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#516000 - 07/15/16 06:49 AM Today's Belize News: July 15, 2016
Marty Offline


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

CARILED drafts economic profile for San Pedro
In an effort to draft the local economic profile for San Pedro Town, Caribbean Local Economic Development Project (CARILED), along with The San Pedro Town Council, held an interactive consultation on Wednesday, July 6th at the Town Conference Room. CARILED is a six year project aimed to develop and test models of Local Economic Development (LED) across the Caribbean, and San Pedro is the only municipality in the Caribbean that has signed on to the second phase of the project. In attendance were stakeholders from the San Pedro Cancer Society, Rotary Club of Ambergris Caye, Belize Tourism Industry Association, San Pedro Lions Club, The San Pedro Sun, Amber Isle Taxi Association, Tour Operators, and San Pedro Taxi Federation.

Brodie’s Pharmacy hosts Health Fair
Brodie’s Pharmacy is based in Belize City as part of the James Brodie and Company Conglomerate. It counts on San Pedro residents as frequent shoppers, and such, decided to give back the community by hosting a Health Fair on Saturday, July 9th at the San Pedro Lions Den. The fair provided free blood pressure testing, glucose testing, and skin analysis by a Neutrogena Specialist. Samples of medications, Johnson & Johnson products, Neutrogena skin care products, and other promotional items were given away. Brodie’s Pharmacy is located on Regent Street in Belize City.

Inter-office Football competition continues
The Inter-Office Football Competition began six weeks ago, and 26 registered teams continue giving their all every week at the Honourable Louis Sylvester Sporting Complex. This past weekend was no exception and games were back in full force after a slight hiatus due to Town’s events. Once again, fans gathered at the sporting venue eager to support their favourite teams. The next matches are scheduled from Thursday, July 14th through Sunday July 17th at Complex starting at 7PM. Fans are encouraged to come out and support their teams as the competition continues.

Caye Notes
The San Pedro Town Public Library is hosting two programs this month: Literacy Camp 2016 and a Summer Tutoring Program 2016. All activities are free and the public is encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to have their children progress and learn new skill. Adelle’s International Outreach Program in San Pedro, together with the Human Rights Commission of Belize Belmopan is organizing a very important seminar that will take place on the 15th & 16th of July and is inviting the public to attend. The seminar will take place at the San Pedro Lions Club from 9am to 4pm on Friday, and 9am to 3pm on Saturday. There will be a variety of presentations. On Friday topics will include covering introductions and objectives of the workshop, what is the role and mandates of the Human Rights Commission of Belize and what are the rights of vulnerable groups such as women, children, disabled, and migrant individuals.

Taiwan donates towards scarlet macaw conservation
For the second consecutive year, the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) has provided financial assistance towards to the conservation of Scarlet Macaws in Belize. On Wednesday, July 6th, Taiwan’s Forestry Bureau of the Council of Agriculture donated $20,000 to the Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD).

Five-a-Side Tournament heads into semi-finals
As always, fanatics gathered at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium on all four game nights to cheer on their favorite teams. In this phase of the competition, eliminations were only for the senior category, due to the size of the group; all little leagues and female teams remain in the tournament until the semi-finals. With the second round of games over, organizers tallied the points and announced the senior teams that had made it to the semi-finals. They are: Los Catrachos, Pro Divers, Scorpions FC and Boca Bombers. Organizers would like to congratulate all the teams that will be participating in the semi-finals. Special thanks goes out to E & L, Los Dorados, Island Pure Boys and United FC for participating in the tournament. Organizers would also like to wish all the eliminated teams the best in their sporting endeavours, and extend an invitation for them to sign up for future tournaments. The next round of games takes place from Friday, July 15th and Sunday, July 17th.

Ambergris Today

Pic of the Week - Stunning Pictures of Belize by Photographer Ravi Vora
Los Angeles based commercial and travel photographer Ravi Vora displays stunning images of Belize while he vacationed around the country to celebrate his girlfriends birthday. On his Instagram account, Ravi posts beautiful images that he captured while visiting, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker and Mainland Cayo district. Here are some of the ones we really liked:

Belize Continues to Deliver Impressive Tourism Results
In a press release today, July 14, 2016, the Belize Tourism Board announced that tourism in Belize is doing better than ever as the year reaches its half way mark. Overnight arrivals for January to June, 2016 has seen 213,430 visitors to Belize. This is an incredible 16.5% increase over the same period of 2015. Never before has the first six months of a year seen figures surpassing 200,000. All six months of 2016 have seen double digit increases, with January having the highest increase at 24%, followed by May, with a 19.6% increase. The US market continues to hold the highest share of travelers to Belize, making up close to 70% of our travelers. The first half of 2016 has seen 25.9% increase in US travelers. The European market has the second largest market share, making up 10.4% of visitors to Belize. Thus far, 2016 has had 22,109 European travelers, which is a 3.9% increase over the same period of 2015. The cruise industry has seen an overall increase of 2.6% for the first half of 2016. There has been an increase 16.1% in the 2nd quarter alone, with the months of May and June accounting for increase of 41.4% and 28.8% respectively.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

San Pedro Town Council Summer Camp 2016
Sign up your kids now! Exciting activities: Swimming, Football, Softball, Basketball and Taekwondo! ALL FREE OF COST! Sign up at the San Pedro Town Council or by calling Kent "Bob" Gabourel at 604-9013.

Costa Maya 1998!
Blast from the Past!

Ascenthium at Deja Vu
It's Benque Fiesta time, and it's the golden Benque Fiesta too. Ascenthium will be rocking the night away this Saturday, July 16th, at Deja Vu nightclub to celebrate the occasion. Their new tracks from Ghost Highway are wicked! If you missed them at Metal Haven, they you'll want to catch this show. If you saw them at Metal Haven, then you must see this show.

Montage of Miss Belize Winners
How many Miss Belize title holders can you name? Mark you calendars for this year's pageant: Sept. 10, 7 p.m. at Bliss Center for Performing Arts!

Belize Theatre Company presents "The Adventures of Tikky Blood"
A comedic play. July 14, 15, 16, Bliss Centre for Performing Arts

Percussion for Kids
July 18-29, Bliss Center. Perfect for energetic, creative children!

Cayo Art Collection 2016
July 22, San Ignacio

Classical Music Recital, Young Chamber Orchestra of Honduras
Great event at Il Baretto this Sunday, July the 17th from 7:00pm, Caye Caulker

Sugar Fest 2016 is near!
Join us on July 23rd at the BSI Field in Otro Benque, Orange Walk Town! Event kicks off at 9 am! Free entrance and all proceeds going towards participating charity groups!

Summer Art Wave 2016
Students of the Summer Art Wave 2016's Music Starts Here program are in their final days of instruction and rehearsals for Saturday night's performance at Art in the Park! You are kindly invited to the 7:30 pm performance!!!

"To The Mountain", Maya Children's Story
The Fajina Archaeology Outreach's 'To The Mountain' is available online for free. It's the story of some Classic Maya kids and their adventures around Xunantunich. It's in Yucatec Maya, Spanish, and English. Thanks, Fajina Outreach! "In these pages, you will find a story about two fictional Maya kids living during the Late Classic Maya period (600 - 900 CE) around the archaeological site of Xunantunich, Belize. Originally, Xunantunich was known as Katyaatz Witz ( Katyaats’ Wits’ ) or Clay Mountain. While fictional, this story is based on documented archaeological information and many cultural aspects of the ancient Maya. For example, the building illustrated on pages 33 and 37 is part of El Castillo acropolis and known as Structure A-6-2nd. Its stucco frieze still survives in part at El Castillo today."

World Culture Band at Cayo Welcome Center
The World Culture Band is playing at the Cayo Welcome Center this Saturday, July 16th, starting at 8:00pm. They had some great sets at D Catch on the 4th. Bring the entire family out for this free concert.

Digital Marketing Summit of Belize 2016!
Day One of the Digital Marketing Summit

Paradise Theater playing this weekend
Keanu, Sing Street, The Boss, Criminal

Channel 7

Guatemalans Push Into The Chiquibul Because They Are Hungry
Faithful viewers of 7News have seen us taken trips time and again into the beautiful but dangerous Chiquibul National Park. By now, even the casual viewer probably known a thing or two about this reserve which is under sustained pressure from illegal Guatemalan encroachments. But, one question that appeared to elude the public, is why do the Guatemalans continue to push in, and how do we stop it? Well, today, a Guatemalan Conservationist sat down with the media to discuss the widespread hunger and poverty which cause the Guatemalan living along the border to risk everything to push into the resource rich Chiquibul. 7News was there, and today, Daniel Ortiz takes a closer look at the answers provided:

Santander Gets Stop Order For Violating Environmental Compliance Plan
Santander paid one of the largest environmental fines in history in 2012 when the company coughed up one hundred thousand dollars for a massive trench they dug in the central corridor of the Belize district. Well now they've been flagged for another set of environmental violations - which includes the unauthorized damming of the whitewater lagoon - an area the company had been told specifically not to dam in its environmental compliance plan. Not only that, but the lagoon is a very unique eco-system which had been highlited in the Environmental Impact Assessment. Today the CEO in the Ministry of Environment Colin Young told 7News that they have issued four enforcement orders against Santander. These are also known as stop orders - but he stressed that there is no stop order against the company which continues operations. The enforcement orders are for breaches of their environmental compliance plan, for which the company will be fined under the penalties set out in the Environmental Protection act.

Overnight Tourism Shows Strong Growth
The tourism figures for the first half of 2016 are out and they are impressive. Between January and June of 2016, overnight tourist arrivals to Belize increased by 16.5% over 2015. A total of 213 thousand visitors travelled to Belize in the first half of the year - which is a record high, and thirty thousand more than the same period last year. January was strongest month with a 24% increase, and while that is the high season May - which is the low season - also showed strong growth with a 20% increase. And while there is increased airlift from South America with COPA, most of the increased visitors come from the US - in fact, there was a 25.9% increase in US travellers between January and June.

The Bank To Go To School
Today the Belize Bank held its 5th annual scholarship grant ceremony. Emanuel Pech found out how these scholarships touch lives. For many of us, going to high school has become something that it is taken for granted. But the reality in Belize is that on average, only a third of the number of students who enroll in primary school do so for high school. That's according to data from the Ministry of Education published last year. Now while there are many factors contributing to this daunting statistic one of the primary factors is money- or the lack of it. That is why several organizations invest heavily in student scholarship programs, and Belize Bank is one of them. Today at a ceremony inside the Radisson Hotel in Belize City. Some 18 deserving students were granted full high school and sixth form scholarships. Judith Parham is one of those lucky recipients. Judith Parham - Scholarship Recipient: "I'm so happy that I received this scholarship because due to my father's illness, it was really hard to find the money to go to high school. But now that I received this scholarship I have the opportunity and the chance to be a better person and further my education to serve my beautiful country Belize."

Wizz For Attempted Murder
Police have charged one man for a shooting yesterday morning on San Pedro. 30 year old Dwayne Hyde was shot by a man he used to associate with. He is Luis Manuel Carter known as Wizz - and Hyde stabbed him in the scuffle. San Pedro police today charged the 23 year old for attempted murder. Hyde received a shot to the midsection and remains in a serious condition tonight.

Accused of Stoning A Bus Driver
A 35 year old student of St. John's Junior College is in police custody tonight after he was unable to meet his bail for charges related to robbery. According to bus conductor Samir Martinez, Hemmans stole $300 dollars from him. Martinez says that he was at the bus terminal parking lot on Tuesday when Hemmans approached him from behind and stoned a rock at him. His purse fell and that is when Hemmans allegedly picked it up and ran. Officers from the Strike Team later apprehended Hemmans, who was taken into the police station to be charged. In court today Hemmans gave an entirely different account of the story. He told the court that he was the one who was aggressed. He explained that while riding the bus he was insulted by the conductor and further berated for being short of a dollar. He explained to the court that the only reason he ran was because the conductor called the driver and together both of them set chase after him.

K-9 In Punta Gorda
After a 2 day search, PG Police and the K-9 Unit found 1 pound of weed and a shot gun. Between yesterday and Tuesday the team charged 4 men after they found 5 ounces of weed at one of their homes. They are 36 year old Anthony Johnson, 25 year old Sean Garcia, 38 year old Denbigh Dwight and 34 year year old Gary Cooper. Later on they found 7 ounces in an abandoned lot on Jose Maria Nunez Street, not far from Johnson's home. They also found another 7 ounces at another abandoned lot on that same street. In total police found 1 pound of weed. The men were all charged for drug trafficking. Now apart from the weed, police also found a 12 gauge pump action shot gun in Indianville, Punta Gorda.

BSI Coming To Terms With The Molasses Meltdown
Last night we told you about the situation at ASR/BSI - where the molasses which is a by product of sugar production had - basically - gone bad, due to a very unusual chemical reaction - one so unusual that it's never happened before. It's consequential because these molasses still have export value - and now that value is lost, plus there is a disposal problem. Today our colleagues at CTV - 3 found out more from the technical experts at BSI: BSI Representative "We are determined that the only material that had been compromised was the material that was inside the Number 1 Molasses Storage Tank. As soon as we were aware that the reaction was taking place, we moved quickly in an effort to try to remove that material from the tank in order to preserve the integrity of that tank. All the steps that were taken were done in an environmentally friendly manner to ensure that we do not compromise the environment in the process of removing that material from the Number 1 Tank. We also put cooling water on that tank to try to slow the rate of the reaction and then we were constantly monitoring the material inside that tank and we have determined that the reaction has been completed and therefore poses no threat at this point in time."

De-Risking Doing-In Belize
Banks in the Caribbean continue to suffer the effects of de-risking. It is all due to the US Treasury Department and its anti money laundering measures. As a result corresponding banks in America have been pulling out of the Caribbean, making it difficult to impossible to process payments to foreign companies in US dollars. The Belize Bank was on of the first to be affected when the Bank of America - cut ties with them earlier this year. So how is the bank subsisting? We asked them the Chairman of Belize Bank today. Lyndon Guiseppi- Chairman, Belize Bank Ltd.: "Belize has been impacted significantly, but I hastened to add, it's not a Belizean phenomenon. Most of the countries in the Caribbean, from Trinidad in the south to Jamaica in the north, have had the loss of corresponding banks in the last two years. Belize is peculiarly juxtaposed in Central America between Mexico and Guatemala, have found itself I guess at the tip of the spear. But what I would say is that we are finding solutions to work around that and that while the crisis hasn't come to an end, the banks in Belize, certainly Belize Banks - we are finding ways to provide the corresponding banking services to our clients for them to get their money out of the country and to allow money to come into the country. We are extremely optimistic that this matter is going to be resolve in the short term and we are already on the road to recovery."

Reuters Reports on effects of De-risking in Belize
But the Belize situation is much bigger than just the Belize Bank. In fact it's so big that Reuters - one of the largest news agencies in the world recently zoned in on Belize - to illustrate how widespread the problem is in the entire Caribbean. Here's the brief video report they put together:... That story is just the brief video counterpart to an in depth print story - which you can find a link to at 7Newsbelize.com.

Roland Rivers Rolls
A man who got himself in an accident and was busted with weed back in February was freed of charges that could have landed him in jail for three years. 34 year old Roland Rivers was reportedly driving a burgundy ford escape on February 5th between miles 16 and 17 on the Northern Highway when he got into an accident. Traffic personnel responded to the scene where they found the vehicle extensively damaged and River's apparently intoxicated. Inside the Vehicle police discovered 14 pounds of weed and a stash of contraband beers. He was arrested and charged for drug trafficking. But in court today it was revealed that Rivers never got full disclosure from the prosecutor and as a result the matter was struck out.

Housing Help For Helpage
HelpAge members will now enjoy their recreational center without the ceiling leaks and mold. The Executive Director Ivorine Bulwer called us over today to see their brand new roof. It only took about a week to complete and Bulwer told us how these repairs will make the center a more welcoming space for the elderly. Ivorine Bulwer - Executive Director, HelpAge "This building has been around over 50 years. Initially, it was called the poor house. It was handed over to HelpAge Belize in 1984 and over the years the building started deterioration and we were having quite a number of challenges with the rain and last year with the torrential rain, we had experience some losses with our equipment and we had submitted a claim to the Insurance Corporation ICB. The claim that we made had nothing to do with the torrential rain.

Channel 5

George Gough Liable for Medical Negligence
Chairman of the Belize Medical Council and Laparoscopic Surgeon George Gough has been found liable for negligence in a medical malpractice lawsuit brought against him in 2013 for a gallbladder [...]

ASR/B.S.I. Assess Impact of Molasses Phenomenon
Tonight, ASR/B.S.I., along with the Department of Environment’s technical personnel, is working around the clock to contain a large quantity of molasses. How that will be done, is yet to [...]

Santander Works to Contain Molasses Spill
As ASR/B.S.I. deals with its molasses woes and tries to assess the financial impact, Santander is dealing with its own problems where that excessively sweet by-product is concerned. In their [...]

Santander Says No Stop Order Issued
Santander, the mega-million dollar investment in sugar cane growing and milling, has been issued with a stop order by the Department of the Environment. News Five brought you that story [...]

Company Has Remedied Environmental Breaches
Burke says that during a routine site visit by the Department of the Environment, they were informed that those works should not have been done without the express permission of [...]

Representative Says Minor Glitches Aside Company is Boon to Country
The state of the art facility, set on twenty-thousand acres in Valley of Peace, is one of the largest investments in Belize, close to two hundred million dollars. Burke says [...]

Chairman Says Belize Bank is Recovering from Derisking Woes
For the past two years, correspondent banks in the U.S and Europe have been cutting relations with banks across the Caribbean. Since 2015, the U.S. has been putting the squeeze [...]

Poverty is the Cause of Illegal Chiquibul Incursions
The Chiquibul National Park and the preservation of the bountiful resources within its boundaries are once more in the forefront.  The uphill struggle to monitor, manage and defend this huge [...]

Organized Crime Funding Guatemalan Communities Rape of Chiquibul
According to Castellanos the illegal incursions are caused by poverty, but that poverty is used to great effect by organized crime cartels which reap the lucrative dividends of the illegal [...]

Is Your Financial Data Really Safe?
The banking system is among several private and public institutions that deal with highly confidential or very sensitive personal information.  In this case, it is restricted data regarding individual and [...]

Local Banks Meet to Discuss Security of Restricted Information
According to Cory Caseres, it is necessary to continually invest in training and development to ensure that banks are able to safely store sensitive information across local IT landscapes.   [...]

Roland Rivers Freed From Weed Charges
On February fifth, 2016, Roland Raheem Rivers was busted inside a Ford Escape loaded with fourteen pounds of weed.  He was also allegedly found in possession of contraband beers but [...]

Sixth Form Student in Jail for Robbery
A Belize City man has been unable to post bail and is in police custody accused of committing a broad daylight robbery against a bus conductor on Tuesday at the [...]

Belize Bank Provides 22 High School/Sixth Form Scholarships
Twenty-two students were today granted high school and sixth scholarships. It is the fifth year in a row, that the Belize Bank has stepped up to the plate to ensure [...]

B.T.B. Hosts Digital Branding Conference
Day one of a two-day conference on digital branding took started this afternoon at the Biltmore Plaza in Belize City. The Belize Tourism Board is hosting the country’s second annual [...]

Tourism Stats Up for 2016
The 2016 tourism stats for the first half of the year are in and the numbers are consistently up. There is a twenty-four percent increase from January to June, with [...]

B.T.B. Manager Says Stats Will Surpass 2015 Figures
But while the U.S. market continues to hold the highest share of travelers to Belize, making up close to seventy percent of visitors to the Jewel, Gamero says that the [...]

Healthy Living: Are You Affected with A.D.D.?
Have you been told repeatedly that you’re disorganized? Do you have problems with procrastination? Do you struggle with deadlines? How about being consistently late, no matter how early you wake [...]


Opposition Leader Weighs In On First Payment Made For BTL
Yesterday the government of Belize delivered the first half of the over half a billion dollar settlement for the nationalization of the Belize Telemedia Ltd, as set by the permanent court of arbitration. Information is that of the almost two hundred million dollars paid, one hundred and forty million dollars was paid in Belize currency and thirty-eight million dollars was paid in U.S. currency. The entire nationalization of B.T.L. is an elaborate scheme, one which Opposition Leader John Briceño says is costing taxpayers over $500 million for a company that is worth far less than what is being reported by the Prime Minister, something that will untimely bring about more hardships to the Belizean people.

Opposition Leader Stands In Agreement With BBCI on BTL Negotiations
On Tuesday the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BBCI) issued a release chastising the Government of Belize on the nationalization of Belize Telemedia, stating that the acquisition was not made under the parameter of the law, also adding that GOB’s prolonged negotiations will create a negative impact on all Belizeans. Today Leader of the Opposition spoke on the release issued by the BBCI commending them for their stand on the matter and supported their stance that the acquisition was not made in the best interest of the Belizean people and in the end the entire process was a concession on the part of GOB towards the previous owners of Belize Honorable John Briceno – Opposition Leader People’s United Party: “I am happy that the Chamber of Commerce finally came out, they would tell you that they were careful, trying to be cautious and they wanted to look at all the facts, they met with the Prime Minister and they met with us and then they took out their Press Release, their position as to the whole fiasco in the Nationalization of BTL. The chamber has always has always been cautioning the government on this, on the acquisition of BTL and saying that they must follow the law because they have not been following the law...”

Orange Walkenos getting Value for Money
Currently the Orange Walk Town Council is investing one million dollars in the rehabilitation of ten streets that are heavily trafficked by Orange Walkenos and visitors on a daily basis. Today it is evident that progress is being made as the work continues. And attesting to that is San Andres Street which received its first coat of primer earlier this afternoon in preparation for the actual paving of the street in a few weeks to come. The council will also be applying a coat of primer on San Francisco and Stadium Street sometime next week, therefore, residents are advised once more to be extra cautious when walking in these specific areas.

Sport of Volleyball A Huge Hit At Summer Camp
As we told you at the top of the newscast, today marked the fourth day of the annual Summer Sports Camp here in Orange Walk Town sponsored by the Honourable john Briceno. The sports camp gives participants an opportunity to learn more about football, volleyball and basketball. Today we caught up with one of the facilitators from the volleyball category, Benedicto Ramos Sr. who stressed on the significance of teaching the children how to acquire the basic skills and techniques that are essential to play that particular sport. Benedicto Ramos Sr. – Facilitator “What we’re are doing is cool volleyball and this is really beginners volleyball, it is not the high level volleyball that the adults play this one we are trying to teach the children the basic rules for example, the three touches one, two and three and over the net and then we don’t put them to do overhand pass or underhand pass they do catch and toss and this is the beginning sets for volleyball and we’ve been doing it for two years at this camp and some of the kids are coming back because they see that it is to develop skills.”

Party Leader John Briceno Speaks on Guatemalans Trip To The SarstoonSince Monday we have been reporting on the trip to the Sarstoon taken over the weekend by a group of Guatemalan civilians. The Guatemalans who belong to a social media group called “Belice es de Guatemala” claimed to have circled the entire island venturing well into Belizean territory, bearing Guatemalan flags and Guatemalan maps including Belize as part of their territory. On Tuesday Minister of Foreign Affairs spoke about the trip, saying that he was not surprised at the presence of the nationalistic civilians, today leader of the opposition Hon. John Briceño shared his input on the situation, stating that he is not at all taken aback by the FM’s response to the alleged intrusion since his reaction to the entire Guatemala Claim has always been concessionary towards them.
Since Monday we have been reporting on the trip to the Sarst


Tourism Arrivals Exceed Past Figures
Tourism continues to be one of the top revenue generators for Belize and it is expected to become even greater with the upcoming Harvest Caye Port in southern Belize. For now, however, tourism is booming and the Belize Tourism Board has sent out the statistics on tourist arrivals describing them as being impressive. With the […]

Chetumal Records Increase in Belizean Visitors
And while, the Belize Tourism Board is boasting of the large number of visitors from the US and Europe coming to Belize, the officials in Chetumal, Quintana Roo are speaking of an influx of Belizeans crossing the border. According to the publication, La Jornada Maya, there has been a significant increase in locals heading over […]

Maillard Reaction – A First for Belize Sugar Industries
For the first time in its history, Belize Sugar Industries is dealing with what is called Maillard Reaction in one of their tanks. Maillard Reaction is a chemical reaction signaled by froth fermentation caused by the quality of the cane delivered at the mill which contains high levels of reducing sugars. The company issued a […]

Chiquibul Continues to Be Raped by the Guatemalans
Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) in Belize has teamed up with Balam Association of Guatemala in combating the territory war that is currently ongoing in the Chiquibul Forest. The Chiquibul Forest Reserve landscapes goes beyond Belize’s boarder into Guatemala which then becomes Montas Mayas Biosphere Reserve. Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director of Friends for Conservation […]

Belize’s Foreign Minister Yet to See The Chiquibul
One of the main reasons for incursions as reported by the Balam Association of Guatemala is poverty and the abandonment of the adjacency zone communities by the Guatemalan Government. While most of the projects being worked on are not funded by their Government, Byron Castellanos Executive Director of Balam Association says they are confident that […]

US Embassy Calls for Applications for the Humphrey Fellowship Award
Assistance from the US State Department through the US Embassy is nothing new to Belize as they have been engaged in several programs geared at promoting the enhancements in education, culture and technical cooperation. One such program is the Humphrey Fellowship Award which is currently open for applications as explained by the US Ambassador, Carlos […]

Moving Up in the Digital Age in Tourism
Dozens of stakeholders in the tourism industry attended an all-day session on digital marketing hosted by the Belize Tourism Board at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City. Presentations were made by representatives of Expedia, The O Group, Gravity Media, among others. Maynor Larrieu has responsibility for the digital media unit at the Belize […]

US Ambassador Tours Belize’s Youth Services
With various programs currently ongoing at the Department for Youth Services in Belize City, the US Ambassador, Carlos Moreno paid a visit to the institution today, where he witnessed first-hand what the young persons are learning over the summer holiday. Sabrina Daly is the Public Relations officer for the Regent Street based facility. According to […]

GOB’s Financial Adviser Talks BTL Arbitration
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry shared its perspective on the BTL arbitration award yesterday. In its release the BCCI questions the delay in reaching a settlement. Today, Love News sat down with Government’s Technical and Financial Advisor, John Mencias who addressed some of the concerns that have been floating in the general public, […]

#516001 - 07/15/16 06:50 AM Re: Today's Belize News: July 15, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The Guardian

How Did 7 Year litigation with Ashcroft impact Government Coffers?
The usual suspects have flocked the airwaves to criticize Government’s execution of the BTL nationalization. They claim that the administration cost Belizeans millions of dollars for dragging out the legal battle with the Ashcroft Alliance. This argument is based on the fact that Government must pay $191 million in interest for the seven years that has passed since the acquisition of shares belonging to the alliance in August of 2009. If Government had compensated the previous owners of BTL immediately after the takeover, the country would have saved all this money. NOT TRUE. The truth is that if Government compensated the former owners of BTL immediately after the nationalization it would have taken hundreds of millions more out of its account to do so. | Government’s Financial Advisor, John Mencias, and BTL’s Chairman, Net Vaquez, appeared on Love Television’s “The Morning Show” on Wednesday, July 13, to make their best attempt at explaining the compensation so a child may understand. If Government wanted to compensate the previous owners immediately without litigation they would have had to agree to the value being claimed. The former owners were claiming $10.23 per share of BTL. They owned 95 percent of the company, 45,199,961 shares.

Investing on the Southside - Cumberbatch field reconstructed
The Belize City Council is closely working with the Ministry of Human Development and Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation in the implementing of what is called the Youth and Community Transformation Project. Among other investments to be made is the rehabilitation of the Wilton Cumberbatch field located in the Yarborough area. The contract which was awarded to SM Construction Limited is for BZD$905,879.04. Supervised by Young's Engineering and Project Engineer Esther Ayuso, the project will feature the complete upgrade of the facility to include the rehabilitation of the field as well as the basketball court. The entire park will be more user friendly with better lighting facilities as well as play areas for children.

New office Building for Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taxpayers save money
Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington, H. E. Benjamin Ho, the Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize, and H. E. Lawrence Sylvester, held a modest opening ceremony of the new headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It’s a 3 million dollar residence located at #10 Saint Mark Street, and the purchase document was officially signed on Tuesday, July 12. The property is called Casa De Fiori, and not one cent of the 1.5 million US dollar cost is coming out of the pockets of Belizean Taxpayers. It’s all being afforded from money that the Taiwanese Government had been giving to Belize to strengthen its Foreign Affairs Ministry, as one of the SICA countries. With the purchase of Casa De Fiori, this very important ministry now has its own offices for the first time in its history of existence. Previously, the Foreign Affairs Ministry was being housed at the NEMO building in Belmopan. That arrangement was inconvenient to the NEMO Ministry, since it has need of that space.

Three months ago, Elodio Aragon Jr., Minister of State, Ministry of Youth & Sports introduced CODICADER to the Belizean Public, “This is the first time ever Belize will hold the under-thirteen CODICADER Games for primary school students. It has not been an easy task because at the end of the day everything comes down to resources. But I’m proud to know that we have come together at the level of the Ministry, at the level of the National Sports Council, stakeholders and businesses in Belize to make this a reality. This will become a reality for Belize and I know that we are all anxious for this to happen here in July. This will be a great social and economic opportunity for Belize.” And so is was that Belize was this year, for the first time since its inception, the host for the “Under 13 CODICADER games”. CODICADER is the CENTRAL AMERICAN council of Sports and recreation. It was created on the 6th October, 1992 ironically in Guatemala City by state officials of the sports and recreation organizations of the Central American countries.

Taiwan’s donates to September Celebrations
The Republic of China (Taiwan) has once again made a contribution towards Belize’s September Celebrations. On Tuesday, July 12, His Excellency Benjamin Ho, Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize, handed over a check for BZE$40,000 to the Co-Chairperson of the September Celebrations Commission, Diane C. Haylock at the House of Culture in Belize City. In his presentation, Ambassador Ho voiced his pleasure in being able to contribute to the 35th anniversary of Belize’s Independence and the 218th anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye. In accepting the donation, the Co-Chair of the September Celebrations Commission expressed her gratitude on behalf of the Chair, Hon. Manuel Heredia, Jr., to the embassy for their continued show of friendship and solidarity to the people of Belize and conveyed that the money will be used to enhance various cultural activities on the calendar of events this year.

Attending the health needs of Cayo Central
Two teams of doctors and nurses from Boston attended to patients from both Santa Elena and Buena Vista in the Cayo Central Division this week. The Headquarters for the Cayo Central Division became a temporary clinic on Monday as both doctors and nurses prepared their shift to attend to the health needs of local residents. Medications were also given out free of charge by the attending doctors to all patients. For Arita Lemus, it was a special occasion as her oncologist Dr. Steve Stokes, who had successfully treated her in the past was among the team of visiting medics. Dr. Steve Stokes and nurses were also attending patients in Buena Vista. The Hon. Rene Montero, Representative for the Cayo Central Division was recently in Buena Vista to greet the medical team.

Mexican Navy helps Belizean Coast Guard recover
The Mexican Navy has been very generous with an injured Belize Coast Guard Officer who lost a limb due to an unfortunate accident. He’s Petty Officer Class 3 Kevin Diego who accidentally shot himself in the left foot back in April 2016. He was on-duty and reports are that he was clearing his weapon when it went off. He was rushed to the KHMH for medical care, and due to complications, the doctors started recommending that he would have to amputate the left foot. There were medical complications which threatened his life, and that’s when his Coast Guard commanders contacted their counterparts from the Mexican Navy. They airlifted him to the Mexican Navy Hospital in Mexico City. There, the medical professionals saved his life, they performed the amputation. They assisted him with the healing process, and with the rehabilitation phase which accompanied the medical procedure.

Byron Pope’s test revealed four banned substances
For an athlete to challenge a suspension for doping they would have to make an application to the Court of Arbitration for Sports in Lausanne, Switzerland. Top Belizean cyclist Byron Pope is unlikely to do so after the National Anti-Doping Association (NADA) handed down a two year suspension on Thursday, July 7, for doping in the 26th Annual Krem New Years Cycling Classic. According to NADA, “The cyclist tested positive for the In-competition prohibited substances: Androstanediol Androsterone, Epitestosterone, Etiocholanolone, Testosterone all included as Endogenous Anabolic Androgenic Steroid.” With this amount of banned substances in his system, it is difficult to believe Pope accidentally used performance enhancers. He is now the second top finisher to be suspended for samples taken from the 26th Classic.

Pittsology 101 - I Am Him, He is Me
Every time I hear sirens howling from a distance through the city streets, I can imagine that the lifeless body of a young, black man from Southside Belize City is being hauled away. I know that his mother is being assaulted by the memories of his first step, his preschool graduation, the potential she saw in him, and quite normally, she reflects on the first time he started giving trouble. I know that his father feels a sense of guilt, wishing he was around more. I know his girlfriend wishes he had spent the night next to her instead of on the unforgiving street side. I know that the lifeless body in the rusty pan of a police mobile was, one or two hours ago, powered by vibrations, illuminated by a smile covering the hopelessness, fear and anxieties of the young black man. Most importantly, I know that I am him and he is me. Our stories are all the same. I grew up on Pen Road in the heart of the South Side of Belize City. Hardly anyone on my street had a father present in the household, and most of us depended on a grandparent to serve as babysitter while our mothers would clock in extended hours at work to make ends meet.

Universal Postal Union and Belize Postal Service hold training sessions in Belize
The Universal Postal Union (UPU), in cooperation with the Belize Postal Service, held two separate training sessions in Belize, at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel. The initial training, which ran from Monday, July 11th to Tuesday, July 12, 2016, covered the “Quality of Service Fund” (QSF). This is a special fund which is administered by the Universal Postal Union to finance projects aimed at improving the quality of letter mail to enable speedier, reliable, and secure national postal services and international mail flow. The second training which will be on the topic of “Postal Reform” will run from Wednesday, July 13th to Friday, July 15th, 2016. The objectives of the trainings are: - To inform participants of the new rules and regulations governing the Quality of Service Fund, and the procedures in accessing the said fund. - To assist participants in the development of a framework that can be used as a tool to implement reforms to their various postal sectors.

Beware of roaming charges
BTL has recently implemented a program where persons travelling outside of Belize are automatically put on roaming. While many customers are grateful for the service, what does it cost to roam? One customer who benefitted from the service brought it to the Guardian’s attention that customers need to be mindful of the cost of roaming. The customer provided us with a copy of her bill where she noticed that there was a charge for roaming. While on an ordinary month the rates of BTL are very well priced, she noticed two additional charges on her bill. One of the charges was for Roaming SMS charges and the other for Roaming Calls charges. She says that her roaming charges are actually almost 24% of her entire Post-Paid bill. She says she remembers visiting Melchor de Mencos and receiving one call and making two calls, all told it must not have added up to more than 5 minutes total, and sending just a few text messages, however her bill came at a staggering $28.76.

World Bank funds Energy Resilience and Climate Adaptation Project
The Government of Belize under the leadership of Minister of State in the Ministry of the Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities Hon. Frank Mena and CEO in the Ministry Dr. Peter Allen; along with the Energy Director Mr. Ambrose Tillett, completed negotiation with the World Bank which agreed to provide funding for the Energy Resilience and Climate Adaptation Project (ERCAP). An integral component of Belize’s national development agenda is to develop strong sustainable energy policies and programmes that underpin the national economy. It is for this reason that since its formation in 2012, the Energy Unit of the Ministry of Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities has been working towards integrating energy in national development planning and decision making to catalyze sustainable development in Belize.

Mayan Man Warriors lead the Firms Basketball Competition
The Belize District Basketball Association Firms Competition continued over the weekend at Bird’s Isle with a number of games on the schedule. On Saturday 2nd July, 2016, in the first of three games played, Infotel defeated Belize Telemedia Ltd., by the score of 93-79. The top scorers for Infotel were Earl Johnson with 34 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal; Darwin Elijio with 18 points, 2 rebounds and an assist and Evan Rene who contributed 14 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, dished out 5 assists and had 5 steals towards the win. For the Belize Telemedia Ltd squad, the top scorers were Mark Swift with 18 points, Jason Vasquez with 15 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals; Devon Lozano with 14 points and an assist and Lupito Acosta who also scored 14 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals.

West Line Female Football competition enters Quarter Final Round
The 2016 West Line Female Football Competition entered its Quarter Final Round on Sunday 3rd July, with two games. The competition which is being sponsored by Mr. Sergio Chuc is played out at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town. In the first game played, Real West Strikers defeated Gentle Touch by the score of 2-1. The first goal of the game was scored by Vicky Ponce in the 27th minute of play to give Real West Strikers an early 1-0 lead. However, that lead was short lived when Blanca Lopez scored an auto goal in the 37th minute of play. The final goal of the game was scored by Vicky Ponce in the 55th minute of play to give her team a 2-1 victory. The Quarter Final Round will continue this coming Sunday 10th July at 1:30 pm with 7 Starz going up against Belmopan Lightning Strikers and this will be followed by game 2 at 3:00 pm between Belize Coast Guard and Infinites.

Michael Salazar shines with two goals in first start for Montreal
MONTREAL—Michael Salazar got to live out his dream in his first MLS start for the Montreal Impact. Drawn into the lineup with superstar striker Didier Drogba sidelined by a leg injury, Salazar scored his first two goals in six league games for Montreal, which overcame a two-goal deficit for Saturday’s 3-2 victory against the New England Revolution at Stade Saputo. “Yeah, no pressure,” said Impact coach Mauro Biello. “He knows it’s about understanding your defensive responsibilities and expressing yourself offensively, play simple and get in the box. He scores in practice and I’m glad he was able to score tonight.” Salazar, selected in the second round of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft (No. 24 overall), scored his first goal 40 minutes in, cutting New England’s lead to one after Revolution striker Kei Kamara’s brace left the Impact trailing 2-0 in the 33rd minute.

Seine Bight Flames win slug fest game in Stann Creek Softball competition
The Stann Creek Softball Competition continued on Sunday 26th June, 2016, with three games on the schedule. The games were played at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village and as was also used as part of the celebration activities for Olympic Day. In the first game played, Independence Pals defeated Hopkins Beach Girls by the score of 15-0. The winning pitcher was Leona Coe Linarez and the losing pitcher was Verna Lewis. In the second game of the day, Seine Bight Flames and Sittee River Lucky Stars were involved in a slug fest that lasted almost 4 hours and had to utilise the Tie Breaker Rule. At the end of the game, Seine Bight prevailed over Sittee River by the score of 28-22. The winning pitcher was Shannon Augustine and the losing pitcher was Pinky Andrews.

Conscious Youth Development Programme U-15 competition continues
The Conscious Youth Development Programme U-15 competition continued on Tuesday 5th July with a single game in the football competition. In the only game played, Thurton FC defeated Carlson FC by the score of 4-2. The goals for Thurton FC were scored by Akeem Sutherland (3) and Denroy Lopez. Meanwhile, the goals for Carlson FC were scored by Kenrick Ortiz and Cion Augustine. The competition then continued on Monday 4th July, 2016, with two more games on the schedule. In the first game played, Survivors and Mahogany Heights played to a 4-4 draw. The goals for Survivors were scored by Eyean Reid, Terrell Estrada, Jamel David and Mike Baltazar. For Mahogany Heights, the goals were scored by Adrian Usher (hatrick), Jian Augustine and Eric Thompson.

The saga of the turtle, chopped rooster necks, burning black candles and capturing shadows in bottles
I remember characters extremely eager to tease others but who cried bitterly whenever attention was focused on them. I could spend hours having fun at the turtle’s expense – but that would not be using my time wisely! Nowadays, I need only shout:” PUP da big thief, ‘liad’ Said, $3.34 M Eamon, baby voucher specialist Cordel, squeaky rat Johnny, dumdum Mose, disingenuous X,- etc., etc., etc…”and I am then quite happy to move on. I will abandon the above title and spend my time helping the good-government crowd! The more good things that PM Barrow and his Ministers do for the citizens of Belize the worst the thieving, lying, and scurrilous PUP feel. For sure, the majority of them are broke, hungry and mad (Ralph and Said tricked the PUP, pocketing the entire moolah). Let’s keep the Criminal Gang out of power for the next hundred years! Enough is enough – I will not waste any more time with the turtle or the big thieves! There are many more interesting sagas out there…

The PHD Man
In a previous article I fleetingly commented on the sharp price tag which came with the nationalization of BTL, without getting into any detail. Since then Belizeans have had the opportunity to listen to all the arguments, for and against, related to this important subject, thanks to the various talk shows hosts and guests. While a few of these shows have tried to be factual and informative, some have really gone overboard in bias and sensationalism. Even after the Prime Minister’s press conference which focused on this topic, some of the more lurid hosts like Hyde and Wade keep elevating the final cost of the acquisition by a few hundred million dollars each time they speak, so much that at this time the cost is close to a billion dollars, which is far from accurate. I will touch on that shortly. The one tactical error made by one of the more prominent media outlets is to have invited a certain Brackett to discuss the BTL issue and the IMF report on their morning show. Now I may be a simple, unlearned man, but I have never heard of Brackett having earned a graduate degree in economics, management or any other financial field for that matter, so I don’t know who gave LOVE the bright idea to cater to this empty drum. Brackett may own a PHD, but we Creole would call that one a post-hole digger.

Belizean youth in Cayo gunned down with crude weapon
An 18 year old construction worker of Roaring Creek Village, Maleek Norris, was gunned down with a crude weapon on Sunday of this past weekend in the Another World area. His alleged attacker was sitting on a sofa under a house when the incident occurred. The pellets hit Norris on the hip and arm. Norris was picked up by the Special Patrol Unit and was taken to the Western Regional Hospital where he passed away during treatment. Belmopan police would later retrieve the homemade firearm, in less than 12 hours from a farm on the Young Bank Road. They were also able to capture the suspect during that time frame. According to Senior Superintendent Howell Gillett the demise of Maleek Norris was as a result of a stabbing incident that Norris may have been involved with the accused about a week or two ago. Police have since picked up and charged Ashton Puerto with the crime of murder.

Jason Almendarez in contempt for cursing Magistrate
Jason Almendarez, 26, was getting off easy when he appeared before Magistrate Deborah Rogers on Thursday, July 7, for a drug possession charge but he made things much worse on himself for opening his dirty mouth. Almendarez appeared in court for being in possession of 17 grams of weed. He was unrepresented when he appeared before Magistrate Deborah Rogers and pleaded guilty to a single charge of possession of a controlled drug. Magistrate Rogers imposed a non-custodial sentence in a fine of $400 which he was ordered to pay immediately. Before he could get off however, court records showed that he owes the court $810 from a prior conviction. The fine has been outstanding for quite a while and the magistrate ordered him to pay all his old fines before he could go home. This caused Almendarez to explode and he said, “f... you b...h.” He was held in contempt of court immediately. That matter has been deferred for a later date.

Life in Prison for friend who killed friend in Cayo
Linsbert Bahadur who was charged with the killing of his own friend, Albert Wade was found guilty of murder in the Supreme Court in Belmopan on Wednesday July 13. Bahadur had originally been charged along with Benjamin Peters and Samuel Neal in the killing of Wade. On Friday April 14, 2006 the body of 32 year old Albert Wade was found inside his Toyota Camry off the Negro Man Road in Benque Viejo, he had been shot to the left side of his face. Police quickly apprehended the suspects but the charges against Peters and Neal were dropped after they turned crown witnesses. Four years after the original charge however on September 2, charges against Bahadur were withdrawn with the prosecution entering a Nolle Prosequi after forensic pathologist Dr. Mario Estradabran was unable to testify as he was out of the country.

Banner killed because he owed for drugs
Roger Banner, a 29 year-old resident of Roaring Creek, was murdered on Saturday July 9th, 2016, at around 9:15 p.m. That was about 17 and a half hours after Karim Hafiya was killed. Police believe the killings to be unconnected, we note also that the area where Banner died is also not too far from where Hafiya was gunned down. In fact, investigators believe at this time that Banner’s street slaying is not a part of the recent spike in gang violence. They suspect at this time that he may have been killed due to his alleged connection to underworld activities in Roaring Creek. Reports to the press are that Banner was socializing with his girlfriend on West Canal Street when 3 men walked up to him. One of those men pulled out a gun and immediately fired multiple shots at him, injuring him several times in the head and body. He died on the spot. It is believed that he was executed as a result of him owing for drugs.

Brandon Bennett cleared of attempted murder charge
Just before 4 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12, a jury of nine men and women in a unanimous decision found Brandon Bennett, 23, not guilty of use of deadly means of harm upon Kent Moss. Bennett was arrested and charged with attempted murder in September of 2011 after a group fight at the Belikin Fest in Memorial Park resulted in the stabbing of Moss. Both men were hanging out with a group of friends when the fight broke out. The two eventually got tangled up and Moss ended up being stabbed but the two share different tales about how the incident went down. In court, the prosecutor had to first get Moss to cooperate in trial. He refused to show up to court after being summoned. Justice Adolph Lucas had to issue an order for him to be arrested and taken to court by force. Once in court, Moss made it clear that he does not wish to testify. Prosecutor Sherigne Rodriguez treated him as a hostile witness.

Jareth Crawford convicted of shooting at a Police Officer
Jareth Crawford, 30, is serving a three year sentence after he was convicted of shooting at police corporal Barrington Flowers during a robbery attempt on September 5, 2015. Cpl. Flowers reported that he was acting on information received of a robbery in progress at a Chinese grocery store on Canada Road off Fabers Road when he ran into the assailants. Flowers met Crawford exiting the shop with a gun. He identified himself as a police officer, since he was in casual wear, but Crawford opened fired at him and ran. He chased after Crawford who stopped running, turned around and fired at him again. Flowers was able to see the shooter on those two occasions before he ran into a bushy area and disappeared. Shortly after the shooting, two other robbers exited the Chinese shop and Flowers ordered them to freeze. One armed with a knife did not stop and he ran away. The third robber was detained. Police eventually charged six individuals in connection with the robbery for conspiracy, robbery and handling stolen goods.

Customs Officer, Emmerth Flowers, acquitted of firearm charges
Emmerth Flowers is no longer in trouble with the law after he was acquitted of two firearm related charges on Thursday, July 7. Just about two years ago, on July 31, 2014, police charged Flowers with the offenses of altering a firearm without the permission of the Commissioner of Police and for being in possession of a firearm that was not licensed. Allegations made by police is that Flowers had a license for a 16 gauge shot gun but on July 31, 2014, he was busted with the shot which had the barrell cut to make it a sawed off shotgun. Police informed Flowers of the offense, arrested and charged him.

Davon Guzman busted with gun minutes after shooting
Quick police response resulted in the apprehension of a teenager a couple minutes after he attempted to execute Errol Flores on Lakeview Street. According to police reports, at about 5:25 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12, officers responded to reports of shots being fired in the Lakeview Street area. Upon arrival they observed a male riding a bicycle on Sarstoon Street with what appeared to be a firearm in his hand. As the mobile unit got closer to him the individual sped up and threw the object in an empty lot. Officers acted quicly to detain and take him to the area where the object was thrown. A search was conducted and resulted in the discovery of a .38 revolver with black electrical tape on the handle. It was loaded withone live round of .38 ammunition and three expended casing. As a result, the youngster was arrested and taken to the police station. He was later identified as 19-year-old Davon Guzman of #4 Moya Street in the St. Martin de Porres area. Guzman was charged with “Keeping a Firearm and Ammunition without a Gun License”.

Karim Hafiya killed for unknown reason
Karim Hafiya, 40, a security guard working for the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), was shot and killed in front of his home on Plues Street. It happened on Saturday, July 9th, in the early morning hours, sometime after 4 a.m. Residents of Plues Street were awaken to the sound of around 10 to 15 gunshots, and when the police responded, they found Hafiya’s body, riddled with multiple gunshot wounds. From their investigation, the hard-working security guard was heading home from work, and he was just about to open the back gate to his residence. That’s where the assailant or assailants ambushed him from behind and shot him to death. Police believe that a possible motive for his killing was retaliation because he made a complaint to the cops which landed a young man in jail. The complaint came after he had been robbed. Another angle may be related to an argument which he had with a woman some time earlier.

Lionel Kelly arraigned for killing Tevin Palmer
A teenager of Mayflower Street, Lionel Kelly, 18, is at the Belize Central Prison on remand after he was arraigned for the murder of 19-year-old Tevin Palmer. Palmer was gunned down and killed in a house on Castle Street at around 3 p.m. on Wednesday, July 6. He was socializing inside the house when someone pulled out a gun and fired a shot at him. He was hit in the head and died on the spot. Kelly appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza on Friday, July 8, and was read a single charge of murder. He was unrepresented in court and no plea was taken from him since the charge of murder is an indictable offense which will be tried at the Supreme Court. Due to the nature of the offense, Kelly was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until his next court appearance on September 8, 2016.

Kent Brooks succumbs 11 days after being shot
In last week’s edition of the Guardian Newspaper, we reported on the Belize City shooting which killed 20 year-old Kieran Morrison and landed 18 year-old Kent Brooks Jr. in the hospital in a critical condition. After 11 days of clinging to life, Kent Brooks has unfortunately passed away. His family, who had been worried sick about his injuries, were contacted by the KHMH staff, that they should rush to the hospital because his health had taken a turn for the worst. His father recounted to the press that they arrived 6 minutes too late. He had only just taken his last breath on Sunday, July 10, at around 8:40 a.m.

Sanjay Lino cleared of Ernesto Myvette’s murder
Sanjay Lino, 22, is a free man after the prosecution’s main witness in the murder of Ernesto Myvette developed a case of amnesia during trial. Myvette, a Sandhill Village businessman, was shot and killed at his place of business on the night of October 4, 2011. He was at his store located at the entrance of the Old Northern Highway when three men walked into his store and shot him 4 times. He sustained two gunshots to the midsection, once to the chest and once to the back. Myvette’s gun, a 9 millimeter pistol, was stolen during the incident. Shots were also fired at Myvette’s son Jermaine, who was in the store but escaped uninjured.

Blood samples taken for DNA testing in shooting death of Michael Lopez
In last week’s edition of the newspaper, we reported on the Wednesday spike in gang violence which led to the killing of two young men in less than an hour and a half apart: 20 year-old Tevin Palmer, and 19 year-old Devin Parham. The spike didn’t end there because about 3 hours later, 22 year-old Michael Lopez Jr. was gunned down at around 7:30 p.m. On July 6. Police inquires revealed that Lopez was walking on Jones Street, and he was heading in the direction of Lawrence Avenue. That’s when 2 assailants on a motorcycle sped past, and they immediately opened fire on him. Lopez was injured to the right side of the head, and first responders were quick to rush him to the KHMH. The doctors tried to save his life but at around 9:40 p.m., he succumbed while undergoing treatment.

American Veteran charged for immigration offense
Retired United States soldier Tarry Eugene Rhodes, 46, is at the Belize Central Prison after he pleaded guilty to an immigration offense in Belize and will be deported to his country once he pays the fine handed down by Magistrate Deborah Rogers on Monday, July 11. According to police reports, Rhodes visited the Phillip Goldson International Airport to pick up a friend on Sunday, July 10. That was when immigration officials approached him and asked to see his documents. When authorities made checks into his passport, they found out that his visitor’s permit expired since September 29, 2015, almost 10 months ago. He was arrested and charged with failure to comply with a visitor’s permit.

Police grab Fat Back’s step-son for his stabbing
Police have arrested and charged 20-year-old Michael Marvin Baptist for attempting to kill his step-father, Eugene Webster, known to the public as “Fat Back”. Webster was attacked while sleeping at his Los Lagos residence on Wednesday, July 6. According to reports, he was in a relationship with Baptist’s mother a few years ago but maintained a relationship with the youngster. He reportedly would give Baptist chores to earn a buck. On Wednesday it appeared Baptist wanted a bigger cut with far less effort. He visited his step-father and asked to stay the night. Webster agreed to provide lodging but in the middle of the night he woke up with Baptist on top of him with two knives in hand. Webster fought off his attacker but not before he was stabbed multiple times to the body. ACP Edward Broaster, Regional Commander for Eastern Division Rural, told the media that when they responded to the scene Webster was alone in the house bleeding profusely on the ground with stab wounds to the back, arm and neck area. He was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial where he is in a coma.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Fitness Dance comes to the City
Fitness is becoming all the talk in several parts of Belize these days and instructors from broad have been coming to Belize to conduct some work out sessions with interested Belizeans. One of these sessions is set to take place on July 16th at two in the […]

Accused contrabandista walks from drug charges
On February 5, 2016, 34 year old Roland Raheem Rivers was busted inside a burgundy Ford Escape vehicle with 14 pounds of marijuana and contraband beer, and was also accused of various traffic offenses. But the single charge of drug trafficking was dropped after […]

Student charged with robbing bus conductor
A bus conductor got robbed at the old Novelo’s Bus Terminal on West Collet Canal on Tuesday, and today a junior college student was accused of the crime. 35 year old Elroy Hemmans Junior, student and part-time accountant, pleaded not guilty to a charge of robbery […]

Hamanasi is Finalist in 2016 Eco-Excellence Awards
Hamanasi Dive and Adventure Resort in Hopkins, Stann Creek District, is honoured to be selected as one of the Finalists in the Travel Category in NCW Magazine’s 2016 Eco-Excellence Awards. Voting for the winners is open to the public with voting commencing on June 29, […]

Belize loses 60 spots in FIFA World Ranking
In the last two months, the Belize Men’s National Football Team made it for the first time to the 114th spot in FIFA World Ranking, but this month took a downturn. Belize currently holds the 164th spot in the latest FIFA World Ranking which was released […]

Two charged for drugs on La Isla Bonita
Authorities searched and apartment on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye where they discovered three different kinds of drugs at around 4:00 this morning. The joint team of Special Branch and the Quick Response Team of the Police department on the island acted upon receiving information and headed to […]

TOURISM STATS: Overnight arrivals in new record
Belize’s overnight tourism industry has set a new record for arrivals in the first half of 2016, shaking off the after-effects of a torrid few weeks following several attacks on tourists in January. According to the Belize Tourism Board, for the first time ever, more […]

GOB makes 1st payment for BTL
The government of Belize has made its first of two payments as settlement for the nationalization of Belize Telemedia Ltd. (BTL). Government officials have been mum for the most part regarding the details of the first payment. Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, Central bank Governor Glenford […]


Belize Bean to Bar: Learning to Make Chocolate at the Belize Chocolate Company
Luckily…so luckily for us, we have AMAZING hand crafted Belizean chocolate right here on Ambergris Caye. A lovely couple, Jo and Chris, who created the Belize Chocolate Company and who take chocolate seriously for us…so that we can just enjoy AND EAT. And now learn. Yesterday I stopped by the shop because they are doing a new chocolate making classes at 930am and 1030am each morning. $10bzd and you really get the full experience, you can ask one million questions (it’s super interesting) and taste chocolate at each and every stage. Rub off the shell and you have the nibs, the essence, the taste of the chocolate. Chris showed us how it is ground down with stone. In the traditional method. They still use stone but on a much larger scale. The beans are ground between two huge stones for 2-3 DAYS to produce a silky smooth liquor. That when tasted is INTENSE…bitter and incredibly chocolatey.

10 Perks of Retiring in Belize (That You Never Considered Before)
Often overlooked by showier destinations in Mexico or Costa Rica, Belize is a sparkling gem in Central America with hundreds of miles of gorgeous coastline, more nature preserves and parks than any other country in the region, and just 355,000 residents. With a stable, peaceful democracy and some of the friendliest and most tolerant people on the planet, Belize is a top retirement destination. Mainland Belize is approximately the same size as Massachusetts and is home to a staggering diversity of cultures, including Mestizos, Garifuna, Creole, Mennonite, Chinese and Maya. The harmonious combination of low population density and a melange of different peoples, languages, cultures and identities make Belizeans extremely tolerant of their neighbors. This plus a business-friendly government translates to few regulations or restrictions on businesses, property ownership or investments. Below are just 10 of the perks of retiring in Belize:

Belize Continues to Deliver Impressive Tourism Results
Overnight arrivals for January to June, 2016 has seen 213,430 visitors to Belize. This is an incredible 16.5% increase over the same period of 2015. Never before has the first six months of a year seen figures surpassing 200,000. All six months of 2016 have seen double digit increases, with January having the highest increase at 24%, followed by May, with a 19.6% increase. The US market continues to hold the highest share of travelers to Belize, making up close to 70% of our travelers. The first half of 2016 has seen 25.9% increase in US travellers. The European market has the second largest market share, making up 10.4% of visitors to Belize. Thus far, 2016 has had 22,109 European travelers, which is a 3.9% increase over the same period of 2015. The cruise industry has seen an overall increase of 2.6% for the first half of 2016.

On the road again, with a bicycle: Where green is the new black
It was time. I’ve been waiting since March for Mario to return my bicycle and here it is mid-July. I don’t think it’s coming back. Not that I was expecting to see it again. Mario used to work for the complex where we live. When he started showing up for work on foot I was kind of surprised and concerned. I knew that he lived over behind the airport and that is a bit of a hike to be taking twice a day. It turns out that his bike frame had rusted in half. It happens a lot. We’re an island surrounded by salt water. Nothing metallic survives for long. Walk down most any road and you can count the number of rusty broken bike chains, coiled like withered snakes off to the side. They rust. They snap. They drop off and are abandoned.

International Sourcesizz

You’re Probably Throwing Away ‘Expired’ Food That’s Totally Fine To Eat
Up to 40 percent of the U.S. food supply goes uneaten every year, according to a widely cited 2009 study of food waste. Nearly 20 percent of food waste in people’s homes is caused by the confusing date labeling system, according to Niki Charalampopoulou, managing director of Feedback. Simply making date labels easier to understand would avoid 398,000 tons of wasted food every year, one study found. The vast majority of food is safe to eat even after it passes the date on the label, Broad Leib said. “The worst that happens if you eat something spoiled is it doesn’t taste good and you’re like, ‘That was gross,’” she added. “But we’re starting to realize we only prioritize safety and we draw a halo around safety — then we end up throwing away food.”

Climate change department killed off by Theresa May in 'plain stupid' and 'deeply worrying' move
The decision to abolish the Department for Energy and Climate Change has been variously condemned as “plain stupid”, “deeply worrying” and “terrible” by politicians, campaigners and experts. One of Theresa May’s first acts as Prime Minister was to move responsibility for climate change to a new Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. Only on Monday, Government advisers had warned of the need to take urgent action to prepare the UK for floods, droughts, heatwaves and food shortages caused by climate change. The news came after the appointment of Andrea Leadsom – who revealed her first question to officials when she became Energy Minister last year was “Is climate change real? – was appointed as the new Environment Secretary. Kyte, a British national who until recently was head of climate change at the World Bank, was speaking to Climate Home at a business summit in London on 28 June. Appointed yesterday, UK’s new prime minister Theresa May has so far offered little indication of her plans around the country’s climate change and development budgets.

UN energy chief urges UK to maintain climate funds
The UN’s top energy official has urged Britain’s new government to remain “open and outward looking” and maintain its development budget commitments. Rachel Kyte, chief executive of the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative said the UK still had a critical global role to play despite a vote to leave the EU.

Belize trip a sobering experience for Ellis
Arkansas senior middle linebacker Brooks Ellis enters the 2016 football season with two distinctions apart from his Razorbacks teammates. The three-year starter from Fayetteville is the only current Razorback on the preseason Butkus Award watch list honoring in December college football’s best linebacker. However, one distinction Ellis seems to have clinched. As a pre-med student, he is the only Razorback that joined his fellow biology class students experiencing a summer internship in the Central America country of Belize. Ellis was asked about his Belize experience as he and senior defensive tackle Deatrich Wise of Carrolton, Texas, and senior tight end Jeremy Sprinkle of White Hall joined Arkansas coach Bret Bielema during the Razorbacks’ Wednesday session of SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala. It literally was a hot time, Ellis said. “I stepped off the plane, and did not stop sweating the entire time,” Ellis said. “Three nights I had no AC and that was probably the worst nights of my life, I need some AC to sleep. But it was a great time, learned a lot, great experience.”

Medical tourism promotion spurs Yucatan health sector
In 2016, SEFOTUR is participating in two international specialized Medical Tourism fairs. The first is called Destination Health, in Ottawa, Canada from September 9 to 11. The second is organized by the Medical Tourism Association (MTA) in Washington, D.C. in the United States, and will take place from 25 to 28 September. In both events, the state of Yucatan will be present as “Yucatan Healthcare” to promote the state as a competitive world-class medical tourism destination. SEFOTUR is also preparing a campaign to promote medical tourism worldwide including video and photography shoots, a catalog featuring a medical directory, and a strong communication campaign on social networks, among other actions, in order to get ready to attend these important international fairs.

Latest FIFA Rankings
Belize dropped 50 places to 164th


  • Belize Recap, 6min.

  • Day 5 of our cruise Belize City, July 7th 2016, 32min.

  • Belize land movie October 14 17, 2015, 7.5min. Movie showing our fun adventure in Belize. There were 10 of us that stayed for 3 days at the Hidden Valley Inn in the back country going to historic sites and having fun doing things like hiking and ziplining. Afterwards we boarded the Belize Aggressor for 7 days of fun diving. We had lots of rain and some stormy weather but it still turned out to be an exceptional trip!

  • Belize mini slide show, 4min. Short slide show to show all the fun we had on our Belize adventure in late Oct. 2016.

  • Belize!, 28min.

  • "Scarface" and his mate -- Caye Caulker, Belize, 4.5min. The baddest crocodile on Caye Caulker. Scarface lives in a privately owned lagoon on the far North side of the split.

  • Last day in Belize. Vegan food rant #VLOG 183, 10min. Such a good time but it all comes to a end. Time to go back home. Or at least go back to the United States. Our are winding down. But wait before we jump on a plane and leave maybe we should have breakfast first.

  • Belize. Half Moon Caye Natural Monument (Part 1), 13min.

  • Human Foosball in Belize, 1/2min.

  • Buceo Belize Turneffe, Ligthouse Reef Atolls and Paradise Canyon Feb-2016, 2min. A trip in the incredibly clear waters on the reefs of Belize. Diversity of fish in coral , eels , eagle rays among others .. ideal for macro shots as have much time around the coral or deep Blue Hole ring.

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