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4/21/2015 to 4/30/2015
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April 30, 2015


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The San Pedro Sun

Tourism Statistics for January – March 2015
Tourism statistics for the first quarter of 2015 show that overnight arrivals remained steady while cruise arrivals grew significantly over the same period in 2014. There was a 1.1% increase in overnight arrivals in March 2015, representing an increase of 424 tourists over March 2014. This increase followed two months of decreases that were similarly small in magnitude, being 1.0% and 1.1% in January and February, respectively. The major factor influencing the results in the overnight sector was weather conditions. There were severe snow storms that took place frequently during this period, resulting in cancellation of flights that affected travel from Canada, as well as the Central and Eastern United States, including Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York City – some originating destinations for visitors to Belize. Cruise arrivals in 2015 have seen major increases in January and March, with 16.6% and 15.8% increase, respectively. February 2015 saw a slight decrease of 2.7% which resulted from the cancellation of two ships due to adverse weather conditions that made it impossible for tendering to take place.

SPTC to launch free Wi-Fi at Central Park
Residents of San Pedro Town will soon be able to enjoy free Wi-Fi service at the Central Park courtesy of The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) and the Government of Belize. That’s because Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) is fine-tuning final technical works to launch the free Wi-Fi internet service. The service is part of the government’s commitment to the residents of the island. Wi-Fi is the name of a wireless networking technology that uses radio waves to provide wireless high-speed internet and network connections. According to Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the dialogue to install the free internet service at strategic public areas on the island started prior to the March 2015 municipal elections. “The project is a joint effort between the SPTC working along with the Area Representative Manuel Heredia Jr. We approached the Prime Minister, who agreed to assist us. We are the first municipality in the country that the Prime Minister approved this free internet service to,” explained Mayor Guerrero.

SP Sports Committee hosts another successful Football Marathon
The San Pedro Sports Committee hosted a fun filled football marathon on Sunday, April 26th for young athletes under the age of 14. The marathon was divided into two categories, Under 10 and Under 14, and saw boys from across San Pedro forming teams named after the top football clubs of the world. Family and friends of those participating came out from 11AM to show their support and cheer on the young footballers. Four teams registered in the Under 10 category. After a series of matches, teams Manchester United and Bayern Munich advanced to the finals. After 30 minutes of play time, neither team had scored so the match went into a penalty shootout. In the end, Manchester United emerged victorious over Bayern Munich with a 5 to 3 point game. Trophies were awarded to both the first and second place finishers. Individual trophies were also given to Mikey Stefan for Best Midfielder and Andy Perez for Best Defense.

Dog trainers on cruise ship visit SAGA in San Pedro
30 dog trainers and dog owners from the United States and Canada who were on board a cruise ship made a port call to Belize on Thursday April 23rd. While in the country, the group visited San Pedro Town’s SAGA Humane Society as part of a course called Education at Sea, featuring dog trainer specialist Heather Beck. The course gave the trainers and dog owners the opportunity to perform hands on work with SAGA, who operates a shelter for local dogs commonly referred to as “potlickers. The cruise took the animal lovers to places such as Roatan in Honduras, Belize and Cozumel, Mexico over the course of seven days. According to Beck, while on the boat, the dog trainers participated in courses within three specific areas. “We did a course called ‘Clients Conversation’ to teach trainers how to build their business communication and how to talk to their clients. Another area we covered was ‘Head Hunters” which is a tool used for dog training, and the third area was ‘Rehab Reality.’ That is an area I am specialized in and we look at ways to deal with training difficult dogs.”

Ambergris Today

Salpicon The Other Belizean Ceviche!
A great reunion begins with good family members or friends. And a perfect reunion or social gathering must have a delicious “boca” appetizer. This is what this succulent pork smoked salpicon is all about. Ingredients 1 Large Tomato 1 Large Onion 1 Large Lime Cilantro 1 Strip of Pork Shoulder Steak Seasonings Salt Black Pepper Pepper Sauce or Habaneros Directions

Has the seaweed gone FOREVER!?
We were surprised to see a sargasso-free beach this morning. Maybe the cold front and change of wind/tide had something to do with it. Either way, it is a sight for sore eyes.

Miss Chiquitita Pageant Annouces Contestants For 2015
Organizers for the Miss Chiquitita Pageant are pleased to present to you the five beautiful and talented young girls they are: *Seydi Medrano - 8-year-old – Wild Mangos, *Iansy Gordon - 9-year-old – Foreva Fancy, *Adriana Briceño - 8-year-old – Ashley's, *Killianie Sosa - 9-year-old – Gaby's Construction, *Alieah Moreira- 9-year-old – Lynn's Boutique. These lovely girls will take center stage on Saturday, May 30, 2015 at the Old Football Field and will be judged in several categories which include swimsuit, talent and modeling and formal wear. The girls will also be delighting the crowd with dance presentations. Come and witness as one lucky girl is crowned Miss Chiquitita 2015. Prizes for Miss Amity and Miss Photogenic will be awarded as well as all contestants will receive great consolation prizes.

Tila Maria Comes to San Pedro for Night of Comedy and Entertainment
Tila Maria Sesto is a popular comedian from Merida. She appeals to a wide audience for her raw portrayal of the struggles that a Yucateca woman faces in a modern society where being true to the culture is perceived as odd behavior. The show is an adult show, due to explicit language, but it is important to note that this type of language is really part of the culture. This event is organized by Proud Mestizo Promotions in collaboration with the San Pedro House of Culture. Sponsors include Tropic Air Belize, San Pedro Sun and Ambergris Today.

Belize Tourism Statistics Show Steady Growth in First Quarter of 2015
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has released tourism statistics for the first quarter of 2015, which show that overnight arrivals remained steady, while cruise arrivals grew significantly over the same period in 2014. There was a 1.1% increase in overnight arrivals in March 2015, representing an increase of 424 tourists over March 2014. This increase followed two months of decreases that were similarly small in magnitude, being 1.0% and 1.1% in January and February, respectively. The major factor influencing the results in the overnight sector was weather conditions. There were severe snow storms that took place frequently during this period, resulting in cancellation of flights that affected travel from Canada, as well as the Central and Eastern United States, including Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York City – some originating destinations for visitors to Belize.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Foreign Correspondent Banking Relationships
Several large American and European banks have recently decided to cut ties with select institutions in small developing countries, a decision that appears to be correlated with the imposition of heavy regulatory fines for infractions associated with the recent global financial crisis and violations of geo-political embargoes. The new strategy of these institutions involves a reduction in the scope of global operations to minimize the probability of incurring further sanctions and fines, a process known as “de-risking”. This is the context within which Belize Bank Limited and Belize Bank International Limited are losing foreign correspondent banking relationships. The public is informed that Belize’s other domestic banks (ScotiaBank Belize Ltd., Atlantic Bank Ltd., First Caribbean International Bank Ltd. and Heritage Bank Ltd.), all of which are authorized by the Central Bank of Belize to deal in foreign exchange, have not been affected. The Central Bank has been working closely with the Bankers Association to manage the situation and to ensure that international banking services to the general public are not unduly hindered. The public is therefore advised that the aforementioned banks will continue to conduct foreign exchange transactions (including wire transfers, bank drafts, letters of credit and bank guarantees) and that Belize Bank Ltd. will be making its reserves of foreign exchange available to the Central Bank to ensure that the needs of its customers and that of the rest of the domestic system will be served. Belize Bank Ltd. has also provided an assurance that all its other banking services (including credit card issuance and merchant acquiring services) will be continuing as usual while it continues to seek ties with other foreign correspondent institutions.

Commentary: The court ruling on the Maya land case in Belize will also impact Garifuna
By Wellington C. Ramos. Long before the Europeans came to the Caribbean, Americas and other parts of the world, people and nations were living in peace in their respective territories on this planet earth. History tells us that it was not only the Europeans that were roaming this planet committing atrocities against other people and nations in the beginning but several other nations as well. However, when we examine the nature of the atrocities that were committed against people and nations before the new world order was established in 1945, they are guilty of the most genocide and violations of human rights. Many of these occurred during the colonization of the world, when they went to all the continents and established their brutal rule by force with no regard to the indigenous people and nations. The establishment of the United Nations, World Court and other international institutions, gives people and nations the opportunity to seek redress and reparations for all the atrocities committed against their people and nation. Some of these indigenous people and nations have sought redress in national and international courts but have been denied justice.

Letter: The biggest hoax in Garifuna history!
By Joseph Guerrero. We are all familiar with the story, off the coast or Yurumein (St Vincent and the Grenadines) two slave ships crashed in the years 1635 and 1675 or thereabouts. According to no less than Henry Louis Gates Jr, who is the Alphonse Fletcher University professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University according to Wikipedia, this story has its origin in a report made by William Young in 1795. Gates does not mention the shipwreck of 1635; he mentions only the supposed shipwreck of 1675. Many Garifuna (adjective) intellectuals have picked up on this story and have spread this story deep into the Garifuna population. Many, this writer included, for a long time believed this story, depending on the veracity of the research of our intellectuals. Prior to learning of this historical “report”, all I knew of Garifuna origins, and I suspect many other Garinagu (plural of Garifuna singular), is that we were from Yurumein, now called St Vincent and the Grenadines. We were told the British brought us to Central America because we fought against them. Never had we been told we arrived to Yurumein (St Vincent and the Grenadines) by way of slave ships that crashed on the reefs near Yurumein. The rest of the story goes the Africans intermixed with the local inhabitants and formed a hybrid culture today called Garifuna.

Walk for a Green Belize 2015 Statistics
The Department of the Environment has released the statistics from this year's Walk for a Green Belize campaign The highway cleanup netted some 2,363 bags amounting to over 8 tons. Wow, time to stop littering! Great job, everyone! The DoE got some pictures from the event. "Volunteers collected 2,363 bages of garbage or 16,541 pounds of garbage off the George Price, Phillip Goldson and Hummingbird Highways... Belize, next year let's make it be less!"

Prime Minister’s Statement on PetroCaribe
"Now I want to say something about PetroCaribe in view of the continuing attack of those that are opposed and would wish legally and politically to stop the program. The decibel level of the anti-PetroCaribe campaign reached some quite extraordinary heights last week, with some of those against using some of the most unreasoning, incendiary language imaginable. I am not going to respond in kind. Indeed, I make a clear distinction between those critics that are pure haters, so to speak, and those that are genuinely concerned and unsettled. Whether through misunderstanding or out of, for them, legitimate disagreements with some aspects of PetroCaribe, that latter group must be engaged and answered. So today I speak to those well-intentioned Belizeans that might be experiencing some PetroCaribe disquiet, and not to the shrill and strident few. I want to remind that from the outset there was never anything remotely secret or opaque about the #UDP restart of PetroCaribe. We always saw the program as a huge potential aid in the development of Belize, but one that had gone dormant under the misuse of the PUP (who only ever operated the program for the befit of their cooperants down South). So after we signed the new Agreements with Venezuela and #APBEL, we proudly trumpeted our achievement and made much of the tremendous windfall we expected to get and spend on the Belizean people.

YAM youth leaders visit the Independence Public Clinic
As part of the Belize Youth Leadership Initiative project, IVLP Alumni Kenny White, recently lead the YAM youth leaders and visited the Independence Public Clinic. The U.S. Embassy's Deputy Chief of Mission, Bruce Matthews, and other U.S. Embassy staff joined Executive Director of the Belize Family Life Association and the youth leaders in this outreach program. The purpose of the visit was to conduct six video interviews with teen moms for the compilation of teen pregnancy video diaries entitled "This is my story." They also took the opportunity to chat two nurses and a gynecologist to gain perspective on teen pregnancy in the Independence community. The video diary will be posted on social media to promote awareness on teen pregnancy by inviting teen parents who watch the video to leave a comment or tell them "which one is their story.

Parents' Bill of Rights and Responsibilities Bill
The Ministry of Education in Belize is currently consulting with stakeholders on, amongst other changes in education legislation, a new Parents' Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. "ALL PARENTS HAVE THE FOLLOWING RIGHTS:...... ....Parents have the right to:......d) have their child receive courtesy and respect from (sic) regardless of actual or perceived race, colour, religion, age, creed, ethnicity, national origin, alienage, citizenship status, special needs or weight:...... 3 b) be treated with courtesy and respect by all school personnel, and to be accorded all rights without regard to race, colour, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, ethnicity, alienage/citizenship status or disability"

Cayo District Spelling Bee
Congratulations, Benita Caal, for taking 1st place at the Cayo District Spelling Bee. Have fun in Corozal,and study hard. "Benita Caal of Kuxlin Ha was 1st and will represent the Cayo District at the National Contest to be held in Corozal in June"

April 19 - April 25 2015 Belize Fishing Report
Despite the wind the permit fishing was on fire! More permit this week than I have seen in a long time. Saltwater anglers have a love - hate relationship with wind. They hate casting in it, but they love the way it camouflages their presence. With lots of wave action and wave noise it is easier to get closer to a permit than the calm day we all hope for. An ideal wind here is 8-10 mph out of the east, it is a perfect compromise of having enough wind to hide your approach and not so much wind that you can't cast or the guide can't handle the boat

Status of Petrocaribe Financing

Channel 7

Despite Public Criticism: PM Not Dissuaded On Petrocaribe Loan Act
The Petrocaribe Loan Act – it’s already law – but the public debate about it continues – and opponents in the opposition and the say they are gaining steam. Well, today Prime Minister Dean Barrow held a press conference to try and cool them off, and create his own momentum for the Petrocaribe funded programme of government spending. He did this at the Biltmore before the largest press conference crowd we’ve seen in years: about 110 people crowded into a conference room for an exceptionally long two hours 16 minute press conference. But while PM Barrow made the case for Petrocaribe inside, outside the opposition struck with a quickly organised protest. Tonight you’ll hear both sides of the story. But we start inside the press conference where the PM took a break from his usual swagger and appeared almost contrite when he explained why his administration never took the Petrocaribe borrowing to the House in the first place:… Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "Hindsight is always twenty twenty, the move that completes now is that we never went to parliament right at the time we signed the restart. If a house wife is given credit by the shopkeeper for the groceries she receives.

Petrocaribe Funds Will Be Used To Buy Portions of Superbond Back
And to make what the UDP insists is a wholesome spending programme seem downright virtuous, the Barrow Administration is now going to use Petrocaribe funds for more than just lavish public spending on infrastructure: the PM wants to buy back Belize’s debt. Here’s how he explained it:… Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "Petrocaribe last long enough, we fully intend to use it to buy back as much of the super bond as we can. Thus saving Belizeans very many millions in debt servicing. Let me go further, I commit today, that every penny collected from petrocaribe as of April 1st 2015, the start of this financial year through to March 31st 2016 will be left in the central bank. And there after, starting April 1st 2017 - and we fully expect the UDP to be here at that time; starting April 1st 2017, not less than half of every dollar to be collected from petrocaibe will be marked for the super bond buy back.”

PUP Protests Petrocaribe Press Conference
And while buying back Belize’s expensive commercial debt, with concessionary debt is a proposition that is hard to argue with, he’s not about to win over the opposition. They disagree fundamentally with the way the borrowing bypasses parliament – and today, while Barrow was praising Petrocaribe inside, outside, the PUP was pouring scorn on it with a hastily organised protest. They went to work in front of the Biltmore – and 7News was there: Daniel Ortiz Reporting…. Police officers restricted traffic on the road in front of the Biltmore Plaza Hotel by setting up a checkpoint and a barrier. The Biltmore compound was also secured by officers who restricted access to the hotel. They were responding to intelligence which said that the PUP intended to stage a protest outside the Prime Minister’s press conference. UDP supporters and contract officers were granted entrance without much difficulty while everyone else, well… They had to prove that they had a legitimate purpose to enter the compound, or else, they would be barred. Police were determined to keep order and didn’t want agitators or persons who would disrupt the press conference to go in.

Land Minister Discusses Caye Caulker Beachfront Dispute
And while Petro-talk dominated today’s very long and very news-heavy press conference, we did get to ask the Minister of Natural Resources about those parcels of land on Northern Caye Caulker. As we reported last week, two British retirees and the former chairman of Caye Caulker are among a group of at least 14 landowners who had beachfront property – only to find that new lots had been created on the beach and seabed in front of their properties. Those 14 landowners had retained an attorney – but after two years with no progress – they called in the media. Well, seems the matter was resolved faster than you can say “election di cohn!” Today at the prime minister’s press conference Lands Minister Gaspar Vega said that as many as 15 leases for beach land and seabed had been cancelled:… Hon. Gaspar Vega - Minister of Lands "There's 100 of people being affected by this act. This is something that started from 2004. So far, the people on the television complaining about they being disenfranchised of their beach front. That was not so, just that they did not come visit us, they either went to the media before they came to us. Because that was a case that was brought to us I think in 2011 and immediately the permission to survey was cancelled. They were some leases issued. I think they brought 7 cases to us and they were all cancelled - the leases.

Police Minister's Take On Bze City Murder Spike
And we return to the story I told you about before the break. That is the spate of murders in the Belize District between Saturday night andMonday morning. Today, the Minister of National Security, John Saldivar said that to curb the spree, it will take increased patrols and more importantly “social intervention.” Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of Police "Well, we know the spikes have become a routine every now and then we get an increase in the amount of murders and each time we do - we try to re-strategise. We look at the particular areas that are being effected, the particular gangs that are involved. We try to talk to them, council them but we also try to reconfigure our patrols and our strategies in those areas and that's best as we can do now. We must recognise thought that a lot of these murders are really confined to certain elements within the city and the police department itself I believe cannot be expected to know each and every time that these people are going to commit a murder. We don't have a police on every street corner. We just got to keep working with it in terms of our patrols. I believe that more social interventions and speaking with these people to see how they can resolve their conflicts differently."

Mr. Rigo's Suspected Killer In Detention?
Last night, we told you about the 42 year-old San Pedro taxi driver Jose Beltran who was found dead in his van with a gunshot in the head. Well tonight, more details are known since police have released the official details today. As we reported, police received information of an abandoned taxi van which was in a bushy section of the San Juan Area of San Pedro. The engine was still running and police found the well-known and well-liked taximan’s body inside. He had been shot into the head, his shirt was off, he was gagged and blindfolded, and his hands and feet were taped together.Beltran, knowna s Mr. Rigo – who was a law-abiding citizen – was most likely killed so that his assailants could use his vehicle in the commission of a crime. What investigators have been able to piece together is that shortly before his body was discovered, residents saw his van speeding to that area, and it appears that the person who was behind the wheel crashed it and left it there. Two men were seen exiting the van, and eyewitnesses observed when they jumped into a waiting vessel with other men inside.

San Pedro Police Caught Guns and Bulletproof Vest
San Pedro police also made a seizure of 2 handguns and a cache of ammunition yesterday. Acting on Special Branch intelligence, a team of police officers visited a section of the San Mateo area at around 5:30. They conducted a sweep and ended up finding a red and black string bag. Inside it, the officers found a 9mm pistol with an extended magazine, and another .45 pistol with a magazine of its own. Another black plastic bag was found with 40 live rounds of 9mm ammunition, and 11 live rounds of .45 ammunition. The officers also found a black bullet proof vest.

Police Minister Discusses Controversial Seaman, Keyren Tzib
Earlier this month we reported on the shocking shooting incident at the Coast Guard headquarters. Coast Guard Keyren Tzib shot her colleague Kurt Hyde to the back and the bullet exited his cheek. Apparently she has a history of violent encounters with colleagues and as a result of this, coast guard officials sent in a disciplinary file to the Security Commission years ago but nothing was done about it and she remained in the rank of SEAMAN at the coast guard. Now could the shooting have been avoided if the commission had acted promptly? We asked Minister of National Security, John Saldivar today and here is what he had to say. Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of Police "I think first of all, we've got to acknowledge that the coast guard, the management of the coast guard did all that it could within it's power to deal with the situation prior to this. They took the matter to the commission but the commission made the decision that they made. We're currently reviewing what was done in terms of the placement of Ms. Tzib to keep her out of these sort of situation.

PM's Resolution for US Bank De-risking
At the top of the newscast, we told you about today’s press conference where much of the talk was about Petrocaribe. But the event last almost two and a half hours, and the Prime Minister spent the first 70 minutes going through a number of issues of public interest. Foremost among them is the Belize Bank – and the recent loss of its correspondent banking relationship with the Bank of America. That was the subject of a meeting the Prime Minister held with Bank officials in Miami this weekend – and today he told the media that the message coming out of those meetings is that the rest of the banking sector is stable:… Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "A part from the Belize Bank, there is none of those local banks which is in any danger of having Bank of America withdraw in corresponding banking relationship them. That was absolutely confirmed to me by all the officials with whom I met. There is not any sort of looming storm cloud in the horizon. I want to make clear, that Bank of America insists that it is nothing that the Belize Bank has done wrong.

How To Resolve FSTV/Feinstein Dispute Out Of Court?
The other issued discussed in Miami was the future of cruise tourism in the Belize District. The Fort Street Tourism Village has a contractually guaranteed exclusive until for the next decade or more, while Mike Feinstein has parliamentary approval for his Stake Bank project. In the middle of all this is Carnival Cruise line which brings in the most cruise ships to Belize annually. So whose side are they on? They told the Prime Minister they are good with Stake Bank:.. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "Carnival then, in essence is saying - by all means get the new cruise port built, we will encourage that, we're not saying to you if you can't, we stop coming. And secondly they are saying, in terms of who builds it, that's for the government and Mr. Feinstein and FSTV to work out. I have said to the FSTV principals just last week before I went to Miami - that there thought, that they could build the cruise port at stake bank is not going to fly. Mr. Feinstein has made plain that he's not going to sell his island. He doesn't mind their partnering with him but in a minority role. And in any case as they have made clear to me, even if they had the island and they could raise the financing to construct the facilities - they would require a government guarantee of some 80 ode million US dollars.

Gov't Does Not Accept Communal Rights Concept; Accepts Mayan Human Rights
And another issue of urgent public interest is Mayan Communal Land Rights. Last week, when the Caribbean Court of Justice met in Belize, Government agreed to respect those rights. The Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes’ Association took this as a victory – but today the Prime Minister qualified the government’s position:… Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "That consent order does not find or establish that the Maya have indigenous title. As I understand it, indigenous title is a term that carries a particular meaning in international law and practice. In effect, if the Maya had indigenous title, that would mean they would be entitled to communal land ownership. The consent order does not establish that. What we considered was that, there claim for property rights, there entitlement - we can see there is an entitlement to property rights.

PM Resisting Compensation To Mayans
But, the issue of compensation is also – by government’s argument – impermissible. Government has argued before the court that they don’t wish to pay such compensation and today the Prime Minister explained why:… Adele Ramos – Amandala Newspaer “Why is it that the Government resisted the Maya’s claim for damages? I understand that they aren’t asking for that much. It’s about 1.5 million. Can You explain?” Hon. Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize “Because, Adele, it is not, to my mind, a claim rooted in law, and I believe, what I am told. The Judges of the CCJ who might have been inclined to be sympathetic sort of said to our attorney, ‘Well, maybe they haven’t made out a legal case for it, but in the spirit of reconciliation.’ Well, if I started doing that, when will I give to the Garifuna Council damages? When will I give the Kriol organisation damages? We are all historically oppressed people, you know.”

Petrocaribe Mother's Day Cheer For All Area Reps'
But oppression is not the word that comes to mind when the Prime Minister starts to boast about the largesse of the Petrocaribe funds. That will be on full display when Mother’s day rolls around in a few weeks and UDP area representatives will be sharing out fifty thousand dollars worth of cheer among their favoured female constituents. The PUP representatives – who have shared in cheer before – have taken the position that they will no longer do so on principle. But the PM today said at least one of them was looking to abandon that hardline:.. Hon. Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize May I tell you that I’ve been approached by a PUP representative asking for a share of the Mother’s Day Christmas Cheer?” Crowd “Which one?” Hon. Dean Barrow “I’m not calling any names. I’m not calling the man’s name. I told him, I can give you, but I have to make it public. Let me offer to all of them $25,000 each, as part of – Man, even though they are quarrelling with us, everybody must enjoy Petrocaribe, and their constituents, they have mothers too. They can get $25,000 for each representative, but they need to work that out with Francis and Julius.”

Petrocaribe Funds Will Prop Up Citrus Industry
And there’s also some largesse to go around in the citrus industry where Petrocaribe funds are making three million dollars – and possibly more available to tide farmers over until their final payment comes in. The Prime Minister explained:.. Hon. Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize “Government, out of Petrocaribe Funds – and the farmers at CPBL were told this – will provide a 2 million dollar working capital facility so that the farmers can get paid now what they are due. They actually need 4 million. We have gone – I have gone to Heritage Bank, and Heritage Bank says it will put up to the other 2. I believe Steve is a man – he has to go to his Board. But, if that doesn’t happen, we will give them the entire 4 million dollars. When I say give, they are not asking. It’s – CPBL will pay us back.”

Petrocaribe Funds Indirectly Pays For Teachers/Public Officer Increment
And the PM also made it clear that those same Petrocaribe loan funds – which the Trade Union Congress has said is being legitimized by dubious legislation – is also indirectly making it possible for teachers and public officers to get a 4% increment this year. He explained that while they are not being paid with Petrocaribe, Petrocaribe is creating the fiscal room for them to get their raise:… Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "The plain truth is that without the flexibility for government to tap into petrocaribe for capital finances and other non recurring investments, we would have not been able to commit the portion of incremental revenue for salary adjustments that we have committed. Joe Waight, the financial secretary will tell you, that we're about to spend another 20-25 million dollars on further salary increases for the teachers and public officers this year. When do we do it Joe? July retrospective to April 1st. Petrocaribe directly enables us to be able to do that sort of thing.”

Petrocaribe Will Roll In Rural Areas
And Government as also recently signed off on contracts which will extend Petrocaribe spending on infrastructure form strictly urban to rural areas. The Prime Minister outlined the areas that will be getting attention:… Hon. Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize “The rollout to the rural areas begins now. Mr. Gentle, the CEO of Works, is here to tell you about the contracts that we have just gotten through signing. There are these contracts signed for Petrocaribe projects in Belize Rural Central, Toledo East, Stann Creek West, Corozal Southwest, Cayo Northeast, Cayo North, Orange Walk East, and Orange Walk North. So Petrocaribe is coming to Trial Farm, Ladyville, San Narcisco, Bella Vista, Succotz, Independence, Esperanza, Bullet Tree, and Carmelita, and it I will not stop until every village constituency – not every village – every village constituency in the entire country would have received its fair share of Petrocaribe.” A fair share for villages, and even a Petrocaribe prayer for the churches. That’s one more petro powered initiative the PM discussed today:… Hon. Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize “I’m happy to see Pastor Howell Longsworth in the audience because I have a letter from Bishop Phillip Wright on Anglican Diocese of Belize Stationary, but writing on behalf of both the Belize Council of Churches and the Evangelical Association, as a follow up to our conversation - the conversation between him and myself – regarding the support of your administration for the construction of an Ecumenical Chapel on the grounds of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. That’s a consummation devoutly to be wished. The Government will finance the entirety of the construction out of Petrocaribe Funds. And the Churches know the source of the funding, and are comfortable.”

Why Police Haven't Taken Action For DJ Vintage's Alleged Assault
Last night we told you about Edison Usher, better known as DJ Vintage. HE says that a man pointed a gun at him at the Romy Badillo fundraising event that took place earlier this month. He has made an official police report but says the police aren’t doing anything about it. Today we asked Commissioner Whylie for his comment. Allen Whylie - Commissioner of Police "I can tell you that I first became aware of that situation I believe on Friday, when I had a call from the common law wife of the DJ. I spoke to the OCED, she gave me certain information in terms of the course of action that was being taken. My instructions to her was to get in the gentleman that made the complaint and to brief him in terms of where they are in the investigation and why is it that they have not reached the decision to charge Mr. Marin. And that is what I will respond to - but I'll definitely have OCED explain to you why is it - because I don't think the complainant is being forthright as he should be."

A Tornedo-Like Storm In Toledo?
In 2011, we told you about a storm which behaved like a tornado and tore up homes in Crooked Tree Village. Then another similar storm tore up homes in Maskall Village. In both instances, the National Met Service told us that these storms, though the behaved like tornadoes, are not that type of weather system, which are native to the US Midwest. Well yesterday, another very similar tornado-like swept through southern Belize and caused damages. We haven’t been able to confirm the number of communities affected, but our information says that a number of families had their thatch roofs blown off in San Antonio Toledo. Then, in PG Town, itself, a family’s house room was torn off last night. Then, this tree, which is over a hundred years old, was uprooted. We’ve been trying to reach NEMO personnel in Toledo, but we were unsuccessful. We did reach NEMO minister Godwin Hulse, who is currently abroad, and he told us that his ministry is aware of the situation.

Police Training Academy Get New Facilities
In 2010, the then police Minister Doug Singh famously commented on the senior police officers with some senior pot bellies. Well, now the police department is doing something about getting its officers in shape. They’ve put together a gym and a track – and I found out more when I visited today:… Everything was funded through contributions from the business community, members of the Police Department and canteen funds at a total cost of Fifty-Two Thousand Dollars.

Poultry Industry's Continued Crisis
A week ago, we told you about the difficult situation facing poultry farmers of Spanish Lookout who had to kill off 60,000 of their birds which were infected with avian influenza. They agreed to basically dump 3 million dollars’ worth of investment out of an abundance of caution because they agreed that the general public shouldn’t be exposed to a potential public health risk. Well, that action has put a financial hurting on those farmers, and while we were in Spanish Lookout, we approached several farmers to speak with us about the difficulties of that decision to comply. They all directed us to the designated spokesperson, Orlando Habet, who up until a few days ago, was out of the country. Well, we finally got an opportunity to speak with Habet today at the PUP’s Petrocaribe protest, and he described to us the farmers’ perspective of this crisis they are trying to recover from:

No Helicopter Any Time Soon?
But one thing Petrocaribe isn’t paying for is the new helicopter that government announced 6 months ago. It still hasn’t appeared – and today we asked the Prime Minister about it – which led to a cold exchange:…

Channel 5

Derisking is Minor Setback to Belize’s Banking Sector
The Prime Minister took on a number of issues this morning at a press conference that started at ten and continued until about twelve-twenty. P.M. Dean Barrow spoke on a [...]

Belize Bank Fully Supported by G.O.B. and Central Bank Through Derisking Hiccup
Now for policy matters, the Bank of America has withdrawn as corresponding bank to the Belize Bank. The PM explained that there has been nothing awry and that the government [...]

Executive Chairman Says It’s Business As Usual for Belize Bank
In past three or four years, the large U.S. Banks and some European Banks have been facing some of the largest fines in the history of banking. Those fines, according [...]

P.M. Addresses Legalities of Petrocaribe Loan Act
At least half an hour of the two-hour long press conference this morning was dedicated to Petrocaribe, the controversial project which spawned the controversial Loans Act and Bill. The Opposition [...]

“Petrocaribe is Here to Stay” – P.M. Barrow
The matter of the illegality is still before the courts, but where the outcry from the Opposition, VIP, church, business sector and unions is concerned, the Prime Minister isn’t at [...]

Petrocaribe Rolls Out Countrywide…
Amidst all that was said about Petrocaribe this morning, there were only a couple things we hadn’t heard before. One is that those glorious monies will be rolling down south [...]

Citrus Farmers Receive Boost With… You Guessed It, Petrocaribe Funds
As we mentioned earlier, Petrocaribe monies will be used to bail out C.P.B.L.  It’s not the first time the company is being assisted, so to speak, by government. In fact [...]

…What Else Will It Be Spent On?
As you’ve noticed, where the government is concerned, Petrocaribe is the biggest thing, bar none. Politically, it’s been a game-changer for the United Democratic Party, especially since with the passing [...]

Does Petrocaribe Cover Health and Education Too?
As you can see, it’s a long list of projects which span the country, and it’s mainly infrastructure – from sporting complexes to the City Centre to million dollar roundabouts [...]

P.U.P. Protests Outside P.M.’s Press Conference
As early as six-thirty this morning, Police were on high alert at the Biltmore Plaza, putting up barricade and roping off a section of the parking lot. All that activity [...]

Details of P.M.’s Carnival Meeting Disclosed
The prime minister’s recent trip to Miami where he met with senior executives from the Bank of America, also included a meeting with Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Lines.  [...]

Carnival’s Two Cents on Stake Bank Development
During the meeting with the Carnival executive, several benefits, including distance and safety, were also outlined from use of the proposed Stake Bank project.  The issue of a causeway connecting [...]

What’s the P.M.’s Take on CCJ’s Maya Land Rights Ruling?
The Caribbean Court of Justice issued a milestone decision on the issue of Maya land rights a week ago.  Since then the ruling, as well as the consent order, has [...]

Upcoming Mother’s Day Cheer Extended to P.U.P. Area Reps
Today, the Prime Minister announced that all U.D.P. Area Representatives will be receiving fifty-thousand dollars to give out for the now annual Petrocaribe-funded Mother’s Day Cheer program. The P.U.P. has [...]

ComPol Whylie on Spike in Crime in Belize City
Our records show that in the first four months of the year, there have been forty-three murders; that is twelve more than in the same period in 2014. Our stats [...]

Carlos Cassanova Jr. Charged With Corozal Murder
Mark Edward Massam was hacked to death on December ninth, 2014 on College Road in Corozal Town allegedly by Carlos Cassanova Junior who was in turn shot by police.  He [...]

Police Training Academy Inaugurates Gym
A ribbon cutting ceremony for a newly constructed running track and gym at the National Police Training Academy was held today at its compound in the Capital. The facilities will [...]

Police Officers Transferred
Several transfers are in the pipeline for senior officers in the Police Department, says Commissioner Allen Whylie. The transfers are part of an annual process and effective July of this [...]

U.S. Embassy Recognizes Local Youth Groups
The U.S. Embassy recognized four youth groups for doing outstanding work in their communities. Today, the youth presented on the projects which included works to rehabilitate a center to provide [...]

LOVE TV

PM Returns From Business Trip in the US
As we mentioned earlier, the Prime Minister returned home today after travelling to the United States on Saturday to attend meetings with the Carnival cruise lines and members of the financial sector who are engaged in business with our local banks. We were at the airport when PM Barrow arrived and while he would not ...

Fonseca Sends Strong Letter to PM …. PM Says No Turning Back with PetroCaribe
The PetroCaribe Bill has stirred reaction from various corners of the country but more dominantly by the Opposition Party, particularly, Cayo South Area Representative, Julius Espat. Espat is supported by his party, the PUP and today, the Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca told the media that he would be sending a letter to the ...

A Look At Internal Affairs of the Belize Police
The Professional Standards Branch is an arm of the Belize Police Department that is tasked with weeding out the corrupt officers and bringing disciplinary actions against police officers when reports of abuse, extortion, or any other offenses are made against an officer. Assistant Commissioner of Police, Noel Leal is the officer heading that unit. Love ...

Wayne Rock Killed on Reggae Street
A shooting incident after seven o’clock last night claimed the life of 29-year-old Wayne Rock of a Jane Usher Boulevard address in Belize City. Rock was reportedly sitting in a van on Reggae Street when he was approached by a gunman who shot him multiple times. Superintendent Hilberto Romero spoke on this recent homicide. One ...

Engineer Killed While Socializing in Bar
Reports of a stabbing incident came to Love News just before ten o’clock on Saturday night where an engineer was stabbed to death, allegedly and ironically by a person who was hired at the location to maintain law and order. Superintendent Hilberto Romero briefed the media on the incident. Love News understands that Cisneros and ...

Man Shot Dead on His Way To Work
Violence claimed four lives over the last three days, all four murders recorded in the Belize District. The last murder was reported in Mahogany Heights this morning. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the story.

April Murders 12 and 13: Mark Medina and Tyrone Neal
The weekend murders in the Belize District have taken the body count for the month of April to about fourteen. Renee Trujillo followed the two city murders that occurred this past Sunday

PlusTV

Latest murder in Belize City claims life of 29 year old
The murder carnage in Belize City continues as gunshots were heard again in the Southside. This time it took place on Reggae Street around 7:20 Monday night and the target was a resident of Jane Usher Boulevard...

Shot taxi driver succumbs to injuries
He was shot on Sunday morning after dropping off a fare on Iguana Street. On Monday night, 55 year old taxi operator Egbert Hemmans of Central American Boulevard succumbed to his injuries in hospital...

PUP ready for street action over Petrocaribe
Elements of the opposition to the Petrocaribe Loan Act 2015 are prepared to take their frustration to the streets, a favorite tactic of dissent...

P.M. says hell no to Petrocaribe repeal
He is expected to address it further at Wednesday’s press conference but on the heels of the announcement by the Leader of the Opposition this morning Prime Minister Dean Barrow said not only no, but hell no to the prospect of any repeal of the Petrocaribe Loan Act, 2015. He explains why. Hon...

PUP file claim on 13th Senator
The United Democratic Party (UDP) made it a major plank of their campaign in 2008: the legislation to implement a thirteenth seat in the Senate for the non-governmental organization (NGO) community...

Guatemalan charged for unlawful Xate cultivation
In March 19th earlier this year, 18 young men joined the ranks of the Friends for conservation’s park rangers...

Gaspar Vega begs out of testimony in libel case
He was quick to demand an apology when it aired and even quicker to sue when he did not get one. But Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, who claims to have been libeled by a broadcast bought and paid for by the family of the late Ramon Cervantes, Sr., of Orange Walk Town last Novemberappears not a...

Partnering to address climate change issues
Today’s temperature in Belmopan was forecasted at 102 degrees Fahrenheit at its highest but weahter.com says it really will feel like 111 degrees in the capital...

Performance by Square Peg Players
The square peg players, a renowned performing group in Belmopan, formed in 1973, fell dormant after the group went through several leadership changes...

Blue House security guard charged with murder
Police have laid murder charges against one of the two security guards who stabbed 41 year old Wilmer Cisneros of Western Paradise to death on Saturday night at the Blue House Bar in Ladyville. He is Diarron Hamilton, also known as Percy...

Home owner chops man attempting break in
Andre Alvarez, a construction worker of Police Street, is accused of attempting to break into the Linda Vista residence of Steven Swasey, only to be met by the homeowner with a machete in hand...

Cold Front in April?
There will be a dramatic change in weather conditions this week. According to Accuweather.com while much of april is generally associated with dry weather conditions, this year temperatures soared well above normal...

The Guardian

Health Hookup
It is Hot Outside I will make this week’s health article very simple. It is HOT outside, drink water! For the past two days in Belize City the “feels like temperature” has exceeded 100F and there doesn’t appear to be any indication that the rest of the summer will be less forgiving. I covered this topic last week but I will state it again, it is hot which means you are more susceptible to dehydration, especially people over the age of 60 and young children. Some of the symptoms of mild dehydration are: • Dry lips and mouth • Dizziness • Headaches Unless you are in an air conditioned environment all day, you will need to increase your daily fluid intake (water, not beer) to help prevent dehydration. To help with this it is advisable to keep a glass/jug/bottle of water within reach to serve as a reminder of the need to drink more fluids. For those who don’t like the taste of water, you can get creative by adding fruits to flavor your water or brew a jug of iced tea. If you will be in the sun for extended periods you should take other precautionary measures such as wearing sunblock, hat and sunglasses.

Anti Petro Caribe lobby going around the media Mulberry bush
The anti-Petro Caribe lobby took on a fever pitch between last week and this week with the same suspects taking their arguments to all talk shows in mulberry bush fashion. Each of the suspects took time out to make appearances early in the morning on all radio and television stations which would allow them the time. Those suspects include Audrey Matura, Dickie Bradley, Mark Lizarraga, Julius Espat and Francis Fonseca. Round and round they have gone for two consecutive weeks taking turns at repeating their rhetoric almost like the nursery rhyme in the hopes that Belizeans would somehow, due to repetition, get on board with their agenda. They have gone to great lengths to try to say to Belizeans that the Petro Caribe bill is the worst thing to hit Belize since Hurricane Hattie. As they are going about each of the suspects are carrying along with an identical argument, almost a rehearsed argument as to why there should be no support for the bill. They say it is illegal, they say it is immoral.

Ministry holds consultation on Education Sector Strategy
The Ministry of Education launched the Belize Education Sector Reform Project on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 and key officials are now meeting with relevant stakeholders to review the implementation strategy of that reform project. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, David Leacock, says the project has three main objectives: improving governance in the education sector with emphasis on improved student achievement; increasing access and equity at all levels of education and; enhancing quality and relevance throughout the education system. These goals will only be accomplished with a strong partnership between Government, educators and parents. Therefore, the Ministry will be holding consultations with these stakeholders to go over the key components of the education sector strategy. Leacock says with the focus on improving governance, there will be the implementation of accountability systems to strengthen leadership in schools and throughout the education sector. There will also be continued investment in human resource development as well as the strengthening of management and evaluation systems. The effort to improve governance has already seen the passing of amendments to the Education and Training Act. Such amendments strengthen the accountability system of the education sector by transferring power from the executive to stakeholders as seen in the Teaching Services Commission.

National Agriculture Show starts this Friday in Belmopan
Thousands of Belizeans from both at home and abroad are now gearing up to visit the National Agriculture and Trade Show NATS, this coming Friday, which conveniently is Labor Day, while the show has also been scheduled to continue on both Saturday and Sunday of this coming weekend. Almost complete, the Agriculture Show Grounds is a well managed area under the auspices of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture and is located by Roaring Creek Village and the Guanacaste Park, within walking distance from the main entrance to Belmopan City. The theme for this year’s show is “Stimulating Prosperity in Agriculture and Food Production through Renewed Public Private Partnership.” To bring in the crowds, the entrance to the Agriculture Show grounds will be free on Friday to honor our hard working Belizeans and their families. A concert will start right after the official opening ceremonies at around 2:30 pm this Friday at the Creek Side Entertainment Stage. Entrance fees for Saturday and Sunday are $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children within the age range of 12 to 5 year old. To facilitate the crowd’s access to the show grounds there will be three entrances. The ‘main gate’ remains a pedestrian entrance while the ‘4H Gate doubles as a pedestrian and vehicular entrance. The ‘Roaring Creek Bridge Gate’ remains the vehicle exit gate, but a new pedestrian visitor center is being built and pedestrians can now enter there.

Making Santa Elena Town in Cayo Central into a ‘Little Miami’
Work continues within the Cayo Central Division to increase job opportunities for young people; to give them a broader horizon. These projects to create employment in Cayo Central vary from infrastructural works to investments in education. One mega project within Cayo Central that has been boosting the employment numbers is the pre-planning work for the bye-pass that will connect San Ignacio to Santa Elena Town. While the contract for this future bridge has been signed, the design plans had to be redone to accommodate measures to use local materials and equipment rather than use imported ones. Plans are also now on the drawing board to convert Santa Elena Town into a ‘Little Miami.’ These plans envisage street lights along the highway from Red Creek to the Hawkesworth Bridge. There will also be sidewalks along from Red Creek to the Hawkesworth Bridge to improve the safety margins for pedestrians. Traffic lights will also be placed by Alwin’s Store in Santa Elena, given that the current intersection in that area becomes very busy with motorists at times.

Ten Years and 4 Months Ago
On Tuesday March 10th 2015 the Nation was stunned by the revelations made by Orange Walk Central Representative and former PUP Deputy Party Leader John Briceño via a recorded conversation he had with fellow PUP Julian Chell. Several misgivings of the 1998-2008 Musa/Fonseca Administration were chronicled including the Yen Swap, Galleria Maya, BTL and Intelco. The wheeling and dealing of the leaders of that era has become legendary. It is a fact that we Belizeans have a very short term memory so those of us who are old enough to have witnessed these acts of corruption have probably archived these events somewhere in the darkest recesses of our minds. Then there are those who were too young to have been able to comprehend what was taking place at the time. The following which was taken from Channel 7 News’ archives is for the benefit of both groups…lest we forgot. Musa Comes Clean on BTL/ICC/Intelco/Prosser. On the 10th of December, 2004 the National Assembly met to conduct important government business including the passage of the finance and audit reform bill, the cruise ship port development project bill, and the mutual legal assistance in criminal matters bill. But perhaps one of the most interesting moments came when the Prime Minister finally revealed and unveiled the long obscured inner-workings of the Jeffrey Prosser/BTL deal. We first go to his response to a question by the leader of the Opposition.

Despite Bad Weather Tourist Arrivals Increase
Tourist arrivals increased in the first quarter of 2015 by 7.75 percent despite numerous weather impacted cancellations. 457,072 tourists arrived in Belize over the first three months of 2015, which is 32,873 more than the same period in 2014. The Belize Tourism Board reports that there were severe snow storms that took place during the months of January to March of 2015 which resulted in cancellation of flights from premiere disembarkation points such as Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York in the United States as well as major cities in Canada. Despite numerous flight and subsequent accommodation cancellations, overnight tourist arrivals only decreased in the first quarter of 2015 by 0.2 percent. 101,981 visitors spent at least one night in Belize in 2014. This number decreased to 101,747 in 2015. When the snow storms were most severe, January and February, overnight arrivals decreased by 1.0 and 1.1 percent respectively for an overall decrease of 1.04 percent in January and February 2015. As the weather improved, overnight arrivals did as well with a 1.1 increase in arrivals for the month of March 2015.

Bar room fight turns deadly in Ladyville, security guard charged for murder
The weekend between, Friday April 25, and early Monday evening April 27, passed with 6 people being killed in the Belize District. The first happened on Saturday night, at the Blue House Bar in Ladyville Village on Saturday at around 9:30 p.m. A group of Hispanic men went to socialize at the bar, and among the patrons were 30 year-old Roger Jimenez, a Nicaraguan construction worker, and 41 year-old Wilmer Antonio Cisneros, a supervisor for Matus and Matus Engineering. From what police have been able to gather so far, the security guards, who were on duty at the time, approached the men and asked them to pay the fee to be inside the bar, which is a usual occurrence. It appears that the men did not want to pay, and so, some sort of misunderstanding took place, which then erupted into a fight. Sometime in the course of that fight, both Cisneros and Jimenez were stabbed by one of the security guards. Cisneros’ injuries to the chest and abdomen were grievous, and resulted in his death right inside the bar.

Busted with 134 grams of weed
Anne Andrews, 52, is out on bail after she pleaded not guilty to a charge of drug trafficking on Monday, April 27. Police searched Andrews’ home at #3 Castle Street, Belize City on Friday, April 24, and found two bags of weed. One amounted to 69.4 grams and the other was 64.5 grams. Andrews was the only person home at the time of the search, therefore, she was charged with drug trafficking. When she appeared in court on Monday, April 27, Andrews was read two counts of drug trafficking. Magistrate Herbert Panton asked the prosecutor, Cpl. Kennard Clark, why was Andrews facing two counts when the matter arose from the same discovery. Prosecutor Clark took the Magistrate comments into consideration and added the amount of weed together to file one charge. Andrews pleaded not guilty to one count of drug trafficking. There was no objection to bail which was offered in the sum of $3,000 plus one surety of the same amount.

CCJ to hear criminal case appeal
Last week the Caribbean Court of Justice decided that it will hear the first criminal appeal coming out of Belize. That appellant will be 28 year-old Gregory August, who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the May 2009 murder of 73 year-old Alvin Robinson. Eamon Courtenay, the former President of the Bar Association told the press back in January that the reason why no criminal appeals have been taken to the Caribbean Court of Justice before August’s case is because the convicted appellants do not have the finances required to get their case before the tribunal. Courtenay has now taken on August’s case and on Monday, April 20, they applied to the court for special leave to be heard as a poor person. After careful consideration the Caribbean Court of Justice granted him permission to bring his case, but they believe that his case should go back to the Court of Appeal, where the court will decide on the new grounds of appeal brought forward.

Monday Night’s murder #6 in Belize City in three days
Wayne Rocke, a 29 year-old resident of Jane Usher Boulevard, became the 6th person who was gunned down in the period of 3 days between Saturday, April 25 and Monday April 27. He was fatally injured by a gunman who came in the darkness of night. It happened on Monday April 27, just after 7 p.m. at the residence of #7213 Reggae Street. Rocke was sitting in a van doing some mechanic work. He had a light hung up nearby, so that he could see what he was doing. Unfortunately, that gave his killer the perfect opportunity to approach nearby, and shoot him from out of the darkness. Only the sound of the gunshots signaled to residents that a street-style execution was taking place. No one saw anything, and when the gunfire ceased, Rocke was found on the ground, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He had succumbed to his injuries.

Tattoo “Ninfar” and wrist band “Anibal” only clues to John Doe’s Identity
Police are asking the public’s assistance to determine the identity of a man found dead near mile 6 on the Phillip Goldson Highway. On Thursday, April 23, police were called to an area just before mile 6 of the Phillip Goldson Highway where they found the body of a Caucasian male floating in the mangroves. According to police, a caretaker of the area saw some vultures flying in the area and went to check what they were circling. It was then that he saw what appeared to be a human corpse floating near the mangroves. The caretaker then called the police to report the discovery. Police found the body dressed in a khaki short pants and black T-Shirt. The body was decomposing. There were no physical signs of injuries to the body and due to the state of decomposition the cause of death was undetermined. The only identifiable mark on the body was a tattoo “Ninfar” on his right arm. He also had a black and red wrist band on his left arm marked “Anibal”.

Fisherman in prison for old fines
A fisherman of Sarteneja Village, Sanasermo Torres, 48, is in jail serving the first few days of a four year jail term after he appeared in court on Friday, April, 24, for undersized conch. Fisheries Officer, Hector Cunningham, found Torres in possession of 95 undersized conch at the Northern Fisherman Cooperative on North Front Street on Wednesday, April 1, 2015. Torres appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Monday, April 20, and was remanded until Friday, April 24. On Friday he appeared in court with attorney Simeon Sampson. Chief Magistrate Smith dismissed the charges against him. Unfortunately for Torres, court records show that he owes the court $3,965 for four old convictions stemming all the way back to 2003. Chief Magistrate Smith ordered that he pay the fine immediately or serve four years imprisonment in default. Torres begged for leniency and asked for an extension. However, the Chief Magistrate said he had ample time to pay the fines.

Friends for Conservation detain Xatero in Chiquibul
At 5:00 p.m. on Sunday April 26 2015, whilst conducting a reconnaissance patrol at an area known as Cristina in the Chiquibul Forest, FCD rangers intercepted and detained David Alvisures Cheche who is originally from La Rejoya, Peten, Guatemala. This person was found 14.7 kilometers inside Belizean territory. With him he had 720 fish tail xate leaves. He was escorted to Tapir Camp then subsequently to the San Ignacio Police Station where he was charged for unlawful possession of forest produce by the Forest Department and for illegal entry by the Immigration Department. Xate is known to be exported from Guatemala to the United States and Europe for floral arrangements. David reported that he would take his product to Santa Elena, Peten where another intermediary person would buy it from him. The 720 leaves would be worth 180 quetzales or Bz $53.00. It is not certain if the person in Santa Elena has a permit from el Consejo Nacional de Areas Protegidas to buy and sell xate, however, it is known that persons who possess xate permits would usually get engaged on xate laundering, meaning that they put in illegal xate along with the certified xate.

Dangriga Warriors upset the league leading Western Ballaz
The National Elite League Basketball Competition continued last weekend with three games across the country. On Friday 24 April, 2015, out at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town, the visiting Dangriga Warriors pulled off an upset when it upended the league’s leading Cayo Western Ballaz by the score of 57-56. The upset win came as a result of a three pointer that was taken by the Dangriga Warriors’ Edgar Mitchell with only 4.3 seconds left in the game. The top scorers for the Dangriga Warriors were Daniel Nolberto who scored 17 points, had 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 6 steals; Brandon Flowers with 14 points and 4 rebounds and Edgar Mitchell with 12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal. For the league leading Cayo Western Ballaz, the top scorers were Keith Acosta with 17 points, 8 rebounds, and an assist; Akeem Watters with 9 points, 12 rebounds, and an assist and Emerson King with 8 points, 1 assist and a steal. On Saturday 25 April, out at the UB Gymnasium out in Belmopan, the host team Belmopan Red Taigaz edged out the Belize City No Limit Team by the score of 99-96. The top scorers for the Belmopan Red Taigaz were Jarrel Velasquez with 22 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals; Farron Louriano with 22 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, and Travis Lennan with 12 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal.

Youth Talks
We live in a world where there is a drastic imbalance between negativity and positivity. It is a serious struggle for us as youths to understand our worth and know our abilities. Youths have an awesome power to make a change but; unfortunately, only we can utilize our gifts to make a difference. Youths have the potential to make Belize a brighter place where hopes and dreams develop and transform into shining realities and a productive garden is reaped. We have the opportunities to lead and be examples so others may follow and take heed of our walk to positivity. Often times, we as youths lose track of where we are and what we want in our future life. All sectors must play an integral role in developing and building our youth sector, but the ultimate power remains in the hands of our youths. We are the ones who must maximize on the information and education provisioned and zoom in on the resources available. We live in a small country and in my opinion, this makes it easier for us to partner and cooperate amongst each other. Young people must be able to share their ideas and talents in order for growth and sustainability in the youth sector.

The Belize Book Industry Association holds Book Fair in Cayo
A book fair in celebration of books, which was organized by the Belize Book Industry Association BBIA, was held on both April 24 and 25th at the Cayo Welcome Center in San Ignacio Town. BBIA’s celebration was also a tribute to April 23rd which is recognized as World Book and Copyright Day, where the work of authors and illustrators are given special notice. Since 2009, the BBIA has been celebrating Belizean literature, and both Friday and Saturday were no exception, where several Belizean book sellers came out to promote their products. Retired public servant Erlington Cayetano took the occasion last Friday to promote a variety of his own colorful books dedicated to pre-school and lower division children. The covers for his books are highly decorated and have a Belizean flavor. Erlington Cayetano comes from Dangriga and orders for his books can be made at 665-3387. His work on children’s books started in 2007 and he has produced all books with his own funds. For this year, the National Institute of Culture and History NICH continued to sponsor BBIA’s book fair. The Belize National Library Service and Information System BNLIS also participated this year with a book exchange program at the Cayo Welcome Center and also provided an enabling learning environment for young book readers.

Citizen on Patrol Training conducted in San Ignacio Town
Sixteen trainees under the Citizen on Patrol COP Training received their certificates this past Sunday at the San Ignacio Police Station. The three day training, which was held on the 24th, 25th and 26th of April, was conducted by Rudolf Orio, retired Superintendent of Police and coordinator from the Police Auxiliary Unit. The intensive course covered beat and patrol, patrol techniques, description of property and person, constitutional law, traffic offenses and other basic matters relating to policing. In a short ceremony, Dinsdale Thompson, Officer Commanding of the San Ignacio Police Formation welcomed the COP trainees and informed that the Police department is working towards a better relationship with the community. He also said that the Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie, highly appreciates the trainees’ intent to be part of the Belize Police Force and serve Belize. All COP participants raised their right hands and made an oath of allegiance to be faithful and have true allegiance to Belize. The trainees also made an affirmation to obey all reasonable orders relevant to the Police Department’s Citizen on Patrol Program.

The Rotary Club of San Ignacio holds Voice of the West
High School students from some 13 high schools in Belize participated in the Voice of the West contest at the Hode’s Place in San Ignacio Town on Thursday night of last week. Organized by the Rotary Club of San Ignacio, the contest brings together High School luminaries to exercise their talent in various categories. Coming in first in the persuasive speech category was Keanna Hulse, Fourth Form student at the Belize Christian Academy, and who is following a long family tradition in doing well in public speaking. Keanna Hulse spoke about the role of voluntary community development work in Belize and how such work could pave a brighter future for Belize. Coming in first in published poems was Lucia Tesecum third form student form Sacred Heart College. In the original poems, Isabel Lanza from the Belmopan Comprehensive High School also came in first. In the impromptu speech category, Michael Paredes from the Our Lady of Guadalupe High School was a clear winner and as the rest of his colleagues, who came in first, received a cash prize of $300.00.

Monchie Cervantez goes to court for defaming Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega
Readers may remember Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega’s defamation lawsuit against his political opponent, PUP’s Ramon Cervantez Jr. The DPM is suing Cervantez for releasing a phone call publicly on the evening news and on national radio. In that phone call, a man who claimed to be the wanted murder mastermind, Manuel Castillo, made the unbelievable allegation. He named the DPM Vega as the mastermind behind the murder of Cervantez’s father, the late Ramon Cervantez Sr, who was killed in 2014. The Deputy Prime Minister gave Cervantez adequate time to retract and apologize, but he refused to do so. That forced the DPM to take action by way of a lawsuit. That claim was filed in late November 2014, and it’s first hearing happened in February 2015. Since then, the case has been going through pre-trial hearings and case management conference in the chambers of the Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin.

Dangriga Town Council upgrading Wagaerale
Residents of the Wagaerale Area of Dangriga are overjoyed with the tremendous amount of street works that is going on in their community. Streets are being graded, potholes are being filled, and new streets are being pushed to join and open up the community. The transformation of Dangriga continues one street at a time and this Dangriga Town Council is getting the job done. As soon as street fill material is identified you can be sure that street rehabilitation work will happen and Mayor Humphreys along with the Town Administrator, Councilors and staff of the Dangriga Town Council is working hard every day to get the job done.

The Milk of Human Kindness…….Overflowing!!!
It is a simple yet positive story; the likes of which we need to listen to more often. It began with a group of concerned youths and some adults who wanted to make a positive difference in their village and who identified the Feed the Elderly Initiative as the way forward. Action was swift and the cooperation from the community at large was incredible. At the end of the day on Sunday April 26, more than 70 elderly and needy people from the village of Trial Farm had been fed with typical Sunday Belizean fare -Rice & Beans, Stewed Chicken and Vegetable Salad along with Juices and biscuits. It was pure exuberance as they shared the love with these elderly and needy people. Congratulations are well in order and hats off to Angela Gentle, Deborah Martinez, Duffy Urbina, Jennifer Jimenez, David Lopez, Joslyn Martinez, Morris Cocom, Shantel Casimiro for their hard work and personal involvement in making this a success. To the Hon Gaspar Vega, our gratitude for your wholehearted moral and financial support. God Bless You All.

PUP appoints another Ashcroft Boy as Standard Bearer
Another puppet of Lord Michael Ashcroft has been handpicked as Standard Bearer for the People’s United Party. Retired BDF soldier, Lloyd Jones, is expected to be nominated uncontested as the Standard Bearer for the Belize Rural North Constituency. | Members of the PUP Rural North Committee are peeved at this pending appointment. They see Jones as a yes man for the Ashcroft Alliance controlled section of the PUP. One Belize Rural North PUP supporter says he is “a brown nosed [sucker] who has been like a shovel all his life”, meaning he is always under someone’s control when operational. Others know Jones as a slick town B. eSSer. His words cannot be taken to the bank and his sincerity is always in question. Attorney Fred Lumour says, “He is a chameleon, he changes his skin anytime.”

Bar room fight turns deadly in Ladyville, security guard charged for murder
The weekend between, Friday April 25, and early Monday evening April 27, passed with 6 people being killed in the Belize District. The first happened on Saturday night, at the Blue House Bar in Ladyville Village on Saturday at around 9:30 p.m. A group of Hispanic men went to socialize at the bar, and among the patrons were 30 year-old Roger Jimenez, a Nicaraguan construction worker, and 41 year-old Wilmer Antonio Cisneros, a supervisor for Matus and Matus Engineering. From what police have been able to gather so far, the security guards, who were on duty at the time, approached the men and asked them to pay the fee to be inside the bar, which is a usual occurrence. It appears that the men did not want to pay, and so, some sort of misunderstanding took place, which then erupted into a fight. Sometime in the course of that fight, both Cisneros and Jimenez were stabbed by one of the security guards. Cisneros’ injuries to the chest and abdomen were grievous, and resulted in his death right inside the bar.

Busted with 134 grams of weed
Anne Andrews, 52, is out on bail after she pleaded not guilty to a charge of drug trafficking on Monday, April 27. Police searched Andrews’ home at #3 Castle Street, Belize City on Friday, April 24, and found two bags of weed. One amounted to 69.4 grams and the other was 64.5 grams. Andrews was the only person home at the time of the search, therefore, she was charged with drug trafficking. When she appeared in court on Monday, April 27, Andrews was read two counts of drug trafficking.

Remanded for $500,000 Treasury Heist
David Elroy Enriquez, 28, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison for allegedly redirecting almost $500,000 in Government subvention for the Toledo Community College to a private account. Enriquez was escorted by police to the Belize City Magistrates Court on Friday, April 24, where he appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith and was read three charges of theft. Due to the nature of the offense, the charges will be dealt with on indictment. Therefore, no plea was taken. Prosecutor in the case, Inspector Daniel Itch, objected to bail on the grounds of the sensitivity of the case and that Enriquez may try to interfere with witnesses. Itch also pointed out that Enriquez may be a flight risk. Enriquez’s attorney, Oscar Selgado, asked the court to take into consideration his client’s constitutional right to be deemed innocent until proven guilty. Selgado pointed out that his client has no previous arrest record and is a career man with a family. He suggested that the court hold Enriquez’s passport but grant him bail. Despite Selgado’s submissions, Chief Magistrate Smith ordered that Enriquez be held on remand at the Belize Central Prison until his next court appearance on June 4, 2015. Enriquez’s attorney has started the process to file for bail at the Supreme Court.

Kevin Flowers gunned down in Mahogany Heights
Police are investigating the murder of Kevin Flowers, 40, who was shot to the back of the head just after 7 a.m. on Monday, April 27, near the Mahogany Heights Community. Flowers was heading to work at the Fein Catch Tilapia Farm in La Democracia through an off road short cut between Mahogany Heights and the George Price Highway when he was ambushed. People in the area reported to police that they heard the sound of a single gunshot. A few minutes later, Flowers’ friend discovered his lifeless body. He was found in a kneeling position slumped over with a gunshot wound to the back of the head. His bicycle was found a little distance away which suggests that he was either running from his attacker(s) or he was taken to his place of execution.

Street figure gunned down on Iguana Street
The weekend’s second murder was a brazen broad daylight slaying, which happened Sunday morning, April 26, just before 10 a.m. The victim was one of the most feared men of recent times, who once associated with the George Street Gang. 31 year-old Mark Medina was killed in what looks to be a well-planned hit. It appears that he was lured to his death by one of his former associates with the promise to complete a business transaction. What the press has been able to put together so far is that Medina received a call from a man to retrieve what was owed to him. That’s when he took a taxi, which was being driven by 55 year-old Egbert Hemmans, who – from all appearances – was an honest hardworking taxi driver for years. When Medina arrived at #19 Iguana Street there appeared to be no one home. Eyewitnesses say that he was just getting out of the vehicle and was on his phone when a gunman ran out of the yard where he was to retrieve his money from.

Tyrone Neal killed on Kraal Road
34 year-old Tyrone Neal, a resident of Fabers Road, became murder victim number 3 on Sunday, April 26, less than 4 hours after Mark Medina was killed on Iguana Street (see story on page 24). According to information from police and residents, Neal was playing dominoes with a group of friends in a yard on Kraal Road when he was attacked by an unknown gunman. Reports are that the assailant crept into the yard and hid long enough to catch everyone off-guard. He shot Neal several times in different sections of the body. Neal collapsed and he was quickly rushed to the KHMH, shortly after the gunman fled. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

Bus driver beats ex-girlfriend unconscious then attempts suicide
Driver of Ramos Bus Company, Conrad Roches, 28, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison for allegedly beating his ex-girlfriend until she passed out on Saturday night, April 25. Roches appeared before Magistrate Herbert Panton on Monday, April 27, where he was read a single charge of attempted murder upon Sherima Graham. Due to the nature of the offense, no plea was taken during the arraignment. A preliminary inquiry will be scheduled to determine if there is sufficient evidence to commit the matter to trial at the Supreme Court. Since the matter is an indictable offense, bail could not be granted at the Magistrates Court. According to reports, at around midnight on Saturday, Roches managed to stretch his arms inside Graham’s Lords Bank home and get a key to the house. He then entered and beat Graham until she went unconscious. We are told that after he beat Graham, he called a friend and told them what he did. We are also told that Roches tried to hang himself as he had already placed a piece of extension cord on a beam inside the house when police arrived.

Belize Softball Federation to hold Open Tryouts on Saturday
The Belize Softball Federation will be holding Open Tryouts for female softball players 19 years and under on Saturday 2 May, 2015, at Rogers Stadium commencing at 10:00 am. The Open Tryouts for the male softball players 19 years and under will also take place on Saturday 2 May, 2015, at 1:00 pm at Rogers Stadium The National Training Team will be conducting the Open Tryouts for both the junior girls and junior boys. The Belize Softball Federation is asking all players to bring along an identification that can be used for age verifications. The National Junior Female and National Junior Male teams will represent Belize at the Central American Junior Championships in El Salvador and Nicaragua respectively.

Police United and the Belmopan Bandits win
The Premier League of Belize Opening Season Tournament Playoff round continued on Sunday 26th April, 2015, with two games on the schedule. In the game played at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan, the host team Police United edged the Belize Defence Force by the score of 2-1 to take over the lead in the playoff round. The visiting Belize Defence Force was able to get onto the scoreboard first when Harrison Tasher scored his team goal to give them a 1-0 lead. However, the lead was short lived when Harrison Roches scored the equalising goal for the Police United in the 28th minute of play. The first half of the game ended in a 1-1 draw. In the second half of the game, the host team Police United took the lead for good when Devon Makin scored his team 2nd and final goal of the game in the 58th minute of play for the win. The defence of the Police United team was able to keep the big bombs of the Belize Defence Force in check for the remaining part of the game.

10th Annual Pablo Marin Cycling Classic set for Labour Day
The Northern Zone of the Cycling Federation of Belize and the Hon. Pablo Marin will be holding the 10th Annual Pablo Marin Labour Day Cycling Classic on Friday 1 May, 2015. The Weekend Warriors A/B riders will start at 9:00 am from Corozal Town to San Jose Village and back to Corozal Town for a total distance of 40 miles. The first rider to cross the finish line in this event will receive $300.00 and a trophy, the second place finisher will receive $200 and a trophy and the 3rd place finisher will receive $100.00 and a trophy. The Female, juniors and Youth riders will commence their event at 9:05 am from Corozal Town to San Jose Village and back to Corozal Town for a total distance of 40 miles. In the female category, the first rider to cross the finish line will receive $300.00 and a trophy; the second place finisher will receive $200.00 and a trophy while the third place finisher will receive $100.00 and a trophy.

Smart 13 and U competition continues at the MCC Grounds
The 2nd week of the SMART 13 and U Football Competition continued on Saturday 25th April, 2015, at the MCC Grounds with six games on the schedule. In the first game played, London Strikers won over Ladyville Jaguars by the score of 2-0. The goals for London Strikers were scored by Jose Castellanos and Keffer Perteau. In game two, it was Young Warriors winning over 3rd Word by the score of 3-0. The goals for Young Warriors were scored by Joshawn Flowers (2) and Jose Garcia. In the third game of the day saw Hattieville Youth and Charlston to a 1-1 draw. The goal for the Hattieville Youth was scored by Christian Caceras and Kenrick Gonzales for Charlston.

Amandala

Mark Medina, 31, executed in “Crenshaw”
The second of two men who suffered gunshot wounds unfortunately lost the fight for his life at about 8:20 p.m. yesterday, Monday, less than 48 hours after the incident. The victim, Belize City taxi operator, Egbert Hemmans, 55, had been admitted to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in a critical condition on Sunday morning after being shot twice—once in the chest and then in the abdomen while sitting in his vehicle. The incident occurred shortly after 10:00 a.m. this past Sunday, April 26, in the area known as “Crenshaw” on Iguana Street in Belize City, when Hemmans had taken Mark Medina, 31, a known gang affiliate who was apparently marked for death, to recover some items from a house that is located on that street.

Francisco Gomez, 38, remanded for sexual assault of girl, 10
A resident of Boston Village, Belize District, was remanded to the Belize Central Prison after he was arraigned on a single count of sexual assault this afternoon when he appeared before Magistrate Ladona John. Francisco “Indian” Gomez, 38, a laborer, pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault when Magistrate John read the charge to him. The court prosecutor objected to the granting of bail to him, citing the prevalence of the offense. He also objected to the granting of bail to Gomez on the ground that the virtual complainant is a 10-year-old child and if granted bail, Gomez might interfere with her. Magistrate John upheld the prosecutor’s objection and remanded Gomez to prison until his next court date on June 22.

“Rat Motel” at Western Regional Hospital!
Administrators at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan told the media today that measures have been put in place to manage a case of rat infestation that was recently uncovered in the hospital’s food pantry where groceries and food stuff for staff and patients are stored. The situation came to light last Friday, April 24, when the area was being cleaned out, and pictures that were taken at the time showed that there were multiple dead rats of all sizes and even a used condom inside the dilapidated room, amongst closed barrels containing flour, rice, beans and other food supplies. Hospital administrator Bernadette Sewer explained to the media today, that the situation came to light because recently, there has been a more “in-depth” cleaning of the hospital, since there was no house cleaning supervisor for some time.

The Blue House Bar security guard charged with murder
Sometime after 9:30 p.m., on Saturday, April 25, there was a brawl inside The Blue House Bar, located between Miles 8 and 9 on the Philip Goldson Highway in Ladyville, and by the time police arrived on the scene, a man was lying dead on the floor inside. After being in police custody since Saturday night, Darrington “Percy” Hamilton, a security guard employed at The Blue House Bar, was this morning escorted by police to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, where he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who arraigned him on a single count of murder for causing the death of Wilmer Antonio Cisneros, 41. No plea was taken from Hamilton and the Chief Magistrate remanded him to the Belize Central Prison until his next court date on July 22. Cisneros, a Honduran national who worked as a supervisor at M&M Engineering, was stabbed in his abdomen and chest during the brawl inside the club, where a fight had broken out between a group of men who were with Cisneros and two security guards of the establishment.

Barrow meets with Bank of America amid fears of financial crisis
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow returned to Belize from Miami, USA, this afternoon, after meeting with executives of Bank of America and Carnival Cruise Lines to discuss critical developments in both the banking and tourism sectors. Barrow flew to the US over the weekend after the Belize Bank confirmed that the Bank of America, the second largest bank in the US, had decided to sever correspondent banking relations with the Belize Bank, Belize’s largest commercial bank. Barrow was accompanied on his Miami mission by his economic advisor, Ambassador Mark Espat, and Central Bank Governor, Glen Ysaguirre, who, we understand, flew on to Washington, DC, for related meetings involving the banking sector of Belize. We’ve received credible information that Bank of America, which claims that the decision to cut off the Belize Bank was triggered by a change in its business model, has maintained its stance in its meetings with the Belize delegation. We understand, though, that bank executives gave assurances that no other commercial bank in Belize would be included in what is termed “de-risking” in the financial sector.

“Not a chance in hell!”
–This morning, Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca had an impromptu interview with the media on what his party, the People’s United Party, plans to do to pressure the Government to repeal the PetroCaribe Loans Act—a controversial piece of legislation which the Opposition has dubbed “scandalous” and “unconstitutional.” Upon his return from Miami today, Barrow was informed of Fonseca’s plan to send him a formal letter of request to repeal the law—a petition letter which the Opposition hopes will also be signed by the social partners, the unions, the business community and the churches, which have also denounced the legislation, amid assertions that it circumvents safeguards built into the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act. More than that, the Opposition has indicated that if Barrow does not repeal the bill within 21 days, it will take to the streets with a protest. Barrow, who said the PUP are pursuing a self-serving, political agenda, remains resolute on the law: “There is not a chance in hell that there will be any repeal of the PetroCaribe Loan [Act],” Barrow told the press today, adding later that, “I am absolutely certain that the Belizean people are with me on this…”

MCC turf is a disaster
Fans witnessing the games on Saturday at the Smart 13 & Under tournament voiced their discontent with the playing surface of the MCC, which erupted into clouds of black dust whenever the players got into close tackles or kicked the ball. After being shut down for renovations for approximately eight months last year, the MCC is worse, much worse than it was before the closure last June. Besides being very uneven, the whole of the playing area has a top layer of black, dusty material that is loose and easily airborne, although most of the field has some grass cover. The black dust, which looks like ashes from some burnt material, cannot be good for the health of the young players, or fans downwind who must inhale this possibly toxic dust. We need the MCC for tournament games, because the MCC is the best “demilitarized zone” for our young players from all across the city to converge and play with a feeling of relative safety. But something has to be done to the playing surface; a new layer of good material is needed.

Elston “Mr. Bes” Wade, Sr., a very rare cowboy
Before I go into the Harrison Parks Cricket Competition 2015, under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, I need to mention a very good old friend of mine, hailing from the beautiful village of Bermudian Landing – Mr. Elston Wade, Sr., a.k.a. Mr. Bes (best). I have known this good gentleman from my young years. I have not seen him play the game of cricket, but he has a son that plays the game. That son is Jerome. I can testify that he is a strong follower of the game; not only a follower, but a promoter in years gone by. Anywhere he is seen, you will see him dressed in cowboy hat, checkered shirt, jeans pants and boots. He is a strong debating person, especially when it comes to horses or cows. Well, he is a rancher by profession. What he stands for is discipline and respect for all; more so with the underprivileged. Although he lives in Bermudian Landing, and he goes out to cheer for the home team, you could always hear him giving encouragement to the visiting team. He is not a problem maker, nor does he encourages, it. Because of the way he conducts himself, and the respect he gets, I asked him, “What’s the formula?” He said, “Mr. Young, once you respect yourself wherever you go, and whoever you’re with, respect will follow. Be careful of what you say, and to whom.”

Athletics past and present – Alexander Alvarado
They say we are a product of our environment, but Alexander Alvarado is living proof that that statement is not always true. Growing up in a neighbourhood which had a lot of crime and bad influences, he made a change. At the age of 17 he was going through some problems in his life, and he said he always told himself he wanted to be different than the youths in the area that were into gangs. It so happens that one of his good friends, Timothy Mena was involved with track and field, and told him to come out to run and train and you will like it. He decided to go, and there he met a coach, Mr. Morris. He started training, and in that same year, at the age of 17 in 2010, he ran his first race. It was the UWI 10k. It was held on the Marine Parade circuit, and he took first place. Thereafter, they had the Alpheus Williams 5k, and he also placed first. That was when he met legendary long distance runner, Joseph Carr, who he said taught him everything about running and trained him; and Joe’s wife, Shelly Carr also played an essential role in his running development.

Give some love to “the Hoggist”!
The things we used to do when we were young. Young men walking the streets today, and seeing that greying brother struggling to walk with the aid of two hand crutches, couldn’t begin to imagine the super athletic talent that he once was, a few short years ago. Youth is a passing thing, and the young often err in thinking that they have a claim on it. Like life, it is a gift, and we’re all only passing through. Enjoy, nurture, cherish the time and the blessing of youth. Hogman, the fighting spirit that he has, is determined to walk again, after suffering a stroke back in 2009 in L.A. He returned to Belize in June of last year to attend the funeral of his mother, and decided to remain in the Jewel, as the climate was considered better for his recovery. I recall a pre-season game playing for the Charger football team back in 1977. Though the game was officially still amateur, Charger’s sponsor/management had managed to lure Hogman over as our “big striker.” I played center midfield, and we were on a bus ride to Benque Viejo where we would play against a little Verdes team. This was a few years before Verdes became a power house with Erwin Contreras and company. Hogman was not on the bus with us when we left town that Sunday morning. He was coming from Dangriga, and he caught up with us somewhere between Belize City and Belmopan; and from the looks of things, he had spent a hectic Saturday night, towel across his shoulder, and all.

Conflict resolution – murderous violence
When citizens in civilized societies have a dispute between/among themselves, or enter a conflict on the landscape of the domestic society, they will usually call in the police or go to court, or both, to settle the dispute, resolve the conflict. Because the business of illegal drugs is just that, illegal, the principals in such a business cannot call in the police or go to court. They settle disputes and resolve conflicts by murdering each other. In the streets of Belize City, the business of drugs is relatively lucrative if you can control territory, and control of territory is derived from violent intimidation of those around you. For several decades now, we have seen that half our male children will drop out of school before they are 12 or 13, say, and they will not have the skills necessary to earn an honest living. They become cannon fodder for the drug dons. While one would expect that unskilled youth who are healthy would be able to do construction work, most Belize City employers in construction bring in workers from the other Districts of Belize to do the old capital’s construction work. The main reason for this, apparently, is that Belize City youth are said to refuse the low wages in construction.

From the Publisher
For you to understand how I view the matter of Maya customary land rights in Belize, you would have to know how I grew up, and how I think and feel. I don’t like skyscrapers, elevators, and planes. I don’t really like concrete and steel. I don’t like freeways. In fact, I don’t think I really like speed. I grew up in a time when life was slow in Belize. I grew up in sailboats, not speedboats. Perhaps I’m primitive. When I was about twelve years old, I read a book about the heroic chiefs of some Native American tribes leaders like Sitting Bull of the Sioux, Geronimo and Cochise of the Apache, the great Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, and others. I felt a kinship with these people. Part of that kinship may have been derived from a legend on my mother’s side of the family that we are descended from a Sioux Indian. Whatever the case, I liked the Native American way of life, and their philosophical/religious views of life, the earth, the heavens, and so on. At the age of eighteen in 1965, I flew to the United States to study in one of their universities. There, I met a young African from Malawi with whom I became very good friends.

A UDP apologist
Dear Editor, I read with interest your Editorial in the Amandala of Sunday, April 5, 2015 entitled “Pointing fingers and PUDP politics”. In this editorial you sought to equate the illegal action of the PUP in the past by totally ignoring and violating the law and the UDP who openly passed a law (as permitted by the constitution) to ensure that, if any doubt exists, procedurally everything was done correctly with respect to the PetroCaribe program. I also note the reprinting of a letter by Dr. Carla Barnett from January 9, 2008 that criticized the PUP for violating the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act. In her letter, she clearly states that in the absence of another permitting law, what the PUP did was illegal. In this present case with the UDP, that enabling law is the PetroCaribe bill that was recently passed.

Over 30,000 more cruise tourists visited Belize from January to March 2015
Whereas 234 less tourists came to spend an overnight in Belize during the first quarter, January to March 2015, as compared to the same period last year, the country welcomed 33,707 more cruise tourists during the same months. Contrasting with the nominal 0.2% fall in overnight tourist arrivals for the period, cruise tourist arrivals were up by 10.5%. The month of February actually registered a decline in cruise tourist arrivals by almost 3% or 2,673 visitors, but this was more than offset by increases of 16%-17% in cruise tourist arrivals (over 18,000 persons more than the previous year) for the months of January and March. According to the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), which released official tourist arrival data today, “The major factor influencing the results in the overnight sector was weather conditions. There were severe snow storms that took place frequently during this period, resulting in cancellation of flights that affected travel from Canada, as well as the Central and Eastern United States, including Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York City – some originating destinations for visitors to Belize.”

Offshore drilling moratorium remains, but for how long?
Oceana in Belize has written an 18-page letter to Senator Audrey Joy Grant, Minister of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities, requesting that her ministry withdraw a set of petroleum exploration guidelines drafted in 2013 – guidelines which include a proposed framework for petroleum exploration across various zones over the onshore and offshore territory of Belize. Oceana strongly objects to any notion of drilling offshore Belize, and its position was reiterated this week when it publicly reaffirmed that position and called on the public—which also rejected offshore drilling in a referendum held in 2012 by the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage—to remain engaged on the issue. In a March 2015 letter, Oceana’s Vice President in Belize, Janelle Chanona, said that, “Oceana in Belize urges the Ministry of Energy to immediately withdraw the Guidelines and conduct an impartial and comprehensive review (inclusive of representatives from the tourism and fishing sectors across Belize) to initiate a meaningful and dynamic policymaking process of the risks and benefits of offshore oil development in Belize. Such a review should be undertaken prior to any further action to authorize oil exploration in our invaluable marine environment.”

Two charged for embezzling $500,000 from Treasury Department
On April 7, 2015, Ministry of Finance officials discovered that approximately $500,000 had gone missing from the Treasury Department in Belize City. The announcement was made on Thursday, April 16, by no less than the Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow, who was briefed earlier that week on the case of the missing monies by Financial Secretary Joseph Waight. This morning police escorted Treasury Department second class clerk David Enriquez, 28, to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court to be arraigned on charges in connection with the missing money from the Government Treasury. Additionally, Dangriga resident Octaviana Lopez, 39, was charged with handling stolen goods. Enriquez appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who arraigned him on three counts of theft.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Poultry producers hoping to avoid shortfall, raising prices
Some 75,000 birds, representing $3 million in investment, was lost in the last few weeks in the poultry industry in the Cayo District after the discovery of H5N2 avian influenza in the area detected earlier this year. It is fatal if allowed to mutate to high pathogenicity but […]

P.M. defends actions on Petrocaribe; PUP protest
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow gave the press a preview of his arguments to be presented today in defense of his actions with regard to the Petrocaribe Loan Program and the recent passage of the Petrocaribe Loan Act, 2015. Today he mounted that defense with the gusto […]

Prime Minister discusses national issues
This morning Prime Minister Dean Barrow hosted the press at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel to discuss a wide range of national issues. The following are highlights from that press conference. Banking sector stable As of April 30, 2015, the Belize Bank Limited will lose its correspondent banking relationship […]

Taxi Operator killed in San Pedro Town
The 43rd murder of this year was recorded yesterday in the premier tourist destination of San Pedro Town where a taxi operator was senselessly killed while on duty. According to island cops, they were alerted of 42 year old Jose Rigoberto Beltran’s motionless body inside his parked taxi in a […]

Man charged for shooting in Mahogany Heights
Twenty-one year old Adolphus Palacio, who allegedly fired shots at another person but missed, was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm when he appeared today before the Chief magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Palacio pled not guilty to the charge. He was remanded into custody until July 23. […]

Man charged for 2014 murder
A Corozal man has been formally charged for a murder in that northern town late in 2014. 23 year old Carlos Casanova, a block factory employee, spent the last four and a half months recovering from a gunshot wound sustained when he was taken in by police shortly […]

Significant increase in Cruise arrivals while overnight arrivals remain steady in Belize
Belize Tourism Board reports that during the first quarter of 2015 there was a significant growth in the number of cruise arrivals in Belize. The month of January had a major increase of 16.6% and during the month of March there was an increase of 15.8%. According to the BTB, […]

Delroy Cuthkelvin’s View of PetroCaribe
Let me preface my comments on the issue in question by stating that while I remain an active member of the United Democratic Party, I am currently not engaged as an employee of the Government of Belize, which means I am free to openly express my views on […]

Caribbean Tire to offer huge discounts for Agric Fair on Saturday
All roads lead to the National Agriculture and Trade Show Grounds in Belmopan this weekend for the country’s biggest annual event. The action packed weekend will feature and highlight a diverse selection of products, crafts, and produce for all visitors. For those that will be traveling in their vehicles, Caribbean […]

Protest in Belize City
While Prime Minister of Belize Hon. Dean Barrow, hosts its press conference at the Best Western Biltmore conference room, over a hundred party supporters of the People’s United Party are currently conducting a peaceful demonstration outside of the premises. Our news team is attending the conference and we will […]

Cold Front Approaches according to AccuWeather.com
The extremely hot and humid weather will finally bring some reprieve as a cold front brings downpours and cooler air will take over parts of Mexico and Central America. According to AccuWeather.com, a cold front pushed across the Gulf of Mexico will cause rain and thunderstorms to soak southeast Mexico, […]

Oceana cleanup in PG
Over the weekend in Punta Gorda, OCEANA along with the PG Town Council, held a beach clean-up that saw the cleaning of over a mile of beach front. The cleanup crew consisted of representatives from OCEANA, Mayor Fern Gutierrez and more than 50 residents of PG who volunteered to help. […]

Prime Minister to Host Press Conference This Morning in Belize City
Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow is hosting a press conference this morning in Belize City to update the public about the outcome of the meetings he had with senior officials of Bank of America and Carnival Cruise Lines in Miami last week. On an interview with Channel 7 […]

Blogs

“Dreadlock Holiday” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
I tried weeding the garden. This mind numbing task normally gets me thinking of loads of stuff just so I’m not thinking of how boring weeding actually is. But this failed to work too. And then I picked up on the news of the massive event that is taking place this Saturday night when Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather fights Manny Pacquaio for the WBO, WBC and WBA welterweight titles. Huge eh. Two guys putting so much at stake on the result of a boxing match. Mayweather and Pacquaio ? No, I mean Coconut Leo and Carlo Segura (THE Carlo of Carlo & Ernie’s Runway Bar & Grill). Leo and Carlo have taken betting on a boxing to hair raising heights. Why? Well the loser gets to have his head shaved! Now with Carlo (he is backing Pacquaio) we will hardly notice the difference. But Coconut Leo!!!! How will he be able to do a rendition of “No woman, No Cry” absent his dreads?

Here there and everywhere
One thing about living in Belize and particularly on Ambergris Caye is that you go through periods of heavy social traffic. By that I mean because San Pedro is a tourist destination, and we get frequent friends and family visits, we are often called on to go out more. This past weekend was a good example of that, with Colin, Laura, Scotty, Shannon and Jerri all in town at the same time. My 3 day marathon included: Crazy Canucks Beach Bar Red Cross Trivia night, Fido’s, Amber Beach Bar, Estel’s, ABC, Wayo’s, Amber Beach Bar, Island Time, Amber Beach Bar, Tropic Air, Walk/ Run for Autism Awareness, Sunday Jam at Crazy Canucks and Lola’s Pub. That list does not include bbq delivery or all the places I went shopping on my way to ABC. Amber made it on a few times because the girls and Scotty were staying at Caribbean Villas Hotel, Colin and Laura were next door at Coral Bay Villas beside Chunky and Ruthie. I’m always thankful when friends help support San Pedro Red Cross and this past Friday’s trivia night, many people came out to help raise$$. $145 came from team buy ins and auctioneer Rob did a super job of selling two boxes of thin mints at $100 and $150 a piece giving SPBRC a grand total of $395 :)

International Sourcesizz

This Sanctuary in Belize is Helping to Keep Black Howler Monkeys Hanging Around
The black howler monkey, known as the “baboon” in Belize, is in danger due to being hunted and having their habitat destroyed. Fortunately, efforts made by the Community Baboon Sanctuary in Belize have been made in hopes of preserving these creatures and provide them with sustainably protected surroundings. C.B.S. is an innovative project in the field of preservationand ecotourism that protects the monkeys’ habitats, allowing visitors to experience the rainforest while seeing these magnificent creatures in the wild. I got the opportunity to enjoy these monkeys in a very intimate setting and had the rare opportunity to film a newborn baby monkey. More than 200 private landowners in Belize have voluntarily pledged to conserve their land for the protection of the Black Howler Monkey whose population has grown from 840 (1985) to more than 5,000 (2015).

Belize to Establish its First IXP in Order to Offer Faster Internet
With broadband service slow and unavailable in much of the country, Belize is gearing up to build its first Internet exchange point (IXP) in a bid to persuade more people to sign up for superior service. According to the Trinidad Guardian, major telecom operators have reached an understanding to participate in the construction of the IXP, which eases the movement of data on the network and will thus reduce the average per-bit delivery cost of the service. An Internet exchange point is a physical infrastructure through which Internet service providers (ISPs) exchange traffic between their networks. IXPs avoid the need for data to travel to other countries to get from one network to another, thus reducing latency. Today, many ISPs in the region need to pass the data through networks in the United States before rerouting to their consumers in island nations.

Some Coral Reefs Managing to Recover
Coral reefs, true reservoirs of biodiversity, are seriously threatened by human activities and climate change. Consequently, their extinction has often been heralded. Now, researchers are painting a less gloomy picture: the planet’s reefs are not doomed to disappear. But they will be very different from the ones we presently know. A new coral fauna will emerge, coming from the species that are most resistant to temperature increases. Some reefs are recovering: Are coral reefs condemned to disappear? During the first decade of the 21st century, the intensification of cyclones, the phenomenon of coral bleaching due to ocean warming, outbreaks of a coral-eating starfish and coral diseases left us with this fear. But today, scientists are revising their pessimistic forecasts from the previous decade. In fact, recent research works show that, while numerous coral species have indeed been declining for more than 30 years, other are holding firm or even increasing in abundance. Consequently, some reefs have recently managed to recover. Expanding coral genera: During a vast international study over fifteen years, IRD researchers and their partners observed the ecological development of seven coral reefs throughout the world: two in the Caribbean, in Belize and in the American Virgin Islands, and five throughout the Indo-Pacific Ocean in Kenya, Taiwan, Hawaii, Moorea and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Consequently, the scientists have shown the increase of certain genera, like the Porites reef corals, real reef builders that can resist temperature rises well.

Videos

  • Scuba Diving Belize 2015, 5min.

  • UnBelizeable - 2015, 6min. About a month ago my girlfriend took my GoPro and went on a Caribbean 4-day vacation to San Pedro, Belize. Just sunshine, bikinis, turquoise water, white sand beaches and her best friends. I'll be sure to tag along next time!

  • This Monkey Sanctuary in Belize is Helping to Preserve the Black Howler Baboon, 1.5min. The black howler monkey, known as the "baboon" in Belize, is in danger due to hunting and habitat destruction.

  • Plongée BELIZE avril 2015, 3min. SCUBA diving in Belize.

  • Diving BELIZE April 2015, 3min. SCUBA diving in Belize.

  • Dolphins at play in Belize, 8min. I'm convinced they appreciate fast swimming things like boats and skiers .These DPV's seem to fascinate them. Juan calls the site 'Captains Canyon' its just in front of the dive shop.Notice when she turns it off and holds out her hand they get board and go away, but she turns it back on and they come back.

  • BSI/ASR CROP REVIEW WEEK 13, 4min.

  • Basic History of Belize, 4min. Historia básica sobre el país Belice Mi ingles no es el mejor pero es lo máximo que he podido hacer

  • Belize: Spring Break 2015, 5min. One week trip to Belize.

  • Expatriation Made Easy: An Interview with Macarena Rose, 16min.

    April 29, 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

    Taxi driver murdered in broad daylight, his van was to be used in a robbery
    The San Pedro Sun understands that police have reviewed surveillance footage from a financial institution that shows when the taxi cab was boarded, which pointed investigators to a quick lead. Broaster would not discuss if indeed they have reviewed surveillance footage, but explained that their investigation has seen some early but positive results. “We’ve determined that there were three main suspects involved in the shooting…we are looking for two more. As part of our investigation, we have detained a total of three people, one of whom is our main suspect,” indicated Broaster. While police would not go into details regarding the motive for the murder, Broaster indicated that the perpetrators were planning a robbery. “The investigation that we are carrying out will reveal what transpired between the time the culprits went and got the cab, to the point where they got to the location where the van was found. We know for sure that there was a boat, which we have in our custody that was utilized to flee from the area. The information we are receiving is that the taxi would have been used to commit a robbery. We are investigating the information as to where the robbery would have taken place.”

    Successful Awareness Walk/Run for Special Needs Children held by ACES
    Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES) dedicated Sunday, April 26th to raising awareness for children living with special needs on the island. Along with the support of over a hundred island residents, ACES organized the first even 5K walk/run for awareness to coincide with Autism Awareness Month. Being the only school on the island to have a separate classroom for special needs students, the ACES event was a way to raise much needed funds for the initiative. ACES prides themselves in providing a quality and individualized education for special needs children and hoped to raise awareness on the issue for all islanders. According to Sarah Freudenberg (Master of Education Teacher), who has been leading the ACES’s special education program, this walk/run was important to sensitize the island community to the particular education requirements of special needs children. “This project is close to my heart and I am so thankful for all the support we have received from the residents and even the business community. I am very happy with the special needs program at ACES and with everyone’s support, it will only continue to grow,” said Freudenberg.

    Ambergris Today

    Flashbacks: When San Pedro Transitioned from a Fishing Village to Tourism Hot Spot
    This Flashback has so much to comment on but the bottom line is that it depicts the last days of the fishing era just about to change into a tourism community. We see the last of the lobster fishing boats hauled up on the beach for renovation and a touch of fresh paint during the off season. The boats still carried masts for sails but were equipped with a bracket at the stern where an outboard engine was installed. Notice the 20 horsepower Evinrude motor on the ground. We also see a few hobby cats, a sign that tourism had commenced in San Pedro. Oh there is a Land Rover Jeep, one of four vehicles on the island. Occasionally it was used to haul the boat up on land. Notice the police station on the side of Central Park. The little building with the glass window was the office and the side with the single small window was the jail. Do take a look at the wood circular water tank called a “curbato”.

    25 Years Ago - International Radio Stations were Entertainment for Island Villagers
    The biggest name in radio today in Belize is Love F M. (98.1 FM) but did you know that back in the 1950's there was a whole lot of international radio in San Pedro? And what's more, a lot of villagers had their private antennas in their own yards. First let me take you through the International radio stations. There was first and foremost Radio Harlengin Texas. Yes all the way from Texas we got to enjoy musical programs in the days when Country and Western was very popular. Then there was Radio Havana, bringing us salsa, merengue, and hot Latino music all the way from Cuba. Radio Havana also had fine comical programs. Added to this was radio La Ceiba from Honduras. In this radio station San Pedranos enjoyed several radio novelas of love and romance as well as good family comedy and adventure.

    Murdered Taximan Found Dead Inside His Own Vehicle
    Residents in the area recall hearing a single gunshot and did not expect to hear the grim news of the body of 42-year-old San Pedro Taximan, Jose Rigoberto Beltran, found inside his own vehicle with one gunshot wound to the back of his head. After experiencing a decrease in criminal activity due to an increace in patrolling, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye was shaken up once again on Tuesday, April 27, 2015. But as police conducted its investigations, the body of Beltran lay inside the taxi van well after 1p.m. parked lagoon-side, into some shrubberly off the road in the San Juan Area. The body of Beltran was discovered by a Coast Guard unit that was patrolling the lagoon, who were flagged down by a man who spotted the taxi van. The crime scene was just around the corner of the San Pedro Police Department and police believe that it is likely that Beltran was subdued, taken to that spot and killed. Police gained knowledge that the criminals needed his vehicle to conduct a robbery.

    San Pedro: Dead Taxi man discovered this morning
    With crime being down for sometime now, it's sad to report the discovery of a taxi man found dead inside his vehicle in the San Juan Area this morning. More information to come as it becomes available.

    Weather Forecast Calls for Heavy Rains After Heat Spell
    It has been HOT and DRY the past few months but according to weather forecasts this week and an obvious spike in humidity – rain is on its way, and lots of it. According to AccuWeather.com, big changes are on the way for parts of Mexico and Central America and that includes possible rain and thunderstorms that could bring flooding to the region. Red sunsets, like the one pictured above, taken yesterday are one indication of possible rain. What was a long stretch of dry weather and record heat, a cold front will be pushing down its way into the Gulf of Mexico bringing rain to southeast Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras. Belize’s National Meteorological Service’s forecast calls for seasonably hot and dry weather today with the approach of a late season cold front that will support a break in these conditions. Neighboring city of Merida, Yucatan, Mexico experienced a sizzling high of 110 degrees F. the last couple of days, while in Belize temperatures reached in the high 90’s in the mainland.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Taximan Jose Rigoberto found dead
    At 1:00pm, the body of 42 year old San Pedro taximan Jose Rigoberto Beltran is still inside his van, parked off the road near the San Juan Layout. He was allegedly shot once to the back of the head. Residents say they heard one shot at approximately 9:45am. and the body was found at around 10:00am. Police allegedly have two men detained, and are awaiting Scenes of Crime personnel to process the area.

    Cayo Citizens on Patrol Program
    Congratulations to all those that aced the training for the Citizens on Patrol program! Great to see. Thanks go out to the SI police for organizing the training. Best of luck to all. "On Sunday 26th April 2015 San Ignacio Police concluded the first training for the citizens on patrol program. We would like to congratulate the newest members of the COP."

    Thinking of applying for the ESF Grant? Time is running out….
    Political/Economic Chief J. Nathan Bland recently appeared on Open Your Eyes to discuss the 2015 Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) Economic Support Fund (ESF) grant opportunities. The U.S. Embassy intends to issue three to five awards in amounts between US $100,000 and $400,000 for projects that aim to strengthen citizen security by focusing on job creation and providing alternative activities and better education for youth at higher risk of gang affiliation and/or engaging in criminal activity.

    Vaca Forest Reserve Fires
    The Vaca Forest Reserve located north of the Chiquibul National Park has been under constant wild fires, that have created large gusts of smoke into Benque and Succotz. Without any fire lines, farmers have caused the destruction of large areas of the reserve. The fires still continue.

    CSKC Wins at Copa Poptun
    Congratulations to all the CSKC students that won at the Copa Poptun Karate tournament! They took home 28 medals. " The Cayo Shotokan Karate Club in conjunction with the Belize Karate Federation participated in the 3rd Copa Poptun in Guatemala on Saturday, April 25, 2015. The delegation led by Sensei Herman Pastor Jr. and David Diego was comprised of 13 Junior athletes ranging from ages 6 to 16. The team was awarded the 2nd Place trophy for winning 8 gold, 11 silver and 9 bronze medals.

    Channel 7

    Reggae Street Slaughter
    At the end of last night's news, we told you about the fatal shooting on Reggae Street. The victim was 29 year-old Wayne Rocke, who became the Belize District's 6th murder victim in 48 hours. Courtney Weatherburne was at the scene in the "Yabra" area last night - and she has this report:... Courtney Weatherburne reporting Those flashing blue and red lights and this flapping barricade tape are all too familiar to city residents. And residents of the Yabra area were faced with that scene last night on Reggae Street after 29 year old Wayne Rock was shot and killed near this house. Like the ending of most of these tragic murder stories, the family was escorted to see their loved one's lifeless body. Before it was wrapped in a blood stained sheet and driven away. The family admits to Rock's street reputation but says that was his past.

    Second Victim From Medina Shooting Succumbs
    Adding to the frightening spate of murders is 55 year-old taxi-man Egbert Hemmans. He was the driver who took 31 year-old Mark Medina to Iguana Street on Sunday morning. He walked right into a trap, and a gunman was waiting for him. He killed Medina and shot Hemmans in the chest and abdomen - the bullet exited his back - damaging his liver. Hemmans sped off and drove himself to the KHMH - arriving there in a critical state. Doctors did what they could for him, but he passed away last night at around 8:00 from complications due to his injuries. According to his sister, the doctors called her telling her that he went into shock and about an hour later he died. Today police said that he was the victim of an unfortunate circumstance: Supt. Hiberto Romero - OC, CIB Eastern Division "Mr. Hemmans was pronounced dead yesterday around 8:20PM. That post mortem will be conducted sometime today."

    San Pedro Cabbie Killed For His Golf Cart
    42 year-old Jose Beltran, a San Pedro Taximan better known as Mr. Rigo, became the 7th murder victim in two and a half days. Police found him dead inside his vehicle in the San Juan Area of San Pedro this morning at 10:00. He had been tied up and shot in the head. The senior command of the Police Eastern Division has been on the island for weeks trying to root out the crime problem, and this evening, Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster briefed the media about what they've been able to find out. He told us just over an hour ago that it appears that his killers targeted this law abiding resident for his taxi, which they planned to use in the commission of a crime: Sr. Supt. Edward Broaster "We responded, we found the male person with one gunshot wound to the head and our response to the incident, we managed to apprehend one of the main suspects. We've confiscated a boat with a 75 horse power engine that was use as the getaway vessel. We have one main suspect in custody and we are searching for two others."

    60 Hours, 7 Murders In Bze District
    So, that San Pedro murder brings the toll between Saturday night and Monday night to seven murders in the Belize District in a little more than 60 hours. It's a staggering number, and that's why everyone was on high alert this afternoon when shots rang out in Munoz Alley in the Fort George area. No one was hurt - but a number of shot rang out in the alley which adjoins the notorious Pink's Alley. Police maintain active patrols in the area.

    Security Guard Arrested For One Murder
    Police have made an arrest for one of the killings over the weekend. Diarron "Percy" Hamilton, the security guard who fatally stabbed 41 year-old Wilmer Cisneros, was charged for murder this morning and tonight, he's at the Belize Central Prison. Hamilton was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, and due to the nature of the offence, no plea was taken. He was denied bail and remanded to prison until his next court date, which was scheduled for July 22. As we reported, the incident happened at around 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 22. Cisneros and a friend were patrons at the Blue House Bar in Ladyville. They were having a drink, when Hamilton and another security guard allegedly approached them and asked that they pay the entrance fee. According to his family, this fee only becomes a requirement after 9 p.m., and so they intended to leave. They somehow got into an altercation which escalated to a fight. Cisneros and Jimenez were stabbed during the fight, and Cisneros' injuries to the chest and abdomen were fatal.

    PM Back From Talking To Bank of America and Carnival Cruise
    Taking a break now from all that crime....Prime Minister Dean Barrow returned to the country today after a quick trip to Miami to meet with senior officials from the Bank of America and Carnival Cruise Lines. He's having a press conference tomorrow to discuss the outcome and what it means for the banking sector and the cruise tourism industry, but the media wanted a preview and met him at the airport today. Here's what he told us:... Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "Well in respect to Bank of America, I think that the way forward is clear. What is going to be permitted and not permitted in terms of the government's hand-holding with the Belize Bank. It was useful, we know exactly how we are to proceed and that's been extremely helpful. In terms of Carnival, again, my mind is certainly clear as to Carnival's position re-Stake Bank and that again alone was worth the trip. I can't suggest that there is all of a sudden now a very bright well-define yellow brick road."

    First Quarter Tourism Figures Show Stagnation
    2014 was very strong for both cruise and overnight tourism when record numbers were realised. But, the first quarter of 2015 shows numbers for the overnight tourism sector going down ever so slightly - a very worrying start to the year for the BTB and tourism interests. Now, we stress, it is down very marginally, less than half of one percentage point - but it is worrying because the quarterly figure comes after a succession of years in which growth was shown consistently in every quarter. So, what's causing it? Well, according to a BTB release, you should blame it on the weather. The release says, quote, "There were severe snow storms that took place frequently during this period, resulting in cancellation of flights that affected travel from Canada, as well as the Central and Eastern United States, including Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York City." End quote. And while that is perhaps plausible, the other side of that coin is that there are now more flights from more destinations to Belize than ever before - and the cost of air fares is trending down due to lower fuel costs - which should attract more travellers.

    Opposition Leader Will Give PM Ultimatum
    Leader of the opposition Francis Fonseca says he is writing a letter to the Prime Minister which will give him 21 days to repeal the Petrocaribe Loans Act. What happens after that? That's what we asked Fonseca after he appeared on the KREM WUB show this morning:... Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "We have drafted a letter which we are sending to the Prime Minister of Belize. Which our objective is to have all of these partners, even if it's the third parties, if they want to join in - to be signatories to this letter, demanding that this PetroCaribe act be repealed and if is not repealed within 21 days of that letter, then we will have to mobilize and take to the streets and get the support of the Belizean people on this issue. Because we believe it is a fundamentally important issue, that goes to the heart of governance and goes to the heart of democracy." Jules Vasquez "This complicated by the fact that in 2005, the PUP signed the first PetroCaribe agreement. Two months after it had passed the Finance and Audit Act, which the former president of the PSU Mr. Dylan Reneau, wrote is in fact doing the same thing which the PUP now criticizes - undertaking a loan of infinite amount without the approval of national assembly."

    PM Will Not Be Moved on Petrocaribe
    Of course, the UDP says you can't be in favour of Petrocaribe spending and against the Petrocaribe Loans Act - because the ruling party maintains that Petrocaribe is such a strange instrument of credit that it cannot fit within the confines of the Finance and Audit Act. And that's why the Prime Minister said he wasn't fazed when we asked him about the Leader of the Opposition's 21 day ultimatum:.. Jules Vasquez "He will give you 21 days. Then after that he will take it to the streets." Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "Well, I am certainly prepared to make a statement on PetroCaribe tomorrow. It's not escape my attention that there has been an unrelenting campaign over the last week and I am now learning that it continues into this week. So, I will make a statement. Prepare for a long press conference, because there are so very many issues to address. But I can say from now, that there is not a chance in hell that there will be any repeal of the PetroCaribe loans act." Jules Vasquez "Even if the social partners and the Opposition galvanized?"

    86 Year Old Trapped In Fire
    There was a fire in the city this afternoon. It happened at #17 Neal Pen Road around 3:30 this afternoon. But, it wasn't just the structure that was at risk, an 86-year-old woman was at home all alone - luckily neighbors were able to save her. The fire department was quick to the scene - and a neighbor told us off camera how she saved the octogenarian - we also spoke to the tenant downstairs about their damages:.. Voice of Neighbour "I saw the smoke and I heard the lady crying. I went upstairs and tried to carry her down but I couldn't succeed so I called for someone and a young man came to help me, and that's how we brought her downstairs." Courtney Weatherburne "Was she the only one in the house at the time?" Voice of Neighbour "She was the only one at the time and she cannot move." Nicholas Mogual, Tenant, downstairs "The downstairs is supposed to be wet right now because when I went in there it was getting wet and there was a lot of smoke so I couldn't stay in there. But it's just getting wet for right now."

    DPP Says Ellis Meighan No Charge To Answer For "Zimbab" Shooting
    It made big news last year when George Street General, Carlos Abraham known as Zimbab was shot on Lakeview Street. Ellis Meighan Jr -who lives around the corner from the crime scene - was one of the accused persons, but today he walked from attempted murder charges. The DPP directed that the charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm should be withdrawn. With that, Meighan Junior walked out the court a freeman. Now, only a 17 year old minor stands accused of the crime. A preliminary inquiry will be held in early June.

    Gang Rape Allegation From Southern Tertiary School
    There is a troubling allegation of gang rape coming out of one of the Tertiary Education Institutions in the South. It involves a case where a female student is accusing as many as five of her male counterparts of raping her on a class trip. For the protection of the victim's identity police have asked us not to release certain sensitive information - like the name of the school. But we have confirmed that this tertiary level class trip was taken from the school in the south to San Ignacio on Thursday April 16. We understand that an 18 year-old female special needs student was on the trip with 75 other students and 2 teachers We understand the student was returning from the restroom, when she was pulled into a room and forced into having sexual relations with several of her male peers. We've confirmed with San Ignacio police that a report was made last week, and police have visited the school in the south to investigate the allegations.

    Minister's Nephew Being Protected From Gun Charge
    Earlier this month we reported on the boat accident near the municipal airstrip which left boat captain Romy Badillo critical. We also told you about the fundraising event that was organized by his family and friends to cover medical expenses. While the family advertised the event as being a fun filled one, there was one confrontation that changed the entire mood. Edison Usher better known as DJ Vintage came to our studios to tell us about a frightening encounter he had with another man at the fundraising event. Usher told us that he was setting up the sound system at the Hour Bar Field for the event when a man drove over his speakers wires twice. Usher told us he was only trying to dissuade him from driving over the wire by waving or signaling him to go another way but the young man in the vehicle took it to another level by pulling a gun. Here is Usher's account of what happened next. Edison Usher, Had a gun pointed at him in public "The reason why we're trying to divert things is because there's wires on the ground that damage the equipment and it's very expensive. He mumbled something, I didn't hear it too well because the breeze was blowing a little bit.

    Teenaged Girl Missing For Two Weeks
    A 16-year-old girl has been missing for about 2 weeks now and her family came to our studios yesterday to ask for help in finding her. Shania Bain's sister, Kemiesha Perry, told us today that she has run off before with friends but in the past she always came back. This time though concerns are mounting for the family because she has never been gone this long. Her sister told us more: Kemiesha Perry "No one said anything like having her or condoning her at their house, but the only thing that I heard was that she's in the complex and PIV area. That's the only thing that I heard but I didn't...." Courtney Weatherburne "Someone saw her in that area?" Kemiesha Perry "Yes, because a couple people to whom I spoke to, like people who are in her class and different things. They said how they saw her in the area and if they would see her again, I gave them my number so if they see her just let them contact me and just let me go for her. When she use to go, she use to go two days and return. Sometimes nearly a week and then she comes back but then it wasn't such a big deal. Yes, we would go look for her even if it were two days but, now she hasn't returned so I can't say. Well I know she's alive there but I just don't know exactly where she is. I just hope wherever she is, she's safe and I hope she comes back home so she can go back to school."

    Deputy PM Vega Wants To Sue, Doesn't Want To Appear In Court
    Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega's defamation lawsuit against his PUP political opponent, Ramon Cervantes Jr. went back to the Supreme Court today. We're referring to the decision by the DPM to sue Cervantes because he released an explosive phone call recording on the evening news and on national radio. In that phone call, the man claiming to be Manuel Castillo, the wanted murder mastermind, named Vega as the person who orchestrated Cervantez father's murder last year. Today was a case management conference which focused mostly on an application to amend the claim, made by Vega's attorney, Rodwell Wiliams. We waited outside of court and spoke with Cervantes and his attorney who claims that in this application, Vega wants the lawsuit to continue against Cervantez, he just doesn't want to be obliged to appear in court regularly for it:

    26 Year Old Man Raped Child
    Last night we told you about a 38 year old who was remanded for sexually assaulting a 10 year old girl, and tonight the story is about a 26 year-old accused of doing the same to a nine year old girl. Salvadoran National Daniel Rios, a taxi driver of Starfish Crescent, was arraigned on the charge of unlawful sexual intercourse and harm against of a female child 9 years and 5 months old when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Due to the nature of the offences, he was remanded into custody until August 5. The child reported to the police that Rios had sex with her at his home on April 24. The child was taken to the hospital where she was examined by a doctor who classified her injuries as wounding.

    Rats At Western Regional
    The Western Regional hospital has an infestation of rats and health authorities are trying to eradicate these rodents as quickly as possible. On Friday afternoon around 11:30 staff members were cleaning the storage room when they found drawers, cupboards and other areas over-run with rats. We spoke to the Regional Manager of the Hospital, Melinda Guerra and she says that pest control as well the infection control unit are working together to get rid of the rats in the storage room and in any other room in the hospital where these rodents may be lurking. Guerra told us that she met with CEO Peter Allen today and he approved the budget of $18,000 to thoroughly clean and renovate the storage room and works should begin as early as Friday. All foods items and supplies that were contaminated and unfit for consumption were discarded. All the other food items that are safe for consumption have been moved to another area in the hospital; the storage room is not in use at this time. Guerra says public health inspectors are conducting an overall assessment of the hospital.

    PUP Taking GOB To Court for 13th Senator
    Earlier in the news we told you how the PUP will be issuing the government of Belize with a 21 day ultimatum to repeal the Petrocaribe Loans Act. Well, the opposition will also go to court to force the UDP to bring into effect the constitutional amendment to add a 13th. Senator to the Upper House. This amendment was passed years ago, but the Barrow Administration simply refused to bring it into effect - because they say their very own amendment would paralyze the legislature. Well now the PUP is taking it to court. The Leader of the opposition explained: Attorney Eamon Courtenay who has been an outspoken public critic of the non-adoption of the constitutional amendment will be bringing the action.

    PUP Says No Cozying Up To Ashcroft
    And while the PUP tries to generate momentum for a general election which is coming sooner rather than later, the truth of politics is that you can't get momentum without money. And for that, many seasoned political observers feel that the PUP will turn to Michael Ashcroft - who is the biggest single financier in Belize's post independent history. But, recently Ashcroft has been changing his strategy - both in Belize and in the UK where he no longer gives to parties as much as he focuses on what are called marginal seats - basically constituencies that could win with just the right infusion of campaign financing. But today the PUP would not admit to even that; they say Ashcroft has shown no interest in them - and the feeling is mutual:.. Reporter "The last time you were asked, you were dismissive about the presence of Lord Ashcroft in Belize. Since then, has the PUP met with him? And will the PUP be accepting campaign financing from him?" Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "We just discussed that on the KREMANDALA Show. No, we have not, Jules did not invite me to his meeting with him so I couldn't go. So we haven't heard anything from Lord Ashcroft at all and for me it's a moot question. We are not accepting money from someone who is not offering us money. I don't know if Jules told the man a lot of bad things about me, I don't know. So in any case for us, we are committed to raising money from the Belizean people. That's how we ran our election in 2012. From the Belizean people, the Belizean business community, that's how we're going to do it again whenever the elections are called."

    PUP Will Present Public Plan For Convention
    38 year-old Haitian National David Modest arrived at the PGIA with a fake Belizean permanent residency permit, and so tonight he's at the prison for it. We have not been able to confirm which flight he arrived on, but the Immigration Officers flagged the immigration document he presented to them when he arrived. When they did a background check, the realized that the permanent residency permit was fake. He was questioned, and he later revealed he bought the document online. He was then charged with using a document he wasn't entitled today, and when he was arraigned today before Magistrate Ladonna John, he pleaded guilty. He was fined $1,000 to be paid forthwith, and because he couldn't pay, he was sent to prison to serve 6 month. After that, he will be deported at the earliest convenience.

    Channel 5

    Murder on Reggae Street – Mechanic Slain While Repairing Vehicle
    The murder count went up by three in the past twenty four hours. In San Pedro a taxi man was killed in his van, while in the city another cabbie [...]

    Taxi Driver Succumbs to Gunshot Injuries in Wake of Weekend Carnage
    At eight-twelve on Monday night when the medical officers would pronounce Wayne Rocke dead, they were called to the bedside of fifty-five year old Egbert Hemmans to record his death. [...]

    Popular Cab Driver Found Dead Inside His Van in San Pedro
    The forty-third murder of the year happened in broad daylight this morning in the San Juan Layout of San Pedro. At around ten this morning, popular taxi-man, forty-two year old [...]

    Should the Government Repeal the Petrocaribe Loan Act?
    And our question for tonight is: Do you believe that the government should repeal the Petrocaribe Loan Act? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or [...]

    PM Returns from Meeting with Bank of America and Carnival Reps in Miami
    Prime Minister Barrow has been away on official business in Miami where he met with representatives from the Bank of America and Carnival Cruise Lines to discuss separate issues pertaining [...]

    Will Petrocaribe Loans Act be Repealed Within 21 Days?
    Will the controversial Petrocaribe Loans Act be repealed by May nineteenth?  That’s what Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca and P.U.P. Deputy Party Leader Julius Espat are anticipating, following an [...]

    PM Says Leader of Opposition’s Statements are Outrageous
    During an appearance in the media earlier today, Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca said that the stipulations within the Petrocaribe Loans Act were made by PM Barrow in order [...]

    Petrocaribe Loans Act Won’t be Struck Out, PM Open to Tweak Law
    While the prime minister has made it abundantly clear that there will be no repeal of the Petrocaribe Loans Act, he is open to the idea of fine-tuning the legislation [...]

    Elderly Woman Escapes Mid-afternoon Fire on Neal Pen Road
    An eighty-six year old lady had to be rescued from her house today after it caught fire. A neighbor and friends heard her crying out and they ran in to [...]

    Administrator Comments on Rodent Infestation at Western Regional Hospital
    In Monday’s newscast we showed you the food storage area at the Western Regional Hospital. The condition of that room, complete with rat infestation and just generally nastiness, came to [...]

    Tourist Arrivals Remain Steady in First Quarter of 2015
    The new tourism figures for the first three months of this year are in. According to the stats from the Belize Tourism Board, overnight arrivals remained steady while cruise arrivals [...]

    Pre-Trial Review Commences in Libel Case Between Gapi and Monchie
    Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega speedily brought a lawsuit against his political rival of Orange Walk North standard bearer Ramon “Monchie” Cervantes Junior, last November charging libel because of a [...]

    Ramon ‘Monchie’ Cervantes Shares Perspective on the Case
    The DPM has steadfastly denied the charges, but his attorney, Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams, today applied to amend the statement of claim form, with a decision by the Chief Justice [...]

    Security Guard Arraigned for Murder of Patron Inside Blue House Bar
    Security Guard Darion Hamilton was slapped with a single charge of murder when he appeared in court today. Hamilton, a guard at the Blue House Bar in Ladyville, was charged [...]

    Still No Motive for the Mahogany Heights Murder of Kevin Flowers
    Earlier we told you about three murders over the course of Monday night and this morning. But the bloody Monday killings were preceded by an early morning shooting in Mahogany [...]

    Who is John Doe? Body Still Unidentified Five Days Later
    Last Thursday, the badly decomposed body of a John Doe was discovered floated near mile five on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The discovery was made when a caretaker of a [...]

    Ellis Meighan Jr. Acquitted of Attempted Murder of Zimbab Abraham
    Tonight, Ellis Meighan Junior is free of charges of Attempted Murder, Dangerous Harm and Use of Deadly Means of Harm with a Deadly Weapon. He was charged along with a [...]

    Commissioner of Lands on Hopkins Beach Erosion
    On Monday’s newscast, we showed you the images of the massive erosion in the southern village of Hopkins. It started about a week ago and since then, some residents and [...]

    Is There Any Way to Reclaim Worn Beachfront?
    As to residents and resorts who have lost their beachfronts to the erosion and whose property values have gone down, is there any way that they can reclaim their lands [...]

    FCD to Receive Assistance from Kentucky University
    On Monday, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center and the Western Kentucky University. The agreement seeks to help the region with its climate [...]

    CTV3

    Case Of Vega Versus Cervantes Goes Back To The Supreme Court
    Viewers may recall in July of last year when businessman Ramon Cervantes Sr. was brutally murdered and his body dumped and found in a shallow grave in an area off the Honey Camp Road in Orange Walk. And while there has been an arrest made of the three persons accused for his death, an explosive allegation emerged that Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega somehow had a hand in the murder of Ramon Cervantes Sr., father of PUP Standard Bearer for Orange Walk North Ramon Monchie Cervantes. That phone call, in Spanish, was played on Love FM during a live broadcast of the family's memorial ceremony for the patriarch. Since the recording was released, Vega has categorically denied that claim, and in November, filed a suit to sue Monchie Cervantes Jr. for libel in the Supreme Court. Today, that case was heard in the Supreme Court in Belize City and from all indications, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega does not appear interested in personally appearing in the Supreme Court to clear his name. Today’s agenda in court should have been a pre-trial review for the case before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Today Cervantes ’attorney Senior Counsel Said Musa reported that Vega’s attorney, Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams, applied to amend the statement of claim form.

    Taxi Man Murdered In Island Of San Pedro Town
    The crime wave has trickled into the premier tourist destination of San Pedro Town as today a taxi man on duty was killed execution style inside his taxi cab. San Pedro police say they are investigating the murder of 42 year Jose Rigoberto Beltran after they were alerted by neighbours in the San Juan Area of a gunshot heard in that vicinity shortly after 9:00am. Police responded to the area around 10:15am and saw a grey taxi cab parked in a feeder road in the San Juan Area. Upon further checks, Beltran was seen with his hands tied between the two front seats of the vehicle with a single gunshot wound to the back of the head. Beltran was a taxi driver of the San Pedro Airstrip Taxi Union and was a resident of the DFC area. Island cops say at this point, they have not ascertained a motive but are looking at robbery and a drug related angle. Five people have been detained and statements are being taken. So far, no arrests have been made. Residents say Beltran was a cordial, friendly and reliable taxi operator of the island.

    Elodio Aragon Jr. Come To His Own Defence
    On Saturday night some residents of Chan Pine Ridge Village in Orange Walk attended a meeting held by the People’s United Party committee in the village and expressed a number of concerns. Among these are accusations against United Democratic Party Standard Bearer for Orange Walk East Elodio Aragon Junior. In an interview with Chan Pine Ridge resident Damian Tzul, he told us what these allegations are. Damian Tzul “Also other issues that were being brought at the Agric Show that was not being held this year, the Chairman of the village after having a meeting with ourselves, members of the committee and with Josue Carballo, the PUP standard bearer, because of Mr. Aragon who is the UDP Standard Bearer wanted him to give him the fair and all funds of that to be channeled to his UDP Committee for his political campaign or whatever, so he refused to give him the fair and that is one of the reasons that the fair was not being held this year, also we discussed about a very sensitive issue here in the village also where Mr. Aragon has made a convenient meeting last week and has stated that he is appointing Mr. Mateo Tzul as acting Chairman of the village and the villagers did not acknowledge what the has done because in the village council act there is nothing that states that as acting Chairman to be appointed we either have to go to a by-lection and then the people then decide a chairman of the village so at no time the villagers will permit that this fake acting chairman will be acknowledge in the village.”

    Bus Shed In San Lorenzo Road Vandalized
    The San Lorenzo Bus Shed, a project instituted by the Orange Walk Town Council has seen its fair share of vandalism, as other public spaces around town. But the vandalism continues says officials at the Town Council and it is becoming a concern. The bus shed which serves as a bus stop for students and residents in that community, was once again vandalized only that this time it had markings of gang insignia, particularly the Trial Farm Bloods. The Council will see to it that the illegal graffiti is removed and has partnered with the officials at the ITVET to try and catch the culprits. The public is reminded that vandalism of property is liable for a fine and an offense punishable by law.

    Africanize Killer Bees Removed From San Pablo School Compound
    Yesterday we told you about a swarm of Africanized bees that had made their home on a Mahogany tree at the San Pablo RC School which were the cause of classes being cancelled in the afternoon. Today we checked with the school administration and were informed that the hive was successfully removed and the children were back in class today. The school officials were not aware that the swarm of bees had nested on the tree until they had a very close encounter with the insects on Monday morning. As a result of the incident, the school administration decided to let the children out for the rest of the day and arrangements were made to get rid of the bees. The school received assistance from villagers and successfully removed the animals from the tree. No one is reported to have been injured or hurt by the animals.

    Infrastructure Project To Commence In Free Zone
    The main road in the Corozal Free Zone is scheduled for expansion and the work should start soon reports the Mexican press. The report indicates that by the end of this month or in early May, work should commence on the project which is expected to serve the customers that visit the free zone on a daily basis. The following is a full report aired by the news agency Notivision in Chetumal Quintana Roo, Mexico. We attempted to get official word from the Free Zone Management today but when we contacted the chairman David Ackerman he told us he was in an all-day meeting.

    San Narciso Villager Charges For Robbery
    A San Narciso Villager was arrested and charged for robbery over the weekend. According to the report made by 23 year old Sabrina Martinez, on Friday around 9:00pm, she was heading to her house walking on the main road in San Narciso and while crossing over the main road pedestrian ramps, she was approached by a male person known to her as Nelson Claros alias ‘WICHO” from the same village. Claros asked her for money for him to go and buy marijuana and she replied she had none. At that point she kept walking and suddenly she felt someone pushed her violently on the chest causing her to drop flat on the ground. According to Martinez she felt scared and when she looked up she noticed that it was Claros that had pushed her. Martinez reported to authorities that Claros snatched her cell phone valued at $270.00 Belize dollars and ran away. Subsequently, police were called and apprehended and charged 31 year old Nelson Claros for the crime of Robbery. Authorities have not been able to recover the stolen cellular phone.

    BYM Calls On GOB To Address Crime Rate
    For Belize City, a city that has struggled with one of the nation's most alarming murder rates, the surge in killings so far this year has provided a jarring, blood-spattered reminder of the problem's endurance. And while the shooting sprees may seem rampant, questions are raised about the police department's ability to effectively handle the murder caseload. And today, the Belize Youth Movement issued a release on the devastating spate of gun violence in our country. BYM is calling on the Ministry of National Security to demonstrate appropriate concern and proper leadership and response at what have been extremely violent weeks in the country. Statistics show that there have been 44 cold-blooded murders and dozens more near fatal shootings in the four early months of 2015. Almost half (20 killings) of those homicides have occurred in Belize City and the majority of them involve gun violence and gang violence. April has been the bloodiest month with 16 murders so far. While our communities, in particular Belize City neighbourhoods are terrorized by gun violence, our society is fast losing precious lives, says BYM.

    BTB Releases Latest Tourism Statistics
    Cruise arrivals in Belize have grown significantly in the first quarter of the New Year, reports the Belize Tourism Board. Cruise arrivals in 2015 have seen major increases in January and March, with 16.6% and 15.8% increase, respectively. The BTB details that for the first quarter of 2015, overnight arrivals remained steady. There was a 1.1% increase in overnight arrivals in March 2015, representing an increase of 424 tourists over March 2014. This though was followed by two months of decreases that were similarly small in magnitude, being 1.0% and 1.1% in January and February, respectively. According to the BTB’s first quarterly report, the major factor influencing the results in the overnight sector was weather. “There were severe snow storms that took place frequently during this period, resulting in cancellation of flights that affected travel from Canada, as well as the Central and Eastern United States, including Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York City – some originating destinations for visitors to Belize”, the report stated. The BTB projects that in 2015 it will see an increase in arrival numbers over last year. It will also keep a close watch on the global conditions in the months ahead as they keep playing a role in the number of tourist arrivals to the country.

    PlusTV

    Two held for deadly Ladyville bar fight
    A night out for two laborers in Ladyville ended tragically when both of them were stabbed during a fight, one fatally...

    Mark Medina killed in Belize City
    There were two murders in Belize City on Sunday afternoon, happening no more than three hours apart from each other in the heat of the day...

    Tyrone Neal shot dead two hours after Medina murder
    Three hours later around one in the afternoon, the heretofore quiet area of Kraal Road was shaken by gunfire. When it had all settled Fabers Road resident 34 year old Tyrone Neal lay dead of multiple gunshot wounds in a yard at the corner of Kraal Road and Haynes Street. Supt...

    Murder victim’s body dumped in Mahogany Heights
    The peace of Mahogany Heights at the extreme western edge of the Belize District was shaken this Monday morning by gunfire around 7:00 a.m. Later in the day the body of 40 year old Kevin Flowers was found on the roadside showing a single gunshot to the head...

    Green Belize Clean Up Initiative
    From Students, to softball clubs, to private organizations; hundreds of individuals came out on Saturday to clean up garbage along the entire 77 miles of the George Price Highway...

    Road Traffic Accident leaves Motorcycle Driver in the Hospital
    A man from the village of Valley of Peace is today recovering at the Western Regional hospital following a traffic accident that caused him injuries to the left arm and left knee...

    Burglary at Elections And Boundaries Department Belmopan
    The elections and boundaries office in Belmopan was broken into over the weekend and burglarized...

    BDF truck and civilian car in crash
    This morning on the Philip Goldson Highway near Mile 13 at the junction with the entrance to the Los Lagos Subdivision there was a crash of two motor vehicles – one a jeep vehicle used by the Belize Defence Force (BDF) and a civilian vehicle. There were no serious injuries reported...

    Gun Found in Well Known Pastor’s House
    Police arrested and charged 5 persons today including a 15 year old minor all from the Village of Roaring Creek, Belmopan for the possession of guns and ammunition. According to reports, based on information police visited the house of a well known pastor in Roaring Creek this morning...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Illegal immigrant from Haiti charged
    38 year old Haitian national David Modeste, who arrived in Belize today via Phillip Goldson International Airport with Belizean residency permit which he said he bought online, was fined $1,000 by Magistrate Ladonna John after he pleaded guilty to attempting to use a permit not being issued by […]

    Taxi driver charged for unlawful sex with nine year old
    26 year old Salvadoran national Daniel Rios, a taxi driver of Starfish Crescent, was charged with unlawful sexual intercourse of a female child 9 years and 5 months old when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Ann-Marie Smith. Rios was also charged with wounding. He was remanded […]

    Ladyville dead body not identified
    Reports reaching us over the weekend were that a dead male body found in the vicinity of the Haulover Bridge had been identified as one Anival Alvarado. The body was decomposed and showed no signs of violence on it making it difficult for authorities to determine the cause […]

    Police update recent murder cases
    The murder carnage in Belize City continues as gunshots were heard again in the Southside. This time it took place on Reggae Street around 7:20 Monday night and the target was a resident of Jane Usher Boulevard. Superintendent of Police Hilberto Romero says the death of Wayne Rock, […]

    Prime Minister plans press conference after Miami trip
    On Friday afternoon Prime Minister Dean Barrow left Belize for Miami, Florida, where he met with representatives of Carnival Cruise Lines to discuss a way forward regarding the Stake Bank Port, and with officials of the Bank of America concerning its recently severed relations with corresponding banks and […]

    Political parties spar over Petrocaribe
    Elements of the opposition to the Petrocaribe Loan Act 2015 are now prepared to take their frustration to the streets, a favorite tactic of dissent. The complaint is that the Act, which concerns some $286 million borrowed by the Dean Barrow administration since 2012, effectively legitimizes acts seen […]

    Darrell Bradley “disappointed” City residents, says PUP
    After dithering for several months and very nearly losing the opportunity, Mayor of Belize City Darrell Bradley held on to that title comfortably in the March municipal elections. But he is all set to potentially abandon that post after being recently confirmed as the UDP candidate for Caribbean […]

    PUP discusses internal issues
    Today leader of the parliamentary Opposition and of the People’s United Party (PUP) Francis Fonseca made his first appearance for some time on the KREM Wake Up Belize Morning Vibes program along with deputy leader Julius Espat this morning. Fonseca’s leadership has been rocked by back to back […]

    Belize Bank’s Branch Offices continue physical transformation plans
    In its ongoing commitment to service excellence, the Belize Bank Limited under-took the initiative a few years ago to improve and transform its human resource structure, business process and physical infrastructure. The first step was marked with the opening of the flagship North-side Branch at the Matalon Business Center on […]

    Well Known Bullet Tree Man Succumbs to Injuries at KHMH
    Belize Media Group received a report this afternoon from our San Ignacio reporter that Antonio Teck Sr, a well known farmer from Bullet Tree Falls Village, Cayo District has died at the KHMH. According to reports, Teck was chopping the limbs of a Tamarind tree yesterday morning about 10:00 am […]

    Taxi Driver Shot on Sunday Morning Has Died
    The Sunday morning shooting that happened in Belize City has claimed the life, not only of thirty one years old Mark Medina but also fifty five years old Egbert Hemmans. Hemmans had taken Medina to a house on Iguana Street on Sunday, when he was ambushed by a gunman. After […]

    Gaspar Vega begs out of testimony in libel case
    After speedily bringing a lawsuit against his political rival charging libel on a radio broadcast in which allegations were made that he ordered a hit on that rival that claimed his father’s life instead, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega does not appear interested in personally appearing in the […]

    Rodent infestation at Western Regional Hospital
    According to reports, the pictures were taken on Friday from the supplies room, which houses food items prepared for patients, doctors and nurses. Authorities have been alerted of the problem and are taking every effort to rid of the problem, but it seems like a problem that will not go […]

    PUP to install Major Lloyd Jones as Standard Bearer for Belize Rural North
    Tomorrow, April 29th, the People’s United Party will hold a press conference in Belize City to announce that Major Lloyd Jones will be the new standard bearer for Belize Rural North. The meeting will be held at Independence Hall at 10am. More information will be posted shortly.

    Man Snatches Woman’s Phone in San Narcisco, Corozal
    One man from the village of San Narciso in the Corozal District is facing the long arms of the law. According to 23 years old, Sabrina Martinez, on Friday, April 24th, she was on her way home on the main road of the village when she was approached by a […]

    The Caribbean Court Ruling on The Maya Land Case in Belize Will Have an Impact on The Garifuna People as Well
    Long before the Europeans came to the Caribbean, Americas and other parts of the world, people and nations were living in peace in their respective territories on this planet earth. History tells us that it was not only the Europeans that were roaming this planet committing atrocities against other […]

    Blogs

    It’s A Scorcher out There! Heat, Beach Erosion, Signs, Chocolate and a bit More
    This April has been a HOT ONE for sure and with very little rain. These past few days, I woke up thinking someone must be burning something…the air is that thick with haze. Luckily for us on the coast, we have been cooled by the “Easter winds” but temperatures on the mainland this week… OH NELLY. Here are the mainland highs. Tomorrow a cold front is supposed to move through bringing, potentially, some heavy rains (woo hoo!), cooler temperatures (woo hoo x 2) and thunderstorms (not so woo hoo!) Here’s what I’ve been doing with my week…other than a bit of sweating and plenty of work. Hot weather happens to be quite beautiful…and we also happen to be on the Caribbean Sea so things could be SO much worse.

    A new specie of bug has been discovered in Belize!
    And it’s so beautiful it deserves to be named after Belize’s Cayo District After our post of 20 March 2015, The Beautiful Bugs of Belize, it should be no secret how enamoured we are of those little friends of ours who are so important to the Belize’s biosphere and the natural order of things. So imagine our excitement at hearing that a new species of insect has been discovered in Belize. And to add to the good news, the little critter has been named after our favourite Belizean district – Cayo! That’s right, recently added to the over 900,000 species already identified as sharing the planet with us is Ambrysus cayo, a cute little (OK, we’re already prejudiced) saucer bug, which Entomology Today lyrically describes as one of those; “True bugs in the suborder Heteroptera in the family Naucoridae in the subfamily Cryphocricinae – the saucer bugs (also called creeping water bugs) so called because of their round, flat shape.”

    International Sourcesizz

    Liquid Mercury Discovered Under Ancient Temple May Shed New Light On Teotihuacan
    More than 10 years after it was discovered, a mysterious tunnel hidden under an ancient pyramid in central Mexico is giving up new secrets. Archaeologists say they've found "large quantities" of mercury at the end of the 340-foot tunnel, which lies under the legendary Temple of the Feathered Serpent pyramid in the ancient city of Teotihuacan, some 30 miles northeast of Mexico City. "It's something that completely surprised us," Sergio Gomez, the tunnel's excavation director, told Reuters, adding that his team does not yet know why the liquid metal was put there. Mercury has been found at three archaeological sites in Central America, the Guardian reported. Archaeologists believe it may have had ritual significance, perhaps symbolizing some sort of river to the underworld. "A few examples have been found in the Maya area, but it is very rare in ancient Mesoamerica," Dr. George Cowgill, an Arizona State University anthropologist and one of the world's leading experts on Teotihuacan, who was not involved in the discovery, told The Huffington Post in an email.

    Two new creeping water bug species found in Belize, Peru
    Two new insect species have been added to the 900,000+ species that have previously been described: Ambrysus cayo, which was found in streams in western Belize, and Procryphocricos pilcopata, which was found in streams in southeastern Peru. Both are true bugs in the suborder Heteroptera in the family Naucoridae and the subfamily Cryphocricinae -- the saucer bugs (also called the creeping water bugs), so called because of their round, flat shape. The discoverers are Dr. Robert W. Sites of the University of Missouri's Enns Entomology Museum, Dr. William Shepard of the University of California-Berkeley's Essig Museum of Entomology, and Dr. Shepard's wife, Cheryl Barr. Dr. Sites and Dr. Shepard have collaborated on many insect-collecting expeditions around the world. Dr. Sites is a specialist in aquatic hemipterans, and Shepard specializes in aquatic beetles. Descriptions of the new species appear in an article called "Neotropical genera of Naucoridae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Nepomorpha): New species of Ambrysus and Procryphocricos from Belize and Peru," which was published in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America.

    Plains resident to study Maya archaelogy in Belize
    A Plains resident has received a scholarship to study Maya archaeology in Belize. The dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the Univeristy of Texas at Tyler, Martin Slann, announced that senior Natalie Haynes will be given a scholarship from The Explorer’s Club for $1,500. The club offers scholarships to high school, collegiate and post-graduate students in support of exploration and field research. With the award, Haynes will travel to Belize this summer where she will assist excavation teams and collect data through the Maya Research Program. The program offers UT-Tyler students and other student scholars worldwide the opportunity to participate in real-world research and study of the Mayan Indian culture through the Blue Creek Archaeological Project at the Blue Creek Research Station in Tulix Mul, Belize.

    A leader on and off the field, Carlos plans to return for a fifth rugby season at Trent
    When talking with Gwynne Carlos, it takes only a few seconds to realize she is young woman who is sure of herself and knows what she wants. The 22-year-old from Barrie exudes confidence in every facet of her life, whether it be pursuing an education at Trent University, playing rugby for her Trent Excalibur team or helping others. She is committed, dedicated and believes in giving nothing less than 100% in whatever endeavour she is undertaking. Academically, Carlos maintained a 75% average for her four years and made the Dean's List this year. She is heading to Belize soon for seven weeks of field work. She would like to work in a museum as a curator. On the playing surface, she has been a player and leader. She has been rewarded for her accomplishments.

    Coral Reefs May Not be Doomed After All
    A wealth of research has warned that corals reefs, true reservoirs of biodiversity, are seriously threatened by human activities and climate change. But now researchers are offering a glimmer of hope, finding that corals may not be doomed to disappear after all. According to a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE, the planet's reefs will still be around in the future, but they just may look different from the ones we know now. Meaning, new coral fauna will emerge, coming from the species that are most resistant to temperature increases. Currently, corals reefs are under a lot of stress due to the intensification of cyclones, warming ocean temperatures that are causing extensive bleaching events, outbreaks of a coral-eating starfish, ocean acidification and coral diseases. These factors, combined with threats of overfishing, pollution and coastal development, had led the majority of scientists to believe that the world's corals would disappear by 2100. But now a team at the French Institute of Research for the Development (IRD) in Marseille, France is painting a less gloomy picture. In fact, while numerous coral species have indeed been declining for more than 30 years, others are remaining stable and even increasing in abundance. Consequently, some reefs have recently managed to recover.

    Woman's work: Birthing new Caribbean entrepreneurs
    You really don’t know what to expect when you put a dozen-plus Caribbean entrepreneurs in one room for a week. But when 15 entrepreneurs from 12 Caribbean countries came together in Port of Spain in April to share experiences and build strategies for future collaboration, it just felt like the start of something good. Besides their Caribbean heritage and passion for productivity, these go-getters—all women—had something else in common. Each had been competitively selected to take part in the first-ever facilitators training for the Women's Innovation Network of the Caribbean (WINC) program, a World Bank project funded via the Canada Development Bank that specifically supports woman entrepreneurs in the region.

    U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. Fourth Fleet
    U.S. Navy Surgeon General and Chief of U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Vice Adm. Matthew L. Nathan embarked the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) April 19-23, which is currently deployed in support of Continuing Promise 2015 (CP-15). Continuing Promise is a collaborative effort with partner nations to conduct civil-military operations including humanitarian-civil assistance, subject matter expert exchanges, medical, dental, veterinary and engineering support and disaster response within the region, demonstrating the U.S. support and commitment to Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Prior to embarking the ship, Nathan visited the CP-15 Belize medical and engineering sites as well as attended a reception and closing ceremony. While embarked, Nathan toured the ship, met with senior leadership and non-governmental organization volunteers and took a turn serving lunch to the junior personnel. Before departing, he attended the opening ceremony for the start of CP-15 operations in Guatemala. During an all-hands call onboard Comfort, Nathan emphasized the responsibility those Sailors have been given, to care and medically provide for people during humanitarian missions and disaster relief efforts.

    January Jones Asks Belize to #SayNoToOffshoreOil
    Did you know January Jones is an outspoken ocean advocate? Not only has the actress worked with Oceana to win support for the oceans, in 2013 she even swam with sharks to make a powerful PSA about why we should be scared FOR sharks, not scared OF them. This Thursday, she took to Instagram to lend her voice to another cause. Offshore drilling is a dangerous practice and can have extreme negative consequences for wildlife and economies. Props to January Jones for lending her voice to the protection of the Belizean reefs and for asking her enormous fan base to help.

    Videos

  • Birdwatching at Cockscomb and Sittee River | Bocawina Adventures Belize, 2.5min. Venture to Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve to explore the trails in the world’s first Jaguar Preserve. Known for its spectacular waterfalls, mountain views, nature trails, and rich diversity of Neotropical birds, this is a perfect place for a bird watching adventure. The preserve is currently operated by the Belize Audubon Society. Our Mayan naturalist guide will take you to the Sittee River where you will go on a birdwatching boat trip along the river. The mangroves located at the mouth of this river are the tallest ever reported for the Caribbean region and among the tallest anywhere in the entire Neotropics. Large marine and freshwater crocodiles inhabit the banks and waters of the river and sightings are very common. Iguanas can be seen sunbathing on the branches of trees hanging over the river. Bird watchers will be thrilled by the variety of airborne wildlife like flycatchers, egrets, kingfisher, toucans, parrots and herons.

  • Belize 2015 - UHMS Travels The World, 4.5min. Nice video from Andrew Malbin on scuba diving. Nice labeling of fish

  • Diving in Guatemala-Belize-Mexico, 5min.

  • The Scuba Shop - Belize trip 4/2015 - The Great Blue Hole, 12min. Made a couple trips to the Blue Hole on an incredible trip to Belize with The Scuba Shop. Total dive time from descent to surface was around a half hour.

  • Belize Groove, 2min. Get your groove on. Caribbean drummers playing it well in Belize City.

  • 2015 - Navigator of the Seas - Royal Caribbean - Roatan - Belize City - Cozumel - Cruise, 20min.

  • Missionaries life inspiring experiences and Waqf-e-Arzi in Belize, 62min.

  • Autorizan ampliación en la Av. principal de zona libre de Belice, 1.5min. La Ampliación de la avenida principal de la zona libre de Belice está autorizada para realizarse a finales de este mes o a inicio de mayo, con esto se dará una mejor atención a los compradores que visiten este recinto fiscal , reveló Carlos Parra Jiménez Empresario de la zona libre de Belice.

  • Island Expeditions Belize - Light House Reef (UNESCO World Heritage Site), 5min. Video production for Island Expeditions marine basecamp at Light House Reef. "Leading the Way in Belize Since 1987, Island Expeditions leads sea kayak, snorkel, natural history, and dive expeditions to beautiful Lighthouse Reef, Belize. Based on Half moon Caye, at Lighthouse Reef in Belize, the group stay in Safari style tent accommodations, and are fully guided and fully catered to for multi day vacation to the most beautiful place in Belize"

  • Justin Williams: 2015 Belize Cross Country Cycling Champion!, 23min. The incredible cycling athlete, Justin Williams, who became the first Belizean-American to have won the globally popular cycling classic, Belize Cross Country Cycling Classic, comes from Belizean parents in Los Angeles, and a family of cycling champions, the Miguel brothers, who dominated Belize's Cross Country for many years. While this has been William's third attempt at competing in the race, placing fourth in the previous ones, the self-motivated 25-year old Belizean cycling phenom rides professionally also in Los Angeles, and has his eyes on the internationally acclaimed, Tour de France, that he says has been his greatest dream to one day ride the race with the Belizean flag on his back. Williams and his brother, Corey Williams, who also placed fifth in this years race, executed a strategy from the onset of staying up front in the race from the onset, and worked hard as a team to beat the best of the foreign riders from around the world that had come yearly to win the internationally acclaimed cycling classic. His incredible story told here on Belizean Legends to host Bilal Morris has been an inspiration for many a Belizean cycling enthusiast at home in Belize, and abroad in the Belizean diaspora, who may one day want to attempt the grueling and iron man like 144 miles cycling classic that was held in the scorching Central American heat on April 5, 2015. The race has been won before by many American, Mexican, and Guatemalan cyclists since Mexican Pablo Calderon became the first rider outside of Belize to win in 1971, and American Ward Zauner became the first American to win in 1987. Williams is the nephew of the Belizean cycling champions of the 1950's, 60's and 70's, Edward, Arthur, John 'Johnito', and Rudy Miguel, a long line of cycling champions who had achieved the highest level of cycling athletic accolades for Belize in the history of the sport.

  • Snorkeling in Laughing Bird Caye, Placencia Belize, 1.5min.

  • Fan worms in a mangrove off the coast of Belize, 1min.

    April 28, 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

    Doctors from around the world participate in Hyperbaric Medical Course on Ambergris Caye
    56 doctors from around the world converged on the island for a six-day course in hyperbaric medicine. The course is being offered in partnership with the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) and the Divers Alert Network (DAN) with assistance from the local San Pedro Hyperbaric Chamber Clinic. The course’s main objective is to increase physicians’ knowledge in hyperbaric chamber medicine as well as to review their skills on ways to better assess the health and well-being of potential divers. Cindi Easterling has been the Course Coordinator for the UHMS-DAN continuing medical education (CME) program for over 25 years. According to Easterling, during the six-day course, doctors go through daily four-hour intense lectures imparted by some of the best, internationally-renowned physicians. She said, “Doctors gain infinite knowledge because we bring in internationally renowned physicians from around the world. Some of the doctors are internationally known specialists and professors and we share knowledge. Having knowledge in hyperbaric medicine can only increase a doctor’s ability to give better patient-care. It also allows them to be a part of a network from around the world in which you become a part of a group of physicians that you can call if you need more information and further consultation.”

    11th Annual Lagoon Reef Eco-challenge is a go
    The 11th Annual Lagoon Reef Eco-challenge is set to take place on Saturday, May 23rd and Sunday, May 24th. Organizers have been hard at work preparing all details for the iconic kayak race that takes participants through San Pedro’s lagoons and sea in a test of endurance and strength. Of course, teams also look forward to the amazing prizes, including a grand cash prize for the first place winners.Lagoon Reef Eco-Challenge-33 According to event organizer, Elito Arceo, 26 teams have registered so far and he expects more teams to register before the race date. The race follows the same traditional structure: paddlers take off on Saturday at 7AM from the beach in front of Central Park and make their way towards the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge, where they will enter the lagoon side of the island. The first day of the race will take kayakers up to the Basil Jones Area in the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve where they will camp out for the night. The second day of the race kicks off on Sunday at 9AM. Kayakers will make a last sprint from their campsite to Central Park, along the eastern coast of Ambergris Caye.

    Editorial: The benefits of our community insurance system
    We have a very interesting health and crisis insurance system here in San Pedro, which comes in the form of ‘the fund raiser’. Every week the community learns that one of its members is suffering from a debilitating illness or family crisis where they are in desperate need of financial assistance. Friends and family rally the community for help, often holding barbeques, rice and bean dinners, dollar drives, social functions and even raffles and radio-thons to raise the much needed funds. Everyone seems to have a little extra change in their pockets each week to help out, and there’s usually a significant amount of cash raised. Rarely is it enough…but always it’s a huge help nonetheless. Although this approach to raising money in a time of need works to some extent, it is somewhat depended on who you are. Families who are popular certainly raise more attention, thus more money, while the less known individuals garner less. Regardless of social status the need is the same, and here is where our community ‘insurance’ system lacks effectiveness.

    Ambergris Today

    Island Residents Rally for Autism Awareness in San Pedro
    Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES) is the first school on Ambergris Caye to substantially separate a special education classroom that caters to island children with special needs. The classroom directly impacts students with disabilities and assists ACES in its efforts to provide quality education in Ambergris Caye. Having just recently opened a special need classroom at the start of the 2014 school year, ACES held its first Annual 5K Walk/Run for Autism Awareness this past Sunday, April 26, 2015, to coincide with Autism Awareness Month. Central Park was the center of activity where residents gathered, mostly in groups to show solidarity from different businesses including employees of Blue Water Grill, Camp Starfish, Belize Down Syndrome Society, Belize Chocolate Company, among others and members of CrossFit San Pedro and WOD Zone. Participants registered for $5 and those willing to race took up the challenge to complete the course that ran from Central Park to Banana Beach Resort and back in the fastest time. Others decided to just support the cause by walking the course.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    PetroCaribe Loans Act 2015
    AN ACT to make special provisions for borrowing money from Alba Petrocaribe (Belize Energy) Limited; and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. (Gazetted ..................., 2015). WHEREAS: (a) in June 2005, the Republic of Venezuela and several Caribbean countries (including Belize) entered into an Energy Cooperation Agreement providing for the establishment of PETROCARIBE; (b) in furtherance of the said Energy Cooperation Agreement, Venezuela and Belize entered into a bilateral Energy Cooperation Agreement in September 2005; (c) pursuant to Article 1 of the said bilateral Energy Cooperation Agreement, Venezuela agreed to supply to Belize crude oil, refined products and Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) up to four thousand barrels per day (4,000 bpd) on an annual basis, and designated Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) to supply the said petroleum products subject to certain terms and conditions; (d) to facilitate the supply of petroleum products, Belize and Venezuela established a joint venture company, ALBA Petrocaribe (Belize Energy) Limited (APBEL), consisting of the Venezuelan state owned enterprise PDV Caribe, and the Government of Belize (GOB) owned company, Belize Petroleum and Energy Limited (BPEL); (e) APBEL has been jointly designated by Belize and Venezuela as the importing entity in Belize, for petroleum products purchased from PDVSA;

    Beltraide Costing and Pricing Workshop
    The specific objectives of the training are to enable participants to: Better understand the importance of costing and pricing Acquire information about techniques used to calculate costs Acquire information on how to adequately price a product a service Participate in exercises that allows them to engage in costing and pricing Acquire the skills and knowledge to participate or facilitate in the costing and pricing of their product or service. Expected outcome: Competent individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively calculate cost of producing their product and service and to implement pricing that will allow their business to be profitable. Workshop Date: April 30th, 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

    San Pedro Property Taxes are due
    TAXES NOW DUE. Kindly visit the San Pedro Town Council office to make payment. Thank You.

    Earth Day 2015 at the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic
    A "historic moment" to us at BWRC, and other partners: Earth Day 2015 marked the signing of a renewed 5 year MOU with the government of Belize. In addition to renewing agreements with its NGO partners, the Forest Department's Cayo Branch and the San Ignacio Mayor inaugurated the newly created tree nursery - with the purpose of giving trees to schools smile emoticon, and a symbolic mahogany tree was planted. Much respect and a huge thank you to the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development and the honourable Minister Lisel Alamilla, the Belize Forest Department with Chief Officer Wilber Sabido and Wildlife Program Director Victoria Chi for their vision, cooperation and strong desire to make a positive difference for future generations, jointly with its NGO partners! We at BWRC are honoured to continue to serve and support wildlife and nature conservation with medical services, rehabilitation and emergency response.

    Reusable Bag program
    The Embassy's Reusable Bag program has been expanded to San Pedro!!!!! Last November, the Embassy launched an exciting initiative in Belmopan that focused on harnessing small public private partnerships to reduce the excessive use of plastic bags and improve the local environment. The initiative has been so popular in Belmopan that we have now expanded that program to San Pedro! Super Buy, Save On Groceries Plus, and The Baker in San Pedro now offer a FIVE PERCENT DISCOUNT to customers who use a U.S. Embassy reusable grocery bag provided by the U.S. Embassy on select purchases. Just ask for a free U.S. Embassy reusable bag next time you visit one of these locations to make a purchase!!! Other vendors and store owners in other parts of Belize should contact us at BelmopanPA@state.gov if they are interested in participating in this program as well!!!

    Wellness, Nutrition and Health Are Driving A New Tourism Market In Belize
    They once came primarily for the diving, unspoiled nature and extensive Mayan archaeological sites. But a new generation of travellers to Belize has discovered another attraction this uncrowded Caribbean country offers – healthy vacations with a focus on wellness and wholesome, locally produced food. And, according to the Lodge at Chaa Creek, both the travelling public and Belize’s growing hospitality industry are beginning to take notice. Bryony Fleming Bradley, Chaa Creek’s food and beverage manager, said the new tourism trend is driven by health conscious travellers seeking to combine physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing with a traditional Belizean vacation. “We’ve been catering to health-conscious guests for some time now, with our onsite Hilltop Spa, Maya organic farm, Maya Medicinal Plant Trail, Mariposa Restaurant and other attractions and amenities that promote wellbeing, so it’s great to see such a surge in travellers looking for a that kind of experience,” Ms Fleming Bradley said.

    Belize shrimp growers achieve ASC certification
    Five Belize shrimp farms have been awarded Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification. The Belize Shrimp Grower Association members have achieved certification against the global science-based ASC Shrimp Standard as responsible and well-managed farms. Member of the Belize Shrimp Growers Association, Alvin Henderson, describes Belize as a country of rich biodiversity with a stretch of mangrove belt along the coast that acts as a natural filtration system. “The journey towards ASC certification has helped to highlight areas of our operations where we can make meaningful change with minimal financial resources. Sometimes all that is really required is a change of perspective,” Henderson explains. “We’re using less water on our farm through improving the way we manage water quality. And, by focusing on compliance, we uncovered that the water in the receiving body is of even better quality since our mangrove buffer acts as a biofilter.”

    Boom Road Waste Transfer Station and Dumpsite Rehabilitation
    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

    REGIONAL INTERNSHIP PROGRAM | CCRIF SPC
    CCRIF SPC (formerly the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility) now invites applications for the 2015 CCRIF Regional Internship Programme. This programme provides work experience in areas related to disaster risk management. Applications are invited from individuals who are citizens of CARICOM member countries and/or CCRIF member countries. Applicants must be graduates of a recognized university and must have completed a course of study in any one of the following key areas: Disaster risk management Environmental management Meteorology Climate studies Civil engineering Management studies with a focus on risk management Environmental economics Geography/geology Actuarial science

    BOLEDO DRAWING for Monday, April 27, 2015: 80

    Channel 7

    Mark Medina's Murder, A Mexican Hit Or George Street Setup?
    Over the past four weeks we've reported on the murders of Jamie Chavarria and Mark Ramdas - both of them killed in and around Berkley Street and Wagner's Lane. That's a very tight geographic area - with rival gang-affiliated persons living a stone's throw from each other. Mark Medina lived right there too on Berkeley street - and he was a part of the feuding - which is why police locked down that area one week ago when Jamie Chavarria's funeral was being held. But on Sunday, Medina took a taxi to another area - Iguana Street, the block known as "Crenshaw". And that's where a masked gunman was laying in wait for him - and let loose with a barrage of gunfire. Daniel Ortiz was on the scene shortly after and has this report:... Daniel Ortiz reporting At around 10 a.m. yesterday, 31 year-old Mark Medina lay lifeless on the pavement in front of #19 Iguana Street. He had been shot and killed execution style by a gunman who apparently knew exactly when and where to find him.

    Man Killed On Way To Work In Mahogany Heights
    Medina's was Sunday's first murder - and within 20 hours two more in the Belize District would be dead. The last was Kevin Jones Flowers who was killed in Mahogany Heights this morning. The 40 year old was gunned down as he was walking to work across the road at the shrimp farm in La Democracia. A gunman or gunmen waylaid him on the shortcut he takes every morning and hunted him down. Courtney Weatherburne was at the scene:... Courtney Weatherburne reporting 40 year old Kevin Flowers's body was found here on this picado between Mahogany Heights and the George Price Highway. He was found huddled on his knees. According to his family, he was on his way to work at the Shrimp Farm this morning when he was killed. He was riding on this bike but had to abandon it to try and run from his shooter.

    Kraal Road Killing
    There was another murder in the city, which happened 3 hours after Mark Medina was killed yesterday. This one happened in the gang territory of Kraal Road, but the victim was reportedly a man with no such affiliation. 34 year-old Tyrone Neal, a resident of Fabers Road, was playing dominoes in a yard on Kraal Road with 3 other men, which he does regularly. That's when a gunman snuck into the yard. When he got close enough, the assailant shot Neal several times. He was rushed to the KHMH, but he was pronounced dead on arrival. Today, we spoke with police and his common-law wife, about the killing of a man suffering from sickle cell anemia: Supt. Hiberto Romero - OC, CIB Eastern Division "On Sunday 26th April, police responded to a shooting on Kraal Road. They found expended shells. They visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they fund Tyron Neal, 34 years, with gunshot wounds to the chest and to the abdomen. About an hour thereafter, he was pronounced dead at the KHMH."

    Blue House Butchery
    The weekend's first murder happened in Ladyville on Saturday night at a bar that has a history of violence. On Saturday night 41 year old Wilmer Cisneros along with some friends went to the Blue House Bar from around 7. But things took a turn for the worse after 9 that night when two security guards got in an altercation and Cisneros jumped in. In a short time, he ended up dead on the floor. We spoke with his sister today and she told us what she knows. Sister of: Wilmer Cisneros "We know what Mr. Jimenez told us and some witnesses that were there with my brother. He was just taking a beer with his friends and they say is that they went into the bar, they were drinking a beer. In Blue House, you have a pay a fee after 9pm. They reach in there about 7pm on Saturday night. There were no security guards. And about 9pm, the security guards went and approached them when they were in the bar and told Jimenez (not my brother), that they had to pay the fee to stay there. But my brother told them that that were leaving - they were going home. So, they got in a discussion.

    Man Gets off Murder Charge - Brought When He was Just a Boy
    Taxi Driver Francis Chukwu was killed in December of 2010 - and today more than four years later, the last man accused of his murder left the Supreme Court a free man. Kendale Green who was a minor when he was first remanded for the crime was acquitted today in a trial without jury before Justice Adolph Lucas. In the course of the trial it was found that a confession statement which Green gave as a 17 year old was inadmissible because neither a parent nor a guardian was present. The next witness was Darcell Sanchez, the girlfriend of another man who had been accused. She said she could not remember anything - and the judge would not allow the prosecution to admit her statement in which she said Green told her he did it. Green's attorney Anthony Sylvestre, then submitted that his client has no case to answer. Justice Lucas upheld the submission and acquitted him.

    Alleged Cable Con Man Gets Off Again
    Carl Gordon - he's been accused of being the con man who poses as a cable collector and then uses that ruse to get into homes and rob the unsuspecting. We stress, that is the accusation, but he got off the first time he was charged and he did so again today - even before the charges could be properly put before the court. A single charge of theft was withdrawn by the prosecution because there was no evidence that a theft had actually occurred. Gordon was accused of again impersonating a cable collector and using that to gain access to a house where an I-pod and some jewelry were stolen. The complainant reported to the police that her grandmother told her that Gordon went to their house to check some cable wires. Magistrate Panton found that there wasn't an iota of evidence of the offence. Gordon, who was deported from Chicago in 2013 for illegal entry and possession of drugs, was also charged for change of address without prior notification to the Commissioner of Police. He pled guilty to that charge but magistrate deferred sentencing until May 29 and released him. The 50-year-old cook was freed of 3 counts of theft several months ago.

    Another Xatero Caught
    Another Guatemalan Xatero was found in the Chiquibul yesterday. FCD rangers found David Alvisures Cheche AT 5:30 at an area known as Cristina which is 15 kilometers, or 9 miles inside Belize. The Guatemalan from La Rejoya, Peten was carrying 720 fish tail Xate leaves - which may sound like a lot, but he told the Rangers he would only get 180 quetzales, and fifty three dollars when he sold them in Santa Elena Peten. He was taken to the San Ignacio Police station where he was charged with unlawful possession of forest produce by the Forest Department and for illegal entry by the Immigration Department. He told the rangers that he knew he was in Belize and understood he was in a reserve. The Xate he was collecting was probably going to be exported from Guatemala to the United States and Europe where it is popular for use in floral arrangements. The village of La Rejoya where he comes from is described as a target community for sustainable livelihood programs, which would spawn xate plantations, and other industries for the villagers in the hope that it would reduce the theft forest products from Belize.

    PM Had High Level Meetings In Miami
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow travelled to Miami on Saturday for high level meetings on two pressing domestic concerns: the future for the Stake Bank Port, and the correspondent banking relationship between Belize's Banks and the Bank of America. An official release says he met with cruise lines and officials from correspondent banks. Our information says those separate meetings were with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and the Bank of America. He returns to the country tomorrow.

    Analysing Education
    An education consultation was held this morning at the ITVET conference room. The main focus of the consultation was to discuss issues affecting the educational system - delving into student performance at all levels and other key areas affecting the governance of the system. Now it may seem like a lot of ground to cover but the CEO of the Ministry of Education David Leacock told us that the strategy in place will tackle these issues. David Leacock, CEO, Ministry of Education "The Belize education sector strategy was approved by Cabinet. And that has been guiding our work ever since. That sector strategy was based on the diagnosis of the education sector identifying what were the issues in the education sector. Just like when you go to a doctor, you get a diagnosis, they tell you what's wrong with you and what you need to do to fix it. Well the diagnosis told us what some of the issues in the sector were. The sector strategy tells us what we should be doing to address those issues. Strengthening the governance has a particular focus with how do we govern the system so that we can get improved performance and all? So how can we be more accountable? So some of the proposals that were presented this morning spoke about appearance, bill of rights and responsibilities. You know, and it directly targeting, getting parent more engaged in the education of their children. And having schools being more accountable for parents for the education that they provide."

    38 Year Old Remanded For Allegation of Sex Assault on 10 Year Old
    A 38 year old man accused of sexually assaulting a 10 year old girl is in jail tonight. The child reported that on April 18th she was at her grandmother's house watching a movie when Gomez entered. She said when she went to the kitchen for a glass of water he slapped her behind. She went to her grandmother's room to tell her what had happened and the grandmother, who is confined to a wheelchair, told Gomez to leave but he refused. She said Gomez then grabbed her by her cheeks and tried to kiss her. Gomez then left her go and told her he wanted her to have a baby for him, she said. The child told police that Gomez then left and said he will return for her. He appeared today before Magistrate Ladonna John and was arraigned on a charge of sexual assault. He pleaded not guilty but the prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that the offence has become prevalent and that there is a strong possibility that if granted bail Gomez will interfere with the child. Magistrate John upheld the objection and remanded Gomez into custody until June 22.

    Courtney Goes Karting
    Engineering, speed, team work, competition and discipline. These are all the key elements that will lead you to success in motor sports and they were all put to test yesterday in San Ignacio. The Belize Automobile Club organized a fun karting event for the community to promote kart racing in Belize. According to the coordinators, this is just the start - just a seed that they hope will grow into a flourishing industry in Belize. We went to San Ignacio yesterday to find out more. Courtney Weatherburne "These guys are gearing up for a ride on the Joe Andrews Boulevard, but while it may seem that they are simply tweaking a toy, in fact they are preparing for the future of kart racing in Belize." Courtney Weatherburne reporting And the road to that future begins here. There was no clearly mapped out karting circuit, just a bend in a newly paved road and according to the coordinator, that's what grass roots motor sports is all about. Victor Murga, Sporting Director, Belize Automobile Club "What we want to do is build motor sports on a whole, we have avenues that we can go into 4x4 competitions, everything."

    Medina Family Speaks Against Cops
    As we told you at the top of the newscast, 31 year old Mark Medina was killed in a sensational Sunday Slaying on Iguana Street. Medina has a long rap sheet, and appears in our archives from as early as 2002, then just a teenager, the target of gunshots fired in his neighborhood. In 2005 police shot him when he was being pursued as a suspect for murder. In 2007 he was charged for the murder of a Chinese grocer, and in 2010 he was sentenced to four years for firearm possession. And these are just some of the offences he was charged with. We give this background to show the enduring bad blood police have towards him. And that ha prompted at least one police officer to jump on facebook and broadcast his frank feelings about Mark Medina's death, basically to say he had it coming. That has outraged his family. Monica Bodden spoke to his cousin a short while ago:.. Voice of: Cousin of Mark Medina "I got up this morning and I have his program that needed to get done. So I said 'well I have to cut and paste, download from the internet'. So I said to myself 'let me go on Facebook', and when I went on, the first thing that popped up on my page was a comment from a police man who got transferred to Punta Gorda. I think, as a police officer, nothing like that was supposed to be posted on Facebook about Mark Medina Junior. Because I just want him, (the officer) to know that Marky is a smart, educated, 4th form graduate, handsome and that he could get the most women which he (the officer) cannot get. You tell him that for me."

    Channel 5

    Breaking News: Late Evening Shooting in the City
    Breaking News: Word to News Five is that a man was shot and killed a short while ago on Reggae Street on Southside, Belize City as he was. Police are [...]

    Bar Patrons Impaled by Security Guards in Ladyville; One Dead, One Injured
    From our count, there have been forty murders since the start of the year with April being the deadliest month with sixteen murders. It’s nine more than the same period [...]

    Mid-morning Execution on Iguana Street, Mark Medina is Gunned Down
    The first of two murders in the City was a broad daylight shooting on Iguana Street which claimed the life of thirty-one year old Mark Medina and left a fifty-five [...]

    Single Shooter Seeks Out Tyrone Neal in Sunday Bloodbath
    The murder of Mark Medina was followed by another in the City where three hours later, thirty-four year old Tyrone Neal was gunned down likely for a small quantity of [...]

    Murder in Mahogany Heights, Forty-Year-Old is Shot and Killed
    And if three murders in one weekend weren’t bad enough, there was another early this morning…this time at the community of Mahogany Heights near Mile thirty on the George Price [...]

    Rodents Take Over Western Regional Hospital, Rats Infest Food Storage Unit
    There are rats at the Western Regional Hospital – a lot of rats – big rats, medium-sized rats and little baby rats – entire rat families. But it’s no laughing [...]

    Are There More Arrests to Come in Treasury Hustle?
    Late last week, Treasury Department Second Class Clerk David Enriquez was arrested and charged for three counts of theft. Authorities believe that he diverted half a million dollars into private [...]

    Embezzled Treasury Monies Were Meant for TCC Subventions
    According to a Police report issued, the money diverted by Enriquez was meant as subventions for the Toledo Community College – two hundred and twenty-five thousand plus dollars diverted in [...]

    Fin. Sec. Gives Update on Petrocaribe Funds
    Last week, Government sent out a tag team of political legal advisor Michael Young and Financial Secretary Joseph Waight to sell the Petrocaribe Bill. That was a short-lived initiative as [...]

    Former B.D.F. Major Lloyd Jones Joins Belize Rural North Political Race
    There is some news coming out the People’s United Party tonight which may give the opposition party wind in its sails after the devastating March fourth defeat at the Municipal [...]

    Did San Pedro Police Act Unlawfully in Confiscating Palapa Bar Proprietor’s Money?
    On April seventh, businessman Scott Harnish was found in possession of over a hundred thousand dollars in U.S. currency inside his home on the north end of San Pedro Town.  [...]

    Kendale Green Acquitted of Murder
    The trial of Kendale Green for the December 2010 murder of Nigerian taxi man, Francis Chkwu, concluded today in the Supreme Court.   Initially, police had charged Jermaine Zuniga and [...]

    Massive Beach Erosion in Hopkins, Residents and Resorts Affected
    Once known for its delicate shoreline, the village of Hopkins in the south is facing chronic coastal erosion. Residents woke up one morning to find that their beach had been [...]

    Guatemalan Detained with 2000 Xaté Leaves 14 Kilometers Inside Belize
    Over a month ago, new rangers graduated from the Friends for Conservation and Development, also referred to as the FCD rangers program. The now eighteen rangers have been deployed to [...]

    Climate Change – A Global Problem, CCCCC Signs MOU with Kentucky University
    The World Health Organization estimates climate change will cause an additional two hundred and fifty thousand deaths per year between 2030 and 2050. And with this alarming fact, the efforts [...]

    Shandel Parham is Belize District’s Top Speller
    The Twenty-first National Coca-Cola Spelling Bee is underway and the Belize District Finals were held today at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium.  Of the sixteen participants who competed, Shandel Parham [...]

    Sporting Highlights with James Adderley
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   It’s the mad rush to the PLB playoffs people and the B.D.F.’s journey to the F.F.B. Stadium yesterday was [...]

    CTV3

    Two Time Sex Offender Caught Trying To Enter Belize
    A two time convicted sex offender who was on probation was arrested trying to enter Belize on March 12th using a fake Canadian passport. Reports are that he was to meet a 16 year old girl whom he met on the internet. According to a criminal complaint filed with United States District Court, 27 year old Troy Anthony Pertuset of Saint Albans, was arrested by Belizean authorities when he tried to enter the country. Pertuset was first required to register as a sex offender in April 2005, when he was convicted of moving a 14-year-old girl to different locations to have sex with her in Highland County, Ohio. In February of 2010, Pertuset 22 years old at the time was then convicted of two counts of third-degree sexual assault in Kanawha County Circuit Court, for assaulting two 14 year old girls. Reports state he picked one of them up from school and the second he plied with alcohol. Pertuset was sentenced to 2 to 10 years in prison and an additional five years’ probation following his release. He was released March 17, 2014, at which time he began his five-year term of supervised probation.

    Who Sold The Water Tank In Chan Pine Ridge, Residents Want To Know
    Residents of Chan Pine Ridge gathered over the weekend for a community meeting in which they discussed the apparent sale of one of the village’s assets without prior consent from the village council. The PUP committee in the village along with the Chairman of the Village convened the meeting. After several inquiries to the Rural Development Officer Ruben Campos to clear up what happened with the water tank and the land it was located on and not receiving any response, some villagers along with the PUP committee organized the meeting. Chan Pine Ridge resident Damian Tzul told us more about what they have unearthed on the matter. “Our investigation has reached so far because we had the service of the Attorney Mr. David Norales who has done an in-depth investigation in reference with land where the well and the tanks was brought down and at the end of the day we had reached to a conclusion that in 1994 which our investigation from lands according to the Attorney; the land was being purchased by the then Area Representative same Mr. Rubén Campos and according to the records was being put on WASA name which is now BWSL for $5,500...”

    Orange Walk's Top Speller Is From Trial Farm School
    It may have been his months of preparation, or his prior experience before the competition that led 11 year old Jafet Munoz to victory, whatever the case maybe the reality today is that the title of Orange Walk District’s best speller will remain with a determined Trial Farm Government School student. On Friday, Munoz was among the ten students participating in the district finals of the 21st National Spelling Bee zone eliminations and he emerged as victor. It’s a huge accomplishment for the school and today in his honour, a short assembly and mini parade around the schools periphery was held. Our news team stopped by the school today and we spoke with both Munoz and his coach Faustino Juchim. Maria Novelo - Reporter “You won your first in the district level of the Spelling Bee, tell us how the competition was for you, was it challenging?” “No” Maria Novelo - Reporter “It was super easy for you?”

    Corozal PUP Standard Bearer Keeps Youth Off The Street
    Sports are often used as a way to reach out to youths in a society. And for one community in Corozal Town, particularly San Andres Village, PUP Standard Bearer for Corozal North David Castillo and sports enthusiasts have partnered to organize a 6 a side football competition. Organizers say the David Castillo Football Cup aims to fill this void in a sport-centric context, which has been proven to retain high youth participation and effect meaningful community-wide change. DAVID CASTILLO – Corozal North, Standard Bearer “Am very happy to see today that we have many teams that have registered you know, it is about 28 teams, it is unprecedented that Corozal has so many teams participating in a competition, so it is very gratifying seeing many young people participating and Mr Sheppard has come about simply with the petition of our young people and for so long the Corozal Constituency haven’t had these activities and the young people wanted something even though I am not elected, even though I am not at an official capacity we saw the need in putting this together because I can recall in our times we had sports going and we didn’t give the players a rest and certainly it is important to look at our young people, they are the future of our constituency, the future of our country so as leaders we need to put these programs in place you know and certainly I am committed to continue supporting such programs.”

    Guatemala National Detained For Illegal Entry To Belize
    It is no secret that the infiltration of Belize’s border and our forest reserves by Guatemalan Xateros has become a growing national problem. And while the magnitude of the damage caused by these border incursions is unknown, yesterday rangers from Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) intercepted and charged a Guatemalan national for having in his possession Xate. According to the release, at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, whilst conducting a reconnaissance patrol at an area known as Cristina in the Chiquibul Forest, FCD rangers intercepted and detained David Alvisures Cheche who is originally from La Rejoya, Peten, Guatemala. This person was found 14.7 kilometers inside Belizean territory. The release said that Cheche was found with 720 fish tail Xate leaves. He was escorted to Tapir Camp then subsequently to the San Ignacio Police Station where he was charged for unlawful possession of forest produce by the Forest Department and for illegal entry by the Immigration Department.

    Family Looses Home As A Result Of Arson
    A family of five are left to live in the remains of what was their home following an arson on Friday last week. Police report that fifty-three year old Amanda Kau’s house was set ablaze sometime around eleven on Friday night. The San Jose resident was inside the house along with four others including minors. Police report that Kau stated that her neighbor had come to the house and threatened her with a machete and set her house on fire. When we visited the family today, they would not comment on camera but told us that around eleven that night she was at home when her neighbor came around demanding to get inside her house. She explained that the man seemed intoxicated and she refused to let him inside. At that point he lit the house on fire. Kau says they tried to save what they could while her neighbors assisted in putting the fire out. They lost some clothes and furniture but no one was hurt in the ordeal. The fire destroyed the roof and most of the fifteen by twenty feet thatched house. The family has nowhere to go and remain in the same house until they can get it fixed. The damages totaled some four thousand dollars. Authorities are seeking one man and continue their investigations. If anyone wishes to assist the family in any way they can contact them at cellular number 605-2573.

    PlusTV

    UN Belize country team reports on work
    Belize joined the United Nations four days after independence in 1981 and since then has been an active participant in the work of the umbrella organization of nations...

    Treasury Department Scammer Arrested and Charged
    Police have arrested and charged two persons in connection with the half a million dollar scam from the Treasury Department in Belize City...

    Body Found Floating In Sea
    The Police Department continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a Caucasian male person who’s lifeless body was found floating in the sea in the village of Ladyville, Belize...

    Belize City man charged for drugs found in traffic stop
    Drug trafficking charges were filed against 34 year old Marlon Chavez, a welder of Gentle Avenue in Belize City, after police found marijuana on him during a traffic stop. According to police they were patrol in the vicinity of St...

    Somerville will fight her case
    Nasley Somerville, former Hospital Administrator for the Southern Regional Hospital was dismissed from the public service after over a year of being placed  administrative leave on half pay...

    UK Couple Alleges Beach Front Hustle
    On the 23rd of April, 2015, a retired couple from England spoke to some media houses alleging that they were hustled out of tens of thousands of dollars by the lands Department after their property was devalued...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Shooting in Belize City
    Reports reaching our news desk is indicating that residents on Reggae Street in the Belize District heard several gunshots just a few minutes ago. Our news team is out at the scene along with police officers and they have confirmed that 1 person has been killed.

    Shotokan Karate Club excel in Guatemala competition
    On Saturday April 25 2015, The Cayo Shotokan Karate Club in conjunction with the Belize Karate Federation led by Sensei Herman Pastor Jr. and David Diego, participated in the 3rd Copa Poptun in Guatemala. The delegation which was comprised of 13 junior athletes ranged from ages 6-16, were awarded the 2nd place trophy for racking up an impressive 8 gold, 11 silver and 9 bronze medals. The top performer recognized by the BKF was Caylon Dyke, who won the most medals in the tournament including 3 gold and 1 silver in separate kata and kumite categories. Congratulations are in order to all the young karate athletes for their display of bravery and unmatched sportsmanship during the competition.

    Sex Offender Caught Entering Belize
    27 year old Anthony Pertuset, a Canadian National and two time sex offender was caught at the Belizean border before finding refuge in the Central American Country. According to a report from Charleston’s Daily Mail, Pertuset who was released on probation and was arrested trying to enter Belize using a fake Canadian passport to meet with a 16-year-old girl in March. Pertuset was first required to register as a sex offender in April 2005, when he was convicted of moving a 14-year-old girl to different locations to have sex with her in Highland County, Ohio. The report says that just five years later in February 2010, Pertuset was convicted of two counts of third-degree sexual assault in Kanawha County Circuit Court, which was reported by the Daily Mail. Pertuset, 22 at the time, assaulted two 14-year-old girls, picking one of them up from school and plying the other with alcohol, according to newspaper archives.

    Beach Erosion Put Resorts in Hopkins at Risk

    Jofet Munoz top Speller in Orange Walk
    Meet Jofet Munoz, top speller of the Orange Walk District. The 21st National Spelling Bee competition took center stage at the Crystal Palace auditorium in Orange Walk Town on Friday, where 10 competing schools participated. At the end of the second round in the reserve list, Jofet Munoz from Trial […]

    Corozal House of Culture Hosts Full Moon Concert
    Since the Corozal House of Culture was established an abundance of cultural activities and events have been organized for the community. One of their trade events has been the Full Moon Concerts that have been an annual event since 2012. And with the past success, the National Institute of Culture […]

    PM departs country to meet with Cruise Lines in Miami
    Over the weekend we reported that Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow left the country to meet with officials concerning two separate issues, particularly, the Stake Bank project and the banking sector crisis. PM Barrow is expected to return on Tuesday but during his visit, he will meet with officials from […]

    Body Found in Mahogany Heights
    Reports reaching our news room is indicating that a body was found in the vicinity of Mahogany Heights. Residents in the area claim to have heard gun shots around 7am this morning and the body has been identified as 40 year old Kevin Flowers. Police and Forensics are at the […]

    More hot and dry weather in Belize
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting more hot and dry weather this week. Today will be mainly sunny and hot and tonight it is expected to be warm. No rain fall is expected. Winds will blow to the East to South East at 10 to 20 knots and […]

    Blogs

    6 Belize Jungle Adventures from Chaa Creek’s Nature Reserve!
    The Lodge at Chaa Creek has the reputation as Belize’s “Destination within a destination” because there’s so much to do right here and with an emphasis on healthy activities and meals using fresh ingredients from our Maya organic farm, locally raised livestock and seafood from Belize’s pristine Caribbean coast, people of all ages can enjoy amazing exciting adventures. If you are interested in exploring the lush Belizean jungle in one destination here are a few of many adventures found within Chaa Creek’s 365 acre Nature Reserve: 1. Natural History Museum and Butterfly Exhibit Tours 2. Belize Rainforest RTV Safari Tours 3. Canoe Tours 4. Horseback Riding Tours 5. Bird Watching Tours 6. Miss Macal Safari Tours

    San Pedro Runs For Autism Awareness: Great Turnout for The 5K Race
    Sunday morning, 10am. Central Park San Pedro, Belize. A 5K run/walk for Autism Awareness was organized by the Special Needs teachers at one of the local schools – Ambergris Caye Elementary or ACES. Now on Ambergris Caye, we have fundraisers galore. But most involve eating, usually BBQ, and drinking, usually Belikin and rum punch, sometimes a radio-athon…but races to raise money are a relatively new thing for the island. And a totally great idea as islanders get more and more into organized fitness. We now have TWO Crossfit gyms! Here are lots of pictures from the race. The teams, the winners, the support from the SP Red Cross and other charities. Super fun and a GREAT turnout.

    Curried Fry Jacks and Oxtail
    This is a wonderful spin on our Belizean Fry Jacks that someone shared with me. I paired it up with stewed Oxtails. This is savory meal for any season.

    International Sourcesizz

    Ice cream recall extended to Caribbean
    On Monday, Blue Bell Creameries of Brenham, Texas, voluntarily expanded its recall to include all of its products currently on the market because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. This recall includes ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen snacks made at all Blue Bell facilities. The recalled products have been distributed internationally to several countries in the Caribbean region, including Anguilla, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, St Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago and Turks and Caicos Islands. Consumers should not eat any of the recalled products. If these products are in your freezer, they should be thrown away or returned, even if some of them have been eaten without anyone becoming ill.

    CARPHA and Mexico sign MOU to benefit 17 million Caribbean people
    The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the ministry of health of the United Mexican States, through the Federal Commission for Protection from Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS). The aim of the MoU is to establish a mechanism for strengthening international cooperation in the health field. The MoU will also provide support for the establishment of the Caribbean Regulatory System (CRS), which will be hosted by CARPHA, and will benefit the people of the Caribbean. The activities of the CRS are related to strengthening the regulatory capacity of the Caribbean and supporting the expansion and rapid access to lower-cost generic medicines.

    Belize shrimp farms ASC certified
    Five Belize shrimp farms have been awarded Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification. The Belize Shrimp Grower's Association members have achieved certification against the global science-based ASC Shrimp Standard as responsible and well-managed farms. Member of the Belize Shrimp Growers Association, Alvin Henderson, describes Belize as a country of rich biodiversity with a stretch of mangrove belt along the coast that acts as a natural filtration system. “The journey towards ASC certification has helped to highlight areas of our operations where we can make meaningful change with minimal financial resources. Sometimes all that is really required is a change of perspective,” Mr Henderson explains. “We’re using less water on our farm through improving the way we manage water quality. And, by focusing on compliance, we uncovered that the water in the receiving body is of even better quality since our mangrove buffer acts as a biofilter.”

    Central America offers a huge opportunity to brave investors
    In recent weeks, the Mediterranean Sea has become a tragic, watery graveyard. Ironically, a place that most Brits associate with fun and holidays is the final, most perilous leg of a daunting journey for many African migrants. Less reported in the UK, but just as sad, is the Central American child immigrant crisis. Every year, tens of thousands of Central American children make the long journey north to hand themselves in at the US border. There, they hope a loophole in US immigration law means that they will be handed over to relatives already in America. Firstly, a quick definition of Central America. The region is made up of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama and is home to around 41 million people. The largest country is Guatemala with 14 million people; the smallest is Belize with just 300,000 people, while the rest have between three million and seven million people each.

    Heat Ends as Rain Elevates Flooding Threat Across Central America
    Big changes are on the way for parts of Mexico and Central America this week. Following a stretch of dry weather and record heat, a cold front will push across the Gulf of Mexico causing rain and thunderstorms to soak southeast Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras. Much of April saw scorching heat from Villahermosa to Merida while rainfall was extremely scarce. While April is typically warm and dry across this region, no rainfall was reported in both cities while temperatures soared well above normal. This unrelenting heat will finally come to an end during the middle of the week as a cold front brings cooler air and widespread rainfall to the region.

    The Collapse of Chávezcare
    Leonardo Flores lay listlessly in his bed, passing the day much as he had the previous three months of his stay in a rundown ward of the Jose Benitez State Hospital. In January, the 42-year-old computer technician was riding in a car when it was hit by a truck being driven by a drunk driver. He was rushed to the hospital, where doctors managed to stabilize him and immobilize his right leg, which had suffered a compound fracture. “They told me that I needed surgery to place two pins in my femur,” he said. “But the hospital didn’t have them, so my family had to buy them. And then when they had them, the doctors couldn’t operate, as they didn’t have the right drugs, supplies, and anesthesia. I was placed on a waiting list.” One surgeon offered to operate on Flores for a bribe of 18,000 bolivares ($2850, at official exchange rates) — three times the minimum wage, which he paid. But a pre-operative x-ray revealed that his bone had begun to re-knit itself off-center. So the doctors had to re-break it before they could operate, creating yet another delay. “Now I have no idea when they’re going to operate. I can’t work. My family is spending all of their money in trying to schedule me the operation and get me out of here,” Flores said.

    Moving Indigenous Land Rights from Paper to Reality
    Frustrated with decades of marginalisation, and of seeing their rights respected only on paper, Indigenous peoples are calling for major recognition from the international community. Speaking at U.N. Headquarters on Apr. 27 as part of the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues – which started last week and lasts through Friday – the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz expressed disappointment with the scant efforts to enshrine Indigenous People’s rights in the post-2015 development agenda. “It is very regrettable that out of the 17 (Sustainable Development) Goals, there is no reference to Indigenous People. This does not speak well for the U.N. and its member states,” she said. Taking Indigenous knowledge and traditional technology into account internationally could contribute to solving many of the world’s major crises in relation to the environment and climate change, and ultimately bring sustainable development, stressed Tauli-Corpuz. A positive example comes from southern Belize, where Indigenous People have reached an agreement with the government after three decades of struggling to secure their land rights. Christina Coc, director and co-founder of the Julian Cho Society, represented the Maya villagers of Toledo in their negotiations with the government of Belize.

    What a Scuba Diver with a Spinal Cord Injury Has to Teach Us About the Learning Process
    Stan Clawson loves to open the door for people. “They don’t expect it,” he says. Clawson, a filmmaker and communications professor based in Salt Lake City, is in his late 30s with sandy hair, blue eyes, and a handlebar mustache. He’s tall, “six-foot-four,” he says, “you know… laying down. Upright? I’m not sure. Maybe four-foot-eight? Four-ten?” Clawson has the deep, dynamic voice of a radio announcer and something of the devil in him. He’s been in a wheelchair since a rock climbing accident when he was 20 years old, when he fell 49 feet and severed his spinal cord between the T9 and T10 vertebrae. Since then, he’s learned to boogie board and downhill ski. He’s competed in marathons. And he’s earned advanced certifications as an open water diver. The fact that Clawson never saw himself as being particularly athletic—and still doesn't—reveals he’s been in a growth mindset his whole life. “There are people who do sports,” Stan says, “and there are people who do them well.” Before his accident, Stan rock climbed, but he wasn’t a die-hard about it. “Rock climbing is just kind of a thing I did every once in a while. It was fun… Though,” he says, with his trademark dry sense of humor, “I clearly didn’t rock climb well. God, I mean, I fell 49 feet, right?” “But with scuba diving, I just did it. It seemed natural.” He fell in love with diving the very first time he went out, off the coast of mainland Belize in the Ambergris Key. In the middle of the open water, the dive master handed Clawson a small shark. Though Clawson had of course expected to see a few fish here and there, he wasn’t prepared for the gorgeous, teeming marine life he encountered. Holding a shark in his hands connected him to the sport of diving in a very visceral way. The weight of the creature caused him to “sink a little bit. It wanted get out. It was like a cat that didn’t want to be held… But you get handed a shark, you take it, right?”

    Tropical island holidays: readers' tips, recommendations and travel advice
    Readers offer advice on the best tropical islands around the world. Send us your travel tips for the chance to win a £350 holiday voucher. Ambergris Caye, Belize: Victoria House, a luxurious retreat in old plantation grounds on the quieter south side of Ambergris Caye, Belize, is a gem. Spend as much time as you can in the water, because the barrier reef is quite incredible and full of colourful life. You won’t fail to come up close to rays, nurse sharks and turtles, as well as coral in every shape and form. On the island, the food is punchy and flavoursome. We had an excellent Belizian/Creole lunch at Wild Mango’s set on the beach front and dinner at El Fogon, a favourite with the locals where the freshly caught snapper and conch are a delight. The homemade cinnamon rolls at The Bakery are a treat, and we had the tastiest jerk chicken at Robin’s Kitchen, a small hut set off Coconut Drive. Be sure to come back with a bottle of Marie Sharp’s Habanero Hot Sauce.

    Trinidad and Tobago to Host Forum on Caribbean’s Future
    Trinidad and Tobago is set to host the May 5-7 Forum on the Future of the Caribbean, which will include heads of governments, business leaders and academic experts to discuss poverty, inequality and resource mobilization in the region. “We need disruptive thinking and bold action if we are to create a resilient and international Caribbean future,” Trinidadian Foreign Minister Winston Dookeran said in a statement published Monday by the Caribbean Community. The conference in Port-of-Spain is to be co-hosted by the foreign ministry and the University of the West Indies in collaboration with the UN System, regional inter-governmental partners and the Commonwealth. Forum participants are expected to “challenge each other to consider persistent development problems in new ways and identify approaches directed at widening opportunities and improving living conditions for all Caribbean citizens,” according to the statement.

    A Caribbean money launderer casts a shadow long after his death
    This is the late William Valentine "Billy" Herbert, Jr., LLB, PhD, the founder of one of St Kitts' major political parties, the Peoples' Action Movement, or PAM. Dr Herbert's titles in the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis included: (1) Foreign Minister. (2) Deputy Prime Minister. (3) Ambassador to the United Nations. (4) Ambassador to the United States. (5) Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS). (6) Minister Plenipotentiary without Portfolio. In the 30 years since Dr Herbert's mysterious death, his role, as a founder and funding source for PAM, has been a matter of controversy. I will attempt to clear the air, with regard to my first-hand knowledge, gained as the result of my long-term business relationship with the man. Who was Billy Herbert, and who killed him? There has been a lot written about Dr Billy Herbert, whose estate, filed after his untimely death in the 1990s, was valued at $20 million, though many questions remain. From his law office in Anguilla, Dr Herbert engaged in laundering the criminal proceeds of narcotics traffickers; I know that because he serviced many of my clients in the 1980s. Though many people believe, notwithstanding Herbert's flagrant representation of drug kingpins, the reason that his crimes never resulted in his indictment in the United States, was due to his high government office, there is, however, another little-known reason. He cooperated with US and UK law enforcement investigators, who ended up in Billy Herbert's Anguilla chambers due to their participation in a major international case.

    Videos

  • BBC NEWS - BELIZE DAM, 3min. This BBC News expose was widely acclaimed at a time when the fate of the Amazon Rainforest was very much in the news headlines throughout the world. As with all my videos I saw that my job was to work closely with the Producer mutually selecting the pictures and audio/music, treating them if necessary and deciding the best place for them to go. I was also able to make suggestions to the script. It is very much a team effort.

  • Belize - Pathfinder K8 World Travel 2015, 12min.

  • CLASSES ARE CANCELLED AT SAN PABLO R.C SCHOOL DUE TO AFRICANIZED BEES, 3min.

  • Will Belize Video, 3min.

  • Fish and Trips, 3min. Want to know what I did this winter? This is it. Traveled through Belize, Guatemala and Hawaii...in that order.

  • Belize Adventure Films- I'm Jumping in with the Sharks!, 2min. This Belize Adventure Film was shot at Shark Ray Alley of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve located in the Caribbean Sea, just off the coast of San Pedro, Belize.

  • Walking Caye Caulker Belize 2015, 1.5min.

  • England to Sandpedro Belize: belizeanbeauty Timz, 9min. i guys wlcm to Belize, showing you a little bit of my homeland.

  • Belize cruise ship tender docking fail, 15min. Belize cruise ship tender has major difficulty docking with Navigator of the Seas on April 24, 2015 and crashes into Navigator of the Seas stair boat while bringing passengers back from shore at Belize City

  • Belize Snorkeling 2015, 5min. Upper Columbia Conference spring break mission trip to Guatemala/Belize. Some footage of the snorkeling adventure in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

    April 27, 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: VIP on the littering of garbage
    As the world celebrates the importance of caring for mother earth, we [VISION INSPIRED BY THE PEOPLE] feel it is time we all place more importance in the cleanliness of our island. A growing concern of residents and visitors of San Pedro is the improper disposal and littering of garbage which has become a serious environment and health hazard. On the health side, there continues to be an alarmingly high incidence of cancers, skin infections and gastro-intestinal diseases affecting the residents of San Pedro. There is an underlying root cause of these health issues and the removal of all garbage would certainly improve the quality of life in San Pedro. On the environmental side, research conducted over the last seven years has revealed evidence of continuous degradation of the marine environment. The garbage pollutes the air, water and land and subsequently harms human and marine life. This has placed our very livelihood at risk, jeopardizes the tourism and fishing industry and could ultimately result in the collapse of the island.

    Wolfe’s Woofer: Jealousy
    “I hate to take this trip,” Raul told me. “I know my old lady is cheating on me and I don’t want to leave her alone for three days.” “You don’t have much choice. You have to be in court in San Ignacio about that land deal.” “I know,” he said. “I can’t get out of it.” “Are you sure she’s cheating?” I asked. “Who is she seeing?” “I don’t know and I don’t have time to find out right now,” he replied. “I fixed her, though. I put a special lock on the bedroom door and gave her three days of food. There’s bars on the windows and a bathroom in there so she’ll get by.” “Raul, that’s not legal,” I said.

    Police Report
    *On Tuesday, April 21st at about 12:30PM, police officers conducted searches in the San Pedrito Area where they discovered one black in color magazine Taurus Brand, seven 9mm live rounds, one 3.80 live rounds, six .38mm live rounds, three 16 gauge live rounds and 20.36 grams of suspected Cannabis. All items were taken to the San Pedro Police Station and labeled as “Found Property”. *On Tuesday, April 21st at about 12:01PM, police officers conducted a search in the Boca del Rio Area where they discovered a large parcel which was wrapped in transparent plastic wrap. When opened it was noticed to contained compressed suspected Cannabis. It was taken to the San Pedro Police Station where it weighed in at 4.18 pounds. It was labeled as “Found Property”.

    Doctor Love: Drug Addiction and Weddings
    Dear Doctor Love, My wife has always been a good mother. Our relationship was alright until I found out that she had been introduced to drugs at her job. She started disappearing for hours on end and then it became overnight. When she did not come home for three days I found she was staying at the house of a drug dealer and she thinks she is in love with him. I packed up her clothes and sent them to her and she did not come back. That was three months ago. I have the two children and I let her see them but only at our house. Since I can’t be there all of the time she is alone with them sometimes. Two weeks ago I noticed some little things were missing and then my daughter told me that her mama’s boyfriend came over. I immediately changed the locks and refused to allow her back in the house but I don’t think I can hold her off forever. What can I do? /s/ Busted

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Optinam North American
    Five of Belize's top Optimist sailors raced today at BTL Park in Belize City for the prize of representing Belize in Optinam North American. San Pedro Sailing Club's own Kevin Velasquez took the 1st winning all 6 races. Trent Hardwick of Belize City came in with a strong 2nd. The two boys will be Belize's first ever team to enter Optinam, a world level Optimist sailing event. Jazmin Campos of Corozal, Nashira Ricardez of Belize City and Tyler Garbutt of Placencia who came in 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively, though not participating in Optinam, will make up the base of Belize's international Optimist sailing team 2015. The event today was sponsored by the Belize Sailing Association (BzSA). Congratulations to all five sailors! Sailors from left to right: Nashira, Kevin, Tyler, Trent, Jazmin

    San Pedro Roman Catholic Church holds Family Day
    After 10am mass. Free food, drinks and fun games for the children.

    LOTTERY DRAWING for Sunday, April 26, 2015: First: 4749 Second: 8950 Third: 5419 Missing: 2, 3, 6

    Empyrean Art Center Grand Opening
    Cayo is getting a new art center on Burns avenue. Empyrean Art Center, which is located right next to Mickey's, is having their grand opening on May 2nd. They are still looking for fellow artists to show off their work there. "Looking to fill the walls for the Grand Opening on May 2nd! Do you know an artist? Please share!"

    CTV3

    Top Spellers Of O/W Battle For Spelling Bee Competition
    Hundreds of students gathered at the Crystal Palace Auditorium for the district finals of the 21st National Spelling Bee competition. There are several zones in Orange Walk and today ten competing schools equipped their best spellers for a showdown of the words and intellect and at the end of several tough rounds, the speller for Trial Farm Government School emerged as victor. Runner up was Louisiana Government School followed by Solomon’s SDA School rounding off the competition. The National Spelling Bee final is scheduled for June 5th in Corozal Town. We will have a word with the Orange Walk’s best-speller in Monday’s newscast.

    Two Persons Charged For Missing Funds At Governents Treasury
    Two persons were arrested and charged today in connection with the missing monies from the Treasury Department. As we’ve previously reported, a Belizean Business analyst for the Treasury Department, and the Government of Belize, reported that on January 28th, of this year $225,296.97 was sent from the Treasury Department to a Belize Bank Account registered under Seine Bight Community Training Program. The monies were a monthly subvention for the Toledo Community College, Punta Gorda Town, but were transferred to Seine Bight Community Training Program at a Belize Bank account and the monies withdrawn from the Belize Bank account, Dangriga Branch over a period of time. A further search in the system revealed that on the January 12th, 2015, David Enriquez did a similar transaction in the sum of $47,638.71. In addition, Accountant General at the Treasury Department and the Government of Belize, reported that on March 14th, of this year $225,296.97 was sent from the Treasury Department to a Belize Bank Account registered under the name Octaviana Lopez of #24 Magoon Street Dangriga Town, Stann Creek District. The monies were a monthly subvention for the Toledo Community College, Punta Gorda Town, but were transferred to Ms. Lopez’s Belize Bank account. The monies were withdrawn from the Belize Bank account, Dangriga Town Branch over a period of time.

    The Reporter

    Another man shot in Belize City Sunday
    A third man was shot on Sunday, this time on Kraal Road in Belize City. The incident happened around 2 p.m. The Reporter will have details in our printed edition.

    One dead, one critical after Sunday morning shooting
    A Sunday morning shooting around 10 a.m. on Iguana Street has left one man dead and another in a critical condition. According to reports, Mark Anthony Medina was shot multiple times and died on the scene before police arrived. The other victim, 55-year-old taxi driver Egbert Hemmans was also shot to the chest. Hemmans was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and is listed in critical condition. According to police, investigations into the matter are still in an early stage.

    PM leaves to meet about Stake Bank and banking sector
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow flew to Miami on Saturday to meet wih officials concerning two seperate issues, the Stake Bank project and the banking sector crisis. Barrow is expected to return on Tuesday but during his visit, he will meet with officials from Carnival Cruise Line. In a previous interview, Barrow had indicated that once he had met with Carnival as to their position on the Stake Bank cruise docking facility project, he would then bring the disputing stakeholders from Stake Bank and the Fort Street Tourism Village to the negotiating table and chart a definitive way to resolving the issue. Barrow will also meet with officials concerning corresponding relations with financial institutions in Belize as some, including the Belize Bank, have already started feeling the effects of US policy toward jurisdictions, like Belize, that have been listed as harmful tax havens. Two weeks ago at the Summit of the Americas in Panama, US President Barack Obama pledged to Caribbean leaders that he would have the policy reviewed and see where some relief could be brought to the region.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Belize Beach Volleyball Teams in Continental Tour
    For the first time in Belize’s volleyball history, Belize has both a male and female team participating in the NORCECA tour in Grand Cayman. NORCECA stands for the North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation and is an incorporated, non-profit organization responsible for all volleyball activities that take place in […]

    Stabbing in Ladyville results in two causalities: one murdered and another wounded
    Around 9:34 pm on April 25th, 2015, Ladyville police responded to a report of a fight at the Blue House Bar situated between miles 8 and 9 on the Phillip Goldson Highway in Ladyville Village. Upon arriving at the scene, they found the body of 41 years old, Wilmer Antonio […]

    Decomposed body found near Haulover Bridge is Anival Alvarado
    The body of the decomposed man found near Haulover Bridge on Thursday evening has been identified as Anival Alvarado, a Honduran national. According to reports, his nickname was “Pepino” and he was identified by the tattoo marked “Ninfar” on his right arm and the black and red wrist band he […]

    Shooting in Belize City
    There are reports of a fatal shooting incident this morning in Belize City. The victim is reported to be a resident of the George Street area. More on this story coming up later.

    12 persons arrested and charged for drugs and firearms in Roaring Creek
    GSU Commander, Mark Flowers informed Belize Media Group this morning that they are presently in the village of Roaring Creek conducting an intensive operation that up to now has proven to be successful. According to Flowers, yesterday a dozen people were arrested and charged for drugs and firearms in Roaring […]

    After 2 guns go missing in PG Police Department, whistle blower cop calls out corruption in the department
    A Punta Gorda policeman believes there is corruption happening in the PG Police Department. According to a police officer who spoke anonymously, last week Saturday, April 18th 2015 while on his working shift during 1:00-7:00a.m, 2 guns went missing from the Quick Response Team’s locker in the PG Police Station. […]

    Belmopan Area Festival of Arts Performing Arts Section Concludes
    Students in the Belmopan Area have shown their talents on various stages in the Belmopan Area Clusters. The excitement was stirred up by beautiful voices with appropriate children’s songs, drama, and dance. Since the festival is not a competition the students were awarded Certificates for their level of presentations. […]

    Man Stabbed to Death in Ladyville
    Belize Media Group has received reports of a stabbing incident in Ladyville, in the Belize District. According to reports, a man was stabbed in front of a bar around 10:30pm last night and has succumbed to his injuries. The motive of the stabbing is unknown. For an update on this […]

    Blogs

    Big Changes for North Ambergris Caye: The Extension of The Road North & A Quarry
    Ambergris Caye has been thought of as a tiny island for a while. A small island with a big diving problem, the t-shirts say. It is not a small island at all. And the narrow “sea to lagoon” sections that most see when visiting are just a sliver of a much bigger land mass. One that has been relatively unused due to lack of roads and infrastructure and because the island has always been…well…big enough. But as popularity grows, more tourists are visiting and more Belizeans are coming to work and live, we need more room. And building a road up north – the road that has already been paved from the bridge to Belizean Shores Resort – is a HUGE part of it. GO NORTH! It’s where the land is.

    Following Moses through Belize
    “You may pack one Nalgene, a camera, a change of underwear, and your passport—nothing more, nothing less.” We do this. We are driven to the bus station. We wait outside while the bald man who told us what to bring disappears into the building. He returns and we are handed an envelope and a couple bus tickets. The bald man grunts and gestures toward one of the gargling buses. We ask no questions. We’re too excited to not take this seriously. We climb up the stairs like kids pretending to search for buried treasure. Except that the buried treasure is God. And we aren’t pretending. 96 ounces left. I’m 19 years old. I believe in wearing white t-shirts with the same pair of blue jeans every day. I am sustained by books about spirituality and those orange Ramen packets. I have been living on a catamaran off the coast of Belize with a ragtag crew of a dozen young adults. I am learning to be a disciple, but wrestling with whether or not I believe in God. We are part of a program called Youth With A Mission.

    Life after Actun Tunichil Muknal, Belize
    As someone who can struggle with motion sickness, a 30 minute bus ride along a muddy and bumpy road seemed like a nightmare at the start of my adventure into the jungles of Belize. In a few short hours on our return trip, that ride would seem like a pleasure cruise. It’s amazing what a little Dramamine and some perspective can do for an outlook on life. The bus ride was just the first of many challenges on a group trip to Actun Tunichil Muknal. A local Belizean who ran a tour company sold my husband on what was billed as an adventure of a lifetime. It’s a sales pitch perfected over time: “It’s an easy walk!” the promised. Sure, you’ll walk through some water, but it’s always warm: “so warm!” They lied. The first part of our cave adventure doesn’t start at the parking lot. These elements are left off the tour guide’s sales pitch. First, there are the three river crossings in murky water and a healthy hike along a trail where large cats could be lurking behind the next corner. Finally, we arrive at camp only to be told the adventure is NOW beginning. So, we leave behind everything we’ve carried along this early part of the adventure, and walk straight into the mouth of a pitch-black cave with a river running through it.

    Returning to Wildtracks - Molly looks at the changes since her last Wildtracks experience
    How time moves is completely relative to what is going on in your life at the moment. I can tell you that time felt very slow when I went back to the United States for about six months after spending almost nine months at Wildtracks last year. When I left Wildtracks, in September, a lot of big changes had happened at the Rehabilitation Centre - completion of the Central Enclosure for the Spider Monkey Complex, moving two new sets of howler monkeys out to pre-release enclosures and the eldest nursery monkeys getting ready to move outside to their new enclosure. Upon my lucky return to Wildtracks in March of this year I found out just how fast time moves at Wildtracks. My first day back, I got to see how everything had changed in the past six months and it was amazing. So many fantastic things had happened while I was gone. One of the things I was most excited to see was the development of the “quarantine” area. Enclosures have been taken down and moved into the forest to give some monkeys, like Elliot and Athena, a more natural environment away from the hustle and bustle of the Manatee Building. When some of these enclosures were taken down there was room for a new sanctuary enclosure to be constructed for Nikki and Rafiki - the two permanent sanctuary primates at Wildtracks.

    Sustainable Belize Shrimp Farming
    When the human population is small as in Belize today, there is a tendency to look at coastal wetlands as expendable lands, for the greater immediate need of commercial exploitation and a growing tax base. The results are now in, from Thailand and other parts of Asia. To ignore the benefits of coastal filtration systems, such as mangrove swamps, is a disaster and more expensive in the long run. The longer run is not so far away either, just about thirty years in Belize. Unlike many ocean shore countries, Belize has an inner sea, inshore fisheries and an offshore great barrier reef and islands. These would be severely damaged as the population levels rise to half a million and the one million people mark, without these natural coastal filtration systems. In the past shrimp farm ponds have replaced coastal mangrove swamps. And pollution comes not only from shrimp farms, but from chemicals, fertilizers, feces, waste treatment plants, garbage dumps and many other causes. In order to protect the inshore fisheries and offshore reefs the cost to future governments some thirty to fifty years away would be impossible to try and duplicate the already existing natural filtration system of mangrove belts along the coast of Belize. Shrimp farming in particular became a focus of the coastal lands use of Belize in the 1980s. A lot of knowledge, problems, and ecological environmental effects are now known, that were not known a decade or two ago about shrimp farming. Shrimp farming has run into considerable trouble in recent years. Destruction of mangrove coastal zones to build ponds, was a political decision found to be in error. We now know that shallow lagoons, ponds, creeks and mangrove belts of up to a half mile wide are needed to cleanse the pollution coming off the mainland. The chemical reactions and combinations of atoms and molecules that by natural process convert toxic pollutants into harmless natural substances are almost impossible to duplicate by man-made substitutes for mangrove swamps.

    International Sourcesizz

    Lord Michael Ashcroft resigns from House of Lords
    LORD Michael Ashcroft has resigned from the House of Lords as he can no longer "contribute meaningfully,” according to the International Business Times. The 69-year-old was treasurer of the Conservative Party from 1998 to 2001, under William Hague and also served as deputy chairman. He has donated £10m to the Tories since the 1980s but withdrew the lifeline in 2013 amid speculation he doubted the party would secure a majority at the general election in May. His Lord Ashcroft Polls service into marginal seats is seen as a barometer of how the election could unfold. A statement on his website said he was stepping down to concentrate on his Lord Ashcroft Polling service as well as publishing interests. "Earlier this year Baroness D’Souza, the Lord Speaker, said that any Member of the House of Lords who can 'no longer contribute meaningfully' should retire,” his statement read.

    CENTRAL AMERICA INFRASTRUCTURE REPORT Q2 2015: NEW RESEARCH REPORT AVAILABLE AT FAST MARKET RESEARCH
    We currently forecast an average of 3.43.3% real growth in Central America's construction industry value for 20145 (excluding Panama) which is considerably higher than our regional average estimate for 2014 at 0.2% (excluding Panama). We expect Nicaragua's construction industry to return to positive in 2015 while Panama's will contract, as the completion of the Canal expansion nears its end. We see high risks, small scale and limited growth opportunities across the region as a whole. A crucial factor underpinning our forecasts for infrastructure investments in future years is political and security risk. This is a particular concern in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala where high levels of crime, homicide, violence, and insecurity exacerbate operational risks for companies willing to invest in BMI's Central America Infrastructure Report provides industry professionals and strategists, sector analysts, investors, trade associations and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the Panamanian, Guatemalan, Nicaraguan, Salvadoran, Costa Rican, Belizean, Honduran infrastructure and construction industry.

    Videos

  • Go Pro ,Belize Xuanatunich,Mayan Ruins., 2min.

  • Zip Line Belize, 5min. Some video of us doing the a zip line course in Belize. We did the zip line course after cave tubing.

  • Belize vs. Cayman Islands - First Half (2015 Friendly/Amistoso Internacional), 39min.

  • Belize vs. Cayman Islands - Second Half (2015 Friendly/Amistoso Internacional), 47min.

  • Gabe and Gina in Belize, 4min. Caye Caulker.

  • From Dangria to Belize city, March 28 2015, 3min. Landing footage of a small plane flying over the jungles of Belize

  • 2015 BELIZE EXPERIENCE, 3min. Part of Loyola High School's Experience week.

  • Vu sur Terre Saison 2 Belize 2015 04 22, 52min.

  • Live While You Live - Sharks & Stingrays Belize Barrier Reef, 1.5min. A Bucket list Experience swimming with Sharks, Stingrays & the deadly Electric Eel! The best that life has to offer on the Belize Barrier Reef!

  • Podziemne miasta Belize Podziemie Majów [Lektor PL][Film Dokumentalny], 61min. Podziemne miasta Rzym [Lektor PL][Film Dokumentalny] Podziemne miasta Rzym [Lektor PL][Film Dokumentalny] Film dokumentalny o podziemiach ...

  • Cave Tubing in Belize - GoPro Video, 15min. Cave tubing shore excursion in Belize during a Carnival Cruise line stop on the Carnival Sunshine ship. A lot of the trip is inside the cave and is lit by headlamps. It's a beautiful walk through the jungle to the river and a relaxing float down and through the cave.

    April 26, 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

    Caramba Restaurant waiter recognized by TripAdvisor
    A waiter at Caramba Restaurant has received a pin of recognition from a TripAvdisor representative for his outstanding service. 23-year-old Oscar Campos has been working at Caramba for the past six months and a couple weeks ago had the honor of serving a TripAdvisor representative who was visiting the island. Impressed with the level of service Campos offered, and claiming he served the best Piña Colada on the island, the representative bestowed Campos with a TripAdvisor pin of recognition. “I’m happy and much honored to have received this recognition,” said Campos. TripAdvisor pins of recognition are given to members of the TripAdvisor network and are meant to be handed out to persons within the hospitality industry that give exceptional service. According to the TripAdvisor website, these pins are not widely distributed and it is considered an honor to receive one.

    Letter to the Editor: Pamela Zetina’s Volunteer Servicies Dismissed due to Politics
    Letters-to-the-EditorI am truly saddened that it has come to this and now I realize that politics plays a very dirty role on how things are ran (manipulated) in this island. I respond to a letter from the management of the San Pedro House of Culture, under the authority of Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation. The letter states that I have been relieved of my volunteer services as member of the committee of the San Pedro House of Culture in which I was just recently appointed. Clearly, the Minister’s decision is strictly political as he has made that clear to me in person. This saddens me because I only want to volunteer my services to better my community and make the islanders proud of having such a great facility that promotes our rich culture. At first I cried because of my rejection of these two politicians (Mito Paz and Manuel Heredia), but then I realized I was not serving them but my people of San Pedro. Today I smile with pride and joy because there are so many others who have invited me to share my passion of serving with them and for San Pedro.

    Easter Bunny makes a vacation stop at SPRCS
    Walking barefoot on the island used to be the norm, but with progress comes cobblestone streets, and when you combine hot sun and tough roads, going barefoot isn’t so fun anymore. With that in mind, three couples from Alberta, Canada brought down many pairs of shoes to gift to some children at the San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS). Bruce and Brian Griffith, Sheila and Dave Belkey, Shirley and David Hickle and Marilyn Hogan stopped by SPRCS on Thursday, April 17th to distribute shoes and little souvenirs to one of the Standard I (Grade III) classrooms. “Having heard that some children have no shoes to walk in, and knowing that going barefoot can cause all manner of infections or increases the chances of getting cut on glass or shell, we thought we would bring down some shoes to distribute on our return trip,” said David Hickle. Children’s faces lit up as the Easter Bunny (Bruce Griffith) walked in. Excited, each child was beaming and grateful for their presents.

    WPC Sherifa Young convicted for 2012 police brutality incident
    Woman Police Constable (WPC) #1342 Sherifa Young has been found guilty for the crime of “Harm” in regard to an incident that occurred in December of 2012. Young, who has been in interdiction from December 19, 2012, was sentenced on Tuesday, April 14th at the San Pedro Magistrate Court for one count of “Harm”. Her sentence was in reference to news article, “Victims of alleged police brutality in San Pedro call for justice”, which was published in The San Pedro Sun in Issue 49 Volume 22 dated December 13, 2012. WPC Young was charged after three island residents claimed police brutality and use of unnecessary force. The incident occurred on December 17, 2012 after Ricky Jurado was arrested by a WPC Young and Corporal Mark Young. Two of Jurado’s friends intervened during the arrest, because the police were using excessive force. As a result Elder Mauricio and Vianie Perez were approached by WPC Young. She proceeded to hit Mauricio and Perez several times with a baton. When Perez tried to defend herself, it only resulted in WPC Young injuring her further.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Prime Minister Barrow Departs for Miami, Florida
    The Office of the Prime Minister informs the general public that the Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow departed the country for Miami, Florida today, April 25, 2015. During his visit, the Prime Minister will meet with cruise lines to discuss a way forward regarding the Stake Bank Port; and he will also meet with officials concerning relations with corresponding banks and financial institutions in Belize. The Prime Minister is expected to return to the country on Tuesday, April 28th, 2015. In his absence, Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Gaspar Vega will act as Prime Minister.

    Western Ballaz Play Dangriga Warriors
    The Western Ballaz hosted the Dangriga Warriors last night. The Warriors won this time around. Kenny Lamb, once again, got some great shots of the game. Go Ballaz! "Game was fast, fun and entertaining! The Warriors had their way taking home the win, but The Ballaz gave them a run for the money. Nuff Respect to both teams! Troyer was not able to play as he is injured. (Tag players & ppl, share, like, comment) Thanks."

    Walk For A Green Cayo
    The Rotaractors from Cayo participated in this year's Walk for a Green Belize this morning. It was a country-wide effort, and the statistics on how much trash was cleaned up should be out soon. Thanks, Rotaractors! "Rotaractors participated this morning Saturday, April 25th, 2015 in a clean-up campaign In commemoration of Earth Day 2015 together with Oceana Members and The Department of Environment. The clean-up campaign consisted of the entire George Price Highway and Macal River in San Ignacio. Thanks to all the amazing people who came out to inspire others and make a difference."

    BBIA Book Week Kickoff
    The Belize Book Industry Association kicked off Book Week yesterday at the Cayo Welcome Center. They had fun and games, and there were a lot of books to peruse. In the evening, they had a Literary Evening at the Soul Project. It continues today.

    The Reporter

    UN agencies look at ways to improve services in Belize
    A group of representatives from various United Nations (UN) agencies have started sharing and reviewing data in an attempt to improve their impact throughout Belize. The group, including representatives from the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFP). Roberto Valent, UN resident coordinator said the idea is to pool resources together to work along with the government to ensure that Belizeans are getting the best services possible. Valent said issues including poverty, gender equality and development goals are at the top of the list. UNICEF representative Ivan Yerovi said violence against women and children are the main cause of concern for his agency. He added that Belize needs to ensure, through the judiciary, that offenders who perpetrate violence against children, especially sexual violence, are punished to the fullest extent of the law.

    Volunteers line highway for Green Belize
    Volunteers from various organizations joined the Department of the Environment (DOE) on Saturday morning for the second annual Green Belize clean-up activity. Seli Cho, environmental officer at the DOE and organizer of the clean-up said the DOE was pleased with the turnout of volunteers that participated. According to Cho, volunteers included participants from the not only the DOE and the Belize Audubon Society but also the police department, the Belize Coast Guard, Belize Scouts, police cadets, the Belize Bank, First Caribbean, the Inter American Development Bank and a host of schools just to name a few. Chief Environmental Officer of the DOE Martin Alegria said the significance of the event is to sensitize the public about the harms of littering and giving them an opportunity to participate in the cleaning of their surroundings.

    The Belize Times

    Cordel Shuts Down Mark King – UDP land fraud continues
    The UDP losing candidate in Lake Independence Mark King should be investigated by the Police Department for being in possession of possible fraudulent land documents. King has a land title for block 45 of parcel 61 situated just behind the Charles Bartlett Hyde “Complex” building in the Lake Independence area. But like many, many instances of land fraud and hustling that have occurred under the UDP Government where land papers are issued for properties that already have owners, this land in question was already privately owned by a community group in Lake Independence. It was purchased by the Lake Independence Action Committee as far back as 2007 at a value of $20,000. The land even has a building erected on it, which was financed by fundraising efforts but was destroyed by fire months before the 2008 election. On Tuesday morning, in one of his mad tirades, King lost his few senses and sent a demolition crew to the area in an attempt to bulldoze the building and claim the land. He told the media that he was “in possession” of a title for the same land which was given by the UDP Government to the “UDP Lake Independence Committee” in October 2014.

    2015 SMART Mundialito kicks off!!
    The 2015 SMART Mundialito annual football competition kicked off with 12 teams playing 6 games at the Yabra field last Saturday, April 18. In Game 1, the defending champs City Boys Juniors and sub-champs, Ladyville Rising Stars, drew nil-zip. In Game 2, the 2x Mundialito champs Brown Bombers drew nil-zip with the Collet Strikers. In Game 3, the Face of Belize FC bombed Mahogany Heights FC 3-1, with Jose Zetina scoring first for Face of Belize and Heights’ Curtis August Jr equalizing 1-1 before the half. After the break tiny Sanja Pitts Jr. scored Face of Belize 2nd goal, and Ajani Vaughn scored Face of Belize 3rd goal.

    Hurricanes, Dangriga Warriors & No Limit vie for NEBL basketball playoffs spot
    The Yellow Pages Hurricanes, Dangriga Warriors and NO Limit are all in the hunt for the 4th spot in the National Elite Basketball League playoffs. The Hurricanes posted their 3rd win with an 83-81 upset of the defending champs, the San Pedro Tigersharks, before a packed house at the Belize Elementary auditorium on Friday night. Winston “Air Jun” Pratt led the Hurricanes with 24 points and 4 rebounds, while Brian “Brybo” White scored 19 points and 7 rebounds. Darwin “Puppy” Leslie led the Tigersharks’ scoring with 24 points and 5 rebounds. The game was down to 9 seconds when Leslie was fouled and stepped to the charity stripe to score 2 free throws and tie the ball game 81-81, possibly sending the game into overtime. The Hurricanes had possession and inbounded to Leon “Biggs” Williams, whose shot beat the buzzer for the 83-81 win!

    Corozal Methodist wins softball nationals
    The Corozal Methodist School boys defeated the Independence Primary School team 6-2 to win the national primary school softball championships at “Hostel” football field on Racoon Street on Friday, April 17. The Corozal boys won collecting 2 hits off Vince Garbutt’s pitching. He also walked 9 batters, allowing 6 runs. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners were presented team trophies and individual medals, and Corozal’s pitcher Dale Centeno won the Most Valuable Player award, with 4 wins, 11 strikeouts and scoring 3 runs.

    Erwin Contreras gives high school a bounced cheque
    UDP representative for Cayo West may be one of the UDP’s most wealthy do-nothing politicians, but he was caught up in a suspicious case of possible fraud when a cheque with his name was used to pay a high school in Benque Viejo del Carmen, but it bounced. Last year, Contreras had attended the Mopan Technical High School graduation ceremony and promised that he would purchase and donate a Risograph printer for the school. Well, one year has passed and not even an ink came through as donation. But with early elections coming, and since another graduation is coming up and expecting an invitation, Contreras’ office submitted a post-dated Belize Bank cheque to the school for $8000. But the cheque has been as good as nothing. When the school tried to use the cheque, it was rejected by the bank because the account did not have the adequate funds. The staff and students of the high school are all aware of the stunt being pulled by the UDP politician who has been representative for so long that he acts as if he owns the area.

    Fired for major embezzlement – Nasley Sommerville yet to face criminal charges
    Nasley Sommerville, who has been at the center of an investigation into the fleecing of hundreds thousands of dollars from the Southern Regional Hospital’s Maternal and Child health program, was terminated by the Public Services Commission on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015. Sommerville, who was the Administrator of the hospital, had been on suspension with half pay since October of 2013 when evidence of the missing monies was detected by the Auditor General. The Auditor General had conducted a surgical review of the Hospital and found that 189 cheques were disbursed improperly, leading to the embezzlement of over $366,000. The Auditor General also found that during the timespan in which the monies went missing, from January 2010 to September 2013, there was ZERO check and balance by anyone at the Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health’s Chief Executive Officer, Peter Allen, was asleep at the wheels and failed to carry out his duties of properly monitoring the accounts at the hospital.

    Cop charged for rape of 14 yr. old – PC Cyril Casimiro was also accused of attempted rape in 2008
    Police Officer #1093 Cyril Casimiro has been remanded to prison for the alleged rape of a 14 year old in Corozal Town. The 14 year old, accompanied by her mother, reported to the Police that while walking on Antonio Sosa Drive in the Altamira area of Corozal Town around 1:00pm, she met Casimiro dressed in Police clothing and driving a red motorcycle marked “Police”. The minor said that the officer offered her a ride home and she got on the motorcycle, but instead of taking her home Casimiro allegedly took her by the sea behind the Finca Solana housing area where he had sexual intercourse with her against her will. The minor was taken to the hospital where she was examined and found to have been carnally known. She has identified PC Casimiro as the perpetrator and he was charged with rape.

    People Power!!
    In the movie “Juice”, Tupac’s character “Bishop” was complaining to his boyz in the hood about the lack of respect shown to them and his feeling of powerlessness in gaining the “Juice” (i.e. money, power, respect) that other people in the neighbourhood had. He told his boyz “you gotta get the ground beneath your feet pardna, the wind behind your back!!!” Essentially Tupac was telling the boyz to rise up to become awakened as they had the power within them to make the change and get the “Juice” money, power and respect. Today in the “Jewel” especially the old capital, a similar sentiment is mushrooming – the feeling of powerlessness – at the rise of inequality, joblessness, and increased poverty. However, the United Democratic Party Government and all its political cohorts continue to foster these social ills through the political economy and the various anomalies of “clientilism” (the buying and selling of votes) and the Prime Minister declaring that millions upon millions would have been spent to hold on to the Cayo Northeast constituency and Petrocaribe rolling to win the bye-election in Cayo North...

    3 killed, 9 shot over the weekend
    Gun violence continued to take siege of the country over the past few days and in particular last weekend which saw three persons fatally shot and nine others injured in separate shootings in Belize City alone. The most tragic of these incidents was Sunday night’s double shooting of couple 54 year old Mike Estell and his common-law wife 29 year old Coleen Sharp, which occurred in their home in Ladyville. Answers to this tragedy appear to have vanished with the life of the two deceased because Police still do not have a clear understanding as to what led Estell to shoot his partner twice in the head and then turn his .380 pistol on himself. Sharp was shot on the nose and forehead. Estell had a gunshot injury to his right temple. It is believed that they had a fight after arriving home separately on Sunday night. In the house, the Police found Sharp’s IPhone6, broken up, and Estell’s chain thrown on the bathroom floor. They were clothed only in underwear and found in the bathroom.

    Barrow, Where Have the Millions Gone?
    There is a story which goes something like this. A proud mother went to see her son’s marching-out parade. As the parade passed on the street, all the soldiers were marching ‘left right’, ‘left right’. Her son was marching ‘right left’, ‘right left’. She said proudly, look! Only my son is marching correctly, all the others are marching wrong. This sums up the position Prime Minister Dean Barrow is adopting with his wrong-headed and unconstitutional Petrocaribe law The figures, revealed so far, show that the Prime Minister had been illegally hoarding and spending from a fund of almost five hundred million dollars. There was a balance of one hundred and sixty-odd million in February this year. At that time he had already taken out two hundred and eighty six million without adhering to the Constitution and the Finance and Audit Reform law. He gave no detailed reports to the nation. He tabled no accounts of receipts and expenditures to show how the monies were used. There is something rotten going on Each month some eight to twelve million dollars goes into the Petrocaribe funds.

    Think About It
    Since September 2012 the Prime Minister has been secretly using millions upon millions of dollars from monies out of a Petro Caribe fund. The total up to February 2015 has been a whopping $286 million. All of this is unconstitutional (Section 114 of the Constitution) and a criminal offence (Section 24, Finance and Audit Reform Act of 2010). Caught with his pants down, the Prime Minister hastily passed a law one night on Friday 27 March 2015 to do two major things. The law is trying to legalize the Prime Minister’s illegal actions in secretly taking out millions of dollars over two years without following ANY of the procedures required by law. The second thing the new law does is to allow the Prime Minister to continue to take out millions without getting prior approval of the National Assembly. Under his new law, the Prime Minister can take out any amount any time for any purpose and there can be no limitations on what he does. Weird but true. The Prime Minister MAY use some of the millions for capital projects, community projects and to help the poor. He MAY, the law does not say he SHALL. Yes, it is weird but it is true. It is unlawful but he has now tried to make it lawful. It is a criminal offence but he is hoping he has decriminalized his behavior with his new law. Since 2012, each time he took out money he committed a criminal offence.

    Hotbed getting hotter
    In a meeting held in Los Angeles in October of 2013 with Belizeans in the Diaspora, Prime Minister Dean Barrow referred to the Ministry of Natural Resources as “another hotbed of corruption.” Interesting that he should have used the word “another” since just about every department in every ministry of this government is riddled by this “wrong and distasteful” way of conducting business. Just last week news broke of improprieties at the Treasury Department where certain employees had pilfered monies adding up to well over a half of million dollars. When confronted with the revelation, Mr. Barrow flippantly dismissed it as “just a few people doing this and that”. The Prime Minister is very good at what he does, but what he does is not a good thing. The man is well trained in the art of sophistry and can make serious transgressions seem trivial. Look how easily he was able to downplay the egregious actions of Elvin Penner, predicting from the very start that nothing would come of it. “Factual guilt and not criminal guilt” was how he explained it and true to word, Penner walked free and is still laughing all the way to the bank.

    Facey Barrow wants Audrey Matura-Shepherd excluded from Union meeting
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow is a facey man. Thinking he has Union leaders on “strings” the way he had the former NTUCB President, he has asked for a meeting with the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, but has reportedly demanded that Audrey Matura-Shepherd not be allowed to attend. Barrow wants to meet with Union leaders to scold them about their position on the Petrocaribe Loan Act, known as the Barrow Law. The NTUCB has condemned the law passed and approved in a rush on March 27th. It has agreed with the People’s United Party, the Chamber of Commerce and other activists that the law is retrograde and attempts to arbitrarily validate the Government’s wrongdoing – borrowing and spending millions of dollars without getting approval from the National Assembly.

    PUP Congratulates the Maya Leaders’ Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes’ Association
    The People’s United Party congratulates the Maya Leaders’ Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes’ Association on their historic achievement in finally winning from the Government of Belize recognition of their indigenous right to occupy land in Southern Belize. In the year 2000, the Government of the People’s United Party had signed with the Maya Peoples of Southern Belize a “Ten Points of Agreement” in which stated that: “The government recognizes that the Maya People have rights to lands and resources in southern Belize based on their long-standing use and occupancy.” This was followed in 2001 by an amendment to the Belize Constitution to specifically include “Belize’s indigenous people” among those whose identity, dignity and social and cultural values needed to be recognized and protected.

    PUP donates 14 tablets to Hattieville Government School teachers
    In a short ceremony this afternoon, PUP Deputy Leader and Belize Rural Central Area Representative Hon. Dolores Balderamos Garcia handed over 14 Tablets and a Flash Drive containing 500 e-books including encyclopaedias to the Principal of Hattieville Government School Mrs. Batun. The tablets will be distributed to the teachers from Standard 1 to Standard 6 in an effort. The e-books which include material that is useful to their teaching curriculum will be shared among the teachers and can be accessed through the tablet. Attending the ceremony were Secretary General Myrtle Palacio, PUP Collet Standard Bearer Yasmin Shoman and Major (Retired) Lloyd Jones. The donation of these education tools marks the PUP’s commitment to revolutionising education through technology.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Hot and dry weather will prevail for the next couple of days
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mostly sunny and hot weather today and partly cloudy tonight. Winds will blow East- South East 10 – 20 knots with occasional higher gust. High temperatures are expected to be around 90 degrees Fahrenheit along the coast; 98 degrees Fahrenheit inland and a comfortable 83 degrees Fahrenheit up on the exposed areas of the Mountain Pine Ridge and along the Maya Mountains in the south. A high tide is expected at 2:38 pm and a low tide at 10:28pm tonight. The sun will set at 6:11 pm.

    Ministry of Education Personnel Meet to Discuss School Improvement Support
    District Center Managers and Education Officers met in Belize City on Friday-April 24th to discuss planned measures of improving data collection and storage for schools across this country. Additionally, support mechanisms are being put in place to assist the Administrators, Managers, and teachers to improve school performance and add more excitement to the learning process. Mount Saint Vincent University will work with the school leaders, teachers, and Administrators to provide additional support in implementing their school improvement plan over a 4-year period. The Research Arm of the Ministry, under the direction of Dr. Neulin Villanueva and Mr. Bernardino Pech, is providing the planning and training needed for the Ministry’s Open EMIS System that has been put in place to facilitate the data collection and storage initiative.

    Police need help identifying decomposed body
    On April 23rd 2015, we reported that Ladyville police found a decomposing body floating in the vicinity of the Haulover Bridge. Police say that so far they have ascertained that the body is of a Caucasian male dressed in khaki shorts and a black t-shirt and has a tattoo marked “Ninfar” on his right arm. According to police, they also found him with a black and red wrist band on his left arm marked “Anibal”. Because of the advanced state of decomposition, police are unable to determine the cause of his death. There is also no sign of injury to the body and police are not suspecting foul play. The decomposed body was found by a caretaker of a property just past the Haulover Bridge who noticed vultures circling the dead carcass.

    International Sourcesizz

    Belizean journalists end stay at MSU
    Murray State University played host to a pair of Belizean journalists this week as part of a television co-op program through the U.S. Department of State. Hipolito Novelo, a reporter for LOVE-FM in Belize and his photojournalist Brian Castillo spent three days on campus this week interviewing Belizean students at MSU and filming campus life. Julie Umstead, a contractor with the State Department, also joined the two journalists at MSU and with them at seven different colleges and universities in the U.S. The trip was part of the “100,000 Strong in the Americas” initiatives, a private sector partnership to increase the number of U.S. students studying in Latin America by 100,000 and the number of Latin American students studying in the U.S. by 100,000. Reporting trips like that for the Belizean journalists in Murray are all part of spreading the word, Umstead said. Of course, when she began her research on prime institutions to take the radio/TV reporters from the Central American English-speaking country, she said she repeatedly noticed MSU topping Google searches and State Department reports.

    “Liquid mercury found under Mexican pyramid”
    That’s the beginning of the headline on an article in Britain’s The Guardian published on April 24. Alan Yuhas, the reporter from the Guardian, has done a super job in this report of balancing comments from specialists with an attempt to convey what is exciting here. Since I ended up quoted rather a lot (considering that I was talking on a cell phone while at a cafe for breakfast, without notes, and mainly trying to think who I could suggest to provide expert information) I was motivated to follow up on my off-the-cuff summary of previous finds of liquid mercury in prehispanic sites in Central America with something a little more precise. I should begin with one correction: liquid mercury hasn’t been reported from any Olmec sites, so far as I know. In research published in Science in 1975, archaeoastronomer John Carlson demonstrated that a hematite object excavated at the Olmec site of San Lorenzo, in the Gulf Coast of Mexico, could act as a compass oriented to magnetic north if it was floated on liquid mercury. Carlson specifically suggested that the Olmec might have used liquid mercury in this way. That report was picked up by others and recently, even scholarly works have stated as a fact that liquid mercury was used starting around 1000 BC. A major point of disagreement among archaeologists writing about finds of liquid mercury has been whether it was collected from naturally occurring deposits, or produced by processing cinnabar, as Ashmore argued for Quirigua. David Pendergast, excavator of the ballcourt cache at Lamanai, described the large quantity of liquid mercury there as likely collected in the highland area of Honduras or Guatemala, where naturally occurring deposits of native (liquid) mercury could potentially be found accompanying cinnabar.

    Videos

  • LA VOZ KARAOKE 2015 WEEK 5 - DISC1, 95min.

  • LA VOZ KARAOKE 2015 WEEK 5 - DISC2, 33min.

  • Diabetes in Belize- Mr. Cornelio Marfield and Plus TV, 33min. Plus TV in partnership with director of the Diabetes Association, Mr. Cornelio Marfield, discusses the problem of diabetes in Belize.

  • Zip Line Belize, 5min. Some video of us doing the a zip line course in Belize. We did the zip line course after cave tubing.

  • SubWing Belize, 5min.

  • Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow - VII Summit of the Americas, 13min.

  • Belize Reef, 6min.

  • Belize Reef 3, 7min.

  • Scuba Diving Belize, 5min. Scuba Diving in Belize. Dive Site: Turneffe Atoll; Crick Ozeen and Pine Ridge. Big thanks to Divemaster Abelito

  • Sound Effect - Forest, Birds, Belize Birds, Howler, Flies, Howls, Air, Insects, 2min.

  • Sound Effect - Village, Birds, Belize Rooster, Bird Flock, Bg Birds & Insects, 3min.

  • Howler Monkey at Lamanai in Belize, 1min. Group of howler monkeys in the trees near out camp at Lamanai in Belize.

  • Belize Trip 2015, 9min. Our family adventure to Belize.

    April 25, 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

    US Embassy hosts ‘town hall’ meeting in San Pedro
    Representatives from the Embassy of the United States of America held a US citizen ‘town hall’ meeting on Monday, April 20th. Held at the Blue Water Grill, the gathering began at 11AM and saw a turnout of more than 50 US citizens who call Belize home. Following their brief presentation guests had the opportunity to collect various informative printed materials, visit with the representative’s individually or take care of consular public services such as obtaining passport renewal and additional visa pages applications and limited notary services. Many stayed to socialize and eat lunch as well. For more information about the Embassy of the US and their services please visit their website at http://belize.usembassy.gov/

    PROJECT EARTH 2015: Atlantic Bank Helping Reduce Overdraft on Nature
    Atlantic Bank Ltd, in collaboration with Institute for Sustainability of Community and Environment (IN.S.C.E) and a group of women have engaged in an initiative to help reduce the overdraft on nature, while at the same time taking a simple action to help reduce poverty through an income generating activity. The initiative includes underprivileged women sewing bags that can be used for everyday activities. Through the creation of beautiful hand sewn bags using natural fabrics in earth colors, these women receive a much needed additional income. These women that are ultimately working hard to advance their children’s well-being and on this Earth Day “it’s our turn to lead” as Atlantic Bank Ltd. will be giving out these bags to all its customers. On Tuesday, April 22nd people joined hands worldwide to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. Globally, citizens are working together to educate and inspire others to take simple actions that can prove to be powerfully beneficial to Planet Earth and its inhabitants. Atlantic Banks Ltd. hopes to accomplish the same as this collaboration indeed lies at the heart of innovation and so this tripartite partnership is a meaningful activity to celebrate Earth Day. Green is the predominant color in nature, and today it’s associated with environmentally-friendly choices and lifestyles.

    Fly Fishing Fun
    I always wondered about those guys with the lower half of their faces wrapped, their eyes covered with reflective sunshades, and maybe wearing a hat. They often have on long sleeved shirts with many, many pockets, and long pants too. Perhaps you’ve seen those same guys without their usual garb on, the sun marks clearly visible on their faces, that tell-tale bright patch of skin (generally the eye region) standing out from the sun-baked rest of their face. Fishermen. Most importantly…fly fishermen. How do they do it? What keeps them out on the flats, in nooks of the lagoon side of the island, patiently awaiting for that Grand Slam (3 fish in one day: Tarpon, Permit and Bonefish)?

    Rugby Belize goes mobile
    Rugby Belize is continuing its mission to promote the popular English sport Rugby, in Belize. As such, they have launched a mobile app that links users with the organization’s social media pages. The Rugby Belize App was official released on Saturday, April 18th and is compatible with iOS and Android devices.16 Rugby Belize app-1 Rugby Belize is a voluntary non-profit organization that aims to develop, encourage and promote the participation of men, women and children in the sport of rugby sevens throughout the country. San Pedro Town is among five destinations in Belize that have established rugby clubs (the other destinations are Belmopan City, Belize City, Hattieville, and Orange Walk Town). The local club: San Pedro Turtles, is being spearheaded by local resident Martin Dawson. According to founder of Rugby Belize, Tony Gillings, the app is crucial to the development and recognition of the organization. “The Rugby Belize App means that anyone downloading it to their smart phone, can keep up to date with everything rugby in Belize and beyond. It gives them immediate, up-to-date news from around the globe and, perhaps more importantly, allows them immediate contact with Rugby Belize.

    Sunset Boardwalk plagued with vandalism and garbage; SPTC details new plans for the area
    Since the inauguration of the multi-million dollar Sunset Boardwalk project in 2014, there have been several unending issues with it. The bathrooms have been vandalized to the point that it would need major repairs. In addition, the football grounds and general area around the Sunset Boardwalk Welcome vicinity abounds with the unpleasant sight of garbage. The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has confirmed however, that with the new plans for the area, repairs will be done and security will be put in place. While the garbage situation is one thing, the other issue has to do with the bathroom facilities that have been completely wrecked. The facilities at the Sunset Board Walk have no night security, making it an easy target for vandals. As such, the doors of the bathroom have been broken for months and all indications are that huge rocks were used to break the urinals to pieces. The toilets and wash basins have equally been vandalized beyond use. “The place is wrecked and the sad part is that nobody is there to watch over the facility. When you go into the bathroom area, the stench of feces that is just left in the toilet bowls is unbearable. The condition is unsanitary, unhealthy and unacceptable,” said Arceo.

    Ambergris Today

    HGTV Loves Belize, Back Filming in San Pedro
    Just last month a film crew from HGTV (Home and Garden Television) was in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and Placencia filming footage for their newest tv program Beachfront Bargain Hunt, but this past week a new crew was back on the island filming another episode of House Hunters International. Yeah its not the first time HGTV’s House Hunters International has been on Ambergris Caye or elsewhere in the country to film an episode of their popular program. This just shows how Ambergris Caye is still the #1 island in the world and Belize is becoming a prime destination for both visitors and people looking to retire or just find a new home. This time around the film crew and the happy hunting couple were seen at Portofino, Indigo condominiums, cruising around the island on golf cart and at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, among other sites visited. They were looking to find an island home to live in paradise. The show is expected to air in about three-month’s time.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    The San Pedro Roman Catholic Church Invites the entire Ambergris Caye community for a fun-filled Family Day on Sunday, April 26.
    The San Pedro Roman Catholic Church is inviting everyone to come and enjoy a family day on the beachside of the church. We are currently asking for volunteers and donations for food. Persons interested can contact the office at 226-2479.

    CCJ official consent order
    Official Consent Order entered by the Caribbean Court of Justice affirming the rights of the Mayas of southern Belize to their ancestral land homeland.

    Press Release: Change in the Price for LPG – April 2015
    To view the BBS Press Release on the change in price for LPG, kindly click on the link.

    Open Letter to the National Garifuna Council from Joseph Guerrero
    Dear Members of the National Garifuna Council, I’m sure you will join me in congratulating the Maya of Belize for their ground breaking victory in the landmark Maya land rights case against the Government of Belize (GOB). You may also join me in hoping the agreement the Mayas reach with the Government of Belize will take all their rights into consideration. What was at stake in this very important landmark case which will have resounding effects in legal circles worldwide was the freedom from marginalization and from discrimination. It accomplishes this end by giving indigenous people of Belize more say in the development of their ancestral lands. With the result of this land case now indigenous groups in Belize including the Maya and Garifuna both can now apply for and receive title to communal lands. With these titles which carry the same rights as individual land titles, they will be able to develop their ancestral lands in a way conducive to their preservation and proliferation as a distinct indigenous people. The Maya were immensely aided by the Articles of the ILO 169 adoption of the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention. This is the precursor to the later adopted United Nations Declarations of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) which Preamble and Articles makes it clear the international standard on the way nations should treat their Indigenous population.

    Planting the national tree of Belize
    This week U.S. Embassy personnel celebrated Earth Day this year by planting the national tree of Belize, the mahogany tree, at the New Horizons SDA School on San Pedro. The Embassy also expanded the reusable bag program to three stores in San Pedro while there (more to come on this)

    Magical Mayan Night
    A Magical Mayan Night at Ramon's Village to support SHINE girls program. Saturday, May 16 at 5:30 pm Chinese Auction, Dinner Buffet, Program, Live Music Tickets $60 per person and available at Warpaint

    Habitual Tres Cocos area Thief
    Jackson Rawson better known as "CHANCE" lives in the neighborhood, has stolen from almost every neighbor including his own parents and no one has filed charges against him. Most don't even don't take him to jail because they can't prove it "they all know him and what he do and he grew up in the neighborhood and lives in the neighborhood. He is a habitual liar and a habitual thief who does not belong in society. At 18 years old he needs help before he ends up being more of a monster than he already is. He spends a few hours in jail then gets out and goes back home, take shower and watches tv in is ac room, no consequence whatsoever.

    1st Annual @Walk/ Run for Awareness 5K this Sunday in San Pedro
    We are excited for the to the 1st annual @Walk/ Run for Awareness 5K this Sunday, April 26. ACES will be selling raffle tickets, refreshments and BBQ at the post- race celebration. Contact the school to purchase a $10 ticket for BBQ in advance. Look forward to seeing you there!

    Strengthening Belize’s Offshore Outsourcing Sector
    Reference: NXCWG0898/BEL/2 Location: Belize Closing date: 11th May 2015 Contract duration: 90 consultant days over the period June to December 2015 Budget: £36,000 in consultancy fees. Travel (economy), per diem and workshops will be covered separately. EXPECTED PROJECT OUTCOME A more diverse ITES sector in Belize providing more value added services, underpinned by effective quality control. KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS: Project deliverables produced within budget and on schedule.

    Northern Caye Caulker Beach Reserve
    The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture, through the Lands and Surveys Department, takes this opportunity to clarify to the general public the allegations made regarding surveys that may have included the beach reserve on Northern Caye Caulker. The general public is reminded that in accordance with the legislation that governs National Land, the policy of the Lands and Surveys Department makes provisions for the allowance of a beach reserve for public access that precedes any property line. Any and all crown land that adjoins such reserve is subject to distribution or further reservation by the Minister responsible for Lands.

    BOLEDO DRAWING for Friday, April 24, 2015: 69

    Installation of the Wireless Internet (WiFi) at the Central Park
    Great News! The San Pedro Town Council along with Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) have commenced the installation of the Wireless Internet (WiFi) at the Central Park. The estimated date for completion of installation is around Wednesday of next week.

    Phase 2 commencement of the paving of the road on North
    We are excited to announce the Phase 2 commencement of the paving of the road on North, Ambergris Caye. Work has initiated on Mile 6 (by Portofino). Phase 2 is projected to be done in a three-month period and the completion of the project will see a total of 7 miles of paved road.

    Standard five students and educators from Sacred Heart RC School of Dangriga Town visit Corozal House of Culture
    So great to have the standard five students and educators from Sacred Heart RC School of Dangriga Town visiting us today. On their visit we were also able to showcase Manuel Villamor's historical mural at the Corozal Town Hall and the last standing fort in the country; Fort Barlee. Great thanks go out to the school for choosing Corozal Town as their destination!

    Garifuna Dishes, Karaoke in the Night, Grand Football Marathon
    Sarteneja Village invites everyone on May 2nd:-

    "FIRST MACAW!!!"
    FCD’s Research team has documented the first baby macaw for the 2015 season. This baby macaw was born on Earthday, 22nd of April – therefore it has received the name “Earth”. Now that the season has started, for the next 6 months the task of the research team is to protect and monitor the breeding population of macaws in the Chiquibul.

    Channel 7

    Public Officer Charged For Treasure Theft
    The media has been reporting on the theft of $550,000 the Treasury Department since last week - and while we knew the amount and the how it was done, we could not find out whodunit - because of the tight lid police kept on the investigation. But today, it all came out when one public officer was formally arrested and charged for half of the missing money. He is 28 year-old David Enriquez, a clerk at the Treasury Department. Tonight, he's in jail, facing 3 counts of theft. Enriquez was arraigned this morning before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, and because he will be tried on indictment, no plea was taken. The first theft occurred on March 14, 2015 and the amount was for $225,296, which was supposed to be deposited into the account set up to receive the monthly subvention funds for the Toledo Community College. Somehow, the money was diverted from that account to the Siene Bight Community Training Program's Belize Bank Account, which was then withdrawn at the Dangriga Branch over a period of time. Police believe that Enriquez was somehow involved in that diversion of funds, and a check of the system reveals that he was involved in another diversion for just over 47 thousand dollars.

    Busted BDF Truck Gives New Meaning To "Off Road"
    There was an accident this morning at mile 13 on the Phillip Goldson Highway in which one of the BDF J8 military vehicles crashed into another vehicle and flipped. Fortunately, there were no fatalities, but the male BDF soldier who was driving suffered minor injuries, while his female passenger, another BDF officer, had her arm crushed. Today, BDF's Chief of Staff, Lieutenant Colonel Loria, told 7News via telephone, that the officer was delivering supplies to soldiers off base when he got into the accident with a Mitsubishi L-200 Pick up. Here's what the driver reported to them: Lt. Col. A. Loria, Chief of Staff - BDF "He said that he was trying to overtake a vehicle at the Los Lagos junction area, but as we all know that the road in front of Los Lagos junction is a bit rough. He was trying to overtake a blue Mitsubishi L200 pick-up driven at the time by Santiago Perez, with Orange Walk license plate 19530.

    Customs Contraband Bust Cost Smugglers Plenty
    Tonight, the Customs Department in Orange Walk is still tabulating the full value of the massive contraband bust they made yesterday on the Rio Hondo, 12 miles behind August Pine Ridge. There were five dories coming across from Mexico loaded with fruits and vegetables, beer and soft drinks. Two of the dories threw their contraband cargo into the river - while the other dory captains abandoned their vessels. So Customs only got the goods from three of the five dories. And that included 52 sacks of onion, 25 cases soft drink , 20 sacks of lime ,15 cases pears, 15 crates of mango, 30 cases raisin, 15 cases lettuce, 5sacks cabbage, 5 cases tomatoes, 25 cases of beer, 3 sacks of carrots, 15 sacks of flour, and 2 sacks of potatoes. Along with the dories, this had to be carted out on two BDF four-ton trucks, a police F-150 truck and four Customs vehicles. This is just an indication of the scale of the contraband operation - and as many as 40 customs, police and BDF personnel had to be called in to deal with it. Originally, only four officers spotted the dories coming across - and the contraband smugglers had set road blocks to prevent them from leaving with the very valuable goods. Those road blocks were dismantled when the additional personnel came in. And while the bust is substantial, Customs authorities tell us it's really just a microcosm of the robust cross border trade in contraband that flourishes in areas such as San Victor and Santa Cruz - which are nearer to the Hondo.

    Unidentified Body Was Caucasian, Had A Tattoo
    Tonight a little more is known about a body that was found floating near mile five on the northern highway yesterday - adjacent to the Usher Estate. Police got the call from a caretaker who reported that he saw some vultures circling. He went to go see what they were after, and that was when he discovered a male person floating in the mangroves apparently dead. Police say that it is a "Caucasian" male dressed in a khaki shorts and a black T-Shirt who was floating face down. He had no identification, but a tattoo marked "Ninfar" was found on his right arm and a black and red wrist band was on his left arm marked "Anibal." No cause of death could be determined due to the advanced state of decomposition but, as we told you last night, there were no signs of injury to the body - so police do not suspect foul play. But they are still looking for an identity for this John Doe.

    Lands Department Says Beach Reserve May Not Be Beach After All
    Last night you saw our expose on shady state sanctioned land dealings on Northern Caye Caulker. A British couple claims that they bought beachfront property in 2005 - only to find out in 2012 that the beachfront had been converted into private property. Now, to be clear, the letter of their 2005 land title makes it clear that the property constitutes 120 feet of beachfront. The map shows the same thing. And yesterday the lands commissioner told LOVE FM that what is inscribed on the land title with the approval of the Commissioner of Lands does matter. Here's what he told LOVE yesterday: Wilbert Vallejos, Comissioner of Lands "Also we are looking at the titles that they got and interestingly confirms what you said that the title that they got from the government, the original title, makes a specific mention that it is a beach front property. The interpretation what is written on the title is very important to be able to settle this case and so what we are trying to establish at this point in time is in fact the beach reserve is compromised." According to the former village chairman, the new titles do compromise that beach reserve. And more than that Sydney Higgins said the language of the land title - and the official sanction from the then Lands commissioner cemented his certainty that he bought beachfront property:..

    Fire In The Wire
    Last night, we told you about the fire which destroyed a house on Patridge Street Extension. It was being rented by Edith Valentine, and she lost everything in that fire, while her landlord must now rebuild the house. So, what caused the fire? That's what we asked the fire investigators today, and Station Officer Orin Smith told the press that it is still undetermined. They did however determine that it spread from an electric wire in one of the bedrooms of the house: Orin Smith, Station Officer, National Fire Service "On Thursday 23, April 2015 at approximately 1:42pm the National Fire Service received and responded to a call of a structural fire in #1041Partage Street Extension address Belize City. Two units were dispatched to that location. On arrival on scene, we saw a plycem structure approximately 20 by 16 ft. with zinc roofing, elevated approximately 12 ft. off ground fully engulfed in flames.

    7 Years For An Act Of Rage
    29 year-old Kendoll Ottley went to his ex-girlfriend's house uninvited and tried to speak with her, and because she refused, he threw a fan at a new born infant who was injured. Because of that rash act, he's now spending 7-year sentence in jail. His ex-girlfriend, Nadine Gordon, testified in court that she had a 6 month relationship with Ottley. After it ended, he went to her house on June 14, 2015, and she tried to get him to leave. He ignored that, broke the door down, and stormed in without her permission. She said that he wanted to have a conversation with her, which she again refused, and that's when he picked up a fan. In his rage, he threw it at her grandson, who was only a week old at the time. Gordon's daughter, who is the mother of the baby, also testified and corroborated her story. In his defence, Ottley testified that he went to Hattieville for a job, but he decided to call Ottley to retrieve his bicycle so that he could go look for the job. He says that he went to the police to get assistance to get his belongings, they ignored him. He says that he did go to the house, but he never made it inside because Gordon pulled a machete on him and chased him off.

    UN Agencies Addressing The Larger Issues
    How should the state address adolescent and teen pregnancy? What about improving health care services? And how do we alleviate poverty? These are the questions that were brought up at the United Nations conference this morning at the Radisson. Representatives from UNICEF, UNDP and other agencies of the UN presented on the programs and initiatives that address these issues. Now it might seem like a mighty uphill battle to address all those ills, but today I found out that progress is incremental:.. Courtney Weatherburne reporting This folder features just a few of the studies and surveys from the UN system that have focused on Belize. And there are others. And today the various sub agencies operating under the UN brought those issues to the media. Some of the topics include health and violence against children. Kathleen Israel, PAHO/WHO Representative "Our primary objective then is to help the country to address its public health needs. And within that framework we look at disease prevention and control, communicable disease prevention and control and non-communicable disease prevention and control."

    Riding "Up-Stop", Man Gets Busted With Weed
    34 year-old Marlon Chavez was caught by police riding "up-stop," and when police stopped him for breaking the rule of the road, they also searched him and found marijuana. So, now, instead of facing a bike offence, he's also being charged with drug trafficking. Police were on mobile patrol when they spotted Chavez riding his bike against the flow of traffic in the area of St. Joseph Street. They found 60.5 grams - or 2.1 ounces - of marijuana in his pocket - which exceeds the legal maximum for possession, and is listed as drug trafficking. He arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith today, where he pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was released on bail of $500, and his case was adjourned until June 18. If convicted, Chavez faces a mandatory fine of $10,000 and a possible jail sentence of 3 years in prison.

    Central Bank Says Banking Industry Stable
    On Wednesday, we reported that the Belize Bank would be losing its correspondent banking relationship with the Bank of America on April 30th. This makes it impossible for them to make international wire transfers and bank drafts. Today in a rare press release, the Central Bank of Belize confirmed that Belize Bank and Belize Bank International are losing their correspondent banking relationships. The Belize Bank International is a foreign currency banking service for non-Belizeans. The press release confirms that Scotiabank, Atlantic Bank, First Caribbean Bank and Heritage Bank have not been affected. The release adds that the Belize Bank will continue to offer credit card services and is seeking ties with other foreign correspondent institutions. CEO of the BCB Group Lyndon Guiseppi told us he expects the Belize Bank to establish a new correspondent banking relationship in three months.

    Keeping Kids Clean And Green
    The Young, Clean and Green programme started in 2010. It is spearheaded by a German NGO called Aldebaran and targets high schoolers for involvement in environmentally pro-active initiatives. They launched their third campaign today at Steffi Lupp's residence on Princess Margaret Drive and she told me what it's about:.. Stefanie Lupp, Managing Director - Aldebaran "For me it's more to educate the youths. Belize need this and we started visiting up campaign... all districts. And two years ago we started visiting young, clean and green campaign, all high schools in Belize. And this is our second campaign. The first young, clean and green campaign was amazing, it was so successful. And this year 20 schools already decided to be a partner." Deborah Sewell, Managing Director - Love Foundation "So we work with 200 children in the south side. that's an area where there's a lot of pollution, there's a lot of waste and a lot of the children really don't, have never had an opportunity to think about what that means to the environment. And so one of the main focus is we are looking at is plastic is the real sea monster. So we know some of our communities is in the Yabra area, so it's just so easy for us to work with the kids and in reference to looking at what pollution does to the sea."

    LPG (Butane) Prices Down 30% In A Year
    You may not recall it, but one year ago butane, or LPG prices were at 128 dollars per hundred pound cylinder, and, by contrast, today the price went down to 90 dollars. That's a 30% decrease, and it is owning to world oil prices which are in decline. That's the price of LPG form Mexico, the one from Central America is 88 dollars per 100 pound cylinder in the city.

    10 Years Ago, Faber Was Tossed Like A Thug
    Last week we looked back at the Troubles of 2005, when Belize was roiled by civil unrest. In mid-April, the phone, lights and electricity went down - and by the end of April, the discontent with the Musa Administration was erupting on all sides. On the 28th of April, then Prime Minister Musa was supposed to address University students at the UB Gymnasium, but because every public appearance attracted rage from the unions and opposition - crowd control was a must. So police tightly screened those going into the UB compound - which included the then opposition member for Collet Patrick Faber. Police took him down like a common thug - in one of the most memorable - and actually quite funny - moments of 2005. Faber was arrested and charged with two counts of Aggravated Assault. Those charges were later dropped. But he did make a constitutional challenge of that event - saying he was denied his right to liberty and freedom of movement. But, in 2009 former Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh found, quote, "Freedom of movement is not a license to trespass."

    Channel 5

    Treasury Employee Charged for $500,000 Theft
    Two persons have been arrested and charged for their roles in a half-a-million dollar Treasury Department scheme. The internal fleecing was brought to light, at least officially, by Prime Minister [...]

    B.D.F. Private Seriously Injured in Early Morning Collision
    This morning, if you passed by the Los Lagos junction, you probably saw a B.D.F. Jeep lying on its side just off the road. That vehicle was in a collision [...]

    Police Need Help to Identify John Doe
    Tonight, police are still unable to say whose badly decomposed body floated up into the mangroves near Mile five on the Phillip Goldson Highway. But there is more information emerging [...]

    Investigations Into Belize City Fire Ongoing
    The month of April has been a record month for 2015 when it comes to fires. Across the country, there have been several fires since the start of April, gutting [...]

    Construction Worker Guilty of Harming Toddler
    Twenty-nine-year-old Kendoll Ottley, a construction worker of Belize City, has been found guilty of burglarizing the home of his ex-girlfriend after their relationship turned sour.  He was accused of forcefully [...]

    Serving Time for Old Fisheries Fines
    A fisherman of Sarteneja Village is tonight serving a four-year sentence at the Belize Central Prison after old fisheries fines dating back to 2003 caught up with him.  Earlier today, [...]

    No Update in Military Ammo Missing Three Months
    Almost exactly three months ago, two containers of military-grade ammunition were stolen off the secure, guarded B.D.F. Echelon Base in Lord’s Bank. The ammunition, about two thousand, seven hundred rounds [...]

    UN Residents Host Media Breakfast
    The United Nations Country Team resident members UNICEF, U.N.D.P., U.N.F.P.A., and PAHO held a press conference this morning to talk with the media about some of the social issues in [...]

    Central Bank Issues Release on Derisking
    Earlier this week, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight commented briefly on the ongoing derisking exercise that a number of large American and European banks have undertaken.  The process has seen the [...]

    New Patroness for HelpAge Belize
    HelpAge Belize has a new Patroness. Appointed by the Board, Maria Elena Sylvestre is now the lead advocate for the N.G.O. that champions the rights of the elderly. Sylvestre has [...]

    PlusTV

    OCEANA prepares for court appeal
    In the wake of Wednesday’s landmark consent order in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) with regard to Maya land rights in Toledo, where the Government is now refused the ability to hand out leases, concessions and other instruments related to land in that District without the informed consent of ...

    OCEANA continues challenge of draft petroleum guidelines
    In January of this year OCEANA Belize and Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) issued vehement objections to the draft petroleum guidelines for exploration and extraction developed by the Geology and Petroleum Department of the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utili...

    Murder in Punta Gorda
    A former prisoner Frank Castro was gunned down last night in Punta Gorda. 38 year old Frank Castro was serving a 15 year sentence for robbery...

    Somerville dismissed; no charges levied
    In October 2013 it was reported that 189 cheques amounting to over $367 thousand dollars were embezzled from the Southern Regional Hospital over the course of three years...

    Opposition within the Maya community on communal land rights
    Despite the sweeping nature of Wednesday’s judgment there remains opposition within the Maya community itself to the very idea of communal land rights. The Alliance and the Alcaldes Association have long maintained that their opponents are ignorant of the scope of the issue or are short-sighted...

    Update on Developments in Belmopan
    In January earlier this year two contracts were signed under the banner of the Belize Road Safety Project for the construction of a roundabout at the Guanacaste Park junction – Lot 4A- and the complete uplift of the Belmopan Ring Road- Lot 4B ...

    More Heat Until Next Week!
    Fill up your water bottles and put on your sun block because it’s going to be another long week in the heat. While we are in the hot and dry season this past week has been notably hotter. This is expected to continue on until next week...

    A pair of fishermen fined for offences
    Belize is currently in closed season for lobster but the lure of a quick buck is irresistible for some and today it cost two fishermen more than $1,500 in fines...

    Toledo Farmer Charged with Drugs
    A farmer of San Pedro Columbia, Toledo, was formally arrested and charged this morning after he was busted with 276.6 grams of weed...

    65 Year Old American Drown at Sea
    A 65 year old American reportedly drowned at sea earlier this week. According to Police reports at around 2:50 pm on Tuesday April 21st, 45 year old Jonathan Carle saw his father 65 year old John Carle struggling in the sea...

    Amandala

    Frank Castro, 38, shot dead in PG
    Since being released from prison in early 2013 after spending 21 years behind bars, Frank Castro, 38, had been leading a virtually low-key life in his native hometown known as Indianville, situated just outside Punta Gorda Town. That life, however, was abruptly cut short last night when Castro – who is certainly no stranger to police – was ambushed and murdered by a gunman while returning home after going to the store on an errand. The incident reportedly happened sometime after 7:00 p.m. yesterday, Wednesday, when Castro went to buy a case of soft drinks from a store in the Indianville area. Police said that while riding his bicycle on Corozal Street heading back to his residence, Castro was surprised by an assailant, who immediately opened fire on him. Two bullets found their mark in the upper left part of his chest and left shoulder, and as a result, Castro died on the spot. His body was transported to the Punta Gorda Town Hospital, where it awaits a post-mortem.

    “Beaten like an animal” by fellow cops!
    Varied accounts of police abuse against civilians make the news on a regular basis, but this week, the peculiar news is that police officers allegedly violently abused one of their own. The incident reportedly happened last Sunday, April 19, at the Partridge Street residence of well-known personality, Lloyd Flowers, who offers rooms for rent on his premises. In an interview with Amandala on Monday of this week, Flowers recounted the incident in which PC Daryl Ebanks, who is one of his tenants, was allegedly “beaten like an animal” by fellow police officers and elements of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) while in uniform. He said, “We were in our living room at around 6:00 p.m. when my wife heard noises at the gate, so she peeped through the window and saw the group of policemen standing at my gate. I went downstairs to find out what was the matter, and they told me it’s nothing, so I went back upstairs and stayed on the verandah watching them, but then I got concerned because they stayed there for half an hour, just waiting in my yard.”

    Maya triumphant!
    The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) made major progress this week in brokering a resolution of a decade-old legal struggle between the Maya of Toledo and the Government of Belize when it handed down a consent order, reaffirming the 2010 decision and orders issued by then Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh, firstly affirming that indigenous Maya land tenure does exist in Toledo and also mandating the Government to take affirmative action to protect Maya rights. The Government had appealed Conteh’s 2010 decision. When the Court of Appeal heard the case, it abandoned the orders which Conteh had made, but upheld the finding that the Maya do have customary land tenure. Neither the Government nor the Maya were happy with that decision, and so they appealed to the CCJ. Even ahead of the CCJ hearings scheduled for today, the parties had reached a settlement—except for the question of monetary damages, proposed at roughly $1.5 million, which the Maya insist the Government must pay.

    Bank of America severs relations with Belize Bank
    Bank of America, the second largest bank in the US, has severed its correspondent banking relations with the Belize Bank, our largest commercial bank, which means that unless the Belize Bank can find another bank partner overseas, it will (as of April, 30) no longer be able to provide wire transfer services to its customers. Roughly two weeks ago, Prime Minister Barrow used the platform of the Summit of the Americas held in Panama to highlight a potential financial crisis unfolding in the Caribbean, where, he said, US banks were de-risking by cutting off correspondent banking relations with banks in the region. Without providing details, Barrow said that, “…even as we speak, there is a crisis in my own country and in several others in the Eastern Caribbean, where the big US banks are ‘de-risking’ by terminating their correspondent relationships with our domestic banks. Indeed, even our Central Banks are being cut off; and our financial and trade architecture cannot survive this phenomenon.”

    Cracking the case of the missing ammo
    The investigation into the embarrassing recent theft of over 2,500 live rounds of high-powered ammunition from the Belize Defence Force (BDF) may be one step closer to unraveling the circumstances behind the heist, an army spokesperson said today. The $10,000 worth of ammunition, which belonged to the military’s US counterparts, went missing during a 3-week period sometime between December 7, 2014 and January 23, 2015, when a routine security check uncovered a breach at one of the holding bays at the property which is used to store ammunition and explosives at the BDF’s Echelon Compound in Ladyville. Today, almost three months later, BDF Lieutenant Colonel Azariel Loria told reporters that there has been a breakthrough in the ongoing investigation. He said, “What we discovered at the bay in question at the Echelon compound was that there was a handprint on one of the zinc fences, so police investigators took note of that handprint, and they are following it up.”

    CCJ concludes week of sittings in Belize
    The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) concluded its first itinerant sitting in the country of Belize after 2:00 on Wednesday afternoon, after hearing arguments over whether the Government of Belize should pay damages to the Maya community in a land rights appeal – the first of its kind heard by the regional court. In concluding the proceedings, CCJ president Sir Dennis Byron lauded the parties for their contributions to the case, and for helping the CCJ to expedite the proceedings by working with the court on a consent order which settled all issues in the case, with the exception of damages. After hearing the parties on the matter on Wednesday morning and early afternoon – without taking a lunch break – the CCJ has reserved judgment. Byron said that the court was very pleased to be able to sit here in Belize. He explained that the itinerant sittings—the fourth being held by the CCJ in its member states—are important because they help to establish personal identity with the constituent citizens who they serve.

    Deon is back!!
    It felt good to see Deon McCaulay back on home soil and appearing upbeat in preparing himself along with the rest of the Belize Jaguars for our next World Cup Qualifier date, against the Dominican Republic in June. Deon appeared yesterday morning on Krem WUB along with the young man who led the community fund raising effort to bring him home to join the team’s training at the FFB Stadium, where our home game will be played. Amandala’s Wednesday, April 22, editorial, “Bring back Maccabee Version…” called for the national team coaches to “be replaced immediately, because they will poison the selection’s training atmosphere on Deon’s return.” Those coaches did not object when the FFB insisted that Deon was an “ordinary player,” while Deon maintains that he is still a registered “international player” with the North American Soccer League.

    Wayne “Hogman” Olivera Day, May 1st
    Some friends of legendary Belizean football striker, Wayne “Hogman” Olivera, who is presently receiving professional physiotherapy to help his recovery from a stroke, have come together for a fund raising effort to assist Hogman in meeting his therapy bills, which are running at $50.00 per week. Well known sports/community activist Anthony “Mango” White accompanied Hogman to our sports desk this morning to seek publicity for a one-day event at the Third World Football Field near St. Martin’s Church, to be held next week Friday, May 1, Labor Day. “All proceeds from the event” he said, will be given to Hogman to defray his therapy costs. Hogman said that after his first week of massage treatment being administered by renowned veteran bodybuilder Joseph “Mud” McClaren, he feels a lot better, and with continued therapy, he is determined to one day put down the crutches he now uses to aid his walking.

    This Sunday: to Wadani Shed into Hopkins and back
    Cycling: The Southern Regional Cycling Association continues its monthly race every last Sunday in the month. This Sunday, April 26, the race will start (and finish) from in front of the Wadani Shed on St. Vincent Street at 10:00 a.m. sharp, head all the way into Hopkins Village, make a U-turn in front of King Cassava, and back. It’s an Open race for amateur riders from across the country of Belize who would like to take part. First place gets $300.00; second, $200.00; and third, $100.00. Station prizes will be provided along the way. Registration per rider is only $10.00. Confirmed teams taking part in this race are: Team Chavarria from Georgeville, Team Police from Belmopan, Team Shake And Bake from Dangriga, and Team Smart. NEBL: Dangriga fans are filled with joy after that big victory last week Friday at home against one of the powerhouses from the NEBL, Belmopan Red Taigaz. Basketball fans from around the Stann Creek District came out in numbers last week Friday to support the Dangriga Warriors to victory. Dangriga Warriors are back on the road for the last time this Friday night inside Cayo to take on the red hot Cayo Western Ballaz. Dangriga Warriors are confident that they can take the victory against Cayo Western Ballaz. With Byron “Shackles” Flowers on the coaching staff, working along with the entire staff for Griga Warriors, things can change around for the Warriors. Shackles said that the 4th spot for the playoff will be for the Dangriga Warriors. After the Cayo road game this weekend, the remaining 2 games will be at home in Dangriga against Belize Hurricanes and San Pedro Tiger Sharks. The Dangriga Warriors basketball team plays much harder at home.

    Cricket Corner
    The Harrison Parks Cricket Competition 2015, under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, continued over the weekend with the following results. Zone One: Western Eagles over Excelsior, 150 to 54. For Western Eagles, Conway Young top scored with 40, while Keve Flowers took 8 wickets. For Excelsior, Derick McFadzean scored 14, and Lloyd Casasola took 3 wickets. Excellence over Bright Star, 44 to 43 with 8 spare wickets. For Excellence, Burke Howard scored 23, and Kenroy Roca took 6 wkts. For Bright Star, Kendis Moody scored 15. Zone Two: Brilliant and Suga Boys tied at 175 each. Points are shared. How it happened? Suga Boys batted first, and in 50 overs, at the fall of the last wicket, they had 175 runs. Brilliant went to bat next, and at the fall of their last wicket in 49 overs, they also had 175 runs. For Suga Boys, Sonny Wade scored 28, and Jamie Wade took 4 wkts. For Brilliant, Valentine Young, Jr. scored 26, and Calbert Reynolds and Charles Lewis took 2 wkts each.

    Editorial: Differences between 2005 and 2015
    At various times in the three years since the present United Democratic Party (UDP) government was elected in March of 2012, it has seemed that there was opportunity for the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) to make a statement in the streets. Spokesmen for the PUP have consistently said, however, that the PUP does not want to take over issues, such as the agitation of the teachers’ union for salary adjustments or the Elvin Penner passport scandal, and that the party prefers for the matters to be resolved outside of party politics. In the case of the increasing uproar over the recently passed PetroCaribe Loans Act, however, it was remarkable, at a Wednesday press conference this week, that it was the Belmopan-based Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) which was threatening to lead the Belizean people into the streets in protest. That is because the controversial Act represented the Dean Barrow administration’s attempt to cut off a PUP-organized court case at the pass, so to speak. Clearly, it is the PUP which should be threatening to take to the streets. The case is being spearheaded by one of the PUP’s Deputy Leaders, Hon. Julius Espat of Cayo South, and it is accusing the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. Dean Barrow, of being in violation of the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act of 2005.

    From the Publisher
    In the kind of businesses we run on Partridge Street, we are always trying to improve our technology. In order to improve one’s technology, and thereby fight to keep up with one’s competitors in the newspaper printing and broadcast fields, one has to acquire investment capital to purchase that technology from the United States. The Germans make the finest printing presses in the world, but we have never been so fortunate as to own one of their Heidelbergs. I don’t know anything about radio and television technology, actually. Our brain there is J. C. Arzu, who has been with us from the founding of KREM Radio in 1989. The long and short of it is that we make all our technology purchases from the United States. In the matter of investment capital, one can go to the bank or the credit union and make a loan. Historically, though, we have been careful about such financial commitments, because we have always been outsiders where the mainstream business community is concerned, and we have usually been critics/opponents where the political bosses are concerned.

    Horrible treatment by Customs at PGIA for Belizean-born
    Dear Editor, Could you please publish this letter for me, to Mr. Emil Grinage, Comptroller of Customs? Thanks, Dorothy Middleton. Dear Sir: Subject: Treatment by Custom Personnel in Belize – Philip Goldson Airport I visited Belize in August 2014 for eight days and I am appalled and disgusted by the treatment received from the Customs Officer. I had one suitcase (weighing 48 pounds) and one carry-on bag which contained my personal clothing and toiletries for my trip. My suitcase and carry-on bag were opened, poked, prodded and personal clothing items even taken out and put on the table. To tell the truth I was horrified and could not believe my eyes. I even asked the officer what she was looking for in my bags, and was told “she had the right to search my bags. Another point to note is that this woman did not wear a glove and imagine her touching and grabbing all the other items before me, and for her to touch my personal clothing items is revolting. I was so upset I had to wash all my clothing before I could wear them. Just think about all the viruses and/or diseases that can be transferred by touching items from one bag after the other. Where is the training here? As a country that depends so much on tourism, it is shocking the lack of training and professionalism the staff at immigration and customs has.

    Was the controversial PetroCaribe law necessary?
    Financial Secretary Joseph Waight told Amandala this morning that the reason the Government of Belize introduced the new PetroCaribe Loans Act—now the subject of public debate—is that there is a major difficulty with the PetroCaribe loan transactions when it comes to meeting the requirement of the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act of 2005, which stipulates that any loan agreement of $10 million or more has to be first approved by Parliament before any such commitment involving public funds is made. Waight told us in an interview today that, “the difficulty with the PetroCaribe program is that we don’t know how much is going to come in terms of flows at any one time…” What we gleaned from our interview with Waight, though, is that the central issue is not that Government cannot take the loan request to Parliament before it is finalized, but that it would require a drastic alteration of the customary meeting cycles of Parliament—an important concession, since the Opposition People’s United Party has said that it would be willing to go to Parliament as often as is required to give attention to the PetroCaribe loan agreements.

    Restore Belize looks at conflict resolution
    The Restore Belize organization, which was formed in May of 2012 as an initiative aimed at deterring crime and other social ills that affect youths, organized a conflict-mediation forum today at the ITVET compound in Belize City. The program features mediators and others that are trained in conflict stabilization and resolution who have trained over 140 persons to effectively address issues related to crime and violence as part of a pilot project called Mediators of Belize for Youth Service Providers. During today’s session, those mediators, along with police officers, members of the Conscious Youth Development Program (CYDP), district representatives and other peer mediators discussed the impact of conflict mediation within their respective institutions, and charted a way forward for Restore Belize’s conflict mediation program. One of the facilitators, Sandra Cadle, spoke to us about the event, its importance and the impact of conflict mediation in schools.

    CCJ split on whether suspension of school admin violated rights
    Two senior educators who were suspended by the Ministry of Education back in 2008—and whose careers remain on pause even though the courts have quashed their suspensions—had their appeals seeking constitutional redress dismissed in a 3-2 split decision by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). During its first itinerant sittings in the country of Belize, the CCJ announced its ruling in the case of Juanita Lucas and Celia Carillo, former principal and vice principal of La Escuela Secundaria Technica de Mexico in San Roman, Corozal, saying that it would uphold the decision of the lower court—which had both agreed that their suspensions should be discontinued, but found that the suspension of the teachers did not truly violate their constitutional rights, as alleged. The administrators were suspended in 2008, following a series of mass sickouts by teachers at the school, as well as a slew of complaints by parents. The upheaval also occurred during a political transition, when there was a change in political administration, with the People’s United Party being replaced by the United Democratic Party, as the ruling party.

    Man, 27, drowns after saving stepdaughter, 20
    A father of five lost his life in the process of saving his stepdaughter, who was drowning in the Old Belize River that runs behind Gracie Rock Village, located off Mile 22 on the George Price Highway, at around 4:30 p.m. this past Sunday, April 19. Amandala understands that Jamel Erin Canto, 27, was swimming at the popular site with a group of teenagers when his stepdaughter, 20, began having difficulty in the water. When Canto noticed what was happening, he went over and rescued her from the deep water, but after doing so, he paid the ultimate price. According to eyewitnesses, the young woman – who reportedly did not know how to swim – was saved by Canto and placed in a dorey; however, Canto unfortunately went underwater during the process and did not resurface.

    CTV3

    Custom officials intercept a contraband operation
    Custom officials intercept a contraband operation and confiscate over 40K in undeclared goods! Meanwhile the "banditos" remain unknown and absconded. We'll tell you about their follow up investigations in our 7pm News!

    The Reporter

    One charged for Treasury embezzlement
    One employee of the Treasury Department was arraigned in the Magistrates Court on Friday for the misappropriation of more than $500,000. David Enriquez, a clerk at the Treasury Department, was read three separate counts of theft before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. The charges against him allege that he embezzled the money in two $225,000 transactions plus a $47,000 transfer. Enriquez was denied bail and was remanded to the Hattieville prison until his next court appearance. His attorney will appeal to the Supreme Court for him to be granted bail next week. According to Oscar Selgado, Enriquez’ attorney, maintains his client’s innocence. He said Enriquez wasn’t provided with any disclosure or proof against him to detail the nature of his implication in the matter.

    BDF Ambulance overturns on the highway
    A Belize Defense Force (BDF) pickup truck ambulance traveling on the Phillip Goldson Highway around 6:30 a.m. on Friday was involved in an accident and one person was injured in the incident. According to Inspector Frederick Gordon, officer commanding the Ladyville police formation, the accident happened near mile 13 of the Phillip Goldson highway. Gordon said their initial investigations have revealed that the BDF truck was attempting to overtake another vehicle in front of it when it clipped the vehicle and careened off the road, then overturned, he said. One person who was traveling inside the truck received minor injuries and was taken to the BDF camp to be treated. Officers at the scene took down information from both drivers and according to Gordon, he was not aware yet if any charges will be filed, but he was informed that it was the BDF truck that was at fault.

    Oceana waiting for consultation with GOB on draft zonation plan for oil exploration
    This week Oceana Belize held a press conference to explain the organization’s position on the draft Petroleum Exploration Zones and Exploration Guidelines, circulated to members of the NGO community by the government of Belize. At the press conference held at the Belize Biltmore Plaza on Thursday, Oceana Vice President Janelle Chanona, presented factual data submitted to the Ministry of Energy Science and Technology and Public Utilities during the consultation period. Chanona also expressed her disappointments in the Ministry’s failure to upgrade the donation plan to include the input from the environmental organizations. She said that while the ministry has acknowledged that it has received Oceana’s comments, no date has been set to continue consultations. “To see that the map and the plan is the same that was presented in 2011, is disappointing to say the least,” she added.

    Woman and teen shot at home
    Wendy Lambey, 49, a resident of Curl Thompson Street and Aaron Munnings, 18, a neighbour, escaped death when a gunman ran through her yard on Friday night and shot them as they scoured for cover inside her home, occupied by several young children. Lambey told […]

    Tour guide shot dead in front of daughter
    Vern “Bird” Magdaleno, 35, a tour guide of Belize City, was shot dead in the presence of his daughter shortly after 8:00 p.m. on Friday at Titoe Fry Chicken at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Faber’s Road in Belize City. His killer, […]

    National Security CEO speaks on police corruption
    The Ministry of National Security says it will continue its zero tolerance policy against police corruption. The Chief Executive Officer in the ministry, Ret. Colonel George Lovell, speaking on the extensive work that the ministry has done to improve the working conditions for police officers, […]

    Furious murder/suicide in Ladyville!
    The shocking homicide/suicide which resulted in the death of Michael “Mike” Estell, 54, and his common-law-wife, Colleen Michelle Sharp, 30, rocked the Ladyville community on Sunday April 18 morning. An investigation and autopsy on the bodies has certified that Estell used his licensed .380 […]

    Cop accused of teen rape
    Police Constable Cyril Casimiro, attached to the Corozal Police Formation, is on remand at the Hattieville Prison after he was denied bail on a charge of rape upon a minor. The girl, 14, in the company of her mother, reported to Corozal police on Monday […]

    Caribbean and Latin America partner with World Bank for catastrophe risk insurance
    The Council of Ministers of Finance of Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic (COSEFIN) and CCRIF SPC (Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility), this week, signed a memorandum of understanding enabling Central American countries to join the facility to access catastrophe risk insurance. The […]

    Mayor makes appeal for public to take care of public property
    Mayor Darrell Bradley, is appealing to Belize City residents to take care of the public spaces that the Belize City Council renovates or upgrades for citizen enjoyment. Bradley, speaking at a launching of the new historical displays at the BTL Park on Princess Margaret Drive […]

    FinSec says Treasury employee put on leave
    An employee from the Treasury Department has been put on administrative leave until the completion of investigations into more than half a million dollars that were discovered to have been embezzled from that department. Financial Secretary Joseph Waight said the police and the Financial […]

    Port CEO says no to proposed bargaining agreement
    The Port of Belize has written to the Christian Workers Union (CWU) to inform them that they have rejected their most recently submitted Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) because they feel proper due diligence was not done. Port of Belize Chief Executive Officer Arturo Vasquez […]

    NTUCB president speaks on Ray Davis’ controversy
    National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) President Marvin Mora said despite everything that has been said in the media over the past week, the union has not requested the resignation of Senator Ray Davis, though all options are on the table. According to […]

    Man charged with attempted murder
    Eugene Reneau, 52, was remanded to the Hattieville Prison on Thursday on charges of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and two counts of wounding, after he entered the house where his estranged common-law wife was staying on Saturday night, and chopped her […]

    Bird flu costs Belize $3 million so far
    This week the Ministry of Agriculture confirmed that the avian influenza outbreak detected in Spanish Lookout in January has caused some $3 million in lost revenue to Belizean poultry farmers. Chief Executive Officer in the ministry, Jose Alpuche, explained that about 75,000 birds had tested […]

    VIP ready to protest against the PetroCaribe Bill
    The Vision Inspired by the People (VIP), in a press conference on Wednesday, shared its criticisms of the controversial PetroCaribe Loan Act, announcing it is prepared to take its protest to the streets along with other issues of concern for the party. VIP candidate, […]

    Editorial
    The issue of Mayan ancestral rights to land in the Toledo District, as now resolved by order of the Caribbean Court of Justice has been the most complicated, most devisive problem the Barrow Government has been called upon to face. The court order not only requires the government to respect […]

    How much do we owe Petrocaribe? Documents indicate GOB has known all along
    An agreement document between the Government of Belize and Alba Petro Caribe Belize Energy Limited (APBEL) has surfaced, revealing that GOB knows beforehand the specific sums of money it would be borrowing at any given time. According to Senator Mark Lizarraga, the agreement between […]

    CCJ settles land rights case. Mayas want more than $1 million in compensation
    The Government of Belize agreed this week that the Maya people of the Toledo District have a historic claim to their traditional village land, ending two decades of dissension in a consent order endorsed by the Caribbean Court of Justice. However GOB continues to say […]

    Petrocaribe Bill 2015 under attack! – GOB launches PR campaign.
    Faced with growing unease, controversy and outcry over a recently passed Petrocaribe Bill, the Government of Belize has launched a public relations media blitz. The PR initiative is led by UDP legal advisor Michael Young and Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, and it has met with not much success. The business […]

    Mystery corpse found in sea near highway
    Police are asking for help from the public to identify corpse found floating in the sea today. The badly decomposed body was recovered by Police just after 4:00pm on Thursday evening, between miles five and six, just off the Phillip Goldson Highway, following a report by a resident in the […]

    The Belize Times

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Belize Banking Industry is Stable
    Two days ago, we reported that on May 1st 2015, the Belize Bank Duty Free Branch in northern Belize will close down. While many investors in the north have not been provided with a reason of the abrupt closure, the financial institution is once again on the spotlight. According to […]

    Belize City man charged for drugs found in traffic stop
    Drug trafficking charges were filed against 34 year old Marlon Chavez, a welder of Gentle Avenue in Belize City, after police found marijuana on him during a traffic stop. According to police they were patrol in the vicinity of St. Joseph Street and Baymen Avenue when they saw […]

    BDF truck and civilian car in crash
    This morning on the Philip Goldson Highway near Mile 13 at the junction with the entrance to the Los Lagos Subdivision there was a crash of two motor vehicles – one a jeep vehicle used by the Belize Defense Force (BDF) and a civilian vehicle. There were no […]

    UN Belize country team reports on work
    Belize joined the United Nations four days after independence in 1981 and since then has been an active participant in the work of the umbrella organization of nations. Several pan-national organizing bodies of the UN have made their home here and contributed to national development in key ways, […]

    Fisherman sent to jail for outstanding fines over conch
    Fisherman from Sarteneja in the Corozal District, 48 year old Sansermo Torres, has run afoul again of the law on possession of undersized conch, and it will cost him four years in jail. On Monday, Torres pleaded guilty to possession of 95 undersized conch. The law says that […]

    Treasury clerk charged for theft
    Police have made an arrest in the massive theft of what amounts to just under $500,000 so far from the Government Treasury and the fingered man is 28 year old David Enriquez, a clerk with the Department. Today he was read charges of three counts of theft before Chief Magistrate […]

    “HOPE Punta Gorda gets a new building”
    HOPE Punta Gorda is made up of a group of volunteers who saw it necessary to take care of the communities elder citizens. The group was formed back in 2004 and since then has grown bigger each year, helping more elderly folks with medical check-ups, food packages and engaging them […]

    Did his criminal past caught up with Castro?
    Wednesday night murder of Punta Gorda resident, Frank Castro, has left the peaceful Indianville area, and the entire town in a state of shock and disbelief. Castro, who was known to the police and had recently been released from jail after serving a 21 year sentence, had turned his life […]

    Two arrested and charged for missing monies at Treasury Department
    Two persons were arrested and charged today in connection with the missing monies from the Treasury Department. As we’ve previously reported, a Belizean Business analyst for the Treasury Department, and the Government of Belize, reported that on January 28th, of this year $225,296.97 was sent from the Treasury Department to […]

    Villagers in San Vicente receive water pump donation
    San Vicente is one of the most remote villages in the Toledo District as it located 43 miles away from the Punta Gorda Town. Like many communities, San Vicente has seen its fair share of challenges, one of them being the lack of electricity. The village is the closes bordering […]

    Preparations for 2015 Agric. Show underway
    The much anticipated National Agriculture and Trade show is only a week away and the final stages of setting up is currently underway. The event is one held annually under the auspices of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture and will be hosted from May 1st to 3rd at the agricultural grounds in the Capital City Belmopan. Currently, construction teams are finishing the infrastructure improvements for this year’s show, which promises to attract thousands of local and international visitors to the grounds. An official ceremony with the presence of invited guest, Governor General Sir Colville Young will signal the opening on Friday. Over the course of the weekend and as is customary, winners of the farmers of the year awards will be announced.v

    A pair of fishermen fined for offenses
    Belize is currently in closed season for lobster but the lure of a quick buck is irresistible for some and today it cost two fishermen more than $1,500 in fines. 45 year old Keith Barrow and 18 year old Jim Ramirez pleaded guilty to illegal possession of lobster during the closed season, engaging in commercial fishing without holding a valid license and using a vessel for commercial fishing without a valid boat license. On April 10, 2015 around 3:30 in the afternoon, Fisheries Department officers on patrol near Caye Chapel saw three men in a vessel identified as Darcia. The boat sped off as the officers approached and they gave chase. One of the men aboard jumped into the sea and escaped but the others, identified as Barrow and Ramirez, were apprehended.

    Blogs

    My Yesterday: Winds, A Dog Training Cruise, Croc Hunting and A Pupusa
    Yesterday the sun and the relatively high winds continued. “The Easter winds” or “The March/April Blow” – the late Spring is usually pretty blustery and warm in Belize. Perfect for our kite boarder from yesterday’s post… and equally nice if you are taking a walk around town. No one in the hot sun ever cursed a cooling breeze. At lunch time yesterday (STRICT NOON IN BELIZE) I walked down the beach to Island Time Bar to watch a bit of dog training. It’s just past beautiful Victoria House where the usually clear blue waters were a slightly muddy brown due to the high winds. Heather Beck, who is on the board of our local humane society and the founder of K9 Lifeline AND was featured on House Hunters International – Belize, is a dog trainer. And this past week, she has been leading an Education at Sea Cruise with Royal Caribbean.

    International Sourcesizz

    The Implementation of Sustainability Indicators in the Advancement of the Sustainable Tourism Industry
    Recent research has proven that increasing numbers of today’s tourists are concerned with environmental and social responsibility in the management practices of their chosen destinations. According to data collected by Centre on Ecotourism and Sustainable Development (CESD) and the International Ecotourism Society (TIES), “it is important to the vast majority of [tourists] that their trip not damage local ecosystems. They are interested in patronising hotels that are committed to protecting the local environment, and increasingly view local environmental and social stewardship as a responsibility of the businesses they support.” (Consumer Demand and Operator Support for Socially and Environmentally Responsible Tourism, 2005). According to additional research on tourism demand published by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), “Sustainable Tourism is the paradigm of the future, the basis for attraction as well as a determining factor of the destinations’ competitiveness. The adoption of Quality Norms and Environmental Sustainability Certification is driven by the National Programmes and is increasingly influenced by international markets. Such is the growth of regional standardisation.”

    11 Reasons to be Excited Southwest Airlines is Coming to Belize
    Belize is a hot spot in the world right now. The booming little country sits atop many “World’s Best” lists for travelers, retiree’s, and families just like mine who want a different lifestyle. The English speaking country is bracing itself right now in the midst of its biggest tourism year – EVER. And the numbers are slated to continue rising. As a native Texas, I could not be more excited that Southwest Airlines will begin flying to Belize. October 15, 2015 will be the beginning of my more frequent travel back to Texas. Even though airfare hasn’t been announced yet I can certainly tell you I will be switching from United to Southwest. Sorry, United. You’re just too difficult. And your baggage fees keep getting higher. And $275 to change a flight? Its just too much. Can’t wait to fire you, United. I bet I’m not alone.

    Guatemala's tax scam, a very interesting read. VP has land in Belize? What was her secretary doing here for days? Interpol wants him arrested.
    Guatemala's current and former tax chiefs were detained on Thursday along with more than a dozen other suspects in a crackdown on a ring that allegedly defrauded the state through corruption and theft. The illicit scheme at Superintendency of Tax Administration (SAT) profited from contraband and tax fraud at customs posts with the collaboration of senior and medium-ranking officials. Through allowing firms to under-report the amount of goods entering the country and by charging bribes, the ring waived taxes for approximately 500 incoming shipping containers between May 2014 and February 2015. During 8 months of investigation over 60,000 phone calls and some 6,000 electronic communications, as well as seizing written documents and photographs. From the recordings delivered to the court two code-names emerged, whose identities are still unknown: “the president” and “the lady.” Judging by the tone and context of the conversations, investigators believe they had authority over the whole grouping.Authorities identified the alleged ringleader as Juan Carlos Monzon, private secretary to Vice President Roxana Baldetti. The arrests were the fruit of a probe by prosecutors and by the U.N. International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, which was set up to investigate and prosecute organized crime and its pernicious influence over the government and judicial system.

    Treasure Cove Belize Supports DiCaprio Island Development
    The developers of the proposed resort, Treasure Cove Belize, fully supports the proposed eco-conscious resort on the island of Blackadore Caye, owned by Leonardo DiCaprio. This private island development is just west of Ambergris Caye, on which the environmentally-conscious actor is partnering with NYC developer Delos for the resort, which will be called "Blackadore Caye, a Restorative Island." The renowned actor and environmental activist has teamed up with the Four Seasons to develop the 104-acre tropical private island into a conscientious exclusive eco-luxury resort. Treasure Island Management, Ltd., incorporated in Belize, plans to build Treasure Cove Belize, the proposed largest Mega-Green Resort in the world, on the island of Drowned Caye, and has extensive plans drawn to incorporate sustainable practices that leave no carbon footprint. These environmental best practices also encompass economic and social benefits. Treasure Cove Belize is wholly committed to work with and support others in the ecotourism industry through involvement in public associations, environmental groups, governmental departments and through educational programs for the Belize citizenry. These programs will focus on environmental awareness, sustainability and conservation. One sustainability effort, among many, of Treasure Cove Belize includes the building and development of a coral propagation center as well as a seahorse sanctuary.

    Belizean Journalist Visits Murray for "100,000 Strong in the Americas" Initiative
    Murray State University is one of four places in America to host a Belizean journalist for a part of the "100,000 Strong in the Americas" initiative. The initiative's designed to increase educational exchanges between the US, the Americas and the Caribbean. Hipolito Novelo, reporter for LOVE FM in Belize, along with US Department of State contractor Julie Umstead, spoke to Kate Lochte on what the initiative's all about.

    10 remote places where your cellphone won't work
    Cockscomb Mountains, Belize: Walk just one minute off the road into this jaguar habitat, and you'll find yourself tangled in the jungle, complete with waterfalls, snakes and poisonous plants, says Galland. "It's as jungly as jungly can get." While he went deep into the wildlife sanctuary, visitors can follow hiking trails and easily find their way back to safety.

    Jamaica signs MOU for integrated development of logistics hub
    5 BILLION for a Jamaican technology hub. Technology is the future, peeps, not tourism.... On Wednesday, the government of Jamaica signed of a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) to pave the way for a possible US$5 billion investment in its planned logistics hub. The MOU, which was signed by the minister of industry, investment and commerce, Anthony Hylton, minister of transport, works and housing, Dr Omar Davies, and the proposing parties, Krauck Systems and Anchor Finance Group LLC, came about as a result of an unsolicited expression of interest (EOI) to the government. The expression of interest is a comprehensive funding and development package to allow for the build out of various elements of the global logistics hub initiative (GLHI). In response to this EOI, the government moved to put in place an MOU to facilitate discussions and negotiations with the proposing parties.

    St Lucia government signs MOU for island-wide Wi-Fi
    Saint Lucian residents and visitors are to benefit from a US$4 million Government Island-Wide Network Project (GiNet), aimed at improving the urban and rural digital divide and low internet penetration rate. The five districts that will be targeted during the first phase of the GiNet project are: Castries, Canaries, Dennery, Micoud and Vieux-Fort, where the necessary infrastructure will be placed in key public areas such as schools, community parks, and tourist attraction sites. During the signing of a memorandum of understanding for the GiNet project earlier this week, Taiwan ambassador, James Chang, disclosed that his government would be contributing US$3.28 million towards the GiNet project. The GiNet Project will be executed over four years, 2015-2018, and although the goal is to increase internet penetration from 11 percent to 30 percent over that period, the government of Saint Lucia will be embarking on several other initiatives that could realize a 50 percent internet penetration rate.

    Videos

  • ITVET, Orange Walk annual expo and trade fair 2015, 5min. Hundreds of students and the wider community converged at the IT VET Campus in Orange Walk for their annual expo and trade fair. The event is one designed to feature mainly works from students from the various technical and vocational education and training sectors. Organizers say the expo aims at showcasing student innovations and creating bonds between the schools and community. Our newsteam was there and Reporter Maria Novelo filed this report.

  • CUSTOM OFFICIALS REMAIN ON HIGH ALERT NEAR KNOWN SMUGGLING HOTSPOTS IN THE NORTH, 4min. we told you about a massive contraband bust 12 miles behind the Village of August Pine Ridge on the Rio Hondo. Authorities said that a team of four Customs Officers moved in to the area where they observed five large dories with engines traveling across a waterway connected to the Rio Hondo and inside the vessels was a large volume or merchandise. Since the interception, authorities have been sorting out the undeclared good at the Orange Walk Customs office trying to determine a value. We followed up on the incident today to get a better understating of the sequence of events thereafter. Maria Novelo reports…..

  • ITVET, Orange Walk annual expo and trade fair 2015, 5min. Hundreds of students and the wider community converged at the IT VET Campus in Orange Walk for their annual expo and trade fair. The event is one designed to feature mainly works from students from the various technical and vocational education and training sectors. Organizers say the expo aims at showcasing student innovations and creating bonds between the schools and community.

  • OYE TOPIC: AUTHOR: OLATUNJI BALOGUN TALKS ABOUT HIS NEW BOOK "A FAMILY AFFAIR", 28min.

  • Belize Silk Island, 6min.

  • Go Pro Hero 4 Silver- Princess Cruise 2015 with the crew. (Roaton, Belize, Cozumel Mexico), 32min.

  • Elvis' Number 1 Fun Team!: Belize City {March 11, 2015}, 13min. The family and I arrive in Belize City, Belize. We head into the rain forest to do some zip-lining and cave tubing! :)

  • Belize 2015, 5min.

  • Ambergris Caye Belize 2015 www.CatamaranBelize.com, 11min. hat a better way to know Belize (la isla bonita) San Pedro Ambergris Caye, by Wiston Thank you sooooo much!!!

  • Belize City Taxi Ride, 5min. Getting into Belize City and the taxi ride to the ATM and water taxi.

  • Vidéo Belize Experience, 5min. Vidéo pédagogique BTS Tourisme. Projet d'agence réceptive à Belize

  • Sound Effect - Village, Birds, Belize Rooster, Bird Flock, Bg Birds & Insects, 3min.

  • Sound Effect - Bird, Belize Close Up Call, 1/2min.

  • Sound Effect - Jungle ( Birds, Belize Howler Monkey, Echo, Insects ), 1.5min.

    April 24, 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

    Prepare for the National Agriculture & Trade Show 2015!
    The ‘Agric’ Show is coming soon (May 1st – 3rd) and well, the excitement builds as Belizeans anticipate the overload of produce, livestock, FLOWERS (our favorite thing) and food/drink/music that will be available over the 3-day weekend. Click here to read about Dennis’ experience a couple years back. We’ll be swinging by to check out the wares this year for sure…and as such, are planning ahead. As someone from the Cayo District who appreciates the cool sea breeze during these hot months, I also realize that inland will be HOT!!!

    Police detain local business man with $177,283.BZ
    On Tuesday, April 7th San Pedro Police carried out a search in the home of 59-year-old American businessman, Scott Harnish. Harnish is the owner of the well-established island business, Palapa Bar. According to police, the search was a request on behalf of the Belize Customs Department. While the search did not lead to the discovery of any goods that would violate the Customs Laws and Regulations, police did find a large amount of cash. Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott, stated that at 12PM, police visited the home of Harnish in the Tres Cocos Area in North Ambergris Caye. Nothing illegal was found in the home, but police were alarmed at the discovery of $177,283.BZ stored away in a bucket. As such police detained Harnish and his wife, and took them to the San Pedro Police Station where they were questioned on the origin of the cash. The money amounted to $22,505 in Belizean currency and $77,389 in US currency. After preliminary investigation, police handed the cash over to the Financial Investigation Unit and Harnish and his wife were released on Wednesday, April 8th. Since the incident, police can confirm that there are no illegalities with the money and the money was said to be family savings. The San Pedro Sun contacted Harnish for a statement regarding the incident. Harnish indicated that his attorney is currently working on a statement that will be made available to The Sun at a later time.

    Ambergris Today

    Ninel Pacheco wins SFXCU first ever quiz contest on the island
    Ninel Pacheco of San Pedro Roman Catholic School is the winner of the first ever Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union quiz contest held on Ambergris Caye. The competition took place on Thursday April 16th at the San Pedro Lions Den, where four students represented various schools on the island. Participants included Pacheco, along with Caroline Sersland of Isla Bonita Elementary School, Karina Moreya of Holy Cross Anglican School and Chelsey Valdez of New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School. Prior to the contests, students were given a list of questions with answers to study. Questions were related to the credit union movement in Belize, the region and the world. It also included information about the Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union and other credit unions in Belize. All the students were given prizes and certificates of participation, meanwhile all schools were awarded with cash prizes. Pacheco will now move on to represent the island in the national competition that will be hosted by Belize Credit Union League next month. Congratulations Ninel Pacheco and good luck at the national competition!

    Puerto Azul Luxury Resort in limbo
    The proposed development of the Puerto Azul luxury resort on the Lighthouse Reef Atoll got a lot of media attention when its promoters hosted two Belize government ministers for a gala reception at the Cannes Film Festival on the French Rivera last May, but all is not well with the project, neither financially nor environmentally, says property owner John Mills. As Mills explained at a press conference at the Radisson Fort George Hotel last Thursday, April 16th, the developers have not yet purchased the property, in which he has US$3 Million investment, and as far as he knew, an Environmental Impact Assessment has not been prepared nor approved for the project. Mills said he had fallen in love with Lighthouse Reef since he came to Belize 10 years ago and he invested over US$3 Million in Northern Caye Resort to keep it operating when Scotiabank threatened foreclosure in 2006, purchasing the mortgage and keeping the resort open. He said the Puerto Azul developers had signed an agreement to purchase the Caye in March 2013, and he was to receive the first payment on March 2014, and a second payment was due on March 2015, but Mills said he still has not received any payment towards the purchase. So the Puerto Azul developers cannot claim to own the property, since they have not closed the sale.Puerto Azul-3

    One Year down, a lifetime to go!
    On April 23rd, 2014, I walked into my first CrossFit session with Coach Liliana Nuñez. I had no idea what I was doing, and the sight of the weights and barbells, the sounds of grunting and heavy breathing coming from sweaty members of CrossFit CFS added to my trepidation. It was 7AM, and I was the only one taking that class on that day. Liliana smiled and encouraged me to try a few warm up moves, then proceeded to oh-so-gently walk me through what I needed to do for the next 17 minutes. Yep, my first workout lasted 17 minutes; and I was gasping like a fish on land, feeling every single minute!! But I was also relieved that I did not give up, and thanks to Coach Lil’s neverending encouragement, I kept coming back every morning for the rest of the month. It was also Liliana’s gentle push that saw me pick up the barbell, then add weight to it, then squat with it on my back. By now, I’d moved to evening classes to suit my schedule better, and I eyed those who were lifting heavy with both admiration and jealousy. I wanted to do that too. And so Coach Rene Reyes Jr. suggested I try a few lifts. In no time, I’d found my real love: heavy lifting.

    Shrimp Farming Industry Grows as Belize Shrimp Growers Achieve ASC Certification
    Five shrimp farms under the Belize Shrimp Grower’s Association have been awarded Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification as responsible and well-managed farms. Alvin Henderson, a member of the Belize Shrimp Growers Association, describes Belize as a country of rich biodiversity with a stretch of mangrove belt along the coast that acts as a natural filtration system. “The journey towards ASC certification has helped to highlight areas of our operations where we can make meaningful change with minimal financial resources. Sometimes all that is really required is a change of perspective,” Henderson said.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    "Village Life in San Pedro" Photo Exhibition
    Join us for the opening of the photo exhibition featuring photos of Kay Scott when San Pedro was a small fishing village. Thursday, April 30at 7:00pm. San Pedro House of Culture, Angel Coral Street, San Pedro, Belize

    Neon Party Comes to Benque
    Benque will have their first Neon Paint party this Saturday! It'll be at the Picadilly Lounge. The No Fear DJ's will be mixing it up once again. "Two days to go!! No Fear Promotions - Rehab Tour Kick Off!! Tickets available now at Picadilly Lounge and Bar, you can inbox us, or call/text 634-3830/ 803-3066 .... Be prepared..... Early attendance suggested as always...... We will go until sun come up!! 5:00 A.M."

    MPR Earth Day Cleanup
    A huge thanks to everyone that helped with the Mountain Pine Ridge cleanup in honor of Earth Day. Looks like they collected tons of trash. Go Green...and don't freaking litter! "Happy Earth Day Everyone!! Mariposa Jungle Lodge proudly joins our industry partners in the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve as 3 of our team members of the Go Green team embarked on a rigorous clean up campaign this morning. Our designated portion is from the Seven Miles Junction to the Junction of Hidden Valley Inn. Together we can raise more awareness and make a daily difference."

    Cayo Celebrates Earth Day
    The Belize Forestry Department celebrated Earth Day with the signing of an MoU, the planting of a mahogany tree, and the inaugurating of their nursery. "San Ignacio Celebrating Earth Day 2015. It's our turn to lead indeed. Signing of MOUs with Rehab facilities! Joining the 1 billion acts of green by planting our very own Mahogany tree in our compound and also inaugurating our Nursery.." Guanacaste National Park had a similar celebration, and were joined by the Belize Audubon Society, which got some great pictures too.

    Cleanup near Xunantunich
    Last weekend as part of the Belize Youth Leadership Initiative, the U.S. Embassy joined forces with the FCD Environmental Youth Group, State Alumni Exchange Program Leaders, and other volunteers from the area to clean up the river bank near Xuinantunich Archeological Ruins. The clean up effort was the first step to clear the land for the eventual installation of a greenhouse in the area by the FCD Youth Group to help benefit and educate the local community.

    OCEANA and Earth Day
    As part of Earth Day activities held across Belize, today Oceana participated in the University of Belize's annual Earth Day fair. The event was held under the theme "10 Shades of Green--Implanting Awareness". It's our turn to lead!

    Operators ink MoU to create first IXP in Belize
    Telecoms operators in Belize have signed a Memorandum of Understunding (MoU) to create the country's first local internet exchange point (IXP), Trinidad Guardian reports. Participating companies include Alliance IP, Belize Telemedia, BroadBand Belize, Centaur Communications Corporation, Network Solutions, NetKing Solutions and Speednet. IXPs in the Caribbean are located in Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, British Virgin Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, St Maarten, St Lucia and the Dominican Republic.

    Last day permit
    Daniel, my guide for the week at Turneffe Flats in Belize didn’t say it, but it was written all over his face. By all rights, he should have been disgusted. Getting two chances at the same permit or group of permit can be rare. Getting a dozen or possibly even more is unheard of. Permit shots don’t come often, and I was giving them away like they were kittens. Had Daniel been angry, it would have been understandable. Well earned, even. And like an adolescent boy being rebuked by his parents, I would have taken it in stride, recycled it with a mixture of my own frustration and returned the sentiment. But this was worse. After a week of hard work during which Daniel delivered on everything I had asked for, when it came time for me to deliver on the permit we’d been in search of for five days, I was letting him down. Repeatedly. It is likely fair to say that permit, much like steelhead, are earned rather than simply caught. Both involve long, searching days on the water, hoping for an encounter but -- more often than not -- failing to spark one. When a shot at a permit does come, you don’t waste it. Not ever. Guides know this better than most anyone else and this knowledge generally comes through in their behavior. There’s more than a heightened sense of urgency when permit are about. When that black sickle tail comes into view, everyone gets down to business. Casual conversation and cavalier attitudes are pushed aside.

    BOLEDO DRAWING for Thursday, April 23, 2015: 35. FANTASY 5: 37 19 39 3 7 A

    FCD Environmental Youth Group
    FCD was represented by the FCD Environmental Youth Group at the University of Belize campus yesterday where exhibits and information were shared on the occasion of Earthday. Thanks to all those who expressed interest on our work.

    Channel 7

    Body Found Floating Near Usher Estate
    Ladyville police found a body this evening floating in the sea near mile five on the Phillip Goldson highway - which is near to the Usher Estate. The neighbors called police around 4:15 pm saying that a body was visible form their pier. Police fished the body out of the water - and removed it from the area around 5:30. They took it to a remote location for a post mortem. It was in an advanced state of decomposition - and at this time, police can only say that it is an unidentified male. They could not give any physical characteristics such as approximate age or ethnicity. No identification documents were found and police say they have no active missing person's reports. We'll have more on this tomorrow.

    Customs Makes Very Major Bust
    There was a huge contraband bust this evening in northern Belize - and the Customs Department had to mobilize a huge operation just to get the stuff out of there. The bust was made in the Rio Hondo River - 12 miles behind August Pine Ridge - where a team of four customs officers saw five dories coming across a canal connected to the Rio Hondo laden with a huge, almost unbelievable load. We're talking about fifty sacks of onions, 40 cases of beers and various other goods. The dories also had engines, and two of the dorey operators threw their cargo overboard, while three others jumped out of their dories and swam away - leaving customs to collect the dories and the huge amount of contraband. How much was it? Well, what started as a four-man operation with only customs turned into a 40 man operation with police and BDF added in. They had to call for backup because the contraband crew had set up improvised roadblocks to take back the goods from the customs officers when they were on their way out! When they did roll out, the goods had to be spread across eight vehicles, including 2 BDF four ton trucks, which were full, a police F-150 truck and four Customs vehicles. They also had to load the very large dories into the trucks. No one was arrested and twenty minutes ago, the goods reached the customs house in Orange Walk. An initial assessment says that the loss to the smugglers - including the engine powered dories is as much as fifty thousand dollars.

    Career Criminal Frank Castro, Victim of A Cold Killing In PG
    In the mid to late 1990's, the name Frank Castro was notorious; at the time police said he was a criminal terrorizing the countryside with the brothers, Julian Bush, and Greg Casildo. Since then he served 20 years in jail, and had returned to live in Indianville Punta Gorda. But tonight, the news is that the 38 year old was killed in Punta Gorda Town. In an act which resembles the Belize city-style gang violence, he was gunned down at around 7:30 last night as he left a Chinese shop on Corozal Street. The Officer Commanding Punta Gorda Police explained via telephone what information they have so far: Supt. Simeon Alvarez, OC - Punta Gorda Town "Sometime around 7:40pm last night, the police received an information of gunshot being fired in the Corozal Street area, in the Indianville part of Punta Gorda Town. As a result of that they responded to the area and the information was that the person was already been taken to the Punta Gorda Hospital. The police then visited the hospital where they saw the lifeless body of Frank Castro, 38 years old, a resident of Punta Gorda Town with several gunshots wounds to the upper of the body on the left side of the body.

    City Fire Burns Family Out
    A house on Patridge Street Extension, which was being rented by to Edith Valentine and her family, was completely gutted by an unexpected blaze this afternoon. So, tonight, the family is homeless and relying on the kindness of friends and family.??It happened just after 1:30 this afternoon when the bedroom of the house caught fire and quickly spread. The Fire Department was called in, but by the time they arrived, there was not much they could do to save it. 7 News was there shortly after the fire fighters managed to get the situation under control, and Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz reporting At a glance, this elevated house on stilts looked to be structurally stable, but closer observation revealed scorch marks all around, especially near the ceiling. No one knows how the house caught fire, but minutes later, the entire structure was engulfed in flames. Residents living nearby caught this view of their neighbor's home and all her possessions going up in smoke. Edith Valentine's mom was emotional for her daughter, knowing very well the value of what they lost, and the difficulties which now lie ahead. Valentine herself managed to put on a brave face.

    British Couple Bought Beachfront, Ended Up Facing Someone's Back Yard
    Seafront property - whether on an island or the mainland, it's the most precious and valuable land anywhere in the world - and Belize is no different. But, there's only so much of it - and as Will Rogers said, "God isn't making any more." So the pressure to get the very few parcels that are out there is intense - and now that urgency to own sea frontage has pushed land dealers to a new level: they got government sanctioned on the beach reserve and in the seabed - right in front of folks who thought they had sea front property. It happened on Northern Caye Caulker to as many as 25 landowners - and we met three of them today at the Glenn Godfrey law firm. They explained how their retirement dream went to ruin:.. Sydney Higgins, UK Retiree Robbed of Beachfront "How could it happen?" Jules Vasquez reporting That's what Sydney and Anna Higgins keep asking themselves as they look wistfully the picture of the beachfront view had planned to spend their retirement gazing upon - but that picture is all they have now because the beachfront is now someone else's private property and so is the seabed!

    PUP Leader Hon. Fonseca Says Rt. Hon. Musa Not Going Anywhere
    Earlier this week we told you about the discussion in the PUP over whether Said Musa should retire earlier than planned - since his baggage may be affecting the PUP's electability. Musa himself told us that the matter has been raised, but he said he was not treating it with urgency. We know that others in the party do see it as urgent. But don't count Party Leader Francis Fonseca as one of them. Today in San Joaquin, he told CTV-3 that there is no plan to ditch the party's elder statesman:... Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "In the case of Mr. Musa, no such decision has been taken by Mr. Musa or by anybody else in the party at this point." Reporter "So, so far that could be just as a rumor?" Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "Yea, at this point it's just speculation. Mr. Musa, as you know has made it clear that he's getting up in age. He has been thinking about that, whether or not he should run in the next elections, that's no secret he has said that. So I think he has yet to make a final decisions to what he wants, but at the end of the day we will respect whatever decision he makes."

    Nasley Sommerville's Attorney Says She Didn't Steal Anything
    Last night we told you that former Administrator of the Southern regional hospital Nasley Sommerville had been dismissed by the public service commission. This is more than two years after she was accused of fleecing 367 thousand dollars from the Hospital's maternal health and child care account. But, today her attorney told the media that she will appeal her dismissal:.. Jules Vasquez "The Auditor General wrote a report implicating how directly in the theft of $367,000 - 193 bogus cheques. Does she deny this?" Andrew Bennett, Attorney - Nasley Sommerville "She did deny it and she maintains her innocence still. That is the reason why we are appealing the decision. And as it relates to the Auditor General's report, they never did say as a matter of fact that she did anything. This Auditor General's report established that there was some fraud committed on the public funds. But as it relates to implicating Nasley, that was our position throughout this hearing, that there need to have been more. We will be challenging the reasons to say that they are unreasonable not supported by any of the evidence. And as a matter of fact that the commission misdirected themselves, because they did not place any weight on some of the documents that Nasley submitted."

    Fines For Out of Season Lobster Fishers
    Two weeks ago, we told you how the Fisheries Department caught 45 year-old Kirk Barrow and 18 year-old Jim Ramirez, two fishermen well known to the department for breaking the fisheries laws. They were intercepted on April 10 off Caye Chapel with a small portion of out-of-season lobster. They threw the majority of their catch overboard. Well tonight, they are facing fines after being taken to Magistrate's Court. They were arraigned today before Magistrate Herbert Panton for fisheries offences, and they decided to plead guilty to all counts. The authorities charged them with engaging in commercial fishing without a valid licenses, using a vessel for commercial fishing without a valid boat license, and possession of 3 out-of-season lobsters. They were fined a total of $700 dollars for all the charges, and if they default of payment, they will serve 6 months in jail.

    Caught With Two Keys
    Tonight, 2 auto mechanics, 20 year-old Emmeth Rhaburn and 31 year-old Alfredo Singh, continue to face a drug trafficking charges after the GSU busted them with almost 2 kilos of marijuana. It happened yesterday when the GSU went to Brian's Mechanic Shop. The officers searched the entire compound and ended up finding 1.7 kilograms the weed in black plastic bag that was under a step. Both men were then arrested and charged with drug trafficking. Singh was then searched, and he was additionally busted with 17 grams - or half an ounce of - marijuana in his pocket, and so he was charged with drug possession. They were arraigned yesterday before Magistrate Ladonna John, where they both pleaded not guilty to that offence. They were granted bail of $4,000, and their case was adjourned until June 4. For the drug possession charge, Singh pleaded guilty and was fined $500 to be paid by June 30, or else he will spend 6 months in jail.

    Accused of Arson, Troublesome 13 Year Old Girl Runs Away From Home
    A month ago, we told you how 18 year-old Erlene Baizar was charged along with 2 female minors, a 12 year-old and a 13 year-old, with the offence of arson for the fire which destroyed the Youth Hostel's female dormitory. Well, the 13 year-old has violated the terms of her bail, and tonight she is back in custody. Yesterday, the child's mother and other relatives were summoned to court because they were the ones who signed for her bail. The sitting magistrate informed the family that one of the conditions of the child's bail was that she was to remain in the care of her family, but she broke it when she ran away from home and went missing for 12 days. Because of this, the bail was confiscated, and the child was remanded into custody until further notice. Information to court reporters is that the child was found staying at a man's house. The authorities may investigate him to see if any criminal charges can be brought against him.

    How Much Customs Caught In 3 "Cayucos"
    At the top of the news, we told you about the major customs bust in Northern Belize. It took two BDF four ton trucks, a police F-150 truck and four Customs vehicles to get all the contraband goods out of a river crossing 12 miles behind August Pine Ridge. Those trucks pulled into the customs house in Orange Walk about an hour ago, and right now we have the full rundown. They got 52 sacks of onion, 25 cases soft drink , 20 sacks of lime ,15 cases pears, 15 crates of mango, 30 cases raisin, 15 cases lettuce, 5sacks cabbage, 5 cases tomatoes, 25 cases of beer, 3 sacks of carrots, 15 sacks of flour, and 2 sacks of potatoes. Incredibly all this was loaded unto to just three dories! The other two dories were also loaded - but they their their goods into the river. So, customs also got three heavy duty dories, and a 25 horsepower engine.

    Post Mortem on Body Inconclusive
    Police have concluded the post mortem on a body that was found floating in the sea near mile five on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Due to the advanced state of decomposition, the post mortem was inconclusive so no cause of death was determined. But, police observed no sign of violence on the body so foul play is not suspected. Still, it is an unidentified person and due to the state of decomposition, police could only say that it is a male, but they could not determine ethnicity. The body was seen floating near the Usher estate around 4:15 and it was removed at 5:40.

    Cops Not Playing With Constable Casimiro
    On Wednesday, we told you about police constable 1093 Cyril Casimiro - accused of the rape of a 10 year old girl. Well, the 35 year old who has been in the department for over 10 years was charged for rape and wounding and remanded to prison. The head of the Corozal formation told our colleagues at CTV-3 that they dealt with the matter swiftly: Supt. Andrew Ramirez, O/C Corozal "He was remanded into custody. He was also interdicted from duty. The Commissioner of Police was very swift in relation to that aspect. Again, the Professional Standard Branch, Mr. Leal, Assistant Commissioner and his team had visited the family to ensure they are given the necessary assurances. Because this is not one that we want to put under the rug or shield anybody."

    OCEANA Wants Draft Petroleum Exploration Guidelines To Stay In Spotlight
    The Draft Petroleum Exploration and Exploration Guidelines are on the discussion table again and Vice President of Oceana says that it should remain in the forefront. This morning Oceana along with other stakeholders held a press conference at the Biltmore to make their position on the draft guidelines publicly clear and also to engage the public. Vice President, Janelle Chanona told us today that these draft guidelines are simply insulting. Janelle Chanona, VP - OCEANA Belize "We walked publicly and then we were called sensationalists for doing so. But clearly we want to emphasize that our reaction was not an emotional one. We make our decision to say there remains a lot of work to be done on these guidelines from a scientific basis, from a legal basis, from an economic basis, from a cultural basis, historical basis. There are so many reasons why we have built such a case against offshore oil and why we continue to say no. There is no apparent effort to balance the risk from potential offshore oil activities to the sea and economy with the benefits that might accrue in the future. In short, the proposed guidelines do not comport with the law or with government's more fundamental obligation to manage our marine resources for the best interest of the Belizean people.

    Tablets, PUP Style
    The Minister of Education had a big fanfare when he gave out tablets to University students a month ago. Well this afternoon, at the Hattieville Government School the PUP had their own tablet giaveway. It was an event of vastly different scale, but the idea is sound: technology is supposed to enhance the educational experience. The way that will be accomplished is by allowing the teachers access to a library of books on one portable device, instead of lugging around weighty texts books. After the handing over ceremony, we spoke to the PUP representative about the origin of this donation, and we also asked the teachers about how the tablets will be put to use: Hon. Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, Area Rep., Belize Rural Central "Hattieville Government School is near and dear to my heart. And a kind donor who preferred to remain anonymous, donated 14 very good top quality tablets and I said to myself well how can we maximize this for Hattieville Government School. So naturally you're aware of the People's United Party position in relation for the use of technology for education.

    DROWNING IN CAYE CAULKER
    On 21.04.15 at 3:00 p.m. Caye Caulker Police responded to a drowning incident and visited the Caye Caulker Health Centre where they saw 65-year-old retired American John Carle lying unconscious. Initial investigation revealed that at 2:50 p.m. 45-year-old Jonathan Carle saw his father struggling in the sea and went to his aid and pulled him out. He was rushed to the Caye Caulker Health Centre where he passed away while undergoing treatment and was pronounced dead at 3:35 p.m. The body was later transported to the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital Morgue where it awaits a postmortem examination.

    Channel 5

    Career Criminal Gunned Down in PG
    Frank Castro…it’s the name that sparked terror in the nineteen nineties and early two thousand. The notorious street figure was a known ring leader in serious felonies, including the murder [...]

    Decomposed Body Found Near Haulover Bridge
    News Five has been able to confirm reports that a badly decomposed body was discovered at around four this afternoon between miles five and six on the Phillip Goldson Highway, [...]

    Retired English Couple Allegedly Scammed in Land Hustle
    A dubious land transaction involving the sale of a beachfront parcel on Caye Caulker has left a retired English couple short of tens of thousands of dollars.  Sydney and Anna [...]

    …Says Lands Department Giving Them the Runaround
    The Higgins have sought legal advice and despite the efforts of their attorneys, have been given the runaround by the Lands Department.  The uncertainty of how the matter will be [...]

    Fire Destroys Belize City Home
    A fiery blaze on Partridge Street Extension at around one-thirty this afternoon completely destroyed an upstairs wooden home belonging to Edith Valentine. Nobody was there at the time, and Valentine, [...]

    Nasley Somerville Plans to Appeal Dismissal
    Former administrator of the Southern Regional Hospital, Nasley Somerville, has been dismissed from the public service after a year of administrative leave.  Somerville was suspended from her post in October [...]

    Educators’ Appeal Dismissed by the CCJ
    On Wednesday, while all attention was on the outcome of the Maya Land Rights case, the Caribbean Court of Justice also handed down a decision in the case of Juanita [...]

    Business Sector Senator Says G.O.B. Lied
    Government operatives charged with selling the Petrocaribe Bill 2015 have sought to convince the media that the outcry is much ado about nothing. But tonight the Petrocaribe fire continues to [...]

    Mark Lizarraga Demands Details of Petrocaribe Spending
    Just in the event that you’re one of the very few who hasn’t been following the Petrocaribe hue and cry, the relevance is this. The government has stated time and [...]

    Climate Change Environmental Club Launched
    Five Belmopan High schools were the first in the Caribbean to initiate a network of school based environmental clubs with a strong climate change focus. The launch of the network [...]

    Independence Residents Claim NCL Project Bypassing their Community
    The multi-million dollar Norwegian Cruise Lines tourism port on Harvest Caye is expected to be completed by the end of the year and opened in early 2016. It’s a huge [...]

    Environmental Concerns Raised Over Harvest Caye Project
    Apart from the social concerns the NCL project raised, there are also some environmental concerns. One, raised just a week ago, is that developers have dumped rocks on top of [...]

    Coalition and OCEANA Condemn Offshore Exploration
    It is common knowledge that the Belize Barrier Reef is the second longest barrier reef in the world; three of the Caribbean’s four atolls are found in Belizean waters and [...]

    OCEANA Says Government Plans Threaten the Industry
    But the natural resource has massive economic benefits, which are at risk of being threatened: tourism, the fisheries industry and shoreline. The documents released on January nineteenth, 2015 by the [...]

    Environmentalists Claim Communications Deficit
    Recently, the Department of Environment, in partnership with three international organizations, hosted an Oil Spill Contingency Workshop that addressed issues such as oil pollution, preparedness, and response and cooperation sensitization [...]

    P.U.P. Hands Over Tablets to Hattieville School
    Fourteen new tablets were handed over to the Hattieville Government School by the People’s United Party today. But while the gesture was welcomed, it is the information on that portable [...]

    Hot Weather Tips for the Elderly in Healthy Living
    We don’t know how you’d miss it; but just in case you haven’t noticed, we are currently in the middle of Belize’s dry season. The seasonably hot and humid days [...]

    CTV3

    Opposition Leader Speaks On Possible Resignation Of Honorable Said Musa
    There has been some talk about the possible resignation of former Prime Minister and P.U.P Fort George Area Representative Said Musa from politics. Earlier this week a national news channel reported that the seventy-one year old politician affirmed that while it is something that has been discussed, he had yet to make up his mind. Today we spoke with People’s United Party Leader Francis Fonseca who says that nothing has been decided but that if it should happen, the PUP is confident that the Fort George seat is safe. “We have said very publicly that we are reviewing the entire structure of the party, we made certain changes already to the campaign committee and we are looking at everything how can we make the party more effective, but in the case of Mr. Musa no such decision has been taken by Mr. Musa or by anybody else in the party at this point.” Dalila Ical – Reporter “So far, it could be viewed just as rumor?”

    Victim Of Murder In San Victor Still To Be Identified
    Another case that Corozal Police have made progress in is the murder case of a Mexican national who was killed in San Victor Village on March first. Authorities believe they are much closer to ascertaining his identity following collaborative work with their Mexican counterparts. “This individual who was known within the village as Sergio Martinez regrettable was buried as a John Doe, fortunately we are getting some head way so to speak and the Mexican Embassy has been in contact with me where they have identified the individual as being Sergio Antonio Martinez Gomez born on June the 7th 1988 of Ejido Arematea Palenque in the state of Chiapas, Mexico, unfortunately the Embassy nor he family has any picture ID of this individual, during our primary investigation the scenes of crime Mr. Romeo Riverol had gotten three items that can be used as future DNA testing so based on that and with the permission given by my police headquarters I have been communicating with the Mexican Embassy in regards of having one of his relative submit themselves to a DNA where if it is match and confirm that it is indeed that person because the wish of the family is basically to have the body cremated and sent back to their home state where the person can be given a proper burial.”

    BAPS Holds Annual Convention
    The Annual Belize Association of Principal of Secondary Schools conference began today. The conference is being hosted this year in the Corozal District. Day one of the conference was held at the Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico School grounds under the theme “The Principal and the Digital generation”. Endevora Jorgensen, Principal at the Corozal Community College told us more about the first day of the conference. Endevora Jorgensen – CCC School Principal “We have two main guest speakers; the first one is Mr. Dwight Gillette from the ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities and then we would also have Mr. David Leacock who is the CEO from the ministry of education and his presentation will be in education and technology, the way forward because the technology is here to stay and we as educators we need to be aware of what it can do, it potential and its use and abuse and how we move with technology.”

    Children With Special Needs Learn To Play BOCCE Sport
    Today, Special needs students from St. Peters School here in Orange Walk and Mary Hill Primary School in the Corozal District were engaged in a north battle for BOCCE supremacy, an Italian game similar to lawn bowling but played on a shorter, narrower green. Organizers say they are hosting a series of competitions geared at social integration of the children with mental and physical disabilities as well as to bring public attention to the talents and capabilities of the children with special needs. National Director for Special Olympics in Belize, Eloyda Bautista, says the competitions will be taking from North to South of Belize. ELOYDA BAUTISTA – National Director, Special Olympics “We call it bocce and why we have this sport day is because we can involve all other athletes that have severe disability or that are on wheel chairs so then we having a series of competitions from north to south, today is Orange Walk and Corozal and tomorrow id Dangriga and PG and then the following week will be Belmopan and Belize City.”

    Festival Of Arts Takes Place in Corozal
    Students in the Corozal District are showcasing their artistic side in the annual Festival of Arts. The festival begun yesterday as students of secondary school presented their work. Today, primary schools took to the stage at the Corozal Civic Center. Some twelve schools presented a series of art pieces. Maria Correa is the Coordinator for the Festival of Arts this year. Maria Correa – Coordinator, Festival of Arts “The presentations consist of drama in the drama category, music and dance and this morning we had a very good dance items.” Dalila Ical – Reporter “Definitely, some of these presentations will make it to the Golden evening which will be held tomorrow?” Maria Correa – Coordinator, Festival of Arts “We will be having the Festival of Arts Golden evening tomorrow at 2 o’clock here at the civic center; I will be showcasing all the Golden schools that won starting from the Primary and the secondary; however we will be having some good items from the Pre-schools and the Special-eds groups tomorrow.”

    Belize Bank To Close Its Doors At CFZ
    There is much concern over the reported imminent end to the relationship with the Country’s largest bank, the Belize Bank Ltd and its partner Bank of America. Our colleagues at 7News reported that as of April 30th, the bank will no longer be able to do international banking transactions such as wire transfers to or from the United States. It may seem like some serious implications may occur but according to the report, more than 90 percent of the banks clients will not be affected. Additionally, it is not known if the relationship with Bank of America affected the closure of the Belize Bank Branch in the Corozal Free Zone. We have been reliably informed that at the moment the branch in the Free Zone is the only one closing and returning people’s money. The banks closure will be made official on May 1st of this year. We are told that the staff will be relocated to other branches with staffing needs such as San Pedro and Belmopan. The Free Zone Belize Bank Branch had a total staff of 6. Our attempts to get comment from CEO at the Banks Cooperate Headquarters and comment from the CEO of the Freezone David Ackerman were unsuccessful. We’ll keep pursuing this story in tomorrow’s newscast.

    Price Per 100 lbs Cylinder Of LPG Reduces By $2.00
    Effective tomorrow, the prices for butane will see a decrease of two dollars, announced the Bureau of Standards today. In the north, the new controlled prices per 100 pound cylinder for LPG imported by Belize Gas Limited and Western Gas Company from Pemex are as follows: in Corozal the price will go down from 92 to 90 dollars and in Orange Walk Town from 93 to 91 dollars. The controlled price per 100 pound cylinder for LPG imported by Belize Western Energy Limited, Southern Choice Butane, Zeta Gas and Tomza Ltd from Central Central is as follows: in Corozal the price per 100 pound cylinder will go from 90 to 88 dollars and in Orange Walk Town from 91 to 89 dollars. The release ends stating that the current production boom in North America has led to a downward pressure on oil derivatives including LPG. Compared to last year, the butane prices are at an average of 32 dollars lower on the 100 pound cylinders.

    Cassanova Soon To Be Charged For The Murder Of Massam
    There has been some progress in criminal cases that remain open in the Corozal District. Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, Officer In Charge of the Corozal Police Department, says that investigators have been working diligently and there is some good news to report in at least two cases. One of those cases is the murder of twenty-nine year old Mark Massam, of Corozal. Massam was chopped to death on December tenth 2014. Police had reported that about nine fifteen they rushed to College Road where a chopping had been reported. There, officers found a man inflicting chop wounds onto another. The officers state that they tried to stop Carlos Casanova, who was wounding Massam. Casanova refused and officers fired warning shots but Casanova would not desist. Police were forced to shoot Casanova on both legs and knee and moved in to disarm him. By then it was too late for Massam had succumbed to his injuries. Casanova, a resident of Corozal Town remains hospitalized and under police guard, but Superintendent Ramirez says he should be released soon and upon his release he should face charges for the crime.

    Lucas & Carrillo Attorney Speaks On Appeals Case
    Yesterday we told you about the Caribbean Court of Justice’s decision to dismiss an appeal made back in 2010 by Juanita Lucas and Celia Carrillo two senior principals of the Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico in San Roman Corozal. As we reported, the Trinidad-based Court also dismissed arguments that principal Juanita Lucas and vice Principal Celia Carillo, be awarded damages. In dismissing the appeal, the CCJ, the country’s final court, emphasised and we quote “that the suspensions were not to punish the appellants but rather to allow a proper inquiry into the problems at the school”, end quote. The Court noted that the right to work was not a guarantee of continued employment and there was no inference with the appellants’ ability to continue practising their profession. The majority held that there was no breach of the protection of the law or the right to equal protection because the team of persons sent to the school was on a fact-finding inquiry. According to their Attorney Magali Marin Young, even though their suspension was squashed and the investigation was declared unlawful, her clients felt that they had sustained damage to their professional reputation and that the entire process was high handed and unfair. At the CCJ level, the appeal was dismissed at a 3 to 2 split decision. Young says the minority decision revealed that the judges ruled that the appellants’ right to the protection of the law was seriously violated which was stated in section 152 and 156 of the judgment documents. Here is Young’s interpretation of that excerpt…

    Officer Accused Of Raping 14 Year Old Placed On Interdiction
    Police Constable #1093 Cyril Casimiro appeared in the Orange Walk Magistrates Court on Wednesday to answer to charges for the alleged rape of a fourteen year old girl in Corozal Town. The thirty five year old officer was charged for rape and wounding and today Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, Officer Commanding the Corozal Police Formation told us that he has also been interdicted. Andrew Ramirez “He was remanded into custody, he was also interdicted from duty, and the Commissioner of Police was very swift in relation to that aspect and again the Professional Standard branch Mr. Leal Assistant Commissioner and his team had visited the family to ensure that they are given the necessary assurances because this is not one that we want to put under the rug or shield anybody as I mentioned to you that what this officer did or any officer her we try to do swift and then place them of discipline matter, discipline charges, the letter with his interdiction I will not wait July 1st until he reappears to get that letter we will be having a prison run very shortly and during that process I will ask one of my senior NCO Sergeant to give him his letter of interdiction.”

    PlusTV

    VIP attacks structure and objectives of Petrocaribe Act
    This morning third party Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) hosted the press in Belize City to discuss a number of topics including and particularly the Petrocaribe Loans Act 2015...

    Road Safety Project Plants Mahoganies; Makes it up for Felling Old Tree
    Five weeks ago a 75 year old tree at Guanacaste Park Junction, leading into Belmopan, was cut down to make way for a  roundabout, a project under the Belize Road Safety Project. This was despite the impassionate pleas on social media to save the tree...

    Internal battle in NTUCB continues
    Second vice president of the NTUCB Audrey Matura Shepherd continues to face internal battles with colleagues in the Congress over her public call for the unions to drop Senator Ray Davis...

    Historic second Maya Land Rights Case draws to close
    This morning final arguments were heard in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) for the case of the Maya Leaders Alliance and 23 village leaders and co-leaders of the Toledo District representing 38 Maya villages against the Government of Belize...

    University of Belize Celebrated Earth Day
    Today is internationally Recognized as World Earth Day. In commemoration with this special occasion the students of the University of Belize for the 9th year held an open day event to raise awareness to keep the earth clean. Today’s event was held under the theme 10 shades of green...

    Inter Institutional Sporting Competition
    For the third year in a row youth centers in Belize have participated in an annual competition the Inter institutional Sporting Competition where youths compete against one another in sports like high jump and shot pot. Four institutions participated in the series of events that started in November...

    Men Shot in Belize City
    Gun violence continues to run rampant on the streets of Belize City. The two latest victims: 26 year old Channing Garoy and 29 year old Raymond Bowen, both of a Belize City Address are today hospitalized following a shooting incident that occurred sometime around 8 pm on Monday night...

    35 Years Old Police charged for Rape and Wounding
    Cyril Casimiro, 35 years Belizean Police Officer attached to the Corozal Police Formation was arraigned today for the crime of rape and wounding of a 14 year old girl...

    Auto mechanics charged for marijuana
    Two auto mechanics,20 year old Emmeth Rhaburn and 31 year old Alfredo Singh, were charged with drug trafficking for 1.7 kilograms of cannabis when they appeared today before Magistrate Ladonna John. They pled not guilty to the charge and they were each offered a bail of $4,000...

    Mexican/Belizean Businessman of Belmopan found with Drugs and Unlicensed Ammunition
    On Tuesday April 21sth at about about 3:00pm Corozal Police were conducting mobile patrol in Corozal Town on 7th Avenue when their attention was drawn to a red four door car with Mexican license plate...

    The Guardian

    Audrey’s “behaviour is out of order” Says NTUCB Past President - Jackie Willoughby Says “Put a leash on her mouth”
    “Mrs. Audrey Matura Sheppard I demand an apology for the innuendos you have publicly made against Senator Davis. Your behaviour is out of order…” - Dylan Reneau, Past President of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. Audrey Matura-Shepherd has quickly become one of the most divisive and destructive personalities in the public domain. Her haphazard activism and bombastic sermons on the evils of every Government initiative have caused her favourability ratings to plummet and her associations to crumble. As President of the Christian Workers Union she has derailed the CBA negotiations with Port of Belize Limited. Waterfront workers are now divided between the anti-Matura faction and the President Matura loyalists. Union members of the Social Security Board are also at odds after Matura-Shepherd halted their transitional increment and delayed a much anticipated salary increase. Matura-Shepherd’s most impressive feat is the destruction of the iconic Belize Sugarcane Farmers Association in the matter of weeks. Her unyielding, uncompromising – in your face- style of negotiating has not benefitted any institution she is involved with and because of her the NTUCB may be the next iconic body to collapse.

    Hon. Mark King urges Cordel Hyde to give back community land to the people of Lake I
    In reference to the earlier situation in the Lake Independence Area this week, The UDP Lake I committee highly rejects, objects and condemns the PUP former Area Representative Cordel Hyde for privatizing land in the middle of a community oriented area in Lake Independence. This action seeks to destroy the opportunity for Single Parents to be educated at the resource training center, and halts Lake I students from accessing the center for free internet and computer services. It also seeks to damage investment in the community for parks, playgrounds and family/community gatherings as it lays in the middle of the Lake I recreational grounds. The UDP Lake I committee strongly urge the former PUP Area Rep Hyde to give back the land to its legitimate community. UDP Area Representative Mark King remains committed to take Lake I residents out of poverty by educating them and creating the economic investment opportunities and recreational facilities necessary to achieve such objective.

    Abuse of any kind against Children is not permitted!
    Belize became the fifth country to ratify the UN convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). This CRC document has since become the most widely ratified convention and human rights instrument in the world. It is testament to our country’s recognition of the importance of caring for our children and nurturing them to be responsible and productive citizens. A commitment that obligated our Government to enact laws and policies that creates the enabling environment for children to flourish and reach their full potential. One of the obligations to our children is to protect them from all forms of exploitation, abuse and neglect. Article 19 of the CRC states that, “Children should be protected from being hurt and mistreated in body or mind”. Keeping this in mind, the recent death of 11month old baby Mia is both startling and heartbreaking. According to the media, “Mia Eusebia Lopez died from severe cerebral edema resulting from multiple skull fractures, due to blunt force trauma to the head.” NCFC views these findings troubling and is deeply concerned about the welfare of the other two children in that household; especially since parents are the first line of defense; they are to ensure the safety and protection of their children as well as provide a safe dwelling place. Therefore, NCFC calls on all relevant authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into this incident and asks that the fullest extent of the law be applied in the case of a guilty verdict.

    BAHA attempts to contain Influenza Virus in Poultry
    Personnel from the Belize Agriculture Health Authority continued this week to take all measures to contain an outbreak of the Avian Influenza in poultry at chicken farms in Spanish Lookout. The poultry disease, which is caused by a virus, has recently been detected in Buena Vista Village in Cayo and in chicken farms in Spanish Lookout. So far, a third round of testing for the Influenza Virus was conducted just last week for which poultry had to be destroyed. In one of these measures to control the spread of the Influenza Virus, the de-population of some sixty thousand chickens from 15 infected farms has so far been conducted. Four more poultry farms are now on target for the continued de-population. In another all out effort towards the containment of the Influenza Virus, the movement of live chickens are being restricted; with some four checkpoints having so far been established in Spanish Lookout. BAHA officers have this week been actively checking all motorists exiting the Spanish Lookout Community for poultry. It is estimated that poultry producers have so far lost $3000,000.00 in the effort to control the spread of Avian Influenza and for which the destruction of their poultry was necessary.

    The YES and NO to communal Land Rights
    For the first time since the argument began over the Maya Land rights in the courts there is public opposition to it. Led by Joseph Estephan as chairman of the newly formed National Mopan Maya Council over two hundred residents of the Toledo district made their way to Belize City to publicly state that they were not in agreement with the communal land. Estephan told the Guardian that, "when the matter went to court nobody went into the field to verify what was happening on the ground." "People need to understand the two concepts- there needs to be education," he added. For Estephan who has been canvassing villages across the Toledo district, the issue of communal land rights is one of economics, he stated that, " The whole economy of PG is in decline because nobody can hold title to their land to use as collateral. But we will fight! I understand that there will be polling of villages and we will be there every step of the way!" Candido Chun is the Chairman of San Antonio village, he was out at the Battlefield park, in front of the Supreme Court along with Estephan and shares his views. "We don't want communal land they want land title. Once you have your land documents you can say the land is yours and you can use it as collateral to go to the bank to borrow money for your wife, your children, so you can send them to further their education. The communal land system does not give you that privilege," stated Chun.

    Is Puerto Azul Belize for Real?
    The billion dollar Puerto Azul project, or idea, is in the news once again. This time an American mortgagee is accusing the Puerto Azul developers of defaulting on a purchase agreement for Northern Two Caye. John Mills held a press conference on April 16, 2015 to voice his concerns over recent reports that the purchase of Northern Two Caye was finalized. Some time ago, Mills bailed out the current owners of the islands, Northern Two Cayes Company Limited and the Lighthouse Reef Resort Limited, by purchasing the mortgage on Lighthouse Reef Resort just before the bank foreclosed upon the property. Therefore, he has a lean on the property and must be paid before any sale can be finalized. Mills says, “Puerto Azul has not closed on the islands. They signed a contract to purchase Northern 2 Cayes in March 2013. The first payment was to be made in March 2014. They did not make that. The second payment was to be made in 2015 and they did not make that.” Puerto Azul says the delay in payment is due to legal procedures. The owners of the property, principals of Northern Two Cayes Company Limited and the Lighthouse Reef Resort Limited, were involved in a civil matter that has now been settled through arbitration. Domenico Giannini, President of Puerto Azul International, responded to John Mills' public comments in a joint release with John M. Black of Lighthouse Reef Resort Limited and Kathy Stuart of Northern Two Company Limited. The release states: “Puerto Azul International Holding Corp. signed a purchase agreement with Northern Two Cayes Company Ltd. and Lighthouse Reef Resort Ltd, who are the legitimate owners of the Northern Two Cayes at Lighthouse Atoll. All encumbrances on the property are scheduled to be paid from closing proceeds by escrow agent Barrow & Williams. Mr. Mills is aware of this as it was settled through legal arbitration.”

    PUP asking Musa to step aside as a PR Stunt
    The People's United Party is hoping that they can portray an image of a reformed PUP by simply asking Said Musa to not contest the next general elections. They somehow feel like the Belizean people will forget that it was not only Musa who is the cancer within the PUP. Belizeans remember that Francis Fonseca, the current leader of the PUP was like a lose thread attached on to Musa's shirt when all manner of shenanigans were taking place in government during their 1998 to 2008 tenure. Fonseca was in fact a signatory of most of the major misdeeds of the PUP. He signed on to the BTL Accomodation agreement, he secretly signed on to the extension of contracts for the ships registry as well as the company's registry. He also signed on to a government guarantee for 33 million and when asked he could not say if it was U.S. or Belize dollars. He was there when many more sinister deals took place. But it is not only Francis, it is the entire PUP, some like Julius Espat were in the background feeding at the trough. So for the stunt pulled to remove Said from the frontline and expect it to be the cure-all for the PUP is a delusionary pill. Only those who concocted it will take it and it and suffer its effects. For the rest of Belizeans, we say, they must all go, they must all never seek political office in this country. Removing Said will mean nothing to anyone.

    Dr. Carla Barnett Clarifies Petro Caribe borrowing and spending PUP and UDP ways
    Dear Editor, In 2008, I wrote a letter to the editor of the Amandala in response to the question of whether the government could spend a US$10mn grant for housing from Venezuela even though it was not approved in the Budget. The letter was recently republished in the Amandala and some pundits have used it to suggest that I have been quiet during the current discussion of the PetroCaribe Loan Act because of my politics. I ended that letter by saying “At the end of the day, the law is the law. We are a nation of laws and where a law is felt to be bad, unreasonable or inconvenient; we are still required to obey that law even as we may seek to change it.” I still hold that view. What we were seeing in 2008 with the Venezuela Housing Grant, when that letter was written, is very different from what we are seeing today with the PetroCaribe Loans Act.

    19 year old remanded for attempted murder
    On Monday April 20, teenager, Justin Hyde, joined his brother, Troy Hyde in prison after being charged with two counts of attempted murder. Hyde was escorted alone on a prison bus to be arraigned before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith in Court #1 where he was read six counts, two counts of attempted murder, two counts of use of deadly means of harm and two counts of dangerous harm with a deadly weapon, to wit, a firearm upon Windy Lambey and Aaron Munnings, two persons who were shot during a shooting incident on Friday, April 17, 2015. In court, no plea was taken from Hyde and the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith asked him if he understood the charges since at this time, no plea can be taken from him. Hyde who was unrepresented then said he understood the charges as read to him. Since the crimes are alleged to have been perpetrated with the use of a firearm, no bail could be granted and he was remanded into custody at the Belize Central Prison until July 15, 2015. At that time the Chief Magistrate ordered for disclosure to be ready and handed over to Hyde.

    Accused of sex with 13-year-old at Gulf Hotel
    Belize City mechanic, Francis Avilez, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was accused of having sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old student. Avilez was escorted to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Friday, April 17, where he appeared unrepresented before the Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith to be read two sexual assault charges upon a minor, age 13 years and 8 months. Allegations are that in February 2015 and March 14, 2015 Avilez had sexual intercourse with the child. According to the report which was made last week by the girl in the presence of her mother, sometime in February of this year she went to a house behind Belize Water Services Limited where Avilez had sexual intercourse with her for the first time. Then on March 14, 2015, Avilez took her to Gulf Hotel, said the minor. The minor told police that she first met Avilez in October of 2014.

    Celebrating Earth Day in Freetown
    “It’s our turn to lead”, that’s the theme for this year’s Earth Day, and lead is exactly what Dr. Carla Barnett, UDP standard bearer for the Freetown Constituency, did. Dr. Barnett celebrated Earth Day with the students of All Saints Primary School, where she spoke to them about the importance of taking care of planet earth. Along with the children, Dr. Barnett, planted a Mahogany Tree on the school’s compound, where the children promised to water it and take very good care of it. She also distributed snacks, made especially to celebrate Earth Day, to all the students.

    Walk For A Green Belize 2015
    Last year the Department of the Environment, in conjunction with the Belize Solid Waste Management Authority and the Belize Audubon Society, carried out a Walk For A Green Belize activity. Walk For A Green Belize is a clean-up activity conducted by numerous organizations, students, activists, both government and non-government agencies, and the general public. The activity resulted in the collection of 1,800 (30 to 50 gallon-sized) bags of garbage yielding a weight of 6,226 pounds! As we gear up for the celebration of Earth Day 2015, the Department of the Environment is once again collaborating on the “Walk For A Green Belize” cleanup. This event is aimed at building awareness and sustaining a culture of an environmentally friendly and conscious Belize! This year, the “Walk For A Green Belize” will be held on Saturday, April 25th 2015 along the entire George Price Highway encompassing a total of 77 miles of roadway. It will begin at 7:00 am and expected to conclude at 12:00 pm. In order to ensure the safety of the volunteers cleaning up both sides of the highway from Benque Viejo del Carmen to Belize City and up through Ladyville area, the Police Department and Department of Transport will be setting up courtesy checkpoints at strategic points along the George Price Highway to inform drivers to drive with extreme care.

    Belize City’s newest landmark attracts all
    In the Button wood bay area of Belize City there is a monument depicting the word BELIZE. If you pass by the area you can’t help but notice it and even get an urge to take a picture of it. Brightly painted in pastel colors and juxtaposed against the beautiful green of the Caribbean sea, the BELIZE sign has become perhaps one of the most photographed landmarks in the city. Everyone from children to tourists to visiting artists and politicians take pictures on, around and anywhere near the sign. Really the sign is a hit for visitors and city residents alike. But how did the sign come about? Well it is the brainchild of attorney-at-law Estevan Perera. He told the Guardian that a couple of years ago he acquired the land across from the seaside, at the time the area was just bushes and mangrove and was an area where much undesirable activities took place. He says that he contacted Mayor Darrell Bradley and asked permission to clear, fix and develop the area which was originally designated as a park area. He got the go ahead and the work started to improve the area. Through personal finances and with the assistance of other neighbors the area was cut down and reclaimed and existing park infrastructure like the gazebo was painted. After the area began to take shape, Perera said he thought of putting up the sign and again through personal finances it was constructed and by September of 2014 it was installed and completed.

    US Marines bring comfort to children in Bullet Tree Falls
    Primary School Children from Bullet Tree Falls in the Cayo District were on Wednesday of last week, the recipients of numerous gifts from members of the U.S Naval Hospital Ship USNS COMFORT. As part of the effort, teams from the Belize Defense Force, Belize Police Force, the United States Marine Corp and the United States Armed Forces South and Southern Command descended on Bullet Tree Falls to cheer children from both the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic and Seventh Day Adventist Primary School. In a small ceremony last Wednesday, children from the Immaculate Conception did the traditional ‘Hog Head Dance’ in appreciation to the visit by the U.S marines and companions. Major Charles Lollar from the United States Marines told those in attendance that the U.S Forces are very adamant in protecting the children of Belize. Charles Lollar, who has been in Belize since January, said that when Belize prospers, children will also prosper. He said that he was appreciative of the friendliness of many Belizeans and the way religious faith is upheld.

    Charges to be upgraded against Marco Tulio Mendez
    On Monday April 13, Area Representative for Orange Walk East appeared in Magistrate's Court in Orange Walk where his case of Aggravated Assault of an indecent nature against two teenage girls was adjourned until August 11, 2015 While Mendez has already been charged, the case file was reviewed by the Director of Public Prosecutions who has publicly stated that the charges that Mendez is facing should be upgraded. According to the DPP, she reviewed the file and found that there is evidence by one of the girls which suggests that Mendez may have tried to have sexual intercourse with her. That should now see Mendez's charge upgraded to attempting to commit Carnal knowledge making it a more serious offence which will see the matter heard before the Supreme Court. Even with the DPP's directive apparently investigators in the case will await his next court appearance on August 11 to upgrade the charge.

    Five Years for Czech 9 mm Pistol
    Glenford Baine Jr., 25, is serving time at the Belize Central Prison after he was convicted of one count of keeping an unlicensed firearm and one count of keeping unlicensed ammunition. Baine, a construction worker of #3834 Rivero Street Extension was busted with a 9 mm pistol on August 4, 2014. The gun was loaded with nine rounds of 9 mm ammunition. He had been on remand since then and his trial finally concluded on Thursday, April 16, before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. In court, Prosecutor Cpl. Christopher Smith called two officers of the Gang Suppression Unit to testify. The arresting officer, Sgt. Samuel Gladden, and PC Kent Aranda testified that they were on patrol on Rivero Street Extension when they responded to the sound of gunshots heard in the area of Kraal Road and Pen Road. Upon their arrival, they saw three males walking in the area. The men then began to walk very fast towards a fenced yard. According to PC Aranda, he and Sgt. Gladden followed the men and that was when he saw the fair skinned male, later identified as Baine Jr., remove a black object from his pants waist, ducked down in the yard and placed in into a cement block. Immediately he told Baine Jr. to freeze and to lay on the ground. Sgt. Gladden then came to assist and spotted his flashlight in the cement block. There they saw a firearm inside. Police trace shows that the gun originated from Czechoslovakia. Based on the inscription “Gully Gun SSG”, it is believed to have been used by the Southside Gang in their criminal activities.

    Pastor arrested for pornography
    Edgar Gerardo Lopez who claimed to be a pastor with an Evangelical Church in Trial Farm village was remanded to prison after he was charged with keeping child pornography. The 60 year old of a Boca de Poder Evangelical Church in Trial Farm Village in the Orange Walk district was arrested after pictures of two nude girls ages 3 and 10 were found on his cellular phone. He appeared in Magistrate’s Court in Orange Walk on Monday April 20 where he was read four counts of producing child pornography two of the counts were for the 3 year old and 2 counts were for the ten year old. Police are also investigating the possibility of whether or not the mother of the children should be charged as she too is pictured along with the little girls. Lopez apparently was having an affair with the mother of the girls. In Court Lopez was denied bail and remanded to prison until June 29, 2015.

    Man denied bail after being charged with burglary and mischievous act
    A Belize City man was remanded to the Hattieville prison after he appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on a charge of burglary and mischievous act. A report was made against him by his ex-girlfriend where she alleged that he entered her home by force without her permission to caused bodily harm to her and thereafter stole her cell phone. On Tuesday April 21, 24 year old Jhovan Mariano appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith in Court #1 to answer to two criminal charges, burglary and mischievous act. Police say that Mariano entered the Ladyville home of 31 year old Kimberly Kingston, on Saturday, April 18, 2015. Whilst at the home he allegedly stole a black Alcatel cell phone valued at $50.00. According to police, after Mariano was escorted to the Ladyville police station,he gave his name to be Rasheed Mariano.

    Mother and son charged with drug trafficking!
    On Friday April 17, a mother and her son were taken to court to answer to a single charge of drug trafficking after police allege that they found them in possession of 314 grams of cannabis. The woman, identified as Dulce Sutherland, a resident of a Mahogany Street Extension address, and her son, 25 year old Elvis Aldana, a resident of #2931 Rivero Street, Belize City, were escorted to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court where they appeared before Magistrate Ladonna John and were represented by attorney, Arthur Saldivar. They were read a single charge of possession of a controlled drug, to wit, 314 grams of cannabis with the intent to supply to another person or persons for the purpose of drug trafficking. Allegations are that on April 15, 2015, they were found in possession of the weed.

    Murder Suicide of couple in Ladyville
    On Sunday night, April 19, at around 8:30, Ladyville residents living on the old airport road, known for the Bowen and Bowen Factory, and also where the BDF Price Barracks compound is located, ended up in front of Mark’s Bar. Well-known Ladyville couple Coleen Sharp and Michael Estell had been discovered dead inside their homes. Forensic evidence suggests that 54 year-old Estell shot his common-law wife to death, and then took his own life shortly afterwards. When the officers went inside they found both of them lying in a pool of blood with Estell’s .380 pistol lying between them. Preliminary investigation was conducted by Dr. Mario Estradabran who found that 30 year-old Coleen Sharp was shot twice in the head. There was also a clutch of her hair which found on the bathroom floor along with Estell’s gold chain, and Sharp’s broken iPhone 6. This along with other evidence suggests that the couple had a violent fight before they died. The working theory is that Estell shot her and then walked around the house for 45 minutes before turning the gun on himself.

    Inquiry Determines Lorenzo Smith Jr. Will Stand Trial for Murder
    A preliminary inquiry (PI) that began on Friday, April 17, into the murder of prison inmate Arturo Eck has determined that there is sufficient evidence for Lorenzo Smith Jr., 29, to be tried in the Supreme Court for murder. Smith is being accused of the October 2009 murder of Arturo Eck, a prison inmate he shared a cell with while on remand at the Belize Central Prison. Eck was found hanging from a beam in his cell. Authorities recently classified Eck’s death as a murder and not suicide as was first thought to be the case. During the PI, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith was presented with a number of statements; including, that of prison officials and the doctor’s post mortem results. Chief Magistrate Smith ruled that there is sufficient evidence to commit the matter for trial in the June Session of the Supreme Court. Eck’s murder was officially classified as suicide. It was not until Wednesday, January 13, 2015 that Smith Jr. was charged with Eck’s murder. Eck was found dead inside his prison cell on Friday, October 9, 2009. He had been convicted of maim and assault and was due to be released in 2010.

    Upsurge in criminal activity in Western Belize
    With the recent upsurge in criminal activity in Western Belize, Police authorities are now warning local residents to be on the alert. Second in command of the San Ignacio Police Formation Reymundo Reyes is encouraging members of the community to report any strange vehicle or person in their area by calling the emergency police line 911 or sending in tips to 922. “They have people who we know are staying within our community at different residences, so if the people are concerned and they are willing to help us let them call,” says Reymundo Reyes. Ernie Bruan, Chairman of the Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association CNWA writes “We are very well aware of this recent increase in criminal activity and are reminding our people to stay alert and active. We rather prevent crime than fighting it. We have different groups again stepping up their alert level and making sure they’re active and keeping an eye on their neighborhoods. I am my brother’s keeper.” We were unable to get a statement from Mayor Earl Trapp this evening in relation to this story as he was busy in his office at the San Ignacio Town Council. However; a councillor from the San Ignacio Town Council was present at the meeting of the CNWA on Wednesday of last week, where the public turnout to the CNWA meeting was larger than usual.

    Crooked Tree Government School girls and Corozal Methodist boys are national primary schools softball champs
    The 2014-2015 National Primary Schools Softball championships came to an end of Friday 17 April, 2015, at Rogers Stadium and the Youth Hostel Field in Belize City. The championship was officially declared open earlier in the morning by Pat Bennett, ISF Hall of Fame member, former President of the Belize Softball Federation and former General Manager of Methodist Schools in Belize. In declaring the championship open she encouraged the student-athletes to give of their best, to play hard and most importantly represent well. In the girls’ championship game, Crooked Tree Government School representing the Belize District edged out Camalote St. Jude Roman Catholic School representing the Cayo District by the score of 2-1. The winning pitcher was Charise Quiros and the losing pitcher was Leonie Aldana. In the third place game, Independence Primary School representing the Stann Creek District defeated Xiabe Roman Catholic School representing the Corozal District by the score of 5-1. The winning pitcher was Rean Ardon and the losing pitcher was Chelsey Hinds.

    South Team wins first NEBL SMART All Star Game
    The National Elite Basketball League staged its first ever SMART All Star Game on Saturday 18 April, 2015, at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town, Cayo District. The players were selected onto two sides representing the geographic north and south sides. In the game played, it was the South Side Team which consisted of players from Dangriga Warriors, Belmopan Red Taigaz, and the Cayo Western Ballaz that went up against the players from the North side which included those from the San Pedro Tigersharks, Orange Walk Running Rebels, Belize City No Limit Team and the Belize Yellow Pages Hurricanes. In an exciting game played, it was the team from the South that won the All Star Game when it defeated the North by the score of 107-98. The top scorers for the South were Farron Louriano with a game high 26 points and 8 rebounds; Richard Troyer scored 21 points and had 6 rebounds, while Trevaughn Usher scored 13 points with Terrel Eskridge scoring 10 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists.

    CCJ will decide who will pay
    For the first time since its establishment the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) held hearings in Belize. The justices of the CCJ, Sir Charles Michael Dennis Byron – President; Justice Rolston Nelson; Justice Adrian Saunders; Justice Jacob Wit; Justice David Hayton; Justice Winston Anderson and Justice Rajnauth-Lee; arrived in country on Saturday April 18 and on Monday April 20 the first case to have been heard was that of the Maya land rights. Before even going into arguments the Government magnanimously conceded that the Maya communal land rights need to be protected instead of dragging it out at the CCJ case. That led way for the second day of hearing on Wednesday April 22 when the only outstanding issue was that of compensation for the Maya people was to be determined. The matter was heard in the courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin before observes from the legal community and other interested parties who packed the courtroom. The first thing on the agenda was the court delivering a consent order which had been entered by the claimants, the Maya representatives and the Government of Belize. In so doing the CCJ affirmed the judgment by the Court of Appeal acknowledging that the Maya have Customary Land Rights.

    Amandala

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    A pair of fishermen fined for offenses
    Belize is currently in closed season for lobster but the lure of a quick buck is irresistible for some and today it cost two fishermen more than $1,500 in fines. 45 year old Keith Barrow and 18 year old Jim Ramirez pleaded guilty to illegal possession of lobster […]

    Belize Bank Duty Free Branch Closing Down
    Reports have been reaching us throughout the day that the Belize Bank Duty Free Branch might be closing down. Workers at the Northern Border Free Zone are claiming that the Bank Branch has notified all its clientele who are currently banking with them at the Duty free zone that they […]

    Maya reflect on significance of CCJ decision; reach out to opponents
    As we reported on Wednesday, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) entered a consent order agreed to by the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) and Toledo Alcaldes Association along with the village leaders of 23 villages in the Toledo District and the Government of Belize, in which the latter […]

    OCEANA continues challenge of draft petroleum guidelines; prepares for court appeal
    In January of this year OCEANA Belize and Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) issued vehement objections to the draft petroleum guidelines for exploration and extraction developed by the Geology and Petroleum Department of the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities following a wide release […]

    Decomposed Body Found Near Haulover Bridge
    Information reaching our news desk is indicating that a body of a man was discovered near the Haulover Bridge in Belize City in an advanced state of decomposition. Police are at the scene investigating. This is a developing story and we will be updating this report as we receive more […]

    Auto mechanics charged for marijuana
    Two auto mechanics, 20 year old Emmeth Rhaburn and 31 year old Alfredo Singh, were charged with drug trafficking for 1.7 kilograms of cannbis when they appeared today before Magistrate Ladonna John. They pled not guilty to the charge and they were each offered a bail of $4,000. Their case was adjourned until June 4. Singh alone was charged with possession of 12 grams of cannabis that was found I the pocket of his pants. He pled guilty to that charge and he was fined $500. He was given until June 30 to pay. If he defaults on payment he will serve 6 months.

    Blogs

    Pros/Cons--Staying in the US for your beach vacation or going somewhere more exotic?
    I am currently in the area of St Pete/Clearwater, Florida, to visit with family and friends, and it has made me think--is it worth going outside the US for a beach vacation?? I will try to put together an unbiased list of what seem to be the pros and cons of each, to help you decide if it is worth it for YOU! What is awesome about staying in the US for your vacation? (Note, some are really obvious:) ) Please enjoy the recent pics I have been taking of the Florida beaches as you read :) (and some stolen from google to enhance certain opinions :)) --You don't need a passport of course! --You can generally get to your place in a couple hours at most, more cheaply than flying internationally.

    10 Awesome Belize Summer Vacations to Book NOW
    It’s never too early to decide on a summer vacation. Knowing you’ve made a plan can help all members of the family get through tough work and school days. Booking a Belize summer vacation is a no-brainer because there’s something every member of the family will love and isn’t that what summer vacations are all about?

    Dr Dolittle and our part time pets
    Many of you will remember Dr. Dolittle from childhood days and later the 1988 movie staring Eddie Murphy. The good doctor was known for being able to communicate with the animals. Recently my neighbour Barb earned that nickname when she started getting a range of Belize Animals near our house to fall in love with her after talking to and feeding them. There is one grackle in particular that actually comes looking for her and talks to her most times she is in the pool. He talks to her and lets her know he is there and then comes down from the mangroves. For those of you who are not familiar with grackles, they are in the blackbird/oriole family and from a distance can sometimes be confused the crow even though they are smaller in size. Unlike crows, grackles have bright yellow eyes. We keep hoping Barb’s has the same behavior patterns as crows as they are known to bring “trinkets” to people who befriend them. So far no luck though but it is still fun to watch the two of them chattering away on a sunny afternoon.

    A Kite Boarding Guide to Ambergris Caye, Belize – Information, Tips and Lots of Inspiration
    One of my badass bucket list items is to kite (naked) under a full moon. THIS just had to be the night. Kiting into my next year in the beautiful tropical island of Belize under an insanely huge pink moon. The only catch was we didn’t know the waters yet, what lurked below and how to best launch the kites from a dock with a thatched palapa, cleat anchors, lamps and other fun catchments like exposed nails and uneven planks of wood. Let’s just say that I cut my toe…and it wasn’t to be. Our first full day on the island, we decided to check out KiteExplorer in San Pedro. Carter had communicated with Audrius about the best places to kite and we were eager to get a ride to what we had seen was gorgeous in photos, the lagoon, the other side of the island. Of course, we salivated over the reef but the boat traffic would make things tougher. There are also more waves, which I like, but taking my freestyle tricks to the next level would be much smoother in shallow flat water.

    The April 19, 2015 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

    This Week's Stories:

    • Trio Charged For Murder:
      A man was found beaten at the Welcome Center in San Igancio. Police received reports that on Saturday, 4 April, 2015, at about 1:27am, of a male person who got beaten. Upon arrival police saw a male person dressed in short blue jeans pants and beige T-Shirt, unconscious with an injury to the right side of the head and was bleeding from the mouth. He was transported to the San Ignacio Community Hospital, where the doctor admitted him in a stable condition. No means of identification was found in his possession and so far no missing person report has been filed. He was later transferred to KHMH where he died. A picture of the John Doe was posted in social media and with the assistance of Coast Guard Personnel; the body was identified as AURELIO MONTERO 23yrs Belizean Coast Guard Officer of Bullet Tree Village.
    • Cruz Brutally Chopped:
      A San Ignacio man was brutally chopped near his home in San Ignacio Town. Police responded to a machete fight near Marianna’s bar at the corner of Blue Bird and 23rd street. Upon arrival no one was in the area so they visited the San Ignacio Medical Hospital. Police notice a Hispanic male person identified as Steven Cruz, 20 year old Belizean labourer, with multiple chop wounds to the back of the head, right wrist and lower foot. Initial investigation revealed that Steven Cruz was socializing with his friends on a veranda at the home of Alejandro Galvez. Whilst they were there a minor came to spoke to Galvez, however, while the minor departed the yard he was upset because Galvez didn’t want to lend him two shirts. Upon departing the minor ottered the words “All ah unu wa get it!”
    • Remembering Peter Tonti:
      It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you of the passing on April 16, 2015, of Mr. Peter Tonti. Mr. Tonti was the CEO of Cahal Pech Village Resort and former 2nd Vice President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA). Mr. Tonti arrived in Belize in the late 1970’s as a Peace Corps Volunteer. After completing his term as volunteer, Mr. Tonti remained in Belize to work in Belmopan for the Reconstruction and Development Corporation, which built and operated the new capital of Belize before it had a municipal government. He later joined the Belmopan Convention Hotel in 1983. From those early days, Peter saw the opportunity Belize held as a thriving tourism destination. He quickly became one of the pioneers at the forefront of the development of the Belize tourism industry. Peter’s accomplishments and contributions for over the past 30 years are countless and immense. He rendered his service to the BTIA wholeheartedly from the inception of the Association as standing member, advisor and later as a Board Member.
    • Belize Not Ready For An Oil Spill!:
      "Belize does not presently have the capacity to address a large oil spill!" Commander Paul Lattanzi of the Regional Activity Centre/ Regional Marine Pollution Emergency, Information and Training Centre RAC/REMPEITC succinctly stated the situation of Belize's lack of preparedness to address oil spills. The comment emanated from a discussion at the Oil Spill Preparedness Sensitization Workshop being held today by the Department of the Environment. It is clear that Belize is not ready for an oil spill from existing threats such as tankers, therefore extremely far off from being prepared for an oil spill from oil exploration in sensitive areas including in watersheds, protected areas and the offshore. While the DOE was quick to note that Belize Natural Energy (BNE) has an oil spill contingency plan and that the planning process to complete the National Oil Spill Contingency Planis ongoing, the fact remains that Belize does not have a comprehensive overarching National Oil Spill Contingency Plan to allow for adequate response to an oil spill. In addition, the current incomplete draft of the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan has been in its draft form for the last 8 years and the current exercise to revise and complete the Plan appears bogged down due to lack of financial resources and political will.
    • Woman Knocked Down:
      Police was called out to an accident that happen only a stone’s throw away from the San Ignacio Police Station. Upon arrival on Buena Visa Street in San Ignacio, the noticed a female lying on the left hand side of the street with cut wounds on her left foot and on both knees. Police investigation revealed that He Yue Li, 39 year old business man of Hudson Street, was driving his white 2005 Ford Ranger pickup on Buena Vista Street heading towards Benque Viejo. As he was reaching the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) office, he started experiencing mechanical problems and noticed that his steering wheel was locked. Li tried to take control of the vehicle and noticed a female and a male person walking down the hill and tried to avoid hitting them but it was too late.
    • Man Charged for Grievous Harm:
      A Santa Elena man is in the hot seat as he is faced with a grievous harm charge. On Thursday, 2 April, 2015, Darryl August, 23 year old Belizean Tour Guide reported to police that around 1:15 am, after socializing with family and friends, dropped off his brother at home on the George Price Highway in Santa Elena near the Hawksworth Bridge. August exited the vehicle to urine and notice a white pickup truck pulled up and two male person exited. August recognize one as Leal and the other as Francis. Francis walked towards him and at about 15 feet away he threw a bottle of rum at him which caught August on his right hand and left side of his chest area.
    • Budna Stabbed:
      The San Ignacio Police are investigating a stabbing incident that happend a popular night club in the area. Police was called out on Saturday, 4 April, 2015, of a stabbing incident at the Blue Angels Night Club. However, after arriving at the vicinity the victim was already transported to the San Ignacio Medical Hospital. Upon arrival they saw a male person who was identified as Melvin Budna, 25 year Belizean laborer of a 3rd street address. Police saw Budna suffering from a stab wound to the left side of his chest where the 6 inch bread knife was still launched inside his body.
    • NEBL Hosts First Ever All Star Game:
      The NEBL resumed after the Easter Break with some key games that had significant playoff implications. 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, at nebl.sportingpulse.net San Pedro Tiger Sharks handed Cayo Western Ballaz their first loss of the season The once undefeated Cayo Western Ballaz (7-1) were handed their first loss by the defending champs, San Pedro Tiger Sharks (6-2) on Saturday night at San Pedro High School in San Pedro Town. The home team was able to secure a 79 - 75 huge victory, reclaiming their repertoire of being a fourth quarter team who displays a great degree of confidence and clutch performance down the stretch. Trailing by 10 in the fourth quarter, San Pedro Tiger Sharks were able to mount a huge come back, sending the game to over-time, where they were able to secure the victory.
    • Ministry Of Health To Officially Inaugurate The National Vaccine Storage Facility:
      The Ministry of Health in partnership with the European Union and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) will be conducting a short ceremony on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 3:00 pm to officially inaugurate the National Vaccine Storage Facility at the Western Regional Hospital Compound. The Ministry of Health is proud to boast that over the last ten years, through our partnerships, we have continued to maintain a minimum of 95% vaccine coverage. While the priority groups for immunization are pregnant women and children under five years of age, all age groups are covered by the expanded program on immunization. Vaccination services are provided countrywide at both public and private health facilities.
    • Tonnes Of Dead Fish Removed From Rio Olympic Rowing Venue:
      Brazilian workers have removed more than 33 tonnes of dead fish from the 2016 Olympic rowing and canoeing venue in Rio de Janeiro. A team of more than 60 people have been working since last week to clear the remains from Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. Scientists said the fish were starved of oxygen because of pollution. Water quality has also been a major concern for organisers in Guanabara Bay, where Olympic sailing events are due to be held. The overwhelming smell at the lagoon has led to complaints from residents and members of local rowing clubs.
    • Two Men Shot - One Dead:
      Jermaine Welcome and Allen Garbutt were shot early Saturday morning. At about 1:30 a.m. the men were in Roaring Creek Village. While socializing amongst a group, a gunman opened fire and bullets caught both men. Welcome was killed and Garbutt is in critical condition. The official report stated that on Saturday, 4 April, 2015 at about 1:30 a.m., police responded to a shooting incident in Roaring Creek Village and visited the Western Regional Hospital where they saw 24-year-old Allan Garbutt of Roaring Creek Village being attended to suffering from apparent gunshot wounds to the right hip and shoulder. The other victim was 24-year-old Jermaine Welcome also of Roaring Creek Village, who received a gunshot to his lower back and had passed away while undergoing surgery.
    • Brain Tumor cancers. In children younger than 15,:
      A brain tumor or intracranial neoplasm occurs when abnormal cells form within the brain. There are two main types of tumors: malignant or cancerous tumors and benign tumors. Cancerous tumors can be divided into primary tumors that started within the brain and those that spread from somewhere else known as brain metastasis tumors. This article deals mainly with tumors that start within the brain. All types of brain tumors may produce symptoms that vary depending on the part of the brain involved. These may include headaches, seizures, problem with vision, vomiting, and mental changes. The headache is classically worst in the morning and goes away with vomiting. More specific problems may include difficulty in walking, speaking and with sensation. As the disease progresses unconsciousness may occur.
    • HIV: New Approach Against Virus 'Holds Promise':
      The first human trial of a new type of HIV therapy suggests it could be a promising weapon in the fight against the virus. Reports in the journal Nature show infusions of so-called broadly neutralising antibodies could suppress the amount of HIV in a patient's blood. The approach uses clones of immune proteins taken from a rare individual who has natural control of the disease. Scientists hope with further work this could bolster current treatments. 'Profound effects' People naturally mount a defence against the virus by producing an army of protein based weapons - antibodies. But in most cases these are not powerful enough to defeat it. The international research team harvested copies of unusually potent ones, capable of neutralising many different strains of HIV.
    • STAR Humor
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    Videos

  • Snorkeling with Bonefish in Belize, 1min. Peaceful swim with a huge school of bonefish Long caye, Glovers reef.

  • Whalesharks in Belize, 4min. We got lucky and found whale sharks in just one day of diving out of Placencia.

  • Ambergris Caye Belize, 5min.

  • Pooks Hill Lodge Belize, 5min.

  • Low Tide Walk with Slickrock #1 ~ Belize, 15sec. All kinds of fun things under the rocks during low tide...different varieties of starfish too

  • Rescuers Save Injured Newborn Monkey From Poachers, 5min. A tiny newborn monkey had been hurt and snatched by poachers and did not have much hope of surviving. But thanks to the quick actions of authorities and veterinarians, the baby is getting a second chance. After receiving a call about a poached spider monkey, the Belize Forest Department located and confiscated the baby within 3 hours. She was suffering form shock and dehydration, which is the leading cause of death in poached wildlife and was rushed to Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic in order to save her life. They named her Izzie and while rehydrating her, they also discovered she had a broken arm. An X-ray revealed she was suffering from even more broken bones caused by shots from a pellet gun. In the video you’ll see the veterinarians caring for Lizzie. Stay tuned to the end for photos of her recovering! Whereas her chance of surviving at the hands of her poachers was slim, thanks to her rescuers Izzie has a chance to return to her wild home.

  • Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Belize - Ben's Bluff Trail,2.5 min.

  • Belize, 14min.

  •       | Dive into Blue Hole in Belize, 8min.        .

    April 23, 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

    Caye Notes: Football Marathon and Family Church Day
    San Pedro Sports Committee to host Football Marathon: Mundialito Football Soccer Tournament-1On Sunday, April 26th, the San Pedro Sports Committee will be hosting an all-day Football Marathon at the Honorable Louis Sylvester Sporting Arena. The marathon will be divided into two categories: Under 10 and Under 14. Games are scheduled to start at 11AM. Trophies and medals will be awarded to the top three finishers in each category, as well as individual awards. There will be music and lots of food and drinks on sale. All families are invited to come out and support the young footballers of San Pedro. Teams are to register before 10:30AM on Sunday. For more information on registration details contact Councilor Hector “Tito” Alamilla at 623-0772. Family Church Day: The San Pedro Roman Catholic Church is inviting the general public for a family Sunday on the 26th April 2015. The day will start with a 10AM Mass, followed by free food for families, games for kids and live music until 5PM. Let’s all come together as brothers and sisters and making our island SAFE!

    Walk for a Green Belize 2015
    Last year the Department of the Environment, in conjunction with the Belize Solid Waste Management Authority and the Belize Audubon Society, carried out a Walk For A Green Belize activity. Walk For A Green Belize is a clean-up activity conducted by numerous organizations, students, activists, both government and non-government agencies, and the general public. The activity resulted in the collection of 1,800 (30 to 50 gallon-sized) bags of garbage yielding a weight of 6,226 pounds! As we gear up for the celebration of Earth Day 2015, the Department of the Environment is once again collaborating on the “Walk For A Green Belize” cleanup. This event is aimed at building awareness and sustaining a culture of an environmentally friendly and conscious Belize! This year, the “Walk For A Green Belize” will be held on Saturday, April 25th 2015 along the entire George Price Highway encompassing a total of 77 miles of roadway. It will begin at 7:00 am and expected to conclude at 12:00 pm.

    Another VIP Environmental Success Story
    Press Release – VISION INSPIRED BY THE PEOPLE – April 20, 2015 - As part of the VISION INSPIRED BY THE PEOPLE (VIP)’s commitment to reduce plastics on San Pedro, on January 18th, the VIP San Pedro Chapter contacted the US Embassy, making them aware of the growing bio-degradable pollution on the island and requesting the introduction of their Recycle Shopping Bag Program in San Pedro. The US Embassy accepted the invitation and asked us to contact supermarkets which would be interested in participating. Through these efforts, Super Buy and Save On gladly accepted to participate and be part of this very important environmental program.

    Hurricanes defeat the Tiger Sharks
    With four weeks remaining in the regular season of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL), lower ranking teams are pulling off surprises. One of the big surprises was the match between San Pedro Tiger Sharks and Belize Yellow Pages Hurricanes. The Tiger Sharks were narrowly defeated on Friday April 17th in Belize City, when the Hurricanes made good on their promise of turning The Tiger Sharks into “panades”. When the game kicked off inside the Belize Elementary School Gymnasium on Friday night, San Pedro Tiger Sharks boasted six wins and two losses, while The Hurricanes had two wins and six losses. But the Hurricanes were in to clamp down the jaws of the mighty Tiger Sharks – they came ready to fish! When the game got started, both teams tested the waters on the court, and when the first quarter culminated, San Pedro Tiger Sharks had a small lead of three points. But that was the only lead the Sharks would hold on to, because the Hurricanes turned up the pressure on them. At halftime, they were both 41 points apiece. The Hurricanes were not done with the Tiger Sharks just yet, and they decided to blow harder. Into the third quarter, the Hurricanes took control of the ball and began dominating the unfocused Tiger Sharks. The Hurricanes blew into the fourth quarter with a one-point lead, which they were able to protect throughout the last part of the match. When the time on the clock began to close, the Tiger Sharks tried every possible move, but none worked in their favor. The Hurricanes managed to end the game with 83 to 81 points, picking up the big W and setting off a major upset for the defending champs.

    Ambergris Today

    VIP Party Pushes Recyclable Shopping Bag Program in Ambergris Caye
    As part of the Vision Inspired by the People (VIP)’s commitment to reduce plastics on San Pedro, on January 18th, the VIP San Pedro Chapter contacted the US Embassy, making them aware of the growing bio-degradable pollution on the island and requesting the introduction of their Recyclable Shopping Bag Program in San Pedro. The US Embassy accepted the invitation and tasked the VIP to contact supermarkets which would be interested in participating. Through these efforts, Super Buy and Save On gladly accepted to participate and be part of this very important environmental program. The VIP Team relayed this to the US Embassy personnel and is now pleased to announce that thanks to its leadership idea the program was launched today, April 22, 2015, to coincide with Earth Day 2015, by the Embassy, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    WALK FOR A GREEN BELIZE 2015
    In order to ensure the safety of the volunteers cleaning up both sides of the highway from Benque Viejo del Carmen to Belize City and up through Ladyville area, the Police Department and Department of Transport will be setting up courtesy checkpoints at strategic points along the George Price Highway to inform drivers to drive with extreme care. The Department of the Environment (DOE) would like to remind motorists, passengers and the general public travelling along Belize’s roadways that littering is a violation of our laws for which a ticket can be issued and carry a fine of $100.00 for a person. Littering creates a huge environmental challenge in terms of land and water contamination and impacts to wildlife and landscape aesthetics. Through this medium, the DOE is inviting all interested persons to join us in this important effort, as well as invite the media houses to cover this important event.

    Sam Hamilton One Night Only!
    COME EARLY -- LIMITED IF YOU MISSED THE INTERNATIONAL RED CARPET AFFAIR HERE IS YOUR CHANCE TO SEE THE ONE AND ONLY LEGENDARY MR. SAM HAMILTON UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL THIS FRIDAY @ 8PM./BOMBAY LOUNGE @ LITTLE BELIZE

    September Celebrations Theme Competition
    Do you have a good idea for the theme of this year's September Celebrations? You could win $1000 if it's the winner. It must be 10 words or less, and the deadline for submission is May 29th. Good luck!

    BELIZE FISHING REPORT: Week of April 12th – April 18th, 2015
    Record permit catches, good solid tarpon fishing.... life is good! Despite some windy days the anglers that persevered were rewarded. Tom was able to land his first tarpon of his fishing career during his short trip here to Ambergris Caye (Grand Slam capitol of the world). Ted's heart was broken when he lost the tarpon of his dreams, but he will be back for more to even the score. Norm managed to get a tarpon to cooperate on his last day. Steve added another tarpon to his trip, Rhonda got a 50-pound beauty to her hand, but Leah one upped her with a 60 pound tarpon that refused to give up.

    House Break In, Tres Cocos: "Apparently I surprised them, they dropped one thing on the way out. Home made ladder was hidden in the bushes, they watched til I walked the dog. Beware 2nd and 3rd flr dwellers." A comment by another said a Tres Cocos business also had a robbery attempt. Heads up, neighbors.

    Latest scam, San Pedro: Two women are going around town asking for donations to fix their house in Dangriga. They saw me at Celi's on the golf cart with our logo and then later came to the office saying that the boss told them to come for a donation. There is no Town Council stamp on their letter.

    BOLEDO DRAWING for Wednesday, April 22, 2015: 50

    Protein Pancakes/Paleo or Wheat Belly
    Jada shows us how to make protein pancakes using only 3 ingredients. This dish is satisfying and is great for keeping your energy levels up.

    Western Ballaz Host Warriors
    The Western Ballaz are hosting the Dangriga Warriors this Friday. The Ballaz have the best record in the league. The after party will be at Thirsty Thursday. "Play off time is around the corner and we need every win to secure home court advantage. Let's come out and cheer on our Western Ballaz. See you Friday, April 24th at 9pm."

    Top 15 Reasons to Visit the “NEW” Running W Steakhouse
    Agreed! The newly refurbished Running W Steakhouse in the SIRH is awesome. They've listed the top 15 reasons to check it out, saving us from doing anything but going and enjoying it all. They are in the top 10, number 7 right now, on Trip Advisor. Keep up the great...food! "Looking for familiarity but something completely NEW? Then stop by our Running W Steakhouse & Restaurant located in the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Recent renovations have transformed this restaurant into a welcoming space with upscale ambiance and casual elegance. The upgrades also introduced the modern Baroque-themed Lobby Bar featuring signature cocktails and unique appetizers."

    Cristo Rey Mural Project
    The Cristo Rey primary school has a new mural. It was done with the help of many of the visiting Ontario College of Art and Design students, and the Winsom Foundation. Thanks, OCAD! "Ever tried doing a mural with thirty-five little eight and nine year old. Each having their own creative Wisdom ....I watched two masters handle it very well Quentin Babatundé VerCetty and Sam Gottlieb you are true artist and excellent teachers .... More mural pictures ..Thank you Cristo Rey RC school for being such great host to the OCAD University students and the Winsom Foundation."

    Benque Viejo Female Basketball Promo
    They have a cool promo for the BVFB. This Saturday, the Crusaders and the Interstellars play first, and then the Queen B's play Mopan Tech. "Follow us at www.facebook.com/benquefemalebasketball All games are played at Deacon's Court on Saturday's every fortnight as of 7 PM."

    History tour at the BTL Park in Belize City
    Today the Belize City Council in collaboration with NICH launched its history tour at the BTL Park in Belize City...The purpose of the information stops is so that vistors can read and learn about the rich history of the space formerly known as Linbergh's Landing or the Barracks...now BTL Park!

    Las Cuevas Research Station
    Three years ago FCD took over management and administration of the Las Cuevas Research Station located in the heart of the Chiquibul Forest. The station is upgraded and ready for this season of University visits. We welcome the groups for the 2015 season. To learn more about the station visit us at www.lascuevas.org or write us at: fcd.lcrs@gmail.com

    Channel 7

    Alleged GOB Funds Fraudster Nasley Somerville Dismissed; GOB No Closer to Recovering 367k
    Nasley Somerville – her name first came to national attention in October of 2013, when we reported that 189 cheques which totaling $367,000 were fraudulently drawn from the account over three years. As Administrator of the Southern Regional Hospital, the Auditor General found that Somerville was responsible. She was suspended on half pay and the report was handed over to police. Tonight the news is that she has been dismissed by the Public Service Commission. She will no longer receive the half pay she was getting while on suspension. This was confirmed in a letter sent to her on Monday from the commission. This is after she appeared before them twice this year. She denied signing the almost 200 cheques, and said the signature was not hers. Somerville can still appeal to the Belize Advisory Council – but at this point she stands dismissed from the public service.

    CCJ Settles Communal Land Rights Case; Crowds Inside and Outside Court
    The courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin was filled to capacity this morning for a session of the Caribbean Court of Justice. Observers, both from the general public and the legal community, crowded in to hear arguments made in the Maya Customary Lands Rights case, which was argued before the Caribbean Court of Justice. But, before that case could begin, the Court delivered the consent order which was entered into by the Mayan claimants and the Government of Belize. The court formally declared that the judgment of the Court of Appeal is affirmed meaning that Maya Customary Land Rights exist. The court also formally accepted Government's undertaking to develop - in consultation with the Mayans - the necessary administrative and legal steps to protect those land rights. That will include land ownership rights at the Lands Department, and any other agreed upon terms between the Mayan communities and the Government. A very important portion of the consent order is that the Government has to consult with the Mayan people about how outside persons or entities will get permission to exploit resources inside Maya Customary Lands. The Government cannot grant concessions, permits, for resource exploitation - such as logging permits and oil exploration concessions, and land titles - without first consulting with the Villages which own that land. Notably, the court also declared that it retrains the jurisdiction to supervise that the Government commitments are carried out. It has set April 30, 2016 as day when the litigants will report back to the court as to progress of the implementation of Customary Land Rights System.

    Press Conference To Reflect On Gains
    After the case, the Maya Leaders in support of the decision held an impromptu press conference at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel. We attended, and here's what they had to say a few hours ago: Alfonso Cal - President, TAA "I'm glad, you know why? Because the majority is with me. The majority is with us. The community is seeing now what we are achieving. We have come so far but they're yet to go. But we pray god - that god will help us because we are people not fighting with gun or machete but with justice. Our rights, we have our mouth, we need to speak. That's why I'm not ashamed today, for 3 decades; I start when I was young and up to this date, I'm really happy to see my people, that they were with us together." Martin Chen - Chairman, MLA "Today, the world knows what we are doing here in the country of Belize. It's not only Belize, the world knows why we are here today. So, I must thank you all for coming. I know some of us wake up. I was taking my bathe in the river, 1 o'clock this morning. I got on the road side 3 o'clock in the morning. Maybe some of us get tired and depressed - but we need to be here today. So, I must thank you all, ladies and gentlemen, who are here today with us. Like Mr. Cal said yes, we have some little group on the side that don't like us. They do not understand what we are struggling for. But like Mr. Cal said, we are fighting the cause them and also - not only for us here, for every Maya."

    Belize Bank Loses Correspondent Bank Relationship With Bank of America
    The Belize Bank is Belize’s largest bank – controlling about half of the banking sector, and it’s Belize’s largest domestic lender – but tonight the bank is preparing for a significant change in operations. That’s because as of April 30th., it will lose its correspondent banking relationship with the Bank of America. This means that the bank will no longer be able to do international banking transactions such as wire transfers to or from the US. Importantly, it will still be able to do credit card business as usual. We spoke with Lyndon Guiseppi, the CEO for BCB Holdings and he told us that the vast majority of the Bank’s clients - more than 90% - will not be affected by this. He called it “a manageable phenomenon” and says that the bank is “transitioning smoothly” by reaching out to all its clients who use these services to give them a list of alternatives. He said those customers who need to send a wire can do it through the Central Bank or other commercial banks. Guiseppi said the bank does not anticipate “a major fallout or major impact on day to day operations” and typical clients who go to the bank to deposit, withdraw, borrow or pay on credit cards will experience nothing different. He stressed that it is not a liquidity problem but a regulatory issue coming form the United States. When we asked if the bank will shrink as a consequence of this, Guiseppi said his bank is “still able to do the largest loans in Belize and can still generate foreign exchange through its credit card business.”

    Matura Shepherd Responds To Dylan Reneau
    On Monday’s newscast we told you all about former NTUCB President Dylan Reneau’s letter to Audrey Matura Shepherd, urging her to simmer down in her criticism of labour Senator Ray Davis and, furthermore, to apologize to Davis. Well today the media caught up with Matura-Shepherd at a press conference held by the VIP party – which she advises. She said she will not get into a back and forth:… Audrey Matura-Shepherd - CWU President "You, it's a pity that we'd reach this point where it's gotten personal. Yes Mr. Dylan Reneau sent and e-mail and I think that e-mail was strategically sent just when the meeting was starting with the GC of the NTUCB. It was sent, I did not read it before the meeting, but it was read the meeting. It was addressed to me, clearly it was addressed so it could be leaked to the media, so that the distraction about what the petrocaribe bill is about can continue. Clearly they want to circle the wagon around me but they picked the wrong person because they have skeletons in the closet, I don't have any.

    Effect of Mayan Communal Land Rights Ruling For US Capital Energy?
    At the top of the news, we gave a blow by blow of today’s huge appeal case, which was heard by the Caribbean Court of Justice in Belize today. So, what effect does this consent order have on the case brought by the Mayans against the Government of Belize because it granted an oil exploration permit to US Capital Energy? Viewers may remember that US Capital has a permit to explore for oil inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park, which the Mayans say that the Government granted to them without consultation within the Mayan communities. They asserted that this was especially important because if, by some misfortune, the Temash Drill site were somehow to get out of control and there is a spill or some sort of environmental hazard emerged, they would be the ones directly impacted by a decision they had no say in. It also sparked great controversy when the claimants harshly criticized the government for its decision to extend that permit by waiving the expiration date last year after the case ended up before the Supreme Court. The last we heard of that case was that it was to have been taken through the process of court ordered mediation. We asked SATIIM's Executive Director for an update, as well as her opinion of how this victory before the CCJ could possibly affect that case. The main issue in that case, is whether or not the Government was correct to grant that permit without consultation with the Mayans. This new consent order delivered today says that the Government cannot make any sort of decisions, such as this permit, without involving the Mayans in that decision. Froyla Tzalam told us this afternoon that SATIIM will look at the judgment in the context of that permit to US Capital that they are challenging:

    BTL Park, Not Only Recreation But History
    The BTL Park: it has become a popular recreational spot for city residents but from now on, it will be known for more than that. This morning the Belize City Council launched a public exhibit at the BTL Park. The exhibit features the historical narrative and significance of the area – incorporating the landing of Charles Lindbergh on “The Spirit of St. Louis” in the 1927. Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley told us about the vision he has for this space. Darrell Bradley - Mayor of Belize City "One of the things, I was very pleased with the exhibit that's being launched this morning is that, this space mad many purposes for the city. One of the reasons why Charles Lindbergh landed here is because it was used as an airstrip. That's one the reasons why the municipal airstrip is close by because it was one long area. This is something that I myself have barely know, so there is things we can learn even if you look at the 14 panels, which trace the usage of the park from the 1800s to today's date. These are things which many Belizeans may not know about and I think it tells a story of the place, how it has been in the past and how it's growing and evolving for the benefit of our community.

    CCJ Upholds Minister of Education's 2008 Suspension
    In 2008, it made major news when the Ministry of Education suspended the Principal and Vice Principal of Escuela Secundaria Technica Mexico in the Corozal district. Juanita Lucas and Celia Carillo sued the Ministry saying the suspensions were illegal. The suspensions were set aside by the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal which found that the ministry did not have that power. But Carillo and Lucas went to the CCJ, alleging that the way the investigation was conducted and the way they were suspended violated their fundamental rights such as the right to work, the protection of the law and the right to equal protection. They asked the court to award them damages for these breaches. Today the CCJ dismissed the appeal, when it found that the suspensions were not to punish the Lucas and Carillo, but to allow a proper inquiry into the problems at the school. The court found that no disciplinary action had been taken against them to trigger the protection of the Constitution. The Court noted that the right to work was not a guarantee of continued employment and there was no inference with the Appellants’ ability to continue practising their profession. And because they could not prove that any constitutional rights were breached, no award of damages was be made and the alleged hurt feelings and embarrassment suffered by the Appellants could be addressed in the laws relating to defamation, malicious falsehood and judicial review.

    Cordel Has Title, King Backs Down
    Two days ago we told you about the land dispute in Lake Independence between Cordel Hyde’s PUP Committee and Mark King;s UDP Committee. The dispute centres over a parcel of land behind the CB Hyde Complex building. When Hyde was in office – his Lake I Action Committee erected a concrete structure on the property. It burnt down before the 2008 election, and in October of 2014, King’s GOB for UDP Lake Independence Committee got a title for the land. Only problem is, Hyde said he already had a title going back to 2007 – except he couldn’t find it, while King had his handy. Well, Hyde today got a copy of the title and showed it to us. Indeed, it goes back to 2007 and seems to defeat King’s one from 7 years later. Now, how two titles appeared for one piece of land is a question that stumps us – and the answer is probably buried deep in the bowels of the Department of Lands. Today, King publicly yielded to the 2007 title, saying in a release, quote,

    Observing Earth Day By Planting Trees
    On Monday we told you about how the Audubon Society was giving away free Mahogany trees. Well it was all in an effort to commemorate Earth Day which is celebrated today. The planting of trees continued as 15 more were planted at the Guanacaste Park in Belmopan. While we know the cultural and environmental significance of planting these trees, the coordinators of today’s event introduced another angle which surround the topic of road safety. A total of 25 trees were planted – 15 were planted at the Guanacaste Park and 10 will be planted at the Rio Bravo Conservation Management area.

    Making Mediation Work
    Restore Belize wants to show you how to solve conflicts. Today Restore Belize held its 3rd conflict mediation forum at the ITVET. School counsellors, principals as well as students delivered feedback on the progress of their conflict mediation efforts to see how the program can move forward and extend into the wider community. We spoke with two of the peer helpers and they told us that this program has had an impact on their classmates. Sandra Cadle - Coordinator "The schools are not solely responsible to keep students in school, we need to look at what are some support system the school have to ensure that - that happens. We also looking at the roles of social institutions in ensuring that students remain in school because we're all charged with that responsibility to do so." Courtney Weatherburne "Generally the main focus always is youth, making sure they're in school and that they can handle conflict or issues in their lives - personal and academic." Sandra Cadle "A part from in school youths, we're also looking at out of school youths as well. As you know we have serious issue in the streets and so we need to look at positive ways to respond to conflict situation. It's not only school based approach, we're also looking at unattached youths. On a whole how to bring young people together and to help them to resolve conflict in a positive manner."

    Channel 5

    Mayans Win Landmark Land Rights Case
    The Caribbean Court of Justice, the final appellate jurisdiction for Belize, has affirmed Maya customary land rights in a milestone judgment handed down earlier today in Belize City.  In delivering [...]

    Decision to Take Effect By March 2016
    In addressing a gathering during a press conference at the Biltmore immediately following the decision, MLA spokesperson Cristina Coc reiterated that a debt of gratitude is owed to the leadership [...]

    G.O.B.’s Attorney Discusses Damages Sought
    Government’s attorney, Senior Counsel Denys Barrow, prior to making his submission before the Caribbean Court of Justice earlier today, raised a preliminary objection, stating that there had never been a [...]

    Barrow Says Mayans Are Not Entitled to Moral Damages
    According to Barrow, the fact that the Maya were deprived of their rights during colonialism, doesn’t make them any better than other ethnicities, including Mestizos and Garinagu, as it pertains [...]

    Some Mayans Protest Communal Land
    This morning, dozens of men, women and children from thirty-eight indigenous communities in the south gathered at the Battlefield Park in anticipation of the CCJ’s ruling on the issue of [...]

    Cristina Coc Says Mayans Free to Choose
    Cristina Coc, spokesperson for the Maya Leaders Alliance, told News Five this afternoon that the objections raised by the gathering are merely statements of preference, since they are free to [...]

    P.U.P. Congratulates Mayans on Victory
    The People’s United Party has issued a release congratulating the Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes’ Association on the historic achievement of winning recognition from the Government of Belize [...]

    Matura-Shepherd Lashes Out at N.T.U.C.B. Past President
    The Petrocaribe Bill 2015, and peripheral issues arising from its implementation, continues to feature prominently in the news. Just about everybody is speaking up on the controversial bill passed just [...]

    Is Political Office in Matura-Shepherd’s Future?
    Matura-Shepherd sat at the head-table at a conference today hosted by the Vision Inspired by the People. And since it’s becoming apparent that the attorney, activist and thorn in the [...]

    PAC Chairman, Julius Espat, Not Impressed with Petrocaribe
    Debate over the controversial continues to heat up, with the unions, churches and business sector all coming out squarely against it. The P.U.P. has as well, and later you’ll see [...]

    Espat Says G.O.B.’s PR Push is Political Spin
    Espat told News Five that the original rationale behind the Petrocaribe program, conceptualized and implemented by the late President Hugo Chavez, has been bastardized to further the political ambitions of [...]

    Changes in P.U.P. Imminent
    And from Petrocaribe to P.U.P. politics… Reports have circulated of high-level changes in the party following the devastating loss in municipal elections. Espat wouldn’t offer details, since he says those [...]

    V.I.P. Gets Set to Hit the Streets
    This morning, the V.I.P. jumped on board with the church, unions, business sector and P.U.P. – at least when it comes to roundly criticizing the Petrocaribe Bill. At a press [...]

    …Renews Call for Transparency
    And although Petrocaribe dominated the conference which lasted almost two hours, there were other issues. V.I.P. front man Bobby Lopez reiterated the Party’s position on declaration of assets under the [...]

    V.I.P. Demands a Re-registration Exercise
    And finally, the V.I.P. called for a re-registration exercise to clean up voters’ lists which are widely believed to be anything but accurate. It’s an exercise which is a long [...]

    CitCo Launches New Initiatives at B.T.L. Park
    The Belize City Council today launched several new initiatives at the newly refurbished B.T.L. Park on Princess Margaret Drive. Among the many features added to the infrastructure were fourteen display [...]

    BAS Celebrates Earth Day at Guanacaste Park
    The world is celebrating the forty-fifth anniversary of Earth Day. It’s a special day to honor and appreciate nature. For Belize, N.G.O.s use the day to raise awareness of environmental [...]

    UB Students Raise Earth Day Awareness
    And from Guanacaste Park to the University of Belize- the Earth Day celebration continues. We stopped in at UB to check out the festivities, where visiting students were able to [...]

    CTV3

    Island Cops Of San Pedro Discovers Illicit Drugs And Ammunition While Conducting Raid
    There is much that is being done to curb the increase of crime in San Pedro Town. According to officials, their searches and spontaneous raids are proving successful but short on convictions. As a result several searches conducted in one day have yielded the discovery of illicit drugs and illegal firearms. Island cops says on yesterday’s date, at about 12:30 p.m., police officers conducted searches in the San Pedrito area where they discovered (1) black in color magazine Taurus Brand, (7) 9mm live rounds, (1) 3.80 live rounds, (6) .38mm live rounds, (3) 16 gauge live rounds and 20.36 grams of Cannabis. In another incident, police officers conducted a search in the Boca del Rio area were they discovered a large parcel which was wrapped in transparent plastic wrap amounting to 4.18 pounds of Cannabis.

    Andrew Ramirez Talks About His Transfer From Corozal
    In the weeks ahead there should be some reshuffling within the police formations in the northern part of the country. Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, Officer Commanding the Corozal Police Formation is slated to take over in San Ignacio Town while the current OC of the Orange Walk Police Formation take over his post in Corozal Town. Superintendent Ramirez says that in the second week of June, he intends to have a public meeting to introduce the incoming commander, Superintendent Dennis Arnold to the Corozal community. Well, that is about two months away, so why so early? Well, Superintendent Ramirez will be going on leave soon and may not be available to extend that invitation and therefore took the opportunity to do so in an interview conducted with him on Tuesday.

    Corozal Methodist Primary School Wins Math Olympiad
    On last night’s newscast we highlighted the accomplishments of the Corozal Methodist Primary School in sports. Tonight, the school is once again in the news for more outstanding performances. This time, we highlight two students who did well on a local competition that was held at the Corozal Community College Open Day last Thursday. That competition was a math Olympiad that was based on problems that students are reviewing for the Primary School Examinations. Sylvino Chi is the standard six teacher at the school. Sylvino Chi – Teacher, STD 6 “The competition was challenging and the children manage to win this game.” Dalila Ical – Reporter “Is this the first time that the school wins this competition?” Sylvino Chi – Teacher, STD 6 “No, we have won before and well CCC had it better this year because they recognize the students this year and gave them their trophies and so it was a great experience for them and honestly I feel very good that we found out that the students are doing excellent and it brings me great satisfaction knowing that they are prepared for this exam, the PSE. I want to thank the parents and the students and the Principal of the school for giving the students that opportunity and we are hoping that they will do well for the PSE.”

    BSI/ASR Celebrates Earth Day
    Across the globe today, it was celebrated and observed as Earth Day which has been an annual event since 1970. On This day, organizations, entities and individuals increase their mindfulness and create a fun and sustainable event in observance. Joining those that observed the day was the Belize Sugar Industries and the American Sugar Refinery (ASR) group of companies. The company says they are committed to continually strive to reduce their carbon footprint, reduce and recycle their waste and increase their resource efficiency. Today, officials at the sugar industry took a pioneering approach of integrating sustainability directly into its business model, driving significant impacts on the ecosystem, environment and public health. Zeidy Cruz is the Regional Environmental Health and Safety Manager for Belize and Mexico.

    Mexican/Belizean Charged For Possession Of Illicit Drugs And Ammunition
    Police in Corozal Town arrested and charged a Mexican/Belizean businessman for having in his possession illicit drugs and ammunition. The report says that on Tuesday around 3pm, Police who were on mobile patrol on 7th Avenue Corozal Town, spotted a red car with Mexican license plates being driven by 41-year-old Martin Barkman Hiebert, Mexican/Belizean Businessman of #8 Margaret Street, Belmopan City, Cayo District. As a result of the search inside his right front pants pocket Police found two (2) small clear plastic containing white powdery substance suspected to be cocaine. The findings were shown to him and he was informed of the offence committed, caution and placed under arrest. A further searched of his front shirt pocket lead to the discovery of (3) .22 live ammunition. He was asked to produce a gun license for the said ammunition but was unable to. Barkman was arrested and charged for the offences of “Possession of Controlled Drugs and Kept Unlicensed Ammunition.”

    CCJ Dismisses Appeal Case By Two Senior Principals
    The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) today dismissed an appeal by two senior principals who claimed that the manner in which they were suspended breached their fundamental rights such as the right to work, the protection of the law and the right to equal protection. Viewers may recall that in 2008, the unrest took place at the Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico in San Roman Village when Minister of Education Patrick Faber had just taken up the education portfolio. Juanita Lucas and Celia Carillo, the Principal and Vice Principal of the school reported that the teachers refused to cooperate with them, and parents of the students started to resist them, and so Faber took disciplinary action against them, which he did not have the authority to do. A team was sent to the school to look into the cause of the conflict. Following their report, the Chief Education Officer sent the two appellants on leave with full pay, pending formal disciplinary action.

    Four Men charged For Arson In August Pine Ridge
    On Monday we told you about a fire that left one villager of August Pine Ridge homeless after the blaze rapidly consumed his residence late Saturday night. And when we left you, police had detained four persons they believed were responsible for the incident. After police concluded their investigations, the four men were escorted to the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court this morning where they were charged for arson. The men are identified as 23 year old Joseph Tzul, 21 year old Gudiel Madrid, 18 year old Mark Castellanos and a 16 year old minor. Since the matter is an indictable the men are scheduled to reappear in court on June 8th.

    Police Officer Formally Arraign In Court For Charge Of Rape
    Last night we told you about a police officer from the Corozal formation who was being investigated for the alleged rape of a 14 year old female minor. And today, 35 year old Cyril Casimiro was escorted to the Orange Walk Magistrate’s court to be formally arraigned. Casimiro, Police Officer #1093 was charged for the crimes of Rape and Wounding. For context, the minor who was in the company of her mother visited the Corozal police station where she reported that on Monday afternoon while she was walking on Antonio Sosa Drive in the Altamira area; she met a male person whom she knows as a police officer. The cop who was driving his police issued motorbike offered to give her a ride home. But the girl reported that he drove to an area by the sea off Consejo Road where he had sexual intercourse with her against her will.

    PlusTV

    Investigation of Treasury Department theft continues; officer put on leave
    Last week Prime Minister Dean Barrow confirmed that some $500,000 was taken from the Public Treasury at the Central Bank Building in Belize City. Officials in the Department are accused of deliberately diverting funds by substituting a false bank account number...

    UDP offers legal interpretation of Petrocaribe Loans Act
    On Monday morning, legal advisor to the United Democratic Party (UDP) Senior Counsel Michael Young and Financial Secretary to the Government of Belize Joseph Waight appeared on LOVE FM‘s morning show to present the Government’s take on the Petrocaribe Loans Act, 2015, passed to controversial circum...

    2012 clip shows PM knew Petrocaribe money was a loan
    The argument for producing the controversial PetroCaribe Loans Act is that the funds were not really a loan...

    Depopulation of Chickens in Spanish Lookout Farms continue
    A couple of weeks ago, the Belize Agricultural Health Authority, BAHA, commenced the mass eradication of poultry in the Spanish lookout community after it was confirmed that a number of chickens were affected with the avian influenza virus, a low pathogenic disease commonly found in birds...

    Matute and Conorquie families receive payments from Government
    The families of Janae Matute, the Belmopan high schooler suffering from cerebral palsy due to a doctor’s miscalculation of her delivery date, and Daniel Conorquie, the special constable gunned down in the Caracol Archaeological Reserve last September, are receiving payments from the Government of Be...

    Fatal Hit and Run in the south
    We have reported on a number of hit and run accidents over the past few months and today there is another one to report, this time fatal. Early this morning, Tuesday April 21 at about 1:15 a.m...

    Policeman accused of raping 14 year old girl
    A 14 year old girl has reported being raped on Monday April 20. The child of Corozal Town visited the Corozal Police Station in the company of her mother and reported that earlier that day at about 1:00 p.m...

    Man charged for Break in at ex’s house
    There have been a number of reports recently of relationships gone bad, resulting in violence, even murder. Today, another relationship gone bad has made it to the court room...

    Man Wanted For Robbery of Quality Poultry Truck
    Belmopan Police are one step closer to solving the case of the robbery of the quality poultry truck. As we told you on Friday last week, just before our newscast a quality poultry delivery truck was stolen as it was parked outside of Mary’s Shop in Salvapan Area, Belmopan...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    We Need to Acknowledge Structural Violence in Belize
    By Charles Leslie Jr. Before I get to my main point I take this opportunity to denote how our psychological wiring and thought process often times have us inaccurately prioritizing issues that affect our lives: The Availability Heuristic says that we will react to what is most available to us and easy for us to […]

    Murder in Punta Gorda
    The tranquility of the Indianville area in Punta Gorda Town was shattered on Wednesday night when two gunshots rang out in the area. Belize Media Group has been informed that one person was fatally shot. Details are still sketchy but according to reports, there was a gunman lurking in the […]

    CCJ dismisses teachers’ appeal
    The Caribbean Court of Justice has dismissed the appeals of Corozal school administrators Juanita Lucas and Celia Carrillo, formerly the principal and vice principal of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico in San Roman, Corozal District. Both women were suspended from their duties in 2008 following a visit by a […]

    Historic second Maya Land Rights Case draws to close
    This morning final arguments were heard in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) for the case of the Maya Leaders Alliance and 23 village leaders and co-leaders of the Toledo District representing 38 Maya villages against the Government of Belize. As we reported on Tuesday, following a case […]

    A Tribute To A Belizean Legend
    The following obituary was written by Larry Waight and read by Mike Green at Peter Tonti’s memorial mass in San Ignacio Town, Belize on Wednesday, April 22,2015. Nelson Mandela. George Cadle Price. Maya Angelou. Add the name Peter Tonti to those sorely missed by legions of people whose lives and futures were made better […]

    Rape Case against PC Casimiro Adjourned
    Today, police officer attached to the Corozal formation, 35 year old Cyril Casimiro was formally arraigned at the Magistrate’s Court for Rape and Wounding. Authorities say that on Monday they received a complaint from a 14 year old female claiming that Casimiro, someone she knew and trusted, offered a ride […]

    Aquaculture Certification Council Certifies 8 Shrimp Farms in Belize
    There is good news to report in the advancement of the Belizean Shrimp industry. The Aquaculture Certification Council has certified eight shrimp farms in Belize, which makes it the country with the highest percentage of certified farms in the world. According to a video posted on YouTube by the Belize […]

    Lavern Coe is Toledo’s Top Speller
    On Tuesday, the Toledo District Spelling Bee Finals was held at the Punta Gorda Parish Hall with 14 Primary School students participating. After only four rounds of intense competition, Lavern Coe of Toledo Christian Academy became the new Toledo Spelling Champion. Lavern will now be representing the Toledo District at […]

    Bullu Youth Academy Win 3rd Place in Honduras
    The Bullu Youth Academy is an aspiring young football team hailing from Punta Gorda that has been making big strides over the past year. This team was founded by a group of veteran footballers and comprises of boys between ages 14 to 22. After winning multiple tournaments and marathons in […]

    Maya Leaders Head to CCJ for Maya Land Rights Hearing
    Maya leaders are on their way to the CCJ trial in Belize City to hear the final decision of the Maya land rights case. This morning, the Toledo Alcalde Association President, Alfonso Cal delivered a short prayer and words of encouragement to his fellow Maya people. He spoke […]

    Get Out Of An Abusive Relationship: It Never Gets Better
    By Charles Leslie Jr. If all 340,000+ Belizeans sat in a group meeting, and we all looked at each other and pondered “How are we in this mess? Who all are responsible?” We would go thru the power structure, the people at the head of those power structure, and realize, very fast, that only a […]

    Blogs

    The Pleasure Of Retiring Early To A Tropical Island
    People often ask about my transition from a hectic life in the U.S. to the laidback Caribbean island lifestyle of Ambergris Caye, Belize. Admittedly, it surprised even me how quickly I adapted, considering that I’d spent my entire life living in metropolitan areas. But since we moved to Belize from the San Francisco Bay area, our lives have been enriched beyond our wildest imagination, with adventures galore. We have met the most interesting people, made many new friends from around the world, and experienced unforgettable adventures… And living by the gorgeous Caribbean Sea is a dream come true. Initially my husband and I bought property on Ambergris Caye as an investment. At the time, in 1999, retirement was far from our thoughts. We viewed our little island retreat as a respite—a place to recharge our batteries…to slow down and take a break from our high powered, demanding corporate lifestyles… But with each passing year, as we climbed the corporate ladder, the fast-paced, competitive lifestyle; horrible traffic jams; high cost of living; and lack of time for our friends and family wore us down. In contrast, each time we visited Belize the pressures of city living quickly were left behind—forgotten. Once on our gorgeous island, surrounded by the mesmerizing Caribbean Sea, greeted by warm, friendly Belizeans and expat friends, our worries and tensions dissolved. Each visit brought a new appreciation of the benefits of living a less complex lifestyle in a natural environment.

    Belize Represents at the Houston Rocket’s Play-offs Or “Be Cool, Stay in School”
    Maddox was born and raised in San Pedro. He is 9 years old, is in Standard Two and attends Belize Elementary School in the city during the week while spending every weekend on the island. He’s a solid student but in last semester’s ranking, he didn’t even make it into the top 5 in his class. At the beginning of the semester, Maddox, a HUGE Houston Rockets basketball fan proposed a wager with his dad. Dad, if I top my class…make #1, you have to take me to a Houston Rocket’s play-off game. And guess what… Top of his class. Ha! Take THAT dad! So Maddox is set to go with his dad and his uncle…and get some seats that his dad can find, probably on the internet, and just be super excited that he’s there. But…there is more.

    International Sourcesizz

    CCJ sits in Belize for first time
    The full bench of the Caribbean Court of Justice is in Belize this week for the first time for itinerant sittings from 20-23 April, 2015. The sittings are being held in Courtroom 1, Supreme Court of Belize. This is the fourth itinerant sitting of the court, with previous sittings being held in Barbados in April 2012, Jamaica and Barbados in March 2013, and Guyana in February 2014. The court views these itinerant sittings as important to ensuring that it is accessible to the people of the Caribbean Community, which it serves. During this itinerant sitting, the court will hear appellate jurisdiction matters from Guyana and Belize, including the case of BZCV2014/002 The Maya Leaders Alliance et al v the Attorney General of Belize . The court sittings from the 20-23 April, 2015 are open to the members of the public to attend.

    NASA releases pictures of Earth's beauty
    NASA is marking Earth Day by releasing some of its best images of our planet taken from space - by its satellites, its research aircraft and astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) - in the past year. Here is a selection of them:

    Selby team ventures into Belize for botanical treasure
    An international team of scientists including a botanist from Selby Gardens in Sarasota recently descended into two remote sinkholes in Western Belize. The expedition carried all the hallmarks of an Indiana Jones adventure — danger, difficulty and the discovery of a treasure chest full of botanical and archaeological finds. “You don't go into this area lightly,” said Bruce Holst, Director of Botany for Selby Gardens. Holst joined 19 other scientists for the 10-day expedition to the Chiquibul National Park in Belize during the last week of January and the first week of February. Other than an expedition in 2000 by a different group, this area has remained untouched for centuries. “We're pretty sure no one has been there since the Mayan civilization,” Holst said. The reason is remoteness. “The whole area is limestone, there is no surface water, it took three days traveling by tractors just to get there,” recalled Holst. “It is so vast, so different.”

    Composting With Coppola at Blancaneaux Lodge, Belize
    We've all been transfixed by Francis Ford Coppola's awesome oeuvre of films, but did you know his genius also extends to eco-friendly jungle hideaways? Blancaneaux Lodge, tucked deep in a corner of Belize's Maya Mountains, is one of three sumptuous properties in Central America owned by the filmmaker, who also has a fabulous fourth in Italy. The magic of Blancaneaux is the seamless way it marries mindfulness with luxury travel. Accommodations are artful cabañas and villas constructed with screen walls and open air decks and lounges, inviting guests to truly immerse themselves in nature. Yoga mats tucked into each closet encourage guests to stretch their bodies and spirits while telescopes invite you to contemplate the cosmos close up. Unlike some destinations that use green or holistic accents as the decoration du jour, Blancaneaux actually walks the sustainability walk. In fact, it struts. In 1993, the Coppolas installed a hefty hydro-electric plant that harnesses the muscle of Privassion Creek, which gorgeously gurgles through the property. Any electricity that isn't used in guest rooms or on general operations is diverted to the hot pool at the Waterfall Spa -- which is maintained at a toasty 100 degrees, perfect for a mid-day or late night dip.

    New Development Launches in Belize
    A new resort and residence project is coming to Belize. Itz’ana, inspired by the name of a Mayan deity, has officially launched sales, the property announced. The property will consist of 39 luxury boutique cottages and villas designed by Boston-based architect Roberto de Oliveira Castro. Interior designer Samuel Amoia will be outfitting the residences. The properties will range in size from 1,000 to 5,000 square feet, according to the company, with amenities including a private bar called The Rum Room, a rooftop yoga deck, a restaurant called Limilia and a salt-water pool, among others.

    USNS Comfort arrives in Belize for CP-15
    The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) arrived in Belize April 9, the first scheduled stop as part of the Continuing Promise 2015 (CP-15) mission. “We are looking forward to working hand-in-hand with our partners in Belize on many common interests,” said Capt. Sam Hancock, CP-15 mission commander. “By working together and sharing best practices, we can help address many concerns common to the region, while also demonstrating our commitment to fostering a lasting partnership.” While in Belize, the civilian and military personnel aboard Comfort will partner with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, the Belize Defence Force, and the Belize Coast Guard to share and build capability through medical, dental, engineering and veterinary events and subject matter expert exchanges.

    Regional Approach To Revive Coconut Industry
    As Jamaica continues to grapple with the devastating impact of the dreaded, lethal yellowing disease, the Coconut Industry Board (CIB) is hopeful that a regional intervention strategy will help to revive the fortunes of this ailing agricultural sub-sector. Jamaica is among nine countries slated to benefit from a four-year regional project aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of small-scale coconut farmers, which will see the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), partnering with the Geneva-based Inter-national Trade Centre (ITC). The €3.5 million project will be financed by the European Union and implemented in the CARIFORUM countries of Belize, Dominica, The Dominican Republic, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. One of the first phases of the project will be to engage with national stakeholders to formulate road maps for market-led development of the coconut and coconut products sector. And in the first of a series of workshops, specialists from within and outside the region met with farmers and other stakeholders at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston, for a two-day workshop on Monday, where they discussed market dynamics, plant material availability and new technologies.

    More Bad News About The Lionfish Invasion (Happy Earth Day?)
    As I’ve described before, the Indo-Pacific lionfish in the Atlantic and Caribbean are quite possibly the worst marine invasion ever. These toxic predators have been eating their way around for the past few decades, driving down populations of native species and threatening already-struggling habitats. Now, a pair of papers released this month have more bad news: the lionfish are continuing to spread, and they may be eating the very last of critically endangered species. Lionfish have continued to move southward in their quest for Caribbean domination since their introduction off the coast of Florida. In 2004, Matthew Kimball and his colleagues predicted that they could get as far as Brazil based on thermal tolerances, and now, a decade later, they have. A new study published in PLoS ONE today describes the very first sighting of a lionfish off the coast of Brazil. The specimen was noticed by a group of recreational divers in May last year off Arraial do Cabo, explain the authors, which include the California Academy of Sciences’ curator of ichthyology, Luiz Rocha. DNA testing confirmed that this individual was related to the invasive population and was likely not a new introduction.

    Shrimp closures set in Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea
    Based on the results of research and biological surveys conducted by the National Fisheries Institute (INAPESCA) in different areas of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, the National Committee for Fisheries and Aquaculture (CNPA) set the dates for the start of the temporary shrimp ban this year. The purpose of these closures is to maintain the sustainability of the marine crustacean in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The agreed dates for the closure of the various shrimp species in the Atlantic Coast are: From 1 May 1 to 15 August, 2015: In the offshore area stretching from the US border, in Tamaulipas, to the mouth of the Coatzacoalcos River (Veracruz); From 15 June to 1 November this year: in the coastal strip in front of the states of Campeche and Tabasco, for pink shrimp fishery; From 1 May to 30 September, 2015: in the coastal strip opposite the states of Campeche and Tabasco, for the seabob shrimp fishery; From 15 June to 30 September this year: in the area of Contoy. Furthermore, the authority established a temporary ban for catching all shrimp species in the estuarine lagoon systems under federal jurisdiction of the Gulf of Mexico, in the following periods and areas:

    How historic droughts in Central America contributed to Mayan downfall
    It must have been a time of great hardship and struggle for the ancient Maya civilization. The land was parched and dry as the devastating effects of climate change on brought a great drought. New research has shown that, despite attempts to adapt to the changes, Mayan culture finally collapsed between 800 and 950 A.D. The researchers found that markers of historic droughts in Central America match the patterns of disruption to Maya society during those centuries of hardship. But we now have a clear picture of how the Mayans fought a long hard battle to survive and ultimately failed. redOrbit has been finding out more from the study's first author Peter Douglas, now at the California Institute of Technology. "The research makes clear that the ancient Maya were not passive victims of climate change. They adapted in response to drought, but it only worked up to a point," said Peter. "The south was the center of the Maya population, and their capacity to adapt was limited," Pagani explained. "The north was already accustomed to fairly dry conditions and did much better. There was actual expansion there after the collapse, but the southern cities never recovered."

    On Earth Day, a look at environmental problems facing 20 Latin American countries
    Since the Industrial Revolution, human activity has destroyed the natural environment and is responsible for climate change. While not everyone blames mankind’s actions, a 2013 report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded with 95 percent certainty that people are to blame for at least half the climate change in the last half-century.

    Videos

  • Wildtracks Earth Day Video 2015, 3.5min. A Happy Earth Day, 2015 from Wildtracks!!

  • John Irving III Belize, 3.5min. On April 16, 2015, John S. Irving III caught a permit on the fly, fishing with the Garbutt brothers out of Belcampo Lodge, Punta Gorda, Belize.

  • Belize, 4min. Bats, snakes and caves.

  • Ocean Waste in the Gulf of Honduras, 1/2min. Waste education is a high priority in Belize, Guatemala and Honduras with an emphasis on being responsible citizens and disposing of it properly. Waste education is a high priority in these areas with an emphasis on being responsible citizens and disposing of plastic and waste properly. Eight million tons of plastic is dumped into the oceans each year, according to a new Science study, led by Jenna R. Jambeck of the University of Georgia. Less than 5 percent of the plastic in the world is estimated to be actually recycled, according the Environmental Protection Agency. The largest proportion of debris in the ocean consists of plastic, and these petroleum-based objects can take hundreds, even thousands, of years to degrade. As plastic degrades in the ocean, it can break into tiny little pieces with a very high risk of sea floor creatures and fish consuming the toxic substances and entering the food chain. Plastic pieces can also end up turning natural white sandy beaches into a colorful display of ocean waste. I even spotted a discarded mannequin while visiting Roatan, Honduras. Roatan locals clean up their beaches on a daily basis.

  • Hey Gavin from MeganUnderSea, 4min. Sun Dancer II - Belize, Central America

  • Journey to St Herman, Blue Hole Natl Park cave, Belize, 14min.

  • Swimming at the Jaguar Beach Resort, Hopkins, Belize., 3min. 0 year old, Faith DiPaolo almost knows how to swim.

  • Belize’s shrimp farming industry: a seven-year journey towards ASC certification, 8min.

  • Belize St.Herman's Blue Hole Hike, 4min.

  • GoPro Adventures in Belize 2015, 5min.

  • Marine turtle populations around Glover's Reef Atoll., 1min. Last week a team from WCS and representatives from across Belize's marine reserve network assessed the Marine turtle populations around Glover's Reef Atoll. The video highlights the incredible skill and professionalism of the team in quickly capturing and safely securing a Green turtle for data collection, tagging and release at the point of capture. This work will help conserve Marine turtles across Belize. Way to go team and Happy Earth Day to all.

    April 22, 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

    Island benefits from successful Health Fair and Pap Smear Campaign
    Over a hundred island residents came out on Saturday, April 18th to take part in the Washington University of Health and Science (WUHS) Health Fair and the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II Pap Smear Campaign. Residents took advantage of the several free services offered to promote good health in the community, such as pap smears, breast exams, blood sugar tests, blood pressure, nutrition consultations and HIV testing. Along with medical services, those in attendance also had the opportunity to receive valuable information from several community groups on the island. The San Pedro Red Cross, San Pedro Cancer Society and the National AIDS Commission had booths set up to provide information on healthy practices for a healthy life. According to fair organizer Diana Sanchez, who is a Peace Corps Volunteer stationed in San Pedro, the day proved to be a huge success, with residents appreciative of the free service. “We had a great turn out. Everyone that was present benefited from the service. We were so glad to see people checking up and taking the time to ensure that all is well with their health. The people seemed interested in the topics discussed by the various groups,” said Sanchez. Over 70 Pap smear tests and over 42 HIV tests were carried out on that day.

    DOE takes steps at preparing the country for possible oil spills
    While the Belizean coast is not dotted with oil rigs, there are still possibilities of an offshore oil spill. As such the Department of Environment (DOE) held a one day oil pollution, preparedness, response and cooperation sensitization workshop for Non- Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) and the media corps. The workshop was held at the Biltmore Plaza in Belize City on Wednesday, April 15th and saw the participation of more than 25 invited guests from across the country. DOE partnered with the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations Environmental Programme- Regional Coordinating Unite for the Caribbean Environment Program (UNEP CAR/RCU) and the Regional Activity Centre/ Regional Pollution Emergency Information and Training Center for the Wider Caribbean (RAC-REM-REMPEITIC Caribe) to bring in three oil spill specialists to officiate the workshop. The issue of offshore drilling in Belizean waters has been at the fore-front of concern for environmentalists as well as citizens and tourism stakeholders. The main concern is that offshore exploration and drilling can lead to oil spills that can destroy our delicate marine ecosystem. While many are under the impression that Belize is not at risk of an oil spill, since there is no offshore oil exploration, specialists say that there is still a high threat for oil spills in Belize and it is best to be prepared.

    Ambergris Today

    Healthy Eating
    Chef Jennie Staines of Elvi's Kitchen quizzes students of Isla Bonita Elementary School as they learn about healthy eating in their Health Science Class - Standard 5 & 6 students had a cook off.

    Letters To The Editor: I Was Kicked Off My Volunteered Services by Minister of Culture Because of Politics
    I am truly saddened that it has come to this and now I realize that politics plays a very dirty role on how things are ran (manipulated) in this island. I respond to a letter from the management of the San Pedro House of Culture, under the authority of Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation. The letter states that I have been relieved of my volunteer services as member of the committee of the San Pedro House of Culture in which I was just recently appointed. Clearly, the Minister’s decision is strictly political as he has made that clear to me in person. This saddens me because I only want to volunteer my services to better my community and make the islanders proud of having such a great facility that promotes our rich culture. At first I cried because of my rejection of these two politicians (Mito Paz and Manuel Heredia), but then I realized I was not serving them but my people of San Pedro. Today I smile with pride and joy because there are so many others who have invited me to share my passion of serving with them and for San Pedro. I have worked very well with Mito Paz in the past but cannot believe that he can’t stand on his own two feet and must take petty orders from his Almighty Boss Junior Heredia. And how disgusting it is that Mr. Heredia can only work with persons who are 100% Red. So if one has talents, good ideas and a passion to work for my people, he must be rejected? Now I realize he is no genuine leader for San Pedro but is there with his own special interests to win for himself and not for us the San Pedranos nor for anybody else.

    Zsapphirrah Coleman is the New Miss Isla Bonita 2015
    It was a fun-filled family event at the San Pedro Lions Club on Saturday, April 18, 2015, as Isla Bonita Elementary School held it Miss Isla Bonita Pageant fundraiser where they crowned their newest school queen representative. Zsapphira Coleman (sponsored by Coleman’s Barbershop) took first place in the popularity pageant that is organized every two years by the elementary school. The pageant included segments that displayed casual wear, costumes and evening wear and included dance presentations, song performances, a fashion show, raffles and presentations by the San Pedro Dance Academy. Outgoing Miss Isla Bonita Elementary 2013-2015, Jucely Badillo, was on hand to crown the new school queen and award the other contestants with the following awards:

    Letters To The Editor - Town Council Called Out to be More Proactive on Island Cleanup
    On the environmental side, research conducted over the last seven years has revealed evidence of continuous degradation of the marine environment. The garbage pollutes the air, water and land and subsequently harms human and marine life. This has placed our very livelihood at risk, jeopardizes the tourism and fishing industry and could ultimately result in the collapse of the island. With the garbage separation plant becoming operational and the rainy season only weeks away, the VIP calls on the newly elected council to proactively address this issue by implementing a plan to immediately remove all garbage that is currently dumped on lots and streets before the rains resume. Please do not attempt to cover it up with Sargasso, sand or All-In fill as this is not the solution and only compounds the problem. While the VIP team and volunteers have recently undertaken two garbage cleanup activities in the community, the massive accumulation in certain areas requires tractors and trucks to remove. We have also called on the Department of Environment for their assistance and technical expertise.

    National Committee for Families & Children Speaks out Against Child Abuse
    Belize became the fifth country to ratify the UN convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). This CRC document has since become the most widely ratified convention and human rights instrument in the world. It is testament to our country’s recognition of the importance of caring for our children and nurturing them to be responsible and productive citizens. A commitment that obligated our Government to enact laws and policies that creates the enabling environment for children to flourish and reach their full potential. One of the obligations to our children is to protect them from all forms of exploitation, abuse and neglect. Article 19 of the CRC states that, “Children should be protected from being hurt and mistreated in body or mind”. Keeping this in mind, the recent death of 11-month-old baby Mia is both startling and heartbreaking. According to the media, “Mia Eusebia Lopez died from severe cerebral edema resulting from multiple skull fractures, due to blunt force trauma to the head.” NCFC views these findings troubling and is deeply concerned about the welfare of the other two children in that household; especially since parents are the first line of defense; they are to ensure the safety and protection of their children as well as provide a safe dwelling place. Therefore, NCFC calls on all relevant authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into this incident and asks that the fullest extent of the law be applied in the case of a guilty verdict.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Portfolio of information on British Honduras (1961)
    issued by the Government Information Service. Belize City, British Honduras, 1961.

    Letter from Charleston, S.C. – Colony of a colony | Henry S. Fraser
    For those that like Caribbean history. A story by Sir Henry Fraser. Professor George Rogers, the distinguished historian of South Carolina, described South Carolina as the colony of a colony. And the mother colony was Barbados. This came about because of the phenomenal financial success of the early sugar industry in Barbados, leading to a rush of emigrants from Britain in the 1650s – people of all social classes, looking for opportunities. It was rather like the gold rush in the Wild West in the 19th century. And the man whose vision led to the settling of the Carolinas was Sir John Colleton. Sir John was a Royalist supporter of the embattled King Charles the First, who lost his head. Many Royalists fled to Barbados to avoid losing theirs, or, like Richard Ligon, to avoid debtors’ prison because of putting their money with their mouth in supporting the king. Colleton bought The Ridges, North of Speightstown, (subsequently known as Colleton) sight unseen, and later Colleton in St. John. His descendant, the late Alan Godsal was the brain behind the elegant Cobblers Cove Hotel in Speightstown. Sir John had four sons. This created a challenge for their useful occupation, and the overcrowding of the island with immigrants with no chance of acquiring land led him to propose the settling of the mainland, to be named Carolina after King Charles the Second, “and all that land as far as the Pacific”! After several explorations – one led by Captain Hilton and one by Sir John Yeamans, Charlestown was eventually settled in 1670 after a harrowing odyssey, with three ships, ship wrecks, changes in plans, settling at Charlestown Landaing, and finally relocation from the original Charlestown Landing to the present site of Charleston

    Uniformed Cop rapes 14 year old
    On 20.04.15 at 5:15p.m., a 14-year-old female of Corozal Town visited the Corozal Police Station in the company of her mother and reported that on 20.04.15 at approximately 1:00 p.m. while she was walking on Antonio Sosa Drive in the Altamira area of Corozal Town, she met a male person dressed in black clothing with police markings and riding on a red motorcycle also marked “Police.” She has known him for the past month. He offered to give her a ride home where she got on the back of the motorcycle and he drove off towards the Consejo Road and into an area by the sea off Consejo Road where he had sexual intercourse with her against her will. A medical examination was conducted on the child that certified that she was carnally known and classified the injuries she received as “Wounding”. The policeman has been detained as investigation continues. The name of the cop has not been released by the police.

    Jamaica Just Planted Its First Legal Marijuana Plant
    Jamaica just planted its first-ever legal marijuana plant. The first legal cannabis plant in the country was planted on the grounds of the University of the West Indies Mona campus on Monday. The University has been accorded an order by the government to cultivate marijuana for medical research and to “set the pace for the development of a legal cannabis industry.” That follows the passage of the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015, which recently became effective and provides for the development of a medical marijuana industry in the country. A similar licence will also be granted to Jamaica’s University of Technology, according to a statement from the government. “I want to know when you start to do the experimentation, and what is found in the plant,” Science Minister Philip Paulwell told researchers. “We have to start this way, so that we can set the stage for full commercialization.”

    Meet Belizean Leader Nicole Haylock
    the Act. Deputy Coordinator at the National Security Council Secretariat in Belize, AND our next International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) participant through the Exchange Programs - U.S. Department of State. The IVLP is a very competitive and prestigious State Department exchange program that aims to increase mutual understanding through communication at personal and professional levels. The exchange program seeks candidates who are professionals, and have had little professional travel/contact with the U.S., and who are likely to have an impact upon returning to Belize. Ms. Haylock has been selected to participate in a three week exchange program titled U.S. Foreign Policy: The Decision Making Process. Participants in this project will examine the complex foreign policy making process in the United States as it affects a wide variety of global issues such as human rights, security policy, trade policy, global economic issues, environmental policy, human trafficking, and international crime and counterterrorism.

    BBIA Book Week 2015
    The Belize Book Industry Association is celebrating Book Week this Friday and Saturday at the Cayo Welcome Center.

    Succotz Festival 2015
    The Succotz Festival was this weekend, and D Russel Photography got some great shots of it.

    Obituary of Peter Tonti
    by Larry Waight. Nelson Mandela. George Cadle Price. Maya Angelou. Add the name Peter Tonti to those sorely missed by legions of people whose lives and futures were made better just because destiny brought him into their lives! Is this too grandiose a comparison to make when placing the name Peter Tonti into this star-studded company? Not if you know the extent to which the man impacted the nation of Belize for half a century—not if you’re aware of the fact that everything he touched during his life in Belize will continue to flourish because he had a hand in so many institutions, movements and changes that shaped the nation. Such is his legacy. Peter Tonti’s story doesn’t begin with fame, fortune and recognition. A powerful urge to make the world a better place in which to live drove the young man to public service: He joined the Peace Corps in the 1970s and by God’s good grace, he was assigned to work with people in the little-known nation of Belize. Simple actions, big changes and sincere devotion to those with whom he interacted during his tenure became so rooted in his consciousness, when time came to end his Peace Corps service, he found himself incapable of leaving. Belize had become his home. And so he stayed to work among the people and the society he had come to treasure.

    Belize shrimp growers achieve ASC certification
    The Belize Shrimp Grower's Association members have achieved certification against the global science-based ASC shrimp standard as responsible and well-managed farms. Alvin Henderson, a member of the Belize Shrimp Growers Association, describes Belize as a country of rich biodiversity with a stretch of mangrove belt along the coast that acts as a natural filtration system. “The journey towards ASC certification has helped to highlight areas of our operations where we can make meaningful change with minimal financial resources. Sometimes all that is really required is a change of perspective,” Henderson said. “We’re using less water on our farm through improving the way we manage water quality. And, by focusing on compliance, we uncovered that the water in the receiving body is of even better quality since our mangrove buffer acts as a biofilter.”

    Maya Q’eqchi and Mopan of Southern Belize Win Major Land Rights Victory in the Caribbean High Court
    The Caribbean Court of Justice, Belize’s highest appellant court, yesterday reaffirmed the unbroken chain of lower court affirmations that the Maya Indigenous People of southern Belize have rights to lands they have customarily used and occupied. The Court affirmed that these traditional land rights constitute property within the meaning of the provisions of the Belize Constitution that generally protect property free from discrimination. The judgement, which was rendered by agreement between the Maya representatives and the Government of Belize, requires the government to demarcate and register Maya village lands, and protect them against incursions by outsiders. The Court accepts the government’s undertaking to adopt the necessary ‘legislative, administrative, and/or other measures’ to that end and, in the meantime, to abstain from and prevent acts that would adversely affect Maya land rights. The Court retains supervision and in twelve months the parties will report on implementation. “We have been dragged through the courts for over 30 years but today we are happy that the highest Court again stood with the my people to ensure that Belize gets on the right side of history,’ said Alfonso Cal the highest traditional leader for all the Maya villages.

    Inauguration of the Orange Walk Central Park
    This evening, the Government of Belize through its implementing arm, the Social Investment Fund (SIF), officially inaugurated the Orange Walk Central Park. Funds for the park were provided through the Belize Municipal Development Project (BMDP).

    Inauguration of the San Narciso-San Victor Road
    This morning our team travelled to San Narciso Village for the inauguration of the San Narciso-San Victor Road. The road is funded under the Accompanying Measures for Sugar (AMS) Road Rehabilitation Project 2010, a collaborative effort between the Government of Belize and the European Union to assist in poverty reduction and improving the standard of living for communities in northern Belize.

    European Commission Ongoing Projects and Programmes in Belize

    BOLEDO DRAWING for Tuesday, April 21, 2015: 86. FANTASY 5: 30 21 32 4 25 K

    Corozal Crime Report
    A Corozal Police is in custody pending an investigation of rape of a 14 year old minor. Corozal Police are investigating a serious accusation of rape against a fellow police officer. According to the Corozal Police a report was made at around 5:15 p.m. on Monday April 20th by a 14 year old female in the company of her mother. They both visited the Corozal Police station to report that earlier that day while she (the minor) was walking on Antonio Sosa Drive in the Altamira Area of Town, she was met by a male dressed in police uniform and driving a police issued motorbike. The officer, who she claims to know, offered to give her a ride home in which she accepted. The minor reported that whilst on the back of his motorcycle, the officer drove off towards the Consejo Road and into an area by the sea off Consejo Road where he had sexual intercourse with her against her will.

    GALA MUSIC CONCERT COROZAL - QUAD MUSIC EXTRAVAGANZA!!
    Calling all Corozalenos, a special treat coming your way this weekend! Mark your calendars and bring out the entire family....come in your dancing shoes...cause this promises to be great!!! Put a pin on your calendar this weekend Folks!! GALA MUSIC CONCERT COROZAL - QUAD MUSIC EXTRAVAGANZA!! Featuring National Youth Orchestra of Belize along with Corozal Community College Marching Band, Harmony Music Group and Pandemonium Steel Band!!! Date: Saturday April 25th Place: Corozal Community College Auditorium Time: 6:30 P.m. Tickets: Students $5 and Adults $10 Bring out the entire family for this super music extravaganza!! See you there!!

    USNS Comfort Visits Bullet Tree
    The USNS Comfort visited Bullet Tree last week to hand out school supplies with the help of the San Ignacio Police department. Thanks to everyone that took their time to help. "On Wednesday San Ignacio Community Police officers along with personnel from the BDF,US Marines, US Army and US Navy gave out hygiene kits, book bags and school supplies to to the student of both primary schools in Bullet Tree Village."

    BELIZE GRAPHIC DESIGN COMPANY, DEIDRA DEANDRA HAS SOME FUN CARDS YOUR MOM IS SURE TO LOVE!
    Deidra Deandra has designed a variety of cards that are fully customizable. Change text, color and photo to suit your design taste. The cards are also available in different sizes. You can choose the Standard Size, the Fun Square Option or the Long Card Size which is sure to stand out. Deidra Deandra is based in Belmopan, Belize but offers shipping throughout the country. Order your cards by April 30, 2015 to get them in time for Mother’s Day. Belize Graphic Designer, Deidra Deandra says “I always like to create special gifts for my mom that only she will have, and this is a fun and affordable way to do so!”

    Maya ancestral lands
    I just heard from a reliable source the GOB have acknowledged that Maya do own the ancestral lands they occupy in Belize and has been the subject of the ongoing Maya land rights case. This is a big step forward for Maya who then have control of and be able to manage their lands and share in the natural resources with the nation that is contained there in through the Convention on Biological diversity. In the meanwhile Garifuna in Belize have made zero attempts to declare any kind of self determination whatsoever culturally nor legally and none whatsoever to control the lands recognized as their ancestral lands. By the way these lands include Dangriga, Barranco, PG, Hopkins, Seine Bight and one or two others. Why are we not doing so? Also the Maya land case in Belize is a world wide precedence of such significance that they are scheduled to have a conference at the United nations on April 29, 2015. Will Garifuna also take ownership and title to their ancestral lands? Or will we continue to sink lower and lower on the totem pole? It is our choice.

    BELIZEAN BROADCASTING IN THE DIASPORA!
    These incredible stories of the Belizean people's passion in sports, entertainment, music, culture, politics, and many other facets, has been globally broadcasted through this medium, Belizean Legends. The soul of Belizean folk has been widely documented here by yours truly, and has continued to become an international voice for Belizeans at home and abroad. Belizean Legends look forward in bringing more of these sounds, images, and literature of Belize and the Belizean people to the global community as a means of promoting and educating people about Belize worldwide. We here at Belizean Legends stand ready for what is to come. Persevere!

    POST BELIZE CROSS COUNTRY FEVER STILL BURNING!
    Make a wild guess. What year Belize National Cross Country could this have been, and who were the images of these Belizean cyclists?

    POST BELIZE CROSS COUNTRY FEVER: PART 2
    The race for time that changed Belize. Who would have known that a Belizean-American would have won the National Belize Cross Country in 2015. We look forward to feature, Belize National Cross Country champion Justin Williams soon on here on Belizean Legends. The race for the garland continues.

    Channel 7

    Police Constable Charged For Raping Young Girl
    Tonight a police constable in Corozal has been charged for a heinous act: taking a 14 year old girl on his police motorbike and raping her. PC 1093 Cyril Casimiro attached to the Corozal branch will be arraigned tomorrow on charges of rape and wounding. Yesterday evening at 5:00, the girl and her mother went to the police station and told them that earlier that day, at around 1:00 in the afternoon, Casimiro was in what is known as the battle dress uniform - which is the black police outfit - when he stopped to offer her a ride home. He was on a police motorbike - and the child had known him for a month. With that she agreed but alleges that instead of taking her home, he headed towards the Consejo road where he raped her. He then took her home where the child told her mother - who went to the police. From there, the child was examined a doctor who confirmed that she had been raped and classified the injuries as "Wounding". The officer commanding Corozal said it is a compliant that was treated with utmost priority:

    Father Drowns While Trying To Save Daughter
    A father of 5 drowned this weekend in Gracie Rock trying to save his 19 year old stepdaughter. On Sunday, 27 year old Jamel Erin Canto went to swim in the Sibun River with his stepdaughter and stepson along with a large group of teenagers. After swimming for a while, Canto noticed that his stepdaughter was struggling in the water. He swam over to help her and she was pulled out by a friend but Canto didn't resurface. When they finally found his body, desperate but futile attempts were made to resuscitate him. We spoke with Canto's common law wife of 11 years today and she told us she found out about his death around 5, just minutes after it happened. Denise, common-law-wife of Jamel Erin Canto "On Sunday morning we got up and the day was hot, and he says that he is going to swim (he is not someone that usually goes swimming). So I told him that if he goes swimming, then what will happen to mama? He says that he will take mama. I ask him if he will take mama with him and he says no, because mama will throw me off from enjoying myself. I didn't have any argument with him, I just left him that day and he went and about 3-4, they call and told me that something happened to Jamel.

    Police: Mike Estell Shot Wife Colleen Sharp Twice In the Head
    Tonight, Ladyville police are getting ready to close their investigation into the case of the Mike Estell/Coleen Sharp murder suicide. A few new details are known tonight - first, that the 29 year old Sharp was apparently shot twice to the head, not once as had been earlier reported. She was shot to the nose and the forehead. Evidence collected at the scene suggests that after the 54 year old Estell shot her - he walked around the house for about 45 minutes - and then shot himself in the head. Both were killed with his licensed .380 pistol. The evidence at the scene also suggests that the couple had a violent fight before the murder/suicide. A clutch of her hair was found on the bathroom floor along with his chain. Police also found her shattered IPhone 6. Surveillance video indicates that they both got home in separate vehicles around 11:00. The fight that led to the murder suicide is believed to have happened some hours after that. They were both found in their underwear.

    Another Wild City Shooting
    The random city shootings continued in the city last night. Police have not released a report this time, but 7News has confirmed that two men were shot at the corner of Kraal Road and South Creek when an unknown man sprayed shots in the area. Two men Raymond Bowen and Channing Garoy received injuries which we are told are not life threatening.

    Adding Up The Cost and Consequence of Avian Influenza
    In January, we told you that BAHA and the Ministry of Agriculture detected avian influenza at 2 poultry farms in the Spanish Lookout Community. A few days later, the Ministry updated the public that about 12,000 birds tested positive. Well, tonight, we've confirmed that after 3 rounds of testing, the public health officials have discovered approximately 75,000 birds with the virus. 60,000 of that infected population has been destroyed to try to contain the virus which can spread from infected poultry to you if it is consumed. You don't have to be alarmed and stop buying poultry, however. The stocks on the shelves are safe for consumption. What is being affected is the next round of poultry stocks which would have hit the shelves in the next few months. But, the threat has been contained, for now, because BAHA and the Agricultural Ministry have stepped in to take action. And what does that mean exactly? Well, we went to Spanish Lookout today, and we got a chance to speak with several of the poultry farmers whose birds were infected with avian influenza.

    Man Crashes Into House - Said He Was Driven By Love Spurned
    On Sunday at around noon, a man drove his car into his neighbor's house. At the time, it seemed that he must have been drunk - but he told the court today that - instead - he was under the influence of a much stronger drug: jealousy! KHMH Clerk, Harvin Arriola told the court quite plainly that when he found out that his girlfriend was having an affair, it just sent his temperature up. Of course, there's no charge for "head-tek", so he was charged with four traffic offenses including, drove motor vehicle without a drivers license, drove unlicense motor vehicle, drove motor vehicle without due care and attention and drove motor vehicle not covered by third party risk insurance. There is a fifth charge pending for driving drunk, but first police are waiting on the result of a urine test to see what his alcohol level was. According to Arriola, he went to take a drink - his first in 8 years - and then that's when he exploded.

    Fin. Sec. Says Treasury Thief Took Half A Mil In Months
    Five-hundred and fifty-thousand dollars - that's how much was fleeced from the Treasury Department - and it all happened in a handful of transactions within just a few months. Today, the Financial Secretary, Joe Waight told the media that one person has been suspended:.. Joseph Waight, GOB's Financial Secretary "Right now they are investigating. We have closed a loophole which we have put more reconciliation, more auditing and more oversight in that department. We have moved some officers offline so to speak but again I have to say they are innocent until proven guilty. I am not making a charge because we don't know really what the investigation is." Reporter "Is there a finite sum as to the amount that was embezzled?" Joseph Waight, GOB's Financial Secretary "No, the figure so far is about $500,000, which is a lot of money." Reporter "And the time frame sir? When it started until when?"

    Solving The Petrocaribe Problem
    We caught up with Waight as he was coming out of KREM Television - after a rare talk show appearance. Waight is on a sort of media tour along with UDP Legal Advisor Michael Young trying to debunk public apprehension about the Petrocaribe Loans Bill. Critics say it violates the finance and audit act and gives the government powers to assume loans and spend without the approval of Parliament. And now Waight and Young are doing the morning shows to say that Petrocaribe is a very singular situation - and passing the bill for it does not undo the provisions of the Finance and Audit Act. Here's how they pitched it to the media after this morning's talk show appearance on the KREM W-U-B:.. Michael Young, S.C. - UDP Legal Advisor "There's no repeal of the finance and audit act. It is merely that this is a unique case and special legislation has been passed to deal with the unique case. " Joseph Waight, GOB's Financial Secretary "Under the finance and audit reform act, they specify the types of borrowing. From sources multilateral agencies, financial institutions and so but, it didn't conceive the Petrocaribe as such which is a credit facility, bilateral program. So essentially what this is doing is essentially allows for the borrowing from Petrocaribe."

    Blue Bell's Total Recall Comes To Belize
    A total recall of imported Blue Bell ice cream includes Belize. It started in March when we told you about 7 Blue Bell products that were recalled after 3 American consumers died. Well, the company is now recalling all its products including the ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and other frozen treats. According to CNN, the products could be contaminated with Listeria - which is a deadly bacteria. So what does it mean locally? We spoke to the manager of Arctic Cold, who imports Blue Bell, and he told us that the health department will start taking all these products off BELIZEAN shelves tomorrow.

    Mayans Claim Victory, Greg Ch'oc Questions It
    The Maya Leaders Alliance today sent out a press release claiming victory in the Caribbean Court of Justice. A release says that the Court "yesterday reaffirmed that the Maya Indigenous People of southern Belize have rights to lands they have customarily used and occupied." It adds quote, "the judgement....requires the government to demarcate and register Maya village lands, and protect them against incursions (while) undertaking to adopt the necessary 'legislative, administrative, and/or other measures' to that end." In 12 months the parties will report on implementation. The release adds, that in the past the Government has vigorously contested the assertions of Maya Customary land rights. The release says that, quote, "government reversed this position and came to an agreement that was the basis of the Court's judgment by consent." They note that the Maya's claim for compensation for damages is the only matter outstanding.

    Deon In Camp
    YESTERDAY, star striker Deon McCaulay attended his first practice with the National Team. This is after he was brought home by fans and a generous patron last Friday. As we told you, the Football Federation of Belize welcomed McCauley back on the team, but did his football peers and the coaching staff do the same? Well, that's what we found out today, when we spoke with McCaulay and the Assistant Head Coach. Here's what they told us about the first 2 practices since his return: Charlie Slusher, Assistant Head Coach, National Team "We need to continue working on ball position. I think that was one of the positive things from the team that we maintain good ball position, we pass the ball a lot, and we got opportunities. Now what we have to do is also work and making use of the opportunities that we got during the past games. And so like I said were working basically on our strengths and weaknesses and we are making some necessary adjustments to the way we were playing. So that in the event that we are playing a tougher team, we will be able to survive and advance."

    Caye Caulker Cop Caught On Camera
    Last Friday we told you about a Caye Caulker police officer who was charged with extortion. Well, tonight more details are known. PC #621 Daniel Requena demanded that a Canadian woman give him $800 dollars to get off a marijuana charge. Requena took her to jail and told her that if she paid him $800 dollars Belize she could go free. She complied, went to the ATM and withdrew $600 and gave him another $200 she had on her. Requena also gave her back the weed. There was also security camera footage of Requena doing his alleged deed. Only $491 was recovered and he was charged with extortion and granted bail of $3,000.

    Channel 5

    $550,000 Siphoned Off from Treasury, Employee Placed on Administrative Leave
    The embezzlement of over half-a-million dollars from the Treasury Department, an inside job that was unearthed a little over a week ago by officials within the Ministry of Finance, has [...]

    Corozal Cop on Motorcycle Rapes Minor
    A Corozal police man has been detained following allegations of a rape of a fourteen year old girl. On Monday evening, the minor and her mother visited the Corozal Police [...]

    Post Mortem Results: Coleen Sharp was Shot Twice in Murder/Suicide
    There are still more questions than answers about the murder-suicide that happened over the weekend. In our story on Monday night, we told you about the tragic incident which resulted [...]

    Fin. Sec. Joe Waight on Petrocaribe Expenditure
    The government is under sustained fire for backdating the Petrocaribe Law to encompass two years of government expenditure prior to its passage. Despite borrowing upwards of two hundred and fifty [...]

    Petrocaribe Law Doesn’t Skirt Finance & Audit Reform Act
    The Fin. Sec. and legal advisor, attorney Michael Young, have been making the media rounds trying to explain away the new law, which allows government to borrow and spend without [...]

    Do You Think That There is a Deliberate Attempt to Divide the Unions?
    And our question for tonight is: Do you think that there is a deliberate attempt to divide the unions? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 [...]

    U.D.P. Legal Adviser Explains Petrocaribe Law
    Since the beginning of the week, the United Democratic Party’s legal adviser, Senior Counsel Michael Young, has been accompanying Financial Secretary Joe Waight on a series of media rounds to [...]

    Michael Young Says Accessing Petrocaribe Funds is Most Important
    Despite the discussion and subsequent criticisms that have arisen out of the passage of the Petrocaribe Law, Young says the most important thing is to continue retrieving the funds.   [...]

    Is Belize Being Affected by Derisking?
    The process of ‘derisking’ is underway by international financial firms that are withdrawing from sectors within the Caribbean region and elsewhere that represent compliance risks.  It is a situation where [...]

    Belize City Man Drowns While Saving His Stepdaughter
    In Monday’s newscasts we told you about the death of three persons over the weekend—the murder-suicide of well known couple Michael Estell and Colleen Sharp in Ladyville and the execution [...]

    K.H.M.H. Employee Slams Vehicle into Neighbor’s Fence, Charged for Traffic Offences
    On Sunday afternoon, a K.H.M.H. clerk lost his mind when he discovered that his girlfriend was not being faithful to him. Thirty-three year old Harvin Arriolla is suspected of being [...]

    Tanya Carter Wins Music Award in California
    Belizean artist Tanya Carter is making her mark in the music industry. Over the weekend, she won the People’s Choice Award for Best Belizean Artist of the Year at the [...]

    The Story of a Belizean-American Military Veteran Now Deportee
    Many Belizeans have served and are serving in the U.S Military and like many other immigrants, have risked their lives to serve, but even after their service they are still [...]

    PlusTV

    Vern Magdaleno shot dead in Belize City
    Police in the Belize District had a particularly busy weekend, with a body count of three deaths, two homicide and one apparent suicide, and six persons injured, all by gunfireWe begin with the death of 35 year old Vern Magdaleno of Fabers Road Extension on Friday night, April 17. Around 8:14 p...

    Murder-suicide of couple in Ladyville
    The owner of a popular establishment in Ladyville, Belize District, and his common-law wife of 10 years are both dead tonight. But police believe that one of them may have pulled the trigger on the other and then killed themselves afterward.  54 year old Michael Estell, a Belizean-American busines...

    Ex boyfriend chops woman and her male friend
    And in more domestic abuse news; an ex boyfriend allegedly invaded a house and inflicted several chop wounds to his ex girlfriend and her male companion. The incident happened after 2 am on Saturday April 18 in Esperenza Village.  At 2:53a.m...

    Multiple shootings leave six injured
    In addition to the murder in Belize City and murder-suicide in Ladyville there were no less than four shooting incidents in Belize City in the span of 48 hours, leaving a total of six persons injured. Supt...

    CCJ grants leave to appeal to convicted murderer
    The seven-member panel of justices of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) arrived at the No. 1 Supreme Court in Belize City this morning for a historic first itinerant session in Belize...

    CCJ’s First Session In Belize; Mayan Customary Land Rights
    In 2013 the court of Appeal handed down a judgment on the case of the Maya Customary Land Rights to have the matter heard before the Caribbean Court of Justice, the highest court in the region. That was after a two year and a half delay on the matter...

    Dwight Tillett wants to be UDP standard bearer for Belize Rural North
    Dwight Tillett officially launched his campaign for standard bearer for Belize Rural North under the UDP banner. Tillett is hoping to beat out two time area representative Edmund Castro at a UDP convention to represent the party in the next general elections...

    Deon McCauley Back in Training
    Deon McCauley arrived at the FFB headquarters in Belmopan as early as 8 o clock this morning, ready to start his first week of training with the Belize Jaguars. Earlier this year, the 26 year old forward ran into some issues with the FFB executive...

    Corozal man stabbed during domestic dispute
    Yet another common law relationship has gone bad and is headed to the courts after violence has been reported. This time, the man was hospitalized for stab wounds...

    Man caught with child pornography says he is Pastor; Evangelical Association says not so
    News broke out on Friday that a Pastor in Orange Walk was being arrested for Child pornography...

    No arrests and No recovery of monies stolen from Quality Poultry truck
    Police have not made any arrests in connection with therobbery of the quality poultry truck. We told you the story on Friday as the incident happened just before our news time, but police have since released some more information...

    Amandala

    Tragic murder-suicide in Ladyville!
    Pastor Gerard Lopez, 60, a self-styled “pastor” who was to have headed the prospective Trial Farm Roca Del Poder Evangelical Church, but who did not have a license to be a church pastor, was remanded today by the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court, to the Belize Central Prison until Monday, June 29, on charges of four counts of producing child pornography. Police say that on Friday, they went to the home of a mother and her two little girls, ages 3 years and 10 years old, in the Black Water area of Trial Farm, where they found the naked photos of the girls on the cell phone of the pastor, who was also at the house. Lopez was immediately arrested and taken to the Orange Walk Police Station, where he was charged.

    Mark King goes after Cordel Hyde!
    It caused a scene this morning when a group of police officers gathered on the basketball court that is located behind the Charles Bartlett Hyde building in the Lake Independence area of Belize City. The officers, who included at least two top brass officials, were called out to mediate a situation involving three-time People’s United Party (PUP) Lake Independence area representative, Cordel Hyde, and several Lake Independence residents who wanted to ensure that a building that once served as the offices of the Lake-I Action Committee would not be torn down, allegedly by agents of the current area representative, Hon. Mark King. The said committee was formed years ago through the efforts of Hyde, the current PUP standard-bearer for Lake Independence, and his committee members who obtained the 50-by-70-foot property from the Government of Belize (GOB) on June 12, 2007.

    Trial Farm pastor remanded for child pornography
    Several friends stopped by the white 3-storey mansion on the Old Airport Road in Ladyville to visit their friends, the businessman Michael Estell, 54, and his common-law wife Coleen Michelle Sharp, 30, at various times yesterday, Sunday, but after getting no answer they simple drove away—concerned. The young woman who works in a bar named Mark’s Bar on the ground floor of the building called Coleen’s phone—no answer, and the concerns grew. And as the evening turned into night, the silence from Estell’s house prompted one of his workers to go to the police; family members had also called police. Accompanied by Ladyville police, the worker hammered at the burglar-barred door on the second floor until it eventually gave way, and they entered to find a tragic crime scene inside.

    Catamaran captain executed in front of teen niece
    A weekend of violence has claimed the life of one man, who was one of five persons who were shot in the city between Friday and Saturday nights. Vern Magdaleno, 35, was fatally shot in the head by an unknown gunman at about 8:30 Friday night while sitting in his car at the corner of Fabers Road and the Central American Boulevard, and he died almost immediately. Earlier that night, at about 7:30 p.m., Wendy Lambey, 50, and Aaron Munnings, 17, were both shot in Lambey’s house on Jane Usher Boulevard. Then at about 10:30 Saturday night, Levar Taylor, 35, and a female minor, 14, were shot while walking on Police Street. Taylor was shot in the shoulder and the girl was shot in the leg. They have both been admitted to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in a stable condition. The shootings began at about 7:30 Friday night in the southside of the city. Wendy Lambey was in her home with four of her grandchildren, ages 2 years to 6 years old.

    Toledo Maya triumphant in historic CCJ hearing in Belize
    The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has been able to broker a major settlement between the Government of Belize and the Maya of Toledo, southern Belize, in what leading Maya activist, Cristina Coc, said has been a 30-year struggle for them. “It’s been quite the struggle,” said Coc, spokesperson for the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA), one of the parties to the CCJ appeal, adding, “…we’ve reached a certain point of maturity with our communities understanding that we will not tolerate any further violations.” Although the CCJ had set two days’ of hearing to be held in its historic first sitting in Belize—being held as the court enters its 10th year of operation and its 5th year as the final appellate court of Belize—the court has today remarkably been able to lead the parties into developing a consent order, which settles virtually all the points of contention between the parties. “It is a good step forward for the communities and the Government, as we attempt to implement this court order, because it is an order that has to be implemented…” said Antoinette Moore, SC, attorney for the Toledo Maya.

    Gregory August, challenging life without parole sentence, gets CCJ hearing
    The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), this morning, gave its nod of approval to Gregory August, agreeing to hear his application as “a poor person,” to challenge his conviction for the 2009 murder of Alvin Alpheus Robinson, 73, for which August was sentenced to life behind bars. However, the CCJ will not begin its hearing until the Court of Appeal has had a chance to deliberate on a very critical dimension of the case – a claim advanced by August’s attorney, Eamon Courtenay, SC, asserting that the life sentence handed down to August back in 2012, which under Belize laws means that he cannot get parole, is unconstitutional. The Court of Appeal had ruled in February 2015 that it would uphold the conviction of the lower court. Courtenay takes over at the CCJ level from Anthony Sylvester, who represented August at the Court of Appeal, and Courtenay plans to argue at the CCJ that his client was wrongly convicted.

    NEBL weekend of upsets and exciting All Star Night
    With four weeks remaining in the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) regular season, this weekend fans were treated to 2 huge upsets, while the third game also proved to be crucial. 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, at nebl.sportingpulse.net Belize Yellow Pages Hurricanes stage huge upset against San Pedro Tiger Sharks On Friday night, San Pedro Tiger Sharks (6-3) traveled to Belize City to take on the Belize Yellow Pages Hurricanes (3-6), who were in need of a win to remain in the playoff hunt. At the end of the third, Belize Hurricanes had a one point lead, which they were able to protect, as they narrowly edged the defending champs, 83-81. The Hurricanes were led by Winston Pratt, who had 24 points with 4 rebounds and 6 assists; and Brian White had 19 pts and 7 rebs. Also in the win, Akeem Trapp tallied 17 pts, 5 rebs, 5 assists and 3 steals; while Earl Johnson sank 11 pts, and Ty Bradley finished the night with 8 pts and 7 rebs, and Leon Williams finished with 4 pts and 7 boards, 2 of those pts being for the game winner. In a losing effort, San Pedro Tiger Sharks was led by Darwin “Puppy” Leslie, who had the game high with 26 pts, along with 6 assists and 5 rebs; while Ashton Edwards tallied 18 pts with 4 boards, and Milton James finished with another double-double, as he scored 18 pts and ripped 15 rebs.

    Lilly White Labor Day Football Bash at Third World Field
    Sports/community activist/entrepreneur, Edward Charles Rubio a.k.a. Lilly White, is at it again. This time he said he is presenting a Labor Day Football Bash at Third World Field in Belize City. The games begin at 9:30 a.m. and go on “until,” and will feature Lilly White U-15 vs Third World U-15, followed by the seniors, Lilly White Blend vs Belize All Star. Lilly White’s flyer says, “… There will be lots of food, music and drinks. Please come out and support Lilly White. Don’t let Lilly White down. I’m trying to build football in Belize city hoods; so come out my people. Show some love. Remember, it is you, me and the neighborhoods to make the way for the kids of Belize.” And finally, “.. I am asking for a small donation or contribution to this event. Thanks for letting the youths of today know that they still have people who care and want them to learn love, respect and understanding for themselves and others.” Contact Lilly White at #84 Barrack Road, Belize City, cell# 667-9672.

    Smart 13 & Under Football Tournament 2015 kicks off at Yabra Field
    The 4th Annual Smart 13 & under Football Tournament kicked off on Saturday at the Yabra Field with 12 teams participating in Week 1 games of the single round-robin tournament. In the opening ceremonies, after welcoming the twelve teams assembled and in uniforms, Smart representative Anthony Mahler said they had already seen the need for another tournament to accommodate the missing players from last year who are now over 14 and can no longer play in the 13 & under tournament. We couldn’t agree more. He said they are working on finding sponsorship for a Smart 14 – 17 Tournament next. According to Mahler, the idea for the first Smart 13 & under resulted from discussions between himself and tournament coordinators Tyrone “T-Bone” Muschamp and Stanley “Jordan” Reneau, when they figured on what they could do “to make a difference in football.” With team sponsorship always a problem for youth coaches, registration in the Smart 13 & under is completely free, and uniforms are provided free of cost to all participating teams, as well as loaning a rotating stock of boots and shin guards to the players at every game. Mahler, who is the Director of Marketing for the FFB national team program, said he believed the Smart 13 & under is likely the best run tournament in the country, and it has now been sanctioned by the FFB.

    Editorial: “Bring back Maccabee Version …”
    This newspaper is very proud of the three young Belizeans who spearheaded a public relations and fund-raising initiative to bring Deon McCaulay home and get him into training camp for Belize’s World Cup qualifier in June. In fact, we’re more than very proud. We’re very, very proud. The problem is, this initiative does not solve the problem inside the administrative and coaching structure of Belize’s national football selection. Our three young Belizeans involved themselves in the aforementioned initiative because they believe, as do most Belizeans, that the Belize selection was not at its best against the Cayman Islands because our most successful striker in international games, Deon McCaulay, was not in Belize’s striker package against the Caymans. They say in big time sports that you fire coaches because you can’t fire a whole team of players. It is the management, hired by the owners, who assembles players and signs coaches to contracts. When the team does not perform up to expectations, coaches get fired by managements. It would be impossible to replace the whole team in mid-stream, so the coaches are the sacrifice.

    From the Publisher
    Cocaine is a processed product which is derived from the coca leaf. The indigenous peoples in the mountains of South American countries like Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, and such, have been chewing the leaf of the coca plant for centuries. It helps them to fight hunger, cold, and exhaustion. In its processed form, cocaine is a white powder which is used for stamina and recreation purposes by those people all over the world who can afford it. Cocaine is expensive, and the most lucrative market for it is inside the cities of the largest economy in the world – the United States of America. When cocaine is further processed and becomes crack cocaine, it produces an electrifying high when smoked, and it becomes an absolute, dehumanizing addiction. But when powder cocaine is sniffed through the nostrils, it can be used for many years without major problems, the important thing being that you have to be able to afford it. On Wall Street, where fortunes are made and lost in a single day, and the executives often work 18-20 hour days, it is said that cocaine is practically indispensable. Cocaine enables you to work longer hours under stress. On the recreational side, cocaine is totally in demand at upscale American parties, because cocaine enables more extended, more satisfying sex encounters.

    NTUCB joins Chamber in recording its rejection of PetroCaribe Loans Act
    On Thursday, April 16, 2015, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) issued its first public statement denouncing the recently introduced PetroCaribe Loans Act, approved last month by a majority vote of Parliament. Two days after the Chamber’s statement, on April 18, 2015, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) also issued its first formal statement denouncing the act as a violation of both the Belize Constitution and the country’s Finance and Audit legislation. “The National Trade Union Congress of Belize wishes to state categorically that we contend that this new law flies in the face of ALL we stand for regarding the fiscal management of Belize’s resources. “The NTUCB is NOT against GOB’s right to make loans. However, this Congress contends that neither should any law passed to facilitate loans be in contravention of our Constitution and the Finance and Audit [Reform] Act (a legitimate offspring of the NTUCB) nor should the power of Parliament be used to confirm, validate and legitimize such violations!!!” the statement said.

    Improper grave work causes stench from tomb
    The family of Roy Flowers, who was buried in the Lords Ridge Cemetery on April 9, visited Amandala this afternoon to complain that the brick grave they paid for was improperly done and that the stench of their loved one had been emanating from the grave. When this reporter visited the cemetery to ascertain the accuracy of what the family was claiming, a group of cemetery workers was rude and hostile to us. “Don’t let him take your picture. We will run him out of here if he tek any picture,” one shouted to the worker who had come across to speak to the family. The worker, who was working on a new grave, came across, and in the presence of Flowers’ widow, his brother and his two teenage daughters began to explain that someone had stolen the wood that was used to brace the cement.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Benque Police Investigate Gun Shots in Xunantunich Maya Ruins Area
    According to Officer in Command of the Benque Police Station, Daniel Arzu, BDF and Police were dispatched just now to the ancient Maya site of Xunantunich in San Jose Succotz, Cayo where reports of gunshots were heard. Law Enforcement Officers are in the scene right now; however no further gun […]

    Partial settlement reached in Maya Land Rights Case
    Ahead of Wednesday’s arguments in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) sitting in Belize, the Government of Belize appears to have conceded ownership of lands occupied by the 33 Maya villages in the Toledo District to their residents as communal property. Rulings in 2007 and 2010 by former […]

    Matute and Conorquie families receive payments from Government
    The families of Janae Matute, the Belmopan high schooler suffering from cerebral palsy due to a doctor’s miscalculation of her delivery date, and Daniel Conorquie, the special constable gunned down in the Caracol Archaeological Reserve last September, are receiving payments from the Government of Belize in relation to […]

    Investigation of Treasury Department theft continues as officer is put on leave
    Last week Prime Minister Dean Barrow confirmed that some $500,000 was taken from the Public Treasury at the Central Bank Building in Belize City. Officials in the Department are accused of deliberately diverting funds by substituting a false bank account number. Today Financial Secretary Joseph Waight offered an […]

    UDP officials offer legal interpretation of Petrocaribe Loans Act
    On Monday morning, legal advisor to the United Democratic Party (UDP) Senior Counsel Michael Young and Financial Secretary to the Government of Belize Joseph Waight appeared on LOVE FM’s morning show to present the Government’s take on the Petro Caribe Loans Act, 2015, passed to controversial circumstances last […]

    Patchakan Villager celebrates 100 birthday
    Today is a very special milestone in the life of one resident from the Corozal District. We are talking about Anselma Pott Yam who is celebrating her 100th birthday anniversary today. Born in 1915, Yam celebrated her momentous life achievement among her closest family and friends at her Patchakan Village […]

    Man charged for break-in at ex’s home
    24 year old Jhovan Mariano has been accused of burglary over a report of an incident at his former’s partner’s home in Ladyville. On April 18, according to Kimberly Kingston, Mariano’s ex-common-law wife, he went to her house, forced open the front door and barged in to attack […]

    Hyde and King in Tug-of-war over land in Lake I
    There has been much public discussion centered on the General Elections which many believe will be announced to happen late this year and currently, the tensions between the political parties are soaring to new heights. Yesterday, April 20th 2015, a showdown took place in the Lake Independence Area between PUP’s […]

    Jamaica plants first legal marijuana plant
    Taking a look at regional news, in Jamaica on Monday, the first-ever legal marijuana plant was planted on the grounds of the University of the West Indies Mona Campus. The UWI has been authorized by the Jamaican government to cultivate marijuana for medical research and to “set the pace for […]

    Former PM Said Musa contemplates retirement
    Reports are that after serving his country for more than four decades, the Right Honorable Said Musa is reportedly contemplating to throw in the towel. Credible sources are indicating that senior personalities are in discussions with 71 year old Said Musa to retire from electoral politics. According to Musa while […]

    Uniformed Cop rapes 14 year old
    Corozal police are investigating a serious allegation of rape against one of their own. According to the report made at 5:15pm on Monday, a 14 year old female in the company of her mother visited the station to report that earlier that day while she was walking on Antonio Sosa […]

    Post Mortem confirm Murder-Suicide of Ladyville couple
    A post mortem conducted yesterday evening on the bodies of Michael Estell and Colleen Sharp had confirmed that both died of traumatic shock due to gunshot wounds to the head. According to Forensic investigators, they believe that Estell was the one who shot Sharp – and then turned the gun […]

    Blogs

    Blackadore Caye, and an Un-Belize-Able Biological Process
    Read our adventure on Blackadore Caye. Thank you Leo (totally on a first name basis after printing out a picture of Leonardo DiCaprio for the trip) for allowing us the opportunity. So I think by now everyone in the world, or at least Belize (okay surely at least on Ambergris Caye) has likely read about how wonderful Mr. Leonardo DiCaprio is going to save Blackadore Caye from almost certain extinction. How does an island go extinct? I have no idea... This lucky dude got to take a trip out to Blackadore with some friends this past week - an fairly exclusive deal since no one is really allowed on the island. Charlie and Said captained our vessel (the mighty Koda). Karen (check out her photography via her photography site or Facebook) got us on the island since she is the photographer with the power. Matt, Sara, Robyn, and I were lucky enough to come along for the ride. Perhaps next time I'll bring a real blogger along with me so you all can get a truly professional take on the island and not just hear random musings of an 'untalented hack that apparently breaks all the rules of blogging' and really just tends to anger a certain travel writer with every key stroke (by the way I've purchases those new whiz free Cheerios...but don't know where to deliver them?!). So be advised - what follows is largely un-proofed, un-researched, and completely unsupervised!

    Shopping For Belize And Getting Sucked into The Etsy.com Vortex
    Shopping and navigating Etsy.com can be a challenge for sure. There are so many talented people making gorgeous things. There is the thrill of the hunt…or just getting mired down in 16 trillion items and…giving up. I am headed to the states for a family visit in a few weeks and since I can order things…I thought I’d take a look. 5 hours later, I’ve found some pretty Belize (or Belize inspired) souvenirs and cute things that you can bring to Belize – along with your Kindle, your t-shirts, bathing suits and flip flops. I order nothing but here’s what I extracted from the estimated 29 million items on Etsy. I’m not generally a fan of the coin jewelry – but this is a very pretty bracelet that just happens to have Belize’s (and maybe the world’s) lightest coin dangling from it. The Belize 1 cent coin.

    International Sourcesizz

    Ex-ForceField Energy Chairman Faces Stock Scheme Charges
    More allegations of financial fraud coming out of Belize. The former chairman of an LED lighting provider was charged by U.S. officials with scheming to boost the company’s share price in part by making secret payments to conspirators through a firm based in Belize. ForceField Energy Inc.’s Richard St-Julien, who stepped down from his position after his arrest Friday, was charged with securities fraud conspiracy by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, the government said Monday. Trading in the alternative-energy company’s stock was halted Monday morning after falling 22 percent at 10:21 a.m. The New York-based company told investors in a regulatory filing Monday that St-Julien, founder and majority shareholder, was arrested and had resigned as chairman. St-Julien is accused of scheming from August 2012 to this month to manipulate ForceField Energy’s stock price with help from stock promoters, broker dealers and a dermatologist in Boulder, Colorado, who bought shares on his behalf, according to a criminal complaint unsealed in Brooklyn federal court. St-Julien paid individuals who made the trades using a Belize-based firm and bank account, according to the complaint.

    TripAdvisor best islands for 2015: World's best island named in Travellers' Choice Awards
    Providenciales in Turks and Caicos is the number-one island destination in the world, according to TripAdvisor's latest Travellers' Choice Awards. A former pirate haunt, Providenciales is a little east of Cuba, luring tourists with miles of coral reef close to the shore, renowned for world-class diving. The tiny uninhabited islands dotted off its coast are easily reached by boat, perfect for day trips. Wildlife lovers can keep an eye out for whales, as the island is close to a common migration route. Providenciales knocked last year's "fantasy getaway" winner, Ambergris Caye, off the top spot. This year, Ambergris Caye, which is similarly located in the Caribbean off the coast of Belize, failed to snare a spot in the top 10. At number two is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands, Maui. If you like outdoor activities with spectacular backdrops, this is your island. Postcard-perfect waterfalls tumble from steep, lush mountaintops into shimmering pools of water. Visitors can hike or bike its lava trails, or head to the beaches to surf, snorkel or windboard.

    Valley grad delivers light to Belize
    The very first bio-digester in Belize, a country of 341,000 on the eastern coast of Central America, is the brainchild of a Penn State student from Rush Township. Twenty-two-year-old student teacher Kate Bassett has been teaching pupils to create the bio-digester that will generate electricity for their school. She researched the country last spring, and has been working with 45 agricultural or vocational-technical students to create the bio-digester, which will use manure from 10 pigs and chickens at the school. There is an enclosed pit containing bacteria to digest the manure and break it down into basic elements. Methane will be released, collected and burned to create electricity for agricultural facilities at the school, Bassett said. “We are pretty much done,” she said of the unit that is 6 feet wide and 30 feet long.

    Earth Day 2015: Find Out What Environmental Problems 20 Latin American Countries Face
    Since the Industrial Revolution, human activity has destroyed the natural environment and is responsible for climate change. While not everyone blames mankind’s actions, a 2013 report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded with 95 percent certainty that people are to blame for at least half the climate change in the last half-century. "Climate change is a present and growing threat to economic development, and the goals of reduction of extreme poverty and the promotion of shared prosperity," said Erick Fernandes, the adviser for Agriculture and Rural Development in the Latin American and Caribbean region for World Bank, to Latin Times. "Unless the world takes bold action now, a warming planet threatens to put prosperity out of reach of millions, roll back decades of development gains and making it impossible to end extreme poverty by 2030." In Latin America, global warming has already made its mark with corals being bleached by warm temperatures, glaciers melting, cities becoming vulnerable to rising sea levels, and more. And it’s not just global warming that is threatening nature in Latin America: other forms of destruction (e.g. logging in the Amazon) is proving to be detrimental to biodiversity. In fact, according to The World Bank, Latin America is responsible for a small portion of global carbon emissions -- 12.5 percent, to be exact--but the region is the most affected by the temperature spike.

    How lowlands drought contributed to Mayan downfall
    It must have been a time of great hardship and struggle for the ancient Maya civilization. The land was parched and dry as the devastating effects of climate change on brought a great drought. New research has shown that, despite attempts to adapt to the changes, Mayan culture finally collapsed between 800 and 950 A.D. The researchers found that markers of historic droughts in Central America match the patterns of disruption to Maya society during those centuries of hardship. But we now have a clear picture of how the Mayans fought a long hard battle to survive and ultimately failed. redOrbit has been finding out more from the study’s first author Peter Douglas, now at the California Institute of Technology. “The research makes clear that the ancient Maya were not passive victims of climate change. They adapted in response to drought, but it only worked up to a point,” said Peter. Mark Pagani, a Yale University professor of geology and geophysics was a co-author of the study. “Our work demonstrates that the southern Maya lowlands experienced a more severe drought compared to the north,” added Pagani, who is also the director of the Yale Climate and Energy Institute. “The south was the center of the Maya population, and their capacity to adapt was limited,” Pagani explained. “The north was already accustomed to fairly dry conditions and did much better. There was actual expansion there after the collapse, but the southern cities never recovered.”

    Videos

  • This Ray made my Belize trip..., 1.5min. I was on a lazy snorkel with a couple friends around the lagoon off Long Caye in Belize when magic happened. Rays have always been my favorite, but I was never interested in swimming in a controlled environment, where the water was chummed, trained, etc. I was just swimming along enjoying the scenery and here out of nowhere was my unicorn. :) We ended up spending about 10 minutes swimming together, I would stop or slow down and the ray would circle around and I'd swim above. I can NOT describe this experience and wish the footage was better but I just wanted to live the moment. You can't tell but he was huge and absolutely stunning.

  • Belize 2014r., 4min.

  • Belizean Sea Turtle!, 1.5min. Filmed April, 2015 off Turneffe Atoll, Belize.

  • La Voz Karaoke 2015 Week 4 (DISC 1), 96min.

  • La Voz Karaoke 2015 Week 4 (DISC 2), 42min.

  • Diver's Destination Belize 2015 Trip, 3min.

  • Reportage choc Cœur des Gangs Belize en Amérique centrale 2015 Entier, 47min.

  • Zip-lining at Bocawna Adventures, Hopkins Belize 2015, 6min. Friends from Jaguar beach resort, this is to get you to try again in a couple of weeks- please come back. Ive loaded one scene- without editing until I get the rest loaded and edited. This is of our walk to the first zip line

    April 21, 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

    Abuse of any kind against Children is not permitted!
    Belize became the fifth country to ratify the UN convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). This CRC document has since become the most widely ratified convention and human rights instrument in the world. It is testament to our country’s recognition of the importance of caring for our children and nurturing them to be responsible and productive citizens. A commitment that obligated our Government to enact laws and policies that creates the enabling environment for children to flourish and reach their full potential. One of the obligations to our children is to protect them from all forms of exploitation, abuse and neglect. Article 19 of the CRC states that, “Children should be protected from being hurt and mistreated in body or mind”. Keeping this in mind, the recent death of 11-month-old baby Mia is both startling and heartbreaking. According to the media, “Mia Eusebia Lopez died from severe cerebral edema resulting from multiple skull fractures, due to blunt force trauma to the head.” NCFC views these findings troubling and is deeply concerned about the welfare of the other two children in that household; especially since parents are the first line of defense; they are to ensure the safety and protection of their children as well as provide a safe dwelling place. Therefore, NCFC calls on all relevant authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into this incident and asks that the fullest extent of the law be applied in the case of a guilty verdict.

    At what point do Police take over?
    There have been several incidents reported to the San Pedro Police by third-party witnesses of civilians being victimized, especially in cases involving domestic violence and sexual abuse, but the victim refuses to press charges on their assailant. Persons who commit these crimes are never brought to justice, even though many are aware of the incident and believe police should have intervened with or without the consent of the victim. Under the Laws of Belize, police can charge any person for committing a crime, whether the defendant requests court action or not, once the act committed is indictable under the Criminal Code of Belize and there is sufficient evidence to warrant an arrest. Jemmott also indicated that these circumstances are also common in sexual abuse and social issues. People believe that is best not to report incidents to police to avoid discrimination and repercussions from the accused. “Cases involving sexual abuse are very sensitive issues. Sometimes the victims do not report the crime because they are afraid or are just embarrassed of stating what has happened to them. In cases like this, we do our best to ensure that the victim is protected. What we are trying to make the community understand is that if abusers are not reported, then they are walking free with the liberty to commit the crime again. It is best to report these incidents the first time it happens to avoid it happening ever again,” said Jemmott.

    Ambergris Today

    Reef Week in Ambergris Caye (May)
    Reef Week serves as a part of the environmental education program where the primary objective is to have students learn about our coastal and marine resources in a fun and rewarding manner. The Hol Chan Marine Reserve Office has hosted Reef Week since 2005 with the help of the business community and other non-profit organizations. Activities in the past have included Beach Clean Ups, Lion Fish round up/Cook Off, Educational Tours, Trivia Competitions, Skit competitions and Movie nights. Below is the schedule of events for Reef Week 2015 which includes an Amateur Lionfish culling competition is open to anyone just sign up @ the Hol Chan office. Reef Week runs from May 11th to 17th, 2015 on Ambergris Caye. For further information contact us via Facebook page or 226-2247.

    Pic of the Week - Lazy Slow Island Days Call for Sietas
    When slow season kicks in and you find yourself with a little more time on your hands scheduling an afternoon siesta is not a bad thing. It’s not hard to with a magnificent view like this entrepreneur has at Central Park in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. We caught him taking a nap while his sales of inflatable water toys got a bit slow one afternoon. We guess you can take the time to ponder on other things to keep busy and make more money; right?

    Belize Tourism Pioneer Mr. Peter Tonti Passes
    The Belize Tourism Board joins the Tourism family in mourning the loss of one of its very own tourism pioneers, Mr. Peter Tonti, which happened on April 16th, 2015. Mr. Tonti has been in Belize since the late part of the 1970's when he arrived as a volunteer for the Peace Corps. He served Belize significantly during his time after the Peace Corps Tour. He remained in Belize working with the Reconstruction and Development Corporation, which aided in the construction and administration of Belmopan in the early phases. He later made his first investment in the tourism sector by joining the Belmopan Convention Hotel in the 1980's.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Keep Cruise Tourism Away from Placencia, Belize!
    NCL’s Malacate Marina was also captured in the new aerial image taken for Google Earth. The nursery is shown on the R side … the black squares are black netting, where over a 1000 smaller potted plants are kept. The area between the nursery and lagoon is a huge parking lot (for tour busses and other NCL vehicles).

    Poets Corner: Socialist Breeze
    By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. Out of the ashes of failed free market reform Socialism in Latin America was born The 80s and 90s saw the Washington Census Attempts at forcing us to join the globalized and privatized economic circus Failed stabs at amplifying Latin America democracy In association with US hegemony These disastrous cracks at alteration forced Latin American countries Towards other dreams of bring about a much needed end to poverty That has existed since the colonial epoch It’s at the core of these countries efforts to end dearth There is a socialist consciousness hitting Belize It comes from the south with a sweet breeze This noh weh blow over cause its contagious like a disease The people in the region tired a feeling the squeeze Our PM blames the superpower for crisis

    ATTENTION U.S. CITIZENS LIVING IN SAN PEDRO and SURROUNDS
    The Embassy of the United States of America in Belize invites you to a U.S. citizen town hall meeting in San Pedro Town. Date: Monday April 20, 2015 Place: Blue Water Grill (SunBreeze Hotel) San Pedro Town Belize Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Embassy staff that provides assistance to U.S citizens in Belize will discuss public services the U.S. Embassy offers, hurricane preparedness, and answer your general questions on our services.

    Red Bank village meeting
    The villagers are about to lynch the village council for not fully informing them of their plans with Tom Wilson. He mentioned ATV tour and River Tubing. He had to get a permit to operate from some government office or entity, upon applying he has to say exactly where he will be operating, so people did know, this is the only place in Belize we can get to see the Scarlet Macaws and yet they allow this to happen, I am not against development, but we need to be conscious on where and why. I know Red Bank and have very good friends there and am sure they would have never allowed something like this to happen in a forest reserve.

    USNS Comfort visit
    "Unity is strength... when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved." -Mattie Stepanek During the recent USNS Comfort visit, they not only provided medical services to Belizeans but they also provided other community services too! While they were in Belize the USNS Comfort crew and the BDF worked hard at the Seventh Day Adventist Primary School to construct a perimeter fence around the school and repaired the fence of the church. They also donated a new stove and refrigerator for the school to continue to provide food to the homeless and to the children. So next time you are travelling keep an eye out for the great work that they have done!

    BOLEDO DRAWING for Monday, April 20, 2015: 07

    Clean up campaigns of the Mopan River
    For many years FCD has developed the practice of conducting clean up campaigns of the Mopan River. This weekend the FCD Environmental Youth Group (FCDEYG) was honoured to have the participation of the US Ambassador join in the clean-up campaign held in Succotz. Other volunteers came from Rotaract, UB Environmental Club, Cadets, ORFG, Caracol YCD, Benque HOC

    Channel 7

    Well Known Couple Found Slain in House, Murder-Suicide
    Mike Estell and Colleen Sharp - they were a well-known couple in Ladyville, affluent, very social and committed parents to their 10 year old child. But last night they were carried out of their homes dead - both of them shot to the head in what looks like a domestic dispute turned murder, turned suicide. For the wider Ladyville community, it is an un-imaginable turn of events: how could this high - class couple end up dead in their home? Well it turns out that it was a murder suicide: police believe Mike Estell shot Coleen Sharp in a rage and then killed himself. 7News was on the scene last night: Jules Vasquez reporting At 8:15 on Sunday night - friends and family of Mike Estell and Colleen Sharp broke down the door of his house on the old Airport Road next to the Belikin Factory. Inside they found 54 year old Mike Estell and his common law wife, 30 year old Coleen Sharp both dead in the bathroom on the second floor - which is here - he was face down, she was on her back with a gun lying between them. They had both been shot to the head:

    Man Murdered In Front Of Fried Chicken Shack
    And while those two deaths will be filed under crimes of passion - senseless shootings dominated the weekend in Belize City. There were 3 shootings on Friday night which left 4 persons injured, and of the four, 35 year-old Vern Magdaleno was the only victim who was fatally injured. It happened on the corner of Faber's Road and Central American Boulevard, where Magdaleno went to buy fried chicken. That's when the gunman shot him execution style while he was sitting in the vehicle. Daniel Ortiz has been following that story, and here's his report: Daniel Ortiz reporting Just after 8 o'clock on Friday night, 35 year-old Vern Magdaleno, aka "Bird", lay slumped in the middle of the front seats of his Mazda car. He had been shot in the left side of the head by a gunman at close range. His family and friends could only observe the scene, which often became too overwhelming, their tears of grief freely flowing on the crowded Central American Boulevard.

    Shooter Barges Into Home, Releases Barrage Of Gunfire
    That murder on Friday night came after a trio of shootings which all happened around between 7:00 and 7:30. The most dangerous one occurred on Curl Thompson Boulevard when 49 year old Wendy Lambey was watching television with her family when a gunman stormed in and started to fire wildly - as many as 10 shots. Lambey was shot 6 times her in the legs. Her son's friend who was there at the time - 17 year old Aaron Munnings - was also shot in the jaw and hand - but survived. We spoke to Lambey's son who witnessed everything as well as Wendy herself after she was released from the hospital this evening. She told us that those shots were not meant for her but for her son's friend Aaron. Voice of Son of Victim "Basically it happened around 7 o' clock on a Friday night when everyone was watching TV. I, my little brother and a friend of mine were outside socializing. I came inside and walked up and down but they were still socializing outside. So I was coming out of the kitchen and I saw my younger brother run into the room.

    Spree Of City Shootings
    But, before that shooting at around 7:00, there was another, this one on Banak Street. 18 year old Nissane Usher was standing on Magazine road along with 2 friends when someone fired several shots at them, hitting him in the left thigh. Police are still looking into the matter. While on Saturday night a man and a 14 year old girl were shot. 34 year old Levar Taylor and 14 year old Tara Centino, both of Police Street were shot at by two men on a motorcycle around 10:15. Taylor was shot to his left shoulder and Centino was shot to her leg. Both were admitted to the KHMH in a stable condition. And yesterday there was another shooting incident around 5:41 in the morning on Cemetery Road. 41-year-old Kent Cole was shot by someone who rode by in a green Mazda S.U.V, wounding him in the right upper arm. Police are looking into the incident.

    Will Rt. Hon. Said Step Down
    He's had a long, accomplished, and, sometimes-controversial career in politics - and 7News has learned from credible sources that senior personalities are in discussions with 71 year old Said Musa to retire from electoral politics. Today Musa told us that it is something that has been discussed, but, added, quote, "I have not made up my mind." He added that he has quote, "not addressed my mind to it as urgently as perhaps others have." We asked him if such a move might be imminent...his response, "I would say it is not." But, clearly it is a very live issue and we know that there is a move at very senior levels of the party to prevail on Musa to step aside because, reputationally, he is considered a liability to the party. And the urgency Mr. Musa alluded to may indeed be present in the minds of some in the PUP who sense that general elections will be sooner rather than later. But, best sources say, talks are still in progress - and some of this - we are told - could be stuck on who would replace him in Fort George, which is considered one of the safest PUP seats in the country. Musa's first winning general election was in 1979 - and he has served 7 terms in the House of Representatives - wining the last 6 times in succession.

    Dylan Reneau Tells Audrey To Simmer Down
    All of last week, we covered the dispute over Labour Senator Ray Davis. Trade Union congress Vice President Audrey Matura Shepherd said he must resign or be removed because he abstained on the Petrocaribe vote - but his supporters say he never got a directive from the union on how to vote, so he had no choice but to abstain. Former NTUCB President Dylan Reneau elaborated on this at great length in a lengthy email sent last Friday - in which he also took time to lecture Matura-Shepherd for her public criticisms of Senator Davis. 7News has obtained a copy of the three thousand word email - complete with nine attachments - which is addressed to Matura-Shepherd. He says the letter is triggered by her public attack on the integrity of a trade union stalwart. Right off the top, he warns, quote, "I believe you are out of line calling for Senator Davis to resign or for NTUCB to remove him." 7News has obtained a copy of the three thousand word email - complete with nine attachments - which is addressed to Matura-Shepherd. He says the letter is triggered by her public attack on the integrity of a trade union stalwart. Right off the top, he warns, quote, "I believe you are out of line calling for Senator Davis to resign or for NTUCB to remove him."

    CCJ's First Session In Belize
    The Judges of the Caribbean Court of Justice, the Belize's highest court of appeal, are in Belize for their first ever sitting in this country. They arrived on Saturday, and they will be hearing cases until Thursday. One of the cases they hope to deal with in person is the Maya Communal Land Rights Case. As we've reported, former Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh ruled in 2007 and 2010 that the Mayans in 33 villages of Southern Belize have customary land rights over their ancestral lands. That's pretty much the same thing that the Court of Appeal affirmed in July of 2013, but they did not grant the relief that the Mayans were asking for. The Court ruled that the Government did not have to protect those rights by legislating their ownership with the Lands Department. So, both sides decided to appeal since the Appeal Court's decision was not fully in either party's favor. That brings us to this week where the Court of Appeal has set aside 2 full days to hear what they expected to be a rigorous and intensive appeal. That's until this morning's case management conference, which was held in closed doors. That's when the Government attorneys Denys and Naima Barrow indicated to the court that they would settle most of the point in dispute with the Mayan litigants. We waited outside of court for an opportunity to speak with both sides about this unexpected settlement, and here's what they told us:

    CCJ Hears First Criminal Appeal From Belize
    The Caribbean Court of Justice will hear its first-ever criminal appeal from Belize. In January, Eamon Courtenay, the former President of the Bar Association explained to the media that the reason no criminal appeals have made it to the CCJ is because the convicted appellants cannot afford it. And now Courtenay is representing the first man to take his appeal to that court. That applicant is convicted murderer Gregory August who recently appealed to the Court of Appeal, but failed to convince the judges that his appeal should be allowed. The CCJ judges held a special sitting this morning to hear his application for leave to appeal and be heard as a poor person. The CCJ panel looked favorably on his application, and granted him permission to appeal his case at a later date before him. They have decided, however, that he must go back to the Court of Appeal to argue new grounds that his attorney is bringing on his behalf. We spoke with his attorney outside of court about the favorable outcome, and the implications of those new grounds. Here's how he explained it:

    Pedophile Pastor
    A pastor of Boca de Poder Evangelical Church in Trial Farm, Orange Walk has been arrested and charged with child pornography. The 60 year old pastor Edgar Gerardo Lopez took nude pictures of two girls, ages 3 and 10 standing along with their mother. Apparently, the mother was having relations with him and took her daughters to meet him. That is when the pastor took the naked pictures of the girls. Lopez was charged with 4 counts of producing child pornography, 2 counts for the 3 year old minor and two counts for the ten year old. Police say the mother might also be charged. He was remanded to prison and will re-appear in court on June 29th. A medical examination established that none of the children had been molested.

    Lake I Showdown Between Cordel and King
    A mini political showdown played out in Lake Independence today. IT happened in the community space behind the Charles Bartlett Hyde building. That's where a dispute about land ownership played out between competing political interests: PUP Sheriff Cordel Hyde and his UDP counterpart Mark King. The issue is a piece of land, block 45 of parcel 61. Hyde says he secured it for the PUP Lake Independence Action Committee in 2007, while King has title for the very same piece of land in the name of the GOB for UDP Lake Independence Committee. Two titles for the same piece of land - sounds shady, right? Well, Cordel Hyde says he got title first, he just can't find it. We visited the area today and found his camp holding their ground:.. Cordel Hyde, PUP Standard Bearer - Lake I "We got word late last night that the area representative for Lake Independence was going to bring his people out here to break down this building. This building is owned by the Lake Independence Action Committee. They bought from the government in 2007 for $20,000. They sold a lot of barbeque and a lot of turkey dinner to pay for that. Late 2011 it was burnt down - 5 months before the elections. But you can't just go on someone's private property and invade their space and break down their building without at least having a discussion and saying what it is, is your intention. Even if you are the big bad government."

    What About Squat
    And while Kings says he is not in war mode on this one - Hyde took him to task for how he handles the eviction of 12 squatters last week. As we've reported, they were squatting on six acres of private land in the Gungulung area. The private landowner was about to evict them - and King intervened to give them leases for land in Cotton Tree. Hyde says he could have done better:

    Man Fights With Wife, Stabs Himself
    A man stabbed himself in a fight with his common law wife in Corozal. Yesterday, 38 year old Yeni Gomez along with her common law husband 23 year old Leandro Botes were socializing with family at their home when a misunderstanding erupted. Apparently, Botes broke a rum bottle and attempted to stab his common law wife Gomez but in the struggle he ended up stabbing himself in the left shoulder. He was taken to the KHMH in a critical condition. As for Gomez, she complained of pain to her right hand. Her face was also swollen.

    City Survives Mega Blackout
    Yesterday, residents in some areas of Belize City had an 11 hour mega-blackout! With the April heat coming on, it was surely an unwelcome Sunday sweat session, but BEL says it was important to improve the mechanism for emergency backup power. The main purpose of the blackout was to decentralize power from the Magazine Road plant during times of emergency. 2 newly built substations, one at the corner of Partridge and Banak Streets, and the other on the Phillip Goldson Highway, called the "Pallotti Substation", will take over in the event that there is power failure to the Magazine Facility. BEL's electricity grid will be able to re-route power to these new facilities and provide electricity for the City while Magazine substation is down. Engineers also re-positioned major transmission lines.

    Mahogany Trees For Free
    The Audubon Society has been giving away free Mahogany trees since Wednesday. The Society organizes this initiative every year for Earth Day and publicity coordinator Dirk Francisco says people have been coming in to get their trees. We spoke with Francisco along with a mahogany tree enthusiast and they told us that this initiative promotes both the beauty of the Mahogany tree along with its cultural and environmental significance. The Society had 200 trees to give away and now only has 75 left. So if you're interested, you can stop by the Belize Audubon Society and get your tree. Apart of this year's Earth Day celebration, the Audubon Society along with the Mayor of Belmopan will plant a Mahogany Tree at Guanacaste Park on Wednesday - when Earth Day is officially commemorated.

    Deon Is In Camp
    On Friday's newscast, we showed you how Belize's premier striker, Deon McCaulay, arrived in Belize after a group of fans organized a grassroots effort to pay for his transportation and stipend while he trains for the next 10 weeks. We'll, we've confirmed that McCaulay reported to his first practice today at the FFB Headquarters with the other National Team Members. The FFB also released a statement saying quote, "The Football Federation of Belize and The Belize National Team Committee take this opportunity to welcome home Deon McCaulay. Deon has accepted the terms of the FFB/National Team Committee and has agree to join the Team for workout, commencing Monday, 20th April, 2015. The terms and conditions as it relates to Stipend and traveling per diem are inline with the usual FFB policies and applies to all National Team Players." End Quote.

    Dwight's Declaration
    In the past few weeks we've shown you how two UDP Representatives have stepped aside to make way for new challengers to replace them. No one will say this, but the real reason they did that is because they were considered beatable, and the UDP hoped to replace them with better candidates who have a better chance at winning. Only time will tell if the ruling party made the right moves with Tracy Taegar and Darrell Bradley - but they have no moves to make in Belize Rural north. That's where Edmond Castro will be challenged by Dwight Tillett. Castro is considered to have a lock on the division so we asked Tillett today why he wants to challenge him:.. Dwight Tillet "I've been working in this division since 2003 for the current area representative. I worked as his campaign manager for the first 4 years leading up to the '08 election and I've also worked for him in 2012. He's a total disappointment to me and to many of us who were in his committee and it is these people that have urged me to come out. And I'm glad they have done that because we can't stay on the side-lines and keep on complaining about bad government. All the people who have all these bright ideas on talk shows, they should get out there and start to do something you know. That's the way were going to change our country and make it a better place. I expect to win, there is no doubt in my mind that the momentum we have - I have been at this since July 2013. I left my government job to be out there doing what I'm doing now. The people are ready for change and unless a miracle happens, I will not win but all indications are that we have this in the bag."

    Channel 5

    Well-known Couple Found Dead Inside Ladyville Home, Murder/Suicide Suspected
    A well-known Ladyville couple was found dead inside their house in Ladyville, Belize District. When family members were unable to get in contact with them on Sunday, police were called. [...]

    Tour Guide “Bird” Magdaleno Executed By Lone Gunman Inside His Vehicle
    The spate of violence over the weekend extended to the City where six persons were injured and one man was killed. The gun violence started as early as seven-thirty on [...]

    CCJ Sessions Commence in Belize, Gregory August Applies for Special Leave
    The Caribbean Court of Justice this morning commenced hearings for the first time in Belize, since its establishment in 2001. There are currently three other members, Barbados, Guyana and Dominica, [...]

    Attorney Eamon Courtenay Says Life Imprisonment Without Parole is Unconstitutional
    The basis for the legal challenge, according to Courtenay, is the constitutionality of the court’s decision to incarcerate August for the remainder of his life.  Equally, the case against August [...]

    Cordel Hyde Saves Decrepit Lake-I Building from Demolition
    Just before ten this morning, political friction erupted in the Lake Independence area and police were called in to avert any violence.  Residents and P.U.P. Standard Bearer, Cordel Hyde gathered [...]

    Orange Walk Pastor Arraigned for Child Pornography
    An Orange Walk pastor has been arrested and charged on multiple counts of child pornography of two minors. Honduran national Gerardo Lopez of the Evangelical Church in Trial Farm was [...]

    Brazen Shooting on Curl Thompson Street Leaves Two Persons Injured
    As we reported earlier, there were six persons injured in three other shootings in the Old Capital, but are not linked. Prior to the murder of Vern Magdaleno at the [...]

    Weekend Shooting Leaves Nissane Usher Injured
    Within minutes of the shooting on Curl Thompson Street and even as the scene was being processed, another team of officers responded to a shooting; this time at the corner [...]

    14 year old Girl Shot While Gunmen Pursue Target on Police Street
    By Saturday, night, two other persons including a fourteen year old girl would be shot and taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Just after ten p.m., two gunmen approached [...]

    Domestic Dispute in Corozal – Husband Stabbed and Wife Badly Beaten
    And up north, a couple in Corozal Town remains hospitalized tonight, following a domestic altercation on Sunday.  Twenty-three-year-old Leandro Botes, a resident of Altamira, was stabbed in the left shoulder [...]

    Is N.T.U.C.B. a House Divided?
    The controversial Petrocaribe Bill has since been enacted and despite the N.T.U.C.B.’s seemingly lethargic response in criticizing that piece of legislation, a release by the umbrella organization was issued over [...]

    Swedish Student Busted with Drug Paraphernalia in Caye Caulker
    A Sweden student was before the court today after he was busted on Caye Caulker in possession of a pipe used for smoking drugs and one point three grams of [...]

    Home Invasion in Esperanza, Ex-Common Law Hacks Woman and Man With Machete
    We have reported on the violence in the Belize District and up north in Corozal. In the west, a domestic dispute landed a woman in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital [...]

    Businessman Shalman Rahid Robbed in Santa Elena Town
    A businessman was also robbed on Saturday night in Santa Elena Town. Robbers netted over two thousand dollars in cash and valuables. San Ignacio Police say they are investigating this [...]

    Semi Pro Basketball at its Best in Sports Monday
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   As the PLB Closing Season continues to roll, we caught up with yesterday’s showdown in what could be a [...]

    CTV3

    Two Corozal Residents Charged For Drug Trafficking
    A vehicle search in the Village of Progresso yielded successful for authorities from the Corozal District. On Saturday April 18th 2015 at about 5:30am, the Belize Special Assignment Group (B.S.A.G) personnel conducted a search at the premises of 38 year old Nestor Urbina Heredia, Belizean watchman. At the time of the search Heredia was accompanied by 19 year old Raul Pech, labourer and resident of Progresso Village. Searches conducted inside the glove compartment of a green Ford Explorer 4 door SUV resulted in the discovery of green leafy vegetable substance suspected to be cannabis. The suspected drug was wrapped in white paper inside a transparent plastic bag. The finding was shown to both persons who were informed of the offence committed cautioned and placed under arrest. Both men were escorted along with the findings to the Corozal Police Station. At the station the suspected cannabis was weighed in presence of both accused and amounted to 148.7 grams. Both persons were arrested and charged for drug trafficking.

    Another House Burnt Down In August Pine Ridge Village
    Over the weekend, a fire was recorded in the Village of August Pine Ridge in Orange Walk where the blaze consumed one structure and left its owner displaced. According to the report which was made at 11:00pm on Saturday, when police got to the scene it was little too late. Deputy Commander, Inspector Selvin Tillett told us more. “Upon their arrival police saw a 25 by 18 foot cement top building that had been burnt to the ground and the house belong to one Sepriano Estrada 67 year old Belizean labourer of said village August Pine Ridge and his household articles were all destroyed and police conducted an investigation and so far four person from the said village of August pine Ridge were being detained pending investigations.” The total value of the structure and its contents was estimated at $8,000 dollars.

    NCFC Issues Release Condemning The Abuse Of Any Kind Against Children
    At the top of the newscast we told you about the pastor from the Roca de Poder Evangelical Church in Trial Farm who has been charged for Child Pornography and at the heels of that charge, today the National Committee for Families and Children issued a release which out rightly condemned the abuse of any kind against children. The statement says and we quote, “One of the obligations to our children is to protect them from all forms of exploitation, abuse and neglect. Article 19 of the Rights of a Child states that, “Children should be protected from being hurt and mistreated in body or mind”. The release continued stating that “Too often in the past, criminal acts against children have gone unpunished. However, perpetrators should bear in mind that whenever children are abused or seriously harmed, there will be severe penal repercussions. A zero tolerance approach against child abuse of any kind must be the stance throughout the length and breadth of Belize”, end quote. The release ended that we all have a part to pay in providing a safe and healthy environment to our future leaders and to commit to creating spaces where children can know they are nurtured and protected. It’s our collective responsibility to make Belize worthy of its children.” End quote.

    NTUCB Yet To Take A Stand On PETRO CARIBE Law
    There has been much debate on the new Petrocaribe law which allows government to borrow and spend without seeking prior approval from the House of Representatives. Today, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize declared that in the hands of the NTUCB, the dissection and unfolding of Petro Caribe Law is only just beginning. In a release issued today, the NTUCB states that, “this new law flies in the face of ALL we stand for regarding the fiscal management of Belize’s resources”. The NTUCB release continues saying that no law passed to facilitate loans should be in contravention of the Constitution and the Finance and Audit Act, nor should the Power of Parliament be used to confirm, validate and legitimize such violations. It goes on to state that the new law circumvents accountability and transparency – a tenet of NTUCB, reference good governance. With that said, the NTUCB states that it will quote, “continue to work its machinery; void of the pressure elements within the media keep mounting, to get the Congress to lose focus on what the real issue is which to find out if the Petro Caribe Law is good for Belize?

    Pastor Charged For Child Pornography Is A False Prophet
    On Friday we broke the story of an alleged pastor criminally charged for Child Pornography offenses of two female minors. When we left you, 60 year old Gerardo Lopez, a construction worker and self-proclaimed Pastor was slapped with four counts of Child Pornography; two counts on the 3 year old and two counts for the ten year old student. And while police continue to investigate and the matter taken up with the Department of Human Development, today Lopez was formally arraigned in court. Reporter Maria Novelo has that story. Maria Novelo – Reporting 60 year old Edgar Gerardo Lopez will be spending day one of his prison sentence tonight after being formally arraigned on child pornography offenses and denied bail. The charge stems from nude photographs found in his personal cellular phone of two minors, ages 3 and ten of Trial Farm Village in Orange Walk. When authorities questioned him about the pictures, Lopez, who proclaimed to be a pastor for the Roca de Poder Evangelical Church in Trial Farm, confessed that he took the photographs from the Mother and her two minor daughters. Today, our investigations led us to Oscar Barrera, president of the Pastor’s Association of Orange Walk. Barrera says that while the incident has tainted the image of the Evangelical Ministry, the self-proclaimed pastor is a false prophet.

    Couples Fight Leads To One Person Injured
    An alleged abusive relationship in Corozal Town has left one resident recuperating from stab wounds at the Corozal Community Hospital. On Sunday around 9:00pm Corozal Police visited the Corozal Community Hospital where they saw 23 year old Leandro Botes, Belizean laborer of Altamira Area, Corozal Town, being treated for a stab wound to the lower left shoulder and bleeding profusely. Fifteen minutes later, 38 year old Yeni Gomez, Botes’ common-law-wife, arrived at the Corozal Police Station drenched in blood and smelling of alcohol. In her report, Gomez stated that earlier that day, she and her common law husband along with their family and friends were socializing at the couple’s house drinking a few alcoholic beverages, when she and Botes ended in their private room and a misunderstanding erupted between both.

    PlusTV

    BAHA investigates cause of shrimp die off in the south
    An unconfirmed disease has caused the dying out of shrimps in at least one shrimp farm pond in the South.  When we broke the story on Wednesday, BAHA officials were already on the ground quarantining the pond of the first farm affected to ensure that the unnamed disease does not spread...

    Thousands of chickens slaughtered in the West
    And while shrimps are dying in the South, chickens are being slaughtered in the West...

    says Belize is one of most accepting countries of homosexuality
    Is the stage being set to push through the decriminalization of sodomy in Belize?According to UNAIDS sponsored surveys; Belize may very well be ready for the move...

    Deon McCauley returns home, makes up with FFB
    National Football Team forward Deon McCauley touched down at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) this afternoon on a Delta Airlines flight from Atlanta, Georgia, ending several weeks of back and forth over whether he would be here for the start of training camp ahead of the second round ...

    PM promises to keep trying with audit requirements
    Auditor General Dorothy Bradley has fingered the Government of Belize for being unable to reconcile 22 accounts as part of its annual audit exercise which resulted in an adverse review...

    BAY hosts job placement sessions for youths
    As a part of the 2 year program to promote job creation and entrepreneurship, sponsored by the Belmopan City Council and through a grant from the US Embassy, the Belmopan Active Youths will travel to the Jaguar Creek resort with 40 youths for two days to participate in activities geared towards equi...

    Quality Poultry truck robbed and stolen
    A Quality Poultry vehicle with over $8000 in cash was stolen just before news time in Salvapan, Belmopan. The Quality Poultry truck men were stocking Mary’s Store in Salvapan when two men jumped in the truck and sped off...

    Third person charged in Coast Guard’s murder
    San Ignacio police have made a third arrest in the murder of Coast Guard Aurelio Montero who was found badly beaten at the Welcome Center in San Ignacio two weeks ago. The seaman eventually died from his injuries...

    Marco Tulio charges to be upgraded
    PUP Orange Walk East Area Representative Marco Tulio Mendez will face more serious charges of child molestation. Back in February of this year, the member of the House of Representatives was arraigned on six countsof aggravated assault; four for one minor and two for the other minor...

    Woman awakened by intruders and robbed
    A store owner in PG was robbed at knife point. 31-year-old Li Zhen Wu, a Belizean businesswoman  and owner of New Choice Store reported that about 3:00 a.m. on Thursday April 16, she was awaken by two male persons of dark complexion who entered her room and placed a knife to her neck...

    MoneyGram in PG robbed
    There was another robbery in Punta Gorda on Thursday April 16. A 17-year-old manager of Money Gram reported that on at around 5:10 p.m...

    Charges against alleged Succotz rioters dismissed
    Alleged Succotz rioters have been freed of charges. The charges against the 14 persons residents of San Jose Succotz village who were dismissed in the Magistrate’s Court on April 16...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Women charged over fight
    Two Belize City women are convicted of disorderly conduct and committing a mischievous act after being found fighting each other on the street and then attempting to cover it up. 25 year old Christie Pope and 24 year old Guatemalan national Gracie Ba were apparently fighting each other […]

    New Zealand visitor fined for cannabis
    A visitor to Belize from the Asian Pacific nation of New Zealand is out $150 after pleading guilty to possession of cannabis and a wooden pipe used for smoking the drug. 19 year old Hamish Miller Rees Malens, a student, was caught on April 17 in Caye Caulker. […]

    BEL employee charged for stolen Dutch cheese
    This weekend an employee of the state-run electricity company was caught apparently taking 2 balls of Dutch cheese from a store on Sixth Street in Belize City. 38 year old Eron Logan of Tibruce Street pleaded not guilty to a count of theft before Magistrate Aretha Ford. Logan […]

    Fisherman charged again for undersized conch
    Fisherman from Sarteneja in the Corozal District 48 year old Sansermo Torres has run afoul again of the law on possession of undersized conch, and it will cost him. He will find out how much when he is sentenced on Friday, April 24, before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith. […]

    CCJ grants leave to appeal to convicted murderer
    The seven-member panel of justices of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) arrived at the No. 1 Supreme Court in Belize City this morning for a historic first itinerant session in Belize. The CCJ is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its founding as final court of appeal for […]

    It’s official! Deon McCaulay joins the National Team
    Belize’s most recognized and loved footballer, Deon McCaulay, was brought back into the country last week by a group of committed fans who joined hands to pay for his flight and give him a stipend while in Belize. The star striker was playing for the Atlanta Silverbacks in the United […]

    Pastor sentenced to prison in child porn case
    Proclaimed Pastor Edgar Gerardo Lopez, has been remanded to prison for the crime of child pornography. 60 years old Lopez, a resident of Black-water Creek in Trial Farm village in Orange Walk will spend his first night at Central Prison after appearing this morning, in court to be formally arraigned […]

    Romeo and Juliet-style tragedy leaves woman and man dead
    Police in Ladyville are trying to puzzle up the pieces to a murder and suicide case that happened around 8:35pm on Sunday night. Police visited the residence of Michael Estell on the Old Airport Road in Ladyville in the District of Belize, and upon entering the premises; they observed 30 […]

    Bloody weekend in the City
    Several shootings recorded over the weekend leaves person dead and about half a dozen recuperating from gun shoot wounds at the KHMH. On Friday night around 8:14 pm, Belize City police were called to the corner of Fabers Road and Central American Boulevard, where they saw the lifeless body of 35 […]

    Lover’s quarrels lands one at the KHMH
    Authorities in Corozal are investigating a lover’s quarrel that landed one of them at the KHMH for treatment. According to the officials, around 9pm on Sunday, they visited the Corozal Community Hospital where they saw 23 year old Leonardo Botes from Altamira Village bleeding profusely. Shortly after the police visited […]

    CCJ begins historic first Belize session
    This morning the seven justices of the Caribbean Court of Justice arrived for a historic first session in Belize on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of its founding. The Court’s first case is a criminal appeal in which convicted murderer Gregory August is seeking leave to appeal his case […]

    A newly formed group in Punta Gorda is making strides in that community
    The St. Vincent Block, also known as “Cerro”, is a small Garifuna community just outside of Punta Gorda Town that spans over 900 acres of land. Although Cerro is a peaceful, culturally enriched and rapidly growing community, it has been faced with many problems since its start. Some major problems […]

    Man Drowns in Gracie Rock
    Belize Media Group has received reports about a man drowning in Gracie Rock. According to reports, around 4:30pm on Sunday, Jamel Canto jumped in the river to save another person who was drowning – but that was when he was tragically swept in the deep waters of the river and […]

    Blogs

    More And More People Are Coming to Enjoy the West Side of Ambergris Caye…And For GOOD Reason
    For many years, the west side of Ambergris Caye was only accessible by boat. Mostly known for the small but very exclusive resort Cayo Espanto (opened in 1998) and for fly fishing, few people went over just for the scattering of beaches and the crystal clear waters. The first time that I got a good view of the untouched coast and the many tiny cayes was on a trip to Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve. It’s a pretty special tour (here is one I took more recently: A Mayan Site, One Million Birds and Dolphins…) that takes you almost all the way around the island. Through the tiny cut at the north side that separates Ambergris Caye, Belize from the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. But now? The west side is blowing up! And with Leonardo DiCaprio developing Blackadore Caye? Oh my…it’s going to be crazy. Yesterday on a SERIOUSLY blustery day on the reef side of the island, the water was much calmer on the leeward side. I took a boat ride up to Grand Belize Estates and beyond and…WAS NOT THE ONLY ONE THERE.

    Florida or Belize?  That is the Question.
    Prior to making our final decision to move to San Pedro, we had just recently sold everything in Minnesota and set up residency in Florida. We own a home there and would spend winters there instead of the Midwestern Frozen Tundra. Due to the amount of flight miles accumulated going back and forth annually, the airline rewards us with what they refer to as “A Companion Ticket”. We had decided that this year it shall be assigned to J.P. Newman so she could leave the comforts of her icebox in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and relax with us in the Florida sunshine. After pulling the trigger on relocating to San Pedro, a phone call to our lucky companion ticket holder was in order. “So, we decided to move to Belize. Instead of coming to Florida in April, would you like to come visit us there?” She hung up the phone and started packing – immediately. Two cancelled flights out of Duluth later and barely functioning on 3 hours of sleep, our field correspondent arrived on La Isla Bonita. Pool Time and Hot Dogs “First things first! I need some sun! I want my freckles to breed!” – this was J.P.’s early morning proclamation. Time to get our girl to a pool and/or beach for some island time sunshine! Of course, the first place we decided to take her was to Caribbean Villas Resort. There’s always some room at one of the two freshwater pools on site, comfortable loungers by the beach and great food on the menu for breakfast or lunch. The view is nothing to sneeze at, either.


    Many people live their lives without leaving a mark on society. This isn’t the case for Peter Tonti. Originally from the U.S., after completing a Peace Corps volunteer session in Belize in the 1970s, he decided to permanently live there. He set up shop in the tourism industry and helped pioneer a young industry that was in need of much guidance. I officially met Peter when I started working at The Lodge at Chaa Creek; however, I was acquainted with him before that. I’m from San Ignacio and that’s where the Chaa Creek offices are. He was known as the guy who walked all over town. That’s strange in Belize because anyone who can afford a car, owns a car – public transit sucks and it is also considered a status symbol. A car means your standard of living is good. At the office Peter commanded respect, and after work he was super casual and loads of fun to party with. I remember when I just started working with him and I would tell myself I couldn’t wait for us to be cool enough to hang out. His best friend was Mike Green, a guy who also worked at the lodge as the conservation manager, and on Fridays you’d see Mike Green come by the office at the end of the day to pick him up for some TGIF fun. Grrr, I wish I was invited I would tell myself. Haha. There are many things that I learned from Peter but there are two things that I am most grateful for.

    International Sourcesizz

    Natural plaster advocates want to reduce cement in construction
    Rottler is one of the directors of Tierra y Cal, a nonprofit based in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, that uses compressed earth blocks for building, "green" kilns for firing bricks and clay-based plasters and paints to cover walls. Besides working with local builders and the Guanajuato state government to cut air pollution from kilns, Tierra y Cal also hosts workshops teaching its methods to groups such as Engineers Without Borders. One primary goal is to reduce the amount of cement used in construction. Cement has obvious benefits and belongs in the building process, says Rottler, but it is increasingly relied on unnecessarily, dramatically raising the carbon footprint of construction. "There's cement in everything now — floors, foundations, walls, plaster, roofs," he says. "We're trying to build with materials we have locally." In central Mexico the local recipe for a natural plaster is simple: clay, lime, borax and a slurry of cut-up nopal cactus paddles. The lime acts as a stabilizer that makes the clay resistant to moisture, the borax retards molds and the cactus works as a binder, a natural latex.

    US fraud reveals Chavez-connected Caribbean money trail
    The collapse in early 2011 of what prosecutors described as Connecticut’s largest ever Ponzi scheme and subsequent criminal and civil court proceedings have revealed a money trail of ill-gotten gains stretching from one end of the Caribbean to the other, some of which benefited individuals connected to high ranking members of the government of former Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez. Venezuelan financier, Francisco Illarramendi, 45, was sentenced in January of this year to 13 years in prison for running what US federal prosecutors in Connecticut called a Ponzi scheme that resulted in $382.2 million of losses to investors, including Venezuela's state-owned oil company.

    And the world's top island for vacationers is ...
    (CNN)Island-hoppers take note: Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos is TripAdvisor's latest pick for the world's top island. Providenciales climbed a rung from last year's No. 2 ranking among the travel review site's Travelers' Choice award winners to bump Ambergris Caye out of the top spot. It was quite a tumble for the Belize island. Ambergris Caye held the top ranking on the TripAdvisor global islands list for two years in a row before dropping out of the top 10 completely this year. Why the disappearance? "It's hard to say, as winners change from year to year based on feedback from travelers," said TripAdvisor spokeswoman Julie Cassetina. "Similar to last year and 2013, winning islands were determined using an algorithm that looked at the quality and quantity of traveler reviews and opinions for hotels, attractions and restaurants on each island gathered during a 12-month period."

    Caribbean Court of Justice begins first itinerant session in Belize
    The Caribbean Court of Justice, or CCJ, on Monday began itinerant sessions in Belize for the first time to ensure that it was "accessible to the people of the Caribbean Community, which it serves." Sessions will be held until Thursday in Courtroom 1, Supreme Court of Belize, the CCJ said in a statement. The CCJ will hear appellate jurisdiction cases from Guyana and Belize, including the case of The Maya Leaders Alliance et al. v. the Attorney General of Belize. The Trinidad-based court held sessions in Barbados in April 2012; Jamaica and Barbados in March 2013; and Guyana in February 2014. Twelve of the 15 Caribbean Community members are signatories of the CCJ: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. EFE

    Two dentists in a rain forest: Slidell Town Talk
    When I sat down with two prominent Slidell dental professionals, the first thought that came to mind was that they looked like a couple of young guys excited to talk about a recent camping trip, and couldn't wait to go again. The guys I'm talking about, although young in spirit if not in actual years, are Joseph Lindsay and Michael Guevara, the two friends for which the Dos Amigos Dental Medical Missions is named. The group has a 26-year history of offering dental and medical care to villagers in the Toledo District of Belize, most of whom have little to no access to health care services we in this country take for granted. Lindsay started the group after attending the slide show presentation at his church by a missionary couple stationed in Belize. By the end of the evening, he was making plans. "I turned to my wife Sandy and said, 'we're going.' We went home," explained Lindsay, "and she told our daughter Abby, 'guess what your silly Dad wants to do?'" That was 1988. Months later, the three family members and a few additional brave souls were standing on a concrete slab with a thatched roof overhead, providing dental care to people sorely in need of even the simplest procedures.

    The best islands in the world, as voted for by TripAdvisor users
    If you’re planning a summer holiday, preparing a gap year itinerary, or maybe even deliberating over where to go on your honeymoon, you may want to take a look at TripAdvisor's latest "best of" list before making your final decision. The travel review website has rounded up the world's best islands, as voted for by its island-hopping users. Topping the list this year is Providenciales in Turks and Caicos, which is ringed by some of the world’s prettiest beaches. The island came second in last year's awards, pipped to the post by Ambergris Caye in Belize, which didn’t made the cut this year. Tropical seems to be a recurring theme, with only two European destinations making the top 10.

    What Traveling for a Living Taught Me About Life
    Without exception, the best lessons I have ever learned in life have come from traveling the world. My partner, Alesha Bradford, and I have been backpacking around the globe for nearly seven years, exploring new destinations, discovering fascinating cultures, and meeting interesting people. Every day that I spend on the road teaches me more about who I am. I look back at where Alesha and I came from and how we’ve changed since those early years of travel, and it’s easy to see and appreciate how travel has turned us into the people we are today. It can be a little be daunting to trust a stranger. After all, we are brought up in the Western world to fear them. But just like you and your friends, most people are inherently good. Strangers in Dangriga, Belize, took us in, fed us, and gave us shelter for no other reason than that they wanted us to have a good time in their country. A man in Myanmar closed his shop for 30 minutes so he could walk us to a monastery to make sure we didn’t get lost. When you travel, you find out that these kinds of people aren’t the minority: The world is full of good, honest, and kind people.

    Marine Expedition to Investigate Plight of Manatees, Dolphins in Cuba
    This has been a record year for counting the number of manatees in Florida, but what about our island neighbor to the south? Columbus first mentioned the waters off Cuba swimming with manatees, but since then they've been hunted for food. No one really knows how many live there. A marine conservation expedition beginning Tuesday aims to shine some light on their plight - as well as that of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. It's being held by Sea to Shore Alliance, a small nonprofit group formed about six years ago in Sarasota. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with it's executive director, Dr. James "Buddy" Powell, who says it's a first-of-its-kind trip to Cuba. Powell says he came up with the first concrete proof that manatees traverse the Straits of Florida and winter in Cuba. He's also documented manatees swimming across the Carribbean, off the nation of Belize.

    Prohíben captura de caracol rosado hasta el 2017 en Q. Roo
    La veda que entra en vigor hoy, prevé el aprovechamiento sustentable del molusco. La veda de caracol rosado y blanco para Quintana Roo entró en vigencia el día de hoy, y hasta el 28 de febrero de 2017 queda estrictamente prohibida la captura de este molusco. A partir de 2018 y años sucesivos, la veda se establecerá en dos periodos, durante todo el mes de febrero y del 1 de mayo al 30 de noviembre de cada año. Autoridades federales publicaron el día de ayer (viernes) el documento que establece las medidas de protección a la especie y la restricción en su aprovechamiento o consumo. También te puede interesar: Sentencian a pescador que sustrajo seis kilos de caracol César Armando Rosales Cancino, delegado de la Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación (Sagarpa), refirió que en dicho acuerdo se fija veda temporal para el caracol rosado o blanco (Strombus gigas) en el banco Chinchorro, Quintana Roo, y en la zona desde Punta Herrero, al norte de Mahahual, hasta Bacalar Chico (también conocido como Canal de Zaragoza) en los límites con Belice.

    Videos

  • Week 2 of camp is on in full force.., 1/2min. Belize National Football Team getting ready for their second Wold Cup Qualifier against Dominican Republic in June.

  • Best of 2014 wildlife patients at Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic, 9min. The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic released a great video that covers a lot of what they did last year. Spoiler: they did a lot. Great video. Thanks, BWRC!

  • Belize update #2, 1.5min. Fireflies in the hills......on the road again!

  • Easter 2015 @ Barefoot Beach Bar Placencia Belize, 2min. Dj Richie, Dj Dalla, Dj Jago, Remix Berto, Dj Boneyfide, Linda Blease.....Beach Shellas.

  • Taste Of The Islands - Ambergris Caye, Belize! (2.17.15), 8.5min. Scenic flight & island life! :)

  • Belize Barrier Reef Wall Dive, 4min. SCUBA diving at the Belize Barrier Reef. This was a two tank, two location dive.

  • Goldfish Swim School, St. Charles Mission Trip: Gales Point, Belize, 4min. Owner, Alex Tyler, Travels to Belize to teach underprivileged kids how to swim.

  • catamaran belize, 2min.

  • Cruise to Cozumel, Honduras and Belize with GoPro, 6min. Zip lining,Tubing, Dock diving, Horse back riding, Marriage proposal caught on my GoPro.


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