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3/11/2015 to 3/20/2015
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March 20, 2015


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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

Conflicting witness reports raise serious questions about diver’s death
An initial incident report taken by the San Pedro police was comprised of statements issued by Amigos del Mar employees. According to the report the crew had learned that Pieper had undergone triple bypass surgery last year as he suffered from heart problems. They also indicated that his condition was not reported to the dive company prior to the dive. Persons suffering from heart conditions are not allowed to dive. But the Belize City Police incident report, derived from the witness reports of family members, mentions nothing of Pieper having had triple bypass surgery or heart problems. Moreover, the family members have indicated that as a First Class Pilot, Pieper suffered from no medical conditions and was in optimal health. “As a family we are very distraught over this event. Roger Pieper was a very well respected and much loved father and grandfather. He was an experienced diver who had gone on many dives around the world without even the smallest incident because he was so cautious and professional in all he did. Roger had recently retired after a very successful career as a pilot and was excited to begin a new chapter of his life with his family. Roger was in excellent health, and very physically active, which makes this event such a shock for all who knew him. Roger was very active in his community, where he made many friends and was very active in the church. We all miss him so very much and are very saddened by all of this. Roger is survived by his wife Anne, daughter Sarah, twin sons Christopher and Andrew, and grandchildren, Brian, Kylie, Haley and Jacob. Roger had just turned 65 and we all had high hopes to spend many more years with him on many more adventures. He will be sorely missed,” stated a release issued by the family.

Tiger Sharks overcome No Limits with a split-second win
The National Elite Basketball League tournament continued with some spectacular games over the weekend. San Pedro Tiger Sharks travelled to Belize City where they faced an upstart Belize City No Limits. While it was not an easy swim for the Tiger Sharks, they managed to snatch the victory from Belize City No Limits by a split second, causing a major upset for the home team. The game took place at the Bird’s Isle. The Tiger Sharks took an early lead, but by the end of the first quarter, it was obvious that the Belize City No Limits was no easy contender – they took full control of the match. While it was a neck and neck battle for control, the No Limit boys clearly demonstrated a better command of the ball game. The home team dominated every quarter, and going into half time, had a narrow four points lead. The Tiger Sharks struggled to make a come-back throughout the ball game, and going into the fourth quarter, were down by seven points.

Belize’s Nestor Mendez elected as Assistant Secretary General of the OAS
Mendez told his OAS counterparts that more than ever, the organization stands poised to focus on that which unites the member states, rather than the issues than can divide them. “This is a task that can only be carried out together on the basis of dialogue, on the basis of respect for each other and with deep commitment.” Ambassador Mendez will serve along with former Foreign Minister of Uruguay Luis Almagro, who was elected Secretary General of the OAS. They will succeed Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza of Chile and Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin of Suriname, both of whom will conclude their terms this year. Both Mendez and Almagro received congratulatory remarks from their counterparts including the OAS representative from the USA, Mexico and even Guatemala.

Burton Caliz charged for the death of Leroy Pilgrim; acquitted in the Appeal Court
Former Police Officer No.277 Burton Caliz, who was attached to the San Pedro Police Station, has been acquitted of manslaughter charges for the 2004 death of Leroy Pilgrim. The then 23-year-old Pilgrim was shot in the head during an alleged struggle with PC Caliz on the night of February 12, 2004 in the San Juan Area of San Pedro Town. The young constable was initially charged for murder, but outcome of the case changed on Friday March 13th when Caliz was acquitted before the Belize Court of Appeal. In February of 2004, Caliz was charged for one count of murder and was placed on interdiction. When the case went to full trial in 2007, the murder charge was reduced to manslaughter. Caliz was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years in jail. He then sought for an appeal, which he won, and a retrial was ordered.

Ambergris Today

Miss Lions Club San Pedro Pageant Contestants Announced
The San Pedro Lions Club announces its candidates for the Miss San Pedro Lions Pageant that will take place at the Rafael Angel Nuñez Auditorium on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 7:30p.m. Entertainment will be provided by the San Pedro Dance Academy, David Aguilar, Miss Carnival 2015 and DJ Debbie. Tickets are available from any Lions Member or at the San Pedro Lions Den - Reserved: $10 General: $5.00. Miss San Pedro Lions Contestants 2015: Ciara Duran - 16 years, Ezra Jacobs - 15 years, Jessica Bradley - 16 years, Marisha Thompson - 15 years.

Belize Warns and Investigates Land Title Fraud Cases
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture (MNRA), through the Lands and Surveys Department, has launched an investigation into fraud cases involving land titles that were recently discovered. The preliminary investigation suggests that there is a systematic effort being orchestrated by persons of both foreign and local nationalities to obtain property by fraudulent means. The perpetrators use fraudulent international passport and other forms of identification to usurp the identity of real land owners to obtain property and subsequently proceed to fraudulently transfer land titles to prospective buyers by forging signatures of MNRA officials in an effort to make the documents appear legitimate as though they were issued from the Lands and Surveys Department. It appears that the con artists are targeting properties owned by absentee landowners who reside abroad.

First Belizean Appointed Second Highest Office in Organization of American States
The Office of the Prime Minister of Belize is pleased to announce that H.E. Nestor Mendez, Ambassador of Belize to the United States, Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), and High Commissioner to Canada, was elected for a five-year term as the new Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States. The post of Assistant Secretary General is the second highest office in the OAS, it is a highly competitive post to obtain, and holds senior responsibilities in that hemispheric organization.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

NATURE AT WORK
Sargassum accumulating on the shores on North, Ambergris Caye.

History on Nassau Grouper fisheries at Caye Glory
Here is a brief history on the Nassau Grouper fisheries at Caye Glory. The article was done by myself and Ethel Truly and was published on the GCFI in 2007. Some of you might recognize some of the fishermen from San Pedro we interviewed. Enjoy.


IMPORTANT NOTICE FROM (MNRA) to everyone
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture (MNRA), through the Lands and Surveys Department, has launched an investigation into fraud cases involving land titles that were recently discovered. The preliminary investigation suggests that there is a systematic effort being orchestrated by persons of both foreign and local nationalities to obtain property by fraudulent means. The perpetrators use fraudulent international passport and other forms of identification to usurp the identity of real land owners to obtain property and subsequently proceed to fraudulently transfer land titles to prospective buyers by forging signatures of MNRA officials in an effort to make the documents appear legitimate as though they were issued from the Lands and Surveys Department. It appears that the con artists are targeting properties owned by absentee landowners who reside abroad. These cases of fraud have come about as a result of the new land management system that was designed to be more rigorous, specifically verifying the authenticity of applicants, especially those not applying in person or with foreign passports. As a result, the Lands and Surveys Department is uncovering several documents that purport competing interest for the same parcel of land. In some cases, the documents refer to land that do not exist.

Land Fraud Cases
Consequently, and in direct response to the uncovering of these fraudulent land transactions, the Lands and Surveys Department warns the general public to BEWARE of internet websites that purports to sell land in Belize. Government is mindful that there are many legitimate real estate companies that sell land over the internet and as such we encourage buyers to execute the necessary due diligence during this process. The MNRA, through the Lands and Surveys Department, takes this opportunity to assure the general public and lands stakeholders that all legitimate transactions and documents are backed up on a daily basis and no land registration will be completed without the proper authenticated documentation that matched our electronic and manual recording system. The laws of Belize are very clear on the perpetration of fraudulent land transactions, which are considered serious criminal offences for both the perpetrators and their accomplices. As such, the Ministry is working with the Police Department to conduct a thorough investigation to find and prosecute the perpetrators of these fraudulent land transactions.

Solid Waste Management Project
The public is hereby informed that under the current Solid Waste Management Project, the executing agency, the Belize Solid Waste Management Authority (BSWaMA) of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture (MNRA) has awarded a contract for the construction of a waste transfer station and dumpsite rehabilitation at the location of the existing dumpsite through the Burrell Boom - Hattieville Road, between the Philip Goldson and George Price Highways. These works are financed by the Inter – American Development Bank (IDB) and the Government of Belize and co-financed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)/Global Environment Facility (GEF), Belize Chemicals and Waste Management Project #00089331. Kindly note that the works have commenced and will be ongoing until August 30th, 2015. During this period, heavy equipment and trucks will be moving in and out of the site, therefore all motorists and cyclists are asked to exercise extreme caution when approaching the Burrell Boom dumpsite.

San Pedro Easter Bash
Link Up at San Pedro Easter Bash at Sandbar San Pedro for 2 Days of Hypeness

Western Ballaz Host Red Taigaz
The Western Ballaz are hosting the Belmopan Red Taigaz, the 2nd best team in the league, tonight. It's going to be a great game. Mistah Geeh will be mixing, and the afterbash is once again at Thirsty Thursdays. In related news, you can vote for the all star team member selection. Just go to the NEBL page, and like your favorite player. It's North vs. South, and it'll be happening at the SHC auditorium on April 10th.

New BTB Site Specific Guides
Congratulations to all 94 new BTB certified Site Specific Tour Guides! They were all specially trained to lead tours at local Mayan archaeological sites. More pictures here. Best of luck! "The National Institute of Culture (NICH), The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and the European Union (EU) were honored to present 94 new Site Specific Tour Guides from the Orange Walk, Belize, Cayo and Toledo Districts. These new guides were trained to carry out tours at the archaeological site nearest to their home."

Kids Self Defense at Calla Creek
A big thanks to 4 the World, who put together self defense training classes for kids, which took place in Calla Creek. Looks like they had some fun, and learned some good techniques too. They also had their Yoga Workshop at the Benque HoC. "Self Defense Training for kids in Cayo was a lot of fun thanks to Katie Myers and crew. Our volunteers were eager to work with these great kids in Benque Viejo and Calla Creek Village."

The U.S. Embassy is happy to announce our partnership with Omni Rootz Productions to bring Riti Sachdeva to Belize for a series of Theatre Workshops
Please join us Monday, March 30th or Tuesday, March 31st at the SISE House of Culture in San Ignacio. WORKSHOPS ARE FREE!!! Hope to see all aspiring actors, writers, and others with interest in theatre there! Questions? Please email BelmopanPA@state.gov and we will direct you to the appropriate person.

Earth Day Network Outreach
UB's Earth Day Network did some outreach at the local schools, and with the help of the Forest Department, they even planted some mahogany saplings. Thanks, EDN! "This year, the University of Belize Earth Day Network's Outreach campaign has been actively educating those of all spectrums! With the help of the Belize Forest Department we've obtained several Big-leaf Mahogany saplings and are now actively planting one in each visited school!!! Our target is to implant awareness in the minds of our youth, to conserve, protect and live healty eco friendly lives!"

Soul Project Psychedelic Art Projection
The Soul Project is having another multimedia show. The video is, well, psychedelic. The last one was quite interesting, dealing with Mother Earth, and this one promises to be a little more retro, combining live music and psychedelic images on the big screen. The show starts tonight at 9:30pm.

Channel 7

Fuel Shortage Continues, Relief On Far Horizon
Tonight the fuel shortage we told about on Tuesday is acute: gas stations all over the country have run out of diesel fuel - and the few gas stations that do have say they only have a few gallons available. How did it come to this? Well, as we told you on Tuesday, the shipment from PDVSA in Venezuela is late and industry observers say the local office for ALBA Petro-Caribe Belize Energy Limited did not properly project for the fuel consumption in March - when fuel consumption is always highest. The situation right now is that the ship is loading tonight in Curacao - but won't arrive in Belize until next week Tuesday - over a week late. This evening, we called 10 gas stations in Belize City and out district - and only one of them had diesel fuel. UNO tells us that nine of their eleven gas stations countrywide have no diesel. So, the situation right now is acute - and those who use diesel want to know when it will get better. Well, we know that PUMA continues to truck in fuel from Guatemala - and the APBEL office in Belize tells us that 40 trucks have been brought in since last week. Trucks keep coming every day, but that's hardly enough - and those scarce supplies are being rationed.

Belize's Premier Striker Won't Play World Cup Qualifier?
Belize's Football Federation is getting ready to play its first world cup qualifier for 2015 - and it will be against Cayman on Thursday March 25th. But the list of the players that was sent out yesterday does not include the country's most prolific striker Dion McCauley. He's in Atlanta where he just finished a one year contract with the Atlanta Silverbacks and is exploring his professional opportunities. He says he's fully recovered from a sports hernia surgery five months ago and practicing two times a day. So, why hasn't he gotten a call to play on the national team? That's what he asked on a Facebook video blog today:.. Deon McCauley, Striker "I just want everybody out there to know that I am not hurt and it's not my fault that I won't be on the National Team this time around, but at the same time I want to support the guys and hope they do good. I don't know why I wasn't called to the National Team this time around, but at the same time I have to understand that everybody have their own evaluation of every situation."

The New FCD Rangers Unit
Your probably remember the Chiquibul Telethon which was held last year on Saturday, October 18. It was an effort by the Friends for Conservation and Development and all the media houses countrywide to come together for 7 straight hours to raise funds for the recruitment of more rangers to protect the Chiquibul. In the end, the telethon raised just under 328 thousand dollars. And, 5 months later FCD decided to show public how they managed to grow their ranger unit from 4 to 18. How well do these new rangers perform, and can they do the tough job of protecting the embattled Forest Reserve? Well, FCD invited the media today to witness the graduation of these 18 rangers from their training program, and 7News attended. Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz reporting These men in military fatigues may look like a brand new law enforcement unit run by the state, but actually, this is the for the Friends for Conservation and Development.??These 18 new rangers have gotten training in First aid, wilderness patrolling and surveillance, navigation, intelligence gathering, biology, wildlife Rescue and health, search and rescue, protected areas Law enforcement, Special Constable training. All that is important especially the enforcement aspect since the Chiquibul, which is now their new home, is constantly under threat. But each ranger is primarily a conservationist.

Importer Wants To Penetrate Belize's Rice Market
Belize produces enough rice to feed itself - but an Indian merchant wants to bring in rice from Guyana - where it's cheaper and because he can make a profit on it. The CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture Jose Alpuche met with the rice producers yesterday to apprise them of the situation. He told us today that he stressed that government has no intention of granting a license to the importer. But, it's not that simple. Under the revised treaty of Chaguaramas which established the Caricom Single Market and Economy - Government cannot simply block the importation of products that come from the Caribbean to protect a local product - and you can ask Belikin about that. Still, government is holding its ground, but the importer has indicated that he may take dispute to COTED which is the council for trade and economic development. The merchant has indicated that he would present it as a trade dispute between Belize and Guyana.

Belgrave Acquitted In Trial Without Jury; Judge Rejects Victim's Written Statement
31 year-old Jermaine Belgrave, who was charged with the murder of 35 year-old Cleo Robinson, was acquitted today in a trial without jury before Justice Adolph Lucas. Viewers may remember that Robinson was shot in the abdomen on February 23, 2010, while he was riding a bicycle on Glenn Street. He died 16 months later. In Belgrave's criminal trial, Justice Lucas ruled that he would not accept the victim's written statement in evidence, specifically, the portion where he identified Belgrave as the man who shot him on that night. Dr. Mario Estradabran, who did the autopsy, testified that Robinson died from malnutrition after being shot. But, Robinson's common-law wife, Janice Lynch, testified that she used to feed him and care for him while he was bedridden. Again, Justice Lucas did not accept Dr. Estradabran's version of the cause of death.

Police Caught A Man Wanted For Murder in Guatemala
San Pedro police have caught a man who they say is wanted for murder in another country. Guatemalan 20 year old Marvin Leonel Shoy Sagui a Laborer from the San Pedrito area was charged and remanded for theft. But when island police ran am interpol check, they found out that he was wanted in Guatemala For the crime of Murder. They have contacted their counterparts and he will be handed over.

San Pedro Police Found Weed Stash In San Mateo
San Pedro police also found a major stash of drugs in the San Mateo area. Police searched small house where they found a black garbage bag with ten compressed parcels of marijuana - for a total of about 22 pounds. They looked around the house and found four parcels of cocaine weighing eight pounds. They also found a single round of 7.632 ammunition. No one was in the area.

GSU Also Found City Weed Stash
The GSU found a stash of weed hidden under a tree on Tuesday morning. At 10:00, the G.S.U searched an abandoned lot on Lindo's Alley in the Conch shell bay Area where they found a black plastic bag with 301 grams or 10 ounces of cannabis concealed under a tree. No one was in the area at the time of the search so the drug was labelled as Found Property.

A Scuffle At FSTV Over Taxi Tour Operators
The tourism village - on cruise ship days it's always a struggle for the tour operators forced to hustle outside the gates of the village. They have to jostle for position, while trying to keep a relatively calm atmosphere for tourists. This morning, though, some commotion was created when one of them got detained by police - he says it was just for holding up a sign. Here's what happened:.. Jimmy Robinson, Secretary General Tourism Zone Tour Guide - Tour Operators Union "The president was arrested by the police out here and was taken to the Queen Street Police Station. So as secretary general and as executive of the union, automatically, what I did was group everybody together and try to find out about his whereabouts and what was the reason why he was arrested." Geovannie Brackett, reporter "How was it after that?" Jimmy Robinson "What I did was get in touch with the personnel from the BTB here on the ground and also personnel from the TPU and I was made to understand that the matter was under control and about 45 minutes later he was back out here with us."

Health CEO Looking Into KHMH Operating Theatre Malfunction
As we told you on Friday, the sterilizer in the operating theater at the KHMH hasn't been working, which has delayed all elective surgeries. We asked the CEO in the Ministry of Health about this today and he says there is a program set in place to resolve the shortage and malfunction of equipment in the operating theater. Dr. Peter Allen, CEO, Ministry of Health "But I was aware that they were having some challenges with the sterilizers at K.H.M.H. Fortunately; the Ministry of Health has been working on a program of "redundancy" in some essential equipment, with the idea being that when equipment is essential then you can't just have one piece of that equipment, because if it goes down then what do you do. So you building redundancy by buying additional equipment should in case something happens. So the Ministry of Health, supported by the Ministry of Finance, just bought six new sterilizers for distribution around the country. So, I am aware that our own national engineering and maintenance center which is on the compound of the K.H.M.H. had taken two of those new sterilizers and set them up on the compound of K.H.M.H to support them."

EU Grant Will Be Used to Upgrade All 3 Regional Hospitals
ALSO, on the topic of health, there is an upcoming project for the construction of another wing at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan. The CEO spoke to us about how crucial this new addition will be for the safety of patients in the face of emergencies and natural disasters. Dr. Peter Allen, CEO, Ministry of Health "The principal purpose of the 30 million dollars, is to construct a separate wing on the grounds of the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan, especially to do many different things, but especially looking at the potential for natural disasters at Belize City, associated with climate change and the potential for evacuation of KHMH in such instances and then how do we maintained the importance and complex tertiary services which has been developed over the last years at KHMH. So, this new wing is intended to do that and also to help KHMH by being another referral center within the country."

BTEC Graduates 30 More Employees
Over 30 graduates received their diplomas today from the Belize Training and Employment Center program. The program caters to men and women from different backgrounds and interests from Information Technology to sewing. A ceremony was held at the American-Belizean Technology and Education Center to honor these graduates and 2 of the graduates told us how the 8 week program will bring them closer to realizing their career-dreams. G. TOE Washington, Regional Director, "Just us Belize" "What this program is about is something called the "Central American Regional Security Initiatives" by the United States government. What we try to do is enhance the skills of the Belizeans, so that they can get jobs, so that they can stray away from criminal activities and enhanced themselves. So, what we've done is we've look at the entire Belize culture and we saw certain avenues such as customer service, hospitality and sales. We look at the IT information technology, we know the world is going that route. We decide to also train in that route and we also look at people who wants to use their hands for skills purposes, so as sewing and tailoring. Even though we are training these people and giving them skills, we have built relationships, so we can provide jobs for them. We don't promise anybody jobs, because it depends on your effort and yourself. We are going to teach you how to fish. We are not going to give you fish, but teach you how to do that. However, we build relationships so that we have opportunities to get jobs."

PROCCER Rehab Drug Program
About 70 health professionals will be trained to rehabilitate drug users and addicts. Today that training program - PROCCER - was launched at the NaRCIE conference room at the Ministry of Education. The training will focus on prevention techniques, treatment and rehabilitation. Now, while training is one aspect, the availability of equipped rehabilitation centers is the other - and that's the major challenge hovering this program. CEO of the Ministry of Health Dr. Peter Allen says he is aware of this setback but that this training program is the first step in overcoming it. The program will run for 6 months. The program is being funded by the OAS. They have contributed $66,000 Belize dollars to the program.

Childhood Teachers Busted With Weed
Tonight, 2 early childhood teachers who told the court they are employed as social workers for the Human Services Department are out on bail tonight after police allegedly raided their family's home in the Jane Usher Boulevard area and they found weed there. According to police, they conducted a search at a house on Louise Bevans Street in the Port Loyola area yesterday. 21 year old James Herrera, his girlfriend, 26 year old Honduran national, Evelyn Gamboa Bermudez, with his sister in law, 20 year old, Deshawn Moguel were all present at the time when the officers reportedly discovered 77 grams - or 2.71 ounces of marijuana.

Lands Department Warns About Fraud At Placencia Village
Land Fraud - back in 2011 we reported so much on various cases of it that we kind of gave up - because, it's kind of like an onion, no matter how much you peel there are always more layers - and, yes, it can make you cry. At all times we were met with a kind of exasperated resignation from the Ministry of Natural Resources because with such a high level of fraud and identity theft there's only so much they can do to reverse fraudulent land transfers. In most cases, they would refer victims to the police - who have little expertise in prosecuting that type of crime. And that's why we viewed with interest a press release which came out today from the ministry. It says that the ministry has launched an investigation into fraud cases involving land titles that were recently discovered. IT continues, quote, "there is a systematic effort being orchestrated by persons of both foreign and local nationalities to obtain property by fraudulent means." It explains, quote, "The perpetrators use fraudulent international passports and other forms of identification to usurp the identity of real land owners to obtain property and subsequently proceed to fraudulently transfer land titles to prospective buyers by forging signatures of (Ministry) officials in an effort to make the documents appear legitimate."

Public Service Employee Assistance Program
Happy public officers translate into to happy clients. That is the main idea behind the newly launched Belize Public Service Employee Assistance Program. It was launched today at the George Price Center and it will provide educational and counselling services to public officers. Now 'happy' isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the public service. Some of you do think about the sometimes dry and almost robotic or monotonous voice on the other end of the line when you call government departments or the sometimes callous and unkind customer service. Well, according to program coordinator Shawn Vargas, this reality is as a result of the personal and professional problems that public officers endure and fail to address. Vargas told us how this program will change that. Public servants will have access to 25 professional counselors countrywide.

Bagasse Payment Coming
Tomorrow Sugar Cane farmers from the north will be receiving their first payment for bagasse. IT's a retroactive payment for 2014 based on the agreement signed this year. That stipulated that ten weeks into the season the retroactive payment would be made. It adds up to about half a million dollars and Chief Financial Officer Belizario Carballo explained how it is broken down: Belizario Carballo "That payment will therefore be made this Friday the 20th of March as per the agreement and as per the calculation of the amount to be paid is set out on the agreement and that calculation has workout to a total figure of $597,000, when divided by the amount of cane that was delivered was close to 1.2 million tons of cane last crop. On a per ton basis it averages out about fifty cents per ton."

H. E. Nestor Mendez Says Belizeans Supported His OAS Candidacy
As we told you last night - Belize's Ambassador to the US and Permanent Representative to the OAS, Ambassador Nestor Mendez is the new Assistant Secretary General of the OAs. IT's a huge upgrade for him as he now becomes an international figure for the 34 member regional body. He told us yesterday that it is a triumph for Belize's pragmatic approach to diplomacy:.. H.E. Nestor Mendez, Assistant Secretary General (Designate) - OAS "I am very pleased at the response to a Belizean candidate. It underscores where Belize stands in the inter-American system. It means, we are an accepted player, both Caricom and Central America. Between those two regions, it amounts to 21 member state in the OAS of 34. We are also very constructive. We are moderate and pragmatic in our diplomacy."

Waste Transfer Station For Boom Dump Site
The Belize Solid Waste Management Authority has awarded a contract for the construction of a waste transfer station and dumpsite rehabilitation at the location of the existing dumpsite through the Burrell Boom - Hattieville Road, between the Philip Goldson and George Price Highways. Works have commenced and will be ongoing until August 30th, 2015. During this period, heavy equipment and trucks will be moving in and out of the site, therefore all motorists and cyclists are asked to exercise extreme caution when approaching the Burrell Boom dumpsite.

Channel 5

Diesel Shortage Prompts Rationing of Available Fuel at the Pumps
Tonight there is a countrywide shortage of diesel and premium at the pumps amid heavy demand for fuel which is causing a mess in the transport and industrial sectors.  The [...]

What’s Behind the Delay in Shipment of Petroleum to Belize?
The shortage of premium and diesel is a most unusual case and while the insufficiency persists, retailers have been told to give priority to government’s essential services, as well as [...]

Will Cruise Ship Arrivals Be Affected by Fuel Dearth?
The shortage of fuel already has Belizeans alarmed about private and public transportation. Well, the news of the shortage had others speculating that cruise ships coming into the Belize were [...]

Fire Guts Allenby Street Property
Eight persons, members of the Herrera family, are without a roof over their heads following a fire that destroyed their house at corner of Allenby Street and East Collet Canal [...]

Lord Michael Ashcroft to Make Appearance at Spoonaz Café on Friday
And on a lighter note, Lord Michael Ashcroft is back in Belize. On a previous visit, he attracted plenty attention when a photograph was taken of him having breakfast with [...]

Friends of Conservation Graduates New Rangers for Chiquibul Patrols
For years Friends for Conservation and Development has been battling the illegal incursions of Guatemalans into the Chiquibul National Park. These Guatemalans come to cut our timber, harvest our xate, [...]

Say What? No Deon McCauley on Belize National Football Team!
T he National Football Team was announced about three weeks ago and one name was noticeably missing. Belize’s star striker, Deon McCauley, was not listed as one of the members [...]

Ambassador Nestor Mendez on Becoming New OAS Assistant Secretary General
On Wednesday, Belize’s Ambassador to the OAS, Nestor Mendez, soundly defeated Ambassador Bayney Karran, Guyana’s permanent representative to the organization, in a historic vote to become the new Assistant Secretary [...]

Where Does OAS Fit Into Chiquibul Encroachment Equation?
So where does the Organization of American States fit into the encroachment equation at the Chiquibul National Park? The answer is that it hasn’t, not in a meaningful way at [...]

Twenty-seven Plots of Land Cleared for Illegal Farming in Chiquibul
With the election of Ambassador Nestor Mendez as Assistant Secretary-General of the O.A.S., all eyes will be on the dynamics of the relationship between Belize and Guatemala. That relationship is [...]

Tour Guides Up In Arms with BTB Over Tourism Village Arrangement
Tour operators at the Fort Street Tourism Village were up in arms earlier today when upon learning that Arton Bowen, president of the Fort George Tourism Zone Tour Operators and [...]

List of Caribbean Countries Involved in Money Laundering Released
There is a report tonight on the issue of money laundering. Seven Caribbean countries find themselves on the U.S’ “Major Money Laundering List” for 2015. They are Antigua and Barbuda, [...]

Jermaine Belgrave Beats Murder Wrap
Tonight, Jermaine Belgrave, a resident of Belize City who has been on remand for the murder of Cleo Robinson, is home free after being acquitted by Justice Adolph Lucas.  The [...]

Social Workers Busted for Weed
Two Early Childhood teachers employed as social workers with the Human Services Department and the boyfriend of one of the teachers, were before the court today to answer to a [...]

Land Fraud Unearthed at Ministry of Natural Resources
In October 2013, the Prime Minister told the Belizean Diaspora in Los Angeles in U.S.A. that the Ministry of Natural Resources was a hotbed of corruption because of the countless [...]

GSU Raid Produces Weed and Cocaine on La Isla Bonita
The Gang Suppression Unit along with the San Pedro Police made a significant bust in anti drug operations at La Isla Bonita which yielded both cannabis and cocaine. On Wednesday [...]

Ministry of Health on KHMH Sterilization Issues
T here’s some good news coming out of the Ministry of Health tonight. For some weeks, the K.H.M.H.’s operating theater was without sterilizers. It was said that the sterilizers were [...]

ABTEC Graduates Class of 2015 in Information Technology
Over a year ago the American Belizean Technology Education Center was opened in Belize. Since then, close to three hundred students have graduated and majority have earned gainful employment. The [...]

PlusTV

Ministry of Forestry and Fisheries to address ship groundings
In recent months there have been multiple vessels grounding on the Belize Barrier Reef, threatening the health of the World Heritage Site and lifeblood of the Belizean sea...

San Pedro Mayor and Minister receive death threats
On Friday March sixth, San Pedro Police nabbed 10 people for gun and ammunition related charges;  they are 51 year old Peter Moses Hernandez, aka Campos, 26 year old Marciana Campos, 23 year old Teresita Jessely Cordova, 48 year old Guadalupe Gonzalez, 42 year old Victor Vasquez, 52 year old John Ar...

Two charged for attempted murder
Police have laid attempted murder charges against 23 year old Ronald Michael and along with 30 year old Alrick Smith charges of conspiracy to commit murder for attempting to kill 29 year old Kenroy Arnold by shooting around 9:00 p.m...

Stella Morris student knocked down
A student of the Stella Morris Primary School in Belize City was knocked down this morning. Stella Morris School caters to children with various disabilities and the boy is estimated to be between the ages of 8 to 9...

Domestic dispute results in alleged stabbing
A woman who allegedly started a fight with her former partner late on Monday evening is accused of grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm after she allegedly stabbed him with a knife...

Security Guard dies suddenly on the job
On March 17 at about 5:40 a.m., police were called to the Ready Call Centre on the Boom/Hattieville Road where they saw the motionless body of 32-year-old Emrick Nolberto of Belize City. Nolberto was found lying on a step of a building in the compound, apparently dead...

Richard Harrison complains about PUP
After the People United Party’s sound defeat at the Cayo North bi-elections in January 5, 2015- which some believe set the stage for the 8-1 defeat at the municipal level- the PUP executives reconvened to discuss the way forward for the party...

Bay View Oasis Resturaunt Burglarised
At 1:30 a.m. on March 16 a burglary was reported at Bay View Oasis Restaurant and Bar located at 4 1/2 miles Philip Goldson Highway where 35-year-old Nadine Moreira, Honduran business owner reported that at about 1:00p.m...

Aggravated Assault and theft on San Pedro
68-year-old Shamil Espat, a fisherman of San Juan area, San Pedro Town reported that sometime between 6:00p.m. on March 15 and 7:30a.m. on March 16, his white 25-foot fibre glass skiff  named “Eagle Eye” , valued  at $27,625.00 was stolen. He further reported that on March 12 at about 3:30p.m...

Heart Attack 50 ft Below
An American tourist died while at the Blue Hole last week...

Mayor of Twin Towns Sworn in
Let the work continue.” That was the platform of the UDP’s road to victory at the municipal level last two weeks. Since then, the new UDP mayors and one PUP mayor have been sworn in to office in all 9 municipalities...

Rotoract Week in Belmopan
Several Belmopan Vendors put up stalls at the Parque De Las Americans in the San Martin Area, Belmopan to sell food and clothing during the weekend and sometimes during the week...

600 People Attend Father Kurt’s Funeral
People from all across the country congregated at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic church in Belmopan to say their last goodbyes to a very beloved priest, church leader and friend Fr. Kurt Kassebeer who passed away on Monday March 9th...

Omar Figueroa Moving Up the Ranks
Since Dr. Omar Figueroa won the Cayo North bi-elections in January 2015, two months ago, and was made a parliamentarian, he has been quickly climbing up the ranks of the UDP being named a Minister of State with responsibilities in the Prime Minister office. Well Figeuroa continues to climb up...

Oceana on Object on the Reef
On  Thursday March 12th while Belize was observing Reef Week a strange looking object floated over the reef in recently expanded Hol Chan Marine Reserve about six miles north of San Pedro Town on an area called the Mexico Rocks...

Unexpected death in Libertad
Corozal Police are baffled over the sudden death of 79 year old Belizean unemployed of Libertad Village Corozal District George Trapp who was found dead at 2:15 pm on Saturday March, 2015 in his own backyard...

Jervis Valencia charged for murder
The March 5 murder of Moses Gonguez on Mayflower Street disrupted the peace of election night...

Visiting African caught with dead man’s passport
A native of Cameroon in West Africa must pay a fine after pleading guilty to illegal use of a document, specificially a Honduran passport whose bearer is dead...

Jury acquits on murder charge
A jury of 8 men and 4 women deliberated for a little over 4 hours today in the court of Justice John Gonzalez before it found Kenneth Dobson, aka “Fudgie”, not guilty of the murder of Erwin Staine. Staine was shot multiple times in the left side of his chest on June 1, 2011...

Woman charged for stabbing “obsessed” assailant
A mother of 3 residing in Mahogany Heights, Belize District, is accused of grievous harm despite claims she defended herself from a man she says was obsessed with her, although they do not have a relationship...

Shooting in Ladyville
Ladyville Police have arrested two persons for the shooting of Kenroy Arnold.  On Thursday night March 12th at around 9 pm 29 year old Kenroy Arnold was socializing with friends when a vehicle reportedly pulled up with two men inside...

Drivers suffer accidents on City streets
This past weekend there were two traffic accidents in the same neighborhood of Belize City. Fortunately, neither was serious...

The Guardian

No New Taxes, in the Budget but...“Millions and millions and millions and millions and millions of dollars…” for Infrastructure and Public Officers’ salary increase
One silver tongue politician from Southern Belize is famous for the quote; “If you thief the money there is none to work and if you work the money there is none to thief.” The People’s United Party generals are always quick to point out that under their 98 to 2008 administration the economy doubled in size but they never say how. The truth is, under that administration, the economy grew as a balloon among tainted needles inflated by a whirlwind from external commercial banks. Yes the economy doubled in size but the public debt more than quadrupled during the same period. Independent auditors have found and former deputy Prime Minister Johnny Briceño has confirmed that “Millions and millions and millions and millions and millions of dollars” were stolen during the Musa/Fonseca administration. This is why the national infrastructure was in such deplorable condition when the United Democratic Party got into office in 2008. “I’m not talking about a little bit of money…millions, tens of millions of dollars they stole,” says Johnny Briceno. That is why there was no money to work.

Belize’s H.E. Nestor Mendez’s is new Assistant Secretary General of OAS
Belize’s Ambassador to the United States and High Commisioner to Canada, His Excellency Nestor Mendez, is now the elected Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States. According to the Government of Belize, Hon. Prime Minister Barrow and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs “embarked on two years of active diplomacy and campaigning to achieve the support of the majority of countries in the Americas for this post”. This effort resulted in Ambassador Mendez receiving 24 votes out of a possible 34. His challenger, Ambassador Bayney Karran of Guyana, received 10 votes. In contrast, Guatemala’s former Vice-President Eduardo Stein Barillas had to withdraw his candidacy for the highest OAS post of Secretary General after support for his candidacy was evidently weak. As a result, Uruguayan Luis Almagros, who received very early support from Belize, was unopposed in his bid to replace Jose Miguel Insulza. Almagros and Mendez have pledged to transform the organization so that it can respond more efficiently and effectively to the needs of its Member States.

Francis fighting to remain in power
What remains of a shredded PUP held a meeting on Wednesday March 18 to try to save as much of Francis Fonseca’s face as is possible. The PUP’s meeting started at 10a.m. and after a marathon 4 hours and 40 minutes they came out to say that they will be endorsing Francis Fonseca as the PUP party leader. What they are not saying is that as much as possible the entire stew had been pre-cooked with the executive of the PUP being informed that Francis Fonseca must maintain power by any means necessary and as such that was what was the expected outcome. This however had to be done by way of an endorsement at the Executive Council level; he could not be challenged. This maneuver needed pledged support from everyone for that to occur and it happened.

Another Raise for Teachers and Public Officers
“Despite our disagreements with some of the Union Leaders, we tremendously value both our Public Officers and Teachers. We believe in them, we treasure them and we consider it our special obligation to properly reward them.”- Hon. Prime Minister Dean O. Barrow. Hon. Prime Minister Dean Oliver Barrow introduced the General Revenue Appropriation Bill (2015) at the House of Representatives on Friday, March 13, with great news for teachers and other public officers. The budget for the upcoming fiscal year signals a continuation of the unprecedented physical transformation of the country. It once again features significant investment in national infrastructure, expansion of social programs and even more spending on education and healthcare but what most Belizeans are talking about is a second consecutive budget with salary increase for teachers and public officers.

Dan Silva could owe GOB hundreds of thousands of dollars in GST
Belizeans are becoming more keenly aware of the economic dynamics of their beloved country Belize. Having fallen in love with that locomotion of the Transformation Train, those who have booked their ride are getting on board, and this train they will ride. Having booked their ride, they are also determined to see that The Transformation Train completes its journey. They are committed to do whatever they can to aid the Prime Minister and Captain of this Train to keep it on track. After hearing one of the most robust budget presentations of any ever yet read, and loving the idea of the desired accomplishments without implementing any new taxes, there are those among us who have taken the challenge to assist in whatever way we can. In his last Friday Budget speech, the Prime Minister was heard to say that instead of implementing new taxes, he will call for more efficient administration of those existing regimes.

From the hospital to the courtroom for Jervis Valencia
Thirty three year old Jervis Jermaine Diamond aka “Jervis Valencia” who is a member of the Ghost town area gang also know as Mayflower was discharged from the hospital on Monday morning and handed into police custody where a book of charges was waiting for him since the March 4, 2015 shooting murder of Moses Gonguez also of the Ghost Town gang and the attempt on the life of Triston Gordon and for shooting at two police officers, a Corporal and a Constable. Valencia was escorted to the Belize City Magistrate’s court under police guard but he could barely walk. He had to be escorted with help from his ex/girlfriend, Shelly Meighan. She took him back and forth until he was taken into a police mobile bound for jail at 4 in the evening.

11 Special constables for Friends for Conservation and Development
On the 14th of March at an event held at Tapir Camp in the Chiquibul National Park, eleven Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) park rangers were sworn in as special constables by members of the Police Department. The training conducted by the Police Academy was led by Sergeant Magdaleno and Corporal Tun, while swearing in was led by Inspector Eusebio Lanza. The purpose of the training was to enable FCD Rangers to be more effective in addressing illegal activities occurring within the boundaries of the Chiquibul National Park and help regulatory agencies maintain law and order The Special Constable Training Program forms part of a Specialized Ranger Training now underway in the Chiquibul National Park for FCD rangers that will culminate on Thursday, 19th March at Tapir Camp.

Institute holds accountability seminar in Belmopan
The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture IICA held its yearly review on its achievements on Thursday of last week at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan and in doing so revealed a road map in moving forward in Belize. Present for this meeting were officials from various Government Ministries, such as from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture as well as various stakeholders that are working to ensure Belize’s food security. IICA currently operates in 34 countries and has its headquarters in Costa Rica. IICA is a specialized agency of the Inter-American system that focuses on meeting the needs of these Countries in making agriculture competitive and sustainable; to improve the lives of rural dwellers.

RETAKING AND TRANSFORMING ‘CULTURE CAPITAL’:
History has already recorded that on March 4, 2015, a vast majority of the good and sensible citizens of “Culture Capital” swept away an incompetent, retrogressive and unpopular PUP Town Council. This was part of a nationwide reaffirmation of the people’s confidence in, and support for, the UDP transformation spearheaded by the Hon. Dean O. Barrow, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and leader of the UDP. Throughout our campaign to “Tek Back Griga” and transform Culture Capital, the manifesto platform of pledges was firmly rooted in the principles of “Productivity, Progress and Prosperity.” The previous three years of misrule and missteps were outstanding only for their inaction rather than productivity, stagnation rather than progress, and misuse of resources rather than being a catalyst for prosperity. The gross negligence and irresponsibility of our PUP predecessors resulted in a resounding call from Wagierale to Monument Site for action in critical areas such as infrastructure, street maintenance and construction, drainage, sanitation, parks and playgrounds, sporting facilities, beach preservation and enhancement, business promotion including tourism, and so on. Of the 46 promises encompassing all these spheres of development made by the ousted PUP Council, not one was fulfilled.

Julius is the true leader of the PUP
From all appearances Julius Espat is the real leader of the PUP. He seems to be the only sober person in that party and the only one who seems to have his wits about him. Said embarrassed himself when he stood up in the National Assembly rambling unintelligible phrases, Johnny sat looking like an idiot not able to refute Said’s statement about him being crazy and Francis…well anyone’s guess about his ineptitude is accurate. Julius took to Facebook seeking an apology. Julius spoke to the media and stated that he believed repercussions were in order. Julius looks better than all of them. Julius is the true leader of the PUP.

Two bit attorney’s appeal against Penner fails
Elvin Penner, the former UDP standard bearer for Cayo Northeast, has been cleared for a second time in the courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. COLA who has been trying to blast the UDP government for not prosecuting Elvin Penner on immigration charges found out for themselves exactly what the Prime Minister had described months ago, that there is a difference between factual and legal guilt when it comes to Penner’s involvement in the Won Hong Kim passport scandal. Readers may remember that on July 24, 2014, Penner was acquitted by Magistrate Aretha Ford in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court of the two immigration charges. Those offences were brought against him by COLA’s Geovannie Brackett and Nedal McLaren after they managed to bring the charges against him in a private prosecution.

Two bit attorney’s appeal against Penner fails
Elvin Penner, the former UDP standard bearer for Cayo Northeast, has been cleared for a second time in the courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. COLA who has been trying to blast the UDP government for not prosecuting Elvin Penner on immigration charges found out for themselves exactly what the Prime Minister had described months ago, that there is a difference between factual and legal guilt when it comes to Penner’s involvement in the Won Hong Kim passport scandal. Readers may remember that on July 24, 2014, Penner was acquitted by Magistrate Aretha Ford in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court of the two immigration charges. Those offences were brought against him by COLA’s Geovannie Brackett and Nedal McLaren after they managed to bring the charges against him in a private prosecution.

PUP cannot reprimand Johnny
The worst that the People’s United Party can do to Johnny Briceno they have done already. And what they have done already is that Julius Espat has called him a liar, Said Musa has also called him a liar and added that he does not know what state of mind he must have been in when he said what he said and Francis Fonseca said that it is an internal party matter. Beyond that they can do nothing because they know what Johnny said was the truth and they cannot reprimand him for saying the truth. The key players whom he refers to in the tape are Said Musa and Ralph Fonseca, and everything that he said about them is the truth. We may never know what was discussed in Independence Hall on Wednesday March 11, but what is for sure is that all in the room who must have had a gripe with what Johnny said do not have the moral fortitude to reprimand him.

Kenneth Dobson Cleared of Murder Charge
Kenneth Dobson had been on remand for the murder of Erwin Staine since June of 2011 but now he is a free man after a jury of 8 men and 4 women cleared him of the charge and lesser offense of manslaughter on Monday, March 16. Erwin Staine was gunned down on North Creek Street in Belize City shortly after 10 p.m. on June 1, 2011. He was hanging out in front of his home when a gunman pulled up, exchanged words with him then opened fire. Staine was shot three times: once to the chest, abdomen and leg. The murder was witnessed by the victim’s sister, Deborah Lee Staine. She was the crown’s main witness during trial. Deborah testified that she was at home when she saw her brother enter the house and then went back outside. She heard hard talks and when she went outside she saw Dobson pointing an object at her brother.

Two arrested for shooting Kenroy Arnold
Police have arrested and charged Alrick Smith, 30, and Ronald Michael, 23, for the shooting of Kenroy Arnold in Ladyville Village on Thursday, March 12. Smith and Michael were charged jointly for conspiracy to commit murder. Ronald Michael was read additional charges of attempted murder, deadly means of harm and dangerous harm. On Tuesday, March 17, the pair appeared before Magistrate Herbert Panton. No plea was taken from either men since the charges will be dealt with on indictment. Michael asked permission to speak and that’s when he told Magistrate Panton that the police had the wrong man. He claims the police were looking for his brother but because they could not find his brother they charged him. He placed his identification card and charge sheet with information and complaint in front of the judge to see.

Magistrate Panton upset over charging of grieving widower
On April 28 of last year, businessman Raul Magana was involved in a road accident. Magana was travelling with his wife, Lisa Li-Magana and their toddler son, Raul Magana, Jr. when the Toyota Land Cruiser they were travelling in reportedly sustained a blowout causing it to overturn. The father was injured, but his wife and son died from injuries. Eleven months later, Magana was levied charges of manslaughter by negligence and causing death by careless conduct by police over the weekend. On Tuesday, March 17, he was in court to answer to the charges. Magana appeared with his attorney, Bryan Neal, in the court room of Magistrate Herbert Panton. No plea was taken and there was no objection to bail by the court prosecutor, Cpl. Kennard Clark.

Retrial for Pop’s carnal knowledge conviction
Ex-BDF soldier and resident of San Antonio, Toledo, Saturnino Pop, 27, was convicted of three counts of carnal knowledge of a 13-year-old minor on March 19, 2014 but today he is out on bail after the Court of Appeal ordered a retrial. Pop’s attorney, Oscar Selgado, appealed on the ground that his client was not given a fair trial since it was ordered that the case be tried in the Southern Session of the Supreme Court. He submit that it was unfair for a sensational case to be subject to a jury of individuals from the same community. The decision to try the case in the South prevented the possibility of a truly objective jury.

Charged for stabbing her stalker
Shannon Smith, 24, of Hattieville Village is out on bail after she was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrates’ Court on one count of grievous harm upon Earlin Butler Sr. whom she stabbed over the weekend. Shannon Smith was unrepresented when she appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Monday, February 16. The prosecutor, Cpl. Carmen Selgado, had no objection to bail. Chief Magistrate asked why she didn’t object to bail in a case where someone’s life was endangered. Cpl. Segado explained that the facts of the case show that it was the victim who entered Smith’s home and caused an altercation. On her own behalf, Smith said, "Butler just entered my house. I neva invite him.” She says Butler had been sending her text messages constantly. Chief Magistrate Smith told her to save her explanation until trial.

No defending female high school champions at national this weekend
The National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) National Secondary Schools Softball Competition in both the female and male category will be held this weekend 20-21 March, 2015, at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village. This year’s National Secondary Schools Softball Championship is being hosted by Georgetown Technical High School. The schools that have earned the right to represent their respective regions are from the Northern Region: Belize Rural High School (female) and Orange Walk Technical High School (male); from Central Region Ladyville Technical High School (female) and Nazarene High School (male); from the Western Region in both female and male Belmopan Comprehensive School and from the Southern Region Stann Creek Ecumenical College (female) and Independence High School (male).

Central Christian School girls and Holy Redeemer boys are Belize City Primary Schools Softball Champions
The Belize City Primary Schools Softball Competition came to an end on Wednesday 18 March, 2015, with the championship games played in both the girls’ and boys’ category. In the girls’ competition, Central Christian School defeated St. John Vianney School by the score of 17-6. The winning pitcher was Kelsie Fuentes and the losing pitcher was Shantae Williams. In the boys’ championship game, Holy Redeemer School defeated Wesley Upper School by the score of 6-3. The winning pitcher was Jerimy Fermin and the losing pitcher was Luis Orozco.

Health Hookup
Prevention is the best cure! – The essence of medicine - There is an ancient Chinese story about a lord who asked his doctor, who was a member of a family of doctors, which one of them was the most skilled doctor. The doctor, whose reputation was such that his name was synonymous with medicine in China, replied, “My eldest brother sees the spirit of sickness and removes it before it takes shape, so his name does not get out of the house.” “My elder brother cures sickness when it is still extremely minor, so his name does not get out of the neighborhood.” “As for me, I puncture veins, prescribe potions, and massage skin so from time to time my name gets out and is heard among the lords.” Which one of these doctors are you most likely to visit? Previously, I wrote about medical issues that probably affects us, either directly or indirectly. In each article I would note the importance of going to see your doctor for regular checkups, hoping the articles with the endnote would be enough to get you to go see your regular doctor. This time around, I’m going to take the time out to explain to you exactly what it means to take care of your health.

Guided Democracy
The political landscape was lit up in full blue these past two weeks. First it was the secret tape recording from Señor Chell which simply confirmed what we already knew about all the underhanded deals concocted by the 1998-2008 PUP administration, resulting in the misappropriation of hundreds of millions from the public purse. Concerning this damaging tape, I must admit that I find it difficult to understand the mentality within the officials of the People’s United Party, at every level. You see, the rumor existed about the tape before the municipal elections, but we heard that it would not be shared with the public until after these elections so as not to “hurt the PUP’s chances of winning”. The central character in this drama is one Mr. Chell, who is considered a loyalist to Dave Burgos. The latter is said to have been displeased with the rhetoric about him coming from the Briceño camp prior to the PUP East convention, and this was an opportunity to even the scoreboard.

Career Paths
Every day, we come in contact with a number of people- teachers, doctors, lawyers, bankers, engineers; who all possessed different goals in their lives that was the initial starting point of their career. A career is not simply achieved for the love of money, but for the love and care for a certain type of work; not beneficial to self, but beneficial to others. A career path is rarely a path at all. A more interesting life is usually a more crooked, winding path of missteps, luck and vigorous work. It is almost always a clumsy balance between the things you try to make happen and the things that happen to you. Through a career, individuals obtain several skills that are helpful when serving people in their field of work. Of course, a career doesn't just happen, or land in the palm of your hands in an instant, or even fall from the sky as a slap in the face. Instead, it is something we have to sit and plan for. Choosing a career path is one of the biggest choices one has to make for himself, though the easiest process to start- just simply think!

Increase in allowances for police officers
The hardest working servants of the public sector, police officers, will soon receive long overdue and well deserved allowances thanks to the advocacy of Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security. Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow has highlighted the allocation of funds for an increase in allowances to police officers in the 2015-2016 Budget. “The increased allowances for the Police [is] to right a historical injustice and put them on par with the rest of the Public Service,” said Prime Minister Barrow at the reading of the 2015-2016 Budget. A Public Service allowance review was conducted on the Belize Police Department in 2012 and recommendations have been forwarded to Cabinet on ways to close the gap between what police officers receive and what other public officers receive. PM Barrow believes it is an injustice that police officers have been working all this time with less benefits than other public officers. Though not official, it is believed the increased allowances will be retroactive to years ago.

Four Ambassadors present credentials to the Governor General of Belize
Four ambassadors presented their letters of credence to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young today at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan. The ambassadors were: Ambassador of Ukraine H.E. Mr. Ruslan Spirin, Ambassador of Denmark H.E. Mr. Henrik Bramsen Hahn, Ambassador of Chile H.E. Mrs. Maria Inez Ruz Zanartu, and Ambassador of Czech Republic H.E. Mr. L’ubomir Hladik.

Speech by Dr. Carla Barnett Accepting Endorsement
Party Leader, Party Chairman, Ministers, Mayors, Standard Bearers, members of the Freetown Constituency Committee, Pastor Portillo, Miss Ebony Reid of the YOF, residents of Freetown and the rest of Belize City, ladies and gentlemen: It is a huge honour and privilege and a great responsibility to take on the role of Standard Bearer and I give my word that I will do it with everything I have to the best of my ability for my party, my constituency and my country. These past 8 weeks or so have been a whirlwind. Immediately after Party Leader announced my appointment as Caretaker for Freetown at the press conference on January 21, I called the Freetown Committee together and within days we hit the streets of Freetown along with the then councilor candidates. We did not have much time to prepare for the elections, but we set out to meet as many of the residents of Freetown as we could and to discuss with them the issues they face as we encouraged them to vote for our UDP councilor candidates. It was a short lead time, therefore we were very pleased that, in the massive UDP win at the March 4 polls, our party achieved significant gains right here in Freetown.

Magistrate Dale Cayetano appointed new director of Belize Family Court
The Judicial Legal Services Commission has appointed Magistrate Dale Cayetano as the new director of the Belize Family Court. Magistrate Cayetano was informed of the decision on Thursday March 12. The department has been out of a director for almost two years since the former Director, Margaret Nicholas left the post.| The 49 year old Magistrate is presently employed as a Magistrate with the Belize City Magistrate's Court and he is currently the magistrate for Court #4, working under the directive of Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. The acting Director of the Belize Family Court is presently Natalia Carter. She has been the acting director since Nicholas resigned almost two years ago.

‘Gas Dem & Light Dem’
A Big Man like you John Briceno ended up looking small on National TV news on March 11th, 2015. It is one of the first ever public castrations of a high ranking political figure in the history of Belize. To see a wide eyed and solemn Briceno being paraded before the media while two of the most vile PUP’s took turns berating him, was pathetic. One can only hope that absorbing such humiliation out of love for the PUP must come with high rewards. He was accused of being a liar and absent minded at the same time. This, coming from the leader, deputy leader, and past leader of the once grand old PUP. For good measures, the current Deputy Leader, Julius Espat made sure that those who could not hear could read. The message was not going to be blocked out, so he took to facebook asking for a retraction and removal of Briceno from the ranks of the PUP. Briceno served up a salvo of damning accusations against no other than his Party Leader and former Party Leader during a private conversation with a party supporter. The cleansing of the soul exchange did not reveal a lot that the Belizean public did not already suspect. However, it confirmed those suspicions, and there is no better confirmation than fish from river bottom. While the matters of BTL purchase and resale, the Yen swap and Intelco affairs are well known, there are two new issues of public interest.

Busted with weed while making police report
Gania Robateau, 29, walked into the Queen Street Police Station to make a report against her common-law-husband, who she claims beat her up, but unfortunately for her she was the one who ended up being detained. According to reports, Robateau was making a police report about domestic abuse when she took out a small amount of marijuana from her bra. She claims that she had just bought a joint to smoke with a friend but her common-law-husband came and beat her up. She forgot she had the weed in her bra and when she remembered she took it out in the presence of an officer. The weed was taken away and measured. It amounted to 3.6 grams; therefore, she was charged with drug possession.

Teenager, 19 is sentence to 12 years for robbing two women!
A teenager who robbed his victims and then looked back at them and laughed was sentenced to two six years jail terms after he pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery. On June 14, 2014, 18 year old Chrisdale Courtney attacked and choked two women, sisters, forcing them to give up their belongings. At the time of the attack the women had a child with them. On Thursday March 12 when Courtenay appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, he pleaded guilty and saved the court time. After his plea Magistrate Fraser sentenced him to 2 - 6 year jail terms effective on the day of his guilty plea. The two terms are to run concurrently with each other. The two victims were in court for the trial. Before they gave their testimony Magistrate Fraser advised Courtenay of the strong evidence against him and asked if he wished to maintain his guilty plea, that is when he changed it to guilty.

Kevin Crawford convicted for breaking into Central Bank Governor’s home
On Thursday March 12, 22 year old Kevin Crawford, a Mechanic employed with his father was today found guilty of the October 9, 2012 home invasion that had occured at the governor of the Central Bank’s home located on Coney Drive in Belize City. The incident happened at around 12:45 p.m., when the maid was ambushed at the door and an assailant forced himself into the house and gagged and tied her up while he burglarized the house stealing a number of items including the maid’s cell phone. When he appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, Crawford maintained his innocence after being charged for aggravated burglary. He said he was in class at Saint John’s Junior College and it could not have been him who broke into the home and terrorized the maid and stole from inside the home. In court however, after the Chief Magistrate summed up the evidence she found him guilty of the offence.

Charged for stabbing her stalker
Shannon Smith, 24, of Hattieville Village is out on bail after she was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrates’ Court on one count of grievous harm upon Earlin Butler Sr. whom she stabbed over the weekend. Shannon Smith was unrepresented when she appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Monday, February 16. The prosecutor, Cpl. Carmen Selgado, had no objection to bail. Chief Magistrate asked why she didn’t object to bail in a case where someone’s life was endangered. Cpl. Segado explained that the facts of the case show that it was the victim who entered Smith’s home and caused an altercation. On her own behalf, Smith said, "Butler just entered my house. I neva invite him.” She says Butler had been sending her text messages constantly. Chief Magistrate Smith told her to save her explanation until trial.

Accused of Stabbing Ex-Boyfriend
One day after Shannon Smith was charged for stabbing her alleged stalker, Shanice Waller, 20, was taken to the Belize City Magistrates Court for stabbing her ex-boyfriend. According to Luis Kerr, at around 5.30 a.m. on Sunday, March 15, he was home with a female at #4374 Custard Apple Street when his ex-girlfriend, Shanice Waller, arrived at the house and started an argument. Kerr says he did not want her to go into the house because the other female was inside. Waller managed to get past him and he grabbed her around the neck to restrain her but when he let go he noticed that he was bleeding near his leg. He then saw Waller with a small black handle knife in her right hand. Kerr was later transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where it was then realized he was actually stabbed twice, once to the thigh and once to the wrist.

Guy East captures 34th Annual SMART Belmopan Cycling Classic
The Cycling Federation of Belize held its 34th Annual SMART Belmopan Cycling Classic on Sunday 15, March, 2015. The Elite Open race started from in front of the SMART Headquarters on the Phillip Goldson Highway travelled into Belize City along the Central American Boulevard into the George Price Highway into the City of Belmopan then back onto the George Price Highway into Belize City and then back onto the Phillip Goldson Highway for the finish in front of the SMART Headquarters. At the end of the race, the first rider to cross the finish line was Guy East of Santino’s Ride for Victory Team. Second place went to Geovanni Choto of C-Ray Road Addikzx, third place went to Brandon Cattouse also of C-Ray Road Addikzx, and fourth place went to Marlon Castillo of Santino’s Ride for Victory Team while fifth place went to Jose Robles of Western Spirit. In the U-23 category, first place went to Joel Borland of Digicell 4G Elite Cycling Team, second place went to Giovanni Lovell also of Digicell 4G Elite Cycling Team with third place going to Richard Santiago also of Digicell 4G Elite Cycling Team.

Perez Hardware wins in Beverly Castillo Football Competition
The 2015 Beverly Castillo Football Cup Competition for Belize Rural Central continued on Sunday 15 March, out in Ladyville with two more games on the schedule. In the first game played, Perez Hardware edged out Williams FC by the score of 3-2. The goals for Perez Hardware were scored by David Solorzano, Johnathan Hanson and Desmond Kerr. For Williams FC, the goals were scored by Kevin Young and Dehron Baptist. In game two, Mahogany Heights and Largos FC played to a 2-2 draw.

Patrick JonesPJ

EDITORIAL: The Thin-Skin Macho
By Jessica Habet: Media houses casually compare House meetings to circus acts in their broadcasts. The public expects the ritualistic mudslinging across the floor. I have begun to listen for particularly witty comments to combat the increasing frustration felt when tuning into the meetings. What is this plague that reduces our leaders to squabbling friends? […]

New program targets drug abuse
Belize’s Ministry of Health is partnering with the Organization of American States (OAS) to launch the local version of a region-wide drug abuse prevention treatment program, called PROCCER, that is The Training and Certification Programme for Drug and Violence Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation. The objective of the programme […]

Fire guts house on Allenby Street
A late evening house fire in Belize City on Wednesday caused severe damage to the residence of two families and the business of one of them. Police and fire officials responded to a house fire in progress at #144 A Allenby Street around 4:25 p.m. and spent the […]

Judge acquits man of murder
Supreme Court Justice Adolph Lucas today freed 31 year old Jermaine Belgrave of a charge of murder dating back five years after the conclusion of a trial without jury in his court room. Belgrave was accused of the February 23, 2010 shooting of Cleo Robinson, who was shot […]

Blogs

5 of the Best Affordable Tropical Islands for Retirees
“I love the greens and blues,” says Washington native Deb Crofutt of her new life on a tropical island. “I love the smiles on the faces of everyone I make eye contact with. I like being away from the hustle and bustle of home and the pressure to own ‘things.’ I spent so many years working in the corporate world just to have stuff. This is a simpler, better life.” Imagine the feel of the warm sun on your shoulders as you walk along a pristine white sand beach stretching to the horizon, fringed by palm fronds and the sumptuous blue ocean. You’re on your way to your favorite bar to enjoy a cocktail with expat friends as the sun goes down. All part of your new laidback lifestyle free from stress. For many people, particularly snowbirds seeking to escape the biting North American winter, this is their ideal retirement. An affordable island with a carefree lifestyle, modern amenities and sunshine all year round. If you’re after a laidback, English-speaking Caribbean retirement at an affordable cost and with easy access to the States, you can’t do much better than Ambergris Caye, Belize’s largest island. Ambergris has racked up a series of impressive “best island” awards over the last few years; the island received Trip Advisor’s Traveler’s Choice Award for Best Island for 2013 and 2014. But Ambergris Caye is much more than a tourist destination. It’s a perfect retirement haven.

Spring Time In Belize Part 2
In Belize, March, April and May are the driest hottest months in the year. Don’t get it wrong, its dry because we are out of the “rainy season” and hot because the humidity is still everywhere trying to wrap itself around you. We know, we know, it sounds awful but that was not the effect you should be having because its Easter time and the kids get off school for a couple weeks! You call it spring break and we love spring break! Spring is when the kids are overflowing with joy! Not only are they out of the responsibilities of school but they get to create! In Belize, they create carts! These carts are made from scrap wood and the wheels of old strollers. The carriage is basically a plastic crate we would normally transport chicken or fruit – add a piece of string and WALLA!! JOY! (If you read this piece of the writing deeply, you felt a little jolt of joy yourself!) Then, another creation comes flying – literally! Its also the windiest time of the year! The trade winds are a-blowing and the kids are a-creating kites!!! Fathers, mothers, daughters and sons and brothers and sisters and cousins – lots of cousins – are creating their home-made kites. Its a feast for who fly’s first and highest and longest and most beautiful!

Santander Sugar: The Largest Private Foreign Investment in Belize To Date & One Super Interesting Tour
Earlier this week, I received an invitation. And then just a few days later I was dressed like this and packed with information about Belize’s sugar industry, world sugar production, Belize infrastructure (and our needs in that department) – standing in a huge GORGEOUS dead flat field in Belize, chawing on a piece of sugar cane. Life is fun sometimes. Now let me give you a download (and that’s what it is, there is just too much) about my day outside of Belmopan, visiting Santander sugar and learning about how that simple spoonful of sugar that I dump in my coffee each morning, gets to the table. From auto-pilot GPS guided tractors to syndicated loans from international banks, the modern sugar industry is no longer just a man, his field and a machete.

International Sourcesizz

US president to make state visit to Jamaica
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has announced that US President Barack Obama will pay a state visit to Jamaica on April 9, 2015. Obama and Simpson Miller will hold bilateral discussions on a range of issues of mutual interest. During the visit, Jamaica will host a meeting between Obama and the heads of government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for discussions on issues on the CARICOM-US agenda, including security and trade. They will also exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest. The CARICOM-US meeting will be co-chaired by Perry Christie, prime minister of The Bahamas and current chairman of CARICOM, and Obama.

Great news for seafood sustainability!
The U.S. just launched an ambitious new action plan to combat illegal fishing and seafood fraud. These are global problems that cause billions of dollars in economic losses each year and threaten ocean ecosystems.

Ancient Mayan child traffickers? Not so fast, scientists tell U.K. tabloid
With a name like the Midnight Terror Cave, it's no wonder that one British tabloid decided to get creative and turn a Mayan archaeological site into the location of a shadowy, pre-Columbian child-trafficking ring. Scientists and the media in the Central American nation of Belize, however, are calling out the Daily Mail in the U.K. for a story they ran in which they claimed that "Children were trafficked from hundreds of miles away to be sacrificed to the gods." The allegations of child trafficking seem to stem from comments made by one of the students working on the site, Samanatha Lorenz, who – given the data accrued from the analysis of the teeth – theorized that the children must have been brought to the cave from far off for the purpose of ritual sacrifice. Lorenz's theory, however, is challenged by a number of scientists – including archeologists from the both the U.K. and Belize – who argue that a lot more research needs to be done to actually prove that a human trafficking ring was at work. And even if it was, it is hard to speak of it in today's socially-charged terminology. "To take the data and speak of ‘children trafficking' is misleading at best and warrants more in depth research," John Morris, director of the Institute of Archaeology told News Belize. "The fact that this has not been published in a peer review journal suggests that the ideas presented are speculative."

Op-Ed: KKK leader disappears and is found living among blacks in Belize
Three decades after vanishing without a trace, former Imperial Wizard Bill Wilkinson of the infamous Ku Klux Klan, was found living the high life among Belize's predominantly black population. “Life is real good, I love the island, it’s full of very friendly people,” said Wilkinson, who is now running a multi-million dollar vacation resort in San Pedro. Wilkinson was Imperial Wizard for what was considered the most dangerous and powerful sector of the KKK from 1975 to 1984, when he ultimately jettisoned everything and fell off the radar for thirty years. Under Wilkinson's tutelage, factions of the Klan even prepared for a “race war,” for which mercenaries he called the Klan Guard trained in “hidden commando camps.” Some have also credited him with planning the events that led up to a 1979 shoot-out between the Klan and the Southern Christian Leadership Council.

Beach cities to play host to Special Olympians this summer
After 16 years overseas, the Special Olympics 2015 World Summer games come to Los Angeles and the beach cities have a crucial part to play in the historic event. Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach have signed on as Host Towns welcoming special athletes from seven different countries during a three-day acclimation period leading up to the July 25 opening ceremonies. Manhattan Beach will host coaches and athletes from Hungary and Nepal. Hermosa Beach will host Belgium and Belize, while Redondo Beach will host delegations from Benin, Haiti and Suriname.

Hold the Habanero, Economist, Only Some Latinos Like It Hot
The Economist has taken heat for depicting Latinos as chile peppers. Chile peppers have been misunderstood ever since a clueless Christopher Columbus named them after peppercorns for their spicy quality, even though the tasty fruit of the genus Capsicum aren’t related to peppercorns. So it came as no surprise that when the latest cover of The Economist portrayed Latino immigration to the United States as an American flag made of red hot chile peppers, many Latinos were upset–because, the truth is, the majority of Latin American countries can’t handle spicy foods. So, I’m here to set the record straight on Latinos and our reputation for hot tempers (sometimes true), hot women (very true) and hot peppers (not true). Chiles originated in South America and made their way up through Central America and into Mexico—today, Mexico counts around 150 different chiles used in regional cuisines, but none hotter than the habanero (a staple in the Yucatan but used nationally as a hot condiment) and a few other scorchers like chiltepin, manzano, piquín, and chile de árbol. Then come the medium-hot jalapeños and serranos, but the rest are mild and used for sauces, soups, stews, moles, salsas, marinades, for stuffing, and eaten whole. In Central America, Guatemala is the chile king with its many peppers like cobanero, siete caldos, and chiltepe, but these are used sparingly in cultural dishes, and with the exception of Belize (lots of habanero), the rest of Central America can’t handle the heat.

Mo Mojo introduces zydeco sounds to Latin America
Local band Mo Mojo spread the word about Zydeco music from its Northeast Ohio base to Latin America this winter. The band, celebrating 20 years this year since it was founded as Zydeco Jones, was selected to participate in the American Music Abroad program that the Association of American Voices administers on behalf of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Members left Jan. 20 for a five-week tour to Barbados, Belize, Panama, Mexico and Colombia. “It was our job to be cultural ambassadors, and we did a pretty good job of it,” said Jen Maurer, who plays accordion and sings and is the last remaining original member of the band. “We were the first Americans that many had ever met. We had so many nice moments of cultural exchange even when we didn’t speak the language.” The band was one of 10 from around the U.S. to take part in this year’s program. They were selected from 42 bands about a year ago after a live audition in New York City.

ASC Discusses What Drives Change In Aquaculture
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) brought together a distinguished panel for this year’s Seafood Expo North America to join in the discussion on what drives environmental and social responsibility in aquaculture. On the second day of the show the ASC session was opened by CEO Chris Ninnes who demonstrated some of the big commitments made to the programme, bringing the session to life with a preview of a new ASC film showing how 30 farms in the State of Rio de Janeiro are dedicated to gaining ASC certification in readiness to supply the Rio 2016 Olympics. Member of the Belize Shrimp Growers Association, Alvin Henderson, described the rewarding journey the eight shrimp farms took in seeking ASC certification. “The main hurdle was building capacity and we had to work hard on creating the right culture to manage compliance,” Henderson said. “These farms represent 90 per cent of Belize’s shrimp production; most of the farms are small operations but we had support from outside investment. But, no matter what, we’re committed to meeting the ASC standards. For us it’s been an amazing journey that has helped us grow responsibly as a group.”

Videos

  • Belize, 5min. Ambergris Caye, Belize July 2014.

  • Amazing - The Beautiful Bugs of Belize, 3min. Thomas Shahan is an Oregon-based artist and macro-photographer who specialises in high-magnification photography. He is the imaging specialist for the Oregon Department of Agriculture's entomology lab. For the past two years, Thomas has been teaching at macro photography workshops in Belize, and he took these stunning photographs during those trips.

  • The Beautiful Bugs of Belize, 3min.

  • Wow...! The Beautiful Bugs of Belize, 3min.

  • Highlights of First Live Mixed Martial Arts in Belize, 7min. MMA's First Live airing in Belize. 8 fights. Alberto Galera from Quintana Roo, Mexico wins the title belt.

  • TROPIC AIR "The Airline of Belize", 9min. AWESOME video... Short interview with Johnny Grief, a little on the history of Tropic Air and their planes, see the new terminal in San Pedro, then go fly with them!

  • FIre in Belize City, 5min. Fire fighters show up to fire fight with no water.

  • Santander Poised to Commence Sugar Milling in Belize, 6min.

  • 2013 Mission Trip to Belize - Christ Church Cathedral, Fredericton NB, min. Slide presentation from the 2013 mission trip to Belize.

  • Belize Linie's Best, 5min. Success on the water with the kiteboard! Although there certainly were some failures, and Laura's patience was tested, I enjoyed the day and am looking to get back out onto the water again!

  • My father fishing in Belize, 10sec. This is what happens when you don't listen to the tour guide.

  • Adventures in Belize, 3min. Snorkeling in the Caribbean Sea, running around the Mayan ruins, going on the Bocawina zipline course, and cave tubing in ancient caves!

  • Belize Dive Dolphins Delfines, 4.5min. ncreibles minutos buceando con grupo de delfines...

  • belize diving 2015, 8min. Diving Trip to Belize -2015.

  • Do It For Belize 1 (Belize VS. Mexico), 23min. 8 Mexicans and 8 Belizeans fight for country in a LIVE TV event. The first heavy weight MMA belt between a Belize Defense Force Soldier and a Mexican national occurred at the end of a spectacular event hosted at the Belize Elementary Auditorium.

  • Zip-lining in Belize, 1min.

  • Rappelling in Belize, 4min. Rappelling down from a tree stand in Belize.

    March 19, 2015


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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

    “Dateline: The Real Blacklist” will feature Gregory Faull’s unsolved murder
    John McAfee, the man who Belize police say is still a person of interest in the murder of Gregory Faull, is still making news. A crew of three from Dateline NBC was in Belize filming segments for a follow up on Faull’s unsolved murder. The Dateline NBC team arrived in Belize on Saturday March 14th and re-visited the area where both Faull and McAfee lived and other parts of the country. The material will be used as part of Dateline NBC’s new series called “Dateline: The Real Blacklist” and it will be hosted by NBC’s Richard Engel. The mini-series focuses on conspiracy-themed investigations and crimes that involve larger-than-life perpetrators and circumstances surrounding unsolved crimes. The former computer antivirus pioneer McAfee has remained a “person of interest” to Belize police in their investigation into the murder of Gregory Faull. Faull, an American national was found murdered on November 11, 2012 inside his home on north Ambergris Caye. While McAfee was never accused of the murder, the millionaire ran from Belize after he learned that Belizean authorities wanted him for questioning as a person of interest. Faull and McAfee were bitter neighbors because of McAfee’s ferocious dogs which he would allow to roam on the beach to drive people away from his nearby property.

    Comedy Movie Night at the Paradise Theater
    It’s March. Oscar season has come and gone, and it feels like we’ve all spent the past six months watching nothing but movies about Stephen Hawking. Thankfully, that time is over. Now it’s time for something really funny and really stupid. This Thursday at the Paradise Theater, we’ll be showing IDIOCRACY. Written and directed by Mike Judge (creator of “Office Space” and “Silicon Valley”), “Idiocracy” is the story of a man (Luke Wilson) who is frozen for 500 years, only to wake up and find society so incredibly dumbed down that he’s now the smartest man alive. The movie is really funny and sophomoric (in the vein of “Dumb and Dumber”), but it also offers an all-too-likely depiction of America’s consumer-driven future. I think you’ll enjoy this movie — and I’m positive you’ll leave feeling thankful you live in Belize.

    Inspector Henry Jemmott takes over Coastal Executive Unit
    As of Tuesday, March 17th, the helm of the Coastal Executive Unit has been taken over by Inspector Henry Jemmott. Previous Officer in Charge, Superintendent Luis Castellanos handed over control of the San Pedro Police Station and will now be holding a management position at the Belize Police Department headquarters in Belmopan City. Jemmott previously held the position of Deputy of the Coastal Executive Unit. Since his arrival to San Pedro in June 2014, Jemmott has been instrumental in the operations and community relations building of the San Pedro Police Department. These are the two key factors that qualified him to take over as OC. “We will continue to work on improving the San Pedro Police Department and making the island safe for residents and visitors. As OC, I will continue to enforce community oriented policing in both San Pedro and Caye Caulker. I also plan to increase our operations to target crime across both islands,” said Jemmott.

    CrossFit San Pedro members inspired by dedication
    She was on holiday in mainland Belize, but 57-year-old AnnElise Bennett had to find a certified CrossFit box (gym) in the country to take part in the current worldwide challenge known as the CrossFit Open. The Open leads to the official 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games set to take place July 21-26, and will see the world’s top CrossFit Athletes compete for the title of ‘World’s Fittest’. As an official (active) affiliate in Belize, CrossFit San Pedro’s family was happy to welcome AnnElise to the island. Members dropped by to observe and cheer her on as she completed the 14-minute workout. The scaled version of the official 15.3 Open workout consisted of 50 wall ball squats and 200 jump ropes, aiming for as many rounds as possible in 14 minutes.

    MOE to show no tolerance on the sale of fake diplomas
    Over the past few weeks, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has been investigating reports of the sale of fake diplomas by a person identified only as the “Diploma Guy”. The evidence of the fraudulent act surfaced on the popular social media network, Facebook, where a conversation between the “Diploma Guy” and a potential buyer stated that a fake diploma can be bought for $4,000. The conversation continued to state that fake diplomas can be bought from any secondary or tertiary institution in Belize, the United States of America and Europe. Upon learning of these activities, MOE quickly launched an investigation and released a statement on the matter. According to the press release “The MOE informs the general public that any person found in possession of any such documents under the Belize criminal Code will be liable to imprisonment for two years and those found guilty of being a common forger is liable to life imprisonment.” The release also urged all establishments and educational institution to scrutinize any diploma presented to them, and if suspicions arise on the legitimacy of the document, they are to contact the MOE.

    2015/2018 Mayor and San Pedro Town Councilors officially sworn in
    The Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero and his six councilmen have officially taken the oath of office. The public event took place on Monday March 16th at the San Pedro Central Park, in which the portfolios of each of the council members were announced. The members of the San Pedro Town Council were elected under the banner of the United Democratic Party (UDP) in the March 4th municipal election. First to take the oath of office was two-term Mayor Daniel Guerrero. In his remarks, Guerrero called for unity amongst the residents of the island and took the opportunity to invite the opposition to work along with the council. “Elections are over and we are a council that was elected to serve everyone. For that reason, I am inviting the opposition members to join us and bring their ideas to the table so that together, we can move this island forward. I say this because I sincerely believe that they had some good ideas that we believe can help us bring more prosperity to the island.”

    Ambergris Today

    Death Threats Received by San Pedro Mayor and Area Representative
    It is not something that is very much heard of in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, but reliable sources have indicated that both San Pedro Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Area Representative/Minister of Tourism Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. have received death threats this week. Although there has been no official police report or has the San Pedro Police Department released any information about the serious matter, but word is that criminal elements have threatened the lives of both island officials. Hon. Heredia, who freely walks around San Pedro Town very casually and bare-footed can be seen with a full military/police escort and his home on the island is being heavily guarded. At his recent speech during the official swearing in of the San Pedro Town Council, that took place on Monday, March 16, 2015, Hon. Heredia indicated that both him and the members of the Town Council were prepared to protect and keep the safety of the community even if it compromised their lives. This caught some of the people in attendance off guard and wondering why he would say that. “If we have to die for you all, we will do so,” commented Hon. Heredia on Monday.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Island Invasion:Easter Bash Vol 4
    Look out for Island Invasion Easter Bash Vol. 4 taking over San Pedro Nightlife April 3,4

    PRE SCHOOLS CULTURE DAY
    On Wednesday, March 18th, the Pre Schools in San Pedro were all dressed up in their cultural attires from the diverse ethnic groups that exist in Belize. The kids also had to prepare a presentation where they briefly explained their culture...and the best part was that they had exquisite food from each culture! Culture Day is part of the Child Stimulation Month activities.

    Kids Self Defense at Calla Creek
    A big thanks to 4 the World, who put together self defense training classes for kids, which took place in Calla Creek. Looks like they had some fun, and learned some good techniques too. They also had their Yoga Workshop at the Benque HoC. "Self Defense Training for kids in Cayo was a lot of fun thanks to Katie Myers and crew. Our volunteers were eager to work with these great kids in Benque Viejo and Calla Creek Village."

    Cayo Leadership Seminar
    The Management and Leadership seminar for the Tourism and Hospitality Industry will take place at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel from Tuesday, March 31st through Thursday, April 2nd. Registration is through this week, just contact the SIRH. The long flier can be found here. "Course will be lead by Philip Queen from California who is the founder and CEO of FMC. Mr. Queen has an extensive background in leadership and management training in addition to Military honors."

    A Walk Through El Cayo Book Launch 2015
    We are proud to present A Walk Through El Cayo book, now available at our office in Belmopan.

    Go Maya Belize Adventures
    Go Maya Belize Adventures is a new tour operator based in Cayo. They have a pretty smooth looking website. They are based out of Rumors Resort(which is coincidentally the featured hotel on the website), yet are catering to tours all around Belize. They have only perfect reviews on Trip Advisor. "Go-Maya Belize Adventures is a professional Destination Management Company & Tour Operator. We are dedicated to helping you plan your Belize Vacation with the most successful and memorable outcome. Our dependable transfers will get you to your lodging destination in a timely & safe manner."

    Channel 7

    PUP Stands By Francis Fonseca, Status Quo Preserved
    The PUP’s National Party Council held an extended meeting today at Independence Hall. Most of the business of the day was to prepare for next week’s budget debate. But, while that was like political house-keeping – the hot button item that was on everyone’s mind was the balance of power in the PUP after the leaked John Briceno recording – and whether in the wake of the municipal elections trouncing, Francis Fonseca remains viable as leader. 4 hours into the meeting, the Party Council decided to break for a few minutes so that the National Campaign Manager could speak with the waiting press about Fonseca’s standing as leader. Here’s what he had to say: Godfrey Smith - National Campaign Manager, PUP "In the first half of the meeting, the party leader, the Hon. Francis Fonseca; in essence, laid on the table the question of his leadership and the question of a leadership convention. Expressed his commitment and dedication in continuing forward - to lead the PUP to the next general election. But would do so only if all members of the national executive, all standard bearers and the parliamentary cacaos freely expressed their views on this position. The floor was then open and every person in the room essentially some 38 persons, comprising those 3 bodies spoke and gave unanimous support for the leadership of Francis Fonseca moving forward. With some of the views being expressed that they perhaps should be an endorsement convention, which will he held at some point in the future - to be determined by the PUP. “

    Belizean Diplomat Wins OAs Asst. SG
    Belize’s Ambassador to the US, Nestor Mendez, is Ambassador no more – tonight he is the Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States. That is the result after he won an election this afternoon in Washington D.C., comfortably outdoing his Guyanese opponent Ambassador Bayney Karran by a margin of 24 to 10. It is a breakthrough accomplishment because the post of Assistant Secretary General carries hemispheric responsibilities and it is the second highest post in the OAS. More than that, it is one of only two elected posts within the OAS – and this year, it was the only elected since the new Secretary General Foreign Minister of Uruguay Luis Almagro ran unopposed. Almagro and Mendez will make up the new leadership tandem in the OAS – and today, Mendez – who becomes the first Belizean to hold the senior post – was gracious in acceptance:…

    Cabinet Leaning Towards De-criminalization of Weed - Wants To Consult Churches
    Belize’s weed laws could be in for a radical change as there are credible reports tonight that Cabinet has decided in principle to support the de-criminalisation of possession of less than ten grammes of marijuana. 7news has confirmed that the subject was discussed at Cabinet yesterday with a majority of the ministers supporting – again, in principle - the recommendations of the Decriminalization of Marijuana Committee. Their final report which was tabled three weeks ago recommended that possession of up to ten grammes of marijuana should not be a criminal offence. The committee recommended that 10 grams or less be listed for private, personal use, and persons found with that quantity should get a ticket with fines and no possibility of incarceration or any offence on their criminal record. Ten grams of weed is a third of an ounce as much as you see in this bag – and can make up about ten average sized marijuana joints.

    Santander Welcomes The Media, Lays Out 150+ Million US Dollar Sugar Cane Investment
    Green Tropics – since the company came on the scene in 2012 – they’ve been mostly bad news. First they trenched a canal right through the Labouring Creek Jaguar Corridor Wildlife Sanctuary for which they landed a record environmental fine. And then, they sprayed the crops of 30 Valley of Peace farmers laying waste to about 150 to 200 acres of vegetable crops. And maybe that’s why the brand Green Tropics has been taken out of the public equation. Now the company has been re-branded as Santander – which is fair enough because it’s the name of their Spanish parent’s company. But, Santander is not only taking on a new name – they’ve got a new welcoming approach to the media. Today, the entire press crop was shuttled out to their development site behind Valley of Peace. IT’S twenty thousand acres of land which will be used for sugar cane production, harvesting, milling and bagasse co-generation. IT’S a formidable investment – said to be the Santander group’s largest agricultural development in this region – and we found out more today:… Julez Vasquez reporting…. A tractor like this costs two hundred thousand dollars – but they let me hop into it and take a turn behind the very big wheels – not because I know how to drive a tractor – but because it’s all computer controlled – and not even a novice like me can mess it up.

    Gay Man Maurice Tomlinson Goes To The CCJ About Belize's Discriminatory Immigration Law
    Remember Jamaican Maurice Tomlinson? He’s the well-known gay rights activist from that country who started to sue the governments of Belize and Trinidad and Tobago over the immigration laws which he claims is discriminatory to him and other LGBT persons living in the Caribbean Community. He decided to take his case to the highest court in the land for both countries, the Caribbean Court of Justice. For the past 2 days, officials from both countries have been at the CCJ headquarters in Port of Spain, Trinidad arguing against his claim in an attempt to convince the judges that the discriminatory interpretation that Tomlinson has chosen to take is wrong since neither of these two countries has ever prevented gay persons from entering before. Tomlinson’s case is novel because it seeks to invoke the original jurisdiction of the Court, and he to get to this appeal case, he had to seek to be heard as an individual because his country, Jamaica, refused to get involved on his behalf via the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

    Blue Bell Recall - What About Belize?
    Blue Bell ice cream products – which are sold in Belize - may be linked to the death of 3 Americans. According to The Guardian online, 5 patients at a hospital in Kansas contracted a bacterial infection called listeriosis after eating Blue Bell ice cream products – 3 of the patients died. As a result of this, several Blue Bell Products have been recalled. Those include the Chocolate Chip Country Cookie Sandwich, Great Divide Bar, Cotton Candy Bar, Scoops, Vanilla Stick Slices, Almond Bars and Sour Pop Green Apple Bar. Now how does this recall affect us? Arctic Cold imports these products to Belize from the US and you can go to almost any grocery store in Belize and find Blue Bell products. We contacted Arctic Cold but the managers were not available. We also contacted the Bureau of Standards and they said they weren't aware of the recall but will follow up on it. According to the U.S Food and Drug Administration website “Consumers should not eat any of the products listed above. If these ice cream products are in your freezer, they should be thrown away, even if some of them have been eaten without anyone becoming ill".

    City Fire Guts Home, 7News Saw It Start
    Tonight a Belize City family is homeless after their house burned down this evening in the city. 7News happened on the scene just as the fire was starting and Monica Bodden saw flames overtake the house in just a few minutes. Here’s her report starting when only smoke was visible:… Monica Bodden reporting… Around 4:30 this afternoon, smoke was seen coming from the upper flat of this two story building located at the corner of Allemby Street and East Collet Canal. Next door neighbours went into panic mode and even began removing items from their own homes. As the smoke grew thicker and darker, the entire neighbourhood flooded unto the street side – many on their cell phones calling the fire department- while some ran up the block to the nearby Fire Station to get urgent help.

    OAS ASG Designate Nestor Mendez Thanks Belize
    At the top of the newscast we told you about Ambassador Nestor Mendez who has become the first Belizean to be elected Assistant Secretary General of the OAS. It is a major accomplishment for the career diplomat – who bested his Guyanese opponent 24 to 10. And while you have heard his remarks to the assembly – what about the folks back home? We spoke to him by telephone a few minutes ago and he said he was grateful for the support:… H.E. Nestor Mendez – Newly Elected Assistant Sec. Gen., OAS “You know, I have been touched and humbled by all the expressions of support that have been forthcoming and really, I am very very grateful. I wasn't aware there was such a tremendous interest in these issues and I do have a lot of friends and I really appreciate so much messages of best wishes and prayers that I have received. In the last week, and today has especially been even more so. I am eternally grateful to everybody who has expressed some sort of best wishes. And i'm very happy and very pleased. We have several young officers in the ministry of foreign affairs and other ministries in the government of Belize who can see what we are doing and what can be done with the proper support. I'm hoping that will open some doors really."

    British Paper Makes Sensational Claims About Mayan Cave
    A British newspaper is sensationalizing an archeological discovery in Belize. The Daily Mail online calls it “evidence of child trafficking in the Mayan Midnight Terror Cave in Cayo.” The article refers to a 3 year study of the cave by Belizean researchers and Archaeologists from California State University which ended in 2010. The article speaks of human remains of adults and children between the ages of 6 and 14 along with the remnants of sacrificial altars dating back to between 700 and 900 AD. And then it says, foreign scientists and researchers believe that the “underworld network of caves in Belize may have been used to traffic Mayan children as young as six for sacrifice.”

    A Book About The Twin Towns
    A new book that captures the historical development of the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena was launched today at the Welcome Center in San Ignacio. The book is entitled “A Walk through El Cayo”. The 56 page text is a compilation of interviews done with community elders along with archival information about the historical and cultural richness of San Ignacio and Santa Elena. You can get a copy of the book at bookstores in both towns. In a release sent out today by NICH it states " It is hoped that students, educators, tour guides, tourists and the general public will appreciate the narratives and re-discover the secrets and beauty of the Twin Towns".

    Channel 5

    Late Afternoon Inferno Destroys Home on Allenby Street
    Just before four-thirty this evening, fire destroyed a home at number one forty four Allenby Street in Belize City.  There were three structures in the corner lot, including the two-storey [...]

    Ambassador Nestor Mendez is New Assistant Secretary General to O.A.S.
    A historic vote took place at the Organization of American States in Washington. Belize’s Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States, Ambassador Nestor Mendez, who is also accredited to [...]

    P.U.P. Executive Unanimously Endorses Francis Fonseca’s Leadership
    Following a massive loss in municipal elections, the executive and key players in the P.U.P. have been circling the wagons around embattled leader Francis Fonseca. And today, in culmination of [...]

    Johnny Briceño’s Noticeable Absence from Fonseca Endorsement
    Executive members, parliamentarians and standard bearers today, but former Party Leader John Briceño was conspicuously absent. Briceño, last Friday, very publicly, supported the call for a national convention of the [...]

    P.U.P. Campaign Manager Comments on Old Guard
    There has been some criticism of the party for its refusal to let go of certain persons considered the old guard. But if you expected any mass jettisoning or serious [...]

    Ladyville Police Explain Charge Against Raul Magaña
    The driver of vehicle involved in a traffic accident that occurred last year was taken to court on Tuesday. Raul Magana Junior was behind the wheel of his SUV that [...]

    Jaguar Officer Heads to Crooked Tree to Assess Livestock Predation
    Belize has a healthy jaguar population in the region with an estimated five hundred jaguars; however, they are considered to be threatened and are on the decline internationally. But in [...]

    Errol Belisle to be Charged for Knocking Down Stella Maris Student
    Eleven year old Austin Olivera Junior remains comatose at the K.H.M.H. after he was knocked down by a tour van around eight a.m. on Tuesday morning at mile eight and [...]

    Business Senator Dissects 2015/2016 Budget
    Tonight, as we promised, we take another look at the 2015/2016 budget, scheduled to be debated on the twenty-sixth and twenty-seventh. In the preface to his presentation, Prime Minister Barrow [...]

    Senator Mark Lizarraga Criticizes Spending as Short-sighted and Irresponsible
    Lizarraga also lashed out at what he says is irresponsible and short-sighted spending, rather than any attempt at prudent fiscal management. He says that it’s not sustainable, and in the [...]

    Is Short Term Job Creation Sustainable?
    In the budget, there is much focus on infrastructure, and it goes hand in hand with an unprecedented infrastructure spurt in all municipalities, with the promise of more to come. [...]

    Arguments in Tomlinson Versus Belize and Trinidad & Tobago Conclude in CCJ
    Attorneys concluded arguments today at the Caribbean Court of Justice on behalf of the governments of Belize and Trinidad and Tobago. Jamaican gay rights activist, Maurice Tomlinson, is challenging the [...]

    Shanice Waller Arraigned for Stabbing Aex-boyfriend in Mahogany Heights
    In the local courts, an alleged domestic dispute between a woman and her ex-boyfriend has resulted in charges against the woman. It comes on the heels of the arraignment of [...]

    Santander Poised to Commence Sugar Milling in Belize
    If you heard about the Santander Group before, the parent company of Green Tropics, it may have had to do with dredging within the Labouring Creek Jaguar Corridor Wildlife Sanctuary [...]

    President Obama to Meet with CARICOM Heads of Government in Jamaica
    And this piece of regional news….The Summit of the Americas will be held this year in Panama on the eleventh and twelfth of April. It is deemed a historic meeting [...]

    Cancer Patient Needs Your Financial Helping Hand
    Tonight, we bring you the plight of Carlton Nicholas, who is in dire need of financial assistance to defray the cost of his medical treatment. He is afflicted with skin [...]

    CTV3

    Cane Farmers To Receive First Payment For Baggase
    Sugar Cane Farmers will be receiving their first payment for bagasse from BSI on Friday. The payment for bagasse is based on the formula set out in the agreement. Financial Officer at BSI Belizario Carballo spoke about the payment which will be a little over half a million Belize dollars. “As part of the long term agreement that we have signed with the different Associations there was a provision for a payment for bagasse and the provision provides for a first payment on that to be made retroactive for the 2014 crop and for it to be made ten weeks after they signed the agreement and that payment will therefore be made this Friday the 20th of March as per the agreement and as per the calculation of the amount to be paid is set out on the agreement and that calculation has workout to a total figure of $597,000 when divided by the amount of cane that was delivered was close to 1.2 million tons of cane last crop on a per ton basis it averages out about fifty cents per ton but that amount will be paid on the basis of the relative cane quality of the respective test groups and so each test group will be paid a different amount ranging from forty seven cents to fifty four cents per ton of cane for the deliveries for the 2013/2014 crop.”

    Womens Department Recognizes List Of Women From The North
    In keeping with the recognition, in lieu of Women’s Month being celebrated countrywide in Belize for the Month of March, we would like to give recognition to some deserving women who made the Outstanding Women list for 2015 in the north. These outstanding women include: Amparo Majil of Corozal Town, Criselda Beatrize Fuentes of San Andres Village in Corozal, Cindey Rivero of Orange Walk Town and Felecita Cantun of Yo Creek Village. According to the Women’s Department in Belize, these ladies (among others), have demonstrated that they are willing to be the change they wanted to see in Belize and each candidate deserves the admiration and respect because they have served their communities well.

    Maya Cement Workers To Sign New Contract
    Yesterday we told you about the friction between Belizean importers of Maya Cement from the Mexican side and their Mexican employer. As we reported, shippers were complaining that they have been buying Maya Cement from their Mexican Counterparts to sell in Belize but a sharp increase in price and method of loading implemented recently have caused a major decrease in profits. This morning we got an update from the drivers and we are happy to report that a compromise has been reached. We spoke via telephone to one of the shipping agents, who wished to. “Quedamos de acuerdo que nos van ajustar el sueldo otra vez el flete y van a componer los puestos adónde vamos a trabajar y el contrato se va a firmar nuevamente con nuevos beneficios, el Sábado van a ir unos miembros de nosotros para que se firmen los papeles en Chetumal, si desde ayer fueron cinco camiones y hoy fueron quince camiones y muchísimas gracias por su ayuda.”

    Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Recalls Product
    It’s a favourite quick meal for many Belizeans looking to save time and money on food items but according to a release from the Kraft Foods Group, approximately 242,000 cases of select code dates and manufacturing codes of the Original flavour of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner is being voluntarily recalled. Why is this being done you may ask? We’ll, according to North America's largest consumer packaged food and beverage company, it is possible that some boxes may contain small pieces of metal. The release says and we quote, “The recalled product is limited to the 7.25-oz. size of the Original flavor of boxed dinner with the "Best When Used By" dates of September 18, 2015 through October 11, 2015, with the code "C2" directly below the date on each individual box. The "C2" refers to a specific production line on which the affected product was made”, end quote.

    Ambassador Nestor Mendez Elected As Assistant Secretary General Of The OAS
    Tonight there is great news for Belize as Ambassador Nestor Mendez made history today as he became the first Belizean to be elected as the new Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of the American States. The election took place today in Washington during the 49th ordinary session of the OAS meeting in the United States of America and Mendez garnered 24 out of the 34 voters casted. Also vying for the position was His Excellency Bayney R. Karran of Guyana who received ten votes. After his election Ambassador Mendez addressed his fellow diplomats. Here is what he had to say.

    BWU Signs Collective Bargaining Agreement With BSI/ASR
    Today the Belize Workers Union and the Belize Sugar Industry finally signed the long negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreement. To be more specific, both parties signed two collective bargaining agreements this morning. One was for tower hill hourly paid workers which is a longstanding agreement that had expired on June 30th 2014 and had been subject to negotiations. Those negotiations were completed in February and the final agreement was signed today. BSI Financial Officer Belizario Carballo says they are pleased that the agreement has been signed. “That agreement is retroactive to the 1st of July 2014 and goes for four years up to the 30th of June 2018 and as part of the negotiations we had agreed with the BWU increases in wages over that four year period and also other adjustments in other parts of the CBA but that is a mature CBA that we all collectively agreed that it is a progressive CBA and it is one that both side feel good about it and so we signed that agreement today along with a new CBA for the contract field workers before this they came under individual contracts, they now cone under a CBA and the BWU represents that group of workers as well and so that is the first one and we have been disusing that for some time and today we signed that collective bargaining agreement and that agreement is for two years and so it is a bit less than two years now because we had a little delay in the signing of it but it expires on the 30th of September 2016.”

    Mother of Eight Year Old Child Asks For Assistance
    A mother of four is pleading to the community to help her finance an operation to enable her seven year old son regain his vision. Jovita Tillett of Guinea Grass Village is struggling with her son who became visually impaired shortly after he was born. Tillett says his vision can be restored but he needs a series of eye surgeries. He has undergone one surgery and is in need of a second. “Tengo mi bebe siete y va para ocho años y yo anduve pidiendo ayuda para mi nene y me ayudaron pero los cheque que tenia se lo agarre a mi mama y lo lleve en BCVI y perdieron los cheque y n lo pudieron operar en BCVI pero fui en Corozal y una señora de iglesia y una gringa pago su operación de mi nene y Doctor Hoy lo opero y salió bien pero una semana después empezó a salir como materia en sus ojitos porque le pusieron el contact lense y estaba como infectado y fui a que se lo cambien y se lo limpiaron y gracias a dios está bien y lo único que quiero es a ver si me pueden ayudarme para operar el otro ojo de mi nene.”

    Officials From The Embassy Of Honduras In Belize Visit Prisoners At The Central Prison
    As part of the new work plan prepared by the team of the Embassy of Honduras in Belize headed by Ambassador Sandra Rosales, officials from the Consular Section of the Embassy of Honduras in Belize paid a visit to the Belize Central Prison where they held a private meeting with Honduran Nationals currently serving time at the prison. During the meeting the prisoners were given the opportunity to talk about the processes they face in the country in order for the officials to provide personalized attention to each case.

    Fisherman Reports Stolen Skiff
    There has been a spate of boat thefts reported in the Corozal District and San Pedro Town and tonight there is another to report. Yesterday morning, 68 year old Shamil Espat, fisherman of San Juan Area of San Pedro Town reported to police that sometime between 6:00p.m on Sunday March 15th and 7:30 on Monday morning his white 25-foot fibre glass skiff named “Eagle Eye which had a 60 horse power Yamaha outboard engine attached to it valued at $27,625.00 was stolen. He further reported that on Thursday March 12th at about 3:30p.m while securing his skiff on the dock, a man he knows pulled out what appeared to be a hand gun and pointed it towards him and his son and threatened them and then left. Police are seeking this man for questioning.

    Orange Walkenos Lodge Complain Against Vehicle Vendors
    And while on the topic of the vehicle vendors at the parking area by Central Park, today Mayor Kevin Bernard added that there have been additional problems. Over the years there have been complaints about some of their behavior and according to the Mayor; even the police have had to be involved. “These people have been informed and we have said these things before, the problem that we are having with these vehicle vendors is that they think they own the space around the park and they are totally wrong and I have one message for them is that you will be moved whether by choice of by force and that we are saying to them is that the park area is not going to be allowed for vending, the people of Orange Walk have said that to us while campaigning we want our park and the park is now renovated and there are other amenities that will be coming to the park shortly with the playing ground and other things these are for the kids, the park is for our family...”

    LOVE FM

    Businessman Charged for Illegal Possession of Lobster
    Sixty-one year old Godfrey Cooper Smith, the owner of Popeye’s Resort in Caye Caulker, who is an American citizen originally from Belize, was fined a total of $445 today by Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart after he pled guilty to possession of lobster during closed season. Smith was ordered to pay $305 for the offence and in addition, he was ordered to pay $20 for each of the 7 lobster tails he had. Smith was busted with the lobster tails on February 19 when a fishery officer went to Godfrey’s Seaside Grill and found him with the tails. Smith paid the money forthwith.

    Caye Caulker Resident Caught Smuggling Cannabis
    Thirty-five year old Walter Jimenez, a construction worker of Caye Caulker who allegedly tried to smuggle 517 grams of cannabis into Belize City, was charged with drug trafficking when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Jimenez pled not guilty to the charge. He was offered a bail of $5,000 and his case was adjourned until May 14. The bust occurred yesterday at Port of Belize. According to reports, Jimenez was handed over to the police by a Port of Belize employee when it was discovered that he had a black bag which contained the drug.

    Five on Remand For Murder Arraigned for Drug Trafficking
    Five inmates who are on remand for charges of murder, were charged with drug trafficking when they appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. They are 31-year-old, Kenrick Parham, 20-year-old, Khalil Ponce, 20-year-old, Micah Tillett, 22-year-old, Devon Goodger and 21-year-old, Jermaine Moody. They pled not guilty to the charge. Their case was adjourned until May 15. They were charged yesterday after a search was executed in their cell and 78 grams of weed was found.

    Teenager Says He Was Abducted and Beaten
    A teenager of a Jane Usher Boulevard address in Belize has told Police that on Monday, March 16, he was taken from Faber’s Road at around nine o’clock by persons in a minivan. The complainant, 19-year-old, Abel Lara Junior says after being taken, he was beaten then taken to an area at mile eight on the Philip Goldson Highway where he was threatened. Lara says he was able to escape at around midday. Police are seeking the men as investigations continue.

    Police Seeks William For Having Sex With Minor
    A minor of Silk Grass Village in the Stann Creek District was in the company of her mother when they went to the police station to make a report of sexual misconduct. According to the minor, she was at a nearby shop on Sunday, March 15 when she received a call just before eight o’clock from a man known to her as William Daniel ‘Danny’. A few minutes later the man came to pick her up and had sexual intercourse with her. A medical examination was conducted and it was certified that the female was carnally known. Police are now seeking William Daniel of a Belmopan address.

    Santander: Sugar Production on The Horizon in Western Belize
    The media was granted a tour of the Santander Facility in Cayo. The Santandar group of Companies has been in Belize since 2008 when it first acquired land. Since then it has been developing in to a sugar producing factory. Hipolito Novelo was part of the tour and here is his story. HIPOLITO NOVELO “Jose Rafael Rodriguez is the Chief Executive officer of the Santander Group- the parent company of Santander Farms, SS Energy and Santander Sugar. The operation of the company is located on a twenty thousand acre of land in the Cayo District. The facilities of the company are currently under construction and its primary goal is to grow sugar cane and produce sugar for export. Rodriguez says it all started with a childhood dream.” JOSE RODRIGUEZ “Since we were little my dad emigrated from Spain to Guatemala in 1954. He started a warehouse store and then he also loved to do farming. He started to plant sugar cane in 1967, the year I was born, and we as a family grew up in the sugarcane fields and we grew up thinking of doing a project like this all our lives. So we went to high school, university preparing for a project like this but we didn’t know it would be in Belize. We went to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, we even went to the States. We looked at an operation that is the only place that produces sugar cane in Spain, in the South, but in the end God brought us here and we found a place that we love the day we stepped here.”

    Bagasse Payment Forthcoming to Cane Farmers
    There is also the matter of dividends owed to the workers of BSI, who possess just under seventeen percent of shares in the company. Dividends for the workers are still unpaid for the period, 2013/2014 and 2014/2015. Love News understands from a union member that the workers have decided to forego those pending payments and look forward to payments for the period 2014/2015. When Love News asked Carballo why the financial statements were not shared with the workers who are also shareholders he told us that the matter is a company issue and not one that they are willing to discuss. As it pertains to payment on bagasse, those monies will be forthcoming soon, according to Carballo. “As part of the agreement that we signed with the cane farmers associations there was provision for the payment of bagasse which starts and actually that agreement provides for retroactive payments for the 2014 crop and it provided for it to be paid 10 weeks after the signing of that agreement.

    BSI Says Presence of Labour Commissioner Wasn’t Necessary
    Carballo assured Love News that despite the absence of the Labour Commissioner, Ivan Williams, the four year agreement will be adhered to and the company workers have no need to fear. BELIZARIO CARBALLO “There is provision under the labor law that governs collective bargaining agreements, there are a number of unions across the country that signs collective bargaining agreements with managements and the same applies to this one, it is no different. Like I said our collective bargaining agreement with the BWU is a mature agreement we have had it in place for some years now and I think it is one of the very progressive CBAs that exist across the country and so the same provisions and protections that are afforded to any worker particularly under CBA arrangements apply in this case.”

    Collective Bargaining Agreement In Effect for Tower Hill Workers
    In early November 2014, a meeting was held between BSI/ASR and the Belize Workers’ Union to begin negotiations for a salary increase for the permanent workers at the Belize Sugar Industries. The Belize Workers’ Union began negotiations asking for a fifteen percent salary increment and that an agreement be signed for one year with the option of further negotiations from there as the years progress … but BSI/ASR had delayed further meetings following the initial request in November and had not met with the Orange Walk Branch of the Belize Workers’ Union again until February 2015. In that February 24, 2015 meeting, all-day discussion led to BSI agreeing to increase the factory workers’ salary by twelve point five percent and not the fifteen percent as was originally requested. In addition, rather than signing for a one year period, BSI insist that the agreement be signed for a four year period. In an interview conducted some weeks back with the BWU’s Orange Walk Branch Representative, Ramiro Gongora, the union was able to reach further points of agreement as it pertains to certain incentives for employees who work in different stressful environments and shifts. Today, less than a month after the agreement was reached, Gongora and representatives of BSI/ASR met to sign the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the terms agreed upon. Love News spoke with the Chief Finance Officer for BSI/ASR, Belizario Carballo, who explained today’s signing, how it came about and what was agreed upon.

    PUP: Party of Inclusion – Including the Old Guards
    But while the party is looking to move forward and getting over the embarrassment of the recording with John Briceno that was unleashed recently, Love News presented some of the comments coming in via social media, where supporters were suggesting and commenting that the party be rid of the old guards and that the party is taking a broken house and giving it a paint job instead of doing reconstruction work. Smith says he was not sure what was meant by ‘old heads’ and that everyone will have a chance to voice their concerns. “There is a thing called fact check. If you actually do a fact check of the People’s United Party you will find that the percentage of young persons in the People’s United Party, new faces is greater than that exists in the United Democratic Party. So the fact of the matter is that this is a party, if you do the actual check, that has gone through its various conventions and have appointed a lot of new people and they’re vigorous, they are young and they are ready to work and I don’t know what you mean by old heads but this is a party of inclusion. There are many of those among us who have been with the party for longer than some of you all have been alive and they have made a great contribution to the People’s United Party.

    PUP Goes Into Robust and Frank Self-Examination
    Smith went on to tell the media that there is a lot of work set out for the party to do and they will be wasting no time in getting it done. “The People’s United Party is wasting no time in going into its self-examination and having its robust internal frank discussion within itself in order to ready itself for the General Elections. So, discussions will continue and I don’t believe I am speaking out of turn if I say the body also agreed that we should proceed forthwith before the Easter break to a retreat with an even wider body to continue the discussion to ready ourselves to move forward.”

    Opposition Says Leadership Should Not Be Contested
    As we mentioned, Fonseca, according to his National Campaign Manager, Godfrey Smith, had the support of all members present and with that, the party will move forward with Fonseca at the head for the next general elections. “The leadership of the party comprised of the National Executive, Standard Bearers and Parliamentary Caucus discussed, debated the issue and while the view was expressed that there should be a going back to the people in a robust convention to get them ready for the General Election, to a man and woman, none of the leaders felt that there should be a leadership contest. So, it was put squarely to those people and that is the response that they gave.” Yesterday, one of the reports we were getting was that the meeting would include the revision of the resolution passed some time ago stating that the elected Area Representatives or the Party Leader cannot be challenged in a convention. One of the questions brought to the National Executive by the media was the matter of the resolutions and its constitutionality as it pertains to the PUP’s Constitution.

    PUP Holds Meeting Cementing Fonseca As Leader
    Last night we told you of the National Executive meeting for the People’s United Party that was slated for today at Independence Hall. Well, tonight, we can tell you that there are no major changes as was anticipated as the Opposition Leader, Francis Fonseca did manage to hold on to his seat. We will get further into that issue but first we hear from Godfrey Smith, the party’s National Communications Director, who explained the purpose of today’s meeting. “This morning around 10am we convened a joint meeting of the Standard Bearers of the People’s United Party, the National Executive of the People’s United Party as well as the Parliamentary Caucus of the People’s United Party. The primary purpose of the meeting was to prepare for the budget debates scheduled to begin next week Thursday and Friday, as you know. We have taken a brief break in the working session which will continue in the session afterwards to give a brief report on what transpired this morning. In the first half of the meeting the Party Leader, the Honorable Francis Fonseca, in essence laid on the table the question of his leadership and the question of a leadership convention; expressed his commitment and dedication to continuing forward to lead the PUP to the next General Election but would do so only if all members of the National Executive, all Standard Bearers and the Parliamentary Caucus freely express their view on this position. The floor was then opened and every person in the room, essentially some 38 persons, comprising those three bodies spoke and gave unanimous support for the leadership of Francis Fonseca moving forward.”

    Ambassador Nestor Mendez Elected as OAS Assistant Secretary General
    Earlier this week we told you about Ambassador Nestor Mendez and his candidacy in the election for the Assistant Secretary General for the OAS. The election was held today in Washington, USA and concluded in favor of Ambassador Mendez who garnered twenty four of the thirty four votes from the OAS Member countries. Mendez went up against Guyana’s Ambassador Bayney Karran who currently serves as the Permanent Representative of Guyana to the OAS. Mendez’ victory at the OAS is a milestone for Belize, as this is the first time that a Belizean has been elected to such a senior office in the Organization of American States. Mendez’ term is for five years and he will serve with the Foreign Minister of Uruguay, Luis Almagro, who was today voted in by acclamation as the Secretary General of the OAS.

    PlusTV

    Traffic Accident in within San Joaquin Village
    Police in the north are also investigating a traffic accident which involved 27 year old Aquilino Moh of Calcutta Village...

    Salvador Hit Salvadoran, didn’t survive
    According authorities at about 9:26 pm on Friday March 13th, Independence Police responded to a traffic accident on the Southern Highway in the Bella Vista Village, Stann Creek District...

    Fonseca Will Not Be Challenged
    In a PUP press conference on March 5th, the day after the blow out defeat in the municipal elections, the PUP party leader had stated that there needs to be a lot of self examination within the party but maintained that he is not ready to step down as the leader and that he enjoys the confidence of ...

    Proposed budget for fiscal year 2015-2016.
    As we told you earlier in our news cast the House of Representatives met today in Belmopan where the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. Dean Barrow, presented government’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2015-2016 titled “Continuing the Transformation...

    Julius: Briceño Should be Disciplined
    The People’s United party discussed and are dealing with the matter internally; that is what Party Leader Francis Fonseca told the media on Wednesday earlier this week regarding statements made by Hon John Briceno in a recording that has seen much air time...

    Will Musa Sue Briceño?
    Today the parliamentarians met at the House of Representatives to present a draft of the financial budget for this upcoming fiscal year and approve several write offs and loan motions- one of which was for US $28 million of Alba Petrocaribe aided monies...

    Patrick JonesPJ

    Businessman charged for family’s death in accident
    Nearly a year on from the fatal accident that cost the lives of his common-law wife Lissa Li and their 3-year old son, Raul III, businessman Raul Magana II was read charges of two counts of manslaughter by negligence and two counts of causing death by careless conduct. […]

    Supreme Court rules for BISL, Belize Bank
    In separate rulings issued recently, the Supreme Court advanced the case of Belize International Services Limited (BISL) against the Government of Belize over the takeover of the International Business Companies Registry (IBC) and International Merchant Marine Registry (IMMARBE) in June of 2013 and released the Belize Bank Limited […]

    CCJ hearings end in the case of Maurice Tomlinson
    The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has reserved its decision in the original jurisdiction case of Maurice Tomlinson, a Jamaican homosexual activist, who is suing Belize and Trinidad and Tobago over his right to free movement which he contends is being violated under the Treaty of Chaguaramas which […]

    PUP leaders reaffirm faith in Francis Fonseca
    The troubles of the nation’s oldest political movement have been grist for the public mill for several weeks, if not months now, as is to be expected after thumping back-to-back defeats in a by-election in a seat which it held comfortably and municipal elections which were theoretically expected […]

    Boy, 11, critical in hospital after knockdown
    11 year old Austin Olivera, Jr., of Ladyville, Belize District, is reported in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after being knocked down by a vehicle while trying to catch the bus to school in Belize City. Olivera, a student of Stella Maris School, sustained head […]

    Inmates charged for drug trafficking
    Prison officials generally do a good job of keeping cannabis out of the prison, but it does occasionally get in and today five inmates on remand for murder are being accused of possession of marijuana for distribution. 31 year old Kenrick Parham; 20 year old Khalil Ponce; 20 […]

    Tried to smuggle marijuana into Belize City
    A construction worker has been accused of attempting to bring marijuana into Belize City through the Port of Belize on Caesar Ridge Road. 35 year old Walter Jimenez of Caye Caulker, Belize District, was caught with a black bag containing 517 grams of suspected cannabis at the Port’s […]

    Resort owner charged for illegal lobster
    Lobster season is closed but authorities busted the owner of Popeye’s Resort in Caye Caulker, Belize District with lobster tails caught out of season on February 19. The case was brought to court today before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart and 61 year old Belizean-American Godfrey Cooper Smith pleaded […]

    Belizean diplomat elected to the second highest office at the OAS
    Belize’s ambassador to the United States Nestor Mendez has been elected as the next Deputy Secretary General of the Organization of American States, OAS. Ambassador Mendez was elected today to a five year term starting on May 26, 2015, replacing Albert Ramdin of Suriname. Ambassador Mendez and Guyana’s Bayney Karran […]

    History book details public spaces in San Ignacio and Santa Elena
    The Institute for Social and Cultural Research today launched a publication titled “A Walk Through El Cayo.” The 48-page paperback book gives a concise history of many of the public spaces around San Ignacio and Santa Elena or what was known in the early days of the settlement as El […]

    Blogs

    Our Trip to Belize Pt. 2
    I can’t believe it has already been two weeks since Adam, Aden and I were in Belize. The landscape was so beautiful, and the relaxation, much needed. Plus, any way I can spend more time with the family is welcome. During the first part of our trip we relaxed on the beach to truly unwind, but the country’s rich history grabbed us during a visit to the jungle. A few days into the trip we explored the Mayan ruins of Belize. The ruins have been around since about 2000 BCE and were stunning. The air was crisp, there was a waterfall, and the ruins were well preserved. We spent the entire day climbing stairs and showing Aden the faces and designs carved into the stones. It was a pretty incredible experience. Here are a few pictures from the day.

    Ambassador Moreno met with Sharon Matola at the Belize Zoo and a two-month old baby jaguar named Hero
    Hero was rescued by the Belize Zoo. Isn’t he the cutest baby jaguar ever? The Jaguar is the largest and most powerful cat in the Western Hemisphere, and the third largest of the roaring cats (Panthera). They are found throughout Belize in the lowland forests and along the coasts. Adult jaguars are solitary and only come together for a short time to breed. The size of a jaguars territory depends on food availability. In a forest such as the Cockscomb Basin, a jaguar will roam over a territory of about 20 square kilometers. Jaguars hunt mainly on the ground and mainly at night. Its food consists of everything from mice to birds to tapir. Across it's range in the Americas, the Jaguar has been known to hunt 87 species of prey, sometimes including tapirs and crocodiles! Its favorite prey items in Belize include armadillos, pacas, and peccaries. Unlike other wildcats, the Jaguars prefer to kill prey with a single bite to the skull; they posses the most powerful jaws of all the big cats.

    Pat the Cat's 17th birthday!
    TBZ sends warm, tropical well-wishes to Pat the Cat on his 17th birthday! Pat is one of the greatest success stories of our Problem Jaguar Rehabilitation Program. After repeatedly attacking cattle, Pat was saved by the Zoo for his own safety and for the safety of the community he was hunting in. After receiving much needed care and attention, the Milwaukee County Zoo "adopted" our beloved Pat. Many years later, Pat is still happy, healthy, and a proud father of 3 cubs! His story has inspired an incredible book written by children of Belize and Wisconsin USA, called "Pat the Great Cat" that was made available to Standard 4 and 4th Grade classrooms in Belize and Wisconsin respectively. Pat truly is living proof of how deep the connections between people and wildlife can go, even thousands of miles away. Happy Birthday, Pat!!

    Great things happen when we work together!
    The exciting events organized as a part of Reef Week 2015 are a perfect example of this. Reef Week 2015 was organized under the theme: "Celebrate our heritage! Protect our Future. Belief in the Reef!"

    Want To Move To Belize? 10 Things To Know
    Belize is one of the most popular getaway spot for vacationers but it makes an even more picturesque oasis to live. Before moving to Belize, you have to make sure that you do your research. Listed below are 10 things you should be aware of before you move to Belize. 1. Why Settle in Belize? 2. Decide Where You Want To Live 3. Decide Your Price Limit 4. Know Your Benefits 5. Understand The Population Of The Country Is Like A Big City 6. Be Ready To Shop Somewhere Other Than Wal-Mart 7. There is No language barriers 8. Know The Rules For Bringing Items Into The Country 9. The Currency is Very Easy 10. Friendly, welcoming people

    International Sourcesizz

    The 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season: A Below Average Number Of Storms, But An Above Average Threat For Significant In-Close Development & Impact
    The latest data, including sea surface temperatures, the long, long range forecast guidance and overall instability indicates that a below average number of tropical storms/hurricanes can be expected. Now, with that said, I have significant concerns that the warmer than average ocean water temperatures in the central Gulf of Mexico could lead to a significant to even major hurricane impact on the US Gulf Coast. Now, let’s take a closer look. The latest sea surface temperature and surface pressure forecasts from the European model reveals a pattern that supports a low amount of activity in the deep tropics and the most amount of activity in-close to the United States. The European model surface pressure map for July, August and September shows a forecast of lower than average pressures over the Pacific and northwestern South America and higher than average pressures across much of the Atlantic from the Caribbean eastward to the coast of Africa. This look of the model tells me to expect a lower than average amount of activity across much of the Main Development Region from the coast of Africa to the eastern Caribbean.

    Inside the Mayans' bone-ridden 'Midnight Terror Cave' where scientists believe children were trafficked from hundreds of miles away to be sacrificed to the gods
    An underworld network of caves in Belize may have been used to traffic Mayan children as young as six for sacrifice. Teeth discovered among the thousands of human bones lying in the so-called Midnight Terror Cave have been found to all belong to children aged between six and 14. And chemical analysis suggests they were not originally from the Cayo District, where the cave is located, meaning they may have been brought to the area en masse. Midnight Terror Cave is located to the south of Belmopan near the Mennonite Community of Springfield in the Cayo District of Belize. It was discovered in 2006 and reported to the Institute of Anthropology due to the large number of human remains found in the cave. The California State University then completed a three-year survey of the cave, which ended in 2010. Student Samantha Lorenz is part of a team of experts studying the chemical composition of these remains, including the teeth, in an attempt to learn more about who they belonged to. She told Ben Marks at Collector’s Weekly: 'No one’s from Belize, so that means we have this population of children that was brought in from somewhere else for the purpose of sacrifice.

    CHECK the label before you serve that Mac & Cheese for lunch!
    On Tuesday Kraft Foods Group announced that it is voluntarily recalling approximately 242,000 cases of it's Original flavor of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner due to "the possibility that some boxes may contain small pieces of metal." The release states: "The recalled product was shipped by Kraft to customers nationwide in the U.S. The product was also distributed to Puerto Rico and some Caribbean and South American countries -- but not to Canada." More information here.

    EXPEDITION BELIZE: Search for Botanical Treasure, Descent into the Unknown
    An historic expedition of a 425’ sinkhole located in the Chiquibul National Park of Belize may prove to reveal rare and possibly never-before-seen plants from the heart of the ancient Mayan civilization. The area’s scientific, historic, and cultural significance makes it a likely candidate for a UNESCO World Heritage site designation. Selby Gardens’ Director of Botany Bruce Holst joined an international team for the first of several planned descents into the Nohoch Ch’en Sinkhole, one of the most biologically diverse and difficult to access natural environments in Belize. The 10-day expedition marked the first step in a year-long process to gather and document botanical and ecological specimens. The sinkhole sits atop the estimated 540,000 square-foot Chiquibul Cave System, the largest in Belize and the longest in Central America. The entire region is a veritable treasure chest of botanical, geological, and archeological wonders. The area has been a recent source of political tensions and conflict with neighboring Guatemala due to trespassing activity that threatens the region - specifically habitat degradation, fire damage, illegal logging, hunting, and gold extraction.

    IMF official examines drop in oil price on PetroCaribe and the Caribbean
    A senior official of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the impact of the drop in oil prices globally will affect member countries of the PetroCaribe grouping differently even though Haiti could be among those most affected. Adrienne Cheasty, the Deputy Director in the Western Hemisphere Department of the IMF, said if PetroCaribe were to cease, the impact would differ across member countries. “Governments receiving large flows and without alternative financing sources, like in Nicaragua and Haiti, would be most affected, although less so than they would have been in a world of higher oil prices.” She said governments that have built buffers, like Guyana, or that have alternative financing sources, like the Dominican Republic and Jamaica should be affected less. “Belize would be particularly affected as the lower oil prices negatively impact the value of its exports of crude oil,” Cheasty said, noting that so far, Venezuela has assured PetroCaribe members that the aid will continue.

    Videos

  • Scouting Belize for an Off-Road event, 5min.

  • 2011 Belize Altun Ha, 5min.

  • 2011 Belize Hairbreading, 1.5min.

  • Belize!, 3.5min.

  • A visit from the Hon. Patrick Faber - School Children's Promise for a Violence Free Belize, 3min.

  • OYE TOPIC: BELIZE'S OFFSHORE THROUGH EYES OF CHILDREN, 16min.

  • OYE: YOUNG WOMEN MAKING THEIR MAKE IN BELIZE PART 1, 26min.

  • OYE: YOUNG WOMEN MAKING THEIR MAKE IN BELIZE PART 2, 32min.

  • Snorkeling in Belize - 2015, 4min. Some footage I shot while snorkeling the reefs off the coast of Belize this March (2015). I went down as part of a research trip/field course with the University of New Brunswick, and had the time of my life. Sorry for the shakiness of some of the shots, it was harder to keep it steady while swimming than I anticipated. Some of the species shown in the video: french grunt, blue striped grunt, black hamlet, southern stingray, lionfish, upside-down jellyfish, bottlenose dolphin, nurse shark, blue tang, stoplight parrotfish, queen parrotfish, cowfish, slippery dick, sergeant major, grey angelfish, four eyed butterfly fish, and triggerfish (they are in no chronological order here, and I'm sure I missed a few).

  • belize city 300, 2.5min. A short tour of Belize city

  • Belize Mission Trip, 7min.

  • Belize Fishing, 2min.

  • Playing in the Jungle in Belize, 3min. We went on the DTOURZ Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve Tour AGAIN! Just as good as the first time, if not better! Definitely a must for anyone travelling to Placencia. Hiking, eating, tubing, sliding and chilling in a waterfall? Sounds like the perfect day for the Tejanis.

    March 18, 2015


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    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

    The artful eats of Caribbean Colors Art Cafe
    Caye Caulker has so much to offer, including delicious eats! I got to enjoy Caribbean Colors Art Café’s bounty on my last visit, and let me tell you, it was so good! The Art Gallery/ Café certainly takes the phrase ‘food is art’ to heart – much as artists devotes time and patience to perfecting their craft, so do Lee and her sous chefs in their cozy island kitchen. Located in the heart of the island, and decorated with colorful pieces by owner Lee Vanderwalker herself, Caribbean Colors specialize in fresh and natural cuisine. Even so, with all the great eats I had, I’m already looking forward to my next trip to Caye Caulker. I have got to try some of the other dishes on the menu- maybe the spicy shrimp salad?! If you want to give Caribbean Colors Art Café a try, they are located on Avenida Hicaco, and are open from Monday to Sunday from 6:30AM to 8PM. They are closed on Thursday, when the fabulous geniuses ‘cook up’ more treats ideas to tempt our taste buds!

    Minister Heredia and Mayor Guerrero receive death threats
    At the Swearing in Ceremony of the recently elected town council members on Monday March 16th, the Minister made reference to the safety of the Mayor and himself and indicated that they will not give in to any threats made against them. “We are making sure that our community can be safe and our community can sleep well, because we deserve it. It doesn’t matter how many threats I or the Mayor will get, we will continue to work for you all. If we have to die for you all, we will do so,” stated Heredia in his remarks. Since Thursday March 12th, a fully armed team of police officers and at various intervals, members of the Belize Defense Force, have been seen escorting Minister Heredia around town. That immediately called the attention of the local residents since the veteran politician is known to move around town freely and unescorted throughout his political career. A visible presence of law enforcement officers have also been seen at functions attended by Mayor Guerrero.

    SPHS and SPACE host 2015 Business Fair
    On Saturday, March 14th, San Pedro High School (SPHS) and San Pedro Adult Continuing Education (SPACE) held a joint Business Fair at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. The annual fair showcases students’ entrepreneurial skills learned throughout the year. The junior and senior students of each institution were tasked to develop a business venture that can be profitable in San Pedro. The students developed innovative products and services that are not commonly seen in San Pedro, and, and elaborate booths were set up to promote the product/ service offered. In order to prove the business’ profitability in the economy, each group developed a profit/ loss analysis. The students also had to identify a location for the business, means of securing capital, marketing strategies and prepare a business plan. The students definitely let their creativity flow in their projects which were all very unique.

    Ambergris Today

    Pic of the Week- Hermit Crab Parties in a Bottle of Belikin
    Well we would not necessarily call it partying, because we see here that this hermit crab decided to make this broken bottle of Belikin Beer its home. As humans invade the natural habitats of these and many wild creatures, they tend to ‘adapt’ to their new environment. It’s just very funny how this hermit crap feels right at home in this ingenious ‘shell’. - Photo taken by Ivan Guemez at Rojo Beach Bar

    San Pedro Town Council Announces Councilor Portfolios
    In a short ceremony to officially swear in the new members of the San Pedro Town Council, the announcement was made of the different portfolios each of the councilors, deputy mayor and mayor would carry and be responsible off. The swearing-in ceremony took place at Central Park on Monday, March 16, 2015, where each councilor reiterated their dedication to the town of San Pedro and promised to work hard in the betterment for life on La Isla Bonita. Below are the portfolios of each member of the San Pedro Town Council:

    Oceana Confirms Deep Water Submersible Damaged Reef off Ambergris Caye
    Based on requests from residents of Ambergris Caye and the media for more information about the grounding of a deep water submersible on the Belize Barrier Reef, on Friday, March 13th 2015, Oceana Belize and personnel from the Hol Chan Marine Reserve conducted a site assessment of the incident.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FOUR MARKET STUDIES IN THE CARIBBEAN
    nadian Hunger Foundation (CHF) is currently implementing a project in the Caribbean called Promotion of Regional Opportunities for Produce through Enterprises and Linkages (PROPEL) project. Funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) and CHF, the aim is to increase the value of Caribbean fresh produce accessing high-value markets (HVM) in the Caribbean and internationally by CAD100 million 6 over six years. CHF is requesting proposals from consultants to undertake four market studies: Barbados; OECS; Suriname; and Belize. The methodology for each study is similar, in order for PROPEL to analyze information across all studies. Individual Terms of Reference (ToR) for each have been prepared and are posted on the CHF website. DEADLINE: MARCH 22, 2015

    Belize Special Olympics Athletes to Participate in the Special Olympics World Games 2015 in Los Angeles
    Members of the Belize Special Olympics team will be travelling from Belize to participate in the Special Olympics Games of 2015 to be held in Los Angeles from July 25 – August 2, 2015. The four (4) Belizean athletes who will be participating in the sport of Bocce are, Jasmine Flores, Anna Emmanuel, Jayna Locke and Llda Romero. Heading up the delegation is Elodia Bautista along with Assistant Head of Delegation, Dr. Nelson Marin and Head Coach Kady Kerr.

    "The Golden Age" photographic exhibition
    In celebration of Women's month, the San Pedro House of Culture invites you to join us on March 26th for the opening of "The Golden Age" photographic exhibition as we honour the senior citizens of San Pedro. Highlighting the work of Photographer Karen Brodie.

    ABC Pre School Easter Show
    ABC Pre School Presents Easter Presentation Show! Fun for the entire family.

    Home Grown Fiery Sensation
    Caribbean islands are known for having a harmless but heated rivalry over the production of hot sauce. The diverse condiment, often called pepper sauce, can range from a chutney-like mash to a smooth, liquid fire, depending on each island’s tastes and traditions. In Belize, Marie Sharp is synonymous with the fiery sauce, and with over 30 years in business, she is considered a homegrown sensation. Before starting her company, Marie worked as an executive within the financial sector. In her spare time, she grew and sold peppers from her farm to a local distributor. However, what started as a hobby, quickly blossomed into something more.

    Women in Art Exhibition
    This is a wonderful exhibition at Bliss. These amazing art works are done by women. Do not miss it ~~

    Maya Day 2015
    The Spectacular Deer Dance, San Jose Nuevo Palmar and Yo Creek Dance Group Banquitas House of Culture (NICH), The Chitik Tzul Ta'q'a'a Dance Group, Maya Competitions and Most of all " Special Recognition to the only Living Music King Mr. Florencio Mes and his Harp." See you there.

    Cindey Rivero wins award in accordance with International Women's Month!
    The Orange Walk East Upliftment Committee would like to recognize Ms. Cindey Rivero. She holds an associate’s Degree in Biology and Environmental Science from Muffles Junior College. Cindey’s academic life prepared her to face the challenges of the world around her. Her first formal job was as Assistant Coordinator at Banquitas House of Culture (NICH). A very intuitive yet clear-minded young lady Cindey’s winning charm and genuine smile reflects her open heart and engaging personality. She exudes undoubted honesty, integrity, confidentiality and good work ethics, promoting respect for race and diversity not only in her capacity at the House of Culture but everywhere she goes. Her very cheerful demeanor attracts positive results and everyone around her agrees. Just ask them.

    Laboratory raising of at risk macaw chicks
    FCD’s research team undertaking training on laboratory raising of at risk macaw chicks. Thanks to the Forest Department support, and with training from the Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic we are prepared for this new venture, pending funding.

    Channel 7

    Raul Magana Jr Charged For Causing Traffic Fatality of Wife & Child
    On April 28, 2014 - Raul Magana Jr was behind the wheel when the Toyota Prado he was driving ran off the Phillip Goldson Highway at mile 27 and flipped. The accident killed both passengers who were his infant son and his wife. And while living with the grief of that loss might seem to be punishment enough - today Magana got more heaped upon him when he was charged with 2 counts of manslaughter by negligence, 1 for the death of his wife, 28 year-old Lissa Li, and the other for the death of his 3 year-old son, Raul Lee Magana. He was also charged with 2 counts of causing death by careless conduct, and he was arraigned on all 4 of these charges in the Magistrate's Court. He was pleaded not guilty, and was granted bail of $1,500, which he was able to meet. He and his attorney spoke with reporters outside of court about the decision by police to charge him at this time: Bryan Neal - Attorney for Raul Magana Jr. "This morning Raul Magana was charged with the death of his wife and his son, which occurred on April 28, 2014 almost a year after the incident. I don't know what lead the police so much time to bring these charges now, but it seems that in this country now, we are losing way, we are losing our heart and our soul. If the father of the victims of this accident is now face in the criminal courts and face prison time - It's a very sad day in Belize."

    Child Critical After Airport Junction Knock Down
    Many times on this newscast, we've reported on the very dangerous intersection at the airport junction. It's at mile eight on the Phillip Goldson Highway and it's been the site of countless accidents. This morning at 8:20 am - a small boy was the latest victim. 11 year old Stella Maris Student Austin Olivera - is in the KHMH in a critical condition tonight after he was knocked down while trying to catch a bus. Courtney Weatherburne was on the scene shortly after the accident:.. Courtney Weatherburne reporting It's another chaotic morning at the heavily trafficked airport junction in Ladyville. Vehicles speeding by and darting in and out from different directions. That hustle may have led to this morning's accident where 11 year old Austin was run over by a van at this junction.

    More Pain For PUP: Harrison Puts On A Hurting
    Richard Harrison - just 75 days ago he was a national candidate for the PUP, the subjects of ads on this newscast, and glowing endorsements from his party leader Francis Fonseca. But in quick time after his historic defeat he has faded into obscurity; Harrison disappeared from public view before the votes were finished counting in the Cayo North bye-election. But he has re-appeared quite suddenly with a searing political commentary called "A Post Election View From Under The Bus." It appeared last night on the Breaking Belize News website out of Cayo. Harrison starts by saying that the party leadership, quote "threw him under the bus" when it endorsed his replacement Michel Chebat without his knowledge. Harrison takes this as an affront after all he gave in the failed bye-election effort and he concludes, angrily, quote: "This is the kind of rogue dictatorship that a party which voluntarily suspends its own constitution will provide for...taking away the right of its supporters... to democratically choose their representatives in free, open and fair intra-party conventions."

    Getting the Climate Change Message Out To The Community
    For the past few years, climate change has become a hot-button subject at both the policy and people level. It's a very serious issue, especially for any investment in infrastructure, because the effects of climate change can, for example, cause a newly upgraded street or highway to break up or become inundated, forcing early obsolescence. But, is it being taken seriously at the community level? That's exactly the target audience that the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development are hoping to reach with their latest project. It's called the Belize Marine Conservation and Climate Adaptation Project or MCCAP for short, and it has a budget of US 5.53 million dollars, which is an approved grant by the World Bank. The project seeks to strengthen the Belize Barrier Reef System's resilience to climate change by targeting conservation efforts at the Corozal Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, The Turneffe Marine Reserve, and Southwater Caye Marine Reserve. Of course, there are communities, such as Corozal Town in the north and Placencia Village in the south, that live near these reserves, and a major part of the program is to engage and educate persons like the fishermen who operate near these protected areas, and to reduce their dependence on that type of livelihood.

    What's Next For The Termaji?
    The MCCAP project should have measurable effects on the barrier reef in the next 3 years, but what about right now? What's happening with that 40-foot French sailboat, "Termaji" stuck on the reef in front of Caye Caulker? Well, it's been there from since December 30, and it still has not been moved. It is believed that the French National who owned the boat has already left the country, but the damage caused to the reef cannot be assessed, and the natural rehabilitation cannot begin. It's now over 2 months that the vessel has been there, and when we asked about it today, Ministry CEO Adele Catzim-Sanchez told us it will be on the reef at least a while longer. Here's how she explained why:

    GOB Will Have To Move Submersible Stuck On Reef
    There's that vessel grounding that the Ministry has to deal with, but what about the submersible which was found grounded on the reef 6 miles north of San Pedro? It was found last week, and OCEANA Belize has done an investigation which reveals that the vessel is a Quantum-9, deep-water submersible, believed to have been contracted to an oil company which does research and exploration for gas and oil companies. It was reported "lost" in Trinidad and Tobago in November 2014, but it has found it's way on the Belizean Barrier Reef, and the conservationists say that it must be removed as soon as possible. We asked CEO Adele Catzim-Sanchez about it today, and she told us that Ministry officials have already been approved to take emergency actions:

    Ambassador Mendez Goes For OAS Asst. SG Tomorrow
    Belize's Permanent Representative to the OAS - Ambassador Nestor Mendez is tonight preparing for one of the biggest days of his life as a career diplomat: he's seeking to become the OAS Assistant Secretary General in elections which will be held tomorrow. It is one of only two elected posts inside the OAS - and he is the first Belizean seeking such high office. He is going up against his Guyanaese counterpart, Bayney Karran, Tonight, we spoke via telephone with Mendez from Washington where he told us he is optimistic about the support he has been promised by different member states but that there are no sure things, and it won't be over until the last vote is counted. The election for Assistant Secretary General takes place at 2:00 tomorrow afternoon and it will be streamed live on the OAS website. We'll have the result in tomorrow's newscast.

    How To Export To The US - It's Not Easy
    There are many opportunities for small businesses in Belize to sell their products in the US - but only a few of those opportunities are epxloited. Today Beltraide held a "How to Export to the US" workshop at the Radisson to educate entrepreneurs on the trade regulations and requirements to get into the US market. It is not an easy task though, according to Trade Counselor Bernard Geenen, you need to meet the right investors and producers and you need to be willing to invest a lot of cash. Geenen explains why exporting to the US is not for everyone. Bernard Geenen, Trade Counselor, Embassy of Belgium "We've invited small and medium sized companies, of course the big ones don't need us. What we try to brush is a large portrait of the US market; what it takes to enter the market, to try to penetrate it in an efficient way, not waste any time or money and at the end of the day, hopefully the companies will be able to evaluate and ready for the US market or the US market is for me or not, based on the information we are giving.

    32 Year Old Security Guard Died On Duty
    Early this morning at the Ready Call compound - a security guard dropped dead. Evan Emrick Nolberto wa sonly 32 years old - and so there was some question as to whether foul play was involved. Polcie told us what they found and why they don't think it's foul play:.. Insp. Frederick Gordon - Rural Executive Officer "This morning sometime about 5:40am, Ladyville police received information that a security guard was seen motionless inside the Ready Call compound by the Boom junction, whereby the police responded to the area, where we saw the body of a male security, later on identified to be one Evan Nolberto. He was seen motionless. His body was removed and transported to the Karl Heusner, where we await a post-mortem. Police do not suspect foul play at this time."

    Ladyville Shooters Charged
    Last night, we told you about the men who were charged for the shooting of 29 year-old Ladyville resident Kenroy Arnold. Well tonight, 30 year-old Alrick Smith, seen here on the left, and 29 year-old Ronald Michael, the man on the right, are at the Belize Central Prison after being taken to court today. They were both arraigned today before Magistrate Herbert Panton, where Michael was read charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm, and use of deadly means of harm. Both men were read the charge of conspiracy to commit murder, and due to the nature of the offences, they couldn't be granted bail. They were remanded into custody until April 28.

    Fantasy Five By Quick Pick
    As we told you on Friday, someone won the over $200,000 prize from Fantasy 5. Well, today winner Nohemy Villafuerte went to claim her prize. Nohemy is originally from Honduras and has lived in Belize for about 19 years. The Coney Drive resident told us today that she was going to buy her usual numbers at the Moon Grocery Store on Coney drive but got discouraged because of the long line, so she settled for a quick pick ticket. And that turned out to be the lucky one! Nohemy told us today what she plans on doing with the money. Nohemy VillaFuerte (translated) "And the plan is well to get out of our debt and buy our house, God willing …and save and fix up my mother's house. After we pay off our debt and buy our house we will save the rest and continue with the lifestyle we always had."

    Former KKK Wizard To San Pedro Resort Owner Says He's Still Segregationist
    Over a year ago, in January of 2014, we told you about Bill Wilkinson, the American resort owner on San Pedro who was a former Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan. Wilkinson headed the Invisible Empire, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan from 1975 to 1983 and is the owner of the Seven Seas Resort on San Pedro. When we found out who he was we called him at his resort and he said all that KKK stuff was, quote, a "bunch of baloney." But that's not what he told a British newspaper who came to Belize prying into his past. The Daily Mail Online got Wilkinson to break his 30-year silence - and he gave them a revealing interview in which he said he is still a segregationist: He is quoted as telling the newspaper, quote, "'I don't hate blacks...Ain't that something?'" He added that, quote, 'I have not changed. I wouldn't let one marry my children or my grandchildren.'

    Not Just Crafts, But Culture For Cruise Visitors
    As tourists exit the terminal gates at the tourist village, they are bombarded by vendors trying to sell them handicrafts or get them to sit down for a braid. Now, tourists will have "something else" to look forward to when they arrive in Belize and that's the Cohune Walk Festival at the Memorial Park. It has been in its pilot stage for about 2 weeks but it is just the first phase of a festival tourism project. When we passed by today, the music was booming and the dancers were jamming to the beat but there were no tourists around. Organizer of the festival James Sanker told us they will start pouring in when it's officially launched. James Sanker, Manager, Belize Music Agency "It's a cohune walk festival. It's a festival geared towards the cruise tourism market. It's part of a festival tourism project and the project is starting with this particular festival and this festival will happen every day when the cruise ships comes. It will give everybody that comes to our shores a snapshot of our culture, our varied cultures that we have, so there are dances and performances from all our cultures. For a long time our culture wasn't being displayed as part of our cultural mix and so Belize Music Agency, MIAB and some of the other music organizations, said this is the time that we should embrace the whole tourism structure and start to infuse our culture and our music and our arts and crafts into the tourism."

    Councilor Dean Does Deputy Mayor
    He won a fourth term in City Hall - and Belize City Councilor Dean Samuels has been rewarded for his seniority by being elected Deputy Mayor from amongst his councilor colleagues. He last served as Deputy Mayor previously under former Mayor Zenaida Moya. We are told that there was no jostling for the post and he had unanimous support. That's likely because the ambitious councilors who would replace Darrell Bradley when he may leave city hall to seek higher office are waiting at least a year before they position themselves in the number two spot.

    The St. Patrick stride On Albert Street
    When many of you think about St. Patrick the first thing that comes to mind is a leprechaun - the short guy dressed in green. That's certainly what some Belizeans were calling Canadian Kevin Lucitt when he walked down Albert Street in his green suit today. Although he doesn't quite fit that description - he told us why he is dressed in all green today and what it means for his heritage. Kevin was here for a 1 day trip and left on the cruise ship back to Canada.

    Channel 5

    11 year old Stella Maris Student Knocked Down In Ladyville, Remains Comatose at K.H.M.H.
    A young boy lies in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital tonight. The eleven year old student of the Stella Maris School was hit by a vehicle this [...]

    Killer Bees Swarm Cotton Tree, Dogs Stung to Death
    And on the George Price Highway, residents of the quiet community of Cotton Tree just outside of Belmopan were panicked by a swarm of bees which quickly killed several dogs [...]

    Supreme Court Rules in Favor of BISL, Legal Challenge Set for July
    Two decisions were recently delivered by the Supreme Court. In the first case, the Supreme Court once again ruled in favor of Belize International Services Limited which was appropriated by [...]

    Belize Bank Victorious in Court Against G.O.B.
    In another matter recently before the Supreme Court, Justice Courtney Abel also ruled in favor of the Belize Bank.  He struck out a section of the Income Tax and Business [...]

    Do you think the government will call early elections?
    And our question for tonight is: Do you think the government will call early elections? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote [...]

    Raul Magana Jr. Charged with Manslaughter in Death of Wife and Child
    Thirty year old businessman, Raul Magana Junior on April twentieth, 2014, allegedly experienced a tire blow out that caused his vehicle to overturn on the Phillip Goldson Highway between Miles [...]

    Acting Immigration Director Maria Marin Testifies in Tomlinson’s CCJ Case
    Gay rights activist Maurice Tomlinson, who is challenging the existing immigration laws of Belize and Trinidad & Tobago, was back before the Caribbean Court of Justice today.  Tomlinson is suing [...]

    Nestor Mendez Bids for Post of O.A.S. Deputy Secretary General
    This Wednesday, at the Organization of American States in Washington, Ambassador Nestor Mendez will be vying for election to the position of Deputy Secretary General of the O.A.S.  Guyana is [...]

    Judiciary to Receive Small Slice of 2015 Budget
    In two weeks the Opposition will go to the House to debate the Prime Minister’s budget for 2015-2016. It’s a complex document, at least to the layman, but it’s important [...]

    Is Unprecedented Spending on Short-term Jobs a Good Thing?
    Over the next few weeks we’ll be taking a closer look at the budget, but one area demands immediate attention. It’s difficult to ignore the scope of the infrastructure works [...]

    Former Cayo North Standard Bearer Airs Out P.U.P.
    The People’s United Party National Executive has been convened to independence hall this Wednesday, a week after it last met. All day today, there have purportedly been reports that the [...]

    Fisheries C.E.O. on Vessel Grounding on Reef
    A French captain back on December thirty-first, 2014 crashed his thirty-five-foot steel hull vessel into the reef near some coral rubble when he missed the channel near Caye Caulker. Since [...]

    Will Charges Be Brought Against Boat Captain Whose Vessel Ran Aground on Reef?
    As to the French national who captained the vessel, he has not been seen or heard from since. So will there be any charges laid against him for the damage [...]

    D.O.E. to Investigate Grounded Submersible
    It’s been almost a week since a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) reported “lost” in Trinidad and Tobago in November 2014. The submersible was found last Wednesday in the waters [...]

    Marine Conservation and Climate Change Adaptation Project Launched in Belize
    A community-based project that looks at the impact of climate change on the ecosystem from a development standpoint was launched today by the Fisheries Department. The marine Conservation and Climate [...]

    YWCA Celebrates 59 Years in Belize
    The YWCA is celebrating a milestone in Belize- its fifty-ninth anniversary. Fulfilling a threefold mission since it started, the Belize Chapter of the Y offers instructional and training programmes that [...]

    Vehicle Vendors Up In Arms in Sugar City
    Vehicle vendors in Orange Walk are up in arms after the Orange Walk Town Council moved forcefully to remove them from where they are parked near the Central Park. It’s [...]

    Cancer Society Receives Grant Funding from Abroad
    The Belize Cancer Society is the recipient of a nine thousand five hundred U.S. dollar grant that was awarded by the Healthy Caribbean Coalition with funding from the American Cancer [...]

    CTV3

    Suppliers Of Maya Cement Hold Protest At The Northern Border
    This morning at the Belizean side of the border, about 20 distributers and truck drivers of Maya Cement to Belize from Chetumal halted operations and demanded to speak with their Mexican employer. Their gripe? From what we have been able to gather from one of the persons directly affected, they have been buying Maya Cement from their Mexican Counterparts to sell in Belize but a sharp increase in price and method of loading implemented recently have caused a major decrease in profits. Some of the drivers and suppliers we spoke to stated that they are hardly making their ends meet, and for such reason they have written electronically to the Mexican agency to come up with a compromise. We spoke via telephone to a businessman who requested his identity withheld.

    Police Indicates No Foul Play On Trapps Death
    Tonight Corozal Police has determined that 79 year old Belizean unemployed of Libertad Village Corozal District, George Trapp, died as a result of Massive Cardio Pulmonary Thrombosis due to Chronic Fibrosis obstructive lung disease. While many speculated that Trapp was murdered from yesterday Corozal Police indicated that no foul play was suspected and that suspicion was made concrete by an autopsy performed yesterday on Trapp’s body. Trapp’s body was discovered on Saturday afternoon about 50 feet behind his house beside some bushes.

    Fish Kill In Orange Walk
    Fish begin to float on the New River. This phenomenon has been happening for years and there have been assumption that the cause may be as a result of some sort of chemical deposited into the river by a company along the river bank. It happens usually in and around the Easter season and people report seeing dead fish floating in the river and being washed to the river bank. Today, we got a call from San Estevan Village where we were told fishes are dying. We visited the area but by the time we got there, there was not much to see. Still, upon closer inspection and after we visited at least three different areas along the river that have been cleared, we came across at least ten fishes, big and small washed up to the river bank. It is a worrisome situation. One, despite the yearly occurrence, the cause has not been ascertained and two, persons living in communities along the river bank pick the fishes for their consumption, oblivious to the health dangers that may come with it.

    Family Experiences Dispute Over Land Grab
    A couple in San Jose Village are in the middle of a land dispute and they claim that politics is at the center of their plight. Sebastaiana Escalante visited out studio today to file a complaint in which she says that the land on which she and her husband Carmelo Escalante have lived on for over 20 years is being taken away by other family members. The couple has decided to fight their rights to the land and have taken necessary procedures to contest the rights to the property. However, Escalante claims that the family has been at the losing end thanks to politics. She first explained how they acquired the land. “Hace 21 ano nos casamos yo y Carmelo y no teníamos casa donde vivir, yo quedaba en una casa de un tio, entonces cuando dio un tiempo mi suegro nos fue a buscar a San Pablo diciéndonos que él quiere que compremos una casa que está a lado de su casa de él, entonces mi esposo le dijo que no tenemos dinero, entonces el mismo se ofreció a llevarnos a Belize Bank a prestar para comprar la casa que es de si hermano Graciano Escalante...

    LOVE FM

    Bradley Addresses Manifesto for 2015-2018 and Speaks on Previous Term in Office
    As we mentioned earlier, Mayor Darrell Bradley has begun his second consecutive term in office at City Hall. His first and recent term saw an abundance of infrastructural works being done across the city. Today we asked Bradley if he had managed to live up to the commitments in the last manifesto and what his priorities for this new term will be. “Well the manifesto for the last cycle, this would have been from 2012 to 2015 focused a lot on the interest of infrastructure and governance. Those are two of the key areas where there is a lot of specific tangible deliverable that are mentioned in the manifesto and many of those things were accomplished. I would say that we’ve accomplished about ninety percent of what’s contained in that manifesto. The manifesto in terms of areas of the major areas that they talked about are things that we have kept true to. We talk a lot also about e-governance, we did the driver’s license online. We’re going to launch very shortly in the next couple of weeks that you can pay property taxes online, that will be a huge benefit for people who live abroad so that you don’t have to send your money to Belize or you don’t have to come in to Belize to make any kinds of payments so that we’re doing a lot more things with e-governance.”

    From Deplorable to Comfortable; Elderly Women Receives Assistance
    Last week we brought to you the story of a 69-year-old woman, Doris Lynch Flowers and the deplorable conditions she was living under on Victoria Street in Belize City. Immediate assistance was rendered to her after we spoke with UDP’s Standard Bearer for the Fort George Division, Roger Espejo and today, we went to see what progress had been made. According to Miss Doris, she is relieved and happy with the assistance given. “It is okay, it is alright the apartment is a bit small but it holds my things but I am glad that the big rain that came other day didn’t meet me in my old house or else I would have been washed away but this one I didn’t get wet in here. It doesn’t have a lot of things in there but I didn’t get wet here. My family sent money for me, a little bit and that worked. When I don’t have any usually my friends support me. I am just 69 I don’t think I belong in Help Age all those old ladies will get me crazy if I go there.” According to Espejo this plan is a six-month plan and during that time a more long term arrangement will be made.

    MCCAP Project Implemented in Three Target Areas
    The Belize Marine Conservation and Climate Adaptation Project was launched today at the best Western Biltmore Hotel in Belize City. The grant was issued to the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development in collaboration with the World Bank and it is valued at five point five three millions US dollars. The project will be focused on the Belize Barrier Reef System and will be implemented in three target area. Love News was at the launched and we spoke to the CEO in the Ministry, Adele Catzim-Sanchez and the Project Coordinator, Sandra Grant. “What we are trying to do is trying to ensure that our marine protected areas are sustainable so we will put a lot of effort into strengthening our marine protected areas and also to encourage alternative livelihoods and to financially support these livelihoods initially and hope that they will be sustainable over time. We are going to look at the marine protected areas but at the same time we are going to start the livelihood activities because sometimes if you don’t show people the alternatives they will not buy into what you are trying to do. So although it is three different components it is going to be done all together simultaneously. We are going to be focusing on three major protected areas, three sites, the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, the Turneffe Atoll Marine reserve and the Corozal Bay Wildlife sanctuary so we will only focus on three because we still have a lot more marine protected areas a lot of areas in the south with TIDE but we are going to focus on the Northern and Central.”

    Mother Seeks Assistance to Receive Justice For Her Son
    Yesterday, you heard the Officer Commanding Ladyville Police, Inspector Fredrick Gordon; speak of 18 year old Otto Palma. Palma is the young man who was found hanging inside a cell at the Ladyville Police Station. Palma’s mother, Lorna Bardalez, believes that police officers killed her son and after hearing the comments made by Gordon in last night’s newscast, his thoughts are still the same. Bardalez showed us a picture of her dead son in which it appears that he was hit to the mouth. She is calling for a proper and intensive investigation on the matter. “Well when my son went in the Wednesday he didn’t have any marks on his lip, no kind of mark. I explained that to Mr. Grinage this afternoon and he said that it could be from where he bit down and his teeth busted his lip from where he was hanging himself, that is what they are saying. He is still saying that no one beat him in the cell and on my behalf I am saying that they did beat him. He told me that if I am not satisfied when he is finished talking to me that I can go to the ombudsman. I am trying to gather the funds to get a lawyer and I need $1500 to re-open my sons case. They are saying that this case is continuing by their investigations because if the case is being investigated how haven’t they come to tell me anything. I am the one who has to go to them to find out about my son when my son died in their hands.”

    PUP Arrange Special Meeting to Revisit Their Resolution
    The People’s United Party, Belize’s main opposition took a beating at the municipal polls about two weeks ago. That loss came on the heels of losing the Cayo North seat in the House of Representatives following the resignation of the former Area Representative, Joseph Mahmud which in-turn led to a bi-election in early January. In an interview conducted with the Party Leader, Francis Fonseca, just after the bi-election, he made a confident statement saying that due to the lack in funds and the short time given to campaign in the Cayo North division but that they would come hard with sufficient funding for the municipal elections and that they would gain some seats around the country. Well …. The elections came and went and that victory never happened. As a matter of fact, of the sixty seven seats they were vying for, they only gained six.

    Mayor Bradley Addresses Belize City Council Financial Status
    While the idea of revenues coming in from a toll booth is one that is currently being explored, Love News spoke to Mayor Bradley on the current financial status of the Belize City Council as he begins his new term. According to Bradley, the municipal bond that was floated was paid last December and there are currently investors who are willing to re-invest in order to continue the works of the City Council. “The municipal bond was structured in the way it was structured in tranches so we had a two year tranche, a five year tranche and a ten year tranche and its going to be paid back at those cycles; two years, five years, ten years. The two year tranche expired on the 24 of December last year so we’ve already paid back that first tranche of the municipal bond. WE only have the five years and ten years to be paid back. Every single two years you can roll it over. We haven’t rolled over the first money that we paid off, we’ve had interests in rolling it over. We have institutional investors who are still calling us to ask, they want to buy more bonds because it is a good investment and we paid it back so that if you were able to do that and we have been able to do the sinking fund to meet their repayment capabilities so that the sinking fund has a surplus.

    Bradley Speaks on Ways to Generate Revenue and Eliminate Property Tax
    In the last term under the stewardship of Mayor Darrell Bradley, there was an increase in the collection of property taxes and trade licenses after the Belize City Council put into place, a system that restricts those in arrears from accessing any services from the council, including driver’s licenses, vehicle licenses, among others. It was a system that brought on complaints and inconveniences from various corners but one that turned out beneficial for the council and its revenue stream. As Mayor Darrell Bradley begins his second consecutive term in office, he told Love News that he is toying with the idea of setting up a toll booth at the entrance of Belize City that may just lead to the elimination of property taxes as it would generate substantial revenue for the old capital. “One of the things that we’ve put out there by way of revenue generation is the toll of the Northern Highway. We did a study and in twenty five years that toll will make ninety five million dollars. If we do that toll we can cancel property taxes and we can fund trade license because that toll will fund the city. The toll is so much in terms of revenue generation so that where you see municipalities going in the future is that they are going towards user fees. You’re trying to go less emphasis on property taxes, trade license and if you use a service, if you drive on the road then you pay the fee, if you use parking then you pay the fee so that tends to be more equitable, that tends to be more of a predictable source of revenue because we know that the amount of vehicles.

    Minor Involve in Ladyville Road Accident
    An 11-year-old student, Austin Olivia, of the Stella Maris Primary School in Belize City was knocked down just after eight o’clock this morning. The incident occurred in Ladyville Village at the junction of the Philip Goldson International Airport, just across from the Skyy City Supermarket on the Philip Goldson Highway. Love News spoke to two eyewitnesses, who says that the child seemed seriously injured. DEBORAH GRINAGE “When I was at the bus stop I heard another little boy from Stella Maris asking about the boy so by the time I got here I saw the little boy coming so I was watching him until he started crossing the street. When he started crossing the street I took my eyes of him because I was doing something then I heard the bang. When I turned around I saw the little boy land there and then the vehicle ran over him and the little boy rolled on the side of the road then the man stopped there and he came out and some people from over there started shouting not to touch him, so I just stood here and I watched the little boy and them some guys from the cable place took him and put him in a pickup truck and took him to BATSUB.”

    Amandala

    Dangriga and PG voters “win” in 2015-2016 budget
    Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow presented his 8th budget to Parliament a little after 11:00 this morning in a budget presentation that was intentionally the shortest of his administration, delegating much of the economic data and information to annexes presented with the published version of his budget speech. In a proposal that called for no new taxes, Barrow connected the national budget proposal with his administration’s “transformation” agenda – a central theme upon which his party, the ruling United Democratic Party, campaigned in the run-up to the municipal elections held 9 days ago. At the conclusion of last week’s municipal election vote, the UDP had garnered 62 of 67 seats nationally, leaving the PUP with only 5 in Orange Walk Town. “That victory, in turn, represents a massive reaffirmation of confidence in the programs, policies and economic and political stewardship of this administration. In that context, it is a joy to bring to the House and the nation a 2015/2016 budget that will ultimately be the implementation vehicle for those now imperishably popular national watchwords: the transformation continues!” Barrow said.

    “Paddlers with a Purpose” donates $10,000 to Dara’s Feeding Program
    Funds which were solicited through the efforts of a trio of philanthropic high-school students who took part in the 2015 Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge were today donated to a well-known feeding program that benefits over 40 underprivileged primary school students in Belize City. Despite a lack of experience and limited preparation, the team of ambitious amateur paddlers daringly set out to compete in the grueling 175-mile yearly race, which started on the banks of the Macal River in San Ignacio Town, Cayo, last Friday, March 6, and ended at the Belcan Bridge in Belize City on March 9. While most teams entered the popular 4-day canoe race to battle for the prizes and bragging rights, the mission of the “Paddlers with a Purpose” – as they were dubbed – was to garner much-needed financial assistance to aid Joel “Dara” Robinson in his battle against the starvation that is pervasive amongst schoolchildren in his community.

    Fonseca dares Barrow to “put up or shut up”
    The main business item on the agenda for today’s House meeting was the presentation of the proposed national budget for the fiscal year 2015 to 2016, but before that budget presentation got underway, Prime Minister and leader of the ruling United Democratic Party, Dean Barrow, called on Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca to address “immediately, fully and publicly, the comprehensive wholesale indictment of the [People’s United Party – PUP] by its immediate past leader,” Orange Walk Central area representative Johnny Briceño, who spoke of members of the former PUP administration “stealing” tens of millions of dollars from Belizeans during their tenure in office, which ended in 2008. Fonseca and then Prime Minister during that tenure, Said Musa, told the media Friday that Barrow was trying to divert attention from the corruption which they allege is rampant in his own administration by rehashing allegations that have been around for as many as 10 years. “I say to the Prime Minister: he has been the Prime Minister of Belize for almost 8 years; he is completing, I believe, 7 years. If there is any evidence of corruption, bring it to the Belizean people or shut your mouth. That is my response to him,” Fonseca told the press.

    Straight from KHMH to Kolbe!
    On Wednesday night, March 4, Jervis Valencia Diamond, 32, was admitted to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in a critical condition and placed on a life support ventilator after being shot by police after he allegedly shot two men in a yard on Mayflower Street, one fatally. Today, however, Diamond, still in obvious need of medical attention, was reportedly released from the hospital. He had been under police guard in the hospital, and he was immediately brought to court to be charged after he was released. Diamond, who is more popularly known as Jervis Valencia, was in obvious pain and could barely move without assistance as he slowly made his way into the courtroom of the Chief Magistrate, at the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, where he was arraigned for murder and other indictable offences.

    CCJ commences hearing LGBT challenge to Belize and Trinidad
    The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has set aside the next two days, Tuesday, March 17 and Wednesday, March 18, to hear the case of LGBT activist Maurice Tomlinson against the states of Belize and Trinidad, in a challenge to the immigration laws of both countries, which Tomlinson claims violate his right to hassle-free movement across CARICOM, under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (RTC), which establishes the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. The CCJ says that it will hear submissions in the matters of JAOJ2013/001 Maurice Tomlinson v Belize and JAOJ2013/002 Maurice Tomlinson v Trinidad and Tobago, which had been consolidated into one by a CCJ order dating back to 2013.

    GOB seeks Parliamentary approval for BZ$145 mil in financing
    In his 2015 budget speech, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow announced new infrastructure projects that are to be started in the 2015-2016 fiscal year, including the rehabilitation of the Hummingbird Highway, the George Price Highway (from Belmopan to Benque Viejo Town), and the Philip Goldson Highway, from Belize City to Sandhill—projects which he said would be donor-financed by means of either grants or concessional loan terms. On the same occasion, Barrow presented a loan motion for one of those projects, which he said would be partially financed by Kuwait. He noted that the entire cost of the project to rehabilitate the Hummingbird Highway is BZ$75.1 mil, and the loan motion presented today sought Parliament’s approval to borrow 4 million Kuwait dinars, roughly US$13.5 million, from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development for financing of this project. He said that this would finance 40% of civil works and 100% of the technical assistance required. Another US$12 million will come from an OFID (OPEC Fund for International Development] loan to the Government of Belize to cover a further 32% of the total project costs, and the Government will cover the remaining cost of the project costs through counterpart resources.

    American Guy East of Santino’s wins 2015 SMART Belmopan Cycling Classic
    The 34th running of the Annual SMART Belmopan Cycling Classic ended yesterday, like last year, with a foreign rider taking top honors. Last year it was 20 year old Mexican Ignacio Bravo riding for the Benny’s Megabytes team; this year, the Santino’s Ride for Victory team returned to top level competition, and their foreign rider, American Guy East had too much going for his Belizean competitors in the last few miles of the race, as he broke away from a lead bunch of 7 riders, and rode in alone, followed a few seconds later in second place by 2012 Cross Country champion Geovanni Choto, now riding for the C-Ray Road Addikzx team. His teammate Brandon Cattouse was third. Fourth was Marlon Castillo of Santino’s Ride for Victory, and fifth was Jose Robles of Western Spirit.

    Team acquisitions in NEBL before All Star Break
    In its second annual season, yesterday at a manager’s meeting, the NEBL instituted a change in its by-laws for in-season player acquisitions. Teams are allowed to add two new players to their rosters and the dates for such transactions are from March 16 – March 31. With the addition of this clause, teams will now be afforded the opportunity to add the missing pieces to their team roster, as they make a final push for playoff contention. It was decided that all Friday and Saturday night games will start at 9:00 p.m. Fans are reminded that all games have a live web cast, where the play-by-play, along with box scores, are available for all games. Fans can follow every game live on the internet, as scores are in real time. The games can be accessed from our website at nebl.sportingpulse.net San Pedro Tiger Sharks vs Belize City No Limit remains undecided. Belmopan Red Taigaz extends winning streak to five games. Cayo Western Ballaz continued in their winning ways in Sugar City. Dangriga Warriors bounced back with a win against Toledo Diplomats.

    People or money: money or people?
    The massive discomfiture of the Opposition PUP’s Orange Walk Central area representative, Hon. Johnny Briceño, continued and increased in the House of Representatives meeting on Friday afternoon when the PUP’s Fort George area representative and former Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Said Musa, spoke critically of him on the adjournment after UDP Prime Minister had read his 2015/2016 budget speech. In an interview with Channel 5 following that House meeting, Briceño appeared to be encouraging the idea of a PUP national convention. He claimed that the PUP had not held a national convention since 2010, a convention in Dangriga at which Mr. Briceño was unanimously endorsed as PUP Leader, a position to which he had been elected in March of 2008. As the PUP’s most powerful politician in the Orange Walk District, Mr. Briceño can rightfully claim credit for the fact that the party managed to retain control of the Orange Walk Town Council, the PUP’s only victory in the March 4 national municipal elections wherein the ruling UDP had won eight of the nine municipalities.

    From the Publisher
    In the beginning of the People’s United Party (PUP) in 1950, built as it was on the foundation of the General Workers Union (GWU), a lot of the difference between PUP supporters and anti-PUP Belizeans in the then capital city of Belize, manifestly involved class. All waterfront workers and bicycle cart men, for instance, were PUP, while almost all the public officers (who were called “civil servants” in those days) opposed the PUP, first through the National Party (NP) and then through the National Independence Party (NIP). Early on, the PUP was centered in Belize City, but after Hon. George Price became the Leader of the party in 1956, he did a lot of traveling to the District towns and villages. He, in effect, enfranchised rural Belizeans politically; he personally involved them in the business of building the new nation of Belize. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, the physicists say, and Mr. Price’s revolutionary politics was branded “Latinization” by his opponents. It cost him some support in Belize City. There was a Belize City Council election in 1958 where the PUP barely won, with five seats out of the nine, if I remember correctly.

    Divining the Lord
    The breakfast meeting in February at the Radisson between Lord Ashcroft and Audrey Matura-Shepherd has been the subject of much speculation. The photo of the couple taken by Kim Simplis-Barrow, the wife of the Prime Minister who just happened to be present at the same time, went viral immediately and added to the interest. What on earth could these two high profile individuals have been discussing? Audrey Matura-Shepherd subsequently explained in Amandala why she had accepted the invitation (sent via Amalia Mai, the CEO of Channel 5 whose proprietor is Michael Ashcroft). Her article outlined the questions to which she wanted answers and to what extent she was satisfied with what she heard. However, she did not explain what Ashcroft hoped to get out of the meeting. It has now become much clearer what Ashcroft’s interest might have been. In a subsequent interview with Marleni Cuellar at Channel 5, he spoke about the British political system and noted the rise of third parties. He considers this a positive development provided that the third party has a strong individual at the helm capable of exercising national leadership.

    Ambassador Mendez up for election for high-level OAS post Wednesday
    Elections will be held this Wednesday at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, DC, to find replacements for the outgoing Secretary General and Assistant Secretary General of the hemispheric organization. Belize’s Ambassador to the US, Permanent Representative to the OAS and High Commissioner for Belize in Canada, H.E. Nestor Mendez, and Permanent Representative of Guyana, Bayney Karran, are competing for the job. Meanwhile, Luis Almagro, Minister of Foreign Relations of Uruguay, is seeking the post of Secretary-General. The Guatemalan candidate who would have challenged Almagro, Eduardo Stein Barillas, the former vice president of that country, has withdrawn his name due to health reasons. Under OAS rules, new applicants have up to the day of the election to submit their names for consideration.

    Belize assumes 5th governorship of Rotary in July
    On July 1, 2015, Rene Villanueva, Sr., 64, becomes the 5th Belizean to hold the governorship of the Rotary Club for District 4250 constituted by Belize, Honduras and Guatemala. At the end of February, Villanueva, a veteran broadcaster in Belize and proprietor of Love FM, was installed as governor-elect at a three-day convention held in Guatemala City, which he attended with a sizeable Belize delegation. Villanueva is to succeed current district president, Jose Mauricio Rodriguez Weaver of Guatemala, for a one-year term. “As Rotarians we want better villages, better countries and a better world. We give [of] ourselves, our time, our resources and yes, we give even our lives towards making this world a better place than we found it. We do it through the greatest humanitarian organisation in the world – Rotary. But we must do it together because in unity there is strength. In my mind, the secret to taking our great [district] 4250 to indeed a higher level lies in all of us in Honduras, Belize, and Guatemala. Working together, learning of each other, appreciating each other, loving each other,” Villanueva said in his acceptance speech.

    Court of Appeal denies Lloyd Elijio’s appeal; sentence and conviction affirmed
    A panel of three Court of Appeal justices denied the appeal of Lloyd Elijio, 23, who is serving a 12-year prison sentence following his October 28, 2014 conviction for attempted murder. The court affirmed his conviction and sentence on Tuesday when he appeared unrepresented before Appeal justices Minet Hafiz-Betram, Christopher Blackman and president of the court, Hon. Justice Manuel Sosa. Elijio told the court that someone at the prison had assisted him in preparing the grounds for his appeal. Elijio based his first ground of appeal on the question of identity. He contended that the virtual complainant, Mark Lord, had identified him as Lawrence Elijio, but his real name is Lloyd Elijio. Lord had also identified him in court as Lawrence Elijio. Elijio’s second ground of appeal was that no identification parade was held.

    Patrick JonesPJ

    Domestic dispute results in alleged stabbing
    A woman who allegedly started a fight with her former partner late on Monday evening is accused of grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm after she allegedly stabbed him with a knife. 20 year old Shanice Waller, a mother of two, pleaded not guilty to the charges before Magistrate Dale Cayetano and met bail of $3,000. According to 22 year old Luis Kerr, who was previously in a relationship with Waller, she went to his residence while he was there with another woman. Kerr he said he tried to deny her entry to his house and being unsuccessful, grabbed her around the neck to try to restrain her.

    Two men charged for attempted murder
    Police have laid attempted murder charges against 23 year old Ronald Michael. Michael is also charged along with 30 year old Alrick Smith for conspiracy to commit murder for allegedly attempting to kill 29 year old Kenroy Arnold in a shooting incident on the night of March 12 in Ladyville village. Arnold was said to be socializing with friends when a vehicle pulled up with two men inside, one of whom exited the vehicle and opened fire on him. He was shot to the back and right hand and was treated. Family members say he was not the intended target of the shooters.

    Toledo man to be retried for carnal knowledge
    The Court of Appeal on Monday afternoon allowed the appeal of Saturino Pop from Toledo District, who was convicted of three counts of carnal knowledge and is serving a 12-year concurrent sentence. Pop will be retried in the Supreme Court after the judges found that he was not afforded a fair trial and that the trial judge failed to assist him in his defense as he did not have legal representation at trial. Pop is now being represented by Oscar Selgado while Crown Counsel Linsbert Willis appeared for the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

    Blogs

    Live In Caribbean Belize For $60 A Day Or Less
    Lots of expats are already living their dream Caribbean lifestyle… Taking leisurely walks along the coast, cooled by the enticing Caribbean breeze…swimming and snorkeling in the living aquarium of the Caribbean Sea…feasting on fresh fruits, seafood and lobster…indulging in afternoon catnaps in a comfy hammock…meeting friends for a fresh catch lunch at a seaside café… Here’s the good news—this idyllic Caribbean lifestyle is still possible for those with a decent Social Security income—if they know where to settle, and how to cut corners… Financially savvy expats are enjoying this enviable lifestyle on $60 a day, or less. Many expats choose to spend more…but plenty get by on less. It’s a matter of making lifestyle choices that fit within your individual budget. Belize has garnered significant tourism attention during the last few years, especially for the highly popular cayes. It is, of course, more costly to live in the most desirable regions frequented by tourists—the cayes and the Placencia Peninsula. (The cost of living on the Placencia Peninsula is now comparable to the cost of living on Ambergris Caye.) And yet there are expats who insist they have been living a comfortable, quality lifestyle in these popular regions, but on an affordable budget…

    Halls Cough Drops: Candy or Medicine in Belize?
    Just the other day, I was buying cough drops for a friend with a…get this…a COUGH! Imagine that? In the US, Halls are usually displayed front and center at drug stores during the winter months when everyone is getting sick. And then during the rest of the year? They are hidden back by the pharmacy…unneeded…unwanted. Not in Belize. At only $1bzd a pack, they are often displayed with the candy as opposed to medicines and in a HUGE range of flavors. As well as some of the craziest. At least in my book… Chela y Limon. Beer and Lime. COUGH DROPS! And multi-colors…like they are M&Ms…or Skittles…or…candy? IMG_1906 Halls are always front and center at local markets…and not just during cold season. All the time. They are sold by the street vendors who display colorful, vast quantities of sugar to kids outside the primary schools during breaks. Which one of these things doesn’t belong??

    A Happy Belizean St Patrick’s Day from Chaa Creek!
    Are your Irish eyes smiling? They’re positively giggling in Belize as the country joins in the annual St Patrick day celebrations Maybe Belize and St Patrick don’t naturally go together in most people’s minds, but those lucky enough to visit or live in this very green little country know better. Just like most places on earth during March 17, a fair portion of the population attach a bit of green to their attire, assert a certain Irish-ness, and maybe even indulge in lifting a glass (or two, or three…) to that venerable saint. It only makes sense… after the Maya, the next significant numbers of people to settle in Belize were the famous Baymen, a hardy group of mostly Anglo-Celtic descent who were attracted by the nascent timber industry and, like so many people since, liked what they saw and stayed, many mixing with African slaves to form the vibrant Creole population of Belize.

    How to make the best of your time on Caye Caulker, Belize
    All in all Belize is not the easiest country to travel through as a backpacker. There is no such thing as a backpacking trail. Accommodations are really expensive in comparison with its neighbouring countries. And busses are not very comfortable. But there is one place which is different. The atmosphere is chilled out. There are no concreted streets. Vehicles are mostly limited to bikes and golf carts. People are super friendly. The sea is in front of your accommodation. And it absolutely expresses some hippie feeling. I’m talking about the island Caye Caulker. Caye Caulker is situated very close to the Mexican border. You can either take a ferry from Belize City or Chetumal (Mexico). From Mexico, the ferry firstly heads to Caye Ambergris, the neighbouring island of Caye Caulker. There you have to get through migration and pay a small fee (have some USD or BZD handy) to get into the country. You change boats and then directly head to Caye Caulker. The first journey takes about 1.5 hours and the second one 30 minutes. But migration can take the same amount of time as well.

    How does a beach vacation in Belize compare to one in Mexico?
    It is overwhelming to pick a vacation spot if you like the beach...if you are staying in the Western Hemisphere, there are the southern US states, all over the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central and South America to pick from. Most people get a week off so flying distance is an issue. Once you narrow it down to say 5 hours or less to get there, there are still a mountain of choices. For those who have it narrowed down to Mexico or Belize, on the Caribbean side (note: the Caribbean islands are all awesome. Let's say you decided you wanted to do a place that was not an island, but on the mainland---why the mainland? Authentic character, easier/cheaper to get to, and the places in this blog are awesome!). Three great places to choose from are Playa del Carmen and Tulum in Mexico, and Placencia, Belize. See my post HERE for a comparison between Placencia and Ambergris Caye, Belize, and Roatan, Honduras (the latter two being islands).

    International Sourcesizz

    Notorious KKK Grand Wizard And Patriarch of Racial Segregation Bill Wilkinson Resurfaces After 30 Years
    The KKK Grand Wizard, Bill Wilkinson, who disappeared without trace in 1984 from the U.S., has resurfaced in San Pedro, Belize after 30 years. The notorious Grand Wizard of Ku Klax Klan, an organization with hardcore white supremacy beliefs and racial segregation, said he still believes in racial segregation but he is not a racist. In a surprising twist of the tale, the hardcore leader is found to have a posh hotel resort in a location that is full of people he once wanted to segregate. The notorious leader denied the claims that he had turned to an FBI snitch. "I spoke with the FBI yes, but I wasn't an informant," Wilkinson said. Speaking from the luxurious hotel resort he owns and telling his views to Daily Mail Online, Wilkinson said, "Don't call me racist, I don't hate blacks." Meanwhile, contrary to popular belief, Wilkinson mentioned that he had not "changed" since his "hardcore" KKK days. He said he still believes in racial segregation. "I'm just a Bible-crashing segregationist. I still believe in segregation, that's how it should be," Wilkinson said. The 72-year-old was the Imperial Wizard of the Invisible Empire of the Knights of the KKK from 1975 to 1984. The organization believed in white supremacy and was involved in several hate crimes, including the murder of Viola Liuzzio in 1965, who they said was "promoting racial mixing".

    Denham Springs man who led violent Ku Klux Klan group before resigning, vanishing in 1984 resurfaces as owner of luxury resort in Belize
    A former Ku Klux Klan imperial wizard from Denham Springs, who led the white supremacy group from 1975 to 1984 before suddenly resigning and seemingly vanishing, has surfaced at a luxury resort he owns on a paradise island in Belize with a tiny white minority population, according to the Daily Mail, a British national daily newspaper. Bill Wilkinson, 72, had established a breakaway group of David Duke’s Knights of the Ku Klux Klan to rival the original, and grew a reputation with the FBI as the most ‘violent’ and ‘dangerous’ KKK movement. He was highly visible in Baton Rouge and maintained the group’s headquarters in Bogalusa.

    St. John’s School class raises funds to build home in Belize
    St. John’s Knights of Columbus Grand Knight Craig Judd presents a donation of $250 to the eighth-grade class at St. John’s School to help the class meet its fundraising goal of $5,200 to fund the construction of a home in Belize. The home is for a low-income family and the house, while small, will have all the basic necessities. This is the same class that raised $10,000 and donated it to Mother Teresa’s charity to feed the hungry in India last year.

    Historic case challenges anti-gay laws in Belize and Trinidad & Tabago
    Prominent gay-rights activist Maurice Tomlinson is in court on Tuesday and Wednesday, challenging anti-gay laws that prevent LGBT people and other "undesirable people" from entering the countries of Belize and Trinidad & Tabago. Tomlinson, who lives in Toronto, Canada, is from Jamaica. His homeland is considered one of the most homophobic places on Earth, and recently reports surfaced that a gay man was stoned to death there. Belize is a small nation in Central America south of Mexico and east of Guatemala, while Trinidad & Tobago is an island nation off the coast of Venezuela. Both countries have the Caribbean Sea in common along with a Colonial history of anti-gay laws. In 2003, Belize criminalized homosexuality with up to 10 years in prison upon conviction.

    Caribbean Community Climate-Smarting Fisheries, But Slowly
    Caribbean nations have begun work on a plan to ‘climate smart’ the region’s fisheries as part of overall efforts to secure food supplies. The concept is in keeping with plans by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) to improve the “integration of agriculture and climate readiness” as the region prepares to deal with the impacts of climate change and the increasing demand for food. Olu Ajayi, CTA’s senior programme coordinator, told IPS in an email that climate-smarting the region’s aquatic resources will “enable the sector to continue to contribute to sustainable development, while reducing the vulnerability associated with the negative impacts of climate change”. “Climate-smart fisheries require improving efficiency in the use of natural resources to produce fish, maintaining the resilience of aquatic systems and the communities that rely on them,” he noted.

    ‘No restrictions on Caricom gays’
    DESPITE there being legislation in place under local immigration laws to prevent members of the gay community from entering Trinidad and Tobago, acting Chief Immigration Officer Gerry Downes yesterday said there is policy in place to allow those individuals who are members of Caricom nations free movement in and out of this country. There are no restrictions on those individuals simply because of their sexual orientation, but restrictions are placed on people who are not members of Caricom states and are seeking to enter Trinidad and Tobago, he said. Downes made the statement yesterday while testifying during a hearing at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in Port of Spain, in which Jamaican gay rights activist Maurice Tomlinson is challenging local immigration laws, which he contends are homophobic and inconsistent with Caricom policy on free movement between citizens of member states.

    Which stars own these stunning hotels around the world?
    Celebrities are dabbling in the hospitality business, and some of them own some pretty impressive hotels. If the rumours are true, then Reese Witherspoon is planning to add the title of hotelier into her resume. The Oscar-nominated actress would be joining a long list of celebrities who already own boutique hotels around the world. Take a look at the stunning hotels below and see if you can tell which celebrity owns it.

    Driving Change in Aquaculture Discussed at Seafood Expo North America
    The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) brought together a distinguished panel for this year’s Seafood Expo North America to join in the discussion on what drives environmental and social responsibility in aquaculture. On the second day of the show the ASC session was opened by CEO Chris Ninnes who demonstrated some of the big commitments made to the programme, bringing the session to life with a preview of a new ASC film showing how 30 farms in the State of Rio de Janeiro are dedicated to gaining ASC certification in readiness to supply the Rio 2016 Olympics. “It’s these types of commitments that have the power to really drive improvements in aquaculture,” Mr Ninnes explained, referring to pledges from the Global Salmon Initiative and the Rio 2016 Organising Committee.

    Videos

  • Deep Water Submersible Damages Belize Reef, 1min. Oceana Belize and Hol Chan Marine Reserve in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize attempt to remove grounded deep water submersible that washed into the Great Barrier Reef of Belize near San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The submersible that drifted from Trinidad and Tobago and has now damaged a section of live coral reef.

  • 2015 Preschool Festival of Arts Kicks Off at the Bliss, 3min.

  • Are Jaguars Preying on Livestock in Crooked Tree?, 5min.

  • BELZE, 11min. Belize Manzara Ve Resimleri. Great slideshow

  • Baker Stanley 2015 ASB Belize with 4theworld.org, 2min. Baker, a student from NCSU shares some of his favorite experiences from his most recent ASB trip to Belize with the non profit organization 4 the World.

  • KKK Wizard, 4min. The Daily Mail Online got Wilkinson to break his 30-year silence - and he gave them a revealing interview in which he said he is still a segregationist: He is quoted as telling the newspaper, quote, "'I don't hate blacks...Ain't that something?'" He added that, quote, 'I have not changed. I wouldn't let one marry my children or my grandchildren.'

  • Exclusive KKK 'violent' Imperial Wizard on living life in Belize, 10min. Exclusive KKK 'violent' Imperial Wizard on living life in Belize In the news KKK's Imperial Wizard Bill Wilkinson pictured in Belize for first time since 1984 Daily Mail

  • Playmates Travel To Belize, 3min. Playboy sexy , hot , bikini , beautiful , beauti , beach models .

  • saltwater crocodile belize, 2min.

  • 2015 Belize Study Abroad: Overall Highlights, 12min.

  • Cave swimming in Belize, 4min. Swimming at the Xibalda caves in Belize.

  • Jaime Awe - Maya Cities & Sacred Caves of Belize, 87min. Dr. Jaime Awe gives a presentation on the archaeology of Belize in preparation for the VVAC's annual Central America trip.

  • Belize-Give a kid a GoPro, 2min. First Presbyterian of Midland, Texas, traveled to Belize over spring break with a team of children, youth, and adults. We hosted a "field day" on "Barron Bliss Day" (like presidents day) as kids were out of school. We had a blast and GoPro cameras captured the fun! What you see is what happens when you put the GoPro in the hands of the kids!

    March 17, 2015


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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

    Those elusive whale sharks
    The opportunity to get up close and personal with one of the world’s largest fish, the whale shark, is one that many dream of. As we’ve told you before, we’ve tried our very best to catch them in action, but they’ve neglected to show up at the appointed time. That doesn’t stop us from wanting to check them out in their natural habitat – no sirree! The whale shark, Rhincodon typus, is by far the largest living non-mammal to ever inhabit the Earth. As the world’s largest fish, it has a recorded length of 41.50 feet and a weight of more than 47,000 pounds! Those statistics sure gives new dimension to those tall fish tales, huh?! Despite all of those big numbers and their sheer size and volume, whale sharks are appropriately known as gentle giants – docile and frankly, aren’t bothered by your swimming/snorkeling/diving nearby. We always caution that you shouldn’t come too close – touching wildlife is a big no-no in our books. Besides, despite knowing their gentle nature, size can always keep us at bay!!

    Letter to the Editor: Vision Inspired by the People
    The VIP San Pedro Team wishes to bring to your attention a matter of grave concern to the residents of San Pedro. We are urgently calling on the proper authorities of this department to investigate the matter of the state of the environment in this community due to the improper dumping of toxic garbage. We are alarmed by the fact that the Mayor announced publicly that he will “continue using trash for landfill and roads”, despite our public denouncement of this practice. This irresponsible practice of using garbage for landfill to fill lots and build streets in the wetlands of San Pedro has been going on for many years; it has created extremely toxic conditions which are polluting our marine and mangrove systems and also endangers the health of our residents. The garbage being dumped includes all types of garbage, from large and small appliances, tires, fibre glass, and nonbiodegradable products and contaminants. Scientific studies of the water, soil and marine life conducted by various teams for a number of years have found major red flags that we are being exposed to lead, arsenic, mercury and other heavy metals from the infiltration of these toxins into the water.

    The media looks at CSME’s opportunities for all Belizeans
    Representatives of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) urge media practitioners from around the region to break new grounds in their coverage of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). In Belize, the media was asked to play their part in providing increasing timely and simple information on how Belizean nationals can access their legally guaranteed right to work, travel and do business in 12 other CARICOM nations without barriers. This legally guaranteed right is within the scope of the Treaty of Chaguaramas, to which 14 million CARICOM nationals have the right to move, work and do business as long as they meet set requirements. Information was shared during a CARICOM Single Market Media Workshop held at the Best Western Hotel in Belize City on February 26th. Addressing the media at the opening ceremony was Executive Officer of the Ministry of Trade, Investment, Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection, Michael Singh. He said that Belizeans must adopt a new boldness to explore their opportunities in their Caribbean neighborhood. According to Singh, to be bold, it must be ensured that everyone in Belize knows their place, their rights and their privileges within the CSME. He urged media workers to not only report on regional meetings and events as news fillers, but to explain the implications of decisions made by CARICOM leaders and their impact on our people.

    Disposal of Raw Sewage- What are the protocols?
    The Department of Environment (DOE) was identified as the regulatory body for sewage disposal in Belize. According to DOE, BWSL is the only authorized agent in San Pedro to dispose of sewage. Any other business that offers septic cleaning/sewage disposal services needs to be registered with the DOE. This is to ensure that the sewage is being disposed in a proper and controlled manner. DOE states that untreated sewage cannot be dumped into the environment directly and that is why the BWSL ponds play a vital role in the community. Mayor Daniel Guerrero also indicated that the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) is completely against the dumping of raw sewage in to the open environment. “It is totally wrong what that person did by dumping sewage on the roadside. The SPTC will not tolerate anyone damaging the environment. I have spoken to the culprit and cautioned him about his offences. He has indicated that it will not happen again, but this incident serves as a warning that we need to monitor these activities more closely,” said Guerrero. SPTC will be working along with Health Inspector Tillett to ensure that sewage collected from septic tanks is being properly disposed.

    No maritime and hardship allowances for island police
    According to the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security, Retired Colonel George Lovell, the cut in allowances was as a result of amendments made to regularize the compendium of allowances to public officers. That regularization took place in January following a list of allowances that were approved in October of 2014 for the Belize Public Service by Ministry of the Public Service and the Ministry of Finance. “That circular that was sent out dated the 1st of October, and there is a revised edition that was done in January of 2015, and that compendium of allowances speaks to the allowances that public officers in general are entitled to. That was done as a result of a comprehensive consultation within the public service from across the entire ministry. That then speaks to the new allowances that were approved for the public officers and that is the basis under which allowances that people were probably once enjoying, that was not regularized, have now become regularized under this new compendium of allowances,’ said Lovell.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Beltraide Costing and Pricing Workshop
    The overall objective of this training is to equip our clients with knowledge, skills, and capabilities necessary to determine all costs related to the production of their goods or services and es all the costs and allows them to make a profit while still being feasible for customers. to consequently apply an adequate price that encompass. Presented By: Mr Omar Castillo Sr. Business Adviser, SBDCBelize, BELTRAIDE. Cost of Workshop: $25.00. Workshop Date: March 19th, 2015 Time: 9 am to 12 noon WORKSHOP LOCATION: ITVet Campus - Freetown Road (BTEC Building), Belize City, Belize Tel: 223-3195 or email: sbdc@belizeinvest.org.bz

    Commentary: Former PUP leader in Belize is crying for help to revive his party but will he get it?
    By Wellington C. Ramos. When I went to Orange Walk Town in 1975 to be stationed as a police officer, John Briceno was a young boy at the age of 15 years of age. I know his father Joe Briceno, his uncles Polo Briceno, Dallie Briceno, Charro Briceno and all his other family members well. Renan, who is Polo’s son, and I played football together for the Orange Walk Selection and used to travel in his uncle Joe’s white Bronco to play football throughout the entire country of Belize. In those days Orange Walk was a town where money was flowing all over the place. John Briceno was a young man who gave me a lot of respect when I visited his father’s home. PC Daniel Cacho and myself were also responsible for the newly formed Police Boys Club. I have not met John Briceno since I left Orange Walk Town in 1977 to be transferred to Belize City. However, whenever I go to Belize I make it my business to go and visit all my friends in Orange Walk Town. John Briceno is speaking the truth because he is at a point in his life where he feels that he has done and is doing enough for his People’s United Party (PUP) and they should treat him better. He is also concerned about the future of his party because at the rate they are going it does not look good to him and many other diehard PUPs.

    Belize Electricity Limited Hosts CARILEC Human Resources and Public Relations Conference
    Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) is this week hosting the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC) 2015 Human Resources and Public Relations Conference under the theme “Achieving the Synergies: Corporate Leadership, PR and HR”. CARILEC is an association of electric utilities, suppliers, manufactures and other stakeholders operating in the electricity industry in the Caribbean[1]. The aim of the conference is to allow for the information sharing and networking of Human Resources, Public Relations and Corporate Communications professionals from the region. BEL is thoroughly embracing the opportunity to network with CARILEC members and local participants of the conference.

    MERICAN CITIZEN SERVICES: Do you know who your warden is?
    Recently, the U.S. Embassy hosted a luncheon for the Wardens in Belize. A Warden is a private U.S. citizen who volunteers to assist the American Citizen Services section at the U.S. Embassy in communicating with Americans living in Belize, preparing for disasters and alerting Americans to emergency situations. Wardens also provide updates on ongoing events to Americans in their district and organizations and assist in the enrollment of newcomers in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) program. In emergencies, Wardens may be called upon to help locate missing Americans, or visit an American citizen in a jail or hospital.

    DEEP WATER SUBMERSIBLE GROUNDS ON REEF OFF AMBERGRIS CAYE
    OCEANA BELIZE AND HOL CHAN MARINE RESERVE PERSONNEL CONDUCT SITE ASSESSMENT. Based on requests from residents of Ambergris Caye and the media for more information about the grounding of a deep water submersible on the Belize Barrier Reef, on Friday, March 13th 2015, Oceana Belize and personnel from the Hol Chan Marine Reserve conducted a site assessment of the incident. The team reports the following:

    Swearing in ceremony of the newly elected members of the San Pedro Town Council
    Mayor Daniel Guerrero is flanked by his council members and the Area Representative Hon Manuel Heredia Jr. Deputy Mayor of San Pedro Town is Gary Greif.

    Croc confiscated from an illegal owner
    Our patients usually come without a history, but every now and then the x-rays will tell us their story. This croc was confiscated from an illegal owner and was showing many abrasions on snout, arm, back and tail. These abrasions were typical of the abuse crocodiles receive from humans tying their mouths and feet. What had me puzzled was the size of this croc: he was much bigger then the others we have seen, and his body condition is still very reasonable. This means he was recently caught, at a good size and suspected in good health. We took the x-ray to assess his left arm. Whenever possible we will take a larger image to see more of the animal... His arms are beautifully unbroken, but the x-ray showed us how humans were able to catch him (may be he was accidental by-catch?) and that most likely he will require surgery. Fingers crossed and I am sure you all saw it already?

    Public Announcement - Water Abstraction
    he Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture takes this opportunity to inform the general public of the issue of Water Abstraction Licences and other necessary permissions needed. Under the Water Industry Act Cap 222 of the Laws of Belize, Part V, Chapter II, Subsection 61: “Subject to the provisions of Sections 27 and 60 of this Act, no person shall abstract and use water, and construct works thereof in respect of a controlled area or a controlled use or a controlled class of uses of water except under and in accordance with a license for the purpose granted to him by the Minister under this Part”. The Hydrology Unit of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture, under the authority of the Water Industry Act, CAP 222, Part III, Section 14 Subsections (2) and (3), requires all entities to apply for a Water Abstraction Licence where the water source is limited to a natural water body: surface or groundwater.

    Protection of the Seabed and Protection of 66 Feet Reserve
    The Lands Department, through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture, advises the general public that in Pursuant to Section 2 of the National Lands Act, National Land includes the seabed and the 66 feet reserve, which may include riparian forests, beaches, littoral forests and shoals. Therefore, occupation within the above mentioned spaces without permission from the Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture constitutes an offense of unlawful occupation of National Land. The general public is advised that Groynes, over the water structures such as; piers or wharfs, and any use of the seabed and the 66 feet reserve is illegal and requires permission from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture. Kindly be advised that the application for the use of reserves that include mangrove also requires clearance from the Department of Environment and a mangrove alteration permit through the Forest Department. The general public is informed that there is an official process for obtaining permission to utilize the seabed or 66 feet reserve in Belize, and takes this opportunity to invite the general public to visit the Lands and Surveys Department Headquarters in Belmopan for more information. From the Commissioner of Lands and Surveys

    Four Ambassadors Presented their Credentials to the Governor General of Belize

    Channel 7

    Hobbled Jervis Still Charged For Murder
    32-year-old Jervis Valencia - he was shot on election night by police officers responding to a shooting incident. Well, he was taken to court today in a hobbled state, to be charged for murder. After 12 days at the KHMH under police guard, Valencia was helped up the court stairs by his girlfriend Shelly Meighan. He was taken before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith where he was read a charge for the murder of 36 year-old Moses "Malachai" Gonguez. Gonguez and Triston Gordon were shot on municipal elections night, March 4, while ballots were bring counted. Valencia was also charged for 1 count of attempted murder, dangerous harm, and use of deadly means of harm for Tristan Gordon; 2 counts of aggravated assault, which he allegedly committed against Police Corporal Harold Grinage and Constable Freeman Staine; keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition. Due to the nature of the offences, no bail was offered and he was remanded into custody until May 6.

    Man Says He Got Off Murder Charge For A Gun
    Legendary cyclist Ernest Jawmaine Meighan - he was killed 7 months ago - and though it happened in broad daylight - police have made no arrest. But, today, a man says he was charged for the murder - and then police withdrew the charge. 23 year old Jeffery McDougal says he was charged with Jawmaine's murder, put on the prison bus by police officers and then taken off. He says he was then given 24 hours to hand in a gun in order for them to drop his murder charge. Quite a story and he came to tell it to us himself this afternoon:.. Voice of: Jeffery McDougal - Charged with Murder "The officers took back the charge me and say that I have to give them a gun tomorrow, or else they will give back the charge on me. They had already charged me, but they told me that they need a gun and then they will not charge me. I was supposed to go on the jail bus, but he told the officer controlling the jail bus, not to worry about that, so they just release me like that and they told me that I have until tomorrow to give them a gun or else they will slap that charge back on me."

    Dobson Clear Of Staine Murder
    And while he claims to have gotten off a murder charge in a few hours time, it was not so easy for Kenneth Dobson who had to wait almost 4 years to get off his murder. Tonight, 30 year-old Kenneth Dobson, aka "Fudgie", is at home after spending 3 years and 8 months on remand while he awaited trial for the murder of Erwin Staine. That trial concluded today before Justice Troadio John Gonzalez, and he was acquitted by a jury of 12 this evening. Police investigation at the time was that at around 10:30 on June 1, 2011, Erwin Staine was socializing with a friend in front of his house on North Creek Street when a man rode up on bike and shot him in the left side of his chest, his left foot, and right side of his abdomen. He died on the spot, while his other friend reportedly ran for cover. Well, the prosecution, represented by Crown Counsel Leroy Banner, called the victim's sister as the main witness against Dobson. She testified that she saw the shooter, which she identified as Dobson in court.

    Fuel Ship Late, Rations In Effect
    The fuel shipment which comes into the country every three weeks is four days late this month - and some service stations are saying they'll run out of gas before it arrives. Diesel and Premium fuels are already being rationed but the UNO fuel company says that a good many of its 11 service stations countrywide will be out of those fuels by the time the shipment comes. That fuel will start to run out tomorrow, most likely, in San Ignacio. The man we call Belize's Fuel Czar, John Mencias, who is the Deputy Chairman of Alba Petrocaribe Belize Energy Limited oversees the importation of fuel into Belize. He concedes that the shipment is late but he doesn't expect that it should force a shortage. A number of fuel station owners we spoke to said it is a matter of management. They told us that rationing is happening but fuel station owners should plan in advance and keep their reserves topped up. So far, we know that at least 2 fuel stations: one in Punta Gorda and the other in Belmopan have run out of premium and diesel. UNO says it is only being rationed about 20% of its daily fuel needs and so has had to turn back large customers. Of course, its significant that PUMA, the importer of fuels is also the one controlling the rationing - and PUMA also has fuel stations - which some say is a rather obvious conflict of interest.

    Cagey One From Cameroon
    45 year-old Emmanuel Ngue-mowuo (N-GWEH-MOWOU), a native of the Central African country of Republic Cameroon, arrived today at the Phillip Goldson International Airport with a forged passport of a deceased Honduran National. According to Immigration Officials, he arrived in Belize at around 11 a.m. from a flight from Honduras. When he arrived at the immigration desk, the alert officer on duty received his passport, and noticed something peculiar about the document. The officer did a background check and it was discovered that this passport belonged to the deceased Honduran National David Emmanuel Fabio Matute. Ngue-mowuo was immediately detained and charged with the offence of using a document he was not entitled to.

    Woman Stabbed Stalker
    Tonight, 24 year-old Shannon Smith, a mother of 3 who lives in Mahogany Heights, is out on bail after she was taken to court for allegedly stabbing 42 year-old Earlin Butler, who also resides in Mahogany Heights. The incident occurred last week Friday afternoon, March 13. Police reports are that Erlin Butler Sr. went to Smith's home, and a fight ensued between them. It was during incident that Butler was stabbed in his chest. Shannon Smith was arraigned today on the charge of grievous harm when she appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. She pleaded not guilty to the charge, and was released on a bail of $1,000. Her case was adjourned until May 15.

    Fatal Accident On Southern
    A man was run over and killed on Friday night on the Southern Highway. 40-year-old Salvador Ack was driving his SUV from Bella Vista towards Trio Village when he hit 47 year old Faustino Orellana off his bike near mile 45. It happened at 9:30 when both were heading in the same direction. Ack says Orellana's bike veered directly in front of him on the right-hand side of the road. Orellana died on the spot. Ack was served with a notice of intended prosecution.

    Man Claims GSU Beatdown On Pedro
    A 42 year old man is claiming police brutality after he said he was badly beaten in the island town of San Pedro. Brian Castillo, a watchman of -Una Cantina Mas- located up the Coast of San Pedro Town told 7news that on Thursday morning sometime after 3am, GSU officers visited the resort and demanded that he handed over drugs. Castillo said he had no idea what the officers were talking about and that was when they began brutalizing him. Today we caught up with Castillo at the Medical Associates where he showed us X-rays of his broken ribs and cuts and bruises all over his body.

    Pol Say They Tried To Kill Kenroy
    On Friday night's news you heard from the family of Kenroy Arnold - who was shot in Ladyville. They say it was a case of mistaken identity. Well, Ladyville police say they aren't making any mistake with the charge against 30 year old Alrick Smith and Ronald Michael who have been jointly for "Conspiracy to commit Murder" and 22 year old Ronald Michael who was additionally charged for "Attempt Murder","Deadly means of Harm" and "Dangerous Harm" upon Kenroy Arnold.

    Carilec Cometh
    Representatives of 35 power companies from throughout the Caribbean are in Belize this week for a regional meeting. It's the Association of Electric Utilities in the Caribbean - CARILEC - which is holding its Human Resources and Public Relations conference at the Radisson this week. The theme of the conference is "Achieving the Synergies: Corporate Leadership, PR and HR" and the association plans on achieving that synergy through improved communication and leadership within and among member companies. Now you may ask, what does PR and HR have to do with you? Well according to BEL's CEO Jeffrey Locke, improving these departments will lead to increased customer satisfaction.

    Hon. Dean Asks After Rt. Hon Said's Health
    At Friday's House Meeting, Prime Minister Dean Barrow remarked about the health of his colleague across the floor, Said Musa. Here is how Barrow put it and what Musa had to say in response:.. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "People who saw the Former Prime Minister on Wednesday, during the newscast were shocked by his appearance to the extent that he might be ill. There is a difference between ill and sick. We know he is sick in his head, but to the extent that he might be ill, nobody will treat that lightly. Nobody will take that as any laughing matter." Rt. Hon. Said Musa, Fort George "Well, the Prime Minister should take comfort from the fact that he believes I am not well, but I am sorry to disabuse him of it, I am very much alive and well - even at 71 in a week."

    The Petrocaribe Bottom Line
    And while the Right Honorable Musa is expected to prove his battle readiness when the budget goes for a debate next week, one subject he is sure to bring up is Petrocaribe. AT Friday's budget presentation, the Prime Minister disclosed how much had been spent under the programme and on what by tabling a Motion and a Supplementary. Since late 2012 up to February 2015, ALBA PetroCaribe Belize Ltd has imported US$238 million worth of fuel from Venezuela. This money is under a 1.0 percent interest rate with a Repayment Term of 25 years including a two-year Grace Period. The Grace Period is still in effect, so government has not yet had to make any debt payments neither principal nor interest on these loans. But, starting this year, interest and repayment will begin to fall due. Government has allotted $4 million dollars for this in the budget.

    Diver's Life Lost In Blue Hole
    Police have confirmed that they are investigating the death of an American Tourist which happened on last week Tuesday at the Blue Hole. 66 year-old Roger Piper, a tourist from Texas was reportedly on an expedition with his family, and they had employed Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop to be the expedition's leaders. The San Pedro Sun Newspaper reports that the trip was going according to plan until Piper reached a depth of 50 feet below the water surface. There he reportedly started experiencing breathing problems, and he alerted the crew. They took steps to bring him back to the surface, but by that time he was already unconscious. The crew tried to resuscitate Piper, but those attempts failed, so, they contacted the Belize Coast Guard to assist them in any way possible. One of the Coast Guard's boats arrived transported him from that location to the KHMH for immediate attention. Unfortunately, when they arrived at the hospital, Piper was pronounced dead, and it is believed that a heart attack was a contributing factor in his sudden demise. Nevertheless, police will continue to investigate the nature of the Piper's sudden demise.

    Coastal Zone Get Advice From Wake Forest
    A new coastal zone plan for Belize is expected to go into effect later this year - but the Coastal Zone Management Institute and Authority is getting advice on how to make it better, even before they put it into effect. A team from Wake Forest University is here to advise them on his to make the police as fluid as the coastline. We found out more today:..

    Another Reef Wrecker
    But as adaptive as it might be the plan could never foresee events like this one. Another vessel is causing serious damage to the reef off Ambergris Caye - and that's a 12-foot, deep-water-submersible. It was found on Wednesday March 11th about 6 miles north of San Pedro in an area known as Mexico Rocks. According to a release by OCEANA, "the submersible has already caused damage to the coral species at the site and the damage from the reef to where the submersible finally grounded is clearly visible." Efforts at removing the vessel have proven unsuccessful because of high wave action. OCEANA's release continues "the vessel has been identified by the manufacturer as an ROV reported lost in Trinidad and Tobago in November 2014. It has been traced to a company called Impersub International, which does research and exploration for gas and oil companies". OCEANA ends the release by saying "OCEANA Belize supports the recommendation that the submersible be removed as soon as possible to avoid further degradation to the site.....The damage already caused by the ROV and the complexity of it's removal from the Belize Barrier Reef as well as the recent sailboat stranding off Caye Caulker, highlights the lack of the necessary resources to respond properly and timely to incidents at sea."

    Who Is Fastest From Belize To Belmopan
    The Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic is only weeks away, and the 34th Annual SMART Belmopan Cycling Classic is seen as the last warm-up before the big race. So, Sunday morning was the last time to test legs and strength and 7news was there:.. The top finisher in the elite category received 2,000.00 dollars sponsored by SMART plus a trophy and Recliner from Tropigas.

    12 Year Sentence Set Aside
    Convicted sex offender, Saturino Pop, who was convicted of 3 counts of carnal knowledge, received some good news today when the Court of Appeal announced that they were going to set aside his 12 year prison sentence and order a new trial. That's after his appeal was heard and allowed. His attorney, Oscar Selgado, argued on his behalf and presented several grounds of appeal, but the Court of Appeal accepted the ground that he was not afforded a fair trial. That happened because he was unrepresented at the Supreme Court trial, and the judge failed to assist him in his defence.

    Dr. Carla "Eena It" Officially
    Dr. Carla Barnett made it official yesterday when she had her Freetown endorsement convention at the park in Belama Phase 1. Even though it rained, Barnett had an all start case of UDP political personalities including the Prime Minister. And while Barnett the newcomer is considered a decided underdog against the leader of the opposition, Francis Fonseca in a Freetown Seat he was won three times - she is likely to be encouraged by the fact that the UDP slate had a strong showing in Freetown in the municipal election, with mayoral candidate Darrell Bradley actually beating out Yolanda Schakron. In the case of councilors, there was only a small margin for the PUP in the solid votes.

    Channel 5

    Puma Energy Rations Fuel Amid Increase in Demand at the Pump
    There is a report tonight that fuel stocks are running low at gas depots countrywide. As a result, the main fuel importer, Puma Energy, has been rationing stocks, in particular [...]

    Mahogany Heights Man Stabbed in the Heart by Scorned Woman
    A Mahogany Heights resident is tonight fortunate to be alive after he was stabbed to the chest on Friday afternoon in what has been described as a domestic dispute. Forty-two [...]

    …But Was It a Case of Self Defense?
    According to Hattieville Police, under whose jurisdiction the Mahogany Heights Community falls, they were called out sometime around two-thirty on Friday afternoon. By that time, Butler had already been rushed [...]

    Kenneth Dobson Acquitted of Murder after Three Years in Remand
    There has not been a guilty conviction for murder since the beginning of the year and in fact, as recent as last Thursday, three men walked free of the charge. [...]

    Jervis Valencia Hobbles to Court, Arraigned for Murder and Battery of Related Charges
    A bloodbath on Mayflower Street on the night of March fourth ended in the death of a Belize City resident, left another man injured and the alleged assailant under police [...]

    Are Jaguars Preying on Livestock in Crooked Tree?
    Livestock farmers in Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary have been losing their cattle, but it is not to rustlers. For some time now, farmers have lost thousands of dollars because jaguars [...]

    Sergio Martinez Buried As John Doe After Being Hacked to Death in San Victor
    A Mexican national was hacked to death in the Corozal District on March first.  The body of a man identified as Sergio Martinez was discovered in his bungalow with multiple [...]

    Elderly Man Found Dead in Libertad, Was Foul Play Involved?
    On Saturday afternoon, Lenard Logan found his grandfather, George Trapp, dead.  Trapp’s body was found behind his house in some bush.  He was fully dressed, wearing slippers, with his glasses [...]

    Hit & Run Driver Indicted 3 Years After Fatal Accident in Corozal
    There were a number of road traffic accidents across the country over the weekend and finally, there was one arrest for a fatal road traffic accident that occurred two years [...]

    Belize City Youth Shot on Albert Street
    Belize City police are also reporting a shooting incident that occurred on Saturday night in the Old Capital. Just after eight p.m., twenty year old Conrad Pitts was at the [...]

    PM Barrow Explains Recurrent Expenditure in 2015 Budget
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow presented the 2015-2016 Budget on Friday, and it will be debated in the next two weeks. While he hasn’t officially dubbed it a budget of plenty, [...]

    $195 Million Worth of Road Works for 2015
    As he has alluded to with some regularity, the Prime Minister has ramped up the allocation to capital two and three projects this year to one hundred and ninety-five million [...]

    PM Barrow Says No New Taxes in Five Years
    Even in the face of increased spending in every sector, the PM boasts that the government has done it all, and continues to do it, without any increase in taxes. [...]

    OCEANA in Belize Issues on Grounded Submersible
    A submersible was found last Wednesday in the waters off San Pedro on the Belize Barrier Reef in an area called Mexico Rocks.  It has been determined that the object [...]

    Former KKK Leader, Bill Wilkinson, Living in San Pedro as Resort Owner
    The Daily Mail, an online newspaper out of the UK, has resurrected what it calls an exclusive story; the content which has already been reported sometime in Belize. It involves [...]

    NBC Back In Belize to Shoot Investigative Feature on John McAfee
    And while the story of Bill Wilkinson has re-surfaced, there is another story that has been attracting attention in Belize. John McAfee, whom you will recall, was wanted locally as [...]

    B.E.L. Hosts CARILEC Forum in Belize
    Belize Electricity Limited is currently hosting the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation’s 2015 Human Resources and Public Relations Conference in Belize City. The conference and others held frequently across the [...]

    2015 Preschool Festival of Arts Kicks Off at the Bliss
    An anticipated item on the calendar of school activities is the Festival of Arts involving pre-scholars. This morning the festival opened at the Bliss; teachers and proud parents were on [...]

    Football, Softball and Basketball Updates in Sports
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Saturday night inside the Isidoro Beaton Stadium saw a crucial matchup as undefeated Belize Defense Force was hosted by [...]

    CTV3

    Family Experiences Dispute Over Land Grab
    A couple in San Jose Village are in the middle of a land dispute and they claim that politics is at the center of their plight. Sebastaiana Escalante visited out studio today to file a complaint in which she says that the land on which she and her husband Carmelo Escalante have lived on for over 20 years is being taken away by other family members. The couple has decided to fight their rights to the land and have taken necessary procedures to contest the rights to the property. However, Escalante claims that the family has been at the losing end thanks to politics. She first explained how they acquired the land. Sebastiana Escalante – Complainant “Hace 21 ano nos casamos yo y Carmelo y no teníamos casa donde vivir, yo quedaba en una casa de un tio, entonces cuando dio un tiempo mi suegro nos fue a buscar a San Pablo diciéndonos que él quiere que compremos una casa que está a lado de su casa de él, entonces mi esposo le dijo que no tenemos dinero, entonces el mismo se ofreció a llevarnos a Belize Bank a prestar para comprar la casa que es de si hermano Graciano Escalante...

    Belize Experiences Fuel Shortage
    Ever since the country of Belize experienced a decrease in fuel prices the consumption has skyrocketed especially here in the North, home of the Sugar Industry. The demand for fuel has seen a drastic increase countrywide and tonight the news is not good as gas stations are rationing their supply in order to meet the demand of consumers. The problem lies in the fact that currently fuel stocks are running low at the main depot in Belize City owned by PUMA as the tanker from Venezuela has experienced some setbacks and is yet to reach Belizean territory. PUMA, the importer of fuel has been struggling with its stock since last week and they too are controlling the rationing of fuel even at their service stations. In an attempt to supplement its fuel stock PUMA has had to resort to trucking in fuel supply over land from Central America.

    Will The P.U.P Hold National Convention To Elect Party Leader
    Tonight there is no shying away from the fact that there is political unrest within the People’s United Party. Last week the media was buzzing with the latest that followed the release of what should have been a private conversation between Orange Walk Central Area Representative John Briceno and two other party supporters in which he made unprecedented allegations that incriminates high ranking officials in his party. While Briceno has refrained from commenting on the matter except to say that he had a private conversation and that he in the end supports the party leader Francis Fonseca, Belizeans are skeptical about the party’s reform efforts. As has been reported nationally, there is doubt surrounding Fonseca’s leadership especially following what some are saying is the historic win by the United Democratic Party for the municipal elections. Last week the party executives reiterated the party’s continued work towards further reform but there has also been talk about a possible convention. When faced by the media, Orange Walk Central Area Representative John Briceno again expressed support for the party leader.

    Oceana Investigates Case Of Submersible Equipment
    A few days back we reported on a discovery of what was believed to be a submersible equipment of some sort on the reef off San Pedro Ambergris Caye. The discovery was made around three thirty on Wednesday March 11th. Pictures we see were posted on the San Pedro Sun Facebook page. Today, Oceana issued a release on the damages caused to the Belize barrier Reef following an assessment conducted on March 13th in collaboration with Hol Chan Marine Reserve. According to their findings, the deep water submersible was discovered about six miles north of San Pedro Town in an area known as Mexico Rocks, within the recently expanded Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Their report indicates that the item described as a Quantum 9, heavy work class ROV measures almost 12ft in length by 6.6ft in width and includes four propellers topside, another two in the front and two more in the rear. The device also includes several underwater cameras. It came to a stop in approximately three feet of water and the damage it caused substantial damage to the coral species. Oceana Belize’s Communications Director Alyssa Carnegie is quoted as saying, “The damage already caused by the ROV and the complexity of its removal from the Belize Barrier Reef, as well as the recent sailboat stranding off Caye Caulker, highlights the lack of the necessary resources to respond properly and timely to incidents at sea. How we handle these incidents communicates, nationally and globally, the level of respect we hold for our marine wealth.”

    Corozal Bus Terminal Relocated
    If you commute to and from Corozal then this morning you may have been informed that the Corozal Bus Terminal has relocated. The move is based on the need to complete road rehabilitation works on 7th Street. According to the Transport Department, starting today Monday March 16th, 2015 until further notice, the Corozal Bus Terminal will be temporarily relocated to the Santa Elena Road, just on the outskirts of Santa Rita at the building that used to be the “Super Santa Rita Grocery Store”, adjacent to Majil’s Mexican Products. Authorities says the new bus route will be leaving from the temporary Bus Terminal heading down towards Corozal Town via Santa Rita Road then it will turn right before Magana’s Pharmacy onto the Port Saul road and head up towards College Road. On College Road the bus will turn right and head down College Road until it reaches 7th Avenue where it shall turn right and make its normal route on the Northern Highway heading towards Orange Walk and Belize City.

    Man Arrested For Causing Fatal Hit and Run Accident After Three Years
    Over the weekend Corozal Police made an arrest into a hit and run accident that left one man dead three years ago. Viewers may recall that on February 2nd 2012, Concepcion Villager, Jairo Isaias Castillo was knocked down and killed as he stood on the left hand side of the highway when the driver of a bus allegedly travelling at high speed lost control and swerved to the left and knocked Castillo down, fatally wounding him. Three years later, on March 13th, Humberto Novelo was arrested and charged for; manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving without due care and attention, failure to report an accident and fail to stop and render aid. Novelo’s arrested was made possible with the assistance of the public.

    Four Ambassadors Present Credentials To Governor General
    Four ambassadors presented their letters of credence to the Governor General of Belize His Excellency Sir Colville Young today at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan. The Ambassadors who presented their credentials are Ambassador of Ukraine H.E. Mr. Ruslan Spirin, Ambassador of Denmark H.E. Mr. Henrik Bramsen Hahn, Ambassador of Chile H.E. Mrs. Maria Inez Ruz Zanartu, and Ambassador of Czech Republic H.E. Mr. L’ubomir Hladik. All four expressed pleasure to be in the country and offered well wishes to Belizeans, says the release. They also conveyed their countries’ commitments to working with Belize towards common goals and further reinforce ties of understanding and cooperation.

    Corozal Police Investigate Traffic Accident, One Person Is Injured
    And while police successfully closed that case with an arrest, on Saturday Corozal police were investigating yet another traffic mishap. According to authorities, about 7:30 on Saturday night, acting upon information received, Corozal Police visited an area between miles 79 & 80 on the Phillip Goldson Highway within San Joaquin Village where on arrival officers saw a White Truck in a stationary position on the right lane of the highway with its front facing a south direction, when traveling a north to south direction. Officers also observed what appeared to be blood stains on the right lane of the road in front of the white truck. Initial investigations revealed that the white truck was traveling a north to south direction on the highway and was being driven at the time by 55 year old Daniel Perez, Belizean driver of Mamey Street, Trial Farm Village. Upon reaching an area between miles 79 & 80 in San Joaquin Village a Hispanic male namely 27 year old Aquilino Moh, Belizean resident of Calcutta Village ran from an east to west direction across the street, as a result the driver applied his brakes but nevertheless the white truck could not come to a halt in time and ended up running into Moh. The impact caused Moh to fall onto the pavement and sustained injuries to his head and a wound to his left foot.

    Man Detained For Drug Possession
    On Saturday around 3:20pm, police apprehended a 38-year-old Belizean/Guatemalan labourer of August Pine Ridge who was seen throwing a plastic bag as the police approached him. The individual was taken to the area where the bag was thrown and as it was retrieved police saw that it contained several small parcels of suspected crack/cocaine and another small transparent plastic bag containing a large broken parcel of suspected crack/cocaine. The individual was escorted to Orange Walk Police Station along with the drugs which amounted to a total 6.6grams.

    San Pedro Police Investigate Case Of Stolen Golf Cart
    In crime news from San Pedro Town, police have detained one Guatemalan mechanic for theft and damage to property. According to the report from 40 year old Yasmin Aminet Cano of Pescador Drive San Pedro Town, sometime on Sunday whilst in the company of her common-law husband on their Club Car Golf cart, they proceeded to Sea Weed Street and parked their cart. After about 5 minutes they were alerted that someone had taken their cart. Cano then proceeded to the police station where she saw the cart which was towed in and noticed that the front portion of the cart was extensively damaged. The value of the cart is $15,000.00. Police have detained a 20-year-old Guatemalan mechanic of San Pedrito area San Pedro Town pending investigation.

    Missing Person Found To Be In Good Health
    Yesterday we told you about a missing teen who left home last week Thursday following an argument with her guardians over a cell phone. And after the news aired of her mother pleading for her safe return, this morning we spoke to the mother of Angelie Guerrero who informed us that she was found in good health. According to the mother, she was staying with an aunt in Corozal and after hearing the news, turned herself in to the authorities in Corozal. We also told you about a missing person report of 55 year old Reynaldo Chuck who was last seen in the Honey Camp area near the Fresh Water Creek Forest Reserve. Up to news time, authorities say he is still missing but the search continues. Reynaldo Chuck is of clear complexion, 5’ 1" in height, black hair, brown eyes and has a mustache. He was last seen wearing a yellow shirt, grey pants and a pair of black rubber boots.

    Police Continues To Crack Down On Illicit Drugs
    Despite the peddler’s creative ways in concealing their precious illicit drugs, the police in Placencia village, Stann Creek District, continue to crack down on drug peddlers on the Peninsula. Their latest operation on Wednesday morning, conducted jointly by Special Branch, K9 Unit, the BDF and Placencia police, resulted in the discovery of 377 grams of marijuana and the arrest of two persons. Based on a tip, 23 year old Randy Chan and 38 year old Barrington Martin have been jointly charged for the crime of drug trafficking. Chan pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined $1,000 plus $5 cost of court. The charge was withdrawn from Martin.

    O/W Rotaract Observes International Rotaract Week
    The members of the Orange Walk Rotaract Club are holding a week of activities to observe International Rotaract Week. Today we caught up with the team at La Inmaculada where they were promoting maternal and child health care with the toddlers at the preschool at that institution. Jinell Azaeta– Vice President, OW Rotaract Club “We came to talk about nutrition to the kids and then play games with them and give them a banana and some orange juice but yesterday we were promoting disease prevention and treatment so we had our zumba party at the park and we had two sessions from 5:30 to 6:30 and then in the evening from 6 to 7. We are celebrating our World Rotaract week which started on Monday and it ends on Sunday, tomorrow is world Rotaract day so we are very excited about that and we will be at Solomon Pre-school little heaven and promoting literacy and on Saturday we will be having our Rotaract fair at the Central Park and we will be out there from 6 to 2 and we will be providing free glucose testing for anyone who wants to come out and check their glucose level and we will be having that from 6 until 10 in the morning and we will be having doctors out there for free consultation.”

    Corozal Observes Reef Week At Art In The Park
    March 9th to 15th is being celebrated as Reef Week. Much can be said about the beauty of Belize’s barrier reef, from breath-taking views and splendour, to its wondrous and colourful species! It is for this reason Oceana Belize is once again highlighting and celebrating this week by creating activities to draw public awareness to one of our greatest natural wonders and the world’s second largest coral reef system. And while each district has its fair share of events, in Corozal, reef lovers are currently making the finishing touches to their park presentation slated for Saturday. Judy Waight is the Field Coordinator for Oceana in Corozal Town. JUDY WAIGHT – Czl Field Coordinator, OCEANA “We will be having a booth at Art in the Park on Saturday and we are bringing awareness to the importance of our Barrier Reef and this years’ theme is celebrate our heritage and protect our future, Believe in the Reef and we know that Corozal is a coastal community and in regards to that we know that tourism is our number one industry and one in every four Belizean is employed in the tourism industry being it tour guide, fisherman so we wanted to bring awareness and also to celebrate our barrier reef.”

    OWTC Reminds Residence Of Fine If Caught Littering At Central Park
    Civic minded residents of Orange Walk have been voicing their discontent via social media about the littering acts that is being seen across Town. The latest looted areas have been the newly inaugurated Central Park where toiletries, food and drink containers are left on the benches. While there are no garbage bins implemented for the park, authorities at Town Council have confirmed that they will be installing the garbage bins by early next week. The public is reminded that if caught littering, you can face a fine of up to 500 dollars and so it is recommended that we all do our part to keep our municipality clean.

    Two High Post Employees Of BSI/ASR Placed On Administrative Leave
    Two employees who hold high positions at BSI/ASR have been placed on Administrative Leave effective yesterday afternoon. We understand that a few days ago ASR brought in someone from abroad to investigate the matter of a missing transformer worth some $70,000. After the investigation was complete the company brought in a regional recourses manager and that person placed John Gillette, Factory Manager and Jamil Matar, Engineering Manager on Administrative Leave until further notice. Unconfirmed reports are that John Gillette, who has been with the company for more than 40 years did not take the administrative leave too lightly and tendered his resignation this morning. He was due for retirement in September. We understand though he may have gotten a contract pass his retirement. Matar on the other hand has not taken any action and reports are that the will see through his suspension.

    La Inmaculada Pre-School Observes Child Stimulation Months
    Child stimulation month has been observed throughout the country since the beginning of March and children still have about two fun packed weeks of activities left to enjoy. All preschools have organized a series of such activities all in an effort to encourage more active learning and have parents and guardians more involved in their learning process. Today, while at the La Inmaculada Infant Division, we spoke with Agnes Valladarez on the school’s program for the month. Today the children were receiving visits from a number of community workers. Agnes Valladarez – Teacher “Today we are doing community workers because it is something important for them to know and we started this morning with the Rotaract group they are part of the community and they work with children, they work with people and they came to school today and we have the Traffic Officers and the Nurse and the Firefighters and the policemen who were also invited to come and talk to the children.”

    LOVE FM

    Children Involve in Pornography Movie; Gordon Address Concerns
    We have been getting reports for weeks now that Ladyville police busted a group of persons filming a pornography movie at a house in Ladyville Village, Belize District. The report that we got was that children were involved; we are yet to ascertain in what capacity those children were involved but we do know that children were in the house at the time of the movie was being made. Today, we asked Inspector Gordon about it and he told us that they did do a preliminary investigation and their findings have been forwarded to the Department of Human Services. INSPECTOR FREDRICK GORDON “We in Ladyville had received information and we had looked into the information but we did not get anything substantive about the information so we passed on the information to human services to look into the matter.”

    End of Legal War? Elvin Penner Case Dismissed
    In the recording John Briceno said in the last general elections, Cayo South area representative Julius Espat was in control of the money and kept it to himself instead of spreading it around, costing the PUP at least two seats in the Cayo District. Opposition Leader said the allegation is untrue; Espat also shared his comments. LEADER OF OPPOSITION, HON. FRANCIS FONSECA “You have to understand the history of the relationship with John Briceno and I. I came into the People’s United Party because of John Briceno. I served under him from 2009 until 2012 I was his most loyal soldier, I was his treasurer so he knows how I operate he knows how accountable I am and that is why it was disappointing to me with what he said and I requested an apology from him in private and he hasn’t given it to me and therefore I continue requesting an apology but to me it is over meaning I have made my statement, I stand for what I believe in and if he doesn’t want to apologize that is a manly decision of him on his part.”

    Espat Says Briceno Should Be Discpline
    In the recording John Briceno said in the last general elections, Cayo South area representative Julius Espat was in control of the money and kept it to himself instead of spreading it around, costing the PUP at least two seats in the Cayo District. Opposition Leader said the allegation is untrue; Espat also shared his comments. LEADER OF OPPOSITION, HON. FRANCIS FONSECA “You have to understand the history of the relationship with John Briceno and I. I came into the People’s United Party because of John Briceno. I served under him from 2009 until 2012 I was his most loyal soldier, I was his treasurer so he knows how I operate he knows how accountable I am and that is why it was disappointing to me with what he said and I requested an apology from him in private and he hasn’t given it to me and therefore I continue requesting an apology but to me it is over meaning I have made my statement, I stand for what I believe in and if he doesn’t want to apologize that is a manly decision of him on his part.”

    J.B Refuses to Speak on Tape; Fonseca Denies Allegations Against PUP
    The drama of the secret recording of Orange Walk Central area representative, John Briceno continued today. Prime Minister Dean Barrow read a statement in which he reiterated his party’s position that the PUP needs to respond to Briceno’s comments in which he speaks of corruption within the PUP Government of which he was a part. Briceno has maintained that the conversation was a private one and should never have been released to the public. He stuck to that position when pressed by the media following today’s meeting. HON. JOHN BRICENO “In that discussion in many instances that if when you are talking that you would have framed what you were saying differently from what came across on that tape but I am not going to discuss it. I think what is important is to talk about this budget. I mean when you look at the numbers and this is what is very important.”

    Proposed National Budget Forecasts Increases in Production of Exports and Tourism
    During his proposed budget presentation, Prime Minister Dean Barrow went into the projections for the new fiscal year. “As it looks ahead into the rest of 2015 the Central Bank of Belize conservatively expects GDP growth to decelerate to between 2% and 2.5%, they feel that the tail winds that drove the 2014 expansions will moderate. I note however that their native caution has been confounded before, in fact just last year they had forecasted under 3% as I have said we did over a full percentage point better than they had estimated. In any case production of the export crop sugar cane, banana, and citrus should continue to increase though by a smaller magnitude than in 2014. Hydro electricity generation has been trending downward recently due to dryer weather and petroleum extraction has been on its inevitable finite decline.

    Belize will Keep Rolling with PetroCaribe Funds
    Prime Minister Barrow said his Government will continue to take advantage of the Petrocaribe initiative. He said since late 2012 up to February of this year Government has imported 238 million US dollars worth of refined fuel products from Venezuela. “Under the terms of the agreement which provides for long term financing of a greater or smaller portion of the costs of these imports depending on the world market prices, the government of Belize has borrowed from Acbell a total of $143 million USD during the same period. The main terms and conditions under which these funds were borrowed I repeat include a rate of interest of only 1% per anum and a repayment term of 25 years inclusive of a 2 year grace period. During this grace period the interest itself is capitalized. Because this grace period is still in effect GOB has not so far had to make any debt payments neither principal or interest on these loans but commencing this year interest and repayment will begin to fall due.

    PM Says Infrastructural Overhaul Led to Spending Above Budgeted Figures
    Barrow said the development expenditure increased by almost 69 million dollars above the budgeted figures. “This huge rise in development expenditure was a result of the government’s decided and deliberate policy to invest massively in infrastructure particularly in upgrading streets and drains in Belize City, Belmopan city and all district towns. Also on the social side we considered it an imperative to provide access through the national bank to lower cost financing for mortgage lending, All this as part of our new compact with our citizens the totality of which is aimed at advancing growth, increasing employment and taking Belizeans to a better place. In bulking up the capital spending there was an outlay of $33 million dollars on road rehabilitation countrywide.

    2014/2015 – Barrow Says Was A Part of UDP’s Infrastructural Overhaul of Belize
    The 2015/2016 budget was presented today. Prime Minister Dean Barrow made the presentation of his eighth budget, this one under the theme of “Continuing the transformation”. The Prime Minister began with a review of the last fiscal year. “For fiscal year 2014-2015, the Central Government is projecting a primary deficit of $50 million dollar equivalent of 1.5% of GDP and an overall deficit of $141 million dollars or 4.1% of GDP. The projected primary deficit cannot escape the scrutiny provoked by its comparison with the budgeted surplus of 1.1% of GDP and in that same vain the projected overall deficit is almost 2.5% in response greater than the initial estimate of negative 1.6% of GDP. Of course there is a reason for this and that reason simply is that the UDP political directorate is unrelenting in its mission and that mission we are happy to tell the world is to infrastructurally overhaul our country.

    Fonseca Says PM Should Bring Evidence or Shut His Mouth
    As we mentioned earlier, Prime Minister Dean Barrow insists that the allegations made by John Briceno needs to be addressed by the leadership of the People’s United Party. Opposition leader Francis Fonseca disagrees, saying, the matters addressed in the recording have been well ventilated in the public domain for a number years. FRANCIS FONSECA “The issues discussed on that tape have been widely and publicly ventilated for many years; all of those issues you, yourself have asked the former Prime Minister many questions about many of those issues over the years. So, it is all political grandstanding, public political posturing and rhetoric. I have said to the Prime Minster he has been the Prime Minister of Belize for almost eight years he is completing seven years if there is any evidence of corruption bring it to the Belize people or shut your mouth. That is my response to him, deal with the hotbed of corruption that he talks about in his government; the corruption that is taking place in almost every ministerial department in his government; talk about that, deal with that; that is what the Belizean public wants him to deal with.”

    PlusTV

    Reward for recovery of Rotarian passport
    The Rotary Club of Dangriga has reported that the Passports of Wendy Andrew and Joyce Fofonoff who are two of the five members team of Rotarian from the Rotary Club of Edmonton, Canada were stolen from the Pals Guest House on Thursday 12 March 2015...

    Custom broker charged with wounding friend
    A woman who tried to stop an argument at her house on Thursday wound up with a split lip for her efforts. Today, the man who slapped her appeared in court. Custom broker Jason Bernard of Handyside Street pleaded not guilty to a charge of wounding before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer...

    Mother of three charged for weed at police station
    A 29 year old mother of three went to the police station on Thursday to report assault by her common-law husband who she said punched her, but she wound up in trouble instead. Gania Robateau removed 3...

    Man pleads guilty for drug bust in front of Magistrate’s Court
    A senior citizen was busted in Belize City in July of 2012 for drug and traffic offences, and today his case wrapped up with a plea of guilty to a charge of drug trafficking.  52 year old Fred Buckley must pay a fine of $10,000 by June 30 or he will serve three years in prison...

    COLA appeal against Elvin Penner dismissed in Supreme Court
    Two weeks ago, at the conclusion of the hearing of the appeal of Geovannie Brackett and Nedal McLaren against the decision of Magistrate Aretha Ford to throw out summary charges against Cayo Northeast area representative Elvin Penner related to his facilitating a passport and Belizean nationality fo...

    Man shot in the leg by cops
    Around the same time in Belize City, another person was shot. According to police reports, they received information of shots fired on Central American Blvd...

    Drive by shooting in Ladyville; man in critical condition
    Two persons were shot last night, Thursday March 12,  one in Ladyville and the other in Belize City...

    Patrick JonesPJ

    New San Ignacio/Santa Elena town council officially takes office
    The new San Ignacio/Santa Elena town council officially took office today, Monday, March 16. Mayor Earl Trapp and his councilors were sworn in during a short ceremony held on Sunday afternoon at the Cayo Welcome Center by Senior Justice of the Peace Elulogio Cano. Prior to the start of the […]

    Submersible vessel stuck on the Belize Barrier causing major damage
    The Belize Barrier Reef is taking a pounding … literally. A 12 feet long by 6 feet wide deep water submersible was spotted last week about six miles north of San Pedro town in an area known as Mexico Rocks. According to Oceana Belize, late last week it undertook an […]

    Visiting African caught with dead man’s passport
    A native of Cameroon in West Africa must pay a fine after pleading guilty to illegal use of a document, specifically a Honduran passport whose bearer is dead. 45 year old Emmanuel Nguemowuo arrived at the Philip Goldson International Airport in Ladyville via a flight from Honduras, but […]

    Jervis Valencia charged for murder
    The March 5 murder of Moses Gonguez on Mayflower Street disrupted the peace of election night. Initially police thought they had killed the man who reportedly shot him, 32 year old Jervis Diamond Valencia, as he was shot in the forehead, arm and chest; but he survived his […]

    Woman charged for stabbing “obsessed” assailant
    A mother of 3 residing in Mahogany Heights, Belize District, is accused of grievous harm despite claims she defended herself from a man she says was obsessed with her, although they do not have a relationship. 24 year old Shannon Smith was read her charges before Chief Magistrate […]

    Belize: A Post Election View From Under The Bus
    By Richard Harrison Municipal elections in Belize are held every three years and were scheduled for March 4, 2015. General elections to elect members of the House of Representatives are held every five years and must be held by March 2017, but can be called by the Prime Minister at any time before then, with […]

    Jury acquits man of murder charge
    A jury of 8 men and 4 women deliberated for a little over 4 hours today in the court of Justice John Gonzalez before it found Kenneth Dobson, aka “Fudgie”, not guilty of the murder of Erwin Staine. Staine was shot multiple times in the left side of […]

    One World Running annual Fun Run to be held on Wednesday
    Preparations are well underway for this year’s One World Fun Run. The annual event will be held on Wednesday morning starting at 6 o’clock from the Punta Gorda Central Park. Over a thousand students from Primary School to the University of Belize are expected to take part in […]

    Blogs

    Dateline NBC Is Back in Belize For An Update on John McAfee – Ugh
    “Dateline – Belize: The Real Blacklist” – the commercials/previews are already showing on NBC for the update on John McAfee and his time in Belize. And the NBC crew has been on the island this past weekend to film parts of the updated episode that will be airing this Thursday. For those who missed the first episodes, they aired on NBC and the show “Dateline” just over 2 years ago… Update on John McAfee: He is still batshit crazy and DYING for attention. Sigh…I hate to even post on this but I’ve been getting quite a few messages about the commercials that are playing on NBC. I guess we have to wait until then. Thursday night 8pm ET – 6pm in Belize.

    The hidden force in global economics: sending money home
    Last year there was huge debates about what Belizeans in the Diaspora do for the motherland and the people there. Some asked in news papers "What have you done for me lately?" others pointed to other things, but mostly the concept was insinuating that the Diaspora does not do much for the nation. There was one ignorant fellow that made the remark in public forum that: In 2013, the Central Bank of Belize reported that remittances were $72.2 million or about 2.23% of our gross domestic product (GDP). Economists will tell you that any activity generating 2.23% of GDP is not insignificant in-and-of-itself. However, given the nature of remittances, we can discount its overall importance to the economy. In essence, we can take it for granted because remittances are not so susceptible to exogenous shocks. Basically saying that the money sent home by Diasporans does not make a difference for Belize and Belizeans that receive these funding, and mind you this is only monies that went through the Western Unions, Wire Transfers and other expensive and traceable means, this does not include monies that go directly to pay bills using a diaspora family member’s credit card or monies sent with a trusted friend or wrapped up in a parcel, etc. To add to that you have to think about donations made in the form of items like computers to schools, clothes and food drives held in the Diaspora that get sent for those that need, and other such things.

    Puerto Rican Pasteles/Tamales Puertorriqueños
    Puerto Rican Pastales are somewhat similar to Belizean Tamales except it's made with green plantains instead of corn. This is a very dense dish, but very delicious. I also show you in 3 minutes or less how to make Belizean Tamales.

    On Ambergris Caye: A quiet week, crime-wise — but have you heard about the Cynk stink?
    It has been a quiet week in San Pedro, my home town, where the coffee is strong, the barrier reef is good looking and the weather is above average. My apologies to Garrison Keillor and “Prairie Home Companion.” But it has been quiet and I think a thank you to the Government of Belize for its quick response to a bad situation might be due. When a drug related turf war flared up and innocent children were caught in the crossfire, enforcement came down on the island like a hammer. Here is Channel 5’s report on the initial actions taken by police. I don’t know enough about the local players to comment but this seems significant. Prime Minister Dean Barrow recently released a statement in which he ordered expanded enforcement support for Ambergris Caye, where loss of tourism could dig a deep hole in the country’s revenue base.

    The March 15th, 2015 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

    This Week's Stories:

    • DRUG TRAFFICKER BUSTED:
      The Police from the Crimes Investigation Branch and the Special Branch are cracking down on drug peddlers in the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena. Their latest bust was on Tuesday, 10 March, based on the information they received of a cream Geo Prism with taxi licenses plate BVO-00289. Police acted swiftly and intercepted the vehicle between mile 68 and 69, right in front of the Inglewood Camping Grounds. There were four occupants including, a male driver and three women passengers. All occupants were ordered out of the vehicle with their belongings. Police then conducted a search on each individual however nothing incriminating was found on the occupants except for one of the female occupants, whom police found as Merikita Castillo, 28 year old domestic of Belize City. Castillo had a grey crochet bag in her hand. Upon searching the bag police found a dark blue Everest school bag what contained some clothes, cosmetics, personal documents, a clack plastic bag and a transparent Miltex plastic bag. Further search of the black plastic bag, led to the discovery of green leafy substance suspected to be marijuana.
    • Teenager Drowns In The Mopan River:
      A third-form student of Eden High School in Benque Viejo Del Carmen drowned in the Mopan River on Sunday while swimming with friends. Family members believe that seventeen year old Michael Quintanilla caught a cramp while attempting to cross the river. They got the call at around four Sunday evening, after his friends had tried unsuccessfully to save him. Police was call immediately after, and upon arrival found Quintanilla’s lifeless body on the bank of the Mopan River. The body was transferred to the San Ignacio Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Father of Deceased, Alfredo Quintanilla, said that he was told by the father of one of the kids that they had lunch a couple of minutes before taking a dip in the in the Mopan river and upon swimming across, Michael, unfortunately did not make it.
    • The Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust Signs An Agreement With The Belize Enterprise For Sustainable Technology To Serve As Implementing Agent Of The Trust’s Student Loan Programme:
      The BELIZE Natural Energy Charitable Trust (BNECT) today signed an Agreement with the Belize Enterprise for Sustainable Technology (BEST) to expand the Trust’s Student Loan Program to the underserved areas of the Cayo and Belize Districts. The initial investment of $350,000 will be made available to BEST in two tranches of $175,000 each. The overall objective of the partnership is to create a revolving fund to provide loans for Belizean students attending or planning to attend Belizean educational institutions of secondary, tertiary and vocational designation, accredited by the Ministry of Education. The BELIZE Natural Energy Charitable Trust shares the same agenda of our partners and envisions this collaboration as a joint effort to empower and uplift Belizeans so that they can become the conscious architects of their own future.
    • La Ruta Maya River Challenge 2015:
      The 2015 La Ruta Maya took center stage in the Jewel over the Baron Bliss weekend. At the start of the 4th and final stage of this canoe race, were 50 vessels afloat on the calm of the Belize or Old River at Henderson Bank in Burrell Boom Village, the starting signal brings an outburst of unrestrained energy as the competition comes to life. At Lord’s Bank, OCEANA Wavemakers display their intention to make it 2 stage wins in a row with the overall victory mathematically; almost inaccessibly grabbing the 2nd premie en route to Belize City. Behind them, the 2 real challengers for the 2015 title B.T.L. Cobb’s Arm and NICH continue to bitter struggle for supremacy as NICH boasts only a 2 second lead over the Corozal based team that has displayed a tremendous improvement in a year’s time.
    • Cayo Western Ballaz Survived A Scare Versus Belize City No Limit:
      On Friday night, Cayo Western Ballaz(5-0) hosted the Belize City No Limit(1-4) team at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town, as they tried to keep their record unblemished. However, the visiting team jumped out to an early 8 - 0 start, taking a 5 point lead into the half. With 3 minutes to go, Cayo Western Ballaz was nursing a 6 point lead, but they were able to pull out the 64 - 57 victory at home, to remain undefeated. The home team was led by Richard Troyer who scored 27 points, and had 4 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists. Giovanni Lennan had 9 points with 12 rebounds, while Akeem Watters finished with 8 points and 7 rebounds. Kurt "Chengo" Burgess scored 7 point and finished with the game high 19 rebounds.
    • Inaguration Of The Rotary Park:
      The renovated Rotary Park, complete with new playground equipment, was officially inaugurated Today. Members of the San Ignacio Rotary Club, with assistance from the Rotaract Clubs of San Ignacio and Benque Viejo del Carmen, spent the long holiday weekend working alongside members of the Rotary Club of Jasper, Canada to complete the installation of the new equipment. The installation included see-saw, swing-set, a circular slide and monkey-bars. The sound of excited children at play filled the park on a bright, sunny afternoon, following the official speeches and ribbon-cutting. Guest speaker at the inauguration was Mayor-designate of San Ignacio/ Santa Elena, Earl Trapp.
    • ELECTIONS AND BOUNDARIES DEPARTMENT MUNICIPAL ELECTION OFFICIAL RESULTS
    • Herpes Zoster:
      Herpes zoster (or simply zoster), commonly known as shingles and also known as zona, is a viral disease characterized by a painful skin rash with blisters in a limited area on one side of the body (left or right), often in a stripe. The initial infection with varicella zoster virus (VZV) causes the acute, short-lived illness chickenpox which generally occurs in children and young adults. Once an episode of chickenpox has resolved, the virus is not eliminated from the body and can go on to cause herpes zoster often many years after the initial infection. Herpes zoster is not the same disease as herpes simplex, despite the name similarity; both the varicella zoster virus and herpes simplex virus belong to the same viral subfamily Alphaherpesvirinae. After the initial episode of chickenpox resolves, the varicella zoster virus remains latent in the nerve cell bodies and, less frequently, the non-neuronal satellite cells of the dorsal root, cranial nerve or autonomic ganglia, without causing any symptoms.
    • Tourist Killed By Whale Crashing Into Boat Off Mexico:
      A grey whale (Eschrichtius robustus) dives into the Ojo de Liebre Lagoon in Mexico on 3 March, 2015. A record number of grey whales has been spotted off the Mexican coast this season A Canadian woman died after a grey whale crashed into the tourist boat she was on off Mexico's Pacific coast. The woman had been snorkelling off the north-western resort of Cabo San Lucas. The exact circumstances of the incident are unclear. Firefighters say the whale jumped up and landed on the boat, throwing the victim into the water. But the tour company said the woman was injured when the captain had to make a sudden turn to avoid the surfacing whale, which hit one side of the boat. She later died in hospital. Two other people were also injured. A grey whale (Eschrichtius robustus) emerges from the waters of the Ojo de Liebre Lagoon on 3 March, 2015. Grey whales breed and nurse their calves in the lagoons and bays.
    • Mexican Mayoral Candidate Murdered:
      The decapitated body of a politician has been found in one of Mexico's most violent states, Guerrero, where she had been standing for mayor in June's elections. Aide Nava's body was discovered on a road near the state capital, Chilpancingo. She had been kidnapped on Tuesday. A note near her body threatened the same treatment for other politicians. Violence in Guerrero has cast doubt over polls scheduled there for June. The note near Aide Nava's body said if politicians did not "fall into line" they would be executed. It was signed by Los Rojos, one of the main criminal groups in the state. Last year Aide Nava's son was kidnapped and has never been found. Her husband, a former mayor, was also murdered.
    • STAR Humor
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    International Sourcesizz

    Avanti Destinations Expands Belize Offerings in Response to Demand
    Avanti Destinations, a specialist in independent travel programs for Latin American and Europe, expanded its offerings for Belize after seeing a 22 percent increase in bookings to the Central American-Caribbean destination. “Belize is a natural for romance travel,” said Dalgaard, “and a logical first destination in Central and South America, particularly because of the fact that English is the official language. Clients may come to Belize for a beach vacation to snorkel and dive along the reef, but the Maya ruins, rainforest, and wildlife soon get them hooked on exploring more of Latin America.” Romance on the Reef is a six-day/five-night package based at Portofino Resort, which has a reputation for having the best restaurant on Ambergris Caye. The package includes a couple’s massage, a candlight dinner and champagne. It starts at $1,729 per person.

    The KKK's 'most violent' Imperial Wizard pictured for the first time since he vanished from America in 1984
    A former Imperial Wizard of infamous 'white supremacy' group Ku Klux Klan is living on a paradise island in Belize - among the very race of people he fought to segregate, Daily Mail Online can reveal. Bill Wilkinson owns a multi-million dollar holiday resort in San Pedro town on picturesque Ambergris Caye. The small island – a former British colony which imported thousands of African slaves in the 18th Century - has a mainly Black and Mayan population. Belize overall has only a few thousand white English speakers. Wilkinson, 72, from Denham, Louisiana was reviled across America when he served as Imperial Wizard of the Invisible Empire of the Knights of the KKK from 1975 to 1984. He had established a breakaway group of David Duke's Knights of the Ku Klux Klan to rival the original, and grew a reputation with the FBI as the most 'violent' and 'dangerous' KKK movement.

    Dateline NBC television show will feature an update on the John McAfee story
    NBC's crew is currently in Belize gathering information & video for their latest segment. McAfee was named a a person of interest by police in their investigation into the murder of Gregory Faull. According to NBC reps, the segment should air either this week or next. In 2013, NBC did a 12 part series entitled "Trouble in Paradise" on the McAfee story. You can see those videos here.

    Travel the World: Visiting Belize and the rich Mayan culture
    Tonight on the CommDiginews Hour Travel the World we continue our tour of Central America with a tour of Belize. Geographically situated south of Mexico with Guatemala to the west and south, Belize is the only country in Central America whose official language is English. The Mayan civilization dates to about 1500 BC and thrived until about 900 AD before it suddenly disappeared; Modern Belize, formerly known as British Honduras, gained its independence in 1981. The influence of the British on the schools and the world feel of this tiny county combined with the depth of the Mayan culture creates a diverse community with many cultures, including a strong Amish influence.

    Feds to Crack Down on Seafood Fraud and Illegal Fishing
    Today, the United States federal government announced its final plans to crack down on seafood fraud and illegal fishing at Seafood Expo North America in Boston. The announcement, which came from a presidential task force created in June, reaffirms President Obama’s commitment to stop these crimes that provide profits to pirate fishermen, rip off consumers and hinder ocean conservation. Since 2011, Oceana has worked to stop seafood fraud and ensure that all seafood sold in the U.S. is safe, legally caught and honestly labeled. In 2014, Oceana released a study revealing that America’s favorite seafood – shrimp – was misrepresented in 30 percent of the 143 products tested. In a similar study in 2013, Oceana found that 33 percent of the more than 1,200 fish samples it tested nationwide were mislabeled, according to Food and Drug Administration guidelines. Seafood fraud not only cheats consumers, but can also impact public health and global ocean conservation by allowing illegally caught fish to be sold in the legal marketplace.

    The beautiful bugs of Belize
    Thomas Shahan is an Oregon-based artist and macro-photographer who specialises in high-magnification photography. He is the imaging specialist for the Oregon Department of Agriculture's entomology lab. For the past two years, Thomas has been teaching at macro photography workshops in Belize, and he took these stunning photographs during those trips. Most tourists visit the country for the clear tropical waters off the coast, but inland Belize includes deep jungle habitats with incredible biodiversity and an enormous amount of arthropod life. Thomas tells BBC Earth, “I find the seemingly endless diversity and beauty of arthropods fascinating. It's like exploring another world full of alien life forms. "Arthropods are often feared, misunderstood, or labelled as pests – unjustly – despite the pivotal role they play in the Earth's ecosystems. They are certainly more beneficial to the planet than we are as a species.” He goes on “By taking portraits and details of their beauty and anthropomorphic qualities - I hope to elevate repulsion to reverence. Bugs are beautiful and people should know.”

    Live in Caribbean Belize for $60 a Day or Less
    Lots of expats are already living their dream Caribbean lifestyle… Taking leisurely walks along the coast, cooled by the enticing Caribbean breeze…swimming and snorkeling in the living aquarium of the Caribbean Sea…feasting on fresh fruits, seafood and lobster…indulging in afternoon catnaps in a comfy hammock…meeting friends for a fresh catch lunch at a seaside café… Here’s the good news—this idyllic Caribbean lifestyle is still possible for those with a decent Social Security income—if they know where to settle, and how to cut corners… Financially savvy expats are enjoying this enviable lifestyle on $60 a day, or less. Many expats choose to spend more…but plenty get by on less. It’s a matter of making lifestyle choices that fit within your individual budget. Belize has garnered significant tourism attention during the last few years, especially for the highly popular cayes. It is, of course, more costly to live in the most desirable regions frequented by tourists—the cayes and the Placencia Peninsula. (The cost of living on the Placencia Peninsula is now comparable to the cost of living on Ambergris Caye.) And yet there are expats who insist they have been living a comfortable, quality lifestyle in these popular regions, but on an affordable budget…

    Videos

  • Different areas to live in Belize if you are looking to move !!, 14min. by Macarena Rose. Belize Real Estate is more than looking for houses in Belize for sale. Belize real estate for sale is about WHERE to move to in Belize,how to retire in Belize, how to rent in Belize, how to find Belize properties for sale and how to find a Certified International REALTOR in Belize. Belize has islands for sale, Belize has condos for sale and yet mainly Belize is the number one choice for retirees as it English speaking and is easy to get to. So Belize is Easy to do.

  • The Explorers - Lionfish hunting and night diving at Carrie Bow Cay, Belize, 3min. Georgia Tech researchers traveled to the Carrie Bow Cay field station in Belize for the coral spawning season. The team's goal was to collect coral larvae for their research. While there, they helped rid the reef of invasive lionfish.

  • The Explorers - Collecting coral larvae in Belize, 2min. Danielle Dixson, an assistant professor at Georgia Tech, and team collect and study coral larvae at Carrie Bow Cay Field Station

  • Transiting Through the Barrier Reef Off the Coast of Belize, 1/2min. Transiting through a barrier reef can be stressful even if it has a dredged channel. Can you be sure all the navigational markers are in place and are they lit at night? Watch as a ship with a FarSounder-1000 exits the barrier reef off the coast of Belize. This was a dark night with quite a bit of chop

  • To Belize and Back 2015, 7.5min.

  • Healthy People, Beautiful Life: Maya Healers of Belize, 47min.

    This is the story of the members of the Maya Healers' Association of Belize, a group of Q'eqchi' and Mopan healers in the Toledo District who have come together to form an association to promote their work and correct the false understanding that many have of their dedication, training and healing knowledge. In this film, the healers speak freely of the challenges they face as they seek to help their people, and they demonstrate various aspects of their medical and spiritual practice. The film is in the Q'eqchi' and Mopan languages with English subtitles.

  • Belize Dive Trip 2015 5 (2), 6.5min.

    March 16, 2015


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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
    *On Friday, March 6th, a joint Belize City Police and San Pedro Police operation was conducted at the residence of 51-year-old Peter Moses “Campos” Hernandez in the San Juan Area. Also present during the time of the search were 26-year-old Marciana Susana Campus 26 years, 23-year-old Teresita Jessely Cordova, 48-year-old Guadalupe Gonzalez, 42-year-old Victor Vasquez, 52-year-old John Arana, 30-year-old Michael “Zetaz” Edwards, 27-year-old Juan Gomez, 44-year-old Laura Trapp and 25-year-old Pedro Campus. *On Saturday, March 7th, at about 1:30PM while joint Belize City and San Pedro Police were on Motorcycle patrol on Seagrape Street, they stopped and searched 35-year-old Rudy Rodriguez which led to the discovery of 4.0 grams of suspected Cannabis. He was formally arrested and charged for “Possession of Controlled Drugs”.

    Wolfe’s Woofer: Get Rich Quick
    Dennis-Wolfe-Wolfes-Woofers“Look at this” I said to Charlie, handing him a broken piece of Mayan pottery. “What is it?” “It’s one of those little three legged Mayan dishes. I thought was a copy and I carried it around with the musical equipment for Sherry to use as an ashtray. Last week we were playing at Fido’s and a tourist offered me $600 U.S. for it.” “It’s real?” “Sure enough. I didn’t sell it because I thought I might get more for it from another tourist. When we were packing up the equipment that night it slipped out or my hand and cracked right down the middle. Now, it’s worthless.”

    San Pedro Lions Make Plans for Annual Pancake Breakfast with the Easter Bunny
    On the Saturday before Easter the San Pedro Lions International Club hosts a Pancake Breakfast with the Easter Bunny. The annual family event is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike, who partake in the fun filed morning of food, games, activities and of course the Easter Bunny. The brunch includes pancakes, sausage, a slice of orange and juice. Children especially enjoy the topping table where they can pile their pancakes high with the likes of chocolate syrup, Nuttela, sprinkles, butter, strawberry jam, shredded coconut, cheese and maple syrup. Some kids pick them all! The Easter Bunny is there to entertain and pose for photos. Activities include coloring, bobbing for Easter Eggs, face painting, Egg in Spoon races and a special craft making table. This year the family event will be held on Saturday, April 4th from 9AM until noon at the Lions Den. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under, and children under the age of 2 are free.

    Doctor Love: Stepmother
    Dear Doctor Love, My husband has three grown children by his first wife. Since we married ten years ago his children treated me like some kind of fool. I did not like it but I put up with it out of respect for my husband and because they were still young. Now they are in their twenties and they treat me even worse. They invite themselves and their families over for dinner through their father. I never know until the last minute but I am expected to cook for as many as twelve people when they all show up with their children. They never bother to help clean up. They also expect me and their father to baby sit without giving us any notice.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Passing of Don Gush
    oday's event scheduled on Four Mile Lagoon regarding the Northern Territorial Volunteers has been postponed due to the passing away of "Don Gush" as he was affectionately called. We extend our deepest and sincere condolences to Mrs. Emy Gilharry Ramirez and her family in their moment of grief.

    AMBASSADOR ADALBERT 'BERT' TUCKER: BELIZE'S MADEBA, PATRIOT & INTERNATIONAL STATESMAN!
    It is only a few Belizeans, or may be none at all, that has held the international stature of Belizean revolutionary Adalbert 'Bert' Tucker. His incredible body of work as an economist with a progressive philosophy for development is hardly shared, not even by the government for which he worked for, in the last days of his life. As a matter of fact, the United Democratic Party (UDP) government Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wlifred 'Sedi' Elrington for which he became their loyal Ambassador of Trade, the Caribbean and Africa, did not even attend his funeral. But the international recognition of which this man has received, from the shores of the Caribbean and Latin America, to the continent of Africa, because of his work with the United Nations in the 1980's in sustainable development, has brought a deep respect for Belize and Belizeans. This feature highlights a ceremony honoring a street in his name, in Belize's capital city, Belmopan, by the embassy of the Bolivian Republic of Venezuela to Belize of which Tucker worked tirelessly with, to secure Venezuelan medical, financial, and oil aid to the struggling economy of Belize, and of which he was a personal friend of the late Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez.

    National Park rangers are sworn in
    Eleven Chiquibul National Park rangers are successfully sworn in as special constables on the 14th of March by officers of the Belize Police Academy. PACT funds made this training possible.

    The Reporter

    Dale Cayetano is Belize’s new Director of Family Court
    Effective April 1, 2015, Magistrate Dale Cayetano will be the Director of the Belize Family Court, after the department has been out of a director for almost two years since the former Director, Margaret Nicholas left the post. The Judicial Legal Service Commission appointed Cayetano, 49, to the post. He is currently the magistrate for Court #4, working under the directives of Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. Magistrate Dale Cayetano was first a messnger and worked his way up to become a Second Class Clerk, then a First Class Clerk, until he made it to the position of Clerk of Court at the Belize Family Court and most recently, a Magistrate at the Belize City Magistrate’s Court.

    Dr. Carla Barnett endorsed
    Hundreds of United Democratic Party supporters occupied the Guava Park in Belama this afternoon for the endorsement convention of Dr. Carla Barnett. Barnett, who has been chosen as the party’s standard bearer for the Freetown division of Belize City, was flanked by party leader Dean Barrow, area representative for Collet Patrick Faber, and Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley. Area representative for Belmopan, John Saldivar also gave a brief speech of endorsement to Barnett. Barnett, who has no political ventures prior to her endorsement, will run against People’s Unite Party leader and Freetown standard bearer, Francis Fonseca.

    Teachers’ pay going up again
    Teachers and public officers can expect another pay increase in the upcoming financial year, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said during the presentation of the national budget. Barrow explained at the meeting of the House of Representatives that under the salary adjustment framework, government has allocated $20 million for pay raise for teachers and public officers; however the figure is subject to change. “And as a place-holder only, we have allocated the sum of $20 million in the Capital II Program to fund the raise of pay. This translates into at least a 4 percent jump for these GOB employees, and it is on top of last year’s 6 percent. And although it may end up being a little more or a little less depending on the final recurrent figure,” Barrow said.

    Puerto Rico takes new approach to child obesity
    To address the high prevalence of child obesity, Puerto Rican Senator Gilbert Rodriguez Valle introduced a bill which could have the parents of obesed children fined. The bill, which was introduced on Wednesday, would subject parents to a fine if their child’s obesity could be determined as a form of parental neglect. The proposed bill outlined a system where once obesed children are identified and the education authority would educate parents on the consequences. Afterwards the the health department would work with the parents on a plan for the child to lose weight. If the child’s condition does not improve within six months, child and family services would be contacted, and if the situation persists after their involvement, parents could face a US $800 fine.

    Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala stands a good chance to be elected ASG to OAS
    Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala, Nestor Mendez is likely to be elected as the next Assistant Secretary General to the Organization of American States (OAS) in a contest between himself and Guyana’s Ambassador to that organization, Bayney Karran. Ambassador Mendez’ bid for the high office comes with support from Belize’s government and a number of his peers at the OAS, whose members will vote on Wednesday. In sharp contrast, Guatemala’s former President and representative at the OAS, Eduardo Stein, had submitted his name to run for the post of Secretary General. The Reporter has learned however, that Stein’s counterpart in the bid, Uruguayan Foreign Minister, Luis Almagro, will assume the position by acclamation after Stein’s submission was withdrawn.

    Blogs

    Belize’s River of Sand
    Imagine lounging on your deck, a book on your lap and a cocktail in your hand. Just steps away, turquoise waters slip gently up onto the coral-grain sand. Overhead palms rustle and pelicans flap their long wings. There is a gentle breeze blowing and all of a sudden you notice a shadow in the water offshore, causing a distinct color difference between masses of water. At first you think it is a cloud over head that is causing the shadow. But you then observe that the sky is clear above you. I experienced this scenario and when I saw the shadow I had to find out what was going on in the waters off the beach. So I launched my 15 foot skiff and motored out to what appeared to be the color changes in the water, about 300 yards (3 football fields) offshore. What the shadow turned out to be was a stretch of surface seawater that was murky brown with muddy sediments in contrast to the surrounding seawater that was sky blue in color. This murky water spread up and down parallel with the coast and was about 100 yards across with blue water on the inner and outer surface waters surrounding the “plume”. I could not tell how long the plume of sediment water was but it stretched parallel to the coast as far as I could see in both directions. I could only describe it as a “river of sand” in the waters off my beach in Belize.

    Moments in San Pedro, Belize Over This Past Week
    The weather this week has been pretty gorgeous on Ambergris Caye. The municipal elections are over (phew!), the sargasso algae/seaweed is at an all-time high level and, as usual, there is plenty going on to keep me busy in San Pedro. Here are some pictures from around the island. If you run into me anywhere and I am not taking pictures, something might be wrong. The weather on Wednesday afternoon from the Rojo Beach Bar dock. No filter. The sky and sea at its bluest. My friend Bubba who lives on the sidewalk near my home. A wish willy (not an iguana), he’ll eat just about anything. But he enjoy some bananas if I remember to bring one home.

    International Sourcesizz

    Giant stingray caught in Thailand
    Jeff Corwin, nature conservationist and host of ABC's Ocean Mysteries, caught a 14- by 8-foot pregnant stingray in Thailand recently. "It was an incredible moment of adventure and science," Corwin told USA TODAY Network. "Multiple people were on the rod and reel trying to pull this monster in," he said, adding that it took two hours to secure the fish. The stingray, caught on March 6, weighed between 600 to 800 pounds and may set a world record, he said. Corwin was on location filming an upcoming episode of Ocean Mysteries along with veterinarian Nantarika Chansue, an expert on stingrays who has been studying them in the region.

    Car-Size Stingray May Be World’s Largest Freshwater Fish
    Scientists working in Thailand’s Mae Klong River made a big find last week: an enormous stingray that they think is a contender for the largest freshwater fish ever documented by researchers. The ray was caught and released in about 65 feet (20 meters) of water in the Amphawa District, about an hour outside Bangkok. Nantarika Chansue, a veterinarian and professor at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, helped catch and measure what she calls the “big one.” The ray (Himantura polylepis or H. chaophraya) was 7.9 feet (2.4 meters) across and 14 feet (4.3 meters) long and weighed an estimated 700 to 800 pounds (318 to 363 kilograms), she said via e-mail. The team was unable to get an exact weight because “it's really hard to weigh these things without hurting them, because they are such big, awkward animals,” says Zeb Hogan, a National Geographic fellow and a professor of biology at the University of Nevada, Reno.

    FASTEST GROWING CARIBBEAN DESTINATION? TURKS AND CAICOS
    Out of all the Caribbean countries Turks & Caicos was, by far, the most prolific of them in terms of visitor arrivals in 2014. The Turks and Caicos Tourist Board (TCTB) reported a growth in arrivals of 31.6 percent compared to the year 2013. Precise data shows that 971,838 tourists arrived by way of cruise-ship at the Grand Turk Cruise Center while 435,475 visitors landed at the Providenciales International Airport. The two figures put together make for a total of 1,407,313 travelers hosted by the Turks & Caicos in 2014. In regards to arrivals by way of cruise ship, Turks & Caicos ranked fourth out of 28 Caribbean destinations in 2014 with an increase of 24.8 percent. It trails after Trinidad & Tobago, with a 30.1 percent growth, Belize with 42.6 percent and Martinique with the largest increase of them all, 71.3 percent.

    Four Of The Best Caribbean Islands In Central America
    Turquoise blue water, white sand, palms swaying in the breeze, and a cold drink in hand…it’s the setting for a new life on one of Central America’s picture perfect Caribbean islands. In a place like this, the cares of the world melt away and you are very much on island time. And while they might be vacation destinations for most, those seeking a laidback retreat for long-term living, especially those into boating, scuba diving, fishing, and other watersports can find their haven as well. Modern conveniences are available even as you enjoy a simpler life. Ambergris Caye has been Belize’s top tourism destination for decades, with the first visitors, like in Roatán, drawn to the quick boat ride to the Mesoamerican Reef it offered. Expats soon followed. The main population center, San Pedro, has the small airport for flights from the mainland, water taxi landings, and a plethora of hotels, resorts, restaurants, shops, boutiques and more. It’s buzzing with activity. There’s nothing better than listening to an acoustic guitar virtuoso in the evening at one of the many beach bars that sit at the waterfront…or to sit on the water at the end of a dock and watch the boats go by. To the south and north of San Pedro you find mostly residential development, including beachfront homes and condos. Expats are drawn here because Belize is English-speaking (thanks to its past as a British colony) and there are plenty of modern amenities, although prices, like with many islands, can be higher due to the cost of bringing over items by barge.

    Why are white people expats when the rest of us are immigrants?
    In the lexicon of human migration there are still hierarchical words, created with the purpose of putting white people above everyone else. One of those remnants is the word “expat”. What is an expat? And who is an expat? According to Wikipedia, “an expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than that of the person’s upbringing. The word comes from the Latin terms ex (‘out of’) and patria (‘country, fatherland’)”. Defined that way, you should expect that any person going to work outside of his or her country for a period of time would be an expat, regardless of his skin colour or country. But that is not the case in reality; expat is a term reserved exclusively for western white people going to work abroad. Africans are immigrants. Arabs are immigrants. Asians are immigrants. However, Europeans are expats because they can’t be at the same level as other ethnicities. They are superior. Immigrants is a term set aside for ‘inferior races’.

    Oh, what a night: Test-driving a cabana at Daydreamin’ Bed & Breakfast
    Having lived on Ambergris Caye for only a year, there are few building projects that we can say we were there at the birth. Building things here — even houses — takes a very long time — unless you are Ramon’s Village and you want our fire-ravaged resort to reopen by Christmas. In which case, yes, miracles do happen. We can say with pride that we knew Daydreamin’ Bed & Breakfast when it was just a little hole in the ground. Daydreamin’ and its satellite coffeeshop Marbucks are the vision of a pair of Canadian ex-pats, Marlene Houghton and Rob Eykelbeysh. Their B&B consists of four lovingly and thoughtfully decorated cabanas, a central focal-point pool and an authentic coffeeshop with fresh-baked scones and muffins. The complex is one mile north of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge; just around the corner is the iconic Palapa Bar & Grill. That’s a short walk north from our own home.

    Sunset cruising off Ambergris Caye with spring breakers and a boobie
    The boobie came out of nowhere. First it landed on the stern of Ecologic Divers 50-foot catamaran Impromptu where it hung out briefly as if accessing the situation and finding it lacking in the proper handouts worthy of such an elegantly groomed and aloof bird. So the boobie flew off. Only to return after a brief review of the other catamarans out for a sunset cruise last night, and there were at least three. For what ever reasons or high standards, the boobie returned, only this time it landed on the bow (if bow is the proper terminology for a catamaran) and spread its wings out like a bronze hood ornament. The move was not lost on the dozen or so Texas A&M medical students aboard who spontaneously broke out into a couple of choruses of “I Believe I Can Fly.” Then they christened the bird “Bob.”

    Videos

  • Bert Tucker International: The Legend, The Man & His Work for Belize!, 33min. It is only a few Belizeans, or may be none at all, that has held the international stature of Belizean revolutionary Adalbert 'Bert' Tucker. His incredible body of work as an economist with a progressive philosophy for development is hardly shared not even by the government for which he worked for in the last days of his life. As a matter of fact, the United Democratic Party (UDP) government Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs,

  • The Potter's House Belize 10 Year Anniversary Video, 33min.

  • The Butler's in Belize!, 6min. The Butler Belize trip January 2015.

  • Belize Snorkeling, 3min. Snorkeling in Belize.

  • DJTrav From Belize Live @ Paint Party, 8min. DJ Trav alongside Kenny G live inside Neon Painty Party @ Cayo inside Meluchis. NO FEAR PROMOTIONS NEON PAINT PARTY REFIX EDITION.

  • Belize, San Pedro Nurse Shark Diving, 7min. The Adventures of a girl with four first names ... Continues In San Pedro, Belize!!! Nurse Shark Diving, Snorkelling, Sailing, Golf Cart driving...

  • Incredible dives with sharks in Belize at Half Moon Caye, 2min. Awesome day of diving the Blue Hole, Half Moon Caye and Lighthouse Reef in Belize! Unfortunately no footage from the Blue Hole itself since visibility wasn't so good and I was completely narced out but it was still great :)

  • SPRING BREAK BELIZE 2015, 4min.

  • Belize, 15min. Spring Break aboard the Belize Aggressor III.

  • 360 Video Scuba Diving in Belize, 4min. We bring you the panoramic video of a beautiful space that the technology world by exploring cyberspace panorama. Discover the world through video Panorama

  • Belize Travel Video Guide, 4min.

    March 15, 2015


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    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: Vision Inspired by the People
    VIP logoWe are writing on behalf of the VIP Team and the 1,236 concerned San Pedro residents who cast their votes in favor of the VIP and now form part of our membership. By virtue of this letter, we are hereby requesting that a copy of the Town Council Budget for 2015-2016 be made public. As stated in the Town Council Act Part VII sec 23(1): “the council shall, before the end of January, submit an estimate of revenue and expenditure for the next fiscal year.” In compliance with the above-mentioned law, this disclosure must take effect immediately, since it should have already been made public before Election Day. Please be informed that we are submitting this letter to local and national media.

    Island Time hosts International Cook-off
    Saga Humane Society March Cook-Off was held on Wednesday, March 10th at Island Time Beach Bar. For a contribution of $15, patrons sampled a variety of dishes under the theme of “International Cuisine”. There was a total of ten entries in the cook-off with all the proceeds of the fundraising event going to Saga’s Spay/Neuter Initiative Program (SNIP) Campaign. Food entries included Ruth Verralls’ English Cottage Pie, Vivian and Kevin Smith’s American ham and beans, Ray’s Big Dog’s Italian Mama Ray’s sausage and peppers, Licks Beachside Café’s Thai style curry chicken and rice, Rosa La Rosa’s spaghetti bolognese, Island Time beach Bar’s English fish & chips, Wolfgang Wind’s Swiss roasted potatoes, Lisa Morely’s stuffed Italian meatballs, Jennifer Grindell’s Italian Seafood Manicotti and Joanne Frey’s chicken fried rice.

    SPHS Boys and Girls win 2nd place at Northern Softball Regionals
    The San Pedro High School (SPHS) male and female softball teams captured the title of sub-champions at the National Secondary School Sports Association (NSSSA) Northern Softball Regionals. The competition was held on Saturday, March 7th at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town. Both SPHS teams joined the male and female teams of Belize Rural High School (BRHS), Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico (ESTM), and Orange Walk Technical High School (OWTHS) to compete for the chance to represent the Northern Region at the NSSSA National Softball Championship. In the first female game, pitcher Sabrina Campos had led the BRHS to a 24-12 mercy rule (the mercy rule is used to in a sporting event that comes to an early end when one team has a very large and presumably insurmountable lead over the other team) win against the ESTM. In game two, SPHS’s pitcher Ada Cordova led her teammates to a 19-5 mercy rule win over the OWTHS girls.

    Possible research submersible found on the reef
    Ambergris Caye Police, Coast Guard officials and the Belize Port Authority are investigating the discovery of an item believed to be a deep-water submersible that washed up on the reef off Ambergris Caye. Shortly after 3PM on Wednesday March 11th, police were tipped off about the object on the reef some six miles north of San Pedro Town near the Mexico Rocks Area. With the help of experienced local divers and boat captain, authorities located the item and conducted a closer inspection. Deputy Commander of the San Pedro Police Formation Inspector Henry Jemmott indicated that while they are investigating what the item really is, they believe it appears to be part of research equipment. He told The San Pedro Sun that the item seems to be a “semi-aquatic submarine” or a “underwater research drone” used to collect sediment and other information from the ocean floor in areas that are inaccessible to humans. Jemmott indicated that from comparison to online information, it suggests that it is an item that is powered by remote control off a vessel.

    Scotiabank celebrates 10 years of service in San Pedro
    On Wednesday, March 11th, Scotiabank San Pedro Branch celebrated 10 years of service on La Isla Bonita. To commemorate the milestone, the bank held a customer appreciation event, honoring long time customers. The short ceremony kicked off at 2PM at the Scotiabank office on Coconut Drive, where invited guests along with staff members enjoyed lots to eat and drink while reminiscing on the humble beginnings of the bank. According to Branch Manager Roannie Badillo, the San Pedro community has helped significantly in the growth of the bank. “It is very exciting for Scotiabank. When we first launched the branch here in San Pedro we didn’t know what to expect. Thankfully over the years, we have gained many customers and have been able to provide our service and product to the community. We want our customers to know that we really appreciate them and their business. We are here and ready to serve you,” said Badillo.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Paint N Splash (Mermaid Moonlight
    We will be painting this beautiful full moon with a Mermaid jumping out of the Water. Using 4 colors. This is a fun painting and I Provide step by step instructions. You can reserve your spot for $5u.s (no refund) at Belizean Melody Art Gallery or Crazy Canuks . It is $25u.s all supply's included and 2 hours of instructions. Group Members and regulars are $20u.s per person. You can become a splash and paint member by attending 2 paint parties.

    IMPORTANT NOTICE TO BUS COMMUTERS IN COROZAL!
    Through this medium the Corozal Transport Department hereby informs the General Public and Commuters, that the Corozal Bus Terminal is being temporarily relocated to a new location, in the Santa Rita/Santa Elena Road, Corozal previously known as "SUPER SANTA RITA" adjacent to Majil's Mexican Products with effect from Monday March 16th, 2015. BUS ROUTE and TRAFFIC DIVERSION: Belize to Corozal Entering South End into 7th Avenue turn left by Lano's into 3rd Street South known as College Road, turn right into Portzal Area across from Huan Huan Store then turn left by Magana's Pharmacy into Santa Rita Road. We apologize for any inconveniences caused. This is due to road works and improvements being carried out on 7th Avenue. LEGEND: Follow the Red highlighted path on the Google map. Transport Department Corozal.

    Roger Riverol to appeal Corozal Town Council's Trade licence assessment in court
    How does tax double in less than two months? Ask the Riverol family in Corozal. They are taking the issue to court on Monday March 16th. Roger Riverol's Trade License for Riverol's Furniture shop was assessed at $450 on January 19, 2015. Less than two months later on March 12th, the figure doubled to $900 without explanation. Though the Riverol's paid the $450. and the receipt had a zero balance. The cashier scratched it out with a pencil and put wrote in $450 balance due, with a pen. Roger Riverol has no explanation to explain why the council doubled his trade license right after the municipal elections.

    Family Day at Four Mile Lagoon Today Sunday, March 15 beginning at 10:00 a.m.
    Everyone is Invited - Friends of Corozal and the Corozal Community are having a special family fun day and TOGETHERNESS at Mile 90 on the Northern Highway (Four Mile Lagoon) at the Gush/Emy property in Thanksgiving for the safe return of the Northern Territorial Volunteers on the recent publicized incident in Guatemala. It will be a family day filled with games, prizes and lots of surprises for everyone. We would be happy to have you and your entire family join us. Let us know your attendance and how many of you are coming by RSVP - Emy Ramirez 610-5207 Support and noble cause!

    Belize Botanical Garden Shoppe
    The Belize Botanical Garden Shoppe is at the old Yoli's Pizza location on West street. They have a wide selection of plants, and gardening equipment. The also do the Horticulture Workshops there.

    The Beauty Club reopens
    The Beauty Club reopens in the DFC area. Great prices on hair and nails.

    The Reporter

    Noh Mul case sent back to Corozal
    The trial over the destruction of the Maya archaeological site, Noh Mul, suffered another delay this week, when it was transferred back to the court in Corozal. Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith accepted a submission on Friday by attorney Brian Neal, that the matter be heard in Corozal, after it was sent to Belize City on Wednesday by the Corozal magistrates Court. Neal reasoned that the trial should be held in Corozal because the media would give too much coverage if it is held in Belize City, making it difficult to have a fair trial. The trial is now set to be heard in the Corozal magistrate’s court for April 20. Neal appeared in court without his client, UDP Standard Bearer for Orange Walk Central Denny Grijalva, owner of De-Mars Construction company, who stands accused along with his wife and employees for turning the over 2000-year –old Maya site to rubble. Neal, while not going into the details of the case, says that Grijalva, who was in Chetumal at the time of the trial, maintains his innocence.

    Penner walks!
    Former Minister of State, Elvin Penner’s legal battle with the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) came to an end after Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin dismissed the appeal against him. The Chief Justice ruled on Friday that the private prosecutors, Geovanni Brackett, COLA president, and Murphy McLaren, did not produce enough evidence to have a case before the court. The CJ also ruled that the initial magistrate who heard the case made some errors in allowing the case to move forward as it did. Brackett attributed the loss of the court battle to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, and the Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie. He condemned the DPP for what he feels was an apparent refusal to prosecute Penner, and the ComPol for not giving them the case file for the investigation, which would have been key evidence in the prosecution.

    Day of healing takes place at Ajax field
    “The days of healing initiative is important because crime and violence is everybody’s problem,” said Marina Welcome, Faber’s Road community member co-hosting the latest installment of the activity. Welcome, who runs the Jump Street Posse carnival band, said on Thursday that the Days of Healing at the Ajax Field is something the Faber’s Road community embraces because the residents all long for peace in the neighborhood. The initiative now on its 23rd installment, is being supported by Restore Belize as well as private donors who have volunteered their time or services. The event hosts numerous activities going on simultaneously, such as foot ball and basketball, along with child friendly activities such as yoga and face-painting.

    Empowering women will help end HIV epidemic says UNAIDS Executive Director
    Michel Sidibé, executive director of the Joint United Nations Programme/AIDs worldwide. Sidibé, in an article published, highlighted that in countries the world over, circumstances are putting women and girls at greater risk of HIV infection than their male counterparts. Those issues included gender inequalities, poverty, harmful cultural practices and unequal power relations that exacerbate women’s vulnerability to HIV. But concerted global commitment and action can reverse this. “Ensuring that women and girls are empowered to protect themselves from HIV, to make decisions about their own health and to live free of violence, including violence related to their HIV status, will be crucial to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030,” Sidibé said. He highlighted UNAIDS data showing that in 2013, 64 percent of new adolescent infections globally were among young women. In sub-Saharan Africa, young women aged 15 to 24 are almost twice as likely to become infected with HIV as their male counterparts.

    Prime Minister presents budget speech
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow presented a summary of the 2015-2016 budget to the national assembly on Friday. Barrow in his budget speech, explained that the country’s deficit will amount to 2.5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), a value of some $88 million. He added that the figure will be increased to $174 million, due to $86 million for loan amortization. “Total Expenditure is budgeted at $1.1 billion while total revenue and grants are estimated at $980 million, Barrow said. He added that the funds needed to cover the deficit will be sourced from mulitlateral and bilateral arrangements, grant from the Republic of China(Taiwan) and from the Petro Caribe arrangement. Some $91 million is marked in the budget for interest payments on the country’s national debt.

    Patrick JonesPJ

    Stabbing incident reported in Mahogany Heights
    Police have detained a woman pending a charge of attempted murder. This follows an incident on Friday afternoon in Mahogany Heights. Police say they went to the community around 2:50 pm on Friday where they found 42 year old Earlin Butler suffering from a stab wound to the chest. Butler was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment and was listed in a stable condition.

    Man dies in traffic accident on the Southern Highway
    A man from Bella Vista village, Stann Creek district died in a traffic accident on Friday night. The victim has been identified as 47 year old Faustino Orellana. Police say that their initial investigation reveals that Orellana was knocked down by an SUV as he rode his bicycle at mile 45 on the Southern Highway. The diver of the SUV told police that he was heading towards Trio Village when Orellana who was riding in the same direction, suddenly swerved into his lane and a collision could not be avoided.

    Blogs

    Riding the bus in Belize
    If you’re interested in catching local transportation in Belize, riding the bus is one of the cheapest ways of getting around. It is also a great way to get a bit more authentic in your travels because it’s how most locals travel. Buses usually only travel on the major highways and pass every ½ hour. You can wait for the bus at any corner of the main roads but its recommended that you go to the bus terminal. Before you get on a bus, ask a local what the cost will be for where you’re going and make sure you’re carrying lose change so that the conductor doesn’t overcharge you – this will be the guy that walks around the bus asking for fares. But wait…if you are interesting in using the public transit in Belize, there are a few things you must know before you come. And these things all revolve around the fact that the comfort levels are pretty bad. I’m not trying to deter anyone from riding the bus but I want to make sure that you know what you’re signing up for when you do so. The buses are always crowded. If you’re waiting for the bus at a terminal, sometimes you have to fight your way onto the bus. This is because there is no ticketing system so everyone rushes into the bus. This also makes it a concern if you’re waiting for the bus on the side of the road, the bus might not stop for you if it’s overcrowded.

    Sargasso Seaweed, You are Starting To Bring Me Down…I NEED ANSWERS!
    Sargassum, sargasso, sargassos…I am getting sick of the word. I am getting sick of the sight of it and…the smell of it. I am fairly certain that the armies of workers with pitch forks and rakes are MORE than sick of it. WHERE IS IT COMING FROM? WHAT IS THE DEAL? There is research to be done. Clearly not by me…but I’ll give it a go. The stuff…defined as: any floating brown seaweed of the genus Sargassum, such as gulfweed, of warm seas, having ribbon-like fronds containing air sacs…has been around forever. Here is a map from 1891 that tries to show this giant floating “sea” of week… Christopher Columbus is credited with “discovering” it on is first journey across the Atlantic. He thought it was a sign that land was near…his crew thought it meant that the ships were about to be mired in the stuff.

    BACKPACKING IN BELIZE: MENNONITE COMMUNITY AT SPANISH LOOKOUT
    I’ve mentioned before how Belize should not only be about beaches and snorkelling. Having enjoyed the thrills of Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye, I headed to the capital city Belmopan. And then we ended up touring an area known as Spanish Lookout. Yes that is the real name of this settlement but it’s not really Spanish…more like a community of Germans living in Belize!! Getting to Spanish Lookout Spanish Lookout is in the middle of nowhere and without regular bus runs, your main options will be: 1. Hire a car 2. Hitch hike 3. Hire a driver We were out on an all day tour visiting other parts of inland Belize so we had a driver organised thanks to Nick at the El Rey Hotel in Belmopan. Our driver was local lad Shenley (he’s in some of my videos below). Hitch hiking isn’t a great option as cars in this remote part are few and far between as we found out when we had to hitch a ride back from Actun Tunichil Muknal. Things to See and Do at Spanish Lookout Despite the funky sounding name, you won’t be stood with a pair of binoculars looking for Spaniards, or even in the company of Spaniards. It’s a community of Mennonites here who speak Plautdietsch as their mother tongue (something similar to German or Dutch). It’s a dispersed settlement in the Cayo District of Eastern Belize, with farms and scattered villages, and according to the 2010 census, Spanish Lookout has a population of 2,253 people in 482 households. It is largely an agricultural community with some light industry.

    Paradise in Belize with Island Expeditions
    It’s Reef Week 2015 here in Belize. Coupled with Island Expeditions being recognized this week in Outside Magazine’s Best Trips 2015, I could think of no better time than now to share images from my recent trip to their Half Moon Caye camp. Some people head to Cancun and Tulum to vacation. This five-day trip to Lighthouse Reef Atoll reminded me why I’d rather pick Belize. I fell in love with the Jewel all over again. And I felt immense gratitude that I get to write about this gem of a country and explore it for work. Days were spent paddleboarding, kayaking, kayak sailing from Half Moon Caye to Long Caye, snorkeling the Blue Hole and the Aquarium–we had these spots all to ourselves–spending sunrise on the beach with yoga, enjoying homemade meals and happy hour laughs with a fantastic group of adventurers. For the first in a long while, I wanted to stay in this unplugged paradise, escape the world for just a little longer. A big thanks to the entire Island Expeditions team–from their knowledgeable, multi-talented Belizean guides (shout to to Daton and Pablo) to the activities and safety tips, the warm Garifuna kitchen staff and even the dedicated on site Audubon staff and Coast Guard.

    Tranquilo opening, and other random fun in Placencia, Belize! Oh, and the Sargassum. :(
    We have had some GREAT guests recently...this post is a recap of some here we are hanging out with some recent guests at Barefoot.... Thanks to Tranquilo for yet ANOTHER great event....they celebrated their grand opening last weekend! The staff worked their tails off. The place was to capacity, with the "3 things" boat working overtime to get everyone between docks...we all had a great time, and the weather was perfect!!! And now, for a reality check of this week :(. The Sargassum is hitting the Caribbean again, hard. It is, at this moment, as bad as it has ever been. It is devastating for everyone, it turns the beautiful, crystal clear beach, into a murky, smelly mess. We are all holding our breaths (literally and figuratively) and hoping that the current changes overnight. Until then, you CAN still enjoy the above places!!

    International Sourcesizz

    Azzo Rezori: Going on a cruise, and going on a ride
    Of all the Sesame Street songs I've hummed and whistled to over the years, Going For A Ride is my favourite. It runs over three verses. A line in the first verse: "Gonna sit behind the wheel." In the second verse: "Gonna speed along the track." In the third: "Gonna sail the ocean blue." On the jungle trek to cave tubing in Belize we were shown a palm tree which carries small red berries that self-ignite after dropping to the ground and cause wild fires that regenerate the forests. There was also the killer tree which smothers other trees by wrapping itself around them. The caves are mile-long tunnels with underground streams moving darkly past underground beaches, the walls and ceilings gnarled and twisted with formations that make you wonder how solid rock can flow. Next thing you find asking yourself what comes first in this crazy world, flow or pattern. And while you drift through another cave past another underground beach you realize there's no either or, it's all the same, flow and pattern are like energy and matter – two faces of the same thing.

    The Geopolitics of Caribbean Security
    The advent of global jihad is about to change the security architecture of our hemisphere. So far we have been largely immune to these problems. Islam is beautiful and I lived among them with joy, but Islamists caricature the Prophet. Location is our asset but it is also a curse. Proximity to the US is no fun as jihadists seek to kill the great Satan, as they say. We are at risk as many of our people are venal, do unspeakable acts, and are easily bought. We live in peace and poverty, yet not like Gaza or Nigeria; we never lost life, limb to an IED (improvised explosive device), explosive vest, or had 2,000 people in a refugee camp - we were lucky poor. But life is about to change here and across the Caribbean owing to Caricom Single Market and Economy’s (CSME) vulnerability. What is this Caribbean? Because we scuttled West Indies Federation, politicians dissimulate and call the Leewards, Windwards, Jamaica, and Guyana “Caribbean”. But the Caribbean is much more - small islands to the south and east; the estuary nations whose coasts ring our sea from Venezuela to Mexico to New Orleans round to Florida and the large islands in the north close to us and the US.

    21 Things To Do In Belize On A Small Budget
    Belize may be a top destination for an incredible vacation, but that does not mean that you have to have an unlimited budget. Belize has an adventure for everyone. Listed below are 21 things to do in Belize on a small budget. CAYE CAULKER Located just a mile away from the Belize Barrier Reef, Caye Caulker is a great destination for the history buff. The small village has an incredible history associated with it that will entice visitors of Belize to stop by. SAN IGNACIO TOWN San Ignacio Town is a cultural hub that serves the Cayo District. The town is rich with Mayan history and has a very diverse population to this day. This town is one of the biggest tourist areas of all Belize. PLACENCIA VILLAGE Even though Placencia got its name for fishing, it is now a popular tourist attraction in Belize. Fly fishing, snorkeling and kayaking are all popular attractions that visitors to Placencia Village can enjoy. In the evenings, the village has a great nightlife and scrumptious restaurants.

    Videos

  • Xunantunich Ruins in Belize, 2min. For our second expedition we stopped in Belize and took a two hour bus ride to explore the Xunantunich Ruins along the border of Belize and Guatemala.

  • Bring your animal to Belize- You need a local VET, 6min. When i moved to Belize with 5 dogs and 5 cats- the 2 most important thing i needed to know, was how to being my animals into Belize, and was there a good Veterinarian to take care of my extended family. This is a video of my Belize Vet and I talking about how to bring your pet to Belize.

  • Reef Week 2015 Manatee Conservation in Belize, 7.5min. Manatees - Why are they important? This Reef Week 2015, Wildtracks and its partners at SACD have put together a short video to explore manatees, and why they are important to Sarteneja, and to Belize. Manatees in the wild, manatees in rehabilitation... Enjoy!

  • Belize - Feeding A Rare Black Jaguar, 1.5min. is name is Lucky Boy! The zoo saved him from starvation How lucky!

  • Belize - The Most Creepiest And Weirdest Bird Ever! (jabiru), 1min. creeeeeepy....

  • Belize - Jaguar Chilling, 1min. Those paws are HUGE His name is Jr. Buddy.

  • Birds, cats and dogs like bird songs. 19 minutes Belize bird songs, 24min. See if your pet likes this. Is your Parakeet or other bird bored ? Parakeets, finches, canaries, lovebirds, cockatiels and all other birds can be bored , need variety and like to hear wild birds. Can be played on a loop from the play list when you are not home.

  • Belize - A Macaw Saying Hello, 2min. When we said bye during the video....Well guess what It said goodbye right after I ended the video! Awww I wish I got that!

  • american crocodile belize, 1.5min.

  • Belize Scuba Trip 2015, 4min.

  • Western Ballaz Vs Belize City No Limits, 1.5min. We Still Undefeated Baby!!!

  • Belize Scuba Diving Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley, 7min. Belize has some of the best scuba diving in the world! This footage was taken with my GoPro Hero3+ at Shark Ray Alley and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. We dove to an average depth of 60 feet and the coral and fish are breathtaking. Thank you to Chuck and Robbie's Dive Shop in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, for such a great time.

  • EXPLORING TURNEFFE ATOLL- Full Length Edition, 12min. Special Edition- This is how we roll with our San Pedro Crew Captained by Tony Lara~~ Featuring Guest Divers Joe Rich, Carson Rich, Chowder, Carson Black and Eric Thomas~~ Day Trip from San Pedro Exploring Turneffe Atoll- 3 Dives and visit to Jack Sparrow Fish Camp for Surface Interval BBQ cook out.

  • EXPLORING TURNEFFE"S JACK SPARROW FISH CAMP, 6min. Special Edition featuring Guest Divers Joe Rich, Carson Rich, Chowder, Carson Black and Eric Thomas~~ Day Trip from San Pedro Exploring Turneffe Atoll- 3 Dives and here's a look at our surface interval visit to Jack Sparrow Camp"Private Island" for a cook out.

    March 14, 2015


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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

    Central Government steps in to curb crime in San Pedro
    The increase in crime in San Pedro Town has left Central Government on high alert after two innocent citizens became victims of the “organized” shootings in the San Pedrito Area. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has now stepped in and implemented National Security measures to curb the high crime rate on the island. The people of San Pedrito, shocked and saddened by the events occurring these past weeks, have desperately sought out help from authorities. Well that help is finally in effect in the form of a special operation headed by Senior Superintendent Russell Blackett, which has seen increased police presence on the island. Barrow, who is also the head of Belize’s National Security Council, has stated that Belize City and San Pedro have become the two most violent areas in the country. What is more troublesome is that San Pedro is a mecca for Belize’s Tourism Industry and the recent increase in criminal activities are affecting the island’s reputation. He stated that if the trend in crime continues, it could be damaging to the industry. “We will be able to get a handle on [the] situation out there. San Pedro will also see more support coming from the Belize Coast Guard and the Belize Defense Force. I do not want San Pedro to be perceived internationally as unsafe. There is a bit of a drug war taking place in that area of the town [San Pedrito] and as a result, innocent bystanders, and especially innocent children, are becoming victims,” said Barrow.

    Letter to the Editor: Out-districters
    Dear Editor, Now that we are past the political heat, many things come to mind. Many questions remain unanswered and many problems are still unresolved. I am not into politics; by that I mean that I do exercise my civic right of voting, but I am not a fanatic of any party. As a young citizen I find myself listening to whichever party opens up to me. I read every manifesto, I listen to every speech I can. I was not born on the island. I am originally from Corozal, but years ago I decided to make this beautiful island my home. Resonating still is a speech I heard on the Sunday before elections, in which we were referred to as “strangers”, “ out-districters ”, and “exploiting”. It is a matter that has been haunting me always, but to be used publicly and as part of a political campaign was the least I expected. It makes me think, are we bound to always be seen as “strangers” just because we weren’t born or raised here? What does it take to call this place ‘home’, free from social prejudice and discrimination?

    2015 SPHS Science Fair is all about Robotics
    “Robotics in Action, Making Life Easy” was the theme of 2015 San Pedro High School (SPHS) Science Fair which was held on Friday, March 6th. Students from second to fourth form spent months developing innovative projects displaying the used of robotics. Each project demonstrated the students’ creativity and innovation when developing solutions to problems faced by the school and community. 42 projects were presented in this year’s Science Fair, which ranged from drones developed to help manage protected reserves to street cleaners. Each project demonstrated the use of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Method, and how the increased use of technology can greatly benefit the community. According to Head of the Science and Math Department Ricardo Sedacy, the students were asked to create a project within any of five areas in Robotics: drones, medical procedures (operations and health), prosthetics and exoskeletons, artificial assistances and driverless cars.

    Diver dies while diving the Blue Hole
    Authorities are currently investigating the death of 66-year-old American National Roger Piper, from Arizona, Texas USA who passed away during a dive expedition. Initial reports indicate that Piper, along with his family, employed Amigos de Mar Diver Center for a dive trip to the Blue Hole on Tuesday, March 10th. The group arrived to the Blue Hole and proceeded to dive. At about 50 feet below water, Piper started to experience breathing complications and alerted the Amigos del Mar dive crew. He was brought up to the surface but Piper was already unconscious. The team performed primary dive medical care in attempts to resuscitated Piper. All attempts failed. As such, the crew contacted the Belize Coast Guard who transported Piper to the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital in Belize City where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Further investigation revealed that Piper had undergone a triple bypass surgery last year as he suffered from heart problems. His condition was not reported to the dive company prior to the dive as persons suffering from heart conditions are not allowed to dive. On Thursday, March 12th a post mortem examination was carried out to certify the cause of death. All relevant authorities were alerted by the company. Investigations are ongoing to determine whether dive protocol was breached at any time.

    GOB moving closer to decriminalizing 10 grams or less of marijuana
    Even though it is illegal, the use of marijuana has been a part of the Belizean social fabric for decades and there is no indication that it is going to change anytime soon. For that reason, the Government of Belize (GOB), in March of 2012, tasked a group of Belizeans to work on a framework for the decriminalization of up to ten grams of marijuana, locally referred to as weed. The Decriminalization of Marijuana Committee (DOMC) presented the final report on February 26, 2015 in which it made a list of recommendations. Ten grams of marijuana is equivalent to 0.35 of an ounce and according to the report, approximately 210 people are jailed annually for being with ten grams or less of the illegal herb. That alone, cited the report, is a burden not only for the taxpayers, but also consumes the court time and once found guilty, goes on the person’s criminal record. Because the amount is so minuscule, the DOMC indicated that after intensive consultation, a different approach than jailing someone for such quantity or less should be reconsidered. Chairing the DMOC is former Minister of National Security Doug Singh who indicated that while being in possession of ten grams or less would still be illegal, what is being worked towards is removing certain elements of the penalty.

    Ambergris Today

    Speeding Becomes an Issue After Roads Paved in North Ambergris
    On Thursday, March 12, 2015, a dump truck ran into a golf cart in front of Reef Village throwing a 60-year-old tourist through the windshield and off the cart onto the pavement, just to have his own cart run over him as he lay on the ground. Residents of Reef Village rendered assistance to the man who was the passenger on the cart. He sustained injuries to this head and face, but was pretty banged up all over his body, according to witnesses. The Police and Traffic Wardens were called to the scene after which the man was rushed to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II. According to witnesses, the tourist diver of the six-seater golf cart got confused and mistakenly backed up into the street and that was when the driver of the dump truck ran into the cart. The truck driver was apparently speeding and unable to avoid the collision due to the velocity he was traveling.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Save the 75 year old Belmopan Guanacaste Tree landmark
    EARLIER TODAY representatives of the "Save the 75 year old Belmopan Guanacaste Tree landmark" met with MOW officials to negotiate a "work around" the tree option. They were told "The tree must go"... TODAY representatives decided to "take the fight public and garner support higher up" to "Save the 75 year old Belmopan Guanacaste Tree landmark"... LATE TODAY the tree was cut down...

    Budget Speech 2015 – Statement and Economic Review
    Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow is currently giving his 2015 Budget Speech at the Meeting of the House of Representatives. You can read his speech here.

    Key Biodiversity Areas Project
    The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development is to launch a Key Biodiversity Areas Project on March 25th, 2015. On behalf of the Ministry, we are sharing these flyers with information on the project. Feel free to share as well!

    Unprecedented demand for Belizean goods in CARICOM markets
    Belize is seeing unprecedented demand for its grain, seafood and other types of produce in Caribbean Community (CARICOM) markets such as Guyana, Trinidad, Jamaica and Barbados through the CARICOM Single Market and Economy’s (CSME) zero duty preferential access mechanism, chief executive officer of the ministry of trade, investment, promotion, private sector development and consumer protection, Michael Singh has disclosed. Singh, who was addressing a CARICOM Single Market media workshop in Belize City on February 26, urged Belizean manufacturers to utilize the preferential access tools offered through the CSME into 12 other CARICOM markets. Under the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, goods of Belizean origin have the right to enter 12 other CARICOM markets at zero rate of duty.

    Caye Caulker power problems
    BEL apologizes to customers in Caye Caulker for the recent intermittent power interruptions being experienced. BEL is working to resolve generation issues on the island, responsible for these interruptions, which may continue for an extended period of time. BEL thanks customers for their patience.

    Youth Engagement Services Program
    Six young Belizeans are on the rise! PADF's Youth Engagement Services Program provided training, business advice and seed funding to 16 at-risk youth. They spoke yesterday in Belize City about their challenges and goals. Thanks to partners U.S. Embassy Belize Beltraide SBDCBelize Hand in Hand Ministries Dionne Chamberlain, Sai info-Tech & University of the West Indies. And to entrepreneur Marie Sharp's Habanero Sauce for her inspiring words.

    It's open day!
    As part of Reef Week 2015 Oceana and partners: Mar Alliance, Belize Volunteers Club, Belize Audubon Society, Sea 2 Shore Alliance, Aldebaran, Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute, Belize Fisheries Department, The Nature Conservancy, the Environmental Research Institute (UB), Belize Bird Rescue and Solid Waste Management Authority and Institute has organized an open for students and the public. Please feel free to stop by and learn about OUR marine environment and our beautiful

    Steward and Samantha's Greenhouse
    Located in Blue Creek, Belize. We sell many varieties of cacti and succulents, also arrangements, and many house & yard plants/bushes.

    2015 Ride to The Reef
    Clean your chains, pump your wheels and get in the saddle. The 2015 Ride to The Reef is here. Join us this Sunday March 15, 2015 as we ride from Belmopan to Belize City. Contact 610-4874 for more information.

    SIPL Hosts Santa Elena Preschool
    The Santa Elena Community Preschool visited the SIPL for some storytelling and fun activities for Children's Month. Thanks, SIPL!

    BAFFU Vol 3
    OPEN IT & ENJOY!!! BAFFU #3 IS HERE!!!!! CLICK TO DOWLOAD

    BAFFU Vol 4
    Baffu Edition 4 is out, and it's free for downloading. There is some really unique art in there, and some interesting poetry too. Picture from Ulises Vaquerano. "Our fourth issue of Baffu. You won't be able to put this one down. Support your artist Click.download. enjoy.

    Channel 7

    Briceno Recording Dominates Budget Day In House: Barrow Calls Out Musa
    Today was Budget Day at the House of Representatives in Belmopan. It's the biggest day for parliamentary business on the House Calendar - because the revenue and appropriations bill is tabled - that's what makes government run. But, it's not the headline anywhere tonight and that's because the secret recording of former PUP Deputy Prime Minister John Briceno was the most important thing discussed at today's house meeting. As we told you last night, it just had to come up because it's too ripe a political opportunity for the UDP to miss out on. But, the Prime Minister who prepared remarks on it - said it wasn't about politics - but about the duty of the Leader of the Opposition. From there, things took on a life of their own. Here's how it all went down:

    Opp. Leader Fonseca Says Barrow Is Grandstanding
    And the one in the middle of all this back and forth is leader of the opposition, Francis Fonseca. He wasn’t around for the end of the House Meeting when Musa responded to Barrow. We asked him if it was an intentional avoidance:…

    Deputy Espat Says Party Leader Gave Him A Free Facebook Pass
    PUP Deputy Leader Julius Espat is on the other side of the dispute. Right after the PUP met on Wednesday and spoke about moving forward in unity, he took to Facebook to blast John Briceno by calling him a liar. He also criticized his own party for treating this very public debacle a private party matter. So, who gave him the right to do so? No less than the leader – that’s what we found out today:…

    Chief Justice Says Police Don't Have To Hand Over Penner File
    At the top of the newscast, we showed you the fiery back and forth at today’s house meeting about the explosive secret recording of former PUP leader John Briceno. And while the PUP was “on blast” in Belmopan, in Belize City, the UDP Government was being blamed for the outcome of the appeal against Elvin Penner who was acquitted of all charges for the Won Hong Kim Passport scandal.

    Noh Mul Case Volleys From Corozal To City and Back
    Another scandal for the UDP which went to court today was the March 2013 mauling of the Noh Mul Mayan Temple. UDP Standard Bearer for Orange Walk Central, Denny Grijalva, his wife, his employees and his company, De-Mar’s, were all criminally charged for destruction of that archaeological monument, and they’ve been waiting for their day in Magistrate’s Court.

    A Budget Powered By Petrocaribe
    So, yeah, the budget presentation – usually it’s the headline in the news – but tonight it’s been pushed way down to the second segment – and that’s because political events of greater importance overtook it.

    Man Shot In Ladyville - Was It Mistaken Identity
    A man was shot just after 9 last night in Ladyville just a few blocks from the village police station. The victim is 29 year old Kenroy Arnold, a resident of Ladyville. Arnold was socializing with friends when a vehicle pulled up with two men inside - one of whom exited the vehicle and opened fire on him. He was shot to the back and right hand and is listed in a critical but stable condition. His sister told us that her brother was not the intended target. Police are looking for a known suspect.

    Police Shot A Shooter
    Police were involved in a wild shootout with a gunman last night in Belize City. It happened around 9:30 when 28 year old Phillip Mass Samuels allegedly shot at someone, and police responded shooting him in the foot. He was taken to the KHMH where he is listed in a stable condition under police guard. Police have recovered a black and chrome Smith & Wesson .9mm pistol, with (5) live rounds. An internal investigation has also been launched to see if officers used justifiable force.

    PC Caliz Cleared By Court
    Former Police Officer Burton Caliz Jr., who was convicted of murder, and got it reduced to Manslaughter, won his second appeal yesterday in the Court of Appeal. He was sentenced to pay a fine for killing 23 year-old Leroy Pilgrim, which happened in February of 2004. That happened at his last trial 2 years ago, but with today's outcome, that conviction and sentence was set aside. His case was heard by the Court of Appeal, even without an attorney, the panel set aside his conviction and sentence. He was entered into a not guilty verdict by the Appeal Court Judges.

    Hospital Surgical Unit Has Issues
    Last night we told you about the ongoing construction works at the new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the KHMH. Well, while that project seems like it's coming along nicely and equipment has been secured, there have been reports that the operating theatres are in a bad way. The sterilizer to clean surgical instruments has been down for a month and all elective surgeries have been cancelled as a result. We contacted the hospital for comment today and they sent out a release acknowledging the breakdown, but suggested that it is on the mend. The release says, quote, " The KHMH authority advises that the relevant sterilization equipment has been repaired and we are awaiting the results of required tests to show that the machines are functioning at full capacity."

    Hon. Fonseca & Hon. Espat Hold Their Ground On Executive Immunity From Election
    We’ve already told you about all the rancor that’s bubbling up in the PUP after the secret recording of John Briceno emerged and set the political landscape ablaze. And while this issue presently dominates the foreground, in the background the party finds itself at a very serious crossroads: general elections are on the horizon, and the PUP is coming off a very serious and confounding loss at the polls in the municipal elections. So, does the party need an executive shake-up? That’s what some are saying – but the party leader and his deputy say that’s not an option:…

    Briceno Has Interesting Position On Convention
    Former Leader John Briceno also has his own take on a convention – and, surprisingly, it is not as rigid as Leader Fonseca and Deputy Espat. On Wednesday coming out of the PUP Executive and Parliamentarians’ Meeting, Briceno pledged loyalty to Fonseca’s leadership – but today he seemed to drift slightly away from the official position that no executive posts can be challenged:…

    BTV Tells OAS To Bring It On
    Last week, the OAS Adjacency Zone Office asserted that the Belize Territorial Volunteers planted palm trees on Guatemalan territory between Jalacte and Santa Cruz villages. Well, the Territorial Volunteers refuse to let that assessment stand, and they are challenging the OAS to show them how their GPS readings were wrong. The BTV released a statement which says, quote, "The BTV categorically denies the findings of the OAS and further invites the OAS/Adjacency Zone Office, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to map the GPS coordinates of the coconut trees in question. . It adds that, quote, "The OAS has sat quietly and condoned the incursions of Guatemalans into Belize….No effort has been made by the OAS to issue a similar public statement that would confirm the GPS coordinates of these incursions by Guatemalans."

    Where is The Latest Fantasy Five Winner
    Someone will walk away with a hefty $200,000 dollar prize from Fantasy 5. The numbers were drawn last night and the winning ticket comes from Burrell Boom Village. The winner has not claimed the prize as yet but has 6 months to do so. The winner will walk away with $226,100 after tax. The winning numbers from last night's draw are 19, 35, 36, 39, 06 and the free letter is L as in Lion.

    Getting Accountable With IICA
    Yesterday the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture - known as IICA - held its annual accountability seminar in Belmopan. The main focus of the seminar was to review the progress IICA has made in agriculture and to discuss future plans for the sector. IICA representative Jean Lowry told us how this seminar will benefit Belizean farmers. Other topics discussed at the seminar include innovation in agriculture, women and youth in agriculture and small scale and family farms.

    Channel 5

    PM Barrow Tells Opposition Come Clean
    Today’s sitting of the House of Representatives was reserved for the presentation of the 2015-2016 Budget, the eighth of the Barrow administration. Later in our newscast we’ll have an extensive [...]

    Former PM Said Musa Says Allegations are Old News
    With that acerbic statement, it was on to the reading of the Budget, and there is where it would have ended today. But the man to whom many of the [...]

    P.U.P. Leader Dismisses PM’s Call
    P.U.P., Leader Francis Fonseca was absent his seat for the back and forth between Musa and the Prime Minister – which was both awkward and vicious. But he dismissed the [...]

    Will There Be a Challenge to the P.U.P.’s Leader?
    Even without the heat generated by that fiery recording, Fonseca is at a most difficult time in his political leadership. In some quarters there is criticism that he has been [...]

    Espat Requests Public Apology
    Relations between former Party Leader, John Briceño, and current P.U.P. Deputy Leader, Julius Espat, remain tense following the release of the clandestine recording on Tuesday. Briceño levied serious allegations against [...]

    2015-2016 Budget Reveals “Muscular Spending”
    Just before midday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow made his 2015-2016 Budget presentation which he promised would be the shortest ever, but which still ran for forty-nine minutes. He prefaced the [...]

    Budget Will Remain Focused On Development
    For fiscal year 2014/2015, there is a projected overall deficit of one hundred and forty-one million dollars, a two point five percent increase from its initial estimate. That, says Prime [...]

    PM Barrow Breaks down Petrocaribe
    Seventy-two million dollars of the one hundred and forty-one million dollar deficit was financed through draw-downs from Petrocaribe monies. According to the Prime Minister, for the eighth consecutive year there [...]

    Economic Growth Expected in 2015
    With that look at the projected deficit and surplus for 2014-2015, the Prime Minister turned to the outlook for the rest of the year, and expressed optimism and an expectation [...]

    Infrastructural Bonanza Will Continue, Says PM
    The Prime Minister says that the priorities of the 2015/2016 budget will be in line with those of previous years, and while they have done so much, Belizeans can expect [...]

    Penner Walks after Appeal Dismissed
    Former Minister of State Elvin Penner arrived in court with heavy police protection after being egged on his previous appearance in court.  Back in 2013, Penner was found to have [...]

    Noh Mul Case Moved Back To Corozal
    There was another big case before the courts today. On Wednesday, Magistrate Hurl Hamilton transferred the case of the destruction of the Noh Mul Archeological Site to Belize City due [...]

    Institute of Archaeology Disappointed with Delay
    But is justice delayed justice denied? Representatives from the Institute of Archeology and CTV-Three from Orange Walk were all present at court today to testify in the case. Prosecutor Leeroy [...]

    Boots Crescent Resident Shot by Police
    There was a shooting incident on Thursday night on Central American Boulevard.  Sometime around nine-thirty, Belize City police responded to a report of gunshots in the vicinity of Port Loyola [...]

    Gunplay in Ladyville Leaves Resident Critical
    A resident of Vista Del Mar, Ladyville is tonight at the K.H.M.H. in a critical condition following an attempted murder in the village just before ten on Thursday night. Three [...]

    Teen Arrested in Roaring Creek Murder
    Since the start of the year, there have been five murders and several shootings in the Belmopan Area. So far, the murders of Yaima Ledesma, Emerson Daly Junior, Feliciano Noralez [...]

    Tour Guides Conclude Training
    Tourism is a huge income earner for Belize, which means that to remain competitive with other destinations; services need to complement the tourism product. This morning, about a hundred persons [...]

    Fair Addresses Kidney Health Concerns
    On the occasion of World Kidney Day, a health fair was held by the Kidney Association and partners encouraging persons to get a true picture of their overall health.  There [...]

    PlusTV

    Capital’s New Mayor Sworn In
    Today the new Mayor of the City of Belmopan was sworn in along with his 6 councillors who will serve at as the elected officials of the Belmopan City Hall for the next three years...

    Object stuck on Belize Barrier reef
    This week is being observed as Reef Week. On Wednesday afternoon, a strange object floated over the reef about six miles north of San Pedro Town near the Mexico Area...

    Claims Reporter Made off With Her Package
    Wednesday March 4th was a busy day for all politicians, voters, election officials, and of course news reporters who worked from dawn until dusk to bring to you the latest updates from the polls...

    New neonatal and pediatric intensive care unit nearing completion
    Ever since the tragedy of the 13 babies who died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) between February and May of 2013 the hospital has been focused on improving its services to ensure nothing of the kind ever happens again...

    First Arrest in Four Murders
    There has been an increase of crimes related to murder and attempted murder in the Vicinity of Belmopan and police are a little behind on the cases. However, Belmopan Police made their first arrest on the four murder cases for this year...

    Police Addresses case of Police Brutality
    The suspects in the shooting incident that occurred on Sunday March 8th in the Hattieville area, Roaring Creek village have not been apprehended. However Belmopan police had taken a couple of individuals from Roaring Creek Village to the Police station for questioning on that same day...

    Belmopan Police meets with Pastors
    And in light of all the activity in the Village of Roaring Creek, the Belmopan Police Department called a meeting with the pastors in the community to figure out a short term and a long term solution to the crime plaguing that community. Supt...

    75 Year old Guanacaste tree cut down
    Ten days ago, an impassioned post appeared on Facebook, placed there by Belmopan resident, John Pinello, highlighting the fact that a landmark; a 75 year old Guanacaste tree at the entrance to Belmopan, was on the chopping block to make way for a roundabout at the Guanacaste junction...

    Arrested for displaying Gang insignia
    On March 11 at about 7:50a.m., police stopped and searched 37-year-old Errol Edwin Rubio of a Cleghorn Street address in Belize City. They noticed that he had a “3” and an “0” on his arm which displayed membership to the “CRIPS” gang...

    Two men arraigned on murder charges in Orange Walk
    As we have reported,  26 year-old Luis Ricardo Campos was found stabbed to death in Orange Walk Town under a shed on the property of Waldy Cuello Stables, just off the San Antonio Road...

    Court of Appeal restores murder indictment
    The Belize Court of Appeal has overruled a decision by Supreme Court Justice Denis Hanomansingh to quash an indictment for murder against Jorge Vidal in the Central District of the Court and ordered that he stand trial...

    BTV says OAS displays partiality to Guatemala
    The Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) has responded to a press release issued by the OAS on March 7, 2015...

    Amandala

    One of Meredith Escalante’s alleged shooters remanded
    Exactly one month after Meredith Escalante, 13, a student of San Pedrito, San Pedro, was shot in the chest and neck by two gunmen while sitting in the kitchen of the apartment where she and her mother lived in the Espat’s Apartment Complex, one of the gunmen has been arrested and charged. At about 9:30 Wednesday, February 11, the two gunmen went into the yard of the apartment building and fired at the apartment in which she lived, damaging the walls and the door of the dwelling, grazing the girl in the neck and chest. Police have announced that their investigation into the shooting led to the arrest of Deshawn Goff, 21, a fisherman of San Pedro. He was arrested and charged with attempted murder and deadly means of harm.

    House meets Friday
    The House of Representatives meets tomorrow, Friday, March 13, 2015, for the presentation of the proposed national budget for 2015-2016, as well as a supplementary appropriation bill for PetroCaribe spending and a series of loan motions totaling roughly US$72 million. The national budget will be in excess of a billion dollars, and we understand that although Government has not conclusively determined the size of the salary adjustment that will be paid this year to teachers and public officers, there will be a provision included in the budget based on the current forecasts. Deputy Financial Secretary Marion Palacio explained that the agreement for deciding on the salary adjustment remains the same as last year: half of any increase in recurrent revenue for this year over last year’s actual revenue will be given in salary adjustments to teachers and public officers; however, the fiscal year does not end until March 31, 2015, which means that final figures won’t be immediately available to calculate how much of a salary adjustment should be paid to workers.

    Reverend Kurt Kasebeer of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-cathedral Parish in Belmopan, dies
    Catholics in Belmopan and throughout the country join the members and staff of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-cathedral Parish in Belmopan in mourning the sudden death of the beloved Reverend Kurt Kasebeer, the pastor in charge of the parish in Belmopan. He died on Tuesday night at the Belmopan Hospital due to a massive heart attack. Amandala was informed that Fr. Kurt, 72, had been feeling ill and was taken to the hospital. Rev. Kurt had been the pastor in charge of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-cathedral Parish for the past four years. He is remembered in the media for his weekly sermons that he used to conduct on Love FM and for leading a congregation of worshippers to the scene of a road traffic accident where Francesca Vera, 76, was killed on the Northern Highway in February, 2005.

    CCJ to hear LGBT challenge to Belize immigration law next week
    The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) will begin hearing the legal challenge brought by LGBT activist Maurice Tomlinson of Jamaica against the states of Belize, and Trinidad and Tobago next week Tuesday, March 17, and Wednesday, March 18. We have been informed by the court that the two cases, JAOJ2013/001 Maurice Tomlinson v Belize and JAOJ2013/002 Maurice Tomlinson v Trinidad and Tobago, will be heard in open court in Port of Spain, Trinidad, via videoconference to Kingston, Jamaica. Tomlinson, a homosexual in a same-sex marriage to a Canadian pastor, is challenging the immigration laws of the CARICOM countries, alleging that they deny hassle-free movement of homosexuals into those states, which he claims is a violation of his right as a CARICOM national.

    Police charge 11 persons for 1 gun and 6 bullets
    At about 4:30 Monday evening on Front Street in Dangriga, police stopped and searched a double-cab pickup from Belize City in which eleven persons – including four minors and a woman — from the Mayflower Street area of Belize City were traveling; some were in the pan of the vehicle. They were all arrested after police found a .38 Special revolver loaded with 6 live rounds in the vehicle. The group was taken to the Dangriga Police Station, where they were charged with gun and ammunition possession. On Wednesday, the group was taken to the Dangriga Magistrate’s Court on charges of keeping an unlicensed firearm and ammunition and they were all remanded until April 28. The adults were remanded to the Belize Central Prison, while the four minors were remanded to the Wagner Facility for youths at the Kolbe Foundation in the Belize Central Prison.

    Convict argues against carnal knowledge conviction before Court of Appeal
    A man who was convicted of three counts of carnal knowledge while he was out on parole for a 25-year manslaughter sentence was before the Court of Appeal this afternoon, arguing against the conviction and the consequent 18-year sentence. The panel of Appeal Court Justices who heard the case consisted of President of the Court of Appeal Hon. Justice Manuel Sosa; Hon. Justice Samuel Awich and Hon. Justice Christopher Blackman. The court indicated that it will issue a ruling on this appeal at a future date. Winston Dennison, who had provided the court with a 24-point skeleton argument, told the panel of justices that he was assisted in the preparation of the document by someone in the prison, “as I am not a good reader.” As he began his argument, Dennison explained to the court that he had no attorney and that he would be representing himself.

    Jermaine Belgrave, 33, on trial for the 2011 murder of Cleo Robinson
    The trial of accused murderer Jermaine Belgrave began yesterday, Thursday morning, in the Supreme Court of Justice Adolph Lucas, who is hearing the case without a jury. On February 23, 2010, around 11:00 p.m., Jermaine Belgrave allegedly shot Cleo Robinson on Glynn Street, while Robinson was riding his beach cruiser bicycle. Robinson, who was shot in the abdomen and the back, lived for 16 months before he succumbed to his injuries. Belgrave was initially charged with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm, but after Robinson passed away on June 30, 2011, the charges against Belgrave were upgraded to murder. In court yesterday morning, Justice Lucas told Crown Counsel Shanice Lovell, “The indictment is misleading.”

    Camalote man shot dead in Roaring Creek
    Belmopan police now have another murder case to investigate as they try to find the killer of Elroy Ramirez, 30, a caretaker of Young Bank Road in Camalote, Cayo District, who was shot to death in Roaring Creek, also in the Cayo District, last night. Police said that at around 8:35 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, Ramirez and two other men were cleaning fish inside a fenced yard in the “Another World” area of Roaring Creek when a lone gunman of dark complexion with a hooded sweater pulled over his head, approached and fired a single gunshot at the trio. After Ramirez had been shot, the gunman reportedly ran across the street and disappeared into some bushes behind a church. Ramirez, also known as “Dread”, suffered multiple pellet wounds to the abdomen and lower body, and was transported to the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan, but he succumbed to his injuries a little over two hours later, shortly before 11:00 p.m. The motive for the murder is still unclear, and we understand that one person is in police custody in connection with the incident.

    Kevin Bernard, the PUP’s only surviving mayor, says they beat “the big giant”
    Kevin Bernard has been elected for a third term on the Orange Walk Town Council—his second consecutive term as mayor of that municipality, where the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) was able to secure its only victory in the March 4, 2015 municipal elections. Bernard told Amandala Thursday that it took hard work, commitment and a good team to secure that win. “I believe that we have shown the people of Orange Walk that we had the ability, that we were able to carry out the work day in, day out, despite the challenges and that is one of the biggest things that I think took us over the hump,” he told us. Bernard will be leading a mixed council, which includes two elected members of the ruling United Democratic Party; but he is no stranger to mixed councils. In fact, Bernard was one of three PUP councilors elected to serve in that municipality back in 2009, when the UDP held the majority of seats in Orange Walk.

    Great weekend of games in NEBL season
    The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) hosted some great games this past weekend, as teams continued to battle for supremacy in the league. Fans are reminded that all games have a live webcast, where the play-by-play along with box scores are available for all games. Fans can follow every game live on the internet, as scores are in real time. The games can be accessed from our website at nebl.sportingpulse.net Belmopan Red Taigaz defends home court On Thursday night, the Belmopan Red Taigaz (4-1) hosted the Orange Walk Running Rebels (2-2), where both teams were coming off wins over the previous weekend. The UB gymnasium was packed to capacity as the home team was able to secure their fourth win in a row, claiming an 85-72 victory. Belmopan Red Taigaz was led by last year’s MVP Farron Louriano, who tallied a double-double with the game high 30 points (pts), 10 rebounds (rebs) and 2 blocked shots. Terrell Eskridge finished the night with 12 pts, 8 assists, 4 rebs and 4 steals; while Jamal Harris had 11 pts and 5 rebs. Travis Lennan and Jarrel “Bird” Velasquez netted 9 and 8 pts, respectively. For the visiting team, Roger Reneau had a break-out game with double-double of 24 pts and 14 rebs, while having 4 steals and 4 assists. Randy Usher finished the night with 16 pts and 2 assists; while Jason Grant scored 16 pts and pulled 5 boards.

    Athletics past and present – Ernesto Reed
    In 1990, Ernesto Reed ran his first race against big names like William Mahler, Wilhelm Bailey (deceased), Joseph Carr, Henry Smith, Eugene Muslar, Mark Stevens and Fernando Galvez, just to mention a few. That race was a half-marathon. He said he tried it and running because it looked easy; but when he actually ran, he found out it was hard. The next race he ran was the following year, 1991, a national competition called the Belize Games. Joseph Carr came in first, he came in second, and William Mahler third. The next challenge he took up was the second and final Belize Games ever, held in 1993. John Brackett was first, Carr second, and he got the third place, beating William Mahler to the finish line. His next competition journey took him to compete in another unique race, a biathlon (run/ride race). He came in 18th. Thereafter, he got into some 10k runs. Joseph Carr, Darwin Rhaburn and Fernando “Journey” Galvez are some names he said he just called from the top of his head that he competed against in his first 10k, but there were more that he could not remember at the time. A memorable 10k he stated was one in Corozal where a preacher, Mr. White, came in first.

    Cricket Corner – Western Eagles discipline Police; Suga Boys slow down Uprising
    The Harrison Parks National Cricket Competition 2015, under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, continued over the weekend with only four games played. To say the least, three of them were very exciting, where I believed some tears fell. At Rancho Dolores, Western Eagles went up against Police, who were undefeated by winning three games straight. Police won the toss and took to bat first. At the start, things didn’t look too bright for the cops, as wickets started to fall in this order: 1 for 8; 2 for 12; 3 for 20; 4 for 26; 5 for 36; 6 for 36; 7 for 47; 8 for 48; and 9 for 53. At their innings end, it was all for 88. Brandon Lewis top scored with 32. Dirk Sutherland took 5 wickets for the Eagles. Now, to my knowledge, Eagles have always had a hard time chasing scores, no matter how small. (Remember, this is my opinion.) I must mention that when the last two batsmen went in, the score was at a mere 53 runs. Kirk Banner and Brandon Lewis were the last two batsmen for Police, and they pushed the score to 88.

    3 more weeks of PLB reg. season, 7 teams chasing 4 playoff spots
    It’s another highly competitive tournament in this Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2014-2015 Closing Season, and with only 3 weeks of regular season remaining, the playoff race is very much alive among the present top 7 teams in the standings. Before reviewing the past weekend Week 6 games, we need to document the scoring details we recently received from last week’s Week 5 matches. Week 5 – BDF 2:1 Placencia Texmar Assassins. Goals – BDF (Carlton “Fubu” Thomas 4’ and Leon “Lem” Jones 69’); Placencia (Luis “Baaka” Torres 29’). King Energy/Freedom Fighters 4:0 FC Belize. Goals – K.E./Fdm. Fighters (Derrol Lambey 61’, Dwayne Sampson 65’ & 68’, and Jevon Aranda 87’). Belmopan Bandits 1:0 Verdes FC. Goal – Bmp Bandits (Jerome “Jarro” James 28’). Wagiya 7:0 San Ignacio United. Goals – Wagiya (Dion Moguel 6’ & 53’, Byron Chavez 38’, Eugene Martinez 55’, Brandon Cacho 67’, Lennox Mejia 85’ and Leonard Valdez 86’).

    Setting the stage
    In 1996, the bombing of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) by the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) in Belize City Council elections, followed by a bombing of the UDP in 1997 Town Board elections by the PUP, set the stage for the PUP’s landslide victory over the UDP in the 1998 general elections. Following the 1997 Town Boards, the UDP had embarked on a frantic re-registration process in the summer of 1997, the first such re-registration since the 18-year-old vote had been introduced in 1978, but it was of no use. The stage had been set in 1996 and 1997. In 2006, the bombing of the ruling PUP by the Opposition UDP in national municipal elections (Belize CitCo plus District Town Boards) set the stage for the UDP”s landslide victory over the PUP in the 2008 general elections. After 2006, the UDP general election victory of 2008 was a foregone conclusion. On Wednesday, March 4, 2015, the ruling UDP’s shelling of the Opposition PUP in national municipal elections reverses the post-independence political trend, in that the only second-term administration since independence (before this Dean Barrow UDP), had quickly begun losing popularity in their second term. That was the PUP’s Said Musa government, which easily won a second term in 2003, but lost massive amounts of popularity after the Social Security Board and Development Finance Corporation financial scandals of 2004.

    From the Publisher
    The ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) on Tuesday this week released an audiotape to the Belizean media in which former Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) Leader (March 2008-October 2011) and former PUP Deputy Leader/Deputy Prime Minister, John Briceño, criticized the PUP Said Musa administration of August 1998 to February 2008. Mr. Briceño became PUP Deputy Leader when Said Musa was elected PUP Leader in a 1996 national convention, and then became Deputy Prime Minister when the PUP won the August 1998 general elections. Channel 7 aired portions of this audiotape in their news broadcast on Tuesday evening. Mr. Briceño is speaking in both English and Spanish to one “Julian”, a PUP loyalist in the Orange Walk East constituency, and a companion. His accusations of financial corruption against the Said Musa/Ralph Fonseca regime are nothing Belizeans have not heard before from other sources, but Mr. Briceño’s tirade includes colorful details, such as those having to do with the Jeffery Prosser/Lord Michael Ashcroft era at Belize Telecommunications Limited (BTL). The somewhat sensational nature of the Briceño tape has to do with his lofty status in the political party and the government administration to which he is referring and which he is indicting.

    Gracias a Dios incident—neighborly military intimidation
    Dear Editor, I, a Belizean American, was the only person from the Diaspora to join the Northern Territorial Volunteers on the expedition to install a plaque and rejuvenate the monument which demarcates the southernmost border of the country of Belize which, to the best of my knowledge, since the country was known as British Honduras. The group comprising 37 volunteers departed from the Punta Gorda Immigration Station at 9 a.m. proceeding along the coast in a southerly direction passing the coastal village of Barranco and shortly thereafter entered the Sarstoon River to the left of which we saw at a distance a small settlement and the Guatemalan flag. Shortly afterwards a small vessel speeded towards us and as it approached, we saw that it was the Guatemalan military who came alongside and ordered the Captain to stop. There were 8 soldiers all with military rifles at the ready.

    Problems at Belmopan Baptist High School
    Dear Editor, Please allow me to share a few urgent matters that need attention at Belmopan Baptist High School. The purpose of this letter is NOT to tarnish the reputation of the school but rather to seek assistance for the students and develop the standard of learning at the institution. As a young child I always dreamt of becoming a teacher and I also had a passion for teaching. As soon as an opportunity arose, I capitalized on it and took up employment at a small high school, Belmopan Baptist High, which I felt would be an advantage since I am a novice teacher. Every day I start on a positive note because as soon as I arrive at work, my students make my day by welcoming me and most of them are eager to learn. This is what stands out and motivates me as a teacher.

    When fish come from river bottom…
    Dear Editor, I spent 5 idyllic days at Tobacco Caye… a place of such beauty and serenity… the Bush Kep was ready to give it all up and become a beach bum. Yet, as with everything… there are issues, and some of the major issues plaguing the Caye are 1. With increased tourism Tobacco Caye has a serious waste management issue. Yet the Islanders claim that most of the garbage is brought in with the tide…no doubt refuse from all those cruise ships who have the right to jettison their garbage and bilge 3 miles offshore. 2. Islanders complain that they are targeted by Fisheries Unit on a regular basis… the Fisheries boat speeds by all the catamarans… sailboats… private boats of the resort owners… that are being captained by unlicened individuals who are running guests… and runs down the dory with three islander boys, ages 10-12, fishing for the sheer joy of it, and the morning’s breakfast. 3. Of concern to me was a flyer passing round the Island… inviting one to attend a meeting on “Organization”, and bearing the Managed Access label… I was concerned because the fishers were saying that Stann Creek Fisherman’s Association, and Conch were now “DONE.”

    Ambassador Mendez tells why he is the man for high-ranking OAS job!
    While Belizeans went to the polls on March 4 to elect local governments across 9 municipalities here, the country’s Ambassador to the US, Permanent Representative to Organization of American States (OAS) and High Commissioner for Belize in Canada, H.E. Nestor Mendez, underwent a three-hour long intensive session with representatives of 33 delegations at the headquarters of the OAS in Washington, D.C., where he made out his case in trying to convince his peers why he should be elected to serve as Assistant Secretary General of the OAS next Wednesday, March 18. Permanent Representative of Guyana, Bayney Karran, is also making a bid for the job, and both Mendez and Karran put forward their statements and took questions from representatives of OAS member states at last Wednesday’s special meeting of the OAS. Ambassador Mendez has represented Belize at the OAS since 1999, when he served as Belize’s alternate rep. He became the country’s permanent rep in 2007. Mendez said that over the last 15 years, he has seen the organization evolve into what it is today; and he is prepared to work to transform the OAS into the organization that they all want.

    Wil Maheia’s PNP performs best among third parties and independents
    Wil Maheia, leader of the People’s National Party (PNP) and mayoral candidate in the March 4 municipal elections, says that although his slate did not perform as well as he had expected, based on the number of pledges his party had received versus the actual voting outcome of the poll, they may return to contest the general elections when it is called, because of encouragement from supporters and campaigners who have urged him to stay in the race. The PNP has contested two prior municipal elections: in 2009 and 2012, and whereas it received 7% to 8% of votes in those elections, this year, it netted more than 15% of the votes; moreover, it performed better than its ally, Vision Inspired by the People (VIP), which contested elections in Belmopan, where that party netted 8% of the votes, and San Pedro, where it netted only 4% of votes. Interestingly, back in 2009, the VIP’s Belmopan slate, led by the same mayoral candidate, Hubert Enriquez, outdid the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) by capturing 23 more votes than the PUP. However, the PUP made a comeback in the 2012 municipal elections, when it managed to grab two seats on the Belmopan Town Council.

    Luk Ya 6 celebrates “Lady Lard” and 10 other creative women
    Luk Ya 6, an art exhibition, was held in Dangriga over the weekend, in a showcase that featured 10 creative women. The event was dedicated to the memory of Leocardia Bernadez Ruiz Mariano (1911 – 1998), popularly known as “Lady Lard,” a Garifuna singer and composer. The well-attended event was declared open at 2:30 p.m. at the Pen Cayetano Studio Gallery in Dangriga Town. Organizers say that this year, the coordinators – Ingrid Cayetano and Michele Irving – decided to highlight not only women in art, but also women in music. The program included education, history and entertainment under the theme “Women changing history, building futures, drivers of change”. After a welcome address by Michele Irving, the Girl Powa group presented the national anthem. Charles Mariano then spoke about his late grandmother.

    Police seek alleged female killer
    Belize City Police are on the hunt for the female companion of Oscar Amilcar Grijalva, 49, a caretaker of Ontario, Cayo District, who was found riddled with stab wounds to the upper body at around 3:50 p.m. today at Isabel Guest House on Albert Street. The couple reportedly arrived at the guest house at around 11:30 this morning, and after Grijalva paid for one of the rooms, they proceeded upstairs to the second floor, where there are other guest rooms and a shared hall area. Police reported that hours later, Grijalva was found lying face up inside the bathroom of room # 1 with injuries to the chest, a cut wound to his throat, and stab wounds to both arms. Officer in Charge of the Belize District Crimes Investigation Branch, Superintendent Hilberto Romero, told us at a press briefing today that an employee of the guesthouse made the gruesome discovery when she went into the room to check on Grijalva.

    Education Ministry issues warning on sale of fake academic degrees via social media
    Authorities from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports today issued a press release in response to an online advertisement that has been circulated on social media for the past few days, promoting the sale of unauthenticated high school diplomas and tertiary level degrees for educational institutions in Belize, the USA and even Europe. The advertisement features a dealer that refers to himself as “Diploma Guy,” who claims to engage in the sale of phony certificates ranging from diplomas all the way up to Master’s degrees for $4,000 each. Prospective buyers are instructed to initially pay a 30% deposit, and then to pay the balance upon delivery of the bogus certificates.

    Police charge 11 persons for 1 gun and 6 bullets
    At about 4:30 Monday evening on Front Street in Dangriga, police stopped and searched a double-cab pickup from Belize City in which eleven persons – including four minors and a woman — from the Mayflower Street area of Belize City were traveling; some were in the pan of the vehicle. They were all arrested after police found a .38 Special revolver loaded with 6 live rounds in the vehicle. The group was taken to the Dangriga Police Station, where they were charged with gun and ammunition possession. On Wednesday, the group was taken to the Dangriga Magistrate’s Court on charges of keeping an unlicensed firearm and ammunition and they were all remanded until April 28. The adults were remanded to the Belize Central Prison, while the four minors were remanded to the Wagner Facility for youths at the Kolbe Foundation in the Belize Central Prison.

    The Reporter

    Taking coastal issues to inland students- Oceana holds open day in Belmopan
    Hundreds of students gathered at Oceana’s Belmopan office on Friday for an open day explaining the importance of the barrier reef. The open day is a part of the activities held under Reef Week, being celebrated under the theme “Celebrate Our Heritage. Protect Our Future. Belief in the Reef.” The open day was held in collaboration with numerous non-governmental organizations, and government authorities. These include: Mar Alliance, Belize Volunteers Club, Belize Audubon Society, Sea 2 Shore Alliance, Aldebaran, Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute, Belize Fisheries Department, The Nature Conservancy, the Environmental Research Institute (UB), Belize Bird Rescue and Solid Waste Management Authority and Institute. Amelita Knowles, national grassroots coordinator for Oceana Belize. said that the organization chose to hold the open day in Belmopan to bring information about marine issues to an audience who hears less about them.

    Trade imbalance offset by market shift, says Director of Trade
    While Belize’s imports continue to exceed it seaports, causing an ever widening trade deficit, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection, Mike Singh says that the figure does not accurately reflect Belize’s trading position. Singh emphasized this week that because of the complexities of trade, an accurate picture cannot be obtained by looking at the SIB figures alone. “The SIB data only reflects trade in respect to goods,” Singh said, “but what is happen in Belize is that the economy is making a shift towards services. Those figures will not show up in the SIB data.” Singh continued by saying that in terms of revenue derived from services, Belize is doing considerably better than in goods; however the ministry doesn’t have the type of data necessary to quantify just how much services offsets the deficit caused by trading goods.

    Maya communities ready for CCJ
    The ongoing court battle between the Government of Belize and the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) and the Toledo Acaldes Association is scheduled be heard in the Caribbean Court of Justice in April and the MLA said this week that they are ready. Pablo Mis spoke this week for the MLA on the upcoming case, saying that the organizations are confident in the preparations and the Court’s decisions which have brought them to this point. “Our position on the substantive matter, which was backed up by the Supreme Court and the court of Appeal, has not changed”, Mis said, “and while the court has the right to make its own decision, we don’t foresee any changes in the principles laid down by the other courts.” Mis added that since 2007 when the entire legal battle started, the courts have affirmed that the Maya people have and should enjoy customary rights to their communal lands. The sentiment Mis said has the support of the wider international community.

    Seventeen year-old student drowns during afternoon swim
    Seventeen year-old Miguel Quintanilla, an only child and a third form student of Eden Seventh Day Adventist High School died from drowning while swimming with friends on Sunday in the Mopan River. The popular teen was with five friends when they decided to swim across the river to the other […]

    San Pedro police cracking down on crime
    San Pedro police have made 19 arrests, seized over nine pounds of marijuana, confiscated 25 rounds of assorted ammunition, recovered an illegal gun and have charged one person for attempted murder during last week, in a drive to crack down on crime on the […]

    UNESCO funds Restore Belize projects
    This week the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) made a US$26,000 donation to Restore Belize, to support the organization’s various projects. Minister of Education and President of UNESCO in Belize, Patrick Faber, flanked by UNSECO Secretary General, Rev. Dale Anthony, presented the […]

    Ride-by gunman shoots 14 year old female student
    Fourteen year-old Amybel Arana is clinging to life in the post-surgical ward at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. She had to undergo an operation to repair a collapsed lung and a damaged kidney, caused by a bullet which ripped through her abdomen shortly after […]

    Deportee finds death in Orange Walk. Is there a drug connection?
    Orange Walk police have charged Alexis Ramirez and Dennis Reneau with the murder of Luis Campos, 26, who was recently deported from the United States. Campos was discovered stabbed to death in a small wooden structure beside a horse stable on Sunday morning in […]

    Charitable trust gives $350,000 for low-interest student loans
    The Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust (BNECT), this week, signed an agreement committing $350,000 to provide low-interest loans for students from the Belize and Cayo districts. BNECT signed the agreement with the Beize Enterprise for Sustainable Technology (BEST) in order to expand the Trust’s […]

    Taiwan Food Festival shares Spring Festival with Belize
    The Taiwanese-Belizean community shared its culture and an authentic taste of Chinese cuisine with Belizeans at a food festival, hosted by the Republic of China (Taiwan) embassy and the Belize-Taiwan Chamber of Commerce at the Memorial Park in Belize City on Saturday, March 7. Ambassador […]

    Belize honors its national heroes and benefactors
    Belizeans honored their national heroes: Philip Stanley Wilberforce Goldson, its first Premier and Prime Minister, George Cadle Price, and its greatest benefactor: Baron Henry Edward Ernest Victor Bliss, during a wreath-laying ceremony at the Baron Bliss Lighthouse in Belize City on Monday, March 9. The […]

    Private prosecutor called in to handle four year old murder case
    A four year-old murder, dating back to September 2010, is making waves in court circles today because the Attorney General of Belize has appointed a private lawyer, Ellis Arnold, to be the prosecuting attorney. On September 5, 2010 family members discovered the body of Carlos […]

    Reverend Kurt Kassebeer passes away
    Well known Catholic priest and pastor of Guadalupe Parish in Belmopan, Reverend Kurt Kassebeer, passed away on Tuesday morning, March 10. According to parishioners, Fr. Kassebeer was feeling ill from Sunday evening. They mentioned that a doctor had come to visit him at the rectory. […]

    Special team of therapists visit Inspiration Center
    This week a special team of therapists visited the Inspiration Center to conduct clinics in physical and occupational therapy. The team, which came from Long Island University in Brooklyn New York, USA, was comprised of two physical therapists, one occupational therapist, a pediatric neurologist, and […]

    VIP asks DOE to intervene in San Pedro environmental crisis
    The Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) has written to the Department of the Environment (DOE) asking for intervention in a matter of environmental urgency by ordering the San Pedro Town Council to stop using toxic waste for land and street fill. The letter, dated March 10th and addressed to […]

    Editorial
    The stunning revelations contained in the now celebrated Briceño tape have been documented but never corroborated so fully as they now are by a ranking officer of the Party. Mr. Briceño has had a significant role in the PUP for nearly 40 years. He was at one time, after the […]

    CONfirmation!
    One week after the People’s United Party suffered massive defeat at the polls, it called a meeting of its National Executive and standard bearers to discuss explosive revelations by its former Leader, Johnny Briceño. In a taped 65 minute conversation, Briceño laid bare some of […]

    Newborn twins give- away on internet prompts investigation
    The Department of Human Services is investigating a matter in which, newborn twins were being given away on the Facebook Belize Buy & Sell page. Officials from Human Services told The Reporter they were aware of the advertisement, which was posted on Wednesday morning, […]

    Education Minister condemns fraudulent academic certifications
    Minister of Education, Patrick Faber condemned the use and production of fraudulent academic certifications being sold on the internet via social-media site Facebook. Faber said the Ministry does not condone this type of activity in anyway and reminded the public that anyone found distributing […]

    The Belize Times

    Gapi fails to deliver O.W. – …Denny Grijalva on the chopping block
    There are major political tremors in the United Democratic Party in Orange Walk, following their major loss in the polls in that municipality on March 4th. These tremors have been triggered by increasingly louder calls for the immediate removal of Denny Grijalva as the UDP caretaker for Orange Walk Central. You see, Grijalva has been found to be an extreme political dunce by his own colleagues after he failed to deliver the town council – mostly made up of the constituency Orange Walk Central – to the UDP. Grijalva couldn’t deliver victory despite the millions of dollars thrown into the political race by the UDP. The loss is a huge embarrassment to Dean Barrow. The UDP leader had chosen to spend his birthday on March 3rd in Orange Walk. In true Barrow-bombastic style, while speaking at a rally a day before the elections last week, the UDP leader tried to pull a trick on residents by saying that his Government will spend millions and millions if the residents vote for the UDP.

    Duo charged for OW Murder – Victim was stabbed 4 times, his throat was slit
    Two men, Dennis Reneau and Alexis Ramirez, have been detained and charged for the horrific stabbing murder of 26 year old Orange Walk resident, Luis Ricardo Castillo, which occurred on the morning of Sunday, March 9th. Reneau and Ramirez appeared before the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, March 11th, where they were charged for murder. Senior Magistrate Merlene Moody adjourned the case until April 29th, 2015. Campos was discovered at the Waldy Cuello Stables, located just off the San Antonio Road, with multiple stab wounds to his throat, right shoulder and face. His throat was also slit.

    Senior ASR/BSI Employees In Hot Water
    Reliable sources are that two senior employees of Belize Sugar Industries/American Sugar Refinery are in serious hot water. John Gillette, the company’s Factory Manager, and Jamil Matar, a known UDP spokesperson employed at the company as an electrical and engineering manager, are reportedly facing disciplinary measures and are under investigation by company officials after it was discovered that some expensive equipment that should be in their care went missing between September and December last year. The company launched an investigation into the missing equipment early this year, after a factory employee who was terminated began “squealing” about alleged wrongdoing.

    Boots Belly Full!! – UDP Port representative has gone from “Boots” to “Expensive Shoes”!!
    Reliable reports reaching the BELIZE TIMES is that another Government Ministry will be coming to another UDP Cabinet Minister-owned building. This time the special contract will go to no other than Anthony “Expensive Shoes” Martinez who owns a life-sized, yellow-coloured, three-storey building at the entrance to the city. Government sources have informed the BELIZE TIMES that the Lands Department Belize District office will be moving from its Basra Street address directly to one of the lofty floors in the Boots building. This is the same building which currently houses offices for a dubious company named “Barrow and Barrow Domestic and Foreign Investments Limited” and “Port Housing for the Poor”.

    Barrow’s Bait or Weapon?
    By G. Michael Reid. The Municipal elections have come and gone and the armchair generals and self-appointed pundits are still busy dissecting and analyzing the results. It was a decisive victory for the United Democratic Party and I will readily admit that I, for one was taken fully by surprise. Maybe I should not have been, since one should always temper expectations with reality! The number one reality is that the United Democratic Party is flushed with cash; cash money that they have been spending without the need to provide any type of accountability to anyone but themselves. Whenever he is asked about the Petro Caribe money, the Prime Minister always purports to be the keeper of such good records. He then invokes the integrity of his Financial Secretary as backative but there are a couple of problems here. First of all, nobody has ever seen these records and secondly, the Financial Secretary is a prominent member of Dean Barrow’s inner circle of confidants. Like any good dictator, Barrow does not tolerate dissenters and such good paying jobs are not easy to come by. It is quite easy for the Prime Minister to simply deny that any of the Petro Caribe money has been used to fund his election drive for obvious reasons. None of the oversight committees are in place and functioning and people like the Auditor General are appointed by the Prime Minister himself. It would be practically impossible to disprove what the Prime Minister is saying and certainly not while he is still in office.

    UDP Distractions Will Fail
    Hon. Francis Fonseca, as Leader of the Opposition along with the National Executive of the People’s United Party met on Wednesday and made some important decisions on the way forward. Three burning issues were on the agenda for discussion and decision. The results of the municipal elections; the so-called Briceno tape, and the way forward from these issues. The municipal elections were an unpleasant surprise and at the end of the day the Opposition lost the Dangriga and Punta Gorda Town Councils. A combination of several factors contributed to this situation and closer examination is under way. No doubt UDP bribery and corruption had a part to play but that is not the whole story. Vote buying, bribery and corruption, including manipulating the voters list in Belmopan will also be undergoing closer scrutiny. As will the PUP message to voters and its delivery. Without getting into details of these and the other constituencies in this Editorial, the National Executive has resolved that the results have come as the lightening rod to galvanize the People’s United Party.

    San Pedro sailors top 87th Baron Bliss Harbor Regatta
    San Pedro’s 14-and-under sailors won 5 of 10 top places when the Belize Sailing Association held 6 “Optimist” dinghy races as part of the 87th annual Baron Bliss Regatta in the Belize City harbor over the weekend. San Pedro Racers’ 13-year-old Kevin Velasquez won back to back for the Optimist White fleet, placing 1st in 4 of the 6 races. He won the 1st race and 4th in the 3rd race on Saturday and dominated all 3 races on Sunday tallying a final score of 8 points. Belize Sea Scouts’ 12-year-old Trent Hardwick was 2nd with 16 points, taking 4th place in the 1st race, and 1st in the 3rd race on Saturday, and 3rd and 2nd in the 4th and 5th races on Sunday.

    BTL Cobb’s Arm wins 2015 Ruta Maya River Challenge
    The BTL Cobb’s Arm canoe has finished in the top 5 of the annual Ruta Maya River Challenge for the past 4 years, but this year Roy Cano, Eric Cano and Clayton Cabb of Santa Familia Village, Cayo District pulled out all the stops and paddled into 1st place to win the 4-day canoe race from the Hawksworth Bridge in San Ignacio to the Belcan Bridge in Belize City over the March 9th weekend. The NICH team and paddlers Efrain Cruz, Felix Cruz and Alexander Cruz were in 2nd place, while the OCB Wavemakers Chris Guydis, Jerry Rhaburn and Wilberto Daniels finished 3rd. Last year’s champs, Belize Bank Bulldogs (8 times champs, actually) with Armin Lopez, Daniel Cruz and Amado Cruz were 4th place while the Westrac Stingers Jerry Cante, Hener Cruz and Erwin Cruz were 5th.

    The Recordings Jules Vasquez Ignores!
    Jules Vasquez and the United Democratic Party are busy trying to create problems for the People’s United Party. This is why Channel 7, who broke the news of a “recording” of PUP Deputy Leader Hon. John Briceno last week, has not ignored the contents of the recordings about two current senior UDP Ministers in which direct allegations of wrongdoing are made against them. There is the February 2014 Mark King recording of Edmond Castro, which put the always-embattled Belize Rural North politician in deep trouble with Dean Barrow. In the tape, it is alleged, Castro made heavy criticisms of the Prime Minister’s leadership of the Government. King, who always has his finger on the record button, saw an opportunity to come-up on Castro’s loose lips and recorded the entire conversation and then snitched on his Cabinet colleague.

    Nature Must Come First!
    In his article “Nature Must Come First”, published in Newsweek for December, 14 2009 the Prince of Wales said “As the world edged into financial crisis, there were repeated warnings that we were headed for disaster. In the end, disaster struck. In many ways, the challenge of climate change has a similar feel, and the alarm bells are ringing just as loudly. But while it was possible to bail out the banks and to stimulate economic recovery with trillions of dollars of public finance it will not be possible to bail out the climate-unless we act now”. In Belize the alarm bells keep ringing but are the warnings being taken seriously by the Government and the relevant agencies? In a contribution dated September 22, 2013 in the Reporter Newspaper, the Department of Environment explained that out Forestry are considered the lungs of the earth, holding vast quantities of carbon which filters the air we breathe. The forest is also responsible for the generation of rainfall and it is from within it that the water source is supplied to 45% of the Belizean population.

    Belize Rural High girls & O.W. Tech boys win softball championships
    The Belize Rural High School girls and the Orange Walk Technical High School boys will represent the North at the National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) softball championships to be hosted by Independence High School on Friday and Saturday, March 20-21. Belize Rural High girls defeated the San Pedro High School girls in the championship final 20-0. They were led by their pitcher Sabrina Campos, who struck out 3 San Pedro batters and walked 2, but allowed no runs zero runs, forcing the SPHS girls to leave 2 runners on base.

    WOMAN IN THE HOUSE – EARTHA KITT AND BLOODY SUNDAY
    By Dolores Balderamos Garcia. On this weekend before International Women’s Day I have been listening to the music of American cabaret singer, voice artist and activist Eartha Kitt, who died in 2008, and I have taken note also of a significant anniversary, “Bloody Sunday” in Selma, Alabama, USA fifty years ago. Eartha Kitt was the inimitable song interpreter and artist, who delivered the most interesting and very best version of the classic Christmas song “Santa Baby.” She had an absolutely distinctive singing style, enjoying a long and storied career in entertainment. A few years ago a friend of mine told me that Eartha Kitt is the lady who “cuss out” Lady Bird Johnson in the White House in 1968. I wanted to learn more about her! Yes, indeed, Eartha had socked it to the First Lady of the USA. On being asked by Mrs. Johnson about the Vietnam War, she replied “You send your best of this country off to be shot and maimed. No wonder the kids rebel and take pot [marijuana].” Reportedly, she added a few more choice criticisms of American policy as well, and Mrs. Johnson burst into tears. Eartha’s career took a severe hit thereafter, but as an activist she endured the hard times. She remained a member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and for many years she was under surveillance by the CIA.

    Court adjourns Noh Mul Case – Despite public confession, Denny Grijalva’s attorney attempts to get case struck out
    Oh, how the wheels of justice turn so slowly when it comes to dealing with UDP politicians. The wanton and careless destruction of the ancient Noh Mul Mayan site by Denny Grijalva drew heavy condemnation nationally and internationally in May 2013. The UDP standard bearer for Orange Walk Central admitted that his company was excavating the Mayan site for road material, and authorities moved slowly to lay charges on him. Now almost two years after, the case began before the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court and Grijalva’s facey-ness was in full display. When the case commenced, Prosecutor Kileru Awich informed the Court that the files had just been provided to him and he requested an adjournment. Grijalva’s attorney Bryan Neal objected to such request, saying that the matter has been before the Courts for two almost years, and requested that the case either proceed or be struck out.

    CitCo workers on the chopping block?
    Just days after the March 4th elections the returned UDP Council at City Hall under Mayor Darrell Bradley is faced with the big question: what are they going to do with the BML workers? If it were up to the Mayor, as he had indicated before, he would never have hired them. But under pressure from Dean Barrow to save-face, he did. Now, the Mayor must be all too eager to sack them. If it were up to the Mayor, he would have sacked them a long time ago. Had it not been for Dean Barrow’s intervention with financing to keep them on because of the CitCo elections. But now that the elections are over and “Petrocaribe roll” dwindling down, Darrell and Dean are facing the same problem – find the money.

    PUP Celebrates Women as Nation Builders
    Ever since the first International Women’s Day was observed in 1911, women all over the world have been commemorating International Women’s day with special marches, rallies, speakouts and meetings. Here in Belize, while there was barely a squeak by the Government on how they will advance key issues affecting women, the People’s United Party dedicated a discussion session on the morning of March 10th, examining the impact women have made on Belizean society. The theme was “Women as Nation Builders” and had the participation of various leaders in the Party including Deputy Leader Hon. Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Senator Lisa Shoman, Secretary General I. Myrtle Palacio, Collet Standard Bearer Yasmin Shoman, Mesopotamia Standard Bearer Dorla Vaughan, Councillor Candidate Sharret Yearwood and others.

    Letter to the People of Dangriga from Former Mayor of Dangriga, Major H. Gilbert Swaso (Ret’d)
    My Respected Fellow Dangrigana, Last week, you my Respected brothers and sisters, gave the mandate to the Candidates of the United Democratic Party (UDP) to administer the affairs of our beautiful Dangriga. This mandate signals the changing hands of the Baton of leadership from a People United Party (PUP) Municipal Government to that of the UDP. It is my humble view that, despite many successes that was achieved by our PUP Leadership and Team, you the people of Dangriga had grown very weary of the punishment inflicted by a vindictive, uncompassionate and disrespectful UDP Central Government. For three years, despite and amidst our struggle for equality and an equitable distribution of our Nation’s natural and economic resources, the UDP Central Government waged a protracted war of FEAR and HATE on just because we all exercised our Constitutional Rights to then vote for the Team of PUP Mayor and Councillors. It is rather unfortunate that we had to suffer such an ill faith.

    Without litter, Belize will glitter – The Bus Sticker Project
    “One love for Belize. Zero litter for our future” is the name of a new movement we; JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) are supporting. It’s a countrywide movement that seeks to increase public awareness of passengers travelling on buses. We are aware that some bus passengers litter from the bus without realizing the pollution to our environment and devalue of beauty it creates on our highways. The littering problem in Belize is ghastly. The rainforests, Caribbean Sea and Blue Hole attract plentiful tourists from all over the world – Belize is even getting more popular among Japanese tourists nowadays. However, there is not only wonderful nature and beauty, but also litter everywhere in this country. Tourism has been one of the biggest industries for Belize, and we are more than certain that many tourists might share our feeling of concern when it comes to the litter problem.

    Patrick JonesPJ

    COLA appeal against Elvin Penner dismissed in Supreme Court
    Two weeks ago, at the conclusion of the hearing of the appeal of Geovannie Brackett and Nedal McLaren against the decision of Magistrate Aretha Ford to throw out summary charges against Cayo Northeast area representative Elvin Penner related to his facilitating a passport and Belizean nationality for jailed South […]

    Noh Mul case headed back to Corozal
    Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith has ordered the case of destruction of the Noh Mul Mayan monument in Orange Walk Town to go back to the Corozal Town Magistrate’s Court, overruling colleague Hurl Hamilton’s decision to send it down to Belize City this week. Both sides are looking forward […]

    Man pleads guilty for drug bust in front of Magistrate’s Court
    A senior citizen was busted in Belize City in July of 2012 for drug and traffic offences, and today his case wrapped up with a plea of guilty to a charge of drug trafficking. 52 year old Fred Buckley must pay a fine of $10,000 by June 30 […]

    Mother of three charged for weed at police station
    A 29 year old mother of three went to the police station on Thursday to report assault by her common-law husband who she said punched her, but she wound up in trouble instead. Gania Robateau removed 3.6 grams of cannabis from her brassiere to show police officers but […]

    Custom broker charged with wounding friend
    A woman who tried to stop an argument at her house on Thursday wound up with a split lip for her efforts. Today, the man who slapped her appeared in court. Custom broker Jason Bernard of Handyside Street pleaded not guilty to a charge of wounding before Senior […]

    Women’s skills forum held in Punta Gorda
    Various women’s groups from the Toledo district took part in a public forum in Punta Gorda town today. The event was part of activities for Women’s Month and it showcased the various skills and talents of the participating groups. Coordinator of today’s event Lorraine Johnson says that the […]

    Police investigate shooting incidents in Ladyville and Belize City
    A shooting incident last night in Ladyville village, Belize District has left one man hospitalized in a critical condition. The victim has been identified as 29 year old Kenroy Arnold, a resident of Vista del Mar area. Police say that Arnold was on Woodpecker Street around 9:30 pm yesterday when he was approached by two men in a vehicle. One of the men reportedly fired several shots, hitting Arnold in his back and right hand. Arnold was first taken for treatment to the BDF Hospital and later transferred to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he remains in critical condition. Police are seeing a suspect in last night’s shooting as their investigation continues.

    Prime Minister presents “Continuing the Transformation” budget
    Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dean Barrow, today presented government’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2015-2016. The budget speech was read by the Prime Minister during a sitting of the House of Representatives in Belmopan. According to the Prime Minister, his government is proposing to spend BZ$1.1 billion during the upcoming fiscal year starting on April 1. With Revenue and Grants estimated at $980 million, the proposed budget calls for a deficit of $88 million or 2.5% of the country’s GDP. “To this figure we must as a further $86 million for Loan Amortization requirements, and so arrive at the Total Financing Needs of $174 million,” said the Prime Minister.

    Noh Mul destruction case adjourned
    The case involving the trial of persons accused of destruction of the Noh Mul archaeological site in Orange Walk was adjourned this morning. The case came up for hearing earlier this week before Magistrate Hurl Hamilton who took the decision to transfer the matter to Belize City.

    Blogs

    Wine In Belize…Why SO Expensive & An Exciting New BELIZEAN Wine to Taste
    Almost every drop of wine that we drink in restaurants, at home and bars around Belize is imported. And that’s not terribly surprising since grapes don’t grow well in the tropics, if at all. But what does surprise some people is the price. STICKER SHOCK! Wines that are cheap/reasonable in the States, Europe or Canada are EXPENSIVE here. Wines like this… which retail for about $5US abroad (or less), cost about $30bzd or $15US here. And yes, it is pricier because it is shipped to Belize but there is also a decent sized duty levied on the cases – a heavy revenue replacement duty to protect local winemakers. Which seems slightly odd since comparing local wine and imported grape wines & champanges is basically apples to oranges. The word “wine” being used in the broadest sense – an alcoholic drink made from fermented fruit juice.

    Belize Recipe: How To Make Tamale (bollo)
    You can’t possibly come to Belize and not try a Tamale! That would be like going to the beach and not getting into the water! What is a Tamale? A tamale or bollo is a delicious traditional Mesoamerican dish made of corn dough (masa) which is filled with seasoned meat (chicken or pork) then steamed or boiled in plantain or banana leaves. Tamales have been traced back to the Ancient Maya people, who prepared them for feasts as early as the Preclassic period (1200–250 BC). Maya people called their corn tortillas and tamales both utah. Here is a super yummy, easy to follow recipe provided by: Uj Janal Aj Maya a collection of traditional Maya cuisines by Aurora Garcia Saqui.

    “I Saw Her Standing There” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
    They say – whoever these sage like people are – that the older you get, the quicker time flies. Well I must be getting horrendously old because the month that Rose was away (visiting her family in England) just whizzed by. It only seemed like a few days ago when the tears were streaming down ( her face, not mine!) when I said goodbye to her. On reflection though her tears may have been tears of Joy and not, as I thought at the time, sorrow. I’m only joking. Honestly Rose. Believe me. PLEASE! But the month flew by and on Monday Rose left her North London base at 05.30 hours and caught the United Airlines 09.30 hours flight to Houston but not before she enjoyed breakfast at the United Club (we’d upgraded her return ticket to Business Class – contrary to what some think I am not tight!). After a restful night at a hotel fairly close to the George Bush Intercontinental Airport she then caught the 13.14 hours flight to Belize which was scheduled to arrive at 14.43 hours. But it didn’t. It was delayed by forty minutes.

    Lessons from a year in Belize, like, Paradise will not make you a better plumber
    I recently celebrated our first anniversary in Paradise by straddling a toilet seat, trying to loosen the rusted bolts that hold the tank on to the toilet. And I was failing miserably. No amount of WD-40, muscle-straining leverage, cursing and sweat was going to dislodge those suckers. At least the water was shut off and the floor was no longer flooded. Ah, yes. This is the part of Paradise they don’t tell you about in the glossy, ersatz-expat magazines and websites. You know, the ones that urge you to toss off all, and run away to the land of emerald and azure water, periwinkle sky, caressing breezes, white sands and swaying palms — where the living is effortless, cheap and carefree …and possibly under $1,000 a month. I mean, I can’t complain. When the toilet tank started winning, I walked 15 feet away, stepped out on to our balcony and saw the promised land: A glorious panoply of postcard-perfect Caribbean Sea, soft blue sky, white sand and swaying palm trees.

    International Sourcesizz

    Alberni author writes of 'dysfunction' in Belize
    What began as a plan for retirement down south turned into a published memoir of one couple’s eye-opening experience. Hugo and Tershia Lambrechts had vacationed in Belize in the past and when they discovered an attractive retirement package they decided to return for the long-term. They sold their house, and when they left Port Alberni in November 2003, they arrived in Belize with their two cats and two dogs. The couple found a home there and cleared an acre of land with machetes. They made a tropical garden, which Tershia said was one of the joys of living there. Born in South Africa, she was still familiar with tropical plants. An important part of their stay quickly became evident. The couple’s love of animals inspired them to reach out to provide support, care and housing for neglected animals. “At first it was all exciting and new,” she said. “But there is a lot of animal neglect and very little compassion, so that bothered us all the time.” One of the first things they did was become a part of the humane society committee, which was formed by a Canadian woman. “We tried to do what we could,” Tershia said. “The vet service was appalling and the vets poorly trained.” They also became aware of the nest robbing of parrots, which are consequently sold to Europeans. Over the ten years, the Lambrechts rescued 22 parrots, many of which had to be hand fed. “We raised them and had cages everywhere,” Tershia said.

    Mayor of Belize’s Largest City Praises Adventist Education
    he mayor of Belize’s largest city praised the Seventh-day Adventist Church for its work in the Central American country and underscored his appreciation for its large network of local schools. Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, flanked by a vice mayor, welcomed Adventist Church president Ted N.C. Wilson and his wife, Nancy, at the airport upon their arrival Thursday for the start of a six-country tour of the church’s Inter-American Division. Division president Israel Leito is accompanying Wilsons on the trip. “The mayor expressed gratefulness for the many things the church was doing and especially our extensive educational system in Belize,” Wilson told the Adventist Review on Friday. The Adventist Church has a strong educational presence in this small country of 341,000 people that borders Mexico and Guatemala to the west and faces the Caribbean Sea to the east. Wilson said 300 to 600 students are baptized every year in the educational system, which includes four kindergartens, 20 elementary schools, five academies, and a junior college.

    Caribbean cruising with Mother Nature taking centre stage
    A cruise in the Caribbean shows a contrast of living standards but the beauty is all the same. A trip to four ports on a seven-day cruise in the Western Caribbean is a lesson in lean-versus-luxury living. In Roatan, Honduras, laundry hangs to dry under the protection of stilt-built, stark-looking houses because it’s always raining – 254cm (100 inches) a year – and few people can afford a clothes dryer. In Cozumel, Mexico, pretty houses painted pastel colours dot the roadways while sunbathers frequent beautiful beaches. Belize is somewhere in between, economically, thanks to retirees flocking there for upscale homes priced around US$250,000 (RM926,950). In Mexico, Costa Maya is pretty, too, but only along the shoreline where cruise liners dock so tourists can see sights such as ancient Mayan ruins.

    Belize, un paradis vert
    Si je vous dis Belize, vous pensez probablement aux eaux turquoise et cristallines, aux plages de sable fin ou encore à sa forêt tropicale. Mais le lieu est également un endroit protégé, formidable cocon de l’écologie. Zoom sur un petit coin de paradis, où il fait bon vivre. Belize : une situation idéale Belize est située en Amérique centrale, au Sud du Mexique et à l’est du Guatemala. Le nord du pays est essentiellement constitué de plaines côtières et marécageuses et de lieux forestiers. Le sud, quant à lui, arbore de basses montagnes parmi lesquelles les montagnes Maya. A noter que le point le plus élevé au Belize est la crête de Victoria, qui culmine à 1160 mètres. Belize se trouve entre les fleuves Hondo et Sarstoon, avec le fleuve Belize qui s’écoule au centre du pays. Le long des côtes de la mer des Caraïbes se trouvent des cayes, récifs de corail.

    Caribbean Regional Task Force to Battle Childhood Obesity
    The Caribbean Public Health Agency, known as CARPHA, has formed a regional task force to develop an action plan to reduce childhood obesity. The announcement comes months after the organization published Plan of Action for Promoting Healthy Weights: 2014-2019, the Caribbean Community said Friday in a statement. By 2019, the CARPHA task force should be ready to assist governments in “providing children with more supportive environments for physical activity and healthy eating” and “empowering communities to embrace active living and healthful eating.” CARPHA member-states will be expected to provide appropriate incentives to discourage unhealthy consumption patterns and to ensure children are safeguarded from bias and stigmatization associated with their condition, among other tasks. “The responsibility for protecting the future of our children should be shared by all sectors, both public and private, all levels of government and by families and civil society at large,” CARPHA Executive Director James Hospedales said.

    Videos

  • Belize Travel Guide with EXPAT in San Ignacio and Hopkins, 15min. by Macarena Rose.

  • Sightseeing Over San Pedro ,Ambergris Caye,Belize, 4min. Short tour over San Pedro in a Gulf Car . Vacations in Belize on March 6th , 2015 .

  • San Pedro Ambergris Caye , Belize, 4min. Leaving San Pedro , After amazing vacations in Belize on March 8th , 2015 .

  • OYE TOPIC: THE IMPORTANCE OF LIONFISHING IN BELIZE, min.

  • Object stuck on Belize Barrier reef, 2min.

  • Damian Marley Belize Concert, 42min. Not an official video. Just a superfan handheld recording of the Damian Marley Concert in Belize while also taking photographs. It's not the entire concert, fans on the left and right bumping and having a good time and singing along. So hope you still like it.

  • Liberty of the Seas Christmas Cruise 2014 - Darknight Hiking & Tubing - Belize, 3.5min.

  • Belize Spring Break '15, 4min.

  • Belize (Shark Ray Alley), 4min.

  • Voyage au Mexique et au Belize, Mars 2015 (Partie 1), 13min.

  • SAN PEDRO BELIZE 2015 2 2 SD 480p, 5min. Tropical vacation to San Pedro, Belize with high school friend Carol. New friends made with Dana, Bob, LouAnn, Elaine and Larry. Many thanks to Carol, Dana and Brenda (not present) who laid hostess groundwork before traveling elsewhere to tend to family affairs.

  • Bus Ride Across Belize to Guatemala, 5min. Scenes of Belize while taking the bus from Belize City to the Guatemala border.

  • A Taste Of Caye Caulker, Belize, 5min. From golf cart taxis to children riding bicycles to school. The beauty of a small Island in Belize became my paradise for a few days.

    March 13, 2015


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    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

    Cycling excitement at the 9th of March Beach Cruiser Race
    First to race was the Under-14 participants. Over 10 young boys signed up for this free event, which only entailed one lap, but even so, some could just not make the full journey and called it quits half way through. In the end, Alfredo Deandre Gonzalez edged out the competition, taking the first place trophy and prizes. Second place went to Vincent Dawson, while third place went to Dickson. The young athletes did so well that organizers decided to give a tiny token of appreciation to all of them. The junior category required that cyclist race two full laps. 10 athletes participated in this category, but once again, not all completed the race. Jordan Santos blazed through the rest of the competitors and claimed the first place. In a last sprint for the finish line, Kian Ancona managed to take the second place, leaving Byron Lara behind with third place.

    BTL Cobb’s arm takes the 2015 La Ruta Maya River Challenge
    The winner of the 2015 annual La Ruta Maya River Challenge is BTL Cobb’s Arm. Consisting of Roy Cano, Eric Cano and Clayton Cabb of Santa Familia Village, Cayo district, the team of three was the first to pass the finish line on Monday March 9th, the last day of the four-day challenge. From the 57 teams that participated, BTL Cobb’s arm clocked in at 17:35:27 in the 180 mile race that started from the Hawksworth Bridge in San Ignacio, Cayo and ended at the Belcan Bridge in Belize City. Michael Searle, Andres Cabb and Alex Lisbey of Sea Sports Belize on board “Watt A Ting” placed 12th overall and first in the Masters’ category with a clocking time of 19:52:03. Their long time rivals, the Grumpy Old Men consisting of Jerry Wilken, Stanley Bailey and Joe Segura finished in second place with a clocking time of 20:39:51. In the Pleasure Division, The Print Belize/Wrobel team consisting of Leroy Romero, Rudolph Gentle and Jason finished first in a clocking time of 19:34:13. The Belize Defense Force team of “Weh Dem DeH,” finished second in an overall time of 19:41:28. The Police Crime Fighters, with Tyrell Talbert, Carlos Linares and Armin Lopez Jr., took third place with an overall time of 20:42:05.

    San Pedro sailors top 87th Baron Bliss Regatta
    San Pedro Optimist sailors took five of the top 10 places in the final standings of the 87th Annual Baron Bliss Regatta held at the Belize City Harbor on Saturday, March 7th and Sunday, March 8th. The regatta saw the participation of sailors from San Pedro Racers (SPR), Belize Sea Scouts (BSS), Belize City Sailing Club (BCSC), San Pedro Junior Sailing Club (SPJSC), Placencia Sailing Club (PSC), Corozal Bay Sailing Club (CBSC) and Caye Caulker Sailing Club (CCSC). The Optimist race was divided into two categories: the green fleet for the beginners and white fleet for the advanced sailors. SPR’s 13-year-old Kevin Velasquez won the championship for the Optimist White fleet, placing 1st with a final score of 8pts. 12-year-old Trent Hardwick of BSS was 2nd with 16pts, while 14-year-old Antonio Ricardez Jr from the BCSC took 3rd place. SPJSC’s 14-year-old Blanca Velasquez, who was voted Best Sailor of 2014, was 4th with 28 pts. In 5th was SPR’s 13-year-old Mitchell Sersland. 11-year-old Peter Joo from PSC was 6th with 39pts, SPR’s 10-year-old Caroline Sersland was 7th with 42pts, CCSC’s 13-year-old Ronaldo Bo was 8th with 43pts, SPR’s 13-year-old Christian Lopez was 9th with 45pts, and BCSC’s 13-year-old Nashira Ricardez was 10th with 50pts.

    Ambergris Today

    San Pedro Bids Farewell to Mrs. Celia Fe Trejo
    There is a sense of sadness with any farewell, but in saying adios to Chichi Fe, there is a sense of happiness as we celebrate the life of a wonderful person. The island community of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, says goodbye to a beautiful person who was fair with everyone and did only the righteous. Adieu to a loving mom, a humble provider who made sure her children had a good upbringing and a fine education. Bye to an admirable wife who stood faithfully to her companion at a time when chauvinism kept women in the home and home alone. We celebrate a jovial woman who never complained but rather faced life with positivity and optimism. In her humble life, Chichi Fe found time to have fun dancing and even playing carnaval.

    Underwater Submersible Runs Aground on Reef Off Ambergris Caye
    The origin of the apparatus is not known by island officials, but they indicate that it is obvious that it has been drifting out at sea for a long time since a lot of barnacles have settled on almost all its surfaces. “It was not used here in Belize,” commented Hol Chan Marine Reserve Personnel. “It just drifted here and ended on the reef. It has not been removed from the reef yet. We were out there this morning and the sea was too rough to attempt taking it out. A preliminary assessment has been conducted on the reef but this was also hampered by rough seas.”

    San Pedro Police Conduct Sweep of Island Town, 10 Charged for Firearm Offences
    It was unfortunate that it took a series of murders and assaults early in the year for island officials in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, to take more action and reach out to the community who has been crying for more trust and assistance from the Police Department. The good news is that the San Pedro Police Department has put into action a few operations that will kick start their energies into fighting crime on the island. Just last week, on the wake of the tragic death of a two-year-old boy, an intense sweep of the island took place which produced positive results in multiple arrests for criminal offenses ranging from drug trafficking and firearm possession to attempted murder.

    Aldo and Patricia Marin Celebrate 50th Wedding Anniversary
    Aldo Marin Jr. offered the welcome to the invited guests and expressed his admiration to his wonderful parents. The honor of the main toast was bestowed on Dr. Giovanni Solorzano who also thanked the Marin's for being among the first ones to welcome him into their homes. Giovanni expressed his admiration for this couple and congratulated his large family for being very united and supportive of their parents. In a very symbolic act their 25 grandchildren and one great granddaughter presented roses of love to Aldo and Paty who sowed this garden of love on February 28, 1965. Giovanni Marin offered the vote of thanks, reminisced on the great times all his brothers and sisters had with their parents and the fond memories of their small wooden home which to them seemed a palace. And yes in the end Giovanni broke down as he could not contain his emotions of love and respect for their loving parents.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Passing of Mrs. Celia Henkis
    Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to extend its deepest condolences to the Henkis family on the passing of Mrs. Celia Henkis. May her soul rest in peace.

    Belizean CARICOM Single Market spokespersons ready to show the way
    Nineteen Belizeans from the government, education and private sectors were formally launched as spokespersons for the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) in Belize on February 25 after a two-day intensive training workshop. As spokespersons they join the regional network of CSME spokespersons being trained and launched across the region, and are now on call to give media interviews, talks and presentations on the Single Market. The spokespersons network is coordinated by the ministry of trade, investment, promotion, private sector development and consumer protection in Belize and is one of two outreach mechanisms now developed by the ministry to promote rights and access points for the Single Market. The other is AccessCSME, the Workplace Edition – a CSM presentation that can be booked with the trade ministry’s focal point team and delivered in the workplace. Spokespersons training took place in Belize City from February 24 to 25 and included refresher lectures on the five regimes that give Belizeans the legally guaranteed right to work, travel and do business in 12 other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries.

    OPEN YOUR EYES! JAGUARS IN JEOPARDY!
    Belize has a reputation for caring and guarding over our remaining jaguar populations. The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is known internationally as a refuge for the mighty Jaguar. The Central Belize Corridor, a swath of land which connects the forests of our northern regions, to those forests further south, is credited for providing a “jungle highway” for roaming jaguars. However, there is a bleak side to the jaguar world in our country. Too often, a Jaguar will be killed, and have its canine teeth extracted. Why? There are people in Belize who will turn the teeth into a piece of jewelry. An endangered animal dies, and a few dollars exchanges hands. Recently, a jaguar cub, less than three months old, was brought to the Zoo. Where’s Mom? Most likely she was killed. Why? Very likely for the sad reason outlined above. This ugly situation, unfortunately, happens more often than just a casual “now and again”. Come on, Belize! It's time to walk the walk! If we are a nation promoting “Jaguars Forever”, then we must gear our profile and our actions to fully support our stand. The cub pictured here is newly-acquired “Hero”. The Belize Zoo will see that “Hero” stands as a symbol to all about this unfortunate and cruel AND needless activity. People who come to The Belize Zoo wearing a Jaguar canine necklace are NOT allowed entry. The Zoo has developed and distributed posters t spread awareness about the problem countrywide. However, what Belize needs is stronger efforts and more voices aimed at seeing that this illegal activity ceases completely. If Belize is to be taken seriously in its stewardship profile over the greatest cat in the Americas, then a change MUST happen. Tune in to Open Your Eyes on Great Belize Television tomorrow morning at 7:30am to learn more and learn how YOU can help!!

    Sneak peak of Oceana Belize's Science Symposium today
    udos to the more than 200 attendees that came out to learn more about turtles, coral, sharks and ecosystem goods and services...and how we all depend on them every day. Celebrate our heritage. Protect our future.

    Local Government Orientation
    Newly elected Councilor Hector "Tito" Alamilla and Newly elected Deputy Mayor Gary Greif join two term Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Town Administrator Patricia Tillett at Ministry of Local Government Orientation in Belize City.

    Mrs. Vilma Romero to be Honored
    We look forward to honouring a Belizean icon Mrs. Vilma Romero tonight as we launch the 6th Annual Arte con Voz de Mujer Exhibit. Vilma's sculptures are on permanent display in public spaces throughout the country. Please join us as we showcase some of Vilma's creations, as well as works from nine talented female artists of Corozal. Ceremony begins at 7pm.

    Replace Rush Hour With Naps and Fresh Coconuts
    An accountant and project manager from Calgary, Canada, Kenneth first visited Belize in 2010. He was first drawn by Belize's natural beauty. The country is a haven for those seeking tranquility and nature, a place where breezes make for natural air conditioning, and you're lulled to sleep by waves lapping on the shore after a day of scuba diving and learning to husk coconuts. Kenneth was immediately smitten and began researching retirement there. As he did, he realized there was much more to attract expats to Belize than just pretty scenery. While winters are mild and tropical in Belize and not biting cold like in Calgary for Kenneth, that's not the biggest difference: "The lifestyle of Calgary is a fast-paced urban life. In Belize, there is no rush hour." Other North Americans are also discovering Belize. "Because of the warm climate (about 82 F to 90 F year-round) and the favorable immigration laws (the Qualified Retirement Program), Belize has become a top snowbird retirement destination," says Kenneth.

    Oceana Reef Week Open Day
    Oceana is having their Reef Week Open Day today in Belmopan. Be sure to stop by and show your support, and learn something new too.

    POPULAR BELIZEAN DJ BECOMES SMART AMBASSADOR
    Smart, one of the largest telecommunication companies in Belize has appointed Mistah Geeh as one of their ambassadors to promote its products and services to the Belizean populace via his music. Just last month The Mad Arab as he is also known was voted as one of the top Belizean DJ’s on a Belize Hub poll. “SMART made a smart move to appoint Mistah Geeh as one of their ambassadors,” a fan of Mistah Geeh told Belize Hub. In a phone interview this morning, Mistah Geeh told us that many of his fans are customers of SMART and now that he is an ambassador for them, he will be promoting SMART at concerts and musical events throughout the country of Belize. Mistah Geeh has been mixing music for the past 10 years and is considered of the top DJ’s in Belize and the Caribbean.

    Channel 7

    Julius Calls John a Liar
    Tonight, the meltdown in the PUP continues in the wake of the disclosure of John Briceno's scathing allegations corruption and criminality within the PUP Administration in which he was Deputy Prime Minister. Now, the Prime Minister who Briceno served under is Said Musa and he told us yesterday that the allegations made by Briceno are false. And now one more PUP leader has said that Briceno is lying. Last night PUP Deputy Leader Julius Espat posted this on his Facebook page: quote, "John Briceno lied about me in his campaign to be leader again (in his recording)." Now, to understand what exactly Espat is referring to, we have to go back to the recording - to the part where Briceno talks about Espat - and alleges that he hoarded campaign funds. Here's what Briceno told the trusted PUP supporter in Orange Walk East who was secretly recording his conversation:.. Hon. John Briceno, Area Representative - Orange Walk Central "We still could have won but they are not thinking strategically…looking where they should. They gave all the money to Julius supposedly Julius should have delivered."

    Bad Wiring Caused House To Burn Down
    Tonight, a mother and her two daughters are unable to sleep at home in their Belize City house because a fire damaged it. Single mother Deniesia (Denise -ia) Tillett had just recently put built the house, which she was renting out. This morning, she left for work as she does every day, and her daughters, aged 12 and 4, went to school. She didn't expect to receive a call midmorning that there was a fire in her yard. 7News arrived on the scene shortly after the firefighters put out the flames, and Daniel Ortiz has this report: Daniel Ortiz reporting After the fire was extinguished, fire investigators observed the rubble, asking questions of homeowner Deneisia Tillett and her friend. They were trying to piece together what started the blaze which destroyed part of the house and significantly damaged the main structure.

    BSI Factory Manager John Gillett Quits
    John Gillett is well known as the factory manager at the BSI Tower Hill Factory - but credible reports tonight tell us that he is no longer there, and that he has abruptly resigned. This comes after he and another senior staffer, Jamil Matar were placed on administrative leave yesterday until further notice. That may seem pretty stern for two staffers who have been at BSI a combined total of over 70 years, but, the decision came down from a pair of ASR managers who were brought in to conduct an investigation into the yearly sale of scrap metals. Apparently, a costly transformer - which was not scrap - went missing during this period - and Gillett and Matar are being blamed for it. Now, we stress, they are not being accused of taking or doing anything with the transformer; but they are being held responsible because they were in charge of securing it.

    Department Of Environment May Have To Cut Up Fancy French Sailboat
    The 40 foot French sailboat known as the "Termaji," is still stuck on the reef in front of Caye Caulker. It has been there 10 weeks, since December 30th - and every effort to move it has failed. That's because the Termaji has a heavy steel hull - and none of the tugs in Belize have been able to haul it off the reef. The news tonight is that the Department of the Environment is now applying to the court for permission to cut the grounded vessel up into many smaller parts and haul them away. That's the only way to solve a problem that's getting worse everyday. "Worse" because the Termaji is continuing to damage the reef as the waves rock it back and forth: it has moved at least 30 feet along the reef crest since it crashed on December 30th. And the really bad part of that it that the department of Environment can only hold the owner liable for the initial damage, not what has happened subsequently.

    Woman Accused of Stabbing Two Girls
    33 year-old Nathalie Nicole Cadle, a resident of Iguana Street Extension, stands charged tonight of an almost unthinkable crime: attacking two defenseless young girls: one 13, the other only 3. It happened on Monday at around 3:45 p.m. in Belize City. Police heard a commotion in front of the Civic Center compound, near the Belcan Bridge on Central American Boulevard. They found a toddler suffering with a stab wound to upper right side of her ribcage. They also detained Cadle who had a screw driver in hand; she is accused of stabbing the child with that tool. The child was then rushed to the KHMH where she was treated for her injury.

    Kim And The Kids At KHMH
    34 plus babies will benefit from the new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the KHMH. It's not finished yet but, today, the Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow took the media on a tour to see the progress so far. We learned that it's more than just a treatment facility. Director of Medical Services Dr. Lisa Johnson explained why they included the family centered element in the design. Here's the story. Courtney Weatherburne reporting This might look like an abandoned building with these pale walls and construction materials splayed across the floor. But it's not. Work is very much in progress at the new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the KHMH. In here is where the isolation rooms will be for critical cases. While in here will be the Neonatal area.

    John Noh Dead
    On Sunday, Jose Sanchez's social media news site posted a story that John Zabaneh had passed away. Well, he didn't - and the story was taken down - but today Zabaneh called us to complain about the distress that the bogus report caused him. He says that the report reached his 87 year old mother in Dangriga first - and, quote, "it nearly killed her." Zabaneh says he was in Placencia buying ice cream with his kids when he started to get calls - friends trying to find out if it was true. Zabaneh says those calls persist until today - and he just wanted to tell us, that he's alive and well and, basically, that, in the words of Mark Twain, the reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated'"

    Judge: Chrisdale Laughed When He Robbed Two Girls
    19 year-old Chrisdale Courtney is spending the first night of a 6-year sentence after he was found guilty in Magistrate's Court of robbing 2 young women in a snatch and grab which escalated to a chokehold of one of the victims. The women, who are sisters, reported to police that on June 14, 2014, they were on Vernon Street, near to Berger Field. That's when Courtney rode up on bike and tried to rob them of their belongings. When the women resisted, Courtney then grabbed the older sister around the neck and choked her. Fearing for her life, she handed over money, and her cellular phone, but Courtney didn't release her, and using threats, he continued to choke the woman until her younger sister handed over her phone and the money she had on her.

    Women Artists In Shadows?
    20 Belizean women will be featured in the Women in Art exhibit which opens tonight. The theme for this year's exhibit is "Shadows" - which, seems to say a lot about the world women are often relegated to. But, one of the organizers of the event said the theme aims to do the opposite - which is to encourage women to challenge the status quo with art. Shari Williams, Communications Officer - NICH "What Rachel was sharing with us was that she wanted to encourage more artist to move away from just the paint on canvas kind of field, but to really encourage them to do that 3 dimensional type of art. So, the theme really incorporates a 3 dimensional field to art. Besides the art on the wall and the female painters, we are also celebrating the women who are vocalist and singers and take part in drama and all the rest of it. So to open the exhibit this evening, we are going to have a performance showcase, which will be featuring some 15 women or so. So the opening is usually a grand event and then we have the exhibits on the wall for the rest of the month.

    CCJ Tells BNE To Pay Arbitral Award
    Last week Friday, the Caribbean Court of Justice handed down a judgment from Belize, ordering Belize Natural Energy to pay Maranco Oil Company 422 thousand, 138 dollars which had been awarded to the oil company through arbitration. This lawsuit turned on the premise that all arbitration awards are final. This legal dispute dates all the way back to May 1, 2008 when BNE and Maranco entered into 2 separate onshore oil-drilling contracts. They were to have lasted for one year, but a business dispute emerged in which Maranco claimed that BNE owed them after refusing to pay on time. BNE disputed Maranco's claim and so the commercial dispute landed ended up at arbitration. They both appointed arbitrators, and an umpire was retained so that both sides could make their case, at the end of that process, the impartial umpire decided that BNE owed Maranco 2.4 million dollars. That became the enforceable by Justice Oswell Legall, but the when it came to cost, through arbitration, BNE was ordered to pay Maranco additional litigation cost of that 422 plus thousand dollars.

    Help For Battered Hummingbird Highway
    The Hummingbird will be rehabilitated. A loan has been approved for rehabilitation works. The contract was signed yesterday and the Minister of Works explained:.. The Consultancy Services agreement is being signed for the amount of 7.6 million dollars.

    He Home Invaded Central Bank Governor’s House
    22 year-old Kevin Crawford is on remanded tonight awaiting sentencing after he was convicted today before Chief Magistrate of invading the home of the Governor of the Central Bank in broad daylight and robbing the place while the maid was on duty. Crawford, a 6th form student, stood tried before Chief Magistrate Smith, in which the maid testified that on October 9, 2012, she was at the house of her boss, Glen Ysaguirre, when someone rang the doorbell. She went to answer, and that's when she saw a young man at the door who claimed that he had some documents belonging to Ysaguirre. The maid claims that it was at this point that the young man ambushed her, and forced his way into the house. He managed to overpower her, and he then tied her up in one of the rooms upstairs.

    San Pedro Sweep
    Last night, we told you about the police sweep in San Pedro in which an entire family was busted with a gun. Well, that was just part of a wider operation which went for 5 days from last week Friday, all the way up until Tuesday. Among many other arrests, police conducted a search at the residence of 30 year-old Alex Salazar of the DFC Area. Police found almost one kilo of marijuana, 993.3 grams - or 2.18 pounds. He was arrested and charged with drug trafficking. On Tuesday night, just before 11 o'clock, a team of officers searched the residence of 23 year-old Marlon Chanek. He was present at the time with a 17 year-old male minor when the officers found 2 zip lock plastic bags and a black plastic bag all containing, 2.8 kilos - or 6.1 pounds - of marijuana. They were both arrested and charged with drug trafficking.

    Channel 5

    Political War Waged on Facebook
    Turning to political news….Following an executive meeting and four hour political post-mortem examination on Wednesday, the P.U.P. appeared focused on the road ahead which will lead inevitably to very difficult [...]

    Espat Incensed Over Briceño Accusation
    As we also mentioned on Wednesday, during the meeting at Independence Hall Espat demanded a public apology from Briceño and called for his head. Neither the apology nor the requested [...]

    Fire Leaves Single Mother & Children Homeless
    A fire in the city has left a young single mother and her two children without a roof over their heads. Deniesia Tillett left home at seven this morning heading [...]

    San Pedro Family Remanded
    In response to a flare-up of violence in San Pedro which Police believe is directly connected to drug rivals warring, special units have descended on the tourism mecca. One early [...]

    Major Shakeup at B.S.I.
    There are significant developments coming out of B.S.I. tonight where it is reported that longtime factory manager John Gillett tendered his resignation today.  News Five understands that another senior employee [...]

    San Pedro Police Crackdown
    As we told you earlier, there is a major crackdown underway in San Pedro Town, necessitated by violent crime which even resulted in the brutal murder of a two year [...]

    Residents Allege Police Brutality
    Diego Wade is another San Pedro resident who says he barely survived a meeting with the infamous Gang Suppression Unit earlier this week, and at one point thought they would [...]

    Deep Sea Drone Discovered off San Pedro
    We’ve reported the story about a boat that has run aground just outside of Caye Caulker and it still hasn’t been removed from the reef. Well, on Wednesday afternoon, the [...]

    New Director for the Family Court
    The Belize Family Court has a new Director. Today, Magistrate Dale Cayetano was appointed to the position by the Judicial Legal Service Commission, two years after it has been with [...]

    Guilty of Aggravated Burglary
    Kevin Crawford was found guilty of Aggravated Burglary when he appeared in court today to answer to charges in connection with a burglary at the home of Glen Ysaguirre on [...]

    Police Conduct Anti-Drug Operations
    Police Special Units have been conducting countrywide operations targeting drugs, and it is meeting with very significant success. On Tuesday morning, a joint Special Branch, K-nine and Belmopan Team conducted [...]

    US State Department Releases Crime Report
    The spike in violent crimes across Belize in 2014 has prompted the U.S. State Department to release a revised crime and safety report which points out that the country has [...]

    International Women’s Month Celebrated
    Across the world, International Women’s Month was celebrated on March eight. Here at home, we continue the month long observance with the Women’s Department promoting several events including medical clinics, [...]

    A Closer Look at Kidneys
    The Kidney Association of Belize, since its inception, has been building awareness to the benefits of getting tested and knowing your status. In light of World Kidney Day, which is [...]

    Kidney Association Facing Challenges
    There have been an increasing number of patients with chronic renal failure in Belize and the association is looking for support from both the private and public sectors to address [...]

    A Tour of an Incomplete Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
    Work is ongoing at a new wing for pediatric care at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital.  The tragic death of thirteen neonatals who succumbed to an infection known as enterobacter [...]

    F.F.B. Hosts Guatemala in Friendly Match
    The Football Federation of Belize is hosting a premier league team from Guatemala in a friendly match tonight at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan. That game will be aired [...]

    Belize to Participate in International Art Competition
    An international art competition has been ongoing for quite some time now and different regions have been asked to participate in a wide range of artistic challenges. From video competitions [...]

    Healthy Living: Dr. Cuellar Discusses the Kidney
    World Kidney Day is commemorated every second Thursday in March. It is a time for healthcare professionals worldwide to educate the public on the vital importance of these bean shaped [...]

    CTV3

    O/W Rotaract Observes International Rotaract Week
    The members of the Orange Walk Rotaract Club are holding a week of activities to observe International Rotaract Week. Today we caught up with the team at La Inmaculada where they were promoting maternal and child health care with the toddlers at the preschool at that institution. Jinell Azaeta– Vice President, OW Rotaract Club “We came to talk about nutrition to the kids and then play games with them and give them a banana and some orange juice but yesterday we were promoting disease prevention and treatment so we had our zumba party at the park and we had two sessions from 5:30 to 6:30 and then in the evening from 6 to 7. We are celebrating our World Rotaract week which started on Monday and it ends on Sunday, tomorrow is world Rotaract day so we are very excited about that and we will be at Solomon Pre-school little heaven and promoting literacy and on Saturday we will be having our Rotaract fair at the Central Park and we will be out there from 6 to 2 and we will be providing free glucose testing for anyone who wants to come out and check their glucose level and we will be having that from 6 until 10 in the morning and we will be having doctors out there for free consultation.”

    Corozal Observes Reef Week At Art In The Park
    March 9th to 15th is being celebrated as Reef Week. Much can be said about the beauty of Belize’s barrier reef, from breath-taking views and splendour, to its wondrous and colourful species! It is for this reason Oceana Belize is once again highlighting and celebrating this week by creating activities to draw public awareness to one of our greatest natural wonders and the world’s second largest coral reef system. And while each district has its fair share of events, in Corozal, reef lovers are currently making the finishing touches to their park presentation slated for Saturday. Judy Waight is the Field Coordinator for Oceana in Corozal Town. JUDY WAIGHT – Czl Field Coordinator, OCEANA “We will be having a booth at Art in the Park on Saturday and we are bringing awareness to the importance of our Barrier Reef and this years’ theme is celebrate our heritage and protect our future, Believe in the Reef and we know that Corozal is a coastal community and in regards to that we know that tourism is our number one industry and one in every four Belizean is employed in the tourism industry being it tour guide, fisherman so we wanted to bring awareness and also to celebrate our barrier reef.”

    OWTC Reminds Residence Of Fine If Caught Littering At Central Park
    Civic minded residents of Orange Walk have been voicing their discontent via social media about the littering acts that is being seen across Town. The latest looted areas have been the newly inaugurated Central Park where toiletries, food and drink containers are left on the benches. While there are no garbage bins implemented for the park, authorities at Town Council have confirmed that they will be installing the garbage bins by early next week. The public is reminded that if caught littering, you can face a fine of up to 500 dollars and so it is recommended that we all do our part to keep our municipality clean.

    La Inmaculada Pre-School Observes Child Stimulation Months
    Child stimulation month has been observed throughout the country since the beginning of March and children still have about two fun packed weeks of activities left to enjoy. All preschools have organized a series of such activities all in an effort to encourage more active learning and have parents and guardians more involved in their learning process. Today, while at the La Inmaculada Infant Division, we spoke with Agnes Valladarez on the school’s program for the month. Today the children were receiving visits from a number of community workers. Agnes Valladarez – Teacher “Today we are doing community workers because it is something important for them to know and we started this morning with the Rotaract group they are part of the community and they work with children, they work with people and they came to school today and we have the Traffic Officers and the Nurse and the Firefighters and the policemen who were also invited to come and talk to the children.”

    Two High Post Employees Of BSI/ASR Placed On Administrative Leave
    Two employees who hold high positions at BSI/ASR have been placed on Administrative Leave effective yesterday afternoon. We understand that a few days ago ASR brought in someone from abroad to investigate the matter of a missing transformer worth some $70,000. After the investigation was complete the company brought in a regional recourses manager and that person placed John Gillette, Factory Manager and Jamil Matar, Engineering Manager on Administrative Leave until further notice. Unconfirmed reports are that John Gillette, who has been with the company for more than 40 years did not take the administrative leave too lightly and tendered his resignation this morning. He was due for retirement in September. We understand though he may have gotten a contract pass his retirement. Matar on the other hand has not taken any action and reports are that the will see through his suspension.

    Missing Person Found To Be In Good Health
    Yesterday we told you about a missing teen who left home last week Thursday following an argument with her guardians over a cell phone. And after the news aired of her mother pleading for her safe return, this morning we spoke to the mother of Angelie Guerrero who informed us that she was found in good health. According to the mother, she was staying with an aunt in Corozal and after hearing the news, turned herself in to the authorities in Corozal. We also told you about a missing person report of 55 year old Reynaldo Chuck who was last seen in the Honey Camp area near the Fresh Water Creek Forest Reserve. Up to news time, authorities say he is still missing but the search continues. Reynaldo Chuck is of clear complexion, 5’ 1" in height, black hair, brown eyes and has a mustache. He was last seen wearing a yellow shirt, grey pants and a pair of black rubber boots.

    Police Continues To Crack Down On Illicit Drugs
    Despite the peddler’s creative ways in concealing their precious illicit drugs, the police in Placencia village, Stann Creek District, continue to crack down on drug peddlers on the Peninsula. Their latest operation on Wednesday morning, conducted jointly by Special Branch, K9 Unit, the BDF and Placencia police, resulted in the discovery of 377 grams of marijuana and the arrest of two persons. Based on a tip, 23 year old Randy Chan and 38 year old Barrington Martin have been jointly charged for the crime of drug trafficking. Chan pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined $1,000 plus $5 cost of court. The charge was withdrawn from Martin.

    LOVE FM

    Mayor Bradley Response to Media on Councilor’s Accident
    On March 2, reports reached us that City Councilor Alifa Elrington-Hyde got into an accident while driving the vehicle assigned to Mayor Darrell Bradley. The vehicle was extensively damaged. We made numerous attempts to speak to the Mayor about the incident however we were unable to. Today however when we caught up with him at the local government workshop we asked him about the incident. “Well this would have been some time ago I think it was the week before elections and the accident occurred at about 11 something in the morning she had flipped and she was driving my vehicle which is nothing unusual the vehicle is assigned to my office but routinely councilors when they are on council business will be using the vehicle the deputy mayor for example uses that vehicle often times when he goes to mayor’s association meetings which are once a month.

    Early Morning Fire Leaves Mother of Two Homeless
    A bungalow wooden structure that was home to a mother and her two daughters caught on fire this morning in the Lake Independence area. The flames were noted just before eleven o’clock by neighbours but despite the quick response by the Belize Fire Service, the wooden structure was burnt to the ground. 25-year-old, Deniesia Tillett is the home owner. She works at Travellers Limited on the Philip Goldson Highway and was called out of work and informed of the situation. DENIESIA TILLETT “I didn’t get to save anything, everything that I owned was in there. Anything. Only me and my two daughters lived in there. All of the things I worked hard for is gone. I don’t know where I will stay. This is the first time something like this has ever happened to me. I am still in shock. This is where I call home.” Preliminary investigations into this morning’s fire have been conducted. Love News spoke to Oren Smith, Public Relations Officer for the National Fire Service, who told us what they believe, led to the fire.

    Re-Elected Mayor Speaks on City Infrastructure Works
    In his first term in office, Mayor Darrell Bradley focused his attention on cementing of streets. Today we caught up with Bradley and asked him if there will be a shift in his focus during his second term in office. “Well I think we are going to concentrate on a lot of infrastructure. We have always tried to promote economic development for Belize to have a comprehensive policy particularly in terms of urban planning and strategic development so you are going to see a lot of emphasis being placed on working with our partners for example earlier this week I had a meeting with the BTB with NICH and several other stakeholders who are really lead agencies in the downtown rejuvenation project that is going to see renovations to the house of culture and renovations to the commercial center so that you are going to have significant infrastructure spending. We are seeing the completion of the Lake Independence Boulevard, the entire area will be zoned you are going to see construction taking place very shortly with the National Bank...

    US Discourages Its Citizens to Travel to Belize
    The Overseas Security Advisory Council of the United States Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security has issued a warning to its nationals against travelling to Belize. According to the online report, Belize’s crime threat is very high with the majority being burglaries and thefts. The report goes on to say that corruption, human smuggling/trafficking, the drug trade, money laundering, and organized gang activity remain significant problems. US nationals are advised to avoid south side Belize City. The reports goes on to remind the would be tourists to Belize on how many foreigners have been murder recently including the charge d’affaires at the Panamanian Embassy, Jose Rodrigo De La Rosa, and Lynn Nichiporowich who was stabbed to death in Corozal. As for the Belize Police Department, the report describes it as understaffed and poorly equipped with investigations being slow and deficient. The report also speaks of Belize’s road conditions describing them as generally poor. Several reports have been published warning US Citizens against traveling to Belize, so what is being stated in the report is nothing new. How it affects tourism, if it does at all, is uncertain.

    Sugar Cane Harvesting and Production Going Well
    The Sugar cane crop is in its seventh week and so far for week 6, the over five thousand cane farmers have managed to deliver more than three hundred thousand tons of cane. Last week alone they delivered more than fifty thousand tons enabling the factory to mill close to seven thousand tons of sugar. So far for the season, the factory has produced a little over thirty six thousand tons, five thousand tons more when compared to this time around last year. The average ton cane per ton sugar stands at 8.52 compared to the 10.02 of last year. BSI reminds farmers to harvest cane at peak maturity and avoid cutting over matured or under matured cane.

    Special Envoy Updates Media on Children’s Hospital Unit
    The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow took the media houses on a tour of the progress of the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) being housed as an extension to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. The construction is underway with a deadline for June 2015 and was designed by woman architect, Esther Ramirez. Simplis-Barrow spoke on the sections that the facility will be housing upon completions. “The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit/Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is really for our children to have a space where they can get medical attention however this space that you’re seeing here is pretty special because we tried to accommodate parents as well. As you know when your child is ill there is nothing like having your mom there holding you or talking to you and so basically what we did was added a parents’ lounge area and a parent cafeteria area. We also have male quarters so that a dad who is the head of the household, and there is no mom, and the child is sick that the dad can stay at the hospital and there’s also a female section so those really are the unique features to this area. Now the clinical side you will see the pediatric intensive care units which are six units and then you have the isolation rooms which are four rooms. These isolation rooms are very very important because those are for infectious diseases.”

    Musa Questions Briceno’s State of Mind; Espat Says Briceno Lied; Briceno Hasn’t Retracted
    Yesterday, the leader of the People’s United Party, Francis Fonseca, faced the media and commented on the now popular recording of John Briceno, engaged in a private conversation with fellow party members in which he vented on issues surrounding the party, ranging from past alleged infractions to the current leadership. Following the release of the recording the PUP held a National Executive meeting yesterday which was followed by the senior politicians claiming unity within the PUP. Briceno publicly accepted Fonseca as the Party Leader and Fonseca told the media that the situation is being dealt internally and would be solved with brotherly love. At that meeting, all the party’s standard bearers were present and what came out of it was that the party’s internal issues will be worked out and they would all unite for the party’s benefit.

    Former Policeman Wins Murder Appeal and Walks Free
    An appeal by Burton Caliz, a former police officer who was convicted of manslaughter, was allowed today by Belize court of Appeal. Caliz’ conviction was quashed, his sentence was set aside and he was acquitted. Initially, Caliz was charged with the murder of 23 year old Leroy Pilgrim, who was shot and killed in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye in February 2004. The murder charge was reduced to manslaughter and Caliz was convicted of manslaughter in January 2007 and he was sentenced to 10 years. Caliz appealed and he won his appeal and a retrial was ordered. At the retrial he was convicted of manslaughter and he was ordered to pay a fine of three thousand dollars by Justice John Gonzalez. Caliz was not represented by any attorney at today’s appeal hearing. Crown Counsel Linsbert Willis represented the respondent.

    Court of Appeal Denies Retrial for Jorge Vidal
    An appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions in the case of Jorge Vidal whose indictment for murder was quashed by Justice Denis Hanomansingh, was allowed yesterday by Belize Court of Appeal. The order of Justice Hanomansingh was set aside and it was the order of Belize Court of Appeal that Vidal’s indictment stand. Vidal was charged with the murder of Hortencio Contreras who was killed in Benque Viejo del Carmen Town on December 31, 2005. Vidal was not present at the appeal hearing. Last year in Belmopan Supreme Court when the case came up for trial, Justice Hanomansingh quashed the indictment because he said the preliminary inquiry was not properly conducted. His contention was that the preliminary inquiry document was not signed by Richard Swift, the magistrate who had done it. Swift was unable to sign the document because he was killed.

    Draconian Actions Reported By Teacher at Baptist High School
    In 2012, Belmopan Baptist High School was in the spot light when the school’s former principal, Norman Willacey, was fired following an accusation of having inappropriate relationship with a female student. Following his unceremonious departure, the student body staged a protest and walked out of the class rooms. Last June, the school made headlines again when two teachers were being investigated for allegedly having inappropriate sexual relations with their female students. Now, less than a year later, the school is back in the news as frustration is reportedly growing by both students and faculty. Several media houses received a letter from one of the school’s teacher, stating, “the purpose of this letter is NOT to tarnish the reputation of the school but rather to seek assistance for the students and develop the standard of learning at the institution”.

    PlusTV

    Update on Roaring Creek Shooting
    Supt. Howell Gillett also updated on the shooting incident that occurred on Sunday March 4th in the Hattiville Area,  Roaring Creek Village that left two persons in the hospital receiving treatment for gunshot injuries...

    Murder Update in Roaring Creek
    There has been an increase of criminal activity in the village of Roaring Creek that left at least three persons dead and several others injured with the latest murder being that of 30 year old Elroy Ramirez  who was shot dead inside a yard in the Another World Area Roari...

    PUP affirms unity in official meeting
    The People’s United Party (PUP) was searching for common cause following last Wednesday’s landslide defeat in the municipal elections and the release of a secret recording of a conversation between former leader and Orange Walk Central area representative John Briceno and two trusted party operative...

    Fake diplomas circulating?
    There have been reports that unscrupulous persons are attempting to take advantage of qualifications from Belizean schools by parading ungenuine diplomas and transcripts of course credits completed in Belize which they never actually completed...

    New Belize City Council Sworn In
    Yesterday, Belize City’s 23rd municipal council since its incorporation as a city in 1943 formally took office at City Hall on North Front Street. From start to finish the ceremony took about 40 minutes – a briskly efficient pace for a council that has a high mark to live up to...

    UNESCO gives grant to RESTORE Belize for Peace in the Parks
    The National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today handed over a grant of BZ$51,175...

    BNE Charitable trust expands student loan programme
    We are only a few months away from the end of the 2014-2015 school year and as one year closes another one opens which means more prospective Belizean students seeking opportunities to further their education in Belize...

    Police operations in San Pedro yield unlicensed weapon
    The crime in San Pedro Ambergris Caye has spiked over the past few months with reports of shootings and killings becoming more frequent...

    Noh Mul destruction case moved to Belize City Court
    The case against UDP standard bearer Denny Grijalva over the  destruction of the Noh Mul archaeological site, was setback in court today  in the Corozal Magistrate’s Court. In 2013, Denny Grijalva’s employee at DeMar’s Stone Company, destroyed the ancient Mayan monument when excavating for ...

    The war on Drugs in Roaring Creek
    Belmopan Police continue to remove illicit drugs off the street. At around 10 am on Tuesday March 10th a joint Special Branch; Criminal Investigations Branch, K9 and Belmopan Police team, conducted a search at an abandoned lot in the Hattieville Area, Roaring Creek Village...

    “Mechanic” makes off with car
    Police in Belize City are investigating a case of attaining property by deception. According to authorities, at around 4 pm on Tuesday March 10th, Luigi Zaldivar reported that sometime in late February, a man of Hispanic decent went to his house in Kings Park Area, Belize City seeking a job...

    The Guardian


    At this newspaper we have always maintained that the People's United Party while in government stole millions upon millions of dollars from the people of Belize. This is something that is a known fact in this country. And while for years now we have known what the PUP did, and there was always some proof or the other that backed up this statement, never have we heard from the PUP what they did. That was until this week when a conversation which was recorded between a PUP supporter identified as Julian Chell, his son and Johnny Briceno surfaced. Apparently in his bid to secure a victory for the PUP in Orange Walk, Johnny Briceno approached and had a meeting with PUP stalwart in Orange Walk East, Julian Chell. What he did not know is that the one he considered his friend was actually his worst enemy. And so it was that after an hour and five minutes of talking, Briceno, laid bare in gory detail what the public already knew, the PUP during their maladministration sacked the coffers of the government without a shred of regard. A transcript of the more poignant things he said can be found on page 5 of this edition.


    The political fallout of the secret recording from former PUP Party Leader, John Briceno, in which he confirms most of the scandals during the then Musa Administration, continues to rage out in the public. Unfortunately, current Party Leader Francis Fonseca actually has the gall to insult the intelligence of the Belizean people by suggesting that he does not have to discuss those allegations publicly because it is an “internal party matter”. Apparently using government finances for personal gain is an internal party matter! Briceno, who was the former Deputy Prime Minister of this country for over 9 years, and leader of the PUP for over 3 years, is a senior insider who had first hand knowledge when those corrupt deals were struck. His candid remarks have only served to confirm what the people of this country already knew instinctively, that the Musa Administration was a parasite, feeding at the detriment of the public purse.


    We can never say that the detention of Belizean by Guatemalan authorities is not an important issue. What we can say is that they were returned without any harm or any major incident arising out of it and we are most thankful for that. While at the time of the incident it could have been understood that the country went into panic mode, the fact that all ended well is a blessing and now we must move on and more importantly try to prevent a reoccurrence of such an incident that took place 18 days ago. Can we now move on and focus on more pressing matters? Matters like the Johnny Briceno recording? Apparently not! It would seem that just for the sake of avoiding the topic, on Wednesday morning at least two so called independent talk shows, Plus TV's Rise and Shine and Krem Radio's Wake Up Morning Vibes chose to reanimate the issue of the detention of Belizeans by Guatemalan authorities. The hosts on Wednesday March 18 went on and on and on about the detention of the Belizeans and completely and totally ignored the pressing matter of the Johnny Briceno recording. For context, this is the first time that any PUP official has been heard speaking about the pillaging that took place under their administration.

    UDP and Fern Gutierrez will rescue Punta Gorda
    For the last 3 years Punta Gorda went through a degradation and backwardness under the former PUP town council led by Mayor Anthony Fuentes. On March 4 the voters of Punta Gorda went to the polls and sent Mayor Anthony Fuentes and his PUP slate a clear message that enough is enough. Municipal Elections 2015 was a historic day for Punta Gorda Town not only because it was the end of a reckless regime but because Punta Gorda Town has elected its first female mayor in the person of Mayor Fern Gutierrez. The UDP Punta Gorda Team that she led was victorious at the Poll, this was because the UDP Team had put in so many hours of intensive-work, many house-to-house and one-to-one visits. On Election Day the machine was well oiled and running without difficulties, shutting down until the polls were closed. At the end of the day, the UDP team rose on top, they defeated the PUP incumbents by a sizable margin of over 500 votes, it was a 2 to1 Blowout.

    More concerning borders in need of volunteers
    There is no doubt that all Belizeans would love for our borders to be fully secured, manned and respected. Guatemalan incursions continue to frustrate us and the unfounded (dumfounded) Guatemalan Claim to our territory seems like it will never go away. Therefore, symbolic efforts like those made by the Territorial Volunteers receive wide approval. However, such efforts will never receive widescale support. That is because Belizeans tend to look beyond superficial acts of patriotism. How does it benefit Belizeans when they plant palm trees in the adjacency zone or set a plaque on a monument? Belizeans tend to support people who are making solid contributions. This is why Raphael Manzanero and the rangers of Friends for Conservation and Development are strongly supported and hailed as patriots. This is why soldiers of the Belize Defense Force are the most esteemed members of our armed forces. These individuals put their lives on the line to protect our natural resources and defend our borders. They do not go to historical points to pose for pictures. They patrol miles of Belizean territory, months away from home, for the love of country.

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs Issues Statement on the Situation in Venezuela
    The Government of Belize has been anxiously following the developments in Venezuela. As a peace-loving and democratic country, Belize wishes only for social and political peace to prevail in Venezuela for the greater good and welfare of all the citizens of that country, as indeed, for our entire hemisphere. The Government firmly believes that disputes should be resolved at all times peacefully, through dialogue and due process and by strict adherence to the rule of law and good governance. Belize remains committed and calls on all who have an interest to observe fully the Inter-American Democratic Charter of the Organization of American States which is designed to strengthen and preserve representative democracy in the hemisphere, including by the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

    Rehabilitation of the Hummingbird Highway
    The Government of Belize (GOB) has received a Technical Assistance (TA) Grant from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) to assist in financing the services of consultants to prepare a technical and economical feasibility study and detailed designs for rehabilitating the Hummingbird Highway, between Belmopan Roundabout Junction and Dangriga in the Stann Creek District. The feasibility study and detailed design were completed by the end of 2014 and an application for funding was made by the GOB. Members of the Funding Agency visited Belize and performed their due diligence and assessment of the design and scope of works. The project for the Rehabilitation of the Hummingbird Highway was favorably appraised in December 2014. In February 2015 the Board of Directors of KFAED approved the loan for the rehabilitation works.

    Former PUP Party Leader John Briceno Confesses to Mass Corruption During 1998 – 2008 PUP Administration
    For several weeks now, there have been reports coming from within the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) that an audio recording existed of damning comments made by former PUP Leader John Briceno about corruption in the 1998 – 2008 Musa/Fonseca Administration. Officials of the UDP have listened to the contents of this audio recording where Mr. Briceno is heard to confirm multiple mass corruption schemes during the Musa/Fonseca era including, as he put it, “the robbery of tens of millions of dollars” with such schemes as the St. James Credit Union loans, the Intelco bankruptcy, Social Security loans and guarantees, the sale and re-sale of BTL involving Ashcroft and Prosser, the US dollar/Yen Swap, the accommodation agreement, the giveaway of Belize Bank taxes, among others.

    Rotary Park improved in Santa Elena, Cayo
    A park that is maintained by the Rotary Club of San Ignacio was dedicated on Tuesday of this week near the Fire Station Building in Santa Elena Town, increasing the chances for the proper upbringing of children in the area. Present for the occasion was the Mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, Earl Trapp and Luis Carballo, the Principal Education Officer; as well as Rotary members from both Belize and Canada. The children from both the Eden Seventh Day Adventist Primary School and the Santa Elena Roman Catholic School were also the first to experience the newly dedicated park. In his first speech at a major public event since being voted in as Mayor, Earl Trapp stated that the Rotary Club has been instrumental in our community. Mayor Earl Trapp noted that playgrounds allow children to develop social skills and plays a vital role in reducing child obesity. “One of the things that we neglect to look at is having enough playgrounds for our children…children get a chance to run around, learning psychomotor skills, “explained Luis Carballo, Principal Education Officer for the Cayo District.

    The United Democratic Party wins again in Cayo
    The United Democratic Party UDP has won again the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council, as part of the Nationwide Municipal Elections held on Wednesday of last week; in a crucial area which has the second to largest number of registered voters (12,676) in Belize. By the time the final counting was made at the Center for Employment Training in San Ignacio on the 25 ballot boxes that had come from polling areas 76 in Cayo Central, polling area 73 in Cayo North and polling area 72 from Cayo North East, it had become crisp clear that the U.D.P had won in all of these areas. By 1:30 am on Wednesday, Earl Trapp had exited the counting room as a victorious winner announcing to the media that Cayo Central had won by a margin of 948, Cayo North by 488 and Cayo Northeast by 480 votes. Earl Trapp had obtained 64% of the votes, a remarkable showing given that his predecessor Mayor John August had received 53% of the votes in 2012. Earl Trapp was clearly very happy at these voting results with huge ramifications for the U. D.P. “Minister Montero did excellent in Santa Elena, Minister Omar Figueroa in Cayo [North] and of course our outgoing Mayor John August did excellent in Cayo North East as well,” Earl Trapp told reporters.

    Roger Anthony back before the court
    Roger Anthony, the reputed leader of the Ghost Town Crips, is back before the court, this time for threatening Delsia Bermudez, sister of convicted murderer, Glenford “Bucket” Bermudez. Allegations against Anthony are that last week Thursday, February 26, 2015, he used threatening words upon Delcia Berudez telling her, “I nuh give a damn. I wah kill yuh. Me done kill already.” Of important note is that Bermudez lives in a yard on Mayflower Street next to where Moses Gonguez was shot and killed on Wednesday, March 4. Roger Anthony was taken before the court on Friday, March 6, where he appeared before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart. He was read a single charge of using threatening words upon Delsia Bermudez and pleaded not guilty. Bermudez appeared in court and was visibly upset. She spoke out in court and was sent outside. Anthony then told the Magistrate that the woman she kicked out is the virtual complainant who came to court to say she didn’t want any court action. Magistrate Stewart told him that she is not aware of the victim wanting to withdrawn the charge and that she was put out of the courtroom because she was causing a disturbance.

    Jervis Valencia kills Moses Gonguez, police respond and shoot Valencia
    Moses Ervin Gonguez, a 36-year-old resident of Sibun Street, was murdered on the night of 2015 Municipal Elections in Belize City during the time when the ballots were being counted. The man who is believed to have been his killer, was shot by police and continues to be hospitalized. Police currently suspect an internal feud within the Ghost Town Crips Gang which is based on Mayflower Street. It happened at around 9:15 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4, when Gonguez was socializing with 23 year-old Triston Gordon of Casuarina Street. They were in the company of 4 friends at number 13 Mayflower Street. It is believed that 32 year-old Jervis Valencio, aka Jervis Valencia, ambushed the crowd and fired several shots at the group.

    Senseless killing in Orange Walk
    Twenty six year-old Orange Walk resident Luis Ricardo Campos was murdered and dumped in a secluded area over the weekend and his body was not discovered until about 5 a.m. on Sunday, March 8. Police have since investigated his death, and they have criminally charged 2 men. Police were called out to the Waldy Cuello’s Stables, just off San Antonio Road, where they found Campos’ body under a shed. An examination of the body revealed that he had been stabbed multiple times to the throat, right shoulder, and to the face. What police have been able to establish is that he was last seen alive a few hours earlier when he was walking on Asuncion Street. Well, after investigating for 3 days, police arrested and charged Dennis Reneau and Alexis Ramirez with the crime of murder.

    Murder Conviction in Court of Appeal
    The first case heard by the Court of Appeals this year for criminal matters is the murder conviction of Abimael Pott, 21, of Orange Walk District. Pott was convicted of killing Shamir Gonzalez,19, who was slain shortly after 4 p.m. on the grounds of Louisiana Government School on May 4, 2011. According to reports, Pott got into a fight with Gonzalez and hit him in the head multiple times with a metal pipe. Gonzalez died as a result of the injuries to the head. Pott, who was only 17 at the time of the incident, was arrested and charged for murder. In a trial without jury, Justice Herbert Lord found Pott guilty of the charge and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

    San Pedro turning into a crime zone
    Nearing the end of February, San Pedro Town experienced one of the most senseless killings for 2015 so far when 3 year-old toddler Daniel Espat was killed as he slept on his parents’ bed. On Tuesday, March 3, at around 8 p.m., six days after that incident, San Pedrito Resident Pablo Barboza was murdered in what is believed to be a drug-related incident, only a stone’s throw away from where the toddler was killed. The gunman, described as wearing a cap and a rag over his face, was seen arriving by boat. He avoided 2 police patrols which passed by the area only minutes of each other. He then headed straight to Barboza’s shop to execute the businessman.

    Akeem Trapp remanded for murder of Ian Adolphus
    Akeem Kirklin Trapp, also known as Keemo, is now on remand at the Belize Central Prison for the Wednesday, February 25, 2015 murder of Ian “Uno” Adolphus, 21, who was gunned down on Freedom Street. According to Alden Dawson, Commander of Precinct Two Police, Adolphus was walking on Freedom Street and upon reaching its intersection with Justice Street a gunman on bicycle rode up in front of him and fired several shots. One bullet caught him on the right elbow, one on the right shoulder and one to the left side of his chest. The gunman then rode off from the scene. Adolphus was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where efforts to save his life were fruitless. He succumbed to his injuries a day later. Police investigations led to the arrest and charge of Akeem Trapp, 18, of a Neals Pen Road address.

    Scratching the surface of Deep Vein Thrombosis
    Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) may sound very intimidating but I will talk you through what exactly it encompasses. Let’s take it word by word. Veins and arteries. Veins take blood back to the heart and arteries take blood away from the heart. Thrombosis or thrombus is the formation of a clot. So you cut your hand or scrape your knee and it starts to bleed. If there wasn’t a way for the body to stop the bleeding, something as small as a cut on the hand could lead to death from an excessive loss of blood. What stops the bleeding is the clot that forms at the region where the vein/artery’s lining was disrupted. It’s basically like a patch to stop the leak. You might know it better as a ‘scab’. You know that rough brown exterior that forms over a cut that you are all too eager to peel off when you know you shouldn’t. And sometimes you peel it off and what happens, it bleeds again. That is a clot. Under normal circumstances the clotting would only be initiated when there is a cut and the body is trying to conserve blood loss, often times happening on the superficial vessels.

    High school student drowns in Cayo
    A young man, Michael Quintanilla lost his life as a result of drowning on Sunday of this past week, in the sometimes turbulent waters of the Mopan River in the Cayo District. The 17 year old student from Third Form at the Eden High School in Santa Elena had just had a meal and had decided to come back, across the Mopan River, when he succumbed to drowning. He had only been socializing with friends at the river for some 40 minutes. On their arrival, Benque Police observed that Michael Quintanilla was lying along the Mopan River bank. His friends had taken him out of the river and attempted to resuscitate him. Police then transported him to the San Ignacio Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

    BTL Cobb’s Arm wins the La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge
    The BTL Cobb’s Arm Team is the winner of the 18th La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge for the Male Division, which ended on Monday of this week by the BelCan Bridge in Belize City. This team of paddlers had to travel 180 miles along the Belize River, only to be interrupted by night stops, during four days of grueling competition. The three winners of the winning team on the final round of the race were boat captain Roy Cano, his little brother Eric Cano and cousin Clayton Cal, all from Santa Familia Village in the Cayo District, and not coincidentally, the winning team had been practicing during the last three months. Coming in second in the Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge was the National Institute of Culture and History NICH, made up of team captain Efrain Cruz, Alexander Cruz and Felix Cruz. Coming in third, also in the Male Division was OCV Wavemakers. The accumulated time for the BTL Cobb’s Arms was 17 hours, 35 minutes and 27 seconds, followed by NICH with 17 hours, 38 minutes and 44 seconds and by OCV Wavemakers by 17 hours, 39 minutes and 21 seconds.

    Transcript of Johnny Briceno’s recording - From the horse’s mouth Johnny Indicts the 1998-2008 PUP Administration
    JB :- Two years when we had the convention in Dangriga, we had about 15 thousand people who went to the convention and we could have brought more but we didn’t have money for more buses. But by 2011 the two sides, Said and Mark on the other side are screwing me, when I go to the people who have money and are willing to help us they say bwai… and they don’t give me money. I had already spent 3 million dollars out of pocket. Something that Said nor Ralph nor Georg Price, nobody has done for this party. I spent 3 million dollars that I recorded. I only di tell you what these people do to you. On top of that I made a loan of 1 million dollars for the Town Council elections for 2009. Right now I have to donate $14,800 to the PUP every month for a loan they made. I am paying that, not Francis, Francis no give a f*&k, and I can tell you everything that I spent, but at the end of the day I can only say look here I can continue to lead the party but I cannot continue to spend more money because, I will bankrupt my company and my family. And like you well know your family comes first. So as not to mess up the party anymore I made the sacrifice to say you know what if you want it take it. Said and Ralph and Francis had a ten year plan. Their plan was to screw me, they had a newspaper, the National Perspective, you remember the National Perspective? ...to criticize me. Three weeks after I step down there was no National Convention…the same PUP that is the cancer of the PUP you should be talking about. That’s the cancer that we have.

    Johnny Can’t Shut Up - Noisemakers Can’t Speak
    The Deputy Prime Minister of Said Musa’s administration, Johnny Briceno, ran his mouth for more than an hour in a conversation that was taped by a party “ally” and spoke candidly about some of his party’s most filthy laundry and shameful secrets. His most critical remarks were made towards the Musa-Fonseca regime who he considers to be the cancer of the party. “That cancer that came and stole millions and millions and millions and millions and millions of dollars from the people. I’m not talking about a little bit of money…millions, tens of millions of dollars they stole, that had this been another country they would have been in jail right now…” – Hon. Johnny Briceno. This is nothing new for Johnny B to be infected with such a violent strain of oral diarrhea. His last bout with the disease was in October of 2011 when he forgot a party meeting was live on their party radio station and he challenged members to “bring money back to the PUP”. He asked Musa:

    Loans to be made available to tertiary level students
    The BELIZE Natural Energy Charitable Trust (BNECT) on Tuesday March 10, today signed an Agreement with the Belize Enterprise for Sustainable Technology (BEST) to expand the Trust’s Student Loan Program to the underserved areas of the Cayo and Belize Districts. The initial investment of $350,000 will be made available to BEST in two tranches of $175,000 each. The overall objective of the partnership is to create a revolving fund to provide loans for Belizean students attending or planning to attend Belizean educational institutions of secondary, tertiary and vocational designation, accredited by the Ministry of Education.

    Mayor Calls for Mindset Transformation in Term Two
    A lot of people are asking how can Mayor Darrell Bradley follow up on a historic first term as Mayor of Belize City. It was the first question he took on after being sworn in on Tuesday, February 10, at City Hall. Mayor Bradley says the only way for transformation to continue is for residents to transform their mind and start from within. He calls for unity and asked that Belize City residents do their part to transform the city into the type of municipality they want and deserve. “It would be remised of me to say that the City Council over the last 3 years, has done this by themselves,” Mayor Bradley said. “I have been very embarrassed because people have said, ‘Mayor, you are doing a good job,’ and that good work that we have done over the last 3 years is not my work. It is our work. It is the work of 10 [councilors], a mayor - it is the work of some now 400 staff. It is the work of all the 67,000 people who live in our city.”

    Pawn Shop Loans In Belize
    Meet Janet. Janet is a 34 year old employed, single mother of two toddlers – Tyler, 5, and Alex, 3, earning a modest salary of $1,200 a month. Unfortunately, Tyler is suffering from appendicitis and needs surgery to have his appendix removed right away. Janet’s salary isn’t enough to cover her current monthly expenses as well as the medical expenses incurred due to Tyler’s condition; so she decides to pawn her vehicle to get the extra money she needs for her son. Janet visits a Belize City pawn shop and pawns out her 2006 Ford Escape, which is valued at $16,000 on her insurance policy. She settled for the $3,000 maximum that the pawn shop offers for vehicle pawns which must be paid back within a month at a 25% interest rate. The pawn shop also made Janet aware that there is a two-month grace period before she is served by the police to repossess the vehicle. Tyler is now recovering well after surgery. But after paying all his medical bills, Janet didn’t have enough to cover her total pawn repayment within the two-month period. Now, the pawn shop is taking her vehicle away. What can she do to get her vehicle back? Legal Advice by Estevan Perera – Attorney-at-Law According to the Belize law, Janet should challenge the Pawn Shop at the Magistrate Court based on the following grounds: 1. The loan agreement appears to violate section 26(1) of the Money Lenders Act and, as such, can be challenged in the Magistrate’s Court.

    Roger Anthony back before the court
    Roger Anthony, the reputed leader of the Ghost Town Crips, is back before the court, this time for threatening Delsia Bermudez, sister of convicted murderer, Glenford “Bucket” Bermudez. Allegations against Anthony are that last week Thursday, February 26, 2015, he used threatening words upon Delcia Berudez telling her, “I nuh give a damn. I wah kill yuh. Me done kill already.” Of important note is that Bermudez lives in a yard on Mayflower Street next to where Moses Gonguez was shot and killed on Wednesday, March 4. Roger Anthony was taken before the court on Friday, March 6, where he appeared before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart. He was read a single charge of using threatening words upon Delsia Bermudez and pleaded not guilty. Bermudez appeared in court and was visibly upset. She spoke out in court and was sent outside. Anthony then told the Magistrate that the woman she kicked out is the virtual complainant who came to court to say she didn’t want any court action. Magistrate Stewart told him that she is not aware of the victim wanting to withdrawn the charge and that she was put out of the courtroom because she was causing a disturbance.

    Private prosecutor appointed for Carlos Espat’s Murder
    Senior Counsel Ellis Arnold will be the prosecutor in the case against Silvio Espinosa, 23, who is accused of killing former PUP Secretary General Carlos Espat. It doesn’t happen often but in sensational cases private prosecutors are appointed to build a case against an accused person. On Saturday, September 3, 2010, just around 12:00 noon, police were called out to Carlos Espat’s home at the corner of King and Albert Streets where he was found dead. Espat was found lying in the tub inside his home and a post mortem revealed that he was bashed in the chest and head with a blunt object. As a result of his death, police arrested and charged Nicaraguan national Silvio Espinosa, 23, with murder. There were 24 statements tendered into evidence during the paper committal against Espinosa. He has been on remand at the Belize Central Prison since.

    Chryslin Gladden’s Alleged Killers to Stand Trial
    A Preliminary Inquiry (PI) in the case against Chryslin Gladden’s, 16, accused killers, Clement Bol, 23, and Ashley Meighan, 17, concluded before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Tuesday, March 10, with a commitment to stand trial in the June session of the Supreme Court. There were a number of statements given in the case against Meighan and Bol Jr., including a statement from a 17-year-old minor who placed both of them at the murder scene. According to that statement, Meighan and Bol Jr. were the two persons who he saw in the company of Chryslin. The witness told police that he saw Bol Jr., holding down Gladden while Meighan herself inflicted several stab wounds to her face and body. The prosecutor, Cpl. Christopher Smith is also relying heavily on a statement that Meighan gave police before she was a suspect in the murder that helped the police to link her to the murder. Meighan is being represented by attorney Ellis Arnold who has not challenged any of the prosecution’s evidence in the PI phase. Chief Magistrate Smith ruled that the prosecution has made a prema facie case against the accused and committed them to trial at the Supreme Court in June of this year.

    Charged with human trafficking of a minor
    Naturalized Belizean Estella Gonzalez, 62, was before the court a week ago for immigration offenses and she is in trouble with the law again; this time for a more serious offense - trafficking of a minor. A Preliminary Inquiry was concluded in the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Tuesday, March 10 to determine if there is sufficient evidence to forward a case of trafficking a 15-year-old minor against Gonzalez. She was initially arraigned on February 10, 2014 for one count of human trafficking. She is alleged to have employed a 15-year-old undocumented female at her establishment on the George Price Highway, Temptation Bar. Allegations against Gonzalez are that between August 19 and September 7 2013, she harboured the minor at her Mile 8 residence on the George Price Highway for the purpose of exploiting her as a prostitute.

    Cayo man killed in Belize City possibly by a woman; another killed at his home village
    A 40 year-old resident of Ontario Village in the Cayo District was killed in Belize City and left inside a hotel room on Thursday, March 5. It is believed that he may have gone to the hotel with a female, and that he was robbed before he was killed. 49 year-old Oscar Amilcar Grijalva reportedly checked into room number 1 at Isabel’s Guest House, located at number 3 Albert Street, at around 11:30 a.m. When the caretakers of the hotel went to check on him about 3 hours later, they found Grijalva dead inside the bathroom. He suffered stab wounds to both arms, and his throat was slashed. What police have been able to establish is that he arrived at the room with a woman who left an hour before he was discovered dead. It is believed that he was in Belize City to pick up some money, and that his killer may have stolen from him. Grijalva is known to be a family man in his village.

    Near fatal home invasion in San Pedro
    While votes were being counted for the San Pedro Town Council Elections, a family man and his wife were attacked by an armed thief who broke into their home and who was brazen enough to shoot the gentleman in his own house. It happened at around 6:50 p.m. on Tuesday March 4 in the San Pablo area of San Pedro Town. 31 year-old Jaime Manzano and his wife had only just left their house to buy food. When they returned, they found a man who had broken in, and was in the process of packing up several of their electronic items. Manzano, who is the holder of a licensed firearm, went for his gun, and realizing what was about to happened, the thief pulled out a weapon and fired several shots at him several of which caught him on the right foot and on both arms.

    Belmopan Red Taigaz humbled Orange Walk Running Rebels
    The National Elite Basketball League competition continued on Thursday 5 March, 2015, at the UB Gymnasium in Belmopan between the visiting Orange Walk Running Rebels and the host team the Belmopan Red Taigaz. At the end of the game, it was the host team the Belmopan Red Taigaz that came up victorious over the Orange Walk Running Rebels by the score of 85-72. The top scorers for the Belmopan Red Taigaz were Farron Louriano with 30 points, 10 rebounds and 2 steals; Terrell Eskridge with 12 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals and Jamal Harris scored 11 points and 5 rebounds. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Orange Walk Running Rebels were Roger Reneau with 24 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals; Jason Grant with 16 points and 5 rebounds and Randy Usher who also scored 16 points, along with 1 rebound and 1 steal. The competition then continued on Friday 7 March with two more games on the schedule. In the game played at the Belize Elementary School Gymnasium between the Toledo Diplomats and the Belize Hurricanes, it was the Belize Hurricanes that prevailed over the Toledo Diplomats by the score of 79-62.

    Williams FC, Mahogany Heights and Hattieville wins in the Beverly Castillo Cup Tournament
    The Beverly Castillo Cup Tournament for Belize Rural Central continued on Sunday 8 March, 2015, at the Ladyville Village Football Field. In the first game played Williams FC defeated Largos FC by the score of 5-3. The goals for Williams FC were scored by Roberto Santor (2), Misael Canul, Jaslyn Lopez and Leon Sedacy. Meanwhile, the goals for Largos FC were scored by Harold Nava, Denroy McCord and Shawn Young. In game two, Mahogany Heights defeated Rockville FC by the score of 5-2. The goals for Mahogany Heights were scored by Oren Gill (3), Kaylon Young and Sean Roches. For Rockville FC, the goals were scored by Emerson Gonzalez and Shemar Maskall.

    Stann Creek District Football Association continues in Dangriga
    The 2nd week of the Stann Creek District Football Association for the Wamule Cup continued on Friday 6 March, 2015, at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga Town with two games on the schedule. In the first game played, New Site FC defeated Hope Creek Always Hungry FC by the score of 2-0. The goals for New Site FC were scored by Albourne Marshall in the 27th minute of play and Almor Lemott in the 82nd minute of play. In game two, Hope Creek United and Umadagu FC played to a 1-1 draw. The goal for Hope Creek United was scored by Rollin Burgess in the 5th minute of play, while the goal for Umadagu was scored by Azizi Suaso in the 39th minute of play. The competition then continued on Monday 9 March, 2015, with two more games. In the first game played, Wagierale FC blanked Valley Stars FC by the score of 4-0. The goals for Wagierale FC were scored by Jesse Lopez in the 20th and 23rd minutes of play, Sherwin Lambey in the 55th minute of play and Robert Hernandez in the 64th minute of play.

    Athletes to be tested for performance enhancing drugs before the Pan Am Games
    Dr. David Julien, Development Programme Manager for WADA, informed the Board Members of the Central American RADO at its Annual Board Meeting that is currently taking place at Hotel El Panama in Panama City, Republic of Panama on Tuesday 10 March, 2015, that WADA will be funding 10 tests for each of the seven Central American countries for athletes that will be participating in the XVII Pan American Games scheduled for July in Toronto, Canada. The tests will be carried out between the months of May and June of 2015 with the samples being sent to the WADA Lab in Montreal, Canada. Athletes selected to represent their respective country will be required to file their Where-Abouts, with the National Anti-Doping Organisation in their respective country.

    Central Region high schools softball competition winding down
    The 2014-2015 Central Region Secondary Schools Softball competition is fast coming to an end at the Rogers Stadium in Belize City. On Friday 6 March, 2015, in the female game played, St. Catherine Academy defeated Anglican Cathedral College by the score of 14-11. The winning pitcher was Jacqueline Alas and the losing pitcher was Ashley Alarcon. In the male game played, St. John’s College defeated Ladyville Technical High School by the score of 22-5. The winning pitcher was Dillan Snaggs and the losing pitcher was Isaac Dominguez. On Thursday 5 March, in the female game, Wesley College defeated St. Catherine Academy by the score of 15-5. The winning pitcher was Shania Pook and the losing pitcher was Jacqueline Alas.

    Patrick JonesPJ

    Principals in the Belmopan Area Met to Plan Festival of Arts 2015
    Principals in the Belmopan Area Schools met today, March 12th, at Garden City Primary School to prepare for the Annual Festival of Arts, which is slated for April 13th – 17th. The schools are divided into 4 clusters for the administration of the performing arts portion of […]

    Belmopan has New Leadership
    Belmopan City Council is now officially under new leadership as Swearing In Ceremonies were held today, March 12th, at 3 p.m. at the City Hall Grounds for new Council members. Mayor Khalid Belisle was sworn in by Dr. Geraldo Flowers, City Administrator assisted by Mrs. Barrette Belisle, […]

    Court of Appeal restores murder indictment
    The Belize Court of Appeal has overruled a decision by Supreme Court Justice Denis Hanomansingh to quash an indictment for murder against Jorge Vidal in the Central District of the Court and ordered that he stand trial. On Wednesday it allowed the appeal by the Director of Public […]

    Court of Appeal acquits policeman of manslaughter
    The Court of Appeal has officially acquitted former police officer Burton Caliz of a charge of manslaughter. His appeal was allowed, conviction quashed, sentence set aside and charges formally dropped after hearing today. Initially, Caliz was charged with the murder of 23 year old Leroy Pilgrim, who was […]

    New neonatal and pediatric intensive care unit nearing completion
    Ever since the tragedy of the 13 babies who died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) between February and May of 2013 the hospital has been focused on improving its services to ensure nothing of the kind ever happens again. The Office of the Special Envoy for […]

    Placencia man pleads guilty to drug possession charge
    The police in Placencia village, Stann Creek district, continues to crack down on drug peddlers on the Peninsula. Their latest operation on Wednesday morning, conducted jointly by Special Branch, K9 Unit, the BDF and Placencia police, resulted in the discovery of 377 grams of marijuana and the arrest of two […]

    PUP affirms unity in official meeting
    The People’s United Party (PUP) was searching for common cause following last Wednesday’s landslide defeat in the municipal elections and the release of a secret recording of a private conversation involving former leader and Orange Walk Central area representative John Briceno. But on Wednesday at a joint National Executive and Parliamentary Caucus meeting held by the party at its headquarters at Independence Hall, the party built on the tentative expressions of support given by members in the wake of the elections defeat. Party Leader Francis Fonseca had a message both for party faithful and the public at large which looks to the PUP as an alternative to the current administration.

    UNESCO gives grant to Restore Belize for Peace in the Parks
    The National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) yesterday handed over a grant of BZ$51,175.53 to Restore Belize. Restore Belize is the arm of the Government of Belize which coordinates social response, for its “Peace in the Park” Initiative, a means of reaching out to troubled youths to address the crime situation in Belize. Started in 2011, it develops and supports initiatives in education and culture by community organizations with the backdrop of local parks and playgrounds. Reverend Dr. Rudolph Anthony is the Secretary General to the UNESCO National Commission and he told us that this is a means of fulfilling UNESCO’s mission to promote the artistic and cultural side of humanity.

    Blogs

    Beverly Visits San Pedro AND “The Man Upstairs”
    We had some friends visit us from Minnesota for a couple of weeks. This one woke up last Sunday and decided she needed to go to church. Here’s her “take” on her visit to the Roman Catholic Church. I will admit, while at home I don’t attend church every Sunday. There are days when I just can’t muster up the energy or the motivation to attend mass. Vacations seem to energize me in regard to my relationship with God, so I try to make it a practice to attend Sunday mass. It is not always possible, but if I can attend mass in a foreign church, I do. I’m a firm believer that attending services in a community not your own is a wonderful way to experience the culture of the local region and its people. This month I happen to find myself in the town of San Pedro, Belize on Ambergris Caye. As luck would have it, on the main road, Barrier Reef Drive, there is a beautiful little Roman Catholic Church. If you are looking for a Sunday morning mass in English, attend the 8:00 a.m. or 10:00 a.m. mass. For those wanting to attend a mass in Spanish, 7:oo p.m. is the time for you. I regret that I did not attend mass when I was on the island last March, so I was determined to attend this time around. I showed up to mass an hour early (because of the time change) and took in all the church has to offer. There is a breathtaking view of the ocean from the side doors.

    Spring Time In Belize Part 1
    Some of the most awesome times you will have in Belize, certainly after your amazing day tours, are in the restaurants and bars combinations. Certainly, the cornerstones are the Belizean beers, dark rum and the impossible to resist, Rice, beans, stew meat (of your choice), salad, and fried ripe plantain. Yes! Yum! Now, back to the bar section. Here are 5 things to know about a Belizean bar: 1. Yes, we are this friendly! Smile. Engage your waiter/waitress in conversation. They will offer you interesting information on what happened while you were on tour or whats the best thing happening in the bar tonight. Most importantly however, they have the scoop on whats happening after dinner or the following day. Work up a chat!! 2. Your US dollars are twice ours! So, when your waiter says to you that your beer is $3.50, he is suggesting you can buy two beers with your US 3.50. This economic decision to link our Belizean dollar 2 to 1 to your US dollars happened in 1973 when we internationalized and made the US dollar the anchor of our currency. Yes, when you have inflation there, we do too. None-the-less, smile, you can buy twice the beer with your money here!

    International Sourcesizz

    Great Australian Bight oil search ‘opens door to disaster’, US marine biologist Dr Sylvia Earle says
    SEISMIC testing and drilling for oil and gas in the Great Australian Bight threatens whales, dolphins, sea lions, and other sea creatures, warns visiting US marine biologist Dr Sylvia Earle. Ever since she started diving in the 1950s, world-famous marine explorer Dr Sylvia Earle has been “a witness to change in the ocean” including the recent disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. “I have been a witness, in recent years, to some of the most devastating oil spills, a consequence of carelessness associated with the extraction of oil and gas from the sea,” Dr Earle said. “Most recently the biggest spill in history, with the loss of millions of barrels of oil as a consequence of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill ... where I first learned to dive 50 years ago ... “It’s likely to happen wherever drilling occurs. There’s a great safety record going back for many years but occasionally, a disaster. “Not being prepared is one of the concerns about this development. Places that have been leased in the Great Australian Bight are right over areas that are designated for protection. It’s baffling.”

    IN MEMORY OF ARTURO ‘BEN’ RAMOS
    It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Arturo Ramos; also known as Ben among his family and friends. He died on Monday at his home in Democracia. We miss him greatly but remember him with fondness. Arturo has been our friend and man in the field since 2009. When we first met him, we knew he was someone with a special talent. Here was someone for whom the jungle presented no obstacle, just delight. Any point on a map we asked him to investigate he would reach, often soaked through, waist deep in mud, and covered in scratches, but always with a smile on his face and a story to tell about his latest adventure. He never complained and only spoke excitedly about all the natural wonders he had seen along the way. One hundred percent dedicated to his work; for Arturo, no challenge was too big. Our field research could not have happened without Arturo: making networks of trails in otherwise impassable jungle, building camps out of bush materials, deploying camera traps to monitor wildlife, maintaining the boundary lines of the Labouring Creek Wildlife Sanctuary, helping with the safe live capture of a range of different mammals, maintaining and repairing field equipment, training and supervising countless students in the field, and making sure that they all returned safely and with a newly-found appreciation of the jungle and what it takes to be a true bush-man.

    Symposium on avoiding genetically modified organisms (GMO) in our foods
    This Saturday 1 pm. The best way to see many new people is for each of us to bring people with us. Please give some thought to who you can bring. Come early and socialize over a lunch. . Belize Wildlife Conservation Network

    American Pi: Why the Day Belongs to the U.S. (and Belize)
    Pi may be a universal constant, but only two countries can natively celebrate Pi Day: the U.S. and Belize. That’s because they are the only ones (if Wikipedia is correct) to shorthand their date format so that it can match the first few digits of pi (3.1415), or March 14, 2015. Most of the rest of the world relies on the day-month-year format, which makes more sense logically because the date elements go from small to big. But this dd-mm-yy format would have pi day fall on the third day of the 14th month of the year. Too bad our Gregorian calendar has only 12 months. You could regroup the digits and say that Pi Day falls on the 31st day of the fourth month of the year. But nope, that doesn’t work, either: April has only 30 days.

    20 Caribbean Countries to Benefit from Olympics Broadcast Deal
    The Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees and the Caribbean Broadcasting Union have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the broadcast of the 2016 Olympics in Brazil to 20 countries and territories in the region, the St. Lucia government said. The Olympic committees “will provide access to 12 television signals and CBU (Caribbean Broadcasting Union) members can select the specific content to distribute to their markets,” according to a statement. CBU outlets will receive customized content produced by U.S.-based ESPN. “In addition to their preferred feeds, CBU members will also transmit all semifinals and finals featuring Caribbean sportsmen and women at the Rio Olympics,” the St. Lucia government said. The countries covered by the agreement are: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and the Turks and Caicos.

    Exploring the Riviera Maya
    If you were to look at a map of Mexico, which looks like the lower portion of a mermaid, you would find the Riviera Maya, where her delicate fin curls northward at the tip. The region itself is sandwiched between Cancun and Cozumel, stretching along the Caribbean coast of what is called the Yucatan Peninsula. Getting there is easy, as it is only an approximately three and a half hour flight from New York City, one and a half hours from Miami, a little over three hours from Chicago, two hours from Houston and just under five hours from Los Angeles. After arriving at the Cancun International Airport, which is also the arrival point for those visiting Cozumel and Playa Del Carmen, the Riviera Maya region is approximately a 20-minute drive. This coastline covers 81 miles from Cancun south to the Belize border. Like many coastal areas in Mexico, the Riviera Maya is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, meandering arm in arm with the clear turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. Together, they draw visitors from all over the world to enjoy a wide array of aquatic activities and recreational sports, including boating, fishing, swimming, parasailing, kayaking and, yes, just plain laying out and enjoying the magnificent sand and ambience. The Riviera Maya area is also a big draw for snorkeling and scuba diving, as it possesses an extensive coral reef system that is home to an abundance of marine plants, animals and other biodiversity. This falls right in line with its founding as a series of small fishing villages.

    The geopolitics of Caribbean security
    The advent of global jihad is about to change the security architecture of our hemisphere. So far we have been largely immune to these problems. Islam is beautiful and I lived among them with joy, but Islamists caricature the Prophet (PBUH). Location is our asset but it is also a curse. Proximity to the USA is no fun as jihadists seek to kill the great Satan, as they say. We are at risk as many of our people are venal, do unspeakable acts, and are easily bought. We sacrifice to prosper, but many are wankers who, for dollars, a gun, gold teeth, or bling, create mayhem. We live in peace and poverty, yet not like Gaza or Nigeria; we never lost life, limb to an IED, explosive vest, or had 2,000 people in a refugee camp -- we were lucky poor. But life is about to change here and across the Caribbean owing to Carcom Single Market and Economy's (CSME) vulnerability.

    Fighting sex trade trafficking through fly fishing
    A charitable non-profit fishing group from the United States is looking to expand it's reach into Canada, and northwestern Ontario. The Fly Fishing Collaborative raises funds by auctioning off donated fishing trips and using that money to build fish farms for orphanages in order to provide them with food, income, water, and fresh produce. The focus of the group is helping children caught in sex trade trafficking. David Fineran, a spokesperson for the Fly Fishing Collaborative, said the idea was born from one simple question by founder Bucky Buchstaber who asked himself "What can I do from my passion of fly fishing and what it's given me, how can I now take that and give something back and what can I create" The collaborative is sending a team to construct a fish farm in Belize and in the Philippines later this spring and a fourth one in Nicaragua in 2016.

    SPIN THE GLOBE: THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF FREDERICK VON WIGGLEBOTTOM by Edward Moldenhauer is Now Available
    In the new installment of Edward Moldenhauer's Spin the Globe children's series, "Spin the Globe: The Incredible Adventures of Frederick von Wigglebottom: Turtles of the Reef" (published by Trafford Publishing), Frederick von Wigglebottom travels, by the spin of the globe, to Belize. In Belize, Frederick explores the sandy island paradise of St. George's Caye. He meets a native Mayan named K'ayab, who introduces Frederick to his culture and its history and teaches him about the animals of the coral reef and the Belizean jungle. Frederick also befriends a girl named Hayá, who teaches him about her unique Garinagu culture. A magical exploration of the mystical jungle and island paradise of Belize, "Spin the Globe: The Incredible Adventures of Frederick von Wigglebottom: Turtles of the Reef" serves not only to entertain young readers, but also to become a jumping-off point for learning and celebrating the world's unique diversity.

    Rainforests of the sea
    There is an amazing world under water. Take a peek into the charm and beauty in the deep blue. Take a trip to the seaside and you’re sure to bring back fascinating little coral souvenirs. However, the real deal is to dive into the ocean and track down reefs from the deep. Reefs — fringing, coral or barrier — are simply beautiful. Right from the brain-structures to those that have fish swimming in and out of them, the colourful reefs are a treat for the eyes. What’s more, they are also the most diverse of all marine ecosystems and support a variety of marine life including small fish, prawns, and other sea creatures. They are also referred to as “Rainforests of the sea”. Fringing reefs are those that grow directly on a shore. One instance of this is the coral reef at Kaloko-Honokôhau National Historical Park in Hawaii. Barrier reefs are separated from a mainland or island shore by a channel or lagoon while atolls are continuous barrier reefs which extend around a lagoon without a central island. Apart from the three principal types of reefs, other types include Patch, Apron, Bank, Ribbon, Table, and Habili. Described as “the most remarkable reef in the West Indies” by Charles Darwin, the Belize Barrier Reef supports over 500 species of fish, hundreds of invertebrate species and several hard and soft coral species. It is a 300-kilometre long section of Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. It is continuous from Cancun on the north-eastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, up to Honduras. It is the second largest coral reef.

    Videos

  • SGA hosted student participants from Iowa’s Drake University, 2min. Drake University students volunteering with SGA Belize, using the "tool" to remove the meat from the Queen Conch AND eating the pistal!!!

  • Honeymoon Part 1, 3min. The first leg of our honeymoon was spent on Caye Caulker, Belize. This little island (key), which is about 30 miles off the coast of Belize, captured our hearts.

  • Honeymoon - Part 2, 11min. Continuing our journey, we fly from Caye Caulker to Belize City to meet our escort who drives us deep into the jungle. After a four hour drive on unpaved roads we reach Blancaneaux Lodge, our accomodations for the next four days. In the early 1980s, Francis Ford Coppola visited Belize, immediately fell in love with the location, and purchased the abandoned Blancaneaux Lodge. For more than a decade the resort was used as a family retreat before Francis opened his tropical paradise to the public in 1993.
  • Belize 2015 Why I want to Go, 4min. A few of our Belize team share Why they want to go

  • Entering San Pedro, Belize on S/V Striker, 1/2min.

  • New Belize City Council Sworn In, 4min.

  • UNESCO gives grant to RESTORE Belize for Peace in the Parks, 4min.

  • From Belize to Caye Caulker in Water Taxi, 1min. Awesome landscape with my brother and father in our way to Caye Caulker on boat from Belize Water Taxi terminal. Vacations trip on March 5th,2015

  • Turneffe Flats Belize, 6min. I captured the highlights of my trip to Belize and put it together for others to enjoy. This was my first saltwater fishing experience and it was absolutely awesome. Bonefish are truly amazing and their willingness to eat a fly makes them so much fun to target. Permit well that's another thing all together! It's tough and that's what makes is so much fun to do! If I could offer anyone some advice on booking a trip like this, I would highly encourage you to utilize a specialty booking agency like Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures! That's who I booked with and it made things super easy and stress free! They know what they're talking about! What a class act outfit! They pay attention to all the details and make the entire experience special! I stressed allot over flies and honestly I caught 99% of all of my bones on a #8 Gotcha pattern which I tied so it made it even more awesome! I only changed it to try something else for the heck of it! My Permit ate a Rag Head Grab pattern! Make sure to have a variety of differently weighted flies for fishing different depths (Lead eyes, bead chain and plastic or none) if you're like me you likely don't have more than one or two saltwater rods yet. I brought 2 with me an 8wt and a 10wt with floating saltwater lines. That was good for targeting bones and Permit but there are so many other species that I just couldn't pass on any shots. Ideally you would have 3 or 4 rods setup and ready at all times. The last thing you want is to miss is a shot at a Permit because your 10WT had a Tarpon leader on it with a clouser minnow hanging off it trying to catch a Snook in the mangroves. Yeah it happens! Another thing, trust your guide 100% honestly he will see stuff you can't and likely never will. It was so crazy the first day of two. The guide tells you the direction & distance to cast. He will tell you when and how fast to strip and then the fish eats! Every fish is special even little guys can take you well into your backing! My wife joined me on this trip and took advantage of the Atoll snorkelling program offered at Turneffe Flats. She had an amazing time as well! Hope to hear about your trip one

  • Arriving to Belize Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport, 11min. First time of my father on an Aircraft , Flight AV414 on March 4th,2015 . My brother brought us on this terrific trip to Belize . thanks brother.

  • Belizean Adventure 2015, 12min. Two strangers from far away places manage to get themselves involved in a chaotic tropical adventure that one can only experience in a place like Belize. Thanks Stella Di Mare for letting us stay at your awesome beach house and Seaduced for the incredible adventures!!!

  • Belize Scuba Diving: San Pedro, Ambergris Caye - March 2015, 12min. Thanks Belize Pro Dive!

  • That time I got stuck on a zip line in Belize and didn t want to let go, 1/2min.

    March 12, 2015


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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

    Strange submersible object on the reef
    Ambergris Caye Police and Coast Guard officials are investigating the discovery of a strange submersible object that was found floating on the reef. Shortly after 3PM, police were tipped off about the object and headed about six miles north of San Pedro Town near the Mexico Rocks Area where they observed the device stuck on the reef. San Pedro Police did confirm that indeed they are investigating what the object is, but at this point they are unable to say what it is and where it came from. The San Pedro Sun will continue to follow up on this story.

    San Pedro Tiger Sharks chomp on Dangriga Warriors
    The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) hosted some great games over the weekend as teams countrywide continued to battle for supremacy in the league. On Saturday March 7th, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks hosted the Dangriga Warriors in their second home game of the season. The game was played at the San Pedro High School and as usual, brought much excitement to the spectators, with an electrifying game that saw a home win. For the Tiger Sharks, Saturday’s game had a sense of déjà vu, as in 2014; there was a similarly thrilling match against the Dangriga Warriors. In fact the “Culture Boys” were one of only two teams that almost claimed a victory on Tiger Sharks’ home court. And like the 2014 game, this weekend’s game was another nail-biter as the Dangriga Warriors were down by only four points, in one instance, causing home fans to rally and call on their defense of home turf. Throughout the match, the San Pedro Tiger Shark had full domination of the court but midway through the fourth quarter, the home team was up by only four points. However, in their usual style, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks were able to turn around the energy and seal an 87 to 79 victory.

    Newly Elected San Pedro Town Council Officially Sworn-in
    The seven members of the newly elected San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) were officially sworn-in during a short ceremony on Friday, March 6th. Invited guests gathered at the SPTC conference room to witness the Mayor and his six Councilors pledging to uphold all the laws and regulations of Belize and San Pedro Town and promote the healthy development of the island. The 2015-2018 SPTC is comprised of Mayor Daniel Guerrero and councilors Gabriel “Gaby” Nuñez, Severo ‘Severito” Guerrero, Flora Ancona, Hector “Tito” Alamilla, Ruben “Rux” Gonzalez and Gary Grief. Once protocol was established, Mayor Guerrero delivered a short welcome address. “Election and politics is over. I am ready to work along with all my councilors get this island back on track. I am a very hard working person and I expect my councilors to give it their all while on duty. They will have to work hard for this community as I am very dedicated to my job and so should they be. There is a lot of things to do on the island and we need to start doing them,” said Guerrero. He also mention that the SPTC will be reaching out to all community members to collaborate in the development and well-being of the island. “We hope that the Town Council can collaborate with all members of community, because we will definitely need all of your help. We cannot do this alone, you all know that; we ask for your support, for your ideas, to lend a helping hand when we need it.”

    Ambergris Today

    Congratulations to SPJC Female Football Team as ATLIB Nothern Regional Champions!

    Flashbacks- The Many Uses of The San Pedro Community Center
    This is a very important building in the history of San Pedro. It was built with money from government and free labor of San Pedranos to give San Pedro a Community Center. As a community Center, Peace Corps Volunteers mounted a small library and game room which included ping pong, Chinese checkers, chess, etc. for the children. All weddings and occasional quinceaños were celebrated in the Community Center. Later on San Pedro High School transformed it into the first high school of the Island. When San Pedro high moved into its own building in 1987, San Pedro’s first mayor, Gilberto Chico Gomez then transformed it one more time into the San Pedro Town Hall. It is a historic building that has served many purposes- a building that San Pedranos can really be proud of.

    25 Years Ago- Villagers Cooking on Homemade Drum Ovens
    Some of the best journey cakes (or Johnny cakes) sweet bread, Creole buns, or even salt bread used to be baked in a special oven that was actually made right here in San Pedro. As a matter of fact I have a neighbor who still uses it today. This oven never had any electronic faults or defects, but it did rust after some time and needed replacement when it got too rusty. I am talking about the “drum oven” or the “horno”, as it was called in Spanish, that was used over the fire hearth 25 years ago. Let me teach you how to make one. First you need to locate a nice metal drum. You cut from the bottom of the drum (about ten inches from bottom) around the circumference. Now you need a lid or cover for your oven and for this you cut off the top lid of the drum using a cold chisel and a hammer. You also need to get two pieces of steel rods to place on top of the oven, thus providing a surface for the lid to rest upon. (refer to drawings)

    Ministry of Education Looks into Fake Diploma Sales
    Belize’s Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has taken to investigating an advertisement that has been circulating on social media in which the profile called “Diploma Guy” is offering fake school diplomas from high school all the way up to masters degrees for schools in Belize, the U.S. and even from European schools. “Diploma Guy” is advertising diplomas to any school of choice at the going price of $4,000 with a one to two weeks delivery process. He asks for a 30% deposit with the balance upon the delivery of the phony certificates.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Short term vacancies at Peace Corps Belize for the following positions:
    - Q’eqchi Language and Cultural Facilitator - Spanish Language and Cultural Facilitator - Kriol Language and Cultural Facilitator APPLICATION DEADLINE: March 27, 2015 Position Summary: The Language and Cultural Facilitator (LCF) is part of the Peace Corps PreService Training (PST) team responsible for language training and crosscultural instruction to new Peace Corps Trainees. PST is critical in preparing the Peace Corps Trainees to successfully serve 27 months in Belize as Peace Corps Volunteers. The LCF plans and implements daily language lessons, provides crosscultural instruction to Trainees, and documents each Trainees’ progress and competency levels through their language acquisition process. The LCF also helps organize community entry activities for new Trainees in their target language and is the primary resource for local crosscultural information. The LCF may be required to reside at the training community from Monday to Friday with a local host family, identified by Peace Corps. She/he assists in reviewing all language materials and language manuals and helps to update the language training resources based on best practices, at the end of the contract period.

    An update from the 2015 Youth Ambassadors from Belize!
    So far their exchange has been quite an experience with lots of learning at the workshops they are attending at Georgetown University and experiencing their first snowy weather in Washington DC! More to come as they continue their travels. The Youth Ambassadors Program brings together high school students and adult mentors from countries across the Americas to promote mutual understanding, increase leadership skills, and prepare youth to make a difference in their communities. Exchanges are primarily from Latin America and the Caribbean to the United States, but also include delegations from the United States to select countries. Participants will engage in workshops, community service activities, team building exercises, meetings with community leaders, and home stays with American families. Upon their return home, the students apply what they have learned to implement projects that serve needs in their communities.

    Belize Electricity Selects Varasset Software for Work and Asset Management
    BEL’s rapidly growing customer base and increasing demand for power require significant power system construction. BEL expects this expansion to continue for the foreseeable future. BEL determined that it was essential to improve construction project cost-control, productivity tracking and long-term asset maintenance. Therefore they investigated an array of software solutions, comparing functionality, cost, ability to interface with existing systems, and proven successful implementations. After extended due diligence, BEL selected Varasset. BEL will use Varasset to manage distribution work activities, asset management and project cost tracking, including line extensions/maintenance, system improvements vegetation management (significant due to rainforest growth) and accounts payable for contractor work. Varasset will interface with BEL’s existing ESRI and other internal systems, automating and streamlining work processes.

    Congratulations to Hot Mama’s Belize
    EXPORTBelize, BELTRAIDE congratulates Hot Mama’s Belize for its participation in Mr. Densil Williams’s case study.The study entitled Competing against Multinationals in Emerging Markets draws on efficiency theory, portfolio theory and market structure theory as the lens through which to explain business survival/ failure. By using those theoretical insights along with case studies the book provides a comprehensive set of lessons which successful small firms have adopted in order to survive and prosper in an increasingly hostile competitive manufacturing sector where large firms are mostly dominant. Drawing lessons about competing in a highly competitive sector, the book uses the of narrative in social research to inform conclusions about factors which lead to survival and prosperity. The Book is available on Amazon.

    Rehabilitation of the Hummingbird Highway
    The Government of Belize (GOB) has received a Technical Assistance (TA) Grant from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) to assist in financing the services of consultants to prepare a technical and economical feasibility study and detailed designs for rehabilitating the Hummingbird Highway, between Belmopan Roundabout Junction and Dangriga in the Stann Creek District. The feasibility study and detailed design were completed by the end of 2014 and an application for funding was made by the GOB. Members of the Funding Agency visited Belize and performed their due diligence and assessment of the design and scope of works. The project for the Rehabilitation of the Hummingbird Highway was favorably appraised in December 2014. In February 2015 the Board of Directors of KFAED approved the loan for the rehabilitation works. With the no-objection from the Funding Agency, the award for the supervision of the works was made to the consulting engineers who performed the design.

    BOLEDO DRAWING for Wednesday, March 11, 2015: 75

    Passing of Mrs. Fe Trejo
    Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to extend its deepest condolences to the Trejo family on the passing of Mrs. Fe Trejo. May her soul rest in peace.

    Mr. Albert Gordon passes away
    Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to extend its deepest condolences to the Gordon and Parham family on the passing of Mr. Albert Gordon on March 3rd. May his soul rest in peace.

    Women Without Borders Exhibit
    The Benque House of Culture is opening this year's Women Without Borders Exhibit this evening at 7:00pm.

    Calling all artist...
    just a reminder that the deadline is April 10th to enter the Emerging Voices Awards Competition! If you have work in paintings, drawings, photography,sculpture, mixed medium etc...that are less than 5 years old and your work depicts a further understanding of the region (Latin America/Caribbean) then you should enter! All that is required is a high resolution digital copy of the artwork...Prizes include a trip to New York in October, publication in a magazine and $40,000 in each category! If you need further information contact Shari Williams at the Bliss, we would be delighted to assist... or visit the website at https://www.etouches.com/ehome/emerging-voices/256012/

    Channel 7

    PUP Say Briceno Recording Is “Internal Party Matter”
    Last night after the John Briceno recording hit the news, it was like a bomb had been dropped on the PUP. There it was, the former Deputy Prime Minister and Party Leader secretly recorded referring to his former colleagues as robbers who stole – in his words, quote, “millions and millions and millions and millions and millions of dollars from the people,” end quote, and stating that, quote, “had this been another country they would have been in jail right now.” End quote. That is very serious stuff – and the gravity of it is hard to overstate: Briceno, after all, was the Deputy Prime Minister for almost ten years – when this alleged thievery was happening. And more than that, he was secretly recorded saying these things in confidence to a trusted party supporter – which would suggest that his statements are a true reflection of what he believes are facts.

    Briceno Wanted To Challenge Fonseca
    And so the PUP has made it clear it will try – publicly at least to preserve the party status quo under the banner of “party unity” – that much cited, but often elusive intangible. But the real bottom line out of today’s meeting is that we are reliably informed – at least one senior executive member did call for Briceno to publicly apologize or face expulsion. That motion, though, only got support from one other executive member. In the end, Briceno was not even made to face any sanction such as suspension – likely because the fragile party cannot sustain it at this time. Still, though there is deep resentment against him for what he said – as was made clear in Mr Musa’s remarks, which you just saw. And indeed, it’s not just what he said – it’s more like what he didn’t say. In the 65 minute recording Briceno validated just about every suggestion of scandal made against the Musa Administration between 1998 and 2008. He referred to specific corrupt deals such as Galleria Maya and outlined step by step how the public purse was fleeced.

    PUP Tries To Focus On Municipal Defeat Hangover
    And so while the secret recording is still being translated and transcribed – and there will be days to come of revelations from it – the PUP, from what they told the media today, is going to act like none of this is happening; pretend that the recording is an internal party matter and that only they have heard the tape and its lurid allegations. Of course, that is an Alice in Wonderland position, and most likely an untenable one as the public curiosity about Mr. Briceno’s revelations is at a fever pitch. People have been asking us all day to post all the transcripts and all the contents so that the public can hear it. Not so easily done, since the secret recording is of a poor quality – and, again, it is 65 minutes long. But, today the PUP party leader – voluntarily made no direct reference to it – and only spoke of the recording when he was pressed to do so. What he did want to talk about was the original main agenda item for today’s meeting – and, that is, the party’s post mortem on the disastrous result from last week’s municipal election. Fonseca told the press that the PUP has a lot of work to do…

    The Wrath Of The Municipal Math Not Nice For PUP
    And while everything is open for discussion, it is not clear how much is open for change. We’ve heard many complaints coming out of prominent PUP insiders after the election defeat – and right that they should. As we have reported, the numbers show that the defeat is massive. A breakdown of the overall results, shows that in Belize City - in terms of percentage points - the UDP slate matched its 2006 and 2009 successes when the UDP was at the height of its popularity. In Belmopan, the gain was the largest for the UDP, where the winning slate, shot up to a higher percentage of the vote than it had enjoyed in the last three elections – gaining 16 percentage points since 2012.

    The Lord and The Labour Movement
    Lord Ashcroft is going to be back in Belize soon and he really wants to meet with the Labour Unions. 7News has seen an internal email circulated to members of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize dated today. It contains an email from Amalia Mai, the CEO of Channel 5 writing on behalf of her boss, Lord Ashcroft. For the second time in three weeks, she invites the union umbrella group to meet with Lord Ashcroft. Mai’s email says that, quote, “discussions would be in areas of mutual interest and if you may have any topic of particular interest, I am sure it could be raised.” End quote. The NTUCB executive is scheduled to meet next week Thursday when this invitation is expected to be discussed.

    Cops Got Gun On Pedro
    We’ve been reporting extensively on the drug war in San Pedro and San Pedro police – along with heavy support from City police - say they have been cracking down on the drug gangs that are causing much of the violence. On Friday 6th March that led Police conducted to the residence of 51 year old Peter Moses Hernandez, known as Campos, where 6 persons were detained for a .22 silver and wooden Taurus Brand pistol. They were all jointly for kept firearm without a gun license and kept ammunition without a gun license.

    Peace in The Parks Program Gets Cash
    A month ago we told you about Restore Belize’s Peace in the Parks program. The program focuses on renovating or building recreational spaces for kids and promoting literacy in Southside Belize City. Well, Restore Belize will be able to enrich that program with a $51,000 cheque that was donated to the organisation today. A small handing over ceremony was held this morning at the Ministry of Education Office and program officer for Restore Belize, Marie Munoz further discussed how the donation will enhance the scope of the program. Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education, Youth and Sports "Restore Belize is the government of Belize and we, as i've said just now - applauded the efforts. I think they're doing very silently sometimes, I don't think they blow their horns enough. But very silently they are assisting the community, particularly here in Belize City - to eradicate some of the very very difficult situations that exist. This initiative from peace in the parks will help to alleviate some of this conditions. We give our young people especially, some positive alternative.”

    Fake Diplomas, Real Consequences
    Remember the tablets that the Minister of Education distributed to students in February? Well, as we told you at least one of the students has put his one up on Facebook for sale. But it’s not only tablets, it seems that you can get a fake diploma along with that. We were forwarded this facebook conversation between “Diploma Guy” – the one apparently supplying the fake diplomas and a potential buyer. According to Diploma Guy, he can supply a fake diploma from any university in Belize, America and Europe for $4,000. In response to this, the Ministry of Education sent out a press release stating quote “The MOE informs the general public that any person found in possession of any such documents under the Belize criminal Code …..will be liable to imprisonment for 2 years and those found guilty of being a common forger is liable to life imprisonment.” Although that is a strict warning for the public, this also sends a warning to the Ministry to improve on verification standards. Here is what Education Minister Patrick Faber had to say.

    Making Science Appealing
    It’s Reef Week and Oceana BELIZE today organised a Science Symposium for secondary and tertiary level students today at the Bliss. There were a number of presentations about the reef, coastal zone and marine protection. The main objective was to engage students in the discussion about protecting marine life and resources. OCEANA’s Marine Scientist, Dr. Isani Chan explained why symposiums matter. Dr. Isani Chan, Oceana "Today we have a science symposium in which we have invited several schools to the science symposium for them to have a take based on the presenters we have put together. Based of the line we have Dr. Ed Boles who will be presenting topic based on the coast line, what are some of the negative effects we are facing that related to global warming, temperature changes. We have Dr. Rachael Graham that will presenting as well - dealing with sharks.

    Cops Caught Campos Killers
    Last night, we told you how 26 year-old Luis Ricardo Campos was found stabbed to death in Orange Walk Town on Sunday morning, March 8. Well, Orange Walk police have been investigating and today, they made 2 arrests for this crime. Those two, who now stand accused of killing Campos are Dennis Reneau, seen here in black Shirt and pony tail, and Alexis Ramirez. They were charged with murder, and arraigned before Senior Magistrate Merlene Moody. Bail WAS DENIED, and they were remanded to prison until April 29.

    Detectives Say Deshawn Did It
    San Pedro Police finally arrested and charged 21 year-old Deshawn Goff of the DFC area with attempted murder, dangerous harm, and use of deadly means of harm. This, as we told you last week, was for the shooting of 13 year-old student Meredith Escalante.

    Shooting In Western Village
    Last night we told you about the shooting in Belize City and about the shooting Roaring Creek, but we didn’t have the details to share with you then. Well, police still have not sent the official details, but we’ve learned that it happened on Sunday evening at around 5:00. 2 masked men went into a yard of a house in the Hattieville Area OF Roaring Creek where they opened fire on a group of people socializing under a tree in the yard. 21 year-old Barrington Moro appeared to have been the target, and he was critically injured while one of his friends, Maxine Neal was shot in the foot. Moro’s family declined comment to the media.

    Drowned In Mopan
    17 year-old Michael Quintanilla, a resident of Succotz Village in Cayo drowned on Sunday afternoon after he and his friends went for a swim in the Mopan River after lunch. It appears that he had just eaten, and he and his friends swam across the river. Everything was fine until he tried to make it back across, and his friends realized that he had gone under, most likely from a cramp. Our colleague from PLUS TV spoke with police and Quintanilla’s family yesterday, and here’s what they had to say:

    Hon. John’s Rant Was Far-Ranging
    The John Briceno secret recording – everybody’s been talking about it today – and that’s because in Belize’s political lore – it is completely without precedent. And that’s because, it is more than a “fish from rivabattam” – Briceno was the Deputy Prime Minister and Party Leader of the PUP – so he has first hand knowledge of what he’s talking about. And while we might lose perspective because of the local nature of politics, in real terms, It’s kind of like Vice President Joe Biden bad talking President Barrack Obama – but not just insulting him, going further, to suggest devious behaviour. Briceno also gives a first hand view from within the party of the machinations against him:.. Hon. John Briceno “Two years when we had the convention in Dangriga, we had about 15 thousand people who went to the convention and we could have brought more but we didn’t have money for more buses. But by 2011 the two sides, Said and Mark on the other side are screwing me, when I go to the people who have money and are willing to help us they say bwai…and they don’t give me money. I had already spent 3 million dollars out of pocket.

    ITEC Graduation
    5 Belizean massage therapists were given their diplomas yesterday for completing a Holistic Massage course in Barbados. The main objective of the International Therapy Examination Council Holistic Massage Course is to improve standards and quality of holistic healing in the Caribbean. The participants traveled to Barbados along with other therapists from Jamaica and Dominica and one of the Belizean participants - Aimee Symre came out on top alongside 4 others in the Caribbean. ITEC trainer, Patricia Berry Greenidge explained what this achievement means for the development of the Spa and Wellness industry in Belize. ITEC is the largest body worldwide of holistic and beauty therapy.

    Channel 5

    P.U.P. Executive Discusses Incendiary Recording
    The National Executive of the People’s United Party, along with municipal representatives, met at Independence Hall today in extended session. It’s the first meeting following a devastating, near absolute loss [...]

    P.U.P. Leaders Say Recording Will Be Handled Internally
    The hour-long recording was leaked on Tuesday, but last Friday, the Prime Minister said that he was going to make it available. In it, Briceño claims that tens of millions [...]

    P.U.P. Charts Road Ahead Post Municipal Loss
    So with the recording under wraps for now and with the P.U.P. determined to handle it internally, the party has another ten thousand pound gorilla in the room. In municipal [...]

    Briceño Supports Fonseca as P.U.P. Leader
    Only one politician issued a public declaration of his support for Francis Fonseca today. Even before the leaked recording, Briceño has been seen by many as the man to replace [...]

    Municipal Elections Were a Wakeup Call
    There was no announcement of any shakeup of the party. And in closing the very brief press session today, Fonseca reached out to the party’s supporters who he says must [...]

    B.C.V.I. In Jeopardy From New Competition
    The Belize Council for the Visually Impaired, BCVI, a non-profit organization established in 1981, has been assisting the underprivileged by providing optometric services at reduced prices.  The income derived from [...]

    Boat Aground Since December 2014
    On December thirty-first 2014, a French captain crashed his steel hull vessel into the reef near some coral rubble when he missed the channel near Caye Caulker. Late January, an [...]

    Reef Week Celebrated
    We caught up with OCEANA’s VP Chanona at a science symposium this afternoon at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. The symposium is one of the many events being [...]

    MoE Speaks on Fake Diplomas
    Last week, the Ministry of Education issued a release condemning the purchase and procurement of fake copies of academic certificates, after a Facebook post showed a conversation with an alleged [...]

    Case on Destruction of Noh Mul Goes Before the Court
    Two years after it was grazed to the ground, the case of the destruction of the Noh Mul archaeological site came up this morning before Magistrate Hurl Hamilton. U.D.P. Standard [...]

    Police Seek Mechanic Who Stole Vehicle
    Luigi Zaldivar reported to police that a man who was repairing his truck made off in it almost two weeks ago and hasn’t returned since. Sometime during the last week [...]

    2 Men Charged for Brutal OW Murder
    Deportee from the United States, twenty-six year old Luis Campos, was stabbed to death in a shack on the grounds of Cuello’s Stables in Orange Walk on Sunday morning. Police [...]

    3 Men Acquitted for 2012 Murder
    A trio of men, on remand at the Belize Central Prison since August 2012, has been acquitted of the joint charge of murder in the Orange Walk Supreme Court.  This [...]

    Private Prosecutor Named in Murder Trial
    There is a significant development in the upcoming trial in respect of the murder of former educator and political scientist, Carlos Espat, who was found dead inside his home back [...]

    10 Charged for Firearm Offences in San Pedro
    Elsewhere during the recent police offensive, a raid on the residence of another notorious San Pedrano family yielded an unlicensed firearm and eight rounds of matching ammunition.  Fifty-one-year-old Peter Moses [...]

    Police Conduct Sweep of San Pedro Town
    An intense sweep of San Pedro Town has resulted in multiple arrests for criminal offenses ranging from drug trafficking and firearm possession to attempted murder.  The crackdown led to the [...]

    UNESCO Contributes to RESTORE Belize
    Since launched in 2011, RESTORE Belize’s Peace in the Parks program has refurbished a number of public spaces and staged entertainment in south side communities. This morning, UNESCO made a [...]

    3 Students Recognized in Poster Competition
    Three students: Vanyah Vernon, Victor Lopez, and Amauri Amoa placed first, second and third respectfully in the Belize City Lions Club’s twenty-seventh annual Peace Poster Competition. The students, who are [...]

    Women in Art Exhibition Opens Thursday
    Final touches are being made to the Belisle Art Gallery where the fifth annual Women in Art Exhibition will open on Thursday night at the Bliss Center for the Performing [...]

    CTV3

    Nomul Case Sent To Belize City's Magistrate Court
    The case against the company that destroyed a historical site in Northern Belize was adjourned this morning. We are talking about the case against Denny Grijalva and employees for DeMar’s Stone Company who are responsible for the destruction of Noh Mul located in San Jose Village Orange Walk District. That incident happened in 2013. The case was set to be heard this morning at the Corozal Magistrate’s Court but the Prosecutor informed that he had only received the files for the case last night and asked for an adjournment. The defense objected asking that the case be heard or be struck out.

    One Arrested For Shooting In San Pedro
    Viewers may recall that exactly a month ago, 13 year old Meredith Escalante, a student of Ambergris Caye Elementary School was grazed by a bullet at her home while she prepared for dinner. Well tonight, police have arrested one in connection to that shooting. San Pedro Police arrested and charged 21-year-old Deshawn Goff of DFC Area, San Pedro Town for attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. As we reported, that incident happened at around 9:20 p.m. on Thursday, February 11. Meredith Escalante was about to close the door of the apartment building she lives when 2 men fired shots at the building. One of the shots grazed her chest, and when she was taken to the San Pedro Polyclinic, she was quickly treated and released.

    Students Of Muffles High School Make Orange Walk Proud
    The students at Muffles College High School have much to celebrate after an outstanding performance at the annual Belize Catholic Secondary Schools Science Fair. The event is held every two years and this year it was held last week at Saint Catherine’s Academy. Muffles College students have been taking part in the fair from the first year and for 2015 the high school made its usual appearance and students walked away with four prizes. The competition is divided into three categories including lower division made up of first and second forms students, the upper division comprised of groups of third and fourth form students and the third category is the accumulation of points and the school that scores the highest wins the overall competition. Students at Muffles won first and second place in the lower division and second in the upper division. Their accumulated points also won them the first place in the last category. Head of the Science Department Carlo Benavidez says he is proud.

    P.U.P Discusses Briceno's Recording
    The National executive of the People’s United Party including the parliamentary caucus and standard bearers met today to discuss the municipal elections said Party Leader Francis Fonseca in a short press briefing that followed after. The meeting took about four hours at Independence Hall to conclude and while Fonseca proceeded to speak on the party’s intention to continue its reform, the media did not waste time to ask the Party Leader for his reaction to the accusations made against him by John Briceno in the recording that has everyone talking. Our colleagues at KREM News provided us with the audio to that interview and this is what the PUP party leader responded. Honorable Francis Fonseca- Leader of the Opposition “We have discussed it. We are dealing with it in that way. As I said from the very beginning we will deal with it in a very responsible way, in a brotherly way, and we believe we are on the way to resolving whatever differences exist among us.

    P.U.P Is Now Focused On The Future Says Party Leader
    And amid the controversy that has risen following the release of the recording, the PUP also has expressed commitment to work more on regaining the people’s vote. In the most recent election on March 4th, the PUP sustained a big blow with only Orange Walk delivering a win, although not a solid one. When they emerged from the meeting today, Party Leader Francis Fonseca says that they feel very energetic, were in good spirits, and people spoke from the heart. Recommendations were made he says and they plan to follow up on these in the future. We looked at everything, obviously the issue of resources, the issue of organization, leadership, standard bearers and as I had said I think on the day after elections at my press briefing, everything is on the table. Everything was on the table for discussion so we feel very good about the discussion today. I think coming out of it we have a clearer sense of purpose and direction. I am very grateful for the outpouring of support that I have received from the joint meeting, of confidence in my leadership. So that really was the discussion today, and we move forward in a spirit of unity and with a sense of urgency because we understand that the Belizean people are looking at the People’s United Party. They want to see that we are making the right changes that we are making the right moves and I think we are all deeply, deeply committed to that to working together and that was the clear message coming out of the meeting today.”

    911 Calls Cross Between Orange Walk And San Pedro Police Departments
    If you are wondering when making a 911 emergency call to the Orange Walk Police using your SMART phone and the call is directed to the San Pedro Town formation, then you have experienced a mix up in the lines. If you are a digicell user and call 911, your call would be directed to the OW Station. According to Officer Commanding the police, Superintendent Dennis Arnold, they have always had the problem and he feels people are being cheated with the time lost in relaying information from station to station. “We had always gone to the telephone company and ask them if they can correct that problem, I don’t know why but I guess you have to interview the telephone company but the SMART call comes straight to the police station and the Digi cell one comes to San Pedro, I don’t know if it is a cross wire or whatever, I believe that people have been cheated if there is an emergency and the call have to go to San Pedro precious time loss.”

    Duo Arrested for Drug Trafficking
    A duo were arrested and charged for Drug Trafficking following a search at their residence. According to police, around 2:35 on March 7th, San Pedro Police conducted a house search at the residence of 22-year-old Akeem JONES and 38-year-old Andrea Eleaner Busch MUSCHAMP both of San Pedrito Area. Authorities discovered a large black plastic bag that contained 183.3 grams of suspected Cannabis. Both Jones and Muschamp were jointly charged for Drug Trafficking. The searches keep yielding positive results for police as pair of brothers were charged for having in their possession a large quantity of high grade marijuana. On March 10th, San Pedro Police conducted a house search at the residence of 23-year-old Marlon Chanek and a 17-year-old male of Caribena Street, San Pedro Town which led to the discovery of (2) transparent Ziploc plastic bags and a black plastic bag all containing Cannabis. The drugs were weighed and amounted to 2,800 grams of cannabis. The Chanek brothers were jointly arrested and charged for Drug Trafficking.

    Former Prime Minister Says The Party Will Move Forward
    The recording also has Briceno speaking or making allegations against Former Prime Minister and Party Leader Said Musa. He also spoke to the media on the matter. “I find it amazing that the media has been preoccupied with this tape of John Briceño when in fact there is also a tape making serious allegations of murder against the Deputy Prime Minister of this country, and not a question has been asked by the media of the Prime Minister about that.” Reporter “How do you feel about what Mr. Briceño said about you?” Honorable Said Musa, Former Prime Minister “Well I feel that all he said was false. And I know it was false. What his state of mind was I don’t know. But I can tell you that we discussed it fully today and I am satisfied that we have a way to move forward now.” Again, the Party Leader says that they have discussed the matter and will deal with it as an internal party matter and are moving towards resolving differences that exist within the party.

    Several Persons Arrested For Fire Arm And Ammunition Offences In San Pedro
    Following a spate of gun violence in San Pedro Town since the start of the New Year, authorities have heightened their presence on the streets and are conducting more search and raid operations. These operations have yielded successful and several persons have been arrested for firearms and ammunition. According to the report, on March 6th, San Pedro Police conducted a house search at the residence of 51-year-old Peter Moses Hernandez, aka CAMPOS of San Juan Area, San Pedro Town. Also present were 26-year-old Marciana Susana Campos, 23-year-old Teresita Jessely Cordova, 48-year-old Guadalupe Gonzalez, 42-year-old Victor Vasquez, 52-year-old John Arana, 30-year-old Michael Edwards, 27-year-old Juan Gomez, 44-year-old Laura Trapp and 25-year-old Pedro Campos all of same address. The search conducted inside the residence led to the discovery of a .22 silver and wooden Taurus Brand pistol fitted with a metal magazine which was loaded with (8) .22 Fiocchi brand ammunition, also found was a small box containing (15) .22 Fiocchi brand of ammunition. The ten individuals who share the dwellings were all jointly for “KEPT FIREARM WITHOUT A GUN LICENSE AND KEPT AMMUNITION WITHOUT A GUN LICENSE.” In a separate but similar incident on the same date, San Pedro Police conducted a house search at the residence of 35-year-old Andrew Edwards and 28-year-old Cardenal Rosalez Jr both of San Mateo Area, San Pedro Town which led to the discovery of (2) 9mm S&B brand Ammunition and (0.6) grams of suspected Cannabis. They were jointly charged for Kept Unlicensed Ammunition and Possession of Controlled Drugs.

    Two Persons Charged For The Murder Of Luis Campos
    Yesterday we told you about the murder investigation of 26 year old Luis Campos whose throat was slit and suffered multiple stabs wounds on his body at the hands of his so called friends. And since the incident unfolded, police had detained one for questioning and another was being sought. Today, police arrested and charged both men believed to be Campos’s killers. Dennis Reneau and Alexis Ramirez appeared this afternoon at the Orange Walk Magistrate Court where a single charge of murder was read before Senior Magistrate Murlene Moody. The case was adjourned and the men were taken to the Hattieville Prison. They will reappear in court on April 29th, 2015.

    LOVE FM

    Science Symposium Informs About Danger of OffShore Drilling
    As part of the week of activities, Oceana Belize held a Science Symposium at the bliss Institute for Culture and Arts. Vice President of Oceana Belize, Janelle Chanona, spoke with Love News about the Symposium. According to Chanona, the purpose of the Science Symposium is to help educate the public and the youths about the dangers of Off Shore Oil Drilling in Belize.

    Fonseca: PUP Will Move Forward; Musa: Briceno Lied; Briceno: I Support Fonseca – PUP United
    Portions of a recording of John Briceno, the former deputy Prime Minister and leader of the People’s United Party hit the airwaves last night. Rumours of the secret recording emerged late last week but it was not until yesterday that it was disseminated to the media. The hour long recording is of Briceno and a disgruntled PUP supporter and took place in mid-February. In the recording, Briceno shares his personal opinions on several matters relating to the PUP. We understand that attempts were made by an intermediary to bribe Briceno in order to destroy the recording, but he reportedly refused. This was when the recording was sold to someone else and then disseminated to the media. We also spoke to the man who it is alleged made the recording, he flatly denied the allegations. Today the PUP’s national executive met in Belize City. Hipolito Novelo reports.

    Man Charged For San Pedro Shooting
    On February 11 a thirteen year old was injured in a shooting incident in the San Pedrito Area of San Pedro Town. Police have arrested and charged 21-year-old Deshawn Goff of the DFC Area, San Pedro Town for attempted murder, dangerous harm and deadly means of harm.

    23-Year-Old and Teen Charged For Drug Trafficking
    On Tuesday night Police conducted a search at the home of 23-year-old Marlon Chanek and a 17-year-old male of Caribena Street, San Pedro Town. The search lead to the discovery of two transparent Ziploc plastic bags and a black plastic bag all containing Cannabis, amounting to two thousand eight hundred point five grams. They were arrested and charged for drug trafficking.

    Police Search Lead to Arrest of Teen and 30-Year-Old Man
    On Monday night San Pedro Police stopped and searched 19-year-old Dennis Salazar on Angel Fish Street which lead to the discovery of a black plastic bag containing cannabis amounting to one hundred and fifteen point seven grams. He was arrested and charged for drug trafficking. Later that night Police conducted a search at the residence of 30 year-old Alex Salazar of DFC area, San Pedro Town which lead to the discovery of a black plastic bag containing Cannabis amounting to nine hundred and ninety three point three grams. He was arrested and charged for drug trafficking.

    Duo Charged For Drug Trafficking
    On Saturday Police conducted a house search at the home of 22-year-old Akeem Jones and 38-year-old Andrea Eleaner Busch Muschamp both of San Pedrito Area in San Pedro Town which lead to the discovery of a large black plastic bag that contained one hundred and eight three point three grams of suspected Cannabis. The two were charged for drug trafficking.

    Massive Ammunition Bust; Multiple Arrests
    Last Friday San Pedro Police conducted a search at the home of 51-year-old Peter Moses Hernandez also known as Campos in the San Juan area of the island. Police found a point twenty two silver and wooden Taurus brand pistol fitted with a metal magazine which was loaded with eight point twenty two Fiocchi brand ammunition. They also found a small box containing fifteen point twenty two Fiocchi brand ammunition. Present at the time of the search along with Hernandez were 26-year-old Marciana Susana Campos, 23-year-old Teresita Jessely Cordorva, 48-year-old Guadalupe Gonzalez, 42-year-old Victor Vasquez, 52-year-old John Arana, 30-year-old Michael Edwards aka Zetaz, 27-year-old Juan Gomez, 44-year-old Laura Trapp and 25-year-old Pedro Campos. They were all jointly kept for firearm without a gun license and kept ammunition without a gun licence.

    PlusTV

    BEL to negotiate six new energy generation projects
    On Friday, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) released its final evaluation report for the 2013 Request for Proposals for Energy Generation (RFPEG) exercise...

    17 year old drowns in Mopan River
    A family in Benque Viejo town had to bury their one and only son today after he was pulled out of the Mopan River dead on Sunday March 8th. According to reports sometime after 3:00 pm on that same day 17 year old Michael Quintanilla went swimming in the Mopan River in Succotz village between
    miles 7...

    La Ruta Maya 2015
    The most anticipated Belikin La Ruta Maya Challenge kicked off last Friday in San Ignacio for the 18th year in a row where 57 teams competed in 7 different categories. We give the results of the top three winners for the male and female division...

    Belmopan Parish Priest dies
    Belmopan Parish Priest and local Manager of Our Lady of Guadelupe School, Father Kurt Kasseber, died unexpectedly this morning Tuesday March 10, 2015. According to parishioners, Father Kassebeer suffered a major heart attack this morning. There will be a mass in honour of Fr...

    Corozal man fined for “shrunken” undersized conch
    A Corozal District fisherman is out more than $2,500 after Fisheries Department officials busted him with 102 undersized conch which he was trying to sell to Northern Fishermen Cooperative Society in Belize City...

    UDP says they have tape of John Briceno confessions on PUP corruption
    The United Democratic Party issued a press release today titled,“Former PUP Party Leader John Briceno Confesses to Mass Corruption During 1998 – 2008 PUP Administration”  The release says that for several  weeks now, there have been reports coming from within the Opposition People’s United Party (PU...

    Man went missing in the bushes 5 days ago
    A 55 year old man went missing in the bushes five days ago and has not been located since. 55-year-old Domingo Chuck of San Jose Village reported that on the March 3rd at 9:00 a.m...

    Murder pleads guilty to cannabis possession suspect
    Already facing charges of murder,  29 year old Delford “Peter” Slusher will serve three years in prison on a separate charge of drug trafficking in relation to 8.9 kilograms of cannabis. He admitted the charge when appearing today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer...

    Messenger faces downgraded sex charges
    Messenger at Home Protector Insurance Company,  25 year old David Gonzalez, will face a count each of rape and carnal knowledge in the Supreme Court in its next session after the results of a preliminary inquiry held before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer...

    Cayo Caretaker stabbed to death in Belize City
    A visitor to Belize City from the Cayo village of Ontario was found apparently stabbed to death inside the bathroom of  the guest house where he was staying. 49 year old Oscar Amilcar Grijalva sustained multiple stab wounds to the chest and both arms, and a cut to the throat...

    14 year old minor and 23 year old Shane Flowers shot in Belize City
    Shots were fired in Belize City on Saturday March 7 sometime after 9 PM. Police say that they responded to reports of shots fired on Glynn Street and visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw 23-year-old Shane Flowers of Belize City suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the ba...

    Orange Walk man stabbed to death
    A man was murdered in Orange Walk over the weekend. On Sunday March 8 at 7:30 the body of 26 year old Luis Campos was discovered with multiple stab wounds.  The body was found at Cuello’s Stable located on Chapel Street, Orange Walk Town...

    Cayo Caretaker shot and killed in Roaring Creek
    Belmopan police are investigating the shooting death of 30 year old Elroy Ramirez, Belizean caretaker of Young Bank Area, Camalote Village...

    Sunday Shooting at a Family Gathering
    A quiet Sunday evening of relaxation at the residence of the Mora and Neal families turned into a nightmare when at around 4:00 pm on March 8th a gunman approached the yard and let loose a barrage of bullets in
    the direction of the family...

    Patrick JonesPJ

    PG Town Council sworn in
    The new Punta Gorda Town Council was sworn in during ceremonies at the Town Hall on Tuesday evening, March 10. The Oath of Office was administered by Senior Justice of the Peace Alejandro Vernon. Before a packed room of family, friends and supporters of the United Democratic Party, […]

    New playground equipment inaugurated at Rotary Park
    The renovated Rotary Park, complete with new playground equipment, was officially inaugurated on Tuesday afternoon, March 11. Members of the San Ignacio Rotary Club, with assistance from the Rotaract Clubs of San Ignacio and Benque Viejo del Carmen, spent the long holiday weekend working alongside members of the Rotary Club […]

    Police arrest suspect in shooting of teenage girl in San Pedro
    One month after a teenage girl was shot in the chest inside her home in the San Pedrito area of San Pedro town, police have arrested and charged a suspect in the case. Police today sent out a press release and photograph of twenty one year old Deshawn Goff, saying […]

    Nine people charged for unlicensed firearm and ammunition
    Police in San Pedro town have arrested and charged nine persons for the crime of keeping a firearm and ammunition without and gun licence. They have been identified as 51 year old Peter Moses Hernandez, 26 year old Marciana Susana Campos, 23 year old Teresita Jessely Cordova, 48 year old […]

    Audio recording captures explosive John Briceno conversation
    An audio recording of a conversation between the People’s United Party (PUP) area representative for Orange Walk Central John Briceno and another man is creating quite a stir. The over one hour long recording was released yesterday and portions aired on the evening news offer explosive insights into what the United Democratic Party (UDP) describes in a media statement as “multiple mass corruption schemes during the Musa/Fonseca era.” Briceno, who served as the Deputy Prime Minister in the Musa administration from 1998 to 2008, talks candidly about events during those ten years, including the changes in ownership of BTL, the Yen swap venture and tax waivers for the Belize Bank.

    Trial in Noh Mul destruction to commence today
    The case of the destruction of the Noh Mul archaeological site in set to commence this morning in the Corozal Magistrate’s Court. Denny Grijlva and employees of DeMar’s Stone Company are accused of destroying the ancient monument back in 2013. When court was convened this morning, the Prosecutor in the case indicated to the Court that the files were just handed over to him last night and asked the Magistrate for an adjournment based on that ground.

    Blogs

    The Belize Zoo, a model for preservation and conservation, and a wonderful place to visit with the animals of Belize
    I will never forget my first visit to a zoo, it was in Philadelphia and I was around six years old. I was absolutely mesmerized by the wonderful creatures in front of me. Elephants, snakes, monkeys, birds …..it was a magical experience, igniting my life long love of animals and nature. I have visited, and enjoyed, many zoos since then, including San Diego, Washington, Reykjavik, Phoenix, and even Las Vegas. However, after a safari in Tanzania and Kenya last year, a remarkable adventure, I came to realize animals do not belong in zoos for our viewing pleasure. So, on my recent visit to Belize the zoo was not on my agenda, However, a change of plans, due to a bout of a run in with the local bacteria, gave me some free time and a lot of folks, both locals and visitors highly recommended the zoo since it was world famous for it’s conservation methods. I was so glad I took their advice. What a wonderful place. NONE of the animals were captured in the wild. They were all either injured, unwanted pets, or endangered species, bred in the zoo or given as gifts from other zoos. All are native to Belize.

    SAGA Humane Society Cook-Off & Fundraiser Allows Many To Eat All Their Faves in One Meal
    That’s EXACTLY what happened last night at the SAGA Humane Society’s Bi-Monthly Fundraising Cook-off. Hosted by Island Time Beach Bar and serving “International” Cuisine by 10 different chefs… I stopped in early yesterday to join the festivities and maybe help raise a little money for the island animals. This guy joined me as I found a seat. Island Time Bar is just south of beautiful Victoria House Resort – in the location of the previous Fido’s South/Sandbar (though that closed about 3…4 years ago?) I didn’t try ANY of the SAGA dishes! But I know many who did…and this may have been one of the most favoritest cook-offs yet. Let’s jump to the end. And the winning chefs! All the eaters voted and… 1st place went to Lick’s Cafe and their Thai Style Curry Chicken and rice

    Finding music, moments and magic in Merida
    The thing is, I really didn’t think I could afford the hat. I liked it. It felt cool and comforting on my head. It sat naturally on my crown with no fussing. The roll of the brim had a slightly rakish appeal that the rest of me certainly didn’t exude. Still, $3,200 pesos? Taxes are coming up. So is rent. And a trip or two back to the States for both Rose and me. Really, I wasn’t even sure that we should have been taking this mini-vacation to the beautiful colonial city of Merida on the Yucatan Peninsula. Buying a hand-made Panama hat in Merida seemed so out of the question. So frivolous. So self-indulgent. So . . . expensive. “Consider $2,400 pesos. Would that put this hat upon your head?” Really, I have taxes to pay, and rent . . .

    International Sourcesizz

    Belize's 10 Best Jungle Lodges
    The Travel Channel has listed their top 10 Jungle Lodges, and Cayo has 6 on the list. Chaa Creek, Blancaneaux, Parrot Nest, and Table Rock(picture) are there, showing that Cayo is the place to visit for adventure, eco-tourism, and relaxation. 10. Chaa Creek 8. Blancaneaux 7. Hidden Valley Inn 6. Table Rock 2. Sleeping Giant 1. Parrot Nest Congratulations to all the outstanding lodges! "After a day of high adventure in Belize’s rain forest — caving, hiking, canoeing, zip-lining, birding, wildlife-spotting, horseback riding, climbing Maya ruins or mountain biking — at one of the country’s jungle lodges, you can look forward to a delicious meal, good company, Wi-Fi and a comfy bed. Here are our picks for Belize’s best lodges in all price ranges."

    Rotary Park Dedication
    The Rotary Club had their Rotary Park Dedication yesterday, after working really hard the last few months, and last week for Rotary Week, on the upgrade. The park is looking good! Kids are going to love it. Thanks, Rotary! "Dedication day. The Rotary Club of San Ignacio along with our Canadian Partners were honored to have the new Mayor of San Ignacio / Santa Elena speak at our Dedication. His Lordship Earl Trapp spoke of the importance of parks to the community. District Education Manger of Cayo District, Luis Carballo also spoke of how play is an integral part of education. Also present at the dedication were children from Santa Elena Primary School and Eden Primary School,"

    Crime in parts of Belize draws U.S. alert
    The U.S. State Department released an updated crime and safety report indicating that the country experienced a high level of criminal activity in 2014, including theft and murder. Though most of the country's tourist spots, such as the Mayan ruins and cayes, are safe for visitors, the report warned against visiting the south side of Belize City, where gang activity and other crimes are the highest in the country. The report also urged travelers to use extreme caution while driving from Belize into neighboring countries.

    Videos

  • Zip Lining with Discovering Belize, 1.5min. Belize Zip Lining, there are so many things to do in Belize and that they can’t all be listed. From exploring the Ancient Mayan ruins to Zip Lining through the tropical rainforest, cave tubing to cave spelunking, you can find your perfect adventure in Belize.

  • Belize Family Vacation, 15min. A family with five children explores Belize.

  • Caribbean Sea Kayaking Adventure: Belize Islands, 7min. Kayaking around Caye Caulker island, Belize in the Caribbean Sea.

  • Driving through Belize City, Belize, 2.5min. On a bus in Belize City, Belize going to Flores in Guatemala.

  • OYE TOPIC: BELIZE CITY MAYOR AND COUNCILORS DISCUSS MUNICIPAL ELECTION WIN, 34min.

  • Belize- Give a kid a GoPro!, 2min. First Presbyterian Church Midland serving in Belize. It was "Barron Bliss Day", a holiday in Belize and we helped with a field day for the children in a small town.

  • Parasailing Ambergris Caye Belize, 4min. Parasailing in Belize, there are so many things to do in Belize and that they can’t all be listed.

  • OYE TOPIC; THE BELIZE BANK BULLDOG'S EXPERIENCE IN LA RUTA MAYA 2015, 19min.

  • OYE TOPIC: ECHOLOCATION AND FUNDRAISING, 33min.

  • OYE TOPIC: REEF WEEK 2015, 21min.

  • Richard & Rosanne Wedding Trailer, 5min. Here's a sneak peak of this beautiful couple's wedding we filmed in Spanish Lookout, Belize on February 15th, 2015 - a day after valentine's day!

  • Church in El Progresso, Belize, 2min.

  • Election Day San Pedro Belize 2015, 1min. UDP versus PUP voting on the beach in San Pedro March 2015.

  • Belize 2015, 16min.

  • Belize video, 9min.

    March 11, 2015


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    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

    Ambergris Today

    Pic of the Week- Marine Life Encounters in Belize
    With rain clouds threatening to change the course of our field day and subsequently drenching our students and team we were not sure how our Kids Meet Sharks field trip would unfold. Well, it turned into a magnificent day of sunshine, of learning and conquering of fears. For us it means the world to see students' eyes light up when they snorkel for the first time and see big fish, sharks, rays, turtles and more, all with their barrier reef as a backdrop. These are life changing moments for some and we feel privileged to have enabled these pivotal points and been witness to a shift in how they perceive their world. Thank you Ecology Project International and Restore Belize for choosing such a wonderful group of high school students and thank you to the teachers for accompanying them and also gamely taking part of the in-water fieldwork.

    Mayor Danny & Deputy Mayor Gary to Lead New San Pedro Town Council
    In a small ceremony held on Friday, March 6. 2015, members of the newly elected San Pedro Town Council were officially sworn in before a gathering of key party supporters, family and friends. After each town councilor was sworn, Mayor Daniel ‘Danny’ Guerrero reiterated the fact that his new town council is ready to start working hard for the community of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. He stressed the fact that the new town council members had already met twice before the swearing in ceremony to kick-start the functioning roles of each councilor. Their individual portfolios will be announced shortly. Announced during the ceremony was Mr. Gary Greif’s appointed as Deputy Mayor of San Pedro Town. Mayor Danny highlighted the fact that the younger councilors received higher votes during elections, an indication of changing times and the trust of the community on the younger generation. He stated that the new Town Council is very positive in giving much more responsibility to the newly elected councilors.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    The Role of Budgeting Workshop
    March 12th, 2015 Time: 9am to 12pm. Objective: Learn to create an accurate operating budget that helps your company achieve its goals. Your Immediate Takeaway Gain tools and insights to develop a realistic budget Get hands-on practice perfecting a budget Use budgeting to help determine strategic direction Being responsible for the budget means you're playing a vital role in your organization's future. Your budget enables you to pinpoint critical variables that impact profit so your company can successfully pursue its goals and continue to grow. Workshops provided by SBDCBelize

    SBDCBelize Workshop Calendar 2015-2016

    BELIZE FISHING REPORT: Week of March 1– March 7th, 2015
    Tarpon (Sabalo): Junior was back to his spots and had more tarpon hookups with returning guest Rob who stopped by for a few days while visiting his son who is on the island. Philip is learning how to resist a trout set on tarpon, the excitement of the take and the 20 years of trout fishing is keeping Philip from realizing his full potential! Captain Vince is sure he will get one tomorrow! Sure enough Philip and Vice got it done the next day! The hard work paid off! Andy and Captain Cesar teamed up for a tarpon on his 3-day outing. Lon and Janice each got a tarpon to the boat while fishing with Captain Junior up near Bacalar Chico National Park. Benji got a beauty on hos last day and 16 year olds Calyton and JT got tarpon on ifirst days! A great week despite some midweek wind, with good numbers of all 3 species brought to the boat.

    San Pedro Town Council 2015-2018, Mayor and Councilors sworn in
    San Pedro Town Council 2015-2018, Mayor and Councilors, officially sworn in on Friday, March 6th, 2015 at a small ceremony at the San Pedro Town Council's conference room. The Mayor and Councilor's portfolios are yet to be announced; however, Mr. Gary Greif has been appointed as the Deputy Mayor of San Pedro Town. We congratulate the new Town Council 2015-2018 members and we wish them the very best in their future projects and endeavors.

    Congratulations to Corozal's BTL COBBS ARM for taking 1st Place in this year's LA RUTA MAYA RIVER CHALLENGE
    Cobbs Arm has always finished in the top 5. These guys deserve the win and once again congratulations from the Corozal Daily:- Here are the winners for the 2015 Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge : * Bravery and Heroic Action Awards- Belize Bank Bulldogs and Westrac Stingers. A second award was also presented to both teams by Oceana for the heroic actions that saved a person's life. * Perseverance Award donated by The National Celebrations Commission: Whateva Boys *Male Division 1st Place- BTL Cobbs Arms 2nd Place- NICH 3rd Place- OCB Wave Makers Female Division 1st Place- Koop Sheet Metal 2nd Place- Belize Bank Bulldogs Female Team 3rd Place- Belize Coast Guardians

    Ruta Maya Rescue
    KUDOS to Belize Bank and Westrac teams who without hesitation, fell behind the race to safe someone's life after he fell in the river. GOD bless.

    Belize Screen on the Green is back this Thursday, MARCH 12!!!
    Please join us for the screening of the movie "The Help" in honor of International Women's Day at GG Field in Belmopan. As always movie starts at dark and is free to the public, and popcorn and drinks are served on a first come first serve basis. The Help stars Emma Stone as Skeeter, Viola Davis as Aibileen and Octavia Spencer as Minny-three very different, extraordinary women in Mississippi during the 1960s, who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all at risk. From their improbable alliance a remarkable sisterhood emerges, instilling all of them with the courage to transcend the lines that define them, and the realization that sometimes those lines are made to be crossed-even if it means bringing everyone in town face-to-face with the changing times. Parents please note the rating: PG-13 (for thematic material) Theme: American History, Women’s Empowerment Please note there is a typo below on the date - it will be held Thursday March 12 NOT March 14.

    OCEANA Science Symposium
    We are pleased to extend an invitation to the tertiary and secondary institutions in Belize to attend this symposium to learn more about the economic, ecologic and cultural benefits of our amazing Belize Barrier Reef as well as the threats affecting our world renowned marine environment.

    Kids Meet Sharks - Belize City Students
    With rain clouds threatening to change the course of our field day and subsequently drenching our students and team we were not sure how our Kids Meet Sharks field trip would unfold. Well, it turned into a magnificent day of sunshine, of learning and conquering of fears. For us it means the world to see students' eyes light up when they snorkel for the first time and see big fish, sharks, rays, turtles and more, all with their barrier reef as a backdrop. These are life changing moments for some and we feel privileged to have enabled these pivotal points and been witness to a shift in how they perceive their world. Thank you Ecology Project International and Restore Belize for choosing such a wonderful group of high school students and thank you to the teachers for accompanying them and also gamely taking part of the in-water fieldwork." "We are thankful to our donors the Wildlife Conservation Network, the New England Biolabs Foundation and the Whitley Fund for Nature for their support of KMS. We also send a big shout out to Mariela Archer who tirelessly educates so many about the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, and to Ambergris Divers for providing the boat and staff at cost for this KMS trip."

    BOLEDO DRAWING for Tuesday, March 10, 2015: 97. FANTASY 5: 13 14 26 25 28 A

    Placencia Lagoon Development Plan
    Final Stakeholders Meetings. Click here for the draft plan

    Skill Session Sundays
    LASCoop comes together every Sunday to learn, share, and grow with one another. Each Sunday the members are introduced to a new concept, or continue working on the same one from the following week to advance their skill sets in sewing and handicrafts. Sometimes the members will also have a workshop session to further their knowledge, and abilities in handling their business, and their personal growth.

    Western Ballaz Defeat No Limit
    The Western Ballaz defeated the No Limit 64 - 57. David Robinson put together a video collage of recent pictures. Well done. Go, Western Ballaz!

    Channel 7

    Secret Recording Captures Hon. Briceno Blazing His Party and Leader
    Last week, we reported on the explosive recording that's out there. Well tonight, it's in here, we have it. It's over an hour long and it is loaded. We'll present the juicy bits tonight, but first some background. In it, former PUP leader John Briceno is heard talking to a disgruntled PUP supporter in Orange Walk East. Briceno went to try and get his support after the divisive Orange walk East convention in January. Briceno's candidate, Josue Carballo, won the convention and David Burgos lost. The man Briceno is talking to is an embittered Burgos supporter and Briceno is trying to bring him around. It is believed that this person secretly made the recording of a face to face conversation. All this background to say that what you are about hear is the product of a PUP on PUP war - but tonight it is a national nuclear meltdown for the PUP. But more than a meltdown, it's like a nuclear attack and the one who pushed the "detonate" button is Briceno. To make it very clear, it's not idle talk, and we cannot treat it as such. This is the former leader of the PUP for three and a half years and the former Deputy Prime Minister under Said Musa for nine and a half years.

    Briceno’s Exit As Party Leader Was Personal
    So, how would the Opposition have performed under the Briceno Leadership? Well, viewers will remember that in October 2011, Briceno stepped down as leader of Opposition, months before the General Elections of 2012, but he made it clear to his PUP colleague, who recorded their conversation, that his exit almost 3 years ago is still a sore point for him and the rest of his party. Here's what he had to say about his exit, and the financial burdens he still bears from his time as leader of the party: Hon. John Briceno "I had already spent 3 million dollars out of pocket. Something that Said nor Ralph nor George Price, nobody has done for this party. I spent 3 million dollars that I recorded. I only di tell you what these people do to you. On top of that I made a loan of 1 million dollars for the Town Council elections for 2009. Right now I have to donate $14,800 to the PUP every month for a loan they made. I am paying that, not Francis, Francis no give a fuck, and I can tell you everything that I spent, but at the end of the day I can only say look here I can continue to lead the party but I cannot continue to spend more money because, I will bankrupt my company and my family. And like you well know your family comes first. So as not to mess up the party anymore I made the sacrifice to say you know what if you want it take it..." "Three weeks after I step down there was no National Convention…the same PUP that is the cancer of the PUP you should be talking about. That's the cancer that we have. Julian:- I'm not saying you are the cancer."

    Hon. Briceno Remind Why The G7 Rebelled
    That's not all Briceno had to say about Fonseca's leader of the PUP, not at all. While discussing politics with his PUP confidant who recorded the private conversation, Briceno took him on a history lesson. He started discussing parts of the Opposition's recent past that still haunts the party, discussing key elements of the financial mismanagement of the Musa administration. Some parts of the conversation we are unable to air for legal reasons, but the allegations made are documented on public record. In some instances, Briceno goes as far as calling out some of his political colleagues. What we can touch is a part of the recorded discussion he had weeks ago about a key moment of mismanagement of public funds which emerged in 2005. Viewers may remember when the story broke that the then Musa Administration gambled millions of dollars on a currency swap in the year 2000 in a deal which was overseen by Former Minister of Finance Ralph Fonseca. In that ill-advised move, some US $40 million dollars of public monies was placed in a bet that over the 5 year period which followed the Japanese Yen would weaken against the US Dollar. It happened the opposite way around and Belize ended up losing 6 million dollars just like that.

    Hon. Briceno Comments, Doesn’t Deny His Explosive Claims
    Back to Briceno and that explosive recording, we contacted him earlier today for comment, and this evening, he released a statement. Notably, Briceno does not shy from what he said and offers no denial of any of his claims. He says quote, "Some weeks ago I was engaged in a private conversation with two trusted members of our Party who are members of the Orange Walk East Executive. It has now come to my attention that the contents of our private conversation were recorded and circulated publicly. The discussion with these individuals was a private one and by recording and leaking it to the public is a gross violation of my privacy.

    UDP Government Demands That Opposition Addresses Briceno’s Claims
    And so now, coming on the heels of a massive defeat for the PUP in the municipal elections, what does this mean for the opposition? The party is already at the lowest in the Fonseca era, and so the question is whether this will drag the party down further? The days to come will tell that because as we said there's a lot of stuff on the recording, more than an hour! And the UDP sent out a release today making its position clear... Their statement says, quote, "Officials of the UDP have listened to the contents of this audio recording where Mr. Briceno is heard to confirm multiple mass corruption schemes during the Musa/Fonseca era...Mr. Briceno, it must be noted, was not just a spectator in the Musa/Fonseca period. He was the Deputy Prime Minister of Belize and the Deputy Party Leader of the PUP. Mr. Briceno knows exactly what he is talking about. The UDP believes that the Briceno tape is the most compelling evidence ever of the sweeping corruption and decay that permeated, at the highest levels, the PUP Administration and Party. Most of the players in the Musa/Fonseca Administration continue to hold senior positions in the PUP today, a clear indication that the Party has not changed.

    A Senseless Killing In Orange Walk Town
    Over the long weekend, there were 2 shootings, one in Belize City, and one Roaring Creek Village, Cayo, and one fatal stabbing in Orange Walk. We report first on the murder of 26 year-old Orange Walk resident, Luis Richardo Campos. His body was found at around 5 o'clock on Sunday Morning at the Waldy Cuello Stables, just off the San Antonio Road. He suffered multiple stab wounds to the throat, the right shoulder and the side of the face. Residents say that the last time they saw him alive was when he was walking on Asuncion Street in Orange Walk Town. Today, Orange Walk Police briefed the media about what they've managed to establish so far:

    14 Year-old Female Got Shot
    In Belize City, 2 persons were shot on Saturday night just before 9:30. Officers visited the KHMH where they found City Residents Shane Flowers, a 23 year-old, and a 14 year-old female with gunshot wounds. Initial investigations revealed that at 9:20 p.m., they were both were sitting under a house at # 10 Glynn Street when a man rode up on a bicycle and fired three shots at them causing their injuries. Flowers was injured on his head in an area where the injury was not life threatening, but the minor was shot in the abdomen. We tried to reach their families for comment today, but they declined.

    Prime Minister Requests That Territorial Volunteers Cease Border Expeditions
    By now, we know all about the international episode involving the Belize Territorial Volunteers and the Guatemalan Coast Guard. It happened 11 days ago but last into last week there was still a back and forth going between the Territorial Volunteers and the OAS Adjacency Zone office over mapping accuracy. And while those are technicalities, at bottom, the dispute is over whether the Guatemalan Coast Guard's interception of the Belizean boat was an act of aggression or whether it was justified. Last week Thursday, we asked Prime Minister Dean Barrow where he stood on the matter. He told us that the Territorial Volunteers did veer into Guatemalan waters: Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister "These territorial volunteers man, really need to think carefully before they continue with the sorts of actions that, though well-meaning and though dressed up in the guise of patriotism and ascertain of sovereignty, really are not helpful and when you take innocent citizens on your so-called excursions, it just makes it impossible for government to feel comfortable about your activities. As I understand it, there is absolutely no doubt that they went, however unwittingly, into Guatemala. Colonel Lovell was familiar with the run of the river, so to speak, tell me that you go left after that plot of island in midstream - you are following an inlet, when you think you are coming back out into the river proper. You follow an inlet that takes you into Guatemala and that's precisely what happened.

    Prime Minister Discusses The Political Sympathies Of Lake I
    So, the Prime Minister has said that he won't call an election before the end of 2015. But, at three years into his current term of office, the Barrow Administration is definitely lining itself up for another general elections drive - whether that election comes in 2016 or 2017. And, with the recent landslide in the municipal elections, the UDP has to re-map its priorities and assumptions about which constituencies are winnable. For example, the PUP Municipal slate only got 29% of the vote in Punta Gorda - which forms the voting base for Toledo East. That was previously considered a safe PUP seat, but with the surprising election out-turn, it is now in play for the UDP. On the other side of that coin is Lake Independence. Somewhat surprisingly, Area Representative Mark King's significant Election Day push was negated by the PUP's returning standard bearer Cordel Hyde. Hyde ensured that Lake - I voted for the PUP municipal slate, one of only 3 city divisions to do so.

    Mayor Bradley and UDP Slate Back Sworn Into City Hall
    But the election results for Belize City say that incumbent Mayor Darrell Bradley and the UDP slate thoroughly defeated Mayoral Candidate Yolanda Schakron and the PUP slate by a landslide, and so today, they were officially sworn back into office. The press was invited for the event at City Hall, and Mayor Bradley addressed the gathering: Darrell Bradley, Mayor - Belize City "It has been 3 years and I look at the councilors, I look at myself and one thing I could say with certainty, that the head is greyer and the waist is tighter. But that represents years' experience coming together as a council team, as a council family and it has really been an honor for me to be mayor of Belize City over the last 3 years and it would be an even greater honor for me to go into another 3 years.

    Hon. Briceno’s Take On The Ashcroft/BTL Saga
    At the top of the newscast, we told you about the explosive Briceno recording in which he criticizes the PUP party and the former Government administration of the former Prime Minister Said Musa. Well, one of most memorable moments of the Musa Administration was the weaving public and government obligations it left behind which tied the country to the business interests of the billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft. Right now, the Barrow administration is embroiled in multimillion dollar litigation with the Ashcroft group of companies where there is no foreseeable end in the near future. But, how did it happen that the Ashcroft Alliance to have ended up with controlling interest in the telecommunications company BTL? Well, former Prime Minister Briceno has an interesting take on it which he revealed to his PUP colleague who recorded him secretly. Here's how he described the moment when BTL ended up in the hands of the Ashcroft Alliance:

    Convicted Murderer Appeals His Case
    Belize Court of Appeal today reserved it decision for a date to be announced for the appeal of 21 year old Abimael Pott, a construction worker of Orange Walk Town who was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. On May 6, 2014, Pott was convicted of the murder of 19 year old Shamir Gonzalez, which occurred around 4:30 p.m. on May 4, 2011, in the compound of Luisiana Government School. Gonzalez was bludgeoned to death with a metal pipe during a fight. Justice Herbert Lord was the trial judge and the trial was heard in Orange Walk Supreme Court. Pott's attorney, Hubert Elrington appealed on the ground that the judge misdirected himself on the law which required the jury to find that the accused intended to kill the deceased. Elrington further submitted that the judge used a lesser standard that the accused intended to kill and not cause serious bodily harm. Elrington also submitted that the judge apparently found that it was a fact that the accused had used excessive force in defending himself which is a defence in law to murder, but he did not direct himself to the law governing excessive force in cases of self defence.

    Cacao’s Expanding Commercial Market
    Apart from its rich and unique taste, Cacao holds a cultural and ceremonial significance in Belize especially in the South. The Toledo Cacao Festival is held in celebration of cacoa and chocolate. Well, in order to ensure that the flavor and ritualistic importance is preserved and carried over to international markets, a Cacao Validation workshop was held on Friday in Punta Gorda. The objective of the workshop was to assess and endorse two draft reports concerning an Industry Strategy for Belizean Cacoa. Manger of Export Belize at BELTRAIDE discussed the impact this strategy will have on the success of the industry in Belize and abroad. Lejia Melanie Gideon, BELTRAIDE "Belgium is known for, along with the Nederland's, to be the two top countries that produces chocolate, yet they do not grow Cacao beans and we went there for two things; to assess if there is a niche market for Belizean Niche products, whether it's the Cacao bean, whether its various products, along the value chain and whether it's the final product chocolate and so we went to a fair and it was a resounding yes. The amount of boutique chocolatiers that we saw and the amount of demand for various products in the value chain from the bean, up to different things, their liqueur, their cocoa butter - everything in between. There is a huge demand."

    BTL Cobbs Arm: The 2015 La Ruta Maya Champs
    From Last week Friday, until yesterday, residents of the Cayo and Belize Districts lined the banks of the Macal and Belize Rivers to see their favorite paddlers take on the 2015 La Ruta Maya River Challenge. The big name teams such as BTL Cobb's Arm and NICH were trying to dethrone the Belize Bank Bulldogs who came back to defend their championship. Well after 170 miles, the first teams raced into Belize City just before midday, and 7News was there. Here's how that finish looked: 1st Place went to, BTL Cobbs Arms, who defeated the second place holder, NICH, and OCB Wave Maker, who placed third.

    Channel 5

    Deportee Slashed in Orange Walk
    The extended holiday weekend was marred by violence up north, in the city and in the west. We start in Orange Walk Town, where a recent deportee was murdered and [...]

    2 Shot in the City
    There was also violence in the City. Two persons, including a fourteen year old student of Wesley College, were injured in a shooting on Saturday night in Belize City. Just [...]

    …And 2 More in Roaring Creek
    Another shooting happened on Sunday evening. Two persons were shot when masked gunmen stormed a home in the Hattieville Area of Roaring Creek Village. The apparent target of the attack [...]

    John Briceño Speaks on P.U.P.
    Tonight, Orange Walk Central Area Representative John Briceño is in the spotlight following the leak of a private conversation recorded without his knowledge. According to a release issued by Briceño [...]

    …Says the Party is in Disarray Under Francis Fonseca
    Briceño then goes on to criticize P.U.P. leader Francis Fonseca for pushing him to one side after he stepped down, and passes judgment on Fonseca’s time at the helm of [...]

    Student Drowns in Mopan River
    A third-form student of Eden High School in Benque Viejo del Carmen drowned in the Mopan River on Sunday while swimming with friends. Family members believe that seventeen year old [...]

    CCJ Dismisses B.N.E. Appeal
    In news from the courts…The Caribbean Court of Justice, headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago, has dismissed an appeal filed by Belize Natural Energy Limited against a decision handed down by [...]

    Minor to Stand Trial for Murder
    It made headlines when a Belize City fourth form student who was aspiring to attend the University College of Belize, was found stabbed to death inside the Lord Ridge Cemetery [...]

    Court Reserves Decision in Murder Appeal
    The first session for this year for the Court of Appeal began today with the justices slated to hear four criminal matters for murder, attempted murder and two cases of [...]

    Belize CitCo Sworn In
    The new U.D.P. City Council was sworn in today fresh off a landslide victory at the polls last Wednesday. Mayor Darrell Bradley was returned as mayor by a huge margin [...]

    Popular Priest Passes Away
    Beloved and well-known Catholic Reverend Kurt Kassebeer, pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-cathedral Parish in Belmopan, passed away abruptly on Monday night.  News Five has learned that Father Kassebeer [...]

    Family Alleges Excessive Force in Police Shooting
    There is one more report on crime in tonight’s broadcast. It involves a shooting that took place on election night on Mayflower Street in the City in which one person [...]

    Sports: Cobb’s Arms Win La Ruta Maya
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The 2015 La Ruta Maya took center stage in the Jewel over the Baron Bliss weekend and here we [...]

    LOVE FM

    Orange Walk District; People’s United Party Victory Rally
    Following last Wednesday’s Municipal Election, over the weekend the new Mayor of Orange Walk Kevin Bernard was sworn in for a second term along with four of the former PUP councilors and two new UDP councilors. The swearing was held at the Central Park following a motorcade through the main avenue in town. Three events were held; the PUP’s victory rally, the mayor and councilors’ swearing in and the official inauguration of the refurbished Orange Walk Central Park. Here are some highlights of how it went on Saturday night in Orange Walk.

    JB Resurrects PUP’s Alleged Corruptions; UDP Responds
    For some weeks rumors were circulating about a recording of Orange Walk Central’s Area Representative and former PUP Leader, John Briceno. Late last week the recording, which is just over an hour long and has Briceno speaking with two members of the Orange Walk East Executive, was released in various corners. In the recording Briceno shares some candid comments about the state of the party and some members of the PUP. He also discusses areas that the leadership within the party made monumental mistakes, some of which he condemns. Today the United Democratic Party issued a release in which it states quote “Officials of the UDP have listened to the contents of this audio recording where Mr. Briceno is heard to confirm multiple mass corruption schemes during the Musa/Fonseca era including, as he put it, “the robbery of tens of millions of dollars” with such schemes as the St. James Credit Union loans, the Intelco bankruptcy, Social Security loans and guarantees, the sale and re-sale of BTL involving Ashcroft and Prosser, the US dollar/Yen Swap, the accommodation agreement, the giveaway of Belize Bank taxes, among others. Mr. Briceno, it must be noted, was not just a spectator in the Musa/Fonseca period. He was the Deputy Prime Minister of Belize and the Deputy Party Leader of the PUP. Mr. Briceno knows exactly what he is talking about.

    Child Stimulation Month; Flag Day Activities Planned By Pre-Schools
    Flag Day activities in connection with Child Stimulation month were held this morning in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

    Events Leading To Band Fest 2015
    One of the largest event of the year is fast approaching. Belize Band Fest will take place later this month and will see the participation of hundreds of young persons. Love News spoke with Manager and Executive Coordinator of Love FM and Love Television, Julia Carrillo, about the upcoming competition.

    Appeal Date Reserved For Construction Worker Convicted of Murder
    Belize Court of Appeal today reserved it decision for a date to be announced for the appeal of 21 year old Abimael Pott, a construction worker of Orange Walk Town who was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. On May 6, 2014, Pott was convicted of the murder of 19 year old Shamir Gonzalez, which occurred around 4:30 p.m. on May 4, 2011, in the compound of Louisiana Government School. Gonzalez was bludgeoned to death with a metal pipe during a fight. Justice Herbert Lord was the trial judge and the trial was heard in Orange Walk Supreme Court.

    Man Charged With Drug Trafficking and on Remand For Murder
    Twenty-nine year old Delford Slusher, aka “Peter”, charged with drug trafficking for eight point nine kilograms of cannabis, changed his plea went from not guilty to guilty when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. He was sentenced to three years and he was fined ten thousand dollars. He was given until June 30 to pay. If he defaults on payment he will serve an additional three years. Slusher was busted around 3 a.m. on June 1, 2011. The police intercepted a white pick-up truck that Slusher was driving when Slusher approached a check point on the Coastal Road. Slusher managed to escape by running into the bushes. But he left behind his driver’s license and a plastic bag containing the cannabis that was in the pan of the truck. Slusher was not apprehended by the police until about one month later. Slusher is currently on remand for a charge of murder.

    Home Protector Insurance Messenger Charged with Carnal Knowledge
    At a preliminary inquiry held today in the court of Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser, one of two counts of rape against 25 year old David Gonzalez was withdrawn and substituted with carnal knowledge. Gonzalez, a messenger at Protector Insurance Company, was committed for trial in the April session of the Supreme Court for one count of rape in relation with an incident that occurred in June 2014 and one count of carnal knowledge for an incident that occurred in January 2014. The complainant, according to reports, was under the age of 14. Gonzalez was represented by attorney Michael Peyrefitte.

    Patrick JonesPJ

    Torch Run held to kick off Maya Day activities in Toledo
    As part of festivities leading up to Maya Day, the Tumulkin Center of Learning held the annual Torch Run on Monday, March 9. It started at the Nim Li Punit archaeological site and teams of runners took th torch through several villages, including Indian Creek, Silver Creek, San […]

    Messenger faces downgraded sex charges
    Messenger at Home Protector Insurance Company, 25 year old David Gonzalez, will face a count each of rape and carnal knowledge in the Supreme Court in its next session. This follows the conclusion of a preliminary inquiry held before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. Gonzalez originally faced two counts […]

    Murder suspect pleads guilty to cannabis possession
    Already facing charges of murder, 29 year old Delford “Peter” Slusher will serve three years in prison on a separate charge of drug trafficking in relation to 8.9 kilograms of cannabis. He admitted the charge when appearing today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. Slusher was additionally fined $10,000 […]

    Court of Appeal opens
    The first session of the Court of Appeal of Belize for 2015 began in Belize City today with the appeal of 21 year old Abimael Pott, a construction worker of Orange Walk Town who is appealing his conviction and sentence of life imprisonment on a charge of murder. […]

    New Belize City Council sworn in
    Five days after their win was confirmed at the polls, the new Belize City Council was sworn in at their official home of City Hall on North Front Street. The team of eleven – eight men, three women – is a diverse and experienced group. Eight councilors are […]

    Blogs

    At the Palapa Bar, mind the gap
    Here on Ambergris Caye in Belize, “Mind the gap” gained special relevance over the past weekend when the landlord of the Palapa Bar & Grill removed 10 planks in the pier used to reach the iconic bar. The man, who recently bought the property — a diminutive and abrasive Texan, kind of a very bald Yosemite Sam — claims the longtime leaseholders, Scott and Jodi Harnish, were behind in their rent. Not so. Scott and Jodi produced paperwork showing their financials are up to date and the guy’s own lawyer confirmed it from Dallas. The boards were quickly replaced — in time for locals, ex-pats and many tourists to pack the bar on Sunday in solidarity with Scott and Jodi. Many claimed they were willing to jump the gap. But getting home after drinking all that solidarity? Could have been a problem. After the boards were replaced the Texan — who clearly wants the lease broken — reportedly told Scott “I’m not done f*****g with you.” When you live on an island, the phrase “What goes around, comes around” carries serious weight. The island consensus is that time is ticking away for the tiny Texan with the hair-trigger temper. Ripping up planks is a close kin to burning bridges — although his is more of a scorched earth policy.

    Palapa Bar’s New Ownership Issues a Press Release About Upcoming Changes
    This morning, I received an email, a press release from Niall Gillett – whose website identifies him as a Leadership, Crisis and Reputation consultant located in Texas and Belize.

    Poets Corner: Mixed Ballot
    By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. If Belize is a true melting pot Why are you afraid to cast a mixed ballot? Talking to the fanatics and bigots People are fed-up of the PUDP role If the Independents had one party I'd feel consoled But no one wants to give up their party or leadership role The main point of contention like PUDP is over issue of control Belize I implore unu to play unu role Remember Belize is blessed with wealth untold Think about your children's future since PetroCaribe money done role PUP di play with people’s mind Vote outside the PUDP confines UDP di dash out money and di illegals The independents have pitiable showing A split vote would show that the country is growing It would be good for transparency and accountability An indication that for open and honest governance we ready That we tired of crooks and hustlers serving themselves cronies and families

    In love with Cozumel Mexico and getting ready for Belize
    My love for the Caribbean began when my husband and I took our first cruise to Playa Del Carmen and Cozumel in 2005. After that first visit, I started making plans to return for more than just a cruise stop. We have been on a total of five cruises visiting Cozumel, Playa Del Carmen, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Key West, Bahamas, Belize, Roatan and Alaska. I am not that fond of cruises, but I do like to use them for transportation to visit places to see if I might like to return for a vacation. Since that first cruise in 2005, we have traveled to Cozumel nine different times for a week’s vacation. Cozumel has become our favorite vacation and future part time retirement destination for many reasons. We love the culture, the food, the beautiful water, the friendliness of the people and we feel safe on Cozumel. The convenient flights from Texarkana AR – Dallas TX – Cozumel make it easy for us to travel to Cozumel without overnight connections. We like to snorkel and Cozumel is perfect for this activity. The shores are rocky (also called iron shore) which makes for great shore snorkeling. The island also has several reefs that are accessible by boat for snorkeling.

    International Sourcesizz

    'Go Slow! This is Caye Caulker
    "Man, Go Slow, this is Caye Caulker!" This is what we were told as we stepped off the ferry-boat from Mexico and arrived at this little limestone atoll located off the northeastern coast of Belize. This small, idyllic island is popular with those wanting a relaxing holiday, as well as many expats looking for a more chilled out way of life. Located in the Caribbean Sea and at only 8 kilometers by 1.6 kilometers, there's really no need for a car, or any mode of transportation here! Although, some locals prefer to get around by bicycle or golf cart on the dirt roads. The island exudes happiness and tranquility. The people are friendly and the pace is very chilled out. "Go Slow" truly is the perfect motto for the island. The colorful buildings, Creole flavours, Rastafarian people and blue waters really make you feel like you're in the Caribbean, rather than Central America. The food here is amazing with BBQs popping up all over the streets in the evenings and fresh seafood being sold at various restaurants along the water. To pass the time, most travelers love to hang out at "the Split," which is a narrow waterway that divides the island into two parts. Some people say that a hurricane caused this divide; however, many locals claim that this was a man-made trench, created to make crossing the island by dugout canoe much easier, and faster!

    Harpooners 'sticking fish' on screen
    The makers of a new American reality show were in Nova Scotia this week filming some members of a vanishing breed - swordfish harpooners - hard at work. "I have been sticking fish for about 35 years, " said Capt. Larry Sears of Shag Harbour, a veteran swordfish chaser. A crew for the PBS series Saving The Ocean, including producer John Angier and the show's host, Carl Safina, spent five days at sea aboard Sears' boat filming the harpooners at work. "It's fabulous, " Safina, a marine biologist, said about his foray into the world of hosting television. "Mostly, I write books about how the ocean is changing." The new show is about different things that people around the world are doing to make oceans better, he said. "Swordfish harpooning is a way of catching swordfish that's clean, " said Safina, who holds a PhD in ecology. "It doesn't catch turtles and it doesn't catch sharks and it doesn't catch marine mammals. It's probably the cleanest fishery in the world." The first couple of episodes of the new series were shown in April, Angier said. The first 30–minute segment, called Shark Reef, was shot in Belize.

    The 30 Most Incredible Trips to Take in 2015
    Warning: unless you’re an annoyingly carefree bon vivant with a hefty trust fund, reading our annual Best of Travel awards may trigger a deep sense of dissatisfaction with the pathetic state of your mundane life. There are so many cool places to go, you’ll think as you scroll through our 30 epic selections. And not enough time! Why am I stuck at this desk! Do not panic—this is a totally natural reaction. And that’s the beauty of our annual awards. Outside has been covering the adventure-travel beat for nearly four decades, and our two veteran Best of Travel writers, Tim Neville and Stephanie Pearson, have spent months poring over the latest trip offerings and scouring the globe to uncover surprising new ideas. We know this beat, and now we’ve narrowed your choices of hotels, destinations, and outfitters from approximately 10.6 million to 30. The final choice is still on you, but the task is at least manageable. Or maybe you’ll get that trust fund.

    NOVEDADES QUINTANA ROO
    Caught with their pants down, literally. “Pissing in public considered an immoral act in Mexico” March 10 N QROO reports that the Tourism Police in Cancun detained and arrested several youth from Belize, United States and United Kingdom for the immoral act of pissing in public, excessive consumption of alcohol, damage to private property among other charges.

    Videos

  • Daniel Guerrero sworn in for his second term as San Pedro Town Mayor, 1min.

  • Davis Falls, Belize, 2min. Second highest waterfall in Belize. Just over 500ft high.

  • Airplane Landing at Caulker Island Belize, 1min. Short stop at Caye Caulker Island on way to Ambergris Island in Belize.

  • Tropic Air Belize's new office complex, under construction, 7sec. This is quite possibly the longest building on Ambergris Caye - right??

  • Welcome to Belize (short version), 3min. Documentary about how Andy Palacio became a hero in Belize.

  • Dolphins in Belize, 2min.

  • FAST golf cart ride, northern Ambergris Caye, Belize - road trip!, 2min. Touring the northern part of Ambergris Caye by way of quick little golf cart.

  • Belize Scuba, 17min. Barracuda guides the tour with sharks in the shadows.

  • Spelunking in Belize, 41min. Adventure caving to Wonderland in Belize.

  • Belize Fanboat Ride, 7min. While on his cruise, Nick's ship stopped off the coast of Belize, the small country south of Mexico's Yucatan. Here his family took a fanboat ride with Chukka airboats. They toured the wildlife refuge, a protected marshland area similar to Florida's Everglades. 450 horsepower! Unfortunately, no footage of manatees or crocodiles, they were good at hiding this day. Nick's sister was lucky enough to ride up in the spotter's seat next to the pilot!

  • LA Ruta Maya Belize, 3.5min.

  • GoPro Belize 2015, 4min.


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