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Today's Belize News

May 10, 2015


FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

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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

Happy Mother's Day!
Congratulations to San Pedro's Mother of the Year 2015-16, Mrs. Graciela Vasquez!

Letter to the Editor: D. Crumpton responds to our April 30th Editorial
Over 5 years ago we visited and fell in love with the island. In 2 days of landing on the island I purchased my first beach front property. Within 4 months purchased my condo. Since then the island beauty has gone downhill. Crime has more than gotten worse. Property values have not really increased. In 5 years I purchased another condo. I’ve told all my friends. Bragged about my piece of paradise. Couldn’t wait to retire there. 5 years later with the trash, crime, murders, traffic. We have started looking at other islands. Just visited Roatan. It was beautiful, had real grocery stores with decent prices. No trash, low crime (on the island), friendly locals and beautiful beaches. I looked at several properties. I will buy there. I now have to consider if San Pedro is where I want to retire to. I love the island, the people, the culture, but if the elected officials don’t get ahold of the problems on the island I want be alone in looking elsewhere. Is it time to sell and move on? I sure hope not. Like I said, I love the island. But I have to look at my family and future first. At the rate the island is going, it better get its act together. It’s almost as if no one cares. Throwing trash everywhere. How about adopt a recycling project. Put bins out everywhere to collect glass, cans, plastic. Stop importing new cars. There are too many cars. Cars are rusted out hunks of junk. The taxis are junk. I won’t ride in one unless it’s new.

Letter to the Editor: Island impressions from a Danish tourist
Dear Editor, We stayed 2010 first and came back again in winter for another time. Earlier we had found The San Pedro Sun online and started to read it from back home. We were not sure if our impression about the downward trend of the island was just our European taste but now we see that also many Americans see it the same way. This letter is to support a better San Pedro and a better Ambergris Caye. We are very concerned! A new flight connection made it much easier the second time, without overnight from Europe and we were already thinking about the possibility of returning more often. Our Dutch run and owned small resort was nearly unchanged and still as clean and charming. It had also kept its beautiful island style we tourists like so much. We had a great time there. The rest was rather disappointing the second time. In town, we were in noise, heavy and often dangerous traffic, car and taxi drivers paying attention to their cell phones while driving plus often stinking, load vehicles, many were without mufflers. It felt like Little Saigon, Vietnam rather than a charming fishing and tourist town on a Caribbean island. On our first visit we had never used the road and only the boat service but now the road was made new to the North. Now you drive through polluted mangrove areas, filled with old refrigerators, bicycles and other trash deposits in the swamps. So sad to see this.

Students sit second part of PSE
The second part of the National Primary School Examination (PSE) took place on May 14th, and once again thousands of students countrywide made their way to their respective examination centers to sit the exam. In San Pedro Town, a total of 298 students from seven schools on Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker partook in the exams. The examination took place at the San Pedro High School, and this second phase of the examination challenged students in Mathematics and Social Studies. “Some of the questions were a bit tricky, but I managed to answer all of them. So I am pretty sure that I will do well,” said Christian Contreras of New Horizon Seventh Day Adventists School (SDA). Charlie Edwards looked very confident about his performance on the exam and he explained his views. “I prepared myself for the exam by studying hard and getting help from my teachers on revision week. The Social Studies exam was the one I was most familiar with as I recognize the content of the questions right away as I went through the test.”

Letter to the Editor: Blair Exall give suggestions for traffic problems
Dear Editor, The streets of downtown San Pedro are unsafe for pedestrians. I have been a San Pedro property owner since 1995, and have recently seen high increases in golf carts, cars, and motorbikes, using the main streets. I ride my bicycle through town almost every day when I am on the island. I am witness daily, to many pedestrians (tourists) upset and in fear of crossing your downtown streets. I don’t know if there is a final remedy to the problem, but I have a suggestion. Require all motorized vehicles using Front Street, to have a special (costly) permit. Delivery vehicles, taxicabs, and those with children being dropped off/picked up from the elementary school, could be excluded. Back street is wide, and can accommodate parking (the soccer field), and a larger traffic flow. Front Street should be used primarily for pedestrians enjoying our downtown. Please think about the future of San Pedro. Everyone wants safe streets, and a healthy tourist trade.

GOB highlights Petro Caribe Expenditure
The topic regarding the Petro Caribe funds has indeed been a controversial one and the present government has been under attack, mainly by the Opposition. While Senator Mark Lizarraga, president of the Christian Workers Union Audrey Matura-Shepherd and other stakeholders have been very vocal against the loan-act, the rest of the county will soon be seeing the results of how these funds are to be spent. Prime Minister Barrow was given a 21-day ultimatum from the Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca, to repeal the PetroCaribe Loan Act. In response to this the Prime Minister stated, “I am not going to let that happen because I am absolutely positive that the Belizean people are with me on this.” Barrow added. “It’s unprecedented for you to get monies for development purposes, for upliftment of the people, to be repaid over 25 years at 1 percent,” he continued, “who can be against that? Except those that are thinking along purely political selfish lines.” On April 29th, Prime Minister Barrow addressed the Opposition’s ultimatum in more details at a press conference which was scheduled to start at 10am, live on Wave Radio and through other media houses. However prior to the press conference he made it clear that the Petro- Caribe program will remain as it is. “I see right through them [the Opposition] and I know the Belizean people do as well,” Prime Minister Barrow continued, “it is only after we went to the house and passed the Supplementary Appropriations Act that details the spending, legitimizes the spending, offers full transparency, that the Opposition made it clear that it would not stop – it would still continue to try and derail PetroCaribe.”

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Fixed or floating exchange rates: Which would serve the Caribbean better?
Is the fixed currency exchange rate between the United States and some Caribbean countries affecting the latter's international competitiveness? This is a question that deserves review as Caribbean countries struggle with difficult economic conditions caused, in part, by the rapid change in their terms of trade and the value of currencies in which such trade occurs. Nine of the 14 independent Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries have currencies whose values are tied to a fixed exchange rate with the US dollar. These countries are: The Bahamas, Belize, Barbados, and the member states of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines). There is no evidence to suggest that these nine countries are performing more competitively than other countries in Caricom that have a floating exchange rate. Indeed, based on economic performance over the last decade, particularly as guaranteed markets for exports have disappeared and trade rules have changed significantly, the economies whose currencies are not fixed to the US dollar have done better. Small states face real difficulty in competing with other countries across the world in the free trade environment that has developed since the 1960s. While it was possible in previous decades to prop up economies through import substitution protected by high tariff walls, those days are over. Businesses now have to stand on their own, competing with foreign businesses in their own market, and for a place in export markets. The issue of competitiveness is now central to the success of any small state in finding work for its people, including its annual school leavers.

Cats and Kittens!!!
Saga Humane Society has the most adorable cats and kittens available for adoption. Here are some pictures but we have plenty more. Please pass by to visit the cats and hang out at our catery. Foster or adopt and we promise you will have unconditional love.

BELIZE CYCLING LEGEND RUDY MIGUEL WINS UPON WINS!
The legendary Belizean cyclist of the 1960's and 1970's, Rudy Miguel, proudly displays his trophies that he had won in cycling competitions in Belize and Mexico, where he had dominated many cycling classics in the 1960's and 70's.

TRIBUTE TO THE MIGUEL CYCLING CHAMPIONS!
The expose highlights the greatness of the Miguel cycling family, and the roots of the legendary Belizean cyclists that now includes the names, Justin Wlliams and Corey Williams. These two additional Belizean cyclists are now an addititon to the long line of the Miguel cycling family, and we shall see more wins by these two newest rivals to have come to dominate Belize's Annaul Holy Saturday Cross Country this year, 2015. The two brothers are connected to the Miguel family of cyclists through their mother, Desiree Lewis, who is the niece of Arthur, Edward, Johinto and Rudy Miguel. Their father, Caliman Willaims is also a renowmed Belizean cyclist. It has been a historical feat as Justin and Corey Williams joins their ucles, John 'Johnito' and Rudy Miguel in Belize's cycling Hall of Fame. Belizean Legends honors these champions.

BELIZE & MEXICO IN CYCLING! A STRONG HISTORICAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TWO COUNTRIES IN SPORTS!
It is most amazing to see the historical relationship that Belize and Mexico has built in sports since the 1950's. Two bordering countries that shared a healthy diplomatic relationship fostered particularly through the sport of cycling. And it reveals how important sports play in the development of a country. Belizean athletes has been invited to participate in many of Mexico's classic sports meets and has won many of them, and Belize likewise has been inviting Mexcian athletes to their renowned Annual Cross Country Cycling Classic, and Mexican cyclists has also won a few of Belize's Cross Country Cycling Classics. The outstanding Pablo Calderon is testament of that. It has been a a relationship that has worked out for the benefit of both countries in terms of diplomacy, trade, and exchange of ideas for development. We here at Belizean Legends honor this magnificent relationship that Belize and Mexico has shared, and want to share with you the viewers, a historical photo of Belize's cycling legend, Rudy Miguel, as he is embraced by Mexican fans and officials, in his winning of the 1972 Merrida Cycling Classic in Mexico. This is an important piece of Belizean sports history that is to be cherished for all times. Sub umbra floreo ( under the tree we flourish).

The Reporter

Woman, man shot in separate incidents
Two people were reportedly shot in the Belize district on Saturday - one of which was fatal. While the police have not released any details, The Reporter has recrived credible information that at 10:15 a.m. on Saturday, Daniel Trapp, 60, of 46 Egbert Quilter Street, Ladyville was shot in the chest. Quilter died while undergoing treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial’s emergency ward. Meanwhile, Brendalee Arnold, 52 yrs of 44 Gibnut Street, Belize City was shot to the back with a pellet gun. She was treated and released from the hospital.

Red Cross Society introduces first aid App
There is now an App we can download to apply first aid resuscitation to someone in the event of an emergency. On Friday the Belize Red Cross Society introduced the software tool at the Battlefield Park in Belize City on the occasion of World Red Cross Day. The App complements the society’s first aid practical lessons and offers a guide on what to do in emergency situations if a doctor, ambulance or hospital is out of reach. It offers a guide on what to do in cases of burns, if someone is unconscious, how to help someone choking or bleeding, or what to do if someone is having a heart attack or seizure. The guide comes with videos and graphics that are easy to follow. The App can be downloaded free of cost on Google Play Store on your data-ready cellular device by typing in First Aid by Belize Red Cross. There is a second App which the Red Cross will release next week which will be a guide to hurricane hazzards and do’s and dont’s during a storm.

Belize gets award for promoting traffic safety
Belize has won the “Find a Way Award” at the 4th International Road (IRF) Federation Caribbean Regional Congress for promoting good road safety measures in schools and the wider public. The award, given at the Hilton Rose Hall in Montego Bay, Jamaica on Wednesday, is part of an IRF program set up to recognise countries and projects that place road traffic safety at the forefront of social and economic development. It took effect after the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 was launched in more than 100 countries in May of 2011 – its goal being to prevent five million road traffic deaths globally by 2020. The IRF saw that the Belize Government promotes good road safety measures using mediums such as schools, the media, government bodies, civil society, religious denominations and the private sector. Locally, the road safety program, launched in March of 2013, serves as the first phase of what is expected to be a long-term initiative by the government to improve road safety in the country, with the Ministry of Economic Development as the lead agency and with components involving the Ministries of Works, Transport, Education, Health, Youth, and National Security.

Police try to solve murder of Roaring Creek teen
Belmopan police are conducting interviews with several persons to try and solve its latest murder – that of Grasford Thomas, a 16 year-old of Roaring Creek Village. Thomas left his house on Thursday evening and told his family that he was going to bring back groceries after he had completed a job he was doing. He was last seen around 8 p.m., riding a bicycle towards Camalote Village, which is about two miles west of Roaring Creek. When he didn’t return home by Friday, his mother, Minelva Baiza, said she knew something was wrong. She got confirmation to her fears around 6 p.m. Friday when the police summoned her to a scene where they had been informed a body was found bearing a tattoo “Minelva”.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Tears … Chaos … Responsibilities
By Marisa Alamilla. I was listening to the talk shows and I will say this and please understand that Belize is at a very bad place and so I believe we need to keep things real. People die everyday and sometimes it seems that one life is recognized more than the other and that is part and parcel of the problem we have in Belize. A great cyclist died and yes the country lost a great cycling ambassador by all accounts. There are those who want to blame the media, there are others blaming the gangs and there are others blaming the GOB and the lack of justice. I think the blame falls squarely on us. We have lost our way. We have lost our root values and principles. We have lost our children….and we lost them because the truth is that many of our men are “sperm donors” and as mothers we find excuses, blame the sperm donors and never realized that we could make the problem much worse if we did not realize our importance and role and did it no matter what. I am a single mom and I will not tell you its easy.

Western Ballaz Defeat Orange Walk Running Rebels 63-61
After 40 minutes of intense semi-pro basketball at the Sacred Heart Auditorium in San Ignacio, the Cayo Western Ballers emerged victorious in what can be considered their most important game of the season. The team, having lost their previous 3 games and members of its committee resigning just a week ago, needed this victory to stop the bleeding and re-gain their momentum. As time winded down, the Western Ballaz came out with the scores of 63-61 over the Orange Walk Running Rebels. Many people in Cayo believe that if the team had lost the game, its fan base would have dissolved but that was definitely not the case. Because the team impressed a packed auditorium of fans last night and got back on the right track, it is now tied with the San Pedro Tiger Sharks for first place in the NEBL.

BMG hosts staff retreat at Cahal Pech Resort in Cayo
Today’s top story is what we, Belize Media Group, are doing to help more Belizeans at home and abroad get their news in real time, the instant it happens. Correspondents and members of staff met at beautiful and scenic Cahal Pech Village Resort overlooking downtown San Ignacio to discuss past accomplishments and look ahead to future objectives. Acting CEO Hugh O’Brien reminded that at the top of our vision and strategy is to be the number one online news source for Belizeans. BMG was the brainstorm of a group of pioneers including late CEO Peter Tonti-fondly remembered at the start of this morning’s event-and journalist and former website namesake Patrick Jones. Founded in 2013, BMG already has thousands of dedicated followers from North America, the Caribbean, and as far as Europe and even India reading and commenting on our news stories!

Blogs

A Plea for Continued Round-the-Clock Veterinary Care in San Pedro + Elsie’s Story
We currently have two important veterinary clinics in San Pedro, Belize. And one of them is in trouble. One is the wonderful SAGA Humane Society which was founded in 1999 when there was NO care for animals on Ambergris Caye. They work tirelessly on a myriad of issues. From affordable pet care, education at the school, spay & neutering free clinics, dog & cat sheltering and adoptions, rounding up strays…the list goes on. All on fundraising by the board and donations from supporters. An amazing AMAZING crew but one that is seriously stretched. They work with Dr. Baptiste, a fantastic Belizean veterinary doctor, but he has a ton going on. He has his own clinic outside of Belmopan, he works with the Hopkins Humane Society and others around the country. We also have the San Pedro Animal Hospital – which has been in existence for about 6 years. It is a “private clinic” with the current vet – Dr. Trish from Canada. SPAH is open 5 days a week and available (when possible) 24 hours a day for emergencies. They are an animal hospital, not a shelter and do some different things than SAGA – like bathing and grooming and in-house lab work (with blood or skin scrapings). SPAH also has some different types of medication and ways of giving & monitoring anesthesia. BOTH CLINICS PERFORM IMPORTANT FUNCTIONS ON THE ISLAND.

Videos

  • Belize Live Aboard, 21min.

  • Edited Belize Video Part 1, 5min. Compilation of scuba clips from Hol Chan and Pescador Canyons off the coast of Ambergris Caye, Belize.

  • 2015 Belize Vacation Dive Video - Hamanasi, 47min.

    May 9, 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

    Island community must unite to fight Crime!
    Concerned San Pedro residents have come together once more in an effort to unite against the recent surge of crime. Headed by Footprints for Peace, residents of all ages participated in a solemn walk of solidarity followed by a gathering pledging support in the fight over crime. Around 200 residents participated, demonstrating their point of contention. Many of those affected by violence also took time to voice out their opinions and feelings, offering potential solutions for the island. The event started shortly after 6PM, as residents congregated at Central Park dressed in white, ready to walk across Town Core in a show of solidarity for the fallen victims of crime. The walk was triggered by the recent murders of two taxi operators as well as the increase in organized crime activities in San Pedro. Jose Rigoberto Beltran and Dionisio Trujillo are two most recent murders out of the seven persons that have been killed in 2015 on Ambergris Caye, including 2-year-old toddler Charlie Espat.

    Letter to the Editor: Recommendations for Mayor Daniel Guerrero
    Dear Mr. Mayor, Please, take a moment to just once listen and understand. How much money do you believe has been placed upon this wonderful and tiny island by foreigners who have come here to invest? How much money do you think has been placed here by local business people who have sunk their life savings into running their own businesses here? People who have arrived here with their funds, lived here, been born here, all using their money to build resorts, restaurants, shops and bars etc. Additionally, those businesses employ many, many local people who otherwise would not have jobs. Do you actually believe that foreigners (who are much more mobile with their wealth) are sitting here with their heads in the sand ignoring what’s going on? The answer is “NO”, they see and hear the same things and the same complaints the tourists are making. Those businesses have seen record losses this year. RECORD. When a business starts to see major losses, the owners look to other places to operate. When that happens, the business is sold, closed or worse they write it off as a loss and simply walk away. ONE single business may employ 50-100 local residents’ possibly more. Larger businesses employ even more. Local owned family businesses close with no funds to support the family. Foreign investors that sell and walk away are more mobile to do so, right or wrong, they will leave.

    American woman robbed of over $3k
    53-year-old American National, Gloria Horne has reported to the San Pedro Police that on Friday, May 1st she was robbed while driving home. Horne told police that while driving her golf cart past the San Pablo Area en route to her residence in the DFC Area at about 10PM, she was attacked by three male individuals who were riding on bicycles. One of the men (of dark complexion, slim build and about 6ft in height) grabbed her off the golf cart and started punching her in the face. She stated that she begged him to stop attacking her, but he did not seize. Horne stated that she feared for her life and was screaming for help as she believed that they were going to kill her. The while the one man was beating her, the other two grabbed her brown purse, valued at $200US. The purse contained her driver’s license valued at $123US, bank card, prescription Ray Ban sunglasses valued at $500US, white Iphone 4s valued at $400US, Android tablet valued at $125US, diamond necklace with a cross valued at $250US, and $70US cash for a total value of $1,668US or $3,336BZ. They also damaged the golf cart horn, valued at $25BZ.

    Celebrating 30 years of The Rum Punch II!
    She is not fancy; her humble exterior belies how much she truly means to so many, but The Rum Punch II is hands down, the BEST adventure on the water. Built by hand over two years, from mahogany wood, she is solid. Her red exterior and off-white sails stand out over the hues of blue and green waters. She’s not huge; in fact, she’s perfect for no more than a dozen people on board ready to enjoy some adventures on the water. With owner George Eiley at the helm, a gallon of his extra special rum punch at the ready, cruising the Caribbean is a breeze! And for 30 years, The Rum Punch II has been providing an escape for those who seek it, if only for a few hours. The Rum Punch is my happy place, and has been for a long time. It has also made George very happy in the years he’s navigated the waters on board her. He regaled us with stories of his foray into this sailing adventure, which officially started in 1985. Oh those tales of island hopping all along the coastline of beautiful Belize!!! His photographs show us but just a few glimpses into his daring adventures overnight.

    SPTC addresses improper sewage disposal
    San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has taken new steps to ensure that raw sewage is properly disposed of. The issue was raised on Friday, February 20th after several residents identified a local cargo operator dumping raw sewage onto the roadside that leads to the island’s dumpsite. As such, SPTC members met with representatives from Belize Water Service Limited (BWSL) and the Department of Environment (DOE) on Monday, March 30th to discuss how incidents such as these can be prevented. While plans are made to construct the leaching bed, BWSL will allow cargo operators to dispose of raw sewage into the ponds themselves. Of course, operators would need to inform BWSL in order to have the proper supervision during the time of dumping. “It’s going to take time to build the leaching bed so in the meantime these person that do this business of cleaning septic tanks will be allowed to dump raw sewage into the ponds. BWSL will have employees designated to supervise them. The supervision is just to ensure that there is no damage to the ponds because the composition of the Sewage Pond is very delicate,” said Gonzalez. BWSL ponds use natural bacteria to break down the composition of human waste, so if the raw sewage collected from septic tanks has additives and chemicals, it could kill the bacteria.



    A new month-long photo exhibit has opened at the San Pedro House of Culture (SPHC) and it features scenes from the island’s younger years. The exhibit is by none other than professional wedding photographer Kay Scott who has been living on the island for over three decades. In her time here, she has captured stunning time lapses of the simple village life which was once San Pedro. Together with the San Pedro House of Culture, Scott organized an exhibit of over 70 pictures that was open to the public for viewing on Thursday, April 30th. Titled “Village Life in San Pedro”, the exhibit features photographs from as far back as 1982 when Scott first visited the island. At the opening ceremony, Scott reminisced on the scenes of San Pedro that made her fall in love with the island. Most of Scott’s pictures show a time before tourism became the island’s top industry, when fishing was the main way of life in San Pedro. The nostalgic pictures take you back to a time of sandy streets and wooden houses, before golf carts and even cable television.

    Ambergris Today

    Miss San Pedro Michelle Nunez is a Busy Queen
    When Miss San Pedro, Michelle Nuñez, is not busy with her regular ‘Queenly” duties as beauty ambassador of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, (attending community events, hosting pageants, inaugurating businesses, travelling abroad, assisting at fundraising events) she is even busier working on side projects associated with S.H.I.N.E. (Shaping Healthy Identities through Nurturing and Empowerment). The S.H.I.N.E program was developed by Michelle Nuñez and sponsored by On Eagles Wings Ministries. Michelle serves at the Director of S.H.I.N.E. which keeps her on her toes as she works with young women between the ages of 13 and 16. The program’s goal is to empower and motivate girls to reach their full potential. Currently, Michelle is working with a group on the first semester of the program involving them in fun activities to boost self esteem and encourage healthy decision-making.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Hands Across the Sand
    Our friends from Oceana cordially invite everyone to come on Saturday, May 16, 2015 to come together and stand in solidarity against Offshore Oil drilling. Take this opportunity to come and unite in one silent solidarity to send your powerful message that we love our country and that we care for our children's future.

    BEL position open for PR
    A vacancy exists at Belize Electricity Limited for the post of Senior Public Relations Officer in the Public Relations Unit.

    WE ARE HIRING!!!!
    The U.S. Embassy has two new vacancies for a Protocol Assistant and a Supply Supervisor. Please click on the link if you are interested in applying and joining our team!

    BOLEDO DRAWING for Friday, May 8, 2015: 73

    NOEL 'MUSCLES' GORDON, BELIZE'S CYCLING SPRINTER!
    Belizean Ruler of Mexico's 90 Miles Ciudad del Carmen Cycling Classic. The first Belizean cycling sprinter to first win Mexico's renowned 90 miles Ciudad del Carmen Cycling Classic was the legendary Belizean cycling machine, Noel Gordon in 1969. Gordon later went to win the race two consecutive times before Rudy Miguel won his Mexico's Merida Cycling Classic in 1972. In the Annual Belize Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classics of 1969, 1970, and 71, Gordon placed in the top five of riders entering the National Stadium but had never won the grueling 144 miles cycling classic.

    Channel 7

    Lucilla Bartley Gets Acquitted Of Murder
    After spending 4 years on remand for the stabbing death of Osborne "Fish" Gordon, 52 year-old Lucilla Bartley, aka "Chilla" is at home tonight after Justice Troadio Gonzalez acquitted her in a trial without jury this morning. Viewers may remember that Gordon was stabbed to death on April 24, 2011, at around 1:30 a.m. on the corner of Cemetery Road and Curassow Street. Shortly after police started investigating the death, Bartley was charged with the crime of murder, and she was remanded to the Belize Central Prison. Well, it came out in her trial before Justice Gonzalez Bartley was the one who gave police a caution statement admitting to fatally stabbing him, but she claimed self-defence. Nevertheless, the decision was taken to charge her with the capital offence. In the trial, evidence emerged that Bartley, who once had a romantic relationship with Gordon, was walking with another man on Cemetery Road. That's when Gordon spotted him, and in an apparent drunken rage, he approached her and threaten her life with a knife. She told the court that she had a history of domestic abuse with this man, who often beat her severely. She says that Gordon attacked her, and she had to defend herself.

    Kachief Charged For Derrick's Murder
    On Wednesday, we told you about the murder of 18 year-old Derrick Romero, who became the 3rd teenager to be violently killed in Orange Walk Town. Well, police have made and arrest, and tonight that young man is at the Belize Central Prison. The man who police believed pulled the trigger is 20 year-old Kachief Sylvester Bevans, a resident of Waight Street, Belize City. He was formally arrested and charged with the crime of murder, and he was arraigned today in the Orange Walk Magistrate's Court. Due to the Nature of the Offences, he couldn't be granted bail, and he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until his next court date, which is set for June 30. As we reported, it happened just after 10 on Wednesday morning in front of Romero's apartment building on Sittee River Street. Romero was socializing with several persons when a gunman approached them and fired 5 or more shots at him. No one else was injured, but Romero suffered multiple gunshots to the body, including one to the neck area. He was rushed to the KHMH, but he died while undergoing treatment.

    Charged For Armed Robbery At New Asia
    We told you last night how robbers attacked the New Asia Restaurant, located on Vernon Street, on Wednesday night. Well, police have made a quick arrest and tonight, 22 year-old Dixon Montero is at the Belize Central Prison in connection with that incident in which the security guard was shot by the fleeing assailants. Dixon Montero, who is a Honduran National without legal immigration status in Belize, was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. He was read charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm, and use of deadly means of harm. Due to the nature of the offences, no plea was taken, and he was denied bail. He will be brought back to court on June 3. As we told you, it happened at around 8:50 in which two men barged into the long standing Chinese Restaurant. One of the men was armed with a gun, and they made it all the way to the cash register, where the armed robber pointed the weapon at one of the proprietors. She shouted for the guard, and that apparently spooked the assailants who tried to flee. On the way out, they met Security Guard Victor Hendy, who was on duty. He was on the phone trying to call for help, and as soon as the men saw him, the armed robber shot him in the neck and ran off into Mosul Street. He continues to receive treatment at the KHMH.

    Dangriga Robbery Suspect Claims Severe Police Brutality
    Right now, 21 year-old John Pasqual, a resident of Dangriga Town is at the KHMH receiving treatment for what appears to be a brain injury. His family is claiming that police from Dangriga put a beat down on him, and caused the injuries. Pascual, who has been encountered by police before, is accused of participating in the robbery of a drug store with 2 other men which happened on last week Friday night. The details, as far as we were informed, is that police responded to the robbery in progress, and saw when the men were trying to escape. A few shots were fired, and Pasqual, according to his family, jumped off the bridge into the water to avoid being captured by police. His brother, who was allegedly a witness to the crime, reportedly went to where Pasqual was hiding, and escorted him to the police station, and handed him over to police, knowing that he was one of the prime suspects. That's where the situation gets clouded, and his family says that between Friday night and Tuesday when he was finally arrested and charged for robbery, he was injured in the head, reportedly in police custody, and now he has suffered some effects of what appears to be brain injury. His sister, who asked to appear off camera, explained what she knows about the robbery and the alleged police brutality:

    How Did Veronica Die From Meningitis?
    Last night we told you about the 5 year old student from Stella Maris Veronica Cal. She died on Wednesday morning from what looked like a case of meningitis. Well, the post mortem was done today and it has been confirmed. We spoke to her father Mario Cal today and he told us that it all started last Thursday night when she first vomited. Veronica suffered throughout the weekend - not being able to eat or much less hold down any fluids. Cal told us that they gave her Tylenol to try and ease the symptoms but it only got worse. That is when they rushed Veronica to the emergency room at the KHMH on Sunday afternoon. While the family had hopes for her to recover, Veronica died on Wednesday morning at 9:08. Now the family is left with more questions than answers as to why their child died. Mario Cal, Father of Veronica Cal "So early in the morning Wednesday, because I can't sleep the whole night but I have my phone beside me. I think when I looked at the sofa, I think I fell asleep right there. When I heard my phone ringing, I hurriedly answered it 'what?' The person said, 'the baby is dying the machine went down'. What I said ill hurry call my son and things like that and hurry send my son. I hurriedly took a shower then went. When I arrived, the baby came back. But you know, I stayed right there, they didn't let us go in and see the baby. I saw the doctor rushing, and about 5 minutes after that same thing again. They tried to fight for her life again but it didn't come back."

    DJ Usher's Criminal Complaint Heard By Police Higher Up's
    The issue concerning the frightening confrontation between Edison Usher and another man at the Romy Badillo fundraising event is still ongoing. At this point, police are looking for Shadir Marin in connection with this incident and when he is brought in he will be charged. For context, Usher came to our studios a week ago and told us that Marin pointed a gun at his face at the event. Usher told us that he was only trying to deter Marin from driving over the cables and wires as he was setting up his DJ system but Marin took it to another level. We will keep following this story.

    Disgruntled "BRN" Resident Ask Opposition To Rethink Major Lloyd Jones' Endorsement
    Retired Major Lloyd Jones... He was recently announced as PUP's replacement in Belize Rural North after 7 months without a standard bearer in that constituency. But, it appears that he's been met with some resistance in the communities he is expected to win over. Today, our newsroom was emailed a press release from a nameless, faceless individual who purports to speak on behalf of the voters of Belize Rural North. It is unsigned, and there is the very high possibility that it is only political mischief. But, on the off-chance that it isn't, the release says, quote: "We the people of Belize Rural North are very sad and disgruntled over the fact that the Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition and our beloved People's United Party, has said to us, indirectly, that we are foolish, dumb and not civilized. He calls the Prime Minister, Hon Dean Barrow a dictator when he himself, Hon. Francis Fonseca, is acting like one. He is not in power and look what he is doing and treating us the people and loyal supporters of the PUP."

    The Governor General To Visit Taiwan
    Belize's Head of State, the Governor-General, Sir Colville Young, will be visiting the Republic of China (Taiwan), from 10th May to 15th May 2015. During the Governor-General's visit, the Government of Taiwan will launch the publication of Chinese translation of Sir Colville's book of short stories entitled "Pataki Full". It is believed that this translation marks the first time that a book by a Caricom writer will be translated into Chinese. As such, this is a historic occasion and marks a notable strengthening of the ties of culture and friendship between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Belize. During Sir Colville's absence from the country, H.E. Mr James Murphy will be acting as Governor-General of Belize.

    Meet UWI Open Campus Head: Dr. Luz Longsworth
    Viewers may know very well about the University of the West Indies Open Campus. It is an innovative tertiary level institution in which students from all over the Caribbean pursue higher level education via the internet and a computer. They have access to the ease of lessons, video teleconferencing with professors, and tailored studies to meet their needs, all without the requirement of having to fly to the school's headquarters, and having to go into classes if the student does not want. Well, the newest Acting Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor of this institution is Dr. Luz Longsworth. She's Caribbean national whose parents lived and worked in Belize for many years. She comes highly qualified after generating over 25 years of experience in both academia and business in Belize, Jamaica and the British Virgin Islands. This morning, she organized at meet and greet with the press of all the different territories, where there are branches of the Open Campos, including Belize. The site head told us today about the importance such an exercise:

    There's Now A Red Cross Android App
    You don't have to be a doctor or a certified therapist to deal with an epileptic seizure or even a heart attack, you can simply download the new First Aid By Belize Red Cross App on your phone to find out what to do in these critical situations. Although you won't be able to operate on anyone or prescribe medication, this app offers useful techniques and responses to a number of emergencies. Today in celebration of World Red Cross Day, the Belize Red Cross launched this new app at the Battlefield Park and the field officer told us how this app can save a life. Terence Woodye, Field Officer, Belize Red Cross "What this app does, it serves as a complementary to the first aid class we teach at the office. The app gives you as an individual better confidence when there's an accident or emergency. You can access this app on your phone anywhere. If you're traveling, commuting on a bus, or when you have your free time, you go and access the app as it tells you what to do in cases like burns, if someone is unconscious, how to care for someone that is choking, bleeding etc. This involves the same steps we do in our first aid class but what this app gives you as well is that confidence. It is also universal as it gives you videos and graphics that even kids can follow since they have tablets these days. It could be downloaded on iPhone, androids, smart phones and tablets.

    Intelligent Art Discovery
    Last night we reported on the multifarious art exhibit at the Image Factory entitled "Culture Uncovered". Well, there is another upcoming art exhibit that caters to that diversity: it's the National Festival of Arts Showcase Exhibit and the theme for this year is "Intelligent Art". Artists from all over the country are invited to submit their works in whatever form they choose. We spoke with the coordinator of the event, Rachael Heusner today and she told us about the significance of this year's theme. Rachael Heusner, Coordinator "Well, we're sending out the call because we want people to be interested and to produce work along the lines of intelligent art. And you might ask why, yea why intelligent art. Well because many people think art is just pretty pictures that you put on a wall. So we're trying to help people to appreciate that art could go to another level, you know. Art is something that can teach us, it can tell us a story, it teaches design. You know, there's so many that's used in advertising so we want young people to think a little bit outside the box. A little bit further and teach us something with your drawings and paintings or whatever it is that you want to produce. When it comes to art, somebody might put a dot on a piece of paper and say well that's art, that's intelligent art. But you know, just, something might be beautifully executed, it might be a drawing of a shoe, but it's done to a nice level. So the whole thing is, it's so broad, I'm sure that we're not going to have that much rejections but we're just trying to force the artist to think a little deeper. To think 'how can my art educate someone else?'."

    Mr. Program's Tribute To Mothers
    Belizean Artist, Mr. Program hasn't been featured on our newscast since 2 years ago when he delivered his latest musical single at the time which was called, "Tek It Easy". Before that, he hadn't been in the news since 4 years since his rise on the local music scene with the popular song, "See I Rise". But, he's back tonight, and he's asking for the love of the mothers in the Mother's Day season to launch his latest musical creation. He dropped by our office to tell us about it: The video is available on Youtube.

    Channel 5

    Woman Freed of Murder After 4 Years Behind Bars
    Almost four years ago, then forty-eight year old Lucilla Bartley, a single mother of two, was charged for the murder of her ex-boyfriend, Osborne Gordon, and remanded to the Belize [...]

    Belize City Resident Charged for OW Murder
    Twenty-year-old Kashief Bevans was arraigned in the Orange Walk Magistrates Court this morning on a single count of murder.  His indictment follows the shooting death of eighteen-year-old Derrick Romero who [...]

    16 Year Old Roaring Creek Resident Arraigned for Agric Murder
    There is another arrest regarding a murder last weekend. A sixteen year old minor from Roaring Creek is tonight spending his first night behind bars following his arraignment for the [...]

    Radar Down at the National Met Service
    If you’ve visited the Belize Met Service website anytime in the past six months, you’ve likely seen the words – RADAR IMAGE NOT AVAILABLE – with an explanation that the [...]

    Below Normal Activity Expected for 2015 Hurricane Season
    Earlier we told you about the Met Service’s radar which is down, and has been down since last year October. But even so, the Met Service is doing its thing, [...]

    All 4 Accused in Theft at Treasury Receive Bail
    David Enriquez, Francis Palacio, Hassan Palacio and Octaviana Lopez…Police believe all four are involved in the bold theft of half a million dollars from the government treasury. Enriquez, charged with [...]

    General Manager of La Inmaculada Credit Union Suspended
    Today, the Board of Directors of the La Inmaculada Credit Union issued a release on an internal investigation taking place at that institution. That investigation has been common knowledge for [...]

    David Akierman, Outgoing Exec. Chair of Corozal Commercial Free Zone
    There is word of a major shake up at the Corozal Commercial Free Zone. U.D.P. stalwart, David Akierman, is being removed as Executive Chairman of the zone; a job he [...]

    Honduran Man Charged for Attempted Murder of Security Guard
    A Honduran national has been charged for the shooting of a Security Guard working at a Chinese restaurant.  After two days of investigations, police believe they know who shot Victor [...]

    B.N.T.U. Clarifies – Petrocaribe Was Not Used for Salary Adjustments
    The ongoing Petrocaribe rollout is proving to be the most controversial undertaking of the Barrow administration.  Depending on who you ask, the program is a redeeming feature which has seen [...]

    Union Disagrees With How Petrocaribe Loans Act Was Passed
    While Palacio says that there may not be a problem with the rollout of the funds, the subject of constant disagreement is the manner in which the Petrocaribe Loans Act [...]

    2013 National Child Activity Survey Report – Key Facts and Figures
    Today at the Jaguar Auditorium of the University of Belize, Belmopan Campus, the Statistical Institute of Belize and the International Labour Organization officially launched the findings and final report of [...]

    Belizean Professor, Doctor Luz Longsworth, Assumes Principalship of UWI Open Campus
    Since the beginning of May, there have been two major changes in the administration of the University of the West Indies.  Senior management changes, including the promotion of Professor V. [...]

    …Changes Took Effect May First
    Professor Barriteau’s move to the Cave Hill Campus comes as incumbent Sir Hilary Beckles transitions to his new position as Vice Chancellor of the university.  That change also came into [...]

    The Best of 2 of the Premier League of Belize
    The Premier League of Belize is now in finals battling the best of a two game series. On Thursday night in Belmopan, the Belmopan Bandits and Verdes FC played a [...]

    PlusTV

    Ramon Cervantes and Gaspar Vega headed to trial in July
    The lawsuit for slander of the character of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega is headed to trial in July, and Vega himself will take the Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin has disallowed an application by counsel for Gaspar Vega, Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams, to amend the statement of claim to reflec...

    Police update on Cervantes murder suspect
    And while the Deputy Prime Minister returns to court in two months for the case brought against Ramon Cervantes Jr. after he aired on live radio a voice recording accusing Gaspar Vega of orchestrating the murder of Ramon Cervantes Sr  the voice behind the sensational accusations, 37 year old Manuel...

    Update on Orange Walk murder of Derrick Romero
    There is also an update on the Orange Walk murder which we reported in yesterday’s newscast. A broad daylight shooting claimed the life of 18 year old Derrick Romero, of Settee River Street, Louisiana Area, Orange Walk Town...

    Persons arrested for robberies in Dangriga
    Two persons have been remanded to Hattieville prison in connection to two robberies which occurred in Dangriga. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports.

    Said Musa not ready to leave politics
    The Right Honorable Said Musa, now 71 years of age, is in his seventh term of office as area representative for the Fort George division in the House of Representatives and will seek an eighth term in the upcoming general elections...

    Orange Walk Police Under investigation For Abuse of Auhority
    A few weeks ago a couple of police officers attached to the Orange Walk Police Station got in trouble with the law when a video that went viral captured them at the residence of Andres Rodriguez beating him up...

    Young artists exhibit at Image Factory
    Art is considered part of a nation’s culture...

    Helpage honouring senior mothers]
      The 10th day of May is internationally recognized as Mother’s Day. An entire day dedicated to all the wonderful women without whom we wouldn’t be in this world today. Help age Belmopan saw the importance of celebrating their senior mothers at this morning’s senior session. Evan Dakers - Chairm...

    Security guard shot during robbery attempt
    Police areseeking one person from the Taylor’s Alley area in Belize City in connection with the robbery of New Asia Restaurant on Vernon Street in Belize City just before 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday...

    Minor Murdered Brown
    One person was charged today for the murder of 24 year old Dernell Brown but we will refrain from using his name because he happens to be a  minor...

    Three men flee from cops leaving behind firearm
    Early this morning, police were patrolling on Dean Street heading in the direction of Euphrates Avenue their attention was drawn to three male persons walking on Dean Street almost at the corner of Euphrates Avenue...

    Drugs found in Guinea Grass
    On Wednesday May 6, police found 19 pounds of Marihuana in Guinea Grass Village. Police say they visited an area about 2 miles out of Guinea Grass Village where they found a white sack containing 16 parcels inside amounting to 19 lbs or 8,618 grams...

    Albert Division contenders trade barbs ahead of endorsement
    Tomorrow, Friday, May 8, United Democratic Party (UDP) candidate for the Albert division and former CEO in the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Tracey Taegar-Panton will be endorsed during a Mother’s Day event at the House of Culture...

    Burrell Boom man remanded for sex charge
    Burrell Boom resident Jamil Seguro is accused of fondling a teenager’s private area while she was bathing in the Belize Old River at Burrell Boom on April 23. Today he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith and pleaded not guilty to a charge of sexual assault of the 13 year old...

    Amandala

    Cop attempted to sodomize victim, 19?
    Ombudsman Lionel Arzu told Amandala today that he has never before received a report of police brutality in which the police have been accused of attempted sodomy against the victim. The allegation which has come to the fore from Victor Daniel Howe, 19, seems to be unprecedented. Howe claims that a detachment of about 8 law enforcement officers—who the teenager said were dressed in green uniforms and who appeared to have been drinking—brutalized him and stood by laughing as one of their team members made a move to sodomize him in the Benque area. Like the Ombudsman, Ret’d. Colonel George Lovell, the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security, was deeply troubled by the allegation and both men have undertaken to look into the matter.

    Suspected meningitis at Stella Maris School
    Despite assurances from officials of the Ministry of Health, concerns are being raised regarding the recent death of a young student of Stella Maris School in Belize City who was reportedly diagnosed with “presumptive meningitis” prior to her death. Amandala understands that the child, Veronica Cal, 5, of Hunter’s Lane in Belize City, died this past Monday, May 4, while receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), three days after being stricken with the condition, which, we are told, quickly deteriorated and led to her passing. Her father, Mario Cal, told the media today that it started with vomiting, which led to a fever, and later to other complications.

    Mopan Tech teacher fired for homosexual advances to students
    A male teacher from the Mopan Technical High School in Benque Viejo Town, Cayo District, has been fired for allegedly making sexual advances to several male students via social media. The allegations surfaced in late February of this year, at which time the said teacher was placed on suspension while the Ministry of Education carried out an investigation. After analyzing the case, the Teaching Services Commission (TSC) reportedly sent the male teacher – whose name we cannot call since he has not yet been charged by police – a letter of termination over the past weekend and effectively banned him from the Mopan Technical High School. Officials from the Ministry of Education have also indicated that the Chief Education Officer has revoked his teacher’s license.

    Boat captain, Romaldo “Romi” Badillo, Sr., succumbs
    Veteran seaman and boat captain, Romaldo “Romi” Badillo, Sr., 59, of Belize City, who had been fighting for his life at a hospital in Guatemala after he suffered massive burns to about 60 percent of his body, died this morning at the hospital, almost a month after the boat in which he had been travelling exploded. The sad news of his passing was confirmed by his family this morning. The grieving family said that they will make further comments on the death and provide other pertinent information at a later date, and declined to say more this morning. At about 1:00 Holy Thursday afternoon, at “the Hangar” dock near the Belize City Airport, there was an explosion aboard a boat in which Captain Romi, as he was popularly known, and three other men — who were going to Saint George’s Caye to carry supplies for the Easter vacation – were traveling. One of the three men was Stephen Bradley, the owner of the boat, and the other two were Wallace Flowers and George Gonzalez.


    Well-known educator, trade unionist, and humanitarian, Mrs. Eloisa Santos Trujeque, 77, who had been ailing for the past 6 months, passed away while receiving medical treatment for pneumonia at the Belize Healthcare Partners hospital yesterday, Wednesday. The eldest child of a family of 9, Trujeque was born on West Street in the Mesopotamia area of Belize City in 1938 and grew up to be an instrumental part of her church and her community during her life. She was well-respected, and had been involved with St. Ignatius Parish since her youth and later joined two local missionary groups who offered spiritual support to their community and country. Trujeque started her teaching career at St. Ignatius Primary School on southside Belize City in 1967, where she served as principal from 1968 to 1993.

    Shotgunned victim, 6, dies after being taken off life support
    After an agonizing five days on life support at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in Belize City, Travis Polanco, 6, who was unfortunately shot in the head with a 16-gauge shotgun by another minor last Thursday, April 30, succumbed to his injuries at about 10:30 a.m. today. Initial reports were that Polanco and his young neighbor – who police said is actually 11 and not 9 years old as was previously reported – were playing near a palm tree about 50 feet away from Polanco’s house at the Valley Community on the Hummingbird Highway in the Stann Creek District when the 11-year-old boy suddenly went into his house, retrieved his father’s licensed Harrington and Richardson shotgun from a room, pointed it through his window and allegedly shot the 6-year old student, who was reportedly standing about 5 feet from the street.

    Women Cross Country Classic is next Sunday, May 17
    The 26th Annual Women Cross Country Cycling Classic for 2015 is scheduled to take place next Sunday, May 17, starting at 8:00 a.m. from Queen Elizabeth Park in San Ignacio and “tentatively finish at BTL Park” on Princess Margaret Drive in Belize City, a distance of approximately 73 miles. The Cycling Federation says it is “still soliciting sponsorship for the event, finishing prizes and station prizes. If you would like to contribute, please feel free to contact us by calling either of the following individuals: Orson Butler – 602-1390; Leticia Westby – 625-8173.” Defending champion is 5-time winner, Shalini Zabaneh; while the record of 3:07:29, set by Mexican Brenda Aguayo in 2007, still stands. Strong contenders are expected to include 2012 Women Cross Country champion Kaya Cattouse; 2015 Krem Classic winner Alicia Thompson; and young Patricia Chavarria, who has 2nd in the 2014 Women Cross Country.

    Farewell to my Islanders teammate, Romaldo “Romy” Badillo
    We received the heartbreaking news late this morning of the passing of Romaldo “Romy” Badillo, a Belizean gem, football fan nonpareil, and my former teammate on the Islanders football team of Caye Caulker, way back in the early 1970’s (1974-75 season). Romy, a retired Fisheries Officer and then tour guide/boat captain, was seriously injured in a boating accident a few weeks ago and was undergoing treatment for severe burns in a hospital in Guatemala. Our sincere condolences to his wife, Anna; his brother, Amado, another past football teammate; and his other family members, relatives and friends. R.I.P. brother Romaldo “Romy” Badillo.

    Devin Daly visits the Jewel
    Belizean basketballer, Devin Daly, 20, who attends Lake Superior State University (LSSU) in Michigan, USA, is presently in the country to conduct practical biology work as part of his course in Conservation Biology at the notable public university. The graduate of St. John’s College departed Belize 3 years ago on a full basketball scholarship at LSSU, where he majors in Conservation Biology and minors in Fish Stock Management, while playing point guard on the school’s basketball team, which is known as the LSSU Lakers. That team has notably won 2 state championships with the assistance of Daly, who has stepped up his game to the point of earning the title of the team’s 6th man. The promising young “baller,” who is now in his 3rd year at the university, spoke with KREM News today after he delivered a motivational talk to students at the Belize High School, and he expounded on how it feels to be back home and ensuring that he continues to give back to his community, while he does school work.

    Cricket Corner: Excellence will continue
    Over the weekend in the Harrison Parks Cricket Competition 2015 under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, only two games were played due to inclement weather. In Zone One, Police damaged Bright Star, 216 to 77. For Police, Llewellyn “Luggy” Sutherland and Sylbert Martinez top scored with 40 runs each; and Austin Gillett and Annal Kanaujia took 3 wickets each. For Bright Star, Andy Dominguez scored 17 and took 3 wickets. Excelsior won by default over Excellence, who did not show up. In Zone Two, Wicked Eleven won over Sunrise, 166 to 74. For Wicked Eleven, Travis Robinson scored 49, while Darwin Rhaburn and Walter Flowers took 4 wkts each. For Sunrise, Jermaine Baizar scored 12 runs, and Garreth Joseph took 3 wkts.

    Belizean cyclists sweep Cedral Classic 2015 in Cozumel, Mexico
    A contingent of 8 Belizean cyclists travelled to Cozumel, Mexico, over the weekend, and returned triumphant, after sweeping the top prizes in all categories of the Cedral Classic 2015 road race. The Elite/Masters “A” and U-23 road race was 60 miles long, and 1st place was taken by Brandon Cattouse, with 2nd place going to Byron Pope, and Phillip Leslie took the 5th position. For the U-23 category of the same race, 1st was Giovanni Lovell and 2nd Delawn Abraham. In the Masters “B” race, which travelled 45 miles, Belize was again dominant, as Ray Cattouse took 1st place, while Isaiah Willacey settled for 4th place. And in the 35 mile long Female race, Belize’s only participant, Kaya Cattouse took 1st place over Mexicans Laura Rodriguez of Merida, who was 2nd, Fabiola Rodriguez of Cozumel in 3rd, and Aracely Cervantes, also of Cozumel, in 4th place.

    Petrocaribe, PUP, and the ICJ
    The activist Ya Ya Marin Coleman recently pointed out on her Sunday Review show on KREM Radio/TV that what worries her about the Petrocaribe moneys are the implications for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) matter. The ruling United Democratic Party (UDP), which has increased its electoral popularity with the Petrocaribe windfall, is on record as being in full support of the “yes” vote in a referendum for Belize to submit Belize’s differendum with Guatemala to a panel of ICJ judges. The ruling of the ICJ would theoretically be binding on both Belize and Guatemala, which claims half of Belize in the aftermath of a dispute with Great Britain which began in the colonial days of the nineteenth century. At a Monday morning press briefing this week to announce his candidacy as the People’s United Party (PUP) standard bearer for the Belize Rural North constituency, Major Lloyd Jones (Ret’d) reiterated a position he has been expressing on air and in print for years – that the time for appeasement with Guatemala is over and that under no circumstances should Belize go to the ICJ. The fact that Major Jones was saying this at Independence Hall in the presence of PUP leadership, made the statement stunning.

    From the Publisher
    Over the long holiday weekend I was channel hopping on cable television and happened upon a Western called The Tall Men, starring Clark Gable, Robert Ryan and Jane Russell. The movie had already started when I caught it. There were a couple story lines which seemed far-fetched, but the camera work was good and the action was moving along. I ended up watching the movie to its conclusion. Near the end of the movie these guys have been driving a herd of cattle, about 5,000 head or so, to Montana all the way from Texas, and just about the last obstacle on their long journey is an ambush by a large group of Sioux Indians. I could not believe that I found myself wishing for the stars to get past the faceless, villainous Native Americans. What I’m saying is this is how the movie portrayed the Sioux, who are fighting for their own territorial rights. This is the power of the filmmaker’s art. The filmmaker gets you to identify and sympathize with those whom he chooses to project heroically, and whomever he chooses to be the bad guy(s) will be the one(s) you and I, as the audience, will see in that light.

    Letter to the Editor: Engineers need to invoke the law
    Dear Editor, When a doctor fails, a person dies. When an engineer fails many people die. This in mind, allow me to say that it was encouraging to read the press release issued jointly by the Association of Professional Engineers of Belize (APEB) and the Association of Professional Architects of Belize (APAB) published in the Amandala newspaper of April 26, 2015. Infrastructure is critical to the development of a country. It is the linchpin that secures a nation’s ability to generate wealth. All-weather roads, good bridges, a resilient electrical network and safe structures are all necessary infrastructure that will help Belize develop into a more productive nation. However, those infrastructures, when not properly designed, constructed and maintained, may become a source of endangerment if they fail. The result may be injury or death to the unsuspecting public.

    Electricity rates to dip to lowest rate in over a decade
    The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) yesterday announced its initial decision to reduce electricity rates by 15.24% – a reduction which would see electricity rates fall to 35 cents per kilowatt-hour, the lowest in over a decade. Back in October 2004, when the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) was privately owned and operated, the company proposed an increase in tariffs of 3 cents per kilowatt-hour, amounting to about 10%, bringing to an end a long streak of falling electricity rates, which the company said had lasted since 1984. Since then, electricity rates have been fluctuating, but they have been on a general downward trend since the 16.87% rate hike was imposed in January 2013.

    PUP seeks court order for 13th Senator
    The Leader of the Opposition, the People’s United Party (PUP), Hon. Francis Fonseca, through his attorney Eamon Courtenay, S.C., filed an application at the Supreme Court today, seeking an order for Prime Minister Dean Barrow to bring into force the provisions of the March 2010 Sixth Constitutional Amendment enabling the appointment of a 13th senator. The announcement was made this morning at the PUP’s Independence Hall headquarters, where Fonseca and Courtenay held a press briefing. In the fixed date claim, Dean O. Barrow is named as the first defendant and the Attorney General as the second defendant. Late this evening, Government responded to the PUP’s claim via a press release, which lamented, “That senator would be chosen by the non-government organizations, and would result in taking away the Government’s majority in the Senate. In turn that would mean that the Opposition, with the support of the 13th Senator and others, would be able to frustrate Government’s legislative agenda and delay or completely derail (even urgent) Bills.”

    Bolton Bank on the auction block
    A virtually pristine expanse of real estate west of the Haulover Creek is being put on the auction block next month in what the seller describes as the first ultra-luxury Caribbean basin real estate auction. Whereas the property is being promoted as a “prime area for resort hotel, residential and commercial development site… suitable for a city/airport/eco-hotel conference complex, world-class casino, and championship golf course,” the Government officials we checked with say they know nothing of the plan. Today, Amandala received a press release from Avalon Partners Ltd. in cooperation with Premiere Estates Auction Company announcing that on June 18, it will auction Bolton Bank in Belize along with a second property in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The property is located on the unpopulated side of the Haulover Creek, on the other side of the river, on the route to Belize City from the Philip Goldson International Airport.

    Pat Cacho’s generosity helps provide a home for Destiny’s children
    Destiny Daycare and Preschool, which is managed by two vibrant and dedicated sisters: Laurel and Yadira Diego, opened its doors on September 1, 2008 with six children. Today its enrollment has increased to thirty-six children, ages two months to four years. The Diego sisters come from a family of entrepreneurs. Their father, Melvin Diego (Melly), is famous for having the best homemade ice cream in Dangriga, and their mother, Laura Diego (Tun), has been known for her delicious pastries. Despite their many challenges, the Diego sisters have managed to keep things together, while focusing on their mission to provide the best possible early childhood education to each of the children in their care. A few years ago, Destiny was faced with an unexpected eviction from its first location on Isla Road in Dangriga. This experience motivated them to seek funding to purchase their own school. Cornelius Patrick “Pat” Cacho and his wife Leonie saw their appearance on Belize Watch on a trip home to Belize from the USA.

    US teacher gets 15 yrs for seducing BZ minors via Facebook
    David Wendel Thompson, who was nabbed by US law enforcement authorities in Miami while trying to fly to Belize, has been sentenced to 15 years in Florida, USA, after having pleaded guilty to enticing two Belizean minors, ages 13 and 15, via Facebook. He had apparently been in contact with the Belizean girls between December 2013 and February 2014. He took a flight to Belize on March 14, 2014, but was denied entry when he got here, and US law enforcement personnel arrested him when he returned to Miami. When US law enforcement searched his checked bag, they reportedly found condoms, a drug for erectile dysfunction, two brand new computer tablets (said to be gifts for the minors) and fliers for a hotel in Belize.

    The Reporter

    Analyzing child labour in Belize
    The Statistical Institute of Belize SIB), this week, released the results of its National Child Activity Survey 2013. The launch, done jointly by the SIB, Labour Department and the International Labour Organization (ILO), was held at the Jaguar Auditorium, University of Belize, Belmopan Campus. The […]

    CARICOM discusses its future
    Several international organizations gathered in Trinidad and Tobago this week for the “Forum on the future of the Caribbean.” The three-day conference, which began on Tuesday, was hosted by the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus. The conference gathered representatives from the University […]

    High school teacher dismissed for unbecoming behaviour
    The Teaching Services Commission has dismissed Elito Puc, a teacher from Mopan Technical High School in Benque Viejo Town after it has investigated and is satisfied that an accusation made against Puc in February bore sufficient evidence of inappropriate behaviour towards a male student using […]

    Oceana joining hands across the sand
    Oceana in Belize is calling on all supporters of protecting Belize’s natural resources to join in on its upcoming “Hands Across the Sand” initiative. The initiative, a symbolic joining of hands at 10 locations simultaneously, will be held on Saturday, May 16 at noon. Amelita […]

    Ground breaking for new rudimentary water system takes place in Santa Anna Village
    The  government has pledged to expand  and  upgrade  the  Santa  Anna Village  rudimentary  water  system in the Toledo  District. A ground-breaking ceremony will take place on Friday afternoon to mark the initial phase of the project, which is said to cost $762,110. through  a  loan  from  […]

    Corrigendum
    In the Sunday May 10th issue of The Reporter in the article titled “PetroCaribe spending on ASUS tablets not adding up” located on page three we made an error and now correct that error. In the third paragraph where it reads, “This represents $348,000 more than what the government reported […]

    Fatal Stabbing at Agric. Show
    A stabbing incident at the Agriculture and Trade Show ended in death, after 24-year-old Dernell Brown of Hattieville was stabbed in the head creatimg a wound that killed him. Police say Brown got into a dispute with a group of men over a woman.. The men in the group had […]

    Second taxi driver killed in less than a week in San Pedro
    A taxi driver, Donicio Trujillo, was found stabbed to death on a feeder road on the outskirts of San Pedro Town, making him the second taxi operator to be brutally murdered in less than a week on Ambergris Caye. Trujillo’s body was found on […]

    American tourist dies in diving incident
    A 64-year-old American tourist on a diving expedition to Silk Caye off the coast of Placencia died on Monday after he started experiencing problems underwater. David Reed Rowley was pronounced dead at around 1 p.m. Wednesday after he didn’t respond to CPR. The dive […]

    Three New Ambassadors to Belize
    Governor General Sir Colville Young welcomed three new ambassadors to the country on Monday at Belize House in Belmopan. Each ambassador presented his respective letter of credence to the Governor General and expressed pleasure to be serving in Belize. The new diplomats areEl Salvador, […]

    PUP introduces Major Lloyd Jones in BRN
    Retired Major Lloyd Jones is the People’s United Party’s (PUP) standard bearer in the Belize Rural North constituency, replacing Arthur Saldivar, who was removed after an executive vote a few months ago, following character complaints against him. Jones, former Ports Commissioner for six years […]

    A new financing network for Agriculture and Development
    The Executive Board of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) recently approved a new Sovereign Borrowing Framework, an innovative financial policy tool, to meet the increased need for investing in the Fund’s agricultural development projects. “This framework provides the means to leverage additional funding for our work in remote […]

    Lower light bills for all
    The Public Utilities Commission announced on Monday that it has recommended a cut of 15 percent in electricity rates, down from 41 cents a kilowatt-hour to 35 cents. PUC Chairman, John Avery said: “This … rate will cover their cost for next year and […]

    Tampa Teacher gets 15 years for pursuing virgin sex
    An American teacher in Florida arrested last year for attempting to seduce two Belizean teenage girls, has been sentenced to 15-years in kail after pleading guilty to a federal charge of online enticement of children. At his sentencing, David Wendel Thompson, the Tampa, school […]

    Governor General and others to visit Taiwan
    Several notable Belizeans, including the Governor-General Sir Colville Young, Minister of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities Joy Grant, Chief Executive Officer in that ministry Dr. Colin Young, President of the University of Belize Dr. Alan Slusher and Senator Audrey Matura-Shepherd will travel to […]

    Restore Belize offers Conflict Mediation training to more high schools
    To address Belize’s increasing high school drop-out rate, Restore Belize will offer its conflict mediation training program to more high schools in the country, according to the organization’s director, Mary Vasquez. Vasquez explained this week that the organization resolved to reach out to the high […]

    Bird Flu losses mount! 600,000 birds destroyed so far.
    While poultry farmers continue to suffer massive losses due to an outbreak of bird flu, the Belize Poultry Association says it is resisting the temptation to increase prices. But losses are mounting and Ministry of Health officials estimate than more than 600,000 birds have had […]

    PetroCaribe spending on ASUS tablets not adding up
    A recent document released by the Government of Belize to detail PetroCaribe spending has the total cost of the Asus tablets distributed to tertiary level students listed at $2 million flat. However, in February Financial Secretary Joseph Waight told The Reporter that figure was […]

    Editorial
    Leader of the Opposition Mr. Francis Fonseca announced this week that the People’s United Party will not go along with the government’s plan to take the Belize-Guatemala dispute to the International Court of Justice. The reasons for not doing so put forward by his legal counsel, Mr. Eamon Courtenay boil […]

    PUP invokes court action to force naming of 13th senator
    Leader of the People’s United Party, Francis Fonseca will take on Prime Minister Dean Barrow in the Supreme Court over the appointment of a 13th senator to represent non government organizations. A Bill authorizing the Government to appoint a 13th senator was passed as […]

    PUP says “NO” to ICJ
    The People’s United Party formally announced this week that it will not support taking the territorial dispute with Guatemala to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). At a press conference on Wednesday at the party’s Queen Street headquarters, PUP Leader Francis Fonseca said his party […]

    Orange Walk records another murder
    Derrick Romero, an 18 year-old unemployed resident of Orange Walk Town was shot dead shortly before 10:30 on Wednesday inside hissyard at #5 Sittee River Street. The gunman walked in plain view of three other people, asked for Romero by name and then emptied a […]

    Sudden death spurs menningitis investigation
    Health personnel and family members are hoping that a post-mortem examination scheduled for Friday at 9 a.m. will provide some answers in the death of 5 year old student Veronica Cal. The child, who had hearing and speech impediments attended the Stella Maris School in Belize City. She became ill […]

    The Belize Times

    Barrow’s Law Must Go!! – PUP Takes to the Streets
    A loud and fiery group of about 400 supporters of the People’s United Party led by Party Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca protested in front of the Best Western Biltmore Plaza Hotel on the Phillip Goldson Highway, as the arrogant Prime Minister Dean Barrow was hosting a press conference this morning. The crowd marched for over two hours, despite the humidity and sweltering heat, holding placards, chanting to the beat of Garifuna drums, and demanding that the Prime Minister repeals the Petrocaribe Loan Act which has stirred up major controversy. “Barrow Law, hav fu go!!” shouted a single parent mother from the Collet Division, who says she doesn’t know whether she will be able to afford school fees for her three children in the upcoming school year. “I barely cuda mi pay fi my child’s four CXCs”, she said, “Petrocaribe di full up dem UDP pocket, but ih noh di do nothing fi my family”, she added.

    A Nation Terrorized by Crime
    The Belize Youth Movement 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. 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. 2015 is well underway to being another very bloody year.

    Rats Occupy Western Regional Hospital Kitchen!
    When the Western Regional Hospital mixed up new-borns and made a grieving Belmopan family to bury the wrong child and an investigation into the matter discovered cats living in the morgue in June 2013, we thought it couldn’t get worst. But this week, a shocking Channel 5 report exposed that diseased rats had infested the hospital’s kitchen. The video evidence of the infestation was appalling and scandalous. Rats of all sizes running around in the kitchen area, throughout the food stock and cooking utensils. The room was also in a decrepit state. It had filthy floors, the ceiling was falling apart and the walls were dirty. It was in perfect condition for a rat motel, but not for a hospital kitchen area. Like in June 2013, the hospital management was found to be grossly incompetent. The Regional Manager, Melinda Guerra, who a few months ago was wrapped up in sheets of controversy over missing monies at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, blamed everyone else but her lack of proper .

    Think About It
    The Leader of the Opposition was a guest on the Krem morning radio and TV show with hosts Mose Hyde and India Camela. It was informative and it again gave Belizeans an insight into the man who will be the next Prime Minister. Francis is one of us. He is a Belizean man born to humble folks whose contribution we can easily embrace. His mom, the popular “Miss Molly” was a stalwart of her church and community and equally so in her dedication to her family and to her two children. Francis’ father was a teacher and education official rising to the highest rank in his profession. Francis grew up in a loving and disciplined home where Christian values and service to fellow human beings were paramount. His dad was a teacher throughout the length and breadth of the country and this too would have helped to mold the mind and character of the young Francis. Listening to Francis, one sees and hears the father. Francis is genuine. He readily explains his views rather than seeking to impress or score points. He is too sincere in his beliefs for that. What was equally impressive, as India commented, was the passion with which Francis expressed his vision and commitment to change Belize for the betterment of Belizeans.

    REID BETWEEN THE LINES – The real difference between 2005 and 2015
    In his Editorial of last week, dated April 26, 2015, Amandala publisher Evan X Hyde drew inferences from and pointed to a few difference between conditions of 2005 and 2015. The Publisher pointed to key areas that might explain why, in 2005 the people felt compelled to take to the streets in protest while in 2015, despite underbelly rumblings, the natives remain passive. This is a phenomenon ripe for analysis and rife with complex entanglements. Before I continue, I must explain that I am writing this on no one’s behalf. Nobody tells me what to write and what not to write. At those times when someone would suggest that maybe I should write about this or about that, even if I had intended to, I will usually switch topics and go in a different direction. It might well be silly and not financially astute, but it is what it is and I am who I am. I find it important to say this because my articles are published in the BELIZE TIMES, and while I don’t see X Hyde right now as a friend of the PUP, they certainly don’t need him as an enemy. The man is prolific and proficient in his writings and wields a lethal pen. Blame me don’t blame the PUP.

    Defiant Tyrant
    Six weeks ago, on Friday 27th March 2015, during the night around 7:30pm the Prime Minister rushed through the House of Representative a new law called the Petro Caribe Loan Act. It is the only law of its kind in the world. Nowhere among the 198 members of the United Nations, not even in twisted democracies or outright dictatorship is there such a law. It is the only one of its kind. Over the six weeks that Mr. Barrow did this dastardly deed the ordinary citizen in the street and at the workplace has begun to get a clear understanding of how slimy is the law. The law covers criminal activity committed by the Prime Minister from September 2012 to March 2015 when he took out of the Petrocaribe monies on 78 different occasions, millions amounting to a total of 286 million dollars. There has been no accounting. The law covers illegalities and irregularities of Mr. Barrow in taking out these large amounts of millions without ever getting prior approval from the National Assembly. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate must approve beforehand each of the withdrawals. Not once did Mr. Barrow seek approval. Not once was Mr. Barrow given a single such approval.

    Jury acquits man of rape charge
    A jury of 6 men and 3 women deliberated for about 2 hours and 15 minutes yesterday in the court of Justice Herbert Lord before it found Brian Smith, 35, not guilty of rape. The jury’s verdict was not unanimous. It was in the proportion of 7 to 2. The incident occurred during the day at Smith’s residence, located on Berry Street. The complainant, who was a 17 year old high school student at the time, testified that Smith, a close friend of her father, gave her 50 cent to buy noodles while at her father’s house. She said that upon returning from the shop where she bought the noodles, Smith who was in his yard told her he wanted to talk to her and he invited her into his apartment. She testified that Smith closed the door when she went into his apartment. She sat on his bed and he began to make sexual advances at her. When she repelled his advances Smith, she said, pushed her on her back and held her hands with one of his hands and tried to take off her ¾ pants. She struggled with him but he was too strong for her and he succeeded in pulling down her pants and underwear, she said.

    22 yr. old walks from Murder charge for second time
    On Friday evening, May 11, 22 year old John Chessman, beat a second murder rap when a jury of 8 women and 4 men found him not guilty of the murders of Karen Crawford, 19 and Maurice Cadle, 44 in the Court of Justice Adolph Lucas. The jury deliberated for about 4 hours before it arrived at its verdict. Crawford and Cadle were shot and killed around 8p.m. on Thursday, May 29, 2008 in Bermudian Landing. The prosecution had alleged that Chessman and others went to the residence of Emmerson Wade where Crawford, Wade’s common-law wife, resided with Cadle. Their motive was, reportedly, to steal drugs and money but other sources say they went to the house carry out a “hit” on Wade.

    Francis Petillo charged with Robbery and Damage to property
    Francis Petillo, 26, a laborer who had several run-ins with the law in the past was charged with robbery and damage to property when he appeared today in the #2 Magistrate’s Court. Petillo pleaded not guilty to the charges. The prosecutor did not object to bail. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser offered him a bail of $5,000 and adjourned his case until June 26. The incident occurred around 1:20 a.m. on Monday, April 30. The complainant, Robin Erazo, reported to the police that she was walking on Miller Street when her assailant who was walking, coming from the opposite direction, ripped her Mariner’s link gold chain with a rabbit medal design from her neck as he was passing by.

    Man, 30, accused of sexual assault on 10 yr. old girl
    A 33 year old man, who allegedly committed a sexual assault on a 10 year old girl, was arraigned on a charge of aggravated assault today in the #2 Magistrate’s Court. He is Augustine Bejerano, an unemployed of Lord’s Bank. Bejerano pleaded not guilty to the charge. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that the offence has become prevalent, that the complainant is of a tender age, that the defendant might interfere with the complainant and that if granted bail the defendant might not appear for trial. When Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser asked Bejerano to respond to the objection to bail, Bejerano said he did not have anything to say. So senior Magistrate Fraser upheld the objection and remanded Bejerano into custody until June 8.

    Zhi Cheng wins Travellers 5-Barrel Veterans’ table tennis champ
    Zhi Cheng won the 5th Annual 5BARREL Veteran Championships held by the Belize Table Tennis Association at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium on Sunday. The tournament started off with the top 16 veteran table tennis players (over 35 years age) competing in a double elimination format. Cheng defended his title to make it to the finals in the upper division by defeating Siu Pan Chen, Hector Lopez, and Carlos Cui.

    Team Face of Belize leads SMART Mundialito
    The Face of Belize FC has 2 wins in the 2015 SMART Mundialito U-15 football competition held at the Yabra Green on Saturday. The London Strikers bombed the Ladyville Jaguars 2-0 with goals by Keiffer Perteau and substitute Jose Castellanos. The Young Warriors crushed Third World with 2 goals from Joshawn Flowers and another goal from Jose. Hattieville Youth FC drew 1-1 with Charleston FC; as Christian Caceres scored for Hattieville, and Cion Augustine equalized for Charleston FC. Collet Strikers and Rising Stars drew 0-0.

    Belize Bank Bulldogs win softball marathon
    The Belize Bank Bulldogs softball women won the 2015 female softball marathon organized by the Belize City Softball Association to launch its 2015 competition tournament at Rogers Stadium on Sunday. The Bulldogs hammered Beacon 5- 1 in the final as Kiri Lizama, Sharette Vernon, Ashley Lucas, Cindy Joseph and Fiona Rivero came home in the 4th inning. The Beacon women collected 5 hits off Bulldogs’ pitcher Ashley Lucas, who struck out 4 batters. The Bulldogs diamond made no errors forcing Beacon to leave 2 runners on base and only Mertell Bailey came home for Beacon in the 1st inning

    I Was Kicked Off My Volunteered Services by Minister of Culture Because of Politics
    Dear Island Residents, 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.

    Belizean-American accuses PGIA Customs of discrimination
    Dear Sir, I visited Belize in August 2014 for eight days and I am appalled and disgusted by the treatment received from the Custom 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. To date they are the most hostile from all the places I have travelled. In most countries after they stamp your passport they tell you welcome to their country. This is very disappointing as so many “Caucasian” people I know that visited Belize tell me how friendly the people are.

    Negligent garbage disposal in Hopkins Village
    Dear Editor, Once again the garbage on the North End of Hopkins Village is being negligently disposed by Hopkins Harbor/Hopkins Bay daily. Their only concern appears to be for their guests’ pleasure and safety, to play, relax, read, and sunbath on their clean beach. All garbage disposed with no care for the other tourists who pass to get to the lagoon, the Mayan beach vendors who sell gifts, the village people who use this path way to get to the lagoon to fish for food for their family and make their living by fishing in the lagoon. Hopkins Harbor/Hopkins Bay sure has enough staff, and money, to pay them to dump or properly remove the daily rack up of their beautiful manicured, man created beach, highly maintained, by disposing their debris, beach garbage , all insidiously placed on the other side of the fence. The Village Council, the Belize Government, Environmentalists, and BTB officials should investigate this gross pollution, harmful and dangerous disposal of garbage. Why is this overlooked? Is someone getting paid off?

    WOMAN IN THE HOUSE – 14 TABLETS AND 500 BOOKS!!!
    This past week we brought to fruition a small but signal event, the handing over of Tablets and Educational Software to the Hattieville Government School in Belize Rural Central at a brief ceremony last Thursday afternoon. Late last year a kind donor provided $3,000.00 for this project, and Business Computer Systems of Ladyville ordered the devices for us. The funds allowed us to access fourteen top quality tablets at a great deal, and so it was necessary to try to find out how we could gain maximum benefit for the primary school teachers and students. I chatted with teacher extraordinaire Yasser Musa as to how we could really make a positive difference with the few devices. He of course suggested that we should present them in keeping with the People’s United Party’s Education Agenda, which was launched on January 15th this year, the ninety-sixth birthday of late father of the nation George Price. Titled “Creativity & Technology,” our Education Agenda pledges that we will make full use of modern technology and educational tools in order to adopt a revolutionary approach to teaching and learning.

    BYM hosts Family Fun Day
    Over 60 children from several constituencies in Belize City had a blast at the first Belize Youth Movement Family Fun Day held on Saturday April 18, 2015 at the YWCA Basketball Court on St. Thomas Street in Belize City. They were treated to a day of games and fun entertainment by members of the Belize Youth Movement. The Belize Youth Movement also held a BBQ fundraiser which was supported by leaders of the Party and members of the community.

    Dr. Carla Barnett – From Iron Lady to Political Driftwood
    There have been worldwide advocacy for women representation in politics. World history has recorded a number of important women rise to political office in various countries. Margaret Thatcher has risen to the ranks of political office in England. Thatcher became known as the “Iron Lady”. The label was coined by a writer of the Red Star Yuri Gabrilov in 1976 because of Thatcher’s iron clad stance against the Soviet Union and socialism. Other notable women are Indira Ghandi of India, Golda Meir of Israel and Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan. These women have all been called “Iron Lady”. Benazir Bhutto was known for her charismatic authority and political astuteness. She was responsible for the implementation of economic policies and various social initiatives. She was also responsible for the denationalisation of state-owned corporations.

    Hon. Dolores assists Western Paradise Village
    Hon. Dolores Balderamos Garcia working together with Western Paradise Chairman Mr. Acencion Cal and West Lake Area residents of Western Paradise Village delivered material today, which makes one of the main entrances to this part of the village accessible. Photo shows residents with Hon. Dolores and delivery truck.

    The need to repeal Barrow’s Law
    The unions, the churches, the business community, and thousands of Belizeans across the length and breadth of this country are greatly displeased with the recent passage of the Petro Caribe Loans Bill in the House on Thursday March 26th, 2015. This bill was rushed through all three motions in the National Assembly in a single day. There was no time for proper debate in either the House or the Senate on the Petro Caribe Bill, undermining the provision of oversight. Oversight is needed because in its absence we have not gotten value for money for spending on a number of projects that have been financed by loans from the program. Today a number of streets that should have been done with concrete remain incomplete while others are breaking up after a couple months. The reason? There was no tendering process to ensure that competent persons were given the contracts for such projects instead of incompetent political cronies. Similarly while the government has spent thousands of dollars of Petrocaribe loan on Mothers’ Day cheer and Christmas Cheer for known UDP supporters, it has not used a dollar of the Petrocaribe money to address the dire need for proper low-income housing for the Belizean people.

    UDP Still Opposes Maya Communal Land
    Ever since Prime Minister Dean Barrow took office in 2008 the Maya peoples of Southern Belize have had to step up the defense of their rights in the face of abuse and oppression. A 10-point agreement drafted and agreed on by the Government of former Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Said Musa and Maya leaders in 2007, which recognised the Maya communal land in the Toledo District, was rubbished by the UDP Government. Dean Barrow and his Deputy Gaspar Vega showed preference to the special interests who wanted exploit the land whether the Maya people liked it or not. The irony of this all is that Dean Barrow was one of the attorneys representing the Maya peoples and defending their cause prior to the 2008 elections. Once he gained power; however, he turned against them.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Guatemala Vice President Resigns Amid Corruption
    Guatemala’s vice president, Roxana Baldetti resigned this morning amid customs corruption scandal. Baldettie became the first Guatemalan vice president to step down due to a corruption case even though prosecutors have not implicated her in the scandal and she denies involvement. “Her resignation is due to a personal decision with […]

    Western Ballaz Receive Donation
    The Western Ballaz Team members are very enthusiastic and optimistic as they approach the end of the basketball season. Last night, the players were called out for a normal day of practice by Coach Douglas Smith and were surprised with a brand new custom set of Jordan Brand […]

    The Belize Bank Celebrates Financial Literacy Education
    The Belize Bank Limited through its annual corporate social responsibility programs and initiative is proud to support PwC, Peacework and their partners, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in bringing greater awareness to the primary and secondary school children on the subject of Financial Literacy. PwC/Peacework conducted educational lessons […]

    Justin Hyde, Octaviana Lopez given bail
    On April 17, mother and son Wendy Lambey and Aaron Munnings were shot at their home in Belize City. Police arrested and charged 19 year old Justin Hyde of Curl Thompson Street with attempted murder and other charges. Today he was set free on bail of $12,000 subject to […]

    Red Cross launches first aid app
    Mobile phone applications are becoming increasingly a part of the thinking man’s life as a simple way to access information and entertainment. But if you want to save a life, there’s an app for that too. As part of annual celebrations marking World Red Cross Day, the Belize Red […]

    Immigrant charged in New Asia shooting
    Twenty year old Dixon Montero, a Honduran national without legal immigration status in Belize, was charged with the attempted murder of 31 year old security guard Victor Hendy when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Montero was also charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means […]

    Lucilla Bartley freed of murder charge
    In a trial without a jury, 52 year old Lucilla Bartley, aka “Chilla”, a mother of 6 charged with the murder of Osborne “Fish” Gordon, was acquitted of the charge today by Justice John Gonzalez, who ruled that it was a case of self- defence. Gordon, a fish cleaner […]

    Belize City man charged for Orange Walk Murder
    Orange Walk Police have made an arrest in connection to the murder of 18 year old Derrick Romero of Sittee River Street in Orange Walk Town on Wednesday morning. Police say the trigger man is 20 year old Kachief Bevans of a Belize City address. He was arraigned this morning […]

    WORLD NEWS: UK’s Conservatives win shock majority in general election
    Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, has returned to the seat of power following an unexpected majority victory in general elections held Thursday. His Conservative Party has been confirmed to win 331 seats of 650 in the British Parliament, five more than needed for an outright […]

    Catholic Principals Gather in Punta Gorda
    The 10th annual Catholic Principals Gathering will come to an end later today at the Francis J. Ring Parish Hall in Punta Gorda. The gathering has brought Principals from all over the country. The event officially opened with a church service at the St. Peter Claver Church. After the service, the principals gathered for supper at the Parish hall and enjoyed local entertainment. The event continues today.

    Fair and Warm Weather to Continue
    “TGIF” Thank God it’s Friday, and if you are wondering if it will be a dry Mother’s Day weekend, here is a look at the four day forecast leading into Monday. The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting, mostly sunny today and partly cloudy tonight. Showers will be isolated and winds will blow to the East at 10 to 20 knots. The sea state will be choppy to moderate. High temperatures are expected to be around 87 degrees Fahrenheit along the coast; 94 degrees Fahrenheit inland and a comfortable 80 degrees Fahrenheit up at the exposed areas of the Mountain Pine Ridge and along the Maya Mountains in the south.

    Blogs

    Catching Your Flight: The Overnight Bus from Belize to Cancun, The Details & Tips
    ADO Mexico runs an overnight bus service from Belize City to Cancun and one from Belize City to Merida. I took the first about 3 years ago – a bit more. And I HATED it…I was miserable and cold and cranky and it took me a few days to recover. I vowed to NEVER do it again. But never say never. When on a very tight budget and when you find a very cheap flight from Cancun Airport to Providence RI (via Baltimore on Southwest) – NEVER fades. This is the cheapest way to make the trip. No hotels to rest and freshen up…you are just motoring through and THIS is how I made it work. 1. San Pedro Belize Express Boat trip from San Pedro to Belize City (RT with membership card – $10bzd – the price is $48bzd) 2. SECURE ADO overnight bus ticket The overnight bus tickets go on sale at the Belize CIty bus station at 5pm each day. There is NO other way to get it…not online, not by phone, not in San Pedro. You can buy your ticket up to three days in advance and the line is a scramble to get up there and then the line is tedious…a slog. Thankfully I was given a secret tip.

    They came, they ate and we raised some funds
    Rule number one of party planning and fundraising events, there are no guarantees and always have a plan B. Thankfully many people are in favor of the San Pedro Belize Red Cross and we raised $1338 from ticket sales and donations at our Wednesday night fundraiser dinner at El Patio. It was a perfectly timed event in order for us to celebrate World Red Cross Red Crescent day, which honors the birth of the Founder Henry Dunant (May 8, 1928). All money raised will go towards helping sustain our organization and the work we do within the community. With the much anticipated First Aid Instructor’s training finally being scheduled by our Headquarters in Belize City, one of the biggest items on our plate is to secure a big building so we can hold FA/CPR courses in our own facility rather than always having to find a location…. not that we don’t appreciate all the places where we have held trainings, especially the consistent and often last minute arrangements with Banana Beach Resort who donate the use of the upstairs at El Divino, but it will be so great when we have a place to call “our own”. A few people know, I have a movie that continuously plays in my head of how it will be and all the community activities we will be able to do there as well. :)

    The Best Thing About Belize Might Not Be What You Expected
    It took me a while to figure out what exactly it is that sets Belize apart from many other travel destinations. Some of you may think it’s the beautiful Cayes, where the Caribbean Sea washes ashore to sandy beaches and the cool shade of palm trees. That suggestion sounds likely, after all, Ambergris Caye, Belize’s most popular destination has consecutively been named the best island of the world but thousands of TripAdvisor users. Or how about the interesting culture of the Maya, with their amazing food, bizarre religious practices and fascinating ancient ruins? Others may say the beauty of Belize lies in the great adventures such as scuba diving great sites, swimming with whale sharks, exploring caves that hold sacred Mayan relics and sacrificial remains, and discovering unique wildlife creatures such as birds. Again, these suggestions are all serious contenders but the answer is never quite that simple. The best thing about Belize is its people and the way of life. It’s how everyone looks for ways to connect with each other. A day doesn’t go by without someone telling you “Gud Ma’ning/ good morning” or “Tek Care/ take care”. You may think that’s not a big deal but it is proven that something as little as a smile from a stranger can set off a chain reaction of positive feelings. As humans we yearn kindness and when received, we are more likely to reciprocate it and in the end, feel better about ourselves.

    International Sourcesizz

    Belize offshore oil plan sparks worries for reefs, fisheries
    Belize is considering new offshore drilling regulations that could open nearly the entire coast to exploration and exploitation, environmental groups have warned, calling it a threat to vital reefs, fisheries and tourism concerns. The proposal recently made public by the Ministry of Energy would even allow drilling in the vicinity of the Great Blue Hole, a world-famous diving destination that can be seen from space and looks just like what its name suggests, the U.S.-based activist group Oceana said. “They’ve declared open-season on almost 99 percent of Belize’s marine area,” Janelle Chanona, Oceana’s vice president for the Central American nation, said by phone from the capital, Belmopan. “That includes seven World Heritage sites, that includes marine protected areas … and it is unacceptable.” The proposal is still in the draft stage. Government officials did not respond to requests for comment Thursday, but have said previously that they are considering possible modifications including feedback from groups like Oceana. Belize currently has a moratorium on offshore drilling.

    Postcard from: Xunantunich, Belize
    The trip: My daughter and I celebrated her 21st birthday with a trip to Belize. We stayed at Hopkins Bay Resort in the small village of Hopkins. This photo was one of the excursions we took to visit Xunantunich, an excavated Mayan ruin. Eder, our guide, was informative and fun. Belize is a beautiful, quiet place and the people are so warm. I highly recommend it.

    Leo DiCaprio's Belize Keeps the Vision for Sanctuary Belize
    Four-time Oscar-nominee, Leonardo DiCaprio, is investing in Belize and championing some restorative initiatives along that country's Central American coastline. But he is not the only one. Sanctuary Belize, a 14,000-acre real estate resort front on Belize's southeast coast, is also working to preserve the country's pristine jungles and delicate cayes for those who want to visit and live in Belize. Sanctuary Belize is a 20-minute direct flight from Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City to a private airstrip at Kanantik, gateway to Sanctuary Belize. A country of only 332,000 people, Belize is considered more like Costa Rica of the 1990s or Hawaii of the 1960s -- a pristine destination to visit and a fabulous place to live, whether for a few weeks of full time. Cities are never too large, crime is not common and the U.S. dollar there goes a long way. While DiCaprio is working with luxury resort developers to create a 104-acre exclusive eco-resort, Sanctuary Belize is creating its own sustainable master-planned community of some 2,000 home sites as well as villas and condos. Both developments have been inspired by the unspoiled environment that Belize presents and are committed to keeping the land and shores as clean and pure as they have ever been.

    280 Marines going to Central America
    Some 280 U.S. Marines are landing in Central America any day now. The operation has no code name, but it’s the fruit of about a year’s planning by the U.S. Southern Command to insert a newly formed expeditionary outfit into the U.S.-run swath of the Soto Cano air base in Honduras for about 200 days, the longest, largest known Marine deployment onto Central American turf in years. About 90 of the Marines will be going to Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize. Details so far are scarce about what the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-South will do exactly. It sounds like it will train friendly forces and be in a position to pivot to high-profile disaster relief efforts, which the U.S. military likes to promote in poorer southern hemisphere countries. Spokesmen say the Marines will not do double-duty in the drug war. On April 30, the deputy Southern Command commander, Army Lt. Gen. Kenneth Tovo, testified before a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee that the special unit’s ground element will be doing regional training — maritime and river operations, marksmanship and small-unit training. It has an air wing and logistics unit that will be “working with our partners to repair schools and other facilities.” A spokesman for Southcom’s Marine subsidiary in Miami, Capt. Armando Daviu, likened it to the Marines’ role in the multinational effort that swept into Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

    US-Cuba ferry services to restart after 50 years
    Authorities in the US have approved passenger ferry services between Florida and Cuba for the first time in more than 50 years. Services between the two countries stopped when the US imposed a trade embargo on Cuba in 1960. The US government has now lifted the ban and a number of ferry companies say they have been given licences.

    Videos

  • Belize Scuba Diving, 5min.

  • Belize zoo trip 2015, 9min. The leopard scare my ass.

  • ORANGE WALK POLICE CHARGE A BELIZE CITY YOUTH IN DERRICK ROMERO’S MURDER, 3min. A Belize City youth has been formally charged for the murder of eighteen year old Derrick Romero who was gunned down on Wednesday morning. As we previously reported, a lone gun man approached a yard of an apartment complex on Sittee River Street in which Romero and two others were socializing. The gun man unleashed a volley of shots at his direction causing him to succumb to his injuries whilst receiving treatment at the Northern Regional Hospital. And this morning, bound by cuffs, he appeared at the Magistrate’s court this morning where a single charge for Murder was read.

  • BURGER HUT’S FUNDRAISING INITIATIVE ON LUPUS AWARENESS, 3min. It’s Lupus Awareness Month – the perfect time to talk about the importance of lupus awareness! Spreading the word about the diseases is important because many people don’t know what it is. This lack of awareness is not good for people who develop lupus – they often feel somewhat isolated and uncertain about when to mention their lupus diagnosis with employers, colleagues and friends. A lack of public awareness also impacts funding for programs and services as well as research. And today, across Belize and around the world was observed as Put On Purple Day in an effort to heighten the awareness of Lupus, an unpredictable and misunderstood autoimmune disease that ravages different parts of the body. While many individuals participated in the POP Day, one business that is fundraising for Lupus Awareness is Burger Hut here in Orange Walk Town. Owner Rodrigo Gonzalez told us more on his initiative….

  • Kiteboarding at Hatchet Caye, Belize, 1min.

  • Kitespot at Hatchet Caye, Belize, 1.5min.

    May 8, 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

    Footprints for Peace
    The community has united once more to speak out against crime. Residents came out to the Footprints For Peace solidarity walk, a peaceful movement to help bring awareness to the ongoing crime situation in San Pedro. After the walk, participants will commune at Central Park to share testimonies and ideas on how to end violence.

    Footprints for Peace March
    Those affected by the crime and violence in San Pedro are speaking up. Footprints for Peace hopes these initiatives break the silence on crime by encouraging all island residents to speak up and condemn offenders.

    The San Pedro Sun Welcomes Staff Reporter Dion Vansen
    The San Pedro Sun welcomes new staff reporter Dion Vansen to its youthful line-up of writing professionals. Vansen is the mastered mind and head writer of Belize’s first Telenovela (soap opera) La Isla Bonita which premiered in San Pedro on September 5, 2014 and has also contributed articles to online magazines. The writing career has also taken him to pen scripts for a weekly radio drama called Punta Fuego, aired on Love FM radio station. Originally from Independence, Stann Creek, Vansen enjoyed writing from a very young age and always dreamed of having a career doing what he loves the most, writing. He attended the University of Belize Belmopan Campus were English and Literature were his favorite subjects. “I have always had a love of writing,” says Vansen. “I once heard a speech from a successful writer where he described the love writers have for their writing profession and what to do to achieve it. I honestly felt it the very minute I walked inside the office of The San Pedro Sun.”

    Wine and gourmet food: a glorious match!
    For its 30th Wine Event, Wine De Vine and Casa Picasso teamed up for a night of delicious food and top-ranked wines. From the moment the menu and wine list landed in our inbox, it was time to make a plan. Based on my previous experiences at wine dinners, there was possibility of some wine-induced shenanigans. Tamara and I know a little bit about wine, rum, beer, cocktail-induced shenanigans, and so, we were ready for some good FUN!! After a social hour, wherein bubbly was consumed and delectable bites of profiteroles with camembert and shrimp salad on wontons were passed around, we were all directed to the seating area where rows and rows of wineglasses extended as far as the eye could see. Oh my…gulp…or should we say…slurp! The menu listed items like black truffle mousse, foie gras, octopus, sea bass, beef and Kakaw chocolate. Wow, were we in for some excellent dining! Flor was excited to share her wine picks with the crowd, detailing bits of her adventures tasting in Argentina, even throwing a little history in the mix. (Just don’t ask us about it…because, well, there was lots of wine…ALL of which were 90+ points rated!)

    13 Police Officers receive training on New Criminal Procedures
    13 island officers were part of the first phase of training on the Amendments of the Belize Criminal Code, Police Act and Indictable Procedures Act. The training was held on Wednesday, April 29th and was led by Woman Corporal Shaida Mckenzie who is attached to Crime Investigation Branch Support in Belize City. Not only were the officers educated on the most recent changes to the law, but they also participated in real situation scenarios that officers may be faced with, and they even received training in interviewing skills. Throughout May 2015, each officer attached to the San Pedro Police Department will receive similar training. According to Corporal Mackenzie, the training is being held countrywide to sensitize all officers and to ensure that laws are being upheld. “Apart from the training that they have received, I have also ensured that every single participant has a copy of the new police guidelines. There should be no excuse for them not to have the guidelines,” said Mackenzie. The guidelines dictate proper police behavior and ways to handle criminal incidents.

    Poultry Farms in Spanish Lookout suffer major loss after Avian Influenza Breakout
    Poultry farms in the Spanish Lookout Community have suffered an estimated $3 million loss after the most recent breakout of Avian Influenza (H5N2). Over 60,000 birds were put down due to the contamination in the last couple of weeks to avoid the selling of infected product to the public. While the loss is very significant and represents a major setback in the farmers’ inventory, the Government of Belize (GOB) does not have plans for subsidizing them. The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) in conjunction with the Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA), have been motoring the farms since Wednesday, January 14th when the Avian Influenza Type A tested positive in two farms. Since then, testing was required for all product before release for public consumption. The infected samples were initially only poultry from the broiler breeder section of the farm, but as the month progressed, chicken used for direct consumption also started showing signs of infection. Chief Executive Officer of the MOA Jose Alpuche stated that after extensive testing, over 75,000 birds were positive for the virus in 12 farms across Spanish Lookout. “This is a huge loss, out of the birds that tested positive, 60,000 have been put down. This is a clear indication of a loss of $3 million dollars and there are still four more farms left to be purged. Much will need to be done in the coming months to build back inventory and stock in the poultry farms,” said Alpuche.

    Tila Maria Sesto brings Cultural Comedy to San Pedro
    Comedy at its best was presented on Friday, May 1st at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium, during the first ever Tila Maria Sesto Show. Many island residents came out for the comedy show presented by Proud Mestizo Promotions. The main attraction of the night, Tila Maria Sesto, is an iconic comedian from Merida, Yucatan, Mexico that shows the struggles faced by Yucateca women in modern society. Paired with cold drinks and good food, the night was a huge success. Proud Mestizo Promotions is a private company dedicated to promoting the Mestizo culture in Belize. The aim is to document the experiences and knowledge of the culture before it is lost. The Tila Maria show was the perfect opportunity to teach the modern society about the Mestizo culture while having a fun time.

    Eyes on the street is a way to fight crime!
    In light of recent activities, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has partnered with the San Pedro Business Community to launch an initiative to rid the island of major crime and make the streets a safe place for all. The initiative involves installing surveillance cameras across San Pedro Town to monitor street activities. As such, SPTC is encouraging all business owners to install outdoor cameras at their establishment. Not only will the cameras protect their entrance, it will also give a view of a portion of the street, providing footage that can be used in criminal investigations by the police. Cities across the world utilize street camera footage to assist in the identification and capturing of criminals. Even San Pedro Police have confirmed that camera footage from an establishment on Pescador Drive assisted them in solving one of the most recent murders on the island, which has led to the culprits being charged. For each outdoor camera installed by a business, authorities are given one more eye on the street.

    Ambergris Today

    San Pedro Central Park Wired for Free Wi-Fi Service
    The San Pedro Town Council has outfitted Central Park in downtown San Pedro, Ambergris Caye with equipment to provide free WiFi service to island residents. The ‘WiFi in the Park’ is a project launched between all the municipalities of Belize, along with Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) in order for residents to stay connected and have an enjoyable time at the park. The internet service at the park is in an open access system with no password required to connect. Once you log into the “Welcome to GOB Wi-Fi” network you are required to accept the terms and conditions of the service. The terms include that a.) Guests will be limited to use of the service for 1 hour per day and b.) A maximum of 100 simultaneous users will be able to connect to the wireless network at any given time. The service is coming at no cost to SPTC and will be provided by BTL.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Introduction to Accounting
    May 15th, 2015 Price: $20.00 *** Snacks included *** Workshop Location La Inmaculada Credit Union, Orange Walk Upcoming Workshops provided by SBDCBelize. Objectives: Understand and apply the essential numerical skills required for bookkeeping and accounting Understand and explain the relationship between the accounting equation and double-entry system Record transactions in the appropriate ledger accounts using the double-entry system Audience: Entrepreneurs, Bookkeepers, General Public

    Education in Belize: Unrealistic Systems of Education
    "All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason." Immanuel Kant Throughout Belize during the month of May, thousands of teenagers anxiously and excitedly look forward to their high school graduation. After four years of hard work, they will finally be able to "breathe" from under the daily scrutiny of teachers, school administrators, other students, and parents. For many Seniors it's also time to start taking O'level examinations. Unbelievably, as in Colonial times, throughout Belize and most of the British Commonwealth it really is not the total high school education provided and completed, but rather the outcome of O'level examinations (how many subjects are passed) that will determine which high school graduates get what jobs, and who will be admitted to local or British Commonwealth tertiary (post high school) institutions. After their high school graduation, some students who pass enough O'level examinations will qualify to go on to continue higher studies at home or abroad, if they can afford to pay the expensive tuition; some graduates will immediately start to look for and compete for an "increasingly limited" amount of potential full-time or part-time employment in Belize; and unfortunately, some graduates will merely linger around their communities for who-knows-how-long with no idea what they can/should do in life.

    "The People of the Mayan Village" Exhibit
    Cultural Institute of the Embassy of Mexico in Belize invites everyone for FREE Admission to the "The People of the Mayan Village" Exhibit May 12

    Government Responds to PUP Claim Filed in Court
    The People’s United Party has filed a claim in the Supreme Court against the Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow, basically, seeking an order to compel the Prime Minister to bring into force the Constitutional Amendment that would see the appointment of a 13th senator. That senator would be chosen by the non-governmental organizations, and would result in taking away the Government's majority in the Senate. In turn, that would mean that the Opposition, with the support of the new 13th Senator and others, would be able to frustrate Government's legislative agenda and delay or completely derail (even urgent) Bills. The Government sees this claim as another desperate attempt by a political party that has been repeatedly and roundly rejected at the polls, including as recently as January and March of this year, to thwart the will of the people and try to gain power other than by way of the ballot. Spectacularly unsuccessful in elections, the PUP is seeking redemption through flimsy legal maneuvers and empty posturing. Government points out that a similar claim was brought before by COLA back in 2010. The Judge dismissed the case in its entirety reaffirming that the Prime Minister has wide discretion, when given that authority by Parliament as in this case, in deciding when to bring legislation into force. Section 23 of the Act the PUP is now litigating clearly states: “This Act shall come into force on a day to be appointed by the Prime Minister by order published in the Gazette.”

    Requiem for a fallen soldier
    News of the death of former mayor of Belize City David Fonseca came as a shock to not the citizens whom he served for almost two decades in Belize City; but to the entire country and indeed, many in the international diplomatic corp. To say that David Fonseca was a “well-liked politician” would be understating things quite a bit. Born William Henry David Fonseca, the man who was known to many as simply “David” served as mayor of Belize’s largest municipality for a record sixteen years. He was the first mayor to be directly elected and oversaw significant transformation in how the city is governed. Under his watch, the city got its first City Manager, its first Financial Manager and its first Traffic Department. He oversaw significant developments and application in the area of sanitation and left Belize City cleaner and more modern than ever. Unfortunately, David Fonseca was caught up in the political upheaval of 2004/2005 and left City Hall in 2006 under a cloud of controversy. Shortly after the municipal elections of 2006 that saw David losing after winning a record three terms, in- coming Mayor Zenaida Moya embarked on a smear campaign and proceeded to dig up anything that she could find to tarnish her predecessor’s name and legacy. She expended much effort in trying to convince then Director of Public Prosecutions Kirk Anderson to charge David Fonseca for anything that he possibly could.

    Belize Offshore Oil Plan Sparks Worries for Reefs, Fisheries
    Belize is considering new offshore drilling regulations that could open up nearly the entire coast to exploration and exploitation, environmental groups have warned, calling it a threat to vital reefs, fisheries and tourism concerns. The proposal recently made public by the Ministry of Energy would even allow drilling in the vicinity of the Great Blue Hole, a world-famous diving destination that can be seen from space and looks just like what its name suggests, the U.S.-based activist group Oceana said. "They've declared open-season on almost 99 percent of Belize's marine area," Janelle Chanona, Oceana's vice president for the Central American nation, said by phone from the capital, Belmopan. "That includes seven World Heritage sites, that includes marine protected areas ... and it is unacceptable." The proposal is still in the draft stage. Government officials did not respond to requests for comment Thursday, but have said previously that they are considering possible modifications including feedback from groups like Oceana. Belize currently has a moratorium on offshore drilling. Environmental experts say even a small oil spill could jeopardize the powdery-white-sand cays and turquoise waters that make tourism the Central American country's leading source of foreign income, responsible for up to 25 percent of its GDP.

    Tortilla (flour) Belizean Style
    try this flour tortilla recipe tonite

    BOLEDO DRAWING for Thursday, May 7, 2015: 25. FANTASY 5: 22 36 24 12 16 N

    Cayo Mother's Day Extravaganza
    The Mother's Day Extravaganza will be at the Cayo Welcome Center Friday, May 8th. There will be food, drinks, music, and fun for mothers, and everyone. "Happy Mothers Day from the Management & Staff of the Cayo Welcome Center. Remember tomorrow is the Full Moon Mothers Day Extravaganza 2015. This event is brought to you through the San Ignacio/Santa Elena Town Council, Cayo Welcome Center and the San Ignacio/Santa Elena House of Culture. Happy Mothers Day from Mayor Earl Trapp Jr.!!!"

    National Institute of Culture and History offices relocated
    Please be advised that the National Institute of Culture and History offices housed at the House of Culture, Old Government House on Regent Street in Belize City, including the office of Ms. Diane C. Haylock, president of NICH, has been relocated to the upstairs of the Bishop Sylvester Memorial Building at the Cor. of Regent Street and Rectory Lane. The new telephone lines are 227-0811 or 227-0518. The Film and Media Arts Unit/Belize Film Commission and the Communication Officer, Ms. Shari Williams have also been relocated to this address. All email contacts remain the same. We apologize for any inconveniences caused and remain committed to the preservation and promotion of culture in all its diversity.

    Clearing Land? Trimming Trees? Look out for nesting birds!
    Fabulous donation from Belize Ag report. Thanks Beth! Please share with everyone - it's cutting and burning season in Belize, just at the wrong time for the birds

    Channel 7

    Hon. Gapi Shows Up For Slander Lawsuit
    Deputy PM Gaspar Vega is suing his political opponent - slash - accuser Ramon Cervantez Jr for libel - but as we told you earlier this week he doesn't want to have to appear in court for all the adjournments. But he did appear today for a case management conference - and it was agreed that at the next court date, the lawsuit against his political opponent, Ramon Cervantes Jr., will have its full day of arguments. That's the outcome of today's case management conference. That will be on July 23 and 24, when Vega's attorney will argue why the phone call released by Ramon Cervantes accusing Vega of a murder conspiracy was slanderous. So that will play out in 10 weeks - and Vega will have to be in court - which he says he has no problem with because he and his attorney say that the other side gave us the wrong impression about his willingness to appear: Daniel Ortiz "Can we ask you about what's the outcome of this morning's hearing?" Hon. Gaspar Vega "We will be having the case on the 23rd and 24th July."

    MIT Seize Guns With Suspected GSG Ownership
    Tonight, police are in possession of a cache of high-powered weapons which may be connected to one of the biggest gangs in Belize City. The Mobile Interdiction Team received intelligence yesterday that the weapons were being stashed in Hattieville Village. So, they teamed up with the K-9 Unit to conduct a huge sweep of the area. They started at around 3:30 yesterday afternoon, and about 6 hours later they found 4 guns in an abandoned lot on the Dalla Bank Road. The stash includes two AK 47 assault rifles with the serial numbers filed off, two AK 47 magazines. Additionally, they found a 9 millimeter pistol with a magazine which was loaded with twelve live rounds. And they also found a.38 special revolver with the serial number filed off. It was loaded with 9 live rounds.

    Accused of Patricide, Ryan Jones Gets Free
    Viewers may remember Hensleigh Jones, better known as "Ryan" - who was accused of killing his own father, Nick Jones on New Year's day. Well tonight, he's at home free after 1 year and 5 months in jail because the Magistrate in Corozal threw the charge out of court. Strictly speaking, he hasn't been acquitted, and the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions can direct police to re-lay the charge against him, but after he was arraigned and remanded, no evidence was put forward in the form of disclosure. That was the status for the first 5 months and his attorney, Michael Peyrefitte, submitted to the court that his client ought to be released from prison because the police have no evidence against him. The Magistrate gave the prosecution more time, and at the 1 year mark, Peyrefitte redoubled his efforts, since yet again, the prosecution couldn't produce any evidence or files against Jones.

    Robbery At New Asia Ends With Security Guard Injured
    Tonight, Security Guard Victor Hendy, a resident of Guadalupe Street, is at the KHMH recovering from a gunshot wound after robbers made an attempt on New Asia Restaurant the popular and long standing Chinese restaurant on Vernon Street. It happened at about 8:50 p.m. when 2 men barged into the restaurant armed with a gun and went up to the cash register. They began demanding money from the proprietor, but she shouted for the security Guard. Apparently, the spooked the robbers ran off, and on their way out, they noticed that Hendy was on the phone. He was trying to call 911 to report the crime. The man armed with the gun fired a shot which struck Hendy in the neck, and that gave the men time to run into Mosul Street. He was rushed to the KHMH and police report that he is in a stable condition. Police are looking for one man.

    Rt. Hon. Musa Won't Retire Anytime Soon
    Just over 2 weeks ago, we told you about the discussion within the PUP that elder statesman Said Musa should seriously consider retirement. The talk within the party is that the 71 year-old's baggage may be affecting the Opposition's image to independent voters. His Party Leader, Francis Fonseca, made it clear that he wa sin no rush to send Musa on his way. So what about the man himself? Well, we put the question directly to him today, and here's his response: Daniel Ortiz "Is that something that you've considered?" Rt. Hon. Said Musa, Area Rep. - Fort George "Of course I've considered it, but I will not be guided by what my opposition wants me to do. So, the more Mr. Barrow calls on me, or comments about my age, I need to remind him that I am not the one who have to walk with a walking stick, okay."

    Fire On Aloe Vera; Arson or A Product of Faulty Wiring Due to Electricity Theft?
    Tonight, a family of 5 is homeless after their house on Aloe Vera Street Extension burnt down before midday. But that terrible misfortune is just the beginning of the story. It's complicated because the homeowners suspect that one of their neighbors burnt their home down. Those neighbors say that the fire victims were stealing electricity - and that's what caused the blaze. So, what do the authorities think? We'll our news team tried to get some answers today. Daniel Ortiz reports: Orin Smith - Station Officer, National Fire Services "At approximately 11:50 am the National Fire Services received and had responded to a call of a structural fire at a number 6 Aloe Vera Street Extension Belize City address. On arrival on scene, a plycem structure was seen engulfed in flames. Following a brief size up, firefighting commenced, the fire was later brought under control and extinguished."

    BNTU Says PM Misspoke On Labor Movement's Involvement With Petrocaribe Spending
    Petrocaribe...it seems that whoever you talk to about this divisive issue, it's either the country's saving grace, or a downfall foretold. Well, at the last press conference held by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, he made comments to the effect that the teachers and public officers, who don't agree with the Petrocaribe Loans Act, have benefitted from the funds indirectly. He said that this windfall has allowed the Government to afford their 10% salary increase over two years. He added that the executive members of the labour movement are also participating in petrocaribe programs, such as the National Bank. So, is the BNTU a petrocaribe partner? Or, put differently, are they complicit? We got a chance to speak with National President about it today, and he told us that he wanted to set the Prime Minister straight. He said that the PM is misleading the public: Luke Palacio, President, Belize National Teachers Union "The Prime Minister has once again tried to mislead this nation. When the matter of the salary adjustment was discussed, negotiated and agreed upon, a formula was given. We were criticized for accepting that formula.

    Will The BNTU Join The Opposition On 13th Senator Lawsuit?
    So, what's the BNTU's reaction to the lawsuit filed by Leader of the Opposition yesterday? As we told you, He will take the Prime Minister to court to try to force him to bring the Constitutional Amendment into effect which allows for a 13th Senator to be appointed by the NGO community. The Prime Minister's position for refusing to do it after 5 years is that it will cause legislative paralysis, which the Opposition condemns as an excuse which holds no weight. They say that the constitution provides an avenue to the Government majority to bypass the veto power of the Senate on money bills needed to run the country. They go even further to suggest that the Government is avoiding legitimate attempts at transparency. The BNTU recently went on a country wide tour for the "Teachers Gat Yu Back" campaign on national issues. One of those issues is that 13th senator, so will the BNTU align itself with the Opposition in this lawsuit? Well, the President told us today that it is not so simple:

    How Many Storms This Hurricane Season
    What are the predictions for this year's hurricane season? Well, according to the Meteorology Department it will be somewhat similar to last year - a below average season with 7 to 11 named systems, 12 being what we usually have. We spoke with Chief Meteorologist, Dennis Gonguez today and he told us that although there are no major threats at this point, preparedness is key. Dennis Gonguez, Chief Met Officer "The outlook for the 2015 hurricane season indicates that we can expect below normal activity. The forecast between 7 to 11 name systems, between 3 to 5 of those becoming hurricanes and major hurricanes between 1 to 2. The average is 12 name systems, 6 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes. So we can see that the forecast are for well below average activity. This is caused by the cause of the development of a moderate El Nino in the Pacific Ocean which puts a damper on our hurricane season this side. And in addition we are looking at lower sea surface temperatures over the Atlantic basin/Atlantic Ocean. So we're looking at a season that would be well below average. However, I must caution that these numbers do not indicate where the systems will make land fall. So we have to stress on the importance of being prepared."

    Cleyon Still Needs Your Help To Fight Leukemia
    We have been reporting on the condition of 11 year old Cleyon Marage from the time he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia last year. This type of leukemia attacks the bone marrow and produces cancerous cells. It has been a long and debilitating process for Cleyon and for his mother who has to come up with the money to pay for his monthly doctor visits and treatment. While little Cleyon is doing well, his mother has fallen short of the funds to pay for his final 9 months of treatment. Clovis Matura came to our studios today to tell you how you can help save her son. Clovis Matura, Mother "Cleyon has been doing excellent. He goes to Merida every three weeks for chemotherapy treatment. He's still in remission so we just need to keep taking him for 9 more months. He's already done 9 treatments and then he should be okay by then. It has been difficult because the funds are not really available that we need. So we constantly need to try to raise money by asking donations from the public and doing fundraising. When he comes back he gets symptoms from the chemo, so we need to deal with that. Sometimes he's back and forth to the hospital. I want to say thank you to everyone who has helped us in the past. I want to ask them to continue to support us and donate so that he can continue to get his treatment and save his life."

    PUP Goes After Tracy Taegar P
    The UDP will endorse Tracy Taegar-Panton as its candidate for the Albert division tomorrow evening at the House of Culture. And while no less than Party Leader Dean Barrow is expected to be there to consummate her so- far- unopposed ascent, her ride got suddenly rocky today when the PUP threw a political stink bomb her way. They say Taegar Panton led to a BTB employee being fired because she balked at renting a building from Taegar-Panton's mother for the BTB. Here's how it goes: In 2013, Jonelle Hemmans was in charge of a European Union funded tourism project. She says the then Director, who was Laura Esquivel Frampton - allegedly told her that a decision had been made to rent the building owned by the Taegar family on Regent Street. Hemmans opposed it citing EU project guidelines it would have been a conflict of interest to rent a building from the CEO's mother.

    Art And It's Everyday Expression
    Culture Uncovered is the theme of the Image factory's new art Exhibit and this morning we got an opportunity to meet the very creative and enthusiastic bunch. WE found out what the art exhibit had to offer and why this one is 'unique. The exhibit opens to the public tomorrow night at 6 at the IMAGE Factory.

    Community Camera Initiative In San Pedro
    A week ago when we spoke to the Minister of National Security John Saldivar about the recent spike in crime in the city, he told us that there will be a boost in police patrols especially in the hot spots. But one local businessman has another solution that he is implementing on San Pedro and says it can be brought to the city. Businessman and Attorney Steve Perrera has launched a "Community Camera Initiative" on San Pedro and he told us today how this initiative can reduce crime on the island and assist police in capturing criminals. Perrera has donated 2 surveillance cameras to the San Pedro Mayor's office and he has installed cameras outside two of his businesses. Perrera says he has started the initiative with this move and hopes other businesses follow through. So far about 28 stores have already installed the cameras outside. Another important element is the sign which should be put up beneath the cameras. If your business has not gotten a sign as yet you can call Perrera at6104444 or email him at steve@attorneybelize.com.

    BNTU Discusses Dismissed Teacher Puc
    Earlier we showed you some of our interview with the President of the teacher's union. Today, we also took the opportunity to ask the President about the former Mopan Technical Teacher, Elito Puc, who was terminated by the Teaching Services Commission after some graphic evidence emerged showing that he was trying to prey on a male student. The Minister of Education told us yesterday that his licenses have been revoked, he's been dismissed, and steps are being taken to make sure that he never teaches in Belize again. We also asked the BNTU President, whose union sits on the board of the Commission, about that decision to terminate that teacher. He told us that from the evidence, the appropriate action was taken: Luke Palacio, President, Belize National Teachers Union "The union, we do sit on the Teaching Service Commission. That is the body that is authorized to deal with the disciplining of teachers. There is a process that had to be followed, it called the "due process." The board of that institution made their complaints to the Teaching Commission. The commission met, they deliberated and determined that yes, the procedures were followed and all indications are that those offences were committed.

    The Passing Of A Trade Union Giant
    Tonight, the Belize National Teachers Union notes the passing of one of it's members, Eloisa Trujeque. She had a long and distinguished career as an educator and a trade union stalwart. She has been with the BNTU from its inception since the 1970's, and up until her passing yesterday, she was still a serving member. Today, the National President told us that she will be sorely missed: Trujeque was also a former PUP candidate, and the party released a statement this evening saying, quote, "We in the PUP will… miss her tireless love and commitment for her Party..." At the time of her passing she served on the National Executive of the PUP in the capacity of Chair of the Order of Distinguished Service.

    PROFILE
    William Nicodemus Arthur Lewis Jr. - quite a name right? Well it fits his strong and resilient character perfectly. Tonight's profile is on Lewis Jr. and it focuses on this young man's struggle to provide for his mother after his father died 2 years ago and how he was able to find solace in his step father.

    Meningitis Case Found At Stella Maris
    Health authorities are investigating a fatal case of Meningitis in the city. Yesterday a 5 year old female student from Stella Maris School died two days after being admitted to the KHMH. Preliminary testing points to bacterial meningitis being the cause of death. But nothing will be confirmed until the post mortem is conducted tomorrow. A health team visited the school and met with parents and teachers today and told them that there is no cause for alarm. At this point there has been no other case at the school or any other in the city. We'll keep following the story.

    Channel 5

    Terminated Employee Wins Lawsuit Against the B.T.B.
    This Friday, a convention takes place in the Albert Division for the endorsement of Tourism C.E.O., Tracy Taegar-Panton as standard bearer for the U.D.P. Panton is to replace Minister of [...]

    Trial Date Set in Vega Libel Case
    In other news on the U.D.P…..today, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and Ramon Cervantes Jr., the man who will contest him in Orange Walk North were in court. The DPM [...]

    Musa Says He Is Considering Retirement
    There was another issue which Musa addressed when he exited the CJ’s Chambers. Rumours about very drastic changes within the executive structure of the People’s United Party have been making [...]

    Fire Engulfs Home in Belize City
    A fire gutted a small house on Aloe Vera Street in Belize City just before noon today. The homeowner was not at home when she heard the dreadful news that [...]

    MOH Investigates Death of Student
    A young girl died on Tuesday at the K.H.M.H., and it has resulted in a minor panic at the school she attended. Five year old Stella Maris student Veronica Cal [...]

    Security Guard Shot in the Neck
    An on-duty security guard of Guadalupe Street in Belize City is tonight recovering from a gunshot to the neck. Thirty-one year old Victor Hendy was shot as he stood watch [...]

    Burrell Boom Resident Remanded for Sexual Assault
    A Burrell Boom resident was to get married this weekend, but instead he will be behind bars for Sexual Assault upon a Child. This morning, twenty-one year old  Jamel Seguro [...]

    Busted Sneaking weed Into Belize Central Prison
    But a twenty-one year old domestic of Santa Elena, Cayo District secured a five hundred dollar bail after she was allegedly caught by prison officials in possession of seventeen grams [...]

    Police Seek One Man for OW Murder
    Eighteen-year-old Derrick Romero was shot and killed inside his yard by a lone gunman on Wednesday morning.  He was shot multiple times when his attacker got off a bicycle, jumped [...]

    Cleanup in Port Loyola
    A neglected street in the Port Loyola area got a much needed facelift this morning. Residents of the area joined P.U.P. standard bearer, Gilroy Usher Senior, in carrying out the [...]

    G.O.B. Issues Release On Caye Caulker Lands
    On April twenty-third, a retired English couple came forward in the media to vent their frustration with an ongoing land issue on northern Caye Caulker.  The Higgins, Sydney and Anna, [...]

    Culture Uncovered at the Image Factory
    Culture Uncovered is a mash-up of various mediums of visual art, a collection curated by Kenisha Gooding.  Gooding is a fresh face in art circles across the city, participating in [...]

    Healthy Living Looks at Lupus
    May is Lupus Awareness Month. As a part of the commemoration people living with lupus, or ‘luppies’ as they are called, are trying to educate the wider public about this [...]

    CTV3

    Three People Detained for Murder Of Derrick Romero
    Yesterday we told you about the shooting death of 18 year old Derrick Romero of a Sittee River Street Address of the Louisiana Area of Orange Walk Town. When we left you, police were in their preliminary stages of their investigation. Today, when we checked with our sources we were told that several leads followed led authorities to the detention of three individuals. Those individuals were detained today and are currently still in custody as their statement is being recorded. We understand that one of the men, who is from Belize City, is believed to be the trigger man in Romero’s murder. The individuals are also being investigated for their possible involvement in the murder of 18 year old Roy Bayliss who was shot to death early on the morning of August 2nd at the Fort Cairns Plaza as he ate breakfast at a popular tacos place. We understand that an identification parade was conducted late this evening.

    Will David Ackerman Remain As Chairman Of The Free Zone?
    David Ackerman, he has been at the helms of the Corozal Commercial Free Zone for seven years under contract. But word tonight is that he is looking to be replaced. In fact, reports suggest that tomorrow might just be his last day as the Executive Chairman of the Corozal Free Zone. Rumors are that Ackerman’s contract is up and there is no indication if it will be renewed as certain members of the hierarchy of the United Democratic Party believe it is time for him to be changed. And boy there are names popping up for his replacement including that of a Former UDP Minister of Orange Walk East and Raul Rosado who is the current CEO of the free zone. But again we stress these are only rumors. Of note is that the position of Chairman of the free zone is appointed by the Prime Minister of Belize who we understand in this case is not ready to see Ackerman go due to the confidence and the excellent relationship that he shares with the Chamber of Commerce of the free zone. Of note is that since he took over the reins of the free zone seven years ago, Ackerman has built the zones credibility and attracted new investors. We will keep following this story and bring you the developments as they unfold.

    Rotaract Belize wins Prestigious Award
    Over the weekend a delegation of over twenty Rotaract volunteers from Belize attended the bi-district conference which was hosted in Guatamala City. This year, Belize had participation from San Ignacio, Benque Viejo, Belize City, Orange Walk, and Belmopan who were among other Central American Rotaract volunteers for the event. After all was said and done, Belize walked away with the award of Best Country of District 4250. Azalia Torres, Secretary for the Rotaract Club in Orange Walk says this year they impacted most communities thus garnering the award... AZALIA TORRES – Secretary, Rotaract Club “We were better than the Guatemala clubs and better than the Honduras clubs and the way we giving this award is by our reports that we had to submit, every trimester reports we had to submit to our Rotaract District Representative of what the clubs here in Belize are doing, so all our fundraisers, all of our community service, all of our professional development, all of these projects that we carry out throughout this trimester we send it to the RDR every three months so it is based on these three months that we won the award.”

    PlusTV

    Police cracking down on Noise Pollution
    They say that without music, life would be a mistake. Well according to a few residents of Georgeville, Cayo, the only mistake they ever made was turning on their record players in the first place...

    PUP challenges PM over 13th Senator
    Following on from his announcement in the press last week, Leader of the Opposition and of the People’s United Party (PUP) Francis Fonseca has filed a claim in the Supreme Court which asks the Court to declare unlawful Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s refusal to bring into force the sections of the Sixt...

    Update on Agric Stabbing
    On Monday we reported on a stabbing incident which occurred on Saturday May 2nd at the Agric Show grounds. The incident involved 24 year old Dernell Brown, Belizean labourer of Hattieville village...

    Albert Vaughan freed of loitering charge
    It was a case of “I told you so” this afternoon for 55 year old Albert Vaughan, the People’s United Party (PUP) activist who was present as a reporter on August 4, 2014 during the protest of Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) workers in front of City Hall which resulted in over 40 arrests at the Queen...

    Teacher accused of soliciting minors to be kept out of school
    As we told you earlier this week, a male teacher from Mopan Technical High School in the Benque Viejo area has had his teacher’s license revoked for alleged solicitation of male minors attending the school via Facebook, when he sent them naked pictures of himself...

    PUP says no to ICJ
    The original date for the referendum on settling the unfounded Guatemalan claim to Belize at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands, has come and gone and the Referendum Commission practically moribund...

    GOB responds to PUP 13th senator claim
    Late this evening the government sent out a press release in response on the matter saying saying that, quote, ” Spectacularly unsuccessful in elections, the PUP is seeking redemption through flimsy legal manoeuvres and empty posturing...

    Teenager killed in Orange Walk
    Orange Walk Police are investigating a shooting incident that has claimed the life of teenager...

    American Tourist dies on diving tour
    An American tourist died while on a diving tour in Placencia. On Monday May 4, police visited the Roberts Grove marina where they saw 64-year-old American touristDavid Reed Rowley,lying motionless on the floor of a boat apparently dead...

    The Guardian

    11 year old kills 6 year old with shotgun
    Five days after an 11 year-old boy shot him in the head, 6 year-old Travis Polanco, a resident of the Stann Creek River Valley, died at the KHMH on Monday, May 4. He was pronounced brain dead by his physicians, and so his family decided to take him off life support. The incident happened on Thursday, April 30, at around 4:30 p.m. in the Valley Community, which is about 18 miles on the Hummingbird Highway. Initial police investigation determined that Travis Polanco was coming from school, and he started throwing rocks at an 11 year-old boy. That young man then went home, and managed to get his hands on his father’s licensed 16 gauge shotgun. He then went back to where Travis Polanco was, took aim, and fired a shotgun blast at Polanco. The pellets struck the boy in the head, and he collapsed under a tree.

    PUC proposes 15% Electricity rate reduction
    On July 1 electricty rates will be reduced for the fifth consecutive time following a tariff review procedure. The new rates will be the lowest in Belize’s modern history. “I recall back in the early 80’s electricity was above 41-43 cents [per kilowatt hour] in that rate”, says John Avery, Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission. “We are looking at a mean electricity rate of 35 cents [per kilowatt hour] for the period from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. This represents a 15.24 percent decrease in the mean electricity rates (MER).” In April, the Belize Electricity Limited submitted an application to the Public Utilities Commission requesting a reduction in the Mean Electricity Rate (MER) of approximately 10 percent. That means that residential customers’ rates would decrease from 41 cents per kilowatt hour to under 37 cents per kilowatt hour. The P.U.C. reviewed B.E.L.’s proposal and using its methodology using a forecast within the tariff period the Commisson proposed a 15.24 percent decrease. This would bring the MER from 41 cents per kilowatt hour to about 35 cents per kilowatt hour. Avery says, “This 35 cents is setting a rate that will cover their cost for next year but also rebate to consumers the excess that BEL has had over the last couple of years.”

    First Belizean Drafted in NFL
    With the 41st Pick in the 6th round of the National Football Leagues first year player Draft, the Washington Redskins selected Rakeem Nunez-Roches from Southern Mississippi University. Nunez-Roches is the 217 overall pick in the 2015 Draft but the first ever Belizean born player in the league. According to NFL scouts and draft experts, Nunez-Roches is a “Fireplug with a good motor and an ability to find gaps and drive upfield through them. He’s missing the size and brute strength necessary to consistently handle himself in a phone-booth battle, so he will have to play in a one-gap, upfield defense. He has the look of a penetrating nose who will have to start his career as a backup.” He is six feet, two inches tall and weighs slightly over 300 pounds. At the combine he ran a 5.02 seconds in the 40 yard dash, jumped 34 inches for the verticals and completed 26 reps for the bench press. Nunez-Roches will now compete to make the roster out of training camp. This opportunity is more than thousands of aspiring players get.

    Breakthroughs for over 50,000 Belizean youths
    There are not many people who would willingly walk barefeet in a pile of broken glass but it is one of the challenges Bert Oliva presents to people in need of a breakthrough in life. The glass represents the many obstacles that life throws at you. The glass is what is between you and your goals in life. Everything you know about broken glass tells you not to and you cannot walk through. However, it is at that point that you must decide if you are willing to walk through every obstacle that is keeping you from your goals. Those who believe in themselves find out that after walking through the glass they come out unscathed and prepared to face any other challenge that is placed before them. This is the message that Oliva and his team of Potentialists have been bringing to Belizean youths over the last four years. This 2015 tour will push the number of Belizean beneficiaries of Oliva’s message to over 50,000. Bert Oliva migrated from Cuba to the United States when he was just eleven months old and grew up in the Little Havana area of Miami. Instead of partaking in illicit activities like his friends, he grew up responsibly and took a job at Xerox in his early twenties. He specializes in growing large corporations by focusing on the human potential. Oliva believes in mind over matter and his message to his audience is “the only person that can prevent you from realizing your dreams is yourself”. In 2012, Oliva and his team addressed over 4,000 students in San Pedro, San Ignacio and Belize City.

    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).

    Hon. Mark King first to celebrate Mother’s Day
    Hon. Mark King held his Mother's Day program on Sunday May 3 as over a thousand mothers gathered at the Bird's Isle to celebrate their special day. Though the event was a week in advance it was nonetheless special. Hon. King treated the mothers to special entertainment including serenades by Shawn Saldano, performances by the Ugundani Dance Group, the St. Luke's Marching Band and the Youth Connection Band. The entire event was punctuated by raffles of prizes including fans, curling irons, and many other prizes.

    National Agriculture & Trade Show held in Belmopan
    The National Agriculture & Trade Show NATS, being Belize’s biggest exposition dedicated to showcasing the work of small and medium enterprises as well as promoting Belize’s products, ended this past Sunday after three days of continuous fun filled activities. Some 18,000 persons visited Belize’s only dedicated facility for NATS by the Guanacaste Park in Belmopan on Saturday and a further 22,000 persons visited on Sunday; an increase by about 6,000 persons from last year’s show. His Excellency, the Governor General Sir. Colville Young did an inspection of the Guard of Honor opening the official ceremonies at about 1:30 pm last Friday. Present for the opening were members of the diplomatic corps, heads of departments and other senior government officials. His Worship Khalid Belisle, Mayor of Belmopan also took the opportunity to welcome everyone to Belmopan and urged all to enjoy the festivities. The Guest Speaker for the occasion was Jose Ruiz Sebastian Marcucci, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock from Guatemala. In his short presentation, Jose Marcucci reported that Guatemala last year created 1,500 credit programs and gave farmers technical assistance to produce corn and rice. He also said that this year, Guatemala will give out over 1,000,000 sacks of fertilizers to micro and large producers---in a country where there exist some 1000 extension officers.

    Education month
    The Ministry of Education Youth, & Sports kicked off Education Month 2015 on Sunday under the theme “OUR YOUTH: INNOVATORS TODAY; CHANGE MAKERS TOMORROW.”. The month-long festivities will focus on bringing all the key players and partners in education together to chart the way forward in this very important sector. Minister of Education Hon. Patrick Faber said that the reason why the ministry decided to extend the commemoration to a month is because the Ministry felt that more events surrounding education can be covered and stakeholders get a chance to actively participate in every level. Prior to May 2015, the showcase was a week-long program and was later extended to two weeks.

    Matura reduced to being an attack dog?
    Has TOP NOTCH attorney Matura reduced herself to being an attack dog? On Monday of this week she appeared on channel 5 TV and she was foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog. Fortunately the makeup artist for TV 5 were able to disguise the bags and jowls that would have surely rendered her a bull dog. Matura lashed out at Mr. Jenkins for being so elated at the gesture of the PM in advancing bridging finance to the Citrus farmers while they sort out their woes. So excited was Mr. Jenkins that he delivered an emotional impromptu speech.

    Ministry of Health Contributes to the Ongoing Discussion on Suicides
    The Ministry of Health notes the widespread discussion in the media on the recent alleged suicides involving well-known Belizeans. As the country’s ministry responsible for mental health information and treatment, we would like to offer this press release as our contribution to the discussions on this very important issue. Firstly, we would like to express our sincere condolences to the families and all others that have been affected by suicides in Belize. Every person lost by suicide is a life filled with potential and possibility cut short. While there is evidence that suicides are preventable, almost a million people worldwide still die from this condition every year. The Ministry recognizes that while we do not fully understand this condition, most experts have suggested that the factors are varied and complex. There is also very strong evidence to suggest that there are often multiple contributing factors including mental illness and substance abuse; and a person’s risk of suicide may increase with a painful loss, social isolation, feelings of hopelessness or being a burden to others, and may not be seeking help.

    An outstanding citizen from Benque Viejo del Carmen
    Twenty year old Ricky Cunil is an outstanding citizen of his community in Benque Viejo del Carmen; despite being held back by an amputated leg. In November 2012 Ricky Cunil lost a leg after having developed a cancerous tumor, but that could not stop him from receiving his certificate on April 26, 2015 under the Citizen on Patrol Program COP from the Belize Police Department. It is a great achievement for Ricky Cunil as recognized by Rudolf Orio, coordinator of the COP Program. Cunil is being looked up to by many members of his peers and for good reasons. in 2006 at the very young age of 13 years, he began working with youths. He joined the Belize Police Youth Cadet Corps in 2009, moving on to receive a cadet of the month award for exemplary performance in 2010. In June 2012, Cunil would also be awarded Cadet of the Year Nationally for his outstanding contributions to the people of Belize. Again in 2012 he was awarded with a trophy and medals for taking his drill team to first place in the Belize Police National Drill Competition. But those were not the only recognitions for Ricky Cunil, for he was awarded with Doing the Right Thing in 2013 and 2014. He has been certified as a Peer Helper at the Alvin Young Nazarene High School in January 2014 and was elected first president of the group.

    Petro Caribe rolls into Corozal Southwest
    Hon. Dean Barrow announced that Petro Caribe finances will now be rolled out into the rural areas across the country and already the work has commenced. In Corozal South West, finances have been mobilized and so too has heavy equipment. Over the past couple of days works began on the rehabilitation of the San Roman - San Narciso road. According to UDP Standard Bearer for the division, Dr. Angel Campos, the upgrading of the road will bring in much needed relief to residents in the area. He went on to explain that another road leading to Libertad Village will also be upgraded. These will be .9 and .8 miles of road respectively that will be paved. Additional work to be done in the constituency will be the upgrading of a mile of road in Santa Clara, Concepcion, Louisville and San Victor villages. "This will have a big impact in this area!!! Thanks PM!!!," Dr. Campos stated in a Facebook posting.

    Facilities improved at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan
    Opening ceremonies for a new gym, a half a mile running track and other facilities were held on Wednesday of last week at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan. In attendance was Belize’s Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie as well as the Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security. These new developments at the Police Training Academy come as good news to the current recruits (two recruit squads pass through the Police Training Academy every year) ; as well as established officers, who will now be able to safely exercise for better health. Traditionally recruits and officers would exercise on the Belmopan Ring Road which posedwas a safety concern. The new gym now has four treadmills, three bikes, stamina machines as well as numerous weight devices. Plans are now being made to extend this outreach with better exercising facilities to the rest of the country. Allen Whylie told reporters last week that the new developments at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan were significant. He also said that other police officers countrywide will be able to use the facilities at their convenience.

    Man dies after knife is stuck in his head
    Dernell Brown, a 24 year-old man who was recently residing in Teakettle Village, Cayo, became the casualty of a knife brawl at the 2015 Agriculture and Trade Show. Police believe that alcohol was a contributing factor in this murder. It happened on the Show grounds at around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, near the Heineken tent. Brown was with a group of friends at this tent, which was at the back of the grounds, when another group of men passed by. One of those persons allegedly disrespected a female who Brown was with, and he confronted the men about it. That led to a fight, and one of the men pulled out a knife and stabbed Brown to the head. That knife went so deep into his skill that it was reportedly left protruding from his head. He was taken for medical treatment where he lost consciousness and passed away on May 4, at around 9 a.m. His family says that they don’t know him to be anyone who causes trouble. Brown, was reportedly a hardworking labourer who did all kinds of construction work. He leaves behind a 3 year-old son.

    Another taxi in Cayo forcefully taken to Guatemala
    In less than three weeks, another taxi in Cayo has been forcefully taken from its owner and driven across the Belize-Guatemala border. In both crimes, a common pattern has been discovered, where requests are made for transportation from San Ignacio Town’s taxi men by a single male person, after which several other males would then join in for the passage, only to then forcefully take the vehicle to Guatemala; following the same escape route. At about 8:00 pm on Monday night of this week, a Hispanic male on the Joseph Andrews Drive in San Ignacio Town requested permission to board a taxi. Walter Chinchilla, 49 years old complied, where three other persons also joined in the taxi. But just by the San Ignacio community hospital one of the passengers took out what appeared to be a 9 millimeter pistol and demanded that Walter Chinchilla continue driving. Upon reaching about two miles on the Calla Creek Road Walter Chincilla was ordered to stop. He then took the opportunity to get out of his vehicle. Valued at $5000.00, the 1996 Gold in color Corolla, with license plate 00582, was then driven through the Santa Rosa Road, which crosses the Belize-Guatemala border.

    Raymond Myers, set free of murder charges
    The murder trial of Raymond Myers began on April 17, 2015 before Justice Traodio Gonzalez. He is being represented by Kareem Musa and the prosecutor in the case is Crown Counsel Kileru Awich. Myers has been on remand for the May 14, 2010 murder of Francis Figueroa since May 18 of 2010. Figueroa was killed in front of Royal Wholesale Liquors, also known as Red House, on Vernon Street. Figueroa and Meyers reportedly got into an altercation in which Meyers beat him up and stabbed him several times. The Guardian is reliably informed that the stabbing was witnessed by two police officers who were near the area at the time of the altercation. One of the officers who lives nearby was unable to stop the fight. By the time he reached the scene Figueroa had already been stabbed and was sitting on a nearby stairway. Figueroa received stab wounds to the left and right side of his chest, upper lip, 6 stab wounds to the left upper back, and a stab wound to the left elbow, and left cheek. Figueroa was stabbed to death, 13 times, and Myers was arrested four days after the incident.

    Teenger on remand for Kenroy Parham’s murder
    Over the weekend police made an arrest for the murder of Kenroy Parham, 25, who was shot and killed in the Mahogany Heights Community on Friday, November 28, 2014. Ronalph Ramsey Jr., a laborer of Belize City is at the Belize Central prison on remand after he was arraigned for Parham’s murder before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Monday, May 4. Ramsey appeared unrepresented in court and due to the nature of the offense no plea was taken. He asked the Chief Magistrate for permission to speak and when granted permission Ramsey told the court that the police officer who charged him with murder is “punking” him because he was held for 24 hours without any evidence and he did not get to make a phone call. The Chief Magistrate made a note of Ramsey’s statement. A preliminary inquiry will be held in the court room of Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser on August 12 to determine if there is sufficient evidence to commit the matter for trial at the Supreme Court. Ramsey will be remanded at the Belize Central prison until his next court appearance on July 22.

    Teenager shot and killed in Orange Walk
    Derrick Romero, an 18 year-old resident of Orange Walk was shot and killed right in front of his place of residence on Wednesday, May 6, 2015. At around 10 a.m., the young man was socializing with a group of people in front of his apartment complex on Sittee River Street. That’s when a gunman quietly rode up on a bike and fired several shots at him. None of the other persons were injured, but Romero was hit several times in the upper left shoulder, abdomen, the center of his back, and the back of his neck. He was rushed to the Northern Regional Hospital, but he passed away while undergoing treatment about an hour or so after he was shot.

    Jose Robles, Kaya Cattouse, and Darien Anderson capture Pablo Marin Cycling Classic
    The Northern Zone of the Cycling Federation of Belize in collaboration with the Hon. Pablo Marin, the Area Representative for Corozal Bay, sponsored the 10th Annual Pablo Marin Cycling Classic, which was held on Friday 1st May, 2015, Labour Day. The event attracted riders in the Elite, Female, Juniors, Youth, Masters and Weekend Warriors categories. In the Open Elite Category, the first rider to cross the finish line was Jose Robles of Western Spirit in a time of 2:51:36. He was followed by Nissan Arana of Predators in a time of 2:51:39, and he was followed by Oscar Quiroz of Western Spirit in a time of 2:51:39, and he was followed by Henry Moreria of Team Smart in a time of 2:51:42 and then by Brandon Morgan unattached in a time of 2:51:43 for the top five positions. The other top finishers in this category included Gregory Lovell of Team Digicell in a time of 2:51:44, David Henderson of Team Smart in a time of 2:51:45, Angel Tzib of Team Smart, Shane Vasquez of Western Spirit and Joslyn Chavarria of Digicell in a time of 2:51:46, to round off the top ten riders.

    Belize City Primary Schools Football Competition opens
    The 2014-2015 Belize City Primary Schools Football Competition opened on Wednesday 6th May, 2015, at the MCC Grounds with three games on the schedule. The schools that are participating in the Girls’ competition are St. Mary’s Anglican School, Holy Redeemer School, Wesley Upper School and Belize Elementary School, while the schools in the Boys’ competition are All Saints Anglican School, Central Christian School, Ebenezer Methodist School, Queen Square Anglican School, St. Ignatius School, St. John Vianney School, Holy Redeemer School, St. Joseph School, James Garbutt Seventh Day Adventist School, Wesley Upper School, Belize Elementary School, St. Mary’s Anglican School, Hummingbird Elementary School, Unity Presbyterian School, Queen Street Baptist School, Trinity Methodist School, Salvation Army School and St. John’s Primary School. In the only female game played today, Belize Elementary School defeated Wesley Upper School by the score of 4-0. The goals for Belize Elementary were scored by Alyanna Musa (2), Riana Chebat and Leanna Cocom.

    Belize Softball Federation to hold Open Tryouts this Saturday
    The Belize Softball Federation will be holding Open Tryouts for female softball players 19 years (born 1996 and after) and under on Saturday 9th May, 2015, at Rogers Stadium commencing at 10:00 am. The Open Tryouts for the male softball players 19 years (born 1996 and after) and under will also take place on Saturday 9th 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.

    Well liked boat captain Romy Badillo dies in Guatemala
    Well known boat captain Romy Badillo passed away in Guatemala after spending 33 days at the Centro Medico Hospital. He was there trying to recover from burn injuries he suffered on Holy Thursday, April 2. A few days after he was flown out to Guatemalan, his family reported on social media to friends and well-wishers that he had survived the first round of surgeries to remove burnt skin from his body. He had suffered second degree burns to 50% of his body. Later on during his stay at the Guatemalan Hospital, his health took a turn for the worse when he caught an infection in his leg. It had to be amputated, but his vitality was eventually sapped until he passed away on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 at around 2:45 a.m. His family is currently trying to make arrangements for his body to be brought back home for burial.

    Former City Mayor David Fonseca commits suicide
    City residents and those who knew former mayor of Belize City, David Fonseca, were taken by surprise on Thursday May 30 when news went out that he had committed suicide. Fonseca was found dead at his mother’s house, in the unoccupied upper flat on Stuart’s Alley. He had shot himself to the head with a 9 millimeter pistol which was found in his hand. His body was found in the bathroom and reports are that Fonseca had shot himself sometime around 2:30p.m. a day shy of his birthday which was to have been on May 1. Fonseca was 60 years old. Fonseca served the Belize city council as councilor and mayor for 16 years up to 2006.

    PUP try to grasp at another issue to capture public sentiment
    So, the PUP says that they’ve discussed it among themselves and they have come up with the position that they support having a referendum in Belize, but they do not support going to the International Court of Justice. What kind of nonsense is that? Why would you support one but condemn the other? The persons advising them must know that holding a referendum in any country is an extremely expensive venture. So, to engage in an exercise which they do not believe in has to be foolish, since hundreds of thousands of dollars will be invested and thereby wasted. It should be that either you’re for the referendum and going to the ICJ, or you are not.

    Belize City Council and Mayor Darrell Bradley express condolences to family of David Fonseca
    Mayor Darrell Bradley, the councilors, management and staff of the Belize City Council, through this medium, convey sincere condolences to the Fonseca family on the untimely passing of their son, brother, father, uncle, grandfather, cousin and husband William David. He served as the first elected mayor of Belize City, President of the Mayors Association, and was also active on numerous boards and civic institutions. His contributions to the development of our city will always be remembered, and he will be missed by many. May his family be comforted by GOD’s grace through this trying time, and may his soul rest in peace.

    H.E. SIR COLVILLE YOUNG, GOVERNOR GENERAL OF BELIZE, LEADS A DELEGATION TO VISIT THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA (TAIWAN)
    At the invitation of the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan), H.E. Sir Colville Young, Governor General of Belize, accompanied by Hon. Senator Audrey Joy Grant, Minister of Energy, Science and Technology, and Public Utilities; Dr. Colin Young, Chief Executive Officer; and Dr. Alan Slusher, President of the University of Belize, will visit the Republic of China (Taiwan) from May 10th to 15th, 2015. As a senior statesman, Sir Colville Young has visited Taiwan many times, and has accumulated in-depth observation and knowledge about the people and society of Taiwan. He has highly valued the partnership between Belize and Taiwan, and has recognized the importance of, and supported the cooperation projects in a wide array of fields between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Belize, and among many other developing countries. Governor General Young has been highly knowledgeable, graceful and well-respected and loved by the people of Belize. He served as an educationist for many years and has educated countless excellences. His deep affection for literature, arts and music, and the profound attainment has enabled him to enrich the spiritual life of Belizean people and society, and help to make Belize an amicable and peaceful country.

    Government Responds to PUP Claim Filed in Court
    The People’s United Party has filed a claim in the Supreme Court against the Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow, basically, seeking an order to compel the Prime Minister to bring into force the Constitutional Amendment that would see the appointment of a 13th senator. That senator would be chosen by the non-governmental organizations, and would result in taking away the Government’s majority in the Senate. In turn, that would mean that the Opposition, with the support of the new 13th Senator and others, would be able to frustrate Government’s legislative agenda and delay or completely derail (even urgent) Bills. The Government sees this claim as another desperate attempt by a political party that has been repeatedly and roundly rejected at the polls, including as recently as January and March of this year, to thwart the will of the people and try to gain power other than by way of the ballot. Spectacularly unsuccessful in elections, the PUP is seeking redemption through flimsy legal maneuvers and empty posturing. Government points out that a similar claim was brought before by COLA back in 2010. The Judge dismissed the case in its entirety reaffirming that the Prime Minister has wide discretion, when given that authority by Parliament as in this case, in deciding when to bring legislation into force. Section 23 of the Act the PUP is now litigating clearly states: “This Act shall come into force on a day to be appointed by the Prime Minister by order published in the Gazette.”

    Labor for Belize attracts record number of volunteers
    The entire city was taken over by a whirlwind of volunteers who spread to every corner of the city to make it more beautiful. Under the leadership of Mayor Darrell Bradley, for the 4th consecutive year, the city council organized and executed the Labor for Belize initiative. According to the mayor, the idea is to have Belize City residents gather together to do community work to meaningfully improve the aesthetics of the city. He once again noted as he always has, that the city is made up of the people and it is not merely the buildings and streets. In its fourth year almost 800 volunteers came out to participate in the clean up campaign. These included community groups, non-governmental organizations, business houses, schools and everyday residents. This year the activities included the beautification of a portion of Coney drive where plants were planted in the median, a portion of Cemetery road was patched, drains were cleaned, overgrown lots were bushed in the Lake I Division, Sanker Park was uplifted with the placing of new swings, plants were put down and existing amenities were painted. Other areas saw the painting of railings at canals, basketball courts were also painted, bushing took place along the Phillip Goldson Highway and Jane Usher Boulevard among other activities.

    Missing man feared dead
    Denfield Bowen, a 27 year-old Plues Street resident, went missing on Thursday, April 30, and after searching for several days, his family believes that he is dead. Information from around his neighbourhood suggests that he has become a casualty of an internal rift between members the George Street Gang. Bowen, who is a father of 4, told his family that he was going out for a bit on Thursday at around 5:20 p.m. He was expected back shortly after that, but when he didn’t come home, his family presumed he went missing. They filed a missing person’s report on him the following day, and they have been searching all over Belize City for him.

    Mother of six gets three years for trafficking
    Natalie Fuller, 36-year-old mother of six, is serving her first days of a three year jail term for drug trafficking. Fuller was busted with 3.13 kilogram of marijuana by officers of the Gang Supression Unit in November of 2014. According to PC Paul Phillips, acting on a warrant they visited Fuller’s home at #69 Regent Street on November 13, 2014 to conduct a search for drugs. As the police arrived, they saw Fuller throw a bag out the window into the nearby river. The officers retrieved the bag and Fuller was detained and escorted to the police station where the bag was examined. It contained 3,130 grams of weed, over six pounds. Fuller initially pled not guilty to a charge of drug trafficking; however, she changed that plea with an explanation. Fuller says that her ex-boyfriend and friend, Sandra, came to visit her on November 12, 2014 and that was when Sandra asked her for a favor.

    Man dies after knife is stuck in his head
    Dernell Brown, a 24 year-old man who was recently residing in Teakettle Village, Cayo, became the casualty of a knife brawl at the 2015 Agriculture and Trade Show. Police believe that alcohol was a contributing factor in this murder. It happened on the Show grounds at around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, near the Heineken tent. Brown was with a group of friends at this tent, which was at the back of the grounds, when another group of men passed by. One of those persons allegedly disrespected a female who Brown was with, and he confronted the men about it. That led to a fight, and one of the men pulled out a knife and stabbed Brown to the head. That knife went so deep into his skill that it was reportedly left protruding from his head. He was taken for medical treatment where he lost consciousness and passed away on May 4, at around 9 a.m. His family says that they don’t know him to be anyone who causes trouble. Brown, was reportedly a hardworking labourer who did all kinds of construction work. He leaves behind a 3 year-old son.

    Another San Pedro Taxi man murdered
    Taxi operators of San Pedro are very concerned about their safety after another taxi man was found dead on Sunday, March 3. Donicio Trujillo, 42, was found in a secluded area of the island suffering from multiple stab wounds. His throat was cut, and it appears that his assailant clubbed him over the head with a rock. A concerned citizen contacted police at around 7 a.m. after discovering Trujillo’s body on “A” Street, in the Marina area, which is at the south end of San Pedro. Police responded and found him lying in a pool of water beside his taxi van. By that time, his killer or killers had long made an escape from the area, and so police have to do some intense investigations to solve this crime.

    Three charged for taxi man’s murder
    Three men have been charged with the murder of San Pedro Taxi man, Jose Beltran, who was found dead on Tuesday, April 28. Those men, 23 year-old Luis “Sito” Campos, 19 year-old Mark Arzu, and 18 year-old Santos Garcia, they have been remanded since Monday, May 4. The men were arraigned before Magistrate Sherigne Rodriguez on the crimes of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Due to the nature of the offences, no plea was taken, and they couldn’t be granted bail for it. They were remanded to prison while they await a preliminary inquiry into this case, and an eventual Supreme Court Criminal Trial.

    15 years for American who tried to lure Belizean girls to have sex with him
    On Wednesday May 6, David Wendel Thompson, an American from Tampa was sentenced to 15 years in prison in the U.S. He had pleaded guilty to online enticement of two minor girls from Belize in October of 2014. Earlier that year on March 14, 2014 Thompson flew in to Belize but was denied entry into the country and was later arrested in Miami during a layover to his home in Tampa. Federal police had arrested Thompson and when they did, they found items in his possession which he intended to give as gifts to two girls ages 13 and 15. He was found guilty of luring the girls through Facebook to have sex with him.

    Belize City No Limit wins over Cayo Western Ballaz
    The National Elite Basketball League Competition continued on Friday 1st May, 2015, with two more games on the schedule. At the Bird’s Isle here in Belize City, the home team the Belize City No Limit handed the Cayo Western Ballaz its third defeat of this year’s campaign by the score of 77-66. The top scorers for the Belize City No Limit Team were Gregory Rudon with 23 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 steals, Brandon Rogers with 19 points, 5 rebounds, and a steal and Rhetton Belisle with 14 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists and 1 steal. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Cayo Western Ballaz were Elvis Usher with 20 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist, Akeem Watters with 17 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal and Kurt Burgess with 15 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals.

    Belmopan Bandits to the big dance again
    The Premier League of Belize Closing Season Tournament is fast come to an end with the championship round setting to commence on Thursday 7 May, 2015, at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan between the National defending champions the Belmopan Bulldogs and Verdes FC. On Sunday 3rd May, 2015, at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the host team Verdes FC eliminated the highly favoured Belize Defence Force by the score of 6-0. The first goal of the game was scored by Rodney Pacheco in the 45? minutes of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. The lead was further increased when Orlando Jimenez scored the 2nd goal of the game in the 64th minute of play for a 2-0 lead. The lead was further extended when Jamil Cano scored in the 68th minute of minute for a commanding 3-0 lead. For all intent and purpose the Belize Defence Force did not played up to expectations when Marlon Molina scored the first of his two goals in the 71st minute of play for a 4-0 lead. Molina’s struck goal again in the 80th minute of play and then an own goal by Edgar Adderly in the 90th minute of play gave Verdes the 6-0 victory and a place into the championship round.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Albert Division contenders trade barbs ahead of endorsement
    Tomorrow, Friday, May 8, United Democratic Party (UDP) candidate for the Albert division and former CEO in the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Tracey Taegar-Panton will be endorsed during a Mother’s Day event at the House of Culture. She was selected by the party to replace one-term representative […]

    Burrell Boom man remanded for sex charge
    Burrell Boom resident Jamil Seguro is accused of fondling a teenager’s private area while she was bathing in the Belize Old River at Burrell Boom on April 23. Today he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith and pleaded not guilty to a charge of sexual assault of the […]

    Caye Caulker school wins innovation challenge
    Schools from rural Belize District took the top three places, with first place going to Ocean Academy of Caye Caulker. The team of students shared a thousand-dollar prize. Belize Rural High School was second and Ladyville Technical, the defending champion, came third. The students were asked to design […]

    ALBERT VAUGHAN ACQUITTED OF LOITERING CHARGE
    In August of 2014 then workers of Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) caused great disturbance outside of City Hall on North Front Street, where they had been protesting against Mayor Darrell Bradley and the Belize City Council for falling behind on their payments to the company, which in turn […]

    Hurricane Season is Few Weeks Away and Doppler Radar is Broken
    In September 2009, the National Meteorological Service of Belize installed a $3.3 million dollar radar at its headquarters in Ladyville. The radar was expected to be operational by October of the same year but up to now, the radar is still inactive. Back in 2009, in an interview with Chief Metrological […]

    Young artists exhibit at Image Factory
    Art is considered part of a nation’s culture. But is popular culture art as well? A group of young artists have banded together to exhibit their works which depict their views of popular culture – everything from ladies’ handbags to the recent boxing clash between Manny Pacquiao and […]

    Said Musa not ready to leave politics
    The Right Honorable Said Musa, now 71 years of age, is in his seventh term of office as area representative for the Fort George division in the House of Representatives and will seek an eighth term in the upcoming general elections. But there have been groundswells of suggestions […]

    Security guard shot during robbery attempt
    Police are seeking one person from the Taylor’s Alley area in Belize City in connection with the robbery of New Asia Restaurant on Vernon Street in Belize City just before 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday. According to police, 31 year old security guard for the establishment, Victor Hendy, was […]

    Belizeans Should All Reject PUP Candidate B.D.F. Major Lloyd Jones If He Runs For Office in Belize
    Every person who was born in Belize should have the right to run for political office in Belize like Retired Major Lloyd Jones. However, under this current Belize Constitution Belizeans who became citizens as adults and swore allegiance to the United States and other countries cannot run unless they […]

    Ramon Cervantes and Gaspar Vega headed to trial in July
    Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin has disallowed an application by counsel for Deputy Prime Minister of Belize Gaspar Vega, Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams, to amend the statement of claim to reflect that the alleged slander of Vega which occurred in October of 2014 in Orange Walk was not only heard […]

    PUP stalwart passes
    Hon. Francis Fonseca, the Leader of the People’s United Party posted this afternoon on his Facebook page the passing of Mrs. Eloisa Trujeque, a PUP stalwart and Chair of the Order of Distinguished Service (ODS) of the party. He said and we quote: “Mrs. Eloisa was a dedicated and distinguished educator […]

    BNTU Votes YES to Unity Against PETRO CARIBE Legislation
    The Belmopan Branch of BNTU heard views from Mose Hyde, Senator Mark Lizarraga, Audrey Matura, and the Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) about the Petrocaribe Act and has made a decision. The teachers were given a detailed overview of the history of unlawfully passed laws over a […]

    Most People Don’t Want To Hear The Truth
    By Charles Leslie Jr. Noh Muhl, 13 babies dead at KHMH, Pennergate, Castrogate, $366,468 stolen from Southern Regional Hospital, $500,000 stolen from treasury, Attorney General driver hit and kill female pedestrian, drunken Deputy Commissioner crashing and killing woman, Petrocaribe Loans Act 2015, low conviction rate, police brutality and abuse of power, SME (Small to Medium Size businesses) […]

    La Immaculada Credit Union’s GM under investigation
    Yesterday the mainstream media of Belize City reported that an ongoing internal investigation will be carried out by the Central Bank at the La Inmaculada Credit Union. That is because the General Manager of the Credit Union Yolanda Gomez has been placed on administrative leave while an internal investigation is […]

    Education Minister says Petrocaribe will fund summer sports initiative
    Since the inception of the Petrocaribe Program, it has been met with much criticism and praise from all sides of the public domain. One thing is for sure, the program has brought an unprecedented level of infrastructural works across the country and to date, and those works are still on-going. To […]

    Minister of Education Condemns Actions of Elito Puc
    High school teacher Elito Puc has been dismissed by the Teaching Services Commission and his teacher’s license has been revoked by the Ministry of Education. Yesterday Minister of Education, Hon. Patrick Faber condemned Puc’s actions and said that he will ensure that Puc never teaches at another educational institution in Belize. […]

    Cervantes and Vega Case Adjourned
    Our Belize City reporter has confirmed that the Cervantes and Vega case will go to trial on the 23rd and 24th of July 2015. The Judge ruled this morning against DPM Gaspar Vega and the amendments he wanted to make to the case were disallowed. This is a developing story […]

    Blogs

    Poets Corner: Chemical Engineering
    By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. Victims of chemical engineering, “stuffed and starved” To live as dependents and subjugated We are what we eat Eating white flour instead of wheat The foods we eat make us docile and weak Eating pork instead of sheep Eating less vegetables and more meat We are what we eat. Chinny man chicken on every street corner Rum shop and bars in every area Burritos and gacho fi tea and dinner Shops stocking up on cigarette and liquor Marijuana on every corner People drinking coke instead of water There is an increase of cirrhosis of the liver Noh wonder cancer is on the increase We are what we eat

    Ross University School of Vet. Medicine visits the Belize Zoo
    Another wonderful visit from Ross University School of Vet. Medicine! Ross Vet School is located on the island of St. Kitts and has graduated over 2,000 veterinarians since opening its doors in 1978. Working with us here at the Zoo add Belize adds the important facet of tropical wildlife medicine to the students' study agenda. Led by Ivy Dr. Ivy Thomas, the Ross team ensure that the Zoo "residents" receive special attention. Dr. Ivy is superb when it comes to providing animal examinations, and her experience and knowledge is effortlessly transferred to the students, and our Animal Management staff. How valuable is this? TBZ's dedicated animal management staff is responsible for the care of many rare and endangered species. Being able to partake in professional clinical sessions fortifies the knowledge of our animal caretakers, and as a result, every animal who calls TBZ their home, benefits, too!

    International Sourcesizz

    IICA AND CENTROGEO REPORT ON ADVANCES IN GEOWEB PLATFORM
    A new Geoweb system that will become operational this year will contribute to the formulation of public policies on rural-area based development in the Central American Dry Corridor and the Dry Arch area of Panama. The system, which is an interactive, cross-discipline platform that will make strategic information available to decision makers is also compatible with mobile devices. Details of both the on-line platform and the accompanying knowledge network were presented during a technical forum held at the Headquarters of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), in San Jose, Costa Rica. The new technological tool and network are one outcome of an agreement reached between IICA and the Center for Research in Geography and Geomatics (CENTROGEO), of Mexico. The system will provide geo-referenced information, via maps, of natural resources, soil use, demographic and economic trends and the climate outlook for the Corridor and Arch, which will be the focus of attention initially.

    Videos

  • THE CASE OF GASPAR VEGA VERSUS RAMON CERVANTES GOES BACK TO COURT, 5min.

    At the Belize City Supreme Court, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin disallowed Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega’s application to the court to amend his statement of claim in the case against Ramon Cervantes Junior. As we’ve been reporting, Vega filed a libel lawsuit against his political opponent of Orange Walk North, Standard Bearer Ramon “Monchie” Cervantes Junior last November for airing and broadcasting damning allegations that Vega was the one who orchestrated the killing of Ramon Cervantes Sr. in July of last year. Last week, April 28th, both parties were to appear in court for a pre-trial hearing but in absentia, Vega’a attorney Rodwell Williams filed to amend his statement of claim. Meaning that Vega wanted the case to continue but with him not having to appear in court. Today that decision was heard and a trial date was set.
  • NDACC LOOKS AT NEW WAYS TO FIGHT DRUGS, 4.5min. The National Drug Abuse Control Council in the Corozal District is taking a new approach in the fight of drug abuse among young people. The district branch coordinator says it’s all about targeting the problem at the roots.

  • Diving in Belize 7 May 15: The Great Blue Hole, Half Moon Wall and Long Key Aquarium, 4min.

  • Short Highlight Video of Belize, 5min. Here is a video of the amazing trip we took to Belize!

  • Belize - May 2015 - Feeding Lionfish to a Nurse Shark, 3min.

  • DISCOVER SCUBA DIVING ~BELIZE IT, 3min. Featuring DSD participant and soon to be PADI Certified Open Water Diver Dara Madrill. Congratulations Dara on completing DSD and welcome to the underwater world of scuba diving.

  • Nic in Belize, 6min. Footage from Nic's dive trip to Ambergris Caye, Belize.

    May 7, 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

    Pablo Diaz found dead in San Pedro
    Sgt. Lenencio Bol confirms 50-year-old Guatemalan National, Pablo Diaz of a Swan Street address has succumbed to sudden death. Police are on the scene at the entrance of San Pedrito Area and are confirming cause of death: natural causes. SPSUN will report as info becomes available.

    2015 National Agricultural and Trade Show is Great Fun!
    The annual National Agricultural and Trade Show kicked off in fine fashion on Friday, May 1st. From shopping at the many booths, to carnival rides, concerts, great food and rodeos, the National Agricultural and Trade Show was certainly a success!

    US Embassy Celebrates Earth with Reusable Bags program in San Pedro
    Convenience store shopping often yields a large amount of plastic bags. It does not matter if it is just one item being purchased, it will be bagged. While most people do not pay much attention, the reality is that plastic bags are some of the culprits of Mother Nature’s deterioration. A single plastic bag will take up to a thousand years to degrade, and it is commonly found worldwide, especially in coastal regions such as Belize. Recently the US Embassy celebrated Earth Day in San Pedro by introducing the Reusable Bag program. This program was launched last year in November in the city of Belmopan with the main purpose of reducing the excessive use of plastic bags and contributing to the welfare of the environment. After its tremendous success in the capital City, the program has now been expanded to San Pedro. According to public affairs personnel from the US Embassy the program’s main goal is reduce the use of plastic bags and while getting everyone involved in this valuable initiative that will benefit the environment. At some point the idea is to have everybody utilizing their reusable bags and plastic bags be obsolete.

    San Pedro Tiger Sharks make it to the NEBL Playoffs
    The San Pedro Tiger Sharks claimed their seventh win in the regular season of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) on Saturday, May 2nd. The defending champions, were able to get an 81-91 victory against the Dangriga Warriors at the Ecumenical College Auditorium in Dangriga Town, which earned them a coveted spot in the playoffs. Also securing a spot in the playoffs this past weekend were the Cayo Western Ballaz and the Belmopan Red Taigaz. The Tiger Sharks had a great start from the beginning of the game, extending their lead to 21 points in the third quarter. Even after gaining a two point lead in the fourth quarter, The Warriors still fell short by two points at the end of the match. San Pedro Tiger Sharks was led by Milton James who finished with a double-double with 23 points and 13 rebounds, while Darwin “Puppy” Leslie scored 22 points and grabbed six rebounds. Ashton Edwards and Raul Roches scored 14 and 10 points respectively.

    Labour Department hosts open day
    On Thursday April 30th, the Labour Department held a countrywide employment fair aimed to educate the general public in terms of the laws and any new amendments to labour laws. For the fourth year the San Pedro Labour Department branch held its employment fair highlighting child labor, HIV/AIDS, occupational safety and health, the employment unit, work permits and other aspects of the Labour Department. Even though the turnout was not as expected (due to the weather), pamphlets and book marks were still handed out to those who attended. There were games for children wherein they would answer questions and get prizes. There were snacks and drinks for everyone who stopped by. According to the Head Labour Officer of the San Pedro Labour branch, Rissela Dominguez, there has been some reactions concerning the new amendments in the labour law. “These new amendments occurred in 2011. To date there are some employers and some workers who don’t understand them and they would normally call to get clarification. We also take every opportunity to educate them on the new amendment. So yes there are complaints in regards to the old law and the new law, but not much,” said Dominguez. She indicated that these types of events help to sensitize people with the amendments, and is the main reason why they do such fairs.

    Belize It Yourself Comes Through Again For Education
    Belize It Yourself.com (BIY), San Pedro’s only Personal Concierge, travel-related business, has again shown its intention to establish itself as a supporter of education and the future of island students with a focus on Science. As such, the company donated an assortment of scientific equipment to the San Pedro High School (SPHS). The donation was handed over to Vice Principal, Conchita Flota on Wednesday, April 29th. Partner of BYI, Scott Deutsch hopes that the donation helps improve the level of education students receive at SPHS. “As a Global Warming scientist, and former Middle School teacher, I admire the efforts of every student I have met here in San Pedro. Their hunger to learn, as proven at their Science Fair, including the use of the Robotics Kits, inspires us at BIY to do all we can to help. No matter what field these students choose to enter for their careers, a business background is always important. Perhaps in the future, some of these students may choose to work as interns for Belize It Yourself,” said Deutsch.

    Ambergris Today

    Letters To The Editor: No Charges Filed Against Palapa Bar Owners, Police Actions Unjustified
    Please allow me space in your newspaper to ensure that the good and clean reputation of my clients is maintained as it should: There were no charges filed against Mr. or Mrs. Harnish by any of the Government Departments, including the Police Department in Belize and with the assistance of their attorney Estevan Perera, their assets were returned to them. Once the funds were returned it was deposited immediately. Furthermore both Mr. Harnish and his wife are known throughout San Pedro as upstanding, successful, friendly and hard working business persons in Belize and are greatly respected by the locals in San Pedro. The actions of the police were unjustified and that we hope as a community that other business owners and investors in Belize are not treated the same by police in San Pedro in the future.

    Pic of the Week - The Cutest Fruit Vendor Ever
    How could you say no to this beautiful girl selling fruits and vegetables through the streets of downtown San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize? She is all smiles for the camera and her mother's customers as she relaxes under her umbrella while 'mom' stops to sell her produce. A common scene in La Isla Bonita.

    Flavors of Belize & Chef Sean Kuylen Represent Belizean Cuisine at Passport D.C.
    On May 2, 2015, over 50 embassies participated in the “Around the World Embassy Tour”, one of the events that is a part of the annual Passport D.C. event. Passport D.C. is a month-long celebration of International Cultural Awareness Month in Washington that is filled with festivals, open houses, exhibitions and workshops highlighting the state’s thriving international diplomatic communities and cultures. Belize was one of the embassies that opened its doors and participated in showcasing their country and welcoming over 7,000 D.C. residents to experience its food, art, dance, fashion and music. Other participating countries included Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Morocco, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Fiji, Iraq and Kenya.

    Mapping Town Core with Surveillance Cameras to Fight Crime
    "I have met with owners of Boaz Golf Cart Rental, Tropic Air and Cellular World and they have all agreed to join the program and will give police access to their cameras," commented Perera. "We have also discussed the program with Officer in Charge of the San Pedro Police, Henry Jemmott, and his department is on board with this initiative. Enough businesses on Barrier Reef Drive have agreed to share their security camera footage that all of the street is being monitored already. Mayor Guerrero is now asking other island residents to install security cameras on the outside of their homes and businesses to capture activity on the street. The San Pedro Town Council will provide signs for each home/business to indicate that the area is being monitored for criminal activity. “Most businesses already have cameras installed inside their buildings, but we are asking them to install one on the outside of their property,” commented Mayor Guerrero to Ambergris Today. “This way we can come together to assist the San Pedro Police in capturing and convicting criminals. It’s one way that everybody can easily help and it has proven to be useful and successful in past incidents where criminals have been caught and convicted.”

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    9th Chocolate Festival of Belize
    coming up soon, here is a schedule of events...

    Rotary & Rotaract Career Expo this Friday 8th May at the Corozal Central Park
    Look out for Department of Youth Services Booth out there! Great opportunity for you to see what the businesses and other Departments have to offer towards your career!

    National Festival of Arts Showcase exhibit 2015
    The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) through the Institute of Creative Arts is looking for art pieces from young vibrant artists from each district to become a part of this year's National Festival of Arts Showcase exhibit 2015. This year's theme is "Intelligent Art" (Art with a purpose).

    Captain Romi Badillo. passes away
    It is with tearful sympathy that we offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Captain Romi Badillo. No words can express the sense of loss. Romi meant so very much to so many people for so many different reasons. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Anna, children Romito and Roanne and grandchild Chloe as well as all his immediate and extended family and friends. Rest in peace Romi. We carry you in our hearts now.

    Belize Cruise Ship Arrivals Surge, Land-Based Arrivals Remain Flat
    One year after posting increases of more than eight percent in both overnight, land-based and cruise-ship visitor arrivals, land travel to Belize was virtually flat in the first three months of 2015. Cruise ship visitors for the quarter, however, continue to surge ahead compared with 2014 totals. Belize recorded 101,747 overnight tourist arrivals between January and March, a slight 1.1 percent increase over 2014, or a total of 424 additional visitors, according to Belize Tourism Board (BTB) statistics issued last week. BTB officials also said overnight visitors arrival numbers were slightly down in January and February. BTB officials cited “weather conditions resulting in [the] cancellation of flights from Canada,” for the decreased overnight arrivals. This winter’s “severe snow storms” in U.S. destinations including Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York resulted in flight cancellations in those cities, all considered “originating destinations for visitors to Belize,” said officials. Last year Belize recorded 321,217 land-based, overnight visitors, a 9.2 percent increase over 2013.

    Awareness walk May 7
    Footprints For Peace Belize is rallying once again, uniting as a peaceful movement to help bring awareness and an end to the violence that has taken over our island home. We will be organizing an awareness walk at the Central Park on thursday May 07th, 2015 at 6pm. Walk alongside with us, for Peace!

    Congratulations for a job well done BYLI participants!!!!
    We have been telling about the Belize Youth Leadership Youth Initiative (BYLI). Through the BYLI U.S. State Department Exchange Program Alumni from Belize were partnered with four youth groups across Belize: Youth Advocacy Movement (BFLA), Pathlight International, FCD Environmental Youth Group and Dangriga Youth Advocacy Movement (BFLA). The Alumni met with the youth groups mentioned above from January to April this year and mentored the youth groups demonstrating their leadership skills and the youth groups in turn identified issues in their local communities and came up with solutions to the problems. The U.S. Embassy gave each group a small grant to carry out their projects and make them a reality. The BYLI teams have completed their projects and they were all great successes! These projects took place in the communities of Dangriga, Armenia, San Jose Succotz and Belize City. In honor of their hard work and dedication, the U.S. Embassy held a Recognition Ceremony yesterday where the Youth Groups exhibited their achievements and their future goals. The media was present to cover this milestone of the Youth Groups. Once again, Kudos to YAM, DYA, FCD and Pathlight International for their success and we hope that they continue embedding positive changes in their communities and Belize!

    "Find A Way Award"
    The Government of Belize received the "Find A Way Award" at the 4th International Road Federation Caribbean Regional Congress today, May 6, 2015 at the Hilton Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica. Ms. Yvonne S. Hyde, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, received the award on behalf of the Government of Belize. Mr. Errol Gentle, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Works and Transport, was present at the ceremony along with other representatives. Belize delegation was financed by the Caribbean Development Bank.

    BOLEDO DRAWING for Wednesday, May 6, 2015: 49

    Primary School Art Skills Training Project (PSAST) children
    These amazing art works are done by Primary School Art Skills Training Project (PSAST) children. A NICH initiative co-funded by the embassy of the Republic of China, Taiwan!

    DELBERT 'DELLY' McGREGOR! ONE OF BELIZE'S MOST CLASSY DRUMMERS, VOCALIST & MUSICIANS OF ALL TIMES!
    Belizean Legends will bring its viewers soon on here, a special musical expose on one of Belize's most outstanding musicians in the Belizean diaspora today, Delbert McGregor. His music and passion to go beyond the band Bamiki Bandula has cross over into different shores. COMING SOON!

    THE HORSE SIR JUDE & THE MAN CALLED STAMA!
    Through the courtesy of the legendary Belizean athlete, Evondale 'Coby' Coburn, has come this picture of the legendary Belizean athlete, Sir Jude, who to many was one of the fastest horses ever to have blazed around Belize's National Stadium (Horse Track) making the extensive furlong races look like a piece of cake. Not only was Sir Jude a horse that could rival the best in appearance of those of the famous Kentucky Derby, but he was a horse of a black shiny beauty that was a spectacular scene to watch in Belize popular golden years of horse racing in the 1970's. Sir Jude was ridden by a jockey they called Stama, and along with the horse Lady Alice, he dominated Belize's horse racing in grand style. Belizean Legends remember this awesome thorobbred in Belizean horse racing.

    NOEL 'MUSCELES' GORDON, BELIZE'S CYCLING SPRINTER!
    Belizean Ruler of Mexico's 90 Miles Ciudad del Carmen Cycling Classic. by Bilal Morris The first Belizean cycling sprinter to first win Mexico's renowned 90 miles Ciudad del Carmen Cycling Classic was the legendary Belizean cycling machine, Noel Gordon in 1969. Gordon later went to win the race two consecutive times before Rudy Miguel won his Mexico's Merida Cycling Classic in 1972. In the Annual Belize Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classics of 1969, 1970, and 71, Gordon placed in the top five of riders entering the National Stadium but had never won the grueling 144 miles cycling classic. However, he has gone down in Belize's cycling history as one of Belize's best cycling sprinters to date, and the first Belizean cyclist to had ever won the top prize for Belize in Mexico's Ciudad del Carmen Cycling Classic. Belizean Legends honor this Belizean cyclist who brought excellence to the sport of cycling in Belize, and hails him as Belize's best cycling sprinter of all times.

    FROM UNDER THE SHADOWS: BELIZE'S WOMEN OF CYCLING!
    Hidden under the shadows of the male dominated sport of cycling in Belize is Belize's women of cycling. Since male names in Belize's cycling like Kerr, O'brien, Vernon, Miguel, Halliday, and others, you did not have female cyclists competing at all in the 1960's and 1970's, until the late 1980's, 1990's and 2000's when along came names like Morrison, Zabaneh, Lovell, Cattouse, Thompson, Cruz, Eiley and Martinez. These are the major women in Belize female cycling today, and their oustanding performances in the last few years sends a clear message that just like the men, they are a force to be reckoned with in a global sport where female cyclists are representing big time. When Shalini Zabeneh began to dominate the Annual Women Belize Cross Country, and also sweeping the victories in Mexico, the Caribbean, and races in Belize, there were those right behind her wheel like Gabrille Lovell, Kaya Cattouse, Alicia Thompson, Estephany Cruz, Derlene Martinez, and Keray Eiley. From time to time, it was one of the latter who would come and win these classics in surprisingly rare form. Within these caliber of Belizean female cycling athletes, is a serious competition to dominate and win by any means necessary. And they keep beating the other's challenges and records while at the same time becoming better in terms of riding the race itself.

    Channel 7

    Romy Badillo Passes Four Weeks After Boating Explosion
    After fighting for his life at the Centro Medico Hospital in Guatemala for 33 days, well-known Boat Captain Romy Badillo died this morning at 2:45. The family is in Guatemala right now making arrangements for his body to be brought back home for burial. When we spoke to his son, Romy Badillo Jr. this evening he told us that his father was not on life support and that he died a natural death as a result of his severe injuries and second degree burns which he received to 50% of his body. About 5 days after the family took Badillo to Guatemala in April, they had posted on facebook that the skin surgery to remove the burnt skin was successful and that he was recovering, but things took a sudden turn for the worse. He reportedly got an infection on his leg which had to be amputated and went downhill after that.

    PUP Takes GOB To Court For 13th Senator
    In March of 2010 – the Barrow Administration passed the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution into law – but five years later, they have not brought sections 7 and 9 into force. Those sections deal with the 13th. Senator – to be selected by civil society. That 13th Senator would give majority control of what’s known as the upper house to a combination to the opposition and the social partners – taking away the majority from government. That shift is why, in 2010, Prime Minister Dean Barrow – who had promised it in his manifesto - publicly reneged on that commitment to a reformed senate in an interview with Jules Vasquez. Here’s the interview from August of 2010:… Jules Vasquez (August 6, 2010) "This recall bill, we know that it's one of the reform platforms you were elected upon and it's a very progressive one. But at the same time we don't see anything about the reformed senate.” Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister (August 6, 2010) "It ain't going to happen! I've made the point, perhaps this is the first time I am able to do so to you, but I have not been shy at all of saying this, giving the way the opposition fought against all the reform measures. Given the way the opposition has demonstrated - and I am not faulting them - its determination to be a completely non-cooperative, Restore Belize being a case in point, I do not see at this stage giving over control of the senate to the opposition even if it would have to be in conjunction with the social partners, I am not going to do it.”

    PUP Tells Voters: No to The ICJ, No To The UDP
    And the PUP has also wants an expedited referendum on the International Court of Justice – which may decide on the Belize – Guatemala territorial dispute. The Opposition says say they want Belizeans to vote no to the ICJ, and to the UDP: Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader of the Opposition "We are in support of holding the referendum on this matter and we will respect the decision of the Belizean people. The consensus within our party and we are preparing a proper policy statement on this matter. The consensus within our party is very clear today. I have travelled across the country, I have discussed this matter with all 31 constituencies - and it is very, very clear that the consensus is that at this time, the PUP is not in support of Belize going to the ICJ." Eamon Courtney - PUP Foreign Affairs Advisor "We cannot got to the ICJ being led by Wilfred Sedi Elrington. We cannot go to the ICJ to fight for our territorial integrity an territorial sovereignty by a person who believes our border is artificial. We have seen consistent, continual invasions of our territory by Guatemalan nationals with the government of Guatemala turning a blind eye - and what is worst, when security forces of Belize insist on our sovereignty being respected and have to act in their defence; our government act in singular weakness and end up paying and compensating Guatemalans. We believe that if the government of Guatemala wants to go forward to the ICJ they must show good faith. They must stop their nationals from coming across and raping the Chiquibul.

    Another Teenager Killed In Orange Walk
    An 18 year old was murdered in Orange Walk Town this morning. Derrick Romero was killed next to the apartment complex where he lives. It happened just after 10 this morning on Sittee River Street. The 18 year-old Orange Walk resident was socialising with several persons when a gunman snuck up on the group and fired 5 or more shots in his direction. None of the other young men were injured, but Romero suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the body. He was rushed to the Northern Regional Hospital, but he died while undergoing treatment. This afternoon, Deputy Commander of the Orange Walk formation briefed the press about the information they have so far: Inspector Selvin Tillet - Deputy Commander of the Orange Walk formation "At 10:45 A.M, acting upon information, police visited the Northern Region hospital where they say one Derrick Romero - 18 years Belizean unemployed of #5 Sittee River street in Orange Walk town suffer from gunshot wounds to the upper left shoulder, to his abdomen, centre of back as well as back of his neck. At 11:17 this morning, Derrick Romero passed away.

    American Man Who Stalked B'zean Girls on Facebook Gets 15
    The name David Wendel Thompson first appeared on the news in March of 2014. That’s when the American teacher was caught by US Authorities on his way to Belize. They say he had used facebook to seduce two Belizean girls aged 13 and 15. Well, Thompson pleaded guilty to online enticement of a minor, which carries a penalty of up to life in prison – but the Florida District Judge imposed a lesser sentence of 15 years. After he is released from prison, he will serve 10 years of probation. Evidence produced in the case disclosed that the standard four teacher led a double life – where he was “Big Dave” to under-aged Belizean girls, plying them with gifts and fantastical stories about his life in the US. To snare the minors, he invented and assumed the facebook identity of a teenaged girl named Iris Levy – who introduced the other girls, via facebook to this “Big Dave” – who she claimed spent a lot of money. He plied the impoverished girls with stories of his air conditioned life, cars and a restaurant called Golden Corral, where they had fountains of chocolate for dipping marshmallows and strawberries.

    Education Minister on Alleged Pedophile-Predator-Pedagogue Puc
    And continuing on the very disturbing revelations of teacher pedophiles prowling on Facebook, we turn to Mopan Technical teacher, Elito Puc. Last night we showed you the very explicit and disturbing facebook messages that he sent to a male student. Well, as we said Puc has been dismissed from the school and his license has been revoked. Today we spoke with the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber and he told us about what further action will be taken to ensure that Puc does not teach again in Belize. Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education "What has happened is that he of course has been dismissed as a teacher from his school and also his teaching license has been revoked. This will mean of course as well that he will be placed on a register of offenders - so that all those in the education system; and I think maybe a similar type services in government are aware of this kind of practice on his part. So that he can not seek employment in another school. This is something that long been a desire of our ministry - we have seen where predators prey on our young people and of course they move from one school to another school.”

    PUP Media Mouthpiece Gets Free And Clear
    PUP Talk Show Host Albert Vaughan has been fighting a loitering charge since August of last year when he was arrested along with the former BML workers for their famous garbage protest. Well, he was finally able to beat that charge in the Magistrate’s Court today. At the last adjournment a month ago, his attorney argued before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart that he had no case to answer. His position has always been that he was not loitering when the BML workers were protesting against City Hall. He says that he was covering the event as a journalist for Vibes Radio and Belize Times. After considering his attorney’s submissions, and the response from the police prosecutor, Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart agreed with Vaughan’s attorney and threw the case out of court. That was a relief for Vaughan and outside of court he and his attorney spoke with us about the acquittal:

    PUP Can't Support Petrocaribe-Superbond Carve Out
    So the PUP and UDP can’t agree on very much these days: certainly not the PetroCaribe Loan Motion, definitely not the 13th Senator, and not even Mother’s day cheer. But, surely, you might say, there couldn’t be much disagreement on putting aside half of the PetroCaribe proceeds to buy back the super bond debt, and pay compensation for BTL and BEL. That sounds palatable even to the PUP – but the party leader says he’s not at all convinced that the Prime Minister has any good intentions: Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader of the Opposition “In my view, it is just like his rhetoric on this issue we're discussing here today, the 13th senator. A lot of empty political rhetoric. I want to see the meat of it. He talks about the super bond - but Mr. Barrow has borrowed more than the super bond over the past few years. But he was very careful, everything now is to go get him pass an election, all his rhetoric is about getting pass an election now - which we expect in the next 8 to 10 months at the very latest. So he talked about the monies for the bond or nationalisation being set aside 2016 to 2017 and then monies from 2017 going forward being set aside for the nationalisation. I view it as all empty rhetoric. We're prepared to sit down, discuss it, hear more from the government on it - but until then, I view it with extreme skepticism and cynicism. “

    PUP Says Barrow Dissed Churches' Senator
    And while the leader of the opposition takes a dim view of that Prime Ministerial proposal – he also chastised the PM for calling out Senator Father Noel Leslie. At his press conference last week, the PM said that Father Leslie had acted on his own when he voted against the Petro Caribe loan motion – meaning he had acted without consulting the wider body of church leaders. Today the leader of the opposition defended Father Leslie’s vote – and cautiously embraced the government initiative to co-sponsor and ecumenical chapel at the KHMH with Petrocaribe funds:.. Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader of the Opposition "My understanding is quite the contrary that in fact, Father Leslie did have a discussion on this matter at the council of churches - and that he voted no on the basis of that discussion. I don't know whether specific individuals voiced their views. I can't go into the specifics of that discussion. But my understanding is that he voted no on the basis of that discussion. I can say that this very morning I heard cannon Leroy Flowers confirm his support for the vote taken by Father Noel Leslie on behalf of the council of churches. So, I think it's disgraceful when our prime minister seeks to attack individuals and even attack the church - when they are not toeing his line and doing what he wants him to be doing. In terms of spending money on ecumenical centre on the grounds of the KHMH - our position has been very clear. We're not against the PetroCaribe projects, what we are against is the manner in which is being spent, the lack of accountability.”

    Trouble At La Immaculada
    For weeks we’ve been receiving reports of internal troubles The La Immaculada Credit Union in Orange Walk. But the Board of Directors has kept it mum – leaving members and depositors to figure it out for themselves. Well 7News has confirmed that the General Manager of the Credit Union Yolanda Gomez has been placed on administrative leave while an internal investigation is conducted. Reports reaching us say that the credit union’s accounts are stable, but the investigation centres on her personal conduct as GM- and transactions of a personal nature, which she approved. She will remain on leave while the investigation is conducted so that she is not a hindrance to it. We do not know the quantum of those transactions – but we are told that the credit union, which has assets of 50 million dollars remains stable. The Board of Directors is reported to have met with the governor of the central Bank yesterday. The Central Bank will send its own team to investigate.

    Students Solve Youth Unemployment
    The Belize Community Fair was held today at the ITVET and over 15 primary schools and high schools participated. But this wasn't just a recreational fair, the students presented real world solutions to tackle the thorny issue of youth unemployment. Today we spoke to some of the students and they told us what some of those solutions are Courtney Weatherburne Reporting… Youth and Innovation: that was the overarching theme of today’s community fair. And to show just how innovative they are, these high schools students presented their solutions to an issue that directly affects them: unemployment. The ideas ranged from constructing a new cafeteria at their schools to providing training services for job seekers. This is all in the hope of securing a successful future for themselves and the next generation. Vashdy Tuelcy - Belize Rural High School "We decided to have a cafeteria at our school because we only have 4 vendors at our school and we decided they are selling only unhealthy food, like greasy food. So we decided to start a cafeteria and start selling healthy food and we will be preparing these food in a way that students will want to come and buy it."

    Talking Tablets
    Remember the 500 tablets that were distributed to UB students in mid-February? Well, while most of those students have gotten used to their new gadget and have personalized it, some haven’t gotten theirs as yet. Today we asked Education minister Patrick Faber about this and he says those students must be mistaken. The ministry has launched a 2nd round of distribution for those who qualify to get a tablet. Over 9,000 tablets will be distributed to tertiary level students overall.

    Petrocaribe Funding Summer Sports
    And while Petrocaribe is funding those tablets, Faber – as the minister of sports and youth – says that this summer, it will also be paying for an ambitious summer sports programme. He explained:…

    Channel 5

    OW Youth Gunned Down
    A mid-morning murder in Sugar City has left family and friends stunned and Orange Walk police none the wiser as to a motive for the fatal shooting.  Shortly before eleven [...]

    Romy Badillo Passes Away in Guatemala
    At about three o’clock today veteran seaman and well-known Belizean Romaldo “Romy” Badillo passed away in Guatemala. It is tragic news for his family and many friends who have been [...]

    Attorney Says Police Beat Up San Pedro Murder Suspect
    The murder of a cab driver in San Pedro last week has brought the police department under intense public scrutiny yet again for alleged use of excessive force.  Twenty-three-year-old Luis [...]

    Claims Statement Was Obtained Under Duress
    According to Selgado, information included in the statement taken from Campos was tendered while his client was under extreme duress.  The statement, Selgado further adds, will be dismissed in court [...]

    Francis Fonseca Takes PM to Court
    P.U.P. leader, Francis Fonseca is taking Prime Minister Dean Barrow to court. He says the Prime Minister is acting illegally by not allowing the thirteenth Senator to be appointed. Five [...]

    P.U.P. Says U.D.P. Lied About 13th Senator
    The thirteenth senator was actually a campaign promise of the Barrow administration, and the legislation contrived and passed by this government. So why hasn’t it happened yet? The Prime Minister [...]

    13th Senator Would Have Allowed Senate Investigations
    Those sections, seventy-eight and eighty of the Constitution, state that even if the Senate does not pass a Money Bill, or non-Money Bill, respectively, the House can still within thirty [...]

    Social Partners Invited to Join Lawsuit
    So the claim is filed and the P.U.P. seems ready to take it all the way. But where are the social partners? The thirteenth Senator is an issue which was [...]

    P.U.P. Releases Official Position on ICJ
    As we told you on Tuesday’s newscast, the P.U.P. has come to a consensus where the ICJ is concerned, and is currently preparing a policy paper which it will present [...]

    Did PM Barrow Lie About Churches’ Vote on Petrocaribe Bill?
    The Churches voted NO in the Senate when the Petrocaribe Bill was presented at the end of March. But at a press conference recently, the Prime Minister claimed that Senator [...]

    Alleged Child Predator Cannot Teach In Belize Again
    A Mopan Technical high school teacher, who was accused of sending sexually explicit messages to a male student, has been dismissed from his job. Today, Minister of Education, Patrick Faber [...]

    MoE Says Sexual Misconduct Will Not Be Tolerated
    The minister of education drove home the point that the ministry will not tolerate predators within the system and that the action taken again Puc will serve as an example [...]

    American Facebook Predator Jailed
    In the U.S., former middle school teacher, forty-nine-year-old David Wendel Thompson has been sentenced to fifteen years in prison after being found guilty of attempting to lure Belizean teens for [...]

    Ocean Academy Wins Innovation Challenge
    High school students from throughout the Belize District were challenged to come up with innovative concepts to address youth and employment issues. It came down to the wire among fifteen [...]

    A Look at Murder Statistics 2015
    The first four months of 2015 have been particularly violent with the number of murders exceeding the 2014 homicides. So far, there are fifteen more murders than last year according [...]

    Albert Vaughan Acquitted
    In August of 2014 then workers of Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) caused great disturbance outside of City Hall on North Front Street. They were protesting against Mayor Darrell Bradley and [...]

    CTV3

    General Manager Of LICU Placed On Administrative Leave
    The General Manager of La Inmaculada Credit Union with its main office in Orange Walk and branch office in Belmopan has been placed on Administrative Leave. The rumors that Yolanda Gomez was placed on Administrative Leave by the institutions board of directors began last week but confirmation was hard to come by. That is until today. CTV3 News understands that Gomez was placed on Administrative Leave by the board of directors last week Wednesday. Reports are that yesterday, the board, chaired by Ena Martinez, met with the Governor of the Central Bank where a recommendation was made for Gomez to be placed on administrative leave by the bank in order for investigations to be carried out. But what exactly does the investigation have to do with? While there are many theories to that question, we can’t give you a concrete one tonight since the board of directors is being tight lipped about the entire situation. What we can tell you is that, according to our sources, the investigation is being carried out by Central Bank, which the credit union falls under because the bank has what is being described as some concerns.

    American National Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison
    Facebook, it seems everyone has an account open on the social network, including minors thus resulting in easy targets for child predators. Tonight one of those men has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to online enticement of a minor. The intended victims of 49 year old David Wendel Thompson lived in Belize. The incident was discovered back in 2014 in the month of October when the victims were of the age of 13 and 15. Thompson, according to reports used Facebook to try to coax the girls to have sex with him, promising money. Thompson left Tampa for Belize City on March 14 2014 but was denied entry and arrested in Miami upon his return home. He admitted to federal authorities that he knew the girls were underage.

    OWTC Continues With Infrastructural Project Within Town
    The Orange Walk Town Council has completed the pavement of Trinidad Street in town and will deliver on several more said Councilor in charge of infrastructure, Ian Cal. The pavement of Trinidad Street and two others that will follow were part of the first part of the street rehabilitation plans in the previous term said Cal. Ian Cal – Councilor Orange Walk Town Council “We decided to start the infrastructure work once again, Trinidad Street is the first one to be paved as you guys can see this is done manually and I must give kudos to the Street Works crew because this is hard work that these guys are doing here and so we should see this completed today and right after this we are moving into Mahogany and Sapodilla Street by the end of this week.” The work is being done manually for now since the Council’s contractor is currently unavailable to finish the work. Cal says that the work done in this manner is solid.

    Foreign Minister Attends 7th Meeting Of CELAC
    Foreign Minister the Hon. Wilfred Elrington was among the delegation of Foreign Ministers that participated in the 7th meeting for the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Quita Ecuador this week. A total of thirty-three member states met to continue their quest to enhance dialogue and coordination amongst themselves and to discuss cooperation initiatives with countries and regions outside the Americas. Chaired by the rotating presidency of Ecuador, the Minister's discussed a proposal for the region to develop cooperation "Agenda 2020" that seeks to establish a platform of strategic priorities and objectives common to all its members. Areas identified were the reduction of poverty and inequality; education, science, technology and innovation; environment and climate change; infrastructure and connectivity; and financing for development. The initial proposal was well received but requires further analysis and discussion by the membership before it can be finalized. Minister Elrington was accompanied by Belize's National Coordinator to CELAC, CEO Lawrence Sylvester and H.E. Ambassador Alexis Rosado.

    Business Leadder Of Guatemala Ask for Resignation Of Vice President
    Will Vice President of Guatemala Roxana Baldetti resign? That is the question that Guatemalans are asking after Guatemalan business leaders on Wednesday added their voices to growing calls for the vice president to step down because of a customs corruption scandal in which her former private secretary is implicated. While Baldetti has not been implicated in the scandal and denies any involvement, business leaders of Guatemala that her resignation would be good for the country. Baldetti though, has stated she does not intend to step down, and President Otto Perez Molina has declined to ask for her resignation even though the demands for her resignation have mounted in recent weeks, including a protest last Saturday when thousands of people marched in the capital. As for the scandal, authorities have indicated that last month more than a dozen people had been detained in connection with the Incident, in which officials allegedly took bribes in exchange for charging lower import tariffs. The scheme is believed to have duped the state out of millions of dollars.

    PlusTV

    PUC plans significant rate cut for electricity
    There is good news coming for electricity consumers. State-run power provider Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) has applied for a reduction of about 10% in current rates to a value of 37 cents per kilowatthour (KwH) – easily the lowest it has been ever...

    Waist Deep in Water Board Problems
    The villagers of Georgeville, Cayo reached a boiling point today when the newly appointed waterboard disconnected their water supply due to “nonpayment...

    6 year old shooting victim dies after being taken off life support
    Six year old Travis Polanco of Valley Community, Stann Creek District, died today at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in Belize City after being taken life support around ten thirty this morning...

    Belize’s territorial borders not clearly defined?
    In a recent meeting held in Punta Gorda with the local fisher folk, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Wilfred Elrington , made a comment that has been causing quite a stir in the general populace. The meeting was to address the ongoing encroachment of Guatemalans on Belize’s waters...

    Minister insists on proper content in BRC books
    On Thursday we reported that the Ministry of Education had settled its case in the Supreme Court via mediation with BRC Printing Limited...

    Police charge Rudolph Ramsey over murder
    Kenroy Parham, a father of three, was shot three times in the head last December in Mahogany Heights and had his body dumped on the road side across from his family residence, to be discovered by his aunt. Five months later, police have zeroed in on the man they say killed him.  He is Rudolph Ramsey...

    BDF private accused of stealing weapon
    Police have recovered a Beretta pistol alleged to have been stolen from the headquarters of the Belize Special Assignment Group (BSAG) located on the compound of the Belize Defence Force at Price Barracks, Ladyville on April 30...

    Raymond Myers acquitted of murder of Francis Figueroa
    After a delay of a few weeks to select a new jury  31 year old Raymond Myers was on Monday evening acquitted of murder charges in the death of 27 year old Francis Figueroa...

    Three arrested for San Pedro Murder
    On April 28th, 42 year old Jose Rigoberto Beltran, a Belizean Taxi Driver of San Pedro Town, was found dead inside his taxi with a single gunshot wound to the head...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    District Education Team in Cayo is empowered for Training
    The Officers of the Cayo District Education Centre are engaged in Training of Trainers Sessions in preparation for the Summer Continuous Professional Development Training. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports is embarking on its aim of providing quality education at all levels through various initiatives of the […]

    Body of a Man Found in San Pedro Town
    Reports reaching our news room is that the body of a man has been found in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. The body was discovered near the airstrip area and police are currently at the scene. Unconfirmed report indicate that the man is a Guatemalan and died from natural causes. […]

    PUP says no to ICJ
    The original date for the referendum on settling the unfounded Guatemalan claim to Belize at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands, has come and gone and the Referendum Commission practically moribund. At the time of the launch of the referendum campaign the People’s United […]

    Should churches benefit from Petrocaribe?
    It caught many by surprise when at his press conference on Wednesday last week, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that some $150,000 would be granted from Petrocaribe funds for the building of an ecumenical chapel on the grounds of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). While the Opposition […]

    PUP tries to court civil society
    As it launched its challenge on the 13th Senator today, the People’s United Party (PUP) reflected on the political parties’ relationships with civil society since the massive national protests of 2005. It seemed then that civil society organizations were clearly in lockstep with the United Democratic Party (UDP) […]

    What did Education Ministry get from Petrocaribe?
    The Petrocaribe program has been a chief source of Government finance for several years now and many have questioned the spending undertaken by the Government of Belize from it. Some believe that priorities such as the education system should be addressed. But with a budget of over $100 […]

    Business fair held in Belize City
    The annual Community Business Fair took place in Belize City today as part of the now month-long Education Showcase. This year the topic that students worked on was solutions for youth employment in the Old Capital. Organizer of the event and partner with the international firm Price Water […]

    PUP challenges PM over 13th Senator
    Leader of the Opposition and of the People’s United Party (PUP) Francis Fonseca has filed a claim in the Supreme Court which asks the Court to declare unlawful Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s refusal to bring into force the sections of the Sixth Amendment Constitution Act that deal with […]

    Belize receives Find A Way award at 4th International Road Federation Congress in Jamaica
    A Belize delegation participated in the 4th International Road Federation Caribbean Congress which began on Monday and ended today in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The congress was officially opened by Jamaica’s Minister Designate and Director of Latin America and Caribbean Affairs for the International Road Federation (IRF), Esteban Salinas. Today, Ms. […]

    Police Officer Faces Disciplinary Charges For Excessive Use of Force
    Deputy Commander at the Orange Walk Police Station, Inspector Selvin Tillett says that the department has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to police using excessive, unnecessary force upon any person in the community. And following an unjustified shooting incident that occurred in the Louisiana Area on Monday night, […]

    Shooting in Orange Walk Town
    We have received reports about a shooting incident that took place just minutes ago on Sittee River Street in Orange Walk District. According to reports, a man was shot near his apartment complex and Police are currently at the scene investigating. This is a developing story and will be updated […]

    FLESH to FORM – TEETH to TOKEN ELECTED, EXPANDED or EMPOWERED SENATE
    By Delroy Cuthkelvin The declaration this week by the Opposition that it is headed to Court to force the Government’s implementation of legislation to expand the Senate for majority control by non-government members, is interesting, to say the least. Litigation aside, how sincere the PUP is about its call for installation of the Thirteenth Senator […]

    Boat Captain Romaldo Badillo Sr. Succumbs to burn injuries
    Boat Captain Romaldo ‘Romi’ Badillo Sr. who was involved in a boat explosion on April 2nd 2015 in the area near the municipal airport in Belize City has succumbed to his burn injuries. According to reports, there was not much that the doctors could do as he was battling sever […]

    PUP to take legal action against GOB for 13th Senator
    The People’s United Party are currently having a meeting in Belize City where they are discussing to bring legal action against GOB for the 13th Senator Amendment. According to Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca, the PUP will go to court to force the Barrow Administration to bring into effect […

    Blogs

    (San Pedro Animal Hospital) “Please Don’t Go” from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye,Belize.
    Hi Ziggy here. Managed to grab hold of the iPad while John’s taking a shower so I thought I’d let you know how things have been for me lately. Those of you that have been reading John’s blog for a while will probably recall that last October I was diagnosed as having an infection in my left ear and medication was prescribed to cure the problem. John applied the drops religiously (well actually John isn’t that religious but you probably understand what I mean) and we thought the problem had been eradicated. Much to my chagrin though we were wrong. We (( Rose (have I mentioned that I really like her), John (he’s OK) and me)) went to the San Pedro Animal Hospital (‘S.P.A.H.’) a few weeks ago for me to get a shampoo, pedicure and a general ‘once-over’. All was going swimmingly until Doctor Patricia (Tricia to her friends like me) took a look at my left ear. Uh, oh – a problem. There were still traces of bacteria. So it was back on the medication for me. We went back to the surgery last week and … problem solved. Goodbye nasty bacteria! I thought that was it as far as visits to the ‘S.P.A.H.’ was concerned until it’s time for my next bit of beauty treatment (I know, I know – I don’t need it). But boy did I get that wrong.

    Volunteering in the village of Patchakan Belize
    Lauren Mitnik from Annette Merlino DMD, Gentle Family Dentistry contacted me about a group volunteer vacation that provided much needed dental treatment at the Presbyterian Medical Clinic in the village of Patchakan Belize. Four of them came to volunteer in Belize from Pennsylvania. Dentist Dr. Annette Merlino, a hygienist Matthew Banichar, two assistants – Jessica Rice and Lauren Mitnik. Dr. Merlino goes on several mission trips yearly and has traveled all over the world. Most of the rest of the team have been to Belize before and worked at the Presbyterian Medical Clinic previoulsy as well. Along with giving people brighter smiles and good health through dental hygene, hairstylist Lisa Rickus was also a part of the volunteer group. Lisa taught interested local individuals how to cut hair. Lauren‘s thoughts on volunteering in the village of Patchakan Belize The people were warm and inviting. We had the opportunity to help some people get out of pain they were in and evangelize with the local communities over the Easter holiday. I feel these were the most rewarding aspects of the trip. The staff that we worked with were genuine and caring. The experience was amazing and of course the land and water is beautiful! We were also able to see old friends from previous trips and make many new friends with whom we hope to be able to visit again soon. Overall, we LOVE LOVE LOVE coming to Belize and we look forward to arranging our next trip! Lauren Mitnik

    Belize: English-speaking Caribbean With a Tiny Price Tag
    Belize is the quintessential Caribbean, but with Mayan and Latin American roots. Over 200 pristine cayes (islands) are scattered to the east, along Belize’s coastline. Each is surrounded by crystal clear, turquoise seawater that teams with brilliant fish, coral and sponges. An idyllic pastime on the cayes is to relax in a hammock, under a gently swaying coconut palm, while sipping an icy Belikin beer, or a pina colada… It’s the perfect spot to relax and enjoy watching the frothy white waves, visible from the shore, perpetually colliding with the Mesoamerican barrier reef… For those who live on a caye the living reef is so close it’s a visible touchstone, a reminder of its many wonders. Diving, snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, sailing and surf boarding are pleasant activities in the shallow waters inside the protection of the reef… The Caribbean seascape enjoyed on the mainland is equally stunning, although without the presence of the distant reef. Placencia’s 17 miles of golden sand beaches are perfect for long, leisurely strolls and days spent sunning or picnicking near the sea. Sailboats, cruisers, and catamarans come and go from the deeper water docks, or into the calm, protected waters at the tip of Placencia Village. From Placencia it’s an easy drive to partake of other mainland activities such as hiking, birding, zip lining, or exploring ancient Mayan ruins.

    How a destination beach wedding in Placencia, Belize looks!!
    We just finished what has been the most busy and fun 6 weeks I think I have ever had! We have had a large group of friends from Cleveland come to Placencia, one for a "babymoon", one got engaged on our beach (see beach wedding below), another was going to get engaged here but the ring wasn't ready (!!!), capped off by me having a visit with family in friends in Florida, only to return home and have the nearly newlyweds waiting for an awesome wedding week! It was our first attempt at a beach wedding. I have to admit, it almost felt too easy to plan! Granted, there were only 4 of us. Some of the highlights.....the rehearsal dinner at Turtle Inn, where for an extra $25us, they provide you with a private table on the sea, with tiki torches and your own server! It was incredible! Some pics of that...

    International Sourcesizz

    Ex-teacher gets 15 years over attempt to lure Belize teens for sex
    David Wendel Thompson says he led a double life. There was “Big Dave,” the free-spending American who wove tales with impoverished girls in Belize about the riches his country had to offer: the air conditioning, the cars and a magical restaurant called Golden Corral, where they had fountains of chocolate for dipping marshmallows and strawberries. And there’s David, scared David begging for mercy, petrified about going to prison, worried about never seeing his mother again. “I’m scared of jail,” Thompson told a federal judge. “I’m scared I’ll never see freedom again.” A former sixth-grade teacher at Centennial Middle School in Dade City, Thompson was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for trying to persuade two Belizean girls, ages 13 and 15, to have sex with him through Facebook chats in which he said he wanted to take their virginity and promised them gifts and help toward a better life. Thompson, 49, swore Wednesday that he never acted inappropriately toward any child when he was a teacher. And he claimed he never would have acted on his chats with the girls in Belize. “I thought everybody lied on Facebook,” Thompson said. “I didn’t believe it was real.”

    Avalon Partners Announces The First Uber-luxury Caribbean Basin Real Estate Auction
    Avalon Partners, Ltd., in cooperation with Premiere Estates Auction Company, announces a June 18 auction date for two prime luxury development projects, one located in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) and the other in Belize. This event is especially important because the TCI and Belize have just been rated the Number One and Number Two Caribbean Destinations for Growth and Tourism by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO, April 2015). “There has never before been a super-luxury, multi-destination real estate auction held in the Caribbean” stated Grace Lappin, Avalon’s Managing Director, “commercial developers and investors have an unprecedented opportunity here. These properties are going to sell very quickly.” About the Belize Project: Bolton Bank is a 4,000+ acre river and sea-front mixed-use resort hotel, residential and commercial development site located at the edge of Belize City with access to the Northern Highway. This site has the potential to become the city’s catalyst and center for urban growth and re-development. The land is flat, developable grassland making it particularly suitable for a city/airport/eco-hotel conference complex, world-class casino, and championship golf course. Bolton Bank includes a historic 1 – acre site – the only Jewish cemetery in all of Belize. Belize City is the largest city in Belize. The City is the country’s hub and home to its only international airport. All international commercial airlines and all private planes land in Belize City. In addition, all international cruise ships dock at the Port of Belize in Belize City.

    Archaeologists offer special deal to dig at ancient Maya sit
    Archaeologists of the Maya Research Program (MRP) plan to field a crew beginning in June 1, 2015, to excavate an ancient Maya elite residential complex and other sites in northwestern Belize. Though less than a month away, the team leadership still has some available positions in the opening session to fill with willing students and volunteers to help them investigate large residential structures and a large shrine north of the site core of Xnoha, a medium-sized Maya center in Belize not far from the border with Mexico. “We will begin a new excavation of large elite residences north of the site core called the MJ Courtyards,” said Colleen Hanratty, a senior member of the MRP excavation team. “We will also be returning to the large shrine northeast of the site core and will penetrate the floors of this structure, and we’ll also excavate a feature known as "rejollado" just south of the Blue Creek site core. (Blue Creek is another Maya site southeast of Xnoha.).” The 6.5-meter deep rejollado structure measures 350m2 and previous testing and radiocarbon dating indicated that its lowest stratum dates to about 2550 BC.

    16 Popular Seafood Choices You Should Avoid Eating
    Luckily, there are organizations working hard to change that. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program has been providing consumers with information on “ocean-friendly choices” for 15 years through its printable guides, website and recently revamped mobile app. The app is a user-friendly guide for choosing the most environmentally responsible seafood to eat. It tells you best options, good alternatives and ones you should avoid. Here are 16 popular seafood options that you should avoid eating, according to Seafood Watch: Lobster: American (Maine) lobster from the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank is a “good alternative,” but “avoid” lobster from southern New England. Avoid spiny lobsters from Belize, Brazil, Honduras and Nicaragua, which have poor management, declining populations of lobsters and high levels of illegal fishing.

    Fortis Inc. Announces Third Quarter Dividends-2015
    The Board of Directors of Fortis Inc. ("Fortis" or the "Corporation") (TSX:FTS) has declared the following dividends: $0.3063 per share on the First Preference Shares, Series "E" of the Corporation, payable on 1 September 2015 to the Shareholders of Record at the close of business on 19 August 2015; $0.3063 per share on the First Preference Shares, Series "F" of the Corporation, payable on 1 September 2015 to the Shareholders of Record at the close of business on 19 August 2015; $0.2427 per share on the First Preference Shares, Series "G" of the Corporation, payable on 1 September 2015 to the Shareholders of Record at the close of business on 19 August 2015;

    Student Story: Vet Science major finds different perspectives in Belize
    Emily Spadaro spent her summer caring for jaguars at a zoo, castrating pigs and a horse, and swimming in a waterfall. A senior majoring in Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences in the College of Agricultural Sciences, Spadaro completed a four-week study-abroad program in Belize that consisted of a course in large-animal and tropical veterinary practices for the first two weeks, and a wildlife conservation and ecology course for the last two weeks. During the large-animal course, when not in the classroom, she was "right in the middle of the action" on farm calls. She learned how to conduct full examinations on horses and how to perform castrations, and spent a day in a diagnostics lab. Spadaro and other students also helped at a free spay-and-neuter clinic where they conducted check-ups, assisted with surgeries and performed surgery aftercare. "It was really cool to interact with the people of Belize and have them ask us for help," she said. During this course, the students stayed at a resort in the city and hiked, swam in a waterfall and explored Mayan ruins. "We were going, going, going every single day, all day," she said.

    Videos

  • UWRF Spring Break Belize 2015, 3.5min. This is a very quick summary of what we did in Belize.

  • Pickled Parrot Placencia Belize, 2min.

  • Leonardo DiCaprio's Island in Belize Blackadore Caye, 58min.

  • Chuck & Robbies Hol Chan & Shark Ray Alley Trip, 2min. It might be the most visited marine park in Belize and the busiest, but that does not deter the thousands of visitors to the country to take a memorable tour of Hol Chan Marine and Shark Ray Alley. The marine park is huge and there is space for everybody to take a dip and explore in the crystal clear waters off the coast of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Encounter nurse sharks, sting rays, abundance in tropical fish, moray eels and sea turtles, amongst others, in their natural habitat of the Great Barrier Reef of Belize.

  • H.E. Ambassador Carlos R. Moreno | Rule of Law, 19min. The Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry held our 95th Annual General Meeting on April 30th, 2015. Our esteemed guest speaker was His Excellency, Ambassador Carlos R. Moreno, US Ambassador to Belize, who gave a talk on Rule of Law.

  • South Water Caye, Belize - House Reef, 6min.

  • Belize Cave Tubing, 3min.

  • Night Snorkel, Belize, 1.5min.

  • The Scuba Shop - Belize trip 4/2015 - The Great Blue Hole, 12min. This was the first of two trips I made 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. Lots of sharks on this one!

  • Humans Of San Pedro, Belize, 8min.

    May 6, 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

    Three men charged for the murder of Jose Rigoberto Beltran

    Ambergris Today

    Three men arrested for murder of Jose Rigoberto Beltran
    Three men have been formally arraigned in San Pedro’s Magistrate’s Court for the murder of San Pedro Taximan Jose Rigoberto Beltran who was murdered in his vehicle on April 28, 2015. Luis Campos (23yrs), Mark Arzu (19yrs) and Santos Garcia (18yrs) have been charged with Murder and Conspiracy to Commit Murder and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until their court date of June 13, 2015.

    Phase Two of Paving North Ambergris Road Commences
    Work has commenced on the second phase of paving of the road on North Ambergris Caye which, when complete, will see a total of seven miles of paved road from the Boca del Rio Bridge northward. Phase two of the work will constitute paving a three-mile stretch of road from Belizean Shores Resort up to Mile 6 by Portofino/Canary Coves and expected to be completed in three months. The first part of Phase Two includes the widening, elevating and leveling of the road that will run parallel to the electrical high-tension wire. This part of the phase (supplying and placing of hardcore material on the road) is being jointly funded by the San Pedro Town Council and the Government of Belize (GOB), but the cost of paving the road will be covered by the GOB.

    Ministry of Health Contributes to Ongoing Discussion on Suicides
    The Ministry of Health notes the widespread discussion in the media on the recent alleged suicides involving well-known Belizeans. As the country’s ministry responsible for mental health information and treatment, we would like to offer this press release as our contribution to the discussions on this very important issue. Firstly, we would like to express our sincere condolences to the families and all others that have been affected by suicides in Belize. Every person lost by suicide is a life filled with potential and possibility cut short.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Support your......FEMALE CYCLING IN BELIZE.
    Cycling Federation of Belize

    Galen University Offering Online Courses
    Galen University has some new business programs - International Business and Entrepreneurship - and 4 of the programs will have online courses. They are offering grants of up to 20% if you apply by July 18th. "Education Changes Situations!!! Don't MISS out on great career OPPORTUNITIES at Galen University!!"

    Belize opposition party seeks support to repeal PetroCaribe legislation
    The main opposition People’s United Party (PUP) is calling on the business community here to support its move to have the Dean barrow government repeal the PetroCaribe Loans Act that makes special provisions for borrowing money from Alba Petrocaribe (Belize Energy) Limited. PUP leader Francis Fonseca said that a letter was being circulated to the business as well as the general community, seeking support for the initiative. “We want as many people, as many of our partners, as many of the social partners, the businesses, the Chamber of Commerce to sign on to this letter. We are seeking their support in sending this letter. If we have to go at it alone we will,” Fonseca told reporters. “ So the first step is to circulate it to them, that is where we are now, to get, to have them look at it, to have them review it, get their input, perhaps they want to make amendments to the letter.

    Saturday Night Madness with NEBL
    9th of May, 9pm. At the San Pedro High School

    Peace Rally at Central Park Thursday May 7th
    The members of the Mama Vilma Family Home Organization will be in attendance for the candle lit walk and Peace Rally at Central Park Thursday May 7th at 6pm and invite everyone to stand in solidarity with the family and friends of victims to the increase of violence on our island! We believe if we stand up together we will stand strong!

    BOLEDO DRAWING for Tuesday, May 5, 2015: 65. FANTASY 5: 20 30 10 26 39 U

    Education Week at the SIPL
    The San Ignacio Public LIbrary is celebrating Education Week, and they had Sacred Heart's infant 1 class over for some story telling. Thanks, SIPL! The students sang a song for Ms. Teresita. "Education Week 2015 kicks off with Sacred Heart Primary School Infant 1. They had a blast of fun. Libraries: Valuing Literacy, Fostering Change & Shaping Minds"

    RUDY MIGUEL WINS MEXICAN CYCLING CLASSIC!
    How many Belizeans remember this incredible victory by Belize most celebrated cyclist of all times, Rudy Miguel, also a two time Cross Country champion? What was the name of the cycling classic, and which part of Mexico did the race took place?

    Channel 7

    Six Year Old Dies After 11 Year Old Neighbor Shot Him to Head
    6 year old Travis Polanco died this afternoon after his 11 year old neighbor shot him in the head with a 16 gauge shotgun. It happened on Saturday evening around 5:00 in the Valley Community - at miles 18 on the Hummingbird Highway. Little Travis was playing near a palm tree about 45 feet away from his house when his 11 year old neighbor shot him through his window. Travis' father told us today that he saw Travis jumping and running wildly about and that is when he realized his son was shot. Travis was rushed to the Southern Regional Hospital then to the KHMH where he died today at around 12. We spoke to Travis' parents today after they made the hardest decision of their lives. Gurly Bahadur, Mother "They told me that my baby brains is dead and only the life support machine is keeping him alive." Courtney Weatherburne "Was it a situation where the family decided that it was time to pull the plug and you couldn't see your son suffer anymore?"

    BDF Stole From B-SAG
    23 year-old BDF Private James Webster is out on bail tonight after he was taken to Magistrate's Court for burglary today. His superiors allege that he broke into the BDF's Special Assignment Group's weapon's storehouse and stole a pistol. The theft happened on last week Thursday. Webster's accuser say that he went on the Price Barracks compound, broke into the BSAG's building and stole a service Beretta Pistol, valued at $2,000. According to police they recovered the weapon and connected the theft to him. He was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, where he pleaded not guilty. He was granted bail of $2,000, which he was able to meet, and he will have to return to court on July 31.

    Father Says Son Was Stabbed In Head For No Reason
    As we reported last night, 24 year old Dernell Brown was fatally injured on Saturday night at the National Agriculture and Trade Show. Brown was stabbed in his head - so deep that the knife was left projecting from his skull. He never regained consciousness and died yesterday morning at 9. Police told us he got into a fight with a group of men because of a dispute over a female. But when we spoke to Brown's father today, he had a very different account: Horace Brown, Father "The young man told me that they were heading home. They say that my son was walking to the back and the guys just attacked them. They say that they had my son and he turned back to help, but the other two guys that were with them ran away. The x-ray shows that the knife went through his head. The doctor said that it was an inch away from popping through the other side of the head. On the x-ray, it shows that the knife went across the two eyes. I don't know if he was a trouble person.

    Jack Gets Justice From GST In Benchmark Judgment
    6 Weeks ago, Importer Jack Charles made the news when he challenged local rice producers and accused them of gouging the general public with high the high price of rice. Well tonight, Charles, is back in the news tonight after he challenged the government and won a victory against the Sales Tax Department. His grievance with the GST office goes back to February 2013 when the Sales Tax Commissioner sent Xtra House, a letter saying that he owed 5 years of arrears - a total of 1.1 million dollars. Of course, Charles disputed that assessment as arbitrary, but due to Sections 42 and 45 of the law, to get an appeal or review of that decision, he would have had to pay 50% of the figure assessed - a cool half a million dollars - or to be precise, just over 550 thousand dollars. Charles's position at the time was that he couldn't come up with that money within 15 days. So, he filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court in which he claimed that the way the GST Act is designed, it violates his constitutional right to access the Supreme Court or the GST tribunal - because he'd first have to pay half of the taxes upfront.

    Teacher Preyed On Male Students Through Facebook Chats
    Last night we told you the about the Mopan Technical high school teacher accused of sending sexually explicit messages to a male student. Well, today the Education Officer from the Ministry of Education, Yma Casey confirmed that the Teaching Services Commission has dismissed teacher Elito Puc from the school and that the Chief Education Officer has revoked his teacher's license. This is following an investigation by the TSC's Board of Directors. Now, the details of the case have not been disclosed - what we know is based on streams of Facebook messages which we have received - and they show a pattern of highly disturbing beahviour. Some of the messages we have seen show the teacher trying to bribe or solicit, nude pictures and sexual favors from the male student in exchange for lunch money as seen in these screen shots.

    Plues Street Problems
    Five days after he left home to go meet a friend, Plues Street resident Denfield Bowen has still not re-appeared. His family carries the grim expectation that he is dead - but they have not been able to find him. And while there is anxious worry on Plues Street - this morning at dawn -residents say there was also police brutality and widespread panic. According to residents at around 5 this morning they were awakened by loud banging on their doors and noise coming from the street as at leats five police trucks police rolled in. They said the officers told them they were looking for guns and ammunition. But in the process, the residents claim that they were assaulted and harassed by the cops. One child who is only 7 years old claimed that he was slapped by a police officer. Today 7news spoke with his mother.

    New PUP Candidate Jones Got 182K From GOB Via Judgment
    Lloyd Jones was yesterday introduced as a new, high profile candidate for the PUP in Belize Rural North. He has trumpeted himself as a man of unbending principle who is independent minded, and true to his convictions. But, he "kinda" dodged when the media asked him about a court case he had with the Government of Belize. Here's how that went:.. Reporter "Last week we had an interview with Mr. Castro and we ask him about your standard bearer for the PUP in BRN and we ask him what he thought about your candidacy and he said that he is not at all moved and that you were actually a disgruntled UDP turned PUP and that you actually has some sort of legal matter before the courts with the United Democratic Party or with the Barrow administration. How do you respond to that sir?" Lloyd Jones, PUP Candidate - BRN "Well I am unfamiliar. You should have ask him that, what he was referring to, because I don't know."

    Tourist From Washington Drowns
    A tourist drowned at Silk Caye near Placencia Village yesterday. 64-year-old David Rowley from the USA was on a diving tour of the North Wall area of Silk Caye. About 10 minutes into the dive - at a depth of 35 - 40 feet, Rowley grabbed one of his legs in pain. The dive instructor tried to communicate with Rowley but got no response and took him back to the surface. He had no response when he got up to the boat, and CPR was performed for 15 minutes, but the tourist did not respond. He was pronounced dead shortly after being rushed to the Robert's Grove dock at noon.

    Motivated Enough To Walk On Glass
    Last night, we told you how the international motivational speaker, Bert Oliva, and his crew have returned to Belize for a 4th Year. They are on a mission to inspire and motivate 50,000 persons, mostly children and youth, to reach their full potential to become successful in both their private and professional lives. They are here for 10 days, and on each they, they will be speaking to several hundred children countrywide. This year, however, instead of focusing on the high schoolers, they will be speaking exclusively to students from standards 5 and 6. That tour started today where several hundred students from Holy Redeemer, St. Ignatius, and Grace Primary Schools all sat in at the Bliss Center for 2 and a half hour session with Bert and his speakers. 7News was there and we spoke with one of the brave student from St. Ignatius, who made sure to sign up for the activity which requires the volunteers to walk on glass with their bare feet. Here's what she told us about the experience:

    Mark Medina's Funeral
    And the background to this Plues street event is the rift that's happening in the George Street Gang - Plus Street falls within that turf. As a result of it Denfield Bowen is missing and Brian Brown is in the hospital with burn injuries. It all started one week ago Mark Medina was executed in an area on Iguana Street known as Crenshaw. Since then no one has been charged for his murder. Today the notorious George Street gang figure was laid to rest. Belize City police were on high alert today after strong information this week indicated a deepening rivalry between members of the George Street Gang. While Brian Brown is still hospitalized for burns at the KHMH, and Denfield Bowen is still missing from off Plues Street, there was just no telling what could have happened today.

    3k For An Essay?
    If you are between the age of 12 and 16 and are an avid writer you could win $3,000 US dollars, of course you have to earn it by submitting a 500 word essay in English to the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association's Children's Essay Contest. The theme is "How the cruise industry has improved your country". The contest is separated in two categories including the Junior Division which caters to children ages 12 and under and the Senior Division which incorporates children ages 13 to 16 years. The deadline for submission is June 12th. If you are interested you can email the Cruise Coordinator Maria Guerra at mguerra@travelbelize.org for more information or visit the BTB office.

    Taiwan Masters The Art Of Giving
    The Taiwanese government is known for so many assistance programs to the country of Belize - from budgetary support to installing an air conditioner at the Museum of Belize. And they're also staunch advocates of art education at the primary school level. Last year the donated 17 thousand US dollars to buy art materials for students and today they donated another 47 thousand US dollars for the second phase of the project: first, to train teachers, and second to develop a curriculum. The handover over was held today at the House of Culture and Taiwanese Ambassador David Wu told us more:...

    Channel 5

    Travis Polanco Taken Off Life Support
    The family of six year old Travis Polanco from Pomona Valley, Stann Creek District, is tonight grieving his death, five days after he was shot to the head by another [...]

    11 Year Old Shooter in Human Services Custody
    The shooting of Travis occurred last Thursday and it was until this afternoon that police sent out a release on what transpired.  Contrary to the family’s report that the two [...]

    George Street Affiliate ‘LL’ Still Missing
    As the family of Travis Polanco grieves his death, the family of twenty-seven-year-old Denfield Bowen Junior fears the worst. Bowen Junior, known to family and friends simply as LL, has [...]

    Intensive Search by Family and Friends Continues
    The stevedore was last seen wearing a white tee shirt with R.I.P. Kareem Lopez emblazoned on the front and Robbery on the back.  Bowen was also clad in a pair [...]

    Two Men Still Detained for Trujillo Murder
    Tonight San Pedro Police have released three of the five persons detained for the murder of taxi-man Donicio Trujillo on Sunday. Trujillo was found early that morning on the side [...]

    Second Suspect Detained for Agric Murder
    A second suspect has been detained by police in connection with the murder at the National Agricultural and Trade Show Grounds. Shariff Anderson Andrewin of Cotton Tree was taken into [...]

    Former Vital Stats Building Abandoned…With Files Inside
    In April, 2013, the Vital Statistics Department was relocated from Gabourel Lane to the corner of Hyde’s Lane and New Road in Belize City. The official rationale for the move [...]

    P.U.P. Says NO to ICJ
    The People’s United Party has finally, though not yet officially, established some sort of concrete position on going to the International Court of Justice to settle the unfounded territorial dispute [...]

    Opposition Wants 13th Senator Appointed…Will File Claim
    Last week, the People’s United Party took to the streets, and this week they’re taking the fight back to the Court. It’s not about Petrocaribe…well, not directly. This time, the [...]

    Elrington Says Maritime Borders Not Defined
    Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington came under heavy fire some time ago for comments made on Belize’s terrestrial boundaries. His technical definition of the western border with Guatemala, which he described [...]

    B.D.F. Soldier Charged for Stealing Beretta at Price Barracks
    A B.D.F. soldier, who was living at Price Barracks, Ladyville, the head quarters of the B.D.F. has been charged for a burglary at his work place based on allegations that [...]

    Skeet Remanded for Firearm Offences
    A well-known street figure of Mayflower Street, Belize City was taken to court this morning for a shooting that occurred on Banak Street two weeks ago.  Art Skeet appeared before [...]

    Regional Project Seeks Strengthening of Fisheries Regulations
    A regional project inclusive of CARICOM member states seeks to strengthen fisheries food safety regulations. The purpose is for the Caribbean to be able to access the international markets for [...]

    Motivational Speaker Bert Oliva Back in Belize
    Motivational speaker Bert Oliva is back in Belize. Today, he started a tour in Belize City meeting with primary school students where, through words and activities, he demonstrated the power [...]

    Belizean Makes it to the NFL
    Belizean born athlete Rakeem Nunez-Roches has been drafted to the National Football League as a sixth round pick and defensive line for the Kansas City Chiefs.  He is the first [...]

    Taiwan Assists NICH Arts Program
    In July 2014 NICH received around seventeen thousand US dollars for the start of the Primary School Art Skills Training Project.  Seventy-eight students from standard two through six participated in [...]

    CTV3

    Police Investigate Murders In San Pedro
    Authorities in San Pedro Town are making some headway with their investigations into the murders of Jose Riogoberto Beltran and Dionicio Trujillo, both taxi operators who were slain on separate incidents five days of each other. 23-year-old Luis Campos, 19-year-old Mark Arzu and 18-year-old Santos Garcia were jointly charged on Thursday, April 30th with one count of murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder. Officer in Charge of Police, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott indicated that police had sufficient grounds to charge the men, as there were both witness reports as well as incriminating evidence to pin them to the murder. Jemmott also confirmed that the motive of the murder was to use Beltran’s cab as a getaway vehicle in the planning of a robbery. All three men have been arraigned at the San Pedro Magistrate Court and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until June 2015 for their first court hearing. Due to the nature of the offence, no plea was taken, and they were denied bail. Meanwhile, investigators are yet to formally charge anyone on the murder of 42 year old Dionicio Trujillo, who was stabbed to death, his throat cut, and his body left right beside his taxi van early Sunday morning. Police say they are still taking statements from the men they have detained and are following several leads. Both murders cases are being attributed to robbery.

    PUP Moving Forward To Repeal Petro Caribe Law
    Last week we told you about a letter that was drafted by the People’s United Party and directed to the Government of Belize demanding that the Petrocaribe act be repealed. The opposition has gone on record to state that if it is not done within 21 days of the submission, that their next move would be mobilizing Belizeans in support of the issue. And while there has been much scrutiny and debate over the process of the way the law was forcedly passed in the National Assembly, Fonseca says the law is aimed at protecting the Prime Minister and insulating him from criminal penalties. Yesterday, when the issue was brought up by Belize City media, Fonseca went on to invite the general populace to jump into their band wagon, creating an undeniable opposition stance against the Petrocribe Law ……Here is that clip…. “Sending this letter but we want as many people, as many of our partners, as many of the social partners, the businesses, the Chamber of Commerce to sign on to this letter. We are seeking their support in sending this letter. If we have to go at it alone we will. So the first step is to circulate it to them, that is where we are now, to get, to have them look at it, to have them review it, get their input, perhaps they want to make amendments to the letter. So that is the stage that we are at, once we’ve gotten that back and we’ve gotten some consensus and we know who will sign on and who won’t then we will proceed from there and the twenty-one days will start running from then.”

    Trip Advisor Names Maracas Bar And Grill #1 Restaurant
    Good food, great ambiance and fabulous music has contributed to the success of Orange Walk’s riverside Maracas Bar and Grill being named number one restaurant in Town, according to a public survey from Trip Advisor, an American travel website company. The establishment is a great option for dining on the riverside banks of the New River and they offer daily tours to the Lamanai Ruin. Maracas Bar and Grill was rated with 5 stars in their food, customer service, and atmosphere and in value of the experience. The establishment has garnered over twenty five positive reviews. It is note that a close second as best restaurant on the Trip Advisor site was Nahil Mayab followed by Cocina Sabor.

    The Florida Carribbean Cruise Association Invites Belizeans For Annual Essay Competition
    The Florida Caribbean Cruise Association today announced that it is once again inviting Belizean students to participate in their annual essay competition. This year’s competition is centered on the theme “How has the cruise industry improved my country?”. Participants are being asked to submit a 500 word essay will be judged on its content, creativity, style and grammar. The contest will be conducted in two age categories; junior division for children ages 12 and under and senior division for children ages 13 to 16. Prizes for each category stand at a handsome cash prize of $3000 US for the student and $3000 for the winning school. Deadlines for submissions are Friday, June 12th, 2015. More information of the contest can be obtained from Cruise Coordinator Maria Guerra at the Belize Tourism Board.

    Social Wrasse Becomes Endangered Species
    Belize is home to a portion of the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. Hundreds of species of fish including the invasive LionFish inhabit this diverse coral reef system, many of them unique to the region. And recently, scientists have revealed that after examining the stomach contents of invasive lionfish caught on the inner barrier reef of Belize, they have discovered that nearly half of the diet of these aggressive fish consist of a critically endangered fish known as the social wrasse. The social wrasse is one of five coral reef fishes listed at the highest risk of extinction on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Found only on clear water reefs around inshore mangrove islands in Belize, “its combination of traits, small size, schooling, and low, hovering behavior—make it an easy target for the lionfish,” says Smithsonian scientist Carole Baldwin of the Division of Fishes at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Social wrasses represented 46 percent of the fishes found in lionfish stomachs, making them the primary prey item of the lionfish. One lionfish had 18 social wrasses in its stomach.

    PlusTV

    Six year old shot by nine year old neighbor
    A Valley Community, Stann Creek District boy, only six years old, spent the entire Labour Day weekend fighting for his life in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in Belize City after his close friend unexpectedly turned a 16-gauge shotgun on him...

    Women arrested for firearm say they were in wrong place at wrong time
    An Iranian man and three women were formerly arrested and charged earlier today for firearm offences. This was after police intercepted a vehicle on Saturday May 2nd on the Humming Bird Highway in the St. Margaret’s Area, Cayo...

    Trade unions clarify stance on Petrocaribe Act versus program
    Also at the Labour Day Rally in Belize City we spoke to President of the NTUCB Marvin Mora for a response to the statements of Prime Minister Dean Barrow during Wednesday’s press conference in which he pointed out that the trade unions were and are part and parcel of the continued rollout of program...

    NTUCB rallies workers in Belize City
    They were few in number but their message was clear: May 1, Labour Day, is a day for the workers and a day to remember their struggles and sacrifices in the name of freedom...

    St. Anne’s Church burglarized
    The St. Anne’s Anglican Church in Belmopan was ransacked sometime between the evening of Sunday April 3rd and the morning of Monday April 4th...

    Ministry of Education begins annual showcase in Belize City
    The Ministry of Education launched its annual Education Showcase in Belize City...

    Major Lloyd Jones to run for PUP in Belize Rural North
    The People’s United Party (PUP) has named its candidate to challenge the winner of the UDP’s convention in Belize Rural North. He is former soldier and Ports Commissioner Major Lloyd Jones, who served in the Belize Defence Force (BDF) before joining the Port Authority...

    Fatal Stabbing at National Agriculture and Trade Show
    The National Agriculture and Trade Show, one of the most anticipated events of the year, took place over the weekend. This year’s agric show saw thousands of people from across the country visit the show grounds. But with such a high turnout  of people, security is always a concern...

    Teacher’s license revoked after accusations of soliciting students
    In March of this year, we reported on the allegations made against a teacher of Mopan technical highschool. Pictures of the male teacher’s nude body were plastered over facebook after he allegedly sent them to two male highschool students via an inbox conversation with the students on facebook...

    American Pedophile attempts to enter Belize
    Today another American pedophile is behind bars in the United States after attempting to enter Belize to meet with a 16 year old girl he met online. Troy Anthony Pertuset, 27, of St...

    Amandala

    Internal George Street gang war?
    At press time tonight, relatives and friends of Denfield “LL” Bowen, Jr., 26, who has been missing since last Thursday, April 30, remain puzzled about his whereabouts. Frantic searches which have been launched by those relatives and companions in the wake of his disappearance have yielded no trace of him, and his friends and family have reached the point where they fear the worst. Today, Amandala spoke to Bowen’s common-law wife, Claudine Dawson, 32, who told us that the stevedore, who resides with her at #69 Plues Street, Belize City, received a phone call and left home at about 5:20 p.m. last Thursday, and unfortunately, has not been seen or heard from since.

    Salvadoran taxi driver, 26, charged for sex with girl, 9
    A Salvadoran man has become the latest person to be remanded to prison on charges of unlawful sexual intercourse and wounding of a minor. Yesterday, Wednesday, Daniel Rios, 26, a resident of Star Fish Crescent in the Belama area of Belize City, appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who arraigned him on the two charges. No plea was taken from Rios, as the offenses will be heard on indictment after a preliminary inquiry is held in the Magistrate’s Court that will determine if there is a prima facie case against him. Smith, however, remanded Rios to the Belize Central Prison until his next court appearance date on August 5.

    Another taxi driver murdered in San Pedro
    Another taxi driver has been murdered in San Pedro — less than five days after taxi driver Jose Rigoberto Beltran, 41, of the Escalante area in San Pedro, was found dead with a gunshot to the head in his abandoned taxi van near a lagoon in the San Juan area in San Pedro at about 10:00 Tuesday morning. At about 7:30 Sunday morning, Dionicio Trujillo, 42, originally of Alta Vista, Stann Creek District but who was working in San Pedro as a taxi car driver, was found dead on A Street in the South End area of San Pedro. Trujillo, who lived on Sea Grape Drive, was lying face-down in about 12 inches of water in the drain near the edge of the main road in the Marina area, where his taxi van was parked. His throat had been slashed, and there were multiple stab wounds in his chest and abdomen. People in the area who were walking on the road at about 7:30 Sunday morning saw the body in the drain and called police.

    Boy, 6, shotgunned by neighbor, 9
    The parents of Travis Polanco, 6, of the Valley community in the Stann Creek District, have been in severe distress since last Thursday, April 30, when he was tragically shot in the head, allegedly by a 9-year-old neighbor. The shocking incident reportedly happened at around 4:30 p.m. that day after both minors had come home from school. According to police, preliminary investigations have revealed that the boys were playing with each other at the time when the 9-year-old went into his parents’ house and picked up his father’s 16-gauge shotgun. He then allegedly pointed the weapon through a window at Polanco, who was still outside near the roadside, after which it reportedly went off and five of the pellets hit Polanco — three in the head, one in the nose and one in the cheek.

    Unions and Chamber resolute on demand for repeal of PetroCaribe Loans Act
    Last Wednesday, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow issued a public statement on the PetroCaribe program. The statement was released in light of concerns expressed by the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) and the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) that the recently passed PetroCaribe Loans Act is in contravention of the country’s finance reform laws which were introduced under public pressure a decade ago. In his summary last week, Barrow noted that roughly $286 million has been received via PetroCaribe, and $160 million, more than half, remains unspent. He said that of the $126 million spent to date, $30 million has been used to capitalize the National Bank of Belize. Neither the borrowing nor the spending was done with the requisite prior approval of Parliament, and last month, the Barrow administration introduced the PetroCaribe Loans Act to validate all the borrowing and spending since 2012.

    Central Bank to be alternate route for wire transfers from Belize Bank customers
    Bank of America principals who met with a high-level team of Government officials, including Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow; Central Bank Governor Glenford Ysaguirre and Economic Advisor, Ambassador Mark Espat, have given their assurance that the bank is severing relations only with the Belize Bank, and not with any other domestic bank in Belize which has correspondent banking relations with the second largest bank in the USA. Barrow said that based on their conversation with the bank executives, “…there is no question of any kind of wrongdoing on the part of the Belize Bank.” He added that, “…nobody needs to feel that he or she has to stop doing business with the Belize Bank.”

    Henry Gill Boys & Girls Boxing Club opens May 5 at top floor of Body 2000 building
    –A dream has finally become reality for veteran Belizean boxer Henry “Boxer” Gill, who announced this afternoon that his gym, the Henry Gill Boys & Girls Boxing Club, will open its doors tomorrow, Tuesday, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on the top floor of the Body 2000 building on Coney Drive. “We’re a non-profit organization,” advised Gill, “and boys and girls from 7 to 17 years old are welcome, free of charge, to join the boxing club. We deliberately set the time so that the youths can attend the gym after school in the evenings, and the gym will be open daily from Monday to Friday, and continue through the school holidays and when school reopens.” Gill said his club is presently being sponsored by Mr. Tom Tillett, who is involved in the tourism business. Interested youths, or parents who want their kids to get involved in a positive and disciplined outlet should contact Henry “Boxer” Gill at 666-8091.

    1st Belizean born player drafted in the NFL
    Rakeem Nunez-Roches was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs last Saturday… Nice to have another Belizean excelling abroad. Let’s hope he makes the team now. The Chiefs used the 217th overall pick of the draft on former Southern Mississippi defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches, a 6’2, 307-pound Belize-born defender. Nunez-Roches decided to skip his senior as a Southern Miss Golden Eagle and entered his name in the NFL Draft. Nunez-Roches who is from Dangriga Belize, was at Southern Miss for four seasons, but only got serious playing time in 2012 and 2014 (he was limited in 2013 due to injury). This most recent season, he recorded 58 total tackles and had 3 sacks. The general consensus among the folks that follow the NFL Draft is that he will either be a pick in the late rounds or will be picked up as an undrafted free agent. Rakeem Nunez-Roches is a talented prospect however, he is still very raw. That being said, given the right situation, I could see him being a solid contributor in the NFL. He may not be a player that will play every down in the pros, but still gets enough reps to make a difference. It’ll be interesting to watch his career pan out.

    2 weeks left in NEBL reg. season, as playoff race heats up
    This coming weekend will witness some huge games, as three teams have already clinched a playoff spot and are now battling for home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, while three other teams are fighting to make the playoffs. Playoffs will kick off on Friday, May 22, with 2 semifinal games, followed by 2 games on Saturday, May 23. Both the semifinals and the finals will be a best-of-three series. Fans are reminded that all games have a live webcast with the game scores, play-by-play analyses and the box scores. Fans can follow every game live on our webpage, as scores are in real time. The NEBL webpage also contains news, team standings and player statistics, and it can be found at nebl.sportingpulse.net

    Mass parties and individual conscience
    Mr. Goldson walked away from the People’s United Party (PUP) in 1956 and he walked away from the United Democratic Party (UDP) in 1991. Belizean history has looked favorably on him because he could not be intimidated and he would not be compromised. During his political career, however, Mr. Goldson went through long periods when he appeared to be an overall political failure, when he appeared to be going nowhere. It seems, however, that Mr. Goldson always ended up following his individual conscience, and that conscience of his led him to positions of which the masses of the Belizean people approved, if not always in the short run, certainly over the long course of history. A couple weeks ago we remarked on how important our two mass political parties were/are for Belize, because they are national, indigenous, and authentic institutions, as opposed to the churches. The Belizean people built the PUP and the UDP in Belize: our churches were sent here from foreign headquarters. If you can’t see and understand this difference, there must be something wrong with you.

    From the Publisher
    Each week I do a lot of reading. I will process material from local and foreign newspapers, magazines, Internet websites, and also full length books. In so doing, I run into material that I think is important for you readers to consider and assess. Most times, such important material is included in this newspaper, with a simple heading. My sense is, however, that only serious readers take on such articles. It makes me sad to realize that not all the readers who would benefit from such material, are willing to do the work involved with serious articles. I understand. Most readers of this newspaper have grown to enjoy this column, and they are willing to fight their way through it even if I tackle heavy, complicated matters. I try to package my column in such a way that you are entertained while I am making my points. Food should have flavoring, we all agree. After all the years, I still have stories to tell, but some of these stories would be best told in a fictional framework. There were so many times when I was running the streets that I had experiences which I’ve never shared with you. I still dream of doing creative work, but time is no longer on my side.

    Mennonite corporation seems to menace the forests of Belize
    Dear Editor, While deforestation rates in Brazil have slowed of late in response to improved governance and commodity sector efforts, forests in Belize are falling faster than ever. I awoke in the middle of the night with a vision of the huge road I recently saw being constructed by Mennonites in the Yalbac area. That road seems to aim to connect their extensive and growing land holdings near Spanish Lookout to the George Price Highway. Their huge investments in that road are clearly related to large scale forest clearing by them and others for chemically intensive monocultures of crops for export. I wonder just how much more deforestation will be needed to justify their investments in that road? Shaken as I was by these thoughts, I fired up my computer to access publicly available satellite imagery to get a bigger picture. Sorry to say, the pictures on Google’s Earth Engine are distressing. Standing out prominently are the swaths of destruction in the Corozal District in the new Mennonite community of Neulands.

    Retired Major Lloyd Jones is PUP’s new man in Belize Rural North
    Last year August, the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) suspended the attorney Arthur Saldivar as its Belize Rural North standard bearer, creating something of a vacuum in the sprawling constituency which has 27 villages spread out over a vast amount of space. At its Independence Hall headquarters this morning, the PUP moved to fill the vacant Belize Rural North standard-bearer slot with a political newcomer – the retired Belize Defence Force Major Lloyd Jones has stepped into the political fray and was introduced as standard-bearer for the division. Prior to his move in the political arena, Jones has been quite outspoken on national issues, particularly the defence of Belize and the unfounded Guatemalan claim.

    Maya land title “not indigenous…” claims PM Barrow
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced at a press conference today that he will appoint Senator Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry and Fisheries, to chair a new secretariat that is to be established under her ministry to lead the way forward in giving effect to a recently formulated consent order from the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), affirming Maya land rights in Toledo. While the Maya continue to maintain their stance that those rights emanate from their indigenous heritage, Barrow argues that the title is not indigenous, and that the Government only agreed to the terms of the consent order on the understanding that the land rights exist on the basis of human rights. He said that he would take a proposal to Cabinet next Tuesday to have the new secretariat established under Alamilla’s ministry.

    Belize’s first elected Mayor, David Fonseca, commits suicide
    Sometime after 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 30, police visited the Stuart’s Alley home of former Belize City Mayor David Fonseca, located near the Tourism Village, as word began to spread that Fonseca, the first person to be elected outright as mayor, was dead. One day before his 61st birthday, Fonseca was found in the bathroom of the upstairs of the two-storey house with an apparent gunshot wound to the head and his .9mm pistol in his hand. Even though police pathologist Dr. Mario Estradabran was summoned to the scene, so far, police have not issued a report on the suicide death of the businessman and retired People’s United Party (PUP) politician. In life, David Fonseca was a quiet man, whose humility had enabled him to serve a full 16 years in City Hall, the last 6 as mayor. Fellow city councilors who served under his stewardship described him as “the people’s mayor,” because of his willingness to give an audience to anyone and everyone who visited his office.


    Under an agreement due to expire in 2028, the Fort Street Tourism Village (FSTV) has been designated as the exclusive port of entry for cruise ship passengers for the Belize District. The contract will thus remain in effect for thirteen more years, and although Prime Minister Dean Barrow says that there are questions as to the legality of the agreement, the Government of Belize is committed to working with the parties to help break the logjam, in the interest of seeing a new state-of-the art docking facility and cruise port, to be owned and operated by Mike Feinstein, a former partner in FSTV, come to fruition. Barrow said that Feinstein already has financing for the US$100 million port at Stake Bank from a consortium of domestic lenders. On Tuesday, Barrow met in Miami with Carnival Cruise Lines, which was also granted a subsequent concession for a cruise port at the Port of Belize in Belize City, in breach of the Government’s prior exclusive arrangement with FSTV – a breach for which the Government in 2004 entered into an agreement with FSTV to compensate them for lost revenues from head tax earnings.

    Consumer prices fall for fourth consecutive month
    A substantial fall in the price of fuel products continues to drive down the inflation rate, which fell again from 1.4% last March to -1% this March. “This indicated that, on average, the goods and services typically purchased by Belizean households, were 1 percent cheaper than they were one year ago,” explained a release issued by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) on Wednesday. In fact, Belize’s inflation rate has been below zero since last December. The last time the country saw sustained price dips was back in 2009. The price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) used for cooking, as well as the prices of gasoline and diesel were down by nearly 30% over the same period last year. For example, the average price for LPG was down by about $33, from $126 last March to $93 this March, the SIB said. The institute added that international airfares, also within this category, were about 11 percent lower than during the same month last year.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Western Ballaz Committee Members Resign
    Reports reaching our news room are that some members of the Western Ballaz committee have resigned from their posts. According to reports, three committee members handed over their resignation letters just a few minutes ago. The committee members that resigned are: President Shalu Butcher, Treasurer Lisa Usher and Nadene […]

    BDF Private accused of stealing weapon
    Police have recovered a Beretta pistol alleged to have been stolen from the headquarters of the Belize Special Assignment Group (BSAG) located on the compound of the Belize Defence Force at Price Barracks, Ladyville on April 30. Today private in the Belize Defence Force (BDF), 23 year old […]

    Police charge Rudolph Ramsey over murder
    After 5 months of investigation, police have made an arrest for the murder of 25 year old kenroy Parham. The accused, Rudolph Ramsey, was arraigned on the charge today in the court of the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. He was remanded into custody until August 20. Parham, […]

    Raymond Myers acquitted of murder of Francis Figueroa
    After a delay of a few weeks to select a new jury, 31 year old Raymond Myers was on Monday evening acquitted of murder charges in the death of 27 year old Francis Figueroa. Nearly five years ago on May 14, 2010, Figueroa was stabbed as many as […]

    PUC wants significant rate cut for electricity
    After a cut of 5% across the board in electricity rates earlier this year, Belizean consumers can expect even further cuts, resulting in the lowest power rates in Belize in decades. State-run power provider Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) has applied to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) as of […]

    Family confirms death of Travis Polanco
    Belize Media Group has confirmed with the father of six year old Travis Polanco, Thomas Polanco, this afternoon that his son died after being taken off life support around ten thirty this morning. Thomas Polanco told us briefly that the family considered Travis to have died from as […]

    PUP is re-appealing Petrocaribe Legislation
    According to the legislation, Alba Petrocaribe (Belize Energy) Limited” or “APBEL” is a joint venture company owned by the Venezuelan State Enterprise, PDV Caribe and the Government of Belize company, Belize Petroleum and Energy Limited. The funds being attained from petrocaribe has been of great concern for the PUP and […]

    Travis Polanco Passes Away
    We have received reports that Travis Polanco, the 6 year old that was shot with a 16-gauge shotgun by his 9 year old neighbor in the village of Valley Community, Stann Creek died this afternoon at KHMH. According to reports, Polanco was on life support and the doctors were unable to […]

    Trio charged for murder of Taxi Operator, Rigo Beltran
    18 year old Santos Garcia, 19 year old Mark Arzu and 23 year old Luis Campos were slap with one count of murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder on 42-year-old Jose Rigoberto Beltran. Officer in Charge of Police, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott says that there are sufficient […]

    Protest in Georgeville
    Belize Media Group currently has one of its reporter in the village of Georgeville in the Cayo District who is reporting to our news desk that there is about 50 people specifically women who are protesting on the streets. According to our reporter, the protesters are discontented with the new […]

    Nelson Claros, ” El Wicho” charged for robbery
    A joint operation between the Corozal and San Ignacio Police has led to the detention of a wanted fugitive of the Corozal District. On Friday May 1st, 2015 San Ignacio police were informed on the whereabouts of Nelson Claros aka Wicho. Claros was wanted in Corozal for the crime of […]

    Rotaract Brings Best Country of District 4250 Award to Belize
    Every year Rotaract celebrates a bi-district conference that is district 4240 and 4250 where all the Central American Countries clubs attend. This year, Belize had participation from San Ignacio, Benque Viejo, Belize City, Orange Walk, and Belmopan in Guatemala where the conference was held. The conference was geared […]

    Blogs

    Can’t Decide What to See in Belize this Summer? We’ve Got Your Back!
    No wonder you’re conflicted! Trying to figure out which places in Belize belong at the top of your must-see list can be frustrating—particularly if you’ve a finite amount of time to get yourself to a representative sampling of attractions, sites and events before the real world and stress intercedes. Relax. Breathe deeply. Consider this blog post your Cliff’s Notes, only there won’t be a quiz on the content down the road. We promise. If it’s June, it’s Lobsterfest and Belize tourism folks know a thing or two about kick-starting the lobster season in style. Side shows associated with this tribute to the king of crustaceans include a Miss Lobsterfest beauty pageant made up of teens who are not shy about dressing in weird costumes to win the crown. Need a place to stay when you’re not dipping lobster morsels into butter or watching pageant contestants strut their stuff? Make it the Chabil Mar in Placencia. You’ll need the peace and quiet once you’ve had a taste of Lobsterfest!

    10 Reasons to Relocate to Belize
    More and more, people are realizing just how fabulous it is to retire in the pleasant Central American country of Belize. But what does Belize have to offer that has so many people coming back for more? Everyone Speaks English Not only do the locals in Belize speak very good English, it’s actually the national language. Although many residents do speak Spanish with their neighbors, the print and television media, street signs, menus and other items of daily life are in English. Boost Your Health Health-conscious people around the world are discovering the health benefits of refreshing coconut water, available in ample abundance in Belize. Instead of being trapped indoors, retirees in Belize enjoy a low-stress, natural life enjoying the sunshine in the great outdoors.

    Belizeans should reject Major Lloyd Jones if he runs for office
    By: Wellington C. Ramos. Every person who was born in Belize should have the right to run for political office in Belize like Retired Major Lloyd Jones. However, under this current Belize Constitution Belizeans who became citizens as adults and swore allegiance to the United States and other countries cannot run unless they revoke their citizenship. This is because there is a clause in the Belize Constitution disqualifying people who swore allegiance to another country like thousands of Belizeans who now reside in the United States and possess dual citizenship. The People’s United Party (PUP) and Retired Major Lloyd Jones support this inhumane policy. They have and are doing everything to stop this United Democratic Party (U.D.P. ) government, from introducing Article-7 to amend the constitution to rectify this injustice. In fact Retired Major Lloyd Jones have written several articles in the media stating where he stands with this issue. They claim that we should give up our American and foreign citizenship, to show how loyal, trustworthy, patriotic and dedicated we are to our country of birth. Then at the same time, there are reports coming out of Belize that they are constantly bringing people from Guatemala who are not citizens to vote in our elections. This is a country that has been claiming our land for centuries now, that he was prepared to fight against if we were attacked by them. Also, people who are naturalized citizens of Belize, can vote and run for any office in their country and our country without giving up their citizenship from their countries of birth.

    Feliz Cinco de Mayo 2015!
    It’s that time of year again when perpetually vibrant Mexico comes even more alive with colours, fireworks, dancing and that justly famous great food and drink as Mexicans and people of Mexican descent celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Just as with Belize’s own Battle of St George’s Caye Day, Cinco de Mayo is a precursor to the lavish Independence celebrations held later in the year – in Mexico’s case the 16th of September. That’s close to Belize’s 21st of September Independence Day, and along with the geographic proximity, a strong national identity, and a love of democracy, Cinco de Mayo represents some the things both countries share that bind us together. So visitors shouldn’t be surprised to see and hear some jubilant partying going on in Belize on the 5th of May.

    A Few Pictures From Yesterday and I’m Heading Out – Mexico Bound
    Yesterday was a beautiful day. Blue skies, billowy clouds and I took a walk to town in the morning to do some errands. (Enthralling stuff, right?) I stopped in this beauty salon for a pedicure. Don’t even think of just coming in without an appointment! This lady is booked solid…and for $25bzd does a thorough job on my slightly dirty feet not ready for United States consumption. I walked out of there a new woman (at least from the ankle down) – ready for my week in the US. Well…first $3bzd pork tacos at La Hora Taco. Fitting since I am traveling to the Cancun airport – to take advantage of a $300 Southwest ticket to Providence, Rhode Island the very CHEAPEST way possible. Short of hitchhiking.

    International Sourcesizz

    Design for Her Daughter: One Mother's Journey
    On a 2012 medical mission trip to Belize City, Belize, Alden Ramsey of the eponymous Alden Skirts looked at the over 100 families crowding the city hospital and found herself wondering. Many of these families had traveled days and nights to receive treatment from doctors who volunteered with nonprofit World Pediatric Project (WPP), an organization that provides medical care to critically ill children in developing countries. The majority of the mothers Alden saw in the hospital were single parents. She asked herself, "Can these women both financially support their families and be caregivers to their sick children?" It seemed like an impossible task, and the answer for many was no. After contacting WPP's local coordinator and asking if any of these single mothers had sewing skills, she was introduced to Ana Vasquez.

    As the tropics heat up early, how unusual is it for storms to develop in May?
    A low pressure system is brewing in the Atlantic Ocean that might turn into a tropical storm later this week. Is this unusual so early in the year? The Atlantic hurricane season doesn't officially begin until June 1, but May storms are not all that unusual. In the past 10 years, there have been a total of four named storms that developed during the month of May. In 2012, two storms developed in May: Alberto and Beryl. Both were tropical storms and developed just off the southeast coast, close to the area we're watching tonight. In 2008, Tropical Storm Arthur developed on May 31 just before making landfall in Belize.

    Caribbean Nations Prepare for Coconut Industry Revitalization
    A $US3.9 million program aims to revive the once-thriving industry and tap into markets for coconuts and sought after coconut by-products. From 1950 to 1980, the coconut industry was a vital agricultural subsector in the Caribbean. However, from 1980 onward, production sharply declined due to pest and disease issues, competition from soybean oil, which resulted in the collapse of the copra industry. But coconut has made a big comeback and demand for products such as coconut water, milk and oil has seen a boom. Now, nine Caribbean countries stand to benefit from a US$3.9 million program to rejuvenate the industry. “We recognise that the coconut subsector plays a very important role in our efforts to ensure that we have food and nutrition security very high on our list of priority areas for the development of agriculture in Saint Lucia … we want to continue to encourage the planting of acres and acres of fresh nuts and we do recognise that there is an opportunity there for employment and also for nutrition,” said Saint Lucia’s Agriculture Minister Moses Jn Baptiste.

    Vietnam, Belize boost bilateral relations
    Governor-General of Belize Colville Norbert Young agreed to foster cooperation between Belize and Vietnam while receiving the first Vietnamese Ambassador to the country, Le Linh Lan on May 4. The leader expressed his admiration for Vietnamese people during their past struggle for national liberation and reunification, while speaking highly of the country’s economic achievements in its reform process. He also pledged to back bilateral coordination at multilateral forums. Later, the Vietnamese diplomat met with Belizean Prime Minister Dean O.Barrow and Minister of Public Service, Elections and Boundaries Charles Gibson. Both sides discussed potential and opportunities for economic and trade cooperation. Ambassador Lan said that Belize’s recognition of Vietnam’s market economy status in 2015 will help consolidate and expand bilateral ties. PM Barrow agreed to consider the proposal within this year as the two countries are celebrating the 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties.-

    Honduran lobster groups look for solutions after Red Lobster, others turn away
    Project aims to adjust Honduran fishers to more sustainable method, away from dangerous scuba diving. We try to show them this isn't a new idea, this fishery has worked in many other places, like Mexico and Belize, where they have large successful fisheries.”

    Videos

  • St. John Neumann 2014 Belize Mission, 4min. Saint John Neumann Catholic Church 2014 Mission trip to Punta Gorda, Belize.

  • Belize | A Little bit of Everything, 5.5min. A small Film about life in Belize, shot on Caye Caulker, in Orange Walk and at Lamanai.

  • THE PRIMARY SCHOOL FESTIVAL, AT THE MULTIPURPOSE COMPLEX IN ORANGE WALK TOWN, 3.5min.

    Primary school students today convened at the Orange Walk Multi-Purpose Complex for a full day of song, drama, poetry and music. This was all part of this year’s Primary School Festival of Arts in which some forty eight performances were staged.
  • FAMILY IN LOUISIANA AREA ACCUSE ORANGE WALK POLICE OF EXCESSIVE FORCE, 8min. There is another report against police officers in Orange Walk Town. Today an Orange Walk family sought the media’s assistance in shedding light into a situation that has been ongoing for several months. The family, along with neighbors spoke with our news team but wished to comment off camera and told us of a shooting that happened last night in their neighborhood and say that the incident is about a personal vendetta of one police corporal against a male minor. The family of the teen mentions the name of the officer but since no official police report has been issued we have refrained from airing his identity.

  • EXPORTBelize’s Made in Belize Catalogue and BelizeINVEST’s Belize Outsourcing Service Provider Directory, 5min. BELTRAIDE making business happen.

  • Rise and Shine Belize May 5th, 2015 Patrick Andrews & Dr Francis Smith, 78min. Senator Patrick Andrews & Dr Francis Smith discuss Ministry of health and the condition of the KHMH and Western Regional Hospitals.

  • Carnival Dream Day 3 And 4 (Honduras/Belize) 2015, 8min. I didn't get a chance to film much in Honduras, because didn't do much there. I stayed in the tourist section and just visited a couple of gift shops briefly that's why I put day 3 and 4 together. Enjoy!

  • TechnoSurf: Somewhere in Belize, on a random Island., 2min.

    May 5, 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

    Taxi Operator Dionicio Trujillo found murdered
    There has been yet another day light murder in Ambergris Caye in less than five days. The body of local taxi operator 42-year-old Dionicio Trujillo was found sometime around 7:30AM on Sunday, May 3rd lying next to his vehicle at the southern end of San Pedro Town around the Marina Area. Trujillo, a Naturalized Belizean originally from the Stann Creek District, had apparently suffered three stab wounds as well as a slit to the throat. Since the incident, San Pedro Police have detained five men for questioning, with two being the main suspects. While the exact time of death is still unknown, police believe that Trujillo was killed between the hours of 6AM to 7AM. A neighbor of the deceased indicated that on the same date at about 4:30AM he saw the victim’s taxi van (License Plate # D-0208) parked in front of his residence on Seagrape Drive. Upon checking a couple hours later, he noticed the van was no longer there. As such, the neighbor believed Trujio had gone to work.

    Letter to the Editor: Barbara on Unregulated Development
    While vacationing on Ambergris Caye, I read the April 16, 2015 print issue of The San Pedro Sun. I do not often write to the Editor but I felt compelled to add my support to the Editorial section of this issue [Tourism is a Business] and the folks that spoke up, including the Editor. It takes courage to speak up and I applaud the effort. Ambergris Caye has so much to offer BUT it is at risk if city officials, as well as merchants and residence, do not pay attention to the unregulated development and limit size of building structures to fit the island’s flair. For an economy that is overwhelmingly supported by tourism, you are on the brink of losing the quaint nature of the “island life” that tourist are seeking. I was surprised by the congested traffic, limited parking and unavailable pedestrian areas. While I do not wish to offend, what a tourist sees when driving down Back and Middle streets is very unappealing and not “quaint” at all. As a tourist, I can find another destination to visit, although I do not want to at this time. I encourage others to speak up and get involved. Please do something before it is too late.

    Dates set for Belize’s Jaguars second World Cup Qualifying Game
    After narrowly qualifying for the second round of competition in the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup Qualifiers, the Belize Jaguars now face the Dominican Republic. The official dates for the home-away games for the Belize National Football Selection have been announced, and the Jaguars are back at camp preparing for the big match against the Dominican Republic’s National Team.17 Belize Jaguars vs Domincan Republic The first game will be an away game for Belize on Thursday, June 11th. The match will be played at 2PM at the Estadio Olimpico Feliz Sanchez in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The Jaguars will then return home for the second match on Sunday, June 14th, kicking off at 4PM at the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) Project Stadium. Tickets for the home match will be made available closer to the game date. FFB will be announcing in the days prior to the games whether they will be aired live on television. Adding excitement to the games is the return of Belize’s top striker, Deon McCaulay.

    Ambergris Today

    Photographer Kay Scott Features Village Life in San Pedro Exhibit
    Long-time island resident and renowned photographer Kay Scott opened her exhibit titled "Village Life in San Pedro" on Thursday, April 30, 2015 at the San Pedro House of Culture. The pictorial exhibit consists of a little 70 images of San Pedro when it was a small fishing village, just starting to grow into the touristic town it is today. It takes visitors back in time, bringing that nostalgic feeling to those who lived on the island and educates those who only know of the busy island of Ambergris Caye. Kay Scott arrived on the island in 1982 and she explains that it was during her very first walks around the island that she fell in love with San Pedro and decided to come live here. Since then, Kay Scott has been taking photographs of pretty much everything that you can think of being ‘island life’ – from beach scenes, private celebrations, historic town events and the profiles of island residents.

    Second Taximan Murdered in Less Than a Week in San Pedro
    Just five days after San Pedro Taximan Jose Rigobeto Beltran was found dead inside his vehicle on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, the disturbing discovery of a second murdered taximan on Sunday, May 3, shocked the island town of San Pedro once again. Forty-two-year-old taximan, Dionicio Trujillo, was found dead in the Marina Area, south of the DFC area around 9a.m. on Sunday, May 3, 2015, with three stab wounds to his body; he was dragged outside his vehicle and left to die on the side of the road. His death is believed to have been as a result of a robbery, but island residents are now very concerned and afraid that the two taxi murders are somehow linked. Many are afraid that there will be more murders in the near future. “We are planning to move to San Pedro this year after being in Belize many time in the last 8 years but after reading the rate of crime going up in San Pedro it make us thinking about our plan,” shares an Ambergris Today reader on Facebook.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    San Pedro Animal Hospital Support
    As many of you know due to difficulties in obtaining permits and licenses from the Veterinary Board and BAHA, the San Pedro Animal Hospital will be closing at the end of this year. For 6 years we have provided medical and surgical care, as well as emergency care for the animals of Ambergris Caye. As well, thanks to the San Pedro Animal Foundation we have spayed and neutered pets from San Pedro's poorest neighborhoods, and provided emergency care to animals who otherwise would have been euthanized due to lack of funds. We are asking that those who are able, to write to the following individuals offering support for the San Pedro Animal Hospital. We are hoping to be able to resolve these issues, and continue to offer services to the animals of San Pedro.

    Ministry of Health Contributes to the Ongoing Discussion on Suicides
    The Ministry of Health notes the widespread discussion in the media on the recent alleged suicides involving well-known Belizeans. As the country’s ministry responsible for mental health information and treatment, we would like to offer this press release as our contribution to the discussions on this very important issue.

    Poets Corner: Labour Day Tribute
    Salute! By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. The backbone of the public service is its officers Without you the public service would be tatters Minister wanting to be chief , Indian and bottle washers Life would be un- bearable without you service providers Police men, soldiers, nurses, teacher, dentist, and doctors Psychiatric nurse practitioners, councilors, social workers You are the movers and shakers Making this society better Executing the mandate of our policymakers Although often not recognized Since things in Belize is highly politicized In a climate where supervisors are quick to chastise Yet you go to work with that sparkle in your eyes Knowing that you’re helping your people to live more meaningful lives During this Public Service Day as you’re being recognized Only you really know your worth and how you should be categorized It more than compensation that fuels your passion Belize becoming a better nation is your motivation

    Bartending Classes in Cayo
    Bartending classes are coming to Cayo. The Belize Institute of Mixology is offering introduction, advance, and master classes, and one class in hospitality, throughout May. They'll be held at CET. "Introduction to Bartending: May 7th-10th at CET in Cayo You will learn all the basics of Bartending in order to get you ready for the Advanced course. A participant can only take the advance if he/she has at least 3 years experience or has taken the introduction. That will be for 4 days for about three hours per day starting at 3 pm. The cost of that is $300 per person. Advanced Course is May 12-15 for 4 days and the cost of that is $400. May 18th- 22 is Master Bartending course and the cost of that is $600 per person. Requirement is 5 years or more in experience. "

    Sensational Selfies @ the National Agriculture & Trade Show 2015

    BAMIKI: THE BAND THAT CHANGED BELIZEAN MUSIC!
    The Belizean homegrown band Bamiki Bandula had refused to accept the norm and mediocrity in Belizean music, and so they changed they way music was to be played by Belizean musicians as themselves in particular and Belizean music in general. When Belizean musical legend, Dickie Straughan, introduced the band to jazz lines, and more sophisticated chord structures, form, and style, he didn't know that he was going to be successful in creating a group of high caliber musicians. Since then, the rest has been history. Today the former members of Bamiki, who continued to play music at a professional level in the United States has rose to become pros at their craft, barring none, and unintimidated by competition of any sort in music in Los Angeles, and around the world.

    THE WORLD SEEN BY ERNEST 'WORL' MIDDLETON!
    The legendary Belizean artist, Ernest 'Worl' Middleton, passed aaway suddenly last week, and a celebration of his life and funeral services was held on Saturday, May 2, 2015, in Englewood, California. A large attendance of Middleton's friends, family and musical associates came to pay repect to a musical giant that were to many a gentle soul, kind philanthropist, caring father, and a Belizean artistic phenom. Those in attendance include members of Belize's innovative band, Bamiki Bandula, Caribean as well as American musical artists whom had come to know the Belizean musical philanthropist as a man who gave so much to others because he wanted their musical and personal careers to succeed. The man they called "Worl', left a memorable legacy in the Los Angeles music world that wherever you might go and say his name, he would be known. Belizean Legends honor this beautiful heart of a human being that had so much passion for music, especially, Belizean music. Your kindness will always be remembered Worl. Peace be unto you.

    BOLEDO DRAWING for Monday, May 4, 2015: 87

    Mother's Day Extravaganza!
    Hector Herrera Jr., "El Show Mas Atrevido", Saturday May 9, Doors open at 6pm. Louis Sylvestre Sports Complex. Tickets $20, includes gift for all mothers, gourmet dinner, drink and dessert. Local Entertainment, lots of Games, Prizes and Grand Surprises! No children allowed, adult audience only. Tickets ar Marina's Store, San Pedrano's Store, La Divina Providencia, and the San Pedro Town Council

    ANTHONY 'TANK' HUTCHINSON: BELIZEAN CYCLING 101!
    When Belizean cycling athlete and two time Belize Holy Saturday Cross Country winner, Anthony 'Tank' Hutchinson came from out of the hills in Cayo, Belize, on a brutal chase to contain the outstanding Mexican rider, Pablo Calderon, who had won the Belize National Cross Country the previous year, no one had known that it was the beginning of a new chapter in Belize's most renowned cycling classic, and the continuation of the Belizean greatness in the sport of cycling since the Miguel brothers dominated the 144 mile cycling classic. It is told in Evan X Hyde's book, Sports, Sin & Subversion, that when the mighty Hutchinson caught the Mexican rider coming back to Belize City where the race finishes, he rode next to Calderon and demanded a challenge from him saying, "Vamos, paisa." But it had appeared that the Mexican rider had nothing left, and Belize's new Cross Country champion, Anthony Hutchinson, rode away alone to become the 1972 Belize Cross Country champion.

    How to Start a Neighborhood Watch Group!
    As the captain of the Corozal Central Neighbourhood Watch Group here are some TIPS that may help my fellow islanders on Ambergris Caye, struggling with the current crime wave:- Our Caption is pretty much says it all. "GET INVOLVED" How to Start a Neighborhood Watch Group! When you get right down to it, starting a neighborhood watch isn’t terribly difficult. Let’s start at the basics. If you ask your neighbor to keep an eye out on your house for a couple of hours while you’re away and you do the same in return you’ve effectively started a Neighborhood Watch. It really is that easy!

    Channel 7

    Another Cabbie Killed On San Pedro
    Another Taxi driver from San Pedro Town was slain over the weekend. He was stabbed to death, his throat cut, and his body left right beside his taxi van. Police believe that he may have been robbed, and from all appearances, he was yet another hardworking cab driver and a family man. 42 year-old Donicio Trujillo is the second taxi driver to be killed in only 5 days, and so his peers are worried that the criminal elements on the island are targeting them. 7News travelled to the island today, and spoke with police, Trujillo's family and his fellow cabbies to try to get some answers. Daniel Ortiz reports. Daniel Ortiz reporting 42 year-old Donicio Trujillo's body was discovered here at this section of the island of San Pedro. It's known as the Marina Area, which leads to the new Dump Site. A few 100 yards in the opposite direction is the docking site where all the barges unload their cargo. It's basically the lifeblood of the islands supplies from the mainland, but as you can see, it has no lights or lampposts. So, in the dark of Sunday morning, Trujillo's killers attacked him at this spot.

    Island Trio Charged For Beltran Murder
    While police must begin an investigation into Trujillo's murder, they believe that they have solved the murder of 42 year-old Jose Beltran, the taxi driver who was killed last week Tuesday. Those men are now at the Belize Central Prison. As we told you last week, police have charged 23 year-old Luis "Sito" Campos, 19 year-old Mark Arzu, and 18 Santos Garcia with the crimes of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. They were arraigned today before Magistrate Sherigne Rodriguez. Due to the nature of the offence, no plea was taken, and they were denied bail. They will be brought back at a later date. Today, San Pedro police updated us on that case as well: Sgt. Lenancio Bol - Station Sergeant, San Pedro Police "Three persons has been charged for the murder jointly. They will be arraigned this afternoon in the magistrate's court."

    Denfield Bowen - A Casualty of "Gaza" Gang War?
    Where is Denfield Bowen? And is he dead? The 27 year old Plues Street resident left home on Thursday at 5:20 in the evening and has not been found yet. Today, in a mildly bizarre coincidence, both police and members of the George Street Gang were looking for him in the area behind Jane Usher Boulevard - which is where street information said his body was thrown. Information suggests that Bowen may have been killed as the result of a deep internal rift within the George Street Gang - which all started after Mark Medina was killed last Sunday, presumably by one of his own. Medina was closely linked with the George Street gang and his friends believe he was lured to his death by someone from within the gang. That leads to Denfield Bowen - who - according to word on the street - may have gone missing as a consequence of this same internal rivalry.

    PUP Leader Francis Fonseca Remembers Cousin David
    Why did former Belize City Mayor David Fonseca kill himself? And why did he do it on the day before his 61st birthday? That's the question that dominated conversations over the long weekend - where no one could figure out what could have propelled the always agreeable Fonseca to take his own life. He did it on Thursday afternoon around 2:00 in the bathroom of his mother's home. Police found him with a gunshot to the head, and a nine millimeter pistol in his hand. Today his cousin and Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca said that when he spoke to David Fonseca most recently, the former mayor was looking forward to his birthday:... Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "It's obviously a very deep personal loss. He was not only my cousin, but a friend and someone I had a great liking for and a great regard for. A quite man, a good decent man - so it's a deep personal loss and these things can never be properly explained or understood. When things like this happens, you simply have to place your faith in God's hands and that is what we are doing as a family and as a party. It is not for us to understand or to question or to judge. It is for us to accept and to carry on and that is what we are doing."

    Killing At Agri
    There was a murder in Belmopan this weekend. It happened right at the Agriculture and Trade Show on Saturday night. Around 10:30, 24-year-old Darnell Brown was hanging out with a group of friends near the Heineken tent at the back of the grounds when another group of men apparently disrespected a female Brown was with. Brown then approached the group and a fight started. Brown was stabbed to the head and died this morning. According to police, alcohol fueled the confrontation. Police have 1 person in custody and are looking for 3 others.

    Man Charged Five Months After Murder
    After 5 months of investigation, police have made an arrest for the murder of the 25 year old Kenroy Parham, who was killed in December of last year. The accused, Rudolph Ramsey, was arraigned on the charge today in the court of the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. He was remanded into custody until august 20. Parham, a father of 3, was shot 3 times in his head in December last year in Mahogany Heights. His aunt discovered his body on the side of the road, across from his family residence. It was believed that Parham's murder was in retaliation for the murder Emmerson Arnold, a BWS worker who was shot and killed while he was on his way to work.

    PUP Brings In Its Own High Profile Candidate
    Recently the UDP has dominated the political news with the presentation of high profile new candidates such as Dr. Carla Barnett and Tracy Taegar - Panton. Well, today, the PUP proved that it can also attract brand name-names. Well-known commentator Major Lloyd Jones will be the PUP's candidate in a constituency where the last standard bearer Arthur Saldivar was forced out in September of last year. Jones comes in after a 7-month interval where the PUP had no candidate in the area. But, all the key members of Saldivar's committee have thrown their support behind him. So, the PUP introduced him today as a marquee name with solid public credentials. His colleague from Lake Independence Cordel Hyde said the acquisition of this talent is a signal to the electorate that their March fourth message was received:.. Cordel Hyde, PUP Lake I Std. Bearer "On March 4th, the people across the length and breadth of this beautiful country sent us a very clear and stern message. They say we weren't moving right. They said they weren't convinced. They said we needed to go back to the drawing board and so we have.

    When Will PUP Give GOB 21 Day Ultimatum?
    But one thing the PUP do need support on is the letter Fonseca plans to send to the Prime Minister. He told the media about it last week - but he still hasn't sent it. Today has said the party is reaching out to the social partners to build a critical mass of opposition:.. Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "We want as many people, as many of our partners, as many of social partners, the business, and the chamber of commerce to sign on to this letter. We're seeking their support in sending this letter. If we have to go with it alone, we will. So the first step is to circulate it to them, which is where we are now. To have them look at it, to have them review it. To get their input. Perhaps they want to make amendments to the letter. So that is the stage that we're at. Once we've gotten that back, and we've gotten some consensus and we know who will sign on and who won't. Then we will proceed from there and the 21 days will start running from then."

    Unions Needed Numbers
    And those social partners, namely the Trade Union Congress could have used a slight boost from the PUP on Friday at their labour day rally in Belize City. That's because only 45 persons came out - which is a modest improvement from the 32 we counted last year. But the trade union leaders say it's not a reflection of poor national support - they said that their members preferred family fun days in their districts instead of a nationwide rally which they do not see as important. Marvin Mora, President - NTUCB "The purpose is for it to eventually grow into something a lot larger and eventually make it be probably the largest event in the country. Where all the labourers they come out, express their views, they hear other people express theirs and we have the social gathering, basically, but in a rally type of setting. The day was placed aside for the labourers of the country to celebrate their achievements. This should be the development of our country because all the labour that you see is, in our country, is the labour that develops our country. Without our labour there would be no development. So in reality for example, just give you an example. When a manager says 'I did this' or when a minister says 'I did that', he didn't literally went out there and do it. It was actual workers who went out there and made it happen. So we are the people that build our country, we are the people who make things happen."

    Denfield's Family Speaks
    As we told you earlier, it's now four days since Denfield Bowen has gone missing. The father of 4 children and one on the way was last seen by his common-law-wife on Thursday evening. He told her he would be back in a few but that turned into hours and now days since he has been missing. A missing person report was made on Friday morning and since then the family of Bowen has been searching for him all over the city. A search was conducted today in the Dyke area off Fabers Road - where family members and members of the George Street Gang with dogs combed the area - but nothing was found. Today we spoke to family members who told us all they want is the body of their loved one and some closure. Claudine Dawson, Common-law-wife: "He and I were in the shop about 5pm and he made a call and say "what's up B, I am coming." After that I look at my watch and it was twenty past he left home on Thursday evening. He left home and I sat down in the shop. After 6:30, I ask myself how he hasn't come home as yet. 7pm, I went upstairs and I put the baby to sleep and I went to take a bath and around 7:30 I call his father and he didn't answer.

    PUC Hops BEL Doesn't Object To Rate Cut
    As we told you last week - the Public Utilities Commission has recommended a 15% cut in the average electricity rate for BEL. If BEL doesn't object, that would result in an average rate of 35 cents per kilowatt hour, the lowest light rate in decades. The PUC today held a press conference to explain that their decision aims to achieve a balance between the projected price of fuel, the millions that BEL owes consumers for the months when prices fell lower than expected, and a reasonable rate of return for the power company's shareholders:.. John Avery, Chairman - PUC "We are looking at a mean electricity rate of 35cents for the period from July 1st 2015 to June 30th 2016. This represents 15.24% decrease in the mean electricity rates. So this 35cents is setting a rate that will cover their cost for next year but also rebate to consumers the excess that BEL has had over the last couple of years." Jules Vasquez "Have light rates ever been this low? I can't recall it being as low as 35cents per kilowatt hour average."

    Male Teacher Fired For Soliciting Male Students
    A male teacher from the Mopan Technical High School has been terminated for sending sexually explicit facebook messages to male students and trying to lure them into having sexual relations with him. Based on the messages - which often veer into the territory of derangement, the male teacher has been communicating with one particular male student from October 2014, both sending nude pictures of themselves to each other. He also solicits sex - offering to pay the male student five dollars at payday. Well, the case has been reviewed by the teaching services commission, and the male teacher was sent a letter of termination yesterday and banned from the Mopan Technical High School. According to our sources, he was terminated from the high school before in 2005. We'll have more on the story tomorrow pending confirmation from senior personnel in the ministry of education who refused to comment today.

    Courtney Plays Cowgirl
    The national agricultural and trade show drew thousands to the fairgrounds in Belmopan over the weekend - but we went there for the rodeo, our first visit in three years. And if you're going to the rodeo, you go to see the main event: bull riding. We traveled to Belmopan yesterday to find out why just like prize fighting, bull riding is just for a chosen few. Courtney Weatherburne "Looking into this holding pen, these over 1,700 pounds bulls are calm and subdued, but in just a couple of minutes that would change as they are unleashed in the battle against man. A test of will, power and pride." Courtney Weatherburne reporting And that battle will be fought in this arena in front of scores of cheering fans. These bulls are poked and prodded out of the holding pen and placed in the chute, where it meets its opponent.

    Mother of 6 Gets 3 Years For Weed
    36 year-old mother of 6, Natalie Fuller was sentenced to 3 years in jail, and she must also come up with 10 thousand dollars to pay a fine. That's after she changed her plea today before Magistrate Herbert Panton. Fuller was busted around 11:30 a. m. on November 14, 2013, when the police, acting on the strength of a search warrant, went to her residence, located at 69 Regent Street West. When Fuller saw the police coming she threw the bag of cannabis over the veranda into the river. The police retrieved the bag and when they opened it they saw that it contained cannabis. After pleading maintaining a not guilty stance for months, she changed that position on last week Thursday and switched her plea to guilty. Magistrate Panton was forced to sentence her to the prescribed 3 years in jail, and the additional fine of 10,000 dollars.

    Mayor Says 800 Came Out On Labour Day
    Earlier in the news, we showed you the NTUCB's Labor Day activities. Well on Friday, Mayor Darrell Bradley took the name labour seriously. He organized an event, which he says had 800 people signing up to do community work. It's the fourth annual Labor for Belize Initiative - and he told us why it keeps growing:.. The volunteers started at 6 a.m., and ended at midday.

    Belizean Drafted In NFL
    Belizean Rakeem Nunez-Roches was selected in the NFL draft this weekend. The Dangriga born Nunez Roches left Belize when he was eight - and played college football at Southern Mississippi. The six foot two inch, 307 pounder is a defensive tackle who was selected 217th overall, with the last pick in the sixth round. It's a low pick, but various websites say he does stand some chance of making the team as a reserve. Those same websites quote him as saying that if he was selected his grandmother would make "hudut" in celebration - described to the US press as, quote, "this dish where she puts gravy inside a plantain and she'll beat it with a wooden stick so it's mushy," He adds, "She'll put some fish in there and marinate it. Oh, it's so good. I haven't seen anybody eat a bowl of it and not go straight to sleep afterward."

    Making Motivation Work
    Bert Oliva and his motivational missionaries are back in Belize this week - and this year - they are focusing mainly on high schoolers. Bert Oliva, Alexa Oliva and Dionne Miranda told us more:.. They will be in the City, the north and the West. Their message is non religious.

    Channel 5

    Minor Shoots Minor With 16-Gauge Shotgun
    There is a disturbing incident to report tonight of a shooting involving two young children in the south. A six year old boy is clinging to life after he was [...]

    Ambulance Woes Plague Critically Injured Minor
    911 was immediately called by Thomas Polanco, who thought of nothing else, but to get his son to the Southern Regional Hospital to save his life. But there was no [...]

    Are Parents of Minor Criminally Liable for Shooting?
    According to Travis’ father, Thomas Polanco, the sixteen-gauge shotgun used in the shooting by the year old, is the weapon utilized by the minor’s family for hunting.  Police have since [...]

    Taxi-man Stabbed to Death in San Pedro
    The San Pedro Police Department is investigating a second brutal murder in less than a week. On Sunday morning, well-known taxi-driver forty-two year old Donicio Trujillo was found stabbed to [...]

    Hattieville Youth Dies After Agric Stabbing
    The national agricultural and trade show was held over the holiday weekend in the Capital….thousands turned out for the event; that story is coming later in the newscast. But on [...]

    Major Lloyd Jones is P.U.P.’s Rural North Candidate
    Retired Major Lloyd Jones is the new People’s United Party standard bearer for Belize Rural North.  The former Ports Commissioner succeeds attorney Arthur Saldivar and was formally introduced as the [...]

    Jones Says Castro is No Threat
    As we mentioned earlier, Jones is assuming the reins for the P.U.P. campaign in Belize Rural North from former standard bearer Arthur Saldivar.  His candidacy was rescinded in 2014, amid [...]

    P.U.P. Seeks Support for Repeal of Petrocaribe Loan Act
    As we reported last Tuesday, the People’s United Party has issued an ultimatum to the Barrow administration with respect of the Petrocaribe Loans Act.  The opposition is seeking a repeal [...]

    P.U.P. Mourns Former Mayor David Fonseca
    The tragic suicide of former Belize City Mayor David Fonseca continues to rock family and friends, as well as colleagues in the political sphere.  Fonseca took his own life on [...]

    Three Men Arraigned for Taxi-man’s Murder
    Today, police formally arraigned three men in San Pedro Magistrate’s Court. Twenty-three year old Luis Campos, nineteen year old Mark Arzu and eighteen year old Santos Garcia were led from [...]

    Man Charged for 2014 Murder
    Over the weekend, police cracked an old murder case which occurred at Mahogany Heights, Belize District, back in November 2014. This morning, nineteen year old Ronalph Ramsey Junior, was arraigned [...]

    Myers Walks Free From Murder Charge
    While four men were arraigned today for murder, another learnt his fate for the same charge. Thirty-one-year-old Raymond Myers has been acquitted of the murder of twenty-seven-year-old Francis Figueroa, who [...]

    N.T.U.C.B. Labour Day Event Draws Lacklustre Crowd
    Friday, May first was celebrated as Labour Day in Belize and in numerous countries. Unlike other places where rallies and related events draw massive participation, there was a disappointing attendance [...]

    Will N.T.U.C.B. Join A National Protest of Petrocaribe Loan Act?
    There are a number of issues that remain unresolved for the N.T.U.C.B.  Mora stated that the unions are concerned about the inability of the government to start consultations on the [...]

    P.U.C. approves B.E.L. Rate Decrease
    The Public Utilities Commission has approved a decrease in the mean electricity rate from forty-one cents per kilowatt hour to thirty-seven cents.  The rate reduction takes effect on July first, [...]

    Thousands Converge on Agric Showgrounds
    Thousands of Belizeans annually converge on Belmopan for the national agricultural and trade show, which was held over the weekend in the Old Capital. The three-day show celebrates agriculture, but [...]

    Police Operations Continue in San Pedro
    One final issue on crime in tonight’s newscast… There are all manner of criminal issues bedevilling the Police on San Pedro, Belize’s premier tourism destination and seriously lucrative revenue earner. [...]

    Basketball and Football in Sports Monday
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The Dangriga Warriors hosted the defending champion, San Pedro Tiger Sharks in its bid to make the post season [...]

    CTV3

    Second Taxi-man Murdered In San Pedro Town
    In an increasingly cash strapped society, taxi drivers are perhaps more and more vulnerable as targets to crime. Last week we told you about the murder of Jose Rigoberto Beltran who was bound at the hands and feet and his body found inside his taxi cab with a single gunshot wound to the head. And over the weekend, just five days after Beltran’s murder, another cab operator, 47 year old Dionicio Trujillo met his fate when his life was senselessly taken away. Sergeant of Police in San Pedro Town, Lenancio Bol told us that they believe the motive for his murder is robbery. SGT. LENANCIO BOL – Station Sergeant, SP Police “Police visited territory just off Marine Drive south of San Pedro Town just after 7:30am on Sunday, May 3rd 2015, after receiving information of a male person apparently dead, when they arrived, they found the body of a male Hispanic person lying face down in a drain in a pool of water just off the dirt road, the body was seeing where visible signs of injures was observed which appears to be a large cut to the center of the abdomen, chest area, the left forearm and to the throat, this male person was identified as Donicio Trujillo, 47 years old, naturalized Belizean taxi driver of San Pedro Town, also a grey in color Toyota Van was found on the center of road about 20 to 30 feet away from where the body was found , we believe that it was the same taxi that the decease was driving, he was found in the ignition and as a result police gathering on the investigation.”

    SIB Report Indicates That Inflation Is Down
    The Consumer Price Index for March is down reports the Statistical Institute of Belize, while imports saw a significant hike as did exports. The report says that the All-Items Consumer Price Index for the month of March 2015 was down 1 percent, from 103.6 to 102.6, in comparison to the same time last year, meaning that goods and services typically purchased by Belizeans were one percent cheaper. Food prices saw an average decrease of 0.8 percent, driven by lower prices for eggs, Red Kidney beans, and various fresh vegetables, including cabbage, onions, and carrots. The major drop is recorded in fuel prices in the “transport” category as they have been recorded to decrease about one third due to lower world market prices. Adding to that is an eleven percent decrease in international airfares. A marginal increase in home rental prices were offset by a 20.7 percent decline in electricity rates that followed tariff revisions that became effective in January 2015. The SIB also reports that the average price for LPG was down by more than one fourth or $33, from $126 twelve months ago to $93 in March 2015. Looking at the consumer prices by district, Dangriga recorded an overall increase with an inflation of 0.7 percent. Belmopan saw the largest average drop with an inflation rate of negative 1.7 percent.

    Thousands Of Students Sits Second Part Of CXC
    The second part of the Primary School Examinations was carried today and thousands of students sat the last two papers which are social studies and math paper two. Following several hours of concentration, the students seemed more than content to have it over with. We caught up with some of them as they exited the examination center at Muffles College High School. Most of the students said the math paper was challenging while the social studies paper was easier. Chris Urbina – Louisiana School “I found the math multiple choice a little bit difficult but I think I’ll do well.” Dalila Ical – Reporter “Did you prepare a lot?” Chris Urbina – Louisiana School “Yes, mom”

    Ambassadors Present Credential To Sir Colviolle Young
    Today, Ambassadors from the republic of El Salvador, Panama and Vietnam presented their credentials to the Governor General of Belize His Excellency Sir Colville Young at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan. According to the release, His Excellency Luis Carabantes Palacios of the Republic of El Salvador, Her Excellency Martha Boza of the Republic of Panama, and Her Excellency Le Linh Lan of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam all expressed their pleasure to be representing their countries in Belize. They each conveyed their mission to sustain and continue to develop strong relations between their respective countries and Belize. The Governor General graciously received the credentials and welcomed the ambassadors to the country.

    Ministry Of Health Concern About Rise In Suicide
    On Friday we told you about former Belize City Mayor David Fonseca who took his own life at his mother and ex-wife's residence in Stuart's Alley in Belize City. Reports on Friday were that he shot himself in the head with a nine-millimeter pistol and his body found in bathroom of the house with the gun in his hand. The news sent shock waves across the nation and over the weekend, another resident, this time from the Cayo District took his own life. In recent years, the country has witnessed rapid progress and development. However, despite prosperity, many Belizeans are committing suicide at an alarming level.

    Skeletal Remains Of Person Found In San Victor
    The skeletal remains of a reported missing person were found over the weekend in the San Victor Village of the Corozal District. According to authorities, based on information received, police visited a fenced bushy lot situated about ½ kilometer Southwest of San Victor Village, where they saw what appeared to be skeletal remains. Upon further inspection from a family member, 55 year old Miguel Chable positively identified the remains as that of his older brother, 72 year old Federico Chable. His identity was known based on the items of clothing and footwear that were at the scene. Federico had gone missing from April 23rd 2015. Police say no foul play is suspected and an onsite post mortem would confirm that statement.

    Corozaleno Captured And Charged For Robbery
    A habitual thief wanted for a recent robbery in Corozal Town was captured thanks to the collaborative efforts of the San Ignacio and Belmopan police. As we’ve previously reported, 16 year old Eizer Cob of San Narciso Village reported to police that last Monday he parked his white bicycle beside a bus stop at the junction of the Phillip Goldson Highway and San Narciso Village when shortly after a male person known to him as Nelson “Wicho” Claros came towards him from the direction of San Roman Village holding a beer in each hand. Cob told police that upon getting close to him Claros attempted to knock him with the pints to which he lifted his hands and uttered threatening words. Shortly after, Claros rode off with Cob’s bike.

    Corozal Businessman Scammed For More Than $7000.00
    Corozal police are seeking two individuals that have scammed a businessman out of thousands of dollars from his bank account. According to the report made by 43 year old business owner, Ravey Vasquez, on Friday afternoon around 2:18p.m he received a phone call from the Atlantic Bank Corozal Branch where they explained to him that a male person by the name of Hiron Manuel Aguirre was attempting to cash a cheque dated April 3rd. Authorities at the bank reported to Vasquez that the amount on the cheque of $2,200.00bcy appeared to have been written over numerous times and tampered with and did not carry his initials. Subsequently, Vasquez noted that a total of (3) other cheques were stolen from him and cashed at the Bank - two in the name of Rafael Noble who is an ex-employee of his and the other dated April 8th in the amount of $2,000.00bcy was in the name of Hiron Manuel Aquirre. A total of $7,000.00bcy was stolen from his account. Corozal Police are looking for the 2 individuals for the crime of theft but their efforts have been unsuccessful.

    PlusTV

    Former Mayor of Belize City in apparent suicide
    This afternoon around two ,the Fonseca family was rocked by news of the death of William Henry “David” Fonseca, a businessman and former three-term Mayor of Belize City from 1996 to 2006...

    Land titles for Caye Caulker beaches canceled
    The Ministry of Natural Resources has moved swiftly to address the creation of new plots of land on the beach and seabed in northern Caye Caulker, located directly in front of established beachfront properties...

    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...

    Tourism Minister comments on arrival figures
    After a dizzily rising of tourism figures over the last few years, there has been a noticeable trend in the number of cruise and overnight tourism arrivals...

    Orange Walk representative discusses police brutality
    While at the PUP demonstration in Belize City today we spoke with Orange Walk Central area representative John Briceno about the recent cases of police brutality in Orange Walk Town. He explained that it is up to Belizeans to keep an eye on the Police Department to curb its excesses.

    Department of the Environment targets chemical management
    A workshop to bring awareness to the importance of chemical management was hosted today in Belize City by the Department of the Environment...

    National Agriculture and Trade Show preparations on the way
    The National Agriculture and Trade Show in Belmopan, arguably the largest national event of the year, kicks off this weekend starting tomorrow on Labour Day. We visited the show grounds earlier this week where we spoke to the head organizer of the event, Chief Agriculture Officer Robert Harrison...

    US Embassy Honours Belizean Youth Groups
    The U. S. Embassy to Belize recognized 4 youth groups at an event yesterday for outstanding work in their community. From Sexual health information dissemination, to environmentally green initiatives, to community rehabilitation, the U. S...

    Cayo District Regional Spelling Bee Eliminations Completed
    The Cayo District Regional coca cola spelling bee competition was held on Tuesday April 28th at the Countryside Park in Spanish Lookout where 14 contestants, representing 7 different zones in the Cayo District competed for the first place prize and a spot at the National Competitions to be held in C...

    Ministry of Education settles BRC Printing case
    In January, book publishers from Benque Viejo del Carmen Town, Cayo District, BRC Printing Limited, filed lawsuit against the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports over their refusal to honor a contract for the purchase of $463,000 worth of books from the company for the almost completed 2014-15 s...

    Mahogany Heights man charged for firearms
    Police have made an arrest in relation to the death of 40 year old Kevin “Skelbo” Flowers of Mahogany Heights, Belize District, but it is not for his murder...

    Accused in Treasury theft make bail
    This afternoon the Supreme Court applications for admittance to bail from two men charged in connection with the theft of over $500,000 from Treasury Department.  They are David Enriquez and Francis Palacio...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Mother pleads guilty to drug trafficking
    A mother of six will serve three years in prison and must find $10,000 in fines to pay the court after pleading guilty to a charge of drug trafficking. 36 year old Natalie Fuller changed her plea and admitted her guilt on the witness stand during trial last […]

    Over 60,000 Birds Dead in Spanish Lookout from Avian Flu Outbreak
    The Ministry of Agriculture has confirmed to the media that the avian influenza outbreak detected in Spanish Lookout in January of this year has caused some $3 million dollars in lost revenue to Belizean poultry farmers. Jose Alpuche, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture says that about 75,000 […]

    Major Lloyd Jones to run for PUP in Belize Rural North
    The People’s United Party (PUP) today endorsed its candidate in Belize Rural North, former soldier and Ports Commissioner Major Lloyd Jones, who served in the Belize Defence Force (BDF) before joining the Port Authority. According to PUP leader Francis Fonseca, the PUP has high hopes for Jones, who […]

    Another Belizean Commits Suicide
    Belize Media Group has received reports that a man from the village of Santa Familia in the Cayo District committed suicide this weekend. According to reports, Allan Quewell was found by his wife hanging with a rope around his neck early Saturday morning around 1:07 a.m. Reports are that he […]

    Western Ballaz defeated by Belize City No Limits
    On Friday May 1st at the Sacred Heart auditorium in San Ignacio, Cayo Western Ballaz suffered a heart breaking defeat on their home court at the hands of the Belize City No limits Soldiers. Western Ballaz lost by 11 points at the end of regulation time and when the whistle sounded […]

    Umallali Music Group Holds Special Celebration for Paul Nabor
    The legendary Belizean Musical icon, Paul Nabor’s life was celebrated over the weekend in Punta Gorda. Paul Nabor (January 26, 1928 – October 22, 2014), born Alfonso Palacio, was a Garifuna musician from Punta Gorda, who is often credited with popularizing Paranda. Nabor is considered to have been one of […]

    Youths in Punta Gorda Get New Gym
    Residents and especially the youth in Punta Gorda Town are boasting a new gym, thanks to the continued help from the Town Council, under the auspices of Fern Gutierrez. It is no secret that youth centered activities are lacking in that municipality and most evening’s youths are seen playing basketball […]

    Fair Warm Weather to Continue through Tuesday
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mainly fair and warm weather in the next couple of days. The 24 hour forecast is for sunny skies with a few cloudy spells today and partly cloudy skies tonight. Showers will be isolated. Winds will blow from the east to northeast […]

    Blogs

    Sunday entertainment
    Many people would agree Coconut Leo should make the list of “Must see Belize tourist attractions” with a qualification that you have to be in the right place at the right time to catch the show. Yesterday he was in fine form at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar. He started off playing horseshoes, then he was dancing up a storm, and finally ended up climbing a tree. It was great Sunday entertainment and so was the band, with guest musicians Scotty and Jack. I always love seeing different talents on stage with the regulars. It was also great seeing Colin and Laura again too as time is flying by fast on their 19 day vacation. Flying even faster for Scotty who is doing 12 days and yesterday was likely my last chance to see him this trip.

    A Beautiful Day for a HUGE Fundraiser In San Pedro
    After a few breezeless days, the wind kicked up yesterday on Ambergris Caye and by midday, the sun was shining. A beautiful Sunday. I was up north a bit… But I waited next to this gorgeous little speed boat (feeling a bit like Jackie O)… and I hopped on the 1:30 Coastal Xpress water taxi back to town. Headed up to the Boca Del Rio area (just north of town) and Sandy Toes Bar for a big fundraiser. Here are Chef Jeff and Nicolai from Casa Picasso. Nicolai in charge of rice and beans…Jeff, chicken. Quite the production line. They paused for a photo.

    Belize’s Great Barrier Reef Gets a Boost
    With its scores of cayes, the incredible Blue Hole of Jacques Cousteau fame, some of the planet’s largest atolls and one of its rare whale shark annual migration areas, Belize’s Great Barrier Reef, also known as the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR), is truly one of the natural wonders of the world. It’s also a very fragile eco system that took millions of years to evolve, but in just a few generations is already reeling from the effects of human intrusion, especially with things like pollution, agricultural runoff, overfishing, coral damage from ships and their anchors, and that rising star of ecological damage, global warming. But the good news is that concerned people the world over have taken up the challenge to preserve this stunning example of Mother Nature’s handiwork, and last week we saw some of them meet in Belize City to participate in an eight-day workshop.

    How to Make Mexican Tamales/Easy Recipe
    Cinco de Mayo Menu idea. I show you how to make Mexican Tamales in just a few steps. I make 2 types of masa from scratch and red and green salsa. I show you how to make 3 fillings for some the most delicious tamales.

    US Embassy Town Hall Meeting in Corozal
    Date: May 26th, 2015 Place: Jam Rock, COROZAL Passport renewals, pages added, social security advise. Time and more information will be available later Contact Loreta Randall 666-3447 or email loretarandall@gmail.com

    3 Ambassadors appointed to Belize
    Three ambassadors presented their credentials to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young today, May 4, 2015 at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan. H.E. Mr. Luis Carabantes Palacios of the Republic of El Salvador, H.E. Mrs. Martha Boza of the Republic of Panama, and H.E. Mrs. Le Linh Lan of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam all expressed their pleasure to be representing their countries in Belize. They each conveyed their mission to sustain and continue to develop strong relations between their respective countries and Belize. The Governor General graciously received the credentials and welcomed the ambassadors to Belize.

    CJC EAGLES Environmental Club Cleanup
    While others enjoyed their Labour Day holiday on the Corozal Bay and with family and friends, the CJC EAGLES Environmental Club took to the highway to do a little cleanup of their own since this area was not done last Saturday for the Earth Day clean up campaign. As usual, there was a lot of garbage, but we put in the necessary hours and cleaned up a portion of the highway area. There were 2 upsetting things on that Friday, 1) We decided this time to put all the bottles together to see just how many we would collect on any given cleanup; It was a LOT! 2) We had just finished cleaning up and were packing up when a car stopped a bit ahead of us and a passenger politely deposited 2 bags of garbage on the side of the road, an area we had just cleaned! A bag with empty beer bottles and another with food plates. To say the least, this infuriated my group; I was left speechless! What is wrong with our people? Why is it so hard to keep garbage in your cars until you can find a garbage bin?

    Flavors of Belize in Washington DC
    The Flavors of Belize team represented well in Washington D.C. Chef Sean Kuylen, Tanya McNab, and Romy Haylock promoted Belize and our favorite cookbook at the Passport Belize Expo. Well done! "Mission accomplished! To assault all the senses possible through smell, sight, taste, literature and umami then to knock them dead with our passionate description of the inspiration and history of our cuisine. That coupled with our bold Belizean personalities was enough to left the interviewer with her mouth wide open! In the words of the ambassador 'Belize, a small country with a huge footprint!'"

    Hands for Life at Express Oh!
    Sacred Heart Junior Colege's Hands for Life club, along its Creative Expressions Club had a fun event at Express Oh! for the kids from Western Children's Home. Thanks to everyone that took their time to brighten the kids' day. Pictures on fb. Pictures from Express Oh! "The Kids from the Western Children's Home left happy, today was wonderful, the Shjc HandsforLife students were so impressive, they worked so hard and prepared fun games and prizes, the Drama Club from Shjc Oss were amazing with their Performances! Thank you all and thank you to Express-Oh! Cafe for hosting and a Yummy lunch for the kids"

    Belize National Festival Of Arts 2015
    Schedule of events...

    Belize Fishing Report April 26, 2015 - May 2, 2015
    Killer permit fishing continued into this week, with a grand slam, a wedding, and some happy anglers! Tarpon weather seems to be coming so let's see what happens next week! Fish On!

    International Sourcesizz

    In Belize, Critically endangered wrasse now favorite food of invasive lionfish
    Scientists examining the stomach contents of invasive lionfish caught on the inner barrier reef of Belize have discovered that nearly half of the diet of these aggressive fish consists of a critically endangered fish known as the social wrasse (Halichoeres socialis). The social wrasse is one of five coral reef fishes listed at the highest risk of extinction on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Found only on clear–water reefs around inshore mangrove islands in Belize, “its combination of traits—small size, schooling, and low, hovering behavior—make it an easy target for the lionfish,” says Smithsonian scientist Carole Baldwin of the Division of Fishes at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

    Threatened reef-building corals have diverse symbiotic algae partners, UGA study finds
    Continued University of Georgia research on the threatened Caribbean reef-building coral, Orbicella faveolata, finds that latitudinal patterns play a key role in the type of symbiotic algae that the coral associates with. The findings, recently published in the journal Coral Reefs, may have implications for future management practices in the face of increasing environmental stressors. Reef-building corals harbor tiny plantlike algae inside of their bodies. These symbiotic algae gather energy from the sun and manufacture sugars that feed the coral, enabling coral reefs to grow and thrive in nutrient-poor waters. Orbicella faveolata, also known as mountainous star coral, is a common, but increasingly threatened, species of reef-building coral that is widely distributed throughout the Caribbean.

    Fortis Inc. Acquires Additional Shares of Caribbean Utilities
    Fortis Inc. ("Fortis" or the "Corporation") (TSX:FTS) announced today that it has acquired, through its wholly owned subsidiary Fortis Energy (Bermuda) Ltd. ("FEBL"), an aggregate of 2,169,682 or approximately 6.7% of the Class A Ordinary Shares (the "CUC Shares") of Caribbean Utilities Company, Ltd. ("CUC") (TSX:CUP.U) at a price of US$10.77 per share. The 2,169,682 CUC Shares purchased by Fortis were purchased in two related transactions: 1,729,064 CUC Shares were acquired pursuant to FEBL's proportionate right to subscribe for CUC Shares under the rights offering by CUC that expired on April 30, 2015 (the "Rights Offering"); The remaining 440,618 CUC Shares were acquired pursuant to the standby purchase commitment of FEBL made in connection with the Rights Offering.

    Videos

  • BELIZE *THE NATURAL OF PARADISE*, 3.5min. Travel n more pakistan presents tourist information video belize

  • Goldfish Swim School in Belize, 4min. Alex Tyler, owner of Goldfish Swim School - St. Charles, partakes on a trip to Belize to teach swimming lessons and help rebuild the community.

  • Belize Service Learning Project 2015, 9min. Fedonia Belize Service Project, January 2015.

  • Tropic Air - The Official Airline of Belize, 1min. Tropic Air offers daily flights between Belize City and Roatan with connections to all destinations in Belize, Flores, Guatemala and Merida & Cancun in Mexico. Fly with Tropic Air the official airline of Belize.

  • Aquaman Jim - Hawksbill in Belize 4-7-15, 2min.

  • Belize 2015, 17min. Family Vacation to Belize, Central America April 2015.

  • PADI DISCOVER SCUBA DIVING, 5min. Featuring Special Guest from Miami, Florida, Elena (DSD participant Scuba Diving the first time), Yamil, Helen and Joel snorkeling and Grandma Modesta on deck at Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley. Thanks for your return visit to Belize and we look forward to your next visit.

    May 4, 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: Gordon L. Smith on the loss of tranquility on the island
    I am here visiting San Pedro again. I am addressing this letter to the people of San Pedro and to the Town Board and the Minister for tourism. I am upset. I was here five years ago and stayed a year. My, how the town has changed. I think it has changed for the worse in one regard. I was not prepared for the many golf carts crowding the downtown streets. As an American tourist from a different country the situation looks dangerous and very non-relaxing. I stepped out of the door at Smart phone and within one foot of their front door a taxi nearly ran me over. Who would have expected a situation that dangerous to be permitted in a town that supposedly wants tourists. Not only are there too many golf carts and taxis, but the streets have as many pedestrians, bicyclists, and tourists who are not used to that conglomeration of vehicles and people. Do you know that you are killing tourism for the future. If tourism has slowed down now, this is one of the reasons in my opinion. When I spoke to one of the policemen, he said that he didn’t think that there was any plan to change things in the future. But more golf cart or taxi permits may be issued. Your children will not be happy with the town five years from now when you have destroyed the major source of foreign funds into the local businesses. Have you thought about your reputation as a tourist destination?

    Wolfe’s Woofer: Walking On Water
    Dennis-Wolfe-Wolfes-Woofers“I have no complaints about my kids,” I said. “They turned out to be a lot smarter than I ever thought they were.” “That boy of mine is dumb as a rock,” George said. “I can’t see any hope for him.” “Oh, he’s probably not that bad.” “Oh, yeah? I bought him a paddleboard for his birthday today. He’s probably going to take it out and drown himself.” At just that time George’s son, Ronny, came walking slowly up the street. He was wet and looked exhausted. “Where is the board?” George asked. “I lost it.”

    Pet of the Week: Henry Wags
    Henry Wags the First, royal descendant of the potlicker dynasty is searching for a kingdom to call his own. Being of sound mind, body and extreme swagger, this red beauty will wag his way into your heart. Henry is 2 yrs. old, walks nicely on leash and loves to be scratched behind his ears. Henry Wags the First wishes to be the only king in his castle and in your heart. This Prince is ready to find his Cinderella. Is it you he has been searching for?

    Doctor Love: Money Problems
    Dear Doctor Love, Me and my wife are from Belize. We have been living in San Pedro for twelve years. I work construction and she has always stayed home and raised the children. The children are now in their teens. I usually work construction. When a job runs out I have to take anything I can get until the next job starts. Sometimes I am out of work for two or three months. These times are hard for us to pay bills with no money coming in. I have been trying to talk my wife into opening a restaurant beneath our house. She is good at cooking for a lot of people because she used to cook for her whole family and there is a lot of them. My landlord told me he would rent the place for only a little amount each month. We don’t have to sell a lot of food to cover the expense and we should make some good money. When I talked to my wife about it she just said no. She does not feel like this is something she should be doing. She says that cooking for other people is like slavery for her. She thinks she is better than that. She would not mind working in a store like a place that sells clothes or something but she only went to grammar school. I don’t think anyone would hire her.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    LOTTERY DRAWING for Sunday, May 3, 2015: First: 8147 Second: 5446 Third: 3340 Missing: 2, 9

    JUSTIN & COREY WILLIAMS BELIZE CROSS COUNTRY VICTORY CELEBRATION!
    Los Angeles Belizeans came out to a full house to celebrate at the victory celebration for Belize Holy Saturday Cross Country champions, Justin and Corey Williams. The 2015 Belize Cross Country champion, Justin Williams, and his brother, Corey Williams, who placed fifth in the national cycling classic, and who became the incredible pacer of the race with merciless passion to support his brother, Justin's phenomenal sprint to win. Also attending the celebrations were the legendary Miguel brothers and cycling icons, Rudy and John 'Johnito' Miguel. The proud parents of Justin and Corey Williams were also in attendance, as well as family, friends and associates. The Williams brothers are professional cyclists Los Angeles who ride for the outstanding Belizean cycling club ion Los Angeles, BelCal. Belizean Legends, yours truly, Bilal Morris was there and captured for you the viewers, this exciting moment. Enjoy!

    COREY WILLIAMS: A BELIZEAN-AMERICAN CYCLING PACER!
    Watching the video of the 2015 Belize Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic, it was obvious to me that Belizean-American cyclist Corey Williams was the mastermind and strategist in helping his team brother, Justin Williams win the Belize Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic on April 4, 2015. Corey's awesome and passionate riding that he put in, took no prisoners, and held the threatening American cyclist, Scotty Reis, down and under manners. Not only did Corey pinned him down under his spinning wheel, but he sent a clear message to the American rider that "you ain't going no where!". Then in the final stages of the race, when Reis tried to break away, the call from the Williams brothers dad and cycling Legend, Caliman Williams, is that they must keep Reis between them both. When the American powerhouse rider tried to move, Corey followed him, and then Justin took control of the race, and being the sprinter he was, flashed past Reis in grand style to win the race at the tape. It was a fascinating feeling to watch Corey Williams ride in such professional and fearless style. You're bad Corey.That was a 'Dope' ride Belizean!

    THE LEGENDARY RUDY MIGUEL: A CLASSIC DAREDEVIL OF A BELIZEAN CYCLING PHENOM!
    In my extensive browsing through the archives of the Belize cycling history languished here in the Los Angeles Belizean Community, it is my opinion that Rudy Miguel who was the youngest of the legendary Miguel brothers who dominated Belize Cross Country for a whole decade, rose to become the most phenomenal and iconic Belizean athlete of all times. His incredible story of he and his brothers will be told in an historical documentary soon here on Belizean Legends. It was an incredible weekend of Belizean athletic celebrations that graced the Belizean community in Los Angeles from Friday, May 1, 2015, to Saturday May 2, 2015 in celebrating as well as documenting this incredible piece of Belizean sports history. In respect to the one I call the Daredevil of them all, Rudy Miguel, we cherished the nostalgia and value he brought to Belize's cycling and its world renowned Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic. Big time respect champ. It was an honor to hang with you this weekend!

    THE LEGENDARY AND ICONIC BELIZEAN CYCLISTS & BROTHERS POWERHOUSE, JOHN 'JOHNITO' & RUDY MIGUEL!
    The two legendary Belizean cyclists, Rudy and John 'Johnito' Miguel at the celebration of their two nephews, and cycling powerhouse, Justin and Corey Williams victory in winning the first and fifth place at the National Holy Saturday Belize Cross Country Cycling Classic on Saturday April 5, 2015. The mother of the Williams brothers, Desiree Lewis, is the niece of Johnito and Rudy Miguel. Cycling blood runs deep through the veins of this family clan, all the way down to generations of Belizean cyclist athletes in the Los Angeles Belizean Community.

    The Reporter

    Ministry of Education launches “Education Month”
    The Ministry of Education gathered with other education stakeholders on Sunday at the Ramada Belize City Princess, to officially launch Education Month. The initiative is the first of its kind, having evolved from the traditional Education Week and then the two week celebration called, Education Showcase. Teachers, members from various departments of the ministry, and representatives of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) attended the launch. The month is being observed under the theme, “Our youth: innovators today, change makers tomorrow.” At the launch, Minister of Education Patrick Faber, explained that while the month of May already has several activities being observed, the move to highlight education for the entire month arose out of necessity. “We find that it is difficult to put all the events, all the aspects of education that we want to celebrate, into one week or two weeks,” Faber said.

    Family seeks public’s help to find loved one
    The family of 27-year-old Denfield Bowen is asking the public’s help in finding him. The family has made an official report and has taken to social media to help find Bowen, a stevedore of Plues Street, Belize City. Reports are that Bowen was last seen on April 30, wearing a white T shirt with the marking “RIP Kareem Lopez” on the front in red and “ROBBERY” on the back, with a yellow 3/4 pants and a pair of green Nike slippers. His common-law wife, Claudine Dawson, reported to police that he left home around 5:20 p.m. after receiving a phone call. He was driving his red two door 1994 Mazda B400 Pickup truck with license plates number BZC-36757 The family has asked that if anyone knows his whereabouts to please contact them at 6609659.There have been over 13 missing persons reports made this year.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Education Showcase 2015 kicks off in Belize City
    Under the theme “Our Youth: Innovators Today, Change Makers Tomorrow,” the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports kicked off its annual Education Showcase with a launch at the Princess Hotel and Casino. The Ministry started Education Week some time ago but in recent years it has expanded that […]

    5 Arrested in Taxi Driver Murder in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
    Belize Media Group has received information that 5 persons have been arrested for the murder of Donicio Trujillo, the taxi driver from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye that was murdered last night. According to reports, Trujillo was discovered around 7am this morning by a security officer who noticed that his taxi […]

    Another Taxi Driver Found Dead in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
    Belize Media Group has received reports that another taxi driver from San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye has been found dead. According to reports, the taxi driver is one Dionicio Trujillo and police believe his death was a result of a robbery attempt and can possibly be related to the murder […]

    Blogs

    Sneak Preview of the UN’s Post-2015 SDGs
    In September 2000, when the leaders of the world adopted the Millennium Declaration, they made a promise to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable to build a “more peaceful, prosperous and just world” based on the “principles of human dignity, equality and equity at the global level.” The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were subsequently introduced to reaffirm and monitor the implementation of this declaration, have mobilized governments as never before. They have catalyzed dynamic new partnerships and have brought about huge changes at both the national and global levels, helping to set global and national priorities and fuel action on the ground. With the expiration of the MDGs in 2015, the United Nations and its partners have been engaged in consultations at an unprecedented scale at the country, regional, and global levels to define the blueprint of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. After years of international debate, the United Nations is set to launch its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. This 15 year blueprint offers a once in a generation opportunity for transformational change. The United Nations is halfway through the creation of a multi-decade agenda that will guide sustainable development efforts from 2015 to at least 2030. This is a major undertaking and a follow-up to the important but more limited MDGs, which were meant to be in place from 2000 to 2015.

    San Pedro’s 8th Lobsterfest IS JUST Around the Corner & The Schedule is Coming Together
    et’s talk this year. 2015. June 14th to 21st. Here is the preliminary week of activities that culminates in big block party. Dinner/party/music events and there will be more added during the day. Sunday june 14th Banana Beach Monday june 15th Crazy Canucks Beach Bar Tuesday June 16th Pineapples at Ramon’s Wenesday June 17th Pedro’s Inn Thursday June 18th Amber Beach Bar and Grill at Caribbean Villas Friday June 19th Pirates Treasure Saturday Block party

    International Sourcesizz

    First Maya City With Grid Design Revealed
    A team of scientists excavating the ancient Maya city of Nixtun-Ch’ich have discovered that it was built according to a grid pattern not seen with any other settlements from that period in the region. The city, which is thought to have thrived between 600 and 300 BCE, was probably under the rule of a powerful leader, who ordered the strict city planning design. Nixtun-Ch’ich is in Peten, northern Guatemala, and archaeological work there has been going on since 1995. The lead researcher, Timothy Pugh from New York’s Queens College, told Live Science that the ancient city was marked by a so-called ceremonial route, running from west to east, with only a 3-degree deviation from true east, a remarkable accuracy. This ceremonial route, a perfectly straight line, was lined by as many as 15 flat-topped pyramids which would have stood as tall as 100 feet. Each had a temple on top, which people reached by steps in the pyramids. At the easternmost end of the route there was a structure including three main pyramids along with some other buildings, arranged to face each other. Such triadic structures have been found in other Maya cities as well. In the northern and southern parts of the city were residential areas, again conforming to the overall grid design, Pugh said, and the whole area was encircled by a stone wall for protection. Apparently, Nixtun-Ch’ich was a beautiful, “shiny” city at its height, based on evidence of white plaster that may have been used for the buildings. However, for the people living in it, this design may not have been the most pleasant one due to its strictness, imposing a sense of constant control.

    Pulp fact: little known chocolate facts from Mijas’ Mayan Monkey
    ONCE upon a time, some 3000 years ago, the ancestors of George – most curious of monkeys – discovered an irresistibly sweet delight hidden inside the colourful fruits of the cacao tree. In their raw state the cacao pod is inedible, as are the cacao seeds – or ‘beans’. What monkeys love to feast on is the fleshy white pulp that surrounds the beans. They spat out the beans because of their unpalatable bitterness. Discerning monkeys spitting out the bitter seeds led to the proliferation of cacao trees throughout the region of Mesoamerica (modern day Honduras, Belize, Guatemala and Mexico). Man soon copied monkey, reveling in the delights of the sweet pulp. Man, however, cannot survive on cacao pulp alone and since the ratio of cacao trees to humans was so high, the Olmecs, Toltecs and the Mayans came to ask: “What else can we do with this fruit?” This question led to inevitable experimentation, ending with the Mayan creation Xocolatl – a bitter, spicy drink… the world’s very first chocolate.

    Chiefs draft DT Rakeem Nunez-Roches in sixth round
    Congratulations Rakeem...We continue to pray for your success...like emoticon heart emoticon You make Belize Proud...!!!

    Videos

  • Belize 2014, 4min. Scuba diving, maya ruins, much fun!

  • Green innovation project in Belize, 3min. Meet Herminio Sho, a young innovator from Belize, and learn about how he is tackling climate change.

  • Belize - Caribbean 2015, 4min. Carnival Glory - April 2015 - Belize - Goff's Caye Paradise Island

  • Belize Adventures 2015, 5min. Some friends and I visited Belize in the spring of 2015. Heres a look at what we saw.

  • Belize - Half Moon Caye Wall - curious eel, 2.5min. During our dive at Half Moon Caye Wall, we had a very curious ell pay us a visit. Tagged along for a while checking us out before slipping off into the depths.

  • Belize Vacation 2015, 5.5min.

  • Belize Barrier Reef Snorkeling Video, 8min. This video was filmed while snorkeling within Hol Chan Marine Reserve of Belize.

  • Ambergris Caye San Pedro Belize golf-cart trip April 27th 2015, 5min. Road trip from bridge to 8 miles north (end of current road construction) with a stop a Palapa Bar and 18 Degrees North.

  • Belizean Dance, 13min. I got the opportunity to travel to Belize with my school in March 2015. For the class we had to do a final project and I chose to choreograph a dance to Punta music. Along with the dance I also did some research on the history and information of Punta, Punta Rock, and Garifuna Music. I hope you enjoy watching the process of learning this dance, the information, and the final product.

  • El Salvador to Belize Avianca (Taca) Embraer 190, 14min.

    May 3, 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

    Kids 4 Clean Water fundraising for this years’ camp
    Fundraising efforts are underway for the 4th Annual Kids 4 Clean Water Camp held in the San Mateo Area. The camp, which has been hosted by Belize Community Conservation (BCC) since 2012, is offered to the local youth to provide environmental conservation and public health education to persons living in San Mateo. The week-long camp is headed by Founder of BCC Heather Zwicker, Caribbean Student Environmental Alliance (SEA) member Mary Beth and Early Childhood Educator from Canada Cathy Power. Organizers are attempting to raise $7,000 to fund this year’s event through an online fundraising website called ‘FundRazr’. Monies raised will cover all expenses incurred during the camp. “The camp is a weeklong adventure where the children and community come together to learn about various aspects of clean water and its impact on their own health and the environment they live in. They learn how water is a huge part of their lives and how each and every one of them can make a difference. Less than a mile from the second largest reef in the world which boasts some of the best diving worldwide, on the fringe of San Pedro Town, is San Mateo.

    Letter to the Editor: William Magnusson on The Belize Bank Stock Price
    Letters-to-the-EditorThe Belize Bank stock has dropped from $5.00 a share to $.20 a share. A whopping 96% loss. How can this be in an improving economy? Did this have something to do with Mr. Ashcroft’s recent visit? Is there a conspiracy afloat to deliberately collapse the bank, thus destroying the economy of Belize just before an election? Is the leadership of the PUP in on this plan so as to blame it on the present government and win the election? They seem pretty confident of winning and holding on to power. Why are they so dogmatic in the, “us 4 and no more” policy of the party, considering their own people are rebelling against them. Only a miracle could win them to the election, a miracle perhaps in the form of a wealthy English Lord. Should the bank fail, your savings could go with it, along with any property or goods you have mortgaged with them. In an “economic crisis,” the bank can foreclose on loans even though those loans are up to date. This foreclosure could be selective, driving UDP supporters into economic ruin and the waiting arms of the PUP, who will no doubt, blame it on the Government.

    Editorial: Knock Knock…Does Anybody Care???
    Dear Mayor Guerrero, Over the last few months, The San Pedro Sun has received many ‘letters to the editor’ from tourists who have visited our island. It is with great concern that we are seeing a trend in unhappy visitors, and although several issues are addressed in these letters, there are two major areas of concern that stand out; traffic and garbage. Although these letters are few compared to the number of guests we see in San Pedro, you have to imagine how many others left our island disappointed but did not write to us. Based on the comments these letters get when they are posted on our popular Facebook page, there are many, many others who share the same sentiments. And…many are saying they won’t be back. We feel that our guests have spoken in volumes, and their opinions are reflected in the recent TripAdvisor TRAVELERS’ CHOICE™ ISLANDS 2015 list. Where for the last two years Ambergris Caye was crowned #1 island IN THE WORLD, this year our dear home didn’t even make the Top 10 list.

    Maya Communal Lands reaffirmed at CCJ
    The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has formally declared that a prior judgment of the Belize Court of Appeal stands, affirming that Belizean Maya Communal Lands Rights exist. That declaration was made in Belize City on Wednesday April 22nd in the packed courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Antoinette Moore, attorney for the Maya Claimants, took the opportunity outlining her submissions that the Mayas deserve damages for all the years when their customary land rights were ignored. The CCJ was scheduled to listen to arguments in regards to the Maya Communal Lands Rights, but before arguments began, the Court delivered a consent order. The order was entered into by both the Maya claimants and the Government of Belize (GOB). The order declared that a judgment of the Court of Appeal stands, meaning that Maya Communal Land Rights existed. With that affirmation, the court accepted GOB’s agreement to develop necessary administrative and legal steps to protect those land rights. The mechanism must be developed in full consultation with the Mayas in southern Belize. Those land rights will include land ownership rights at the Lands Department as well as any other terms agreed upon by both the Maya communities and GOB.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Fundraiser for Rudy Gonzalez Jr. in San Pedro
    Asking the island community to support fundraiser for Rudy Gonzalez Jr. Taking place Sunday on the beach.

    Samaritan's Purse Work
    The Generation of Fire Youth Group teamed up with Cornerstone, and gave out gifts to Cayo youths yesterday at Sacred Heart College. 100's of happy kids. Wonderful initiative! Thanks! "As part of Oasis of Blessing Ministry, we joined Cornerstone Church in serving in the organization of the Samaritan's Purse Initiative to bless children. We were able to serve, in blessing hundreds of children in Belize. There was no greater blessing than to see children smile as they received a gift."

    FCD signed a partnership agreement with Western Kentucky University
    On the 1st of May, FCD signed a partnership agreement with Western Kentucky University with the purpose of providing FCD with technical assistance that promotes good science and best practices in ecosystem planning and management. In light of this agreement, Dr. Jason Polk and Dr. Leslie North imparted a karst management and cave resource inventory training for FCD staff.

    CJC Expo 2015 Successful
    See photos from the CJC 2015 Expo here.

    Corozal Earth Day 2015
    Earth Day 2015 with Program at Mangrove Park. The major organizations responsible were FOCUS and the Corozal Town Council. The major project is always a clean-up day, with groups picking up the trash along the highways leading into and out of town. This has been designated as the Corozal Green Mile Clean-up Campaign, done yearly. Groups were given trash bags and gloves and were able to decide at what time they would like to take care of their area. Corozal.com was out early checking the activity going on.

    The Reporter

    Inflation remains in negative for first quarter 2015
    The cost of living has been incrementally decreasing since the first quarter of 2015, according to the statistical Institute of Belize. The SIB’s latest instalment of the consumer price index, which measures the price change of various goods, services and amenities, shows that for the months of January to March the price of goods remained between one and 1.2 percent cheaper than when compared to the same period last year. The SIB attributed much of thecprice drops to decreasing fuel prices and transportation, as well as lower rates for amenities, such as light and water. Food and vegetable prices have also been consistently low since the first quarter, with the all items section of the CPI, which measures the price change for food items, has also remained between one and 1.2 percent. For the month of March, SIB reported that “food prices saw an average decrease of 0.8 percent, driven by lower prices for eggs, Red Kidney beans, and various fresh vegetables, including cabbage, onions, and carrots.”

    CCRIF SPC giving opportunities to Belizean environmentalists
    Belizean environmentalists have until May 25 to take advantage of the grant funding and internship opportunities being offered by CCRIF SPC, (formerly the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility). The organization is calling for applicants from Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries and CCRIF member countries that either have project proposals or want work experience in the area of disaster risk management. Through the Small Grants Programme, the organization will provide funding for disaster risk and climate change adaptation projects, ranging from US$5,000 to US$25,000.The Regional Internship Programme is designed to give vital work experience to students in disciplines such as: disaster risk management, environmental management, meteorology, climate studies; civil engineering management studies, with a focus on risk management, environmental economics goography/geology, and actuarial science.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Family of Travis Polanco is asking public for help to cover medical expenses
    On Thursday evening, 6 year old Travis Polanco was shot to his head by his 9 year old neighbor in the village of Valley Community in the Stann Creek District. Since then, Polanco has been under critical condition and life support at KHMH in Belize City. Information reaching our news […]

    Belizeans look forward to Pacquiao-Mayweather fight
    The social media landscape in Belize has been abuzz with the fight of the century between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. The fight which is scheduled tonight at 9:00 pm eastern at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, USA is expected to be the richest match ever in history. “Almost […]

    Farmers of the Year honored during NATS 2015
    Belizeans braved the threat of inclement weather to come out to the 2015 National Agriculture and Trade Show which officially kicked off today following official opening ceremonies on Friday. A regular feature of the event is the annual honoring of the farmers of the year who this year […]

    Skeletal remains found in Corozal District
    Skeletal remains believed to be of 72 year old Federico Chable from the village of San Victor in the Corozal District were discovered sometime yesterday afternoon. According to Police, they visited a bushy lot situated ½ kilometer southwest of the village where the skeletal remains were unearthed. Brother of the […]

    The May 2015 issue of The BELIZE AG REPORT is online.
    Click HERE to download the PDF

    This Issue's Stories:

    • Tropical Agro-Forestry -- A Belize Bamboo Project: Bamboos are very well adapted to Belize growing conditions. These elegant plants thrive in many soils and bring a tropical look to any landscape. Over the years, we have introduced many varieties of useful and beautiful tropical clumping bamboos to our farm on tranquil Spanish Creek in the Belize District. This article is a summary of our progress to date. Our bamboo agro-forestry project began in January, 2005 when we purchased a second growth forested property of 1978 acres. Tropical Agro-Forestry, Ltd. was formed and we began to study our site. At the recommendation of the Belize Forestry Department, we started to work with the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA). BAHA officials began a pest risk analysis (PRA) to verify that the introduction of bamboo would pose no risk to other crops in Belize. After a year of research and site visit to south Florida to view bamboo plants there, the protocol for the importation of bamboo into Belize was developed. Bamboo plants from cuttings were started in our nursery in grow bags of native soil amended with rice hulls and compost. We planted our nursery starts in the field later that year on 50 acres on the forest edge. Our varieties are clumping types of Bambusa and Dendrocalamus species. We are currently introducing new and exciting varieties from south Florida. In a few years, we will also have young nursery plants available for sale or trade.
    • Belize Ag Report Thankfully Enters 7th Year of Publishing…: fledgling edition, but it has. From a vague concept of providing information useful to producers, and thanks to the confidence of our advertisers and the growing cadre of passionate contributors, we have grown not only in size (24 pgs of issue #1, to 44 pgs of issue #28), but in focus and in geographical coverage. In this issue you will find 2014 crop data from Blue Creek (Mennonite) community (pg 36), as well as prices now delineated by location in Belize for several commodities. Thank you to all our writers, an expanding group of diverse talents, some one time writers, some regulars; we appreciate you all. You expose the variety of Belizean agriculture that is its signature. More binds us than divides us. Regarding the current rice importation/marketing debate unfolding, we should keep our eyes on food security via local production (pg 36). Together, the ag community has a tremendous lobbying power to help mold Belize’s future. Opinions are always valued, welcomed and usually printed in our Letters to the Editor section. Discussion by sharing information is our goal.
    • Is citrus a dying industry?: Dear Editor, As citrus production continues to fall in our country, 4 million boxes last year down from 7 million a few years ago, citrus growers need to ask themselves, “Why are we letting this happen?” We know the main reasons: low prices and Citrus Greening disease. Why are we doing nothing about it? Can we do anything about it, or are we doomed to lose our investments? Let’s look at the reasons and determine if the inevitable can be avoided. 1. Low prices - The citrus processor paid growers last year $10.50 per box of fruit. Florida growers received $27 per box for the same quality. Florida growers spent $4,000. per acre in an attempt to keep their groves alive and producing until a solution to Citrus Greening is found. Even so, theirs is a stopgap measure as production has fallen from their 170 million boxes of a few years ago to the current forecast of below 100 million boxes. Without heavy inputs of foliar sprays and a heavy Psyllid (the bug that spreads Greening) control, they will soon have no industry. In Belize, our only cost saving versus Florida’s is our cost of labor. Everything else costs more here. As our national average production in Belize is reputed to be 175 boxes per acre, a gross income of $1,750 per acre will not allow for sufficient inputs. We will and are, going out of business.
    • State-of-the-Art Citrus Nursery: By Thomas E. Tate, Nursery Manager for Plant World Nursery, CGA. Who we are... Plant World Nursery was created to complement the existing nursery production capacity and ensure the availability of citrus plants in the quantity urgently required by the citrus industry to replant and replace uneconomic diseased trees, thereby lowering the Huanglongbing (HLB) innoculum in the industry. Plant World Nursery is a state-of-the-art nursery facility located on the Red Bank Road off the Southern Highway. It consists of four greenhouses totaling 3.6 acres of covered space. There are three nursery structures of about 1 acre each for the production of clean (disease-free) nursery plants. The other structure, covering about 0.2 acre, is used for budwood production. Plant World Nursery sits on 18 acres of land out of 100 acres available for nursery expansion or for the planting of fruit crops like citrus, soursop and pineapples that are processed at the citrus factory. In addition to direct support of the fruit juice industry, the nursery will also be able to produce other fruit trees for customers.
    • Conquering the Silent Killer – The Pink Hibiscus MealyBug: Did you know that you could be harbouring thousands of pests in your backyard? And did you know that thousands if not millions of dollars can be lost because of it? The hibiscus plant serves as an aesthetic plant, decorating our beautiful yards, but at the same time serves as the perfect place for the silent killer to hide and survive. Since its detection in 1999, the silent killer has been largely ignored. The pink hibiscus mealybug (Maconellicoccus hirsutus Green), as it is widely known, has unnoticeably established itself throughout the country causing significant challenges to plant growth during dry conditions, especially impacting agriculture’s stability and the livelihoods of many farmers. Mealybug infestations appear on a large number of host plants as a tiny, soft bodied insect that looks like a mass of cotton. Mealybugs are sucking insects that feed on sap of young tissues on plants by introducing its mouth part called a stylet. Through its feeding mechanism, the mealybug introduces toxic saliva inside the system of the host plant causing significant visual symptoms such as curling leaves, deformed fruits and flowers and stunted growth.
    • Management of Soil Micro-organisms for Improving Organic Matter Levels in Belize: By Dr. Stephen Zitzer. Agricultural soils and undisturbed soils both consist of complex communities of living organisms. It would be foolish to lump all plowed fields and native soils together as just “plain dirt”. However, all soils do fundamentally rely on similar groups of soil bacteria and fungi to consume and break down living and dead organic matter and mineral rocks into small mobile chemical forms of most elements that they contain. Among these decomposition products are the 16 essential elements plants require for growth that are in forms most plant species are capable of absorbing through root, stem and/or leaf surfaces. Besides conducting these critical chemical transformations, the life and death of trillions upon trillions of soil bacteria and fungi result in the development of soil structure. Soil structure, or really development of interconnected internal pore spaces, provides the microscopic infrastructure or plumbing that allows soils to breathe, eat, drink and grow. As soils age, a general measure of their growth is the amount of carbon they accumulate, most of it incorporated in living and dead organic matter or biomass. Associated with soil carbon accumulation is the accumulation of most of the soil nutrients required for plant growth and an overall increase in biodiversity.
    • Update On Avian Influenza: By Dr. Miguel Depaz. Avian influenza (AI) is a highly contagious viral infection, primarily in avian species. Clinical signs range from inapparent in wild birds to a rapidly fatal condition in domestic poultry. The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) requires notification of this disease once the subtype is H5 or H7 due to its zoonotic (affect humans) potential and the virus’s ability to mutate into a highly pathogenic avian influenza which may cause high mortality in poultry and great economic loss. BAHA through its active surveillance for avian diseases detected, for the first time in Belize, Avian Influenza H5N2 on January 14th, 2015 at two poultry farms in Spanish Lookout, Cayo. The detection was confirmed by the OIE reference laboratory, The National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL), USA. The two poultry farms were immediately placed under precautionary quarantine and the implementation of six checkpoints to control the movement of poultry and poultry products in the area was begun. BAHA has also increased surveillance in the area to determine the spread of the disease.
    • Fabulous Forest Food: By Jenny Wildman. Twelve species of Chamaedora are reportedly found in the understory beneath the forest canopy of Belize. Three of these have value for cut leaves, the best known being Xate. As usual I search for plants that are edible and nutritious giving us interesting food alternatives. The Chamaedora tepejilote, date palm or Pacaya is an attractive ornamental palm but also produces a vegetable well known to many as chib. The tree thrives in shady locations and usually grows a single trunk reaching as high as twenty feet but there are also clumping varieties. The petiole has a prominent yellow stripe, the tree produces very showy decorative berries and the male and female flowers grow on separate trees. The stems can be used as heart of palm but the prize is in the male inflorescence which is the delicacy grown commercially in Guatemala and canned for export. The female flower is reportedly tastier than the male but not as readily available and reserved for special occasions in some places. The chib is mostly eaten fresh and planted in home gardens. It grows abundantly in Central America and has huge commercial potential. I found studies of production and forest management which say that by removing fifty per cent of the trees leaves the male plants produced twice as many inflorescence. Useful information if you decide to cultivate. The palms have great longevity so you can plan on harvesting for many years.
    • The Soils of Belize by District/Region Northern Regions-continued: The Xaibe Plain land system extends across the southern border of the Corozal District into the Orange Walk District. The recent alluvium soils of the western Corozal District and contiguous northwestern Orange Walk District contain some swampy areas due to limited drainage across the Bravo Hills that originates from the land region. The dominant drainage course is in the Rio Bravo into the Rio Hondo. The only alluvium found is in large solution basins in the north, the Neustadt Swamps. This area is an open savannah plain and low marsh forest plain based on recent alluvium. Wetness, low nutrient availability, severe workability and root room limitations as well as anaerobic conditions preclude development and these soils are marginal to moderate in suitability for rice. Most of the better lands have been taken up by sugar cane production. Another feature of this area is the occurrence every few years of severe flooding which can last for weeks in some areas.
    • CASSAVA - The Old Becomes New Again: By Beth Roberson. When CARICOM member states met in September 2014 to discuss regional agricultural policy and strategy, they assessed the region’s food imports and made recommendations for production and trade opportunities in foods. They recognized that the Caribbean is heavily dependent on imported foods. With a population of 16M people in the 15 CARICOM countries, the annual food import bill is in excess of US$4 Billion. This figure has doubled in the last 10 years. Further, they recognized that often these imported (and often processed) foods also contribute to the increasing incidence of diet related diseases. Thus the CARICOM delegates have been seeking alternative commodities which can reduce the import bill and increase consumption of healthier alternatives. Cassava and sweet potato were identified as fitting the bill to remedy some of these issues. “Their analyses show that there is a huge untapped import-substitution market opportunity for flour, feed and beer (and possibly energy, if volumes permit) that can be addressed by utilization of cassava.”* Belize we know has the conditions to grow good cassava. At this time there is one commercial cassava factory in Belize, Sabal Cassava Farm, at 3 ½ Miles Stann Creek Valley Rd, Stann Creek District. They have been growing mainly 2 varieties of cassava from the same germplasm for about 20 yrs; the white on about 12-15 acs, and the yellow, on about 3 acres, all close to the factory.
    • Soil Analysis A Necessity for Good Crops: By Neal Kinsey. If it were possible to accomplish improvements in just one step considering all aspects of soil fertility and fertilization, where would be the place to begin? Many answers will likely come to mind depending on the past experience of each person. But all types of growers from farmers to gardeners should consider that without a proper foundation on which to build an excellent soil fertility program, it will not be possible to achieve the full range of benefits that could otherwise be available. Working with farmers and growers on fertility needs for all kinds of crops in all states of the US and many other countries, learning or obtaining the experience, knowledge and understanding concerning how excellent soil fertility works to benefit all crops has been most helpful. Taking a sufficient number of soil samples to show all those differences that can significantly affect crop quality and yield potential seems to be the most important step that is not normally taken seriously enough for the benefit of the land and those who live from it. If all of the soil in a field were alike, it would all look the same, feel the same and grow the very same way. But that is seldom the case. If the soil has any major differences in texture, color, or plant population – even different weed or grass/legume populations – chances are the fertility will be significantly and measurably different as shown by using a detailed soil analysis. For farmers, consultants and all others dealing with soil fertility and fertilization this should be the principal goal, to help each farmer learn how a detailed soil fertility program that accurately identifies crop needs can become most helpful.
    • $12 Million Project to Boost Belize Forests : By Dottie Feucht. “We like our forests and waterways; we want them protected from illegal logging, runoff of agrochemicals upstream, and deforestation. We look forward to working together to achieve the goals.” These were some of the comments of the citizens groups in response to the project plan presented by Tanya Santos Neal, project manager, and Eugene Waight, project officer, at the official launching of the project on March 25. Funded by the Global Environment Facility and administered by The World Bank, the five year project aims to manage and protect natural habitats of high conservation value, called Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA), that total more than 500,000 acres including: 1. Fresh Water Creek Forest Reserve 2. Spanish Creek Wildlife Sanctuary 3. Vaca Forest Reserve 4. Chiquibul National Park 5. Maya Mountain North Forest Reserve 6. Columbia River Forest Reserve Mr. Enos Esikuri from the World Bank said that in other parts of the world Belize is known for its pristine forests and waterways. Indeed, Belize has the largest forest coverage in Central America but deforestation is alarming. In November, 1980 74% of Belize was forest; by June, 2014, that percentage dropped to 60.3%. The largest amount of the grant money has been allocated to sustainable forest management.
    • BEL-CAR UPDATES: As usual, BEL-CAR is keeping up with the world, with their CEO Otto Friesen serving as an unofficial ambassador of our growing Belizean agricultural community. Otto and another traveled to Las Vegas, USA, to attend a conference for CICILS. “CICILS is the not-for-profit peak body for the whole global pulses industry value chain. As the sole international confederation for the industry, it enjoys membership from 18 national associations (federations) and over 600 private sector members in an industry worth over $100. Billion at the retail level and over 60 M tonnes in pulse production and distribution in over 55 countries.”* CICILS is headquartered in Dubai. Corn - Last year’s corn crop is diminishing nicely – enough for the local market and some sales to Guatemala (mainly for pig feed). The buyer of last fall’s bulk corn shipment (see last issue #27, pg 16) is negotiating for another bulk load, but supplies do not warrant another bulk sale until the new crop arrives. Guyana’s rice flood (flood of rice not water), now with a 2nd year of bumper rice crops, is still hampering Belize’s corn sales (see issue 27, pg 16 and this issue, pg 36). Some in the Caribbean switch cheap rice for our premium corn. Beans – Currently there is a world shortage for black eye peas and black eye prices are up. This would put Belize in a good situation except for the quality this year. The harvesting was still going on at time of the interview for this article, as there was a 6 wk. time span planting. The quality of the first planting does not indicate it reaches world market standards.
    • PUROXI: Hydrogen Peroxide Based Water Treatment Product Helps Protect and Increase Profits In All Types of Farming: About 3 yrs ago, Spanish Lookout poultry producer (broilers and layers), Dennis Dueck, heard about a water treatment product which helped farms obtain ‘clean, clear nutritional water’, and treated ‘water as a nutrient’ which would ‘boost the immune system’ of animals and at the same time ‘helped reduce dependency on antibiotics’ and even increase feed conversion rates. As this seemed almost too good to be true, Dennis followed up with more inquiries, then purchased a system and product. Eventually he became the country distributor for B.C. Canadian company, Puroxi Pure Water Global Inc. This led to the opportunity to expand distribution further into Latin America and the Caribbean. The home company has been in business for over 7 years, while the product is 17 years old. The company is now a leader in the water purification business. The science behind Puroxi Water is simply that it has found a way to stabilize hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and customize it with natural formulas which breaks down to oxygen and water once used. Viruses and many contaminants hate oxygen and/ or do not thrive in an oxygenated environment. Chlorine has been and is still commonly used in many industries as a disinfectant. Chlorine though, is very harsh, and actually some chlorine treated products, such as chicken meat cleaned with chlorine, are currently banned in the EU.
    • Nutrient-Smart Agriculture Arrives in Belize, HarvestPlus Agronomists Explain Biofortification: The recently concluded Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) in Rome, Italy, identified nutrition-sensitive agriculture as one of the priorities in the quest to end global hunger and malnutrition by 2025. The conference outcome commits world leaders (attendant 170 countries) to establish national policies aimed at eradicating malnutrition and transforming food systems to make nutritious diets available to all. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) two billion people worldwide suffer from hidden hunger. Twothirds of all deaths, globally, are now diet-related (The Lancet, 2012). Global food systems are failing because they have neglected the most fundamental purpose of the agricultural systems— to nourish people. The global community is now calling on agriculture to respond to what the Copenhagen Consensus has twice in the past few years identified as the greatest challenge facing humankind — poor nutrition caused by a lack of vitamins and minerals in the diet on a warming planet. We need to re-envision agriculture as the primary source of sound nutrition through the food people harvest and eat. This is a radical concept in the true sense of the word — returning to the root or fundamental purpose of agriculture.
    • Onion Research in Belize: In Belize, commercial onion (Allium cepa L.) production was started in 1988 through the efforts of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture (MNRA) formerly the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF). The objective was to promote diversification toward high income vegetable crops in the northern part of the country where most farmers were involved in sugarcane production. Because of falling sugar prices, the potential loss of preferential market and an ever increasing food importation bill, the ministry’s plan was to increase locally produced crops. Onion research started with the establishment of onion variety plots in the Cayo and Orange Walk Districts. After eight years of field evaluation, the results indicated that the northern part of country was most favorable for onion production due to its agro-ecological conditions. As a result, today the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts are the major producers of onion followed by the Belize District. Only a few farmers grow onion in the Cayo District.
    • ONION FIELD DAY in COROZAL: well-coordinated effort of Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture (MNRA) and their extension officers and Central Farm’s Crop Research and Development Unit, was held in Corozal District on Wednesday 25, 2015. Presentations were made at each farm, by MNRA and the Research Unit, while visiting onion trials at the private farms of Mr. Donicio Che, Mr. Santiago Masariego, Mr. Romaldo Escamilla and the Little Belize (Mennonite) Community. There were different planting times for each farm, caused by inclement rainy weather having delayed optimum planting time. Optimum planting time for the short-day length onions in northern Belize is October or November. Most were planted much later for the 2014/2015 season, even into January of 2015. Several of the farms also had severe problems with downy mildew, Peronospora destructor, caused by the wet cool weather.
    • Drop Into the Green - The Nohoch Ch’en Expedition: The seeds for the Nohoch Ch’en Expedition were planted years ago when Neil Rogers flew over the Chiquibul Forest and took the first images we had ever seen of the giant sinkhole. My husband, Jim Bevis, owner and operator of Mountain Equestrian Trails (MET), Cayo kept that photo above his desk for the next twenty odd years. This was one expedition he was determined to make happen. Jim approached Mr. Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director of Friends for Conservation & Development (FCD), for endorsement and to ensure that an expedition into this massive sinkhole would be beneficial to the development of the FCD Karst Management Program in this remote area of the Chiquibul. The answer was, “Let’s do it.” The purpose of the expedition would be to document one of the most remote, rugged and unexplored locations in Belize and to hopefully further justify to Belize and the world, the uniqueness and value of this region as a potential World Heritage site. The Nohoch Ch’en sinkhole, the largest of 49 collapsed doline formations that are located mostly over the Chiquibul Cave System, is located in an area where surface water is very scarce, making it challenging to explore for long periods of time. Very little scientific information was available for this region of the Chiquibul National Park, let alone the forest environment at the bottom of the 650’ wide and 450’ deep sinkhole. In the year 2000, several members of the Millennium Expedition descended by rope into the sinkhole and made brief observations, but time did not permit exploration and little data was collected, as this was not the main focus of their expedition.
    • Agriculture: The Continuing Pillar of Our Economy: By Zeidi Bowman of Atlantic Bank. Agricultural exports have increased by 32% from $322.2 million in 2011 to $481.0 million in 2014, and accounted for up to 80% of total exports in 2014, despite declining total export levels over the same period ($680.9 million in 2011 - $602.9 million in 2014) caused mainly by decreasing exports of crude petroleum. The traditional sub-sectors including marine products, sugar, citrus, and bananas have maintained their stronghold, while other non-traditional exports like pepper sauces, citrus oil (orange and grapefruit), grains, corn meal, and others accounted for 15% of the agricultural exports. Non- traditional exports have increased by 53% from $47.8 million in 2011 to $73.0 million in 2014, showing the growth trend in the sub-sectors. These figures show that the agriculture sector continues to be of economic significance and is classified as one of the strongest economic pillars of the Belizean economy. As export earners as well as an import substitute, all agricultural products give Belize its sustainable economic strength and its status as a serious trading partner in the region. The agriculture sector’s short and long-term prospects for Belizean prosperity continue as good and even better than they were in the era prior to oil exploration and exports.
    • DOE and Renco Work Together Recycling Batteries: Lead acid battery recycling is one of the most successful recycling programs in the world. In the United States 99% of all battery lead was recycled between 2009 and 2013. The two components that make this product hazardous are lead and sulfuric acid. Some lead compounds are extremely toxic. Long-term exposure to even tiny amounts of these compounds can cause brain and kidney damage, hearing impairment, and learning problems in children. In Belize the Department of the Environment (DOE) along with Renco Battery launched a lead acid battery recycling program in 2004 and it functioned for only about 2 years. Now they are trying to resurrect the program and collaborate with other retailers and the public.
    • Plastics to Oil : By Dottie Feucht. “Disposing of plastic is a global problem. Plastic comes from oil so why not convert it back to oil?” That’s what Japanese engineer, Akinori Ito, thought as his team set about to develop a machine to do just that. Plastic does not have to be broken down; it is put into the machine “as is” from garbage bags. The machine melts the plastic which becomes liquid which is passed through water. The result? Same as refined oil from which the plastic was made. 1 kg plastic = 1 liter of oil that can be used as fuel. “Waste is a treasure,” Mr. Ito emphasizes as he demonstrates his machines to school children who eagerly collect plastic waste for his machine. He estimates that this process, used globally, could reduce 80% of CO2 emissions.
    • The Sugar Industry Management Information System (SIMIS): SIMIS, initiated at the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI) headquarters in Buena Vista Village, Corozal District, currently holds one of the largest agriculture databases in Belize. It includes soils data from the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA), weather data, field data and pest (frog hopper) monitoring data. SIMIS is being developed as a collaborative effort among sugar industry stakeholders in northern Belize with funding from the European Union through the institutional strengthening project of SIRDI. Project implementation includes two phases Phase 1: • Development of a cane parcel database • Development of a farmer identification (ID) system • Establishment of a governance and management framework Phase 2: • Building of the SIMIS infrastructure • Development of a cane estimate process • Design and implementation of a harvest management system • Development of related proposals (Aerial, Photo etc.) Based on an estimate of approximately 79,000 acres of cane fields in the sugar belt, system personnel are currently conducting a sweep of the sugar belt to validate this data. Data collected and verified includes owner of cane fields, variety planted, age of cane, condition of cane field and a production estimate.
    • Luciano Sho TCGA's Cacao Farmer of the Year: Based on his keen interest and support of Toledo Cacao Growers Association (TCGA), high producer of quality cocoa with excellent flavor characteristic, being a good role model and giving back to his community, Luciano Sho was chosen the TCGA farmer of the year in 2014. He inherited his father’s 3 acre farm and expanded it to 21 acres where he cultivates at least six thousand five hundred cacao trees including Criollo, Trinitario, and Forastero varieties. Having attended cacao growers seminars in other Central American countries Luciano has shared his new insights and helpful information with other TCGA farmers. As with many TCGA farmers, Luciano ferments and dries his beans on his farm before they are taken to the TCGA facility in San Antonio, Toledo. He ferments them in cascading special boxes 3.5 – 4 feet high and dries them on long tables under roof. Cacao beans are properly screened, bagged and sold in 125 pound bags with data identifying the farmer and dates of production. After arriving at the TCGA facility, the beans are tested for moisture and proper fermentation. Estevan Assi, TCGA’s compliance officer, is in charge of quality control and generally oversees the operation ensuring that quality for the markets are met.
    • Purple Corn Possibilities for More Than Ixpaxa and Tortillas: In August of 2014 the Belize Ag Report started a folder on purple corn, after noting the price for one pound on amazon.com - a stunning US$8.95. Eight months later, April 2015, the price from the same brand (barryfarm.com) on amazon has crept up to US$10.95/lb. The bulk (discounted) price on amazon from another supplier (Angelina’s Gourmet Purple Corn): US$55.40/25 lbs, and hold onto your hat, Natural Traditions Corn Powder, Purple, retails on amazon for US$18.42/3.5 ounces. What is so special about this corn to merit these astounding prices? Is the purple corn of Belize equally special, with export potential? Many countries around the world – USA, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, China, South Korea, Japan and Thailand are becoming interested in blue or purple corn varieties native to South and Central America, as they are unusually high in anthocyanin/ flabophen content, which is linked to anti-oxidant quality. In a trial at Ohio State University, Asst. Professor of Food Sciences Monica Giusti tested anthocyanins from different plant sources (including purple corn, grapes, radishes, chokeberries, bilberries, purple carrots and elderberries), to see how much of each source of anthocyanin it would take to reduce cancer growth (lab grown human colon cancer cells) by 50%.
    • The IICA Focus in Belize: The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA) is focused on 4 central themes: family farming, resilience and climate change, value chains and inclusion and food security. IICA Belize has been working diligently at ensuring that our efforts reflect the needs of the country, taking into account IICA’s strengths, and the priorities identified in IICA’s 2014-2018 Medium Term Plan. Our priorities for 2015 will focus on selected value chains, continuing our work in support of the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI), launching new initiatives to support the cattle and processing sectors, and providing additional support to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture in rolling out the new National Agricultural and Food Policy.
    • The Associates Degree in Applied Agriculture - A Competency-Based Approach to Agriculture Training at UBCF: Youth and Sports (MOEYS), the agriculture program at The University of Belize Central farm (UBCF) has undergone realignment to make it more demand-driven. This initiative, known as CARICOM Education for Employment (C-EFE), is funded by the Canadian government, partner colleges of western Canada namely, Lakeland, Parkland, and Bow Valley, and UB. It is designed to link education to employment in preparing graduates for the workplace. The new curriculum focuses on knowledge, skills, and attitude development with training expanded to include significant workplace practice. Students will be prepared for several career paths based on a recently conducted labor market survey undertaken by the college. Graduates of the new program are also eligible for direct entry into the second year of the Bachelor of Science degree of the University of the West Indies (UWI) at the St. Augustine campus.
    • BLPA’S AGM - A Rousing Success: An enthusiastic and positive group of approximately 80 ranchers from all over Belize converged at their headquarters at Mile 47 ½ George Price Hwy. on February 28th, for the AGM of the Belize Livestock Producers Association (BLPA). Chairman Abdala Bedran opened the meeting with reports of a whopping 240% increase in cess collections, and healthy monthly accounting reports by Owen Codd. Chairman Bedran continued with good news for the Belizean cattle industry. BLPA has met with counterparts in Guatemala, the senior livestock officer for Peten and BLPA joined as a member and attended the meeting for Federación Centroamericana del Sector Cárnico Bovino (Fecescabo) in Guatemala City. By aligning with Fecescabo, BLPA will enjoy their lobbying and marketing benefits. Beef prices here are almost the same as the rest of Central America. Fecescabo is working to harmonize phyto-sanitary and quality standards for our region. By becoming part of this Central American trading block, BLPA members will enjoy the same privileges. For example, if fellow member Nicagagua contracts to sell to the EU, Belize would be enabled for that as well.
    • Seaweed: A Garden’s Gift from the Sea: While at the beach several weeks ago, I watched as workers from one of the resorts raked the seaweed along the shoreline back into the sea. The sea, naturally, washed it right back up onto the beach. I knew that seaweed could be beneficial to the garden, so I asked one of the workers to bag me up some and I brought it home for my kitchen garden. I even suggested to him that he could probably make a business harvesting the seaweed and selling it to organic gardeners. He seemed to like that idea and said that many people from his village in the south knew about the benefits of using seaweed in their gardens. And, indeed, for thousands of years, seaweed has been used by coastal farmers in their gardens because it has a full range of properties to enhance the soil and benefit the plants. Seaweed supplies bulk material to condition the soil and it contains approximately 60 trace elements, as well as growth hormones and plant nutrients. It is anti-fungal and helps prevent many plant diseases. Imbalances in the soil, such as nitrogen deficiency, can be fixed by adding seaweed because it can balance the soil’s environment so that nitrogen-fixing bacteria are encouraged. The sand and salt in the seaweed contain elements that actually benefit plants, so unless your soil already has a high sodium content there is no need to wash it before placing it around your plants.
    • Young Botanists Learn About Plants at Caves Branch: are usually about 80 spikes,” explained Marvin, staff member at Caves Branch, to the group of Standard 3 students from Valley of Peace School. He was describing the largest orchid in Caves Branch garden, the Shower of Gold (Oncidium sphacelatom). Incorporating math into their field trip, he asked the students to pick a number between 180 and 220; 211 was the choice. “OK, now, let’s estimate how many blossoms this orchid may have this year. Let’s multiply 211, the number of flowers each spike can produce, by 83, the approximate number of spikes.” Wow! 17,513 blossoms! In the first year, 2011, there were 4,576; each year the number of blossoms has increased. In 2014 there were 13,652. through the activities; so all three groups estimated the number of blossoms. Staff members David and Sayuri taught the students how to take field notes the way botanists do when they find plants in their natural habitat. The students chose a plant and determined its type (epiphyte-grows on trees; lithophyte (grows on rocks; terrestrial (grows in soil), carefully measured the distance from the ground the plant grew, wrote down the exact GPS coordinates, and examined the plant to note its characteristics. Each group took an herbarium with proper instruction for preparing and caring for it.
    • Developing the Rice Industry in Belize: Establishing a ‘Culture of Rice’: Commercial rice production in Belize has a relatively short history. Small farmers in the south produce rice; the larger mechanized Mennonite communities in the north and west produce most of the 21.6M pounds annual consumed in Belize. At a Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture (MNRA) policy meeting in December 2013, the moderator, then IICA Country Representative Dr. Muhammed Ibrahim was asked, “What does Guyana have {regarding rice production} that Belize does not have?” He did not hesitate to reply, “Guyana has a culture of rice.” Years of raising a crop will eventually endow a farming populace with a “culture” of that crop. Until that time, the rice producers of Belize are doing their best to progress on that learning curve, while taking all the risks with which the agriculture sector is familiar, and of which the typical consumer is unaware. Look at last year’s drought up north, which drastically reduced production up there and created a shortage for the domestic rice market. Prospective importer, Mr. Jack Charles of Extra House Imports, has requested, and been denied by MNRA, a permit to import 500,000 lbs of rice from Guyana. Guyana has had a bumper rice crop, and is doing all she can to export same, even to the point of disrupting a portion of Belize’s corn exports for animal feed (corn being replaced with cheap rice in some feeds).
    • Organic Produce Available in San Ignacio Market: There is now an easy way for consumers to purchase fresh organic produce at the San Ignacio Open Air Market on Saturday mornings. There is a growing customer base who have been pleased with the system of ordering fruits and vegetables by phone or e-mail and picking up and paying for produce from the SACOGA booth. To order produce for delivery to the San Ignacio Open Air Market on Saturdaym, please send an e-mail to cesarmesh@gmail.com or call Abdias Mesh, 674- 8064. Once you are on the customer list, about midweek you will receive a message listing what produce is available and what the prices are. POB and SACOGA meet in the San Ignacio area once or twice a month. Meetings are open to all who want to support organics in Belize. Send a message to Pro-Organic Belize proorganicbelize@ gmail.com or call 677-9658.
    • “Earth Day Endorsement for San Antonio, Cayo Organic Growers Association”: Pro Organic Belize is pleased to announce the commencement of a formalized agreement between Pro Organic Belize and the farmers known as San Antonio Cayo Organic Growers Association (SACOGA) thus paving the way for full organic certification in the near future. Of special significance is the fact that the agreement occurred on Earth Day which is very appropriate as organic farming uses sustainable practices rather than destructive ones. Essentially this agreement comes from a Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) which encompasses both these groups. All members of the PGS participate in an aspect of promoting organic practices, whether it be farming, or education. This agreement is an important step for Pro Organic Belize as a future organic certification body for locally grown and produced organic food in the Cayo District. All over the world the question is, Who’s Your Farmer? Pro Organic Belize encourages you to know your farmer, know your food, and know your vendor. Personal relationships based on mutual agreement, and the integrity of those involved lead to a safer food supply for Belize. Pro Organic Belize is committed to a better informed public, and increased food security on a country wide basis.The signing of this agreement brings the nation of Belize one large step forward in the worldwide organic farming movement.
    • Sub-surface drip irrigation (SDI) systems have bright future in helping feed growing world population.: Throughout the world currently, only about 6 percent of the land is under drip irrigation. John Vikupitz, president and CEO of Netafim USA, which sells SDI systems says, “This is sort of a bold statement, but we think flood irrigation will become a thing of the past throughout most of the world in the next 50 years. It’s simply not a sustainable practice. We have too many people entering the world, too many hungry mouths to feed and not enough clean water to drink. We’re undergoing a transformative time here where the convergence of environment, technology and culture are forcing change, and we intend to lead that change. It’s not just about producing drip irrigation components; it’s about teaching growers how to use them most effectively and how to maximize yields by using the least amount of water, the least amount of fertilizer, using the resources you have most efficiently.”
    • The Connection Between Central American Farmers and Deadlier Tornadoes in the U.S.: Scientists at the University of Iowa have recently published an article linking smoke from the burning of agricultural fields in Central America to more intense tornadoes in the US. Pablo Saide, post doctoral student at the University of Iowa and a coauthor of the study, said smoke drifting north from the Yucatán peninsula, which includes parts of Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala, changed two key conditions for the 2011 tornadoes. First, it lowered the height of the cloud base, which dropped 650 feet. It also changed the wind shear, which is a variation in vertical wind speed. Both conditions intensify tornadoes. Tornado season in the United States has grown deadlier in recent years, and 2011 was one of the worst, spawning 1,691 twisters. “Even without the smoke drifting up north, there would still have been an unusual number of tornadoes in 2011, but we found the smoke changed the parameters,” said Pablo Saide.
    • : Local and Regional Fuel Prices
    • Agriculture Prices at a Glance- $$$$$: Find local and some international commodity prices on our Agriculture Prices at a Glance section.
    • Ag Briefs
    • Letters To THE EDITOR

    International Sourcesizz

    Another earthquake for Barbados.. too close for comfort
    The Seismic Research Centre of the University of the West Indies (UWI) recorded another small earthquake off Barbados this morning, the second this week. The 4.5 magnitude tremor occurred 2:33 a.m., 142 km east southeast of Bridgetown, 317 km northeast of Scarborough, Trinidad and Tobago, and 320 km east of Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines. It occurred at a depth of 10 km.

    McHenry County College to offer field studies in Belize
    The caves and rain forests of Belize will serve as the classroom for an upcoming field study course offered by McHenry County College. The course, Temples and Tropical Forest Field Studies in Belize, combines technology and in-person study to explore anthropology, biology and geology. Worth three credit hours, the class begins in October and is co-taught by three instructors. It combines eight weeks of online instructions and six days of hands-on learning through cultural interaction and field study in Belize. Students will interview local Belizians, visit St. Herman’s Cave, take a medicinal plant hike in the rain forest, and tour a cacao plantation, baboon sanctuary, Mayan ruins and an iguana conservation. Cave tubing also is included.

    Agoura teens bring back lessons from Belize
    During their spring break, Agoura High School teachers Todd Shipley and Gerald Pickett joined Lynn Bealer of the Strong Villages charity in taking 13 students on a weeklong service-oriented trip to Belize.

    UNM team studies climate change in Belizean cave
    In the jungles of southernmost Belize, close to Guatemala and Honduras, there’s a cave the locals call Yok Balum, which means the Jaguar’s Paw. It’s a cave ripe with riches but, like all respectable treasure caves, it’s difficult to reach. From the nearest village, it’s a 90-minute trek along muddy, overgrown trails favored by venomous snakes. And there’s a river, the Rio Blanco, that must be forded. Sometimes crossing the river is inconvenient, sometimes it’s perilous and sometimes it’s impossible. “I’ve seen the river when it was ankle deep, I’ve crossed it when it was up to my neck and I’ve seen it when it was 20 feet deep,” said Keith Prufer, associate professor of anthropology at the University of New Mexico. “It can rise within hours.” Like Prufer, Yemane Asmerom, UNM professor of earth and planetary sciences, has been up to his neck in the treacherous waters of the Rio Blanco, surrendering his usual sound reasoning to overconfidence in his determination to reach the cave and the prizes it holds. The lure is not gold, silver or jade, but scientific revelation.

    Turkey quest: Welcome to the jungle
    The quest for a turkey World Slam has taken Kevin Miller of Inverness thousands of miles, and he's hunted under many different conditions, but on his recent hunt for the ocellated turkey, he entered a place as wild as they come. Miller zig-zagged across the nation in 2013 and harvested all four North American species of turkeys for his Grand Slam. In 2014, he headed to Chihuahua in northern Mexico to complete a Royal Slam with a Gould's turkey. This year, he made his way to the jungles of Campeche near the southern tip of Mexico. "It was probably one of the toughest hunts I've ever been on," Miller said. "They don't gobble like a normal turkey does. "They don't run in packs of a hundred. I've seen birds in Nebraska flocked up with 30 to 40. They (ocellated) run in twos and threes, from what I saw." Miller was hunting near the borders of Belize and Guatemala and said the birds will gobble on the roost, but generally remain silent while on the ground. That in itself presented a challenge.

    Videos

  • ‘Rent-a-Foreigner in China’, 7min. In this short documentary, housing developers in China hire ordinary foreigners to pose as celebrities to raise flagging property sales.

  • Leave marine wildlife alone!, 2min. Absolutely brilliant educational video! MarAlliance's Conservation Video Workshop is pleased to present the runner up video by Houston Zoo's Renee Bumpus and MarAlliance's Rachel Graham. Enjoy!

  • Belize's Logwood: The Dye of Kings, 5min. Frantz Smith and Freddie Tut talk about logwood, and the history of the tree in Belize. They do this at the Belize Botanic Gardens, which is the perfect spot. "Watch the red dye flowing from Belize's logwood tree. Logwood grew in lowlands near rivers, lagoons and on the coast. These trees were readily found and cut down using axes and the bark was removed on-site. The logs were then chopped into small blocks which were piled along the rivers then transported in wagons or long yemeri or cedar pitpans to a central storehouse at the settlement at the mouth of the Belize River."

  • Scuba diving in Belize, 2min. Scuba diving impressions from Belize, Nov 2014.

  • Travel: Playa del Carmen to Belize, 2min.

  • Where we'd rather be...., 3.5min. Bob, Camo and I following no-one, and doing nothing in particular around Mexico and Belize

  • Belize Solo Kayak Trip, 5min. Some footage from a solo kayak trip in South Water Caye marine reserve, Belize.

  • Belize, 5min. A trip from Houston to Belize diving in the blue hole.

  • belize spring break 2015, 4min. "best of belize" april 2015. best week of my life!!

  • Hol Chan and San Pedro, 2min. MarAlliance is pleased to share the short documentaries produced by participants during our Conservation Video Training Workshop hosted in partnership with the Houston Zoo. Belize Audubon Society's Dirk Francisco and MarAlliance's Cecilia Guerrero shot and edited the winning two minute video from scratch to finish in 1.5 days. We will show all team videos over the course of the next few days.

    May 2, 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

    No charges laid on local businessman found with large amount of cash
    Editors’ Note: This story is republished from The San Pedro Sun issue dated April 23rd at the request of Attorney of Law Estevan Perera. 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 northern area of Ambergris Caye. Nothing illegal was found in the home, but police discovered $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 as such, no charges were laid. The money was said to be family savings.

    Land owners claiming GOB scammed them of beach front property
    Foreign buyers of land in Northern Caye Caulker are stunned after finding out that their perceived beach front property is not actually bordered by the seashore. Reports are that at least 25 land owners who allegedly purchased beachfront property were actually scammed, as parcel maps show that there is actually one property in front of their land. The land that is being identified is actually on the beach reserve and seabed. Among those affected by this issue is a retired British couple who have spoken publicly on the incident. British Retiree Sydney Higgins says he decided to purchase land in Caye Caulker back in 2005. “We visited Caye Caulker several times before and like many other people, fell in love with the place,” said Higgins. As such Higgins and his wife, Anna Higgins, invested in a beach front property on the Northern portion of Caye Caulker for $120,000US. When purchasing the land Higgins saw the parcel map that indicate the lot as beach front, but later in 2012 when they were prepared to develop the property, they were surprised to find out that their front yard was actually someone’s back yard.

    Police recover several firearms and ammunition
    San Pedro Police have removed two pistols and several round of ammunition from the streets of San Pedro Town. According to an official report, San Pedro Special Branch (SPSB) and Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) received information on a suspicious object hidden in some mangroves in the San Mateo Area. As such, on Tuesday, April 28th at about 5:30PM, SPSB, CIB and Strike Team personnel conducted a search in the area, which led to the discovery of a red and black bag. The bag contained a .9mm pistol with an extended magazine bearing serial number 68444 (brand unknown) and a .45mm pistol with magazine bearing serial number 1733327 (brand unknown).

    Bank of America breaks corresponding banking with Belize Bank
    The Bank of America has broken its corresponding banking relationship with Belize’s largest commercial bank – The Belize Bank. The break came into effect on April 30th and in simple terms, it means that Belize Bank customers will not be able to conduct international banking through Belize Bank. Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow, following a meeting with representatives of the Bank of America, indicated that he is prepared to “hold hands” with Belize Bank, since they have done nothing wrong. The break in corresponding banking means that the Belize Bank will no longer be able to conduct international banking transactions such as wire transfers to or from the US. Lyndon Guiseppi, the CEO for BCB Holdings Limited, principals of Belize Bank, is quoted as saying that the issue is “a manageable phenomenon” and that it will not have an effect on 90% of its customers. Guiseppi indicated that the bank is “transitioning smoothly” and is reaching out to its clients. They are giving those requiring international banking a list of alternatives which include holding transactions through Central Bank or other commercial banks that are not being affected. In light of the recent development, PM Barrow met with principals of the Bank of America while on a business trip in Miami, USA. During a press conference held on April 29th, PM Barrow stressed that “Belize Bank has done nothing wrong.”

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Faster internet coming to Belize
    Sometimes the best solution to a technical problem is social engineering. After a journey of two years, that’s exactly how Belize has come to a major milestone in its technological development. The country’s Internet service providers (ISPs) have committed to set up Belize’s first-ever Internet exchange point (IXP), a piece of critical Internet infrastructure through which they can exchange local Internet traffic between their networks. The process was as simple -- and as difficult -- as getting nine Internet service providers (ISPs), all fierce competitors, to agree to work together for the greater good. Belize Telemedia, Speednet, BroadBand Belize, and Network Solutions signed the historic agreement on April 16 at the University of Belize’s (UB) Belize City campus, clearing the way for the establishment of the region’s latest IXP, called Belize IX or BIX. “As with all things important and meaningful, it was not an easy task to get to this point. However, the journey of the negotiating the pathway to this agreement for the Belize Internet exchange (BIX) was in indeed rewarding,” said Michael Kong, owner and CEO at NetKing Solutions, who spoke at the signing on behalf of the ISPs.

    New exhibit of photographs opened tonight at the San Pedro House of Culture
    Street scenes of San Pedro shot by Kay Scott, starting in the 1980's. This was the time before tourism became the island's top industry, when fishing was common and boats were simply pulled up on to the beach. The streets were all hard-packed sand. The photos are nostalgic but they also show the rough edges of island living back before golf carts and cable TV ruled the island. If you are in town, check it out.

    Urgent power interruption, portion Corozal from 3:40pm to 6:00pm Friday, May 1
    Necessary for BEL to restore connection to transformer at Corozal Substation responsible for power interruptions affecting customers in Joseito and Dominguez Layouts in Corozal Town, Pueblo Viejo, Saltillos, Copper Bank, Chunox, Orchid Bay and Sarteneja since Friday, April 30. BEL apologizes to customers for the inconvenience they have been experiencing while our crews worked continuously to conduct repairs and install alternative power supply during the course of works.

    National Tapir Day 2015
    They celebrated World Tapir Day, and Fuego's 2nd birthday. That's a cute tapir. "National Tapir Day 2015 was nothing short of spectacular! Folks from all over Belize came together to celebrate our country's national animal the "mountain cow." Students from 3 different schools shared some clever tapir conservation slogans, and there were even tapir themed skits and musical tributes to honour this special day. Of course, no Belize Zoo celebration is complete without a birthday party. Fuego the Tapir turned 2 years old, and was eager to accept his gifts: a fabulous cake, and a chin scratch from adoring fans. April the Tapir would have been proud! Thanks to all our friends and colleagues who came out to make this the best Tapir Day yet!"

    Call for Cayo Artists
    The SISE HoC is inviting all Cayo artists to submit art to display at this year's Cayo Art Collection. For more information call 824-0783, or stop by the HoC.

    NATS Starts Today
    Agric starts today. Great weather for it too. Happy Labor Day! "NATS events schedule for this weekend. Don't miss out on all the activities and offers we have for you and the family! The grounds will open at 9:00 am on Friday and close at 11:00 pm on Friday and Saturday. Gates open at 6:00 am on Saturday and Sunday and the show ends at 6:00 pm on Sunday. We urge you to stay hydrated and wear proper protection for the hot weather."

    The Reporter

    Belize preparing for 104 conference of the ILO
    Belize is preparing to send representation to the 104 meeting of the International Labour Organization, according to the Labour Department. Paulette Wagner, deputy labour commissioner, explained that the annual conference is held in Geneva, Switzerland, at either the end of May or the beginning of […]

    Citco labours for Belize
    On Friday, the Belize City Council held its fourth annual “Labour for Belize” community service drive, to foster good community relations and give some upliftment to the city. The initiative, which calls on citizens to volunteer their time on Labour Day to collaborate on various […]

    Lake I women train in self-defence
    Today, 25 women walk the streets feeling safer, having completed a self-defence training course in collaboration with the Belize Police Department. Members of the Alovera Neighbourhood Watch Committee received certificates of completion kn Friday at a ceremony at the Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence, having […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Brian Brown injured in explosion
    Information to Belize Media Group is that noted underworld figure Brian Brown was the reported target of an attempted murder when an explosion was heard from his vehicle. Brown is receiving medical care for his injuries but his exact condition is not known at this time. Brown has long had ties to the George Street Gang and was twice targeted by police at his residence on Jimmy Dyer Street in the Fabers’ Road area of Belize City in 2002 and again ten years later. In the former case Brown later won damages of $20,000 for the tearing down of a fence.

    NTUCB hosts Labour Day Rally
    Today, May 1st, is the annual holiday recognizing the contributions of workers of Belize, known as Labour Day. Today the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) hosted its second annual Labour Day Rally which according to President Marvin Mora refocuses the true nature of the holiday as a […]

    Shot six-year-old critical in hospital
    A six year old boy from the village of Valley Community in the Stann Creek District is in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City following surgery this morning. Travis Polanco continues to fight for his life after being shot once around 5:00 Thursday […]

    Breaking News: Boy,6, wounded after shot by 9 year old minor
    Belize Media Group has been reliably informed that a 6 year old minor from mile 18 in the village of Valley Community in Stann Creek District has been shot by another 9 year old minor. According to reports, the kid was shot once with a 16 gauge shotgun, however the […]

    Caribbean Tire Launches Mother’s Day Initiative
    May is the month dedicated to all the mothers in the world and it is no doubt that everyone has their own way to celebrate the special occasion. Some people give cards, gifts or flowers to their mothers, some prefer to dine out and some prefer to spend the whole […]

    Vector Control Unit undergoes 4 day workshop
    June 1st marks the opening of the Hurricane Season or what locals call in Belize, rainy season. And with the recent heat surge, a number of dengue and malaria cases have been reported across the country. But officials say it’s nothing to be alarmed of since the figures as compared to […]

    This is How the Weather for the Agric Fair Weekend Looks Like
    The much anticipated annual event of the year, the Agriculture and Trade Show is finally here. If you are wondering what the weather will be like, here is a look at this weekend’s forecast. The general situation is a weak high pressure influence that will affect the country and maintain […]

    Blogs

    Photograph Exhibit Opens at San Pedro’s House of Culture: Kay Scott’s “Village Life”
    Kay Scott, a busy nurse in Canada, took a vacation to Ambergris Caye in 1982. A high school had just opened…all the homes were made of wood and stood on stilt and tourism was just starting… She fell in love with the tiny fishing village and moved here that very year. She had taken a course in photography in Canada and brought along her camera. But to make ends meet, she picked up all sorts of jobs (as many of us do on the island) – she was a bartender, she did some accounting work and she worked for San Pedro’s very first newspaper – the “Coconut Wireless”. At that time referring to the telegraph…not Wireless internet. Here is the SUPER interesting article about the History of Newspapers in San Pedro – SO worth a read. I wish the pictures worked! Kay could be seen around town taking pictures of village life. As Minister Heredia said last night – a pretty young girl with a camera. Kay would take the photos and have the film sent to Belize City for developing.

    From hot as hell to cold and wet
    The weather in Belize has been all over the map lately from high winds keeping divers on land to reports of the hottest day at 102F on Tuesday to incoming cold front and rainy weather Wednesday and yesterday. In spite of the reports, our cruise wasn’t rained out and I was glad. Not only did we have Barb and Joe’s going away party, toasting the end of another perfect day in paradise on a big @ss boat is something we never grow tired of :) Our bitchin’ ride was the beautiful Infinity, a 50-foot long, 37-foot wide catamaran owned and operated by Ecologic Cats. The boat is fully furnished with a built-in bar and kitchen, plus a quality sound system and DJ that kept us grooving.

    International Sourcesizz

    Nathan Bland: Working hand in hand with the government, people and institutions in Belize
    Nathan Bland works on a head-spinning number of political, economic and law enforcement issues at the U.S. embassy in Belize. One day he may be keeping Washington in the loop on the country’s border disputes, investment climate and human rights situation. The next, he may be focusing on training for Belizean police, lawyers and judges. “You have to have a good amount of knowledge about a wide range of things,” said Bland, the embassy’s political, economic and law enforcement section chief. Americans typically think of Belize as a vacation spot, but the country has many pressing societal issues that have the potential to affect the United States. Considered both a Central American and a Caribbean nation, Belize has the third highest murder rate in the world. Bland helps the U.S. counter this menace, overseeing funds from a State Department program called the Central America Regional Security Initiative. It’s a coordinated effort with numerous countries, international financial institutions, the private sector and others to supplement strategies and programs Central American countries use to fight crime and make their streets safer.

    UA Program Secures Land-Rights Win in Belize
    Judgment of the Caribbean Court of Justice in favor of the Maya indigenous people was based on a legal theory developed by UA professor James Anaya. The Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program of the University of Arizona's James E. Rogers College of of Law has achieved another groundbreaking legal victory, this time before the Caribbean Court of Justice. In a final resolution of the Maya land rights case before the highest court for Belize, the Caribbean Court of Justice affirmed the existence of Maya customary land tenure, significantly advancing the developing worldwide jurisprudence on indigenous peoples’ rights to lands and resources. The Caribbean Court of Justice recently announced its judgment affirming the 2013 holding of the Court of Appeal of Belize that the Maya indigenous people of southern Belize have rights to the lands they customarily have used and occupied. In the judgment, the court affirmed that these traditional land rights, belonging to some 38 Maya villages spread out over most of Belize’s Toledo District, constitute property within the meaning of the provisions of the Belize Constitution that generally protect property free from discrimination.

    Hot Sauce Expo Hall of Famer Chip Hearn Brings Latin Flavors to the U.S
    The legendary Johnny Cash knew a lot about fire and its blazing burn, but if he had the chance to attend this year's High River Sauces' Third Annual New York City Hot Sauce Expo in Brooklyn, he'd most likely pen a new tune for the array of burning flavors that are worthy of a hit song. Newly inducted New York City Hot Sauce Expo Hall of Famer, Chip Hearn, owner of Peppers.com, who hails from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, knows a thing or two -- or a million -- about how to turn up the heat. "A lot of the sauces are coming from Costa Rica and Belize right now," he pointed out. "Most people when they go to Costa Rica, they are on one coast or the other and they don't really see the industrial side of it," he explained.

    CARIBBEAN VIEW
    The economies of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries are not doing well. Belize, Guyana and Suriname are the only three countries whose economies are showing any appreciable growth. The major effect of little or no growth has been increasing unemployment and underemployment of young people who constitute three of every five persons across the region. The problem of youth unemployment and underemployment was emphasised at a Commonwealth Caribbean Ministerial Youth Conference in Antigua from 28 to 30 April 2015. Without the prospect of jobs, young people are becoming increasingly dissatisfied and disenchanted. Their discontent manifests itself, in some instances, in gangs, crime and violence.

    V31OK Ambergris Cay Island Belize
    Mike Newton, VO1OK will be active from Ambergris Caye Island (IOTA NA-073) , Belize 30 April - 6 May 2015 as V31OK. He will operate on 40, 20, 10m SSB using Elecraft KX3 HF Transceiver. QSL ia home call, LOTW, eQSL.

    Videos

  • U S Riverines Train Belize Defense Force, 2min.

  • My Belizean Adventure, 24min. I got the opportunity to travel to Belize with my college. This is my final for the class I took to go along with it.

  • Belize - Omar Deras Guide & Cave Tubing, 9min. Cave Tubing in the Camuy Caves, Belize.

  • Underwater Diving in Belize, 3.5min. Armed Forces Archive Videos.

  • Skydiving into the Blue Hole, Belize, 15min. The ultimate skydive in my 22 years of jumping! Exit from 13500 feet in PERFECT weather conditions (ie endless blue skies, puffy clouds.

    May 1, 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

    Elias Zetina to participate in the National Spelling Bee for the 2nd Year in a Row

    Oceana Belize rejects GOB petroleum exploration guidelines
    Oceana Belize and the Belize Coalition to Protect Our National Heritage have called for a complete moratorium on any offshore oil exploration in Belize territorial waters. The Non-government Organizations (NGO) resoundingly rejected the Government of Belize’s draft guidelines for petroleum exploration, which was first issued in September 2013 but unknown to the NGO’s until January 19, 2015. In a letter penned by Oceana Belize Vice President Janelle Chanona and addressed to the Minister, Hon. Senator Joy Grant on March 2, the NGO also called on the Ministry of Energy, Science Technology and Public Utilities to reassess the potential risks and benefits of oil exploration, pointing out the many flaws in the guidelines. Chanona and the Coalition’s Tanya Williams shared their concerns at a press briefing at the Belize Best Western Biltmore Hotel in Belize City last Thursday, April 23.

    Your help is needed for Mother’s Day Brunch Soup Kitchen
    After a successful Christmas Day Lunch Soup Kitchen initiative, Finley Halliday is at it again and this time he is organizing a Mother’s Day Brunch Soup Kitchen. With hopes of continuing his efforts to give back to the island community, Halliday has been busy making preparations for a traditional brunch in honor of deserving mothers. Scheduled for Sunday, May 10th, the Mother’s Day Brunch will be held at the Lion’s Den from 10AM to 1PM. Halliday hopes to accommodate anywhere between 100 to 200 hard-working mothers that deserve a show of appreciation on their special day. “When I started this whole soup kitchen idea, I did not want it to be a onetime thing. I want to give back as much as I can. After the success of the Christmas Day Lunch and seeing all the support I received, I am glad to undertake yet another project,” said Halliday. The Mother’s Day Brunch will entail of all traditional breakfast dishes. As such, Halliday is asking for donations from those who can afford to give. “We are looking to get things like coffees, flour, fruits, cereals, milk and jams. Things that are commonly consumed during breakfast. We would also like to get some pastries and treats that can be given to the mothers after their breakfast,” said Halliday.

    Second phase of northern road starts
    The second phase of the Ambergris Caye northern road, consisting of a total of three miles, has commenced. Work on the project, which is being executed by Romel Burgess of RGB Construction, will take place from Canary Coves to Belizean Shores Resort. Once the first part of phase two is completed, the road will be concreted.Second phase of NA Road-1 (2) “We are doing the initial works which is the first part of phase two of the project. We are opening the road and putting a hardcore foundation so that when we begin concreting, it is strong,” indicated Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero. As such, the road is widening and in some areas, they have been opening sections of the designated northern Ambergris Caye road. The road will run parallel to the electrical high-tension wire. “We want the people to use the road so that the material can settle better,” added Guerrero.

    Ambergris Today

    Saga Hooks Up with Dog Training Education Seminar at Sea
    A group of traveling dog trainers and dog owners from the United States and Canada made their way to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, via a training course that took place onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. The course gave the trainers and dog owners the opportunity to work with SAGA Humane Society and learn more about its operations on the island. The ‘Education at Sea’ training program was organized by dog trainer Heather Beck, a board member of SAGA and the founder of K9 Lifeline in Daper, Utah. Heather lead the Education at Sea Cruise with over 30 dog trainers and dog owners who departed from Galveston, Texas on April 19, 2015, docking in Roatan, Honduras and then in Belize City on April 23. While in the country the group hopped on to Ambergris Caye for lunch and work hands on with San Pedro’s Saga Humane Society, training some local stray dogs or ‘potlikers’ as they call them in Belize.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    From Dabuyaba to ashes: Opportunity for community renewal
    Easter Sunday night, April 5th, will be recorded by the Garinagu of Belize and abroad as the tragic night when their dabuyaba, their sacred temple, in Barranco was completely destroyed by fire, allegedly torched by a mentally challenged man from that village. Constructed by the Cayetano family in 1996, this thatched roof, wooden-walled structure was not only the largest and most dominant in Barranco. It was also one of the largest dabuyaba (if not the largest) among those in all Garifuna communities, including those in Honduras and Guatemala. In the traditional belief of the Garifuna, the construction of a dabuyaba is triggered by requests of the ancestors with specifications in accordance with centuries old traditions. The gathering of materials for the building, for example, involves a ritual of purification, including the incensing of the plot of land before construction. The building must face east towards the sea to welcome the morning light through its front door. Side doors face north and south. The west wall is completely closed while a partition including the west wall exclusively remains the inner sanctum, the dugeirugu, of the buyei. The center of the main open hall where family members gather is considered the heart of the dabuyaba.

    Heavy rain in Orange Walk District
    After a crazy heat came a heavy rain this is how sugah city looked today

    Full Moon Concert Series
    This weekend - The National Institute of Culture and History(NICH) through the Corozal House of Culture extends a kind invitation to you as we present another edition of the Full Moon Concert Series. Join us Saturday May 2nd and enjoy a night of musical entertainment by One Love Band beginning at 7:30 pm.

    BEL Apologizes to Customers in Corozal!
    Belize Electricity Limited apologizes to customers in the Corozal District for the inconvenience being experienced due to an unscheduled power interruption since 10:25 a.m. Thursday, April 30, which is affecting Joseito and Dominguez Layouts in Corozal Town, Pueblo Viejo, Saltillos, Copper Bank, Chunox, Orchid Bay and Sarteneja. This unscheduled power interruption is due to a malfunctioning transformer at the Corozal Substation. BEL technicians are currently assessing the transformer to determine the extent of repairs needed after which BEL will advise customers of the estimated time for restoration of power supply. BEL assures customers that our crews are working to ensure that power supply can be restored as soon as possible to the affected areas in the Corozal District.

    CJC EXPO 2015
    Despite weather conditions today's CJC EXPO 2015 was a success! The House of Culture introduced a new interactive activity that entertained and educated visitor's at our booth. The maya puzzle featured the Chactemal/Santa Rita Archaeological Site and the Jade Mosaic Mask which was discovered at the site. Thank you to all who visited, and a special thank you to Adrian Anderson who kindly assisted today.

    FCD’s Executive Director visited students of Muffles Junior College and Bishop Martin High School in Orange Walk
    With the purpose of highlighting the beauty of the Chiquibul Forest and encouraging students to explore this wilderness area. Presentation was also given to members of the Northern Territorial Volunteers and a one hour interview was aired on Estereo Kairos. FCD thanks teachers, students and the other supporters for making the trip a success.

    Channel 7

    Former Bze. City Mayor David Fonseca Takes His Own Life
    Former two term Belize City Mayor David Fonseca killed himself this afternoon. It happened at around 2:30 at his mother and ex-wife's residence in Stuart's Alley - which is near the Fort Street Tourism village. According to reports, he shot himself in the head with a nine-millimeter pistol. He was found in the bathroom of the house with the gun in his hand. His ex-wife Yolanda lives downstairs, while the upstairs was unoccupied - though the building is owned by his mother. The suicide comes as a shock to the wider community where the 60-year-old Fonseca was well known and liked for his even-tempered, agreeable nature. He would have been 61 tomorrow, May first. He was also well known as the younger brother of former PUP powerhouse Ralph Fonseca. The elder Fonseca was seen as David's political patron in the two municipal elections which he won in 1999 and 2003. He lost to Zenaida Moya in the 2006 municipal Election - and left city hall under a cloud of scandal. Fonseca was also the first cousin of current PUP Leader Francis Fonseca.

    Accused Of Major Gov't Graft, Enriquez Gets Bail
    Last week Friday, we told you how 28 year-old David Enriquez, the Public Officer from the Treasury Department, was charged for the theft of over half a million dollars from his workplace. Well tonight, he's at home free after being granted bail by the Supreme Court. That's after spending 6 days on remand. His attorney, Oscar Selgado, applied to the Supreme Court for bail this afternoon, and they were granted an audience before Justice Troadio Gonzalez. Crown Counsel Javair Chan advised the court that the DPP's Office was not in a position to offer any objections due to the short time that the application was forwarded to that office. He said that the DPP's Office would leave it up to the judge's discretion to decide whether or not Enriquez deserved bail. After consideration, Justice Gonzalez granted him bail of $40,000 dollars which he was able to meet this evening. But, tonight we show you another man who has been charged in connection with the monies fleeced from the public purse. That man is Dangriga resident Francis Palacio, and he's now facing a charge of handling stolen goods for 225 thousand dollars of the missing money. He too applied for bail before Justice Gonzalez, and it was granted. Justice Gonzalez set the bail amount at $4,000 dollars, which he was able to meet this afternoon as well.

    Alleged Sixth Form Gang Rapists Get Bail
    18 year-old Jose Gomez, seen here in Yellow, and James Andrews, seen here in the striped T-shirt, are 2 of the 3 young men who were charged with the gang rape of an 18 year-old female student from Junior College in the South. Tonight, they are home with their families after asking the Supreme Court to grant them bail. Their attorneys Kevin Arthurs and Dorothy Flowers asked Justice Gonzalez to consider bail, and at the end of the hearing, he set the bail amount at $5,000. They were both able to meet bail this afternoon, and Andrew's relative became confrontational with the photojournalists at court, who were trying to get his photograph. As we reported, the victim told police that she went on a class trip with 75 other students and two teachers to San Ignacio on Thursday April 16. The victim, identified to us as a special needs 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.

    Three "Pedro" Men Charged For Murder
    San Pedro Police have charged 3 men for the murder of 42 year-old San Pedro Taxi Driver Jose Beltran. They are Luis "Sito" Campos, Mark Arzu, and Santos Garcia. The charge was formally brought against them today. Those men will be arraigned at the Magistrate's Court and they will be sent to the Belize Central Prison on remand at the earliest convenience. As we've been reporting, police found Beltran dead on Tuesday morning at around 10. He had been tied up, shot in the head, and left inside his taxi van, with the engine still running. Eyewitnesses in the San Juan area saw when 2 men jumped out after crashing it and leaving it there. They also observed when the men jumped into a waiting vessel which was docked nearby.

    PUC Tells BEL: "How Low Can You Go?"
    In April, BEL asked the PUC to approve a 10% decrease in electricity rates; the PUC today announced that it wants more: a 15% cut in rates. Under the PUC initial decision, the average electricity rate would go from 41 cents to 35 cents per kilowatt hour. The proposed rate would be effective from July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016. But, it's not final yet, and BEL can object or members of the public can ask for more - but they must do so in writing to the PUC before May 10th. BEL has not indicated if it will challenge the decision.

    Land Situation On Northern Caye Caulker Long Out Of Control
    Last night you heard Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega explain how his ministry had cancelled leases on beach and seabed properties from 2012 on Northern Caye Caulker. But, as he stated, there are over a hundred cases like that on the Northern side of that island - which from the early "two-thousands" has been a sort of wild-wild west for real estate grabs and survey pegs in the seabed. Yesterday Vega said what happened shouldn't have, and fixing it is complicated by speculation and multiple private transactions:... Hon. Gaspar Vega, Minister of Natural Resources "Because it is a law, a Belizean law that you should not put a peg in the waters and that is something that the ministry is looking to address with the association of surveyors, because first of all they should not be doing that survey. It doesn't matter how much they pay them to survey the land. So, it's a combination, it's not that simple. The ones prior to this administration - it's even more complicated, because there is some cases where I say someone by the name of Renan Briceno owning a whole lot of beach front, but I mean it affects a lot of people. We have somebody like Rodla Construction, that's affects probably hundreds of people."

    Cable King Gets Capital Construction Contract
    The Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan has been selected as one of the project sites for the Belize Infrastructure Limited. The field will feature the first synthetic football turf in the country and the contractor is a name well known in the cable television and cement businesses. Are Representative John Saldivar told me about it yesterday:.. Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security "I believe it was aware to a company associated with Mr. Pete Lizarraga that went through bidding. The bidding process with BIL and that was the company that was selected." According to a press release, when it is completed, the stadium will feature championship league certified lighting.

    Police to Develop Social Media Rules
    We have all heard the harsh comments about police indiscipline and the countless complaints about police brutality. Well, in this story, the roles are reversed: the cops are complaining about the criminals! In the midst of the recent murder spree where one prominent gang figure was killed, a police constable posted a very cold and inflammatory comment on facebook on Sunday stating that "It is good that they are dead". That is just a part of it, we had to blur out a few incendiary sections of the comment. Now, while police officers like regular citizens have the right and freedom to express themselves, shouldn't they use their discretion as police officers? And where is the line drawn since their role is to maintain peace and order not incite or encourage violence. We asked Commissioner Whylie about it yesterday. Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police "What I would say is that, if he did that then as a police officer, I view it as very distasteful and unwarranted. Yes as a civilian he has the right to express himself and how he feels but, one of the challenges we face is that even when as individual citizens and we do have certain rights.

    51 Belizean Products Highlited
    About 51 Belizean products are featured in a new ExportBelize catalogue. It was officially launched today at the Biltmore and some of the clients and entrepreneurs featured in the publication had their products on display. The catalogue gives business owners the chance to market their products locally and internationally. We spoke to one of the entrepreneurs at the event and he told us about his new cleaning products and the success he has had so far. Shahera McKoy, BELTRAIDEManager, Export Belize "The 'Made in Belize' catalogue was something we wanted to do for a while now. At Export Belize and at Beltraide, we get a lot of queries from companies, embassies outside of Belize asking for Belizean products and what is being offered by Belize. In the past we've developed directories, but when we looked at what other countries were putting out there, ours was not as professional. And so we wanted to do something that would rival any other publication by any other country. And so we decided to do a really professional catalogue featuring producers in Belize."

    Charged For A Killing In Corozal
    Viewers may remember that on December 9 of last year, 29 year-old Mark Massam Jr. was hacked to death by 23 year-old Carlos Casanova, who brandished a machete. It happened right in front of the public on a well-trafficked street, and police had to shoot Casanova to subdue him. Well, after receiving medical treatment from that police inflicted injury, Casanova was finally well enough to be criminally charged. The gunshot from the police rifle tore out a chunk of his leg, which now makes walking properly very difficult to do. So yesterday, he hopped on his right leg from the holding cell to the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith in Belize City. There he was arraigned on the single charge of murder, and due to the nature of the offence, he couldn't be granted bail. He was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until July 15.

    A Gun Found In Search For Killer
    22 year old Wilfred Mcdougal, a fisherman of 12 Mahogany Heights, was today arraigned on the charge of with keeping a prohibited firearm and kept firearm and unlicensed ammunition when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. The police reported that around 1:30 p.m. on April 27, they detained Mcdougal in their investigation of the murder of Kevin Flowers and Mcdougal told them certain things. Acting on his information, the police went to two abandoned lots at Mahogany Heights. They found a 9 millimetre pistol with 6 rounds of ammunition in its magazine in an old car in one of the lots. The police said that when they went to the second lot, they also found a 16 gauge sawed-off shotgun. As a result, Mcdougal was charged. He pleaded not guilty to the offences, and he was remanded into custody until July 30.

    Learning Environment And Personal Enrichment
    Marine Ecology and self-healing. Not themes you would normally put together, right? Well, a group of 16 students proved that they can be combined. Today we met these students at the Princess Marine as they returned from a marine ecology trip to Calabash Caye. They told us how this holistic educational outing enhanced their appreciation for the environment and for themselves. Jaen Nieto, Instructor "It's beautiful that we are all together. Doing this for the first time is like a pilot project with the kids from 'days of healing'. And it went on like any other trip of EPI, where the students are shown the beauties of the environment. We went dolphins, we went snorkeling. Many of them didn't even know how to swim, how to snorkel, so they learnt that. And through that they saw the beauties that are under the sea. And that's the main that we cannot expect to have people protecting the environment if they haven't seen it." Naiton Arzu, Marine Ecology Student "This experience was very great for me because for once in my lifetime, I enjoyed myself with different people and friends that I met, and other people that I appreciate and I love."

    A Relief For The Reef
    A Mesoamerican reef protection workshop is being held at the Biltmore this week. Conservationists and other stakeholders from Belize, Mexico, Honduras and Nicaragua organized an 8 day workshop on the protection of the Mesoamerican reef system -which starts at the tip of Yucatan Peninsula and stretches down to Belize. We spoke with the coordinator today and she told us why this discussion on the reef needs to happen. Maria Eugenia Arreola, Director, Mesoamerican Reef Leadership Program "What we do is, every year we open up a call for applications and we invite entrepreneurs and young conservationists who are initiating their career or are in the middle of their career to join the program with a proposal, an idea of a project that they can implement in protection of the coral reefs. So during one year we bring them together four times in this workshop. And right now we are in the fourth workshop of the 2014 cohort and we train them on advocacy, how to speak in public, how to speak with the media, how to raise funds - fundraising. We also train them on negotiation and conflict resolution. Our vision is to have a healthy reef and prosperous communities. So more than 2 million people depend on the health of the Mesoamerican reef right. So what we want to do is we want to launch high impact projects that will be led by conservationists that have the skills, that have the tools, the knowledge and that they are going to succeed in their projects. At the end, what we want is the sustainable use of our natural resources. We are very lucky to have this important ecosystem and we want to provide different solutions and projects that will help us to use of our resources in a sustainable way."

    Unions Say Remember The Labourers
    On Wednesday April first, the President of the NTUCB told the media that the unions wanted to have a large rally for labour day. But he must have been using the April Fool's exception, because we haven't gotten word of any large rally - though this evening, we are hearing that a rally will be held tomorrow. But the President Marvin Mora did issue a statement this evening discussing the theme of this year's observance, which is "Celebrating the Belizean Worker- the Back Bone of the Belizean Economy". The three page statement says, quote, "the NTUCB will continue to advocate for the respect of the rights of the workers in our country and commit that we will not sit idly by whilst our brothers are being taken advantage of." He laments that The Public Accounts Committee is still being run by a chair from the Ruling Party when it clearly contravenes the act and that Government has taken over an entire year without even a proposed date when public consultations should start in relation to the Occupational Safety and Health Bill! As for Petrocaribe, the statement says, quote, "The NTUCB wants to be absolutely clear that we are not against the acquisition of the Petro Caribe Funds and its original intent as agreed to between the Government of Venezuela and Belize. By this same token, we take this opportunity to thank the Venezuelan Government and its courageous people for all the support they have lent our country."

    Managing Chemical Waste
    2 years ago, the Solid Waste Management Authority streamlined how the country handles garbage by turning the dumps in Belize City and Cayo into transfer stations and creating a Sanitary Landfill facility. That's separate from the work that the Department of Environment has been doing with government agencies THAT HANDLE Chemical Waste. After signing on to major international conventions chemical waste management, the DOE has been laboring since 2005 to put together waste management strategy. We fast-forward to this week when the DOE initiated a 3 year project entitled "Belize Chemicals and Waste Management Project". The aim of the plan is to control and restrict chemical wastes which the DOE categorizes as Persistent Organic Pollutants, or POP's which include organic pesticides and refrigerants and coolants. What does that mean for you? Well, the main effect is that the DOE is trying to make the cleaner, but these restrictions will affect the industrial sector, whose products generate chemical wastes. The Chief Environmental Officer explained the project to us today:

    From April To Fuego
    Yesterday was National Tapir Day - but April the Tapir has passed on, so this year, to celebrate this event the Belize Zoo threw a party for Fuego the Tapir's 2nd birthday - fruit cake and all...We spoke to the coordinator of the evnt and he told us why this OBSERVANCE IS IMPORTANT:

    The Importance Of "Agri"
    The National Agriculture and Trade Show will be held this weekend at the showground's in Belmopan. And while the show has its own vibe and scenery, lest we forget it is all about the farmers. Tonight - with the help of the government press office - we look at two of the junior farmers of the year:.. And those going to the show over this holiday weekend will be happy to know that additional amenities have been put in place to make your show grounds experience more enjoyable. CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture Jose Alpuche told us more:..

    Channel 5

    Former Belize City Mayor Commits Suicide
    Former Belize City Mayor David Fonseca is dead.  The retired People’s United Party politician, who served at City Hall for a record sixteen consecutive years, took his own life sometime [...]

    TCC Principal’s Comment on Treasury Theft Surprises Fin Sec
    Treasury Department Second Class Clerk David Enriquez was charged last week for theft. The police say that he diverted monies, four hundred and fifty thousand dollars, meant for Toledo Community [...]

    Treasury Employee David Enriquez Granted Supreme Court Bail
    Enriquez had been on remand for the bold Treasury theft since last week, but this afternoon he was granted bail by Supreme Court Judge Troadio Gonzalez after the prosecution registered [...]

    PM Promises Council of Churches an Ecumenical Chapel from Petrocaribe Funds
    It may have cruised under the radar at the Prime Minister’s press conference on Wednesday, but the fact that the churches are getting in on the Petrocaribe bounty is significant. [...]

    Light Bill Set to Go Down in July
    There is some good news for consumers because beginning July first, 2015 to June thirtieth 2016; electricity rates are to go down by thirty-five cents per kilo watt hour to [...]

    Labor Commissioner Updates on Santander Employees
    Two weeks ago, about forty workers at the Santander Green Tropics facility staged a small protest at the compound, citing chronic concerns which they say remained unaddressed by management. Over [...]

    Is Santander Favoring Foreigners for Lucrative Jobs?
    According to Williams, and this is certainly not the first time this complaint has been ventilated, workers feel that they are not being given access to lucrative employment. They feel [...]

    Labor Commissioner Says Belizeans are Under-qualified for Certain Santander Posts
    So why aren’t Belizeans getting access to the higher paying jobs which require special skills? Well, because not many Belizeans have those skills. It’s as simple as that. Our vocational [...]

    SIB Issues Statistics on Consumer Price Index for March
    The Statistical Institute of Belize released the latest stats on consumer price index and external trade for the month of March. According to SIB, consumer prices were down one percent [...]

    Gapi Vega Says Lands Department is Investigating Caye Caulker Cheat
    Last Thursday, a retired English couple came forward in the media to express frustration over a land swindle in Caye Caulker which has resulted in the devaluation of their beachfront [...]

    BRC Printing Versus Ministry of Education Settled in Supreme Court
    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has settled a court case with Benque Viejo del Carmen Town-based book publishers, BRC Printing Limited. The dispute goes back to June of [...]

    James Andrews and Jose David Gomez Granted Bail for Gang Rape
    This afternoon in a bail application heard by Justice Troadio Gonzalez of the Supreme Court, two young men were granted bail for the offense of rape.  They are James Andrews [...]

    DOE Launches 3-year Chemical Waste Management Project
    Ten years ago, the government of Belize ratified several environmental management conventions and address, through international assistance and programs, issues of chemical and waste management. Three phases have been accomplished [...]

    …But What About Hazardous Waste?
    Another component of the project will include the closure of the dumpsite and the construction of a transfer station at Burrell Boom. But when you hear chemical waste, it brings [...]

    Labour Day Celebrated in Belize
    On Friday, in Belize as well as in many other countries, the Labour Day holiday will be held to honor workers. From time to time, we hear about employee- employer [...]

    Lake-I Residents Pass Self Defense Program
    The Precinct Two Police Officers, through their community policing, have been working on the ground to engage residents. From one on one interaction to group efforts, the police say they [...]

    Hamanasi and Tourism in Hopkins
    Tourism is a top foreign exchange earner and is also one of the largest contributors to Belize’s Gross Domestic Product, the GDP. Roughly speaking, it accounts for twenty-five percent of [...]

    Hygienic Practices for Makeup Users on Healthy Living
    Okay Ladies, it’s time to pull out those cosmetic bags and look over the products on your night stand. If you’ve had skin problems on your face; the culprit may [...]

    PlusTV

    P.M. defends actions on Petrocaribe
    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...

    Carnival supports Stake Bank project
    The Government of Belize, determined to get a cruise port built in the Belize District sooner rather than later, has been trying to broker a deal between developer of the Stake Bank/Drowned Cayes project Michael Feinstein and the owners of the Fort Street Tourism Village in the Fort George section o...

    P.M. reassures on future of Belize banking industry
    The Belize Bank Limited has lost its correspondent banking relationship with Bank of America in the United States, which removes its ability to host wire transfers for customers. As the largest private commercial bank in Belize, Bank of America’s decision affects thousands of customers...

    BNTU hosts consultations over Petro Caribe Loan bill
    Meanwhile,The Belize National Teachers Union is holding country wide consultations with their members to take up a position on the widely debated Petro Caribe Loan Bill 2015...

    PUP protest Petrocaribe program
    While they have officially given the Prime Minister 21 days to repeal the 2015 Petrocaribe Loans Act, the People’s United Party took the opportunity provided by today’s Prime Ministerial press conference in Belize City to create the first major political showdown after their thumping electoral losse...

    PUP Leader discusses party issues
    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 yesterday...

    Speaking of getting a slice of the Petro Caribe Pie
    One of the Arguments on the Government’s side when addressing the Unions’ opposition to the Petro Caribe Bill is that one of its largest member unions- the Belize National Teachers Union- is directly and indirectly benefitting from the Petro Caribe program through a salary adjustment and a special p...

    Belize contributing to call for climate action
    The 20th session of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate change took place from the 1st to the 14th of December 2014 in Lima Peru...

    P.M. defines Maya land rights settlement
    One week ago today the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) accepted a consent order from the Government of Belize and Maya leaders representing 38 Maya villages in the Toledo District which settled a large part of the case brought by the latter concerning the granting of communal land rights to traditi...

    Man charged for 2014 murder
    Twenty-three year old Carlos Casanova Jr, an employee of a block factory in Corozal Town, hopped on one leg today into the court of the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith so that he could be arraigned on a charge of murder. Casanova was charged with the murder of 29 year old mark Massam Jr...

    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...

    Another taxi man found dead; this time on San Pedro
    San Pedro Police have confirmed the murder of a Belizean Taxi Driver 42 year old Jose Rigoberto Beltran who was found dead inside his vehicle sometime around 10 am on Tuesday April 28th in the San Juan area, San Pedro Town. Beltran was a member of the San Pedro Airstrip Taxi Union...

    Police investigating Kevin Flowers murder
    On Monday we told you of the death of Mahogany Heights resident Kevin Flowers shot to the back of his head on the roadside. Police are still investigating and today Superintendent of Police Hilberto Romero gave us an update.

    PUP protest Petrocaribe program
    While they have officially given the Prime Minister 21 days to repeal the 2015 Petrocaribe Loans Act, the People’s United Party took the opportunity provided by today’s Prime Ministerial press conference in Belize City to create the first major political showdown after their thumping electoral losse...

    PUP Leader discusses party issues
    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 yesterday...

    Speaking of getting a slice of the Petro Caribe Pie
    One of the Arguments on the Government’s side when addressing the Unions’ opposition to the Petro Caribe Bill is that one of its largest member unions- the Belize National Teachers Union- is directly and indirectly benefitting from the Petro Caribe program through a salary adjustment and a special p...

    Belize contributing to call for climate action
    The 20th session of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate change took place from the 1st to the 14th of December 2014 in Lima Peru...

    P.M. defines Maya land rights settlement
    One week ago today the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) accepted a consent order from the Government of Belize and Maya leaders representing 38 Maya villages in the Toledo District which settled a large part of the case brought by the latter concerning the granting of communal land rights to traditi...

    Man charged for 2014 murder
    Twenty-three year old Carlos Casanova Jr, an employee of a block factory in Corozal Town, hopped on one leg today into the court of the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith so that he could be arraigned on a charge of murder. Casanova was charged with the murder of 29 year old mark Massam Jr...

    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...

    Another taxi man found dead; this time on San Pedro
    San Pedro Police have confirmed the murder of a Belizean Taxi Driver 42 year old Jose Rigoberto Beltran who was found dead inside his vehicle sometime around 10 am on Tuesday April 28th in the San Juan area, San Pedro Town. Beltran was a member of the San Pedro Airstrip Taxi Union...

    Police investigating Kevin Flowers murder
    On Monday we told you of the death of Mahogany Heights resident Kevin Flowers shot to the back of his head on the roadside. Police are still investigating and today Superintendent of Police Hilberto Romero gave us an update.

    The Reporter

    Former Belize City mayor believed to have committed suicide on the eve of his birthday
    Former Belize City mayor, William Henry Fonseca, better known as David was found dead on Friday on the eve of his birthday. Fonseca was found in his home in the afternoon with a fatal gunshot wound and is believed to have committed suicide. His body […]

    Mark Medina murdered on Iguana Street, taxi driver becomes casualty
    Reputed George Street insider, Mark “Wanka” Medina was shot and killed execution-style on Sunday morning in front of a residence on Iguana Street. The taxi driver who took him to the house, 55-year-old Egbert Hemmans, was also shot and later died. Superintendent Hilberto Romero, […]

    GOB will front CPBL $2 million of PetroCaribe funds
    The government of Belize, through the use of PetroCaribe funds, will front the Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL) two million dollars for citrus farmers who have not been paid by the company to collect and cover their expenses. Prime Minister Dean Barrow made […]

    Taxi driver found bound murdered in San Pedro
    Jose Rigoberto Beltran, 42, who relocated to Ambergris Caye several years ago in the Escalante area of San Pedro Town and had become a taxi driver, was found dead around 10 a.m. on Tuesday inside his van. Police say a man who had gone […]

    Mechanic murdered while repairing car on Reggae Street
    Wayne Rocke, a 29-year-old mechanic was shot and killed just a short distance away from his home, while working on a vehicle in a poorly lit area on Reggae Street in the Yarborough area around 8 p.m. on Monday. According to Superintendent Hilberto Romero, officer […]

    Guatemalan nabbed in Chiquibul with Xate leaves
    Forestry and immigration personnel have arrested and charged David Alvisures Cheche, a Guatemalan of La Rejoya community Peten, after a Friends for Conservation (FCD) patrol intercepted him with Xate leaves at around 5:00 p.m. on Sunday in the Cristina area of the Chiquibul Forest. […]

    Hopkins beach vanishes amidst overnight erosion
    Personnel from the Lands Department have visited Hopkins Village, Stann Creek to analyse what residents there have described as “erosion of the beach”, a phenomenon which was first observed last week, and which now has resulted in the disappearance of as much as 12 […]

    Bar brawl ends in death! Security guard charged with murder
    An argument between two security guards and two patrons over entrance fees at the Blue House Bar, between miles eight and nine on the Phillip Goldson Highway, ended in the death of Wilmer Cisneros, 41, one of the patrons. The incident occurred on Saturday, April […]

    CCJ awards full land rights to Toledo Maya
    On Wednesday last week the Caribbean Court of Justice, meeting in Belize, pronounced its findings in the appeal case of the Maya Leaders Alliance and the Government of Belize. The following is the full text of the court order: Before the Right Honourable and the Honourables: Mr. Justice D. Byron, […]

    End of an era: Scotiabank’s Pat Andrews bows out!
    Senior staff and invited guests of Scotiabank Belize gathered at a special ceremony at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel on Tuesday night to say “thank you” and “farewell” to retiring Country Manager, Mr. Pat Andrews, and to say “welcome” to his successor, Mr. Michael Shaw […]

    New Bill of Rights for Parents: good for schools and good for students!
    Schools and teachers will become more accountable to parents for the quality of education delivered to their children, when the Parents’ Bill of Rights and Responsibilities and other proposed amendments to the Education Rules, become law. The Ministry of Education has hired a team of consultants, Trevor Hamilton and Associates […]

    Opposition protests…calls for repeal of Petrocaribe Bill!
    More than 200 PUP supporters marched for over an hour on the highway in front of the Belize Biltmore Plaza on Wednesday, April 29. Led by Garifuna drummers, protesters chanted condemnations of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who was holding a press conference inside the hotel. They were there to protest […]

    Editorial
    There are only two commercial banks in Belize which have offshore operations. One is The Belize Bank International. The other is Atlantic Bank Limited. The United States’ fiscal policy is designed to go after those Americans who try to avoid payment of taxes by hiding their investments in overseas savings […]

    PetroCaribe Act here to stay!
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow, at a press conference on Thursday morning at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel, declared that in light of opposition against the PetroCaribe Loan Act from certain quarters, he would be open to modifying the Bill but certainly not […]

    PM says banking institutions safe
    Apart from the Belize Bank, which has already had its corresponding relations with Bank of America (BOA) severed, no other bank in Belize will be affected or have corresponding relations cut, said Prime Minister Dean Barrow at a press conference on Wednesday morning. Barrow […]

    Rat attack! Western Regional pantry under siege
    Who is to be held accountable for the shocking conditions revealed at the Western Regional Hospital this week? The answer is apparently still being determined, as health officials in Belmopan continue to hold serious discussions with the management at the Western Regional Hospital after a significant crisis erupted last week […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Prime Minister provides national security updates
    There are several updates on issues of national security coming from Wednesday’s press conference. With great fanfare the Ministry of National Security and Belize Defence Force had announced plans last year to purchase as many as two helicopters from an outlet in Miami, Florida. Unfortunately things didn’t work […]

    Land titles for Caye Caulker beaches canceled
    The Ministry of Natural Resources has moved swiftly to address the creation of new plots of land on the beach and seabed in northern Caye Caulker, located directly in front of established beachfront properties. A retired British couple and a former chairman of Caye Caulker Village had complained […]

    Department of the Enviroment targets chemical management
    A workshop to bring awareness to the importance of chemical management was hosted today in Belize City by the Department of the Environment. Since 2006 the Department has been working toward goals for the safe elimination of certain harmful chemicals used in Belize as well as preparing for […]

    Former Mayor of Belize City in apparent suicide
    This afternoon around two the Fonseca family was rocked by news of the death of William Henry “David” Fonseca, a businessman and former three-term Mayor of Belize City from 1996 to 2006. Fonseca is believed to have shot himself at the family residence in Stewart’s Alley although no […]

    Accused in Treasury theft make bail
    This afternoon the Supreme Court applications for admittance to bail from two men charged in connection with the theft of over $500,000 from Treasury Department. They are David Enriquez and Francis Palacio. Enriquez, who was charged with 3 counts of theft, was released on a bail of $40,000 while […]

    Mahogany Heights man charged for firearms
    Police have made an arrest in relation to the death of 40 year old Kevin “Skelbo” Flowers of Mahogany Heights, Belize District, but it is not for his murder. 22 year old Wilfred McDougal, a fisherman residing in the village, was detained by police in connection with the […]

    Accused burglar caught red-handed with stolen items
    An aspiring burglar did not get very far with his ill-gotten bounty after police apprehended him on Tuesday. 49 year old Harrison Powell pleaded not guilty to charges of burglary and handling stolen goods in a court appearance before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith. On April 28, Kayla Hamilton, […]

    Belize Police Academy inaugurates GYM
    Recruits within the Belize Police Academy are boasting a newly constructed running track and gym. A short ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly constructed facility at the National Police Training Academy was held yesterday. According to Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie, it’s a significant milestone in the development of the Police Training Academy. […]

    Former Belize City Mayor William Henry Fonseca Found Dead
    Belize Media Group has received information that former Belize City Mayor, William Henry Fonseca, better known as David was found dead at his home on Stewart Alley in Belize City. Unconfirmed reports are that he committed suicide. This is a developing story and we will be updating it shortly.

    Belizean Entrepreneur participates at the Women’s Innovation Network of the Caribbean program
    Fifteen Caribbean woman entrepreneurs took 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 and coordinated by the Enterprise Hub. Amongst these fifteen women was Belizean Virginia Rivera, the women gathered to share […]

    Internet providers sign for first ever BIX
    Belize has the highest internet rates as well as the slowest bandwidth in all of the CARICOM countries. And in that vein, on April 16th 2015 at the University of Belize campus, Internet service provider representative Rafael Marin, along with internet providers from all over the country, signed the agreement […]

    Consumer Price Index down by 1%
    The Statistical Institute of Belize submitted its March 2015 Consumer Price Index and External Trade statistics. The figures reveal that the All-Items Consumer Price Index for the month of March 2015 was down one percent. This indicated that, on average, the goods and services typically purchased by Belizean households were […]

    Belize Weather Calls for Cloudy Skies and Few Showers
    Wondering what the weather will be like today? Well here is an update for the today’s weather and the rest of the long weekend. The National Meteorological Service of Belize is indicating cloudy skies and a few showers with several periods of rain and thunderstorms mainly over the sea […]

    Verdes Beats BDF 6 Nil
    On April 29th at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, Verdes defeated the BDF by a whopping six goals to nothing. During the first half, Jarret Davis (# 10) scored 2 goals at the 17th and 41st minutes. Before the 4th minute into the second half, […]

    Blogs

    Belize Zoo, Contest Winners & Ambergris Caye’s Island Academy Celebrate Fuego the Tapir’s 2nd Birthday
    Time flies…it seems like just yesterday that the Belize Zoo’s Fuego the Tapir was turning one. (And strangely, I haven’t aged a day!) After the passing of April, the original ambassador tapir for the Belize Zoo, Fuego has stepped quite comfortably into the role. And now, each year, we will celebrate Fuego and the birthday of the national animal of Belize. Here he is at one. Yesterday, he turned TWO YEARS OLD! And to celebrate the Belize Zoo puts on a big party. With a slogan contest, school kids, music, a marching band, food and a gorgeous cake for the birthday boy. I traveled to the mainland with one of the slogan contest winners! Noah from the Standard 3 class at San Pedro’s Island Academy. Here is the class posing on the dock with the slogan – after we returned from the trip. Noah is seated in the center.

    Our First Wonderful Year In Placencia, Belize
    Exactly one year ago, I was sitting on my couch in snowy Cleveland. At that time, I hadn’t left Northern Ohio for more than three weeks at a time. I was spending my time watching International House Hunter shows and researching on every travel blog and forum I could…trying to find out if living in Central America was a realistic dream for my husband, Dave, and I. Well, now we’re having weekly adventures, spending days on the beach, afternoons in farmers markets, and living a life we would only have tried out on vacation once a year if we had stayed back home. We live in the beach town of Placencia, Belize. Just last week we went night-river tubing in the jungle…climbed a Maya ruin…and swam and kayaked at a beautiful resort right down the beach from us. We have already replaced most of our income in the U.S., running a small resort on the beach, what a dream!

    Chili Cheese Curried Meat Patties
    I try something new with our basic Belizean Meat Patties. I do the dough Jamaican style by adding Yellow Ginger or Curry Powder. Just 2 simple ingredients of chili powder and cheese, really set this dish on fire.

    International Sourcesizz

    Belize Is Getting Faster Internet
    Sometimes the best solution to a technical problem is social engineering. After a journey of two years, that’s exactly how Belize has come to a major milestone in its technological development. The country’s Internet service providers (ISPs) have committed to set up Belize’s first-ever Internet exchange point (IXP), a piece of critical Internet infrastructure through which they can exchange local Internet traffic between their networks. The process was as simple—and as difficult—as getting nine Internet service providers (ISPs), all fierce competitors, to agree to work together for the greater good. Belize Telemedia, Speednet, BroadBand Belize, and Network Solutions signed the historic agreement on April 16 at the University of Belize’s (UB) Belize City campus, clearing the way for the establishment of the region’s latest IXP, called Belize IX or BIX.

    Belize’s Queen of Soca in Cayman for Batabano
    Ernestine Carballo, known as the Queen of Soca in her native Belize, is in Cayman to join the Batabano festivities. The artist has been singing from a young age, influenced by her deejay father. She is also a dancer as well. Ernestine has taken home the title of Best Soca Artist and Best Soca Song in Belize and recently release an album called It’s Time, so Fly. She chats with Cayman 27s Ben Meade about the carnival spirit in Cayman and her hopes to perform on island in the future.

    Tribute to Bishop Shirley Pitts
    Talk about Divine Order! We (family, friends and associates) are about to embark upon a piece of “history” which I believe was not only destined but with which I always wanted to be associated. A person whom I have come to love, respect and admire. A woman of substance – Candace Queen Mother Abbess of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and a Bishop of Faith Restoration, Inc., Bishop Shirley Ann Pitts. This colorful woman and I met through one of my spiritually adopted Sisters, Dr. Daphne Sapphire June Anderson, a British Trinidadian Herbalist (now deceased) and therefore our story began. She wears many hats, literally speaking (as a Bishop). Ms. Shirley Pitts arrived in the USA on January 14, 1963 from her homeland, Belize City in Central America. Like so many, she had a vision for herself and her country and to explore how Cable Television could be introduced to Belize (which up to that time had no television). Her fascinating journey over the years began with the “Belizean Girl International Cable TV.” This program launched the careers of many well-known Artistes. In 2015, Bishop Pitts celebrates 52 years in Harlem. Back in Belize, Ms. Pitts came from a religious background. Her parents, the late Mr and Mrs Vallon P.L. Pitts (Father a constable and Mother a Community Activist in Politics) were Methodist Christians. During her formative years the young Ms. Pitts, a teenager, (the eldest of seven siblings), along with her mother, assisted Mr. Phillip Goldson in the District of Cayo. Both parents were members of the National Independent Party (NIP), later the United Democratic Party (UDP).

    John McAfee: 'Bad people are still after me'
    The Scots-born software entrepreneur says hit men are on his tail after a hasty exit from Belize but his focus is on warding off tech companies’ all-seeing eye. Deep in the heart of the Bible Belt, John McAfee, the tech millionaire, eccentric and one-time fugitive, appears to have finally settled down – in his way. A few months shy of his 70th birthday, McAfee, as famous for his plentiful eccentricities as the anti-virus software he created, is living somewhat in the open again, this time in Lexington, Tennessee, a rustic and unassuming town with a population of less than 8,000. Born in Scotland, raised in the US, McAfee had been living in Portland, Oregon – a city that seemed a more obvious choice for a yoga loving, gun-toting technocrat who had just fled Belize via Guatemala amid a bizarre murder investigation. His woodsy property in the west Tennessee countryside, though, ended up suiting him better. He’s happier here, even if he still spins ominous stories of hit men on his trail.

    Laser vision reveals hidden worlds
    Mapping technology lets researchers see what the naked eye cannot. In the ancient Maya city of Caracol, map-making can be treacherous. Jungles shroud this site in the Central American nation of Belize. Dense shrubs stand taller than a person’s head. They hide ruins that otherwise would be obvious. To reveal the city, archeologists must hack through the growth, using sharp blades called machetes. They step carefully to avoid critters like the fer-de-lance, a common viper with an often-fatal bite. Arlen and Diane Chase know these hazards well. These archeologists work at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. For three decades, the husband-and-wife team (who cut their wedding cake with a machete) also have patiently studied Caracol. Season by season, they and their team — and later, their children — have hacked and mapped, hacked and mapped. Then, in April 2009, everything changed. That’s when lidar came to Caracol. Lidar stands for “light detection and ranging.” It’s a method of using lasers to create a map. And it revealed this part of the world in a whole new light.

    An experiment in ‘net zero deforestation’ in Guatemala
    Watching the sun rise over the temple-riddled rainforest of Guatemala’s Tikal National Park, it’s easy to understand why George Lucas chose it as the site for filming the jungle moon of Yavin 4 in “Star Wars: Episode IV.” Brightly colored birds fly close to the canopy, strange insects buzz about and howler monkeys live up to their namesake. Trees dominate the horizon, including the mighty Kapok — the sacred tree of the Maya — which towers at more than 200 feet above the forest floor. But the otherworldly landscape is under threat by a very earth-bound problem: deforestation. Guatemala is experiencing one of the most rapid deforestation rates of any country, according to a 2010 report by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). In 2014, deforestation finally appeared to become a priority for businesses, with everyone seeming to want to jump on the tree-hugging bandwagon. “Zero deforestation” became a buzzword for a newfound corporate commitment to eliminating the systematic destruction of forests from global supply chains. In September, more than 30 companies — including Asia Pulp and Paper, Cargill and Unilever — joined hundreds of governments, businesses, NGOs and indigenous peoples' groups to sign the New York Declaration on Forests, which aims to halve deforestation by 2020 and end it altogether by 2030.

    Natural Selection Will Help Coral Reefs Survive Effects Of Climate Change
    Research has warned that corals reefs are seriously threatened by human activities and climate change - but researchers are now hopeful that corals may not be doomed, 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 will be vastly different to the coral reefs we are familiar with. Researchers predict that new coral fauna will emerge, coming from the species that are most resistant to temperature increases, writes Nature World News. The world's coral reefs are at risk due to the increase in 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 has shown that while numerous coral species have indeed been declining for more than 30 years, others are remaining stable and thriving.

    Coral disease threatens Hawaii reef
    A disease called black band coral disease is affecting nearly half of the reef sites researchers have surveyed in waters off Kauai and threatens to destroy Hawaii’s reefs, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. The disease was first identified in 2004, and rose to outbreak levels in 2012. This is the first outbreak in Hawaii, and authorities are worried about the lack of ways to deal with it. Black Band disease was first observed on reefs in Belize in 1973 by A. Antonius, but it wasn’t really understood and explained back then. It’s caused by a bluegreen alga and affects 42 species of coral in a worldwide distribution. The only known reservoir is within cyanobacterial biofilms that are present on sediments in depressions of healthy black band disease susceptible corals.

    How Safe Is Your Shrimp? Consumer Reports
    Your guide to choosing the healthiest, tastiest, and most responsibly sourced shrimp. Each of us eats, on average, almost 4 pounds per year, making shrimp more popular than tuna. Once considered a special-occasion treat, shrimp has become so ubiquitous that we now expect to find it on the menu whether we’re at a pricey restaurant or a fast-food joint. In fact, Americans eat about three times more shrimp than we did 35 years ago. To satisfy our insatiable appetite, the U.S. has become a massive importer: About 94 percent of our shrimp supply comes from abroad, from countries such as India, Indonesia, and Thailand.

    Mangroves Curriculum
    The UN University Institute for Water, Environment and Health and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) are excited to announce the launch of two Units under the unique 10-Unit open access, self-paced online course all about mangrove ecosystems and their management. Unit 3: Floral Diversity: provides an overview and description of the diverse vegetation found in mangrove ecosystems around the world. It provides an overview of the different floral groups which occur in the mangrove, including true mangrove plants, mangrove associates, and other floral components. The basic concepts in plant taxonomy are also provided. Unit 4: Faunal Diversity: presented as an e-book PDF, provides students with an overview of faunal biodiversity in mangroves. Mangrove fauna are important not only because they provide humans with livelihood resources, but also because they are a unique and increasingly threatened component of global biodiversity.

    Videos

  • BSI CROP REVIEW WEEK 13, 4min.

  • Farm to Fork: The Journey of an Imported Shrimp, 5min. Excellent Consumer Reports video on shrimp problems and how to avoid them, presumably overseen by Gwendolyn Bounds? Reminded me of our Pace University Media, Communications & Visual Arts documentary on a great example of BEST practices, Linda Linda Cardelli Thornton's shrimp farms in Belize. Most of our shrimp is imported, and the majority of it is farmed. Farming can be done responsibly, but when it isn't, a variety of unhealthy, environmentally hazardous, and unappetizing problems can arise. Here is what you need to know before you buy.

  • Linda Thornton Seeking Sustainability, One Shrimp at a Time, 17min. In a new documentary, "Linda Thornton: Seeking Sustainability, One Shrimp at a Time," a team of Pace University student filmmakers explore the life of a resilient, pioneering aquaculture entrepreneur as she pushes the frontiers of sustainable shrimp farming in Belize.

  • Ambergris Caye, Belize, 9min. Sit back, put headphones on. you kinda have to, turn music up, relax, and enjoy my Belizean experience. I hope you do!

  • Ambergris Caye, Belize, 8min.

  • U S Riverines Train Belize Defense Force, 2min.

  • New York & Belize 2015, 3.5min. A video from our trip to New York and Belize.

  • Dan Lowe, Melani Leff wedding at Villa Casa Buena Vista, Belize, 11min. Villa Casa Buena Vista, San Pedro South, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

  • Belize Zoo national Tapir Day, 1min.

  • Mancation in Belize., 11min.

  • Taming Tarpon In Belize, 1min. Have a bite!


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