiene kits. The families were also put up in hotels and were offered counseling if needed. Presently, the humanitarian efforts continue and the disaster relief team is asking everyone to chip in. The San Pedro Lions Club and Red Cross have already raised $225,000 but they need more to match the $1 million dollar cost of property damage. If you would like to help the San Pedro Fire victims you can deposit money to the San Pedro Red Cross Belize Bank Account number 620911031720 or the San Pedro Lions Club Atlantic Bank Account number 211382902. Deadline for donations is July 31st. In terms of the investigation, the fire department told us this evening that it is now confirmed as a case of arson which started in an unoccupied wooden building owned by Gus Tabony.

"Meeko": A Turtle's Story
Back in 2010, we took you to Gales Point Manatee for a look at tagging of the Hawksbill Turtles. It's an initiative from the Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary and their international partners to study and protect this endangered species of majestic animals which can live for more than a hundred years. Well, the sanctuary has been quietly doing their work of monitoring the turtles, and today, they invited us back to see the progress they've been making. We got a chance to meet "Meeko", the latest wild turtle captured in Belizean waters, and Daniel Ortiz reports: This device is a GPS tag, used by scientists to track the migratory patterns of animals, and in this case, an endangered turtle species. Here on the beaches of Gales Point Manatee, the turtles come very often to nest, and that's where the Belizean and American conservationists caught this female Hawksbill. She's being fitted with the tag, which will transmit data for 2 years on her location as she travels the seas, carrying on with her very long life.

Zika Cases Confirmed In Caye Caulker
The Zika fight continues and the Ministry of Health says it has been ramping up efforts considerably- with the arrival of the rainy season. The last Zika alerts came from the island of Caye Caulker. As many as 3 persons from the island tested positive. In response the Ministry of Health launched an extensive cleanup campaign while at the same time keeping a close watch on the first pregnant woman in Belize to be infected with the Zika virus. As you may know by now, studies are showing a direct link between Zika and microcephaly in unborn children- making pregnant women particularly vulnerable to the virus. The CEO in the Ministry of Health spoke to us today about the continued Zika fight and the new intervention methods that they are putting in place.

The Monima Clause
Much has been said about the Audibaldo Monima case. He was the recently hired Northern Regional Health Manager who was forced to resign after he was exposed as being unqualified for the job. But Monima had a contract with a three month notice clause - so the Ministry of Health could have either sent him home directly and pay him for the next three months for work he did not complete, or they could have kept him onboard and find something for him to do until that three months expired. Well it seems the Ministry of Health has come up with a solution that seems to be a blend of both. CEO Figueroa explained.

Peter Parchue, A Soldier, Not a Doctor
And keeping it on the topic of unqualified managers at the Ministry of Health we asked the CEO about the employment status of Peter Parchue, the Manager of the Southern Regional Hospital. As far as we've been able to find out Parchue, a former BDF soldier, has no medical background but is at the head of one of the three regional hospitals in the country. So could this be another case of the "Monima" effect? Today we posed the question to CEO Figueroa and here's what he told us. Dr. Ramon Figueroa - CEO. Ministry of Health: "I think people are making too much of a deal. I don't know whose... in terms of the medical background, what you need is a proper manager. You have the technical expertise locally. If you are a good manager, you surround yourself with the technical people that will give you the kind of advice that you need to run the place. So, what you need is a proper manager, is a good manager and I looked at his background and his curriculum, his papers and I think he brings that to the ground. What I've seen up to now is pretty good. We have gotten excellent reports that we were not getting before. I know it's a step up from what we had before. I can tell you that much. So, it's a lot better than what we had before and I think from what I've seen right now, he is capable."

Youth Want To Help With Gang Violence
The young men between the ages of 19 and 22, dead in five hours - the calculus of that kind of carnage still confounds many city residents two days later. But the youth population is the most affected. That is why the newly formed National Youth Council of Belize is today making a public appeal to all relevant stake holders to allow them to join in the efforts of rescuing the youths from grasps of street and gang lifestyles. We spoke to the Belize District Youth President about it: Stafin Duncan - President, National Youth Council of Belize: "When you hear 3 young people dying in 1 night, who is not concern? As the National Youth Council, we believe we are directly tasked to get involved, directly tasked to ensure the youths are being protected. From, committing the crime, being influenced to commit the crime and from being the victim. So, we are calling out the police to see if maybe we can get involved. We don't have a problem with the way they are doing their job. We want them to continue but maybe we can do more." Reporter: "What's new insight, can an organization that is built primarily by youths can provide to finding a solution to this problem?"

More Mental Health Needs Than Resources
Today the Mental Health Resource Center on Vernon Street in Belize City celebrated its third anniversary. Since it was opened in 2014, they have been taking in mental health patients, homeless persons and sometimes even the elderly. Their program includes one meal a day as well as different games and social activities for these often neglected vagrants. But with such small staff and such a limited budget the Resource center says the number of patients they host have outgrown their capacity. And so today on their third anniversary they appealed to the public for financial assistance. We spoke to the Center Manager and the CEO in the Ministry of Health about their interventions as it relates to the issue of mental health. Joyce Ellis - Admin. Welcome Resources Center: "We have over five hundred registered now to our centre. On a daily bases we will have like 45 visiting. When we have an event, we will have an outpour of participants because we use Facebook and chat and text to communicate, but they use the oldest way to communicate, word of mouth, 'hey boy something is happening at the centre' and you know what, we do have that, the crowd coming to just have fun with us.

Drug Awareness Isn't Easy
Earlier in the week we told you about the report from the OAS on drug use habits among youths aged 12 to 17 in 13 Caribbean countries. The respondents from Belize noted high levels of binge drinking, and tobacco and marijuana use - among many other areas of concern. It's a pressing concern for the Ministry of Health and the National Drug Abuse Control Council - but smoking and drinking are also pervasive social issues. We asked the CEO what can be done:…

Messi's Mess and Its Belize Implications
One of the world's most famous fooball stars, Argentinian Lionel Messi has been making the international headlines after he was convicted of tax fraud and sentenced to jail time by a Spanish Court. IT's news here because Belize and 2 other countries are caught up with him in the mess. As you may be aware, he's a super striker for the Spanish football club Barcelona, but the Spanish Government says that between 2007 and 2009, he defrauded them of more than 4 million Euros - or 4.42 million US dollars. The Spanish authorities say that he, and his father Jorge, didn't pay that amount in taxes on imaging rights earnings. He was found guilty on Wednesday. So, what does that have to do with Belize? Well, according to the prosecutors, he used this country, Switzerland, The United Kingdom, and Uruguay as tax shelters, deploying a complex web of offshore shell companies to hide those earnings from imaging rights. These were lucrative contracts with companies like Adidas, Pepsi, and Proctor & Gamble.

Caricom Backs Up Belize
As we told you earlier this week, Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington represented the Prime Minister when he headed the delegation at the 37th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM. That happened in Georgetown, Guyana, and it concluded yesterday where a CARICOM resolution supported Belize in its ongoing dispute with Guatemala. A statement from CARICOM says, quote: "The Heads of Government expressed their full support for the Government of Belize as it enters the process of dialogue and welcomed the decisions of the Government of Belize and Guatemala to engage in the design and development of a mechanism of cooperation for the Sarstoon River, which marks Belize's southern boundary. They urged them to complete this at the earliest opportunity. Heads of Government expressed support for the continuous and critical role of the Organization of American States (OAS) in the process... The Heads of Government emphasized their unflinching support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of Belize." End Quote.

SMART Sports
Today was the culmination of a two week football camp at the MCC grounds in Belize City. The camp which is being sponsored by Smart saw the participation of well over 90 young athletes from 4 to 14 years of age. After completing the camp the participants got a certificate, and some even got awards for various categories including most disciplined and most improved. We stopped by today as the participants were getting ready for their final photo-op: Smart has been sponsoring the camp for the past three years.

Orange Walk Gets A Taste Of Belize
The Taste of Belize 2016 will be held Saturday in Orange Walk at the Orange Walk District's Muffles College Auditorium. It is a culinary and bartending competition, and a flagship event for the BTB - where they get to promote Belize's culture through food and drink. While setting up today, one of the organizers Lenny Ayuso told us more about the bufeet of food and entertainment that will be on offer:.. The event runs from the morning up until about midnight when the Belize Master Chef and Bartender of the Year will be chosen.

Judge's Father In Land Dispute
Often in our newscast, we report on strange cases at the lands department where there are clear evidence of fraud, or that there is some reason for suspicion. But, about 3 weeks ago, we became aware of case, and we just aren't sure what to make of it. More unusual than that, one of the aggrieved parties is a Magistrate's father. He's 75 year-old Albert Hoare Sr., father of Magistrate Albert Hoare Jr.,who's currently stationed in San Ignacio. The land in question is a 15 acre parcel in Camalote, which once belonged to George Hoare Sr., the late father of Albert Sr., and grandfather to Magistrate Albert Jr. He died in 1979, and he didn't leave behind a will to specify how the land should be divided. So, that means that all of his 8 children, including Albert Sr., and his sister, Isabel Hoare, should have been entitled to share it equally.

Channel 5

2 Belize City Men Arraigned for Mid-week Mayhem
There were three murders on Wednesday in the Old Capital and police from Eastern Divisions North and South have since charged two Belize City men for the mid-week murders of [...]

Will S.S.B. Be Used to Finance B.T.L. Arbitration Award Payout?
Tonight, there are indications that government is scurrying to come up with the first payment to the Ashcroft Group of Companies, due Tuesday. We can confirm that G.O.B. has withdrawn [...]

San Pedro Returns to Normalcy After Devastating Fire
At around midnight on June twenty-seventh, a fiery blaze virtually swept through an entire block of San Pedro Town, a densely populated area on Pescador Drive. When the fire was [...]

CODICADER Games Day 2; How’s Belize Doing?
The 2016 CODICADER Games continued today in Belize City, Orange Walk, Belmopan and San Ignacio where a number of tournaments, including basketball, football, table tennis and volleyball are being played.  [...]

Environmentalists Discuss Pending Fisheries Act
A major concern brought up at the Reef Scorecard forum hosted by relevant stakeholders on Thursday was the issue of the Fisheries Act which has not yet been passed. And [...]

OCEANA Weighs in on the Need for Policies in Fishing Industry
OCEANA supports a comprehensive approach to fishing which would include policies and structure as well as support for fisherfolk, since so many in the country depend on the industry for [...]

Gillnets Remain a Destructive Force in Belize’s Fisheries Sector
Where gillnets are concerned, News Five have seen those in extensive use primarily in the southern waters of the country, near the Sarstoon. And it’s not by local fishermen, but [...]

Athletic Association is Criticized by Ineligible Olympic Runners
Belizean/American track and field athlete Kenneth Medwood claims to have been snubbed from participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics because the Belize Athletic Association reportedly failed to include him on [...]

Kenneth Medwood Demands Respect for Belize’s Athletes
Medwood, who finds himself in a similar situation as Kaina Martinez, says that they have been disrespected by the Belize Athletic Association.   Kenneth Medwood, Athlete “I just feel that [...]

Kaina Martinez Echoes Sentiment
Kaina Martinez, who has been quite vocal about her displeasure with not being selected, also granted News Five a Skype interview this evening.  She too demands that the association shows [...]

National Youth Council Speaks Out Against Crime and Violence
The newly convened National Youth Council of Belize has weighed in on the escalating gang violence in the city which resulted in the brazen, brutal murders of three young men [...]

Youth Council President Says State of Crime in the City is Worrisome
In recent days Belizeans have seen perhaps the greatest effort expended to curb violence, led by the active interventions between rival gangs. But it’s also been a frustrating and heartbreaking [...]

CYDP Hosts Summer Camp for Life Skills and Sports
Summer camps are popping up all over the city, but a camp targeting at-risk youths concluded today with an all day sports tournament. Organized by the Conscious Youth Development Program, [...]

CTV3

Calling All Drama Lovers
The Banquitas House of Culture and the National Institute of Culture and History, (NICH) have partnered along with the Institute of Creative Arts and the Embassy of Panama in Belize to host a play entitled ‘Canillita’ which highlights a number of social issues that are evident throughout the entire world. The performance will be held this Friday at the Crystal Palace Auditorium where one member of the Orange Walk Community will have the opportunity to share the stage with actors from Panama. Angel Gutierrez – Actor: “Vienen unos compañeros el Viernes y vamos a presentar una hora de teatro que se llama Canillita que es una hora de contenido social; es una familia es una mujer que es pobre, tiene tres hijos uno de ellos enfermo se une con un hombre que es vividor, que se gasta toda la plata en apuestas entonces el hijo que vende periódicos que es Canillita trata como ayudarla a salir de allí es un adolecente casi quiere salir de eso entonces viene todo un conflicto entre este hombre que lo interpreto yo que se llama Pancho un vividor que le pega a su mujer y llega un punto que bueno Canillita se molesta por eso y hay un enfrentamiento y más que nada es como una crítica social al abuso.”

Another Person Arrested In Relation To Attack Taxi Driver
Two weeks ago we reported about forty six year old Gloria Alvarez, a naturalized Belizean taxi driver of Orange Walk Town who was assaulted by two individuals on Friday June 17th at about 11:00 p.m. on the Yo Creek Road. And while we had informed you that one of the individuals, Alma Solangel Hernandez, a resident of 66 Princess Diana Street was arrested and charged with ‘robbery’, today we can tell you that fifty year old Albert Jerry Guy, a Belizean fisherman of Orange Walk Town, has also been arrested and charged by authorities for ‘robbery’. Reports indicate that Alvarez had been chartered by Hernandez and Guy who had asked to be taken to the village of Yo Creek, however, before arriving at the village Guy reportedly pulled out a screw driver and placed it on Alvarez’s neck ordering her to give up her car keys or she would be killed if instructions were not followed.

Disgruntled Mexican National Plan To block Borders With Belize
Belizeans planning in traveling to Chetumal in the coming days may want to reschedule their travels as reports from the Mexican media indicate that agricultural producers have planned a road block at the border of Mexico with Belize as a form of protest to their government. Reports in the Mexican news page, ‘Expediente Quintana Roo’ indicate that the Democratic Farmers Union (Unión Campesina Democrática, UCD) has announced that some five thousand farmers will be setting up road blocks at the two international bridges with Belize. According to the report, the protest is being held to pressure the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) to release funds to develop various agricultural projects that should have been issued several months ago.

CODICADER Games Kicks Off, Volleyball Played In Orange Walk
The 2016 CODICADER (Central American Council of Sports & Recreation) Games kicked off yesterday here in Belize for the first time since the inception of the Primary School based games. The tournament includes disciplines in Basketball, Football, Table tennis and volleyball and includes primary school children from Central American countries including Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Belize. According to member of the technical commission for CODICADER, Alfonso Bando, although the games center on different sports, the main objective of the tournament is to cultivate teamwork, sportsmanship, peace and greater relationship with athletes from other Central American countries. Alfonso Bando- Technical commission- CODICADER: “Esto es un evento no solo de competición porque está implícita sino también de participación de solidaridad de integración entre las naciones y aquí lo que les pedimos a los niños es que disfruten que ellos vinieron aquí a liderarse a demonstrar ese talento que pueden tener algunos en el aspecto deportivo como en el aspecto personal también que puedan conocer la ciudad de integrarse tantas cosas bonitas que se le puede pedir a los niños.”

Youth Council Issues Release On Recent Murders In Belize
As a result of the two separate shooting incidents that occurred yesterday in Belize City which claimed the lives of twenty year old Telvin Palmer and nineteen year old Devin Parham both believed to be gang related, the National Youth Council issued a press release just a few hours ago to express their deepest sympathy to the families of the individuals and to also speak out about this issue of grave concern as it involves the constant slaying of members of the younger generation. And while the aim of the Council is to uplift and encourage youths to engage in positive activities and fight for their protection, the Council is very much concerned at this point in time and are seeking a solution to this problem so as to affect a change in the lives of many young people. The Council is asking the Belize Police Department to collaborate with them and involve them in discussions, plans and meetings as it relates to the community outreach programs that involve the younger generation. They are assuring that the Council will take the responsibility of conveying all messages given by the police officers to the youths in an effort to re-establish both trust and confidence.

Two Years After Ramon Cervantes Was Murdered, His Family Looks For Closure
Exactly two years and one day have passed since the body of seventy one year old Ramon Cervantes Sr. was discovered in a shallow grave on a farm located in the Indian hill area, some 5 miles on the Honey Camp Road, and the family is still unable to get closure as there are several unanswered questions surrounding Cervantes’ kidnapping and brutal murder. Today the Cervantes family issued a press release where they pose nine questions which according to them have gone unanswered. One of those questions is: Why was the police officer, whose handcuffs was used to bound Cervantes’ hands, reinstated after just receiving a small fine and minor disciplinary actions and why was the top ranking police official who was called out by the ring leader of the gang that killed Cervantes, given a big promotion just weeks after the murder? Today we spoke to Cervantes Jr. who told us why the family remains suspicious about the way the investigation into the death of their loved one was conducted.

OWTC Keep Pushing For Municipal Bond
At the top of the newscast we told you about the upgrading of ten streets currently being carried out by the Orange Walk Town Council. It is a project that will see one million dollars of tax payers’ money being invested. But as the town grows there is the need for more infrastructural work and that is where the projected Municipal bond will come in use. Mayor, Orange Walk Town: “We did the first discussions with the financing people at the end of the day we would want to find a down payment to get the first phase going but we are contemplating that still and it is still there and we still have it as part of our budget to try and get that and I know the Central Area Rep is still behind us working along with us to try and see how we could get or lobby for that and I am pretty sure that once we have that prospectus in hand we then can go to government and say look we have a prospectus and we have a bond that we want to raise whether it is five million whether it is three million...”

Football Icon Sentenced To Twenty One Months In Prison
International football icon, 29 year old Lionel Messi, along with his father, was sentenced by a court in Spain on Wednesday to 21 months in jail for tax fraud but will not likely serve any time in prison since Messi is a first time offender and the conviction is for a non-violent crime with a sentence of less than two-years meaning he will most likely be placed on probation. According to reports on the international media, a criminal court in Barcelona found the Argentina international player and his father Jorge Horacio Messi guilty of defrauding Spain of 4.16 million euros between 2007 and 2009. The income related to Messi’s image rights that were allegedly hidden includes deals with companies such as Adidas, Pepsi-Cola, Danone, Procter & Gamble and the Kuwait Food Company.

Drama Classes Offered At BHOC
As part of the 2016 Summer Program that is currently being held at the Banquitas House of Culture, drama lessons are being offered to Orange Walkenos who have a flair for theatre. The sessions are facilitated by Angel Gutierrez, a drama instructor from Panama, who is visiting Belize for the second time showcasing and sharing the talent he possesses. For the first day of session participants learnt how to tap into their inner emotions and bring them out on stage. Angel Gutierrez – Instructor: “Se dio la oportunidad gracias al NICH, al señor Gregory, y el proyecto inicio en Belice a dictar a un taller de teatro con las personas acá los residentes de Orange Walk un taller que parte de las emociones que todo ser humano tiene así que bien básico y parte de esa emoción del cuerpo a transmitir lo que es un poco el teatro.”

One Million Dollars Of Taxpayer Money Invested In Upgrading Of Streets
Despite the lack of financial assistance from Central Government the Orange Walk Town Council has been carrying out its mandate. While it has been quite a challenge the council has been able to bring infrastructural development to Orange Walk by working hand in hand with the community. The most recent task at hand is the upgrading of ten heavily trafficked streets across town. And if you live in Orange Walk you might have already witnessed the work in progress. Kevin Bernard – Mayor, Orange Walk Town: “We decided to go with a financing arrangement and through this private contractor we have been able to work out a long term plan which we will see the rehabilitation the paving of several major outlets of our town, we are here on San Andres Street and we know this street was really broken up and just like this Bethias is being work out simultaneously and we are doing also other areas on our won but we will definitely see the paving of almost ten new streets as well the council is working on getting in partnership together with the business community on Orchid Drive, we should see Orchid Drive fully paved in a few weeks’ time, I should say within a month we should see that street paved, Oleander Street would be getting its second coat along with these ones that we are working on right now, and so it is all about getting our street infrastructure improved and these are streets that have key impact.


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#515863 - 07/10/16 11:33 AM Re: Today's Belize News: July 10, 2016 [Re: Marty]
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LOVE FM

Arrests Made in Tevin’s and Devin’s Murders
Police have made arrests in two of three murders that occurred on Wednesday in Belize City. 27-year-old Valentine Orlando Baptist has been charged for the murder of Devin Parham. Parham was gunned down as he was walking with another man on Cemetery Road on Wednesday afternoon. The perpetrator rode up behind the duo and fired […]

National Youth Council Condemns Recent City Murders
On Thursday, the National Youth Council issued a release addressing the three murders that occurred on Wednesday. The National Youth Council says it is a sad and unfortunate situation when our nation has to deal with the loss of young, budding life and it is even more unfortunate when we analyze the state of affairs […]

Fire Relief Efforts Ongoing for Recent Fire on Ambergris Caye
In the early morning of June 27, a fire on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye destroyed eleven structures and damaged seven others. Humanitarian efforts conducted by the Red Cross and the San Pedro Lions Club have yielded over two hundred and twenty five thousand dollars. The San Pedro branch of the National Emergency Management Organization through […]

Caribbean Trade Bloc Supports Going to the ICJ
The campaigns from various sectors on the issue of the International Court of Justice continue around the country with some advocating having the matter sent to the ICJ while others are against it. With the recent CARICOM Regular Meetings in Georgetown, Guyana, a group of leaders of a Caribbean Trade Bloc has rendered their support […]

The Ramifications of the Half Billion Arbitration
It has been nine days since the Prime Minister spoke of the BTL Arbitration Award for over half billion dollars. Prime Minister has conceded that it is not a cheap arbitration but the country can handle it and he has no regrets over the BTL nationalization. There has been silence on the issue except for […]

The Story Behind the Trust in the BTL Arbitration
Last week at a press conference hosted by the Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, he spoke of the final payments required to wrap up the nationalization saga of Belize Telemedia Limited. He spoke of a portion to be paid for the actual shares acquired from the company as well as the amount to be paid for […]

Police Precinct Three Changes Command
The command for Precinct Three has changed hands over the last few days as Superintendent Suzette Anderson will be now be posted in Belmopan and Superintendent Hilberto Romero will be taking charge of the Queen Street Precinct Three. Meanwhile, Superintendent David Chi retains control of Precinct One on Euphrates Avenue and Senior Superintendents Alden Dawson […]

Improving Quality Assurance and Monitory Via Training From CROSQ
The Caribbean Regional Organization for Standards and Quality known as CROSQ held a three day workshop to train organizations from the public and private sectors in quality assurance and monitoring. Facilitator Ned Gravel, a consultant for CROSQ speaks about the training. Technical Officer for Conformity Assessment at CROSQ, Trumel Redmond spoke of how the participants […]

Amandala

5,000 Mexican farmers threatened to block Belize border!
Back in February, Mexican protesters blocked access at the border with Belize over allegations of abuses carried out at their border checkpoints, and this week, another group—this time farmers—were threatening to mobilize 5,000 people for an extended blockage to demand that their government make good on the payment of funds to farmers. Union Campesina Democratica’s (UCD) National Coordinator, Jose Duran Vera, issued a press release on Monday, July 4, 2016, announcing that today, Thursday, July 7, they would protest at the border Bridge of El Paso Texas, at some roads and railroad tracks on northern Mexico, the border with Guatemala in Tapachula, Chiapas, and at Mexico’s border with Belize, in Chetumal, Quintana Roo. The protest over the payment of arrears to farmers, reportedly 5 million pesos (more than half-a-million Belize dollars), was to begin at 9:00 this morning, with the blocking of the two bridges which connect Chetumal to Belize. However, official sources from Mexico told us that there is no such blockade in Chetumal, and Belize Immigration sources told us that there has been no change in traffic flowing between Belize and Mexico at the border post, located in Santa Elena, Corozal. Our Mexican source indicates that this could be a signal that the parties are trying to resolve the dispute.

“Fatback” Webster stabbed by stepson
Eugene “Fatback” Webster, 50, is lucky to be alive after his stepson stabbed him several times with four knives, according to police. According to police reports, Webster and his stepson were in their Los Lagos home at around 3:45 a.m. on Wednesday when a heated argument ensued. ACP Edward Broaster told Amandala, “We received information of a stabbing incident in the Los Lagos area where police visited the home of Eugene Webster and found him lying on the floor with multiple stab wounds. “The ambulance service was summoned and they came and took Mr. Webster to the KHMH [Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital], where he was operated on and now he is listed in a stable condition. Investigation reveals that he was stabbed by his stepson and we are currently looking for his stepson. The scene was processed and we observed that there were four knives used in the stabbing.

Gaza and ex-Gaza “soldiers” slain minutes apart
Two men were ruthlessly executed on the city’s northside and southside within an hour of each other. Neighbors counted six shots during the tragic shooting of Tevin “Chi Cha” Palmer, 20. According to police, shortly after 3 p.m. yesterday, four men — two on racerbikes and two on beach cruisers — made their way from New Road onto Castle Street. The men then entered #50 B Castle Street, fired several shots at Palmer and then fled the scene. Fortunately, while several persons were inside the home and yard, including children, only Palmer was injured. Palmer, an unemployed visitor to the home who was seated in a couch in the living room, was shot several times and died instantly.

Michael Lopez, 22, gunned down at his gate
The ongoing street war between the Peace In the Village (PIV) gang and the Backa Lands Crips (BLC) has left another casualty. According to his neighbors, Michael Lopez, 22, arrived at his home at the corner of Lawrence Avenue and Jones Street shortly after 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday night. They told Amandala that Lopez, who was unemployed, had spent the hours before his death looking for a job. After a brief chat with his neighbors, Lopez was about to enter his yard when two men on a motorcycle approached him. One of the men allegedly dismounted the motorcycle holding a gun. Four shots were fired and one struck Lopez in the head. Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams told Amandala, however, that he believed that Lopez was trying to fight off his attackers, but was overpowered.

In a strange twist, Ashcroft attorney blasts Barrow for BTL settlement
The half-a-billion-dollar tab which Belizeans will have to pick up after an arbitration award handed down last week against the Government of Belize, and in favor of a group of companies controlled by British billionaire Michael Ashcroft, has sparked much public discourse and debate and this morning, one of Ashcroft’s leading attorneys in Belize—Eamon Courtenay, SC—unexpectedly added his voice to those who have castigated the Government for, as he put it, giving Ashcroft exactly what he had asked for. “At the end of the day it was a question of money,” Courtenay said. Curiously, Courtenay took off his lawyer’s hat and donned his political hat as senator for the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) and member of the party’s executive.

Police battle retaliatory shootings in City’s hot zone
As we go to press tonight, City residents are resting uneasy after three young lives were cut short on Wednesday amid an upsurge of gang warfare, marked by retaliatory shootings, the latest of which sparked an arson on Castle Street where one of the latest victims, Tevin Palmer, 20, was gunned down yesterday afternoon. Despite the recent rash of killings, Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, commander for Belize City’s southside, has noted that the first six months of the year saw a marked reduction in murders, from 27 to 17. Back in March, Williams implemented a 9 o’clock curfew for minors, after pointing out that very young boys were being enlisted to commit murders. Even though the southside has seen a reduction in murders since the year began, when compared to the same time last year, the rest of the country has seen an upsurge.

Flashback! Tony Wright recalls Willie Wiley Football Team 1962-63, ‘63-64
We got a call from Tony Wright of Krem’s Belize Musicians Past & Present last week, following an episode of our Winty J series where Winty recalls his playing on the Willie Wiley junior football team back in the early 1960’s. Winty J didn’t mention his name among those he recalled, but Tony Wright was a member of that junior champion Willie Wiley football team, and he sent us a picture of the team, along with a list of the names of most of the players appearing in the picture. The picture is of course, not “crisp,” but you can still make out some of the faces. For “old times’ sake,” we present (above) Willie Wiley Football Team 1962-63, ’63-64, courtesy Tony Wright. We observed that there are about four or five other individuals not in uniform, besides Walter Lewis, in the picture who posed along with the twelve uniformed team members. In fact, the tall person right behind Sun Howard could very well be Winty, who said he was probably the only south side based player on the team at the time.

Smart 13 & Under Mundialito semifinals completed
The Smart 13 & Under Mundialito semifinals took place on Saturday, July 2, at the MCC Grounds in front of dozens of interested parents who turned out to see their youths give their all in the do-or-die knockout semifinals. In the opener, #1 seed City Boys got a goal in second half, courtesy of Ken Galvez, to clip #4 seed Ladyville Rising Stars, 1-nil. And in the nightcap, it was Brown Bombers, 2-nil, over Hattieville Riverside Boys, with both goals coming from Eldon “Tuncy” Byrd Reneau. There were previous discussions about the possibility of having the championship finals be a best-of-two games series, but it has been decided to keep it at one game only, like in the big international tournaments. The championship showdown this Sunday will feature two undefeated teams, defending champions Brown Bombers, who conceded only 1 goal in regular season, and City Boys, who gave up 2 goals only. The third place game, which precedes the championship final, has Ladyville Rising Stars going against Hattieville Riverside Boys.

Dangriga sports – Stann Creek F.A. hosts Belmopan F.A. Talent School
Here are the results from games played last Saturday at the Ecumenical football field between teams from the Stann Creek Football Association (SCFA) and the Belmopan Football Association (BFA) Talent School. U-13 result: New Site won over Belmopan Talent School U-13 by a score of 6 goals to 1. Clifford Duran got 2; and Dermille Flores, Aidan Nunez, Darnel Chavez and Collen Ramirez all got one apiece; while Belmopan Talent School’s only goal came from Christopher Jeffords. Female U-13: Silk Grass females won over Belmopan Talent School females by a score of 3 goals to 1. Khalydia Velasguez, Ophelia Casimro and Jaelin Cacho all got one apiece; while Belmopan Talent School’s only goal came from Abigail Valdez.

Editorial: Belize’s BTL blues
During the international anti-colonial era in the 1950s, Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah famously advised, “Seek ye first the political kingdom.” If some Pan-Africanist(s) from abroad visited Belize in 2016, there are certain House and Cabinet optics which would fool him. After such a visitor experienced the murderous urban civil war, or black-on-black violence in Belize City, he would have to confront a massive contradiction, the contradiction between the ruling politics of Belize, on the one hand, and our bitter, bloody socio-economics, on the other hand, a socio-economics which soon becomes even worse. Our socio-economics at the pyramid base is about to become worse because of elitist politics at the pyramid’s apex. You may call it Belize’s BTL blues, Mr. Scott-Heron. We speak of Belize’s “untold wealth” in our national anthem, but the present day Belizean reality in consumer terms is cruel poverty. When Belize entered self-government in early 1964, we knew that we were a poor people financially, but things were looking up, as we would say. Things were looking up because of the expanded sugar industry, the new lobster and garment industries, and because of increased and legal opportunities for our working classes to travel to the fabulous United States of America.

From the Publisher
In some ways, I guess in life I’ve been somewhat fortunate at times, but overall I try not to depend on good luck to pull me through predicaments. The KREM Radio experiment/experience became a personal predicament less than four months after the station began broadcasting on November 17, 1989. I was a still a relatively young man at the time. I had survived years of buffeting during the UBAD excitement, and then a few years in alliance with the ruling People’s United Party (PUP). Finally, in 1981 I had begun to get on my feet. By 1989 I’d finished building a home and was well into construction of the ferro-concrete main building in the Kremandala yard which today houses four different levels of workers – lithography, proofreading, and printing for the newspaper on the ground floor, studio and transmitter for the radio station, studio and transmitter for the television station, and the former rooftop which is used for a joint news center between the radio and television. It would take a long time to explain to you the intricacies of the ride, but the point I want to make is that at the time KREM Radio came on the scene, we had been doing well with the newspaper. I feel, in retrospect, that radio was an ambitious, daring step for us, and I can say for sure that there were big people in politics and business who had it in mind to cut our throats.

Is England our friend?
Dear Editor, The Caribbean and the world have discussed Brexit. Some of our eminent thinkers have argued that Britain is leaving the European Union because it in their national interest. Whether it be to control immigration, reduce the billions in dues or cumbersome bureaucracy; the Union was hindering their national interest. Britain doesn’t assist the Caribbean because they love us. They assist us because it is in their national interest. We are more than willing to align ourselves with them and push their international agenda. Instead, we must follow suit and push our national interest. Is millions in aid worth billions in trade? We have not been able to get a favorable trade deal with the EU. I suspect they still see us as a source of their prosperity.

Ambassador of Brazil writes
Dear Editor, I write in regards to an article published in the Sunday, 5 July 2016, edition of Amandala. The article, a CubaNews translation by Walter Lippmann, is entitled “Brazil : the southern giant will have to fight” and was written by Manuel E. Yepe. In his article the author speaks about a “(…) parliamentary and media coup d’etat against the constitutional order in Brazil”. It is clear that Mr. Yepe is not familiar with the political process in Brazil, which develops in a framework of absolute respect for the democratic institutions and the Federal Constitution. As any unbiased observer may confirm, the process of impeachment is a constitutional provision. The rules of procedure established at the Constitution and the law were rigorously followed, with the endorsement and determination of the Supreme Court. The Vice-President assumed the presidency as expressly determined by the Federal Constitution.

Czarnecki’s return
Dear Editor, Today’s headline carried the story of this poor delusional woman who —the inevitable “next time” her so called boyfriend goes ballistic (his history of abusing women guarantees there will be a next time) — will be lucky to not be killed. This man’s day will come (soon, very soon) and the world will have one less piece of rubbish to contend with. He’s a no-hope-er whose future is getting shorter….

“Baasa” Webster buried in New York
A major and longstanding Belizean New York City street figure, from the 1970s until the present, Sylvester Wilfred “Baasa” Webster, died and was buried in New York a few weeks ago. Baasa came out of the North Front Street/New Road area around Holy Redeemer Boys School. He was the maternal uncle of an original Kremandala Raider – the one Maino Bevans.

Mr. Evan X Hyde’s writings
Mr. Evan X Hyde, the visionary giant in Belizean letters, has been writing for over forty years bringing light to the nation of Belize in the newspaper he started, Amandala, with analysis and insight into local and international happenings and linking them for his readers from his knowledge base on listenings, readings and lived experiences with words of fire and clarity. To have sustained this energy and focus for this duration of time is evidence of his strength of spirit and inner vision. He is a warrior. Mr. Hyde’s writings run the range of poetry, plays and essays and share knowledge and open the door of freedom and seeing by illuminating what is and offering solutions to action and future development. His voice is a beacon to listen to as we navigate the future and understand the history from which the present is birthed. Mr. Hyde’s writings are monuments of our shared history, the news of our present and maps to the future. The past, the present, and the future are one in God.

General Ricardo Bustamante and Jimmy Morales’ juntita
Of the four members of the Juntita, Bustamante is the most experienced and the only one with the rank of general. He was trained from the 70s and 80s, when he was a lieutenant, in counterintelligence under the command of General Manuel Antonio Callejas and Francisco Ortega Menaldo. During the armed conflict he was in charge of a clandestine torture center known as La Isla (zone 6). He also served in the Traveling Military Police. In the 90s, in the government of Ramiro de León, he was peacemaker between Otto Pérez and Francisco Ortega, preventing their differences from evolving into more. He belonged to the “Brotherhood” also known as the “Lifeguard Group” and later on to downplay it, as the Red Moreno Network, one of the oldest structures of smuggling and tax fraud, which was partially dismantled in 1996. In times of former President Colom, he controlled the Ministry of Defence through one of his stalwarts, General Tulio García Franco, alias Mouse. He was director of the Escuela Politécnica in 2001 and 2002. Bustamante understood the importance of the academy as a lever of power, both to train soldiers in civilian careers, as well as to recruit civilians to security and defense posts which increasingly had to be shared by the military. So he managed scholarships and promoted careers in various universities. One of his trusted people in this administration, graduated with that profile, the Uruguayan naturalized Guatemalan Grisel Capo, a senior official of the Secretariat of Strategic Intelligence (Secretaría de Inteligencia Estratégica, SIE).

Belize pump prices spike, widening cross-border price gaps
Although world market crude prices are down by about 20% when compared to the same time last year, government-controlled pump prices in Belize—except for kerosene—are actually higher. That’s probably because kerosene, an essential fuel for indigent families disconnected from the national power grid, was exempted from the fuel tax hikes implemented last December and this February. Out west, where Belizeans have the option of venturing across the border to Guatemala for cheaper—albeit lower quality—fuel, the cross-border price gap is very notable. Whereas in Belize, the price of regular gasoline shot up by 33 cents on the gallon on Saturday, July 2, 2016, bringing the price tag to $9.71 a gallon in Belize, it is $9.82 out in Benque. Right across the border in Melchor, though, regular gasoline was priced at 26.41 quetzales when our source notified us of the price difference earlier in the week. This equates to about BZ$7.30. Meanwhile, diesel, which now costs almost $9.00 a gallon, was priced at 20.99 quetzales (or less than BZ$6.00) across the border.

The CODICADER Games are here
Belize is presently, and for the first time, hosting the 2016 CODICADER (The Central American Council of Sports & Recreation) Games, with contingents of student athletes along with their respective country officials as well as a number of parents, arriving from Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. Guatemala has opted not to participate in this year’s Games, although “CODICADER is an organ of the Central American Integration System (SICA), whose goal is to contribute to the strengthening of integration, solidarity and peace between our peoples of member countries.” The Games are for student athletes between the ages of 6 to 12 years, and will be limited to four sporting disciplines – table tennis, which will be hosted in Belize City at the Belize Elementary Auditorium; football, which will be at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan; basketball at the Sacred Heart Auditorium in San Ignacio; and volleyball at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk.

The Reporter

BTB’s Taste of Belize set for Saturday
The Belize Tourism Board’s (BTB) culinary event, the Taste of Belize, is planned for Saturday in Orange Walk Town. The event will take place at the Muffles College Auditorium. The first competition will be the Amateur Cook category, from 9:00 a.m., to 3:00 p.m., followed […]

Muslims end Ramadan with Eid; condemns worldwide terrorism
Muslims across Islam and the rest of the world ended their month of Ramadan (fasting) this week with the Eid ul Fitr (a festival for breaking the fast) and a commiserations prayer for the those in suffering.   The message from the reading taken from the […]

New prediction lists 2016 as most active year since 2012
Contrary to earlier predictions, the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season could turn out to be the most active since 2012, a new expert prediction states, pointing to an increase in the number of expected storms.  Colorado State University (CSU) in the US has released a new […]

Moscow Ballet Comes to Belize
For the first time in Belize, the Moscow Ballet on Ice, a world class skating show, will be performing Swan Lake and Cinderella on ice at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts. The show will take place on July 30th and 31st. The National Institute of […]

Chester responds to social experts’ criticism of his gang intervention methods
Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams has lashed back at comments made by sociologists who have criticized his methods of gang intervention. The criticisms stemmed from the introduction two weeks ago of “Like a Bushfire”, a 200-page report by renowned researcher, Dr. Herbert Gayle, on […]

Chester: Murder count on south side 10 fewer than same time last year
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Chester Williams says he is pleased that the number of murders on Belize City’s south side between January and June 30 of this year stands at 10 fewer than last year, and the lowest since 2012. At a press conference […]

Police hold first social media meeting
The Rural Eastern Division (RED) of the Belize Police Department, in its continued effort to strengthen community relations, held its first-ever public meeting over social media. The RED engaged residents of the Western Sunset Community on Wednesday over the popular application WhatsApp to be able to get […]

“Banning Gill-nets” Stronghold Increases
Within the past two weeks organizations, both locally and internationally, joined Oceana’s proposal to the Belize Fisheries Department (BFD) for gill-net usage in Belize’s waters to be terminated by June, 2018. Since 2010, Oceana has been emphasizing the importance of protecting Belize’s natural resources, encouraging healthy fisheries […]

BTL’s LTE system on track to finish in December
The new fiber-optic LTE system which Belize Telemedia’s (BTL) mobile service is getting connected to is on track to finish in December; while the first of its fiber-optic cable system is set to be introduced by the end of August. Senior Public Relations Representative with […]

Cayo BTIA meet to discuss BTB minimum standards
The Cayo chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) is calling on all accommodation owners to voice their concerns about the new Minimum Standards for Accommodations proposed by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB). The BTIA explained that the deadline for public comments to BTB’s proposed Minimum Standards for Accommodations […]

Murder stemmed from age-old jealousy which ended at lodge hall social event
Giovanni Gentle, 30, fell victim to an onslaught of gunshots at around 1:20 Saturday morning, while a lodge hall event was in progress on Regent Street West in Belize City. Police were summoned to Regent Street West near its intersection with Thurton Lane and found […]

PG accident claims one
Eighteen-year-old Carlos Duarte, a resident of Bella Vista Village, Toledo, died from a fatal car accident that happened last Saturday near the Punta Gorda junction. Duarte was driving in a taxi mini van near the Punta Gorda junction early Saturday morning, just before 6:00. Suddenly, he lost […]

Belize prepares for possible “Brexit” impacts
Belize has already begun to take preparatory action to Britain’s announcement almost three weeks ago that she will withdraw as a member of the European Union, ¬ the term now popularly known as “Brexit”. In an interview with the Reporter this week, CEO in the […]

Editorial
When in 1981 Belize finally achieved her independence, it marked the beginning of a tortuous journey. Britain was not prepared to give Belize a defence guarantee, and we all knew from experience that Guatemala would not abandon her claim and go silently into the night. Moreover Belize suffered from a […]

Three murders in four hours!
A spike in gang-related murders left three men dead within four hours this week. On Wednesday, 20-year-old Tevin Palmer, 19-year-old Devin Parham, and 22-year-old Michael Lopez Jr. all died of multiple gunshots, in a series of retaliatory shootings. Palmer, the first victim, was killed around […]

More derisking could cause hard times for Belizeans
Having lost several Correspondent Banking Relationships (CBRs) with global banks in the recent past, the Belize Central Bank is now faced with the very real risk of losing its remaining CBRs, which could cause dire consequences for the country. Last week the Reporter broke the […]

UDP’s Noble beats PUP’s Palacio in court
The United Democratic Party’s (UDP) Guardian newspaper Editor, Alfonso Noble has been vindicated of the allegation that an article he wrote and titled, “PUP Secretary General Endorses the Use of Witchcraft in Politics” maligned Myrtle Palacio’s character. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin ruled this week that […]

Economy shrinks for first quarter
According to the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), the country’s economy shrunk by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2016. The SIB’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), released this week, showed that Belize had produced goods and services valued at $718.4 million from January-March. The […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Euro 2016 Final
It is difficult to say with certainty what will happen during the Euro 2016 Final game. Will the host nation defeat Portugal to be crowned European Champions? Or will Portugal make history and win its first major trophy? France takes on Portugal in the Euro […]

SSB reportedly not buying BTL shares
The Social Security Board (SSB) is reportedly not going to purchase $55 million in Belize Telemedia Ltd. (BTL) shares as had been previously decided. According to reports, though the SSB Board had approved a decision to purchase the shares from the government, GOB will […]

Two shootings in City: one dead, one critical
Police have confirmed that there were two shootings on Southside in a 24-hour period. The first took place around 9pm Friday night on the Pen Road Extension basketball court during which 26 year old Clifford Anderson was shot to the right upper thigh area; […]

Guatemala for gas?
Border issues aside, does it pay less to go to Guatemala for gas? Our colleagues at the Amandala have surveyed the difference in gas prices between Belize and our neighbors Mexico and Guatemala, finding that their prices, tied to world market controls, are significantly […]

Taste of Belize is here!
The Belize Tourism Board is at this hour hosting the 2016 Taste of Belize Competition 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 Mestizos. The event features several culinary and related competitions: Belize Master Chef, Amateur Cook, Bartender of the […]

SMART closes successful summer camp
Brazilian footballing legend Pelé popularized the phrase “the beautiful game” to describe football many years ago. It is also possibly the most popular sport in the world with top stars placed on equal footing with others of the world’s elite. Belizean football is on the […]

CARICOM supports Belize in Guatemala dispute
Although there was a multitude of issues discussed at the 37th Summit of the Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), held in Georgetown, Guyana earlier this week, the one of interest to Belizeans is the Belize-Guatemala dispute. […]

San Pedro fire victims getting help
The local branch of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) has issued an update through its Emergency Operations Committee, announcing that it will continue to collect humanitarian donations through the Red Cross and San Pedro Lions Club up to the end of July. Over 225 […]

Police make interventions; Youth Council speaks up
In the wake of 3 gruesome murders in one afternoon in the city this week, one on the north side and two on the south side, ACP Chester Williams today made good on his promise to mitigate the crime situation. This morning between 3:00am and […]

Two men charged separately with Wednesday afternoon murders
Three persons were murdered in the City during separate shooting incidents spanning about six hours on Wednesday, and so far police have made two arrests. Today police brought to court 27 year old Valentine Baptist, a construction worker of Castle Street on a charge of […]

Blogs

Six Reasons to Visit Ambergris Caye This Summer
I hope it helps because I get quite a few questions about Belize in the summer. How is it? Does it rain all the time? Are there one zillion bugs? Is everything closed? Will I be the only one on the island? Is Belize worth visiting in the summer? THE ANSWER IS YES. Yes, yes, totally yes. My first visit was in August 2006… Walter and crew…and then again in October 2006 and from there? I decided to move here – for a test year. I hadn’t even seen the high season. Here are 5 things, both good and not-so-great, that summer means to me. If you consider yourself a person who can go with the flow – COME ON DOWN. I find new things I love about this country every day. 1. Warm Weather – I can not sugar coat it for you. Actual year-round temperature in Belize does not vary all that much. Day time temps sit between about 75 to the high 80s. But it just feels hotter in the summer. The sun’s a bit stronger, the sea breeze a bit warmer, the water is warmer – getting into the mid 80s and rain comes a bit more frequently (though mostly at night)…

That moment you forget to “Go Slow” in Caye Caulker
It’s no secret that Caye Caulker is known for it’s laid back atmosphere. They even have an island motto “Go Slow” and they mean it! Worry free, relaxing on the beach or at the split is what makes the island so charming, but what happens when this calm little island is suddenly bursting with people, music, entertainment and food galore? Lobsterfest, that’s what happens! It’s not the great selection of DJs, the amazing performances, the powder party, the lizard juice or even the lobster, it’s the perfect combination off all of these things that makes Caye Caulker Lobsterfest a must do event in Belize. Our family got to experience it first hand not one day, but all weekend long! Since a picture tells a thousand words, but your smiles are worth a million I’m just gonna leave some highlights of our trip here in hopes that you won’t miss the next Lobsterfest in Caye Caulker…

SAN PEDRO THINGS TO DO THAT DON’T REQUIRE MUCH TIME!
Blessed with a sunny day and wanting some fun activities to do, but strapped for time? Choose from any of these short fun filled activities that can all be easily arranged at our Tour Desk. Ride the Waves: Have us arrange to have a couple jet skis delivered to our dock for an hour or two. Big enough to comfortably carry two individuals, these babies afford you the opportunity to ride the waves and challenge the winds at high velocity. Looking for a little more excitement? Play a game of – “Who can throw who off the Ski!!” My nephews are pros at this. Para Sailing: See San Pedro from a new perspective. Let us schedule a single, double or triple Parasailing adventure for you. Take to the skies by yourself and enjoy the peaceful solitude with nothing but the cool breath of nature, while being soothed by the swooshing of the waves against the Belize Barrier Reef that stretches as far as the eye can see.

La Milpa Mayan Ruins in Belize
Located in the north of the country in Belize’s Orange Walk District, La Milpa is is the third-largest Maya ruin site in Belize. Although excavations continue and much of the site is still being documented, visitors to La Milpa can tour more than 20 courtyards, two ball courts, and explore 85 structures, including four large temple pyramids. Modern archeologists estimate that as many as 50,000 people once lived at La Milpa in an urban area measuring more than a kilometer square. First built during the Pre-Classic era around the year 400 BCE, La Milpa was a powerful city state with large-scale agricultural terracing and two large basins to cache water. For unknown reasons, the city of La Milpa was hastily abandoned around the year 850, leaving behind partially-completed monuments that were reclaimed by the jungle until archeologists rediscovered the site in 1938. La Milpa is approximately a one and a half-hour drive from Orange Walk Town just off the Chan Chich Road in northwest Belize near the borders with Mexico and Guatemala. The easiest way to find it is to follow directions to the La Milpa Jungle Lodge which is located just outside the Maya site.

Snorkel Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley
Located just a few miles south of the town of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve is a large protected marine environment famous for its rich abundance of coral reefs and aquatic flora and fauna. Declared a protected habitat in 1987, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve measures more than 4,400 acres (18 square kilometers) in size. The name “Hol Chan” is Maya for “Little Cut” and refers to a natural break in the Belize Barrier Reef. The reserve is home to three kinds of sea turtles, two kinds of dolphins, the West Indian manatee, lobsters, eels, stingrays, sea anemones, dozens of species of fish, and three kinds of coral. The reserve is divided into four zones: Zone A – In and around the coral reef where fishing is prohibited but snorkeling and scuba diving are permitted. Zone B – An area of sea grass beds where fishing is permitted. Zone C – The mangrove swamps of southern Ambergris Caye where limited sport fishing is permitted. Zone D – Popularly known as Shark Ray Alley, the zone is primarily used for snorkeling but some limited fishing is permitted in the area. Shark Ray Alley is the local nickname for a shallow section where swift currents attract large groups of nurse sharks and stingrays, a popular destination for scuba diving.

Belize in July
July is one of the best months to enjoy a vacation in Belize. With fewer crowds and most resorts and hotels offering deep discounts, July is a wonderful time to visit. Air carriers in the United States offer affordable rates on direct flights from several major American cities, and there is plenty to do and see in Belize. The weather in Belize in July is generally sunny with temperatures ranging from 86F (30C) in the daytime to 79F (26C) at night. It usually rains during the night but that clears up in the morning, and breezes keep the heat and humidity from being too stifling. With fabulous weather, reduced airfares, summer specials on lodging, and so many wonderful things to see and do, July is the perfect time to enjoy a fabulous vacation in Belize.

This is Belize: Have you ever tried ‘hot mint coconut water’? My major fail.
Jose has been delivering fresh coconut water to my door for more than two years now. Irregularly, of course. He’ll come as often as three times a week, sometimes every other week. Regardless, he is always out there in his uncharacteristically funky sunglasses, good weather and bad, harvesting fresh coconuts, from sunrise to well after dark. Jose is a true Belize entrepreneur. He likes being his own boss and he is rewarded for how hard he works and how well he sells. If he can fill and sell 15 gallons a day, that’s $150 BZD. Good money. He can easily fill 15 gallons, if he has enough empties on hand. He once showed me how quickly, slicing about six coconuts with his machete and draining them into a container in under four minutes. Of course, you have to factor the time involved scaling the palm trees barefoot, chopping down the coconuts and then gathering them up into a wheelbarrow. He has numerous wheelbarrows, here up north of the bridge, that he can tacitly borrow from businesses, homes, resorts.

This is Belize: When all goes right, the life you save may be that of a cell phone
Somewhere in the dark and the rain along the rugged main road south from San Pedro Town, my friend Clive Brewster’s phone tumbled out of his pocket and skittered away in the blackness. He didn’t even notice. He was pretty busy steering his golf cart rumbling, stumbling, and trumbling, and sloshing in, around, and through ruts and bumps and deep rocky valleys in the road, in the rain. The South Ambergris Caye road is so bad, I always feel a special appreciation when I see South island friends in town or up north at Marbucks for a Thursday night Wine Down. It isn’t just a journey. It’s a commitment. But the next morning, when he realized the phone was gone, a sense of what might of happened began to dawn, as he sat watching the sun was rising over the barrier reef in front of him. A logical and methodical man — and by nature an extremely optimistic one — Clive drew up a plan for finding his phone.

Lobsterfest in Belize
“Truly spectacular! My family and I enjoyed everything; from the people and the music, to the whole lobster's we caught and had prepared for us by the chef at our resort. We couldn’t have asked for a better weekend in Belize!” That’s how one traveler we had the pleasure of speaking to, described their experience at Lobsterfest. Just in case you didn’t know, Belize has 3 popular, summer Lobster Festivals which coincide with the opening of Belize’s Lobster Season: June 15 - February 14. San Pedro-Ambergris Caye: June 15 – 25, 2016: Recognized by the Belize Tourism Board for celebrating the “Best Festival” in Belize, San Pedro is also home to both the “biggest” and “longest” lobster celebration in the country. It features nearly 2 weeks of lobster themed activities, music concerts, cook-offs and a grand block party at the Central Park to culminate the festival.

Summertime cruise experience in Belize
Are you making your summertime cruise to Belize a memorable experience? Did you know that Belize has become a major Caribbean destination for tourists from all over the globe? Since the introduction of the cruise industry in 2000, Belize has seen a dramatic increase in the arrival of tourists. During the summertime, cruise ships anchor off the coast of Belize City and passengers are transported from the ship to the mainland in a tendered boat. The first place to visit is inside the Fort Street Tourism Village which consists of many shops and stalls that sell souvenirs, jewelry, arts & craft, and so much more. As they step outside the Tourism Village, passengers are greeted by friendly entrepreneurs selling craft, braiding hair or offering tours of the city in horse and buggy rides. Although only in the country for less than 12 hours, summertime cruise ship visitors have the opportunity to experience many of Mother Nature’s best kept secret. They can be witness to the splendors that lie in our reef or they can seek adventure as they embrace our majestic rainforest. Either way, most of these tours are organized to be not too far from the port of call.

International Sourcesizz

CARICOM And Correspondent Banking
After a 39-year withdrawal, we could well see a return of Barclays Bank to Jamaica's shores in short order. Barclay's pulled out in 1977, selling its operations to the brand new 'indigenous' National Commercial Bank, created for the purpose with government ownership. CARICOM leaders spent a good deal of their time at the 37th Heads of Government Conference in Georgetown, Guyana, last week trying to figure out how to respond to the risks of de-risking by correspondent banks. There are not many bright options. A correspondent bank is a bank in one country that provides services on behalf of another financial institution in another country. The USA PATRIOT Act defines correspondent banking very broadly as "any account established for a foreign financial institution to receive deposits from, or to make payments or other disbursements on behalf of, the foreign financial institution, or to handle other financial transactions related to such foreign financial institution".

COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE THIRTY-SEVENTH REGULAR MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF HEADS OF GOVERNMENT OF THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY, 4 - 6 JULY 2016, GEORGETOWN, GUYANA
The Thirty-Seventh Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was held at Georgetown, Guyana, on 4 - 6 July 2016. The Prime Minister of Dominica, the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, chaired the proceedings. Other members of the Conference in attendance were Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Honourable Gaston Browne; Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Rt. Honourable Perry Christie; Prime Minister of Barbados, Rt. Honourable Freundel Stuart; Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. the Rt. Honourable Keith Mitchell; President of Guyana, His Excellency Brigadier (Ret) David Granger; Prime Minister of Jamaica, Most Honourable Andrew Holness; Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris; Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Honourable Allen Chastanet; Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves; President of Suriname, His Excellency Desiré Bouterse; and Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley. Belize was represented by the Honourable Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs. Haiti was represented by Prime Minister, His Excellency Enex Jean-Charles. Montserrat was represented by Hon. Delmaude Ryan, Deputy Premier and Minister of Education, Health and Community Services.

CARICOM heads conclude latest summit in Guyana
The 37th regular meeting of the conference of heads of government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) held in Georgetown, Guyana, on July 4 – 6, 2016, concluded on Wednesday. The prime minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, chaired the proceedings. Also in attendance as an invited guest was Michelle Bachelet, president of Chile. Opening Ceremony: The opening ceremony was addressed by CARICOM Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque; prime minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness; prime minister of Saint Lucia, Allen Chastanet; prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves; the president of Suriname, Desiré Bouterse; prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr Keith Rowley; and the chairman of the conference, the prime minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit.

CARICOM ambassadors briefed on global health security agenda
Professor Goulda Downer, chair of the Caribbean Political Action Committee (C-PAC) and a member of Howard University Medical School Faculty, recently spearheaded a meeting with Caribbean ambassadors in Washington to brief them about the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), which was launched in February 2014. The goal of GHSA is (a) to accelerate progress toward a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats; and (b) to promote global health security as an international priority. GHSA is a collaborative multilateral and multi-sectoral partnership among governments, international organizations and civil society. GHSA accelerates action and spurs progress toward implementation of the World Health Organization’s International Health Regulations and other global health security frameworks. The overarching aim of GHSA is to have all countries unite to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats.

How to Dress for Birding
I’m not a gearhead. I’m too cheap to care about buying the latest stuff (I still listen to my iPod classic). I don’t really understand what kind of engine my car has. I still wear whatever clothes I had in college that still fit and don’t have visible rips and stains. It’s just who I am. Thankfully, birding is a perfect hobby for the gear-averse. Yes, some thinking needs to go into which pair of binoculars you buy, but once you have a pair that gels, you won’t need a new one for a long time. I’ve had my binoculars for almost 10 years now, and they still work great. The same goes for your spotting scope and camera—if you decide to spring for them. In general, casual birding doesn’t require a lot of gear, but that doesn’t mean companies aren’t constantly coming up with new products and insisting that birders need them. Case in point: birding clothes. I agree that it’s good to think ahead before you go outside, and be prepared for sun and bugs and heat and whatever. But unless you’re expecting some serious weather or, of course, you have medical needs, you really don’t need to own or wear any special clothing to go birding.

Mangoes destroy cancer, blast fat, reduce cholesterol, and more
Despite being a member of the Anacardiaceae family (as are poison ivy and poison oak) and therefore producing the irritating chemical urushiol, the mango has a much better reputation than its renowned rash-inducing relatives. Most people do not come in contact with mango vines or tree sap, harboring high urushiol concentrations, and only a few susceptible individuals react negatively to mango skin; therefore, a majority of the population has everything to gain and nothing to lose by eating the nutritious and delicious mango. The several ways it is credited with improving health include the following: Although it has substantially fewer antioxidants than the acai berry or pomegranate, its high fiber and vitamin C content together with its several phenols and enzymes give the mango promising anti-carcinogenic properties (9). Scientists at the University of Queensland analyzed the peels of different mango varieties and found that a few (the Irwin and Nam Doc Mai) contained bioactives with the ability to inhibit fat cell development (5).

Videos

  • Belize's Lionfish: Creating Demand for Invasive Species, 5min. The Wall Street Journal's video on Belize's Lionfish. Lionfish is an invasive species first sighted off Belize's coastal waters in 2008. Conservationists encourage fishermen to hunt lionfish, but creating a market for the fish's meat has proven difficult.

  • WWF - Our Shared Natural Heritage, 12min. Great video about living sustainably, and they used Belizean children to get the message across. Well done! Thanks WWF!

  • Lamanai, 2min. That time I took a boat down a river full of crocodiles to get to an archeological site that used to be a major Mayan city & climb to the top of a bunch of ancient temples. Notice I almost fall near the top of the first temple.

  • Belize & Tikal 2016, 4min.

  • The Crew Episode 51 [ Waterfall ], 4min. Scott, Erik and Viv try to navigate the Belize ridge lines to find the teams. The pace is back on as they try to keep up.

  • The Crew Episode 50 [ Ticks ], 4min. The name says it all - The Crew walk out of the Belize jungle covered in ticks. Scott leaves his alone but Erik and Viv decide to get them out!

  • The Crew Episode 49 [ Gunpoint ], 4.5min. Close to the Guatemalan border, deep in the Belize jungle, Erik and Viv are awoken with AK47 rifles pointed in their faces...

  • Junior the 9 year old Jag at Belize zoo, 2.5min.

  • Belize 2016, 26min.

  • Belize Honeymoon 2016, min. 1 week in San Pedro, Belize. Beautiful water, great people and awesome food all in 1 video.

  • The caress of Ticks...., 2min. Near Despair Cairn, Roni Martinez provides his views on ticks versus horse flies.

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