Recent Belize News
12/1/2015 to 12/10/2015
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December 10, 2015


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

Orange Walk Taco Festival, you can’t go wrong!
When I heard that there was going to be a Taco Festival in Orange Walk Town, I was ready to get off the island in any possible way: via plane, boat or even kayak! I was prepared to jump on a bus or ride a bicycle up north to Orange Walk if I had to! The north district is known for this culinary specialty; and finally, after only hearing about this festival, I actually could attend! I smiled the entire boat ride from Ambergris Caye to Belize City, and then on the bus to Orange Walk, excited to eat my body weight in tacos! This year was the fifth anniversary of the festival and it was held in fun style on Sunday, November 22nd at the Banquitas House of Culture in Orange Walk Town. The Banquitas House of Culture is nestled in a pleasant riverside park complete with amphitheater, underneath which the taco booths were spread out. To add to the perfection of the event, my hotel was mere feet away and perfect for when I needed to roll my stuffed self easily to my room!

Kent “Bob” Gabourel and Eric Donis take part in End of the World Marathon
The fourth annual End of the World Marathon saw hundreds of national and international athletes competing in what is now the largest race in Belize. The race was held at Placencia Village on Sunday, December 6th and certainly tested participants’ endurance and stamina. As always, San Pedro was well represented at the marathon, with the participation of Kent “Bob” Gabourel and Eric Donis, and even though neither made it to the winning podium, they still made the island proud. The race started early Sunday morning at 5:30AM at the Placencia Football Field. Created in homage to the Maya Calendar which ended in 2012, the End of the World Marathon is a grueling 26.2 mile race. Of course, novice athletes can opt to participate in the less intense End of the World Half Marathon of 13.1 miles. Over $10,000 worth of awards and prizes were given to the top three males and females overall in the full marathon and the half marathon. Awards were also given out to the top three males and females in five age categories: under 29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60 and over. In addition all runners who finish the race, not matter their placement received a commemorative finishers’ medal for taking on and completing the End of the World Marathon. A total of 160 runners participated in this year’s marathon.

San Pedro holds Christmas tree lighting ceremony
The holiday season was officially opened on Saturday, December 5th, as the Town Christmas Tree was lit in Central Park. Island families and visitors gathered to witness the official ceremony shortly after 7PM. As usual, Santa, the guest of honor made his special appearance at the event, spreading cheer and bringing in the Christmas spirit. Mayor Daniel Guerrero opened the night’s event, welcoming everyone to the anticipated annual celebration. “This Christmas tree lighting ceremony signals to us the happiness of the season; families bring us together as a community and remind us of the significance of our Creator’s birth to humanity. During the next couple of days leading to the Christmas and New Year’s festivities we hope that our residents take time to reflect how far we have come in yet another year as a community, family and individuals. There is much to be thankful for, and we must reflect on those reasons. One more year alive, with our families, with our jobs and one more year with happiness. On behalf of the entire San Pedro Town Council I take the opportunity to wish each and every one a blessed and Merry Christmas and may the year 2016 be a prosperous for all of us,” said Guerrero. Immediately after, Mayor Guerrero flipped the switch and lit the Christmas tree with thousands of colorful sparkling lights.

Letter to the Editor: Food and Toy Drive for San Pedro Town
Dear Editor: I am hereby writing for your humble assistance adhering with our community policing efforts. The San Pedro Community Policing Unit has decided to conduct a food and toy drive in coordination with the Youth Cadet program. The food and toys collected from the drive will be handed over in a small hamper to persons in the poorer parts of San Pedro who are less fortunate. Areas of focus include, but are not limited to, San Pedrito, San Juan and San Mateo areas. This effort is in conjunction with the San Pedro Youth Cadets to show gestures of caring and sharing as we approach the Christmas Holiday season. This event commenced on November 20th and runs to December 20, 2015. While donations are usually open and welcome, we would suggest small toys and non-perishable goods in your donation. The Community Policing officers and staff had been conducting surveys in different areas to narrow down and identify the best recipients for the well-deserved food hampers and toys. Your kind and generous contribution will go a long way in these hard times.

Costa Rica petitions Belize to allow passage to Cuban refugees heading to USA
The Government of Belize and Costa Rica have started diplomatic discussion on facilitating border entry to close to 4,000 Cuban immigrants who are en route to the United States of America. The discussions come about after Nicaragua and Guatemala closed its border to the Cuban immigrants who have taken refuge in Costa Rica since mid-November. Cubans have been making their way to the USA through Central America for several years now, but the phenomenon had gone unnoticed until the Costa Rican government adopted measures in early November of 2015 to fight the trafficking of persons through its country. The mass number of refugees has been housed in public shelters, and is now straining Costa Rican resources. While there is no official statement as to whether Belize will assist Costa Rica, Barrow has indicated that he is willing to consider their terms.

Adopt a Bear at Sandbar or Crazy Canucks and bring Christmas cheer to an island child
The Christmas holidays are quickly approaching, and while this season is known for giving, not every family can afford to share gifts amongst themselves. With that in mind, and with the Christmas spirt radiating throughout the island, a group of individuals have created a project to ensure the islands less fortunate children receive a gift from Santa this festive season. The Adopt a Bear project offers up the rewarding opportunity to any individual to give a Christmas present to one child who would have otherwise not received a gift. The more island residents and visitors who adopt a bear, the more children will be gifted on Friday, December 25th.

Ambergris Today

Letters to the Editor: Disgruntled Tourist Says Traffic is Killing our Island Charm
We had just been on vacation on your island, a 3rd time and again for 2 weeks. Your traffic situation has meanwhile become unhealthy and unsafe for tourists. Our rental cart, so we were told, would have a top speed of 18 miles, just barely above the speed limit of 15mph. During just one drive from Banyan Bay to town we have had the following vehicles passing us with excessive speed: Three taxis, one really unsafe looking pick-up truck, one extremely noisy Polaris, another too fast golf cart and even one empty sand truck. (we did not count the many speeding motorcycles) All had left us behind in a dust clouds produced by their excessive speed; a speed far above island limits. This is not what tourists need and tourists want for their vacation. In addition, the traffic and parking situation inside San Pedro has become disgusting. San Pedro town must now be seen unworthy as a competitive shopping and restaurant/dining destination for tourists. There seems to be no visible will that conditions on your island will improve but rather the opposite. It will get worse. Tourists want an environmentally friendly destination to vacation. Tourists are all in need for calmness during their vacation. San Pedro and large parts of Ambergris Caye do not offer this anymore. We are probably one of many who cannot recommend the island as a vacation destination to others any more. We ourselves can't see us coming back until mayor changes have been implemented.

Copa Airlines Inaugural Flight to Belize Connects To South American Market
On December 8, 2015, Copa Airlines made its long awaited inaugural flight to Belize; its 7th destination in Central America. Flight 281 arrived yesterday at 12:49 P.M via Hub de la Americas Panama City, Panama carrying a total of 92 passengers. The flight kicked off in Panama with a team of news media from different countries in South America to cover the historic event. The flight was greeted by a water salute, and passengers were welcomed with entertainment from Laru Beya Boys and Travellers Rum cocktails. Said Pedro Heilbron, Executive President for Copa Airlines stated: “For COPA Airlines this is a very proud moment for us to begin operations in this new destination with which we consolidate our leadership in the region, flying to all the countries in Central America and in this fortifying the connection that Hub de Las Americas in Panama City offers.” “With our flight to Belize we expect to amplify the opportunities of development in the business and tourism sectors in this city, while improving in an important manner the connectivity of the country to Latin America.”

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Copa Airlines Inaugural Flight Arrives in Belize
On Tuesday December 8, 2015 Copa Airlines (Compania Panamena de Aviacion) made its maiden voyage from Panama to Belize signalling the commencement of direct airlift services between those two countries. 2015 Copa Airlines today made its long awaited inaugural flight to Belize; its 7th destination in Central America. Flight 281 arrived today at 12:49 P.M via Hub de la Americas Panama City, Panama carrying a total of 92 passengers. The flight kicked off in Panama with a team of news media from different countries in South America to cover the historic event. The flight was greeted by a water salute, and passengers were welcomed with entertainment from Laru Beya Boys and Travellers Rum cocktails. Said Pedro Heilbron, Executive President for Copa Airlines stated: “For COPA Airlines this is a very proud moment for us to begin operations in this new destination with which we consolidate our leadership in the region, flying to all the countries in Central America and in this fortifying the connection that Hub de Las Americas in Panama City offers.” “With our flight to Belize we expect to amplify the opportunities of development in the business and tourism sectors in this city, while improving in an important manner the connectivity of the country to Latin America.”

Headed to Sarstoon Island
Our team is headed to Sarstoon Island along with Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security, Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Youth, Sports & Culture, Hon. Frank Mena, Minister of State in the Ministry of Public Service, Energy & Public Utilities, Rt'd. Colonel George Lovell, CEO in the Ministry of National Security and other representatives from the Ministry of National Security for the groundbreaking of the Forward Operating Base.

Belize can now use police lawyers to become district attorney in each district
By Wellington C. Ramos. Many years ago when I was a police officer in the Belize Police Force, they had a part of the division called Prosecution Branch. This division was headed by a senior ranking officer who had some sergeants working with him as prosecutors in Belize City. When police officers made arrest they would prepare their case files and send them to the prosecution branch for legal review. If they needed any legal guidance, they in turn would forward those case files to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) office. In the districts, the head of the Prosecution Branch was either a sergeant or a corporal. They reviewed the case files and also had to go to court to prosecute the cases. Over time, Belize now has many lawyers who go to court on behalf of the defendants and use legal technicalities to win cases. I think that now is the time to change this system by appointing these police officer lawyers as district attorneys. In each police station throughout the cities and the towns, one of these police lawyers could be assigned to be the head of the Prosecution Branch. His or her responsibility will be to review all the case files with the assistance of the DPP’s office, before they go to court and prosecute a case. He or she will also be the chief prosecutor for all cases. They can also decide if they would allow a corporal or a sergeant to go and prosecute a case on their behalf.

Dog Training with Behavioralist Oksana in San Pedro
Join international trainer and behavioralist Oksana on Saturday December 12th from 3 to 4PM at Saga Humane Society Fort Dog. Work your own dog for $5 or train with a Saga dog for FREE. Learn the good canine citizen basics, sit, stay, do tricks and walk on a leash. Get expert advise and answers to all those tough behavioral questions. To reserve your spot or to sign up to work a Saga dog please email saga@btl.net.

Caribbean Examinations Council meets in Belize
The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) held its 47th meeting in Belize City on Friday 4 December and the meeting of the School Committee (SEC) on Thursday 3 December 2015 under the chairmanship of Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, vice chancellor of the University of the West Indies. The opening ceremony for Council and presentation of awards for outstanding performances in the May/June 2015 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations took place on Thursday 3 December. Patrick Faber, minister of education delivered the feature address at the ceremony. Faber described CXC as “a fine example of regionalism.” The minister said CXC is a true partner with Belize and is currently working with CXC on several projects.

Friday Open Jam!
Friday Night Open Jam! We have a full band that plays every Friday & we welcome anyone to join! Whether you sing, play the maracas, drum, guitar…. come have a…Location : Barrier Reef Sports Bar & Grill, Front StreetStart Date: December 11, 2015End Date: December 11, 2015Time: 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm

November 22nd – December 5th, 2015 Belize Fishing Report
Old friends fished with us this week, and it is always a pleasure to host our extended El Pescador family. Weather still not 100% but the fishing was still solid.

Belize Screen on the Green Tinight!
Even though it is a beautiful night tonight... becuase of an electrical issue on GG Field, Belize Screen on the Green will be held at George Price Center tonight. We still promise we will have a great time though!!! The movie ("Philadelphia" starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington) will start at 6:00 PM!!! Hope to see everyone there.

Channel 7

Moving Forward With The Base
“Build the Base Now!” – we’ve all heard the battle cry from critics of the Barrow Administration – who accused the government of going soft in the Sarstoon. Well, they will build the base. True to the campaign promise, Government representatives went to the banks of the Sarstoon for a ground breaking ceremony today. Our news team hit the road to PG at 3:30 am, and we found the Guatemalans ever vigilant of any vessels entering the River. Daniel Ortiz and Codie Norales raced back from PG and they have that story: This morning, The Punta Gorda Town Pier was the launch site for 5 boats belonging to the Ministry of National Security: 3 for the BDF and 2 for the Belize National Coast Guard. Just before 8 o’clock, senior government officials started to assemble for the journey. The line-up Included the Minister of National Security, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, the Minister of Education, the CEO in the National Security Ministry, the CEO in the Foreign Affairs Ministry, 2 representatives from the Organization of American States, high ranking officers from BDF, and senior personnel from the Coast Guard and the Police Department.

Forward Base On Hunting Caye Held Up For a While
It’s also been over a year since construction screeched to a sudden halt at the other Coast Guard Forward Operating Base on Hunting Caye. That’s after the firestorm of controversy that erupted the when the public found out that a Guatemalan company, BINARQ, had been building the base. The US Government made it clear to the Barrow Administration that if the Belize Government didn’t want the Guatemalan company building the base, then they would have to do it themselves. Since then, that project, which is 75% complete, has stalled. Construction has not lulled for months, and so while we had the opportunity today, we asked the CEO in the Ministry of National Security when it will start up again. He told us that the tender to a Belizean construction company has to go out first:

Port of Belize And Stevedores Still At Standoff, Cargo Ships Delayed
The dispute between the Port of Belize and the stevedores continues tonight and it seems it’s only getting worse. As we reported last night, Port CEO Arturo Vasquez has turned to the Labor commissioner to try and solve this issue but it doesn’t seem it will be that easy. This afternoon the CWU president Audrey Matura Shepherd and the Stevedores met outside the Port and by the looks of things – the stevedores are really getting fed up of the back and forth. Shepherd told us today that they are willing to go back to work and to negotiate BUT, they made it clear – they will not settle for anything less than what they say was agreed on. Audrey Matura Shepherd - President, CWU "We began negotiating what we call the retirement/pension benefit and we thought that went well. It took us about 5 or 6 hours that day but we ironed out, we asked the questions and we worked it out. The reason we had to do that is because the guys would not go back to work unless that was agreed on. We thought we had something concrete, we didn't write down all the details but we had an one page agreement in principle as to the amounts. Now throughout that negotiation it was clear cut that what we were dealing with is something that is retroactive to 2004; because there has never been an agreement."

Murdered John Doe Buried In Buena Vista
The body of an unidentified Hispanic male was found in the area of Spanish Lookout last night. The decomposed body was not far from the Iguana Creek Bridge – and the man – who only had on underwear – appears to have been chopped to death. Police say the victim – who is being classed as a John Doe – had been chopped to the head; three gashes were seen at the left side of his head by his ear. An onside post mortem placed the time of death sometime earlier this week. But, because of the decomposition, he had to be buried immediately – and that was done in the Buena Vista cemetery this afternoon. Police have no clues about his identity, no ID cards and no missing persons reports. They are saying that one possibility is that the body may have come from down the river and washed up. The investigation continues…

The First Senate Showdown Is Over A Supplementary
The new Senate had its first full working session today in Belmopan. The meeting started at 10:00 in the morning and went until just a few minutes before 6:00 – so it was a very full day. A good portion of it was spent debating the supplementary appropriation bill – basically an accounting of how the government spent 44 million dollars in Petrocaribe Funds in the last three months of 2015. It generated fiery debate in the House on Friday – and did much the same today – here’s the back and forth:… Hon. Mark Lizarraga - Business Senator "So not only are we concerned about the correctness of the numbers and how the numbers change from one set that has been presented a few months ago to the set that is being presented now; but we don't know what it is that any of this was spent on. Today we are being asked to approve 44.7 million dollars. How can we know what was spent and on what projects Mr. President? None of here perhaps knows. How can we know if we have received value for money?" "If one receives numbers and the numbers are not consistent, if you can't rely on the numbers; granted we don't have none of the details but the very numbers themselves that they present to us continue to change. One begins to question not only competency but perhaps other things. Where is the transparency? You can't take this to a banker to get this approved, an economist, an attorney, an engineer."

BPP Wants UN Convention
So while things went more or less predictably in the Senate Chamber, outside, the Belize Progressive Party was trying to shake things up. They’ve had absolutely no luck at the polls, but the third party is trying to tap into public sentiment by its enthusiastic embrace of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. Today was international anti-corruption day and the BPP used the opportunity to key in on the fact that the government of Belize has not signed the convention. They started with a very small protest outside the national assembly where Bobby Lopez explained why it is meaningful:… Bobby Lopez - BPP "We don't like to be blacklisted, we don't like to look bad in the world community and corruption continues to escalate so it is important that we let them know that we, the BPP on this day would have been signing that document because that was our pledge." Mike Rudon - Channel 5 News "Is it a source of disappointment to you that you all keep coming out but the numbers don't seem to come out? It's like people don't take serious what's happening."

OCEANA Eyes Opened On Offshore Drilling
As we have reported, the government has announced that off shore oil drilling is banned in all 7 World Heritage Sites in and along the Belize Barrier Reef System. OCEANA, COLA and other agencies have welcomed and applauded this decision. But they say, there is still more to research, more to be done on this issue. And that’s why OCEANA held a conference today at the Radisson to continue the discussion of off shore oil drilling in Belize. Trinidadian Expert Marc De Verteuil was invited to present on Trinidad and Tobago’s challenges as the oldest and most experienced oil producing country in the world. He says that Belize can learn a thing or two about the catastrophic risks involved in off shore oil exploration. Marc De Verteuil - Director and Founder, Papa Bois Conservation Group "Trinidad is littered with ancient oil and gas infrastructure, old pipes, platforms, well heads. Some of these well heads have never been properly capped. There's one well head in particular I can think about 5 years ago I stumbled across it and it was Trinidad's first commercial oil well. It was drilled in 1867; the oil well was leaking about 4 or 5 gallons every day into this big sump which occasionally would be emptied by the oil company. If it started to rain the sump would fill up with water, the oil drifts on top of the water, it would flow into the neighbourhood. Create a huge environmental hazard, go straight into wetlands. In dry season the whole area would dry out and you get bush fires and the oil and the well would actually get caught on fire every year; fire services would have to come and put it out."

Alleged Robber Remanded
Last night we told you all about the robbery on west canal in Belize City – when a thief snatched a knapsack with over ten thousand dollars in it. Police were quick to respond and recovered most of the items – along with a gun in a house on Wagner’s Lane within a few minutes. Five men were detained and today two of them were charged. 19 year old Malieck Michael Humes and 22 year old Macory Alexander Neal were taken to court today and charged for kept prohibited firearm, kept unlicensed firearm and kept ammunition without a gun license along with handling stolen goods. They appeared in Court #5 before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza where they were read four charges, one count for an extended nin millimeter magazine, one count for a Baretta 9 millimeter pistol, one count for 42 nin mm live rounds and one count of handling stolen goods for possession of a small black plastic bag containing $9,639.00 in Belize currency, and a tablet valued at $2,000 dollars property of Zane Allen Robinson.

Shady Dentist Out On Bail
Dentist Robert John Hall appeared in San Pedro Magistrates Court today where he was read a charge for a single count of making false representation. He was granted bail – after he turned over all his travel documents. That was completed this evening and tonight he is out on bail. He reappears in court on the 12th of February. As we reported last night, Hall was convicted in the US, and sent to jail for injecting semen into at least seven of his patient’s mouths. But he seems to have effortlessly manipulated the Medical Council of Belize and gotten a license to work as a dentist, using just a nickname, Robert Bob Hall.

Two Women And A House
2 Belize City women will be having a very special Christmas this year after they both received a brand new house today. 39 year old Beatrice Pratt and 55 year old Delphina Terry were living in what could hardly be considered a house – their living conditions were deplorable. But today all that changed when they were both given the keys to their new 3 bedroom houses. We found out just how ecstatic these families were The 3rd home will be handed over to another recipient next year.

The Placide Way
Trinidadian-American war veteran and world renowned vocalist Gerard Placide is in Belize spreading a message of hope. He came to our studios yesterday to tell his quite remarkable life story, where he went from the most abject circumstances to becoming an accomplished vocalist and a world renowned motivational speaker. And now he is here to tell Belize that no matter what you are going through , never give up hope. Placide has traveled across the country and has made several appearances at churches and schools. He leaves on Monday and will return in January.

Salvation X-Mas
And so Placide spread that same message of hope to the kids at the Salvation Army’s Christmas party today –and he did it through song. We stopped by the party to find out just how fun and special this year’s party was Over 650 kids attended.

Hon. Hulse Scolds Espat
And the last two items on the news tonight are from today’s senate meeting. The day opened with a statement from Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse. He was responding to the PUP’s Toledo East Area Representative Mike Espat. Espat spoke at Friday’s House Meeting about an immigration hustle where a dozen persons from Trio and Bella Vista villages in his division were tricked into paying a thousand dollars for bogus nationality documents. To hear Espat’s version of the story, the same involved high level corruption with the Department and he used his parliamentary privilege to list the names of some very senior staffers – and allege that they were involved in the scam. Well today the Minister of Immigration set the record straight and said Espat needed to give an apology:.. Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration "Mr. President the fact of the case is as follows. On Thursday October the 29th 2015 I was informed as the minister responsible for immigration by the chairman of Bella Vista village that some 12 person had paid for and received nationality certificates from an operative who claimed to be an immigration official. On Friday October the 30th 2015, the chairman brought a copy of one of the certificates to the offices of the department of immigration. I convened a meeting with the director and the CEO, who both like myself, immediately recognized this document to be a fake. Everything was wrong; the paper, the printing, no seal, a signature that bare no close resemblance to any immigration minister, present or past. No oath on the certificate."

Senator Set-To-Right
And if you watched our coverage of the senate meeting today you saw a few new Senators. They were learning the ropes during their first working session in the upper house. And veteran senator Lisa Shoman had a scolding for UDP newcomer Macario Coy – who was responding to the PUP’s Jason Patrick Andrews:.. Hon. Patrick Andrews - PUP Senator "This loan of 12 million that we are talking about in 20 years’ time, I plan to still be around and some of my young colleagues on the other side, we will be around having to figure out how will we paying these 20 million." Hon. Macario Coy - UDP Senator "I want to, of course let him know that the people of Belize had spoken on the 4th of November.

Channel 5

Ground Broken for Joint FOB at Sarstoon River
A groundbreaking for the Forward Operating Base finally took place this morning at the Sarstoon River in southern Belize. The base will be used to support tactical operations by the [...]

Guatemalan Diplomatic Note: Kindly Leave Illegal Fishermen Alone
While the Guatemalans seem to have had a change of heart in respect of the erection of an F.O.B. on the Belizean side of the Sarstoon River, its government, via [...]

What was a Guatemalan Drone Doing Overhead in Belizean Airspace?
As we reported earlier, the official tour of the Sarstoon River, including the proposed site of the Forward Operating Base and the Cadenas outpost, went without incident.  While the Guatemalan [...]

PBL versus CWU; the Deadlock Continues
At news time, striking stevedores are still camping out at the Port of Belize where they have been since one o’clock this afternoon. But all is quiet despite reports that [...]

CWU Still Unable to Meet with Labor Commissioner Amid Impasse
The CWU has been having emergency meetings with the executive and the stevedores but the situation remains fluid.   Audrey Matura-Shepherd, President, CWU “Decisions aren’t mine alone, so I keep [...]

Chamber of Commerce on Impact of Ongoing Gridlock at Port
More than one hundred containers are waiting to upload and unload. The situation has dire consequences on many fronts. Exports represent thirty-seven million dollars while the imports so far for [...]

Immigration Minister Gives Update on Security Measures to Prevent Corruption
The Ministry of Immigration seems to be ever under scrutiny for a series of irregularities concerning documentation obtained through fraudulent means. At the House meeting last Friday Prime Minister Dean [...]

An Unidentified Man Found Murdered in Spanish Lookout
The lifeless body of an unidentified man was discovered by San Ignacio police on Tuesday night in an area of the Spanish Lookout Community known as Mennonite Beach.  Sometime before [...]

Petrocaribe Appropriations Bill Tackled in the Senate
On the table for discussion, debate and passage before the Senate this morning were two loan motions for road rehabilitation and tourism, thirteen agreements for ratification and the usually inflammable [...]

Opposition Says There’s Lack of Accountability in Petrocaribe Expenditure
And then the rest of the field from both sides of the Senate weighed in. From the Opposition side there is a clear problem because while they are being asked [...]

Senate Discusses State of National Highways
The government of Belize conducted a successful campaign leading up to general elections based in large part on an infrastructural surge across the country. And it has continued, as today [...]

Robert Young Jr. Freed of Theft Charges
A Belize City taxi driver,  accused of theft of two vehicles and over five thousand dollars in cash from an international company, was freed of the charge by Chief Magistrate, [...]

Brandon Tillett Hit with Additional Charges in Attempted Murder Case
In court today, BT, the infamous Brandon Mason Tillett, associate of the George Street Gang, was before the lower court for an attempted murder case for which he is awaiting [...]

Belize Progressive Party Calls on G.O.B. to Sign Anti-corruption Convention
Today is international anti-corruption day and around the world one hundred and seventy-seven countries are observing it. Belize isn’t one of those countries, but about seven persons representing the Belize [...]

Quality Poultry Takes Lick Due to Stevedores Strike
As we have reported, the strike has implications with goods coming into and going out of Belize for the Christmas season. Caught in all this, is the importation of turkey [...]

Quality Poultry General Manager Says Impact is Tremendous
According to Barkman the impact is tremendous and the losses so far are about half a million dollars during one of the busiest times of the year. For now, the [...]

OCEANA Holds Annual Conference on Belize’s Water Systems
Today at the Radisson Fort George in Belize City, OCEANA Belize held a conference to further discuss the issue of offshore oil exploration in Belize and the state of Belize’s [...]

Salvation Army’s Christmas Party Draws Hundreds of Children
It is the season for giving and our friends at the Salvation Army are doing just that. Earlier today, as they do every year, the organization hosted children from numerous [...]

CTV3

Hulse Demands Apology From Mike Espat
During the House of Representatives on Friday Area Representative for Toledo East, Mike Espat brought up another Immigration Scandal for the Barrow Administration. While the David Nanes Schnitzer case dominated the conversation in the House, Espat, with documents in hand, called on the Government to conduct an intense investigation at the Immigration Department because there was rampant corruption. As he outlined the details of the case Espat even called out names of persons who assisted individuals living in Bella Vista to receive nationality and residency for approximately one thousand dollars days before the November fourth elections. This morning, during the Senate meeting in Belmopan, Honorable Minister of Natural Resources and Immigration, Senator Godwin Hulse, indicated that there has been no evidence presented of any involvement of members of the Department, and much less of those mentioned by the Area Representative.

Ground Breaking Takes Place For Construction Of Forward Operating Base
The requested for a Forward Operating Base to be constructed on the Sarstoon Island in southern Belize has been one of the highlights of this year. If one can recall the issue was widely debated on the media and even on social media. It even brought about the rather infamous showdown on the Sarstoon River between the Belize Territorial Volunteers, and the Guatemalan Navy. The incident not only sparked outrage but also developed a fierce discussion country wide as to who the Sarstoon Island belongs to. But as they say, after the storm comes the calm and while the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute will not wash away anytime soon, today we can say that the first step was made to construct the Forward Operating Base. Early this morning a team of officials comprised of Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of State in the Ministry of Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities, Hon. Frank Mena, Retired Colonel George Lovell, and the CEO in the Ministry of National Security along with other representatives headed to the Sarstoon Island for the ground breaking of the new Forward Operating Base.

Belize Named In Another Money Laundering Scandal
Belize has once again been named in a fraudulent pyramid scheme, where millions of dollars was laundered. A report coming from The Canadian Press, states that police in Toronto have arrested two men in connection with a US$ 93 million pyramid scheme. Police say the scheme was operated under the name Banners Broker and was operating out of a Toronto address between October 2010 and March 2013. Banner Brokers promised users the chance to double their investment in an advertising company that was linked to a globally renowned network. Of the $93-million allegedly raised from investors by Banners Broker, Toronto police say $45-million was paid out to early investors, who then attracted others to the scheme.

Victor Recinos Becomes New Comptroller Of Customs
The Belize Customs and Excise Department has a new Comptroller. He is no other than 54 year old Victor Recinos who is scheduled to officially take over the department on Monday December 14th. Recinos will take over the seat from former controller Emil Grinage who has reached the retirement age and will be in charge of over 200 employees. The 54 year old takes over the department at a time when Belize is reeked by contraband activity. As it pertains to that subject Recinos told the Amandala Newspaper that one of the functions of the department is to carry out regular patrols at the border and to set up checkpoints in order to ensure that individuals don’t try to avoid paying duty, and that they are using acceptable ports of entry and not illegal ones, which would be in direct violation of immigrations and customs laws.

LOVE FM

Investigators Seek to Identify Body Found in Western Belize
Police are looking to positively identify a body that was found in Spanish Lookout on Tuesday. Police say they went to an area known as the Mennonite Beach area which is about a mile from Ant Trial road that leads to the Belize Old River where they saw the body of a Hispanic male person […]

Ground Breaks for Sarstoon Operating Base
Today ground was broken for the construction of a forward operating base at the mouth of the Sarstoon River in southern Belize. Sarstoon Island and the river have been the latest point of contention between Belize and Guatemalan in regards to Guatemala’s unfounded claim over Belize. A few months ago, the Belize Territorial Volunteers led […]

Saldivar Shares Diplomatic Note from Guatemala’s Foreign Ministry
According to Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, representatives of ‘friendly nations’ would have been present at today’s ground breaking ceremony if it was not for a late invitation. An invitation was also sent to Guatemala’s Foreign Ministry through its embassy here in the country. However, no one from Guatemala showed up today. However, the […]

Belizean Waters or Guatemalan Waters?
As was mentioned in the story, several Guatemalan gun boats were seen patrolling near the mouth of the Sarstoon Island. It is presumed that they are in Guatemalan waters. That presumption is based on the equidistance principle. In maritime boundary claims, the equidistance principle is a legal concept that a nation’s maritime boundaries should conform […]

Did Guatemala Invade Belize’s Airspace?
While the Guatemala gun boats stayed off Belizean waters, a drone equipped with a camera was sent to hover above the group that participated in the ground breaking ceremony. It was clearly seen that the small drone, came from the Guatemala side of the border while the five boats slowly made its way to the […]

Operating Base at Hunting Caye Near Completion
While the Forward Operating Base at Sarstoon will take about three months to be completed, the base at Hunting Caye is near completion. The last we reported on it was when the US Embassy pulled its funding after the Government objected to the base being built by BINARQ, a Guatemalan construction company. Today, CEO in […]

Senator Hulse Demands Apology from Toledo East Representative
In last week’s sitting of the House of Representatives, Toledo East Representative, Mike Espat rose to bring about what he had described as further corruption in the immigration department. Minister of Immigration, Godwin Hulse is not an elected minister and thus he was not on hand to respond to those allegations. However, in today’s sitting […]

Handful of Protesters Gather at National Assembly
When we spoke with Robert Leslie of the Belize Progressive Party this morning, he and a handful of Belizeans were protesting in front of the National Assembly with posters and placards on national issues of concerns. According to Leslie, the corruption in the Government needs to be unmasked as it affects the leaders to provide […]

BPP Continues Lobbying for Belize to Sign Onto the UNCAC
Today is dubbed the International Anti-Corruption Day with the objective of raising awareness of corruption and of the role of the Convention in combating and preventing corruption. The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Convention against corruption on October 31, 2003. The Assembly further went to designation December 9 as International Anti –corruption […]

Senate First Meet for Term 2015 – 2020
The first official sitting of the Senate under this new term of Government was held today within the chambers of the National Assembly. Six new senators were making their debut in this sitting, namely, Pastor Ashley Rocke, Macario Coy, Dr Carla Barnett, Aldo Salazar, Francine Burns and Stephen Duncan with the notable absence of a […]

PlusTV

Dentist convicted for unethical acts in US stopped from opening office in Belize
Thanks to a tip, police have been able to close down a dentist office in San Pedro before it opened for its first day of business. The reason is because the American dentist who would be operating that clinic, has criminal records in North Carolina, United States for injecting semen into his client...

Belmopan man charged for chopping man in forehead
Belmopan police have made an arrest for the attempted murder of a 23 year old Belmopan man. On Saturday December 5, Adonai Harrison and some friends arrived in Belmopan after attending a youth award ceremony in Belize City. Heading home, they passed the Mae Gordon Park in Belmopan where he was conf...

Cabinet decides no entry for stranded Cubans
The Cabinet of the Government of Belize met today to discuss the proposal presented by the Government of Costa Rica for Belize to facilitate the mobility of Cuban immigrants currently stranded at the Costa Rica – Nicaragua Border. Almost four thousand Cubans are now stranded at the Costa Rica Nicara...

Man charged in connection to fatal traffic accident
Yesterday we told you about the traffic accident that claimed the life of 50-year-old Jorge Reynoso Juarez in the Stann Creek District. That accident happened on Saturday the 5th of December at around 7:45p.m, at the Santa Cruz Junction and Placencia Road in Stann Creek. Police say they have since a...

Belmopan resident to receive Queen’s Young Leaders Award
60 young people from across the Commonwealth will be receiving the Queen’s Young Leaders Award. A Belizean youth has been named among this year’s winners, and she hails from Belmopan. She is 27 year old Deidra Smith. The Award will be presented in London by Her Majesty The Queen in 2016 as a p...

Murder accused face appeal
Tyrone Meighan and Brandon Baptist were charged just yesterday in the home invasion and rape at the residence of Sarkis Abou-Nehra in Burrell Boom last week, among a group of nine. But we have received confirmed reports that they may face another set of charges which they thought they had beaten a l...

Boy dies from traffic accident injuries
A 9 year old boy died as a result of a traffic accident that happened on Thursday of last week. By all appearances, and according to xrays and ultrasounds, 9 year old Geraldo Lopez was not in any critical condition after he was knocked down by a motorcycle while crossing the Orange Walk Main street ...

The December 9, 2015 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

The Guardian

Sarstoon will have its Forward Operating Base
John Saldivar, the Minister of National Security, and the Barrow Government have proven that they can keep their promises to the Belizean People. On Wednesday, December 9, they traveled down to the mouth of the Sarstoon river to hold a ground breaking ceremony to signal to everyone, including the Guatemalan neighbors, that a Joint Forces Forward Operating Base will be built at the entrance of the Sarstoon River. Saldivar was accompanied by a number of dignitaries to the ground breaking site. Those officials included Frank “Papa” Mena, the Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister; Patrick Faber, the Minister of Education; 2 observers of the Organization of American States; Admiral John Borland, the Commandant of the Belize National Coast Guard; Brigadier General David Jones, the Commander of the Belize Defence Force; Superintendent Simeon Alvarez, the Officer Commanding the Punta Gorda Police Station; and a number of high ranking soldiers, police officers, and coast guard personnel.

Cuban migration ‘a regional problem’ says Belize’s Cabinet
The Cabinet of Belize met on Tuesday as it always does and this week top on the agenda were discussions on a request made by the Costa Rican government for Belize to allow over 3 thousand Cubans to leave Costa Rica via airplanes and land in Belize and from here further their movement into Mexico and on to the United States of America. After Tuesday’s meeting, the Cabinet issued the following release: “The Cabinet of the Government of Belize met today to discuss the proposal presented by the Government of Costa Rica for Belize to facilitate the mobility of Cuban immigrants currently stranded at the Costa Rica – Nicaragua Border. After careful consideration the Cabinet is of the view that this is a regional problem. As such the Government of Belize is prepared to participate in a regional discussion to identify the necessary mechanisms to address the Cuban immigrants transiting through the region. At this juncture, the Government of Belize is unable to make any commitments outside of a regional arrangement.”

Christmas stalled, another ship sent back
Stevedores at the Port of Belize, on Wednesday December 9 are once again refusing to unload a ship that has made a port call. The stevedores have taken on this position after negotiations with the management have apparently failed. However it is a matter of who you listen to. According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Port, Arturo ‘Tux’ Vasquez, the decision was taken in an arbitrary manner while negotiations were ongoing. The Christian Workers Union has taken the position that the workers are fighting to have pensions paid to them. The Guardian has received a document which indeed proves that there have been negotiations going and in fact these have been signed into an agreement. The document clearly spells out the terms of a pension fund for the stevedores and says it becomes effective when a Collective Bargaining Agreement is signed. What the document does not say is when that will take place that is, there is no definitive start date to the pension. We are informed that stevedores will begin to make their contribution to the pension program as early as January of next year. But even though that is not spelt out that apparently is the start date. What is missing however is the retroactivity of the pension. That is now the point of contention between management and the stevedores since the agreement does not state if the pension will be retroactive. For his part Arturo ‘Tux’ Vasquez is now holding on to the position that they port cannot pay for a retroactive pension which the stevedores want to roll back to 2004 when the port was privatized.

Lisa who?
Today we will look at another personality in this Leadership conundrum. A few weeks ago Lisa Shoman threw her hat in the ring as a candidate for the contest to fill the void as PUP Leader that was created by the stepping down of Francis Fonseca some 12 or so hours after the party’s fourth election defeat in just about 10 months. Some would even go as far as saying the PUP has been Leaderless since George Price was stabbed in the back in 1996. He was the only true Leader the party had that commanded any respect and was the glue that held the party together. PUP needs another George Price to lead it, and in effect Lisa is saying she is that person. Back in last month on 24th November, 2015 she declared that she will run to fill that vacant position as Party Leader. This is what channel 7 reported “Lisa Shoman who wants to be the next Leader of her party, is one of 5 potential candidates including ....... but she is the first woman to express an interest in leading a mass party”. Lisa who does not hold a seat in the house of representatives nor does she control a constituency within her party, and according to all checks we at this newspaper have made she has never won any sort of contest before , not even a POPULARITY CONTEST in KINDERGARDEN.

PUP has no sympathy for Belize City flood victims
Two loan motions were passed in the House of Representatives on Friday, December 4, but what most people will remember from the 12th National Assembly’s first day of actual business is the debate of a supplemental revenue appropriation bill. The House of Representatives passed Petro-Caribe Loan (Amendment) Act on Friday, June 26, to specify what types of projects can be implemented under the program and make requirements for quarterly reports of acquisition and spending of Petro-Caribe funds. The supplemental revenue appropriation bill introduced on December 4 is to honour government’s requirement for quarterly reports. Therefore, government asked permission for the retrospective acquisition and spending of $44.7 million for the months of September, October and November. The details of the spending were attached to reports presented to members of the House. Representatives of the People’s United Party, still in their General Election post-mortem stage, pointed at the three month expenditure as the reason for the United Democratic Party’s November 4th victory. In remarks directed at Hon. Patrick Faber, the member from Orange Walk Central, Hon. Johnny Briceno, said, “of course if we had 44 million to spend, Honorable member from Collet, we would be sitting over that side”. Rt. Hon Said Musa, Representative for Fort George, said, “The government is boasting that it bought the election.”

5 Ambassadors present credentials to the Governor General of Belize
Five ambassadors presented their credentials to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young on December 7, 2015 at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan. H.E. Rabah Hadid, Ambassador of Algeria; H.E. Petros Panayotopolous, Ambassador of Greece; H.E. Alfonso Manuel Portables Vazquez, Ambassador of Spain; H.E. Vehbi Esgel Etensel, Ambassador of Turkey; and H.E. Valdrack Jaentschke, Ambassador of Nicaragua all expressed their pleasure in being a representative of their countries in Belize and extended warm greetings to Belize from their governments. Each ambassador conveyed to the Governor General that their country’s purpose is to continue to develop and maintain strong relations between their countries and Belize. The Governor General graciously received the credentials and welcomed the ambassadors to Belize.

Better road, more accidents in Orange Walk Town
Two years ago there was hue and cry about the condition of the portion of the Phillip Goldson Highway which runs through Orange Walk Town. It had been in a terrible state of disrepair partly due to incessant bad weather but mostly due to the neglect of the Orange Walk Town Council. The United Democratic Party Government then stepped in and through the use of Petro Caribe Funds the three miles which pass through the town were repaired and paved making it a joy to drive on. Well the old adage which says that “progress brings problems” appositely applies to this recent improvement of the road. The problem that this has created is that now motorists have taken to speeding on this stretch of level road. Often people can be seen speeding when entering Orange Walk Town from both sides and even through the center of the town. Maybe because it is such a smooth ride they don’t realize that they are indeed travelling at speeds which are dangerous to other road users and even to themselves.

Legal battle over ‘MEK MI RICH’ continues
Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel has closed the evidence taking phase of a lawsuit to determine if the new hit lottery game, Mek Mi Rich, is a stolen idea. This is the allegation that Corozal businessman Curtis Swasey has accused the directors of Mek Mi Rich of doing, stealing his idea and reaping the commercial benefits of it. Swasey has given sworn testimony that in 2012, he approached Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) with the idea of using their short messaging service (SMS) platform to allow Belizeans to buy lottery tickets for a lottery game he had developed. His idea, referred to as lottery texting, would provide him with BTL’s entire customer base as possible clients who could buy tickets using their SMS. It would also give the customers the security of an identification, and proof of ownership since the Government has mandated that every single phone number be registered to an owner. He claims that when he approached BTL on the concept, they signed an information exchange agreement, which is basically a non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement, where neither side is allowed to reveal the sensitive information being discussed among both parties.

Local Sugar Price Increase Benefits Entire Industry’s Viability
Today, BSI issued a revised cane price estimate to cane farmer associations for the 2015/16 crop. As a result of last week’s decision by the Government to raise the price of plantation white sugar, cane farmers were informed that the first cane payment will increase to $36.65 based on a revised first cane price estimate, which increased from $41.56 to 45.25. This increase fully reflects the increase provided under the new Statutory Instrument giving it effect. Though it was less than expected by farmers as a result of the government decision not to extend the increase to brown sugar, and also because the benefit is spread over more tons of cane as a result of an increased expected crop this year than that envisaged in 2014 when the proposal was made by industry stakeholders to Government. Nevertheless, the increase will be of great benefit to the industry, and signals the first time in almost 15 years (the last increase was January 2001) that the industry has seen an upward adjustment in prices despite significant market changes over the years. The proposal was rooted in the context of anticipated adverse developments in the EU Sugar market, which has historically been Belize’s traditional and most beneficial export market. The EU reforms will reduce the preferential value of that market considerably in the lead up to the lifting of current restrictions on EU beet production in 2017. The proposed increase in local sugar price was justified on the basis that the increased price will:

PUP celebrating the possible loss of Petro Caribe
It seems that those Dean Barrow haters and DOOM forecasters in the PUP, could not wait for the ink to dry on the paper to declare that the Venezuelan opposition the Democratic Unity Roundtable had taken over control of their Parliament from the President Nicolas Maduro’s led socialist party PSUV by what is being described as a trouncing. They are now jumping for joy that it may be the end of the Petro Caribe. We say this because even though Maduro is still the President of Venezuela for the next 3 years his hands would be tied, because for some time now the opposition has been attacking Maduro and the PSUV with the accusation that the terms of the Petro Caribe program was making the Venezuelan people starve. So one would only conclude that they will use their powerful majority in parliament to either cut back on the amount of rounds they make available to countries like ours or they will stop it completely. One may ask how will this be possible if Maduro still holds the Presidency. Well Venezuela has a system like the USA. They can have a president from one party and a parliament from another party. We don’t have to think too far back to imagine how parliament could hamstring a president. Just think back to two years ago when President Obama could not get his budget passed by their parliament. It caused the Federal Government to shut down, there was not much money to spend.

Said Musa must have “The Talk” with Kareem
Every father with male offsprings at some point in life should have “the talk” with their son. The main subjects of such a discussion are the do’s and do not’s of life. Now that we have our first National Assembly father and son combo in the country’s history, it is about time that we have the first parliamentary father-son talk. If not, the son will continue to bring shame to the father. On Friday, December 4, Kareem Musa opted to bring up the topic of international fugitive David Nanes Schnitzer. On the motion to adjourn, Musa said his concern of national importance is about passport fraud. According to the member from Caribbean Shores, “The David Schnitzer case demonstrated to the world that there is not only collusion [in the immigration department] but there is multi-layered corruption from top to bottom.” Prime Minister Barrow is equally upset about the David Nanes Schnitzer blackeye and he outlined the authority’s efforts and legal limitations in regards to the reprimand and extradition of the fugitive. However, he pointed out to Kareem Musa that he does not need to ask questions in the House of Assembly to familiarize himself with the intricacies of immigration corruption. Prime Minister Barrow encouraged him to “start with your father”.

Increase in the control price for plantation white sugar
The Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, hereby informs the general public that effective January 1, 2016, Plantation White Sugar will retail at a maximum price of 75 cents per pound countrywide. A Statutory Instrument has been signed by the Minister responsible for Supplies Control dated December 4th, 2015 to give effect to this increase. While the GOB has maintained the controlled prices for sugar for more than a decade, this increase of 25 cents per pound is to allow the industry to earn a fair price in comparison to other producers in the region. The Ministry reiterates that this price change becomes effective on January 1, 2016 and merchants are hereby warned to desist from adjusting retail prices before the above mentioned date. Furthermore, Sections 15 and 16 of the Supplies Control Regulations requires every retailer of any priced controlled goods to display for public viewing a list of approved maximum retail prices as well as clearly mark the retail price on the packaging of such price controlled goods offered for sale. The public is also advised that there is sufficient sugar in stock and all parties along the distribution chain are warned not to hoard sugar in an attempt to earn a price windfall from consumers.

Sugar price gouging
On Friday December 4, the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce, and the Ministry of Agriculture announced that the price of plantation white sugar would be increasing by 25 cents. The release notes that it has been over a decade since the price of sugar has been increased and the increase is, “to allow the industry to earn a fair price in comparison to other producers in the region.” It goes on to state that, “the Ministry reiterates that this price change becomes effective on January 1, 2016 and merchants are hereby warned to desist from adjusting retail prices before the above mentioned date. Failure to comply with the Supplies Control Price Regulations will result in imprisonment for a term not exceeding six (6) months, a fine of one thousand dollars ($1000.00), or to both such term of imprisonment and such fine.

Verdes FC a foot closer in advancing to the finals again
The Premier League of Belize Opening Season Tournament Playoff Round commenced on Saturday 5 December, 2015. On Sunday 6 December 2015, at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the home team and defending National Football Champions, the Verdes FC white-wash the Belmopan Bandits by the score of 2-0 to take a 1-0 lead in the home and away series between the two. The Verdes FC got on the scoreboard when Jarret Davis scored the first of his two goals in the 25th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. The lead was extended when Davis scored his 2nd goal of the game in the 27th minute of play to give his team a 2-0 lead. The Verdes defence was able to hold the lead and at the sound of the long whistle it was a 2-0 victory for the home team. Meanwhile, on Saturday 5 December, at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, the host team the Placencia Assassins edged out the visiting Police United FC by the score of 2-1.

St. Catherine Academy and Gwen Lizarraga won the Central Region Secondary Schools basketball competition
The Central Region Secondary Schools Basketball Competition came to an end on Saturday 5 December, 2015, with the continuation of the male championship game that had to be postponed in the third quarter on Friday 4 December with the score in favour of Gwen Lizarraga High School because of the inclement weather. In the end, Gwen Lizarraga High School edged out Sadie Vernon Technical High School by the score of 74-73. The top scorers for Gwen Lizarraga High School were Keyvon Evans with 25 points and Aaron Young with 23 points. Meanwhile, the top scorers for Sadie Vernon Technical High School were Glency Lopez with 32 points and Darnel Galvez with 19 points. In the second and final game in the female championship, St. Catherine Academy defeated Maud Williams High School by the score of 22-20. The top scorer for St. Catherine Academy was Tricia Jefferies with 8 points and for Maud Williams High School, the top scorers were Ashley Bailey and Arika Sheppard with 7 points each.

Rotary hands over houses to two needy families
“Service Above Self” is the Rotary motto and on Wednesday, December 9, the Rotary Club of Belize continued to live up to that mantra by handing over the keys for brand new houses to two needy families in Belize City. Delphina Terry is the grandmother of three young children. The children’s parents are not in a position to take care of them; therefore, granny is the primary caregiver. Life has been difficult for the family because their place(s) of shelter was not adequate for human life. Rainy days were the worst. The children who had already been dealt a bad hand at birth faced many extremely uncomfortable nights. While most people think about whether it would be cold or warm in the nights, families like these wonder if they will be dry or wet. Fortunately, this will not be the case for Terry’s family in the near future and hopefully it will never be the case again.

Outstanding contributions by young people honored in Youth Awards
The Department of Youth Services held its 2015 Belize Youth Awards on Friday December 4, 2015 at the Belize Biltmore Plaza. The event which marked the culmination of National Youth Week, celebrated under the theme “Youth, Let’s Make the Dream Work with Team Work”, is held annually to recognize and reward young people from all over Belize for their contribution to Belize’s development. The special guest speaker for the occasion was Mr. Mike Duggan, Executive Director of Domus Kids, a U.S. based NGO which provides a home and after-school programs for with at-risk boys. Mr. Duggan is also involved in the “No Youth Left Behind Initiative” which provides guidance and mentorship for young people. In addressing the awardees and guests at Friday’s event, Mr. Duggan said, “See young people as resources and not as recipients of services that you give. Actively get their input, have the trust and confidence in them that they know what they are talking about, that they know what they need, and they know what their communities need and they have the solutions.”

Ghost Town crew charged for home invasion
Six men and three women affiliated with the Ghost Town Gang are on remand at the Belize Central Prison for their alleged involvement in the home invasion of Lebanon’s Honorary Consul’s residence in Burrell Boom Village. His Excellency Sarkis Bou Nehra was out of the country when his home was invaded by armed gunmen on Thursday, December 3. According to police, Tyrone Meighan, Brandon Baptist, John Grinage, Jerson Grinage, Sheldon Grinage, Randolph Coleman and others forced themselves into Bou Nehra’s residence. Police say they held the caretaker of the property at gunpooint and forced him into the main residence. The men then proceeded to steal three 9 mm pistols, one 12 gauge shotgun, one .22 rifle and one Pietrro Berreta Single Action Shotgun. They also made off with an assortment of jewelry, one black DVR player, one leopard styled Diane Von Fursteinberg purse, a collection of alcoholic beverages, additional items and $11,500 cash. During the home invasion, the wife of the caretaker was raped by one of the robbers. Adding insult to injury, her blue Alcatel cellular phone and $388 cash was also taken away.

COPA inaugurates flights to Belize
Belize’s tourism footprint is set to expand drastically into Central and South America. That’s because the Panamanian air carrier, Compaía Panameña de Aviación (COPA) will be making direct flights here. On Tuesday, December 8, the first flight from Hub de La Americas, Panama City, Flight #281, arrived at the Philip Goldson International Airport a few minutes short of 1 p.m. That flight brought 92 passengers from that country. It was very routine, and almost mundane, in the landing in Belizean territory, for COPA Airlines, this only their 7th destination in Central America that they fly direct to.

Friends for Conservation and Development holds AGM in Cayo
The Friends for Conservation and Development FCD, the Non Governmental Organization that protects the Western Maya Mountain Massif, held its 16th Annual General meeting at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel on Saturday of this past weekend. As part of the activities for the day, new members were elected to serve within the Board of Directors at FCD, which included a retired Belize Defense Force soldier Oscar Mira as well as Jorge De Leon. In his report to the audience, Board President Dr. Filiberto Penados said that the AGM was a space to review the year, ponder the challenges, review commitment as well as to elect friends to take on the mantle. He said that the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, co-managed by the FCD is the watershed for half of Belize and parts of Guatemala. Dr. Penados also said that there are now 18 rangers on the ground to protect that asset. Executive Director Rafael Manzanero also reviewed the roles of those rangers, who are currently doing smart patrols and deployed at conservation posts. According to him, the work that the FCD does with the help of rangers has been facilitated by the Police, the Belize Defense Force as well as the Immigration Department.

Belizean lawmen endure major discomfort at Hunting Caye
In early October of last year there was a great hue and cry from a small quarter of noise makers who had taken up issue with the fact that a Coast Guard forward operating base under construction at the time on that island was being so done by a Guatemalan company. As a result of all the noise, the work came to a screeching halt and since then there has been no resumtion of the work. The funders, the US government, had been very clear to the Belizean government, if the Guatemalan company was not allowed to continue the work then GOB would have to find its own source of financing. After all the noise the government decided to cancel the work and since then the work has been at a standstill. That has been over a year now and the Chief Executive Officer in the ministry of National Security has explained that the work will only resume after the project is put to tender and a new Belizean company is identified to do the work. There have also been delays as the ministry was awaiting the plans of the building which were held by US authorities.

Sixth International Festival of Culture held in Benque
The Sixth International Festival of Culture fulfilled a great love of the arts by local residents on Friday night of last week at the Centennial Park in Benque Viejo del Carmen. The event was held to celebrate the 111th anniversary of Benque Viejo, under the theme “Celebrating our Legacy as we unearth Potential” and featured a number of National and International artists performing over the entire weekend. Addressing the audience during the opening ceremonies on Friday was Virginia Vasquez President of the Community of Artists for Cultural and Historical Endeavour CACHE. Vasquez noted that she was happy to see the various age groups being represented. She also emphasized that culture brings people and families together and also gives identity to the community. At the request of Virginia Vasquez, a moment of silence was observed for Shadisha Arnold, Elizabeth McKoy and Ana Carlos, who recently perished in a fire in the Belize District. First to start the series of events was David Snow, a master violinist, who now lectures at the John Paul Two Junior College in Benque. Starting to play violin from the age of 8 years, Snow was well suited to play for the audience his versions of classical sounds.

KHMH has new union and new executive
It went as quietly as the raise which they received at the end of October of this year and now the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital workers have a union complete with an executive to represent them. On Thursday December 3 the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital held an election to select an executive to represent them. Nominations were open from November 6 to the 26 with the criteria being that anyone who was interested in filling a position in the executive needed only to be a full time employee of the KHMH. After the nominations the election was held on Thursday December 3rd after which Lidia Alpuche Blake was selected as the president. Vice President is Andrew Baird, Secretary is Romelio Castañeda, Assistant Secretary is Ricardo Hermoso, Treasurer is Shevan Fairweather, Assistant Treasurer is Beverly Coleman with councillors being Sharette White, Nelsia Flowers Dyer, Marisol Melhado and Adrian Cardinez.

Sugar season on its way
The 2015-2016 Sugar Season has begun right on time after 2 consecutive late starts, which had cost the industry millions of dollars in earnings due to in-fighting among the principals. But, this time around, the cane farmers and the factory owners need to work very hard to try to make every day count for this season because the price of export sugar sold to Europe is at an all time low. This is threatening the local season since the farmers and the factory owners made investments based on expected returns on this year’s crop. So, because the season will be a challenging one, on Monday, December 7, the Belize Sugar Industries Limited started accepting cane from farmers who are members of the Progressive Cane Farmers Association from San Estevan. Apart from this year’s quota of cane, there was a great deal of stand over plant cane, which is cane which couldn’t be delivered in time in the duration of the season. To facilitate this year’s efficiency of the mill’s offloading process, there is an additional dumping table, a new hydraulic lift which will make cane deliveries happen faster. That’s over a million dollars in investment from BSI. It is estimated that there is about 1.7 million tonnes of cane in the fields right now, but the mill can only grind about 1.3 million. The idea is that the millers want to expand the capacity to ensure that they can deal with the workload, but they need a commitment from the farmers in the form of the Strategic Development Plan, which will allow all parties to increase their respective capacities.

Five years for sub-machine gun
Richard Mervin Bennett Jr., 18, is in jail serving the first nights of a five year jail term for a prohibited weapon. According to police, a joint operation was conducted by officers of the South Strike Team #1, Special Branch Unit and K-9 Unit on Thursday, December 3. This operation included searching the home of Richard Bennett, 58, at #26 Magazine Road, Belize City twice. The first search was executed at 4:30 a.m. and a second search was conducted at 1:30 p.m. later that day. During the search, the canine cop stopped at an area in the yard and sat down. Police searched that specific area and behind the trunk of a car found a Tec-9 sub-machine gun with a magazine containing 15 live 9mm Aquila brand rounds. Everyone living at the house was arrested and charged with keeping a prohibited firearm and ammunition.

Body found in Cayo
A body has been found about one mile from the Ant Trial Road, on a feeder road that leads to the Belize Old River in the Spanish Lookout Area. San Ignacio Police discovered the body of a Hispanic male at about 8:45 pm on Tuesday of this week in an advanced state of decomposition in the water, in the area also known as Mennonite Beach, completely nude and with an open wound to the temporal area of his head. The male person appears to be in his early 40’s and had no identification. The body is being guarded until a post mortem is conducted.

Five face charges for weed and pipe found in C-D player
Five people are out on bail of $6,000 each after police raided a house on 6th Street in the Kings Park area of Belize City and found 142 grams of marijuana and 14 pieces of weed fudge. In a joint operation, officers of the Northern Strike Team, K-9 Unit and the Tourism Police Unit executed a search at the home of Arthur Higgs, located on 7th Street, on Wednesday, December 2, around 10:30 a.m. Police say during the search they found four black plastic bags containing 16 smaller bags of cannabis. These were found along with a ceramic pipe stuffed inside a Technic Compact Disc Player. In the living room police found 14 pieces of weed fudge. The marijuana in the bags amounted to 142 grams. The marijuana in the fudge amounted to 222 grams. Everyone at the house during the time of the search was arrested and charged for drug trafficking. Those are Claudette Hyde, 59, her son Arthur Higgs, 32, along with Adrian Gotoy, 25, Eric Humes, 25, and Keenan Brown, 22.

Marijuana bust in Benque
On Tuesday December 8 at about 5:15 pm, on the strength of a search warrant for drugs, the Police K-9 Unit and Benque Viejo Town Police visited the residence of 19 year old Jamil Cano, Belizean Student of George Street BVO Town, which resulted in the discovery of a small black plastic bag and a blue small plastic bag each containing a green leafy substance suspected to be cannabis. The leafy materials were found underneath a small mattress that was on a wooden bed inside the room. At the time Cano was at home where he was informed of the offence committed, cautioned, placed under arrest and was escorted to the Benque Viejo Town Police Station along with the suspected cannabis. The drugs were weighed in his presence separately amounting to 91.0 grams in the black bag and 136.0 grams in the blue bag, all to a total of 227.0 grams. Jamil Cano was arrested and charged for drug trafficking.

Holy Angels Roman Catholic School girls from the Stann Creek District repeats as National Volleyball Champions
The 2015-2016 National Primary Schools Volleyball Championship came to an end on Friday 4 December, 2015, at the Star’s Volleyball Gym in Belize City. In the girls’ championship game, Holy Angels Roman Catholic School from the Stann Creek Valley Pomona Village defeated Toledo Christian Academy in two sets by the score of 25-20 and 25-22 to repeat as the National Primary Schools Volleyball Champions. In the third place game, Belize Elementary School defeated Chan Pine Ridge Government School representing the Orange Walk District in two sets by the score of 25-18 and 25-9 to take the third place trophy. In the semi-final round and in game one, Toledo Christian Academy defeated Belize Elementary School in three sets by the score of 25-11, 19-25 and 15-3 to advance to the championship round. In game two, Holy Angels defeated Chan Pine Ridge Government School in two sets by the score of 25-15 and 25-9 to earn the next spot in the finalist spot.

Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico to host national high schools basketball championships
The National Secondary Schools Sports Association in partnership with co-sponsors Bowen and Bowen (Crystal Brand) and SOL Belize will be hosting its annual National Secondary Schools Sports Association Basketball Championships from Friday December 11 to Saturday December 12, 2015, at the Andres Campos Civic Centre in Corozal Town. This year’s championships are being hosted by Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico. The schools that have earned the rights to represent their region are: from the Northern Region in female San Pedro High School (SPH) and in male Muffles College (MC). From the Central Region in female St. Catherine Academy (SCA) and in male Gwen Lizarraga High School (GLHS); from the Western Region in both the female and male Sacred Heart College (SHC) and from the Southern Region in female Delille Academy (DA) and in male Julian Cho Technical High School (JCTHS).

Gregory Lovell captures Khalid Belisle Cycling Classic
The Cycling Federation of Belize in collaboration with the Mayor of the City of Belmopan His Worship Khalid Belisle held the first Khalid Belisle Cycling Classic on Sunday, 6 December, 2015. In the Elite Race that was held, Gregory Lovell of Digicell 4G captured first place. Lovell won the race in a bunch sprint. The second rider to cross the finish line was Nissan Arana of Predators Belize while the third place finisher was Jesmar Guerra of Alliance United Cycling Team. In the Junior race, Ernest Bradley of Smart Zoom took first place. He was followed by Gian Kino of Cabral/Marin Cycling Club with third place going to Kaydine Pinelo of Smart Zoom.

Football Federation of Belize to promote female football
The Football Federation of Belize will be hosting a Press Conference on Saturday 12 December, 2015, at the Football Federation of Belize Conference Room at 9:00 am to launch a new female football programme. A Female Football Festival themed “Live Your Dreams” will also take place on Saturday 12 December, 2015, at the FFB field from 10:00 am to 12:00 midday. The Federation is extending an invitation to all female ages 10 to 12 to participate in the Football Festival. The festival will be coordinated by FFB’s Technical Director, Renan Couoh.

Verdes FC a foot closer in advancing to the finals again
The Premier League of Belize Opening Season Tournament Playoff Round commenced on Saturday 5 December, 2015. On Sunday 6 December 2015, at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the home team and defending National Football Champions, the Verdes FC white-wash the Belmopan Bandits by the score of 2-0 to take a 1-0 lead in the home and away series between the two. The Verdes FC got on the scoreboard when Jarret Davis scored the first of his two goals in the 25th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. The lead was extended when Davis scored his 2nd goal of the game in the 27th minute of play to give his team a 2-0 lead. The Verdes defence was able to hold the lead and at the sound of the long whistle it was a 2-0 victory for the home team. Meanwhile, on Saturday 5 December, at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, the host team the Placencia Assassins edged out the visiting Police United FC by the score of 2-1.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

International Fund for Agricultural Development celebrates gender awards
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) hosted its third annual Gender Awards on November 25th in honor of the “International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women,” where five top performing programs supported by the fund and making a difference in women’s […]

Fatal traffic accident in Spanish Lookout
San Ignacio Police is currently at the scene of a fatal traffic accident in the community of Spanish Lookout in the Cayo District. Information reaching our newsroom indicates that there was a collision between a cyclist and an unidentified vehicle. This is a […]

Belize Bank new debit card promotion offers plenty rewards
Just in time for the holiday shopping season, the Belize Bank has rolled out its new “Swipe More and Win” promotion where debit card holders can win CASH and PRIZES simply for swiping their Belize Bank Debit card while making a purchase. The promotion was […]

Taximan beats theft charge
A Belize City taxi man accused of theft of two vehicles and over $5,000 in cash from an international company who lived in the Cayo area was today set free of the charge of theft when the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith dismissed the […]

Two charged for robbing salesman
19 year old Malieck Michael Humes and 22 year old Macory Alexander Neal, both of Wagner’s Lane, Belize City were charged with firearm related offenses and one count of handling stolen goods for items believed to have been stolen from a salesman outside Public Supermarket in downtown Belize […]

Infamous Brandon Tillett faces more charges
Brandon Mason Tillett, associate of the George Street Gang, is accused of the attempted murder of Lords’ Bank resident Jorge Carlos Lozano earlier this year. While in court for an adjournment in the case, he was served by police with additional charges replacing at […]

Belize named for laundering in another fraud scheme
Belize has once again been named among jurisdictions where millions of dollars, obtained through a fraudulent pyramid scheme, was laundered. Police in Toronto, Canada have arrested two men in connection with a US$ 93 million pyramid scheme. Detective Sergeant Ian Nichol, of Canada’s Financial Crimes […]

Senate debates loan motions and agreements with Guatemala
A busy first session of the upper chamber of the National Assembly is taking place in Belmopan today. The Senate has debated and approved two loan motions, the OPEC Fund for International Development Hummingbird Highway Reconstruction loan for US$12 million; and the US$15 million […]

Minister demands apology from House member on immigration scam allegations
The Hon. Minister of Natural Resources and Immigration, Senator Godwin Hulse, this morning demanded a public apology from area representative for Toledo East, Mike Espat, concerning comments made last Friday during the House meeting on a reported scam of nationality certificates. According to the […]

Relatively cool and mostly fair conditions prevail
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting sunny skies with cloudy spells today and partly cloudy skies tonight. Showers will be isolated. Winds will be blowing from the North-Northwest at 5-15 knots and the sea state will be choppy. High temperatures today are expected […]

Orange Walk police find 74 grams of weed
Orange Walk Police conducted a search at an abandoned lot on Santa Familia Street yesterday afternoon which resulted in the discovery of 74.6 grams of cannabis. At around 3:45 p.m. officers searched the lot and in a black plastic bag, found the drug which was labelled as […]

Two suspects nabbed in robbery of over $14,000
In respect to the Tuesday morning theft of a knapsack containing cash and other items in Belize City, 19-year-old Malieck Michael Humes and 22-year-old Macory Alexander Neal have been detained pending investigation, after a search of their 28 Wagner’s Lane residence resulted in the discovery of the […]

Decomposed body found in Spanish Lookout
A partially decomposed, nude body of a male person was found in an area of Spanish Lookout known as Mennonite Beach last night45 p.m., officers responded to information received and upon reaching about one mile from Ant Trial road, they saw the […]

Government of Belize breaks ground on new FOB at Sarstoon island
A statement from the Government of Belize’s Press Office, released earlier this morning, noted that a team of officials would be heading to the Sarstoon Island for ground breaking of the new Forward Operating Base. That team included Minister of National Security John Saldivar, Minister […]

Belize GOB will not accept over 4,000 Cubans; Costa Rica disappointed
The government of Belize has decided not to accept the over 4,000 Cubans stranded at the Costa Rica-Nicaragua border. Cabinet said GOB would offer what assistance it could by way of a regional arrangement but has opted to not allow the Cubans to pass through […]

Blogs

The Best Use of Principles of Persuasion
Social scientists estimate that each of us is exposed to hundreds, if not thousands, of persuasive messages per day. Media messages play a large part, but aren’t the whole story. The messages of daily interaction are equally important. Every day we encounter small-scale, usually low-stakes persuasive messages, designed to influence our attitudes and behaviors, even though we don’t always label them as such. Some of those messages we deflect or ignore. Others get through and are successful, sometimes despite our own best intentions. Your success as a communicator, a sustainable community development (SCD) practitioner, leader, or as a community builder, is directly related to the appropriateness and the effectiveness of the persuasive messages you send out. If all this is true, if persuasion is a natural and inevitable part of the communication process, we might choose to learn how to get better at it. Exactly how does a practitioner apply principles of persuasion in an SCD project? Try visualizing a bridge on which your target person or audience stands. The left side of the bridge represents no knowledge of or interest in your issue; the right side represents the desired action – that is, your goal. Some intermediate markers along the bridge are attention, understanding, and intent. Your target person may be anywhere on the bridge. Your task as persuader is to move that person along the bridge toward your goal – gradually if needed, but no slower than necessary. You may want to move them from no knowledge to attention or from attention to understanding or from understanding to intent, or from intent to action; whatever the case may be. Using principles of persuasion effectively and with integrity can accomplish your goals to create and maintain healthy sustainable communities.

2015: Holiday Shopping in San Pedro, Belize For About $100bzd or Less
Christmas is hurtling towards us…a blink or two and it will be here. I did a bit of shopping around town to find some nice gifts that you can purchase – for yourself or a loved one – for $100bzd or less. I think I found a few good things. Let me show you. AND how cute San Pedro is looking… It’s nice to see Orange Gift Store open again in town. They are located just north of Fido’s on the Front Street and I found some really cute gifts there. And while some of their stuff is very high end and pricey…these items are quite reasonable I think.

Slow back a little in Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker, a five-mile-long island off Belize’s Caribbean coast, has a laid-back vibe which attracts expats to the area I’m paddling idly in the cool waters off the Split, wondering if I should drag myself to the bar of the Lazy Lizard for a beer. I’ve spent the morning snorkeling off the Barrier Reef, viewing coral formations and brightly-colored fish. Now, with evening coming on, I’m taking a last swim in Caye Caulker’s best-known swimming spot before showering and dressing for dinner. Though here, “dressing” is pretty casual… it means I’ll probably put on flip-flops rather than going barefoot. Probably. These days Caye Caulker, a five-mile-long island off Belize’s Caribbean coast, has the laid-back, beach-bum vibe that brought expats to nearby Ambergris Caye 20 years ago. The streets on Caye Caulker are still packed sand. Most people get around by bicycle. And for those who come here, life is all about the water. Small-town, island beach life isn’t for everyone. But if it’s for you, it doesn’t get much better than Caye Caulker. And real estate here is still surprisingly affordable. Lots, depending on where they are, can run well under $50,000. Simple vacation cottages start at less than $100,000. And on an island this small, no place is far from the beach.

Santa Rita Maya Sight in Corozal, Belize
Santa Rita Corozal is a Maya ruin and an archaeological reserve on the outskirts of Corozal, Belize. Historical evidence suggests that it was probably the ancient and important Maya city known as Chetumal (or Chactemal), Santa Rita is believed to be a vestige of this larger metropolis. Santa Rita most likely controlled trade routes to and from Chetumal and other Yucatan cities within present-day Mexico and Guatamala. Mayans inhabited Santa Rita from 2000 B.C. to approximately the 16th century A.D, when residents forced conquistador Alfonso Davila to leave. The city's population slowly dwindled thereafter and finally abandoned the area late in the century. tourists and local tourists are charge a fee o 5$Bze for locals and 10$Bze for tourist. Evidence excavated at Santa Rita exhibits a long history of inhabitance.The discovery of a burial site containing very early pottery has dated the formation of the city between 2000 and 1200 BCE.Its importance peaked during the Postclassic era, and continued to be occupied even after the arrived of the Spanish. Because of its location, the city at Santa Rita once controlled nearby trade routes between the coast and the mouths of two major rivers, the Río Hondo and Río Nuevo. These rivers served as major arteries of trade to centres in the interior such as Lamanai and those in El Petén.Because of this, it became the dominant settlement in the Chetumal region during the early Classic period.

What are you waiting for?
Time is running out and there are still plenty of families that need a some assistance. A little bird sent me the following press release yesterday and asked if I would spread the word. Christmas is a time of joy, happiness, celebration and gifts for so many people here in San Pedro. For some families it’s a struggle and for some children, it seems that Santa just passes them by. None of us likes to think of children going without on Christmas day and so, inspired to spread the true spirit of sharing, a local business in cooperation with an international charity, have come up with a great way for anyone who wants to put a smile on the face of a child this Christmas morning by adopting a bear.

Our World is Changing Are You?
Saturday December 5 was the celebration of International Volunteer’s day, started in 1985 by the United Nations. Every year, many Non Governmental organizations including Belize Red Cross, take the opportunity to recognize their volunteers and highlight the work being done. Currently 190 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies exist in almost every country in the world with approximately 97 million volunteers. It is a powerful global volunteer movement active at local, national and international levels. Each Society works in its home country, guided by the principles of the international humanitarian law and principles of the international movement. Depending on their capacity and circumstances, National Societies take on additional humanitarian tasks that are undefined by international humanitarian laws.

Saucy Mexican Chicken
COOK chicken in nonstick skillet on medium-high heat 4 min. on each side or until browned on both sides. ADD salsa and beans. Bring to boil; cover. Simmer on medium-low heat 5 min. or until chicken is done (165ºF). TOP with cheese. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 5 min. or until cheese is melted.

International Sourcesizz

World's First Dengue Vaccine Approved After 20 Years of Research
The first vaccine against dengue fever won clearance in Mexico, an initial step toward preventing a mosquito-borne infection that puts half of the world’s population at risk. Sanofi expects more approvals in “upcoming weeks” for the product, called Dengvaxia, in Latin America and Asia, Olivier Charmeil, who heads the Paris-based company’s vaccines unit, said in a telephone interview. The injection can thwart all four types of the virus, which has appeared in Portugal, France, Florida and Japan recently and increased the risk of “explosive outbreaks,” according to the World Health Organization Dengvaxia, developed over the past 20 years at a cost of 1.5 billion euros ($1.65 billion), including manufacturing investments, awaits approval in at least 19 other countries. Mexico’s regulator endorsed it for people between the ages of 9 and 45 living in areas where the disease is endemic.

5 Best multi-gen family friendly islands of Belize
Blessed with 300 kilometers of the worlds' most stunning natural reef, the country of Belize is one of the most popular snow bird escape-the-cold destinations in the world. It's the ideal getaway for adventure seeking multi-gen families particularly those who enjoy underwater sports. There are 200 islands, or Caye's - as the locals call them, that dot the Belizean coastline all offering easy access to the sea life below. Here are 5 of the best Caye’s for multi-gen families who enjoy traveling together. Buzzing with golf carts the liveliest Belizean Caye, and one of the few with an active nightlife, is Ambergris Caye. Active families have lots of outdoor activities to experience including cave tubing, zip lining, scuba diving, snorkeling and an unforgettable helicopter flight over the famous Blue Hole. Aside from the many restaurants and trinket shops to visit in the main city of San Pedro, the most interesting on-land activity is visiting the ancient Mayan ruins of Lamanai (which means submerged crocodile).

A DENGUE VACCINE IS ON THE WAY
Dengue used to be a disease of the tropics. But with climate change, it’s become endemic in parts of the global north, too. The vaccine shows big promise, “The world’s first dengue vaccine won regulatory approval in Mexico on Wednesday, raising hopes that it could prevent more than 100 deaths there a year and eventually perhaps millions around the world. Globally, dengue is the fastest-growing mosquito-borne disease, with as many as 400 million people infected every year, according to the World Health Organization. The Dengvaxia vaccine is being manufactured by French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi. The company has requested regulatory approval in 20 countries across Asia and Latin America, but Mexico was the first to give it the green light.

Caribbean acts perform at UN climate talks
Adrian Martinez of Belize and Jamaica’s Aaron Silk — both of them singers/songwriters — delivered on a riveting performance on Monday, as week two of the global climate talks got going. The duo was there to, among other things, help to project the message: ‘1.5 To Stay Alive’ while urging collective action from world leaders, in the interest of planet earth. They also provided attendees to the negotiators — many of whom turned out or otherwise stopped to witness their performance, delivered at the Caribbean Pavilion — with a taste of one of the many things the Caribbean offers to the world: its music. “I have always been a fan of the earth, a lover of the earth; and anything to do with nature, I wanted to be a part of it. Seeing what is happening now with this climate change and this rising of temperatures that has been happening, I had to get involved,” said Silk, a self-styled advocate for reggae music and the use of reggae to spread climate messages.

Videos

  • Youth Week Opening 2015 (Corozal & Orange Walk), 4min. Deparment of Youth Offices had an Ecumenical Service, Opening Parade and a Fun Day. Enjoy the video shared by DYS.

  • Product of BELIZE !!, 4min. UNIVISION spotlight on Baby Photography with Belizean Dudley Marshall

  • Noah+Mike Hagan in Belize 2015, 5min. Scuba diving

  • Scuba Diving 220 Feet On Nitrox Ambergris Caye Belize 2013, 6min. Diving with Nitrox in Ambergris Caye Belize. I was diving down a canyon starting at 60 feet and within 4 minutes I was at a depth of 220 feet. I knew the risk but for some reason I pushed forward. I should have experienced oxygen toxicity passing out and dying underwater. It is by the grace of God I am alive today. Enjoy this video I should have died while filming.

  • Panama's Flagship Airline Makes Inaugural Flight to Belize, min.

  • BAHIA Fest 2015 San Pedro Belize, 2.5min. BAHIA fest recently took place at Caribbean Villas Hotel. The Cosmopolitan Fashion show was organized by Magazine Mujer Total Chetumal; with assistance from Zuzana Marosova and Barbara Brown.

    December 9, 2015


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    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Fundraiser for Katerin Michel
    Come out and support young Katerin Michel!

    30 years of BTIA
    The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) was formed on April 26, 1985 when a group of individuals foresaw the importance of the industry and anticipated the need for a medium through which tourism concerns could be voiced. Led by the late Jean Shaw, the BTIA has become one of the largest non-profit organizations, linking private and public sector, and over the years, has seen the tourism industry grow by leaps and bounds. Its milestone 30th year was celebrated appropriately at a cocktail reception held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel on December 2nd, where outstanding members, pioneers and sponsors who were actively involved in the growth and development of the BTIA and the tourism industry of Belize were honored. The following day, Friday December 3rd, the BTIA hosted its 30th Annual General Meeting at the Ramada Belize City Princess Hotel Queen’s Room. Beyond updating members on the BTIA’s accomplishments over the past year, the AGM was the official forum for dialoguing current issues, challenges and concerns. At the helm of the meeting were the BTIA President and Board, as well as Destination Chapters Chairpersons, Sector Stakeholders and invited guests from the private and public sector. Honorary guest speaker was Mr. Hugh Riley, Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Tourism Organization.

    Youth Forum makes the voices of island students be heard
    Upper division students from the various primary schools on the island, along with students from San Pedro High School (SPHS) gathered at the Angel Nunez Auditorium on Thursday, December 3rd for the annual Youth Forum program. Starting at 1PM, the forum saw the attendance of close to a thousand students and teachers celebrating the end of National Youth week 2015 by discussing ideas on how to make the island more child friendly. The 2015 Youth Forum was held under the theme “Youth, let’s make the dream work with team work” and was organized through a collaboration of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and local authorities. Moderator Greg Nunez announced the topics to be discussed as part of the forum, which included leisure activities for San Pedro youth, roles of leaders in society, crime and violence, drug and alcohol accessibility, education, opportunities for the future and civic pride. The presenters for the day were the students of SPHS who had been working on a given topic the week leading up to the forum. Each group discussed their topic at length, making recommendations on how to better the community. At the end of the seven presentations there was an open discussion where members of the audience could voice out their opinions on any of the topics discussed.

    Presentation of Credentials to the Governor General of Belize
    Five ambassadors presented their credentials to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young today, December 7, 2015 at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan. H.E. Rabah Hadid, Ambassador of Algeria; H.E. Petros Panayotopolous, Ambassador of Greece; H.E. Alfonso Manuel Portables Vazquez, Ambassador of Spain; H.E. Vehbi Esgel Etensel, Ambassador of Turkey; and H.E. Valdrack Jaentschke, Ambassador of Nicaragua all expressed their pleasure in being a representative of their countries in Belize and extended warm greetings to Belize from their governments. Each ambassador conveyed to the Governor General that their country’s purpose is to continue to develop and maintain strong relations between their countries and Belize. The Governor General graciously received the credentials and welcomed the ambassadors to Belize.

    Ministry of Health shuts down Oceanside Dental Clinic on opening day
    Several days ago, residents reached out to The San Pedro Sun to voice their concerns about a dentist opening a new clinic in Ambergris Caye. Residents cited that in 2005 criminal charges were placed against the dentist for seven counts of injecting semen into his patients’ mouths. Upon hearing these concerns, The Sun commenced an intensive investigation which confirmed these allegations. The dentist in question is Dr. John Robert Hall of Oceanside Dental Clinic which was scheduled to commence operation on Monday, December 7th, but on that morning the Ministry of Health (MOH) halted the opening due to suspicious and unorthodox conduct on behalf of Dr. Hall. On Monday morning the 7th, concerned that the dentist in question would be free to examine patients in San Pedro, The San Pedro Sun editor Tamara Sniffin visited the police station in an effort to prevent the dental clinic from opening, and met with Deputy of the Coastal Executive Unit, Assistant Superintended, Henry Jemmott. This was the first the San Pedro Police learned of the situation and dialogue between the MOH and the San Pedro Police promptly began. “It was thanks to the diligence of The San Pedro Sun that this matter was brought to our attention that we were able to stop the opening of the clinic and ultimately charge Dr. Hall for his wrong doings. He was charged for providing false representation to the Belize Medical Council Board,” said Jemmott.

    Ambergris Today

    Pic of the Week - Chippy & Snowflake Take Over Ambergris Today
    We can only wish to have Santa's helpers Chippy and Snowflake at the office of Ambergris Today and iTravel Belize; their assistance would be tremendous as the staff gets busier and busier with more news coverage and travel. Avid reader and follower of both websites, Tracy Eiley Gomez, paid tribute to us as her family counts down the days until Christmas Day with fun images of Chippy and Snowflake. We are honored with the homage and LOVE how the elves think so highly of Ambergris Today and iTravel Belize. We invite them to come vacation in Belize and help us out a bit, if they have the extra time. Thanks Chipp, Snowflake and Gomez Family all the way from Florida, USA.

    Free Health Education Service in San Pedro
    Did you know that 12% of deaths in Belize are due to cardiovascular disease? People living with diabetes, stroke and hypertension don't even realize they are silently suffering from these diseases. That's why we are here to help! Volunteers from abroad have come to San Pedro in order to help educate the public about various health conditions and how to prevent them. These individuals have experience in spreading public health awareness and are available to speak with at any time. They can visit your homes and have a personal talk with you if you would like to know more about a certain disease or if you have a friend/family member whose suffering from it, and would like to understand more about it or would know what to do and how to help them.

    Letters To The Editor: Bravery That is Contagious (Belize/Guatemala Issues)
    I want to congratulate the brave Belizeans who 'stopped the traffic on Coney drive'! The symbolism is so powerful! What were the elected leaders of Belize being paid for, even before Independence, when they came back with bags of cash from Guatemala? Why are Guatemalan fishermen and villagers compelled to cross into our waters so often? Why do they insist on access especially to 'islands'? Why do they make harvesting and exporting chate leaves that look like mermaid tails from our forests their business? Isn't there an island off the Big Apple called 'Coney Island'? Why entertain and exchange gifts with a foreign leader on that street? Ice cream treats are guaranteed? Treaties secured?

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Power interruption 5:30am to 7:00am, Friday, December 11, Cayo District:
    Entire City of Belmopan, and area from Mile 31 to Mile 50 on the George Price Highway including La Democracia, Franks Eddy, Saint Matthews, Cotton Tree, Roaring Creek, Valley of Peace, Camalote, Teakettle, Arizona, Ontario, Buena Vista, Blackman Eddy, Unitedville and all that area from Belmopan to Armenia Village on the Hummingbird Highway. BEL to conduct upgrade works at the Belmopan Substation.

    Pan and Bram
    A Pandemonium Christmas, Dec. 13th at 6pm. House of Culture Belize City. In Orange Walk, Dec. 12th at 7:30pm, Queen Elizabeth Park. Mark the dates!

    Copa Airlines Inaugural flight launch
    Photo gallery from BTB

    Calendar of Events
    Check out the NEW Calendar of Events on iTravel Belize. December is full of action. Inquire how to get your event listed info@itravelbelize.com

    Trivia Night on Caye Caulker!
    Come join the fun every Sunday and Wednesday! Test your knowledge of useless facts, have a laugh, and win money towards your bar bill! Always a great time - Fun,…Location : Barrier Reef Sports Bar & GrillStart Date: December 9, 2015End Date: December 9, 2015Time: 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm

    Congratulations COPA AIRLINES! Welcome to Belize from all of us in Northern Belize.
    Welcome to our home, Belize, Copa Airlines! Nonstop flights Panama (and connections to 74 other destinations) finally "es posible"

    Full Moon Christmas Concert
    The SISE House of Culture is having their Full Moon Christmas Concert on Saturday, December 19th, at the Cayo Welcome Center.  The Panerrifix Steel Band will be performing.


    In related news, Saint Martin's Credit Union is having their big Christmas concert at the CWC on Friday the 18th, and Panerrifix and the Benque Marimba Academy will be there.


    In other related news, the George Price Centre is having a Christmas show, 'Emmanuel, God with Us,' tomorrow night.


    In still other related news, the Allegro School of Music is having their Christmas concert on December 14th in Belmopan.

    Friends for Conservation and Development new board members
    FCD is proud to present its Board members, who were elected during the AGM held on the 5th of December. Mrs. Susana Vanzie Canton is the 7th Board member.

    FCCA & BTB's Annual "Children's Christmas Party"!
    A fun-filled day for a few excited children in Belize City; with Ozzy the Clown, Santa Claus and a Calypso Tour of Belize City!

    Channel 7

    Dirty Dentist Slipped Right Past Medical Council
    Tonight San Pedro Police are preparing to charge an American man for making a false representation under the dental act. John Robert Hall - a dentist who was convicted in the US, and sent to jail for injecting semen into at least seven of his patient's mouths - seems to have effortlessly manipulated the Medical Council of Belize and gotten a license to work as a dentist, using just a nickname. He did all this despite the well reported 2004 offence - all anyone had to do to find out about it was Google search his name and the quite revolting story would come up. And so, that's likely why Hall didn't use his proper name. And, it seems the council didn't even ask him to present an ID! He got his medical license under an assumed name: Robert Bob Hall - even though all his id's show his name as John Robert Hall. And those ID's include a Belizean work permit and a social security card - which were given both under his legal name.

    Belize Won't Help With 4k Stranded Cubans
    The Government of Belize will not accept as many as four thousand Cuban refugees who are currently stranded at the Costa Rica-Nicaragua border. As we reported, the Costa Rican Government has called it a humanitarian crisis - and has asked Belize to help - by receiving the Cubans and then sending them unto Mexico. But, as the Prime Minister hinted on Friday - many details in the proposal were not clear - and that's why Cabinet today gave it a thumbs down. The Cabinet Secretary Calros Perdomo told 7News that Government thought it was supposed to be just an in transit arrangement, but the Mexican government is not giving a clear answer as to whether they would receive the people or not. He said Cabinet did not have enough information to really make a decision. An official release says quote, "after careful consideration, Cabinet is of the view that this is a regional problem. As such the Government of Belize is prepared to participate in a regional discussion to identify the necessary mechanisms to address the Cuban immigrants transiting through the region. At this juncture, the Government of Belize is unable to make any commitments outside of a regional arrangement."

    Port Operations Remain At Standstill
    Operations at the Port of Belize remain at a standstill as the standoff continues between the Port Management and the Christian Workers Union. As we told you last night, the stevedores went on strike yesterday - shutting down all operations at the port. The stevedores claim that Port CEO Arturo Vasquez retracted what he had promised concerning their retirement and pension plan. According to the stevedores, the agreement was for a retroactive payment going back to 2004 but Vasquez says that wasn't what was agreed, and that the Port simply can't afford that. Today Vasquez told us what came out of their late evening meeting yesterday and what action he has taken going forward. Arturo "Tux" Vasquez, CEO, Port of Belize "There were separate meetings. I think when we had the first interview we had already met with the Christian Workers Union where we had tried every effort to get them back to work so we can continue with the ongoing negotiations. That was not successful and then as a result we had already advised the Labour Commissioner and the Port Commissioner and also the Police Commissioner as to the situation. So really what we had later on yesterday was a meeting with the Labour Commissioner and the Port Commissioner and the police. As you know the ship has sailed as they said. There were some discussions as to whether the ship was going to return, as to whether the police would have taken it on an illegal action, but the shipping agent had decided that it had gone. So that was it. They were not prepared to turn back. But I believe that in the future, there is quite a possibility that there has to be an alternative as to what would happen when we have a situation like this.

    Could Port Strike Mean No Turkey On Your Plate?
    And that old saying about the elephants fighting and only the grass getting trampled holds true in this case - except it's not the grass getting trampled, it's more like the turkey on your table. This year, tens of thousands of pounds of turkey will be imported - and that's because local turkey producers did not go into full production mode this year, because of the Avian Influenza scare. So, Quality Poultry Products for example has 5 refrigerated containers with two hundred thousand pounds of Butterball turkeys waiting at the port in Santo Tomas Guatemala. But the agent won't put it on the ship unless they get a guarantee that the Port of Belize will be operational and able to off load the ship. And, right now, that is not forthcoming. So, that means Quality Poultry's turkeys - which could end up being the turkey on your table - is held in the balance. We spoke to the general manager of quality Poultry about his costly dilemma: Raymond Barkman, GM - Quality Poultry Products "Well obviously there is a lot at stake here. We have imported turkeys on there. We have 40,000 broiler eggs on that ship and so yes it affects us severely. And this one even more so because we have turkeys on it which we are out of. There are so many people banking on these turkeys for giveaways and lunch and meals and everything." Jules Vasquez "How long can you all wait for this container?" Raymond Barkman, GM - Quality Poultry Products "Well we cant. I mean the damage has been done. There is almost 40,000 eggs that are going back to Miami. The damage is done as being on the ship and obviously the turkeys, it takes a little while to get everything going organized and obviously we want these turkeys out for Christmas right. We need it immediately. Everyone is crying for turkeys."

    Ellis Meighan Complains About Cops
    Last night, we showed you the 9 Belize City residents charged for the brutal home invasion of Lebanese Diplomat Sarkis Abou-Nehra's estate outside of Burrell Boom. 6 of these men are believed to be connected to the Police Street and Ghost Town Gangs. Tyrone Meighan of Banak Street is among those charged, and his family is accusing police of tying him to this crime out of malice. They say that the investigators have rushed to charge him with rape without taking a DNA specimen, which could exonerate him. His older brother, Ellis Meighan Jr., who is reputed to be one of the Ghost Town Gang leaders, was temporarily caught up with this crime as well. He was one of persons picked up in a police sweep, and officers from Eastern Division Rural accused him of threatening public safety. Police say that uttered threats of his intent to target and kill Chinese businessmen as soon as he was released. Frightening stuff, and so, Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster told the press yesterday that he was going to be criminally charged.

    COPA Airlines Cometh
    At the end of July, the Belize Tourism Board held a ceremony to announce the launch of a new Direct Flight. COPA Airlines, based in Panama, was introduced as the newest air-carrier which would offer direct flights to Belize. It will open up Belize's tourism access to South and Central America. Well this afternoon, after 4 months of preparation, and 3 years of ground-work to build the connections , the first COPA aircraft, Flight #281, landed in at the PGIA. 92 Passengers coming from Hub de La Americas, in Panama City, were greeted by BTB staff, who were there for a ceremonial inauguration of this new flight. It was celebrated with pageantry, and 7News was front and center. Here's what the main speakers had to say to the gather on what is Copa's 7th Destination in Central America:

    Southside Cops Snare City Robber
    There was a big money robbery on the canal side near downtown Belize City today. It happened about a block from Public's store, near the corner of Bishop Street and west Canal. Reports say over ten thousand dollars in cash was nabbed from the driver of a cargo truck. But a quick response from Southside police has led to the recovery of most of the money and a firearm. Second in command of the Southside Alden Dawson told us more:... Alden Dawson, OC - Police Precinct 2 "Some time around 1:15pm today, an employee of Vega Distributors was on West Canal and Bishop Street collecting some money as pertaining to the business. Shortly after he got into his vehicle with the knapsack containing the cash and other personal items that he had collected and just before taking off a male person opened the passenger side of his black pickup truck and grab the bag from the seat. The said employee set chase at the culprit and was unable to catch up with him. He made a call to the police station. A quick response from the police lead the south side police to #28 Wagner's Lane and a search of that lead to the discovery of the bag containing most of the items reported stolen along with a fire arm and several rounds of ammunition at that residence."

    BTB Says All Protocols Were Followed
    The Belize Tourism Board maintains that all tour protocols were followed in the case of tourist Karl Simmons. 61 year old Karl Edwin Simmons died on an H2O Tierra Tour on November 17th. He was along with his wife on the tour at Shark Ray Alley in the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve. Simmons and his wife Esther were both in the water but a police report says the current caused Esther to drift away. Simmons went after his wife and that's when he disappeared. His body was later found floating face down. Now the last update on the case was that Tom Wilson, the owner of H2O Tierra , was seeking assistance from the US with the post mortem results because he didn't agree with Dr. Mario Estradabran's findings which showed the cause of death to be "Asphyxiation by Drowning, Incidental". So, have any other tests been done in the US? Is there still an ongoing investigation? We didn't get any official release or interview from Wilson nor the BTB on this case so when we caught up with Valdemar Andrade from the BTB at another event he told us that as far as he is concerned - everything was in place for the safety of the tourists on that tour and that it was just an unfortunate incident. "On that incident just to be clear - one of the reasons we don't give response right away is because we also have to wait on the autopsy and we also have to wait on the official police report. So until we receive that then we respond. But basically that there was an incident. We are still from the autopsy trying to ascertain whether it was drowning or whether there was any negligent. It doesn't seem that there was any negligence in this case. All the different aspects from the emergency response that the operator has to have in place was taken into account..."

    Moving Forward With Forward Operating Base
    You may remember that now infamous showdown on the Sarstoon River between the Belize Territorial Volunteers, with Wil Maheia and Orlando De La Fuente on one side and the Guatemalan Navy, led by Guat. Vice Admiral Carlos Thomas. It sparked outrage and a fierce discussion over Sarstoon Island being the latest flashpoint for the Belize Guatemala Territorial Dispute. The Barrow Government took a lot of criticism for the lack of a presence from the Coast Guard and BDF at the Mouth of the Sarstoon River, which the Guatemalans claim. Before the General Elections, Prime Minister Dean Barrow promised that the Forward Operating Base would be built, and 2 weeks ago, National Security Minister John Saldivar declared publicly that a groundbreaking ceremony would be held on December 9.

    Making Reparations Real
    The Belize Commission for Justice and Reparations continued its awareness raising campaigning today with a Press Conference and update to its civil society partners. We learned more from the Coordinator about the effort to mainstream the idea of reparations:.. Jules Vasquez "It's not something that will enter the main stream. Do you think you are making progress towards mainstreaming this idea?" Cesar Ross, VC, Initiative for Justice & Reparations "Yes, we are trying very hard. We are traveling across the country to bring it and you are right. It's not the discussion that occurs around the water bottles or around the street corners. It's not. It has become a little more. It's being discussed a little more, but it's far from mainstream as such and that's one of the first things we have to push. This needs to be sort of a roots movement. It needs to be a movement of the masses and we need to get in there before we can ever look at Europe and tell Europe that they have to do something. We have to make sure that the mass is the people are fully in understanding and fully in support of this movement as such." Reporter "The fact remains as I think I've said to you before, that we are depending on the very same people that are in charge of the system to change the system. Is that sort of contradictory? What do you think of that?"

    Cruise Event For The Kids...
    From the Radisson to the Fort Street Tourism Village: there was another Christmas party for city kids today - but this time it was at FSTV's terminal 2. It's BTB's annual Christmas Party for those kids who may not be getting much gifts or cheer for the holidays. Valdemar Andrade, BTB's Director of Destination Planning and Cruise told us that it's all about giving back to the community. There were 200 kids at the party.

    The Queen's Nod For Belizean Youth
    The Queen's Young Leaders Award: It's a program that highlights exceptional young people in the commonwealth and this year Diedra Smith is the recipient of that award. Smith will spend a week in the UK where she will officially receive her award at Buckingham Palace from the Queen. She will also receive training and mentoring from lectures and representatives from Cambridge University. Smith is being recognized for her involvement at her school - spearheading various programs for other young people to excel including a scholarship program. Smith is also the co-founder of business called Id SEVEN which again provides support and assistance to young people.

    Belize Volleyballers, Vamos!
    And some young people who need all the support they can get make up the female national under 20 volleyball team. They defeated Panama last night at the Central American Championship in Nicaragua in 3 straight sets, 25-18, 25-21, 25-15. Kori Diego scored 14 points while Kevanna Sebastian scored 9. Belize led the match from beginning to end. The volleyball association calls it an important win and confidence builder. Right now Belize is playing El Salvador and tomorrow Belize plays Honduras. (UPDATE: Belize lost that game.)

    Channel 5

    US Dentist Convicted of Heinous Crime Licensed By Belize Medical Council
    How did a dentist from the U.S. charged and convicted for gross criminal abuse of office get a license from the Belize Medical Council to open a clinic and practice [...]

    San Pedro Police Charge John Roberts Hall for License in False Name
    Hall’s license has been revoked, but it seems quite clear that the council could not have done even the most cursory due diligence since that license to practice was issued [...]

    G.O.B. Takes Hands-Off Stance With Cubans Seeking Transit
    There is no significant news on the fate of more than four thousand Cubans stuck in Costa Rica because they cannot access a transit point to the US. Late last [...]

    Stevedores’ Strike Results in Cargo Vessel Returning to Miami
    For the first time in history on Monday, a vessel, the Caribe Navigator from Miami, sailed away from the Belize Port without offloading its cargo following a seven-hour strike taken [...]

    Industrial Action Allegedly Caused By Discrepancy in Pension Plan
    Vasquez says that they have been having good negotiations with the CWU on the Collective Bargaining Agreement, but that the stevedores cannot hold the Port hostage when they disagree on [...]

    Belize Chamber Condemns Strike By Stevedores
    But what are the implications of the ship leaving the port with cargo destined for Belize? Well late this evening, The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry issued a release [...]

    D.P.P. Appeals Acquittal of Infamous Trio on Murder Charge
    A trio of Belize City men, including twenty-two-year-old Orel Leslie, thirty-year-old Brandon Baptist and Tyrone Meighan was recently acquitted of the November 2012 murder of B.D.F. soldier James Noralez.  While [...]

    Attorney Says Success of the Appeal is Unlikely
    Leslie, Baptist and Meighan have since been served with a notice of appeal.  According to Senior Counsel Dickie Bradley, the possibility of a successful appeal seems unlikely since there is [...]

    2 Men Will Stand Trial for Separate Fatal RTAs
    Two men, who were charged in connection with separate traffic accidents, were today committed to stand trial at the Supreme Court for Manslaughter by Negligence.  Sixty-one-year-old Errol Belisle and twenty-four-year-old [...]

    B.S.I. Announces Revised First Payment for Farmers
    There is a bit of good news for caneros tonight as the first cane payment will increase to thirty-six dollars and sixty-five cents based on a revised first cane price [...]

    Panama’s Flagship Airline Makes Inaugural Flight to Belize
    The arrival of COPA Airlines’ maiden voyage to Belize at midday heralded the beginning of air traffic to and from Belize and Panama City.  It has been a little over [...]

    PM Says Addressing Corruption in Immigration Will be an Ongoing Fight
    There will be a Senate meeting on Wednesday when a request will be made to conduct an inquiry into allegations of corruption at the Immigration Department. Those allegations have resurrected [...]

    HRCU Opens New Branch In Independence
    The Holy Redeemer Credit Union is the largest credit union in Belize.  With over fifty-one thousand member-owners the HRCU ranks third in the region with assets amounting to a little [...]

    B.T.B. Says Tour Operator Not Responsible for Death of Tourist
    In November of this year, sixty-one year old American tourist Edwin Simmons drowned trying to save his wife’s life. Edwin and Esther Simmons were on a tour at Shark Ray [...]

    Kareem Clarke Memorial Fund Donates to Two Feeding Programs
    This morning, representatives of the Kareem Clarke Memorial fund presented just over two thousand six, hundred dollars each to two separate feeding programs in Belize City. The money was collected [...]

    FCCA Hosts Christmas Party at Tourism Village
    Some two hundred primary school students from Belize City were hosted at the Fort Street Tourism Village for an annual Christmas party organized by the Belize Tourism Board and the [...]

    CTV3

    James Lindsey Exhibits Opens In Corozal House Of Culture
    James Lindsey is a Canadian collector from Toronto Canada who has been travelling to Belize for about 20 years now. Lindsey has a passion for collecting stamps from all over the world and one day he stumbled on a British Honduras stamp which immediately caught his attention. Since then Lindsey has been studying the history of Belize through currency stamps or from items that sell on Ebay regarding British Honduras. Today Lindsey’s private collection is featured at the Corozal House of Culture and it includes coins dating back to 1894 as well as Spanish coin stamped with the British seal for use as legal coin in the Belize Settlement before the first British Honduran/Belizean coins were made.

    SICB Concern About Over Production Of Sugar Cane
    Yesterday the 2015/2016 crop season was officially declared open by BSI/ASR. The season saw a slow start mainly due to the weather and the conditions of the sugar roads. While that is of concern there is also the worry that the last survey conducted reveled an estimated production of 1.7 million tons of cane on the fields. That is more than the 1.3 million tons that the factory can mill. This means that there is high probability that cane will once again remain on the fields at the end of the crop. And this is after cane farmers were asked to increase productivity.So, while there is cane, the factory is not equipped to mill it and this is one of the biggest concern the industry faces.

    Bursting And Selling Of Firecrackers Against The Law
    During the Christmas season residents of Orange Walk Town are used to hearing the loud sound of firecrackers bursting. And behind that sound there is always a child. While many might say there is nothing wrong with bursting firecrackers, it does pose a risk for children especially if they are not supervised. And it also poses a legal risk for business owners because according to Officer Commanding the Orange Walk Police Formation, Selvin Tillett, while lighting firecrackers is something children enjoy and the sale generates high profits for business owners, it is also against the law. “Anyone caught with firecrackers, you can get permit from the ministry if you have an event you can write to that and you can get it but if you had without a license for discharging firecrackers or possession of firecrackers without a license or permit why we get heavy and serious on these things, many people might not distinguish between a burst of a fire cracker and that sound of a gun so many times the next day you wake up you find that a person is dead so as a precautionary measure we try to go down hard on these things.”

    Medical Council of Belize Issues License To US Dentist Accused Of Injecting Semen In Patients Mouth
    He was accused in the United States for violating dentistry’s standard of care, engaging in immoral conduct and committing sexual assault or battery and according to international news article posted on July 1st, 2005, Dr. John Hall pleaded guilty to seven counts of injecting semen into his patients' mouths and choose to go to jail, rather than spend years on probation. It seems that after his fiasco in the US Dr. John Hall made his way to Belize and planned to open a clinic in San Pedro Ambergris Caye. But on the day the Oceanside Dental Clinic located at the Four Sisters Plaza on Pescador Drive was scheduled to open, it was shut down by the San Pedro Police Department. According to reports from the Ambergris Today, police received a tip about Hall’s past charges in the US and on Monday December 7th he was detained pending investigation.

    Belize/Corozal Road Records Another Traffic Accident
    Another traffic accident has left a fifty four year old man in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. At around 11:30 yesterday morning, Jesus Belito Moreno, a resident of 52 Cristock Street Orange Walk Town, was riding his bicycle on the Belize Corozal Road when he was knocked down by a motorcycle right in front of M&M Fast Food. Moreno, who had just left his house, was heading to the Fort Cairns Market Plaza to pick up his wife who was coming out of work. But Moreno never made it to his destination as he was knocked down and to make it worst, instead of stopping to render aid, the driver of the motorcycle fled the scene.

    COPA Airlines Introduces Flight From Panama To Belize
    The main objective of the Belize Tourism Board is to build tourism in the most economically and environmentally sustainable manner and to promote Belize as a primary tourist destination both locally and internationally. Today the BTB issued a press release announcing COPA Airlines’ first flight to Belize City which arrived at 12:49 pm via Hub de la Americas in Panama City with a total number of ninety two passengers on board. The official inauguration ceremony began at 1:15 pm and included the Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation as a guest speaker. Heredia stated that Belize’s alliance with COPA will attract South American tourists to Belize, therefore, resulting in an expansion of Belize’s tourism industry. Executive President for COPA Airlines, Said Heilbron stated, quote “With our flight to Belize we expect to amplify the opportunities of development in the business and tourism sectors in this city, while improving in an important manner the connectivity of the country to Latin America.” End quote.

    OW Police Sends Out Advice Against Acid Bombs
    Homemade chemical bombs also known as acid bombs, are explosive devices that can be made easily from household items, for example muriatic acid and aluminum foil which can be purchased at a grocery store. When these ingredients are combined and shaken in a capped container, the internal gas pressure generated from the chemical reaction causes the container to expand and explode. The explosion can cause injuries or death to persons in the immediate area of the detonation. Over the past week our news room has received several reports from concerned residents about children making these acid bombs and detonating them. The Orange Walk Police Department has also received reports from concerned residents and today when we spoke to Officer Commanding the Orange Walk Police Formation, Selvin Tillett, he told us about the risk the chemical bombs pose.

    PlusTV

    Police make arrests in Burrell Boom home invasion
    On Friday 4th December, there was a home invasion at the Honorary Consul to Lebanon in Burrell Boom Village, Belize District. One of the workers at the residence reported that they were held up at gunpoint by eight individuals of dark complexion with their faces covered. One of the workers was tie...

    Fatal Traffic Accident in Stann Creek
    A traffic accident has claimed the life of a man in the Stann Creek District. On Saturday the 5th of December at around 7:45p.m, a traffic accident took place at the Santa Cruz Junction and Placencia Road in Stann Creek, where a male person was “knocked down”. Initial investigations revealed that at...

    Land obtained by Deception
    On Friday December 4th, 29 year old Mark Antonio Rosales, a Belizean Farmer of Cristo Rey Village, was arrested and charged for 24 counts of obtaining property by deception. Rosales was arraigned before the Magistrate’s Court where Judge Ladona John remanded him to Central Prison until February 10t...

    Two Chopping incidents in Belmopan
    Over the weekend, two Belmopan residents were chopped in different altercations. The victims are 16 year old Carlos Jacob, a student of Belmopan Comprehensive School and 23 year old Andoni Harrison of Belmopan. Jacob was chopped to his left foot and his knee, while Harrison was chopped to the forehe...

    Sugar prices being jacked up illegally before set date
    We have heard the news that as of January 1, 2016, Plantation White Sugar will retail at a maximum price of 75 cents per pound countrywide. A Statutory Instrument was signed by the Minister responsible for Supplies Control dated December 4th, 2015 to give effect to this increase. This represents an...

    VIP to refile election redistricting case
    The case of Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) and the Southern Belize Coalition for Equal Political Representation and Development versus the Election and Boundaries Commission was scheduled to have been heard this afternoon before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin in the Supreme Court. But it was no...

    STEVEDORES WORK STOPPAGE
    Early this afternoon, about 30 stevedores who are members of the Christian Workers’ Union (CWU) initiated their latest industrial action against the Port of Belize Limited. This follows on from their last action a few weeks ago which started in the night and was averted the following day by an agree...

    Amandala

    9 remanded for Lebanon consul’s home invasion
    The scene around the Belize City Magistrate’s Court this morning appeared almost cinematic, as family members and friends of six men crowded in front of the court building, waiting all morning for police to bring them to court, while inside the court’s holding area, three women who were charged with the men sat down waiting. Around the perimeter of the court, heavily armed police officers from the Rural Rapid Response Team took up positions, but when the morning ended, there was no arrival of the men accused of the brutal home invasion in Burrell Boom of Lebanese Honorary Consul, Sarkis Abou Nehra, 77. The incident reportedly occurred between last Thursday night and early Friday morning. Nehra was not in the country, but his caretaker and his caretaker’s wife were at the residence. The caretaker was severely beaten and his wife raped by one of the eight intruders, who all wore masks, police initially reported.

    Ham and turkey scarce for Christmas?
    Stevedores were to report to work at 10:30 a.m. today to unload a ship that had docked at the Port of Belize Ltd., which contained Christmas goodies such as hams and turkeys, but instead of showing up to work this morning, the stevedores converged in front of the Port, where they held a demonstration. Guy Neal, a foreman for the stevedores, who is on the negotiation team, told Amandala that their ire, which prompted the demonstration, arose from concerns over their retirement benefits. Indeed, today’s industrial action by the stevedores was a part of their ongoing fight for fair benefits from their employer, they say. They took a stand and were not moved, even after learning that the ship was scheduled to return to Miami today, and it would depart even if it was not unloaded. Our information is that the ship did depart at 6:00 p.m. today without being unloaded. On Thursday, October 1, 2015, the stevedores of the Port of Belize Limited held a press briefing at the Christian Workers Union (CWU) Secretariat at 107B Cemetery Road; there, it was revealed that with the stevedores’ input, they have put together a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). With the CBA in place, it seemed that progress would be made with the Port of Belize’s management.

    Costa Rica asks Belize to rescue 4,000 Cubans
    An official response is expected from the Government of Belize today, Tuesday, on whether it will allow 3,000 to 4,000 Cuban migrants who are determined to land on US soil, to take advantage of that country’s “wet-foot, dry-foot” policy, which provides special privileges for Cubans to legitimize their status in the US, even if they arrive without papers, but which turns them back to Cuba if they are detained at sea. The migrants are currently stuck in Costa Rica after Nicaragua, last month, deployed its military to stop their passage through that country. Last week, Guatemala denied a request from Costa Rica to have the migrants pass through that territory, and now they have turned to Belize. After Friday’s sitting of Parliament, Prime Minister Dean Barrow told journalists that he had requested written documentation from Costa Rica, which would include expectations of the Mexicans, as well as the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

    $44.7 mil PetroCaribe “bounty”: UDP and PUP debate
    This morning, at the first business session of the House of Representatives that has been convened since the November 4 general elections, the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) accused the Barrow administration of “vote-buying” with PetroCaribe funds, favoritism towards Belize City residents and neglect of farmers in the north who have been hard hit by what local authorities have said is a severe drought. In March 2015, Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca had said that the PUP “will not be accepting a single copper” of those PetroCaribe funds, “whether it be the Mother’s Day, the X-Mas or any other cheer,” because, he said, the PUP, cannot and will not be a party to any such criminality. At today’s sitting of Parliament, though, the PUP, after abandoning its legal challenge to the PetroCaribe program last week, was demanding “equitable sharing” of PetroCaribe funds. Parliament has approved in one sitting the spending of $44.7 million for the months October to December 2015, which includes $4.378 million in flood relief, mostly for flood assistance after torrential rains washed through several homes in the Belize City area in October.

    Dangerous prisoner remains at large
    Dangerous prisoner Lawrence Bernadez, 28, of Dangriga, remains at large after he escaped from police while he was being taken to the Belize Central Prison to be remanded. Police reported that a team of police officers were transporting three prisoners – Lawrence Bernardez, Eden Guzman and Daniel Mckenzie – to the Belize Central Prison from Dangriga. The three prisoners were put in the open back of a police pickup and handcuffed to each other, and Bernardez was additionally cuffed at the feet. Upon approaching the pedestrian ramp, however, which is about 50 yards from the Hattieville Police Station, two of the three prisoners – Eden Guzman and Lawrence Bernardez – jumped out of the police mobile unit and sprinted away.

    SCA girls, Gwen Liz boys are CSSSA basketball champs
    The Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) 2015-2016 basketball competition climaxed last week at Bird’s Isle with both female and male championships being determined in 2 games of a best-of-3 games Finals series. In game 1 of the female Finals on Thursday, December 3, St. Catherine Academy (SCA) crushed Maude Williams High (MWH), 45-12. SCA was led by Tricia Jefferies 16 pts and Indie Dixon 12 pts; while MWH was led by Ashley Bailey 6 pts. The male Finals game 1 on the same day saw Gwen Lizarraga High (GLH) prevailing in overtime over Sadie Vernon Technical (SVT) by a 100-93 final score. Top scorers for Gwen Liz were Keyvon Evans 51 pts and Aaron Young 23 pts; while Sadie Vernon was led by Glency Lopez 50 pts, and Darnel Galvez and Everal Tablada, Jr. with 15 pts apiece.

    FFB holds 2nd Extraordinary Congress
    The best-of-2 games semifinal series in the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2015-2016 Opening Season tournament is halfway completed, as game 1 of both semifinals were held over the weekend. On Saturday night at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence, #3 seed Placencia Texmar Assassins turned back the very confident #2 seed Police United by a 2-1 margin. The Assassins jumped to a 2-nil first half lead, with goals from Alexander “Pleck” Peters (11’) and Luis “Baaca” Torres (39’), before Harrison “Cafu” Roches (83’) cut the lead in half for Police. And on Sunday afternoon at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio, it was #4 seed Verdes FC delivering a shocking 2-nil blow to #1 seed Belmopan Bandits in a much anticipated encounter, following the late reversal of a protest decision in favor of the Bandits, after the final regular season game had already been completed.

    FFB holds 2nd Extraordinary Congress
    The Football Federation of Belize held its 2nd Extraordinary Congress on Saturday, December 5. On the agenda were: 1. Presentation and approval of the 2014 audited and financial report. 2. Presentation and approval of the 2016 budget. 3. Rule of foreign players in our league competitions (5&3). 4. Election of the FFB Electoral Committee and Electoral Appeal Committee. Those elected will serve a term of four (4) years. In attendance were the Members of the Congress, members of the PLB Board, FFB Executive, FFB Management Team, Special Guest the President Emeritus and representative from the National Sports Council.

    BECOL basketball season ends
    The BECOL basketball tournament came to a close this past weekend, as 4 other teams joined Western Queens as 2015 BECOL champions. On Friday night, game 1 of the Under 19 division finals tipped off, as Christian Ambassadors (#1) narrowly edged SHC (#2), 45-44. Shaquille Crawford was the leading scorer for Christian Ambassadors with 14 points, while Antuane McFadzen sank 13 pts. SHC was led by Jovanne Zetina, who had the game high with 19 pts, while Orel Neal finished with 12 pts, and Raheem Crawford chipped in 10 pts. With the win, Christian Ambassadors took a 1-0 lead in the Under 19 finals series. In game 2, Light and Peace (#1) swept the two-game series, 52-42, in the Under 23 category, defeating Spartans (#2). Light and Peace top scorer was Ian Augustine, Jr. with the game-high 21 pts, while Luis Barcelona tallied 13 pts. Spartans were led by Khalil Banner and Kevin Brown with 13 each. With the win, Light and Peace are the 2015 BECOL U23 champions. In the nightcap, the number 1 seed in the Senior division, Panthers, fell to Benque Power (#3), 58-51. Brandon Flowers was the top scorer for Benque Power with 18 pts, while Roberto “Mosho” Castellanos and Ivan Flowers netted 11 pts apiece. In a losing effort, Panthers were led by Garrett Bermudez with 12 pts, Johann “Cutto” Bermudez with 9 pts, and Zamir Usher and Daniel Nolberto with 8 pts each. With the win, Benque Power was able to extend the series to a third and deciding game 3.

    Editorial: Five years, three months??
    One observer has suggested that Prime Minister, Right Hon. Dean O. Barrow’s threat in the House of Representatives last Friday to take his United Democratic Party’s (UDP) third consecutive term to its constitutional limit of five years and three months, was directed towards the twelve Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) House members seated on the other side, and was not a statement of defiance intended for the masses of the Belizean people. Well, the Prime Minister said it in public and on national radio and television. If this was some kind of a joke on the PM’s part, there was no laughter amongst the Belizean people. There may have been smirks amongst the UDP faithful, for sure, but “five years and three months” reminds Belizeans of the unhappy UDP term of June 30, 1993 to August 27, 1998. During that unhappy and vindictive term, the Prime Minister was Right Hon. Dr. Manuel Esquivel, but his Deputy Prime Minister, often referred to during the latter part of that term as the “Minister of Everything,” was Mr. Dean O. Barrow.

    From the Publisher
    I guess the British Honduras Broadcasting Service (BHBS) must have become Radio Belize by the time British Honduras achieved self-government in 1964. (When I was about 7 years old [1954?] Miss Helen Craig sent me to play piano at the old BHBS, and when I was about 11 [1958?] I represented Holy Redeemer Boys School [HRBS], along with Carlson Gough, the late Neil Garbutt, and Errol Cattouse in the primary schools quiz competition. This was organized by the Education Department and broadcast from BHBS. The BHBS studio was then located in the old Paslow Building.) I think the man Jerry Ybarra (a white American?) played recorded jazz music on BHBS, and for sure Clifton Hall had a jazz show on Radio Belize for many years. As far as I remember, these guys played serious jazz music in the late nights (9,10) on the government monopoly radio station, and I didn’t really pay attention. For many people, jazz is an acquired taste, and acquiring the taste begins with paying attention, and listening. Jazz is not repetitive, simplistic, or mindless. There is jazz music that I don’t understand. And then, there is jazz music that is hidden within straight up ballads, such as the organ player’s riff in Byron Lee’s version of Stranger on the Shore, which would have been 1962, 1963.

    Victor Recinos, 54, takes over Customs
    Victor Recinos, 54, is the new Controller of the Customs & Excise department; he officially takes over on Monday from Emil Grinage, his predecessor, who has reached the retirement age of 55. Recinos will be in charge of 217 employees and he takes the helm at a crucial time in Belize, when it seems that contraband activity is on the increase. There have been recent incidents such as the latest one in which a truck from Corozal that contained 500 boxes of cigars was seized by Mexican police: How did this manage to pass our borders undetected? Indeed, Recinos has his job cut out for him; however, he brings to the position 36 years of experience and he has held every position there is in the Custom’s Department, and worked at every station. Recinos told Amandala, “We are the frontline or premier agency of anything being imported or exported.”

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Government of Belize discusses proposal to facilitate Cuban immigrants
    Earlier today the Government of Belize’s (GOB) Cabinet met to discuss the proposal from Costa Rica’s Government to facilitate the mobility of Cuban immigrants stranded at the border of that country and Nicaragua. A release from the Government Press Office this evening, served to inform […]

    Two to be tried in separate traffic accidents
    Both cases garnered significant headlines and today Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith committed Errol Belisle, 61, and Boyd Lopez, 19, to trial for separate charges of manslaughter by negligence. Belisle is accused of knocking down and killing 11 year old Austin Olivera. The Stella Maris […]

    Murder accused face appeal
    Tyrone Meighan and Brandon Baptist were charged just yesterday in the home invasion and rape at the residence of Sarkis Abou-Nehra in Burrell Boom last week, among a group of nine. But we have received confirmed reports that they may face another set of charges […]

    Belizean bodybuilders travel to El Salvador for world championship
    Later this week a trio of popular Belizean body-builders are travelling to El Salvador for a world championship in their respective classes. We caught up with the group in training on Monday and spoke with president of the Belize Body-building and Fitness Federation (BBBFF), Mirna Paul-Greenidge. Belize will […]

    Tour company found not negligent in tourist’s death
    Karl Edwin Simmons from Texas drowned last month while trying to rescue his wife Esther, who was drifting away from their snorkelling group touring off Caye Caulker. The cause of death offered by the local examiner was asphyxiation due to drowning, incidental. But according to the […]

    Cruise lines host Christmas party for kids
    The spirit of Christmas is in the air, and those most under its spell are the children, who dream of their favorite toys under the Christmas tree at home, deposited by Santa Claus himself. But the reality is that many of those children’s parents […]

    COPA Airlines launches inaugural flight to Panama
    Eighty passengers today boarded flight 281, the first direct flight from Belize City to Tucuman Airport, Panama. The service is being provided by COPA Airlines. The flight costs 600 Belize dollars round trip and is scheduled twice per week on Tuesdays and Fridays, departing […]

    Port of Belize turns to Labour Department in stevedore dispute
    In October we reported that the Port of Belize limited and the Christian Workers’ Union – on behalf of the stevedores – agreed that they would continue to negotiate to get a Collective Bargaining Agreement finalized. Well the promise of an amicable negotiation was railroaded […]

    New travel series promotes Belize like nothing before
    There are a lot of travel series on television and the Internet promoting Belize’s adventure tours, luxury resorts, beaches and Mayan ruins, but few of them, if any, have told the story of Belize like the newly produced World of Wild, created, directed, and produced […]

    Five detained after police recover gun and trove of ammunition from robbery suspect
    Shortly after 1:00 this afternoon, Belize City police in pursuit of a robbery suspect, retrieved stolen items and a 9 millimeter pistol along with three magazines and 26 live rounds of ammunition, after they searched a residence to which the thief was followed. Reports […]

    Stann Creek police looks for hit and run taxi driver
    Honduran Manuel “Chanchero” Sanchez is being sought by Dangriga Police for being the alleged driver behind the wheel of the vehicle that knocked down 29-year-old Guatemalan Margarita Ical from Bella Vista Village. According to Ical, on November 19th, around 6:00 p.m., she was walking on the Southern Highway pushing her bicycle that was carrying firewood. Ical reported to police that as she walked the highway, a green van taxi knocked her down from behind.

    Belize Bank and Radisson partner to spread Christmas joy
    The month of December is the month of sharing and caring and The Belize Bank is good at it. With that said, yesterday at the Radisson Fort Gorge, 110 students from Stella Maris School in Belize City lived the joy of the season. For the seventh year in a row the Belize Bank Limited sponsored the event, providing the children with the full trimmings of a Christmas meal while also engaging them in various games, face painting and even dance competitions.

    Blogs

    My Eight Craziest Adventure Tours In Belize
    Belize is full of adventure. Such a small country, you can be at the 2nd largest reef in the world on one day and then deep within an inland cave the next. It was my trip to the “Black Hole” that got me thinking about this list so I’ll start with that. Adventure? Me? Yes indeed. 1. Rappelling The “Black Hole” Drop 2. Night Snorkeling 3. Natural Watersliding At Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve 4. Ziplining Belize’s Longest Zip Line and Waterfall Rappelling at Bocawina Park 5. Climbing to The Top of The Tallest Building at Lamanai and then Coming Down 6. The Belize Zoo 7. Diving or Snorkeling the Great Blue Hole 8. THE ATM CAVE

    5 of Belize’s Most Fascinating Mayan Ruins
    From 2500 BCE to 1697 CE, Mesoamerica was home to an advanced civilization known as the Maya. Constructors of pyramids that rival those of even Egypt, this civilization flourished up until a combination of disease, drought and colonization caused them to vanish. Luckily, traces of their culture still survive in the form of the architectural marvels they left behind. Here are 5 of these ancient wonders we recommend you visit on your Belize vacation: Xunantunich Mayan Ruins, Caracol Mayan Ruins, Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins, Altun Ha Mayan Ruins, Lamanai Mayan Ruins.

    Copa flies its inaugural flight to Belize
    Copa Airlines will be flying its inaugural flight to Belize Tuesday, marking the start of a partnership between Belize and Panama that will see potentially hundreds of thousands of visitors from Central and South America to the country over the next few years, propelling the tourism industry to even greater heights. Copa Airlines will be offering two weekly flights to Belize City from Hub de la Americas, Panama City. With this new addition, Copa Airlines will now expand its route to 75 cities and 31 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean with Belize being the seventh in Central America. The addition of Belize to Copa’s route now means that the airline covers all of Central America and strengthens their regional leadership. “The connectivity will open enormous opportunities for tourism and commercial development for this interesting Caribbean country, as well as allowing for tourists from the same region to have the opportunity to enjoy all the tourism and commercial strengths Belize has to offer,” Copa Airlines Executive President Pedro Heilbron said.

    The Caribbean is America’s Balkans for Jihadist Migrant Flow
    Just as the Balkans have served as Europe’s «soft underbelly» for the largest mass migration of refugees since World War II, the Caribbean, coupled with Central America, is proving to be America’s own «Balkans» when it comes to Syrian and other migrants flowing into the United States. In the cases of both Europe and America, the flows of migrants, including non-vetted military draft-age men from Syria, Iraq, and other Muslim countries, is being facilitated by the huge network of non-governmental and quasi-governmental organizations influenced by and linked to the international hedge fund tycoon and all-around global troublemaker George Soros. As revelations spread through the news media in Europe that among the refugees who streamed into Europe from Syria were some of the suicide bombers who launched the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, America was faced with reports that the Obama administration was preparing to accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees. This resulted in calls for a moratorium from 31 state governors, including 30 Republicans and one Democrat, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire; the governor of Guam; and former Ohio Democratic Governor Ted Strickland. Hassan and Strickland are candidates for the U.S. Senate in 2016. Many governors and other elected officials, including mayors and Republican and Democratic legislators, were unconvinced that the Obama administration, which has been under pressure from the Soros machine to lift all border restrictions, could or would adequately screen the migrants. The Obama administration insisted that vetting was conducted by the Department of Homeland Security, a department rife with incompetence, misbehavior by agents and officials, financial fraud, and bureaucratic turf battles.

    Stalactites and Skeletons in Belize’s Mayan Underworld
    If you’ve ever yearned for your own Indiana Jones-style adventure, be sure to add Belize’s most infamous cave to your bucket list. ATM—full name Actun Tunichil Muknal—is your ticket to the ancient Maya underworld, or Xibalba. Also known as the “cave of the stone sepulcher,” it’s near San Ignacio in the Cayo District, and it’s where the Mayas of old performed their sacred rituals long before Europeans came. Within, you’ll find scattered the skeletal remains of sacrificial victims, which calcification has cemented to the cave’s floor. The skeletons range in age from one-year-olds to adults. The famous crystal maiden, the skeleton of an 18-year-old girl, has been there 1,100 years. Her bones have a sparkling, slightly plump look. There is a physical price to pay to visit this natural sepulcher. You’ll hike for an hour to reach the mouth of the cave and cross three streams. There’s a short swim through the pool at the cave’s entrance. Then, for several hours, you’ll wade through a subterranean stream and climb ladders to reach the sacred chambers. But the trip is worth it. Each cave chamber is exquisitely adorned with crystalline stalactite and stalagmite formations. Along the way you’ll pass thousands of pottery shards. The Mayas used these pots during their sacred rituals: Note the “kill holes,” a hole made in the pottery that allowed the spirits to escape.

    Weight Watchers Mexican Bagels
    Ingredients 1 bagel 1/2 ripe avocado, thickly sliced 2 slices of your favorite cheese 4 teaspoons salsa Preparation 1. Split the bagel in half. 2. Spread salsa over each half. 3. Top each with avocado slices, a slice of cheese and two teaspoons salsa. 5. Place under the grill for 5 minutes or until the cheese melts.

    International Sourcesizz

    Belize Rejects Costa Rican Proposal to Move Cubans
    The government of Belize on Tuesday rejected a proposal from Costa Rica to move nearly 3,000 Cuban migrants stranded at that country's border with Nicaragua through Belize. In a statement, Prime Minister Dean Barrow's government said the proposal was considered in a meeting with his Cabinet, but they decided it is a regional problem and should be handled as such. "At this juncture, the government of Belize is unable to make any commitments outside of a regional arrangement," the statement said. Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel Gonzalez expressed disappointment. "We feel deeply disillusioned with Belize's decision," Gonzalez said in a statement. "Without a doubt, this decision complicates significantly the situation of the migrants in Costa Rica and delays their exit from the country."

    Copa Launches Belize Flights
    Panama-based air carrier Copa Airlines has officially begun service between Panama and Belize. The airline’s first flight from Panama to Belize arrived on Tuesday carrying 92 passengers. Belize becomes Copa’s seventh destination in Central America. “For COPA Airlines this is a very proud moment for us to begin operations in this new destination with which we consolidate our leadership in the region, flying to all the countries in Central America and in this fortifying the connection that Hub de Las Americas in Panama City offers,” said Pedro Heilbron, executive president for Copa Airlines. “”With our flight to Belize we expect to amplify the opportunities of development in the business and tourism sectors in this city, while improving in an important manner the connectivity of the country to Latin America.” The Panama-Belize flights will operate on Tuesdays and Fridays, taking about 2 hours and 20 minutes each way.

    There's no place like this home
    Think globally, build locally. That’s what renowned architect Jason Mclennan, who created the Living Building Challenge sustainability standards, is doing on Bainbridge Island’s south shore. And the way he’s building the walls of his family’s new home is as old as dirt. In fact, he’s using dirt. “Some of the soil is from my site, from the excavation, and the rest is from a very short drive away. So there’s almost no impacts,” Mclennan said. Mclennan Design will be working on projects worldwide, and one of the more high-profile developments in the works is Leonardo DiCaprio’s Blackadore Caye, which will be the first Living Building resort. The famed actor asked Mclennan to work on designing the ambitious eco-conscious resort, with the intent to regenerate the damaged ecosystem of a narrow 104-acre island off the coast of Belize. Mclennan’s firm also launched an initiative called the Green Warrior Society, which will donate planning and design services for charitable organizations that want to use sustainable construction in building needed facilities.

    Caribbean gets sustainable tourism money
    Dr James Hospedales, Executive director, Caribbean Public Health Agency has announced that the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved funding of US$800,000 for to address health, safety and environmental threats that challenge the sustainability of tourism in the Caribbean. CARPHA, which has direct responsibility for the project, will work with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Hotel Association (CTA) to execute the project. Hospedales said that the Caribbean is the most tourism-dependent region in the world; therefore, the health of Caribbean economies is closely related to the health of its tourism industry. He added that there is currently no regional or national, tourism health information, monitoring and response (THMR) system in the Caribbean and that this initiative to improve countries' capacities to support health monitoring efforts can reduce tourism HSE incidents, and provide a healthier, safer, better quality tourism product for visitors and residents alike.

    Videos

  • Empowerment Show Spiritual Restoration Dec 8th 2015, 33min.

  • Interview with a Principal - Jane Martinez, 4.5min. David sits down with the new principal of St. Hilda's school Jane Martinez to talk about her ministry with the students and teachers in Georgeville.

  • Artistes Aaron Silk, Jamaica (left) and Adrian Martinez, Belize, at COP 21, France, 1min.

  • Belizean Adventure!, 33.5min. Did 5 days in Ambergris Caye Belize. Hope you enjoy!

  • CABO Youth Summit 2015, 16min. CABO 11th International Youth Summit 2015,, 3 days Aug/06-Aug/09 --UWI Open Campus ,Belize City,Belize -Delegates Representing Costa Rica,Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, ,USA...UBUNTU

  • MW2015 : BELIZE, Jasmin Jael Rhamdas - Contestant Profile, 1/2min.

  • Snorkeling at Silk Cayes, Belize, 5.5min.

  • Belize 2015, 4min. Jamie's birthday trip to Belize with Jen in November 2015. Our first scuba dive

  • Southern Belize by the BTB, 1min.

  • GO PRO video - Backpacking through Belize & Guatemala, 6min. Backpacking through Belize and Guatemala with an amazing crew. PS if you can't tell what is going on it the bat cave at the end... Its a bat flying at me just missing my head. Wew fun.

    December 8, 2015


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    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    A Secret Santa surprise for Michelle Nuñez
    Some people just make an impression. Michelle Nuñez was Miss San Pedro 2014-15, and during her year, managed to catapult that title to the highest of heights. She created S.H.I.N.E. – a program for girls 13 – 16 years old, with the goal to empower and motivate girls to grow into, and live out their full potential. Her passion for community made her a role model to many, both the young and young at heart. Her efforts and kindness caught the eye of a particular community member, who was so amazed by her selfless acts and giving nature, that a Secret Santa idea was born. On December 1st, Michelle posted her Christmas wish list on Facebook, and the Secret Santa was impressed that her requests were so simple and in essence, so Michelle: a blender, a tea seat (!!!), cupcake pans, an apron, wine (of course, a girl after our hearts) and candy. Secret Santa proceeded to ensure that the lovely Michelle would indeed get her wish and bought the presents, and The San Pedro Sun was happily enlisted into playing the role of Elves. Prancer, Dancer and Dasher (aka, Tamara, Mary and Monique) each carried a wrapped present and took them to Michelle’s place of work.

    BTL to launch Region’s fastest LTE Network in 2016
    On Friday, November 27th Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) announced that the company is in the final stages of selecting its mobile network vendor to build out and launch its Mobile LTE network in 2016. This new network is expected to be among the fastest and most robust in the western hemisphere, and BTL plans to take full advantage of the services in the LTE technology and equipment. According to Anwar Barrow, Chairman of the BTL Executive Committee, this initiative is a response to the demands of their customers for better quality of service. “Our customers (business and residential) are using their mobile devices more and more to access the internet while on the go. They demand and expect to be able to stream YouTube and Netflix, play games, hold video conference calls and conduct business in a seamless way whether they are at work, home or out on the road,” said Barrow. He added that BTL meets and exceeds their customers’ demands for mobile data bandwidth and speeds. “Our planned investment in mobile LTE will give them speed 10 to 20 times faster than what they get today,” ended Barrow who also indicated that this will give customers the advantage to do anything they want. According to Barrow, the performance and coverage of the LTE network will be among the best in the entire region.

    Domestic Violence Workshop educates island women
    The Women’s Department of Belize under its BA1 Project along with the Child Development Foundation (CDF) hosted an awareness workshop on Domestic Violence at the SunBreeze Hotel in San Pedro Town. The informational event took place on Tuesday, December 1st and Wednesday, December 2nd, which entailed lectures about the basic concept and understanding of the impacts of domestic violence. The training also focused on strengthening the capacity of the civil society and community based organizations that work hand in hand to address violence against women, human trafficking and femicide. The seminar was also held at the San Pedro High School where students were educated on the topic

    Moratorium and Permanent ban protects Belizean marine resources
    Oceana Belize applauds the announcement of the Government of Belize (GoB) today to permanently ban offshore oil exploration along the Belize Barrier Reef System and within the country’s seven World Heritage Sites. With a moratorium on all offshore oil activity in Belizean waters already in place, this move represents a tremendous step forward for Belize and her people as, for the foreseeable future, Belize’s entire marine area is protected from the inherent hazards of offshore oil.

    Ambergris Today

    Unethical Dentist Stopped from Opening Practice in Belize
    Quick action from the San Pedro Police Department has prevented a possible fraudulent businessman from opening his doors to the public and offering his dentistry services to the island community of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. The office of Oceanside Dental located at the Four Sisters Plaza on Pescador Drive was shut down before it could open on its inaugural day of business after the San Pedro Police Department was tipped off about the dentist’s past criminal business practices in the United States of America. On Monday, December 7, 2015, the businessman was detained by the police pending investigation into his case.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    You Can Help to Make Sure All San Pedro’s Children Have a ‘Beary’ Merry Christmas
    Christmas is a time of joy, happiness, celebration and gifts for so many people here in San Pedro. But, for some families it’s a struggle and for some children, it seems that Santa just passes them by. None of us likes to think of children going without on Christmas day and so, inspired to spread the true spirit of sharing, a local business in cooperation with an international charity, have come up with a great way for anyone who wants to put a smile on the face of a child this Christmas morning by adopting a bear. Adopt a Bear is the brainchild of business women Britney O’ Daniel, owner of Sandbar Hostel & Restaurant and Kaitlin McWhorter, from Projects Abroad and the concept is simple but genius. All you have to do is pop into Sandbar or Crazy Canucks Beach Bar, who are also supporting this ‘beary’ good idea, and choose a bear from many hanging from their Christmas trees. Each bear has the name and age of a child in need on the back along with their Christmas wish...

    Live Music with Valentino
    Live Music with Valentino at the Barrier Reef Sports Bar & Grill from 6pm-9pm!Location : Barrier Reef Sports Bar, Front StreetStart Date: December 8, 2015End Date: December 8, 2015Time: 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

    Beltraide participates in Christmas Expo 2015
    The Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) and Export Belize, two units of Beltraide, joined several of their business clients to showcase their products at the annual Christmas Expo which was held on Dec 5 & 6th at the Down Town Plaza Parking Lot in Belize City. Visitors to the Beltraide booth had the opportunity to purchase their spices from King Spices, sample the sauces from Marvilleous , get their supplies from Belize Rum Cakes Ltd and phone covers from A & S Covers, winner of BTL’s Entrepreneurship Competition among others. The event was organized by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry with the aim to give Belizeans an opportunity to take advantage of the Christmas promotions offered by over 30 exhibiting companies from all over the country. The Expo was also an excellent opportunity for the Beltraide’s Marketing Team to inform Belizeans about the wide range of services offered by the organization.

    San Pedro Sports Council Marathon
    CONGRATULATIONS!!! LOS CATRACHOS for winning the Marathon held yesterday at the Hon. Louis Sylvester Sportinng Complex...... This Marathon was to kickoff the Tournament on December 18th 2015. The San Pedro Sports Council held its marathon on Sunday to kick off its Football 11-A-Side Tournament which will commence on December 18, 2015. Deadline to Register teams is December 11th, 2015.... You can check with Mr. Wilbert Magaña at the offices of The San Pedro Town Council for more information or to sign up!

    A conversation with Alexandra Cousteau
    If anyone will be in Caye Caulker today, you can make your way out to the basketball court as Ms. Alexandra Cousteau will be giving an Ocean Message to the community at 9:30 am. Thanks!

    "The New Destination Belize"
    At BTIA's 30th Annual General Meeting, McNab Publishing gave its first official presentation on "The New Destination Belize", giving the audience a first-hand look at what the industry can look forward to as they restructure the entire brand surrounding our country's most renowned marketing tool. Visit them online at www.destinationbelizemag.com to find out more.

    Travel Leisure names Placencia as Top 2016 Destination
    Placencia Village in Stann Creek District has been named as one of Travel and Leisure’s top destinations for tourists to visit in 2016 for its amazing ocean views, luxury resorts and fine local cuisine. According to Travel and Leisure, Belize is great for backpackers—much like Costa Rica in the 1980s—but certain areas have also become bona fide retreats for the well-heeled. Francis Ford Coppola’s Turtle Inn, according to the popular travel publication, has been drawing glamorous types to its cottages in the beach town of Placencia. The secret is on the verge of getting out, it added, especially with the late 2016 opening of Itz’ana, an ambitious farm-restaurant-retreat hybrid with 39 upscale villas—all within mere feet of the world’s second-largest coral reef system. The project, which is just down the road from Turtle Inn, is not just ambitious for its five-star creature comforts (rooms will have terraces with daybeds, waterfront views, and soaring ceilings). It’s also a stage for chef Mara Jernigan, of the immensely popular Limilita pop-up restaurant in Placencia, who will be using indigenous ingredients to spotlight Belizean agriculture and fine dining, Travel and Leisure said, adding that she even has a personal fleet of fishermen. The publication also highlighted that the property includes: a Mayan-inspired spa using locally harvested rainforest botanicals, a room (and sommelier) dedicated to rum, and chartered yachts for sundown cruises.

    Splashers
    This Thursday at Crazy Canucks 2p.m

    Belize Youth Awards 2015
    The Department of Youth Services held its 2015 Belize Youth Awards on Friday December 4, 2015 at the Belize Biltmore Plaza. The event which marked the culmination of National Youth Week, celebrated under the theme “Youth, Let’s Make the Dream Work with Team Work”, is held annually to recognize and reward young people from all over Belize for their contribution to Belize’s development. The special guest speaker for the occasion was Mr. Mike Duggan, Executive Director of Domus Kids, a U.S. based NGO which provides a home and after-school programs for with at-risk boys. Mr. Duggan is also involved in the “No Youth Left Behind Initiative” which provides guidance and mentorship for young people. In addressing the awardees and guests at Friday’s event, Mr. Duggan said, “See young people as resources and not as recipients of services that you give. Actively get their input, have the trust and confidence in them that they know what they are talking about, that they know what they need, and they know what their communities need and they have the solutions.”

    Presentation of Credentials to the Governor General of Belize
    Five ambassadors presented their credentials to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young today, December 7, 2015 at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan. H.E. Rabah Hadid, Ambassador of Algeria; H.E. Petros Panayotopolous, Ambassador of Greece; H.E. Alfonso Manuel Portables Vazquez, Ambassador of Spain; H.E. Vehbi Esgel Etensel, Ambassador of Turkey; and H.E. Valdrack Jaentschke, Ambassador of Nicaragua all expressed their pleasure in being a representative of their countries in Belize and extended warm greetings to Belize from their governments. Each ambassador conveyed to the Governor General that their country’s purpose is to continue to develop and maintain strong relations between their countries and Belize. The Governor General graciously received the credentials and welcomed the ambassadors to Belize.

    Water interruption this morning in San Pedro
    According to a text circulating from Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL), there will be a water interruption for entire San Pedro Town from 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m., today, December 8, 2015.

    The San Juan Roundabout and the Sea Grape Drive Roundabout also got a touch of Christmas this year!

    SAN PEDRO CENTRAL PARK TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY 2015
    On Saturday, December 5, 2015, the San Pedro Town Council invited everyone to the lighting of the christmas tree at Central Park. Everyone gathered around the christmas tree awaiting the shining lights. Mayor Daniel Guerrero offered a few words where he gave a warming thank you to the Bowen family for donating the christmas tree a few years back and for ensuring that it goes up every year. After his speech, he gave the word, and ta-da! the Christmas tree was finally lit for everyone to enjoy! Following the Mayor's address, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. gave a few warm remarks in rememberance that Christmas is a time to share and be with family. Also, giving a few remarks was Lady Dixie Bowen who gave special mention to Mr. Guillermo Rodriguez for having the fun and complicated task of setting up the tree every year. After the tree was lit, the Isla Bonita Elementary School entertained everyone with their high energy dances. And to keep the christmas spirit high, local piano artist, Lascelle Martinez graced us with some Christmas

    Passing of Ms. Eustolia Tzib
    Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to extend its deepest condolences to the Tzib/Alamilla family & friends on the passing of Ms. Eustolia Tzib. May her soul rest in peace. Sunrise: November 8,1954 Sunset: December 7, 2015. A wake will be held in her honor at her residence on Pescador Drive (the Reef Restaurant), today, Monday, December 7, in the evening. Funeral services will be at the Reef Restaurant at 2:00 p.m., today, Tuesday, December 8, 2015. Ms. Eustolia was Councilor Hector "Tito" Alamilla's mother-in-law.

    Los Posadas
    The Banquitas House of Culture (NICH) in collaboration with the San Jose Nuevo Palmar Church invites everyone to celebrate the birth of Christ with the traditional Los Posadas. Scheduled for Dec.24th, 2015 at San Jose Nuevo Palmar, Orange Walk.

    Channel 7

    9 Charged For Home Invasion, Burglary, Rape At Diplomat's Home
    On Friday night's news, we told you about the brutal home invasion at Lebanese Diplomat Sarkis Abou Nehra's estate just outside of Burrell Boom Village. Well tonight, police have arrested and charged 9 persons - including 3 females - all from Belize City. Tonight, they are spending their first night on remand at the Belize Central Prison. We'll show you these accused persons, but first we'll take back Abou Nehra's home where police started their investigation and made a crucial break in the case this weekend. Daniel Ortiz has that story: Since the home invasion of Lebanese Diplomat Sarkis Abou-Nehra, Ladyville police have made great progress in the investigation. That has resulted in the arrest of several Belize City men. Sr. Supt. Edward Broaster - OC, Eastern Division Rural: "We went into overdrive with respect to the investigation into this aggravated burglary. We have arrested and charged John Grinage, Jerson Grinage, Brandon Baptist, Sheldon Grinage and Randalph Coleman, along with Tyrone Meighan jointly for the crime of aggravated burglary, conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary, conspiracy to commit rape, handling stolen goods and theft. Separately, Tryone Meighan was charged for rape. Kemira Cacho, Crystal Augustine, Ashanti Roches and all others mentioned before were likewise charged for handling stolen goods. All of them are from Police Street, Belize City south side."

    Mother Says Her Sons Are Being Persecuted
    So, once again, the Meighan brothers, Tyrone and Ellis Jr., are in the crosshairs of law enforcement. Tyrone is accused of being one of the 8 armed thieves who stormed into the Lebanese Diplomat's Burrell Boom Home. He's also accused of raping a female victim who was tied up. Later on, we'll tell you how exactly Ellis Meighan Jr. is being tied to this crime, but first, his mother, Shelly, says that police have it all wrong with Tyrone. He and Brandon Baptist have only been out of prison for about 1 and a half months after spending 3 years on remand for a murder charge that they beat at the end of October. His mother is anxious to see him free from prison, and she's convinced that the police are tying him up in this crime out of malice. She also says that she has witnesses and police officers - who watch her home daily - who could vouch that Tyrone was at home until very late on Thursday night when this home invasion happened. Today, she made an impassioned plea for help from the powers that be to reverse the criminal charges against her son:

    Six Guns Stolen From Diplomat Are Still On The Streets
    But, while police and the Meighan family dispute Tyrone's role - or non-role in this brazen crime, 6 guns - all belonging to Sarkis Abou Nehra - are still in the hands of criminals right now. Those are a Sig Sauer 9mm pistol, a Mossberg Pump action 12 gauge shotgun, a Browning 9mm pistol, a Ruger 9mm pistol, a Pietrro Berreta single action shotgun, and a Remington .22 rifle. Police say that they need your help in recovering them, and a reward is being offered: Sr. Supt. Edward Broaster - OC, Eastern Division Rural "We will be sharing with you all pictures of the 6 firearms that were stolen from the residence which includes 3 - 9mm pistols, 2 shotguns and 1 - 22 rifle and we are going to encourage the community to call 922 TIPS and report any of the guns - If they recognize them to 922 TIPS and hopefully they will get a handsome reward."

    How To Send Police A Distress Message
    Also, as you heard, police did everything they could to try to prevent this crime. At the very end while it was in progress, the caretaker's wife was held at gunpoint and forced to tell the police responders over the phone that everything was okay. The cops from Eastern Divison Rural are taking that aspect of the crime very seriously, and they say that they've come up with a way for any hostage to communicate their distress to them. Senior Superintendent Broaster explained it to us: Sr. Supt. Edward Broaster - OC, Eastern Division Rural "We will be implementing the 3 P's - Personal Protection Program, where through your cell phone you will be able to send a distress alert to the rural eastern division where we would be in turn in a position to call you and dependent on what you say to us we will know whether or not you are in distress and then we will have adequate resources deployed in dealing with the threat or the situation at hand."

    Nine Year Old Accident Victim Dies After Being Knocked Down
    A family in Orange Walk is in stunned and grieving disbelief after their 9 year old son died as the result of a traffic accident. On Thursday at midday, Standard three student Geraldo Lopez was walking across the northern highway - when he was knocked down by a southbound motorbike. Today his mother told the media that they pulled over in front of Rony's Tortilla Factory - and she sent her son to buy. But he had to cross the road first. It's simple enough since the highway doubles as the main street in Orange Walk Town. But just feet from the tortilla factory, Geraldo was knocked down. He showed no outward signs of bleeding, and neither did he have any broken limbs, but by Saturday, the child very suddenly died. Asking to appear off camera, his mother told the media the story of the accident, and his very unexpected demise: VOICE OF: Normita Lopez, Mother of deceased "I saw him crossing but there was no vehicle coming. He was going and then all of a sudden a motorcycle came fast and knock down my little boy. When he knock down my son, he stopped. But at no time did he came over to where he (my son) was or asked what happened or if I needed help - nothing. At that time all I had in mind was to take care of my son and then another person just came to assist me and he took the boy to the hospital and when we found out the cyclist was not there."

    Let The "Zafra" Begin
    The cane crop opened today - right on time - and 7 weeks earlier than last year's disastrous late start. Things went off without a hitch this morning at the Tower Hill Factory in Orange Walk - where the Progressive Cane Farmers association members from San Estevan were the first to bring in their load. 7News was at the Tower Hill Factory in Orange Walk and here's the story of smoke signals and mixed signals, from an industry at the crossroads of a present that's tense and a future that's uncertain:... Jules Vasquez reporting Like a smoke signal from the factory to the fields, this plume of steam means the Tower Hill factory is operational - and it's the first day of the cane season. Jose Novelo - Chairman, Sugar Cane Production Committee "As an industry we had no choice but to try to start as early as possible because of all the stand over plant cane that was left in the field. All the stand over ratoon - all the new cane fields that are starting to come. We have to bring this industry back to its normal cycle where we start milling either in late November or early December."

    Stevedores' Spontaneous Strike, Christmas Cargo Ship Sails
    The last time we reported on the stevedores at the Port of Belize - they were still trying to get their Collective Bargaining Agreement finalized. That was in October and at the end of it all both sides agreed that they would continue to negotiate. It perhaps seemed like another tedious turn in a negotiation that's been going on for years, but there seemed to be renewed resolve and it seemed like maybe the Christian Workers Union and the Port of Belize would actually work it out. Well, not quite - today the stevedores staged a spontaneous strike shutting down all operations at the port - putting all Christmas cargo on instant pause. Guy Neal, a member of the CWU negotiating team told us why they had to take action this time. Guy Neal, Negotiating Team, CWU "The issue is that we had a thing signed with the CEO of Port Mr. Arturo Vasquez and we got everything signed up and all of a sudden when we had the meeting on the 3rd, he backtracked and its the retirement for me and for all the stevedores who went and who is presently working. And if we let that go like that, there will be nothing in our pockets at the end of the day. So we are working for nothing basically. We are doing this dangerous work and it's a work that we have to do in any kind of weather basically; rain, wind or whatever." Courtney Weatherburne "It seemed like it was a level playing field and everyone was on board. So what the issue now? Why did he retract? What is he saying to you all?"

    Ok, So the VIP Won't Overturn Election Result
    On October 15, the political party, the Vision Inspired by the People, or VIP as it is better known, announced along with it's allied political activists that they were going press the Supreme Court to nullify the results of the November 2015 General Elections. That was at beast, a political hail-Mary, a long shot…but it seems right now, that it wasn't even that: it was just political big talk without any actions to back it up. Today, we turned up at court, expecting to attend the first hearing of the lawsuit, but we only found their attorney, Hubert Elrington. When we asked where this first hearing was supposed to happen, Elrington told us that the case was not happening today. When we asked why, Elrington told us that they had come across some difficulties, and so the claim as originally filed will not go forward. He did tell us that the main aspects of the case will happen, but when we asked for details about what those will be, or when it should happen, we was very vague. Chairman of the VIP, Hubert Enriquez, told our colleagues from Krem that their attorney informed them that re-filing the claim is the best option available to them. Again, Enriquez did not share any specifics of this new claim form, and right now, nobody knows if and when the Supreme Court will entertain this supposed new case.

    Remembering Those Who Flew Away
    Today is Civil Aviation Day and a wreath laying ceremony was held at the Belize Municipal Airport to honor those fallen pilots. The airport team and families of these pilots attended. We spoke with the families of 2 fallen pilots - Nigel Flowers and Sir Barry Bowen. They told us why it's important to remember their passion for flying and how they contributed to society. Garbutt told us that the purpose of this event it to remember these pilots but also to acknowledge the sacrifice it takes to be a pilot.

    Opposition Wins Compressional Election In Venezuela; The End of Petrocaribe?
    The so called Chavissimo - which loaned Belize and other Caribbean and central American countries hundreds of millions of dollars under the Petrocaribe programme - has an uncertain future - after the Venezuelan opposition won a majority of the seats in congress in elections on Sunday. International news reports say the opposition coalition won at least 99 seats in the 167-seat legislature. Chavez's ruling United Socialist Party won 46 seats. They had been in power for 17 years - during which time they pushed what is called the Bolivarian Alliance, known as ALBA - the vision for the social, political and economic integration of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean - which gave rise to Petrocaribe and other initiatives such as Mission Milagro. President Nicolas Madura has accepted defeat for his party, calling the results a right wing counter revolution. Now, bear in mind that these were not presidential elections, and Maduro remains in that post until 2019. It will be left to be seen if he can outmuscle an opposition controlled congress. But, if the opposition coalition wins 13 of the 22 undecided seats, it would have a supermajority which it can use to initiate a referendum to revoke Maduro's mandate.

    Youths Who Said Yes To Excellence
    On the evening news, you often hear of youths being charged for crimes. Very regularly that makes the headlines. But, what happens to the majority of Belizean youths who are law-abiding, and who continue strive for excellence? Well, last week was Youth Week 2015, and the Department of Youth Services organized a group of activities designed to honor outstanding youths. Elodio Aragon Jr., the Minister of State with responsibility for Youth, Sports and Culture, was the keynote speaker at the Youth Awards, on Friday night. He told the gathering that these awardees give him hope for the up-and-coming leadership of the nation: The awards consisted of sixteen categories. They are as follows with their respective winners: The Environmental Award went to Adaly Cartagena of Ocean Academy. Crystal Samos was given Innovation Award, while the Youth in Media award went David Smith. The Enterprise Award went to Kenrick Gonzalez, while the Arts and Culture Award was given to Raheem Mariano. The Differently Abled Award went to Janae Matute, while the Youth in Agriculture Award was given to Kadeem Bennett.

    Muscle On The Move
    Right now, 3 of Belize's elite male bodybuilding athletes are preparing to represent Belize for the first time the World Bodybuilding Championships held by the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness. The IFBB is the umbrella organization for over 170 national federations coming from 191 countries worldwide, and so these 3 Belizean bodybuilders are up against stiff competition. This weekend, we caught up with them during one of their final workouts before they leave for the competition in El Salvador. Here's what they had to say about the opportunity: The first day of competition takes place on this Friday, December 11.

    Stella "Partois"?
    Christmas parties! - you will be going to and hearing all about those for the rest of this month. One was held today at the Radisson for kids from Stella Maris School. There were a number of fun activities for the kids and even Santa dropped by to hand out gifts - 7News wasn't far behind. Belize Bank sponsored the party. 110 kids attended.

    Channel 5

    The Brothers Meighan and Grinage Siblings Arraigned for Home Invasion
    Police believe they have cracked an armed home invasion at a residence in Burrell Boom last Thursday night. Six of eight suspects have been arrested, charged and arraigned in court [...]

    Shelly Meighan Says Murder Maybe, But Her Son Certainly Did Not Commit Rape
    The group was expected in court this morning so family and friends were awaiting their arrival. They did not appear until the afternoon and it was under heavy police guard. [...]

    Nine-year-old Gerardo Lopez Killed in Road Traffic Accident
    One man has been arrested and charged after he knocked down a young student last Thursday on the Belize Corozal Road in Orange Walk Town. The student was crossing the [...]

    Parent Teachers Association Clamor for Speed Bump on Busy Highway
    Today as the school mourned, parents gathered to express their anger and frustration at the death of a student – a death they feel could have been avoided by the [...]

    Stevedores Set Off Impromptu Strike Action at Port of Belize
    The stevedores are once again on strike. This morning around eleven o’clock, Gang Seven staged a protest at the Port of Belize which disrupted operations and threatens the unloading of [...]

    Freightliner Sets Sail Without Discharging Cargo
    At this time, the Port of Belize is in discussions with the labor commissioner and reps from the CWU over the situation at the port. Earlier today, the shipping company [...]

    2015/2016 Sugar Crop Kicks Off in the North
    After two successive crop season delays underscored by tension and strife in the industry, the 2015/2016 crop season started right on schedule. But even with that start there is concern [...]

    Cane Delivery Off to a Slow Start
    Traditionally, on the first day of crop cane trucks and tractors-trailers are lined up to weigh in and deliver. Today was different, with trucks trickling in to the point where [...]

    What’s the Formula for Reaching Sugar Quota?
    Because the last survey estimated one point seven million tons of cane in the field, and the factory can only mill one point three, the Sugar Cane Production Committee had [...]

    Maya Leaders Alliance Receive Equator Prize 2015
    The Maya Leaders Alliance received the prestigious Equator Prize 2015 Award earlier today at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.  The organization is being acknowledged on the world stage [...]

    Conservation Group Questions G.O.B.’s Turneffe and PHMR Omissions
    Cabinet’s recent approval of a policy to permanently prohibit offshore oil exploration in areas along the Belize Barrier Reef System and within seven World Heritage Sites in Belize, does not [...]

    Civil Aviation Day Commemorated in Belize
    December seventh, by resolution of the United Nations General Assembly, is recognized globally as International Civil Aviation Day. The purpose of the celebration is to generate worldwide awareness of the [...]

    Belize Bank and Stella Maris’ Annual Christmas Party
    The joy of the holiday season was felt this morning by the children of Stella Maris School. Hosted by the Belize Bank, the children had an unforgettable party at the [...]

    Pickstock Social Interaction Program Links Up with Police Department
    Of late the Police Department has been big on community policing, and the statistics have indicated very positive results. But it isn’t all about the ‘meet and greet’ initiatives in [...]

    Basketball Championships & PLB Playoffs in Sports
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The PLB playoffs got off with a band this weekend with all 4 teams seeing action. We caught up [...]

    CTV3

    SDA School Advocating For Pedestrian Ramp For Safety Of Students
    The untimely passing of nine year old Geraldo Lopez has affected the students, parents and administration of Salomon Seven Day Adventist School. And it has also raised concern. Lopez’s death has prompted the PTA of SDA to continue advocating for a pedestrian ramp in the area. It is a request long overdue, says president of the PTA, Maxwell Torres. “For quite some time we have been asking for a pedestrian ramp or somebody that could be out there with the students when they come across the road, you know in the morning we have over a hundred students on that road, me myself as a parent have three kids and have to pass that street in the morning and in the evening and actually me myself have to wait along with my kids and the transportation don’t even wait nor hesitate they come straight across, we have to be out there like five, ten fifteen minutes sometimes there are some drivers who are very conscious and they stop but not all of them and I personally have already asked the representative and I told him about it and brought it to his attention and he said he will be working on that.”

    Four Men Remanded To Prism For Fire Arm Offences
    Four men from the Orange Walk District are tonight behind bars after they were arrested and charged for firearm offences. On Saturday about 8:30 in the night Orange Walk Quick Response Team and Special Branch Personnel conducted an operation in the Indian Creek Mennonite Community when they pulled over a red Toyota pick-up truck with Orange Walk license plate. Driving the vehicle at the time was Danilo Castillo a Belizean Operator of Belcogen and resident of San Estevan Village. Accompanying Castillo were Gaspar Gongora, Belizean employee of BSI/ASR and resident of Palmar Village, Nolberto Junior Santos, Belizean farmer of San Carlos Village and Carlos Barrientos, Belizean Farmer also of San Carlos Village.

    2015/2016 Crop Gets Underway Weather And Sugar Road Conditions Slow Delivery
    The 2015/2016 crop season got under way this morning but unlike other years, it saw a slow delivery. This year there was not a long queue. The first to make deliveries were cane farmers of the San Estevan Branch who fall under the Progressive Sugar Cane Farmers Association. The slow delivery, from all indications, was due to weather and sugar road conditions. Jose Novelo- Chairman SCPC: “It is a function of the wet period even the cane fields are soaked with water so all those contribute to having a slow start so to speak in terms of delivery but we expect that this will improve, generally speaking with the weather patterns that has changed over the last three years; December, January has been the pretty well but as an industry we had no choice but to start as early as possible because of all the stand over plan cane that was left in the field, all the stand over Raton , all the new cane fields that are starting to come we have to bring this industry back to its normal cycle where we start milling either in late November or early December depending on the weather conditions but it is important that we start early so that we can finish under good weather conditions because June and July will obviously be even wetter than what we are experiencing right now.”

    Consumers Already Seeing Increase On Price Per Pound Of Sugar Before Effective Date Of January 1st 2016
    Although the official date set for the increase in the price of Sugar from 50 cents a pound to 75 cents a pound is set for January 1, 2016, there are vendors here in the North who are already implementing the price increase, or at least that is what consumers are saying. This morning, during the Despierta Belice show, numerous calls came complaining about local vendors selling the pound of sugar at 75 cents. That should not happen until January first and if it is business owners are breaking the law. According to a press release issued by the Belize Bureau of Standards on December 4th, 2015, vendors should refrain from implementing the price increase until the official date set by the Bureau, January 1, 2016. Failure to meet the terms of the Supplies Control Regulations can result in imprisonment of up to six months, a fine of 1,000 dollars or both imprisonment and fine charged.

    Five ambassadors Presents Credentials To Governor General Of Belize
    Today five Ambassadors presented their credentials to the Governor General of Belize His Excellency Sir Colville Young. His Excellency, Rabah Hadid, Ambassador of Algeria, His Excellency Petros Panayotopolous, Ambassador of Greece: His Excellency Alfonso Manuel Portables Vasquez, Ambassador of Spain; His Excellency Vehbi Esgel Etensel, Ambassador of Turkey and His Excellency Valdrack Jaentschke, Ambassador of Nicaragua, all expressed their pleasure of being a representative of their country to Belize. Each ambassador conveyed to the Governor General that their country’s plan is to develop and maintain strong relationships between their country and Belize.

    BSI/ASR Introduces New 40 Ton Truck Dumper To Smooth en Delivery Process
    To start off the 2015/2016 crop season BSI/ASR received 4,600 tons of cane today and the same amount is expected to be received tomorrow. That amount will increase gradually as the crop progresses until it reaches 7,000 tons cane per day. For that to happen there must be a must be a smooth and quick delivery. And that is where this newly installed 40 ton truck dumper comes in. The new equipment, along with a new cabin, comes at a cost over one million dollars and is expected to make the delivery more efficient and safer. “The original one which handles approximately 60% of the cane it was seen that more trucks, it showed the old method of hooking trucks and trailers using the cranes to unload is quite inefficient it takes a long time to turn around but with trucks dumpers we will see an improvement in the turnaround time or the cane to be off loaded here, so this investment here combined with the new modern cane yard cabin is over a million Belize dollars but we expect to see a lot of benefits from it both from an efficiency stand point, safety as well as you can see from some of the footage the operators and drivers of those vehicles when they are loading the cane using the cranes they have to get on top of their trucks they have to hook them off and climb them off and it possess off a safety risk as well but with the truck dumper you go on to the ramp and you hook your truck, you signal that it is ready and the operator in the cane yard cabin offloads it and it takes less than a minute and the truck goes away and the other method we just observed one truck with three trailers take almost half an hour to unload their cargo I mean it is a big difference when you are unloading through this truck dumpers versus the method of loading against the cranes which is on the east and the west side.”

    LOVE FM

    Sugar Crop Season Opens Amidst Concerns
    The 2015/2016 Sugar Cane Crop Season officially opened today. The sugar factory at Tower Hill began milling the first few tons of cane this morning after ten o’clock. However, not everything is sweet in the sugar industry at the moment. All three cane farmers association had to convince the Government of Belize of increase the […]

    Ladyville Police Cracks Case of Aggravated Burglary; 9 Persons Charged
    For the second time in ten years the home of the Honorary Consul General for Lebanon to Belize, 77-year-old, Sarkis Abou- Nehra, was invaded. In the first instance dated December 6, 2005, it had turned out to be a failed attempted robbery with Abou-Nehra receiving an injury to his right hand. But a few hours […]

    Minor Dies in Accident; Motorcylist Charged
    Last week a young student of Solomon Seventh Day Adventist School was knocked down by a motorcycle, he died this past weekend. Reporter Hipolito Novelo has the story. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING “Nine year old, Gerardo Geovanni Lopez died on Saturday morning at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. He was hit by a motorcycle on […]

    Belize Coalition Wants Moratorium on Oil Exploration Ban Formalized
    About one week ago, a release from the Government’s Press Office had announced the banning of oil exploration in certain areas. The Barrow administration, as a result has received much applause, due to the move, from various entities both locally and internationally. Coupled with those applause, came the request that the two other reserves be […]

    Stevedores Take Industrial Action; Cargo Ship Left Belize Unloaded
    There is upset at the Port of Belize once again as the stevedores are saying that the head of the Port of Belize, Arturo Vasquez is reneging on an agreement they had as it relates to retirement funds. Guy Neal spoke to Love News on the protest this morning and their rationale. GUY NEAL “I […]

    Fallen Pilots Remembered on Int’l Civil Aviation Day
    International Civil Aviation Day is being recognized in Belize as the Department of Civil Aviation held a brief memorial ceremony for pilots who have passed away. The event took place at the Belize City Municipal Airstrip. Ordinarily, the Department of Civil Aviation would hold an award ceremony but this year, they chose to honor their […]

    Youth Awarded at Gala 2015
    Youth Week was celebrated from November 29 to December 5. The Department of Youth Services along with the Love Foundation ended the week with the National Youth Awards Gala at the Belize Biltmore Plaza. The purpose of the award night was to recognize outstanding youths in society for the good work and involvement in their […]

    PlusTV

    Garfuna Community Celebrates Andy Palacio’s birthday
    It has been almost 8 years now since the passing of Belizean Musical icon, Andy Palacio. Yesterday, December 2nd, a memorial mass was held in different parts of the country for Andy Palacio including Belize City, Dangriga, Belmopan, Punta Gorda, Seine Bight, Hopkins and Barranco Village, Andy Palacio’s hometown. Palacio, Belize’s foremost Musical ambassador, received the Best New Artist Award at the Caribbean Music Awards in 1991, the prestigious WOMEX Award in the 2007 and the BBC3 Awards for World Music award in the Americas Category in 2008. In addition to a long career of teaching and serving as Deputy Administrator of the National Institute of Culture and History, NICH, Palacio was also named as the UNESCO Artist for Peace. In keeping the culture Palacio left behind, the Wagiya Foundation has partnered with the Andy Palacio Foundation to host the first ever music festival fundraiser in Barranco Village. This festival will be held this Saturday, December 5, 2015 from 2pm to 10 pm. The main event will feature a number of live performances from well known Garifuna musicians.

    Woman stabbed on dock in San Pedro
    A 35-year-old Belizean clothes vendor of Boca del Rio area was stabbed on Monday night while she sat on a dock in San Pedro. Reports are that a Hispanic male person went and sat beside her and proceeded to fondle her and requested sex. When she refused, he allegedly grabbed her by the hair; held her down, broke a bottle and stabbed her to the right side of the face, neck and chest area. She then made her way to the San Pedro Poly clinic to seek medical attention. Police say they have detained a 24-year-old man from San Mateo area pending investigation.

    Belmopan Woman shot in leg for bike and phone
    A woman was shot in the leg and then robbed of her phone and bicycle. It happened last night, Wednesday, December 2nd, after 8 p.m. on a Belmopan walkway. 22 year-old Rosa Chocoj of Maya Mopan area, was riding her bicycle on the Central walkway along with her brother and sister. When they reached between the Civic Centre and Social Security Board, a male person came running towards her. He then slapped her on the right side of her face and shot her in her right leg with a handgun. The male person then took away her bicycle and demanded her phone. He then rode off on her bike. Last night, the victim’s sister spoke to PlusNews at the Western Regional Hospital.

    Caye Caulker Chronicles

    Chris Roggema: Peace be to All!
    What is a more better greeting than As-Salaam-Alaikum, with the person you address responding Wa-Aleikum-Salaam = And unto you Peace! In these days coming closer to the days of celebration of the birth of Jezus, of Peace and Love we are pushed to make believe that we are not all One. We are all One . We all are One in the eyes of the Lord. Whatever you call your Lord. Jezus, Allah, Buddha, Yahweh. You can only call another brother an unbeliever when he does not believe we are One. It is the warmongers who want to make you believe we are not One. That you are not my brother or sister because you pray towards Mecca or you pray to the Light from Bethlehem or to Jerusalem or light up a spliff and say Thanks To Jah or turn towards The God inside your heart and are grateful for another blessed day.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Elderly man killed in Road traffic accident
    37-year-old David Anthony Bermudez was detained by police following a traffic accident at the Santa Cruz junction with Placencia Road, in which his Dodge Ram pickup truck collided into a man riding a bicycle, resulting in fatal injuries. Police responded to the scene around […]

    14-year-old boy missing
    Police are trying to locate missing 14-year-old student of Skill Trade Center, Josiah Bowden, who was reported missing by his mother, 37-year-old Eva Olga of Old Well Road in Lords Bank Village. Olga told police that her son left home around 7:00 a.m. on […]

    Police bust almost two pounds of weed
    A large amount of cannabis was found yesterday morning in the area of Neal’s Pen Road, Belize City, during a search in an abandoned lot. Around 1:30 p.m., officers made the discovery of a white bucket containing six parcels of the green leafy substance, […]

    Governor General welcomes five ambassadors
    Today five ambassadors presented their credentials to the Governor General of Belize, H.E. Sir Colville Young. At the Belize House in Belmopan City H.E. Rabah Hadid, Ambassador of Algeria; H.E. Petros Panayotopolous, Ambassador of Greece; H.E. Alfonso Manuel Portables Vazquez, Ambassador of Spain; H.E. Vehbi […]

    Orange Walk man in critical condition after hit and run
    One man is in critical condition after he was knocked down this morning in Orange Walk Town. BMG has been informed that at around 11:30 this morning, Belito Moreno Sr. was riding his bicycle on Cinderella Street in Orange Walk Town when he was hit by an […]

    2016 sugar crop underway
    The 2015/2016 sugar crop commenced today and the BSI factory began receiving deliveries at 10:00 in the morning. All the scheduling for deliveries has been set in place but this morning the process was slow due to bad weather, however, the pace picked up after midday. The […]

    Police make arrests in Burrell Boom home invasion
    Late last week we reported on an investigation into the home invasion in Burrell Boom, which involved Belize’s honorary consul to Lebanon, 77 year old Sarkis Abou Nehra. The caretaker of the residence of told police that between 8:00 Thursday night and 3:00 a.m.Friday morning he and his spouse were held […]

    2016 sugar crop officially open
    The 2016 sugar crop began today. BMG understands that the Belize Progressive Sugar Cane Farmers Association will be making the first deliveries. The Belize Sugar Industry also gave stake holders and the media a tour of improvements that have been made within the factory. We will […]

    Stevedores walk off job at Port of Belize
    Disgruntled stevedores working at the Port of Belize have walked off the job early this afternoon, accusing the management of going back on their Word. Guy Neal, a member of the Christian Workers Union negotiating team, told us that Port CEO Arturo Vasquez has backtracked on […]

    BTIA tackles tourism industry problems at AGM
    Last Thursday, December 3rd, on the 30th anniversary of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), the association held its annual general meeting in which many problems facing our country’s tourism industry were highlighted and BTIA President Osmany Salas pledged that they are ready to work along […]

    Venezuelan opposition wins: What it means for Belize
    Venezuela’s opposition Democratic Alliance has won an overwhelming mid-term congressional victory in that country’s December 6th elections, claiming just about two-thirds control in the National Assembly. Ballots for several seats in Venezuela are still being tallied but winning at least 101 of the 167 seats in the National […]

    How the Internet and Modern Technology is Killing Belize Telemedia Limited
    Reporting: We live in a world where telecommunication is now an innate part of our lives. We keep in touch with family and friends via social media sites, we get our news streamed to our phones, we watch movies and TV shows on our computers and […]

    The Vision Inspired by the People’s (VIP) withdraws challenge against election validity
    The Vision Inspired The Vision Inspired by the People’s (VIP) case challenging the validity of the 2015 General Elections has been withdrawn, according to Senior Counsel Hubert Erlington. The group had suggested voters were disenfranchised because constituencies did not have a nearly-as-equal-as-possible amount of voters in each division […]

    First Andy Palacio Music Fest a huge success
    For months, volunteers, musicians, artists, family and friends have been spreading the word about the first annual Andy Palacio Music Festival to be held in Barranco Village – the home and final resting place of the legendary musician – and, on Saturday, their work paid off. […]

    Opposition party wins in Venezuela
    Venezuela’s opposition party won the majority of seats in the National Assembly in the elections that was held Sunday, overturning nearly two decades of dominance by the Socialists of President Nicolas Maduro. “Venezuela, we won!” said opposition leader Henrique Capriles.”I always told you all, this was […]

    Blogs

    Tasty, Filling, and Healthy: Nine Foods to Try in Belize
    When vacation is not about sightseeing, it’s about eating local cuisine. Belize is especially famous for its unique Caribbean food that brings together an eclectic mixture of Mayan, Spanish and African influences to produce dishes unlike anywhere else in the world. Here are 9 exotic Belizean foods we recommend you try on your Belize vacation. 1. Rice and Beans 2. Stew Chicken 3. Belizean Tamales 4. Ceviche 5. Salbutes 6. Garnaches 7. Conchita Pibil 8. Fry Jacks 9. Chimole (Black Dinner)

    Mexican Rice
    Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onion is soft, about 2 minutes. Add the rice, achiote powder, and bay leaf and frozen peas and carrots. Cook and stir until the rice is opaque, about 2 minutes, Add the tomatoes and broth, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until the liquid evaporates to just below the level of the rice, about 10 minutes.

    Last Week in Belize: From Gorgeous Sunshine to a Belizean “Cold” Front
    Last week started absolutely gorgeously…and really didn’t shift until Friday and Saturday…and then, we who live here, rejoiced. Christmas weather! Day time temperatures in the low 80s…a chill at night! Here’s a look at my week which started off with a 300 foot drop into a sinkhole and ended with some good old fashion nesting weather. Grey and cool. I’ve sprinkled in some gorgeous photos from Instagram from here and around the country… And the gorgeous weather continued… Christmas is here! And the announcement of the re-activation of the Lighted Boat Parade MAY have been the best part.

    International Sourcesizz

    Greg Norman to design Caye Chapel, Belize golf course
    Greg Norman, the famous golf champion and designer of some of the best golf courses in the world, visited Caye Chapel Island in Belize to announce he will be designing the 18-hole golf course of this spectacular resort, located in the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean. Norman spoke in the presence of the First Lady of Belize, Kim Simplis Barrow; Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism; Tracey Taegar-Pantom, Minister of Investments; other representatives of the federal and local government, and special invited guests. Caye Chapel will be the most exclusive and spectacular tourist destination in Latin America. This 280-acre island, located only 11 kilometers from Belize City, will offer breathtaking lots and beachfront houses. It will also offer a luxury hotel with over-water bungalows, a private landing strip that allows for arrivals within minutes to the island from the international airports of Belize and San Pedro, and an outstanding marina that holds yachts up to 140 feet. Surrounding the marina is a select mix of stores, restaurants and bars that will create a unique business center in the area, and an incomparable golf course that only an island like Caye Chapel can offer. Caye Chapel Island is just one kilometer away from the second largest coral reef in the world and just a few kilometers from the Blue Hole, the most coveted destination for diving lovers. The topography of the island allows for breathtaking views of both coasts of the island, surrounded by turquoise waters.

    Belize deaf church began after hearing God’s voice
    More than 40 adults and children participated in the 10th anniversary celebration of Jesus’ Deaf Church Oct. 11. Nancy Marshall, a worker with Virginia Mennonite Missions and Eastern Mennonite Missions, started the church and continues to pastor the group. Marshall had been living and working in Lancaster, Pa., in 2004 when a friend invited her to teach sign language to deaf children in Belize for the summer. During her last three days in Belize, she heard God’s voice in her head: “I want you to come back to Belize to start a deaf church.” Marshall had never heard God’s voice so directly. She replied: “How can I pastor a church? I’m a woman. It won’t work here. There are pretty conservative gender roles in Belize.” Then Marshall visited San Felipe Mennonite Church, about an hour from Orange Walk. On a wall she saw a picture of a white woman with a head covering. When she asked who the woman was, a friend told her it was Dora Taylor, an EMM missionary nurse who had started the church in the mid-1960s.

    Watching the Fruit Fall
    Mayan King, the largest banana producer in Belize, abruptly ceased operations in October when the Irish fruit company Fyffes stopped importing Mayan King bananas due to fear of economic sanctions from the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). In 2012, OFAC designated Mayan King owner John Zabaneh a Drug Kingpin under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act) for his alleged connections to Mexican fugitive drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and associated Colombian drug cartels. Here are the impacts on Mayan King's former employees: A new battlefield in the U.S. War on Drugs, the recent closure of Mayan King Banana Farm in Belize creates hundreds of Central American farm worker economic casualties. Guatemalan women and their children protest the loss of jobs at Mayan King and the impacts on their families. As collateral damage of the U.S. War on Drugs, close to 1200 migrant farm workers and their children from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua suddenly lost their economic lifeline.

    Three Caribbean getaways make Travel and Leisure’s top 50 destinations for 2016
    To compile its annual list of the best places to travel in the upcoming year, Travel and Leisure editors consider a variety of factors: “Which under-the-radar gems are most exciting to our network of contributing writers and global correspondents? Which destinations are our A-List travel specialists fielding requests for? Which classic vacation spots are starting to emerge—but for entirely new and compelling reasons? Which global events and changes in travel restrictions have made certain destinations easier to get to?” Representing the Caribbean on the 2016 list are Canouan in the Grenadines, Placencia in Belize, and Havana in Cuba, each of which meet Travel and Leisure’s criteria in their own unique ways. Here’s what the magazine had to say about the featured Caribbean destinations: Belize is great for backpackers—much like Costa Rica in the 1980s—but certain areas have also become bona fide retreats for the well-heeled. Francis Ford Coppola’s Turtle Inn has been drawing glamorous types to its cottages in the beach town of Placencia in Stann Creek District. The secret is on the verge of getting out, especially with the late 2016 opening of Itz’ana, an ambitious farm-restaurant-retreat hybrid with 39 upscale villas—all within feet of the world’s second-largest coral reef system. The project, which is just down the road from Turtle Inn, is not just ambitious for its five-star creature comforts (rooms will have terraces with daybeds, waterfront views, and soaring ceilings). It’s also a stage for chef Mara Jernigan, of the immensely popular Limilita pop-up restaurant in Placencia, who will be using indigenous ingredients to spotlight Belizean agriculture and fine dining.

    50 years ago: Famous aviatrix visits
    In the Dec. 8, 1965 edition of The Caymanian Weekly, a precursor to the Cayman Compass, a front page story highlighted a notable arrival at the airport. “A single engine Cesena called in at Owen Roberts Airfield on the Dec. 6. It had four people on board, including Mrs. Jerrie Mock of Columbus, Ohio, who is a world famous aviatrix. “Mrs. Mock is one of the very few women who have flown round the world, solo, in a single-engined plane. This feat was performed last year when she took off from Columbus, Ohio, on March 19, went east, and arrived back there on April 17. Mrs. Mock, who died in September 2014, was in fact the first woman to fly solo around the world in any type of plane. The Cesena plane she used, The Spirit of Columbus, is now on display at the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum in Virginia. The 1965 article went on to state that on this trip – which began in Columbus and included stops in Texas, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Bahamas and Florida before returning to Columbus – Mrs. Mock was accompanied by her husband Russell, her sister Barbara Saar and a friend, Alfred Baumeister.

    Caribbean health agency gets US$800,000 to address health in tourism
    The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved US$800,000 in funding for Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) to address health, safety and environmental (HSE) threats that challenge the sustainability of tourism in the Caribbean. CARPHA, which has direct responsibility for the execution of the project will work along with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Hotel Association (CTA) to execute the project. CARPHA Executive Director Dr C. James Hospedales pointed out that the Caribbean is the most tourism-dependent region in the world, and the health of Caribbean economies is therefore closely related to the health of its tourism industry. “Monies from the IDB will allow CARPHA to develop a regional tourism health information, monitoring and response system; Caribbean-wide HSE tourism standards; and a training and certification programme to build capacity in food and environmental safety,” he said. Hospedales further explained that health surveillance systems for travel and tourism implemented by the US Centres for Disease Control and other agencies have proven to be a key factor in reducing outbreaks.

    Videos

  • Morning Matters with Willam Usher, 58min.

  • Morning Matters with Donna Avery, 58min.

  • Morning Matters with Dianne Finnegan, 63min.

  • Garifuna Drumming at the Driftwood Beach Bar Hopkins, Belize, 4.5min. We stopped in for some amazing Garifuna drumming at open mike night at the Driftwood Beach Bar - right next door to our charming little cabana at the Lebeha Drumming Center in Hopkins, Belize.

  • Exploring Xunantunich, Belize, 8min. An out of breath me and my daughters explore the ancient Mayan pyramid of El Castillo in Xunantunich - "Place of the Stone Woman" - near the Guatemalan border in Bel

  • Cave Tubing on an Underground River in Belize (day 3), 2.5min.

  • Junior the Jaguar at the Belize Zoo, 1min. The absolute BEST zoo I've ever seen - all the animals are either rehabilitated or unable to live on their own in the wild - or were due to be shot for killing livestock.

  • Belize 2015, 4.5min. Our trip to Belize was amazing. Full of fun and adventure, I have grown to love these people. Thanks be to God for this trip.

  • Travel Sailing In Belize., 4min. Belize is a nation on the eastern coast of Central America, with Caribbean Sea shorelines to the east and dense jungle to the west. It's known for its beaches, eco-lodges, scuba diving and sportfishing. Offshore, the massive Belize Barrier Reef, dotted with hundreds of cayes, hosts rich marine life. Belize’s jungle areas are rich with Mayan ruins.

  • Jungle Walk Mayflower Bocawina National Park Belize, 3min. A short walk through the jungle to one of the waterfalls at Mayflower Bocawina National Park in the Stann Creek District of Belize.

  • Scuba Dive Belize, 2015, Gopro Hero 4, 4min. Scuba footage from Ambergris Caye, Belize, December 2015.

  • Belize Vacation..Caye Caulker, 15min. Oh Jah.. this vacation was a dream..couldnt film the underwater stuff..so you can only imagine.

    December 7, 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, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Florentino Velasquez found guilty of Aggravated Burglary and Grievous Wounding
    Velasquez, who was no stranger to San Pedro Police at the time, had broken into the couple’s apartment in the Tres Cocos Area and wounded three persons. The incident occurred on September 12, 2014 shortly after midnight when Velasquez forcefully entered the apartment through the front door, attacking Kelly and later Neal with a kitchen knife. Kelly received two cut wounds to the stomach, three cuts over the left eye and four cuts on top of the head, while Neal received injuries to the left eye and mouth. A neighbor of the couple who tried to aid them, Thomas Fiorille, was also injured in the incident by Velasquez. Fiorille sustained cut wounds to the chest and wrist. Even though Velasquez was able to escape after the incident, police managed to apprehend him three days later on September 15, 2015 when he was officially charged for his crimes. Velasquez was remanded to the Belize Central Prison but later came out on bail and committed yet another crime, this time robbery. Police once again arrested and charged Velasquez for the crime of robbing 24-year-old Allison Holmes, an American Forest Ranger on June 20, 2015.

    Wolfe’s Woofer: Birthday Gift
    “What’s for dinner?” “I don’t know,” Sherry said. “What are you cooking?” “Me?” I asked. “You know I don’t cook.” “Well, I’m not cooking either until you get that sink drain fixed. I’m tired of keeping a bucket under the sink to catch the drip.” “You know as well as I do that if I tell you I’m going to fix something it will get fixed,” I said. “There’s no need to remind me about it every six months. Seriously, what’s for dinner?” Half an hour later I was eating tacos at my favorite taco stand. My friend Mario took a seat at the picnic table and said, “Hello, Mr. Dennis. How are you doing?” “I’m doing all right,” I said. “You don’t look so good though. You have scratches all over your face and it looks like you’re missing some chunks of hair.”

    Government of Belize Bans Offshore Exploration in and around all Seven World Heritage Sites
    Cabinet at its meeting today, Tuesday, December 1, 2015, approved a policy that will legally apply a ban on offshore exploration in areas along the Belize Barrier Reef System, and within the seven (7) World Heritage Sites in Belize. Cabinet has agreed to specifically ban offshore exploration in all 7 World Heritage Sites: Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve and National Park Caye Caulker Marine Reserve and National Park Lighthouse Reef Natural Monument South Water Caye Marine Reserve Laughing Bird Caye National Park Glovers Reef Marine Reserve Sapodilla Caye Marine Reserve This effectively results in a total of 448 square miles being banned. In addition, Cabinet agreed to a ban offshore exploration within one kilometer on either side of the Belizean Barrier Reef System, resulting in an additional 868 square miles falling under the offshore exploration ban. The total area covered by the ban is 842,714 acres or 1,316 square miles.

    Doctor Love: Childless and Almost
    Dear Doctor Love, I have been married for three and a half years. Instead of starting a family right away my husband and I decided to wait until our lives were more settled. We are just now getting at that place where we are talking about doing away with the birth control and see what happens. In the meantime we always have to deal with people asking if I’m pregnant yet and when are we going to have children. One of the first things they usually ask is whether or not we’re trying. I usually put them off with some line about having dogs and a cat is enough for right now. Only once have I got sarcastic and said we decided to quit having sex and we are going to have a surrogate mother for a child. It caused some problems with my sister-in-law but it was worth it. What I really want to say is that it’s none of their business. Is there a polite way to do this? /s/ Childless

    Ambergris Today

    Central Park Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
    Santa Claus and Miss San Pedro Iris Salguero and Hon. Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation joined in on the celebrations as Mayor Danny gave the word for the tree to be lit. Hundreds of pictures were taken with Santa and dance numbers were presented by students of Isla Bonita Elementary School. Central Park was filled with color, music and joy as the San Pedro Town Council distributed cupcakes and soft drinks to all the children present. The Christmas Tree is a gift to San Pedro Town by Lady Dixie Bowen and Family and is assembled by her team of employees.

    Price of Suger Set to go up After New Year in Belize
    A press release from the Belize Bureau of Standards has indicated that effective January 1, 2016, Plantation White Sugar will retail at a maximum price of 75 cents per pound countrywide, an increase of 25 cents per pound. This announcement comes from the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, A Statutory Instrument has been signed by the Minister responsible for Supplies Control dated December 4, 2015 to give effect to this increase. While the GOB has maintained the controlled prices for sugar for more than a decade, this increase of 25 cents per pound is to allow the industry to earn a fair price in comparison to other producers in the region. The Ministry reiterates that this price change becomes effective on January 1, 2016 and merchants are hereby warned to desist from adjusting retail prices before the above mentioned date. Furthermore, Sections 15 and 16 of the Supplies Control Regulations requires every retailer of any priced controlled goods to display for public viewing a list of approved maximum retail prices as well as clearly mark the retail price on the packaging of such price controlled goods offered for sale.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Christmas Carol Concert and Sing-a-long
    Come and join the Allegro Choir as we bring in the Christmas Season with some traditional and contemporary Christmas songs. Bring the kids and your best Christmas Singing Voice! Monday, December 14at 7:00pm, George Brown Field, Libertad Ave. Belmopan. We are looking for people to set up food and drinks stalls at this concert! It's an excellent opportunity to raise some money, we are thinking the usual simple fast food - hot dogs, garnaches, burgers. Please ask around and have people get in touch with us if they want to come and sell food!

    Poets Corner: Unsophisticated
    By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez. Despite being intelligent and educated Belizeans are still not sophisticated Belize does not really want to solve its problem The hostel issue is no longer about the children Adults with inflated egos trying to defend A corrupted system Designed to institutionalize our children Designed to criminalize them It’s about people with degrees but no temperature Trying to defend the system of our enslaves Trying to beef up their raptures People making money off children and youth pomp and circumstance It’s not about the youth it’s about creating dependence The laws needs to revamped, they have lost their relevance Is it any wonder three girls died due to incompetence Hostel is redundant Wagner’s is repugnant Skills Training Center replication After all these projects, youths are still not entrepreneurs Their records aren’t cleared Do they even have the skills to work anywhere? All rehashed, no innovation All preparation for the slave plantation

    Buffalo Wing Monday
    Buffalo Monday... $1 wings at the Lazy Lizard, all day, every Monday. Chef Rey says come and get messy at the Split!!!Location : Lazy Lizard at the SplitStart Date: December 7, 2015End Date: December 7, 2015Time: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm

    Snippets of the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony held at the Central Park in Corozal last night

    Christmas Lighting in Corozal 2015
    On December 5, 2015 its 8th annual Christmas Light show was held in Corozal town. The show started with a prayer and host and co-cost thanking the audience for their presents. 16 performances from around town schools show their talented show. Dance, skits, music karaoke, skits of true meaning of Christmas, Mayor awarded two people Joe and Ms. Beningna Welsh 2015-16 citizen of the year. This year's performance where made impossible by Calcota Orcestra, Guadelupe School, CCC an CJC school, Corozal Methodist School, Mr. and Ms Santa Claus, Poems, St Francis Xavier School, Mary Hill School, Shining Star Dancing Group, Guadalupe School, Singers Phillip Aldana, Morlena Puck and Mcbrian Puck. Fireworks was donated by the town council. It was shown live at 102.1 Romantica.

    The Reporter

    Single energy drink can prove harmful, new study suggests
    A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), says that a single energy drink can prove harmful to healthy teens. Researchers gave test subjects a fake energy drink and a real one and monitored the changes they experienced after. The fake energy drink contained the same amount of sugar and almost the same amount of calories, but lacked the natural stimulants a real energy drink contains, such as: caffeine, the amino acid taurine, and extracts of guarana seed, ginseng root, and milk thistle. The study showed that young adults had a 74 percent increase in blood levels of the “fight-or-flight” hormone norepinephrine; more than double an average 30 percent increase in norepinephrine that the same participants experienced when they consumed the energy drink.

    Vigil held for teens that perished in hostel fire
    Relatives and friends of the late Ana Carlos, Elizabeth McKoy, and Shadisha Arnold, who all perished in last weekend’s fire at the Princess Royal Youth Hosyel, held a vigil at the Fort George Memorial Park to honour their lives on Saturday night. The event, organized by Tiffara Castillo-Molina, was one of several held across Belize. Molina explained that she, along with the Nancy Marin Youth Foundation decided to hold a vigil in a show of solidarity to the mourning families and also in an effort to inspire a change in Belizean response to incidents of the sort. “I didn’t just want to sit behind my computer and write a long message on Face Book,” Molina said. “We want their names to live on, the family, the traumatized youths at the hostel and the community at large do not want to see this happen again.” Vigils were also organized in Corozal, San Pedro, San Ignacio and Orange Walk.

    BCCI Christmas Expo hits downtown
    This weekend the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry held its fourth annual Christmas Expo at the Romacs Plaza in downtown Belize City. The two-day event, a spin-off from the BCCI’s annual expo held in September, featured local businesses engaging consumers with a variety of products and special holiday prices. Entrepreneurs and businesses exhibited products such as jewellery, clothes, handicrafts, jams, liqueur, and juices. Jamilee Rocke, marketing and public relations manager for the BCCI, explained that the event gives small businesses, that otherwise wouldn’t have large marketing budgets, to promote their products on a larger scale than they normally would. “We have about 30 businesses here, 75 percent of them are small businesses,” Rocke said. “We have less exhibitors but this year we have a bigger crowd.”

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Placencia named as one of Travel and Leisure’s top 2016 destination
    According to Travel and Leisure, Belize is great for backpackers—much like Costa Rica in the 1980s—but certain areas have also become bona fide retreats for the well-heeled. Francis Ford Coppola’s Turtle Inn, according to the popular travel publication, has been drawing glamorous types to its cottages in the beach town of Placencia. The secret is on the verge of getting out, it added, especially with the late 2016 opening of Itz’ana, an ambitious farm-restaurant-retreat hybrid with 39 upscale villas—all within mere feet of the world’s second-largest coral reef system.

    End of the World Marathon held in Placencia
    The 4th annual End of the World Marathon was held this morning in Placencia village, Stann Creek, with over 160 participants lining up as early as 5:30 a.m. for the charity event. The marathon, which began as a celebration of the Maya Calendar’s end in December 2012, has become one of the most sought after running events in Belize. The race was divided into two categories: a full marathon and half marathon. The marathon began at the football field at the end of the peninsula. The full marathon (26.2 miles) saw runners passing through Placencia village, Seine Bight Village and Maya Beach. The race then looped back a few miles south of Riversale and ended back in Placencia. The half marathon (13.1 miles) began at the marathon turnaround and also finished in Placencia.

    International Sourcesizz

    Best Places to Travel in 2016
    To compile our annual list of the best places to travel in the upcoming year, T+L editors thoroughly and meticulously consider a variety of factors. Which under-the-radar gems are most exciting to our network of contributing writers and global correspondents? Which destinations are our A-List travel specialists fielding requests for? Which classic vacation spots are starting to emerge—but for entirely new and compelling reasons? Which global events and changes in travel restrictions have made certain destinations easier to get to? Belize is still great for backpackers—much like Costa Rica in the 1980s—but certain areas have also become bona fide retreats for the well-heeled. For years now, Francis Ford Coppola’s Turtle Inn has been drawing glamorous types to its cottages in the beach town of Placencia, on a little-known peninsula on the country’s east coast. But the secret is on the verge of getting out, especially with the late 2016 opening of Itz’ana, an ambitious farm-restaurant-retreat hybrid with 39 upscale villas—all within mere feet of the world’s second-largest coral reef system. The project, which is just down the road from Turtle Inn, is not just ambitious for its five-star creature comforts (rooms will have terraces with daybeds, waterfront views, and soaring ceilings). It’s also a stage for chef Mara Jernigan, of the immensely popular Limilita pop-up restaurant in Placencia, who will be using indigenous ingredients to spotlight Belizean agriculture and fine dining. (She’ll even have a personal fleet of fishermen.) Also on property: a Mayan-inspired spa using locally harvested rainforest botanicals, a room (and sommelier) dedicated to rum, and chartered yachts for sundown cruises.

    Videos

  • Miss World Belize Video, 1min. Jasmine Rhamdas is in China representing Belize at the Miss World pageant, which will be held on December 19th. The 501 Boyz put together a video for her, and you'll see a lot of Cayo in it. Good luck, Jasmine! "Want to say a special big up to Jasmine J. Rhamdas as she represent Belize in the Miss World Pageant in China."

  • SAILING IN BELIZE, 4min. We traveled from Portland, Oregon all the way to Plasencia in Belize. Sleep 7 days in the catamaran and visited the most amazing deserted islands.

  • Around Belize, 17.5min. This video chronicles our family trip around Caye Caulker and San Ignacio, Belize.

  • School Bells Inc 2015 Mission Trip to Belize, CA, 7min. School Bells, Inc is a not for profit organization giving back to the Belize villages.

  • Sanctuary of the Tarpon, Belize., 1.25min.

  • Belize Vacation 2013, 5.5.min. Belize trip with visit to Ian Anderson's Cave's Branch, Tikal in Guatemala, Caye Caulker and San Pedro in Ambergris Cay.

    December 6, 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, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Hop aboard the YOLO- San Pedro’s Ultimate Party Boat!
    Nothing says San Pedro quite like a day on a party boat with a group of your best buds. We’re talking boozin’ and cruisin’- and even snorkeling at famous reserves like Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley. For an unforgettable experience, look no further than the YOLO! Janelle and I were invited on a day trip to Caye Caulker and you know we didn’t have to be asked twice! Let’s NOT beat around the bush, the first thing that caught my eye was the fully stocked bar! I mean they had everything from premium vodkas, tequila, rums, beers, juices, sodas, wines and fresh juices. The cocktail menu, with a series of signature drinks made to order, sure caught my eye! After all passengers were onboard, Kevin gave us a briefing on what the day had in store: our first snorkel stop would be at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, followed by Shark Ray Ally. Snorkelers were advised not to consume alcoholic beverages, but the rest of us? Well, drink as much as your little liver desires.

    Belize Diving Adventures improves Tuffy Channel marker
    On Tuesday, December 1st, Belize Diving Adventures (BDA) restored the buoy marker at Tuffy Channel. The marker had been worn out over time, so staff of BDA took it upon themselves to fix it up, with Everette Anderson spearheading the work. With the renovation of the marker, mariners now have an identifiable marker when entering and exiting the main water channel of San Pedro Town. The improvement of the marker is aimed at bettering Ambergris Caye’s local maritime community. Markers are essential for guiding boat captains trafficking through channels. They assist in avoiding collision with the nearby reef systems preserving the marine life and coral formations. Some of the work that needed to be done on the buoy marker included welding the marker to patch corroded areas and replacing the worn out shackles holding the marker in place.

    World AIDS Day Solidarity Walk raises awareness in our community
    Island residents joined in the fight to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus/ acquired immune deficiency syndrome) during the annual World AIDS Day Solidarity Walk. Held on the evening of Tuesday, December 1st, the walk was observed worldwide in hopes of challenging people to rethink outdated stereotypes, challenge myths and be positive about HIV. Here on Ambergris Caye, the San Pedro AIDS Commission spearheaded the activities held. Members of the community congregated at Central Park at 6PM with candles in hand. “We have been doing this walk for a little over 15 years. This is a major part of our work in the community to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS. The San Pedro AIDS Commission is not the go to group for people to join because of the stigma that comes along with the disease. But throughout the years and with the work we have done, we have seen a great improvement. People are becoming slightly more open to come and talk to us about HIV/AIDS. The advocation and awareness has gone a long way, mostly, in part to the community who has supported us,” said President of the San Pedro AIDS Commission, Felix Ayuso. Wrist bands displaying the San Pedro AIDS Commission motto ‘Live and Let Live’ were handed out by San Pedro AIDS Commission members to those present.World AIDS Day Solidarity Walk-4

    Five-a-side Football Action is back!!
    Futsal (Five-a-side Football) action is back on with the commencement of the second San Pedro High School (SPHS) and Island Citizens Sporting Club (ICSC) Tournament. The tournament started with a grand marathon at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium on Sunday, November 29th at 10AM. Residents from across the island came out to support the participating teams and enjoy the games in a fun, family friendly environment. Teams participating in the marathon were divided into six categories to better accommodate the level of each athlete. The categories for the day included Under-11, Under-13, Under-15, Under-17, Female and Male Senior. Each game lasted about 20 minutes, with the team earning the most points in each category winning a championship trophy.

    Yakarelis Hernandez represents Belize at Miss Centroamerica Pageant
    Yakarelis Hernandez has returned from León, Nicaragua after participating in the Miss and Mister Centroamerica Pageant on Friday, November 27th. Even though our Belizean beauty did not place in the pageant, she certainly represented the country well. Aimed at promoting regional tourism and the beauty and talent of the people of Central America, the pageant sees the participating of delegates from Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama. Hernandez traveled to Nicaragua from Saturday, November 21st to participate in pre-eliminatory competitions. The pageant consisted of both a teen and regular division for both the Miss and Mister titles. Hernandez competed in the Miss Centroamerica division along with Miss Panamá Khadine Barria, Miss Honduras Francy Ayala, Miss Nicaragua Fatima Bonilla, Miss Guatemala Nadelyn Marroquin, Miss El Salvador Leonor Rivas, and Miss Costa Rica Daima Briseño.

    Charred remains of Cessna aircraft found in Spanish Lookout
    Investigations are ongoing on the discovery of a charred plane in the Spanish Lookout Community. The Cessna 210 aircraft was found on Tuesday, December 1st in a remote location in the Spanish Lookout Community near the Aguacate Lagoon. Reports indicate that the aircraft landed in the area sometime around midnight on Monday, November 30th. While police have not released any official statement on the aircraft, residents of the area have indicated that they heard the aircraft circling the area prior to landing, after which a number of vehicles were seen in the same area. But when police arrived at the scene, the Cessna had already been burned, with its only recognizable feature being the tail which displayed numbers YZ3241. The speculations are that the vessel is a drug plane used to bring in narcotics to the country. The plane may have been burned to destroy all evidence of drug related crimes.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    San Pedro Holiday Boat Parade
    The 2015 San Pedro Holiday Boat Parade is back on! Join us for an evening filled with lights, food, fun, and cash & prize giveaways, all to benefit the San Pedro Food Bank, SAGA Humane Society, and Ambergris Caye Elementary School! The kickoff will be at 5PM from Wayo's Beach Bar / Aqua Vista Beachfront Suites and ends at Sandbar after parading North and South!

    A lil hardcore material for the north road on Ambergris Caye
    (by Las Terrazas Resort)

    Trivia Night!
    Come join the fun every Sunday and Wednesday! Test your knowledge of useless facts, have a laugh, and win money towards your bar bill! Always a great time - Fun,…Location : Barrier Reef Sports Bar & GrillStart Date: December 6, 2015End Date: December 6, 2015Time: 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm

    Ms. Janet Gibson receives a custom portrait of Glover's Atoll and Middle Caye
    In appreciation for her years of dedicated service as leader of the Wildlife Conservation Society in Belize and broader pioneering work and contributions to marine conservation in Belize and across the region. Despite Ms. Gibson's impending retirement we know that she will continue to lend her voice and support to efforts focused on the management and conservation of the extraordinary wildlife and wild places of Belize.

    Caye Caulker Chronicles

    A North Wind Doth Blow
    It was a blustery morning on Caye Caulker and the North wind dictated many people’s choices of what to do with the day ahead. I was up at 7am and drinking strong black coffee trying to push my sluggish brain into gear. The Friday Jam at Barrier Reef Sports Bar had left my head a little tender. No, no, no! It wasn’t because of the music, that was superb, I think it may have had something to do with the couple of Belikins I drank as I listened to the artists play. Okay…. it was more than a couple of drinks, but it was a Friday night… Walking the dog this morning seemed like the best cure to kick-start the day. I’d had my coffee as fuel; I just needed to get it moving round my body. As soon as the leash was picked up, the dog ran frantically back and forth towards the door and if she could smile, she was beaming. Got to love those furry friends because they always put a smile on your face. A gentle stroll to the split and time to take in the calm before the Lazy Lizard opens and all the people come to drink, party and have fun. At the point of the split, where Mojo Fishing Charters have their sign, I stood with a cool Northern breeze in my face. The skies looked particularly grey for a December morning in Belize and ominous clouds loomed in the distance. I kind of like these days and appreciate the beauty of our surroundings on this lovely caye when they aren’t interrupted by the cacophony of people.

    2,000 linear feet of beach being reclaimed
    You might have noticed that sand is being dredged and stockpiled in the area of the Palapa Gardens in what has affectionately become known as the “Caye Caulker mountain.” What exactly is this for, you might be asking yourself? According to Mr. Al Chanona, General Manager of the dredging project, a beach reclamation is under way. In an interview, he explained that 2,000 linear feet of beach is being reclaimed. This is so that visitors to the island can have a pleasant experience the moment they step off the water taxi. Narrow areas of the beach are being widened, with the area in front of the basketball court being the recipient of the some of the most fill so far.

    Ocean Academy Student, Adaly Cartagena, Wins Environmental Award
    Ocean Academy student, Adaly Cartagena, won the National Youth Award for Environmentalism presented by the Department of Youth Services for her work protecting manatees. Co- founders Lilian and Adaly were inspired to start a youth Manatee Club on Caye Caulker because they want to continue the legacy of Chocolate Heredia’s passion for manatees and contribute to the current work of Jamal Galves to protect manatees. The awards ceremony was held at the Best Western Hotel in Belize City yesterday, Friday, December 4, 2016. It was sponsored by the Ministry of Youth Services. Here you can listen as Adaly tells us in her own words how she got interested in manatee conservation.

    Amandala

    BTIA president urges GOB to tackle tourism challenges
    Like any other tourism destination in the world, Belize has its share of obstacles hampering the delivery of the best tourism product that can be offered, and today, on the occasion of the annual general meeting held at the 30th anniversary of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), BTIA president Osmany Salas highlighted the many challenges and needs which need to be forthrightly addressed. “There has been a spate of robberies in Hopkins recently, partly as a result of poor police presence, inadequate street lighting, and bad streets… We feel that the authorities have taken too long to address the situation. We are concerned that if we don’t act very soon, the industry in Hopkins may suffer greatly and people will feel an economic pinch,” Salas warned. He asked for the Government to urgently address the problems being faced in Hopkins.

    Mexican thieves giving Belizeans hell in Chetumal!
    Hundreds of Belizeans usually flock to Chetumal to shop for Christmas and with the annual festivities approaching, an alert has been issued warning Belizeans of a spate of robberies in Chetumal. According to Periodista, Quintana Roo, Belizeans are being advised to take precautionary measures to prevent attacks both inside and outside of shopping areas, as they may be robbed of cash or exploited by persons who clone their credit cards without their knowledge. Reports have also been surfacing on social media of persons falling victim to career criminals who seek out vulnerable shoppers in places such as Sam’s Club, Walmart and Plaza de Las Americas Shopping Mall, where several Belizeans have reportedly been robbed in broad daylight. In some cases, wallets and purses have been stolen from shoppers who only realized what happened when they could not find their purses or wallets at the cashier desks to pay for their purchases.

    Testimonies conclude in Mek Mi Rich trial
    Almost one year after he first filed his lawsuit, Curtis Dale Swasey, a Corozal businessman, had his day in court when he took the witness stand to testify in the claim that he brought against Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and Mek Mi Rich (MMR) Belize Limited, alleging that the two companies stole his idea for lottery by text messaging, using BTL’s network. Following the testimonies of all the witnesses in the trial, the testimony phase of the trial ended late this evening with the attorneys agreeing to make written submissions to Supreme Court Justice Courtenay Abel by January 29. All the parties will return to court on February 16 to make oral submissions to the skeleton arguments that they will submit. Swasey has alleged that Andre Vega, the son of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar, and his business partner, Sunjay Hotchandani, the directors of Mek Mi Rich, collaborated with BTL to steal his original lottery texting idea. Swasey is being represented by attorneys Kareem Musa and Wayne Piper, while BTL is being represented by attorney Magali Perdomo and Naima Barrow is representing MMR, Belize Limited. Perdomo cross-examined Swasey, suggesting to him that he cannot claim an intellectual property rights violation, because he did not patent his idea.

    Cops believe traffickers burned plane after removing drug cargo
    San Ignacio police are investigating the origins of a plane that was found completely destroyed by fire yesterday morning near a farm in the Green Hills area near Aguacate Lagoon, in Spanish Lookout. According to police, very little is presently known about the plane, but they believe that the plane was a drug plane that was intentionally destroyed. Civil Aviation authorities have identified the plane as a single-engine Cessna 210, widely used by flight training schools, private operators, air taxis and commercial charter, and private companies. People in the area told police that they heard a plane circling over Spanish Lookout without lights at 1:30 yesterday morning. At about 7:00 yesterday morning, people who were travelling in the area found the plane, already destroyed. Police strongly suspect that the plane was used to transport drugs, most likely to neighboring Guatemala, which is not far from Aguacate Lagoon, and that the drugs had already been transferred.

    Belize beats UNESCO deadline to ban offshore exploration
    One week ahead of an official visit to Belize by World Heritage Centre (WHC) staff, to discuss efforts made by the Government towards the removal of the Belize Barrier Reef System from UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites in danger, Cabinet announced a decision to adopt a policy that will provide a special carve-out for 8 offshore protected areas where petroleum exploration will be banned for the first time in Belize. The announcement comes amid an unrelenting campaign here in Belize against offshore drilling that began to gain momentum in 2010, and which has benefitted from international pressure brought on by UNESCO. Offshore exploration has been carried out in Belize—without major incident; but the Deep Water Horizon catastrophe of April 2010 quickly galvanized a demand for a more precautionary approach here in Belize, where any such accident would spell nothing short of devastation for this tiny Jewel and its open economy. According to the Cabinet press release issued Tuesday, the total area covered by this historic ban spans 842,714 acres, or 1,316 square miles.

    Senate should investigate David Schnitzer’s “fraud!”
    An international fugitive, David Nanes Schnitzer, who is wanted in Mexico for his role in a multimillion-dollar offshore banking scam, was located in Belize last month by United States Marshalls and Belize police. Schnitzer, who had been living under the assumed name of David Banes, was remanded to prison on a charge of uttering a forged document, but was granted Supreme Court bail by Justice Dennis Hanomansingh and subsequently fled the jurisdiction, creating a major black eye for Belize in international law enforcement circles. The government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow has not issued any statement indicating that it is willing to launch any investigation into how Schnitzer obtained the Belizean identity documents, including nationality certificate and passport, but the Opposition People’s United Party Senator, Lisa Shoman, today served notice of a motion to the clerk of the National Assembly for the Senate to investigate the Schnitzer matter.

    Verdes to FIFA/CONCACAF
    Football Federation of Belize, or Football Federation of Belmopan Bandits? I write this letter hoping it may find its way in this week’s edition of the Amandala. I also write this letter to inform the general public, the football family and fans country wide of the stifling issues and dilemma affecting the football community. Let’s rewind to August before the start of what can be now termed as the most controversial football season in recent history. In an emergency meeting called by (FFB) President Ruperto Vicente and General Secretary Michael Blease, in the presence of all team owners and Executive Members Sergio Chuc and Cruz Gamez, the President made a proposal termed as the way forward for football in Belize. There were two very important points made in the presentation/proposal by Mr. Vicente. The first being that the FFB is recommending that the PLB (Premier League of Belize) abolish its Executive and form a Board of Directors (BOD) in which each president from each club will be a member of the BOD, and that of the 9 presidents, a Chairman of the Board would be elected. This sounded very good to the team owners/presidents. The other very important point was that each club can register a total of 5 foreign players, with 3 on the field at any given time, but that Central American players would be treated as if they were nationals (a decision passed by UNCAF at Congress, according to Mr. Vicente). Now, this sounded too good to be true, but Mr. Vicente said it was a decision passed by UNCAF.

    Fix Falcon Field folly
    The Editor, AMANDALA: As much as I applaud the Government of Belize for the huge investment they have made in sporting facilities and infrastructure in the country, via Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL), I am disheartened by the quality of basketball facilities that are being constructed. I am writing as a basketball enthusiast, who has been involved with basketball at all levels in the country of Belize. Given that I live in San Ignacio, I will speak solely about the basketball court that was built at Falcon Field. I cannot question the aesthetics of the structure, but can surely question the purpose of the building. Any basketball court that has an overhead covering should be built as a weather proof facility that is accessible when it rains. At Falcon Field, everyone refers to our building as a “dry-weather court,” because just a small drizzle gets the playing court wet, not to mention a rain. It is frustrating that the engineering and architectural designers could not factor in that very elementary component. We are presently having our annual BECOL tournament, and every time it rains, we need to sweep and dry the court, if not, postpone the games.

    Special Olympics Torch arrives in Belmopan
    Acting Mayor of Belmopan, Retired Senior Superintendent of Police Geraldine Itzab Willis, received the heavily escorted Special Olympics Torch in Belmopan, on the arrival of the torch from Dangriga, at about 11:30 this morning. The torch, which was being carried by Inspector Stephanie Grinage, Deputy Commander of the Belmopan Police Formation, was handed over to Mayor Willis, in front of the Belmopan welcome sign at the junction of Constitution and Forestry Drive. On receiving the torch on behalf of the Belmopan City Council, the city and people of Belmopan, the Mayor began to run, and then walk, with the emblem through the streets of Belmopan. In an interview with Amandala this morning in Belmopan, Mayor Willis said that the event is in support of people with disabilities and special needs. As the torch is being carried throughout the different districts, funds are being collected to help individuals who have disabilities. She said that the torch was taken from Dangriga to Belmopan, then it will be transported to Cayo and then to Belize City, where on its arrival, the Special Olympics games will commence.

    Editorial: Weekend drama, weekend tragedy
    Within a matter of six hours on Saturday, November 28, two different sets of incidents occurred which probably exposed Belizeans’ exaggerated weekend nonchalance. In colonial days, government departments worked until 12:30 on Saturday afternoons, but today, Belizeans start shifting into weekend gear from Friday evenings.The tourism industry, which has grown substantially in the last two decades, contributes to the party atmosphere in the nation, because at any given time there are many non-Belizeans in Belize, some permanently and some temporarily, who do not work here, but have come here to retire or to party. The Government of Belize no doubt took Belizeans’ weekend nonchalance into their deliberate calculus when they organized the visit of Guatemala’s President-elect, Jimmy Morales, to Belize. Morales is controversial in Belize, for more reasons than one. The security of a foreign head of state, especially a controversial one, was obviously a top priority for the recently re-elected Government of Belize. A front page story in this newspaper last Friday declared that Morales would NOT be visiting Belize on his tour of Central American nations. This was what the Government of Belize wanted the people of Belize to believe. Friday afternoon, within ten hours of this newspaper’s hitting the streets of Belize City on Friday morning, however, news began to circulate that there would indeed be a Morales visit, and it would take place between Friday evening/night and Saturday morning. Belizeans had already gone into their weekend gear. This was how the Government of Belize wanted this tricky visit to be timed. We can see this no other way.

    From the Publisher
    I was tried in the Supreme Court twice – in July of 1970 for seditious conspiracy and in January of 1971 for housebreaking and stealing. I was also tried in Magistrate’s Court in 1972 on two separate occasions. I was first tried early in 1972 for possession of dynamite and an unlicensed gun and ammunition, and then later in 1972 for resisting arrest, assaulting police officers, and indecent language. When you are tried in Supreme Court, it is after you have been arrested, bailed, and have to attend Magistrate’s Court hearings for months. There are usually several adjournments before the preliminary inquiry begins in order to establish a prima facie case to be sent to the higher court. For example, in the matter of seditious conspiracy, I was arrested in February 1970, but the case was not heard in Supreme Court until July of that year. Between February and July I was up and down at the Magistrate’s Court, which was at Riverside Hall at the time. In the matter of housebreaking and stealing, I was arrested around April or May of 1970, if I remember correctly, and the case wasn’t tried in Supreme Court until January of 1971. In addition, in the matters of the two Magistrate’s Court cases, there were, as usual, several adjournments. (The dynamite case was tried when a Magistrate’s Court was on Church Street, and the resisting arrest and assault business was tried when the Magistrate’s Court was in the old Paslow Building.)

    Take care of our Jewel …
    Dear Editor, Through your esteemed newspaper I want to express my concern in reference to civic pride. I notice that Belizeans while visiting our neighboring country Mexico, namely Chetumal, abide by the country’s laws by not throwing garbage on the streets or in any public area. In Belize it is quite the opposite, since as soon as they cross to the Belizean side, I notice individuals throwing garbage out of their vehicles. Take a moment and question why? Why take care of another country and not yours? Is it that the penalties over there are so hefty? Or is it that there are more law enforcement officers patrolling the streets or is it that we do not have any civic pride? Whatever the reason, we abide by the laws. So, tell me why not in our beautiful Belize? Are the penalties for littering in our country not strict enough or is it that persons in charge are not enforcing the laws? Is it that the law being enforced is to a selected few or do people in Belize take law enforcement officers for granted? It is estimated that Belize produces approximately 300,000 tons of solid waste annually from domestic households and commercial establishments. This means that each person living in Belize produces approximately two to three pounds of solid waste every day (The San Pedro Sun, 2007).

    Belize air traffic control system to get an upgrade
    The Government of Belize signed a contract for the modernization of the Philip Goldson airport, which is being made possible through COCESNA (Central American Corporation for Air Navigation), of which Belize is a member. The upgrade will be done to the air traffic controls, the radar system and the meteorology services. On hand for the occasion were Jorge Vargas, executive president of COCESNA; Hon. Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation; Lindsay Garbutt, Director of Civil Aviation, and Enrique Castillo, Director of Latin America Affairs for Indra Systems. Minister Heredia said in his address, “Today marks a very important day for civil aviation in Belize, because we will be signing a contract with Indra Systems, an international equipment supplier from Spain. The government of Belize and COCESNA are in the process of carrying out a 9.5 million dollar- project for a state of the art modernization of our air traffic control center, radar system, meteorological system and all other associated equipment of the air traffic control system.”

    Epidemiologist Dr. Manzanero named as new DHS
    Dr. Marvin Manzanero, the man who has been known as the epidemiologist in the Ministry of Health and the person in charge of the ministry’s HIV/AIDS desk, has been promoted to serve as the ministry’s new Director of Health Services (DHS). Manzanero told us that Health Minister Pablo Marin offered him the job after the general elections, after which the last DHS, Dr. Ramon Figueroa, was upgraded to become Marin’s Chief Executive Officer, replacing Dr. Peter Allen, who was moved over to the Office of the Prime Minister/Ministry of Finance, Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities. The former DHS, Dr. Michael Pitts, had resigned earlier this year, leaving the post vacant. After Figueroa became the DHS, Manzanero succeeded him as Director of the Policy, Analysis and Planning Unit – a job he had held since September. He has more recently served as the interim DHS for the past three weeks, while waiting for the paperwork for his formal appointment to be finalized.

    Sugar to increase to 75 cents per pound
    Today, Jose Alpuche, Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture, confirmed to Amandala that a Statutory Instrument (SI) will be signed this week to increase the price of white sugar by 25 cents per pound; however, the increase will not affect brown sugar. This comes after the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association passed a resolution to increase the domestic price of sugar to $1.00 per pound at their Annual General Meeting, which was held on Sunday, November 22. After the cane farmers had their general meeting, they met with the Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Gaspar Vega, and it was agreed that instead of the $1.00 price they requested, the cane farmers will get a 25-cent price increase, bringing the price for one pound of sugar to 75 cents. Alpuche said that the last time there was an increase in sugar prices was in 2001, and the increase of 25 cents will allow for the farmers to get a reasonable price on the cane. Alpuche added that the SI will not take effect until January 2016, and buyers should know that the current price is still 50 cents per pound.

    One-flat house falls; owner seeks the public’s aid
    On Sunday, a one-flat wooden house located on Neal Pen Road, belonging to Sherol Brooks, 39, a single mother, collapsed. Brooks told Amandala that on Sunday afternoon at approximately 2:00 p.m. she was at home with her sister when it collapsed while both of them were inside. Brooks said that she has lived in the house for over 10 years and she blames the recent flood which occurred in mid-October for the unfortunate incident; after the flood, she noticed that the posts that held up the house had shifted, she said. Brooks said that her daughter, her niece and her nephew lived with her in the house. She added that the situation has been really difficult for the children. Since the incident her nephew had several attacks of epilepsy and her daughter had an attack of asthma, she mentioned.

    PUP withdraws Petrocaribe lawsuit
    Yesterday, Tuesday morning, media representatives gathered outside the courtroom of Supreme Court justice Courtenay Abel to cover the case brought against Prime Minister Dean Barrow, the Minister of Finance, over his spending of over 230 million dollars from the Petrocaribe fund, by the Cayo North East area representative Hon. Julius Espat, the chairman of the House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee. The surprising news to come out of the courtroom of Justice Abel, however, is that Espat had withdrawn the lawsuit. Today, Amandala spoke to one of the attorneys who were initially involved with the case, Andrew Marshalleck, SC. Marshalleck told us that he had come off the case before Espat decided to withdraw it from the court. “The law has been changed twice and the ground that the case encompassed has been overtaken by the legislative changes,” Marshalleck added.

    The Reporter

    House of Representatives gets down to business
    The House of Representatives gathered on Friday for its first official meeting since the inaugural ceremony. Amidst the traditional political back and forth between the incumbent and the opposition, government tabled a number of Bills, including: a motion to enter into a loan agreement with the […]

    PM says GOB will consider helping Cuban immigrants
    Following an appeal by the Government of Costa Rica, Prime Minister Dean Barrow says he is willing to consider the issue facilitating the passage of some 4000 Cuban immigrants through Belize to help them get to the United States. Barrow said on Friday that he […]

    COLA and BTV respond to BDF building FOB at Sarstoon
    Leaders of activist groups, Citizens Organized through Liberty and Action (COLA) and the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) have mixed feelings over the announcement by Minister of National Security John Saldivar, that the Belize Defense Force (BDF) will break ground to construct the Forward Operating Base (FOB) at Sarstoon on December […]

    Chukka shares the christmas spirit with students
    This week, renowned tour company Chukka, gave a special treat to primary school students, by holding a Christmas luncheon and toy drive. Chukka hosted 75 infant school students, ages five to seven, at the luncheon at the company’s corporate headquarters in Belize City. Apart from food and refreshments, students were also entertained by a Santa Clause and well-known Belizean entertainer, Ozzy the clown. Through the toy drive, Chukka managed to give toys to children attending more than 15 primary schools. The management explained that the drive was made possible through a staff effort, which starts in September. The staff contributes a portion of the money made from the tours conducted up until November, and the company matches the amount raised. “Christmas is a very special time of year. Chukka is very happy to be a part of this annual children’s toy program, made special this year with the luncheon where our staff volunteered in preparing the lunch themselves”, commented Country Manager, Valerie Woods.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Abandoned house on hotel property burns in San Pedro
    The San Pedro Fire Department (SPFD) and the Police Department are investigating a fire that occurred on Friday afternoon shortly after 2PM. According to the San Pedro Sun the Fire Service on the island was notified about a fire engulfing an abandoned building on the beach adjacent to […]

    Farewell to Francis; PM tells Opposition they will wait for next election
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow made a special tribute to his opposite number, Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca, who is serving out his final term as PUP leader and Opposition leader, during Friday’s meeting of the House of Representatives. He described him as a dignified, indefatigable […]

    First House Meeting of new Government is busy
    The Parliament met on Friday for its first business session since the November 4th General Elections. Brought before the house were several loan motions and money related bills. One was a loan motion for US 12 million dollars from the OPEC Fund for International Development. The partial […]

    Belize weighs Costa Rican request for help with Cubans
    By Aaron Humes: On Wednesday the President of Costa Rica called Prime Minister Dean Barrow to make a request. He wanted to know if Belize could serve as an in transit bridge for some 4 thousand Cubans headed to the US and who are stranded off the coast of Costa […]

    Guatemalan judge arrested in FIFA corruption probe
    Guatemalan judge Hector Trujillo was arrested by U.S. federal agents on Friday on board a Disney cruise ship in Florida. He is one of many football officials charged by U.S. prosecutors investigating corruption in football’s world governing body, FIFA. According to Reuters news agency, FIFA is in the […]

    Blogs

    Community Spirit All Over San Pedro, Belize And A Call To Allen Iverson
    Yesterday, with the help of Oceana Belize, the kids from Standards 4 to 6 from the Holy Cross School were enlisted. And the team turned to an ARMY. And after the hard work and filling bags, the neighborhood volunteers met back at Marbuck’s Coffee at DayDreamin’ Bed & Breakfast Belize for some tasty donated snacks. Kelly and Mukul, the owners of Blue Water Grill as well as other businesses, have the community in mind with everything they do. Each month, they pick a charitable cause in San Pedro – collect donations and then match (and often match again) to get the project done. This month, the subject is the much used Boca Del Rio Basketball Court. And what Blue Water Grill has to say: “For December, we are raising money to fix up the Boca Del Rio Park (just south of the bridge) with new playground equipment, new basketball hoops, and lots of TLC. We want our fellow Hoya, Allen Iverson, to come inaugurate the new basketball court and speak to the kids here. We’ll fly him and his family down here. We’ll put them up at The Phoenix. And we will NOT ask him about practice. Who can help us get in touch with him?” Can anyone help? I know we all can by donating some money at The Phoenix, the Blue Water Grill or Red Ginger Restaurant. But does ANYONE know Allen? Or Patrick Ewing?

    Holy Cross kids join our monthly trash attack
    They came, they saw, they picked up trash. I’m talking about 100-plus kids from Holy Cross Anglican School here in San Mateo who joined our growing band of First Friday Roadside Cleanup volunteers yesterday. As we gathered in front of the Paradise Cinema, as we have on first Fridays for half a year now, the students came walking out of the nearby school, one form at a time. Soon we had three grades, eagerly grabbing rubber gloves and black plastic trash bags. The youngest students stayed around the bridge area, off the busy road. They cleaned from the bridge, along the waterfront, to the entrance to the San Mateo neighborhood and right up to the entrance to their school. The next older group walked up to The Cloisters and began cleaning along the road and beach. The oldest kids were driven up to the Marbucks/Palapa Bar area on a fleet of golf carts and worked their way south along the beach and road.

    International Sourcesizz

    The Privy Council vs the Caribbean Court of Justice as Jamaica's final court
    I have refrained from entering the debate on the issue of the replacement of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as Jamaica's final court for the simple reason that I was so close to the arguments and decisions relating to the establishment of the Caricom Single Market and Economy and the CCJ in its two jurisdictions that I thought others should be free to express their opinions. The superficial nature of the debate, if it can be so described, especially in the Senate; the Page 1 editorial in the Daily Observer of Friday, October 23, 2015 'CCJ: How dare you appropriate the people's rights unto yourselves'; and Ronald Mason's column in the Sunday Gleaner, October 25, 2015, have forced me to reconsider. In the Caribbean, Guyana, Barbados, and Belize have withdrawn from the Privy Council. Remarkably, none of these countries has subjected the decision to a referendum or national vote. In several cases, including Canada and Australia, the Privy Council on more than one occasion struck down constitutional amendments to abolish it. In all cases the Parliament simply continued to refine the legislation until it was accepted. The refusal of each country to subject the authority of its Parliament to a referendum or other process has been a tremendous asset to other countries. Jamaica would be the first of the former colonies to subject the determination of its Parliament to another process. This will not only affect Jamaica, but will create a difficult precedent the countries in the line. Many of these countries are very small and take leads from Jamaica.

    U.S. Expats Who Know the Rules May Avoid All Income Taxes
    There are ways to avoid or limit tax liabilities to foreign countries. But this depends on where someone is living, how often they move, and the nature of the foreign tax system. If an expat is uncertain, consulting a tax professional can help. The web site, Best Places in the World to Retire, covered this topic and others related to expat living. The site has more than 400 contributors who have answered more than 6,500 questions about living in several other countries. Among the contributors is Stewart Patton, a U.S. tax attorney now living in Belize. Patton is founder of U.S. Tax Services. Patton made clear that he could only discuss tax law in general terms and that everyone's situation is different. He said that everyone should consult a qualified professional before implementing a tax strategy. Patton said that "the simplest way" for George to avoid foreign income taxes would be "to live in a jurisdiction that has a zero tax rate."

    Tips for top sights to see in the Yucatan, Part 1
    The state of Yucatan occupies the northern third of the Yucatan Peninsula, which is separated into the aforementioned Quintana Roo and Yucatan states as well as the undiscovered jewel that is Campeche. The Yucatan Peninsula proper occupies all the territories north of the New River’s entrance into Chetumal Bay in Belize to the northern end of the Laguna De Terminos in Campeche State (roughly mirroring highway 186). This area is home to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Campeche City, Uxmal Ruins, Chichen-Itza Ruins, and Sian-Kaan Biosphere), all well worth exploring.

    Videos

  • Adaly Cartagena wins Environmental Award, 2min. Ocean Academy student, Adaly Cartagena, won the National Youth Award for Environmentalism presented by the Department of Youth Services for her work protecting manatees.

  • 2,000 linear feet of beach being reclaimed: Interview with Mr. Al Chanona regarding beach reclamation, 1min. You might have noticed that sand is being dredged and stockpiled in the area of the Palapa Gardens in what has affectionately become known as the “Caye Caulker mountain.” What exactly is this for, you might be asking yourself?

  • Beach Reclamation on Caye Caulker, 1/2min. A beach reclamation is currently underway on Caye Caulker. The project is expected to last three weeks. 2000 linear feet of beach is expected to be reclaimed. SHOW MORE

  • Diving In Belize-Part 1-A Typical Dav of Diving, 4min. Here is a video of the day diving at did aboard the Sundancer II last January 2015. The video was shot with a Hero 4 Black along with a Sola Lighting Kit bought through backscatter.com. The footage was edited on Adobe Premiere while the other elements were completed in After Effects. The diving, service and experience were all fantastic!!!

  • Get Rich or Die Mayan: Mexico, Guatemala & Belize, 3min. A short film of my 2015 adventure through Cancun, Chichen Itza, Merida, Palenque, Lacanja, San Jose, San Ignacio, Caye Caulker and Playa del Carmen.

  • Bert Tucker International: Special Yearly Tribute!, 33min. It is only a few Belizeans, or may be none at all, that has held the international stature of Belizean revolutionary Adalbert 'Bert' Tucker. His incredible body of work as an economist with a progressive philosophy for development is hardly shared not even by the government for which he worked for in the last days of his life. As a matter of fact, the United Democratic Party (UDP) government Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wlifred 'Sedi' Elrington for which he became their loyal Ambassador of Trade, the Caribbean and Africa, did not even attend his funeral.

  • From Cabana Azul in Hopkins, Belize, 2min. Filmed from the front porch of our little cabana at the Lebeha Drumming Center, in Hopkins, Belize...a young man harvesting coconut juice. My idea of a fine vacation.

  • Belize | Cancun Venture, 4min. San Pedro, Belize offered a fun party atmosphere with many excursions, while Caye Caulker island was a relaxing backpackers paradise. Much recommended trip!

  • Flying over Belize (and landing in Placencia), 1min.

  • Sunrise in Placencia, Belize, 1.5min.

    December 5, 2015


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    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    San Pedro Fitness Club celebrates Grand Re-opening
    The San Pedro Fitness Club held its grand re-opening with a fun pool party on Sunday, November 29th. From 12PM to 5PM, there was a good community turnout, including a few long time members of the club. Families brought their children to enjoy a fun day in the pool, while a DJ kept the atmosphere lively. To beat the heat, Manelley’s Ice Cream scoops were available during the festivity along with delicious food on sale from Coconut Café. Many also took advantage of the membership specials that were available during the event. The facility comes with a fully equipped gymnasium, and membership offers multiple services. The different membership options accommodate individuals, families and corporate groups as well. An individual membership runs $80BZ per month, or $200BZ for three months. Family and corporate memberships are $200BZ dollars per month, covering up to four members in the respective groups.

    Abandoned house destroyed by fire in San Pedro
    The San Pedro Fire Department (SPFD) and the Police Department are investigating a fire that occurred on Friday afternoon shortly after 2PM. The SPFD was notified about a fire taking place at an abandoned building on the beach adjacent to Crazy Canucks beach sports bar by Coconut Drive. When they arrived at the scene, they observed a two story building belonging to Exotic Caye Beach Resort, engulfed in flames. The quick response by the SPFD put the fire under control and stopped it from spreading to the nearby buildings. The building did not have electricity, which raises suspicions as to what caused the fire in the first place.

    PM Dean Barrow speaks on the disappearance of David Miguel Nanes Schnitzer
    It’s been 13 days since Supreme Court Judge Denis Hanomansingh granted David Miguel Nanes Schnitzer bail and he has still not reported to the San Pedro Police Department. While one knows his whereabouts, authorities strongly believe Nanes Schnitzer is on the run again. With this development, Prime Minister Dean Barrow has expressed his disappointment in the legal system for having granted the wanted Mexican fugitive in the Stanford Ponzi scheme bail. In an interview with the media, Barrow indicated that he wanted to extradite Nanes Schnitzer to Mexico in order to face pending charged for defrauding Mexican investors of $42US million. But due to the fact that Nanes Schnizter also faced charges in Belize, Barrow was obligated to follow legislative protocol and allow the judiciary system process Nanes Schnitzer before handing him over to Mexican authorities. “We have a legal process that we must follow. And in the course of trying to comply with due process requirements in this country, he was taken before the court and the court gave him bail. I have my own views about that determination of the court, but you know in this country, we respect judges,” said Barrow.

    SPHS Girls are Northern Regional Basketball Champs
    The National Secondary School Association (NSSA) Northern Regional Basketball Championship was held over the weekend in Corozal Town. The games took place at the Corozal Complex on Saturday, November 29th, and saw four high schools competing for the top prize and the opportunity to represent the country’s Northern Division at the National Championship level. At the end of the games, it was the San Pedro High School (SPHS) female team and the Muffles College High School (MCHS) male team that walked away with the win. The final statistics show SPHS girls and MCHS boys in first place and the official Northern Secondary School Regional Champs for 2015. Both SPHS and MCHS will be representing the Northern Division at the 2015 National Secondary School Association National Championship. The games are to take place at the Corozal Complex in Corozal Town on December 11th and 12th.

    San Pedro AIDS Commission hosts successful awareness fair and fundraiser
    The San Pedro AIDS Commission and the National AIDS Commission/Island Committee (NAC Island Committee) collaborated in hosting the annual World AIDS Day Awareness Fair at the Central Park on Sunday, November 29th. Some of the activities held in commemoration of the day were free HIV rapid testing, information and counseling, condom distribution, pastry and food sales. International AIDS Day is officially observed on December 1st across the world as an opportunity for people to unite in the fight against HIV. The two HIV/AIDS awareness groups on the island got the activities underway at 9AM sharp with a good turnout of visitors stopping by the various booths. There was even a booth where children could entertain themselves learning how to paint while their parents were tested. Serenading the event was no other than San Pedro’s number one band, Rompe Raja! The San Pedro AIDS Commission sold delicious pastries, rice and beans, and drinks for fundraising, while the NAC Island Committee offered free testing, education and counseling.

    Ambergris Today

    San Pedro Founder's Day
    San Pedro High School celebrated Founder's Day with speeches acknowledging Ms. Martha Guerrero, Mr. Alan Forman (+), Ms. Celi McCorkle and Mr. Angel Nuñez. The student body showcased their talent in singing and dancing performances in honor of the founders of SPHS.

    Fire Destroys Abandoned Building Next to San Pedro Resort
    The San Pedro Fire Department responded to a fire report on Friday, December 4, 2015, at about 2:00p.m. just south of downtown San Pedro where they encountered an abandoned building on fire. The wooden second floor of the building was completely destroyed by the blaze. The fire threatened the adjacent Exotic Caye Beach Resort and Crazy Canucks bar, but fire officials were quick to out the blaze before any nearby structures were in any danger. Destroyed along with second floor of the building were furniture and other stored items of the vacant building. Fire officials are investigating the cause of the fire as the building did not have a supply of electricity.

    San Pedro Person of the Year 2015
    This year we are doing things a bit different and reaching out to our readers and the community asking for nominations. Who do you think deserves to be recognized as Person of the Year for San Pedro, Ambergris Caye? Do you know an exceptional person who is doing great and positive things for the island community? Someone who is helping others, giving of his/her free time, making a positive change for the betterment of others or promoting a good cause? Let us know; we would love to find out more about that special person and place him/her on our list of potential nominees. All nominations will be looked at closely in order for us to decide on the best possible recipient of San Pedro's Person of the Year 2015

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Fill The Basket
    Dear friends of Cap’n Ron and Belize fans, this winter as you consider end-of-year charitable donations, can you help us Fill The Basket and support more Belizeans through educational scholarships and community grants? “Wan, wan, okra, ful baaskit.” This adage means that together, bit-by-bit, with perseverance, hard work, and cooperation, we will fill the basket. Our 100% volunteer-run organization endeavors to “fill its basket” over the next several weeks with generous donations so we can continue to support Belizeans and their communities. Will you join us and add your donation to the basket? Unlike in the US, public school in Belize is not free. For a typical high school student, one year of tuition, fees, uniforms, books, and materials costs up to US$1,700. These costs can be a real burden—and a deterrent—for low-income Belizean families. Our scholarship program has become so well-known and respected that we had nearly 70 students vying for our limited scholarship funds for 2015-16. Each and every one of these students is an intelligent, hard-working student at risk of not completing his/her high school education. You can help us break the cycle of poverty and enable these deserving students to continue their education.

    San Pedro Diabetes Information Meeting at the Polyclinic
    Thursday Dec. 10th, 8am and 5pm

    Fresh roasted Coffee on Caye Caulker
    Fresh roast coffee contact me at 6634853 or 6290958.For more info

    Yard Sale on Caye Caulker
    Bring your old stuff to sell at the open lot across from LICA on Saturday!

    NY Eve on Caye Caulker
    Just a little something to look forward to - bringing in the New Year with a firework display in the ultimate party location - you better be ready for 2016!!

    Ms. Florence Dillett, Ms. Margaret Nicholas in spearheading the investigation into the fire at the Youth Hostel
    The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation informs that Ms. Florence Dillett has now joined Ms. Margaret Nicholas in spearheading the investigation into the fire at the Youth Hostel that occurred on November 28th, 2015. Ms. Florence Dillett has decades of experience working with young people both locally and internationally. She has done pioneering work in Belize with at-risk and vulnerable girls. She is the founder of the Youth Enhancement Services, an organization which continues to do sterling work. Ms. Dillett holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology. The Ministry reiterates its commitment to a full, comprehensive and objective investigation of this tragedy.

    The Government of Belize is in negotiation to receive 4,000 Cuban refugees
    The refugees left Cuba with the intent of making their way to the United States. They arrived in Ecuador, traveled in smaller groups through Columbia & Panama & are now in Costa Rica on transit visas after being denied entry into Nicaragua - a known close ally of Cuba - and have also now been denied entry into Guatemala. Costa Rica's media reports that the Governments of Costa Rica & Belize are in negotiation to fly the refugees into Belize. A decision is expected to be made by next week when the recently reactivated Refugee Eligibility Committee convenes.

    BTB Western Belize Video
    The Belize Tourism Board has released a short travel video for Cayo. You'll see many of the landmarks you know and love in the minute long video. Well done, BTB!

    Florida Travel Industry Association in town
    Miss Michelle Bowers Flowers (Travel Trade Manager ) & Deborah Gilharry (Senior Travel Trade Officer) giving a presentation to approximately 80 agents from the Florida Travel Industry Association.

    Posadas
    The San Ignacio & Santa Elena House of Culture (NICH) invites one and all in continuing the tradition of the Posadas scheduled for December 15th, 2015. You are cordially invited to "Posadas" at SISE House of Culture on December 15th at 7:00 pm.

    Increase in the Control Price for Plantation White Sugar
    The Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, hereby informs the general public that effective January 1, 2016, Plantation White Sugar will retail at a maximum price of 75 cents per pound countrywide. A Statutory Instrument has been signed by the Minister responsible for Supplies Control dated December 4th, 2015 to give effect to this increase. While the GOB has maintained the controlled prices for sugar for more than a decade, this increase of 25 cents per pound is to allow the industry to earn a fair price in comparison to other producers in the region.

    Watch the Miss Earth 2015 Pageant Final LIVE from Vienna, Austria
    Miss Belize Christine Marie Syme tries to secure Belize's first ever placement at Miss Earth and only Belize's second placement in one of the Big 4 pageants! The pageant final is today, Saturday December 5th, 2015 beginning at 1pm (BZ)/ 2pm (ET) on Venevision or NEXtv. If your cable provider doesn't carry any of those channels, you can stream live online via the websites or YouTube channels linked below. NEXtv Stream: http://www.nexpanama.com/envivo Venevision Stream: http://www.tv-porinternet.com/…/venevision-en-vivo-por-inte… Rappler (YouTube): https://www.youtube.com/user/rapplerdotcom/videos Hey-U (YouTube): https://www.youtube.com/user/HeyUEntertainment

    WET PAINT in Central Park!
    Central Park getting a paint job just in time for Christmas and the New Year!

    Roots Reggae with Julian Melodyman Escobar
    Saturday Night is Roots Reggae at the Sports Bar with Julian Melodyman Escobar from 6 - 9 pm! Come listen and dance to the beats of Roots reggae -- Belizan…Location : Barrier Reef Sports Bar & Grill, Front StreetStart Date: December 5, 2015End Date: December 5, 2015Time: 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

    COPA AIRLINES Launches Flights to Belize December 8th, 2015
    Panama and South America, Closer To Belize Than Ever. Copa Airlines will soon be offering fights to Belize.This is exciting news for those of you planning a trip to Belize from Panama, Central and South America, as well as Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba or the Dominican Republic. In total, Copa will have flights to 31 countries and 71 cities. Flights will begin December 8th, 2015, so get ready to book your flight! Copa Airlines will be flying to Belize on Tuesdays and Fridays from Panama at 11:29 a.m. and arrive in Belize City at 12:52 p.m. They will offer flights from Belize City to Panama also on Tuesdays and Fridays with a departure time of 2:17 p.m. from Belize City and an arrival time in Panama of 5:34 p.m. The flight will be direct and take approximately two hours and twenty minutes. Copa will be using a modern Embraer 190 with passenger seating for 94 people, including ten in business class and 84 in the main cabin. For extra passenger comfort, there will be two seats on each side of the aisle, eliminating a middle seat. 1) No immigration, customs or visa in Panama. 2) Complimentary on-board service including hot meals and beverages. 3) Luggage checked through from Belize to your final destination. 4) One of the best on-time performances in the world. 5) Earn miles with ConnectMiles loyalty program when flying with Copa Airlines or any other Star Alliance member airline. 6) Inaugural Flight to Belize: December 8th, 2015

    UB Science Expo and Biogas Lab Inauguration
    The University of Belize had their Science Expo on the same day that they inaugurated the first biogas lab in the Caribbean Commonwealth. "The laboratory was recently delivered to Belize and after final installation of the lab, the opening ceremony was held on November 27, 2015. In the speeches delivered at the ceremony, the speakers highlighted the importance of promoting science for students. Well deserved recognition was given to the CCCCC and GIZ REETA, which supplied the Biogas Laboratory to UB. The University was recognized for being a strong partner with the best capacity in Belize to utilize the Laboratory. UB committed to integrate the laboratory in its curriculum to ensure ‘the students of today could use the technology tomorrow.’ Dr. Andreas Täuber also mentioned that in the future, support by GIZ for UB might be on the agenda to support the implementation of a Renewable Energy Study programme."

    Belize's First Community Bird Guides being recognized as we speak!
    A powerful partnership between Belize Audubon Society (BAS), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and National Audubon Society (NAS).

    Channel 7

    Parliamentarians Battle Over the Use of Petro Dollars For Flood Relief
    Today was the first business session of the newly elected House of Representatives. There are 4 new first time representatives in the UDP's 19, and two first timers for the PUP's 12. All of them took their seats on the back bench of their respective sides this morning - as they took in their first house meeting in the chamber. And it was a good one - nothing too feisty - but there was robust debate, particularly on the Petrocaribe spending between October and December. 44.7 million dollars has been approved for those three months - and the PUP called it vote buying - especially the over 4 million dollars spent on flood relief. Here's how the debate on that went:... Rt. Hon. Said Musa, PUP Area Rep. Fort George "In other words Mr. Speaker, that 44.7 million dollars was spent just prior to the elections. Between October and now. I note further Mr. Speaker that flood assistance, there are several items dealing with flood assistance. A total, if my math's serve me right of $4,378,000.00 spent on flood assistance. That an extraordinary figure Mr. Speaker. I supposed that explained why all this mattresses were circulating all over the place just before the election. Why refridges and stoves and plywood and everything else was circulating. Yes. Mr. Espejo was circulating those things as well in the Fort George division, but it didn't help him. In other words Mr. Speaker, the government is boasting that it bought the election. This is what they are doing today. It's boasting that they bought the election. And just look at how they treated the poor rural constituencies' man. Only $20,000 assistance for the small farmers. But 4.3 million for so called flood assistance."

    Hon. Espat Exposes Immig. Scam; Prime Minister Says Espat's Associate Was Involved
    And while that geographically diverse debate took up most of the business of today's house sitting, the PUP members still had plenty to say on the adjournment. That's when they speak on matters of public importance and Toledo East Representative Mike Espat detailed an immigration scam where over a dozen of his constituents form the villages of Bella Vista and Trio had been tricked into paying a thousand dollars for their nationality:... Hon. Mike Espat, Toledo East Area Rep. "The 28th October Mr. Prime Minister, 14 approval for nationality was granted by the Immigration Department. The people hat got their nationality came from the village of Trio and Bella Vista and they work on these poor people. They want to be legal in Belize. They all have to pay for a work permit and sometimes they go to extremes to try and achieve what they want and I can't blame them. The price Mr. Prime Minister for each nationality was $1,000. That is the report that we got - $1,000 per nationality.

    Hon. Kareem Musa Questions Charges For Mex. Fugitive
    And that wasn't the only immigration matter raised on the adjournment. New member Kareem Musa spoke about the case of the fugitive David Nanes Schnitzer who - through fraudulent means - became Belizean David Banes, possessor of every kind of Belizean identity document, right down to a voter's ID Card. His case has been extensively documented in the media - but Musa focused on the criminal charge he was held on. Police charged him for uttering upon a false driver's license. Musa asked why didn't the government bring a charge against him for the more serious offence of fraudulently obtaining a passport: Hon. Kareem Musa, Caribbean Shores Area Rep. "So what I am saying Mr. Speaker is that the government had a fair opportunity before the 20th November to make a criminal complaint. All I am asking is whether one was made by the government in relation to this fraud. This is not about any driver's license. This is fraud obtaining a passport. So all I am asking and anybody on that side can be free to clarify whether a criminal complaint was made. That is all I am asking. Mr. Speaker, this case the David Schnitzer has demonstrated to the world that there not just collusion as the Prime Minister said in an interview, but there is the other "C" word that the Prime Minister seems to be skirting around. The other big "C" being corruption. Multi-layered corruption Mr. Prime Minister from top to bottom."

    Lebanese Diplomat's Home Invaded (Again!)
    Early this morning, the home of 77 year old Lebanese Diplomat Sarkis Abou Nehra was targeted for a frightening home invasion. Abou-Nahra wasn't in Belize, but his caretaker was viciously assaulted by a team of armed thieves who cleaned out the house and raped his wife. This morning, we found Ladyville Police investigators at Abou Nehra's home a few miles outside Burrell Boom village. They had first responded about 5 hours earlier when the caretaker and his spouse called them in distress. They reported to police that sometime between 8 p.m. last night and 3:00 this morning, 8 masked dark complexioned men stormed the compound, held them at gunpoint and tied them up. The men then searched Abou Nehra's palatial estate, and stole an assortment of jewelry to a total value of ten thousand dollars, 1,500 US dollars in cash, two 9mm pistols, a 12 gauge shotgun, and a .22 rifle. They then stole Abou Nehra's Mercedes 500 s to escape - and pried open the trunk. Police found the car later in the morning in Belize City, abandoned on Saint Joseph Street, directly in front of the school. The scenes of crime team dusted it extensively for prints and it had to be hauled away.

    Police's Version Of King Street Robbery
    Last night we told you about the robbery on King Street, well we got the official police report today. Yesterday Western Pines resident 39 year old Angela Hislop was walking at the corner of Far West Street after 12:30 midday when two men approached her. One of the men held her up at gunpoint and took her purse. The man then hit her in the head with the gun and fled. The robbers took off with Hislop's Black IPhone 5S cellular phonec valued at $1,300, $600.00 in cash, her Social Security Card, Driver's License, her ATM Card, house and vehicle keys. But Police have recovered her property and have detained a 17-year-old boy of Bagdad Street for the crime.

    Making CAPE Exams More Effective
    As we told you on Wednesday, the 17 top CAPE and CSEC performers in the Caribbean were awarded here in Belize as part of the 2015 annual meeting of the CXC council. It's the first time they are meeting here since 1993 and now that these outstanding students have been awarded, the council members must still evaluate the overall performance in order to improve and upgrade the exam. Today at the Radisson, council members discussed the improvements Belize has made in the number of CXC applications but they also spoke about other critical issues that need to be addressed. There are plans to create a CXC package that will act as the actual High School certification. The council is also working on adding new subjects to the CXC curriculum - one of which is Animation and Game Design. That will be available in September of next year.

    PM Discloses A Request To Bring 3,000 Cubans To Belize
    And now…back to Belmopan. Today the Prime Minister discussed a request from the President of Costa Rica for Belize to assist with three thousand Cuban immigrants who have been stuck at the Costa Rican border with Nicaragua for weeks. The proposal is for the migrants to be flown into Belize, and then unto Mexico. Today the Prime Minister discussed the rpoposals and outlined some of the difficulties with it:.. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "Said it was a humanitarian crisis and ask whether Belize would consider allowing the use of our facilities for transit purposes. Said he was asking me and he was asking Guatemala. As I understand it the deal would be that how many we thought we could handle if we agreed would come, land at the PGIA in planes that the international organization for migration would pay for, would get onto busses that would also pay for. But the Mexicans would give us an assurance that there would be immediately processed at the border with Chetumal and then allowed to enter into Mexico for purposes of transit ultimately to the US.

    Fabers Road Shooter Arraigned
    11 days ago, we told about the shooting on Fabers Road in which 35 year-old Clive Arnold and 27 year-old Herman Ramsey were shot. Well tonight, Trevor Guy, the man accused of pulling the trigger, is at the Belize Central Prison. He was arraigned today before Magistrate Deborah Rogers for 2 counts of attempted murder, 2 counts of dangerous harm, and 2 counts of deadly means of harm. No plea was taken, and he was remanded into custody until February 4, 2016.

    Two Months Jail Time For 2 Grams Of Weed
    2 grams of marijuana is next to nothing, less than one-tenth of an ounce. Under the law a conviction for possession of this small amount usually means just a fine. But, tonight instead of a fine, 34 year-old Albert Ford has been confined and is spending the first night of a 2 month prison sentence. According to police, at around 8:45 yesterday morning, they were on patrol in Pitts Alley when Ford threw away a plastic bag. Police recovered the bag which contained 2 grams of weed, and an additional 65 grams in another section of the bag. He was charged with drug possession for the 2 grams and drug trafficking for the second amount.

    Local Sugar Price Increase Takes Effect On New Year's Day
    A week ago, we told you about how the Government approved an increase in the price of local sugar. Well, the Belize Bureau of Standards announced today that the statutory instruments putting this price increase into effect has been signed. A release from the Bureau says quote, "The Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture. hereby informs the general public that effective January 1, 2016, Plantation White Sugar will retail at a maximum price of 75 cents per pound countrywide. A Statutory Instrument has been signed by the Minister…" That's a steep 50% increase, which will likely put a hurting on consumers, but it provides relief for the farmers who requested it to mitigate the losses that will result as a consequence of the low sugar prices in Europe.

    Another Investigator For Hostel Fire
    The horrific death of 3 girls in the Youth Hostel fire on November 28th sent waves of hysteria and rage across the country. There still are many questions as to what actually happened, where procedures broke down and who is to blame. As we have reported, a number of crucial protocols were not followed: from the faulty padlock that was put on the door to the lighter that the girls allegedly had in the room. But so much more needs to done in the investigation so that means more help and expertise is needed. To this end, The Ministry of Human Development today announced that Florence Dillett has joined Ms. Margaret Nicholas in spearheading the investigation in to the fire. Dillet, the release says has decades of experience working with young people both locally and internationally. It ends saying, quote, "The Ministry reiterates its commitment to a full, comprehensive and objective investigation of this tragedy."

    Special Olympics For Special Kids
    Yesterday you saw hearing impaired kids competing in finger spelling but tonight you get to see more kids with diverse abilities competing on an open field. Today the National Special Olympics Games was held at the Marion Jones Stadium and a number of kids from Special Education Schools across the country participated. This is all part of Disabilities Awareness Week where these children are celebrated and included in various educational and sporting activities. The National Director of Special Olympics Belize told us more about the event and why it's important to engage kids with diverse abilities. Over 170 children attended.

    Bragging Rights On The Line For 2015 Volleyball Nationals
    Today, 12 primary school volleyball teams from across the country competed in the 2015 Nationals Tournament. The dozen had each won at the district level, and today;s competition was for the national title. 7News stopped by this morning for the opening of the tournament to see how the match ups looked. Here's what the National Sports Coordinator had to say: And, after all 6 district males and females competed against each other, it was a battle between the south for this year's bragging rights. The male and female teams from coming from Stann Creek and Toledo were ones who made it in the finals. Holy Angels Primary from Dangriga won for the females while St. Matthews Primary won for the males. These representatives from Stann Creek defeated the male and female teams from Toledo. The male and female hosts from Belize Elementary School came in third.

    PM Tips Hat To Outgoing Leader Francis F.
    As you've seen on the news so far tonight - today's house meeting had presentations from a wide cross section of members. But, there was nothing from the Leader of The Opposition, Francis Fonseca. And that's because he's just holding over until a new party leader is installed at the end of the month. It may be his last house meeting in the head seat for the opposition and the Prime Minister used the opportunity for a rare showing of across the floor comity:

    Hon. Faber & Hon. Requena Battle Over Road Works In Toledo
    That moment of grace was about the only one today - a day when the debate was uniformly robust. Representatives for Toledo West and Collet clashed over the issue of flood-affected roads in the south. Here's how that went:

    PM Barrow Discusses The Displeasure Of the Mexicans
    And finally tonight - here's the media's conversation with the Prime Minister about David Nanes Shnitzer - who gave Belizean authorities the slip. It's become an international embarrassment for the Government of Belize, with major disappointment from the Mexicans and scrutiny from the Americans - who spearheaded the apprehension of Nanes Schnitzer on San Pedro. Today, the press asked the Prime Minister if Nanes Schnitzer is even being sought in Belize:... Sources tell us that Nanes Shnitzer's cell phone was last tracked to Corozal a few days after his release.

    Channel 5

    David Nanes Dominates Debate During House Meeting
    The house met today in Belmopan for the approval of more than forty million dollars being spent in three months but it is the curious tale of multi-millionaire fugitive David [...]

    PM Admits Nanes Debacle Has Created Tension with Mexico
    But speaking on a more serious note, P.M. Barrow expressed that he greatly regrets the Nanes situation which has created some tension with our northernmost neighbour who had requested the [...]

    PM Addresses Corruption in Immigration
    After that apology of sorts to Mexico, P.M. Barrow also embarked on a variation of his infamous ‘for God’s sake stop it’ exhortation, and again…the issue is corruption in immigration [...]

    $44.7 Million in Petrocaribe Money, Was It Used for Electioneering?
    Today’s sitting of the House of Representatives was the last of this year, and the one usually reserved for the only bit of goodwill and cheer ever seen in that [...]

    Opposition Chides Barrow Administration on Distribution of Flood Relief Funds
    While there is some issue from the Opposition on the use of more than four million dollars on quote unquote flood relief just before elections, a major point of contention [...]

    Toledo West Area Rep Comes Out Swinging on Flood Relief Efforts
    The always feisty member for Toledo West, Oscar Requeña was on fire this morning, claiming that while Belize City residents got stoves and refrigerators, all the people of Toledo got [...]

    Is Belize Prepared for Mass Cuban Influx?
    Costa Rican and Belizean officials are in negotiations over the fate of thousands of Cuban refugees stranded in Costa Rica for weeks where they were detained as they made their [...]

    PM Says There Are More Questions Than Answers
    According to the Prime Minister, there are more questions than answers and a whole lot of verification that would need to be done. One question which immediately arises, says the [...]

    New Allegations of Immigration Hustle in Bella Vista
    G.O.B. has come under intense scrutiny for the fact that when fugitive David Schnitzer Nanes was caught and released he had every form of Belizean I.D. it is possible to [...]

    More from PM on Immigration Fiasco
    As you saw, when the Prime Minister was protected by the parliamentary privilege afforded in the House, he was quick to make a connection between the alleged Immigration scam artist [...]

    Psychologist Florence Dillett Joins Investigation into Deadly Hostel Fire
    Three young girls perished in a fire at the Princess Royal Youth Hostel seven days ago. The details provided so far are less than convincing and questions continue to linger [...]

    Couple Attacked, Wife Sexually Assaulted During Home Invasion in Burrell Boom
    Police are investigating a home invasion that occurred on Thursday night in Burrell Boom, Belize District. The residence of the Honorary Counsel of Lebanon and businessman Sarkis Abou Nehra was [...]

    Fire in San Pedro Guts Two-storey Building
    Authorities on San Pedro Ambergris Caye are trying to determine the cause of a fire that completely destroyed a two-storey building in the island.  The fire started shortly after two [...]

    Women Caught Stealing Underwear are Granted Bail
    Two women who were captured on surveillance camera footage stealing more than two hundred pieces of underwear are out on bail. Donela Smith and Johny Netty Lopez were seen stealing [...]

    Cost of Local Sugar to Increase in January
    The price of white sugar on the domestic market will increase from fifty cents per pound in January 2016. A Statutory Instrument was signed today setting the maximum price to [...]

    Sugar Crop Scheduled to Begin on December Seventh
    The C.E.O. also provides an update in respect of sugar industry. A new crop season begins this Monday.   Via Phone: Jose Alpuche, C.E.O., Ministry of Agriculture “As they said [...]

    Regional CXC Awards Ceremony Held in Belize
    This week, top achievers from the Caribbean have been in Belize to be recognized for their impressive performances at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) C.X.C.  An award ceremony paying [...]

    47th Meeting of CXC Concludes at the Radisson
    A press conference following the meeting of the Caribbean Examinations Council was held this afternoon at the Radisson.  While the panel gave an update on matters that were discussed during [...]

    LOVE FM

    Costa Rica Asks Belize for Help with Cuban Immigrants
    Thousands of Cubans are currently displaced after making a failed attempt at reaching the United States on the backdrop of the Cold War Era Policy whereby the US accepts them once they set foot on US soil. Almost four thousand Cubans are currently in Costa Rica and Panama but they are facing difficulties as Guatemala […]

    Estate of Lebanon’s Honorary Consul General Invaded Again
    Almost ten years ago, the home of the Honorary Consul General of Lebanon, located on the Bermudian Landing Road just outside of Burrell Boom Village in the Belize District, was invaded by armed robbers. Tonight, it is like history repeating itself only that this time there were eight armed men who invaded the estate between […]

    Fire on Ambergris Caye Destroys 2-Storey Structure
    Just after two o’clock this afternoon there was a fire on Ambergris Caye in which an abandoned building near the beach became engulfed in flames. The San Pedro Fire Department was notified and responded immediately to the scene, right next to the Crazy Canucks Sports Bar near Coconut Drive. The two-storey structure that was destroyed […]

    Two Minors from Children’s Home Go Missing
    Two minors who were in the care of the Dorothy Menzies Children’s Home in the Kings Park Area, Belize City, have been reported missing. According to the police blotter, the 11-year-old boy and girl were sent to school with the other children, as per the norm, yesterday morning at around eight o’clock. When the van […]

    Dillett Joins Nicholas in Hostel Fire Investigation
    It has been less than a week since the tragedy unfolded leaving three young girls burnt and creating outrage from the public as well as myriad questions. Monday morning saw the administration of the Youth Hostel where the fire occurred, sitting at the head table of a press conference along with the Minister and the […]

    Traffic Incident Injures Four on Southern Highway
    Four persons were involved in a traffic accident last night on the southern highway. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports.

    Belize Hosts Governance Meetings of CXC
    Belize is the only Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) participating country in Central America and our country has been selected to host the 2015 annual governance meetings of CXC. The CXC governance meetings are held annually in one of the CXC participating countries. The meeting of the School Examinations Committee took place yesterday in Belize City […]

    Youth Awards Gala Comes Together with DYS and Love Foundation
    To end the celebrations of Youth Week, the Department of Youth Services along with the Love Foundations have come together, once again to hold the National Youth Awards Gala at the Belize Biltmore Plaza in Belize City. Tonight’s show, which starts at seven o’clock, seeks to recognize the outstanding achievements of several young persons in […]

    PlusTV

    Contraband Cigarettes from Free zone confiscated in Chetumal
    Federal Police in Mexico have confiscated a truckload of contraband cigarettes they say are from Belize’s Free zone. The large white cargo truck was speeding down the highway and police began following it. When the truck stopped at a gas station to refuel, the police approached the truck only ...

    Escaped prisoner still on the run
    Police are still trying to locate 27-year-old Lawrence Bernardez of Lakeland area Dangriga. As we told you yesterday, Bardalez escaped from police custody while being transported to the Hattieville Prison on Wednesday December 2. Bernardez, was along with fellow prisoners Eden Guzman and Daniel McKe...

    New Church Senator wants to bridge divide among Evangelicals
    There are now two Evangelical associations in Belize. The new group, the National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB) left behind the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches (BAEC), accusing it of being unwilling to finalize a constitution that would make the BAEC more representative of chu...

    Top CXC candidates visit Belize
    Belize’s top awardees in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) were honoured last week. Their fellows from around the Caribbean have come to Belize for the annual meetings of the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) and award ceremo...

    Teenager pleads guilty to firearm possession
    Eighteen year old Richard Bennett Jr., one of 7 persons charged with keeping a prohibited firearm and keeping ammunition without a gun license, pleaded guilty to the charges when he appeared today before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. Bennett was sentenced to 3 years for the firearm and 5 years for the ...

    693g of Cannabis found
    The North Side Strike team in Belize City found 693 g of Cannabis. Today, the 3rd of December, members of the Team conducted a search in an open lot located on Kelly Street where they found a black plastic bag containing 496 grams of Cannabis. Further searches of the empty lot led to the discovery o...

    Belize City resident charged with drug trafficking
    A Belize City resident was found with 65g of Cannabis. Today, the 3rd December, members of the North Side Strike team were conducting mobile patrols on Pitts Alley, when their attention was drawn to Albert Ford, who at the time was holding a plastic bag. When the Ford saw the police, he threw away t...

    The Reporter

    PM says GOB will consider helping Cuban immigrants
    Following an appeal by the Government of Costa Rica, Prime Minister Dean Barrow says he is willing to consider the issue facilitating the passage of some 4000 Cuban immigrants through Belize to help them get to the United States. Barrow said on Friday that he […]

    House of Representatives gets down to business
    The House of Representatives gathered on Friday for its first official meeting since the inaugural ceremony. Amidst the traditional political back and forth between the incumbent and the opposition, government tabled a number of Bills, including: a motion to enter into a loan agreement with the […]

    Barrow to hand over Queen Square to Sister B
    Denise “Sister B” Barrow, the younger sister of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, will likely inherit the Queen Square Division from him when he leaves politics at the end of the 2015/1520 term. The Prime Minister confirmed the report to the media during a joint […]

    MOH holds training for nurses
    The Ministry of Health (MOH), along with several international organizations, hosted a sub-regional workshop for nursing educators in Belize on Monday. The workshop was organized with the aim to review, update and develop a plan of action for nursing and midwifery practicioners. The workshop, in […]

    Belize observes World AIDS Day 2015
    This week countries around the world, including Belize, joined together to observe World AIDS Day under the theme “Getting to Zero”, symbolizing the global target to have zero new HIV infections by 2030. The Ministry of Health, through its various departments, and several of its […]

    EDC to lead development of transportation master plan
    It is likely safe to assume that most business professionals, academics and policy makers would agree that the “school is out” on whether or not there is a positive link between infrastructure development and a country’s overall economic growth. More specifically, some studies have (including Bom and Ligthart, 2009) gone […]

    Taiwan’s Magnificent Gesture:+ donation to the Inspiration Center
    Taiwan’s Ambassador to Belize, H.E. Benjamin Ho, on bahalf of his government, has made a $400,000 donation to Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow, for the community-based rehabilitation (CBR) program at the Inspiration Center. The donation was presented during a ceremony on […]

    Bus with passengers erupts in flames
    Passengers aboard a West Line Bus on Tuesday morning had a terrifying experience as the bus suddenly erupted in flames near mile 60 on the George Price highway. According to Manager of the West Line Bus Company, Usbaldo Castillo, the bus was transporting workers that […]

    Belize and Taiwan team up to improve sheep and goat farming
    Belize is looking toward creating a viable export market for sheep and goats, after the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry and Sustainable Development and the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) signed a project agreement this week. Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega and the […]

    Party condemns GSU for ‘excessive use of force’ against protesters ppppppdemonstrators
    The Belize Progressive Party (BPP) has condemned the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) for what it describes as excessive use of force against unarmed Belizeans who gathered to peacefully protest Guatemalan-President-elect Jimmy Morales’ visit to Belize. The BPP described the actions carried out by the GSU […]

    Youth caught with TEC-9 Family escapes serious jailtime
    A Belize City family, including an elderly woman and children, has been spared serious jailtime for possession of a TEC-9 submachine gun after a teenage member of the family claimed sole responsibility for the outlawed weapon. On Thursday, 18-year-old Richard Mervin Bennett Jr; along […]

    Barranco hosts first Andy Palacio music festival
    Celebrated Punta Rock legend, Andy Palacio, will be honoured posthumously in his home village of Barranco, Toledo this weekend with the first ever Andy Palacio Music Festival, in commemoration of his birthday on December 2nd. The event is a partnership between the Wagiya Foundation […]

    Proposed new bill will protect the Geographic ID of Belizean products
    The Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce, this week, held a validation workshop for a proposed Bill to protect the Geographical Indicators of Belizean-made products. Geographic Indicators (GI) are aspects of a product that are tied to a specific location, such as […]

    Special Envoy launches new Inspiration calendars and agendas
    The Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children (SEWC), in collaboration with McNab Design, this week, launched the latest editions of the inspiration calendars and agendas. The SEWC, Kim Simplis Barrow, held the launch at the Inspiration Center on the George Price highway […]

    Suspected drug plane lands in Spanish Lookout then burnt
    Police have not yet issued any details regarding the circumstances of a suspected drug plane landing on a remote dirt road in the Mennonite community of Spanish Lookout, Cayo early Tuesday morning. The private single engine Cessna 210 aircraft, which apparently contained illicit drugs, landed […]

    Fallout spawns new evangelical association
    After months of contention, the leaders and members of some 200 churches have broken away from the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches (BAEC) and formed their own association. The national executive for the newly-formed National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB), held its official launch on […]

    Road fatalities down since Road Safety project introduced
    Road traffic fatalities have been on a decline between since the Road Safety Unit introduced a road traffic safety project, called the Pilot Safety Corridor, which extends from Belmopan to the entrance of Belize City.   Of the total number of fatalities that have taken place […]

    GOB says “No” to offshore drilling
    The Government of Belize, this week, officially banned offshore oil exploration within the seven World Heritage Sites in Belize and in areas along the Belize Barrier Reef System. GOB made the announcement after a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, stating that the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve […]

    Belize 2016 & Beyond – the Perfect Economic Storm in the Making..?
    Belize’s economy does not appear to be in ‘freefall’ state, and there is no definite indication of gloom and doom in the immediate future, but there are definite suggestions of a wobble that may turn into a topple if what could be a perfect storm continues to build. Like any […]

    British Honduras memorabilia exhibit opens at Corozal House of Culture
    British Honduras memorabilia dating back over 100 years and accumulated in the private collection of Canadian visitor James Lindsay, went on public display in an exhibition that opened at the Corozal House of culture on Monday, November 30. James Lindsay hails from Toronto, Ontario, […]

    Higher speed internet on the way, says BTL
    Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) announced it is in the final stages of selecting a mobile network vendor to build and launch its Mobile Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network in 2016, expected to be among the fastest, most robust mobile data networks in Central America. Chairman of […]

    Editorial
    Law enforcement in Belize has deteriorated so much that people no longer look to it for answers. The Minister in charge of law enforcement needs to pull up his socks. Here’s why: Last weekend three teenage girls, detained in an institution by order of the court, were killed in a […]

    Oil industry in trouble
    As Belize’s oil industry continues it’s downward spiral, revenue derived from the industry is at the second lowest it has been since extraction began, according to data from the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB). In 2014 the industry only earned $102 million in revenue, coming in some $15 million above the $87.5 million when the industry first began. the figure is far less compared to the $236.5 million in 2007, and the $292 million in 2012...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Sugar prices set to go up for the New Year
    A release from the Belize Bureau of Standards issued today, served to inform the general public of the signing of a Statutory Instrument by the Minister responsible for Supplies Control, which made official the increase in sugar prices effective January 1st, 2016. The document signed […]

    Lebanese Consul’s home robbed and vehicle stolen
    Preliminary reports from Belize District Police indicate that a group of eight robbers hit the burglary jackpot in the wee hours of this morning when they broke into the residence of the Honorary Consul to Lebanon, Sarkis Abou Nehra, in Burrell Boom Village. Police […]

    British Honduras memorabilia exhibit opens at Corozal House of Culture
    Toronto’s James Lindsay, a frequent visitor to Belize and collector of Belizean memorabilia on the internet, has offered his private collection for public display in an exhibition opened this week at the Corozal House of Culture. Lindsay has expressed the intention to donate his […]

    Petroleum exports will continue to decline, Government says
    Former Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities which was also responsible for petroleum, Dr. Colin Young, has told the Reporter Press that oil extraction is projected to continue downward until at least 2024 if no more oil […]

    Several arrested in San Pedro drug raid
    While conducting drug searches in San Pedro yesterday, police detained four persons from two different apartments and seized a total of 166.6 grams of cannabis in the Bayside area. The first search was conducted at around 5:30 a.m. in an apartment occupied by 53-year-old Anthony Montes and 43-year-old Clarina August, where officers found 67 grams of cannabis and subsequently arrested the pair for “Drug Trafficking”. A second search in the same area around 6:00 a.m., resulted in the discovery of 99.6 grams of cannabis in the apartment of 33-year-old Deon Pitts and 26-year-old Glenis Martin. Upon seeing police, Pitts threw away a plastic bag containing the drugs but it was retrieved and later weighed in his presence […]

    Fisherman charged for shooting incident
    A Belize City fisherman was charged yesterday in connection with a shooting on November 22nd, in which two other fishermen received gunshot wounds and had to be treated at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). Around 6:20 that morning, police responded to reports of […]

    Daring daylight robber caught by police
    A bold daylight robbery in the old capital yesterday afternoon resulted in a Western Pines resident losing items and cash valued at $1900, along with identification cards, credit cards and keys. 39-year-old Angela Hislop reported to police that around 12:35 p.m., while walking at […]

    Two young boys missing
    Up to the time a report was made last night, two boys were missing and had not returned to the Dorothy Menzies Childcare facility after leaving for school that morning. 35 year old Shere Leslie who works at the facility, told police that 11 […]

    Costa Rica in talks with Belize over plight of Cuban migrants
    After Guatemala refused to allow them in, Costa Rica has turned to Belize to allow thousands of Cuban migrants to enter Belize en route to the United States. Nicaragua too has denied access to the over 4,000 Cubans camped along the Costa Rica-Nicaragua border for […]

    Blogs

    Belize Destination Weddings – 11 Breathtaking Photos!
    Belize is a small and vibrant country in Central America that offers the perfect elements for a destination wedding. Warm tropical climate year-round, miles of Caribbean coastline, the world’s second largest barrier reef, a pristine rainforest and ancient Mayan temples are just a few of the many reasons why couples opt to have a magical wedding in Belize. Whether you are planning a large group wedding extravaganza, an intimate elopement, or celebrating a vow renewal you are bound to create memories that will last a lifetime in this scenic country. We’ve hand picked a few breathtaking photos that will surely entice you to book your destination wedding in Belize!

    Second Fire of 2015 on Exotic Caye Resort Property
    Earlier this year, the southern portion of Exotic Caye Resort started fire in the laundry room and spread to a number of rooms in the early morning hours. (See story from February 2015.) Thankfully no one was hurt. At about 2pm today, the property recently acquired by the company and expanded by a sizeable sea wall – also caught fire. And the partially wooden house quickly went up in flames. Here is a photo of the house in September. I arrived just as the fire trucks did. The San Pedro Fire Department quickly went to work… And the fire was quickly put out. THANK GOODNESS. Thank goodness also for the good-sized space between this home and the bar, Crazy Canuck’s and the restaurant above it. Staff was preparing to wet the buildings- but the fire was put out quickly. As I walked home, I spotted the burned buildings from February’s fire.

    White Castle comes to San Pedro and other craziness
    Inspired by one of our conversations over lunch on the high prices of snack food, I decided see what kind of crazy food items I could find walking home. Anyone who has been grocery shopping here knows what I mean. You can find the weirdest things on the shelves. I knew Island City (the old Island Supermarket) across from Island Academy and Mermaid store were the prefect places to play around with some artistic food photo journalism. The picture story portrays adjectives both locals and tourists often use to describe Ambergris Caye by crazy through things I found at the two supermarkets. Some other interesting stuff around town. If you have been following Ambergris Caye News, you will know that the San Pedro Town Council is revamping Central Park and starting the process of moving the souvenir vendors. Closer to the sea for now then long range plan is the west side of town. The bottom pics show some of the changes going on in the park. The top two bike shots I added for fun, I liked that the first guy was carrying his ride – I am sure he was feeling a little bah humbug.

    International Sourcesizz

    Upper Mountain Volunteer Fire Co. providing the town of San Pedro, Belize with its first ambulance
    Just in time for the season of giving, Upper Mountain Volunteer Fire Co. has announced it will be donating an ambulance to the town of San Pedro, Belize. Upper Mountain’s 1992 Ford E450, Type III ambulance was retired earlier this year after the purchase of a new ambulance. This will be San Pedro’s very first ambulance – a big leap forward for the community. Upper Mountain President Greg Sitek said a former member reached out to ask what the fire company had in store for the retired vehicle. He then connected the fire company with Dominick Walenczak, an EMT with Twin City Ambulance and a procurement officer helping to connect San Pedro with medical supplies. Walenczak said he started visiting Belize when his parents from Amherst began living there part-time. He became involved with the health system down there and works to help grow the town’s EMS program from right here in Western New York. Alex Parmelee is the man leading the charge to improve public health services in this small Central American country. He started volunteering and visiting Belize 10 years ago as a medical school student, said the 48-year-old Colorado native. He has since finished his MD and was recently asked by Belize’s Ministry of Health to start an EMS program in San Pedro with a 24-hour emergency room as the operations manager for San Pedro’s emergency services.

    Costa Rica Asks Belize to Accept Stranded Cuban Migrants
    Costa Rica has asked Belize to accept nearly 3,000 Cuban migrants who have been stuck at the Costa Rican border with Nicaragua for weeks, authorities said Friday. The plan envisions flying the migrants to Belize, which is on Mexico's southeastern border. From there the Cubans would presumably continue north toward their stated destination: the United States, where special migrant policies let them stay once they touch U.S. soil. Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel Gonzalez said Belize's council of ministers will meet Tuesday to consider Costa Rica's proposal. Gonzalez said authorities ruled out transporting the migrants to Guatemala because officials in that Central American nation said conditions did not exist to guarantee their safety. "Mexico insists that (the Cubans) must be received from another country — that they cannot arrive directly in Mexico," he said. "For that reason we had been thinking of Guatemala, and now we are considering Belize."

    Parrots and Plymouth Argyle in the jungle with the Coldstream Guards
    In his latest report on an exercise with the Coldstream Guards in the Central American country of Belize, journalist David Wells meets a jungle hero who started out in life bunking off school Coldstream Guard Captain Steve Taylor's name is spoken in reverential terms among the battalion of Coldstreamers training in jungle warfare deep in the jungles of Belize. His skills, expertise and knowledge of survival, military tactics and warfare in this type of swelteringly hot, harsh, unforgiving terrain has even earned him an unofficial title which hints at his command of the environment – 'OC Jungle' – as in officer commanding of the jungle. His status is a far cry from his early days growing up in a working class suburb of Plymouth where, by his own admission, he was less than a model pupil at school.

    Videos

  • Channel 5 Christmas Spectacular 2015, 120min.

  • Belize, 7.5min.

  • Fire in San Pedro, 1min. The San Pedro Fire Department responds to a fire that has now destroyed an abandoned building next to Exotic Caye Beach Resort south of downtown San Pedro. The blaze has been kept under control

  • Turneffe Island Resort of Belize Nov 2015, 4.5min. Few photos & videos of Turneffe Island Resort in Nov 2015. The private island resort is a special place where you can enjoy scuba diving and fishing. My trip was to dive the famous sites of Belize but also to enjoy the benefits of wonderful people who enjoy diving as much as me. The food was superb, the atmosphere was total relaxation and enjoyment. Turneffe Island has something for everyone! Enjoy & Happy Diving!

  • Belize Guatemala, 4min.

  • The Blue Hole - Belize, 6min. The great Blue Hole of Belize is a wonder of the world! Diving it with the love of my life, Beth, was one of the most exciting experiences of my life! We reached 139 feet!

  • Reef Shark Clips - Half Moon Caye Wall, 1/2min. 7 Foot Reef Shark along the coral reef wall near the island of Half Moon Caye off the shore of Belize.

    December 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, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    New swings installed at Central Park
    Blue Water Grill (BWG) and The Phoenix Resort have installed three new swings on the playground set at Central Park. The swings were purchased and installed with funds collected through their November Monthly Donation Program. BWG had earlier donated the wooden playground set in April 2015 complete with swings, but the playground had been vandalized and the swings destroyed. With this latest donation, island children once again have three swings to enjoy at Central Park. In November, BWG customers donated $845 while The Phoenix customers donated $798. All donations were matched 100% by the respective establishment reaching a grand total of $3,386. $248 of the funds was used to purchase and install the swing at Central Park and the remained of the money as used to buy toys for The Phoenix’s annual holiday toy drive. The toys will be distributed to the less fortunate children of the island on Christmas morning.

    Local Volleyball Tournament draws to a close
    Friday, November 27th saw the final games of the 4 x 4 Volleyball Tournament at the Honorable Louis Sylvester Sporting Complex. Six teams competed for the coveted first place in their respective categories: Junior, Female and Male divisions. The last leg of the sporting event kicked off at 8PM sharp with Island Boyz facing Bombas in the Junior Category. Unique Girls vs 4 Play On The Sand in the Female Category and culminating the sporting evening were Blazers vs Divers in the Male Division. Despite a light rain, the last match of the evening began on schedule, with the Blazers taking on the menacing Divers team. Ricky Luna was one of the favorites in the Blazers’ team, doing real damage to the Divers. Setters showed their skills as they prepped the right sets for some dangerous spikes. Each set showed hard work from both sides and after a 3-0 game set, (21-12, 21-15, 21-18), Blazers took the first place victory.

    Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales visits Belize: COLA protests visit
    The recently elected President of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales was in Belize on Saturday, November 28th as part of a diplomatic tour of Central America. While Morales was graciously greeted by Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow, others protested his arrival. Due to his views on Guatemala’s territorial claim over Belize, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) believe Morales should have not been allowed an audience in Belize, as he clearly has intentions of attempting to reclaim what he believes rightfully belongs to Guatemala. However, PM Barrow welcomed him at his office on Coney Drive in Belize City for a meeting that lasted less than an hour. Security was amped up on the day of Morales’ arrival to ensure his safety while in Belize as tensions have been high between Guatemalans and Belizeans over the territorial dispute. Representatives of Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV), and Belize Progressive Party (BPP) had joined COLA in a small demonstration outside of Barrow’s officer. The group of about five protestors were led by Wil Maheia and COLA President Geovanni Brackett. The demonstration was quickly shut down by the security detail escorting Morales to the building, and even led to the arrest of Brackett for what the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) claimed to be unruly behavior.

    2015 Hurricane Season ends; Belize spared once again
    The 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially ended on Monday, November 30th with 11 named storms developing during the five months of the season. Meteorologists account the low activity in this area to the El Niño effect, which was strong over the Atlantic Ocean. On the other hand, the 2015 Pacific Hurricane Season was more active with a total of 26 named storms, of which 16 because hurricanes and a record 11 became major hurricanes. The Pacific Hurricane Season also saw the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere when Patricia grew to a Category five hurricane on Friday, October 23rd. While Belize was not directly affected by any hurricanes this year, flooding was a major issue due to the adverse effect of passing tropical storms in the area.

    Fire at Youth Hostel kills three girls in solitary confinement
    On Sunday, November 29th shocking news came from the Princess Royal Youth Hostel located on Mile 21 of the George Price Highway, with word of a fire breaking out and killing three teenage girls. Reports are that the fire started shortly after 2:30PM, when facilitators observed one of the buildings engulfed in flames. Matters became worse when it was noted that the building on fire was where 16-year-old Ana Melinda Carlos, 16-year-old Shadisha Arnold and 14-year-old Elizabeth Mckoy were being kept in solitary confinement as punishment. Even though efforts were made to stop the fire and rescue the teens, all failed, resulting in the death of the girls. According to initial reports, Carlos, Arnold and Mckoy had escaped the hostel a day before along with another 12-year-old girl. After the escapees were returned to the hostel by Hattieville police, they were confined to their dorm rooms for 24-hours as punishment. The three older girls were put in a separate room from the younger one. “Upon their return, they were confined to one of three rooms in the building being used to house the female residents at the Youth Hostel. This meant that because they had recently run away, they would be kept in their rooms for a 24 hour period and would lose certain privileges. “Three of the girls that went AWOL the day before were presumably planning another escape. The plan was to start the fire in order to create a distraction. This would prompt the officer to open the door and let them out and they would run away while the officers were occupied trying to out the fire,” said Starla Bradley, Director Community Rehabilitation Department.

    Ambergris Today

    Belize Starts Construction of New City Center Arena And Cultural Complex
    Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL), a public sector agency of the Government of Belize (GOB), has undertaken the design, construction and management of capital projects in Belize with current emphasis on sporting and other multipurpose facilities. BIL now embarks on the construction phase of the Belize City Center Arena and Cultural Complex located on Central American Blvd, Belize City, Belize. Contract has been awarded to the local JVCA of Medina’s Construction Ltd. / International Environments Ltd. and on October 8th, 2015 contract signature occurred for contract price of BZ$32,940,261.34. This will include the civil works of the grounds and all FIBA certified equipment; construction period is twenty-four (24) months.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Rendezvous Restaurant is available to lease
    After 17 years of operation on Ambergriscaye, Rendezvous Restaurant has become available to lease. My darling wife Colleen, our Star Chef has passed away recently and I find myself unable to continue without her. The restaurant is a turn key operation, ready to take over. With many hundreds of hotel rooms in the vicinity it is ideally situated for continued success. For more information please email Glenn. Heaven@btl.net.

    The South Road on Ambergris Caye gets some TLC!
    After receiving so much rain, crater-like pot holes were formed in the south road making it difficult for residents/visitors traveling in the area. To alleviate the problem, we have sent some hardcore material to be spread on the road and fill the holes.

    A Present Dean Barrow should have given to Jimmy Morales
    Hold ya Jimmy. Yo haffi andastan, weh Guate done an weh paat Belize staat. A di giyo dis mek yo study wa lee bit.

    Annual Habinahan Wanaragua - Jankunu Dance Competition 2015
    Mark your calendars for the Annual Habinahan Wanaragua - Jankunu Dance Competition 2015! The Habinahan Wanaragua 2015 - Jankunu Dance Competition, register today http://bit.ly/1IhjwvV Call: Gulisi Museum at Tel: 542 2700 Email: gulisimuseum@yahoo.com or rmeconsult1@btl.net

    December South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch Meeting
    Wednesday December 9, 2015 7pm, Lone Star Grill and Cantina

    Belmopan Annual Tree Lighting
    Sat. Dec 5th, 6:30;m at Sir George Brown Field

    Chinatown Caye Caulker installs ATM
    We have just open our own ATM today!! The ATM will be available from 7 am to 12 pm .It is located inside China Town Palace, the ATM will allow users to do transactions starting from $20 up to $500 .

    SISE HoC Posadas Eve
    The SISE House of Culture is celebrating the eve of Posadas on Tuesday, December 15th, starting at 7:00pm. They'll have live marimba music for the event. In related news, the Cayo Art Festival was their best event yet. They have pictures here and here. Happy 5th anniversary, SISE HoC! "You are cordially invited to "Posadas" at SISE House of Culture on December 15th at 7:00 pm."

    The BTB's School Presenations
    BTB's Industry Relation's Officers (Neuton Garcia and Evan Young) engaging tourism students on the benefits and importance of contributing to the growth of Belize's tourism industry!

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
    Criminal Activities, Absolutely Anything, The Little Prince, Ronaldo

    Channel 7

    Did Mek Mi Rich Steal Someone Else's Idea to Get Rich?
    Mek Mi Rich, it is the most recent lottery game on the scene, with only 14 months in operation. And while it may be popular with its half a million dollar jackpot, what if it was a stolen idea? That's what Corozal Business man Curtis Swasey is trying to convince the Supreme Court of. So, is Mek Mi Rich and Swasey's hypothetical game, Super Slam Sunday, the same lottery game? That's what the Justice Courtney Abel will have to determine because according Swasey, the owners of Mek Mi Rich stole his idea for his Super Slam Sunday game, and enriched themselves from it. He has accused BTL of breeching a non-disclosure agreement that the company had entered into with him. Swasey further claimed that BTL gave away his idea of lottery texting. In this case, Swasey claims that the beneficiaries of BTL's supposed corporate generosity was Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega's Son, Andre Vega, and his business partner, Sunjay Hotchandani, the Directors of Mek Mi Rich. Today, Swasey and his attorneys, Kareem Musa and Wayne Piper, got their opportunity to make their case in the Supreme Court.

    "El Espanol's" Killer Was From Belize?
    The contraband czar, Ernesto Alonso de Miguel, known as El Espanol - he based his contraband operations in the Corozal Free Zone - but he was executed in Chetumal three weeks ago - while he was at a restaurant having dinner with his family. And while it happened across the border, Mexican authorities believe his killer came from here! A website called "Periodistas Quintana Roo" reports that the Mexican Attorney General's officer is cooperating closely with Belizean authorities to find the suspect. The news outlet reports that no formal collaboration has been requested because there is no diplomatic agreement between the two countries, but they have discussed an exchange of information. Mexican authorities believe that "El Espanol's" killer entered Chetumal by boat through the Bay of Chetumal and after committing the murder fled towards the Boulevard Bay Avenue leading to the State Congress and then hopped on the same boat to flee to Belize.

    Major Movement of Contraband Smokes From Belize To Mex Intercepted
    But even after "El Espanol" the cigarettes keep flowing across from Belize to Mexico. Another Mexican media outlet is reporting that a cargo truck with over 4.6 Million individual cigarettes was seized by the Mexican federal police in the town of Huay-Pix - which is not far from Chetumal on the road to Cancun. The Mexican media is reporting that the cargo came from the Corozal Commercial Free Zone. The truck came to the attention of police after the driver was reportedly swerving across the road. The Police caught up with the Truck when the driver pulled into a gas station. By that time, the driver had bailed and run off, leaving the contraband cargo to police. They found 461 cases of cigarettes of various brands which breaks down into 4 million 610 thousand cigarettes - all allegedly smuggled out of the Corozal Free Zone. The truck was secured and taken to the Federal Police Station.

    Prisoner Still At Large
    A dangerous prisoner from Dangriga is still at large tonight. He is Lawrence Bernardez - who escaped from police yesterday. Bernardez is serving a five year sentence for a firearm offence, and was in Belize City Magistrate;s Court answering to a charge of burglary. But when the police mobile slowed down near a speedbump in Hattieville, he and another prisoner Eden Guzman jumped out of the back of the pickup. Police caught Guzman and shot him in the leg, while Bernardez ran off. He remains at large tonight and anyone seeing him is asked to call police.

    Took A Plea For A Tec-9
    18 year-old Belize City resident Richard Bennett Jr. is at the Belize Central Prison tonight after he pleaded guilty to being in possession of an illegal handgun. Police conducted an early raid this morning just before 6:00. Bennett was there with his his parents, and his 4 sisters. The officers searched the entire house, and the yard. They found a Teck 9 assault weapon, loaded with 15 live rounds of ammunition. The gun was hidden in the chassis of a truck that was parked in the yard. Police charged the entire family of 7 with keeping a prohibited firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition. They were all arraigned before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza, where Bennett accepted guilt for the illegal weapon, which allowed for the charges to be withdrawn against his parents and his sisters.

    Chinese Woman Assaulted and Robbed
    A Chinese woman was attacked and robbed on King Street around 1:00 this afternoon. Our news team was at the scene moments after it happened and we saw this woman sitting on a police motorcycle, she was bleeding from her head. Eyewitness say she was walking on King Street when a man approached her from behind, hit her in the head, grabbed her purse and ran. When the police arrived they escorted the woman to the hospital. Police did not respond to us on this incident but we will follow up tomorrow.

    Woman Shot For Bike In Belmopan
    While that was in Belize City today, another woman was violently robbed in Belmopan yesterday - but this case was even more bizarre. Maya Mopan resident 22 year old Rosa Choco was riding her bicycle on the central walkway near the Civic Center around 8:00 last night. She was with her brother and sister when a man ran up to her, slapped her in the face, shot her in the right leg and rode off with her bicycle. Belmopan police have 1 Roaring Creek man in custody.

    Flacon Field Fail?
    Last night on the news we had an extensive interview with Christy Mastry, the General Manager of Belize Infrastructure Limited. We spoke to her about the 32.9 million dollars new Civic Center - the most expensive public building in Belize's history. But we also spoke to her about a lesser-known project - that came in at 3% of the cost of City center. It's Falcon Field in San Ignacio - which is off Joe Andrews Boulevard. BIL upgraded the entire Field - but did so to the neglect of the basketball court. It got a covered roof - but lost a court, and the players say the new backboards and rim are unsatisfactory. This was voiced most eloquently by Vice President of the Belize Basketball Federation, Karim Juan recently. Juan is the organizer of the BECOL Annual Tournament in the Cayo district - and that tournament is played at Falcon Field. We asked Mastry about it - starting with the rims:... Christy Mastry - General Manager, BIL: "The rims, we ordered the actual standard Gared rims. So we brought in higher profile rims than they had in the first place. We put a covering on that. That covering is meant to serve the general public for public events. It was not necessarily to cater to any kind of semi-enclosed paid event. So I understand the concern from the association that wants to have competitions out there. The list actually that we discussed were really a list of improvements."

    Man Says Weed Fudge Was Peanuts
    Last night, we told you about the 4 men and 1 woman who police caught with a stash of weed and weed fudge. Well tonight, they're out on bail, after being arraigned in Magistrate's Court today. Today, 32 year old Arthur Higgs, 25 year old Eric Humes, 25 year old Adrian Gotoy, 22 year old Keenan Brown and 59 year old Claudette Hyde were all read 2 counts of drug trafficking and 1 count of possession of pipe. They pled not guilty to the charges, and were released on bails of $6,000. They are to return to court on February 12, 2016. As we had reported, around 10: 30 yesterday morning police, members of the Quick Response Team, went to a house, located # 6 Seventh Street, and executed a search. That turned up 142 grams of cannabis, and one ceramic pipe, stuffed inside an old Technics compact disc player. Additionally, the officers found what they believe was 14 pieces of weed fudge.

    Cannabis On Kelly Street
    And police "north side strike team" was back at it today. This morning at 9:00, they searched an open lot on Kelly Street and found just over a pound of weed. Further searches turned up another 7 ounces. No one was in the area so weed was labeled "Found Property". Also this morning, police were on patrols in Pitts Alley, when they saw a man run into a yard and threw a bag away. He was escorted to the area where the bag was thrown and it was retrieved. It was stuffed with 10 small bags of weed. Albert Ford was formally arrested and charged for "Drug Trafficking and Possession of a Controlled Drug".

    South Side Weed A Breeze
    And on the southside this morning, the Southside Strike Team, searched a home on Antelope Street Extension and found 32.7 grams, or just over an ounce of weed. 34-year-old Eckert Williams and 22-year-old and 22-year-old Ashley Mariano were charged jointly for the offence of 'POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED DRUGS." Also, that same team searched an open lot on East Canal where they found 3.7 ounces of weed. In an open lot in Conch Shell Bay police found a larger stash, about a pound and a half of weed. And…an open lot on Louise Bevans Street turned up a small stash of four ounces of weed.

    Post Crash Care
    The road safety project is doing its annual project review - and yesterday that meant a graduation ceremony for medical first responders. They've been trained in post crash care - which is an important part of the entire safety net for road trauma victims. Here's more:.. Dr. Ramon Figueroa, CEO - Ministry of Health "In reviewing some of the statistical information from the Ministry of Health, it is important to note that in 2013 there were a total of 64 fatalities from RTIs. In 2014, these rose to 75. And up to November 25th of this year, our data shows that there are 53 registered fatalities. While every death is important and unnecessary, we must consider the development impact these may have on our country when you realize that over half of these deaths are in the productive age group. These are the people that serve as the economic engine for Belize and we are losing them to preventable cause. The present road safety project specifically in relation to the post-crash care capacity building program, we have already train the first cohort of 18 persons. This cohort pass through the basic life support at the Ministry of Works conference room on July 27th, 2015 followed by the medical first responder program at the George Price Center - this very center for peace and development from July 28th to August 14th, 2015."

    Spelling Without Saying A Word
    Students from all over the country were at the Belize High School Auditorium for the 20th Crystal Spelling Bee for the Hearing Impaired. 5 juniors and 6 seniors competed in several rounds to come out victorious but in the end there were only 3 winners for each category. The coordinator Juanita Cadle told us that apart from this Finger Spelling Bee being an educational experience for the kids, it's also a means by which the community can learn to accept and appreciate these talented kids. As you saw in the footage, the Junior winners are Myline Shish, Daniel Chun and Julian Assi - all from the Cayo Deaf Institute. 1st place Junior and senior receive a kindle and a number of school supplies.

    SMART Says 4g LTE Coming This Month
    It seems both phone companies are in a race to launch Belize's first 4g LTE mobile network. Last week we told you that BTL plans to launch in 2016. Well SMART says it plans to launch later this month. The phone company issued a release today saying that it will begin to roll out the first 4g LTE network in Belize starting on December 15, 2015. The release says the roll out will start in Belize City and all towns and along major highways followed by san Pedro and caye Caulker in January of 2016. SMART says its 4g LTE system will deliver speeds at least ten times faster than its present network. A release says the investment cost 9 million Belize dollars.

    A New Direction For Destination Belize
    The Belize Tourism Industry Association held its 30th Annual General Meeting today - and one of the highlights was the launch of the new Destination Belize platform. Now, it used to be just a glossy magazine, the flagship publication for the BTIA and the BTB. But, a new one hasn't come this year, and that's because the BTIA has brought in McNab design to re-tool the entire effort. Today, Tanya Mcnab told us what "The New Destination Belize" is about: You will see the new edition and package for Destination Belize in September 2016.

    Remembering Andy P, 8 Years Later
    He wowed us with his talent and inspired us with his music: and 7, almost 8 years after he died, Andy Palacio's legend endures. No matter your aged, your race or your identity…if you didn't know Watu, then you probably knew Watina. That's what the members of the Andy Palacio Tribute Committee want you to keep doing to preserve his memory. It was Andy Palacios birthday yesterday and he would have turned 55 if he was still with us. Tribute Committee member Cynthia Cayetano told us why it is important to celebrate Andy. The first ever Andy Palacio Festival will be held this Saturday in Barranco. It starts at 2:00 in the afternoon and ends at 10. If you would like to attend and don't have a ride you can call Cayetano at 677 0799.

    Channel 5

    Elizabeth McKoy Laid to Rest
    The tragic death of three young girls, wards of the Princess Royal Youth Hostel, remains the subject of much scrutiny, condemnation and fiery debate. The minors, Sadisha Arnold, Ana Carlos [...]

    Minister of Civil Aviation Concerned About Breaches of Airspace
    More than a month ago a plane landed at the Municipal Airstrip in Belize City at dawn and taxied into a parking spot. Whoever and whatever were on board then [...]

    Manhunt Underway for Escaped Prisoner Lawrence Bernardez
    Twenty-seven-year-old Lawrence Bernardez, a resident of Lakeland in Dangriga who has a long rap sheet, remains on the lam tonight after escaping from police custody on Wednesday. Police are seeking [...]

    Senator Seeks Inquiry in Nanes Immigration Fiasco
    How did David Nanes Schnitzer acquire Belizean nationality and other IDs? A motion to summon former Acting Director of Immigration Maria Marin before the Senate will be filed during the [...]

    Will Senator/Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse Vote on Inquiry Motion?
    A previous request for an inquiry into the Penner Passport Scandal in which South Korean Fugitive, Won Hong Kim got a Belizean passport while sitting in a Taiwan jail, did [...]

    Belize’s Economic Outlook Downgraded – From Positive to Stable
    A recent Standard and Poor’s research affirms that Belize’s B minus, B rating has been revised to stable from positive, on what is being described as a weaker fiscal position.  [...]

    El Espanol shooter allegedly escaped to Belize in a boat
    El Espanol, Ernesto Alonso de Miguel was killed at a restaurant in Chetumal back on the fourteenth of November. Also killed was top police officer, Agustin Martinez Guevara. A Mexican [...]

    BTIA is 30…Celebrates Achievements and Challenges at AGM
    The private sector Belize Tourism Industry Association is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary, and today members and stakeholders converged on the Ramada Princess for the organization’s thirtieth AGM. As the largest [...]

    Association Requests Financial Assistance from GOB
    The B.T.I.A. is asking government to look at some of the concerns facing the industry where infrastructure and security are concerned, but there is also the cry for more meaningful [...]

    BTL Attorney Confident of Victory in Swasey vs. Mek Mi Rich Case
    Arguments were heard today in the case of Entrepreneur Curtis Swasey from Corozal versus Belize Telemedia and MMR Belize Limited. Swasey says executives of Belize Telemedia Limited used his unique [...]

    MMR Attorney Says Her Clients Did Not Steal Swasey’s Idea
    Mek Mi Rich is owned by businessman Sanjay Hotchandani and Andre Vega, the son of the Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega.  MMR Belize Limited attorney, Naima Barrow, expressed confidence in [...]

    Swasey Attorney Says Case Couldn’t Have Gone Better
    Meanwhile, Swasey’s attorney, Kareem Musa, contends that his client’s case is sufficiently established and that in fact there is enough information by email where Swasey was communicating with B.T.L. about [...]

    Smart Goes 4G LTE in December
    The first 4G LTE network will be launched in Belize on December fifteenth when Smart plans to roll out a new and innovative system countrywide.  LTE, short for Long Term [...]

    Cayo Deaf Institute Excels in Finger Spelling Bee
    This week is being dedicated to persons with disabilities to build awareness as well as to highlight that they too have abilities.  One of the activities was held today at [...]

    Healthy Living asks how not to pack on the pounds over the holidays
    When Christmas time comes around, none of us want to hear the dreaded “D” word….DIET. But, with the abundance of savory and sweet treats available, it’s hard not to derail [...]

    CTV3

    Shipment Of Contraband Cigarettes Allegedly From CFZ Confiscated By Mexican Police
    A truck containing over 4.6 Million cigarettes was seized by the Mexican federal police in the town of Huay-Pix, Mexico and allegations are that the cargo came from the Corozal Commercial Free Zone. Reports coming out of the Mexican Press indicate that while on their daily road patrols the Federal Police were informed by concerned drivers about a truck that was swerving across the road. The Federal Police followed on the lead and caught up with the white Torton Truck as its driver pulled into a gas station. But by the time authorities approached the vehicle, the driver was nowhere to be found. He had abandoned the truck and its cargo which turned out to be 461 cases of cigarettes of various brands. The cases contained a total of 230 thousand 500 packs of product translating to approximately 4 million 610 thousand cigarettes which were allegedly brought into Mexico from the Corozal Free Zone. The truck was secured and taken to the Federal Police Station. The Mexican police are conducting an investigation into how the vehicle and its cargo entered Mexican territory.

    Traffic Wardens Equip With Public Relation Strategies
    Road Safety does not only entail following the traffic laws and norms when on the road. Traffic safety also has plenty to do with the relationship shared between the traffic officer and the operator of a vehicle. In an effort to build a better relationship between traffic officers and the general public, the Orange Walk Town Council today held a two hour training session on public relation and behaviors with the aim of improving traffic safety. The training session falls under the umbrella of the Belize Road Safety Project and was facilitated by international consultant and advisor for road safety to Belize, Mavis Johnson.

    Did The Image Of Guadalupe Appeared On Plantain Tree?
    Three months ago residents of Xaibe Village began constructing a chapel for the Virgin of Guadalupe. The chapel now houses a 4 foot image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. But that’s not what’s making news tonight. The story today is that residents of Xaibe strongly believe that the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared on a plantain tree located in the yard of a devoted Catholic. According to Diego Tzul, the image appeared this morning and the first person to come across the image was his aunt. Diego Tzul Witness: “Sinceramente en la mañana como a las ocho a las ocho y media mi tía estaba lavando los trastes cuando ella miro a donde estaba la mata de plátano y ella dice que en la cual vio la cara de la imagen.” Reporter: “Cuál fue la expresión de tu tía cuando ella vio la imagen aparecida en el plátano?”

    Special Olympics Belize Celebrates Disability Week With National Games
    As mentioned at the top of the newscast this week is being celebrated as Disability. Intertwining with the week is the National Games organized by Special Olympics Belize. Saint Peter’s Anglican School, as every year, will be participating in the National Games scheduled to take place at the Marion Jones Stadium on Friday. The Special Ed students will be competing for a spot to represent Belize in the Special Olympics International Games. But for Special Olympics Belize it is not all about winning a spot to participate in the International Games with the rest of the world. The aim is to assist in the development of Special Needs students through sports.

    SMART Launch New 4GLTE Service
    Tonight there is great news for Smart customers. According to the telecommunication company they are soon to roll out the first 4G LTE Network in Belize. According to representatives of the company, with this new network Smart will provide its customers the experience of wireless download speeds never before achieved on smart phones and other mobile devices in Belize at affordable prices. Josue Carballo- SMART: “Actually SMART before Christmas, going towards the 15th we will be officially launching our LTE Network, our Long Term Evolution Network, actually it is a new technology it is the most advanced technology in the mobile networks through the world and we are really glad to be introducing this in time for Christmas and we are talking about Turbo charged Internet basically broadband type internet in your device and it is called 4G because it is the fourth generation we started, you know we started off with the analogue then we went with the digital phones and the 2G’s and now with the 3G’s that is more stable now under the 3G’s SMART phones and now 4G’s are zoom plus and it is an addition and it is going to be really nice toe of the line turbo charges speeds.”

    Mexican Authorities Says El Espanol Killer Might Be Belizean
    “El Espanol’s” killer, is allegedly of Belizean Nationality, that is what the Mexican Press is reporting tonight. While the Attorney General of the State has not requested formal collaboration of Belizean authorities in the absence of a diplomatic agreement between the two countries; they have discussed to exchange information that could assist in the capture of the man presumed to have murdered Ernesto Alonso de Miguel aka "El Espanol and Ministerial police Agustín Martínez Guevara that occurred on November 14th. Both men were executed by a lone gunman while having dinner at a restaurant in Chetumal Quintana Roo, Mexico. From the descriptions of witnesses and the images captured by surveillance cameras from a nearby establishment, all indications are that the perpetrator of the double execution is of Belizean origin.

    LOVE FM

    Mek Mi Rich Trial Concludes in Supreme Court
    Corozal businessman Curtis Dale Swasey is accusing Belize Telemedia Limited of breaching a non disclosure agreement making it possible for the owners of Mek Mi Rich to use his idea and making themselves rich. Swasey contends that he had developed an idea of a lottery game show involving cell phone texting. He called it Super […]

    Woman Gets Shot in Armed Robbery
    Three siblings were walking home in Belmopan when they were held up at gunpoint, resulting in one of them being shot. Fem Cruz has the story. FEM CRUZ “Belmopan police are investigating a non fatal shooting incident that has left a 22-year-old, woman of Maya Mopan Village hospitalized at the KHMH. According to the sister […]

    Woman Escapes Rape on Ambergris Caye
    Authorities on Ambergris Caye are investigating a report made by a 35-year-old woman who says she was sexually assaulted in physically injured whilst sitting on a dock near the beach. The incident reportedly took place on Monday, November 30 at around eleven o’clock that night. The woman, Abigail Lopez, told police that whilst on the […]

    Woman Says Police on Caye Caulker Are Disrespectful
    A woman on Caye Caulker is outraged at the treatment and lack of professionalism that officers on the island have been displaying. According to Suzanne Blease, she was in a golf cart last night just after midnight with her spouse, 29-year-old, Kevin Welch when they were intercepted by the police. She spoke to Love News […]

    Anti-Crime Christmas Campaign Starts
    Commander of the Eastern Division, South, Superintendent Chester Williams has commented saying that the authorities are considering some sort of reward to the persons who aided in the murder case of businessman, Ruben Perez on November 26 near the junction of Vernon Street and the George Price Highway. Ordinarily, rewards would be given through the […]

    House Search Lands Five Before Magistrate Mendoza
    Four men and one woman were charged with 2 counts of drug trafficking and 1 count of possession of pipe when they appeared today before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. They are 32-year-old, Arthur Higgs; 25-year-old, Eric Humes; 25-year-old, Adrian Gotoy; 22-year- old, Keenan Brown and 59-year-old, Claudette Hyde. The five pled not guilty to the charges. […]

    Prisoner Bernardez on the Run
    Police are asking the public’s assistance in recapturing a prisoner who escaped from police custody enroute to the Belize Central Prison yesterday. 27-year-old, Lawrence Bernardez of the Lakeland Area in Dangriga is a dark skinned man, estimated to be about six feet tall with dreadlocks. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Lawrence Bernardez is asked to […]

    Firearm Offences Gets Bennett Five Years in Prison
    Eighteen year old Richard Bennett Jr., one of 7 persons charged with kept a prohibited firearm and kept ammunition without a gun license, pled guilty to the charges when he appeared today before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. Bennett was sentenced to 3 years for the firearm and 5 years for the ammunition. The sentences are to […]

    Barrow Administration Receives Further Accolades on Oil Exploration Ban
    The accolades for the Barrow administration continue to come in following the decision to ban offshore oil exploration in certain areas including the World Heritage Sites. As recent as today, the former Programme Specialist for the Special Projects Unit at UNESCO World Heritage Centre Marc Patry told the Communications Specialist at the Caribbean Community Climate […]

    Andy Palacio Remembered in Festival
    For more details on the upcoming Andy Palacio Musical Festival in Barranco, we join Paul Mahung. PAUL MAHUNG Plans are in place for Andy Palacio Musical Festival in Barranco. One of the coordinators Dr. Ana Arzu of Wagiya Foundation and Arzu Mountain Spirit of Toledo Spoke to Love News of plans. DR ANA ARZU “The […]

    PlusTV

    NEAB explains split from Belize Association of evangelical Churches
    Today in Belize City, the majority of pastors forming the executive team of the National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB) spoke to the press concerning the schism with the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches (BAEC) which began in September. The new Association, which represents thousa...

    Prisoner escapes from Police in Hattieville
    One of three prisoners from Dangriga Town who was being escorted by police to the Kolbe Foundation Central Prison in Hattieville Tuesday afternoon escaped while nearing the destination and police are on the lookout for him. Prisoners Laurence Bernardez, Eden Guzman and Daniel McKenzie were being dri...

    Environmentalists pleased
    Tuesday evening’s announcement that offshore petroleum exploration would be banned in the vicinity of the Belize Barrier Reef System and certain protected areas is cause for celebration in the environmentalist camp, as for the past four years they have been advocating a complete ban on offshore acti...

    COLA Pleased with Sarstoon Base
    Last week it was announced by Minister of National Security John Saldivar that next Wednesday, December 9, there would be ground-breaking in the Toledo District for a joint Forward Operating Base overlooking the Sarstoon River. The base is to be manned by both the Belize Defence Force and Coast Guar...

    Investigation into burned plane continues
    Yesterday we told you about the plane that landed behind Spanish Lookout and was quickly set on fire after it was emptied of its passenger(s) and content. Some additional information has crossed our desk that the aircraft was most likely a Cessna 210 and not a 172 as was previously reported.As we t...

    COLA Pleased with Sarstoon Base
    Last week it was announced by Minister of National Security John Saldivar that next Wednesday, December 9, there would be ground-breaking in the Toledo District for a joint Forward Operating Base overlooking the Sarstoon River. The base is to be manned by both the Belize Defence Force and Coast Guar...

    Environmentalists pleased
    Tuesday evening’s announcement that offshore petroleum exploration would be banned in the vicinity of the Belize Barrier Reef System and certain protected areas is cause for celebration in the environmentalist camp, as for the past four years they have been advocating a complete ban on offshore acti...

    Prisoner escapes from Police in Hattieville
    One of three prisoners from Dangriga Town who was being escorted by police to the Kolbe Foundation Central Prison in Hattieville Tuesday afternoon escaped while nearing the destination and police are on the lookout for him. Prisoners Laurence Bernardez, Eden Guzman and Daniel McKenzie were being dri...

    NEAB explains split from Belize Association of evangelical Churches
    Today in Belize City, the majority of pastors forming the executive team of the National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB) spoke to the press concerning the schism with the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches (BAEC) which began in September. The new Association, which represents thousa...

    The Guardian

    Government bans offshore oil drilling
    The Cabinet has approved a legal ban on offshore oil exploration in areas along the Belize Barrier Reef System, and within 7 world Heritage sites. It is a welcomed decision that has already been endorsed by conservationists, and specifically Oceana Belize, which has been one of the main organizations that has been pushing for it. The Cabinet met on Tuesday, December 1, after the issue had been a matter for consideration for several months now. The Cabinet has agreed to ban offshore oil exploration in all 7 world Heritage Sites namely, the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve and National Park, the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve and National Park, the Lighthouse Reef Natural Monument, the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, the Laughing Bird Caye National Park, the Glovers Reef Marine Reserve, and the Sapodilla Caye Marine Reserve. That’s a total of 448 square miles, and in addition to that, Cabinet has also agreed to ban offshore exploration within one kilometer on either side of the Belizean Barrier Reef System, resulting in another 868 square miles of territorial waters getting protection under the offshore exploration. v

    Investigation into Youth Hostel fire underway
    Three Staffers at the Youth Hostel have been placed on administrative leave, and an independent investigation has been triggered following the deaths of 14 year old Elizabeth Mckoy, 16 year olds Shadisha Arnold and Anna Carlos. As has been widely reported, they perished in a fire which burnt down the building that they were padlocked in. So, why were they barricaded in? Well, according to the head of the Hostel, they were part of a group of 4 girls who escaped the day before, on Friday, November 27. As part of the disciplinary protocol of the Hostel, they were confined to one of the 3 rooms in the building used to house female residents at the facility. They were kept there for a 24 hour period where certain privileges were taken away. The suspicion is that a young girl with the lighter set fire to the pillow to create a distraction for the officer on duty. That would cause the officer to open the door and let them out, and while this officer was trying to put the fire out, they would have used the time to run away.

    Guatemalan President visits the country of Belize’s head of state
    Guatemalan President Elect Jimmy Morales, who has become sort of infamous in Belize even before his official ascent to office, was in Belize on Saturday, November 28. He was here for a courtesy call on Prime Minister Dean Barrow as part of a Pre-Inaugural familiarization tour. It would have been just as he had done in all the other countries he visited before coming to Belize, but instead several media houses publicly speculated that he would not. It has been well publicized in the local press that Morales made some worrying aggressive remarks during his campaign to win his first ever Presidential Elections. Had the President Elect’s itinerary been actually researched, it would have been revealed that Morales had discussed a visit to Prime Minister Barrow with Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala, Alexis Rosado. He arrived in Belize City, on Saturday, November 28, just after 12 a.m by a convoy which drove from across the border at Chetumal, Mexico. Before that he had been visiting with the Mexican President. He reportedly crossed the border at around 10 p.m., and took a two hour drive to the Radisson Hotel in Belize City. At around 9 a.m., Morales met with Prime Minister Barrow at his Coney Drive Office. An official press release from the Government says, “Prime Minister…Barrow… received President Elect…Jimmy Morales… In a cordial atmosphere, they both congratulated each other for their respective recent victories at the polls.

    Shyne endorsed by PM Barrow
    Moses “Shyne” Barrow is at this point in time fully engaged in the legwork that it takes to win a constituency convention as he is pounding the pavement knocking on individual doors in the Mesopotamia constituency. And as Shyne makes his way though the constituency he has the backative of his uncle, current Area Representative, Michael Finnegan. Earlier this week, that support was bolstered by the support which was thrown behind him by the Prime Minister, and Shyne’s father, Hon. Dean Barrow who has without reservation stated that “he has my blessing. He is my son and if that’s what he chooses to do I will of course support him.” In politics support goes a long way especially from the higher echelons of the party but what goes further is the work that individual candidates put in. Speaking to the Guardian, Shyne explained that,”I don’t want a free run, all I want is an opportunity.” And the way in which Shyne has been moving, he does not only want an opportunity, he is going for it.

    Inspiration Center launches Calendar and Agenda
    Kim Simplis Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and children on Tuesday December 1, launched the 2016 Inspiration Calendar and Agenda. The event is one of the yearly fundraisers that is organized to help in the everyday operations of the institution. As a collaborative effort, McNab designs produces the agenda and calendar for sale on a yearly basis and at the end of the year presents the proceeds of the sales to the Inspiration Center. This year, a check for $24 thousand dollars was handed over to Barrow as proceeds from sales. An additional $400,000 was also presented by Taiwan’s Ambassador to Belize, H.E. Benjamin Ho which is support financing from the government of the Republic of China on Taiwan to the Inspiration Center. Speaking on the contributions, Mrs. Barrow explained that the calendar is part of the Inspiration Center showcasing children with special needs and highlighting that they can actively participate in society. The paintings which are featured in the calendar are from children who seek services at the center and come up with them during the institution’s yearly summer programs. Mrs. Barrow says that the calendar underscores that children with special needs who can be advocated for and have rights as well as talents to participate in society.

    Emmerson Burke dies in traffic accident
    Well known real estate broker, Emmerson Burke lost his life on Friday November 27. Reports by police indicate that on that day at about 6:08a.m. they visited an area on the Southern Highway between Bladden and Medina Bank Villages known as Machaca Creek where they found Burke’s black Toyota Tundra pickup truck wedged into the guard rail of the highway. About 8 feet away from the driver’s side door they found the body of Burke. He was lying face up and was apparently dead. Reports are that Burke was travelling to a farm he has in the area when he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into the guard rail which penetrated through the front portion of the vehicle all the way to the tail gate.

    Troy Treston Cole remanded for shooting at Gilroy Randolph Arnold
    On Friday November 27, Troy Treston Cole, 26 appeared in Magistrate court after being accused of shooting at but missing Gilroy Randolph Arnold. Cole who was unrepresented when he appeared before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser where he was read a single charge of aggravated assault with a firearm upon Gilroy Randolph Arnold. The incident is said to have occurred on Wednesday, November 25, 2015 on Bocotora Street in Belize City. Allegations being made by Arnold is that he was on the street when Cole approached him and with a firearm in his hand, open fire shooting several shots in his direction, luckily the shots missed him and he escaped harm.

    Customs fines man thousands for contraband vegetables
    It took the Customs Department some months to catch up with an Orange Walk businessman, 28 year old Sergio Chi, who was first caught back in July of this year with a little under $5,000 in uncustomed goods including 21 sacks of onions, 10 cases of tomatoes, 2 sacks of sweet peppers, 10 cases of corn flour and 4 sacks of cabbage, and in court, after he pleaded guilty to the charge, he was slapped with triple the value of the vegetables amounting to $13, 245.00 by Magistrate Deborah Rogers. In July of this year, the matter first came up before the court after the department had first found him with the items and he agreed to settle the matter out of court but failed to do so the following day. Since then Chi was nowhere to be found until a week ago when the customs department caught up with him and took him to court on Tuesday December 1. Allegations are that on July 27, 2015, being the driver of a green GMC Safari van with license plate C-43928 he had in his possession, 21 sacks of onion, 10 cases of tomatoes, 2 sacks of sweet pepper, 10 cases of corn flour and 4 sacks of cabbages which when combined amounted to a market value of $4,450.

    Court confiscates bail of accused after he refuses to show up in court
    Aaron Flowers, 20, a Belize City resident who has a number of drug related offenses before the court, appeared before Magistrate Deborah Rogers accompanied by his attorney, Phillip Palacio on Wednesday December 2 to address the matter of him not showing up at court. His attorney, Palacio told the court that his client told him that he could not walk and was for that reason unable to attend court. In June of this year, Flowers was shot and according to him, a bullet is lodged in his body. He told Magistrate Rogers in court today that it has only been 3 to four weeks now since he has been able to walk properly but said that prior to that, he was unable to walk. But what disturbed the court was when the court prosecutor told the magistrate that he has seen Flowers on two occasions hanging out at different parts of the city. He said that on the second occasion, he was heading to the Fabers road police station when he spotted Flowers and by the time he got a mobile from the station to go pick him up, Flowers had disappeared from the area.

    Murder in Ladyville
    Kevin Peters, a reputed affiliate of the Taylor’s Alley Gang, was murdered in front of his family’s home in Ladyville on Thursday, November 26. He was socializing with his family and friends, and they were having a Thanksgiving get-together. It happened at around 8:30 p.m. on Samuel Gray Street, in an area of Ladyville known as “Japan”. That area has seen a lot of violent crimes in the past. Sources tell the media that on Thursday night, his sister, Carla Escarpeta, hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for the family, and he was invited. He reportedly ate with his family, socialized with a few friends, and shortly after that, went to buy marijuana for a smoke. When he was returning home, he was just a few hundred feet from his sister’s yard, when he reportedly stopped to finish his smoke. That’s when an unknown assailant came up from behind and shot him at least 4 times. One of those injuries was to the abdomen, and reports are that the gunman ran off and made his escape.

    Teenagers charged for killing businessman Rueben Perez
    Two teenagers ages 18 and 19 are behind bars after being charged with the murder of businessman, Rueben Perez which occurred on Thursday, November 26, 2015 on Vernon Street in Belize City at his business. After being in lock down since Friday evening, 19 year old Tyrone Reid, a Construction Worker of Cohune Street, Belmopan City and who once lived on Western Avenue in Belize City along with 18 year old Keon Dennison, of Dangriga Town are on remand at the Belize City prison. They were arraigned for the murder of Rueben Perez which occurred last week Thursday. Surveillance footage at Perez’ business place at the far end of Vernon street show that at around 3:00p.m. on Thursday two young men rode bicycles into the compound. After getting off their bicycles the men approached Perez who was seated inside his business. He met the men just as they entered the door and within seconds one of them pulled out a gun and pointed it at Perez. He attempted to struggle with the unarmed assailant but that was when he was shot by the other individual. He received a single shot to the neck which proved fatal.

    Woman bailed after discharging firearm in casino
    A female tour operator who police alleged was under the influence of alcohol when she discharged her licensed 380 firearm inside a casino on Caye Caulker was granted a $5,000 Supreme Court bail. Vanessa Medvedkov, 32, tour guide was granted bail after being charged with discharging a firearm in public, possession of a firearm whilst under the influence of alcohol and failure to provide specimen Medvedkov was granted at Supreme Court by Denis S. Hanomansingh when she appeared on Friday November 27th. Justice Hanomansingh offered her bail in the sum of $5,000 plus one surety of the same amount with conditions in which he ordered her to report to the Caye Caulker Police Station every Friday, between the hours of 7:30 a.m., and6:00 p.m., effective Friday, December 4, 2015. She must also attend all her court dates and be present at her next adjournment set for January 12, 2016. She was also ordered to surrender her travelling documents to the clerk of court as well as not interfere with any of the prosecution witness while she is out on bail.

    Oceana supports government’s ban on offshore drilling along barrier reef system
    Oceana Belize applauds the announcement of the Government of Belize (GoB) today to permanently ban offshore oil exploration along the Belize Barrier Reef System and within the country’s seven World Heritage Sites. With a moratorium on all offshore oil activity in Belizean waters already in place, this move represents a tremendous step forward for Belize and her people as, for the foreseeable future, Belize’s entire marine area is protected from the inherent hazards of offshore oil. The decision taken today by the GoB reflects recognition of what the people of Belize have been asking for years: the protection of job security, food security and cultural identity. From legal, economic, scientific and cultural perspectives, Belizeans agree offshore oil is a bad idea. We remain confident that the future will continue to reveal reasons why Belizeans should never risk our outstanding and globally unique resources with this type of activity. “This progress should be seen as a major accomplishment by and for the people of Belize,” says Oceana’s Vice President for Belize, Janelle Chanona. Oceana Belize looks forward to reviewing the details of the Barrow administration’s plans, especially as it relates to the status of two marine protected areas not named in the release: the Turneffe Marine Reserve and the Port Honduras Marine Reserve.

    PUP gives up on Petro Caribe challenge
    The voters of Belize have spoken on all things governance, and on November 4, they endorsed the decisions of the Barrow Government. So, it comes as no surprise that the PUP’s last political football has been deflated. Julius Espat, the PUP Deputy Leader who sued Prime Minister Dean Barrow over the Petro Caribe spending, withdrew his lawsuit on Tuesday, December 1, the first of 2 days when the case was scheduled to have a full trial. Reporters showed up to court on Tuesday expecting, as they had read on the case schedule that Espat’s lawsuit would have been heavily contested by the legal big guns of the two political parties. They made a grand show of it, taking an adversarial stance on all things Petro just for disagreement’s sake.

    Protesting or Posturing?
    On Friday evening it was confirmed that President Elect Jimmy Morales would make his scheduled visit that night with the intent of paying a courtesy visit to the Prime Minister of Belize the Saturday morning around 10:30 am. No sooner was the word of that visit out when calls started to be made by COLA to those PROTESTUTES that are usually EMPLOYED at all previous COLA PROTESTS. Only this time there was a huge problem, there was no money to pay the Protestutes. So Geovanni the COLA man had to make the decision to go with who he had. By this time he had a huge crowd of FIVE (5) people, namely himself, Yaya Marin-Coleman, Rosalie Staines, Will Mehia and Patrick Rogers. It seemed like not even those candidates who were a part of Rogers’ slate in the election just a little over 3 weeks earlier wanted to join their Leader who had formed an alliance with Brackett. Well the G-5 hatched their plan on how to make a big splash to gain some sympathy and get seen first on social media then get their airtime on the talkshow circuit leading up to the TV News . They had to use the unsuspecting media houses who would be out a plenty on Saturday.

    Somewhere under the Rainbow
    There is a strange looking Christmas tree in Orange Walk in the Central Park. It resembles a Teepee like the types we used to see the Native American Indians use in those Cowboy Movies. There is one twist to this one though. This one has peculiar colors. It appears to have been made from a large RAINBOW COLORED FLAG. We were made to understand that the tree construction was commissioned by the Orange Walk Mayor Kevin Bernard and paid for by the Town Board. Many Orange Walkeños have been going to the park to look at the strange looking structure to try and figure out what it is. Most of them have been heard hurling insults and profanities towards the direction of the Town Hall. Some of those I dare not put on paper.

    Bleachers inaugurated in Bullet Tree Village
    The BELIZE Natural Energy Charitable Trust is pleased to have partnered with the Bullet Tree Village Council and the Cayo North Sports Committee to fund the construction of two bleachers and two canopies. In May 2015, the Trust approved grant funding in the amount of $49,000 for this project. Construction started in June 2015 and took four months for completion. Inauguration of the facility was held on Friday morning, November 27th, 2015 at the football field in the village of Bullet Tree. Hon. Dr. Omar Figueroa, Area Representative for Cayo North, delivered the keynote address. Over the past decade, the village of Bullet Tree has been experiencing population growth and serves as the hub for sporting activities such as football and softball in the area. This growth has brought with it the need to improve and expand sporting facilities. The football field was being used for multiple sporting events that are played throughout the week and into the weekend. Unfortunately, the football field’s seating arrangements were non-existent and made it challenging for families, the elderly and children to watch the activities for extended hours. It is expected that the facilities will provide sporting options for the youths and children of Bullet Tree Village.

    Belmopan Bandits top seed into Premier League of Belize playoffs
    The Premier League of Belize regular season for the Opening Season Tournament came to an end on Sunday 29 November, 2015 with a single game on the schedule out at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town. The only game played on the Sunday was between the Police United FC and the National Football Champions Verdes FC that ended in a 1-1 draw. The home team Police United got on the scoreboard first when Harrison Roches scored the first goal of the game in the 62nd minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. However, the lead was short lived as the defending National Football Champions Verdes FC with a late surge was able to penetrate the Police United defence, which allowed Deon McCaulay to score the equalising goal in the 88th minute of play. For Police United FC, it advance into the playoffs as the number two seed while the defending national Football champions Verdes FC advances as the number four seed into the playoffs.

    Leslie’s Imports/Belize City Council Pre-Christmas Race
    The Cycling Federation of Belize in collaboration with Leslie’s Imports and the Belize City Council will be holding its Pre-Christmas Race on Sunday 20 December, 2015. The Elite Riders and the Master Riders race will commence at 9:00 am from the San Ignacio Town at the Police Station to Leslie’s Imports at Mile 1 1/2 on the George Price Highway. The station prizes locations for this event will be at the following points along the route: Go Slow, Belmopan Cut-Off, Beaver Dam Bridge, La Democracia and Hattieville. In the Elite category, the first rider to cross the finish line will receive $700.00; second place will receive $400.00 and third place will receive $250.00. In the Masters category, the first rider to cross the finish line will receive $300.00; second place will receive $200.00 and third place will receive $150.00.

    Hattieville Government School girls and Burrell Boom Methodist boys win Belize Rural Zone Volleyball
    The Belize Rural Primary School Volleyball elimination for zones 1, 2, 3 and 4 were held on Tuesday 1 December, 2015, at the Star’s Volleyball Gym. In the first game in the boys’ competition, Hattieville Government School defeated Our Lady of Lourdes School by the score of 25-19 and 25-16. In the second game in the boys’ competition, Burrell Boom Methodist School defeated Lucky Strike Government School in two sets by the score of 25-17 and 25-15. In the boys’ championship game, Burrell Boom Methodist School defeated Hattieville Government School in two sets by the score of 25-18 and 25-16.

    Full Recess
    No matter from which angle I look at it, I cannot find a sensible reason why those five persons went to protest the visit of the president-elect of Guatemala. What purpose did the mini protest serve except to create a little bit of entertainment in the news and perhaps give topic for an editorial? No one is denying that Guatemala has an unfounded and wearisome claim to our country, but this president is not the first nor will he be the last to take a bellicose stand on the issue during election time in that country. This claim has been there for over a century, and it simply refuses to go away, hanging there like a pesky mosquito buzzing behind our ears. Creating a scene in front of a motorcade will not get us any nearer to finding a solution. After we gained our Independence, the problem became fully Belizeanized, and as a people we must make it a national issue with sober minds at the forefront of the effort for resolution. If we were to look at the other side of the coin regarding the protest, how would we as a people feel if our Prime Minister was picketed during a diplomatic visit to another country? No matter what, save for having committed atrocious acts against humanity, our leaders represent us and we should lend them our solidarity when they go abroad. In that light, we must claim the same respect be given them as we give others when they visit.

    Community service as a graduation requirement
    Coming closer to the end of a school year, many students drive themselves insane, trying to debate the importance of graduation requirements instead of simply accepting them and finding a work place to get community service hours. Though some may question the value of this seemingly tedious task, community service is important for many reasons. Since not everyone takes initiative in volunteering and giving back to the community, it teaches compassion and understanding to those who lack such qualities. One of the greatest things about community service is that there are many opportunities and choices right in your neighborhood. You can volunteer for something you really believe and have an interest in, and can volunteer as much or as little as you’d like or have time for. Students shy away from community service with the excuse of being stressed out from completing homework, studying for tests, and doing chores at home. However, many students fail to realize that on the weekends and within all the free time they have on their side, they could have been completing community service hours like they’d complete any regular assignment. Community service teaches the responsibility of time management, and it is not a complete waste of time. Since it mimics the reality of having a real job, students really learn how to complete tasks within a limited amount of time, and eventually learn how much of a burden procrastination can become.

    East bound Westline Bus bursts into flames in Cayo
    An east bound commuter bus filled with 40 men and 5 women from both Benque Viejo del Carmen and San Ignacio Town began experiencing mechanical problems around Orange Gallery on the George Price Highway in the Cayo District on Tuesday morning, after which it burst into flames. Fortunately, the passengers were able to alight the vehicle just in time and no one was injured. The bus was making its regular run taking workers to the Santander sugar factory in the Banana Bank Area, when somewhere around 5:45 am and 6:00 am the driver felt the bus stalling, so he pulled to the right side at mile 60; just after the curve coming out of Unitedville and towards Belmopan. Owner of the Westline Bus, Sergio Chuc has explained to reporters that the driver at the time believed that the wheels had locked on him and that the friction between the brake lining, which was already too low, and other surfaces had started a small fire to the side of the bus. That fire also spread to the engine. Firemen responded to the incident, but the bus was already completely engulfed by flames. The driver then called his supervisor, who sent another bus 15 minutes later to pick up the passengers and take them to their destination.

    Fund Raising Run from Belmopan to Santa Elena
    A fund raising for the Belmopan Cancer Society BCS was held on Saturday morning November 21. As part of the fund raising, over 24 runners from Belmopan went along the George Price Highway, with a generous aim to reaching the Social Security building in Santa Elena Town, Cayo. Waiting at the Social Security building in Santa Elena for over an hour was the Mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, Earl Trapp Junior. In a brief ceremony to mark the occasion of the runners reaching their mark, Mayor Earl Trapp distributed limited edition awards that had been donated by his colleague in Belmopan, Mayor Khalid Belisle. “I am honored to have been given the opportunity to issue these medals,” Mayor Earl Trapp told the exhausted runners,” who had just a few minutes earlier traversed over a long stretch of asphalt. “I encourage everyone to come together, united in trying to provide or get a better service and support for the people that are suffering today [with cancer],” he said.

    Fire suppressants to be put in place at the Youth Hostel
    There have been criticism of the National Fire Service and their response to the fire which claimed the lives of 3 girls at the Youth Hostel. The bosses at the Fire Department assert that the firefighters did their very best. The first issue raised is that the fire trucks arrived late, half an hour after the fire had been lit. The fire was reported to them at 2:34 p.m. on Saturday, about 4 minutes or so after the blaze had been lit. The truck from Belize arrived at the scene and got into operation at around 3:05 p.m. It had to travel 21 miles to get the Hostel because there is no Fire station that could have responded from a closer area. By the time they arrived, the fire was already in the free burn stage, and the firefighters were already taking on a losing battle. The Station Manager of the Belize National Fire Service conceded to the media that the first truck ran out of water at the scene, and the firefighters had to try to find other sources of water. They unloaded the 700 gallons that the truck arrived with and 2 more trucks were brought in. They could not use the water from the nearby stream, which was pumping sediments into the truck’s tank.

    A plea for the Youth Hostel
    The tragic death of three young girls, Anna Melinda Carlos, 14; Elizabeth McCoy, 14; Shadisha Arnold, 16; has led to much finger pointing in many quarters but the loss of the young ladies' lives has led the Chief Executive Officer in the ministry of Human Development, Judith Alpuche to call out on the entire public to assist. In an interview conducted by the Press Office Alpuche explained that she was intrigued by the Facebook comments on the entire situation and more so about the skill sets that people had and she is now inviting those people to be a part of the solution to an ongoing problem. She stated that, " I saw people commenting about the skill sets that they had; like there were psychologist with experience in dealing with this population, lawyers, doctors etc., and that's what we need. We need more skills. We need more energy and more skills to accelerate this process that we are pushing towards and determine to see happen.

    San Ignacio Police start active patrols
    On Tuesday the San Ignacio Police Formation began active police patrols in the Santa Cruz, Santa Elena, Kontiki and Santiago Juan Layout as part of its Christmas Anti Crime Campaign. As the Police do their part to keep us safe, Deputy Officer in Charge Reymundo Reyes says we can also do our part in being safe. It is during the Christmas Season that members of families travel abroad or go to a different District for an extended time. Reymundo Reyes suggests that we should leave someone that we trust to be in charge of the house or sleep therein while we are away. From his many years of experience in policing, Reymundo Reyes says criminals study our travelling to and fro, “Criminals actually study your movement…they know who you are…,” he says.

    Agreement on Cooperation in “Genetic Improvement in Sheep and Goat Project between Belize-Taiwan”
    The “Genetic Improvement for Sheep and Goat Breeding Belize-Taiwan Project” was signed on December 2, 2015 by Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Gaspar Vega in his capacity as Minister for Agriculture and the Ambassador of the Republic of China(Taiwan) H.E. Mr. Benjamin Ho. The main objectives to be accomplished through the project are as follows: 1. Improvement and development of the National Small Ruminant Center at Central Farm. 2. Introduction of quality breeding stocks and renew breeding stock so as to improve the productivity of stock. 3. The capacity building and technical training of the Ministry’s livestock technicians and officers, and the small ruminant producers in the country including the establishment of a traceability registry for the herd. Sheep and goat production have tremendous growth opportunity on the national market but also on the regional export market. This project will complement other ongoing initiatives and place the industry on a firm footing for development. In particular the traceability/registry component will provide the base on which an export market could develop.

    Tilapia Farming for Cayo
    A one day Tilapia Farming Workshop was held on Wednesday November 25 at a Belize and Taiwanese built Tilapia Hatchery Center in Central Farm. In opening the workshop, the Director of the Central Farm Research and Innovation Center told the participants, “…be prepared to be exicited, challenged and inspired.” An introduction to the Government of Belize and Republic of China Aquaculture Project was provided by its coordinator, Miguel Sosa. He explained to farmers, students and businessmen that the GOB-ROC Aquaculture Project started in 2012 and ends in 2017, with a budget of USD $2,500,000 to operate on. The plan for the hatchery in Central Farm is to have the capacity to produce one million fingerlings, deriving from its 16 concrete tanks and 16 earthen ponds. These are coming to closer reality thanks to funding from the Taiwan Economic Development Fund based in Taipei. As from 1996, the Government of Taiwan had decided to create the International Cooperative and Development Fund (Taiwan ICDF) and has so far carried out 155 projects at the Global level.

    Drug plane lands and is burnt
    Police Investigators from the West are trying to figure out the users and cargo of a mystery plane that was found burnt in an area west of Spanish Lookout. Information reaching the police and the press is that the plane was heard circling over Spanish Lookout without lights at around 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday, December 1. As soon as the day light hours arrived, it was found on a farm road in the Green Hills, near Aguacate Creek. It was completely destroyed. What the police are pretty certain of is that it did not crash-land, and no one died. Rather, police believe that this was a drug plane that was abandoned and deliberately set ablaze. The state authorities from Police and Civil Aviation were called in, and they determined that it was a single engine Cessna 210 aircraft. Beyond that, the wreckage is too damaged to allow for any other details to be discoverable. The suspicion at this time is that this plane was used to transport drugs, most-likely across the Guatemalan border, which is not that far from Aguacate Creek. This destruction confirms to police that whatever the cargo was must have been more valuable, and that the persons who were inside probably torched the plane to destroy evidence.

    Businesswoman must pay fine for not filing GST
    A businesswoman who failed to pay 3 months of GST must now pay the court $1,500 plus $5.00 in fines after she pleaded guilty to three counts of not filing GST. Esela Simmons, 50, of 11 Freetown Road, appeared before Magistrate Deborah Rogers to answer to three counts of failure to file GST reports. She pleaded guilty to the three counts and was fined. Allegations being made by the GST office against Simmons is that for the months of June, July and August, 2015, she fail to file GST reports. Simmons tried to explain that when she fail to do so, she visited the office where she spoke with a woman and she explain to her that she did the filing but saved it on her flash drive and that she lost the flash drive and could not relocate it in time to make a payment for those months. She told Magistrate Rogers that in her conversation with the woman, she was told to bring in the payments as soon as she found the information so she was of the view that it was ok until she got a summons to report to court for the charge.

    Businessman busted with .22 gun
    Businessman, Nayef Khodr Agha, 33, a Belizean national of #5655 Lizarraga Avenue, Kings Park Area, Belize City was remanded to the Belize Central Prison after police allege they busted him at his home with a .22 pistol and 1 live round. He appeared on Monday November 30 at the Belize City Magistrate’s Court of newly appointed Magistrate, Carlon Mendoza where he was read two criminal offenses for gun related offenses. Agha who claimed he is being represented by attorney, Dickie Bradley appeared alone in court and when the charges were read to him he pleaded not guilty. Allegations are that on Friday, November 27, 2015, while at his Lizarraga Avenue home, he was found in possession of a chrome in colour .22 pistol with markings Bersa Thunder, along with a .22 chrome in colour ammunition with the letter C on the base of the round.

    Russell Hyde Junior granted Supreme Court bail
    On Friday November 27 Russell Hyde Junior of Roaring Creek Village appeared in Supreme Court where he was granted bail by Supreme Court judge, Denis S. Hanomandsingh. Russell Hyde Junior and 18 year old Justin Banner were jointly charged with the offense of having in their possession ammunition without being granted a gun license. Allegations against the two are that on November 4, 2015, whilst at Sunview Hotel Room #5, on Morrison Avenue, Belmopan City, Cayo District, they kept, 2-9 mm live rounds Aquila brand ammunition and 1 GLF 9 mm live rounds of Lugar ammunition for which a gun license was not granted to them. On Friday before Justice Hanomansingh, his attorney, Senior Counsel, Ellis Arnold was successful in getting him bailed in the sum of $5,000 plus one surety of the same amount. He is now to report to the Belmopan Police Station every Friday, effective Friday, December 4, 2015 between the hours of 7:30 – 6:00 p.m., until his matter is concluded. He was also ordered to make sure he appears before the Belmopan Supreme Court on his next court adjournment date which is December 18, 2015. He must also surrender his travelling documents.

    Murder in Ladyville
    Kevin Peters, a reputed affiliate of the Taylor’s Alley Gang, was murdered in front of his family’s home in Ladyville on Thursday, November 26. He was socializing with his family and friends, and they were having a Thanksgiving get-together. It happened at around 8:30 p.m. on Samuel Gray Street, in an area of Ladyville known as “Japan”. That area has seen a lot of violent crimes in the past. Sources tell the media that on Thursday night, his sister, Carla Escarpeta, hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for the family, and he was invited. He reportedly ate with his family, socialized with a few friends, and shortly after that, went to buy marijuana for a smoke. When he was returning home, he was just a few hundred feet from his sister’s yard, when he reportedly stopped to finish his smoke. That’s when an unknown assailant came up from behind and shot him at least 4 times. One of those injuries was to the abdomen, and reports are that the gunman ran off and made his escape.

    Belize Elementary School girls and boys to represent Belize District in National Volleyball
    The Belize District Primary Schools Volleyball Competition came to an end today at the Star’s Gym in Belize City. In the first game in the girls’ competition, Holy Redeemer School defeated San Pedro Roman Catholic School in two sets by the score of 25-15 and 25-3. In game two, Belize Elementary School defeated Hattieville Government School in two sets by the score of 25-16 and 25-21. In the girls’ championship game, Belize Elementary School defeated Holy Redeemer School in two sets by the score of 29-27 and 25-23 to capture the Belize District championship. Meanwhile, in the boys’ competition, and in the first game played, Holy Redeemer School defeated Burrell Boom Methodist School by the score of 25-13 and 25-15. In the second game in the boys’ competition, Belize Elementary School defeated San Pedro Roman Catholic School in two sets by the score of 25-14 and 25-22.

    Central Region Secondary Schools Basketball regular competition ends
    The 2015-2016 Central Region Secondary Schools Basketball regular competition came to an end on Monday 1 December, 2015, with one game played at in the male category. In the game played, Gwen Lizarraga High School defeated St. John’s College by the score of 60-58. The top scorers for Gwen Lizarraga High School were Keyvon Evans with 24 points and Raheem Baptist with 11 points. For St. John’s College, the top scorers were Jahson Phillips with 21 points and Brian Sutherland with 13 points. On Saturday 28 November, 2015, in the female game, Maud Williams High School defeated Gwen Lizarraga High School by the score of 18-13. The top scorer for Maud Williams High School was Latifa Ferguson with 11 points, while the top scorers for Gwen Lizarraga High School were Armani Bradley and Essenie Vernon with 4 points each.

    Hattieville Government School girls and Burrell Boom Methodist boys win Belize Rural Zone Volleyball
    The Belize Rural Primary School Volleyball elimination for zones 1, 2, 3 and 4 were held on Tuesday 1 December, 2015, at the Star’s Volleyball Gym. In the first game in the boys’ competition, Hattieville Government School defeated Our Lady of Lourdes School by the score of 25-19 and 25-16. In the second game in the boys’ competition, Burrell Boom Methodist School defeated Lucky Strike Government School in two sets by the score of 25-17 and 25-15. In the boys’ championship game, Burrell Boom Methodist School defeated Hattieville Government School in two sets by the score of 25-18 and 25-16. In the girls’ competition, Hattieville Government School defeated Burrell Boom Methodist School in two sets by the score of 27-25 and 26-24.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Cahal Pech welcomes Copa Airlines inaugural flight to Belize
    Copa Airlines, Panama’s leading airline, will have its inaugural flight touch down in Belize Tuesday, December 8th and will now be offering flights to Belize for its passengers as part of its expansion efforts. Lloyd Alvarez, Cahal Pech Village Resort Reservations Manager, who has been working […]

    Belize Resort Receives Green Globe Sustainability Tourism Certification
    The Chabil Mar resort on the Placencia peninsula has been awarded Green Globe certification, an international distinction given to prestigious resorts around the world for commitment to sustainable eco-tourism practices. “This has already been a banner year […]

    New Church Senator wants to bridge divide among Evangelicals
    There are now two Evangelical associations in Belize. The new group, the National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB) left behind the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches (BAEC), accusing it of being unwilling to finalize a constitution that would make the BAEC more representative of […]

    SMART launches first 4G LTE network in Belize
    Telephone provider SMART says that in two weeks’ time, ten days before Christmas, it will unveil its gift for the people of Belize. It’s not double-triple credit or even lower prices for calls, but it may be even better: Belize’s first fourth-generation, or 4G, long-term […]

    Caribbean Examination Council top students praised by Prime Minister, Education Minister
    Belize’s top awardees in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) were honoured last week. Their fellows from around the Caribbean have come here for the annual meetings of the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) and award ceremony for their […]

    Mek Mi Rich goes to court
    Entrepreneur Curtis Swasey says executives of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) used his unique idea for a lottery texting program via short message service (SMS) to underline the Mek Mi Rich television program Since February of this year, producers MMR Belize Limited and the state-run telephone […]

    Teenager pleads guilty to firearm possession
    Eighteen year old Richard Bennett Jr., one of 7 persons charged with keeping a prohibited firearm and keeping ammunition without a gun license, pleaded guilty to the charges when he appeared today before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. Bennett was sentenced to 3 years for the firearm […]

    Father pleads guilty to assault of relative
    A concerned father went after his daughter’s boyfriend because he could not find her after she told him she was going out to a game and then to a movie. He now owes the courts $700 and costs. Zane Perriott pleaded guilty to common assault of […]

    Civil Aviation to invest over $10 million in air traffic control upgrades
    Remember the air traffic controllers who called in sick one Saturday at the Philip Goldson International Airport in Ladyville? They had been protesting poor working conditions and lack of proper equipment, including long shifts at the tower. In response, negotiations with the workers and […]

    Civil Aviation joins drug plane investigation
    The Department of Civil Aviation has joined in on the investigation into the landing of the Cessna 210 found burnt and abandoned this week in Spanish Lookout’s Green Hills section. Police have confirmed that illicit cargo, possibly drugs, were being transported in it but […]

    Police Torch Run continues in support of Special Olympics
    The police department continued its annual Law Enforcement Torch Run today. The Law Enforcement Torch Run is a program where law enforcement agencies “fundraise and bring awareness to the community on Special Olympics Belize,” says Sergeant Elroy Carcamo, Officer in Charge of community policing for the […]

    San Pedro woman stabbed multiple times after refusing man sex
    San Pedro Police visited the island’s polyclinic around 11:00 p.m. on Monday after receiving reports of an incident in which 35-year-old clothes vendor, Abigail Lopez, was stabbed to several parts of her body. Upon arrival, officers saw Lopez bleeding from wounds to the face, neck and chest area. She stated […]

    Unskilled labor force hindering Belize’s economic growth
    In an ever growing and increasingly competitive workforce influenced by globalization, it is imperative that Belize make the necessary investments to foster a more skilled labor force, capable of doing 21st century jobs and able of meeting the demands of modern industries. The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) […]

    Blogs

    The Tree in Central Park, Moving Town Vendors & THE Holiday Boat Parade!
    Yesterday was a beautiful day in San Pedro, Belize. So pretty, that while we were out driving to town, a crocodile was just slowing making his way north…just paddling along. Almost…cute… I must be in the Christmas spirit! Town was hopping with visitors and change. The town tree is going up…sponsored, I believe, by Bowen & Bowen. And the town palapa is coming down – I have heard that palapa material is now banned in the town center due to flammability. So perhaps a new roof is going up? That covered area is used quite a bit… The tree is looking good! You will notice, in the picture above, that there are no street vendors on the street side. NONE! All have been shifted to the beach. (And you can read the master plan and the decision process in the San Pedro Sun. The Town Council has been talking about this for years.)

    International Sourcesizz

    Costa Rica in talks with Belize over plight of Cuban migrants
    Costa Rican authorities are negotiating with their counterparts in Belize over the possible entry of thousands of Cuban migrants en route to the United States after Guatemala earlier denied access to its territory. Since neighbouring Nicaragua shut its border on Nov. 15 to the migrants, more than 4,000 Cubans have been crowded along the Costa Rica's northern border as the multi-national diplomatic row deepened. "Belize should analyse the situation and take action," Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel Gonzalez told reporters on Thursday, adding that he did not expect a response from Belmopan until next week at the earliest. Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow is set to meet with his cabinet next Tuesday. If the negotiations are successful, the Cuban migrants would enter Belize via a so-called air bridge, and the migrants may have to foot the bill for the flights.

    Belize Ends Telecom And Electricity Investor Suits For $67M
    The government of Belize has agreed to pay $67.5 million to local and international investors of its nationalized telecoms and electricity providers ending a long running dispute over the validity of the nationalization, with further compensation expected as additional investor claims are considered in UNCITRAL arbitration. Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, which represented investors of Belize Telemedia Ltd. in Britain, Canada and Belize, including the British Caribbean Bank, said in a Wednesday statement on the finalized settlement that litigation between investors and the government had been “hard...

    Skipton DJ Connor Holliday tracks the enemy in Belize
    A SOLDIER who spins the music tracks in a Skipton club has been tracking the ‘enemy’ in the jungles of Belize. Lance Corporal Connor Holliday, 24, of the Coldstream Guards, put his love of DJ-ing on pause for two months’ training with the Belize Defence Force (BDF) as part of Exercise Mayan Warrior. Some 392 troops of 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, which recruits from the North East and South West, have been dodging venomous snakes, battling through heavy rains and blazing sun during October and November. They have been training with around 100 of their counterparts in the BDF. But when Lance Cpl Holliday’s not in combat or guarding one of the Royal palaces – part of the Coldstreamers' ceremonial role – he’s at the frontline of delivering house and techno to revellers at The Venue in Skipton, and he’s looking for a bigger break.

    Caye Chapel in Belize: The ultimate paradise in the Caribbean
    Greg Norman, the famous golf champion and designer of some of the best golf courses in the world, visited Caye Chapel Island in Belize to announce he will be designing the 18-hole golf course of this spectacular resort, located in the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean. Norman spoke in the presence of the First Lady of Belize, Kim Simplis Barrow; Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism; Tracey Taegar-Pantom, Minister of Investments; other representatives of the federal and local government, and special invited guests. Caye Chapel will be the most exclusive and spectacular tourist destination in Latin America. This 280-acre island, located only 11 kilometers from Belize City, will offer breathtaking lots and beachfront houses. It will also offer a luxury hotel with over-water bungalows, a private landing strip that allows for arrivals within minutes to the island from the international airports of Belize and San Pedro, and an outstanding marina that holds yachts up to 140 feet. Surrounding the marina is a select mix of stores, restaurants and bars that will create a unique business center in the area, and an incomparable golf course that only an island like Caye Chapel can offer.

    Central American army praise Otley soldier's training regime
    AN OTLEY soldier's fitness regime could end up being adopted by a Central American army. The Belize Defence Force (BDF) have been so impressed by Army Physical Training Instructor Lance Sergeant Sebastian Bentley's example they are considering rewriting their exercise programme. The 27-year-old has been carrying out physical training instruction for the Force and British soldiers for Exercise Mayan Warrior, a two-month programme involving 392 troops. Lance Sgt Bentley, who is in the Grenadier Guards, has been toughening the BDF’s personal fitness programme, for example by adding a 35lb weight to their two and three-mile runs, like they do in the UK. He has also been advising them on technique and how to best focus their training.

    Not enough gender analysis in policy design and resource allocation, says Caribbean study
    There is greater need for polices that increase productivity across the private sector, and which place special emphasis on women-owned businesses. This, as the results of an Inter-American Development Bank/Compete Caribbean study show that women-owned firms across the Caribbean are characterised by lower-levels of productivity than male-owned firms. The results were disclosed during a four-day workshop on Integrating Gender Analysis in Caribbean Trade and Economic Growth Programmes, hosted by the Caribbean Development Bank, CDB, at its headquarters in Barbados. Compete Caribbean is a private sector development program, and projects in the OECS countries are implemented in partnership with CDB.

    Videos

  • UNTOLD STORIES DECEMBER 3, 2015, 38min.

  • Empowerment Show Spiritual Restoration Dec 3rd 2015, 28min.

  • TEDx Belize 2015, 1.5min.

  • Alex & Leah - Belize Camping Experience Report, 5.5min.

  • Sailing with dolphins in Belize, 2min. Dolphins people watching.

  • Scuba Diving the Great Blue Hole, Belize, 6min. We plunged 150' into deep blue to explore the stalactites and geologic markings of the Great Blue Hole in Belize.

  • Belize, 5min. Official CAS 100 Belize Project Video.

  • Belize Snorkeling Hol Chan, 7min.

  • Shark Ray Alley in the Hol Chan Reserve, Belize, 4min. Nurse Sharks and sting rays.

  • Tango in Belize, "Dance X BZ 2015", Leonardo D'Aquila and Antonia Lema, 3.5min. Bailarines de Eneik Tango representando a la República Argentina en el festival internacional de danzas "Dance x bz 2015" de Belice, dentro del marco del festival, los maestros Leonardo D'Aquila y Antonia lema brindaron clases de tango en Belice junto a otros grupos invitados de otros países.

    December 3, 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, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    On the Radar: Christmas 8-Ball Pool Tournament!
    A tournament is being organizer for all interested billiard players on the island. The Christmas 8-Ball pool tournament is scheduled to commence in the first week of December and will see teams competing for a grand cash prize of $1,000. 8-Ball is a form of billiards played with fifteen numbered balls and the cue ball. The objective of the game is to shoot all balls (one through seven or nine through fifteen, depending on which team you are) off the table before attempting to shoot the eight ball. The team that completes this first wins the game. Those interested in entering the tournament are asked to register teams consisting of five members. A team captain must be selected for each participating team. Registration fee is at $25 per player or $125 per team. Prizes will be awarded to the top three teams: 1st place – $1,000 plus five case of beer, 2nd place – $500 plus three cases of beer and 3rd place – $200 plus one case of beer.

    SPTC attempts to relocate local Vendors
    The craft vendors who, for many years had been stationed at the Central Park, have been informed by The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) that they need to relocate. The move has been long coming, and in June of this year, it was officially announced that before 2015 was over, the vendors were going to be moved to the Sunset Board Walk. Authorities from the SPTC reportedly told the vendors that they were to relocate by Monday, November 30th. However, the vendors do not want to move, as they argue that the new location is not viable for business and the conditions are not what they were promised. In a press release issued on Tuesday, December 1st by the SPTC, the general public was informed of the artisans’ relocation, which was expected to be before the Christmas Season. However in order to get the right measures in place, the artisants will now be relocated on the first working day of 2016. The release continues to say that after a meeting between the SPTC and the artisans, some of them were placed on the beach, directly in front of the park. This was done to ensure that the vendors were not disenfranchised for the Christmas Season. With this delay, the SPTC will have enough time to ensure the new area where the artisans will move to when is completed with the right facilities as originally envisioned.

    San Pedro celebrates 31 years of Township
    Mayor Guerrero stated that one of the reasons why this year’s celebration was dedicated to education was in order to inform the younger generation about the significance of such occasions and citing the island’s evolution since it became a town 31 years ago. “A lot has been accomplished in all these past years and I am thankful to all the past Mayors and Councilors. It is something that I maintained and acknowledge, and in recognition of that we want to establish civic pride and thus, this year we went educational. A lot of children will hear at their schools about Township Day, but they might not know what it really is about. So I believe it’s very important to educate them about what is transpiring at the Town Board,” said Guerrero. He mentioned that this activity was long coming and he was happy that it was finally accomplished. The many students that visited his office were curious and had some really good questions for the Mayor. “This is really good, because it makes you realize that children are listening, they are watching the news, listening to the radio and becoming aware of what is happening in their community. But I believe it should not be done just during Township Day, regardless if they come here to our offices or we go to their school, these activities should be done more often with our students, who are the future leaders of our community and country,” said Guerrero.

    DJ Private Ryan stars at Island Invasion’s King of the Island Birthday Bash
    Trinidadian star, DJ Private Ryan rocked Ambergris Caye, entertaining the Belizean masses at the highly anticipated Island Invasion. Party lovers from across the country flocked to Fido’s Courtyard on Saturday, November 28th for Island Invasion’s King of the Island Birthday Bash for a truly spectacular music and dance affair. The top DJs of Belize, along with feature performer DJ Private Ryan, kept the massive crowd dancing until the wee hours of Sunday, November 29th. The night featured the musical stylings of DJ Jago, Air Invasion, Evolution Sounds, Fayah Statah Sounds, and DJ Odyssey, with systems being provided by Royal Sound Entertainment. The dance floor was kept packed all night as everyone danced the night away to the best of old and new school soca, dancehall, club, reggae and pop hits.

    Miss Garifuna 2015/2016 and candidates receive gifts
    On Wednesday, November 25th, Miss Garifuna 2015/2016 Sheila Montero, along with the other young ladies that competed in the pageant on November 18th, were presented with an array of fabulous prizes at the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC). Mayor Daniel Guerrero welcomed each one of the beauties to his office and handed out the prizes. Miss Garifuna Sheila Montero received a brand new bicycle, plus a bag with gift certificates and a cash prize. First runner-up Ashanti Martinez received a coffee maker, along with a gift bag with gift certificates as well. Nicole Dunn and Zennia Nuñez each received gift bags with gift certificates and cash prizes. Everyone was recognized for their participation in the pageant and for proudly representing their culture. Among some of the prizes were lunches at restaurants, sunset tours, roundtrip flight tickets to Belize City and even golf cart rentals. Even former Miss Garifuna Tisane Martines received some surprises.

    Ambergris Today

    Belize Bans Offshore Exploration in and Around All Seven World Heritage Sites
    Belize Cabinet at its meeting on Tuesday, December 1, 2015, approved a policy that will legally apply a ban on offshore exploration in areas along the Belize Barrier Reef System, and within the seven (7) World Heritage Sites in Belize. From 8 to 15 December 2015, World Heritage Centre staff will travel to Belize to discuss next steps toward the full implementation of the Desired State of Conservation that would make Belize eligible for removal from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    San Pedros AIDS Solidarity Walk 2015
    December 1, 2015, is internationally known as World AIDS Day. In honor of the day, the San Pedro AIDS Commission organized a solidarity walk along the main streets of San Pedro where it counted with the participation of the members of the San Pedro AIDS Commission, members and staff of the San Pedro Town Council, Miss San Pedro 2015, Iris Salguero, members of the San Pedro Lions Club, members of the San Pedro Cancer Society, San Pedro R.C. School Marching band, members of the San Pedor Police Formaiton and guests. Before the walk, Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Councilors Gabriel Nuñez, Ruben Gonzalez and Hector Alamilla, along with Miss San Pedro, Iris Salguero, on behalf of the people of San Pedro, presented a cheque of $2500 to the president of the San Pedro AIDS Commission, Mr. Felix Ayuso. Mr. Ayuso was very grateful for the donation, as the funds are used to aid those that are living with the virus as well as other needs that may arise to the group.

    8th Annual Artisan Fair
    More than a dozen artisan booths participated in the 8th Annual Artisan Fair sponsored by the United States Embassy in Belmopan yesterday. Despite the inclement weather we made a go at it and had fun speaking to all participants. They came from as far as, Corozal, Toledo, Cayo, Maskal, Belmopan, Belize District, Spanish Lookout, Unitedville. Some of the names you will recognize include Walter Castillo from Bullet Tree, Angi from Fabric Twist Designs, IRY'S Butterfly Art, ARTEMIS, Exotic Wood Carvings Gift Shop, Dazart, Hot Mama's and many more. It was great meeting Chef Kuylen. We were so fortunate to meet and chat with our good friend Walter Castillo and his lovely wife Mito. Walter Castillo is a self taught artist, who grew up in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Eary in his teens, he started traveling within Belize and mingling with people from many different cultures. This included the Mayas, East Indians Creole and Garinagu with which he lived amongst from 13 to 17 years old. His use of vibrant colours and people so full of life, springs up from his paintings.

    Community Mural Launch
    Galen University got some great pictures of the Cayo Mural launch. "On Friday, November 27, 2015, the San Igancio/Santa Elena and Galen Community were graced with fine art in great company as the community mural - A Painted Conversation, was unveiled. The mural is the result of collaboration over twelve months with Art Educator/Artist Natalia Pilato of Penn State University who conceptualized the entire project called A Painted Conversation."

    News from Belize Bird Rescue
    We took delivery of two confiscated birds the other day - they were being openly sold in the market place, which thankfully is unusual in Belize. A red lored and a female white front, clipped wings, tiny cages, minimal food and no enrichment. It is always a joy to introduce a neglected bird to toys and natural foods, but this time even we were blown away with their enthusiasm. Unfortunately, almost every time we got close with the camera they stopped what they were doing. We can NEVER overstress the importance of enrichment. Smart birds like parrots get bored very easily, and when they are bored, they are destructive - to your home, their cage, themselves or each other. A few minutes of YOUR time providing suitable enrichment will keep a parrot sated for the day. That sounds like a pretty good swap to us!

    Belize Specialist Training Miami 2015
    Our new Belize Specialists Agents from our training in Miami.

    2015-2016 Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program
    Gaspari Cordova, 2015-2016 Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program participant met with the Ambassador to USA from Belize, Mr. Pat Andrews in Washington, D.C. Mr. Cordova will be participating as a presenter at the “Belize & El Salvador Cultural Luncheon “ that will take place on Wednesday, December 2, 2015. The Humphrey Program brings young and mid-career professionals from designated countries to the United States for a year of non-degree graduate-level study, leadership development, and professional collaboration with U.S. counterparts. We will keep posting the great work and representation that Mr. Gaspari is doing for Belize!

    Interested in the Humphrey Fellowship?
    Learn more about the Embassy's current Humphrey Fellow Cordova's experience in the U.S. as highligted in this Love FM article.

    San Pedro Christmas Boat Parade is ON!
    Whoot whoot! New group of organizers! Let us rally and get a boat parade together everyone! What wonderful news!!!!

    Splashers in San Pedro
    This is not the exact painting we are doing tomorrow! This is the inspiration. Please don't come to the paint party expecting to replicate this exact image. I have not had time to create my own version but it will be a night time island scene with Santa's sleigh across the sky (or not if you wish to not paint it in). Let me know who plans on painting tomorrow Crazy Canucks at 2p.m.

    Lighting of the Christmas Tree at Central Park in San Pedro
    The San Pedro Town Council presents its annual Lighting of the Christmas Tree at Central Park. Saturday - December 5, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. Come join the fun! Bring the whole family and take your pictures at the Christmas Tree! We will have refreshments and musical entertainment.

    First Friday of December Trash Pick Up, Hosted by First Friday Tres Cocos Trash Pick Up
    Our new trash barrels are helping, but there's still lots of work to do! Join us at the Paradise Theatre (just north of the bridge) for our monthly two hour roadside and beach clean up! Locals, expats and tourists are all invited to help out and show some Isla Love! Please be there by 9:00 am Dec. 4th :-) AMAZING NEWS ALERT!! We have just been informed that 150 kids from Holy Cross Anglican School will be joining us this Friday for our Trash Pick Up!! The beach all the way from the bridge to Palapa Bar will be spotless!

    Agreement on Cooperation in “Genetic Improvement in Sheep and Goat Project between Belize-Taiwan”
    The “Genetic Improvement for Sheep and Goat Breeding Belize-Taiwan Project” was signed today December 2, 2015 by Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Gaspar Vega in his capacity as Minister for Agriculture and the Ambassador of the Republic of China(Taiwan) H.E. Mr. Benjamin Ho. This is a three year project with an approved total budget of approximately $1.62 Million US of which the Government of Belize will contribute $0.35 Million US and the Taiwanese Government will finance $1.27 M US. The project seeks to improve and develop the genetic blood lines of both the sheep and goat livestock through natural breeding and an artificial insemination program. Sheep and goat production have tremendous growth opportunity on the national market but also on the regional export market. This project will complement other ongoing initiatives and place the industry on a firm footing for development. In particular the traceability/registry component will provide the base on which an export market could develop.

    Letter: The government gets what it pays for, by Charles Leslie Jr.
    You must understand that what your government pays for it gets. If you are paid to do something for the government, they will extract from you exactly what they have paid for. They have ordered five more years of absolute power. They have paid handsomely for that power by paying you for your votes. They have gotten what they paid for on November 4, 2015. When we understand that, then we look at our education system, our health system, government financed institutions. Let us focus on our education system and see the kind of education that is being turned out. Logic will tell you that if what is being turned out in those schools was not in accord with what the government wanted, then it would change it. The bottom line is the government is getting what they have ordered, they are getting what they paid for. They do not want your children to be educated. They do not want you to think too much. That is why our country has become so proliferated with drugs, alcohol, entertainment, and all other types of amusement that you can think of, to keep you entertained, so that you don't get in the way of important people by doing too much thinking.

    Friday Open Jam!
    Friday Night Open Jam! We have a full band that plays every Friday & we welcome anyone to join! Whether you sing, play the maracas, drum, guitar…. come have a…Location : Barrier Reef Sports Bar & Grill, Front StreetStart Date: December 4, 2015 End Date: December 4, 2015 Time: 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm

    Roots Reggae with Julian Melodyman Escobar
    Saturday Night is Roots Reggae at the Sports Bar with Julian Melodyman Escobar from 6 - 9 pm! Come listen and dance to the beats of Roots reggae -- Belizan…Location : Barrier Reef Sports Bar & Grill, Front StreetStart Date: December 5, 2015 End Date: December 5, 2015 Time: 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

    Belizean shoppers are being targeted while shopping in Chetumal
    BUYERS BEWARE. Reports surfacing on social media and other media sources, including the Mexican Newspapers are that Belizean shoppers are being targeted while shopping in Chetumal, even more so now that the Christmas season is near and everyone is looking for ways to get some extra cash. It is said that thieves have been lurking like sharks and stealing wallets or bags of Belizean shoppers by creating distractions then stealing the items without shoppers even being aware. Specific places noted as hot-spots for the thieves are commercial centers, where many Belizean shoopers frequent, such as Sams Club or Walmart and Plaza de Las Americas mall. These reports have been confirmed by Mexican authorities in Quintana Roo who urge Belizean shoppers to be cautious and keep their belongings close at all times, so as to not lose cash or credit cards to these professional thieves.

    Mourning the deaths of Ana, Elizabeth and Shadisha
    The Nancy Marin Youth Foundation is organizing vigils country wide to mourn the deaths of Ana, Elizabeth and Shadisha, who died in the tragic fire at the Youth Hostel this weekend. The vigil will be held this Saturday December 5th at 6:30 p.m. Anyone who wants to help me organize the Corozal vigil, please inbox me here, or email me (Ingrid Ferlo) at ferloingrid@gmail.com or contact me at 600-7343. I'm saying this one time - No politics in this, please, I can assure you I am not politically affiliated. These girls deserved way more than that. Thank you for any help you provide.

    More photos of the 8th Annual Artisan Fair at the USA Embassy in Belmopan held recently.

    Channel 7

    Shadisha's Family: Mourning and Grief Multiplied By Morgue Delay
    16 year old Shadisha Arnold was one of the three girls who perished in a fire at the female dorm of the youth hostel on Saturday. Today, her family set the funeral for 2:00 pm at St. John’s Cathedral. It was sure to be a sorrowful event – but a delay at the morgue with Shadisha’s burnt remains made it even more painful for her family. Courtney Weatherburne reports:… Frustrated and outraged: That’s what these family members were feeling. They had been waiting outside the St. John’s Cathedral since for the funeral service of Shadisha Arnold to start. But the service couldn’t begin because Arnold’s body had not even been released from the morgue. Addison Gillett - Uncle of Shadisha Gillett "People waiting before 2 o'clock and I come to the morgue from 2 o'clock and they still can't release the body; I am a police officer, a special constable and they still can't release the body, they don't want me to see neither, burn beyond recognition. No hand, no head, no foot, so it's only a small portion they will bury. Baby I very upset, I very upset. Everybody the try cool me off that I no flip." Gillett says the body should have been released at 10 but according to him, Human Services Department failed to authorize the release. And apart from that, he says they still don’t have concrete answers as to what happened that day of the fire.

    Two Prisoners Bolt; On Shot, One On The Run
    2 prisoners escaped from Dangriga Police yesterday, and tonight, one of them is still on the run. At around 4:00, Police were transporting remanded inmates Lawrence Bernardez, Edan Guzman, and Daniel McKenzie from Dangriga to the Central Prison in Hattieville in the pan of a pick-up truck. Sources tell us the men were not properly restrained, but police assert that they were properly handcuffed. Whatever the case, when the police mobile slowed for the speed bump in Hattieville – just a hundred feet from the village police station - Bernardez and Guzman jumped out of the vehicle, and ran off into the nearby bushes. Police set chase, and caught Guzman, but the officer says he put a fight, and the cop shot him in the leg. He was transported to the KHMH with a gunshot wound to the thigh.

    The New Civic Center Will Be The Most Expensive Building In Bze History
    Two nights ago, we told you about the plans for the new Belize City Centre. The contract is for $32.9 million dollars – which would make it the most expensive building in Belize’s history, surpassing the Central Bank which was finished in 1998 for 30 million dollars. So, it’s a huge outlay – and the last gush of Petrocaribe spending – but is there going to be value for money? And will it address the desperate needs of Belize’s basketballers and volleyballers – who have been without a serviceable indoor facility for at least 5 years? Well, Belize Infrastructure Limited is heading the construction and we asked the general manager the tough questions today at the site:… Jules Vasquez "Is that price justified?" Christy Mastry - General Manager, BIL "Yeah, well you know when we talk about structures like this; and I glad you mention public because we’re designing in the public realm for high public usage. So we start with the parameter that the government wanted to consider this building and commit this building to being a hurricane shelter. One of the first parameters given to the design team was that the building had to be elevated but yet it still had to be ADA compliant; and that's disability association compliance. So we have to be able to accommodate with the proper ramping system and disability access. And it had to be able to withstand up to a category 4 with the safety factors of being a low end category 5. We're doing a lot of things with the design of the building and it's a prefab steel structure that we will be importing in and that will be all galvanized, dipped structure in order to avoid corrosion."

    Authorities Mum On Mystery Plane
    Tonight, not much more is known about the mystery plane, which was found yesterday morning in the Green Hills area west of Spanish Lookout. The Cessna 210 was found crashed and burned – and police believe that it was deliberately torched because it was used to transport drugs. Today we asked the Director of Civil Aviation about it – and he didn’t have much to add:… Lindsey Garbutt - Director of Civil Aviation "My accident investigator Mr. Jean Young was on the scene almost immediately as we were informed of this and we found that there was a plane that had landed. And who ever landed it burnt it as a means of destroying evidence. We are presently working with the police department to give them all the technical information we can in terms of what type of aircraft, trying to trace the registration so we can provide that information and the police part of the procedure can go on."

    Weed Stash Found In An Old CD Player
    This morning, a Belize City police unit called the Northern Strike Team along with the Tourism Police Unit and the K-9 unit conducted a joint operation which turned up a weed bust in the King’s Park Area. At 10:30a.m. they searched the residence of Arthur Higgs located at #6 - 7th St and found four black plastic bags with five ounces of Cannabis – broken down into 16 smaller bags, along with a pipe all stuffed inside an old Technics compact disc player. That wasn’t all: police also found fourteen (14) pieces of weed fudge on the living room table. Police arrested everyone who was at home, including Arthur Higgs, Claudette Hyde, Adrian Gotoy, Eric Humes and Keenan Brown and charged them for Drug Trafficking. That same strike team also searched #35 Cleghorn Street where inside Lionel Lamb’s room they found a gram scale and nine ounces of weed. Four smaller weed bags were found in the bedroom. Lionel Lamb was arrested and charged for Drug Trafficking.

    Holy Alliance Against Howell
    Last week, we told you about the announcement that 200+ churches outside of Belize City broke away from the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches. That’s after they were kicked out by the Belize City Chapter of the Organization, which then - according to them - hijacked the appointment of the Senator for the Churches and installed Reverend Ashley Rocke. These Churches, who say that they’ve been disenfranchised, HAVE formed a new association called the National Evangelical Association of Belize. They say that they were forced to do that when the interim President, Pastor Howell Longsworth, kicked them out of the BAEC. Those 2 grievances are among a series of complaints that they have against Longsworth who they accuse of running the BAEC like a dictatorship. These out-district leaders say that Longsworth stalled the process of instituting a new constitution for the BAEC. The intention of this new constitution was supposed to decentralize the leadership of the association so that it is more democratic and representative of the entire evangelical community throughout the country. They say, that from their perspective, they only thing they did was to pressure Longsworth to move forward as planned, and shortly after that, they received a letter informing them that they had been kicked out of BAEC.

    Dean Street Drainage Woes Slightly Eased after Sidewalks Smashed
    Last week Friday we showed you Mesopotamia Area Representative Michael Finnegan railing against City Hall for the drainage problems on Dean Street. That street hasn’t drained off in months – and ever time a high tide comes- it’s an ankle high nuisance to the residents. So Finnegan named and shamed city hall – begging them to clear the drains. This week, that has meant taking a jackhammer to the sidewalks – and when we visited the area today we saw that one whole block of sidewalk from West Canal to Plues street had been uncovered. They did that to get to the drains which were very clogged we are told. When we saw the street today, it was dry – which is a rare event – but we’ll keep monitoring it – along with the high tide, which comes in early tomorrow morning.

    After Offshore Drill Ban, Conservation Community Says More Must Be Done
    Last night, we told you about the Government’s announcement that offshore oil drilling is banned in all of the 7 World Heritage Sites in the Belize Barrier Reef System, along with 1 kilometer on either side of the reef system. Oceana Belize’s Vice President, Janelle Chanona, told us yesterday that it is a major accomplishment. Today, the organization released a statement clarifying that while it is a good first step, two Marine Reserves have been omitted by the ban. The release says, quote, “Oceana Belize looks forward to reviewing the details of the Barrow administration’s plans, especially as it relates to the status of two marine protected areas not named in the release: the Turneffe Marine Reserve and the Port Honduras Marine Reserve.” End Quote. COLA President Geovannie Brackett was the very first activist to agitate for offshore oil drilling back in January 2010. He and the conservationists from the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage have been actively campaigning to get the support of the general citizenry. Today, he told us that he sees it as a win, but adds that more needs to be done to push for a full ban on offshore oil drilling in Belize. Here’s how he explained it:

    Cubans: "We Want Free"
    Last night we told you about the plight of the 30 plus Cubans who are stuck in jail in Belize. Their own country doesn’t want them back, while Belize says it has no way to normalize their illegal entry – so they are stuck in a sort of legal limbo – friends of no nation. Today we got a call from one of the Cubans in jail at Hattieivlle. He told us that they are 33 in total, 4 women and 29 men and that they have been locked up for about 6 months. They called us from prison today and explained that they are victims of human traffickers who tricked and lied to them. The trafficker told them he would provide transport to Mexico, but he brought them to Belize instead. Now, they are begging the government of Belize for a pardon or some pass...something that allows them to be released because they do not want to go back to Cuba. They say they sold everything in Cuba, and have nothing back there now. They says they just left because they want a chance at a better life.

    Senator Lisa Wants Senate Probe Into Nanes Schnitzer
    The house of representative meets on Friday for its first business session in this new term. That means the Senate will meet next week – and leader of opposition business Lisa Shoman yesterday put forward a motion which is sure to be controversial. She wants the Senate to conduct an enquiry into the circumstances under which fugitive David Nanes Schnitzer, known in Belize as David Banes, fraudulently obtained nationality. And, of course that’s just the start: Shoman also wants the Senate probe to look into all matters relating to corruption and mismanagement at the Department of Immigration. Shoman tried a similar motion with the immigration department two years ago, but the motion was defeated

    More Equipment For Air Control
    The Air Traffic Control System at the PGIA will be getting a major overhaul. Today a contract was signed for the renovation of the Control Tower, the Radar control unit and other facilities on the premise. Now, most of you will remember the sick out at the PGIA in February of this year. The Air Traffic Controllers didn’t show up to work – shutting down all operations at the airport leaving hundreds of passengers stranded. They were unhappy with the working conditions and the low-grade equipment in the control tower. Well, this contract will address all those issues and more. Today a press conference was held at the Civil Aviation Department and the Director Lindsey Garbutt told us just how transformed and modernized the facility will be after the renovation is completed. Works are expected to start early next year and will be finished in a year and a half. The contract is for $9 million.

    Best Young CARICOM Minds In Belize
    The best young minds in the Caribbean are in Belize tonight as part of the 2015 annual governance meetings of CXC. Nine CAPE awardees and eight CSEC awardees from Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago will be presented with the regional top awards as a part of the event. They have been touring Belize and today the 17 of them got to meet the Prime Minister and the Minister of Education. The PM said he was very impressed:.. Brandon Judnarine, form Antigua and Barbuda was the Most Outstanding Candidate Overall in the May/June CSEC examinations, got 22 CSEC passes. Cecil Cox, a student of Queen’s College in Guyana, earned 13 grade ones and 1 grade 2.

    Better Genetic Stock For Sheep and Goat Through Taiwan Program
    An agreement was signed today between Agriculture Minister Gaspar Vega and Taiwanese Ambassador Benjamin Ho. It’s 1.27 million US dollars in technical assistance funds for the “Genetic Improvement for Sheep and Goat Breeding.” The three year project hopes to improve the genetic blood lines of both the sheep and goat livestock through natural breeding and an artificial insemination program. This si with a view to tapping into the regional export market.

    Channel 5

    Investigation into Drug Plane Continues…Still Very Little Known
    There are still only few details available on the Cessna single-engine aircraft with tail number YZ3241 which was found in an isolated area behind Spanish Lookout, Cayo District. The Cessna [...]

    New Evangelical Association Formed
    There is great unrest in the core evangelical church structure in Belize tonight, following a distinct split in the previously powerful Belize Association of Evangelical Churches. Following what they say [...]

    NEAB Claims Church Senator Elected by the Minority
    The evangelical body which is recognized by government is now governed by thirteen pastors based in Belize City. The new N.E.A.B., according to their numbers, represents almost two hundred and [...]

    Association Stands Strong on LGBT and Gender Police Issues
    The division has far-reaching implications, especially with critical issues like LGBT rights and the gender policy. The major push in the evangelical stance on those issues came from the districts, [...]

    Did Politics Cause Division in Evangelical Movement in Belize?
    With all that said, what isn’t being put right out there by these leaders is what they believe is one of the main reasons for the division – political manipulation. [...]

    Teacher Says System Failed girls Burned to Death at Hostel
    The senseless deaths on Saturday of three young girls…Shadisha Arnold, Elizabeth McKoy and Ana Carlos, is still dominating conversation. It happened at the Princess Royal Youth Hostel, where the three [...]

    COLA Pleased With Announcement of FOB Groundbreaking
    COLA applauding the government on any one thing is big. But imagine COLA commending government twice in one interview. That’s what happened today. President Geovanni Brackett and his organization led [...]

    President Geovanni Brackett Says Offshore Drilling Ban is a Good Start
    And then it was offshore drilling, or rather the ban on offshore drilling announced by government on Tuesday. Brackett told News Five that while the government and COLA rarely agree, [...]

    Tourism Minister Vague on Offshore Drilling Ban
    N.G.O.s have been clamoring for a number of years to ban oil exploration off the coast of Belize altogether. One of the many initiatives includes a people’s referendum to which [...]

    UNESCO Committee Applauds GOB Decision
    Government acted following a threat to remove the system from the List of World Heritage Sites because of concerns on the sale, lease and development of mangrove islands and the [...]

    New Director of Health Services Named
    There is a new Director of Health Services at the Ministry of Health…well at least he’s the interim DHS until formalities are completed.  Head of the Epidemiology Unit, Doctor Marvin [...]

    MoH Will Take Proactive Stance on Health Issues
    Doctor Manzanero has hit the ground running, meeting with technical advisors and other officials to plan a way forward for improved healthcare services. Doctor Manzanero told News Five that his [...]

    Department of Civil Aviation to Receive Multi-Million $$$ Upgrade
    Almost ten million dollars will be spent to improve systems at air traffic control. The signing of an agreement between three parties took place this morning at the Department of [...]

    PAHO Hosts Nurse Educators Workshop
    A sub-regional workshop on the development of competencies for nurse educators in the region commenced today at the Ramada Belize City Princess. Organized by the Pan American Health Organization office [...]

    Session Addresses Nurse Competency
    One way to set regional health standards involves a mandatory nursing examination across English-speakingCaribbeancountries.  According to Deputy Director of Health Services with Responsibility for Nursing, Augustina Elijio, the workshop also [...]

    CSEC’s Regional Top Performers Meet Prime Minister Dean Barrow
    The most brilliant students from across the region are in Belize for the regional award ceremony of top performers for the 2015 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate Examinations. The program starts [...]

    ZIKA Confirmed in Central America
    There are cases of Zika in Central America. Today, the Ministry of Health confirmed that there have been three persons with the vector-borne illness in Guatemala and El Salvador. The [...]

    LOVE FM

    Burnt Plane Torched to Destroy Evidence
    In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, officials of the Belize Police Department and of the Civil Aviation were called out to an area west of Spanish Lookout where a single engine Cessna 210 aircraft was found torched. The aircraft was found on a farm road near the Aguacate Creek in the Cayo District. Authorities […]

    Civil Aviation Continues Investigation into Plane Crash of 2014 and 2015
    Exactly six months ago today, a Tropic international plane crashed into the sea this whilst transporting three persons; the pilot, Denfield Borland and passengers, Arthur Rogiers, an American national and Eddie Bodden, a Honduran National. That flight had left the Phillip Goldson International Airport at 4:30 that Tuesday evening and was heading to the Roatan […]

    Civil Aviation at Work Following Issues with Air Traffic Personnel
    The morning of Saturday, February 21, 2015 saw the Department of Civil Aviation having to do some damage control following the collective decision of air traffic control personnel to report sick. It was an incident that affected a wide cross section of persons, ranging from pilots, to locals coming home and tourists arriving in the […]

    Belize’s Air Traffic Tower to be Upgraded with COCESNA’s Aid
    Belize’s Civil Aviation signed onto an agreement with COCESNA which seeks for major upgrades in the air traffic control unit of the Philip Goldson International Airport. With the story, we join Renee Trujillo. RENEE TRUJILLO REPORTING “Just over nine months ago, the personnel who man the air traffic control tower at the Philip Goldson International […]

    BYM Calls for Meaningful Attention Towards Youth
    Following the weekend tragedy at the Youth Hostel where three young girls were burnt in a fire on the compound, there have been outrage and harsh criticisms coming from several pockets in society. The Belize Youth Movement is one organization that has joined the Special Envoy for Women and Children and WIN Belize in sending […]

    Evangelical Leaders Engage in Feud
    Last week we told you about a rift between the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches which led to a number of pastors breaking away and forming a new association. As we told you, the group of church leaders, all outside of Belize City, was suspended by the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches and their suspension […]

    OCEANA Belize Commends Government on Oil Exploration Policy
    Yesterday came the announcement whereby the Government of Belize will be putting policies that will legally place a ban on offshore exploration in areas along the Belize Barrier Reef System as well as within the seven World Heritage Sites in Belize. As we mentioned yesterday, it is indeed a victory for the environmental lobbyists including […]

    COLA Says Two Other Marine Reserves Should Be Added to No Drilling Area
    Yesterday the Government of Belize announced that it has decided to ban offshore oil exploration in Seven World Heritage Sites as well as areas along Belize’s barrier reef system. This is great news for environmentalist groups and activist groups such as Citizen Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, which has been at the forefront of […]

    World Wildlife Fund Says Government’s Move on Oil Ban is not Enough
    With Oceana having a weight lifted off their shoulders with these oil exploration policies in the making, the World Wildlife Fund is calling for more. They did not issue any official release to the media but they did publish on their website, a document that this is an important step in the right direction but […]

    Losing Situation in Court for Lionel Lamb
    Tonight 32 year old Lionel Lamb who found himself in big trouble with the law found more trouble during his arraignment after an old conviction for drug related offenses came back to haunt him. This morning, Lionel Lamb, a resident of #35 Cleghorn Street, Belize City who is a Porter at the Tourist Village […]

    PlusTV

    Torch Run for Special Olympics games
    Members of the Police Department and other law enforcement agencies are participating in a torch run which began yesterday. The torch run is a fundraiser event aimed at raising monies for the Special Olympics that will be held at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex. The group of runners left Punta Gor...

    Accused attempted murderer granted bail
    Today, Justice Denis S. Hanomansingh heard bail applications for 5 persons on remand for different offenses. Of those five bail applications, one person of interest who was granted Supreme Court bail today is 18 year old Jaron Baptist, who last week Tuesday, was arraigned on three criminal offenses ...

    Contrabandista fined in court
    A businessman from August Pine Ridge in the Orange Walk District must pay over $13,000 in fines by next December to avoid jail time on charges of possession of uncustomed goods. Sergio Chi pleaded guilty in Belize City before Magistrate Deborah Rogers to possession of goods worth $4,450 found inside...

    Fire Suppression System for Youth Hostel
    The country is still reeling from the horrific news of three teenage girls being burned alive as they huddled together in a locked room at the Youth Hostel at mile 21 on the George Price Highway. As authorities seek answers to the many questions surrounding the profoundly sad incident, steps are a...

    Bus transporting Green Tropics Workers catches fire
    A bus travelling from San Ignacio Town to Belmopan about a quarter to 6 this morning , Tuesday December 1st, became engulfed in flames as it descended the hill leading into the village of Unitedville. It was at that location that the bus began to stall as smoke began coming from the engine area. One passenger was overheard saying that he smelled smoke in the bus as it travelled as far back as Georgeville. The Westline Bus was transporting 40 employees to Santender’s Green Tropics. The passengers were all taken off the bus in time before the fire began to spread and consume the bus, so all passengers were unharmed.

    Drug plane landed and then burned
    A private aircraft assumed to be a Cessna 172 made an illegal landing behind Spanish Lookout sometime early this morning. Whoever landedvlcsnap-8653-12-12-00h22m56s714 the aircraft, quickly unloaded its passenger(s) and/or contents and set the plane ablaze. Residents of Spanish Lookout say they were awaken by a low flying aircraft passing through the thick fog and light rain minutes to one o’clock this morning. The aircraft crossed Spanish Lookout toward an adjacent farming area known as Green Hills; a non residential farm land used almost exclusively for ranches and planting of grain crops. When our camera crew arrived at the area, the road leading to where the plane landed was blocked as it is a private road on a private property. When we arrived, police were processing the house where the watchman that guards the property lives. It is reported that within ten minutes of the aircraft’s landing, a fire could be seen lighting up the sky in the area.

    The Reporter

    New SJC history program to engage students
    The History Club at St. Johns College highschool, this week, presented a new curriculum and e-resources for the school’s refurbished history program. The 128-year-old institution has been offering vibrant teaching of African and Maya history courses to first and second formers since 2013. The revised History program leads the student through the journey of the nation providing alternate perspectives on already-taught topics, for example the indigenous and African populations in the Americas. It covers the time period of European contact, focusing on the adverse effects of conquest, slavery, post-slavery, the Caste War and post-independent Belize. It offers a view of pre-independent Belize covering British Honduras in the early 20th century, the rise of the worker, the nationalist movement, social and racial consciousness and the road to Independence. The curriculum places special emphasis on the origins and history of the Guatemalan claim and the modern realities of the debate today.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Police Strike Team operations results in several drug arrests
    Yesterday morning around 10:00, members of the police’s Northern Strike Team searched the lower flat of a cement house on Cleghorn Street in Belize City and inside a room occupied by Lionel Lamb, discovered a gray scale along with 266 grams of cannabis. Further search of the room resulted in […]

    Prisoner escapes from Police in Hattieville
    One of three prisoners from Dangriga Town who was being escorted by police to the Kolbe Foundation Central Prison in Hattieville Tuesday afternoon escaped while nearing the destination and police are on the lookout for him. Prisoners Laurence Bernardez, Eden Guzman and Daniel McKenzie were being driven in […]

    Standard and Poor’s says debt figures hurt Belizean credit
    Citing higher Government spending on wages and compensation owed to Fortis and the Ashcroft Alliance over the nationalizations of BTL and BEL, credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s has reduced Belize’s long term ratings outlook to stable as of November 25, while affirming the B-/B rating on the […]

    Drug plane burned and abandoned in Cayo
    Police suspect that a drug plane was abandoned and deliberately torched early Tuesday morning on a farm road in the Green Hills area of Spanish Lookout, Cayo District, near Aguacate Creek. The single-engine Cessna 210 was heard circling over the village without lights but it did not crash […]

    Police in Roaring Creek find over 1000 grams of weed
    Yesterday morning at around 8:30 in Roaring Creek Village of the Cayo District, members of the police’s Tactical Response Squad conducted searches in two separate abandoned lots as part of an operation. Police found plastic bags containing cannabis in each lot. There were 211 grams in the first and 924 […]

    Belize looks to develop sheep and goat herding industry with help from Taiwan
    A release from the Belize Press Office issued earlier today, announced the signing of the “Genetic Improvement for Sheep and Goat Breeding Belize-Taiwan Project”, by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Gaspar Vega, as well as the Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan), H.E. Benjamin Ho. This three […]

    Belizean shoppers targeted by thieves in Chetumal
    Reports surfacing on Facebook and in Mexican Newspapers are that Belizean shoppers are being targeted while shopping in Chetumal, even more so now that the Christmas season is near and everyone is looking for ways to get some extra cash. It is said that thieves have been lurking like sharks […]

    New Evangelical Association meets the press
    Today in Belize City, the majority of pastors forming the executive team of the National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB) spoke to the press concerning the schism with the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches (BAEC). The new Association still wants to reconcile with the BAEC, which has been […]

    OCEANA commends Government of Belize for offshore oil exploration policy
    A press release issued by OCEANA yesterday, commended the Government of Belize (GOB) for announcing the permanent ban on offshore oil exploration along the Barrier Reef system and within seven of the country’s World Heritage sites, stating that: “this is a tremendous step forward for Belize and its people, as […]

    Blogs

    Four Steps to Engaging Stakeholders
    In developing a sustainability program, especially a community development project, it is essential to determine and strategize on how you will engage stakeholders in the planning and reporting of activities and outcomes concerning that program. After identifying internal and external stakeholders and defining the key indicators you plan to measure achievement of sustainability, the next step is to outline a stakeholder engagement strategy. Below are listed four steps to consider related to engaging stakeholders in your process: Engage Stakeholders Early: Stakeholder inclusiveness should be an essential part of your sustainability program. Involving stakeholders early in your process will give your organization an opportunity to understand their character and emerging concerns, while discovering opportunities to address issues before they become a serious threat to your organization’s sustainability. Building an effective engagement strategy will improve trust, collaboration, open dialog and information sharing between your organization and key stakeholders.

    What a Beautiful Start to December in Belize!
    It’s almost impossible believe that it’s December – in Belize or anywhere else. Honestly…it’s just ridiculous how quickly this year has gone. And, though I bet 99% of you will scoff, winter weather is pushing into Belize – some proper signs of the cold fronts that are dipping low across the states. The wind is from the north, it’s in the mid-80s during the day and high 70s at night…brrrr. Here are some photos both mid-day…and as the sun was setting. Happy December y’all. The photos are from just north of town – the Boca Del Rio area. I don’t think it ever actually rained…just a beautiful sunny day with a black cloud passing to the south. Perfect for diving…

    Breakdown of Public Institutions and related Politics in Belize by: Aria Lightfoot
    The tragic death of three teenagers in Belize, the “forgery” or likely illegal accommodation of identification cards from the institutions that hold our Belizean identity in trust; the death of thirteen babies in the public hospital; the failure of the police and judiciary to hold more than five percent of criminals accountable; the education system focused only on top performers – pick an issue or scandal and you will likely find several key elements creating problems. Some of those key elements undermining Belize’s governmental system are apathy among Public Officers; non-experts as key decision makers; lack of accountability; a system that discourages meritocracy and a deteriorating moral compass. In order for us to understand the role of government we must define the players. The major players in government are the public officers. Public officers are duly elected representatives such as your elected area representatives from both parties; appointed citizens chosen by elected officials such as the Governor General, judges, magistrates, senators, CEOs and heads of departments; and general workers and service providers benefiting from public funding thru salaries or service contracts such as teachers, doctors, office workers and contractors. The job of public officers is to collectively govern the great nation of Belize. In an idealistic environment government has a social and legal contract for which they are remunerated with citizens’ taxes and are constitutionally mandated to uphold, legislate, adjudicate, maintain, uplift, review laws, policies and practices. Government’s responsibility is outlined within the legal framework of the Constitution of Belize. Government provides infrastructure, healthcare, security, education etc. and government maintains institutions, provides services and works for the public good.

    December 2015 Placencia Breeze
    INSIDE December 2015 Pg 3 BTIA news Pg 5 Belize’s Cultural Holiday Celebrations Pg 6 Rotary Club Events Pg 9 Itz’ana - Placencia’s Future Shines Bright Pg 10 Culinary Tours - Taste Belize Pg 11 Humane Society / Outlet Youth Center Pg 12 Point of View – Rumpopo Pg 13 Placencia Humane Society AGM Pg 14 Seine Bight Wins Battle of the Drums Pg 15 & 18 Placencia BTIA Membership Directory Pg 16 & 17 Placencia Peninsula Map Pg 23 Placencia Peninsula Happenings Pg 24 Events & National Holiday Calendar/Save the Date Pg 25 SEA & Turtle Inn Auction/Evening w/ David Shaw Pg 26 & 27 Classified Ads and Public Notices Pg 30/31 Paid Listings

    International Sourcesizz

    Government of Belize bans offshore oil exploration at Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage site
    At its cabinet meeting yesterday, the Belize government approved a policy that will legally ban offshore exploration in all seven areas that make up the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage area. The decision will effectively exclude the entire World Heritage area from any future oil exploration and make the site consistent with the World Heritage Committee’s position that oil exploration is incompatible with World Heritage status. The decision is a major first step forward in the government’s efforts to remove Belize Barrier Reef from the List of World Heritage in Danger. Following an IUCN-WHC mission to Belize last January, the government of Belize agreed on an ambitious 3-year roadmap that sets out a Desired State of Conservation for removal of the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger. A permanent ban on oil in the World Heritage area and its surrounding zones with a functional ecological connection to the property is anticipated by 31 January 2016. The Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest reef system in the world. In 2009, the site was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger because of concerns on the sale, lease and development of mangrove islands and the absence of a solid regulatory framework that can ensure the conservation of its exceptional values. In 2010, the World Heritage Committee expressed serious concern about the potential for oil developments within and immediately adjacent to the iconic World Heritage site.

    Ocean Academy presents "Twas the Gala Before Christmas!" Annual Fundraiser
    Come on out this weekend and lets start our Christmas Holidays with a bang! Come support Caye Caulker Ocean Academy Annual Christmas Fundraiser: 'Twas the Gala before Christmas - Dinner, Show and Dance! Saturday, December 5th 2015 at the Central Park! Come join the fun with games starting at 3:00 pm- 5:00 pm and then out Gala starts at 6:00 pm! Come dance the night away until 1:00 am! Soft drinks, beers and food will be on sale!

    FIFA Corruption: Top Officials Arrested in Pre-Dawn Raid at Zurich Hotel
    Swiss authorities began a new series of pre-dawn arrests Thursday in the broad investigation, led by United States officials, into corruption in international soccer. More than a dozen people were expected to be charged, law enforcement officials said, nearly doubling the size of an already huge case that has upended FIFA, soccer’s multibillion-dollar governing body. Some of the arrests took place at the same luxury hotel where other FIFA officials were arrested in May. Swiss police entered the hotel, the Baur au Lac, through a side door at 6 a.m. local time. A hotel manager told visitors in the lobby they had to leave the property because of “an extreme situation.” The police were targeting current and former senior soccer officials on charges that include racketeering, money laundering and fraud, authorities said. The new charges were expected to hit South and Central American soccer leaders particularly hard, the officials said. The Justice Department confirmed in a news release that Alfredo Hawit of Honduras and Juan Ángel Napout of Paraguay were among those charged. Hawit is the president of Concacaf, the regional confederation that includes North and Central America and the Caribbean. Napout is the president of Conmebol, the South American confederation. Both are FIFA vice presidents and members of the powerful executive committee.

    Videos

  • Scuba Diving in Belize, 8min.

  • Snorkle Belize Shark Ray Alley, 9min. Rays and Sharks start about 1 minute in...

  • ANDY PALACIO LIVES THROUGH HIS MUSIC..., 4min. It has been seven years since the untimely passing of the legendary Belizean musician, Andy Palacio. Andy Palacio put Belize on the musical map as he was known across the world for his Garifuna culture and music. In October of 2008 he won the prestigious WOMEX Award from the World Music Expo and in September, he was named Artist for Peace by UNESCO and was presented with the Order of Meritorious Service by the Belize Government. While all Belizeans still mourn the loss of a musical icon, today we all join in remembering Palacio who would have been celebrating his fifty-fifth birthday. In honor of Palacio’s birthday, CTV3 has put together a video which highlights Andy’s glorious musical career.

  • The UB Song, 2min. The official song of the University of Belize. It was written by Sir. Colville Young, Governor General of Belize

  • Belcampo Belize Promo Video, 3min.

  • UB ERI inaugurates Staff and Visitors Quarters at Calabash Caye Field Station, 5min. The University of Belize Environmental Research Institute held an inauguration ceremony for the "Staff and Visitors Quarters" on the grounds of the Calabash Caye Field Station, Turneffe Atoll on November 30th, 2015.

  • Belize Private Island, 3min. Using the DJI Phantom 3 Drone high over Fantasy Island Eco Resort in Belize. We rented a cabana on this island and ended up being the only ones there, thereby renting our own private island by default!

  • Diving in Belize, 2nd dive, 12min.

  • SWIMMING WITH SHARKS | Caye Caulker, Belize, 5min. Welcome to the clearest water in the world! On the small island of Caye Caulker on Belize's Caribbean coast, I swam with manotees, sharks, sting rays and of course lots of lovely fish! It was amazeballs! I stayed at Bella's Backpackers which I would recommend. The tour was organised by a guy called Steve who did not have an office but wondered the island offering his services! Almost all snorkelling tours in Caye Caulker however should provide a very similar experience so there is no way you can miss out! Tours average around $80 for the day. The easiest way to travel to Caye Caulker is by Ferry from Belize City - takes about 40 minutes.

  • Feeding a monkey in Belize, Central America, 3.5min. We took an excursion called Belize Lamanai Mayan Ruins Experience . After a Belizian lunch, our guide brought along a banana on the boat part of the tour. We then stopped off to feed a monkey.

  • A Bit of Belize, 4min.

  • Belize Dance wku, 4min.

  • San Pedro, Belize Nov 2015, 10min. Good times.

  • GoPro/Drone: Star Fish Island, Belize, 3.5min. Start your snorkeling adventure on board a catamaran or trimaran. Travel through crystal clear waters to your snorkeling destination, the barrier reef. See rich, pristine waters, abundant reef life and coral formations. Then sit back and enjoy our free signature rum punch while you travel to a private island getaway for some relaxation. Sunbathe, swim and enjoy the music and the amenities of the island. A full bar is available where you can purchase your favorite mixed drink, cocktail or local beer. Order our Belize rice and beans made with coconut milk, baked or grilled chicken and salad. Pick up your island souvenir at the island’s shop! A truly amazing getaway!

    December 2, 2015


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    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

    Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    Community Mural brightens up Town
    San Ignacio Town has always been a beautiful community, but it seems the sun is shining a little bit brighter in Cayo since the installment of its newest addition “A Painted Conversation.” The gorgeous mural showcases amazing talent and definitely exudes waves of warmth, that just gives everybody that warm fuzzy feeling inside! The project was spearheaded by leading artist Natalia Pilato of Penn State University School of Visual Arts in the USA, and was made possible through a collaboration of students from Galen University, generous sponsors and the residents of all ages from San Ignacio Town. The mural was originally a part of Natalia’s dissertation research for her PhD in art education and was started in November 2014 and completed on November 27th,2015! The mural which is a collage of photos and drawings were traced and painted by over 175 people ranging in age from 7-71 from Belize and around the world! The concept of the mural was the result of a survey done by Galen University students which asked residents of the tranquil town what they considered their biggest assets.

    Ambergris Today

    $2,500 to the San Pedro AIDS Commission
    Mayor Daniel Guerrero presented a check of $2,500 to the San Pedro AIDS Commission in support of the groups positive efforts in the island community to raise awareness and spread information about HIV/AIDS. The Annual AIDS Walk took place immediately after, through the main streets of downtown San Pedro in commemoration of WORLD AIDS DAY.

    Town Council Starts Relocation of Artisans from Central Park
    The San Pedro Town Council is in the process of restructuring and renovating the San Pedro Central Park, as well as relocating the artisans. It was the intention of the SPTC to have completed the process before the Christmas Season but after re-evaluation and in order to put the right measures in place, the artisans will be relocated on the first working day of the year 2016. Following a meeting with the park artisans, the SPTC has decided to place some of the artisans on the beach directly in front of the park. This was done to ensure that the artisans were not disenfranchised for the Christmas Season since it is considered one of the busiest times for them. All parties are cognizant of the need to have the park completely free for the entire month of December and available for our families to enjoy during the Christmas Season. As such, the artisans were asked to temporarily relocate to the beach for one month. In addition, the delay will give The SPTC enough time to ensure that the new artisan area is completed with the right facilities as was originally envisioned.

    25 Years Ago - Remembering When WE USED TO… in San Pedro Village No. 8
    NAMES OF BOATS: Thunderbolt, La Gabiota, La Pachanga, Seaduced, Still Catching Dreams- these are a few modern names given to various boats in San Pedro. The families in San Pedro of yester years would have probably made a big fuss if the men in the families opted to such fancy names as these. We USED to do things differently in San Pedro. It was very simple but meaningful. These are the names given to boats in the fishing village of San Pedro: Marisela, Luisa, Carmelita, Teresita, Patsy, Martha, Anita, La Lupita, Zeida, Kathy, Mirtha, Leni, Nitty, Bertha, Alice, Luisita, and of course, Elsa P and Ema V. You have probably guessed by now that these were the names of wives and daughters in the families.
    MAKING FISHING NETS: There USED TO BE cast nets (tarralla), gill nets (red para tiburones), seines (red para lanciar), and there was also the bait and shad scoops, (jamo). Most children and teens today do not know how these fishing nets look like nor their uses. Well in days gone by we not only learned to use these fishing nets, but also to fabricate them. It was called the art of “Tejer una red” or the art of knitting fishing nets. Actually from an early age, perhaps about ten years old, children were taught by their dads how to make fishing nets.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    UB Open Day 2015
    Beltraide was among over 20 exhibitors at the University of Belize’s Second Science Open Day & Expo, which was held on Friday, 27th November at the UB campus in Belmopan. Hundreds of university, visiting primary and high school students had the opportunity to learn more about the services being offered by Beltraide. Beltraide is the Government’s main agency for attracting new investors to Belize as well as assisting local businessmen to improve their products and services. Beltraide also offers a myriad of services to small and potential businessmen through its Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) and the Belize Training & Education Centre (BTEC), which are based in Belize City.

    San Pedro Township Day
    On Friday, November 27, 2015, San Pedro Town celebrated 31 years of achieving its township back in 1984 under the leadership of Mr. Gilberto "Chico" Gomez. This year, the San Pedro Town Council took an educational approach to its township celebrations as we had an Open House day where all residents and visitors were invited to visit the offices of the town council and witness the renovations that have and are still taking place as well as to find out the daily operations of the staff in the town council. The upper-divisions of all schools were invited to participate in the Open House where they learned interesting facts about San Pedro and its founders. Both teachers and students were very amazed at how what once was the town's water tank is now the Town Council's file room and design and print room. (P.S. like 20+ years ago, the town council had a built in water tank, made of concrete, that used to supply water for the entire town back in its days.)

    Thank you from Ocean Academy
    On behalf of Ocean Academy, we would like to say a big THANK YOU to all our business sponsors!!! Thank you to: Fantasy Wine & Dine, Marin's D Zine, Healing Touch Spa, Rosado's Butane, T & C Supermarket, Purple Passion Beauty Salon, M & N Hotel & Apartments, Convenience Store, Rose's Grill & Bar, REMAX Island Real Estate, Auntie's Take out Food, Barrier Reef Cable System, Esley Usher Fishing Tours, Caribbean Colors Art Cafe, Panchos Villas, Yuma's House, Caye Caulker Village Council, Caye Caulker Plaza Hotel, J & Sons Xtreme Carts, Caye Caulker Bakery, Buddy's Golfcart Rental, De Real Macaw, Land of the Lazy Lizard, E-Z Boy Tours, La Cubana, St. Francis Xavier Credit Union, Pasta Per Caso, Sip n Dip Beach Bar, Dirty Mc Nasty's Hotel, The Little Blue Giftshop, Costs Maya Beach, Caye Reef Condos, Bahia Convenient Store, Rapidito Construction Depot, Blue Sea Dive Service, Island Magic, Amanda's Place, Anchorage Resort, Bondi, Sea Side Cabanas, The Dreaded Grape Fine Wine & Cheese, Habaneros, Hicacenos Store, Caye Caulker Fuels, Amigos Store, Friendship Store, !

    Power interruptions 5:00am to 5:15am & 4:45pm to 5:00pm, Sunday, December 6 Belize City
    Inclusive of all areas up to Mile 1 on Philip Goldson Highway and Mile 1 on George Price Highway. BEL to conduct climbing inspections of the transmission system & facilitate pile driving for the Ministry of Works.

    Cayo Art Festival 2015
    The SISE House of Culture celebrated their 5th anniversary with the Cayo Art Festival last Saturday at the Cayo Welcome Center. Everyone had a great time, especially the kids: lots of clown fun was had. There was great food, and lots of art for everyone to enjoy. Happy anniversary, SISE HoC! Crystal Paradise got some great shots of the art.

    Congratulations to Ocean Academy
    Ocean Academy has been an Adobe Youth Voices partner school for three years. Alumni Yvon Noralez won a prestigious Adobe Creativity Scholarship, and Mathew was a youth Ambassador who participated in international youth webinars.

    ITZ’ANA Ground Breaking
    Beltraide continues to enhance Belize’s prosperity by fostering investor confidence and creating an enabling business environment. As part of this effort, members of Beltraide attended a ground breaking ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 18th at Itz’ana Resort and Residences in Placencia. The event was attended by key players in the tourism industry as well as representatives of various government departments. Mrs Kim Simplis-Barrow, wife of Prime Minister Barrow, was among the special invited guests. Itz’ana proposes to develop a high-end resort occupying 20 acres of land which lies approximately 1 mile south of Seine Bight Village; The resort will be equipped with 115 rooms and villas planned over 2 phases of development; Official opening will be in December 2016 with 65 rooms available; the remaining 50 villas will be constructed by July 2017; Projected employment in excess of 300 full time employees at full operation

    Sub-regional Workshop on Development of Competencies for Nursing Educators to be held in Belize
    The Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in cooperation with the Ministry of Health will be hosting a sub-regional workshop on the development of competencies for nursing educators from December 2nd to 4th at the Princess Ramada Hotel in Belize City. The overall objective of the workshop is to review, update and develop a plan of action for nursing and midwifery competencies. The process is geared towards the strengthening of these competencies within a specific timeline in the Caribbean region. Participants in the workshop will include chief nursing officers and nursing educators from throughout the region. Facilitators will include technical personnel from PAHO-Washington, D.C. and WHO-Geneva.

    Government of Belize Bans Offshore Exploration in and around all Seven World Heritage Sites
    Cabinet at its meeting today, Tuesday, December 1, 2015, approved a policy that will legally apply a ban on offshore exploration in areas along the Belize Barrier Reef System, and within the seven (7) World Heritage Sites in Belize. Cabinet has agreed to specifically ban offshore exploration in all 7 World Heritage Sites: 1. Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve and National Park 2. Caye Caulker Marine Reserve and National Park 3. Lighthouse Reef Natural Monument 4. South Water Caye Marine Reserve 5. Laughing Bird Caye National Park 6. Glovers Reef Marine Reserve 7. Sapodilla Caye Marine Reserve This effectively results in a total of 448 square miles being banned. In addition, Cabinet agreed to a ban offshore exploration within one kilometer on either side of the Belizean Barrier Reef System, resulting in an additional 868 square miles falling under the offshore exploration ban. The total area covered by the ban is 842,714 acres or 1,316 square miles.

    Poets Corner: Gross negligence!
    By Abdulamajeed K Nunez. Playful screams turn into horror A plan to get attention has turned sour This is typical of jail culture Doing things to get the attention of their jailers Where the hell was the supervising officer? The police say they have a task force investigating the matter This is manslaughter Can you imagine the horror under which these three juveniles died While the media tries To propagandize To play it off as group suicide Dont believe their lies They were charred beyond the point their parents can recognize So horrified, the press of the fire popped out one’s eyes Another was holding her intestines

    Trivia Night! on Caye Caulker
    Come join the fun every Sunday and Wednesday! Test your knowledge of useless facts, have a laugh, and win money towards your bar bill! Always a great time - Fun,…Location : Barrier Reef Sports Bar & GrillStart Date: December 2, 2015End Date: December 2, 2015Time: 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm

    Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge 2016
    The 2016 Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge is only 80 days away. The MMAC is not only a fun adventure. One of the goals is to raise over $500,000 for the Friends for Conservation and Development so they can better protect the Chiquibul. Cahal Pech Village Resort is one of the hosts, and many of the teams will be staying there. "Your donation will help to put more park rangers on the ground for FCD. Currently there are 7 park rangers. The telethon’s target was to raise BZ$500,000 to provide 24 park rangers in the area and kick-start the Adopt A Ranger Program for Chiquibul National Park. By the end of the telethon, we met 65% of our target, and we continue to accept contributions toward this effort."

    SPORTS & BELIZE: WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE!
    Will Belizean sports ever come back to what it use to be before? Inquiring minds would like to know. As the new year approaches, and 2015 is about to call it a wrap, Belize and Belizeans are hoping for a new sun to shine again on the glorious days of Belizeean sports, and the rise and resurrection of the Belizean spectacular athlete who once made Belize the great nation it once use to be. Let's keep hope alive, but with cautious optimism. Let there be Belize's sports resurrection!

    Channel 7

    Mystery Plane Crashed and Burned, What's The Story?
    Tonight police are trying to unravel the mystery behind a plane that was found burned west of Spanish Lookout. Information suggests that the plane was heard circling over Spanish Lookout without lights at 1:30 this morning. And then, this morning it was found like this on a farm road in the Green Hills area near Aguacate Creek. But it's not a crash landing, and no one died, police believe it was a drug plane, abandoned deliberately torched. Police and Civil Aviation were called to the scene and they have determined that it was a single engine Cessna 210. But they haven't been able to tell much else because the plane is burnt beyond recognition. Police are almost certain it was used for the transport of drugs - most likely across the Guatemala which is not very far from Aguacate Creek. After the drug cargo was transferred - police believe the occupants deliberately burned the plane to destroy the evidence. This also confirms to police that the cargo was more valuable than the plane. Police believe that a local landing crew was likely involved and are treating it as an open investigation.

    Youth Hostel Investigation Begins, There's A Lot To Look At
    The independent investigation led by former Magistrate Margaret Nicholas into the events of Saturday November 28 at the Youth Hostel is officially underway. We have confirmed that she has already requested and been provided with key documents. And while her investigation is expected to center on the multiple breakdowns that led to three girls being burned, one of the things she may also want to look into is the chaos that erupted in the hostel compound in the immediate aftermath of the fire. As we showed you last night - a young girl came within a few feet of jumping from the roof of another building - when other youths saved her from what looked to be a suicide attempt. Through all this - one wonders - who was in charge - where were the adults? We asked the CEO that same question yesterday:... Jules Vasquez "One more life was almost lost right after, one of the girls climbed on the roof and she was starting to slide down when a young boy grabbed her and pulled her back after the chaos ensued. Was there a complete loss of control? We heard glass breaking. We know the police had been brought in to put all the girls in one room. What happened after that?"

    CEO Alpuche: You Can Help Hostel
    That was yesterday - and today CEO Alpuche seems to have had a brainstorm. She wants to harness all that public outcry that's been ventilated on Facebook and other social media to try and make things better at the hostel. True enough, it's a place most of us would rather forget - until a tragedy like this occurs - and then everyone turns instant expert on what was wrong all along... Well, Alpuche says the hostel needs that expertise and that energy - so she today made a call to action. Here's her pitch:... Judith Alpuche, CEO - Min. Of Human Development "And I was looking at some of the comments from social media and it struck me that I am seeing the outrage and the empathy and the sympathy and the sadness and it struck me that this is energy. And what we need is more energy, positively harnessed and directed constructed and on behalf of our children. We need more energy and I saw people commenting about the skill sets that they had - like they were psychologist with experience in dealing with this population.

    PUP Pulls Petrocaribe: Was It All A Misbegotten Misadventure
    About 4 months ago, we told you about how the PUP's Petrocaribe Lawsuit appeared to be losing steam. As viewers may remember, this is the case where Julius Espat, the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, was suing Prime Minister Barrow and the Government over the legality of the Petrocaribe Spending. At the end of July, coming off the bruising and divisive bye-election defeat in Dangriga, the attorneys on record pulled out - leaving the case on life support. Well, today, after a decisive general election victory for the UDP, we found out that the case had been withdrawn. We caught up with the main claimant, Julius Espat, and he told us that he chose to simply pull the plug because the voters have spoken on November 4: Hon. Julius Espat, Claimant: "It's a complex explanation. But it's a combination of listening to the advice of the attorney and also listening to the people of Belize. The first one is that the attorney has advised us that basically because the law was changed two times to accommodate what was done, it was not worth the while continuing. In reality the only thing pending is the retrospective supplementary appropriation and that continues to happen as we move along. We believe that that portion and that part of it is also important and we shouldn't have it mixed up with the whole scenario of just Petrocaribe. Because the retrospective supplementary appropriation is not only just about Petrocaribe.

    Julius Doesn't Want Leadership
    While we had the opportunity, we asked Espat if he will offer himself as leader of the PUP at the upcoming PUP National Convention. Espat, along with John Briceno, Cordel Hyde, Kareeem Musa, and Lisa Shoman are the names that have been mentioned as possible replacements for Francis Fonseca. Today, he told us that he has no aspirations for leadership right now because he has to place all his focus on his Cayo South Constituency. Here's how he explained it: Hon. Julius Espat: "From the beginning I never decide to pursue it. So I don't know where that story comes from. People were asking me and they assumed that I would pursue it. In life you have to listen to people and as politician more than anybody you have to listen to advice. I have done my own calculations, I have done my own analysis, I have spoken to my leaders in Cayo South, I have spoken with my national advisors if you want to call it that way and we believe at this time it is best for me to spend more time in Cayo South. There are so many issues that are there that needs attention and we have to fight for people.

    A Fiery Starter Caused Burning Bus
    A burning bus at mile 60 on the Western Highway caught a lot of attention this morning. The eastbound Westline Bus was seen being consumed by torrid flames near Orange Gallery. It made for some dramatic picture, and here's what happened. First off, none of the 45 passengers was hurt. Manager of Westline, Usbaldo Castillo told 7News that the bus is a 5:00 am charter which runs from Benque to Santander in Valley of Peace. But at 5:45, nearing mile 60, the driver detected the scent of something burning. He pulled over and saw heavy smoke billowing form under the engine. He got all the passengers off the bus - and saw that a wire from the starter to the engine was on fire. From there most of the fire had spread to the engine and engine cover. He tried to contain the fire but wasn't able to - and it consumed the bus. The workers, 40 men and 5 women were transported on another bus. Castillo tells us that the bus had just come out of the garage the night before where a new transmission was installed. It was taken for a test drive last night and deemed to be road worthy.

    World AIDS Day: Let's Talk About Sex
    Usually for young people, discussions about sex and sexually transmitted diseases are confined to Health Science class. In most cases, it's not freely addressed by parents at home and when it is, the "touchy subject" is usually approached more delicately. But today the coordinators of the National HIV/AIDS Youth Symposium said sexuality and sexual practices must be thoroughly explored. The symposium was held at the UB Jaguar Auditorium in Belmopan and Courtney Weatherburne was there. She found out just how complex and "multilayered" talking about sex can be. Based on statistics, there were 221 new HIV cases in 2014 and for this year so far from January to June, there has been 98 new cases of HIV. Young people between the age of 15 and 24 are considered at highest risk.

    Cubans Caught In Legal Limbo Held In Bze Prison
    Back in August, we told you about 20+ Cubans who were caught illegally in Belize. They were suspected of being part of a human trafficking movement through this country with their final destination being America. Well, right now, they remain on lockdown where is probably the only place they can be because they're caught in a legal limbo where they can't go back home, and they can't be set free. We understand from sources that the number has increased to 30, and they're all waiting on lockdown for the Government to decide what to do with them. So, why can't they go home? Well, informed observers tell us that Cuba has specific laws prohibiting illegal exits from the country without proper documentation, and once they do that… they are considered by their Government as "persona non-grata", and they can't go back to their country for another 8 years. So, while the Immigration Department would simply want to ship them home, it can't do that. We understand also that these Cubans do not want to go back home. So, because there is nowhere to keep them, the Prison has them held, but that cannot be a long-term fix.

    The Nina Situation Normalized
    Two weeks ago, we told you about baby Nina and the international custody battle between her Guatemalan father and her Belizean mother. The child was caught in the middle and put in foster care while the case worked its way through the courts. Well, the good news is that the court process is being accelerated and the icy relations between the department of human development and Nina's mom is thawing out. The CEO told us more yesterday:... Judith Alpuche, CEO - Min. Of Human Development "With baby Nina, the matter is that we are hoping to get a court date this week, because we are moving up the case. It was initially that we got interim custody for two months. We never want to have custody of children any longer than we need to and so quite in keeping with what we do we are moving up the date. As I said our lawyer is working very hard to get a court date for this week and so the court will hear the matter and make a determination." Reporter "The baby is with whom at this time?" Judith Alpuche, CEO - Min. Of Human Development "The child has been placed in foster care with a relative. The mother is allowed visitation. There is structured visitation agreement. She has visitation daily."

    Being Caught With Contraband Costs A Man
    A man has to pay the court over $13,000 dollars after being caught with contraband. 28 year old Sergio Chi was caught in late July of this year with 21 sacks of onion, 10 cases of tomatoes, 2 sacks of sweet pepper, 10 cases of corn flour and 4 sacks of cabbage. He had agreed to settle the matter out of court but he failed to do so and eluded the police for months. Well they caught up with him and he was taken to court today. He appeared before Magistrate Deborah Rogers in Court 3 where he wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the offense of uncustomed goods. He now has to pay $13,245.00 plus a $5.00 cost of court by December 2016, or in default, 6 months imprisonment. Chi asked the court for leniency since he recently got a job a week ago and claims he has a child to maintain but can pay his fine if given more time. Magistrate Rogers informed him that if he is unable to pay the fine in full within a year, he can ask the court for an extension if he has been making significant payments towards his fine.

    Government Implements Ban On Offshore Drilling
    5 years, that's how long the conservationists have been pressing the Barrow Government to institute a permanent Ban on Offshore Oil Drilling. But, it was not so simple because oil exploration contracts were already signed with different private companies, and so if the Government simply instituted a moratorium, they would be effectively be terminating these contracts - and thereby opening up the country to lawsuits for breech of contract. So, late this year when all the oil exploration contracts expired, the Government chose not to renew any of them, especially in the environmentally sensitive areas, such as the marine reserves. Since then, the Oceana Belize and other conservationists have been lobbying in the halls of power for the Barrow Government to issue a permanent ban.

    An Inspiring Calendar
    Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Barrow today launched the 2016 Inspiration Calendar and Agenda. The launch was held today at the Inspiration Center, where Barrow explained that it's a fundraiser, and also an awareness raiser: The Taiwanese Ambassador also handed over a 68 thousand dollar check for the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Isolation room. The calendar is available at the Inspiration Center and the agendas at McNab design.

    Phillip Brackett Passes
    Tonight we note the passing of well-known former politician and transport commissioner Phillip Brackett. The 53 year old - who was stricken with diabetes - died in Los Angeles over the weekend. But, it wasn't diabetes that killed him; it was an accidental fall. Brackett's two legs had been amputated because of the diabetes and he was confined to a wheel chair. After returning from church on Sunday, He fell from the wheelchair and hit his head - which led to his death. Brackett has two children and will be cremated in California for his ashes to be brought to Belize.

    Channel 5

    Drug Plane Lands in Spanish Lookout
    Police are tight-lipped today after an alleged drug plane landed at a remote location behind the Spanish Lookout Community sometime after midnight. Official details are practically nonexistent, perhaps because Police [...]

    The Hostel Fire Tragedy Revisited
    The families of three fire victims who perished inside a padlocked room at the Princess Youth Hostel are still reeling over their horrific deaths. Today, the families of the minors [...]

    Police Launch Thorough Investigation into Youth Hostel Fire
    There are lingering questions on the death of Shadisha Arnold, Ana Carlos and Elizabeth McKoy. As far as we know, the independent investigation led by a former magistrate, Margaret Nicholas, [...]

    Post-mortem Examination on Three victims Performed Today
    Today at one p.m., a postmortem was performed on the charred bodies of Shadisha Arnold, Ana Carlos and Elizabeth McKoy. According to the families, only Arnold’s mother was informed of [...]

    Do you believe there’s negligence which led to the death of three girls in a fire at the Princess Royal Youth Hostel?
    And tonight’s question is: Do you believe there’s negligence which led to the death of three girls in a fire at the Princess Royal Youth Hostel? Send your comments and [...]

    Attorney Offers Service to Families of Victims
    Legal redress in the wake of Saturday’s deadly fire at the female section of the Princess Royal Youth Hostel is an option that most likely will be explored by the [...]

    Families Will Seek Legal Redress
    Collectively, attorneys offering counsel to the fire victims’ families have come up with a figure for compensation in the absence of a formula such as the one used to calculate [...]

    Saldivar Says Ministry Should Not Be Investigating Itself
    Whereas an independent investigation into the tragic incident is being led by former magistrate and Director of the Family Court Margaret Nicholas, attorney Saldivar maintains that the ministry should not [...]

    GOB Bans Offshore Drilling Near Reef System and World Heritage Sites
    There is good news for anti-offshore drilling activists and organizations tonight. A release from Cabinet late this afternoon revealed that a policy has been approved which bans exploration in areas [...]

    Bus Goes Up in Flames Near Georgeville
    Employees of Santander, heading to work from Benque Viejo this morning, escaped serious injuries when the bus they were traveling suddenly caught fire.  The incident occurred sometime before six o’clock [...]

    Belizean Shoppers in Chetumal Targeted by Thieves
    Belizeans travelling across the border to shop during this Christmas season are asked to be on alert. A Mexican newspaper reports that Belizean shoppers are being targeted by thieves who [...]

    Contrabista Asks OW Court for Leniency
    I n July of this year, the Customs Department caught an Orange Walk businessman with an assortment of uncustomed vegetables and flour. Sergio Chi pleaded guilty and was fined three [...]

    Pook brothers Murder Trial Nears Conclusion
    In the Supreme Court, the trial of three Belize City brothers, Michael, Ryan and Adrian Pook is coming to an end. This morning, the trio was called to answer to [...]

    Roads Constructed Weeks Ago Already Breaking Up
    There is unprecedented infrastructural works ongoing across the country, projects funded through the Petrocaribe bounty and others through monies from various lending agencies. It was a major platform of the [...]

    OW Mayor Seeks Municipal Bond for Infrastructure Works
    Mayor Bernard has his own infrastructural problems in Orange Walk Town, similar to municipalities countrywide. There is little money for the upgrading and maintenance of all streets in town, and [...]

    Inspiration Calendar 2016 Launched
    The Inspiration Calendar is now in its fifth edition. The latest publication was launched today by the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children along with McNab Design. [...]

    LOVE FM

    Cabinet announces Policy Against Offshore Oil Exploration
    The Cabinet met in regular session today in Belmopan and coming out of that meeting was a policy that will legally place a ban on offshore exploration in areas along the Belize Barrier Reef System as well as within the seven World Heritage Sites in Belize. It is indeed good news for the organizations and […]

    Standard and Poor Revises Ratings on Belize’s Outlook
    Standard and Poor’s Rating Services has published a revision of its outlook on the long term ratings on Belize. According to this revision, dated November 25, 2015, Belize’s outlook has gone from being positive to being stable with an affirmation of the B-Minus/B Rating on the country’s foreign and local currency sovereign credit. According to […]

    Arson on the Cane Fields?
    Two cane fields belonging to ASR/BSI was set on fire earlier today. We understand that sometime after three o’clock this afternoon, authorities were informed that two fields, about twelve acres, located in the Guinea Grass area of Orange Walk District belonging to the company was ablaze. It is believed to be a case of arson. […]

    Chamber Concerned Over Belize’s Economic Ratings
    Standard and Poor’s latest report in which it has readjusted Belize’s ratings has brought about concerns by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In a release from the BCCI, there were six main points made including the statement in the report that spoke of Belize’s increase in fiscal deficit due to the pre-election spending […]

    Bus Catches Fire on the GP Highway
    A passenger bus transporting workers of Green Tropics caught fire this morning just before six o’clock on the George Price Highway in the Cayo District. Aboard the bus were about forty men and women when the driver noticed something amiss. Owner of the Westline Bus, Sergio Chuc spoke to Love News on the incident. SERGIO […]

    Belize Has Representation at Cultural Luncheon in the US
    Belize is having representation at a fundraising mission in Pennsylvania, New York, USA. The mission, dubbed, A Cultural Luncheon, is featuring the cultures of both Belize and El Salvador, with special emphasis on food. Gaspari Cordova, who is in the United States on the Humphrey Fellowship Program via the US Embassy in Belize, is at […]

    Belize Holds Symposium in Celebration of World AIDS Day 2015
    World Aids Day is being recognized around the world, today, December 1. It is a day set aside with the objective to have people from all walks of life come together and unite in the fight against HIV whilst showing their support for the persons living with HIV and at the same time commemorating the […]

    Future of BCG Is Bright, Says National Security Minister
    Last Friday saw the graduation of over forty men and women of the Belize Coast Guard and the celebration of the organization’s tenth anniversary. Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, who was one of the main speakers, spoke on the country’s national security and how the ministry intends to boost the efforts and resources of […]

    Cordova Speaks on the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship
    Earlier in our newscast we told you of 33-year-old, Gaspari Cordova, a Belizean teacher who is in the United States on the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship program. While he is getting ready to represent Belize at a cultural luncheon on Wednesday, December 02, there are other events and activities that he has been a part […]

    Belize to Join in the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy
    At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta, Queen Elizabeth the Second expressed gratitude for the donations of the rainforest and other environmental projects serving the CHOGM for the past sixty years. Commonwealth countries such as Belize, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, and Zambia, have committed to protecting environmental areas […]

    Amandala

    Construction begins on new Belize City Center
    Belizeans who have been going to the BelCan Bridge park and basketball court to rest, recreate and play basketball can no longer do so. The park and the court have been fenced in and taken over by contractors for the construction of the new Belize City Center. The park was located on the right side of the south approach to BelCan Bridge near the bank of the Haulover Creek. The new City Center will be built by the Medina Construction Company Ltd/International Environments, Ltd. at a cost of $32,940,261.25. The contract was signed on October, 8, 2015, between the Government of Belize and the company. Amandala had tried for four days to get information about the construction from the Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL), the arm of the Government responsible for construction of Government projects, but we were given the run-around by its officials. The story, however, appeared today in the Guardian newspaper, an official organ of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP).

    Two arraigned for Ruben Perez’s murder
    The two young men who were escorted into the court building this morning walked into the courtroom without the slightest look of apprehension on their faces, as they stood before the Magistrate who arraigned them on a capital offense for which they were not required to enter a plea. Keon Dennison, 18, a construction worker who gave his address as River Estate, Dangriga; and Tyrone Reid, 19, a construction worker of a Belmopan address, are accused of the Thursday, November 26 murder of Ruben Perez, a businessman of Vernon Street, Belize City. They were remanded to the Belize Central Prison until their next scheduled court appearance on January 29, 2015. The video footage captured by a camera in Perez Hardware store shows that on Thursday, November 26, at 3:17 p.m., Perez had gotten up from behind his desk where he was sitting with his phone in his hand. He walked towards the entrance of his business and two men were seen entering the building. Their stay inside was brief. The video shows a brief struggle with the deceased, Perez, and the two men who had entered his hardware store.

    Murder suspects captured hours after murder of businessman
    Two men, an 18-year-old and a 19-year-old, one from Dangriga and the other from Maskall, who police strongly believe were the killers who shot and killed Belize City businessman Ruben Perez, of Vernon Street, at about 3:30 yesterday afternoon in his office on his business compound, have been jointly charged with murder. Police say that the men are unknown to them. The second man later was captured by police with the assistance of the public after the footage of the surveillance cameras was shown on 7News. The first alleged murderer was captured within minutes after the shooting occurred. The incident was caught on more than one security camera in the compound, which showed the murder of Perez, owner of Perez Construction Supplies. Reports to Amandala are that at about 3:30 Thursday afternoon, two men who were not wearing masks bar

    3 teens perish in Youth Hostel fire
    Shadisha Arnold, 16; Anna Carlos, 16; and Elizabeth McKoy, 14, perished in a tragic fire on Saturday, November 28, at the Youth Hostel, located at Gracie Rock Village, Mile 21 ½ on the George Price Highway – a fire that the hostel says was caused by the girls themselves, who were on lockdown after escaping earlier from the institution. Today, the police and the Ministry of Human Development held a joint press conference to discuss what transpired on Saturday afternoon. There, it was revealed that protocol for the hostel had not been followed. Starla Bradley, director of the Community Rehabilitation Department, said that the girls, who had run away on the previous day, Friday, but were captured by police and returned to the facility, and who had planned to run away again, should have been thoroughly searched by a female officer and if this was done, they could not have had something with which to start a fire. Also, it was against protocol to have the doors locked with a padlock, Bradley said. Bradley said that at the time of the incident there were two female officers on duty. One of the female officers was with one group of girls watching a movie, and the other was supervising another group of girls on the basketball court.

    Barrow’s “big guns” mash protest against Guat president’s visit!
    On Saturday, the president-elect of the Republic of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales, who was visiting SICA member states, paid a courtesy call on Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow at his Belize City Coney Drive office. Although the Belize Government knew well in advance, from November 6, that Morales would be visiting Belize, this was kept as a kind of state secret – even the location of the meeting was not disclosed to the local media. A small group of nationalistic Belizeans, however, got wind of the location and decided to stage a protest against Morales’ visit due to menacing remarks that he had made about his country’s claim to Belize during his campaign for the Guatemalan presidency. Morales was quoted as saying that the loss of Belize was “the most deplorable event in Guatemala’s history.” “…we are about to lose Belize. We have not lost it yet. We still have the possibility of going to the International Court of Justice, where we can fight [for] that territory or part of that territory,” Morales reportedly told a Guatemalan reporter in September before he won the second round of voting in Guatemala’s presidential elections on October 25.

    Severe drought in Belize during rainy season due to strong El Niño
    Although Belize was spared many major storm events during this year’s Atlantic Hurricane Season, which concludes today, November 30, the El Niño phenomenon which suppressed storm activity in the Caribbean led to very dry conditions which caused “severe drought” in northern and western Belize, as well as hotter than normal temperatures during the summer months—oftentimes feeling like in excess of 100 degrees. This was confirmed by Chief Meteorological Officer Dennis Gonguez, who informed today that: “The strong El Niño event prevented even the tropical waves from supporting significant amounts of rainfall as they crossed the Caribbean Sea.” The unusual heat which made many uncomfortable during the summer months was also a consequence of El Niño, Gonguez confirmed to Amandala. Information published by the National Meteorological Service indicates that drought conditions should continue into the dry season. A drought warning is in effect for northern, inland, and central coastal areas of Belize, while a drought watch is in effect for southwest Belize. Drought concerns will continue to year-end.

    Philip Brackett, 53, passes amid valiant battle with diabetes
    Former Transport Commissioner and politician, Philip Brackett, passed away over the weekend in Los Angeles, CA, USA, at the age of 53. Although Brackett had been valiantly battling diabetes—one of the leading killers in Belize, he died after an accidental fall over the weekend, according to a family member who received the sad news on Sunday. Geovanni Brackett told us that his uncle, who had had both legs amputated due to the complications of diabetes, had returned from church and fell from his wheelchair and hit his head. It was not the diabetes that killed him, Brackett indicated. Amandala understands that Brackett had been in the US to receive medical treatment for his condition. One of his last Facebook posts reflected on the triumphs he had had in the struggle to stay alive. “I am thankful that this month makes five years since I have been living on dialysis and I am no longer thinking of dying,” Brackett wrote.

    Buzzer Beater strikes again
    Breaking a long string of Yabra Over 40 victories, Plaza Over 40 stunned the Yabra veterans, 1-nil, at the MCC yesterday evening on a first half goal by Michael (Baptist) Flowers, aka Wataplat or “the Buzzer Beater,” the name tagged on him by Gilroy “Press” Cadogan in recognition of his penchant for scoring last minute, often game winning, goals during his Second Division playing career. ‘Plat, who is the perennial coach of Ladyville Jaguars youth teams, says he is getting back in playing form, following a two year break after a badly injured leg in a road accident. Each Sunday afternoon, following the U-15 tournament games at the MCC, the veterans take the field for a friendly encounter. Yesterday, ‘Plat got the only goal, the game winner, for Plaza. Big-up yoself, the Buzzer Beater!

    FFB bombshell
    This must be the most topsy-turvy semipro football season ever, thanks to the unresolved relationship between the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) and its affiliate member, the Premier League of Belize (PLB). The PLB, according to the original semipro league constitution, should be an autonomous body, an affiliate member of the parent body, FFB. But that has not been the case for some time now, ever since the league was, in a very controversial move, “handed over to the FFB” by its former Commissioner, Omario “Myito” Perdomo a couple years ago. Nevertheless, the PLB continued to function, first under an FFB appointed Interim Committee, then an appointed manager under a board of directors. It has been very confusing, but there has been a competition, and fans are still interested in the outcome. Football is still alive in the Jewel, although it sometimes seems like there is unhealthy confusion where the competition is concerned. With the completion of the regular season over the past weekend, fans thought they all knew which teams would clash in the playoff semifinals. But late this evening, a PLB email release stated simply that “The FFB Appeals Board had made a final decision to overturn the decision made by the Premier League of Belize Protest Board.” That protest concerned the Week 3 game where Verdes FC, primed for their CONCACAF Champions League entry, had crushed the Belmopan Bandits FC by a whopping 6-1 score. The Bandits protested the game on the grounds that Verdes had utilized more than 5 “foreign players,” which had supposedly been in violation of a rule from the previous tournament. Verdes reportedly countered that all this had been agreed with the FFB in a congress meeting before the new season, considering that they were preparing for CONCACAF competition.

    Western Queens are BECOL female basketball champs
    The BECOL basketball tournament hosted two deciding semifinal game 3’s on Thursday night, to determine which U19 and U23 teams will advance to the championship series. In game 1, SHC (#2) narrowly edged Alpha Warriors (#3) in the U19 division, 54-50. SHC was led by Raheem Crawford, who had the game high with 23 points, while Jovanne “Pov” Zetina scored 15 pts, and Orel Neal sank 7 pts. In a losing effort, Alpha Warriors top scorers were Joel Montejo with 14 pts, Gian Bethran with 11 pts, and Shevan Harris with 8 pts. With the win, SHC will go up against the #1 seed, Christian Ambassadors. These two teams split their 2 regular season games. In game 2, Spartans (#3) needed overtime to clinch a berth to the finals, as they narrowly defeated Santiago Juan Warriors (#2), 45-43. Spartans’ top scorers were Kevin Brown and Khalil Bennett with 18 pts each. Santiago Juan Warriors were led by Elvert Arriola, who had 18 pts, while Jeffrey “Turtle” Carillo finished with 15 pts. On Friday night, the BECOL basketball final games tipped off with Western Queens (#1) defeating Belmopan Shock (#2) in the female division, 44-30. Western Queens’ top scorers were Yesica Prom and Amanda Sarceno, who tallied 20 and 8 pts, respectively. Belmopan Shock was led by Enid Dakers, who scored 9 pts, while Anna Gonzalez finished with 5 pts.

    Editorial: Strange vibes
    There are two distinct occasions when we older folk who live in Belize City know that something really strange is going on here. One of these occasions is on weeknights in the old capital, when Albert Street and Queen Street go dead after the sun sets. The other distinct occasion is Sunday afternoons in the population center of the nation, when there are no games being played at the highest level in football, basketball, boxing, softball, and so on. Before proceeding, we must emphasize that we are talking about older folk here. When it comes to the younger generations, the pull of their hormones is such that they will find somewhere to go and someone to be with. Where there is no excitement, the young people will create same. We older folk don’t know what’s happening and we don’t know where it’s happening, but the young people have things going on. That’s for sure. December month and Christmas should jump start some lights and commercial activity on Albert and Queen Streets, but that activity used to be all year round, primarily because of Palace Theater across from Bata’s on the Alberts and Majestic Theater down Queen Street past the Police Station. Television began to kill Palace and Majestic after its entry into Belize in 1982, and then gang violence slowly killed all night life in the city. After dark, the streets belong to the turf warriors.

    From the Publisher
    In the summer of 1966, on weekends we used to take the subway trains and travel all over New York City looking for parties, primarily Belizean ones. I was 19, a college student, and mostly broke. I was “ketching and killing” in the richest city in the world. This is almost fifty years ago, so I can’t swear for the accuracy of every single one of the following details. You understand. During that summer I got a better sense of the British Hondurans/Belizeans who had reached New York City and were about making a new life. The Sainsburys, for instance, lived just a few blocks from where my grandaunt, Gladys Lindo Ysaguirre, owned her own home on Rutland Road in Brooklyn. She had been one of the first to reach New York, perhaps after World War I. I think the Sainsburys used to live on George Street (or West) in Belize City before the family migrated. The oldest son, Ronald, was around my age or a little older. He was a tall, upright brother, and I believe he ended up going to Vietnam, where he was shot, but survived. Ronald had at least two younger brothers, one of whom visited Belize and looked me up maybe ten years ago or so. He was working in a lithographic section of The New York Times. I guess I would have met Ronald and the Sainsburys through my double cousins, the brothers Bill and Michael Lindo, who lived on Midwood Street, around the lane from Rutland Road in the opposite direction from the Sainsburys. By the summer of 1966, Mike had already moved out of his mom’s home and rented a room from the late Eric Card on Snediker Avenue. Michael was in a serious love relationship with the lady Penny Griffith, whom he went to England to marry a few months later.

    After all the campaign spending, what about Calla Creek?
    Dear Editor: One of the most critical ways that individuals can influence a governmental decision is through voting. Voting is a democratic right because of universal adult suffrage in Belize from 1954. (Universal adult suffrage was introduced in Belize in 1954.) In the 1954 Belizean elections, George Price, Philip Goldson, Leigh Richardson, Herman Jex, Enrique Depaz, Jose Chin, George Flowers and Nathaniel Cacho from the PUP all won seats in the Legislative Assembly, which had replaced the appointed Legislative Council. This was the birth of general elections for Belize. Today, Belize has held eight general elections since independence. The general election of this year has led to the appointment and re-shuffling of Ministerial portfolios, as well as seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Honorable Dean Barrow has been voted in and is now serving his third term as Prime Minister of Belize under the umbrella of the United Democratic Party. This process may seem clear cut and uneventful, yet, to many Belizeans voting in general elections has become a harrowing experience. Voting has now become a deplorable scam that reeks of entitlement, an unclear definition of roles and a lack of respect for the voting process.

    Belize to host CXC governance meetings this week
    The Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) announced this week that Belize, the only country in Central America to sit the exam, will be hosting the 2015 annual governance meetings of CXC. An official press release announced that, “The meeting of the School Examinations Committee (SEC) will be held on Thursday, 3 December 2015 and the 47th Meeting of the Council will be held on Friday, 4th December at the Radisson Hotel.” The SEC deals with examinations and technical issues, while the Council deals with administrative, staff and financial matters. The Council meeting will be officially opened with a formal ceremony on Thursday next week at the Best Western Hotel, Belize City, where Belize’s Education Minister, Hon. Patrick Faber, is slated to deliver the feature address. Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, CXC chairman, and Glenroy Cumberbatch, CXC Registrar, are also slated to speak at the event. During the opening ceremony, nine CAPE awardees and eight CSEC awardees from Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago will be presented with the regional top awards.

    Emerson Burke dies in traffic accident on Southern Highway
    Emerson Lloyd Burke, 44, of Belmopan, a former DFC chief appraiser, who subsequently became a real estate appraiser and businessman, died in a road traffic accident on the Southern Highway at about 6:00 this morning between Miles 33 and 34, in the Machaca Creek area. Reports are that Burke was travelling from Belmopan to Punta Gorda Town in his pickup and upon arriving in the Machaca Creek area, he lost control of the pickup and slammed into the road guard rails, causing a rail to dislodge. The forward movement of the vehicle then pushed the dislodged rail into the front portion of the vehicle, causing Burke to be hurled out of the vehicle. He suffered massive head and body injuries when he landed on the road, and died on the scene.

    Accused killer on remand gets 7-year jail sentence on other charges
    Ibrahim Smith, 19, of Mopan Street, Belize City, who is presently on remand at the Belize Central Prison for the murder of William Felix Francis, 22, of Administration Drive, Belize City, has been sentenced to 7 years in prison for using a stolen gun used to cause the death of high school student Shenelle Reyes, 17, in her home in the Back-a-town area of the city on the night of November 10, 2010. With regard to the death of Reyes, Smith was charged in the Belize City Magistrate’s court on Thursday with possession of a prohibited firearm and handling stolen goods. He was given a 5-year sentence for the charge of keeping a prohibited firearm, and a two-year sentence for the charge of handling stolen goods. Smith was returned to prison, where he awaits trial for the murder of William Felix Francis, and the manslaughter death of Shenelle Reyes. Reyes, a student of Sadie Vernon High School, was shot in the chest with a shotgun while in Smith’s company. The death was ruled accidental, and he was charged with manslaughter and was given bail.

    Guatemalan man and two minors arrested for illegal farming inside Belize
    Illegal farming inside the Chiquibul Forest and particularly along border areas of Western Belize has been a recurring problem and this week, Belizean authorities apprehended an adult and two minors, all of Guatemala, who were allegedly farming inside Belizean territory. Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) reported that on Monday, November 25, 2015, a joint forces patrol comprised of Belize Defence Force, Police and FCD rangers led to the detention of Jorge Felipe Gudiel Garcia, 27, as well as two minors: 9 and 7 years old, from the village of San Jose Las Flores. The trio, said the FCD, were found planting black beans inside the Chiquibul Forest at a distance of 1.4 kilometers away from the Belize/Guatemalan border. The man had a mule and a horse. “Garcia informed authorities that he had planted pumpkin earlier in the cleared area that was approximately 2.5 acres in size, and that he knew of other farmers further north from his location also doing farming,” the FCD said.

    John Saldivar bigger than the law!
    In the euphoria following the announcement on election night, November 4, that the incumbent, John Saldivar, the United Democratic Party (UDP) Belmopan candidate, was victorious over the People’s United Party (PUP) challenger Patrick Andrews, one of Saldivar’s supporters fired his licensed .9mm handgun into the air—committing the offense of “discharging a firearm in public,” under the Firearms Amendment Act, which mandates prison time for convicted offenders. As the incident unfolded, someone videoed it and it went viral on social media. What the video captured was police officers making an arrest that was subsequently aborted. In the video, Sadivar, Minister of National Security in the last administration, was heard ordering the police to “Back off! Back off now!” The incident was treated to a prime ministerial spin when PM Dean Barrow held his press briefing and reappointed Saldivar as his man for the National Security Ministry. When he was asked about the incident, the PM said that” Saldivar was a civilian” when he told the police to back off. Barrow also said that he accepted Saldivar’s explanation of the incident, that he obstructed justice “because something could have happened due to the crowd of his supporters.” If his supporter had been arrested, he would have mandatorily been sent to prison, according to our firearm laws.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Letter to the Editor
    THE GOVERNMENT GETS WHAT IT PAYS FOR You must understand that what your government pays for it gets. If you are paid to do something for the government, they will extract from you exactly what they have paid for. They have ordered […]

    Contrabandista fined in court
    A businessman from August Pine Ridge in the Orange Walk District must pay over $13,000 in fines by next December to avoid jail time on charges of possession of uncustomed goods. Sergio Chi pleaded guilty in Belize City before Magistrate Deborah Rogers to possession of goods worth $4,450 […]

    Offshore exploration ban
    A late evening press release from the Government of Belize announces that at today’s Cabinet meeting, an approved policy will legally ban offshore exploration for petroleum in areas along the Belize Barrier Reef system and specifically within the seven World Heritage Sites that make up the Barrier Reef […]

    Prime Minister speaks on Schnitzer case
    After international fugitive David Nanes Schnitzer, accused of scamming over US $42,000,000 from Mexican investors, was captured in Belize with the help of US Marshalls, found with fraudulent Belizean documents, taken to court, given bail and fled the country, Prime Minister Barrow in an interview yesterday said that an investigation […]

    Accused attempted murderer granted bail
    Today, Justice Denis S. Hanomansingh heard bail applications for 5 persons on remand for different offenses. Of those five bail applications, one person of interest who was granted Supreme Court bail today is 18 year old Jaron Baptist, who last week Tuesday, was arraigned on three criminal offenses for […]

    Fire officials address criticism of Youth Hostel response
    In the wake of the second fire for this year at the Princess Royal Youth Hostel, the fire department has been under heavy scrutiny after what is said to be slow response time and unpreparedness upon arriving at the scene in Rockville, but could they have done better? […]

    Christmas cheer program not as big this year
    Every year, many Belizeans benefit from the Christmas Cheer program, through which they receive financial assistance from area representatives to make the holiday more joyous. In previous years, there was almost unlimited money to share with people across the country, given to area representatives and care takers for distribution, […]

    Queen honored with “Commonwealth Canopy”
    The members of the Commonwealth of Nations have honored its head, Queen Elizabeth II, for 60 years of service to the grouping with a dedication of rain forests and other environmental projects. Singapore, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Australia, Zambia and Belize are among the countries offering to dedicate and protect […]

    Somewhat drier conditions will set in and prevail over the next day or so
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting cloudy skies with sunny breaks this afternoon along with a few light showers mainly over central and southern areas. Skies will be partly cloudy tonight and tomorrow morning with only isolated showers. Winds will be blowing from the North-Northeast at 5-15 knots and the sea […]

    Barrow relatives to continue in politics
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow won a historic consecutive third term at the polls on November 4th but he shared – the day after – that he will retire as leader of the United Democratic Party even before the end of his 5 year term. While the Prime Minister […]

    Bus ‘engulfed in flames’ near Unitedville Village
    BMG has received reports that a bus traveling from San Ignacio Town to Belmopan this morning was engulfed in flames. According to our sources, the bus caught fire near Unitedville Village and there were no passengers inside. This is a developing story and we will be updating it […]

    Blogs

    Belize’s Black Hole Drop: Leave The Chicken at The Top
    Belize’s Maya Mountains (that cover much of the lower left quadrant of the country) sit atop caves and hidden rivers…places discovered and undiscovered. Yesterday, starting in Ambergris Caye (and returning there in the same day), I hiked deep into the jungle, dropped 300 feet into a limestone sink hole and lived to tell the tale. I wasn’t even thinking about a hike…I was only focused on the drop. We were given back-packs – 3 liters of water to carry – THREE! and told it was two miles in with 3 “significant” hills. At least an hour later, we got to our spot. The Black Hole. A limestone sinkhole formed so long ago that there is a jungle growing at the bottom.

    Man vs Horse
    My journey of traveling around the country took me to San Ignacio, Cayo; a district surrounded by green vegetation with some of the most picturesque landscapes located on the western back country of Belize. Chaa Creek Resort invited the iTravel Belize team once again to experience some of their cool tours, one of them being Horseback Riding. As you may already know, being a travel blogger, I get to travel my own country, experience and showcase some of the best tours that the every day traveler would enjoy during their vacation in Belize. I have been on many unforgettable tours such as cave tubing, zip lining, just to name a few. Horseback riding has been one of the tours that I have been avoiding since I have a fear of horses. Why? Well I guess I am just scared of the bad things I have heard and researched on which lead to my fear. My TOP 3 Fears 1. Falling off the horse 2. Getting kicked by the horse 3. I’m just REALLY scared OKAYY probably they are pretty lame fears but at least I have you laughing so far.

    Important Expat Passport Info and low cost Electricity
    Unfortunately for U.S. Expats the news is not so good. This is the last month you will be able to get extra pages in your passport. Once you run out of pages you will have to apply for a new passport. As of January 2016 the Embassy in Belmopan will only process brand new applications; no renewals or extra pages. If you are still getting monthly Belize immigration stamping, it would be a wise idea to move fast and get those pages. The Embassy only does 3 appointments per day so hurry and get your extra pages now. Now for the good news. Canadians now have 5 and 10 year passport options. Canadians still have renewable option for passports and do not need a guarantor from Canada. When getting a new Canadian passport you go through the Canadian Consulate in Belize City and then it gets sent to the High Commission in Guatemala. The cost for a 5 year Passport is $281.00 and for a 10-year Passport is $ 384.00 – pricing in Belize Dollars.

    International Sourcesizz

    Two Ingredient Banana Pancakes (Gluten & Dairy Free)
    Ingredients: 2 large, ripe bananas, 4 eggs, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder (optional). Method: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix very well, or pulse with immersion blender or in food processor. Spray griddle with non-stick cooking spray, and heat over medium-high heat.

    Top Ten 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season Events
    The 2015 Atlantic hurricane season is officially over, and it will go into the books as the most memorable hurricane season to occur during a strong El Niño event. Strong El Niño events typically reduce Atlantic hurricane activity by increasing wind shear over the tropical Atlantic, and this year's El Niño conditions did indeed create unusually high levels of wind shear over the Caribbean, making it difficult for tropical systems to organize and strengthen in those waters. According to Colorado State's Dr. Phil Klotzbach, the 200-850-mb vertical wind shear in the Caribbean (10-20°N, 90-60°W) averaged from June through October was the highest since at least 1979 (28.5 knots.) However, this high wind shear did not extend as far east as usual, allowing several tropical storms to form near the coast of Africa over waters that were near-record warm.

    Crowdfunder: Saving Belize’s Marine Treasures
    Port Honduras Marine Reserve contains some of the most pristine habitat in the entire Mesoamerican Reef Complex. Its coral reefs, mangrove islands and expansive seagrass beds support a healthy population of endangered West Indian manatees, and 18 other globally threatened species, including hawksbill turtles, hammerhead sharks, and American crocodiles. With so much healthy seagrass and mangroves, Port Honduras is in an ideal nursery ground for lobster, conch and many species of fish important for local livelihoods. The marine reserve supports approximately 300 fishing families in the most poverty-stricken district of Belize. At a time when over half of the world’s fisheries are fully exploited and one quarter have collapsed, it is important that a place like this be protected.

    What Next for Fortis Inc Stock After Today’s Huge Increase?
    The stock of Fortis Inc (TSE:FTS) is a huge mover today! The stock is up 1.87% or $0.69 after the news, hitting $37.57 per share. About 380,576 shares traded hands. Fortis Inc (TSE:FTS) has declined 7.27% since April 28, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 5.64% the S&P500. The move comes after 8 months positive chart setup for the $10.52B company. It was reported on Dec, 1 by Barchart.com. We have $46.96 PT which if reached, will make TSE:FTS worth $2.63 billion more. Out of 9 analysts covering Fortis Incorporated (TSE:FTS), 7 rate it “Buy”, 0 “Sell”, while 3 “Hold”. This means 70% are positive. $35.15 is the highest target while $29.17 is the lowest. The $32.78 average target is 17.11% above today’s ($37.57) stock price. Fortis Incorporated was the topic in 8 analyst reports since August 4, 2015 according to StockzIntelligence Inc.

    Videos

  • The Children of Toledo: Growing Healthy Growing Good_English, 22min. from PGTV News Network

  • A Week in Belize, 2min. A week of diving from Ambergris Caye (San Pedro) in Belize. Dives were on the barrier reef just offshore from Ambergris Caye. Sites included Mata Cut, Charlie's Canyons, Catalan Rocks, Hol Chan, and more. Saw a huge variety of marine life, including moray eels, nurse sharks, spotted eagle rays, arrow crabs, lobster, and dense schools of fish throughout the reef.

  • BELIZE UNDERWATER FOOTAGE, 11.5min.

  • Habinaham Wanaragua, 1min. No Christmas is complete without Dance Wanaragua, 6th Annual Wanaragua competition, Dangriga, Dec 13th, $5 for adults, $2 for children, reserved $7. Team Wanaragua is Dec 27th, $10 for adults, $5 for children, reserved $15

  • Chopping Block, 1/2min. Neighborhood boys chopping coconuts in Silver Creek, Belize with a machete. June 2015.

  • Drenched is an Understatement, 1/2min. A bunch of high school kids packed it down to Belize for a week. Then it rained. Alot. And things got weird. June 2015.

  • Tikal, 5min. Trip to Tikal, Guatemala part of a month long trip through Mexico, Belize and Guatemala on two Royal Enfield motorbikes.

  • Life's A Trip Belize 1, 7min.

  • ambergris caye, belize - octopus @ hol chan marine reserve [night dive on 11.25.2015], 1.5min.

  • Fishing Giant Dorado, Barracuda. Belize. San Pedro, 11min. Dorado (Mahi-mahi) can live up to 5 years, although they seldom exceed four. Catches average 7 to 13 kilograms (15 to 29 lb). They seldom exceed 15 kilograms (33 lb), and mahi-mahi over 18 kilograms (40 lb) are exceptional. Mahi-mahi have compressed bodies and a single long-based dorsal fin extending from the head almost to the tail.[7] Their caudal fins and anal fins are sharply concave. They are distinguished by dazzling colors: golden on the sides, and bright blues and greens on the sides and back. Mature males have prominent foreheads protruding well above the body proper. Females have a rounded head. Females are also usually smaller than males.

  • U.S. Embassy Belize - 16 Days Against Violence Against Women Campaign - Day 7, 2min. In this video U.S. Embassy Employee discusses her experiences with domestic abuse. This is the second part of a two part video.

  • Zipline in Belize, 3min. A series of short ziplining clips in Belize. Nov 2015.

  • $10 Lobsters in Caye Caulker Belize (Day 1), 4.5min. Here's our first day spent in Caye Caulker, Belize.

  • Flying Over the GREAT BLUE HOLE in BELIZE (Day 2), 3.5min.

    December 1, 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, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


    The San Pedro Sun

    San Pedro Tour Guide Association Meetings
    The San Pedro Tour Guide Association are inviting all tour guides and the public at large to participate in a general meeting to be held on Wednesday, December 2nd at the Lions Den starting at 7PM. The meeting will entail discussion on the association and tour guide practices in San Pedro. Another meeting will also be held on Tuesday, December 10th on the importance of manatees and how to proper protocol for conducting manatee sighting tours. Everyone is invited to attend this very important meeting also to be held at Lions Den at 1PM. Everyone is invited to attend booth meetings as they aim at prompting sustainable tourism practices in Ambergris Caye.

    BTIA outlines plans for Ambergris Caye
    The San Pedro local chapter for the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) seeks to celebrate its revival with the upcoming celebration of their 30th anniversary to be held on Saturday, December 12th. The celebration is scheduled to take place at the Central Park where everyone is invited to a fun evening. Some of the activities that will take place at the event will be the exhibition of local paintings, a bartending competition, and a ceviche contest. There will be raffles and lots of prizes to give away.

    NEBL scheduled to tip off on January 2016
    Belize’s top basketball teams are gearing up for the third annual National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) Tournament. Scheduled to start on Friday, January 15, 2016, the tournament tests the skills of Belizean basketballers in hopes of winning the NEBL championship. According to NEBL Commissioner, Karim Juan, six teams out of the seven who participated in the 2015 NEBL Tournament have already signed up for the upcoming tournament. These teams are Belize City No Limit, Belize Hurricanes, San Pedro Tiger Sharks, Belmopan Red Taigaz, Cayo Western Ballaz and Dangriga Warriors. Of the seven teams, only Orange Walk Running Rebels has not confirmed its participation in next year’s tournament. NEBL also announces that Independence Thunderbolt will be a new franchise in the league as they won the new team bid.

    Xanadu named Americas Best Relaxation Retreat
    Xanadu Island Resort has won yet another prestigious international title: America’s Best Relaxation Retreat. Xanadu was among the awardees at the World Boutique Hotel Award Ceremony 2015 held on Friday, October 30th at the Montcalm Hotel in London City, England. The ceremony brought together an array of boutique hotel owners, travel and lifestyle press and travel industry influencers from all corners of the world to celebrate the top boutique hotels in the industry. The World Boutique Hotel Awards is the first and only international awards scheme exclusively dedicated to recognizing unique excellence among luxury boutique hotels. Nominee hotels are evaluated personally by a member of the judging team, ensuring that all winners are capable of truly delivering on the title they are given. The San Pedro Sun congratulates Xanadu Island Resort on such an incredible recognition!

    Ambergris Today

    Flashbacks - A Different San Pedro
    There are several things that are quite different from this Flashback of San Pedro to our San Pedro of today. For one thing, you do not see small residential homes in the downtown; you now see a business space almost everywhere in the town core. Secondly you do not see those patches of grass along the streets where villagers traditionally congregated to chat.You do not see laundry on the verandah; now the laundry is either at the laundromat or in the dryers at home. Now let’s focus on people. Today you will not see young girls walking about the streets of San Pedro so informally in short pants and no shoes. No, today you see them in some sort of office uniform going to the workplace. Now take a good look at the man in the photo, Mr. Rudy Nuñez. Most men walked around the village without a shirt, without shoes and if they wore pants it was rolled up half way up the calves. They wore shorts or more often their homemade underwear. Don’t laugh but if they were to do so today, they would probably end up being arrested. This is a wonderful Flashback of our beautiful village life in San Pedro. Gone are the days of beautiful village life.

    The Goose is on the Loose Birthday Bash
    Local Belizean/Sanpedrano dentist Julio Lara brought in his 32nd birthday on Friday, November 27, 2015, in what has been deemed 'the party of the year' by his invited guests. It was a Grey Goose themed party, filled with party favors, music, delicious food by local Chef Jennie Staines of Elvi's Kitchen and even a fireworks display. "The Goose is on the Loose..." sums up all the celebration of the evening in honor of Julio Lara. Happy Birthday Julio!!

    The Caribbean Sea is My Filter
    Marie-Pier Doiron said it best with her photo caption "The Caribbean Sea is my filter" as she vacationed in Belize and shared this one picture of her underwater adventure. She holds an Arrow Crab in her hands while she explores the underwater beauty of the Great Barrier Reef of Belize with Discovery Expeditions' Sea Trek tour. No need to be a certified diver, just strap on a 'bubble helmet' and walk on the sea bottom floor. Always a unique adventure in Belize.

    Island Students Invade San Pedro Town Council Offices
    On Friday, November 27, 2015, the San Pedro Town celebrated 31 years of achieving its township back in 1984 under the leadership of Mr. Gilberto "Chico" Gomez. This year, the San Pedro Town Council took an educational approach to its township celebrations and held an Open House day inviting island residents and visitors to the offices of the town council to witness the renovations that are taking place, including the daily operations of the staff. Upper-division students of all schools were invited to participate in the Open House where they learned interesting facts about San Pedro and its founders. Both teachers and students were very amazed at what once was the town's water tank is now the Town Council's file room, design and print room. (P.S. like 20+ years ago, the town council had a built in water tank, made of concrete, that used to supply water for the entire town back in its days.)

    The Truck Stop Opens
    There's a new hot spot in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Opening this past weekend, The Truck Stop was teeming with activity as customers visited the eatery, bar and ice cream joints all tucked neatly in shipping containers arranged in one big yard. Congratulations to the Truck Stop! We will be back for the full experience.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    BELIZE CITY CENTER ARENA AND CULTURAL COMPLEX
    Government of Belize Press Office

    Belize Progressive Parties issues a release regarding the arrest of COLA members during Saturday's protest.
    During the visit by Guatemalan President-Elect, Jimmy Morales, like all Belizeans, the Belize Progressive Party (BPP) bore witness to the blatant abuse of power, against peaceful protesters, as demonstrated by the security forces. The BPP denounces this patent act of aggression and demands an explanation. We call on Prime Minster Barrow and the Minister of National Security to answer the following questions: (1) Why were peaceful protesters treated in such fashion? and (2) On whose orders were the security forces acting? These questions must be answered because upon last check of the Constitution, Belizeans are guaranteed the right to freedom of expression. The blatant, irresponsible and potentially illegal actions carried out by the security forces are a clear indication of the intentional militarization of our Police Department, which is misguided, especially given the existential threat posed to our sovereign territory, which is being carried-out daily by way of the illegal: poaching, fishing, cultivation and misuse of our natural resources by Guatemalans. The manner of force exhibited has no place in domestic law enforcement, in particular, when dealing with unarmed-peaceful protesters!

    Vicitms of the system and fire: 16 year old Shadisha Arnold, 16 yearold Anna Carlos and 14 year old Elizabeth Mckoy
    At 2:29p.m. on 28.11.15, police responded to a fire at the Princess Royal Youth Hostel located at mile 21 on the George Price Highway where they saw a green wooden building engulfed in flames on the compound. Initial investigations revealed that at 2:00p.m., three female inmates who were inside the building ( 16-year-old Anna Melinda Carlos, 14-year-old Elizabeth Mckoy and 16-year-old Shadisha Arnold) when one of them reportedly lit a pillow where the fire got out of control and engulfed the building, trapping them inside. After personnel from the Fire Department extinguished the fire, the charred remains of the three females were discovered.

    WPC Stanford Officer of the Month
    Congratulations, WPC Stanford! She is the Officer of the Month. "One of our great community policing officers has again won officer of the month. Congratulations WPC Stanford"

    Rotaract Christmas Food Drive
    The Rotaract Club of Benque is accepting donations of food for their annual Christmas Food Drive. Any non-perishable food items are being asked for. If you can't donate food, or money, you can always give the gift of food on your own. Thanks, Rotaract! "Tis the season of giving! Contact any of our Rotaractors to make your donation."

    6th International Festival of Culture
    The 6th International Festival of Culture kicks off this Friday December 4th to Sunday December 6th, 2015 in Benque Viejo Del Carmen.

    US Embassy's 8th Annual Artisan Fair
    Don't forget to come visit the Embassy's 8th Annual Artisan Fair today!!!

    Caye Caulker Children's Fun Drive: Christmas Toy Drive
    Parents please remember to come in and pick up your tickets. Unfortunately this year I am unable to go around house to house. You can stop by at Step By Step Tutoring Center to pick up your tickets.

    Caye Caulker: Arms of Love Mini Christmas Fair is coming up. Save the date
    If anyone wants to donate any prizes towards our games you can call 610-1822 or 632-9599. Or inbox me and I will pick it from you. Thanks very much.

    11th Annual Permaculture Design Course
    We are pleased to announce that we have received a commitment for funding from the LUSH Fund for 16 Belizean students to attend the 11th Annual Permaculture Design Course, to be held from the 22nd of February to the 7th of March, 2016. Applicants must be Belizean, with a preference for farmers, extension officers and community leaders. Of the 16 scholarships, a minimum of 8 must be female. Interested persons must be nominated by an NGO, Community Based Organization, school village council or town board. Thanks to LUSH Cosmetics for their continued support.

    Caye Caulker: Live Music with Valentino
    Live Music with Valentino at the Barrier Reef Sports Bar & Grill from 6pm-9pm!Location : Barrier Reef Sports Bar, Front StreetStart Date: December 1, 2015End Date: December 1, 2015Time: 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

    Youth Week
    Department of Youth Services launches Youth Week this past Sunday November 29th. Both youth from Corozal and Orange Walk participated in an Ecumenical Service, Youth Parade and Fun Day in Corozal.

    Emergency power interruption, 9:00am to 11:00am, Tuesday, December 1, Stann Creek
    Entire Dangriga Town and Sarawee Village. B.E.L to replace broken utility pole carrying high voltage lines.

    Husbandry upgrades at Belize Bird Rescue
    Husbandry upgrades are our favourite moves, and today we made a much-anticipated one. With the heron released, it opened up the long flight aviary which had been earmarked for the next step for this year's white-front intakes. I have never seen such joy in a flock! Some of them were panting so hard it was 'Oh wow, I flew so much I can't breathe'

    Channel 7

    Three Girls Perish: Families Devastated
    Three girls perished in a fire at the youth hostel on Saturday - and tonight, we're all still grappling to come to terms with the tragedy. It's the second serious fire there in eight months - and the third in five years - but this one is different because three girls, one 14 and two 16, were burnt to death inside their small room. We'll have every detail on the fire tonight, and a breakdown of all that went wrong that led to their cruel deaths - but first we turn our attention to their families. 14 year old Elizabeth Mckoy, and 16 year old Shadisha Arnold and Anna Carlos were in the hostel as troubled girls - but their families never could have expected their lives to end in a burning dorm building. Today, Courtney Weatherburne spoke to the mothers of the deceased:... Courtney Weatherburne reporting It is among all this scorched debris that the young girls' bodies were found huddled in a corner. The beds they once slept in are now blackened iron frames stacked against each other. The clothes they once wore are now tossed on the ground - tattered and singed. And the Science and Math Books they once read and studied from are now ripped apart and frayed.

    Why Were The Girls Locked Inside? Why Did One Of Them Have a Lighter?
    So, now to the sequence of events that led to their deaths, and the various breakdowns in procedure that resulted in three girls padlocked in a room with a lighter. The three girls were part of a group of four who had escaped the day before and were recovered by Hattieville police. When they were taken back to the hostel, they were confined for 24 hours to their dorm room, and denied privileges. On Saturday two female guards were in charge of 30 girls: one was supervising recreation and the other was in the dorm building - the same one with the girls that burnt down. That wooden building - which is a temporary structure has four small rooms and the common area. The other girl who had escaped, a 12 year old was in another one of those rooms, while the security guard was in the common area. That's the background to the disaster that unfolded around 2:30. Jules Vasquez was on the scene:... Jules Vasquez reporting At 2:29 pm - Hattieville police received notice of a fire in progress at the youth hostel. When Police got there 10 minutes later, the building - a wooden female dorm - was already engulfed in flames. The Fire department arrived just before 3:00 pm - but could not get their pumps working.

    Police Managed To Get Out Three Sets Of Remains
    But, that's later - right now the families are preparing to bury their loved ones. But they have no intact bodies, just burnt remains. Fortunately, police and the forensic examiner have been able to piece together whose body is whose. Superintendent Romero explained: Supt. Hilberto Romero, OC CIB - Eastern Division "We have recovered 3 bodies which was taken to the morgue. Presently the doctor is working with the families to try identify the bodies and we have conducted a full and thorough investigation. We have formulated a task force. We are recording statements, conducting interviews and a file will be put together to determine if anyone is to be held accountable."

    Fire Department Says Girls Perished While Conscious
    And while police have their work to do - to hear most people tell it - the fire department just didn't do theirs. In fact, in our story we said their pump wasn't working. Well, the fire department disputes that. The pump on two trucks did work - four about four minutes - to get the fire under control. But, the Fire Station manager says that by the time they reached the scene at 3:05 - it was too late:... Orin Smith, Station Manager, BNFS "On arrival at the scene at 3:05pm the roof of the structure was observed already collapse and the fire was in a free burning phase. We got into operation to extinguish the fire. The fire was later brought under control and extinguished." Jules Vasquez "Now sir the criticism is the inevitable arises that you all arrived late. That you all took an hour to arrive after the fire started. Explain to me the tight sequence." Orin Smith, Station Manager, BNFS "We responded at the time of the call." Jules Vasquez "Which was?" Orin Smith, Station Manager, BNFS "2:34pm. between here and Hattieville, there was an approximate 13-15 speed bumps. The truck has to slow down at each of these speed bumps. Otherwise it will burst the tanks holding the water and when we arrive on the scene, we will just have a truck. It took us about half an hour from here to arrive on the scene and the time of arrival the roof of the structure had already collapsed and the fire was in the free burning phase."

    YaYa's Coney Drive Surprise Was No Joke For Jimmy
    he other big story which happened this weekend was the very first visit of Guatemalan President Elect Jimmy Morales. He hasn't officially taken office as yet, but he's already well-known to Belizeans. That's because during his election campaign, he called it "deplorable" that Guatemala was quote, "about to lose Belize" and said Guatemala should quote "fight for that territory or part of that territory." So, when the Government confirmed on Friday evening that he was indeed making a courtesy call on the Prime Minister, Belizeans closely following the territorial dispute took a keen interest to see how it would play out. Daniel Ortiz locked in on the Morales mission from Friday night at nine, and stayed locked until Saturday at noon. Here's his story:

    PM's Meeting With Morales was Cordial, Cool
    While President Elect Morales' arrival had a hostile greeting on Coney Drive, the atmosphere inside the Prime Minister's Office on Saturday morning was friendly and courteous. A Press release from the government says, quote, "they both congratulated each other for their respective recent victories at the polls. Prime Minister Barrow and President-elect Morales discussed the bilateral relations between Belize and Guatemala, including a way forward in respect of resolving our historical differences. They agreed to continue along the path set out in the Framework Agreement and Confidence Building Measures of 2005…" End Quote. That's a lot more passive and diplomatic when compared to Morales' pre and post campaign trail comments concerning the territorial claim. On Saturday, Prime Minister Barrow told the media that he made the point to Morales that as the next president of Guatemala, he must foster the progress in friendly relations that both countries have worked so hard to cultivate: Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "It was very cordial. We spoke about the nature of the bi-lateral relations. He indicated that he is committed to working the process. I told him that I appreciated that. He must understand that the pencil of God has no eraser. We are going to be geographically contiguous - we are going to be neighbors forever. There are mechanisms in place.

    PM Catalogues All That Went Wrong With Nanes Schnitzer
    While we were on the topic of diplomacy, the media took the opportunity to ask the Prime Minister about Mexican American Fugitive, David Nanes Schnitzer, who has apparently managed to escape from Belizean law enforcement. His case has caused Belize to offend Mexico, it's most friendly and cooperative neighbour to the north. Overall, it's a major black eye for Belizean law enforcement because it took the cooperation of the US Marshals and the Belize police to capture Schnitzer. He was living on San Pedro under an assumed identity made possible by national identity documents he managed to get through fraud and falsified information. But, this weekend, the Prime Minister revealed just how serious the multi-agency screw up was. He told us that a few months ago, the Mexican Government made an extradition request for Schnitzer. He explained that the Extradition Treaty Agreement between the two countries was faulty which meant that Schnitzer could not just be handed over by this avenue. From there, everything else went wrong:

    Two Teenagers Charged For Businessman's Murder
    On Friday, we told you about the 2 teenagers police arrested for the murder of 47 year-old businessman, Ruben Perez. Their capture was made possible by tips to the police after surveillance footage of the robbery turned murder was aired on 7News. Well tonight, those 2 accused: 18 year-old Dangriga resident Keon Dennison, and 19 year-old Belize City resident Tyrone Reid, are at Belize Central Prison. They were arraigned today before Magistrate Deborah Rogers, who did not take any plea from them, and neither could she offer them bail. They were remanded into custody until January 29, 2016. As we showed you, Ruben Perez was inside his business place last Thursday afternoon. He was sitting behind his desk playing with his phone when 2 young men barged into the establishment. There was a struggle, and the jumpy gun-wielding robber shot him in the neck at close range. That injury was fatal.

    Another Fatal On Southern Highway
    On Friday we told you about the death of Emerson Burke on the Southern Highway and tonight there is another fatal accident to report. This one happened Friday afternoon, where 55-year-old housewife Nelly Lopez was flung from the back of a pickup driven by her 19 year old son. He told police the brakes in the Mazda pickup failed and he swerved to avoid a collision. His mother Nelly was flung from the pan of the truck unto the pavement. She received serious head and body injuries and was transported to the Southern Regional where she succumbed to her injuries. And there was a serious collision over the weekend in the Corozal District where luckily no one was killed. Six persons, including two children, had to be treated for minor injuries after the head on collision between miles 72 and 73, which is between San Narciso and Louisville Villages.

    GSU Got
    The GSU got a gun on the northside this weekend. Based on intelligence, they went to search at home at #5655 Gentle Avenue, and saw 33 year old Naturalized Belizean Nayef Khodr AGHA, stepping out. He was then escorted back inside where a search was conducted. He volunteered to police that he had a firearm inside a drawer behind the door. Police looked inside and found a chrome .22 pistol containing a magazine with one live round. Agha had no license for it, and so he was arrested and charged for the offence of Kept Unlicensed Firearm and Ammunition.

    WHERE IS AUSTRIAN TOURIST...
    The family and friends of Austrian Politician Josef Trajer continue to worry about him after he left his country to vacation in Belize. It's been a month since he was supposed to return, and since then, he has not contacted anyone back home. Reports to 7News are that he traveled to Belize from Vienna On October 12 or 13 where he was supposed to have stayed in a lodge in a jungle camp in Southern Belize for 2 or 3 weeks. He is believed to have arrived on schedule, and sometime later, one of his friend's back home received a worrying call. Our information says that an unknown German speaking man called this friend to say that Trajer had been hurt, and that his return would be delayed. He hasn't been answering any of his phones since that call. Since then, a Belize City based law firm has been making contacts with the lodges and hospitals in Toledo and with the KHMH, but there is still no other information about Trajer since.

    32.9 Million Dollar Civic Is Coming
    The Civic Center was dismantled two years ago, there's been no move to start work on the multi purpose sports facility that's supposed to replace it. But today, kind of out of the blue, Belize Infrastructure Limited sent a press release saying that a contract was signed two months ago for 32.9 million dollars. The release omits to mention when work will starts, but once it does, it should go on for two years. The contract was awarded to the local joint venture of Medina's Construction and International Environments Ltd. The release says it will be called the new "Belize City Center Arena and Cultural Complex" and will feature 3 inside practice basketball courts, and one FIBA grade professional center court. It will seat 4000 for games and 5000 for indoor entertainment events. The Center will be fully air conditioned and have parking underneath the building. Outside, there will also be two outdoor basketball courts, one 5 on 5 soccer field, and skateboard parks.

    House Topples In Belize City
    On Sunday afternoon, a Belize City family on Neal's Pen Road got a very unpleasant surprise when their house fell down. The upper floor home was on stilts which suddenly gave way around 1:30, and it all came tumbling down. Fortunately no one was hurt, but the woman of the house was shocked. We spoke to Sherol Brooks:.. Anyone wishing to help the family can do so by calling 207-1050 or 620-6022.

    Hostel: The Deeper Tangle
    At the top of this newscast, we spent about 20 minutes talking all about the Youth Hostel - and the many breakdowns on Saturday that culminated in three girls perishing in a dorm fire. And while all the attention now is brought to focus on how the hostel was managed and what they did and didn't do, the fact is, that place is in constant crisis - not so much because of management but because the children that are sent there are themselves in crisis. Overall, the Department of Human Development manages about 300 children who are in state care - and each case requires special attention. Today at a Racoon Street police station press conference, Director of Community Rehabilitation Starla Bradley had to take all the questions - including one about whether she would resign:.. Reporter "Would you feel the need to resign?" Starla Bradley, Director Community Rehabilitation Department "I feel that the easy thing to do might be to resign and put all of this behind me. But there is still the work to do. The work still continues. The Youth Hostel in general, the population that we served, we've seen over the years they becoming increasingly difficult to manage. Just the issues that they come with. The level of aggression, the level of trauma, the level of mental and psychiatric issues and it always seems to like we are racing against time to try to fix a system, an old system to catch up to their needs, their present issues and needs. For us over the past few years we did an assessment of the entire system and we realize that we had to do more than just warehouse these children. The system was completely broken and if you had seen the facilities previously - there was a lot lacking and so for the past few years we've been working very hard to try to strengthen the facility itself, like wooden doors that we think would be indestructible - these children somehow find a way to break a part. So we graduated to metal doors."

    Fire Suppression System For Hostel
    And "fixing" the system also means preparing for the worst. At the hostel that means fires; Saturday's was the second major incident for the year. CEO in the Ministry Alpuche told the media they are looking to invest in a Fire suppression system: Judith Alpuche, CEO - Min. Of Human Development "It's about a $154,000 investment and we just got the go ahead from IDB, because the loan is an IDB loan. That was not at all a feature of the loan agreement. But they have agreed with us that that is an essential piece and so that is currently under construction at the Youth Hostel." Reporter "When do you expect to see it out?" Judith Alpuche, CEO - Min. Of Human Development "I would really need to check to see when that, but it certainly has to be completed within a month or two because that's when the loan closes."

    PM Laments US Blacklisting
    Last week, we told you about how the Obama Administration blacklisted Kremsont Commercial Inc, an offshore company registered in Belize for alleged ties to Syria and Isis. The accusation from the US Department of Treasury was that 4 individuals, Kremsont, and another entity, were allegedly backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Although it is most likely a shell company where it's registered owners probably never set foot here, Belize is being loosely associated with an "Islamic State" terror group. When the Prime Minister was asked about it this weekend, he told the press that he is hopeful that there are no lasting negative effects: Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "I want to be careful because we all know how touchy this sort of thing is, how sensitive. But this is one isolated instance of this company engaging in activity that's a violation of US law and sanctions requirement. I don't see how the jurisdiction, Belize as a jurisdiction will get into any trouble as a result of that. I think its limited to the particular company." Reporter "To those of us who don't understand as much. Why would a company like Kremsont register in Belize? What would they gain by that?"

    PM supports Shyne In Mesop, Sista B in Queen's Square
    And, we also asked the Prime Minister if he supports his son, Moses Shyne Barrow, in his political aspirations. As we told you, Shyne wants to run as the next UDP standard bearer for the Mesopotamia Division, where he would replace his uncle, Michael Finnegan. The Prime Minister told us that he supports Shyne on this venture, and he also revealed that his sister, "Sista B" will replace him in Queen Square when he steps down: Reporter "Shyne has indicated that he will run in Mesopotamia. He has indicated also in an interview that he has your blessing. Could you confirm or deny that?" Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "Yes he has my blessing. He is my son and if that's what he chooses to do I will of course support him." Reporter "He has also said that "Sista B" will take over in Queen Square."

    Channel 5

    Three Female Minors Die in Blaze at Youth Hostel
    Three female minors, one-fourteen and two-sixteen years old lost their lives tragically in a fire at the Youth Hostel on Saturday at Mile twenty-one on the George Price Highway. Tonight, [...]

    Three Persons Placed On Leave Pending Investigation Findings
    The news of the tragedy spread like wildfire across social media as families and friends of Arnold, Carlos and McKoy expressed outrage at the senseless loss of life. Residents are [...]

    Former Family Court Director to Lead Investigation into Deadly Fire
    As we said, there are many unanswered questions, but a criminal as well as an independent investigation are currently underway to determine if there is negligence in the death of [...]

    Youth Threatens to Jump Off Building in Wake of Fire
    The terrible, senseless deaths of three young girls entrusted to the care of the state are tragedy enough. No matter what any investigation indicates, or reveals, the primary victims are [...]

    Protest of Guatemalan President-Elect Crashed by GSU Officers
    News Five has extensive coverage tonight of the very under the radar visit of Guatemalan President Elect Jimmy Morales. Morales is on a whirlwind round of country visits prior to [...]

    PM Barrow Says Discussion with Morales Was Cordial
    Against that backdrop of little protest and big guns, Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Guatemalan President-Elect Jimmy Morales met for about thirty minutes, for discussions and the usual photo op. [...]

    COLA President Geovanni Brackett Released Without Charges
    COLA President Geovanni Brackett, one of five persons who protested on Coney Drive, was released at around midday from the Queen Street Police Station, without being charged. He told News [...]

    Two Teenagers Charged for Brutal Murder of Belize City Businessman
    Tonight, two teenagers age eighteen and nineteen years old, are behind bars for the murder of businessman, Rueben Perez that occurred on November twenty-sixth at his business on Vernon Street [...]

    PM Barrow Says Decision to Grant Fugitive David Nanes Bail Worrisome
    The curious tale of international fugitive David Nanes Schnitzer is one of those things that make you go hmmm – repeatedly and very loudly. Wanted by Mexico for fraud to [...]

    Why Didn’t Police Conduct Surveillance of David Nanes?
    Bail for such a fugitive as Nanes is one thing…one very strange thing. But then there’s the matter of Police scrutiny. How is it that Nanes was allowed to just [...]

    Immigration Investigation Determines Nanes Documents Were Fraudulent
    Then there’s the fact that when Mexican-American Nanes Schnitzer was apprehended, he had more Belizean ID on him than the average Belizean. The Prime Minister pulled no bones in citing [...]

    BTV’s Wil Maheia Says Sarstoon FOB is only Rhetoric
    Last week, during the tenth anniversary celebration of the Belize National Coast Guard, Minister of national Security announced that on December ninth ground will be broken on the new and [...]

    Woman Dies in Tragic RTA
    A traffic accident has claimed the life of a housewife from the south. On Friday afternoon, fifty-five year old Nelly Lopez from Steadfast Village tragically died when she was flung [...]

    Teenager Stabbed Multipe Times in Armenia
    A near-fatal assault during which an eighteen-year-old was stabbed multiple times in Armenia Village has left one person hospitalized.  Sometime before nine o’clock on Saturday morning, Daniel Edaldo Esevado was [...]

    PM Barrow Says US Sanction of Kremsont Commercial Should Not Affect Belize
    Late last week, we aired a story about Kremsont Commercial, a company operated by Syrian born Russian national Mudalal Khuri and registered in Belize. The US sanctioned Khuri and Kremsont [...]

    Shyne to Mesop…Sista B to Queen Square…
    And from matters of state to matters of party politics – rapper turned politician Jamal ‘Shyne’ Barrow announced last week on his Facebook page that he would be running in [...]

    Christmas Cheer This Year…Remixed and Reduced
    For many Belizeans, perhaps a sad testimony of our times…Christmas isn’t Christmas without Christmas Cheer. It’s a program in which politicians hand out money to some of their constituents to [...]

    Calabash Caye Field Station Officially Opened
    The University of Belize is playing an integral role in the management of our natural resources, terrestrial and maritime, through its Environmental Research Institute.  Since officially launching the program a [...]

    Desperately Seeking Missing Austrian Josef Trajer
    The Austrian Embassy in Mexico is asking the assistance of the Belizean public to locate forty-seven year old Austrian national Josef Trajer. Today, News Five was contacted by an attorney [...]

    Weekend Sports Wrap Up with James Adderley
    We open tonight’s show with the showdown in Central Secondary Schools Sporting Association Male Basketball play featuring the 2 powerhouses from inside Belize City—Wesley College and St. John’s College, two [...]

    CTV3

    COLA Welcomes Jimmy Morales With Protest
    Guatemalan President Elect Jimmy Moralez arrived in Belize via the Northern Border after ten on Friday night. Belizeans were not officially informed by Government about Moralez’s visit until after 3:00pm and this was after the news broke on Social Media. Moralez and his entourage arrived at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize under tight security. There, the media was waiting for him but only managed to get a glimpse of the President elect. Moralez was in the country to pay a courtesy call on Prime Minister Dean Barrow as part of a visit he is making to all Heads of State and Government of SICA member countries and Mexico. On Saturday morning, he visited P.M Barrow at his office on Coney Drive. We’ll tell you what was discussed during the reunion in a few, but before that, we report on the protest that was taking place outside the P.M’s office that even led to the arrest of President of COLA Geovannie Brackett.

    Julius Espat Withdraws Candidacy For PUP Leadership
    The People’s United Party Deputy Leader Julius Espat, is no longer contesting the post of Party Leader. The Cayo South Area Representative was one of the five candidates vying for the post alongside former leader John Briceno; Kareem Musa, son of former two-time Prime Minister Said Musa, Lake Independence Area Representative Cordel Hyde and Senator Lisa Shoman. According to the Reporter Newspaper, Espat has confirmed his position. He is quoted as saying “Yes, I have been encouraged by some of my colleagues, but at this time I will concentrate my energies in my constituency.” He continued by saying quote “I think this time I need to spend a lot more time with them and fight their issues, which are really important issues.” End quote.

    Dean Barrow Speaks On Case Of International Fugitive David Nanes Schnitzer
    International fugitive David Miguel Nanes Schnitzer, aka David Banes, wanted by the Mexican Government for defrauding investors of forty-two million U.S. dollars, got bail on two separate charges of possession of forged documents, despite the gravity of the case. Upon receiving bail, Nanes Schnitzer wasted no time and skipped town. Tonight, no one knows where he is and many people are upset about his escape, including the Mexican Government. The fact that Nanes Schnitzer received bail is raising eyebrows and has placed the country’s Justice System under scrutiny. On Saturday, the Prime Minster was drilled about the case and he told the media that while he has his own views on the issue, he respects the court’s decision, but something just doesn’t add up.

    How Did International Fugitive Obtained Passport With False Information? Immigration Department Being Investigated
    David Miguel Nanes Schnitzer was living in Belize since 2012 and during that time he obtained a number of documents under false information including a Belizean Passport which was revoked after his arrest. The fact that the international fugitive was able to obtain those documents under another name and other false information, raises huge concern, says Prime Minister Dean Barrow. “When there are things that make clear that there is obviously a level of collusion not to say corruption on the part of public servants I don’t mean just civil servants am talking about everybody in the public service including ministers when anything happens that demonstrates that things can be done to circumvent the law in consequence of the collusion of persons in authority that is very distressing it is very upsetting of course we are never ever going to have a Simon pure society but it leave me very distraught.”

    2015 Hurricane Season Ends With No Threats To Belize
    Today marks the end of the 2015 Hurricane Season and it is safe to say that our country did not face any threats this year. And this is because the season was below average, says Chief Meteorologist Dennis Gonguez. Dennis Gonguez Chief Meteorologist. “This season was just below average during this year hurricane season there were eleven named systems f these eleven four became hurricanes and out of this four two were major hurricanes, that is in category three, four and five so in a typical season though there will be twelve named systems so this eleven is a bit below the twelve there is one left on the twelve and in a typical season we have six hurricanes this year we only had four there are two to three that become major hurricanes this year we had two major hurricanes this so it was a bit below average season.”

    BPP Expresses Concern Over Death Of Fire Victims
    While many Belizeans are saddened about the unfortunate incident and the untimely passing of the three young girls, others are questioning the true reason behind the fire. The Belize Progressive Party issued a press release today expressing their dissatisfaction with the incident and are demanding to know, one: If it is true that the young women were in an altercation before being locked away? If this is so, why were they put in the same room? Two: Why did authorities need to break the door? If these young women were locked in a room, and thus the door would have been locked from the outside, why wasn’t a key used to open the door? Three: Who is responsible for the keys to the rooms that are used to lock away youths at this hostel? Did one of the young women lock the door from the inside? And four: Was this an unfortunate murder suicide?

    Guatemalan President Elect Pays Courtesy Visit To PM Barrow
    There is no doubt that Moralez’s visit left a sour taste in the mouth of many Belizeans especially after his comments made during his campaign, when it comes to Belize/Guatemala Territorial Dispute. But that is all in the past says the Prime Minister as Moralez has backtracked from his comments. So what was the discussion about? According to the P.M, while it was very cordial, the bilateral relations between Belize and Guatemala, including a way forward in respect of resolving our historical differences, was discussed. Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize: “We spoke about the nature of the bilateral relations he indicated that he is committed to working the process, I told him that I appreciated that, he must understand that the pencil of God has no erasure we are going to be geographically contiguous we are going to be neighbors forever, there are mechanisms in place, the professional relationship I think is good between the militaries, between our foreign ministries, the people to people interaction is good, there are trade ties, there are ties of commerce, there are educational exchanges we spoke about the children from Melchor who come across to go to school in Benque.”

    Three Persons Placed On Administrative Leave After Fire At Youth Hostel Claims The Life Of Three Young Girls
    Over the weekend tragedy hit the Old Capital as a building located inside the compound of the Princess Royal Youth Hostel caught fire on Saturday and claimed the life of three females. After the blasé was extinguished the charred remains of 16 year old Anna Melinda Carlos, 14 year old Elizabeth McKoy and 16 year old Shadisha Alma Arnold were removed from inside what was left of the building. Reports are that the three girls had been placed on lockdown after they attempted to escape from the facility on Friday. Investigations revealed that one of the females lit a pillow with a lighter and that is when disaster struck.

    LOVE FM

    Barrow Isn’t Worried About US Sanctions Against Registered Company in Belize
    Last week we reported that the United States of America had black listed several persons and companies for aiding the Syrians. One of those companies is registered in Belize. The US Treasury has imposed sanctions on three Cyprus-based companies and a Belizean firm for allegedly assisting the Syrian government in money laundering activities. The article […]

    Prime Minister Endorses Shyne for Mesop
    Shyne Barrow, the son of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, has decided to be a politician. He wants to run in the Mesopotamia constituency in the next general elections. He has been walking the streets of that division already. In an interview conducted over the weekend, PM Barrow Barrow expressed his support for his son. DEAN […]

    Teenagers Charged with Businessman’s Murder
    Two teenagers were charged with the murder of 47-year-old businessman, Ruben Perez when they appeared today before Magistrate Deborah Rogers. They are Keon Dennison, a construction worker of Rivas Estate, Dangriga and 19-year-old, Tyrone Reid, a construction worker of Western Avenue, Belize City. They were remanded into custody until January 29, 2016. Perez, the owner […]

    Guatemalan President-Elect Comes to Belize
    According to a release, in a cordial atmosphere Prime Minister Dean Barrow and President Elect Jimmy Morales congratulated each other for their respective recent victories at the polls. They discussed the bilateral relations between Belize and Guatemala, including a way forward in respect of resolving our historical differences. According to Barrow, they agreed to continue […]

    Prime Minister Finds Judge’s Decision Disturbing in Fugitive’s Case
    Authorities in Belize are still trying to locate Dave Nanes Schnitzer. Nanes is wanted in Mexico and police here managed to arrest him on Ambergris Caye. He is also the man who managed to slip away and subsequently avoid extradition. Today, his whereabouts are not known and the Mexican government is not happy with Belize. […]

    PlusTV

    Coast Guard graduates 45 recruits on tenth anniversary
    November 28, 2015 will mark the tenth anniversary of the formation of the Belize National Coast Guard (BNCG), the youngest of Belize’s uniformed services. As part of that celebration, the Coast Guard today welcomed 45 recruits into the ranks as Seamen Apprentices, increasing its strength to 320 tota...

    Roundabout
    As we told you earlier, today we got to speak with the Project Engineer for the Road Safety Project in Belmopan. In that interview, we asked about the status of the works on the Roundabout at the Guanacaste Park Junction. A contract to build the roundabout was signed with RJB constructions limited ...

    NEMO On Belmopan Floods
    Yesterday we told you about the incessant rains that flooded many homes in the outlying communities in Belmopan. One family in particular that we visited found themselves knee deep in about 2 to 3 feet of water. Today we sat down with the NEMO District Coordinator for Belmopan Clare Moody who spoke ...

    Sugar price raised
    The first estimate for prices of raw sugar cane was released earlier this month. Producers American Sugar Refining/Belize Sugar Industries Limited ASR/BSI) have estimated a price of $41.56 per ton, with some 1.225 million tons of cane available from which BSI expects to mill 129,000 tons of sugar. O...

    Police capture suspects in Ruben Perez murder
    Businessman Ruben Perez was murdered on Thursday afternoon in Belize City, the victim of a robbery which escalated when he refused to cooperate with his two assailants. This evening police announced that those suspects had been captured. Here is Superintendent of Police Hilberto Romero, officer comm...

    Highway Accident involves bus, truck, and Mennonite house
    There was a traffic accident this afternoon at mile 24 on the George Price Highway. That incident involved a public transport bus for James bus line, a dump truck , and a Mennonite house being transported on the highway. The passenger bus was headed to Belize City and the trailer with the house ...

    Massive pot holes on Constitution Drive
    The recent rains have done much more than send people living in low lying areas in Belmopan running for shelter, they have hampered the progress on one of the major road development projects in Belmopan, more specifically the Road Safety Development project Lot 4B which encompasses the Ring Road and...

    Jimmy Morales visits Belize
    Social media was buzzing today with reports that Jimmy Morales is to visit Belize within the next 24 hours. Original reports from Guatemala’s online newspaper “La Presna Libre” indicated earlier this week that Jimmy Morales is to make a diplomatic tour through Dominican Republic, Mexico and the Cent...

    ">Deadly accident on Southern Highway
    44 year old Belmopan resident Emmerson Burke realtor and former Chief Appraiser at the Development Finance Cooperation DFC, succumbed to his injuries received during a fatal traffic accident this morning. The incident occurred around 6 am this morning on the Southern Highway.Pictures of the scene th...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Six injured in weekend road traffic accident
    Yet another traffic accident on the Phillip Goldson Highway over the weekend, resulted in six persons, including two children, being taken to the hospital for injuries sustained, each to various parts of their bodies but nothing life threatening. Police dispatched to an area between San Narciso and Louisville Village where […]

    Punta Gorda artist releases new song
    Belizean artists; there are so many of them with talents parallel to those of any international artist, but the fact of the matter is that most Belizeans would rather support a Jamaican or American artist before attending the concert of an up and coming local singer, rapper or […]

    Belize Infrustructure Limited (BIL) ready to build Civic Center
    Medina’s Construction Limited will build and International Environments Limited will design the new Belize City Center Arena and Cultural Complex to be located at the former site of the “Civic” on Central American Boulevard. The total cost of the contract is BZ$32, 940,261.34 for 24 months, to include civil works […]

    Julius Espat out of PUP leadership race
    Deputy Leader of the People’s United Party (PUP) has gone from a tentative “maybe” to a definite “no” on whether he will vie to become the next leader of the party. Espat has told the Reporter newspaper that while he has been encouraged to run, he wants to concentrate his […]

    Human Development Ministry investigating fire at Youth Hostel
    Shock, grief, disbelief and then inevitable outrage gripped all those who heard the news that three teenage girls perished Saturday afternoon in a fire at the female dormitory at the Youth Cadet Corps Facility at Mile 21 on the George Price Highway. The outrage came from the report that the […]

    18-year-old clings to life after being stabbed to the neck in Armenia
    Daniel Edaldo Esevedo, an 18-year-old resident of Armenia Village, clings to life as he is listed in critical but stable condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after he was stabbed to the neck and lower right side of the back on Saturday morning. Police visited Esevedo at the Western Regional Hospital at around 8:45 a.m. on […]

    Four time Mr. Belize Champion makes headlines in Mexico
    On Saturday, November 28th, Rigo Vellos, Mr. Belize, participated at the Mr. Maya Body Building competition in Felipe Carrillo Puerto in Mexico. At the end of the night, Mr. Belize was crowned as Mr. Maya Body Building Champion 2015.

    One dead in traffic accident down south, Belize
    To add to the long list of traffic accidents that happened over the past week across the country, another one was reported on Friday November 27th, this time in the Stann Creek District, which unfortunately ended in tragedy as 55-year-old Nelly Lopez lost her life after falling out of a […]

    Self-employed businessman jailed for unlicensed firearm
    Thirty- three year old Nayef Agha, a self-employed of 5655 Gentle Avenue, became an inmate of Belize Central Prison today when he was arraigned by Magistrate Carlon Mendoza on charges of kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license. Agha pled not guilty to the charges. He was […]

    Teenagers charged with businessman Ruben Perez murder
    Two teenagers were charged with the murder of 47 year old businessman Ruben Perez when they appeared today before Magistrate Deborah Rogers. They are 18 year old Keon Dennison, a construction worker of Rivas Estate, Dangriga, and 19 year old Tyrone Reid, a construction worker originally of Western Avenue, […]

    Questions linger surrounding Youth Hostel fire
    The charred remains of 16-year-old Anna Melinda Carlos, 16-year-old Shadisha Arnold and 14-year-old Elizabeth Mckoy, were found inside the Princess Royal Youth Hostel on Saturday after the blaze was extinguished by fire department personnel. Police responded to the scene at around 2:29 p.m. and saw a green building […]

    Two detained for uncustomed goods
    Two persons have been detained by police and are pending charges after they were linked to uncustomed goods found on a passenger bus in the Ladyville area on November 24th. While conducting a search on the bus at around 5:20 p.m., officers found 10 bags of tomatoes and eight cases […]

    Government of Belize and Caribbean Development Bank review Road Safety Project
    A press release issued by the Government of Belize and Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), served as a year’s review on the Belize Road Safety Project. The project began in 2013 after GOB received a US $7,248,000 loan from the CDB to help finance initiatives that have since contributed to a […]

    Prime Minister says he wanted to extradite Nanes Schnitzer but had to follow due process
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow, this weekend, said he wanted to get wanted fugitive, David Nanes Schnitzer, extradited to Mexican authorities, the principal investigators in a case against him, but he was obliged to follow due legislative process. “We have a legal process that we must follow. And in the course […]

    Blogs

    A New Start And A New Life On The Caribbean Island Of Belize
    After enjoying a Belize sunrise from my bird-song serenaded porch with a cup of locally grown coffee, a trip to the gym or walk on the beach is a great start to my day. Then I may catch up with friends on the internet, read international news, or spend time tending to plants on the veranda. The decision to move to Belize was not taken lightly by my husband Anthony and I, yet was achieved with a light heart. Mourning a deceased relative motivated us to try something different. Belize was top of our list of English-speaking countries for our new adventure. Anthony has family history and relatives in Belize, so a dozen years ago we went in search of the roots to his mother’s background. We were welcomed so warmly by relatives and residents that it was the natural choice for our relocation. In 2007 we took the plunge, holding such a massive clean-out sale in our beloved Seattle that we even sold my car from the front yard. We bought a top-floor condo on Ambergris Caye in a lagoon-facing neighborhood populated by a mix of Belizeans and expats.

    13 Reasons Ben and Liz Were Thrilled to Honeymoon in Belize!
    When Ben proposed to Liz, the two busy executives barely had time to plan a wedding, much less a honeymoon, so when a friend suggested Belize, the pair blinked and said in unison: “What’s Belize?” Their friend didn’t work for the Belize tourism board but after she described this Caribbean paradise, they were so intrigued, they did some research and never considered a second destination. Here’s why: 1. When Ben learned that Belize’s first language is English, he was sold. Upon arrival, they spotted so many laughing, smiling Belizean faces, they realized that friendly, helpful people are the rule, not the exception. 2. Liz realized that their favorite carrier—Southwest—could fly them to Belize since they recently added routes to compete with American, Delta, United and local airlines. Southwest even gave them a wedding gift: frequent flyer miles.

    Make Your Dollars Go Further in Belize With This Retiree Program
    Earl and Gail Johnson have lived in the Corozal District, a retirement haven in northern Belize, for eight years. Corozal is a small town, set on the vast Corozal Bay and just nine miles from the Mexican border. It has a close-knit expat community, with plenty of clubs and social activities. The town itself is fairly low-key, but with everything you need for day-to-day life. “My wife always wanted to retire in a foreign country,” says Earl. “Corozal is retiree-friendly. You can’t say any place is crime-free, but it’s certainly safer than Fort Worth. When we came here it was probably the best-kept secret, but not so much anymore. There are lots of expats here.” The Johnsons can make their retirement dollars stretch much further here. They have a house on the water on Four-Mile Lagoon, which is 10 minutes from Corozal town. They have a maid who comes in one-and-a-half days a week, a yard man who comes three days a week, and a gardener for five hours a week. They could never have afforded this luxurious lifestyle in Texas, says Earl.

    International Sourcesizz

    Belize’s regulator issues warning, cease and desist order against FX firm Grizzly Limited
    Belize’s International Financial Services Commission of Belize (IFSC) on Monday published a warning notice and cease and desist order against provider of Forex services Grizzly Limited. The company operates via http://www.grizzly-ltd.com/, where it claims to be regulated by the IFSC. The regulator notes that Grizzly Limited is not licensed by the International Financial Services Commission of Belize or any other competent authority in Belize to engage in any type of trading business. All those concerned are urged to take note and exercise extreme caution. Any person who is contacted by the representatives of Grizzly Limited is asked to get in touch with the IFSC by e-mail director@ifsc.gov.bz and to provide full details of such persons.

    Belize - Farmers lobby government for higher sugar price
    Cane farmers have asked for an increase in the price of locally produced sugar to help fill the void that falling international prices will bring about this crop season. The 1,100 members of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA), who attended...

    20 Top Travel Medical Tips... From Experience
    Thirty years of extensive travel have left me with a wealth of wonderful memories, and a wealth of medical "experiences" and near crises. This is not an exhaustive list of medical tips, but a personal one. Some are standard and well-known but some will be new. Here are my top tips... 1. Get a flu shot. The worst flu I ever had was after a transatlantic flight. 2. Don't pet stray animals -- they are sweet and Instagram gold, but they also carry ringworm. Happened to me in Italy. 3. Beware of packs of dogs. They may be gentle when alone but dangerous together. I had to jump on the back of a truck passing by to escape a dog fight between packs on Kadavu in Fiji.

    10 national animals that are rare, unusual, endangered or completely nonexistent
    If Benjamin Franklin had had his way, America's national animal would be the same bird responsible for all those extra trips to the gym starting in late November. The same bird that many of us find even more delicious the day after, slathered with cranberry sauce and mayo and served cold between two pieces of potato bread. Yes, if Ben Franklin had had his way, America's national animal — or national bird, at least — would have been the turkey, an animal, "a true original Native of America," he believed to be a "much more respectable bird" than that "rank coward” with "bad moral character" otherwise known as the bald eagle. Snap. Baird’s tapir, a weird-looking beast (think the odd-toed lovechild of a pig, a horse, an anteater and a hippo) that produces some seriously cute babies is both the largest indigenous land mammal in Central America and the national animal of Belize. It's also an endangered animal with less than 5,000 individuals estimated to be surviving in the wild. The threats against Baird's tapir — aka the "mountain cow" — are not atypical: habitat destruction and poaching, which is illegal but not always enforced. And extremely low reproduction rate haven't helped to boost declining population numbers. In Belize, Baird's tapir enjoys a certain degree of protection within the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve, a more than 6,000-acre reserve co-managed by the Belize Audubon Society that's home to a wide range of fauna, some of which, like Baird's tapir, are threatened.

    Videos

  • St. Andrew's Day - School Hymn, 1.5min. The students and teachers of St. Andrew's School join in singing their school hymn, "We Build Our School on Thee, O Lord" by Sebastian William Meyer.

  • Zip lining in Belize 2015, 5.5min. We went zip lining in Belize on our cruise on Nov 2015. This was with a organization called ButtsUp and we were also supposed to Cave Tube but the caves had been flooded because of heavy rains. The fun part about this was it was raining so it made braking a challenge. We still had a blast !!

  • Belize Rope Swing River Adventures, 2min. Diving of rocks and swing in my backyard, in Belize.

  • Discover the wonders of Western Belize and be a Belizean Traveller, 1min.

  • Mariko Wallen - Snorkel Guide & Coral Restorer from Placencia, Belize, 4min. unbelizeable Mo speaks about her work in Placencia, Belize. Released on the opening of the 21st COP to remind us that there are some climate warriors who walk amongst us. Thanks to Lisa Carne and Fragments of Hope (coral nurseries in Belize) for introducing us to this whole new world in Belize.

  • Old plane Cessna. Horrible flight from Guatemala to Belize., 3min.

  • Beautiful Belize | Black Hole Drop, 10min.

  • Caribbean Villas Belize..., 1.5min. My favorite place to stay on Ambergris Caye... You'll see why...

  • Belize 2015, 3min. UNCW Spring Break 2015 trip to Belize with the Communication Studies Department.


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