Recent Belize News
7/1/2014 to 7/10/2014
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Today's Belize News

July 10, 2014

This news synopsis will be a bit more condensed than usual for the next several days due to time constraints.


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Faith Noel and Jerdon Anderson win the San Pedro Sailing Regatta
Young sailors from across the country took over San Pedro on Saturday, July 5th and Sunday, July 6th for the San Pedro Sailing Regatta. The two-day regatta is the 5th National Ranking Regatta of the 2014 Sailing Season and acts as a qualifier for the National Champions Regatta (BIZ14) scheduled for November 8th and 9th. Held at the Boca del Rio Park, the regatta saw the participation of San Pedro Junior Sailing Club (SPJSC), Sea Scouts, Belize City Sailing Club (BCSC), Corozal Bay Sailing Club (CBSC), Placencia Sailing Club (PSC) and San Pedro Sailing Club (SPR). Each fleet competed in a series of six races, and the winner of the regatta was determined by who scored the least amount of accumulated points. In the white fleet, Faith Noel took 1stand Jerson Anderson took 2nd, both with a score of 11 points. In third place was Antonio Ricardez Jr. of BCSC with 20 points. Other top finishers in the white fleet included: Christian Trejo (SPJSC) in 4th, DavinPuc (SPJSC) in 5th, Blanca Velasquez (SPJSC) in 6th, Kevin Velasquez (SPR) in 7th, Gorge Olivarez (SPR) in 8th, Trent Hardwick (Sea Scouts) in 9th and Christopher Young (CBSC) in 10th. Other SPJCS sailor in the white fleet included Kathryn Salinas who came in 15th place. SPR finishers in the white fleet included: Sarah White in 13th, Mitchell Sersland in 14th, Samantha Velasquez in 17th, Chris Lopez in 22nd and Caroline Sersland in 23rd.

More Entertainment for Costa Maya: J Boog & DJ JAX confirmed!
Jerry Afemata, or as he is known on stage, J Boog, was born in Long Beach but raised in Compton, California USA. He is an American R&B and reggae singer of Samoan descent. J Boog discovered his passion for music when he was four and heard his older sister playing the piano. The day she brought home a Bob Marley song book, he felt something click when Bob’s iconic reggae sounds filled the house, and he has never been the same. Later in life, while working in a refinery, he met George “Fiji” Veikoso, another singer who blended R&B and reggae sounds together. J Boog took the opportunity to go to Hawaii and record his first album “Hear Me Roar” (2007). He hooked up with the Wash House record label, along with Gramps Morgan of the revered reggae group Morgan Heritage. He found success in doing what he loved, and has not looked back.

Senior Ambassador Alfredo “Fred” Martinez passes
The Government of Belize confirmed that Belize Senior Ambassador His Excellency Alfredo “Fred” Martinez has died. The diplomat died on Wednesday July 9th in Guatemala City after ailing for a few weeks. Up until the time of his death, Martinez was Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs regrets to announce the passing of Senior Ambassador H.E. Alfredo Martinez, who was serving as Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala from 2003 to the present. During his tenure in the Diplomatic Service of Belize, Ambassador Martinez served as Belize’s Chief negotiator in the Belize/Guatemala negotiating process and as member of the negotiating team for many years. His first diplomatic appointment took him to Mexico where he served as Belize’s Ambassador to Mexico between 1993 and1997. In recognition of his outstanding work he was honored by the Government of Mexico with the Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest award offered to Foreign Diplomats,” said a Government press release.

Diamond in the Rough: The Island Photographers
The art of photography is one that is truly awe inspiring, and a photographer knows how to captivate an audience with a single shot. From family portraits to landscapes and even cute little animals, a photographer captures a moment that will last a lifetime. From the angling to the lighting available, photographers ensure that everything is in place to immortalize an image. Two island girls with a passion for photography are Marlena Gomez and Haydee Nuñez. These two girls have that “eye” for the art, and their talent shines through their pictures.

Ambergris Today

Promoting Swimming in Belize
Belize has never been in the running for competitive swimming, but this may just be the start. The competitions are being organized by Denise Diaz who has over 10 years experience in swim instruction and has participated in the Lionman competition for just as long. On Sunday, July 6, 2014, the first open water free style swim was held in Belize City with a modest distance of 350m. This is the first of three planned exercises that are intended to be a precursor to the Lionman competition's 0.9 mile swim. Winners for the 350m swim were: 1st Kian Ancona (San Pedro) with a time of 6'25" 2nd Kent Gabourel (San Pedro) 3rd Leon Guild

San Pedro Welcomes Fitness Tourism into the Belize Mix
Fitness Tourism arrives to Belize. This past week a group of visitors traveling under the umbrella of Stayfit Travel visited San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, not only for the purpose of enjoying the regular tourist attractions that the country has to offer, but also to engage in activities that promote health and well-being. Fitness tourism involves health enthusiasts traveling with the purpose of keeping active and engaging in activities beneficial to their health and quality of life. With four different health centers/gyms in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, and more recently the introduction of the first Crossfit Box on the island (in Belize), Stayfit Travel chose Ambergris Caye for their most recent travel destination.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

H.E. Alfredo “Fred” Martinez passes away
The Government of Belize is saddened by the loss of H.E. Alfredo “Fred” Martinez, Ambassador of Belize to Guatemala. On behalf of the Government Press Office, we wish to convey our deepest condolences to the family of Ambassador Martinez. He was a national treasure who played a significant role in the international affairs of Belize and served his country right up until his untimely passing. He will be sincerely missed. May he rest in peace.

CACHE Cultural Heritage Seminar
CACHE is having another lecture in their lecture series tonight. Dr. Alicia McGill will discuss cultural heritage. It starts at 7:00pm at Centennial Park. "This week we are having a lecture by Dr. Alicia McGill called: Oal Tingz, Kolcha, and Rooinz: Community Perspectives about Archaeology, Cultural Diversity, and Heritage Management in Crooked Tree Belize. Come out and see what endeavours she does in Crooked Tree similar to what we do here in Benque."

GS/OAS Adjacency Zone Belize-Guatemala on the passing of Ambassador H.E. Alfredo Martinez

Senior Steps Summer Camp
The Senior Steps Summer Camp starts next week at the George Price Centre. Contact the CPC for more information.

National Ranger Training
The first ever National Ranger Training course has started. UB's Environmental Research Institute is currently holding the course at the Ya'axche Conservation Trust field station.

El Cayo Arts Collection Call for Artists
The SISE House of Culture is calling for artists to submit art for the El Cayo Arts Collection exhibition. The deadline for submissions is July 31st, and the exhibit will start on August 15th.

Channel 7

Police Want ID For Body of Man Butchered to Death
There's all kinds of major news stories tonight including the arraignment of those accused of taking part in Ramon Cervantez's execution, and the death of two eminent Belizeans… but we start with another story - and it's urgent because Belize City police say they need your help before they bury an identified body that was found this afternoon. If they don't identify the body, he will be buried as a John Doe within the hour. Police have to bury him because of the state of decomposition. This afternoon, precinct two police got a call from BWSL workers saying that a body was found in what's known as the "Dyke" - it's that area off Faber's Road where BWSL's sewage ponds are located. Officer commanding precinct two Alford Grinage told us more at the scene: Supt. Alford Grinage, Officer Commanding, Precinct 2, Belize City Police "About half an hour ago, we received a call that there was a body in the Dyke, in the creek back here. Upon arrival, we observed the lifeless body of a male person floating in the Dyke. That's where we are at this time. At this time, we are awaiting for the doctor to come out here so that we can do a postmortem on site."

Finally! Cervantez's Alleged Murder Conspirators Arraigned
And from that unidentified body in Belize City, we go to Orange Walk - where two bodies found on the Honey Camp Lagoon Road have been identified. One of them is of course Ramon Cervantez Sr who was found on Monday, and the other - we now know is Sonia Maribel Abac - a 46 year old who went missing in Orange Walk in April. Well, her remains were dug up yesterday at a site not far from where Cervantez's body was found. We'll tell you all about that harrowing discover shortly, but first we'll show you the faces of those accused of conspiring to kill Ramon Cervantez Sr. They were arraigned this evening after 5:00 pm. After 3 days of waiting, viewing public Orange Walk Town finally got a chance to see the 3 of the men who have been the main suspects in the murder of 71 year-old Ramon Cervantes Sr. At about an hour before news time, they were charged, arraigned in Magistrate's Court, and right now, they're on the way to the Belize Central Prison.

Female Body Found on Honey Camp Road
But on the heels of the gruesome killing of Ramon Cervantes Jr., police ended up finding another body. Tonight we can confirm that police have positively identified her as 46 year-old Sonia Maribel Abac, a domestic worker and masseuse from Orange Walk Town who went missing 3 months ago. Now, her case is as bizarre and unexplained as the killing of Ramon Cervantes Sr., and as we told you tonight, the same men who were the suspects for Cervantes' murder, ended up leading police to Abac's body. There is some symmetry in the cases: first, police are seeking Manuel Castillo once again for questioning in connection with her murder. Second, one of the men who is now charged for Cervantes' murder told police about her body's location. Police went searching for her yesterday, and today her remains were found, badly decomposed. The final connection between the two is that her body was disposed of in a well on a farm directly adjacent to the one where Cervantes was killed.

Bze Ambassador To Guatemala Passes Unexpectedly
And tonight we note the unexpected passing of another former mayor of Orange Walk Town - Ambassador Fred Martinez. Martinez died last night at around 11:00 in Guatemala City. The death of the highly respected senior diplomat comes as a complete shock because no one even knew he was sick. But the 60 year old had been ailing for some time - and two weeks ago when he attended to SICA Summit in the Dominican Republic, his Minister Wilfred Elrington saw that he was visibly ill. So ill, that Elrington told the media today that he wasn't surprised to hear of his passing: Hon. Wilfred "Sedi" Elrington - Minister of Foreign Affairs "My reaction is one of sadness, not surprised, because we were together with Ambassador Martinez just under two weeks ago in the Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, where he attended the heads of government meeting of the governments of the SICA countries. He was part of the Belize delegation to that heads conference and at that time we noted that he really seemed to have been quite ill. As a matter of fact I remember urging him to go back as quickly as possible and I even asked him why he had bothered to come because he wasn't looking to well at all. And then, yesterday, I was informed that he was in the intensive care unit in Guatemala, and of course, I got the very sad news that he had passed away sometime last night. I was informed about that at around 6:30 this morning."

H.E. Martinez Was Bi-Partisan Favourite
All those prerequisites help explain why Fred Martinez became the first ambassador with a strong UDP background to be appointed to a sensitive senior post by the PUP. Today Said Musa told us why he did it. Rt. Hon. Said Musa - Appointed Fred Martinez As Ambassador to Guatemala "Fred Martinez was considered a very outstanding diplomat. Even though he was a UDP, that didn't matter to me, certainly, because I knew that he would do a very commendable job, and he has done a great job." Jules Vasquez "Explain to me why you felt it so important to face the internal backlash in your own party and still go ahead with the choice of Fred Martinez?" Rt. Hon. Said Musa "Well, it did - yes, I must admit that it ruffled a few feathers in the party when he was appointed, but you have to bear in mind that I had also at that time - I made every effort to create a bi-partisan spirit on the Belize-Guatemala issue. And this, in a sense, was a part of that, to bring in the UDP - the Opposition, to make them realize that this is a national issue, and I believe that he was highly respected as a diplomat in Guatemala itself. And I think the Government has recognized that for many years, several Guatemalan governments has recognized the strength, dignity, and the great character of this Ambassador, Fred Martinez."

The Humble Giant Of the Southside, "Sunny P" Passes
Zebedee Pitterson, the owner of Sunny Side Bakery, a Belize City Institution, passed away last night at 7:30pm. He was 83. For those of us who grew up on the Southside, Pitterson is a giant, a successful black businessman who built his brand name since 1959 on the quality and consistency of his product. And even when facing tough competition from newcomers, he never sold out, never flinched. Today his business remains a thriving south side enterprise, but about a decade ago he retired to his other life's work: charity. Quietly and without fanfare, Pitterson ran a feeding program, which he continued until school closed. Today his wife, Alvia, who asked to appear off camera, told us about his passions and his commitment: Voice Of: Alvia Pitterson - Wife of Zebedee Pitterson "Baking on charity, he is very charitable. People need help, and he sees it, he can't turn away. He is always helping them. I could tell you that, that's his life, and his Bible. I am forgetting to tell you that. His Bible is like his wife."

Gang War Could Erupt From City Shooting
As we told you at the top of the news: the body of a murdered man was found today in the dike area off Faber's Road. And now, this evening at 6:30, there was a shooting in that same area except it happened on Faber's Road. We have confirmed that one persons was shot and another murdered. That most recent shooting may be related to one that happened last night at 9:00 pm, one block away from this locus of criminal activity - at the end of Neal's Pen Road - one block away from Faber's Road. That's when Edwin "Drive" Flowers was shot in the face as he stood on his verandah. A gunman was lurking in the bushes beside his home and released a spray of bullets at Flowers. He was shot to the forehead, but, remarkably, did not die, and is reported in a stable condition, though there are reports that his vision may be impaired. Police are paying special attention to the shooting because Drive Flowers is considered a boss of the PIV gang. Today Precinct Two's second in command briefed the media on the event and its possible consequences:

BDF Being Put Back On Streets
And all the violence is probably why the BDF is returning to the streets. Today the CEO in the Ministry of National Security told the media what went ingot he decision: Ret. Col. George Lovell, C.E.O., Ministry of National Security "There have been some shootings over the last couple of weeks and we also have had some incidents in San Pedro. The police currently have some intake that is at the Police Academy that will come out late September, October. The commissioner of police did ask if he can get some assistance to beef up numbers for a very short time - not to have the B.D.F. back in the streets in numbers and in a permanent basis as they once were. And so we have been dialoguing with the Belize Defense Force and yes there will be a few B.D.F. soldiers going back on the streets to assist the police to try and bring back the situation to a normal standards." Duane Moody - Channel 5 News "Is there a timeline?" Ret. Col. George Lovell "We are looking - I was told today that there will be going back to help the police in those areas where there is obviously, hotspots yes. In terms of the timeline, I don't have a timeline because what was said to them is that we need to bring it to a point where the police can handle without having to have the B.D.F. being out there with them. I think though that we are looking at a two week period in the first instance to see how it works."

Relatives of Grieving Family Under Remand Claim Victimization
Tonight the entire Smith family from Giles Street in the Lake Independence Area remains on prison remand after police found a firearm in their house on Monday evening. As we reported, police found the gun during the repass after the funeral for 17 year old murder victim Myron Smith. The entire grieving family was arrested: Myron's mother, sister, father, and brother. Yesterday they were all taken to court and remanded for possession of an unlicensed firearm and 13 rounds of ammunition. And like what we told you yesterday, there are two sides to every story. While police claim that the gun and ammunition inside the Smith's home, the Smith family says differently. In an interview with 7news today, relatives told us that the gun and bullets were brought into their family home by the man police was chasing and now tonight their relatives are locked up innocently. Lavern Olivera - Family Member "The first part I want to clear up is that the police that they first give that night that my cousin had this gun under his mattress which he was going to use to retaliate. My cousin is not that kind of person. My cousin even went on TV and let the whole of Belize and the whole world know who he is. He doesn't encourage his children.

How These Kids Did The Right Thing
And tonight on the news - there have been so many stories about violence involving young persons. And that's why 9 years ago, the police department created the "do the right thing" programme. It's a way to inspire and acknowledge youths who've made tough life choices to do things the right way, rather than being lured down the path of criminality. Today 39 of them from all over the country were honoured at a ceremony at Old Belize and we found out about their personal struggles, and why police want the media to focus on them: This year four scholarships were award to the top finishers.

What Is fueling Fires?
Tonight there are two fires to report on. The first happened in Hattieville just before 9 yesterday morning at the home of 54 year old Eloise Hyde. Here's how it started: her 8-year-old grandson was playing with a lighter and lit a curtain which then caught fire and set the entire house ablaze. At the time of the fire, there were about 15 persons occupying the building and its contents is valued at approximately fifty thousand dollars. And then there was another fire that happened in the Solana area of Corozal town. Corozal fire fighters responded to the fire at approximately 9:30 last night. There they saw 2 structures in the same yard engulfed in flames. The cause of that fire is still unknown but today we caught up with Station Officer, Orin Smith for more details on both incidents. Ted Smith - Fire Chief, National Fire Service "At approximately nine p.m., the National Fire Service had received and responded to a call of a structural fire in the Finca Solana area of Corozal Town. On arrival on scene, one structure was seen, a ply-board structure, was seen destroyed by fire and another structure on the same property was seen fully engulfed by flames. The NFS got into operation and put out those fires. Investigation is still presently ongoing on the cause of the fire.

His Excellency Martinez Honoured
Tonight, it is as if public life in Belize has lost some pith, some of our Belizean-ness has been whittled away with the passing of two fine, upstanding gentlemen - who operated in very different realms but their excellence, composure and commitment made us all better. Legendary baker, the 83 year old Zebedee Pitterson died in Belize City at 7:30 last night, and stellar diplomat, 60 year old Fred Martinez died in Guatemala around 11:00 pm. They will both be missed in ways large and small: all the children that Pitterson fed for so many years won't send press releases or wreaths to his funeral, but they will surely miss him. By contrast, Fred Martinez operated at the highest official level of our state; and the laurels for him are accumulating as they should: Today former PUP Foreign Minister Eamon Courtenay - who is out of the country told us via email, quote: "Fred answered the call of service to Belize and Belizeans, he distinguished himself as one of our very best diplomats. Belize and his family has lost a great diplomat and a gentleman."

Channel 5

Late evening murder in the City
Leader of the PIV gang, Edwin Flowers, was shot on Tuesday night on Neal’s Pen Road….just a stone’s throw from where the body of unidentified man was found this afternoon. [...]

3 men are finally arraigned for the murder of Ramon Cervantes Senior
At exactly five thirty this evening, three men were escorted to the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court for formal arraignment. These men are believed to be part of a criminal gang [...]

Body of Sonia Maribel Abac unearthed near farm in Honey Camp
Tonight a tangled web of abduction, criminal conspiracy and violent murder in the Orange Walk district continues to dominate the news. We can report that the body of a second [...]

Asst. ComPol says Abac and Cervantes murders are related
We revisit the developing story in Orange Walk where the body of a Sonia Abac. At exactly five p.m. today, Head of the National Crimes Investigation Branch, Assistant Commissioner of [...]

Sister-in-law says Abac went missing 2½ months ago
Even as NCIB Head Russell Blackett was confirming the discovery of Sonia Abac, the grieving family of the woman who had been missing since April twenty-third were laying her remains [...]

Gutted body of young man found in sewer lagoon
Another body was found this afternoon. It is that of a young man who remains unidentified up to news time. The body was floating on the sewer lagoon off Faber’s [...]

PIV Gang Leader, Edwin Flowers, is shot to the forehead
Urban warfare continues to grip the city. On Tuesday night around nine o’clock, PIV gang leader, thirty-one year old Edwin Flowers, was shot to the head, but has so far [...]

B.D.F. will be back on the streets of the City
The chaos in the city has prompted government to re-deploy the B.D.F. to the streets. This afternoon, C.E.O. in the Ministry of National Security confirmed to News Five that, effective [...]

Ambassador Fred Martinez dies in Guatemala
The death of Ambassador Fred Martinez has sparked an outpouring of tributes from his colleagues in the diplomatic community, as well as from persons from all walks of life. Martinez [...]

Corozal fire leaves 9 persons homeless
On Monday’s newscast, we reported a fire in San Pedro that left sixty-six persons displaced from their homes and on Tuesday, a mid-morning blaze in Hattieville gutted the two storey [...]

Drug plane seized on Southern Highway sold earlier this year
Four years ago, a plane was confiscated in one of the biggest drug bust in the country. The plane, a twin engine Beechcraft, landed and sat on the Southern Highway [...]

BTIA’s bi-annual general meeting
The Belize Tourism Industry Association held a biennial general meeting today at the Biltmore where stakeholders in the tourism industry were present to discuss developments within the sector over the [...]

39 students honoured at National Ceremony of Du Di Rait Ting
Do Di Right Thing has become one of the most successful programs by the police department; it recognizes exemplary and outstanding youths who have beaten the odds despite adversity. This [...]

Trial against BWSL continues
Six former workers of Belize Water Services Limited were back in court today in a legal suit they are pursing against their ex-employer for wrongful termination. BWS, however, claims it [...]

BWSL Union President testifies
The memorandum from BWS C.E.O. Alvan Haynes released within the company on February seventh, according to Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams, had nothing to do with the termination of these workers, [...]


Man Suspects Latest Find in Shallow Grave May Be His Wife
There is a huge development following intense police investigation on the murder of 71-year-old, Ramon Cervantes of Orange Walk. While there has not been any arrests, a number of persons have been detained and thoroughly questioned by police. But a development late Tuesday evening has just added more complexity to this already bizarre turn of events. Arturo Cantun has the latest from Orange Walk town.Slide4 ARTURO CANTUN REPORTING “It has not been confirmed but it seems Orange Walk police might have another murder case in their hand. It has been a mysterious turn of events in the last 48 hours as police remain tight lipped about the ongoing investigation in reference to the murder of Cervantes. But around 5:30 Tuesday evening, police left the station along with two young men who we believe are suspects in the murder case of Cervantes.

Peacework, Price Waterhouse Coopers and Education Ministry Make Mark on 2000+ Educators and Students
Love News has been keeping you updated on the joint initiative being executed by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with two organizations from the United States, namely, Peacework and Price Waterhouse Coopers and today, we can tell you that several school principals are undergoing their training in financial literacy and teaching strategies over the next few days with the aim of finding innovative ways in incorporating lessons that teaches and encourages financial literacy into their daily school plans. We spoke to a Senior Advisory member of PWC, Jim Smith, who is in Belize as part of the over first 250-member delegation visiting from the US.

Homeless Man Finds Joy At Welcome Centre
The Welcome Centre, in 2013, had set out to provide a daily meal, medical referral and recreation not only for the homeless but for persons living with mental health problems…..and that objective has remained its focus in the last twelve months as is confirmed by one of the facility’s regular visitor, Gilbert Pollard, who told us that while he is homeless and alone, the resource centre does bring him some semblance of joy. GILBERT POLLARD “I thank God for this moment. I don’t have any job; I am looking for a job. I don’t have any family; I am looking for a family but thank God, God is my family. I came here to this center because they provide me with food daily. I have a brother and sister, my mother and father died already.

Resource Centre Proves Beneficial One Year Later
It is a project that was implemented by the Social Investment Fund through joint efforts from the Ministry of Health at a cost of just under six hundred thousand dollars……one year later after its opening, the Welcome Resource Centre has proven to be a much needed and used facility as it provides food security and a stable environment for its consumers. As part of their one year celebration, the Welcome Resource Centre had a ceremony on-site at the corner of Vernon and Tibruce Streets in Belize City around 9:30 this morning. Love News was there and we spoke to the Administrator, Joyce Ellis.

Taiwan’s Ambassador to Belize Says Goodbye
Ambassador David Wu has completed his tour of duty as Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Belize and will be departing Belize on July 12th, 2014. Ambassador Wu arrived in Belize in April 2010. In the past four years, the bilateral relationship between Belize and the Republic of China (Taiwan) has been significantly strengthened in various fields. Ambassador Wu spoke to Love News about his ambassadorial work in Belize. AMBASSADOR DAVID WU “Today is a time to say goodbye and it’s also a time to say thank you not only to the government but also to the people of Belize. In the past four years and three months I have really enjoyed my work in this beautiful country. We have a very good partnership with the Government of Belize but also with many Belizean people. They treat me as a good friend. There are so many people whom I do not know their names, they greet me in the street, in the sugar market, in the place we went and this is really an amazing experience, a very unique country because we enjoy the support, friendship and goodwill so much that I will remember this beautiful country always.

Former Prime Minister Weighs in on Cervantes’ Death
Ramon Cervantes Sr. will be remembered as a hard working Orangewalkeno as he was a former politician. He ran several times under the People’s United Party and was once the Mayor of Orange Walk Town and Senator. His longtime colleague and past PUP Leader and former Prime Minister of Belize, Said Musa, says that he is shocked at the news. SAID MUSA “It should shock the conscience of the nation because here you have this man, is a public figure for many years; he was a Mayor, acted as school teacher for many years and a Senator as well and now his son is running; he is in the political arena. I knew Ramon very well from my previous years in politics under Mr. Price, in particular.

Family of 12 Loses Home to Fire
While sixteen families are working at putting their lives back together following Sunday night’s fire on Ambergris Caye, there is a family of twelve who is facing similar challenges as their home was burnt to the ground this morning just after ten o’clock in Hattieville Village, Belize District. It is an experience that no one would want to experience but sadly, it is Tisha Thomas’ reality. TISHA THOMAS “Miss, it happened so quickly; I still can’t believe it myself. All I know is that the house caught fire and we had to come outside, we couldn’t save anything. The house was already engulfed. I was sitting, watching television as I had just finished having breakfast and I was watching a game show and I smelled fire; when I went on the front verandah, I saw the fire coming from downstairs through the window and by the time I went back inside the whole house was in smoke.

Another Day….Another Murder in Belize City
Belize City Police are investigating the shooting murder of 25 years old Leon Burgess. It happened at about ten o’clock last night when Burgess was at his home on Cybil Reyes Street along with his common law wife. Burgess had stepped out of the house to use the bathroom and suddenly shots were fired. COMMON-LAW-WIFE “What woke me up was when I heard the sound of shots by my ear and I asked him what happened and he just nodded his head to the side and watched me like I don’t know what to say. He just lay down back beside me like in a position watching the TV and I asked him what it was and then I noticed he wasn’t answering me and he was getting stiff and I just jumped on top of him and said, ‘Babe answer me, answer me, what did you go do?’.

Woman Escapes Burning Vehicle
A woman is happy to be alive today as she narrowly escaped the flames that erupted in the hood of her vehicle as she travelled on the highway. Love News encountered the vehicle off the shoulder of the George Price Highway between miles twelve and thirteen just after two o’clock this afternoon. While the driver refused to give us an interview, we did learn that the woman, 41-year-old, Denise Diane Williams was heading to her home in the East Windmill Area in Hattieville Village, Belize District when the vehicle experienced some tire problems causing the 2000 Ford Ranger pickup truck to pull right into the bushes off the pavement.

Estranged Couple Blames Each Other For Marijuana
Estranged couple, 39-year-old, Jaime Pernillo and 42-year-old, Martha Alfaro, were both fined $10,000 today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after she found them guilty of drug trafficking for 456 grams of cannabis which amounts to about 1 pound. They were ordered to pay by October 31. If they default on payment they will serve 3 years. They were busted on September 15, 2012 when they were travelling in a pick-up truck on the Burrell Boom/Hattieville Road. The police officers who were in a police vehicle testified that they saw when a bag was thrown out of the pick-up truck from the passenger side. Pernillo testified and denied that the cannabis belonged to him but he later said that he had asked Alfaro where she got the cannabis from and she told him that she got it from the Belize Zoo. Alfaro also testified and denied that the cannabis belonged to her. She admitted that she was on the passenger side of the pick-up truck.

Family of 7 Gets Imprisoned for Unlicensed 9mm
Seven persons, two of them minors, became inmates of Belize Central Prison today when they appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser and were arraigned on charges of kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license. They are 52-year-old, Alrick Smith, 47-year-old, Sandra Casey,22-year-old, Leon Smith, 19-year-old, Tamika Smith, 20-year-old, Rashida Brooks and two boys, ages 17 and 16. They pled not guilty to the charges. They were remanded into custody until August 21. The incident occurred yesterday. The police reported that they went to a house at 8159 Giles Street and they found one black 9 millimeter pistol with 13 rounds of ammunition in its magazine. The defendants were represented by attorneys, Michelle Zuniga and Baja Shoman.

Patrick JonesPJ

Former PM says Ambassador Fred Martinez was best man for Guatemala
Another prominent citizen from Orange Walk has died, on the heels of Ramon Cervantes’ death last week. He too was a former Government Senator and former Mayor of Orange Walk Town. But more than that, he was, for the last eleven years, Belize’s man in Guatemala. His Excellency […]

BWS says workers not released over “gossip”
Six former workers of Belize Water Services Limited are suing their ex-employer alleging wrongful termination. BWS however claims it has had a long-standing restructuring plan in place that began to be seriously implemented in 2012 after a rate cut of over 7% from the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). […]

Belize City man shot as he sat on his verandah
Late into Tuesday night there were gunshots fired on the Southside of Belize City. For the third consecutive night, another young man was sent to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, though for now he remains alive. According to police 31 year old Edwin Flowers, a construction worker and […]

National awards for “Du Di Rait Ting”
The Police Department regularly honors high school students who have met the requirements for the “Du Di Rait Ting” program. Today the national awards were held. Acting Commander of Community Policing, Inspector Dehanne Augustine, says the program has become a favorite with businesses who seek to help to […]

Baker and unsung hero Zebedee Pitterson dies
Owner of Sunnyside Bakery in Belize City Zebedee Pitterson died Tuesday night at the age of 83. He began his business in 1949 after apprenticing at several local bakeries and Sunnyside – which was actually going to be called “Suntan” Bakery – has lived on through hurricanes and […]

Victim of hit-and-run incident laid to rest in Toledo
A small funeral procession carried the earthly remains of Yemeri Grove village resident Francisco Coy to his final resting place at the Jacintoville village cemetery this afternoon. Coy was killed on Sunday night when he was knocked down by a hit-and-run driver who has still not been apprehended […]

Late evening murder on Fabers Road in Belize City
A Belize City man was shot dead this evening in Belize City. The victim has been identified as 23 year old Dwayne Hilton, a resident of Fabers Road in Belize City. According to preliminary information received, Hilton had just arrived home and was on the verandah […]

Trio arraigned on murder charge in death of Ramon Cervantes, Sr.
After days of waiting, Orange Walk police late this evening escorted three men to the Magistrate’s Court for formal arraignment on charges related to the death of Ramon Cervantes, Sr. They are 22 year old Noe Daniel Gonzalez Avila; 28 year old Mateo Pott, Jr; and 19 […]

OAS diplomats pay tribute to Ambassador Alfredo Martinez
The Office of the Organization of American States on the Belize-Guatemala border has issued a note of condolence, expressing sadness on the death of Ambassador Alfredo Martinez. Ambassador Martinez passed away on Tuesday night at a hospital in Guatemala City. The statement from Ambassador Raul J. Lago, […]

House fire in Hattieville village leaves family homeless
A fire in Hattieville village, Belize district on Tuesday morning has left 15 people homeless. Authorities say their preliminary investigation revealed that an 8 year old child playing with a lighter allegedly ignited a curtain which set the entire building ablaze. According to the owner of the […]

Fire guts two dwellings in Corozal town
Two buildings were gutted by fire last night in the Finca Solana area of Corozal Town, leaving at least 9 people homeless. One of the houses that were completely gutted was being occupied by 51 year old Jaime Tut and the other one by 44 year old Sandra […]

Uncle allegedly chops niece in the face in Toledo
A twenty three year old woman from the village Elridgeville is fighting for her life after she was chopped in the face, allegedly by her uncle. The victim has been identified as Evalinda Sho. The Tuesday evening chopping incident reportedly took place during a misunderstanding between Sho and […]

Belize mourns the death of Ambassador Alfredo Martinez
News has been received of the death of Belize’s ambassador to Guatemala Alfredo Martinez. Information received suggests that Ambassador Martinez, who had been ailing for some months now, passed away early this morning. Apart from serving as Belize’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Guatemala, Martinez’ long list […]


Visiting Wildtracks in Sarteneja, Belize: An Army of Volunteers Rehabbing Manatees and Monkeys for Return to the Wild
I had promised to help with the free Vet Clinic in Sarteneja months ago. Shaving dogs bellies pre-surgery and assisting with the actual surgery (which after about 15 minutes, a nursing female dog and a rush of nausea, I found was not my forte)…I was in. THEN when Twilla, the local organizer, called to tell me that she had scored us a guided tour at Wild Tracks? I was SUPER excited. I had seen the pictures on their facebook page and heard the amazing stories from some of the volunteers who had devoted a month or more of their lives to the wildlife of Belize but I was dying to visit. This was my chance! And take a look at what I saw. Though 10 months old, this still requires 3 volunteers.

International Sourcesizz

Butterfly wings inspire cosmetics and bomb detectors
A tropical butterfly might not be the first place to look when seeking inspiration for the latest bomb sniffing technology for the US military, but the brightly coloured iridescent wings of a blue morpho provides one example of a promising branch of science - bio-inspiration. Other varied applications inspired by the South American butterfly's shimmering wings include high-tech textiles, self-cleaning surfaces, cosmetics, and security tags. An exhibition called the Invisible Garden at the Royal Horticultural Society's Hampton Court Flower Show is enthralling visitors with its displays of the microscopic world in gardens. "Oh wow!" cried one six year old school girl as she squinted into an optical microscope at the wings of a blue morpho. "It's really shiny. It's a really pretty one, that." "They're just like scales, like fishes have," said her class-mate, "They're really nice."

Grandmother tackles sea for school
In nothing but a kayak, one gutsy grandmother will battle rough waves and the elements to help poverty-stricken children in Guatemala go to school. Dr. Deb Walters, a Waynesboro native, will paddle 2,500 miles from her home in Maine to Rio Dulce in Guatemala over the course of a year. Walters hopes to raise money and awareness for Safe Passage, a nonprofit organization based in Maine but located in Guatemala City that helps bring education and opportunities to children and families living in slum communities around the city’s garbage dump. Nine years ago, Walters visited Guatemala with her Rotary Club and witnessed firsthand what slum life was like for children and their families. Walters will push off from shore on Friday heading towards her first stop in Portland, Maine and by early April of next year she will land at Key West in Florida. Because of the possibility of armed attacks on small crafts in Mexico, she and her kayak will hop onto the sailboat “Polaris,” which will take her to Belize. From there she will paddle to her final destination in Rio Dulce, Guatemala.

11 Caribbean Bungalow Hotels
They’re not villas, they’re bungalows — small, typically one-story cottages that evoke the archetypal dream of Caribbean travel — just you and yours in a detached dwelling in plain view of the sea. And at these hotel properties in the Caribbean, you can find just that — your own private Caribbean bungalow, cottage, hut, casita, or whatever you prefer to call it. See 11 of our favourites.

Behind the Making of Deep Dive: TIME’s First 360 Degree Panoramic Underwater Video
One of the many challenges of being a photo editor today is understanding your publication’s platforms – and identifying opportunities to try something visually exciting on them. When I found out, back in November 2013, that Fabien Cousteau planned to embark on a 31-day underwater mission on the world’s only habitable underwater science lab, I immediately wanted to take TIME’s readers on a dive around the coral-covered submersible. But how could we make our audience feel like they were actually on a scuba dive? What would be the most immersive experience? An interactive 360-degree panoramic video seemed to be the answer. But with the project approved, a problem arose: how would we shoot that kind of video 60 feet below the ocean’s surface? After much research and many phone calls, I came across a man called Michael Kintner, the founder and inventor of 360Heros, a company that makes one of the only 360-degree underwater video rigs. Kintner worked with us not only to train our cinematographers on how to shoot with the underwater rig while scuba diving, but also by stitching together the video and displaying the end product in an interactive player.

Caribbean lost half its corals since 1970's
The Caribbean has lost at least half its coral reefs since the 1970s, says a new report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). And the main culprit, it adds, is overfishing — in particular, the loss of parrotfish. Large parrotfish graze down algae that can otherwise smother corals. If the trend in overfishing continues, Caribbean reefs — which account for about a tenth of the world’s corals — could all but vanish in 20 years, the report predicts. The mass die-out of another key marine grazer, the sea urchin, has also hit corals hard. A pathogen introduced from ballast water discharged from bulk carrier ships is thought to have wiped out sea urchins in the 1980s. Marine grazers also seem to make reefs more resilient to hurricanes. For instance, the overfished reefs in the Central Barrier in Belize declined by half after three hurricanes, while the better protected reefs in Bermuda saw no coral loss after four hurricanes since 1984.


Video: the Obstacle Course -- U.S. Marines build an "O" course in Belize, 1.5min.
LADYVILLE, Belize (June 30, 2014) – U.S. Marines assigned to 8th Engineer Support Battalion are up at dawn to put the finishing touches on an obstacle course the Marines built at Price Barracks in Belize. The Marines are in Belize as part of Southern Partnership Station 2014.

Video: Belize Ecotourism Trip 2014, 12min.
A documentary following Lasell College's HEM214 Ecotourism class on their service learning trip to Belize.

Video: Belize Final 2, 19min.

Video: belize half done 2, 12min.

Video: Wage Increase Ad, 1min.
from GOB Press Office

Video: The First Lady and her Stellar Board -opening of the Children's Inspiration Center, 1hr 4min.
Belize Talk Radio host, Macarena brings you to the Grand Opening of the First Lady of Belize's Children's Inspiration Center. Last year, Belize Talk Radio listeners participated in the Telethon to raise funds for the completion of the center. Today we take you to the completed center- for a unique opportunity to hear engaging conversations and to see the center itself in all its beauty !

Video: , 5min.
136ft dive at the Blue Hole off the coast of Belize. I've added a few notes to describe what's going on through the dive. The dive goes to the limits of recreational diving depths. It's a 2.5 hour boat dive from the coast of San Pedro, Belize, near the Lighthouse Reef.

Video: Belize 2014, 15min.
Pescaria com mosca em Belize, ano 2014, peixe alvo PERMIT. Pescadores: Fernando Marra, JR, Sérgio Krieger e Thiago Zanetti.

Video: Tubing and Termites in Belize, 2min.
Crystal cave tubing and eating termites in the Belize rain forest.

July 9, 2014

This news synopsis will be a bit more condensed than usual for the next several days due to time constraints.


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Canadian National burglarized of over $25,000 worth in goods
52-year-old John Webber, Canadian Construction Worker and Insulator living in San Pedro, has reported to the San Pedro Police that his home had been burglarized and over $25,000 worth of goods are missing. On Wednesday, July 2nd Webber stated that between Thursday, June 26th and Sunday, June 29th his home was broken into and a […]

Local Government awards Top PSE Scholars
On Friday July 4th, Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr., Area Representative and Minister of Tourism and Culture, along with Caye Caulker Chairman Wayne Miller, awarded top Primary School Examination (PSE) scholars from San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker Village. Recipients of the awards were Shanelle Palma from San Pedro Roman Catholic School and Chelsea Rodriguez from […]

Ambergris Today

Miss Mexico Contestant Announced for Costa Maya Festival
Elisa Espinosa Gomez has been chosen to represent her country as Miss Mexico Costa Maya at the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant that will be taking place during the International Costa Maya Festival in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize on Thursday, August 7, 2014. At 24 years old and standing 5’ 6” tall, Elisa Gomez has dark brown eyes and dark brown hair. She is a marketing student, loves doing crossfit, travelling, watching movies and spending time with friends and family. Elisa has held the title of Señorita Universidad de Guanajuato 2011 and Nuestra Belleza Guanajuato 2012.

Mayor’s Sneak Peak of Town Council Financial Report
Following several requests from private citizens to have a financial report of 2012 to 2014, the San Pedro Town Council finally invited Elito Arceo, Standard Bearer for the PUP, and Giovanni Solorzano, Mayoral candidate for the PUP, to view the financial report in his office. The media comprising of Ambergris Today, Reef TV and San Pedro Sun as well as Town Councilor’s legal advisor Estevan Perera were also invited to have a glimpse of the hard copy and ask a few questions before the aforementioned candidates. Arceo and Solorzano were welcome by the Mayor and told to have a few minutes to look at the document and not to take notes or photographs. Mayor Daniel Guerrero mentioned that the public would have an opportunity to appraise the financial report either on Monday, July 14, 2014 or Tuesday, July 15, 2014.

Thank You Letter from the San Pedro AIDS Commission
The San Pedro AIDS Commission, a group of local volunteers who works hand in hand with those that are affected and/or are infected with HIV, take this opportunity to send thank you to all those who helped us during LobsterFest 2014. Thanks to your contribution, in whichever way it was, and thank you to all who stopped by our booth. We are happy to say that because of our efforts combined with your support we were able to walk away with the prize for BEST BOOTH. It is because of generous people/businesses like you that the San Pedro AIDS Commission continues to provide assistance to those who need it. I also take this opportunity to thank the members/friends who worked hard to ensure that we had a very attractive booth with very delicious snacks and great drinks….You all know who you are. To all of you Muchas Gracias.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Power interruption, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Friday, July 11, Placencia Peninsula
Roberts Grove to Turtle Inn, including Placencia Lagoon Estate. BEL to replace utility poles carrying high voltage lines in the area.

Belize Zoo Summer Camp
The Belize Zoo had their 21st annual Summer Camp last week, and 30 lucky students learned a lot about the nature and history of Belize. Thanks, TBZ! "For the 21st year running, TBZ hosted its summer conservation camp. 30 teenagers from all over the country took part in a week long exploration and appreciation of the natural world. Our campers and camp counselors walked the Zoo in the day and night, canoed the Sibun River, climbed the temples of Lamanai, explored the painted caves of Runaway Creek Nature Reserve, and received amazing presentations from some of our great colleagues in conservation. TBZ thanks all parents, colleagues, sponsors, and campers that made Conservation Camp 2014 a superb experience. And, to our 2014 campers, we say 'Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not!'"

The San Pedro Junior Sailing Club put on a great regatta this last weekend for the 5th regatta of 6 for the National Series leading up to Nationals in Placencia in November. 55 kids from around the country came and sailed for two days in 6 races. The San Pedro Junior Sailing Club did exceptionally well, placing six in top ten. The next regatta is at St.George’s Caye over the holiday August 30, 31 and Sept 1. All are welcome to attend. As it stands presently San Pedro Junior Sailing Club have won first place in all five regattas this season amoungst their team racers. They are practicing with intensity and passion almost daily. Next month August 15th, 16th and 17th with the full support of Town Board, Mayor Danny Guerrero, Gabby Nunez in charge of San Pedro Sports Counsil and all of the Town Counsil Board members. San Pedro will host the first ever International Invitational Regatta in the Boca Del Rio Park.

Arrange the tomato slices in a shallow bowl or serving plate. Sprinkle with sugar (if using) salt and pepper. Seperate the onion slices into rings and sprinkle them over the tomatoes. Sprinkle the herbs over the top. Any fresh herbs that are in season can be used. Tarragon, cilantro, sorrel or basil are great examples. Place the dressing ingredients in a jar with a screw top lid. Shake well. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix gently. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 20 mins.

Travelport and Tropic Air Sign Global Distribution Agreement
Travelport and Belize’s Tropic Air have unveiled a new global distribution agreement. Agents connected to Travelport’s three brands: Galileo, Worldspan and Apollo, will now be able to access and sell Tropic Air’s services. We are pleased to offer our inventory to Travelport’s extensive network global travel agents,” said Steven Schulte, CEO, Tropic Air. “Travelport’s innovative tools and technology offer us an efficient and economic distribution solution, on both a regional and global level. We look forward to continuing to develop our relationship with Travelport in the coming years.” Tropic air, Belize’s biggest airline currently links 16 destinations in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The airline also charters flights to more remote location throughout Belize. “Tropic Air provides valuable flight services for travelers in Belize and nearby Central American countries,” said Jonathan Sutter, senior director, Americas, Travelport. “The addition of Tropic Air’s flight and fare inventory to Travelport’s systems is a content advantage for our subscribers and is indicative of our continued commitment to provide our customers with unparalleled air content.”

Scarlet Six Checks Chiquibul
The Scarlet Six have been in the Chiquibul to check up on some of the scarlet macaws. Cuteness follows. "The S6 Crew came out today after two weeks of monitoring in the depths of the Chiquibul. Good and bad news. BAD first - One chick which is the furthest out of our protection grid was poached. GOOD - Two chicks at Scarlet Creek are almost ready to fledge, these would be the first for the season, while another two fully developed, follow close behind."

Channel 7

Another Body Found On Honey Camp Road
Another body has been found on the Honey Camp Lagoon Road in Orange Walk. At this hour, police are dis-interring human remains on a farm on the Honey Camp Road - the property is a short distance from where Ramon Cervantes Sr.'s body was found buried in a shallow grave. Details are sketchy at this time, but we understand that it may belong to a woman who has been reported missing. Reports say that under questioning from Orange Walk Investigators, one of the men who are detained in connection to the Cervantes murder, gave them information that this other body is located in a similar grave.

OW Residents Demand Charges For Cervantes Sr.
Today, Orange Walk residents again gathered outside of the Town Court House to see who will be charged for the abduction and murder of 71 year-old Ramon Cervantes Sr. But, again, they waited in vain; no one was arraigned - no alleged perpetrators exposed. This afternoon, we spoke with one of the concerned residents about why she felt it important to keep watch. She says that she's doing it because the police need to know that they take Cervantes' murder very seriously, and they are demanding justice. She added that police need to release the identity of the alleged mastermind, a deportee who has reportedly absconded to Mexico: Elizabeth Mejia Perez, Concerned Resident "It's an innocent man they killed. They should have started to poster the man picture all over so that people can see how he looks, that's it."

City Man Slain; Did His Street Life Catch Up?
Last night there was a murder at the far end of Holy Emmanuel Street in the Lake Independence Area last night. The area is very dark and at 10:30, fire came from the muzzle of a handgun: 13 shots were fired in an execution where the shooter or shooters took no chances. Still, family members say their target Leon Burgess survived for 30 excruciating minutes before an ambulance came. His family told us what it was like for this working man who was trying to turn the corner on a violent life:.. Monica Bodden reporting Leon Burgess and his girlfriend lived in this small plywood shack off Holy Emmanuel Street. Today it is marked with bullet holes from the shots that tore through last night: Voice of: Common Law Wife "What woke up is because I started hearing the sound of bullets passing my ears, so he got up and I ask him what happen and he just nodded his head on the side and watch me like..... And he just laid back down in a position like he was watching the TV and I ask him what it is but he was not answering me and he was getting stiff. I just jumped on top of him telling him to answer me.

Police Looking For Burgess' Killer
And police haven't made any arrest for that first murder, nor do they - at this time - have anyone detained for last night's murder. Today Sergeant Ismael Westby from Precinct Two CIB briefed the media on what police know so far about the case:.. Sergeant Ismael Westby - Crimes Investigation Branch "Last night 7th July, 2014, sometime around 12:25pm police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they found the lifeless body of Leon Burgess of a Street at the back of Holy Emmanuel area with suspected gunshot wounds to the upper back and to the head. Initial investigations reveal that Leon Burgess was at his premises along with his girlfriend where some shots rang out and as a result he received the said injuries whilst inside the said house. Our investigations also revealed that during this incident the scene was process and 6 expended shells were recovered from the scene along with 2 slugs. The matter is under investigation."

Slain Youth's Family Remanded For Gun Bust
Tonight an entire family from Giles Street in the Lake Independence Area is on prison remand ager police found a firearm in their house yesterday evening. But, as we reported, it wasn't during a routine search; police found the gun during the repass after the funeral for 17 year old murder victim Myron Smith. They arrested the entire grieving family: Myron's mother, sister, father, and brother. Today, they were all taken to court and remanded for possession of an unlicensed firearm and 13 rounds of ammunition. Now, we stress, there are two sides to this story, but we start with the police account: Sergeant Ismael Westby - Crimes Investigation Branch "This is an incident where police were on normal routine patrol sometime around 5:25pm on the 7th July, 2014, and they saw a person running off the street into an open yard and went upstairs to a wooden house and police pursued the person. The person was found hiding inside a bathroom. As a result police conducted a search in that house where they discovered a 9mm pistol and it is not license and everybody who was inside that house were detained, arrested and charged with reference to that incident."

BWS 6 Still Fighting Their Termination
The BWS 6 - they are the employees who were fired from the water company in February of 2013. Don Gillett, Colin Morrison, Charlette Barnett, Michael Novelo, Journett McKoy, and Mark Menzies were fired - officially - for redundancy, but they say it was really victimization, a purging of the ranks after emails and letters were circulated around about sex scandals happening within the company. Today their wrongful termination suit went to trial before Justice Michelle Arana. When arguments broke at noon, the attorney for Mark Menzies, Senior Counsel Said Musa, told us about the suit:.. Rt. Hon. Said Musa, Attorney for Terminated BWSL Employee "The company is maintaining that they were release on grounds of redundancy, when in fact their clear ascertian is that they terminated wrongfully based on some investigations that the company people were carrying out concerning letters that were circulating attacking staff members and they were being accused, investigated and as a result they were wrongfully terminated."

Embattled Sugar Season Closes; All Quotas Met
At a half hour before news time tonight, the 2013-2014 sugar cane grinding season came to a close. The final amount delivered was estimated at 1.213 million tonnes of cane, which produced approximately 123 thousand tonnes of sugar. So, despite a rocky start to the season, the expected quota of 1.2 million has been exceeded, and this afternoon, 7News spoke with some of the cane farmers and factory owners about how the last few hours of delivery played out: Belizario Carballo, CFO - BSI "Up to this evening at 6 when the crop ends we have expect to have received 1,213,000 tonns of cane and we would have with that cane produce close to 123,000 tons of sugar. I think it has been a very good crop. I think that from all the indications we have had a good crop. We were certainly not expecting to have been able to take in this amount of cane given the very late start. As the country knows it was very unusual for the crop to start at the end of January when in fact the crop normally starts at the end of November or the first week of December."

Who's Developing Goff's Caye?
Goff's Caye - it's a small and well-loved island just about 7.6 miles from Belize City. It's national land and is one of the few places where regular Belizeans can go for an island picnic or beachfront recreation. And on weekdays, it's also a major tourist attraction for cruise ship visitors. And that's why eyebrows went up when survey pegs appeared on the island last week. What even more puzzling is that the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute - which has been managing the Caye since 2002 - doesn't know anything about it! Today, Director of the Institute CHANTEL CLARK SAMUELS told 7News that they are quote, "working on trying to find out who gave the individual authority to start the survey," end quote. She says that any structure planned for the Caye would have to pass by her office and the Ministry of Natural Resources. She couldn't speak for the ministry and we couldn't speak with them.

H. E. David Wu's Farewell To Belize
Taiwan's Ambassador to Belize David Wu's four year tour of duty in Belize has come to an end and he is leaving on Saturday. He is going to New Zealand - and as a sendoff he invited the media to lunch today. He says leaving is such sweet sorrow:.. H.E. David Wu, Taiwan Ambassador to Belize "In the past four years and three months I really enjoyed my work in this beautiful country. We have a very good partnership with the government of Belize, but also many Belizean people treat me as a very good friend. There are so many people who I do not know their names, they greet me in the streets, the supermarket, in the places we went and this is really an amazing experience. It's a very unique country because we enjoy the support, the friendship and the goodwill so much. I will remember this beautiful country always." Wu also commented on the recent trafficking in persons report that the US Government compiled on Belize. It referred specifically to certain Asian establishments where human trafficking is a concern. Wu said that in fact Taiwan and Belize plan to sign a cooperation agreement against Human trafficking shortly:..

Court: Couple Threw Weed Out The Window
An ex-common-law couple, 39 year Jaime Pernillo and 42 year old Martha Alfaro, have to come up with $10,000 each after they were convicted of drug trafficking in the Magistrate's Court today. The bust occurred on September 15, 2012. The ex- couple was traveling in a pick-up truck on the Burrell Boom /Hattieville Road when a police vehicle pulled up beside them and retrieved a bag containing the cannabis that was thrown out of the truck. The total weight of the drugs was 456 grams - or 1 pound. Pernillo testified and denied that the cannabis belonged to him. Alfaro also testified and denied ownership of the cannabis. But the police officers who were in pursuit testified that they saw the bag of cannabis being thrown from the passenger side of the truck where Alfaro was. Pernillo said that he asked Alfaro where she got the cannabis from and she told him that she got it from the Belize Zoo.

Rt. Hon. Musa Remembers Ramon Cervantes Sr.
There are dozens of murders in Belize annually, but Ramon Cervantes Sr is one of the biggest we've ever reported on. And that's because he is the first businessman and community leader in memory to have been abducted, possibly held hostage and then killed - and not just shot, apparently tortured in particularly gruesome fashion. Reliable sources tell 7News that he was found handcuffed, with his eyes taped closed, four ribs broken in a shallow grave on an abandoned farm. It is a cruel end, and a most unbecoming one for a three time candidate for the PUP, former opposition senator and Orange Walk Mayor. Today his former political colleague Said Musa told us how he remembers Ramon Cervantes Sr. Rt. Hon. Said Musa "It a very shocking thing that has happened to Mr. Ramon Cervantes, I mean to be abducted, to be kidnapped and murdered and in the course of his murder he was badly beaten up, tortured in fact. It should shock the conscience of the nation because here this man was a public figure for many years, a mayor, actually he was a school teacher for many years and a senator as well. And now his son is running, he is in the political arena. I knew Ramon very well from my previous years in politics, under Mr. Price in particular. He was always a very gentle man, very quiet, a quiet disposition, a very honest hard working Belizean and the whole thing is very shocking to me."

Channel 5

Breaking News – Another Body Found In Shallow Grave Near Honey Camp
The brutal murder of Ramon Cervantes Senior from Orange Walk Town is shrouded in mystery and up until tonight no one has been charged.  But there is breaking news tonight [...]

Orange Walk Police Tightlipped on Details of Ramon Cervantes’ Murder
It is exactly one week since seventy-one year old Ramon Cervantes Senior was reported missing, and three days after his decomposed body was discovered in a shallow grave on a [...]

Another Youth Apprentice Gunned Down Inside His Home In Belize City
In the old capital, gun violence is relentless and grows even more brazen. On Monday night, a young man was gunned down in his bed inside his home. Leon Burgess [...]

Fire In Hattieville Leaves A Family of Thirteen Homeless
Over the weekend, sixty-six persons were left homeless when a fire spread through the Boca del Rio area of San Pedro gutting eight houses. The origin of that fire remains [...]

Fire Department Confirms Arson As Motive In Kimmies Tragedy
Earlier in the newscast we reported on a fire in Hattieville, but there is a development in respect of another blaze which totally destroyed a bar and a business in [...]

Terminated BWS Employees Return to Supreme Court
This morning in the Supreme Court, the case against Belize Water Services Ltd., in a lawsuit filed by a group of six former employees of the utility company, commenced before [...]

Attorney Said Musa Says They Are Suing for Damages
According to Musa, BWS says that Menzies’ severance was included in his payout.  The others, represented by Tricia Pitts-Anderson, are also seeking general damages which Musa says can range from [...]

Former P.U.P. Party Leader Remembers Ramon Cervantes Sr.
Earlier we told you that the body of a woman has been found two hundred yards away from the shallow grave that Ramon Cervantes Senior was buried in. The Cervantes [...]

Family of Slain Youth Arraigned on Gun Possession Charges
Today, the family of Myron Smith was dragged to court on firearm charges. Myron was killed on the basketball court behind the Complex building on June thirtieth, just a stone’s [...]

Honduran National Alexis Servia To Be Deported to Home Country
For seven years, Honduran national, Alexis Servia has been living in Belize illegally; his home is a boat moored at mile four and a half on the Phillip Goldson Highway. [...]

Andres Grajales Wins Smart’s World Cup Challenge
Earlier today, Germany routed Brazil in a devastating score of seven to one in the 2014 World Cup Games playing in Brazil.  While the magnitude of the victory may not [...]

If You Can Sing It, Bring It Contestants Take On Rock & Roll
Fifteen performers took the stage last Tuesday with the hope of becoming this season’s champion of If You Can Sing it Bring. The three coaches have worked with them in [...]


Residents Surround Courthouse Demanding Justice for Cervantes’ Death
More than three hundred residents gathered this morning in front of the Orange Walk magistrate as they waited to get a glimpse of the alleged murders of 71 year old Ramon Cervantes Sr. Up until news time, the crowd had grown smaller but no arrests had been made as the police awaits instructions from the DPP’s office. Orange Walk police however updated the media on the ongoing investigation into the disappearance and eventual murder of the former mayor. Northern Regional Commander of the Police, Superintendent Joseph Myvette told us an onsite post mortem was conducted at the site the body was discovered. SUPT. JOSEPH MYVETTE “What happened is that the police work generally continues so there have been a lot of detentions for other crimes as well. So I would not want to say that all of those detentions are in relation to this case, there have been a lot of other people that have been detained in relation to other cases.”

16 Families/61 Persons Homeless Following Fire on Ambergris Caye
It was a blaze that lit up the western portion of the Boca del Rio area on Ambergris Caye just after eight o’clock last night. Renee Trujillo and cameraman, Luis Munoz travelled to the island to get the full story on last night’s fire on the island that left over five dozen people homeless. RENEE TRUJILLO REPORTING “On these grounds once stood eight structures that accommodated sixteen families in the western part of the Boca del Rio area in San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye…..but last night just after eight o’clock all that would, literally go up in flames as an inferno consumed the homes, leaving 61 persons homeless. During our trip to the island to view the aftermath of this disaster, we met with the Officer in Charge of San Pedro Police Station, Superintendent Luis Castellanos.” SUPERINTENDENT LUIS CASTELLANOS “Last night about 8:45pm we received information from a concerned caller that there was a fire in the Boca Del Rio Area, the western Part; the street there is called Conch Street. We responded along with the Fire Department and they immediately went into action to try to extinguish the fire. On arrival there was one building which the upper flat is of wood and the lower part is of concrete, that was already engulfed in flames when we arrived.”

Police Detains Family,Including Minors For Crack
Three adults and 2 minors were charged with 2 counts of drug trafficking when they appeared today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. The adults were 56 year old Salvadoran national Abdulio Torres, 43 year old Salvadoran national Noe De Jesus Martinez and 34 year old Myra Lopez. The minors were a 14 year old boy and a 12 year old girl. Torres wanted to plead guilty to the charge. But a not guilty plea was entered for him after he said that he does not sell crack cocaine, he only smokes it. The incident occurred around 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 4. The police acting on information they received went to a 2 storey house on Antelope Street Extension and when they searched a room upstairs they found 1.2 grams of crack and 1.5 grams of crack in two places. The police reported that they also found almost $10,000 U.S. currency at the house. At the time Only Martinez, Lopez and the minors were at the house. Torres was not at home.

Immigration Nabs Kenyan Man At Airport With Wrong Passport
Twenty-three year old Adannur Abdullah, a Kenyan national who came to Belize with a Namibian passport, was fined $1,000 today by Magistrate Dale Cayetano after he pled guilty to using a document he is not entitled to use. Abdullah was ordered to pay forthwith, in default 6 months imprisonment. A deportation order was made out for him to be sent back to Kenya either after he has paid the fine or served the time. Abdullah, a student of business management, was busted on Saturday, July 5, when he arrived at Phillip Goldson International Airport via an Avianca flight from El Salvador. It was discovered that the passport was not his. Abdullah said he bought the passport for $2,000 U.S. currency for a man in Kenya. He said that he planned to go to the United States.

Woman Gets Caught Smuggling Cannabis in Prison
Twenty-five year old Natasha Lewis, a mother of a 4 year old girl who allegedly attempted to smuggle 109 grams of cannabis into Belize Central Prison, was charged with drug trafficking when she appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Lewis pled not guilty to the charge. She was released on a bail of $5,000 and her case was adjourned until September 1. The incident occurred on Friday, July 4. According to police reports, Lewis went to prison to visit an inmate and give him a package that contained a pair of tennis shoes and some food. When a search was conducted on the tennis shoes it resulted in the discovery of the cannabis hidden under the soles of the shoes. As a result, Lewis was taken into custody and charged. The cannabis was labelled as exhibit.

Teenaged Robber Gets Chopped on the Job
A teenager remains hospitalized at the Corozal Community Hospital following an attempted robbery. Police believe the teenager was one of two men who held up a business and injured a man. Police say when they went to AA Fried Chicken on the Santa Rita Road they saw one person with a cut wound to his right hand and knee and another with a chop wound to the left side of the head and right eye brow. According to the 27-year-old businesswoman, two men with warm caps and rags tied around their faces and armed with a machete entered the establishment and demanded money. She said one of the men chopped her son in the head and he struggled with the culprit causing him to drop the machete.

Shooting Victim Refuses to Cooperate With Investigators
Orange Walk police sure have their hands full as tonight we report to you a shooting incident that occurred in that municipality on Saturday morning outside a popular night club.. Superintendent Joseph Myvette gave us the details. SUPT. JOSEPH MYVETTE “We have also received information of a shooting that occurred early yesterday morning on Aurora Street near a night club. One person received three gunshot injuries and the police have made efforts to get to the bottom of this crime. The victim is not cooperating with the police in that regard. He is stable. At this point in time we do not know the motive. The Information gathered is that there was a fight and thereafter one person received gunshot injuries and was taken to the Northern Regional Hospital.”

Soldier Gets Run Over Following Bar Altercation
A traffic incident allegedly involving members of the Belize Defense Force, who were socializing at a bar near the Central Park in Orange Walk Town has left a soldier injured. Love News understands that on Saturday night, a fight ensued between two soldiers and a civilian and somehow during the altercation a pick-up truck ran over one of the soldiers. The man was transported to the Northern Regional Hospital and was treated. His condition is not known and this morning police did not have information to share with the media.

Motorcycle Collides into Pick-Up Truck; Cyclist Dies
A man from Trinidad Village is dead following a fatal road traffic accident Saturday morning in Orange Walk. Northern Regional Commander of the Police, Superintendent Joseph Myvette gave us the details. SUPT. JOSEPH MYVETTE “Police learned that one 32 year old Marvin Tillett of Trinidad Village was riding a motorbike from a north to south direction and after passing the BSI junction he collided into a white Tacoma pickup driven by Rolando Silva which was coming in the opposite direction. As a consequence Mr. Tillett sustained severe head and body injuries and is believed to have died on the spot. The motorcycles helmet was found a few yards behind the vehicle while the motorcycle was some 71 feet from the pickup. The driver of the pickup, Rolando Silva, is detained and blood samples were taken from both Silva and the deceased Marvin Tillett. We have also submitted the evidence we have in relation to that matter to the DPP pending her directive.”


Second youth murdered from Youth Apprenticeship Program in two weeks
Two weeks ago Samuel Miguel was found beaten to death in an open parking lot on Orange Street in Belize City. He was a member of the Youth Apprenticeship Program of the Ministry of Education and had just recently been paid.  Tonight there is a second murder to report...

Cervantes murder investigation; rounding up suspects
It has been almost 48 hours since the lifeless body of Ramon Cervantes Sr. was found buried in an abandoned farm on the road to Honey Camp Lagoon 5 to 6 miles east of Orange Walk Town. About 700 hundred people from Orange Walk and the neighbouring communities crowded...

Another body unearthed in Orange Walk
Reports coming in to Plusnews this evening is that another body is being unearthed in Orange Walk. The body is said to be in the same vicinity where the body of the elderly Ramon Cervantes was discovered this weekend. Information is sketchy at this time and we have called...

Are reformed youths a target?
One of the ongoing narratives in the gang warfare plaguing Belize City is the targeting of young people who were involved, however tangentially, in the criminal lifestyle but have decided to turn away. The Youth Apprenticeship Program is one of the leading programs reaching out to troubled youths and...

Ex-BWS employees sue utility over termination
Mark Menzies, Don Gillett, Colin Morrison, Charlette Barnett, Michael Novelo and Journett McKoy are former employees of Belize Water Services Limited (BWS) let go by the company last February. They claim they were unfairly fired over alleged involvement in a circulation of malicious and salacious letters alleging poor behavior...

Pregnancy Help center opening in Belmopan
Many women, especially young women in today’s society, are faced with unintended pregnancies and the emotional rollercoaster that often comes with it. It is for situations like these that a Christian team from Belmopan, lead by Jadine Fritzler, has organized a nonprofit organization called Hope for Life. It is...

Professional training via FIFA grassroots program
18 coaches, 13 males and 5 females, will be receiving professional training at FFB stadium in Belmopan through the FIFA Grassroots Program. This program is designed to equip coaches with the best coaching practices for kids ages 6 to 12, in hopes of enha ncing the level of football in...

Ramon Cervantes Sr. found dead in Orange Walk
Police in the northern town of Orange Walk are rounding up suspects in the murder of 71-year-old businessman and former politician Ramon Cervantes, Sr. Cervantes was laid to rest late on Sunday after his body was found on an abandoned farm on the road to Honey Camp Lagoon, six...

Fire in San Pedro leaves 20 families homeless
On Sunday, July 6th sometime after 8:00 pm a raging fire on the island of San Pedro gutted 7 small wooden structures and caused damages to two others leaving at least 20 families homeless. According to San Pedro Police, no one was injured during the incident. Supt. Louis Castellanos...

Belizeans & Nigerians march for safe return of kidnapped Nigerian girls
A group of about 70 Nigerians living in Belize as well as many Belizeans marched in Belmopan on Saturday. The march was to bring awareness to the plight of hundreds female students who were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria...

Man hospitalized after shooting in Orange Walk
An early Sunday morning shooting that occurred in front of a popular night club in Orange Walk town, namely Hi-FIVE, has left one person hospitalized at the Northern Regional Hospital. Northern Regional Commander Sr. Supt. Joseph Myvette gave us more details. Northern Regional Commander Sr. Supt. Joseph Myvette  We...

Deon Pitter takes last seat on CWU Executive
A run-off election for the final slot in the Christian Workers’ Union’s (CWU) seven-member executive took place at their Belize City headquarters on Saturday. 134 votes were cast of which one was spoilt. The winner was Deon Pitter, who beat Maureen Mahmud Reyes by 74 votes to 49. The...

Saldivar family has many questions about father’s sudden death
 The sudden passing of Paul Robert Saldivar, long time resident of Belmopan who recently moved to Camalote, has left the family in shock. Paul is the father of well known attorney at law, Arthur Saldivar and police are still trying to put together the details of what happened. Sometime...

Fatal accident on Phillip Goldson Highway claims one life
A fatal traffic accident at mile 56 on the Phillip Goldson Highway has claimed the life of one man from the village of Trinidad, Orange Walk District. 32 year old Marvin Tillett, who was driving a motorcycle, died on the spot. We hear more from Officer Commanding the Orange...


Missing cañero, 71, found in shallow grave
Four days after Ramon Cervantes, Sr., 71, was reported missing, his family had their worst fears realized after his body was found Saturday night, partially decomposed, buried in a shallow grave near the Honey Camp Lagoon in the Orange Walk District. Cervantes, affectionately known as “Don Ramon,” according to police reports, had been bludgeoned to death. Last Tuesday afternoon, July 1, sometime between midday and 4:00 p.m., the well-known cañero disappeared from his cane field on the San Roman Road – also in Orange Walk – where he had apparently been spraying herbicide on some parts of the field, leaving behind tell-tale signs which caused his family to believe that he had been kidnapped in broad daylight. Except for a few short and unusual conversations that he reportedly had by phone with his son, PUP Orange Walk North standard-bearer, Ramon Cervantes, Jr., Tuesday afternoon, Cervantes, Sr., had not been seen or heard from since – until around 9:00 p.m. this past Saturday, July 5, when Orange Walk police received an anonymous tip that led them to a deserted property off the San Estevan Road, where they made the heartbreaking discovery.

Woman busted trying to smuggle weed into central prison
A Belize City woman is facing a charge of drug trafficking after she was busted at the Belize Central Prison on Friday, July 4, when she attempted to smuggle 109 grams of cannabis into the facility. Natasha Lewis, 25, an unemployed of 133 West Canal Street, appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, who arraigned her on the single charge of possession of an illegal drug with intent to supply to another for the purpose of drug trafficking. After pleading not guilty to the charge, Lewis attempted to explain in court how she ended up on the wrong side of the law. She said that basically, she was set up. Lewis said that she was going to the prison to visit a friend, when a man she knew asked her to take a package for someone in the prison for him.

66 fire victims homeless in San Pedro
Sixty-six people, members of thirteen families, are homeless after a massive blaze last night in the Boca Del Rio area of San Pedro burned seven buildings, completely destroying five of them and partially destroying the other two. The San Pedro Fire Department told Amandala that they responded to a call from police at about 8:30 last night, about a fire on Conch Shell Street, in the Boca Del Rio area of San Pedro. When they arrived at the scene, they saw a building burning. The firefighters quickly went into action, but strong winds carried the flames to the surrounding buildings, and they became ignited. The water they carried in their truck was expended in about two minutes, but the firemen quickly accessed water from the lagoon, which was their open source, and they threw water into the area of the blaze. We were told they brought the fire under control in about an hour and 30 minutes, and the fire was completely put out in about two hours.

Flooding cuts off part of Toledo at Barranco junction and Jacintoville
Thursday night thunderstorms caused extensive flooding roughly 8 miles out of Punta Gorda Town on the Southern Highway, in the vicinity of the Jacintoville Bridge near its junction with the road to Barranco. The waters initially rendered the road impassable and buses were delayed until around 9:00 that morning. Smaller vehicles were able to cross at around 10:00 a.m. and by noon Friday, the waters had receded. PGTV’s Wil Maheia shared with us a video clip of the flooding, which showed a man in a canoe wading alongside the buses that were making their way through the flooded waters. Maheia told Amandala that the area in question is very prone to flooding but this time, the waters seemed higher than usual, registering 10 feet above normal flood stage, he indicated. Area residents reported that thunderstorms caused heavy rains Thursday night, resulting in the Friday morning flood. They reported flooding at the Emil Road and Columbia Road junction. The flood also affected the San Felipe Road and Santa Ana.

Pickup and motorcycle collide in OW, 1 dead
A horrific traffic accident that took place in Orange Walk in the wee hours of last Saturday has left one person dead, while another is facing charges for allegedly smashing into the victim, who was driving a motorcycle. According to police, Rolando Silva, 44, a businessman of the Los Lagos community in the Belize District, was driving a white Toyota Tacoma pickup with license plates OW-C-18848 towards Orange Walk Town at about 12:55 a.m. on Saturday, July 5, when, upon reaching a curve near Mile 56 on the Philip Goldson Highway, he unwisely attempted to overtake another vehicle and slammed head-on into a red and grey Meilun Cyclone motorcycle, being driven at the time by Marvin Wilfredo Tillett, 32, of Trinidad, Orange Walk District. When police responded, they observed Tillett’s body lying in the middle of the highway with what appeared to be two broken legs, an open wound in the center of the abdomen, and another open cut wound on his right leg, while his motorcycle, with license plates MC-2504, was completely wrecked, and the bumper of the pickup was completely broken off and its hood and front windshield smashed.

BTL says Internet problems “under control”
Officials of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) told Amandala today that Internet connectivity has for the most part normalized, after customers last week experienced a series of Internet shutdowns which temporarily halted some business operations, most notably those who depend on a connection to the web to serve their customers. Those businesses range from Internet cafes to businesses which rely on e-mail and online payment systems for business transactions. Thankfully, our checks with several business establishments today indicated that things were largely back to normal. Whereas the company reported having received hundreds of daily complaints at the height of what they said were cyber-attacks out of China and Hong Kong last week, Lisbeth Butler, BTL’s manager for customer services, told Amandala this evening that the complaints have substantially lessened. Customers have told us that they experience problems accessing Internet using 4G connections today, and Butler confirmed that they experienced problems with the 4G network for about an hour this morning.

Editorial: Rod of Correction
The formation of the Rod of Correction (ROC) a few weeks ago is an unprecedented occurrence in the history of Belize. A large number of activist groups, the most prominent of which are Belize’s leading trade unions, came together to address serious national matters. These organizations are unhappy with the Government of Belize’s handling of issues such as the Elvin Penner case, the BGYEA dispute, the SATIIM controversy, illegal rosewood extraction, the pharmaceutical situation, and so on. ROC was joined last week by APAMO, the powerful environmentalist group. On the face of it, ROC appears so large as to be unwieldy. Our sense is that at this point it represents merely the coming together of the leaders of these organizations to consult with each other. It appears that there is a united front on many important issues which have been in the news for some months. As it presently exists, ROC has major potential for impact on Belize’s public life.

From The Publisher
The Mexican dictator, Porfirio Diaz, who ran Mexico from the late nineteenth century until the early twentieth, once famously pitied Mexico for being “so far from God and so close to the United States.” Belize is pretty close to the United States, the greatest economy in the world since World War II, and the vast majority of us Belizeans have always looked at our proximity to the United States as a blessing rather than a curse. The late Venezuelan leader, Hugo Chavez, following in the historic footsteps of his own country’s Simón Bolivár and Cuba’s José Martí, believed in a future for the Americas (Central and South) and the Caribbean where the United States was not the bully boy on the block, and where the nations of the Americas and the Caribbean could work together towards a future where they decided their own destiny and were able to resist being dictated to by Washington.

Cane farmers “struggling,” BSCFA chairman says
Alfredo Ortega, chairman of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA), told Amandala today that cañeros continue to grapple with horrible roads, worsened by weekend rains. Ortega said that some road repairs were done on the main arteries, but the majority of the roads are in terrible shape, causing delays in delivery. “Farmers are struggling,” Ortega said. He informed us that sugar cane farmers are now being paid BZ$43.04 on deliveries, which is 80% of the first estimate issued in November. They are hoping to add more to those receipts after negotiations with the management of the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI), as part of their bid to BSI for additional sugar payments for bagasse used in cogeneration to supply power to their factory and the national grid.

Tubal turns a new leaf
Founder refutes rumors that school will close down; says that rather, they are seeking a fresh start In the face of rumors of its dissolution, Amandala understands that the Tubal Trade and Vocational Institute at Mile [...]

CARICOM discuss Belize-Guatemala roadmap and reparations from Europe
Leaders endorse new 5-year Strategic Plan to build resiliency Belize’s Foreign Minister and Attorney General Wilfred Elrington represented Belize at the 35th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community, convened [...]

Pickup and motorcycle collide in OW, 1 dead
A horrific traffic accident that took place in Orange Walk in the wee hours of last Saturday has left one person dead, while another is facing charges for allegedly smashing into the victim, who was driving [...]

Nightclub altercation leads to gunshots
An early morning shooting which happened near a popular night club in Orange Walk Town yesterday has left one person hospitalized. Although police have limited information with regards to the incident, it is known that the [...]

Northside resident shot on southside
A 21-year-old Kelly Street resident is currently admitted to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in stable condition following a shooting incident that occurred near a Chinese restaurant on Dean Street. Police reported that Shane Fisher, 21, [...]

Man claiming to be Minister’s security guard pleads guilty to weed possession
A Belize City man who said he is employed as a security guard for a Minister of Government, but who failed to identify which minister he supposedly works for, pleaded guilty to possession of 5 grams [...]

“Yes” is “no” when the girl is under 16
A man, 20, is in police custody pending charges of unlawful sexual intercourse after he took advantage of a girl, 14. On Friday, the girl and her mother, both Guatemalans residing in Corozal Town, went to [...]

Man claiming to be Minister’s security guard pleads guilty to weed possession
A Belize City man who said he is employed as a security guard for a Minister of Government, but who failed to identify which minister he supposedly works for, pleaded guilty to possession of 5 grams [...]

A family of 5 is arraigned on drug trafficking charges
A Belize City family of five, including two minors, ages 12 and 14, spent their weekend in lockdown at the Queen Street Police Station after a police search of their Antelope Street Extension home yielded two [...]

1958 B.E.C. football team
Snap shot from the past – 1958 B.E.C. football team Belizean elder Walter Bradley dropped by our sports desk this morning to provide the above picture and information for our sports fans. As “cheerleader” for the [...]

FFB President’s Cup
FFB President’s Cup Week 8 results Two games each were played on Saturday and Sunday, July 5 and 6, in Week 8 of the FFB President’s Cup tournament. On Saturday, at the Carl Ramos Stadium in [...]

Belize National Darts Team
Belize National Darts Team to Tampa, Florida for Americas Cup at the Caribbean Classic The Belize Darts Federation proudly presents the National Team to represent Belize in Tampa, Florida from July 12 to the 20 at [...]

Belize Bank wins
Belize Bank Blazers wins 6th Charles Solis Memorial Tournament The VI Charles Solis Memorial Tournament was held yesterday, Sunday, at Rogers Stadium with 4 teams – Esperanza Wolverines, Camalote Blazers, Belize Bank Blazers and Lord’s Bank [...]

GOB’s investment committee affirms position on NCL, Stake Bank and Puerto Azul
BNE and Ara Macao proposals up for scrutiny Cabinet’s Investment Subcommittee met Friday and affirmed its position on three multi-million-dollar tourism investment projects: Norwegian Cruise Line’s Harvest Caye development, Puerto Azul and Stake Bank, amid continuing [...]

Ambassador David Wu completes his tour of duty in Belize
H.E. Ambassador David Wu has completed his tour of duty as Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Belize and will be departing Belize on July 12, 2014. Ambassador Wu arrived in Belize in April [...]

Sugar season climaxes, but bagasse talks unresolved
BSI’s proposal is a slap in the face of cane farmers: BSCFA vice chair The delayed 2013-2014 sugarcane crop season is scheduled to wrap up next Tuesday, July 8, and while the indication that the harvest [...]

Deon Pitter wins seat as CWU Trustee
Deon Pitter, aka Ras Pitter, won Saturday’s election held by the Christian Workers’ Union to fill the vacant post of trustee on the union’s executive board. Pitter, a stevedore, was one of the vocal union members [...]

Vehicle collisions on the Philip Goldson Highway and in San Pedro
Two persons are alive but hurt after they were involved in two separate motorcycle collisions in the city, and in San Pedro. In the Belize City, Fredrick Evans, 68, of Ladyville, a teacher at the Belize [...]

The Opposition suffers casualties from the Auditor General’s preliminary report
The Elvin Penner immigration scandal that cost the United Democratic Party government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow a huge chunk of credibility has now spilled over into the Opposition People’s United Party, stripping the PUP of [...]

Patrick JonesPJ

Ex-BWS employees sue utility company over termination
Mark Menzies, Don Gillett, Colin Morrison, Charlette Barnett, Michael Novelo and Journett McKoy are former employees of Belize Water Services Limited (BWS) let go by the company last February. They claim they were unfairly fired over alleged involvement in a circulation of malicious and salacious letters alleging poor […]

Ex-Prime Minister Said Musa remembers Ramon Cervantes
As police continue the hunt for his killers, Ramon Cervantes, Sr., 71, is being remembered by all who knew him. The former Senator and former Mayor of Orange Walk Town appears to have been killed by those persons who removed him from his canefield on the San Roman […]

Another youth from Youth Apprenticeship Program murdered
For the second time in as many weeks, a youth graduated from the Youth Apprenticeship Program has been murdered in Belize City. 25 year old Leon Burgess of Sybil Reyes Street in the Lake Independence area, according to police, was at home around 10:25 pm on Monday and […]

Taiwanese ambassador bids farewell to press
The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China (Taiwan) to Belize, H.E. David Wu, ends his four year tour later this week. Today he hosted the local press to a farewell luncheon, and gave his final interview. After repeating his best wishes for Belize, the talk turned to […]

Family arraigned on firearm charges
Seven persons, two of them minors, were remanded to Belize Central prison today after they appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser and were arraigned on charges of kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license. They are 52 year old Alrick Smith, 47 year old Sandra Casey, 22 […]

Pair fined for unwanted cannabis
An ex-common-law couple, 39 year Jaime Pernillo and 42 year old Martha Alfaro, were both fined $10,000 today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after she found them guilty of drug trafficking for 456 grams of cannabis. They were given until October 31 to pay. If they default on […]

Body being unearthed in Orange Walk
Unconfirmed reports are that a body has been found near where that of Ramon Cervantes, Sr. was discovered over the weekend off the Honey Camp Road in Orange Walk. Very preliminary information suggests that it may be the body of a female. We will continue to monitor this […]


20 Ambergris Caye families displaced
On the evening of July 6th, 20 Ambergris Caye families were displaced by a big fire in Boca Del Rio area. Of the 8o people who lost their homes, the eldest was 74 and 32 were children from 6 weeks – 18 years old. At least 4 families have reported being affected by water damage. Thankfully it was not worse with all the wood buildings in the area. No one was seriously injured, 2 were attended to by poly clinic, a baby and man who hurt his wrist. Most who were left homeless are currently staying with immediate family members and friends. 2 families who had no other option are taking shelter at R.C. school assisted by Mayor Daniel who was able to borrow beds for them and San Pedro Town Council has been helping them with food. The San Pedro Fire department declared 7 buildings consisting of 20 apartment rooms were completely destroyed. The cause of the fire has not been determined. All of the inhabitants were rentals and none of buildings were insured. As you will see from the pictures below there was nothing left beyond ashes, building skeletons and twisted pieces of zinc roofing .

Day Two Of the Free Veterinary Clinic In Sarteneja, Belize And Then…MANATEES!
Sunday morning, I wrote all about the long, exhausting, amazing first day of the free clinic in Sarteneja, Belize. Two veterinarians from Quebec, planning to return to small villages (Hopkins, Sarteneja and RedBank) in Belize ON A VOLUNTEER basis, twice a year to fix pets, to deworm and de-parasite and de-pest them…and to hopefully get people maybe thinking about dogs and cats in a different way. IMG_7649 The kids were really the most exciting part of the experience. Talking about how to be gentle with puppies (the boy above is comforting his crying pup who just woke from surgery) or how dogs feel scared or hungry or tired or just showing them how to hold a cat without being scared…meeting a handful of local teenagers who want to be vets…it was VERY cool. These vets and those who help coordinate them coming down are doing a pretty great thing. Here’s our whole group. The clinic is organized by (I hope I get this right) Fondation Aide Veterinaire Internationale and the Hopkins Humane Society.

Belize Athletes for the Commonwealth Games Announced
With the 2014 Commonwealth Games on the horizon, host Glasgow is busily ironing kilts and preparing venues while the National Olympic Committee confirms the events and names of athletes who will be contending. Get ready Belize! Yes, sports lovers, it has been announced that Belize will compete in five events at the games, ably represented by Katy Sealy in the Heptathlon and Kaina Martinez in the 100-meter and 200-meter female races. Mark Anderson will represent Belize in the mens’ sprints, with Brandon Jones in the male triple and long jumps, and Kenneth Medwood competing in the 400-meter hurdle. In Cycling we have Giovanni Lovell and Joel Borland contesting the road and time trial events, while Gregory Lovell and Chaa Creek’s very own Ron Vasquez will compete in road discipline. Andrew Wigmore has his sights on the men trap shooting prize, while Tyrone Tun will compete in the table tennis men’s singles. Last but certainly not least, Kent Gabourel will participate in the triathlon. All in all Belize will have 12 athletes competing in the Games, accompanied by six coaches and officials, all under the guidance of the Chief of Mission, Patrick Henry.

International Sourcesizz

LA Belizean Fish Market, A Central American Seafood Gem
Quick: what's the capital of Belize? If you said "Belmopan," you're right. You're also most likely in the top 1% of world geography nerds. I bring this up only to illustrate a point: most people don't know much about Belize, the small Central American country about the size of Massachusetts. Its people, like most people from small nations, are proud and fierce, and Dean (he demurred to give his last name), the proprietor of Belizean Fish Market and Restaurant, is no different. Belizean cuisine is a big amalgamation of all the different respective ethnic cuisines of Belize -- you'll find Latin American influence (tamales and panades -- the Belizean equivalent of the empanada), Mestizo influence (garnaches, fried corn tortillas smothered in beans, onions, and cheese) and Kriol influence (the "boil up" -- a combination of boiled eggs, root vegetables, fish, pig tail, and boiled cake, made from pressed cassava root).


Video: Night Snorkeling at Hol Chan Marine Reserve Ambergris Caye, Belize, 5min.
Using a new type of green LED Fishing Light to attract fish AND to show the snorkelers the boat location. Light is available at

Video: Belize 2014 - Casa Redonda, Golf Carting in San Pedro, and Boating to Lamanai, 8min.
A trip with family and freinds to Belize, Ambergris Caye, San Pedro

The feature highlights the 2014 Reunion in Los Angeles, California of the legendary Belizean women of softball who won gold in the 1974 Central American & Caribbean Games and also won Bronze in the 1979 Pan American Games where they defeated the United States 2-1 in a spectacular match that placed the country Belize among the greats in sports, and demanded the attention of the international community. The celebratory event which marked 40 years of softball greatness in Belize and the Belizean diaspora, was graced by the attendance of the legendary Belizean softball players like Doreth Martinez, Margaret Usher, Lorna McDougal, Joan Garbutt, Beulah Gillett, Elaine Smith, Beverly 'Bunny' Rhamdas, and Deborah Theus-Sanchez. An historic moment that saw these Belizean greats meet again for the first time since some 20 years ago.

Video: All Day Cook Out Ambergris Caye, Belize - Spear fishing then eat your catch!, 15min.
Great time thanks to Suya Tours in San Padro.

Video: Iguanas da grande figueira de Belize, 5min.

Video: The Trembles in Belize, 9min.
our vacation to the beautiful island of Ambergris Caye in Belize. Entirely filmed on a GoPro Hero 3+ black edition.

Video: Belize scuba diving/snorkeling, 4min.
Just a short video of some scuba diving and snorkeling I did while in Belize.

Video: Belize Bush Doctor, 12min.

Video: Diving the Canyons Reef off San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, 12min.
Great dive! Highly recommended. Went with Belize Pro Divers. GoPro 3 Video.

Video: Fishing off Ambergris Caye, Belize, 10min.
We caught a bunch of Spanish Mackerel and Jack Fish in a little over 2 hours!

Video: Modern pirates in Belize, 9min.

Video: Shark Ray Alley and Hol Chan Marine Reserve off Ambergris Caye, Belize, 4min.
Fun snorkling trip with family and friends!

Video: Diving Hol Chan Marine Reserve in Ambrergris Caye, Belize, 5min.
Had a great time diving with Belize Pro Divers in San Pedro.

Video: Belize Rough Cut 1080, 3min.
Ambergris Caye

July 8, 2014

This news synopsis will be a bit more condensed than usual for the next several days due to time constraints.


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

UPDATE: Massive fire leaves 66 homeless in San Pedro Town
A devastating fire in San Pedro Town has destroyed nine buildings leaving 66 people homeless. The fire started around 8:30PM on Sunday July 5th on Conch Shell Street in the Boca del Rio area of San Pedro Town. On Monday July 6th investigators and fire officials revisited the fire scene where they went over the rubble to establish the cause of the fire. Neighbors and witnesses called The San Pedro Sun about the fire around 8:30 PM when the first structure was fully engulfed in flames. The official reports from both police and fire officials indicated that they were alerted about the fire around 8:45PM. According to Phillip Mencias, Officer in Charge at the San Pedro Fire Department, they were alerted by police of a house fire in the northern side of San Pedro Town. “At about 8:43PM police came over to the station to report a fire on Conch Shell Street in the Boca del Rio Area. We immediately dispatched one vehicle and on arrival we saw that a two-story building, upper wooden and lower concrete, was completely engulfed in flames. We immediately got into operation and 15 minutes later we dispatched the second truck. We only have two firefighters on a given shift so it took us some time to get to the fire station to dispatch a second truck. It took over an hour and fifteen minutes to bring the fire under control. Due to radiation – the close proximity of the building and the wind that was blowing hard, the fire spread quickly,” explained Mencias.

Costa Maya Festival® presents Miss Mexico!
Mexico is pleased to announce their representative for the Reina de la Costa Maya pageant: the lovely Elisa Espinosa Gómez. Elisa is a 24-year-old dark-eyed brunette who stands at 5’6”. The Marketing student enjoys traveling, socializing, movies, family time and Crossfit! Elisa joins Miss Belize Grisel Carballo, Miss Costa Rica Raquel Guevara Avila, Miss El Salvador Ana Graciela Hasbun Boscaino, Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado Muñoz, Miss Nicaragua Katherine Tapia, and Miss Panama Karol Salinas. All seven beauties await the announcement of the final contestant, Miss Guatemala. A spectacular pageant has been planned for August 7, 2014, and you do not want to miss it! Eight beauties will be onstage bringing dance and modeling skills, cultural costumes, elegant gowns and of course, will be answering some tough questions for judges tasked with choosing the next representative for our Costa Maya!

Over 30 people homeless after fire guts 5 structures in Boca del Rio
A fire in the Boca del Rio neighborhood has left over 30 people homeless and destroyed 2 structures. Community came together once again to battle the flames and prevented it from spreading.

Traffic Accident on Pescador Drive
On Wednesday, July 2nd, San Pedro Police responded to a traffic accident not far from the police station. According to reports a golf cart had collided into a motorcycle in front of a local hardware store on Pescador Drive. No one was seriously injured as a result of the crash, but both vehicles received cosmetic […]

Doctor Love: Education
Readers, please send your letters. They can be emails, formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length. Dear Doctor Love, I am a single mother raising a son and a daughter. The daughter is 21 and the boy is 17. My daughter is […]

Summer Sailing Camp to be hosted at Caribbean Villas
Summer is here and children across the island are out of school and of course, have lots of free time and much mischief to get into. With that in mind, the San Pedro Sailing Club is hosting a free sailing program at Caribbean Villas Hotel to promote a productive recreational activity. The program will be […]

Ambergris Today

Fire Leaves an Estimated 20 Families Homeless
The officer in charge of the fire department arrived 15 minutes later with the second fire truck and connected to the open water source nearby. It took the department roughly an hour and 15 minutes to control and extinguish the fire. The firemen were assisted by locals who organized a bucket brigade. The San Pedro Fire Department continues their investigation and Ambergris Today will have more information as to any aid and assistance that can be provided to the families as it becomes available. At the moment only the San Pedro Town Council is taking any types of donations towards for the families. You can contact Lorna Vasquez at the San Pedro Town Council at (501) 226-2198 or (501) 226-2788.

Belize Sotheby’s International Realty Participates In Luxury Real Estate Conference
Belize Sotheby’s International Realty, a luxury real estate firm based in Ambergris Caye, Belize recently participated in an orientation conference held for companies that have recently joined the Sotheby’s International Realty® network of residential real estate brokerages. The firm became a Sotheby’s International Realty affiliate in June 2014 and is part of a luxury real estate network that includes more than 15,000 independent sales associates located in approximately 700 offices in 54 countries and territories worldwide. “The strength of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand has been amazing for our firm in that it has already opened new doors, even in this short time,” said Shane McCann. The orientation conference was held June 24 to 27 and included business meetings in Short Hills, N.J., and a networking event at the Sotheby’s Auction House in New York City.

Flashbacks: The Great Caribena Producers Cooperative Society Ltd. of Ambergris Caye
Let us concentrate on all words in the name of this organization. Why GREAT? At the time it was the greatest thing to happen to San Pedro. San Pedro was making the transition from a small fishing community to a name in the exportation of lobsters and other marine products. It was the backbone of our economy and a boost to the government of Belize. WHY CARIBENA? It was the name chosen for this little fishing community in the Caribbean. PRODUCERS of what? Producers of lobster tails, whole fish, fish fillet, conch and even shrimp. And what is a COOPERATIVE? It was a coming together of the men of the village (and a few non producing females) to form a society that belonged to them. They owned the plant, owned their boats, their exports and their profits. It was a SOCIETY that belonged to the people of San Pedro and limited to them only. No foreigners were allowed as the membership was LIMITED to locals only.

25 Years Ago: The Very First Schools in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
Which elementary school in San Pedro did you attend? When I thought for a long time that I attended the first one in the 1950’s, I now learn from a new friend, Mr. Ernesto “Neto” Alamilla, that he attended the very first one in the 1930 which was a two story building right on the beach in front of the Central Park. It was called the San Pedro R.C. School from those days so we take it that it was run by the Catholic Mission even back then. Neto Alamilla tells me that in those days the teachers were mostly Caribs and that the stress was not only on reading and writing but on good discipline as well. Most of the kids only reached standard four or five and at age fourteen they left school to commence their lives in fishing. The Hurricanes of 1942 and then 1941 both wrecked havoc in San Pedro and after the last collapse, the folks of the village joined hands an reconstructed this new building into a single floor but elevated about three to four feet. It was long building with no partitions. The blackboards served to separate one classroom from the other. This school building was used from 1942 all the way up until 1961 when it as destroyed by Hurricane Hattie.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Fire in San Pedro
Last night, San Pedro witnessed another disaster that left many families homeless. Below you may see the aftermath of the disaster. These families need all the help they can get; whether its food, clothing or basic supplies, you can make take your donation to the San Pedro Lion's Den where they will be collecting items for these families. Any assistance offered will be greatly appreciated!

2014 King of the Hills
The King of the Hills, Cayo's signature bike race, was yesterday. The Cycling Federation of Belize got some good pictures of the event. There's even a video of the heartbreak climb uphill. Congratulations to all the winners, and everyone that finished. "2014 King of the hills results: Beach Cruiser Category: Elston Coleman Jared (Mano) Rudon Wilton Garbutt Junior Delon Gentle - Cayo Uprising Zahir Figueroa - Cayo Uprising Zamir Guerra - Cayo High Road Female: Kaya Cattouse - Smart CRay Patricia Chavarria - BECOL Masters 4/5: Kent Gabourel - Unattached Daniel Cano - Digicell 4G Ray Cattouse Jr. - C-Ray Road Addikz Elite Open Nissan Arana - Predators Henry Moreria - Smart Erwin Middleton - BECOL Uprising Master: Jose Choto - CRay Road Addikz Leroy Cassasola - BTL Cycling team"

SIB Statistics for the End of June 2014
The Statistical Institute of Belize released stats on External Trade, Labour, and Life Expectancy.

Marines trade boots and utes for jungle warfare training
Local soldiers here will soon trek into the jungle on their counter-narcotics missions sporting new boots and uniforms, thanks to an agreement with the Marine Corps in which the Belizeans swapped a jungle warfare training package for new supplies. In June, Capt. Juan Torres, who led a team of Marines that trained Belizean forces here, told Brig. Gen. David Jones, commander of the Belize Defence Force, that the Corps had completed the agreement to make the trade. Jones said he was ecstatic to be able to provide about a third of his 1,000-man army with new boots comparable to those the Marines wear. “In the jungle where these guys do patrols ... it’s not nice to be walking in that type of terrain without good boots,” he told Marine Corps Times.

Channel 7

Ramon Cervantes Sr. Was Murdered, But Why?
Ramon Cervantes Sr. was abducted and killed - the 71 year old former Orange Walk Town mayor, PUP Senator, three time political candidate, prominent businessman and father of 4 was found late on Saturday night in an abandoned area off Honey Camp Road. After 100 hours of anxious worry and not knowing, the worst fears of his family, friends and the wider Orange Walk community were confirmed when the news went out in waves on Saturday night. He becomes the first business person in recent memory to be abducted and killed - and the fact that he is a prominent person in his community - makes it a worrying and saddening event of national importance. There are so many questions that arise - and so many rumors abounding, but tonight - we'll try to give you a coherent understanding of the underworld forces that plotted the senior citizen's undoing. We start on Sunday on Honey Camp Lagoon road just outside Orange Walk Town - where the body was discovered:..

Cervantes Sr. Died From Blunt Force To Head
Dr. Mario Estradabran certified that Ramon Cervantes Sr. died from blunt force trauma to the head - meaning someone either clubbed him or bashed him - and his killer or killers then disposed of his body in that shallow grave. The medical examiner determined that his time of death was sometime Wednesday evening - which would be around the time when the story of his disappearance first made the evening news. Cervantes had to be buried immediately after the autopsy was conducted, and that's where Daniel Ortiz picks up the story: Daniel Ortiz reporting From the scene, police and family escorted the body straight to the burial site for an emergency funeral. It was in too much of an advanced state of decomposition. But impromptu or not, hundreds of residents from Orange Walk Town and neighboring villages came out in numbers to pay respect to the well-known former mayor, senator and business man. That show of support was once again on display today when another crowd gathered in front of the police station. They'd gotten word that police had laid charges against Cervantes's accused killers.

Cervantes Jr. Speaks On Father's Cruel End
While that's the scene outside the Orange Walk Police Station and Court house, if you noticed, none of the Cervantes family were there today. They were busy planning a memorial service to mark their patriarch's passing. That service took place La Immaculada Catholic Church in Orange Walk this afternoon at around 3. Ramon "Monchie" Cervantez Jr. Like his father, is a politician - and the current standard bearer for the PUP in Orange Walk North. Because of this public profile, the duty of being family spokesperson has fallen to him. He told us that he is grateful to all their well-wishers and those members of the public who kept the family in their prayers: Ramon Miguel Cervantes - Son of the Deceased "I take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support. Everyone that was out here for the memorial mass, yesterday for the funeral, those and last night at the wake. Those who gave up their time searching in the search groups, the police force, I think elements of the BDF - I hope I don't miss anyone. All those people who I didn't get a chance to have personal contact with because of distance or some other reason, but they had us in their thoughts, in their prayers. We really thank you on behalf of my family - thank you all."

Huge Fire In San Pedro Leaves 66 Homeless In Low Income Area
16 families comprising 66 people and 32 children are homeless after a huge fire last night in the Boca Del Rio area of San Pedro Town destroyed 5 buildings and damaged three others. If you're wondering how 66 people fit into 8 buildings - we should tell you that Boca Del Rio is a low income area of San Pedro Town, where many people are crammed into small shacks and apartments. So, the large fire had an outsized effect. Today, Monica Bodden found out more about the fire and the aftermath when she visited today and found the San Pedro Town Council grappling to get shelter for all the affected persons:... Monica Bodden reporting The fire started at around 8:45 last night in the Boca Del Rio area North of the Island. It only took minutes before 8 houses within close proximity were ablaze. Phillip Mencias - O.C, Fire Department S.P. "One vehicle was dispatched and on arrival they saw that a two-storey wooden upper and concrete bottom was on fire, mostly the upper was on fire. Immediately they got into operation while at that time I was on my way from DFC area where I live and I brought the other truck. On arrival, we started to draft water from the open source and it took us about an hour and ten-fifteen minutes to bring it under control and then eventually we extinguished it." And while the cause of the fire is still unknown- we do know it started from the back room of Lisber Bardalez's home.

Details On Arson At Kimmie's
But they do know what caused the fire in Belize City. That was what the call an incendiary fire, meaning someone set it. We found out more today from Orin Smith, the station officer at the National Fire Service:... Orin Smith, Station Officer - National Fire Service "The cause of the fire there was incendiary. Incendiary is a fire that was intentionally set under in which the person who has set the fire knows full well the fire should not have been ignited. That fire originated in the east lower flat of the structure." Jules Vasquez "Do you all have any idea what was used to ignite the fire?" Orin Smith, Station Officer - National Fire Service "That section of the building where the fire originated had walls that were easily accessible. They were block walls, anyone could have easily reached through walls and ignited them and what was on the other side of those walls were materials that were easily combustible." Jules Vasquez "Do you have any idea that an accelerant was used to fuel the fire?" Orin Smith "No, we have no evidence of that."

San Pedro Police Catch Contraband
Before the big blaze, San Pedro police with help from Belize City conducted operation Clear Water in San Pedro over the weekend. On the morning of Friday July 4th, Special Branch intelligence led police to a residence in the North San Pedro Area where they found a stash of contraband, namely (5) Quarts Don Julio,(7) Litre Absolute Vodka,(2) Litre Grey Goose Vodka, and (7) litres Jose Cuervo. Two men, namely 27 year old Samuel Cruz and 24 year old Iliana Leticia Cob were handed over to Customs. An out of court settlement was made and Cruz 27was fined $5973.00 dollars.

One Weekend Shooting In City
Compared to the preceding weekend, the city was relatively crime free this weekend. Police only reported one shooting: 21-year-old Kelly street resident Shane Fisher was shot to the abdomen and buttocks as he stood in front of Kick Down Fence at the end of Dean Street. He told police that a creole male person that he knows stepped to him and fired several shots with a sawed off shotgun. Fisher was admitted to ward in a stable condition. Police have a suspect they are looking for.

Kenyan Busted With Bogus Passport
The Immigration Department says that they busted a Kenyan National who came to Belize with a fake Namibian passport trying to get to the United States. 23 year-old Adannur Abdullah, a Kenyan Student arrived on an Avianca Flight from El Salvador. The problem is that when he checked in with Immigration, the officer noticed that his passport had suspect elements. When the officer ran a background check, it was discovered that the Namibian passport was fake. Abdullah was then charged with the offense of using a document he wasn't entitled to. He pleaded guilty today when he was arraigned before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. He admitted that he paid 2 thousand US dollars to get the fake document produced. He was sentenced to pay a fine of $1,000 forthwith, and if he defaults, he will have to spend 6 months in prison.

No Rest At Repass, Instead An Arrest
A funeral "repass," it's the informal ceremony that happens right after a burial ceremony - it's usually a time for quiet reflection, but for members of the Smith family today it became a time to get arrested. It happened after 17 year old Myron Smith's funeral which took place earlier today. Police got intelligence that an unlicensed firearm may be in the family house. Fearing the possibility of retaliation for the teenager's execution, police went to search the home and found a nine millimeter pistol with 13 live rounds. With that, police arrested everyone on the home, a total of about 7, including the parents and siblings of the deceased. They are in police custody at this hour and jointly face a charges for unlicensed firearm and ammunition - which trigger automatic remand - unless someone owns up to it.

Woman Busted With Weed In Sneakers At Prison
Tonight, we report on 3 separate drug busts which ended up in court. The first happened at the Belize Central Prison, where a 25 year-old mother tried to smuggle weed in. It happened in on last week Friday; Natasha Lewis went to the prison to drop off a package which contained a pair of tennis shoes. She said that it was for an inmate, but the sneakers had an odor, and we don't mean athlete's foot! They smelled high of weed, and when the on-duty prison officer searched the shoes, he found 109 grams - or 3.8 ounces - of marijuana hidden under the soles of the shoes. She was then charged with drug trafficking, to which pleaded not guilty before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer today. She was released on bail of $5,000, and she must return to court on September 1. On that very same Friday, police officers visited a 2 storey house on Antelope Street Extension. When they searched it it they found 1.5 grams and a separate 1.2 grams of crack cocaine in one of the rooms. The police reported that they also found almost $10,000 dollars in US currency. Present at the time of the search were Salvadorans, 56 year old Abdulio Torres, 43 year old Noe Martinez and 34 year old Myra Lopez, 14 year-old boy, and a 12 year-old girl.

Ras Pitta Now A Union Trustee
He waited long enough and now Deon Ras Pitta is a trustee on the Christian Workers Union Executive. Elections were held on Saturday and Ras Pitta got 74 votes to his opponent Maureen Reyes's 49 votes. Pitta is now the third trustee after a tied vote in December left the seat unoccupied. A team from the NTUCB conducted the election - which was only made possible after the CWU was re-admitted to the union umbrella group two weeks ago.

Videos To Educate
The Youth Department - which isn't known for having a big budget - handed over Video and audio equipment valued at over three thousand dollars today. It's for a youth NGO called "Go Belize" - and they will use it to showcase educational videos on sexual and reproductive health and STI and HIV prevention. We found out what's the idea behind it:.. Eckert Middleton, Manager - Sexual and Reprod. Health - DOYS "We realize that we need these equipment simply because reaching this population its much better to address it in a way that they are familiar with and that's why we need the equipment to assist us in getting the information out when it comes to sexual and reproductive health as well as prevention of HIV and other STDs." Omar Rodriguez, Training Manager Go Belize "We would need this equipment for our young leaders to take on their role training young people - the youth population. Having this equipment is a big help. we could really collaborate more with other organizations doing trainings simultaneously throughout the country."

Learning Literacy Of The Money Kind
The Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship summer camps have been taking place since 2008. It's a collaboration between the Ministry of Education, Peacework and Pricewaterhouse Coopers - one of the world's leading accountancies. The idea for these six years has been to teach something you don't learn in school: how to make money, and how to manage it once you've made it. We found out more today at one of the five camp locations in Belize City:.. George Manousos, PWC "This is day one of the three day camp. I've been going to every single classroom and its very energetic, the kids are really enthusiastic. I think we've broken the ice, PWC and the children of Belize are melding very well as expected." Kelly Behrend, Director of Strategy and Innovation - Peacework "The children are learning a variety of skills. First of all they are learning change agency, being an active member of your family, of your community and really of the world. They are learning global citizenship and about being responsible leaders and in the context of that leadership they are learning skills and financial literacy and entrepreneurship, how to create a business, manage a budget and really just meet their personal and professional goals."

Channel 5

Body of Ramon Cervantes Sr. found in shallow grave
  Today, hundreds of Orange Walk residents gathered outside the police station and magistrate’s court, awaiting the arraignment of persons detained for the sensational and gruesome kidnapping and murder of [...]

Residents converge outside magistrate’s court for arraignment of suspected killers
As we told you earlier, more than three hundred residents gathered in front of the Orange Walk Police Station and Magistrate’s Court this morning. Reports circulated early that those persons [...]

Residents share testimonies of slain businessman
Cervantes was buried yesterday evening, immediately after an autopsy was conducted on his body at the site where it was discovered. His sudden, violent loss has shocked, saddened and angered [...]

Overnight fire in San Pedro leaves sixteen families homeless
Sixteen families are tonight without roofs over their heads following a massive inferno which eviscerated eight buildings in San Pedro Town.  While relief has been forthcoming, the families, a large [...]

Motorcyclist killed in Carmelita accident
A Los Lagos businessman is detained pending the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions after he knocked down a man on a motorcycle in Orange Walk. Forty-four-year-old Rolando Silva [...]

1 man dead and a minor critically injured in a hit and run in PG
A hit and run accident in the Toledo District has left one man dead and a minor critically injured.  Shortly after nine o’clock on Saturday night, twenty-four-year-old Francisco Coy and [...]

Man shot 3 times outside club in Orange Walk Town
While all eyes were turned to the Cervantes tragedy this weekend, there was also some gunfire which resulted in one man getting shot three times. The incident happened in front [...]

Police seeking 1 person for the shooting of a Kelly Street man
Twenty-one year old Shane Fisher narrowly escaped death on Saturday when he came under gunfire from a known assailant.  The Kelly Street resident was standing in front of Kick Down [...]

Early morning burglary at Belize Medical Associates
A pair of masked men entered Belize Medical Associates on St. Thomas Street shortly before dawn today and attempted to make off with two strongboxes containing thousands of dollars in [...]

Attorney believes foul play may have been involved in his father’s death
On Saturday, Paul Saldivar Sr. was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital with acute vomiting and diarrhoea. He died at the hospital that same day, succumbing to what doctors believed [...]

Requeña siblings arraigned for 2 sacks of weed
A pair of siblings, busted over the weekend in Hattieville with a little over seventy pounds of marijuana, is tonight on remand at the Belize Central Prison after being unable [...]

Kenyan student caught with fake passport
  A young, Kenyan student who was busted at the Phillip Goldson International Airport was today arraigned on an immigration offense after he was found in possession of a fake, [...]

Dion Pitter elected as 3rd Trustee of CWU
  An election was held by the Christian Workers Union on Saturday to choose a third trustee on its executive board.  A hundred and twenty-four members participated in the process, [...]

Mayor on financials at San Pedro Town Council
This morning, the San Pedro Town Council was visited by members of the opposition People’s United Party on the island. The meeting, at the invitation of the current U.D.P. Mayor, [...]

Belizean jujitsu team shines in Mexico
A delegation of young martial artists, led by instructors Leon Guild and Juan Card, was in Chetumal over the weekend where they participated in a jujitsu tournament.  The unarmed fighting [...]

Sporting highlights with Kaya Cattouse
On Saturday the last regular season games were played in the Smart Mundialito Football Tournament. In game 1, Dimitri Fabro scored a goal for Third World giving them the one [...]

Patrick JonesPJ

Youth agency receives equipment for training
The Department of Youth Services has handed over audio-visual equipment to partner GoBelize. The group is based in Belmopan, to assist in training hundreds of youth leaders countrywide in the issue of youth empowerment, with special emphasis on sexual and reproductive health issues, self-esteem issues, STI and HIV […]

Summer camps in Belize City teach financial literacy to kids
The local Ministry of Education in conjunction with international accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers and non-profit education organization Peacework has for several years pushed efforts to teach financial literacy to Belizean high school and primary school students. The annual summer camps and related community fairs offer opportunities to show how […]

Prison officials stop drug smuggling
No matter how creative the ruse, officials of the Hattieville Prison almost never fail to put a stop to efforts to smuggle recreational drugs into the facility. The latest accused culprit is a young mother of a 4 year old daughter, 25 year old Natasha Lewis, who on […]

Family of five charged for cocaine
Three adults and 2 minors were charged with 2 counts of drug trafficking for 1.2 grams and 1.5 grams of crack cocaine when they appeared today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. The adults were 56 year old Salvadoran national Abdulio Torres, 43 year old Salvadoran national Noe Martinez and […]

Brothers charged in big weed bust
Two brothers, 24 year old Giovanni Requena and 26 year old Ellis Requena, who were busted with 32,470 grams of cannabis, were charged with drug trafficking when they appeared today before Senior magistrate Sharon Fraser. They pled not guilty to the charge and they were each […]

Kenyan man used false passport to enter Belize
Twenty-three year old Kenyan national Adannur Abdullah, a student who arrived in Belize on Saturday with a Namibian passport, was fined $1,000 today by Magistrate Dale Cayetano. This was after he pled guilty to using a document he is not entitled to use. Abdullah was ordered to pay […]

Almost three dozen people left homeless because of fire in San Pedro town
Police say that a total of 9 buildings were damaged in a fire last night in the Boca del Rio area of San Pedro town on Ambergris Caye. The blaze broke out around 8:45 PM on Sunday and by the time the fire was extinguished, close to […]

Orange Walk residents want justice for Ramon Cervantes, Sr.
Investigators in the murder case involving Orange Walk businessman Ramon Cervantes, Sr. are proceeding with caution, even as the probe of the shocking incident continues. This morning at least two hundred residents of Orange Walk gathered in front of the town’s police station anticipating the chance to […]

Police say Ramon Cervantes died of head injuries from a blunt instrument
Police in Orange Walk town this morning hosted a media briefing to provide an update on the murder of Ramon Cervantes, Sr., 71. According to Superintendent Joseph Myvett, Cervantes’ body was found around 9 PM on Saturday behind a farm located about 5 miles on the Honey […]

New temporary leadership at the National Women’s Commission
The National Women’s Commission (NWC) today welcomed a temporary Executive Director on board. Former Senator Pulcheria Teul this morning inked a one year contract to hold over the Commission during the absence of the substantive office holder, Ann Marie Williams who is leaving to pursue a one […]

Man dies in hit and run incident in Toledo
Police in Toledo are looking for the driver of a vehicle that knocked down and killed a man on the Southern Highway last night. 25 year old Francisco Coy died on the spot when he was knocked off his bicycle around 9 o’clock last night near the junction […]

Earthquake in Mexico felt in Belize
An early morning magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck today in southern Mexico. The quake was felt as far west as El Salvador and as far east as Belize. According to the United States Geological Survey puts the time of the earthquake at 7:23 am Eastern Daylight time. It […]


“Come Fly with Me” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Over recent weeks I’ve devoted some of my early morning ‘me time’ out on the veranda following up on the legal dispute involving Tropic Air and a guy by the name of Brett Feinstein who is one of the two directors of Benny’s Enterprises Limited. For those not aware, Tropic Air is the larger of the two Belizean airlines, the other being Maya Island Air, and with its fleet of 15 aircraft operates around 1,000 flights a week to 16 domestic airports and 6 international destinations. And this service offer keeps growing to the benefit of those of us living in Belize and those that come to visit. Integral to Tropic Air’s operation is the ability to service and maintain its aircraft and to do so in the most timely and cost efficient way. Because of this need the company took the not insignificant decision of committing to a major investment (reputed to be as much as BZ$ 6 million) to build a new, and much larger, high tech maintenance facility in San Pedro. It’s spiritual and operational home. The dispute concerns a small strip of land 100 by 100 feet which is adjacent to the San Pedro airstrip and forms part of the area on which Tropic Air, believing it had a thirty year lease, commenced the build in December last year.

Animals of Belize : The Kinkajou
One of the many things we like to do here is introduce some of our lesser known animal friends to the world, and this week we’ve chosen that nocturnal little scamp, the kinkajou. Not often seen in the wild due to its nocturnal habits, the kinkajou is a ball of energy when it wants to be – sort of an amped up racoon – curious, intelligent and all too familiar with people when domesticated. Also known as a honeybear and as Potos flavusto the scientifically minded, the kinkajou abounds in Belize’s forests, where the little omnivore dines mostly on fruits that they hold with their forepaws while using long slender tongues to scoop out the pulp. It is estimated that fruit makes up some 90% of their diet, with various leaves, flowers, herbs and insects providing the rest. As dedicated frugivores, kinkajous play an important role in dispersing seeds throughout Belize and also act as pollinators. And, as Chaa Creek’s switched-on naturalist guides at the Belize Natural History Centre are happy to tell us, frugivore is just another way of saying “fruit eater”. So, in another example of Mother Nature’s elegant sense of balance, as kinkajous busily stuff themselves with fruits and other plants, they are also contributing to the spread and survival of various plants species and ensuring that the rainforests maintain their rich diversity.

The Truth has to say, watching this amazing community we live in, work together is truley priceless. The people that helped rescue, salvage and help with putting the fire out worked diligently to get things under control. Please support the families in need with anything you have as far as clothes, supplies, furnishings, or money. They lost everything! It shows what a great community we live in when push comes to shove.

San Pedro Junior Sailing Club put on a fantastic regatta this weekend in the Boca Del Rio Park. They dominated the Advanced Series with Faith Noel winning overall, Jerdon Anderson taking second, Christian Trejo taking fourth, Davin Puc taking fifth and Blanca Velasquez taking sixth. Then representing well in the Intermediate with a third place to RaShawn Gonzalez and several others in the top ten. There were 50+ sailors from San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Corozal, Placencia and Belize City that sail in 12 knot winds Saturday and 17 knot winds Sunday. Well done to all clubs, board members, parents and supporters for taking on our future…. The kids!

International Sourcesizz

Norton students build home in Belize
Leo Catinella and Nicholas Hamilton of Norton, juniors at Boston College High School, just returned from building a house for a lady in Belize, Central America. Leo and Nick with 10 classmates and two BC High faculty members, Shawn Ahern and Dr. John Sullivan, spent the first week of their summer vacation constructing a home for Josefina Garcia. Leo and Nick and the BC High volunteers went to Belize to assist an organization, called "Hand in Hand Ministries," build homes for residents in Belize City. Founded by two brothers who saw an opportunity to make a difference, Hand in Hand provides simple yet stable housing for people in Appalachia and Central America.

Guatemala, Mexico, Belize Shaken By 7.1-Magnitude Earthquake
Mexico, Guatemala and Belize were shaken by a 7.1-magnitude earthquake on Monday morning, according to the United States Geological Survey. The very strong quake rocked the southern part of Mexico and surrounding countries in Central America and has killed at least three people in San Marcos, Guatemala, according to reports. While the extent of the damage is unclear, Guatemala Communications Minister Alejandro Sinibaldi wrote on social media that there had also been reports of landslides in the southwest of Guatemala.

Caribbean coral reefs could disappear "within a few decades"
Coral reefs in the Caribbean are on track to "virtually disappear within a few decades," a major new report warns. But there's also a way to slow decline. Protecting just a single fish — the brightly colored parrotfish — could help save the reefs from doom. There's little doubt that the Caribbean's coral reefs have declined sharply since the 1970s, under heavy stress from invasive pathogens, overfishing, coastal pollution, tourism, and now global warming that's heating up the oceans. It's reached the point that many conservation groups have given up hope for the Caribbean and are shifting their attention to protecting coral reefs elsewhere. But it may be too early to give up altogether. The new report, from the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, takes an in-depth look at the decline of the Caribbean coral reefs between 1975 and 2012. While the authors find that the situation is indeed bleak, they also outlines a series of steps that could halt the destruction.

9 Affordable Places to Retire Overseas
Cayo, Belize Despite the growing numbers of expats in this district, the real estate market in Cayo is still priced for Belizeans, which helps keep the cost of living very low. Belize is a retirement, tax and offshore haven. It's also a place of stunning landscapes and abundant natural resources. Still, this is a small country where the infrastructure is most kindly described as "developing." Monthly budget: $1,100.


Video: Fire Destroys Three Building in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, 2min.
A preliminary report from the San Pedro Fire Department indicates that three structures were completely destroyed by fire in the Boca del Rio Area on Sunday evening, July 6, 2014. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined and fortunately there were no serious injuries or fatalities reported.

Video: Placencia Lobster Fest 2014, 3min.
Belize In America at Lobster Fest 2014 in Placencia Belize. The Belizean diaspora, or the wide dispersion and integration of our people and culture to the many nations of the world, has given rise to the need of a forum in which Belizean people can connect with their culture, give voice to their challenges and concerns, and provide a beacon of hope to those who may still be struggling along life's journey. For this reason, Belize in America was born...

Video: Our Belizean Vacation, 10min.
Here's a glimpse of our family vacation when my sister came to Belize. Enjoy.

Video: 5 Romantic Activities in Belize for Honeymooners, 4min.
Belize has many undiscovered places for honeymooners.

Video: Belize Diving (GoPro), 5min.
Took this with my GoPro on my trip to Belize at this amazing dive spot. Hope you guys enjoy if so please like and share it helps out allot!

Video: Belize, rekiny z Caye Caulker, 4min. czyli rodzinna wyprawa dookoa wiata dojechaa do Belize i nurkowaa z ówiami, rekinami i krowami morskimi.

Video: La Isla Bonita,behind the scenes, 4min.
Behind the scenes of Belize first Telenovela, La Isla Bonita, Shot in San Pedro island featuring a local cast, local crew and lead actress and acting coach Denny Mendez,former Miss Italy, Directed by Matthew Klinck, Behind the scenes shot and chopped by Daniel Velazquez

Video: Belize YASM, 4min.

Video: Belize cockscomb waterfall, 6min.

Video: Swimming with Sharks San Pedro Belize, 18min.
Snorkeling with nurse sharks in San Pedro Belize a must do while on your fly fishing trip.

Video: Tamandua mexican released by Belize Tamandua Refuge team July 2014, 4min.
This tamandua was rescued by Ladyville police- they noticed the animal being attached to the tree with the wire. In this video Tamandua Refuge team is releasing the animal back in the wild in the area far away from any villages.

July 7, 2014

This news synopsis will be a bit more condensed than usual for the next several days due to time constraints.


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Doctor Love: Education
Readers, please send your letters. They can be emails, formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length. Dear Doctor Love, I am a single mother raising a son and a daughter. The daughter is 21 and the boy is 17. My daughter is […]

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Cayo Chorizo
There's a chorizo made in Cayo, Camalote to be exact. It's created by PaPaMeMe. It's sold all around Cayo, and you can find it at Three Flags and ABC supermarkets. Quieres Chorizo?

Rugby Belize Project
There's a new rugby league in Belize. Great to see, and they have some good information on their website. "There have been many studies on the benefits of community-based activities and sports for the youth, all indicated that where sport is encouraged and developed at community level, youth become engaged in a more healthy and beneficial lifestyle. Youth, when given opportunities to participate in a wide variety of sports, can and do take that opportunity. There is evidence that in economically changed societies, encouraging the youth to actively engage in sport, makes a huge difference to the direction these young lives eventually take. They will use the physicality of sport and the opportunity to ‘let off steam’ as an alternative to street gangs and involvement in petty crime."

A Mayan Marvel in Belize’s Jungle
Did you know that Xunantunich gets visited by 46,000 people a year? Xunantunich is the subject of this archaeological article from the Seattle Times. And yes, El Castillo is a sight to see, and to see from. "Although many people think Mayan culture was restricted to what is now Mexico, the grand kingdoms of the first millennium spread throughout what is now Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Xunantunich just became a tourist attraction in the early 1990s as excavations progressed and tourism infrastructure was added. Today it draws about 46,000 visitors a year."

Protecting Belize’s fragile tomorrows: CTGA kids eco tourism camp
Eco-Tourism started as a way to guide visitors on low-impact trips to undisturbed natural areas. It was very expensive and often took small groups on rather vigorous trips that were low impact, high education. Today Eco-Tourism is as often as not about larger scale education and The Cayo Tour Guide Association (CTGA) is working with Belize hotels and resorts to create yearly Eco Tourism educational camps for children ages 12-14. Joe Awe, president of the Cayo Tour Guide Association said that the summer camp is about “legacy” as well as an opportunity that will give the young participants a better understanding of the land, history and the ability to create “dreams”. Tourism is a leading source of economic growth for Belize and the need for guides that can knowledgeably take tourists to places that need to be protected, and explained, is a goal for Belize and Joe Awe.

National Song Competition in Cayo
The National Song Competition will have an elimination round here in Cayo, at the Cayo Welcome Center, on Friday, July 18th. Everyone is invited out to enjoy the event, and cheer on their favorite. The songs start at 7:30pm. "The purpose of the district level elimination is to engage our artists in the districts to partake in this National Competition as well as for district audience to enjoy and view the preliminaries to the competition. The competition will contain both the Belize Song and the Carnival Category in both Junior and Senior sections. Song writers, musician and performers who would like to showcase their talent can register at any of the Houses of Culture countrywide..."

Patrick JonesPJ

Fire destroys buildings in San Pedro town
A fire in San Pedro town tonight has gutted at least six structures/buildings. Reports from the town say that the fire happened in the Boca de Rio area of San Pedro. Pictures posted on social media show the blaze lighting up the skyline before it was brought […]

Toledo DAVCO holds consultation on oil exploration
The Toledo District Association of Village Councils (DAVCO) continues to hold consultations on oil drilling in the south. On Friday, the DAVCO consultation tour stopped off in Forest Home village. President of Toledo DAVCO Gabriel Edwards, Jr. says that following up on a meeting with the Honourable the […]

Funeral held for Ramon Cervantes, Sr.
Hundreds of Orange Walk residents and friends of the Cervantes family turned out this afternoon for the funeral of Ramon Cervantes, Sr. The body of Cervantes, Sr. was found late last night on a farm about 6 miles outside of Orange Walk town. The results of a […]

Body of Ramon Cervantes, Sr. found in Orange Walk
All hopes for a safe return of Ramon Cervantes, 71, to his family were dashed late last night when his body was found in the Honey Camp area of Orange Walk town. On Tuesday, July 1, Cervantes who was a former Senator and former Mayor of Orange […]

The July 6, 2014 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Witnessing The Passing Of A Generation:
    It’s with profound sadness that we record the passing of two well known Santa Elena women, Mrs. Pricilla Cruz Wiltshire and Mrs. Martha Oralia Waight. Mrs. Pricilla, better known as “Ma Pris” was born on November 14, 1936. She passed away on Wednesday, July 2, 2014. Ma Pris is survived by her husband, Cecil Wiltshire; daughters: Jacqueline and Janell as well as Sandra "Tosh" Lanza. Sons: Lyndon "Peels" and Dion Wiltshire; brothers David Cruz of Belmopan and George Frazer ( BNTU Secretary General); one sister, Dorothy Frazer-Garbutt. She is also survived by 16 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren; several nieces, nephews and a host of other relatives and many and friends. A wake will be held on Friday, 4 July at the Wiltshire Residence on Zaiden Street in Santa Elena. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 6 at 2:00 pm at the Nazarene Church in San Ignacio. She will be laid to rest inside the Carmen Memorial Cemetery in Santa Elena.
  • There Is A New Police Chief In Town:
    Recently promoted Superintendent of Police, Dinsdale Timothy Thompson is the new Commander of the San Ignacio Police Detachment. Supt. Thompson is a 29 year veteran and former Chaplin of the Police Department. He is no stranger to the community as he had, just a few years ago, served as the Deputy Commander of the detachment he now commands. Dinsdale Thompson joined the Police Department in October 1985. He has served in various branches at Eastern Division in Belize City as well as in Belmopan. He first arrived in San Ignacio in 2008 as an Inspector of Police second in command of the formation where he served for two years. He was transferred to Benque Viejo Town in 2010 where he took over full command from now retired Superintendent of Police Mrs. Louise Willis.
  • Editorial: Are You A Hater Or Are You A Lover?:
    As we journey through this life and witness the passing of that generation just before ours, we begin to realize just how short this life is. Why are we not more loving to each other? Why do we spend time hating and harming one another? In the natural course of life, we have come to accept the passing of our mothers and our fathers, this tells us that the next generation on the way out is ours. Our children are now having children, this makes us grandparents, our children’s children will soon be having children, this makes us great grandparents. Do you honestly believe that you will be around to see your children’s, children’s, children’s having children? The unstoppable passing of your generation is at hand.
  • New Chairmanship At BNE Trust:
    The Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust announces the appointment of Government’s Representative, Alberto August, as its new Chairman. The Trust is a partnership between the Government of Belize and the Belize Natural Energy Limited. The board of Trustees comprises six members, three appointed by the Government of Belize and three appointed by the Belize Natural Energy Limited. In accordance with the Trust Deed, signed on February 25, 2008, the Chairmanship of the Trust rotates every two years. Chairman August took over from outgoing BNE Representative, Daniel Gutierez, when the BNE Chairmanship expired on June 6. Apart from the change in chairmanship all six members of the Trust remain unchanged with Alberto August, Elodio Aragon Jr., and Ismael Requena representing the Government of Belize along with Daniel Gutierez, Melanie Escalante and Alan Gobie representing BNE Limited.
  • Nine San Ignacio Police Promoted:
    The confirmed list of promotions within the Non Commissioned rank of the Belize Police Department is now out with the San Ignacio detachment getting its fair share of promotions. Today the team of nine, comprising seven policemen and two policewomen, traveled to the national academy in Belmopan for the dress rehearsal as they prepare for the ceremony to receive their much deserved promotions. To be promoted from constable to corporal are: PC # 292 Rowland Augustine; PC # 495 Jason Jones, PC # 1121 Ciriaco Medina; PC # 597 Rigoberto Patt; PC # 692 Jose Pinelo; PC # 1168 Leonard Puc and WPC # 625 Debbie Reynolds. Raising from the Non- Commission to Commission Officer rank (NCO) are Sergeant #651 Stanley Bowden and WSergeant #433 Natalie Castillo both of whom will now retire their regulation numbers to Nine San Ignacio Police Promoted become Inspectors of police thereby being elevated to the Commission Officer rank of the Belize Police Department.
  • Dengue Fever:
    Dengue fever, also known as breakbone fever, is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash that is similar to measles. In a small proportion of cases the disease develops into the life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever, resulting in bleeding, low levels of blood platelets and blood plasma leakage, or into dengue shock syndrome, where dangerously low blood pressure occurs. Dengue is transmitted by several species of mosquito within the genus Aedes, principally A. aegypti. The virus has five different types; infection with one type usually gives lifelong immunity to that type, but only short-term immunity to the others. Subsequent infection with a different type increases the risk of severe complications. As there is no commercially available vaccine, prevention is sought by reducing the habitat and the number of mosquitoes and limiting exposure to bites.
  • Victor Galvez Gets Face-Lift:
    Volunteers Katherine Goodman, Miranda Porter, Emily Fuller, Cassie Schuttrumpf, Mary Scouten, with country directors Angela and Adam Carmack from the Help International organization have painted a total of 20 murals along the inner walls of the Victor Galvez Stadium in San Ignacio. Help International has been coming to Belize since 2010 working with Richard Zul to fight poverty and empower people. Working early in the mornings for the past four weeks, these volunteers have dedicated their time and money towards covering up graffiti in the park and sharing uplifting messages along these walls. If anyone would like to further help this project, paint donations and more volunteers would be greatly appreciated. To donate please contact Richard Zul at 670-8876.
  • Chinese Couple Charged:
    A Chinese business couple was today in court charged with wounding a customer. The incident reportedly occurred 11 days ago, at around 2:30 pm on Thursday, June 19, when Linda Ellis entered, as a customer, Tom’s Grocery Store on Bullet Tree Road in San Ignacio. Ellis reportedly asked why the Fantasy Five numbers were not on the board. The Chinese woman, later identified as Yan Na Liang, reportedly told her that they had wiped off the numbers. When Ellis requested an explanation as to why the numbers were removed, an argument reportedly erupted between Ellis and the Chinese woman.
  • World Cup 2014: Who Holds The Balance Of Power In World Football?:
    The last three weeks have provided a consistent narrative of fast, attacking football and excitement - exactly as the game's rulers would have imagined it when they handed the tournament to Brazil. Even the line-up for the last eight has a balance that brings pleasure to the purists, as four teams from the Americas are complimented by a quartet from Europe - all of them group winners. The destiny of this World Cup will be decided in the iconic surroundings of the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday week but all quarter-finalists have the opportunity to show where the balance of power lies between the two continents. The seven World Cups held here in the Americas have failed to produce a European winner. On the flip side, Brazil are the only nation from the Americas to achieve a win on European soil - when they triumphed 5-2 in the final against hosts Sweden 56 years ago.
  • STAR Humor
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices


Day One of the Veterinary Clinic in Sarteneja and A Continued Look at The Village
Yesterday was the first of two days of the Sarteneja Volunteer Veterinary Clinic. Two vets and two vet students flew in (on their own dollars) from Quebec to Belize to treat the animals of Sarteneja, Hopkins and Redbank. We arrived early at the community center of Sarteneja with some other volunteers and helpers to get ready for the dogs and cats. The plan? To spay and neuter as many as possible…to treat the animals for worms, fleas, ticks and other parasites. All free of charge. The community center is a huge space and needed a bit of set-up.

International Sourcesizz


Thank you Algarexperience.

Video: Belizean Dreams Resort Hopkins, Belize Review & Information, 1min.
Location: Sittee Point Road Near Hopkins Beach

Video: Belize Ecotourism Trip 2014, 12min.
A documentary following Lasell College's HEM214 Ecotourism class on their service learning trip to Belize.

Video: Snorkeling in Belize, 28min.
Snorkeling the reefs off of Tranquility Bay, on Northern Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Video: Belize - Ambergris Caye - Golf Cart Driving -- North, 6min.
Driving north on the main road (including Front Street / Barrier Reef Drive) of Ambergris Caye from the southside of San Pedro, Belize to 3.5 miles north of San Pedro, Belize. Filmed with GoPro Hero 3 (handheld for 30min). The shaking is seriously from the road, not from the hand. Played back at 5x speed. Paying the Bridge Toll @ 3:00.

Video: Belize - Ambergris Caye - Golf Cart Driving - South, 12min.
Exploring the main roads (including Front Street / Barrier Reef Drive, Middle Street / Pescador Drive & Back Street / Almond Street) of San Pedro, Belize. Filmed with GoPro Hero 3 (mounted to golf cart). The shaking is seriously from the road, not from the cart. Played back at 5x speed. North Into Town @ 0:10 South Into Town @ 4:08 South out of Town @ 9:00 Front Street / Barrier Reef Drive @ 2:27 Middle Street / Pescador Drive @ 5:57 & 6:22 Back Street / Almond Street @ 5:54

Video: Jaguar Reef Hotel Walk Thru, Hopkins, Belize, 2min.
Staying at the amazing Jaguar Reef Hotel in Hopkins, Belize. Perhaps the best resort in the entire country - i loved it.

Video: Skydive into the Blue Hole, Belize 2011, 8min.
The ultimate skydive in my 22 years of jumping! Exit from 13500 feet in PERFECT weather conditions (ie endless bl. Jumping into the Blue Hole , Belize. Skydive organized by Rich Grimm. The entrance to Xibalba. The Mysterious Belize Great Blue Hole is a large underwater hole off the coast of Belize. It lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef. Anthony, Michael, and I at the 2011 Belize Boogie. We were the first jumpers of the boogie, into the famous Blue Hole! We took off from the San Pedro airport.

Video: Bow Drill in Belize, 6min.
Little bow drill action on a mission trip.

Video: Belize - Flying from San Ignacio to San Pedro, 7min.
Flying from Maya Flats Airport in San Ignacio, Mainland Belize to San Pedro Airport on Ambergris Caye Belize with a quick stop at Belize City International Airport (BZE) to pick up a few extra passengers.

Video: Conserving Belize's Marine Resources, 6min.
Done by: Benque Viejo Youth Group Production

Video: Amazing Must See Belize Mayan Pyramid Ruins with audio Quranic recitation, 45min.

July 6, 2014

This news synopsis will be a bit more condensed than usual for the next several days due to time constraints.


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Police Report
On Saturday, June 28th, at around 11:30PM, 35-year-old Jose Alfaro reported to the San Pedro Police Station that whilst he and his common-law wife, Karla Gutierrez were driving home, he was attacked. Alfaro stated that while driving by a store in San Telmo, he slowed down to cross over a speed bump, when he was approached by a person he knows only as “Mike”, and his brother “Paco”. “Mike” was under the influence of alcohol and started arguing with Alfaro, who told him to calm down. Instead “Mike” tried to hit him, but Alfaro blocked the attack. At that moment “Paco” joined his brother and both men started to hit Alfaro repeatedly, causing injuries to his nose and mouth. Gutierrez called the police, at which the attackers fled. Alfaro has requested court action. Police are investigating and continue searching for the attackers.

Filming for La Isla Bonita novela has started
Filming for San Pedro’s first ever novela (soap-opera), La Isla Bonita, has commenced. On Tuesday, July 1st, The San Pedro Sun spotted the cast and crew filming on Barrier Reef Drive. The novela concept started back in the summer of 2013 with Producer and Director Mathew Klinck, Executive Producer Horacio “Chito” Guerrero, Writer Deion Vansel and Coordinate Producer Arlando Smith. The novela promises to be a showcase of the difficulties and secrets of living on the #1 island in the world. Making his acting debut is Josh Nuñez as the male lead, while the female lead is being played by professional actress and former Miss Italy Denny Mendéz. Another local figure acting in the novela is Mrs. Shelly Huber, who is playing the mother of the female lead.

The Elusive Slipper lobster
Ever encountered a lobster tail that is not quite like the others? I have, and with my inquisitive nature, I had to figure out why it was different from the Spiny Lobster we all love so much. My step-dad (an island fisherman) was very helpful, only saying “It’s a cucaracha.” Thanks dad! I decided to do some digging on the internet, wanting to learn more about the bizarre-looking tail. My search revealed that there are more than one species of lobster living in our Caribbean water. The odd lobster I had encountered was a Spanish lobster and is one of the least abundant species in Belize. Just like their cousins (the Spiny lobster), they live in warm tropical waters and are extremely fast swimmers. Slipper lobsters have remarkably thick camouflaged carapace and have two pairs of antennae.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Belmopan Youth Summer Camps
This year's Belmopan Youth Summer camps are getting ready to begin. The first 3, tennis, football, and softball, start on July 14th, and the second 3,, basketball, volleyball, and chess, start on the 28th. For more information, contact the Belmopan City Council. Have a fun Summer! "Spaces are still available for the annual summer camp that is slated to begin on the 14th of this month and sponsored by the Belmopan City Council, Hon. John Saldivar and the Bmp. Sports Council. Registration forms are available at the Council or at the Sports council office, Hilltop"

King of the Hills Bike Race
The annual King of the Hill bike race is today. The fun starts at 1:00pm in downtown Cayo. They'll make up to 25 laps around Cayo by the end of the race.

Patrick JonesPJ

Beautiful weather for this weekend
It is a beautiful, sun-shiny, wind-swept Saturday morning in Southern Belize. And the weather is also beautiful in other parts of the country. But rain is on the way. The Belize Weather Bureau says that an increase in moisture is expected later today and tonight brought in by an approaching Tropical Wave. But before the rains come, expect sunny skies with cloudy spells today. Tonight will turn cloudy at times. A few showers or isolated thunderstorms will occur mostly over southern and central areas of the country. Winds over the open sea and along the coat will be easterly at ten to twenty knots.

Body of a man found in Orange Walk
The body of a man has been found in the Playa Blanca area of Orange Walk tonight. The identity of the body has not yet been officially confirmed. Early indications are that the body was buried and efforts are now being made to unearth that body to be taken for post mortem examination. This discovery of the body was confirmed around 10 pm. More details will be posted in the coming hours as they are confirmed.

Man dies in motorcycle crash in Orange Walk
An Orange Walk man is dead following an early morning road traffic accident. The victim has been identified as Marvin Tillett, a resident of Trinidad village, Orange Walk. Details are not yet fully known, but information received so far indicates that Tillett, who was employed by Belize Sugar Industy Limited, was on a motorcycle when it crashed into a pickup truck on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Reports are that Tillett died on the spot. His body now lies at the morgue at the Northern Regional Hospital where it awaits a post mortem examination.

Deon Pitter wins last seat on CWU executive
The Christian Workers Union has elected the last man to its seven-member executive. Deon Pitter, who tied with rival Maureen Mahmud Reyes in elections last December, won 74 of 134 votes today. Reyes received 49 votes; one ballot was spoilt. The Union’s executive was re-organized under the leadership of attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd following the exit of long-time leaders Antonio Gonzalez and James McFoy under a cloud of suspicion. They were accused of alleged mismanagement of Union finances and general inability to represent the vast majority of workers the CWU claims. Pitter says he will work hard to make the CWU the “best union in Belize,” and this is just the start of his commitment.


Arrival in the Fishing Village of Sarteneja, Belize – First Impressions
So, it’s EARLY Saturday morning and I am in the small village of Sarteneja – the coast of the Belize mainland. First thing that struck me is that the village is NO WHERE near as small as I thought it would be. It’s actually quite sprawling with a handful of bars sprinkled along the water, lots of kids and adults swimming in the late afternoon sunshine, a super market, a party store and at least six churches. 2000 people all together and a growing expat population…drawn by the lower prices, the accessibility to the sea, the proximity to Corozal and the Mexico border (SHOPPING) and perhaps more…I have yet to find out. Sarteneja is known for fishing and for the building of wooden boats. Some gorgeous sail boats have been made here. I didn’t see any building but I saw boats everywhere…

International Sourcesizz

Caricom to set up commission on marijuana
Caricom heads of government have agreed to establish a regional commission on marijuana to look at the social, economic, health, and legal issues surrounding the use of the drug and to advise whether there should be a change in its current classification to make it more accessible for a range of users. Caricom heads also welcomed the announcement by the Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit that Dominica’s Parliament had approved a bill to make the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) the country’s final court of appeal. Skerrit advised that “the move away from the Privy Council would be completed once the President assents to the act, bringing it into force. Dominica will join Barbados, Guyana and Belize as the fourth Caricom member country to give effect to the Appellate Jurisdiction of the CCJ,” Skerrit said. They also recognised that this year marked the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on The Rights of the Child, signed by all Caricom member states.


Video: 9 Days in Belize, 15min.
Our trip to Belize from May 24, 2014 to June 1, 2014.

Video: Extreme Fishing in Gales Point Belize, 3min.

Video: Belize 2014, 5min.
This was my summer, i was in control of everything, and i made this the best summer of my life. the month i was in Belize i experienced soo many new things, i met some incredible people, and i remember and will never forget each moment i had.

Video: Belize - Mainland Driving, 7min.
Driving along the Belize Western Highway from Nohoch Che'en Caves Branch Reserve (Cave Tubing Complex) to Ka'ana Resort just west of San Ignacio, Belize.

Video: Squid in Belize, 2min.

July 5, 2014

This news synopsis will be a bit more condensed than usual for the next several days due to time constraints.


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Ilan Nuñez: inspiring dancers in the USA and Belize
“Dancing demands a lot of discipline and that is what I want to instill in the children at a young age,” commented Rosita Baltazar to The San Pedro Sun, days after The San Pedro Dance Company was founded on October 10, 1998. Since then, hundreds of dancers have passed through the dance organization. Many of […]

Roast Habaneros – because they burn so good!
SPICY!! Caliente! Fuerte! Delicioso! Yes, these habaneros are hot peppers. I think they’re one of the hotter varieties known to man. And they are just delicious when made into this condiment. This is like a staple on most Belizean tables, and it’s major fire. It is delicious because of the tartness of the lime juice, yummy smelling because of the onions and uber-fresh cilantro. Man, it’s got all the things I love. Great scent, onion, and HEAT! It’s super hot right now and perfect for grilling. Imagine drizzling some of this on hunks of grilled beef for fajitas, or that delicious steak or burgers… *drools*…ahem! When it gets colder, a good hearty stew with a few drops of this spicy goodness guarantees you’ll be warmed up and raring to go in no time! So…on to making this deliciousness!!

One man dies at the Blue Hole
On Thursday, June 26th local dive master and tour guide, Marcus Alamina reported to the San Pedro Police Station that one man had died while on a dive expedition to the Blue Hole. According to the report, Alamina along with four other dive masters and 19 tourists left Ramon’s Village Resort Dock at around 6:25AM […]

AG’s preliminary report on immigration scandal shows gross irregularities; Director of Immigration refuses to cooperate
Since September of 2013, Elvin Penner, the United Democratic Party (UDP) elected representative for Cayo North East, has been in the middle of a major nationality and immigration scandal. Penner was pointed out as the main person who facilitated a passport for South Korean criminal, Kim Won Hong, who had been in prison in Taipei, […]

Ambergris Today

Minister Heredia Awards Top PSE Scorers of San Pedro and Caye Caulker
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. presented checks to the Top PSE scorers of San Pedro and Caye Caulker as recognition for their excellent results on the examination. In a short, yet meaningful, ceremony Minister Heredia congratulated the students for their hard work and dedication. He stated that the money given to them was a form of acknowledgment for their excellent work in the Primary School Examination. Chelsea Rodriguez of Caye Caulker RC School received 82.8 averages on the Primary School Examinations and received $500 from the Belize Tourism Board and will be attending Palloti High School in Belize City. Shanelle Palma of San Pedro RC School achieved the highest score for the school and placed 9th highest countrywide. Shanelle received $500 from the Belize Tourism Board and will be attending Corozal Community College.

Two Permanent Doctors Join Clinica Los Pinos
The clinic welcomes the services of Doctors Sorangel Monteagudo and Mr. Hamir Adair Castaneda who are specialized in General Medicine for children, adults and pregnancy. They are permanent doctors at the clinic who will be an asset to the growing community on Ambergris Caye. Clinica Los Pinos is proud to be working together with different specialist so as to provide better services to the community. The clinic also announces this week the installment of a 24-hour emergency service with hotlines where residents can access emergency medical attention whenever needed.

Bath Time just got Better with Belizean Breezes Soap Co.
“Have a little fun in the shower” is the slogan of the brand new (super cool) store on the island named Belizean Breezes Soap Co. The novelty store carries a huge variety of 100% percent all natural handmade, eco-friendly, good-for-your-skin-soap! Located on Barrier Reef Drive near the Belize Bank, sits this aromatic, cool, eco-friendly soap shop that you must visit. Get ready to be surprised and amazed by their huge variety of hand poured soaps from single bars to full loaves, soap cakes...

I Became a Priest in La Isla Bonita Soap Opera, Now Filming
“History in the making” is exactly what is happening on Ambergris Caye Belize. Producer Matthiew Klinck of Make Belize Films is back in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize filming the very first telenovela on the island called “La Isla Bonita”. Many have been buzzing about the filming that has been taking place at different locations of beautiful Ambergris Caye. This highly anticipated telenovela will capture everything from drama, love, action and much more to keep the audience engaged and...

Homemade Belizean Style Lobster Hash
When in Belize you want to eat like a Belizean, so you enjoy the rice and beans. And when in San Pedro, Belize you want to the savor succulent lobsters. At a restaurant you will get the whole lobster but go to any home and hashed lobster is what you will find. You can’t get any more Sanpedrano than this! Prep InfoPrep Time: 10 minutesCooking Time: 1 HourServes: 6 people Ingredients(Lobster Ingredients)2 Pounds Lobster ( 8 lobster tails)3 Medium Onions3 Medium Tomatoes1 Large Green...

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

E-course Announcement
The course is being facilitated by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research and aims to develop participants’ understanding of the climate change policy framework, by building an appreciation of the science, causes and impacts of climate change, the history of the policy making process and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change frame-work, and will also consider the pertinent challenges currently facing diplomats and international decision makers in making progress with what is currently on the negotiating table.

DIA DE SAN PEDRO 2014 (59 photos)
Friday, June 28, marked the opening of the Dia de San Pedro festivities which included the return of the Dia de San Pedro Karaoke Competition and the Dia de San Pedro Fishing Rodeo. Also making its comeback were the mechanical rides for all to enjoy. On Friday's opening night, the festivity had the participation of the San Pedro Dance Academy and the return of the Dia de San Pedro Karaoke Competiton which had the contestants sing infront of a live audience and panel of judges to with a grand cash prize. In the end, Mr. Pablo Cob proved to be victorious overall with Mr. Wilber Rivero coming in second place and Mr. Jaime Bautista in third place. On Saturday night - June 28, the festivity opened with dance presentations from the San Pedro Dance Academy where they were accompanied by students from the Dance Factory of Winsconsin and put on a spectacular show. The show then continued with a mariachi presentation from Mariachi Tierra Maya from Chetumal, Quintana Roo which had the crowd and cheering for more. And lastly, the Super Furia Band had the crowd dancing with their catchy songs and uptempo beats. On Sunday - June 29, the traditional Fishermen's Mass, breakfast and boat procession took plae in which many assisted to this event. The crowd were serenated by Mariachi Tierra Maya while enjoying their breakfast treats. Mariachi Tierra Maya also performed at the Boat Procession.

Thanks to Mr. Edmundo Castillo
We would like to congratulate and thank Mr. Edmundo Castillo for his 20 years of service to the people of San Pedro as a Loyal, Hardworking and Dedicated employee of the San Pedro Town Council. Thank you Mundo! We're glad your still with us!

Clarinet Ensemble Concert
The Embassy of Mexico in Belmopan is having a free concert on Sunday, July 6th. They'll have P'aax utia'al iik do a clarinet ensemble concert.

Cayo Classifieds - Issue 23
This week's issue of Buy and Sell Weekly. They highlight the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve.

Cayo Community Health Workers Graduation
Congratulation to all the Cayo health workers that graduated their certification course! "Over 35 CHW graduated last week of the Cayo district. We thank them for their dedication and completion to the certification course."

Channel 7

Kimmie's Fire Was A Case Of Arson
The fire at Kimmie's Bar on Newtown Barracks 10 days ago was a case of arson. The Fire Department has finished its investigation and concluded that it was - using their terms - an "incendiary fire" - meaning "a person or persons lit the fire knowing that they should not have (done so)" - sounds convoluted, but that's the Fire Department's technical definition. The term "arson" is one used by police because it is a criminal offence. Fire Chief Ted Smith had only just received the written report today - and has told the media he will grant an interview about it on Monday when he has fully reviwed it. It was one of the worst fires in years - not so much because of the considerable loss of property - but because a 21 year old mother of three perished in the blaze. Jacqueline Arteaga lived in an apartment above Kimmie's Bar and perished in the early morning fire. It started at around 4:15am, and the Fire Department arrived at about a quarter to five. But by then the fire was already in free-burn stage and could not be contained. Fuelled by a strong breeze off the sea, it destroyed three buildings and damaged another. It caused physical damages estimated in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. At least two of the buildings were not insured.

Cervantez Sr. Still Missing, Police Working On Leads
Orange Walk businessman Ramon CervantezSr is still missing tonight - and best reports say his family still hasn't heard from him. Now, rumours say differently, but reliable sources close to the family maintain that they have not been contacted and no demands - such as a ransom - have been made of them. Orange Walk Police have not upgraded his status; they still have him listed as a missing person and this afternoon officer commanding for the North, Superintendent Joseph Myvette explained why:.. Supt. Joseph Myvette - Commander, Northern Police Region "Investigations still continues. We are following several leads but so far we haven't had much successes, but we are following some leads." Reporter "Is this being treated as missing person case still?" Supt. Joseph Myvette "Yes it is." Reporter "Not kidnapping contrary to reports?" Supt. Joseph Myvette "Not to my knowledge."

Flood Waters Rise And Fall Quickly In Toledo
The southern Toledo District experienced flooding this morning after heavy rains last night. The river rose to 10 feet above normal and the flood waters blocked the road in the Jacintoville area - which is the road that comes out of Barranco, meaning that access to and from the majority of the rural areas was cut off. That was bad news for market day in PG, since the busses could not come in until the water had slightly receded around 9:00 am. That's when our colleagues at PGTV spoke to NEMO Coordinator Kenton Parham: Kenton Parham, NEMO Director - PG "We experience quite a bit of heavy rains last night and early this morning resulting in what you can see. Right now the only area that is flooded and impeding traffic is the area right here. Reports from the other areas around the district, Blue Creek, Jordan is that water is low. Some rivers like Bladen has risen about 5 feet, but right now this is our main concern. Presently we have about 3 families that we know that water went into their house about a foot or so. The BDF is out here with support transferring people back and forth."

Anxiety Is An Emergency Too
On Wednesday morning, police fished the body of 22 year old Andrea Bernard out of the Belize River under the Bel China Bridge. A post mortem examination has concluded that the young woman drowned; there was no foul play and she showed no signs of physical trauma. Her family says it may have been suicide because she had threatened to take her own life before - and yes, even to drown herself. And that's because Andrea Bernard suffered greatly with mental illness. We don't have a psychiatric diagnosis, but her family says she had anxiety, which can be a crippling disorder. And on Tuesday night - her mother took her to the hospital to get something to calm her nerves - but after two hours of waiting in the emergency room, Andrea couldn't take it anymore and she bolted, never to be seen again alive by her family. The KHMH has sent out a typically self-absolving press release, saying, quote, "The KHMH does not have a Psychiatric Service and…only manages acute psychiatric emergencies.." Well, according to her family, they surely didn't manage Andrea Bernard's case promptly enough - and that may have led to her death. But, in any emergency room, the mentally generally do not get the priority treatment afforded to those with bodily injuries. Today we discussed the issue with Eleanor Bennett, the Nursing Administrator for Mental Health:

PUP will Pay Hon. Hulse 15K
Last night we told you about Minister Godwin Hulse's libel suit against the Belize Times. Both sides have agreed to a settlement which will be read in court on July 10th. But, today's Amandala quoting times Attorney Kareem Musa reports that the paper is looking at a settlement in the region of fifteen thousand dollars, plus the costs of Hulse's attorney Michael Young. That's above average, since most libel settlements with private individuals are in the range of eight thousand dollars. The offending article referred to private lands in the Belize River Valley and suggested wrongdoing.

Barrister Bradley Sues 7 and 5
In news of other notable libel suits, former KHMH director of Finance Carlos Perera has sued Channel 7 News for libel. He says that we defamed him in our reporting on the investigation into two vans acquired by the KHMH. The matter has been referred to our attorney Godfrey Smith - and is at the preliminary stages, so that's not really news, not yet at least. But what is news is that Perera's attorney is none other than the Mayor of Belize City, Darrell Bradley. Bradley, as is well known, moonlights as a private attorney. For a mayor elected to, and paid in a full time post, it is a practice frowned upon by many - but, strictly speaking, it's not disallowed because the law is silent on it.

Hon. Hulse Stands By Director Marin
We have learned that Director of Immigration Maria Marin had also threatened COLA with a lawsuit before it released the Auditor General's preliminary report. The Auditor General singles her out for special censure - saying that she demonstrated blatant disrespect for the Auditor's office and the law. The report also links her to a number of offences. But her minister Godwin Hulse, still stands by Maria Marin. Yesterday, he told the media why:.. Mike Rudon, Ch5 "Has your confidence ever been shaken; your confidence in Maria Marin?" Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration "Not the lease Mr. Rudon or any of you. I have work with Ms. Marin fairly close and I find her to be stellar. As I've said before and will say again and this applies to any and everybody: first of all I have to have confidence in the people who work for me. I have 9 departments, I have the Investment Committee, I am on the Works Committee, I head government business in the Senate and I think the nation know I am a workaholic. Even when I get nail "juk" and my back… - I still have to work. I have to have confidence in the people and I could not work with anybody I don't have confidence in. If the confidence is lost for any reason I would be terrible disappointed, but that would be the end of the relationship. I am not going to support anybody, no matter who it is. I've said that time and time again, it could be my children, it could be my wife, could be anybody - I'm not going to support wrong doing, so up to this point I have no reason to have any doubt and that's where I stand."

Pharmaceutical Caution Needs Be Exercised
Tonight, a couple from Orange Walk continues to mourn the death of their 1 and a half year-old baby girl who choked on a pill after she ingested it. The unfortunate incident happened on Sunday night just before 9:00. Edmundo Cabanas was at his house on Palmar Road with his wife and daughter, Melitsa Cabanas. He told police that he placed half of a pill, known as neo melubrina - which is fever medication - on the kitchen table. A short while after, the child grabbed the pill, put it in her mouth, and swallowed it. Shortly after, the baby started to tremble, and that's when her parents rushed her to the Northern Regional Hospital. She didn't make it to the hospital in time, and she was pronounced dead on arrival. The family is no doubt going through a very rough time, but this incident once again underscores the importance of safety with medication. Today, we spoke with the Vice President of the Pharmacists Association, and she explained the nature of the pill the child swallowed, as well as a few tips about handling medication:

Benque Police All But Give Up On Abducted 6 Year Old
One week ago, we told you about Germayoni Letran, the 6 year old Guatemalan child who was abducted by her aunt from her school in Benque Viejo town. Well, she still hasn't been found on either side of the border and Belize police believe that she was smuggled out of Guatemala to join her mother in Los Angeles. As we reported, the child's father had custody of her in Melchor - and would send her to school daily in Beqnue Viejo. But it seems the child's aunt planned the near perfect crime: she abducted her in Belize, and then fled to Melchor, most likely sent the child to the US, and remains safely in GUATEMALA where she cannot be arrested because she has committed no crime on that country's soil.

Where Are The June Rains?
The hurricane season started 5 weeks ago, and usually June brings in the rainy season. But June's finished, and still, most of the country hasn't experienced the heavy rains. Now, we're not praying for rain - surely not, we had enough of that last year. But, with climate change and all, is the rain delay a cause for concern? That's what we went to ask the Chief Meteorologist today. Daniel Ortiz reports: We all remember the unexpected rains which flooding all across the country which started in late October and continued well into November. Daniel Ortiz reporting The rainy season, which should have normally started in June, hasn't begun as yet. The National Met Service says this weather behavior was expected.

Taking An Afternoon Off For The World Cup Quarterfinals
The first leg of the World Cup Quarterfinals were played today in two of the most hotly anticipated match-ups: perennial European powerhouses France versus Germany from Maracana Stadium in the morning and South American powers: Brazil and Columbia in the afternoon from Estadio Castelao in the afternoon. For world cup fans, it was a feast - but a feast served during the daytime - when many were at work. That meant stealing glances at TV's, furtive texts to find out the score, or just cutting out of work completely to see the game. That's what Daniel Ortiz did when he went to two popular watering holes to share in the experience. Here's what he found out form patrons at the Riverside Tavern and the Radisson's Stone Grill: And if you couldn't catch the game, you can see an encore of the Brazil Columbia match tonight on channel 7, the exclusive broadcaster of the 2014 World Cup.

Happiness Can Be A Breath Away
What is happiness? Who defines it - and what is they key to it? These are questions that have baffled philosophers throughout the ages, but one consultant believes he has the answer. That's right, Adrian McInman is a happiness consultant and he has been in Belize for a week talking to police, BERT, and the Ministry of Health. We caught him at a session today, and he gave us a happiness quick fix - after we were told about his session with health collaborators:.. Eleanor Bennett, Nursing Administrator - Mental Health "We thought about having these people here because the message from Mr. McInman is simple; the happier you are, the better you do and we just wanted to share this message with as many people as possible. He was with the Ministry of Health in Belmopan and we had like over 50 people there, he was with other health people here and so we thought about extending this to the collaborators."

Mexican Clarinet Ensemble In Belize
And if classical music takes you to that happy place, the Mexican Embassy is inviting you to come out and enjoy the 5 young, talented, Mexican musicians who call themselves, Paaxutia'aliik'. The ensemble is made up of musicians who specialize in the clarinet, and today the press officer for the Mexican Embassy told us why you should come out and hear them play: The first concert is set for Saturday, July 5th, at 6:30, at the Institute of Mexico, located at the corner of Newtown Barracks and Wilson Street in Belize City. The second concert will be on Sunday, July 6th 2014, at 6:30 pm, at the Embassy of Mexico, located on North Ring Road, Belmopan. Both concerts are free.

Channel 5

The search for Ramon Cervantes Sr. continues
Seventy-two hours after businessman and farmer Ramon Cervantes Sr. was reported missing, his family is saying nothing and the police are being very cautious about what they do say. The [...]

Shaquille Meighan out on bail for aggravated assault
Several bail applications were heard today in the Supreme Court. There were no objections from prosecutors in the Supreme Court all morning until the application of Shaquille Meighan came before [...]

Overnight rains in Toledo inundates Southern Highway
Torrential rains overnight in the south have resulted in flooding in the Toledo District.  This morning, commuters along the Southern Highway were delayed near the Jacintoville Bridge where several inches [...]

Police move in on squatters in Krooman Lagoon
Two squatters are tonight in detention following a complaint from a reported land owner in the Krooman Lagoon area. The men have been arrested for illegally squatting on private property. [...]

4 persons receive Supreme Court bail
As we told you earlier in the newscast, several bail applications came before Justice Herbert Lord today. Four residents from Orange Walk and Benque were granted individual bail in their [...]

Security guard charged for possession of drugs
  Twenty-six-year-old Jason Sutherland, reportedly a security guard employed by Minister of State Mark King, was busted on Thursday attempting to dispose of a bag of weed.  Police on mobile [...]

Minister of Labour Godwin Hulse says no dispute over Danini Contreras
Danini Contreras is the daughter of U.D.P. Minister Erwin Contreras. She is also the newly appointed Director of the Drug Inspectorate, a post that was created for her. It’s an [...]

Belize off to Commonwealth Games 2014
Belize may not have qualified to participate in this year’s World Cup tournament but our athletes in five other disciplines will take to the international stage on July twenty-third in [...]

Gregory Lovell replaced Byron Pope in Glasgow, Scotland
Also accredited to take part in the Road and Time Trials in Glasgow is Byron Pope.  Due to a near-fatal mishap last weekend in which the cyclist collided into the [...]

Mexican ensemble to perform clarinet concert in Belize
‘From Yucatan to the World’, a two-night clarinet concert series opens on Saturday evening at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City and will feature the music of the five-member [...]

Bowen and Bowen prepared for the King of the Hill cycling race 2014
A cycling race in collaboration with Bowen and Bowen will be held this weekend in San Ignacio. It is the annual King of the Hill cycling race that will see [...]


Belizean Couple Speaks on Son’s Club Foot Deformity
Anyone who is a parent knows how tough a job it can be but for the expecting parents, things can get even tougher when at the birth of your child, you are forced to face and deal with some sort of deformity. Deformities can range from congenital heart disease to Down’s syndrome to spina bifida ….tonight, we take a look at a Belizean couple and their challenges and fears they conquered after their son was born with a left club foot. Kimberly Tzib, originally from Burrell Boom Village in the Belize District is the mother of four children with her only son and youngest child born with a deformity to his left foot. KIMBERLY TZIB “He was born with a left club foot. At first I was saddened because I was worried about how he would walk, will people make fun of him and will he have a low self-esteem if I don’t fix his foot? In seeking help the pediatrician recommended to us to the doctor at the hospital who came to see us on the second day.

Heavy Rains and Flooding in Southern Belize
The first major flooding for this year in Jacintoville in the Toledo District was a major setback to vehicular traffic early this morning. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG “Heavy rainfall during the night caused the flooding in Jacintoville as explained by villager, James Parham.” JAMES PARHAM “Early last night we had an all-night rain, heavy rains, thunder and lightning. This is the first flood for the year and every rainy season we expect to have these types of flooding. Right now from the Quaver bridge to the Jacinta Bridge is under 3-4 feet of water. Even a wooden house right across the road is about eight feet off the ground and the water is under the flooring. All this water is coming from the Rio Grande and its pumping all the water into the small creek especially the Jacinta and Quaver Creek.” PAUL MAHUNG “Parham also spoke of floodwaters in the area of the junction of Jacintoville and San Felipe road leading onto Santa Ana and Barranco.”

Mental Health Head Nurse Weighs In On Herbert’s Death
Yesterday the KHMH issued a release in regards to 22 year old Andrea Herbert whose body was found floating in the Haulover creek on Wednesday morning. As was reported, Herbert’s family says that the young woman who had mental issues had gone to the KHMH for treatment however because the matter was not dealt with in a timely fashion, she left and was later found dead. The release from the KHMH says that Herbert and her mother did seek attention at the KHMH and were dealt with in a timely manner. Nursing Administrator at the Mental Health Unit in the Ministry of Health, Eleanor Bennett, spoke about dealing with psychiatric emergencies in the late hours of the night. ELEANOR BENNETT “Like the release from the Karl Heusner says they do manage all emergencies. If there was a psychiatric emergency in the middle of the night that person can be taken to the emergency room at the KHMH. What they do is they triage, they stabilize and then they refer if they did. We have a challenge with stigma. I do know when it comes to triage, the Karl Heusner has a level system and indeed certain conditions will take priority over others but it is through education, working with the health professionals, having them have contact with people with mental illness that we get to address the situation.

Fire Officials Rule Arson in Last Week’s Night Club Fire
It’s been nine days since the fire at Kimmie’s Night Club destroyed three buildings and claimed the life of 23-year-old mother of three Jacqueline Arteaga. At the time of the incident investigators were unable to determine whether it was an accident or if the establishment was set on fire. Well today we contacted Orin Smith of the National Fire Services who told us that the investigation has wrapped up. Smith told us via phone that the investigation revealed that it was an incendiary fire…in other words, it was arson. It is believed that a person or a group of persons torched the building. Smith guaranteed to give more details of the investigations on Monday as he has just gotten the file….but now we are left pondering who would want to burn Kimmie’s Night Club to the ground? As we reported, the owners of the bar, were receiving threats- “from who?” is the other question yet to be answered. Arteaga worked at Kimmie’s for about a month and she was renting a room on the second floor where it is presumed she died of smoke inhalation. Apart from Kimmie’s Night Club, Business Computer Systems was totally destroyed. Pandora’s Café was partially damaged by fire but received much water damage as well as a structure behind Pandora’s Café.

The Search Continues For Past Senator and Mayor
The Cervantes family continues to await word on the whereabouts of 71-year-old Ramon Cervantes Senior. Arturo Cantun reports. ARTURO CANTUN “Intensive search continued into late Thursday night for Orange Walk businessman Ramon Cervantes Sr. The 71-year-old past Mayor and Senator was reported missing on Tuesday afternoon after he failed to come home for lunch from his cane field which is located on the San Roman Rio Hondo Road in the Orange Walk District. Police is tight-lipped on the details of the investigation but Love News has managed to investigate that several persons have been brought in to the station and questioned. Likewise, a series of rumors have been circling within the Orange Walk community about the whereabouts of Cervantes. What Love News has managed to confirm however is that there are several accounts from residents of San Roman who allege they saw Roman Cervantes in the company of three men crossing the Rio Hondo.

Media Gives Minister A Passport Case To Investigate
Today the media got a hold of a passport issued to one Eric Jahmal Sanchez. The passport was issued as a replacement for a lost one and under those circumstances it would take six weeks to replace it. Documents show that this particular passport was issued far before the six weeks. The allegation is that it was Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse who made the call to expedite the issuance of the passport; something the Minister denies. GODWIN HULSE “I see no application at all, ever, that is the purview of the department’s Head and the Director. There are three things; there are people who get expedited passports, people who get one week and people who get normal and there are different fees. In terms of the last passport, it used to be three months, under the law up to six weeks, but that six weeks is from the time you report it to the police or the department whichever is first. So, in the case of Mr. Sanchez I really couldn’t comment but believe me when i get back to the office i will check.”

Former Mayor Says Brother Was Murdered; Police Say No
Fifty year old Michael Richard Ysaguirre died on Saturday and on July 1st a post mortem examination was done on the body. The post mortem revealed that the cause of death was Cardiogenic due to Chest Trauma with a Blunt Instrument. His sister and former mayor, Zenaida Moya, says that last Thursday, Ysaguirre was involved in an altercation at the fish market. ZENAIDA MOYA “Apparently my brother got into an altercation but what my brother said was, ‘mommy if something happens to me this is exactly what happened.’ He went over to this green shop by Conch Shell Bay where this guy, Jaime Bennett owns it and he went asking for a job because my brother cleans fish at the Conch Shell Bay market. He went there and I don’t know what transpired but the next thing you know, this guy beat my brother, they said about four times to the chest with a piece of fiberglass and apparently a piece of it got lodged in his heart.

Minister Hulse Updates Media on Stake Bank
The third project that Godwin Hulse has been involved with as the Chair of Cabinet’s Sub-Committee of Investment is the Stake Bank Project. The project has been given the green light but it has not commenced. Hulse told us why. GODWIN HULSE “The Stake Bank issue is very simple. Mr. Feinstein’s project is a good-on and should move ahead but there is an agreement government signed with FSTV and BTB which included to an extent the Stake Bank project which government is saying, please ask FSTV to indemnify the government against any claims etc., because as you know they make money.” LOCAL REPORTER “Were they given an exclusive license?”

Puerto Azul Is Real; Stakeholders Meet With Investment Sub-Committee
The other project that has gotten negative feedback from the environmental community is the Puerto Azul project. Investors Dominico Giannini and Fabio La Rosa want to build a 7 stars extra-exclusive resort on Northern Two Caye. At this stage, it is a proposal and the environmental community is strongly opposed to it. We are not sure if Giannini and La Rosa are still in Belize but what we can tell you is that they have met with Cabinet’s Sub-Committee of Investment chaired by Godwin Hulse. Hulse shared where the idea is at the moment. GODWIN HULSE “They met for three hours and it was the full team; the full investment committee that met with them. So, we had about twenty people in the room and it was an interesting presentation. They have pitched to the government what they intend to do.”

Minister Says Government Has Sanctioned NCL Project And It Is A Go
On Wednesday, Justice Courtenay Abel, granted BTIA partial leave to file for judicial review on two of four grounds in relation to the decisions of the National Environmental Appraisal Committee and the Department of the Environment on the environmental impact assessment for Harvest Caye- a project managed by Belize Island Holdings Limited on behalf of Norwegian Cruise Lines. The BTIA wants to stop the project but Minister Godwin Hulse, who is the Chair of Cabinet’s Sub-Committee of Investments, say the only way they will succeed if they get an injunction. GODWIN HULSE “I don’t think it would be stopped. I think that what BTIA is doing is using all efforts which is their right to ensure that according to them everything is done properly. They have a concern that the EIA process wasn’t proper, that’s what they are saying. We think otherwise but if the courts decide it wasn’t proper, doesn’t mean the project stops, it means you do it over and do it proper. That can be done in a very short time but this project will go ahead; Government has sanctioned this. This project has met all the criteria and this project is important to the government and to the people in the south and it will proceed.”

Sewell’s Extradition Case Heads to Court of Appeals
Gary Sewell is to be extradited. A ruling from Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana, upheld the decision of the lower courts to have Sewell extradited to the USA where he was fingered along with his brothers of allegedly importing cocaine. Sewell’s attorney, Arthur Saldivar, told the media today that he will appeal the matter. ARTHUR SALDIVAR “I’m not really surprised in the sense that it was a 50/50 proposition in every instance and i expect at a certain point our position will be vindicated and is just a part of the process.” LOCAL REPORTER “So, do you know what the reasons for the judge’s decision are?” ARTHUR SALDIVAR “Yes, I’ve had the chance to review the judgments and the reasoning and as much as I may not be in agreement fully in how it has come down, I do understand this may not have been the forum for some of the issues to be ventilated and to be adjudicated upon and that the more suitable forum would be the Court of Appeal. So that is where we go next.”

Search Continues for Former Mayor and Senator
There has still been no concrete lead in the search for Orange Walk businessman Ramon Cervantes Senior. Arturo Cantun reports. ARTURO CANTUN “48 hours have passed since Ramon Cervantes Sr. has gone missing. Today the search for the 71 year old business man from Orange Walk continues throughout the district. Several volunteers have joined the search teams that are combing the immediate area where Cervantes’ land rover was found and along the Mexico-Belize border on the Rio Hondo. Love News understands that the police have assured the family that they are doing all at their disposal to return their loved one safely home.”

Police News: Robbery and Burglary
A 43-year-old Belizean business woman of Ceaser Ridge Road reported that sometime between May 16 and July 2 someone stole 15 thousand dollars in US and Belizean currency from a safety deposit box which was in the guest room of her residence. She stated that she suspects her 23-year-old house guest as he had access to the guest room. Police have since detained the guest pending investigations. 52-year-old John Webber reported to San Pedro Police that his house was burglarized and an assortment of tools, electronic items, diving equipment and an outboard motor were stolen. The total value of the stolen items amounted to 12 thousand 614 US dollars. Police continue their investigations.


Who Sped up Lost Passport?
Losing a passport is not a particularly fun experience.  It involves additional expenses and time for something that is only rarely used though no less important. But one Belize City young man was relieved of his misery a bit quicker. Eric Sanchez lost his passport late in the month...

Still Clueless in the Case of the Missing Ramon Cervantes Sr.
It has been almost 96 hours since well known business man of Orange Walk Town Ramon Cervantes Sr. was reported missing. However despite the relentless efforts of the community and police officers there is still no clear lead on the case. Police have reserved comment on the ongoing investigation,...

Man Thrown from Motorcycle in Belize City Accident
There was a minor traffic accident in Belize City yesterday evening. According to police reports, 31-year-old Onofre Vellos, a Belizean Tour Guide of Belize City was driving a white van. At the exit of the Brodies parking lot, he took a left onto the Phillip Goldson Highway when a...

Business Senator Says the Senate is Failing the Belizean People
According  to Senator for the Business Community, Mark Lizarraga, the Senate as it is performing at this time in our nation’s history is “suffering from an urgent crisis of the erosion of public confidence in governance in our jewel Belize!” He made those comments at the last sitting of the...

USA and Russia Changing Roles on Protection of Traditional Family Values?
The US Ambassador arrived in Belize on Sunday, 22nd June 2014 and on Tuesday, June 24th, he was sworn in at the Governor General’s residence in Belmopan. A small protest by Alianza and Patrick Menzies quickened a remarkable response to media probing on the LGBT agenda from US Ambassador...

Belizean Shrimp Farms Reducing Adverse Environmental Impacts
Eight shrimp farms, members of the Belize Shrimp Growers’ Association, are preparing for Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) assessment in Belize later this year. The Belize Shrimp Growers Association has been working with WWF Mesoamerican Reef program to get their farms ASC certified. This is all aimed at developing better...

Camp Joy for Special Needs Children
Camp Joy Belize is a 4 day camping experience for children with special needs which is being done through a collaborative effort between Living Waters Fellowship Church East Lake Community Church and the Association for Inclusion of Persons with Special Needs (AIPSN).  Beth Tuten Camp Director for South Carolina...

Belmopan’s Oldest Man and the “Good Ole Days”
Mr. Alfred Pandy a resident of Belmopan and a retired senior superintendent of the prison, celebrated his 96th birthday this past Sunday making him the oldest man in the City of Belmopan.  Our journalist Emanuel Pech sat down with him to talk about what life was like in Belize...

Sugar Industry Negotiations On Bagasse Still Strained
  Many believed that the tense atmosphere between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar Industry and American Sugar Refiners back in late 2013 was a sign that the sugar crisis of 2009 would be repeated. However the fires were extinguished in good faith as an...

The ‘Rod of Correction’ Reloads
It is in its infancy as a movement and already has taken hits from Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the United Democratic Party (UDP). But the group of activists known as the Rod of Correction (ROC) is moving deliberately to address the issues on their plate. Today, they held...

Tropic Air Halts a $6m Project Over Land Ownership Dispute
National airline carriers Tropic Air, based out of San Pedro Town, have had to halt a $6 million project for an airplane maintenance complex near the municipal airstrip because of a dispute over who owns the land on which the unfinished building is located. Tropic Air has a lease...

Porfilio Rodriguez Meets Bail in Court
Today, 19 year old Porfilio Rodriguez, a transvestite accused of aggravated assault, met bail of $300 arranged by his father after spending the last two days at the Central Prison. Rodriguez, who also goes by the name Vanessa Champagne Paris, is accused of putting a knife to the neck...

Gary Seawell Faces Extradition Again
Earlier this year Justice Michelle Arana heard arguments from attorney Arthur Saldivar on behalf of accused drug trafficker Gary Seawell, who is wanted by U.S. authorities in the state of Ohio on allegations that he and brothers Mark and Duane masterminded a large-scale cocaine moving operation between Belize and...

Unitedville Businessman Robbed at Gunpoint
A 46-year-old  Slovenian/Naturalized Belizean business man of Unitedville Village, Cayo District reported that at 11:15p.m. on July 2nd,  he was at his business place – Brown Sugar Bar and Grill situated in the village. Along with him at the time was  his wife and an employee. Two Creole descent...


Wife-beating cop sent to prison!
A police constable who has been on interdiction since last September pending the outcome of criminal charges was the recipient of bad news today, when Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith summed up the evidence at the conclusion of his trial and announced a guilty verdict before sentencing him to prison. PC Ronald Sutherland, 29, who has been facing charges of aggravated assault with a machete, wounding and use of threatening words, was sentenced to two years imprisonment each for the aggravated assault and wounding charges and two months for the use of threatening words charge. The sentences are to run concurrently, which means that he will spend two years and two months in prison. Sutherland’s legal troubles stem from his actions on the night of September 26, 2013, when he returned home and began beating his common-law wife, Tanisha Ortiz, who had to run out of their Police Street home.

Ramon Cervantes, Sr., 71, vanishes!
Both law enforcement authorities and concerned relatives are presently engaged in a frantic search for Ramon Cervantes, Jr., 71, a cañero who went missing sometime yesterday afternoon while working in his cane field near San Roman, in northern Belize. The family of Cervantes, Sr. – who is the father of recently elected People’s United Party (PUP) standard bearer for the Orange Walk North constituency, Ramon Cervantes, Jr. – was initially alarmed when he (Cervantes, Sr.) did not come home for lunch at 12:00 midday, as he usually did, and they became even more worried upon noticing that he was acting strange and speaking in a different tone of voice when he was contacted via his mobile phone. Today, in Orange Walk, Amandala spoke with Ramon Cervantes, Jr., who said that when the family realized that something was not right (after a phone call Cervantes, Sr.’s daughter made to him that raised her sense of alarm), they went to Cervantes, Sr.’s cane field, but he was nowhere in sight, after which they did an extensive search that lasted up until the wee hours of this morning, but to no avail.

PUP to pay Godwin $15,000
A hearing in a libel suit brought against The Belize Times, the official organ of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) by Immigration Minister Hon. Godwin Hulse was held in the chamber of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin this morning. Hulse is suing The Belize Times over an article it published in its July 5, 2012, edition. The subject of the article, captioned “Godwin Hustler?” was the acquisition of lands in the Belize River Valley. While Hulse does not deny owning and farming lands in the River Valley, he instructed his attorney, Michael Young, of Youngs Law firm, to initiate libel proceedings against The Times for bringing his integrity into question, if the paper did not publish a front page retraction of the offending article the following week. Attorney Kareem Musa told Amandala today, Thursday, that they are working on the details of an out-of-court settlement of the libel claim.

Did troubled girl, 22, commit suicide?
The authorities at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) today, in a press release, said that they were “saddened” by the death of Andrea Herbert, 22, whose body was recovered from the Haulover Creek near the Bel China Bridge on Youth for the Future Drive at about 9:30 Tuesday morning by police. Her body was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital morgue, where she was declared dead on arrival. Her family suspects that she may have taken her own life. Herbert’s grieving mother, Agnes Herbert, told Amandala that on Tuesday evening, she took her daughter, who was suffering from depression, to the KHMH for treatment, but Andrea walked out of the hospital, because they had been waiting for too long a time – about three hours – without getting access to a doctor.

Football icon Gene “The Japanese Bomber” Guild dies in New York at 58
This week, older football fans were saddened when they received the news of the passing of one of Belize’s great football players, Maurice Eugene Guild, who earned the nickname “The Japanese Bomber” for his brilliance on the football field and his prolific goal scoring abilities. Guild died of a heart attack in New York at age 58 on Tuesday, July 1. If Belize had a Football Hall of Fame, the legendary Gene Guild, as he was mostly known, would have been among its first inductees. Guild was given the nickname “The Japanese Bomber” in his early years as young striker. This was a man whose sharp thinking and agility on the field, together with his powerful shots, made him the scourge of many goalkeepers. Guild’s football abilities appear to have been genetic, both maternally and paternally. His father, Louis Guild, Sr., was an all-Belize star during the 1940s and 1950s. His mother was a sister of the Brannon brothers who led St. Mary’s School to football greatness in the 1950’s before they migrated to the United States.

Cancer boutique for Belizean women
The physical changes that women experience as a result of cancer-fighting procedures can be very difficult to cope with, but the Belize Cancer Society of California has been teaming up with our local Belize Cancer Society for the past two years in an effort to provide women who have had to undergo mastectomies or those who have suffered hair loss with a range of items such as prosthetic breasts, special bras, wigs, scarves, clothing as well as medical equipment and supplies in order to help make life more comfortable for those women. Arlette Pilgrim, president of the Belize Cancer Society in California and a nurse by profession, is in Belize on a campaign to raise awareness among women. Pilgrim is also a businesswoman, and she told us that when she came across the prosthetic breasts on eBay, she decided that she would start making them available to women in Belize.

Has Minister Elrington signed a new agreement with Guatemala?
Amandala was informed today of a news item appearing online, captioned “World Court To Settle Guatemala, Belize 200-year-old Boundary Dispute,” and dated July 2, 2014, claiming that Belize’s Foreign Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington has signed an accord with Guatemala in Washington. Indications from the Organization of American States are that Foreign Ministers from the hemisphere are meeting in Washington this week; however, the OAS reports on no such signing. The credibility of the article appearing on, which claims to be the official national news agency of Malaysia, is dubious, since it also names Guatemala’s Foreign Minister as Roger Rodas, when the current Foreign Minister is Fernando Carrera.

From The Publisher
At the end of July and the beginning of August, there will be an “international black summit” (ibs) held in Belize. Regional and international conferences and conventions are always beneficial for the host domestic economy, because hotels, restaurants, shopping districts, nightclubs, tour guides, and the like will make money catering to the influx of foreign guests. As I understand it, the organizers of the event come out of Atlanta, Georgia, and the local coordinator is Zenaida Moya, the former two-term (2006-2012) Mayor of Belize City. My name is on the local coordinator’s mailing list, but I have not seen the names of Rufus X and Norman Fairweather, for example. My understanding is that Virginia Echols, who is a board member of the UBAD Educational Foundation (UEF) and was one of the organizers of the Belize Black Summit held in September of 2003, is involved with this international black summit, but I am not sure at exactly what level. Virginia, a native of Detroit, Michigan, is an American citizen. I did not see the name of Ya Ya Marin Coleman, the chairperson of the UEF, on the local coordinator’s mailing list.

Editorial: Family and state
On the Southside of Belize City, sad truth be told, we have gotten used to losing our young men. The gang wars have been going on for more than a quarter century now, and the larger Southside community has been forced to develop emotional calluses. There are only so many tears we can shed. On this side of the Haulover Creek, there is a lot of blood and gore and death. In a sense, death has become our way of life. Wednesday’s Southside tragedy had a new twist. This time a young Southside lady, a 22-year-old graduate of Anglican Cathedral College, ends up as the tragic victim. To graduate from high school when you come from the Southside, it means you had faith in the system. You paid your personal dues and your family paid your school fees. You kept your nose clean, and you believed in whatever God you were being offered. You didn’t become a hooker or a female gang banger. You had ambition and pride. But then, you couldn’t get a job. You are a sensitive child, so after a while this begins to bother you. Were all the years of school worth it? You begin to have issues with your self-esteem. Your Southside environment is depressing; the news is mostly negative. And so, you begin to have issues with anxiety. You receive treatment for this anxiety. But, the socio-economic conditions which sparked your anxiety do not improve. You lose your confidence. Your family members worry about you; but then some of the worry turns to shame. Things get worse.

Court agrees to hear BTIA’s challenge to Norwegian’s US $50 mil Harvest Caye project
The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) had a partial victory in court this evening, in its bid to challenge the US$50 million cruise port development being undertaken in Southern Belize by Norwegian Cruise Line, after Supreme [...]

Gene Guild, rest in peace
In the December 1979 issue of Fun & Games, the final issue of a magazine published for six months back then by Cream, Ltd., James Adderly wrote a story in honor of the great Gene Guild, [...]

Electricity rates going down this month
The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has announced that new electricity rates are taking effect this week which would reflect an average 2.7% reduction in light bills for consumers, due to a fall in the mean electricity [...]

ROC meets, charts the way forward
The recently formed advocacy group called the “Rod of Correction (ROC)” – which consists of a mixture of trade unions and local activists – met at the Belize National Teacher’s Union conference room today, where they [...]

BTL says Belize was on “top 10” list for cyber-attacks
Representatives of the Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) called a press conference on Tuesday afternoon to update the media on efforts to try to contain what the company said is a flood of attacks against its web [...]

Friday night boxing
Friday night boxing at BTL Park In its drive to create healthy entertainment for young people in the City, the Belize City Council, in conjunction with the Belize Boxing Federation (BBF) and the Lions Den boxing [...]

2014 Commonwealth Games
Belize to participate in Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games With just over three weeks to go until the opening of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Belize’s contingent is ready to represent in five sporting disciplines. Belize Olympic & [...]

Cricket Corner
The Harrison Parks National Cricket Competition 2014 continued over the weekend with two very spectacular games. Seeing the scores tells a lot. In Burrell Boom, Easy Does It from Lemonal defeated Wicked Eleven of Flowers Bank [...]

Summer 4-A-Side
Lilly White presents “Under-15 Summer 4-A-Side” at Holy Redeemer playground on July 12 Sports/community activist Edward Charles Rubio, well known in sporting circles as “Lilly White,” told us this morning that he is organizing a small-goals [...]

Taxi driver charged with attempted murder of taxi driver
A Belize City taxi driver appeared in the Magistrate’s Court this morning and was remanded to prison after he was arraigned on charges of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm. The [...]

Hit-and-run on Xaibe Road claims life of resident
Leocadio Valentin Cobb, 49, of Xaibe, Corozal District, died after he was knocked down by a hit-and-run driver at about 10:00 p.m. Monday night, June 30, on the Xaibe Road. Cobb was found lying on the [...]

In trial by judge, a Ladyville man is freed of attempted murder charge
A Ladyville man was freed today of an attempted murder charge indictment when the prosecution’s case against him collapsed after the victim failed to identify the accused as the person who stabbed him during a basketball [...]

Police impound killer dogs; no one charged as yet
Police in Independence have impounded two pitbull dogs that killed village resident Jeffrey O’Brien. Independence police announced that they are seeking legal advice, and this is why no one has been arrested for the death of [...]

Tenant poured Clorox into landlord’s eyes
The tenant then locked him in his room for 3 days William Hubert, 70, an American businessman of Wahoo Street, in San Pedro Town, is recovering after one of his tenants held him down on the [...]

“Spam”, 50, victim of alleged assault, dies 2 days later
His family says murder; police say sudden death This past Saturday, June 28, a sense of uneasiness filled the air near the Conch Shell Bay Fish Market off Vernon Street in Belize City, as news of [...]

Transvestite arraigned for aggravated assault
Perfilio Rodriguez, 19, appeared in court in female attire On Tuesday morning at approximately 9:05, the police mobile unit transporting persons from the Queen Street Police Station to the Magistrate’s Court arrived with its cargo of [...]

Burglary in San Pedro
The home of a Canadian, John Webber, 52, of Palmero Point, San Pedro Town, was burglarized by thieves who got away with an assortment of tools, electronic items, diving equipment and an outboard motor to a [...]

Albert Castro not dead, but “very critical”
Police said he was shot twice; his family says it was 6 times Based on late-breaking information that we received from police just before press time late yesterday evening, we reported that Albert Castro, 31, also [...]

Woman robbed in her home
A woman was robbed in her house at about 9:00 Sunday night by three masked men at gunpoint, and the thieves got away with $200 and her 19-inch color television. The woman, 30, of an apartment [...]

Tropic Air and Construction Depot at the negotiating table
An ongoing dispute over a 300×77-foot plot of land in San Pedro, which was leased to an airline company but partially claimed by 2 other titleholders, is set to be resolved via the Supreme Court, so [...]

Mysterious skull found at Lord Ridge
A Belize City resident who was attending a funeral service yesterday evening at the Lord Ridge Cemetery in Belize City came upon a ghastly find after tracking a foul scent which was emanating from a nearby [...]

Bus veered off road to avoid hitting motorcycle rider
A passenger bus heading to Belmopan veered off the road at about 6:00 a.m. on Monday near Mile 47 on the George Price Highway and landed in a culvert to avoid hitting a motorcycle rider who [...]

UDP First… no apologies
“A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your [...]

Another baby dies in the north
A postmortem conducted on the body of baby Melitsa Melaney Cabanas, 1 year and 7 months old, of Palmar, Orange Walk District, certified that her death was caused by “asphyxia by braudicel aspiration of pill medication.” [...]

Patrick JonesPJ

Flooding interrupts traffic on the Southern Highway
Residents of rural Toledo district had their routine activities in Punta Gorda town disrupted this morning due to flooding of a portion of the Southern Highway. The area near the Jacintoville bridge was inundated this morning due to overnight rains in the Toledo district. According to some people […]

NGC Youth Arm prepares for Youth Cultural Immersion 2014
Young vibrant Garifuna Youths will gather at Georgetown Technical High School Grounds next weekend July 11-13th to learn about their cultural heritage, engage in personal uplifting sessions, prayer, language learning and Garifuna crafts among other fun things. The NGCYA is branch of the National Garifuna Council, which […]

The Economic Value of Marine Algae (seaweed) in Belize
Belize is blessed with a large area of pristine sub-tropical waters inside the Great Belize Barrier Reef which is fertile for the growing of marine algae. This food is very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin K, Calcium and Copper, and a […]

Spend Your Fourth of July at Any of These Five Belize Resorts
On July 4, 1776, thirteen colonies claimed their independence from England, an event which eventually led to the formation of the United States. Each year on July 4th, also known as Independence Day, Americans celebrate this historic event. On behalf of our blogging team at Belize […]


Preheat the over to 350 degrees. Heat a non stick skillet over medium heat, add the pine nuts, and cook. Turning until just browned. Tip into a bowl and set aside. Put the onions and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil into a roasting pan and toss to coat. Roast in the pre heated over for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil with the garlic in the nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the bread and cook, turning frequently, for 5 minutes, or until brown and crisp – croutons. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

Flights to Belize City: Delta added four Weekly Runs!
Flights to Belize City: Delta added four Weekly Runs! More Good News for Air Service to Belize: Yes, it is great news that major airlines are keeping up with Belize’s growing popularity by offering more and more flights each year. Last month we posted that United Airlines was expanding its air service from Chicago to Belize with new direct flights beginning December 20 2014, and now we have even more good news for travellers. Delta airlines has just announced that, beginning December 4, it is adding four weekly seasonal flights to its Atlanta, Georgia – Belize City run. This is in addition to the eight weekly round-trip flights to Belize it currently offers year round. In the announcement, the airline also said it will resume its weekly seasonal service from Los Angeles’ LAX to Belize City on November 7th, which is seven weeks earlier than last year’s launch of the service.

International Sourcesizz

Protecting Parrotfish on the Path to a Caribbean Reef Revival
Coral reefs in much of the Caribbean have been badly degraded in recent decades by die-offs of algae-munching sea urchins, high-temperature bleaching events, overfishing, invasive species and runoff from fast-paced coastal development. But a comprehensive international report released this week charts a guardedly optimistic path to recovery — starting with conservation of an unlikely reef champion — the parrotfish. The report, prepared over three years by 90 experts, was produced by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the United Nations Environment Program (news release). This excerpt from the executive summary makes the parrotfish point: Coral reef health requires an ecological balance of corals and algae in which herbivory is a key element. Populations of parrotfish are a critical component of that herbivory, particularly since the decline of Diadema sea urchins in the early 1980s; the main causes of mortality of parrotfish are the use of fishing techniques such as spearfishing and, particularly, the use of fish traps…. [M]anagement action to address overfishing at the national and local levels can have a direct positive impact on reef health now and for the future.


Video: Benque Marimba Academy at the BAAS, 2min.
The Benque Marimba Academy played at the opening dinner of the Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium. Great as always.

Video: Lions of the South: Leonides Sanchez & The Special Truth!, 10min.
The documentary features the work of the southern Belizean community organizer, farmer, and activist, Leonides Sanchez, and his struggle for food security and agricultural awareness in his hometown of Punta Gorda in Belize's southern district of Toledo. Sanchez also an educator, has been advocating for black consciousness and self awareness among the Garinagu, and has developed farming cooperatives among the Belizean people of the South while working with civil society in Belize to bring about change in land reform and self-sufficiency.

Video: Snorkeling Belize- Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley, 8min.

Video: San Pedro Belize, 5min.
San Pedro, Belize first time scuba diving. Everything from the food to the dive was all I hoped it would be. So much more left on the table in San Pedro. A return trip may be mandatory.

Video: Belize 2014, 10min.
Jimmy Walker and Matthew Reece in Belize doing sand search research for a future islands beach.

July 4, 2014

This news synopsis will be a bit more condensed than usual for the next several days due to time constraints.


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Backyard Beauties
It sounds like a problem no one would empathize with…but the sad truth is that over time one can become immune to the tropical beauty that surrounds them when living in paradise. Every day we idly pass blooms that would merit exclamations of joy from a tourist who’s never seen an orchid or a bougainvillea growing like a weed while shamelessly showing off colors that have yet to be named.

More Island Graduations
Commencement ceremonies for preschools and primary schools on the island continued on Wednesday, June 25th and Thursday, June 26th at the Lions Den. Holding commencement exercises on Wednesday was Holy Cross Preschool. The 15 cuties received their diplomas in the presence of family and friends, and are now ready to advance to primary school. On […]

San Pedro Traffic Department receives donation
On Monday, June 23rd the San Pedro Traffic Department (SPTD) received a donation from Wolfgang Wind. The generous gift came in the form of a STOP sign equipped with LED lights, a Bushnell Speed Screen and a Bushnell Velocity Speed Gun equipped with a tripod stand. The donation was presented to Mayor Daniel Guerrero and […]

Additional Flights and Routes to Belize
Belize City, Belize – June 27th, 2014 – There is exciting news to report on the international flights to/from Belize. As the tourism numbers continue to grow, the international airlines operating in Belize have recognized the demand for increased airlifts to Belize. Delta has responded by implementing additional flights through the Atlanta route to Belize. […]

Summer Bush Fire Alerts residents of Dry Season Threats
On Monday, June 30th residents became alarmed when a small bush fire in the San Pablo Area gained momentum and grew. The fire started around 7:30PM on an empty lot next to the Ambergris Stadium. Nearby residents contacted the San Pedro Fire Department who responded to the call and extinguished the fire. According to Chief […]

Fundraiser being held for Captain Nisani “Biggs” Zuniga
A fundraiser is taking place for local boat captain Nisani “Biggs” Zuniga after his vessel capsized while trying to rescue two tourists who were in distress at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The incident occurred on Tuesday, June 24th while Biggs was out snorkeling with family. When he noticed that two people were drifting further […]

Celebrating our Patron Saint on Dia de San Pedro
The week-long Dia de San Pedro Celebrations peaked on Friday, June 27th and Saturday, June 28thwith a main tribute to the island’s Patron Saint, Peter. The celebrations begun on Friday, June 20thand were aimed to promote unity as well as history, culture and tradition. The celebrations embraced the island’s beginnings as a small fishing village […]

Britany Ysaguirreis crowned Miss Caye Caulker Lobster Fest
On Friday night, June 27th the tiny island of Caye Caulker personified all the glamour and glitz of a Hollywood fashion show when the CC Lobster Fest Committee hosted their annual Miss Lobster Fest Pageant. BritanyYsagurirre, Jessica Tzalam, Jolene Williams, Veida Gomez and Gleselie Chan, each as lovely as a movie star, competed for the […]

Ambergris Today

BTL Provides Solution to Countrywide Internet Problems
BTL informs our DSL and 4G customers that some changes have been made to our DNS servers. In order to activate the new settings on your computer, customers are asked to change the Primary DNS to and Secondary DNS to 4G customers are asked to Airplane mode or power off your handset so as to allow the changes to take effect for improved internet service. Customers are assured that our Technical Teams continue to work to find a permanent solution that will alleviate the ongoing external attacks to our servers. We remain committed to providing the quality service our customers expect and deserve.

Delta Announces Additional Flights and Route to Belize
There is exciting news to report on the international flights to/from Belize. As the tourism numbers continue to grow, the international airlines operating in Belize have recognized the demand for increased airlifts to Belize. Delta has responded by implementing additional flights through the Atlanta route to Belize. Starting mid-December, 2014, Delta will increase its Atlanta-Belize frequencies from 8 flights a week to 12. These additions will represent 596 seats more per week for the high season from this key gateway. The airline will also resume its Saturday non-stop Los Angeles – Belize flight on November 7, which is seven weeks earlier than last year and represents an additional 160 seats per week from the west coast of the USA for November and December.

Miss Costa Rica Contestant Announced for Costa Maya Festival
Raquel Guevara Avila has been chosen to represent her country as Miss Costa Rica Costa Maya at the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant that will be taking place during the International Costa Maya Festival in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize on Thursday, August 7, 2014. At 18 years of age and standing 5’ 6” tall, Raquel Guevara has black eyes and black hair. She is a Systems Engineer Student at La Universidad Latina de Costa Rics; she loves cooking running and spending time with friends and family. Raquel participated in the 2014 Reinas de Costa Rica Pageant was 4th Runner Up winning her the title of Miss Costa Rica Costa Maya.

Filming Starts for Local La Isla Bonita Soap Opera
After some delays, setbacks and basic preparation time, filming of the long anticipated La Isla Bonita Telenovela (Soap Opera) has commenced on Ambergris Caye and the producers and director are eager to present the first pilot episode to the public. Work commenced on Tuesday, July 1, 2014, on location at Victoria House Resort as local actors, who were cast back in September 2013, were called to duty for the first ever locally produced and funded soap opera (telenovela). The project is a continuation of Make-Belize Films and director/producer Matthiew Klinck who brought the popular movie “2012: Kurse A Di Xtabai”, also entirely produced and filmed in Belize.

Free Summer Sailing Camp by San Pedro Sailing Club
Free Summer Sailing Camp Offered At Caribbean Villas Hotel - KIDS-Summer is here, school is out – Would you like to learn how to sail? Eight free “mini” sailing camps for beginning sailors between the ages of 9 and 15 are being offered 14 July to 24 July at the Caribbean Villas Hotel. Students will learn the basics of sailing including two hours of private “in the boat” sailing lessons under the supervision of a nationally recognized and BzSA (Belize Sailing Association) certified sailing instructor and two hours of “on-land” lessons where students will learn knot-tying skills, parts of the boat and general principals of sailing. A certificate will be awarded at the completion of the camp.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

There is a new coffee shop in town! It is called the “Rum n Bean”. South of town, just South of Victoria House on the opposite side of the road. Go into the Giant Enterance of Southwater Caye and follow the signs. It is definately worth the trip!

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks 2 tbsp olive oil pepper 2 garlic cloves, crushed 1 large eggplant, sliced 2 red bell peppers, seeded and sliced 7 oz mixed salad greens 2 x 5 1/2 oz mozzarella cheese, drained and sliced

Freedom of Speech Run
The Legacy Youth Movement is having their Freedom of Speech Run today. It starts here in Cayo, at the Hawksworth Bridge, at 8:00am, and goes to YWAM Banana Bank. Run free!

Benque HoC Summer Art Institute
The Benque House of Culture is having another great Summer Art Institute, and they'll be offering lessons throughout the Summer in the following 4 subjects: Marimba Music, Basketry and Weaving, Marimba Dance, and the Mayan Language and Culture. Thanks, Benque HoC!

Green Iguana Conservation Project Tops Trip Advisor
The Green Iguana Conservation Project is ranked number 1 in San Ignacio for activities on Trip Advisor. They recently received another Certificate of Excellence too. They have a new brochure out, and it really was done well. It's a fantastic educational experience, and is being enjoyed by all ages.

SIPL Summer Camp
The San Ignacio Public Library is having their annual Summer camp, and it starts next Monday, July 7th. Call them at 804-0459 for more information. This year's theme is 'Water = Life.'

Channel 7

Cervantes Sr. Still Missing, Police Not Saying Kidnapped
At news time tonight, 71 year-old Orange Walk business man, Ramon Cervantes is still missing. He was officially reported missing on Tuesday at around 3:30 p.m., and so the official count is at 51 hours since he was last accounted for by his family. Today, police units from both Orange Walk and Belmopan continued combing the town and its surrounding villages, and a number of persons were detained for questioning. It has all been to no avail because there are still no leads as to where the well-known businessman may be. 7News understands that at this time the investigators are considering upgrading their inquiry from a missing person to kidnapping, but no official word has been released on that as yet.

Former Mayor Moya's Brother Killed By Fiber Glass Spike In Chest
Tonight former Mayor Zenaida Moya and her family are mourning the loss of their son and brother. 50-year-old Michael Richard Ysaguirre, a well-known fisherman based at the Conch Shell Bay Market died on Saturday from injuries he sustained a week ago. That's when he was involved in an altercation with a store vendor, who struck him across the chest. A Post mortem found that he died from a heart injury due to Chest Trauma, Blunt Instrument Type. Today Moya told us what her brother relayed to their mother about the violent encounter:... Zenaida Moya - Sister of Deceased "This guy beat my brother. They said about 4 times to the chest with a piece of fiberglass and apparently that's what stick him - a part of it was lodge in his heart actually according to the forensics that was done by Dr. Mario Estradabran. That happened on the Thursday. He manages to get home. My mother tried to do what she could for him. I am not aware if he went to the hospital. I know that my mother was taking care of him and early Saturday morning he passed away and that's pretty much it."

Mother Of Three Says It Wasn't Her for Miguel's Death
Police are also trying to make an arrest in last Saturday's murder of 22-year-old Samuel Steven Miguel. The young man was found dead at dawn on Saturday morning in an open lot across from the former Extra House on Cemetery Road. His head had been smashed with a cement block and he appeared to have been stabbed in the face. The West street resident was found wearing only boxers - and there was evidence on the scene that he may have been having a tryst with a female when he was killed. One female from that area who was held for 48 hours as a suspect came to us today raving mad saying it wasn't her. Aloma Pike told Monica Bodden why she was wrongfully detained:...

Vanessa Champagne Gets Bail
Tonight, 19 year-old transgender Vanessa Champagne Paris, legally known as Perfilio Rodriguez, is out of prison after spending 2 nights on remand because she couldn't meet bail. On Tuesday, she was arraigned on the criminal charge of aggravated assault before Magistrate Herbert Panton, and she was granted bail of $300. The problem is nobody wanted to bail her out, so she spent the 2 nights in a gender neutral holding cell area of the Belize Central Prison. That was done for security reasons, and because this was the first time that the prison had to house somebody like Paris. But, her father came to her rescue today and signed bail for her, and she was released from police custody this morning. The freelance court journalists got an opportunity to speak with her outside of court, and she explained her experience in the prison:

KHMH Says It Is Not A Psychiatric Hospital In Wake Of 22 Year Old's Death
Last night we told you about the drowning of 22-year-old Andrea Herbert. She was found in the Belize River under the Belchina Bridge at 9:00 on Wednesday morning. Police say there are no signs of foul play on her body. But, it's not as cut and dry as that: Andrea Herbert was struggling with mental illness; her family says she suffered from an anxiety disorder and her mother had taken her to the KHMH to be medicated for it. After waiting in the emergency for two hours, she got impatient and walked out of the hospital, never to be seen alive by her family again. Today, the KHMH sent out a less than sympathetic release saying, quote, "Ms. Herbert along with her mother came to our Accident and Emergency Department…and was triaged in a timely manner. The A and E staff were later informed by the patient's mother that she had left…at which point we asked her mother to bring her back." End quote.

Tropic Air Vs. Brett Feinstein to Court
Two weeks ago, we told you about the property dispute on San Pedro - pitting leaseholder Tropic Air Limited against property owner Construction Depot Ltd, specifically Brett Feinstein. Feinstein has the title but Tropic Air had already started work on a multi-million-dollar project on their leased land. Now, that has been halted by an injunction. There is room for compromise, but it won't be easy - as there is very valuable property and quite a bit of money already in the ground, not to mention the corporate egos involved. So, today both sides ended up in court. Tropic Air had no less than three attorneys on its side: Godfrey Smith, Agnes Segura, and Steve Perera while Construction Depot had one: Eamon Courtenay. The Solicitor General representing the Ministry of Natural Resources was also there. They went to discuss the matter in Justice Michelle Arana's Chambers and when they were done - there was no compromise. Here's what they told us starting with Tropic Air owner John Greif:..

Rod Of Correction Movement Getting Its House In Order
Today the Rod Of Correction movement held its second meeting at the Belize National Teacher Union Headquarters. This is one month after their inaugural meeting, and not much has happened to lash the Barrow administration as they had planned to do. And so, today's meeting was lengthy - it went right through lunch and when they came out news spokesperson Mose Hyde addressed the media:... Mose Hyde, Spokesperson, Rod of Correction "A lot of discussions, lots of work, lots of planning, basically trying to sort out our leadership structure and trying to set an agenda. So it was really a lot of discussion - lots of argument, shouting - sorting out stuff is a lot different organizations - trying to figure out how to be effective essentially."

Acquitted In Trial Without Jury
21 year-old Terry Munnings was acquitted today before Justice Troadio Gonzalez of attempted murder in a trial without jury. He was accused of stabbing 25 year-old Donovan Pratt under the armpit. The incident occurred around 6:30 p.m. on April 30, 2011, at a basketball court in the Japan area of Ladyville. The Crown Counsel, Leroy Banner, prosecuted the case against Munnings, and he called the victim as his chief witness. The prosecution's case started to fall apart when Pratt testified that he was not certain who stabbed him.

Hon. Hulse Defends Against Auditor's Allegations
Last week COLA released the leaked auditor general's preliminary report on irregularities at the Immigration Department. On page two, the Auditor General notes that she had to go over Director Maria Marin's head and ask Minister Godwin Hulse to release records and registers. The Auditor General laments that up to March 20th, she still hasn't gotten it. Today we asked Hulse if this lack of disclosure is not indicative of an attempt to cover up - he said it's not, it's just that the office was overwhelmed with four simultaneous investigations:.. Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration "At the time they were in there auditing the ministry was in there, the police was in there, FIU was in there - it's a hell of a situation in the department." Jules Vasquez "It says also that there was communications with you in which you gave an undertaking that any lag in sharing of documents you would personally see to it that it was resolved."

Puerto Azul Project Takes On New Profile
We also asked Minister Hulse to comment on the controversial Puerto Azul project - proposed for northern 2 and Sandbore Cayes - both on the lighthouse reef atoll - home to the famous Blue Hole. The principals behind the project were in Belize two weeks ago - but they never sat down with the media as promised. But they did sit down with the Cabinet subcommittee on investment and Chairman Hulse told us what they had to say:.. Hon. Godwin Hulse, Chair - Cabinet Investment Sbcmte "We have met for 3 hours and it was the full team, the full invest committee that met with them. We had about 20 people in the room and it was an interesting presentation. Where they are - they have pitched to the government what they intend to do. And as I understand it from them they want to create an event facility…one of those facilities which will bring the Emmy Awards and those kinds of fancy things that happen around the world where people have no problem paying fifty thousand or one hundred thousand dollars to come.

Norwegian Won't Be Injuncted, Hulse says
And the final major tourism project that's on deck is the Stake Bank Development off Belize City. It's a major development which would see as many as four cruise ships pull up at an Island berthing facility just off Belize City. That would be connected to the city with a causeway. It's been approved by parliament, but the project hasn't gotten the full green light yet. It's still being held on yellow because it could expose the government to liability by taking the business away from the Fort Street Tourism Village. Hulse says they'll be meeting to discuss it tomorrow:.. Hon. Godwin Hulse, Chair - Cabinet Investment Sbcmte "The meeting tomorrow at 10am with the committee to discuss all of them including Stake Bank. The Stake Bank issue s very simple though, Mr. Feinstein project is a good one and should move ahead but there is an agreement government signed with FSTV which included to a certain extent the Stake Bank project which government is saying to please ask FSTV to indemnify the government against any claims etc., because as you know they make money. The tenders docked there, there is the fee."

Stake Bank Project Stalled By Indemnity Issue
And the final major tourism project that's on deck is the Stake Bank Development off Belize City. It's a major development which would see as many as four cruise ships pull up at an Island berthing facility just off Belize City. That would be connected to the city with a causeway. It's been approved by parliament, but the project hasn't gotten the full green light yet. It's still being held on yellow because it could expose the government to liability by taking the business away from the Fort Street Tourism Village. Hulse says they'll be meeting to discuss it tomorrow:.. Hon. Godwin Hulse, Chair - Cabinet Investment Sbcmte "The meeting tomorrow at 10am with the committee to discuss all of them including Stake Bank. The Stake Bank issue s very simple though, Mr. Feinstein project is a good one and should move ahead but there is an agreement government signed with FSTV which included to a certain extent the Stake Bank project which government is saying to please ask FSTV to indemnify the government against any claims etc., because as you know they make money. The tenders docked there, there is the fee."

Supreme court Says No To Gary Sewell
Today in Supreme Court Justice's Michelle Arana's courtroom, Gary Sewell's most recent challenge of his extradition was dashed. Justice Arana ruled against his attorney Arthur Saldivar who had contended that the documents provided by the US authorities were insufficient to force an extradition. Justice Arana did not agree, but Outside the court, Saldivar said he will still soldier on and seek an appeal:.. Jules Vasquez "Sir, you must be disappointed at the outcome, but are you surprised?" Arthur Saldivar, Attorney for Gary Sewell "No, I'm not really surprised, in the sense that it's a fifty-fifty proposition in every instance and I expect at a certain point our position will be vindicated and it's just a part of the process."

US Fugitive Caught In Belize
Press reports of the US say that a fugitive wanted for murder in New York was caught earlier this week in Belize after being on the run for 9 years. 39 year-old US National Michael Young was extradited to the US after he was caught hiding out in Belize. Reports say that the authorities caught up to him after he tried to apply for a passport at the US Embassy in Belmopan. When his name came up, he was flagged, and then arrested by Belizean authorities who deported him to Atlanta for a parole violation. They notified the US Marshals who picked him up and escorted him to New York, where he was criminally charged with murder in the second degree today. He's accused of killing a 47 year-old female in Staten Island on December 14, 2005. NYPD investigators say that he strangled her to death. He then wrapped her naked body in blankets and sheets before stuffing her in a shipping barrel and dumping her.

Hon. Hulse Will Settle Libel Suit With Belize Times
Today, the media interviewed Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse for 40 minutes outside the Chief Justice's Courtroom at the Supreme Court. Most of the questions were about Immigration matters, but he was there was for a libel suit he's pursuing against the Belize Times. The defendant is Times Editor Alberto Vellos and his attorney Kareem Musa while Hulse has retained Michael Young. Today in the Chief Justice's Chambers, both sides agreed to an undisclosed settlement:.. Hon. Godwin Hulse "We are working on trying to have a settlement, but on the 10th July at 10am there will be an open court statement. In the hurly burly of politics we respect the fact that there is going to be this mudslinging back and forth. I don't necessarily agree with it, but I understand it. It comes a point where you have to be careful and I think in this case that point was crossed and so I personally need to make sure that despite what the opposition or anybody may say that the reputation I have work so hard to maintain, which to this point is impeccable."

Ras Pitta For Re-election
In December of last year the Christian Workers Union had a long delayed election for a new executive. The stevedores are the ones who put public pressure to force that election - but when the executive was assembled they didn't have a place on it. Deon Pitta who ran as a trustee was not elected because of a tied vote. So another election must now be held this Saturday and he discussed it with us:.. Deon "Ras" Pitta, CWU Trustee Nominee "Well it's just me and my opponent, we were tie on the 14th of December. But the position is beautiful and my position is that only me and the trustee so we will see how serious the stevedores about putting me there. It's there testament now; it is not a crowd and they have to pay attention more to their business. So putting me there and encouraging the rest of members to putting me there, we will run CWU the right way."

14 For Commonwealth Games
The 2014 Commonwealth Games is a little over 3 weeks away, and today, the National Olympic Committee announced the athletes who will represent Belize in Glasgow, Scotland. Belize will compete in 5 of the events at the games, and will be represented by Katy Sealy in the Heptathlon. Kaina Martinez will run the 100-meter and 200-meter races in the female category. In the male category of the sprints, Mark Anderson will be the representative. Brandon Jones In the male triple and long jumps, while Kenneth Medwood compete in the 400-meter hurdle. In Cycling, Giovanni Lovell and Joel Borland will participate in the road and time trial events, while Gregory Lovell and Ron Vasquez will compete in the road discipline.

Channel 5

2 days since the mysterious disappearance of Ramon Cervantes Sr.
Orange Walk businessman Ramon Cervantes Sr. has been missing for over forty-eight hours. Cervantes was last seen as he headed to his farm on the San Roman Road early Tuesday [...]

Andrea Herbert’s suicide – could it have been prevented?
On Wednesday morning, the lifeless body of Andrea Herbert was retrieved from the Haulover Creek near the BelChina Bridge, amid speculation that she may have been killed and dumped into [...]

Tropic Air seeks settlement in land dispute
Tropic Air and the Construction Depot, one of the Benny’s Group of Companies, will seek a settlement after a multi-million dollar land dispute. That dispute arises from a human error [...]

Puerto Azul developers meet with government to chart the way forward
This morning, Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse was in court for a libel suit he brought against the Belize Times. That matter will not go to full hearing as attorneys [...]

Work started on Harvest Caye for Norwegian Cruise Line Project
The Puerto Azul project is still months away from serious consideration, according to Hulse. But the Norwegian Cruise Line Project is a definite go. In fact, work has already started [...]

Gary Seawell returns to court and loses his fight for stay of execution
Gary Sewell has been fighting extradition to the US since 2010, and after a decision handed down by Justice Michelle Arana today, he will need to take that fight to [...]

Hulse maintains that Auditor General simply had to ask for help in investigation
The interim Auditor-General’s report was submitted almost four months ago and there is no sign of the final report which, hopefully, will be made privy to the public. Now we [...]

Hulse says he has confidence in Director of Immigration, Maria Marin
Minister Hulse also totally disregards some very serious criticism levied at his Director of Immigration Maria Marin. And even more than just criticism, the Auditor-General says that Marin can actually [...]

Zenaida Moya says her brother was murdered
Former Belize City Mayor Zenaida Moya and her family are grieving the death of her brother whom she believes was viciously attacked a week ago near the Conch Shell Bay [...]

Travis Navarro to stand trial for the murder of Dennis Gonguez Jr.
Dennis Rajiv Gonguez Junior, the son of the Chief Meteorologist met his untimely death on April twenty-ninth 2013 when he was executed in front of Brown Sugar Marketplace on North [...]

Derrick Munnings acquitted of the 2011 attempted murder of Donovan Pratt
While Navarro has been committed to stand trial in the Supreme Court, Derrick Munnings has been acquitted of an attempted murder charge. The twenty-one year old was accused of the [...]

Transgender woman, Vanessa Champagne, bailed
After two nights in lock down at the Belize Central Prison, transgender woman, Vanessa Champagne Paris is finally out on bail. Today, Vanessa, who’s birth name is Perfilio Rodriquez, was [...]

Rod of Correction meets to tackle national issues
The Rod of Correction met at the offices of the Belize National Teachers Union today to determine the leadership structure of the organization and to take a position on three [...]

CWU to hold elections for 3rd trustee of the Executive
It’s been seven and a half months since the executive of the Christian Workers Union has been reconstituted with Audrey Matura-Shepherd as its President. Former president, Antonio Gonzalez and his [...]

Belize Camping Experience 2014
Almost twenty acres of rice have been cultivated in the north by children from Belize City who are participating in the annual Harvest for Kids initiative.  In collaboration with Circle [...]


From Champagne to Perfilio
When 19 year old Perfilio Rodriguez, aka “Champagne Paris”, was brought from prison to court today to sign for his bail it was as if he was a different person. Rodriguez was without the wig he wore when he was arraigned on Monday. And all those padding that made it appear as if he had breasts, big buttocks and wide hips were gone. He said that while he was at Belize Central Prison the officers made fun of him and he was put in a cell by himself. He revealed that he has not had a sex change but plans to get one soon. On Tuesday Rodriguez was charged with aggravated assault after it was alleged he put a knife to the throat of a woman. The incident occurred June 29. According to the complainant, she and Rodriguez had a misunderstanding and he put a knife to her throat. Today Rodriguez said he cannot go back to the house he was staying because if he does he will violate one of the conditions of his bail. His next court date is August 29.

Victim’s Testimony Blurred; Accused Walks
Twenty-one year old Terry Munnings, charged with the attempted murder of 25 year old Donovan Pratt, was acquitted of the charge today by Justice John Gonzalez in a trial without jury. Pratt was stabbed under his left armpit during a basketball game at a basketball court in the Japan area of Ladyville. The incident occurred around 6:30 p.m. on April 30, 2011. The Crown, represented by Crown Counsel Leroy Banner, “threw in the towel” and offered no further evidence after the complainant, Pratt, testified that he is not certain who stabbed him. Pratt said that he believes that the person who stabbed was the person who was standing in front of him.

Herbert’s Death: Hospital Says It Doesn’t Have Psychiatric Services
In our newscast on Wednesday we reported the story of 22-year-old Andrea Herbert whose body was retrieved from the Haulover Creek. In speaking with the media, members of Herbert’s family said the young woman who had mental issues, had gone to the KHMH for treatment however because the matter was not dealt with in a timely fashion, she left. Today the KHMH issued a release in which it says it is saddened by Herbert’s death. It goes on to say Herbert and her mother did seek attention at the institution and were dealt with in a timely manner. It goes on to say that while awaiting further attention, Herbert’s mother informed the staff that her daughter had left and was advised to bring her back. The KHMH says it does not have a psychiatric service and normally only manages acute psychiatric emergencies which are then referred to the Cleopatra White and Port Loyola Clinics.

Cordel’s Endorsement For Lake-I Planned For July
Today PUP Leader Francis Fonseca also spoke of the party’s position on Lake Independence and the Albert Divisions. HON. FRANCIS FONSECA “Today our Lake Independence endorsement of Cordel Hyde has simply been put off for personal reasons. We were to have it around the same time that there was the family tragedy involving Cordel’s nephew and so they asked for some time to put it off. I think my last discussion with him indicated that he wanted to have it sometime in July so I expect that to be done by the end of this month. Albert, we are taking our time with Albert. We still have not vetted all the candidates that have applied and concluded that process so our goal is to have everything in place, all 31 candidates by the end of August. I think Albert will likely be in August rather than July.”

Opposition Leader Speaks On The Cal Brothers
Apart from Won Hong Kim, the Interim Auditor General’s Report points out that Elvin Penner signed nationality certificates for five other different persons who are believed not to have been in the country at the time. The report goes on to name several recommenders who signed alleging to know the person. One of the recommenders was Martin Cal. The report states that Cal signed a recommendation for one Simon Troung stating that he knew Troung for one year. The Auditor General found that Martin Cal committed a prosecutable offense by signing the recommender form. PUP Leader Francis Fonseca said that it was his opinion to remove Cal from running in the next municipal elections on behalf of the PUP for the Belmopan City Slate.

Policeman Imprisoned Following Domestic Disturbance
Twenty-nine year old Police Constable Ronald Sutherland, was given custodial sentences after he was found guilty of three offences today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Sutherland was sentenced to two years for aggravated assault, two years for wounding and two months for using threatening words. Chief Magistrate Smith stipulated that the sentences are to run concurrently, so Sutherland will only serve two years. Sutherland was charged on September 20, 2013 after his ex-common-law wife reported that he attacked her with a machete, threatened her and caused a wound to her.

‘Big Cover Up at Immigration’ – Says Opposition Leader
The interim Auditor General Report was leaked to COLA earlier in June and two weeks after, it was leaked to the media. The reports note that interviews were done with high ranking officers at the Immigration and Nationality Department including Director of Immigration Maria Marin. One of the key information shared in the Auditor General’s Report was that the auditing team quote, “team encountered challenges regarding lack of cooperation….the Director Immigration, Mrs Maria Marin, has demonstrated blatant disrespect for my office” end of quote. Opposition Leader, Francis Fonseca, says that it’s all a cover up. FRANCIS FONSECA “At the heart of the report is a very clear allegation, in my view, that there is an ongoing cover up that is taking place at the Department of Immigration; that there is obstruction taking place at the Department of Immigration. I think that that is what is most important in the report. The report, as you know, states at the very onset that the Auditor General states that the Director of Immigration herself, Mrs. Maria Marin, has not been cooperative and uses stronger language than that.

Usher Charged With Theft, Saying He Mistakenly Took Bicycle
23-year-old, Michael Usher, a construction worker of a Pinks Alley address was charged with the theft of a bicycle and handling stolen goods when he appeared today before Magistrate Herbert Panton. Usher pled not guilty to the charge. He was offered a bail of $200 and his case was adjourned until August 28. Usher said that he did not steal the bicycle. According to him, on Monday, June 30, he went to Holy Redeemer Credit Union to withdraw money to fix his teeth and he parked a beach cruiser bicycle he borrowed from a friend, by the security booth. He said when he came out of the credit union he jumped on the wrong bicycle and rode off. He said when he went to his friend to return the bicycle he realized that it was the wrong bicycle. He said that when he was taking the bicycle back to the credit union, he was stopped by the police and taken into custody and charged.

Taxi Driver Remanded For Murder
37-year-old, Frank Brown, a taxi driver, was charged with attempted murder when he appeared today before Magistrate Herbert Panton. Brown was also charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. The charges are in connection with an incident that occurred on Monday, June 30, in which 31 year old Albert Castro was shot 6 times in his head while he was on Watermelon Street. According to reports, Castro is currently on life support at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Brown was remanded into custody until August 19.

Utilities Commission Approves Rate Decrease
On April 1, 2014 the Belize Electricity Limited had submitted a proposed decrease in rates to the Public Utilities Commission. As per procedure, the PUC reviewed various factors to ensure that such a proposal submitted by the utility company would prove feasible including the company’s overhead expenses, its returns, cost of power, depreciation, taxes and license fees. Initially what BEL had proposed was a decrease from forty four point six-five cents (44.65 cents) per kilowatt hour to forty-three cents (43 cents) per kilowatt hour. However, in a press conference held in early May, the Chairman of the PUC, John Avery told the media that the commission’s decision was to have the rate decreased to forty three point four–seven cents (43.47 cents) per kilowatt hour which is a tad bit higher than what BEL had proposed.

Body of Mentally Challenged Woman Pulled From Creek
At exactly 9:45am, the body of 22 year old Andrea Herbert was pulled out of the Haulover Creek. A throng of spectators gathered on the Belchina Bridge looking at the grisly discovery which was made by a pair of elderly men who were crossing the bridge. “ PASSER-BY “My wife brought my attention to two old men passing the bridge. She and I saw them constantly pointing at the river and that alarmed us. When I got to the scene, I saw a dead body floating in the river.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “Herbert, who is said to suffer mental problems and General Anxiety Disorder, was at the KHMH last night seeking assistance. The nurses there took too long to attend to her and so she left the hospital. Upon noticing her disappearance, her family assembled a search party and went looking for her. The family also attempted to make a missing person report at the Mahogany Police Sub Precinct but they were told that they had to wait 24 hours for police to act.”

Archaeology in 3D
‘3D Underwater Maya’ is the name of a project being carried out by archaeologists in southern Belize. Here are the details of that project presented by our correspondent, Paul Mahung. PAUL MAHUNG REPORTING “Two archaeologists were engaged in work in connection with an archeological project entitled ”3D underwater Maya in the Toledo District”. One of the archaeologists is from Louisiana State University College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dr. Heather Makilow.” DR. HEATHER MAKILOW “We are really excited; we have been doing archaeology under water at Payne’s Creek National Park since our 2004 discovery of the one and only ancient Maya wooden paddle now on display at the Museum of Belize with the replica here in Punta Gorda. What we’re doing and what we just finished doing is three weeks of intensive scanning using 3-D scanners to image the artifacts so that we can present them as three dimensional objects and we can print them back at LSU and we can put on more exhibits. What we are trying to do is change archaeology and change the way we view things. The Maya lived in the 3-D world like we do but archaeologists present things in two dimensions and we want to preserve things in three dimensions whether that be on a computer screen or as a 3-D project. One of my former PhD students, now a graduate, Doctor Corey Sill is now Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Tyler and she is part of the ongoing project.”

Prominent Businessman Goes Missing; Family Says Abduction
Late Tuesday evening, Love News began receiving reports of a possible kidnapping that occurred in Orange Walk Town earlier in the day. Today, police from that municipality has confirmed that well known businessman has gone missing. We join Arturo Cantun for more on this story. ARTURO CANTUN REPORTING “An intense investigation is being carried out by police along with the Cervantes family of Orange Walk as they try to piece together clues that might lead them to locate well known businessman, 71-year-old, Ramon Cervantes Sr. Cervantes was reported missing by his relatives yesterday after he failed to come home for lunch from his farm. We spoke with his son Ramon Cervantes Jr., who told us his dad goes to his cane field on a daily basis but on this occasion he did not come back; one of his sisters called him and detected that something was wrong.”

Suspected Murderer Found in Belize
In 2005, a Polish woman was murdered in an alley on Coney Island Avenue on Staten Island, USA…, you may be wondering how that is related to a small country like ours but authorities in that area now have in their custody the suspect…..a 39-year-old man of Brooklyn, New York, who was found in Belize last week. According to US authorities, the suspect, Michael Young was busted when he went into the US Embassy in Belmopan to apply for a passport.

Patrick JonesPJ

The Rod of Correction reloads
Today there was a strategy meeting of the Rod of Correction (ROC), the recently formed umbrella pressure group consisting of the trade unions, COLA, BGYEA, SATIIM, the Pharmacists’ Association, the Council of Churches and Evangelical Association, among others. It is its infancy as a movement and already has […]

San Pedro landowners try to settle dispute
The San Pedro-based airline Tropic Air, has had to halt a $6 million project for an airplane maintenance complex near the municipal airstrip because of a dispute over who owns the land on which the unfinished building is located. Tropic Air has a lease issued since 2008 for […]

Gary Seawell faces extradition again
Earlier this year Justice Michelle Arana heard arguments from attorney Arthur Saldivar on behalf of Gary Seawell, who is wanted by U.S. authorities in the state of Ohio, USA. Allegations are that Gary and brothers Mark and Duane Seawell, masterminded a large-scale cocaine moving operation between Belize and […]

Porfilio Rodriguez meets bail
Today 19 year old Porfilio Rodriguez, a self-identified transgender accused of aggravated assault, met bail of $300 arranged by his father after spending the last two days at the Central Prison. Rodriguez, who also goes by the name Vanessa Champagne Paris, is accused of putting a knife to […]

Ladyville man beats attempted murder charge
Justice Troadio Gonzalez this afternoon set free 21 year old Terry Munnings of Ladyville, Belize District, after finding that he did not have a case to answer on a charge of attempted murder. Munnings was accused of the April 2011 stabbing of 25 year old Donovan Pratt at […]

Helicopter brought in to help in search for Ramon Cervantes, Sr.
The search for Orange walk businessman Ramon Cervantes, Sr has intensified and the case has now been upgraded from missing person to kidnapping. The search has now broadened to include air reconnaissance with the addition of a helicopter. The search for Cervantes has now been expanded to […]

Hundreds of boys and girls ready for elementary school in Toledo
When school reopens for the new academic year at the end of next month, nineteen boys and girls from San Marcos village, Toledo will be transitioning to elementary school. Graduation exercise was held in the village recently marking the completion of a year of PreSchool learning for the […]

Armed robbery in Unitedville village
Police in Cayo are investigating an armed robbery in Unitedville village. According to authorities the proprietor, his wife and an employee were held up by two men of Creole decent on Wednesday morning. Police say that just after 11 am, the two men, one of them brandishing […]

Punta Gorda market under renovation
The Punta Gorda market is undergoing major renovations. The upgrading of the facility is being undertaken with funding from the European Union in collaboration with the PG Town Council. Mayor Anthony Fuentes says the renovation and upgrading is expected to take about a year to complete, and in […]

Search underway for Orange Walk businessman
There is a search underway in Orange Walk for businessman Ramon Cervantes, Senior. Cervantes, who was at one time a member of the Senate, reportedly went to his cane field around 2 pm on Tuesday and has not returned and his family has not heard from him […]

Good weather continues into the weekend
The spate of good weather we have been experiencing will continue into the second half of the week. The general forecast for Belize and her coastal waters is for mosty sunny skies today. Tonight will be partly cloudy. Winds over the open sea and along the coast […]


Corozal to Caye Caulker
I traveled from Corozal to Caye Caulker for the annual Lobster Fest on Saturday, June 28. Maya Air was running a special so we hopped aboard. The plane was full of folks who were also going via plane to San Pedro…the to the water taxi to Caye Caulker. Headed out in search of lobster and we weren’t disappointed! We found grilled lobster, steamed lobster, lobster chowder, lobster omelets , lobster kebobs. There were signs for lobster sandwiches, lobster tacos, lobster pizza and many other culinary delights!

A One Night Stay in Placencia, At the Beautiful Laru Beya Resort
A beautiful night’s stay at Laru Beya (which means “on the beach” in the Garifuna language) – a lovely spot to explore Placencia. Set just far enough away from the Lobster-bustling village on a beautiful open beach, Laru Beya was a lazy 20 minute bike ride away from all the action (or an even shorter taxi ride or golf cart put away). A bike ride (from Laru Beya’s fleet) where you can stop at lots of gorgeous resorts like like my buddy, Francis Ford Coppola’s Turtle Inn for a cocktail…

Surf and Turf Vacations: Why Belize is in the News!
This week the online editions of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Huffington Post featured articles singing praises about Belizean Surf and Turf holidays. And no wonder. As the Huff Post pointed out in “Why Belize Is The Perfect Surf-And-Turf Vacation”, and the Star Tribune in “Belize serves up surf and turf vacation of Maya Ruins and mind-boggling sea life”, Belize is unique in being able to offer discriminating travellers the chance to explore ancient Maya temples and cities one day and enjoy some of the world’s best diving, snorkelling and swimming in pristine Caribbean waters the next.

Belize Love Is In The Air: Belize’s First Telenovela and Frisky Land Crabs
Yesterday was Day 3 of the filming of “Isla Bonita Telenovela” – the very first Belizean made TV series filmed in San Pedro. (You can check out one of the casting calls I attended last September when the soap opera was announced.) And as the word telenovela suggests, there seems to be lots of drama, lots of red lipstick, broken hearts and tears and plenty of screaming of “Ay Dios Mio”. Day Three was the wedding scene and here’s what I saw at the Roman Catholic church.

Fourth of July Celebrations: Independence Cheers from Belize!
All of us here at Chaa Creek are wishing our many friends to the north a very happy Independence Day. As we’ve mentioned several times here, Belize and the United States have enjoyed a long and friendly relationship based on mutual respect. Having both started out as British colonies (and both enjoying excellent relations with Great Britain), we share a common language, as well as having Spanish as a second language. And ties between our two countries have become closer than ever in recent years. The US is home to the largest Belizean population outside of Belize, and each year more Americans are investing in and moving to Belize to enjoy the tranquil lifestyle, wonderful climate and generous retirement incentives. With a currency pegged to the US dollar, close proximity and an increasing number of direct flights from major US airports, it’s no wonder that Belize is becoming a favoured vacation and lifestyle destination for so many Americans.

Here is a list of the LICENSED veterinarians for Belize. Please take your pets where there is a licensed veterinarian. Laws are in place for a reason Jane Crawford Ludwig Palacio Bertie Chimilio Miguel Depaz Ruperto Gongora Sheila Schmeling Ivor Burns Miguel Figueroa Francis Castillo Jorge Orozco Marta Mena Homero Novelo Henry Canton Edwardo Tesecum Jose Hernandez Floyd Bennett Isabelle Durand Orlando Baptist Laurie Droke Alfric Charles Robert Zwerner Mia Canton

International Sourcesizz

World Court To Settle Guatemala, Belize 200-year-old Boundary Dispute
Guatemala and Belize signed an accord agreeing to let their territorial dispute, which is nearly two centuries old, be settled in the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Foreign Ministers Roger Rodas of Guatemala and Wilfred Elrington of Belize signed the pact at the Washington headquarters of the Organization of American States. The signing of the accord comes after the recommendation made last year by OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza that the parties turn to the United Nation's top judicial entity after the negotiations the two countries restarted in 2005 failed to bear fruit. The OAS has monitored the dialogue process between the two countries since 2000, when they began making efforts to work out the controversy, which dates from 1821 when Guatemala gained independence from Spain and Britain was occupying what is today Belize.

Hit by slime, Caribbean corals could vanish in two decades
Most coral reefs in the Caribbean could vanish in the next two decades, hit by the loss of fish and sea urchins that eat a slime of coral-smothering algae, a U.N.-backed study said on Wednesday. The review, the most comprehensive to date of Caribbean reefs that are vital tourist attractions for many island nations, said climate change had played only a minor role in the reefs' demise, despite past speculation it was a main cause. "With only about one-sixth of the original coral cover left, most Caribbean coral reefs may disappear in the next 20 years, primarily due to the loss of grazers in the region," according to the study by 90 coral experts. Bright-colored parrotfish and sea urchins are the two main grazers on algae - microscopic plants that can choke polyps, the tiny animals that build reefs with their stony skeletons.

From despair to repair: Dramatic decline of Caribbean corals can be reversed
With only about one-sixth of the original coral cover left, most Caribbean coral reefs may disappear in the next 20 years, primarily due to the loss of grazers in the region, according to the latest report by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The report, Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012, is the most detailed and comprehensive study of its kind published to date – the result of the work of 90 experts over the course of three years. It contains the analysis of more than 35,000 surveys conducted at 90 Caribbean locations since 1970, including studies of corals, seaweeds, grazing sea urchins and fish. The results show that the Caribbean corals have declined by more than 50% since the 1970s. But according to the authors, restoring parrotfish populations and improving other management strategies, such as protection from overfishing and excessive coastal pollution, could help the reefs recover and make them more resilient to future climate change impacts.

Cousteau grandson breaks underwater record
The grandson of the French oceanographer, Jacques Cousteau, has broken the world record for time spent living underwater. Fabien Cousteau lasted 31 days in an underwater laboratory.

Creating An Income On A Beach In Belize
Chicago natives Brad and Christine Schofield have always loved the beach and the water. As their children were growing up, family vacations always seemed to be centered on the sand and sea. As time marched on, their dream to own an inn on the beach headed toward reality. Brad (56) was a manager in the restaurant industry, and most recently general manager of a Chicago environmental company that processes waste cooking oil for the restaurant and hotel industries. Chris (53) owned her own interior design and room renovation business. Growing tired of the brutal Chicago weather and the high cost of living, they started searching the Internet for properties that met their criteria—great weather year around…affordable cost of living…friendly people…and, of course, an attractive destination market for tourists.

Jungle ruins and sea life await in tiny Belize
The same turquoise waters that lure tourists to Caribbean destinations slosh around Belize's island chain. But tiny Belize has a major advantage in reeling in vacationers — spectacular Mayan ruins tucked away in lush jungle. The nation is home to more prehistoric buildings than modern-day ones, according to its Institute of Archaeology. That ancient appeal draws in backpackers eager for adventure, as well as divers ready to gawk at its bustling reefs or plunge into its famed Blue Hole. Belize has all the ingredients for a surf-and-turf vacation — at least for those who don't mind the odd giant cockroach or neon green frog that may invade their jungle dwell-ings.

Favorite Belize shop ‘similar to Lowe’s grocery’
Bill and Ginny Davenport recently moved from Clovis to Belize in Central America in search of better health. They’ve written a letter about their new lives and asked it be shared with their old hometown. This is part three of four: Belmopan is the capital of Belize and we have 11 of the 45 embassies here. The capital has only about 15,000 residents out of the 350,000 population in the country. Most of the employed are working in the embassies or for the government offices, which most are just small buildings, not large elaborate ones. Quite a shock to us. There is no downtown but just a bunch of buildings with little shops that carry most anything you want. In fact, we have a large store called “The Mall.” It is our favorite to shop in as it is similar to Lowe’s grocery but also carries packaged flour, rice, beans of all kinds, linens, hardware, appliances, home furnishings (lamps, knickknacks, etc.) makeup, shoes for all the family and a liquor store. It’s a one-stop store.

A Caribbean Caper in beautiful Belize
“Hey man, be happy,” the locals are likely to call out when you first arrive on Caye Caulker, a tiny island in the Belize Caribbean. Situated on a reef of some 200 cayes, and blessed with a fascinating mix of Rastafarian, Garifuna and Creole culture, Caye Caulker offers a Caribbean experience at its most laid-back and affordable best. Only seven kilometres long and 600 metres at its widest point, you can stroll the town in under ten minutes, walking the sandy lanes where hibiscus and bougainvillea bloom. Once the hangout of pirates, Caye Caulker’s main industries today are lobster-fishing and its own special brand of locally-run tourism. It’s a typical Monday morning on Caye Caulker. Frigate birds wheel in lazy circles above a shore lined with coconut palms. Down the colourful main street of pink, blue and white clapboard shop fronts, strides a bare-chested Jimmy Brown, dreads hanging to his waist, carrying a milk crate of vegetables and lobster tails. He turns right on to a weathered jetty that juts out into the bluest of seas. Casually striding across to his boat ‘Faith’, he greets his waiting group of travellers exclaiming, “It’s going to be heaven out on the reef today.” Excitement and anticipation is on everyone’s face. We are off for a day’s sailing and snorkelling on a reef only second in size to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Gas, cemetery both high in Belize
Bill and Ginny Davenport recently moved from Clovis to Belize in Central America in search of better health. They’ve written a letter about their new lives and asked it be shared with their old hometown. This is part four of four: Almost every household owns a machete. They use them for cutting trees and brush to clear land to their farms. If needed, they can also be used for protection. Even small children know how to use them. As for gas, well that is different. They have a person at every pump and they pump it for you. They do not have the pay-at-pump option and it is a safeguard so no one drives off without paying. You order a fillup, $50 or $100 worth of gas. It cost $11.49 a gallon, which is approximately $5.74 a gallon in American dollars. Regarding security, they have a security person at every facility, no matter how small. If a larger one, a security guard is at every door and the banks always have two persons.

Jimmie & Sook’s expands to Central America
Popular Cambridge restaurant now operating new second location on an island off the coast of Belize. The story of how a popular Eastern Shore restaurant ended up opening a second location on a far-off island in Central America starts in nearby Seaford and Easton. That’s where the husband-and-wife team of Amanda Bramble and Tim Wright first started looking for a place to launch a second Jimmie & Sook’s Raw Bar and Grill. Ms. Bramble opened the initial restaurant five years ago in downtown Cambridge, and it was a rousing success right out of the gate. Ms. Bramble even landed on national television in 2010, being hailed by NBC newsman Tom Brokaw as a model for a new breed of entrepreneurs in the 21st century. The game-changer came when a friend of a friend who suggested they take a look at San Pedro, Belize. With a population of 13,000, it’s the biggest town on Ambergris Caye (pronounced am-BUR-gris KEY), an island in the Caribbean that’s 2.5 miles long and one mile wide. “The clincher for me came when Tim and I were in a kayak out over the reef, and there were all these blue crabs swimming right under the kayak,” Ms. Bramble says. “They looked almost exactly like our crabs, and that to me was just a sign from the crab gods.” As she got to know San Pedro, Ms. Bramble noted that the town was about the same size as Cambridge and had a similar mix of “come here” ex-pats and “from here” locals. Tourism is the top industry on Ambergris Caye today, but there are still plenty of local families who follow the age-old fishing traditions of the island.


Video: From despair to repair, 9min.
With only about one-sixth of the original coral cover left, most Caribbean coral reefs may disappear in the next 20 years, primarily due to the loss of grazers in the region, according to the latest report by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). But according to the authors, restoring parrotfish populations and improving other management strategies, such as protection from overfishing and excessive coastal pollution, could help the reefs recover and make them more resilient to future climate change impacts. This video, featuring the report's lead author Jeremy Jackson explains the implications of the report

Video: Don't Stop Belize'n, 4min.
"Don't Stop Belize'n" music video. Inspired by "Don't Sop Believin'" by Journey and our experience in Belize. This video shows many of the wonderful times we had in this great country. Through this video, we hope to show others what we saw and inspire them to give to a place called the Good Shepherd Clinic. Located in Succotz, Belize, this clinic is run by Nurse Juan who is a true inspiration and works very hard every day to see every patient, regardless of if the patient is able to pay for the service. All proceeds that are donated will go to this clinic and help Nurse Juan continue her great work for the people of Belize. Please consider donating. Donations can be made online at this website: Any amount helps and will support a wonderful place.

Video: Harmonyville, 2min.
Developing People, Developing Belize: A GOVERNMENT FOR ALL!

Video: Consulate of Belize Sends Greetings to US Ambassador to Belize, 3min.
Consulate of Belize Roland Yorke shout out to US Ambassador

Video: 2,334 Photographs from Central and South America, 5min.
Just over a year ago my girlfriend and I set off on what was to be an amazing three months of travelling throughout Central and South America. Together we created a film to ensure that we never forget the fantastic places we visited, the wonderful friends we made and the great times we had. Every frame in our film is a photograph taken on a 550D Canon camera and then (painstakingly) edited together on to an 8 frame per second timeline. The music bed is 'Milky Chance - Down by the River (FlicFlac Edit)' Hope you enjoy.

Video: Black Hole Drop Rappelling Adventure, Caves Branch, Belize, 4min.
The Black Hole Drop adventure tour of Belize has you hiking, rappelling down the mouth of a sink hole, climbing boulders, ladders and more hiking in one of the most thrilling tours in the country.

Video: Belize, 8min.
Hosszú naplemente Tobacco Caye kis szigeten.

Video: Hair Braiding in Belize, 8min.

Video: Belize 2014 - YASM, 4min.

Video: Lions of Southern Belize: Bro. Leonides Sanchez & The Special Truth!, 10min.
The documentary features the work of the Southern Belizean Garifuna activist Brother Leonides Sanchez and his struggle for food security in his hometown of Punta Gorda in the southern district of Toledo in Belize. Sanchez, a passionate farmer has worked relentlessly to bring forth agricultural consciousness to black Belizeans in Belize, and has fostered years of activism for the implementation of a sense of consciousness among grassroots Beliizeans and the Garinagu people in Belize he calls The Special Truth.

July 2, 2014

This news synopsis will be a bit more condensed than usual for the next several days due to time constraints.


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Costa Maya Festival® presents Miss Costa Rica!!
Hailing from the land of Pura Vida, Raquel Guevara Avila is proud to represent her beloved Costa Rica at the International Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant to be held on August 7th.

San Pedro Police host Appreciation Ceremony for Social Security
On Thursday, June 26th, the San Pedro Police Department held an Appreciation Ceremony in honor of The Belize Social Security Board (SSB). The ceremony was in acknowledgement of donation of two Honda Motorbikes and one power wash system by SSB to the police department. The event commenced at 3PM with the singing of the Belize […]

San Pedro Dance Academy dancers receive training through exchange program
A group of seven members from The Dance Factory in Wisconsin, USA were on Ambergris Caye for an exchange dance program with the San Pedro Dance Academy. From June 23rd to the 28th the group was involved in an intensive summer dance training. After a productive week, the participants showcased their acquired skills at the […]

Ambergris Today

Brush Fire Threatened San Pablo Neighborhood
A small brush fire that was ignited around 7:30p.m. in the San Pablo Area on Monday, June 30, 2014, did not seem to be a threat at first, but by the time the San Pedro Fire Department arrived and set up their equipment, residents in the area had grown alarmed. The brush fire started in an empty lot adjacent to the Ambergris Stadium and behind a few homes at the entrance of the San Pablo Area. At first it did not seem to pose any threat to nearby buildings but after a few minutes the fire grew bigger and started to alarm the neighborhood residents. The fire truck arrived about 30 minutes after the call was made to the department, by that time the fire had grown substantially.

Britany Ysaguirre Crowned Miss Lobster Fest Caye Caulker
In a highly contested pageant, five beautiful ladies native of Caye Caulker competed for the title of Miss Lobster Fest at the opening of the island’s Lobster Festival that took over the weekend. The pageant was held on Friday evening, June 27, 2014, in which Miss Lobster Fest 2013 Sherylee Dawson invited the large gathering under the main festival tent to sit back and enjoy a wonderful program that the Caye Caulker Lobster Festival and contestants had proudly put together. Competing for the title of Miss Lobster Fest were Veida Gomez, Jessica Tzalam, Gleselie Chan, Britany Ysaguirre and Jolene Williams. The contestants were judged on beauty, poise, clarity, creativity and individuality throughout the pageant in five segments that included their introduction, costume, Depiction of lifestyle on Caye Caulker, Evening Wear and the Question & Answer.

SP Junior Sailing Club to Host National Ranking Regatta
San Pedro Junior Sailing Club is set to host the Belize 5th National Ranking Regatta this weekend in San Pedro Ambergris Caye, Belize on Saturday, July 5 and Sunday 6. The sailing club has been dominating regattas around the country so far in 2014 and this will the their first ever regatta in their home turf. This regatta with be the fifth Belize Sailing Association (BzSA) ranking regatta. All sailors interested in competing in the BzSA nationals must attend all national ranking regattas. The 2014 sailing season consists of nine regattas of which six are considered national ranking. National ranking determines the sailors who will participate in the National Champions Regatta (BIZ14) that is scheduled for November 8 and 9.

Kids Rule the Fashion Runway at Isla Bonita Elementary Show
Thursday, June 26, 2014, families and friends gathered at R. Angel Nunez auditorium to support and celebrate the Isla Bonita Elementary School’s Fashion Fiesta. It was an end of the year summer send-off and fundraiser for the school’s students. Hosts of the night Standard Five student Gaven Zapata and his grandfather Angel Nuñez kicked off the show as students entertained friends and family by throwing a fun fashion show showcasing the latest in sports, beach and evening wear from local stores and boutiques. The fashion fiesta had many dance and song performances from the island’s best talent: Elina Palma, Neslen Rivero, San Pedro Dance Academy and San Pedro Revolution Dancers.

San Pedro Lobster Festival Thank You
The San Pedro Lobster Festival and San Pedro Business Association would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every sponsor, business, individual and participant that made this event successful this year. To everyone who pitched in the San Pedro Lobster Festival; we made a highlight in announcing the opening of the lobster season every year we see more people joining and attending the event. To all those who participated in the day and night events for the Lobster Crawl, operated a food/drinks booths, donated prizes for the Lobster Crawl Raffle, sponsors, judges, media, crew and organizers a big THANK YOU to all.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

FISHING REPORT: Week of June 21 – June 29th, 2014
We had some huge wind this week, but our anglers and guides made the best of it. We practiced our casting out on the platform and tried to keep it together out on the flats. Some made the best of the situation by switching to spin which made the day fun. Remember it’s the salt. All of your experiences add up and make you a better angler. Reading fish and working with your guide all adds to self discovery. You find what you enjoy and what you don’t. Laura, thank you for celebrating your birthday with all of us. Deb and Jan – you get the “casting queen” award. Janet also tried casting fly casting and learned to compliment herself on the good casts and learn from the ones that weren’t so perfect. It’s looks like the wind is lying down. Let’s see what tomorrow brings! Thank you to all of our guests this week. It was a pleasure to share our waters with you.

Cornerstone Summer Camp
Cornerstone is having a Summer camp, and it starts on July 7th. Call them at 633-4654 for more information.

A Sleeping Beauty Ballet
'A Sleeping Beauty' ballet will be performed tomorrow night at the Jaguar auditorium.. If you like classical and modern ballet, the show starts at 6:30pm.

SP Police Department hosts Appreciation Ceremony (10 photos)

Big Rock Falls Trail Improvements
The new trail at Big Rock Falls, which was built with the help of several Sacred Heart Junior College students, is holding up well. It's in great shape, and allows easier, safer access to one of Cayo's best attractions. Pictures on fb.

Channel 7

Paris in Prison!
Tonight, Vanessa Champagne Paris is in jail at the Hattieville Prison - all because she threatened Caleb Orozco's sinister. Last night, we told you about the domestic incident which landed the transgender male in lock down at Police Precinct 2. Well, today she was taken to court on criminal charges - and no one wanted to bail her - and so she has been remanded. Though she goes by the name Vanessa Champagne Paris, her given name is Perfilio Rodriguez, and he is originally from Independence Village. As we told you, Caleb Orozco's sister, Golda had an argument with Vanessa Champagne at the Orozco house where Vanessa has been a guest. Because of Golda Orozco's report, Vanessa Champagne was charged with aggravated assault, and she was arraigned today before Magistrate Herbert Panton. As we told you, her legal name is Perfilio Rodriguez, a male, but the police prosecutor introduced her to the court as a female.

17 Year-old Killed On Embattled B-Ball Court
On last night's news, we told you about the 3 shootings and 1 stabbing which took the lives of two Belize City men and left 2 others hospitalized - all within 72 hours. But the city violence didn't end there. There was a shooting, which happened just after news time last night, which has claimed the life of a 17 year-old man from the Lake Independence area. It happened on Brown Street, right behind the CB Hyde Government Building, and our news team arrived on the scene shortly after. Daniel Ortiz has the story: Daniel Ortiz reporting 17 year-old Myron Smith lay on the ground lifeless where he fell. He was fleeing from the shooters who attacked him, but he did not make it far. He was riding his bike on Brown Street, and he was in the company of 2 other companions. When they passed by the Complex Basketball Court, his assailants took aim at the crowd and fired 4 or 5 shots in their direction.

Police Say Minister Grant Not Under Suspicion
Today, police have released their findings about the death of 23 year old Independence resident Jeffery O'brien. As we told you, he was mauled and killed by two vicious pitbulls sometime late on Friday night. There was speculation - including one that aired on this channel - that the dogs were owned by Minister Joy Grant who has a home near where the mauling occurred. But police today confirmed that the dogs are actually owned by a 17 year old who lives in a small house on her property, but outside of her fenced yard. Police today sent out a statement, saying, quote, "Minister Grant is not under investigation regarding this incident since it has been determined that the dogs do not belong to her." End quote. Police now have possession of the dogs.

Hackers Causing Your Internet Failures
For the past two days - users of BTL's broadband service have been taken back to the early 90's - a time before the internet. That's after both DSL and 4G services have become thoroughly unreliable, leaving users in an electronic abyss, unable to surf the net, or even check emails. It's caused major business bottlenecks, personal inconvenience, and don't even talk about the Facebook and WhatsApp withdrawal! So what's behind it? And is BTL to blame? Well, today the company held a press conference to say it isn't - and that's because their servers are under attack by international hackers. For those not familiar with the technology, those servers connect you to the internet. Well, in an attack, hackers blitz BTL's servers with requests, overloading them, thereby killing your internet service. Who's behind it - and when will it end? Those are the questions we asked at a press conference this afternoon:.. Kevin Hope, Chief Technology Officer - BTL "What we have been having over the last few weeks has been a number on these servers and what has happen is that the attacks have pretty much overwhelm these servers to the point where they have created a large load on these servers to the point where they are not able to properly process the requests that are coming from our customers."

Bones From A Decrepit Grave; Or Something Else
Yesterday, a few funeral attendants stumbled upon an old grave in the Lord Ridge Cemetery which seems to have given way over time. Inside, they discovered a human skull, which most likely belongs to the person who was buried there. But on the slim chance that it belongs to someone else, police have taken an interest to verify its origin. Today, the Deputy Commander of Police Precinct 2 spoke to the media about it: ASP Calbert Flowers - Deputy OC, Police Precinct #2 "A team of police officers was dispatch to the Lord Ridge Cemetery where they did indeed observe a tomb that was broken. The Officers observed a skull indeed and that information is being investigated. It will be follow up to see if it is indeed a skull that was buried there officially or it is something that has been placed there afterwards."

Elderly Man Killed In A Terrible Traffic Accident
71 year-old William Anderson, a resident of Monkey River Village, died in a traffic accident yesterday morning when his van had a head-on collision with a school bus. The accident happened at around 7:30 on the Savannah Road, about a mile from the intersection with the Southern Highway, which leads into Toledo. Police say that the bus was in its correct lane, and then suddenly, Anderson's van swerved in the wrong lane and slammed into the bus. He was trapped inside his vehicle, and a fire truck had to be used to separate his vehicle from the bus. He died as a result of his injuries. There were reports of passengers from the bus who received minor injuries in the crash.

1 Week More For 2013-2014 Sugar
The 2013-2014 sugar cane season will finish next week Tuesday, in one week's time. That's the agreed date that both the cane farmers and the factory owners agreed on after extending season past the usual end date. That's because, as we've told you, the cane farmers delayed the start by as much as 2 months due to rains and because the factory owners refused to negotiate on a payment for bagasse. Despite the very late start, Belize Sugar Industries Limited believes that they will have milled 1.2 million tonnes of cane by next week's end. Last week, the factory's Chief Finance Officer told our colleagues from LOVE TV that the factory intended to mill quite a bit more than that 1.2 million:

BSI Says Bagasse Calculation Is Reasonable
But with 1 more week before the season ends, at this point, it seems as if though BSI and BSFCA will not be able to reach an agreement on payment for bagasse. That's a major point of concern for industry stakeholders because part of the tenuous compromise between the cane farmers and the factory owners was that an agreed price for bagasse would be reached by the end of this season. It's a major reason why the cane farmers decided to start delivering their cane to start the milling season. The main reason for that delay in an agreed price is that the farmers have rejected all counter proposals put forward by the representatives for the factory owners. CFO Carballo explained the reasoned formula for all their proposals so far, which they believe is in the best interest both sides:

Bmp Police Found Weed Near Drug Peddler's House
Belmopan Police are reporting tonight that they have almost 1 kilo of marijuana which they found in Teakettle Village. Yesterday, officers from that police station went to the house of a well-known drug trafficker in the village. Nothing incriminating was found on the suspect's property, but nearby, they found 2 black plastic bags of cannabis to a total amount of 893 grams - or just under 2 pounds. Because they drugs couldn't be tied to the suspected drug trafficker, it was deposited as found property.

Manatee Calf Needed Rescuing
Manatee's have been much in the news recently, and none of the news has been good. There have been 14 manatee deaths reported this year - and then there was that female that was drowned during a mating frenzy 2 weeks ago. But tonight the news is a little more encouraging. A stranded manatee calf was rescued near mile 6 on the northern highway yesterday. Jamal Galvez told us about it... Jamal Galvez, Manatee Expert "Once we went there we saw the calf there. We observe the area first to make sure that the mother or no adult Manatees are around because we wouldn't want to pull a calf away from its mother. Once we did that we realize that this calf was orphan, it was there alone. It was beaten up against the shore line.

Nissan Arana "“ 2014 National Road Champ
Last night, we told you about how 2013 National Road Champ, Byron Pope, couldn't defend his title in this weekend's cycling race. He also won't be able to represent Belize in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. What we didn't tell you was how Sunday's race played out. After riding from Orange Walk through Hattieville Boom Junction, all the way to Mount Hope in the Cayo District, Nissan Arana of the Predators Team became the 2014 champ. He rode the 114 mile race in 4 hours, 40 minutes and 14 seconds. Seasoned race observers say that Byron Pope's absence was one of the factors at which Sunday's race was ridden. In the female category, Shalini Zabaneh won her sixth national road championship. Zahir Figueroa of Cayo High Road team won the junior championship and Robert Liam Stewart of the Benny's Megabytes team won the masters division.

Track High-Level Training Without Resources
For the past 2 days, Belizean Track and Field athletes are getting training in the sprinting and running events from an international coach who has a level 5 IAAF certification. It's program facilitated by the Belize Amateur Athletic Association, and yesterday, we stopped by to see the trainers and atheletes action. Here's what the B Triple A representative told us:

FCIB Threw The Party; Not Scotia Bank
And before we end our newscast tonight, we must make a clarification to a story we aired on Friday Night. We said that the party thrown for 96 year-old Alfred Pandy was thrown by Scotia Bank. It was actually done by First Caribbean International Bank in Belmopan.

Channel 5

2 pit bulls maul a fisherman to death – Minister is not under investigation
On Friday night a resident of Independence was savagely mauled by vicious dogs while coming home at around eleven thirty from a fishing trip. The attack happened on a deserted [...]

17 year old is killed in the City
Three days, three murders in the city…The killing of Malcolm Wagner and Samuel Miguel was followed by another homicide in the dangerous streets of south side Belize City. Shortly after [...]

Lloyd Augustus dies – Sherman Rodney to be arraigned for murder
Police are reporting another loss of life to violence. Lloyd Augustus was attacked back on April sixteenth in Belize City. He was badly beaten and sustained numerous injuries and had [...]

Woman & her 6-month old baby held at gunpoint in a frightening home invasion
There was a frightening home invasion a few days ago. Just before nine o’clock on Sunday night, a thirty year old woman was held up at gun point at her [...]

Is there clear government cover-up in the immigration scandal?
And tonight’s question is: Do you believe there is a clear government cover-up in the immigration scandal? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post [...]

More questions than answers in the death of a Corozal newborn
Twenty days ago, baby Laureny Pena was born to Corozal resident, Laura Pena, by cesarean section. She was past the due date by a week, but nothing seemed amiss and [...]

Transgender woman, Vanessa Champagne, is charged and behind bars
Vanessa Paris Champagne is causing another quandary, but this time, she is behind bars. And it is because it is not clear if the transgender woman should be placed in [...]

Albert Castro still critical at K.H.M.H.
Thirty-one year old taxi driver, Albert Castro remains hospitalized in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital following a shooting in the wee hours of Monday. As we [...]

Mourner come up on skull in graveyard
Police are investigating the discovery of skull seen inside a broken tomb at the Lord Ridge Cemetery in Belize City. It was detected on Monday evening by mourners attending a [...]

Belize City woman conned out of $600
An unsuspecting forty year old Belize City clerk has been badly deceived. She reports to the police that a man she knew conned her with rent money. The woman says [...]

Tyrell Hyde says his case is yet to be solved
In December 2013 three cops – Special Constable Joslyn Gill, Corporal Reymundo Requeña and Constable Edgar Teul – were arraigned for a now infamous ATM shakedown of Tyrell Hyde. The [...]

Canadian national is attacked with machete and axe in Benque
On January thirty-first a Canadian national living in Benque Viejo was attacked by a man wielding an axe and a machete. Steven Reichert was carrying his two year old daughter [...]

Drug bust in Teakettle village
Tonight there is a significant drug bust to report in the village of Teakettle in the Cayo district. Belmopan Police say that on Monday afternoon at around four-thirty, officers staged [...]

Krooman Lagoon is taken over by squatters
For decades the Krooman Lagoon has been designated as an important reserve for wildlife in Belize City.  The area is a catchment for rainwater and was once teeming with birdlife [...]

If you can sing it, Bring it!
At nine o’clock tonight, our summer extravaganza gets underway at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts. If You Can Sing it…Bring It is our brand new entertainment show for [...]


Gunshots Ring Out Leaving Teenager Dead in the Old Capital
Eighteen year old Myron Smith was gun down last night. It happened at about 8 o’clock near the basketball court adjacent the Charles Bartlett Hyde Building. Smith was shot twice and died on the spot. Here is the story. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING “Eighteen year old Myron Smith was on his bicycle making his way towards the basketball court along with a group of friends. Suddenly, four shots rang out. The bullets were aimed at Smith and his crowd.” ALRICK SMITH, Father of deceased “Like two minutes I heard five gunshots; so, I told Sandy that one of the three got shot. Later on I stayed on the veranda and I looked and I saw a crowd running. I told her that one of the two got shot and when I went on the other side I saw the same two young men that were in the corner. I asked them what happened and they told me that it was Myron that got shot. When I got there he was stiff and was dead already, although one of his nieces said that he was breathing but when I got there he was dead already. I saw one in his head and one under his arm because it was filled with blood.”

Symposium on Archaeology and Anthropology in Belize
A symposium on archaeology and anthropology is underway in the Cayo District. Elaine Berry explains. ELAINE BERRY “The 12th annual meeting for Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium is taking place at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel in the Bedran Hall under the theme, ‘Ancient Mayan, Domestic Economy, Subsistence, Commerce and Industry’. Celine Solis, Research Assistant at the Institute for Social and Cultural Research spoke to Love News about the 4-day symposium.” CELINE SOLIS “We’re here at the 12th annual Belize Archaeology and Anthropology symposium. This symposium is the third year that the Institute of Social and Cultural research is joining the Institute of Archaeology in hosting. The primary objective of this symposium is the dissemination of information about research being carried out in Belize. In previous years we’ve heard of archaeologists coming in and they have been sharing their information but there has been an influx of people interested in Belize, about our anthropology and social issues, our historical issues and they are here also sharing information they have been uncovering through their research here. We have presenters who range from doing research in Creole in the Creole culture; we have Myrna Manzanares, immediate past president of the National Creole Council making a presentation this year. We also have Francis Humphreys, who is currently the Chair of the Belize History Association making a presentation. So, it’s really an opportunity for Belizeans in general and not just academics to find out more about our country and not only about archaeology but also about the history, culture and to uncover that aspect of research in Belize.”

Bus, Minivan and Motorcycle Involved In Highway Accident
Four persons were injured in a traffic incident that involved a bus and a motorcycle. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports. FEM CRUZ “A road traffic accident on the George Price Highway has left four persons injured. Love news spoke to the driver of the bus, 25 year old Ivan Valencia resident of Corozal town, who explained to us that frightening moment.” IVAN VALENCIA “Just about ten minutes to six o’clock I noticed that there was a grey minivan and a motor cycle heading the same way en route to Belmopan. I saw that the minivan braked immediately in front of the motor cycle. The cyclist tried to avoid colliding into the minivan by swerving into the left hand side of the road. The weather was dark and wet and as the motorcyclist tried to maneuver to avoid colliding into the van he had trouble maneuvering his motorcycle. At the same time, at a distance, I noticed this incident and I gently tapped my breaks so as not to slide off the road and having something worse happen and I started to gear down.

Grassroots Organisation Buck Heads With Government of Belize
On June 13 Justice Courtney Abel lifted the injunction Government had sought, preventing BYGEA from planting corn within the buffer zone at Harmonyville. According to BYGEA’s attorney Audrey Matura Shepherd the acting solicitor general Nigel Hawke made errors when he did not serve President of BYGEA Nigel Petillo with a notice of the injunction. Both parties were back in court today. AUDREY MATURA SHEPPARD “What people need to understand is that the government has sought three main things. A declaration that they are the owner of the land, a declaration that my clients don’t have a right to be on said land and they are bringing a case of trespass. They are saying that Mr. Petillo and Mr. Sam Patton trespassed on the land but the irony of it is that they are saying that Mr. Petillo trespassed but through BGYEA which is an association which by law has its own provisions whether they can be sued or sure and so it will be interesting what the legal arguments will be. So that’s what the government is seeking. Now our part is to show that those declarations that government is seeking is not right and should not be granted and also to dispute the issue of the trespass. I am yet to sit down with my clients as to all the evidence that we have but we need it to come today for the first part, the new dates, so we know when to proceed.

Phone Call Leads To Murder
The second murder victim for the weekend in Belize City was 24-year-old Malcolm Wagner. Wagner was shot on Saturday evening while he was on Flamboyant Street. It was a “drive-by” shooting and Wagner was shot twice. Doctors at the KHMH did everything they could to save his life but the wounds were too severe. His family told Love News they believe he was set up. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING “Twenty four year old Malcolm Wagner was shot twice- once to the left lower back and once to the left thigh while he was at the corner of Poinsettia Street and Flamboyant Street. Police say that it was a drive by shooting. Wagner’s family says that minutes before leaving the house, he received a phone call and they now think that his murder was carefully planned.”

Bloody Weekend in Belize City: Murder #1
Two persons were murdered over the weekend and two others were shot including a BDF soldier. We start off with the grisly discovery a Belize City resident made early Saturday morning. The semi-nude body of 22 year old Samuel Miguel was found in an open lot on Orange Street. He was stabbed twice- once to the face and once to the head. Police were on the trial and have detained two suspects. Here is the story…. SERGEANT ISMAEL WESTBY “On Saturday, 28th June just before six o’clock, personnel from the Criminal Investigative Branch of the Belize Police Department visited an open parking lot in front of the Raymond Park’s Homeless Shelter where they observe a dark male person with apparent stab wounds to the head and right side of the face.”

PUP’s Western Caucus Chairman Steps Down
On Friday we reported that long time PUP supporter and political aspirant Martin Cal was removed as a candidate from the PUP slate in Belmopan for the upcoming municipal elections. This is after reports that Cal had been implicated in wrongdoing in the Auditor General’s preliminary report in the ongoing Immigration scandal. The report states that Cal signed a recommendation for one Simon Troung stating that he knew Troung for one year. The Auditor General found that Martin Cal committed a prosecutable offense by signing the recommender form. Today his brother, Moises Cal resigned as Chairman of the Western Caucus. Cal says he thanks all six Standard Bearers who placed their trust and confidence in him and wish them well in the challenging times ahead leading to Municipal and General Elections. Cal ends by saying he remains committed to the People’s United Party.

Construction Worker Arraigned For Wounding
Twenty year old Steve Moss, a construction worker of Queen Charlotte Street in Belize City was charged in connection with the shooting of 40 year old Walter Beaton when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Moss was charged with use of deadly means of harm and wounding. He was remanded into custody until August 27. The incident occurred on June 13. Beaton was involved in a dispute with a woman near the corner of Kraal Road and Caesar Ridge Road and left riding on his bicycle when, shortly thereafter, he was shot in his left hand by a man who rode up near him on a bicycle. Beaton jumped off his bicycle into a drain and remained there until the police arrived.

Teenager Slapped with Traffic Charges and Bribery
Nineteen year old Aaron Flowers, a tour guide of Antelope Street Extension who police reported they busted at check point, was charged with two counts of drug trafficking when he appeared today before Magistrate Herbert Panton. Flowers was also charged with bribery of a police officer, using an unlicensed motor vehicle, driving a motor vehicle without being the holder of a valid driver’s license and driving a motor vehicle not covered by third party insurance. He pled not guilty to the charges.

Police Reports Small Drug Find
Police say on Saturday the searched an abandoned lot in Belama Phase One which led to the discovery of a black and brown travelling bag which contained 11 black plastic bags of cannabis amounting to one thousand one hundred and sixty eight grams of cannabis. A second search this time in an overgrown area by a drain on Antelope Street Extension resulted in the discovery of a black plastic bag containing 145 grams of cannabis. Both discoveries were labeled as found property.

Taxi Driver Shot While Driving on Faber’s Road
At about three thirty this morning Belize City Police responded to a shooting incident on Faber’s Road. There they came upon a Green Mazda taxi car that had crashed into a nearby drain. Later they found out that the driver of the car, 31-year-old Albert Castro had been shot twice to the head. NCO of the Criminal Investigation Branch at Precinct 2, Sgt. Ismael Westby, told us what their investigation has revealed so far.

Elderly Man Falls From Bus and Dies
Forty-eight year old Modesto Lizarraga, a bus driver of Santa Rita Road, Corozal Town, was charged with manslaughter by negligence in the death of 63 year old Jose Elmer Villanueva, a.k.a. “Pantas” when he appeared today before Magistrate Herbert Panton. Lizarraga was also charged with causing death by careless conduct and driving motor vehicle without due care and attention. No plea was taken since the offences are indictable. Lizarraga was released on a bail of two thousand five hundred dollars. His next court date is August 25. The incident occurred on February 25, 2014, between miles 12 and 13 on Phillip Goldson Highway. According to reports, Villanueva fell out of a passenger bus driven by Lizarraga. Villanueva, a tire repair man who resided on Cleghorn Street in Belize City, sustained injuries to his head and died five days later at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.


Teenager Gunned Down on Mahogany Street
A Belize City teenager is the latest victim of gun violence, the third to be killed in as many days. 17 year old Myron Smith, aka “Saddest,” of Giles Street, was shot in the left side of the chest near the armpit and the upper right side of the...

Body Dumped in Grave?
We were witness today to a very unusual sight. Police were combing an apparent crime scene in the Lords’ Ridge Cemetery. But what is unusual is that the scene is a grave that was apparently opened – and what appeared to be human remains, apart from the person buried...

Home Invasion in Belize City
A home invasion occurred in Belize city. On June 29, just before 9 pm,  a home on Fabers Road had some unwanted armed visitors. A 30-year-old woman reported that she was at home along with her 6 month old baby when a dark complexion, male person, with a mask on...

Dogs Kill a Man; Police Say, not Minister’s Dogs
Yesterday we reported on the gruesome killing of a man in Independence. His killers were two pit bulls allegedly guarding the home of  Senator Joy Grant Minister of Energy, Science and Technology. There were several conflicting information coming out of Independence Village.  One version of the story was that...

BTL Working out Against Internet Attacks
Have you been having trouble accessing the internet on state-run telecommunications company Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL)’s network? It’s because for the last two weeks they have been under attack, not from overeager consumers switching over from rivals Smart, but from international attackers going after their servers. Today they hosted...

Hundred Thousand Jamaicans Protest Against Firing of Dr. Bain
Tens of thousands of Jamaicans, and some media reports say up to one hundred thousand of them, gathered in Half-Way-Tree Square in St Andrew, this past Sunday, for a massive rally organised by the religious coalition- Churches Action Uniting Society for Emancipation (CAUSE). The gathering, which included members of...

Cancer Practitioners Work Together on Response
The Ministry of Health recently developed a policy on addressing non-communicable diseases including cancer. Today it hosted representatives of public and private sector organizations working on the issue of cancer at the Radisson Hotel. Dr. Ramon Figueroa is the head of the Planning, Policy and Analysis Unit at such Ministry....

Bags of Weed in Teakettle Village
Belmopan Police made a major drug bust on Monday June 30th when they conducted search at near the residence of a well known drug trafficker in Teakettle Village. According to Belmopan Police, after thorough search of the area they discover two black plastic bags which contained suspected to be...

Minister of Education Talks About BRC Readers
A few weeks ago Plus TV broke the news that Ministry of Education funds to purchase BRC Readers from BRC Printing were receiving a hefty cut of about $500,000. BRC Reading Books have been in the school curriculum for the past 35 years, in fact most people...

Minister Faber in Traffic Mishap with Police Vehicle
That interview was of course taken on Friday at the Graduation of the Youth for Road Safety program, an initiative that works towards reducing the level of car accidents in our country by training youths to train other youths in the aspect of responsible driving. The Minister of Education...

 Oceana Hosts Video Competition
Oceana Belize is hosting a video competition under the theme “Rich in Resources” which is in line with the upcoming Belize film festival 2014. The Challenge is to create a 3 to 10 minute video that answers the question “How do you depend on Marine Resources?” Alex Ellis, videographer...

Shots fired in United Ville
Cayo Police are investigating a shooting incident that occurred sometime around 9:10 before midday of Monday, June 30th. According to police information, a villager of United Ville, Cayo District reported that he was at the football field in the village along with three of his cousins when he saw...

God hears our prayers and directs us
Psalm 40:2 “And he heard my prayers, and brought me out of the pit of misery…And he set my feet upon a rock, and directed my steps.” 

Fatal Traffic Accident in Independence
One person lost his life during a head on collision early this morning involving a yellow passenger bus and a minivan of brand Toyota Previa. The incident happened on the Savannah Road near Independence village around 7:15 this morning.  According to Independence police, the yellow passenger bus was travelling...

Bus and Motorcycle Crash on George Price Highway
Another passenger bus accident happened Some minutes before 6:00 this morning; this one on the George Price highway near mile 47. A Valencia passenger bus express was heading to Belmopan when it skidded off the road, attempting to avoid running over a motorcyclist who was travelling in the same...

Three Vehicle Pile up in Benque
The accidents didn’t end there this weekend. There was also a three vehicle collision on Sunday June 26th.   That incident left at least one man injured. The tragedy occurred sometime after 6:00 pm on mile 71 on the George Price Highway near the village of San Jose Sucottz, Cayo....

BTIA Launches Appeal for Judicial Review of Harvest Caye EIA
The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) maintains its staunch opposition to the Norwegian Cruise Lines project at Harvest Caye which is it in its initial stages of construction. Today it took its case to the Supreme Court, where Justice Courtney Abel heard arguments for leave to apply for judicial...

West Street Man Left for Dead in Open Lot
Residents and travelers on Orange Street were greeted by an unpleasant scene just before 6:00 of Saturday morning. Police recovered the body of Samuel Steven Miguel, 22, of a West Street address, in the parking lot across from the Raymond Parks Salvation Army Night Shelter and Lin Chi Wholesale, formerly...

Saturday Evening Murder in Old Capital
There was also a murder on Saturday evening in Belize City. 24 year old Malcom Wagner was the second murder victim of the weekend. According to police, Wagner was shot twice t the back and once to the right thigh. Wagner was standing alone at the corner of Flamboyant...

More Shots Fired, Taxi Driver Critically Injured
Shots were also fired early this morning, against 31-year-old Albert Castro, a taxi driver of  Belize City. The victim was indiscriminately shot twice to the head.  Police say that early Sunday morning, Castro was driving his green Mazda Taxi on Faber’s Road from George Price Highway. Along with him...

BDF Soldier Shot While Socializing with Friends
On Saturday night, shots also rang out on Curl Thompson Street, Belize City. 23-year-old B.D.F soldier Carlton Augustine was shot once to the right side and once to the arm. Augustine was reportedly socializing in a yard on Curl Thompson Street with four other male persons, when someone entered...

Driver Charged for the Death of Jose Villanueva
On February 25, 63 year old Orange Walk resident Jose Elmer Villanueva fell out of a moving Bluebird brown and yellow passenger bus traveling north on the Philip Goldson Highway between miles 12 and 13 near the Burrell Boom junction. He died five days later of head injuries sustained when...

Steve Moss Charged for Shooting
Police have laid charges on 20 year old Steve Moss, a construction worker of Queen Charlotte Street, for use of deadly means of harm and wounding. This is in connection to an incident which occurred two weeks ago near the Wilton Cumberbatch Field. 40 year old Walter Beaton was riding...

Thyrell Hyde Shakedown Case Adjourned Again
Belmopan resident Thyrell Hyde has been in the news since last September when he accused several police officers of personally shaking him down for large amounts of money for no apparent reason. Mr. Hyde alleges that he and a group of friends were stopped and searched by police who...

Government Takes BGYEA Back to Court
As they promised earlier this month, the Government of Belize has renewed proceedings against the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) over the Harmonyville Agricultural Project at Mile 41, George Price Highway. It has put in a fixed date claim form alleging trespass by BGYEA, its president Nigel Petillo,...

PUP Slate for Belmopan Municipal Elections Chosen
The Peoples United Party held a convention on Sunday, June 29th to elect their candidates for the 2015 Belmopan Municipal Elections. Two teams ran for Candidacy; they were Jose Chacon and company and Jorge Flores and company. In the end Jose Chacon and all members of his team won....

Patrick Menzies promoting July as National Constitution Awareness Month
The month of July is National Constitution Awareness Month, or so decrees  Patrick Menzies. Professor Menzies has gone on a 24 hour rally at the steps of the National Assembly in Belmopan. Now Mr Menzies is embarking on another initiative to promote awareness of Beize’s constitution, specifically section 69...


Nighttime murder in the hood
At approximately 8:00 tonight, a crowd of curious onlookers gathered near the basketball court in the rear of the Charles Bartlett Hyde Building, as the body of a young man lay on the ground. The body was barely visible from the roughly 75 feet distance away, where it lay in a yard off Mahogany Street, on which a police scenes of crime vehicle, an ambulance and other police vehicles were parked. Police searched in the low grass with flashlights for whatever evidence they could find that would assist them in solving this latest murder, the third in the city over the last 48 hours. At press time tonight, preliminary reports to Amandala are that Myron “Saddest” Smith, 17, was shot multiple times and died where he fell in a yard immediately west of the neighborhood basketball court, which lies just a stone’s throw from Smith’s house.

BTL Internet under attack
The nation’s premier telecommunications service provider, Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), has indicated to us that for nearly two weeks now, it has been grappling with external attacks on its servers – attacks which have hampered customers’ ability to browse the Internet, with problems particularly on Google and Yahoo, which means that customers have even experienced delays receiving e-mails on these platforms. Dr. Dionne Chamberlain Miranda, General Manager of Customer Services, told us while (Digital Subscriber Line ) DSL customers have been impacted, so too have 4G customers, who also use the data service platforms, and cable companies, such as CBC, which buy Internet from BTL. Winston Aspinall, BTL’s General Manager of Network Services, said that there was another attack on the system at about 9:00 this morning, when they observed that the usage level on the Internet servers was very high, because the attacker was sending random invalid queries to the system, which slowed down things for all other users.

Pitbulls kill fisherman
The O’Brien family of Independence is mourning the death of Jeffrey O’Brien, 23, who was viciously attacked and killed by three dogs, two of whom are ferocious pitbulls, while he was riding his bicycle to his home, from the lagoon, on the public road in Independence. Jeffrey’s brother, Police Constable O’Brien (no first name given), told Amandala that at about 10:30 Saturday night, Jeffrey came in from fishing, pulled up and secured his boat by the lagoon, and was riding home on his bicycle with his fish, net and his paddle, when three dogs rushed out of the unfenced yard of Wilson Hernandez, 27, and attacked him. O’Brien tried to defend himself, and hit the dogs with his paddle, but it broke, and the dogs – two pitbulls and a large “potlicker” – tore off his shirt and mauled him, biting his face, throat, hands, chest, and other parts of his body.

Girl lured Malcom Wagner to his death
Police say that at about 5:30 Saturday evening on Flamboyant Street, Malcom Jamal Wagner, 24, was standing near a lamppost waiting for someone when a vehicle drove up and stopped near him. A man came out of the car and began firing at him. Wagner tried to escape, but he was hit multiple times. The killer then got back into the car, which drove away. Wagner, shot five times in the back and chest, died within a short time. Wagner’s grieving grandmother, Evadney Welch, said that he was in their house watching the World Cup games that Saturday evening when he received a phone call from a girl, telling him to meet her by the lane. Wagner, she said, got up out of the sofa with the TV remote in his hand and walked out of the house, to the lane, to meet the person who had called him.

Monica Coc Magusson admitted to Bar
The Maya of Toledo will have their first indigenous lawyer serving in Belize. She is Monica Coc Magusson, 34, sister of Cristina Coc, who is a lead activist in the Maya land rights movement – a movement in which Magusson herself has been quietly involved for several years, having done much of the legal leg work even while training at a US law school. Coc Magusson was today called to the Bar of Belize after Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin accepted a motion filed on her behalf by Senior Counsel Antoinette Moore, who handed over to Coc Magusson her black robe that is over 20 years old, perhaps symbolic of the role that the newcomer will now play as a part of the legal defense team for the Toledo Maya – a role which Moore has led since the first Maya land rights case in 2007, when Chief Justice Conteh ruled favorably in the first Maya land rights case filed for Conejo and Santa Cruz. Moore told the court that Magusson is the first indigenous Maya from Toledo to have completed law school, to obtain a legal education certificate and to now be called to the Bar of Belize.

Belize takes over 3 pro tempore presidencies
Belize has assumed the pro tempore presidency of the Central American Integration System (SICA) at the 43rd meeting of the Heads of State and Governments of SICA, held at Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. “Already, I think it is clear and a fact that is increasingly recognized by the world at large, that our Central American countries, our SICA countries, punch above their weight. It seems to me that it is indubitable that this SICA movement will grow from strength to strength,” said Prime Minister Dean Barrow, after receiving the baton from Dominican Republic president, Danilo Medina, whom Barrow praised for the work during his presidency from January to June 2014. “We recognize that there are very many challenges to face, but president Medina has conducted such a successful presidency that I am encouraged, since he has publicly and privately in the exchange of words between us just now, reiterated his commitment to give me his manual for success, and I am greatly comforted that all I have to do is to faithfully follow that manual and I will achieve the same success,” Barrow commented.

American loses life on diving trip
Belize’s natural wonders, such as the Blue Hole Natural Monument near Half Moon Caye, attract numerous visitors who sometimes travel thousands of miles to view those spectacles, but while engaging in that experience yesterday, one tourist sadly lost his life, apparently due to respiratory complications. Yesterday morning, at about 6:25, a group of 19 tourists, including Larry Smith – a visitor from the United States – left from Ramon’s Village dock in San Pedro en route to the Blue Hole Natural Monument, which lies within the atoll lagoon of Lighthouse Reef, about 75km east of Belize City, when tragedy struck. According to boat captain Marcus Alamina, the dive master and tour guide, they arrived at the diving site at about 10:00 a.m., and upon arrival, he gave a briefing and then separated the divers into two groups.

BAHA – “ridiculous and costly”
BAHA is cramping the import business at the Santa Elena border. A normal order from Merida, where most of our goods come from, takes three working days. You place your order Monday, they load Tuesday, and Wednesday your goods are at the border. Belize Agricultural and Heath Authority (BAHA) wants 4 to 7 days to process a permit for shelf stable goods; imagine, table salt, which for many years before BAHA existed needed no permit. If your goods arrive and the permit is not ready, you can import the goods but with a hefty fine of $200, plus the $25 which is charged for the permit when you apply for it, plus inspection fee $150 + $30 overtime, which is almost sure.

From The Publisher
Whenever one examines the present socio-political reality of Belize, it behooves one to consider the historical context of the settlement of Belize’s birth, and the fact that it was and is an anomaly – the only English-speaking territory on the Central American mainland. The relevant countries immediately around us – Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, were all imperial outposts of Roman Catholic Spain. Nicaragua is a bit of an exception to the first named three, because there is an English-speaking area in Nicaragua, which is called Bluefields, and the British played a significant role on Nicaragua’s Atlantic coast centuries ago. The story of British collaboration with Nicaragua’s Mosquito people has not been explained in sufficient detail in Belize. Britain controlled the Bay Islands – Roatán, Utila, etc., which eventually reverted to the sovereignty of the Republic of Honduras. And Great Britain interfered in the politics of Guatemala (and Central America) during the 1820s and 1830s when Central America was in violent turmoil.

Editorial: Washington and Belize
Dr. Jerome Straughan’s research establishes that Belizeans have been paying attention to the United States of America from as early as the post-Civil War period. During the course of the United States Civil War, which lasted from 1861 to 1865, President Abraham Lincoln declared Emancipation, which is to say, the African Americans who were slaves were freed. Some Belizeans (British Hondurans at the time), and Belizeans were mostly of African descent in the second half of the nineteenth century, began to venture to the United States, mostly through the port of New Orleans. There were mahogany and other hardwood exports from Belize going to New York and Boston, but the colonial tariff structure of British Honduras made it difficult for American manufactured goods to compete with British ones in the colony. The Prohibition era in the United States, between 1919 and 1933, meant that there was money to be made by Belizeans transporting alcohol from British Honduras, where it was legal, to the Gulf ports of the United States, where Prohibition had declared alcohol illegal. The Prohibition era was a preview of the marijuana era in the 1960s/1970s and the cocaine era, from the 1980 onwards, when the profits to be made from shipping an illegal commodity into U.S. markets were such as to tempt Belizean entrepreneurs to become gangsters.

Court of Appeal quashed Lavern “Anti-Christ” Longsworth’s life sentence
A manslaughter conviction was substituted for her murder conviction, and she was sentenced to 8 years Lavern “Anti-Christ” Longsworth, 40, who was convicted of the murder of her common-law husband, David White, was sentenced to eight [...]

A baby dies suddenly in her home
Raul and Laura Peña of San Andres, Corozal, the parents of a baby, 20 days old, are mourning the death of their baby, who died in their home at about 2:00 Saturday morning. Laura Peña reported [...]

5 cops acquitted of facilitating drug plane will get a new trial
Since Belize became a drug transshipment point in the early 1980s, the biggest cocaine bust occurred in November 2010, when a twin-engine Beechcraft King Air 200 plane landed on the Southern Highway, near Bladden Village, loaded [...]

Corozal bus driver charged with manslaughter by negligence
A Corozal resident, a bus driver, was charged today in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court with manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct and driving without due care and attention, in relation to a traffic [...]

BGYEA and GOB to court over Harmonyville Buffer Zone
Case has been adjourned until July 28 The case concerning authorization for the use of the buffer zone at Mile 41 between the Harmonyville Community and the George Price Highway was heard at the Supreme Court [...]

Three-vehicle collision in Benque
Three vehicles collided on the George Price Highway at about Mile 71 near San Jose Succotz at about 6:00 yesterday evening. One of three drivers was hurt and is being treated at the Western Regional Hospital [...]

Carlos Diaz remembers the Phoenix man, Wentworth Hemmings
The news coming out of the United States that a Phoenix man, Wentworth Hemmings, 40, who once resided in Belize, was sentenced to 31 years in prison for a hostage standoff in October, 2011, came as [...]

William Anderson, 71, dies in road collision
William Alexander Anderson, 71, of Monkey River, died after suffering massive head and body injuries in a road collision today when the vehicle he was driving slammed head-on into a school bus at about 7:15 this [...]

Nat’l Primary School Basketball
Holy Redeemer girls, St. Martin’s boys are Nat’l Primary School Basketball champs A total of twelve teams – 6 male and 6 female – representing the four corners of the country, took part in the 2014 [...]

World Cup times
Apologies for sports page error on World Cup game times Early on Friday morning at the Amandala base on West Canal Street, the X reminded me that Brazil vs Chile was kicking off at 10:00 a.m., [...]

Future Football Club
Future Football Club hosts 3rd Annual Summer Camp The Future Football Club, which is run by veteran footballer Edon “Yellowman” Rowley, will be hosting its 3rd Annual Summer Camp at the ITVET Football Field in Belize [...]

Young stars emerge
Young stars emerge at Annual COBY 3 on 3 Knockout Tournaments at Bird’s Isle A number of new young faces emerged as promising basketball stars of the future at the annual COBY 3 on 3 Knockout [...]

Taxi driver, 31, dies after being shot in the head
Amandala understands that a taxi driver who was shot twice in the head while traveling with an unidentified female companion in the wee hours of this morning unfortunately succumbed to his injuries at the Karl Heusner [...]

Samuel Miguel, 22, bashed to death in open lot
The victim, who was scantily clad, had just collected “back-pay” As dawn broke this past Saturday, June 28, the gruesome discovery of a body was made in a parking lot situated opposite the Raymond Parks Homeless [...]

Gunman attacks off-duty BDF soldier
Sometime before 8:00 p.m. this past Saturday, a social gathering which was taking place in a yard on Curl Thompson Street in the Port Loyola area of Belize City was rudely interrupted by a daring gunman [...]

Thief busted after robbing men on Fabers Road
A thief who held up three men at gunpoint on Fabers Road is in custody pending charges of aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, handling stolen goods, and keeping a sawed-off shotgun. The incident occurred at about 4:45 [...]

Municipal Court prosecutor Joseph Nuñez remanded to prison on firearm charges
The Firearms Act makes no allowance for Good Samaritans; once you are found with a gun, you are deemed to be guilty until you can prove that you are innocent Joseph Nuñez, 40, an ex-police officer [...]

Patrick JonesPJ

Funeral held for baby who died suddenly in San Andres village
A funeral service and burial was held today in San Andres village, Corozal for a 19-day old baby girl who died suddenly on Saturday morning. As we had reported previously, the mother of the child Laura Pena had gotten up to feed the baby around 2 am on […]

Teenager killed on Mahogany Street
Belize City teenager Myron Smith is the latest victim of gun violence, the third to be killed in as many days. 17 year old Smith, aka “Saddest,” of Giles Street, was shot in the left side of the chest near the armpit and the upper right side of […]

Cancer practitioners work together on response
The Ministry of Health recently developed a policy on addressing non-communicable diseases including cancer. Today it hosted representatives of public and private sector organizations working on the issue of cancer at the Radisson Hotel. Dr. Ramon Figueroa is the head of the Planning, Policy and Analysis Unit at […]

Police investigate broken tomb
Police were seen combing an apparent crime scene in the Lords’ Ridge Cemetery this afternoon. But what is unusual is that the scene is a grave that was apparently opened – and what appeared to be human remains, apart from the person buried there – inside. And these […]

Area representative delivers land in Lake Independence
Lake Independence area representative Mark King has been active in distributing land to his constituents. But he sought an easier way to make existing and first-time owners avoid the hassles of the notoriously inefficient Lands Department. On Monday, the latest one hundred residents of the constituency stepped up […]

Primary school art training program opens
23 primary schools and approximately 50 students and teachers will benefit from a six-month pilot project aimed at teaching educators the benefits of daily art education. The Primary School Art Skills Training Pilot Project (PSAST) is sponsored by the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in conjunction […]

BTL addresses network issues
For at least the past two weeks, having trouble accessing the internet on state-run telecommunications company Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL)’s network? It’s because for the last two weeks they have been under attack, not from overeager consumers switching over from rivals Smart, but from international attackers going after […]

Taiwanese Belize ambassador David Wu moves on
Today’s appearance at the Art Training Program opening in Belize City is among the last for Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Belize, His Excellency David C.K. Wu. He leaves Belize in two weeks’ time for a post in New Zealand, but says he will take […]

Child’s death under investigation in Orange Walk
There is another heartbreaking story of the death of an infant in the north. 19 month old Melissa Melani Cabanas died on Sunday at her home on the Palmar Road, Orange Walk and it is believed that the child ingested some kind of medication. Police say that […]

Police release details about mauling of a man by Pitt Bull dogs
Three days after a man was mauled by Pit Bull dogs in Independence village, police have released details of what transpired. According to police press officer Raphael Martinez, 23 year old Jeffery O’Brien was attacked sometime after 11 pm on Saturday, June 28. A teenage boy heading […]

The Debt For Education Swap Potential in Belize
Belize is classified by the World Bank as “upper-middle-income” with a GDP of US$1.493 billion (2011) and population of 324,100 (2012). “The initiation of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative in 1996 and its later enhancements resulted (or will result) in much of the debt of the 40 countries that qualified being forgiven. As […]


Teamwork by Belize Bird Rescue and ACES
It has only been 2 weeks since my husband and I and our 2 children moved to Ambergris Caye; where it seems everyday is an adventure. Sunday morning was no exception. A friend of mine had just called to ask if I wanted to go to Caye Caulker for the last day of Lobsterfest on her boat. For some reason I declined. I would get together with her next time. This is not like me, I am usually very random, spur of the moment, get up and go kind of girl. I do believe that everything happens for a reason; maybe I was meant to stay on the island today! The morning began with my regular routine. Coffee on the patio of our condo south of town, overlooking the lagoon on the right and the pool out front; beautiful! Palm trees swaying, birds chirping and a nice breeze. So peaceful here, sometimes I have to remind myself that we have moved here; it feels like we are still on vacation.

Belizean wins first Houston Caribbean Queen Pageant: Congratulations Rheisha Shol!
The first Houston Caribbean Queen (HCQ) Pageant, billed as “a cultural, educational, and festive event that seeks to celebrate the talent and intellectual abilities of young Caribbean women” was held on June 28, 2014 and it seems only fitting to us that the very first HC Queen is a talented young Belizean, Rheisha Shol. Rheisha was born in the national capital of Belmopan and moved to Houston, Texas with her family, where she currently attends Texas State University. In addition to possessing poise and the other qualities judges were looking for, Rheisha is obviously one intelligent young woman, having graduated in the top 10% of her high school class, winning numerous awards and serving on the cheerleading squad and as vice president of the graduation class, according to the HCQ website, which also tells us she has been active in various school and community organisations.

Tech – I Innovation Competition
Do you have an innovative mind? Want a chance to win up to USD 70,000 in prizes (BZ $140,000)? The American Association for the Advancement of Science in collaboration with the United States Department of State is having an innovation competition called Tech – I. It connects young innovators across the globe and serves as a platform for innovative minds and entrepreneurial spirits to meet. Kindly see eligibility requirements. Deadline for submissions are July 21st, 2014. For further information, kindly contact BELTRAIDE at or +501 822-3737/0175 or the Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities at + 501 822 3336/0160/0162 or email

Amarabi Seasoning & Marinade “The taste of Belize”
Amarabi Seasonings and Marinde is a unique blend of traditionally used herb and spices, locally found in Belize. It is a complete seasoning, flavorful, consistent and ready to be used on poultry, beef, pork, seafood and other meats. One of the features that make Amarabi’s products unique is the 100% Natural no MSG element. The business is owned and operated by Mrs. Laura Raymond, who became a client on May 3rd, 2013. Through SBDCBelize Ms. Raymond managed to register her business name. She also received guidance in areas of product labeling-as per national standards. The Label has been approved by the Belize Bureau of Standard. Ms. Raymond has received guidance and advice on intellectual property rights- trademark, and on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and Standard Sanitation Operating Procedures (SSOPs), two certifications that are critical to ensure food safety in agro-processed goods.

Mad Media Solutions “Innovative Biometric, Marketing and ID Solutions!”
Mad Media Solutions is owned and operated by Mr. Francisco Madrid. The business was registered March, 2013. It provides “innovative ID solutions”, as well as Biometric systems to monitor and consistently sustain security issues in organizations. Mr. Madrid became a client of the Centre on March 2013, and since then has actively sought advice from his primary adviser in areas of financing options, product development, business plan development, investment and market research. As a result of his proactive commitment, and focused advising from his assigned advisor at the Centre, Mr. Madrid has managed to successfully source financing for the growth and improvement of his business venture.

Bella Dees- “Offering multi-purpose natural, handmade products”
Bella Dees is a home-based business that produces multi-purpose natural, handmade, aroma therapeutic soaps, with 8 vegetable oils and fresh Belizean healing herbs. In addition to soaps, the business makes aroma therapeutic massage oils. It guarantees to provide a 100% natural, healing and aromatherapy benefits, safe for the skin; gentle for the entire family and pets; easy on the environment, and no animal testing. Experience the benefits of aroma-therapy in a practical way. Their unique formulas leave no residue on the skin. The oils used are chosen based on the special qualities they bring to the soap such as the ability to moisturize and soften skin and the type of lather they produce. Since all the soaps use only natural products and retain all the glycerine produced during the saponification process, they have a softer, creamier consistency than regular commercial, synthetic soaps. So yummy, you may never want to leave the tub again!

Ambergris Caye can cover most cravings and needs here on the island. Most “stocked” bar is Lola’s Pub. If you want it and can’t find it anywhere ~ they will have it! Snorkeling and diving with Chuck and Robbies is a great way to spend the day! Taco Bell – go to Celi’s Deli and have a burrito or granachas (like a tostada) Want to do Crossfit see “Drew and Crew” in Boca Del Rio at the BOX Take home some local art made by local artist – Belizean Melody’s Art Gallery Dive the Blue Hole with Amigos Del Mar McDonald’s Burger – RoadKill can make a mean Big Mac look alike. Best tee shirt business – Toucan Gift Shops! Belize ones, funny ones, colorful ones in all shapes and sizes

International Sourcesizz

Belize Proves "Good Things Come In Small Packages"
The ex-British colony, lodged between big brother Mexico to the north, the jungles of Guatemala to the south and west, and nestled on the world's second largest barrier reef to the east, offers a wide range of exploration to satisfy all travelers. Belize may pack in more flora, fauna and diverse natural beauty per square mile, than any nation on the planet. Roughly 60% of Belize is forested. For many visitors a trip to the Belizean rainforest is the trip of a lifetime. Bring your binoculars to the jungles of Belize as it is a bird watcher's paradise. There are over 600 different bird species, roosting high above in the majestic forest or along rivers and lagoons. If you're lucky, you just might catch a glimpse of Belize's national bird, the keel-billed toucan, or Belize's national animal, Baird's tapir. Although, many times elusive, keen eyed eco tourists, can view: spider monkeys, howler monkeys, peccaries, coatimundis, gibnuts, and other animals that never been seen or even or heard of by the tourist. On rare occasions, one can even view the nocturnal jaguar. The country is also home to 4,000 species of tropical flowers, including 250 kinds of orchids.

Murder suspect extradited from Belize, charged in 2005 killing of Polish woman living on Staten Island
When the body of a 47-year-old Polish woman living in Tompkinsville was discovered in an alleyway behind a movie theater on Coney Island Avenue in 2005, it sent chills through the Polish community on Staten Island and left behind a mystery with few answers. Several of her close friends interviewed by the Advance at the time said they wondered what happened, who did it, and why. Now, nearly nine years later, police say they finally have a suspect in custody. Michael Young, 39, of Brooklyn, was arrested Tuesday in New York for the 2005 murder of Zofia Rogowicka, 47, according to an NYPD spokesman (Police spelled the victim's name "Sofia Rogonicka," but multiple articles refer to her as Zofia Rogowicka).

Why Belize Is The Perfect Surf-And-Turf Vacation
The same turquoise waters that lure tourists to Caribbean destinations slosh around Belize's island chain. But tiny Belize has a major advantage in reeling in the holidaymakers — spectacular Maya ruins tucked away in lush jungle. The nation is home to more prehistoric buildings than modern-day ones, according to its Institute of Archaeology. That ancient appeal draws in backpackers eager for adventure as well as divers ready to gawk at its bustling reefs or plunge into its famed Blue Hole. Belize has all the ingredients for a surf and turf vacation — at least for those who don't mind the odd giant cockroach or neon green frog that may invade their jungle dwellings. CAVES, SKELETONS AND A SWIM Evidence of human sacrifice in Maya times litters the floors of the Actun Tunichil Muknal caves, where the skeletons are welded in place by limestone sediment. Mayan pottery is also frozen in time there, with archeologists opting to leave most artifacts as they were centuries ago. To get to the caves, visitors are led down a gentle jungle trail that includes several river crossings. Next, comes an invigorating swim across a frigid pool of water at the cave's mouth (which is patrolled by a resident vine snake). Water winds throughout the cave, and visitors have to squeeze through impossible-looking openings before being rewarded with the archaeological trove. But don't expect to plaster social media with photos documenting the adventure. Clumsy tourists — including one who left a camera-sized hole in the skull of a sacrificed child — led to a ban on cameras at the site.

From the editor’s desk: Fast facts about Belize
Bill and Ginny Davenport recently moved from Clovis to Belize in Central America in search of better health. They’ve written a letter about their new lives and asked it be shared with their old hometown. This is part two of four: Let us tell you a little about the country: They have a rainy season from June to December. One minute the sky is clear and sunny, the next sunny or cloudy and it is raining for about 15 minutes. Almost everyone carries an umbrella, either for the sun or rain. The temperature ranges from 80 to 100 degrees. Belize City is the largest city, but also the dirtiest, and 99 percent of crime is there. Not a place you want to live. Everywhere in the country you will see horses tied along the road eating. This is how most people feed them. You will also see many partially finished houses. This is because they start building a house and when they run out of money, they stop and continue when they have some more money. A lot of these homes have mold coating due to the lack of maintenance, the heat and moisture.

Moody's affirms Belize's Caa2 rating
Short-term fiscal liquidity pressures have subsided following the debt restructuring. The lower coupon rate has provided the sovereign with ample breathing room and greater fiscal space. The authorities remain committed to maintaining a primary surplus of approximately 1% of GDP over the medium term, and expect that fiscal dynamics will improve as the economy recovers. Near-term fiscal pressures remain manageable, even though domestic oil production is declining rapidly. We believe that there are downside risks to fiscal performance over the next 2-3 years related to continued uncertainty on various fronts. Importantly, elections are scheduled for March 2017 and we expect fiscal easing ahead of the vote. Fiscal revenues may not respond as forcefully as authorities expect to tax measures that are planned to be implemented in 2014- 15. The next general election coincides with the first step-up in the coupon rate on the restructured bonds. The ongoing litigation on the nationalization of the electric (BEL) and telecom (BTL) companies could result in a fiscal cost of anywhere between 6% and 30% of GDP depending on valuation estimates.

5 Amazing Experiences Every Traveler Must Try!
Snorkeling in Belize With knockout beaches on Ambergris Caye, Caye Kaulker, and Placenia, plus inland jungles, 600 species of birds (think toucans and motmots), and Mayan ruins, Belize is paradise for landlubbers. But nothing beats exploring the blue sea and getting up-close-and-personal with the underwater residents on a snorkeling adventure. A visit to the five-square-mile Hol Chan Marine Reserve with a good outfitter will include all snorkeling gear and the chance to hobnob with colorful coral, angelfish, grunts, snappers, rays, nurse sharks (it's okay, they're harmless!), and maybe even a manatee from June to September.


Video: Choosing a Tarpon Line, 3min.
There are a lot of fly lines on the market, and choosing the right one can be a bit daunting. To make that choice easier, RIO has produced a series of "Choosing" the right line" videos, with the latest one in the series advising on how to choose the right line for fly fishing for tarpon. Filmed in Belize, this short film describes the RIO tarpon fly line options and breaks down the advantages of each one, enabling you to choose the perfect tarpon line for your next trip.

Video: Dark Night Cave | Mama Noots Bocawina Adventures & Eco-Resort (BELIZE), 3min.

Video: Belize Zoo 2014 Jaguar Encounter, 8min.
This is a video of Junior Buddy the jaguar at the Belize Zoo. This was an amazing experience. I never though I'd have my head licked by a jaguar before.

Video: Snorkeling At Hol Chan, Ambergris Caye, Belize, 11min.

Video: Belize 2014, 11min.
Winona State Biodiversity of Belize 2014.

Video: Belize Jen & Patrick, 7min.
Honeymoon June 2014.

Video: Belize whale sharks, 3min.

Video: Victoria House | Ambergris Caye Belize Beach Resort, 2min.
An award winning Belize Beach Resort. Victoria House, a luxury Belize Resort, is a 42-room retreat offering the definition of a relaxing luxury beach Belize Vacation. Victoria House is located on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye-Belize, approximately one mile from the second largest barrier reef in the world & two miles south of San Pedro Town

Video: Belize Cruise 2014, 21min.

Video: Belize Vacation, 8min.
Zip line in Belize

Video: Belize Sundancer II, 18min.
Crjuise ship expedition

July 1, 2014

This news synopsis will be a bit more condensed than usual for the next several days due to time constraints.


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

NAC/CCM continue outreach activities throughout San Pedro
Press Release – NAC/CCM Island Committee – June 18, 2014 - Throughout the month of May the National AIDS Commission (NAC) / Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) Island Committee along with the Pan American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO) and the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II realized several outreach activities throughout the San Pedro community. Reaching thousands, […]

Bill Collector wins the 2014 Dia de San Pedro Fishing Rodeo
On Sunday, June 29th, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) hosted the annual Dia de San Pedro Fishing Rodeo at the Boca del Rio Park. The Fishing Rodeo culminated the Dia de San Pedro Celebrations, and as such was celebrated with a grand beach party. As a large crowd gathered at the park awaiting the […]

NAC/CCM continue outreach activities throughout San Pedro
Press Release – NAC/CCM Island Committee – June 18, 2014 - Throughout the month of May the National AIDS Commission (NAC) / Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) Island Committee along with the Pan American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO) and the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II realized several outreach activities throughout the San Pedro community. Reaching thousands, […]

San Pedro Junior Sailing Club to host 5th National Ranking Regatta
The San Pedro Junior Sailing Club (SPJSC) has been dominating the 2014 Sailing Season, and on Saturday, July 5th and Sunday, July 6th they will be hosting the first ever San Pedro Sailing Regatta. This regatta is the fifth Belize Sailing Association rational ranking regatta of the season. The 2014 Sailing Season consists of nine […]

Isla Bonita Elementary receives 20 iPads
Isla Bonita Elementary has received a donation of 20 iPads to be used by the students. The donation was facilitated through Northern Cross Foundation by an anonymous donor. According to Principal Addy Martinez, the iPads will be used in the computer lab as substitute computer systems, serving to modernize the school and improve the students’ […]

Ambergris Today

Flashbacks: Rosary Boat Procession at Sea for Dia de San Pedro
The Rosary is a Catholic rite practiced in various forms here in San Pedro. It is done at Church, at homes, wakes, and the processions on the streets of the town. It was in the 1980’s that our parish priest, the late Reverend Robert Razskowski along with Mrs. Vilma Arceo (+) thought of the idea of a rosary procession at sea to honor Saint Peter who is the Patrol Saint of San Pedro. Ever since then and up until today we have the annual sea procession on June 29 about 5 a.m. commencing at the main pier in front of Central Park.

Pic of the Week: Dolphin Encounters in Ambergris Caye, Belize
Dolphin encounters while diving in Belize are not all that rare, but still there are only a lucky few who get to see them up close and capture an image like this. Israel Moran was diving in the Tres Cocos area, just off the shores of Ambergris Caye, Belize, with his clients and was able to take this snap of a pod of friendly dolphins passing overhead.

Belize Telemedia Explains Countrywide Internet Issues
Belize Telemedia Ltd. (BTL) advises its DSL customers that the Company continues to experience connectivity or slow browsing issues with our internet service. This is as a result of an external attack to their system and their technical teams are working to find a permanent solution. If you have difficulty accessing the internet, you are asked to kindly power cycle your modem. If the issue continues, please call the Call Center at 119 to make a formal report so that it can be investigated further. Customers are informed that the BTL Technical Teams are working to normalize internet service. "We are please to share that the Company is in the process of upgrading its equipment which will provide advanced security features and improved service reliability. We apologize for any inconveniences caused and thank you for your patience and support."

Island Celebrates a Cultural Dia De San Pedro
The San Pedro Town Council and the San Pedro House of Culture organized a weeklong celebratory event that lead to the celebration of Dia de San Pedro (San Pedro Day) on Sunday, June 29, 2014. The activities paid homage to the island’s patron saint and highlighted the rich history and culture of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Events kicked off on Friday, June 20, 2014, with the religious traditions of “La Bajada” and authentic fisherman’s breakfast which then led to a week-long art and photo exhibit featuring the founding members of the Caribeña Producers Cooperative, as well as San Pedro fishermen.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Gospel Fellowship Chapel In shipyard Colony
An evangelical church plant, offers excommunicated Old Colony Mennonite families hope and opportunities in the heart of Shipyard Colony in Belize. Horses wait with buggies during a church service in Shipyard Colony, Belize, where Gospel Fellowship Chapel reaches out to colony members. Gospel Fellowship Chapel counts 60 attendees, but the number of lives it has touched over a decade is far greater, said Pastor Henry Rede­kopp. The church is partially supported by the Canada-based Evangelical Mennonite Mission Conference. The church is one of three EMMChas in Belize. “We are mostly a transitional place,” Redekopp said while on sabbatical in Manitoba. “That’s not as exciting, because we’d like to see the church grow. It is growing, but it’s not being seen there because the new believers leave.”

Belize Chamber of Commerce - Innovative Training

Ask the Prime Minister
Have a question you've been wanting to ask the Prime Minister? Then here's your chance! Send your questions to our inbox and Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow will answer your question on national television. Send your questions by Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at 9:00 am.

Cayo Hosts BAAS Week
The Institute of Archaeology is having the Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium starting tomorrow, July 1st, at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. "Join the National Institute of Culture & History July 1st through July 4th for the 12th Annual Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium at our Bedran Hall! It’s definitely not one to miss!"

Channel 7

New-born Baby Dies Under Unknown Circumstance
There were 4 shootings in Belize City, which resulted in 2 fatalities, and 2 victims who continue to recover from injuries. In the Stann Creek Creek, a man was mauled to death by 2 pitbull dogs. But, we start our newscast tonight, with a tragedy from Corozal. Police from that district are awaiting the results of a post-mortem to determine how a 20 days' old premature baby died. The child, who would have been named Laureny Pena, was at home with her parents, Laura and Raul Pena, at their house in San Andres Village. At around 2 o'clock on Saturday morning, they woke up and realized that little Laureny wasn't breathing. They then rushed her to the Corozal Community Hospital, but, by the time they arrived, the doctors couldn't do anything for her.

Independence Man Mauled To Death By Pit Bulls
And tonight, there's a highly controversial story developing in Independence Village, in which Joy Grant, the Minister of Energy, Science and Technology is under scrutiny by police investigators. 23 year-old Jeffrey O'Brien, a village resident from Independence was returning home from a fishing trip at around 11 o'clock on Friday night. When he passed by Grant's House 2 pit bulls rushed out, attacked him, and bit him several times. He was discovered by an elderly man in the village who alerted other neighbours. He was then rushed to the hospital, but he died before he could receive medical treatment. The issue tonight is that police are unsure who the dogs belong to, but they believe that Grant is the owner. Today, we tried to contact Grant herself for comments, but she wasn't available. Her Ministry CEO, Dr. Colin Young, responded to our formal request for a call back, and informed us that Grant was unavailable at this time because she was in a meeting.

Belize City Man Found Stabbed To Death
In Belize City, the first man to lose his life to violence this weekend was 22 year-old Samuel Steven Miguel, a resident of West Street. Residents woke up sometime after 5 o'clock on Saturday morning, and they his body in a parking lot off Cemetery Road, right next to Magic Fingers - which is opposite to the Raymond Parks Homeless Shelter. Steven Miguel was only his boxer briefs, and he had stab wounds to his head. Police from precinct 1 are trying figure out who killed him, and why. Today, they explained what they found on the scene:

Malcolm Wagner Killed Near To His Home
The 2 second Belize City man who died this weekend was 24-year-old Malcolm Wagner. About 12 hours after Samuel Miguel was found dead, Wagner was standing at the corner of Flamboyant and Poinsettia Streets when a vehicle drove up, and a man opened fire on him from inside. 5 bullets were meant for him, but 3 found their mark. An attempt was made on Wagner's life almost a year ago, but on Saturday, his assailants made sure that he wouldn't escape a second time. 7News went looking for answers today, and Daniel Ortiz reports: Sgt. Ismael Westby, NCO-CIB, Precinct 2 "Police responded to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw a male person who was identified as Malcolm Wagner, 24 years old of a Flamboyant Street address suffering from gunshots wounds to the lower back; two to the lower back and one to the right side leg. Based on that respond that police did, an initial investigation revealed that Malcolm Wagner was standing at the corner of Poinsettia and Flamboyant Streets sometime around 5:30pm when a vehicle drove by with a male person in there who fired several shots at him."

Taxi-man Ambushed By Gunmen On Bikes
31 year-old Albert Castro, a Taxi Driver from Belize City, continues to recover from gunshot injuries he suffered early this morning. It happened at around 3 o'clock when he was driving his green Mazda car while in the company of a 26 year-old female passenger. When he arrived at the corner of Faber's Road and Watermelon Street, they were approached by a man who rode up to them on bicycles and opened fire. Police from Precinct 2 explained more today: Sgt. Ismael Westby, NCO-CIB, Precinct 2 "This morning around 3:35am police responded to information received where they visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and there they saw Mr. Albert Castro, he is 31 years of a McKay Boulevard address, suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. Initial investigation from the police reveals that Mr. Castro was driving a light green four door Mazda car which is taxi car from the direction of the George Price Highway towards the Central American Boulevard and whilst approaching the corner of Faber's Road and Watermelon Street, two male persons, riding opposite direction, approached the car and fired shots to the direction of the car causing the injuries. The car also has been processed where police found suspected bullet holes on the roof of the car and the passenger side door of the car."

Off-Duty BDF Soldier Was Ambushed
And finally for tonight, we report on the shooting incident in which a BDF soldier seems to have been the intended target. At around 7:30 pm on Saturday, a mere 2 hours after Malcolm Wagner was killed, 23-year-old Carlton Augustine was socializing with 4 friends in a yard on Curl Thompson Street when a man ambushed the crowd and fired gunshots at them. Augustine was struck by 2 of those bullets, and today investigators told the media why out of the 5 men, they believe that he was the man the shooter intend to hurt: Sgt. Ismael Westby, NCO-CIB, Precinct 2 "On Saturday night, 28th June, 2014 where sometime around 7:58p.m., police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where the person identified as Carlton Augustine, 23 year old B.D.F. soldier of a Curl Thompson Street address was seen suffering from gunshot wound to the upper right ribcage and to the upper left arm. Initial investigations led us to that Carlton Augustine was socializing with some friends in a yard on the same street when a male person wearing a grey shirt ran into the yard and fired several shots towards his direction causing his injuries. Based on that investigation, police have canvassed in the area and at this present moment, we believe that he was the intended target."

Almost a month ago, the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) managed to get a victory against the Government of Belize when Justice Courtney Abel discharged the injunction that the Acting Solicitor General brought against them. The Government warned that if they wanted, they could just keeping bring those injunctions back, and today, they did just that. In this new injunction, the Acting Solicitor General wants a declaration that Government is the owner of the land, a declaration that BGYEA and its members don't have a right to be on the land, and a case of trespass directly against Nigel Petillo and Sam Patton. As we've told you, the Government wants to keep some 20 acres of land in the Harmonyville community as road reserve. They've designated that it is a buffer zone, and should remain untouched, but BGYEA wants to develop it by planting corn there. The case went back before Justice Abel today, and we asked their attorney about this new tactic from the government to keep the land away from BGYEA:

Biker Stopped For Traffic Violations; Got Caught Trafficking
Nineteen year old Aaron Flowers, a tour guide of Antelope Street Extension, was charged with 2 counts of drug trafficking when he appeared today before Magistrate Herbert Panton. Flowers was also charged with bribery of a police officer, drove an unlicensed motor vehicle, drove a motor vehicle while not being the holder of a valid driver's license and drove a motor vehicle not covered by third party insurance. Flowers was released on a bail of $2,500. His next court date is August 26. The incident occurred on June 26. Police reports are that they intercepted a motor cycle driven by Flowers at a check point at mile 4 on George Price Highway and they busted Flowers with 2 parcels of cannabis, one that weighed 317 grams and the other that weighed 66 grams. The police also alleged that Flowers attempted to bribe police constable Renel Pou by offering him $500. The police said that the motor cycle Flowers was driving was unlicensed and was not covered by third party insurance. The police also said that Flowers was not the holder of a valid driver's license.

Hon. Faber's Vehicle Ran Into Police Mobile
In our last segment, we told you about the scrutiny that police have ongoing for Minister Joy Grant, well tonight, we tell you about a traffic accident in which Education Minister Patrick Faber was one of the parties involved. Police haven't released any details of this accident, but today, we got in contact with Faber by phone, and he told his version of the events. Via text messages he told us today, Quote, "Yesterday I was in a small traffic mishap with a police vehicle on the roundabout at the corner at St. Thomas Street and Freetown Town Rd. While on the roundabout turning on to St. Thomas Street pretty sure I had the right away, I was forced to bring my vehicle to a stop at which point the police mobile apparently in an emergency pursuit sped across the roundabout northern bound on Freetown road, colliding with my vehicle. I did not hear police sirens or see flashings lights. Nobody was injured in the small traffic accident and both vehicles involved received minor damages. As a result of these minor damages and because the police claim to have been in an emergency pursuit I have agreed to take on the cost of very minor repairs to the police vehicle. I take the opportunity to thank all those who were concerned about my safety upon hearing about this little mishap." End quote.

Charged For Shooting A Man twice His Age
Twenty year old Steve Moss, a construction worker of 7165 Caesar Ridge Road, who was allegedly involved in the shooting of 40 year old Walter Beaton, was charged with use of deadly means of harm and wounding when he appeared today before The Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Moss was remanded into custody until August 27. The incident occurred on June 13. Police reports are that Beaton was involved in a dispute with a woman at the corner of Kraal Road and Caesar Ridge Road and as he was riding off a man rode by on a bicycle and shot him in his left hand. Beaton jumped off his bicycle into a drain and stayed there until the police arrived.

His Over- Full Bus Lead To Negligent Death?
In March, we told you about how a 63 year-old man fell out of a bus and died on the Northern Highway because the bus was allegedly too full to take all those passengers. Well tonight, the driver of that bus stands criminally charged for his death He's Forty-eight Modesto Lizarraga, a Santa Rita Road, Corozal Town, who allegedly caused the death of 63 year old Jose "Pantas" Villanueva. He was charged and arraigned on manslaughter by negligence when he appeared today before Magistrate Herbert Panton. Lizarraga was also charged with causing death by careless conduct and drove motor vehicle without due care and attention.

BTIA Gets Their First Day In Court Against NCL
Today was first day in court in which the Belize Tourism Industry Association is trying to block Norwegian Cruise Line's mega cruise development on Harvest Caye in Southern Belize. As we've reported on numerous times, BTIA contends that the Department of Environment rushed through the public consultation process on the project, and pushed through a development which wasn't environmentally sound. Justice Abel heard the first of their attorney's arguments today, and after the session, we asked Godfrey Smith to explain it to us: Godfrey Smith, Attorney for B.T.I.A. "In a nutshell we're saying at this stage we just have to show the court that we have an arguable case that the DoE and the NEAC made a mistake. They made a mistake, in layman's terms, by not recommending a public hearing when the law has a list of factors that should be considered in deciding whether to have a public hearing. So the environmental law lists like the magnitude of the project, the complexity of it, the magnitude of the investment, whether there is a deep interest in it by the public.

CPBL Workers Will Get Increased Wages
Last week, we told you about how the Christian Worker's Union signed a memorandum of understanding with the Citrus Workers in the South. It's supposed to result in better wages for those workers from the Citrus Products of Belize Limited, and while we had the opportunity, we asked CWU President Matura-Shepherd to explain how it will work: Audrey Matura-Shepherd, President, Christian Workers Union "The main thing in that proposal was that workers got a salary increase and that is always good news for workers. It is done in four phases; phase 1 is in the first year; they get 17 cents increase on the hour. Phase two, which is the following year, they get 18 cents on the hour and then the third and fourth year they get 20 cents increase on the hour. That aspect is good, however, that's an agreement that was negotiated by our predecessor and now it was just being implemented. We had some fine tuning we had to do and of course we know that CPBL has a new board of management so we wanted to make sure that they also agreed with what was negotiated by their previous board."

Byron Pope Won't Go To Glasgow
Cyclist Byron Pope, the defending national road champions and and one of Belize's hopes for a medal at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow later this year, will have to miss the Games. That's after he injured two spinal vertebrae when he had a terrible accident this weekend. It happened this weekend when he was competing in Saturday's individual time trials for the national road championships. During his ride, he ended up collided with a parked vehicle while competing in last organized by the Cycling Federation of Belize on the Burrell Boom bypass road on Saturday, June 28.

Hon. King And The Land Amnesty
We've been telling you all about the land amnesty program currently being done in the Lake Independence area. The way it's supposed to work is that those residents who have been trying to get land titles for properties they've been living on for years will all get the assistance of their area representative and the Lands Department to fast-track the process. Today, about 100 more residents in Lake I got the benefit of the program and Area Rep. Mark King invited the media out to see it process in action. Here's what he told us: Hon. Mark King, Area Representative - Lake Independence "Today as promise we have the land amnesty program running in Lake I. The program aims at giving leases, helping people with issues they'd been having to get their titles and turning those into purchase, also reducing purchase prices for people. In here a land roughly cost $3,000 - $5,000, we give them for $500 - $800 - so you help them reduce the price and get their land title. It also caters for new land owners. Whenever the government gets new land as in the Cotton Tree case; lets say they get 30 lands, we out them alongside other land that we get and we give it to new land owners. Lets say you just turn 18 or you lives in your mother's back yard and stuff. We have data on people that have it for a while living in their parents back yard and we give them a new land - stuff like that."

Carinosa's Crustacean Fixation Now 20 Years And Counting
By now, you've probably been to a few, or at least one of the lobster festivals either in Placencia or in Caye Caulker - that's unless seafood or partying isn't your thing. But after 20 years in existence, Lobster Fest is still alive and well, and still as vibrant it was 20 years ago when the idea was born on Caye Caulker. And how much so? Well, that's what our news team decided to go find out. Daniel Ortiz was the island this weekend, and he has this report:

The Disorderly Caye Goers
And in April, we told you that San Pedro Belize Express had a major mishap in which hundreds of their customers were plunged into the sea when their pier broke down. Well, being out there on the island ourselves, we got an first-hand experience of how. You see, the last boat back to Belize City - which is where most of the visitors were heading - leaves at 5 o'clock. Now, everybody is partying and having a good time, and then, everybody wants to take that last boat. The trouble is that it becomes a big push to get on the boat. It happened again this weekend where the crowd who wanted to leave the island started to behave mob-like pushing each other in an almost panicked attempt to get to the front. Add alcohol to the mix, and it makes for a volatile situation to escalate very easily. The boats had to be delayed for at least half hour before everybody could get on.

Channel 5

Samuel Miguel smashed on the head with a cement block and dies
There were two murders over the weekend and by any account both were senseless. Early on Saturday morning, the body of Samuel Miguel was found in a parking lot on [...]

Malcolm “Frisky” Wagner shot & killed – family says he was lured to his death
Approximately twelve hours after the lifeless body of Samuel Miguel was found, several shots rang out on Flamboyant Street in the Lake Independence Area. Malcolm “Frisky” Wagner was targeted by [...]

Taxi operator clings to life after being shot to the head
The gun-violence continued through to the wee hours of this morning. Thirty-one year old Albert Castro is clinging to life at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was shot [...]

B.D.F. soldier shot as he socialized in the Jane Usher Boulevard Area
There is another shooting to report; twenty-three year old Carlton Augustine, a B.D.F. soldier, is recovering from gunshot wounds he sustained over the weekend.  On Saturday night, shortly before eight [...]

Minister of Education is unscathed in Belize City accident
There were several accidents over the weekend resulting in one fatality in Independence and at least ten person injured in Independence and Belmopan. We start with a fender bender in [...]

Man perishes in a collision with bus loaded with students in Independence
An elderly man is dead and at least six others injured in a horrible road traffic accident this morning. It happened in the Savannah area about two miles from the [...]

Man mauled to death by pit-bulls in the south
  There is another death to report tonight and it involves a man who was mauled to death in Independence in southern Belize. Jeffrey O’brien was returning home from a [...]

2 brothers in the P.U.P. camp are casualties of immigration scandal
On Friday we told you about Martin Cal, a candidate on the People’s United Party municipal slate in Belmopan. Cal was asked to step down by party officials after his [...]

Audit confirms missing monies at the B.S.C.F.A.
An employee of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association has been terminated, and five others are in the hot seat after an audit turned up the misappropriation of funds. It [...]

G.O.B. versus BGYEA – case is back before the court
This morning it was the B.T.I.A. versus G.O.B., and this afternoon it was G.O.B. versus BGYEA. An action has been taken against the grassroots organization for trespassing in the buffer [...]

Case hearing begins in judicial review of NCL project
In May, the Belize Tourism Industry Association filed a claim seeking judicial review of the decision to green-light Norwegian Cruise Line’s massive tourism project on Harvest Caye. This morning, the [...]

Battle Camp 2014 – B.D.F. & Louisiana National Guard train to take on the enemy
At D’Silva Camp in Mountain Pine Ridge, volunteers of the Belize Defense Force and soldiers of the Louisiana National Guard are engaged in Battle Camp 2014. They are undergoing rigorous [...]

CWU signs collective bargaining agreement with CPBL
The Christian Workers’ Union has signed a collective bargaining agreement with the Citrus Products of Belize Limited. It covers only about one hundred workers, but it is an achievement for [...]

Corozal bus driver charged with manslaughter by negligence
Forty-nine year old bus driver of Corozal Town has been charged with manslaughter by negligence four months after a traffic mishap claimed the life of sixty-two year old Jose Elmer [...]

Cyclist Byron Pope hospitalized after traffic mishap
At the top of the newscast, we told you about three traffic accidents, but there is one more to report. A near-fatal collision on Saturday morning, involving well-known Belizean cyclist [...]

Pope says he could have lost his life
Pope says that if it was not for his helmet, a safety precaution mandated for use by all cyclists, he could have lost his life upon impact.  There is no [...]

Football reigned over the weekend; Kaya Cattouse has the stats
Good evening, I’m Kaya Cattouse and this is Sports Monday   Sunday evening at the Ladyville football field, Belize District Stars hosted San Antonio F.C. in the 2014 F.F.B. President’s [...]


BSI/ASR Brings Down Their Guard And Publicly Speaks On Baggasse Negotiations
The north is only a few days away from witnessing the closur

HECOPAB Carries Out Regional Testing
You can never be too careful, especially when it comes to yo

Grisell Carballo Represents Belize In Costa Maya
The Miss Costa Maya Pageant is scheduled to take place on Au

Officers Get Inspectec By Regional Commander
At the end of every month Police Officers in the Corozal Dis

Theme For September Celebrations Selected
We are more than two months away from kicking off the Septem

BSI/ASR Prepares For Cut In Sugar Prices
While there is no telling how the negotiations for payment o


Retrial Ordered For Drug Plane Case
Earlier in the week we reported that the Director of Public Prosecution, Cheryl Lyn Vidal, application to the Court of Appeal to have five police officers accused of assisting in landing a drug plan be retried. The five men, Corporal Renel Grant, Corporal Nelson Middleton, Sergeant Lawrence Humes, Customs Boatman Harold Usher, Sergeant Jacinto Roches, were acquitted of the crime in 2012. Vidal’s argument was that the trial judge made an error when he found that the evidence submitted was not enough. Today the Court of Appeal heard closing arguments and a decision was handed down and the court of appeal granted the application for leave to appeal. The verdict was set aside and a retrial was ordered. On November 13, 2010, a twin Engine Beechcraft King Air 200 landed in the Bladden Area of the Southern Highway. Inside the plane were thousands of pounds of compressed cocaine and the men are being accused of assisting in landing the plane.

Opposition Operative Fingered in Passport Scandal
Long time PUP supporter and political aspirant, Martin Cal, has been removed from the PUP’s Belmopan City slate for the next municipal election. The decision came earlier this week when it was made known that Cal was being fingered in the Auditor General Report. The report states that Cal signed a recommendation for one Simon Troung for him to obtain his passport. The report says that Cal stated that he knew Simon Troung for one year. The Auditor General finds that Martin Cal committed a prosecutable offense by signing Simon Troung’s 3 A recommender form. According to the Deputy Party Leader of the Western Caucus for the PUP, Julius Espat, Cal was removed because of the allegations. JULIUS ESPAT “We were informed through the Auditor General’s report that there were some accusations made with Martin; the Party Leader and the Party made a decision and sat with him for him not to participate as a candidate in the Belmopan Municipal Elections. The party leader believes it is important that we as a party give the candidates or give the people of Belmopan the opportunity to choose candidates what he is trying to move forward in the party right now. This is not to say that we are saying the Mr. Cal is guilty, we are not here to prove his innocence or guilt, it’s just that it is not beneficial for the party and the supporters of the People’s United Party to have this doubt hanging above the other candidates and I think Mr. Cal has been quite cooperative in that way too.”

Businessman Fails to Pay SS Contributions
Businessman Darrell Carter, was arraigned today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith for failure to pay social security contributions from February to May 2014. Carter pled not guilty to the charge. His case was adjourned until August 12.

Duo Found With Butler’s Stolen Gun
Two men, 28 year old Phillip Samuels and 19 year old Aymon Flores, were denied bail and were remanded to Belize Central Prison when they appeared today before magistrate Herbert Panton and were charged with robbery of a firearm. They pled not guilty to the charge. The prosecutor objected to bail on the ground that the offence has become prevalent, that the offence is a serious one and that if granted bail the accused persons might interfere with the investigation which is still ongoing because the firearm has not been recovered. Magistrate Panton upheld the objection and remanded Samuels and Flores into custody until 20. According to the allegation, on June 25, Samuels and Flores robbed Carl Butler of his licensed 9 millimeter pistol that had 8 rounds of ammunition in its magazine. Butler said the firearm has a value of $2,000. Samuels said in court that he and Flores were taken to mile 4 on George Price Highway and they were beaten by the police. Samuels said that he was beaten until he lost consciousness and some of his ribs were broken.

Court Prosecutor Remanded on Firearm Charge
Thirty-three year old Joseph Nunez, a prosecutor at the traffic court, became an inmate of Belize Central Prison today when he appeared before Magistrate Herbert Panton and was arraigned on charges of kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license. Nunez pled not guilty to the charges. He was remanded into custody until August 13. The incident occurred on Sunday, June22. According to police reports, Nunez was driving a motorcycle that had no rear lights and he was not wearing a helmet when police pursued him and caught up with him. Before he was searched Nunez told the police officer that he was in possession of a 9 millimeter pistol with 15 rounds of ammunition in its magazine. Nunez did not have a license for the firearm so he was taken into custody and charged. The firearm was one, reports say, that belongs to Elite Security and it was issued to a security officer who was with Nunez. Nunez reportedly asked the security guard to hand him the firearm in order to prevent the security guard from getting himself into trouble with a woman he had an argument with.

Court of Appeals Rules In Favor of Longsworth
Lavern Longsworth was convicted of the 2012 murder of her common law husband, David White, in the Supreme Court of Belize. She was sentenced to life in prison but today the Court of Appeal handed down a ruling in favor of Longsworth. She will still be serving time but much less than life. In fact, it is expected that Longsworth will serve a little over four years in jail. Her conviction was squashed and a conviction of manslaughter was substituted. Her attorney, Leslie Mendez explained. LESLIE MENDEZ “The decision of the Court of Appeal is that it substituted the verdict of murder for a verdict of manslaughter with a sentence of eight years for manslaughter.” LOCAL REPORTER “How much will she actually serve, time on remand and time already spent?” LESLIE MENDEZ “Lavern will at most serve around approximately four and a half years because the court stated that it will take into account the time she has already served.” LOCAL REPORTER “Do you consider this a victory for your client?”

Patrick JonesPJ

Candidates chosen to contest Belmopan City Council for PUP
The People’s United Party (PUP) has chosen its slate of candidates to contest the municipal elections in Belmopan in March, 2015. Of the two slates that went head to head, the people of Belmopan gave team Chacon the nod. Jose Chacon received 529 votes as the Mayoral […]

Two murders and two attempted murders in Belize City
Four persons were targeted for death over the weekend in Belize City. Unfortunately, two of them were successful. On Saturday morning just before 6:00 a.m. residents and travelers on Orange Street were greeted by an unpleasant scene. Police recovered the body of Samuel Steven Miguel, 22, of a […]

Belize Athletic Association holds summer camp
The Belize Athletic Association is looking for the next wave of talent to lift Belize to athletic superstardom. But that talent has to have proper coaching to achieve excellence. So both athletes and coaches are getting a work-out from a top-level coach from the United States. Shawn Venable […]

BTIA launch appeal for judicial review of Harvest Caye EIA
The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) maintains its staunch opposition to the Norwegian Cruise Lines project at Harvest Caye which is it in its initial stages of construction. Today it took its case to the Supreme Court, where Justice Courtney Abel heard arguments for leave to apply for […]

Thyrell Hyde shakedown case adjourned again
Belmopan resident Thyrell Hyde has been in the news since last September when he accused several police officers of personally shaking him down for large amounts of money for no apparent reason. Hyde alleges that he and a group of friends was stopped and searched by police who […]

Government takes BGYEA back to court
As they promised earlier this month, the Government of Belize has renewed proceedings against the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) over the Harmonyville Agricultural Project at Mile 41, George Price Highway. It has put in a fixed date claim form alleging trespass by BGYEA, its president Nigel […]

Citrus workers get Collective Bargaining Agreement
The Christian Workers’ Union (CWU) recently signed a collective bargaining agreement with Citrus Products of Belize Limited which promises salary increases for the next four years on scale for approximately 100 workers. The Union is hoping to entice even more employees of the citrus producer to its fold, […]

Teenager accused of bribing police for weed
19 year old Aaron Flowers is in trouble with the law tonight after being accused of drug trafficking, attempting to bribe a police officer and traffic offenses related to unlawful use of a motorcycle. He was arraigned today on two counts of drug trafficking for separate parcels of […]

Steve Moss charged in two-week old shooting
Two weeks ago a 40-year-old construction worker of Belize City was shot near the Wilton Cumberbatch Field. 40 year old Walter Beaton was riding on Kraal Road, Belize City, heading in the direction of Fabers Road and upon reaching the corner of Ross Penn Road, he was […]

Driver charged months after passenger falls out of a moving bus
On February 25, 63 year old Orange Walk resident Jose Elmer Villanueva fell out of a moving Bluebird brown and yellow passenger bus traveling north on the Philip Goldson Highway between miles 12 and 13 near the Burrell Boom junction. He died five days later of head injuries […]


Keeping secrets in San Pedro
It’s not easy keeping secrets in San Pedro but everyone managed to pull it off and surprise Renita for her 50th birthday party. Her good friends Rena and Fay even flew in from the states, which was great because they helped keep her busy. In party planning it i always good to be flexible and prepared for anything, and Cindy was including having to change direction and her orbit was spun in motion toward aquafit and away from decorating. She is a pro party planner and had a few people willing to help decorate and be on call for balloon emergencies until she was able to get there herself

Can You Get Enough Lobster? Caye Caulker’s AMAZING 2014 Lobsterfest & Bonding with a Manatee
The beginning of the Lobster season is a hard-and-fast date each and every year – June 15th. And to celebrate, (there’s always a reason for a massive party in these parts) three different beach towns in Belize throw some pretty fabulous festivals. The problem is…2 of the parties are on the same weekend so I have never been able to attend them all…to eat lobster to my heart’s content. This year, with the help of Tropic Air Belize, I made it to all three. ALL THREE! There was the night time block party in San Pedro where I got the chance to sample and judge 14 different restaurant plates, Saturday, I attended Placencia’s pretty kick-ass beach party…so well organized with vendors, SO MUCH LOBSTER, entertainment and more… And then yesterday, the oldest Lobsterfest, much of which takes place in the incredibly strikingly beautiful setting of the Split…

Summer in Belize: Why I’m going Back!
The arrival of the Summer Solstice means many things to many people around the world, with Druid fans congregating around Britain’s Stonehenge, people wanting to get in touch with the ancient Maya vibe at Chitzen Itza in Mexico, Tikal in Guatemala and Xunantunich in Belize, and farmers the world over consulting their almanacs. To me, the Solstice sounds a gentle alarm – from here on in the days get shorter and the nights get longer as summer begins making its way towards autumn. Time to make the most of it. That means another trip to Belize with my friends to take advantage of the slow months in this pristine Caribbean destination.

Guinea Grass, Orange Walk District, “Growing with Business”- Y.D.R. Sewing Shop
Image“Good service & quality up to the last sew,’’ as the value proposition suggests, Y.D.R. Sewing Shop offers a variety of customized sewn items for both adults and children at affordable prices and at a timely delivery. Starting a business was something Ms. Rossana Velasquez only dreamed of; but when her tailoring business idea took off, this Guinea Grass resident became a budding entrepreneur and found herself running a very lucrative business, where she sews everything from school uniforms and casual wear to home utensils such as washing machines cover, blender covers and toaster covers. Ms. Velasquez’s inspiration for starting the business was also part of the reason for success: She found a need, and then found a way to fill it.

Guinea Grass, Orange Walk District, “Growing with Business”- La Fortaleza Tortilleria y Panadería
There’s a moment of realization that comes over every small business owner when the thought of turning a hobby into a profession seems less like a crazy notion and more like a tangible idea. For Ms. Floridalma Velasquez, that moment arrived when she realized that she could no longer depend on her job working for others to provide for her family. So after years of crafting her skills, which eventually led her to become certified in cake decorating and desserts in 2009, it occurred to Ms. Velasquez that perhaps her longtime love of baking could be more than a personal hobby. And, after deciding to take a chance, she opened La Fortaleza Tortilleria y Panadería, which has slowly morphed from an idea into a renown Bakery and Tortilla producing business that has been providing a variety of home-made traditional breads, hand-made corn tortillas, flour tortillas, variety of pizzas, and has also been catering for special events (Sweet Sixteen Parties, Weddings, Birthdays), offering cakes and desserts, to the locals of Guinea Grass village, Orange Walk District.

International Sourcesizz

Jungle ruins and sea life await in tiny Belize
The same turquoise waters that lure tourists to Caribbean destinations slosh around Belize's island chain. But tiny Belize has a major advantage in reeling in the holidaymakers - spectacular Maya ruins tucked away in lush jungle. The nation is home to more prehistoric buildings than modern-day ones, according to its Institute of Archaeology. That ancient appeal draws in backpackers eager for adventure as well as divers ready to gawk at its bustling reefs or plunge into its famed Blue Hole. Belize has all the ingredients for a surf and turf vacation - at least for those who don't mind the odd giant cockroach or neon green frog that may invade their jungle dwellings. CAVES, SKELETONS AND A SWIM Evidence of human sacrifice in Maya times litters the floors of the Actun Tunichil Muknal caves, where the skeletons are welded in place by limestone sediment. Mayan pottery is also frozen in time there, with archeologists opting to leave most artifacts as they were centuries ago. To get to the caves, visitors are led down a gentle jungle trail that includes several river crossings.

Belize for the Scarsdale Adventure
Belize, a tiny country south of Mexico and east of Guatemala, is a dream travel destination for a Scarsdale adventurer. English is the official language, American dollars are accepted everywhere, many lodges and resorts are up-to-par with western standards, a visa is not required, they drive on the right side of the road, and the 4-hour direct flight along with the 2-hour time difference makes the travel part easy. No special vaccinations are necessary, although you may want to consider the typhoid vaccine if you're an especially adventurous eater...gibnut anyone? So, when grandma agreed to babysit the kids for the week and we found a direct flight from Newark to Belize for half the price of a ticket to Europe, it seemed like a no-brainer. Having traveled extensively around the world through both developed and less developed countries, Belize was a good middle ground for the best things eachof these types of countries offer, including the adventure aspect (with toilets!) we were looking for.

Jungle, Ruins, and Iguanas in Cayo
The Washington Post has a great article about all the great sights to see in Cayo. ATM, Xunantunich, Caracol, Cahal Pech, and the Green Iguana Conservation Project are all highlighted. "Just a fraction of Caracol, a once powerful Maya city state, has been unearthed by archaeologists. Once home to 150,000 inhabitants (nearly twice the population of Belize's current industrial center, Belize City), the site was lost until a logger stumbled upon it in the 1930s while in search of mahogany. Nearly a century later, 90 percent of it still belongs to the jungle. Shards of ancient pottery are scattered around the complex, which includes astronomical buildings, ball courts, palaces and a 141-foot-tall pyramid that remains the tallest man-made structure in Belize.


Video: Caye Caulker Island, BELIZE, 6min.
Caye Caulker Island, BELIZE

Video: PSE Awards in Cayo, 2min.
The Ministry of Education had their PSE awards last week here in Cayo. Channel 7 got some interviews at the event, which was held in the new auditorium at Sacred Heart College.

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