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8/21/2014 to 8/31/2014
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Today's Belize News

August 31, 2014


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

Miss San Pedro Pageant 2014. (8 photos)

Swimwear section of Miss San Pedro Pageant. (6 photos)

Who will be the next Miss San Pedro? (8 photos)

The new Miss San Pedro is Michelle Nunez. (5 photos)

The WILD Scarlet Macaw is NOT a Pet!
The magnificent Scarlet Macaw is one of the rarest jewels of Belize. To see one in the wild is an unforgettable experience. With this in mind, I decided to learn a bit more about these beautiful yet critically endangered creatures. That is when it hit me, these birds are critically endangered is because of humans. Victims of human greed, they are poached so that some family can have an ‘exotic’ bird. Yes, they are beautiful, but so much more so flying free! Scarlet macaws are brightly colored birds with feathers ranging in color from yellow to blue to mostly red. They can fly at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour and can grow up to 35 inches in length.

PUP puts Arthur Saldivar on suspension pending an investigation
Belize’s main opposition party has suspended the Belize Rural North standard bearer, Arthur Saldivar. That was the outcome of a national executive meeting of the People’s United Party which took place on Wednesday August 27th. Saldivar’s suspension from the PUP comes as a result of a serious accusation made against him for wrongdoing by one of his clients that he represented as their attorney. Earlier in August, Saldivar was accused of taking $904,000.00 from his former client Melonie Coye and her family. Saldivar had represented the Coyes in a money laundering case that he won, and the court had ordered the return of the confiscated money. But the Coyes claim that Saldivar has some of their money and they have retained attorney Eamon Courtenay to sue Saldivar for the monies. While Saldivar has been taking pressure from the Coyes, the PUP is also getting pressure from the general public, who is criticizing Saldivar’s behavior.

Ramon’s Village Resort “Beauty From Ashes”
One year ago today, the worst disaster to ever strike Ramon’s Village Resort in San Pedro, Belize occurred with a massive fire destroying twenty-eight cabanas, Pineapples Restaurant, the Purple Parrot, Ramon’s Gift Shop and the general offices, laundry and warehouse at the resort. Valiant firefighting efforts by the San Pedro Fire Department, San Pedro Police Department, citizens of San Pedro and the employees of Ramon’s Village saved the resort from being a total loss. Today, one year later, any trace of a fire has been completely erased and the iconic resort is flourishing with guests. The owners of Ramon’s Village, Richard and Gina Headrick, along with Director of Operations Steve Sherwin, arrived at the still smoldering ruins of the resort on August 29, 2013. It was on the beach that day that a determined Richard Headrick told the assembled group of despondent employees that Ramon’s Village would be built back bigger and better than ever before. Over the course of the next 101 days, hundreds of San Pedro craftsmen joined with the employees at Ramon’s Village to transform the scene of a disaster back into a lush tropical oasis.

Unsolved Mystery: Dead Sea Creatures Washed Ashore
On Monday August 25th, the shoreline of San Pedro Town near Banyan Bay Villas was dotted with a number of dead sea creatures that had washed ashore. Among the creatures were a spotted eagle ray, and several species of fish and eels. Hol Chan Marine Reserve Authorities and Marine Biologist Dr. Rachel Graham were called to the scene where they performed necropsies to try and determine the cause of death of these creatures. Kirah Forman, Marine Biologist at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, along with Park Ranger Jairo Osorio and Director of Mar Alliance and The Belize Shark Project’s Dr. Rachel Graham investigated several factors. According to Graham, there are no evident signs on just what caused the occurrence. A necropsy conducted on the spotted eagle ray reported no signs of the creature being hooked, no apparent signs of trauma, hemorrhaging, or parasites in its internal organs. So just what is it that’s going on? Neither of the biologists could explain what is going on, but samples were taken for further testing.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

BTB Customer Service Awards Presentation at SHJC
32 Tourism Management students from Sacred Heart Junior College received their Customer Service certificates from the Belize Tourism Board this week. Andy Bahadur and Dean Fermin Magana presented the awards.

Starry Nights on the Balcony
The San Ignacio Resort Hotel is starting their Starry Nights on the Balcony tonight. They'll have dinner specials and live music. "Join us every Saturday and Sunday for specials on wine, decadent dinner specials and live music."

Cayo Classifieds - Issue 31
This week's Buy and Sell Weekly. Read about Nohoch Che'en cave tubing.

The Reporter

Cordel Hyde endorsed as PUP Lake I standard bearer
Cordel Hyde, who served under the last two PUP administrations as Minister of Education and Housing, was sworn in as the party’s standard bearer in the Lake I constituency on Saturday. During a Saturday evening “coming home” convention attended by the party’s heavyweights, Hyde received full support from Carlos Diaz, a former PUP minister who ran independently in the last general elections after Hyde left the party abruptly, just weeks before the elections for personal reasons. Hyde’s replacement in that election was Martin Galvez, who lost to the UDP’s Mark King.

Traffic accident claims two lives
A traffic accident on Friday night reportedly claimed the lives of a man and a woman on the George Price Highway. The accident happened near the Hector Silva Airstrip and involved a Chevy Tracker SUV and an L200. Eyewitnesses have reported that the SUV was swaying across the highway just before the head-on collision.

Patrick JonesPJ

Cordel Hyde endorsed as PUP Standard Bearer in Lake I
Former three time area representative for the People’s United Party (PUP) in Lake Independence Cordel Hyde is officially back in the race for national office. An endorsement convention was held this afternoon at the St. Martin de Porres football field. A huge crowd of PUP supporters from […]

Vehicle with diplomatic license plates involved in early morning crash
The driver of an SUV with diplomatic license plates is in big trouble after he crashed early this morning on Hudson Street in San Ignacio town. The incident happened around 3 am and the man who was driving the Diplomatic vehicle has been identified as Israel Rivera, […]

Murder in San Pedro Columbia village, Toledo
The peace and tranquillity of the remote Toledo village of San Pedro Columbia was shattered tonight with the discovery of the body of one of the village elders. The nude body of 52 year old Agripina Coc was found tonight not far from her home in the village. […]

Family plans memorial mass for missing children
Four years after their disappearance, the family of Benjamin and Onelia Rash still have no closure about what happened to the siblings. On the afternoon of August 30, 2010, the then 11 year old Benjamin and 9 year old Onelia were selling craboo and limes in the area […]

Belize to Hold Third Annual End of the World Marathon
For many, the end of the 13th Baktun in the Maya Long Count Calendar, December 21, 2012, was a prediction of end times. Didn’t happen. To commemorate the event, the annual “End of the World Marathon” was organized in Belize, the heart of the Maya civilization. […]

Empowerment and Enrichment – Workers Bank of Belize/a>
The Government of Belize intends to empower and enrich all working Belizeans, by transferring land equivalent to 30,000 house lots to the Workers Bank of Belize. This will contribute to improving the real and disposable incomes of working persons, by lowering the monthly outlay […]

Fatal traffic accident on the George Price Highway outside of Belmopan
Two people, a man and a woman, perished in a two-vehicle crash tonight on the George Price Highway near the Hector Silva airstrip. The victims whose names have not yet been confirmed were travelling in a Chevy Tracker SUV with San Ignacio license plates. An L200 pickup […]

Robbers targer Western Dairies ice cream parlor
The ice-cream parlor Western Dairies on Freetown Road was robbed this evening around 5 o’clock when four armed men entered through the back of the premises. Police responded almost immediately and shot one of the men as they were trying to escape. The other three got away and […]

Residents of Dangriga hold peaceful demonstration
The Dangriga branch of the National Garifuna Council today staged a peaceful demonstration that that southern municipality. Dangriga residents came out in numbers carrying placards and voicing their dissatisfaction with the decision by the local branch of First Caribbean International Bank to prohibit the speaking of Garifuna […]

Helping women maintain business and economic growth
Belizean women are known for their at times stupendous ability to stretch a dollar further than it has any right to go. But sometimes that is not enough to save or start a business, leaving them dependent on their male counterparts. As part of the “20,000 Strong” initiative […]


Hezbollah caught in Vehicle with Belize Plates
On Thursday August 28th, Police in Cancun, Mexico searched a Mercedez Benz with Belize license plates BCC-4400. It was being driven by Hacsam Elsayetd and in the vehicle were three other passengers, including two females. It is believed they went into Mexico legally at the checkpoint at Subtiniente Lopez. These terrorists belong to the group “Hezbollah” themselves who live in Belize according to data released necessarily had to enter the checkpoint Lieutenant Lopez. It is not yet known if the suspects carried Belizean passports. Mexican authorities are aware that Belize is being used as a base for Hezbollah cells. In 2012, a fundraiser for Hezbollah Raffic Labboun was caught in Merida on parole violation. Labboun had secured within 48 hours a Belize passport in the name of Wilhelm Dick, an infant of the Mennonite community who died shortly after birth. Since then there have been several attempts to bolster the Immigration and Nationality Department against fraud and corruption.

Review: The Peninsula Club of Belize
Belize is among the most coveted vacation and retirement destinations in the world. With its stunning landscapes, friendly culture and affordability, few destinations offer the same tropical experience as Belize. The Peninsula Club of Belize gives you the luxurious resort experience you are looking for. The Setting The Peninsula Club of Belize is an immaculate, luxurious private development that provides residents with the serenity of coastal life blended with the luxury of a premier resort. The development sits along the coast of a peninsula in the charming seaside town of Placencia, providing an exclusive, private ambiance for residence to enjoy.

International Sourcesizz

Tropics May Activate in Southwestern Gulf of Mexico
The tropical Atlantic has quieted down, but that may change in the coming days in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche. A tropical wave moving through the western Caribbean has the potential to become the Atlantic Basin's next tropical depression or storm in the Bay of Campeche, in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, during the first part of the new week. The Bay of Campeche is where conditions will become conducive for development as the water is very warm and a zone of lower wind shear will be present. Wind shear refers to belts of winds in the upper levels of the atmosphere that can shred apart tropical systems when strong enough. The wave is currently encountering such disruptive wind shear and would continue to do so if it takes a more northern track into the western Gulf of Mexico.


Video: Roy da drumma birthday bash March 29th. 2014 -SupaG, 3min.
from Glen Fuller

Video: Scuba Diving San Pedro Belize 2014, 40min.
Incredible experience learning to scuba dive in one of the world most beautiful destination, San Pedro Belize 2014.

Video: Belize GoPro Hero 3+, 5min.

Video: BELIZE subworld, 6min.
Diving with Amigos del Mar in San Pedro

Video: Adaptive SCUBA Divers Ambergus Caye Belize 2014, 14min.
3 Paraplegic SCUBA divers and 2 friends SCUBA dive in Belize, June 13 to 21, 2014. Swell on day 1 was 8 to 10 feet making getting back on the boat "interesting". Swell slowly settled down till the last day it was only 2 to 4 feet, still interesting when 3 of the divers are paraplegic's. SHOW MORE

Video: Belize Island Dog Fishing: Local Island Dog Hunting For Fish, 2min.
While walking the beautiful beaches of Belize, we witnessed one of the cutest dogs we had ever seen. We saw a local island dog who appeared to be walking in the ocean, playing under a dock. After observing him and enjoying the show, we realized that he was fishing. Slowly walking around the pilings while intensely studying the sea floor below him just waiting to pounce on a fish. LOL.

Video: Scuba Diving in Belize, 4min.
An amazing adventure...

Video: Wildtracks in Belize- June 2014 Tour, 10min.
This video is a small tour of Wildtracks, a primate and manatee rehab center in Belize. I took this video at the end of my 6 weeks volunteering there in June 2014. There are many changes now due to the number of manatees that they received and the new construction of the spiders prerelease cages. Paul and Zoe have their hands full and are lucky to have such great volunteers to stay and help them out! It was one of the best experiences in my life and I have met the most amazing people who have volunteered there! It is an experience that I wish for everyone to have. Here is there website if you wish to volunteer or donate! (:

Video: Wonders Of Belize, 2min.
Diving and Snorkeling with nurse sharks and a manatee in Ambergris Cay, Belize.

Video: MISS WORLD BELIZE 2013 is Idolly Louise Saldivar, 4min.
Idolly Louise Saldivar - Idolly Louise Saldivar (23, 1.78m) from Belmopan was selected as Miss World Belize 2013 in an event held at the Princess Hotel in Belize City on August 10. She will represent Belize in Miss World 2013 in Bogor, Indonesia on September 28. Idolly has previously held many beauty titles in Belize.

Video: When Don Francisco visited San Pedro, 7min.

August 30, 2014


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

Mayor Daniel Guerrero leaves to the Bahamas on working visit
The Mayor of San Pedro Town, Daniel Guerrero is part of a Belize delegation that left the country on Thursday August 28th to Nassau, Bahamas. Mayor Guerrero, along with the President of the Belize Mayor’s Association and Belmopan Mayor, Simeon Lopez, are scheduled to participate in the biennial meeting of the Caribbean Association of Local Government Authorities (CALGA). The biennial meeting is scheduled to take place over the course of the weekend and early next week in Nassau, and in attendance will be mayors and other government leaders from all the Caribbean member countries. One of the items on the agenda will be election of new members. It is uncertain if Belize will be submitting a candidate for the various posts. Currently, Mayor Lopez is the second Vice-President of the regional organization.

Food borne disease cost Belize $6.2 million annually
The effects of Acute Gastroenteritis Illnesses (AGI) commonly referred to as the stomach flu and other food-borne diseases cost the public health sector an estimated $6.2 million annually. That was the result of the Burden of Illness (BOI) report that was released on Monday, August 25th, following research that was conducted during two specific periods. The research had the input of the Ministry of Health, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) office in Belize and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). According to the release, the survey was launched in September 2012 and was aimed at investigating and estimating the proportion of the population suffering from stomach flu and other food borne diseases, at a specific time period. In addition, it also focused on estimating the economic burden the disease has on the public health system in Belize. According to the report, a total of 3,110 households were sampled countrywide and a total of 2901 questionnaires were filled with a response rate of 93.6%. The study shows that 7.1% of those households reported stomach flu during the sample period of September to October 2012, which is considered the low season, and the period of April to May 2013, which is considered the high season.

Police Report
On the Wednesday, August 27th at about 3:15PM Police visited Swan Street in the San Pedrito Area based on special branch intelligence. Upon arrival, police discovered a grey plastic bag in an abandon lot. Further search of the bag revealed suspected cocaine. It was then taken to the station where it was weighed amounting to 373.7 gram of suspected cocaine. The suspected drug was labeled as found property. Police have no leads as to who the drugs belonged.

Construction starts in Boca del Rio Pump-lift Station
According to BWSL Human Resource and Public Relations Manager Haydon Brown, the main pump for the station has been ordered and ground work is well underway. “The lift station will provide basic control of the sewer waste from the respective homes. The station will process the waste which will later be moved to the treatment plant on South Ambergris Caye,” said Brown. For residents of the area this is a huge step forward, because although the area has been equipped with proper pipe lines for quite some time, the lines were never connected to a central sewage collection station or pump station. This incomplete project has left waste to be haphazardly collected in septic tanks, lagoons and even absorbed into land. These methods of unsafe sewage disposal have had many dire consequences including introduction to fecal matter to the waterbed. While Brown was unable to state how many stations there are in San Pedro Town, he ensures that each station can, in fact, cater to the location. “These pump-lift stations are strategically placed in areas that require the collection of sewage. They not only deal with sewage collection but also reduced stench secreted by the waste. It also helps to keep the sewage waste more controlled.” Residents and business that will be connected to the pump-lift station will be required to pay a fee for the service. “Within the next two weeks, we will be doing a physical property survey in that area. We are looking at both the residential and businesses waste within the area. There are small and medium-sized businesses within the area, and usually, their size attracts different prices for their connection.”

Ambergris Today

Video Pick: Fun Snorkeling Belize
Today we bring to you a video capturing the wondrous marine life our beautiful Caribbean Sea has to offer just off the coast of our neighboring island Caye Caulker. The video features “funny rays, lovely sharks, hungry turtles and thirsty people”. The videographer, Christoph Creutzburg, captures the beauty of some amazing spots around Caye Caulker.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

The Public is advised that there has been a change of venue for the official opening ceremonies for the September Celebrations 2014. The ceremony which was schedule to occur at St. George’s Caye on Sunday has been relocated to the House of Culture, Old Government House in Belize City. This is as a result of inclement weather conditions forecasted for the weekend. The ceremony starts at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday August 31st, it is free to the general public and all are invited to attend!

Belikin 8 Ball Tournament
Hode's will be hosting the Belikin 8 Ball National Finals this weekend. In oddly related news, Hode's also hosts the Cayo Line Dancing.

Galen Awards 10 New Scholarships
Galen University has awarded 10 scholarships to new students. They had their Fall semester orientation on Saturday. Congratulations to the 10 students. Do well and excel! "Ten deserving Belizean students are the latest recipients of varying levels and types of scholarships offered at Galen University for the Fall 2014 semester. At a scholarship agreement signing held at the University’s Central Farm Campus on August 25th and August 27th, 2014, the recipients were provided with the relevant guidelines, procedures, and academic expectations of Galen University. Scholarships were awarded in four categories: Academic Excellence, Academic-Financial Need, Athletic, and Music. One outstanding student was also awarded the Daniel Silva Academic-Financial Need Scholarship."

Queen of the West Pageant Pictures
Carmelita Lara, the new Queen of the West, will be heading to the Queen of the Bay soon.  The Queen of the West pageant was held at the Octavia Waight Center.  They have posted a lot of pictures from the event: evening gowns, talent displays, swimsuits, and even the judges.  1st runner up was Shantel Augustine, and 2nd runner up was Hamira Awe.

All the Queen of the Bay contestants met with the Prime Minister in a question and answer session.

Channel 7

Belize Rural Executive Demonstrates Against Their Own Party For Arthur
The suspended PUP Standard Bearer Arthur Saldivar may be on the ropes but he's not going down without a fight. Last night his Belize Rural North Executive Committee met and issued a defiant press release saying, quote, "we completely and wholeheartedly DENOUNCE this illegal and unconstitutional decision taken by the PUP National Executive on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 to place our Candidate and ELECTED Standard Bearer on two (2) weeks' suspension pending a so-called 'investigation'. " The release adds, quote, "the decision...only serves the selfish agenda of a few members of the National Executive who are undermining the Party under the guise of 'love for Party'." They say defiantly that, quote, "We will NOT allow any hand-picked 'replacement' to come into our division and benefit from our years of hard work which was accomplished with much blood, sweat and tears."

Two Men Critical After Evening Robbery Attempt
Two suspected armed robbers are in critical condition at the KHMH after they were shot during an armed robbery this evening in Belize City. It happened at around4:15 at the Western Dairy Ice Cream Parlour where four men rode up on bicycle, stormed in and tried to rob the place at gunpoint. Details are sketchy as to what happened next, but two of the men ended up getting shot - and two others made a dash out of the back of Western Dairies for Saint Thomas Street. Police were in the area and responded immediately - they set chase after the two suspects, following one of them all the way to Meighan Avenue. They did not catch them, but they did recover a weapon - a small silver handgun - behind Western Dairies. They also recovered one of their caps and a pair of sunglasses.

PM Says Fair Trade Problems Were Expected
Last night, we told you about the latest controversy in the Sugar Industry between the Cane Farmers Association and Tate and Lyle, the British company which buys their sugar overseas. They've written to the Cane Farmers saying that they will sharply reduce the volume of sugar bought for the Fair Trade premium price. That figure is going down from fifty or sixty thousand tonnes to ten thousand tonnes. But, that's only a reduction in the fair trade quota. But we must clarify, the company will still buy the same amount of sugar as it has done in the past - only this year, instead of paying the premium price, under the Fairtrade Agreement, on fifty thousand tonnes or more, they will only pay the premium on ten thousand tonnes. That's a decrease of $5.7 million dollars in revenue for the cane farmers association. And it's all because the BSCFA's Fairtrade Certification came into jeopardy after the revelation that its employees fleeced the association of $78,000 dollars. This, as we told you, was revealed in a FLO-Cert Audit a few months ago. The Association was placed on probation, and it has been decertified in the past due to child labour violations and other non-compliances.

Garifunas Protest Against First Caribbean
The Garifuna community took to the streets of Dangriga this morning to protest against First Caribbean International Bank and all other businesses which have allegedly prohibited their Garifuna employees from speaking their language will on the worksite. They were out in numbers carrying signs, marching from in front of the Drums of Our Fathers Monument, through the principal streets, finishing in front of First Caribbean Bank Branch in Dangriga. It was a strong message sent by those protesters that they would not tolerate such violation of their indigenous rights. As we've told you, First Caribbean strongly denies that any such restriction was issued in their Dangriga Branch, but both the National Garifuna Council and the United Garifuna Association say that they have confirmed that it did happen. The protest this morning prompted the Bank to organize an impromptu press briefing 45 minutes before news time to respond to the allegations directly. Here's what the company rep said:

20k Strong: Women and Girl Financial Health
The Special Envoy for Women and Children held a conference on women and girl's financial health today at the Radisson. This conference is part of the 20,000 STRONG Women's Empowerment campaign that strives to celebrate the crucial role women play as well as to educate and uplift women in all sectors of society. Courtney Weatherburne has the story. Training sessions focused on financial management and marketing were held in the afternoon for the women entrepreneurial groups.

Police Find Gun And Drugs
Police are reporting tonight that they've taken a weapon and over a pound of weed off the street. Officers acted on intelligence and searched an empty lot on Jane Usher Boulevard Extension, yesterday afternoon at around 2:30. They found a garbage bag, which contained 5 smaller parcels of marijuana to a total amount of 602 grams - or 1.3 pounds. Because nobody was in the area, it was deposited as found property. 45 minutes later, police searched an abandoned lot on Elston Kerr Street. They found a plastic bag which contained a .380 caliber pistol and 2 empty magazines. They also found a separate bag containing 3 live rounds of .380 ammunition. Again, no one was around, so it was deposited as found property.

PM Says PUP Should Have Acted Sooner
At the top of the news, you saw the uproar created by the executive committee for Belize Rural North in front of the PUP Headquarters. They railed for hours, demanding that the party leader come and meet with them, but he didn't. But, they were not completely ignored. The party chairman Henry Usher just called us and said he met with Chairman Carol Williams at 1:00 pm to assure her that as part of his investigation, he plans to meet with the Committee. But, when we spoke to the Prime Minister today, he said the opposition is moving too slow. Just during the last five years Barrow has expelled Zenaida Moya - who was later re-instated, and, in a first, accepted as resignation from Marcel Cardona even though he had not resigned, and also sent Elvin Penner to the far end of the backbench. So he know a thing or two about icing politicians. Here's his view on the Saldivar suspension:..

PM: CBA Is Closed
At the end of that interview, the Prime Minister referred to hypocrisy in the PUP. It didn't make the cut because it seemed gratuitous, but we mention it because it factors into our next story - when we asked the Prime Minister about the collective bargaining negotiation process with the unions. The unions have refused to sign off on the negotiation as concluded, while the Prime Minister insists it must be at an end. The unions have called his insistence rude and we asked him about it today:.. Jules Vasquez "They had indicated that you were curt, rude and they didn't wish to sign off." Prime Minister Dean Barrow "These people who say all that they say in this shrill and strident way accused me of being rude? My goodness, I won't compare them to the earlier scenario that was outlined in terms of the PUP and hypocrisy, I will not do that.

It's An Unfounded Claim, Not A Disputed Border
We also asked the Prime Minister about recent comments made by the US Ambassador Carlos Moreno. In a media round table two weeks ago, he was asked about the Belize Guatemala relations, and he referred to Belize's quote, "disputed border." Now, ask any Belizean and they will tell you that border is fixed and firm - and internationally indisputable. But how does the Prime Minister feel about it? He said finds the language of a disputed border objectionable.. Prime Minister Dean Barrow "I don't understand how the whole issue with Guatemala is indeed called a dispute. When I was growing up; when I became a young man during the early days this was the unfounded Guatemalan claim. All of a sudden it's become indeed a border dispute. I will continue to say though that as far as I am concern it is not a border dispute. There is no question as to where the border is subject to the actual exercise of demarcation. This is a matter of an unfounded territorial claim on the part of Guatemala."

Belize Committed to Uruguay For OAS Sec Gen Elections
And keeping it on diplomacy, the Prime Minister also discussed the candidacy of Belize’s Ambassador Nestor Mendez for the post of OAS Deputy Secretary General. It’s news because earlier this week Mendez explained to us that Belize is supporting the Uruguayan candidate for Secretary General largely because his opponent is a Guatemalan. To hear Mendez’s characterization, having a Guatemalan elevated to the post of Secretary General would have a chilling effect on the confidence building process between Belize and Guatemala which is being facilitated by the OAS. The Prime Minister, though, was more circumspect in his assessment. Here’s how he put it today:…

Hon. Barrow Says Awich Judgment Is Wrong
On Monday, we told you about the decision from Justice Courtney Abel that the Judicial and Legal Services Commission ought not to have dismissed the complaints against Samuel Awich’s appointment as a Judge of the Court of Appeal.

Vasquez Acquitted of Kilos Of Hydro
32 year-old Clarissa Vasquez, who was facing drug trafficking charges for over 50 pounds of high-grade marijuana, is at home free tonight after she was acquitted in Magistrate's Court today. As we reported, officers from the Gang Suppression Unit were on mobile patrol on West Collet Canal on February 17, 2014. They spotted 40 year-old RaynardGrinage in a 4-door Taurus car. They searched him and the vehicle, but they didn't find anything incriminating. The officers did find a bunch of keys, and they decided to follow up. They searched the house on Bachelor Avenue, to which the keys belong, and they ended up finding 24.4 kilos - or 53 pounds - of "hydro" type weed.

The Back-To-School Expenses
It’s the end of a long summer and classes resume on Monday. While students are recovering from the summer hang over, their parents have more pressing issues to address such as the financial strain they endure as they prepare their children for another school year. Where will the money come from? How are they managing with all the expenses?

Barber Offering Free Haircuts
Now what goes better with newly pressed uniforms, new school shoes and bags than a clean haircut right? Well, you can get your child's hair done for school this weekend at the Back to School Trimming Initiative. It caters to boys and girls from the primary school level. Brian Dena, the coordinator of the event told us more about it The trimming initiative takes place tomorrow and Sunday from 9 in the morning to 4 at 40 Fabers Road. Along with a free hair cut or braid, the youths get a few back to school supplies. Dena says if you have more than 20 youths in your area you can call him at 637-5728 and he will provide transportation.

Why Hasn't Petrocaribe Loan Been Scrutinized By Nat'l Assembly Yet?
The Finance and Audit Act of 2005 is designed to regulate public revenue, spending and contracts – and provide parliamentary transparency in all manner of government business.

PM Says He's Optimistic About CCJ Case On UHS Loan
Another highly technical matter confronting the government is a case that’s coming to court next month. In September, the Ashcroft Alliance and government are going to court to argue about the enforcement of the arbitral award for the Universal Healthcare Loan. Remember that one? It’s the government guarantee to the Belize Bank for the private hospital which was given during the Musa administration. When the private owners couldn’t pay, government had to – and they did! Still, they never got back the asset and the creditor sold the hospital to Belize Healthcare Partners.

What's Happening With Gun Law Amendments?
And in one final bit of news from the media’s impromptu 32 minute interview with the prime minister today, we asked about the much discussed Gun law amendments. The government committed months ago to revising them – during which time the PUP proposed but never tabled its own version of the laws. Critics say the gun laws are too oppressive, and the Prime Minister says that the new draft legislation had to be careful to balance competing interestS of citizen safety and the presumption of innocence:…

INCAP; Obesity, And The Media
The Obesity epidemic – we often hear about it in the states, but medical professionals says it’s happening right here at home too! The Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama – known as INPAC, says that in Belize, obesity, which is linked to non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, is becoming a very real danger to the population. In response, the Ministry of Health is trying to design an over-weight and obesity Operational plan.

16th Day Of Healing
The event called the 16th Day of Healing is scheduled for tomorrow in the PIV area. This community healing initiative tries to spread peace and positivity in the community. And while it may not fix all of society's ills, organizer of the event Perry "STIKZ" Smith says that at least it is a start. The Day of Peace is set for tomorrow at 9 in the morning to 6 on Flamboyant Street. This initiative started last year as a result of the quadruple murders on Dean Street. Two of the first Days of Peace were held on Dean Street and the other 13 were held in communities across Belize City.

Channel 5

Western Dairies Jacked in Late-evening Heist
There is late breaking news. The Western Dairies, the popular ice cream shop, which is located on Freetown Road was jacked this afternoon by armed men. Police are processing the [...]

Dangriga Residents Converge on CIBC FirstCaribbean in Protest
Just before news time, the CIBC First Caribbean Bank held a press conference in reaction to escalating anger against the Bank for not disallowing one of its employees to speak [...]

Bank Management Says Employees Are Free to Converse in Garifuna
As we told you, there is escalating anger against the CIBC FirstCaribbean. Late this evening, Manager of Retail Banking and Operations, Shaeleen Castillo responded to the allegations being made at [...]

P.M. Barrow Says B.S.C.F.A. Needs to Sort Out Itself Amid Tate & Lyle Crisis
Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke today on a number of hot-button issues of national importance including developments in the sugar industry. Eighteen branches of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association [...]

Prime Minister Confident in Belize’s Economic Performance
On Wednesday, the Statistical Institute of Belize announced that there was significant economic growth in the second quarter of this year, as much as eight point seven percent. But we [...]

What’s the P.M.’s Position on Supreme Court Judgment Justice Samuel Awich?
It is rare, but the Supreme Court has handed down a decision in respect of one of its own, Justice Samuel Awich. The background is that a complaint was lodged [...]

P.M. Says Bar is Political and Won’t Succeed in Justice Awich Challenge
The Prime Minister was at the National Call to Action Conference on Women and Girls’ Financial Health hosted by his wife, Kim Simplis Barrow, when he was drilled by the [...]

Accident On Phillip Goldson Highway Leaves Loggers Critically Injured
An accident occurred on Thursday night between Miles thirty-four and thirty five in an area known as Rhaburn Ridge on the Philip Goldson Highway. A vehicle, a small Audi, collided [...]

P.M. Barrow Comments on the Ashcroft Group and Pending Legal Matters
Prime Minister Barrow earlier today also dealt with other significant issues in respect of companies relating to the Ashcroft Group. These include the international arbitral awards; the local enforcement on [...]

B.T.L.’s Second Nationalization Before the CCJ
The Prime Minister also asked about the second nationalization of Belize Telemedia, which is before the Caribbean Court of Justice on appeal.  The PM says that even if the government [...]

Vanessa Champagne Paris Returns to Court
Nineteen-year-old Perfilio Rodriguez, a transgendered woman also known as “Vanessa Champagne Paris” was before the court today.   It was the first appearance since being granted bail for allegedly assaulting Golda [...]

Protest in Wake of Saldivar’s Suspension from P.U.P.
On Wednesday, Belize Rural North Standard Bearer, Arthur Saldivar, was suspended from the P.U.P., pending the outcome of an internal investigation scheduled for conclusion on September twelfth. Saldivar, an attorney, [...]

Did Arthur Saldivar Make Off with Coye’s Money?
But while the Belize Rural North executive shouts for Saldivar’s reinstatement and heckles the P.U.P. and Melonie Coye, the reality is that the allegations against him are serious – career [...]

Saldivar’s Suspension Too Little Too Late
Over at the Radisson, the Prime Minister was asked about the Arthur Saldivar suspension. Barrow says it’s a little too late.   Prime Minister Dean Barrow “(Laughs) I don’t know [...]

P.M. Lashes Out At Unions
Remember the Joint Negotiation Team that comprises of the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, the Public Service Union and the Belize National Teachers Union?  For years the unions had [...]

Update on PetroCaribe Initiative
There is another issue that came up this morning…the infrastructure works that are currently ongoing in many parts of the country which are funded through a twenty million dollar loan [...]

Social Media Portal Launched for Business Owners
Connect Americas seeks to promote foreign trade and international investments and is a social platform which allows local businesses to network with clients, suppliers, and investors.  The social platform was [...]

Little Miss Pageant to be Held at the Bliss
The Concerned Belizean Women organization is putting off one of its many annual fundraising activities this weekend. It is the Independence Day Junior Miss Pageant. Eight young girls are contending [...]


UB A Way Forward
Senior administrators, professors and Board members of the University of Belize were at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel today to discuss issues on education particularly as they relate to the tertiary level. One key item on today’s agenda was a discussion with the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, where the stakeholders were able to get upfront answers to their concerns and questions. Love News spoke to Minister Faber regarding his role in today’s session. Minister of Edu PATRICK FABER “UB act speaks to the minister giving general direction to the board and to the management of the university people who have observed how I have operated as minister of education over the last few years know that I am not one to micromanage the university. I do exactly what the UB act requires me to do and that is to give general direction and I have done so on various occasions at the university and today is one such occasion. The board and the senior managers of the university are gathered here and they have asked me to come to share just a bit with them. In my presentation today I shared with them some of what I have shared over the last couple of years.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow says he is pleased, pleased.
On Wednesday, the Statistical Institute of Belize, shared data that pointed to an 8.7% increase in economic activity in Belize for the second quarter. this coupled with the less rapid economic expansion of the first quarter of this year resulted in growth of 3.7 percent for the first six months of 2014.Prime Minister Dean Barrow says he is pleased PRIME MINISTER DEAN BARROW “I am very very pleased not just with the extremely strong second quarter growth but I noticed they also indicated there revised last year’s growth figure which I think has gone from something like .7% to certainly 1.5% but in terms of the here and now that second quarter growth is phenomenal and so I am very pleased indeed. The third quarter can I think be expected not to be as strong as the second quarter but then the last quarter can certainly be expected to be stronger than the third quarter so in the end I am hopeful that it will all even out and we will finish with growth that is certainly in excess of the projection and there is nothing anybody can say to rain on our parade with respect to this phenomenal 8.7% second quarter growth.”

Prime Minister Barrow weighs in on Sugar crisis
On Wednesday we reported about the letter sent Tate & Lyle Sugars to the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association stating that because of the market vulnerability it has been forced to reduce the association’s quota from 65 thousand tons to 10 thousand tons. The reduction in income is estimated from 6.9 to 1.2 million Belize dollars. It’s bad news for the cane farmers who are facing several different challenges. Yesterday the Directors of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association met in Orange Walk where they discussed how the situation will be dealt with. Today Prime Minister Dean Barrow weighed on the matter….. PRIME MINISTER SEAN BARROW “I believe that there was a suspension of the fair trade premium as a consequence of irregularities that the monitors discovered. I don’t know that the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers association has yet remedied the defects, it appears that what is happening number one there is a need for that to be sorted out because if that isn’t sorted out there will be no fair trade premium at all but it seems even if that issue is squared away there is the possibility perhaps the likelihood that the amount of sugar to attract a fair trade premium will be less.

7-Year Contract for Awich – “They Can Take That, Put In Their Pipe and Smoke It”, Says Barrow
Last week Friday, Supreme Court Justice, Courtenay Abel, ruled that the complaint brought against Judge of the Court of Appeal, Samuel Awich, should not have been dismissed as it was. The claims brought by Dean Boyce and British Caribbean Bank Limited challenged the process followed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission. The claimants were seeking to remove Awich as a sitting Judge of the Court of Appeal for allegedly misbehavior while he was a judge of the Supreme Court. Prime Minister Dean Barrow says that the claimants are wasting time…. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW “My understanding is that the Ashcroft Alliance was urging this alleged misbehavior on the part of Justice Awich as a basis for seeking his removal as a judge of the Court of Appeal but the alleged misbehavior was according to them something that occurred while he was a judge on the Supreme Court. I don’t see how on earth you can say, when you were a judge on the Supreme Court you misbehaved and that is a ground for removing you as a judge of the Court of Appeal. You would have to urge that as a judge of the Court of Appeal there was misbehavior otherwise it is illogical and absurd.

BRN PUP Committee Demands Retraction of Saldivar’s Suspension
The Belize Rural North Constituency Committee for the People’s United Party picketed in front of Independence Hall in Belize City this morning. The committee is demanding that the Leader of the People’s United Party, Francis Fonseca, overturn the suspension of Arthur Saldivar, as the PUP’s Standard Bearer for the Belize Rural North constituency. Vice Chairman of the Committee, Oscar Pollard Sr., told Love News that due process was not followed. OSCAR POLLARD SR “There is a constitution right here that has certain clauses that must be met and that was not met.” HIPOLITO NOVELO: “What are those criteria?” OSCAR POLLARD “Well first of all the person who the allegation is against must be served at least 7 days with a notice of exactly what is the complaint and the executive committee should be contacted and given whatever the situation is in writing and that is a part of the constitution. We are governed by the constitution and live by it and we will continue to go by it as long as we are PUP’s.”

Gang of Four Rob Ice Cream Joint
A robbery of the popular ice-cream establishment on Freetown Road in Belize City was hit today by a gang of four robbers. The incident occurred just before five o’clock this evening. At the scene, Love News encountered police officers already at the scene taking statements and seeking evidence that would lead them to build a strong case. Up to news time, investigators were still on the scene and our attempts to get any information were futile particularly since a policy recently implemented by the Belize Police Department dictates that the media must go through the Police Press Office for information and so, when we tried calling the numbers given, one of them led direct to voicemail while there was no answer on the other line…..but what we can tell you is that there were four robbers, one of them were reportedly shot by police, due to the mobile’s quick response. Our source tells us that the culprits gained entry at the rear of the building and police are pursuing the other three robbers. It is uncertain how much, if any, money was taken during the robbery.

Prime Minister Draws Analogy On Penner and Saldivar
Prime Minister Dean Barrow also commented on the decision of the PUP’s national Executive to suspend Saldivar. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW “I don’t know that I ought to be giving the PUP any sort of advice. I will say though that on the basis of their pronouncements during the course of events that unfolded surrounding Penner, on the basis of the stance they took, indeed they ought to have moved far more quickly and far more forcefully with respect to Arthur Saldivar. I think they run the risk now of appearing to be hypocrites but in that regard what else is new.”

Woman Acquitted Following Judge’s Acceptance of No-Case Submission
Thirty-two year old Clarissa Vasquez, one of two persons who were charged with drug trafficking for 24.4 kilograms of high grade weed, was acquitted of the charge today by Magistrate Herbert Panton. After the prosecution closed its case, Vasquez attorney, Ellis Arnold, made a submission that she does not have a case to answer to because the evidence adduced by the prosecution was insufficient. Arnold said that Vasquez was not present at the house on Bachelor Avenue when the police found the cannabis and that there was nothing to connect her with the drugs. Magistrate Panton agreed and he upheld the submission. The incident occurred on February 17, 2014. The police, members of the GSU, were conducting an operation on West collet Canal Street when they encountered Vasquez’ boyfriend Reynard Grinage, in a four door Taurus car.

Dangrigans Protest Against Bank Following Allegations of Discrimination
A protest took place today in Dangriga. With more on this here is correspondent Harry Arzu. HARRY ARZU “The National Garifuna Council Dangriga branch sanctioned by the National Garifuna Council of Belize lead a demonstration in Dangriga here today against work policy indicating that the Garifuna language is prohibited from being spoken inside the First Caribbean International Bank serving this municipality. Dangriga is referred to as the culture capital and is predominantly a Garifuna community. A large number of people of this indigenous ethnic group conducts business at the said bank. Now since the wide spread of the bad news tension has been building here among the Garifuna People who indicated that they will not tolerate such insult and disrespect against their people and culture. Martha Robinson is the Dangriga branch president.”


Arthur Saldivar supporters protest his suspension
The investigation by a four-man committee of the National Executive of the People’s United Party (PUP) into allegations against Belize Rural North standard bearer Arthur Saldivar continues, but neither the embattled politician/attorney or his supporters are taking it lying down...

Pine logs across the highway due to accident
Last night, Thursday August 28, between miles 33 and 34 on the Phillip Goldson Highway, a Tractor with a 12-feet trailer carrying pine logs was rear ended by a 4 door Audi. The crash caused the pine logs to dislodge and scatter across the road while the Audi received damage to its front portion.

Major Crimes down in Belmopan
Officer Commanding Belmopan Police Superintendent Howell Gillett joined the Belmopan police formation in early May of this year. Today we took a look at some statistics...

Belmopan City Administrator resigns
Angela Wade, the sister of Belmopan Area Representative John Saldivar, joined the Belmopan City Council in 2013 as the City Administrator. Today, after almost a year of service at the Belmopan City Council, Angela Wade tendered here resignation effective today.The reason for her sudden departure is...

Fire in Maya Mopan; Is arson the cause?
The beginning of this school year starts in less than 4 days, and parents and guardians are doing their last minute shopping for school materials. That is what Sonia Rivera was doing when she got a call that her house, located in the Maya Mopan Area, Belmopan, was engulfed in flames.


Garifuna language barred at Caribbean bank?
Controversy erupted out of the culture capital, Dangriga, this week over allegations that a Garifuna woman working at a major Caribbean bank, CIBC FirstCaribbean, with offices in Belize, had been barred from the public use of the Garifuna language within the institution. The National Garifuna Council (NGC) issued a cautionary release on Tuesday, August 26, saying that it is “exceedingly bothered” by the allegations that the bank in question does not permit the use of the Garifuna language within the financial institution. “This allegation is being taken seriously and the Council is investigating the matter,” the NGC said, adding that, “We will not stand aside and allow our rich cultural heritage to be disrespected by any entity, individual or organization, if that is the case.”

Belizean caught with 6.5 kilos of cocaine in Costa Rica
A Belizean national who was busted with 6.5 kilos of cocaine in Costa Rica is now in police custody after he reportedly tried to depart the country with the stash of drugs hidden inside 284 pilot markers. According to La Nacion newspaper, the incident occurred at around 8:00 this past Sunday night at the Juan Santamaría International Airport in Costa Rica when a 37-year-old man, known only by his surname, Tillett, was busted by Drug Control Police when the officers asked to him open his hand luggage. Upon inspecting the luggage, Costa Rican authorities discovered 29 boxes of pilot brand markers which contained 290 individual markers – 284 of which were found to be filled with cocaine.

Nephew charged for burning down aunt’s house
A Belize City man who is accused of arson was remanded to prison after the court prosecutor, Inspector Hector Rodriguez, objected to his being granted bail on the grounds of the seriousness of the offense and the fact that the man had threatened to burn down the house, which he did. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith upheld Rodriguez’s objection and remanded Darrell Alvarez, 27, into custody until his next court date on October 3, 2014. A single charge of arson was read to Alvarez, who was not required to enter a plea because the offense is indictable and will be tried in the Supreme Court after a preliminary inquiry is held in the Magistrate’s Court to determine if there is enough evidence to send the case to the high court.

55,000-ton bomb dropped on cañeros!
On Tuesday of this week, Tate and Lyle Sugars, a member of the American Sugar Refineries (ASR) group, dropped a bombshell on local cañeros when they announced, in a letter to the farmers, that there might be a drastic cut to the Belize sugar quota that sells under the Fair-Trade logo, and thus, the 18 directors of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association (BSCFA) met this afternoon in Orange Walk to discuss the crippling issue. Sugar quota slashed from 65,000 to 10,000 tons! Apart from market forecasts which are cited in Tate and Lyle’s letter, which was sent from their headquarters in London, the BSCFA was informed that the purchase of sugar for the 2014/2015 crop would be 10,000 tons, 55 thousand tons less than last year, while the premium price, which is US$60, will be paid after the product has been sold to consumers as Fair-Trade sugar.

“Peeping Tom” sentenced to 6 months
A resident of the Mile 8 community on the George Price Highway who was charged with committing a mischievous act after he was caught peeping into the bedroom of a 13-year-old girl was sentenced to 6 months in prison when his trial concluded in the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith this morning. After the court prosecutor indicated that he was closing the case for the prosecution, Smith told the accused, Angel Dorado, 34, an unemployed man, that he had one out of three options. He could remain silent, or he could give an unsworn statement from the dock where he stood, or finally, he could go across to the witness stand and make a sworn statement and be subject to cross examination. Dorado decided that he would remain silent.

Double whammy: Drought parches Belize amid hotter than normal August
The first three months of the rainy season have produced very little rains, and the National Meteorological Service confirmed today that almost all of Belize has been experiencing a drought, with extreme drought conditions occurring in the Belize District due to record low rainfall at the nation’s premier port of entry, the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA). Not only has Belize been experiencing drier than normal conditions; it has also been experiencing hotter than normal temperatures this month, according to Deputy Chief Meteorologist, Catherine Cumberbatch. Cumberbatch told Amandala today that daily information gathered up to today, Thursday, August 28, from their network of over 20 weather stations across Belize, indicates that at all stations across the country, rainfall has been way below normal, with the exception of the extreme south, Toledo, which has been registering normal rainfall.

Belizean caught with 6.5 kilos of cocaine in Costa Rica
A Belizean national who was busted with 6.5 kilos of cocaine in Costa Rica is now in police custody after he reportedly tried to depart the country with the stash of drugs hidden inside 284 pilot markers. According to La Nacion newspaper, the incident occurred at around 8:00 this past Sunday night at the Juan Santamaría International Airport in Costa Rica when a 37-year-old man, known only by his surname, Tillett, was busted by Drug Control Police when the officers asked to him open his hand luggage. Upon inspecting the luggage, Costa Rican authorities discovered 29 boxes of pilot brand markers which contained 290 individual markers – 284 of which were found to be filled with cocaine.

Teenager facing murder charge in Cayo and attempted murder charge in Belize City
A Belize City teenager who was wanted by police was charged for a recent murder in Cayo, where he had apparently been in hiding, and was then brought to the Magistrate’s Court and arraigned on attempted murder and dangerous harm charges before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith late yesterday, Monday. Earlier on Monday, Joseph Vaccaro, Jr., 19, had been charged in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court with the August 16 murder of Unitedville resident Victor Vargas, 38, who died from multiple stab wounds to his neck. Vaccaro was seen hanging out with the older man, Vargas, prior to his murder, and investigators believe that they have gathered enough evidence to charge him for the murder.

Plues Street resident remanded for shooting in San Pedro
A Belize City resident of Plues Street was remanded to the Belize Central Prison after he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith to answer to one count of aggravated assault with a firearm, for a shooting incident that occurred earlier this month on San Pedro. Jason “Killa” Gillett, 28, who police believe is an associate of the George Street Gang, pleaded not guilty to the one count of aggravated assault with a firearm against Germaine Zuniga. Since offenses involving a firearm trigger an automatic remand to prison, Gillett was remanded until his next court appearance date on October 7, 2014.

PUP suspeds Arthur Saldivar
The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) held a National Executive meeting this morning at its Independence Hall headquarters at which it decided to suspend the Belize Rural North constituency standard bearer, attorney Arthur Saldivar, who was recently catapulted into the national spotlight with an allegation that he commandeered $900,000 from a former client, Melonie Coye. There is, however, no claim filed at the Supreme Court Registry, and neither has Saldivar been served with any notice of a civil action, for which he would have been mandated to provide a defense to the court before a trial date is set. Attorney Eamon Courtenay, S.C., who is representing Melonie Coye, had said that Saldivar would have a chance to explain the allegation against him to a Supreme Court judge. Presently, the Supreme Court is on vacation until its next session, which starts in October.

Lionman Triathlon 2014 this Sunday, 6:30 a.m. at Sand Lighters Promenade
The 15th Annual Lionman Triathlon takes place this Sunday, August 31, starting at 6:30 a.m. at the Sand Lighters Promenade on New Town Barracks, and all are invited, free of charge, to see the brave athletes take that early morning plunge into the cold water to start their swim leg of the triathlon. Participating athletes will compete in the following categories – Juniors (18 and under); Females; Males (elite); Masters (40 and over); and Mixed Relay teams. Each participant will attempt to complete the Olympic Distance event – 1,500 meter swim, 40k ride, and 10k run.

Belize’s Daland Jones wins Gold at Masters Athletics Championship in Cost Rica
Veteran footballer, track & field, and body building athlete, Daland Jones won the Gold medal in Shot Put, beating American Jerry Ropelato at the North, Central American and Caribbean World Masters Athletics (NCCWMA) Championship, held in San Jose, Costa Rica from August 21-24. Three veteran Belizean athletes travelled to Costa Rica for the event. Philip Andrewin, in the Masters 65 category (65 – 69 yrs), took part in the 100m, 200m, High Jump, Long Jump and Shot Put. Lawrence Craig, in the Masters 55 category (55 – 59 yrs), represented in Shot Put, High Jump, and won the Silver medal in the Triple Jump. (Lawrence was 4th in Shot Put in his category.) And Daland Jones, also in the Masters 55 category (55 – 59 yrs), participated in the Discus, Javelin, and won the Gold medal in the Shot Put. Top 4 Masters 5 finishers in Shot Put were Daland Jones (Belize, 10.44m), Jerry Ropelato (USA, 10.36m), James Bristol (Trinidad & Tobago, 10.34m), and Lawrence Craig (Belize, 9.05m).

Belize Jaguars prepare for Nations Cup
While the dust settles concerning the Football Federation of Belize (FFB)’s myriad of internal tangles, the country’s Men’s National “A” football selection, known as the Belize Jaguars, including international superstriker Deon McCaulay, and newly reinstated veteran Costa Rican coach, Leroy Sherrier-Lewis, is currently in preparation for an appearance in the upcoming Copa Centro Americana, or Nations Cup, the tournament which enabled the Jaguars to qualify for their first ever Gold Cup outing last year. One of the wrinkles that had been troubling FFB President Ruperto Vicente is the lack of an affordable coach, but after going back and forth with other international coaches, he managed to procure the popular Leroy Sherrier-Lewis, who is certainly no stranger to Belize or to the Federation’s historical shortcomings.

CONCACAF swoops in to straighten out a reeling FFB
The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) is on the road to recovery – at least that is the indication that embattled FFB President Ruperto Vicente has asserted, after several months of internal flare ups within his executive, which reportedly resulted from allegations of micromanagement and financial mismanagement on his part, forced two successive marathon meetings in which local football executives first reconciled their differences before they sat with CONCACAF representatives, who were called in to adjudicate the dire situation concerning the current welfare of football in the country. After being kept under wraps for nearly a year due to the fear that the local football community, many of whom are sincerely upset by the recent disqualification of Belize’s Belmopan Bandits from the ongoing Champions League tournament because of a substandard local football pitch, will become even more downhearted by the news, the discord that had been brewing within the FFB management aroused the direct intercession of FIFA and CONCACAF, the international football governing bodies, who stepped in and sent two representatives to the country yesterday to quell the undercurrent of discontent which had been threatening to destabilize the foundation of the fairly new FFB executive, who, like the current UDP administration, was swept into office on a wave of reform two years ago.

Editorial: Greg steps down
On Tuesday the news broke that the chairman of the Sarstoon and Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM), Greg Ch’oc, was stepping down and was headed to the University of the West Indies to study law. Over the last decade or so, Greg had become the national face of the Kek’chi Maya of Toledo, so this move, though not completely unexpected, was of deep, troubling significance. It was ironic that the following day, Wednesday, Tate & Lyle announced that they would be cutting the preferential sugar quota of our Northern cane farmers from 65,000 tons to 10,000, a thunderbolt decision which will cost the cane farmers in the neighborhood of five million dollars in the 2014/2015 crop year. The cañeros of the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts are, to a substantial extent, descended from the Santa Cruz and Icaiche Maya, who are referred to as “Yucatec” Maya, having come down into the former British Honduras from the Yucatan in the second half of the nineteenth century. Now, while the Santa Cruz Maya, also called bravos, and the Icaiche Maya, also called pacíficos, have a long history of hostility against each other, it is the case in Belize, where Corozal is more Santa Cruz and Orange Walk more Icaiche, that they are basically the same where their position on the Kek’chi Maya of Toledo is concerned. The Yucatec Maya have accepted the philosophy of private land holding, while the Toledo Kek’chi have been fighting for customary land rights, which involve land being held in common by the village unit.

From the Publisher
To be young, street, and black in Belize City today is to be treated as a criminal or potential criminal, every day and every night, by groups of police officers driving around in pickup trucks with United States flags painted on them. If there is a major crime committed, such as murder or armed robbery, young, street, and black from certain neighborhoods can be arbitrarily grabbed, provoked, insulted, beaten, confined and held for 72 hours without any charge and without any real evidence. In the absence of a major crime, when things are cool, the roving cops can just stop you in the middle of the street, spread-eagle you, search you, and insult you, and the excuse for this is most often the weed law. Recently, the authorities suddenly decided, after decades and decades of ignoring the bell and light statutes for bicycling, that you must have one of each of these on your poor youth’s transport. More stop, more abuse, more insult, more persecution …

Letters: Guns don’t fight climate change … trees do!
Belize faces a major threat over the coming years and we will need the best weapons available to deal with it. The name of that threat is climate change and it will affect the whole world, with tropical regions feeling the worst of the change. Global experts agree that, by the end of the century, Belize will see 5°C increase on average daily temperatures, more frequent and longer droughts, less overall rainfall, more hurricane force winds and sea level rises that could submerge parts of low lying areas such as Belize City. Climate change cannot be stopped solely from within Belize, so we need to find ways to adapt to it. The impacts listed above will clearly hit agriculture the hardest. This is particularly worrying because our agricultural sector currently employs more than 32,000 Belizeans and contributes 23% of GDP. It is clear that Belize needs a successful agricultural sector, but this sector is under serious threat and measures need to be taken sooner rather than later to avoid disaster.

Letters: Begging the Transport Department …
As I prepare for this school year I keep remembering the experience we had last year with the teachers/students bus from Independence to Bladen. I would normally take the bus to Bella Vista and vice versa. In my opinion, the bus is not road-worthy, as the tires were worn out and during the rainy days you need to be selective of your seat, or get wet. On the way back to Independence one day, we experienced a blowout. Concern was mentioned to the person in charge of transportation at the District Education Center (D.E.C.), who promised to look into the situation. I don’t know if the owner was contacted, as the bus looked the same way.

Letters: Neri Briceño writes First Caribbean Bank
I write to you in three different capacities: an account holder with your bank, a Belizean, and most of all a proud Garifuna. Whether the content of this letter affects my current standing with the bank is irrelevant at this point, because I trust the bank as an institution is professional enough to separate the two. A most disturbing and outrageous revelation has emerged from your Dangriga Branch which requires immediate and collective action both by yourself and First Caribbean Bank. It is a known fact and whether the bank chooses to admit it or not is immaterial at this point, but Garifuna employees of that branch have been discouraged by the manager at that location from speaking in their native tongue. For something like this to happen in modern 2014 is incomprehensible, unacceptable and absolutely outrageous. I am sure that an institution such as First Caribbean which boasts of its international range and wide diversity with over 100 branches in 17 regional markets does not sanction such behavior. Your bank has a proud tradition of employing thousands of people from different races and cultures and for a manager to ask employees to comply with such a directive is tantamount to cultural suicide.

Letters: Dr. Aranda writes FirstCaribbean, Barbados
I write you, sir, primarily as a Garifuna person, but also at the request of the Garifuna community of Belize as well as the entire Garifuna Diaspora throughout Central America and the United States of America concerning the harassment and move to dismiss at least one senior officer of the CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, Dangriga Branch, Belize, Miss Uwahnie Martinez. The alleged violation by this senior officer is her answering greetings in Garifuna from Garifuna customers who address her in Garifuna within the bank. The FirstCaribbean Bank claims that its official language is English, hence only English is to be spoken on the premises of the bank.

Guat farmers marking survey lines several miles inside Belize: FCD
Incessant illegal encroachments by farmers from Guatemala into the Chiquibul Forest, and particularly the Chiquibul National Park and the Caracol Archaeological Reserve, could be exacerbated by the worsening drought in the neighboring country, which has forced the declaration of a state of emergency, amid reports that Guatemalan farmers are not just expanding slash-and-burn clearings in the verdant lands of western Belize, but are actually marking survey lines several miles into Belize and setting up illegal dwellings inside the national park. Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director of Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), warns that, “The drought period in Guatemala affecting over 1 million, two hundred thousand people in 16 departments, have created a condition of food insecurity. This has prompted the Guatemalan Government to declare a state of calamity on the 25th of August among the 16 departments. In many of these departments, up to 80% of the corn product has been lost and it will take some 8 months to recover. The search for new lands for cultivations will become more incessant.”

Export earnings plunge $55 mil despite 3.7% GDP growth, Jan to July 2014
Belize’s economy declined marginally by 0.4% for the first quarter of 2014, but the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) reported an upturn in economic growth for second quarter by 8.7%, bringing the total growth estimate for the first half of 2014 to 3.7%. The news was announced at a press conference held at the Central Bank of Belize this morning, and while the SIB official presenting the data, Jefte Ochaeta, Statistician II, said that he did not have information on what this growth means in dollars and cents, he did indicate to us that the growth in the primary industries, agriculture, forestry and fishing, up by 13.2%, represented a $13.9 million increase in production.

Greg Ch’oc bows out from SATIIM
Yesterday morning was a bittersweet, yet momentous occasion for the non-governmental organization (NGO) known as SATIIM, the Sarstoon-Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, and the indigenous Maya communities in southern Belize, after Maya leader Greg Ch’oc, who has been a fiery champion of their causes for nearly two decades, declared that he would withdraw from his position as executive director of the organization, relinquishing the administration into the hands of a carefully selected successor who has gotten the blessings of the Maya communities to continue what Ch’oc has termed as “the legacy of resistance”, particularly as it relates to the issue of oil drilling and exploration in Toledo. Ch’oc initially publicized his intentions to pursue a law degree at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus in Barbados about a year ago during a gathering in Midway Village, and now, with his admission process completed, it was time to make the announcement official.

7-foot bull shark illegally fished at Joe Taylor Creek
Fisheries authorities in Belize are investigating the illegal fishing of bull sharks in southern Belize after two adult bull sharks were found dead near the Joe Taylor Creek area, amid reports that 4 to 5 sharks had been indiscriminately fished and dumped, despite the fact that the season for shark fishing has been closed since August 1 – a measure imposed by fisheries managers to help ensure sustainability of the industry. Only two species of shark can’t be fished in Belize, and they are the whale shark and the nurse shark. Fisheries officials are working on putting in place size limits to further protect the industry from wanton fishing of young sharks. Elmar Requeña, terrestrial biologist for the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE), reported that, “At 7:50 a.m. on the 26th August, 2014, residents from Punta Gorda spotted a dead shark floating under the Joe Taylor Creek Bridge.” TIDE’s Celia Mahung told us that another dead bull shark was retrieved from the same area yesterday, and she underscores that “fishing seasons in Belize need to be respected in order for us to continue benefiting from our marine resources.”

GOB signs infrastructure contracts for flood mitigation
The Government of Belize (GOB) signed a total of four contracts for infrastructure projects worth more than $5M as part of an upcoming Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Program aimed at upgrading, cleaning and constructing existing streets and canals on the north-side of Belize City. The contract signing took place yesterday in the Conference Room of the Ministry of Works and Transport on Power Lane in Belmopan City. According to GOB, the projects will include the concreting and lining of the Douglas Jones Canal and the Northside Canal in Belize City, as well as the upgrading of Link Road (Apollo Street), and the construction and concrete-lining of the Bill Lindo Canal in Belama Phases 3 and 4. Maheias United Construction Company has been outsourced to build a concrete-lined and earthen addition to the Bill Lindo Canal at a cost of $892,250, to be completed in 8 months if all conditions are favorable, while Medina’s Construction Company is slated to build a concrete-lined, covered replacement for the Douglas Jones Canal which will cost $1.8 million and is scheduled to be completed within a period of 10 months.

Changes in certain US visa and consular fees announced
–The US State Department announced out of Washington, DC, today that effective Friday, September 12, 2014, it intends to adjust processing fees for some services, including fiancé visas and the fee for renouncing US citizenship. “The fees for most categories of immigrant visas will change, while fees for nonimmigrant visas largely remain the same,” the announcement said: The fee for renouncing US citizenship will increase from US$450 to US$2,350. “Documenting a U.S. citizen’s renunciation of citizenship is extremely costly, requiring U.S. consular officers overseas to spend substantial amounts of time to accept, process, and adjudicate cases. The fee for processing renunciation of citizenship, which had previously been subsidized, is now reflective of the true cost,” the 15-day notice said.

The Reporter

PUP Belize Rural North executives protest at party headquarters
Members of the PUP’s Belize Rural North executive committee protested in front of their party’s headquarters on Queen Street on Friday to object to the suspension of Arthur Saldivar from the party. The group led by Oswin Blease, told The Reporter that they will keep the pressure on the party’s leadership in defiance of their standard bearer’s suspension that they say is illegal and not in conformity with the party’s constitution. They also demanded a meeting with the party’s leader, Francis Fonseca, to discuss the suspension that they claim was carried out contrary to the norms of due process.

Conference seeks to empower, uplift women
A conference aimed at empowering women and creating enabling environments for their growth and independence took place on Friday at the Radisson Fort George Hotel In Belize City. The forum, which was a continuation of the 20,000 strong march earlier this year, included speeches by Kim Simplis Barrow, special envoy for women and children, Dr Carla Barnett and others on the role women play in society. An expo, featuring the works of female artisans from across the country complemented the conference.

Two men remanded for crystal meth
Customs officials say that 120 pounds of meth-amphetamine that Orange Walk police intercepted last week Wednesday night did not come through its Belize City port of entry. Selso Marin, a senior officer in the Investigations Unit at the Customs Department, said that it is […]

BML expecting payment on Friday
Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) is expecting a five-week-payment from the Belize City Council on Friday, according to BML owner Lawrence Ellis. Ellis indicated that CitCo has promised to make a payment of approximately $390,000 on Friday. He added that if CitCo didn’t pay on […]

Taiwan provides scholarships for 26 Belizeans
Twenty-six Belizean students will leave the country this weekend for Taiwan where they will pursue tertiary-level studies in fields ranging from engineering to medicine over the next few years. At an orientation ceremony last Saturday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington reminded the students […]

Child Friendly Municipality Initiative launched
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Ministry of Local Government, and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) have launched the Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipality Initiative geared toward addressing issues affecting children in different municipalities. Ivan Yerovie, UNICEF representative, said they are working […]

Provident Bank robbed of $40,000
About $40,000 was stolen from Provident Bank & Trust of Belize Limited on Barrack Road around 9:15 a.m. on Monday morning. According to Inspector Santiago Ciao, OC Precinct Three, two unmasked men entered the bank and asked to see the cashier. After the men […]

Body of missing Lemonal resident found
The body of a 27-year-man that had been missing for almost two weeks was found in a shallow grave in the village of Lemonal on Saturday afternoon. Denvo Banner’s remains were found in a shallow grave behind the community school by a search team […]

Alleged American murderer could be in Belize
Belizean law enforcement authorities are on the lookout and are in need of the public’s help to locate Lyle Marvin Hoffman, also known as “Ty”, a wanted American felon accused of the murder of a man in Minnesota State, USA. Hoffman, according to Minnesota authorities, […]

A&R security guard charged for plotting robbery
A 28-year-old security guard who worked at A&R Enterprise Limited has been charged in connection with last week’s robbery at the establishment and has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison. Leroy Ciego was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit robbery and […]

SATIIM gets new director
The Sarstoon Temash institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM) has a new executive director. Foyla Tzalam officially assumed the post on Tuesday at a press conference held at the conference room of the Belize Social Security Board in Punta Gorda Town. Tzlam takes over from former […]

UNICEF deploys largest amount of aid ever
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) this month deployed over 1,000 metric tons of life saving supplies for children all over the world setting a record for largest amount of emergency aid delivered in a single month. According to UNICEF, the delivery in August […]


Since 1976 when the Ebola virus was first identified, the disease has become one of the most deadly the world has seen. It is possible for a person to come down with Ebola symptoms in the morning and be dead by nighttime! The Center for Disease Control in the United […]

‘Draconian’ gun law to be revised! Elrington says amendments expected as early as next month
Amendments to the controversial gun law may come as early as next month, Attorney General Wilfred Elrington said in a recent interview with The Reporter. According to Elrington, the Offices of the Solicitor General and the Ministry of National Security are reviewing the 2008 amendment […]

GDP up, exports down!
The economy has grown by 8.7 percent above last year, the best recorded second quarter growth since 2009, while imports continue to exceed exports according to the latest data released by the Statistical Institute of Belize. The SIB presented the Gross Domestic Product and the […]

Cañeros seek clarification on new payment scheme
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association is requesting clarification from the biggest importer of sugar, Tate and Lyle Sugars, on changes made to the payment scheme for the upcoming sugarcane crop. The BSCFA wrote to the company on Thursday, after receiving a letter stating the […]

PUP suspends Arthur Saldivar!
Arthur Saldivar, the PUP’s standard bearer in the Belize Rural North constituency is suspended and faces possible expulsion from the party if ongoing ongoing investigations prove that he is culpable of taking monies that belonged to one of his clients. PUP Leader, Francis Fonseca, told […]

Patrick JonesPJ

Galen University awards scholarships
Galen University has announced the awarding of ten scholarships for the 2014 Fall Semester. A statement from Galen University says that the scholarships were awarded in four categories, namely Academic Excellence, Academic/Financial Needs, Athletic and Music. The Scholarship recipients are Ruvi Bautista, Jessie Gentle and Jasmin Nicole Hulse for Academic Excellence. Derrick Seaven Bol and Mario Alberto Villeda for Financial Needs; Romario Romaldo Pech received a Music Scholarship. Kevin Brown, Bryton Edmundo Codd and Christopher Enriquez are recipients of Athletic Scholarships. The Daniel Silva Academic/Financial Need Scholarship has been awarded to Kaycee Nikita Flores.


One HOT Day in Beautiful Placencia Village – Taking Things Slow
My taxi driver in Independence/Mango Creek called for rain. The rest of the week, he said with authority, SHOWERS. Quite the bold statement when it basically hasn’t rained for months in San Pedro or Placencia – and the official weather report down here is about as reliable as BTL internet service down here. But I am a sucker for anything said with command AND I hadn’t packed an umbrella, so maybe it could… Just a 3 minute taxi ride or a 10 minute stroll north of the village, I check into the very cutest spot and most homey, Casa Placencia. A labor of love – each room filled with color and art and personal touches. Mosaic tiles everywhere done personally by the owner – Jackie – in her over 30 years in Belize. I took so many pictures but I’ll save them for later.

Belize Gets Big Support in Cooling the Effects of Climate Change
An ambitious US$ 30 million World Bank project will help make a difference! Here at Chaa Creek there’s no debate about climate change. Those doubting that climate change exists as a growing threat to the health of our planet and the seven billion souls inhabiting it will find their arguments falling on deaf ears around here. We’re just too close to nature to ignore the fact that the earth is heating up, water levels are rising, and storms are increasing in intensity and frequency. But doom and gloom has never been a Belizean trait, and we take heart in the many measures being put in place to counter this growing threat. All around us we see people taking part in the worldwide effort to turn climate change around and mitigate its effects.

“It’s So Easy” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
I got out on to the veranda – yes the western, lagoon facing one on the first floor – around 05.00 hours yesterday morning with the “must have” mug of black coffee (no sugar) and my iPad. After a few minutes of just taking in the sights,sounds and smells. I know it should be the same vista – I sit in the same position every morning after all – but it never, ever is. The different shades of the early morning light conspire to make it a different and truly enjoyable picture every day. Sated with the ambience (and a couple of sips of coffee) I turned to The Times online and was well in to the Business pages when the tranquility was broken by the sound of hammering from the lot immediately north of our home. I don’t why but this got to me to thinking about how I would have reacted to such an intrusion at 06.30 hours when I was living in London. I’m pretty certain that the reaction from me would have been to utter a few expletives. The next step would likely have been for me to shout similar types of invective at the “offending” workers. My reaction yesterday morning? I had another sip of coffee and went back to the Business pages.

International Sourcesizz

Meet Me in Belize" sweepstakes by AFAR
We want to send you to Belize to meet the locals, who are waiting to show you the best the country has to offer, from its ancient ruins to its newest resorts. Ask our locals for the name of a must-see dive spot, the perfect bar for a sunset cocktail, or a store with the best handicrafts and not only will they tell you where to go, they’ll lead you there. After reading some of our locals’ tips, choose the region you’d most like to explore to enter the sweepstakes. If you are the lucky winner for a trip for two to Belize, pack your bags and we’ll meet you in Belize.

IBRD loan to mitigate climate change effects in Belize
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loaned US$30mn to Belize's government for a five-year infrastructure improvement project to mitigate climate change effects. The loan has a maturity of 40 years, with a five-year grace period, the World Bank said in a release. The financing will be used to restore 30km of roads, upgrade 12 bridges and culverts, develop 26 localized hazard maps, implement the country's land-use policy and train government staff on flood tracking and local residents on road maintenance. Belize was identified by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change as one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, given that over half the population and business centers are at sea level.

Good News From One Of The World's Top Retirement Havens
Over the past three decades I've been writing about Belize. I've regularly borrowed Morley Shafer's line from the mid-80s, when he traveled to Belize City to film a segment for 60 Minutes. "The good news from Belize," Morley said looking up from a little wooden boat in the middle of the Belize River, "is no news from Belize." True then, true since, and true now, though maybe a little less so. This month I returned to Belize's Cayo, where I found news worth reporting. The main town in this part of this country is San Ignacio. For the first 20 years I knew San Ignacio, it was a tiny roundabout with concrete benches, a main drag with hostels and hole-in-the-wall restaurants, and a river launch that was little more than a muddy hillside that you could slide down or drag yourself and your canoe up.

Tropics May Come Alive Again Next Week Near Mexico
As Cristobal loses its tropical characteristics, attention is turning toward the Bay of Campeche for potential development early next week. A tropical wave moving through the central Caribbean has the potential to become the Atlantic Basin's next tropical depression or storm in the Bay of Campeche, in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, early next week. The Bay of Campeche is where conditions will become conducive for development as the water is very warm and a zone of lower wind shear will be present. Wind shear refers to belts of winds in the upper levels of the atmosphere that can shred apart tropical systems when strong enough. The wave is currently encounter such disruptive wind shear and would continue to do so if it takes a more northern track into the western Gulf of Mexico.

Punta Gorda: Belize’s Forgotten District…
Rounding a bend in the road, you catch your first glimpse of the bay of Honduras. The stunning silhouette of Guatemala’s mountains to the south provides the perfect backdrop as the light scatters off the sparkling Caribbean water. The skies are a cloudless blue and a series of houses painted different colors, here white, there yellow, another green—and all with neatly-groomed yards—greets you along the coast road into the town of Punta Gorda. Every visit I make to the Toledo region of Belize brings unexpected discoveries. Some folks call it the country’s “forgotten district,” and it’s true that Toledo is a bit of an enigma. On the surface it appears peaceful and serene. But look closer and you’ll find a contrasting alter ego. This Toledo is wild, untamed, enticing…


Video: Diving at Ambergris Caye Belize - 2014., min.
Diving at Ambergris Caye Belize - 2014.

Video: Financial Empowerment for Women in Belize, 10min.
Women entrepreneurs in Belize have the passion, the creativity, and the capacity to be successful in business. What they lack is financing. This video showcase but a few of the women endeavoring to create economic opportunities for themselves and the efforts of Belize's Special Envoy for Women and Children to link them with the financial resources they need to succeed.

Video: Earth Expeditions Baja & Belize Packing Tips, 9min.

Video: Flying Into Punta Gorda Belize, 3min.

August 29, 2014


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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

Ahhh The Split!
Caye Caulker’s Split is the most recognized location on our sister island. And for good reason too. Just look at those hues…on a hot day, there is nothing better than a sip of Belikin while perched on the seawall soaking in the rays and relaxing your mind…

Legends and Ghetto Boys competing for the tournament win
The Island Cup Football Tournament is drawing to an end, and teams are vying for the big win. The sixth round of games was played on Sunday, August 23rd, with six teams giving it their all on the field. Not wanting to miss a single moment of action, football fanatics gathered early at the Ambergris Stadium to witness the grueling matches under a blazing hot sun. Unfortunately only one team can take the Island Cup and so far the competition is clearly between Legends and The Ghetto Boys. Currently the Legends are leading the competition, with the Ghetto Boys closely behind. Even though the Ghetto Boys are newly formed, they have already made their mark in the tournament and have not lost a single game yet. The next round of games will be played on Sunday, August 31st starting at 10AM. The tentative schedule for games include: Joker Boys versus Catrachos, San Pedrito FC versus Dorados, San Pedrito versus Eleven Pirates and The Legends versus Ghetto Boys.

Oceana in Belize Exposes Belizean Youth to the Wonder of the Sea
The journey to the Lighthouse Reef Atoll has intimidated more than a few Belizeans; orange jackets doing little to comfort the fears of the blue depths beyond the Barrier Reef. But my young companions’ eyes are filled with curiosity, not fear, as they beheld the stunning color palette of the Caribbean Sea. The brown tones of the only sea they’d known, the “hangar,” easily replaced by more blues than a box of crayons. The immersion of color continued as the always picturesque Half Moon Caye appeared on the horizon: green and yellow coconut fronds swaying above a sandy white shore while red footed boobies and magnificent jet black frigates dot a cloudless turquoise sky. It’s a scene that calls to one’s soul. And the boys can’t wait to soak in the moment. Minutes later they dive into the sparkling, salty water, eager to show off their swimming, splashing, and floating abilities. The sound of their carefree laughter carries above the constant crash of waves. The salt stings their eyes but there are no complaints. The sound of the ebb and flow of the coral beach mimics applause. This trip has been years in the making and I cannot understand why. Belizeans enjoying Belizean resources is truly priceless. Read more: Oceana in Belize Exposes Belizean Youth to the Wonder of the Sea - My Beautiful Belize Follow us: @MyBeautifulBze on Twitter | MyBeautifulBelize on Facebook

Jessel Lauriano representing Belize at 2014 Miss Freedom of the World
26-year-old Jessel Lauriano has been in Prizren, Kosovo, located in Southeast Europe, since Friday, August 15th as she participates in the 2014 Miss Freedom of the World Pageant. The fourth installation of this pageant is scheduled for Sunday, August 31st and will see the participation of beauty delegates from 21 countries. Jessel is original from Belize City and is the holder of the titles of Miss Freedom of Belize 2014 and Miss Heritage Belize 2014.

PUP hosts Endorsement Convention
The Belize Rural South (BRS) People’s United Party (PUP) town council slate and standard bearer hosted their first endorsement convention on Saturday, August 23rd in San Pedro Town. The convention was held at the Central Park under the theme “We are the change, we are more, we are PUP” and saw a crowd of over 500 party supporters gathered. The purpose of the event was to introduce the candidates to the public and present the party’s agenda for the upcoming Municipal Elections on March 4, 2015, and General Elections in 2017. The PUP town council slate includes Conchita Flota, Marina Kay, Alex Noralez, Mundo Nuñez, Omar Guerrero, and current councilor Gualberto Nuñez Jr., along with Mayoral candidate Doctor Giovanni Solorzano. The BRS PUP Standard Bearer candidate is Elito Arceo.

Ambergris Today

Ramon’s Village Observes One Year Anniversary of Devastating Fire
A year ago on Wednesday, August 27, 2014, the worst disaster to ever strike Ramon’s Village Resort in San Pedro, Belize occurred with a massive fire destroying 28 cabanas, Pineapples Restaurant, the Purple Parrot, Ramon’s Gift Shop and the general offices, laundry and warehouse at the resort. Valiant firefighting efforts by the San Pedro Fire Department, San Pedro Police Department, citizens of San Pedro and the employees of Ramon’s Village saved the resort from being a total loss. A year later any trace of a fire has been completely erased and the iconic resort is flourishing with guests. The owners of Ramon’s Village, Richard and Gina Headrick, along with Director of Operations Steve Sherwin, arrived at the still smoldering ruins of the resort on August 29, 2013. It was on the beach that day that a determined Richard Headrick told the assembled group of despondent employees that Ramon’s Village would be built back bigger and better than ever before. Over the course of the next 101 days, hundreds of San Pedro craftsmen joined with the employees at Ramon’s Village to transform the scene of a disaster back into a lush tropical oasis.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Leases issued to 105 residents of Bullet Tree Falls Village
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources & Agriculture, Honourable Gaspar Vega in collaboration with UDP Cayo North Representative, Mr. Omar Figueroa presented 105 Leases to the residents of Bullet Tree Falls Village in Cayo in a ceremony held yesterday in that community. Of the over hundred leases issued, 40 were the regularization of documents, and for these first-time lease holders, these papers provided a solution to decades-old uncertainty regarding ownership of the land on which their families reside. The Ministry of Natural Resources & Agriculture covered the survey & subdivision costs in an effort to provide these families with security and legal rights to their property.

6 New Rotary Scholars
The 6 new Rotary Scholars have started high school with the Rafael Cal Memorial Scholarship. Thanks Rotary! "On Monday, 25 August, six students started their High School education as Rotary Scholars. These outstanding Students were selected from the six Primary Schools in the San Ignacio/Santa Elena area and will be sponsored for their four years of study by the Rotary Club of San Ignacio's Rafael Cal Memorial Scholarship. This year, the Rotary Club of San Ignacio is sponsoring a total of 24 Rotary Scholars attending High Schools in the San Ignacio/Santa Elena area - Eden SDA High School, St. Ignatius RC High School, and Sacred Heart High School."

Market Vendors Graduate
The graduation ceremony for the Cayo market vendors that took SBDC's business training had 32 vendors receiving their certificates of completion. Congratulations to all the recent graduates! "32 San Ignacio Market Vendors graduated from a business training program that was organized and led by SBDCBelize and CARILED."

Belize GDP 2nd Quarter 2014
Belize economic information for the 2nd quarter of 2014. "Economic Outlook - Preliminary estimates indicate that the level of economic activities increased by 8.7%, during the second quarter of 2014 - A cumulative growth (up3.7%) was registered for the first half of the year."

Orquidea Negra Dance Company
Orquidea Negra performing at the Flor de la Feria pageant. Great talent and dance choreography. "includes a afro dance and modern dance (Sail)"

Back to School Rave
The Cave Garden is having a back to school rave on Saturday. The Raging Masters will be mixing, so you'll get good music and no talk. Enjoy! "SO i hear lot a things wa d pop off next week but guess what it wa d pop off da Cave Garden with RaGing MaSters Sounds, cOME AND JOINS US AND PARRTYY, this time benque style, free shots, free rage poppers, and dancers!! come on out and enjoy!!"

Channel 7

Accused By Aunt, Alleged Arsonist Goes To Court
On Wednesday's newscast, you saw homeowner Sonya Harris's devastation after her home in the Gungulung Area of Belize City burned down. The Belizean American made a direct and emotional accusation that her nephew did it - because she wouldn't let him sell weed in her home. Well, it seems the police agree: today they charged 27 year old Darrell Alvarez with arson. He appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith to hear the charge. No plea was taken because the offense is indictable. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that the offense is of a serious nature and if granted bail the defendant might interfere with the complainant and other prosecution witnesses. Chief Magistrate Smith upheld the objection and she remanded Alvarez into custody until October 3rd.

Hon. Castro Says He's Sorry For Opponent Arthur Saldivar
The big news in political circles continues to be Arthur Saldivar's suspension from the PUP. Saldivar is the standard bearer for Belize Rural North but yesterday the PUP National Executive decided to suspend him based on the allegation that he helped himself to nine hundred thousand dollars of his client Melonie Coye's money. The PUP has appointed a committee to investigate the charge and report back to the executive for a final decision by September 17th. Insiders suggest to us that it is a process pre-ordained to get rid of Saldivar - who, some feel, has become a liability to the party because of multiple allegations of professional impropriety. But, it's not that simple to just purge a duly elected standard bearer and Saldivar's camp is digging in for what looks like it will be a protracted battle for control of Belize Rural North. This evening at 5:30, Saldivar convened a committee of the Belize Rural North Committee and they have promised to issue a release later this evening. The Committee feels that it was bypassed - and that the executive tried to do the Committee's job when it suspended Saldivar. So…it's a fight for real now…and in the days to come, we can expect it to flesh out as the Saldivar camp fight for its political life.

Former UDP Chairman Says Saldivar Suspension Is Acceptable
Another politician who has a valid perspective on the Saldivar suspension is former Chairman of the UDP Patrick Faber. As Chairman, he had to preside over many conventions and he knows that once a standard bearer is elected, getting rid of them is...let's say...complicated. And that's why, he says, so far he agrees with the cautious course endorsed by the PUP Executive:.. Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education "Like in the case of Saldivar, if he did not at the time of the application process, if there is one; let's say hypothetically, like in the UDP we have a form that says is there anything out there that might embarrass yourself that will cause embarrassment to our party and you had to declare it. If we find later on that you did not declare it we reserve the right to pull you back or to disqualify your candidacy, then to me that is fair, that is how we operate in the UDP and yes there are instances where that has come up. You are right, it is a slippery slope, it kind of throws a dark shadow over the party. Other people who are in the party or those who might be considering to run for the party might be dissuaded. If that is what they are going to bring to the party might as well be dissuaded and don't come. But I don't see anything wrong with it as long as there is due process, that is very important and if I am to dabble just a bit, that is exactly what I heard the Leader of the PUP said yesterday."

More Sour Times In Sugar Industry
Tonight, there are concerns coming from cane farmers in the north following a letter from Tate and Lyle, the British company a major purchaser of Belizean sugar. According to the letter, in the next sugar crop, they stand to lose 83% of their revenue from that overseas sale. Tate and Lyle wrote to the Cane Farmers Association two days ago informing them that starting with next year's crop, the company will only buy ten thousand tonnes of their sugar under the Fair Trade Agreement - usually they buy fifty to sixty thousand tonnes. The reason put forward is that market forecasts for the sale of sugar are down, and that there is not the same type of demand as there was in the past. For the farmers it means that they stand to lose $5.7 million dollars. So, the association held an afternoon meeting with all of the 18 branch chairmen to inform them, and to seek their input on a course of action.

US Citizen Found Dead At Guest House - May Be Suicide
The body of a US Citizen was found at a Belize City Guest House this morning - and police suspect suicide. 47-year-old Robert Thomas Scruton was found dead in room 34 at the Three Star Guest House on Meighan Avenue this morning. His taxi-man went there to pick him up at 10:00 am, but found him dead on the floor with a cut wound to the inner arm, and abrasions to the left wrist. The injuries are believed ot have been made with a glass bottle. Police have not ruled out homicide but suspect suicide due to the cutting nature of the wounds. Additionally, police have learned that the American software technician appeared to be a heavy driver and was going through a divorce. He arrived in Belize last Friday - and was her to celebrate his birthday at Caye Caulker. He returned from the Caye yesterday - and was last seen alive last night at 10:00 when his taxi-man delivered food to him.

Police Hit A Dead End On Denvo Murder Investigation
27 year old Denvo Banner's body was found in Lemonal five days ago - he had been shot to the head. It is the first murder reported in the small village of 150 residents in a very long time - and tonight police are no closer to solving it. They had detained a suspect earlier this week - but he was released due to a lack of evidence. Regional Executive Officer Inspector Fredrick Gordon told us more today:.. Inspector Fredrick Gordon, Regional Executive Officer "We had a person of interest in respect of the murder. As a matter of fact it was two persons that was detain in respect to the murder of Mr. Banner." Jules Vasquez "Those persons have been released without charges?" Inspector Fredrick Gordon, Regional Executive Officer "There is an ongoing investigation at this time." Jules Vasquez "Are you able to say what angle you are looking at? You all know any motive for anyone that killed this man?"

PC Chulin Shot Himself, Accidentally
A policeman shot himself in Trench Alley early this morning. 25 year old Constable Victor Chulin was pulling up his pants when his nine millimeter pistol accidentally went off and he shot himself, reportedly, in the groin area. He was rushed to the Hospital, and is stable. But, police say they are investigating for any breach of protocol - and if he is found negligent, he will receive disciplinary charges. The gun was a nine millimeter pistol, which apparently did not have the safety engaged. Police maintain a fixed presence in Trench Alley where Chulin shot himself.

Faber Says He's Helping Cabinet Colleagues, Despite Rift
It's back to school time - and all over Belize parents are scrambling to come up with the money for uniforms, schools supplies and fees. Altogether it can be very expensive and a terrible burden on families. In many cases, some of that burden has to be shouldered by politicians - who are under pressure to service their constituents. Reliable reports tell us that pressure recently resulted in some major friction within the ruling UDP - and at least one ranking minister accused the Education minister of hoarding the resources which should be shared amongst all. Today Faber told us that he distributes equitably:.. Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education "And so I don't know that any of my colleagues are dissatisfied. Everybody wants a little bit more, that is true and some believe that they deserve more than others but that's not how I operate in the Ministry of Education."

Faber Says CXC Results A Mixed Bag
We also asked Education Minister Faber about the recent CXC results. It's a mixed bag where there is a general upwards trend, but problems persist in traditional trouble subjects such as math. Faber discussed the prognosis going forward since Government will pay for some CSC's tests in the coming school year:.. Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education "We are satisfied that there are improvements and in fact the number of students who are now taking these larger number of CXCs. In my time in high school for instance, I did 8 CXCs and that was considered to be a lot and now we have students who are doing - I met one yesterday who had 16 CXCs; about 12 grade one, 3 grade two and 1 grade three - these are 16 passes and we are seeing more and more of this happening and that is a very good sign for us in Belize in terms of us competing for the regional awards for the CSEC examinations. On the other side there is still a good number of students who aren't at the point where they are taking these exams and that has to concern us. I see it on a daily basis, the students who come asking for job in the government service for instance, and the public service has a basic requirement on most jobs of a high school diploma and 3 CXCs and you have still many people who are finished with high school but don't have any CXCs and we are hoping that this can be changed because of course of our plan now to pay for CXCs CSEC examinations for our students."

Menzies Explains Jasmine Link Mix-Up
Last night, we told you about the embarrassment with Police Department's website linking to a porn site. As we showed you, the link is supposed to belong to belong Jasmine Alert, the organization which releases urgent bulletins to the nation for missing children. The Jasmine Alert was launched in 2012 in memory of Jasmine Lowe, who was brutally murdered in Cayo after being missing for several days. The police department is one of organizations linked into the Alert system, so logically, a link to their website was posted on their official page. But, recently, when visitors clicked that link,, it took them to a porn site. Of course, when it hit the news, it caused major embarrassment, but at least it prompted the website managers to pull it down. The Executive Director of the Jasmine Alert, Patrick Menzies, has been put in the hot seat because of it. Today, taking a break from occupying Belmopan, he explained to us that indeed that link ( which now takes web surfers to view porn, was once the web domain name for Jasmine Alert. The problem, he explained, began when the organization couldn't continue to pay the web fees to maintain it:

Crystal Water Production Slowed By Water Line Plant Breakdown
Many of you may have noticed that 5 gallon bottles of Crystal Water has been scarce in stores for the past week. That is because there was a break down in Crystal's water line plant last week Thursday. They also experienced difficulties obtaining the bottle caps from suppliers in Mexico. A company representative told us it was just a temporary disturbance in the 5 gallon production process and it will be normalized by tomorrow.

Work Starts On Old Northern
The Old Northern Highway is one of the most battered and tattered stretches of road in Belize. The road was mostly abandoned in the eighties when the new Northern Highway was built - and since then it has steadily degraded. Now, most of it is just like a one lane road with some very jagged edges. It's unfortunate because the highway connects visitors to one of the most popular Mayan sites, Altin Ha. But, the Area Representative says that work will soon start to repair the first five miles:.. Hon. Edmund Castro "Within the next two weeks we will be signing the agreement for the construction of the refurbishment of the old northern highway. The first phase is 5 miles from San Hill into the New Hope Bridge. By the time we complete with that segment of the highway hopefully the Korean funds will kick in so we could complete other 15 miles."

Maskall Needs A Police Station Repair
And so, the old Northern Highway will be rehabilitated, and Maskall village got a new library today, which we'll tell you about later. But, what about the Maskall police station. Honestly, there's no nice way to say it, the place looks like a crackhouse inside! No police officer lives there because none can. We asked the area representative about it today:.. Hon. Edmund Castro "It's in bad shape. I will not tell you a lie, the police station in Maskall needs some renovation similar to this building, but we can't get everything and do everything in month or one year. We've been working and this is the result. About 4 months ago this building looked terrible, worse than the police station. Now look at it now. The children are saying that this is the prettiest building in the village." Reporter "So is the police station next?" Hon. Edmund Castro "We are working on that."

Castro Says Cultural Tolerance Is A Must
And while we had the chance, we asked Castro about the recent fare up in the news over the speaking of the Garifuna language in a bank in Dangriga. Castro's father was Garifuna, and while he doesn't speak the language, he says the idea that it would be banned is abhorrent:.. Hon. Edmund Castro "For us to hear in 2014 foolishness like this, we should never condone such foolishness if it's true. When I go to the bank I talk creole to the teller and I don't hear that they tell the teller that they can't answer me in creole. My amigo is close to me in the bank and he feels more comfortable to express himself what he wants to do with his money in the bank he speaks in Spanish and if the person there can assist him and communicate with him in the language of his choice, then I don't see they firing anyone that speaks Spanish in bank. I think if the allegation if it's so they really need to take a check at themselves." First Caribbean Bank - which was accused - has flatly denied that it has any policy or practice banning use of the Garifuna language.

Kraal Road Lashes Out Against GSU
Earlier this week we showed you the citizens on patrol programme and the effort being made by police to mend relations with the community. But it seems that for every step forward, the police department makes two backwards. That's what we found yesterday when we visited Kraal Road. IT is a gang area - and police were descending with force. Monica Bodden has the story:.. Monica Bodden reporting We arrived on Kraal Road just after 5 yesterday evening and were greeted by an angry mob of area residents - Accusing the GSU of police harassment and abuse. The officers were inside two separate yards conducting searches - Some of them stood on the sidelines and in the middle of Kraal Road with guns in front of the crowd. Voice of: Area Resident "Miss we just came from a funeral and the young man that they have in there just came from funeral and they are beating him, he is vomiting and they punch him in the mouth. They are roughing up my grandmother. She is 55 years old, nobody need to be roughing her up. The police is always coming at our house and we respect them and now they are saying that if any of us say anything they will beat us."

Old Road Gets New Library
Welcome back to 7news - for all those outside the city, we apologize for the 40 minute break in transmission; there is a citywide blackout in Belize City - which is still underway. BEL has not located the cause yet. But, we continue with the news for all our viewers outside the city. In the age of electronic everything, the role of the library is often overlooked. But, the National Library Service is pushing on and pushing into remote communities with its mobile library service. One of those communities is Maskall which was serviced for decades by the mobile library - visiting the village on the old northern road in Landrovers, vans, and even taxi's! But, finally now Maskall has a library of its own. The building was opened today and 7News was there:.. Hon. Edmund Castro, Area Rep. - Bze Rural North "It's the prettiest building in Maskall. As you pull the curve you see our library." Courtney Weatherburne reporting The papaya coloured library stands out indeed - and when the ribbon was cut today it opened a new world to the students from Lady of Lourdes RC.

Independent Girls...
7 girls will grace the stage with their beauty and talent at the 6th Annual Independence Day Junior Pageant. They have been practicing since the start of this month and according to the coordinator of the pageant, Karen Vernon, the audience is in for a treat. Today we joined them at their rehearsal and she explained the purpose of the pageant and the progress these young ladies have made. The pageant will be held at the Bliss Center at 5:00 in the evening this Sunday. Tickets are $10 and are available at the Bliss or from the contestants.

Boxing Down For The Count, But Recovering
In the fast few years, boxing has been making a steady comeback, and a big part of this pugilist's renaissance is regular international bouts. On Saturday in Orange Walk there will be another one as a contingent of Belizean boxers take on a Mexican delegation. One of the coaches visited our office today to talk about it, and to introduce his boxers to the nation. Here's what he told us about the event:Fight time is 7 p.m. on August 30, at the Orange Walk Complex in Orange Walk Town.

Channel 5

Garifuna bank employee instructed not to speak her native tongue
The Christian Workers Union which represents bank employees has joined the chorus of condemnation against the Dangriga Branch of the First Caribbean Bank. Recently, a bank employee, Uwahnie Martinez, was [...]

Cane farmers facing huge drop in sugar sales to Tate and Lyle
A letter from Tate & Lyle delivered to the B.S.C.F.A. on Tuesday has sent shockwaves through that Association, which governs eighteen branches in Orange Walk and Corozal. Citing the fluctuating [...]

Still no payment for bagasse to cane farmers
While the impending Fairtrade disaster has taken center stage with the B.S.C.F.A. and the five thousand plus cane farmers in the north, there is plenty of turmoil in the industry [...]

Darrel Alvarez arraigned for burning down his aunt’s house
A man who police claim confessed to burning down his aunt’s home in the Gungulung area of Belize City is tonight on remand at the Belize Central Prison.  Twenty-seven year [...]

Edmond Castro talks about Arthur Saldivar’s predicament
The People’s United Party has suspended, attorney Arthur Saldivar as standard bearer for the Belize Rural North Constituency. That happened on Wednesday at a meeting called by the executive to [...]

US national found dead in hotel room
The body of an American national, Robert Thomas, was found today in his room at a guest house in Belize City. Just after ten this morning, a taxi-man who would [...]

Belize Police Department website directs to a porn site
In June 2012, twelve year old Jasmine Lowe was found dead on a lonely street in the Cayo District. Her death sparked unprecedented awareness and action, and in her name [...]

Man sentenced to 10 years for robbery
Convicted robber, twenty six-year old Dillon Diamond is serving his first night of a ten year sentence for attempted robbery. The Taylor’s Alley resident is accused of holding up at [...]

Cop accidentally shoots himself
Just before one this morning, police constable Victor Chulin had to be hospitalized for a gunshot wound to his leg. The officer was reportedly on Cemetery Road in front of Trench [...]

Elections held for Police Association
You may not be aware of it, but there is a body entrusted with looking after the rights of Police Officers countrywide – from the rank of constable all the [...]

Dangriga Mayor denounces action of the First Caribbean Bank
This afternoon, Dangriga Mayor Gilbert Suazo, himself a prominent member of the Garifuna community, denounced the action of the bank.  According to Mayor Suazo, the idea of restricting employees of [...]

Maskall finally gets a library
A new library was inaugurated in Maskall Village earlier today.  For decades, the rural community has been without a public facility which caters to the academic and literary needs of [...]

The 24th annual National Women Softball Championship
Seven teams from across the jewel are participating in the twenty-fourth annual National Women’s Softball Championship held by the Belize Softball Federation. Starting this Friday at six-thirty p.m. at the [...]

Inclement weather forecast for the weekend
The Belize Tourism Board announced today that the Village Arts and Craft Expo that was scheduled for this weekend has been postponed until November first due to the inclement weather [...]

Healthy living looks at back to school tips for parents
It’s back to school season! Parents across Belize have been busy getting school books, stationary, uniforms school bags and just about everything the children need for a brand new academic [...]


25 Workers Allegedly Fired In Corozal
Four point four million dollars was allocated by Central Government to “concrete” one mile of the Philip Goldson Highway in Corozal from in front of the Social Security building right up to Santa Rita Hill. With over a month into the project, reports reaching our news room today were that twenty-five workers assigned at the road construction in Corozal were sent home with the reason that there was no more money. Reporter Victor Castillo caught up today with one of the unhappy ex-employees who claims that they were not given any notice prior to this morning’s lay off. Former worker – Road Project Corozal “They stop the job, they no money no deh and I wonder about because I know a lot work is left to do and we have the materials and things and according to what I notice something wrong and the people that they have working they just stop us and I think that is really bad because they should have notified us and tell us that material is not there but we have the materials but they just stop the job like that and they just send like 25 of us.”

Card Machine Broken Down At The Northern Border
When travelling across the Belizean Border, sometimes the long lines to get your passport stamp takes a lot of time however, to avoid long lines, the Immigration department had launched the issuance of a Belize Immigration Card which you present at the border and makes the process easier and faster. But tonight information reaching our news room is that for more than a month now the issuing of the cards has ceased without any notification at the northern border. Our News crew got in contact with Immigration manager Francisco Rejon at the northern border who referred us to the director of immigration in Belmopan.

Its All About Road Safety In Corozal
Preparations for the new school year are in full gear. In Corozal, part of these preparations is road safety for students. Julio Uk coordinator for Build Belize has been working hand in hand with the Corozal Police Youth Corp in this regard. Today as an exercise, Uk gathered the cadets at the intersection of 5th Avenue with 2nd Street North leading to the St. Francis Xavier Primary School. The area is one of the busiest streets in town and Uk’s intention was to show students how to utilized the pedestrian ramp. Julio UK – Coordinator “Today’s activity is to get more of the community policing cadet involve in their safety and today is a practice that we will be showing so that other children in the community can see how they use the ramp and we are starting on September 1st when school opens again with a hand held stop sign which will eventually be indicating how the motorist need to respond seeing the sign, the sign will be the indicator as to when to go and when to stop so toady the viewers will see it on television so we hope that parent might becoming aware of what will be the new changes at the ramp especially when they are waiting so they have to wait on the signal of the crossing guard and the stop sign that will be the indicator.”

Consultation On BMDP To Take Place In O/W
The Orange Walk Town Council will be holding another important meeting with residents of town next week. Today Mayor Kevin Bernard told us that this meeting will focus on the Municipal Growth Plans, an initiative under the Belize Municipal Development Project. According to the Mayor, in the process of launching the growth plan, those leading the initiative are conducting a series of consultations with stakeholders. A meeting was held last week with managers of town councils and another meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday. Kevin Bernard – Mayor of Orange Walk Town “The municipal growth plan is a 5year, 10 year, 15 year plan is a working document as it goes along you need to modify it you need to cut where you need to cut but what we are doing is simply explaining to the residence how we are going to be having a series of meetings like I said we started last week with the mangers of the council, next week Tuesday on the second of September there will be one with the PUP representatives, the standard bearer, executive members and I know there will also be date where there will be a consultation with the United Democratic Party people and there will meeting with the church leaders, education leaders and the business community and the NGO’s and so forth so I know that the meeting will end off in October with the public meeting to launch the entire growth plan that we have done through the local working group...

Free Medical Clinics Offered To Residents Of Rural Areas
In last night’s newscast we told you about the team of medical professionals from the Operation Medical Clinic in Florida, USA, who are currently in the country. Today, we visited them at their first clinic at San Jose/San Pablo villages in Orange Walk. Dalila Ical – Reporting The medical team consists of various professionals, among them a pediatrician, internist, two general practitioners and for this year the team brought with them a dermatologist. The team began clinics early this morning and by mid-morning a large group of villagers has gathered at the San Jose Multipurpose Building to take advantage of the free services. Michelle Richard is a pharmacist on the team and spoke about their experience so for the morning.

Pastor Gillett Speaks On Serious Accusations Against Teacher Of Progresso Village
Yesterday we reported on the on-going feud between parents, teachers and the union Administration at the Seventh Day Adventist Primary School in Progresso Village. The situation has escalated to the point where parents are alleging that two teachers are incompetent, tardy and have been drinking on campus. While several of them share the same sentiment, they explained yesterday that on countless occasions, they tried to meet with the SDA Management however; there concerns have gone in the wind. Today, we contacted Pastor Leslie Gillett, the General Manager of the SDA Schools throughout Belize to weigh in on the issue at hand. Gillette says steps are being taken to resolve the issue. Pastor Leslie Gillett – General Manager , SDA Schools “The Press Release is saying well, first of all like in any other school in the country of Belize there are problems at the Progresso School we recognize that of course that be taken to resolve the problem, to correct the anomalies that maybe there, that there is no reason or which to get rid of anybody at this point from Progresso School because there are all issues that can be corrected by people doing and saying differently from how it has been done.”

Bagasse Negotiations Continue At A Standstill
At the top of the newscast we told you about Tate and Lyle’s decision to reduce the amount of Belize’s sugar sold to the European Market under Fair Trade from 50 to 60 thousand tonnes to a minimal 10,000 tonnes for the 2014/201 5 crop season. Cane farmers did not receive the news well since it signifies a major loss in Fair Trade premiums and as mentioned by the Vice Chairman of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, Committee of Management, Alfredo Ortega, they are of the idea that Tate and Lyle seeks to pressure cane farmers into accepting BSI’s proposal of 51 cents payment per ton of bagasse, with the latest move.

GDP Is Up Says SIB Report
The Statistical Institute of Belize indicates that the economy performed much stronger in the second quarter of the year with an 8.7 growth. This, coupled with the less rapid economic expansion of the first quarter of this year resulted in growth of 3.7 percent for the first six months of 2014 says the SIB report. This is being attributed to higher levels of production for the period from April to June of this year across most of the major economic sectors, including Agriculture, Electricity and Water, Manufacturing, and Hotels and Restaurants. And while the SIB reports a growth in the economy, it pointed out that inflation holds steady at 1.3 percent in July. This did not change from the previous month. The SIB states that the average rate of inflation from January to July 2014 is1.5 %. Higher prices were recorded in the categories of ‘Transport’ and ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’. For the first time in three years, the ‘Food’ index fell marginally in July, with lower prices across most food categories. With an inflation rate of 2.5 percent, Santa Elena/San Ignacio recorded the greatest change in the consumer price index. Belize City and Punta Gorda had the lowest, with inflation rates below one percent in both of these municipalities.

Team Of Professionals To Offer Free Medical Clinics In Rural Areas
A team of medical professionals from the Operation Medical Clinic in Florida, USA, are currently in the country. Today, the doctors stopped by our studios to share with the public where they will be at and at what time they will be carrying out consultations. The team, says Doctor Nancy DeSilva, comprises of a host of dynamic professionals. Dr. Nancy DeSilva – Dermatologist “We have like a paediatrician who takes care of children, we brought internist who takes care of the heart, the stomach, the kidneys then we have the dermatologist who is me and I take care of the skin head and nails and we have for the asthma and the breathing problems and we have the paediatrician who takes care of the children and we will be doing a free medical clinics in different parts of the the country.”

MCHS Athletes To Represent Belize In CODICADER Games
2014 makes it 8 years since Belize has been competing in the Central American Junior Scholastic games - or CODICADER - as it is well known. Representing Orange Walk are three athletes hailing from the Muffles High School, we caught up with the trio’s Coach Gilbert Cummings who says they will be participating in track and field. Gilbert Cummings – Sports Coordinator/Coach “It’s the first time for two of them one of them has been there before when she was in second form she represented at the same competition before but it was in El Salvador and the two others is their first time.”

Belizean Busted With Drugs In Costa Rica
A Belizean was busted with six point five kilos of cocaine in Costa Rica and is now in police custody. The La Nacion Media reported that a thirty seven year old man who was known only by his surname, Tillett was caught on Sunday night at the International Juan Santamaria Airport in Costa Rica. He was intercepted by the Drug Control Police about eight on Sunday night who requested he open his hand luggage. In the luggage, Costa Rican authorities found 29 boxes of pilot brand markers which contained 290 individual markers. Of these, 284 were discovered to be filled with cocaine. The drug was confiscated along with ninety-one dollars Tillett was carrying on him.

Drought Watch In Effect For Belize
There is the possibility that there are more challenges ahead for farmers as a drought watch is out for Belize. But Belize isn’t the only country facing potential, and in some cases, serious effects of drought. The Caribbean Drought and Precipitation Monitoring Network which was launched in January 2009 under the Caribbean Water Initiative, CARIWIN, and which aims to increase the capacity of Caribbean countries to deliver equitable and sustainable Integrated Water resources Management, issued a drought bulletin earlier this month. CARIWIN recommends that water conservation measures continue as much as possible, particularly across the eastern Caribbean and Jamaica, as below normal rainfall is likely across much of the region for the next three months and leading into the 2015 dry season. It also gave rainfall summary for the months of May, June and July in the eastern Caribbean.

Corn Producers Affected By Climate Change
We are almost in the middle of the hurricane season which is when we should be experiencing more rain, but that hasn’t been the case in the past weeks in the north. The climate has clearly shifted this time of the year and it is bringing about some undesired troubles specifically for farmers in northern Belize. Presently, farmers who should be seeing a good yield of corn are instead facing significant losses. Extension Officer at the Orange Walk Agriculture Department told us more about the situation. Leonardo Eck – Extension Officer “Over three thousand five hundred acres was lost due to the drought.” Dalila Ical –Reporter “Speaking money wise how much is that?” Leonardo Eck – Extension Officer “I could safely say that it is over nine million pounds that is being lost due to the drought.”

Arthur Saldivar Suspended By People's United Party
And in a showing of wits and zeal, the People’s United Party today made a huge decision to suspend PUP’s Standard Bearer for Belize Rural North, Arthur Saldivar pending the outcome of an investigation on an allegation made against him on wrong doings by his former clients. The allegation, says Party Leader Francis Fonseca, is something they take very seriously. The media waited for comment at the PUP’s headquarters and thanks to our colleagues at 7News, we are able to provide you with the clip on this major decision coming out of Independence Hall as it pertains to Saldivar’s status within the party.

Tate & Lyle Drastically Reduces Sugar Sold To Fair Trade
Tonight there is not good news for the Sugar Industry much less cane farmers and the economy of the north. Tate and Lyle, the company that purchases Belize’s sugar from the Belize Sugar Industries Limited and then sells it to the European Market has decided to cut back on the amount of Belize’s sugar sold under Fair Trade. Now, this is huge, because it translates into a significant financial loss witnessing a major trickle effect. Carmelita Perez has that story. Carmelita Perez – Reporting Tonight cane farmers are traveling on a rocky road, the future of the Sugar Industry is uncertain and Belize is about to experience a huge economic loss. That’s because Tate and Lyle has informed the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association that they are cutting back on the amount of Belize’s Sugar that is sold under Fair Trade. And it is a huge reduction indeed, from 65,000 tonnes last year, translating to approximately 6.9 million dollars in Fair Trade Premiums to a minimum of 10,000 tonnes for the 2014/2015 crop. If we do the figures, this translates to a financial loss of more than 5 million dollars.

Cane Farmers To Receive Fair Trade Premium Until Sugar Is Sold To Consumers In The EU
And if you think the story ends there, then think again, because it doesn’t end there. In the letter, Tate and Lyle also informs the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association that with immediate effect, Tate and Lyle Sugars is also changing the schedule on which they pay all cane producer association including the BSCFA for Fair Trade sugar. The association receives U.S$60.00 per ton of sugar sold to Fairtrade, the highest premium paid out to certified Fair Trade organizations worldwide. With the change in payment, the BASCFA will no longer be paid within 30 days. Instead, the association will receive their premiums until the sugar is sold to consumers in the EU. Alfredo Ortega- Vice Chairman BSCFA, COM “Ahora su sistema de pago va hacer hasta que el consumidor compre el material en el shelf así es de que es otro punto de que puede durar dos tres años que se venda ese material y hasta entonces nos van a estar dando el premio de esa azúcar así adonde nos ponen que es realmente y nos hacemos la pregunta casi nos podemos decir que tenemos la respuesta nosotros mismos hacia donde nos quieren arrinconar pero la pregunta es para ellos adonde nos quieren mandar, que es que están buscando de nosotros quieren teneros intimidados por medio de que no aceptamos sus cosas a como ellos los plantan eso es algo injusto y realmente para mí el mundo entero se debe de dar cuenta el tipo de manipulación, el tipo de juego que tiene ASR/BSI con Tate & Lyle en todo esta situación.”


Minister Faber Says Increment Should Be Dependent on Performance
With the recent 6.75% increment for teachers, Minister of Education, Patrick Faber says they should take the initiative to enhance their teaching methods. HON. PATRICK FABER “I am certain that the union has communicated and this has been their long standing position that they are not opposed to a kind of system to be improved on or be put in place a new system all together that will see the increments being tagged to performance. There is a system in place now but we all agree that it is not very efficient, it is not very effective. In fact people get it almost automatically and while at the time when we were engaged in the collective bargaining agreement it was not in our best position to suggest that we will not give the raise only unless we get a new instrument to measure performance and all that. The unions all agreed when they set up the sub committees to do exploration to see how we can become more efficient and save on revenue and all that this was one of the things we had suggested that a new system of evaluating how teachers and public servants perform.

ITVET Plans Countrywide Launch For New Academic Year
Monday, September 1, will mark the opening of a new academic year and in recognition of this, the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber will be at the Stann Creek Branch of the Institute for Technical and Vocational Educational Training (ITVET) to do an official opening of the new school year. But while the Minister will be in southern Belize, all the other branches of the ITVET will be hosting a special program to welcome the new students and to further encourage the existing ones enrolled in its institution countrywide. Love News spoke with Dr. Margarita Gomez, the Director of the Employment Training and Education Services. MARGARITA GOMEZ We feel that it is very important to recognize, to acknowledge and encourage our new trainees and so what we felt would be important is that we start a tradition of actually having an opening ceremony at each of the ITVET where they would officially welcome these trainees, they will give them information in terms of why they are there, why they should remain. We don’t want to do it just from the management perspective doing that or us from the ministry level. We feel that if they hear directly from the people in the industry to have a good guest speaker from the industry to give them their experience of what they have gone through in life and how being a trained skilled person can benefit them in their life.

Patrick Talks About CXC and Increment
In mid-August, the Ministry of Education released its CXC Examinations Preliminary Results for May and June 2014. The Preliminary Results for the May-June 2014 sitting of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) shows that three thousand forty-nine candidates divided into 1,344 males and 1,705 females registered for 32 of the 35 subjects offered at the CSEC level. The candidates registered for the May-June 2014 CSEC sitting represent a decrease of 56 candidates or 1.8% compared to the May-June 2013 sitting. As for the students’ performance, Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, says he is partially satisfied. HON. PATRICK FABER “We are satisfied that there improvements and in fact the number of students who are now taking these larger number in CXC’s ,my time in high school for instance I did 8 CXC’s and that was considered to be a lot. Now we have students who are doing, I met a student who had 16 CXC’s about 12 grade 1s, 3 grade 2s and 1 grade 3, those are 16 passes and we are seeing more and more of this happening. That is a very good sign for is in Belize in terms of us competing for the regional awards for the CSEC examinations. On the other side there are still a good number of students who aren’t at the point where they are taking these exams and that has to concern us. I see it on a daily basis the students who come asking for a job in the government service for instance and the public service has a basic requirement for most jobs and three CXCs and you still have many people who are finished with high school but don’t have any CXCs.

BSI On Talk Again
The 18 directors of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association met this afternoon to discuss the letter from Tate & Lyle Sugars which was sent on Tuesday informing the farmers that there might be a drastic cut to the Belize sugar quota that sells under the Fairtrade logo. Spokesperson of BSCFA spoke with the media this afternoon to explain what the association intends to address the matter. ALFREDO ORTEGA It is something that will harm us and we will be sending a letter to them. We will be analyzing very indepthly this situation and we want to know if it is really the market out there that is causing this situation or if it is another thing so we will be analyzing this situation and looking forward to sending a letter to Flocert and Tate and Lisle again to see what is the market situation into this because the letter that they sent is not so clear. They are saying that the market situation is the problem but it takes us into bad situation right now because it just came in in surprise.

Alvarez Faced Arraignment for Arson On House
Earlier this week Love News brought you the story of a house fire that left home-owner, Sonia Harris completely distraught and in tears. From the day during the interview with Harris, she had indicated to us that it was her nephew, Darrell that had set her house on fire and while we were on the scene, we were privy to information that the nephew had confessed to a senior police officer. SONIA HARRIS: From last night Darrell was going to burn my house down with me my husband and my brother in here sleeping. Darrell was planning to burn my house down from last night. I just left my house not even two minutes I went to by aunt and my niece saw him going down when my house was burning. Darrell lit my house on fire and went down the block, my niece saw him. My nephew stayed in here for two years without paying me rent, I never charged him rent. My nephew wanted everyone to feel like this is his but this is mine. My nephew is threatening to burn down my other house that my sister lives in. As I turned my back my nephew lit my house on fire, for what? I did nothing to him.

Gordon On Banner
The body of twenty seven year old Denvo Banner Duhaney was found in a shallow grave in Lemonal Village on Saturday August 23. His family had reported him missing a couple days prior after they were unable to get in touch with him. Duhaney’s decomposing body was found behind the village’s school and the post mortem revealed that he had been shot once to the head. Inspector Gordon told us that they have previously detained two men question but were forced to let them go… FREDRICK GORDON: Yes we have a person of interest detained in respect to the murder. As a matter of fact it was two persons that were detained of interest in respect of the murder of Mr. Banner. REPORTER but then those persons have been released without charges? FREDRICK GORDON Yes. There is an ongoing investigation at this time.

Gordon Says No Lead On Carcamo
Forty three year old Kevin Carcamo, the Chairman of Hattieville,has been missing since July 20. His family and the Belize Police Department launched an intensive search for him in the Freetown Sibun Area. Carcamo worked for the company, Discover-sies as a linesman. Discover-sies offered a ten thousand dollars reward for this safe return. But no one has collected the reward because no one knows where he is. Not even the police department. The family thought there was a lead when, what they thought, was human blood was found in the area where Carcamo went missing. Today, Rural Executive Officer, Inspector Fredrick Gordon, told us that the specimen was sent for testing and the results show that it was not blood. Gordon says that they have no new leads.

Plans To Work On Maskall Police Station Next
While Maskall has a new library, the Maskall Sub Police Station is in a dilapidated state. We have received several reports that officers stationed there find it very difficult in leaving in the structure. Castro says that, he is looking into it…. EDMUND CASTRO “It’s in bad shape, I will not tell you a lie. The police station in Maskall needs some renovation similar to this building but we can’t get everything and do everything in one month or year we have been working and this is the result about four months ago. This building looked worse than the police station now look at it. Like what the children are saying, this is the prettiest building in the village.”

Castro Shares On The Garifuna Issue
Belize Rural North Area Representative, Edmund Castro, is also of Garifuna Heritage and he is not happy about the allegations made against CIBC First Caribbean International Bank. Two days ago the National Garifuna Council fired a release stating that it is looking into an allegation that the Bank is prohibiting individuals to speak the Garifuna Language. Castro weighed in the matter. EDMUND CASTRO “I think it is pure foolishness and we need to get rid of and push racism as far away from us as possible. I think the bank manager needs to be checked. The institution needs to be checked of those allegations. My father was Garifuna and my mother was Creole, I grew up in this area but I acknowledge and appreciate every language and we know that the more languages you know to speak is that much more people you can communicate with in the world. So for us to hear in 2014 foolishness like this, this we should never condone such foolishness if it is true. When I go to the bank I talk Creole to the teller and I don’t hear them tell the teller that they can’t answer me in Creole or they will fire the teller.

Jasmine Alert Has Been Hacked
The Jasmine Alert system which was created two years ago has been hacked. This means that the domain name for the website that was being used is no longer valid. The system was put in place in memory of young Jasmine Lowe who was brutally murdered. Executive Director for Jasmine Alert, Patrick Menzies explains PATRICK MENZIES “The Jasmine Alert (dot) (com) domain name which means that that is the name when you type that in you are supposed to get the website. We’ve owned that for over two years problem is that due to financial constraints we actually lost it a few months ago in July. Because of that we tried to get it renewed the cost was very high, the company refused to return it to us so we are not sure if the company who is using it right now actually owns it or if it is being used by the hackers. Up to yesterday, what I did was I bought Jasmine Alert (dot) (org). instead, up to yesterday that was working but yesterday evening they took that over by somehow blocking it inside the server in the US. So right now I worked almost three hours on this trying to get it connected and it will not reconnect.

Castro’s Perspective On The Saldivar Suspension
Yesterday, Attorney Arthur Saldivar and the PUP’s Standard Bearer for Belize Rural North, was suspended from his own party after allegations were made against him by his former client, Melonie Coye. The Party’s National Executive met and decided to suspend Saldivar pending an investigation into the matter. That investigation is expected to end in two weeks and the PUP will decide Saldivar’s fate. Today we asked his political opponent Edmund Castro and the former Chairman of the UDP, Patrick Faber, to comment on the matter. EDMUND CASTRO “I don’t pay much attention to what the PUP do or does or with Mr. Saldivar; he is a non-entity out here in the Belize Rural North area. If you notice what we are doing, we are producing and delivering for the people of the Belize Rural North area. We don’t get sidelined and distracted by what Arthur Saldivar and the PUP is doing because they can’t win anyway. If he comes or they send somebody else or if they come together in twos and threes I will still beat them.”

Sweet Honey In The Rock To Share Their Honey
The Acapela Group, Sweet Honey in the Rock, is in Belize to perform as part of the US State’s Department, Arts Envoy Program. The goal of the program is to share the best of U.S. arts community with the world to foster cross-cultural understanding and collaboration and to demonstrate shared values and aspirations. The group’s first performance is tonight at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts and Creative Supervisor, Caroline Maylard, told us what the audience can expect. CAROLINE MAYLARD “They can expect I think to have a good time number one. I think they will hear some things that will be culturally familiar in terms of the depth and the messages that are in our music, the arrangements. I think a lot of times people in Belize are used to hearing contemporary music and top 40 music and really hearing the music that comes really through the African diaspora from Africa to South America up through Central America and through the Caribbean and into the United States and up into Canada. That is our experience and I think our African culture and our Africanness really cant be erased. We all do it in one way or the other and we are happy to share how we do it.”

El Piano Internacional To Entertain Belizean
El Piano Internacional is the name of a concert that will take place tomorrow at the Bliss Center for the Performing arts. The concert will be conducted by Mexican Pianists, Ricardo Tovar, Carlos Camacho and Ricardo Moo. According to the musicians, concert goers are guaranteed a wonderful show which will feature some familiar songs. RICARDO TOVAR “Music from different periods from classical music, we will be interpreting pieces and compositions from Shubert, Mozart and also Brahms, Ginastera and we think that you people will enjoy it. We have a lot of surprises that may be likely to you all. So we hope that you enjoy this concert. We will be playing some of Belizean music like Good morning miss lady and Ding Ding walla and there are other surprises.”


American tourist found dead in guest house
Police have taken a statement from the landlady proprietor of 3-Star Guest House on Meighan Avenue, Belize City, after the lifeless body of a visiting American was found on Thursday morning, inside a room at the hotel. 47 year old Robert Thomas was found around10:16 a.m...

Belize City man charged for arson
Earlier this week a sudden fire erupted at the Holy Emmanuel Street, Belize City, property of Belizean-American Sonia Harris...

Cop shoots himself in the leg
Around 12 :30 Thursday morning,  25-year-old police Constable Victor Chulin was shot to the leg. The shooter? PC Chulin himself! According to police reports, PC Victor Chulin was standing on Cemetery Road in front of Trench Alley, Belize City...

School robbed of computers days before re-opening
School opens on Monday September 1st and  students and teachers of Xiabe Roman Catholic School are gearing up for the first day back. But there is a already a damper on the new school year as thieves made off with five laptop computers from the principal’s office last week...

Cocaine on San Pedro
San Pedro police were tipped off Wednesday afternoon about some unattended drugs. At about 3:15 p.m. a search was conducted in an abandoned lot at the corner of Swan and Glitter Street, San Pedro Town by members of San Pedro Quick Response team , CIB and SB personnel...

Arthur Saldivar suspended, as party investigates allegations of wrongdoing
Suspended! That is the word from Independence Hall, after the People’s United Party’s (PUP) National Executive convened a meeting on Wednesday to discuss, among other things, allegations of misbehavior on the part of sitting Belize Rural North standard bearer Arthur Saldivar, who is also a prominent attorney. It is alleged that Mr Saldivar relieved former clients Melonie and Marlene Coye, who were released from charges of money laundering following a successful criminal appeal in March, of some $900,000 in monies recovered from the Central Bank, where it had been held under lock and key pending the result of the appeal.

English First at First Caribbean
The National Garifuna Council of Belize is investigating allegations that the Dangriga branch of the First Caribbean Bank is discouraging its employees and customers from speaking Garifuna within the premises of the institution. These allegations have caused much discussion and the National Garifuna Council says it that if it is true, it is a serious matter. Our Dangriga Correspondent Harry Arzu has the details. Harry Arzu – Dangriga Correspondent “Some employees from the First Caribbean International Bank, here in Dangriga, and by extension the residents of this municipality, are complaining that they are being discriminated against, by the said bank. They are reporting that they are being discouraged from speaking their native language at their workplace among themselves and with their customers.

Caretaker Melvin Hulse answers land concerns of Santa Cruz villagers
Last week, Plunews brought to you the story of Santa Cruz village in the Stann Creek district and the villagers’ concern over the surveying of prime land in the village. Santa Cruz village is located right at the roundabout on the southern highway at the junction with the Placencia road. Several large businesses are going up in the area and land prices are beginning to soar. On, August 10th, surveyors appeared in the Village and, without the knowledge or the support of the village council, began surveying two huge parcels of land in the middle of the community; land community leaders say that is desperately needed for the community’s own development. The lands, according to the cadastral are areas that have been reserved for green spaces and community buildings but the survey is being done to convert the community land into private properties. Here is what the Vice Chairwoman Hilama Robles, told us.

Belize’s sugar quota cut by 55 thousand tons
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association is still at odds with the Belize Sugar Industry and with no clear resolution. On Wednesday things were looking even worse for the BSCFA. In a letter dated Tuesday the 26th of August, Tate & Lyle Sugars, a member of the ASR Group of companies, sent a letter from London, to BSCFA, informing them that the purchase of sugar for the 2014/2015 would be 10,000 tons, 55 thousand tons less than last year. It also informed them that the premium price which is US$60 will be paid until after the product has been sold to consumers as Fairtrade sugar. Since Belize’s sugar has been sold under the Fairtrade umbrella, the sugar quota bought by Tate & Lyle has been at a stable 50 thousand tons. Last year saw an increase with 65 thousand tons. The reduction in sugar quota, according to the letter, is as a result of the market vulnerability. The letter signed by Simmon Gibbons, Senior Vice President of International Operations, says the company will endeavour to increase the volume, should sales of Fairtrade prove to be higher than previous forecasts. But according to Alfredo Ortega, spokesperson for the Belize Sugarcane Farmers Association, the reason for the decrease has nothing to do with market vulnerability.

The Guardian

PSU and BNTU set up Trust - No Beneficiaries identified
Over the past couple of weeks, representatives of the unions have been making the media rounds trying to explain how a trust which they set up is going to work. And they are finding it extremely difficult to find persons to side with them because the trust has among other problems, not identified who the individual beneficiaries should be. The trust was set up almost a year ago on September 4, 2013 and since that time the document and its contents have been kept out of the public domain. In 1997, the then Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel had given the B shares in BTL for the Unions to hold as compensation to public officers who had their annual increments suspended between 1995 and 1997. 16 years after the shares were presented and the Belize National Teachers Union and the Public Service Union have now finally set up the trust. In fairness to the unions however, the trust could not be set up as easily since in 2004 the PUP Musa administration sold the shares to Jeffrey Prosser right from under the unions’ noses. To appease them at the time, Musa replaced the original B shares with C shares in BTL. At this point in time the unions hold 794,732 shares in BTL which have earned in excess of 5.5 million dollars in dividends (see Insert 7). 17 years since the original offer was made to compensate the public officers who were affected by the salary freeze interest was aroused in it on July 23, when the government of Belize announced that 3.06 million dollars which was being held in a Government Savings Account had been transferred to the Trustees of the Public Sector Workers’ Trust. That sum in addition to $2.04 million dollars which the unions already had access to as an accumulation of dividends from 2007 to 2013 from BTL share dividends amounted to over 5 million dollars which now makes up the trust.

5 Million for Flood Mitigation in Belize City
A relief from excessive and prolonged flooding for Belize City residents is now on the horizon. Four sets of contracts under the Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Program were signed on Monday of this week by the Hon. Rene Montero, the Minister of Works and Transport. The contracts were signed with three major partners in the conference room of the Ministry of Works and Transport on Power Lane in Belmopan on Monday of this week. Works for the Bill Lindo Canal, which will involve the construction of concrete lined and earthen canal was signed with Meheia’s United Concrete Supplies and will cost $892,250.00. The works for this project should start on September 4th and be eight months in duration. Meanwhile; a contract for Link Road (Apollo Street), to carry forward an upgrade to this street, was also signed with M and R Construction Ltd, which has been budgeted for $1,077,425.86. This work should start on September 4th and end on May 2, 2015.

GDP Growth is 8.7 Percent
According to initial estimates from the Statistical Institute of Belize, the economy of Belize grew by 8.7 percent in the second quarter of 2014, April to June. This is a significant recovery from a disappointing first quarter which saw the economy contracted by 0.4 percent. The cumulative economic growth for 2014 now stands at 3.7 percent and the expansion is due in large part to the performance of the agriculture, manufacturing, electricity and water, hotels and restaurants, and construction sectors. From April to June of 2014, the agriculture sector grew by 26 percent. Sugarcane deliveries rose by 80 percent and citrus rose by 68 percent when compared to the same time last year. Jefte Ochaeta, Statistician of SIB, says the huge second quarter growth in the sector is because of late starts to the crop year. There were disagreements between farmers and production companies in the sugarcane and citrus industries. Those disagreements resulted in late starts to the crop year and poor first quarter outputs. However, it also led to better than normal second quarter outputs as deliveries peaked later than is usually the case. The increase in deliveries resulted in an increase in manufacturing as sugar production increased by 68 percent and orange concentrate rose by 58 percent.

Entrepreneurship is Focus of Women and Girls’ Financial Conference
The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis-Barrow, is inviting all women and girls to attend a conference on women and girl’s financial health at the Radisson Fort George Hotel on Friday, August 29. The conference has been dubbed a “National Call to Action” and will feature some of the country’s most successful women. Kim Barrow says the aim of the conference is to higlight the advantages of entrepreneurship. Individuals will have the opportunity to hear from successful entrepreneurs as they share their experiences. They will speak about the early challenges they faced, how they overcame those challenges and what is in store for the future. Judith Alpuche, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Human Development, says the panel will address several issues facing women in the economic environment. She added that “we have our women and girls highly visible in the education system (especially secondary and tertiary) but when we look at the labour force the unemplyment rate is almost double for females.” She asks, “What is it that women face? Why are we not seeing them in the economic environment? What are the limitations that exist? What is the support that they need?” Alpuche says those are the questions that need to be asked so that policy makers can come up with a good diagnosis of the situation and move forward with solutions.

Bridging the Gap!
The United Democratic Party will once again change the lives of Belizeans through infrastructure works come December when the new bridge, joining Chetumal Street on the Northside to what will be known as Lake Independence Boulevard on the Southside, is inaugurated. The opening of the bridge will have an immediate and considerable impact on residents of the surrounding communities both socially and economically. For starters, those who reside in Belama and Buttonwood Bay will breathe a sigh of relief as the new thoroughfare will alleviate the morning rush hour traffic congestion between Haulover Bridge and San Cas Plaza. Motorists heading to work in Belmopan will no longer have to sit in traffic for upwards of 45 minutes simply because there was no alternative route. If you consider that those same motorists will save 15 minutes on their return trip, that’s a whole extra hour a day which could be put towards a productive activity such as exercise. That’s also 5 extra taps on the snooze button every morning.

Largest Crystal Meth bust in Belize
Police have reported that the largest Crystal Meth bust was made in Belize on Thursday, August 21. According to police, personnel from the Anti-Drug Unit were in the Louisiana area of Orange Walk town in an unmarked police vehicle when they spotted a black Toyota Camry car swaying across the street. The police pursued the car and tried to have the driver to pull over, instead the vehicle tried to elude police. It headed to Liberty Avenue where the driver lost control forcing two occupants of the vehicle to try to escape. Police fired shots at them and would eventually catch up on them. When police made a search of the vehicle, they found an icebox with 18 parcels of what would later be determined as Crystal Meth. An additional 12 parcels were also found inside a soap box all weighing 54.7 kilos. Both the icebox and the soap box were found in the truck of the car. Police have since arrested and charged 49-year-old Ruperto Eulalio Reyes of # 5 Sittee River Street, Orange Walk Town along with his passenger 52-year-old Pascual Terrero Pineda, Cuban of Boca Del Rio, San Pedro Town. They were taken to Orange Walk’s magistrate’s court where they were each charged with one count each of drug trafficking of a class B drug. No plea was taken from the men and they were remanded to prison until September 30. While police report that the value of the drugs in Belize is in the region of 2 million dollars, the street value of the same quantity in the U.S. can be as much as 12 million U.S. dollars.

Police Believes A&R’s Security Guard Setup Robbery
Police have arrested and charged A&R’s own Security Guard for his connection to the robbery of the establishment on Wednesday, August 20. Leroy Ciego, 28, appeared in the Belize City Magistrates Court on Monday, August 25, where he pleaded not guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to commit robbery. According to reports, just after closing time on Wednesday (6:27 p.m.), the A&R security guard at the front door was held up at gunpoint and led into the store by a tall dark skin male wearing a stocking over his face. The gunman’s accomplice guarded the door while he ordered everyone to lie on the floor. The gunman then went to the supervisor’s office and took a bag containing $9,084.66. He then searched the workers and their children and took away their cell phones, jewelry and other personal items. Before exiting the building, the gunman led the employees up to the second floor where he ordered the supervisor to open a safe which had one container with $1,969.65 in cash and another with $1,225. The men then made good their escape.

Denvo Banner found in shallow grave
The Missing Lemonal Resident, 27 year-old Denvo Banner, was found buried in a shallow grave behind a school in his village 2 weeks after going missing. The autopsy on his body revealed that he had been shot and killed, but the fatal wound was a bullet to the head. His sister reported him missing on Saturday August 16, but the last time he was seen alive was the Saturday before that, which was August 9. He had told his family in Lemonal Village that he was going to visit a relative in Silk Grass Village, but he never made it. On Saturday, August 23, his family accompanied a team of police officers to an area in the vicinity of St. Lukes Methodist Primary School. There, they found his decomposing corpse folded up in a shallow grave which was half the length of his size.

Ten Years for Attempting to Rob Cell Phone
Dillon Diamonds has been sentenced to serve ten years at the Belize Central Prison for a failed robbery attempt of a cellular phone. The 26-year-old Taylor’s Alley resident is convicted of holding up a group of three Hispanic males near East Canal with a homemade double barrel sawed off shot gun. Diamonds tried to rob Geovanni Quijano of his cell phone but was unsuccessful because a police mobile pulled up in the area and he was caught red handed. Diamond threw the shot gun into a nearby canal and hid behind a parked vehicle. That’s where police officer Ashton Flowers found him still wearing his stockings mask.

Angel Dorado and Shaquille Baeza Charged for Gang Tattoos
Shakedi Baizar, 19, and Angel Dorado, 34, appeared before Magistrate Herbert Panton on Friday, August 22, to face a charge of displaying gang membership. On Thursday, August 21, police conducted searches in the Mile 8 community of the George Price Highway. During those searches, they came across Baeza and Dorado who are both residents of the community. Baeza was arrested after police saw a tattoo on his inner arm “GAZA” which they believe is a tribute to the George Street Gang in Belize City. In Dorado’s case, nothing incriminating was found on or near him during the search. However, police noticed two tattoos on his arms. One arm had “O” and the other “G”. On the streets this is read as Orginal Gangsta and police arrested Dorado because they believe he was paying homage to the Bloods gang.

Jason Gillett Remanded for San Pedro Shooting
A George Street associate has been identified as the man who fired four shots at Germaine Zuniga in the San Mateo’s area of San Pedro Town on Monday, August 18. According to police reports, Zuniga was riding his bicycle in the San Mateo area around 7:55 p.m. when he saw Jason Gillett, also known as Killa, with whom he has had an old dispute. According to Zuniga, Gillett pulled out what appeared to be a chrome nine millimeter firearm and fired four shots in his direction. Fortunately for Zuniga, the shots missed. Zuniga made a report to police and Gillett was arrested and charged.

Big Monday Morning heist at Heritage Bank
Belize City Police from Precinct 3 continue to investigate an armed bank robbery in which approximately $40,000 was stolen. It happened on Monday, August 25, at the Heritage International Bank and Trust at the corner of Craig Street and Barrack Road. The entrance into this bank can only be opened by security guards who have to buzz customers in. That’s why when two men pretended to be legitimate customers at around 9 a.m., they were allowed into the bank. They then reportedly asked for one of the cashiers, and when that person went to speak with them, one of the men immediately went around the counter to the cash register area. That man then grabbed two of the cash pans, filled with cash, an as he made his way toward the front entrance, the cashier tried to stop him. The other man then reportedly pulled out a weapon, pointed it at them, and ordered them to stay back. He then struck one of the security guards with the gun 3 times before they both went out the way they had come in.

Street Justice Protocol? Charged for Lying about Shooting Incident
For many Belizeans, Street Justice is perhaps the only reliable system in the country today. Many great religious leaders and philosophers of old have famous quotes denouncing such belief. We are told to “turn the other cheek” and we are warned about the dark consequences of “an eye for an eye”. Those warnings only enter deaf ears in Belize today. In Belize today, no unkind stare is to go unnoticed; no harsh words are to go unanswered and no advancement should be met with retreat. “If yo shoot atta me yo betta kech caz wen I coh fi yo I noh di miss.” – Anonymous Belize City Street Youth. There is an order to the madness of Street Justice; a process to be followed if one is to ensure that Justice is served.

Teenager Charged with Cayo Murder and Belize City Attempted Murder
Joseph Vaccaro Jr, 19, is at the Belize Central Prison on remand after he was arraigned on charges of murder, attempted murder and dangerous harm in two different jurisdictions. Vacarro was arrested over the weekend and on Monday, August 25, he was taken to the San Ignacio Magistrates Court where he was arraigned for the murder of Victor Vargas. On Saturday, August 16, 34-year-old Victor Vargas was stabbed twice in the neck. He was socializing and got into a fight, allegedly with Vaccaro, whom he had a previous misunderstanding with. Vaccaro allegedly stabbed him in the neck during the fight and Vargas ran down the road trying to get help. He eventually collapsed on the veranda of a neighbour’s house.

30 streets completed in Belmopan, more underway
Hon. John Saldivar, Area Representative for Belmopan, confirmed to the Guardian that in the past few months, Belmopan City has seen 30 streets paved either through the use of the asphalt method or concrete. The latest addition to the number of streets pave is Victoria Street in the Habet Heights of the city. Work is currently underway on Maya Mountain Street, Almond Boulevard and Chiquibul Street. Work will commence shortly on Cemetery Road in Salvapan which will also be cemented. Other streets being worked on in Las Flores include Zultana, Monja Blanca, Guacamole, Lirio, Jasmin, Tulipan, and Flor de Mayo Streets. Under Hon. Saldivar’s watch, the street upgrades in Belmopan city have been implemented in an organized and meticulous fashion where the entire neighborhoods are uplifted, ensuring that when an area is done all streets are paved. Some of the neigborhoods that have been upgraded include the Judges Area, the Caribbean Villas area and more recently the Habet Heights area. So far, with various sources of funding including the Ministry of Finance, RECONDEV, and the World Bank’s Municipal Development Project, 5 million dollars have been invested in the city.

Neighborhood Watch Group and Police in Cayo paint over graffiti
Members of both the San Ignacio Police Formation and the Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association (CNWA) teamed up on Tuesday morning of this week to paint over unsightly markings at three locations in the Cayo District. The team travelled to the Eden Seventh Day Adventist High School, the Hawkesworth Bridge Section of Santa Elena and the Police Booth on Bullet Tree Falls road to erase graffiti and other symbols of criminal activities in those areas. This week’s work is just one example of the Police and Community working together. “...we work hand in hand with the Police and that graffiti will not be tolerated,” says Ernie Braun, President of the CNWA, the main catalyst for the community effort. Even from Tuesday’s work, some paint and equipment have been left over and the CNWA representative says that the grouping remains open to continuing the work to get rid of reprehensible markings from off of Cayo’s publicly owned structures.

Corozal’s Municipal Slate ready
On Sunday, August 31, the town of Corozal will officially endorse the UDP’s slate for the 2015 municipal elections. Preparations are being completed at the Andres Campos Civic center where the official ceremonies will be held on Sunday, August 31, starting at 10a.m. There will be raffles of household items, and bicycles among other items and more importantly the slate will be endorse. The team contesting the elections will include three time mayor, Hilberto Campos along with teachers: Esteban Cruz, Rafael Castillo, Stacy Chi and Elva Perez as well as retired Medical Officer, Nicholas Gomez and businessman Hilberto Campos. In a release, the team asks Corozal residents to come out to support the candidates to ensure a victory for the UDP which will see continued progress for Corozal town under Mayor Hilberto Campos and the UDP Area Representative for Corozal Bay, Hon. Pablo Marin. (Turn to Insert 1)

Dangriga ready for Municipals
It was a festive atmosphere at a packed Ecumenical College multipurpose complex on Sunday, August 24 with prizes, music and speeches as the people of Dangriga officially endorsed the Mayoral and 6 councilor candidates who will represent the United Democratic Party in the upcoming Municipal Elections slated for March 4, 2015. The activities started at 3 in the afternoon with the swearing in of the candidates by UDP Party Chairman, Alberto August. Then it was on to the candidates who all pledged to work hard to return the municipality of Dangriga back to its former glory. Under the PUP, the town has been steadily sinking into hopelessness with streets being broken up and garbage not being collected. Simply put there is no vision for the town at this point in time. That however is soon coming to an end as each of the young dynamic candidates gave their vision of how improvement will come to Dangriga in all areas. Those presentations were capped off by Francis Humphreys who boldly stated that Dangriga will soon once again be the Culture Capital of Belize. He expressed confidence in his young team members whom he says he is the oldest among but whom he added have great experience to lead the town.

Grain Growers Association seek to promote planting of GMOs
The Belize Grain Growers Association held their Annual General Meeting in Spanish Lookout village on Tuesday, August 26th. At the AGM there was the election of a new chairman who will be Albert Reimer; Vice Chairman, Frank Redmond; Secretary, John Carr; Treasurer, Henry Wolfe; Board member representing industry, Wilmot Simmons and Board member; Ronald Reimer. Members elected will serve for 2 years and their agenda during their tenure is to educate the public about GMOs. They will also seek to lobby government to allow Belizean farmers to plant both GMO corn and soybean. According to one board member, “If Belize can import and eat GMO and GMO food derivatives on a daily basis, then local farmers should be allowed to plant them too!” There are about 500 grain growers countrywide producing 55,000 acres of corn, 30,000 acres of red kidney beans, 20,000 acres of rice and 15,000 acres sorghum.

The Difference in Leadership is as clear as Day is to Night
It’s been over two months since the incident with PUP Belize Rural North Standard Bearer, Arthur Saldivar, occurred. It is alleged that he accompanied Melanie Coye to the Central Bank sometime in mid June to retrieve Coye’s 1.6 million dollars as ordered by the court. The loot, it is alleged, was placed in two separate carrying cases, one containing $940,000 and the other $660,000. It is alleged that Saldivar might have made off with the bigger haul and has reportedly failed to turn it in to its rightful owner, an allegation Saldivar denies in one breath while in the other he speaks about the client owing him legal fees to the tune of 100% of the clients rescued funds. Something is not right here. The client has since engaged the services of Eamon Courtenay. Saldivar lashes back at Courtenay, with the allegation of the 3.34 million dollars from the Belize Social Security Board that is alleged to have been misappropriated by Courtenay’s Father, Harry, when he served as Chair of the Belize Social Security Board in the 1990’s.

Plus TV sued again
Plus TV is once again looking at the prospect of being sued. The most recent threat comes from Minister Liscell Alamilla who has, through her attorney, served notice on the television station that they may have libeled the minister on August 11 when there were different hosts on the show. Among those hosts was Geovanni Brackett and Patrick Andrews. The minister contends that the hosts spewed libelous allegations against her and now the station has until September 5 to apologize.

Road Safety a priority
A public meeting to introduce road safety issues to Belmopan residents was held at the George Price Centre for Peace and Development on Wednesday night of last week. Present at that meeting were members of the Belmopan City Council, Social Investment Fund, Government Officials as well as the team from the Belize Road Safety Project. An introduction to the Belize Road Safety team was made by the Mayor of Belmopan, Simeon Lopez. The first to speak was Ms. Mavis Johnson who related the clear benefits of wearing seat belts when in a moving vehicle. Current research suggests that the use of seat belts in a vehicle protects approximately 90% of drivers and passengers. More than 60% of traffic injuries in Belize over the past year were due to the fact that seat belts were not being used. Even at 25 miles per hour, from the people who are ejected from a vehicle, 75% will die. | “If you think seatbelt is uncomfortable, try to think you being in a wheel chair,” warns Ms. Mavis Johnson.

SATIIM shows its PUP colors
It has supposedly been in the works for just over a year now, but Greg Ch’oc, the controversial Executive Director of SATIIM, will take a break from leadership, and in a very nepotistic manner his sister-in-law, FroylaTzalam, will take over the post. Ch’oc, who’s been leading the organization for 17 years now, will be leaving to go study law at the University of the West Indies Cavehill Campus in Barbados. His reasons are that he intends to help SATIIM and the Indigenous communities by building capacity as a lawyer. What he has never made public is who is funding his legal pursuit. The Guardian understands that it is through a scholarship which is offered to indigenous people and which ought to have been made publicly available for members of that community and taken up by some young deserving individual. Instead Ch’oc took it and is now leaving.

Trailblazing - Ann-Marie Williams
This week Trailblazer Tuesday features a very familiar face; Ms. Ann-Marie Williams. Ann-Marie Williams will forever be remembered as the intrepid journalist who first exposed Belize’s biggest Immigration/Passport Scandal in 2002 and won her and Channel 5 a Caribbean Broadcasting Union Award (CBU) for Best Investigative Journalism. The first girl and the middle child of six children, it seems journalism was a natural progression for Ann-Marie. She started working as a young announcer at 17 years old at the lone Radio Station at the time, Radio Belize. She was a quick study and had a meteoric rise in broadcasting having received training to read the major newscasts less than six months on the job. She also produced several programs, among them Women’s World and Fun Time.

UNICEF and Mayor’s Association Discuss Child Friendly Municipalities
Mayors and administrators of municipal governments across the country assembled at the Biltmore Plaza on Tuesday, August 26, to discuss ways to make their communities more child friendly. The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) is challenging Belize’s local government leaders to make a conscious effort to implement policies that improve the quality of life for children living in their municipalities. The challenge is part of the Child Friendly Cities Initiative which was launched in 1996. A Child Friendly City, according to UNICEF, “is a city, or more generally a system of local governance, committed to fulfilling children’s rights.” Through the Child Friendly City Initiative, UNICEF supports local governments in implementing goals, policies, programmes and structures that protect and promote children’s rights.

Warrior’s Views on PG’s state
In the legal circle both circumstantial and substantial evidence is admissible in the court of law, so I always try my best to produce evidence. History is there to validate my statement that Punta Gorda Town is a town that has been neglected for many years under the People's United Party. Mayor Fuentes went into office in 2012 and continues his party's legacy of neglecting this municipality. Well the evidence is there to show that the United Democratic Party is doing massive infrastructure work across the country. Punta Gorda Town has benefited from this massive infrastructure work. West street will be completed in a few more weeks and the concreting of other main vein streets in Punta Gorda Town is about to commence. A few weeks ago, I saw a television interview with Mayor Anthony Fuentes where he cried foul play, mentioning that his party is not in power. Prior to the 2012 municipal election Fuentes told the residents of Punta Gorda Town, that if he wins the 2012 Town Council election (he never said if he and his party wins) that he would uplift the overall image of Punta Gorda Town in the areas of infrastructure, sanitation, and economic development.

Patrick JonesPJ

Dangriga residents to demonstrate on Friday
A peaceful demonstration is being planned for Friday morning in Dangriga town. Organizers of the event, the National Garifuna Council Dangriga Branch and the Christian Workers Union, say it is to express dissatisfaction with allegations that the First Caribbean International Bank is prohibiting the speaking of the […]

Health service providers undergo training in Toledo
In-service training for health service providers in Punta Gorda town is being provided this week. A two day customer service training started today. According to the deputy Regional Health Manager Ruth McDonald, the training will go a long way in helping these front line professionals sharpen their skills […]

Belize City man charged for arson
Earlier this week a sudden fire erupted at the Holy Emmanuel Street property of Belizean-American Sonia Harris. From the very beginning she suspected that her nephew, 27 year old Darrell Alvarez, who held a grudge against her, conspired to set the premises on fire and he later admitted […]

American tourist found dead in guest house
This evening police are taking a statement from the landlady proprietor of 3-Star Guest House on Meighan Avenue after the lifeless body of a visiting American was found this morning inside a room at the hotel. 47 year old Robert Thomas was found around 10:16 a.m. His body […]

PG hospital sees increase in children with dehydration
Health authorities in Punta Gorda town are monitoring a situation of children suffering from cases of vomiting and dehydration. Authorities note that in the last couple of weeks, there has been an increase in the number of patients, especially children, who are being brought in to the PG […]

Policeman accidentally shoots himself in the leg
A police constable is recovering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the leg. He is identified by an official police report as 25 year old PC Victor Chulin. According to the official report, PC Chulin “was adjusting his trousers” when his 9 millimetre pistol “Accidentally went off […]

Land leases for Bullet Tree Falls residents
The government of Belize has distributed land leases to residents of Bullet Tree Falls, Cayo. According to a government press release, one hundred and five residents were presented with their lease documents during a ceremony that was held in Bullet Tree Falls village on Wednesday afternoon. The […]

The Fallacy of Neo-Liberal Economic Philosophy in Belize
By Richard S. Harrison, BSc Pharm, MBA “Neoliberalism is a label for economic liberalism, which advocates — under reference to neoclassical economic theory — support for great economic liberalization, privatization, free trade, open markets, deregulation, and reductions in government spending in order to enhance the role of the private sector in the economy.[1][2][3] Neoliberalism was an economic philosophy that emerged among European liberal scholars in the 1930s attempting to trace a so-called ‘Third’ or ‘Middle Way’ between the conflicting philosophies of classical liberalism and collectivist central planning.[4] The impetus for this development arose from a desire to avoid repeating the economic failures of the early 1930s which was mostly blamed on economic policy of classical liberalism. In the decades that followed, neoliberal theory tended to be at variance with the more laissez-faire doctrine of classical liberalism and promoted instead a market economy under the guidance and rules of a strong state, a model which came to be known as the social market economy.


Good Friend Taiwan Sparks Up Belize September Celebrations
As Belize’s September celebrations heat up, Taiwan is contributing a big spark with a generous donation of BZ$ 40,000 to sponsor this year’s fireworks. On Friday, 22 August, the Taiwanese Ambassador Benjamin Ho presented Diane Haylock, President of the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) and Co-Chair of the National Celebrations Commission, with a healthy cheque to help fill the skies with the light, sound and colour of an enormous fireworks display. “You know that it’s celebration time in Belize and, as has been the case for quite some time, the Embassy of Taiwan in Belize has contributed faithfully,” Ms Haylock said. The Commission is officially responsible for sponsoring four events: the Official Opening of the Celebrations on St. George’s Caye, the Official Ceremonies for September 10 and 21, and the Flag Raising Ceremony on September 20, and Ms Haylock said that the donation will make a big contribution to what many are expecting to be the biggest September celebrations yet.

No Garifuna at First Caribbean Bank
The Belize Garifuna community in Dangriga and employees of the bank have made allegations of Racism and Discrimination against the Garifuna people that they cannot speak their native tongue at the bank. As if was not hard enough for the Garifuna people trying to keep their culture alive as it is, this banks adds to the already heavy load. The Statistical Institute of Belize reported in its 2010 Census, that the Garifuna people is the second largest ethnic group in the Stann Creek District, who continue to contribute to the growth and development of Belize. Furthermore, the Garifuna language was being taught at the various Primary Schools here in Dangriga, with the goal that the children would embrace and feel proud of their heritage, but this is no more except at one Primary School. Moreover, in light of this recent discriminatory incident at the bank, and other workplaces, where employees are prevented from speaking Garifuna for fear of losing their jobs, the National Garifuna Council of Belize is saying that there is some credibility to the allegation, and is taking the matter very seriously.

My Freedom of Speech
By Audrey Matura-Shepherd My Freedom of Speech is one of the Constitutional Rights I treasure and will guard with all my other freedoms…. one thing no one should ever ask me to give up is free speech. Let me tell you some of my many reasons why I treasure it so much and would never give it up: I grew up in an era where I witnessed my father having to measure what he said so that the political party in power would not take away his cane-license or his land or his freedom. I worked in the media in the days when what you say, report or repeat was censored and I fought it then and would fight it now! I worked at an organization that believed they could pay me to never write again or speak publicly on any issue other than their own agenda… I turned them down. I live in a country where our people are taken advantage of our less fortunate oppressed our professionals stay silent so as to keep a job…. and I see the injustice it creates…. but talking out and speak up for others would make a simple difference.

Explore Well-Kept Beaches In Belize Resorts
Belize resorts have golden and white sand beaches that are a boat or place ride away from Belize City. Many of these beaches remain a well-kept secret, discovered only by dive enthusiasts and anglers who venture off the beaten track. Here are our recommendations for the best Belize beaches, ranging from 15 miles of the Placencia Peninsula to the little-known, secluded plots floating atop turquoise waters. The Placencia Peninsula is home to the longest stretch of beach in mainland Belize. Dubbed ‘barefoot perfect,’ it is the most popular sea and sand getaway in the country and stretches across 3 villages: Maya Beach, Placencia Village and Seine Bight. Take your pick – all of these beaches are public. Placencia Village’s tourist strip area has several bars and restaurants along its golden sandy coastline; whereas fine, while sand beaches are found along quiet Seine Bight and Maya Beach. Placencia is also an easy best Belize beach pick because of its top-notch wood, accommodations, nightlife and its decent mix of travelers and locals.

September is only 4 days away
and we're already seeing the patriotism. We love this beautiful collage from Miss Demoi's Williams! Who's ready for September?

5 Belize Stories You May Have Missed This Week
If you’ve ever dreamed about packing up and moving to a new country, Belize may very well have topped your list of potential destinations. The island of Ambergris Caye in Belize, for example, boasts some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, a warm climate throughout the year, a low cost of living and a thriving expatriate community. Both the banking and government systems are stable and secure, and infrastructure is impressive, leaving many potential residents with one major concern: healthcare. Use this guide to get a better picture of the state of healthcare in Belize and Ambergris Caye.

International Sourcesizz

Towards a climate resilient Belize
More than 170,000 Belizeans will benefit from improved climate resilient roads and capacity to manage climate risks and impacts as a result of a US$30 million project approved by the World Bank’s Board of Directors. “This project will enable Belize to implement mitigation and adaptation strategies in the war against this global threat as it relates to the negative effects on Belize’s economic growth and welfare of its present and future generations,” said Ambassador Yvonne Hyde, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

Why homes in Costa Rica, Belize and Mexico are showing up in Chicago’s MLS
Recognizing that its member agents and brokers are not only selling to international buyers but representing listings in other countries, one of the nation’s biggest multiple listing services has streamlined the process for its members to enter, search for and market international properties. Midwest Real Estate Data LLC, which serves nearly 40,000 members in the Greater Chicago area, worked with its MLS platform provider, dynaConnections Corp., to create custom international listing functions that are now live after being approved by MRED’s board of directors.

BELIZE: New medical tourism association
The tiny Central American state of Belize is the only one that has English as the official language, and a population smaller than many British towns, but it now has a medical tourism association. The Belize Medical Tourism Association is open to healthcare and tourism professionals and institutions committed to providing specialized quality services to international medical travellers, while enjoying a unique tourism experience in Belize Within the next five years the BMTA seeks to be the official, self-sustainable, and inclusive association driven by Belizean stakeholders, made up of internationally accredited entities. Within ten years it seeks to position Belize as a leading regional destination for medical tourism. The reality is that the country has a population of 340,000 and depends heavily on the million tourists it gets, 60% of which are American.

Caribbean fisheries officers off to Australia for training
Eighteen (18) senior fisheries officers and marine management experts from 10 member countries of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) will take part in the 2014 CARICOM Fisheries Law and Management Training Workshop at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia. The training workshop is funded by the Government of Australia through the Australian Leadership Awards Fellowship Programme. This is the second training workshop for fisheries personnel from the CARICOM countries. Sixteen (16) officers from nine CARICOM countries were trained in 2012. The programme aims to enhance the capacity of regional fisheries administration in CARICOM States through the provision of training in areas such as international fisheries and environmental law, marine resource conservation and management, and monitoring, control and surveillance.

Did you know Belize is the paradise of the new investor?
It’s true. Invest in Real Estate is a smart decision. But do it in Belize is smartest play. The land laws of Belize are derived mainly from the Common Law and English statutes of the 19th century, and what it means? Make this country an attractive choice for many retired and people looking to invest. Here, some interesting things about this: Belize Real Estate values have been steadily going up during the past ten years. This trend continues and any property purchased now at a fair price will most likely be an excellent investment for short and medium term planners. Foreigner in Belize can buy property and get title to it in your own name. Full title is granted without any restrictions on nationality and place of residency.

Meet Me in Belize
We want to send you to Belize to meet the locals, who are waiting to show you the best the country has to offer, from its ancient ruins to its newest resorts. Ask our locals for the name of a must-see dive spot, the perfect bar for a sunset cocktail, or a store with the best handicrafts and not only will they tell you where to go, they’ll lead you there. After reading some of our locals’ tips, choose the region you’d most like to explore to enter the sweepstakes. If you are the lucky winner for a trip for two to Belize, pack your bags and we’ll meet you in Belize.


Video: UN Presentation: Belize, 5min.
The Las Vegas A Team presents Belize! The Country, the Food, the Customs.

Video: Touchdown at airport in San Pedro, Belize, 19sec.

Video: La Vie Marine de Belize, 1min.
Ca vous dit une petite balade au fond des mers ? Des raies, des tortues et des poissons de toutes les couleurs vous attendent.

Video: Another Side Of Belize—Look Beyond The Beaches To The Cayo District, 3min.
Jason Holland, International Living correspondent, offers a narrated video tour of Belize's pastoral Cayo District, and its main town, San Ignacio.

Video: San Pedro Summer Music Camp, 8min.
Summer Music Camp Inspires Young Island Artists - Music teacher Carlos Perrote just concluded his second annual Summer Music Camp after having held a very successful one for the first time last year.The musical camp offers mostly young students the opportunity to learn a variety of instruments and allows them to showcase their talent at a musical presentation at the end of the camp.

Video: Orquedia Negra Dance Company, 5min.
includes a afro dance and modern dance (Sail)

Video: Placencia Belize ocean view, 1min.
Beautiful Placencia.

Video: BELIZE - Caye Caulker, 8min.
Scuba diving and snorkeling

Video: Belize 2014, 15min.
Diving in Belize.

Video: From Ridge to Reef: A Belizean Conservation Story, 6min.
Ridge to Reef is a nature conservation program that provides students with the skills and experience to do meaningful conservation work. This video chronicles the first expedition group's two-month-long journey in Toledo, Belize.

August 28, 2014


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 investigating chopping incident
Police on Ambergris Caye have arrested and charged 20-year-old Simon Velasquez, a laborer of the Boca del Rio area of San Pedro Town. Velasquez is being accused of charging at and chopping, 31-year old Tyron Garnett on Friday August 22nd while on Angel Coral Street. According to Police, sometime around 4:45PM on Friday, Garnett was driving a white Toyota Hilux pick-up truck belonging to Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) on Angel Coral Street from the direction of Caribbean Street southwards. Garnett told police that as he was heading southwards; his attention was drawn to a group of men running from Ambergris Street and onto Angel Coral Street, forcing him to come to a complete stop. At that point, a man later identified as Velasquez allegedly proceeded towards the vehicle with a machete in hand and charged at Garnett.

BELPO holds 1st leadership training for Social and Environmental Justice
The Belize Institute of Environmental Law and Policy (BELPO) held its first Leadership Training for Social and Environmental Justice for young adults from August 15-17, 2014. BELPO partnered with the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW) and the Centre for Creative Leadership (CCL) to create a leadership program to act as a beginning for a non-partisan and non-sectarian way forward for striving for social justice and protecting the natural resources of Belize for present and future generations. The training program sought to encourage 15 future leaders to work for social and environmental justice issues by helping them see their own potential for change in Belize. This involved demonstrating that they can choose to make a difference based upon their own ideas and plans.

San Pedro Veterans Football Club strengthen relationship with Puerto Cortez Veterans
The San Pedro Veterans Football Club was in Honduras from Thursday, August 14th to Monday, August 18th to participate in two friendly football matches. The Veterans have had a long-lasting relationship with Honduran football clubs, and these friendlies serve to strengthen the relationship. The first match was played in San Pedro Sula, Honduras on Friday, August 15th against the Marathon Football Clubs substitute players. Unfortunately, the Veterans were no match for the young national ranking athletes. The game ended in a 1-6 loss for the Veterans. For the second game the Veterans travelled to Puerto Cortez, Honduras where they faced off the Puerto Cortez Veterans Football Club on Sunday, August 17th. The game ended in a 1-1 tie.

Ambergris Today

Angel Sofie Enjoys Parent and Child Pampering at Oasis Spa
As summer vacation draws to an end everyone is getting ready to head back to school, purchasing school supplies and getting everything set. Trips to the beach, play dates and other fun activities that children enjoy during summer are about to end, but what better way to say ‘good-bye’ to this year’s summer vacation than with a relaxing day at the spa – parent and child fun. Oasis Spa located at the Fido’s Pier has come up with a fantastic package for children and parent to enjoy at a very affordable price. Angel Sofie and her son Luis headed to Oasis Spa for an afternoon of fun, relaxation and bonding.

Machete Wielding Man Causes Panic in San Pedro Streets
Residents of Angel Coral Street were startled and scared as a man wielding a machete was chasing people around on the street and neighborhood. According to reports, the man was flinging his machete at random people on the street. According to police reports, on Friday, August 23, 2014, 31-year-old Tyrone Garnett, a Belizean technician employed at Belize Telemedia Limited reported to San Pedro Police that he was attacked by a man wielding a machete. Garnett stated that earlier that day around 4:45p.m. he was driving a white Toyota Hilux Pick-up, property of BTL, on Angel Coral Street, heading on a southern direction towards the Hon. Louis Sylvestre Sports Arena when he passed the junction of Angel Coral and Ambergris Streets; this was when he saw a group of people running from out of Ambergris Street towards Angel Coral Street.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

September Celebration Dance
September 9th, Bird's Isle, 9pm - 2am. $15 each. Featuring The "Imperial Band" & "Caribbean Roots Band" from Corozal

Municipalities to Embark on Stakeholder Meetings to Discuss Municipal Development Plans
Belizeans will have the opportunity to discuss with their representatives and officials of Town and City Councils Draft Municipal Development Plans that is aimed to achieve cultural, environmental, social and economic development in their respective municipalities. The objective of the Stakeholder Meetings is to share the plan with stakeholders so that the respective Councils can adopt the plans by resolution. The meetings are scheduled for September to November, 2014 in the following municipalities: the City of Belmopan, Benque Viejo del Carmen, San Ignacio/Santa Elena, Corozal Town, Dangriga, Orange Walk Town, and Punta Gorda.

Graffiti Cover-up Painting Project
The Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association and the SISE police force worked together - painted together - on the Grafitti Cover-up Painting project. They painted over the grafitti at the Hawkesworth Bridge and other areas around Cayo. A big thanks to all involved in this great project! "San Ignacio /Santa Elena police officers together with a few dedicated CNWA members went out early morning to do some community service by painting over a few areas highly hit with graffiti. A big THANK YOU to all those that participated either in painting or by donating paint and equipment. "

Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow met with delegates of the Upcoming Miss Queen of the Bay Pageant.
During the meeting, the Prime Minister answered various questions from the delegates.

Miss San Pedro Pageant
This year the Miss San Pedro Pageant will have 2 ENTRANCES to alleviate the rush in entering the field. Show starts at 8:00 PM SHARP!....Don't be late....You won't want to miss the show!

Shrimp Fajita
This is a simple recipe for Shrimp Fajitas. I'm allergic to msg, so I had to innovative and make my own fajita seasonings. It added such a wonderful flavor to the dish. This meal is spicy and savory. Show more

Tropical disturbance in the Caribbean
Elsewhere, a tropical wave located several hundred miles east of the Lesser Antilles continues to produce disorganized cloudiness and showers. This system is forecast to move generally westward across the Caribbean Sea with little development during the next few days. However, environmental conditions could become favorable for some development by early next week in the western Caribbean Sea or southern Gulf of Mexico.

Battle of St. George's Caye Exhibit in Corozal
In collaboration with September Celebrations, the Corozal House of Culture is delighted to open the Battle of St. George's Caye Exhibit Thursday September 4, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. Please join us as we pay tribute to this momentous event which ended the Spanish's attempts to dislodge the British from Belize. The exhibit will be on display through to November.

The sugar squeeze - Sugar Quota to European Union Down
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) has received a letter from Tate & Lyle informing the organization that Tate and Lyle will commit to purchase a minimum 10,000 tons of sugar for the 2014/2015 season, which is a substantial drop from the 65,000 tons purchased in 2013/2014. It does not mean that Tate and Lyle will only buy 10,000 tonnes but it may purchase more depending on the demand in Europe. What is of concern is that the schedule in which the BSCFA is paid. Only when the sugar is sold as Fair Trade to customers in the EU, then the premium of $60 US dollars will be paid. The letter appears to be dismal however, assuming that there will be more sugar sold, Tate and Lyle promises to pay premium price on future purchases.

Attention Parents in COROZAL TOWN:EVENING CLASSES for Primary School Children starts September 1, 2014. Venue - San Pedro Road, Altamira, Corozal Town. For more information please CALL Amy Alisa Vansen at 660-2458 as she caters to small groups so that each child can be attended to properly.

Xunantunich in Caribbean Belle Weddings
Xunantunich and Blancaneaux Lodge were featured in Caribbean Belle Weddings magazine. Conch Creative's majestic picture does Xunantunich right. More pictures from the wedding can be seen on Conch Creative's website. "Epic spread in the new issue of Caribbean Belle Weddings. The couple photographed amidst ancient Mayan ruins at El Castillo, Xunantunich, Belize, where legend says, 'a maiden dressed in white' would appear. The photographer, San Pedro, used Maya legends for inspiration on the day. Photography by Conch Creative Subscribe online to CBW at"

Calla Creek Bus Stop Renovation
The 4 The World volunteer group that was just here, along with some help from the local villagers, painted the Calla Creek bus stop. They did quite a bit during their week here, including fixing up the bridge there, and doing arts and crafts with the kids. Thanks again, 4 The World! "The Bridge and bus stops are an important part of the Calla Creek community, providing a safe way for crossing the Mopan River and a protected location from the sun and rain for people to wait for buses and taxis. The ESL program was open for children of all ages and was a fun way to improve language and communication skills. Art and crafts as well as swimming, football and basketball were other activities that the team did with the children in the village and it was a fun way to finish each day. The team also delivered books and school supplies for the village. We are extremely grateful for our volunteers for all of their contributions!"

Thirsty Thursdays Grand Opening
Thirsty Thursdays is having their grand opening this Saturday. Tanya Carter will be there performing her new single, Pretty Face Bad Character, and shooting scenes for the music video. They'll have lots of drink specials throughout the night. "THE TIME YOU'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR IS HERE!!!! WE ARE PROUD TO PRESENT THIRSTY THURSDAYS SAN IGNACIO!!!! AND OF COURSE WE'RE DOING IT WITH A BANG!!!!! COME ON OUT AS THE PARTY STARTS FROM HAPPY HOUR!!!!"

Channel 7

Saldivar Suspended By PUP!
Two weeks ago, 7News broke the story of Arthur Saldivar – and the allegation that he had taken nine hundred and four thousand dollars of his client Melonie Coye’s money. Coye retained attorney Eamon Courtenay to sue Saldivar for the money. The sensational case has brought a lot of heat unto Arthur Saldivar, but also unto the PUP, for which he is a standard bearer for Belize Rural North. While Saldivar can handle his affairs in court, not so for the PUP in the court of public opinion; it has to act decisively to purge itself of any appearance of corruption. And that’s not only because of the party’s past record, but because of the criticism it put on the UDP for its handling of the Elvin Penner debacle – and the undercover coddling it claims the ruling party gave Penner. But, fact is, Penner was stripped as a minister, instantly and, then, after 26 more days of political hemorrhaging, made a persona non grata within the UDP.

Saldivar's Camp Ready For A Fight, While Candidate Remains Calm
But, if you think it’s going to be smooth going between now and then, think again, because Saldivar is a fighter! You’ve already heard about the crazy stuff he did for his client, so imagine what he wouldn’t do for himself! An indication of the vibes coming out of his camp came to us through facebook today. His campaigner Linsford Castillo posted this on his Facebook page: “Message to Godfrey Smith, Francis Smith, Eamon Courtenay and Dolores Balderamos and Company, this PUP fight will be to the bitter end. We shall not be moved!” To that, national campaign manager Godfrey Smith only told us, quote, “So be it.” So, in the next few weeks, we should expect anything, which is why we were ready – when we got a call this afternoon at 2:00 pm to go and interview Saldivar at Azrock, which is Linsford Castillo’s office. He wanted us to cover a donation he’s making to a cancer survivor. We’ll have that later, but of course, we used the opportunity to press him on his future with the PUP:…

FCIB Rejects Claims Of "No-Garifuna Language" Policy
Last night, we told you about the allegation which emerged out of Dangriga that a specific bank was preventing its employees from talking Garifuna amongst themselves or with employees. But no names were called. That ended today when it all burst out on social media – where First Caribbean Bank was accused by name. To back that up, the US based United Garifuna Association released a statement today saying it too has received reports, which it has allegedly confirmed. The UGAI says that its information is that Garifuna employees were warned several times against speaking the language among themselves or with customers, and that quote, “only English must be spoken.” End quote. Well, First Caribbean International Bank responded with a strong press release today saying that there is no such policy at any of its branches, and neither have any of the employees been discouraged from expressing themselves culturally. The Bank reminds everyone that it was the first to establish branches in the districts, starting with Dangriga Town in 1953.

Pedro Police Make Major Cocaine Bust
San Pedro Police are reporting tonight that they have almost a pound of cocaine in their possession after they it was found in an intelligence-led operation. This afternoon, based on information from Special Branch, officers went to Swan Street in San Pedro Town. There, they found a grey plastic bag in an abandoned lot. When the officers opened it, they found 373.7 grams – or 13 ounces – of cocaine inside. Because it couldn’t be connected to anyone in the area, it was deposited as found property.

Dillon Diamond Gets A Decade In Jail
26 year-old Dillon Diamond, a resident of Taylors Alley is at prison tonight, and he’s serving out the beginning of a 10-year sentence after he was convicted of attempted robbery in the Magistrate’s Court today. In his trial before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, witnesses testified for the prosecution that at around midday on June 20, 2013, he attempted to rob 3 Hispanic men at the point of a homemade sawed-off shotgun on East Canal. He tried to snatch their valuables, but fortunately, police officers were passing by on patrol at the same time. One of the officers caught Flowers as he was trying to flee, but he threw the weapon into the canal. He tried to hide, but the officers detained him, while he was still wearing a stocking mask over his face. One of the offices jumped into the canal after the gun and retrieved it.

Angel Dorado Was No Angel Say Nieghbors
34 year-Angel Dorado is spending the first night of a 6-month prison sentence after he was convicted of peeping into a window at a young girl. The 13 year-old female along with her aunt and her mother testified that on February 4, 2014, just before 6 that morning, she had just exited her bathroom with a towel wrapped around her when she caught Dorado peeping into her room. In court, he told the court that they fabricated the story against him because they had a grievance against him over the pulling of mango and limes from off his property at Mile 8. The mother of the child told the court that ever since he came to live in the area, he has been terrorizing people in the Mile 8 Community and that she had to take a stand and not let him take advantage of any of her children. Dorado also indicated to the court that he was only passing through the teenager’s yard and that he was never peeping at her.

GDP Growth Surges With Strong Sugar Showing, and A Citrus Rebound
GDP Growth Surges With Strong Sugar Showing, and A Citrus Rebound In May, we told you about the negative growth of GDP in the first quarter of the year. That’s after the GDP for the 2013-2104 fiscal year came in at just 1.5%, less than the projected 2.5%. So, for a while now, GDP growth has been lackluster. But, the news tonight is that thanks for a strong performance by sugar and a rebounding citrus industry, the second quarter of 2014 has shown the strongest growth of any quarter in memory. The Statistical Institute of Belize released the figures at a press conference today and Jules Vasquez reports:…

FFB Pres Vicente Admits Pitch Was Unsuitable
Last night, we told you about the internal struggles within the FFB executive which were aired out at a meeting on Monday night. The divided executive had been having disputes for months, but recently, it was aggravated by the fiasco with the FFB stadium which was not suitable for the Champion’s League. CONCACAF pulled the Belmopan Bandits because Belize failed to meet the standards for Champion’s League. At the time of decision, President Ruperto Vicente was convinced that it was the wrong decision, and he wrote to CONCACAF to express his disappointment. But, after having a bit of time to digest it, does he still feel the same way? He told us last night, that he now accepts that the pitch would not have been ready in time: Daniel Ortiz "Do you still maintain that we would have been able to be ready?"

The Fight Over Control of The Premier League
There was also one more important issue which didn’t make our newscast last night; it involves the way the top football league will be managed in the next coming months. Representatives from FIFA will come in to assist those who run the Premier League of Belize. The idea is to raise football standards at the semi-pro level, and to make it more successful commercially. But, as we told you, the semi-pro teams were not happy with recent decisions which were made. The issue was that the PLB is run by an autonomous executive which is separate from the Executive of the FFB. That’s until recently when one of the senior managers decided to vacate his position. In doing so, he handed over management to the FFB executive, which by the football statutes, were illegally running it. That’s where those letters we told you about, which were written FFB President Ruperto Vicente, come into play. The semi-pro teams, minus Belmopan Bandits, reportedly demanded that the league be handed back to the remaining executives of the PLB, or they wouldn’t play.

Harvesting The Waste Resource
Have you ever thought about garbage being a resource? Probably not. You simply throw it away and that’s the end of it! But there is more to garbage than you think. Today a training session for recyclers was held at the Belize City transfer station. The idea is to educate the recyclers on safety and health practices when handling garbage. Tyron Chimilio, social communication officer for the Belize Waste Management Authority explains the significance of the initiative to productivity of the sanitation workers as well as to the improvement of waste management in the city. Tyrone Chimilio, Social Communication Officer, Belize Solid Waste Management Authority "This training serves as the methodologies in place to better equip the recyclers in the work that they do. They have a very important job and they serve a wonderful purpose for us because it is a mechanism where we could know how much waste is being generated and how much waste can be recycled. One of the things we want the public to realise with the construction of the facilities under the solid waste management project, it is creating a paradigm shift in the way we look at waste management overall in the country. One of the issue is that we don't look at waste as a resource we just look at it as garbage. No, it is a resource and we want people to look at it in that form so that we can become more equipped and more aware and knowledgable of what we can do, what is being captured in terms of the waste recovery mechanism."

Popular Fast Food Joint Robbed
It’s a popular fast food joint on St. Thomas Street but this afternoon, Kelseys Fast Food was targeted by armed robbers. Around 4:30, 2 armed men entered the establishment – one who pointed a handgun at an employee – while the other picked up the cash pan. The men then fled off with the day’s sales. No one was hurt and according to reports, the police did take a while to respond.

GSU Gets Weed By The Bucket Plus A Bulletproof Vest
The GSU is reporting another drug seizure operation, this one in the Belama phase 4 area. Between 1:30 and 4 on Tuesday afternoon, the GSU searched a lot behind the residence of a well known drug supplier in the area and found 2.5 kilos or 5.51 pounds of weed in a white bucket that was buried in the lot. A blue bullet proof vest was also found in a white sack 10 feet away from the drugs. No one was found in the area and the items were deposited as found property. The drugs are believed to be the property of a drug dealer who associates with the PIV gang.

Arthur, The Philanthropist?
At the top of the news we told you all about the present difficulties Arthur Saldivar the political candidate is facing within his PUP party. But, today, he did some image rehabilitation with a donation to a needy cancer survivor. San Pedro resident Gloriela Leiva is a thyroid cancer survivor, but she hasn’t been able to go back to Merida for follow up treatment because she can’t afford it. And that’s what prompted her son to start stealing golf cart windshields – to raise the money for her. He is a minor and his case went to court recently – which is where Hubert Elrington came in. He heard of Leiva’s plight and asked his friend Arthur to help. He did and we asked him if it was for all the wrong reasons:.. Jules Vasquez "One will immediately say now the P.U.P the try to run you down and chase you out of they party, and now you are trying to show them that Arthur is a nice guy. How do you respond to that interpretation?"

Pumped Up For A Piano Concert
Preparations for September celebrations are underway and many are pumped up for the events scheduled for the month. But the Mexican Embassy is getting things started with a more subdued event, a Piano concert called “El Piano Internacional”. The concert features 3 very young but very skilled Mexican Pianists. Marcelino Miranda, Press Officer for the Mexican Embassy told us about it: Marcelino Miranda, Press Officer, Mexican Embassy "The embassy is very pleased to present 3 Mexican Pianist in Belize. This is going to be a very exciting concert, we are inviting all the public to come especially youths and children to have a look." Carlos Camacho, Pianist "We are very excited to be here. We're very happy about this invitation, it's the first time we're going to play here and we have very interesting pieces in this programme. We're playing 4 hands, 6 hands and piano solo parts. So we're going to present different styles of music of different composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, Finisterra."

Sweet Honey Harkens Back To Africa
If you appreciate African heritage and cultures then the Sweet Honey in the Rock concert is for you. Sweet Honey is an all-female acapella ensemble from the U.S here to perform as well as collaborate with Belizean artists on several presentations. Today one of the members of Sweet Honey discussed the diverse genres they capture through their performances. Louis Robinson, Sweet Honey in the Rock Member "We sing music at an African American tradition, Blues, Jazz, R&B, Gospel, civil rights songs or of the African biosphere. We do Salsa, African chants. We invite everyone to come and have a great time. It is an invitation, we think there will be a lot of different things to listen to, to feel, to think about, to share and to just have a good time with us."

Police Website Has A Porn Link
The official Belize police department website is under scrutiny tonight because of a link it has to a porn site. We were advised to go on the site and click on the link for jasmine alert. Seemed straightforward enough, but when we did it, it took us to a porn site, called Earlier today we called the police press officer who promised to urgently look into it – but when we checked a few minutes ago, the bad link was still there. As far as we could determine, the jasmine alert system has no official webpage, just a facebook site.

Channel 5

P.U.P. Suspends Arthur Saldivar
Arthur Saldivar’s political career, or at least a political career with the PUP, is tonight in serious jeopardy. The controversial attorney and Belize Rural North Standard Bearer was summoned to [...]

Fonseca Says an Intensive Investigation Underway
In the allegation of the nine hundred and four thousand dollars, the matter is being litigated and a claim has been filed against him by the Coye family. But while [...]

ASR Deals Farmers a Crippling Blow
Sugar cane farmers have been dealt a crippling, and completely unexpected blow by Tate and Lyle sugars, a member of the ASR group. The terrible news came by letter dated [...]

New Schedule for Fairtrade Payments
That was the really bad news, but it gets worse. Traditionally farmers received payment for Fairtrade sugar when it was received by the company. But that’s not happening this time. [...]

Is First Caribbean Discriminating Against Garifuna Language?
There is controversy brewing tonight in Dangriga where a young woman’s job as a teller is reportedly in jeopardy after being reprimanded by her superiors for speaking her native language [...]

Garifuna Activist Dr. Theodore Aranda Lashes Out at FCIB
Earlier today, CIBC First Caribbean issued a statement in which it says that the use of official language is encouraged within the working environment as a courtesy to all its [...]

Cousins Remanded for Burglary
Two cousins were remanded to prison today after they were charged in connection with a tire shop burglary. Ninety-six tires were stolen from Quality Used Tires on Central American Boulevard [...]

Is an Alleged Murderer Hiding in Belize?
This man is Lyle “Ty” Hoffman; could he be hiding in Belize? Hoffman is the alleged triggerman in a shooting incident in Arden Hills, Minnesota, U.S.A. on August eleventh. He [...]

Gang Leader Detained for Questioning in Lemonal Murder
Tonight, there is little to report in the cruel murder of a resident of Lemonal. The body of twenty-seven year old Denvo Banner was found buried in a shallow grave [...]

No Trace of Hattieville Chairman After 6 Weeks
  The family of Denvo Banner is grieving his loss, but their grief is somewhat tempered by the comfort of closure in the tragedy. The family of missing Hattieville Chairman [...]

2nd Quarter Stats is a Mixed Bag
The Statistical Institute of Belize has released its latest economic figures corresponding to the second quarter of 2014. All be told, transportation shot up by ten percent while the basket [...]

SIB Explains Dip in Sugar Exports
As we mentioned earlier in the newscast, sugar cane farmers in the north have been dealt a serious blow by Tate & Lyle when the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association [...]

Clifford Hoare Brings It…And Wins Big!
The spectacular grand finale of our summer entertainment show took place on Tuesday night at the Bliss. The live broadcast of If you can Sing it, Bring It started with [...]

Yoga Dance Show Set for Sunday
A yoga dance concert and competition will be held this Sunday at the B.T.L. Park. The event is organized by Yoga Instructor Ashanti “Airbender” Garcia and is focused on bringing [...]


Sad Bull Sharks’ Faith
“Concerned inhabitants who saw the shark in the area of the bridge at the Northern Entrance to town informed personnel form TIDE who went to the location and upon checking found out that body of the shark had no visible lacerations except for injuries in the mouth believed to have been caused by fishing hooks. Further inspection thereafter determined that the shark had no internal injury nor infection. Indications are that the female bull shark measuring six feet ten inches was caught as recent as one or two days ago and been dumped irresponsibly at the location where it was seen. With another smaller dead shark found in the area within the same day it is believed that the two dead sharks found so far were caught with fishing hooks and dumped in the area by an individual who had caught them within the closed shark season from August 1 to October 31.”

Statistical Institute Of Belize
“According to the Statistical Institute of Belize, the Consumer Price Index for July is 1.3% while the average inflation for the first 7 months of 2014 is at 1.5%. The food index reduced in the month of July by 3.5%. Voice 1: So the higher prices were observed in the transportation services where they increased by 10% mainly due to an increase in 24.1% in air fares, housing, water/electricity, gas and other fuels where we saw the over all expenditure category increasing by 1.3%. We had rent prices going up by 1.4%. Water prices going up by 6.9% in this category. Accommodation services increased by 6% where we had international hotel services increasing by 13.2%.” HIPOLITO NOVELO: “The highest inflation was recorded in Santa Elena/San Ignacio with 2.5% attributed to the highest inflation of rent at 4.9%. Belize City recorded the lowest at 0.8%. As for the External Trade Statistics, according to Statistician, Javan Charvarria, in the first seven months of 2014, Belize imported goods totaling $1.14 billion dollars- an increase of $68 million dollars or 6.4%. In July alone, Belize imports were valued at $184.9 million.”

Back To School Shopping
RENEE TRUJILLO: “Just over a week ago the majority of the secondary schools in the country reopened to start its new school year sessions and in just a few days, the public primary schools will resume classes for the school year 2014/2015. It is a time when a lot of children and sometimes even parents are excited and eager to begin gathering up supplies because it means shopping, it means the smell of new items like school bags and shoes and exercise books…..but while preparing for the new school year can bring some excitement, it also brings expenses. Love News recently did a few interviews downtown Belize City to find out just how parents and guardians are coping with their children’s educational expenses and how much they will be spending this school year.” INTERVIEWEE 1: “When we added up everything it came up to almost $2,000-$3,000, that is including tuition and books and everything else.” INTERVIEWEE 2: “I have a child, the youngest one going into infant 2 my other son going into second form at St. Johns and I have another daughter doing 4th Form at Palotti.”

Another storm hits the sugar cane industry
ARTURO CANTUN:” A letter straight from London based Tate and Lisle Sugars was served yesterday to the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the news is nothing good. The correspondence informs the association that because of the market vulnerability it has been forced to reduce the association’s quota from 65,000 tons to 10,000 tons. Fred Ortega is the spokesperson for the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association.” ALFREDO ORTEGA: “Really and truly this is bad news for the association and the industry. It will really have a negative impact to the industry but also to all the staff and the country of Belize because that means that there will be a reduction in regards to the premium that we have received from the sales of sugar under the fair trade umbrella.” ARTURO CANTUN: “Since Belize sugar has been selling under the fair trade logo the quota has been steady at 50,000 tons. Last year the quota was increased to 65,000 tons. Ortega says that he does not believe that the vulnerable market is the reason why the quota has been reduced.”

Arthur Saldivar suspended over allegations
FRANCIS FONSECA: “You have been made aware of the fact that at its meeting today of the National Executive the PUP has discussed the issue of Belize Rural North and the candidacy of Mr. Arthur Saldivar our standard bearer in that area. I want to say that we had a very robust discussion and at the end of that discussion the party took the decision that Mr. Arthur Saldivar would be suspended as a candidate for the PUP in Belize Rural North from all party activities pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation that the party is carrying out into the very serious allegation that has been made in respect of certain monies which a client of Mr. Saldivar says he took and has and has not returned to her. You are aware of the allegation the media is aware of that allegation. So that investigation has been ongoing, we expect that investigation to be concluded and a report to be delivered to myself and the National Executive by September 12 and the party will then convene a meeting of the National Executive on September 17 at which time a final decision will be made on this matter. So that was the discussion and those were the decisions taken by the party.”

Harlem Week Bestows Honors on Two Belizeans in New York, USA
A Belizean-born centenarian and a popular community advocate were among honorees during the recently-concluded Harlem Week. The Board of Directors of Harlem Week, Inc. and New York City Senior Citizen’s Committee, Inc. bestowed the honor on 105 year old Caroline Lightburn, and Verna Arthur, Manhattan Community Outreach Director and Senior Advisory Council Liaison with the New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA). Lightburn, the oldest female honored at the event, was born on Jan. 12, 1909 in San Ignacio, Cayo and grew up in Belize City. Lightburn says that she never drunk nor smoked and was a baseball player and a member of the Belize All Stars team. As a housewife, who later became a domestic worker, Lightburn said she raised nine children, four of whom are still alive. She has 21 grandchildren and 32 great grandchildren. Her late father, Joseph Ingram, was a sergeant in the Belize Police Force; and her mother, Jan Ingram, was a seamstress.


Nisani Garcia charges upgraded to murder
In reference to the shooting death of Hansil Elvis Garcia, a 17 year old Belizean Fisherman of Dangirga, on Wednesday August 26th, 21 year old Nisani Daniel Garcia, a baker of Rivas Estate, Dangriga, was charged with murder. On the 5th of May 2014, 17 year old Hansil, succumbed to his injuries sustained during a shooting incident on April 30th, where he sustained three gunshot wounds to the left forearm, right leg and lower left side of his back. The young fisher man had received two separate surgeries and after fighting for his life for almost a week, Hansil Garcia passed away. Dangriga police arrested and charged 21 year old Nisani Garcia for attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm on May 2nd. On Tuesday, his charge was upgraded to murder.

Levy Says Saldivar Was Guest at His House
Earlier this month, An American couple, Don and Vanessa Blunt claimed that a home in Placencia that they sold to a client of Attorney at law Arthur Saldivar became a source of frustration for them. According to Don Blunt, Mr Saldivar used his clout as an officer of the court to invade his Placencia home in an effort to try and force him out before the court ordered date. Media reports claimed that the Blunts allegations included that “Police officers stormed the house along with their clients and started moving the Blunt couple’s personal belongings. He allegedly even had his posse break one of the locks of the house, which allowed him to gain entry, very much like a common thief.” The story has caused much public discussion as Arthur Saldivar is a well known Public figure vying for Public office. Last week, PlusNews received a call from Glen Levy, Sadivar’s Client, who granted us an interview on location at the disputed House in Placencia. He explained what happened that fateful night, and gave us a brief history of his real estate nightmare that started in January of this year. It started he said when he made a down payment to the Blunts to purchase their furnished home on the beach.

Extraordinary Meetings at FFB; but no one is talking
There were two big meetings Monday night and early Tuesday morning concerning all matters FFB. Reliable sources tell us that the executive members of the federation met with the FFB Congress last night, in a meeting that concluded until after 10:30 pm. It was rumoured that Ruperto Vicente would at the meeting push for the suspension of Sergio Chuc, which he had previously attempted to do. No one from FFB is talking yet, however, we have been reliably informed that no one has been suspended, however the executive members were made to renew their pledges, which was witnessed by all 8 members of the congress. The congress is to re-evaluate the executive members of the federation for the next 90 days. On Tuesday executives also met with representatives of FIFA and CONCACAF at the federation headquarters in Belmopan. The purpose of the meeting is still not known nor were we able to confirm if the two are connected in anyway. When we contacted President Ruperto Vicente on Tuesday he said he couldn’t speak on the matter at this time, but promised he would address all matters concerned in a press briefing on Wednesday.

Players say the Federation Still owes them money
There were two big meetings Monday night and early Tuesday morning concerning all matters FFB. Reliable sources tell us that the executive members of the federation met with the FFB Congress last night, in a meeting that concluded until after 10:30 pm. It was rumoured that Ruperto Vicente would at the meeting push for the suspension of Sergio Chuc, which he had previously attempted to do. No one from FFB is talking yet, however, we have been reliably informed that no one has been suspended, however the executive members were made to renew their pledges, which was witnessed by all 8 members of the congress. The congress is to re-evaluate the executive members of the federation for the next 90 days. On Tuesday executives also met with representatives of FIFA and CONCACAF at the federation headquarters in Belmopan. The purpose of the meeting is still not known nor were we able to confirm if the two are connected in anyway. When we contacted President Ruperto Vicente on Tuesday he said he couldn’t speak on the matter at this time, but promised he would address all matters concerned in a press briefing on Wednesday.

Deon and Shane Back in Belize
There are some tensions at the FFB, but in the midst of all the chaos taking place there, there is still some good news concerning Belizean football. For starters, Deon McCauley, the top striker for the Belize Jaguars, is back in the country to train with the Belizean National A Team, for the upcoming Copa Centro Americano. He told us about his experience with the Atlanta Silverbacks. Dean McCauley – Stricker for Belize National Team and Atlanta Silverbacks “So far this season I have scored five goals. I’ve played about ten games. I came in off the bench in a couple of games. I’ve played against MLS teams. I’ve been to MLS trials. It’s very good so far. When I went to Atlanta, my team accepted me very well. They welcomed me. So I gained their respect. I build a family out there with my team-mates. But here in Belize for me it’s more comfort, because I’ve been around these players a long time. I know a lot of them, and I’ve gained the respect of a lot of them. To me, being here is very comfortable for me, because I know them a lot, and I’m ready to play.” In an article written in the official Atlanta Silverbacks website, the club boasted of Deon McCauley whom they say, combined with Junior Burgos, scored 11 goals for the Silverbacks during the NASL season and the Open Cup this year. The Atlanta Silverbacks expressed their regret at having to release Dean McCauley for a little spell but wished him the best.

Patrick JonesPJ

Record GDP quarterly growth driven by agricultural rebound
The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) today released the latest economic data regarding estimated economic growth, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and external trade. We begin with the big news about the economy. Between April and June the national gross domestic product (GDP) grew substantially by 8.7%, double […]

Mexican pianists to deliver international concert
The Mexican Embassy’s cultural exchange program continues on Thursday with the visit of three young but experienced pianists who will be teaming up on some classical pieces from famous composers. The trio – Carlos Camacho, Ricardo Tovar and Ricardo Moo – have extensive experience playing the piano since […]

Arthur Saldivar suspended; PUP investigates alleged wrongdoing
In an unprecedented move, the People’s United Party’s (PUP) National Executive today decided to suspend sitting Belize Rural North standard bearer and attorney Arthur Saldivar from acting in that capacity pending the results of an internal investigation into allegations of misbehavior on his part. Saldivar is accused of taking and failing […]

Computers stolen from Corozal primary school
Classes are set to resume for Primary School students on September first; but for the students and teachers of Xiabe Roman Catholic School it will not be a happy event. That is because a heartless thief or thieves decided to steal five laptop computers from the principal’s office […]

The 15 Most Romantic Belize Resorts
Wedged between Mexico and Guatemala and facing the Caribbean Sea lies Belize, a country prized by locals and tourists alike for its beautiful coastlines, tropical jungles and impressive resorts. These getaways from the hustle of everyday life are the perfect spots to unwind and take in […]

Errant link on Police Department website site serves porn
The Belize Police Department’s website link to the Jasmine Alert service is pointing internet visitors to a porn site. The error in the URL was discovered this evening by a high school student who was doing research on the Jasmine Alert program and visited the police department […]

Auditorium under construction at Muffles High School in Orange Walk
Muffles High School in Orange Walk town is in the process of constructing an auditorium for the educational instruction. Ground was broken in January of this year and the projection is for the facility to be completed in November, 2014. Principal of Muffled High School Marian Johnston […]

PUP suspends Arthur Saldivar
The main opposition People’s United Party (PUP) has taken a decision to suspend the standard bearer for the Belize Rural North constituency Arthur Saldivar. At a meeting of the PUP’s National Executive this morning, which was held at Independence Hall, Saldivar was given a chance to make presentations regarding allegations of wrongdoing and mishandling of funds, laid against him by former clients Melonie and Marlene Coye.


Traveling South in Belize: From San Pedro to Placencia – Here’s What I Saw & Ate…
As the crow flies, I traveled about 100 miles. San Pedro on Ambergris Caye to Placencia Village. But as I often do, I took the cheaper route and it took me most of the day. Traveled from breezeless heat thru pouring rain over the mountains and then back down to the heat. There is a MUCH faster way to do it…in fact, I took that easy breezy flight down just this past June. Super convenient. My departure point yesterday was the San Pedro Belize Express water taxi. The 7:30am boat should get me to Belize City – HOPEFULLY – for the 9:15am bus from the Belize City terminal to Independence, Belize. ($24bzd each way if you have their Membership Card.)

Swimming into History – Actun Tunichil Muknal
And now, as promised, we explore another watery adventure in Belize’s Cayo District – The Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave, otherwise known as ATM, and one of most impressive day trips to be had anywhere. You’d be forgiven for thinking that cave exploration belongs more in the spelunking than the watersport category, but trust us, you will get wet exploring ATM. Delightfully, invigoratingly, adventurously wet. Sort of like a squelchy Indiana Jones. Your first wet encounter, depending on how much rain there’s been recently, will be in wading across the streams during the hike in. The original ATM explorers, recognising the potential for looting this artefact-rich underground treasure, did what they could to keep the trail in as hidden as possible, and today’s path still follows a circuitous route through the forest and across the streams. There’s even a swimming hole on the way that some hikers take advantage of to cool off in before carrying on to the big adventure.

“Bring It On, Bring It On” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
In my haste (who do I think I’m kidding, I don’t do anything fast nowadays) to get the last edition “out there” I omitted (OK, so I forgot) to mention that last Friday Rose and I did the Ice Bucket Challenge. I’d been very “kindly” set the challenge by Carlo Segura (the Carlo of Carlo & Ernie’s Runway Bar & Grill) so last Friday afternoon in the heat of the afternoon sun I decided to “man up” and go take the punishment. Now up until Friday I’d thought that Carlo and I got on well. I’m not so sure now. Why? Well the bucket was huge and it was full of ice cold water and a double helping of ice cubes.

You Have To Attend The Mind As Medicine Workshop in Belize
Dr. Mark Pirtle ( Skillfully Aware) in collaboration with Michelle Ashanti Williams (Om Shanti Yoga and Reiki Center) presents: A workshop entitled “Mind as Medicine” – Stress related illnesses like insomnia, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, addictions, eating disorders and more are caused by the same unconscious mechanism: Attentional Fixation. This explains why mindfulness is a remedy for them all. Understanding the nature of mind, and how to influence it through meditation practice can provide more therapeutic benefits than any pill. This one-day workshop , limited to only 30 people, will teach participants about the mind, its connection with the body, and how meditation and mindfulness can be practiced and used as medicine. It is a blessing and an honour to have him in Belize to share his Skillfully Aware approach with us.

International Sourcesizz

Making Friends and Enjoying an Active Social Life in Belize
While living in the San Francisco Bay Area my husband and I both worked long days, and too many weekends. We rarely bumped into our neighbors, had little free time for socializing, and even less energy. We hoped that would change when we moved to Ambergris Caye, Belize--though we worried that by basing ourselves on a small island we might be in for a limited social circle. And what if it didn't suit us? It was a big unknown. Well, we've been surprised by how much our social horizons have actually expanded since our overseas move. This is an unexpected benefit of the expat life. And from what I hear from other expats based outside Belize, it holds true across the board. First of all, we now have the time and energy for an active social life. And our openness to it has been rewarded by the broad array of diverse and interesting people we've met living here. Many have become close friends. The tropical climate and genuine beauty of Ambergris Caye draws people from all over and we've met acquaintances from far flung corners of the globe.

Want to live the Caribbean dream? You'd better believe in Belize
Belize boasts ancient Mayan ruins, lush rainforests and the world’s second longest UNESCO-protected barrier reef. This year the former British colony, which used to be known as British Honduras, celebrates 50 years of self-governance. Bordered by the Caribbean, Guatemala and Mexico with a population of 330,000, Belize is around 10 times the size of Luxembourg and is ranked by the Caribbean Tourism Organization as one of the region’s fastest growing tourist destinations. Property, too, is in the ascendancy. Less known than its Caribbean island neighbours for property, Belize has lashings of desirable expat attributes including political stability, English as its first language, a currency fixed to US dollar, a British-based legal system and Commonwealth membership. It also boasts retirement advantages. Retirees, classified as being 45 years and older with an annual income of US$24,000 (£14,500), can gain residency through the Qualified Retired Persons (Incentives) program, known as QRP ( / “Although the Belize government doesn’t have the funds for a global marketing campaign, the country really has everything going for it, and various indicators put it on the cusp of becoming better known as an international property destination,” observed Ben Mason, a Belize-based British developer.

Heaven in our hemisphere
How nice it is to be the only guy sitting in the exit row of this flight! Savoring the rare luxury of leg room, I cross my right gam and rest it on my left knee. Since I’m wearing shorts, I can’t help but instantly notice the scarlet constellation on my right calf. A constellation of bites, little circular red bites, made by the dangerously stealthy and perpetually hungry no-see-ums of Belize. During the four hour flight to LAX, I have plenty of time to actually count the stars in this itchy formation (one possible name for my calfy constellation—Calamina). 55. Little sumbitches apparently found your correspondent to have excellent taste! But in the end, I must conclude that this mild discomfort is a small price to pay for my introduction to this extremely pleasant Central American country. Belize, as in puh-leeze or puh-lease, depending on your preference, is a small gem facing the Caribbean. Or Caribbean. Here are some tidbits I discovered during my week in this happy place, tidbits of positivity that intrigue those of you with passports and a desire to visit new places. I can't think of another country that is easier for us norte americanos to deal with (well, OK, Canada). The official language, remarkably enough for a country surrounded by Guatemala and Mexico, is English. How charming. The currency is the Belizean dollar, but our bucks are gladly accepted, at the rate of 2 of theirs for one of ours. And the water is absolutely off the charts crazy awesome perfect.

It’s an online war of words and granny’s winning
My 80-year-old grandmother is demolishing me at Words With Friends. That may sound adorable to you, but to someone as competitive as I am, it’s infuriating and embarrassing. Here’s a little backstory. My grandmother — whom I call Chichi (which I believe means grandmother in Mayan, but don’t quote me on that because I’m in no way an expert on the Mayan language or culture) lives in Belize, a beautiful little country in Central America. She is by no means techno-savvy. But she’s been playing Scrabble for years and years. So while she probably doesn’t even know how to set up an email account, she’s got years of Scrabble experience in her corner.

Scholarship receivers
Diplomats from Taiwan pose with students in Belize who were set to study in Taiwan on scholarships in Belize City on Aug. 23. Photo courtesy of the Embassy of the Republic of China in Belize Aug. 27, 2014


Video: Wildtracks Volunteer Programme, 1min.
Introducing Sintra, a Wildtracks volunteer. She has a dream job - supervising the young manatee calves in the new pool. During the hour exercise time, she keeps a careful eye on Lucky, ready to assist him if he has problems reaching the water surface, she has to convince the two calves that they want to exercise, building their muscles, their stamina and improving their digestion, she encourages them to focus on each other, to interact with each other...this is a small part of her day as a Wildtracks volunteer. She has sat up on night watches with them when the calves first came in, counted their breaths at 2:00 in the morning, been bitten by mosquitoes, she has scrubbed pools, been a manatee feeder...

Video: If You Can Sing It... Bring It RED CARPET FINALE (August 26, 2014), 2hr41min.

We didn't get a lot of footage the first time at the Belize Ocean Club but this time, we got lots!

Video: United 737-824 landing Belize, 7min.

Video: week6 part2 filming for iservants in Belize, 11min.
There's no internet in this part of Belize... the experiment was to record every day of my life... so I just used a different camera. sorry snapchat. Show more

Video: Noah, le zip-liner le plus jeune de tout Belize, 2min.
Noah va "super fast" !!!!

Video: Belize Webinar by Save the Frogs, 41min.

Video: Belize Barrier Reef, 3min.

Video: Crooked Tree - Lamanai - Belize, 3min.
Crooked Tree Sanctuary, un oasi in Belize per il relax nella selva e il bird watching, vicinissimo dal sito Maya di Lamanai, raggiungibile con in giro in lancia.

Video: Belize EEL attack, 1min.
Belize eel attacks Renee.

August 27, 2014


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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

Dead Ray drifts ashore, Eagle ray CSI in Belize (15 photos)
ProDive shop called the Hol Chan Marine Reserve who then called us to come and investigate an eagle ray mortality near Banyan Bay. The deceased female eagle ray (Aetobatus narinari) seemed in perfect shape aside from a dorsal scrape and no spine. Thanks mucho to Kirah Forman for the photos and to Jairo Osorio for the help, especially in getting the jaw out.

From Wowlas to Iguanas-Encounter the Wild!
In Belize one of the many slithery creatures you may encounter are snakes such as the boa constrictor, known locally as the infamous “wowla.” While they are primarily abundant on the mainland, they can be found around the islands’ mangrove swamps as well. In the summer time these private reptiles come out of their burrows more often to sun themselves in the summer rays and feed on small rodents and birds. Check out these cool shots of Nature at its best.

Team Brazil wins the Mundialito Football Tournament
On Thursday, August 21st, Team Brazil won their final match in the 2014 Mundialito Football Tournament and earned the coveted first place championship cup. Held at the Honorable Louis Sylvester Arena and hosted by the San Pedro Sports Committee, the tournament saw six teams of children between the ages of 5 to 14 competing in […]

Four Contracts Signed Under Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Program
Press Release- Belize Press Office- August 25th- Minister of Works and Transport Honourable Rene Montero, Chief Engineer in the Ministry of Works and Transport Lennox Bradley and Project Manager Rolando Chan met with contractors today at the Ministry of Works and Transport Conference Room in the City of Belmopan, where they signed contracts for an upcoming Flood Mitigation […]

Cuban living in San Pedro caught in drug bust
A Belizean and a Cuban national have been remanded to prison following a large drug bust on Wednesday August 20th. They are 52-year-old Pascual Terrero Pineda of a Boca del Rio address in San Pedro Town and 49-year-old Ruperto Eulalio Reyes of Sittee River Street in Orange Walk Town. The duo was found with over […]

Ambergris Today

Dead Sea Creatures Wash Ashore Unexplained in Ambergris Caye
The summer days in Belize are packing on the HEAT and everybody is looking for ways to cool off. Most of us hit the beach, but recently there has been a massive influx of sargassum seaweed that is accumulating along the shoreline and the temperature of the sea water has been very high as well. Everyone is feeling the heat, including the beautiful sea creatures. Ambergris Today was contacted by the crew at Belize Pro Dive Center that was worried about the sudden discovery of dead fish along the shore on Monday, August 25, 2014. The carcass of a deep sea creature – the beautiful spotted eagle ray was seen floating ashore as well as several other fish and even eels. What is causing these creatures to die is uncertain as there are several factors that could contribute to the death of the animals, including the increase in water temperature, the feeding of the sea creatures or the sargassum seaweed wash up.

PUP Party Leader Meets with Business Community in San Pedro
Led by People’s United Party (PUP) Belize Rural South Chairman Mr. Nicolas Varela, Standard Bearer Mr. Elito Arceo and Mayoral Candidate Dr. Giovanni Solarzano, Party Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca visited three communities of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye on Saturday, August 23, 2014 which included the San Pedrito, San Mateo and DFC Areas. The San Mateo is one of the most impoverished and marginalized areas on the island lacing proper streets and running water. A meeting with the members of the San Pedro Business community was also held at Banana Beach Resort before the scheduled endorsement of the San Pedro PUP candidates later that evening. The joint endorsement convention was held for Standard Bearer for PUP Belize Rural South and San Pedro Municipal. Mr. Elito Arceo is the new Standard Bearer and Dr. Giovanni Solarzano is the new Mayoral candidate leader for the PUP team.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Four Contracts Signed Under Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Program
Minister of Works and Transport Honourable Rene Montero, Chief Engineer in the Ministry of Works and Transport Lennox Bradley and Project Manager Rolando Chan met with contractors today at the Ministry of Works and Transport Conference Room in the City of Belmopan, where they signed contracts for an upcoming Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Program. A total of four contracts were signed, namely the Bill Lindo Canal Contract which includes construction of a concrete -lined and earthen canal contracted to Mehia’s United at a cost of $892,250; the Douglas Jones Canal Contract which includes construction of a concrete-lined, covered canal contracted to Medina’s Construction at a cost of $1,813,629.88; the North Side Canal Contract which includes the cleaning of the existing canal and lining with vinyl sheet pile, also contracted to Medina’s Construction at a cost of $1,935,150; and the Link Road (Apollo Street) to Belama Phase IV Contract which includes street upgrades contracted to M&R Construction at a cost of $1,077,425.86. The contracts total $5,718,455.74.Mr. Lennox Bradley will act as supervisor to ensure the suitable and timely completion of the contract works, scheduled to be underway by September 8th, 2014 and expected to be completed by July 5th, 2015.

Make a difference in a student’s life - BE KIND, STOP THE BULLYING AT SCHOOL
While the summer vacations come to a close, all children and youth are returning to school these days. If you see a classmate who is struggling to make friends, or who is being teased and bullied because he/she does not have friends, become that gift! Welcome or at least smile at them in the hallways and school grounds. You never know what that person may be facing outside of school! Your kindness can make a big difference in someone's life. We respect our teachers and they should continue to praise students in ways big and small - Recognize work in class, display good work in the classroom and send positive notes home to parents, hold weekly awards in your classroom, organize academic pep rallies to honor the honor roll, and even sponsor a Teacher Shoutout section in the student news blog to acknowledge student’s hard work.

Reflection on the International Black Summit 2014
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez When most Belizeans hear “black” they think about race That jumps at you when you look at their face Again some pre- judged the space in haste The summit was about facilitators creating a space So that I and my true self could sit face to face The facilitators attended with grace Helping us to explore how we interface Searching and exploring how I be in that space Pondering my life script and finding my place. Fortunately the cosmos aligned it with Emancipation Day celebrated at UWI As a summit we attended in solidarity Folks again we were a part of history

Jasmine Rhamdas Crowned Queen of the Bay Belmopan
Congratulations, Jasmine Rhamdas, for being crowned this year's Queen of the Bay Belmopan. More pictures. "Congrats to all the contestants especially Ms. Jasmine Rhamdas for winning the Queen of the Bay Belmopan 2014 Pageant."

Harpy Cafe at the Belize Zoo
The new Harpy Cafe at the Belize Zoo has good food. The new cafe really fits will with the zoo. "The Belize Zoo has a new restaurant: The Harpy Cafe. It's good too. It's great to see the zoo progressing."

The Cave Where Mayans Sacrificed Humans
Actun Tunichil Muknal continues to be all over the world news. The Telegraph and the Daily Beast have some interesting articles about it. "The river that formed Belize’s Actun Tunichil Muknal cave still flows, pooling as it emerges into the dawn sunlight and necessitating a swim to start our journey into the Mayan underworld. Our guide has insisted on an early start and no one else is around as we take the plunge. The view back from inside is amazing, the rock arch framing a view of water, jungle and sky; the view the other way is black. That river is always with us. The water is strangely warm, sometimes around our ankles, then about our necks, but always pushing against us. Above, bats hang in their holes and tiny seedlings grow from their droppings, atrophying in the dark."

Back to School Concert Fundraiser
Supa G and Lova Boy will be playing at the Sacred Heart College auditorium this Saturday. They'll be joined by Erenestine Carballo, the Sweet Pain Band, Chico Ramos, and Mistah Geeh. The fundraiser will help with scholarships, the Cancer Society, and the Heal the Kids Foundation. You can get tickets at the Shell station and Joseph Freight. Have a great semester!

University of Belize Launches Di Silvaana Udz Lekcha Series
On Tuesday, September 2, 2014, the University of Belize Faculty of Education and Arts will launch Di Silvaana Udz Lekcha Series, named in honor of Dr. Silvaana Udz in recognition of her outstanding contributions to education and culture in Belize. This year's lecture will be presented by Godfrey P. Smith, author of the award winning George Price: A Life Revealed and writer of the political blog Flashpoint. Smith also served as head judge for the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize and as a judge for this year's Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize. His lecture will focus on The Role of Contemporary Belizean Writers in Nation Building.

Guava Limb Café 1st Anniversary
The Guava Limb is celebrating it's 1st anniversary this Saturday. They'll have a Maya buffet at night and special all day long, including 10% off during the day. Congratulations on your first of many years, Guava Limb! "The Guava Limb Café extends to you a cordial invitation to join us in celebrating ONE YEAR in service to our patrons!! **FREE Welcome Drink **Maya Buffet served from 6pm-10pm (includes dessert) **Specials & Discounts all day long **LIVE Music **You are entitled to 10% discount from 11am-5pm!!"

Scarlet Macaws All Fledged
All 7 of the Scarlet Macaws that the Scarlet Six crew monitor have gone out into the wild. Great news from the Chiquibul. "The S6 Crew came out this week with great news. ALL 7 chicks have now successfully fledged from their nests. These chicks have the 'new' genes to pass on for future generations of macaws within the Maya Mountains of Belize. Pictured here, one of the last chicks (right) which fledged, is being fed by its adult parent (left) outside of the nest cavity. A HUGE THANK YOU to all our donors, field partners and volunteers who helped us make 2014 an even better year than last. We look forward to your help again in 2015 for even better results."

Channel 7

Fiery Emotions After Residential Blaze
This afternoon a Belize City homeowner in the Gungulung area lost everything when her home burned down. But, it's our headline tonight because the Belizean American homeowner Sonya Harris says her nephew did it. And why? She claims she stopped him from selling weed at her house where he had been living rent-free for two years. 7news was on the scene this afternoon at 1:00 and here's what we found:... Courtney Weatherburne reporting This dramatic scene on Holy Emmanuel Street in the Gungulung area said it all - there was nothing the fire department could do to save anything here - all they could do was try to keep it from spreading to other buildings. While police cleared the area the fire was brought under control relatively quickly and soon enough the flames turned into smoke. Still neighbors looked on because it was an emotional scene for the homeowners, who lost everything in the fire. We soon found out why there was so much rage, when Sonya Harris publicly erupted.

Fire Dept. Says Physical Evidence Points To Arson
And so what does the Fire Department have to say about this nephew and the direct allegation that he burned the house down? Well, today at a press briefing, the Fire Department did confirm that the house was set on fire -be setting clothing on fire in one of the bedrooms:.. Benisford Matura - Operations Officer, National Fire Service "We've started our investigation and the information revealed from the investigators show that the fire started in north eastern section of the structure which is one of the bedrooms because it had two bedrooms. Further investigation revealed that it started somewhere on top of the mattress and probably with the use of clothing the fire started because clothing was spread all over the room. We've canvassed the area in the bedroom and found that the clothes was spread all over the floor and in an unusual pattern that wouldn't be normal."

Divided FFB Executive Holds Reconciliatory Meeting
For the past 2 weeks now, we've been telling you about the internal conflict in the Football Federation of Belize executive. Truth is, a division in the executive has been flaring up for several months now, but none of the principals wanted to go public because that would be bad for the public image of football. So, the undercurrent of discontent stayed mostly out of public view for over a year, but recently, it stirred the direct intervention of FIFA and CONCACAF, governing bodies which could not ignore it any longer. So, that set off a directive down the chain of command in the country's Football executives that a General Congress Meeting had to be held where all grievances must be aired out. FIFA and CONCACAF were looking to ensure that the administration of football would continue to progress. That General Congress Meeting happened last night at around 7 at FFB Headquarters in Belmopan. Our news team was there for an exclusive look at the issues. Daniel Ortiz reports:

Teenaged Basketballer Short In Indiscriminate Gang Violence
18 year old Roderick Williams is in the hospital recovering from three gunshot wounds he received last night. Just after 9:00, the teenager was shot at the corner of Elston Kerr and Iguana Streets - one more victim of the indiscriminate violence associated with a gang war in his neighborhood. Williams was standing with 19 year old Aleem Richardson when a gunman looking to be in his teens approached them, pulled out a handgun and opened fire. Williams was shot to the abdomen, hand and back while Richardson was shot to his right small finger. The gunman then ran up the street and jumped on a motorcycle that was awaiting him a couple blocks away. Neighbors rushed Williams to the KHMH and today he is in a stable condition.

Police Have Bank Robbery Suspects, But No Positive ID's Yet
Police have 2 suspects detained for yesterday's brazen, daylight, armed robbery which happened at the Heritage Bank on Barrack Road. They are awaiting an identification parade to determine of the employees at the bank can finger them as the robbers. Police detained them based on images from the surveillance cameras. One of them was picked up from the Pinks Alley area, and the other turned himself in to clear his name with police. It remains to be seen if charges will be brought against them.

Ch'oc Says He's Taking A Break From SATIIM
The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, it's better known as SATIIM, and its well-known leader Greg Ch'oc has helped to make the NGO a household name. But Ch'oc, who's been its leader for almost 2 decades, announced today that he's stepping aside for personal reasons. He's going away to study law at the University of the West Indies Cavehill Campus in Barbados. News emerged in August of last year, that he had made the decision, but when we asked him about it, he said that while he had plans to do so, the timing wasn't right. Well, it seems it is now, and today at a press conference in Punta Gorda Town, he announced that he's stepping aside: Greg Ch'oc, former Executive Director - SATIIM "Effective today I step down as the executive director of the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management. I have done so with the support of my family, my staff, the board and the community that has stood behind us."

New SATIIM Director Faces Challenges
One of the first things that Tzalam takes over is the battle between the Government of Belize and the claimant Mayan communities of the Buffer Zone on either side, and US Capital Energy in the middle. As we've told you, Justice Michelle Arana has already made a ruling on the issue of Government granting permits to US Capital to drill inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park. The parties were supposed to have participated in court ordered mediation, but today, the Executive Director announced that Government had applied to the court to discontinue this course of action. Here's how she put it: Froyla Tzalam, New Director - SATIIM "We were unable to have our legal team present and as he had also mentioned that once more justice is being denied to the claimant communities of the Sarstoon Temash area. As he had mentioned government of Belize had made an application to discharge the mediation order by Madam Justice Arana on August 5th, 2014. However Justice Arana had appointed a mediator after that date which to me shows her commitment to the process. We had all hope that the mediation process was one in we could get the recognition and respect for our customary laws, traditions, customs, institutions and the land tenure system to be fully and effectively addressed."

SATIIM Will File Civil Suit For Missing Money
Another of the unresolved issues that Greg Ch'oc leaves behind in Tzalam's hand is the issue of more than 250,000 thousand dollars which was embezzled from the organization. As we've told you, the man who was supposed to be the prime suspect, was cleared in the Magistrate's Court. Today, the outgoing Director told us that there is a civil claim pending against him, which they will file shortly: Greg Ch'oc, former Executive Director - SATIIM "We sought legal advice at the urgent of the board. Advice obtained from our legal counsel shows that the statute of limitation should not have applied in this case which is why the charges were dismissed because the charges should have been filed within 6 months. What we found is that this is a hybrid offence and does not carry the limitation. On the advice of our attorney and the claimant and the board of directors of SATIIM I wrote a letter to the acting Director of Public Persecution Mr. Cecil Ramirez asking them to respectfully reinstate those charges.

Western Regional Still Mum on Missing Truck
Last night we told you about the 2014 Hilux truck, assigned to the Vector Control Unit that was stolen from the Ministry of Health. Tonight we have more details on that story along with an image of an identical truck. It was stolen from Western Regional Hospital compound between the hours of 4:00 and 7:00 on Friday evening. We can't tell you if it was insured because Regional Health Manager Pearl Ellis hasn't been taking our calls. The truck is valued at just under seventy thousand dollars. It is the third Hilux being stolen from the Ministry of Health in three years.

The Other Way Of Stopping
Our next story is about a crash at a roundabout - where we don't know if the driver passed their driving test - but we can say for sure, that they failed the Rotary's four way test! That's because they careened into the rotary roundabout at mile one on the northern highway - plowing over the solid steel four way test sign. The Ford Escape was seen straddling the roundabout at dawn. The driver was either drunk or going to fast, missed the turn at the roundabout completely, and hurtled over the roundabout.

Citizens On Patrol Take to The Streets
Last week we told you about the 3 day orientation for the Citizens on Patrol Program where the community is working along with the police to restore and maintain peace. Well today, 13 cop volunteers were deployed to patrol the Mahogany Street Extension and Vernon Street as well as in the Jane Usher area. Courtney Weatherburne caught up with the cop teams in these areas to find out more about the initiative and the reaction from residents: Courtney Weatherburne reporting Usually, when you see officers on the street whether it is walking or patrolling in their vehicles, it is not to conduct surveys or to connect with the residents. But today the Citizens on Patrol did just that. It was the first day of patrol for the volunteer cops in Belize City and we found them on Mahogany Street Extension.

Garifuna Is Not Spoken Here?
The National Garifuna Council has sent out a cautionary email about allegations of culturally discriminatory practices in banks within Dangriga Town. The release says that the council has heard an allegation that one of the banks in Dangriga Town is not permitting employees to speak in the Garifuna language - allegedly to each other, or to bank patrons. Now, it's not confirmed but the Council says it is investigating, adding, quote, "We will not stand aside and allow our rich cultural heritage to be disrespected by any entity, individual, or organization." End quote.

Man Charged For Unitedville Murder
Tonight, 19 year-old Joseph Vaccaro Jr., a resident of Belize City, is at prison tonight following his arraignment for a murder and an attempted murder. As we told you, 38 year-old Victor Vargas was killed after we stabbed twice in the neck, early on Saturday, August 16, in the village of Unitedville. His 19 year-old companion, who he was socializing with hours before, was suspected to be the man who attacked him. After investigation police say that they had enough evidence against Vaccaro, and yesterday he was arraigned in San Ignacio Magistrate's Court for murder. Today, he was brought to the Belize City Magistrate's for another stabbing incident which happened earlier this year.

Making Municipalities Child Friendly
The Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipality initiative was launched today at the Biltmore. The idea is to devise a strategic plan geared at protecting the rights of youths by taking stock of the issues affecting them and finding solutions. It's a mammoth task but UNICEF along with the Belize Mayor's Association are getting 100% behind it. UNICEF representative, Ivan Yerovie told us what they'll be looking at: Ivan Yerovie, Representative, UNICEF "The mayors along with the communities work to improve the situation of children in every city. It's not an easy task definitely, however we are counting on the mayors to really improve the agenda and the work they do with children. Children rights is deserve, not only the central government, but also the local government in this case the mayors in the cities to really work with children to listen to children and to improve the agenda for them. I will mention one of those serious issues that are affecting children is violence against them. Of course the statistics are talking by itself in terms of sexual abuse for instance; I think every 3 days there is a case of sexual abuse to our children in this country. We have to put the topic on the table. We need this country to talk about those issues and of course it's not an easy task but the idea here is how can the city mayors play a major role in terms of coordinating the response."

Mexican News Site Says Kids Smuggling Drugs Along Hondo
Today we came across a report in an online newspaper called Novedades Quintana Roo which alleges that drug smugglers are using minors to transport their drugs between Belize and Mexico. The news site reports that at least 150 minors were employed to transport drugs in the rural communities bordering Belize. This has been occurring over some time now, last year the Municipal Police in Othon P. Blanco in Quintana Roo reported that trafficking takes place at as many as 90 spots along the Banks of the Rio Hondo. The minors are reportedly called "burritos" who are paid 200 pesos for every run.

Neighborhood Alleges GSU Abuse
Just before news time this evening, 7news received a frantic phone call from an resident of Lake View Street - who told us the GSU was inside their yard brutalizing them. A team was sent out to the area, but when we arrived, the GSU was already gone. Residents say the officers did not say what they were looking for, and only stormed in and starting abusing everyone. They also alleged than an elderly woman with a fractured arm was pushed to the ground by the officers for no reason at all. Here's what they told us: Resident "GSU came and ran in the alley way and didn't ask any questions. My brother was in the neighbor house and they just tell them to get out. I came out to check on my brother because prior to this incident about 3 - 5 days ago they had an altercation with the GSU and they have beaten him before, so I came out to check on him and saw that they have my brother on the ground.

Belize Gets Ready For Nation's Cup
At the top of our newscast, we told you about the trials that FFB President Ruperto Vicente has been having, while trying to run the business of the sport of football. Amidst all this, Belize is set to make an appearance in the Copa Centroamericana - or Naiton's Cup, the tournament which allowed the Jaguars to qualify for their first ever Gold Cup appearance last year. But, President Vicente has been having trouble keeping coaching staff, and last night, he told us about the series of events which saw Costa Rican Leroy Sherrier Lewis back in the driver's seat head coach of the Jaguars: Ruperto Vicente - President, Football Federation of Belize "Coaching is a very tough thing and certainly when we make decision about coaches you have to think economically. Most of the coaches out there are calling on 10,000 - 15,000 per month and that's US dollars. There is no way that this federation can afford that, so for the most part we have to wait until we can get a coach that is reasonable economically and so we got a coach who came to us with US$4,000 per month and the executive believe that we could have handle that, but the coach came and prepared to work but got impatient because the time was too short. Mr. Lewis came and said listen, I am here and I am prepared to work with the federation and so we did discuss our differences and Mr. Lewis said listen we had our problems but let us put that aside and let us work for football and so we fall short yes because we have to look for the coaches that we can afford."

Cyclists Pay Respects To Fallen Riders In LA
We all know the cyclist Ernest Jawmaine Meighan was well honoured in his death by Belize's Cycling community - but you may not know that even in Los Angeles where there is a large Belize population, they honored his memory. On Sunday August 17th, the 45 Mile Memorial Ride was organized by BelCal Cycling Club Vice President Andrew Burgess. It started and ended in Leimert Park, in Los Angeles, California. Approximately 30 cyclist (most wearing Black Ribbons) showed up for the ride.

Channel 5

FFB Executives & League Delegates Meet…
The Football Federation of Belize has been overwhelmed by internal sparring, a lack of organizational cohesion, management crises and allegations of financial mismanagement…so much so that some members of the [...]

CONCACAF Called in to Adjudicate
So with everybody on the local front on the same page, it was on to this morning’s very early meeting. F.F.B. President Ruperto Vicente says he also felt compelled to [...]

National Team Prepares for Central American Cup
Now we turn to Belize’s national team which has been working out at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan. The nation’s A Selection is preparing to head to the U.S. [...]

New Leadership for SATIIM
For years, in fact for more than a decade, Greg Ch’oc was the head and face of SATIIM, the Sarstoon-Temash Institute for Indigenous Management. Earlier today, flanked by Maya community [...]

Consensus Undetermined in Oil Drilling
Last Tuesday, the District Association of Village Councils, led by president Gabriel Edwards, convened a meeting with residents of Midway, in the Toledo District, to discuss the issue of oil [...]

Gungulung Resident Burns Down Aunt’s Home
Tonight, one man from the Gungulung area has confessed to starting the fire which completely gutted his aunt’s forty by thirty foot wooden home on Holy Emmanuel Street. The blaze [...]

Gunman Targets Two Men in the City
Urban violence continues to plague the Old Capital and tonight one of two persons injured in a late night shooting on Monday remains hospitalized. Around nine-twenty p.m., eighteen year old [...]

FFB Discusses Football Pitch with CONCACAF
As we told you, one of the straws which broke the proverbial camel’s back was the disqualification of Belize from the champions League. CONCACAF refused to certify the football pitch [...]

Accused Murderer Hit with More Charges in Court
Over the weekend, a teenager found himself in big trouble with the law after he was first arraigned in the Cayo District for a murder which occurred in San Ignacio [...]

City Resident Sentenced to Five Years
Late this evening, forty-three-year-old Luis Gordon, a resident of Amara Avenue who attacked and chopped his own sister in September of last year, was this evening sentenced to five years [...]

SATIIM Will Not Close the Door on Barranco
Barranco Village, which is also one of six buffer communities surrounding the Sarstoon Temash National Park, is a founding member of SATIIM.  Over the years, there seem to have been [...]

Workshop on child friendly Municipalities Kicks Off
eveloping Child Friendly Cities is an initiative of UNICEF, the Ministry of Local Government and the United Nations Development Programme which defines and develops child friendly municipalities and communities. The [...]

Mayors’ Association to Play a Greater Role…
The implementation of the sustainable and child friendly municipalities’ initiative falls in line with the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The MDG’s were signed back in 2000; they focus [...]

Stay tuned for the reveal of the winner of “If You Can Sing It, Bring It!”
Anticipation is building up as shortly the grand finale of If You Can Sing It, Bring It gets underway live from the Bliss. It has been nine solid rounds of [...]


MCHS Bans Styrofoam Plates On Campus
Thanks to some vigorous student and faculty activism, the era of ubiquitous single use Styrofoam at the Muffles High School is over. The decision makes MHS the first school in the North and perhaps the nation to issue such a ban which has been a raging success for over three school years. It’s a Go Green initiative that deserves merit and recognition. In this story, we’ll share with you the High School’s ‘Go Green’ campaign that has taken a commendable step toward environmental responsibility. Maria Novelo reports. Maria Johnston – Principal, MHS “One of the values of sisters of mercy is that of Stewardship of Earth which means that we need to take care of our environment and one of the decisions that we took on that day was to ban Styrofoam from our campus.” With a population of 670 students, Muffles High School has banned the usage of Styrofoam products in their daily dining break. Polystyrene packaging — better known by the brand name Styrofoam, has detrimental effects on the environment. According to Principal Maria Johnston, the figures on how much waste was being produced were astounding.

MCHS Auditorium Continuous Under Construction
Since its ground breaking back in January, the construction of the Muffles High School auditorium is well underway to its completion. And while the administrators at the school hoped to put it in use for this upcoming school year, plans were delayed a bit causing it to be under construction still. Today when we visited with Principal Maria Johnston, we were given an update on the progress. Maria Johnston – Principal, Muffles High School“We started construction late May early June and it is almost I would say 70% completed thanks to the generous contribution of the alumni, particularly the business community here in Orange Walk, the roof is coming in next week and that will cover 1000sq feet and it will equip with 12 bathroom facilities, a food dispensing area and a store room so we are very happy that we have accomplished so much and we are thankful to God because it hasn’t rain and that also helped us to accelerate the construction.”

Diosa Maya Pageant To Be Held In Belize Next Year
Belize is set to host the next Diosa Maya Internacional in 2015. The announcement was made yesterday by the organizer Manuel Blanco Gonzalez. In a televised news report aired in Mexico, Gonzalez indicated that besides promoting the talent and beauty of young women in the five participating countries, the pageant is focused primarily on promoting the Maya Culture. Here is an excerpt of that interview with Gonzalez.Manuel Blanco Gonzalez“Hoy a los quince anos tenemos una gran suerte por ejemple hay países que se han unido en este certamen internacional, es el propósito más importante de la cultura Maya, las tradicionales cultura Maya, que se ve que los tenemos en los cinco países centro americano; Belice, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras y México. Tenemos programado obviamente para el mes de Noviembre de nuestra selección de Nuestra Diosa Maya México quien nos representara próximamente en el mes de Marzo 2015 en el país de Belice, eso será la elección en el mes de Noviembre y lo haremos en el estado de Quintana Roo en la islas de HolBosh con los estados de sureste Mexicano como son Yucatán, Campeche, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Chiapas y como invitado de anos pasado también Veracruz.”

Belize Police Investigates Shooting Incident In The Old Capital
Another shooting incident is being investigated by Belize City police. According to authorities, last night at about 9:35, they visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw eighteen year-old Rodrick Williams of #7011 Iguana Street Extension, Belize City, with apparent gunshot wounds to the abdomen, hand and back. They also observed nineteen year old Aleem Richardson of #3552 Sanker Street, Belize City, with an apparent gunshot wound to the right small finger. Police report that earlier that night, around 9:20, Williams and Richardson were standing at the corner of Iguana Street Extension and Elston Kerr Street when a male person of dark complexion approached them. The individual pulled out a handgun and fired several shots at them. Both teenagers were admitted and treated and are in a stable condition at the KHMH. Police have not made any arrests in this latest shooting and continue to investigate.

MHS Continue To Excel In CXC
As we’ve reported, the CXC results are in and according to the analysis, students performed better in this year’s Caribbean Examination Council, CXC exams. Over three thousand students from High Schools countrywide sat the May-June exams. And at the Muffles High School, their performance has been consistently well year after year, says Principal Maria Johnston. Maria Johnston – Principal, Muffles High School“This year I can reveal to that 80% of the students who sat the CXC passed 6 or more and when I say they passed 6 or more it varies from 6 to 11 CXC’s and now once the student passes 6 CXC’s including English they get a tuition school to any tertiary institution of their choice therefore here at Muffles 80% of those students who sat the CXC’s are getting a student scholarship to any institution of their choice and our top scorers was the valedictorian, Alexis Esquiliano so congratulations to her and she passed 11 CXC’s and she passed all.”

Parents Of Progresso SDA Primary School Demand Transfer Of Principal & Teacher
It’s been a couple of days now that we have been reporting on the feud between parents, teachers and principal of Progresso SDA Primary School and the situation seems to be getting worst as the new opening of the news school year approaches. Parents claim that some of the teachers at the school and the principal have not been doing their job. In fact they have been called incompetent. As mentioned, the situation seems to be escalating and today reporter Victor Castillo travelled to the village of Progresso where he met with a group of parents who held back no punches and voiced out their concerns.

Residents Of Palmar Seel To Elect New Lands Committee, Government Is Against
There are continued contentions among villagers in San Jose Nuevo Palmar over land. Descendants of the village have accused the current lands committee in the village of mismanagement of the natural resource and even finance. As a result, descendants have decided to elect a new lands committee on August 31. This decision, however, is in itself impulsive as we understand it will be held with or without the blessing of the government which is the lands trustee at the moment. It appears descendants of the village have grown wary of the lengthy process as they feel government is taking too long to call elections. A group started lobbying for the appointment of a new committee earlier in the year and in February this year, Lands Commissioner, Wilbert Vallejos and solicitor General Nigel Hawk, met with the community to discuss the necessary process to take. At the time, a committee was formed with members of the village council and representatives of the elders and community.

Thieves Target Xaibe Primary School
Last week the school of Xaibe became the target of unscrupulous thieves. Margret Carr, 48 year old Belizean principal and teacher at the Xaibe Village R.C. School, reported to authorities that between the hours of 5:00pm on Wednesday the 20th of August 2014 and 9:30am on Thursday August 21st 2014, her office was broken into. The perpetrators made off with five grey and black in color Panasonic brand laptop computers. When police processed the scene, they noticed that there was no forced entry. The serial numbers and value of the equipment is unknown according to police. It is a significant loss for the school especially since they were donated by the Corozal Rotary Club. Corozal Police continue to investigate and are asking the public's assistance in solving this latest crime which, in their report, they add targets the young people and prevents them from getting a proper education.

Elderly Man Injured During Altercation With Minor
An altercation this morning ended with an elderly man being injured to his hand. He is fifty-six year old Charles Cal of a Rain Tree Drive address in the Louisiana Area in Orange Walk Town. According to his daughter, Maria Lucia Carrillo, her father was at home when he got into a fight with a fifteen year old minor who is no stranger to the family. Carrillo told us what happened this morning. Maria Lucia Carrillo“Clavetearon a mi papa porque tuvieron un disgusto con un muchacho y lo clavaron en su mano que quedo impedido para siempre que ya no puede trabajar ni nada esto sucedió a las 9:50.”Dalila Ical – Reporter“Tengo entendido que arrestaron a su papa y al otro individuo que lo ataco?”Maria Lucia Carrillo“Pero no sé porque lo arrestaron si el no hizo nada solo se está defendiendo de todo. El malentendido fue el que le gustaba pegarle en su cabeza del niño y constante iba a mi casa pero quien sabe porque lo hizo solo vino y le pego el muchachito en su cabeza y el muchachito sufre de ataques.”

Individual Throws Stones At Motorist Traveling On Highway
Motorists have called into our studio today warning about a group of people throwing stones at passing vehicles along the Phillip Goldson Highway in the Biscayne Village area. According to the complainant, who wished to remain anonymous, he was driving along the highway in that area around nine Saturday night when something hard hit the door on the driver’s side. When he inspected it, he said that his vehicle had been dented just about an inch below the glass on the driver’s door. When he drove about a mile further up the highway, he came across another motorist whose rear windshield had been completely shattered.

Machete Wielding Man Detained In San Pedro
Late Friday evening we received news that a man wielding a machete was chasing people around in San Pedro Ambergris Caye. The reports add that he was chopping people randomly. Today, police report that around 6:23 31 year old Tyrone Garnett, a Belizean Technician employed at BTL came into the San Pedro Police station to report that he was attacked by a man wielding a machete. According to the San Pedro Town resident, earlier that day around four forty-five he was driving a white Toyota Hilux Pick-up, property of BTL, on Angel Coral Street.

MOH Releases Report On Food-borne Disease Study
Today the Ministry of Health shared with the media the results of a Foodborne Disease Research study. What’s this you ask? The Ministry says the study launched in September 2012 was aimed at estimating the proportion of the population suffering from Acute Gastroenteritis (AGI) also known as stomach flu, at a specific time period while also estimating the economic burden the disease has on the public health system.

Students Receive Educational Grant From St. Francis Xavier Credit Union
Over 300 young shareholders at the Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union gathered at the financial institution this past Saturday to collect their student grants. Each year, as a token of appreciation for being part of the institutions growth, grants are offered to each young member to assist with their back to school expenses. We spoke to a few recipients and the General Manager Rafael Dominguez.Rafael Dominguez – General Manager“We are actually giving a token to all student members who have qualified to a student grant and it is the fourth year that we are actually giving this gift of token to our student and this is what is taking place here at the main office here at Corozal Town. It is a simple form that we give to our entire student member especially to the high school and we also have been able to incorporate the ITVET institute and the simple form application caters for the members to have minimum shares of a hundred and fifty dollars up to what was the ending of June 2014.”

Back To School Program Assists Hundreds Of Students
On Sunday and at the close of the summer holidays, Standard Bearer for the Corozal Bay Gregorio Papas hosted his 4th Annual Back to School Bash for the children in his constituency. Hundreds of children along with their parents and guardians took advantage of the event and its fun activities and giveaways. Our news team was there to capture the highlights. Here is that report from Victor Castillo.Victor Castillo – Reporting Clowns, games and haircuts were activities in this year’s fourth annual Back to School Bash organized by Gregorio Papa’s Garcia and Team Papa’s in Corozal Bay Constituency. It’s an annual event to assist kids in this area with school supplies before returning to school.

Rotaract Witnesses Another Successful Bag Drive
The Orange Walk Rotary Club members completed another of their projects over the weekend and this one’s called the Kind Heart Bag Drive. A few weeks back we told you about their drive to collect used school bags from generous members of the Orange Walk Town. The initiative was to collect as many school bags to then issue to the less privileged children within the community. Vice President of the club, Janelle Ozaeta says they issued the bags over the weekend to some seventy school children.Janet Ozaeta – Vice president of the club“We donated 70 school bags to different children from across Orange Walk and we did some in the Palmar area, some in the Trial Farm Area and some as well in Town and this is an annual project that we do. Last year we donated about the same amount and this year the same and our fund raisers that usually cater for this is our Fiesta Rama fund raiser and this year we started a new fund raiser, the Scavenger Hunt and I would like to say thank you to all of our sponsors, to the Rotaractors that came out yesterday that worked hard and diligently, we put smiles on 70 kids yesterday and they were really excited about it. I think for Rotaractor is a big success , we go out there and we gave our bags and we put smiles on different children faces and yesterday the little guy said “yes I got a new bag to go to school” and I think for Rotaractors is a huge success and for the community.”


Woman Accuses Nephew of Burning Her House Down
Fire officials were called out earlier this afternoon to the Gungulung Area in the Lake Independence Division after a fire was ignited at a home on Holy Emmanuel Street. Love News spoke with Ben Matura of the National Fire Service to get the details that followed the 911 call for help. Benesford Matura “At 12:45PM we got a call of a house fire on Holy Emmanuel Street; two units were dispatched to the area. The address is 9190 Holy Emmanuel. Upon arrival, there were three structures in the yard; the one to the very back was under fire. We got into operations and extinguished the fire. The other two remained intact. It was a 40X30 wooden on plycem structure, about 4 or 5 feet off the ground. After extinguishing the fire we got in contact with the owner which is Ms. Sonia Harris.” 53-year-old, Sonia Harris, the home owner, has been in Belize for a few months working on improving the structure of this home. Love News went to the site of the fire, where we found Harris and her family members in tears, trying to cope with the loss of thousands of dollars she had just recently invested. A loss she cannot comprehend since the man who confessed to setting the home on fire was no less than her nephew, who she had allowed to live in the house rent-free for the last two years.

Artisans To Converge at Memorial Park This Weekend
This weekend the Memorial Park will come alive with color and creativity as the third annual arts and crafts expo takes center stage. Reporter Olive Singh has more on the upcoming event. OLIVE SINGH REPORTING OLIVE SINGH: “A special cultural activity will be held this Saturday at the Memorial Park. The Belize Tourism Board presents their third annual Village Arts and Craft expo which will feature talents of local Belizean artisans to the public and international visitors. The Expo serves as the podium for these small entrepreneurs to network with sponsors in the tourism industry. Love FM spoke with the Development Coordinator Clive Meyers who encourages the public to come out and support Belizean Talent.” CLIVE MYERS: “The Belize Tourism Board Village Arts and Craft expo is a project that stems from an umbrella program by the name of the Village Outreach initiative. This is where is for us to foster rural community development with artisans that live in the villages of Belize.

Another Shooting in Southside Belize City
Two men were wounded in a shooting incident last night. According to police report, at around 9:20 last night, 18 year old Rodrick Williams and 19 year old Akeem Richardson, were standing at the corner of Iguana Street Extension and Elston Kerr Street when they were approached by male person of dark complexion who pulled out a handgun and fired several shots in their direction. Williams was shot to the abdomen, hand and back. Richardson was shot to the right small finger. Both men were transported to the K.H.M.H. where they were admitted in a stable condition. Police investigations continue.

Police Nabs One of Four Persons Involved In Stabbing Incident
Joseph Vaccaro Jr. one of four persons who the police believe was involved in stabbing incident, was charged with attempted murder and dangerous harm when he appeared yesterday before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Vacarro was remanded into custody until September 1. The charges arose from an incident which occurred between 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on January 16, 2014. The complainant, a 15 year old boy, reported to the police that he was standing at the corner of LaCroix Boulevard and Balam Street when a car pulled up and three persons jumped out and inflicted multiple stab wounds to his body. In January three men were charged in connection with the incident. They are 54 year old Joseph Vacarro Sr., 34 year old Rupert Garnett and 33 year old Kenrick Crawford. As we reported yesterday Vacarro appeared in San Ignacio Magistrate Court where we was charged with murder in connection with the death of Victor Vargas, a resident of Unitedville in the Cayo District.

Gordon Sentenced After Injuring Relatives with Machete
Forty-three year old Luis Gordon, a resident of 48 Amara Avenue, was sentenced to five years yesterday by the Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith after he was found guilty of grievous harm for chopping his sister, 23 year old Janelle Gilharry, on the little finger of her right hand, an injury which resulted in permanent paralysis of her finger. Gordon is still faced with charges of attempted murder and grievous harm for injuries he allegedly inflicted on Janelle’s husband, Robert Gilharry. The incident occurred on September 6, 2013, on Amara Avenue, where Janelle and Robert, also reside. According to the evidence, a female friend of couple stayed overnight at the couple’s apartment and had parked her vehicle in the yard, an act which upset Gordon. So the following day, September 6, Robert moved the vehicle and parked it on the street.

CONCACAF Officials in Belize to Sort Out FFB Problems
Two Officials from CONCACAF arrived in the country yesterday. Rafael Salguero, an Executive Member of CONCACAF and of FIFA along with Marco Leal, CONCACAF’s Director of Legal Affairs, was called in by President of the FFB, Ruperto Vicente, says that the Salguero wand Leal were called in as advisors. A meeting with the delegates, congress and the officials was held at six o’clock this morning at the FFB’s headquarters in Belmopan City. Vicente says that it was necessary to call in the officials for assistance. RUPERTO VICENTE “It was an excellent discussion and there has been some recommendations made and we have been given recommendation to first of all hold a retreat for the executive members and then thereafter come back to the general meeting and look at what proposal we’ll be presenting to them and then the CONCACAF officials will be here as well. This is important to bring them in because as you know we are a growing federation and we are still learning and for this reason I have also invited FIFA to come in and assist us with our strategic plan and so that is going to be happening in October. They will assist us with our financial positions and so forth so that is going to be coming as well in October where they will put in place a mechanism on how to better manage our finances and how to better manage the federation. This is not something unique to Belize. There are many other countries that have gone through and are going through this sort of phase and so it was easy for them to recognize where our problem is and what we can do to rectify our problems.”

Skilla Captured by San Pedro Police
San Pedro police have captured twenty nine year old Jason, “Skilla” Gillette. According to reports, Gillette was captured on Thursday night in the San Mateo Area of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. San Pedro Police say that they received a tip from people who saw Gillette in the area. Police responded quickly and upon their arrival in the area, Gillett was seen sitting in a veranda of a newly built house. Gillett did not put up a fight. A search was conducted on Gillette, the house and yard, but nothing incriminating was found. Due to the report made against Gillett by German Zuniga, Gillette was consequently arrested and charged for aggravated assault. Zuniga reported to police that Gillett took out his black and chrome nine millimeter pistol and fired four shots in his direction. Luckily for Zuniga, all the bullets missed.

Machete-Wielding Man Scares Caye Residents
A video surfaced on Facebook over the weekend showing a man randomly attaching people with a machete on San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. The video has gone viral as it shows two men running away from the machete wielding man. The official police reports states that on Friday, August 22, 31 year old Tyrone Garnett, reported that he was driving a white Toyota Hilux Pick-up on Angel Coral Street and as he was passing the junction of Angel Coral Street & Ambergris Street, he observed a group of people running. As a result he stopped; and suddenly saw 20 year old Simon Velasquez approaching from the driver’s side door with a machete in his hand. and started to knock the driver`s side window glass for the vehicle with the machete. According to Garnett, Velasquez then pushed the machete through the window in an attempt to hurt him. Garnett received injuries from the machete whereby he sustained three cut wounds to three of his fingers of his left hand. Shortly after San Pedro Police arrived on the scene and detained the culprit. We understand that Valesquez has been charged for wounding and police say that they have suggested that he get psychiatric attention.

5 Million to Be Spent on City Canals and Street
Four contracts were signed this morning for the carrying out of infrastructural works around the country. The contract signing took place in the Conference Room of the Ministry of Works and Transport on Power Lane in the City of Belmopan. During today’s signing ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Works, Errol Gentle explained what the four contracts are for. Errol Gentle: “We’ll be signing four contracts. The first being the Bill Lindo Canal which is the construction of the concrete lined canal and that is at a cost of $892,250 with the Government of Belize and Maehia’s United. Then we have the Douglas Jones Canal which is the construction of a concrete lined covered canal at a cost of $1,813,629.88 and this will be signed with Medina’s Construction. We also have the North Side Canal which is the cleaning of the existing canal and lining of with sheet pile with Medina’s construction at a total cost of $1,935,150 and fourthly, Apollo Street to Belama Phase 4; that is the upgrading of the street and this will be signed with M&R construction at a total cost of $1,077,425.86; all to the grand total of $5,718,455.74.”

Weekend Gun Violence Tapers; One Incident Reported
The weekend was a relatively quiet one considering the past incidents of violence we have spent Mondays investigating. There were only two incidents of gun violence and only one man injured. The first occurred on Friday night. It is a shooting, which police believe is gang-related, that took place at the corner of Vernon Street and Central American Boulevard in Belize City. The incident happened just before ten o’clock and left 40-year-old, Ralph Martinez of a Mayflower Street address with a gunshot wound to his left lower back. According to reports gathered, Martinez was socialising at a house at the corner of Mayflower and Vernon Streets where it is believed he was being monitored. Martinez left the residence and began walking on Vernon Street towards Lakeview Street when a white van, traveling from Lakeview Street area, drove up near him and several shots were fired by one of the occupants in the van.

Provident Bank of Belize Hit By Armed Robbers
One man has been detained as Belize City Police continue their investigations into a mid-morning robbery. Once again we join reporter Hipolito Novelo for the details. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING Hipolito Novelo: “Belize City Police responded to a brazen armed robbery on Barrack Road. It happened minutes after nine o’clock this morning when two men entered, Provident Bank and Trust Limited and robbed the cashier.” Inspector Santiago Ciao: “Two male persons entered the Provident Bank requesting to see the cashier. The cashier was called out; before she could have approached this person he went right into her cubicle pulled out the bottom draw, pulled out a red and a black cash pan and made his way out. In that process he was being chased by the cashier telling them that he could not take those cash pans with him. The other male person then pulled out a .38 revolver and pointed at her and said ‘Do not move, this is a robbery’. The guy left the building with two cash pans, he pulled the security into a corner, gun butted him three times and ordered him to lay on the ground then the robber left. The security then made chase and he caught them boarding a van which they used to escape the scene.”

Missing Man Found Dead in Shallow Grave
The Banner and Duhaney families had their worst fears become reality over the weekend. Last week the family went to the media looking for information after Denvo Bannner Duhaney went missing. Duhaney’s body was found this past weekend. Reporter Hipolito Novelo has the story. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING Hipolito Novelo: “The decomposing body of 27 year old Denvo Banner Duhaney was found in a shallow grave on Saturday afternoon in the Village of Lemonal, Belize District. Duhaney had been reported missing and was last seen on Saturday August 9. Duhaney was a cricket player and he was celebrating in the village’s field after having won the match. Since that night, no one had seen him. Days past and the family began to worry. Eventually a search party went out looking for him.” Arlene Banner: “It was a big ordeal because we didn’t know what to do, where he was or what could have happened to him for 14 days and it took us between the sixth and seventh day to realize that something was wrong. We started to contact more family members more often, then we realized we hadn’t gotten any response from anybody and that was when we decided that we were going to do a search up in the village.


New Director for SATIIM
The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indegenous Management (SATIIM), in a press conference on Tuesday, made a very important announcement ; the organisation is under new leadership. Greg Choc is stepping down as leader and Ms. Froila Tzalam is the new Executive Director of SATIIM . Greg Choc stated tha...

Two teenagers shot in Belize City
Two teenagers were shot in Belize City last night.  18-year-old Rodrick Williams of Belize City was shot to the abdomen, hand and  back while 19-year-old Aleem Richardson, also of Belize City, was shot to the right small finger.According to police reports, at 9:20p.m...

Another Government Vehicle stolen
A government vehicle assigned to the Western Regional Hospital’s Vector Control unit was stolen on Friday night...

Missing Lemonal man found dead in shallow grave
27 year old Denvo Banner, a resident of Lemonal Village, Belize District, was last seen on Saturday August 9th at a party in Lemonal, after which he said he was heading to Guinea grass Village in Orange Walk District. However he never reached his destination.The family became uneasy  at his sudden ...

Heritage Bank robbed in Belize City
A brazen Monday morning robbery of a bank was successfully executed in Belize City. Sometime after nine o’clock Monday morning, Heritage Bank located on Barrack Road was robbed at gunpoint by two men of dark complexion. They made off with over $40,000.00 in Belize and US currency...

Man shot in the back on Belize City street
A man was shot in the back on Friday night. On Friday August 22 at about 9 o’clock, police visited the KHMH where they saw 40-year-old Ralph Martinez of Mayflower Street, Belize City, in  stable condition suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the lower back...

A&R’s Security Guard accused of conspiracy to commit robbery of store
One of A&R’s own Security Guards is being accused of being a part of a conspiracy to a robbery at its Belize City Northern Highway branch...

19 year old charged with murder of father of 7
Victor Vargas was murdered two Saturday’s ago. The 34 year old father of 7, known as Nico, got into a fight with a teenager who allegedly stabbed him in the throat...

2 years for stolen computer
Robert Jefferies, the nephew of former Compol Crispin Jefferies, was sentenced on Monday to two years imprisonment, for handling stolen goods; a laptop computer which was stolen from inside an office at the Law firm of Ernest Staine, located on Regent Street in Belize City. On Monday, at the end of ...

Acute Gastroenteritis and causes of Food Borne Illness in Belize
Last week the Ministry of Health, in partnership with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Belize and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), presented the results of the Burden of Illness (BOI) research study on Acute Gastroenteritis and causes of Food Borne Illness in Belize...

Building Canals for Food Mitigation
As part of the Flood Mitigation program which is being funded through a loan Agreement made with the Inter-American Development Bank, four contracts were signed to commence the construction of three canals, the cleaning of one existing canal, and the upgrading of one stretch of road in Belama Area, ...

New Bridge planned for twin towns
While on the subject of infrastructure works in the country, Hon. Rene Montero expounded on some of the street works ongoing in his municipality, and highlighted the construction of a new bridge that will be connecting the Twin Towns of San Ignacio/Santa Elena. Rene Montero – Minister of Works and T...

Another Dead Body found in Orange Walk
The body of a dead man was found floating in the Belize New River on Sunday August 24th, in Orange Walk Town. The body has since been identified as that of 66 year old Efijenio Dujon, a Guatemalan National of no fixed address.Reports are that Efijenio Dujon was last seen alive on Saturday afternoon...

Found Property
On Sunday afternoon, a police/BDF Strike Team visited an abandoned lot on Vernon Street, where searches  inside a blue drum led to the finding of a black plastic bag inside the drum containing five black parcels, each containing green leafy substance believed to be cannabis...

Annual Shooting competition held in Hattieville
There was a shooting competition on Saturday held at the BDF Gallery Range in Hattieville. It is an annual event and this year saw the participation of Police, BDF, Customs, Immigration, Security companies, and Cayo Pistol Club. The competition was divided into 3 sections; pistol competition, fallin...

Anonymous messages Belize?
A very interesting video is making its rounds on Belize social media. Over the last 24 hours alone, since it was posted, the video has been viewed more than 3,700 times. That’s quite a feat for Belize’s small online population...


The massive cost of “leptospirosis” fried chicken
Leptospirosis, a potentially deadly disease contracted when food or water is contaminated by rat urine or feces, left the family of Nigel Augustine, 22, with a massive financial burden of $13,000, and although they have received donations to help pay the bill, Mary Lobo, Augustine’s mother, told us on Friday that they still need to find $9,000 more to settle their account with the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). Augustine’s medical records state that he suffered leptospirosis, acute renal failure and pneumonia. His mother said that he has been unable to return to work, and his kidneys won’t function well for about 6 months.

2 jailed for crystal meth worth BZ$4 million
Late this evening, Cuban national Pascual Terrero Pineda, 52, from Boca Del Rio in San Pedro, and Ruperto Eulalio Reyes, 49, a Belizean from Orange Walk, were remanded to the Belize Central Prison after being arraigned in the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court for drug trafficking in connection with what authorities have referred to as the largest crystal meth bust on record in Belize. The duo have been accused of being in possession of at least BZ$4 million worth of methamphetamine, otherwise known as “crystal meth”, a widely used, highly addictive drug which was reportedly found in the back seat of a car that spun out of control and ran off the road during a police chase this past Wednesday, August 20, at around 7:20 p.m. in Orange Walk.

Heritage Bank jacked 40 grand!
The Heritage International Bank and Trust Ltd., located at the corner of Barrack Road and Craig Street, was held up this morning at about 9:30 by two brazen thieves, who got away with over $40,000 in Belize and US currency. Police said that the bank was robbed at gunpoint by two men of dark complexion, who then fled in a waiting grey/silver Dodge van that was parked on Craig Street. At about 10:00 a.m., the van was located abandoned on Santa Barbara Street. Fast work by police has led to the arrest of one suspect, but the second robber is still on the run.

Belizean-American killed in Boston Carnival parade
Information to Amandala is that a young Belizean-American woman was murdered in Dorchester, Boston, over the past weekend while taking part in the city’s annual Caribbean Carnival, and today, a teenager was arraigned in Boston for her murder. Boston police said that this past Saturday, August 23, shortly after 8:00 a.m., officers assigned to a parade associated with the city’s annual Caribbean Festival heard gunshots and later found Dawnn Ashley Jaffier, 26, suffering from gunshot wounds in the area of Charlotte and Blue Hill Avenues in the Dorchester neighborhood.

BML and CitCo agree on payment schedule
A payment agreement has been ironed out between Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) and the Belize City Council (CitCo) in order to shave down over four months of arrears, amounting to about $1.5 million, which was owed to the sanitation company, whose owner had subsequently resorted to temporarily terminating some fifty employees in order to keep the company afloat. Two weeks ago, on Monday, August 4, a frustrated group of BML workers spontaneously took to the streets in response to the situation and expressed their dissent by scattering several bags of refuse in front of City Hall on North Front Street in Belize City in an effort to have their concerns addressed by Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley.

Belizean youth make foray into multi-billion-dollar mobile app market
Forty-five Belizean youth from various parts of the country launched their mobile app innovations at the Ramada Hotel in Belize City on Friday afternoon, August 22, after a week of training under the 2014 Young Innovators Program, organized and funded by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The youth, divided into 8 teams, presented their new apps, which are available for free on Google Play. During Friday’s app launch, the teams were rated by their peers, and the most popular apps among the workshop participants walked away with Toshiba two-in-one laptops (which can also function as tablets) and free Internet for a year from the provider of their choice.

Missing cricket player, 27, found decomposing
At around 2:30 this past Saturday afternoon, a search party of villagers and police officers came upon a decomposed corpse which was buried in a shallow grave near some bushes about 600 feet northeast of St. Luke’s Methodist Primary School building in Lemonal, located in rural Belize. The search team was made up of members of the family of Denvo Banner Duhaney, 27, a popular cricket player from the village who had been missing since August 9, and to their utter dismay, the body was later identified as their loved one.

A&R security guard remanded for A&R robbery
An A&R security guard has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison after he was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith late this morning on a charge of conspiracy to commit robbery, in connection with a robbery at the A&R Belize City branch, located at Mile 1 1/2 on the Philip Goldson Highway, which took place last Wednesday, August 20, sometime after 6 p.m. Leroy Ciego, 28, a resident of Marigold Lane, in the Lake Independence area, was read a single charge of conspiracy to commit robbery. No plea was taken from him and he was remanded to prison until his next court appearance on October 9.

Editorial: Beat Down
From time to time, we “talk big” at this newspaper and put up a brave front, but more often than not these days we feel that we have been watching a psychological “beat down” of our people in this population center. Decisions are made and projects are undertaken and/or abandoned which have the masses of our people confused, leave us inconvenienced, destroy our landmarks, and obliterate our history. Why are we not surprised that the locking of the gates of the MCC Grounds a few months ago has not resulted in any visible improvement? Instead, judging from the video footage presented by KREM TV in their Sunday evening news package, the MCC Garden is once again being treated as an idea whose time is gone. The Garden was a sacred place in our people’s consciousness. Politicians and bureaucrats in their employ now appear to have a master plan for the Garden which has to do with predator casinos instead of the Belizean people. Straight up.

From the Publisher
Belizeans at home (and for purposes of this column I will just arbitrarily refer to us as “Base Belizeans”) and Diaspora Belizeans have to stop shouting at each other long distance and organize a forum where the issues can be properly ventilated and some hard resolutions passed. The first thing that has to be done is to identify those voices which are compulsively committed to a UDP or a PUP agenda, and remove them from the discussion. This is a difficult assignment, and it will take time to complete it. But, it can be done, and it must be done if any serious, documented fusion of Base Belizeans and Diaspora Belizeans is to begin taking place.

Letters: Jack Linker’s letter has “factual errors”
In the Sunday edition of Amandala, you published a letter from Jack Linker concerning the importance of exercising your vote. Whereas I agree with this sentiment, there were factual errors in the letter that require pointing out. “…in the USA, the largest democracy….” Mr. Linker does not specify if he means the largest democracy in size, or in population. Not that it matters, because both are incorrect. The largest democracy in land mass is Canada, the 2nd largest country in the world. The largest democracy in number of people is India. Around 1.2 billion people live in India and everyone over the age of 18 has the right to vote. The population of the USA is around 315 million.

Stomach flu study reveals an $18.6 mil burden
The stomach flu has become fairly common—so much so, that the overall economic impact has become astronomical, at an estimated BZ$18.6 million annually, with roughly 40,000 cases believed to occur across Belize each year. Apart from diarrhea generally resulting in 3 or more bathroom visits for the day, patients mostly suffer abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and fever. Information provided to Amandala by Englebert Emmanuel, Burden of Illness Coordinator/Director of License Accreditation in the Ministry of Health, indicates that the economic impact of acute gastroenteritis on the public health system in Belize is estimated to be BZ$6.2million annually, while the economic loss due to unproductive days is estimated at BZ$ 10.9 million annually. Within the private health care system, loss of productivity and health care costs were estimated at BZ$1.4 million annually.

More hands on deck for school uniforms
In recent years, vendors have adopted the practice of importing school uniforms from places like Guatemala, contrary to the traditional practice which Belizeans have had of getting their uniforms made by local seamstresses and tailors, but a group of women from northern Belize have been trained with the skills necessary to bolster local garment production. According to the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Social Investment Fund in Belize, a group of 26 women graduated this month from the Garment Construction Training project, financed through a loan of US$51,440.00 from the Bank.

Ruckus at Robert’s Grove board meeting
A meeting of the board of directors of Robert’s Grove Beach Resort, said to be the premier tourist resort in southern Belize, according to a number of tourism experts, had to be aborted because a member of the board objected to attorney Arthur Saldivar’s presence in his capacity as the attorney for Jean Marc Tesse, the majority shareholder of the resort. Even before the meeting could get underway, there was an altercation between Saldivar and Boris Mansfield, a minority shareholder, who was about to chair the three-member board meeting, which included director Michael Kramer. Amandala was invited to the resort to report on the altercation between Saldivar and Mansfield, which had been reported on a local radio station.

Police charged two Mile 8 residents for gang-related offenses
Two residents from the Mile 8 community on the George Price Highway were arraigned in the Magistrate’s Court this morning on separate charges for tattoos that police are alleging link them to criminal gangs. The men appeared before Magistrate Herbert Panton Police charged Angel Dorado, 34, for “profess[ing] to belong to a criminal gang,” and Shaquille Baeza, 19, for “displaying gang membership.” Dorado was the first to be arraigned and he pleaded not guilty to the charge that he had professed to belong to the Bloods Gang.

Belize and Uruguay confirm mutual support for top OAS positions
At a recent meeting held in Belize, top-ranking officials of both Belize and Uruguay discussed the bids by candidates from their respective countries, to seek the two leading administrative posts in the Organization of American States (OAS). H.E. Ambassador Gonzalo Koncke, Uruguay’s Special Envoy, Chief Executive in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, was in Belize earlier this month on a mission to discuss bilateral relations between the two countries.

Tut Bay FC wins CYDP Peace Cup 2014
BELIZE CITY—The best-of-2 games championship series in the CYDP Peace Cup 2014 tournament was played over the weekend at the Hostel Field, with Tut Bay emerging champions over second place North Front Street. Tut Bay won [...]

Belize participates in CAC Table Tennisqualifiers in El Salvador
BELIZE CITY—Belize will be participating in the Central American & Caribbean (CAC) Games Table Tennis qualifying event to take place in El Salvador from August 28 to 31, 2014. Team Belize will comprise of: Zhi Cheng; [...]

Complex “Admirals” take Game 1 in BDBA Firms Finals series
BELIZE CITY—The BDBA (Belize District Basketball Association) Firms Competition opened its best-of-3 games championship Finals series on Friday night, August 22, at Bird’s Isle, where Complex Admirals took Game 1 of the series by a 73-63 [...]

Spotlight on golf in Belize – 4th Annual Corkers World Cup
BELIZE CITY—The 4th Annual Corkers World Cup took place last weekend at the Roaring River Golf Course, as players from all over the world competed in a team tournament, with the Belizean Americas trying to win [...]

The August 24th, 2014 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Murder in Unitedville later identified as Victor “Niko”:
    Just as the new day was dawning on Saturday, August 16, San Ignacio Police were called out to the village of Unitedville on the George Price Highway in the Cayo District, to investigate the presence of the lifeless body of a male person on a veranda. Upon arrival at the Unitedville residence of Quinton Middleton, 29 year old businessman, the police came upon body of a male person of Hispanic descent, face upward on the veranda. The deceased was later identified as Victor “Niko” Vargas, 37, Guatemalan, naturalized Belizean who resided in the village.
  • Who Will Be Queen Of The West 2014?:
    This year’s September Celebrations was launched today at the Welcome Center in San Ignacio with the official presentation of the six contestants for the Queen of the West. Master and Mistress of Ceremony for the event were William Black and Melanie Usher who is also serving this year as the pageant coordinator. The welcome address was delivered by Queen of the West 2012, Miss Marcia Moody, who invited the public to come out on Saturday, August 23, 2014, to the Octavia Waight Center Auditorium to support their favorite contestant.
  • The Difference In Leadership Is As Clear As Day Is To Night:
    It’s been over two months since the incident with PUP Belize Rural North Standard Bearer, Arthur Saldivar, occurred. It is alleged that he accompanied Melanie Coye to the Central Bank sometime in mid June to retrieve Coye’s 1.6 million dollars as ordered by the court. The loot, it is alleged, was placed in two separate carrying cases, one containing $940,000 and the other $660,000. It is alleged that Saldivar made off with the bigger haul and had failed to turn it in to Melanie Coye, an allegation Saldivar denies in one breadth, while in the other, he speaks about the client owing him legal fees to the tune of 100% of the clients rescued funds.
  • GSU Nets Three Drug Finds In A Day:
    Members of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) were today conducting routine searches for illegal drugs, arms and ammunition in Santa Elena and surrounding communities. The operation started at around 5:30 a.m. this Saturday morning with a visit to the Jeronimo Thompson street residence, in Esperanza Village, of Mark Francis Peters. Present at the time of the search were Peters and three other persons. According to the GSU, when searched, Peters was found in possession of a black plastic bag, in his pocket, containing 13.9 grams of suspected marijuana.
  • Alleged Female Burglar Remanded To Prison:
    A 28 year old Belizean woman was today remanded to prison on a burglary charge. The charge stems from a report made by Gerald Armstrong. In a statement to the police Armstrong informed that his house located on Eduardo Juan Street in Santa Elena, Cayo was burglarized and stolen there from where small items amounting to less than one hundred dollars. Armstrong alleged that the incident occurred on Saturday, August 2. The investigation led to the arrest of Marciela Castellanos, 28, Belizean domestic.
  • Rugby: The First Four:
    The southern districts have seemingly stormed ahead in setting up rugby football clubs in Belize, and the first four clubs have appointed organisors and are busy attracting players and volunteers through their social media campaigns. * The Belize Rugby Board (Rugby Belize) has organized the country into two ‘Districts’ for domestic competition purposes; North includes Corozal, Orange Walk and Belize, and South covers Cayo, Stann Creek and Toledo *Hattieville United Rugby Football Union (part of the Hattieville United Youth Sporting Club), organized by Haddan Garbutt, is the headquarters of Rugby.
  • Be Your Spouse’s Biggest Fan:
    If you’re married, God has given you an incredibly important role: to be your spouse’s biggest fan. It’s a job only you can do in the way God desires, and your spouse desperately needs you to do it. We live in a world full of critics. We don’t have to look far to find someone who will put us down. That’s why every person on the planet desperately needs to be affirmed by someone on a regular basis. It’s how God wired us. If you’re married, one such person should be your spouse. To have a growing marriage, it’s essential for you and your spouse to build into your marriage continual affirmation of one another.
  • Suspected Guatemalan Bandidos Attack:
    A 52 year old housewife from Bullet Tree Falls village in the Cayo District visited the San Ignacio police station where she reported an incident of robbery. The complainant, Betty Cruz, informed that she was with her wheel chair confined husband and a worker in the El Pilar Mayan reserve when at around 1:00pm on Wednesday, August 20, two Hispanic male persons showed up on her property asking for a drink of water. She told the police that while she was getting the water, three other men, wearing masks and brandishing assault rifles suddenly appeared. She said that the men spoke Spanish with a clear Guatemalan accent. The couple was relieved of one thousand dollars in cash, two chainsaws, an electrical converter, several security cameras as well as an assortment of food items.
  • Criminal Cases Falling Like Flies:
    A number of criminal cases, some serious, are being struck out for want of prosecution when a policeman, on interdiction, is not appearing in court to give evidence. This is the case with police constable Maxwell Valerio. Some of the recent cases being struck out because of Valerio’s non-appearance in court are: i) August 4: Possession of a controlled drug, 6.5 grams ii) August 4: Damage to property iii) August 8: Possession of a controlled drug, 9.5 grams iv) August 12: Possession of Ammunition charges for ten .38 rounds.
  • Epilepsy:
    Epilepsy is a group of long-term neurological disorders characterized by epileptic seizures. These seizures are episodes that can vary from brief and nearly undetectable to long periods of vigorous shaking. In epilepsy, seizures tend to recur, and have no immediate underlying cause while seizures that occur due to a specific cause are not deemed to represent epilepsy. In most cases the cause is unknown, although some people develop epilepsy as the result of brain injury, stroke, brain cancer, and drug and alcohol misuse, among others. Epileptic seizures are the result of excessive and abnormal cortical nerve cell activity in the brain. The diagnosis typically involves ruling out other conditions that might cause similar symptoms (such as syncope) as well as figuring out whether any immediate causes are present. Epilepsy can often be confirmed with an electroencephalogram (EEG).
  • Third Annual Patriotic Paddle:
    Our Charitable Fundraising Event, the third annual Patriotic Paddle sponsored by BECOL is scheduled for August 30, 2014. The event is in honor of re-visiting the route of the "Flowers Bank 14" paddle to Belize City and in celebration of the decision to defend the Settlement. The Paddle starts at 8:30 am with a short opening in Flowers Bank Village after which we move off at 9am to Burrell Boom where we'll have lunch. Burrell Boom will be an entry point for paddlers wishing to join in the event. We move from Burrell Boom to Manatee Lookout in Ladyville which is also an entry point. We'll take a few minutes break there before continuing to Courthouse Wharf in Belize City. THIS IS NOT A RACE and all crafts are to paddle along together. Canoes and kayaks can participate in the event.
  • Venezuela Plans To Introduce Supermarket Fingerprinting:
    The government wants to introduce fingerprinting at supermarkets to stop people from buying too much of a single item. President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela has announced a mandatory fingerprinting system in supermarkets to combat food shortages and smuggling. He said the system would stop people from buying too much of a single item. But the opposition in Venezuela rejected the plan, saying the policy treated all Venezuelans as thieves. Critics said fingerprinting consumers of staple products was tantamount to rationing and constituted a breach of privacy.
  • STAR Humor
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

Patrick JonesPJ

Youth convicted of burglary; given jail sentence
29 year old Robert Jeffries is serving a two year prison sentence on a conviction of burglary handed down Monday by Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith. Jeffries was convicted after a laptop computer reported stolen from the office of attorney Ernest Staine between March 21 and 22, 2013, was […]

Youth charged with attempted murder
Already facing murder charges for the death of Victor Vargas in Unitedville, Cayo, 19 year Joseph Vacarro, Jr., now faces attempted murder and dangerous harm for an attack on a 15 year old boy in Belize City earlier this year. He appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith today […]

Security guard accused of A&R robbery conspiracy
Despite his protests of innocence, twenty-eight year old Leroy Ciego, a security guard who was on duty at A and R Store, located at mile one and a half on Phillip Goldson Highway when it was targeted by thieves last Wednesday, was remanded to the Central Prison until October […]

Brothers charged for stealing and handling used tires
Two brothers have been charged for burglary and handling stolen goods from a used tire depot on Central American Boulevard and Fabers’ Road last week. 35 year old Henry Pitts, a car washer also known as “Snake,” and his brother Roderick appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith on […]

Making Belize’s municipalities safer for children
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and partner the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) are working with the Ministry of Local Government to make all of Belize’s 9 municipalities safer for their youngest residents. At the start of a workshop opening the Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities Initiative, Ivan Yerovi, […]

National Garifuna Council investigates alleged language discrimination
The National Garifuna Council says it is investigation an allegation that a financial institution in Dangriga town has instructed employees not to speak the Garifuna language in the workplace. The allegation first surfaces this past weekend when a confidential email was sent to me inquiring if this […]

Dangriga market set for September finish
Residents of the Culture Capital and produce vendors are expected to finally get their reconstructed Dangriga Town Market by the end of September, according to latest projections. Started last year but halted in September after investigations by the Office of the Contractor General unearthed illegal payments by contractor […]

New leadership for SATIIM
There is a new Executive Director for the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM. After years at the helm, Greg Choc today stepped down, paving the way for Froyla Tzalam to take over as the new Executive Director and at the same time ushering in a new […]

Bull Shark found dead in Joe Taylor Creek, Toledo
The Toledo Institute for Development and the Environment, TIDE, is reporting that a female bull shark was found dead this morning in the Joe Taylor Creek in Punta Gorda town. According to a report posted on the TIDE web page, a necropsy was conducted by the organization’s […]


Dog Days of Summer Plus A Hodgepodge of Other Topics Around San Pedro
This post is really a mash-up of topics from yesterday but the theme of Monday August 25th was certain. And everyone I ran into, each taxi driver I passed or rode with, each shop keeper was focused on that one topic- THE HEAT. In the morning, the sea was flat as a pancake and the breeze (the one or two whiffs of it each hour) was blowing from the lagoon side. From the North West. Finally the sargasso seaweed wasn’t coming in anymore…but nothing was coming in. No air. HOT. You can see the sargasso still breaking apart along the shoreline. It’s going to take a bit longer for that stinky stuff to disappear.

Chaa Creek’s Staff does it Again
Their generous donations through the Inland Expedition Guides/Staff Program once again brought joy and much needed school supplies to local children We recently wrote about the annual Chaa Creek Scholarship Program, which kicked off this year on August 20 with a special luncheon at the Guava Limb Café for the some of the twelve deserving students who will have their further education tuitions paid courtesy of Chaa Creek. And now for more good news and another shining example: On Monday August 18, 2014, 37 kids from the little village of Corozalito off the Chaa Creek road were taken to the Belize Zoo as part of this year’s Inland Expedition Guides/Staff Program.

1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. 2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook tortellini in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain, and rinse under cold water. 3. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar to make the dressing. 4. In a large bowl, combine broccoli, tortellini, bacon, raisins, sunflower seeds and red onion. Pour dressing over salad, and toss.

International Sourcesizz

Belize Thanks Journey's Keyboardist for Visiting by Recording 'Don't Stop Beliezin'
You can't make this stuff up. Jonathan Cain, the keyboard player for Journey and writer of perhaps the band's biggest hit, "Don't Stop Believing," vacationed in Belize recently—and tweeted about what a fantastic experience it was. The Belize Tourism Board got wind of this, and with help from its ad agency, Olson, orchestrated an elaborate thank-you to Cain—in the form of a cover song, "Don't Stop Belizein." Popular local Belizean group The Laru Beya Boys recorded the song, which you can hear below. Olson and the Belize Tourism Board have collaborated on quirky campaigns in the past. Last year they offered free vacations to Vince Gilligan and eight members of the Breaking Bad cast—after the phrase "taking a trip to Belize" was used on the show as a euphemism for getting murdered.

Mission to Belize brings hope, help, happiness to orphans
The following is my account of a weeklong mission trip to Belize (Central America), which I took with my mother, Jane Wheeler, and my cousins Sara and Emily Steybe, and 17 others earlier this summer. It was sponsored by La Jolla Presbyterian Church. Our goal was to paint cheerful murals on an orphanage for abused children and build a home for the impoverished 10-member Garcia family. Once we arrived at the Banana Bank Lodge, everyone retrieved their suitcases from the trunk and carried them to their rooms, since there was no path to roll them on the ground. Four people were assigned air-conditioned rooms, while the rest were given cabanas to stay in for the week ahead.

Belize centurion, community advocate honored
A Belizean-born centurion and a popular community advocate were among honorees during the recently-concluded Harlem Week. The Board of Directors of Harlem Week, Inc. and New York City Senior Citizen’s Committee, Inc. bestowed the honor on Caroline Lightburn, 105, and Verna Arthur, Manhattan Community Outreach Director and Senior Advisory Council Liaison with the New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA). They received the awards during the “Elders Jubilee” Luncheon and Awards Ceremony, on Aug. 5, at the Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building in Harlem. Harlem Week celebrated its 40th anniversary, while the Elder’s Jubilee celebrated its 37th anniversary.

UN Committee on Migrant Workers to review Belize and Ghana
The UN Committee on the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families (CMW) is meeting from 1 to 5 September to review Belize and Ghana. They are among the 47 States Parties to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families. States Parties are required to submit regular reports to the Committee of 14 international independent human rights experts on how they are implementing the Convention. Among the Issues likely to be discussed are: Belize (1-2 Sep): Application of the Convention by administration and judicial officials; conditions of detention of migrant workers; legal and labour protection for migrant workers including in agricultural and domestic work sectors; equality of treatment with nationals; consultation and cooperation with other States parties concerning international migration trafficking and sex tourism.

Keep manatees on endangered species list
I grew up in Crystal River. I saw my first manatee 55 years ago when I was 5 while I was fishing with my dad. It glided under our boat and my dad was frightened that it would tip us over. To me they were magical and on that day, I became fascinated by these gentle, lumbering creatures. I have spent a lifetime studying the manatee -- the African manatee in Ivory Coast and the West Indian manatee of which there are two sub-species -- the Antillean manatee in Cuba and Belize and the Florida manatee here in Florida.

10 Incredible Horseback Riding Adventures
Lush green coffee plantations, snow-capped volcanoes, game-rich safari plains and the rainforest wilderness are just some of the extraordinary destinations just waiting to be traversed on horseback. Finding the opportunity in these incredible destinations isn't always easy though, so we've come up with 10 exceptional horse riding opportunities at lodges and resorts in undeniably beautiful regions of the world. In Belize's Maya mountains, the protected Caribbean forest of Mountain Pine Ridge is rich in flora and fauna. It's here that you'll find Blancaneaux, Francis Ford Coppola's ultra luxe Balinese-style mountain lodge - well positioned, close to Caracol Mayan site and overlooking a small river and waterfall. As well as a spa and pool, the resort has stables from which you can arrange sunrise rides through the rainforest, trail rides that take you from pine to rainforest while seeking out hidden waterfalls, and sunset rides to the nearby national park.

CRFM to Give Oral Arguments to Law of the Sea Tribunal
The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) will on September 5, 2014 give oral arguments to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Hamburg, Germany in response to a request for an advisory opinion on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in African waters. ITLOS, which is made up of 21 Judges, including two from the Caribbean, namely, Judge Dolliver Nelson (Grenada), and Judge Anthony Amos Lucky (Trinidad and Tobago), is hearing oral submissions from States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and International Organisations with an interest in the subject. Professor Pieter BekkerLegal Counsel for the CRFM, Professor Pieter Bekker of Dundee University, UK will join representatives of nine (9) countries and the SRFC, the European Union (EU), and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) in presenting oral arguments.


Video: The Babymoon, 4min.
Our trip to Belize before the baby arrives.

Video: New Kingston Interview @ Irie Seabreeze Festival, 3min.
Hailing from Brooklyn New York, 3 brothers led by their father Courtney Panton Sr, who also plays bass on stage with the group call themselves "NEW KINGSTON". Together they incorporate R&B, Hip-Hop and Jazz with their heritage genre Reggae to form their sound. Formed in 2006 in the basement of their Brooklyn home they have performed to other basements and backyards around town to clubs to stadiums worldwide. In support of releasing their sophomore album 'Kingston University' released FEB 2013, New Kingston serves as main support for The Green from Hawaii on their West Coast Liars & Lovers Final Chapter Tour! But before heading home they stop off in Austin, TX for SXSW to play the Flamingo Cantina! With more to come supporting SOJA, Cris Cab & Collie Buddz, New Kingston is on a non stop touring rampage to spread Reggae and Love across the world!

Video: Belize, 3min.

Video: Belize palm tree trimmer working, 1min.

Video: Hopkins Village, Belize to Austin USA, 6min.
Drive to the airport speeded up!

Video: Ice Bucket Challenge Belize Style, 1min.
Capricorn Restaurant, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Video: Caribbean Marine Atlas II Kickoff Meeting, 4min.
CMA2 kickoff meeting: 4.2. Belize (J. Azueta)

Video: Carnival Magic Aug 2014, 4min.
Cozumel, Belize City, Roatan (Honduras)

Video: Half Moon Caye - Half Moon Wall - Long caye Aquarium August 3 2014, 5min.

Video: ANONYMOUS messages Belize, min.

Video: Living in Rural Belize 22 Aug, 29min.

Video: BELIZE Ambergris, Placencia & the Sapodilla Cays, 12min.
Honeymoon in Belize.

Video: Belize Police Department Commercial 2014, Security Begins With You!, 1min.

Video: Royal Belize in June 2014, 3min.
I wish I could explain how incredible this island in Belize truly is. It was the opportunity and trip of a lifetime. We will be thanking our friends (The Postons) for a good while. So here's the first of many - "Thank You!"

August 26, 2014


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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

Ministry of Health Shares Results of Foodborne Disease Research Study
Last week the Ministry of Health in partnership with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Belize and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) presented the results of the Burden of Illness (BOI) research study on Acute Gastroenteritis and causes of Food Borne Illness in Belize. The study launched in September 2012 and was aimed at estimating the proportion of the population suffering from Acute Gastroenteritis (AGI), also known as stomach flu, at a specific time period while also estimating the economic burden the disease has on the public health system. In addition, the study investigated the more common biological agents transmitted through food and water which cause foodborne illnesses in Belize.

Use of Breathalyzer not yet legal in Belize
The use of a breathalyzer to determine whether a person is driving under the influence of alcohol is not yet legal in Belize, therefore evidence gathered from a breathalyzer test cannot be used in a court of law against traffic offenders. This information came to light via Western Zone Commander, Superintendent Aaron Guzman after a recent traffic accident claimed the life of Yolanda Valencia, and critically injured Yanie Cu in Succotz Village, Cayo District. The accident involved Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura, who varying reports allege may have been intoxicated. According to Guzman, the community complaints that an alcohol test should have been made immediately on Segura after the collision are without substance. Guzman stated that currently, only urine or blood tests are legal forms of determining alcohol content in the blood. “There are some people suggesting that the alcohol test could have been done by the breathalyzer, which is not yet legal in Belize. We do not go by that, which is why blood was extracted and it was taken to the lab. There is a process that is done at the lab (and) to test the content of the alcohol,” said Guzman.

Ambergris Today

25 Years Ago: Things We Take for Granted – Post Office and Medical Facilities
No Post Office. Today: “At what time does the post office open for service?” Past: “When does the cargo boat leave for Belize City?” Services of the post office were so crucial a few years ago but even that is becoming a second choice with the advent of email and social network which connects us to the world in a matter of seconds. So how did the folks in San Pedro manage in the 1950’s with no post office and the postal services thereof? First of all let us establish one important fact? Did anybody ever need to communicate with someone in the United States? The answer is emphatically, “No.” How about communicating by letter with someone in Belize City? Again it was practically zero. NO MEDICAL FACILITY. A person in a real emergency long ago in San Pedro had to be transported to Belize City on a sail boat. This was a five-hour journey and taken at one’s risk with no other alternative. Now listen to this! Because people in San Pedro were ignorant to illnesses like cancer, heart failure, epilepsy, stroke, to name a few, they assumed that the person was suffering from an evil spell, obeah, evil wind, evil eye and had some unexplainable seizure or convulsions. And that is how things went with no clinic or hospital in San Pedro.

White Heredia Island Nuptials
Congratulations going out to Mark White and Alba Heredia on their nuptials that took place over the weekend on Saturday, August 23, 2014. They got married in a beautiful nautical setting by the beach with family and close friends.

Island Photo Shoot with Belize National Carnival Queen and Princess
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has appointed a National Carnival Queen and Princess to hold the symbolic honor of overseeing the National September Celebrations. The BTB and the Orange Walk Town Council appointed (and sponsored) the 2014 - 2015 National Carnival Queen & Princess. In a photo shoot that took place in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, National Carnival Queen Janel Magaña and National Carnival Princess Rosely Vasquez donned their colorful and exotic cultural costumes that represent the vibrant celebrations that is Belize’s patriotic and Carnival season. “The National Carnival Queen and Princess of the Nation of Belize have been bestowed with the high task of ensuring that all of the National September Celebrations festivities throughout the glorious Land of the Free, this jewel we call Belize, go forward with all the grandeur befitting the beautiful people of Belize in this their time of celebration.”

The Furry of Hurricane Keith in 2000
It was the turn of the century and the millennium and it was foretold that the world would come to an end. Well, it was not the end, but certainly very scary. There are many stories to be told like: “lucky”. “heroic”, “rescue”, “unlucky”, and even “help in the aftermath”. This Flashback photo tells us of the type of structures to be considered as fairly good shelters. Notice the blue house in the forefront- all concrete including the roof. Take a look at the next one in shambles which is all wood with zinc roofing. Then the yellow one in the background is all concrete body with a damaged zinc roofing. Got it? Let this Flashback teach us all a lesson and let us all be prepared.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Belize Golf Tournaments - Corkers World Cup
The 4th Annual Corkers World Cup was a great success with the Belizean Americas Team facing the Belizean International team for the 4th time in our unique 27 Hole Ryder Cup Format. A big thank you to Geoff and Sam from Corkers who sponsored the tournament and we are delighted to say that $1,238.00 was raised for "Children of Hope Foundation" The Belizean Internationals were determined to bring victory for the first time in 4 years, whilst the Belizean Americas team were looking to extend their unbeaten run to an unprecedented 4th year. The Results were :

The Government of Belize (GOBZ) has received a Grant from the Caribbean Aid for Trade and Regional Integration Trust Fund (CARTFund), financed by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and administered by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), towards the cost of the above named project and intends to apply a portion of the proceeds of this Grant to eligible payments under a contract for which this invitation is issued. Payment by CDB will be made only at the request of GOBZ, and upon approval by CDB, and will be subject in all respects to the terms and conditions of the Grant Agreement. The Grant Agreement prohibits withdrawal from the Grant account for the purpose of any payment to persons or entities, or for any import of goods, if such payment or import, to the knowledge of CDB, is prohibited by a decision of the United Nations Security Council taken under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations. No party other than GOBZ shall derive any rights from the Grant Agreement or have any claim to the proceeds of the Grant.

Commentary: Garifuna ethnicity vs. nationalism
In most countries in the world people are accustomed to identifying themselves based on the country where they were born to display their national pride. This is despite the fact that, even though many people were born in a country, they are seen as different and discriminated against by other fellow citizens because of their ethnicity. When I was growing up in Belize, I knew that I was a Garifuna person living in the country of British Honduras, now known as Belize. At that time our people were known as “Black Caribs” in most history books, even though we called ourselves Garifuna. My parents told me about our history and where we came from but they did not go into too much detail. Later on in school I began to study history and loved the subject so I did more reading on the history of my people. I was proud of the fact that we fought against the French and the British to resist slavery and the taking over of our land. If our people did not fight against these two countries to avoid enslavement, our Garifuna culture would be extinct today.

Asset base mapping!
By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. I have said it before and I’ll say it again Minister Farber has the potential to be a household legend Most people think that the ministry of finance is the most powerful But in reality it’s the ministry of education that is the most transformable This guy has power at his grasp This guy controls scholarships, just ask This guy is seeking out people and finding stable and proper mentors Using his foot soldiers He is changing the dynamics this country By holding public meetings in his constituency I remember the days of street hoops A strategy employed by NDACC to inform some youths

Carmelita Lara Crowned Queen of the West
Congratulations, Carmelita Lara, for winning the Queen of the West Pageant! "We have a new Queen of the West! Congratulations! to Carmelita Lara for Making us proud on that stage. We wish you many more crowns in the future! The sky is the limit. "

Burns Avenue Work in Progress
Burns avenue is nearing completion. Some pictures from earlier this month, as the road was being shaped. Downtown Cayo's facelift is nearing completion. "Burns avenue is almost ready for traffic again. Some pictures from August as the work proceeded."

MMTS Belize auditions
Do you think your child or teenager has what it takes to become an internationally recognized model, actor, singer or musician? Then make sure to bring them to MMTS Belize auditions being held on Saturday, October 4th as international talent scouts from Music, Model and Talent Showcase of the Islands - MMTS will be in Belize. Age range is from 5 - 65 years of age.

Ministry of Health Shares Results of Foodborne Disease Research Study

Handing Over of Health and Safety Policy Manual
Tourists and local visitors to archaeological sites in Belize will soon benefit from new health and safety policies to be undertaken in Belize in an effort to implement the recently created Health and Safety Standards for archaeological sites. The Health and Safety Standards policy is now mandatory after being signed into law by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Investment and Consumer Protection on May 27, 2014 and gazetted on May 31, 2014. The Health and Safety Policy Manual will be officially handed over to the Belize Tourism Board and the National Institute of Culture and History on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at the Institute of Archaeology’s office in Belmopan. The policy manual was developed as part of the objectives of the Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites (MTBCAAS) project, funded by the European Union and the Government of Belize and implemented by the Belize Tourism Board and the National Institute of Culture and History.

FFB President’s Cup Results Playoff Week.2
Saturday August 23, 2014 Michael Ashcroft Stadium 7:30PM Sagitun FC vs Roaring Creek United 2 0 Ashley Torres min 59 Dion Moguel min 86 Sunday August 24, 2014 Ricalde Stadium 3:30PM San Antonio FC vs Progresso FC 2 2 Christian Pena min 61 Eliazar Itza min 31 Russell Casanova min 69 Gabriel Perez min 53 Weekend Matches Championship Finals WK DATE TIME HOME VS AWAY VENUE 1 30-08-2014 7:30p.m. #2 San Antonio FC #1 Sagitun FC Ricalde Stadium 2 07-09-2014 3:30p.m. #1 Sagitun FC #2 San Antonio FC Michael Ashcroft Stadium

Belize Golf Tournaments - Corkers World Cup
The 4th Annual Corkers World Cup was a great success with the Belizean Americas Team facing the Belizean International team for the 4th time in our unique 27 Hole Ryder Cup Format. A big thank you to Geoff and Sam from Corkers who sponsored the tournament and we are delighted to say that $1,238.00 was raised for "Children of Hope Foundation" The Belizean Internationals were determined to bring victory for the first time in 4 years, whilst the Belizean Americas team were looking to extend their unbeaten run to an unprecedented 4th year. The Results were :

Doing Business in Belize - Embassy of the United States Belmopan
Belize is a culturally diverse nation linking the Caribbean and Central American regional markets. Belize is a member of the Caribbean Community Single Market and Economy (CSME) as well as the Central American Integration System (SICA). Belize has a small economy with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2011 of US$1.4 billion. Its lead foreign exchange earners are tourism, agriculture (including but not limited to the traditional “big three” of citrus, bananas, and sugar cane), and petroleum. Belize features a year-round sub-tropical climate suitable for year-round tourism, and is conducive to cultivating quality agricultural crops year-round.

National Celebrations Commission Announces Pan Yaad Concert 2014
The National Celebrations Commission in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Grace Kennedy (Belize) Ltd present the 5th Annual Pan Yaad Steel Concert at the House of Culture, Government House in Belize City. The concert this year is set for Friday, September 5th, 2014! Since 2009 the Pan Yaad Steel Concert has emerged as one of the true highlights of the September Celebrations featuring authentic Belizean steel pan music. This year’s prestigious event will feature Paneriffix Steel Band, Pantempters Steel Orchestra and the newly formed Panorama Steel Band. Additionally, it will also be broadcasted live on TV by several of our local media houses. Pan Yaad Steel Concert 2014 will be held on Friday, September 5 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets: $10 – adults and $5 - children can be purchased at the Bliss Centre, Southern Foreshore, Belize City. The general public is once again reminded that this is a ‘standing- room’ only event.

Rotaract Fill-a-Backpack Project
The Rotaract Club of Benque worked with the local community to get school supplies and backpacks for local students. Thanks Rotaract! "This weekend our members embarked on our club's first major community service project. We delivered approximately 17 school bags to underprivileged children in Benque Viejo and San Jose Succotz. With the help of the primary schools who provided us with the names of the children, we assisted children from Mount Carmel Primary School & Howard Smith Nazarene School in Benque Viejo and San Jose Succotz RC School. During the course of this week, we will distribute more school bags & supplies to children from the Adventist School in Benque Viejo. "

100,000 Artists for Peace Cayo Concert
This Saturday, the Cayo Welcome Center will be the venue for Belize's 100,000 Artists for Peace Concert. The World Culture Band will be there, as will Barefoot Skinny. Similar concerts will be held all around the world. "A time for All artists of Belize to share a day of Love, Peace, and Understanding. At the Welcome Center. San Ignacio, Belize. 2 pm. Until..... No begging. No cover charge."

Channel 7

Daylight Holdup At Heritage Bank Nets 40k
Tonight, $40,000 belonging to Heritage Bank is gone, and police are trying to locate the men who robbed the bank in a brazen daylight heist. It happened this morning at around 9, where the robbers marched into the Bank's Barrack Road office, calmly walked behind the counter and removed two of the cash pans loaded with money. Police arrived shortly after, and so did our news team. Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz reporting This morning, law enforcement streamed in an out of Providence Bank on the corner of Barrack Road and Craig Street. Less than an hour before, there had been a brazen robbery in which 2 men, one of them armed, managed to escape with 2 cash pans from one of the cashiers on duty.

Cops: Security Guard In On A & R Robbery
So, while police continue to look at the possibility of an inside connection for that bank robbery, they say that they're sure one of the employees at A&R helped plan the robbery of that store. That man is 28 year-old Leroy Ciego, a security guard who works there, and tonight, he's at prison. Ciego was arraigned today, 5 days after the robbery, on the single charge of conspiracy to commit robbery. He pleaded not guilty to the charge, and due to the nature of the offence, Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith remanded him to the Belize Central Prison until October 9, his next court date. As we reported, at around 6:27 p.m. on last week Thursday, a man with a stockings mask walked into A&R holding a security guard at gunpoint, while his accomplice guarded the door. The gunman then ordered everyone to lie on the ground, which included the other employees and their young children, since the store was already closed.

Denvo Banner Killed In Little Lemonal Vilage
Last week we told you about Denvo Banner - the 27 year old Lemonal resident who had gone missing after a victory party for the village team on August 9th. Since then his family has been looking for him all about - but on Saturday their worst fears were confirmed. Monica Bodden has the story:.. Monica Bodden reporting Denvo Banner's six foot four frame was folded up inside this shallow grave only 3 feet across - where he was buried by his killers in his village of Lemonal - not far from the school building. A search team of police officers and family members came across the area, just after 2 on Saturday afternoon. Carla Casimiro - Sister of Denvo Banner "What happened is that we did a search of the entire village way to the last spot by the pine ridge and when we were coming back, the last area we check before we reached the other side of the pine ridge because we have both side of the pine ridge and we found the body buried in a shallow hole before we reach the other side of the village."

Pier 1 Bar Owner Busted, But Customs Quiet
Joseph Kee, he's the co-owner of Pier 1 Bar, which sits over the sea at the newly renovated BTL Park, but last night, he was busted with a large amount of cash and contraband liquor. We've been reliably informed that it happened after 10:00 at the corner of New Road and Douglas Jones Street. Law enforcement reportedly stopped and searched the vehicle and found $11,000 in cash and contraband liquor including Tequila, Jack Daniels, whisky and other types of un-customed liquor. We're told that everything, including the cash, was confiscated and Kee was detained. We understand that during the bust, city councilor Dion Leslie reportedly showed up. He said that his interest was the money belongs to his father's company, which is part owner of the Pier 1 Bar. Apparently, that cash was from the weekend sales from the Pier 1 Bar.

Hilux Heist At Hospital, Ministry of Health Hushed
Another Toyota Hilux pickup has been stolen from the Ministry of Health - the third in two years. But, this one is brand new - in fact, it was a part of the fleet unveiled last week to assist with mosquito spraying. It had been assigned to the Western Regional Hospital. Well, sometime over the weekend it was stolen - but the Western Regional Hospital hasn't released any details - and neither have the police nor the Ministry of Health. We were only able to confirm that it was stolen over the weekend - and is still missing. The report was made to Belmopan police this morning. The Hilux is one of 11 acquired through a grant from the European Union, at a cost of about sixty eight thousand dollars each. The trucks have been deployed countrywide - with the exception of two that are, quite inexplicably, still parked at the ministry compound. These we understand are designated for the director of the vector control unit and his deputy - but they haven't been handed over because of internal politics in the ministry. But with the rate of Hilux theft from the ministry - they'd be wise to use it before they lose it!

Woman Claims Of Police Harassment for Son
We often report on police harassment in our newscast and usually the victims giving the stories never get justice. But tonight one mother says she has had enough with officers harassing her sons and she is going to take the issue on legally. According to the woman, her 19 year old son Shakedi Baizar was charged 3 weeks ago for a small amount of weed that was found on him at their 8mile home. He was released on bail and was given community service by the magistrate. A week later, police visited the residence once again for a search. They found nothing, but detained Baziar for a tattoo on his arm that read GAZA - a reference, ostensibly. to the George street gang - bot the Israeli - Palestinian conflict. The 19 year old was charged with the offence of displaying gang membership and was released on bail. But due to the fact that he was under police custody and could not show up to his community service obligations, a bench warrant was sent out for him and Baizar was arrested and sent to the Hattieville prison. Voice of: Mother of Baizar "The other day about 3 weeks ago the police gang unit went by my house. They found him with a little bit of weed and they took him and they charge him. I don't have any problem with the police doing their job. My problem is that when they go to my house to search they beat up my children and I am tired of that. So they come back the following week and they look for something to charge him with."

"Stomach Flu" Costing Belize Milions
In September of 2012, the Ministry of Health embarked on an ambitious study to find out what's making Belizeans sick with acute gastroenteritis, what you would call a stomach flu - and to discover how much this sickness costs Belize. Well, from a total of 3,110 households, the study says that 7.1 percent of those households reported stomach flu's during September to October 2012, which is considered the low season for the illness and April to May 2013, which is considered the high season. The main cause were was parasites but mostly those stomach flue's were caused by Rotavirus infections.

The Role Guat Plays In Ambassador Mendez's Strategic Move For Ass't Sec Gen Spot
On Friday we told you about the visit of the Special Envoy of Uruguay, Ambassador Gonzalo Koncke Pizzorno. He was here to pledge his support for Belize's Representative to the OAS, Nestor Mendez in his candidacy for the Assistant Secretary General of the OAS. In turn, Belize will support Uruguay's candidate for Secretary General. On Saturday Ambassador Mendez told us that his candidacy needs a simple majority of the 34 member states of the OAS and he is relaying on Belize's bi-regional identity to get that:.. H.E. Nestor Mendez, Belize Permanent Rep. to the OAS "In the case of Belize we represent both Central America and the Caribbean, so we play a very important balance to the leadership of the OAS if a South American were to get elected as secretary general. When you elect somebody for a senior elected position such as this it counts as much who you put forward and also what country the person puts forward. So being elected into this position could be very good for Belize. It would re-affirm that everybody recognizes that after 33 years of independence we have an important contribution to make."

Delivering Drainage For Flood Prone City Neighborhood
Drainage is a major problem in Belize City generally, more so with climate change, and even more so with those fancy new streets that were built without drainage. But that drainage should improve: Today the Ministry of Works and Transport along with their partners in the Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Project signed 4 contracts for the concreting and lining of the Douglas Jones Canal, North side Canal as well as Link Road, Apollo Street and the Bill Lindo Canal in Belama Phases 3 and 4. Chief Engineer of the Ministry of Works and Transport, explained the importance of the upgrade: Courtney Weatherburne "In terms of the infrastructure, do these factor in the climate change mitigation feature?" Lennox Bradley, Chief Engineer, Min. of Works and Transport "You brought up a very good point because the recent projects that we have started to design - all those IFI funded projects and those that we contemplate under the national infrastructure program will consider the climate change impact. It's a reality that we have to face now - it's here.

Rivers Wants Unity Through Sports
Last week, we showed you the disturbing revelations about the Belize City Youths who were housed at the BDF's Camp Belizario. The Commander of the BDF revealed that the next generation of youths is already being trained as hardened criminals. During that revelation, Brigadier General David Jones made a public call that some sort of intervention needs to be made urgently or else these youths will continue down the destructive paths. One man who is answering that call is stevedore and labour activist Raymond Rivers. He's planned an outreach program which uses sports and education as a means of positively influencing the City Youths into changing trajectory. It's called the R3 Youth Movement, and today, he called us out to explain it and why you should support him: Raymond Rivers "The R-3 youth movement is a youth movement that will take all the umbrellas organizations and we will put it under one umbrella and we will have volunteers who go out to school and we have mentors and everybody in Belize will work together like how the people of Succotz work together. We want to have that same kind of feeling and that same kind of way that we want to do things now when it comes to the youths. Its urgent that how we save the youths from now because the future of Belize looks dims when it comes to violence, like the violence will never stop."

Justice Abel: Ashcroft Alliance's Awich Complaint Should Have Been taken More Seriously
Justice Courtney Abel says the Ashcroft Alliance's complaint against Samuel Awich as a Judge of the Court of Appeal should not have been dismissed in the manner it was. Also, the Judicial and Legal Services Commission did not conduct due process in that case. That's the conclusion of Justice Abel after hearing a case brought by Dean Boyce, British Caribbean Bank, and Lord Michael Ashcroft, which started in June. As we told you, In July 2012, the Ashcroft Alliance complained to the Judicial and Legal Services Commission about Awich's conduct. The commission dismissed the case after finding that the complaint about his appointment to the Appeal Court was premature, because he hadn't been elevated yet. In the case of their complaints of his conduct as a Supreme Court Judge, the commission ruled that their request for his removal from the Supreme Court, was too late. The commission, by majority decision, didn't pass the complaint along to the Belize Advisory Council because it was quote, "misconceived".

26 For Taiwan
The 2014 Taiwanese Scholarship recipients were honored on Saturday at Chateau Caribbean. 26 students were chosen to study in Taiwan under the Taiwanese Scholarship Program which requires the recipient to learn Mandarin for 1 year, and the International Cooperation Development Fund Scholarship Experience where the language of instruction is English. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs as well as the Ambassador of Taiwan Benjamin Ho stressed the importance of such an opportunity for the development of Belize. 200 students applied but only 26 were chosen this year. The cost of the scholarship is US$20,000 per school year and the program covers 4 to 5 years of study.

Channel 5

GBTV Wins Big at CBU Awards…
Tonight, our Channel Five family is pleased to announce that we have onceagain made Belize proud of our regional accomplishments as a national station.  This year, we won the most [...]

Brazen Heist at Heritage Bank Nets $40,000
And that was the good news, but now to crime…Last week, the A and R Enterprise Limited was robbed of almost thirteen thousand dollars in cash. And this morning, robbers [...]

Remains of Missing Man Discovered in Shallow Grave
The peace and quiet of a sunny afternoon in the small village of Lemonal was shattered by the gruesome discovery of a body in a shallow grave, just behind the [...]

Supreme Court Rules on a Sitting Judge
In the Supreme Court, a major decision has been delivered about a sitting justice. Justice Courtney Abel handed down a decision last Friday on two claims: claim eighty three of [...]

Justice Awich to go before the Belize Advisory Council?
Justice Abel found “that the evidence put before the JLSC was capable of amounting to and therefore could have amounted to misbehavior. Likewise the question of inability to discharge the [...]

Security Guard Arraigned in A & R Robbery
  And in the Magistrate’s Court… A security guard of the A and R Store on the Phillip Goldson Highway was arraigned for conspiracy to commit robbery before Chief Magistrate [...]

Jeffries Sentenced for Handling Stolen Goods
Robert Jeffries is tonight commencing a two-year sentence for handling stolen goods after being caught in possession of a laptop computer which was stolen from a law office in Belize [...]

Teenager Charged for Unitedville Murder
Last week, Cayo cops detained nineteen year old Unitedville resident Steven Gomez for his involvement in the murder of Victor Vargas, of that same village. Gomez was questioned, released, and [...]

Mini-man Shot on Vernon Street
A spray of gunfire on Friday night has left forty-year-old Ralph Martinez, known in the streets of Belize City as Mini-man, hospitalized for multiple injuries received during the shooting incident.  [...]

Another Government Hilux – Gone Without a Trace!
It made the news in mid-July when the European Union gifted the Ministry of Health with eleven brand new, late-model Toyota Hilux pickups. The vehicles were to be immediately deployed [...]

26 Belizeans Receive Scholarships from Taiwan
Over two hundred and thirty Belizeans have had an opportunity to study in Taiwan in past years. Some twenty plus students are selected annually from numerous applications as the lucky [...]

Galen Opens Its Doors in Belize City
Also on Saturday, Galen University officially opened its Belize City Branch on Mercy Lane, located just next door to the office of the Belize Family Life Association. The event was [...]

Sports Monday with Award Winning Sportscaster, James Adderley
Good evening I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   We begin with game 1 of the 3 game Championship series for the Firm’s Division title. We pick up [...]


No Charges Levied As Yet On Man Who Accidentally Shot His Brother
Six days after Celso Cawich accidentally shot his brother Gumercindo Mendoza in a hunting trip gone wrong, Cawich is yet to be charged. That is because authorities in Orange Walk are waiting for further instructions from the Department of Public Prosecutions on how to proceed with the case. For context, 63 year-old Celso Moreno was out on a hunting trip with his brother 52 year-old Gumercindo Mendoza on Wednesday night at around 11 in the Yo Creek area. Moreno recounted to police that they split up and around midnight. He reported that he had spotted a deer, and fired his 12 gauge shotgun.

Two Men Being Sought For Robbery At Reimer's Feed Mills
Orange Walk Police continue their search for two individuals robbed Reimer’s Feed Mill on Thursday afternoon. Shortly after one that day, two men, one armed with a knife and the other with a gun entered Reimer’s Feed Mill on Lover’s Lane. Police report that the man wielding the gun hit the cahier Vicente Bol on the head and demanded money. The cashier forcefully obliged and handed over two thousand dollars cash. After receiving the money the men made good their escape on bicycles. Other than the cashier who sustained a hit to the head, no one else was seriously injured in the heist. According to police, the robbery was caught on tape but this seems to not have been too helpful and we were made to understand that the footage is of poor quality. Orange Walk Police have not detained anyone and are looking for both individuals who are described as being of Hispanic descent.

Elderly Man Drowns In The New River
66 Year old, Guatemalan National Efijenio Dujon of no fixed address was last seen alive by Lamanai Alley residents on Saturday afternoon as he made his way to his usual spot by the riverside. The homeless person frequented the area most days and on Sunday a passer-by spotted a body floating in the New River. After alerting the police they arrived some minutes after and witness a male person floating in the river. Deputy Commander at the Orange Walk Police, Selvin Tillett says they are treating the case as a drowning.


Police Makes Arrest in A & R Robbery
A 28-year-old security guard, who had been employed by A & R Store in Belize City, was charged this past Saturday with the crime of conspiracy to commit robbery. Leroy Ciego of a Marigold Street address was arraigned today in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he pled not guilty. He was remanded to the Belize Central Prison and is scheduled to return to court on October 9. Ciego was arrested and charged after investigators found that he had been colluding with two other men in the August 20 robbery of A & R Store. Investigations have led police to believe that Ciego gave the robbers inside information regarding the layout of the building and the locations where monies were kept. The establishment, located at mile 1 ½ on the Philip Goldson Highway, was robbed last Wednesday evening just after six o’clock.


Heritage Bank robbed in Belize City
A brazen Monday morning robbery of a bank was successfully executed in Belize City. Sometime after nine o’clock Monday morning, Heritage Bank located on Barrack Road was robbed at gunpoint by two men of dark complexion. They made off with over $40,000.00 in Belize and US currency...

Man shot in the back on Belize City street
A man was shot in the back on Friday night. On Friday August 22 at about 9 o’clock, police visited the KHMH where they saw 40-year-old Ralph Martinez of Mayflower Street, Belize City, in stable condition suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the lower back...

A&R’s Security Guard accused of conspiracy to commit robbery of store
One of A&R’s own Security Guards is being accused of being a part of a conspiracy to a robbery at its Belize City Northern Highway branch. On Monday morning, 28-year-old Security Guard, Leroy Ciego, was arraigned in the Belize City magistrate’s Court with a single count of conspiracy to commit robbery. Last week Wednesday, August 20, 2014, just after the close of business, armed, masked men stormed into the store, held up workers, and robbed the place of almost thirteen thousand dollars. While Mr Ciego is being charge for conspiracy to commit the robbery, no one has yet been charged for the actual robbery.

Patrick JonesPJ

Belize’s national U23 men’s volleyball team playing well in Panama
Belize’s Under-23 National Men’s Volleyball team continues to perform well in the Second Central American Championship being played in Panama City, Panama. Tonight, Belize defeated Panama in three sets 25/23; 25/23 and 25/21. Belize’s victory tonight comes on the heels of beating Nicaragua on Sunday, again in […]

Millions of dollars in infrastructure project contracts signed
Over five million dollars worth of contracts were signed today for infrastructure works in Belize City. The contracts include street upgrades in Belama Phase 4, canal construction and cleaning of existing canals on the North side of Belize City. According to a government press release Mehia’s United […]

Drive-by shooting leaves Belize City man hospitalized
A shooting incident in Belize City on Friday night has left a man hospitalized. 40 year old Ralph Martinez was shot in the lower part of his back by someone who was inside of a white van travelling on Vernon Street. According to police reports, Martinez was […]

Body retrieved from the New River in Orange Walk
The body of a Guatemalan national was recovered from the New River in Orange Walk town on Sunday morning. It has been identified as that of 66 year old Efijenio Dujon. According to reports, Dujon, who was o no fixed address, was last seen alive on Saturday […]

Armed robbers target Heritage Bank
Armed robbers today targeted Heritage Bank on Barrack Road. Police say that two men of dark complexion held up the establishment at gunpoint around 9:15 am. The robbers reportedly got away with over $40,000 in cash both Belize and US currencies. According to police, the robbers made […]


Chaa Creek’s Academic Scholarship Program
Twelve young Belizeans are further along the road to promising futures thanks to a successful scholarship program sponsored by the Lodge at Chaa Creek. Chaa Creek’s Academic Scholarship Program has kicked off this year with an increase in the number of pupils accepted into the annual student assistance program, and scholarship coordinator Lucy Fleming said she couldn’t be happier with the results from this “investment in the future”. The Academic Scholarship Program has been providing financial assistance to students undertaking study in various levels of education, including high school, colleges and university, since 1995. The rigorous selection process is based on academic performance and financial needs, with an aim towards assisting those Belizeans who show promise in attaining their goals.

“Busy Doing Nothing” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
After the travail of producing the last edition – I had to take notes and write with accuracy and seriousness (something that regular readers will not have seen much evidence of in what I normally put “out there”) – I’ve taken a little break. I mean, it was like being back at work again and my little, old (strong emphasis on the latter and not the former please) brain just isn’t up to the job any more. Now I’d seen the signs of waning physical prowess (allow me to exaggerate whatever physical attributes I may have had once) some little while ago. I’m not able to bound up the stairs the way I used to. Those five gallon bottles of water feel just that little bit heavier (they now feel like they’ve got twice the amount of water in them). My ability (OK so it’s not an attribute) to hold liquor is nowhere near as good ( is this really the word I should use?) as it once was (I now wonder why I spent so much money on “training”). But I never envisaged when I set out to cover the opening of Rain Restaurant and Rooftop Terrace at Grand Caribe that it would take so much out of me.

My last 3 meals in San Pedro
Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest so even though I was just about to cook dinner, when Barb messaged me they were going to town for a drink, snacks and did I want to go, I was happy to stop watching the Great food Truck Race and go eat. I figured cooking a big breakfast plus snacking (which does not count as a meal) was enough in the kitchen for the girl with no cooking gene. Our first choice for Mexican food at La Hora on back street, sadly it was closed, I had a craving tacos al pastor with grilled pineapple. Our low season Plan B and C were El Patio and Lola’s Pub, so we decided to hit both, dinner and drinks after. We started out at El Patio Restaurant with jalapeno poppers which always remind me of Tracy, he cannot get enough of theirs every time he and Maureen are on a volunteer vacation. For main courses Barb ordered Fried Chicken, Joe fajitas and I opted for the t-bone with garden salad and coconut rice. We all know Belize beef can be a bit of a crap shoot in San Pedro and while Joe did like his beef fajitas, unfortunately my t-bone was a bit gristly. The cheese and chicken stuffed poppers and frozen key lime pie more than made up for it though. We all agreed if that pie was at our house the whole thing would disappear fast. I love how they plated it too with a fancy chocolate design, very artistic.

Photo of the day: Ambergris Caye Belize
Today’s photo of the day is of Ambergris Caye Belize. The photo is courtesy of Elbert Greer. This photo was taken this morning and according to Greer, the sea is like glass in Ambergris Caye right now and the expected high is 90.

International Sourcesizz

Ancient Mayan Cities Found In Mexican Jungle
Archaeologists have found two ancient Mayan cities hidden in the jungle of southeastern Mexico, and the lead researcher says he believes there are "dozens" more to be found in the region. Ivan Sprajc, associate professor at the Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, said his team found the ancient cities of Lagunita and Tamchen on the Yucatan peninsula in April by examining aerial photographs of the region. Sprajc said the two cities reached their heyday in the Late and Terminal Classic periods (600-1000 AD). At each site, researchers found palace-like buildings, pyramids and plazas. One of the pyramids is almost 20 meters (65 feet) high. Sprajc said his team mapped 10-12 hectares (25-30 acres) at each site, but the cities were probably larger. "We elaborated a map but only of the religious and administrative centers of the two sites," he said, "that's only like downtown." His team has not yet excavated the sites. "There are dozens of sites that I already have seen on the aerial photographs," he added, noting that additional discoveries depend on further funding.

The first thing I do is I dress for airports. I dress for security. I dress for the worst-case scenario. Comfortable shoes are important — I like Clarks desert boots because they go off and on very quickly, they're super comfortable, you can beat the hell out of them, and they're cheap. In my carry-on, I'll have a notebook, yellow legal pads, good headphones. Imodium is important. The necessity for Imodium will probably present itself, and you don't want to be caught without it. I always carry a scrunchy lightweight down jacket; it can be a pillow if I need to sleep on a floor. And the iPad is essential. I load it up with books to be read, videos, films, games, apps, because I'm assuming there will be downtime. You can't count on good films on an airplane. I check my luggage. I hate the people struggling to cram their luggage in an overhead bin, so I don't want to be one of those people.

'Dumbo octopus,' other undersea oddities captured by Nautilus camera in Gulf
The latest batch of photos are in from the expedition team aboard Exploration Vehicle Nautilus which has been deep sea diving in the Gulf of Mexico since the start of the summer. The ship, led by Titanic discoverer Dr. Robert Ballard, has so far given us dramatic photos of World War II wrecks, including a Nazi submarine, plus countless images of bizarre marine lifeforms, perhaps most notably, the Vampire Squid of Hell. The latest legs of their trip have focused of the relatively unexplored reefs of the Gulf off the coast of Belize and then on through the Windward Passage, which divides Cuba and Haiti. There, the crew has found delights aplenty. Awesome close up footage of a Dumbo octopus and the super cute Bobtail squid have been sent back by the crew. The enigmatic Chimaera, or "ghost shark," also dropped in for a rare appearance.

Archaeologists Excavate Endangered Maya Site
Teams of archaeologists are researching a number of ancient Maya sites in Belize that could stand some help to stay intact as important cultural heritage sites. One of those sites is called Nojol Nah. It is located on the east side of the Bajo Alacranes (see maps below), which extends across Belize’s northwest corner and parts of Mexico and Guatemala. The Alacranes Bajo is a low-lying area that is very fertile and continues to be today. The Mexican portion has been surveyed in recent years, revealing several large Maya centers and a number of smaller centers. At the far south end of the bajo, in Guatemala, is the major center of Río Azul. Ongoing survey work in Belize has revealed that a number of small centers with central precincts are located on the east side of the Bajo Alacranes, including such sites as Grey Fox, Xnoha, Nojol Nah and others. Nojol Nah consists of a small public precinct with a single 10- meter tall pyramidal structure ("Structure 1") on its west side that was constructed in the Late Preclassic (400 BCE - 200 CE) and Early Classic (200 - 600 CE) periods and was terminated at the end of the Early Classic period. In addition, the site contains a number of elite residential groups and structures. These elite residences were constructed in the Early Classic period and abandoned in the Late Classic Period (600 - 900 CE). To date, work at Nojol Nah has included the excavation of residential structures, a civic temple, chultuns, numerous caches, termination deposits, elite household middens (that produced sherds with glyphs), and an unusually large number of human burials.

Another Side of Belize—Look Beyond the Beaches to the Cayo District
Belize is well-known for its aquamarine Caribbean waters, Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, idyllic cayes and miles of coastland. But not all expats opt for a coastal lifestyle. An increasing number have been captivated by the Cayo District’s charms. They’re drawn to the verdant broadleaf jungles…lush Maya Mountains…meandering rivers…and mystical Mayan ruins… Some come to stake out a piece of fertile land… Others yearn to live off the grid… The primary towns in this region are San Ignacio and Santa Elena. A variety of charming smaller villages are scattered around the region. The notable Mennonite agricultural community of Spanish Lookout is also in the Cayo. Expats can find plenty of pristine, undeveloped property in this district, up for the taking.


Video: Skate Belize - Park Sessions - 2014, 3min.
A compilation of some of the up and coming skaters in Belize City, Belize. The local skateboarding scene has seen a resurgence since the city has redesigned several parks. We'll continue to follow these local skaters and continue to bring you more videos.

Video: Jeff and Ruby Nickell - Belize, 7min.
Missionary to Belize, Freedom House

Video: BlueHole-HD-Vimeo 720p, 10min.
Multicam edit of the videos taken by Claudio and Christophe during the dive at the Great Blue Hole on 11/11/2013 in Belize

Video: Adventure in Belize, 5min.
I was originally going to Brazil, but there was a change of plans and I was left with two days to plan a trip. So I chose a destination and just winged it the whole way... Belize had a lot to offer!

Video: Discovering Southern Belize's Mayan Ruins. Nim Li Punit, 4min.
“Nim Li Punit” I had to say it a few times to get the pronunciation right. But getting right to these spectacular Mayan ruins wasn’t much of a problem. After a quick drive from Placencia down the Southern Highway, we finally saw the sign to take a right up a long steep unpaved hill. Stopping to make sure the Land Rover was locked in 4×4 low before climbing the hill to get to the site, we admired the beauty of the all the thatched roofed homes we passed. Southern Belize is truly Mayan country. Additionally tourism is new to this region, and you will be seeing sites and experiencing nature and cultures as few have.

Video: Belize GoPro Hero 3+, 5min.

August 25, 2014


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

Letter to the Editor: San Pedro Town Wolfe’s Woofer: The Fly
“Dennis! Dennis Wolfe!” I turned around to see my old friend Randy hurrying up the street after me. We shook hands and I asked, “How is life back in Texas?” After we talked awhile I said, “You were taking Spanish lessons the last time we spoke. How is that working out for you?” “Not too […]

Letter to the Editor: San Pedro Town Library
Dear Editor, The San Pedro Town Library would like to extend its heartfelt thanks to Minister Heredia, Blue Water Grill and Tropic Air for their generous Donations. Our Dyslexia Summer program was a great success thanks to their assistance, and our children had a great opportunity to learn strategies to help them cope in school.

Doctor Love: Friends
Dear Doctor Love, I love my girlfriend but we have been having a problem that seems to be getting worse. We have some friends in common but mostly I have my friends and she has hers although my friends are the ones she spends the most time with. My friends, both male and female, like […]

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Fishing Report August 17, 2014 - August 23, 2014
It’s summer time in the tropics everybody! And the fish are here and happy. We have migratory tarpon moving all around the banks – we have permit showing up so big they look like tarpon. We have flat calm conditions where you can see a tailing bonefish from a long way away. People ask us: “When is the best time to be here?” Well, we can plan and hope – but for the angler’s this week, they got to experience one of these “best times.” Thank you to all of angers this week for your positive approach to each day. Sure, there were defeats, but each day you returned to check in and see - as they say here in Belize, “What’s happening?”


Trouble Continues To Brew In Progresso Village
Yesterday we told you about parents in Progresso Village who are up in arms after their request for the removal of one of the teachers and the principal of the school, whom they claim to be ‘incompetent’, have fallen on deaf ears. And with a new school year coming up, they plan to protest until a tangible solution is met. We spoke to a parent yesterday and she shared with us that they were waiting the arrival of the Seventh Day Adventist union leader Pastor Leslie Gillette to meet on the matter and that they have submitted their concerns to the District Education Officer in Orange Walk. Today we contacted Education Officer Carla Alvarez who informed us that the concerns have not gone on deaf ears, but that she has submitted the complaints to the Management of the Seventh day Adventist School to allow them the time and opportunity to address the situation. Alvarez told us she is expecting a report from who guaranteed that the situation will be looked into. If in the event that the issue is not resolved, the Ministry will have to intervene since it is affecting the performance of the students and their education.

Corozal Cops Investigated For Theft
Over the past few days several reports have been made to the Corozal Police Department indicating that police officers are involved in the confiscation of property without the proper procedure being followed. In simple words they are stealing from citizens. For Officer Commanding the Corozal Police Formation, Andrew Ramirez, this is unacceptable behavior and will not be tolerated. Andrew Ramirez – OC Corozal “It is a very disturbing aspect in regards to making a complaint of, not only police officers but there are other agencies that have been accused of taking away properties and it must be guided that it is theft at the end of the day, whenever you cease a property (1) you must issue the person with some kind of receipt or certain kind of proof that it is coming part of government property even a Custom Officer taking away items they must give you a receipt, we had a complaint just recently and when the lady came in on Monday and reported that the police took away properties I immediately got annoyed because I thought it was my officers who constantly on a weekly base I inform that I will not support it and most of it if you want to refer poor people and these are people that stretch their dollars and I mean you take away these items for what, keep it to yourself , no, whenever the government agents cease anything they cease on behalf of the government and there is process that must occur for it to be accepted under the government properties, if an officer takes it away from an individual and keep it to himself that is theft.”

O/W Town Council At Work
As drivers and commuters of Orange Walk Town’s San Andres Street, you may have noticed that the intersection has been completely repaired. Completed under the auspices of the Town Council, we asked Deputy Mayor Ian Cal, why that particular area was chosen when the cry is that other roads that are heavily trafficked are not treated with the same weight. And while we know that the cash strapped Council is doing its best with the little resources it collects from property taxes and such, Cal says its slow but sure progress for the residents of Orange Walk Town under the Belize Municipal Project. Ian Cal – Councillor, OWTC “One of the things that the council has decided and have seen it work is the cementing of intersections as you are aware we have done two and just last week we have completed another one which is right in front of Muffles College right, that is Progress Street and San Andres Street, reason being that the intersections are some of the areas that are most dilapidated; the friction that occurs with all vehicles and all the asphalt it erodes faster and so that is the reason we decided to cement those intersections and we want to cement more intersections, we wish we could cement the entire street but that is very costly, it is expensive so what we are doing is that we are cementing the intersections and we are addressing the dilapidated areas of the streets by manual paving now at the corner of San Andres what you saw there is manual paving, ...

Rehabilitation Of Central Park Sees Delay
The Central Park is also scheduled to see some major renovations, but we’ve told you about this plan for a while now. So why hasn’t work started? We posed the question to Cal today who said that the plan is finalized but the World Bank is causing a delay. Ian Cal – Councillor, OWTC “You know when you are working with the World Bank there is a lot of red tape, a lot of things that you need to meet and we have met all of those things and they are just finalizing the actual contract to who will get the, the bids have been issues and it is only finalizing who will get the actual contract to do this park and the information that we got last week is that it will start in September so as a September Celebration committee as well we are looking into where we will hold the festivities for September if it starts in September well we will have to see how we can work around that but of course we don’t want the work to be delayed anymore so if it is going to start September we will welcome it as well, we do want our park to finish.”

OWTC Youth Program Assists 140 Students
Two weeks ago we told you about a summer job program offered by the Orange Walk Town Council which saw over a hundred young people earning a small stipend for cleaning, raking and garbage collecting jobs around town. Today, that program came to a close since the youths are gearing up for their new school year. Councillor Ian Cal says the program was successful. Ian Cal – Councillor, OWTC “This year we hire actually a hundred and forty one students, we manage to hire we were saying a hundred but we manage to hire an extra forty one students for this year and as you know the proceeds comes from the Fiesta Rama last month and this is the same money that we use to give back to the young people, you know school is opening and the need a little money to buy school supplies, to pay tuition, and that is one of the ways that this council has decided to give back to the community and especially the young people and education is important and it has closed today, today was the final day and we have issued all payments to the young people and I guess they are happy because it was an experience for them as well.”

Men Charged For Over 2 Million Dollars Worth Of Crystal Meth
Today, 49 year old Ruperto Reyes and 52-year old Pascual Pineda, the two men who were alleged to have been caught with 30 parcels of Crystal Meth in the vehicle they were travelling in were to be arraigned in court. At midday Police were processing their court papers but they never made it out to face the Magistrate. We were told that they were going to be charged until Monday but hours after we were informed that both Reyes and Pascual were charged around four this afternoon at the Orange Walk Magistrates Court with one count each of possession of controlled drugs with intent to supply. They were remanded to prison until September 30th when they are scheduled to re-appear in court. Samples that were sent to the National Forensics Lab for testing have confirmed the product to be methamphetamine. As mentioned last night it is a highly addictive stimulant that can have long-lasting effects on the body. Crystal meth is methamphetamine in the form of a rock-like crystal that users heat and then smoke, although it can also be snorted or injected.

The Reporter

Earthquake in California leaves 90 injured
At least 90 persons are left injured following a 6.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Northern California early on Sunday. Three of the injured are critical and include a young child. One child was hurt when a fireplace collapsed. The majority of injuries are reported to be non-life-threatening, but still serious. This was the strongest earthquake to hit the Bay Area since 1989, when a quake struck during the World Series. The earthquake caused at least 30 water main connections to break and six major fires. It also caused more than 100 gas leaks and downed power lines.

Patrick JonesPJ

A San Ignacio man lost his shotgun early on Friday morning. According to reports, Rosendo Hugh Reyes was returning from his farm when he decided to stop in for a drink at Mariana’s bar around 1:30 am on Friday. He left his Harrington & Richardson shotgun, valued […]

Missing Lemonal villager’s body found in shallow grave August 24, 2014 8:40 PM Sunday, August 24, 2014. AARON HUMES Reporting:Who would want to kill Denvo Banner, 27? And why? Those are questions that the police and family of the deceased are now trying to find answers to. Banner has been missing for just over two weeks, having been seen last on August 9 at a party in Lemonal […]

Queen of the Bay Toledo 2014-2015 chosen
It was a full house at the Punta Gorda Sport Auditorium on Saturday, August 23 as hundreds of Toledo residents came out to witness the selection of the Queen of the Bay 2014-2015. Six beautiful young ladies took part in the pageant, namely Rodleen Sabal; Chelsea Flores; Michelle […]


A Caye Caulker needle in a 64 gig haystack
During the course of my recent reformat, I was faced with backing up 64 gigs of pictures to my external hard drive and second copy on my flash drive collection. While in the process I needed to make room for my 2 2013 picture files to fit on one 16 gig drive, as a result I found myself in sort and delete mode. This eventually led me to my Caye Caulker pictures and a thumbnail of the picture below caught my eye. Sure enough when I opened it there was no mistaking it was our new neighbor Joe smiling back at me – talk about finding an unexpected needle in a haystack :) I clearly remembered taking the shot right before ordering conch fritters. I messaged the pic to Barb and Joe and we all agreed ‘what are the odds’. I decided to reference my blog to see when it was taken and if I had put that picture up. After finding the post and seeing the picture I chose, I remembered deciding between two and picking the one with Barb in it as there was more people and action . You can see Joe in the background of the picture I posted which is funny because when she saw the first picture (which was actually shot last) Barb commented that she would have not been far away while I was taking it.

A Preview of Rain Restaurant & Roof Top Terrace at Grand Caribe Resort
I wrote yesterday about my two day stay up at Grand Caribe Resort – and it was absolutely lovely. I had an excellent time…extremely comfortable and relaxing… The newest building on the property is being completed…and it’s almost there. Just the finishing touches being applied. This new complex is 4 stories high and is going to have quite a few functions… Victoria and Hugo, the former owners and creators of Aji Restaurant and Tapas Bar, have returned to San Pedro after selling Aji, having a baby and moving to Colorado.


Video: Caye Caulker Travel Video, 2min.
The 1000 or so residents have traditionally made their living from the sea, specifically from the spiny lobsters and red snapper that inhabit its warm waters. It has also long been a budget travelers mecca, but in recent years, Travelists of all ages and incomes have begun to appreciate the islands unique atmosphere. On Caye Caulker, there are no cars, no fumes and no hassles, just white sandy beaches, balmy breezes, fresh seafood, azure waters and a fantastic barrier reef at its doorstep. The easygoing attitude is due in part to the thriving Rastafarian culture on the Caye, which pulses to a reggae beat. If its not Bob Marley blaring from a boom box on the beach, its the latest in punta rock. Drumming groups gather on the beach and at local bars to get their Afro-Caribbean groove on. They play for themselves, but anybody is welcome to gather around and soak up the good vibes. The island is an ideal base for snorkeling and diving adventures at the nearby reef. The northern part of the island -- a tempting destination for kayakers -- is mostly mangroves, which are home to an amazing variety of birdlife. Other than that, all visitors should be sure to schedule in plenty of time for swinging on a hammock and enjoying the breeze (which is indeed a legitimate activity on Caye Caulker).

Video: Belize Dive Trip 2014, 36min.
Rob & Terra Wade diving in Belize (including Blue Hole) in August 2014, just prior to 25th wedding anniversary. Plenty of sharks and turtles. Show more

Video: National Youth Orchestra of Belize: Lord of the Rings theme, min.
a piece played by Belize's Youth Orchestra on August 23, 2014 at the Bliss Center.

Video: Belize 2014 Short, 9min.

Video: Belize Professor Robert Hill on the history of UNIA in Belize part 5, 14min.

Video: Belize Emerson Guild on Dialysis Treatment in Belize, 3min.

Video: The Belize Guatemala Territory Dispute, 9min.

Video: Belize-A day in the life, 10min.

Video: Prince Harry's Visit to Belize Belize Telemedia Limited rv Video of Xunantunich, 29min.

Video: Belize 2014 Extended 2 of 2, 14min.
This is the extended edition of the AVPC Youth mission trip to Belize, 2014 (2 of 2)

Video: San Pedro, Belize, 2min.
Going through downtown in a golfcart

Video: The Sound of a Jungle at Night (Belize), 1/2min.

August 24, 2014


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

Letter to the Editor: Wolfgang Wind
Most home owners in my community (including me) also see the urgent need for a Master Plan – Building Zoning Plan and Law. New buyers are not secure what can or cannot be erected on neighboring properties, leaving this open to possible very nasty surprises. The absence of such a plan is currently discouraging affluent buyers in need of tranquility and open the range for irresponsible developers in business for a quick buck and maximum profits but with disregards for the neighborhood. Here in the South of San Pedro, we had already several single-family, single-story home owners selling and leaving the island because of new, unreasonable and unsuitable developments right next door. The current situation is scaring other home owners away, trying to sell quickly before a bad surprise can or will happen to them as well.

Wanted suspect Jason Gillett captured
A wanted suspect has been arrested and is pending charges of “Aggravated Assault” and “Attempt Murder”. On Monday, August 18th at about 9PM, 28-year-old Jermaine Zuniga reported to the San Pedro Police that his life had been threatened by a Jason Gillett. According to Zuniga, he was riding his bicycle towards his home in San Mateo earlier in the night when he was assaulted by a person hiding in the road side. Zuniga stated Gillett, also known as “Skilla”, was stooping down in nearby bushes by the road side. When Zuniga passed on his bicycle, Gillett walked towards him and pointed a 9mm Pistol in his direction, firing four shots. Zuniga quickly jumped off his bicycle and escaped the shots, fleeing the scene to report the incident.

Editorial: Giving (and taking) credit where it’s due
I love a story with a happy ending, especially when all odds are against the hopeless ending and there’s a cast of characters that range from visionary and heroic to dastardly. And so the story of the police barracks unfolded, from the sad beginning of deplorable housing for our local police, to the blatant neglect of the Government of Belize (GOB), to the unbelievable tenacity and determination of the San Pedro business community and donors who joined forces when coming to the rescue and to the undeserving taking credit for doing nothing. As far back as 2001, the story begins, when the San Pedro Police Force went on record condemning the lack of proper living conditions at their barracks. Without proper infrastructure, plumbing and wiring, officers were reduced to living in less than ideal conditions. It was no wonder that some of those entrusted to protect our community struggled with their pride and questioned how much we valued them as public servants. Although the topic was brought to the attention of the government by every Chief of Police since, no assistance was ever offered to improve the living conditions of the officers who served our community.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Cornerstone Distributes Footballs
Cornerstone gave out footballs, which were donated by one of their volunteers, to local youths. Thanks, Cornerstone! "Cornerstone Foundation handing out soccer balls to the children of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, the balls were received through one of our volunteers named Mr. Ben Milder and his family who were on a trip here in Belize and had allocated the balls and asked us to distribute them to kids so that they can have a positive tool in an effort to give them more opportunity to be proactive about their future."

Culture of Peace Art Project
The Benque House of Culture was the setting for the Culture of Peace Art Project. Looks like it was a fun experience. "The Art life, Culture of Peace Art a project, creating and inspiring Belizean Arts."

Miss Belize at Miss Freedom of the World Pageant
Great picture! Best of luck to Jessel Lauriano, who is representing Belize at the Miss Freedom of the World 2014 pageant, which is being held in Kosovo. She took 5th place in the bikini competition. Congratulations, Jessel, and have fun representing Belize.

Birding Course at BBG
The Belize Botanic Gardens were the setting for this month's Bird Identification course, given by Roni Martinez. Looks like it was a great turnout. There are more courses coming in September and October. In related news, the Belize Botanic Gardens had another great graduating class from their Professional Gardeners class. The Benque Marimba Academy played at the event. "And today ends another successful Bird Identification/Birding Intro course at Belize Botanic Gardens. We had participants from all over the country and I was really glad to see an equal amount of young ladies very interested in Birding!"

The Reporter

Earthquake hits Chile
A 6.6-magnitude earthquake rocked Valparaiso, Chile on Saturday but there were no immediate reports of injuries or serious damage. The quake occurred at 7:23 p.m. EDT, and interrupted electricity and telephone service in some areas. Posts on social media showed grocery store isles littered with fallen merchandise and street cameras shaking as the quake struck.

The Belize Times

Enough Is Enough! – Succotz Takes a Stand
2014 will go into the history books as the day Succotz residents stood up against Police wrongdoing and abuses. The images of tires ablaze, bundled with trees and other debris, blocking the George Price highway were broadcast by all media houses for the entire country to see. Concerned Succotz residents were protesting the reckless killing of one of their fellow residents, 54-year-old Yolanda Consuelo Valencia. Valencia, a mother of 5, was on her way to San Ignacio around 5:30 on Saturday August 16th morning. She was travelling in a taxi cab driven by her cousin 28 year old Yanie Evan Cu. Suddenly, from the opposite direction, came a Nissan Pathfinder driven by Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura which slammed into the taxi cab. Valencia died instantly from brutal impact.

Police make huge crystal meth bust! – Suspects engaged Police in high speed chase through OW Town
Residents of Orange Walk Town have described the scene of tonight’s high speed chase between Police Officers and the occupants of another vehicle as if it were a trailer for an action movie. About 7:30 on Wednesday August 20th, the Police’s Anti-Drug Unit saw a black Toyota Corolla car with license plate OW-00623 swerving side to side along the street. The ADU officer attempted to stop the vehicle by driving next to it and signalling the occupants to pull to the side. Instead the car sped off in high speed. The suspects headed down Belize-Corozal Road and attempted to turn into Liberty Avenue, but because of its speed the vehicle flipped over. The occupants of the car didn’t give in. They set off on foot, but could not outrun the Police and were captured. They were identified as 49 year old Ruperto Eulalio Reyes of Sittee River Street address and Cuban national, 52 year old Pascual Terrero Pineda of a Boca Del Rio area resident in San Pedro Town.

COLA Appeals Penner Trial
Following months of delay tactics and sabotage from the UDP Administration, the private prosecution of corrupt UDP Elvin Penner was thrown out of the Magistrate’s Court for lack of evidence on July 24th. But Citizens Organized for Liberty thru Action (COLA) is not giving up. On Wednesday August 13th 2014 their attorney, Kareem Musa, applied to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal Magistrate Aretha Ford’s decision. Musa indicated that they are challenging the Magistrate’s decision to throw out the case instead of applying sections of the law which gives her authority to summon key witnesses to Court for testimony.

Deputy ComPol Miguel Segura charged for fatal collision
Under heavy pressure from a protesting crowd of residents at the entrance to Benque Viejo del Carmen, the Police Department levied criminal charges on Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura at the Belmopan Magistrate Court on Tuesday, August 19th. Segura was taken to court and charged with Manslaughter by Negligence, Causing Death by Careless Conduct, Driving a Motor Vehicle Without Due Care and Attention, Driving with Alcohol Concentration above the Prescribed Limit, Negligent Grievous Harm and failing to alter direction to give way. According to the Police, the results of the blood sample taken from Segura on the day of the accident showed his alcohol level at 205/100. The legal limit is 70/100.

The Return of the 7th
Discussions around the issue of dual citizens have once again forced itself onto the front burner and it seems that there are some who just will not give up. In 2009, the current UDP administration proposed an amendment to the Belize Constitution that sought to “remove the Dual citizenship disqualification for membership of the House of Representatives or the Senate”. As it stands, the Constitution prohibits anyone who is a citizen of any other country from running for high office. The 2009 proposal caused a huge public outcry and the government was forced to “wheel and come again”. A Seventh Amendment was passed and it cleared the way for the Caribbean Court of Justice to replace Her Majesty’s Privy Council as our final court of appeal. It also made it possible for government to appoint an attorney general “who may or may not be a member of either the House of Representatives or the Senate” but the controversial section four had to be removed. The people of Belize made it clear that a person running for high political office “shall” be one hundred percent Belizean.

Editorial: Lessons from Succotz
Succotz sits on a scenic sight in front of the green rolling, roaring waters of the Belize River. Only a road separates the village of Succotz from this ancient and majestic river. Many indigenous women from Succotz still traditional do their washing in the river, the way their ancestors have done for hundreds and hundreds of years at that same spot. Across the other side of the life giving waters of the Belize River sit the timeless temple of Xunantunich – an irrefutable testament to the grandeur of our Maya history, replete with proof of geometry, astrology, engineering, agriculture and advanced knowledge. A small tourist trade involving the sale of hammocks and souvenirs takes place on the road side where a ferry carries curious tourists to visit the ancient Maya temple.

Lord’s Bank Sunrise wins Belize Rural softball championship
Lord’s Bank Sunrise won the 2014 Belize Rural female softball championship finals at the Lord’s Bank field over the weekend. Veteran pitcher Margaret Hendy punctuated the culmination of her career as she led Sunrise to a 10-7 win over the Burrell Boom Orchid girls in the championship finale on Sunday. Stacy Smith had led the Sunrise girls to a 9-6 win over the Orchid Girls in game 1 of the finals earlier in the afternoon. Smith had also led the Sunrise girls to an 11-8 win over Willows Bank United when the playoffs began on Saturday. Sunrise’s hitters scored 11 runs off Jacqueline Cassasola’s pitching.

Team Santino’s Warren Coye wins Weekend Warriors cycling time trials
Team Santino’s celebrated the lives of their fallen teammates Ernest “Jawmeighan” Meighan and Ernest “Tangalang” Thurton with a win in the Weekend Warriors individual time trials held on the Burrell Boom bypass road over the weekend. Here are the results: A Division 1st Warren Coye – Team Santino’s – 28:53 2nd Daniel Cano – Digicel 4G – 29:12 3rd Stephen Bissett – Team BNE – 29:25 4th George Abraham Sr – Team Santino’s – 29:39 5th Robert Mariano – Team Digicel 4G – 29:54.

Belize Bank Bulldogs & Complex Generals face off in basketball finals
The Belize Bank Bulldogs and the Complex Admirals won through to the Belize City firms basketball championship finals both by eliminating their rivals by aggregate score wins in the semifinals at Bird’s Isle on Friday night. The Bulldogs eliminated BWS by an aggregate score of 106 – 97. In Game 2 of the semifinals on Saturday, BWS won 51-46, led by Lawrence Young with 9 points. Kareem Thompson added 8pts, Ashley Hemsley had 7pts and Akeem “Timmy” Trapp added 6 points while Graham and Barcelona scored 5 points apiece. Bulldogs’ Vince Lamb scored 17 points, Charlie Armstrong added 14 points, and Terrique Gabb scored 8 points. In Game 1, the Bulldogs won 60-46.

Did Godwin Hulse bring back the Kim Won Hong??
Belize City, August 19, 2014 The shameful cover up of Elvin Penner’s criminal wrongdoing by Government agents continues. Belizeans were cautiously hopeful that Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse would return from his high-level five-day visit to Taiwan with the Kim Won Hong Passport. The Won Hong passport is a crucial piece of evidence ...

AMAZING GRACE – The Heavy Yoke
Belize is enduring dark and violent times with a rise in shootings and murders. Just recently, an iconic cyclist was murdered in cold blood. And though every act of violence is an arousing degradation of human life, this particular murder carried a much harsher stink of unfairness and wrong. Belizeans ...

HOME ECONOMICS – An Unjust, Unbalanced, Broken Tax System Part 2
I. OBSERVATIONS, ANALYSIS & RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FISCAL REFORM a. BUSINESS TAX – in 2013, the government reported collecting BZ$135 million from turnover on all businesses with sales over BZ$75,000 per annum at a rate of 1.75% of sales. This suggests that businesses completing returns for business tax reported total turnover of ...

Rhett Fuller, Errol Elrington and Sedi Elrington – What a web Sedi weaves!
July 10th, 2008- Foreign Minister Sedi Elrington meets with US Charge de Affairs and other US officials in Belize and gives them assurances that the extradition request for Rhett Fuller (and Mark and Gary Seawell) will proceed and he will ...

The Question the UDP Chairman was afraid to answer
Cayo District, August 20, 2014 The normally loud-mouth, bombastic UDP Chairman Alberto August has a knack for pretending to know all the answers to every problem. But August went totally silent when his Facebook page was smacked with a post from ...

By Dolores Balderamos Garcia At the top of the news from the Caribbean last week was the report that the Kamla Persad Bissessar Government in Trinidad and Tobago had successfully steered through Parliament a Constitutional Amendment Bill, which is due to be debated by the Upper House (the Senate) later this ...

BNTU to GOB: Deal With Crime!
August 21, 2014 The Council of Management and general membership of the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) wish to express, through this medium, our deepest sorrow and condolences to the family, friends, colleagues and loved ones of Mrs. Josephine Augustine as well as our hope and prayers for the complete and ...

By Francis W. Fonseca Economists generally agree that corruption in a country leads to a 1% to 2% decrease in GDP growth annually. The corrupt practices of this UDP Government are well established and documented. This essay is not about corruption. It is about incompetence which also directly negatively impacts GDP growth. Incompetence leads ...

Godwin & the Penner Passport
Dear Editor, I saw a picture of Godwin Hulse in Taiwan with his counterpart signing some unknown agreement on Belize’s behalf. I had to think to myself… the Minister of Immigration went to Taiwan - no other than Mr. Perfect Godwin Hulse. Then I asked myself…did he get the passport sold ...

GOB neglects Western Border
Dear Editor, Government’s lack of concern for the comfort and safety of grassroots Belizeans continues to be displayed at the Benque border in the last month of the summer holiday. On Sunday (August is a heavy shopping period for back to school items) there was total chaos at the western border in ...

Don’t build your house upon a ROC
In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus shares with us the parable about the two builders. In the parable, the foolish man built his house upon the sand whereas the wise man built his house upon the rock. When the rains came the house built upon the sand was washed away but the house built upon the rock stood fast. On June 5, 2014 several pressure groups came together to form the Rod of Correction (ROC). The President of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) informed the media that it was the “trade union movement, in an attempt to bring the social partners together” that called for the meeting and implicitly, the formation of the ROC.

Patrick JonesPJ

Galen University inaugurates Toledo campus center
One year after it first began offering degree programs in Toledo, today Galen University inaugurated its own campus centre in Punta Gorda town. During brief ceremonies, the inauguration was done at Galen’s location on Jose Maria Nunez Street in PG, with a group of dignitaries, students and other […]

Tropical Depression forms over Turks and Caicos
The fourth Tropical Depression of the 2014 Hurricane Season has formed. TD-4 formed today over the Turks and Caicos Islands and forecasters expect that by Monday it will be a Hurricane. At 3 pm today, TD-4 was located about 75 miles Northeast of Great Inagua Island and […]

Toledo to choose its Queen of the Bay tonight
Six beautiful young ladies are tonight vying for the coveted Queen of the Bay crown in Punta Gorda town. The PG Sport Auditorium will come alive with the pageant beginning at 7 pm. The contestants are Rholeen Sabal, Chelsea Flores, Michelle Petillo, Jessica Baki, Lea Nunez and […]

Cooperative members get training in seed production management
Members of the Santa Rosa Development Cooperatives in the Stann Creek district have undergone training in seedling and production management in cover structure agriculture production. Ten members successfully underwent the day-long training which was facilitated by the Cooperatives Department with technical support from the Extension Service in the […]


Grand Caribe Resort: Two Nights in Total Comfort in this Gorgeous Location
Grand Caribe Resort, located in the gorgeous Tres Cocos area just north of San Pedro town, is relatively new. Opened in 2010 on a huge piece of land, it is the island largest resort and a departure from many of the original thatched roofed accomodations on Ambergris Caye. Here everything is spacious, clean and new – from the massive, massive swimming pool (not the only one on the property) to the beautifully appointed private unit I was staying in. I just returned from two nights at Grand Caribe and what I can tell you for sure? I loved my time there, the location is close to perfect, the sea front is absolutely gorgeous and I was very, very comfortable. Here are some of my pictures. The end of the dock – a beautiful swimming or lounging area.

Whisk sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil together in a bowl until sugar is dissolved; set aside. 2.Toss kale, edamame, red onion, carrot, blueberries, dried cranberries, cashew pieces, and sunflower seeds together in a bowl. Pour about half the dressing over the mixture and toss to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours. Serve remaining dressing on side.


Video: Under Sea in Belize, 3min.

Video: Snorkeling Belize Gopro 3, 5min.
snorkeling in Belize, around Caye Caulker island june 2014 spots: Belize, Caye Caulker Barrier Reef, Hol Chan Reserve, Shark Ray Alley

Video: Belize Ambergris Caye, 7min.
Scuba diving on Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Video: Portuguese Man O' War, San Pedro, Belize, 1min.
One of the coolest creatures (or rather, colony of creatures) i have ever seen in the ocean. Not quite in the same league as a whale shark, but still very cool! Show more

Video: Black Jaguar Lucky Boy at Belize Zoo, 4min.
You can pay a fee to "high five" the melanistic jaguar at Belize Zoo. Very interesting and fun activity!

Video: Dung beetle, Xunantich, Belize, 1min.
Short video of a dung beetle rolling her dung ball.

August 23, 2014


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

Psychology Today: Domestic Violence
Women who are victims of domestic abuse remain in these types of relationship for a number of reasons: (1) Perhaps it’s the only type of love she knows (these types of relationships can be learned); (2) Perhaps it’s because she has nowhere else go (she could be thrown out the door tomorrow, or now, if she doesn’t ‘comply’); (3) Perhaps it’s because she has no-one but the abuser to turn to (e.g., he pays the bills, she has lost her friends due to isolation and his controlling nature); (4) Perhaps it’s for the children’s sake, or, perhaps more importantly, (5) She lacks the self respect or self esteem necessary to gain back the independence she may have once had before the relationship began so many years ago.

Special Envoy of Uruguay visits Belize
Special Envoy of Uruguay H.E. Ambassador Gonzalo Koncke visited Belize on August 15, 2014 on a special mission. He was welcomed in Belize City and met with H.E. Alexis Rosado, CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and his team. In their meeting they discussed ways of enhancing bilateral cooperation between Belize and the Republic of Uruguay. Among other things, Ambassador Gonzalo Koncke confirmed the Government of Uruguay’s support for Belize’s candidate Ambassador Nestor Mendez for the post of Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS). This follows an earlier announcement by Belize to support the candidacy of Uruguayan Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Dr. Luis Almagro for the post of Secretary General of the OAS, a decision that was reconfirmed during this visit.

New US Ambassador to Belize Carlos Moreno meets with the local media
The new Ambassador of the United States of America to Belize, His Excellency Carlos Moreno started his tour of duty in Belize in July. Since then, HE Moreno has been meeting with various sectors of the Belizean society. On Thursday August 14th, he met with the media for the first time at the US Embassy in Belmopan City. Even though he had spoken at impromptu occasions to the Belizean press, the Ambassador officially had his first round table discussion with various media personnel from The San Pedro Sun, Great Belize Production (Channel 5), Channel 7, Plus TV, Amandala and Krem Radio. HE Moreno addressed a variety of topics of interests, including Belize’s territorial sovereignty and security, the visa status of former Minister of State Elvin Penner in light of the immigration scandal, the US support to gay groups and gay marriage, the lack of law for protection of media personnel in Belize, as well as the ongoing investigation into the brother of Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Ambergris Today

$2Mil US Worth of Crystal Meth Taken Off Belize Streets
The Belize Anti- Drug Unit has made a major drug bust in Orange Walk Town worth $2Mil US dollars. According to the Police Report on Wednesday, August 20, 2014, at about 7:20 p.m. the Anti-Drug Unit intercepted a black Toyota Camry car with license plates OW-C-00623 which was seen swaying across the street. Upon seeing the police, the driver of the car sped off heading onto the Phillip Goldson Highway in the direction of Liberty Avenue where it was stopped. Both occupants of the vehicle attempted to flee on foot, however, police managed to apprehend both of them.

Belize Ranked Second Fastest Growing Caribbean Tourist Destination
At the beginning of 2013 the Belize Tourism Board embarked on a new logo and slogan campaign for the country that enticed visitors to the Belizean experience, to BE-lize (or Be Belize). The campaign has helped boost the country’s tourism industry and catapulted the nation into the international spotlight with magazine spreads, network television highlights, advertising campaigns, celebrity visits and social media spotlights that are all about sharing the Belizean experience. Increasing numbers of tourists uncover Belize treasures - Figures from the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) show that Belize ranked the second fastest growing Caribbean tourist destination (behind only Turks and Caicos Islands) with an increase of 11.6% in tourist numbers in February 14, compared to the previous year. Belize registered 32,712 tourist arrivals in February: Travel and Tourism is expected to contribute an additional 4.1% to Belize’s GDP in 2014.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Etymology for Ambergris Caye's name
Anybody expert on Belizean history think the following is plausible account of the history of Ambergris Caye's name?...I think I may have stumbled upon a more accurate etymology for Ambergris Caye. At least, I have a plausible alternative etymology to the current popular speculations. Apparently there is some confusion as to how Ambergris Caye got its name. What might be slightly misleading historians is the literal meaning of ‘Ambergris’: it is ‘a wax-like substance that originates as a secretion in the intestines of the sperm whale, found floating in tropical seas and used in perfume manufacture’. (or in [slightly inaccurate] layman’s terms: ‘[sperm]whale vomit’) Why name an island after whale vomit? because it is/was very valuable:

Landlines, DSL interrupt Sun am Indigo to XtanHa

Attention all students, classes for the school year 2014-2015 will begin on: Monday, August 25 for Fourth Form. Tuesday, August 26 for First Form. Wednesday, August 27 for Third Form. Thursday, August 28 for Second Form. Hope everyone had a wonderful summer and are ready to work hard for the new school year! The summer holidays will soon be over and time to get down to some serious work at school. Power to the students in the struggle!

Market Vendor Computer Training
Beltraide's senior IT officer, Cayo's very own Keila Mai, came back home to train some of the market vendors about using computers for their businesses. Thanks, SBDC! "San Ignacio Training for Market Vendors in Computer Basics.... great job by our Senior IT officer at BELTRAIDE!"

Tourism Eco Camp: Xunantunich
The Cayo Tour Guide Association's Eco Tourism Summer Camp went well. Hopefully, it'll be happening every Summer. They have some great pictures from the trip to Xunantunich on their CTGA website. "The kids received a guided tour from Jorge De Leon 'Lion,' Alba Tut, and yours truly, Cruz Cambranes. The tour went well, just as planned. The questions certainly poured in. Down below you will find pictures of the tour. We later left the site and went to Nabitunich where they camped for one night. The kids and the camp leaders played a few games of volleyball."

Channel 7

Alleged Crystal Meth Smugglers Jailed
Tonight, the men who police caught with 120 pounds of Crystal Meth are in jail, after being arraigned in the Orange Walk Magistrate's Court. They are 49 year-old Belizean Ruperto Reyes from Orange Walk and 52 year-old Cuban Pascual Pineda from san Pedro. Police say that these men had at least 4 million Belize dollars' worth of the highly addictive drug in the back seat of the car they were in. They have since been charged with 1 count each of trafficking a class B drug, and they were arraigned after 4:00 this evening. Because of the seriousness of the drug they've been accused of trafficking, the case will be treated as indictable, and so no plea was taken. They've been remanded to the Belize Central Prison until September 30.

Brother Not Charged For Shooting His Younger Sibling
Orange Walk police are waiting for further instructions from the DPP in how to proceed with the criminal case, if any, against the man who shot and killed his brother by accident. As we told you 63 year-old Celso Moreno was out on a hunting trip with his brother 52 year-old Gumercindo Mendoza on Wednesday night at around 11 in the Yo Creek area. Moreno told police that they split up and around midnight, he thought he saw a deer, and fired his 12 gauge shotgun. It turned out to be his little brother Mendoza, and he died instantly from the injuries to his abdomen and head. But, while it was an accident, one man is still dead - so is it manslaughter? Investigators told us that if Moreno will be charged with any offences, the DPP's Office will direct them to do so.

Tour Guides Form Their Own Organization
The 2014 high season for cruise ships is on the horizon and the Tourism Board is trying to regulate affairs outside the often-chaotic Fort Street Tourism Village. Now, we are sure you've heard this story before since the BTB has been trying to regulate this hot zone for at least 8 years. But, the hustle and flow of the tourism village's economy and ecology seems to confound and defy any system that tries to impose order. So, this year's solution is to make the 60+ tour guides form their own union much like the taxi's - and much to the displeasure of four private master operators - who used to collect dues from the guides. That's what came out of this afternoon's meeting at the House of Culture where the man who would be president of the new association endorsed the new system: Efrain Cocom, President - General Tour Guide Assoc. "What is the reality is that there is one taxi association and 4 operator companies that are running the entire business out there and everybody have to find work under these bodies - pay their dues and the job that comes out does not goes to everybody, it goes for a certain few that have connection the tendering service that goes directly to certain people outside. So the idea that BTB has is a very brilliant idea and I think it would work if its fine tune to the point where the association is form that was once before where there was an association rather than companies and then these group of guys can vote for their own executive, remove their own president if necessary and follow under their guide lines."

Belize And Uruguay Discuss Impending OAS Elections
Ambassador Gonzalo Koncke Pizzorno, the Special Envoy of Uruguay, was in Belize a week ago on a special mission to improve relations between the both countries. A major part of his visit was to discuss how Belize and Uruguay will support each other in the elections for the next OAS Secretary General, to be held next year. A Month ago, we told you about how a Belizean might become the Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of the American States. Belize announced the candidacy of Ambassador Nestor Mendez for the post at the 43rd Summit of SICA, which was held in June in the Dominican Republic. Belize has decided to back the Uruguayan Candidate for the more Senior post of Secretary General, after the current Sec Gen Jose Miguel Insulza officially leaves office in May of next year. He's Uruguayan Foreign Minister Dr. Luis Almagro, and he's running against a former Guatemalan Vice-President President, Eduardo Stein Barrillas.

DCP Segura Did Check On The Accident Victims
6 days ago, Deputy Police Commissioner Miguel Segura was in an accident outside of Benque Viejo Town in which 54 year-old Yolanda Valencia from Succotz was killed. It has caused major public outrage because firstly, the second-most senior cop in the country was allegedly drinking and driving, and also because he was featured in that vile video which went viral. It shows him he was zipping up his pants and taking a leisurely drag from a cigarette a few feet away from the wreckage of the accident and Valencia's body. Segura has been harshly criticized for that behaviour, and members of the public say that he seemed to show little regard for the loss of life. Well, 7News has gotten hold of cell phone footage taken moments after the accident happened. Here's what it looks like. The horns are still blaring from the taxi, and as the civilian taping the scene gets closer, responders are trying to find out if the driver 28 year old taxi driver, Yanie Evan Cu, is okay. He informs them that Yolanda Valencia is dead.

The Winning Mobile App Design
Earlier this week, we told you about the PUC's Mobile Apps workshop - where 45 teenagers between the ages of 12 and 18 were selected to take part in the first annual innovation competition - an intensive one week course in mobile application design and development. Well, today the 45 participants of the PUC's Mobile Application workshop presented their apps. They were split into 8 groups and had only 5 days to create their mobile apps. And while today marks the closing of this year's program, Executive Director for Bright Path Foundation Bevil Wooding states that it also marks the beginning of a technological transformation in Belize. While Wooding reflected on the success of the 5 day workshop, the two 1st place winners shared the design of their prized mobile apps: Bevil Wooding, Executive Director, Bright Path Foundation "This has been a most incredible week of mobile innovation, creativity, determination - these kids it was said that they'd be running off after 5 o'clock to do other things surrounded by such temptations but every single night from Monday through Tuesday through Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, they have put in the hours to present the apps that they will be showing this evening. This has been a fantastic experience and I think it's safe to say that Belize now have new innovators and new innovations that's going to shock the country and I think also express the region and the world."

Why The General Legal Council Is Nonfunctional
Last night we aired the comments from Attorney General Wilfred Elrington when he spoke on the General Legal Council. That's the body which is supposed to hear complaints from the public about attorneys who fail to live up to their professional obligations. But, there's a tremendous backlog and the body hasn't met since earlier this year - with both the Bar and the AG's office pointing fingers at each other. The Bar says he stopped them form meeting; he says they were conducting their work in a slovenly fashion. And as for the backlog, AG Elrington says the blame can't be laid at his feet because he's been travelling for...years(!):... Hon. Wilfred "Sedi" Elrington, Attorney General "While I'm in country I call the meetings, while I'm not in the country they were free to call the meetings and I can tell you that for 6 years I was more out of the country than in, so for 6 years they had a free reign to run the general legal council."

SICA Discuss Climate Change
A list of the countries most vulnerable to climate change in the whole world was recently compiled and it shows Belize at number 12, between Kiribati and Cambodia. Antigua and Barbuda is at the number one position, while St. Kitts is at #3, Bahamas is at 14, while Guyana is at 18, and Jamaica at 20. It's relevant this week because Central American Countries are meeting in Belize under the SICA Banner to discuss climate change. The Ministry of Fisheries , Forestry and Sustainable Development is chairing those meetings and CEO Adele Catzim Sanchez told us how Belize is positioned: Jules Vasquez "Is Belize particularly at risk in this climate change context, when we see that we don't see any other Central American country on this table?" Adele Catzim, CEO - Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, Sust. Dev. "We are particularly at risk. It doesn't mean that the other Central American countries are not, it's just that we have been very active in doing the research and presenting that in the international forum. But if you were to listen to the discussions taking place this morning you would find out that in Central America drought right now is a major issue, so they have major economic losses that have come from not having enough rain to have the crops reproduce or to produce the crops and so this is one of the huge/large regional issues that is on the table here today. Even though Belize isn't suffering or doesn't have the loss and damages from climate change in the same way that it might be experience in the other Central American countries, we still see an opportunity for us to come together to support each other."

Dorado Charged With Gang Insignias; Claims Harrassment
34 year-old Angel Dorado, a resident of Mile 8 on the Western Highway is out on bail after police charged him for tattoos they believe to be gang related. Dorado is claiming police harassment and that police are trying to get him tied up in nuisance charges. Yesterday, police went to his home and searched him for illegal items. When they didn't find anything, they inspected him and found that he had several tattoos on his arm. They took an interest in 2 of them - namely the letters "O" on one arm, and a "G" on the other. That forms "O-G", as in "Original Gangster" - a term that's been in popular parlance, everyday talk and rap music since (at least) the early 90's. Still, police took that to mean that he is a member of one of the local bloods gang, and so they charged him with gang insignias. He was arraigned today before Magistrate Herbert Panton, where he pleaded not guilty and was released on bail of $500. He must return to court on October 30.

Citizen Train To Patrol With Police
The relationship between the community and the police is…can we say, "complicated?" The community wants the police to keep the peace, while many, justifiably, accuse the cops of causing war, with brutality and insidious tactics, pitting one rival group against the other. But, a new initiative called Citizens on Patrol is geared at restoring that relationship while peace and good order in society. Sounds like a dream, right? But, the orientation began today at Maude Williams High School and the coordinators discussed the importance and the expectation of the program. Rt. Superintendent Rudolph Orio, National Coordinator, Citizens on Patrol Program "In this 3 days we will be giving them police procedures, a little bit of law, observation technique and methods how to get things done in the easiest fashion and they will be getting training for the next 6 months on the job - in service training. So it isn't only the 3 days training that they will get, it is only an orientation today and tomorrow. The benefit for the participants is to build back morality that we have lost on a whole and them assisting the society. The benefits for them is that they will be satisfied that they have tried to help society at large in their safety and welfare."

Taiwan Will Sponsor September Fireworks
This year, your September fireworks and a whole lot more in the celebrations month is going to be underwritten by the Taiwanese Government. This afternoon the September Celebrations Commission received a donation of forty thousand dollars from the Ambassador of Taiwan. Co-Chair of the Commission, Diane Haylock said that the Taiwanese have been longtime supporters of the celebrations. Diane Haylock - Co-Chairperson, September Celebrations Committee "As everybody knows that Ambassador Benjamin Ho who is relatively new. As the ambassador he has live and work in Belize before but he is back this time as the ambassador and this is our first opportunity to work with him in the support of the work that we do. You know that its celebration time in Belize and as has been the case for quite some time the Embassy of Taiwan in Belize has contributed faithfully to the resources that we make available to do all the various activities that are carried out throughout the country of Belize and we are grateful to once again receive the contribution that they are making to the 2014 calendar of events. As you may know Taiwan is very big on culture and so I think that it is on that basis that they find it within themselves to make that contribution to our celebrations. And we are really grateful to them because you know our government always gives us a handsome amount, but it's never enough for all the things that we want to do and so as the national celebrations commission we go out and we find additional resources and I must say that the embassy of Taiwan has been a faithful supporter."

That MUSAID/Youth Orchestra Concert
As we told you earlier this week, a group of international music instructors has been in Belize over a week now, working along with young musicians at the Bliss. As a reflection of their work, the National Youth Orchestra of Belize and the musical instructors are putting on a concert tomorrow night. There will be a little for everyone who enjoys great music masterfully played and today they told us why you should come out. The concerts starts at 7:30pm tomorrow night at the Bliss and tickets are twenty dollars.

Channel 5

Another Video Surfaces Showing Segura’s Immediate Response to Fatal RTA
On Saturday, there was a terrible road traffic accident near Succotz on the George Price Highway. Two vehicles were involved, one a small taxi and the other a Nissan SUV. [...]

BML to Receive Payment From City Hall for Five Weeks of Arrears
It’s been a couple weeks since the clash between the workers of Belize Maintenance Limited and the Belize City Council. Things came to a head after City Hall went into [...]

Orange Walk Resident Robbed at Gunpoint
There was an armed robbery in Orange Walk Town on Thursday afternoon.  According to Vicente Bol, a customer service representative of Carmelita Village, shortly after one o’clock, while outside of [...]

Taxi Union Up In Arms About BTB Decision at FSTV
There is an ongoing rift between the Belize Tourism Board and the Fort George Tourism Zone Tour Operators and Taxi Union to report on tonight, following a meeting held today [...]

Union Executives Demand Audience With BTB Director
According to the union’s secretary general Jimmy Robinson, the initial agreement was for them to be involved in the fine-tuning of those decisions.  Instead, the matter has been dealt with [...]

A Hundred and Twenty-five Tons of Sugar Lost At Sea
On Sunday, a barge belonging to Belize Sugar Industries capsized off the coast of Corozal.  Sinking along with the faulty vessel was almost a hundred and twenty-five tons of sugar [...]

Citizens On Patrol Program Launched by Police Department
The Citizens on Patrol Program, COPS, is an initiative by the Belize Police Department designed to enhance community participation and foster better communities. It’s by no means a novel idea [...]

Douglas Hyde Named PR Coordinator for Eastern Division
The Eastern Division of the Belize Police Department has a new Public Relations Unit. That unit will be staffed by current Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez, newly appointed Public Relations [...]

Angel Dorado Arraigned for Gang Membership
Today, thirty-four-year-old Angel Dorado and nineteen-year-old Shaquille Baeza appeared in the courtroom of Magistrate Herbert Panton. The men, residents of the Mile Eight community, were charged separately for gang offences. [...]

App Competition Brings Out Belize’s Finest Young Designers
Mobile Apps are everywhere…from smart phones to tablets and personal computers; they are made for just about everything including internet chats and Belizean dialect. This afternoon at the Ramada Belize [...]

Taiwanese Ambassador Hands Over Check to September Celebrations Committee
Taiwanese ambassador Benjamin Ho presented the National September Celebrations Committee with a check for twenty thousand U.S. dollars this afternoon to be used in defraying the cost of activities during [...]


Reimer's Feed Mill In O/W Robbed In Broad Daylight
Police are looking for two individuals who orchestrated an armed robbery at a local store in town and got away. The incident took place around one this afternoon when two men, one armed with a knife and the other with a gun entered Reimer’s Feed Mill on Lover’s Lane. Police report that the man wielding the gun hit the cahier on the head and demanded money. The cashier forcefully obliged and handed over an undisclosed amount of money. After receiving the money the men made good their escape on bicycles. Other than the cashier who sustained a hit to the head, no one else was seriously injured in the heist. According to police, the robbery was caught on tape. Orange Walk Police have not detained anyone and are looking for both individuals.

San Andres Chairman Discontent With BWS
The Chairman of San Andres Village in the Corozal District Is up in arms tonight and his vexation has a lot to do with Belize Water Services Limited. We understand that government has awarded BWS a portion of the land where the village’s Community Center lies. The plan is for BWS to build a water reservoir on the land in order to improve its water services in the area and to expand into the Corozal Commercial Free Zone. Now, Chairman of San Andres Village, Glenford Melvin, welcomes the improvement of water services to residents of the area but he is disappointed with the company since they have been unable to tell the Village Council what other upgrades will be carried out by them in the area as agreed on three years ago when negotiations between both parties began.

Problems At Seventh Day Adventist School In Progresso
Late this evening, of group of about 35 residents, mostly parents from Progresso Village, took a stand at the Progresso Seventh Day Adventist School awaiting the arrival of the Union’s Manager. The purpose of the gathering is to protest two teachers that they say is not competent for the job since their children’s grades and educational development is lacking. We spoke via telephone to one of the parents and protestor of today’s event. Anonymous – Parent/Protestor “The problem is that teachers are doing things out of the way and doing anything as they are supposed to do as teachers and whilst our kids are not learning anything they are doing, all kind of things and that is the reason why we went to the ministry of education, we have talked to the pastor and we are waiting there for an answer but the answer is that the same teachers are coming back here for September and we don’t want that because it is a lot of problem, a lot of stress we are going through as parent are paying for the education.”

Residents Of San Felipe Without Potable Water
This morning we received calls from residents in San Felipe Village who complained of not having access to potable water since Tuesday of this week. Our news team travelled to the village today to find out more about the situation. According to the Chairlady of the village, Cecilia Quetzal, the power to the pump was disconnected due to nonpayment. Quetzal says that the difficulties in meeting the electricity bill are due to residents failing to pay their monthly bill. CTV-3 News understands that there are a little over two hundred households connected to the water system and of that amount one hundred and ten are in arrears of three months and more.

Orange Walkeno Found Dead Inside Corozal Prison Cell
Tonight the Corozal Police formation has its hands full as it is conducting an internal and criminal investigation into the death of 47 year old Jesus Tamai. This morning at around 5:45, Tamai’s lifeless body was discovered hanging from his black shirt tied to the window of the cell he was occupying. Today when reporter Victor Castillo visited the Corozal morgue, he caught up with Leading Detective Fernando Valladarez who expounded on the investigation.

Huge Bust Of Crystal Meth Made In Orange Walk
A Belizean and a Cuban National were arrested last night in Orange Walk Town after members of the Anti-Drug Unit intercepted their vehicle on Liberty Avenue and made a major seize of drugs from off the streets. The commotion on the very busy Liberty Avenue shortly after seven had residents duck for cover since several shots were fired, but contrary to reports of the shots fired at the men, police say they were warning shots made in the air. Still, the Anti-Drug Unit’s quick response yielded a major find and its perpetrators behind bars. Reporter Maria Novelo has full details of the incident in the following report.

Hunting Trip Turns Deadly
One man is detained by Police for shooting and killing his older brother during a hunting trip on Wednesday night. The family of Gumercindo Ernesto Mendoza is still reeling in from the tragedy that unfolded sometime around eleven last night. Reports are that sixty-five year old Gumercindo Ernesto Mendoza and his brother, sixty-three year old Celso Moreno headed to their hunting grounds two miles South West on the Yo Creek Road. Mendoza’s wife Rosa Elena Garcia spoke with us and says her husband left about a quarter to seven yesterday night and indicated that he would be meeting his brother at their hunting area. Moreno told police that he and his brother went in separate directions and stuck to that strategy until around eleven in the night when he sighted a deer with his flashlight. Moreno says he fired a single shot from his licensed 12 gauge single action shotgun which missed his target and hit his brother instead. Moreno also explained what happened to his family.


Accused gang member charged
Being a member of a criminal gang is an offence in Belize. But it is rarely prosecuted despite the sheer number of professed gang groups occupying most of Belize City...

Youth fined for false statement in shooting case
18 year old Troy Augustus agreed to plea guilty to committing a mischievous act in respect of a police investigation, after police found he lied about an aspect of his statement to police.Corin Corey was allegedly shot while leaving Elite Nightclub and the policewoman investigating the case was l...

Reimer’s Feed Mill robbed in Orange Walk
On the afternoon of Thursday August 21,  Vicente Bol, of Carmelita Village, Orange Walk District reported that at about 1:00p.m. while outside of Reimers Feed Mill on Lovers Lane, Orange Walk Town , his attention was drawn to two men; one armed with a knife and the other with a firearm...

Lead in A &R robbery thanks to cameras
A couple of men took advantage of the high sales of the back to school season of A&R enterprise in Belize City, and robbed the establishment of over $13,500 in cash and valuable items...

Extensive investigations to be conducted in Corozal prisoner suicide
As we reported yesterday, early Thursday morning, a man behind bars was found dead at Corozal Police station and police are ruling it as suicide.According to police reports at around 5:45 on Thursday morning, PC Eustace Ordonez visited the cell block area at the Corozal Town Police station to bat...

Huge Crystal Meth bust in Orange Walk
It may be one of the largest crystal meth busts in the country of Belize, and it happened Wednesday night in the Orange Walk District...

Huge Crystal Meth bust in Orange Walk
It may be one of the largest crystal meth busts in the country of Belize, and it happened Wednesday night in the Orange Walk District. According to Police, on Wednesday 20th August at around 7:20 pm, while on Anti-Drug operation in Orange Walk Town, members of the Anti-Drug Unit attempted to stop a black Toyota car. ASP Tillett of the Orange Walk Formation filled us in on the details.

A & R Belize City robbed
As the summer ends, stationery stores are filled with costumers doing their back to school shopping. Two robbers took advantage of the season’s high sales and robbed A&R Enterprise in Belize City at Mile 1 1/2 on the Philip Goldson Highway late on Wednesday evening. According to police, around 6:27 p.m., as workers were locking up for the night, the security guard was followed into the establishment by a tall dark-skinned man whose face was masked by stocking. He was carrying a firearm, which he had pointed in the left side of the security guard. Police Sergeant Edwina Armstrong, who is in charge of Criminal Investigation Branch for Precinct 4 Police based in Belama, narrates what happened next.

Man mistakes his brother for a deer and kills him
On Tuesday August 20, at 11:55 p.m, Orange Walk Police were called to an area 2 miles South West on the Yo Creek Road, where approximately 50 feet from a feeder road, Police saw the body of 65-year-old Gumercindo Ernesto Mendoza of Orange Walk Town, lying on the ground face up, with wounds to the hands, abdomen and the left side of his head. Police also saw a shotgun and a machete about a foot away from the body, and a head lamp on the person’s head. His brother, 63-year-old Celso Moreno was on site, and told police what happened. ASP Tillett of the Orange Walk formation told us more.

Prisoner found dead hanging in Corozal Cell
A man was found dead hanging in a prison cell at the Corozal Police Station...

Vigil held for slain Hopkins teacher
On Thursday residents of Hopkins and the neighbouring communities of Stann Creek held a candle light vigil in memory of slain teacher Josephine Augustine, where they marched around the village calling out for justice. After the vigil residents and sympathizers alike held a small rally in the center ...

Armed Guatemalan men presumed robbers of San Ignacio business
On Wednesday August 20, at 4:00p.m., Police were alerted to a  robbery in progress in the El Pilar Area of San Ignacio Town. When police arrived at the scene, 52-year-old  Betty Cruz, of Bullet Tree Village, reported that at 1:00p.m...

Jason Williams beats assault charges
Alleged gang boss Jason “Soup” Williams is a free man, after charges of aggravated assault and discharging a firearm in public were dismissed at the end of a trial before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith...

Barge sinks with tons of sugar
A barge transporting raw sugar from the Tower Hill factory in Orange Walk to the Belize City Port sank On Wednesday, losing its entire cargo...

Did stress lead to Deputy Commissioner’s accident?
Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura’s steep fall from grace, in the wake of his traffic mishap on the Benque Viejo Road last Saturday, has resulted in a pause among senior officials of the Government of Belize, who hold to the line that he was properly and timely disciplined.


Dangriga and Hopkins mourn Josephine
The peace and tranquility of the serene seaside village of Hopkins were shattered by a violent and deadly home invasion at about 5:30 Monday evening at the home of a nationally well-known couple, Dudley Augustine, 71, and his wife, Josephine, 47, and many people whose lives had been touched by the two well-remembered teachers are in shock and anger at the savage attack on Dudley, and the senseless murder of Josephine. Police say that two men of Hispanic descent went into the couple’s vacation home and repeatedly stabbed both of them, then escaped in their vehicle. Robbery, police say, does not appear to have been the motive.

Police seize crystal meth worth BZ$4 million
The Anti-Drug Unit (ADU) have taken a bite out of the crystal meth trade in Belize after they intercepted approximately $4 million worth of the drug during an anti-drug operation in Orange Walk Town last night. As a result, two men were arrested and charged with drug trafficking. They will be taken to the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court tomorrow to be arraigned on the charges. ADU officers say that at about 7:20 last night, they intercepted a black Toyota Camry car with license plates OW-C-00623, which was seen swaying across the street.

120 to 125 tons of sugar sweeten the sea in Corozal
A Belize Sugar Industry barge carrying about 120 to 125 tons of sugar from Orange Walk Tower Hill Sugar Factory to Belize City sank in the area of Cerros in front of Corozal Town, and its cargo of sugar was lost. BSI authorities said that the barge carrying the sugar began to leak, which caused a rupture, causing it to go under. The incident occurred at about 7:00 Sunday evening between Sarteneja and Warrie Bight, but the operators were able to bring it to Cerros, where the barge went down completely, with its cargo of sugar.

2 robbers jack over 12 grand from A&R
Shortly before 6:30 yesterday evening, a pair of brazen robbers walked up to a security guard at A&R Enterprise Limited, located at Mile 1 ½ on the Philip Goldson Highway, and one of them stood at the door while the other put a handgun to the left side of the guard’s abdomen and ordered him inside of the store. The bandits then held up the terrified employees and made off with exactly $13,509.31 in cash and items. The store supervisor reported to police that at about 6:27 p.m., a tall, dark-complexioned man with a stocking over his face entered the establishment behind the store’s security guard with a firearm pointed at the security guard’s left side, while his Hispanic accomplice stood at the entrance of the building.

Dengue hemorrhagic cases spike on Southside Belize City
Ministry of Health officials confirmed to Amandala today that the incidences of dengue hemorrhagic fever – a severe and potentially deadly form of dengue – have increased in Belize City, and particularly on the Southside, although the total number of dengue cases appears to be similar to last year’s tally. Javier Alpuche, Senior Public Health Inspector, told Amandala that there have been a total of 105 dengue cases to date, with a notable spike since July 2014, but thankfully there have been no deaths due to the hemorrhagic cases, which are manifested with nose bleeds and bruise-like spots on the skin.

Case against Gilroy Usher, Jr., struck out for want of prosecution
Gilroy Usher, Jr., the son of People’s United Party (PUP) standard bearer for Port Loyola Gilroy Usher, Sr., who had several charges pending in the Magistrate’s Court from an incident in 2012, was able to [...]

Customs officer charged for manslaughter
A Customs officer was arraigned this morning at the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court in connection with the death of Onario Oba, 19, who was fatally shot in the face in Orange Walk five years ago. [...]

Police seek scurvy father and stepfather
Police are on the hunt for the father of a girl, 10, after he fondled her private parts, while the search is also on for the stepfather of a girl, 11, after he touched her breast. [...]

Editorial: The ebbing tide of integrity
There was one point in the New Testament when Jesus Christ was fasting alone in the desert, and Satan came and took Him up on the top of a mountain to show Him the riches and kingdoms of the world. Satan said, all these will be Yours, if, falling down, You will adore me. The story is a classic one, which may actually have more worldly meaning than religious significance. At the time of Christ, the Jewish people (not to be confused with today’s Israelis) were in a colonial condition, oppressed by the imperial Romans. Leading the Jewish people were various of their upper classes, including a “king,” who were collaborating with the Roman governor in the administration of Judea. According to the prophecies of the Jewish Old Testament, a Messiah from the House of David was supposed to come who would deliver the Jews from subjection.

From the Publisher
The June 1993 general election produced a stunning result in that the hastily-constructed UDP/NABR coalition defeated the heavily financed incumbent PUP by a margin of 16 to 13 in seats, even though the PUP polled 2,000 more votes overall in the 29 electoral constituencies. When the PUP went on to lose Town Board elections in March of 1994 by huge margins, there was a rebellion against what some PUP constituency bosses thought was the inordinate influence of Ralph Fonseca over party decisions. These dissident area representatives and standard bearers included Deputy PUP Leader Florencio Marin, Sr. of Corozal, Dan Silva of Cayo, Dr. Ted Aranda of Dangriga, and Senator Joe Coye of Belize City. I believe Johnny Briceño of Orange Walk and Vildo Marin of Corozal were involved at some point in what we have called the “May 15 Movement.” Cordel Hyde, who had recently won a constituency convention to become the chairman of PUP Lake Independence, and Senator Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, now the Belize Rural Central area rep, were members of May 15. Jorge Espat was an early visitor thereto, but he did not stay for long. The coordinator of May 15 appeared to be Bill Lindo.

Tennis News: 17-year-old Marco Mendez is Belize’s No. 1 Male Tennis Player!
BELIZE CITY—This past weekend, the Belize Tennis Association hosted the prestigious National Men’s Singles for the “Eric Eusey Trophy” at the Belize Pickwick Club tennis courts. In the first round, No. 1 seed Mike Sosa defeated [...]

Dangriga sports – Wagiya FC preparing for Premier League tournament
DANGRIGA—Boys and Girls U-12 football Here are some game results from the Dangriga Cancer Center Boys and Girls Club U-12 tournament that is being played at the Benguche Football Field. In game 1 last Thursday, August [...]

“Ladies” ready to defend his Masters crown
BELIZE CITY—Dedicated veteran long-distance runner, Anthony “Ladies” Flores stopped by the sports desk this morning to remind fans of the upcoming BDF Day Half-Marathon, which takes place next week Saturday, August 30. The 53-year-old Masters athlete, [...]

Belize submits provisional roster for Central American Cup
BELIZE CITY—We didn’t receive the list this week from the FFB, but the CONCACAF web site,, says that all 7 UNCAF countries had submitted their provisional team rosters on Monday of this week “for the [...]

Paul’s comments on Ambassador Moreno’s statements
Editor Sir: With reference to your article, “New U.S. Ambassador meets the Press,” which appeared in your August 17, 2014, issue and continued on pages 2 and 4. I would like to make a few comments. [...]

Don’t build your house upon a ROC
Dear Editor, In MATTHEW 7:24-27, Jesus shares with us the parable about the two builders. In the parable, the foolish man built his house upon the sand whereas the wise man built his house upon the [...]

A letter from Mr. Linker
Dear Editor, Major Jones raised an important issue in his July 27, 2014 letter “Diaspora, what have you done for me lately.” However, as a US citizen who has resided in this beautiful country since 1992, [...]

Belize faces heat over rights of Maya, LGBTI and migrant workers
BELIZE CITY—In a recent meeting held in Mexico City, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an organ of the Organization of American States (OAS), called out Belize over alleged human rights violations against the Maya [...]

Miracle in Corozal
COROZAL TOWN—Antholyn Vellos, 16, of Corozal Town, has undergone a seemingly miraculous recovery after he was retrieved from the bottom of the sea in an unconscious state near the Corozal Town Wharf about 5:30 Saturday evening. [...]

The National Youth Orchestra assisted to step up
BELIZE CITY—The National Youth Orchestra and Choir of Belize has received assistance to enhance their performance, to sharpen their skills as musicians, and to improve the overall functioning of the orchestra. The choir and orchestra are [...]

Harold Stansmore Young passes at 79
BELIZE CITY—Today, Monday, at 2:00 p.m., funeral services were held at the Wesley Methodist Church on Albert Street for Harold Stansmore Young, 79. He was known to his close friends as “Fats.” Officiating were Rev. Angus [...]

Canadian family threatens lawsuit against Belize police
SAN IGNACIO—The family of Jeffrey Furgula, a Canadian man who fell into a coma while in a jail cell in San Ignacio and who later died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City, says [...]

Customs officer charged for manslaughter
ORANGE WALK—A Customs officer was arraigned this morning at the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court in connection with the death of Onario Oba, 19, who was fatally shot in the face in Orange Walk five years ago. [...]

Two Haitians busted at PGIA with fake Belizean visas
BELIZE CITY—Two Haitians who have been living and working in Brazil were busted at the Philip Goldson International Airport when they attempted to enter Belize on Tuesday with fake Belizean visas. Donald Gedeon, 32, a Haitian [...]

Civil unrest in Succotz!
SAN JOSE SUCCOTZ—Acrid billows of thick, black smoke filled the atmosphere since early this morning near Mile 71 on the George Price Highway as an irate mob of almost 300 villagers from San Jose Succotz spontaneously [...]

The Reporter

Barge sinks with 120 tons of sugar
A barge containing 120 tons of sugar worth tens of thousands of dollars sank not far from Sarteneja in Cotozal shortly before midnight on Sunday after it took on water. The vessel, belonging to Belize Sugar Industries Ltd., was heading to Belize City where the produce was scheduled to be loaded for shipment abroad. The captain of the barge notified officials of the Belize Sugar Industries around 7:40 p.m. notifying that the the barge was taking on water rapidly. BSI instructed him to turn the vessel around and head for the company’s docking facility in Libertad but it never made it. Even though the sugar was lost BSI has an insurance policy that absorbs that kind of loss.

Winning Applications decided in PUC mobile App competition
The Public Utilities Commission held the closing ceremony for the first-ever Mobile Application Development Workshop and Competition on Friday. At the end of the workshop the 45 participants presented the applications they built during the week and voted amongst themselves to decide which two were the best. The app Discover Belize, done by the team Bel-Cay, and Bel-Lingo, done by the team Living Speech, won by popular vote. The discover Belize app is a tourism sector tool designed to help tourists and locals find tourist attractions in their area, while Bel-Lingo is a language-based application designed to help tourists communicate with locals by teaching common terms in languages such as Kriol, Garifuna and Mopan Maya.

US court finds Argentina’s plan to exit debt default illegal
A US court has ruled that Argentina’s plan to exit its debt default as illegal. Argentina had planned ask investors holding defaulted bonds to swap them for a new locally issued debt. New York Judge, Thomas Griesa said the plan was “lawless” but he stopped short of finding the country in contempt of court. Argentina was trying to get around an earlier court ruling banning it from paying interest to investors who had accepted restructured bonds. Mr Griesa ruled that the country must first pay the hedge funds holding out for full payment on the bonds on which it defaulted in 2001. The hedge funds, which bought Argentina’s bonds at a big discount after its economic meltdown and previous default in 2001-02, are owed an estimated US $1.3bn.

Protesters disrupt free flow of traffic, tourist travels in Western Belize
Protesters numbering almost 300 during the height of a riot in Succotz Village, Cayo on Tuesday successfully blocked the George Price Highway with tires and tree branches which they set on fire to demand swift action against Deputy Commissioner of Police, Miguel Segura following […]

Over $12 thousand stolen from A&R
Thieves made off with over $12,000 after a robbery at A&R Enterprise Limited at mile one-and-a-half on the Phillip Goldson Highway at around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Sergeant Edwina Armstrong, head of CIB for Precinct Four, said the robbery was done by two armed masked-men. […]

Health sector plagued by political appointments, says PNP leader
People’s National Party Leader Will Maheia condemned this week the various incidents of misappropriation of funds in the Ministry of Health, citing political appointments as one of the major causes. “There are too many political appointees in the ministry; this system creates an environment that […]

PG prioritised for multi-million-dollar sporting facility
Priority is being given to Toledo, oftentimes referred to as “the forgotten district,” for a new multi-milliondollar indoor sporting facility. The process of procuring the architectural team has already begun, and according to Christy Mastry, general manager of Belize Infrastructure Limited, the architectural design […]

Lionfish coming to Carnival and plates very soon
Oceana Belize and the Soca Moca Carnival Band have teamed up to raise awareness about the invasive lionfish species and to encourage Belizeans to use it as an alternative food source. According to Oceana Belize Vice President Janelle Chanona, the invasive species is eating […]

Dengue spikes in Belize City
The Central Health Region has intensified efforts to spray and kill mosquitoes in Belize City after recent data has shown a spike in the number of dengue cases, particularly in the Southside of the city. Javier Alpuche, senior public health inspector, said their surveillance […]

Unitedville resident stabbed to death
Victor Vargas, 37, a resident of Unitedville, Cayo, died shortly after he received a stab wound to the throat early Saturday morning. Vargas’ killer fled and remains at large after the incident which took place around 3 a.m. at the corner of Albert Street […]

Sizable amounts of weed seized during GSU raids
A series of anti-drug raids conducted by the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) over last weekend has yielded well over five pounds of marijuana, and in one instance, hand-crafted weapons and stingers. The last search inside a fenced lot near the residence of an alleged […]

DOE addressing oil spill problems in Belize
The Department of the Environment (DOE) is currently in the process of addressing problems of oil spills by updating and revising the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan through meetings with relevant stakeholders. Maxine Monsanto, acting senior environmental officer for DOE, explained to The Reporter […]

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights meeting in Mexico City for its 152nd special session has not minced words in expressing its displeasure with the Government of Belize over what it sees as serious human rights violations. Among the perceived violations are: 1. The legislation in place which criminalizes consensual […]

Police confiscate $2 million in crystal meth
Orange Walk police, who were on patron Wednesday night, intercepted a vehicle which they say was loaded with a stash of methamphetamine, popularly known as “crystal meth”, worth around $2 million. They have also detained two men, a Belizean of Orange Walk Town and a […]

Tragic accident claims life Test says Deputy Compol’s blood-alcohol level was above legal limit
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Miguel Segura, 48, faces six criminal charges and is on suspension from duty following a road traffic accident at mile 71 on the George Price Highway that claimed the life of Yolanda Valencia, 54, and left her cousin, taxi driver, […]

Visa Vetting Committee under scrutiny
The one-month old visa vetting committee has already come under fire, as two prominent organizations have taken issue with the fact that one of the committee’s members was named in the leaked Auditor General’s Preliminary report. Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s President Arturo […]

Patrick JonesPJ

Independent tour guides complain over reorganizing of Tourism Zone
While covering the handing over from Taiwan at the House of Culture we came across a sort of mini-protest on Regent Street. A group of independent tour guides had just come out of a meeting with the Belize Tourism Board concerning their continued operation at the Fort George […]

Accused gang member charged in court
Being a member of a criminal gang is an offence in Belize. But it is rarely prosecuted despite the sheer number of professed gang groups occupying most of Belize City. Today 34 year old Angel Dorado of Western Paradise village on the George Price Highway faced a charge […]

PUC presents future of mobile applications
This week young Belizeans from across the country converged on the Ramada Belize City Princess Hotel to learn about development of mobile applications. It is part of the Public Utilities Commission’s Young Innovators Program which is intended to provide a forum for young Belizeans to showcase their talents […]

Mostly fair weather and warm temperatures heading into the weekend
Moist and unstable conditions are currently influencing our weather heading into the weekend. The general forecast for Belize and her coastal waters is for partly cloudy skies tonight. On Saturday, skies will be sunny with cloudy periods. A few showers and isolated thunderstorms will occur over southern […]

Youth fined for false statement in shooting case
18 year old Troy Augustus agreed to plead guilty to committing a mischievous act in respect of a police investigation after police found he lied about an aspect of his statement to police. One Corin Corey was allegedly shot while leaving Elite Nightclub and the policewoman investigating the […]

Taiwan donates to September Celebrations
This afternoon the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) made its annual donation to help Belize celebrate the twin holidays of St. George’s Caye Day and Independence Day. Some BZ$40,000 was handed over from Ambassador Benjamin Ho to Co-Chair of the National Celebrations Commission and President of […]


My New (Temporary) Neighborhood: Tres Cocos On North Ambergris Caye, Belize
For the past two nights, I’ve been staying “up north” at the seriously well-appointed resort, Grand Caribe in one of my very favorite areas of the caye – Tres Cocos. I have always heard that it was named for three prominent coconut palms that used to stand in the area. Palms that marked the diving site and i think, a cut in the reef. Now it is beautiful San Pedro suburbia – the Greenwich, CT or Buckhead, Georgia of San Pedro. (AKA – the weathy ‘burbs.) Large private homes, a very scenic sand drive and some really cool bars & restaurants. According to this map, the area that I call Tres Cocos is actually three different subdivisions – Tres Cocos, El Tesoro and Buena Vista. Again…who knew? I’ll continue to call the area around the landmark Palapa Bar, Tres Cocos.

Unexplainable tech issue and San Pedro Help
On the topic of help, I recently had an interesting experience of taking someone to AA that needed a helping hand. While there I participated in reading aloud, met a couple of new people and had the privilege to listen to their stories. It was very rewarding to hear how far they fell and how well they are doing thanks to finding out AA was an available San Pedro. These people were all willing to make a decision that they wanted do better for the next 24h and to take the help available and improve their quality of lives. I can just imagine how difficult it is on the island, every direction you look you will find someone willing to have a drink with you and you can start your day buying alcohol as early as 6:00am if you know where to go. I have had someone once offer to buy me a drink at a bar and then go onto say he would only buy me that drink provided I chose alcohol not my first choice, a bottled water. I have also experienced a few places that do not sell bottled water – I know that is a plus for recycling but it is sadly one less option for those who do not want an alcoholic beverage.

Corruption in Belize courts
Tonight, there is a great deal of suspicion surrounding the actions of a senior court staffer, which suggest multiple, condoned irregularities within the lower court system. Gabriel Casey is a bailiff working for the Magistracy department, and his job is to go around collecting payments from defendants who are brought to court for civil suits. It usually involves individuals who prove to be difficult in honouring commitments with different business places like loan institutions or persons who’ve been sued and lost their case, where the court has ordered them to pay fines or compensation. Acting as an official enforcement arm of the court, Casey goes out and collects from those persons who owe, but the problem is, that persons he has collected from, claim that instead of depositing the money into the public purse or on behalf the finance institutions, he pockets it. We’re talking about hundreds and in some cases thousands of dollars, and from what 7News has been able to unearth through our investigation, there are several persons complaining that he misappropriated money that they gave him to deliver to the court as the collection agent.

Rugby: The First Four
The southern Districts have seemingly stormed ahead in setting up rugby football clubs in Belize, and the first four clubs have appointed organisors and are busy attracting players and volunteers through their social media campaigns. The Belize Rugby Board (Rugby Belize) has organized the country into two ‘Districts’ for domestic competition purposes; North includes Corozal, Orange Walk and Belize, and South covers Cayo, Stann Creek and Toledo. Hattieville United Rugby Football Union (part of the Hattieville United Youth Sporting Club), organized by Haddan Garbutt, is the headquarters of Rugby Belize. Rugby Belize plans to have a rugby football union in every major town throughout the country by the end of 2015, with a national team for sevens in place in time to commence training for the first big international sevens competition in 2015 / 16.

Explore Barton Creek Cave in Belize
Barton Creek Cave is about 45 minutes from San Ignacio Town. The tour is an exciting canoe trip into a remote cave formerly used by the ancient Maya as a burial site and for ceremonial purposes. A visit to Barton Creek Cave involves spending over an hour paddling canoes along an ancient Maya waterway inside the mountain. Your guide will point out skulls and artifacts as you pass between stalactites. The high ceiling, beautiful rock flows and cathedral chambers makes this cave a beautiful place to photograph.

These Breathtaking Images Will Convince You To Move To Belize

International Sourcesizz

How the Jaguar Saved My Life [Excerpt]
A love of the jaguar helped inspire one of the world's leading proponents for saving big cats. My earliest memories are filled with pain, embarrassment, and coming to terms with the reality, reinforced by adults, that I was one of life’s broken creatures. Born with a debilitating stutter and placed in public school classes for “special” children, I found it easiest to live inside my own head and withdraw from the world of people as much as a child can. My place of greatest comfort in those early years was the closet in my room in my parent’s New York City home. In this small, dark world, I felt normal, I wasn’t scared to speak, and I could live out my fantasies. My companions, a little menagerie of chameleons, green turtles, garter snakes, and hamsters, were the only living beings around me that seemed to listen but not judge. They had feelings, but they too had no voice to express themselves. They were me.

Is the Caribbean Tourism Industry Looking Up?
By now, most (but not all) Caribbean countries have submitted their first half 2014 tourism statistics to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). It makes for some interesting reading. Overall, the Caribbean recorded a weighted average growth rate of 5.2 percent in visitor arrivals during the first half of 2014 (some countries reported shorter periods, but all included the bulk of the winter tourist season). This sector performance reads like my old school report cards: Good – but could do better! Cruise ship arrivals also increased, but at a lower rate of 4.6 percent. Interestingly enough, about the same number of cruise passengers as stay-over tourists visited the Caribbean during first half 2014: 8.5 million versus 8.6 million respectively (not including Cozumel and Cancun). Martinique has shown huge growth in cruise ship arrivals; up 69.8 percent over the first three months of the year. Dominica and Belize, the nature destinations, also showed strong growth.

Lord Ashcroft, the mystery peer who is keeping the Tories guessing
The extraordinary life of Michael Ashcroft, the billionaire Tory peer and owner of the world’s largest collection of VC medals, has gone through many phases. Today, he is a familiar figure in the Westminster village who will appear at social occasions without a tie, with hands in pockets. Although no one would call him an extrovert, he is willing to engage with people who do not share his world view. His website suggested that he considered the former British colony of Belize, south of Mexico, as home. He actually lived in the United States. Before he vanished from these shores, Michael Ashcroft was well known in London business circles as a hard-driving entrepreneur who could take over a failing company and make it grow at a speed that alarmed the more conservative elements in the City. An old article in Forbes magazine said that he started moving his business across the Atlantic in 1981, when Margaret Thatcher’s popularity hit an all-time low and he feared the arrival of a left wing Labour government headed by Michael Foot.


Video: Flight of the Macaw Trailer, 1min.
A preview to my first documentary film: Flight of the Macaw. The finished documentary is to build awareness of the organization Scarlet Six Biomonitoring Team in Belize as well as to the issue of illegal poaching of Scarlet Macaws, an endangered species, within the protected Chiquibul National Forest.

Video: Eljai Royal ---Irie Seabreeze---- Mellowvision, 3min.
Eljai is a Belize-born Reggae singer and producer This video Clip of Eljai Royal was done at the Irie Seabreeze Festival in Long Beach Cal. 2011 by Mellowvision..... ELJAI was born Lloyd Carlton McFarlane Jr. in Belize City, Belize. Soon after, his family moved to the countryside where most of his early years were spent. ELJAI has always been known for his humble and kind ways, joyous laughter and his spiritual enlightening conversations. At the age of five, ELAJI's family moved back to Belize City where he attended the Ebenezer Primary School Here he met new friends and discovered his hidden musical talent. Soon ELJAI was singing at school rallies and contests. His talent developed rapidly and he was encouraged by his friends and family to pursue his career in music.

Video: Belize Vacation, 4min.
GoPro footage from our trip to Belize this summer. Hol Chan snorkeling, Lamanai Mayan ruins, San Pedro

The Playground at Half Moon Wall, 10 yr old Jr. Open Water Diver celebrates his first shark dive. Thanks to Polar Pro Filters for bringing it all together with their awesome GoPro filter system.

Video: Corozal Town, Belize is luxurious town., 3min.
Cyril Uruwei, publisher of Belize In America interviews Mario Fisher, a Corozal Town resident who immigrated from the United State and settled back in Belize after several years.

Video: Changes in Latitudes Bed & Breakfast Inn San Pedro - San Pedro - Belize, 1min.
Changes in Latitudes Bed and Breakfast is located 150 feet from the Caribbean Sea and approximately a quarter-mile south of San Pedro on the island of Ambergris Caye. Guests must fly into Belize City international airport and take a connecting flight or water taxi to Ambergris Caye. Hotel amenities include bicycles, hammocks, an outdoor bamboo shower, a common kitchen, and the daily Belizean Breakfast with fresh fruits, juices, coffee, tea, and a hot entree. Guests have access to the pool, fitness center and Splash Bar at the Belize Yacht Club next door, as well as the use of the pier for swimming, snorkeling, sunning and rentals of Hobie cats, kayaks, sailboats, and snorkel equipment. Golf cart rentals are available and will be delivered to your door. Hosts can arrange fishing, diving, snorkeling, and day trips to local Mayan ruins. All rooms feature air-conditioning, ceiling fans, beach towels, beach mats, clock radios, private entrances, and private lockers for snorkel/diving gear. Rates include breakfast, local area coupons and a gallon of drinking water.

August 22, 2014


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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

Police Report
33-year-old Gergorio Cobb, manager of Captain Morgan’s Retreat reported to the San Pedro Police Station that a man refused to pay for his stay in the establishment. According to Cobb, Simon Castillo checked into the hotel for a period of seven days commencing from Friday, August 8th and ending on Saturday, August 16th. The cost of the room was $200 per night plus 19%, amounting to a total value of $1,905. Castillo gave a credit card in his name. During his stay, Castillo ordered room service which amounted to $3,847.12. Castillo checked out of the resort without informing the front desk or paying the extra charges. Cobb has requested court action. Castillo has been officially arrested and charged.

Belize Institute of Mixology offers Bartending Courses
Belize Institute of Mixology (BIM) is a locally owned Bartending teaching company. It recently held a Flair & Mixology Crash course at Sapphire Beach Resort on Saturday August 9th. Guest instructor was Mixologist Fermin Cho’c of Turtle Inn. Mr Cho’c is the winner of the annual Taste of Belize Bartending competition as well as the Sugar City Rumfest mixology competition. He learned his trade in Florida by the American Bartending School. BIM plans on offering two fully rounded courses: Introduction to Bartending and Advanced Bartending. These courses will include presentations from guest instructors in the field of wine, beer, rum, and of course flair. Each course will be for five days and will also include a doctor as guest instructor on alcohol awareness. Power point presentations and practical hands on training will ensure student participation.

Island Cup Football Tournament finals drawing near
The Island Cup Football Tournament is nearing the finals, and on Sunday, August 17th the fifth round of games were played. The Ambergris Stadium was the place to be as six football teams faced off in three grueling matches. The crowd in attendance was certainly pleased with the display of football talent. Legends and Dorados set the tone of the day with the first game. The well-seasoned Legends took the win in a 2-0 point match even though the Dorados gave a decent fight. Game two saw, San Pedrito FC face San Pedro High School (SPHS) Football Team. SPHS managed to win their first-ever game in the tournament in a 2-1 point match! The last game of the day was between the Joker FC and Vince’s Warriors. Both teams wanted the win, but Joker FC snatched the victory with 3-1 score.

Ambergris Today

Belize Police Department : Wanted Person
San Pedro Police Station - Wanted Person Jason Gillette aka "Skilla" Age: 29 yrs old DOB: December 24, 1985 Belizean Laborer Wanted in connection with an Attempt Murder in San Pedro Town. This person is considered armed and dangerous if seen please call 911 or the nearest Police Station in your area or Crime Stoppers at 922.

Rugby Belize Has its First Four Clubs
The southern Districts have seemingly stormed ahead in setting up rugby football clubs in Belize, and the first four clubs have appointed organizers and are busy attracting players and volunteers through their social media campaigns. The Belize Rugby Board (Rugby Belize) has organized the country into two ‘Districts’ for domestic competition purposes; North includes Corozal, Orange Walk and Belize, and South covers Cayo, Stann Creek and Toledo Hattieville United Rugby Football Union (part of the Hattieville United Youth Sporting Club), organized by Haddan Garbutt, is the headquarters of Rugby Belize Rugby Belize plans to have a rugby football union in every major town throughout the country by the end of 2015, with a national team for sevens in place in time to commence training for the first big international sevens competition in 2015 / 16.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Belize at Ireland Oil & Gas 2014 Summit in Dublin
2014 is a pivotal year for Ireland’s oil and gas industry, with exploration of key prospects underway and a new licensing round due to commence in just a few weeks’ time. The mood at the 2nd Ireland Oil & Gas Summit was one of enthusiasm and excitement, and a feeling that perhaps Ireland will soon be firmly placed on the global map of oil and gas.With more than 120 delegates in attendance from more than 80 companies and organisations, the meeting brought together an exceptional cross-section of companies and individuals with a vested interest in realising Ireland’s hydrocarbon potential. IRN gathered an exceptional panel of speakers from Woodside, Providence, Nalcor Oil & Gas, Petrel Resources, Belize Natural Energy, Lansdowne Oil and Gas, Infrastrata, Fastnet Oil & Gas, and Europa Oil & Gas amongst others, who provided attendees with detailed analysis of present state of the oil and gas industry across Ireland.

Belize – Fiscal Paradise with High Level of Confidentiality
ICO Services, the international company specialized in the formation of offshore companies and offshore banking, has recently expanded their services to the American business world by launching their service of setting up a company in Belize, the only fiscal paradise in Central and South America where English is the official language. This business extension means providing access to the multiple advantages of establishing an International Business Company (IBC) which includes a high level of confidentiality, exempt for all local taxes, no capital requirements and no foreign exchange control.An IBC is the most popular type of offshore corporation as it is designed for any international business activity, does not pay any taxes in the jurisdiction where is established, provides confidentiality to its owners and is not subject to reporting requirements.“According to different lists of international organizations, there are dozens of countries that can be considered as tax heavens. But these countries are far from providing the same advantages, and each is specialized in hosting one or more types of the simplest to the most complex financial transactions. In this respect, Belize is the no. 1 option for international investors who need the advantages provided only by an IBC established in Belize, where privacy is a state policy”, said an ICO Services executive/official.

Superintendent Luis Castellanos accepts Freddy Gonzalez Jr's Nomination for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
and now nominates his son Luis Alberto Castellanos, Karim Maroun, Genaro Samos, Hector Blanco and Henry Jemmot.

Mechanical Rides at the the Andres Campos Civic Center Grounds
Where will your good-self lead you this weekend? - In about two weeks from today, most preschools, primary and secondary schools will be open for classes. Here is your last chance to bring out the entire family this weekend and enjoy Mechanical Rides at the the Andres Campos Civic Center Grounds - Carousel - Roller Coaster - Wheel of Fortune - Games - The rides will begin tomorrow Friday Aug 22....Don't miss out. We invite everyone from Corozal's 26 villages and Orange Walk to enjoy this weekend's events before the opening of school classes. Fun! Fun! Fun! Be safe!

Colors of Belize Art Gallery
Colors of Belize, Cayo's new art gallery, is having their grand opening Friday, August 22nd. They are located in the Busman Arnold building, and are open from 9am to 9pm."Colors of Belize is a new art gallery in Cayo. It's located in the Busman Arnold building, and the artist has some fantastic paintings on display."

Calla Creek Bridge Repair Project
4 The World Belize, which does a lot of volunteer work in Calla Creek, fixed up the bridge so the kids can safely cross. Thanks, 4 The World!"Today we replaced the missing boards on the swinging bridge in Calla Creek Village. Now all the kids can safely cross the bridge. Just in time for school to start next week. Many people use the bridge daily ."

Cayo Classifieds - Issue 30
This week's Buy and Sell Weekly."Belize's original Classified ads publication. Private Party Classified ads (people selling personal items) are now FREE. Business ads start at $15 per week with designs included. Deadline to place ads are every Saturday @ 12pm. Don't pawn it!... sell it fast with our Buy and Sell Weekly Classifieds."

NTHU 2014 Belize Visit
The Belize Educational Service Group from the National Tsing Hua University left Belize yesterday. While here, they spent most of their time in Cayo, and did a lot of volunteering at primary schools. Thanks, NTHU!"Seven days in San Antonio, our groups really got lots of things from the villagers, especially the principle Mr. Mai. They are willing to share things with us, they showed us their farm, their family members, their harvest and their smile. Though we did the wall and hold a one day camp for them,yet when a mother told us that she is really appreciate for what we had done, we thought we can do more and better. we will miss and remember this beautiful village, for its glamorous sunshine, kind people and the warm smile. Adios Familia."

Channel 7

Terror Inside A and R
At the end of last night's news, we told you about an armed robbery at A and R Store. Tonight details of that terror- filled event are known. Around 6:27 pm a man with a stocking over his face walked into A&R holding the security guard at gunpoint while his accomplice guarded the door. The man ordered everyone to lie on the floor. The store had already closed, but the employees and many of their young children were inside with them. Everyone was in a panic, as the gunman went first to the supervisor's office and stole a plastic bag with over nine thousand dollars in cash. He then turned his attention to the workers, and even their children, snatches cell phones, rings and chains from them. Then, he ordered all of them to stand up and matched them up to the second floor and ordered the supervisor to open the safe - where he stole another three thousand in cash.

Record Crystal Meth bust in Orange Walk Worth Millions
Tonight the Anti Drug Unit is proudly claiming the biggest bust of the drug Crystal Meth ever in Belize. "Meth" as it is called is short for methamphetamine - and it is a highly addictive drug widely used in the United States. In many cases, the drug itself or, more often, the chemical precursors used to make it are trafficked through Belize, Guatemala and Mexico to the US. And last night, a stash with a value of more than 2 million US dollars was found in Orange Walk - and it happened, almost by chance. An unmarked anti drug unit vehicle was in the Louisiana area of Orange Walk Town when police observed a black Toyota Camry car driving erratically on the road, veering from one side to the other.

Brother Kills Brother In OW Hunting Accident
There was a tragic hunting accident last night, which claimed the life of one man from Orange Walk Town. Around 11:00 pm, brothers Celso Moreno, who is 63 and Gumercindo Mendoza who is 52 went hunting for deer in the Yo Creek area. They split up, and around midnight, Celso thought he saw something move. Thinking it was a deer, he fired one shot form his 12 gauge shotgun. But it turns out that it was his little brother who was shot to the hands, abdomen and side of the head with a shotgun blast. He died instantly, and Police have detained Celso Moreno pending investigation.

Hon. Santino Sympathizes With Succotz Rage
Today, the Ministries of Economic Development and Works held an annual review of their ongoing road safety project. But, in the current climate, it's hard to discuss road safety without talking about the road tragedy that one of the highest ranking law enforcement officials in the country caused last week Saturday. That, of course, is the fatal accident caused by the drunk driving Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mike Segura. Today we asked Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance Santino Castillo about how Segura's alleged misdeeds are viewed by the executive. Here's what he had to say about Segura and the wider topic of drinking and driving:.. Hon. Santino Castillo "Quite honestly in Belize you are innocent until you are proven guilty. However if indeed ten gentleman as it shown so far by the blood test was drinking. It's a very tragic accident. It shows that alcohol and drinking do not mix. It shows that we should not drink and drive, we should have a designated driver if that's what we are going to do and I commend the government and I commend the police for acting decisively and swiftly on the matter. The example should always start at the top quite honestly, bit I was also made to understand, I did my own research on the case, that with the pressures that the police department faces Mr. Segura might not be the only one that drinks. I understand the pressures of the job in the police department has driven a few officers to drink. That doesn't mean however they have to drive."

Dale Tillett's Family Bruise By Not Guilty Verdict
Dale Tillett Was only 19 when he was fatally wounded by a gunshot at the Palm Island nightclub on New Year's Eve 2011. Three and a half years later, the man accused of firing the gun that killed the fourth former, walked out of court a free man. The outcome of the trial without jury has left Tillett's family deeply bruised by what they feel is justice denied. But, in the aftermath of the July verdict, they didn't have any public eruption of outrage - they grieved privately that their son and brother would not get the justice they believe he deserved. Yesterday, though, after weeks of quiet agony, Dale's mother spoke for the first time. Monica Bodden has her story: Pamela Ferguson - Mother of Dale Tillett "When I got that call that my son got shot I was at work and I felt frustrated, I didn't know what to do and I just start to pray and cry."Monica Bodden reporting Pamela Ferguson remembers the early morning phone call that she received on New Year's Eve 2011.She was at work, when they had informed her that her oldest child - 19 year old Dale Tillett- was shot to the head inside the compound of the then popular Palm Island nightclub.

Hon. Elrington says General Legal Council To Be Revived
In the past few weeks on the news, we've been hearing a lot about the General Legal Council, mostly in reference to the attorney Arthur Saldivar, who we are told has more than a few complaints filed against him with that body. If you don't know what the General Legal Council is, that's not surprising because that body, which should review complaints against attorney's and hand out discipline for it, has a conviction rate very close to zero% and is mostly nonfunctional.Try to find out who's to blame for the woeful state of affairs, and you'd probably end up in court - because both the attorney general and the bar association blame each other. But when those big elephants fight, it's only the grass that gets trampled and, in this case, the grass is represented by those regular folks who pay lawyers money and don't get anything in return - not even a court appearance.

Hopkins Residents March For Slain Teacher
Since Monday evening, the community of Hopkins has been mourning the loss of one of its own after 47 year-old Josephine Augustine was killed, and her husband, 71 year-old Dudley Augustine was badly beaten by 2 men who broke into their home. Both are career educators, and so the tragedy has upset the quiet community of Hopkins Village. The residents held a demonstration this afternoon to alert the nation to their outrage, and 7News was there.Daniel Ortiz reports:Daniel Ortiz reporting Families, friends and supporters of the Augustine Couple joined the rest of the Hopkins Community for a small demonstration in their honor. All 230 persons gathered in one location, and then, they moved to the couple's home, where they had been attacked on Monday evening. There, they said a prayer for Dudley, and held vigil for Josephine.

Cayo Holdup
Last night's robbery at A&R in Belize City happened 5 hours after a couple was held up and robbed by armed thieves in San Ignacio. 57 year-old Ruben Diaz and were at their business place at around 1 p.m. when 5 Hispanic men, all armed, barged in and robbed them at gunpoint of $1,000 cash, two power saws, a converter and an assortment of food. For good measure, the men stole 3 of the surveillance cameras a 2 solar panels.Police are investigating, and they believe that the men are Guatemalans.

Last night, we showed you the seizures made by the Gang Suppression Unit during operations designed to target known drug peddlers in the City. Well, the GSU reported today, they found drugs near a known associate of the South Side Gangsters, known as SSG. At around 6 yesterday evening, officers from the GSU searched members from the SSG gang on Fabers Road. The officers then searched the immediate area where these gang members were congregated, and they found a transparent plastic bag which had several smaller parcels of marijuana. It was hidden inside an empty coconut husk.

Reviewing Road Safety
It seems that this year we've reported on an extraordinarily high number of terrible traffic fatalities - but that may be just what would be called the proximity effect: the numbers seem greater because they are happening in the here and now. Actually, the Ministry of Works says the number of traffic fatalities is down. Still, we'd like to see the police figures, but, since those don't come around any more, we'll take the Ministry at its word. Today they held the annual review of the Road Safety project and Courtney Weatherburne has the story of a measured success:.. The Road Safety Project has a budget of US$8 million.

Soup Gets Off
Jason "Soup" Williams, the boss of the Supal Street Blood, was the main suspect in the gang-related shooting of 27 year old Andrew Tate and 23 year old Kariq Tzul, which happened on February of this year. 23 year-old Tariq Cadle passed away from a separate shooting, and it is believed that both men were targeted in retaliation for his murder. Police investigation was supposed to link Williams to it. He was detained shortly after, and he was accused of shooting at officers who tried to detain him near the scene of the triple shooting. Well, tonight, he's free and clear of all charges related to that incident. He stood trial before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith on 2 counts of aggravated assault, and 1 count of discharging a firearm in public. The officers he supposedly shot at on that night were Constables Jason Augustine and Elvin Nah. They testified in court that the man who shot at them near the crime scene looked like Williams. Because they couldn't give a clear and positive identification of Soup Williams as the gunman who fired at them, the charges couldn't stand up to the scrutiny of the trial. Chief Magistrate Smith dismissed them and set Williams free.

Mexican Capture More Than Form, Go For Feeling
There's a new art show up on the walls at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City. The exhibition features the works of 6 Mexican artists who are using their talents to capture human emotion on canvas:..The exhibition was inaugurated on Thursday August 12th and will remain open until September 19th.

Belize Leads Regional Body In Meetings
Belize has the presidency of SICA until December and a part of that means holding the presidency of C-CAD, the Central American Commission on the Environment, and Opresca - the Central American commission on fisheries. But, rather than just place holding the Ministry of Fisheries Forestry and Sustainable Development is setting a bold agenda of reform for the institution. We found out more at the ministerial meeting for the C-Cad Secretariat today:..Hon. Lisel Alamilla, Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, Sust. Dev. "Specifically look at reforming CCAD, revisiting the governance structure and the decision making framework because CCAD has had many ups and downs and after participating for two and a half years, it is my opinion that it's the government structure that really needs to revisited and strengthened."

Courts Gives 10
Last week we told you about BTL's Annual Scholarship Ceremony. Well, Courts held theirs this morning at the Radisson. Over 50 students applied but only 10 were fortunate to be rewarded the 4 year scholarship. Covenca Rodriguez Jones, senior marketing officer discussed the scholarship program while the recipients expressed how grateful they are for the scholarship. Covenca Rodriguez James, COURTS Senior Marketing Officer "Courts has been doing this from the inception, probably two years after 1997, so it's over 200 persons that have been awarded scholarships. However we been doing the ceremony on a larger scale for the past 5-6 years and from then could recall 25 recently is on the scholarship."Chandiana Samuels, scholarship recipient "I am from Belize and the scholarship will help me make my dreams come true because I want to be lawyer."

Channel 5

Major Drug Bust in Sugar City yields U.S. $2 Million in Crystal Meth
There was a major drug bust in Orange Walk on Wednesday night. Police are reporting that while on an anti-drug operation in the town, the unit intercepted a black Toyota [...]

Armed Robbery at A&R, Thieves Lock Up Employees Inside Office
A duo of armed thieves has made off with a little over thirteen thousand dollars in cash and personal items, following a late-evening heist at A&R Enterprise Limited on Wednesday.  [...]

Guatemalan Bandidos Hit Couple at El Pilar
Meanwhile, in the El Pilar area of San Ignacio Town a few hours earlier, a group of five bandits, believed to be Guatemalan nationals, robbed a couple of cash and [...]

Hunting Expedition In Orange Walk District Ends in Fatality
Orange Walk police are also reporting the death of a sixty-five-year-old man. Tagged as an accidental shooting, Inspector Selvyn Tillett says that police visited an area two miles southwest on [...]

Still No Arrests in the Murder of Josephine Augustine
While the community cries out for justice, the Police are doing their best to deliver it. On Wednesday morning, Belmopan Police captured four men whom they believed were definite persons [...]

Dozens of Hopkins Residents Take to the Streets to Protest Augustine’s Murder
On Monday, teacher Josephine Augustine was brutally murdered in her home in the quiet community of Hopkins. She was beaten and stabbed to death. Her husband Dudley Augustine, a retired [...]

Charges on the Way for Former Health Administrator Nasley Somerville
The Southern Regional Hospital and Dangriga Polyclinic are being run by middle managers after two administrators have been accused of misappropriation of funds under their control. Today, News Five was [...]

Jason ‘Soup’ Williams Acquitted of Aggravated Assault
The aggravated assault case of notorious street figure, Jason Williams aka “Soup” began on Monday in the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. And today, the charge was dismissed. [...]

Tyrone Smith Sentenced to Seven Years for Chain Snatching
Thirty-year-old Tyrone Smith was today sentenced to seven years in prison after he was found guilty of beating up a pregnant woman before snatching her purse. Smith, an unemployed of [...]

Road Safety Program Revisited One Year Later
This morning, stakeholders across the transportation industry, as well as the public service, converged on the Biltmore to evaluate the National Road Safety Program one year later.  While the focus [...]

Government Officials Comment on Segura’s Traffic Mishap
The Road Safety Annual Review, ironically, comes on the heels of one of the most high profile cases involving drunk driving in recent memory.  The fatal road traffic accident on [...]

Courts Awards Ten High School Awards
This morning at the Radisson, ten high school students from across the country were awarded four-year scholarships by Courts Belize Limited.  The financial assistance comes in time for the start [...]

Mexican Exhibition Showcases Six Painters
The Embassy of Mexico is tonight officially opening a collective art exhibition entitled “AEQUITAS” at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City. The artwork of six Mexican artists: Marisol D’ [...]

Debunking seatbelt myth with Healthy Living
Frequent reports on traffic accidents in our nightly newscasts; and that’s because we don’t even get a chance to report on all traffic mishaps that take place. Road Traffic Accidents [...]


Sugar Barge Sinks At Cerros Point In Corozal
Locally referred to as the ‘sugar boat’, and quite a spectacle when it passes the New River Banks, on Sunday night around 11:30, a Belize Sugar Industry barge transporting sugar to Belize City experienced some difficulty and sunk. It’s not a frequent occurrence and so we got curious of the situation when pictures started popping up on social media. We contacted Damian Gough, Manager of Marketing and Export Operations who says that it’s a risk associated with methods of transport to move sugar from factory to ship.Damian Gough – Export Operations Manager“We were made aware sometime seven o’clock that the barge was leaking unfortunately this is one of the risks associated with the method of transportation that we have to move sugar from the factory to Belize City for loading into the ship and in the risks is that it is exposed to this same of sort of incident happening, we still haven’t yet determined the cause of the barge sinking but it is likely that it is as a result due to a puncture or a hole or something but we won’t be able to determine that until get the barge floating and back to the repair dock for it to be dry dock and then we do an inspection of it but it is but you can track it down to the risk of the business associated by moving the sugar by this means but this is for now the only means that we have to move the sugar but I can confirm that yes indeed the barge sank and.”

Weather Continues To Affect Bee Keeping Industry
When we last reported on the bee keeping industry, the news was not very positive. Honey production had fallen dramatically due to unfavorable weather conditions. In a follow up of the situation, today we learned that the weather continues to plague the small industry, but those most affected are bee keepers from the north. Extension Officer with specialty in Bee Keeping, Margarito Leiva, says the department is taking measures in rescuing the situation.Margarito Leiva – Extension Officer“I however mentioned that we were waiting for the month of July and August when it is the actual honey season wet flu so that we can probably yields the increase of honey but that did not happened it started raining in May and then it stopped and then it was totally dry you know I think it is part of the climate change in fact there is a drought watch for the northern part of Belize according to CAMI which is the Caribbean Agro-meteorologist Institute so now what really happened is that the scenario has change most of the bee colonies have stopped laying eggs, the queen ceased to lay eggs because there is no inflow of pollen which is the normal ingredient for the colony to develop brume so what the agriculture department is doing presently is that we are acquiring pollen substitute which is basically the brume, the yeast flower with soya beans milk as well, we mixed it with a little bit of honey and we try to introduce it into all the colonies so that we can increase the egg laying ability of the queen, that is basically what we are doing right now.”

Another Corozaleno Detained For Drug Trafficking
A police raid and search at a residence in Xaibe yielded a drug find says authorities from the Corozal formation. Around 1:45 on yesterday’s date, police conducted a search at the residence of 57-year-old Hilberto Triminius Belizean farmer of Xaibe Village, Corozal District. Upon arrival at the house Triminius was seen fleeing through the back yard leaving behind 27-year-old Hilcia Aydee Lorenzo, Guatemalan domestic of Xaibe Village, Corozal District. A search of the residence revealed nothing incriminating, however, while searching in the back yard police discovered a black plastic bag containing 412 grams of suspected cannabis. As a result, police have detained Hilcia Aydee Lorenzo and Hilberto Triminius pending charges of Drug Trafficking.

PUP Set For Convention In Corozal
Municipal Elections are set for the month of March 2015 and what we can tell you is that voters of the People’s United Party in Corozal Town are soon to select their candidates to run for office.August 5th 2014 marked the opening of applications for candidates interested in entering the race with the closing date for applications set for August 18th.And the news today is that two persons applied to run for Mayoral candidate and 12 applied for councilor candidate. Thea Garcia – Chairlady“I would like to report to the general public that we have two Mayoral Candidates and we have twelve councilor candidates and the convention will be held on the 5th of October at a venue that we will later announce. We have one slate that is comprised of Mr. Ruben Cruz, Mrs. Canaima Dominguez, Mr. Rigo Vellos, Mr. Edit Palma, Mr. Josue Perez, Mr. Elizardo Vasquez and Mr. Shanon Duncan and there is another slate comprised of Mr. David Vega, Miss Zeny Perdomo, Mr. Esteban Pasos, Mr. Enrique Vargas, Mrs. Miriam Rancharan, Mr Orlando Iglesias and Ms. Yvette Riverol so those are the two slates we have and those will be the people who will run for the convention for October 5th.”

Micro-entrepreneurs Learn How To Handle Their Money
Everybody learns to manage money but not everybody manages it well. Some live hand to mouth focused only on making ends meet on a day-to-day basis. Others look ahead trying to prepare for unforeseen events or irregular demands such as school fees by setting some income aside as savings. Entrepreneurs have to ensure they can purchase inputs and meet other business expenses from their incomes in addition to meeting family demands. So learning to manage money well is an important skill and that was the ultimate goal of a workshop which was held today at the LICU conference room. The topic was finance Management and according to Micro-Finance Field Officer for the LICU, Giovanni Argalles, they are not re-inventing the wheel rather they are giving support to those micro-entrepreneurs, small business owners and workers that participated.

The End Of Another Summer Program
Summer is coming to a close and for most children that means getting out of the holiday mode and back into the grind of studying their books and concentrating on school work. But for a trio of kids all under the age of 11, their summer holidays were stimulating and learning to make beading items and handcrafts using recycled materials. This year, MAMAS founder, Ophelia Novelo hosted its 9th annual summer camp for kids for a total of 6 weeks. Our news team stopped by for a brief closing ceremony at her residence and spoke to the participants and its founder on the event.

CXC Results Area Out, There Is An Improvement In Grades
Results are in and according to the analysis, students performed better in this year’s Caribbean Examination Council, CXC exams. Over three thousand students sat the May-June exams. The report shows that in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate, CSEC there was 100% passes in Home Economics, Physical Education and Sports, Clothing and Textile and Music. In the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE), sat by tertiary level students, there was 100% passes in 23 subjects. Grades I to III in CSEC and Grades I to V in CAPE constitute satisfactory grades, which are considered passes.The report continues indicating that 473 more high school candidates passed Math this year than last year, but the number of students who passed English was down by 99.


Proposed Legislation to Affect Belize Bar Association
As we mentioned earlier, Attorney General, Wilfred Elrington spoke of legislative changes coming about regarding the way the General Legal Council carries out their role but that is not the only organisation that will undergo some changes. The way the Belize Bar Association operates is being looked at as well. According to Elrington, an attorney should not be mandated to be a member. WILFRED ELRINGTON “We are also going to make provisions for attorneys not having to be members of the Bar Association. That is a position that is obtained in Jamaica. In Jamaica attorneys don’t have to be members of the bar. In Belize you had to under the present law and in Barbados. The reason for that is depending on the nature of the objective of the bar association, the bar association can play a very vital role in a society apart from the discipline of attorneys and making sure that they behave properly. The bar association can take over clients business when an attorney for example dies in the job. Many times here attorneys die and there is nobody left to take over the office and so the clients are left very stranded and the bar association can deal with that kind of thing.

General Legal Council to Be Resuscitated
Due to recent allegations being made against Attorney Arthur Saldivar by some of his former clients, Love News began looking into possible investigations or hearings that can be had as they pertain to the behavior of the Saldivar as an attorney. While the president of the Belize Bar Association was very brief in his statement to our news room, he did indicate that it is the role of the General Legal Council to look into such matters but that the cases are backlogged since the council has not had a meeting since March this year. Today, we sat down with the Attorney General, Wilfred Elrington to find out why there has been a delay in the meetings.

Prisoner Found Hanging in Holding Cell
A man reportedly killed himself while in police custody. Corozal Police say early this morning officers were making checks on the cell when they saw prisoner, 47-year-old Jesus Tamai handing from his shirt which he had tied to the cell window. Tamai had been detained for Police on Wednesday night for disorderly conduct. Tamai’s body was transported to the Corozal Hospital where it awaits a post mortem.

An Armed and Dangerous ‘Skilla’ Wanted by Police
Twenty nine year old Jason, “Skilla” Gillette, is a wanted man tonight. He is wanted by San Pedro Police for an attempted murder charge. According to Police on Monday night, Gillette got into an argument with one German Zuniga in the San Mateo Area of San Pedro Town. Zuniga reported to police that Gillett took out his black and chrome nine millimeter pistol and fired four shots in his direction. Luckily for Zuniga, all the bullets missed. Police say that Gillett is considered armed and dangerous if you see him to call 911, your closest police station or crime Stoppers at 0-800-922-8477.

Soup Freed After Being Accused of Shooting at Policemen
Jason “Soup” Williams, who was charged with aggravated with a firearm on two police constables and discharging a firearm in public, was freed of those charges when they were dismissed today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Police constable Elvin Nah and police constable Jason Augustine were the officers who reported that on the night of February 8, 2014, they heard shots being fired in the vicinity of King Street and when they responded they saw the shooter fleeing from the scene. They said that when they pursued the shooter he opened fire on them but they were able to dodge the bullets and they returned fire but they missed. Augustine testified that the shooter was someone that looked like Williams. Nah did not testify.

Armed Robbers Net Over Ten Thousand Dollars
Several employees of A&R Enterprise Limited located at Mile 1 ½ on the Phillip Goldson Highway were left in shock yesterday when two armed mask men entered the store by holding up the security guard. The men then proceed with their plan to rob the store. It happened at about 6 o’clock when employees were closing up. The robbers managed to steal more than ten thousand dollars in both cash and items. We were at the scene minutes after the robbery occurred and reporter Hipolito Novelo spoke to the investigating officer.a and r robbery2 HIPOLITO NOVELO “A 911 call led Belize City Police to A&R Store yesterday evening at about 6:30 during closing time. Officers were responding to a report of an armed robbery. Inside the store were several shaken up employees who witnessed the robbery. According to Head of the Criminal Investigation Branch for Precinct 4, Sergeant, Edwina Armstrong, the men pounced on the security guard, held a gun to his head and entered the store.”

Man Shoots Brother While Hunting
A hunting incident proved deadly as one brother was killed on Wednesday night by his own brother. However, Orange Walk police have ruled that it was accidental. That’s because 63-year-old Celso Moreno of Belize Corozal Road in Orange Walk Town reported to Police that on Wednesday night he had gone hunting with his brother, 65-year-old Gumercindo Ernesto Mendoza. Celso said they went in separate directions. He said he sighted what he thought was a deer and fired a single shot from his licensed 12 gauge single action shotgun. When he checked he saw his brother lying on the ground apparently dead. Officer Commanding Northern Division, Senior Superintendent Joseph Myvette, held a press briefing this afternoon.

Meth Bust in Northern Belize
The two men, 49 year old Ruperto Reyes, a Belizean national and 52 year old Terrero Pineda, a Cuban National, were caught with the drugs by an Anti-Drug Unit on Wednesday night in Orange Walk Town. The men were in a black Toyota car when it caught the attention of officers on patrol. The patrol unit attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver of the vehicle sped off ensuing into a high speed chase ending on Liberty Avenue. Both men attempted to flee on foot but police manage to apprehend both occupants a short distance away. Officer Commanding Northern Division, Senior Superintendent Joseph Myvette, spoke to Love News.

Canadian Family Prepares to Sue Belize Police Department
According to a story appearing in Metro News in Canada, family members of a Calgary man who died while in the Belize police custody in early 2013 say they have rejected an offered cash settlement from the Government of Belize and plan to proceed to trial over claims of negligence. Thirty five year old Jeffrey Furgala, was on vacation in Belize with his girlfriend when he was detained by San Ignacio police over claims he was heavily intoxicated. But family members, including his mother Fern Tiberio, have insisted that Furgala was injured earlier in the night and was suffering from the after effects when he was apprehended. She said her son was ignored after being put behind bars. Furgala was found unconscious with a bloody nose in his cell the following morning and rushed to hospital. He was pronounced dead a few days later.

Eleven Branches Under Helpage Meet To Look at Care of the Elderly and Its Challenges
With eleven branches countrywide under the umbrella of Helpage Belize, several volunteers and administrators from the various districts gathered today at the headquarters on Wilson Street in Belize City for a Board of Management Workshop. The workshop was a one-day session that looked at several aspects of the institution, its action plan and its current situation as it pertains to dealing with the elderly. Evan Dakers is the Chairman of the Helpage Belize and he gave us an overview of today’s session. EVAN DAKERS “What we tried to do was to first of all give our member a sort of situational analysis of older persons in Belize and we draw on the study that was done by the National Council on Aging about four or five years ago which is called A Situational Analysis on Older Persons. We had a short session by a medical professional looking at the aging process and basically it tries to give our members an idea of what are some of the signs and symptoms of aging as one gets older what you are to expect. I presented an overview of Help Age Belize’s policy and procedure manual. This is a manual that was recently updated, actually last year and this is the manual that sets out how Help Age as an organization operates. Following the overview of the Policy and Procedures manual we then looked briefly at Help Age Belize’s strategic plan of action which covers a five year period, 2013-2018 and basically we try to pull out those key programmatic areas that we want all our branches to be focusing on over the next five years.”

Another Operation for Yanie Cu, RTA Victim
Yesterday Deputy Commissioner of Police, Miguel Segura, was slapped with six charges after he was involved in a fatal traffic accident on Saturday morning on the George Price Highway. Fifty four year old Yolanda Valencia lost her life as result of the accident and Yanie Cu sustained body and head injuries. Cu is currently at the KHMH receiving treatment. His mother, Asucena Cu, gave Love News an update on his condition. ASUCENA CU “Well right now he is in a lot of pain as today was the day of his surgery but while exiting the operating theater the bone from his hip fell out of place so he is still in pain. At the moment they are putting a heavy bag on his foot so that it can sustain his foot in place to do the operation again. My son told me he came out to go look for my cousin Yolanda Valencia at 5:30AM the morning to take her for work at San Ignacio along with her stuff and she is a hard working single parent mother. He also said that when driving on the highway three vehicles passed him with speed and all of a sudden when he noticed the vehicle of Segura was coming on top of him.

Collective Bargaining Agreement: Unions Get 18/23 Points Approved by Government; Membership Wants More
The Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Government of Belize and the three unions, namely, the Public Service Union, the Belizean National Teachers Union and the Association of Professional Senior Services Management – it is a document that still has not been renewed as there are outstanding points for negotiation and the two parties remain deadlock on those five outstanding points. It has been over five years since this agreement is being negotiated and it remains to be concluded since of the twenty three proposals that the unions tabled, only eighteen were mutually agreed upon. Considering that the majority of points were met by the Government, one would think, ‘why is it that the unions aren’t compromising’. We spoke to the President of the BNTU, Luke Palacio, who says that the membership of the three unions is not prepared to give up on those five points.

Palacio Says Public Workers Trust Must Be Sustainable
With the Public Sector Workers Trust now active, the trustees are in the process of coordinating consultations to be held in October where all union members will be sensitized on the goals of the trust, how it will be used and what the plans are in making it sustainable. Luke Palacio, President of the Belize National Teachers Union, made it clear that sustainability of the trust is key and that it is critical that the funds are used just for what it is set out for. LUKE PALACIO “And so we are saying to our members we have not given up hope, we are going to continue to work for them but they must understand; there is the need for understanding that this trust must be sustainable. They need to also understand that there is nothing called free money that would be given to any individual; we need to stress those points. We believe if properly managed and that’s our intention as long as we are the protectors of the trust because the trust deed speaks to the presidents of the unions and the police association for the time being to be protectors.

Teachers Union President Says Government’s Press Release Was a Smokescreen
While the President of the Public Service Union, Marvin Blades made clarifications on the use and purpose of the trust, the president of the Belize National Teachers Union, Luke Palacio expressed his opinion regarding the Government’s release, saying that he believes the statements were penned intentionally as a smokescreen. LUKE PALACIO “Well definitely, we stand by that because of two things; one the correspondences that union had sent to the government at the time and letters from the government was that once the trust deed was registered and handed over to the government there would be no further questions asked.

Union President Says Funds in Public Workers Trust Are For Projects Not For Distribution
On Wednesday, July 23, Love News reported that the Accountant General had given the green light to the Government to transfer just over three million dollars to the Public Sector Workers Trust. It was an announcement from the Ministry of Finance, saying that the monies were taken out of a Government Savings Account and put into the trust, which was set up for public officers and teachers. A release sent out at the time, stated that the monies being transferred represents seven hundred and ninety four thousand, seven hundred and thirty two shares in the Belize Telemedia Limited and serves as compensation to the workers for the period April 1, 1995 to March 31, 1997 when their annual wage increments were frozen by the then administration.

Belmopan Police Gets Minor Suspected of Robbery
Belmopan Police are also boasting the capture of a wanted minor believed to be responsible for a robbery. Officers attached to the Belmopan Police Department, also detained the main suspect for the murder of 37-year-old Victor Vargas. According to reliable sources, the man appeared at the Belmopan Court house to answer separate charges. Belmopan Police had already been notified that the man is wanted in connection with Vargas’s killing.

Police Nab Four Suspects in Hopkins Home Invasion But Were Forced to Release Them
Following the home invasion in Hopkins, police stations countrywide have been put on alert as the surviving victim, Dudley Augustine had described the attackers to be of Hispanic descent bearing certain injuries. Tonight, we can tell you that earlier today, Belmopan police had detained four men in connection with this incident. Love News has been reliably informed that the four men were captured in the Rivera Area in the City of Belmopan as officers were on an operation to seek wanted persons early this morning, when information led them to the four men of Hispanic descent hiding out in a house in the area.


Santa Cruz Villagers take issue with land survey in the village
In the past, PlusNews has highlighted Village council land issues in the Ranchito and Xaibe Villages in the Corozal District, as well as in the village of Cotton Tree in the Cayo District. Today we take you south to the Stann Creek district. Santa Cruz village is located right at the roundabout on the southern highway at the junction with the Placencia road. It is a rapidly developing village due to its location; a stone throw away from the South’s largest farm system at Maya King, and it is only a few miles from the Placencia Peninsula. Several large businesses are going up in the area and land prices are beginning to soar.Last week Sunday, August 10th, surveyors appeared in the Village and, without the knowledge or the support of the village council, began surveying two huge parcels of land in the middle of the community; land community leaders say that is desperately needed for the community’s own development. The lands, according to the cadastral are areas that have been reserved for green spaces and community buildings but the survey is being done to convert the community land into private properties.

Four persons detained in Josephine Augustine murder
In Tuesday’s news cast we told you about the home invasion in Hopkins that led to the murder of 47 year old Josephine Augustine. According to reports, Josephine was inside this White two story building along with her Husband Disndale Augustine when around 6 o clock on Monday evening, a person or persons forcibly entered the house and attacked them.When police arrived at the scene Josephine Augustine was observed lying in a pool of blood, with bruises on her left eye and two apparent stab wounds at the back of her neck. Dudley Augustine was taken to the Southern Regional Hospital and later transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital to receive further treatment.

The Guardian

Deputy Commissioner Charged for Manslaughter
Deputy Police Commissioner Miguel Segura, the #2 cop in the Belize Police Department, is out on bail after being arraigned on 6 criminal charges for being involved in an accident which killed a woman and left another man hospitalized. The loss of life is a serious matter that he is facing, but another damning accusation he currently faces is that as a senior police officer, he was driving drunk, putting the lives of other motorists at risk. A blood sample test has confirmed that the 48 year-old cop was under the influence of alcohol above the prescribed limit.The accident happened between miles 70 and 71 on the outskirts of Succotz Village in the Cayo District. 54 year-old Succotz Resident Yolanda Consuelo Valencia was in a blue Toyota Corolla taxi, which was being driven by her close relative, 28 year-old Yanie Evan Cu. They were heading to the San Ignacio market like they usually do every Saturday so that Valencia could sell her vegetables and other goods.

Dangriga Endorses municipal candidates
On Sunday the United Democratic Party will officially endorse the mayoral and six councilor candidates that will be contesting the municipal elections on March 4, 2015. The event will take place at the Ecumenical Auditorium starting at 2 p.m. Taking up the position for mayor will be long time Educator Francis Humphreys, he will be joined by teachers Earth Lopez and Cheryl Molina along with businesspersons Yadira Diego and Alexander Joseph. Also on the slate are former cooperative officer Herbert Nicasio and youth activist Gary Francisco. Organizers of the event say the endorsement will also serve as a time for Dangriga to say thank you to the Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow for efforts being made by central government to improve the quality of life of residents in that municipality. Like is being done countrywide, significant investments are being made by the government in infrastructure as well as social assistance programs in that municipality.

PG in Financial Distress
In June the Ministry of Local Government had announced that a financial controller would have been appointed to try to sort out the financial distress that the Punta Gorda Town council finds itself in. Since the announcement there have been adverts put out for the position to be filled but so far there has been no actual appointment. And the longer it takes for the appointment to be made, the deeper the council falls into financial distress.We are reliably informed that there is absolutely no accounting system put in place at the council to manage the financial affairs there. The finance section of the town is being run by a clerk and a cashier, that’s it! The situation is so dire that there are no financials available for the town. It has been since April of this year that these were to have been presented but so far there is nothing. Meanwhile the monthly subvention is being consumed by debts. Under the guise of funding a municipal development project in the town, the mayor got a loan from the Toledo Teacher’s Credit Union which was not approved by the ministry of local government. That now is gobbling up 3 thousand out of the 23 thousand dollar monthly subvention from central government. An additional 2 thousand dollars is also being taken out to pay other outstanding bills which include payments which need to be made to Social Security. Compounding matters is that the mayor has a personal loan with the very same credit union as well and that too is taken out before the subvention makes it into the council’s coffers. By the time the finances arrive there are all manner of creditors to pay and no money to pay with.

For The World wants to expand to Belize
A Non-Governmental Organization, now operating in seven countries around the World, wants to expand its operations in Belize. Founder of For the World, Robert Keith Froom, met with his Belizean counterparts at Rumors Resort Hotel at mile two and a half on the Benque Viejo Road on Sunday evening of this past weekend.At this meeting Robert Froom admitted that his organization is highly dependent on volunteerism. A representative from Calla Creek, who was present also shared that For the World has been helpful to his village in the past.Just last week, For the World was able to organize both locals and international visitors to re-paint the bus stop at the entrance of Calla Creek, which is a village near the Belize-Guatemala border.

Silent Crime
All around the world individuals suffer from the terrorism of crime and violence, which has undoubtedly swept into our homes as a strong and unpleasant breeze. People are always complaining about crimes of shooting and murder; however, those crimes that sometimes cause the greatest effects are those silent crimes which remain unseen. These crimes are the worst for most countries around the world and they are not even acknowledged as heinous crimes. Abortion is one of these crimes. Abortion is the only type of murder whereby the perpetrator doesn’t even get tried in court. It is the only crime whereby the life of the victim is not respected and justified. Abortion is a great issue affecting the world, and most importantly teenagers.

Health Hookup
Back to Basics – Germ Communication Warfare.I fear more that which I cannot see than an enemy who is within my sights. If you are eating something and a piece fell on the ground or table, some people may try to quickly salvage and it eat, claiming “fresh drop” or “5 second rule”, indicating there has been limited exposure to germs so it’s suitable to consume. Now what if I were to ask you this question, what if the piece of food fell on a toilet seat would you still consider eating it?” NO! Would be your immediate response, because that is just nasty. What if there was something dirtier than a toilet seat, if your hands came in contact with it, would you wash your hands before eating? YES! Would be your immediate response (I hope). Now what if I told you that most cell phones have more germs on them than a toilet seat? An article published in a medical microbiology journal studied staff phones and found that 94.5% were contaminated with some kind of bacteria.

Phony Mask
I think our young democracy made a significant stride towards maturity on Tuesday 19 August when the Ministry of National Security not only exercised calm restraint, but demonstrated full respect towards the protesters in Benque Viejo. The situation was explosive for most of the day and even became provocative when the protesters turned violent against the authorities by hurling projectiles at them. In all honestly, these Police Officers and Firemen were only doing their jobs and did not deserve to be hurt.The protest, as everyone knows, was staged against the Police Department whom the demonstrators believed was giving preferential treatment to the Deputy Commissioner who was involved in a serious traffic accident the previous Saturday morning, where a lady lost her life and a taxi driver is still in serious condition at the KHMH.

Remain Silent and perish lonely
On Saturday the 9th August, a stalwart Belizean-Ernest “Jawmeigan” Meighan, met his demise at the hands of a callous calculating murderer. A murderer, who cowardly delivered a fatal bullet to the back of the head of a Belizean cycling Icon. Ordinarily the Police have great trouble uncovering the authors of crimes in and around Belize. In this case it is especially difficult given the particular culture of the area in which this crime was committed. It has been eleven days since this heinous crime was committed in broad daylight and the Police have yet to arrest anyone. They have cited the fact that no one is coming forth with information and there are apparently no eye witnesses.Now it can be anyone’s guess why a seemingly productive and law-abiding citizen was gunned down in such an indiscriminate and finite manner. Whatever the reason may be, we have a duty as citizens of this nation and an obligation to our fellow man to denounce these types of crimes.

Rice and Beans in Melchor
When we hear the word Melchor, there are a thousand things that persons can associate with the word- Rice and Beans is simply not one of them. Nonetheless Belize's most accessible Guatemalan municipality gets treated to rice and beans on a yearly basis during, perhaps the least expected occasion. Melchor is arguably the most favorite stop for Belize City residents to visit to do their shopping for clothes in preparation for the school year. After all everything is available in Melchor. There are socks, undergarments, shoes, t-shirts, flashdrives, school uniforms for almost any school and even knock-off tennis shoes for the young ones to don in the coming days of classes.

Youth Talk - Why Do We Need An Education?
They say we can lose everything in this life - which is true. So what’s there that can’t be taken away from us? It is the education accompanied with the knowledge that we acquire over time. No matter who gives us the opportunity to have an education, or those who support us throughout the process, it can never be taken away- and that’s a given. Our role models, friends and family, are all driven by an educational background. Evidently, education is indeed an essential part of our society, and we must strive to attain it; whether it is formal or informal; because education in all forms does count. Education shapes a person into a well rounded individual. No doubt, it gives rise to the formation of critical thinking skills at a very young age without ever noticing the change. Education makes a person become influential effortlessly; therefore we can say that education is the key to success.

Old School wins in Vega Cup Tournament
The 2014 Vega Cup Tournament continued on Sunday August 17, out at the Trial Farm Village Football Field with four games on the schedule.In the first game of the day, Old School defeated San Juan FC quite handily by the score of 4-1. The goals for Old School were scored by Eliazar Itza in the 2nd and 46th minutes of play, Christopher Hendricks in the 5th minute of play and Alfred Jesse in the 50th minute of play. For San Juan FC, its only goal of the game was scored by Eliazar Mendez in the 70th minute of play.

Belize Boxing Federation to hold special meeting
The Belize Boxing Federation in collaboration with the National Sports Council of Belize will be holding a Special Meeting with all the duly elected members of the federation, members of the various boxing gyms in Belize, referees and judges on Saturday August 23, 2014, at 1:30 pm at the National Sports Council Office at Rogers Stadium.The main purpose of the meeting is to chart the way forward for Boxing in Belize and to make sure that the mechanism that was put in place according to the Boxing Constitution works.It is important that all attends and to be on time for this very important meeting.

Complex ‘Admirals’ squares off against Belize Bank/Airport Authority in Firms Basketball Championship
The Belize District Basketball Association Firms competition has now entered its championship rounds with the conclusions of the semi-final round on Saturday August 17, 2014.In the first game played, BWSL defeated the Belize Bank/Airport Authority team by the score of 51-46. The top scorers for the BWSL team were Lawrence Young with 9 points and 3 rebounds, Kareem Thompson with 8 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 assist and Ashley Hemsley with 7 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals.

The Football Federation of Belize President’s Cup
Tournament entered its semi-final round on Saturday August 16, at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town between San Antonio FC and Progresso FC.In the game played, San Antonio FC edged out the host team Progresso FC by the score of 2-1. Progresso FC took an early 1-0 lead in the game when Gabriel Perez scored his team’s only goal of the game in the 10th minute of play. The first half of the game ended 1-0 in favour of the host team Progresso FC.It was not until in the second half of the game that the San Antonio FC was able to penetrate the Progresso’s defence when Darnell Mossiah scored his team’s 1st goal of the game in the 56th minute of play via a penalty kick to tie the score at 1-1.

Beacon drops BTL in softball playoffs
The Belize City Senior Female Competition playoff round continued last Wednesday August 13, at Rogers Stadium between the defending champions BTL and new entrant the Beacon in the best of three series. The series was even up at a game each and so it was a must win situation for both teams. The winner of the series would move on to the championship round and the right to face the Belize Bank Blazers the number one seed in this year’s competition.And so it was to be that the BTL dynasty would come to an end in a most unexplainable situation.

Coroner’s Inquest Closes Case in Incident Which Caused Death of 80-Year-Old Peter Trujeque
When there is an unnatural death in any case a coroner’s inquest is held to determine whether or not someone is to be held responsible for that death.One such cold case came up before Magistrate Herbert Panton last week. 80-year-old Peter Trujeque, also known as Mr. Sosa of #14 Rectory Lane in Belize City, met his untimely death after falling from his bicycle and hitting his head on the pavement of Albert Street on Friday, December 16, 2011. According to reports, Trujeque was heading home on his bicycle when two male persons were double riding another bicycle and accidentally bumped his bicycle handle. It caused Trujeque to fall to the ground and hit his head. He was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he later died on December 21, 2011 from injuries he sustained. According to Doctor Hugh Sanchez who did the Post Mortem Examination, Trujeque died from severe brain injury as a consequence of a fracture skull.

Mark Dwayne Dallas Charged for Murdering a Drunken Man
Police have arrested and charged Jamaican national Mark Dwayne Dallas, 32, with murder for inflicting injuries upon a drunken man which led to his death. On July 30 police provided assistance to Oscar Richard Rubio, 38, and Danri Darum, 57, at the Belize Constitution Park. The men were found in the park heavily intoxicated and both had head and body injuries. Police transported them to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment. Police did not follow up until August 13 when they received a report that Rubio passed away due to his injuries. Quick investigation led them to discover that the men were injured during an altercation near the Conch Shell Bay fish market. In a drunken brawl it is alleged that Dallas struck Rubio across the head with an object.

Leon Garcia in Jail for Saturday Morning Shooting
Police have arrested and charged Leon Garcia, 26, of a Victoria Street address with one count of discharging a firearm in public. Police Constable Frank Neal reported that at about 4 a.m. on Saturday, August 16, he was sleeping at a house on Pickstock Street when he was awoken by the sound of gunshots. Neal says he looked through the window and saw a man he recognized as Leon Garcia with his right hand raised holding what appeared to be a firearm. Neal says he then heard three shots and saw fire coming from the object in Garcia’s hand. Garcia then ran into a yard on Pickstock Street and headed in the direction of Fredrick Alley. It was not until Monday, August 18, that police detained and charged Garcia.

Early morning fight leads to death in Unitedville
Victor Vargas, a 38 year-old father of 7 who was living in Unitedville, Cayo, was stabbed to death early on Saturday, August 16. It is believed at this time that he may have been in an altercation a few hours before his death.Police arrived in Unitedville at around 3 a.m., where they found Vargas’ body on the verandah of one of his neighbour’s house. What they’ve been able to find out so far is that he was socializing with a 19 year-old man, and during the course of Friday night, August 15, they got into an altercation.

Vehicle stolen in Cayo
A resident from Cayo has informed The Guardian that his work truck has been stolen. Anson Bracket reports that his 1986 Isuzu truck valued at $10,000.00 was stolen at about 4:00 am on Monday of this week. Meanwhile; the Mayor of Belmopan Simeon Lopez has informed that his stolen vehicle has yet to be found and he is now awaiting a response from Insurance.

Home invasion turns deadly in Hopkins village
Hopkins Village is known as a quiet vacation spot, but on Monday, at around 5:30 p.m., a couple was assaulted inside their home during an armed robbery. The wife died inside the house, while her husband ended up being hospitalized at the KHMH.Police say that the retired educator, 71 year-old Dudley Augustine and his wife, 47 year-old Josephine Augustine were inside their vacation house when two Hispanic men got inside. The couple was viciously beaten and stabbed, and it is believed that Josephine Augustine died trying to protect her husband.

Erwin Adolphus in Jail for Old Rusty Firearm
Erwin Adolphus, 25, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison for allegedly keeping a firearm without a gun license. According to police, while conducting patrol on Bocotora Street in Belize City, officers approached Adolphus to conduct a search. Police Constable Bowman says that as he approached, Adolphus immediately said to him, “Boss, I only have wah lee gun in meh back pocket.” Bowman then searched Adolphus’s pocket and found an old rusty .22 pistol with no ammunition. Adolphus was detained and taken to the police station where he was charged.

Devon Bailey Remanded to Prison for Shooting Two Men
Two men were shot over the weekend and police believe the man responsible is 22-year-old Devon Bailey of Racoon Street, Belize City. According to police, officers responded to reports of a shooting on Elston Kerr Street at about 11:45 p.m. on Saturday, August 15. One unit visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they found 31-year-old Charles Hinds Jr. suffering from two gunshot wounds to the top of his head (both grazed). A second victim, 41-year-old Eldon Edward Solomon, was seen suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the right upper back. Police investigation revealed that at about 11:35p.m. Hinds and Solomon were socializing on the side walk in front of #3817 Elston Kerr Street when they were approached from behind by three male persons. One of them pulled out a firearm and fired several shots causing the injuries to Hinds and Solomon. The three persons then ran up Pelican Street Extension towards Central American Boulevard where they boarded a waiting car. Both Solomon and Hinds Jr. have been treated and released from the hospital.

Worries about Police Record for Petty Offense Resulted in Jail Time for Teenager
Rene Castillo, 19, was busted by police with 2.5 grams of weed on Wednesday morning, August 13. Being concerned about the trouble a drug possession charge on his record would cause the teenager offered PC Manuel Chub $50 to leave him and forget about the charge. Castillo gave Chub a roll of money which contained three $10 bills, three $5 bills and one $2 bill. That is $47, three dollars short. Chub informed Castillo at that time that he would now be charged additionally with attempting to bribe a police officer. It is a mistake Castillo will never forget.Castillo appeared before Magistrate Herbert Panton on Wednesday afternoon, August 13. When the Magistrate heard the story he explained to Castillo that he had made things worse for himself. For a guilty plea to drug possession of 2.5 grams of weed, Magistrate Panton imposed a non-custodial sentence in a fine of $100. However, for bribing a police officer prison time is mandatory. Magistrate Panton still acted lenient in a sentence of six months in prison for a conviction of bribery.

Richard Codd Confesses to Burglarizing Broaster’s Home
Richard Codd, 39, is spending the first nights of a seven year sentence behind bars at the Belize Central Prison after he pleaded guilty to burglary on Monday, August 18. The home of Senior Superintendent of Police Edward Broaster was burglarized on Thursday, August 14, and the entire play was caught on tape. According to Broaster, he received information that his North End Estate house was breached and he went to see what had happened. Upon arrival he saw that the window located on the eastern side of his white two storey concrete house was forcedopen. He went to check inside and noticed that a number of items were missing. Items missing were a DVD player, a maroon Mag light and a pair of Puma slippers. Broaster called police and after reviewing the surveillance tapes PC#1108 S. Ico detained Richard Codd for burglary. The stolen items were recovered and Codd confessed to the crime. Broaster made Codd repair the damaged window he used to gain entry into the house.

Lionfish: the delicious alternative coming to a plate…and street…near you!
This September, the dangerous but delicious Lionfish will be making a dramatic appearance in the always colorful and exciting carnival road march, a key attraction in Belize’s national celebration activities. Oceana is a proud sponsor of the Soca Moca Carnival Band, who has decided to use this national platform to bring attention to a critical issue for our marine environment: the lionfish. According to organizer Audrey Bradley, “Soca Moca is boldly portraying the Lionfish in splendor but this intruder has taught us that everything that glitters is not gold! Lionfish are not native to Belize; they have a huge appetite for other fish and they reproduce at alarming rates.” The chef could barely keep up with the demand for the tasty white fish; and from all ages!

Action Taken by Ministry of Health Based on Preliminary Audit Reports
The Ministry of Health would like to inform the public that the audit of accounts initiated last year by the Ministry in all health regions continues with the help of the Auditor General’s office. As a consequence, we have recently been presented with irregularities that have been identified in preliminary reports for the Primary Care Provider clinics in Dangriga and Punta Gorda. Based on that report, the Administrators of both clinics have been placed on immediate suspension as a precautionary measure pending the completion of the investigations. Administrative arrangements have been put in place to ensure that services are not affected.

Queen of the West Contestants presented
The six contestants for the Queen of the West 2014 were presented at the Cayo Welcome Center in San Ignacio Town this past Saturday. The six beautiful queens, who were dressed in attire fitting for the occasion, were Carmelita Lara, Hamira Awe, Jolinda Ciau, Shantel Augustine, Sharla Flowers and Sofia Aldana. Co-master of ceremonies for the night were William Black and Melanie Usher, who introduced the queens to the public as well as informed about preparations for the upcoming September Celebrations.These contestants, have recently been observed swimming in the refreshing Rio-On Pools in the Pine Ridge thanks to Pacz Tours. The young ladies will now be showing their full skills on the 23rd of August at the Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio Town where a Queen of the West will be declared.

READY for the Concrete Road!!! Fabers to Belcan to be Fully Concreted in Time for Carnival
Belize City residents have only good things to say about the Central American Boulevard project; however, we are in the second half of August and there is one grave concern. Will it be ready for the 2014 Carnival Road March?Work started on the C.A. Boulevard in February of this year. It was estimated to take up to 12 months for completion. Seven months have passed since stones began to break; therefore, that would mean the project should be just past the half way point and the Carnival Road March is in jeopardy. Not so, according to CISCO’s Francis Woods.

St. John’s Junior College Drivers Upset with New Parking Fee
St. John’s Junior College students who drive to school are complaining about a new fee that they must pay in order to park their vehicle on the compound. The parking fee is $60 and students have reached out to us claiming that the fee is listed on their sheet even if they do not drive to school. The Guardian spoke to an official at the finance department who says that only students who drive to school and park on the compound are required to pay the fee. Any student who does not drive to school can disregard the fee. When a student pays the fee they receive a vehicle pass that allows them to enter and park in the spaces provided on the compound.

Senator Hulse Signs Cooperation Agreement with Taiwan to Combat Human Trafficking
At the invitation of the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Hon. Sen. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development, National Emergency Management and Immigration and Nationality, has concluded a five day visit to Taiwan from August 11th to 15th, 2014.During his visit, Minister Hulse met with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs His Excellency Simon Ko, as well as the Director General of Bureau of Consular Affairs Hon. Kung Chung-chen and the Acting Minister of Labour Dr. Hao Feng-min. In keeping with the friendly and cooperative relations between Belize and Taiwan, Minister Godwin Hulse signed a memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development, National Emergency Management and Immigration and Nationality of Belize, and the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of China (Taiwan), relating to cooperation in Immigration Affairs and Human Trafficking Prevention. The MOU seeks to promote cooperation between Immigration Agencies of both countries on the issue of transnational crimes, and in particular human trafficking, through the exchange of information and promotion of capacity building.

PUC hosts App workshop - Next Google Made in Belize?
“There is no reason the next Google can’t be started in Belize.” -Dr. Cardinal Warde, Founder of the Caribbean Science Foundation.Forty-five young students are taking part in the Inaugural Mobile Application Development Workshop and Competition at the Ramada Belize City Princess Hotel. They are learning about brainstorming collaboratively and understanding the concepts of viability, practicality, utility, and connectivity. Bevil Wooding, Executive Director of Bright Path Foundation, is the lead facilitator of the workshop. He says, “With this new world order of mobile, you have a new set of generals leading the world…those are the application developers; the people who write the software that drive these mobile devices.” Wooding, like Warde, believes the next great mobile innovation could come from Belize. He says, “By the end of this week, I trust that those participants who have signed up will become part of that growing global army; that not only shape and transform life here in Belize and across the Caribbean, but who can change the world.”

The CONCACAF Champions League pitch in Guyana is laughable
The CONCACAF Champions League is back! And, as is the case with seemingly every CONCACAF competition, that means hilariously awful pitches.The latest is in Guyana, where the Portland Timbers will play Alpha United.To call that grass would be charitable, but then again, that is a cricket stadium. Soccer isn’t a priority there, just an event to full up a few empty dates and maybe make a few bucks. And the players are just going to have to suffer because of it.Did you want to see passes completed on the ground? Good luck.Did you think the match might be beautiful? Welp.

The decision to remove the Belmopan Bandits from the 2014 -15 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League may have been the right one, but it could’ve been handled better.
Editor's Note: CONCACAF hipster Jon Arnold brings Goal readers stories and opinions from around the region in a weekly column.CONCACAF's relatively new administration missed an opportunity to show it's different from the past regime with its handling of the removal of Belize's representative in the CONCACAF Champions League. The name 'Champions League' explains the concept. Pit various champions against each a league. But in the past five competitions, Belize hasn't been able to put forth a representative, a streak that will continue this year after the Belmopan Bandits were removed from the competition.The confederation announced the decision in a news release sent at 6:10 p.m. ET on Aug. 12 - a week after the tournament started and nine days before the Bandits were set to host their first game of the competition. It would've been the first time in history that Belize - a tiny but growing English-speaking country in Central America just south of Mexico on the Caribbean Sea - hosted a Champions League match. In the first tournament under the current format, the Hankook Verdes played their home match in Guatemala, losing both legs by a 6-0 margin.

Empowering Women in Rural Communities in Belize to Embrace the Future
26 women in the northern rural communities of Belize have been empowered with life-time skills training in sewing, and are now qualified as seamstresses thanks to a 10-month Vocational Garment/Sewing Training project financed by the Government of Belize at a total cost of $51,440.00 through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). This means that the women from the villages of San Jose and Guinea Grass are now equipped with skills to access employment opportunities, generate income, be self-sufficient, and significantly contribute in decision-making roles in pursuit to further develop their communities and by extension the wider society of Belize.The sewing project was implemented by the Social Investment Fund as part of its mandate to work in line with the Government’s poverty alleviation strategy and in this regards, SIF is committed to empowering Belizeans in rural and urban communities across Belize, remarked the Executive Director, Mr. William Lamb Jr.


DCP Segura arraigned for manslaughter
In the aftermath of a heated protest some time earlier in San Jose, Succotz, near the Xunantunich archaeological site, in which residents who called for justice for the death of their fellow villager, blocked the roadway with debris and old tires and lit them on fire, Assistant Superintendent Daniel Arzu, the Officer in Charge of Benque Viejo police, escorted Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court, where he was arraigned for causing the death of Yolanda Valencia, 54, in a fatal traffic accident that occurred while he was under the influence of alcohol early this past Saturday morning.The angered villagers were waiting to see ACP Segura appear at the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court, where he was scheduled to be criminally charged.

Patrick JonesPJ

Major drug bust in Orange Walk
Police in Orange Walk town have made a major drug bust. Two million US dollars worth of Crystal Meth was hauled in when authorities intercepted a car in Orange Walk town on Wednesday night. Police say that while on an anti-drug operation around 7:20 pm on Wednesday […]

Workers traumatized after A&R Belize City store robbed
Workers of the Belize City branch of A&R Enterprise Limited at Mile 1 1/2 on the Philip Goldson Highway were for a few minutes held in terror by the sudden visit of armed robbers to the business late on Wednesday evening. According to police, around 6:27 p.m., as […]

Road Safety Project in annual review
The Government of Belize has been aggressively promoting road safety in light of the excessive number of traffic accidents on the nation’s highways. While the number of incidents and persons killed and injured is trending down, Belize continues to have the highest per capita instance of traffic accident […]

Junior Minister says stressed-out police officers may be turning to alcohol
A senior member of the Barrow administration, the Junior Minister of Finance and Economic Development Santino Castillo has gone on record opining that job stress could have pushed Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura to alcohol. Segura was arrested and charged on Tuesday for a list of charges, […]

Mexican artists exhibit in Belize
This evening at the Institute of Mexico, a group of Mexican artists opened an exhibition titled “Aequitas.” It is a mix of styles and perspectives intended to speak to the fundamental truth of equality in our world. Members of the group, Carlos Generoso, Leon Alva, and Marisol D’Estrabeau, […]

Jason Williams freed of police assault charges
Alleged gang boss Jason “Soup” Williams is a free man after charges of aggravated assault and discharging a firearm in public were dismissed at the end of a trial before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith. At the close of the prosecution’s case and before Williams’ attorney Michael Peyrefitte could […]

BDF defends force used to stop fighting campers
Earlier this week we reported that at least one Belize City youth has alleged beating terribly beaten by adult soldiers in charge of the Reform School Camp at Camp Belizario in Cayo. In reply the Belize Defence Force and Police Department invited our press colleagues to visit the […]

Ministry of Education pleased with CXC results
Last week preliminary results in the May-June 2014 sitting of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) examinations were released. Results are mixed to say the least, but Belize can be proud of its students increasing the percentage of Grades I-III steadily over […]

Hunting trip turns fatal in Orange Walk
There are reports of a tragic overnight fatal shooting incident in Orange Walk involving two brothers.Details are still being gathered, but preliminary indications are that the two had gone hunting and that during expedition shots were fired by one of the men, hitting the other inadvertently.The man sustained fatal gunshot wounds to the head, hands and abdomen.The hunting incident gone wrong reportedly happened in an area about two miles off the San Antonio road sometime last night.

Eastern Caribbean braces for bad weather
A tropical disturbance that is moving in the direction of the Lesser Antilles will bring gusty winds and heavy rainfall to the Eastern Caribbean heading into the weekend.Hispaniola could also experience bad weather as the system which has a high chance of developing into a tropical cyclone, continues to move west-northwest at between 15 and 20 miles per hour.Forecasters say that when the system reaches Hispaniola and eastern Cuba, the mountainous terrain could slow down development of the disturbance; but conditions will become conducive for development again early next week.By that time it should be in the area of the Bahamas.


International Sourcesizz

Which Hurricane Model Should You Trust?
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) did a decent job forecasting Atlantic hurricane and tropical storm tracks during 2013, with errors similar to or slightly larger than the previous 5-year means for 12 to 96 hour forecasts, according to the 2013 National Hurricane Center Forecast Verification Report, issued in May 2014. A new record accuracy for 5-day forecasts was set, though forecasts for 12 to 96 hours were slightly worse than in 2012. One possible reason for the increase in track errors in 2013 was the small number of hurricanes we had (just two.) On average, the NHC track errors steadily decrease as the intensity of a tropical cyclone increases. The average track error in an official NHC 1-day forecast in 2013 was 57 miles, and was 118 miles for 2 days, 162 miles for 3 days, 190 miles for 4 days, and 190 miles for 5 days. The official track forecasts tended to have a westward to northwestward bias of 55 - 82 miles for 3 - 5 day forecasts (i.e., the official forecast tended to fall to the west or northwest of the verifying position.)

Angola: Cabinda Governor Works in Belize Municipality
Cabinda — The governor of the northern Cabinda province, Aldina da Lomba Catembo, is paying this Thursday a two-day working visit to Belize municipality, aimed to learn about the socio-economic and political reality of the region.According to her programme that reached Angop, after the arrival, the governor will meet with the municipal administrator of Belize, Alfredo da Silva Gomes, and then leave for Miconje commune so as to check the implementation rate of the social projects underway the locality, with emphasis on the construction works of Alto Sundi Development Programme (PRODAS).

Garifuna People Are Risking Everything to Flee Their Ancestral Honduran Homelands
A horse grazes in the Travesía town cemetery, on the Caribbean coast of Honduras. Some of the tombs shine in the sun with new tiles, while others are marked by little more than rusted crosses. On one such grave — a stark box of bare concrete — lies a white wreath, which is turning brown in the sun. This is Catrín Bernárdez's grave, the final resting place of his American dream.Bernárdez, 43, was Garifuna. This Afro-Caribbean ethnic community, of mixed Amerindian and African descent, is scattered across Central America, but is centered in Honduras, where an estimated 200,000 Garifuna live. With a massive wave of migration to the US currently underway, the Garifuna people are being severely depleted in their ancestral homelands.Over the past year, US government agencies have been overwhelmed by the recent influx of migrants from Central America, many of whom travel on top of a train known as "La Bestia" [The Beast]. Migrants jump the dangerous freight train, often embarking on a grueling 1,500-mile journey from the Mexico-Guatemala border to the US. The trip is marked by extortion, violence, and sexual assault. Human traffickers who control the route charge an impuesto de guerra [a war tax] to ride the train. Migrants who fail to pay are shot or thrown from La Bestia's roof.

Bankrupt Victoria businessman must pay 15% of tax debt, court rules
A Victoria businessman and former financial planner owing more than $900,000 to Canada Revenue Agency will be discharged from bankruptcy if he pays close to 15 per cent of that amount, B.C. Supreme Court has decided.Bruce Foerster will have to pay $136,000 to be discharged from bankruptcy, Master Carolyn Bouck of B.C. Supreme Court said in a decision released this week. Being discharged from bankruptcy means a person no longer has the legal obligation to pay debts that existed when bankruptcy was filed. Foerster, 57, lives most of the year in Victoria. For about the past 10 years, he has been a businessman as owner and operator of Jungle Sea Ventures Ltd. resort in Belize. As of this year, he no longer holds controlling interest but is working on marketing, client development, public relations, reservation tracking and website monitoring for the resort, the court said.

Education News 8.22.14
Dr. Ragupathy Kannan of Fort Smith, professor of biological sciences at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, was selected to write monographs on three neotropical birds for Cornell University Lab of Ornithology’s Neotropical Birds Website due to his field work in Central America and his previous work with Birds of North America, another Cornell University project. Kannan’s studies will cover three Belizean birds — the Montezuma oropendola, the crimson-collared tanager and the royal flycatcher, all of which are studied in Kannan’s annual Maymester course, a weeklong credit class offered in May in which students travel to Belize to study tropical birds.


Video: Sports Reach vs Hoop Dreams Belize | 2014 @ The Birds Isle, 4min.
Sport Reach is missionary organization that shares the word of god through sports. The team is made up of a collection of college basketball players from around the US. The Group Leaders were Robby Speer and Stan Curry. Coach Was Florida State Assistant Coach Dennis Gates. Players were Troy University Starting Forward Kevin Thomas, Troy University Freshman Aaron Ariri, Western Kentucky University wingman Nigel Snipes, Former Angelo State player Antonio Dye, Incoming freshman at Union College Wilson Smyth, Former Campbellsville University forward Phil Lowery and Last but not least Tedrick Stephens

Video: Belize Scuba Adventures, 6min.

Video: Sweet Pain band, 3min.
Sweet Pain Band is comprised of 5 of Belize's most talented musicians. Sweet Pain Band has two lead vocalists, Jobe and Elroy. On keyboards for Sweet Pain you will find Method who is also a vocalist. On bass guitiar for Sweet Pain you will see Junimar who is Belize's top punta producer for many artist that you hear today. The Sweet Pain Band drummer is John P and the manager for Sweet Pain is Chico Ramos a punta legend in Belize located in Dangriga.

Video: Snorkeling In Belize, 5min.
Students in VMI Biology's Tropical Marine Biology course travel to Belize to experience marine wildlife firsthand.

Video: Belize Vacation, 4min.
GoPro footage from our trip to Belize this summer. Hol Chan snorkeling, Lamanai Mayan ruins, San Pedro & more!

Video: SCUBA diving Belize. Ambergris Cay., 11min.
Diving with Patojo's Dive Shop and Amigos Del Mar.

August 21, 2014


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

Incredible Jazz brought to you Belize style!
Produced by James Sanker and Glenn Tillett, and directed by Sanker, the Belize Jazz and Culture Show held on August 16th is the first in a planned series of 36 performances that will be taking over the country by storm. The ensemble includes the following: Horns: Richard Pitts (tenor saxophone), Paul Christopher Bradshaw (tenor saxophone), John Raeburn (trumpet), Lucio “Drops” Enriquez (trombone). Rhythm section: Dane Henry (keyboard), Paul Alvarez (keyboard), Fritzgerald Conserve (bass guitar), James Sanker (rhythm guitar). Drums and percussion: Elsworth Castillo (trap set), Wilford Felix (Djembe drum). Strings: Cindy Burgos (violin), Anthony Coombs (Cello). Naturally, all I can enthusiastically repeat over and over again is GET THEE TO THE NEXT SHOW!! And to those who can support the arts and believe in nurturing the creativity of our Belizean talents, sponsorship is needed. While NICH, BTB, Karl H. Menzies and the Best Western Biltmore Plaza are on board, much more support is appreciated and will go a long way in bringing Belize’s talent to the ‘nth’ level. Read more: Incredible Jazz brought to you Belize style! - My Beautiful Belize Follow us: @MyBeautifulBze on Twitter | MyBeautifulBelize on Facebook

Canadian living on Ambergris Caye found dead
Police on Ambergris Caye do not suspect foul play in the death of man who was found inside his condominium. The person has been identified as 53 year old Barry Lee Makowski, a Canadian national who have been living in San Pedro Town. Sometime around 5:30PM on August 13th, police received information that the lifeless body of a man was found inside his living room at a resort across the bridge. According to San Pedro Police, when they visited his apartment building at Reef Village Resort, they found the lifeless body of Makowski lying face up. Some substance appearing to be blood was also found inside the building.

#Trending: “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge”: What’s it all about?
Over the last few weeks social media has been blowing up with people all over the world taking on the “ALS Ice bucket Challenge.” Even here in San Pedro Town, Facebook videos have been popping up on newsfeeds with various people taking on the challenge including Town Mayor Daniel Guerrero and The San Pedro Sun’s senior staff reporter Jorge Aldana . But what exactly is ALS? What’s the challenge all about?

First phase of northern Ambergris Caye road begins
According to the Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero, the project is expected to boost tourism activities and improve the tourism fabric of the island, which is in line with the council’s political mandate. It is also expected to increase real estate values. “This is a project that we promised, but more importantly, it is a project that is going to boost the economy on the island…it will be good for guests, for tourists and good for everyone; it is going to benefit everyone. We want to service the majority of our hotels and resorts. When we complete this seven miles project, we will have serviced over 98% of our hotels across the bridge…this will be a legacy for San Pedro Town. It will add something to the island because bicycles, golf carts and the motorcycles driving or riding up north will have to use the road. Residents will have no excuse to ride or drive on the beach front,” said Guerrero. While monies for the first part of the project are coming from the GOB’s coffers, Mayor Guerrero said that the SPTC is hoping that GOB will also undertake the second phase. If GOB cannot, the council will be looking at other options. The project was awarded to RGB Construction, but sub-contracted to AM Construction who is executing the project. According to AM Construction Foreman Samuel Pott, if there are no weather delays, the project should be delivered in a span of three months. “We are using good quality material supplied by Medina’s Construction. The concrete road will be 20 feet across but because we don’t want to stop the flow of traffic, we are doing the first ten feet on one side then once it is hard enough, we will proceed to the second section of the road,” explained Pott.

Belmopan Bandits out of 2014/2015 Champions League: CONCACAF cites lack of football stadium as reason
On Sunday, August 10th CONCACAF inspectors ruled that the pitch at the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) stadium is not suited for international matches. Without a sporting stadium meeting confederation standards to host the matches, Belize’s Belmopan Bandits have been eliminated from the 2014/2015 Champions League Tournament. The Bandits were to play their first home match on Thursday, August 21st against Isidro Metapan, but that game will now be hosted by Costa Rica’s Club Sport Herediano. CONCACAF officials stated in a press release that the FFB Stadium’s pitch was not up to par for international play, and as such the Belmopan Bandits did not meet their requirements to participate in the Champions League. “For the second time CONCACAF inspected the playing surface at FFB Stadium on Sunday August 10th, encountering conditions that did not meet Champions League standards as described in the Regulations governing the competition. Articles 2.2.1 f, 3.8 a, 4.2 b, 4.7 a. and section 10.1 of the 2014/15 CONCACAF Champions League Regulations address the obligations of participating teams to have a home venue that complies with CONCACAF standards. Article 10.1 states that all stadium facilities, including fields, must comply with specific standards to be used for international play,” stated CONCACAF officials.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Junior Sailing Club Hosts International Regatta Over Weekend
The San Pedro Junior Sailing Club was happy to have sponsored the first ever Friendly Invitational Regatta this past weekend in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, at the Boca Del Rio Park. Twenty four sailors from USA, Mexico and Belize took on to sail the friendly seas for some fun and friendly competition on Saturday, August 16 and 17. Sailing clubs from Canada and Guatemala were also invited to sail on Ambergris Caye, but unfortunately could not make it to the event. The course was an Olympic Triangle Course in which sailors sailed four races on Saturday and two on Sunday. The best of five races were accumulated for the lowest point system.

San Pedro Mayor, Councilors and Residents Take on Ice Bucket Challenge
We have seen all the viral videos online from around the world in which people have taken up the Ice Bucket Challenge as a way of making awareness of ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis —also referred to as motor neurone disease). Well the craze has already reached San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize and there are some prominent people getting dumped with ice water. In the latest video posts, San Pedro Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Deputy Mayor Gabriel Nuñez, Town Forman Freddie Gonzalez have taken up the challenge and posted videos of themselves being dumped on with ice water. They took up the challenge after they were nominated to support the worthy cause. They are amongst the many who have done the ice bucket challenge and donated towards the ALS foundation.

Paving Upgrade of North Ambergris Caye Road has Commenced
In late April of this year the San Pedro Town Council began works on upgrading the roads in North Ambergris Caye with the assistance of the Belize Ministry of Works. The Ministry provided the Town Council with a grader and truck to work on improving the street conditions of the island. A total of 80 linear yards of white mal (dust from crushed rock – clay like texture) was placed from Grand Caribe to Indigo Resort. Four months after the upgrading of the roads and finalization of paper work, the project which is being funded by Belize’s Ministry of Works and Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Civil Aviation has finally commenced. Pavement will be laid from the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge up to the Belizean Shores Area. Construction is being carried out by RGB Construction and is estimated to be completed in an approximately three to four months.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Councilor Severo Guerrero accepts the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
passed on to him by Mayor Daniel Guerrero and now nominates Belinda Guerrero, Councilor Carlos Barrientos and Ricky Verde.

Town Foreman Freddy Gonzalez Jr. accepts the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
passed on to him by Mayor Daniel Guerrero and now nominates Selene Gonzalez, Drew Forman and Superintendent Luis Castellanos.

Deputy Mayor Gabriel Nunez Sr. accepts the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
passed on by Mayor Daniel Guerrero and now nominates Marion Mejia, Richy A Cordova and André Shamir Guerrero.

Mayor Daniel Guerrero does the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge after being nominated by Gary Greif.
He now nominates Freddy Gonzalez Jr., Deputy Mayor Gabriel Nunez Sr., Severo Guerrero and Jorge Aldana (although not mentioned in the video).

Wine de Vine -Sunshine & Wine Rose Tasting
This Saturday, August 23rd from 5pm - 7pm

Cayo Art Collection Launch
The SISE HoC launched the Cayo Art Collection on Friday. There's a lot of wonderful local art on display. Visit the SISE HoC over the next month to see the exhibit. "Cayo Art Collection 2014 Launch at SISE House of Culture - August 15th."

Queen of the Bay Pageant
Belmopan's Queen of the Bay pageant will be Friday at 7:00pm at Belmopan's newly renovated civic center. "Get your ticket today for $15.00 Reserve and $10.00 General at the Belmopan City Council Office, Emjays Beaut Salon, Medicare Plus Pharmacy and Puma Garbutt's Service Station. It's all going down at the Newly renovated Civic Center on Friday 22nd August at 7:00 p.m. Come out and see Six beautiful young ladies vying for the title of Queen of the Bay, Belmopan. Come out and support your favorite contestant."

Senior Steps Summer Camp
The were a record number of Summer camps this year. The Senior Steps dance troupe had one, and they held it at the George Price Centre. "Some highlights from GPC/Senior Steps Summer Camp 2014!!!"

Three Top Belize Resorts Win World Travel Awards
El Secreto, Victoria House and Turtle Inn, three of Belize’s top beach resorts have won accolades at the 21st World Travel Awards. The World Travel Awards (WTA) was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry and today it is recognized globally as the hallmark of quality with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire. El Secreto Beach Resort opened in 2012 and is located on a sandy strip eleven miles north of the town of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. The luxury resort is comprised of 13 private villas kitted out with Egyptian cotton sheets, outdoor Jacuzzis and private decks with hammocks. A gourmet restaurant, an elegant swimming pool and a spa are also onsite. The resort is only 30 minutes by boat from San Pedro Town.

12 Mysterious Photos of Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave in Belize
The famous Actun Tunichil Munkal Cave (ATM Cave) has been making international headlines for the past two weeks so we decided to collect 12 mysterious photos of the ATM Cave to share on If you have not visited this cave, we recommend that you do so immediately because of the following three reasons: 1.) The ATM cave is the most visited cave in Belize 2.) The ATM Cave has been rated by the prestigious National Geographic as the #1 most sacred cave in the world and 3.) A visit to the ATM Cave will not disappoint. So without further adieu, here are 12 mysterious photos of Actun Tunichil Muknal:

MMTS (Music, Model and Talent Showcase of the Caribbean) auditions coming to Belize on October 4th, 2014
"Music, Model & Talent Showcase of the Islands (MMTS) is the only event of its kind specifically for Caribbean talent. We are looking for Singers, Songwriters, Music Producers, Models and Actors to attend our annual event in July 2015 where attendees will be seen by a large number of top international agencies, talent scouts, music producers, record labels and casting directors all at once. This is certainly a once in a lifetime opportunity for most! Attendees who will have the opportunity to network, learn and gain contacts that could change your life! MMTS is a one-of-a-kind event for the islands, and is the only modeling and talent showcase in the world specifically targeting the Caribbean market, and we are taking Caribbean Talent to the World!

Highway in Corozal Town Gets Major Make-over
The Northern Highway that goes through Corozal Town is in the process of getting a major make-over. The highway is being re-done all through town, beginning at the south end of 7th Avenue, and it will continue all the way to the north end of the highway near Santa Rita. The project will take approximately a year, scheduled to be finished in June of 2015, to the cost of over a million dollars provided by the Central Government of Belize, Ministry of Works, who is responsible for the highways of the country. There will be four lanes of the highway, with a sidewalk all the way through town. There will be pedestrian walks at major points, which will hopefully discourage "passers through" from maintaining unsafe speeds. Efforts are being made in the design to provide the best flow of traffic for people in town, such as using circles and round-abouts. Also, two types of drainage, boxes and Vs, should prevent any flooding or slippery roads. The current section being worked on begins at the V of 7th Avenue and 1st Avenue when coming from the south, traffic being detoured from the highway after 9th Street South. It continues to 6th Street South, approximately three blocks. People of Corozal will have to be patient while this major project takes place, then hopefully we will have a lovely, smooth thoroughfare through our town. We found the workers and supervisors on duty to be very courteous to both pedestrians and drivers of vehicles. We thank them for their work.

Channel 7

Police Have Suspects For Hopkins Home Invasion
Yesterday, we told you about the Dudley and Josephine Augustine who were attacked inside their vacation home in Hopkins Village on Monday evening. 47 year-old Josephine Augustine was killed in that home invasion while her husband, 71 year-old Dudley remains hospitalised at the KHMH. His son Calvin told us today that he has shown slight improvement. The swelling behind his left ear and in his right eye has subsided and he is in and out of consciousness. But, the news tonight is that Police have detained the main suspects in that crime, and they are currently in the custody of investigators from Dangriga Police. Specialised units from the Belmopan formation, went out early this morning, and based on intelligence, captured 4 hispanic men who are the main suspects in the Hopkins home invasion. They have since been transported to the Dangriga Police Station, where they will be questioned about the murder and attempted murder. Reports say they are former employees of the couple.

Taximan Cu Needs Another Surgery
Tonight, the family of 28 year old taxi driver Yanie Evan Cu are worrying about his condition. They tell the media that he has gotten one surgery but needs another on his hip. Cu was driving to San Ignacio with his cousin Yolanda Valencia on Saturday morning when Deputy Police Commissioner Mike Segura crashed into him. Cu’s family says that by the time he saw Segura, his Nissan Pathfinder was literally on top of the taxi – and there was nothing he could do to avoid a head on collision.

Re-Visiting Rage In Succotz
And so while Evan Cu is far from out of the woods, medically speaking….it seems that, for the time being at least, the public anger in Succotz village has subsided. That is because police showed the mob that Deputy Commissioner Segura was being charged just like anybody else. But, even so, the angry mob was reluctant to give up the fight. Last night, due to time constraints, we gave you the broad sketches of the conflict – tonight, we put together the timeline in granular detail. Daniel Ortiz was on the frontline: Daniel Ortiz Reporting The protest was supposed to be a peaceful form of civil disobedience, and it started out that way. The families friends and supporters all gathered on the junction of the Benque Road, and the Succotz Village entrance.

Victor Vargas Murder Suspect Apprehended
As we reported on Monday, 34 year old Victor Vargas was stabbed twice in the neck early on Saturday morning. He was socializing, and got into a fight with a younger man whom he’d had a previous misunderstanding with. The younger man – who is only 19 - stabbed him in the neck; Vargas ran down the road trying to get help, but he collapsed on the veranda of a neighbour’s house. 7News has confirmed that the teenager, who is the main suspect for the murder of 38 year-old Victor Vargas, currently in the custody of the San Ignacio police. We have his identity, but we are unable to reveal it because he hasn’t been formally charged.

Dengue Spikes, Public Health Sprays
There was an increase in Dengue cases in July in the South side of Belize City. The Public Health Department is responding with a series of Ultra Low Volume spraying sessions in the most affected areas in Belize City. And while the ULV spray is not exactly air-freshener grade, don’t close your windows!! This afternoon, the public health officers discussed this and more at a public health education event:Javier Alpuche , Senior Public Health Inspector "We have a total of 6 vehicles, which will be deployed starting this evening to conduct ULV spray in the entire southside Belize City at first then we move on to Northside Belize City.

FFB Pitch Worse Than Guyana?
The CONCACAF 2014 Champion’s League Tournament began 2 weeks ago, and if Belize’s Belmopan Bandits were still in it, they would be getting ready for their first game tomorrow at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan. But as we all know, CONCACAF yanked the Bandits from the competition because the football pitch supposedly didn’t meet the organization’s standards. We say “supposedly” because SB Nation – which is a US based sports website has posted this picture of the Providence Stadium in Guyana. That’s the home field for Guyana’s Alpha United, which is making its first appearance in the Champion’s League, facing the Portland Timbers. Seen here, Providence was built primarily as a cricket stadium. The article on SB Nation asks, quote, “if CONCACAF deemed the Guyana pitch okay, what did the Belize pitch have to be like to be deemed unacceptable? Clearly, grass isn't a requirement, so was there shards of glass on the pitch? Was there a sinkhole at midfield? Did tigers roam the penalty boxes?”

What's Going Right At BDF Youth Reform Camp
The BDF Boot camp in Cayo Camp Belizario has endured some body blows from the disgruntled families members of the youths enrolled or formerly enrolled at the camp. They alleged that the BDF used excessive force on the youths. But in response to that, the BDF deflected those allegations and stated that disciplinary actions had to be taken to control the youths who had launched into an all out gang war at Camp Belizario. But while that’s what went wrong at the camp – yesterday when we visited, we also tried to find out what was going right. Courtney Weatherburne has that story:… Courtney Weatherburne Reporting The environment at Camp Belizario is not your usually boot camp setting. The serene, spacious setting inspires a sense of relief and relaxation. But while it is a quite inviting environment, it speaks nothing of the regimentation that governs the camp.

Purse Snatcher Caught, Sent To Prison
30 year-old Tyron Smith is spending his first night of a 7-year sentence after he was convicted of robbery in the Magistrate’s Court. The complaint, 20 year-old Scarlet Zelaya, testified before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith that on October 27, 2013, at around 11 a.m., she got of a bus and was walking on Cemetery Road when Smith hailed her from under a tree. Shortly after that, Smith ambushed her and demanded that she hand over her purse. Zelaya testified that when she refused, Smith punched her repeatedly in the face until she let go. Her testimony was strengthened by that of a Police Sergeant attached to the Gang Suppression Unit. He testified that he was on patrol with other officers when they received a report of a robbery in progress. He said that when they responded, he saw Smith running toward the police mobile, so, he subdued and detained him. He found Zelaya’s purse on him.

Midway Village Goes All the Way with US Capital
4 months ago, the Mayan Community of Sunday Wood, located in the Sarstoon Temash National Park Buffer Zone area, openly declared its support for US Capital Energy and its oil drilling explorations. They became the first Mayan community to do so, and tonight, we’ve received reliable reports that another has done the same thing. Midway and their Alcalde pledged their support for US Capital yesterday in a press conference, which was called right after they met with the District Association for Village Councils (DAVCO). Midway villagers added that they have always supported the oil company, and that there have been a few members of the community who have been against it. Those few reportedly reached out to SATIIM, and that’s how Midway reportedly ended up on the list of Buffer communities who oppose US Capital.

Haitians Busted With Bogus Belize Visas
Tonight, 2 Haitian nationals are being held by the Immigration Department after they were busted trying to enter the country with bogus Belizean visas. 32 year-old Donald Gedeon and 38 year-old Choubert Senat arrived at the PGIA yesterday on a flight from El Salvador. When they presented their Immigration documents at the Immigration Desk, the officers noticed that the visas were irregular. Further checks revealed that they were fake, and so both men were charged for attempting to use visas that they were not entitled to. When they were arraigned before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart, both men pleaded guilty and were fined $2,000 to be paid forthwith. After they’ve paid their fine, or they’ve served 1 year in prison, if they default, they will be deported.

Gilroy Gets Off
Gilroy Usher Jr, who you may know as the Secretary of COLA, the owner of First Stop Pawn Shop, or as a supporter of his Politician Father, Gilroy Sr., was able to walk out of court a free man today. That’s after the prosecution withdrew charges against him in which he was accused of assaulting a police officer. When the case was called up today, after 2 years of repeated adjournments, Magistrate Dale Cayetano struck it out for want of prosecution. Back in August of 2012, the complainants, Bailiff Gabriel Casey and Police Constable Egar Poot, reported to police that Usher drew a firearm on both them, after he punched Poot on the right side of his face.

GSU Gets Weed
The Gang Suppression Unit has been targeting areas where known drug peddlers operate in Belize City. At around 1:30 on Tuesday afternoon, GSU officers searched several persons and abandoned lots in the Conch-Shell Bay area. They discovered 137 grams – or 4.83 ounces – of marijuana in an abandoned lot. No one was around, but the officers believe that the drugs belong to one of 3 peddlers in the area. 2 hours later, GSU officers then went to the Kraal Road area, where they found 2 black plastic bags containing a total of 172 grams – or 6.06 ounces – of marijuana. These drugs were found in an abandoned lot next to the Kraal Road Gang Base.

For many, the inevitability of the ageing process is a disturbing thought, but for the organization HELPAGE, it’s a mission. Today the organization held a one-day workshop with the aim of improving the lives of the elderly by bettering the organization. The facilitators of the workshop discussed how organizational wellness can contribute to healthier advanced years for their clients.Ivorine Bulwer, Executive Director, Helpage "It is a session to look at issues of governance. Governance issues getting them sensitised to articles of association, the memorandum of association, to look at policy and procedure manual to review our strategic plan and to get an analysis, because clearly governance about what? We are for the older persons and so we need to be sensitised to what our role is all about who we are serving, so we will be sensitizing them about the health issue, the housing issue, the economic issue and issue as it relate to their lack of knowledge of their rights and at the same time to share with them avaliable resources, to share with them the importance of partnership because we can't do it alone."

Musical Fusion
The National Youth Orchestra in collaboration with an organization call MusAid (muse-aid) will hold a concert on Saturday August 23rd at the Bliss Center. It’s an exciting collaboration and the Belize Youth Orchestra’s Courtney Gillet shared her excitement about the event:Courtney Gillet, Youth Orchestra Teacher "So on the 23rd of August at the bliss we're going to have a concert featuring Belizean musicians who are apart of the national youth orchestra and also musicians from muse-aid which a non profit organisation and they have brought in 8 fellows and they're fantastic, fantastic musicians. Some of them come from top conservatories in the United States and they're working along with our orchestra members with some pieces that we will be performing and also doing pedagogy classes for the teachers here at the orchestra and also encouraging some of the members, the students themselves to start teaching music. This concert will feature works from Pirates of the Caribbean. We'll be doing several pieces from Tchaikovsky there will also be a performance by the muse 8 fellows themselves so that is a special treat and we also have a Belizean composition and I encourage all Belizeans to come out and listen." The concert starts at 7:30 pm on Saturday and tickets are available at the Bliss for $15 dollars. There are currently about 35 members of the National Youth Orchestra and Choir.

Channel 5

The Fate of Career Police Officer Miguel Segura As Deputy ComPol Uncertain
In the aftermath of Saturday’s fatal road traffic accident involving Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura, there has been uproar, particularly by residents of Succotz Village who are either family [...]

4 Men Detained In Hopkins Home Invasion Turned Murder
News Five has confirmed that four men, believed to be involved in a Monday evening home invasion in Hopkins, have been captured in Belmopan. The four men were taken in [...]

Unitedville Murder Suspect Steven Gomez Captured in Belmopan
Early Saturday morning, at around three am, Unitedville resident Victor Vargas was stabbed to the neck and bled to death shortly after. Since then Police have been looking for a [...]

Unitedville Land Dispute Remains Unresolved Several Months Later
There was a land dispute in the western community of Unitedville in March. In a nutshell, the Ministry of Natural Resources issued title to Bernadette Fischer for five acres of [...]

Confusion about Eviction Notice in Unitedville
That seems pretty clear enough, but now we’re confused. Somebody seems to be misinformed in this land equation. On Monday, News Five was in Unitedville and we were given this [...]

Nasley Sommerville appears before Public Services Commission
Former administrator of the Southern Regional Hospital Nasley Sommerville appeared before the Public Services Commission, finally, on August fourteenth, one week ago. Officials from the Ministry of Health have refused [...]

Midway Residents Meet with DAVCO to Discuss Oil Exploration in Toledo
On Tuesday evening, residents of Midway, one of six buffer communities bordering the Sarstoon Temash National Park, met with representatives of the District Association of Village Councils to discuss oil [...]

Residents Support Oil Exploration and Prepared to Negotiate Benefits
While some residents contend that they have been misrepresented in the past, they are prepared to negotiate with government, should oil be discovered, to determine benefits.   Midway Resident “We [...]

Dengue On the Rise in Belize City
Dengue is on the rise in Belize City…that’s the news coming out of the Public Health Sector. The Central Health Region is reporting that since July there has been a [...]

Vector Control Unit to Commence Mass Spraying
According to the Health Unit, the spike, in most cases, is due to the lack of maintenance of property in south side Belize City. District Supervisor of the Central Health [...]

Haitian Nationals Busted With False Belizean Visas At P.G.I.A.
Two Haitian nationals carrying passports with fake Belizean visas were busted by Immigration authorities at the Phillip Goldson Airport on Tuesday. The men, thirty-two-year-old Donald Gedeon and thirty-six-year-old Choubert Senat, [...]

Gilroy Usher Jr. Acquitted of Aggravated Assault
Today, Gilroy Usher Junior walked out of court after charges of aggravated assault and harm brought against him were thrown out. Magistrate Dale Cayetano did so because the complainant in [...]

National Youth Orchestra and MusAid Performs at the Bliss
The National Youth Orchestra and Choir of Belize is collaborating with a team of professional musicians from MusAid to put off a concert this coming weekend at the Bliss Center [...]

Teachers Schooled in Creative Arts
A Theatre Arts Training session concluded today at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. Primary, high school and itinerant teachers took part in the three-week program by the Ministry [...]

Finalists for Bring It Revealed
Chanelle Parks, Marlyn Vansen and Clifford Hoare are the finalists for If You Can Sing It, Bring It! after nine weeks of singing in various genres of music, the trio [...]


Eating Healthy Means Living Healthy
Healthy eating is not about strict dietary limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, and stabilizing your mood. If you feel overwhelmed by all the conflicting nutrition and diet advice out there, you’re not alone. It seems that for every expert who tells you a certain food is good for you, you’ll find another saying exactly the opposite. Today reporter Victor Castillo caught up with northern regional nutritionist Christina Sevallos, who shared some OF her expertise on how to keep a healthy life style.

13 Year Old Puersues Dream Of Going To High School
Around the world there are people that are fortunate and those that are less fortunate, those who can and those that cannot pursue their dreams. Well, the good news tonight is that one 13 year old is on her way to pursue her dreams of attending high school. Meet Jesusita Peña from San Andres Village in the Corozal District. She comes from a low income family of nine that struggles daily to makes ends meet. But that has not stopped Pena from furthering her education. In fact that’s what motivates her to excel. And with a $1,000 donation from Emily Loague, Pena is looking forward to a secondary education. Emily Loague – Samaritan “My daughter’s gran mother who wished that she always wanted to help a family to go to school.”

The Role Of Peer Helpers
A group of about 30 students from the Orange Walk Technical High School are wrapping up a follow up training on peer facilitation skills thanks to the continued support from the Belize Family Life Association (BFLA). It is a known fact, when adolescents seek support for many of the life situations they face; they typically approach their peers rather than seeking adult support systems which may already be in place. Youth of today tend to be energetic, positive and are extremely well positioned to support others in their peer groups. And so today we found out from the schools counsellor, Lisia Castillo that Peer helping or peer counselling programs can serve as an extremely effective support system in their school and community.

Two Corozalenos Charged For Drug Trafficking
A man from the Corozal District has been charged for the offence of drug trafficking after he was caught with cannabis. Yesterday, at about 8:00am, PC Diego Torres and PC J Paiz were traveling from Corozal to Orange Walk and upon reaching the junction of Buena Vista and Caledonia Village, their attention was drawn to a male person sitting on a piece of rock. Upon sighting the officers the individual began acting suspicious. This prompted PC Torres to exit the vehicle he was traveling in. He then conducted a search on the individual but nothing incriminating was found on him. Directly in front of where the individual was sitting though, officers observed a plastic bag.

Hill And Bardalez Sentenced To Ten Years In Prison
A man well known to the law in the Corozal District is tonight serving time at the Belize Central Prison while his partner in crime is considered a wanted person by authorities but was sentenced in absentia. We are talking about 37 year old Roberto Hill and 27 year old Edwin Bardalez who were jointly sentenced to ten years imprisonment this afternoon at the Corozal Magistrates when their case concluded and Magistrate Hurl Hamilton passed sentencing after they were found guilty of robbery. On the night of July 9th 2013 Gregorio Monteroso a taxi driver from the Corozal District, reported to police that he was robbed at gun point by 36 year old Robert Hill, Belizean mechanic of Alta Mira, Corozal Town and Edwin Caliz Bardalez, 26 year old Belizean construction worker of #17 Banak Street, Belize City.

Man Accused Of Fondling Ten year Old Step-Daughter
The father of the ten year old minor is not the only individual police are looking for at the moment. They are also searching for an individual accused of fondling his 11 year old stepdaughter. In the presence of her mother, the student of San Joaquin Village, Corozal District, reported that on Saturday the 16th of August she was at home locking the kitchen windows when her stepfather grabbed her from her shoulder and started to play with her breast. He then pulled her to his room, laid her on the bed, lifted up her blouse and started to play with her breast. Finally he let her go and that is when she ran to her grandmother's house. A doctor certified the child’s injuries as harm on her breast. Police investigation continues.

BWS Carry Out Remedial Work, Streets Left In Worst State
Since the Belize Water Services initiated their remedial works to upgrade their pipe lines that run under the Belize Corozal Road, the conditions of the streets cannot be any worse. And while they are carrying their works piece by piece, they leave behind a trail of deplorable road conditions for any vehicle or commuter. While many drivers and commuters can only gripe and complain, our efforts to get comment from the officials at BWS have gone on deaf ears. We spoke to a representative of the company this morning who told us that the works have not been completed but there was no indication whether they will go back and repair the roads to its original state; and neither do we know if Central Government will keep its commitment to fully repair the Belize Corozal Road, a road network strictly under the Central Government’s jurisdiction. Meanwhile, residents, commuters and visitors have no choice but to endure the position that we have been thrust into; pothole ridden, unlevelled, dusty streets.

Orange Walk Teen Reported Missing
An Orange Walk teen has been reported missing by her mother. According to police, 39 year old Doris Zelaya of Snapper Street in the Black Water Creek area of Town, reported to police that on Sunday August 17th, her 16-year-old stepdaughter, Deirie Tamay, left her house around 9am without saying anything and took some clothes. While police could not furnish us with a picture, Tamay is of Hispanic descent, of clear complexion, has straight short black hair, is slim built, about 5' 1" in height, has brown small eyes, long nose and was last seen wearing a black blouse, a pink skirt and a black sandals. Police are investigating her whereabouts.

COMPOL Says "Go Ahead And Video"
The video that went viral on Facebook over the weekend showing Deputy Commissioner Miguel Segura minutes after the accident and seemingly carefree still has the public chattering on the incident. In the conference held with the media yesterday evening, Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie was asked about the public’s freedom on recording police officers while on duty. The Commissioner did not falter and even encouraged the continued use of smart phones. Allen Whylie - Commissioner of Police "There is no policy from the department that people cannot. We are living in the age of technology where all these smart phones have video. As long as you are outside the area that the police have cordoned off to deal with their scene, if you are outside of that I do not see any issue why the police should be taking away or confiscating anything. I would hope that people would continue to record these things because it will keep my officers consistent and professional and be honest and even if they confiscate one, I don't think they will confiscate 10 and 20 because I am certain there is more than one person. As I say we don't have a policy. If the police obviously have the area cordoned off, if they have barriers up that you should not be climbing to see then that's a different matter. But if it's cordoned and you are behind the cordon I don't have a problem with it. I just wish that sometimes we would exercise better judgment because I don't think anything is gain by showing people gruesomely killed or murdered and those sort of things and so I would just ask that some sensitivity be given to the feelings of whoever is the deceased family because family always remain."

Deputy COMPOL Slapped With Six Charges
Today, the disgraced Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura’s saga continued with much development in the case. After the announcement of his suspension from active duty yesterday, this morning the scene changed in Succotz Village in the West. The fury and rage of residents from the San Jose, Succotz Village, was felt with a demonstration and blocking of the George Price Highway near the Xunantunich Archaeological site, disrupting the flow of any traffic in that area. This is in response to the residents calling for justice for, Yolando Valencia, the mother of five, who was killed in a road traffic accident early Saturday Morning. As the images depict, residents blocked the roadway with tires and lit them on fire.

Father Accused Of Fondling Ten Year Old Daughter
Tonight there is a disturbing report coming out from the Village of Copper Bank in the Corozal District involving a ten year old minor and her father. The ten year old student, accompanied by her guardian, reported to authorities that on Friday the 15th of August between 8:00pm and 8:10pm whilst at her house along with her father, she was falling asleep on a hammock in the living room when she felt someone touching her on her private area. This caused her to open her eyes and that’s when she saw her father sitting next to her on a sofa staring at her. According to the child, her father then pulled her out of the hammock.


Succotz: A Day of Unrest, Burning Tires and Making Demands
Today was a day of unrest in the western part of Belize. With a look at how the day’s events unfolded, we join Ava Diaz Sosa. AVA DIAZ SOSA “It was not business as usual for residents of Succotz village in the Cayo district as early this morning they decided to make a statement. Residents have been upset since an early morning traffic accident on Saturday left one of their villagers dead and another seriously injured. The man at the center of the discontent is Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura who was driving the vehicle that collided head on into the taxi driven by Yanie Cu. Villagers blocked the George Price highway by burning tires. Love News spoke to one of the protester Wilson Pat.”

Carnival, Oceana and The Lion Fish
The September celebrations are fast approaching and OCEANA Belize has joined with carnival group to increase awareness of Belize’s Lion fish problem. A release from the environmental group says that this September, the dangerous but delicious Lionfish will be making a dramatic appearance in the always colorful and exciting carnival road march. Oceana has become a proud sponsor of the Soca Moca Carnival Band, who has decided to use this national platform to bring attention to Belize’s Lion Fish problem. The release quotes, the organizer Audrey Bradley as saying that Soca Moca is boldly portraying the Lionfish in splendor but this intruder has taught us that everything that glitters is not gold! Lionfish are not native to Belize; they have a huge appetite for other fish and they reproduce at alarming rates. Oceana’s Vice President for Belize Janelle Chanona applauded Soca Moca for their efforts to increase awareness about the lionfish. Oceana says that the great news is that lionfish, once relieved of its venomous fins, is a delicious, low-cost, healthy alternative to eating juvenile fish and simultaneously helps to eradicate the invasive species. On Sunday August 17th, as part of Oceana’s sponsorship of the band Soca Moca revelers were treated to lionfish samples during their practice session at the Roger’s Stadium in Belize City.

Suspicious Behaviour Gets Him Caught
Thirty one year old Hotoneil Estrada was arrested and charged for the offence of drug trafficking. According to Police reports, On Monday , two police officers were traveling from Corozal Town to Orange walk Town-upon reaching the junction of Buena Vista Village and Caledonia Village their attention was drawn to Estrada who was sitting on a boulder. He was dressed in a blue shirt and green 3/4 pants and acted suspicious when he saw the two police officers in Police uniform. The officers approached Estrada and informed him that he was going to conduct a search on him. Nothing incriminating was found on him, however, directly infront of where he was sitting was a black in color plastic bag where he opened the plastic bag and found inside of it a parcel wrapped in brown plastic tape. Inside the bag was marijuana.

GSU Operates Out West
San Ignacio Town was the latest target for operations this past weekend by the Gang Suppression Unit. Between the hours of 4am and midday this past Saturday, members of the GSU conducted several searches, the first being at the residence of 47-year-old, Mark Francis Peters on Jeronimo Thompson Street. This search resulted in a small find as all the officers found on Peters were 13.9 grams of cannabis in his pants pocket. Nothing incriminating was found on his three companions or inside his home. Peters was charged with possession of a controlled drug. Just a few hours later, GSU officers were on Carmen Street at the home of a well-known drug peddler but they came up empty handed. Not far away from the man’s home, another search was done in an empty lot, where they found a black plastic bag containing two plastic bags; one bad had several parcels of cannabis wrapped in plastic and the other bag contained loose cannabis, weighing a total of 173.4 grams of cannabis.

Minors Report Sexual Advances Made by Their Fathers
Tonight, Love News has gotten reports of two separate incidents involving young girls, whose fathers committed sexual advances on them. While both incidents occurred in the Corozal District, we start with the first incident where a ten year old girl went to the police station in the company of a guardian to report an incident that occurred on Friday, August 15. According to the little girl, it was between eight and eight ten that evening when she was at home with her father, she fell asleep in a hammock in the living room when she was awakened by someone touching her on her private part.

Ten Years for Stealing Taxi
Today, the notorious 36 year old Robert Hill was convicted in the Corozal Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Hurl Hamilton for the crime of robbery. Hill was sentenced to ten years behind bars to take effect July 11, 2013. That’s because Hill has been on remand ever since. The sentencing comes as a result of a report made by 51 year old Gregorio Monteroso who told police that on July 8, Hill and his alleged accomplice, 26 year old Edwin Caliz Bardalez, stole his taxi car. Bardalez who is still on the run, was also convicted en-absentia for the same crime and also sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

Saldivar Denies Allegations by Serrano Family But Says He Is Done Talking to the Media
In another story involving Attorney Arthur Saldivar, last week we aired the plight of the Serrano family of Saint Vincent Street in Dangriga, that is claiming that they had paid monies to Saldivar for his legal services but that the services were never provided….Hortence Serrano Flores even went as far as showing us documentation for the monies paid out…but today, during a phone call with Saldivar, he informed Love News that he did his job and a settlement was indeed reach with one, Cecelia Serrano, where they were allowed to stay on the property but apparently, the settlement did not sit well with Hortence Serrano Flores.

Arthur Saldivar Says He Did Not Assault Realtor
Today in Love FM’s midday newscast, we told you of an incident on the Placencia peninsula involving Attorney Arthur Saldivar. Our sources had indicated to us that Saldivar was being accused of assaulting one Boris Mansfield…..but further investigations led us to understand that both men are cross complaining, meaning both men are saying they were assaulted by the other. Saldivar and Mansfield spent some hours at the police station in Placencia but no charges were filed. Earlier this afternoon, Saldivar contacted our newsroom to say that the altercation stemmed from a difference of opinion in a meeting at Robert’s Grove where he was representing his client, Jean Marc, who is the major shareholder of the resort. He added that he was physically attacked around the meeting table by Mansfield and the police had to have been called in where Mansfield was taken into the station.

Retired School Teacher Killed in Home Invasion
There was a brutal home invasion in the village of Hopkins, Stann Creek District, yesterday evening. Residents of that village are still shocked at the attack of a couple inside their very own home. Seventy one year old Dudley Augustine was in his home with his wife, 47 year old Josephine Augustine when two men, believe to be of Hispanic descent, forced their way in and attacked the couple. It is believed that Josephine Augustine, a retired school teacher, put up a fight, however, the men over powered her and killed her by stabbing her two times to the back of the neck. Dudley Augustine received serious head and body injuries. He is currently at the KHMH receiving treatment. This latest homicide has left the entire Hopkins community in shock as the attack on the couple has shattered their sense of security and safety. It has also left the looming question of why would anyone would what to hurt the Augustines. Cousin to Dudley Augustine, Conrad Lewis, told Love News, that he doesn’t believe the motive was robbery.

Deputy Commissioner Arraigned on Five Charges
After 80 hours of close observation by residents countrywide, of how the fatal traffic incident that occurred this past Saturday, will be handled by the authorities considering that it involves the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Miguel Segura, tonight we can report progress in the matter. Ava Diaz Sosa traveled west today to bring to you this story. AVA DIAZ SOSA “Suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura appeared before Magistrate Aretha Ford where he was read six charges in connection with a fatal traffic accident that claimed the life of Yolanda Valencia. Earlier in the day, Officer in Charge of Benque Viejo Police, Superintendent Daniel Arzu, spoke to an angry crowd who had gathered to protest the situation saying Segura was being given preferential treatment.


Police search for man accused of molesting stepdaughter
An 11 year old Belizean female student of San Joaquin Village, Corozal District, in the presence of her mother, reported that on Saturday August 16th at about 6:30 PM while at home locking the kitchen windows, her step father grabbed her from her shoulder and started to fondle her breast...

Businessman released from assault charges
Vice-president of Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and businessman Gilroy Usher, Jr., was released on Wednesday from charges of aggravated assault and harm after his main accuser declined to testify against him...

Four persons detained in Josephine Augustine murder
In Tuesday’s news cast we told you about the home invasion in Hopkins that led to the murder of 47 year old Josephine Augustine...

A fire protest erupts in the Village of San Jose Succotz
A fire protest against the Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura erupted in the village of San Jose Succotz in the Cayo District, where at some 300 angry people waved placards and burned tires on the streets...

Deputy Commissioner of Police charged in Belmopan Magistrate’s Court
After the fiasco in San Jose Succotz, Assistant Superintendent Daniel Arzu escorted the  Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura to the Magistrate’s Court in Belmopan, where he was charged with 6 separate counts: 1. Manslaughter by Negligence, 2. Causing Death by Careless conduct, 3...

Man charged for shooting in public
While police are investigating the second of two shooting incidents over the weekend in Belize City, they have made an arrest. 26 year old Leon Garcia of Victoria Street has been charged with discharging a firearm in public...

Customs officer charged for death of teenager
Five years ago in June of 2009, 19 year old Onario Oba of San Victor, Corozal, was shot in the face while part of a group of alleged contrabandists trying to recover $10,000 worth of uncustomed goods from a team of law enforcement officials from the Police, BDF, and Customs and Excise Department, wh...

Repeat offender jailed for burglary at Broaster’s
Deputy officer commanding Eastern Division, Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster, suffered the indignity of having his North End Estate home burgled last week...

Theft Of Money From River Walk Residential
On Monday August 18th at around 8:45 am Belizean Manager of River Walk Residential decided to take two white envelopes containing $1,800 US and $2,000 US, all to a total value of $3,800 US both in different denominations, to be deposited in a safe in her other residence in the same area, located abo...

Patrick JonesPJ

Tropical disturbance shows signs of development
A Tropical Disturbance approaching the Windward Islands looks like it’s headed for development into a named storm. Forecast models give the system a 50% chance of development by Saturday. By the start of the next week, the chances of development improve to 70%. At this time, none […]

Robbers target A&R in Belize City
There is an ongoing situation at the Belize City branch of A&R business establishment situated at mile one and a half on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Preliminary information received say that there was a robbery at the establishment earlier in the evening. Members of the Gang Suppression Unit […]

Civilians reportedly exchange gunfire with police in Orange Walk
Police in Orange Walk have detained two men who allegedly tried to rob a business establishment. Details are sketchy and still coming in, but a source in Orange Walk says that there was a shootout between police and two civilians. The incident happened on Liberty Avenue in […]

Helpage Belize plots direction for older persons in Belize
The non-governmental organization (NGO) Helpage Belize provides direct services for and advocates on behalf of Belize’s population of older persons. From health to wealth, Helpage has tasked itself with making the lives of these valuable assets to our country better and safer. Today, representatives of its 11 branches […]

Businessman released from assault charges
Vice-president of Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and businessman Gilroy Usher, Jr., was today released from charges of aggravated assault and harm after his main accuser declined to testify against him. This morning Usher appeared in court with attorney Senior Counsel Ellis Arnold and was told […]

Peer helpers undergo training in Orange Walk
Peer helpers from the Orange Walk Technical High School have completed a training session on facilitation. The training is part of a sustained campaign by the Belize Family Life Association intended to help students cope with various issues, among them conflict resolution and decision-making. Counsellor at OW […]

Midway village leaders say they are in favor of oil drilling
Midway village, one of the Maya buffer communities near the Sarstoon Temash National Park, has expressed support for oil drilling by U.S. Capital Energy. At a meeting hosted by the Toledo District Association of Village Councils held on Tuesday afternoon, the leaders of Midway said that they were […]


Elliot...a Wildtracks favourite gets into trouble, a blog from Katharine
Hi!, My name is Katharine and I am a Canadian volunteer who has been at Wildtracks for 3 months. While at Wildtracks, I worked with the teens - a group of 5 young howler monkeys named Elliot, Sam, Pebbles, Peanut, and Polly – the Teens. I also worked with 2 pre-release howlers, Paz and Kofi, who are now happily living in Fireburn as wild monkeys! During my time at Wildtracks, I was fortunate enough to develop a very close relationship with all of the monkeys that I worked with - however Elliot, a young howler monkey, holds a special place in my heart. I first knew Elliot when I was in charge of feeding him when he was living in the pre-pre-release enclosure, but it was an unfortunate accident that solidified our bond. On July 1st, 2014, Jamie and I were working with the 5 Teens. All of a sudden, Elliot was on the top of the cage and thrashing around. Our first thought was that he was having a seizure. I ran to get Paul and by the time we got back, Jamie had identified the cause, and was trying to free Elliot’s foot from the top of the cage, where he had got it stuck. Usually, when a monkey gets stuck, it is easy to free them. However, with Elliot’s panic, the cage had to be cut to free him.

Why You WANT to Be Here For September, The Full Schedule of Events Plus Shopping for the Red, White & Blue
September is my favorite month of the year. Yes it’s hot and the official heart of the hurricane season but it’s also the month that the country comes alive for September celebrations. The two big independence day holidays are celebrated – September 10th honors the Battle of St. George’s Caye and September 22nd, Belize’s relatively new independence day. This is year the country turns 33. I have been collecting my red white and blues for a few years now…at least 3 or 4 appropriate outfits are necessary. I did a quick run-through of town yesterday to find out what is available now. It is a bit early but you DO NOT want to miss the boat.

Rio On Pools and Rio Frio Cave
The Rio On pools are only about fifteen miles off the Western Highway on the Santa Elena side of the Hawksworth Bridge, but the rather rustic road surface and the sightseeing along the way ensure that you’ll take your time. And you won’t mind, because all in all it’s a lovely drive through one of Belize’s most unique environments. Mountain Pine Ridge is covered in Honduras, or Caribbean Pine, (Pinus caribaea), and while a massive fire in 1949 and outbreaks of disease have taken their toll, the forests are continually regenerating. As an aside, you can see still large stands of Belizean mountain pines growing far across the world in the Fiji Islands, having been introduced by British colonialists in years past. Coming from the warmer, more humid rain-forested areas of Belize, Mountain Pine Ridge is a breath of fresh air – literally. Cooler, pine infused and generally drier than the rainforests below, the atmosphere is lovely, and the flora and fauna a bit different to the rest of Belize. So if you get the feeling of having been magically transported to another country, don’t worry, it’s a common reaction.

“Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Grand Caribe is impressive and I hope I’ve whetted your appetite but what about the new stuff you’re thinking. Well I’m convinced it’s going to be equally impressive and can do nothing but materially increase the Grand Caribe experience. It’s when you get up to the second and third floors that you’ll probably think that use of the fitness center might become a ‘must have’. Why? Well this is going to be the “home” of Rain Restaurant and Rooftop Terrace Bar (the website is currently under construction but will be fully operational very soon – bookmark it, you’ll be glad you did). It’s when you get up to the second and third floors that you’ll probably think that use of the fitness center might become a ‘must have’. Why? Well this is going to be the “home” of Rain Restaurant and Rooftop Terrace Bar. This new restaurant is owned and going to be run by the husband and wife team , Victoria and Hugo Meyer, who many of you will affectionately remember from their time running Aji Tapa Bar & Restaurant.

Toledo’s Treasures—Discovering Belize’s “Forgotten District”
Rounding a bend in the road, you catch your first glimpse of the bay of Honduras. The stunning silhouette of Guatemala’s mountains to the south provides the perfect backdrop as the light scatters off the sparkling Caribbean water. The skies are a cloudless blue and a series of houses painted different colors, here white, there yellow, another green—and all with neatly-groomed yards—greets you along the coast road into the town of Punta Gorda.

Quickest Simplest Way to Peel a Watermelon
In this video, Joe is going to teach us how to peel a watermelon to make it easier to cube and serve. I also show a little known fact about the box of aluminum foil that will make your life that much easier.

International Sourcesizz

NMSU entomology students travel to Belize
In March, through the Faculty-led International Programs, a group of eight students, led by Scott Bundy, associate professor of entomology in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University, traveled to Belize to research and experience its biodiversity. From venomous spiders, ants, leafhoppers and even marine invertebrates, the students’ non-stop, 10-day trip brought a new perspective of what it’s like to work as an entomologist in the field. “The idea was to get them out in the ‘wild’ because the insect diversity of tropical areas is so different than what we have around here,” Bundy said. “The purpose of the class was to learn about arthropod biology, to observe how the animals behave in their environment, to learn proper field research techniques, and to just be more hands-on.” Every activity doubled as a learning experience and included visiting ancient Mayan ruins, caves, reefs and what many students enjoyed, tasting the local cuisine. “One of the biggest things we got to enjoy was their food, which has a lot of variety,” said Helen Vessel, assistant researcher at Bundy’s lab in the Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science. “Every meal was a feast.”

Hot Mama Angie Harmon Rocks Bikinis In Belize
Angie Harmon has wrapped up a gorgeous vacation in Belize, and has been sharing the adventure with her fans. The Rizzoli & Isles star has spent the past week snorkling, swimming with sharks and exploring the jungle in the Central American paradise. Much of her time was spent in a bikini, which the 42-year-old mother of three absolutely rocked. “Thank you beautiful Belize! Desperately needed. Hugely appreciated. Always remembered. Be back soon” she posted to her Whosay account Wednesday. No, thank YOU Angie for sharing your gorgeous pics with us!

Wedding Location with a Difference: A Great Start to Life Together
A Mayan temple would be an amazing spot to start life together, and down in Belize, a wedding planner named Lara Goldman is organizing exactly that and one such wedding is pictured at the top of this article. Goldman can apparently arrange for a real Mayan shaman to perform the wedding ceremony on one of many ancient Mayan sites in the country. Looking back on the huge scare about the Mayan calendar ending in 2012, the New York Times reported on a couple who almost literally thumbed their noses at fate and were married among the Mayan ruins in Belize back in December 2012. On a more dire note, Ms. Cook and Mr. Klocke, the couple involved, did apparently mention that they couldn’t think of a better person with which to share the end of the world. Naturally this remarkable service is still available in Belize today, as the world most certainly didn’t end.

Small plane has engine problem near Cuba, makes emergency landing in Key West
A small plane with two people aboard had problems with one of its engines Tuesday morning off Cuba, and made an emergency landing 45 minutes later at Key West International Airport. No one was injured. Monroe County Fire Rescue responded to the airport around 11:20 a.m. The plane was a twin-engine Beechcraft with two people in it who were headed to Belize with missionary supplies, said Capt. Timmy Leonard. "They were near Cuba waters," Leonard said. "The guys on board were frightened. They were unsure whether that motor would get them to Key West."

Songbird student pilots delay departure and make frequent stopovers during first migration
TORONTO, Aug 20, 2014 – Juvenile songbirds on spring migration travel from overwintering sites in the tropics to breeding destinations thousands of kilometres away with no prior experience to guide them. Now, a new study out of York University has tracked these "student pilots" on their first long-haul flight and found significant differences between the timing of juvenile migration and that of experienced adults. "Juveniles departed later from their overwinter sites in Belize and Costa Rica relative to adults, and they became progressively later as they moved northwards because they stopped for more days," says York U researcher Emily McKinnon, the study's lead author. "By the time they arrived at breeding sites they were almost 2 weeks behind the adults, and overall their migration took 50 per cent longer in terms of days spent traveling." The study, published today in PLOS ONE, tracked juvenile wood thrushes from Belize and Costa Rica all the way up into the US and Canada. The birds were fitted with tiny geolocator "backpacks" to track their route, and researchers found that even though the juvenile birds took 50 per cent longer to reach their destination, they travelled a similar migration path as their adult counterparts, including the dangerous open-water crossing of the Gulf of Mexico – a non-stop flight covering 1000km.

Museum of Science Presents Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed, 10/12
Visitors to the Museum of Science, Boston will soon experience a civilization renowned for its royal dynasties, jaw-dropping architecture and distinctive art at the New England premiere of Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed. Beginning on Sunday, October 12 and on exhibit for a limited engagement, Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed investigates questions surrounding the Maya, and offers a glimpse of daily life through the eyes of the powerful rulers and their subjects. The exhibit explores the rise of the Maya people, the evolution of their complex culture and the eventual decline of their remarkable civilization. Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed features more than 250 artifacts, dozens of interactive components, and re-created environments that immerse visitors in Maya culture. At its peak during its Classic Period (250-900 AD), the Maya civilization - which consisted of a vast network of cities and villages stretching across the Yucatan Peninsula, Guatemala, Belize, western Honduras and El Salvador - rivaled any European society.


Video: Belize, 5min.
Belize Trip 2014, Hol Chan, Shark Ray Alley, Xunantunich.

Video: Expo Belize Market Place 2014, 2min.
Tv commercial for Expo Belize Market Place 2014 live coverage by Channel 7 and Belizean To Da Bone, CBC's Ch 53.

Video: HEFY Belize 2013, 4min.

Video: Water Cay Belize Squid, 1min.

Video: Belize Sharks 2014, 8min.
Videos shot in Belize, June/July 2014.

Video: Gorgonians and Sponges, Belize Scuba Diving, 16min.
Gorgonians (Sea Fans, Sea Whips) are sessile colonial animals belonging to the order Gorgonacea in the class Anthozoa. They might look like plants, but they are actually animals belonging to the same subclass as soft corals, sea anemones and sea pens/ sea pansies (Alcyonaria). A central internal skeleton, composed of a flexible, horny substance called gorgonin, supports all branches of the colony, and the living tissues form a layer over its entire surface. The polyps spread out their tentacles to form a plankton-catching net. In most cases the fan-shaped colonies grow across the current, which increases their ability to ensnare prey. Sponges are the primitive multicellular aquatic animals that constitute the phylum Porifera. They are multicellular organisms that have bodies full of pores and channels allowing water to circulate through them, consisting of jelly-like mesohyl sandwiched between two thin layers of cells. Many sponges have internal skeletons of spongin and/or spicules of calcium carbonate or silica. They can have various shapes, sizes, and colors. Sponges do not have nervous, digestive or circulatory systems. Instead, most rely on maintaining a constant water flow through their bodies to obtain food and oxygen and to remove wastes. Without sponges, many species of fish and aquatic animals would lack food and shelter and reefs would be significantly less diverse.

Video: Isla Marisol Belize 2014 Whale Shark, 1min.

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