Recent Belize News
1/21/2016 to 1/30/2016
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Today's Belize News

I will be unable to do the daily news tomorrow, Sunday morning Jan 31. I will return on Monday morning.

January 30, 2016


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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

Cheers to the New Year!
It’s the New Year! Yup, we survived 2015 and to celebrate such an achievement we are toasting to the closing of a spectacular chapter and the beginning of a new one on La Isla Bonita. In classic San Pedro style, we will not be toasting with champagne but rather with a few iconic cocktails from some of our island’s fabulous bars. From creamy and sweet, to sweet and sour, we’ve compiled a list that will surely please any palate. Our first stop in the must-do 2016 booze tour is the Truck Stop. The talented bartender at the newly inaugurated shipping container food park and beer garden, Orville, fixed us up one of their best sellers: the VIP. This drink consisted of vodka infused pineapple juice and fresh soursop juice. Doesn’t that just sound heavenly?

Artisans optimistic about new location
Tourism is the main industry of the island, with San Pedro as one of the top generators of the country’s tourism revenue. Residents on Ambergris Caye depend on tourism for their daily livelihood and the artisans are no exception. They were initially not in favor of relocating from Central Park where they had been operating for years. However, during a meeting held at the San Pedro Town Council conference room on January 6th, the Town Council and artisans reached an agreement on the Artisans Market Operational Guideline that includes 21 regulations. The guidelines are in place to ensure safety, accountability and cohesion, and includes clauses on professionalism, proper attire, alcohol and drug use to mention a few. Violation of the rules could mean revoking trade licenses. The vendors do report feeling much safer in their new location, claiming that previously, the possibility of a traffic accident was high when at Central Park. Now they are far from the street and vehicles no longer a concern. However, there are still lingering concerns by a few vendors. According to some, the current booths are too small, and there is not enough space for them to work. Not being able to display everything to their patrons because of the lack of space is a big issue, they claim. Another concern is that young children are not allowed at the different stands. The artisans who are single mothers don’t believe this is appropriate, as they don’t want to leave their young ones at home. They would prefer to have their children at their temporary booth, where they can be safe with them. With all the signs and banners informing visitors of the new location, the artisans have hopes that everything will soon bet back to normal.San Pedro Artisans New Location Saca Chispas-5

Minister’s and Mayor’s Cup Tournament: One Month In
Last weekend, the Mayor’s and Minister’s Cup advanced into their fourth week of football on the island. The games took place from Friday, January 22nd to Sunday January 24th and despite a cold front blowing, fans came out to support their favorite teams. The results of the six matches played are as follow: Friday – Belize Pro Divers 6- 3 PSG, San Mateo 4 Diamonds 4-2 Veterans, Saturday- Catrachos 6-1 Sky Energy, Ambergris Divers 7-1 Progresso Boys, Sunday- Peace Makers 6-1 Jokers F.C, Serious Warriors 6-4 San Pedro Junior College. The action continues this weekend.

Caye Caulker preparing for Village Council Elections
Even though the Elections and Boundaries Department has not issued an official date for the 2016 Village Council Elections, they did indicate that rural level elections will take place sometime between May and June of 2016. As such, residents of La Isla Cariñosa, Caye Caulker, are getting ready to head to the polls and elect a new Village Council in the upcoming village council elections. A number of different people are expected to declare their intention to run as candidates, but so far only one Hicaceña has actually come forward and officially announced her candidacy for chairperson. Early in January, born and raised Caye Caulker resident Tracie Young declared her intentions of running for chairperson via an encouraging message posted on her social media account. “If you know me, you know that I think outside the box; I don’t follow the same pattern as others, I use the resources I have to make magic. I smile a lot and I try to lighten the mood, I love making people smile and I find unique ways of doing things, the world isn’t flat so we don’t treat everything the same way!” she wrote.

BTB implements Belize Standard Code of Practice for Recreational Scuba Diving Practices
In the past three years, The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has been working on creating a set of guidelines and regulations specific to scuba diving in Belize. These guidelines and regulations have been completed and Belize now has a “Belize Standard Code of Practice for Recreational Scuba Diving Practices.” The standard specifies the minimum requirements for the effective and operational safety of scuba diving in Belize.

Ambergris Today

Digicel Lowers Text Rates as System Experiences Significant Issues
In a press release by the telecommunications company indicates that while all mobile customers have still been able to call, text, use data and all other PrePaid services without issue, the mechanism that allows for customers to use a short code to check credit balances or buy text bundles, 2G data plan and other special promo services has since been operating at less than 40% capacity. This has meant that many customers have not been able to get through to check their balances or buy a PrePaid plan. Despite the best efforts of BTL technicians, the company anticipates that it may take up to three to four weeks before a full solution can be put in place to address the issues.

Kelly McGuire Concerts to Raise Funds for unBELIZEable II 2016 Wheelchair Distribution
Award-winning songwriter and recording artist Kelly McGuire will be giving several concerts on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, this coming week. At four of his concerts, Kelly is teaming with the San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross and the Wheelchair Foundation to raise money to provide wheelchairs to needy Belizeans living on Ambergris Caye. Red Cross volunteers will be at the following concerts to collect donations for this good cause: - Saturday, Jan. 30, at Island Time Bar & Grill, 2 - 5 p.m. - Sunday, Jan. 31, at The Dive Bar (across bridge north of the Cloisters), 2 – 5 p.m. - Wednesday, Feb. 3, at Captain Morgan’s, 2 – 5 p.m. - Monday, Feb. 8, at Island Time Bar & Grill, 2 - 5 p.m.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Caye Caulker Flee Market
Several people have recently asked me about yard sales. We've had a couple of great ones and Araceli August is organizing another one. Do you have odds and ends you don't need or want anymore but not enough to do your own sale? Do you need stuff some new stuff? Come on out and join the party! Sell your stuff! Buy other people's stuff! It's fun and profitable!

Island Academy Career Day
the Island Academy highlighted Career Day with special guest and past graduate Almita Pinelo (LTJG of the Belize Coast Guard). Mrs. Pinelo was honored to be invited to her Alma Mater to share experiences in her career with the student body. Almita also presented school founder Ms. Dixie Bowen with a small gift of appreciation.

The Ministry of Health would like to remind the public that we are still in the flu season. Persons at risk for serious flu complications include young children; pregnant women; people with chronic health conditions such as diabetes, asthma and HIV; and people 65 years and older. The Ministry of Health encourages those who are at risk for serious flu complications to take a flu vaccine since it is the best way to prevent the flu. The vaccine is available free of cost at all public health centers. If the signs and symptoms of the flu do not go away after 10 days or if they become worse, visit your nearest health center immediately.

FCD conducts a final report on the combat against illegal logging
Supported by the EU FAO/FLEGT Program. Presentations were made by FCD and Asociacion Balam.

First Caribbean says goodbye...
From FCIB...

Over 500 Residents in the Southern Rural Community of Santa Anna, Toledo Now Have Easy Access to Quality Potable Water
This means 91 households, schools, churches and the village health post will now enjoy the continuous supply of quality potable water to meet their daily needs such as drinking, washing, bathing and cooking thanks to the Government of Belize who financed the expansion and upgrade of the water project at a cost of $565,686.16 through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank. Equally important, the completion of the new water system project will also reduce the vulnerability of residents to water-borne diseases, thus; making critical achievements in improving the quality of life and health of the people of Santa Anna Village, and by extension, the people of Belize. The construction of the water project also demonstrates the unwavering commitment of the Government of Belize to fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals, otherwise known as the Global Goals, building on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as it relates to water; which is to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water.

Consular Tip: We di work fast!
The Consular Section is reducing the time you have to spend at the Embassy when you apply for a visa. Our new, staggered interview times mean less waiting around. Please arrive at the time your interview is scheduled (arriving early won’t get you an earlier appointment, it will only increase the time you have to wait) – we’ll have you in and out record time. - U.S. Embassy Belize

Rescuing a stranded manatee
We are now working with the Forest Department to transport the manatee to Belmopan, where it will be collected by Wildtracks this evening and transported to their rehabilitation center in Sarteneja. Great work to all the organizations collaborating in this rescue and thanks for coming together to make sure this animal gets the help it needs! We are wishing this manatee the best of luck and a speedy recovery so it can return to its home in the wild!

Update from the BTB re: Zika Virus
The Belize Tourism Board continues to receive updates from the Ministry of Heath regarding the Zika virus. Getting you updated information as it becomes available is a top priority. In the meantime, below you will find: 1. Key Message for you to utilize in communicating with your visitors and guests. 2. Update from the Ministry of Health 3. General information about the virus as well as general questions you or your visitors may have about its impact. KEY MESSAGE: At this time, it is important to note that the Zika virus has not spread to Belize. As a precaution for visitors traveling to the Belize, you are encouraged to wear long sleeves and long pants and/or liberally apply insect repellent when appropriate. We remain in contact with the Ministry of Health and the Belize Tourism Board regarding the Zika virus and will continue to share information as it becomes available.

La Isla Bonita Elementary School Culture Day
La Isla Bonita Elementary School hosted Culture Day today Friday January 29th. Joining the students and members of the community was Councillor Hector Alamilla, who has the responsibility of Culture on the Island. Councillor Alamilla visited the various booths, listened and interacted with the students and engaged the students on the history of the various ethnic groups in Belize. The students took time out to express their gratitude to the councilor for being at their event. Thank You Isla Bonita Elementary School for inviting us.

Cayo Movie Night: Tsosti
Cayo Movie Nights are starting back up. Next Friday, February 4th, at the Soul Project, starting at 6:30pm. "Movie Night at the Soul Project February 4th at 6:30PM In this World..... Redemption just comes once"

FITUR is the global meeting point for tourism professionals which focuses on responsive and fair source markets of Latin America.

Channel 7

Three Charged For Stabbing Doctor, Murdering Friend
Byron Flowers, Max Orosco and Windell Thurton were today charged for killing 32 year old Ian Robert Blair in Dr. Marcus Rugama's house. They were each arraigned on a charge of murder for that killing, and additionally, the trio was charged with aggravated burglary, the attempted murder of 44 year old Dr. Rugama, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. There's no bail for murder so all three were remanded until March 30. We should note that Max Orosco has diminished mental capacity. On Wednesday morning at 1:40 am, the trio - armed with a knife - allegedly went into Dr. Rugama's home as he was picking clothes from the line. They attacked Blair - and Rugama intervened. Both Rugama and Blair were stabbed in the struggle, but Blair didn't make it. Rugama is expected to make a full recovery.

First Caribbean signs Off With Workers
The First Caribbean International Bank ceased operations in Belize today. It's the end of an era - because First Caribbean took over from Barclay's which was established in Belize in the mid 1900's. That circle is closed now as all their assets have been sold to the Heritage Bank. But what about their employees? Well, as of today, the 60 plus workers are out of a job. Now for months we've been reporting on labour agitation as these employees protested - demanding a fair exit package for their years of service. But, since December, the labour agitation went quiet, and that's because according to Country Manager Glenn Smith, the bank management and the employees finally agreed on a suitable exit package. They signed a Memorandum of Agreement one week ago on Friday January 22nd and they also agreed on the terms of the outstanding Collective Bargaining Agreement for the period 2014 to 2016. Today when the bank gave its final round of charitable donations, we asked Smith about this settlement of the dispute:

After 67 Years, First Caribbean's/Barclay's Farewell
But while Matura may disagree about the status of the labour matters, as far as First Caribbean is concerned, the agreement has been duly signed and that's that. So at 5:00 pm today, First Caribbean formally closed the curtains on its commercial operations in Belize. And now, behind the scenes computer systems administrators will be working furiously over the next 48 hours to transfer all operations to Hertiage Bank so that thousands of account holders can have a seamless transition - one where they will retain the same account numbers. They have also been given new bank and credit cards for Heritage. And, as of Sunday January 31st, the transition to Heritage should be completed. Today, country manager Glen Smith told us that even though they are saying goodbye - they won't leave their workers out in the cold. He discussed the job opportunities for workers abroad.

Bradley Paumen's Case Compounds With Confusion
Last night, we told you about the additional charges that American Tour Operator Bradley Paumen was jailed for when he re-appeared in Belmopan Magistrate's Court yesterday. Well, this morning, his attorneys went to the court seeking to get him an expedited bail hearing at the Supreme Court. Paumen, Lisburn Anderson, businessman Jahan Abadi of Belmopan, and Korean American Hyang Choing Park were charged with the perversion of justice and the conspiracy to pervert justice. Paumen and Anderson were charged for planting a .22 rifle and 150 live rounds in Michael Modiri's vehicle in April, 2015. Park was charged with enlisting policeman Solomon Mas in February of 2015 - who was allegedly hired as the hitman. Abadi is also accused of facilitating a key to get into Modiri's vehicle so the weapon could be planted. It's not the type of thing that happens very often, but today, the DPP's Office was blindsided with a very late notice that they must appear in court to present the state's position as to why Paumen should not be granted bail. A Supreme Court judge did grant them an audience, but the Crown Counsel from the DPP's Office informed the court that they were not given adequate time to prepare their grounds for objecting to Paumen getting bail.

Man Charged For Murder After Mexico Run
Today, murder suspect, 58 year-old Salvadoran Juan Carlos Lopez Gutierrez, was taken to Orange Walk Magistrate's Court. He was remanded until his next court date, which is March second. Lopez is accused of killing 51 year-old Guatemalan Francisco Arevalo, the Vice Chairman of Indian Church in Orange Walk. His nude body was found near an unfinished concrete house after he'd had a rendezvous with a woman. Juan Carlos Lopez Gutierrez was the other side of the love triangle, and he fled the country. Mexican police found him hiding out in a small village on the Mexican side of the Rio Hondo called Allende. He was caught by Mexican police and handed over to Belize police earlier today.

PUP At A 3 Way Crossroads
On Sunday in Belmopan, close to three thousand delegates will decide who will be the next leader of the PUP. The campaign teams for current leader Francis Fonseca, Former Leader John Briceno, and former Deputy Leader Cordel Hyde have been on intensive national campaigns for the past four weeks. We say intensive because they had 30 days to visit these thousands of delegates in 31 constituencies, and in quite a few constituencies that meant finding the delegates. That's because in some constituencies where the candidates or chairmen have pledged support to either one of the candidates - they offer no help in finding the delegates, so the candidates literally have to search them out which can take days. It's a time consuming and taxing pursuit - but all part of the campaign process for a leadership convention which will be the most inclusive in Belize's political history. It is also the first three way race. Voting at Belmopan comprehensive begins at 9:00 am, where delegates will cast their ballots in 5 polling stations within the school. Polling ends at 3:00 pm, and counting will start immediately after.

Four Die From Flu Related Influenza Respiratory Distress
Is Belize on the brink of an Influenza epidemic? That's what people are asking after 4 people died at the KHMH supposedly from respiratory distress -commonly associated with Pneumonia. Health professionals are investigating these cases and trying to establish a link with previous cases last year. We spoke to Health CEO Dr. Ramon Figueroa over the phone and he told us that there is no cause for concern. He told us it's just the flu season and that mostly young children and older persons are vulnerable to catching this virus. But still, the Ministry of Health is not taking these 4 deaths lightly. He explained what the situation is right now and what is being done to gather more information. Dr. Ramon Figueroa, CEO - Ministry of Health: "One of the things that has drawn our attention has been a number of cases of apparent respiratory distress disorder syndrome. People dying from severe respiratory distress and that started last year. I think October/November last year we were called in by KHMH to look at some 3 cases that we had last year of young people who died from respiratory distress. They had probably diarrhea as one of the symptoms, but diarrhea was a symptom of the underlying caused..."

BDF, 80 New Soldiers
Today at Price Barracks in Ladyville, the BDF celebrated its 38th year anniversary and also passed out recruit intake number 61. After 16 weeks of intense physical training, these 80 men and women now join the ranks of the BDF. Minister of National Security John Saldivar presented the keynote address to the new recruits. Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security: "Give them a round of applause for their survival. Recruit training by design and by intention is tough both mentally and physically and only the strongest will survive. In October 2015, when these recruits assemble here in Price Barracks, they were immediately introduced to the routine of military life and other requirements of being a soldier. The following morning no doubt was perhaps their biggest revelation as that morning and every morning thereafter started at 4:30am and lasted until 11pm in the night. A 19 hour day of training is not unusual in the life of a recruit as they are expected to work long hours after they become trained soldiers."

Sarstoon Forward Base Coming Along
38 years ago, the Belize Defense force was created from an amalgamation of the Belize Volunteer Force and the Police Special Force. Since then Belize's army has grown and continues to grow - in numbers and in strategy. The past couple of years have seen several mile stones achieved in BDF history including the strategic development of outposts to safeguard our borders. One of them is the Forward Operating Base at the mouth of Sarstoon River. Brigadier General David Jones gave us an update on the construction of this much-disputed post and others along the Western Border. Brig. Gen. David Jones - Commander, BDF: "There is the one at the Sarstoon which work has started already. I haven't seen it yet. But work has started. As soon as that in completed, should be within 2 months or so. Soldiers from the special boat unit and subsequently the coast guard will be attached to that unit and then we will work from there. The one in Sebada and Caballo, it is dependent on a road being constructed there. So that is two CPs in that area that needs to be constructed and then in the future we anticipate one in Consejo and one in Blue Creek. So we are anticipating another 4 CPs at a minimum to be constructed to have that tight control over what is happening along the western border, along the northern border with Mexico and along the southern border along the Sarstoon with Guatemala."

MCC Going Through Changes
The BDF FC faces the Belmopan Bandits this Sunday in Premier League play. But they need a pitch. For the past 2 weeks the National Sports council has been rushing to fix the field of the MCC grounds before this weekend's game. The last time we reported on the football pitch at the MCC, BDF soldiers were filling in the ditch around the field. Well, today when we visited, civil works were underway to level the pitch. We spoke with the director of National Sports Council Rithcel Dominguez who told us more about the ongoing works. Ritchell Dominguez - Director of the National Sports Council: "Well like I told you we should have had the field up and ready by this weekend for the game between BDF and Bandits. We are doing that, but we have been lucky for someone to saw us on the TV and said they want to partner with us. Mr. Chanona has decided that he will give us a hand in getting the field up and running and getting is tilt so that we can get it up to a standard where it's more and more up to where we want to get it. It will be grass planting for now. We will be getting the grass in and try to get it up to where the field is covered with grass and from there then we go into getting the lights up. We should be having the lights working with BEL to get that up and running at least by next week to see where we are with that. The next time BDF is playing a home game, it should be ready for the home game."

Dog Causes Plane Landing Gear To Buckle
"The dog did it". That's what Civil Aviation Investigators have concluded in the case of the Piper 32-300 which buckled on the PG Runway yesterday. The plane is air ambulance form BERT, and it was headed to PG to pick up a patient with the pilot and a nurse on board. But when the plane was touching down, the landing gear stuck a dog, and as a result, the lending gear broke off the aircraft. No one was hurt.

DPP Disputes Facts
Earlier in the news, we told you about the case of the bail hearing of businessman Jahan Abadi of Belmopan and Korean Hyang Choing Park which happened before Magistrate Albert Hoare. Well, the DPP called us to say that she was not hospitalized, she simply had to go to the hospital for medication for her voice because she is hoarse. She added that defense attorney Arthurs was disingenuous to suggest that her office is cooperating to get these two defendants bail. She said that the prosecution is objecting to Hyan Choing Park getting bail because she is a flight risk, and in relation to Jahan Abadi, she told us that her office has not been served with documents for his bail.

Anne Swaney Investigation Update
On Monday, we told you that one of police's main suspects, 24 year-old Guatemalan Victor Manuel Franco Menjivar was set free. He was one of the persons that Benque police were investigating for the murder of American tourist Anne Swaney. He had been found in the same general area as Swaney's body, and he was supposed to be spending 6 months in prison after pleading guilty to illegal entry. Now, Magistrates usually order accused illegal immigrants to pay their fine forthwith, or else they will be jailed. What usually happens is that the Immigration Department allows these defendants a small amount of time to pay and if they can, then they are released. Victor Menjivar did just that, and he was then taken to the Western Border and then released into Guatemala. Today, we asked the Acting Commander of the Western Police Region if that substantially hurt their ability to investigate this crime, and here's what he had to say:

Cayo Cops Call On Us
Today, the top brass at the San Ignacio Police chose its Officers of the Month from among the junior officers assigned to that station. Now, we're not for self-promotion, but the media-friendly commanders obliged us to inspect the police parade and choose which of the officers we thought was wearing the uniform with the most polish and neatness. In keeping with being good sports, they asked our Daniel Ortiz to hand out the certificates to the 3 officers who had been chosen as the Officers of the month. Afterwards, we spoke with all 3. Here's what they told us: Today, we got to see that community policing criteria in action when officers from San Ignacio went out to buy groceries for needy residents with money they collected from amongst themselves. One officer discussed this generous donation and the reason that the officers decided to come up out of their own pockets for these recipients:

A Last Gush Of Goodwill
As we told you at the top of the news, First Caribbean has ended its commercial operations in Belize effective 5:00 pm today. And, with the closure, it had one last gush of goodwill. 9 organizations including 7 schools received donations this evening. Country Manager Glenn Smith told us it's all about social assistance. The donations totaled $15,000.

BDF Examines Future
Earlier on, we showed you the new intake of BDF soldiers. But more than just more boots on the ground, the BDF is changing the way it operates. Today Brigadier General David Jones spoke to us about their Strategic Development Plan. Brig. Gen. David Jones - Commander, BDF "The BDF is in the process now of developing and finalizing their strategic defence review. This is a document that is chartering the way for the BDF vision in the next 5 years. So its going to look at the tasks that the government wants the BDF to achieve. How they are going to achieve it and then to put together those resources that they need to achieve it. So with the help of the Canadian government we are finalizing that document. Myself and members of the BDF along with our CEO from the Ministry of National Security will be flying to Canada next month to finalize that review. Subsequently the rest of the review will be completed here in Belize. When that document signed off, that charters the way for the next 5 years at a minimum for the Belize Defence Force."

Soundclash "Rings the Alarm"
Belize is having its first international soundclash this weekend. A sound clash is a musical battle between two DJ's to see who can do a better job at moving the crowd. This sound clash called "ring the Alarm" is between Black Chiney from Jamaica and "Dynamq" (Dynamic) from South Sudan. That's both intercontinental and international - and "Dynamq" (Dynamic) told us more about it:… The sound clash takes place tomorrow at 9:00 pm at the Pickwick Club.

Help For Seniors
LIFE - Living Independently in Full Existence: that is the name of the new organization that will cater to the senior citizens of the Southside. They officially opened this morning at # 11 Casuarina Street in Lake Independence. But the opening wasn't the only good news - they also got a brand new elderly-friendly van. Today at the ceremony, LIFE Administrator Sister Carlette Gentle told us more about the organization and how important it is to look after our elderly. Of course, when we think about caring and protecting our elderly, we immediately think of 93 year old Patrick Grant and 61 year old Orle Savala - elderly men who were both recently beaten up. LIFE says it si aware of those types of situations and will also be reaching out to those in especially adverse circumstances:..

The Missionary Move
A group of missionary Christians is trying to enlist 10 Belizean pastors to take them to Johannesburg South Africa for a 10 day trip. Victoria Baltazar, who is the sister of famed and recently deceased dancer Rosita Baltazar told us more about it:... Those wishing to participate should be at Sunset Park at mile 8 on Sunday at 10:00 am or you can call 637-3106.

Muslim Evangelists?
If you're not a practitioner of the religion of Islam, you probably don't know the Ahmadiyya Muslim jama?at, but this organization is one of Islamic church groups with branches all over the World. Well, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Belize has been here for the last 2 years, and with their steady growth in fellowship and the expansion of their mosque, they want to introduce themselves to the Belizean public. Today, they invited us into their prayer hall and the leader of the church told us that everyone is welcomed to visit and learn about their religion: Tune in next week when we'll take you back inside the Ahmadiyya Muslim jama?at for a look at how they practice their religion.

Channel 5

CIBC Closes Its Doors in Belize
CIBC First Caribbean International Bank officially exited Belize today. All its branches across the country also closed and banking transactions are shutting down as of tonight to make way for [...]

CWU President Says MOU Was Not Authorized
But according to CWU president Audrey Matura-Shepherd, the union did not authorize the signing of the MOA. In a text sent to News Five, Matura-Shepherd asserts that she was “shocked [...]

No Bail for Jahan Abadi and Haung Chong Park
The strange legal tangles of US national Bradley Paumen, the owner of Dark Knight et al remain very fluid tonight. In a nutshell, three persons were formally arraigned on Thursday [...]

Paumen Gets Supreme Court Bail Hearing Hours After Remand
But back to Bradley Paumen….He’s a millionaire investor, owner of Dark Night Tours and a resort in Hopkins, but is tonight behind bars at the Belize Central Prison. On Thursday [...]

3 Men Arraigned for Murder of Ian Blair
It was not until after two p.m. today that eighteen-year-old Windell Thurton, twenty-one-year-old Max Orosco and nineteen-year-old Byron Flowers, all of Belize City, were arraigned before Magistrate Deborah Rogers for [...]

No Update in Swaney Murder Investigation
On Thursday, January fourteenth, ABC7 Chicago Executive Producer Anne Swaney was murdered on the grounds of the Nabitunich Resort in San Jose Succotz. Her senseless and brutal killing created shockwaves [...]

DHS Confirms Unexplained Deaths At the K.H.M.H.
There are far more questions than answers available tonight from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where various persons have died in the past four months due to an unknown illness.  [...]

MOH Says No Cause for Alarm
The cause of death of three persons this month remains unknown and the ministry says samples have been sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency, CARPHA, and that at this [...]

P.U.P. Leadership Convention to Be Held on Sunday
Turning to political news…The People’s United Party will be holding a historic national leadership convention this weekend. As you know, three candidates are offering themselves for the top job of [...]

Heritage Bank Anticipates Smooth Transition
Earlier you heard the farewell from FCIB’s Country Manager, Glen Smith. At the close of business a few hours ago, the official transfer of assets from FCIB to Heritage Bank [...]

Credit and Debit Cards Must Be Activated by Monday
While Heritage Bank is embarking on an automation process to ensure that the changeover is easy, customers of FCIB are being asked to make certain that their new credit and [...]

Heritage to Assume Control of FCIB Buildings Countrywide
So what will become of FCIB’s infrastructures in the various districts.  According to Duncan, a majority of those buildings will be used to expand Heritage’s operations where necessary, including the [...]

Cayo Police Provide Clarity on Reported Bus Shooting
On Wednesday, San Ignacio Police swarmed Esperanza in response to reports that a man had been shot in the head on a Westline Bus. Conrad Thomas, bleeding profusely and unconscious, [...]

B.D.F. Passes Out 80 New Soldiers
The various arms that provide national security to the country keep growing in numbers and in strength. This afternoon, eighty new soldiers joined the ranks of the Belize Defense Force [...]

Minister of National Security Says Work Has Commenced at Sarstoon FOB
Since breaking ground for a new forward operating base near the mouth of the Sarstoon River in December 2015, the much talked about military installation has seemingly taken a backseat [...]

CIBC Makes Final Donation to Belizean Organizations
CIBC First Caribbean International Bank in its final act of social responsibility, made a contribution of fifteen thousand five hundred dollars to nine organizations in the city. Today at its [...]

Spreading Zika Virus Raises Global Alarm
There is global concern tonight about the ZIKA virus which is spreading quickly throughout the region. Last week, we spoke with Doctor Marvin Manzanero of the Ministry of Health about [...]

Cayo Police Go Into Schools to Deal With Youth Issues
There have been two suicides in the West recently, young persons who took their own lives. There are organizations which deal with depression and other related factors, but as we [...]

Cayo COPP in Full Effect
Across the country, Community Policing has taken root, and it has become the rule rather than the exception. Just around Christmas time the San Ignacio Police Formation received twenty-four new [...]


Willows Bank Villagers Need Access to Water
A resident of Willow’s Bank Village in the Belize District has come to the media in the hopes that the challenges the villagers currently face would be addressed. Rose Perriot has a house in Willows Bank along with five other families but they have been living without access to potable water and the only well […]

Trio Arraigned in Home Invasion Case that Claimed Ian Blair
Three young men were arraigned on a charge of murder for the death of Ian Robert Blair when they appeared today before Magistrate Deborah Rogers. The accused murderers are 19 year old Byron Flowers, 21 year old Max Orosco and 18 year old Windell Thurton. The trio was also charged with aggravated burglary, attempted murder […]

Paumen Associates Arraigned in Court
The case involving American Investor and owner of Dark Knight, Bradley Paumen continued today in the court room of Magistrate Albert Hoare in San Ignacio. Paumen stands accused of plotting the murder of Michael Modiri. He allegedly did so with other persons including Jahangi Abadi and Haung Chong Park who have been charged for Abetment […]

Deaths During Flu Season Urges Investigation at KHMH
A post on social media stirred up some talking today about a number of deaths that had occurred at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital. The post referred to those deaths as an undiagnosed illness. Tonight Love News can confirm that the deaths at the KHMH are six deaths being investigated between the span of last […]

Briceno Says He Is Ready for Leadership Convention
The People’s United Party will be holding their national convention on Sunday in Belmopan. One of the men vying for leadership of the party is Orange Walk Central’s area representative, John Briceno. Earlier today we caught up with Briceno to get his views heading into Sunday’s convention. We asked Briceno what are some of […]

Belize Makes 1st Draft Report on Civil and Political Rights
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a validation workshop on Belize’s draft report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. On hand was Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington. This is Belize’s first draft report and will encompasses only up to 2014. In his address Minister Elrington spoke of a number of […]

First Caribbean Officially Closes Its Doors in Belize
The Christian Workers Union and CIBC First Caribbean International Bank have signed a memorandum of agreement, MOA. A release from the bank says that both bodies were able to reach an agreement on an exit package for its employees. The MOA was signed last week Friday and today was the bank’s final day of operations […]

City Council Takes Heed to the Children
A document that seeks to add to the initiatives of the Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities was signed yesterday at City Hall in Belize City. Hyacinth Latchman-Cuellar, who is the councillor responsible for women and children at the Belize City Council, spoke on how this signing will add to the initiative. Councillor Latchman-Cuellar told […]

The Taiwanese Are Coming for the BDF
We have been hearing of the addition to the military air wing by way of helicopters and planes for quite some time. Today we got an update from the Brigadier General, David Jones as to the status of this expansion as well as training for the pilots and technicians. As Commander Jones mentioned, a team […]

61st Intake for Belize Defense Force
The 61st Intake for the Belize Defense Force had their graduation ceremony this afternoon at Price Barracks in Ladyville Village, Belize District. Brigadier General David Jones spoke of this intake and how crucial the additional numbers are to the force. Love News asked the BDF Commander to comment on the training curriculum for the recruits […]


Man on the run after chopping up wife captured
A murder suspect accused of chopping his common law wife to death and fleeing the scene has finally been captured. He was captured by civilians who recognized him and handed him over to police. Our Dangriga correspondent Hary Arzu has the story. ...

Professional cyclist knocked down by bus
A young professional cyclists was knocked down by a bus yesterday, Wednesday January 27. 16-year-old Shakille Tillett of Camalote Village ,professionally for cycling team WKC Strikers and was onthe road on his bicycle sometime around 10 o’clock yesterday morning. When he approached mile 11 on ...

Was bus Passenger hit or shot?
Yesterday, we reported on the bus incident where one passenger was injured by another passenger on an afternoon bus headed from Benque to Belize city. As we told you at the time of the newscast, the information we had was still sketchy, though eyewitnesses told us on and off camera that the victim,...

Three persons charged in Ian Blair murder
Yesterday we told you about the murder that occurred in Belize City on Simon Lamb street. 44-year-old Dr. Marcos Christopher Rugama Miranda, who lives at the house on Simon Lamb street, was stabbed to the center of his chest while 37-year-old Ian Robert Blair of Belize City was stabbed to the u...

Suicide Pact in Cayo???
Plusnews has received disturbing reports coming out of the Cayo District regarding recent suicide incidents that claimed the lives of two teenagers in separate incidents recently and another suicide attempt reported two nights ago. Now, Plusnews does not normally report on suicides and we avoid rev...

Vehicle in Belize City Canal
How did a vehicle end up in the Haulover Creek in the Lake Independence area of Belize City last night? The report we got is that 36-year-old Anthony Young was stabbed to the head while inside the vehicle, causing him to lose control while driving on Partridge Street. We do not know if he was stabbe...

NTUCB looks forward to permanent representative in Senate
On Wednesday 27th January, we saw for the first time since this new Administration, a representative for the Unions seated in the Senate meeting. Mind you, it is only temporary. PlusNews introduced the nation to Educator and long-standing union activist Elena Smith as she took the oath at the start...

The Reporter

BDF has 80 new soldiers
The Belize Defence Force (BDF) conducted a passing out ceremony at its Price Barracks headquarters in Ladyville on Friday evening for 80 recruits who have now joined the ranks of Belize’s military. The recruits started their rigorous training in October 2015, in disciplines ranging from: […]

KHMH investigates seven unexpected patient deaths
By Marion Ali, Assistant Editor The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) is investigating the circumstances leading to seven unexpected patient deaths since last October. Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero told the media on Friday that the patients, who all suffered from respiratory and flu-like symptoms and abdominal problems. […]

Potable water coming to Santa Anna, Toledo
Over 500 residents in Santa Anna village, Toledo will soon have potable water as the Government invests over half a million dollars for a potable water system in their community. The government’s press office says some 91 households, schools, churches and the village health post […]

Joint task force operation conducts drug bust on the Rio Hondo
The Coast Guard, Belize Defense Force (BDF) and Customs Department conducted a joint operation, this week, that led to the confiscation of 6.8 pounds of high grade marijuana.  Security agents on patrol spotted a small boat in an area on the Rio Hondo river near […]

Belize “domesticates” extradition treaty with Mexico, but after Schnitzer’s escape
Belize’s law governing extradition is now in tandem with an Extradition Treaty it signed in August, 1988 with Mexico, which permits the extradition of any individual wanted in any of the two countries for trial. The law needed to be “domesticated” as described by Prime […]

BTB explains tourism rates
Although the first quarter of 2015 was off to a slow start, the next seven months, and particularly the last four months recorded spectacular tourism figures. This is according to officials at the Belize Tourism Board (BTB). Javier Paredes, director of business development and registrar […]

National Sports council begin country wide rehab sweep of facilities
The National Sports Council, this week, under its new directorship, began a country wide mission to rehabilitate sporting facilities. On Monday, newly appointed Director, Ritchel Dominguez, explained that works have already started at the MCC Grounds on Princess Margaret Drive, which will coincide with several […]

Airlines offering refunds to passengers traveling to Zika affected countries
Some airlines have began offering refunds to travelers bound for destinations that have confirmed cases of the Zika virus for the safety of passengers. British Airways, American Airlines, and United Airlines have all began rolling out options for passengers, particularly pregnant ones, to avoid visiting destinations with […]

EU gives UNICEF more than $100,000 US to fight child abuse
The European Union, this week, made a $100,000 donation to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to fight child abuse in the Belize. EU Ambassador to Belize, Paolo Amadei, in her last undertaking in that role, was on hand for the donation. Sexual abuse statistics […]

Vega denies allegations of land repossession in Paumen case
In another twist to the ongoing developments of the Bradley Paumen/Michael Modiri property feud, Deputy Prime Minister and former Minister of Natural Resources (Lands), Gaspar Vega, has denied instructing the Lands Department to compulsorily repossess land from Modiri to accommodate Paumen. In an interview with […]

PM leads technical team to Washington to negotiate de-risking measures
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left Belize on Monday for Washington, D.C., where he is leading a technical team from Belize in discussions with senior officials of the US Federal Government and US banking monitoring systems over the ‘de-risking’ situation affecting financial institutions in the region. […]

Seven homeless after house fire, arsonist will not be charged
The Laws of Belize prohibit the Police Department from charging 21-year-old John Dawson for burning down a house and leaving seven people homeless. According to the department, Dawson is a certified mental illness patient and is therefore not fit to be charged for destroying the home of […]

BTB says Swaney murder hasn’t hurt tourism, yet
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB), this week, said it is doing everything it can to ensure the safety of tourists while mitigating the negative impact of Anne Swaney’s murder last week. Noriko Gamero, BTB Marketing and Public Relations manager said the industry has not seen […]

No charge for woman who killed son-in-law
The Belize Police Department will not press any charges against 62-year-old Moszetta Reyes for the chopping death of 54-year-old Arthur wade. The police explained on Thursday that after the Director Of Public Prosecutions (DPP) considered the evidence in the case, she decided not to proceed with any […]

Toledo Rice
In the forties and fifties Toledo was called the “bread basket” of Belize. Rice was grown in abundance in Toledo and pigs were raised and shipped to Belize City on the MV. Heron H. and MV. Maya Prince. The colonial government erected a rice-mil and a warehouse […]

Falkland Islands raises awareness on sovereignty dispute
Most people who know of the Falkland Islands may have linked the name to the Falkland War, which occurred in 1982. The truth is most people don’t know much of the tiny nation struggling to establish its identity and are only aware that the war was ignited by Argentina’s claim […]

Chawla’s rice heads back to Guyana
Jack Charles’ three containers of imported Guyanese rice, which the Courts ruled had to leave Belize, are on their way back to Guyana. The re-exportation is barely within the Wednesday deadline granted by the Supreme Court for the grain to leave, or consequently be taken […]

Supporters of the UDP government were surprised and shocked to learn that a Minister of this administration had tried to dispossess a land-owner of a portion of his land on Ambergris Caye. This is the kind of dirty trick which used to characterize the work of the PUP, which would […]

Back to jail without bail
In yet another twist to the ongoing murder plot investigation involving Bradley Paumen, additional charges were brought against him, one of his employees and two others on Thursday. At 5:20 p.m. Thursday, friends of Paumen sat inside the courtroom of Magistrate Albert Hoare as Dark Night employees gathered outside and […]

Free Zone warehouse burns twice
P & P Home Depot, a three-story warehouse which stored children’s bicycles, clothing and toys at the Corozal Free Zone, made news this week for catching fire, twice! The original blaze started at around 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon. Three fire trucks responded, according to […]

Corozal’s first murder is 12th of the year
The Corozal district recorded its first murder of the year this week, becoming the last of the six districts to see a murder, in what has turned out to be a bloody January, with 12 murders already on record. On Wednesday morning 29-year-old Paul Messam […]

Home invasion leaves one man dead; one critical
A home invasion in Belize City on Wednesday left one man dead and another – a well-known doctor, in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). Dr. Marcus Rugama, urologist, was admitted to ward on Wednesday with a single stab wound to […]

Mexican and Orange Walk police capture wanted murderer
A joint operation between the Mexican police of Chetumal, Quintana Roo and Belizean police of Orange Walk town has led to the capture of the man wanted for the murder of the Vice Chairman of Indian Church village, Orange Walk. 59 year-old Juan Carlos Lopez […]

The Belize Times

PUP holds Leadership Convention on Sunday
On Sunday, January 31st, 2016 over 2,900 delegates of the People’s United Party will gather at the Belmopan Comprehensive School in the capital city of Belmopan to participate in a historic Leadership Convention that will elect a leader for the Party and members of the national executive. The candidates for leadership, Hon. Francis Fonseca, Hon. John Briceño and Hon. Cordel Hyde have been canvassing the entire country, meeting the delegates and offering their plans and ideas to move the Party forward. The national executive posts that will be up for elections are Deputy Leader North, Deputy Leader South, Party Chairman and Communications Director. The candidates for those positions are Corozal South East Area Representative Hon. Florencio Marin Jr. and Orange Walk South Area Representative Hon. Jose Mai for Deputy Leader North; Toledo East Area Representative Hon. Michael Espat and Stann Creek West Area Representative Hon. Rodwell Ferguson for Deputy Leader South; Toledo West Area Representative Hon. Oscar Requena and Henry Usher for Party Chairman; and Dolores Balderamos Garcia and Anthony Mahler for Communications Director. The campaign has been colourful and energetic, both on the ground and on social media, with supporters from the different camps rooting for their candidate.

PUP holds Leadership Convention on Sunday
On Sunday, January 31st, 2016 over 2,900 delegates of the People’s United Party will gather at the Belmopan Comprehensive School in the capital city of Belmopan to participate in a historic Leadership Convention that will elect a leader for the Party and members of the national executive. The candidates for leadership, Hon. Francis Fonseca, Hon. John Briceño and Hon. Cordel Hyde have been canvassing the entire country, meeting the delegates and offering their plans and ideas to move the Party forward. The national executive posts that will be up for elections are Deputy Leader North, Deputy Leader South, Party Chairman and Communications Director. The candidates for those positions are Corozal South East Area Representative Hon. Florencio Marin Jr. and Orange Walk South Area Representative Hon. Jose Mai for Deputy Leader North; Toledo East Area Representative Hon. Michael Espat and Stann Creek West Area Representative Hon. Rodwell Ferguson for Deputy Leader South; Toledo West Area Representative Hon. Oscar Requena and Henry Usher for Party Chairman; and Dolores Balderamos Garcia and Anthony Mahler for Communications Director.

Gapi Knows a Hitman
The next leader of the United Democratic Party, Gaspar Vega, who is currently the Deputy Prime Minister and at times Acting Prime Minister, has tried unsuccessfully to wiggle himself out of another horrible political controversy involving murder plots. Vega, in defending himself before news reporters last week Friday, even went as far as to suggest that his former employee, the embattled Lands Commissioner Wilbert Vallejos is a liar, accusing him of making an untrue statement before a Supreme Court Judge, which is tantamount to contempt of court. The murder plots involve two wealthy Americans, Michael Modiri and Bradley Paumen, who own large tracts of land in the Mountain Pine Ridge Area. Since early 2013, the businessmen have been clashing over the use of each other’s land to access their property. That year, while Modiri was away, the Ministry of Lands acquired a portion of his land, allowing Paumen to utilise it and access his property. Upon returning to Belize, Modiri was startled when he found a road through his property and applied to the Court for an injunction against Paumen. During the court proceedings, he learnt that the land had actually been acquired by the Government. He then launched a successful legal challenge to the Government’s actions. This was most embarrassing to the Lands Ministry which was accused of acting unlawfully, unreasonably and arbitrarily, and then ordered to pay $15,000 as compensation to Modiri.

“…malicious, stinking UDP hand” targets outspoken Yhonie Rosado
The UDP Government is like a mob. Anyone who offers criticism or attempts dissension is dealt with a heavy blow. This week, businessman Yhonie Rosado felt just how petty and vindictive the Government is when officials of the UDP Belize City Council swarmed his business premises on the Phillip Goldson Highway, demanding that it be shut down. The CitCo officials told Rosado that his business does not have a trade license therefore it shouldn’t be operating. “I don’t know what they say really, but you can see that obviously, it is just a pure malicious, stinking UDP hand,” commented Rosado. Rosado’s small business, a used tire shop named “Econo Tires”, has been operating for the last eight months. He does not have a trade license, but not for the fault of his. Rosado did apply for a trade license. In December, he paid the required $90 inspection fee and was told that he would be getting his official trade license certificate in about two weeks. He never got it.

Prepare for worse under the UDP
Where oh where has Petrocaribe gone…oh where oh where can it be? Mr. Barrow is singing the Petrocaribe blues in 2016 and it sounds like a funeral march. You see…in 2015 Mr. Barrow and his UDP were riding high and fancy thanks to hundreds of millions in Petrocaribe millions. There was no wrong they couldn’t correct, nothing and no election they couldn’t fix, nobody they couldn’t entice. But now it’s all done and karma is paying the PM a little visit. Old people will tell you that the true measure of a man is how he handles adversity, not how pretty he looks with bulging coffers. Now, with empty pocket syndrome, Mr. Barrow is being measured and he’s not looking too great.

Think About It
Belize’s leading newspaper has written a damning Editorial exposing a frightening fact that Belize has lost half of the Sarstoon River to Guatemala, including the Sarstoon Island. First, let us say we are the first ones to have carefully considered the facts that emerged last year August and came to this inescapable conclusion. The Editor of the BELIZE TIMES was among over one hundred citizens who went to Barranco Village and loaded a small flotilla led by Wil Maheia and the Territorial Volunteers. It was a shocking experience to see, with our own eyes, the determined behavior of the Guatemalan armed forces and naval boats in jealousy, guarding what they claimed was their territorial waters inside our section of the Sarstoon River. Up to that time the Belize government had been mocking and cursing the minor efforts of Wil Maheia to expose the behavior of Guatemala and the non-behavior of our government. Remember the Prime Minister’s blatant refusal to even offer a comment.

Strange Tale
When the Honourable Madam Justice Sonya Young, in delivering her learned judgement, declared that “This is a strange tale…” she could not have possibly imagined how truly strange that said tale would eventually turn out to be. The case was between two foreigners who were fighting over some valuable real estate in Belize. Seems both men had been able to acquire prime land in the historically rich area near the foot of the fabled Maya Mountains. The area is rich with flora, fauna and an intricate network of caves, some full with relics of the long gone Mayan civilization. The business website for the company of one of the men proudly boasts: “Also located on the property are numerous caves treasured with centuries-old Mayan artifacts, which not only underscore the historical importance of the area, but also provide visitors with a valuable insight on the underworld life of the early inhabitants of these caves. We have found evidence dating back 3,000- 5,000 B.C. to the Paleo-Indians who hunted the wooly mammoth & giant sloths. We have discovered an abundance of potteries and Lowe & clevis points (Maya spear point) dating to 600-900 A.D.”

The writing on the wall…
Political observers have already begun to brainstorm how the political landscape will be changing for both political parties over the next few months. These observers are expecting seismic shifts where the PUP will begin to rise and the UDP will prepare for a heavy fall after eight years (three short terms) of rule. The political pundits have concluded that despite the PUP’s present testy leadership race with a three-way competition and fiery supporters and campaigns from each camp, the Party will only come out stronger and more united. The truth is that no matter who wins on Sunday, the PUP needs Francis, Johnny and Cordel to be on the same page and on the same mission, united, to rid Belize of the UDP. The supporters of the PUP deserve no less of the men seeking their support. Unity has evaded the PUP for too long, causing the Party to enter elections fragmented, under-resourced and not fully prepared. A house divided will not stand. The UDP, or at least Dean Barrow and his close political mercenary, Mark Espat, who has been fattened by taxpayers’ dollars, know how to exploit those weaknesses well.

ACC & Wesley tied for No. 1 spot
The undefeated Anglican Cathedral College boys and Wesley College boys have four wins apiece to lead the high school football competition. ACC posted a 2-1 win on Monday over the Gwen Lizarraga High School boys with two goals by Christian Ancona and Akeem Sutherland. Hakeem Smith scored a consolation goal for Gwen Liz, but Gwen Liz’s top striker Naim “Nemo” Wilson will have to miss the next game, after he was sent off with a red card. Wesley College boys posted a 6-0 win over the Belize High School boys on Saturday. Deandre “Dee-dee” Pitters scored a hat trick, blasting in the 1st goal and adding the 5th and 6th goals in the 2nd half. Devin Pablo scored the 2nd goal, Kermit Sutherland drove in the 3rd goal, and Shemar Thompson added a 4th goal.

Team Koop Sheet Metal wins Haulover-Boom canoe race
Team Koop Sheet Metal won the Haulover Bridge to Burrell Boom canoe race held by the Belize Canoe Association on Sunday morning. The Belize Canoe Association organized the race to prepare paddlers for the grueling 4-day annual Ruta Maya River Challenge on the Baron Bliss Day weekend. The 3rd race in the series will be the Boom to Riverside Tavern race in February. Race Results: 1st – Koop Sheet Metal- Jerry Rhaburn, Jerry Cante, Hener Cruz (2:08:53), 2nd – Belize Bank Bulldogs: Armin Lopez, Amado Lopez, Byron Cruz (2:09:07), 3rd – Team N.I.C.H.: Felix, Efrain and Alex Cruz (2:09:11), 4th – Programme for Belize: Chris Guydis, Wilberto Daniels, Kenrick Daniels (2:09:25), 5th – Westrac Nitro: Oscar Cordon, Erwin Cruz, Daniel Cruz – 2:09:30.

City Boys vs. Riverside Boys in U-15 football finals
The City Boys will take on the Hattieville River Side Boys in the upcoming Belize District Football Association’s (BDFA) under-15 championship final at the MCC Garden on Sunday morning, January 31; after both squads won big in the semifinals last Sunday. City Boys are the No.1 seed with no losses. They blew away Face of Belize 3-0 with 3 goals in the 2nd half. Richard Hines scored first, Jaylen Babb booted in a 2nd goal and Kenny Linarez drilled in the 3rd goal.

Hon. Julius Espat calls out Ministry of Land’s foot-dragging
Cayo South Area Representative, Hon. Julius Espat, has called out the Ministry of Lands for foot-dragging and delaying the conclusion of amicable negotiations between the new sugar factory owners in the Cayo District, Santander, and 31 Valley of Peace farmers and their families for the transfer of lands. The issue dates back to March 2014, when Santander, then known as Green Tropics, carried out spraying flights on their property which damaged the farmers’ nearby crops. The farmers have been utilising the land for many years, but Green Tropics claimed that they were illegally encroaching. The dispute could have gotten very ugly, and it appeared to be heading in that direction, but Santander’s human compassion prevailed and they offered to assist the farmers by relocating them and providing land titles. Santander has done the necessary procedures to effect the land transfers, but the Ministry of Lands seems to care little for the poor farmers. If the Ministry was catering to rich investors the work would likely have been completed much faster, but this is not the case.

Dangriga vendors to challenge Mayor Humphreys in Court
Vendors in Dangriga Town who have been negatively affected by the Town Council’s decision to declare an area on privately-owned land as a “No Vending Zone”, say they will challenge the Mayor and Council’s in Court. The vendors, mostly hard working mothers, are furious after the UDP-elected Council prohibited their use of an area on North Stann Creek Riverside Street for vending of fruits, vegetables and other small items. They have been doing business there for over four years, and the current Mayor and Town Council even collected peddler’s fees from them. The vendors said that Mayor Francis Humphreys suddenly turned on them, informing them that he doesn’t want them to sell in the area anymore, so they were forced to leave. Humphreys met with the vendors and promised that he would build stalls for them elsewhere if they agreed to move. The vendors accepted, but say that the Mayor hasn’t kept his promise.

Paul Massam murdered in Corozal – His brother, Mark, was chopped to death one year ago
Police are investigating the shooting murder of 29 year old Paul Massam which occurred in Corozal Town on the morning of Wednesday, January 27th. Massam, according to reports, was sitting on the steps of a verandah at a house located on V Street North, when a man armed with a gun approached him and fired several shots at him. He received gunshot wounds to the left and right side of his face and on his left hand. It is not known what Massam was doing at the address at the time, since he resides on Bocotora Street in Corozal Town.

A Good Leader
The PUP will elect a leader on January 31st, to take it into the months and years ahead. It’s therefore opportune to look at some of the things that made persons such as George Price, Norman Manley, Fidel Castro, Margaret Thatcher, Martin Luther King, Jr. and John Kennedy successful leaders in their respective countries. A leader outlines practical plans to the people to enable them to enjoy a better life. He is not satisfied with maintaining the status quo in which the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. A good leader is therefore committed to addressing the needs of the people for jobs, land, proper housing, a better education, security, and twenty-four hours access to utilities such as water, telephone and electricity among other needs. A leader is resourceful. He knows how to make maximize use of the human and material resources that are available to him. He does not sit around and wait for things to happen. If he doesn’t have the funds to get essential things done, he exhausts every possible way of raising funds for the just cause. A leader also knows how to utilise the media, public meetings, and street protests to pursue the best interest of the people, and he knows how to work with the trade unions and other Non-Government Organizations (NGO’s) to advance the cause of the masses.

Guatemalan woman reports husband missing in Cayo
Police are asking the public for assistance in locating a Guatemalan national believed to have gone missing in Belize. On Wednesday, 27th January, 2016 35-year-old Clementa Hernandez Vasquez, a Guatemalan national of Melchor, reported to Police that her husband, 37-year-old Mynor Salvador Bala, was missing. Vasquez reported that on Sunday, 24th January, at 8:00a.m., her husband left home in Melchor De Mencos enroute to Cayo to sell Avon products and since making her report he has not returned. Bala is described as weighing approximately 145pounds, being 5ft 7ins in height, having brown skin, low black hair, and a tattoo on the left arm of a snake.

Malfeasance in Belize: Only taxpayers suffer
To be, or not to be? That is the question—whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and, by opposing, end them? (William Shakespeare). In the recent past several damning comments have been uttered regarding the Lands Department of Belize: of it being a “cesspool of corruption”; that “only God can clean up the corruption”, and I am sure you will be able to plug your perception or experience in this regard. Malfeasance speaks to the wilful, illegal, dishonest activity of a public official in the discharge of his public duty. Lawsuits against the Government of Belize have become a common occurrence. Regrettably the end result is also common, where, high-powered attorneys become richer and taxpayers are held accountable to pay for damages. Malfeasance is synonymous with the more derogatory term “corruption”. While I celebrate the fortitude of the wealthy to challenge the injustices of the State, I also recognize the helplessness of the poverty-stricken who remain without a “David”, without a champion.

Burglary turns deadly for victim
One city resident is dead, while another is hospitalised after an armed burglary at a residence on Simon Lamb Street turned violent and fatal on the wee hours of Wednesday morning. 44 year old Dr. Marcos Rugama Miranda is hospitalised and receiving treatment for stabbing injuries he received yesterday as two men attempted to burglarise his house. Miranda’s friend, 37 year old Ian Robert Blair, was fatally stabbed in the chest during the assault. According to Miranda, he went on his backyard to pick in clothes and upon returning inside his home, he noticed that two men of dark complexion were inside, with what appeared to be a firearm and knife, attacking Blair inside the bedroom.

Ombudsman turned blind eye to Castro, Penner scandals
The Opposition People’s United Party did not support a motion presented by Prime Minister Dean Barrow before the House of Representatives last week Friday, January 22nd, 2016, seeking approval for the re-appointment of Lionel Arzu as Ombudsman for another year. Opposition Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca raised concerns about Arzu’s effectiveness as Ombudsman. “This is not a motion that we can support on this side of the House. Over the past few years that Mr. Arzu has served as Ombudsman, our colleagues have complained of the level of inactivity and ineffectiveness of his office. Our sense is that he does not enjoy, as Ombudsman, the level of trust and confidence that his predecessors enjoyed,” stated Hon. Fonseca. PM Barrow disagreed, of course, and the UDP’s majority side proceeded to approve the re-appointment. The UDP media, Channel 7, spread the propaganda that the Opposition was “bashing” the Ombudsman. But Channel 7 made no effort to look into the concerns raised by the Opposition Leader. Those concerns are very valid.

Santander says dealing with Ministry of Lands is “a battle”
Dear Hon. Julius Espat, Greetings to you from the Santander Group. Please accept our wishes for a Happy, Productive and Prosperous New Year! I am taking this opportunity to write you so as to share the many challenges we are facing in relation to the transfer of lands to the Valley of Peace Farmers Association. As you probably know, this process is very cumbersome and needless to say without proper and comprehensive guidance as to the full process by the Ministry. We have engaged the Lands Department and its officials to expedite the process shortly after we came to an agreement with the association in late 2014. To date, it is still an ongoing battle. Since April of 2015, we completed what we thought were all the documentation required and made submission to the Department to subdivide/mutate the parcel of land that we had agreed in principle to be gifted to the Association. With months of back and forth and misplaced documentations (applications forms, surveys, zero balance tax statements, etc.) provided to the Land Department, we were finally granted the Final Approval to Subdivide in October 2015.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Brandon Smith accuses police of hindering his free movement
Yesterday the notorious Brandon “Battery” Smith accused Eastern Division (North) police of attempting to hinder his free movement because they believe his presence puts residents of the Northside in danger. Officer Commanding Eastern Division (North), Assistant Commissioner of Police Dezerie Philips, hit back during a “Meet and Greet” […]

Fired Santander employee hits back at former employers
Electrician Michael Lindo had been working for Green Tropics Limited for the last 13 months, but he was abruptly fired a couple days ago. But that is only the start of his grievances with the company, which he complains has been “shorting” workers’ pay due […]

Trio charged for Simon Lamb Street murder
Three young men were arraigned on a charge of murder for the death of Ian Robert Blair when they appeared today before Magistrate Deborah Rogers. They are Byron Flowers, Max Orosco and Windell Thurton. They were also charged with aggravated burglary, the attempted murder of […]

Two prisoners busted inside prison with weed charged with drug trafficking
Inmates of the Belize Central Prison were arraigned before the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on separate drug trafficking charges after they were each busted with marijuana inside the prison. They are 26 year old Emmanuel Willoughby Jr. and 28 year old Troy Dean Hyde, brother […]

Kareem Smith charged for Castle Street assault
Kareem Smith, alleged associate of the PIV gang and younger brother to Brandon “Battery” Smith, appeared in court today on charges of aggravated assault with a firearm. Smith is accused of attempting to shoot Corey Sebastian on Castle Street on Sunday, January 24, chasing him […]

Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital issues health advisory
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) has released a flu season advisory, encouraging the general public to practice vigilance by washing hands, having cough etiquette and getting flu shots to avoid illness or prevent the spread of it. According to the hospital, during the […]

Fair, cool and dry conditions exist
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting variable cloudy and cool weather with no rainfall. Winds will be blowing from the Northwest at 10-20 knots with occasional higher gusts and the sea state will be moderate, becoming rough. A small craft caution is […]

Santa Anna water system to be inaugurated
An inauguration ceremony will be held at 3:00 this afternoon in Santa Anna Village, Toledo District, located 14 miles West of Punta Gorda (PG) town where a rehabilitated water system will be officially opened in the presence of dignitaries such as Ministers Erwin Contreras […]

Murder suspect captured by Orange Walk Police
Juan Carlos Lopez Gutierrez was captured by Orange Walk Police during a joint operation with Mexican police on Thursday afternoon. Gutierrez is expected to be charged this morning for the murder of 55-year-old Francisco Arevalo and appear in court this afternoon. Gutierrez has been in […]

Orange Walk police seek arson suspect
Orange Walk Police are seeking one man suspected of lighting a fire that destroyed a wooden house on Thursday. According to a report made to police13 Thursday morning from a friend […]

Progresso resident charged for drugs and ammo
A Progresso man has been charged for possession of controlled drug and keeping ammunition without a gun license. Raul Pech, from the Corozal district, is today facing the long arm of the law after police busted him sometime after 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday January 27th. […]

10 things Belize needs to do to become competitive in the 21st century
Over the past few years there has been so much development in fields ranging from technology to medicine and agriculture, the world has become intensely competitive. In many industries, machine has replaced man in an effort to maximize profits and efficiency but human resources will […]


Songs for Wheelchairs
It’s that time of year again. Award-winning songwriter and recording artist Kelly McGuire is back on the island for his birthday celebration, and his many fans are ready. Kelly has been coming and playing annually in San Pedro for years. Tonight Kelly will be starting his San Pedro “Tour” playing at a private party down south. If you want to catch him you will have a few chances and the opportunity to help a great cause at the same time. He will be giving several concerts on the Island this coming week. At four of his concerts, Kelly is teaming with the San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross and the Wheelchair Foundation to raise money to provide wheelchairs to needy Belizeans living on Ambergris Caye.

6 Belize Islands you must visit in 2016!
It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of scaling ancient Maya temples, exploring ancient cave systems, trekking into the Maya mountains, swimming in various waterfalls and rivers, and taking in the local culture when planning a trip to Belize. While all this sounds like loads of fun (oh and trust me it is!) Belize also boasts over 130 islands along its 322 km coastline and let’s face it; who doesn’t like a day at the beach? So here are six Belize islands you simply must visit if you happen to vacation in our little jewel. 1. Ambergris Caye 2. Caye Caulker 3. South Water Caye 4. St Georges 5. Goff’s Caye 6. Sapodilla Cayes

As we casually strolled along the sandy shores of Caye Caulker locals would occasionally call out to us to ‘slow down’, reminding us that we were on Caye Caulker, so what was the big rush? Going slow is less of an attitude, and more of a lifestyle here. Nothing happens quickly, and why should it? If you are living in paradise, why should you be in a hurry to get anywhere else? Caye Caulker is only about five miles in length, and for its size boasts myriad of different accommodation options. As always, if you want to spend big money on high end apartment style residences, there are numerous people here willing to take your cash. However, what is becoming increasing hard to find are reasonably low cost or budget options. As we were backpacking, we didn’t have the disposable funds to splash out on apartments offering marble-floors, Egyptian cotton towels and Nespresso machines, so we had to look for other, more affordable solutions. Our first night was spent in the Paradise Too, Hotel. (That by the way, is not a typo, but how they refer to themselves.) Its location is superb! It is sea facing, along the main strip and a short stroll to the famous ‘Split’ at the northern end of the island. Our room was ensuite and spacious, if a little tired looking. Each room had a nice balcony and seating area to watch the sunrise from, or to just sit back and admire the islands colourful characters wander by. There are several bars and restaurants just a stones’ throw away, and should you need any recommendations we found the staff to be very friendly and helpful.

Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge -Belize’s most exciting competition
Belize has the perfect event for adventure enthusiasts from all around the world. The 2016 Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge in Belize is an epic competition and is as fierce as the Belizean jungles in which the four-day race takes place. Belize provides the perfect setting for an action adventure race. Set in the Maya mountains in the lush tropical jungles of Belize, co-ed groups of four compete for 3 days and 3 nights traversing more than 220 miles of the Maya mountains. Competitors will spend the three days Mountain biking, trekking, orienteering, canoeing, rappelling and spelunking. The epic race starts and ends in San Ignacio Town, nestled in the foothills of the Maya mountains, serving as the gateway to adventure. The competition showcases the very best of what Belize has to offer nature and adventure enthusiasts all over the world. Sprawling valleys, exotic wildlife, fresh pure rivers, breath-taking scenery, ancient Mayan ruins, off-beaten trails and untouched cave systems become the backdrop for the epic race to the finish.

International Sourcesizz

Diver turns lionfish hunter in the waters of Belize
A school of shimmering silver jack had just glided by overhead as I crested the reef, where a trio of tall orange sponges rose toward an outcropping of coral and a pair of purple sea fans framed the opening of a dark nook. My heart raced and my breath quickened, a rush of bubbles streaming upward as I caught sight of my prey. The billowy fins, the showy spikes shooting from its spine, the majestic stripes flowing into the distinctive mane. The lionfish. It hovered carelessly in the pristine, bath-warm waters, this sea creature of local legend. I raised an arm, stretched a small piece of elastic cord and sent a spear through the back of its head. Success! Death at 60 feet below the surface. I was now more than just a scuba diver. I was a trained killer. Diving, in its common form, is a gentle adventure. I've heard many experienced divers liken it to an underwater hike or safari, a pretty good description of what I have found in my decade-plus of exploring the oceans. Thrills come from spotting a rare fish, marveling at a soaring ray or spying a reef shark as it slips by. But one of the main tenets of scuba diving is that you are to look and not touch. Leave the ocean and all its inhabitants as you found them. Visit and admire their world, let them live in it. That is, except for the lionfish. On a recent visit to a stunning atoll about 35 miles east of Belize City, the divemasters - and the national government - all but implored us to kill this magnificent monster. Although the lionfish is a beauty, they'll tell you, it is an invader to the Caribbean Sea, a scourge on the Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest in the world.

Watson College of Education Professor Susan Catapano Selected as Fulbright Scholar
Susan Catapano, director of international programs and former chair of the Department of Educational Leadership at the Watson College of Education, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, the U.S. Embassy in Belize announced Jan. 21. Catapano will spend the spring semester teaching and conducting research in Belize in the area of early childhood development. She will work with the University of Belize to support early childhood and early primary teachers in earning teacher certification in the Cayo, Corozal and Toledo districts. “Being a Fulbright Scholar is a great honor and I am really pleased to be selected. I am the first Fulbright Scholar to Belize in 10 years,” said Catapano. “I am here several times a year with students. This time I will concentrate on sharing my area of expertise while learning more about education at all levels.” While in Belize, Catapano will write three courses for a new online associate’s degree in early childhood education and will train 21 University of Belize faculty members on how to develop the courses online. She will also work with the on-campus pre-school program at the university to help them become a model pre-school program, which includes helping prepare their teachers.

The 21 Best Dive Resorts in the Caribbean
We have long said that “you don’t need a dive resort to go diving in the Caribbean.” But it sure helps. A great dive resort is not the same for everyone; some want luxury; some want function; some want value. Some people are looking for adventure and some are looking for relaxation, while some demand a beach. And then there are those that just want it all. You’ll know you made the right choice as the dive boat leaves the hotel dock and you look back to see the perfect combination of dive specificity, hotel amenities and resort features. These are the best dive resorts in the Caribbean. Turneffe Island Resort, Belize: This private-island resort in Belize offers access to more than 70 dive sites, and the property’s dive program includes 15 dives per week. Hamanasi, Belize: This resort is all about adventure, and the diving arm offers unique access to some of Belize’s most scenic dive sites, from the Turneffe Islands Atoll to the Southern Barrier Reef — along with top-quality instruction.


  • Belize 2015 Part 4 of 5: Between Jungle and Caves, 7min. Belize 2015 Part 4 of 5: Arriving at Jungle Yaxche Camp, exploring the jungle and caving in Crystal Cave.

  • Belize 2015 Part 5 of 5: Deep into the Jungle with Yaxche Jungle Camp., 9min. Belize 2015 Part 5 of 5: Four days into the Jungle with Yaxche Jungle Camp in Survival expedition. What an amazing experience, with a great eco friendly Guide. One of the best trip of my life!

  • Belize Diving Adventure, 10min. ws Description Snorkeling on a small island in Belize called Goffs Caye.

  • Belize Mayan History, 3min.

  • Hammerhead Shark vs. Eagle Ray in Belize, 1min.

  • Amigos Diving Victoria and Boco Del Rio Canyons, 5min. Featuring Guest Divers Walt Livingston and Wendell Young from Philadelphia, PA. Thanks for choosing Belize and Amigos Del Mar. Produced by PADI PRO Divemaster Videographer Michael Davis

  • Tobacco Caye, Belize, 17min. Awesome day at Tobacco Caye, Belize.

  • MUFFLES HIGH SCHOOL SCIENCE AND BUSINESS FAIR 2016, 4.5min. The Muffles College Science and Business biennial fair was held earlier today at the school’s auditorium where all students were given the opportunity to showcase a portion of what they have learnt throughout the semester of the school year. Today as the fair was opened to the public, our news team visited the high school where we saw many energetic and vibrant faces that filled the school grounds.

  • Validation Workshop, 15min. Minister Elrington's Remarks at today's Validation Workshop on Belize's Draft Report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

  • Belize Diving 2016, 23min. Diving off Ambergris Caye, Belize.

  • proxima estacion indefinida - Estacion 3 : Belize, 3.5min.

  • Vehicle in Belize City Canal, 1min.

    January 29, 2016


    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

    SPTC to revive Traffic Board
    Guerrero admits that had proper planning been in place, traffic congestion could have been avoided. There were no preparations for what is happening now. “No one had a clue that this island would grow so fast,” he added. The SPTC will be issuing moratoriums when it comes to traffic conditions based on ideas and plans from the Town Board. The Mayor is willing to work with any institution that wants to contribute to the alleviation of the problem, as long as it is clear to them that the final decision is done by the SPTC. “We are an elected body, elected by the people to run their affairs. At the same time we appreciate everyone’s input towards the solution of a problem. But not because we welcome their recommendations does it means that we have to do what they are requesting. I agree with the BTIA in putting moratoriums on the golf cart rental businesses to not bring anymore carts to the island, on the luxurious vehicles and not issuing anymore permits for larger vehicles for taxi, I totally agree with that. But when it comes to personal golf carts, that will not stop, permits for personal golf carts I will never stop it,” stated Guerrero.

    Belize and Guatemala Foreign Ministers Meet with OAS to Reactivate Joint Commission
    The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Belize and Guatemala along with the Special Representative of the Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General met at the OAS office at the Adjacency Zone on Friday, 22 January 2016 to discuss the status of the bilateral agenda and reactivate the Belize – Guatemala Joint Commission as established under the Framework Agreement on Confidence Building Measures of 2005. The Ministers agreed that the work of the Joint Commission is important in promoting efforts at building confidence and enhancing relations between the two countries, even as the two countries strive to bring to an early and definitive end the dispute over Guatemalan claims in accordance with the Special Agreement between the two countries.

    PC Oscar Ramirez freed of Extortion charge
    A police constable formerly attached to the San Pedro Police Department has been freed of ‘Extortion’ charges well over a year after interdiction. 28-year-old PC #1139 Oscar Ramirez was charged for the crime of ‘Extortion’ on September 30, 2014, but charges were dropped in his latest court hearing on Wednesday, January 20th. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser dismissed the case after the complainant indicated that she did not want any further court action. While Ramirez may have been freed from the court proceeding, he will still face disciplinary measures from the Belize Police Department.

    PM Barrow visits the USA to address issues within the banking sector
    Prime Minister of Belize and Minister of Finance, Honorable Dean Barrow departed for Washington, DC, USA on Saturday, January 23rd to attended meetings with key senior officials of the United States Federal Government and of the US banking monitoring systems on the problems being faced by the Belizean banking sector. For over a year now, the Belize banking sector has been feeling the effects of the USA’s ‘de-risking’ strategy which has resulted in the loss of correspondent banking relationships. Even though the banking sector has not yet reached the crisis point, if a solution to this issue is not found soon, Belize’s economy will suffer from a break in financial transactions with the USA.

    PUP Leadership debate canceled
    After due consideration the planning and coordination committee has decided to cease all efforts to organize a debate between the three aspirants for the post of Party Leader, Peoples United Party. Two of the candidates failed to respond to formally inform the committee of their intention to appear as scheduled by the close of business late yesterday. The committee thanks the Hon. Francis Fonseca for his prompt and forthright declaration of his intention to participate.

    Oceana launches ‘Fish Right, Eat Right’ program brand
    On Tuesday, January 27th Oceana Belize launched a national program to highlight local establishments who are responsibly sourcing seafood. Government officials and private sector representatives convened in Belize City to launch a program brand and certification mark entitled ‘Fish Right, Eat Right.’ The program will be backed by an educational campaign providing incentives for fishers, retailers, restaurants, and consumers to promote and support the harvest, trade and consumption of sustainably and legally caught seafood. The main purpose of the initiative is to curb illegal fishing and promote best practices in fisheries by providing marketing incentives throughout the supply chain via the promotion of responsible seafood consumption. The program emphasized that those establishments that demonstrate knowledge of a compliance with the Fisheries Regulations will receive special recognition, and responsible fishers who comply with the Regulations will also have preferential access to these reliable markets.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    BELIZE FISHING REPORT: Week of January 17th –23rd, 2016
    A very solid week of fishing for everyone at the lodge. A group of doctors from Wilderness Medical joined us for a retreat/business trip. Good tarpon fishing this week with many guests encountering the sliver king. Anywhere from 10 to 60 pounds!! Congrats to John, Champ and Todd for getting theirs to the boat. If your tarpon happened to get off not so close to the boat – come back again, it will happen!

    New Scuba Diving Standards for Belize
    The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is proud to announce that Belize now has a “Belize Standard Code of Practice for Recreational Scuba Diving Practices.” Effective January 20th, a three-month period commenced for tour operators, tour guides and any other party offering scuba diving tours to familiarize themselves with the standards and make any necessary changes in accordance with the minimum standard. Compliance of the same is expected once the standard is declared “COMPULSORY” in April, 2016. Drafting the minimum standards for scuba diving in Belize began in late 2013, in collaboration with technical committees, which comprised of key stakeholders. Under the Bureau of Standards, all processes mandated by the Standards Act were followed, along with consultations with key scuba destinations, including San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Placencia and Punta Gorda in 2014. The Public Comments stage had 28 pages of comments that were received and reviewed in order to enhance the final draft.

    Reef Week 2016
    Every year the Belizean conservation community celebrates the significant economic and cultural benefits of the Belize Barrier Reef to the country with a week-long calendar of national events. Reef Week 2016 is being organized under the theme, "Not just my reef, it's our way of life!" The activities, set to take place between March 6th through to March 13th, include the Healthy Reef for Healthy People's swim across the English Caye Channel, Oceana's "Ride to the Reef" from the capital city to the coast, as well as educational and awareness events by organizations including the Belize Audubon Society, TIDE, FAMRACC, BTIA, Blue Ventures, the Turneffe Atoll SA, WWF, KREM, Wildtracks, the Wildlife Conservation Society, UB's Environmental Research Institute and the Southern Enforcement Association. Partner entities for Reef Week 2016 also include the Belize Tourism Board, the Fisheries Department, the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute and the Belize City Council.

    Belize Chairs Meeting with Caricom High Commissioners and Secretary General Designate of the Commonwealth

    Belize and Guatemala Foreign Ministers Meet with OAS to Reactivate Joint Commission
    The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Belize and Guatemala along with the Special Representative of the Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General met at the OAS office at the Adjacency Zone on Friday, 22 January 2016 to discuss the status of the bilateral agenda and reactivate the Belize – Guatemala Joint Commission as established under the Framework Agreement on Confidence Building Measures of 2005. The Ministers agreed that the work of the Joint Commission is important in promoting efforts at building confidence and enhancing relations between the two countries, even as the two countries strive to bring to an early and definitive end the dispute over Guatemalan claims in accordance with the Special Agreement between the two countries.

    Santa Rita Maya Re-enactment Wedding
    Corozal Invites! What is the Santa Rita Maya Re-enactment Wedding. Historical information documents the Santa Rita Archaeological Park as the only place where a marriage took place between a Spanish Conquistador and a Mayan Princess. Hence, it is believed that the enhancement of this site will bring back the unique historical, cultural, social and the economic potential of this site. The revival of this centre as an official Maya Wedding Garden will honour our culture and heritage and will greatly benefit our present and future generations. It is said that Guerrero became a great ally to the Maya in the struggle against the Spanish conquistadors in Belize. Historians generally accept the view that in the 16th century he served as a political and military advisor to Nachancan, the ruler of Old Chetumal (Chactemal) .(Santa Rita, Corozal was probably part of ancient Chactemal, the Maya capital of the area at the time of the first Spanish attempt to conquer the Yucatec Mayas in the early 16th century). Date: Saturday February 6th, 2016

    Vacancy at Belize Electricity Limited
    A vacancy exists at Belize Electricity Limited for the post of Data Centre Technician I or II in the Information & Communication Systems Department.

    Women in Art Fair 2016
    Save the date. For Registration please contact SISE House of Culture, telephone 824 0783. Cayo Welcome Center. March 12, 2016. 9am - 3pm.

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
    99 Homes, You Can't Re-Gift Family, Regression, Macbeth

    Chef Juan's Kitchen & Pastries
    New Take-Out restaurant in Caye Caulker, Belize serving local and american food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. GRAND OPENING, Monday, FEB 1st. 64 Crocodile Street Caye Caulker

    San Pedro Liquor License Holders
    A reminder to all Liquor License Holders: If you have paid for your license, kindly pick up your certificate at the San Pedro Town Council office as all 2015 licenses expire on the 1st of February of this year.

    CDB launches education sector reform programme in Belize
    The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) on Wednesday launched in Belize a programme that will build 35 new schools, benefitting 5,300 students at the pre-primary, primary and secondary education levels. The Belize education sector reform programme focuses on providing children across the country with equitable access to a quality basic education, with a goal of increasing enrolment in post-secondary and tertiary education. It is grounded in the government of Belize’s Basic Education Sector Strategy (2011-2016) and aligns with CDB’s strategic objective of supporting inclusive and sustainable growth and development, as outlined in its 2015-2019 Strategic Plan. “This programme exhibits the government of Belize’s understanding of the critical role of basic education in driving economic growth and development. CDB is pleased to partner with Belize as it embarks on this transformational journey,” said Deidre Clarendon, division chief, Social Sector Division, CDB, who delivered remarks at the launch event.

    In our Belizean Legends documentary series this year 2016, we will be featuring the remarkable Belizean Beauty Queens that represented Belize abroad as ambassadors, and chronicling the stories that brought them to accomplish this most popular Belizean cultural title that continues to present the best qualities and intelligence in Belizean women today, and how it has advanced them to face the challenges of the western world in which they represented Belize. Today we commence our series with Christine M. Gibson. The 38th. Belize Queen of The Bay. The “Queen of the Bay” Pageant, the oldest and most prestigious contest in Belize, Central America, started in 1946 during the September Celebrations. Historically, the pageant was held at Edwards Park, now known as Rogers Stadium, and serves to commemorate our National Day – September 10th, the day our forefathers’ fought to preserve our heritage and delivered a victory over the Spaniards, during the Battle of St. George’s Caye in 1798.

    Channel 7

    Three Charged For Home Invasion/Murder At Doctor's House
    3 men have been charged in connection with yesterday's home invasion in the city. They are 18-year-old Windell Thurton of Freetown Road, 21-year-old Max Orosco of New Road and 19-year-old Byron Flowers of Consuelo Street. All 3 men have been charged with Murder, Aggravated Burglary, Attempt Murder, Dangerous Harm and Use of Deadly Means of Harm. As we told you, 44 year old Dr. Marcos Rugama was at his home on Simon Lamb Street with his friend 32 year old Ian Blair. Rugama went outside to pick in clothes around 1:40 yesterday morning and when he returned, he saw 2 men attacking Blair - one of them had a knife. Rugama intervened and there was a struggle. Both Rugama and Blair were stabbed but Blair didn't make it. All 3 men appear in court tomorrow morning.

    More Problems For Paumen
    American tour operator Bradley Paumen was taken back to court today, this time in Belmopan Magistrate's court where he was charged for the perversion of justice and the conspiracy to pervert justice. Three persons were charged along with him. They are mechanic Lisburn Anderson, who was charged previously, and two new faces. They are businessman Jahan Abadi of Belmopan, and Korean American Hyang Choing Park. She is the former common law wife of Michael Modiri - and she is now accused of being part of the wider plot to set up her ex. All four of them appeared in Belmopan Magistrate's Court today where Paumen and Anderson were charged for planting a .22 rifle and 150 live rounds in Michael Modiri's vehicle in April, 2015. Park was charged with enlisting policeman Solomon Mas in February of 2015 - who was allegedly hired as the hitman. Abadi is also accused of facilitating a key to get into Modiri's vehicle so the weapon could be planted. Court finished just an hour ago - and here's what the Paumen's attorney Hebert Panton:

    Alleged Indian Church Killer Caught
    Ten days ago, we told you about the murder of 51 year-old Guatemalan Francisco Arevalo, the Vice Chairman of the remote Orange Walk Village of Indian Church, who's nude body was found near an unfinished concrete house. Police had been been looking for their main suspect, 58 year-old Salvadoran Juan Carlos Lopez Gutierrez, who they suspected had fled the country. Well, Lopez Gutierrez, who is better known as "Chile", is wanted no more. He was caught in a joint operation by Belize and Mexican law enforcement authorities in a Mexican community known as Allende in Quintana Roo. This town is located along the Rio Hondo River, and authorities say that's where he was hiding out. We understand that he is currently in the custody of the Mexicans in Chetumal, and papers are being processed so that he can be handed over to Belize police as early as tomorrow. If police have gathered the evidence required, he could be facing a murder charge.

    Piper Plane Has Problems In PG
    There was an incident at the Punta Gorda airstrip this afternoon around 3:30. We do not have all the details at this time but what we know is that a Piper PA32 experienced mechanical difficulties while landing. There are varying reports as to what caused the mechanical failure but authorities are still investigating and could not confirm what went wrong at this point. Reports so far are that no one was injured. We will have more details on this incident tomorrow.

    Confusion with Charges For Paumen's Mechanic
    At the top of the news we told you about Bradley Paumen - the American tour operator who could get his bail revoked because he's facing new charges in connection with the Michael Modiri case. Paumen was charged earlier this month for abetment to murder for allegedly hiring a hit on Modiri - so he was on bail for that. But his mechanic Lisburn Anderson is charged along with him. Anderson is alleged to have conspired with Paumen to plant an unlicensed .22 rifle and 150 live rounds in Modiri's car - so that he would get stopped at a police checkpoint, and arrested for possession of an unlicensed firearm. That was in in April of 2015. That is why today he was charged for the perversion of justice and conspiring to pervert justice. But the charge was read before one magistrate this afternoon where he pleaded not guilty - and that's when the Prosecutor indicated that he would like the matter tried on indictment. That's when things got topsy turvy and the matter ended up before another magistrate this afternoon - who read him the charges all over again. Here's how his attorney Rachel Montejo explained what she said is a fatal procedural error:..

    GOB: Don't Close Door On Open Vote Workers
    Today, the Government of Belize had to appear in court to defend against a lawsuit brought against them by the one of their former employees. Melissa Tucker, worked for the Ministry of Education for 17 years from 1995 to 2013. That's when her supervisors at the Ministry sent her home for what she claims was a frivolous complaint. She gave much of her adult life to the service of the Government, but with the stroke of the pen, she was sent home with a letter of termination and without any opportunity to offer a defense of her actions while on duty. The problem is that she didn't have security of tenure because she was an open vote worker, so she wasn't appointed to her post by the Public Services Commission. That's the body which hears all complaints against appointed Government employees, and has to give all of them due process. Bottom line? It's very, very hard to get an established public officer fired.

    Judge Deliberates In Murder Trial Without Jury
    Justice Adolph Lucas has reserved judgment in the case where accused murderer Daniel Anderson stood trial without jury. He is accused of killing 19 year-old Joycelyn Mitchell back on June 17, 2010. Crown Counsel Shanice Lovell prosecuted the case in which evidence was presented that the victim, Mitchell, was shot and killed shortly after 6 that evening. This happened while she was sitting on the trunk of her sister's car, which was parked in front of their home on Sibun Street. A lone gunman rode up on a bicycle from the direction of Vernon Street Bridge and fired several shots at a group of persons that were in front of Mitchell's house. One bullet entered one side of Mitchell's head and exited through the other side, killing her instantly.

    Weighing The Weed
    Yesterday, we reported on the 4 parcels of marijuana that a joint law enforcement patrol seized near the Village of Consejo in the Corozal District. According to the BDF Commander, it's a hotspot for the trans-shipment of drugs, and today, the Coast Guard High Command briefed the media about this and other drug seizures that they made this month in their step-up joint patrols. Here's Lieutenant Gregory Soberanis, the commander of the Coast Guard's First Fleet, discussing the details of the successful operations: Lt. Gregory Soberanis - Commander, 1st Fleet: "There were 3 marijuana seizures throughout the month of January 2016; the first was in San Pedro, where Coast Guard patrol was conducting a stake out, when they observed a small vessel behaving in a suspicious manner. The patrol proceeded to intercept the vessel which sped off throwing a small package overboard.

    Not Handling The Candle Caused Fire
    There was a fire last night on Freedom Street which destroyed a man's home and all of his possessions. Allan Lucario, a resident of #3722 Freedom Street, was sleeping in the upper flat of his house when he woke up with fire all around him. He told 7News that he fell asleep with a candle burning, and when he woke up he found the couch he was sleeping in on fire. He burnt his hands trying to shove it through his front door to prevent the fire from spreading. Lucario told us that the sofa was just too heavy for him to get out of the house in time.

    Knock Head Or Gunshot in Bus?
    Police have released the official version of that incident in Esperanza Village in which a bus passenger may have either shot another passenger, or, more likely, clubbed him over the head with the gun with 60 other passengers on the bus. Around 2:30 yesterday, police received information of someone being shot on a West Line Bus heading from San Ignacio to Belmopan. They responded and met Conrad Thomas unconscious and being helped by a woman. They saw that he was suffering from a small cut wound to the upper right side of his head. Thomas and his wife were traveling to Camalote and in San Ignacio he exchanged words with a man who was seated two seats in front of them. The bus continued on its way and in Esperanza village, his wife saw the same man coming from the back.

    Cyclist Recovering
    Yesterday we told you about the bus which knocked down a cyclist near mile 6 on the George Price Highway. We've since learnt that he's a junior cyclist by the name of Shaquir Tillett, and our information is that he's recovering at the KHMH. As we reported, it happened sometime after 10 yesterday morning. A bus was heading in to Benque when the driver suddenly came upon the 2 cyclists. There were vehicles coming the opposite direction, and so, he couldn't swerve into the left lane to avoid them. Shaquir Tillett was struck by the bus and then flung into his companion's lane where they had an ugly spill. The Cycling Federation of Belize is urging motorists to be mindful that the Belize to Hattieville stretch of the George Price Highway will be busy with cyclists who are training for the major races which are upcoming.

    A Good Day To Go To Dark Night
    For weeks we've been trying to get a comment from NICH on their partnership with Dark Night Tours, owned by Bradley Paumen. And while the NICH President shunned us, she and Director of Archeology John Morris did appear yesterday on Channel 5's "Open Your Eyes" where they did discuss Dark Night. And they NICH President Diane Haylock did indicate that the Dark Night caves are accessible to the general public. Today we decided to try our luck. Emanuel Pech reports. CHUKKA's country manager affirms that they have approached personnel from NICH requesting more boots on the ground to further level the playing field. However she concedes that there does not seem to be much movement on the part of the authorities in this regard.

    Man Pleads Guilty To School Burglary
    Yesterday we told you about the burglary of the Edward P. Yorke HIGH where someone helped themselves to the cafeteria's snacks and school supplies. Well, Julian Cowling told the Magistrate's Court that he committed the crime ON JANUARY 27TH. The items that were stolen included school supplies, food and beverages and they amounted to $957 dollars in value. Police charged Julian Cowling with burglary and handling stolen goods. He was arraigned before Magistrate Deborah Rogers where he wasted no time and pleaded guilty to Burglary, but not handling stolen goods. The Magistrate handed him a fine of $800 which he must pay the court by April 15, or he will face 4 months in jail. He was additionally ordered to pay E. P. Yorke compensation of $305.

    A Strategy For Keeping Wildlife Safe
    Protecting Belize's wildlife: that was the main message at today's Forestry workshop in Belmopan. Organizers say the public needs to recognize the importance of Belize's resources and why it must be preserved. Today the Chief Forest Officer Wilber Sabido told the media about a new strategy that will engage the public in this process and address some major pressures affecting wildlife. 17 organizations from across the country participated in today's workshop.

    Bze-Guat Meet OAS In The A-Z
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is reporting tonight that a delegation of Belizean and Guatemalan Government officials met with the Secretary General of the Organization of American States at the OAS office in the Adjacency zone on last week Friday. Wilfred Elrington, was accompanied by Lawrence Sylvester, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Alexis Rosado, Ambassador to Guatemala and Belize's Commissioner on the Belize - Guatemala Joint Commission; Stuart Leslie, of Referendum Commission; Said Guerra and Alfonso Gahona, Director of International Affairs; and Luis Verde, Foreign Service Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They met with their counterparts and an agreement was reached that the work of the Joint Commission is important in promoting efforts at building confidence and enhancing relations between the two country.

    Prepaid BTL Di Bav?
    BTL is admitting a major fail tonight, and it's not like everyone didn't know already. A release says, quote, "On Sunday, January 24, the systems which allow its DigiCell customers to check their PrePaid balances and purchase PrePaid services - known as the PrePaid Short Codes - began experiencing service degradation due to issues with both the system's primary and backup servers." The bad news is, quote, "Despite the best efforts of BTL technicians, the company anticipates that it may take up to three to four weeks before a full solution can be put in place to address the issues." And so to make up, "DigiCell has temporarily lowered the local text rates from 25 cents to 4 cents per text plus tax to help out customers who cannot purchase text bundles via the short codes."

    Rover In River
    Today a Suzuki XL-7 took a dip in the canal near Partridge Street. It happened sometime around 8:00 am. No one was hurt.

    New Labour Senator Sworn
    And finally tonight, we note that Elena Smith has been sworn in as the new senator for labour and civil society. She was sworn in yesterday at the senate meeting.

    Channel 5

    Paumen & Alleged Accomplices Back in Court
    As we said…Today, in an amazingly protracted and confounding Courtroom drama, it took two Magistrates, the D.P.P., a Police prosecutor and five defense attorneys eight hours and two separate courtrooms [...]

    Paumen and Anderson Denied Bail
    Businessman Jahan Abadi and Haung Chong Park were arraigned for conspiracy to the crime of perverting the course of justice. They allegedly solicited the services of Solomon Moss to plant [...]

    Coast Guard Seize High Grade Weed Near Consejo
    A joint law enforcement operation in the vicinity of Consejo, in the Corozal District, has resulted in the seizure of a quantity of high-grade marijuana believed to have been smuggled [...]

    Enforcement Arms Plan Multi-Agency Anti-Narcotics Approach
    The area of Consejo has been designated by the Belize Defense Force and the National Coast Guard as a hotspot for the transshipment of drugs and other contraband.  Despite ramping [...]

    3 Charged for the Murder of Ian Blair
    Late this evening the Eastern Division North Police levied charges against a trio of men for the stabbing murder of thirty-seven year old Ian Blair. Eighteen-year-old Windell Thurton of Freetown [...]

    Suspect in Gruesome Chopping Murder Captured in Mexico
    The hunt for fifty-nine year old Juan Carlos Gutierrez has come to an end. The Salvadoran national, who was wanted by Orange Walk Police for the cold-blooded murder of Indian [...]

    Belize Bank Awaits Positive News on Correspondent Banking Relationships
    And from crime to the financial sector…Prime Minister Dean Barrow is away on an official visit to Washington where he is attending a series of high-level meetings with officials from [...]

    Southside Resident Loses Everything in Fire
    A candle is believed to have sparked a fire in the upper flat of a house in the south side of Belize City. The fire victim, Allan Locario lived alone [...]

    Investigation into Free Zone Fire Ongoing
    Meanwhile, fire officials continue to investigate the cause of a fire up north, inside the Commercial Free Zone in Corozal. Around three p.m. on Tuesday, a seventy-five by seventy-five foot [...]

    Looking for Signs of Depression
    Suicides are not reported in our newscasts as a matter of policy, except in rare cases. Recently, there have been two cases of a pair of young girls in the [...]

    Sentencing Deferred in Anderson Murder Trial
    After more than a week, the murder case of Belize City Daniel Anderson, accused with the 2011 murder of Joyce Mitchell came to an end. Mitchell was gunned down in [...]

    Edward P. Yorke Cafeteria Burglar Identified
    Tonight, the man accused of burglarizing the Cafeteria at Edward P. Yorke High School has been identified as Julian Edward Cowling.  Cowling, a resident of Belize City was arraigned this [...]

    Belize Bank Opens New Branch Offices in San Ignacio
    The Belize Bank inaugurated its new branch offices in San Ignacio on Wednesday night offering its customers a more spacious and comfortable location to conduct banking business.  The need for [...]

    Annual B.D.F. Day Will Be Bigger and Better This Year
    This Saturday at Price Barracks in Ladyville, the Belize Defense Force will host its annual B.D.F. Day in celebration of its thirty-eighth anniversary. The event allows for the public, as [...]

    Belize Kidney Association Releases Latest Stats
    According to data from the Belize Kidney Association, they have recorded to date that one hundred and twenty-two persons have passed away due to kidney failure. There are currently one [...]

    First Sound Clash Kicks Off This Weekend
    You’ve heard about the Forty-five shootout and now a battle of international disc jockeys will take place for the first time in Belize. It’s all happening this weekend at the [...]

    B.T.L. Explains Network Difficulties
    And this news, if you have been experiencing problems with the B.T.L. service, the company confirmed today that its prepaid short code system is facing significant issues. B.T.L. says the [...]

    Healthy Living Looks at Mental Health
    Two cases this week have highlighted the plight of persons with mental health problems. In both, the persons were kept within their environment, but were they receiving appropriate treatment?  Family [...]


    Juan Carlos Lopez Gutierrez Captured In Quintana Roo, Mexico
    Juan Carlos Lopez Gutierrez, 59 year old Salvadoran National wanted for the murder of 55 year old Francisco Arevalo, Guatemalan National from the Village of Indian Church in the Orange Walk District, was captured this afternoon in the community of Allende in Quintana Roo, Mexico, during a joint operation carried out by Mexican and Belizean Authorities. Gutierrez is accused of killing Arevalo sometime in the night of Saturday January 16th. Arevalo’s nude mutilated body was found early in the morning of January 17th, beside an unfinished concert house located in the outskirts of Indian Church. Investigations reveled that Arevalo was at home in the company of two visitors when he received a phone call at around 9:00p.m. All indications are that the person on the other side of the line, believed to be a woman, lured him to the area where his body was found. After investigations police detained a woman with whom Arevalo had a relationship with in the past. She was found in possession of Arevalo’s phone and it is believed that the man she was living with killed Arevalo.

    Corozal Police Detains Two Persons In Massam Murder Case
    Corozal Police have detained two persons believed to be able to assist in the murder of Corozal resident Paul Massam. The two individuals were detained based on information gathered by the Crime Investigation Branch. Their names however, are being retained since the investigator is still in its early stage. As mentioned last night, at around 8:30 yesterday morning Massam became the first murder victim for 2016 for the Corozal District. The 28 year old was sitting on the stairs of his girlfriend’s house located in the Skelton Town Area of Corozal when he was approached by a lone gunman who shot him three times at close range. Massam became the 12th murder victim for 2016.

    IDB Donates Grant For Caribbean Countries To Fight Zika Virus
    And sticking to the subject of the Zika Virus, The Inter-American Development Bank, (IDB), has decided to grant a total of $800.000 to six different countries within the Caribbean in order for them to develop and implement a system of health information and response at regional level aimed at strengthening the tourism sector. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago issued a statement earlier today assuring that they, along with Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Guyana and Jamaica will all benefit from this grant that will allow them the opportunity to adopt sanitary as well as environmental practices. The Government stated that the Caribbean region is the most dependent when it comes to tourism and that the recent epidemics that the Caribbean has seen throughout the years such as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in 2000, the Influenza A H1N1 in 2009, Chikingunya in 2013 and now the Zika virus, have all increased the need for close observation and response to these pandemics that are obtained due to travelling.

    ZIKA Sends WHO Into Emergency Meeting
    The World Health Organization called an emergency meeting to discuss the explosive spread of the Zika Virus and its possible link to thousands of birth defects in Latin America. Today at the committee meeting, the WHO Director General, Margret Chan, expressed the organizations high level of concern and outlined four main reasons for alarm when it comes to the Zika VIRUS. Since the arrival of the virus has been associated with a steep increase in the birth of babies with Microcephaly, or born with abnormally small heads, it has prompted governments across the world to advise pregnant women against going to the areas where the virus has been detected. Also discussed at the meeting was the possible increase in the populations of vector carrying mosquitos due weather patterns that are expected to be warmer.


    Wings of Hope Pilot Dodges Dog and Crash Lands
    Two persons escaped safely from a BERT air ambulance that had an accident this afternoon while landing at the Punta Gorda airstrip. PAUL MAHUNG “Reports here indicated that the BERT air ambulance was landing at about 2:50 am on the air strip when the accident happened as explained by pilot (James Mallet)” PILOT “I was […]

    San Ignacio Police Updates on Bus Shooting
    Last night we reported that one Conrad Thomas had been shot at, with the bullet grazing the side of his head. Today, San Ignacio police sent out the official police report in which it states that Thomas was in fact hit to the head with a firearm. He is in a stable condition. Deputy Commander […]

    Wanted Man Captured in Southern Belize
    Independence Police have captured a man who was wanted in connection with a murder in Bella Vista Village. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports. HARRY ARZU “24-year-old, Maria Garcia, a Honduran national who was living in Bella Vista Village in the Toledo District was murdered on Monday January 18th while she and her companion Earlyn McGuire were […]

    Belize/Guatemala Joint Commission to Be Reactivated
    Last week Friday, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, met with Guatemala’s Foreign Affairs Minister, along with a Special Representative of the Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General at the OAS office at the Adjacency Zone. According to a government press release, the meeting was to discuss the status of the bilateral agenda and […]

    Jack Charles’ Rice is Gone
    The controversial seventy five tons of Guyanese Rice is out of the country. Love News has confirmed with Xtra House Importer, Jack Charles that the rice was exported out of the country on Tuesday night from the Port of Big Creek in Independence Village to Santo Thomas in Guatemala. From there, the rejected Guyanese rice […]

    3 Drug Seizures by BCG for January 2016
    The Belize Coast Guard has been a part of several joint operations involving the Belize Police Department, Customs Department and Fisheries Department among other agencies. As we approach the end of January, the Belize Coast Guard has made three marijuana seizures in various areas of the country. At a briefing this morning at the Coast […]

    500 Pounds of Contraband Flour Confiscated
    Almost two sacks of contraband flour were intercepted by the Belize Coast Guard and the Customs Department. Lieutenant Greg Soberanis tells us more. GREG SOBERANIS “Early this morning, another joint patrol with the Customs unit in Consejo yielded a discovery of uncustomed goods of twenty 20-pound bags of flour and one 100 bag of flour. […]

    Package Destined for San Pedro Had High Grade Weed
    A package taken to a water taxi in Belize City was found to be compressed marijuana. Lieutenant Gregory Soberanis of the Belize Coast Guard told us of the find. GREGORY SOBERANIS “Yesterday Coast Guard Marine Patrol, this is a joint patrol with the Police and the Port Authority inspected a small package that was delivered […]

    Fire Destroys Upper Flat on Freedom Street
    Sometime around ten o’clock last night a fire destroyed the home of Allan Locario of 3722 Freedom Street. His home is situated upstairs of a closed meat shop. Locario was inside his home when the blaze started. He said a candle started the fire when he fell asleep after reading. He spoke to Love News […]

    Cause of Fire at the Zone Still Undetermined
    On Tuesday we told you about the fire at the Corozal Free Zone. The building was reported to be a warehouse. It began at around three thirty on Tuesday afternoon. Fire Chief, Ted Smith gave an update of the fire and says they have not determined a cause of the fire as yet. The P […]

    Senate passes bills and motions after much debate
    The Senate’s first session of 2016 considered, debated, and approved four bills brought from Friday’s session of the House of Representatives, as well as three motions. The motions concerned a line of credit for 8 million euros from the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and the re-appointm...

    Elena Smith is new Unions Senator, but for how long?
    Educator and long-standing union activist Elena Smith was this morning sworn in as the twelfth member of the Senate, representing the trade unions and civil society. Here was the moment she took the oath at the start of today’s meeting in Belmopan. Smith’s appointment eases, but does not end a stand...

    Lifeline donates to 6 organizations to benefit children
    The Lifeline Foundation today handed over $42,600 in donations to boost the efforts of several institutions working for the benefit of Belize’s Children. The grants were made possible through funds raised through the Lebanese Night Gala hosted by the Lifeline Foundation and the Shakespeare’s Globe T...

    The Guardian

    The Custom's department foiled an attempt to import into Belize a large quantity of t-shirts bearing the image of Johnny Briceno who is an aspirant who wants to be leader of the People's United Party. Our information suggests that the Customs department was alerted to a vehicle which was parked near to one of the casinos in the Commercial Free Zone area in Corozal sometime around 11:30 last night. This is of course outside of all regular working hours and the information suggests that the vehicle was sitting there with a driver well before 5 p.m. and no attempt was made to cross the border at the customs check point during normal working hours. Having waited out for over six and a half hours, officers of the department moved in on the vehicle and conducted a search of it where they found 1,258 t-shirts bearing the image of John Briceno. Ordinarily this volume of shirts would be deemed to be cargo and would only be processed at the cargo section of the border. Why the vehicle did not do so is anyone's guess.

    500 New lots for Dangrigans
    Land reforms, especially assets for those without land, are fundamental to poverty alleviation. Which is why Dangriga Representative the Honorable Frank “Papa” Mena, Minister of State with responsibility for Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities is taking on the daunting task of trying to make poverty an obsolete matter in his constituency. While public debate decries corruption and all sorts of malfeasance to make the ruling UDP Government appear to be mired in wrong doing, that’s the furthest thing from the truth here in Dangriga. Belize has 8,867 square miles and of those square miles, in the past it seemed as if though only the “haves” were getting and the “have nots” were being left behind. That may soon become an issue of the very distant past for Grigalizeans. In his campaign for political office, Dangriga Representative Hon. Frank “Papa” Mena, said “Poverty is the biggest injustice to anyone. Is it a bad thing to own a piece of land?”

    Guyanese rice out of Belize
    We are not certain what the final destination will be but we are reliably informed that the Guyanese rice which was sitting at the Big Creek port in Independence Village was loaded on to barges with destination to Puerto Santo Tomas in Guatemala. The rice left Belizean shores on Wednesday morning but the final destination is still unknown. The rice was originally intended to enter the Belizean market however it was brought into the country without first getting permits and the Supreme Court ruled that it was illegally in Belize. The government of Belize since then went into negotiations with the importer which finally came to an agreement that the rice would be shipped out of Belize as soon as possible. Jack Charles had stated that the 75 tonnes of rice were to have been retailing for 69 cents per pound in direct competition with locally grown and produced rice in Belize which would have had the local rice industry at a disadvantage which has a controlled price of rice at 90 cents per pound.

    Debunk the debate
    No sooner had we heard of the plans for a PUP Leadership Debate than we became convinced that it was not going to happen. The idea of a debate amongst persons vying for high office is a great one, but the concept and organization of such debates must come from and be done by persons with visible credibility and not by persons whose credibility may be called into question. For avoidance of any doubt we will present the resumes of the persons who were in charge of the now scuttled debate. Alberto Vellos who writes that rag called Belize Times, was the person whose idea was to have the debate. We know of the outlandish things that the Belize Times has published since he has been it’s Editor. The organizers were Glenn Tillett who is friendly with Jack Daniels. Glenn was the very same person who came up with the poll that showed PUP winning the last General Election. He was joined by another friend of Jack Daniels, he is Jose Coye who is known as the Land Hog. That is a name he earned during the Put Put land scandal and was conferred when his name came up in the UB Land scandal. Another organizer is Carolyn Trench-Sandiford. She is the person who promised to build us a Satellite City but instead gave us a village at the cost of almost 100 million dollars. The final organizer was Major Lloyd Jones, who was once a member of the G-11 but later on he changed sides. In the military such a person is declared a TRAITOR, right Major? Readers you can draw your own conclusion on the characters of those persons.

    MCC in a state of play
    The MCC is almost ready for the playing of football on it to be possible, this after the Minister responsible for Youth Sports and Culture, Hon. Elodio Aragon responded to complaints that there was a trench that had been dug around it made play on the field hazardous to players. The response was immediate after he received the complaint and on Monday January 25 work crews were on the ground to alleviate the conditions. According to Ritchel Dominguez who is now the director of the National Sports Council and under who’s responsibility the upkeep of the grounds falls, work is being done on the field. Dominguez says that the work is being done in collaboration with the Belize Defence Force which provided the manpower and expertise to lay pipes in the trenches that were around the field. The partnership is as a result of a request by the BDF who wanted to use the field for practice and they offered to assist in making it safe for play.

    Tourism Association meets in Cayo
    Tourism is a major source of revenue for many in the Cayo District and as such members from this industry meet regularly to chart a way forward. As a result, the Cayo Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association BTIA hosted a meeting at the Cahal Pech Resort in San Ignacio last Thursday, where much was achieved during the meeting. President of the Cayo Chapter of the BTIA Judy DuPlooy gave the welcome address. She was joined by special guest, Javier Paredez, Registrar from the Belize Tourism Board, who gave a PowerPoint on the laws and regulations relating to resorts, hotels, guest houses and tour guides. According to Judy DuPlooys the Cayo Chapter (BTIA) intends to meet on the third Thursday of every month at the Cahal Petch Resort in San Ignacio Town. DuPlooy believes that as a group, the Cayo Chapter (BTIA) will have more lobbying strength and as such invites anyone associated with tourism to become part of her group.

    Belize City plans to be a child friendly municipality
    After Mayor Darrell Bradley signed unto the Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities Initiative back in 2013 that initiative has seen many positive changes for Belize City. In mid last year, Mayor Bradley tasked the Councilor with responsibility for Women and Children Councilor Hyacinth Latchman-Cuellar to chair the Technical steering Committee of the Child Care Friendly Initiative for Belize City. Since then Councilor Cuellar has met with the Child Advisory Body also known as (CAB) which consist of youngsters from Primary and High schools throughout Belize City. Councilor Cuellar reiterated in an interview that “It is very important for us as leaders to hear our children as they too have voices and they will be tomorrow’s future leaders.” She added: I am astounded when I sit along with members of CAB and our Technical Steering Committee and hear our city’s children speak so resonant on issues affecting their city and about their future plans for Belize City.”

    Plan to build 35 new schools highlights launch of Education Sector Reform Project
    A highlight of phase two is the execution of plans to increasing access to education across the country. The Government of Belize has entered into a loan agreement with the Caribbean Development Bank for the construction of 35 new school buildings across the country. The loan is for a total of US$35 million and was approved by the House of Representatives on Wednesday, September 2, 2015. Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, explained that the Ministry has looked at communities across the country where the population has grown significantly to determine necessary locations for new schools. There will be 22 new schools for early childhood education (preschools). These schools will be built in Valley of Peace, Buena Vista, Billy White, Duck Run, St. Margaret’s, San Pablo (O.W.), San Jose (O.W.), Douglas, San Juan (O.W.), San Antonio (O.W.), Santa Cruz (O.W.), Trial Farm, Cowpen, Caye Caulker, Belmopan, Bella Vista, San Ignacio, Santa Elena, Independence, Pomona, Punta Gorda, San Pedro, Corozal Town and Dangriga. There will also be five new 8-classroom buildings for primary schools; including one in the Gungulung area of Lake Independence, and eight for secondary schools. In total, 5,300 extra spaces for students will be created in 148 new classrooms. Minister of Education, Hon. Patrick Faber, says the Government is now in the process of identifying property where they can build these schools.

    Ministry of Education responds to suicides in teens in Cayo
    Over the past two weeks there have been two suicides and one attempt in the Cayo district. These have claimed the life of two teenaged girls and affected a third. As a result of this seeming spike in these actions that claim the life of young girls, the Ministry of Education is responding to prevent further loss of lives. Dr. Candy Armstrong, director Education Support Services within the Ministry of Education says that the problem of suicides among female teenaged populations in schools is not new but the issue of trying to harmonize the collaboration between counseling arms in the ministry and in schools is. She says that the ministry is working to partner with counselors in primary and secondary schools to support with intervention plans as well as capacity building for teachers. Additionally the ministry offers training for counselors to be able to identify at-risk behavior in students. They are also helping students come up with their own systems to manage issues in teens as well as work with the ministry of health with referral of cases where problems that present themselves and counselors at the school level cannot be handled are referred to higher specialists in the ministry of health.

    Mobility for Sports Coordinators countrywide
    Ever since taking the position of Minister of State in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr. has been actively seeking ways in which he can improve on the infrastructure and the well being of those within his ministry. Another clear indication of this came on Wednesday January 27 when he along with the substantive Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Patrick Faber handed over the keys to 7 new motorcycles to sports coordinators across the country. The value of the cycles is 17,500 which was financed by the Ministry of Sports. Speaking to the Guardian, Hon. Aragon says he has been on a quest to improve the conditions of the sports council and the entire Ministry of Sports. The motorcycles are one way in which that can be achieved in improving the mobility capacity of the sports coordinators in the districts. These personnel are at the forefront of implementing sporting goals and their ability to move within the district they work in is crucial says Aragon.

    Oceana starts branding campaign, what about the small fisherfolk
    Oceana Belize has partnered with numerous conservation groups and tourism industry stakeholders to launch a best practice initiative for fishers and seafood sellers called “Fish Right, Eat Right”. The initiative is aimed at ensuring the sustainability of the fisheries industry for generations to come. It is applauded by all players in the sector but small fishers have raised concern about the prospect of being disenfranchised. Alyssa Carnegie, Director of Communications at Oceana Belize, says, “[Fish Right, Eat Right] is a concept that came up in terms of having local chefs, local cooks, local restaurants express their concerns over the type of seafood that they were being sold. And also from fishermen who have been asking for increased or stronger regulations and laws that would pertain and that would ensure sustainability of fisheries for generations to come.” She says, “You should think that seafood has been sustainably caught, meaning using means that limits bycatch. Some people still use gillnets even though it is a regulated type of fishing in Belize and many times you have charismatic species like dolphins, turtles, sharks that are caught in gillnets. Our protected species like bonefish and tarpon that are just basically left for dead because nobody really consumes those. So looking at fish that has been sustainably caught, that’s in accordance with the law, that follows seasons; it is not a juvenile.”

    U.S. De-risking moves threatens Belize’s and region’s economic security
    The United States has thrown stones and is now hiding its hand after the missile has struck Belize squarely in the head. The Belizean economy is in deep trouble now that banks in the US are terrified of engaging in correspondent relations with financial institutions of this jurisdiction. While the US government says it is discouraging their institutions from ending relations with Belize and other countries in the region, their actions make it irresponsible for any profit based enterprise to continue such practice. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has raised the issue both with President Barrack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden. The two most senior official of the current administration have assured Prime Minister Barrow that they will address the matter. Knowing how slow things move in Washington and the urgency of the situation, Prime Minister Barrow organized an A Team of financial experts attached to the Ministry of Finance for a mission to hold meetings with financial regulatory agencies in Washington D.C. The conversation with those agencies will not be one new to them but it will be one with the greatest urgency since adopting a much more stringent policy towards international financial institutions under the Obama Administration. Numerous CARICOM Heads of State have raised concern to President Obama and other senior officials. Bruce Zagaris, international criminal law and tax controversy expert, detailed a history of this crisis in an October 25 publication of the Cayman Financial Review. Zagaris pointed out that despite the fact that Belize significantly improved its Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework Bank of America still ended correspondent relations with the country’s largest bank, Belize Bank, in 2015.

    No more repackaging of rice at the grocery store
    Belizeans have become accustomed to purchasing rice at their neighborhood grocery story which had been repackaged by the grocer at their establishment. That practice has opened for all manner of advantages to be taken of the consumer; not least among them were giving the consumer less rice than they paid for and also having them pay a higher price for a lower grade rice. That practice is now ending. As of last week, a statutory instrument which was passed in December came into effect. That instrument basically states that all packaging of rice would be done strictly by the producer. That means that the distribution of rice in hundred pound bags has come to an end. The producers are now only allowed to sell rice in a maximum weight of 20 pound bags. They are also to package rice in bags of one pound to five pounds. These packages should be clearly marked as to the weight and the grade of the rice.

    No charges yet on woman who killed son in law
    Ladyville police are waiting for instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions on whether or not they should take criminal action against 62 year-old Biscayne Resident Moszetta Reyes. She fatally injured her daughter’s boyfriend, 54 year-old Arthur Wade, with a machete, which she claims happened in self-defence. The incident happened on Friday, January 22, at around 9:35 p.m., and Reyes has since recounted her version of the incident to the press. She said that she was at home with her daughter, Alva Reyes, who is an adult suffering from an acute mental illness for which she started showing signs later in her life. Moszetta said that her daughter’s illness was in full swing, and as she and her family always does, they locked her away to protect her and others from any danger she might inflict others.

    Young man in Cotton Tree injured
    A young man has been injured in Cotton Tree Village. Jordana Frusto, 34, Belizean Director of Vista Del Mar, Ladyville Village, Belize District, recently reported that her son Jonathan Zetina ,18, Belizean Laborer of the same address had gone missing. But whilst giving the report, her son exited a blue pickup truck, which was driven at the time by John Olivera, who reported that he had picked up Jonathan in Cotton Tree Village.

    Father,45, pleads guilty to beating his daughter, 16
    Alexander Garcia, 45, is lucky to be a free man after he pleaded guilty to beating up his 16-year-old daughter in a drunken rage. Allegations made by the minor is that around 4:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 21, she was at home in bed sleeping when her father came and woke her up to ask the whereabouts of her mother who was not at home. The child said she told her father that she didn’t know where her mother was and that was when he slapped her to the right side of her face with two books he had in his hand. The father then grabbed her by the neck and began to choke her. The minor’s uncle intervened and encouraged her to report the matter to police. Garcia was arrested and charged for his actions.

    Glenfield Dennison recovers, needs financial assistance
    On Thursday January 21, 31 year old Belizean law student, Glenfield Dennison was shot in Guyana. Reports are that he had just dropped off his girlfriend in an area on the East Coast of Demerara when he was approached by a gunman as he was about to ride off. The assailant shot at him three times hitting him once to the stomach and his left arm. The gunshots punctured his lungs and injured his liver and he was rushed to the Georgetown hospital where he was treated and is now recuperating.

    Gun violence claims man’s life in Corozal
    Paul Massam, a 28 year-old resident of Corozal Town, was gunned down and killed on Wednesday, January 30. Police don’t have a motive for this crime at this time, but Massam had a number of run-in with the law before the last 12 months. At around 8:30 a.m., officers responded to a home in area of Corozal called Skeleton Town, where they found signs of the crime in the form of blood on a verandah. The officers were told that Massam was rushed to the Corozal Community Hospital. They deployed to that location and they found Massam’s lifeless body; he had been pronounced dead on arrival. Police observed that he had suffered 3 gunshot wounds, one to the right side of the head, one to the lower cheek, and one to his palm.

    The Railers
    It seems that some people believe that in Belize the only way to get across a point is to do the pantomime while railing up on TV. The masters of these regular theatrics are Y. Rosado, Gabb, Matura, Brackett and Greenwood. I tell you, these guys (and girl) are good. Traffic Torres and the Silva make up a distant second; this is because their voices are nauseating, and they turn people off when they yak off endlessly over the airwaves. Before I continue, and if you probably haven’t deduced by now, let me tell you that I have been a supporter of the United Democratic Party for umpteen years. Not only because of the Party’s open frown on corruption, but also because I think that the UDP’s commitment to develop our country has always been on the forefront. When they have resources available, they apply these resources, for the most part, into making Belize and its citizens better off.

    Two fifteen year olds from San Ignacio Town commit suicide within two weeks
    Experts from the Ministry of Health consider it purely coincidental that two female students from San Ignacio Town have committed suicide in exactly two weeks from each other. Investigators are still perplexed, but sometime early on Monday of this week, 15 year old Meisy Amada Polanco, a third form student from Sacred Heart College decided to take her own life. Her mother 35 year old Andrea Claudia Polanco had woken up and did not find her inside the room, so she and her son began to make checks inside the house located in the Cahal Pech area. The last time that Andrea Polanco had seen her daughter alive was at 1:40 am when she had gotten up to use the bathroom. After continuous search, to their shock they discovered her hanging on the branch of an avocado tree about seven feet from off the ground. Both mother and her 12 year old son immediately brought down the body of Meisy Polanco, but she had already passed away. A search in the immediate area by investigators, led them to a fragmented note that had to be pieced together to obtain coherence. Andrea Polanco had suspected Meisy to have had a relationship, but was unaware on whether the relationship was rocky. Andrea Polanco had slapped and scolded Meisy Polanco on January 8, 2016.

    Uprising Strikers FC champions of the Peace Cup Competition
    The Conscious Youth Development Programme Peace Cup Football competition came to an end on Sunday 24th January, 2016, at the MCC Grounds with the third place game and the championship game played. In the championship game between Uprising Strikers FC and the previously unbeaten Kraal Road FC ended 0-0 in regulation time and as a result had to go into overtime to determined the winner. In the overtime, Uprising Strikers proved to be the better team when Germaine Foster scored the only goal of the game that gave his team the 1-0 victory and the championship. In the third place game played between Tut Bay FC and Kelly Street FC that game also went into overtime in which Kelly Street FC prevailed over Tut Bay FC by the score of 4-3. The goals for Kelly Street FC were scored by Steven Baizar, Wilfred Fisher and Francis Andrews (2). For Tut Bay FC, the goals were scored by Brian Martinez, Kevin Alvarez and Delroy Flores.

    St. Martin De Porres girls and boys win in primary school basketball competition
    The Belize City Primary Schools Basketball competition continues at Bird’s Isle here in the city. On Tuesday 26th January, in the first of two games played in the girls’ competition, Bethel Primary School won over Holy Redeemer School by the score of 4-1. The top scorers for Bethel Primary were Jaysha Jones and Sherria Barrow with 2 points each. In the second game, Belize Elementary School won over Wesley Upper School by the score of 8-4. The top scorers for Belize Elementary School were Aaliyah Herbert with 3 points, while Kelly Liu and Michaelen Hyde scored 2 points each. For Wesley Upper School, the top scorer was Jada Gillett with 4 points each. In the first of three games played in the boys’ competition, Holy Redeemer School won over Bethel Primary by the score of 40-10. The top scorers for Holy Redeemer School were Izid Lopez with 18 points, Lyzel Thompson with 8 points and Carlisle Clark and Anthony Usher with 4 points each. For Bethel Primary, the top scorers were Delhart Dominguez with 6 points and D’Andre Palacio with 4 points.

    Belize to host CADICA Championship in February
    The Belize Athletics Association informs the general public that the Belize Athletics Association will be hosting the 10th Central American Cross Country Championship in Athletics. The championship is being sponsored by the Central American Track and Field Organisation (CADICA). The championship is scheduled for Saturday 20th February, 2016, at the Roaring River Golf Course in Roaring Creek Village, Cayo District. It is anticipated that the championship will bring together some 125 cross country athletes and officials from all seven Central American countries. The Belize Athletics Association will be holding a national competition on Saturday 30th January 2016 to select the athletes that will represent the country. The Competition will be held at the Roaring River Golf Course in Roaring Creek Village.

    Bridging the gap between law and technology
    A new attorney has been called to the Bar in Belize. Rene Amin Montero was admitted to the Belize Bar on Friday of last week, before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. A petition for admission was made on behalf of Montero by Senior Counsel Michael Young, and supported by attorneys at law Senator Aldo Salazar and Agnes Segura-Gillett. Montero graduated from Norman Manley Law School in September 2015 where he was awarded the Pitts and Elrington Award. He also graduated from the University of the West Indies in July of 2013 with Upper Second Class Honors. Montero has always demonstrated discipline and excellence as he also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and Physics from Texas Southern University where he graduated with Honors, along with a Master’s Degree in Management and Information System from the University of Manchester where he graduated with Merit. The Bar Association of Belize is comprised of Attorneys-at-Law, judges and magistrates who have been admitted and licensed to practice law within the boundaries of Belize. In his address to Montero, the Chief justice stated that given his merits in Information Technology he will be sought to bridge the gap between information technology and law.

    Road to Hopkins is officially open
    Driving on the old road to Hopkins Village was not a pleasurable journey but thousands of visitors did so each year. The warm greetings, polite service, delicious food and peaceful atmosphere would soon distant any memory of the terrible drive into the village. Hopkins’ reputation as the most relaxing vacation spot in beautiful Belize has spread wildly over the last decade. It is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in Belize and that will increase exponentially with the opening of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Harvest Caye site. Therefore, a road worthy for a trip to paradise was needed and on April 12, 2013, the Government of Belize and the European Union launched the Hopkins Road Upgrade Project under the Belize Rural Development Project II.

    Lifeline donates to five schools and Pandemonium Steel Band
    The Lifeline Foundation today handed over $42,600 in donations to boost the efforts of several institutions working for the benefit of Belize’s Children. The grants were made possible through funds raised through the Lebanese Night Gala hosted by the Lifeline Foundation and the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre presentation of Hamlet, which was held in collaboration with the British High Commission. Representatives from 5 Schools, and 1 Music Program received the donations on behalf of Wesley College – $6,000; Grace Primary School - $6,000; St. Luke Methodist School - $6,000, St. John’s Anglican School Feeding Program - $10,628.57; St. Agnes Anglican School Feeding Program - $7,971.43 and Pandemonium Steel Band - $6,000.

    Marcel Cardona’s accuser sent to jail
    A European man, who claims that his name is Martin Musikant, was jailed by the Orange Walk Magistrate until Belizean law enforcement can determine if he is or isn’t an international fugitive who is wanted by Interpol and by the USA. If indeed he is a fugitive, it may end up being beneficial to attorney Marcel Cardona, since the very embarrassing ethical complaint against him to the General Legal Council involved this man. Orange Walk police reportedly picked him up on the Belize Corozal Road after he was acting suspicious. The officers immediately tried to find out who he was, and because of his unusual accent, they reportedly asked him to produce his passport or any other immigration documents. When he couldn’t they detained him, and police and the Immigration Department started to investigate him.

    5 Million more to complete Marion Jones Stadium says sports minister
    Minister with responsibility for Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr. has pledged that under his watch he will see the completion of the Marion Jones sports complex in Belize City. The Work on the complex began in August of 2009 with the construction of the perimeter fence, since then there has been ongoing work on the facility, ever so slowly it has been taking shape and now it is looking more and more like it will be completed. Hon. Aragon explains that he has done a walk through of the facility and has been appraised of the work that has already been done and what needs to be done to complete the works. He says that at this point to complete the work it will cost in the region of 5 million dollars. “It is a priority for us to complete it,” he stated.

    No more repackaging of rice at the grocery store
    Belizeans have become accustomed to purchasing rice at their neighborhood grocery story which had been repackaged by the grocer at their establishment. That practice has opened for all manner of advantages to be taken of the consumer; not least among them were giving the consumer less rice than they paid for and also having them pay a higher price for a lower grade rice. That practice is now ending. As of last week, a statutory instrument which was passed in December came into effect. That instrument basically states that all packaging of rice would be done strictly by the producer. That means that the distribution of rice in hundred pound bags has come to an end. The producers are now only allowed to sell rice in a maximum weight of 20 pound bags. They are also to package rice in bags of one pound to five pounds. These packages should be clearly marked as to the weight and the grade of the rice.

    La llorona Yhonny
    People have begun to dub, Yhonny Rosado as la Llorona. Any Belizean who knows the folkloric figure of la Llorona knows that this is a woman who is found at night crying near a body of water, her actions follow after she had drowned her children and is supposedly mourning their loss. The mythical figure's call to fame is that she is always crying after having done wrong hence the name La Llorona which translated from Spanish means the crying woman. Well that is an appropriate description for Yhonny. There have been at least two occasions on television where he has been recorded on local news crying his eyes out. On every occasion it has been because he was complaining about some of his competitors and how he was being unfairly treated. Instead of taking care of his business, Rosado minds other people's business and then when his business is unsuccessful he calls on the media and complains and cries- la Llorona. Here is where La Llorona finds himself again, last week he was again attacking his competitor, Dark Night tours which operates a cave tubing operation similar to what Rosado operates. In fairness he did not cry when he appeared on the news this time around when he ranted and raged about Dark Night. Rosado instead of taking care of his business and seeing that everything was in order chose to mind the operations of Dark Night and carried on and on about how the business should not be allowed to operate. Low and behold on Tuesday, of this week, special constables, the enforcement arm of the Belize City Council visited another of Rosado's businesses on the Phillip Goldson highway at mile 2 and a half miles where they informed Rosado that Econo Tires was operating illegally.

    Doctor’s home invaded by thieves- one man is killed
    Dr. Marcos Christopher Rugama Miranda, a 44 year-old Urologist who works for the Private Hospital, Belize Medical Associates, is recovering at the KHMH from stab wounds he suffered in a home invasion. His friend, 37 year-old Ian Robert Blair, was not so fortunate, and he was killed in that crime. It happened on Wednesday morning, January 27, at Rugama Miranda’s home on Simon Lamb Street. Initial police investigation is that at around 1:40 a.m., the doctor was outside on his back verandah, picking in freshly laundered clothes. He returned inside, and that’s when he found 2 dark-skinned men, one armed with gun, the other with a knife, and they were assaulting his friend. The doctor reportedly grabbed a piece of furniture and other appliances, and he started to throw it at both men, in an attempt to rescue his friend. Blair managed to use the distraction to his advantage, and he ran into the bedroom.

    Arson leaves family of 7 homeless
    A family of 7 from Scotland Halfmoon Village became homeless after a fire which was believed to have been set by a man certified to be mentally ill. 33 year-old Denise Lodge told investigators that on Saturday, January 23, at around 6:45 p.m., she left her home, a wooden bungalow house, to go visit her sister-in-law, who lives in the same village. She returned less than half hour later and found her home completely engulfed in flames. The Fire Department did everything they could to put the fire out, but by that time, the house was in the free-burn stage. When the fire was gotten completely under control, Lodge’s family of 7, including her 4 children, had lost everything in the blaze.

    Ex-BDF soldier charged for pushing woman into the sea
    Former Belize Defense Force soldier, Rennick Baizer, 32, is out on bail after he was accused of pushing his ex-common-law-wife into the sea on Newton Barracks. The fall caused the woman to sustain injuries to her body which a doctor classified as wounding. In a report to police, Shawna Gillett, 28, said that she was sitting by the sea side with some friends in front of Elements Night Club on Sunday, January 24, when Rennick Baizer approached her and the two got into an argument. The quarrel escalated and Baizer pushed her over the sea wall and she fell into the water. She suffered from abrasions to her left hand and other parts of the body. Gillett reported the matter to police and Baizer was arrested and charged.

    Belmopan Quick Response Team finds gun
    The Belmopan Quick Response Team conducted operations in Roaring Creek village in the Cayo District last Friday, and upon arrival on the Christian Refuge road conducted a search at the outskirt of the feeder road. At that location they discovered a 12 gauge pump action shot gun without serial numbers, hidden under some bushes. The pump action weapon was observed to have a wooden handle wrapped with a black rubber and a corroded metal barrel with five (5) twelve gauge cartridges. The potentially lethal weapon was deposited by police as found property.

    Central prison inmates busted with weed
    Sergio Martinez, 25, is at the Belize Central Prison serving a ten year sentence for burglary and Jarold Lamb Arthurs, 28, is on remand for murder but now both men have received time added to their sentence for drug charges. A prison officer reported to Hattieville Police that while he was conducting routine patrol in Tango 11 of the prison at around 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, January 24, he saw Sergio Martinez throw a small black plastic bag over a fence to Jarold Lamb Arthurs who quickly picked it up and tried to conceal it. The prison officer said that he quickly grabbed the bag from Arthurs and opened it. He saw that it contained some green leaf like substance suspected to be cannabis. Martinez and Arthurs were therefore charged for drug trafficking.

    Drugs found in San Ignacio
    Members of the Special Branch Tactical Response Squad conducted anti-drug operations in San Ignacio Town last Friday where they came upon drugs hidden in a bushy lot. This special squad went to an abandoned lot on Dalia Street, which resulted in the discovery of a black plastic bag hidden under dry coconut palms among garbage containing loose green leafy vegetable substances suspect to be cannabis. The drugs were weighed, which amounted to 139 grams. No one was found in the immediate area. It was labeled and handed in as found property.

    Wesley Junior College students charged with gun theft from police
    Wesley Junior College students Stradni Alvert Cassasola, 19, and his classmate Demrey Emaury Lewis, 19, are out on bail after spending three nights on remand for offenses of keeping an unlicensed firearm and ammunition which turned out to have been stolen from the Belize Police Department. The Fabers Road Extension residents were granted Supreme Court bail by Justice Antoinette Moore on Friday, January 22. The men first appeared in court on Tuesday, January 19, before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer and were denied bail due to the nature of the offenses. Police claim that on Monday, Janaury 18, they met the duo inside a vehicle on Gibson Street and conducted a search on them and the vehicle. Inside a bag they found a loaded Taurus brand 9 millimeter pistol. Cassasola told the court that he is working with the police department as an employee of the Ministry of National Security and he took the gun home by mistake.

    Teenagers remanded for jacking boy’s Nike slippers
    It is one of the most prevelant crimes of this era and two teenagers are now behind bars on remand for taking away a little boy’s name brand slippers. Ulide Allen, 18, and Norton Lorenzo Tun are on remand at the Belize Central Prison for a charge of robbery. A fourteen-year-old boy reported to police that sometime around 9 p.m. on Friday, January 22, he was getting a ride on a bicycle with a friend on Vernon Street when they were approached by three males riding on separate bicycles. One of the men, who he knows well and identified as Allen, rode beside them and said, “Mek ah get that slippers.” The boy told him, “You can’t get this.” This was when the others used their bicycles to crash into him and his friend. This caused them to fall to the ground. While he was on the ground, Allen and his friends held him down and removed his slippers from his feet. The men then rode off.

    Two Mennonites and two Americans busted with weed
    A group of four persons from Spanish Lookout, two Americans and two Mennonites, were busted with marijuana on Sunday, January 24, at the junction of Burrell Boom Road and the Phillip Goldson Highway. According to police report, at about 12 noon on Sunday a grey Toyota 4 Runner truck approached a vehicular checkpoint set up by officers of the Mobile Interdiction Team at the junction of the Burrell Boom Road and the Phillip Goldson Highway. Four persons were inside and the driver was asked for his license. When the he lowered his glass the officer smelt marijuana inside the vehicle. He immediately informed the driver that a search would be done on them and the vehicle for illegal firearms, ammunitions and drugs. During the search, nothing incrimination was found on the occupants of the vehicle; however, a black school bag containing a glass jar with green leaf like substance was found inside the vehicle. All four persons were detained and escorted to the Ladyville Police Station where they were charged with possession of 12.4 grams of marijuana.

    Premier League of Belize Football Closing Season opens
    The Premier League of Belize Football Competition Closing Season for 2016 officially opened on Saturday 23 January, 2016, with one game on the schedule. In the only game that was played between the Belmopan Bandits and the defending national football champions the Police United at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan, the game ended in a 1-1 draw. The host team the Belmopan Bandits was the first to get onto the scoreboard when Elroy Smith scored the only goal for his team in the 28th minute of play via a penalty. The first half of the game ended in favour of the Belmopan Bandits.

    San Pedro Tigersharks begins defence of back-to-back basketball title
    The National Elite Basketball League competition continued last weekend with three games on the schedule. On Saturday 23rd January, at the Independence High School Auditorium in Independence Village, the Belize City No Limit Team won its 2nd game of this year’s senior campaign when it edged out the new entrant in the league the Independence Thunderbolts by the score of 74-73. The top scorers for the Belize City No Limit team were Gregory Rudon with 19points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists and 5 steals; Earl Johnson with 15 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 3 steals and Lennox Bowman with 12 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. For the Independence Thunderbolts, the top scorers were Hyram Augustine with 23 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist and 6 steals; Alroy Foreman with 14 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals and Zane Burgess with 12 points, 16 rebounds and 2 steals.

    Wesley College boys maintains lead in high school football competition
    The Central Region Secondary Schools Football Competition continues at the MCC Grounds with a number of games played over this week and the last one. On Tuesday 26 January in the male competition game played, St. John’s College and Ladyville Technical High School played to a 0-0 draw. On Monday 25 January, Anglican Cathedral College males defeated Gwen Lizarraga High School by the score of 2-1. The goals for Anglican Cathedral College were scored by Christian Ancona and Akeem Sutherland. Meanwhile, the only goal of the game for Gwen Lizarraga High School was scored by Hakeem Smith. Naim Wilson of Gwen Lizarraga High School was issued with a red card. The competition continued on Saturday 23 January with three games on the schedule and all in the male competition.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Zika can affect up to four million people; vaccine in development
    Health officials continue to monitor Zika in the Americas as the World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that about four million people can be infected with the virus. The situation has prompted the need for swift action by WHO and the US National Institute of Health […]

    More charges for Paumen; now accused of planting firearm in enemy’s vehicle
    Businessman Bradley Paumen returned today to Belmopan Magistrate’s Court on more charges related to his ongoing battle with Michael Modiri. Paumen, already accused of abetment to commit murder, is now accused of planting a firearm in Modiri’s vehicle. In May of 2015, police were tipped […]

    Man pleads guilty to handling stolen goods in school burglary
    Julian Cowling, an employee of Cisco Construction who allegedly entered the cafeteria of Edward P. Yorke High School as a trespasser and stole several items, was charged with burglary and handling stolen goods when he appeared today before Magistrate Deborah Rogers. Cowling pled not guilty […]

    Murder trial of Daniel Anderson concludes
    At the conclusion of the murder trial of Daniel Anderson today, Justice Adolph Lucas, who was both judge and jury, announced that he will give his decision on Tuesday, February 2. Anderson is charged with the murder of 19 year old Joyce Mitchell, who was shot […]

    Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) records lower exports and prices, higher imports for 2015
    It was a down year for Belize’s trade balance, which according to the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) widened as Belize imported more and exported less. Meanwhile, Belizeans continue to pay slightly less for the cost of living as at the end of 2015. Merchandise […]

    Ex-MOE “open vote worker” sues GOB for termination
    The Supreme Court today began hearing a case that could have impact on the employment of so-called “open vote workers”, those who do work for Government, but not under formal contract. The official definition, according to the Government (Open Vote) Workers Regulations (1992), Statutory Instrument […]

    Mental Health Association comments on recent incidents
    This week we have been reporting on two matters involving persons with reported mental health issues. According to the Mental Health Association, the public needs to be aware that there is assistance available through the Ministry of Health. In the case of Arthur Wade, shot […]

    Placencia Police Meet and Greet Seine Bight Villagers
    Led by their Commanding Officer, Inspector Dennis Miles, members of Placencia’s Police Formation set out on their “Meet and Greet” in Seine Bight Village where they visited homes to hear concerns from the general public earlier today. This was part of a relatively new […]

    T.A.L.K to a Teacher
    Over the past two weeks we have been mourning the deaths of our children. Children who have barely even tasted of the greatness this life has to offer. They had reasons some of us may never understand but we can no longer sit back relax […]

    Small aircraft experiences mechanical failure in Punta Gorda
    A small aircraft known as the “Wings of Hope” which is use to transport patients in critical medical conditions from small treatment centers around the country to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City, almost had a terrible crash landing at the Punta […]

    Paul Massam killed in Corozal
    The sounds of gunshot broke the silence in Corozal Town on Wednesday morning in the vicinity of V Street North. As a result, 29-year-old Paul Vincent Massam was fatally injured as he sat on a verandah at the house he was at. According to […]

    Cold front to cross country this evening
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mostly cloudy skies and cool weather with a few light showers or periods of rain mainly inland and north at first, then spreading to southern coastal areas this evening and early tonight. Winds will be blowing […]

    Police detain Belize Defense Force soldier for West Line bus incident
    San Ignacio Police have detained a Belize Defense Force (BDF) officer and a second person for questioning regarding the incident on a West Line bus yesterday afternoon, which was initially reported as a shooting on a bus in Esperanza Village, Cayo District. Around 2:30 […]

    Second Melchor resident missing in Belize
    Another Melchor resident was reported missing in Belize00 a.m. on Sunday, en route to sell Avon products in the Cayo District and never returned. 35-year-old Guatemalan National, Clementa […]

    Understanding the ‘de-risking’ crisis
    For much of the past year there has been much talk of corresponding ties and ‘de-risking’, however, the problem is that many Belizeans don’t understand the situation and as a result don’t feel it has any direct impact on their daily lives. Of course, […]


    The Great House Rises at Mahogany Bay Village, Ambergris Caye
    Mahogany Bay Village is Ambergris Caye’s largest development. Almost 2 miles south of San Pedro town and tucked back behind a gate from the road, it is being built at break neck speed by a huge crew. During different phases there will be a hotel of 200ish rooms (Phase One, open this year and managed by Scout Hotels), residences, a village, a dive shop, concierge service, a gorgeous Miami style pool and a long beautiful beach club (in a location not yet announced to the public.) This is a serious undertaking. We were there to look at the Great House. Which is 3 floors, 22,000 square feet, will have an elevator, two bar (Shaken and Stirred) and now…a planned “speak-easy” or special club like area on the top floor. Amanda was there to take a look at the space and see how the design would go…

    Green Spaghetti a la Mexicana
    Boil the spaghetti in water with a little salt and a few drops of oil (to prevent sticking)- Once the pasta is cooked, put it in a colander to drain. Place poblano peppers on the fire to toast for a bit and put into a plastic bag so that you can peel them once they have soften. Once they are completely peeled and deveined you put them in the blender with cream and garlic and a little water (not much) and liquefy all together. Next place a frying pan on the fire and add butter to melt, then add the pasta and stir it to mix with the butter and add the liquefied miture without removing from the fire and add salt to taste. Once it is well blended remove it from the fire.

    International Sourcesizz

    Antigua-Barbuda PM warns of correspondent banking crisis
    During a plenary debate on Wednesday at the fourth summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Ecuador, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne highlighted to his colleague heads of government the clear and present danger associated with the decline in correspondent banking relations among Caribbean countries. “The system is pernicious, destructive and callous,” Browne said. “If Caribbean financial institutions lose correspondent banking relations, the following will take place: first, remittances from our diaspora, which are important to the foreign exchange earnings and the welfare of the poor in our society, will be adversely affected. Second, businesses will not be able to pay for goods and services they import, which are necessary for human existence. And third, the tourism industry, upon which we depend, will be fatally injured when payments cannot be made and revenues received.” “Participation in CELAC puts us in a group that has international weight and influence,” he said, “and it is therefore an excellent vehicle for bringing our concerns and issues to the attention of global decision-makers.”

    Regional fisheries bodies sign MOU to improve coordination for sustainable fisheries
    Three regional fisheries bodies (RFBs): the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM); the Organization of the Central American Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector (OSPESCA); and the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations - Western Central Atlantic Fisheries Commission (FAO-WECAFC) on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to facilitate, support and strengthen the coordination of actions among the three RFBs to increase the sustainability of fisheries. This initiative to improve coordination for sustainable fisheries is supported through the UNDP/GEF-Catalysing Implementation of the Strategic Action Programme for the Sustainable Management of shared Living Marine Resources in the Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems (CLME+) Project. This five-year regional project seeks to support the implementation of a 10-year politically endorsed Strategic Action Programme for the Sustainable Management of the Shared Living Marine Resources of the Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems (CLME+ SAP); through the full implementation of ecosystem based management/an ecosystem approach to fisheries (EBM/EAF) within the CLME+ region.

    Caribbean tourism sector to be enhanced by better health systems
    Trinidad and Tobago is one of six Caribbean countries to benefit from a US$800,000 Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) grant to develop and implement a regional tourism health information, monitoring and response system. The other Caribbean nations that are beneficiaries of the IDB grant, as disclosed at Wednesday morning’s grant signing ceremony, are The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Guyana and Jamaica. The Caribbean region is the most tourism dependent region in the world and the recent pandemics – SARS in 2000, HINI in 2009, chikungunya in 2013 and now the zika virus – have accelerated the need to monitor and respond to travel related illnesses and support the tourism sector to adopt comprehensive and effective health and environmental sanitation practices. In welcoming this three-year regional tourism health initiative, Shamfa Cudjoe pledged the support of the ministry of tourism as “strengthening the public health system will strengthen our tourism product”.

    Winners of the Central American eBirder of the Year Awards 2015
    Belize: Roni Martínez, Jan Meerman, Dominique Lizama. As we announced last September, we will award outstanding eBirders in Central America with prizes such as two Zeiss binoculars and several eBird hats, to recognize their contributions to eBird during 2015. At eBird, we value all your observations, but we especially value observations from areas with few eBird checklists. We designed a competition last year to motivate visits to such under-birded areas: submit checklists from more departments or provinces in your country than other birders. But for a department to count, you would need to be in the top 10 list of eBirders (by checklists) for that department. Of course it was more difficult to get into the top 10 for areas that already have many eBirders submitting data, but for under-birded areas, it was not too difficult—sometimes just a few checklists from those data-deficient areas were enough!

    Adventure twins in Belize: Mom and boys find fun in Caribbean paradise
    My stomach roiled as the boat rocked and rolled along the Caribbean waves, and our two-hour journey stretched into three. The patchwork of emerald and azure waters was barely visible through the small windows of the boat’s interior cabin. The fresh sea air was not reaching us below deck. Our destination was an idyllic island off the coast of Belize, which would be delightful, I was sure. I was anxious. Not only was I on an adventure tour in this remote corner of the Caribbean, but I was travelling solo with my four-year-old twin sons. No dad, no grandparents, no babysitter — just me and my ever-lovable, energetic, opinionated, unpredictable, exhausting twins. So far, at least, the boys were holding up. Shay looked as queasy as I felt, but he was lying quietly on the cushioned bench. Van, by contrast, was standing up on the bench so he could see out the window, peering through his red plastic binoculars. “I already spotted three flying fish,” he boasted to anyone who would listen. Finally, he announced that he could see the island. And shortly thereafter, we were clamouring off the boat, breathing the salty air, and taking off our shoes so we could feel the sand between our toes. We had arrived, and it was indeed paradise.

    Matthiew Klinck's mother wants to open film school in his honour
    Matthiew Klinck was living his dream as filmmaker in Belize when he was brutally killed at his home earlier this month — and now his mother hopes to open a film school for youth in his honour. "He was an extraordinary being," his mother Louise Dallaire, who lives in Gatineau, told Radio-Canada. "He always wanted to help youth realize their dreams. That was really him, completely." It was his desire to teach youth the art of film that led him to move to Belize four years ago, after meeting an aspiring teen filmmaker in a village while on vacation, Dallaire said. She said she hopes to raise enough money to open a film school in Canada in his name — and later in Belize, if possible. "He wanted to help young people who didn't have any hope," Dallaire said.

    Commentary: De-risking or destruction? Neither is fair
    “If there were any scheme designed to destroy the economies of several countries without a military war, then this is such a scheme. It is erroneous; it is pernicious; and it is vicious”. That was how Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne described the way in which US banks, under pressure from US regulatory agencies, are cutting off correspondent relations with Caribbean indigenous and offshore banks unilaterally and with very little notice. No wonder then that the Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow, who restricts travelling to the minimum because of spinal challenges, was in Washington DC for much of the week beginning January 25th to meet senior representatives of the US government and regulatory agencies. Of all the Caribbean countries, Belize has been the hardest hit by US banks terminating correspondent relations. But, other Caribbean countries are also feeling the squeeze of what is obscurely called “de-risking”. Indeed, the problem is so acute that no foot-dragging on the issue could be excused. The matter should be the highest priority for regional governments, diplomats and the entire private sector, not only banks for whom the issue has become one of immediacy.

    Leonardo DiCaprio and Pope Francis meet
    Pope Francis received Leonardo DiCaprio at the Vatican on Thursday in a private audience. Like Pope Francis, the Hollywood film star is a passionate campaigner for environmental causes. He's also a UN Ambassador for Peace with a special emphasis on climate change. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told CBS News that DiCaprio had requested the meeting because he recognized the "great moral and religious authority which the Holy Father has in this field," after the publication of his encyclical on the environment, "Laudato Sii." The controversial 190-page teaching document, published in June 2015 , said the Earth was "beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth." In it, Pope Francis supported evidence of global warming, and criticized those who were "delaying the important decisions and pretending that nothing will happen." He called on all individuals and world leaders -- especially those from rich countries -- to act immediately and emphatically to protect "our common home."

    The World’s First Tropical Mermaid Retreat Will Take Place in Belize in February 2016
    Sirenalia, an Austin, Texas based mermaid production company, is throwing a tropical mermaid retreat in Caye Caulker, Belize on February 4-9 of 2016. The all-inclusive, five-day retreat will feature professional underwater photography at the Belize Barrier Reef; mermaid-themed yoga classes and several nighttime mermaid events. Participants will be given the chance to visit with the local elementary school. All profits from the event will be donated to the Ocean Academy, a local nonprofit dedicated to assuring education to the island’s children. “Our company has been visiting Caye Caulker for several years now, and I’m so excited to open the trip up to everyone who wants to participate,” said Maria Russo, owner of Sirenalia. “I love the thought of swimming the Barrier Reef with other mermaids and mermaid performers!”

    Japan and UNDP kick start US$15 million Caribbean climate change project
    The government of Japan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched the US$15 million Japan-Caribbean climate change partnership (J-CCCP) on Thursday, in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The launch follows a two-day meeting with more than 40 representatives from eight Caribbean countries, including government officials, technical advisors, NGO and UN partners to set out a roadmap to mitigate and adapt to climate change, in line with countries’ long-term strategies. The new initiative will help put in practice Caribbean countries’ actions and policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change, such as nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) and national adaptation plans (NAPs). It will also boost access to sustainable energy and help reduce fossil fuel imports and dependence, setting the region on a low-emission development path, while addressing critical balance of payments constraints.

    Zika: Brazil to deploy army in fight against virus
    Brazil's government says it will deploy 220,000 soldiers in its fight against mosquitoes spreading the Zika virus. The soldiers will go from home to home handing out leaflets on how to avoid the spread of Zika, which has been linked to thousands of babies being born with underdeveloped brains.


  • Colha, Belize, 21min. Colha, Belize is a Maya archaeological site located in northern portion of the country, about 52 km.north of Belize City, near the city of Orange Walk.

  • Belize 2015 Part 4 of 5: Belmopan, between Jungle and Caves., 7min. Belize 2015: Part 4 of 5. Arriving at Jungle Yaxche Camp. Exploring the Jungle, caving and hiking in the area of Belmopan.

  • Belize 2015 Part 5 of 5: Deep into the Jungle with Yaxche Jungle Camp., 9min. Belize 2015: Part 5 of 5. Exploring the incredibly beautiful Belize Jungle with Jungle Yaxche Camp, Belmopan, during a 4 days survival expedition. What an amazing experience. One of the best moments of my life.

  • Paradise Place - Placencia, Belize, 3.5min. Placencia Tourism: Best of Placencia

  • Belize Fly Fish Bone Head, 5min.

  • Belize Soca Queen Ernestine Carballo Big up Dice And Ras Z with the new video Things Change, 1.5min.

  • Hunting Permit on the Flats, 3min. Honeymoon in Belize 2016. So, yeah, the thing about permit is....

  • Belize Kiting Colors, 3min.

  • Tobacco Caye, Belize, 17min. Snorkeling in Belize!

  • Belize 2016, 6.5min.

  • UofT Belize Trip 2015 - Food Sovereignty and Indigeneity, 3min. A photo essay of University of Toronto students' unforgettable experiential learning trip to Belize, on the themes of food sovereignty, Indigeneity, and sustainability.

  • Belize scuba, 12min.

  • Reef diving in Belize, 18min.

    January 28, 2016


    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

    Record breaking overnight tourist arrivals for 2015
    The 2015 tourism numbers are in and they show an increase of 6.2% in comparison to 2014. According to the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), the overnight tourism industry experienced record breaking numbers in 2015, leading to exponential growth in the industry. This substantial growth is being accounted to the addition of international flight routes to the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA). Here on Ambergris Caye, tourism stakeholders have also marked 2015 as a productive year, with a year-round influx of visitors boosting the island’s economy. BTB indicated that despite an unsteady first and second quarter, Belize had seven straight months of arrival increases, with the highest increase figures occurring in the last four months of the year. “September to December of 2015 showed record improvements, with overnight arrivals increasing every month in comparison to last year’s figures. September had an increase of 19.3%, October 22.1%, November 33% and December 22.5% increase. November’s 33% increase is the largest ever recorded for this month, which rarely goes above a 10% increase,” explained BTB in a press release.

    Isla Bonita students educate community on social issues
    Education is a pillar in the proper development of a child. Topics such as Rights of a Child, Child Abuse, Alcohol Abuse, Drug Abuse, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) are key in ensuring children are equipped for the future. As such, Isla Bonita Elementary School (IBES) organizes an annual open house where upper division students display their knowledge on these pressing social issues. This year’s open house was held on Friday, January 22nd from 1PM to 3:30PM. Community members and students from other island schools were invited to attend the event and learn about social issues that exist in our society. Overseeing the open house was Teacher Sharon Hazel, home room teacher for the standard six division, and subject teacher for Language Arts, Social Studies and Health and Family Life. “The open house is a form to judge the students on topics they have learned in class,” said Hazel. The students have three weeks to prepare for the open house, but learn about the topics from the commencement of the school year...

    Ambergris Today

    Pic of the Week - Bird's Eye View Central Park
    With the street vendors and the large palapa out of Central Park, everything looks more spacious and brighter. There is more open space, beach area and available park benches for everybody to enjoy. We love how Central Park looks now; we bring you a bird's eye view of the park in downtown San Pedro for you to enjoy.

    25 Years Ago - Good Old Days…Children Growing Up in Fishing Village
    Back in the GOOD OLD DAYS you did not see children walking about the streets during school hours; you found all the children in school doing school work. Back in the GOOD OLD DAYS when we asked for five cents from our parents it was enough money for a gala time. I love the good old days because they made me who I am. Monday to Fridays from 8a.m. to 3:30p.m. you see young children walking about aimlessly down the streets or you see them performing adult chores like chopping and cleaning yards or selling souvenirs. Not so back in the GOOD OLD DAYS and for more than one good reason. First of all our parents did not allow us to miss classes for no good reason. A child got a whipping if he insisted in staying home.

    National Program Launched to Highlight Local Establishments Sourcing Seafood Responsibly
    Fishers, NGO’s, Government Officials and Private Sector representatives gathered on Tuesday, Januray 26, 2016, to launch the program brand and certification mark of “Fish Right, Eat Right”, a market-based program backed by an education campaign that will provide incentives for fishers, retailers, restaurants, and consumers to promote and support the harvest, trade and consumption of sustainably and legally caught seafood. The goal of this certification program is to curb illegal fishing and promote best practices in fisheries by providing marketing incentives throughout the supply chain via the promotion of responsible seafood consumption. Those establishments that demonstrate knowledge of and compliance with the Fisheries Regulations will receive special recognition, and responsible fishers who comply with the Regulations will have preferential access to these reliable markets.

    Chef Jennie Staines Tops Estel’s BBQ Ribs Cook-off in First Try
    In her first appearance the Estel’s BBQ Ribs Cook-off, Executive Chef of Elvi’s Kitchen Jennie Staines, pulled a double ‘whammy’ by taking both first place medals from the judges pick and the people’s choice. The grilling and finger-licking took place on Tuesday, January 26, 2016, beachside at Estel’s Dine by the Sea. The grilling competition now in its 5th year is proving to be a huge tourist attraction as the diner is overfilled with customers enjoying cold beer, cocktails and the delicious food of Estel’s. The main attraction of the event is of course the tender ribs that are grilled by local chefs and repeat grill masters who have a passion for barbequing.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    December 2015 External Trade & Consumer Price Index
    Belize’s total imports for the month of December 2015 were valued at $179.7 million. This was a decrease of 2.5 percent or $4.6 million over imports for December 2014, which totaled $184.2 million. During the month, imports destined for the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ and ‘Export Processing Zones’ both declined by $6 million, as fewer cigarettes, clothing, shrimp feed and steel structures were purchased, when compared to the same month in 2014. Additionally, lower world fuel prices resulted in $3 million less being spent on ‘Mineral Fuel and Lubricants’, although the quantities of premium, regular and diesel fuels imported were higher than in December 2014.
    The Statistical Institute of Belize’s latest statistics on consumer prices showed that for December 2015, the All-Items Consumer Price Index stood at 102.7, a decline of 0.7 percent from 103.5 recorded in December 2014. For the year 2015, the average national inflation rate was negative 0.9 percent.

    Call for Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development Papers
    The Mona School of Business & Management, UWI will be hosting its second Business and Management Conference themed “Connecting the Dots: Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development.” The conference will be held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica November 9-11, 2016 and will also feature a vibrant social programme. Publication opportunities and awards include the A-Ranked (ABDC) journal Entrepreneurship and Regional Development and for the best paper. A Doctoral Consortium will also feature in the programme.

    San Pedro Carnaval Photographic Exhibition
    Join us for the opening of the Carnaval Photographic Exhibition on Friday, February 5th at 7:00 pm

    Francis Ford Coppola’s Turtle Inn launches a brand new wine room
    Turtle Inn, Francis Ford Coppola’s stunning 25-room seafront resort in Belize, has added a 1,200 bottle wine room designed by Laurent Deroo to delight guests with wines from around the world and in particular wines from Coppola’s own vineyards in California. The wine cellar, one of the largest and most sophisticated in Belize, is designed to store the wines at the optimal 13 degrees Celsius, similar to the temperature of the original caves wine would have been stored in, to prevent them from ageing prematurely and spoiling the complex flavours. This is a particularly important issue in the tropics where the temperatures can fluctuate significantly and ruin the wines. The in-house sommeliers will guide guests through the wine room, offering tastings of the award winning Coppola wines from both the Francis Coppola Winery in Sonoma and the Inglenook Estate in Napa along with many other vintages from Chile, Argentina, Italy, France and the USA. Now guests in Belize can enjoy the finest wines whilst relaxing in paradise.

    Validation Workshop of the National Report Under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
    Government of Belize Press Office

    Carnaval is almost here!
    Check out the schedule of events!

    Construction of the municipal public parking in San Pedro
    Works for the construction of the municipal public parking opposite the Hon Louis “Cuz” Slyvestre Sports Complex has commenced. The project is undertaken by Councilor Severo Guerrero who is responsible for Transport, Civic & Infrastructural Development, Public Events and Community Beautification & upkeep. The project is part of the San Pedro Town Council’s revitalization initiative as part of the Local Economic Development plans for the downtown area of the community. Upon completion, the municipal parking will provide parking space for 80 vehicles/carts as well as a section for motorcycles. It will complement the recently completed San Pedro Artisan Market in which 29 artisans were recently relocated. It is the hope of the San Pedro Town Council to complete the municipal parking lot within two weeks. Once open, the community that uses Barrier Reef and Pescador Drives for long-hours parking during the day time, will be encouraged to use the municipal parking lot to reduce traffic congestion in the downtown area.

    Poets Corner: Bromance!
    By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. Men are socialized wrongly To only associate sex as intimacy I encourage every male to join the army A football team or a dance company Homophobia is stifling our masculinity Men are afraid of showing intimacy Thinking it’s not manly To show their vulnerability This society confused with it identity Liken male intimacy with homosexuality Causing problems with their identity Can a man be emotionally intense? Without committing the sexual offence Can’t men have friendships that are unusual? Without the stigma of being called a homosexual Can’t men experience this high level of intimacy? There is a new terminology That has emerged since the 21st century Called Bromance mi bally We’ve had this culture in our societies for centuries But the culture is transforming with globalized ideologies and nuances

    Caye Caulker Healthy Dog Sheet
    There have been a number of alarming and upsetting dog illnesses and deaths around the caye lately and, while we have not figured out the cause of all of them we do know there has been a recent increase in sickness and death from preventable diseases. Right now we are seeing a lot of Hook Worms in dogs on the island. Hook Worms suck a dog’s blood and if untreated can cause them to become weak and die. Symptoms are the dog being extra tired, not wanting to eat, pale gums and tongue, diarrhea and sometimes coughing. If your dog shows any of these signs please bring them right in to the clinic here on the caye or to a vet in San Pedro or Belize City. We have prepared an easy to follow HEALTH SHEET for you to print off, refer back to and keep safe for your pets.

    CHIQUIBUL GRISONS - Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge
    The Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) is proud to present its team "Chiquibul Grisons". The objective of the race is to create awareness of the Chiquibul Forest and its importance. Our FCD team needs your moral and financial support!!! February 20 - February 24. Show Map Chiquibul National Park

    Channel 7

    A Dr. Stabbed, His House Guest Killed In Home Invasion/Burglary
    2 friends were stabbed during a home invasion in the city. It happened around 1:45 this morning on Simon Lamb Street. 44 year old Dr. Marcos Rugama was at his home with his friend 32 year old Ian Blair. Rugama went outside to pick in clothes and when he returned, he saw 2 men attacking Blair - one of them had a knife. Rugama intervened and there was a struggle where Rugama was stabbed once to the chest and Blair was stabbed 3 times – twice to the shoulder and once to the rib cage. Blair didn’t make it. Today we spoke to Ian Blair’s mother and older brother and they told us they were in complete shock when they heard the news. Maria Heredia - Mother of Ian Blair: "Last night da the last time and after when I see Ian and he tell me; ma I going. He gives me a cup of ice cream and he hugs my mom and he hugs me up and he gone, say bye." Courtney Weatherburne: "Around what time was this ma'am?" Maria Heredia - Mother of Ian Blair: "That happen 8 o'clock he left we last night, from that I no see Ian. When they come tell me about 2 o'clock they call me, they stab Ian, he is in bad condition."

    Morning Murder In Corozal
    Also this morning, 28 year-old Corozal resident, Paul Massam, who has had a number of run-ins with police, was shot and killed execution style in Corozal Town. It’s the first murder in that town for the year, and today, we spoke with the Deputy Commander from the Corozal Police about the incident: Inspector Peter Serrano – Deputy OC, Corozal Town: "Sometime after 8:30 AM on today's date, information was received of shots fired in the skeleton area, Corozal town. As a result police visited the area and on arrival at the area, we were told that a male person was shot and was transported to the Corozal hospital. A team immediately proceeded to the hospital. On arrival at the hospital, the lifeless body of said male person was seen with what appears to be 3 gunshot wounds; one to the right side of the head, and the other one just about the lower cheek and one on his palm. That person was later identified as Paul Massam, 28 years old. Initial investigation reveals that Paul Massam was at this house when he was approached by a lone gunman who fired 3 shots at him, fatally wounding him. He was pronounced dead on arrival. The scene was processed by the scenes of crime technician. At this point in time, we are looking for 3 persons who we know could assist us in this investigation. This investigation continues."

    Alleged Shooting In A Bus With 60 Passengers
    So, while police in Corozal and Belize City are busy trying to solve those two murders, Cayo Police are investigating what looks to be a shooting which happened on a Westline Bus which was carrying 60 passengers. It happened sometime before 3:00 this afternoon, when the bus was on the George Price Highway heading toward Belize City. Initial reports went out that one passenger shot another in the head, but San Ignacio Investigators aren’t so sure about that. They think that if he was indeed shot, he was only grazed in the right side of the head, but it could have been that he was clubbed in the head with the gun. This evening, the Deputy Commander of San Ignacio Police spoke with us via phone, and he told us what they know at this time: ASP. Reymundo Reyes - Deputy OC, San Ignacio Police: "Information was received something around 2:30 PM that a passenger inside a West line bus that was travelling towards Belize City has been shot in his head. As a result immediate police response was sent to the area on arrival where one Conward Thomas was seeing bleeding from the upper right side of his head. He was immediately transported to the San Ignacio Town Hospital where he was been treated for the said injury..."

    Customs Catches Consejo Weed - Coming From Mex. Side
    Two weeks ago on the news – you heard the BDF Commander talking about the area of Consejo on the Belize side of the Rio Hondo. He said it’s a hotspot for the transshipment of drugs – and today that proved accurate when a joint Customs, BDF and Coast Guard patrol came across 4 parcels of marijuana. The weed was found in the “Estero” area along the river, which is across from “Ramonal” on the Mexico side. It had been concealed in the bushes and law enforcement found two men in the area – but they were too far away from the drugs to establish a connection – so they were not arrested. The river operation on the Customs vessel named “Fearless” started at 6:00 am and the bust was made at around 11:30 am.

    Bus Knocks Down Cyclist
    There was an accident on the George Price Highway near mile 6 and a half this morning where a bus knocked down a cyclist. Police have not released the details, but we understand that the bus was heading from Belize City to Benque Viejo Town, and just after a curve, the driver was unable to steer the bus away from the cyclists who were heading in the same direction. That’s because there were vehicles coming in the opposite direction at the same time, and the cyclist was hit. We understand that he was flung in the direction of his companion, and they had an ugly spill. We’ve been unable to confirm the extent of their injuries, but the Ambulance had to rush them to the KHMH.

    61 Year Old Beaten In PG
    A family from the village of Jacinto Ville PG are today holding on to hope after their 61 year old uncle was badly beaten. The incident occurred on Saturday and the beating left 61 year old Orle Savala in the intensive care unit at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital. Yesterday the story was that the old man was clinically dead and was going to be taken off of life support. But today Savala made a miraculous turn around. We spoke to the family today who explained situation starting with the beating of the old man. Elida Savala - Wife: "This young boy gone to my house, we know it's somebody that always make trouble in the village. So we don't want him in our yard. I said Jimmy, come out of my yard, please come out of my yard; I said I don't want you in here. I said I don't want to argue with you just come out of my yard please. He said "Alright, alright" and he walk off a good lee ways from the yard and he still stand up. I told him Jimmy come out because if my husband come and find you in here, he won't want you in here. He say, "Where he deh?" I said I no business to tell you where he deh. And right away he gone, he gone. And later on I the wait because my husband gone before gone buy this fried chicken and now I the wait for my husband to come back with this fried chicken. But I the wait and wait, I don't see him come back; no have no thinking that if something happen because I know no wa happen because he no have no enemy, I no the think about that none at all, absolutely I the wait for this fried chicken. Later on when I hear they call me and tell me your husband is at the hospital, Jimmy beat him up. I say oh my god, why he do that for."

    18 Million, 35 New Classrooms, 5300 Students
    Phase 2 of The Belize Education Sector Reform Project was launched today. While phase one focused on sharpening the policy direction in the ministry – phase 2 is all about building new schools – 35 of them for 5300 students to get more equitable access to education. That includes 22 new pre-schools, five primary schools, and eight secondary schools. It’s a huge 18.3 million dollar education sector reform project funded by the Caribbean Development Bank. At the launching today at the Biltmore in Belize City, education Minister Patrick Faber explained how they decided where to put the new schools: Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education: "The location of these schools have been determined scientifically, it is based on a school mapping model that considers the current supply of school spaces as against current and projected demand as determined by population projections. People look at it and say how you determine that you will build that school there; breaking it down for some people. Why is it that you are putting a school there, why can't I get a school here? That has been the problem in this country as it relates to the school; everybody wants their own school in their own village to do their own thing. My friends we cannot continue in that way."

    Ministry Responds To Benque Suicide Situation
    But before they build those schools, the ministry has to respond to what’s been happening in high schools in the west. Last night we told you about the suicide of a 15 year old early on Monday morning in San Ignacio – and there was another teen suicide in Benque shortly before that. Faber says his ministry is responding:… Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education: "I sympathize with the families; I believe that they're two such deaths, one in Benque and one in San Ignacio. So I do sympathize. The ministry continues to do all it can do at the secondary level, all of those high schools have counselling systems, the ministry and the association of secondary school counsellors; they work tirelessly to try to ensure that there is that kind of support for our students at the secondary level. I emphasize that it is not a job for the counsellor alone or the ministry to push alone. These things that happen to our children are reflections of what is happening in the larger society. So it is everybody's business as we say to be there to support our children." Jules Vasquez: "But 2 suicides and attempted suicide as well at Mopan Tech, one in the history of that area Benque Viejo in particular; one has the sense that there might be, I don't want to say epidemic but a situation that requires urgent crisis style intervention. Is that something your ministry is looking at?"

    EP Yorke Burglarized
    Keeping it on education, Edward P. York High School’s cafeteria was burglarized yesterday. Someone broke into the Belize City High School between 3:00 yesterday afternoon and 6:00 this morning. They stole money and assorted food items. But, police were able to catch the thief. Today Assistant Commissioner of Police Desiree Phillips explained: Desiree Phillips - Assistant Commissioner of Police: "What I can tell you so far is that a burglary was reported at the cafeteria at EP York sometime between 3 P.M yesterday evening and 6 o'clock this morning a number of items were stolen, mostly cash and chocolates, small little items; snacks. Again we are happy to say that we have been able to detain one person and at least 90% of the stolen items have been recovered." Courtney Weatherburne: "And you believe only one person was responsible for this?" Desiree Phillips - Assistant Commissioner of Police: "Yes, that's what we can say with certainty so far."

    Diplomat Says His Household Is Recovering
    We have reported extensively on the Sarkis Abou – Nehra home invasion and burglary in Burrell Boom. A group of armed thieves cleaned out his house, viciously assaulted the caretaker and raped the caretaker’s wife. It happened on December 4 th while Abou-Nehra was out of the country. Well, we caught up with the Lebanese Diplomat at another event today and we asked him how he and his caretakers are managing after the vicious attack. Sarkis Bou-Nahra - Lebanese Diplomat: "I wish I was here to welcome those guests I have had in my absence at my house. However this is an act of cowardice which I ask the lord to forgive them for, providing they return my stolen items and guns." As we told you 19 people have been charged in connection with this incident. Those charges range from rape, to conspiracy to commit rape and aggravated burglary to abetment to rape and handling stolen goods.

    Police Allow Prisoner To Give Them The Slip
    An illegal immigrant detainee escaped from the custody of Benque Viejo Police, and tonight the department is reporting that negligence by an on-duty allowed him to give police the slip. At around 11 yesterday morning, officers went to the cell block area to take food for prisoner, 36 year-old Denis Alberto Nunez Gamez, a resident of Sonaguera Colon, Honduras. That’s when they discovered that he had escaped from cell #3. They don’t know exactly how he managed it, but they discovered that the padlock on the door was unlocked. The most likely explanation was the officer on duty left it unlocked, and so, that officer will be facing an internal investigation. Police are prepared to take disciplinary action against this officer for neglect of duty.

    BTB And Bradley, A Special Arrangement?
    Today the Belize Tourism Board invited the media to a long overdue press briefing. Over the past two weeks we have been reporting about the situation with major tour operator Bradley Paumen who has been hauled before the courts for allegedly plotting a murder hit on his neighbour in Frank’s Eddy. His situation was further compromised when it became known that Paumen’s tour company, Dark Night had been operating for almost three weeks in early January without a valid tour operator’s license. As had been previously reported, in December, Paumen was issued two notices informing him that his tour license was about to expire. Then in January he was served with two other notices telling him to cease and desist. But he just kept on going. On the 19 th he fulfilled his requirements and his license was renewed. No harm no foul right? Well the local tour guides we had spoken to didn’t think so. So today we asked BTB's Director of Business Development- what’s with all the special treatment when dealing with Dark Night? Here is what he told us. Javier Paredes - Director of Business Development, BTB: "Belize is a country based on the rule of law. There is due process, it's a police matter at this point in time, and it will come before the courts. We will be guided by that; that still remains to be settled and I assume that is a very lengthy process that will transpire there. For us when he comes before the committee all that will be heard at that point in time will be his illegal operation or his breaking of the law and any disciplinary actions, penalties, fines will be imposed as per the decision of the committee."

    Are Tourism Regs Being Applied Across The Board
    While on the Topic of the Bradley Paumen situation we asked BTB about another matter, which the local tourism sector has been riled up about for quite some time. That has to do with the strict regulations that are being enforced on them but allegedly not on Dark Night and other foreign private tour operators. Director of Business Development Paredes, told us that he believes in applying regulations across the board. So why do all reports say they are not? Javier Paredes - Director of Business Development, BTB: "We always believe that whatever standards are implemented should be across the board. There should be a level playing field in terms of standards and that's what we strive towards." Emanuel Pech: "Are you there?" Javier Paredes - Director of Business Development, BTB: "No we are moving in that direction. Actually we are still in the process of developing standards for the past 3 years we have been looking closely at hotel standards, that's been the past 3 years. I think in 2016 we're going to be able to pass some legislation in terms of hotel standards. This year 2016 we have earmarked to look at tour operators in terms of tour operators standards..."

    The Sports Cycle
    Two nights ago we told you about the new Director of the National Sports Council who’s trying to bring new life to the government body, which is in charge of all primary and high schools sport tournaments, plus the management of all public sporting facilities. Today, the new minister of state handed over a fleet of small motorbikes for all the district sports directors. He says they have to get out there, and get kids motivated:… Hon. Elodio Aragon - Minister of State, Youth and Sports: "In each district we have sports coordinators who have responsibility for the facilities, sporting facilities. Also they have responsibility to run certain programmes for us when it comes to sports such as dealing with the primary schools sports tournament that is ongoing now, also there to coordinate and being to plan sporting programmes for the district. A cycle is important for them because it will give them a bit of mobility to move about."

    Hon. Aragon Needs 2.5 M USD To Complete the Mother Of All White Elephants
    And while we had Aragon we asked him about the Marion Jones sporting complex – which is one of those facilities managed by the Sports Council. Before the break we called it the mother of all white elephants – not so much because so much money has been wasted on it – fat is, no one knows for sure how many millions have been spent…but it’s the mother of all because it was first launched in 2005 with 5 million US dollars from the Taiwanese, and 11 years, and many PUDP millions later, Marion Jones is still not usable! It is a public monument to incompetence, and who knows what else. But new minister Elodio Aragon says he can fix it – he just needs 5 million US more:… Hon. Elodio Aragon - Minister of State, Youth and Sports: "And I will tell you Marion Jones stadium needs to be finished and we are working on that to get it finished. I am hoping as soon as possible we will get that going. Now in terms of Marion Jones, one of the things I had a meeting with the supervising element of the Marion Jones Stadium and I'll tell you that I've learned a lot in terms of how Marion Jones Stadium came about, what was the plan and how monies were being allocated to it. Understanding that and where we are in terms of the work has given me a great insight in knowing how we will now move forward in terms of getting it done. The priority for me is getting Marion Jones Stadium up and finished."

    Hon. Faber Wants To Lead
    And while Aragon is trying to deliver those sports complexes, the benefits will surely accrue to his ministerial senior, Patrick Faber who is the substantive Minister of Sports. Faber told us today why he wants to be leader of the UDP and what he’s going to do to get there:.. Jules Vasquez: "Are you actively positioning yourself to be the next leader of the UDP?" Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education: "You know that I have, I have never hidden that. I have indicated a long time ago that I have intentions of seeking the leadership of the United Democratic Party. This is really my life's work, I have said to people time and time again that I work hard in my ministry; I work hard in executing things and making sure that things are successful because one of these days I do intend to ask the people of the nation. Right now it might be the people of my party to support my ambitions because if you're not successful at the smaller things that are given to you, how then can you expect them to give you that opportunity to serve? This is as my colleague Mr. Saldivar said, the will and the desire of the people and of course we leave it all up to them entirely. Yes, I will at that time not in this convention that is coming up on March 20th, I will not aspire for any of the offices there. I believe in saving the gun powder for when the big dance comes to town which is going to be in early 2020."

    Police Public Relations Means Community Policing
    Teaching police officers to be more community friendly: that was the focus of police training today. 30 officers from the north side were trained in public relations and community policing among other areas. Public relations Officer Fitzroy Yearwood told us why it’s important to engage officers in these training sessions. Officers from precinct 3 and 4 including San Pedro and Caye Caulker will also participate in this Police PR training.

    Police Make The Community Rounds
    Community policing is a major part of these training sessions and a group of officers put it to practice this afternoon during another meet and greet session. Officers from the North side met with residents from the Coral Grove area to find out what their concerns are. Well Assistant Commissioner Phillips told us this area is a relatively safe and peaceful community. About 20 officers were spread out in the Coral Grove Area.

    Getting Behind the BTB Numbers
    2016 began a little rough for the tourism sector, what with the slaying of Canadian Matthiew Clinck and American tourist Anne Swaney – followed by the arrest and charge of the American owner of one of the biggest tour operators in Belize for allegedly plotting a murder hit. But in terms of tourist arrivals, 2015 was a record year. At today’s press briefing the Belize Tourism Board revisited their those figures which showed several increases towards the last quarter of the year. There biggest success was in December which displayed close to 40 thousand overnight visitors. The only downturn was in the cruise line sector which showed a very small decrease of 1 percent when compared to 2014. Javier Paredes, the Director of Business Development of BTB, gave us a more in depth look at what these figures mean. For this year BTB says it is monitoring the numbers very closely as there is a legitimate concern about how much the negative press they have received during this month will affect their numbers.

    Meeting Needs For Needy Programs
    5 city schools and 1 steel band were each given over $6,000 dollars to enhance their music and feeding programs. A handing over ceremony was held this morning at the office of the Special Envoy for Women and children on Coney drive. The music instructors from the schools told us how impactful this donation will be. Wesley College, Grace Primary and St. Luke Methodist all received $6,000 each while St. John’s Anglican School got $10,628 for its feeding program. St. Agnes Anglican School got $7,971 for their feeding program and the Pandemonium Steel Band got $6,000. The donations were given by the Lifeline Foundation in collaboration with Lebanese Diplomat Sarkis Ahbou-Nehra.

    Channel 5

    2 Men Stabbed, 1 Fatally in Brutal Home Invasion
    There was a deadly home invasion at about one-thirty this morning in Belize City. Ian Robert Blair of a Lizarraga Street address was visiting with Doctor Marcos Christopher Rugama Miranda [...]

    Paul Massam Gunned Down in Corozal
    Murder victim number twelve is from Corozal Town where the second murder for today took place in broad daylight. Around eight-thirty this morning several shots rang out in the Skeleton [...]

    Cayo Resident Attacked on a Bus
    There was chaos on a Westline Bus this afternoon as a passenger was attacked. Early reports to News Five indicate that San Ignacio resident Conrad Thomas boarded the two-thirty-bus at [...]

    Police Investigate Bus Incident
    As we’ve told you, there is some confusion coming out of the crowded bus, and Police are being kept busy finding out exactly what happened. Several persons have allegedly claimed [...]

    Royal Caribbean Pulls Plug on Bradley Paumen’s Dark Night
    There is a major development today in respect of the allegation against investor Bradley Paumen, the owner of Dark Night, who is accused of ordering hits against four people. And [...]

    Bradley Paumen Issued License, Despite Accusations of Abetment to Murder
    After his arraignment, Paumen was successful in renewing his tour operator’s license despite being served notice by B.T.B. that they were aware that Dark Night was operating without a valid [...]

    B.T.B. Explains Considerations in Granting Licenses
    And did B.T.B. have a role in the acquisition by Paumen of the controversial piece of land or the co-management agreement presently in place with the National Institute of Culture [...]

    Bad Press Following Anne Swaney’s Murder Affecting Belize’s Image
    The unsolved murder of ABC producer Anne Swaney, an American tourist who was killed while vacationing in Belize on January fifteenth, is another black eye for the country.  Not only [...]

    2015 Was a Stellar Year in Tourism
    While crime has been tainting Belize as a tourist destination, 2015 was a stellar year for tourism in Belize, as the number of visitors in both the cruise and overnight [...]

    Patrick Faber Still Interested in Leadership…But Will Wait for 2020
    The United Democratic Party will be holding a national convention this March. Some executive positions such as Chairman, Deputy Chairman, Deputy Leader and Leader will be up for election. And [...]

    Faber Says P.U.P.’s Woes Are Hilarious
    The leadership convention for the People’s United Party is this Sunday in Belmopan. And while campaigns are often negative, many onlookers conclude that the tone and tenor of this particular [...]

    Reynolds Fined for Handling Stolen Goods
    In March of 2015, the Belize Traffic Department was burglarized and twenty decal license stickers were stolen. A surveillance camera picked up a security guard entering the building on Youth [...]

    Cousins Charged for Burglary Are Freed
    In a similar case, a pair of cousins, who were accused of burglarizing Quality Used Tires which is owned by businessman Rene Gordon, walked free. Thirty-five year old Kenrick Pitts, [...]

    Ministry of Education Rolls Out Phase 2 of the BESRP
    After two years of consultations the Ministry of Education is ready to roll out Phase two of the Belize Education Sector Reform Project. The construction of thirty-five schools is planned [...]

    35 New Schools Will Be Created
    Over the years, the Ministry of Education has amalgamated several schools across the country, but now it is moving toward the construction of thirty-five new schools. And with that, also [...]

    Will the Marion Jones Sporting Complex Finally Be Completed?
    The Marion Jones Sporting Complex…for years now we’re been carrying the story of this monstrous ugly duckling which never seems to change into a swan. Nobody’s been able to say [...]

    New Sports Minister Says He Must Source $5 Million for Marion Jones Complex
    According to Aragon, to complete the Marion Jones Sporting Complex his ministry will need to source an additional five million dollars. That’s what we were told many times before by [...]

    NSC Donates 7 Motorcycles
    The National Sports Council in past years has been an organization which we know is there, but we’d be hard pressed to say what it’s done for sporting in the [...]

    City Schools Receive Musical Instruments
    The Lifeline Foundation, along with Honorary Consul to Lebanon, Sarkis Abou Nehra, made several significant donations today to a number of music and feeding programs across the country.  This morning, [...]


    Fire In The Free Zone Still Being Assessed
    Yesterday we told you about a massive fire in the Corozal Commercial Free Zone which destroyed a 3 storey concrete structure used as a warehouse. The structure, which measured 75 x 75 square feet was extensively damaged and belonged to P & P enterprises and is owned by 35 year old Orange Walk Businessman Amid Moriani. As we mentioned yesterday, Corozal Police and fire brigade were dispatched at the scene at about 3:00 p.m just as the fire had started. Despite the fact that the fire was brought under control just before midnight by members of the Corozal Fire Department along with and the Mexican Fire Brigade we understand that up until news time tonight they are still trying to fully extinguish the blaze. An investigation to access the damage and to determine the origin of the fire is currently ongoing. Reports are that the building was insured.

    Import/Exports Down In December 2015
    When it comes to Imports and Exports, the report from SIB shows that both were down for 2015. We start off with the Imports. Belize’s total imports for the month of December 2015 were valued at $179.7 million. This was a decrease of 2.5 percent or $4.6 million over imports for December 2014, which totaled $184.2 million. During the month, imports destined for the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ and ‘Export Processing Zones’ both declined by $6 million, as fewer cigarettes, clothing, shrimp feed and steel structures were purchased, when compared to the same month in 2014. Imports of ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ rose by $2.6 million, owing to increased purchases of telecommunication parts during the month. And due to the Christmas Season, a spike in turkey imports led to a $2 million growth in the category of ‘Food and Live Animals.

    Mexico Looks In Ways To Attract More Tourist From Belize
    On Tuesday January 26th, Mexican newspaper Novedades, Quintana Roo, reported that the tourism sector representatives in Chetumal issued a proposal to the Chamber of Delegates and the Servicio de Atención Tributaria (SAT) to remove the fee charged to Belizeans travelling by boat from San Pedro to Chetumal. According to the report, the president of the Commission of Tourism and Environment of Chetumal, Jose Hadad Estefano, confirmed that a few days ago the members of the Committee of Tourism in Belize reached an agreement to make the request in order to lower or eliminate the tax. On the route from San Pedro to Chetumal the SAT charges the boat 700 thousand pesos per day, previously it was only 25 thousand pesos per boat. Boats are also charged 360 pesos per passenger, while other cruises that have mass numbers of tourists on board are charged equally hence the Committee of Tourism believes that it is unfair that a small country like Belize whose boats carrying 60 people would be charged this amount.

    Cubans Incarcerated At Hattieville Prison Demand Date Be Set For Their Release
    Last week the Minister of Immigration, Godwin Hulse, mentioned in an interview with the media that on Friday January 15th, a document was to be signed in order to free the thirty two Cubans who were incarcerated at the Belize Central Prison in Hattieville since august of last year. Today we can tell you that this news has gone international and according to El Nuevo Herald, the prisoners are unaware of the plan and the decision made with regards to their liberation as they remain locked away in prison. According to the report, one of the inmate who goes by the name Yorday Leon Perdomo, told the newspaper that absolutely no authorities from Belize have contacted the Cubans to speak to them about their freedom. Perdomo further stated that when he called the Immigration Office concerning the issue, he was told that officials are presently working in getting the process done; however, there is still a delay.

    Joint Operation Results In Interception Of Drug Trafficking From Mexico Into Belize
    In a joint operation between the customs, coast guard and the BDF four parcels of suspected cannabis were intercepted this morning. The drugs were allegedly coming into Belize from Mexico. At around 6:00 am while on patrol in a contraband hotspot between the areas of Ramonal on the Mexican side and Estereo on the Belizean side of the Rio Hondo, authorities intercepted the parcels of what they suspect to be marijuana. While they believe that the drugs belong to two individuals that were in the immediate vicinity of where the drugs were found, they could not detained the men since the parcels were not found in their possession but rather in some bushes. The exact amount of the drugs is not yet known as it needs to be handed over to police for official weighing.

    Consumer Price Index Declines For The Month Of December 2015
    The Statistical Institute of Belize today published its latest statistics on prices and external trade for the country of Belize. When it comes to the Consumer Price Index, the report shows that during the month of December 2015, consumer prices declined, on average, by 0.7% from 103.5 recorded in December 2014. For the year 2015, the average national inflation rate was negative 0.9 percent. During the month of December 2015, the average price per gallon of all three types of fuels remained lower than they were in December 2014. The price of premium gasoline was down by about 10 percent, while that of regular gasoline was 16 percent lower. Diesel fuel was more than 24 percent lower than it was in the same month of 2014. These decreases, combined with a drop of more than one third in international airfares, resulted in an overall decline of more than 8 percent in the “Transport” category when compared to December 2014. As for food prices, statistics show that when compared to December 2014 there was no change. Although price increases were seen across all types of meats, says SIB, these were offset by lower prices for Red Kidney Beans and various fresh vegetables, including carrots and onions.


    Doctor Escapes Death While Friend Succumbs in Home Invasion
    The family of 37-year-old Ian Robert Blair is in mourning over his death which came in the wee hours of this morning at a friend’s home on Simon Lamb Street in Belize City. It is a story that started out as an apparent home invasion but turned into a homicide with Blair dead and a […]

    Corozal’s First Murder for 2016
    The first murder in the Corozal District for the New Year was recorded this morning. Love News got the details from second in command, Corozal Police, Inspector Peter Serrano. PETER SERRANO “Sometime about 8:30 am today information was received of gunshots fired from the Skeleton area of Corozal Town. As a result police visited the […]

    How Badly Was Tourism Affected by News of Swaney’s Murder
    Anne Swaney, the Executive Producer of online operations at ABC7 was murdered in Belize about two weeks ago. Swaney was found dead floating in the Macal River partially nude. She was staying at the Nabitunich Farm Resort when she went missing and her body was recovered the next day. Love News spoke to Javier Paredez […]

    BTB’s Comments on the Paumen Saga
    Owner of Dark Knight Cave Tubing, Bradley Paumen was recently charged with abetment to murder. Officials believe that Paumen paid to have four persons including his neighbor killed. Two other men were recently charged, who Paumen allegedly paid to get the job done. Dark Knight Cave tubing is still running today, and Love News spoke […]

    Was Attempted Murder Over Land?
    Investigators suspect that a land dispute is the reason Bradley Paumen allegedly plotted the murders of Michael Modiri, two of his workers and his attorney. Paumen wants control of a piece of land that Modiri owns in order for him to get easy access to caves which are essential to his Dark Knight Cave Adventures […]

    Immigration Minister Speaks on Muzikant (Czech National)
    The mystery of Martin Muzikant keeps unraveling and tonight we air the comments of the Substantive Minister in the Ministry of Immigration. As we told you last night, Muzikant was arrested in Orange Walk Town and yesterday Magistrate Merlene Moody remanded him to prison. He will spend six months behind bars and it is expected […]

    Hulse Disputes Espat’s Comments on Farmers’ Lands
    As Minister of Natural Resources, Godwin Hulse, also has to deal with the situation involving farmers of Valley of Peace Village. As you may recall the farmers took Santander Sugar to court after their crops were affected by aerial spraying. The matter was resolved and the farmers received land and financial compensation. What they did […]

    Lands Minister Says Harmonyville Papers are Processing
    Squatters are still occupying areas of the Harmonyville Agricultural Subdivision along the George Price Highway. As you may recall those who first squatted in the area got together to form BGYEA and the matter was taken to court. After mediation, it was agreed that Government would assist in solving the issue once and for all. […]

    Senators Debate Ombudsman’s Contract Renewal
    The Senate met today in Belmopan. One of the matters debated was the reappointment of Lionel Arzu as the Ombudsman. Arzu is being reappointed for a period of one year beginning January 1, 2016. The Government is satisfied with Arzu’s performance however the opposition is not. Today PUP Senator, Lisa Shoman share her views. LISA […]

    Teachers’ Union and Civil Society Get Representation in the Senate
    At the Senate meeting today, Elena Smith, was sworn in as the Senator representing the National Trade Union Congress of Belize and Civil Society. It has been months that both the NTUCB and Civil Society were at odds over who to appoint as senator. However this is just a temporary solution as Smith will be […]


    Woman kills son- in -law, claims self defense
    A sixty-two-year-old resident of Biscayne mortally injured her son- in- law allegedly in self defense. On Friday the 22th of January, 62 year old Moszetta Reyes was at home with her mentally disabled daughter, Alva Reyes who is a mother of four. While at home, Alva’s boyfriend, Arthur Wade, ca...

    Belizean student shot in Guyana recovering
    Belizean student studying in Guyana, Garfield Dennison, is said to be recovering. from gunshot wounds he received last week in Guyana. Dennison was shot twice as he was standing outside of his premises in Cummingslodge. 30 year old Dennison had just dropped off his new girlfriend and was about to r...

    Yohnny Rosado and son forced to close business
    This evening Yohnny Rosado and his son Yohnny Jr. are out of work. While the elder Rosado is a well-known tour operator, about eight months ago the father and son started a tire selling business called Econo Tires on the Philip Goldson Highway. Today, however, representatives of the Belize City Coun...

    Conservation organizations to promote sustainable fishing
    Seafood is a major source of income for Belizeans, from those who catch it to those who cook and sell it. But worried about the level of illegal masking of fisheries products under different guises and wishing to reward individual fishermen and businesses who do the right thing, a coalition of touri...

    Benque Resident charged with drug trafficking
    Benque Viejo Resident Javier Itza was arrested and charged for Drug Trafficking. On Sunday 24th January , Benque Viejo Police were conducting mobile patrol in the San Jose Succotz Village, Cayo District. While doing their patrol, their attention was drawn to Javier Itza who was acting suspiciously....

    PUP debate called off
    The PUP debate between those three men seeking leadership of the blue party has been called off. The debate was to be held on January 28, a few days before the national convention to chose the PUP leader. Organizer of the debate, Glenn Tillett, issued a press release today saying quote “After due co...

    Ombudsman and Commissioner of Police sign MOU
    The recently reappointed Ombudsman of Belize, Lionel Arzu and the Commissioner of Police. Allen Whylie, today Tuesday 26 January 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the Racoon Street Police Station in Belize City. The purpose of the MOU is to strengthen cooperation between the offices...

    The Reporter

    Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Belize to hold 2nd Annual Convention
    The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Belize will be gathering on Saturday January 30th for the annual convention, in which they plan to address current issues such as integration and terrorist risks. According to Organizer of the Convention, Naveed Mangla, the convention will bring together new members to meet the Muslims already in Belize. Non-muslims are invited to attend the convention and interact with the Muslim people in Belize to get to know what Islam is about. The community that was established in November 2013 has existed for almost three years and has over a hundred members, mostly from Belize City and surrounding villages. The mosque is located in Buttonwood Bay. Mangla said the social climate of Belize is welcoming to Muslim people, unlike other western countries in which followers of the Islamic faith face much discrimination and xenophobia. Belizeans are very open minded, Mangla said, and have a high level of acceptance of different communities.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Toledo Community College holds Career Day Expo
    As part of career week at the Toledo Community College (TCC) in Punta Gorda Town, a Career Day Expo was held to showcase prominent job choices that would appeal to students after completion of their studies, featuring presentations from various government departments, military branches […]

    Cubans released after over seven months in prison
    Twenty eight Cubans who were imprisoned for entering the country illegally are being released. The group will be released into the community, according to Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington after their release order was signed yesterday January 26th. The Minister said the group […]

    Minister of Natural Resources and Immigration addresses controversies
    Today, Minister of Natural Resources and Immigration Senator Godwin Hulse addressed a number of recent controversies erupting in those two ministries. Ministry of Natural Resources addressing Harmonyvile and Valley of Peace On either side of Belmopan on the George Price Highway are two festering land […]

    No evidence sets cousins free from burglary
    A pair of cousins, were accused of burglarizing Quality Used Tires on Central American Boulevard, owned by Rene Gordon; but in court today the police could not prove the charge and the two men walked. 35 year old Kenrick Pitts, aka “Snake”, along with his […]

    Traffic officer pleads guilty to handling stolen goods
    The Belize City Traffic Department was robbed of decal license stickers valued $325 in March of 2015. The finger of blame was pointed at a now-former security guard, Glenroy Reynolds, who was charged with burglary and handling stolen goods after he brought back seven of […]

    Senate meets in Belmopan
    At its first session for 2016 and second in the third term of Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s administration, the Senate considered, debated, and approved four bills brought from Friday’s session of the House of Representatives, as well as three motions. The motions concerned a line of credit […]

    Statistical Institute of Belize releases 2015 fourth quarter stats
    A release from the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) earlier today, showed that in the month of December 2015, prices fell for all three types of fuel compared to December of 2014, with Premium gas down by 10 percent, Regular gas down by 16 […]

    Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina awarded prestigious “3 Green Key” award
    The Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina, this week, was honored with an environmental certification from Green Key Global, a certification body geared specifically toward the lodging industry. The Radisson was awarded the prestigious “3 Green Key” award. The Green Key Eco rating program is […]

    Bus passenger shoots another on bus in Esperanza Village
    Reports reaching our newsroom indicate that a passenger inside a bus was shot in the head while travelling to Belize in the village of Esperanza, Cayo District. Information is still sketchy but BMG was made to understand that the trigger man was also a […]

    Police say burglary was motive for attack on Simon Lamb Street
    Police say they recovered a flat screen television stolen from the residence of Dr. Marcos Christopher Rugama Miranda on Simon Lamb Street and have detained three persons as part of their investigations. However, Dr. Rugama is in stable condition after being stabbed in the chest […]

    Fire officials investigating Free Zone fire
    Fire Officials and police in Corozal are still investigating the cause of a mid-afternoon fire in the Corozal Commercial Free Zone on Tuesday. The alert was set off shortly after three in the afternoon as the Corozal Free Zone fire unit was dispatched to the […]

    Elena Smith joins Senate
    Educator and long-standing union activist Elena Smith was this morning sworn in as the twelfth member of the Senate, representing the trade unions and civil society. Smith’s appointment ends a several-months’ long stand-off between the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) and the Civil […]

    First murder in Corozal for 2016
    According to reports from Corozal, that municipality has registered its first murder of the year. Information reaching our newsroom is that a little after 8:30 this morning a man was shot and killed in the vicinity of Skeleton town. The shooting incident claimed the […]

    Officer accountable for prisoner’s escape
    An internal investigation has been launched at the Benque Viejo Police station to hold an officer accountable for neglect of duty after it was discovered that a prisoner escaped from his holding cell yesterday morning. At around 11:00 a.m., checks were made at holding cell number […]

    Minor charged for carrying weed
    During a routine patrol on Arenal Road in Benque Viejo town, Cayo district yesterday evening around 5:00, police intercepted two male persons on a motorcycle who were acting suspiciously and found one of them, a 17-year-old male minor, with 82 grams of cannabis. Upon sight of […]


    How to Make Your New House Sustainable
    The concept of sustainability (meeting the needs of today without compromising the needs of future generations) has been around for a number of years now. However, its application to housing has been slow. Those projects that have been undertaken tend to focus largely on producing ultra-green housing that is extremely hard to reproduce as mass development projects. People might falsely believe that when they are building a house incorporating any sustainable solutions will require additional costs and effort. It is actually the opposite. Sustainable housing has the potential to produce good quality housing at a price that is affordable both in the short and long term. Some of the sustainable solutions require very little if any additional financing with comparison to the costs that need to be incurred anyways in a newly constructed building. Moreover, while an initial cost might be a bit higher as for purchasing, for example a sustainable heating system, there is a fast return on investment as utility bills are much lower with sustainable heating than a standard one. It is possible to save around 30% on the use of energy and water in a sustainable house. A truly sustainable housing project should incorporate economic, social and environmental issues in the planning and design stages with the aim of providing a building that is affordable, accessible and environmentally sound. It goes without saying that compromises will have to be made, but the result is a project that can be applied to the mass housing market, where the greatest environmental impact lies.

    Estel’s 5th Annual Ribs Cook-Off
    Texas singer/songerwriter Jerry Jeff Walker in town and his huge crew for sold-out Camp Belize (his yearly two week concert set in San Pedro.) And 6 grills going filled with delicious pork ribs. 6 grillmasters. 3 from San Pedro, 3 from the states. At least 10 musicians. This year there were two female chefs. Jennie Staines from Elvi’s Kitchen and Amy Knox from Wild Mango’s. Two FAVORITE restaurants in town. Part of the ticket price – and the raffles – were all for the Sunshine Foundation. Which raises money for scholarships for kids on Ambergris Caye.

    Island BBQ Grilling Competition Becomes Major Attraction
    Close to 1,000 ribs are prepared to feed the masses that gathers every year to sample finger licking good BBQ ribs at Estel's annual Cook-off and that is nearly not enough to supply the demand of the hundreds that attend the event. The cookoff is gaining momentum and people are looking forward to the lively event that takes place at the popular island eatery that has established itself as one of the best on Ambergris Caye. Charles Worthington and family host the event at Estel's Dine by the Sea with live music, plenty of beer and cocktails and delectable food. With its growing popularity, the BBQ ribs don't seem to be enough as tickets run out with latecomers wanting to sample the ribs that are no more. Grill masters start setting up as early as 9a.m. prepping their grills, smokers and seasoning their racks of ribs. Anybody wishing to see them in action can become spectators outside the restaurant in the ally where the tents are set up for the chefs.

    We Went on Vacation…And Now Live Full-Time in Paradise
    Many people say that you cannot possibly come to Belize and not have some kind of a big adventure. I have to agree. My first visit to Belize was in 1995. I vacationed for a week of scuba diving off Glover’s Reef. I met my Belizean husband, Marcos, during that trip, and he moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico with me in 1996. I was a practicing psychotherapist and my husband launched a small business. We enjoyed living in Santa Fe, but were intensely busy virtually all of the time. We traveled to Belize every year and explored the country in depth over the next 17 years. We knew our hearts belonged to this small nation, with its laidback lifestyle and friendly people. The breakneck speed at which life had to be lived in the U.S., raising two kids and running two businesses while maintaining a house eventually took its toll. In 2013, we made a permanent move to San Pedro, on Ambergris Caye. The beauty of the crystalline turquoise water, gorgeous weather, and active and thriving English-speaking community is something I still appreciate.

    Belizean Rice Pudding
    Put water into a saucepan and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Add rice. Turn on medium heat and cook till the water boils. Reduce the heat of the stove to low flame. Cover the saucepan with its lid and let it simmer until the water evaporates. Remove from heat. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Mix well 2 1/2 cups of the cooked rice, sugar, milk, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, and raisins. Pour the mixture into a 9 x 9 baking dish. Bake the mixture in the preheated oven until the top is golden. This could take 30 - 60 minutes. Cool on stovetop. Serve hot or cold.

    Season chicken with salt and pepper and brown in a hot pot with little oil. Once browned add enough water to cover the chicken and then add onions and garlic. Simmer for 30 minutes. Dissolve recado and tomato paste and add to the chicken. Add the diced tomatoes and apazote leaves. Add more water if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Served hot with boiled eggs and corn tortillas

    International Sourcesizz

    Two U.S. airlines offer refunds to travelers to destinations with Zika virus outbreaks
    Two major U.S. airlines are offering refunds to passengers worried about the Zika virus outbreak in many tropical countries. United Airlines says customers booked to fly to areas affected by the virus can reschedule or get refunds. American Airlines says it will give refunds to pregnant women who were planning to travel to parts of Central America. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned pregnant women to take precautions against mosquito bites when traveling to areas in Latin America and the Caribbean where there have been Zika outbreaks. The CDC says the mosquito-borne illness could be linked to a birth defect of the brain. The United Airlines offer began Tuesday and includes any country covered by a CDC travel notice, an airline spokesman said. American Airlines began refunds Monday for pregnant passengers holding tickets to El Salvador, Honduras, Panama or Guatemala, according to a spokesman. A spokesman for Delta Air Lines said the carrier was monitoring the situation but not yet offering waivers. JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines were not immediately able to say whether they were offering refunds. Southwest Airlines said it was sticking to its normal policy, which lets customers who cancel ahead of time reuse the value of their tickets. All of those airlines fly to at least some affected locations.

    Passport Expiring Soon? Renew It Now, State Dept. Says
    If you have a United States passport expiring any time in 2016, the State Department has a message for you: Renew it now. The department anticipates a surge in passport demand throughout this year, and officials hope to avoid a crush that could leave some Americans fuming in frustration with no passport in hand on the day they planned to travel outside the country. Officials are expecting a flood of renewals of 10-year passports issued in 2006 and 2007. The latter was the year when the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative went into effect, for the first time requiring passports for Americans returning by air from Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and Bermuda. As millions of citizens scrambled to apply for their first passports, backlogs swelled and many were stranded. “We were overwhelmed then, and we are not going to be overwhelmed again,” said Michele Bond, the assistant secretary of state for consular affairs, who oversees passports. She has been on a campaign to cajole Americans into renewing early.

    Think Manatees are Recovered? Look Farther South
    Manatees in Belize face increasing threats from development—and potentially from the U.S. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made headlines around the world earlier this month when it proposed that the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) and its relative the Antillean manatee (T. m. manatus) no longer be listed as “endangered.” Instead, the agency said, the famed sea cows should be considered merely “threatened,” a designation that means they’re no longer immediately threatened with extinction. That may be true in Florida, but manatees face much greater threats elsewhere. In fact, some conservationists fear that this announcement could be the thing that pushes some populations of Antillean manatee—the subspecies that ranges through the Caribbean and down through about half of the east coast of South American—into extinction. “The FWS is painting it as if things are good,” says Jamal Galvez, a research biologist with the Sea to Shore Alliance who has been working on manatee conservation in his native Belize for more than 15 years. “Their assessment doesn’t take into account what is happening down here in Belize.”

    Aurelio is the standard-bearer for Honduran Garifuna roots music
    As Aurelio Martinez knows well, music is much more than another commodity to be bought and sold. The Honduras-based troubadour with the stage name Aurelio understands its role in helping bring together and bind whole communities, and has dedicated his life to his people, the Garifuna of Central America’s Caribbean coast. Through his liltingly melodic and highly rhythmic songs, he bolsters their identity, while spreading awareness of their little-known black culture. The Garifuna descend from African slaves shipwrecked off St. Vincent and the indigenous Caribs of that island. They survived deportation, starvation, and disease to spread out along the shoreline of four nations—Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Honduras, where Aurelio grew up in the village of Plaplaya. “My mother is a Garifuna singer-songwriter, but she never left the community,” he says, reached on the road in Honduras. “She often arranges songs for me. My father played guitar. When I was three, he left and went to the U.S. He did homemade recordings and sent them to us. I learned to play that way, without any teachers.” Aurelio first made his mark on other instruments, however. “I was the percussionist for the entire community during celebrations. That way, I learned many of the traditional dances and ancestral songs. After I left home at 14 for the city, I studied and worked at the same time, playing with various cultural groups and commercial bands. In time I became a member of Los Gatos Bravos, one of the leading Honduran bands, and toured Japan, where we recorded Sonidos Garífunas Del Mundo.”

    U.S. Expects to Collect $1.36 Billion From Swiss Banks
    The Justice Department said it expects to collect more than $1.36 billion from 80 Swiss banks and other financial firms that acknowledged encouraging U.S. taxpayers to hide money abroad. Currently the Justice Department is investigating whether banks and financial advisers in Israel and the Caribbean, especially Belize and the Cayman Islands, also encouraged U.S. tax evasion, according to Jeffrey Neiman, a former Justice Department attorney who is now with Marcus Neiman Rashbaum in Miami. A Justice Department spokeswoman said offshore tax evasion remains a priority but declined to comment further. The U.S. campaign against secret offshore accounts intensified in 2009 after Swiss banking giant UBS Group AG admitted that it helped U.S. taxpayers hide money abroad. Since then, the U.S. has collected more than $13 billion from individuals and financial firms in connection with secret offshore accounts.

    Caribbean tourism sector to be enhanced by better health systems
    Trinidad and Tobago is one of six Caribbean countries to benefit from a US$800,000 Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) grant to develop and implement a regional tourism health information, monitoring and response system. The other Caribbean nations that are beneficiaries of the IDB grant, as disclosed at Wednesday morning’s grant signing ceremony, are The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Guyana and Jamaica. The Caribbean region is the most tourism dependent region in the world and the recent pandemics – SARS in 2000, HINI in 2009, chikungunya in 2013 and now the zika virus – have accelerated the need to monitor and respond to travel related illnesses and support the tourism sector to adopt comprehensive and effective health and environmental sanitation practices. In welcoming this three-year regional tourism health initiative, Shamfa Cudjoe pledged the support of the ministry of tourism as “strengthening the public health system will strengthen our tourism product”.

    One Fish Two Fish, No Fish: Rebuilding of Fish Stocks Urgently Needed
    A major new study has revealed that the global seafood catch is much larger and declining much faster than previously known. The study, by the University of British Columbia near Vancouver, reconstructed the global catch between 1950 and 2010 and found that it was 30 per cent higher than what countries have been reporting to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome since 1950. In the Caribbean islands, the catch was more than twice as large as previously reported and declining at a rate 60 per cent faster than the official rate, the Canadian study found. “This trend needs to be reversed urgently, or else a lot of people who depend on the sea for affordable protein are going to suffer,” said Daniel Pauly, a fisheries scientist who led the study. “And climate change is just going to make things worse.” Called the “Sea Around Us” and funded by the Pew Environment Group, the study involved more than 400 collaborators over more than a decade.


  • Guatemala & Belize in 211 seconds, 3.5min.

  • An Interview with Marcus Perigo, Founder of Sisimito Records, 3.5min. "Sisimito Records was founded in 2015 by Marcus Perigo and is the first techno, tech house record label of its kind in Central America. Here, Marcus talks about how and why he started it and his vision."

  • Cahal Pech Village Resort - Your Affordable Belize Resort to Stay in San Ignacio Town, 3min. Experience our Belize resort’s ultimate privacy and award winning service – Cahal Pech Village Resort is your special place to stay in San Ignacio, Cayo.

  • Representatives from FECTAB on Belize Tourism, 37min.

  • Belize 2016, 7min. Taylor University Exercise Science Belize trip 2016

  • Belize Tourism, 14min.

  • Belize Dive w/Alex, 39min. First of two dives in Belize approx. 75' @ 45 minutes.

  • Guatemala Belize, 14min. Deze video gaat over Guatemala Belize.

  • Weekend Warriors Barber Shop Race 24Jan16 Downtown Belize City, 64min.

  • Xuantunish Maya Ruins in Belize, 9.5min. Only a small portion of the buildings were excavated. There are countless mounds that are additional ruins.

  • Short Film on Belizean School Kids - Chaa Creek, 2min. A short film shot at Belize's Progresso Government School in Progresso village, Cayo District, Belize, Central America.

  • Belize Adventure, 4min. Channel 23 Belize

  • Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Caye Caulker, Belize, 7min. I did two dives. In between dives the captain brought the boat to a shallow area that is popular for snorkeling with Stingrays.

  • Great Belize Cooking - Episode 1: Orange Walk Tacos, 33min. Hosted by Sean Kuylen, the first episode of Great Belize Cooking travels to the Orange Walk district for a taste of its famous and unique tacos, which may considered to be works of art by some.

  • ANTELOPE FALLS Bocawina, Belize, 30min. Hike to the top of Antelope Falls in Belize.

  • 2016 Belize Random Adventuring on Caye Caulker, 6min.

    January 27, 2016


    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

    Jennie Staines grills the competition at Estel’s 5th BBQ Cook-off!
    On Tuesday, January 26th, Estel’s Dine by the Sea Restaurant hosted their fifth annual BBQ Ribs Cook-off! It was a great competition for the BBQ lovers on the island and tickets sold-out early. The fun-filled event saw proceeds benefiting the Sunshine Scholarship Foundation, which provides educational scholarships for island children. Competing for the title of grill-master were Charles Worthington, Rick Saager, Jim Gochenour, Jennie Staines, Amy Knox and last year’s champion, Ali Rush. Up next was the anticipated Estel’s BBQ 2016 cook-off Judges’ Choice awards. Four prizes were issued in this category, beginning with the ‘dead- ass’ last place title which went to Jim Gochenour. Amy Knox was awarded with third place followed by Charles Worthington, who once again came in second place. And the winner of this year’s BBQ Cook-off went to none other than the People’s Choice champion, Jennie Staines. Staines, who is the Executive Chef at Elvi’s Kitchen, thanked everyone who showed up for the cook-off and supported such a worthy cause. She also invited everyone to next year’s cook-off, and to continue supporting similar charitable events.

    San Pedro Tiger Sharks take first win of the season
    In the second week of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) tournament, two-time defending champions, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks claimed their first win of the season. They defeated the Belmopan Bandits in a home game on Sunday, January 24th. The weekend of games begun on Friday, January 22nd in Belize City, continued on Saturday, January 23rd in Independence Village, and ended on Sunday, January 24th in San Pedro Town. The winners of the three exciting matches are now one step ahead of the league, with hopes of claiming the title of NEBL Champions. The next round of games will start on Friday, January 29th with the San Pedro Tiger Sharks travelling to San Ignacio Town to face the Cayo Western Ballaz at the Sacred Heart College auditorium at 9PM. Also facing off on Friday is Belize City No Limit, who will take on the Orange Walk Running Rebels at the Orange Walk Multi-Purpose Complex at 9PM. Games will continue Saturday, January 30th with Belmopan Bandits hosting the Dangriga Warriors at the University of Belize gymnasium in Belmopan City at 8PM. The final game of the weekend will be between Smart Belize Hurricanes and Independence Thunderbolts at the Belize Elementary School Gymnasium in Belize City on Saturday at 9PM.

    Melida Pereria crowned Miss Carnaval
    The third annual Miss Carnaval Pageant brought much laughter and culture to the stage of the Angel Nuñez Auditorium on Saturday, January 23rd. Organized by Flora Ancona’s Comparsa group, the pageant opens the island’s annual ‘El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro’ celebrations. This year’s pageant saw the participation of five lovely ladies: Lurbin Ruiz, Arabella Hernandez, Blanca Wagner, Angie Puerto and Melida Periera. But like in any other pageant, only one of the participants could walk away with the title and crown, and that was Melida Periera, who charmed the judges to become the 2016-2017 Miss Carnaval. During the final segment, the five contestants sashayed on stage in their elegant and sparkling evening gowns. The crowd cheered loudly for the ladies, who demonstrated beauty and poise, while the judges submitted their final scores. With the scores submitted to tabulators, the ladies were left waiting for the final decision, and outgoing Miss Carnaval, Sylvia Patricia Lopez delivered her final words and took a last walk on stage. After several moments of anticipation, the winner was announced. Taking the crown and title of 2016-2017 Miss Carnaval was Melida Pereira. “I am so happy. I am truly honored to have participated in this pageant and won. This is part of our culture and I’m glad I can be part of it,” said Perreria.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Belize - Commercial Bank De-Risking and Karma
    by Belize Progressive Party. The local commercial bankers in Belize colluded with the regulators of the financial sector...convincing themselves that the world financial crisis of 2008 would not have negative impact on Belize...they said as much publicly within Belize, even as they understood and recognized the negative implications privately and at international forums. BUT the realities were very different... Many businesses that felt the impact through lower sales, higher costs and lower profits ran into difficulties meeting their banking obligations....most of them had been meeting those obligations, while expanding, for over 10-30 years. The commercial banks and financial regulators, instead of following the example of the developed countries of the world....who did everything possible to preserve value...remember QUANTITATIVE EASING?...facilitating companies and individuals to refinance at much lower rates (at or near zero) and longer they tightened the noose on Belize-based investors....aggressively closing off their financing and dumping their hard-earned assets through mass auctions and receiverships (still ongoing)....flooding the market with properties....destroying value by selling of these assets at 50-70 cents on the dollar.

    Destination Belize in Cayo
    Destination Belize is coming to Cayo today to talk about the new look for the 2016 issue. They'll be at Cahal Pech starting at 6:00pm. "We're heading out West! McNab Design Ltd. and Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) are stopping in San Ignacio as we make our way across country making sales presentations for The New Destination Belize. Hope to see you there!"

    Toucan Talk Vol. 8
    The Belize Tourism Board has posted the latest Toucan Talk. Did you know that Belize won 2 World Travel Awards? Cayo is in there. The renovation of Columbus Park is mentioned too.

    2015 Belize ourism numbers
    The BTB released the 2015 Tourism numbers.

    Canadian Road Show 2016 - Vancouver
    Belize Tourism Board

    Apply today for the VV Grow Fellowship to gain valuable business skills and assistance with growing your business. DEADLINE - January 31, 2016!!!!!! The VV GROW Fellowship is a highly competitive one-year accelerator program for women owners of small and medium businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa. The program includes customized business skills training, technical assistance, leadership development, and access to networks to grow their businesses and increase their leadership impact. Through global and regional online and in-person trainings, fellows focus on strategy and long-term business value paired with action-oriented plans. They amplify their role as leaders in their businesses and their communities to create jobs, stimulate long-term economic growth and produce wider social benefits.

    Traffic Flow in San Pedro
    The Traffic Wardens are going to be working hard to improve the traffic flow in the town. They will be more active in controlling traffic at various locations in town. We are asking everyone to please respect and support the wardens who have a very difficult and sometimes unappreciated job.

    Belize YoGert and all local tenants of food & beverage establishments booted from Belize Tourist Village
    Belize YoGert and all local tenants of food & beverage establishments were given 30 days notice on September 15, 2015 to pick up and leave Belize Tourist Village. A foriegn Israeli company owned by Max Vaknin and his brother Koby Vaknin (owners of Jungle Gift Shop) were brought in by their silent partner Elad Aharon (GM of Belize Tourist Village) to take over all F&B. There is no hard evidence of Elad Aharon taking a bribe, nor part of this foreign company but it is known amongst locals and friends that he is involved. It is also rumored that GM Elad Aharon is the silent partner of "Easy Tours", a new tour company in Belize Tourist Village and "Port Wifi company".

    you guys ready for this week? bring your baby wipes rags and your bright smiles! Week 3 "jelly fish" just click the "sign up" button on the Paint N Splash page. This week we are continuing our Reef Fish series. Come join us this week at Crazy Canucks. Everything you need is provided step by step direction, paint, brushes, smocks, canvas and maybe even a stencilled canvas if you need it (shhhh). $25u.s for first time artists and visitors. $20u.s for our members. Bring a Rag if you can help save paper.

    Chicago Travel and Adventure Show Chicago, Illinois
    The Belize Hotel Association, represented by Directors Julie Kee and Rebecca Rath, were at the 12th Annual Chicago Travel and Adventure Show this past weekend on January 23 and January 24, 2016 in Rosemont, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. The Travel and Adventure Show series is recognized as the premier Consumer Marketing platform in the travel industry. It is the ONLY travel show in the Chicago Area and it is the place where travelers flock annually to dream, plan and book their next vacation. Initial reports from BHA director, Ms. Kee, state that the show was very well attended and visitors to the BHA booth showed genuine interest in visiting Belize in the near future.

    St. Francis Xavier Credit Union in Corozal terminating all Moneygram Services
    Jan 26 - MONEYGRAM - Notice of Termination. St. Francis Xavier Credit Union in Corozal informs all its customers that effective February 24th, 2016 it will be terminating all Moneygram Services indefinitely. For any questions please visit our office or contact us below; St Francis Xavier Credit Union 79 5th Avenue Phone: 422-2892

    Ballaz Host Tiger Sharks
    The Western Ballaz are hosting the Tiger Sharks on Friday. This is their first match up of the 2 teams that have fought for the prize both years. "This is the game that CANNOT BE MISSED!!! Bring out the entire family in their WB t-shirts to enjoy the FINALS REMATCH between your Western Ballaz team and San Pedro Tiger Sharks this Friday at SHC's Auditorium. We are going to pack the audi for this game!!! Let's go Ballaz, Let's go Ballaz, Let's go Ballaz....let's go!!!"

    In our Belizean Legends doccumentary series this year 2016, we will be featuring the remarkable Belizean Beauty Queens that represented Belize abroad as ambassadors, and chronicling the stories that brought them to accomplish this most popular Belizean cultural title that continues to present the best qualities and intelligence in Belizean women today, and how it has advanced them to face the challenges of the western world in which they represented Belize. Today we commence our series with Chistine M. Gibson. The 38th. Belize Queen of The Bay. The “Queen of the Bay” Pageant, the oldest and most prestigious contest in Belize, Central America, started in 1946 during the September Celebrations. Historically, the pageant was held at Edwards Park, now known as Rogers Stadium, and serves to commemorate our National Day – September 10th, the day our forefathers’ fought to preserve our heritage and delivered a victory over the Spaniards, during the Battle of St. George’s Caye in 1798.

    All of the 13 yellowheads released into Payne's Creek last year are alive and well
    The yellow-headed parrots that were released by TIDE's ranger team, along with Belize Bird Rescue, are doing well in their new home at Payne's Creek National Park! Threatened by deforestation and poaching, these parrots were given a second chance at life in the wild last October and have adjusted wonderfully! (Read their full story here) Earlier this month the rangers, with the help of Ridge to Reef Expeditions volunteers, set up new nesting boxes in the park to further help this population thrive.

    Dangriga Screen on the Green
    Belize Screen on the Green hits the road and will be in Dangriga this week!!! Please join the U.S. Embassy as we launch the extension of our Belize Screen on the Green program in Dangriga. This Thursday we will be screening the movie, "The Great Debaters" and announcing the new monthly movie schedule for Dangriga. As always, the event will be free to the public and free popcorn will be served while supplies last. Hope to see everyone there! clock Thursday, January 28 at 7 PM, Slaughter House, Dangriga Market Square, 001501 Dangriga Town, Stann Creek, Belize

    Channel 7

    Muzikant Faces The Music... in Jail!
    Last night we told you about Martin Muzikant - the mystery European man who turned up in Belize recently after being expelled from the country in 2013. Well, today he was hauled over to Orange Walk Magistrate's Court - and charged for immigration offences. Magistrate Merlene Moody says he failed to produce travel documents, and failed to present himself to an immigration officer - meaning he came into the country through an illegal border crossing. Muzikant pleaded guilty to both charges and his lawyer Yohannseh Cave asked for a fine to be imposed and then for him to be released so that he can travel to Mexico and so that he can visit the Embassy of the Czech Republic. But the Immigration Office said he has a lot to answer to in Belize - namely how he got into the country. They asked the court to remand him until an investigation is carried out since there are suggestions that he is wanted by Interpol and by the USA. Still, his lawyer tried to spring him free and asked for a larger fine to be imposed. But the Magistrate did not agree and sentenced him to six months in prison for each charge with the sentences to run concurrently.

    No Charges For Moszetta, Machete Wielding Mother
    Last night, we told you about Biscayne resident Moszetta Reyes, the woman who killed her son-in-law, allegedly in self defence, last week Friday night. Well, she remains at home after being released from questioning by Ladyville police, and at this time, there is no evidence before the DPP's Office to suggest that she intentionally harmed 54 year-old Arthur Wade. This evening, we spoke with DPP Cheryl-Lynn Vidal she told us that no final decision has been made on what her office's directive to the investigators will be. She told us yesterday that the evidence in her office's possession thus far does is not enough for police to lay any criminal charges against Reyes. The investigators are expected to provide the DPP's Office with other pieces of evidence that they may come across which would assist in reaching the final decision.

    PUP Leadership Debate Flops
    The PUP Leadership Debate…won't happen. The announcement was made today that the debate had been, quote, "suspended." That's because, according to a press release, "Two of the candidates failed to respond to formally inform the committee of their intention to appear as scheduled by the close of business late yesterday." Our information is that only Francis Fonseca had indicated his readiness to participate, while the representatives Cordel Hyde and John Briceno didn't. Today we asked the lead organizer Glenn Tillett how he feels about his best laid plans falling through:... Glenn Tillett, Debate Organizer: "We could not get a formal commitment from two of the proposed participants and we were running out of time. There are some logistical and infrastructural details that matters we have to take care of and we felt with 72 hours to go and not having a firm commitment, it was best that we abandoned the idea."

    A Teen Suicide In San Ignacio
    There is another distressing suicide to report in the West: A 15 year old girl hung herself in San Ignacio. Yesterday morning around 7:00, the mother found her 15-year-old daughter hanging from a branch of an avocado tree in their yard. Police say they found a note at the scene in which the 15 year old girl expressed affection for a boy. Her mother told police that she suspected her daughter was having a relationship but she was not aware if there were difficulties in the relationship. She told police she had slapped and scolded her daughter on January 8th. Police are still investigating to see what exactly happened and what led her to take her own life. She was last seen at around 1:40 yesterday morning when she went to use the bathroom. She was a 3rd form student at Sacred Heart College. We will not reveal the identity of the child given the highly sensitive nature of these cases.

    Fish Right, Eat Right
    Last week, we told you about the Fisheries Pride Campaign at the Fisheries Department has been conducting to ensure that fisher folk are doing business in a sustainable manner. Well, Oceana Belize, in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Nature Conservancy, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Fisheries Department, and the BTB, want to ensure that they are rewarded for their efforts in following the fisheries laws. Today, they launched a program brand called "Fish Right, Eat Right", and 7News was there to find out exactly what it is. Daniel Ortiz has that story: "Fish Right, Eat Right" - it's a new brand that Oceana Belize and its partners are hoping that with time you'll come to associate with high quality sea food which was caught through sustainable fishing practices. Julie Robinson - Fisheries Lead, The Nature Conservancy: "This is a local brand that we will be promoting over the next 6 months - over the next year and developing with everybody that we see here in the room with the private sector, with the cooperatives, with fisheries and authorities, in order to develop a locally caught sustainable sea food supply chain. It will highlight establishments and fishers that abide by the regulations - that look to source their sea food sustainably."

    NICH's Secret Dark Night Agreement Faces Harsh Scrutiny Of Daylight
    For two weeks now we've been reporting on Bradley Paumen - he's the major tour operator implicated in a murder plot. The alleged hit he put on his neighbor Michael Modiri is based on a property dispute at Frank's Eddy. Paumen partnered with NICH to get use of the caves for his visitors - but he needed to cut across Modiri's land to get to the caves. And that's where the Minister of Natural Resources unlawfully acquired Modiri's land to give to Paumen. The court quashed that, but the trespass continued - making NICH - who is Paumen's partner - possibly complicit in that violation. 7News has obtained the agreement between NICH and Paumen and its shows that NICH is obliged to quote, "do anything necessary for the administration of these sites." The agreement also shows that it is for three years, not 25 as some had been alleging. NICH is contracted to get ten dollars per head for every visit to the site, and the agreement says, quote, "The Institute will have personnel at the site to ensure compliance." When we went to the Dark Night last week, we saw no NICH personnel supervising.

    Woman Fears For Her Safety From Threatening Ex
    This evening, Belize City resident Deniesia Tillett came to our office in distress, asking us to allow her to make a public plea to the police department. She claims that her ex-boyfriend has been threatening her for the last 12 months, and he continues to breach a protection order from the courts. Now, these aren't the kinds of stories which regularly make the news, but she told us that there appears to be a disconnect between the police and the courts in the enforcement of this restraining order for which her ex ought to have been prosecuted. She told us that he sent her a death threat over the phone yesterday: Deniesia Tillett, Claims Harassment from her Ex: "I am in distress because I have my ex can't seem to leave me alone and always harassing me and threatening me, saying that he will kill me and I just want the police to find him and do their job and ask the judge when they charge those kind of persons not to just give them bail. Because that is what they do and then they come right back out doing the same thing and harass until they murder one of us."

    Kings Park Consternation Over Apartment
    Peace and quiet: that's what several residents from the Kings Park residential area are demanding. Over the years, there have been road upgrades and construction of businesses in the area of "A" Street and the residents say the heavy traffic, the noise and congestion has robbed them of their serenity. They say they have been advocating for years to try and restore and maintain the tranquility in their community and now things are coming to a head with the construction of a towering apartment mega complex right in their neighborhood. Today the Mayor of Belize City Darrell Bradley and his council members met with a few residents and they discussed solutions and recommendations. We spoke with one concerned Kings Park resident and Mayor Bradley and they told us how they are moving forward. Laura Smith, Resident of King's Park: "The zoning is the main proirity. Many of the residents have enjoyed a peaceful neighborhood for quite a long time. It was the inital intention of the government planning where there were covenents involved - that it would be primarily residential and single family. So the zoning has been toss around for a while the different administrations and so its finaly come to the point where it looks like we may finally get our zoning approved, which will just preserve the character and the integrity of the neighborhood."

    Yohnny Shut Down By CITCO
    And that type of municipal regulation may also be affecting Yohnny Rosado in a new business venture. If you watch the news with any regularity, you'll know Rosado as a stanch and outspoken defender of local tour operators. Well, tonight he is back in the news but this time he is wearing a different hat. Rosado has a tire shop on the Northern Highway which he owns and operates along with his son. The business just opened last year but today, personnel from the City Council swooped in and told them to close business or else. Yohnny explained: Yohny Rosado Jr - Econo Tires Shop "Basically, they came in as though we are criminals. We are not criminals. I was right there standing up by the shop, and they came and asked me who the owner is. I told them that the owner went to do a little errand. They then told me that they needed to talk to him. I told them that wasn't a problem, and I sent him a text message saying that he needed to come this side because it looked like they wanted problems. So, he ended up calling, and I told him the situation. After that, they started to tell us that we needed to close this, we don't have that, a lot of thing with them.

    Canines With a Keen Nose For Cannabis
    Two canines with a keen nose for cannabis helped police catch over 3 pounds of weed. The dogs named "Toonje" and "Touche" found the bag of weed in some farmland bushes in steadfast Village - which is in the Stann Creek District. The weed weighed in at 1.5 kilos or 3.3 pounds. No one was around, so it was labeled as found property.

    Weed In the 'Ville
    Tonight, 29 year-old Estrada Davis, Phillip Roberts, and 26 year-old Christian Smith are in the custody of Hattieville Police, after they were allegedly caught with marijuana and marijuana plants. According to police, they were picked up in a pre-dawn raid which was conducted by the Special Patrol Unit along with Hattieville Police. They visited Davis' home at 16 and a half miles on the George Price Highway. All 3 were present at the time when the police discovered 81 grams of cannabis, and 6 cannabis plants. They have been jointly charged with drug trafficking and marijuana cultivation. They will be arraigned in the Magistrate's Court at the earliest convenience.

    Teenagers Stole Nike Slippers, Sent To Jail
    A pair of 18 year olds were sent to jail today - after a 14 year old accused them of jacking his 80 dollar Nike slippers. But, the families of Ulide Allen, and Norton Daniel Lorenzo Tun may only be finding out their plight on the news because the teenagers say police did not allow them to make a call. They told the court that they got no phone call to their parents to tell them where they were. The robbery allegedly happened on Friday night on Partridge Street where duo by use of force stole wrestled the slippers off the boy's feet. The 14 year old said he was on a friends bike when they came on another bike and rammed into him. When he fell to the ground, he claims Allen grabbed the slippers from off his feet and they all ran off. In court they both pleaded not guilty to a single charge of robbery. The police prosecutor asked for bail to be denied because the victim is known to the accused as the police are concerned that if they are granted bail, they will try to interfere with him.

    BELTRAIDE, The Road Much Travelled
    The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service BELTRAIDE held a one hour meeting with the press today to discuss all things BELTRAIDE. The statutory body that falls directly under the purview of Minister Erwin Contreras has been in existence since 1998 under the name TIPS. In 2000 it changed its name to BELTRAIDE. Since then it has established five different arms, Belize Invest, Belize Export, BTEC and the oldest unit of them SBDC. SBDC, acts as a small business advisor for potential business owners, new business owners and established business owners. The general manager of the Enterprise and Innovation Unit explained to us how this works. But has the involvement of BELTRAIDE through SBDC made any difference? According to the General Manager, in 2015 SBDC engaged 600 people. Their records also show that their involvement has created an average increase of sales of at least 127% more than the targeted increase of $100,000 dollars.

    Making At Risk Youths Employable
    One of BELTRAIDE's most recent ventures, "Working it out," is a pilot project to assist imprisoned youths to become more employable when they are finished serving time. BELTRAIDE has partnered with the Wagner's Youth Facility and has taken 42 youths into the program. But training these youths is one thing, sensitizing possible employers to accept the youths even with the stigma of being a former inmate is quite another. General Manager Lejia Gideon spoke to us about the program and the perceived challenges ahead. The program which is being carried out under Belize Training and Employment Center, an arm of BELTRAIDE, begins in the first week of February and will.

    Ombudsman Signs With Cops
    After being officially reappointed as the Ombudsman of Belize at the House of Representatives last week, Lionel Arzu today signed a memorandum of understand with the commissioner of Police Allen Whylie at the Racoon Street Police Station in Belize City. The purpose for the MOU is to strengthen cooperation between both offices in the areas of protection and promotion of Human Rights and on the principles of rule of law, mutual equality and reciprocity. During the signing, the commissioner of police reiterated his commitment to the process and pledged his support for the collaboration noting that this is just one of the many avenues that the police department is pursuing in pursuit of "justice for all."

    Channel 5

    City Council Closes Down Yhony Rosado’s Business
    Tour operator Yhony Rosado was in the news on Monday, criticizing government at a press conference called by the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize. These small operators feel [...]

    Yhony Rosado Says It Is Pure Political Victimization
    Rosado told us this afternoon that he will stay closed until he gets his trade license, whenever that is. He’ll do it, but he’s not happy about the situation and [...]

    Czech National Martin Muzikant on Lockdown
    Czech national Martin Muzikant is on lock down tonight after appearing in the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court on a string of immigration offences.  He was busted on Sunday afternoon in [...]

    COLA Fears Another Nanes Schnitzer Debacle
    COLA’s fear, according to President Geovanni Brackett, is that in the wake of the Nanes Schnitzer debacle and the recent murder of Anne Swaney, Belize will only be getting another [...]

    Melonie Coye to Get $3 Million from G.O.B.
    The Government of Belize has been dealt another blow, on the heels of a recent loss in the Supreme Court where Justice Courtenay Abel ruled in favor of Titan International [...]

    Former AG Says Lawsuits Against G.O.B. Cost Taxpayers
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow was visibly angry when we asked him about another judgment against G.O.B. recently. That one concerns Titan Securities. Government has been ordered to pay almost nine [...]

    Are Big Foreign Tour Operators Getting Better Deal Over Local Tour Operators?
    And our question for tonight is: Do you believe big foreign tour operators are getting the better deal over local tour operators? Send your comments and responses using your SMART [...]

    28 Cubans Freed from Belize Central Prison
    Twenty-eight Cubans who have been incarcerated at the Belize Central Prison are free. The order was signed today and the directive sent to Prison officials. It is expected that the [...]

    Wilfred Elrington Not Surprised by Guatemalan Settlement in Belizean Territory
    We also asked Elrington about a settlement which has been discovered on the Belize side of the border with Guatemala. The revelation was made by Commander of the B.D.F. Brigadier [...]

    Belize & Guatemala Foreign Ministers Meet in Belize
    And on the subject of Belize – Guatemala relations, Elrington updated us on a Mixed Commission meeting held last Friday. That high-level session was attended by both Foreign Ministers, Elrington [...]

    2 Teenagers Remanded for Stealing Nike Slippers
    Two teenagers were in court today for allegedly stealing a pair of Nike slippers from a fourteen year old boy; an allegation for which they are now behind bars.  Ulide [...]

    Inmates Caught Smuggling Weed
    Magistrate Mendoza also dealt with the case of two inmates who were caught attempting to smuggle weed inside the Tango Eleven area of the Hattieville prison. Twenty-five year old Sergio [...]

    P.U.P. Leadership Debate Called Off
    With less than seventy-two hours before what would have been the first leadership debate in the history of the People’s United Party, organizers of the event have not surprisingly suspended [...]

    Organizer Claims Debate Was a Non-Partisan Effort
    Even though the planning committee are members of the People’s United Party, the debate was not sanctioned by the party.  The organizers believe that it is time for Belizeans to [...]

    Fire Guts Storehouse in Corozal Free Zone
    A mid-afternoon fire in the Corozal Free Zone has eviscerated a three-storey concrete warehouse.  The seventy-five by seventy-five foot structure, property of Orange Walk businessman Amit Moriani, went up in [...]

    Ombudsman and Commissioner of Police Sign MOU
    Last week in the House, the Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca complained about the inactivity and ineffectiveness of Ombudsman Lionel Arzu saying he did not enjoy the confidence of [...]

    Hattieville Police Make Weed Bust
    Officers of the Rural Eastern Division continue to conduct anti-narcotic and anti-firearm operations within their two thousand square mile jurisdiction. Hattieville Police, in collaboration with the Special Patrol Unit, this [...]

    OCEANA Examines Blackadore Caye Project
    Almost two weeks ago, on January fourteenth, a first round of consultations was held with residents and stakeholders in San Pedro over the Blackadore Caye Tourism Project. The mega eco-tourism [...]

    OCEANA Launches Fish Right Eat Right Initiative
    A forum was held this morning in Belize City entitled Fish Right, Eat Right to promote the sustainable harvesting and consumption of seafood. As the name suggests, the program aims [...]


    Three Storey Building Goes Up In Flames In The Corozal Free Zone
    A massive fire engulfed a 3 storey concrete warehouse in the Corozal Commercial Free Zone today. According to reports, Corozal Police and fire brigade left for the scene at about 3:00p.m and upon arrival saw the 3 storey concrete structure warehouse belonging to 35 year old Orange Walk Businessman Amid Moriani swallowed by flames. While our reporter headed to the area we were not allowed inside the zone. We will have more on this story in tomorrow’s newscast.

    Jack Charles To Re-export Containers Of Rice To Guyana
    Xtra-House owner, Jack Charles confirmed to our colleagues at KREM News today that he has processed all the necessary documentation to re-export three containers of Guyanese rice back to Guyana. As you may remember Charles brought in over 75 tons of rice in December of 2015 but the court found that it was improperly done since Charles did not have the required documentations to allow the rice to enter the country. After finding that the three containers of rice did not have a BAHA permit the Magistrate court ordered the rice forfeited to the Customs and Excise Department to be destroyed. Charles later obtained an injunction at the Supreme Court to stop the destruction of the rice, But that hearing was called off after an agreement was reached between Charles and GOB under Customs and Excise law and he was given until January 28th to re-export the rice.

    San Ignacio Resident Charged For Drug Trafficking
    While conducting a mobile patrol in the village of San Jose Succotz in the Cayo District on Sunday, Benque Viejo Police observed twenty seven year old Javier Itza, Belizean labourer of Maya Street acting in a suspicious manner. After Itza realized that authorities were in the area, he began to walk in the opposite direction; however, police had stopped Itza and informed him that a search will be conducted on him to search for any illegal drug or firearm. Itza immediately threw away a bag that was in his possession and ran.Authorities caught up with him and after the bag was retrieved, Itza was escorted to the Benque Viejo Police Station. The bag that was recovered contained a total of 81 grams of Cannabis. Itza was arrested and charged for drug trafficking.

    International Reports Suggests That OAS Is Facing Financial Problems
    The first meeting of the Permanent council for 2016 for the Organization of American States (OAS) was held last week at the OAS headquarters in Washington DC.According to Caribbean 360, a news webpage, at the meeting the new chairman of the Council, Sir Ronald Sanders said that the institution is facing a serious existential threat with its funds almost empty.The Antigua and Barbuda Ambassador, who was chairing the meeting, expressed his concern at this major problem by saying Quote “we are deeply concerned about the financial health of the organization profoundly anxious about its capacity to continue to operate and to serve the interests of the people of our 34 member states”. End Quote

    COLA Demands Case Of Muzikan To Be Investigated
    And keeping with the story of Martin Muzikant, it is not yet known what identity he used to re-enter the country but what it brings to light is the apparent loopholes in the Immigration system says Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA). Yesterday the organization called on Government to crack down on the “international rogues” who use Belize for their own protection from criminal probes; and to fully investigate Muzikan.Additionally Cola called on all Belizeans to assist authorities with any information they may have on the alleged fugitive, saying that it takes the cooperation of all to stop crime and corruption in Belize.

    Zika Virus Expects To Spread Rapidly Says PAHO
    Caribbean authorities have begun preparations by launching campaigns in order to raise public awareness about the quick spreading of the Zika virus. Their main aim at this point in time is to educate the public about the virus itself, how it can be detected, and the necessary treatment needed if infected with the virus. During a press conference via a webcast, Joy St. John, director of the Unit of Vigilance, Prevention and Control of diseases from the Caribbean Public Health Agency, stated that there is a high probability of the zika virus’ arrival in majority of the countries located within the Caribbean region due to the rate at which it is being spread throughout the region. St. John also stated that reported cases of the virus has been confirmed in Guyana, Barbados, Suriname and Haiti, and emphasized that it is the obligation of the Caribbean to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus by informing their citizens of any reported cases and alert them to follow proper methods so as to minimize the spreading of the virus.


    The Future of Belize’s Banking Sector – Part 2
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow is expected back in the country on Sunday. He is in Washington to discuss the issue of correspondent banking with authorities in the US. As promised in yesterday’s newscast, here is the continuation to our feature on the banking sector in Belize. RENEE TRUJILLO REPORTING “In part one of our […]

    BELTRAIDE: Foreign Investors Concerned over Banking Industry in Belize
    An online news outlet from Mexico is reporting that Belize Bank branch in the Corozal Free Zone has been closed for quite some time. asserts that the branch is close due to several reasons which have not been confirmed and we were unable to confirm today. However, investors are complaining that it situation is […]

    Fire in the Free Zone
    A fire at the Corozal Free Zone destroyed a warehouse this afternoon. It began at around three thirty and up to five thirty this evening fire fighters were still dousing off all flames. CEO of the Free Zone Raul Rosado, gave us some details. RAUL ROSADO “At around 3pm the Corozal Free Zone fire unit […]

    Mental Health Nurse Speaks on Cases of Reyes and Dawson
    Yesterday we reported on two stories involving two mentally ill individuals. In the first case, the family of Alva Reyes has her child confined in a small make shift wooden structure attached to the main house in Biscayne Village. Reyes has been mentally challenged for quite some time but when she does receive her medication, […]

    No Debate for PUP Leader Candidates
    The idea to have a debate among the three men vying for the leadership of the People’s United Party came about some weeks ago but had not been given much thought until early last week when the three candidates, Francis Fonseca, Cordel Hyde and John Briceno agreed to take part. Subsequent to that, a planning […]

    Oceana Says Fish Right and Eat Right
    Today Oceana Belize launched its “Fish right, Eat right” campaign. It is a sustainable seafood imitative seeking to reduce irresponsible fishing. The education campaign is expected to provide incentives for fishers, retailers, restaurants, and consumers to promote and support the harvest, trade and consumption of sustainably and legally caught seafood. OCEANA’s Communications Director, Alyssa Carnegie, […]

    Belizean Student in Guyana Slowly Recovers from Shooting Incident
    Last Friday, we told you of 30-year-old, Garfield Dennison, a Belizean man who is currently a student at the University of Guyana in Georgetown, Guyana. He was shot just after taking his girlfriend home and was in a critical condition at the Georgetown Hospital. Dennison had received a shot to the chest and one to […]

    Muzikant Gives the Slip; COLA Wants Answers
    A man using the name Martin Muzikant was arraigned earlier today in the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court. Muzikant had previously been living in Belize when he was charged for using a fake identity with a Czech Republic Passport, which had been reported lost or stolen by its proper owner in the Czech Republic. In April […]


    Three Roaring Creek Men arrested for brutal chopping of teen
    Three persons have been arrested and charged in connection to the brutal chopping of 18 year old Jonathon Zetina which occurred last week in the Cayo District. They are 18 year old Oswald Orson Twist, 20 year old Orlando Smith Jr. and 20 year old Joseph Cadle, all of Roaring Creek Village. All three...

    15 year old boy stabs man to head
    There was a stabbing incident in Blackman Eddy Village this weekend. 24 year old Michael Gordon was reportedly stabbed to the left side of his head. According to police, Gordon and a 15 year old minor were engaged in a fight over a female when the minor pulled stabbed him to the side of the head. Go...

    17 year old stabs man in Teakettle Village
    Then, there was a stabbing in Teakettle Village on Sunday January 24. 24 year old Theriel Brown of Teakettle village was stabbed to the right side of the abdomen. He was socializing with some friends when he was approached by a 17 year old who punched him to the face and then took out an ice pick an...

    Fatal Road Traffic Accident in the Stann Creek District
    One person is dead following a motorcycle accident on Sunday, 24th January, 2016. It happened on the Placencia Road about half mile from the junction of Riversdale and the road leading to the Sagitun Banana Farm, sometime around 2 o’clock that morning. 21-year-old Herlin Geovanni Rhodas of Santa ...

    Belize City man shot while trying to shoot another
    27 year old Kareem Smith is under Police guard in hospital after being shot on Sunday afternoon at the corner of Pitts Alley and Castle Street. But police say he is not entirely innocent, as they believe he was trying to shoot someone else in the area. According to police, Smith chased his alleged t...

    Arson leaves 7 people homeless
    A suspected case of Arson leaves seven people homeless. 33-year-old Denise Lodge of Scotland Half-moon Village reported that on Saturday the 23rd of January at about 6:45 p.m., she left home and went to her sister-in law’s house. When she returned home about half an hour later, she saw her wooden st...

    FECTAB hits out on status of cruise industry
    The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB), hosted a press briefing today to express their concerns about the regulatory authorities in the cruise sector failing to rein in foreign-owned competitors while over regulating local interests . Today, Yoni Rosado and fellow outspoken...


    Mother kills mentally challenged daughter’s boyfriend
    A man who has been described as an alcoholic was fatally chopped in an apparent act of self-defense after he attacked the mother of his mentally challenged girlfriend at their home in Biscayne, Belize District, on Friday, January 22. He died from his injuries yesterday, Sunday. The daughter, who is in her late thirties and is the mother of two children (not fathered by the deceased) is sometimes locked up in a plywood room whenever she becomes uncontrollable, and it was during one of those uncontrollable bouts, which led to the daughter being locked up by her mother, that her boyfriend became confrontational with the woman’s mother. This morning, Ladyville police briefed the media on the chopping incident that occurred in Biscayne at around 9:35 p.m. on Friday. Police said that when they arrived at the scene, they saw a brown-skinned man with a large cut wound to the back of his neck and another cut wound to the right upper arm. He was bleeding profusely on the front steps of an upstairs plywood structure, the police said.

    Battered mother of 4 fears for her life
    A former Belize Defensc Force soldier was released on a $1,000 bail this afternoon after he was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser on a charge of wounding against his ex-common-law wife. One of the conditions of his bail was that he should stay away from the complainant, but hours after being granted bail, he allegedly violated the court order by passing around the complainant’s house, allegedly making threats that he would kill her and their children. Rennick Baizar, 32, pleaded not guilty to wounding Shawna Gillett, 28, his ex-common-law wife and the mother of their four children. Baizar is scheduled to return to court on March 23. This latest incident for which Baizar was arrested and charged occurred in the early morning hours of Saturday, January 23, when he ran into Gillett, who had gone out with some friends and was sitting on the seawall in the Newtown Barracks area in front of Elements nightclub.

    David Gibson discusses “… to Old Sarstoon”
    Dear Editor, We take note of the concerns expressed in your 23rd January 2016 weekend editorial entitled “… to Old Sarstoon…” on Guatemala’ s current and future posture with respect to its bi-lateral relations with Belize. We offer the following for consideration: The reappointment of Lic. Carlos Raul Morales as Guatemala’s Foreign Minister by newly inaugurated President Jimmy Morales is a signal for continuity in the conduct by Guatemala of its foreign policy towards Belize. This means the continuation of activity to normalize relations in conformity with recent agreements for cooperation reached between the countries within the framework of the Agreements on Confidence Building Measures under the aegis of the Organization of American States OAS. It can also be expected that the countries will endeavor to accomplish the necessary steps required to implement the 2008 Special Agreement to refer the territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice ICJ. In the case of Belize, the conducting of a referendum is projected by Prime Minister Barrow to occur in 2017. After the politicization of the issue in the recent general elections, there is some doubt whether there can be a restoration of the bi-partisan approach to the issue which would achieve the necessary 60% voter turnout, much less a majority “Yes” vote.

    Banking crisis sends Barrow to Washington
    As February approaches, the intense nervousness over deteriorating relations between Belize banks and US banks which have been facilitating money transfers and international transactions, such as credit card payments, has forced Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow to lead another delegation to the US to try and resolve what Barrow has described as “an existential threat.” After chit-chatting recently with US vice president Joe Biden in Guatemala City about the issue, Barrow had indicated that he had secured meetings with key US officials, including regulators, in Washington, USA. The matter is said to be urgent because the smaller banks which were engaged after Bank of America opted out of doing business with Belize banks last year are also planning on severing relations next month with two banks for which they provide credit card settlement services. One bank has said that it may be forced to revert to a manual process, rather than the existing electronic process, for credit card settlements.

    Another San Ignacio teen girl commits suicide
    The family of a female student, 15, of San Ignacio Town, is struggling to understand why she committed suicide behind their house this morning. Reports to Amandala are that at about 7:00 this morning, her mother went into her room to wake her for school, but she was not there, and they then began to search for her. The horrified family found her behind the house, hanging by the neck from a rope that was attached to a beam. The girl was quickly cut down and rushed to the San Ignacio Hospital, where she was declared dead on arrival. Police said that there were no signs of violence on the body, and foul play has been ruled out. The motive for the suicide is not known. The death of this teenager is the second suicide to have occurred in less than two weeks. On Tuesday, January 13, another teenager, 15, also of San Ignacio, took her life in her family’s house. She was found hanging by the neck in her room with a rope that was attached to a beam in her room.

    The Titanic’s Leonardo DiCaprio seeks environmental clearance for Blackadore Caye resort
    Hollywood superstar Leonardo DiCaprio—best known for his leading role in the 1997 movie, The Titanic—is seeking environmental clearance from Belizean authorities for a multi-million-dollar resort island development at Blackadore Caye, near San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, which is being dubbed a restorative resort. The National Environmental Appraisal Committee (NEAC) met last week and decided to go back to the developers for more answers, after concerns were raised at a recent public consultation held on the island of San Pedro by the fishing community over the effects the project could have on their access to traditional fishing grounds. It has been reported that DiCaprio—who was designated UN Ambassador for Peace with a special focus on climate change in September 2014—bought the 104-acre island 12 years ago for roughly US$2 million, and last April, the New York Times announced his intent to develop an eco-resort on the island, which includes the creation of conservation areas for hosting research conferences.

    88th Baron Bliss Regatta
    Baron Bliss Harbour Regatta Committee hereby confirms Sunday, March 6, 2016 for the 88th Baron Bliss Regatta. The regatta will be staged in the Belize City Harbour in front of the BTL Park, New Town Barracks, the first race commencing at 9:00 a.m. The regatta is open to all sail boat classes on the traditional triangular course. Race brief will be at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 4, at the Belize Ex-Services Headquarters. Representatives of clubs and boat owners are invited to attend. At the request of the Belize Sailing Association, there will be a series of “one design” class races, commencing at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 5, on the International Optimist Trapezoid Course. The Committee for the 88th Regatta will meet every Monday in February at 5:30 p.m. at the Bliss Institute, Belize City, to finalize planning. All boat owners/enthusiasts are invited to attend. Registration to confirm a prize or trophy closes on February 12.

    Uprising Stars are CYDP Peace Cup Championship
    It was a real football extravaganza yesterday afternoon at the MCC Grounds, where football fans turned out in huge numbers, no doubt comforted by the heavy security provided by the Belize Police Department, and they were treated to two exciting football games to climax the CYDP Peace Cup Football Tournament 2015-2016. In the third place opener, after regulation ended tied at 3-3, Kelly Street got the winning goal from Francis “Franco” Andrews in the second overtime period, to claim the 4-3 victory over Tut Bay. Goal scorers for Kelly Street were Stephen “Breds” Baizer, Wilfred Fisher and Francis Andrews (2); while for Tut Bay, Brian Martinez, Kevin “Motto” Alvarez and Delroy Flores got 1 apiece. And in the championship final, it was scoreless in regulation, with the game winner for Uprising Stars coming from Jermaine Foster in the first overtime period for the 1-nil victory over, previously undefeated Kraal Road. Foster collected the rebound from a diving save by Kraal Road keeper Elias Hercules after a long blast by Uprising midfielder Jael Ottley. Foster’s left footed rocked, from well inside the eighteen on the left side, was unstoppable. (In the regular season, Uprising Stars was also undefeated in Group A, but had drawn one game, while Kraal Road had a perfect 7-0 record in Group B.)

    San Pedro Tiger Sharks and Belize City teams undefeated in NEBL season
    Smart Belize Hurricanes dampened Western Ballaz trip to the city On Friday night, Smart Belize Hurricanes (2-0) hosted Winston Pratt and Cayo Western Ballaz (1-1) at the Belize Elementary School gym in Belize City for another showdown of two of the top teams in the league. The game was extremely intense, with great fan turnout, as both sides were able to respond to their opponent’s offensive output. The home team had a three-point lead going into the fourth quarter, but they were able to extend the lead and seal the 96-87 victory down the stretch. Smart Belize Hurricanes was led by Brian White, who had a huge double-double, with 21 points and the game high 18 rebounds. Sharp-shooter Jacob Leslie finished the night with 20 pts, including 4 three-pointers, and Darwin “Puppy” Leslie tallied 18 pts with 5 assists and 3 rebs. Cayo Western Ballaz was led by Winston Pratt, who had the game high with 29 pts, 6 steals, 5 rebs and 3 assists, including 4 three-point makes. Brandon Flowers had 18 pts and 7 boards, while Elvis Usher scored 12 pts, to go with 5 assists and 4 steals, and Jamal Harris scored 10 pts and grabbed 9 rebs. Smart Hurricanes dominated the paint, outscoring Cayo Western Ballaz, 50-30, while also out-rebounding Ballaz, 51-37. The game had 18 lead changes and 11 ties, while Smart Hurricanes also led in second chance points, 21-7, and also in fast-break points, 18-4.

    Too big to fail
    Because of United Democratic Party (UDP) Leader Dean Barrow’s dominance in the visible politics of the UDP, a lot of attention has not been paid to the operations and ambitions of the aspirants for his position, which appear to be Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega (Orange Walk North), National Security Minister John Saldivar (Belmopan), and Education Minister Patrick Faber (Collet). This third term as Prime Minister being, by constitutional decree, Mr. Barrow’s third and last, he is expected to step down as UDP Leader in time to allow a new leader time to prepare to lead the party into the next general elections, scheduled for 2020. On the ground, DPM Vega has proven himself to be more powerful than both Saldivar and Faber in national conventions of the party. With the UDP scheduled to hold a national convention on March 20, and with Vega, the former Minister of Natural Resources, trying hard to stay clear of a very messy murder conspiracy trial involving an American tourist resort owner who was materially assisted by Hon. Vega’s Natural Resources Ministry in illegally obtaining a strategic piece of land from a landowner the American is now accused of conspiring to murder, a lot of interest will begin to surround the UDP’s national convention once the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) get through with their intense leadership convention this Sunday, January 31, in Belmopan.

    From the Publisher
    In my growing up in Belize, there were several public occasions on which I received awards and accolades for academic achievement. After my high school graduation speech, I was even praised on the government monopoly radio station. This was December of 1963. On my return from school abroad, I announced at an indoor public meeting that I had become “African conscious.” Within the next two years, I became unemployed, ran in the streets, and was arrested and tried in the Supreme Court on two different occasions. The human being, nevertheless, is nothing less than an emotionally resilient creature. As I write, there must be hundreds of millions of human beings who are suffering from some form of lost or unrequited love. In Belize, this is sometimes referred to as “macobi.” In America, they call it “the blues.” However described, it features a most unpleasant and undesirable combination of emotions. But, the vast, vast majority of people survive macobi blues and go on to live pretty normal lives. In fact, some people make a lot of money writing and singing about macobi blues, it being the most common subject of popular music.

    Belize Coast Guard talks about 2015 and about plans for 2016
    The Belize Coast Guard is shaping up to be “a force to be reckoned with” in the effort to combat “transnational organized crime and to extend its support to Central America and the Caribbean”, Admiral John Borland of the Belize Coast Guard said at a press briefing held today where he gave an overview of 2015. The Coast Guard is tasked with defending our maritime areas and in 2015 celebrated their 10th anniversary, Borland said. Borland further remarked that the Coast Guard has come a long way since its inception in 2005 from 50 strong to 320 in 2015 and that it is aiming to have 700 officers by 2020. One of the key achievements of 2015 was the amendment of the Coast Guard Act in December 2015; as a result the Coast Guard is now a military organization with law enforcement authority and with the capability to make arrests in its effort to enforce maritime laws at sea, noted Borland.

    Belize may already have Zika virus – but no cases yet confirmed: DHS
    Director of Health Services (DHS), Dr. Marvin Manzanero, told News 5 earlier this week that Belize may already have the Zika virus (Zik-V), although Belize is not currently listed among the countries to which the emerging disease, originating in Africa, has spread. Speaking with our newspaper today, Dr. Manzanero explained that although no cases have been confirmed in Belize, because a Zika infection may only cause mild symptoms in some persons, such as a mild fever and rash, it may go unreported and undiagnosed—particularly since there is no facility to test it in Belize. Information published by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), in an infographic, indicates that “1 in 4 people with Zika infection develops symptoms”—signalling that most people won’t know that they have it. According to the DHS, samples from anyone suspected of having the Zika virus would likely be sent to the US for testing, and it may take 10 to 14 days to get the results. By that time, he said, the symptoms would have already disappeared.

    A snake in my clothes closet!
    There are as many as 62 species of snakes in Belize; however, only eight of those are venomous, according to the Belize Zoo. One medical website states that an estimated five million people worldwide are bitten by snakes every year. Of these, as many as 125,000 bites are fatal. The Belize Zoo’s advice “is not to attempt to restrain, subdue or pick up any snake found in the wild, especially venomous ones. However, the reality is that sometimes snakes are not only in the wild; they have found their way into populated areas and can be found in your yard and even in your home.” I live on Fabers Road, and had an unfortunate encounter with one just last Friday. A snake was the last thing I expected to see when I opened my clothes closet. I was scared, and I am sure that there are other persons whose living space has been invaded by snakes.

    Game changer aims to secure Belize’s multi-million-dollar fishing industry
    An estimated 15,000 Belizeans depend on fishing for their livelihoods and the Belize economy earns US$10.7 million annually in revenue from seafood exports, according to information published by Fish Forever—an initiative which includes Belize among select countries for programs aimed at ensuring that our territorial waters continue to have healthy stocks of wild fish. Today, the Belize Fisheries Department and its partners held graduation ceremonies for three persons who have been leading on-the-ground work as a part of the Pride Campaign, aimed at building the support of the fishing communities across Belize for a new fisheries regime, being implemented this year—essential because the new regime changes the way fishers have been used to doing business over the years. “It is about changing how we have approached fisheries traditionally, from the beginning of time—which is from an open access standpoint, to now actually having a more structured approach to how fishers access the resource,” said Fisheries Administrator Beverly Wade.

    Belize legislators move to finalize extradition treaty with Mexico
    In late 2015, Mexico had sought the extradition of David Nanes Schnitzer, 47, an international fugitive, wanted for his alleged involvement in a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. The warrant was handed down months before Schnitzer, who was living in Belize as David Banes, managed to get bail for a traffic offence, but it was never executed. Belizean officials had claimed that they could not hand Schnitzer over because the extradition treaty with Mexico had not yet been incorporated into domestic legislation. Parliament is now moving to rectify that with an amendment to Belize’s Extradition Act, which already covers extraditions to the US and to Guatemala. Schnitzer, who was stripped of his Belizean citizenship after his arrest, for allegedly obtaining it through fraud, disappeared after he was released on bail on November 20, 2015; and although that proverbial horse is already out of the gate, a bill was tabled in Parliament on Friday to finally formalize Belize’s extradition treaty with Mexico. This would mean that once it becomes law, the Government of Belize would have the executive authority to implement extradition warrants from Mexico.

    Opposition objects to reappointment of Ombudsman
    Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca objected this morning to the reappointment of Lionel Arzu as Ombudsman, citing reports of “inactivity and ineffectiveness” in recent years. Fonseca spoke after Prime Minister Dean Barrow, United Democratic Party member for Queen’s Square, introduced a motion for Arzu’s reappointment for a year, effective January 1, 2016. Arzu was first appointed back in January 2013, and Barrow said that he is eligible for reappointment and continues to possess the relevant qualifications. As a result, he asked Parliament to recommend him to the Governor-General for reappointment for a further year. However, Fonseca said that the motion is not one that the Opposition could support. “I wish to place on record that over the past few years that Lionel Arzu has served as Ombudsman, we have received and many of my colleagues have reported concerns about the level of inactivity and ineffectiveness…” Fonseca said.

    Police destroy weed worth over a million dollars
    Police confiscated 22 pounds of marijuana in the Toledo and Cayo Districts during anti-drug operations on Wednesday and Friday. The high-grade weed they found in Cayo reportedly has an estimated street value of $33,000; it is sold on the local market at $1,500 per pound. At the time when the drug was found no one was in the area, and so no arrests have been made in connection with the discovery. At 4:00 this morning, Punta Gorda police went to an area 3 miles off the Columbia Famers Road, west of Colombia, where they found a marijuana plantation containing 1,250 marijuana plants ranging from 6 inches to 3 feet in height. No one was found in the area and the plants were uprooted and destroyed by fire.

    Another San Ignacio teen girl commits suicide
    The family of a female student, 15, of San Ignacio Town, is struggling to understand why she committed suicide behind their house this morning. Reports to Amandala are that at about 7:00 this morning, her mother went into her room to wake her for school, but she was not there, and they then began to search for her. The horrified family found her behind the house, hanging by the neck from a rope that was attached to a beam. The girl was quickly cut down and rushed to the San Ignacio Hospital, where she was declared dead on arrival. Police said that there were no signs of violence on the body, and foul play has been ruled out. The motive for the suicide is not known.

    The Reporter

    Veteran journalist prepares for life-saving surgery; needs assistance
    Veteran journalist, Patrick Jones, known more recently for his breaking news postings on Facebook, and previously for his career in radio and television news, is preparing to undergo a life-saving surgery for Acute Pancreatitis, this week. Jones’ family and friends have raised $5,000 – the cost of the surgery at La Loma Luz Adventist hospital in Santa Elena, but he still needs roughly $3,000 more for after-care, which will take another couple weeks before he can return to work. Together they are planning to have a bar-b-que sale in San Ignacio town on Saturday, January 30th, in order to raise money, but are asking the public to assist by making monetary contributions. Jones told the Reporter he was diagnosed with a severely inflamed pancreas late last month, when he was rushed to La Loma Luz hospital, barely able to move. He had been going there for months before, with severe pain that he said would start in the abdomen, and extend to the lower back, sides and upper back. He said each time the doctors would run tests, but find nothing, and prescribe pain medication.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    WHO warns of Zika spreading, threat to unborn babies
    There is a new worldwide health concern as the World Health Organization (WHO) has indicated that the Zika virus may spread to every country in the Americas. While the virus is not necessarily life threatening to adults, there is a growing suspicion that the virus […]

    Yohnny Rosado and son forced to close business
    This evening Yohnny Rosado and his son Yohnny Jr. are out of work. While the elder Rosado is a well-known tour operator, about eight months ago the father and son started a tire selling business called Econo Tires on the Philip Goldson Highway. Today, however, […]

    Conservation organizations to promote sustainable fishing
    Seafood is a major source of income for Belizeans, from those who catch it to those who cook and sell it. But worried about the level of illegal masking of fisheries products under different guises and wishing to reward individual fishermen and businesses who do the […]

    Fishery stakeholders want you to “Fish Right, Eat Right”
    Earlier today, stakeholders in conservation and fisheries met to launch “Fish right, Eat right”, which is a certification program that will promote sustainable and legal trade of seafood, backed by an educational campaign. This program aims to reduce instances of illegal fishing while promoting […]

    PUP debate cancelled
    The debate, in which the three People’s United Party (PUP) candidates were supposed to square off flexing brain muscle, has been canceled because two of the three did not answer a request to participate. According to the organizers of the debate, Francis Fonseca was the only candidate […]

    Stann Creek police find over 3 pounds of weed
    An operation conducted by police’s Mobile Interdiction Team and K9 Unit in Steadfast Village, Stann Creek District yesterday afternoon, resulted in more than 3 pounds of cannabis being found and seized. The team searched a farmland in the village around 1:30 p.m., where in […]

    Details of minor’s suicide emerge
    Saddening reports from San Ignacio Police confirm that 15-year-old Sacred Heart College student, Meisy Amanda Polanco, was found hanging from an avocado tree yesterday morning. At 7:00 a.m., the girl’s mother, 35-year-old Andrea Claudia Polanco woke up and noticed that her teen daughter was […]

    PUP, UDP selecting new leaders; securing futures
    The dust has barely even settled on last November’s general elections, and already both parties are looking to install new leaders to take the reins and usher in a new era in Belize’s political landscape. For the People’s United Party (PUP), after a dramatic defeat […]

    Dry Southeasterly airflow prevailing
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mostly sunny skies today and partly cloudy skies tonight with little or no rain. Winds will be blowing from the East-Southeast at 10-20 knots and the sea state will be moderate. High temperatures today are expected […]


    A Carnaval Like No Other in Ambergris Caye
    San Pedro Carnaval is like no other in Belize, close to being a 90-year-old event on the island of Ambergris Caye, the cultural celebration sets itself apart as one of the most unique in the world. There are no parades, jump-up music or elaborate feathered-costumes like most Carnival celebrations in the Caribbean, South America or Africa, but there is street dancing and people covered in paint running through the streets trying to catch the next unsuspecting islander. Men dressing up in drag and dancing through the streets of downtown San Pedro - there is nothing odd with that, once it is Carnaval time. The street dancing groups, called Comparsas, are always a highlight. They have become more than just groups of people dancing on the streets. Today they are well-choreographed performances with bigger, brighter and elaborate costumes, props and music. The men’s group, whose members dress in drag, comes out in full force and is always there to give spectators a great laugh. Other groups dance to themed presentations collecting donations along the way that go towards a charity or non-profit organization. San Pedro Carnaval is kicked off by cultural presentations, dances and exhibits at an opening ceremony that is followed by the three days of street dancing and painting. The celebrations fall yearly three days before Ash Wednesday and the commencement of Lent. Caranval kicks off the religious celebratory aspect of Easter in the Catholic community of San Pedro.

    Meditation, the Most Gorgeous Dock and Then Ice Cream: Sunday Morning at Ak’Bol Retreat
    A few weeks ago, a meditation invitation was put out to…everyone…by an organization called Peace Revolution. Very Gandhi…and I am on my way to India – I accepted. Plus, I have wanted to meditate for some time. The idea of being able to calm a whirring brain on command is very appealing. The organization was doing sessions in Placencia, in Belize City and on Ambergris Caye. And here on the caye, it was taking place on one of the most gorgeous docks to do just about anything…yoga…lounging about…swimming. Ak’Bol Eco-Resort, about 1 mile north. And though there was a chilly northerly breeze…WHAT A DAY! The resort is so beautiful…so fitting for the location. We grabbed mats and blankets…it was CHILLY! About 25 of us in all…and after a little talk and some questions…we settled in for 30 minutes of meditating. Usually I am antsy after about 2…but this leader was fantastic. Super calming voice…leading all the way. There is a TON of free information on the website if you are interested. Otherwise, I will cut this short for those rolling their eyes and get back to the photos.

    Stew Conch
    Pound conch with a mallet, cut into 1 1/2" pieces. Place conch in a bowl with vinegar. Add water, and set aside for 2 hrs then drain thoroughly. Cook onion and garlic in oil for 2-3 minutes Combine remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat. Conch is cooked when it is tender (about 45 minutes) for 45-50 minutes, stirring constantly until conch is tender.

    Belizean Meat Pies
    Combine flour and salt in to bowl. Rub shortening lightly into flour. Add baking powder and crumble until mixtures resemble fine bread crumbs. Mix to form a stiff dough with cold water (do not knead) Roll with the rolling pin and cut into small pieces. Line muffin tins with dough and add meat and cover with round pieces of dough. Use pastry crumpler to decorate each pie top. Put in oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

    International Sourcesizz

    The Neurologist Who Hacked His Brain - And Almost Lost His Mind
    THE BRAIN SURGERY lasted 11 and a half hours, beginning on the afternoon of June 21, 2014, and stretching into the Caribbean predawn of the next day. In the afternoon, after the anesthesia had worn off, the neurosurgeon came in, removed his wire-frame glasses, and held them up for his bandaged patient to examine. “What are these called?” he asked. Phil Kennedy stared at the glasses for a moment. Then his gaze drifted up to the ceiling and over to the television. “Uh … uh … ai … aiee,” he stammered after a while, “… aiee … aiee … aiee.” When Kennedy had arrived at the airport in Belize City a few days earlier, he had been lucid and precise, a 66-year-old with the stiff, authoritative good looks of a TV doctor. There had been nothing wrong with him, no medical need for Cervantes to open his skull. But Kennedy wanted brain surgery, and he was willing to pay $30,000 to have it done. Kennedy was himself once a famous neurologist. In the late 1990s he made global headlines for implanting several wire electrodes in the brain of a paralyzed man and then teaching the locked-in patient to control a computer cursor with his mind. Kennedy called his patient the world’s “first cyborg,” and the press hailed his feat as the first time a person had ever communicated through a brain-computer interface. From then on, Kennedy dedicated his life to the dream of building more and better cyborgs and developing a way to fully digitize a person’s thoughts.

    Belize plans to free jailed Cuban immigrants
    Authorities in Belize announced that the 32 Cuban immigrants detained for entering the country without documentation will soon be released, but the Cubans are unaware of the details of their liberation and are still in jail. Director of Immigration Godwin Hulse told Seven News Channel in Belize that on Friday he would sign a document releasing the Cubans from jail. But according to statements Tuesday from Yorday Leon Perdomo, who is in Hattieville’s Central Prison, authorities in Belize have yet to inform the immigrants when they will be released. “We just called the immigration office and they told us that they were working arduously to process us out but that there’s still a while more to wait,” said Leon Perdomo, adding that none of the incarcerated immigrants was given further details. He also noted that Belize authorities had not officially communicated the news of their liberation to them. “No one has come to tell us anything despite the fact that the media in Belize reported that we would be released from jail immediately,” he said.

    NCL unveils $400m upgrade programme
    Norwegian Cruise Line has launched a new two-year $400 million programme aimed at upgrading the fleet. The Norwegian Edge is mostly focused on an “extensive” ship refurbishment of nine of the ships in the fleet, a process which began in October 2015 with a refresh of Norwegian Epic including many of its restaurants. This was followed by Norwegian Gem and now a further seven ships are being lined up for a dry-docking with both guest-facing and technical enhancements scheduled. Norwegian’s fleet has also updated its culinary offering while specialty menus are also being introduced. The cruise line is also implementing plans to improve its privately-owned destinations including the development of a resort-style port of call Harvest Caye, Belize, and private Bahamian island Great Stirrup Cay.

    Study answers question: how do boa constrictors kill their prey?
    It was widely believed that when a boa kills its prey, the snake squeezes the air out of its victim’s lungs. In a recent study scientists disproved this myth. “Our results suggest that boas are subduing and killing their prey during constriction by significantly affecting the prey’s cardiovascular system,” reported the researchers. Constriction quickly leads to changes in blood chemistry, with elevated blood potassium and acidosis. “Organs such as the liver, brain and heart would be the first to succumb to rapid tissue hypoxia,” the deficiency of oxygen reaching body tissues. There was also “direct evidence that the cardiac muscle is indeed affected by such ischemia,” the decrease in blood supply — surprisingly occurring within the first 30 seconds of constriction. “As soon as the snake was applying pressure, the blood pressure just immediately started going down, and going down really rapidly; and as fast as that blood [pressure] was going down, there was a nearly immediate change in the cardiac electrical activity,” said Boback. “This stuff happened so fast.” Dr. Boback told Mongabay that the research team’s objective was “to measure internal physiological parameters of the prey in order to try to figure out what are the consequences of having a snake wrapped around you.”

    Open Letter from the Garifuna Nation and affiliated Garifuna organizations
    Subject: The Unjustifiable Killing of Joel Palacios Lino and Elvis Armando Garcia. Dear President of Honduras Orlando Hernandez, United Nations Human Rights Commission, OAS Commission on Human Rights, US Secretary of State John Kerry, Amnesty International other International Human Rights Agencies, OFRANEH, AAGANIC, NGC, ONEGUA and all Garinagu Organizations: The Garifuna Nation is an international Garifuna organization with Representatives from the countries of Saint Vincent & The Grenadines, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Belize and the United States of America. The main purpose of this organization is to look after the social, political, economic and cultural interest of the Garifuna people in all these countries that are outlined in this memorandum. Also, to take appropriate actions to resolve any problems that our people may face from time to time.


  • Go Pro - Belize, 5.5min.

  • Bicycling through a jungle in Belize., 10min.

  • SCUBA Diving in Belize with SeaStar Belize, 4min.

  • Belize Blue Hole, 2min.

  • Belize scuba diving, 2min.

  • highlights of our trip to Belize Dec 2015, 6min.

  • Life in Belize ~ Golf Carts, The Cars of San Pedro, 5min. Today's video of “Cars in San Pedro, Belize” was taken on Front Street (the main street in downtown) at Central Park. Life in Belize and in particular the island towns like San Pedro is demonstrated by the vehicles that we drive on a daily basis. Here a glimpse into the simplicity that is, “island life”.

  • Whale sharks near Silk Cayes, 1min. About 6-10 whale sharks and a manta ray spotted today near the silk cayes between hatchet caye resort and Moho caye. Whale sharks range between 25-40 feet. Awesome day

  • San Pedro, Belize (2016), 1.5min.

  • Belize 2016, 6.5min.

  • Hopkins, Belize, 8min.

  • Part 3 - Belize Mayan Adventure - 2016 Pageau Cruise on Carnival Magic, 5.5min. Part 3 of our Carnival Magic Cruise in Belize. This is the first time we have been on the Mainland since all our previous times we were diving and the dive boat picked us up directly from the ship. The trip was arranged by Don who negotiated with the driver. The Altun Ha Mayan Ruins were better than I expected and we all had a great time.

  • Belize's Trip 2015, 6min. Hey so here are some video clips and some pictures from the Belize's trip i went to with my mom. En joy and thanks for watching :)

  • Belize Ziplining and Crystal Cave Tubing - GoPro, 9.5min. Working on a cruise ship had it's perks... Including free shore excursion!!! Me and my girlfriend went to Belize Chukka Park where we zip-lined and took a tube ride into the Crystal Caves! The cave was great but doesn't show up well on camera. All The staff at the park were amazing. If you are in Belize and you're looking for an exciting tour this is the place!

  • Octopus hunting a crab - Belize - Hol Chan, 2min. Video taken at Hol Chan Marine Reserve in Belize in December 2015. Shot with GoPro HERO 2.

  • Genesis skateboarding in Belize, 2min. Skateboarding in Belize has just started. We love it!

  • Buddy Brucka Dance Competition at Pier 1 Bar and Grill Belize City, 6min. Belizean ladies showing of their talent.

  • Belize, 14min.

    January 26, 2016


    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

    Belizean Breezes- Soaps, Scrubs and much more!
    “Smelly People Wanted!” is the sign that greets you as you approach Belizean Breezes, the little artisan soap shop with a huge variety of hand poured soaps, body scrubs, and all sorts of good for your skin products! Lynda is amazing, not only is she charming and welcoming, she has genuine love for her chosen home, and proves to be very knowledgeable about her craft and is mindful to only use natural bases in her soap making.Today, in addition to the 150+ original yummy scents, Belizean Breezes now offers new favorites such as soap infused body sponges, cellulite scrubs, and an all new organic line of shampoos, conditioners and shower gels!

    Blanca Velasquez shares her experience in Malaysia
    From December 27th of 2015 to January 3rd of 2016, the International Sailing Federation Youth World Championship Regatta was held in Langkawi Malaysia. With 443 participants from 76 different countries in attendance, Belize was proudly represented by a two- member delegation that included 15-year-old Blanca Velasquez from San Pedro Ambergris Caye. Blanca had a remarkable performance participating among sailors from 54 other countries in the Laser Radial female’s division. She was happy to share with The San Pedro Sun how this experience has impacted her life. According to Blanca, the Malaysia trip is one of the most wonderful experiences of her life. “Malaysia was a wonderful experience as I start a career in sailing. It’s great that I had the opportunity to attend this event, and now that I am back, I am more knowledgeable and can teach others about the sport,” said an excited Blanca. She is satisfied with her performance in the sporting event and thanked her coach for guiding her as she prepared for the challenge. She said that hard work and dedication certainly paid off.

    Letter to the Editor: Re: Blackadore Caye or Cayo Negro
    On a recent consultation, part of the EIA for the development of this island never said or clarified that this island has never been a mangrove island. It has been a sand bar, and on one side coconut trees as well as plum trees grow. A small littoral forest is on the eastern side of the island, the middle has temporary watersheds that, when dry, become a salt bank, and the western side or most of the island contains strand vegetation. The San Pedro Tourist Guide Association has no objection to the development on the island, but we are in full objection to the proposed over the water structures. We feel that it will be damaging to the recently declared bajos around the Island. It has been a long 3years of lobbying to convince the authorities that we will benefit more by declaring it a protected area.

    San Pedro Art Group hosts annual ‘Women in Need’ art show
    On January 16th and 17th, The San Pedro Art Group hosted their annual ‘Women in Need’ art show on the Xanadu Resort’s grounds, with the purpose of benefiting the community. For several years, women who make up a local art group have been coming together to paint every week. A few years ago they came up with the idea of forming a charity called ‘Women in Need’ in San Pedro Town. At the annual art show, all monies collected from the sales of the paintings were marked for distribution among disadvantaged women on the island. The group of very generous and talented women artists this year included Rose Escalante, Judith Sheinbaum, Linda Kirk, Violet Henderson, Susan Lala, and Donna Richmond. Locals and tourists had the opportunity to shop through an array of beautiful water colors, beautiful tropical paintings, greeting cards and much more.Art Show Women in Need Xanadu Local Artists-6

    Zika Virus spreading across the Americas
    Zika is a virus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, and causes fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis, and birth defects. Prior to 2015, Zika virus outbreaks had been identified only in countries in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands, but in recent months, the virus has spread throughout North and Central America, causing much alarm. While there are still no reported cases in Belize, the Ministry of Health (MOH) are already taking preventative steps for when the first case of Zika arises. Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito, the same species which spread dengue and chikungunya viruses. Similar to the other illnesses spread by the Aedes mosquito, Zika can only be diagnosed through a blood test. No vaccine or medications are available to prevent or treat Zika infections and as such it has become relatively difficult to control the number of infections.

    Ambergris Today

    San Pedro Needs More Consideration for Bicycle Tourists
    Dear Editor, We love to bicycle ride while on vacation. This is the reason we only book vacation on low traffic vacation destinations and preferable on island's with predominantly golf carts. We thought that your island's traffic made bicycle riding unpleasant and even dangerous at times. You have too many cars, too much speeding causing too much dust, danger and health concerns. Neither bike riders nor tourists on a golf cart want to inhale dust while driving to town or inhale vehicle exhaust in San Pedro's caravan traffic. From a tourist point of view, the traffic on the island needs containment and speed regulations. International guests will not accept such speeding and high traffic during their vacation. Tourists need to relax and re-charge while vacationing and not fight with traffic. Everyone on the island but especially the hotel industry should have an interest in safe traffic to ensure tourist satisfaction.

    World Cancer Day Selfie Campaign and Cancer Walk Announced
    World Cancer Day is February 4th! This year's theme is "We Can. I Can. Understand that early detection saves lives”. World Cancer Day is a chance to reflect on what you can do, make a pledge and take action. Whatever you choose to do ‘We can. I can.’ make a difference to the fight against cancer. In an effort to raise awareness for HPV and early detection of cervical cancer, the Belize Family Life Association (BFLA) in partnership with the Belize Cancer Society is launching a #SmearForSmear campaign to get more people talking about the importance of attending their Pap Smear tests.

    Prime Minister to Meet with US Government and Banking Officials
    The Office of the Prime Minister informs the Belizean public that the Prime Minister, the Hon. Dean Barrow left the country on Saturday, January 23 for Washington, D.C., where scheduled meetings were held with key senior officials of the United States Federal Government and of the U.S. banking monitoring systems on the problems being faced by our Belizean banking sector as it relates to the issues affecting correspondent banking relationships and the recent de-risking moves taken by bigger US banks. The Prime Minister will be accompanied by the Financial Secretary, Mr. Joseph Waight, the Governor of the Central Bank, Mr. Glenford Ysaguirre, and Ambassadors Patrick Andrews and Mark Espat. Prime Minister Barrow returns to Belize on January 31st 2016. Following a ‘de-risking’ strategy forced on the United States of America’s (USA) banking industry by federal regulators the Belize Bank and Atlantic Bank, two of the largest banks in the country, lost correspondence with the Bank of America, the premier multinational banking and financial service provider. The ‘de-risking’ left banks in Belize searching for alternatives to continue providing offshore banking to their customers, but other banking issues also surfaced which include the lack of credit card transactions made between Belize and the USA.

    Melida Perreira Crowned Miss Carnaval 2016
    San Pedro has a new Carnaval Queen - Melida Perreira! Kicking off our traditional Carnaval celebrations was the popular third annual Mrs. Reina del Carnaval Pageant that took place Saturday, January 23, 2016, at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. Five lovely ladies took the stage and showcased their best pose down and talent performances. It was a full house as many cheered on their favorite conestant vying for the title of Carnaval Queen of San Pedro Town. The contestants participated in four segments that included an opening dance with outgoing Reina del Carnaval Mrs. Silvia Patricia Lopez, beachwear, talent and eveningwear. Performances by young singer Marthalicia and dances by the Black and White Garfuna Group filled up the entertainment lineup of the pageant. The talent segment was what everybody looked forward too as the contestants perform in the spirit of carnaval with humorous presentations.

    Flashbacks - High School Students Build Their Town
    You night have imagined that these kids are in detention serving time for some misconduct at school. Former Principal of San Pedro High School played no jokes with unruly students and raking streets was a form of disciplining those few. But no, these kids were not in detention. In fact, they were on a mission of love, raising funds for their high school by way of a work-a-ton. This picture was taken in 1977 when funds were being raised for the construction of their new building. Therefore far from being in detention, these early high school kids were willing volunteers on a mission of love to construct their high school building. In this Flashback picture you see the cleanup taking place on the north end section of Middle Street (now Pescador Drive) in downtown San Pedro. Below is a picture of how that same street scene looks today.

    San Pedro BTIA to Assist with New Regulations for Taxi Drivers
    Concerned with the troublesome excess traffic situation on the island of Ambergris Caye, the San Pedro chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association held a meeting on Thursday, January 22, 2016, with tourism stakeholders and the different taxi association to address new regulations for the taxi drivers that the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) is looking into. Having regulations for all the taxi associations on the island, the San Pedro BTIA believes, is the first step in tackling the traffic congestion that is haunting the tranquility of the community in downtown San Pedro. The BTIA sees it fit to assist the SPTC and be a liaison of sorts between the taxi associations and the traffic department/town council. But in talking with members of just two taxi associations that were represented at the meeting, the San Pedro BTIA discovered various shortcomings and inadequacies within the traffic department and San Pedro Town Council that can also be addressed during the restructuring of the taxi drivers regulations and traffic amendments.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Ms. Florintina Choco went to India
    Big up Friday! here is a reason for celebration big up Plenty organization and Ms. Florintina Choco a year ago she had no passport and never been on a plane then before you know it she got a passport, plane tickets and was on her way to Barefoot University in India!!!!! Roads were impossible when she was leaving her village she walked then her son chartered a motorcycle cross a flooded river then a James bus then Mark Miller took her in pickup to Belize International four planes and an eight hour ride days later she was in School learning solar repairs and installation. She returned five months later and last week she hooked up her village 99 percent of her village is now connected to Solar power. No more kerosene lamps and candles that can be dangerous, Kids can do their homework much better, this woman is a reason for celebration... once you chat with her she is even more amazing and humble

    Newly-renovated Punta Gorda Market - now Maura Lopez Market
    On Thursday, January 21st, the Government of Belize along with the European Union officially inaugurated the newly-renovated Punta Gorda Market - now Maura Lopez Market - and the rehabilitated Hopkins Road. Minister of Works and Transport Hon. Rene Montero was in attendance along with EU Ambassador H.E. Paola Amadei. This trip also marks the end of the Ambassador's tenure.

    Galen Spring Graduation 2016
    On Sunday, January 17th, Galen University graduated 56 students in our Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs in a charming and inspirational ceremony at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel... The top Master’s graduate was Mr. Hsun Chen who achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.92 (Summa Cum Laude) and the top Bachelor’s graduate was Ms. Nellie Moralez (Magna Cum Laude), who finished her studies with a total score of 3.809.

    Read whats possible in a week of birding in Belize
    Birds of prey are captivating creatures and in the tropics, the Harpy Eagle is probably one of the most fascinating ones. Collectively, Whitehawk founders have more than 25 years of experiences working for Harpy Eagle conservation in Panama and other countries of Central America. From tracking released birds in the forests of Belize to studying wild pairs in Darien National Park, these experiences have enriched our lives and we would like to share part of this with you. We are organizing a tour to Darien, Panama, the last stronghold for Harpy Eagles in Central America. Our trip will focus on many of the Darien specialties such as Ruby-topaz Hummingbird, Grey-cheeked Nunlet, Dusky-backed Jacamar, Spot-breasted Woodpecker, Red-throated Caracara, and if we are lucky we might have a chance to observe the majestic Harpy Eagle in its native habitat.

    Seeking 20 images for Benque Holy Week & Sawdust Tapestries Collective Exhibition
    Search into the vault of memories, make a submission and become a part of the Benque Holy Week & Sawdust Tapestries Collective Exhibition, submit any 2 high quality images from any year, and email us at (please note the dot between benque and hoc). Seeking 20 images to highlight our traditional celebration, submissions can be made by anyone from any part of Belize via email, no age limits

    Photos of Sharks from a dive today
    Taken at Tres Cocos

    Cayo Health & Fitness Expo
    The Spring 2016 Health and Fitness Expo is coming. The date is set for Saturday, April 16th, starting at 9:00am. It'll be at the Cayo Welcome Center, and will be free for all. "Come out for a day of Fun and Fitness! Live yoga, tai-chi, Zumba and other demonstrations for all to join in! We will have a silent auction for fabulous packages from local resorts and tour guides. We will have raffles for gift baskets and packages from our health and fitness professionals ...and so much more! • Yoga • Meditation • Tai chi • Aerobics • Health care • Hair care • Skin care • Tattoos • Exercise • Massage"

    El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro
    Friday, February 5th: Opening of Carnaval Exhibition at the House of Culture Saturday, February 6th: Carnaval Fiesta Sunday, Monday & Tuesday (February 7th, 8th & 9th): Comparsas & Painting Wednesday, February 10th: Reading of the Will & Burning of Juan Carnabal.

    Oscar de Lao at the Paradise Theater Feb 13

    Channel 7

    Swaney Suspect "Se Fue"
    Tonight, police are no closer to finding Anne Swaney's killer and the only possible suspect they did have has left the country - reports tell us. On Thursday we reported that Guatemalan, 24 year-old Victor Manuel Franco Menjivar - who was found in the general area where she went missing was spending a 6-month prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to illegal entry into Belize. But, reliable information tells us that he's not in jail. Indeed he did plead guilty to illegal entry but he paid the fine of one thousand dollars, plus 5 dollars court cost. In default, he would have spent 6 months in jail, but since he paid the fine, he was taken to the western border and released into Guatemala. We take it the news is not sitting well with police who had handed him over to the Immigration Department. But that's the standard procedure and immigration had no reason to hold him any longer. So the only possible suspect in the Swaney murder is back home in his country - and investigators have no legitimate expectation that they'll see him again.

    Woman Chops Man To Death In Dispute Over Mentally Ill Daughter
    A man from Biscayne Village in Rural Belize district was fatally chopped this weekend, but as of right now, police are not treating it as murder. 54 year-old Arthur Wade, who is originally from Crooked Tree Village, reportedly attacked his mother-in-law, who told police that she injured him with the machete in self-defence. But, a man is dead, and his tragic end was the culmination of a strained relationship between him and his in-laws. There is an element of mental illness while play a prominent role in the conflict, which our news team encountered while following the story today. Daniel Ortiz reports: This morning, Biscayne Resident Moszetta Reyes walked up the steps of her home remembering vividly the dangerous encounter with her, son-in-law, on last week Friday night. 54 year-old Arthur Wade had allegedly attacked her with piece of wood, and Reyes says that she panicked and pulled a machete to defend herself. She chopped him once to the back of the neck, and once to the arm.

    Gay Cruise Came To Belize, World Didn't End
    Between November and March, hundreds of thousands of cruise visitors visit Belize. They spend the day in the city, go on tours and mingle with the locals. But today's cruise visitors on royal Caribbean - had a whole different kind of flavor! And that's because it was a gay cruise!! Over 3,000 gay couples and singles arrived on the Royal Caribbean Navigator Of the Seas today and they freely roamed the city streets - many of them hand in hand, even sharing kisses at the bridgefoot. Now, in Belize which is notoriously homophobic, and where sodomy laws are still on the books you might think that their stay was unpleasant. But, when we spoke to a few of them this afternoon they told us they are enjoying every minute of it and that for the most part, they feel welcomed. Phillip Baertschi, Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Cruise: "It was very, we were seeing the shore, it was beautiful and the people were welcoming when we arrive - it was very nice. We enjoyed it very much. I cannot talk for the local gay community. Obviously I don't know how they are living. We haven't met any local gays here. But hopefully the country open up a bit - for the people to understand that we are just normal people."

    Dennison Recovering In Guyana
    The prognosis for Glenfield Dennison is improving tonight. As we reported on Friday, the 31 year old law student at the University of Guyana was shot multiple times in Demerara - which is in western Guyana. On Thursday evening, He had just dropped off his girlfriend and was about to ride off when a gunman approached, firing three shots at him. Two of the shots caught him, one on his stomach and one on his left arm. The shot to the stomach reportedly punctured lungs, and grazed his liver. He was placed in an induced coma and was on a ventilator, but tonight we are told that he is out of the coma, off the ventilator, and talking. A family friend tells us he has made it clear he wants to come home. But that might take a while as he remains in critical but stable condition.

    Licensed Gun Owner Shot Gunman Who Barged Into House
    There was a Sunday shooting in Belize City - but police think that the gunman may have acted in self defence. It happened at around 12:15 where 27 year old Kareem Smith was chasing a man who dashed into a house at the corner of Castle Street and Pitts Alley, which is just off Freetown Road. This is a part of a rivalry between the PIV gang and the cluster of gangs in the Victoria Street area. Smith chased the man into the house while allegedly carrying a gun. And that's where he came upon a visitor to the house who had a licensed firearm. Police have not released his name, the gun owner told police that Smith was pointing a gun, and fearing for his life - and those in the house, he fired several shots and hit the Smith both hands, back, chest and neck. Still Smith managed to run out of the house, where his brother - who was waiting in a vehicle tried to rescue him. But the GSU pulled up at the same time - and detained all suspects, while rushing Smith to the hospital. They also dusted the gunman's vehicle for fingerprints.

    FECTAB Fumes
    Last week we spoke to a few local tour operators after Bradley Paumen, the owner of Dark Night's Cave Tubing Adventures was charged for abetment to murder. They were outraged because - despite the very serious charges, and the fact that Dark Knight didn't have a valid license for the first 18 days of the year - Paumen's tour business continued to operate unhindered. The matter brought into sharper focus an issue of perceived prejudice in favor of Dark Night. Today FECTAB, the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations, held a press conference at the Radisson, to make official their outright discontent. Yohnny Rosado - "So we are here at the point whereby other cave tubing companies they are doing tours as they please. They open a zip line inside the caves and we are regulated as local Belizeans. The company was named Jaguar Paw. The entrance fee was $2. They change from Jaguar Paw to Cave Branch. The entrance fee change to $5. Now they name it Nohoch Cheen. The entrance fee is $10. How does they pay? They don't have a booth, so they don't pay anything. If they are paying something, it secretly because we don't know."

    No Charge For Mentally Ill Scotland Half Moon Arsonist
    Tonight, a family of 5, including a mother and her 4 children, are homeless after their home in Scotland Half-moon Village went up in flames on Saturday evening. 33 year-old Denise Lodge reported to police that she left her home for less than half hour, and when she returned, she found the building ablaze. She and other villagers strongly suspect that someone set it on fire, and police did detain the alleged arsonist. The problem is that he won't be charged because he has been certified as mentally ill. We spoke to police, and to the fire victim today, and here's what they told us: Denise Lodge, Fire Victim: "I left out of my house like 6:30. I went at my sister-in-law like 6:40 and I not even take five minutes from my sister-in-law and by the time I come back was because I saw my house on fire. And I know I never left anything light inside. I didn't have any candle and my stove didn't have butane gas and I don't have electricity in the house. Everything I loss. I didn't get anything out. The fire just blazed quickly. So I didn't get to save anything." Daniel Ortiz: "We were told that it may be because of someone who is considered to be mentally ill. That person supposedly set it on fire. Talk to us about that."

    BDF Making MCC Manageable
    The MCC Grounds - it's the premier football pitch in Belize - but as we told you a few weeks ago, it's been going through a rough stretch. Premier League games at the MCC grounds had to be temporarily postponed pending on going works on the field which have been held up since November of last year. The original plan was to replace the pipes and wires running along the field in time for the construction of better, more up to standard stadium lights. So what happened? The pipes were dug up but the works did not follow. Meanwhile the BDF football team was left without a home pitch for the PLB tournament and high school games continued, running the risk of injury. Now with a new National Sports Director, the National Sports Council hopes to make a temporary quick fix; at least until they can get the proper finances to work on the original plan. Emanuel Pech dropped by for day one of the MCC quick fix project. Today workers of the National Sports council along with members of the Belize Defense Force worked in unison to lay the foundation for the new wiring for the lights of the MCC stadium. They also filled in the trench around the field that had caused an injury during a high school match.

    Sports Council Has New Leader
    And when we met the new director of the National Sports Council, we took the chance to ask him about his vision for the National Sports Council - which, shall we say, is not universally loved? Ritchel Dominguez told us that he hopes to revive the Sports Council which he concedes has gone dormant for some time. But financing has always been an issue for a Ministry that is never placed at the top of the priority list. Dominguez told us he hopes to overcome this by building partnerships with investors and other members of the community. Ritchel Dominguez - Director of the National Sports Council: "Right now we are looking at all the facilities. I have just finish a tour. I am visiting each and every facility in the country. We visited Dangriga, Stann Creek and every district. But what happen is that we are focusing on Belize City and Cayo and Orange Walk, because those are the facilities that needs more upgrading and quicker fix so that we can get them up and running to a standard that is acceptable." Emanuel Pech: "What is the legacy you want to leave behind when you finish your term?" Ritchel Dominguez - Director of the National Sports Council: "My thing is to partnership with the public, to partnership with businesses out there. To get them to support sports and to support the facilities we have..."

    UNICEF Taking "Time Out" Campaign To Community
    UNICEF is enhancing its awareness campaign on violence against children. You've surely seen the "Time Out" television advertisements during our commercials breaks, which show parents the alternatives to physical discipline. Well, UNICEF representative Ivan Yerovi says they will now extend their campaign to the community and they plan to do that through an EU grant. Today at a ceremony held at UNICEF's office, Yerovi and his team told us how this grant will further enhance their work and help them reach out to more families. Ivan Yevori, Country Representative, UNICEF: "Children in the country suffer from violence and sexual abuse etc. The idea here is to work with partners that - community to raise awareness of those issues that are affecting children. We just want to make sure children in the country have a voice and be able to present their cases of situations that are affecting them to the authorities. Working at the community level also is helping is to raise awareness, but at the same time we are working with national authorities, with the Supreme Court for instance. You need be aware of the figures, the statistics and you know that almost one girl is being raped or sexual abused in the country per day. It's not an easy task. It's not an issue we have to be proud of. To the contrary, that's something we all have to be aware of. The main goal at the end of the day is to reduce the level of violence, but also to increase the action of the national authorities. If we have a person that have committed a crime, we would like to see the legal system active on that and therefore we would like to reduce the level of impunity."

    The Mystery Of Martin Muzikant
    The name Martin Muzikant may not exactly ring a bell - but the Czech national made major news in June of 2015. That's when it emerged that his mother had lodged an ethical complaint against attorney Marcel Cardona. Her son, Martin Muzikant had been charged for unlawful possession of a passport and escaping from police - and was expelled from Belize. Well Muzikant has re-surfaced in Belize and tonight police say that they have handed the matter over to the Immigration Department. He was detained yesterday afternoon at around 3:00 in downtown Orange Walk Town. Now, the allegation is that Muzikant operates under multiple identities - and Petr Moneth is another one of his names. No one can say for sure what his business in Belize is but COLA has raised the alarm, saying, quote, "COLA believes that a proper investigation into this matter is being purposely blotched or damaged by the proper Authorities, in order to, like in the David Nanes matter…" end quote.

    Lands Stalling With Santander Solution
    It made major news last year June when the Santander Group settled their dispute with the 31 farmers of Valley of Peace for the crops which were destroyed in that incident in March 2014. The multinational company, handed over a piece land to them valued at 320 thousand dollars, and they went the extra mile to show goodwill by surveying it, clearing it, and creating an access to water for the farmers to grow their crops. The company even gave them 66 thousand dollars to relocate their crops, and committed to paying the stamp duties for the transfer of land titles to the farms. With such a generous donation, you'd think that these farmers had everything they could have asked for, right? Well, the problem is that the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Lands Department has created a bottleneck where these land titles haven't been finalized. PUP's Julius Espat discussed it in the House of Representatives on last week Friday's Meeting, and here's what he had to say:

    NOLA Welcome Belize
    The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is one of the biggest, most renowned, and most enduring Jazz festivals in all of North America - and this year Belize will be features prominently. The festival runs from Apail 22nd to May first and the Festival organizers have selected six Belziean acts to perform. They are The Garifuna Collective, Wageirale Drummers, Bredda David & Tribal Vibes, Sweet Pain with Chico Ramos and Supa G, Talla Walla vibrations and TR Shine. Today we spoke with the Music Ambassador about how they got selected and what it means: The selected performers will be showcased inside the Belize Pavilion and on two Festival stages outside the Pavilion. Now, as we said, the festival is a really big deal - it is one of the most prestigious and well attended Jazz festivals. This year's headliners include Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Lauryn Hill, Pearl Jam, Nick Jonas and Snoop Dogg and very many others.

    Another GSU Complaint
    Tonight, there's another complains against the GSU - except this time the family say they caught it on camera. It happened on Barrack Road on Friday afternoon, when a young man was arrested allegedly for pointing a gun at the GSU. His sister says she pulled up just on time to see the GSU putting a beating on him:.. None of the family wanted to appear on camera, but her brother was never charged for anything and only released on Sunday directly into the turf of a rival gang, he claims.

    STABBING LADYVILLE... (update)
    Ladyville Police are investigating what appears to be a bar fight which happened over the weekend. 5 men were picked up by police, who had been reportedly caught in the act. One villager, Kareem Arnold, was stabbed in the incident, and according to investigators, he's not cooperating with them. Here's what information police have at this time: Arnold was charged for a stabbing in the village which happened in April 2014.

    Channel 5

    Woman Kills Son-in-Law in Self Defence
    A sixty-two-year-old resident of Biscayne, Belize District was released this morning by the police following a bizarre case of domestic violence with a fatal outcome. Moszetta Reyes provided today vivid [...]

    1 Man Injured in Ladyville Scuffle
    Also along the Phillip Goldson Highway, mayhem outside of a local bar in Ladyville left one person injured during a scuffle involving five men over the weekend.  On Saturday night, [...]

    Family Loses Everything after Home is Set on Fire
    A single mother and her five children lost everything when a fire gutted their house in Scotland Halfmoon, Belize District. As they try to pick up the pieces to restore [...]

    Belizean Law Student in Guyana Recovering from Gunshot Wounds
    Thirty-one-year-old Glenfield Dennison, a Belizean law student in Guyana, has been taken off life-support after being shot multiple times in Georgetown on Thursday night. Dennison, who is presently attending the [...]

    FECTAB Calls for Punishment in Paumen Affair
    Today, FECTAB called a press conference to air concerns which they are facing in the industry, and called on government to hear them and act on a number of issues. [...]

    Yhony Rosado Says G.O.B. Over-regulates Small Tour Operators
    FECTAB member and tour operator Yhony Rosado says they deliberately waited until after elections to come public, since they didn’t want to be tarred with a political brush. Still, he [...]

    FECTAB Will Stand Behind Stake Bank Project
    FECTAB also weighed in on the situation surrounding the now halted Stake Bank project. Developer Mike Feinstein has requested exclusivity from Government or at the very least a tangible show [...]

    Woman Assaulted by Ex-boyfriend
    Victims of domestic abuse don’t normally go public about the violence. But tonight, Shawna Gillett, a single mother of four children, has come to the media to expose what she [...]

    Career Criminal Shot by Fearful Homeowner
    Career criminal Kareem Smith is tonight at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital recovering from multiple gunshot wounds. Smith, twenty-seven, was shot in the back, chest, neck and both hands by [...]

    Mennonites Busted With Weed at Checkpoint
    Four persons, two Americans and two Mennonites, of the Spanish Lookout area were busted on Sunday, inside a Toyota Four-Runner. They were found to be in possession of twelve point [...]

    Guatemalan Questioned by Police in Swaney Murder Released
    The Guatemalan fisherman found in the immediate vicinity when American Anne Swaney was killed is back in his home country, out of the reach of Belizean investigators. The executive producer [...]

    COLA Calls on G.O.B. To Step Up in Czech National’s Detention
    Martin Muzikant, a Czech national who also goes by the name Petr Maneth, is in trouble with the law tonight. Muzikant gained prominence when he was accused of an alleged [...]

    Sports Council and B.D.F. Repairing Damaged MCC Football Field
    A year and a half ago, the MCC Grounds in Belize City was closed to facilitate a much needed upgrade. The works were contracted out and scheduled to be completed [...]

    New NSC Director Says Marion Jones Complex is a Priority
    While we had the Sports Director in the hot seat, we also asked about the white elephant Marion Jones Sporting Complex. About the only thing sports-related at the facility are [...]

    Julius Espat Says G.O.B. Slipping Down on Santander Land Situation
    More than six months ago Santander and thirty-one farmers who had been involved in a lengthy dispute came to an agreement on a settlement. The farmers had no title to [...]

    NCL Received 25 Year Exclusive Deal in the South
    The Prime Minister and a delegation are now in Washington DC where they will be meeting high level officials of the U.S. Government on the correspondent banking issue. On Friday [...]

    EU Donates to Fight to Preserve and Promote Children’s Rights
    Creating an Enabling Environment at Community Level…It’s a project of the European Union and the United Nations Children’s Fund that promotes the rights, survival, development and protection of children. This [...]

    RED Cops Meet and Greet in Neighborhood Chapel
    Ladyville police took time off the streets briefly on Sunday and instead turned up mass this weekend at Our Lady of the Way Roman Catholic Church.  Officers attached to that [...]

    Basketball, Football and Cycling Stats with James Adderley
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The PLB closing season kicked off over the weekend with only 1 of the matches scheduled being staged. We [...]


    Danilo Navarette Walks Free Of Murder Charge
    Tonight twenty seven year old Danilo Navarette who was accused of murdering fifty nine year old security guard, Thomas Antonio Moguel back in October of the year 2011, is a free man as his case was thrown out today at the Northern Session of the Supreme Court due to lack of evidence. Viewers might recall that Moguel was killed on Saturday October 15th, 2011 at his workplace at Shell One Stop Gas Station. At the time of the incident, Moguel was sitting down on a chair near the gas pumps when two men approached him from behind and fired a shot to the back of his head resulting in immediate death. The individuals responsible for Moguel’s death managed to flee from the scene; however, a surveillance camera captured the horrific incident but unfortunately was unable to show the assailants’ faces clearly.

    Three Persons Injured In Traffic Mishap
    Three vehicles were involved in a traffic mishap yesterday on the Philip Goldson International Highway. The mishap occurred around 6:30p.m when 38 year old Guinea Grass Village resident Maximo Jimenez was heading towards Corozal Town from the Santa Elena Border in his Red and White Ford Ranger Pick-up, when upon reaching between miles 84 and 85 on the Phillip Goldson Highway he collided with a Red Chrysler Van travelling in the opposite direction. Accompanying Jimenez at the time of the incident was 25 year old Marla Quetzal and two other passengers. As for the van, it was being driven by 27 year old Belizean labourer of San Narciso Village Corozal, Artemio Patt. According to Jimenez, the van drifted into his lane and to avoid a head on collision he swerved to the right side of the highway but still did not manage to prevent the impact.

    Prime Minister, Dean Barrow Travels To Washington To Discuss Banking Issues In Belize
    Prime Minister Dean Borrow left the country on Saturday to attend special meetings with Government and banking officials in Washington D.C concerning the problem being faced by the Belizean banking sector as it relates to the correspondent relationships and the recent de-risking moves taken by bigger US banks. Prime Minister Borrow accompanied by financial secretary, Mr. Joseph Waight, the Governor of the Central Bank of Belize, Mr. Glenford Ysaguirre and Ambassadors Patrick Andrews and Mark Espat are scheduled to have meetings with key Senior officials of the United States Federal Government and with the U.S. banking monitoring systems to discuss possible solutions for the dilemma faced by the banking sector. For some months the banking sector in Belize has been facing a difficult process where big US banks are cutting off their correspondent banking relationship with Belizean banks. Bank of America and many of the larger banks are undergoing what is called de-risking which is when they close off ties from clients perceived as high risk for money laundering or terrorist financing in small countries like Belize. Banks like the Belize Bank, Belize Bank International, Atlantic International Bank and Heritage Bank have seen themselves affected by this occurrence.

    UDP Prepares For National Convention
    While the much anticipated PUP National Convention is set for Sunday January 31, the United Democratic Party also has a national convention looming in the near future as they are preparing for a convention in March. On Friday after the first sitting of the House of Representatives for 2016, we spoke to Prime Minister Dean Borrow who told the Media that there are no official candidates for any of the positions that are up for re-election. Hon. Dean Borrow- Prime Minister: “The dateline for the submissions and applications I believe it is next Friday I don’t know who is actually formally applied what is up for the election party leadership, deputy party leadership, chairman and vice-chairman am really not aware at this point who all may have applied of course there is still a week to go so even if I knew what names have been submitted so far that will be conclusive.” We also spoke to Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Gaspar Vega who conformed to the media that he is not contemplating to run for the position of Party leader at the time.

    BEL Request Another Increase
    In December of last year the Belize Electricity Limited made a submission to the Public Utilities Commission requesting for an eleven percent increase in the Mean Electricity Rate from $0.35 per kWh to $0.3885 per kWh. Today we can tell you that BEL is requesting for another increase of 39 cents in an effort to cover the Full Tariff Review Proceeding (FTRP) which covers a time period of five years. In a public notice that was issued of Friday, BEL stated that the reason behind the request is to Ensure that the true cost of power can be reflected That the electricity rates are stabilized in the long term and In order for BEL to expand on its services and improve service reliability.

    Orange Walk Police Detained Several Persons For Drug Trafficking
    An Anti-Drug and drunk driving operation that was organized by the Orange Walk Police Quick Response Team along with Traffic Personnel, resulted in a number of arrests over the weekend. The first arrest was made on Friday at about 8:00 p.m. when Orange Walk Police visited the home of Gloriole Sosa, Belizean laborer of Trinidad Village. After a search was conducted, police found 45.5 grams of Cannabis in the house. Sosa was then arrested and charged for ‘possession of controlled drugs’. The following morning as the operation continued, Hector August, a laborer of Santa Familia Street, was arrested and charged after he was found in possession of 1.5 grams of Cannabis.


    The Future of the Belize’s Banking Sector – Part 1
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow led a delegation over the weekend to look at how and if the current banking situation in Belize can be remedied as it relates to Corresponding Banking Relations. While PM Barrow stated that we are not in crisis mode, I took a more in-depth look into the situation as it relates […]

    Woman Wants An End to Abuse Against Her
    Belize City resident, Shauna Gillett has had enough of her ex common law husband. She says he has been threatening her. Gillett has taken out a restraining order against him but it seems that even that will not stop him from abusing her. Just recently, she says he attacked her in public. Gillett decided to […]

    Fight Turns Fatal B/ween Mother-In-Law (61) and Son-In-Law (54)
    On Friday night, sixty one year old Moszetta Reyes went through a life threatening experience. She was at her home in Biscayne Village when her daughter’s boyfriend attacked her. Fearing for her life, Reyes attempted to flee but 54 year old Arthur Wade ran after her hitting her with a large piece of stick. Reyes […]

    Mentally Ill Man Escapes Charges Following Suspected Arson
    A fire in Scotland Half Moon Village this past weekend left a family of seven homeless. The house in which thirty three year old Denise Lodge and her family were living in, burnt to the ground and authorities suspect foul play. Reporter Hipolito Novelo has more in this report. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING “Fortunately, 33-year-old, Denise […]

    Bar Brawl in Ladyville Injures Five
    Ladyville police are preparing charge sheets for five persons for the crime of disorderly conducted after participating in an all out brawl in front of a bar on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Oficer in Command for the Ladyville Police, Juanito Cocom shared more. JUANITO COCOM “At 12:30am on the January 23, Police responded to a […]

    Church Pastor Needs Aid to Get Medical Treatment
    The family of Pastor Mark Armstrong is asking the public for your assistance. Armstrong was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in his head. Last Wednesday Armstrong fell ill and was taken to the La Loma Luz Hospital when he started to suffer from seizures and vomiting. Armstrong’s family has been advised by a neurosurgeon to […]

    Placencia Incident Turns Fatal
    One person is dead and another hospitalized following motorcycle accident on the Placencia Road. On Sunday, police visited an area about half mile from the junction of Riversdale and the road leading to the Sagitun Banana Farm, where they saw a red and black motor-cycle in a drain, with damages to the front portion. Initial […]

    Elderly Man Not Recovering From A Bad Beating in Southern Belize
    An elderly man from the Toledo District is hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after being badly beaten. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG “60-year-old, Orlin Sabal remains hospitalized as a result of a Saturday night incident in his home community of Jacintoville. Sabal’s wife, Elena spoke to Love News of what she knows […]

    Cabbage Street Resident Charged with Drug Trafficking
    43-year-old Sergio Valdez of Cabbage Street in Orange Walk Town has been charged with drug trafficking. Police say they visited a house in the Pasadita area of that municipality where they saw Valdez of standing at the back door of the house. Police say when he saw them, he threw away a black plastic bag. […]


    Belizean studying in Guyana shot; critical
    Belizean student Garfield Dennison, studying in Guyana, was shot 2 times, once to chest and once to the hand. 30 year old Dennison is said to be in critical condition at the Georgetown Hospital in Guyana. He was shot by a gunman in Cummingslodge, East Coast Demerara sometime around 10:30 p.m just ...

    Police investigating hit and run in south
    Police in the south are investigating a hit and run accident that left one man in critical condition. The incident occurred sometime around 8 o’clock on Thursday January 21, 2016 between miles 44 and 45 on the Southern Highway. Police say that Estevan Juarez of San Isidro Village was walki...

    PUP says no to Lionel Arzu as ombudsman
    The House of representative met this morning at the National Assembly. At today’s sitting, it was resolved that the Development Finance Corporation will be borrowing 8 million Euros, equivalent to ……..Belize dollars, from the EIB with whom Government will enter into a guarantee agreement. It was al...

    Cruise Port and issue of Exclusivity discussed at National Assembly
    Bills presented for 2nd and 3rd readings at today’s Sitting of the House of representatives, included the private pensions bill to make provision for the registration and supervision of private pensions, the Treasury Bills Amendment Act, the Belize National Coast Guard Service Amendment Bill, and t...

    GOB says it continues to lobby regarding Belize’s de-risking position
    Another matter raised by the opposition at today’s house meeting is the matter of bank de-risking. The matter was raised by the area representative for Caribbean shores Prime Minister Dean Barrow also responded to those statements saying that Government has been addressing the issue and said that Ho...

    Finding the evidence
    Yesterday Plusnews reported on the story where 18 year old Jonathan Zetina of Ladyville was maimed by three young men to whom he offered a ride to Belmopan. His vehicle was taken from him and later was burnt in a feeder road near Belmopan. Last night we showed you shots of the vehicle but today Loui...

    Gun found in Belmopan neighborhood
    The Special Patrol Unit of the Belmopan Police department has been hard at work apprehending criminals, making drug busts and removing dangerous weapons from the streets of Belmopan and surrounding villages. Last night, Thursday 21st January, just before 9 pm, as the SPU was conducting a mobile patr...

    The Reporter

    Vega denies giving directive to take away businessman’s land to accommodate another
    Deputy Prime Minister and former Minister of Natural Resources (lands), Gaspar Vega, has denied giving instructions for the Lands Department to compulsorily take land from one businessman to accommodate another who is now charged with plotting four murders. Vega told reporters that, contrary to a court testimony by Commissioner of Lands Wilbert Vallejos, he did not instruct the Lands Department in 2013 to acquire land from businessman, Michael Modiri to accommodate the owner of Dark Night tours, Bradley Paumen, now accused of plotting the murders of Modiri and three other persons. While Vallejos had informed the court in 2015 that it was Vega who gave the orders to acquire Modiri’s land, Vega flatly denied the allegation. “I don’t know if Mr. Vallejos said that, but I did not give such – if that’s where you’re going to I did not give such a directive. … I remember that there was – not a real dispute, but I think the man wanted an access to his land and government had acquired a piece of land from someone else for him to be able to have access to his land.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Weekend sport winners celebrate close victories
    A series of sporting games were played across the country this weekend starting with Belize Premier Football League’s season opener, which saw Police United FC take on Belmopan Bandits in a tight game that ultimately ended in a 1-1 draw. Goal scorer for the Police […]

    COLA hits Government as Czech fugitive surfaces in Belize again
    One Martin Muzikant, whose name first surfaced last year when he was the subject of an alleged bribery allegation made against local attorney Marcel Cardona which landed him in front of the General Legal Council, is back in the news and in apparent trouble with […]

    Locals have concerns over DiCaprio’s Blackadore Caye project
    There was a public consultation held last week in San Pedro to discuss the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for Leonardo DiCaprio’s proposed eco-resort at Blackadore Caye, however, quite a number of concerns were raised and experts have chimed in, offering professional opinions about the project. […]

    Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB) renews complaints about regulation of tour operators
    Executive members of the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB) have stated that the local regulatory institutions continue to treat them differently, and in their view more unfairly, than foreign-owned rivals Chukka and Dark Night Adventure. It has been a regular complaint of […]

    Punta Gorda police seize drugs and illegal shotgun
    Acting on information received last week Friday, January 22nd, Punta Gorda (PG) Police conducted a search in an open lot on Far West Street of that municipality, where officers found a black plastic bag containing more than a pound of cannabis (600 grams) and […]

    San Ignacio police investigate apparent suicide of 15-year-old girl
    San Ignacio police are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the apparent suicide of a 15-year-old female student. Early this morning police were informed that the student was discovered lifeless. She allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself. Information is still sketchy at the moment and […]

    Succotz resident charged for carrying weed
    27-year-old Javier Itza was arrested and charged for drug trafficking in Succotz village, Cayo District, yesterday morning around 8:45 when police on mobile patrol searched a bag he was carrying, leading to the discovery of 81 grams of cannabis inside. © 2016, This […]

    Motorcycle rider dies in accident on Placencia road
    On Sunday morning, Dangriga police responded to a traffic accident on the Placencia Road about half a mile from the junction of Riversdale and the road leading to Sagitun Banana farm, where they observed a red and black motor cycle in a drain with damages. Police […]

    Orange Walk man busted with half-pound of weed
    An Orange Walk man was arrested and charged for drug trafficking on Saturday afternoon, when he was found with 260 grams of cannabis, which is just a little more than half a pound. Police visited Luis Cardenas’ residence in the Pasadita area of Orange […]

    Belize City cops find half-pound of weed in empty lot
    Belize City Police’s North Side Strike Team, working off information received, conducted a search in an empty lot located on Rhaburn’s Alley Saturday afternoon, which led to the discovery of more than half a pound of weed. Around 1:15 p.m., officers searched the lot […]

    Police detain one person for arson in Scotland Half-moon
    One man has been detained by police for a case of arson that destroyed a wooden structure in Scotland Half-moon village, Belize District, late Saturday evening. Denise Lodge, the 33-year-old owner of a two bedroom bungalow house, reported to police that around 6:45 p.m., […]

    Tourism Industry reports mixed results in 2015
    The statistics for arrivals in the tourism industry in 2015 are out and according to the Belize Tourism Board, these saw a strong growth of six point two percent over 2014 for overnight arrivals and a slight decrease for cruise ship arrivals. Nearly 20 thousand […]


    The Beach Basket is Now Open! (and they have bacon!)
    Living north of the bridge we are always excited when new businesses open. Sure we love all the new bars and restaurant choices we now have up here, but the thing we are the most excited about having is the new Beach Basket grocery store. That’s right, you read correctly. There is a brand new, fully stocked grocery store north of the bridge! Where you ask? The Beach Basket is located on the Grand Caribe property on the first floor of the building where Rain Restaurant is located (approximately 2 miles north of town). Why are we so excited to have a grocery store? Because it’s not just your typical grocery store…..this store is jam packed with all kinds of goodies….. it’s super clean and the staff is always very friendly. Craving some snacks? They’ve got you covered with chips, dips, nuts, cheese and crackers……

    WHAT A VIEW: Parasailing over the Reef and Ambergris Caye
    Last Friday was a GORGEOUS DAY. Let’s go parasailing. At 10am, I went to meet Eric, the new business owner, and his crew at the Fido’s Courtyard dock. Right in the center of town. Let’s go! We got onto the boat – Monty made himself comfy on a front cushion – and headed out towards the reef. One of the guys helped me into a sling. It’s all on piece, so you just slip it on. No tying and adjusting and squeezing. It all feels very safe. Then my favorite part…when the parachute first goes up. A little dance between the guy lifting the ‘chute and the captain…she must remain dry.

    How to make Hummus from Scratch
    7 min. video

    Caracol Mayan Ruins
    Mayans settling Caracol in several waves bestowed two names upon the community: “Three Water Hill” and then “Three Hills Lord,” though its current name wasn’t chosen by Mayan settlers, but by Belize’s Archaeological Commissioner A. H. Anderson in 1938. The largest Mayan site in Belize, Caracol sprawls across 75 square miles, an area greater than Belize City. Of course, that much room was necessary to house a huge population that, at one time, boasted almost 200,000 residents! Learn more about this fascinating epicenter when you visit. Tour the central core of three plaza grounds bounded by two ball courts, an acropolis, buildings, temples, palaces and sacred sites that include altars and places for ceremonial worship. Perhaps the most often written about attraction at Caracol is the Sky Palace (Caana), the tallest man-made structure in Belize. It towers above the settlement at a height of 136-feet, but for those eager to get a complete picture of this ancient world, the stele, tombs, hieroglyphic inscriptions and intricate architectural details will fill in the voids. Reach the Caracol site by starting in the Cayo District and traveling around 25 miles south of San Ignacio to the Maya Mountains foothills where the Chiquibul Forest Reserve welcomes travelers to the former Mayan stronghold. Prepare for a slog. Caracol is situated amid tropical rain and pine forests that could require an arduous trek to reach the site. As recently as 2009, 3D maps taken of Caracol reveal much more to be unearthed about agricultural terraces and paved causeways, reason enough to return in the future.

    Belize: One of the world’s best places to invest in real estate
    Ever heard the phrase “Timing is everything?” This advice was given by Greek poet Hesiod in 800 BC when he wrote: “Observe due measure, for right timing is, in all things, the most important factor.” Fast forward nearly three thousand years and this message is likely to resonate if you’re thinking of retiring to Belize where your money has the potential to stretch as far as Greece if properly invested. The Belize government is primed to do what it can to help you continue to accumulate wealth, even after retiring to this laid-back Caribbean utopia. -Credible sources like Forbes, Huffington Post, The Telegraph, CBS News and a long list of others have named Belize one of the planet’s best places to buy real estate, because valuations are climbing, property is affordable and where can you find this much beauty in a land with such a low cost of living? -It’s easy to invest in Belize properties. Affiliate with a realtor and the hard part is done. Legal transactions are conducted in English so paperwork is understandable, and frankly, if you’ve ever run the gauntlet of real estate transactions back home, you’ll be in for a surprise in Belize: all parties make the process easy and relaxing.

    Sweet Potato Pancakes
    Mix all ingredients together except coconut oil. In a pan heat coconut oil over medium-low heat. Drop spoonful of sweet potato mixture and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

    Crab Cakes with Pineapple-Mango Salsa
    For the crab cakes, combine the bell peppers and green onions in a large bowl. Add the egg, panko, lemon juice, mayonnaise, mustard, Old Bay, salt, and Worcestershire sauce and stir until well-combined. Add the crab and gently mix until ingredients are just incorporated. Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup or spring-form ice cream scoop, form the mixture into patties with your hands. Dredge each patty in additional panko crumbs until well coated. Arrange the cakes on a sheet pan and chill for a minimum of one hour, or until ready to cook. Put a little Coconut Oil into your pan. Heat over medium-high heat until hot. Add crab cakes, working in two batches if necessary, and cook until crisp and light golden brown, approximately 3 to 4 minutes per side. (To bake the crab cakes, preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and add a little Coconut Oil. Top each crab cake with a small pat of butter and bake until warmed through, about 10 minutes. Finish under the broiler until golden, if necessary.)

    Costs of Budget Travel in Belize in 2016
    It’s still also quite easy to explore Belize on a backpacker’s budget. While Belize is certainly more expensive than neighboring Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, it’s not nearly as expensive as most sources would have budget travelers believe. I know because I’ve been exploring Belize for one whole month. During that time I’ve seen half the country and visited several of the most famous/best destinations. I’ve lounged on gorgeous beaches in three major destinations, stayed on Belize’s most famous island for three weeks (Caye Caulker), camped and hiked in interior jungles and visited towns close to the Guatemalan border. I’ve slept in hostels, private rooms at small guest houses and in a tent. I’ve eaten a great variety of tasty local foods. I’ve taken many local buses, hitch-hiked, ridden bicycles and caught the ferry to/from Caye Caulker. In short, I’ve been traveling the same way in Belize that I do in other countries. Yes, it’s a bit more expensive. But it’s still much cheaper than the US, Europe, UK, Australia or New Zealand. It’s also much less expensive than Singapore, SE Asia’s most expensive country.

    International Sourcesizz

    Belice aspira a diversificar su oferta turística a España y Europa
    Manuel Heredia Jr. : I am very proud to be representing Belize in FITUR 2016! El objetivo es diversificar el mercado, tradicionalmente volcado en Norteamérica, declaró a Efe el ministro su Turismo de Belice, Manuel Heredia, que participa por segundo año consecutivo en la Feria Internacional de Turismo (Fitur) que se celebra en Madrid. El ministro destacó como un “particular atractivo ” de su país que sea el único anglófono de Centroamérica y a la vez más del 80 % de su población hable inglés. Esta circunstancia le facilita diversificar su oferta hacia América Latina y Europa, además de sus tradicionales clientes norteamericanos, que copan el 60 % del mercado. Con la nueva estrategia de diversificar los mercados, Belice espera doblar en los próximos cinco años los 1,3 millones de turistas que reciben actualmente.

    Caribbean Prepares for Zika Virus
    Caribbean authorities have begun preparations to contain the spread of the Zika virus in the region through an increase in public education campaigns and adoption of detection and treatment protocols. “In most countries in the region there is a high probability, as Zika can and will spread,” said Joy St. John, director of Surveillance, Disease Prevention and Control for the Caribbean Public Health Agency, or CARPHA. Four CARPHA member-states have confirmed Zika cases: Guyana, Barbados, Suriname and Haiti, she said during a live-streamed press conference. In response to fears the virus will spread to other islands, St. John said Trinidad-based CARPHA will strengthen testing efforts and urged member-states to send blood samples as early as possible for confirmation.

    US, EU Banks 'Cutting Ties To Belize'
    Belize Bank has expressed concerns about the impact on the territory's banking sector of recent efforts by international banks to 'de-risk' and shed operations in some territories due to fears of incurring regulatory fines for infractions. The bank said that this is as a result of perceived risk after regulatory changes following the global financial crisis and concerns about ensuring compliance with geopolitical embargoes. Several large American and European banks have recently decided to cut ties with Belize Bank Limited and Belize Bank International Limited, meaning the loss of foreign correspondent banking relationships, as a result of such policies, it said. Belizean authorities have said they are engaging in diplomatic efforts with US authorities and financial institutions to draw attention to the potentially disruptive effects of the de-risking strategy of large banks on small, trade dependent economies. The statement follows warnings last month by Antigua and Barbuda's Prime Minister of "potentially devastating threats" to the Caribbean's banking sector because of perceptions that investing in Caribbean financial services is more risky. He said that international banks are cutting ties with the Caribbean because of what he termed "an arbitrary and unsubstantiated claim that the Caribbean is a high risk area for financial services" and called for a unified approach from the Caribbean banking sector to promote its good standing and reputation.

    Arizona Archaeology Society Meeting To Focus On Belize Caves
    Dr. Jaime Awe will be the featured presenter at the next Arizona Archaeology Society – Desert Foothills Chapter meeting, happening Feb. 10. Awe will present ‘Tales from the Dark Side: Cave Archaeology in Western Belize and its Implications for the Decline of Maya Civilization.’ In Maya cosmology, few locations were (and are) considered more sacred or ritually charged than caves. Representing portals to the netherworld and places of origin, these dark subterranean sites also served as the abode for important, powerful, and often capricious deities. The Maya further believed that the spirits of deceased ancestors descended to the watery underworld where they could eventually be reborn. Caves were thus places of death and creation. Both the ancient Maya and their descendants visited and visit these sites to conduct rituals. Until recently, intensive scientific investigations of cave sites were rare. The Western Belize Regional Cave Project embarked on a multi-year research program designed to ascertain the nature of Maya cave utilization. By combining ethnographic and ethnohistoric information with data from archaeological investigations, this presentation provides evidence which suggests that the Maya visited caves in an effort to communicate with particular gods or ancestral spirits and the primary focus of their ritual activities were directed toward sustenance and agricultural fertility, and that intensified cave ritual in the ninth century A.D. was intrinsically related to factors that led to the decline of Maya civilization.


  • Correspondent banking relationships with U.S. banks in Belize, 7.5min. Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow explains the issue of correspondent banking relationships with U.S. banks in Belize and what the Government of Belize is doing to resolve it. "No bank in Belize, currently, is absolutely without a corresponding banking relationship." -Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow

  • Zamar to Caye Caulker!, 2min.

  • Scuba diving Belize,, 16min. San Pedro and Coco Plum

  • ZAMAR Tour Reveal 2016!, 5.5min. The ZAMAR Student Choir will sing and minister in the country of BELIZE, summer 2016!

  • Belize Trip, 5.5min.

  • The Great Blue Hole January 14th, 1min. From San Pedro with Amigos del Mar

  • Scuba Belize, 1.5min.

  • trip to belize zoo (snakes), 3min.

  • Sunrise San Pedro Belize, 4min.

  • The Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Program in the North, 5min. The Dolly Parton's Imagination Library was developed in 1995 by Dolly Parton herself, a famous American singer-songwriter, actress, author, businesswoman, and humanitarian, known primarily for her work in country music.

  • Marcos Story GFG Belize 2015, 8min.

  • ROWKIDS Belize 2015 Caye Calker, 4.5min.

  • From Sweden to Belize, 5min.

  • Ben and Mariel Belize Honeymoon 2015, 9min.

  • Belize Snorkel Trip 1/16, 7.5min.


  • Belize Monkey Feeding, 3min.

  • Better Belize it Study Abroad 2016, 4.5min.

  • Belize to Nola Jazzfest, 3min.

  • Belize River Run to Bomba, 5min.


    January 25, 2016


    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

    Wolfe’s Woofer: A Small Bunny Rabbit
    Dennis-Wolfe-Wolfes-Woofers“Are you going to Belize City tomorrow?” Sherry asked. “Yes. I have to pick up some parts for my vehicle.” “Why don’t you just buy them at one of the golf cart shops here in San Pedro?” “Because no one sells parts for my John Deere Gator out here. I have to go to the city and I may even have to go to Spanish Lookout. Why were you wondering if I’m going? Did you need something?” “I don’t really need it,” she said, “but I hear they have a pet store now and they have some bulldog pups. Just check them out for me.” “Sure.”

    Assault and Robbery at Sea
    On Wednesday, January 13th, the Caribbean Safety and Security Net (CSSN) reported that a vessel visiting Middle Long Caye in the Turneffe Atoll was invaded, robbed, and a female guest sexually assaulted. The report is quite shocking, especially since Police did not report the incident immediately. If it wasn’t for the CSSN public report, the incident would have probably gone under the radar. With news of the incident now out, Belize police have finally addressed the incident. The CSSN report stated that an unidentified vessel came alongside the anchored visiting boat, while everyone aboard was asleep. “Four men in 20-30 age range came aboard, each armed with a pistol. One female guest was sexually assaulted, and later treated at the local hospital. Cash, camera, computers, food, drinks, jewelry, and an outboard motor were stolen. The launch left at high speed in a southwesterly direction. The entire event lasted about 45 minutes, and was reported to the Police, Coast Guard, Port Captain and marina,” said CSSN’s report.

    Doctor Love
    Dear Doctor Love, My husband is an older man who has a good friend that he has known for years. The friend used to be married but he has been divorced now for about fifteen years. I have good friend who recently moved back to Belize after living in the U.S. for a long time. These two friends of ours met and started seeing each other and are talking of getting married. I could not figure out how this happened because he is twenty-five years older than her and I know how she is. When I asked her about it she confessed that she really does like him but is really with him because he has money. She figures that he has to leave the money to someone and it might as well be her. I was shocked to hear her admit this. It has really made me look at her differently. I haven’t even mentioned it to my husband but I feel I should do something. What can I do? /s/ Fair Play

    Ambergris Today

    Giant wall cloud creeps up behind Ambergris Caye last night
    Anybody else see this last night? I went out about 1am to see how cold it was and saw this large wall cloud stretched across the horizon to the back part of the island. Looked ominous and cool at the same time. Wish I could have gotten a better pano pic.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Letter to the Editor: How Ambergris Caye has progressed
    1848: On Ambergris Caye there were four (4) families of fishermen. Soon there were 30 houses with 50 people. This was PROGRESSS. 1950: Jim Currie brought the first tourists; more PROGRESS. 1965: First hotel; Holiday Hotel owned and run by the Grief family. PROGRESS. 1976: Coral Beach Hotel opened the first dive shop. PROGRESS continues. 1998: My first dive trip here and evacuated for Hurricane Mitch. My PROGRESS (got me to come back) but setback for island. 2000: Return trip – PROGRESS. 2003: After eight (8) trips I made the permanent move; real PROGRESS. 2004: Bought & occupied condo across the cut with access via pull ferry and sandy cart paths that changed as needed by condition controlled by rain and runoff. PROGRESS continues.

    Some banks in Belize are ripping off poor Belizeans
    By Wellington C. Ramo. In the year 2011, I made a visit to my homeland country Belize to attend one of my brother’s funeral. During my stay at home I went to the Bank of Nova Scotia to open a bank account. My intentions were just to have an account to make deposits and do other banking transactions from the United States. One year after I opened the account, I was getting ready to wire some money into the account to increase my checking and savings balances. I then called the bank from the United States and I was told by a representative that my account was frozen. I asked the person what I must do to lift the freeze on my account. The person said that I will have to come back in person to the bank in order to solve the problem. On December 20 last year I was anxious to go to this bank and get this matter resolved. I met a bank representative who told me that she will have to research the account because it has been frozen for four years. After the conclusion of her investigation, she said to me that I do not have any money left in the account from the original deposit of $400 that I made.

    Caye Caulker cleanup
    So happy to have the Garbage Warriors (now renamed the Trashy Ladies!) back in town. We made a huge dent on the Second Dump, I mean, the road to the south which has been covered with trash since the Fall storms. Tourists walk this trail to see the beauty of Caye Caulker nature and lately it has not been so beautiful! Thanks ladies! We'll tackle the rest soon. Take a stroll down and enjoy the beauty of the shoreline! Before and after photos below.

    BTIA January Meeting
    The Cayo chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association had their January meeting. Javier Paredez represented the Belize Tourism Board, and gave an outstanding presentation on Hotel and Tour Operator licensing.

    The Reporter

    PM responds to Mike Espat’s query over GoB’s support for Port project
    At Friday’s House meeting in Belmopan, Toledo East Area Representative, Mike Espat questioned the reasoning behind the government’s latest show of support for the Port Loyola Cruise port project. Espat, in raising the matter, referred to a study which he said showed the project would not be viable or environmentally sound for that location. He also questioned the potential investor, Michael Ashcroft, with whom the Barrow administration had had legal feuds before over BTL, and was left having to find millions of dollars to settle the re-nationalization of that company. “The Prime Minister had a big fight with Michael Ashcroft, with investment, took away B.T.L., had to pay millions of dollars that the Belizean people have to pay back, and now I understand the Prime Minister, in his speech, said they will now go back and they will study the Port of Belize project, along with who – with Michael Ashcroft? So what kind of game is going on here with the government and Michael Ashcroft? We know the study that was done at the Port of Belize, and the advice that they got. They are saying that this project is not feasible for that area, and yet we are going back again to study the same thing all over again,” Espat questioned.

    Mexican ambassador: “Mexico has not shown any increases in carrot exports to Belize “
    Mexico has not shown any increases in carrot exports to Belize recently, says Mexico’s Ambassador to Belize, Carlos Quesnel Melendez. This is despite the plight of local carrot farmers, who have had to dispose of their carrots because of what they say is an overflow of imported Mexican carrots, which claim is approved by the government. The carrot farmers, mainly from the Orange Walk District, say they have had to dump around 70 percent of their carrots because import permits, granted by the government to select importers, have caused an over-flooding of carrots at the markets. The Government has denied that claim, saying it does grant import permits for carrots, but only when the local supply does not meet the demands.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Mainly fair weather conditions will prevail the next couple of days
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mainly fair and cool weather with little or no rainfall. Winds will be blowing from the North-Northeast at 5-15 knots and the sea state will be light chop to choppy. High temperatures today are expected around […]

    Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge 2016 coming soon
    The four day competition that is an adventurer’s dream, the Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge, kicks off for 2016 on February 20th when groups of four will begin racing through the Belizean Jungles, mountain biking, trekking, orienteering, canoeing, rappelling and spelunking, from Cahal Pech Resort […]

    Roaring Creek man charged for 5 grams of weed
    Around 2:30 yesterday afternoon, a search at the residence of Roaring Creek resident, Silvestro Alejandro Chiac, resulted in his arrest and he was charged for ‘possession of controlled drugs’. Belmopan Police along with a Canine Unit, working on information received, visited a two story […]

    Melida Pereira Crowned San Pedro Carnaval Queen 2016
    The third annual Mrs. Reina del Carnaval took place last night at the R. Angel Nunez Auditorium. Out of the five contestants that participated in the event, Melida Pereira walked away with the coveted title of Carnaval Queen of San Pedro Town, followed by […]


    Corn Atole
    Using a sharp knife, carefully cut enough kernels off the corn cobs to make 3 to 3 1/2 cups. Then scrape the cobs with a knife to remove all their milk. Place 2 1/2 cups of the corn in a blender along with 2 cups of the water and puree well. Strain the pureed corn through a sieve into a medium saucepan and discard the solids. Stir in the remaining corn kernels, 1/3 cup sugar and salt. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, or until lightly thickened. If the atol doesn't thicken to a creamy consistency, mix the cornstarch with a little cold water and whisk into the simmering liquid until it is just thick enough to coat a spoon.

    Pork Sholder in Pressure Cooker and Pickled Onions
    HEAT oil in a pressure cooker over medium-high heat. Add the meat in batches; cook it for 4 min. or until it is brown. Put all the meat in the pressure cooker; add juice mixture over it. CLOSE the pressure cooker tightly. Cook meat over medium-high heat until the pressure gauge is in place and the rotary valve begins to vibrate gently. Reduce heat to maintain a slow gradual and consistent rotational movement; 55 min cooking time for meat. Remove from heat; let stand 10 min. or until the pressure gauge drops. Meanwhile, put the onions in a pot with boiling water and cook for 5 min.

    Johnny Cakes
    1. Calienta el horno a 400 F/ 205 C. 2. Coloque la harina, sal, polvo de hornear y la manteca en un bol. 3. Con puntas de los dedos frote la margarina y la mezcla de harina juntos (como al hacer galletas, la harina y la grasa deben formar pan de miga como grumos). 4. Añadir la leche de coco poco a poco a la mezcla de harina y trabaja con las manos hasta formar una masa.

    Creole Bun
    Proof your yeast with a little bit of sugar and warm water. When it proofs, combine the coconut milk to make 2/3 cups liquid. Poor into the combined dry ingredients and knead to a nice soft dough. Let it rise till double in size. Knock down and let rise again. Shape into two loaves and bake preheated oven till nice and brown.

    Cocoon Lobster Dip
    In a medium bowl, mix together lobster meat, onion, lemon juice, cream cheese, butter and celery. Continue mixing until smooth. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until serving.

    Altun Ha Mayan Ruins
    Among outstanding features of this former ceremonial center frequented by wealthy, powerful Mayans are two main plazas and 13 structures including the Temple of Masonry Altars. If engineering impresses you, check out the Maya-constructed water reservoir where crocodiles hang out these days. Once a project that provided settlement water, you may wonder how rain collected here instead of leaching or leaking away. Engineers used yellow clay to seal the ground so water couldn’t escape–yet another testament to Mayan ingenuity. Among outstanding features of this former ceremonial center frequented by wealthy, powerful Mayans are two main plazas and 13 structures including the Temple of Masonry Altars. If engineering impresses you, check out the Maya-constructed water reservoir where crocodiles hang out these days. Once a project that provided settlement water, you may wonder how rain collected here instead of leaching or leaking away. Engineers used yellow clay to seal the ground so water couldn’t escape–yet another testament to Mayan ingenuity. Altun Ha is situated 31 miles north of Belize City along the Old Northern Highway and about 6 miles west of the Caribbean Sea shoreline. If you drive, travel half an hour past Sandhill Village and two miles down Rockstone Pond Road toward the reserve. This two miles isn’t paved, so prepare for a bumpy ride.

    International Sourcesizz

    Belize Community Development Information Session
    Join Dr. Jensen on Wednesday, Jan. 27, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in KIMP 207 and learn about University of Arkansas' Community Development Program in Belize! This unique program is an international service learning project for 6 credit hours in Belize during Summer Session 1. University of Arkansas faculty project leaders will instruct students in a practicum in their specific fields of study where they have the opportunity to consult with community partners to prepare and develop the projects that will take place each summer in Dangriga and throughout the year and implement service learning projects during the first UA summer session in the community of Dangriga, a city of about 10,000 on the Caribbean coast. Culturally and linguistically, the city is a fascinating mixture of Creoles, Mestizos, and Mayans, though it is dominated by the Garifunas, a Caribbean people descended from African slaves and indigenous groups, with English being the official language. Projects are currently being planned for Business, Engineering, Agriculture, Literacy and Health Professions. All projects will be open to students from all majors who will be looking for elective credit in the humanities.

    Fresh concerns raised over Leonardo DiCaprio's eco-resort
    The eco-resort described by Leonardo DiCaprio as "groundbreaking in the environmental movement" is drawing concerns from local residents. The 104-acre Blackadore Caye off the coast of Belize, purchased by the 41-year-old "Revenant" star in 2005, was announced last April as the future site of a world class sustainable resort. "With the onset of climate change, there are huge challenges, so we want the structure to not only enhance and improve the environment, but to be a model for the future," DiCaprio told the NY Times. "That includes restoring the island, creating conservation areas where we can hold research conferences, and regenerating the entire ecosystem to bring it back to its original form and beyond." Tentatively titled "Blackadore Caye: A Restorative Island," the resort will feature a variety of guest villas atop an arc-shaped platform on the water, as well as luxury estate homes built with sustainable and local materials. Renewable energy, electric vehicles, and innovative water and waste treatments systems (among many other green highlights) will also be integrated.

    Coffee-Shop Dreams on a Tropical Island
    I am happy. I don’t worry about car insurance, driving for hours, or trafc. I don’t have to put on a pair of heels and a business suit. Flip-ops and a great pair of shorts or sundress are my normal attire now,” says Marlene Houghton, who owns Marbucks, her dream coffee shop on the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize.

    English-Speaking Havens Around the World
    When you move abroad, it’s an adjustment. It’s a new culture, a new lifestyle, new customs, and new ways of doing things. But one way to ease your transition is to settle in a place where you don’t have to learn a new language, too.


  • Belize Trip 2016 Highlight Video, 5min. unBELIZEable trip! better belize it!

  • Our trip to Mexico and Belize 2015, 5min. We were reminiscing on the 3 weeks we spent in Mexico and Belize last year; snorkling, a cenote, swimming with sharks, going in caves, and rescuing puppies, so I thought I'd put together some of the videos of us to be able to look back on the trip easier

  • Blue Tang of Belize, 4.5min. An educational video about the Atlantic Blue Tang, Acanthurus coeruleus. Film taken from my study abroad trip to Belize. Not all pictures are mine.

  • Belize 2015, 3min. Belize was an amazing vacation. We saw Mayan ruins, deep caves, and coral reefs in Caye Caulker.

  • Belize humming bird in Rain, 1min. Made from still photos in southern Belize in January 2016.

  • Belize 2016, 6min. A short video summarizing a study tour I attended in Caye Caulker Belize, over winter break. I am so thankful for this experience, as I have met a group of life long friends. Thank you to all of the wonderful beings who made this trip so special. I will forever hold each and every one of you close to my heart, and I will always cherish the memories we created together in Belize. Go slow, my friends!

  • Belize part 1, 6min.

  • Belize part 2, 2min.

  • Belize part 3, 5min.

  • Lamanai Ruins in Belize, 61min. Megalith Research explored the ancient ruins of Lamanai. Arguably one of the best ruins in all of the Yucatan region.

    January 24, 2016


    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

    2016-2017 Miss Carnaval
    Melina Pereida was crowned the 2016-2017 Miss Carnaval. Title of first runner up was awarded to Angie Puerto. Congratulations to all participants on an excellent show.

    Guest Editorial: Leonardo DiCaprio is playing the role of a lifetime
    By Alyssa Arceo. It’s a crime that Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t have an Oscar yet, because he has done a great job acting like an environmentalist. His acting is so insanely good that you might not know he travels by private jet (in each trip racking up the carbon footprint left by the average American in one year), or spends his vacations on gas-guzzling yachts. You might have listened to his most recent Golden Globes acceptance speech – one where he dedicates his award to indigenous peoples and declares the importance of protecting indigenous lands – and mistakenly thought that’s what he actually believes. I thought so too. Until more detailed plans for his development of Blackadore Caye in Belize were revealed. See, his line in the speech that we have to protect native lands for native people seems kind of incongruous with his plan to turn Blackadore Caye into a resort island lined with $15 million villas. Can’t afford the villas? Don’t worry, maybe you can afford the $3,000+ a night stay in one of the overwater buildings. You can’t? Me neither. I wonder how many of the local people DiCaprio wants to save the island for actually can afford a stay in those overwater structures. The same overwater structures that are placed in the newly expanded Conservation Zone V. What kind of environmentalist advocates for more protection, and then disregards that protection because to respect it would make his venture less profitable? Not a real one, that’s for sure.

    Island players drafted for Belize National Futsal Selection
    The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) has drafted a selection of football players for the Belize National Futsal (five-a-side) Selection to represent the country in the upcoming Central American Football Union (UNCAF) Futsal Elimination Tournament. Among those called to training are seven players from San Pedro Town: Rugerri Trejo, Darrell Novelo, Thomas Baptist, Ethnie Figueroa, Mario Chimal, Luis Valdez and Nestor Cerpa. Those players who take part in the training will be traveling to Guatemala City from Wednesday, January 27th to Sunday, January 31st to take part in UNCAF Futsal Elimination Tournament. The players called for the selection include: Rugerri Trejo, Darrell Novelo, Thomas Baptist, Ethnie Figueroa, Mario Chimal, Luis Valdez, Nestor Cerpa, Jorge Garcia, Juan Carlos Saravia, David Micheal Madrid, Luis Avalos, Jairo Lopez, Cristian Orellana, Kevin Botes, Jorge Hidalgo, Jony Gonzalez, Luis Perez, Cesar Gonzalez, Henry Avilar and Edmond Floyd Pandy. The team has been practicing since Friday, Janaury 15th under the administration of FFB Technical Director, Renan Couoh.

    Educating Ambergris Caye one smile at a time
    For the past 12 years, the Smile Dental Clinic located at Holy Cross Anglican School has been providing free services to island children and other members of the community. But this service does not only come in the form of dental work, as it also provides educational awareness. Volunteers have indicated that throughout the years, they have noticed a dramatic improvement in the dental health of the children at Holy Cross Anglican School. Children have become more aware of the importance of good dental health and in turn, these qualities are being passed on to the wider community. This year, the Smile Dental Clinic saw the presence of both returning volunteers as well as a first timers. Dr. Ken Beadling, of Kalamazoo Michigan, USA has ten years of experience in dentistry and has been providing free services at the Smile Dental Clinic for the past three years. “I’m pretty impressed with the dental health of the patients I have observed. It is quite evident that the work done by this clinic has impacted the dental health of the students significantly,” said Dr. Beadling.

    Ball Gowns and BBQ Charity Gala benefits ACES School
    On Wednesday, January 20th, Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES) held its first annual Ball Gowns and Barbeque charity gala at Estel’s Dine by the Sea Restaurant. From 6:30PM onward, the event included a delicious dinner, raffles plus silent and live auctions, all organized by ACES’ board of directors. For a donation of $75 per person, supporters enjoyed Estel’s famous mixed grilled BBQ and unlimited rum punch. Conrad and The Tried and Tue Band serenaded the evening with a big ‘ol heap of Texas spirit. All proceeds of the event went directly to ACES, benefiting the many programs they carry out each year. ACES is the only school on the island that has a dedicated special needs classroom. According to Principal Denice Ryan, ACES started offering this service in honor of a very special child, Cody, who has autism. Cody’s mother was in attendance at the event and shared a few heartfelt words of gratitude with everyone present. She commended Teacher Sarah Freudenberg in particular, for her dedication in helping children with special needs, highlighting how much progress her son has made, including learning his own name and interacting socially when he was unable to do so before.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    ESTM Celebrates its 33rd anniversary
    January 22nd, 2016, ESTM Celebrated its 33rd anniversary. 33 years ago in 1983, through the assistance of the Government of Mexico, the Escuela Tecnica Secundaria Mexico - (ESTM) High School was opened in the village of San Roman. The school’s motto has always been “Providing Skills, Knowledge & Positive Attitudes.” Escuela Tecnica Secundaria de Mexico opened its doors n January 1993 with an enrollment of 50 students. Today, that enrollment has staggered and the future looks bright for ESTM. Congratulations to the faculty, staff and students of ESTM. Keep shinning!

    Heartz Football Club Tryouts
    Heartz Football Club is having practice and tryouts starting Monday the 25th of January. "Heartz Bulletin: Note to ALL Players & Prospect Players on upcoming practice/tryouts & tournament dates Heartz FC-First Division Practice Schedule: Where: Victor Galvez Stadium Week 1: Jan 25,27 & 29(Mon,Wed& Friday) at 5:30 p.m-8 p.m. Sun-Jan 30, 2016 at 5:30 am -8 am Week 2:Feb 1,3 & 5(Mon,Wed& Friday) at 5:30 p.m-8 p.m. Sun-Feb 7, 2016 at 5:30 am-8 am Team Registration on Feb 4, 2016 Tournaments is expected to begin on February 12, 2016"

    SHJC Dean's List Awards
    Sacred Heart Junior College had their Dean's List Awards, and Dean Fermin Magana handed out the awards to all the future leaders of Belize. Congratulations, and keep up the great work!


    Belizean family guilty of US$300,000 scam!
    Yesterday, a federal jury in Las Vegas, Nevada, found several members of a Belizean family guilty on multiple felony counts, ranging from using false identities to steal almost $300,000 in unemployment funds, to mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, making a false statement in application for a passport, making a false citizenship claim, misusing a US passport and misusing a Social Security number. The report, coming out of Las Vegas, did not say what kind of prison time the alleged mastermind of the scheme, Frederick Vernon Williams, 35, of Belize, would face when his sentencing hearing is held. No date was reported for the sentencing hearing. Williams, however, still has a catalogue of other cases pending in state and federal courts. Apart from Williams, his sister, Jacqueline Louisa Gentle, was convicted of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, theft of government money, making a false statement in an application for a passport, and misusing a social security number.

    FBI in Belize!
    The Belize Police Crimes Investigation Branch, in collaboration with Benque Viejo police, are conducting an intense investigation to solve the murder of American television executive, of ABC 7 Chicago News, Anne Elizabeth McComb Swaney, 39, of Chicago, USA, who was killed on the banks of the Mopan River, near the Nabitunich Stone Cottage Resort in Succotz, a village in the Cayo District. Her body was found in the Mopan river at about 8:00 Friday morning, January 15, after she was reported missing at about 5:00 Thursday evening, January 14. Swaney was on a 7-day vacation at the Nabitunich Resort. The manager of the resort told police that at about 8:00 on the morning of Thursday, January 14, she went to the nearby Mopan river to practice yoga and meditate, but failed to return. Benque police who began the investigation into the murder by interviewing the staff and guests of the resort, reported that a Guatemalan man who was found in the area where Swaney’s body was found, was detained, and it was found that he was in the country illegally.

    Pirates attack American tourists on yacht
    A group of American tourists, according to a report made to police, were in a yacht, Yachtman’s Dream, anchored in the sea near Middle Long Caye on the night of Wednesday, January 13, when four armed pirates boarded their yacht and robbed them. The pirates, after harassing and terrorizing the tourists, stole electronic items and an outboard motor, as well as other personal items belonging to the tourists, after which they escaped in the boat they came in. Police and the Coast Guard, along with the Port authorities, were notified and they went to the area, but the robbers had already escaped. Police say, however, that their investigation led to a man in Belize City, who was found with some of the items stolen from the boat. Bradwick Lino, 22, was arrested and charged with handling stolen goods and taken to court yesterday, where he pleaded guilty and was given a 3-month sentence. He was also to face an additional charge for aggravated burglary.

    Police issue wanted poster for murder suspect
    Police have issued a wanted poster for Juan Carlos Lopez Gutierrez, aka “Chile,” 58, a Salvadoran who is a farmer of Indian Church, Orange Walk District, who, they say, murdered Francisco Arravelo, 51, a Salvadoran, also of Indian Church. Arravelo’s nude body was found in a semi-complete concrete house in the village at about 10:30 Sunday morning, January 17. His killer had chopped him in the back of the head and his left hand was partially severed. ASP Selwyn Tillett, Commander of Orange Walk police, said that at about 9:00 Saturday night, Arravelo was lured out of his house by a woman who called him on his cell phone and told him to meet her, and when he went to meet her, he was killed. Police believe that the motive for the murder was jealousy over the woman, with whom Arravelo reportedly had an intimate relationship. Police acted quickly and found Arravelo’s cellphone on him, from where they got the number of the woman who they believe lured him to his death. Through their investigation, they were able to determine that the woman and Carlos Lopez Gutierrez were also lovers.

    Impasse broken over pay raise for FirstCaribbean workers?
    The new collective bargaining agreement which our sources say had been reached almost two weeks ago between the management of CIBC FirstCaribbean Bank, on the one hand, and the unionized workers of the bank, on the other hand, has still not been signed. However, information reaching our newspaper today is that the bank has proceeded to pay workers a 2% pay raise for 2014 and another 2% for 2015—still short of workers’ expectations—and a settlement has also been reached to address concerns of workers over their debts to the bank. None of the persons with whom we spoke about the agreement would disclose the exact terms of the exit package to us, and the union source with whom we spoke asked to remain anonymous. In December 2015, when the bank announced that it had decided to formally close its Belize offices at the end of January, president of the Christian Workers Union, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, had said that the bank originally offered workers a salary increase of 1% while the unions started with a bid for a salary raise of around 8%, in line with what the public officers and teachers have been receiving.

    Central American countries will try to crack down on international crime
    Efforts are being made by various Central American countries to coordinate their efforts and harmonize their laws in order to crack down on crime (particularly money laundering and weapons trafficking) as a unified body. Today, at the Belize Biltmore Plaza officials from the Forum of Presiding Officers of Parliaments of Central America and the Caribbean Basin (FORPREL) presented proposed legislation to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Senators of the National Assembly of Belize. Michael Peyrefitte, the Speaker of the National Assembly, told the media that the aim of the seminar was to find ways to improve our laws regarding firearms and money laundering. “Today we are hearing presentations from consultants in Central America concerning money laundering and trafficking of firearms in the hopes of making improvements to the firearms and the money laundering laws,” Peyrefitte said.

    Poor & Famous football exchange
    On Sunday, January 17, Poor and Famous Culture Club from Belize City visited Caye Caulker with a U-16 football team made up of 12 youths from the Sand Field (Hostel) area in Collet to play a friendly interaction game against 15 youths of Caye Caulker U-16 team. It was the first of a two-game schedule for a different area of the city every month. There will be trips to Caye Caulker every other Sunday for four months with youth teams from different areas in Belize City. The idea is to benefit the City youths with more opportunities and also to benefit the island village youths with more exposure, and especially to get a chance to interact and partake in a positive initiative for young men. On January 31, Back-a-town gets to go; and on February 14, Cumberbatch Field Boys go to the island.

    Do-or-die football semifinals on Sunday
    Secondary schools football Dangriga Zone secondary schools football continued on Monday at Ecumenical football field with game 3 in the female 5-game-series between Ecumenical and Delille Academy. Going into Monday’s game, the series was tied at 1 game apiece. Delille won game 1 by a 2-nil score, and Ecumenical won game 2 by a 3-1 margin. Monday’s game ended in a 2-2 tie. Leslyann Lucas got both goals for Delille Academy, while Genesse Ramirez scored both for Ecumenical. Game 4 comes up today, Wednesday. This will be a big match-up. Also on Monday, in the male match-up, Ecumenical won over ANRI, 6 goals to 3. Myrick Davis Marshall got 2, and Iron Gill, Jonard Castillo, Donnel Arzu and Mark Samuels got 1 apiece for Ecumenical; while ANRI got 2 goals from Jahrone Lopez and the other from Seydeek Zuniga. Delille Academy and Ecumenical males ended up tied with points at 4 apiece; but Delille Academy was leading with goals, since they defeated ANRI by 5 to 1 last week.

    “… to old Sarstoon …”
    Brigadier-General David Jones, the Commandant of the Belize Defence Force (BDF), made some very disturbing comments on a LOVE FM morning talk show this week. He said that some kind of “political decision” has to be made in Belize, because the Guatemalan military have been instructed by their political leaders that the entirety of the Sarstoon River belongs to Guatemala. So that, General Jones is saying, on national radio and television, it is only because of the BDF’s “very good relationship” with their “Guatemalan counterparts” that the Guatemalan military are allowing the Belize military to enter the Sarstoon. This newspaper has not participated in the line of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) and other critics who have been saying, for months, that Belize has lost the Sarstoon while under the leadership of Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his ruling United Democratic Party (UDP). The evidence for such a charge had been fairly strong, but it had not reached the point of being definitive. After listening to General Jones’ comments, however, we would like to warn Prime Minister Barrow that he is in danger of going down in history as the Belizean leader who lost the Sarstoon. We believe we understand the thinking behind the game that is being played at the Sarstoon, but it is a very dangerous game for Belize. The game, and it is a game which one must assume is being orchestrated by the American superpower, is designed to frighten Belizeans into accepting an International Court of Justice (ICJ) resolution to the Guatemalan claim to Belize.

    From the Publisher
    Morality, ethics, a dignified value system, all these things assume, or presume, a certain standard of living. What I mean is, and what I argue is, if a human being is starving to death, should we judge him by the same rules if he stole a piece of bread, as we would judge a multimillionaire Wall Street banker who was stealing more millions? Shouldn’t leniency be extended to the starving thief? The fact of the matter is that in the neoliberal capitalist system of the world, the starving man who stole a piece of bread would likely be treated more harshly, for several reasons, than the crooked Wall Street banker. The most important of these reasons would be because the Wall Street rich man would be able to hire high-powered attorneys, whereas the piece of bread thief, defenseless, would have the judicial book thrown at him. It’s a crime to be poor, even though it is otherwise proclaimed in the Holy Bible, which categorically declares that the poor are blessed. Bring it home to Belize, and bring it quickly. The white collar criminals do not go to prison here, all of us in Belize know that. The blue collar sinners pack the jailhouse. And what “white collar” means is rich and privileged. What “blue collar” means is working class, unemployed, or just plain poor. In Belize, by the time of the nationalist resistance scholars consider as having taken shape in 1950, there were some native families which had become comfortable and secure enough financially where they could essentially share and believe in the moral code of the ruling British colonialists, while condemning those of their native brethren and sistren whose moral code was lax, for the reason (or excuse) that they were financially marginalized.

    Letter to the Editor: Legal costs crushing in Belize
    Dear Editor, The recent telethon helping to fund the outstanding legal costs of Lucilo Teck is a worthwhile effort, and has made a fair amount of exposure in the media. However, the larger, more important question has not been raised by anyone. And that question is: are the legal costs in Belize preventing justice being served, not just in the civil court, which seems to be extremely busy in recent years with dispute after dispute going to court, the majority of cases involving GOB to some degree, but also in the criminal courts? I know of one student in the last year of high school who cannot even apply for bail because her family cannot afford the legal costs of even the cheapest lawyer (that sentence doesn’t read right – “cheap” and “lawyer” aren’t naturally associated with each other!). To underline the huge chasm between “real life” and the legal profession, the high profile quote from Denys Barrow regarding his rate, and that of other senior lawyers, charging $1,000 an hour equates to over 300 hours at the minimum wage. That’s more than 37 days (8-hour-day) and more than 7.5 weeks! (5-day week). This is at the extreme end of one of the most important issues facing Belizeans – inequality, but that’s a topic for another day.

    Historic elections in Taiwan
    Almost 10 million voters from the island of Taiwan went to the polls last week in what has proven to be historic elections in that country, with the election of the first woman to the presidency, the country’s highest office, as well as the first ouster of Kuomintang – KMT from the country’s legislature. “Taiwanese people have used their ballots to make history,” said Tsai Ing-wen, 59, chairwoman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), who garnered 6.89 million votes (or 56.12%), beating KMT’s Eric Chu by a wide margin of about 80%. Chu won 3.81 million (or 31.04 percent), according to information published in Taiwan Today, the news agency of Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He stepped down as party chairman after conceding defeat. Meanwhile, the DPP won 68 of 113 seats in the Legislature, winning a majority for the first time. KMT won 35 seats. Tsai is to succeed the KMT’s Ma Ying-jeou, who was said to promote the “one China” policy.

    Belize received 1.3 million tourists in 2015
    The callous murder of American digital media producer Anne Swaney last week while she was vacationing in Belize for the second time, has sent shockwaves through what has been a very vibrant industry in Belize—one which saw record numbers particularly in the overnight sector in 2015—and stakeholders are hoping that the senseless killing of a woman who made Belize her preferred destination—like so many other US nationals—does not cause other tourists to shy away from coming to The Jewel. The US Embassy in Belize has refuted reports that the US State Department had issued a travel advisory for visitors to Belize after Swaney’s murder. In pledging to work with law enforcement agencies to improve visitor safety, the BTB said, “As always, the safety of guests visiting your businesses, our cities and our country remains our top priority.” In its 2015 tourism recap released today, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) noted the US market holds the biggest share in the industry at 63.1%, with the European market being second at 12% and the Canadian market third, at 7% in what ended as a robust year for Belize’s tourism market.

    Mental patient “disappeared” over a year ago from mental institution
    A mentally challenged patient, 34, went missing from Palm View Centre Hospital (formerly “Rockview”), Maya Mopan, Belmopan, over a year ago, but the incident went under the radar. It resurfaced, however, when her daughter, Siera Hodgson, 20, came to Belize to visit her birth mother for the Christmas holidays, only to be told that she has been missing for over a year. As a result, Hodgson contacted the media to try to help her in finding her mother, since she felt that the authorities have failed her and her mother. Hodgson, who has lived in Scotland for six years with her adopted mother, Susan Hodgson, told Amandala that on December 26, 2015, she went to the Palm View Centre Hospital, only to be told that her mother was missing. Hodgson said “I went to see my mom with gifts and food, and I was looking forward to it, because that was the main reason I came to Belize. We were stopped at the front desk and asked to wait for her. I was with my adopted mom and friends, and they came back to us ten minutes later to say, ‘Oh, I have bad news – your mother is missing. She ran away. I thought you knew because I kept asking my supervisor if they contacted the child.”

    Calvin Cumberbatch, Sr., facing manslaughter and other charges for deadly weekend accident
    There was a serious road traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway over the New Year’s weekend that left two persons dead and one man injured. The injured man, Calvin Cumberbatch, Sr., who is an employee of the Belize City Council Traffic Department, was booked on six charges and arraigned in the Magistrate’s Court this afternoon. Cumberbatch appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza with his attorney, Audrey Matura-Shepherd. Mendoza arraigned him on six indictable charges in connection with the January 3 fatal accident in which Cumberbatch lost his wife, Pamela Garnett-Cumberbatch, the popular money lender from Caesar Ridge Road, in the Yarborough area. Ladyville police charged Cumberbatch with two counts of manslaughter by negligence for allegedly causing the death of his wife, Pamela, and for the death of Burrell Boom resident Alfredo Navarette.

    Two Wesley College sixth form students remanded on illegal firearm possession
    Two nineteen-year-old students from Wesley College Junior College were arraigned on a charge of possession of an unlicensed firearm this morning. Stradni Cassasola and Demrey Lewis, both residents of Faber’s Road Extension, pleaded not guilty to one count of possession of an unlicensed firearm after Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser read the charge and asked them first if they understood what she had just read and to enter a plea. Police charged the two with keeping a firearm without a gun license following a high-speed chase across the Chetumal Street Bridge that ended on Gibson Street. Cassasola told the court that the arrest and consequent charge are a mistake, because he is employed in the Ministry of National Security.

    GOB” talking loud and saying nothing”
    On December 9, 2015, a groundbreaking ceremony was held to build a Forward Operating Base (FOB) for the Belize Coast Guard two and half months after the Prime Minister announced that his government would build such a base at the mouth of the north bank of the Sarstoon River, in the middle of the Sarstoon River near Punta Gorda, Belize’s southernmost border with Guatemala, which, in 2015, became a lightning rod in Belize’s territorial dispute with Guatemala. The area also is a hotbed of a lot of illicit activities, mostly by Guatemalans illegally in the country. The Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) and Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), fully aware of the frequent trespassing in the area on the part of the Guatemalan navy, and the acts of harassment carried out by that very navy against Belizeans, had campaigned for the base to be built on the island under their slogan, “Build the Base Now.” Two such incidents of confrontation and aggression against Belizeans by the navy of Guatemala took place in May of last year, when Coast Guard officers were harassed by the Guatemalan navy, and in August of that same year when Belize Territorial Volunteers and Northern Territorial Volunteers went on an expedition to Sarstoon Island and similarly were confronted by Guatemalan forces.

    Worthless, chancy stepfather accused of raping stepdaughter, 12
    A man who is the stepfather of a girl, 13, is in police custody on charges of rape, aggravated assault and threatening words. The child told police that her stepfather raped her on two occasions, when her mother was not at home. The child told her uncle what was happening, and they both went to Dangriga police at about 2:15 p.m. yesterday. She told police that at about 3:30 on Thursday afternoon, after she came from school, her stepfather pulled her in a bungalow house, tied both her hands behind her, covered her mouth and eyes with a rag and then put a knife on the side of her neck. He then raped her. The child told police that on Friday, when she came home after school, her stepfather again tied her up, blindfolded her eyes and covered her mouth, threatened her, and raped her.

    The Reporter

    Opposition leader objects to contract renewal for Ombudsmen
    The government, during Friday’s House sitting, approved thr renewal of thr contract for Lionel Arzu as Ombudsman. But while Arzu got the nod from the Barrow adminstration, the opposition didn’t support the decision. Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca, said Arzu’s record does not impress his colleagues on the other side of the isle. “This is not a motion that we can support on this side of the house. We wish to place on record that over the past few years that Mr. Arzu has served as the Ombudsman, we have received – and many of my colleagues have reported to me these complaints and concerns – about the level of inactivity and ineffectiveness of the Office of the Ombudsman over the past few years,” Fonseca told the Members of the House. Fonseca compared Arzu’s performance to those of previous Ombudsmen.

    Belizean law student critically wounded in shooting in Guyana; family appeals for help
    Glenfield Dennison, 31, a Belizean law student in Guyana, lies in an induced coma and a critical condition after he was shot at around 9:00 on Thursday night; and his family is asking for financial help for his mother to reach him. Dennison, described as an ambitious student activist enrolled at the University of Guyana, had just walked his girlfriend, also a law student, to her place of stay. He was about to ride off when a gunman approached and unleashed three shots at him. Two of the bullets struck him in his chest, puncturing his lungs and grazing his liver, and the other hit him on the left arm. Dennison is at the Georgetown Hospital in Guyana in an induced coma and on a ventilator. His mother needs financial support in other to travel to Guyana to be with her son. She is also hopeful that Guyanese police will be able to sol solve the crime, the second such incident involving a Belizean attacked in Guyana in two years. Investigators have concluded that the motive of the incident is not robbery because nothing was stolen from Dennison.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Impasse broken over pay raise for First Caribbean workers?
    The weekend edition of the Amandala newspaper reports that a new collective bargaining agreement between the management of CIBC First Caribbean International Bank and its workers who are affiliated with the Christian Workers’ Union (CWU) is on the verge of being signed, and – […]

    Caribbean Court of Justice gets report from Maya, Government
    While it was not held in open court, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has received its promised reports from the Maya Leaders Alliance and Toledo Alcaldes Association (TAA) and the Government of Belize on the progress of implementing the consent order agreed to […]

    Belize Electricity Limited still wants rate increase
    Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) was unsuccessful with a submission to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) which it made in December for an eleven per cent increase in rates, representing nearly four cents per kilowatt-hour from the all-time low of 35 cents to just under […]

    Government gives Norwegian Cruise Line 25-year exclusivity
    The government of Belize, during yesterday’s House Sitting, passed a bill which legislates tax and duty exemptions for Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), a billion dollar multi-national company that has been given a 25-year exclusive contract to control cruise operations in southern Belize. The Belize […]

    Cayo police find weed in abandoned lot
    Yesterday morning around 8:22, an anti-drug operation was conducted in San Ignacio town, Cayo District, where a search of an abandoned lot resulted in the discovery of 139 grams of cannabis, which was in a black plastic bag among garbage. No one was found […]

    Belmopan police find shotgun
    Belmopan Police’s Quick Response Team made the discovery of a shotgun with five cartridges yesterday while conducting a search in Roaring Creek Village, Cayo District. Hidden under some bushes on Christian Refuge Road in the village, officers found the 12 gauge pump action shotgun, […]


    I’m Going To India (INDIA!!!!) With the Kerala Blog Express – The Details
    On January 8th, just a few days after the voting contest ended, I received an email with the subject “WELCOME ABOARD THE KERALA BLOG EXPRESS”. I had been “short listed” and was told to send in a copy of my valid passport photo page. Thank you ALL for voting! I was giddy and surprised and giddy. AND, I hope you guys don’t mind a brief interruption from my all Belize website. Because WE ARE GOING TO INDIA! I sent in my passport info and then made an immediate appointment at the US Embassy in Belmopan to renew my passort. As of January 1st, 2016, they would be NOT giving extra pages in valid passports, I would have to get a new one. You see my passport was full – and the Indian visa would need two empty pages.

    International Sourcesizz

    AH WAYK OP LIKE DIS, radio show on RadioBelizeMix live every other Saturday morning and afternoon from Little Belize Restaurant is the buzz of the Belizean community today. Hosted by the legendary Belizean artists and entertainers, Lorna 'Queenlorna' Smith, and Wil Johnson, the show has made its second debut to Belizean and international audiences in the United States and around the world who listened to the ground breaking internet broadcasting network, RadioBelizemix since its inception five years ago. Internet radio and broadcasting has become the tool today for ethnic communities in the U.S. and United Kingdom like the Los Angeles Belizean Community to disseminate information and to serve their listening audiences with music, views and reviews. RadioBelizeMix and its first ever public affairs radio magazines like, AH WAYK OP LIKE DIS , that is produced by Smith and Johnson has filled the gap since Belize Caribbean Pulse radio show on KPFK Los Angeles once informed and entertained the Belizean diaspora in L.A. in the 1980's and 90's. Being its second broadcast to Belizeans across the U.S. particularly in L.A., the show producers say that they are in it for the long haul.

    Independence of the Seas Cruise Review
    We did two excursions and although they were much longer than the time in the book they were not bad. The tours were informative but the workers all seemed to have an agenda. Either pushing certain products and stores or rushing you through exhibits so they could push their next agenda. Our first one was in Belize going to Old Belize and Cucumber Beach. Ok not really old Belize did not even go through the town instead you go to a private beach resort next to a marina where they had a "fake" musuem of what things might have looked like on the island. The guide for that Mark was informative because he would tell about his grandparents and about how his childhood was. The beach was really a manmade cove but it was really nice and had lots of things to do and sea rides to use. I wish the brochure had told us about it though then we would have been better dressed and prepared. It also lasted 6 hours. I thought we would never make it to the boat in time. We were the first off and did not get back till almost 30 minutes before the last ferry!

    The woman who chases fly-fishing records
    Idea person: Meredith McCord. Idea: Earn 100 International Game Fish world records in fly fishing by the end of 2016. How it began: McCord began fishing as soon as she could stand and hold a rod. She comes from a long line of recreational fishermen: Her father, Rick McCord, and both her maternal and paternal grandparents, taught her the skills. "I love stalking fish," she says, "searching for them around every bend and in every cover and once found, sight casting to the fish and watching their reaction to my fly.... Nothing is more joyous than when a fish eats your fly and you visually and clearly see the entire bite happen." How it grew: Two years ago, McCord began hosting and leading trips for Tailwaters Travel, a fly-fishing outfitter located in Texas. She has taken trips to Alaska, Argentina, Mexico, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, The Seychelles and more. That travel, and exposure to a variety of new species, piqued her interest in pursuing world records. Bottom line: "Overall, I love fly fishing in general, no matter the species, and never fail to get excited anytime my line goes tight."

    2016 Trip Advisor Traveler's Choice Awards
    The 2016 Trip Advisor Traveler's Choice Awards are out. 5 of the top 10 B&B's in Belize are in Cayo. Congratulations, Twin Palms(1st), Vanilla HIlls(3rd - Bullet Tree Falls), and the Jungle Dome(15th) for making the list of best B&B's in Central America! The best lodges in Cayo, and their ranking out of 10: 1 The Inns at Twin Palms, Belmopan, Cayo 2 Vanilla Hills Lodge, San Ignacio, Cayo 3 Belize Jungle Dome, Belmopan, Cayo 4 Marz Farm Treehouses and Cabanas Ltd. Cayo 9 Macaw Bank Jungle Lodge, San Ignacio, Cayo

    FITUR is the global meeting point for tourism professionals which focuses on responsive and fair source markets of Latin America.


  • Terryl Godoy ( Man at Work) BEST IN BELIZE, 2.5min. San Pedro, Belize to Houston, TX

  • 2016 KREM Radio's 26th New Years's Day race Corozal to Belize City, 55min.

  • Belize, 6.5min.

  • Exploring The Tropical San Pedro, Belize, 1.5min. This is my video of the fist day in the tropical San Pedro. Me and my family just walked around the city to take a closer look and explore our future hometown. It is very warm here and a lot people take vacations here. San Pedro is in Belize, which is a Caribbean country in Central America.

  • Paddleboard Belize, min.

  • Moray eel sighting in Belize, .5min. Diving with SeaStar Belize in San Pedro. Such great diving. Nice Moray Eel clip.

  • Fishing in Belize Video 1 16 2016, 21min.

  • Belize 2016, 5min.

  • Diving in Belize, 4min. Southern Barrier Reef dive with a visit from some dolphins.

  • Trip to Belize 2015/2016, 5min. From oceans to rivers and mountains to caves, our family explored Belize!

    January 23, 2016


    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 Police honored during Annual Appreciation Party
    On Saturday, January 16th, San Pedro Police officers were celebrated during their annual Staff Appreciation Party. Held at the Lions Den from 7PM, the party was dedicated to the hardworking police officers who ensure the community’s safety year round. In addition to celebrating the officers, this year, members of the island community who constantly assist the Police Department were also invited. Everyone at the event enjoyed a delicious meal, refreshing cocktails, and, of course music and dancing. Before the true party started, a short ceremony was held to present Certificates of Appreciation to six persons who always offer a helping hand to the San Pedro Police Department. The six awardees included Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Area Representative and Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr., President of Tropic Air John Grief III, Owner of SuperBuy Enrique Staines, Police Constable William Reyes and Caribbean Queen. “These awards are to show our gratitude and appreciation. These are key people in our operation, we are constantly seeking their assistance and they never fail to assist us,” said Deputy Coastal Executive Officer, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott.

    San Pedro Cancer Society introduces new board
    The San Pedro Cancer Society (SPCS) held their annual general meeting on Thursday, January 14th, and during this meeting, a new board of directors was elected. The organization’s new board members are Gonzalo Muñoz, President, Miguel Perez, Vice-President, Roceli Muñoz, Secretary and Pamela Zetina as the Treasurer. The new board members have pledged to make 2016 another successful year. Former president Miguel Perez served three terms as head of the organization, and was kind enough to share with The Sun accomplishments and experiences he had as president. “There is a lot to recall in the last three years. We managed to help out a lot of patients and we served as a support group that guided them through their entire ordeal. We have been a real helpful source where patients can come and find guidance as to where to go and what to expect,” said Perez. He indicated that when the organization is able, they also help in coordinating fundraising events and also provide financial assistance whenever they can. “We lost some patients but we did get some into remission as well. Cancer is so scary that we rarely celebrate our victories or focus on our losses,” added Perez.

    PUP leadership candidates agree to debate
    Plans are underway for a debate between the three People’s United Party (PUP) leadership candidates, Honorable Cordel Hyde, Honorable Francis Fonseca and Honorable Johnny Briceño. Well known Belizean writer and activist Glenn Tillett is organizing the debate with the assistance of local stakeholders. The debate is scheduled for Thursday, January 28th, starting at 7:30pm at the Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina in Belize City. According to Tillett, Hon. Cordel Hyde has confirmed his participation, providing he has no objection(s) to the logistical and infrastructural conditions, in respect to the leadership election for the Peoples United Party. Hon. Francis Fonseca was also quick to agree to participate, with Hon. John Briceño being the last to accept the invitation on January 20th.

    NEBL season tips off: NEBL Champions do not play in opening game
    The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) 2016 Season tipped off on Saturday, January 16th with three games. Originally, two-time defending champions, The San Pedro Tiger Shark, were scheduled to open the season against the Orange Walk Running Rebels on Friday, January 15th at the Orange Walk Town Multi-Purpose Complex. But on Wednesday, January 13th it was announced that the Running Rebels had withdrawn from the tournament, resulting in the match being canceled and the opening game to be moved to Saturday, January 16th. Instead the opening ceremonies took place at the University of Belize (UB) gymnasium, followed by the home team, the Belmopan Bandits hosting Smart Belize Hurricanes for the first game of the NEBL Season. All games can be followed live on the NEBL website at, with real time box scores while the game is being played. The website also has all game scores, box scores, players and teams’ statistics, along with standings for the season.

    Belize banking sector still suffering over ‘de-risking’ strategy: Scotiabank and Atlantic Bank retain US correspondence
    But it’s not only the local business that is feeling the effects. Belize’s real estate market is also taking a hit. “This is turning very frustrating and time consuming. The banking system is harming everyone in the country from the top to bottom. We have lost many sales over the fact that corresponding banking has been a big confusion. Banking laws have become so stringent and tight and are constantly changing that it is affecting business,” said Amanda Syme of Sunrise Realty. She indicated that potential buyers to the country are facing so many obstacles that act as an incentive to not invest in Belize. “A lot people are refusing to work with us because of all the extra things they have to do just to buy a property. We can see that these potential customers get frustrated over the poor banking system and they eventually just give up and don’t buy. It takes so long to process their funds that eventually we lose their business. Most of my buyers are from USA and Canada and they want to be assured that their money is safe, right now we cannot assure them that because of the loss of correspondence,” said Syme.

    Ambergris Today

    ACES Career Day Inspires Students
    The student body of Ambergris Caye Elementary (ACES) was excited to have some special guests visit the school on Career Day, Friday, January 22, 2016. Students were all dressed up as their favorite career personas and got the chance to meet and ask questions to their invited guests - Almita Pinelo (LTJG of the Belize Coast Guard), Raul Alamilla (Pilot of Tropic Air), Mr. Angel Nuñez (Author of the book 25 Years Ago), Christina Potvin (Accountant) and Mr. Chuky Choc & Ms. Young from the San Pedro Police Department. Teacher Sara Freudenberg of ACES stated. "It's so important to send the message to work hard, stay in school and inspire the youth to work toward their dream professions."

    Belize Hotels Among the Top of TripAdvisor’s Best Hotels 2016
    As Belize keeps gaining international recognition and tourism arrivals keep showing record-breaking increases, the world traveler has great thing to say about Belize. Ambergris Caye boasts being on the list of the top hotels in Central America with four hotels, Coco Beach, Victoria House, Grand Caribe Belize and Las Terrazas being voted among the best. Costa Rica is a top contender in Central America with the most hotels on the list, which also include hotels from Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras. Elsewhere around the country, hotels in the districts of Cayo and Stann Creek received the most recognition with Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort at #22 in the list of Top 25 Hotels for Service in the World and #3 in the Top 25 Hotels for Service Central America and #1 for Service in Belize. Coco Plum Island Resort is #22 in the Best Small Hotels in the Word list, #3 in Central America and #1 in Belize under that same list. Colinda Cabanas in Caye Caulker made the #9 spot on the Top 25 Bargain Hotels Central America and #1 Top 10 Bargain Hotels Belize. The Inns at Twin Palms in Belmopan, Cayo is listed at #1 in both the Top 25 B&Bs and Inns Central America and Top 10 B& Bs and Inns Belize

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    First Friday of February Trash Pick Up
    Friday, February 5at 9 AM - 11 AM, Tres Cocos, San Pedro, Belize. The good news is that there's way less trash out there than before our January pick up. BUT, we still need your help with our monthly roadside and beach clean up! We meet on February 5th at the Paradise Theatre (just north of the bridge) . Locals, expats and tourists are all invited to help out and show some Isla Love! Please be there by 9:00 am :-)

    Power interruption 6:30am to 8:30am, Saturday, January 23, San Ignacio Town
    Savannah Street, portion of Burns Avenue, Far West Street between Bullet Tree Road and Eve Street, Bullet Tree Road between Burns Avenue and Maya Street and Blancaneaux Street. BEL to facilitate movement of heavy equipment in area, for installation of power supply.

    Galvez Stadium 2.0
    The new Galvez Stadium really looks nice. Well done! New courts, new kid's playground, new gates, and great drainage for when the rains come.

    Corozal Full Moon Concert
    Tonight Saturday Jan.23rd, 2016, it's all about Corozal House of Culture (NICH)'s first Full Moon Concert of 2016 featuring the dynamic Super Furia Band from Orange Walk! You are kindly invited to our first Full Moon Concert of 2016 featuring Orange Walks' Super Furia Band. Don't miss out on a great night of musical entertainment this Saturday beginning at 7:30 pm.

    BTL tells us that we were sending messages "unconsciously" on our data plan
    We noticed on our post paid bill that there were a huge number of charges to numbers on the UK. We called BTL and a rather unhelpful rep tried to tell us that we were sending the messages "unconsciously" on our data plan (even though most were sent at night when the phone was connected to WiFi). BTL admitted that they have been aware of the problem for months. They haven't told anyone though and they continue to bill post paid users for the texts. They say that pre-paid phones aren't being charged. Check your post paid bills and if you don't get a copy get one back to at least October when the problem started. Take your bills to BTL and demand a refund for the charges. It's a worldwide thing. The messages are to the UK apparently no matter where you are as noted in the article. It appears so far that the only way to stop it is to turn off iMessage. In our case it was well over 100 messages. SEE NEXT STORY BELOW.

    iPhone users unkowingly charged for Facetime & iMessage SMS
    iPhone Facetime & iMessage SMS use up call credit when roaming. iPhone and iPad users who use Facetime and iMessage are being charged for SMS when roaming. Facetime and iMessage try to continually activate by sending SMS to various UK mobile numbers. This often happens when an iPhone user inserts a roaming sim card or 3rd party SIM into their handset. iPhone users report that they receive multiple SMS containing random characters similar to the example below: Typically, if the user is roaming, additional charges for sending SMS are made by the network. iPhone and iPad users are recommended to switch off Facetime and iMessage when roaming so as to avoid additional unknown charges and depletion of credit without their knowledge. Deactivating iMessage and Facetime should also prevent the re receipt of the strange activation SMS.

    Pablo Collado at Il Baretto wine bar on Caye Caulker
    Pablo Collado will be playing tonight January 23rd from 7.00 to 9.00 pm at Il Baretto wine bar @ Oasi Apartment on back street. Come and listen at his magic music with our tasty bruschette.

    Free Meditation Workshop
    Sunday, January 24at 10 AM - 12 PM at Ak'bol Yoga Retreat and Eco Resort North San Pedro Town, San Pedro, Belize. Peace Revolution is a worldwide peace network that was born in 2008 in Thailand. They promote a culture of peace through personal transformation using meditation as the main tool. Peace Revolution is creating a new paradigm with the intention of shifting our priorities by changing our focus on an external search into an internal one. Their mission: to make people happier. Our meditation workshop is called: Basic Principles of Meditation. This meditation workshop is created with the purpose of sharing with the participants a basic meditation practice.

    FITUR is the global meeting point for tourism professionals which focuses on responsive and fair source markets of Latin America.

    Channel 7

    Belizean Student Shot In Guyana
    31 year old Glenfield Dennison, a Belizean law student of the University of Guyana, was shot several times late last night on the East Coast of Demerara. Reports from Guyana say that Dennison had just dropped off his girlfriend, also a student of the university, and was about to ride off when a gunman approached, firing three shots at him. Two of the shots caught him, one on his stomach and one on his left arm. Dennison was picked up and rushed to the Georgetown Hospital. The shot to the stomach reportedly punctured lungs, and grazed his liver, so he has been placed in an induced coma and is on a ventilator. Tonight, his family in Belize is desperate for answers. Meanwhile police in Guyana are investigating the second shooting of a Belizean in the past couple of years. Authorities say they have ruled out robbery as a motive for the attack since Dennison was found with all his possessions.

    Hon. Vega Denies Giving Acquisition Order To Acquire Modiri Land
    Since last week Thursday, it's been making national headlines that American Bradley Paumen, one of the biggest tour operators in Belize, has been accused of orchestrating a plot to kill 4 persons, principally his neighbour in Frank's Eddy Michael Modiri, two of his employees, and his attorney. The entire dispute centers over a piece of land that Modiri owns, but which Puamen needs to access the caves that his guests tour. Government acquired the land for Paumen - but the Supreme Court quashed that because land can only be acquired for a public purpose. Justice Sonya Young was very stern in her condemnation of the Government's actions saying, quote, "the defendants (government)…acted neither fairly nor justly." She declared, "...that the compulsory acquisition was not for a public purpose as it was not taken in the general interest of the community, but rather solely for the interests of an individual entity." That individual is Bradley Paumen.

    Bail for Paumen's Employees
    But that land lawsuit is just the prelude to a murder conspiracy, which is the real news tonight. As we reported, two of Bradley Paumen's employees, mechanic Lizburn Anderson and accountant Ian Skeen were charged with abetment to commit murder. They are accused of making arrangements for the alleged hit on Michael Modiri and another man on behalf of their boss. They have been in jail on remand all week, and today the pair appeared before Justice Antoinette Moore were granted bail of $20 thousand dollars each. In the case of Anderson and Skeen, the application for bail was not met with heated objection on the part of the prosecution unlike in the case of Paumen - who is an American. Ian Skeen was represented by attorney Oswald Twist, and Lizburn Anderson was represented by attorney Dickey Bradley. At the end of the bail application Bradley spoke to us about some of the arguments he submitted as to why his client should be granted bail.

    PM Says Titan 8.8 Million dollar Judgment Will Be Appealed
    Another major case that the Government lost recently was the lawsuit brought against them by the owners of Titan Securities Limited. Justice Courtney Abel has ordered the government to pay Rohn Knowles and Kelvin Leech 8.8 million dollars in damages. That's in compensation for the unlawful and excessive search and seizures of documents and properties done by the Anti Drug Unit back in September 2014. They were attempting to comply with the US Government's request in their attempt to get the men extradited to stand trial for securities fraud, but the judge said that they went too far in that nine hour raid, which cleaned out their office and forced the shutdown of their business. So, what does the Prime Minister think of the court's judgment? Well, today when we asked about it, he said that his Government will appeal that case: Reporter: "I understand that the judgement for the Titan case has come up and government has been ordered to pay in the region of 9 million dollars." Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "We will appeal, we will appeal. Absolutely we will appeal. We don't think that judgment can stand. We will appeal."

    PUP Leadership Debate - Is It a Debate In Earnest?
    So, the PUP Leadership Debate is set for next week Thursday - or is it? John Briceno has emailed the organizers saying he has a previous commitment for that night. The organizers are hoping they can find a workaround - but the truth is with 9 days to go before the convention - the candidates are still scrambling around the country to try and meet close to three thousand delegates. But, the organizers are undaunted - they're moving ahead with plans, confident that the platform they're offering is so publicly irresistible, that the leadership candidates will have to come around. Today, they held a press briefing at Spoonaz Cafe where they outlined the proposal:... Glenn Tillet: "As of yesterday all 3 participants had indicated that they would be present and they would participate. This morning the Hon. John Briceno said that he may have a schedule in conflict and he is giving it some consideration and we should know by the end of the day whether or not he may or may not withdraw. We are soliciting questions from the general public, from organizations. Mrs. Sandiford is in charge of that and these questions will be given advance to the candidates before their purview."

    PM Supports "Cubanos Libres"
    But, other than Briceno's absence, it was a full house in Belmopan - where we got to ask the Prime Minister about the decision to let 32 Cubans out of jail. Yesterday Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse told us it's a humanitarian move - after they have already served their time for illegal entry. Now, they will apply for refugee status, and from there, presumably, work their way unto the USA. The Prime Minister said he supports the decision by the Immigration Minister:... Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "I know that there were Cubans in prison who were here illegally. Again, I saw in reading the internet version of the news this morning that the Minister has taken an action as he put it freedom from prison. That is as it should be. You don't want to be keeping people incarcerated for longer than is necessary and they've been as it is locked up for far too long. So it didn't come up in Tuesday in cabinet ad I was not therefore aware beforehand the step that the minister proposed to take. But as I said, it seems to me that he did what was required in the circumstances."

    Hon. Musa Says His Affluent Constituents Worried About Correspondent Banking Relations
    And while we spoke to the PM outside the House - inside, first term PUP Representative Kareem Musa spoke on the adjournment about the crisis in the banking sector with correspondent banks. Musa represents Caribbean Shores, where many of the captains of commerce and industry reside - and for those folks, a functioning banking apparatus with ready availability of foreign exchange is critical to their businesses. Musa characterized the situation as urgent:... Hon. Kareem Musa, Area Representative, Caribbean Shores: "And I am speaking in particular about the loss of correspondent banking relations. Mr. Speaker it's no doubt an issue that affects business men and business women not only from my constituency of Caribbean Shores, but from all our constituencies. It is in fact a very crippling effect it has had on our economy, debilitating to the point where it is no longer possible to do business and I am speaking in particular the purchase of goods from the United States and elsewhere and I am speaking about the use of credit cards. I am speaking about remittances that come home to our Belizean families from abroad. That is the effect that it has had on our economy."

    De-Risking By Tier One Banks: A Vicious Cycle
    So, while the Prime Minister and a team of Banking technocrats are scheduled to visit Washington DC, how exactly does he intend to convince the US officials to intervene with the de-risking problems? Well, he told us after the House Debate that it's a very complex problem with a vicious cycle. As viewers are aware, the reason that the Tier 1 banks have cut that corresponding banking relationship with Belize and other Caribbean Nations is that it will cost them much more money to comply with the stiffer regulations which are in place to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. When compared to the revenue that they will make to do business with Belizean banks, they end up losing. Finance Minister Barrow told us that if the US bankers and Financial regulators cannot come to an agreement, the Belizean banks will have to start fostering corresponding banking relationships with smaller American banks:

    Making Mexico "Feliz"
    Earlier this week, we showed you the comments of the Mexican Ambassador to Belize, discussing the escape of international fugitive David Nanes Schnitzer. The Mexican Government requested his extradition to stand trial for a multimillion dollar fraud case, due to a technicality, the Government of Belize failed to deliver him even though there was an extradition treaty between both countries. Well, today, the Government tabled and passed a bill to bring that treaty into full force by harmonizing it with Belizean laws. Here's that moment when the Minister of Foreign Affairs introduced it to the House Sitting: Hon. Wilfred Elrington " "Mr. Speaker I rise to introduce the extradition amendment bill 2016. This a bill for an act to amend the extradition act chapter 112 of the substantive laws of Belize revised edition 2011. To make provision for the extradition of fugitive criminals between Belize and the United Mexican states and provide for matters there with or incendiary dare to... Mr. Speaker I just like to explain very briefly that this is in relation to an extradition treaty that was signed in August of 1988 here in Belize. It was actually signed and ratified but for some reason it was never incorporated into the domestic law and for the treaty to have efficacy when we have request for extradition from Mexico, it is necessary for the treaty to be part of our domestic law. So we are now trying to get this bill pass. So that it becomes a part of the domestic law so that in the future when we get request for extradition from Mexico we will be able to give effect it."

    Mas "Mextradition"? Pronto!
    So, after this bill passes will the problem with the extradition treaty be fixed? That's what we asked the Prime Minister this afternoon, and he told us that it will. In his words, the treaty will be "domesticated" and will have full effect if and when there are future requests for extraditions by the Mexican Government: Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "We sign the treaty and the treaty is valid as between the two countries, but in terms of being able to implement its provisions in this country, something more needed to be done. We had to domesticate as it were that treaty. We had to incorporate it into municipal law and that is what the bill was about." Daniel Ortiz: "Is it a concern that it took an embarrassment for us to discover that this issue arose and that was the reason why the treaty was not viable in Belize?" Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "Obviously this was something that fell through the cracks, in terms of not domesticating the international treaty - happens from time to time. So we move on." That bill, and others, goes to the Senate on Next week Wednesday.

    Norwegian Cruise Lines, Tax Breaks For A Fortune 500 Company?
    Another bill which passed today was the Belize Island Holdings Facility Development Bill of 2015. That's a bill which confirms and puts into law that the Government will give Norwegian Cruise Line tax and duty exemptions for their Harvest Caye Cruise Port, which they are trying finish up by the end of 2016. Well, at the adjournment of the House Debate, even though the "yea's" had it, Toledo East Area Representative Mike Espat rose and registered his disapproval of the bill. He made it clear that he had a problem with the tax breaks and the exclusivity clause given to NCL, guaranteeing them to be the only cruise port in the south for the next 25 years. That sparked a back and forth between him and the Prime Minister. Here's how it went:

    PM Acknowledges Court's Directive on EIA
    And, as viewers would remember, the Government - specifically, the Department of Environment and the National Appraisal Committee - lost a case brought against it by the Belize Tourism Industry Association. Justice Courtney Abel found that the Government's Environmental specialists cut corners when they were giving the project the green light. We asked the Prime Minister for his reaction to that judgment, and he was very curt in his appraisal of the judge's findings: Daniel Ortiz: "A court has ruled that your government in its zeal to get the project underway, the department of the environment and the NEAC took short cuts to environmental regulations..." Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "There will no doubt - that a lesson that they will learn and hopefully next time around, those mistakes won't be made." The Government, and the Developer, NCL, are ordered to pay $50,000 in costs incurred by the BTIA in bringing this lawsuit.

    NEAC Member disputes "Slap-On-The-Wrist" Interpretation
    And while the Prime Minister has the executive perspective in the Harvest Caye ruling, at the technical level, NEAC says the ruling on the Harvest Caye EIA isn't a slap on the wrist. The court said they cut corners on the public consultations. And while the ruling is viewed as a scolding from the court, today, one of the members of the National Environmental Appraisal Committee, Fisheries Administrator Beverly Wade, told us it's not. She sees it as just an opportunity for them to improve on their assessment framework. As we told you, the $100 million project will not be completed by February 16th -as had been projected.

    PM Supports Port Loyola Cruise Port
    And keeping with the subject of potential cruise ports, while Mike Espat was making his point against the Norwegian tax and duties exemptions, he commented on the Barrow Government's sudden interest to work with Lord Michael Ashcroft to build a Belize City Cruise port in the Port Loyola area. Again, that led to political jousting from both sides: The Prime Minister says that the next step will be to assess whether Port Loyola is viable for the two hundred foot high Oasis Class Cruise Ships. Critics of the location say that an enormous amount of dredging will be required to make that location accessible by the giant ships.

    Di Caprio's Blackadore Resort At EIA Stage
    Another major tourism project in the making - not for cruise, but for the overnight sector - is "Blackadore Caye: A Restorative Island". Hollywood star Leonardo Dicaprio first proposed this project in 2005 but he confirmed his plans in the New York Times in April of last year. Dicaprio told the Times that Blackadore Caye has suffered from "overfishing, an eroding coastline and the mangrove deforestation," and that he and the developer will fix it. While it sounds well and good, San Pedranos aren't convinced. A public consultation on the EIA held in the town held last week drew concerns from residents because of the over the water structures that developers propose to put on the island which is within the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Today, Fisheries Director Wade spoke about what the vision is for this resort. Wade said the project might begin as early as next year. The 1.75 million dollar Caye itself is 104 acres located between the Belize District Coastline and Ambergris Caye.

    PUP Rep Rails Against Fuel Prices
    World oil prices have been on a sharp and steady decline for a month now - but critics say they're not seeing that reflected at the pump here in Belize. Today, the PUP Representative for Toledo West, Oscar Requena raised that matter when he spoke on the adjournment:... Hon. Oscar Requena, Area Rep., Toledo East: "Some time around mid-December, Belizeans woke up to find substantial increases in the prices of fuel at the pump. Mr. Speaker, this is in the context of the prices of fuel per barrel going down on the word market, not gong up - going down. But yet in Belize the prices of fuel have gone up. It's just the reverse. Belizean are very concern, they are very outraged that this government has seen it fit to continue to tax, to gouge the taxes on Belizeans. They are very much concerned and they are saying how it could be when you look at the world market as I said before the prices have gone done significantly. If you look at our neighbors in Guatemala, in Mexico and other countries, prices are going down substantially. But yet in Belize it is the reverse. Why it is that government does not see it fit to reduce the price of fuel, because price of fuel have gone down, to ensure that our bus people can survive and make a little bit more money. This is important. The productive sector depends upon fuel, whether it is bananas, whether it is citrus, whether it is other forms agriculture dependent upon fuel. Man, if you lower the price of fuel it is an incentive for other people to invest in agriculture."

    Teaching Them How To Fish Forever
    The Fisheries Department is revitalizing its approach to fisheries management. A part of that approach is to educate and engage local fisher folk on the importance of sustainability and proper management of marine resources. This shift is focused on a more organized and accurate management system where data from fisher folk is recorded and tracked. Today at the Biltmore, 3 people were awarded for participating in a Fisheries Pride Campaign. They went out into the community to speak to fisher folk about this new approach. This morning at the ceremony we spoke with Fisheries Administrator Beverly Wade and she told us how impactful this new system will be for fisher folk and the entire sector - including the fish in the sea! We also spoke to the 3 graduates about their experience in the training. The Belize Fisheries Department partnered with RARE to conduct this training. RARE is a non-profit conservation organization based in Washington DC.

    Are There Still More Fish In the Sea?
    Another problem this new Fisheries system will address what is called IUU - Illegal Unreported and Unregulated fishing. An online article featured on Caribbean 360 states that studies are showing a grave disparity between seafood catch and fisheries stock. It states, quote "the global catch between 1950 and 2010…was 30 per cent higher than what countries have been reporting to the Food and Agriculture Organization…since 1950." It also mentions that "IN the Caribbean islands, the catch was more than twice as large as previously reported and declining at a rate 60 per cent faster than the official rate." Today we asked Wade about this and how it ties into the Belizean context.

    EU Supports The South
    The New Year's brought a new market for the residents of Punta Gorda Town. The "Maura Lopez Market" - named after an outstanding woman from PG - cost just under one million, funded jointly by Government and the European Union. It was officially inaugurated at a ceremony yesterday by the European Ambassador Paula Amadei, and Minister of Works Rene Montero. They also christened the new road to Hopkins - four and a half miles at a cost of 7 million dollars. Here's how both the market and the road look:.. The road will be a boost for tourism in the area, while residents and students will be able to commute much more easily - including students who attend Holy Family Primary School.

    PM, Is He Down With King?
    Back to politics now - the UDP is preparing for a national convention in March. And everyone had more or less agreed that with the party about to face its most dramatic shakeup in 20 years when Leader Dean Barrow steps down - there would be no challenges at this year's convention, since some VERY major challenges are expected at the next one in two years' time. But, enter Mark King. The soundly defeated former Lake I Representative wants to challenge Alberto August for Party Chairman. Today we asked Party Leader Barrow if this throws a wrench into the works:... Reporter: "I notice that Mark King has indicated that he will aspire of the chairman post." Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "This is official or?" Reporter: "His Facebook is official yes." Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "Well he is perfectly free to do that. I just wasn't sure that that was in fact the case. The deadline for submission for applications I believe is next Friday. I don't know whose actually formally applied, who has not. What's up for re-election: party leadership, deputy party leaderships, first and second, chairman and vice chairman. I am really not aware at this point of who all may have applied and of course there is still a week to go so. Even if I knew what names have been submitted so far, that soundly be conclusive because as I said you still have a full 7 days more."

    Fresh Face At FIU
    But, while those two officials have kept their jobs, Eric Eusey is no longer the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit. He's been replaced by Joy Grant, the Former Minister of Energy, Science and Technology, and Public Utilities. Today we asked the Prime Minister if the controversial and costly Titan Securities case, for which the Government has been ordered to pay 8.8 million dollars in damages, played a role in Eusey's departure: Daniel Ortiz: "We note that there is a new FIU Director sir. Can you discuss that with us why the change?" Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "Because the contract of the old FIU Director came to an end." Daniel Ortiz: "Was that Titan issue ever a consideration as to why his contract was not renewed?" Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "No man. His contract came to an end the end of December well before the judgement in this case and we had to give notice before the contract actually ended as to whether we would renew or not and we did indicate I am sure as early as mid-December or early December that we were going to have a change."

    Bashing The Ombudsman
    Today the Government's majority in the House of Representative renewed the contract for Ombudsman, Lionel Arzu. He'll serve in that office for one more year after today's extension, but before it was passed, Opposition Party Leader Francis Fonseca noted that his side of the house could not support Arzu being returned to the office. Here's the debate on that issue: The Contractor General's contract was also extended at today's house meeting.

    Channel 5

    What Does Gapi Vega Have to do with Paumen/Modiri Land Dispute?
    The very curious tale of Dark Night owner and alleged murder contractor Bradley Paumen continues to dominate local headlines. The American investor has been charged for putting a hit on [...]

    Supreme Court Grants Bail to Two of Paumen’s Associates
    As the Paumen story continues to unravel, two of his employees were granted bail after appearing before Justice Antoinette Moore this morning in the Supreme Court.  Ian Skeen and Linzburn [...]

    An Extradition Amendment Bill, Is it Practice After Race?
    In November the Government of Belize was humiliated after Mexican-American fugitive David Nanes Schnitzer slipped out of its grasp with the greatest of ease. Nanes had been formally requested by [...]

    ‘Dickie’ Bradley Humbly Disagrees with U.S. Ambassador’s Nanes Opinion
    Nanes was found in possession of a number of illegal Belizean documents including a fraudulent passport, was remanded in custody and then got bail despite an extradition request by Mexican [...]

    Correspondent Banking Crisis – Opposition Says G.O.B. Should Act Immediately
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow has called the loss of correspondent bank relationships an existential threat and a potentially huge crisis. And undoubtedly, if not resolved the implications are many and [...]

    P.M. Says De-risking is not a Result of Problems in Belize
    Even as the Prime Minister continues to arrange a round of intensive meetings and lobbying sessions in the international forum, he told News Five that it is important that it [...]

    Belizean Law Student Shot in Guyana
    A Belizean law student is clinging to life tonight after being shot to the chest and arm in Georgetown, Guyana on Thursday night.  Thirty-one-year-old Glenfield Dennison, a resident of Cummings [...]

    Will Titanic Supreme Court Ruling be Appealed by G.O.B.?
    In a judgment which must have given Prime Minister Dean Barrow a world-class migraine, the Government of Belize has been ordered to pay Titan Securities eight point nine million dollars. [...]

    Port Loyola Cruise Port Debated in Belmopan
    There is new interest in revisiting an ill-fated and never realized project in Belize, the Carnival Cruise Ship Terminal in Port Loyola. The news came two weeks ago from Prime [...]

    P.M. Says No Exclusivity for Stake Bank Developer
    Talk of a cruise port in Belize received new life after Stake Bank developer Mike Feinstein indicated that he would be pulling out. Feinstein told News Five that he would [...]

    A Political Debate for P.U.P. Leadership, Will it Happen?
    Next week Sunday, a new leader will be elected for the People’s United Party. Candidates Francis Fonseca, John Briceño and Cordel Hyde continue with their countrywide campaigns ahead of the [...]

    Debate Organizers Say Public Can Submit Questions
    With the debate scheduled for January twenty-eight, there are a number of questions concerning the planning and moderation of the event.  Tillett says it is an open process where the [...]

    2 Students Offered Bail for Possession of Stolen Firearm
    After three nights on remand for a stolen firearm from the police, two students were granted Supreme Court bail. Stradni Cassasola, a resident of Faber’s Road Extension, along with his [...]

    A Father is Charged for Beating Up His Teen Daughter
    Forty-five year old Alexander Garcia, a father and resident of Belize City, appeared in court today on a charge of harm upon his sixteen-year-old daughter. According to the minor, her [...]

    U.D.P. Convention, Will Status Quo Remain?
    While all eyes are on the P.U.P.’s leadership race, set for January thirty-first, there’s another looming political event. The U.D.P. will have its own National Convention on March twentieth, and [...]

    Where is Christopher Guild?
    Where is Christopher Guild? The thirty-two year old unemployed of a Barrack Road address has not been seen or heard from since January tenth and the family is fearing that [...]

    Sustainable Fishing Program Completed in Belize
    A program for sustainable fishing has successful completed. Pride Campaign for Managed Access was launched back in July of 2013 and after thirty months of groundwork and research in fishing [...]


    Orange Walk Police Detains Two Mexican Nationals For Drug Trafficking
    Two Mexican Nationals are tonight spending their first night at the Kolbe Correctional Facility after they were detained by Orange Walk Police for drug and ammunition offences. Yesterday at about 4:30 in the afternoon authorities were on investigation at the Cuatro Leguas Area, bordering Mexico, when they came upon farm. At the center of the farm police observed a grey tent housing 50 year old Pedro Cordova Perez and Juan Manuel Pacheco, both Mexican Nationals of la Union Village in Quintana Roo Mexico. Police conducted a search on Perez and found in his possession a zip lock bag containing a piece of compressed suspected Cannabis. A further search in a bag of clothing led authorities to two live maroon 16 gauge, AGUILA brand cartridges for which both Mexicans had no license. As cops continued searching the immediate area they discovered plastic bottle containing two Cannabis plants about 3 inches in height. As a result of the findings both Perez and Pacheco were arrested and charged for the offence of drug trafficking, cultivation of cannabis and kept unlicensed ammunition.

    US Embassy Clarifies Advisory Sent Out By US State Department
    Yesterday we reported that the United States Department issued a travel advisory alerting US citizens to be cautious when travelling to Belize due to the recent murder of American National Anne Swaney and the country’s high murder and crime rate. Today we can tell you that the US Embassy became aware of the advisory that was sent out, however, they have made it clear that neither they nor the United States Department issued such notice with regards to the death of Anne Swaney. The notice was in fact retrieved from a travel site that hosts press releases from shareholders within in the tourism sector, known as Travel Wires. The Embassy’s clarification has brought comfort to the tourism sector despite the tragedy that had occurred at the Nabitunich Resort where Anne Swaney lost her life.

    BTB Pledges To Protect Tourist After Murder Of American National
    While the death of Anne Elizabeth Swaney continues to make headlines both locally and internationally, The Belize Tourism Board expressed their sympathy to the family of Swaney and believe that both the family as well as the community deserve justice. In a release yesterday, the BTB also stated that they have committed themselves to working in partnership with the Belize Police Department in an effort to offer a helping hand so as to bring closure to this murder case. They have decided to request for the police department to increase patrols in order to guarantee the safety and security for all citizens and visitors in Belize. The BTB and industry partners are also forming an alliance with the Ministry of National Security, Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation to implement plans and strategies that offer protection and minimize the chances of being at risk when it comes to crime. The BTB concluded by saying that if anyone wants to offer any suggestions or plan; their ideas can be submitted to the BTB and will be reviewed. As mentioned last night, the FBI is currently in the country assisting in the murder investigation of the U.S journalist.

    Wanted Man Absconds To Mexico
    On Monday we reported on the gruesome murder of 55 year old Francisco Arevalo, Guatemalan Farmer of Indian Church Village whose mutilated nude body was found early on Sunday morning near an unfinished concrete house in the outskirts of Indian Church. Police suspect that the murder was as a result of a love triangle gone wrong as investigations have revealed that Arevalo was lured out of his house at around 9:00 on Saturday night by a woman he knew. Reports suggest that this woman’s common-law husband is the one that attacked and murdered Arevalo. He is no other than 58 year old Salvadoran National, Juan Carlos Lopez Gutierrez who police have placed on their wanted list. But while police have Gutierrez’s common-law-wife detained as they found her in possession of Arevalo’s phone, they are yet to detain Lopez. Today our sources within the police department told us it is highly suspected that Gutierrez he has made his was across the border into Mexico and based on that fact authorities are working with their Mexican counterparts in capturing Gutierrez and bring him to justice.


    1000+ Marijuana Plant Uprooted in Southern Belize
    Police operations in Toledo have resulted in the discovery of a quantity of prohibited drugs. Paul Mahung fills us in. PAUL MAHUNG “Officer in Command of the Toledo Police formation Superintendent Simeon Alvarez spoke of the drug operations.” SIMEON ALVAREZ “Yesterday the 21st of January 2016 Punta Gorda police conducted a drug operation in the […]

    Extradition Treaty with Mexico Almost Complete
    Earlier this week Mexican Ambassador Carlos Quesnel Melendez told the media they had done a lot of work to get David Nanes Schnitzer extradited to Mexico, however in the midst of the proceedings Nanes was granted bail. Since then Nanes who is wanted in Mexico has not been seen or heard from. Belizean authorities claimed […]

    Unusually Cool Weather Forecast for the Weekend
    Everyone has been talking about the weekend weather and the unusual low temperatures that are coming with it. It’s been said that temperatures will fall to about fifty degrees fahrenheit. With the unusual drop in temperatures, Love News spoke to the forecaster at the Belize Weather Burea, Francisca Wellington who told us that temperatures are […]

    Village Chairman Charged with Arson
    Following the fire that destroyed a gift shop in the Toledo District, police have charged a village Chairman with arson. Paul Mahung has the story. PAUL MAHUNG “Officer in Command of the Toledo Police Formation Superintendent Simeon Alvarez spoke to Love News.” SIMEON ALVAREZ “The arson that was committed on the 23rd of December 2015 […]

    Opposition Leader Says Arzu Undeserving of Contract Renewal
    One of the items on the agenda at today’s sitting was the reappointment of Lionel Arzu as Ombudsman. Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca rose to object to the reappointment, citing Arzu’s ineffectiveness in the post. FRANCIS FONSECA “We regrettably … this is not a motion that we can support on this side of the house. We […]

    Bills on Pension, Treasury Notes, Tax Exemptions Passed in House of Representatives
    Today’s sitting of the House of Representatives saw four Bills going through their second and third readings. The first was the Private Pension Bill which is to make provision for the registration of private pensions and the supervision of private pensions to offer better protection to pensioners. This was passed with an amendment to say […]

    Newcomer Musa Says De-Risking Needs to Be Addressed on World Stage; PM Barrow Agrees
    Speaking on the adjournment of today’s House of Representatives meeting, Caribbean Shores Area Representative Kareem Musa addressed the problems faced by the de-risking of Belizean banks. KAREEM MUSA “Debilitating to the point where it is no longer possible to do business and I am speaking Mr. Speaker in particular to the purchase of goods and […]

    Mike Espat Wants Level Playing Field for Local and Foreign Investors
    For his part, Toledo East representative Mike Espat spoke on the need for Government to afford Belizean investors the same level of support given to foreign investors. MIKE ESPAT “We need to protect our Belizean people when it comes to investments in this country. Mr. Speaker the Prime Minister had a big fight with the […]

    Espat Says Lands Department is Lax in Processing Papers for Cotton Tree Farmers
    Area representative for Cayo South, Julius Espat spoke of the land issue in his division. Espat said last year they had worked out a settlement with the Santander Group and farmers in Cotton Tree however they have been unable to get Government to live up to their side of the agreement. JULIUS ESPAT “The land […]

    Belizean Student Critical After Being Shot in Guyana
    A Belizean student in Georgetown, Guyana is hospitalized and fighting for his life. According to K-News online, doctors at the Georgetown Hospital are battling to save the life of 30-year-old, Garfield Dennison. K-News is reporting that Dennison was shot two times, once to chest and once to the left hand by an unknown assailant in […]


    18 year old maimed by his passengers; vehicle stolen
    An 18 year old resident of Ladyville was maimed. On Wednesday January 20, at about 7:35pm, Jonathon Zetina’s mother was in the process of reporting him missing at the police station in Belmopan. While she was giving the report, her son Jonathan came out of a pickup truck whose driver said that he ...

    Mexican Ambassador discusses trans border crimes
    Trans-border crime was a major topic at yesterday’s press lunch held by the Mexican Ambassador, H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez at the Mexican Institute in Belize City. One area of headache for Mexican authorities is the issue of contraband cigarettes. PlusNews has reported on multiple stories wh...

    PG Market upgrade inaugurated
    The newly refurbished Punta Gorda market was officially inaugurated today, January 21, 2016. The new name of the market is “MAURA LOPEZ MARKET” renamed as a tribute to one of the outstanding women of Punta Gorda Town who was very much involved in the community as an advocate for education, culture a...

    Inmates clear bushes by school
    A group of inmates from the Kolbe Foundation in Hattieville were in Salvapan, Belmopan today, specifically beside the Kuchlin Ha Government School. The Belmopan police branch saw it fit to assist the school in clearing the bushes beside them to keep the children out of harm’s way. Police officer ove...

    National Evangelical Association meets with Church Senator
    In early December of 2015, the newly formed National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB) poke to the press concerning the schism with the Belize Association of Evangelical Churches (BAEC) which began in September 2015. The new Association, which represents thousands of congregants in over 240 c...

    Police continue meet and greet initiative in Cayo neighborhoods
    The San Ignacio Police Formation held a meet and greet with residents in San Ignacio and Santa Elena over the weekend. The Meet and Greet was officially launched on Friday the 15th of January, and police say it was well received in the communities of the twin towns. The purpose of the meet and greet...

    Another cold front headed our way
    If you have put away your sweaters already because it has warmed up a bit after the cold front the country was experiencing over the past three days, you might want to think twice. That ‘s because, according to the National Met Service, another cold front is heading our way come Friday leading into ...

    The Reporter

    PM to meet with relevant parties in Washington over de-risking measures against Belize
    A team of negotiators, led by Prime Minister Dean Barrow will leave Belize this weekend for Washington DC, USA, to hold negotiations with relevant parties over de-risking measures taken against Belize. In response to the concern raised in the House by Area Representative for Caribbean […]

    Government “domesticates” international extradition treaty
    Following the escape of wanted Mexican fugitive, David Nanes Schnitzer in late November, after he was granted bail, the government took steps on Friday to prevent that incident from recurring. During the House meeting, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hubert Elrington introduced a to make adjustments […]

    Mexican Ambassador comments on David Nanes Schnitzer
    Mexican Ambassador Carlos Quesnel Melendez commented on the David Nanes Schnitzer fiasco this week and was not happy that Belize allowed the man wanted by Mexican authorities to escape. Schnitzer was wanted by Mexican authorities for his role in the ponzi pyramid scheme that defrauded […]

    Regional legislators meet in Belize
    The Forum of Presidents and Presidents of Parliaments of Central America and the Caribbean, (FOPREL) held a seminar this week to propose draft legislation to the Government of Belize. The organization, comprised of the speakers of the Houses of Parliament for member countries, made presentations […]

    FBI Investigates Murder of American Journalist in Belize
    ABC7 Chicago Executive Producer Anne Elizabeth Swaney, 39, came to Belize on a one-week dream vacation. She will be going home in a body bag. This week investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation processed the scene where Swaney was last seen alive…a wooden deck on the banks of the […]

    Man ties up, gags 12 year-old stepdaughter; rapes her at knife-point
    A 40 year-old Guatemalan man was remanded to the Hattieville Prison after being accused of tying up, gagging and viciously raping his own step-daughter with a knife to her throat, twice. Dangriga Magistrate, Patricia Arana denied him bail on Thursday on two counts of […]

    PUP candidates agree to face-off in debate
    With the People’s United Party (PUP) leadership convention around the corner, the three candidates vying for the party’s top spot: Cordel Hyde, Johnny Briceno, and Francis Fonseca, have agreed to take part in a public debate on January 28th. Organizer of the event, Glenn Tillett, […]

    PAHO/WHO puts countries on Zika watch
    The Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), this week, recommended that countries in Latin America and the Caribbean be on watch for occurrences of the Zika virus, currently rampant in the region. The warning came on Monday after epidemiological data showed that the number […]

    Traffic officer charged with manslaughter for accident that killed his wife
    Calvin Cumberbatch, 35, the Belize City Council traffic officer who is the only survivor of the January 2nd collision which claimed the life of Pamela Bennett Cumberbatch, 45, was arraigned before Magistrate Carlo Mendoza on Tuesday. On that day Cumberbatch was driving a D-Max pick-up […]

    Police issue APB for man wanted for murder of village V Chairman
    Orange Walk police have circulated an All Points Bulletin (APB) for the arrest of Juan Carlos Lopez Gutierrez, 58, a Salvadoran wanted for the chopping murder Indian Church village vice chairman, Francisco Arevalo, 51. Arevalo, who lived alone in the village, was found dead, nude […]

    Teen dies in Ladyville RTA
    A resident of Buena Vista has been detained by police pending charges for the death of a Lucky Strike teenager, following a fatal weekend traffic accident. On Saturday, January 16th, 47-year-old Jamaican accountant, Joan Crooks, collided head on into a black Millennium motorcycle, ridden at […]

    10 murders, 2 arrests; 2016 off to bloody start
    By Ingrid Fernandez/ Staff Journalist Of the ten murders that have occurred since the start of 2016, police have only been able to make arrests in two of them. According to Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie, the frequent incidents are occurring “despite our intervention efforts and patrols countrywide.” As of […]

    Guatemalan president tones down language on claim to Belize
    Jimmy Morales, 48, Guatemala’s newly-elected President, in his latest reference to Belize, was more diplomatic than when he first spoke of our country several months prior to being elected. In his lengthy inaugural speech late last Thursday at Guatemala’s Miguel Angel Asturias Cultural Center, […]

    Prickly port issues beg the question – Which port is best?
    The future of cruise tourism took a surprise turn last week when Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced his intention to greenlight a cruise port to be located at the Port of Belize facility, currently owned by Lord Michael Ashcroft. The news caught the tourism industry off-guard and none more than […]

    DiCaprio’s caye development plans draw concerns
    A public consultation in San Pedro, late last week, over the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) conducted on Blackadore Caye, the island which actor, Leonardo DiCaprio owns, drew objections from residents over wide-ranging reasons. The actor’s representatives have said he intends for the eco-luxury private island […]

    Reporting on the surging murder rate in Belize earlier this week Police Commissioner //// Whylie expressed some relief that the ten murders committed since the start of the year were not gang related. Small consolation! In a a sense it would have been more acceptable if they had been gang […]

    No construction yet at Sarstoon; Guatemalans still fishing in Belize!
    During a weekend visit to the Sarstoon base at the border with Guatemala, the Reporter has been able to ascertain that no construction has commenced on the Forward Operating Base (FOB) and there is no outpost established at the location. On December 9th, 2015 the government had a groundbreaking ceremony […]

    Belize breaks tourism arrival record
    Belize has broken its previous record, set last year, for most tourist arrivals to the country in a single year. This, of course, is welcomed news by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) after concerns early in 2015, that arrivals had dipped. According to the BTB, […]

    Belizean family in jail in the US for fraud
    Four Belizean relatives are spending time in a United States jail for defrauding the U.S. Government of almost US $300,000. Frederick Vernon Williams, 35; his sister Jacqueline Louisa Gentle, 27; his wife, Denise Allison Williams, 36; and his other sister, Carolyn Shelmadine Willis-Casey, 40, were […]

    House Sitting held
    The House of Representatives met today, Friday in Belmopan. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, in responding to a concern raised on the de-risking of Belizean banks, said he was preparing to leave along with Ambassador Mark Espat and another advisor to meet with representatives there to […]

    Police vehicle knocks down 2 police officers near precinct
    Two members of the Belize Police Department are being treated at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), after a police pick-up truck knocked them off a police motorcycle they were driving on Friday morning. The incident happened at around 8:30 a.m. on Allenby Street, just […]

    The Belize Times

    12 year old accuses stepfather of rape
    Stann Creek District Police have detained a man after he was accused by his 12 year old step-daughter of rape. The child, accompanied by her uncle, went to the Police on Monday, January 18th, and reported that she was raped twice by the alleged perpetrator. She reported that the first time was on Thursday January 14th. She said that after she came from school her stepfather pulled her into a bungalow house, tied her hands behind her back, covered her mouth and her eyes with a rag, and then placed a knife on her neck as he proceeded to rape her. The child said that the man repeated his abuse the following day, on Friday January 15th, while they were at home.

    U.S. Wants Answers in Anne Swaney’s Murder – FBI arrives in Belize to lead forensics investigation
    Friday, January 22nd, 2016 makes it one week since 39 year old Anne Swaney, a U.S. tourist, was murdered in western Belize. Swaney’s lifeless body was found floating in the Mopan River, near Nabitunich Resort, a remote tourist getaway outside of Benque Viejo del Carmen where she was vacationing. Swaney had been reported missing by resort patrons on Thursday morning, after a group she was supposed to have gone horseback riding with could not locate her. The Police was contacted and they swung into action, with a search team. Some of Swaney’s personal belongings were found that day on a platform where she would normally do yoga. But there were no signs of her. The search continued into the night but was discontinued because of the darkness. When it resumed the next morning, Swaney’s body was found floating face down in the river. Through a post mortem examination conducted on the body, the Police concluded the cause of death to be “asphyxia due to compression to the neck area, throttling (manual strangulation) and blunt force traumatic Injuries to the head and neck region”. This means Swaney was violently assaulted and choked to death.

    BTL’s 4G Chokes!
    BTL is looking like a joke these days with Anwar Barrow as CEO of the company. He’s the type of CEO who would approve new products and sales without apparent sufficient marketing analysis, causing the product to go haywire and put the entire sales in jeopardy. That’s what Barrow admitted to doing when he was asked to explain why BTL’s 4G network is faltering and failing miserably since its launching two months ago. Customers have complained of all sorts of problems with the system, from service malfunction to corporate stealing. Some customers say that their credit barely lasts a few seconds with BTL’s new 4G experience. So what’s really happening at BTL? CEO Barrow explained this week that the glitches are caused by “challenges in terms of the experience”. Barrow then concocted the explanation that the system has become overloaded by a surge of users who have signed up for the new service. But isn’t this why a company does an analysis of the market, before unveiling a new service? Wouldn’t BTL have expected that if the 4G service is so nice, it will attract many customers? Come on Mr. CEO? According to CEO Barrow’s mathematics, the traffic on BTL’s network has increased by 800% over the past 10 months. Of course, by his maths every Belizean now has a digicel phone enjoying the dropped calls and free credit-disappearing acts.

    Mexican Gov’t disappointed over Schnitzer case
    Mexico’s Ambassador to Belize, H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez, has placed on record his Government’s disappointment and deep concerns over the Belizean authorities’ mishandling of the David Miguel Nanes Schnitzer case in November last year. Nanes-Schnitzer, a Mexican national sought by Mexican authorities for alleged million dollar fraud and embezzlement crimes, was detained in Belize on November 3rd, 2015 following a sting operation involving U.S. Marshalls, Interpol officers and Belizean authorities on the tourist island of San Pedro. Nanes-Schnitzer had been living on the island for at least two years. During that time he obtained documents, including a social security card, driver’s license, boat license and even a voter’s ID and passport under the false name.

    PUP honors “George C. Price Day”
    Had the Father of the Nation and Leader Emeritus of the People’s United Party Rt. Hon. George C. Price been alive, Friday January 15th would have been celebrated as his 97th birthday. As he himself would have proudly pointed out, he would be starting his 98th year! Following Mr. Price’s passing on September 19th 2011, the People’s United Party committed to paying tribute to the legacy of the man whose life was dedicated to the PUP and Belize.

    All eyes on Belize
    Belize has taken center stage on the world scene as the investigation into the murder of U.S tourist, Anne Elizabeth Swaney, is monitored by the minute by a worldwide internet and television audience. In the background of all the reporting are regular mentions of Belize’s high crime rate and that Belize is the murder capital of the region. Yet to reach the international media’s ears is that one week before the Swaney killing, a group of tourists of unknown nationalities who were vacationing on a yacht moored near Middle Long Caye, came under attack by pirates. The passengers were held at gunpoint and robbed of their possessions. They no longer see Belize as the paradise they thought it to be. We condemn the Belizean authorities’ (Coast Guard, Police, Ministry of Tourism) decision to keep this incident from the media and the public, apparently in an attempt to avoid more bad press. Since the year begun there have been almost a dozen murders throughout the country. The U.S. has not issued a travel warning on Belize, but doing so at this time would be rhetorical. The comments and reactions on travel blogs, social networks and online media postings about Belize’s known high crime rate are sufficient warning to any reader.

    Guatemalan woman reported missing
    39 year old Lidia Janet Garcia Giron, a Guatemalan national and resident of Melchor de Mencos was reported missing yesterday by her 19 year old son, Alexander. Giron was last seen on Friday January 8th as she had left her home at about 5:00 a.m. and was headed to Banana Farm located in the Stann Creek District in order to meet up with a male person known as “El Nica”. Alexander told authorities that the last time he spoke to his mother was on the same day of her departure, only half an hour after her arrival in San Ignacio. Giron was last seen wearing a black blouse along with long jeans pants sky blue in color, a pair of black sandals and a ‘Winnie the Pooh’ bag, blue and yellow in color. Giron has a tattoo of the name “Humberto” on her leg.

    Sunday, January 17th 2016 was an extremely special day for many senior citizens of Ladyville. The Ladyville Christian Senior Citizens Group was celebrating its Twenty-fifth Anniversary, and over forty seniors, as well as friends and invited guests, were on hand at the group’s Center. The small building was packed to capacity with a joyous gathering to keep up this signal occasion. Mr. John Diaz served as Master of Ceremonies, and he led all those present in the Opening Prayer, after which there was a lusty singing of the National Anthem. Longtime member Ms. Myrtle Myvett then delivered the Words of Welcome, along with a brief rememberance of by-gone good times of the Group. President Nurse Lillian August then asked for a moment’s silence in honor of members who have passed away. Past President Linda Lanza gave a history of the commencement of the group on December 27, 1990. Ms. Magdalena Young, better known as Ms. Maga, along with Ms. Josefina Martinez were the two persons who founded the group, which initially had only nine members, and meetings were rotated at various churches in Ladyville. The group offered support for needy seniors and assistance to families for burial of deceased members, and soon the group grew. Turkey dinner fundraisers and barbeques were held, and members also enjoyed trips and excursions to many parts of the country. The group also made use of the Ladyville Community Center for meetings and other activities.

    Crisis awaits the UDP
    There is big trouble ahead for the UDP…both as the present government and as a political party. The days of the unlimited Petrocaribe bubby are done, so Mr. Barrow can’t go running for that security blanket anymore. The party of misfits will have a rocky road up that proverbial creek, no paddles in sight. What must worry us is that Belize will be floating right up that creek with this crowd of incompetents. You think the fight for leadership in the PUP is contentious? Wait until you see the rats scrabbling over the cheese in the UDP. They think the power they have will last forever. I feel sorry for Mr. Barrow, having to deal with a bad back and all the stupidity, arrogance and greed in his own Party. Worse than that, I figure the poor PM must have many sleepless nights when he thinks about who will take over when he departs. Can you imagine John Saldivar, Patrick Faber or Gapi Vega in a real leadership position? We know they lust after the “Acting” position. Can you imagine either of them as actual Prime Minister? REALLY!

    Uprising Strikers & Kraal Road FC Clash in Peace Cup finals
    The Uprising Strikers will take on Kraal Road FC in the 2016 Conscious Youth Development Programme (CYDP) Peace Cup football championship finals at the MCC Garden on Sunday afternoon, January 24, after both teams qualified by big wins in the CYDP semifinals on Sunday. Uprising Strikers eliminated the Kelly Street Bombers 2-1; when Francisco “Pancho” Briceno scored on Kelly Street’s goalie Stanley “Jordan” Reneau who had made many heroic saves in the 1st half. Steven “Bredds” Baizar equalized for Team Kareem – the Kelly Street Bombers, with a long lob that Uprising’s goalie Elden Linarez couldn’t handle. Red cards reduced both squads to 10 men when Kelly St.’s Oscar Usher and Uprising’s sweeper Christian Perez got sent off in separate incidents. The game went into overtime when Harold Thompson headed in Uprising’s 2nd winning goal.

    No Limits, Hurricanes & Western Ballaz win NEBL basketball openers
    No Limits, SMART Belize Hurricanes and Cayo Western Ballaz all posted big wins when the 2016 National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) tournament got started on Saturday night. NEBL’s rookie Jason “Snake” Leslie drained a game high of 29 pts as he led the SMART Hurricanes to a 75-71 win over the Belmopan Bandits at the UB gym in Belmopan. Darwin “Puppy” Leslie, former MVP of defending champs, San Pedro Tigersharks, and Brian “Brybo” White scored 12pts apiece In Belize City at Birds’ Isle, No Limits pulled off an 80-73 win over the Dangriga Warriors. Greg “Chippy” Rudon scored a game high of 19pts while Lennox Bowman added 11pts. Upcoming Games: San Pedro Tiger Sharks vs. Running Rebels (Friday, O.W. Multi-Purpose Complex) Belmopan Bandits vs. Tigersharks (Saturday, San Pedro’s Angel Nunez Auditorium) O.W. Running Rebels vs. Dangriga Warriors (Ecumenical Auditorium) No Limit vs. Thunderbolts (Independence High School Gymnasium)

    Hoare/Hernandez & Cabral/Sajia win in beach volleyball
    The Belize Volleyball Association held the 4th stop of its national beach volleyball tour at the Marion Jones Stadium in Belize City on Sunday, where Emma Hoare and Leyla Hernandez won the female competition and Jason Cabral and Baydr Sajia won the men’s competition. The next stop of the tour will be in San Pedro on February 7.

    Sea breeze pelicans
    November 4th 2015 was a day when my emotions were as mixed as they have probably ever been as far as politics is concerned. I desperately wanted the People’s United Party to win because I sincerely believe them to be the better party to govern this country. They are more inclusive in their style of governance, more competent in their stewardship and more creative and effective in stimulating the economy. This is not to say that they are perfect but I believe the PUP to be more socially responsible and more concerned about the welfare of the country as a whole. The United Democratic Party seems merely concerned with addressing the needs of party stalwarts and sycophants and in feathering the nest of Ministers and their families. The Barrow family in particular, over just a few short years, has established themselves as the dominant elite of this country for generations to come. So while I wanted the PUP to win, I also intuitively understood that the better scenario would be for them to lose. In fact, except for the bottom feeders and blind supporters, I also believe that many even within the UDP also understood that a loss would have served them better. The handwriting was on the wall.

    Belizean family convicted in U.S. benefits fraud case
    A brother and sister have been convicted by a federal jury of multiple felony counts for using false identities to steal almost $300,000 in unemployment funds and other federal benefits, announced U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden for the District of Nevada. Two other family members were also convicted of fraud for their part in the scheme to unlawfully obtain unemployment compensation funds. Frederick Vernon Williams, 35, his sister Jacqueline Louisa Gentle, 27, his wife, Denise Allison Williams, 36, and his other sister, Carolyn Shelmadine Willis-Casey, 40, all of Belize, were convicted on Friday, Jan. 15. The trial lasted for 10 days and was presided over by U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan.

    Think About It
    A young lady was raped inside the San Ignacio Police Station last month. Not a word from government, or the Minister, or the Commissioner. In fact after the report was made it took over a week for the Police to take action and they only did so because a family member called Channel 7 which promptly saw the sensational nature of the matter. Channel 7 even showed the young lady’s face, condemning her for the rest of her life as the “gial who police rape”. What a brave young lady. Her thirst for justice is strong. What a coward set of women in the various women’s organization who have said not a word. No calls to tighten up on Police procedures when dealing with females and children. Not a word. A female resident at the “mental hospital” in Belmopan was raped, not a word from the so-called National Children and Families Commission.

    COLA calls on GOB to come clean over new port interests – “Is former opposition changing its tune on failed Carnival Cruise Port Project?”
    Twelve years ago, there were plans to change the face of Southside Belize City by introducing a cruise port project in Port Loyola. That project, funded by businessman and developer Luke Espat and supported by Carnival Cruise Line and many others, failed to get off the ground and was eventually shelved, costing nearly $30 million for taxpayers. Now, it appears the current Government of Belize – then Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition – is trying to revive a project that was thought to be dead on arrival. Then-Leader of the Opposition Dean Barrow spoke to News 5 on October 5, 2004, following the publication of the contract signed by then-Prime Minister Said Musa on April 29. He registered vocal opposition and dissent, pointing out the following: “What the agreement does is to exempt Carnival from the requirements of several of our laws; several of our statute laws in particular the Hotel and Tourist Accommodation Act… the Environmental Protection Act, the Public Health Act, the Housing and Planning Act and the contract says that those … are not to apply.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    PUP Leadership Debate is on!
    The PUP leadership debate is on for next Thursday, January 28, although one candidate, John Briceno, may not participate due to a scheduling conflict. Nonetheless, the debate, organized by a committee consisting of former journalist Glenn Tillett; former area representative and Mayor of Belize […]

    Steel band represents Belize in Trinidad Carnival
    Representatives of Pandemonium Steel Band traveled to Trinidad and Tobago today to take part in the largest gathering of steelpan bands in the world, known as “Panorama”. Steel pan music has grown out of its origin as a so-called “low-class” form of music, and […]

    Eunor’s Diner in Belize City robbed
    An employee at Eunor’s Diner, located at #22 Farmers Market in Belize City, reported to police yesterday that she was robbed of cash and a phone, to a total value of $310 yesterday morning, by a male person of dark complexion who pretended to […]

    Government of Belize’s rice woes, a delicious dilemma
    The government of Belize has put itself in a delicate international matter regarding the importation of rice from Guyana. Recently, businessman Jitendra Chaula, better known as Jack Charles, was ordered to re-export the rice to Honduras then re-apply for a permit to import the […]

    San Isidro resident badly injured in hit and run accident
    Another road traffic accident, this time between miles 44 and 45 on the Southern Highway, has left a resident of San Isidro village in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), after being hit by a pickup truck traveling in the […]

    Punta Gorda police burn weed plantation to the ground
    More than 1,000 marijuana plants were destroyed in the Toledo District yesterday morning before daylight when Punta Gorda (PG) Police discovered a plantation in Columbia village with plants ranging from 6 inches to 3 feet in height. Around 4:00 a.m., officers working on information […]

    Belizean Student shot in Guyana
    30-year-old Belizean university student, Garfield Dennison, was shot Thursday night in Cummingslodge, East Coast Demerara, Guyana. According to press reports from that country, Dennison had dropped off his girlfriend around 9:30 when a lone gunman walked up to him and fired three shots. Two […]

    Cayo police find 16 pounds of weed on bus
    On Wednesday afternoon around 2:25 in Unitedville village, Cayo District, police searched a passenger bus that stopped at a vehicle checkpoint and found two knapsacks containing cannabis inside. One of the bags contained 8 parcels of cannabis, weighing 3,560 grams and the other contained […]


    Awesome Smile Clinic Enters 10th Year on Ambergris Caye Plus the AMAZING Holy Cross School
    15 years ago, there were no dentists on the island. Dentistry, for the most part, was emergency rather than preventative and that meant yanking out an infected tooth that hurt. Bad. Like me as a child, like many of you, kids and adults despised the dentist. But Dr. Mark Johnson, a dentist in Minnesota and a home owner on Ambergris Caye, wanted to change all that. To teach kids about oral hygiene (about their “baby teeth” and adult teeth) and to take the fear out dentistry. Now his “Smile Clinic” has a full dental set-up for three dentists at the Holy Cross School, volunteers come down from the states and from San Pedro eight times a year, and kids are getting two check ups and cleanings a year – and loving it. REALLY. I saw it with my own eyes. Made me wish my dentist did puppet shows and gave out toys when I was a kid. These are the first two people I met when I walked in the door. This is PRE-appointment. Both are 8 and neither has been to the dentist before. Ever. What they are doing is AMAZING. I visited the Holy Cross School – the only FREE school on the island – all run from generosity and incredible devotion and hard work. In less than 10 years, it has gone from 62 students to over 420 – and from pre-school to pre-high school, this institution is another miracle. Well…rather shows what people can do when they set their minds to it.

    Best Ever French Toast
    Cut the bread into 12 3/4" thick slices. Combine eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Dip bread slices in this mixture, wetting bot sides. Heat the butter and oil on a griddle or in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook uncovered until golden brown on both sides. Serve with fresh berries or fruit and syrup.

    El Pilar Mayan Ruins of Belize
    Consider El Pilar. This ancient city is distinct because it not only pays tribute to the past, but it’s being used as a conservation model for the future. Bring comfortable shoes for this adventure because the El Pilar site not only spans 120 acres but it’s home to 15 plazas, a ball court and hundreds of multi-purpose buildings. Some are exposed completely. Others peek out from the jungle, but you won’t find a better representation of Mayan architecture. Why aren’t all of these buildings out in the open? Because archaeologists eager to preserve as much as possible know that too much will be lost if they excavate everything, which is why only a house called Tzunu’un is completely exposed. It’s the single largest Belize River Valley site and was once home to a population of 20,000 during the Maya Classic Period, circa 800 BC, yet many of the large public buildings weren’t added to this settlement until around 250 BC. Another unique aspect of El Pilar is its proximity to water. Not all Mayan villages can make that claim, but it’s likely the reason the area was named Watering Basin. Gain access to this attraction by starting your journey in San Ignacio and then travel 7.5 miles north. You will wind up close to the Belize-Guatemala border, and since this massive reserve filled with flora and fauna actually straddles both countries, you may wish to take in Guatemala’s Peten District’s portion as well.

    International Sourcesizz

    TripAdvisor’s 2016 Traveler’s Choice Awards – Best Hotels 2016
    Top 10 Hotels Belize 1 Coco Beach Resort, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye 2 Victoria House, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye 3 Grand Caribe Belize Resort & Condominiums, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye 4 Las Terrazars Resort, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye 5 Ramon’s Village Resort, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye 6 Belize Ocean Club, Placencia, Stann Creek 7 Hopkins Bay Resort, Hopkins, Stann Creek 8 Sapphire Beach Resort, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye 9 Robert’s Grove Beach Resort, Placencia, Stann Creek 10 Villas at Banyan Bay, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye Best Small Hotels World: 22 Coco Plum Island Resort, Coco Plum Caye, Belize Best Small Hotels Central America: 3 Coco Plum Island Resort, Coco Plum Caye, Belize 5 Belizean Dreams, Hopkins, Belize 6 Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort, Hopkins 7 Sleeping Giant Lodge, Belmopan 9 The Phoenix Resort, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye 10 Mystic River Resort, San Ignacio, Cayo 15 Pelican Reef Villas Resort, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye 17 Chabil Mar, Placencia, Stann Creek 22 Xanadu Island Resort, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye

    Belizean UG student shot, condition critical
    Up to late last night, doctors at the Georgetown Hospital were battling to save the life of a Belizean national who was shot twice by a gunman in Cummingslodge, East Coast Demerara. Garfield Dennison, 30, who is studying at the University of Guyana, was reportedly shot in the chest and left hand at about 21:30 hours just after he had dropped off his girlfriend, who is also a student of the university. According to reports, Dennison was about to ride off when the gunman walked up to him and fired three shots, two of which hit him in the chest and hand. He was picked up and rushed to the Georgetown Hospital where he was immediately admitted. Kaieteur News understands that Dennison’s condition is listed as critical. Police say they received a call from an unknown person who informed that there was shooting in the Cummingslodge area. When they got to the scene, they were subsequently informed that the victim was already at the hospital. They ruled out robbery as a motive for the attack since nothing was taken from the injured man.

    Adventure Twins in Belize
    My stomach roiled as the boat rocked and rolled along the Caribbean waves, and our two-hour journey stretched into three. The patchwork of emerald and azure waters was barely visible through the small windows of the boat’s interior cabin. The fresh sea air was not reaching us below deck. Our destination was an idyllic island off the coast of Belize, which would be delightful, I was sure. I was anxious. Not only was I on an adventure tour in this remote corner of the Caribbean, but I was travelling solo with my four-year-old twin sons. No dad, no grandparents, no babysitter — just me and my ever-lovable, energetic, opinionated, unpredictable, exhausting twins. Located 85 kilometres off the coast of Belize, Half Moon Caye is a stunner. It’s everything you imagine a tropical island to be — swaying palms fringing white-sand beaches and a vibrant coral reef lurking just below the surface of turquoise waters. The island is also a wildlife sanctuary, protecting a rookery of red-footed booby birds. And it is the site of a base camp for the Canadian adventure company Island Expeditions. I had been telling friends and family we were going to a resort. That was a misnomer. Our short orientation revealed that we would be sleeping in tents (heavy-duty tents with wooden floors and beds, but still … tents). We would be using composting toilets, showering outdoors and reading by kerosene lanterns.

    Garifuna guitarist and singer-songwriter Aurelio Martinez is set to perform on February 2 – 3, 2016 at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley in Seattle. The lineup for the concert includes Aurelio Martinez on lead vocals and guitar, Benigno Guerrero on bass and vocals, Denton Figueroa on shaker and vocals, Charles Garcia on Garifuna drum and Philip Garcia on Garifuna drum. Aurelio Martinez is one of Central America’s most talented performers. Born in Honduras, Aurelio is a leading tradition-bearer of the Garifuna culture that draws from its African and Caribbean Indian roots. The original home of the Garifuna people is St. Vincent in the West Indies, from which they were deported in 1796 by the British government. They landed on Roatán Island, located in the Bay of Honduras and later migrated to the neighboring main lands of Central America. In 2004, Aurelio released his first solo album called Garifuna Soul backed by some of Belize and Honduras’ finest studio musicians.

    OAS faces existential threat, says Permanent Council chair
    Chairman of the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Sir Ronald Sanders, said on Thursday that the organisation is now facing a “serious existential threat”. The Antigua and Barbuda ambassador, who was chairing the first meeting of the Permanent Council for 2016, said that he was “deeply concerned about the financial health of the Organisation” and “profoundly anxious about its capacity to continue to operate and to serve the interests of the people of its 34 member states”.


  • Belize handling fishing, 1.5min. Local fishing with handling on Caye Caulker.

  • Caye Caulker Belize, 1min. Day trip to Caye Caulker.

  • Belize Demo 1, 4min. Belize Drone Footage

  • Force Ripe Baby | Lisa Shoman | TEDxBelmopan, 32min. In this hard-hitting TEDx Talk, Attorney Lisa Shoman talks about the "force ripe baby" and women in leadership in Belize. An advocate and human rights activist, Shoman demands a change in the conversation among men and women in addressing these issues.

  • Pack a Pound Program at Chaa Creek, 3min. This Belize Travel Video Guide shows you the intimate experience you can contribute towards with our community outreach program; The Pack a Pound initiative allows you to give back to local rural schools, by donating school supplies, swapping one pound of your luggage for this good cause. Responsible tourism is now a way of life, a way of traveling. This video guide chronicles a day into the life of Belizean students at El Progresso Government School.

  • 2015 KREM Radio's New Years's Day race Corozal to Belize City, 31min.

  • Belize 360, 7min. Channel 23 Belize

  • Belize 2013, 4min. A November trip to San Pedro and Ambergris Caye.

  • Trip to Belize, 4.5min. Our 10 day sailing trip to Belize aboard Mango. We sailed from Laru Beya Marina in Placencia and sailed out to the barrier reef cays.

  • Trip to Belize, 7min. Our 10 day trip to Belize. We sailed from Laru Beya Marina Placenecia and sailed out to the barrier reef cays.

  • Mike and Tina Belize 2015, 8.5min.

  • Wilmers parrot in Belize, 1min. My mechanic friend Wilmer owns this beautiful parrot in Belize and he has it trained amazingly well, it even talks. I want one.

  • Snorkel Belize - Matthew Murray 1/6/16, 6.5min.

    January 22, 2016


    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

    Letter to the Editor: Golf Cart is the way to go
    Letter to the Editor: Congratulations to Victoria House and Ramon’s Village. Both resorts pick-up their guests from the airstrip by golf cart. Their stretched golf carts look very charming and tourists think golf cart services would be best fitting for our island. We can only wish that other resorts will jump on board and eventually golf cart taxi enterprises be started. That way a tourist friendly island flair would be coming back again. /s/ Wolfgang Wind

    Five-a-side Football Tournament games dedicated to SPHS founder
    Saturday, January 16th and Sunday, January 17th saw the fifth round of games for the San Pedro High School (SPHS) and Island Citizen Sporting Club (ICSC) Five-a-side Football Tournament being played. As always football fanatics converged at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium to cheer on their favorite teams. This weekend’s game were extra special however, as all matches were played in honor of Mr. Fely, one of the founders of SPHS who recently passed away. Tournament organizer, Alex Noralez has also indicated that the remainder of the tournament will be dedicated to him. This week’s matches were quite exciting as each team seemed determined to win. Games on Saturday, January 16th commenced at 7PM. In the first match Haramouch FC defeated We Them Boys 4-2. Also in a 4-2 point match, Caye Caulker Boys defeated Boca Bombers, while Pro Divers FC managed to take victory over Victoria’s House FC in a 6-5 point game. In the last match of the night, Los Catrachos defeated E&L Boys in a 4-2 point game. There will be no games this weekend. For more information on the tournament, contact Noralez directly at 631-0711.

    Belizean football player drafted in the MLS
    Belize is once again in the international scene and this time it has to do with the world’s most popular sport, football. 23-year-old Belizean Michael Salazar was drafted last week by Impact Montreal in the Major League Soccer (MLS) Super draft held in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. Salazar was 4th pick in the second round of the draft. This is a major accomplishment for any football player, and even more so for a Belizean player. Salazar was a member of the Belize ‘A’ Team that participated in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States, where he played as forward.

    Supreme Court rules against Harvest Caye Project for breach in EIA protocol
    The Harvest Caye Project is at a standstill after the Supreme Court ruled against the Department of the Environment (DOE) and the National Environmental Appraisal Committee (NEAC), following the DOE’s decision to approve the construction by Belize Island Holdings (BIHL) of a cruise port at Harvest Caye in the Stann Creek District, due to a breach in EIA regulations. The decision was made on Wednesday, January 13th following a lawsuit filed by the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) asking for revision of the development’s EIA. According to BTIA, the Government of Belize (GOB) approved the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) development without taking the proper steps required when considering a project of such magnitude.

    Saga Night Fever brought the 70’s back to life
    The San Pedro Saga Humane Society held a fun -filled fund-raiser at Casa Picasso Restaurant on Saturday, January 16th under the theme ‘Saga Night Fever.’ It was a 70’s Disco Party from 7 to 11PM, and for a fee/donation of $70, attendees enjoyed three hours of passed appetizers, cash bar, music from the 70’s, prizes for best 70’s dress-up, dance competition, instructional hustle dancing, raffles and even the ever-fabulous mirror ball on the ceiling. The event was a huge success with guests really getting into the 70’s spirit, enjoying nostalgic memories of that decade. A portion of all proceeds and 10% of the bar went to Saga. DJ Matt Hoy had the crowd dancing the night away, showing off their groovy 70’s dancing skills. At the end of the event there were even prizes issued to the best dancers and best-dressed. Joe and Sally Gillespie won the dancing contest as the ‘Pimps,’ while Mike and Ann showed the audience how you can make a cool outfit from a rug and Steve and Sue were selected as the winners for best dressed with their amazing 70’s outfits. The charity event also had a fabulous raffle with many happy winners. Congratulations to all.

    Ambergris Today

    New Flights Help Boost Belize’s Tourism in 2015
    In 2015, the overnight tourism industry experienced many firsts and record breaking numbers which lead to an overall growth of 6.2% or 19,900 over 2014. Despite an unsteady first and second quarter, Belize had seven straight months of arrival increases; whereby, the bulk of the increases occurred in the last four months. September to December of 2015 showed record improvements with overnight arrivals increasing every month in comparison to last year’s figures. September had an increase of 19.3%, October 22.1%, November 33% and December 22.5% increase. November’s 33% increase is the largest ever recorded for this month, which rarely goes above a 10% increase. The month of December saw 39,977 overnight visitors to Belize, which is the first time in history that a month in overnight arrivals has approached 40,000.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Note the deadline is March 1st so better get started on your application ASAP!!!! Once again, Willamette MBA is offering Global Diversity Scholarships to qualified international applicants.

    New Fulbright Scholar in Belize
    After more than 10 years, the U.S. Embassy is proud to announce that there is a new Fulbright Scholar in Belize! Dr. Susan Catapano is working with the University of Belize to support early childhood and early primary teachers in earning teacher certification in Cayo, Corozal and Toledo Districts. In addition, Dr. Catapano will build on the work she has already started with co-authors in a book series that is currently forthcoming from Rowman & Littlefield Press, "More Mirrors in the Classroom: Using Urban Children’s Literature to Increase Literacy," which is a theory-based book on the importance of using culturally relevant children’s literature to support the development of literacy skills, especially for diverse children living in urban settings. This is the first of a three-book series that will include volumes on the development and use of the classroom library to support literacy and a set of case studies of teachers using classroom libraries.

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend
    Spectre Bridge of Spies, Legend, Rock the Kasbah. Note that Spectre will start at 9:10.

    Carnaval 2015, San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye
    CARNAVAL 2016 is on the way ... here is a look back at some pics from CARNAVAL 2015

    “Bright Spot” for the Caribbean Leadership Project’s (CLP) Leadership Development Programme Workshop in Belize
    The Small Business Development Centre Belize (SBDCBelize), BELTRAIDE hosted a delegation of regional officials and a member of the Caribbean Leadership Project on Wednesday, January 20, 2016, under the theme “leading through others”. The Caribbean Leadership Project is a seven year project funded by the government of Canada. One of the key components of the project is a multi-phased Leadership Development Programme (LDP) targeting the top three levels of leadership in the public sector in twelve participating countries and key regional institutions. The LDP alumni on the ground in Belize identified the Small Business Development Centre to be an outstanding example of adaptive leadership, in a complex, multi-stakeholder environment. The meeting took form of an interactive dialogue, where the challenges and successes associated with leading through others and the contributing factors which have led to the formation of effective partnerships between SBDCBelize and stakeholders was explored. After the meeting the alumni was invited to attend a small expo where clients of SBDCBelize displayed their products and services.

    Live and Invest in Belize 2016
    BELTRAIDE was invited to speak at the Belize edition of the Live and Invest Overseas 2016 conference held on January 20th, 2016 at the Ramada – Princess Hotel and Casino in Belize City, Belize. The Live and Invest Overseas conference hosts attendees from the U.S. and Canada interested in learning more about the various benefits Belize has to offer as a retirement destination as well as a business hub in Latin America and the Caribbean. Today’s conference hosted over 120 participants that were able to learn more about the economy, investment opportunities and government incentives available to invest in Belize. Additionally, the conference hosts various presentations from a wide array of local and international speakers that provide further information on residency, taxes, bank accounts, corporations, holding structures, health insurance, real estate options and employment or entrepreneurial opportunities.

    Head of the EU Delegation to Belize, Paola Amadei, Farewell Visit to Belize

    Country wide tour starts in Corozal
    Join McNab Design Ltd. and Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) for a Magazine Mixer as we present to you: The New Destination Belize! Corozal is the first stop on our countrywide tour. Join us Monday, January 25th Scotty's Bar and Grill - Corozal, Belize - See you there!

    Mexico Entry Fee illegal
    Yesterday, at a media luncheon held by the Mexican Embassy, Mexican Ambassador to Belize, H.E. Carlos Quensel Melendez was probed about the 75 pesos "express fee" being solicited and charged to Belizean travellers by Mexican Immigration to facilitate entry into Chetumal, where Belizeans flock on a daily basis for their number one shopping mall past-time. The so called express fee allows Belizean commuters and travelers who enter with their passports, to hold a stamped slip from the Mexican Immigration and procure a quick entry, saving themselves standing in the long queues. When asked if this was legal entry to Mexico because this is a big concern for Belizeans, who cross the border on a regular basis, according to H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez this practice is certainly illegal. H.E. Melendez further stated, "And we are totally against these practices. And I beg you in any case that you know something about like this, do send the information to the embassy and I guarantee that we will convey this information to the authorities of the immigration in Mexico city because we are totally against these practices." Any report can be made to the following numbers Belmopan 822-0406, 822-2480 and Belize City 223-1408, 2230193, email or

    Cayo Television Network
    If the website is any indication, Cayo has a great new provider of internet and television with the Cayo Television Network. Their main Cayo office is at 57 Joseph Andrews drive. "Cayo Television Network is a new cable(IPTV)/internet provider that Caribe Prospectors Ltd. introduced into the business market in March 2015. Cayo Television Network has taken advantage of the growing need for better, cheaper and higher quality cable/internet service within the Cayo District. The company’s goal is to establish itself as the high quality Cable/Internet Provider in Cayo District."

    Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium 2016
    The 14th BAAS starts on June 27th. This year's theme is Architecture in Maya Society, and if you'd like to present, and early registration starts at the end of March. It'll be held at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel.

    Photography and the Light of Respect
    Tony Rath | TEDxBelmopan. Using photography as a tool to explore the world, acclaimed nature photographer Tony Rath takes us on four journeys where photography helped him learn life lessons about respect. From bird hunting and whale kills in the Faroe Islands, to kayaking unexplored canyons and being mesmerized by a small grey rainforest bird in Belize, Tony Rath uses his spectacular imagery to shed light on the meaning of respect. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

    Channel 7

    The Cubans Imprisoned In Belize Will Be Freed
    For weeks we've been reporting on the 32 Cubans who are imprisoned at Hattieville. They're in a kind of legal limbo: they have no immigration status in Belize, and Cuba doesn't want them back. So even though they've served their time, they've been stuck in prison because government has nowhere else to put them. Well, tonight 7news has confirmed that has changed: Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse told us that as early as tomorrow, he will sign an instrument giving them their freedom. He said there is no need for the incarceration to continue and from a humanitarian point of view, they should be released. He added that once they are released, he expects that they would want to continue unto the US, which will accept over 7 thousand Cuban migrants who were stuck for months at the Costa Rica/Nicaragua border. The first 180 of them flew to El Salvador last week, where they boarded a bus bound for Mexico, and received transit visas to go to the US Border. Starting on February, there will be flights twice weekly.

    A Historic First: PUP's Potential Leaders Will Debate
    Cordel Hyde, Francis Fonseca and John Briceno will have a debate a week from tomorrow. It's a first for the candidates for leader of any mass party in Belize, and organizers say all three have agreed. So next Friday night at 7:30 at the Radisson, the three men are expected to answer questions form a still unknown panel, or pair, of moderators before what is called "an audience of invited guests." You at home are also invited to watch it live on Channel 7. And while the independent media will feed it into your house, other than that it's an all blue event and the coordinators are Glenn Tillett, Jose Coye, Carolyn Trench and Lloyd Jones, the latter three who are all former PUP candidates. More will be known about the first of its kind event when the organizers hold a press briefing tomorrow afternoon.

    Heritage Bank Prepares For FCIB Asset Assimilation
    In 6 business days, on the 29th January, First Caribbean International Bank will shutter its operations in Belize - and handover to Heritage Bank. It's a first of its kind transaction in Belize - where one bank is actually buying over the other's assets, not simply assuming its operations. That makes it exponentially more complex because First Caribbean customers - and there are thousands of them - have to wake up on Monday February first, and be able to seamlessly access all their services at the Heritage Bank. It's no small task and today the Managing Director of Heritage, Senator Steven Duncan told us how it's been going:... Jules Vasquez "How is it going here at Heritage Bank? What's the atmosphere like?" Hon. Steve Duncan, Managing Director, Heritage Bank: "Oh, it's very hectic. Everybody is running around, but I must need say that there is an atmosphere of togetherness. So on Friday 29th, First Caribbean will closed its doors at the end of the close of business and they will not reopen..."

    A Titantic Blow For GOB Excesses
    Today the judgement passed down on the 15th of January as it relates to compensation to Titan's security was finalized- and the judgement has left GOB with a hefty tab for recklessly following US dictates. How hefty? Well, the total in damages amounts to just under $9 million dollars! In September 2014 Titan's Securities, which operated at the Matalon building in Coney Drive, was raided by the FIU along with Government officials based on a massive US indictment for Securities fraud. Well the owners of Titan securities took the Government and the FIU to court to fight a constitutional claim. They submitted that their rights were breached in the manner in which their documents, computers, and information were seized.

    Teenager Chopped/Robbed Of Vehicle By A Passenger
    A teenager was almost chopped to death in Cotton Tree. Yesterday 18-year-old Jonathan Zetina was driving to Belmopan with three acquaintances when those same men held him up at gunpoint. They forced him to pull over near Cotton Tree Village, dragged him out of his car into some bushes and chopped him multiple times with a machete. Zetina received injuries to the head, neck and back and his middle and ring finger were severed. He somehow got away and his attackers drove off with his car. Zetina ran out to the highway and that's when he got help from a mechanic in the village. The mechanic then took him to the Roaring Creek police station. Police say that Zetina's mother was already at the station making a missing person's report when the mechanic brought him into the station. The teenager is now hospitalized at Medical Associates.

    Accused Stepfather Rapist Criminally Charged
    The man who tied up and raped his 12 year old stepdaughter twice, has been charged. The incidents happened at their Silk Grass home on January 14th and 15th. The little girl had just come home from school when he tied her hands, covered her face with a rag, held a knife at her throat and raped her. He raped her again the next day. To protect the child, we can't reveal the stepfather's name but the he has been charged with 2 counts of rape and has been remanded to the prison.

    Dangriga Cops Made A Major Cocaine Bust
    Southern cops found a substantial amount of crack cocaine hidden in a woman's tights. On Friday afternoon around 1:15 Dangriga police stopped a car near the 6 miles junction on the Hummingbird Highway. Officers asked the driver and 2 passengers - one of whom was a 41 year old woman, to get out of the car. They searched the vehicle and then took the woman to the police station where she was searched by a female police officer. 438 grams, or 1 pound of cocaine was found tucked under her tights. The woman, 41 year old Dangriga resident Amybelle Perez was charged with drug trafficking.

    Cops Have No Suspects For Anne Swaney's Murder
    Just about a week ago, American journalist Anne Swaney, was found dead n the Mopan River, and investigators, both from the Police Department and the Agents from FBI are no closer to solving her murder tonight. We've checked with the investigators from Benque and from the Police Press Office, but neither would confirm if police have shifted their focus away from Guatemalan fisherman, 24 year-old Victor Manuel Franco Menjivar as a main suspect. Viewers will remember that he was found illegally in the general area where she went missing. He's spending a 6 month prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to illegal entry into Belize. But, while the police remain tight lipped, international press reports say that the investigators have started to looking in other directions for possible leads in this case. A news team from ABC 7 in Chicago, the media house where Swaney worked, has been in the country, and they've been following the story with great interest. Here is their story on the latest developments:

    FOPREL: Improving Legislation Against Transnational Organized Crime
    Right now, Michael Peyrefitte is the Speaker of the House of Representatives. And, by virtue of his post, that also puts him into a Central American organization made up of other House Speakers from the neighbouring Central American Governments. They work together to try to harmonize legislation in all these countries, such as in the areas of transnational organized crime. Today, Belizean Parliamentarians participated in a seminar where the organization, referred to as FOPREL, discussed proposed amendments to the money laundering and firearms trafficking laws. 7News was there for that presentation, and we spoke with the Speaker about the intended changes.: Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Speaker, House of Representatives: "It's under the aegis of the Central American body known as FOPREL. Loosely translated in English, it means the Forum of Elected Presidents which essentially is the house speaker for each country in Central America and we get together from time to time to discuss issues. And very important to a part of the process is we come up with proposed legislation to strengthen the institutions in our different countries..."

    Mexican Ambassador Discusses Bilateral Agreements
    In July 2015 the Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington visited Mexico City where several agreements were signed to advance the bilateral relationship between both countries. At the media luncheon yesterday, Mexican Ambassador Carlos QUESNEL stressed the importance of working together to achieve practical outcomes from these agreements. H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez - Mexican Ambassador to Belize: "I want to express my recognition of Mr. Elrington's visit to Mexico last July. I think that represents a very important step towards the strengthening of the relationship between both countries and this step will also, I'm sure bring benefits for both countries and for both populations. What is next and what I have received instructions while I was in Mexico, I got really clear instructions that well now we have these legal frameworks that has already been updated. We are very proud of that. But now both countries, authorities from Belize and Mexico must work very hard to implement and to get actions, practical results and not only just sign for sign and we hope we get some practical results very soon."

    Mexican Ambassador Excited About Tourism Talks
    And while those are some of the agreements already finalized, there are several more bilateral agreements between the Governments of Mexico and Belize that aim towards advancing the tourism industry in both countries. One sector that is being explored is transportation. During his address the Mexican Ambassador expressed his enthusiasm to begin formal talks in that area: H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez - Mexican Ambassador to Belize: "And also started talks on the passenger and cargo transportation, tourism transportation. We would like to see more busses coming to Belize, but we would also like to see more busses going to Mexico. That will also help both countries in promoting especially tourism in both ways." As it is, only one Mexican bus line - ADO- travels to and from Belize. In the case of Belizean bus lines there are a few that travel across the border but they are only allowed as far as Chetumal. Now what's holding them back is the fact that Belizean buses don't meet Mexican road safety standards. The Ambassador discussed that too:..

    How Is Heritage Bank Dealing With De-risking?
    For months we've been reporting on the process called de-risking, where big US banks are cutting off their correspondent banking relationship with Belizean banks. For a small, local bank like Heritage - they've taken the full force of the blow - and recently, the Prime Minister said that even the banks that do their credit cards businesses might be cutting them off at the end of February. Today Managing Director of Heritage Steve Duncan told us that they will find a workaround:.. Hon. Steve Duncan, Managing Director, Heritage Bank: "It is correct that the bank who was processing for us the credit cards - the settlement bank specifically has indicated that they will no longer be able to it for us after February. I think they are doing it for the month of February and that's the last month. So between now and then we'll have to work out an alternative arrangement or revert to the manual process that VISA card and MASTER card make available to its members. So I don't think cards will come to a halt. I don't think that will happen. Even though the possibility exist, I don't think it will happen. Because well VISA and MASTER card they don't want to lose the business anyhow. Remember its business for them. So we will have a backup plan in place to help people in situations such as these."

    Belizeans Convicted Of Stealing From US Government
    4 Belizeans living in the US are awaiting their sentence from the US High Court after they were convicted of fraud in Las Vegas. Federal Investigators say that they all acted together to steal on $300,000 US in unemployment funds and other benefits from the US Government. US District Judge James Mahan presided over a 10-day trial in which Assistant US Attorney Gregory Damm presented evidence for the prosecution against the 4 defendants. They are 35 year-old Fredrick Williams, his sister, 27 year-old Jaqueline Louisa Gentle, his wife, 36 year-old Denise Williams, and his other sister, 40 year-old Carolyn Shemadine Willis-Casey. The prosecution's case was that the defendants used false identifies, falsified information on passport applications, and were dishonest in applications, all in an effort to steal federal benefits from multiple agencies, including the Departments of Labour, Agriculture, Education, Health, Human Services, and the Social Security Administration. The Federal jury heard evidence that their sustained dishonesty allowed them to get their hands over quarter million dollars of government funds.

    New Lazy Lizard Boss Charged For Undersized Seafood
    James Lynskey, an American National who now owns the Lazy Lizard restaurant and bar is making the news tonight. That's because according to the Fisheries Department, he bought undersized lobsters and conch. According to the Department, they conducted a raid at his business place and found 65 pieces of undersized lobsters and conch. They charged him with a fisheries offence, and rather than showing up to court himself, he sent his employee, Brian Perriott to appear on his behalf. Brian Perriott wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the charge when the case went before Magistrate Deborah Rogers today. The magistrate handed him a fine of $2,875 dollars which must be paid by March 20, 2016.

    Farmer Max Says, Hon. "Gapi" Didn't Tell The Whole Truth
    Last week the Agriculture Minister Gaspar Vega responded to the San Carlos farmers who claimed that the imbalance in the carrot supply to the local market is as a result of the lack of cooperation on the part of a few farmers. The Minister's said some farmers have, quote, "attitude," and meaning that when the Ministry asks them about their carrot production they would respond by saying "it's none of your business." Earlier this week, our colleagues at CTV3 spoke to farmer Max Hernandez of San Carlos who said that is not so. Here is what he said. Max Hernandez - San Carlos Farmer: "How is he saying that we are not interested in giving information? That information is given every year. The area manager Frank Padron can tell you, he has supported us. We send them these reports every time we start production every year. We send these reports to Miss Loreni Balam, that I think is in charge of records." Reporter: "Is this the report in reference to the next production of Potatoes, and onions?" Max Hernandez - San Carlos Farmer: "Yes this is the report for potatoes and onions but we sent the report on carrots through Mr. Padron and Leonardo Eck a long time ago which reminded them of the upcoming crop season..."

    Bze City Hurricanes Make Their Debut in NEBL
    The National Elite Basketball League's Season 3 got underway last week - and tomorrow night the Belize Hurricanes will make their home court debut. The team from the country's largest population center is hoping to win it all this season and to do that their club president says they are evolving their style of play:.. The game is on Friday night at 7:30 at the Belize Elementary School Gym.

    Channel 5

    Relocation Has Artisans Up In Arms on La Isla Bonita
    Tourism is the main industry on the island of San Pedro and among the top revenue generators for the country. Residents on the prime tourism destination depend on it for [...]

    4 Belizeans Convicted of Mail Fraud in Las Vegas
    Belize has been in the news for all sorts of wrong reasons lately – from murder to fraud. The Las Vegas Review Journal is today reporting the conviction of four [...]

    Jonathan Zetina Viciously Attacked with Machete Near Belmopan
    Of the ten murders so far reported in 2016, five have been terrible deaths from wounds inflicted by machetes or knives. Tonight one youth is lucky to escape being a [...]

    Will There Be a P.U.P. Leadership Debate?
    Three days before a national convention to be held in Belmopan, Francis Fonseca, John Briceño and Cordel Hyde, the three men who want to be leader of the P.U.P., will [...]

    FOPREL Meets in Belize to Discuss Regional Issues
    A meeting of high level policymakers is taking place in Belize to discuss ways to tighten up on money laundering, human trafficking and private security, which are perennial issues in [...]

    Proposed Legislation for Human Trafficking and Money Laundering
    The proliferation of guns and ammunition into the country is forcing lawmakers to take a critical look at existing measures, as well as alternative means of dealing with persons found [...]

    Titans Awarded Millions in Damages or Unlawful Raid
    The Government of Belize has been ordered to shell out a total of four and a half million U.S. dollars to Titan International Securities after losing a major case in [...]

    COLA Says PM Barrow is Singing a New Cruise Port Sankey
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow has gone on record recently to state that he is considering a proposal for a cruise ship harbor in Port Loyola, should a feasibility study indicate [...]

    Is Another EIA Necessary for Cruise Port in Port Loyola?
    According to President Geovanni Brackett, the initial assessment to determine the feasibility of a cruise port in the designated area was done with smaller ships in mind.  With the advent [...]

    2 New Patrol Boats for National Coast Guard
    The Belize National Coast Guard, along with growing its strength in numbers, is also looking to expand its fleet of naval vessels.  On Wednesday, it was announced that the maritime [...]

    Fisheries Offenses: Business Owners Charged for Undersized Lobsters
    A U.S. businessman who is the owner of The Split, a restaurant located on Caye Caulker, could not make it to court but sent an employee to enter a guilty [...]

    What’s up with Dengue in Belize?
    Later on in the newscast in our Healthy Living segment, we’ll be taking a comprehensive look at vector-borne illnesses including Zika. Every year, the vector control unit of the Ministry [...]

    Project Hope Belize Gifts Prosthetic Leg to Ricky Cunil
    An outstanding young man from Benque Viejo del Carmen has received an extraordinary gift through an organization called Project Hope Belize and the Community Policing Unit in San Ignacio. Ricky [...]

    Orthopedic Clinic Set for this Weekend in Belize City
    This weekend at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital the annual orthopedic clinic of the World Pediatric Project will take place.  Every year, some eighty patients are seen at the clinics [...]

    Archeologists Uncover New Maya City in Honduras
    The country of Belize is dotted with Mayan monuments, but historians are yet to conclude on the number of ancient cities that existed during the Maya civilization. Today, there is [...]

    Healthy Living: Is Belize Zika-ready?
    It would be hard to miss, if you follow local or international news, that much of our region is in a “Zika-panic.” The mosquito transmitted infection has prompted travel warnings [...]


    Vehicle Hijack Leaves Teenager with Chop Wounds and Severed Digits
    Police are investigating an incident in which an eighteen year old was chopped and his vehicle stolen. According to reports, the teenager was driving to Belmopan when he was attacked by one of his passengers and forced to pull off the road. He was taken into the nearby bushes where he was chopped to the […]

    Belizean Siblings Convicted in Nevada for Multiple Felonies
    Several siblings of a Belizean family that migrated to the United States are facing prison time after a federal jury in Las Vegas, Nevada found the one brother, his wife and two sisters guilty of multiple felonies. 35-year-old, Frederick Williams and his sister 27-year-old, Jacqueline Gentle were convicted in a US District courtroom on Friday, […]

    Names of Officers Suspected in Facilitating Nanes Schnitzer Sent to PSC
    The granting of bail to David Nanes Schnitzer made headlines both at home and abroad since he was wanted by the Mexican and the US authorities. Once released from prison, Nanes Schnitizer made good his escape and did not bother to adhere to his bail conditions. Up to date, he remains on the lam from […]

    Lands Department – Fully Functional Says Hulse
    For some weeks now we have been hearing from several corners that the Lands Department has not been fully operational and that new applications were not being processed. It has been just over two months since the department changed hands with Minister Godwin Hulse now at the helm of natural resources. Love News met up […]

    Central America’s Legislators and Speakers Convene in Belize
    Senators from Belize and members of the Forum of Presiding Officers of Parliament of Central America and the Caribbean Basin (FOPREL) which consist of the House Speakers from each country in Central America met today in Belize. The meeting was to constitute proposed legislations to strengthen institutions in the countries involved. House Speaker of Belize, […]

    Ambassador Amadei on Final Tour of Duty in Belize
    Head of the European Union Delegation to Belize, Paola Amadei, is in Belize on the final tour of duty in that capacity. During the visit she is expected to meet with senior representatives from the Government and Diplomatic Corps as well as call on Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young. Ambassador Amadei has initiated […]

    Hunting Caye Base for BCG to Be Completed in 2016 Fiscal Year
    Yesterday we told you of the near-ten million dollar budget allocated for the Belize Coast Guard in 2015. We have also told you of the progress they have made since its inception in 2005 and we have highlighted some of their accomplishments in 2015. As for the works in progress, Admiral John Borland, who heads […]

    A Decade Later … BCG Gets Regulations for Internal Affairs
    While the Belize Police Department and the Belize Defense Force fall under the Public Service, they are managed and disciplined by their very own regulations thus making any infraction liable for immediate repercussions. Although the Belize Coast Guard has been in existence for a little over ten years now, Admiral Borland says they are only […]

    Coast Guard Admiral Aims for Much in 2016
    Yesterday we brought you the accomplishments of the Belize Coast Guard for 2015. At the start of last year there were some goals that the BCG did not achieve in 2015. Despite that, however, Admiral Borland says that he anticipates that in 2016 they will achieve even more. JOHN BORLAND “There are several things. First […]

    Youth Ambassador from Jamaica in Belize for Youth Leaders’ Forum
    A part of the vision of the Caribbean Regional Youth Council is for institutional strengthening and capacity building of National youth councils in the region. Belize is holding their first ever National Youth Council District elections that will ultimately make up the National Youth Council of Belize. Representatives of youth groups that have been registered […]


    12 year old raped by stepfather
    A 12 year old girl has reported being raped by her step father. On January 18, a 12-year-old female accompanied by her uncle reported to Dangriga police that on January 14 at around 3:30 p.m. ,after coming from school, her stepfather pulled her in a bungalow house, tied both her hands to the back, c...

    San Pedro cop walks free from extortion charge
    Thirty-eight year old police constable Oscar Ramirez, charged with extortion, was freed of the charge today when Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser struck it out for want of prosecution. The complainant, 18 year old Sander Palma, indicated to the court that she does not want any further court action. T...

    WRH works on improvements following 2015 negative publicity
    In 2015, the Western Regional Hospital received some negative publicity after a rat was found in a newborn’s incubator and a nurse was bitten by a snake on the hospital grounds. The Ministry of Health and hospital administration assured the public that though the hospital building is old and run dow...

    Local emergency workers benefit from training by U.S. doctors
    Going into its third year, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) has enjoyed a partnership with the Medical College of Wisconsin, based in Milwaukee, and a team of emergency physicians headed by Dr. Mark Bruce of Brookfield, Wisconsin. This team regularly visits Belize to train their emergency p...

    Mexican Ambassador to Belize discusses issues with Belizean media
    Today, January 20, 2016, the Belizean media met for a business lunch session with the Ambassador of Mexico to Belize, His Excellency, Carlos Quesnel Melendez, and his entourage. The Ambassador has been working in Belize for a little bit over a year . Today, the media asked about several pressing st...

    Ex-gang leader charged for police altercation
    Former Ghost Town Crips leader Roger Anthony, facing a murder charge, was charged with 7 offences when he appeared on Tuesday before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. Anthony was charged with 2 counts of assaulting a police officer, using threatening words, 2 counts of using indecent words, aggravated ass...

    Belize City fishermen harvest shrimp near shore
    While a few may balk at the cooler weather that has prevailed over the last few days, the recent cold front is welcomed by many; we even have a name for these cold fronts, “together weather”. But today, Plusnews found another group of people that are very pleased with the weather conditi...

    The Guardian

    PUP’s convention most expensive ever, delegates paid $3,000 for a vote
    The United Democratic party has received a copy of the list of the delegates and the alternates who will be able to vote at their upcoming national convention. And while the UDP has gotten the list, our information suggests that not all the candidates have been able to get their hands on the list. That is because those who have access to the list and who are responsible to ensure that it is given to all those running, have chosen to keep it and share it with only one of the candidates. This decision has caused great animosity between the candidates who were left out and the PUP’s secretariat which is being accused of playing favorite with only one of the candidates. Even as that is taking place however, the secretariat has been blatant in their disrespect to the two candidates so much so that while they have not gotten the list, it has been made available to us at the UDP.

    Agriculture Minister Hon. Gaspar Vega says Guyana does not have problem with Belize not importing rice
    In an interview with the media upon arrival to Belize from Guyana, Honorable Vega elaborated, “We thought that due to present circumstances with the rice, it was just proper for us to go and visit with my colleague Minister of Agriculture Hon. Holder. We also had a meeting with Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Grinage. We also met the CEO and chairman of the Guyana rice development board with whom we discussed the present situation of the rice. They already knew of the breach or the breaking of the law by the importer. They knew about it.” When pressed if the Guyanese felt slighted by Belize’s refusal to import the Guyanese rice Honorable Vega said, “By no means. In fact they can recall that when we imported early 2014 we had to go through that process to ensure that the supplier was complying with food security that the food was safe enough for us to import and in this case we needed to ensure the viability of our rice industry. We discussed that in detail and we even discussed that we must look for a way forward in ensuring the food security.”

    Debate of three dead horses – questions for the candidates
    In a time when the nation is ordering the People’s United Party to reform and rebuild, they present us with Francis Fonseca, Johnny Briceno and Cordel Hyde as their candidates for PUP Party Leader. This field of candidates causes one to reflect on the words of the forgotten Henry Cate VII, “The problem with political jokes is that they get elected.” This is a scary field of candidates because one of these three men, on January 31, will immediately inherit no less than a 41 percent chance of becoming the next Prime Minister of Belize (based on PUP’s worst General Elections performance to date-2008). These three men have agreed to a debate, if one can believe anything Glenn Tillett says, tentatively set for January 28. Their biggest hurdle, in getting Belizeans to support their candidacy, is convincing the masses that they are an agent of change for the PUP.

    Papa” Mena in touch and staying on top of things
    When the Hon. Frank “Papa” Mena was looking for a place for one of his weekly visits, he chose the Agriculture and Natural Resources Institute (ANRI) in his own backyard.The former Jesuit-run Lynam Agricultural College opened its doors in 1953 to become one of the most respected international agricultural institutions in Central America. Lynam has experienced some good and bad times. It went from educating and producing some of the best leaders in Belize and the region for close to 30 years, to housing some of the criminal minds as a maximum security prison in the mid 70’s. It was reopened as an educational institution in 1994 at the determination of then Minister of Agriculture Hon. Russell “Chiste” Garcia. The school is presently home to a student body of 85 in the pristine hills of the Stann Creek Valley. Even though the campaigning for office is over; the work continues for the best is yet to come. Minister Mena has been on a whirlwind tour of several organizations and establishments in the relatively short time he has been a member of parliament.

    CRC Ambassadors: The continued commitment and progression towards championing children rights
    The National Committee for Families and Children (NCFC) was launched in 1994 as the major advisory body to the government on families and children issues. Some five years later, NCFC status was change to a statutory body, giving NCFC more power to further advocate for children rights and legal reform. Since then, NCFC is mandated with promoting, monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), advocating for government to meet its obligation as a signatory to the convention, advocating for the adoption and implementation of positive policies for families and children, and coordinating and promoting activities and child centered development programs that focus on the rights and participation of all children.

    Caricom’s Community Council meets to prepare for heads of government meeting in Belize
    Holding chairmanship of CARICOM, Belize will be hosting the upcoming heads of government meeting in Placencia in the middle of February. As preparatory work is taking place for that meeting and in order to set an agenda for it the 37th meeting of the community council of ministers was held in Guayana on January 15th. Chairing the meeting was Hon. Wilfred Elrington who explained that the meetings being held next month is important to give the region a common voice. For his part CARICOM’s Secretary General Irvin LaRocque explained that high on the agenda for the heads of government will be the issues of climate change and correspondent banking as well as foreign policy issues. In the interview after the meeting of the community council Hon. Elrington noted that Belize is looking forward to hosting the heads of governments of CARICOM and stated that it is going to be the first time that many of the heads of state will visit Belize but that it should be something that should be more routine.

    A community agenda to solve crime in Cayo
    With its continued commitment for proactive policing, San Ignacio Police launched a “Meet & Greet” activity with residents from the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena last Friday. Members of the Community Oriented Policing Program COPP as well as other staff members from the San Ignacio Police Formation fanned out to different police zones in the afternoon to meet residents on a face to face basis as well as to take a standard survey on the community’s perceptions regarding police performance. Officer in Charge of San Ignacio Police who also oversees the Benque and Belmopan Formations, Andrew Ramirez, told police officers last Friday that the community policing was the Police Department’s direction in resolving the crime problem. Police Officers like Henry Lemus then took his turn along with other colleagues to visit Zone One with intention to return by 4:00 pm that evening.

    What are the CCJ ordered Maya Land Rights?
    The Maya Land Rights Commission is getting set to open its office in Punta Gorda and plans to hold consultations throughout the Toledo District shortly after. The Caribbean Court of Justice has affirmed that the Maya people of villages in the Toledo District have rights to property based on customary land tenure. The court handed down a consent order that for some appears to be ambiguous. The order did nothing to explain what property exactly are the Maya people entitled to or which exact group of people are entitled to such right. The order seems to have left more questions than answers and where answers are not available the interested parties have inserted their own. However, according to Indigenous Affairs expert, Queen Counsel Anthony Ross, there isn’t cause for confusion in regards to the consent order handed down by the CCJ. Ross says, “The order of the Caribbean Court of Justice is quite clear.” The Commission’s role is to explain to the Belizean people the points in the consent order issued by the Caribbean Court of Justice on Maya land rights; gather information on the desires of Maya people in Toledo villages; include feedback from other residents of the area and make recommendations to Government for the execution of the consent order. Government has until April 30 to report its progress to the Court.

    The Homework Revolution
    A young girl sits at her desk, reviewing her homework assignments for the evening. English: read three chapters and write a journal response. Math: complete 30 problems, showing all work. Science: do a worksheet, front and back. French: study vocabulary for tomorrow’s test. It’s going to be a long night. This describes a typical weeknight for students across the country. Now is the time to start a homework revolution. Do students receive too much homework? It is often times recommended that students should be assigned no more than 10 minutes per grade level per night. For example, a first grader should only have 10 minutes of homework, a second grader, 20 minutes, and so on. Yet this is often doubled, sometimes even tripled. There are negatives to overloading students. Have you ever heard of a child getting sick because of homework? Today it can be noticed that kids are developing more school-related stomachaches, headaches, sleep problems, and depression than ever before. The average student is glued to his or her desk for almost seven hours a day. Add two to four hours of homework each night, and they are working a 45- to 55-hour week. A student who receives excessive homework will miss out on active playtime, essential for learning social skills, proper brain development, and warding off childhood obesity.

    American Journalist found dead in Cayo
    Anne Swaney, a Journalist working for ABC 7 online operations in the United States was found lifeless by Benque Viejo Police at about 8:15 am on Friday morning of this past week; face down in the Mopan River in a remote location near the property of the Nabitunich Farm Resort at the outskirts of Succotz Village. (Nabitunich is located between mile 71 and 72 on the George Price Highway.) Police believe that she had also been sexually violated as she was partially nude. The body of Swaney was transported to the San Ignacio Community Hospital where the doctor on duty pronounced it dead on arrival. A post mortem examination that was conducted on the body has confirmed that the American National from Chicago died as a result of asphyxia due to compression to the neck area. The main examiner, Doctor Leyden Ken, also reported that the 39 year old died as a result of traumatic injuries (blunt force) to the head and neck region.

    18 defendants in court for Abou Nehra’s home invasion
    The Belize City Magistrates Court was crowded on Thursday, January 14, but not with spectators. There were a total of 18 individuals appearing in court in connection with one incident, the home invasion of Lebanon’s Honorary Consul, Sarkis Abou Nehra. 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 gunpoint 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.

    Fatal traffic accident in San Ignacio
    Residents in San Ignacio are still reeling from a fatal traffic accident in which a Corozal resident sacrificed his life to avert further disaster. On Tuesday, January 12, 2016 about 4:50 pm, acting on information received of a fatal traffic accident in San Ignacio Town, San Ignacio Police visited a scene situated on Benque Road, near St. Gabriel Medical Center, where Police observed a blue Freightliner Truck bearing license plate number CZL A-00153 with its front portion down a hill and off the right shoulder of the road. Attached to the truck was a trailer with license plate CZL A-0375. Also observed was a male person of dark complexion and Hispanic descent trapped between the rear right wheel of the truck and the hill, motionless bleeding from the neck, shoulder and face. Initial investigation has revealed that 47 year old David Dominguez, a Belizean Truck Driver of San Jose, San Pablo Village, Orange Walk District, was driving the blue Freightliner truck on Benque Road, travelling from South to North, in the direction from Benque Viejo Town towards the Hawkesworth bridge and at the time he was accompanied by 20 year old Christopher Usher.

    Bradley Paumen accused of ordering a hit is out on bail
    American businessman, Bradley Paumen, has been released on bail of $50,000 plus one surety of the same amount after he was arraigned in the Supreme Court for allegedly ordering a hit on four individuals. Paumen was represented by Senior Counsel Ellis Arnold when he appeared before Justice Antoinette Moore on Thursday, January 14. Paumen is facing charges of abetment to commit murder and the Director of Public Prosecutions raised strong objections to bail. Cheryl-Lynn Vidal argued passionately that Paumen should be remanded because he is a flight risk. Vidal also informed Justice Moore that Paumen is expected to be levied with additional charges in connection to the same matter. Arnold said the question as it relates to bail is whether or not the defendant will appear in court on dates set by the court. He argued that bail is a right and that a person is presumed innocent until proven otherwise and that his client is a nationalized Belizean with financial ties to the country.

    Keyren Tzib back in court
    Former Coast Guard officer, Keyren Tzib, was back in court on Thursday, January 14, for the attempted murder of her comrade, Kurt Hyde. Tzib walked into court on her own free will since she has been out on bail since December 23. Tzib allegedly shot her colleague in the face while on the way back from a mission. She is being represented by attorney Darell Bradley who was expecting disclosure to be provided at the court appearance. However, Bradley was informed by the court prosecutor, Inspector Egbert Castillo, that the case file was still at the DPP’s office so disclosure could not be provided in the attempted murder case. Since Tzib was already before the court, the prosecutor went ahead and provided disclosure to her for another offense. She was given disclosure for the charge of manslaughter upon her common-law-husband, Thythus Blancaneaux.

    Kraal Road FC to face Uprising FC in Peace Cup finals
    The Conscious Youth Development Programme Peace Cup Tournament is fast coming to an end at the MCC Grounds. On Sunday 17 January, 2016, in game one of the semi-final Round played, Uprising FC and Kelly Street FC played to a 1-1 draw at the end of the regulation time to send the game into overtime. In regulation time, the goal for Uprising FC was scored by Francis Briceno while for Kelly Street FC the goal was scored by Steven Baizar. In overtime, Uprising FC was able to eliminate Kelly Street when Harold Thompson scored the winning goal that gave his team the 2-1 victory and the first finalist spot in the championship game. In the second game of the afternoon, Kraal Road continued on its winning path when in eliminated Tut Bay FC by the score of 4-1.

    What did the CCJ consent order say?
    BY CONSENT IT IS ORDERED AND DECLARED THAT: 1. The judgment of the Court of Appeal of Belize is affirmed insofar as it holds that Maya customary land tenure exists in the Maya villages in the Toledo District and gives rise to collective and individual property rights within the meaning of sections 3(d) and 17 of the Belize Constitution. 2. The Court accepts the undertaking of the Government to adopt affirmative measures to identify and protect the rights of the Appellants arising from Maya customary tenure, in conformity with the constitutional protection of property and non-discrimination in sections 3, 3(d), 16 and 17 of the Belize Constitution. 3. In order to achieve the objective of paragraph 2, the Court accepts the undertaking of the Government to, in consultation with the Maya people or their representatives, develop the legislative, administrative and/or other measures necessary to create an effective mechanism to identify and protect the property and other rights arising from Maya customary land tenure, in accordance with Maya customary laws and land tenure practices.

    $$$ Cordel Hyde to Determine Next PUP Leader $$$
    The People’s United Party’s national convention is two days after the movie “50 Shades of Black” debuts in theatres across the world. Appropriate because it has long been established that the most charismatic candidate in the leadership race of the party is at least that many shades too black to even mount a serious challenge against the other two challengers. Both Francis Fonseca and John Briceno are already proven losers. They have both had a chance to lead the PUP and both have failed miserably. Even worse, both of them have already resigned from the job after realizing they were not up to the challenge. Despite these individual’s poor public service and leadership record, they are the only candidates with a chance to win. For Cordel Hyde, the die has been cast – not dye – and there will be no dark horse in this race. Even those close to Cordel’s camp admit that the chance of victory for him are somewhere between zero and nil. Why then is he running such a laborious campaign?

    Paumen’s Dark Knight in trouble
    American-Belizean businessman Bradley Paumen is out on bail for allegedly setting a hit on American-Iranian Faroud Michael Modiri and three others. While the prosecution objected to bail on the grounds that he is a flight risk, Paumen’s defense was that he has significant business ties to the country and has no plans to leave. One of those businesses is Dark Night Cave Tubing which operates at Nohoch Che’en National Park. Unfortunately for Paumen, it appears that even his business is now in trouble. That is because Dark Knight started the year without a valid tour operator’s license and despite warnings and cease and desist orders from the authorities the firm continued to operate as normal. This blatant disregard for rules and regulation may result in penalties against Dark Night. The Belize Tourism Board is under sustained pressure from small Belizean tour operators to ensure that huge foreign owned agencies are held in compliance with national regulations. Speaking on Paumen’s legal and operational troubles, Tom Greenwood, President of the local tour operators association (FECTAB), said, “The concept too often is seen on the ground, that if you are a local you get hammered and if you are a foreigner you get kissed on the cheek and forgiven or allowed to continue. That has to stop!”

    Not even Emeritus?
    Before Friday, January 15, 2016 most of us Belizeans and certainly us over this side of the political spectrum, would have sworn that the one thing that UNITES all People’s United Party members as one was their complete adoration and reverence for George Price. That however appears to have been thrown out the door as soon as the present leadership convention was called. As usual on January 15, every year since his death, a short wreath laying ceremony, is held at his grave site, to mark George Price’s birthday and thus pay respect to his memory. At this event, prayers are said, a few speeches are given and a few wreaths are then placed on his tomb at the conclusion of the National Anthem which is sung, pleasantries are exchanged by those present. They would then leave the cemetery usually charged up and unified. As if though they had just lifted a PUP Love Fest.

    Fatal accident on old Northern Highway
    The family of 19 year-old Maykon Divas, a resident from Lucky Strike Village on the Old Northern Highway, is mourning his loss after he was killed in a head-on collision between his motorcycle and a Toyota Landcruiser. It happened near mile 25 on the winding highway, on Saturday, January 16, at around 2 p.m. He was on his black Meilun motorcycle when he slammed into the vehicle being driven at the time by 47 year-old Joan Crooks. She was taking 4 passengers to Altun Ha when it happened, and the crash flung Divas to the side of the road, where he suffered massive head and body injuries. He died shortly after on the scene. Police are investigating what is the cause of the accident, and who was at fault. Try to ensure that there is no recurrence, Eastern Division Rural Police intend to place highway patrols in the area. The hope is that with a police presence to monitor the highway, motorists will be less likely to speed along a very dangerous stretch of road.

    Guatemalan woman missing believed to be in Belize
    A resident of Guatemala has complained that his mother has gone missing in Belize. Alexander Enrique Garcia Giron, a 19 year old Guatemalan store keeper residing at Suchitan Melchor De Mencos, Guatemala, reported to Benque Viejo police on Monday that his mother Lidia Giron, 39 year old Guatemalan, had left home enroute to a banana farm #16 in the Cow Pen Area, Stann Creek District. At that location she was to meet with a male person whose nickname he only know as “EL NICA”. She was last seen wearing a black blouse, sky blue color long jeans pants and a black sandals. She is of clear complexion, brown eyes has reddish straight hair and had a tattoo on one of her legs with the name ‘HUMBERTO.” Lidia Giron has small nose, round face, medium built, measures about 5 feet 9 inches in height and had in possession a sky-blue and yellow in color bag with a Winnie the Pooh design. The last time Alexander Giron had communicated with his mother was at 5:30 am on January 8, 2016 when she was in San Ignacio Town.

    Jayear Flores remanded for armed robbery
    Eighteen-year-old Jayear Flores of Currasow Street is at the Belize Central prison on remand after he was charged for robbing businessman, Kemuel Marchand, 32. In a report to police, Marchand of #3 Calle Al Mar Street in Belize City told police that sometime around 1:30p.m. on Thursday, January 14, he was inside Small Entrepreneur Business, at #69 Vernon Street, when two males entered the store. One of the men was armed with a handgun. He pointed the firearm at Carla Flowers and held her around the neck with his other hand. The gunman then walked up to him, pointed the gun at him and ordered him to lie down with his face towards the ground. The gunman then searched his right rear pocket and stole his wallet. He then went after the cash register but found nothing inside and that was when they left the store. Police were called to the scene and a quick investigation led to the arrest of Flores who was picked out by Marchand in an identification parade.

    Jealousy leads to murder in Indian Creek
    Orange Walk Police are on the hunt for 58 year old Salvadoran Juan Carlos Lopez Gutierrez, known as “Chile”, who is believed to be a flight risk. He is wanted for questioning in the murder of 51 year-old Guatemalan Francisco Arrevalo which happened in the very remote village of Indian Church in the Orange Walk District. At around 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, January 17, police found Arrevalo’s nude body near an unfinished concrete house, which is located at the entrance of the village. Someone had chopped him in the back of the head, and to the left hand, which was partially severed. He was last seen alive the night before at around 7:30 p.m. at his house. At this time, police suspect that he may have been lured to this location by a Guatemalan woman he was having an intimate relationship with. Once there, the killer is believed to have attacked Arrevalo, killing him, after which time, the assailant fled. The motive at this time is believed to be a dispute with another man over this very same woman he was involved with.

    Machete and knives weapons of choice in two murders
    Forty Eight year-old Honduran Jose Alfredo Villeda continues to receive treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for extensive stab and chop wounds he suffered at his home in San Pedro. He’s under police guard and as soon as he has recovered from his injuries, he will be investigated for the killing of his friend, 35 year-old Guatemalan Sergio Uribio. Police investigations at this time are that both men were socializing at Villeda’s apartment in the San Pedrito area of the island. It is believed that they were drinking, and somehow, they ended up in an argument, which escalated to a knife and machete fight. Investigators believe that the deceased, Sergio Uribio, struck first, and he was the one who pulled a knife and stabbed Villeda. The machete was pulled shortly after, and in the aftermath of the fight, Uribio laid dead in the apartment from a stab wound to the left side of the neck, and left arm. Villeda had to be rushed via air transport to the Karl Heusner after he had suffered a cut wound to the right side of his face, another to the left knee, the right leg, and the left lower leg. His left wrist was partially chopped off, and a portion of his left pinky finger had been completely severed.

    Holy Redeemer School boys’ win in primary schools basketball competition
    The Belize City Primary Schools Basketball competition continued on Monday 18 January, 2016, at Bird’s Isle with five games on the schedule. In the girls’ competition games played, St. Martin De Porres School won over Muslim Community School by the score of 13-6. The top scorer for St. Martin De Porres was Shantel Flowers with 11 points while the top scorer for Muslim Community School was Bonnie Udoye with 4 points. In game two, Wesley Upper School defeated Holy Redeemer School by the score of 7-0. The top scorers for Wesley Upper School were Leandra Bainton with 4 points and Jada Gillett with 3 points. And in the final game in the girls’ competition for the day, Belize Elementary School won over Bethel Primary School by the score of 13-4. The top scorers for Belize Elementary School were Kelly Liu with 5 points and Sanna Rowland and Rianna Chebat with 4 points each.

    Belize to host CADICA Championship in February
    The Belize Athletics Association informs the general public that the Belize Athletics Association will be hosting the 10th Central American Cross Country Championship in Athletics. The championship is being sponsored by the Central American Track and Field Organisation (CADICA). The championship is scheduled for Saturday 20th February, 2016, at the Roaring River Golf Course in Roaring Creek Village, Cayo District. It is anticipated that the championship will bring together some 125 cross country athletes and officials from all seven Central American countries. The Belize Athletics Association will be holding a national competition on Saturday 30th January 2016 to select the athletes that will represent the country. The Competition will be held at the Roaring River Golf Course in Roaring Creek Village.

    Wesley College males and St. Catherine Academy leads high school football competition
    The Central Region Secondary Schools Football Competition continued at the MCC Grounds with a number of games during the course of this week and last week. On Tuesday 19 January, 2016, in the male competition, Anglican Cathedral College routed Belize High School by the score of 9-0. The goals for Anglican Cathedral College were scored by Trevaun Rhaburn (2), Herman Card (2), Christian Ancona (2), Darrell Flowers (2) and Kenroy Daly. The only Red Card of the game was issued to Anglican Cathedral’s Shaquille Matute. On Monday 18 January, in the female competition, St. Catherine Academy blanked Ladyville Technical High School by the score of 1-0. The lone goal of the game was scored by Renisha Martinez.

    National Elite Basketball League 2016 season opens
    The 2016 Season for the National Elite Basketball League opened on Saturday 16 January, with three games across the country. At the UB Gymnasium in Belmopan, the visiting Smart Belize Hurricanes edged out the host team the Belmopan Bandits by the score of 75-71. The top scorers for the visiting Smart Belize Hurricanes were Jacob Leslie with 29 points, and 4 steals, Darwin Leslie with 12 points, 1 rebound and 4 assists, Farron Louriano also with 12 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals and Brian White who also scored 12 points, and 8 rebounds. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Belmopan Bandits were Jarrel Velasquez with 24 points, 5 rebounds and 1 assist, Geovanie Lennan with 11 points, 4 rebounds and 1 steal and Kyle Pascascio also with 11 points, 6 rebounds and 1 assist. The competition will continue this coming weekend with five games on the schedule.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Temperatures will drop over the weekend in Belize as cold front passes
    Belizeans are advised to get their sweaters and warm pants out this weekend as the cold temperatures return. Forecaster at the Belize Meteorological Service, Ronald Gordon, says temperatures will start to fall Friday night through to Saturday morning. The temperatures are expected to drop to […]

    Major improvements for Hopkins and Punta Gorda
    Earlier today, a newly upgraded market was inaugurated and opened in Punta Gorda (PG) town, with the presence of Head of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Belize, Ambassador Paola Amadei, who also inaugurated Hopkins’ upgraded road during her final visit as […]

    Cuban migrants arrive in the United States
    Fifty Cubans are in the United States after leaving Costa Rica where they were stranded for many weeks. Fox News Latino reports that the group of 50 left the Mexican Border on Saturday in a bus chartered by South Florida television station, America Teve. […]

    Restauranteur caught with undersized lobster
    Caye Caulker businesswoman Suyapa Saldivar, 52, has pleaded guilty to possession of undersized lobsters found at her restaurant Sobre Las Olas on Front Street in Caye Caulker. The restaurant owner was busted with ten pounds of the crustacean and on pleading guilty in court today […]

    Busy weekend sports activities kick off on Saturday
    Belize’s Premier Football League kicks off its season this Saturday with two games being played at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan City and at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, both starting at 7:30 p.m. In Belmopan, Police United FC will face off […]

    Belizeans in Las Vegas convicted of Government fraud
    According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, a Belizean family has been convicted of multiple felonies by a federal jury for using false identities to steal close to 300 thousand US dollars in unemployment funds and other government benefits. Frederick Vernon Williams, 35; his sister […]

    Belize Defense Force Helicopters Are Here, But Not Assembled
    Courtesy of the Republic of China (Taiwan), the Belize Defence Force (BDF) has acquired a pair of UH1H Huey helicopters to be used in building air support for the national army. But they cannot be used just yet; the aircraft are not fully assembled […]

    Belize shines bright on Trip Advisor’s list of best resorts
    Belize is once again gaining international recognition for its world class resorts! TripAdvisor just released its list of the 25 best hotels in all of Central America and 4 hotels from Belize have made it into the top 20, with two in the top 10! […]

    Cayo cops meet with the community
    Officers Commanding (O.C) the San Ignacio and Benque Viejo Police Formations, took to the streets last week Friday, January 15th, to launch their weekly meet and greet with the public in their respective municipalities, during which they got feedback and heard concerns. O.C of […]

    Ladyville teen chopped up
    Last night around 7:35 p.m., while 34-year-old Jordana Frusto of Ladyville village, Belize District was reporting her son, 18-year-old Jonathan Zetina missing at the police station, a pickup truck driven by John Olivera, dropped off the teenager who was seen bleeding from cut wounds. Olivera told […]

    Gradual improvement expected over next 24-36 hours before another cold front
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting cloudy skies tonight with sunny breaks tomorrow. Showers will be generally isolated, except for a few over central areas tonight and tomorrow morning. Winds will be blowing from the Northeast at 10-20 knots and the sea state will be choppy. High temperatures tonight are expected around […]


    A Fundraiser, Lots of New Building and My First Scoupon!
    As the east coast and much of the US (and I’m SURE Canada – but we only get US tv) is shivering away, the cold front has dipped as low as Belize. Which so far has meant the sweatshirts are out in the evening and the morning and the temperature is in the 70s. Boo hoo…I know. Few are shedding tears for us – probably because you know they will freeze to your cheeks. Things have been warming up since mid-week but Saturday, SATURDAY! another front arrives, and highs will be in the low 70s! Or at least that is what’s predicted. Here is what else is going on in San Pedro town. I posted about the music, a food truck and more just a few days ago. Here are some additional things that I saw while I was walking about yesterday afternoon… I stopped into RubiMoon to thank Anke for giving me the boost to enter the contest to go to Kerala, India. The tour starts February 15! And the store looked gorgeous…TOTALLY got me into the mood…especially on a grey afternoon. They’ve also decided to give a 15% discount on their website if you mention SCOOP. I am working on changing their advertisement on my site. But until then, take a look. They have beautiful things and…well…this is my very first SCOUPON. Rubimoon Boutique.

    1. Vibrant Colors: Anyone who knows me even a smidgen has noticed that I absolutely adore bold, vibrant colors. In this regard, I fit right into Belize, where boldly-colored houses, hotels, bars, beach chairs and buses are the norm. Just looking at all these gorgeous colors every day makes me feel happy and alive. 2. Aquamarine Caribbean Sea: Speaking of gorgeous colors, the sea in Belize comes in the most unbelievable shades of turquoise, aquamarine, teal, pale green and blues that I’ve ever seen – and that’s in 18 years of world travels, much of it in the tropics. Swimming in these dreamy clear Caribbean waters under cobalt blue skies and puffy white clouds is a surreal experience, like floating in paradise. 3. The Belizean Barrier Reef: The Belizean Barrier Reef runs 185 miles just off the coast of Belize, paralleling the country’s entire coast north to south. It’s part of the much larger MesoAmerican Barrier Reef that runs from the tip of Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, to the north, down to Honduras. The reef also carries UNESCO World Heritage status – it’s the largest reef in the western hemisphere and second largest barrier reef in the world. The reef’s protected status, Belize’s low population and the country’s relative anonymity as an international travel destination mean this massive reef / island system is particularly pristine. Divers visit from all over the world, though not in the mass numbers found at other Caribbean dive destinations like Cancun, Cozumel and Grand Cayman Islands.

    International Sourcesizz

    7 Things to Eat in Belize
    Belize, a small but diverse country of 350,000 inhabitants, is bordered on the north by Mexico, on the south and west by Guatemala, and on the east by the Caribbean Sea. While often overshadowed by its bigger and better-known neighbors, Belize shines thanks to its pristine beaches, untouched jungles and rich culinary scene. Most inhabitants speak English, Maya, Creole and Spanish, and even Mandarin is common in certain communities. This amalgamation of ethnicities is reflected in the Belizean kitchen, with dishes from all over the world reinterpreted the local way. They may sound familiar, but they will taste very different from the original creations. Here are some delicious dishes to try the Belizean way. Ceviche, Pupusas, Tamales (Bollos), Rice and Beans, Conch Fritters, Chimole, Freshly Caught Seafood.

    How much fish are we really catching?
    Scientists Find That 30% of Global Fish Catch Is Unreported. In a new study, scientists led by Sea Around Us calculated the annual global fish catch to be roughly 109 million metric tons, about 32 million metric tons more than officially reported in 2010 by more than 200 countries and territories. The new estimates provide countries with better assessments of their catch levels than they have had before. Joshua Reichert, executive vice president and head of environment initiatives for The Pew Charitable Trusts, calls the research a “groundbreaking study that confirms that we have been taking far more fish from our oceans than the official data suggest and provides a nuanced portrait of the amount of fish that are being removed from the world’s oceans each year.” In the study, published Jan. 19 in the journal Nature Communications, lead author Daniel Pauly and co-author Dirk Zeller gathered information with help from hundreds of scientists around the world. This team of researchers examined fish catch data for more than 200 countries and territories from a broad range of sources, including academic literature, industrial statistics, local fisheries experts, law enforcement, human population data, and other records such as documentation of fish catch by tourists. Using a method called “catch reconstruction,” the Sea Around Us team then estimated total catch, including that missing from official data.

    4 Ambergris Hotels on Trip Advisor best in Central America
    TripAdvisor is judging the “Top 25 Hotels in Central America” based on the millions of reviews and opinions collected this last year from travelers all around the world. The “Top 25 Hotels in Central America” list includes hotels from Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras. All 4 of the Belize hotels on the list are on Ambergris Caye, including the Coco Beach resort at #8, the Victoria House at #9, the Grand Caribe resort at #13 and the Las Terrazas resort at #19.

    Violence and children rights in the Caribbean
    The Caribbean Mentorship Institute has joined the public outcry about the number of violent deaths of young children in the region. The recent call to curb and eradicate violence against children should warrant immediate educational programs for Caribbean youth. The Institute believes that greater protection for young children should be promoted to realise their right to live free from violence and the fear of violence. A UNICEF report dated 2014, on Violence against Children, states that violence disproportionately affects children, either directly or indirectly. Violence by young people is extremely visible, and most of the perpetrators, as well as most of the victims, of violent crimes are male adolescents or youths.

    Art Museum of the Americas to Present Belize Exhibition in Honor of 35th Anniversary
    The OAS AMA | Art Museum of the Americas in partnership with the Permanent Mission of Belize to the OAS presents an exhibition celebrating the 35th anniversary of the nation's independence. For this exhibition, sculptor Santiago Cal and photojournalist Karl Villanueva commemorate the 35th anniversary of Belize's independence. Belize 35 is exemplary of AMA's mission of highlighting artwork promoting human rights, democracy, and peace as core values of the Organization of American States, in support of the autonomy of nations as well as the global cooperation under which each nation may thrive. Cal's "Untitled" is one of two installations that the artist is contributing to Belize 35. It includes as its subject matter Belize's first Prime Minister, George Cadle Price along with symbolic national elements such as the tapir, the national animal. According to the artist, the tapir's mannerisms and dignity are consistent with Belizean identity as a peaceful nation. Belizean curator Yasser Musa describes "Untitled" as "imagination at full throttle, casting a sculptural illustration specifically for an Art Museum of the Americas exhibition commemorating Belize's 35th Independence.

    Archaeological dig begins at Honduras’ famed ‘City of the Monkey God’
    After years of speculation and research, scientists have finally begun their dig at the elusive "Lost City of the Monkey God" in Honduras. Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández announced that the new dig - in partnership with Colorado State University archaeologists – has begun on the site where a God is said to have fathered half-human, half-monkey children. "This discovery has created a lot of excitement because of its significance for Honduras and the world," Hernandez said, according to the Daily Mail. The most recent search for the site began back in 2012, when a group of archaeologists and filmmakers used a form of light detection and ranging equipment known as lidar to find the remains of the lost city by airplane. In layman's terms, the scientists flew a small plane over the dense stretch of jungle, shooting lasers at the topography to map out the land below the canopy, where they purportedly discovered a network of plazas and pyramids, hidden for hundreds of years.

    Expedia reports rise in Caribbean travel demand
    The Expedia group, one of the world's largest online travel companies, reported on Tuesday at the Caribbean Travel Marketplace organized by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) an increase in travel demand of 20 percent year over year for the Caribbean via the company’s platforms during the third quarter of 2015 with significant growth reported across the entire region. New data from Expedia indicates that the United States remains the key feeder market for the Caribbean with a reported growth of nearly 20 percent to Caribbean destinations. Other international markets reporting substantial year over year growth in the third quarter of 2015 include:

    Report shows that Cuban migrants becoming more violent with Coast Guard
    Cuban migrants desperate to reach U.S. shore are increasingly violent and noncompliant with Coast Guard crews who detain them at sea, authorities said Wednesday, citing reports of attempted poisoning and self-inflicted wounds as rumors swirl that the "wet-foot, dry-foot" policy will soon be abandoned. U.S. immigration policies haven't changed since President Barack Obama ordered the restoration of diplomatic relations between Havana and Washington in December 2014, and for over a year the Coast Guard has warned migrants and their relatives in the U.S. that no change is imminent. But an ongoing surge in Cubans fleeing their homeland by sea is fueled by fears they soon will lose the "wet-foot, dry-foot" benefits that allow those reaching U.S. land to stay and pursue citizenship, according to the chief of response for the Coast Guard's 7th District in Miami.


  • Belize - Ambergris Caye, 6min. Diving the Belize Barrier Reef, Spotted Eagle Rays, Turtles, Sharks. Featuring guest diver Sara Brown.

  • Y de nuevo RADIO LATA oraleee!!!!!!, min. Chequen ustedes

  • Empowerment Show Jan 21th 2016, 32min.

  • Belize April 2014, 5.5min. Channel 23 Belize

  • Belize 2016 Study Abroad in Caye Caulker, 8min. Miami University Study Abroad trip 2016 in Caye Caulker, Belize. Explored the mainland of Belize before heading over to a small island called Caye Caulker to teach at the Roman Catholic elementary school!

  • Snorkeling Rendezvous Caye, Belize, 15min. We recently took a snorkeling excursion to Rendezvous Caye, Belize. Rendezvous Caye lays on top of the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere. We had a fabulous time. This video shows our day. We hope you enjoy it!

  • Dolphins in Belize, 1min.

  • Belize Mantee Trip, 2.5min.

  • UB Study Abroad- Belize 2016, 15min. University at Buffalo School of Nursing students volunteered in Belize this past week. This is a video about our trip.

  • Snorkeling at the Belize Barrier Reef, 5min. Sailboat outing with stops at Shark & Ray Alley and Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

    January 21, 2016


    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

    Island athletes continue to shine at Mayor’s and Minister’s Cup
    The Mayor’s and Minister’s Cup continued this past weekend on its fourth round at the Honorable Louis Sylvester Sporting Complex. Twelve teams and a total of six games once again brought the excitement of football to island fanatics. Paired with good food and refreshments, fans enjoyed a fun weekend full of spectacular sporting fun. On Friday, January 15th at 7PM, the first of two games started with Catrachos defeating Belize Pro Divers 3-1. Ambergris Divers then beat San Mateo boys with a whopping 7-3 score.Mayor Minister Cup Football Tournament-6 The action continued on Saturday, with Jokers FC facing PSG. Despite pressure from PSG, the Jokers weren’t kidding as they won with a clean score of 7-4. Following the first game of the evening, San Pedro Junior College took a big defeat from the Veterans, falling with a 6-2 game. On Sunday, during a bright and clear afternoon, the last two games of the round started at 3PM sharp. Serious Warriors easily overcame Sky Energy team, walking away with the final score of 4-1. The last game for the weekend was between Peace Makers and Progresso Boys. Progresso Boys were fan favorites, playing has as they heard fans cheering. However, at the end only one could be victorious, and after a full 90 minutes of intense battle in the pitch, Progresso Boys conceded defeat to Peace Makers in a 6-3 game final.

    Puroxona Cauich delights San Pedro with comedy show
    Mexican comedy at its best was presented on Saturday, January 16th at the Paradise Theatre during the first ever Puroxona Cauich show. It was a full house, as many island residents came out for some laughs courtesy of Reef Radio and Reef TV. Ivan Vasquez, an iconic and charismatic comedian from Merida Yucatan, Mexico, gives life to ‘Puroxona Cauich,’ a Yucatecan woman, who faces failures in her marriages and struggles in modern society. The show depicted how Mexican Mestizo women live today, and how they have managed to keep their cultural heritage alive. The modern days have changed people to such a drastic measure that they do not know (or care to know) where they come from. Puroxona claims that their cultural roots have been severed and her act was aimed to showcase that culture before it is lost, all while having a good laugh. The show started a bit after 9PM, to a packed theater room number two.

    Guatemala’s new president sworn in; Belize PM attends
    On Thursday, January 14th, former TV comedian Jimmy Morales was sworn in as Guatemala’s president for a four year term (2016-2020) of office. Morales officially took the reins of the country in an elaborate ceremony held at the cultural centre Miguel Angel Asturias in Guatemala City. Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow was in attendance, among many leaders of other countries attending the inauguration, including U.S Vice-President Joe Biden and Spain’s former King Juan Carlos I. Barrow personally received the invitation to attend the event when Morales visited Belize in November of last year.

    Miss Carnival Pageant is around the corner!
    Four beautiful ladies will be vying for the coveted title of Carnival Queen 2016/2017 on Saturday, January 23rd at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. The contest will start at 7:30PM, and is in honor of the anticipated ‘El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro,’ which will take place from February 5th to the 10th. The four ladies vying for the Miss Carnival title are Melida Perreira, Lurbin Ruiz, Blanca Wagner and Arabella Hernandez. On the night of pageant, the aspiring ladies will participate in four different segments which include opening dance, beach wear, talent, and evening wear. The winner of the pageant will become Miss Carnival Queen 2016/2017 and will be crowned by outgoing Carnival Queen Patty Lopez.

    Ambergris Today

    US FBI Joins Investigation on Anne Swaney Murder
    It did not take long for the US media to arrive in Belize to follow up on the murder of ABC7 television producer Anne Swaney. Her name headlining news all over the world and the story of her untimely death while vacationing in Belize has people questioning the safety of traveling to Belize. The Belize Government and its Tourism Board is scrambling to keep its good name as a safe and desirable vacation destination has mobilized its police department and is working on boosting the presence of police in the Cayo District where Anne and another resident filmmaker, Mattheiw Klinck, were recently murdered.

    Meet 2016 Reina del Carnaval Pageant Contestants
    The third annual Mrs. Reina del Carnaval has been set to take place on Saturday, January 23, 2016 at the R. Angel Nunez Auditorium with four contestants vying for the title of Carnaval Queen of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Segments of the pageant will include an opening dance, beachwear, talent and eveningwear. Organizers expect another fun-filled pageant scheduled to commence at 7:30p.m. Here are this year’s Mrs. Reina del Carnaval pageant contestants:

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Paint Party at Crazy Canucks
    We will be continuing with our reef fish series tommorrow and the events up and you can sign up. I have not posted a picture as im still working on the lay our of the four. If you want to come but missed the first one don't worry the four paintings will look good on their own but to people that do all four they will be able to connect them. This week we are continuing our Reef Fish series. Come join us this week at Crazy Canucks. Everything you need is provided step by step direction, paint, brushes, smocks, canvas and maybe even a stencilled canvas if you need it (shhhh). $25u.s for first time artists and visitors. $20u.s for our members. Bring a Rag if you can help save paper.

    BELIZE FISHING REPORT: Week of January 10th – 16th, 2016
    Permit were hungry and the fishing pressure is light at the lodge. Lots of bone fish for all of those who threw at them. Sarah and Matt, Greg, Marc and Jason, Terry and Cole, John, John 2, Jay, Tom, Ron, Todd, Stewart, Eric, Jim and Steve got some good fishing time in and were rewarded with out cooperative bonefish. Not to be left out… Shelly and Brandon, Brad, Matt and Mark, Joe, Russ, Rusty, and Ed, and Mike and Cindy rounds out the bonefishing crowd. We try not to take bonefish for granted here, but it seems everyone will catch a bonefish if they have the determination to work at it.

    Public Meeting in Belmopan todayon Municipal Bond and BelizeRoad Safety Project
    Fellow residents of Belmopan, I implore you to come out to this meeting. Especially since the Belmopan City Council is contemplating raising a municipal bond, which is basically borrowing money that you, the tax payers, will ultimately pay back. Come out, listen and voice your concerns. A municipal bond should NOT be accepted by the people without a local referendum. Please join us on Thursday, 21st January at the Belmopan Civic Center at 7:00 p.m to learn more about the development of our Garden City.

    Jam night at the Palapa Bar
    Palapa Bar is now hosting JAM Night every Thursday Night 8p-Close. Valentino de caliz gets things warmed up 5p-8, then join him and others on stage. Bring your own instruments, sing and dance. ALL are welcome at our NEW location (formerly Di V'u Dock Bar and Reef Side Dining/Wet Willy's)

    Power interruption scheduled for entire Orange Walk District on Sunday
    January 24 from 6:00am to 2:00pm. Necessary for BEL to replace utility poles carrying high voltage lines and conduct maintenance of transmission system.

    FCD Signs Environmental Partnership
    Great news for Cayo and the Chiquibul: Friends for Conservation and Development has signed an environmental partnership agreement with the Balam Association to protect the Chiquibul. "FCD and Asociacion Balam of Peten, Guatemala signed today a renewed 5 year environmental partnership agreement for the joint protection of the trans-boundary Chiquibul ecosystem at the OAS Office. Witnesses to the signing was the Ambassador of the British Embassy in Belize, Mr. Peter Hughes and Ambassador of the British Embassy in Guatemala, Mr. Thomas Carter."

    Poetry Slam at Soul Project
    The Pseudo Slam Jam at the Soul Project was a fantastic night of poetry and music, with a lot of amazing artisan wines too. Thanks, Hakim Bellamy, for coming to Cayo and sharing your talent!

    TIDE Wins World Energy Globe Award
    The Toledo Institute for Development and Environment - similar to Cayo's FCD - was one of the eight winners from over 2,000 projects from 177 countries. That's a big win for Belize! TIDE travelled all the way to Iran to receive the award. Well done! "Exciting news! TIDE has just won the World Energy Globe Award Youth Category 2015 for our Freshwater Cup environmental football tournament! TIDE freshwater ecologist Elmar Requena received the award on our behalf at the award ceremony in Tehran earlier today."

    Maya Underworld: Waterfall Cave
    National Geographic has published a short article about Waterfall Cave, located here in Cayo, across from Caves Branch Jungle Lodge. Definitely worth a read, and the Waterfall Cave is a must if you haven't been there yet. More great pictures here. "Once thought to be the entrance to the mythical Xibalba, Belize's Waterfall Caves is a spectacular subterranean world with a few grizzly surprises... I’m in a cave in the Belizean jungle, hundreds of feet underground, beneath a limestone mountain ridge. We’ve been following the subterranean course of a river, but have taken an unplanned vertical diversion up a scarcely defined sidetrack that disappears into the roof of the cave. I’m refusing to let myself think about the return journey."

    Great Blue Heron Rescued
    This Great Blue Heron was found by two boys in San Antonio Village in the Cayo district and brought to Stephanie and Roni Martinez (famous local birder) on Dec 19, 2015. Initially the bird seemed in critical condition and the pictures sent to BBR indicated an injured, possibly broken wing. BBR picked up the animal and the physical showed a weak, skinny bird with parasites, but thankfully no broken wing. In the capable hands of the BBR team, with meds, worms, plenty of live fish and lots of TLC, there was a quick recovery. BBR is happy to announce the release of the beautiful bird on January 2, 2016 at Captain Hook's Shrimp Farm in Ladyville (with kind permission of Charlie, the owner). I would like to thank Nikki for allowing me to jump into the wonderful work at BBR while I visited, and participating in the rehab and release of this magnificant creature. It was such an amazing feeling to watch him spread those incredible wings and fly off. BBR, you do great work.

    What would two macaws be doing on a Quamwood branch?
    Well, sometimes we have to observe beyond the obvious to understand these birds. Clues are in the rest of the photo... Hanging on a Quamwood branch munching some cohune nuts, or the pericarp rather.

    Channel 7

    Orange Walk Weed Mega-Bust Was Not From A Mex Cartel
    Orange Walk police made a major marijuana bust right after New Year’s – and it was a huge one. Nine parcels of compressed weed, a total of 183 pounds of weed with an estimated street value of three hundred thousand dollars. That’s more than a quarter mil! And what made the case more intriguing is that the weed parcels carried a label, the letter “J”. Experts say it seemed to be the mark of a cartel – and police believe it came over from Mexico. Well today, at a press luncheon where he addressed all matters, the Mexican Ambassador Carlos Quesnel gave us his information on the mysterious “J” Jules Vasquez: "Is there intelligence sharing between Belize and México on a case like this and specifically does anyone know if that "J" represents a cartel in Mexico?" H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez - Mexican Ambassador to Belize: "Well, I can tell you I just came back last week from Mexico so, eh, eh, I just heard an opinion by an expert about hat the package you all mentioned, the marijuana. And I was told that this is not a typical package sent by a Mexican cartel because of the circumstances, the package, the different, the characteristics of the stuff."

    Caledonia's Alcoser Still Missing
    And, right after that weed was busted by police, 31 year old Caledonia villager Luis Alcoser went missing. His Kia Sportage was found abandoned and riddled with bullets on the road to Caledonia – and nothing has been heard from him. When we called Corozal police today they were reluctant to say anything about the matter although the man has been missing for two weeks. Police simply told us they did not wish to jeopardize anyone’s life and so directed us to the family. If you can recall from our report a couple weeks ago, after 48 hours that the man was missing police told us that they suspected the man was still alive although they could not tell us where he was. When we checked with the family today they gave us the same story they gave us last two weeks when they first learnt about their son’s disappearance.

    Mexicans Annoyed Over Nanes Schnitzer
    And another subject the Mexican Ambassador commented on was the disappearance of David Nanes Schnitzer. As we told you, the Mexican fugitive got Supreme Court bail on Friday, November 20th and no one has seen him since. But, the truth is that he was imprisoned on a flimsy charge, for having a fake driver’s license – which was only to hold him in jail until an extradition to Mexico could be arranged. But, the government of Belize failed to deliver him – because they said there was something missing from the extradition treaty to make it effective. Today Ambassador Quesnel told the media that as far as they are concerned the extradition treaty with Belize is intact, functional and didn’t need anything to make it operational: H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez - Mexican Ambassador to Belize: "Once the extradition treaty was entered into force, so for international law that treaty was totally in force. I also as a lawyer understand that there is a system in Belize that obligates the Belizean government to incorporate that treaty into national law. I'm not going to go into details because that's not part of our job. I just see the bilateral relationship and I would like us to mention that by international law standards that treaty was fully in force."

    Coast Guard Hunting Pirates That Caused Tourist Terror
    Last night, we told you about the man who police charged for the armed robbery of a group of tourists on their yacht near Middle Long Caye on last week Wednesday. He’s Bradwick Lino, and he remains behind bars tonight while police continue to look for the other 3 pirates who accompanied him. Today, we spoke with the Coast Guard’s Commandant about their response to this crime, and he told us that as soon as the they were notified, they mobilized to the area where the armed robbery had occurred.: Adm. John Borland - Commandant, Belize National Coast Guard: "The distress was relayed to the coast guard on the night of the incident via the port authority. As we were out of range of channel 16 distress communications. We did respond that night, the perpetrators of that crime were well gone from the scene and we assisted in guiding that vessel in coming into safe harbour and making the reports to us. Both coast guard and police deployed to conduct an investigation in the area and the rest you know a little bit more than I do. Since then some arrests have been made and police continue with their investigation to see if they can put those that are responsible to justice for committing that crime."

    Southside Cops Opened Gun To Match With Bou-Nahra Mansion Burglary
    As we told you last night, police recovered one of the six guns stolen from Sarkis Bou-Nahra's Burrell Boom mansion. Police found the Browing 9mm pistol on Ordonez Street in Belize City on January 7 th - but it took 12 more days to confirm that it was from the Bou-Nahra estate because the serial number had been filed off. But a diligent Inspector disassembled the weapon to find the serial number on the pieces inside. Today Senior Superintendent Chester Williams told the weapon recovery is due to the Southside Strike Team’s hard work: Sr. Supt. Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division South: "What you will hear on the news is south side strike team working in conjunction with special branch remove from the street guns, ammunition and drugs. That is on a daily basis and I can say that for last week alone, we removed from the street at least 5 firearms and that effort continues and I think over the weekend, early this week, we removed one of the firearms we believe was stolen from the Bou-Nahra's residence in Burrell Boom. There was no one arrested for it, it was found property.

    Chukka Says No Preference A La Dark Night
    Yesterday we told you about the tremors in the tourism industry that have local tour operators upset. The allegation is that foreign tour companies regularly receive preferential treatment from the authorities governing the tourism industry. The report focused on Dark Night’s Cave Adventures owned by American businessman Bradly Paumen, but during one of the interviews Yohnny Rosado named a couple other foreign tour companies who he claimed are also getting preferential treatment including CHUKKA. In the case of Paumen, public records show a consistent pattern of preference for Dark Night, from the state acquiring land for his company’s private use, to allowing him to operate his tours without a valid license for the first 18 days of this year. But CHUKKA says that the allegation that they get this type of preferential treatment also is a blatant lie. Here’s how Valerie Woods put it: Valerie Woods - Country Manager, CHUKKA Belize: "We must comply with the same regulations that FECTAB and all other operators operating out of Nohoch Cheen reserve which is the matter at hand, we must comply with it. Our buses are checked at the village, our buses are checked at the boot. The tourism police officers go on our property that we lease and check us there too. NICH personnel have checked up there too and that is the statement of fact that is what I'm clarifying."

    An Appalling Case Of Child Rape
    There is an appalling rape case to report tonight: A 12 year old girl was raped by her stepfather twice in the Stann Creek district. The first incident happened last Thursday afternoon at their home. The little girl had just come home from school when her stepfather grabbed her, tied her hands, covered her eyes and mouth with a rag, placed a knife to the side of her neck and raped her. Then, he raped her again the next day at their home. Neither her mother nor her siblings were around. The stepfather has been detained and is expected to be charged later tonight or early tomorrow morning.

    Stan Creek Serial Rapist Caught
    While the girl’s stepfather awaits those charges, another man has been charged with 2 counts of rape in the Stann Creek district. He is Jamaican national Dwight Johnson. Johnson reportedly raped 2 women on separate occasions at the same location. The first incident happened on December 11th 2015. A pregnant woman had just come off the bus at the 6 miles junction on the Hummingbird Highway when a man with a grey t-shirt covering his face, dragged her into a nearby orange orchard, held a knife to her throat and raped her. The second incident occurred on January 9th. IN this case a 48-year-old woman got off the bus at the same 6 miles junction. She was standing alone at the junction when a man with a brown T-Shirt tied on his head and carrying a machete approached her. He dragged her into the same nearby orange orchard where she was beaten, raped and robbed of $372 and her cell phone. Dwight Johnson has been charged with 2 counts of rape for both these incidents.

    2015's Last Quarter Was Strong For Tourism
    As we’ve been reporting, 2016 has been a rough year for Belize’s image as a tourist destination, but 2015 was a bumper year, according to BTB’s figures. Today the Belize Tourism Board sent a release with a recap of their tourist numbers for 2015. The report focused on the number of overnight tourism which showed a strong increase in the last two quarters of the year when compared to 2014. In September there was an increase of 19.3%, in October 22.1%, in November 33% and in December 22.5 %. BTB also makes note that the November increase of 33% is the largest increase ever recorded for that month, which rarely goes above 10%. Furthermore in December BTB recorded a total of 39,977 overnight visitors to Belize- the closest number to 40 thousand tourists that a month has ever recorded in overnight arrivals. There were several things that factored in to the record breaking performance of 2015 as it relates to overnight tourism. One of them is the introduction of two new flights to Belize: South West and COPA Airlines.

    Mexican Border Express Fee Is Bogus
    Anyone who’s travelled to Chetumal – especially on a long weekend or a holiday knows how long and time consuming the lines can be. But for those willing to pay ten dollars a head – they also know about the so-called “express fee”. That’s 75 pesos, for which you get a stamped paper which you put in your passport, and you simply whiz past all those stuck in the immigration line – by the time they get out, you’re in Chedraui stocking up on groceries. Today at the press luncheon, one journalist asked if that fee is legal: Reporter: "Is this legal entry into Mexico because this is a big concern for people who cross regularly, would want to get across the border as quickly as possible, you're being solicited to pay an express fee. Is this considered legal entry into Mexico?" H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez - Mexican Ambassador to Belize: "What you have expressed to me, that’s certainly illegal. And we are totally against these practices. And I beg you in any case that you know something about like this, do send the information to the embassy and I guarantee that we will convey this information to the authorities of the immigration in Mexico city because we are totally against these practices."

    Mex Ambassador: Cigarette Contraband Causing Concern
    But one thing which passes into Mexico without even a bogus express paper are contraband cigarettes. Literally millions of cigarettes have been intercepted going into Mexico form Belize – which means that many millions more are smuggled through. Today the ambassador said Belize and Mexico need a trade agreement to cut down on contraband:.. H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez - Mexican Ambassador to Belize: "We are very concerned on this issue. This has been brought to the official discussions between both countries. I can tell you this is one of the main concerns of our people, the authorities based in Chetumal. We are doing all of our efforts to combat, to fight this smuggling of cigarettes." "Even if we are fighting very seriously this phenomenon because we don’t want these kinds o cigarettes in México and Central America, but I think the best way to combat it, to fight the smuggling of cigarettes is having a free trade agreement that allows not only cigarettes, but many other products to be traded openly and not through contraband which affects the economy of the countries of the area."

    Is Trade Agreement Antidote To Contraband?
    And for contraband generally, form cattle going over to Mexico, to vegetables being smuggled into Belize across the Rio Hondo, the Ambassador says a trade agreement is the solution:.. H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez - Mexican Ambassador to Belize: “If we go one with the signature of the Partial Scope Free Trade Agreement that will bring much benefits in this particular area So that it will avoid contraband of, well you mentioned cigarettes, and many other products. Ah, you know there is also contraband, of, for example, of cattle and if we open the market in the sectors that are convenient for both countries I am sure that contraband will be automatically decreased between both countries.”

    (Formal) Carrot Imports From Mexico Were Stable
    And what about carrots? As we’ve reported local farmers say their carrots have been left to rot because of excess importation of Mexican carrots. Today the Ambassador said the legal importation has also been the same:… H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez - Mexican Ambassador to Belize: “We have seen last year's statistics, and we have not seen a change of pattern in the carrots exports to Belize from Mexico, so there has been a quota, and this, this amount of carrots we exported to Belize are the same as last year. So I don't know if it really is the Mexican carrot that is affecting the local market in Belize."

    Mexico Also Has Rio Hondo Security Concerns
    As has been well documents carrots and other vegetables are smuggled from Mexico into villages along the Rio Hondo in the Orange Walk and Corozal districts. Now that’s contraband, but illicit drugs are also smuggled along that river. It’s a concern for the BDF which says the US is funding a base in the Consejo area. The Mexicans say they also want to help:… H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez - Mexican Ambassador to Belize: “We are in talks with the Belizean government on how to provide an agreement of even constructing some facilities to try to help the Belizean authorities to fight all these criminal, illegal activities.”

    Blue Creek 'Copter Wasn't Mexican
    And the BDF will soon be doing aerial reconnaissance of the Hondo, some of it with the Bell Helicopter which was found abandoned in Blue Creek near the border with Mexico. It’s been widely rumored that the helicopter had a drug cargo or cartel figure, but today the Ambassador said the helicopter is not Mexican H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez - Mexican Ambassador to Belize: “We have just, received some reports, unofficial reports that, ah, the registered, or this helicopter, was registered in the U, so it’s not a Mexican number and it's not registered under Mexican law.”

    BDF Getting Ready For Takeoff
    And speaking of helicopters, we told you how the BDF were expecting their 2 helicopters to arrive in Belize from Taiwan. Well, reliable sources tell us that they are here, and they’re currently at the Port of Big Creek in Independence Village. The choppers are currently in a disassembled state with all the parts sitting in several containers. We’re told that those containers will be moved from the Port of Big Creek very shortly, and the Taiwanese technicians get started on assembling them. That will take several weeks, and in about 3 months, the choppers will be handed over to to the BDF.

    Coast Guard, 2015 Was Good, 2016 Will Be Better
    Today, the High Command of the Belize National Coast Guard invited the media to a briefing where they gave an overview of their performance over the last year. It was a lengthy and extensive 2 hour presentation, but here are a few important excerpts of the Coast Guard’s operations geared at making Belize’s seas safer: Adm. John Borland - Commandant, Belize National Coast Guard: "The coast guard grew from a strength of 50 in 2005 where we started to 320 in 2015 but more significant over the last 2 years, since 2012 the coast guard grew from a strength of 120 to 320. Critical was the approval of our new recruiting policy from the national security council to grow the coast guard by 100 each year to reach the desired end strength of 700 by the year 2020." Lt. Junior Grade Alma Pinelo - Adjutant, Belize National Coast Guard: "Under the headquarters command are the seal platoons. We have here 4 seal platoons that we would like to establish between now and 2020 each with 16 personnel." Adm. John Borland - Commandant, Belize National Coast Guard: "The coast guard continued also with its enduring partnership without partner nations, we share common goals and face common threats in proving our defence and security mechanisms. Through this partnership with United States Southern Command, we saw the coast guard multi-purpose complex building commence construction and is near completion scheduled for the end of April 2016. We saw capacity building increase as we continue to receive valuable support in training for our forces both in country and overseas. This was made possible through the partnerships, not only with South Com but United Kingdom, Canada and Mexico; allowing us to train at their institutions alongside their forces."

    The Hunting Caye Hangover
    But, while the Coast Guard is expected to get those boats in a few months time, things aren’t so certain for the completion of their Hunting Caye Forward Operating Base. This facility has stalled for over a year after the public outcry that a Guatemalan company should not be building a military facility for Belize. The Coast Guard officers posted at that strategic location have been forced to perform their duties in less than ideal living conditions. By now, if the Guat company, BINARQ, had been allowed to continue, the base would more than likely be finished by now. So, when we asked about it today, their commandant told us that these officers can and will have to make do until construction on the base resumes, and is then completed: Adm. John Borland - Commandant, Belize National Coast Guard: "The officers that are stationed at Hunting Caye are all on active duty status, so they continue to perform their operational requirement for providing law enforcement and their military functions. They continue to operate out of the old facility, the facility being constructed it still hasn't met any traction since the project was suspended but the update on that project is that now finally we have received the new amended updated plans from the army core of engineers. Our ministry of works' engineers have since then put together a bill of quantity, an estimate for the completion of that project and we expect that contract should be put to tender; advertised and awarded perhaps by the end of this financial year."

    GSU's Busts Impressive
    The Gang Suppression Unit was busy today as they apprehended one person for weed, removed a machine gun and a pistol from the streets of Belize City, and recovered a stolen item that, information indicated was to be sold by members of a gang. We start first with the arrest of Jorge Caceres for the offence of “Possession of controlled Drug.” Around 5 o clock this morning based on intelligence, members of the GSU searched a house on Madam Liz Crescent, the residence of 29 year old Caceres. They were searching for firearms and ammunition. 10 persons including females and minors were present when they arrived at the residence. Police found nothing incriminating inside the house but when they searched Caceres, they discovered 4 grams of loose cannabis inside the Velcro of his Jordan slippers.

    Northside Neighborhood Watch
    Police officers from both the North and South side held their weekly meet and greet session today. We started off with the north side this afternoon and caught up with Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood in the Queen Street Area. As we told you, residents in that area are asking police to assist in organizing a neighbourhood watch. Residents say there is a high level of petty theft in the area. Yerwood told us they are back to start up that neighbourhood watch and to listen to the other their other concerns. Insp. Fitzroy Yearwood - Public Relations Officer: "On today's meet and greet we will target the New Road area, Hyde's Lane, Keyhole Alley, Eyrie Street, Hudson Street, Jail Lane; this is sector one A, B and C. The reason we're targeting this area, we have other areas like Lizarraga Avenue that will come up eventually. We're trying to do meet and greet almost weekly. We were lucky today that the weather held up and so we can move forward with it." "It's a house to house effort, being more in direct contact with members of your community, the people that live in your area. This effort we know it's stressed all over the city but we on the north side we have decided that on a weekly basis, we'll do this. We are forming more neighbourhood watches in the area. We are trying our best to get the community more interactive in their own personal protection and their own safety."

    Southside Cops Vigilant
    Residents in the southside are also calling on the police to organize those same programs in their area. This evening about 35 officers were going house to house in different zones on the southside. We spoke first with Superintendent David Chi on Krooman Road and he told us residents want a neighborhood watch and more patrols. Supt. David Chi - OC, Precinct 1: "It is very important to do the meet, it gives us an understanding of the area, the way people feel and it gives us information, opinions as how to better police the area. In that sense we understand where people need assistance, what we can do. For instance we just spoke to some people in this area and they are asking about neighbourhood watch because of past incidents where they had to be looking out for each other. So we spoke to them and we agree with them that the police will be back in this area to assist them to form a neighbourhood watch in this area, which will make the area much safer." Residents are also asking for the overgrown lawns and bushes to be cut. We also caught up with Senior Superintendent Chester Williams in the Fabers Road area on Madam Liz Street. Williams discussed some of the concerns of the residents and what will be done to keep that community safe.

    Police Active With Gang Mediations
    Now keeping these communities safe is just one part of their community policing strategy. Another crucial approach is ensuring that those who terrorize the south side residents with gun violence and gang rivalry are dealt with. This is done through police interventions with gang members when there is tension between gangs. Williams discussed how effective this approach is to the reduction of crime.

    COLA Condemns Ashcroft Alliance Cruise Port Proposal
    Last week Tuesday, we showed you our interview with the Prime Minister in which he discussed the reason Mike Feinstein’s Port project, Stakebank, might be scrapped. According to the Prime Minister, Feinstein wanted the government to give him a 25 year exclusive contract as the only cruise port in Belize City. Government’s Plan B, is to revive the old Port of Belize project idea. That’s the failed project that the then Port owner, Luke Espat, broke ground with Carnival Cruise Line, but which never materialized. The Ashcroft Alliance now wants to partner with the Government to make the project become a reality this time around, and the Grassroots Organization, COLA, has joined the chorus of opposition to the idea. The release says, “ While COLA has been on the record as supporting the need for a cruise port in Belize City – the sooner the better – we cannot support this failed project, disguised and repackaged by Ports Investment Limited and supported by the moving hand of the Alliance.”

    Extortion Charge Dropped Against Cop
    It made major news 2 years ago when 38 year-old Police Constable Oscar Ramirez was charged with extortion for an accusation while he was on duty in San Pedro. Well, the accused cop is accused no more; the Magistrate’s Court has thrown the extortion charge out of court. As we told you, 18 year-old Sander Palma, who was a minor at the time, told police that his friend, Mirna Berganza, was detained by police for a traffic offence. Palma told police then that he had Ramirez $600 to release her, with the promise that he would pay another $700 at a later date. Well, the case was called up before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer today, and Palma told the court that he no longer wanted to proceed with court action against Ramirez. Without a complainant, Senior Magistrate Frazer was obliged to strike it out for want of prosecution. That set Constable Ramirez free of the charge.

    Mexicans Gave Their Money For Marion Jones, What Next?
    And finally tonight, one last bit of news from the Mexican Ambassador’s Luncheon. He announced that Mexico has made the money available for a sports facility within the Marion Jones Sports Complex. As we understand it, this would be within the what is considered the parking lot. Ambassador Quesnel explained:.. H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez - Mexican Ambassador to Belize: "What I can tell you is that México has done its part, we have donated the money and we have donated the money to the UNOPS, which is the United Nations office on projects and management, they are dealing with the Belizean government. Ah, the Mexican government is just now hoping to see that the first stone be put there and we would be very happy when the construction is finished, or when the construction starts." Jules Vasquez: "So then how much is the money?" H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez - Mexican Ambassador to Belize: "The money through the Yucatán fund is 5 million US dollars." Right now, there is no word from the Government of Belize on when that first stone will be put there – but considering that Marion Jones has been one big PUDP misadventure from bow to stern, we aren't holding our breaths

    Channel 5

    Late Christmas for B.D.F.—UH1H Helicopters Finally Here
    After an announcement made in August 2014, a pair of UH1H Huey helicopters, to complement the B.D.F.’s existing fleet of aircrafts, has arrived in Belize. The generous donation is from [...]

    A Twelve-year-old is Raped at Knifepoint by Her Stepfather
    There’s a chilling report of rape against a minor. The names of the victim and the aggressor will not be disclosed to protect the girl’s identity.  The heinous incident reportedly [...]

    Mexican Ambassador Disappointed with Belize’s Handling of Nanes Matter
    Fugitive David Nanes Schnitzer slipped through the cracks immediately after he was granted a ten thousand dollar bail by the Supreme Court on November twentieth, 2015. Nanes, who was caught [...]

    Despite Claims of Carrot Importation, Mexican Official Says There’s No Increase
    Carrot farmers in the Orange Walk District have reported that seventy percent of their produce has been rotting in the fields because government has been issuing licenses to select persons [...]

    Is a Partial Scope Free Trade Agreement Next for Belize and Mexico?
    The contraband of goods into Mexico from Belize and from Belize into Mexico is a thriving trade. The Commercial Free Zone is an area of particular concern. It is known [...]

    Intelligence Suggests Compressed Marijuana was not Destined for Mexico
    There is also the issue of the transshipment of illicit drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana that get into Mexico from Belize. Just two weeks ago, on January third, [...]

    Dept. of Civil Aviation; No Aircraft Found in or Near Louisville
    On Tuesday, there were widespread reports of an aircraft landing in the Louisville area of the Corozal District.  It was not clear at first whether it was a commuter plane, [...]

    Indian Church Murder Suspect Still on the Lam
    Also in the north, the search continues for fifty-nine year old Juan Carlos Gutierrez. The Salvadoran national is wanted by Orange Walk Police for the cold-blooded murder of Indian Church [...]

    Investigations Continue into the Murder of Executive Producer Anne Swaney
    Investigations also continue in another murder. Last Friday morning, the body of Anne Swaney, an executive producer with ABC Chicago, was found floating in the river at Succotz, Cayo. She [...]

    Coast Guard Presents 2015 Report Card
    Ten years after its establishment, the Belize Coast Guard has grown considerably in numbers as well as in the scope of duties. Today, it presented a report card of accomplishments [...]

    What’s Up with Sarstoon F.O.B.?
    A historic groundbreaking ceremony was held on the bank of the Sarstoon River on December ninth to mark the beginning of construction of a forward operating base near Belize‘s southern [...]

    Construction of Coast Guard F.O.B. to Resume at Hunting Caye
    With the interruption of work on the building of a new forward operating base on Hunting Caye, coast guard personnel have had to endure the discomfort of utilizing the existing [...]

    San Pedro Cop Acquitted of Extortion Charge
    A cop from San Pedro AC walked free today from a single charge of extortion. That’s because a seventeen year old girl who made the allegation against thirty-eight year old [...]

    B.T.B. Says Visitor Arrivals Were Up in 2015
    Belize’s tourism industry is being tainted with the recent murder of U.S. visitor Anne Swaney, which is still under investigation. But according to the Belize Tourism Board, the industry made [...]

    More Belizeans Traveling Across to Mexico
    As it relates to arrivals from across the Mexican border, the numbers are not on our side. The Mexican ambassador says he wants to close the gap by encouraging Mexican [...]

    Marion Jones Still Unfinished Many Years Later
    Turning to the Marion Jones Stadium…there was a soft launch just before the November elections. It is a project that dates back to 2008 and seven years later it has [...]

    Ambassador Carlos Quesnel Melendez on Bilateral Agreements with Belize
    Back in July of 2015, Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington visited Mexico in an official capacity where he signed on to nine bilateral agreements with his Mexican counterparts. While functional [...]

    Coast Guard Details Involvement in Responding to Piracy Near Middle Long Caye
    On Tuesday, twenty-year-old James Emmanuel Cortez and his mother, forty-five-year-old Florita Pineda were charged for possession of a number of stolen items.  Those articles were reported missing when occupants of [...]

    Precinct 3 Police Meet and Greet in Belize City
    And on the streets of the city, a team of police officers led by Superintendent Suzette Anderson was deployed this afternoon.  While there was no chaos or crime to report [...]


    Orange Walk Police Detains Two Mexican Nationals For Drug Trafficking
    Two Mexican Nationals are tonight spending their first night at the Kolbe Correctional Facility after they were detained by Orange Walk Police for drug and ammunition offences. Yesterday at about 4:30 in the afternoon authorities were on investigation at the Cuatro Leguas Area, bordering Mexico, when they came upon farm. At the center of the farm police observed a grey tent housing 50 year old Pedro Cordova Perez and Juan Manuel Pacheco, both Mexican Nationals of la Union Village in Quintana Roo Mexico. Police conducted a search on Perez and found in his possession a zip lock bag containing a piece of compressed suspected Cannabis. A further search in a bag of clothing led authorities to two live maroon 16 gauge, AGUILA brand cartridges for which both Mexicans had no license.

    US Embassy Clarifies Advisory Sent Out By US State Department
    Yesterday we reported that the United States Department issued a travel advisory alerting US citizens to be cautious when travelling to Belize due to the recent murder of American National Anne Swaney and the country’s high murder and crime rate. Today we can tell you that the US Embassy became aware of the advisory that was sent out, however, they have made it clear that neither they nor the United States Department issued such notice with regards to the death of Anne Swaney. The notice was in fact retrieved from a travel site that hosts press releases from shareholders within in the tourism sector, known as Travel Wires. The Embassy’s clarification has brought comfort to the tourism sector despite the tragedy that had occurred at the Nabitunich Resort where Anne Swaney lost her life.

    BTB Pledges To Protect Tourist After Murder Of American National
    While the death of Anne Elizabeth Swaney continues to make headlines both locally and internationally, The Belize Tourism Board expressed their sympathy to the family of Swaney and believe that both the family as well as the community deserve justice. In a release yesterday, the BTB also stated that they have committed themselves to working in partnership with the Belize Police Department in an effort to offer a helping hand so as to bring closure to this murder case. They have decided to request for the police department to increase patrols in order to guarantee the safety and security for all citizens and visitors in Belize. The BTB and industry partners are also forming an alliance with the Ministry of National Security, Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation to implement plans and strategies that offer protection and minimize the chances of being at risk when it comes to crime.

    Wanted Man Absconds To Mexico
    On Monday we reported on the gruesome murder of 55 year old Francisco Arevalo, Guatemalan Farmer of Indian Church Village whose mutilated nude body was found early on Sunday morning near an unfinished concrete house in the outskirts of Indian Church. Police suspect that the murder was as a result of a love triangle gone wrong as investigations have revealed that Arevalo was lured out of his house at around 9:00 on Saturday night by a woman he knew. Reports suggest that this woman’s common-law husband is the one that attacked and murdered Arevalo. He is no other than 58 year old Salvadoran National, Juan Carlos Lopez Gutierrez who police have placed on their wanted list.


    Minor Says Her Stepfather Raped Her
    A man has been detained pending a charge of rape. This is after his twelve year old stepdaughter accused him of raping her. According to police, the twelve year old in the company of her uncle reported to police in the Stann Creek District that on Wednesday last week after she went home from school,

    Nanes’ Release Was Regrettable Says Ambassador Melendez
    In November 2015, fugitive, David Nanes Shnitzer was caught in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Shnitzer was wanted in neighboring Mexico for tricking Mexican investors out of some forty two million dollars. After being detained in Belize, he was offered bail of ten thousand dollars. Justice Dennis Hanomansingh ordered that he surrender his travel documents but

    Mexican Ambassador Speaks on Illicit Trade along the Borders
    Notorious ‘Contrabandista’ Ernesto Alonso de Miguel or “El Espanol” was shot to death in November of last year in a Chetumal restaurant. He was known for peddling huge quantities of cigarettes and other illicit items into the Corozal Free Zone and out to other Central American countries. Today at the media luncheon, Mexican Ambassador Carlos

    Marion Jones to Be Completed with Aid from Mexico
    Mexican Ambassador Carlos Melendez spoke on several topics at today’s media luncheon at the Mexican Institute in Belize City. One of the topics that Ambassador Melendez spoke of is cross border partnership and cooperation in several areas. One of those areas is sports. Today, Melendez announced that the Mexican Government has donated five million dollars

    US State Department Issued No Recent Advisory/Warning to Citizens
    Yesterday we brought you an article that stated that an advisory to American nationals as it pertains to traveling to Belize was issued by the US State Department. As we had mentioned, it was a statement posted online by Travel Wires website, dated January 16, 2016. According to the US Embassy in Belmopan, no such

    PUP Trio Agrees to Debate Prior to Convention
    The People’s United Party’s national convention is set for Sunday, January 31 in Belmopan. Contesting for the post of leader, are the present leader, Francis Fonseca, Lake Independence area representative, Cordel Hyde and former party leader and Orange Walk Central area representative, John Briceno. The three candidates who will be vying for the leadership of

    BCG Reviews Milestones of 2015
    The Belize Coast Guard celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2015 and has shown impressive progress over the years ranging from its members, equipment, training and facilities. With an overview of the accomplishments they have made in 2015, Admiral John Borland started off a presentation this morning in the presence of several senior officers of the

    Almost 10 Mil for the Belize Coast Guard
    When the Belize Coast Guard started out in 2005, they were operating on a budget of just over three million dollars, a skeleton staff and limited resources. To date, the annual operational expenses are almost at ten million dollars justified by a significant increase in their team, as well as equipment, sea vessels and infrastructure.

    Coast Guard Prepared to Join BDF at Sarstoon Base
    Yesterday, Wil Maheia of the Belize Territorial Volunteers spoke of the absence of works being conducted at the Sarstoon as it relates to the Forward Operating Base. During a briefing with the Belize Coast Guard earlier today, the media asked Admiral John Borland on the progress of the construction. JOHN BORLAND “ Maheia had travelled

    Coast Guard Aided Victims of Robbery Incident
    The Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie has commented on a robbery at sea that occurred on a vessel that was anchored near Middle Long Caye in Belizean waters. Police investigators have recovered some of the items taken and arrests have been made while investigations are ongoing. Today, however, we heard from the head of the […]


    Suspect in taximan murder positively ID’d in highway robbery
    On Saturday January 15th, Lincoln Bejerano was arrested and charged for the crime of robbery. The charge came after Bejerano was positively identified in an ID parade as one of the persons involved in a highway robbery on which we reported earlier this year. As we reported at the beginning of this ...

    Belmopan man charged with attempted murder
    Belmopan police have arrested a Belmopan man following an incident at a bar which took place on January 15 of this year. According to Byron Deon Zuniga he was beaten while socializing at a bar on Cemetery Road on January 15th and later shot with a pellet gun. Police say they have the person respon...

    BTB comments on Crime situation
    The nation is still dealing with the negative publicity Belize is currently facing following a serius spike in murders, including that of American tourist Anne Swaney who was strangled to death by the river in the Cayo district last week when she went there to do her yoga. Just a couple weeks befor...

    One of three pleads guilty in handling stolen goods from sea pirating case
    We reported yesterday of the attack on a group of visitors to Belize who were staying aboard a vessel anchored at Middle Long Caye. The group were robbed of their valuables at gunpoint, some of which have since been recovered. Late on Monday, police arrested and charged three persons for handling st...

    Burglary charges for Belize City men
    One of the three persons charged on Monday with handling stolen goods in the Middle Long Caye case has been implicated along with another person in a burglary in Belize City. Raymond Garcia, 40, a bank Officer and resident of Belama Phase 3 area reported to police that between 7:00 a.m., and 5:00 p...

    Guatemalan woman reported missing in Belize
    A 19 year old Guatemalan store keeper residing in Melchor De Mencos, Guatemala reported to Benque Viejo police on January 18, 2016 that on January 8, 2016 at 5:00am, his mother, 39 year old Lidia Janet Garcia Giron left home from Melchor, Guatemala enroute to banana farm #16 in the Cow pen area, Sta...

    17 year old girl and her baby missing
    Belize City police are also looking for a missing 17 year old and her 1 year old child. 17-year-old Myleka Parchue of Belize City and her 1-year-4 month old baby Ethan Parchue were reported missing by the 17 year old’s mother. Myleka was last seen on Wednesday 13th of January, 2016 wearing...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Fisheries department works towards sustainability of the fishing sector
    This Friday the Belize Fisheries Department along with its partners will be holding its “Pride Campaign for Managed Access Graduation Ceremony: Sustainable Fishing for Our Future” and will be presenting the successes of the program that has been recognized internationally for replication in other regions for […]

    COLA questions Government’s change of tune on Port project
    Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) have consistently called for a cruise port in Belize City to help Belizeans obtain jobs. But today it is calling out the Government for seeming to change its stance from its Opposition days on the Luke Espat-planned cruise […]

    Crooked Tree men charged for family feud
    Two men, 41 year old Marlon Longsworth Sr. and his son, 19 year old Marlon Longsworth Jr., were charged with harm and 2 counts of damage to property when they appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. They pled not guilty to the charges. They […]

    Cop from San Pedro walks free from a single charge of extortion
    Thirty-eight year old police constable Oscar Ramirez, charged with extortion, was freed of the charge today when Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser struck it out for want of prosecution. The complainant, 18 year old Sander Palma, indicated to the court that does not want any further […]

    Ex-gang leader charged for police altercation
    Former Ghost Town Crips leader Roger Anthony, facing a murder charge, was charged with 7 offences when he appeared on Tuesday before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. Anthony was charged with 2 counts of assaulting a police officer, using threatening words, 2 counts of using indecent words, aggravated assault, damage to […]

    Two Mexicans in jail for drug possession and cultivation in Belize
    Two Mexicans were found with drugs and ammunition along the Belize-Mexico border. Orange Walk Police report that they came across the men at Cuatro Leguas along the border with Mexico. 50-year-old Pedro Cordova Perez and Juan Manuel Pacheco Che both of La Union Village, Mexico […]

    Man charged for raping step-daughter with knife to neck
    The stepfather of a 12-year-old female in Stann Creek District has been detained and is pending three separate charges of ‘rape’, ‘aggravated assault’ and ‘threatening words’ for acts committed against the female minor. Accompanied by her uncle on Monday afternoon, the minor told police […]

    US Embassy clarifies reports of travel advisory
    The US Embassy, this morning, made a clarification regarding reports of a travel advisory issued by the US State Department on traveling to Belize in the wake of Anne Swaney’s murder. “The Department of State and the US Embassy Belmopan have not issued a travel […]

    FBI joins murder investigation of Anne Swaney
    Latest reports in the murder case of 39-year-old American national and ABC 7 Chicago news producer, Anne Swaney, are that agents from the United States’ Federal Investigation Bureau (FBI) have joined in the investigation efforts to find the person responsible for her shocking death. Swaney was found floating in the Mopan River near Nabitunich Resort, Cayo District, where she was staying for the course of her vacation and had gone out to do yoga in a secluded area of the resort’s horse trail, when she was viciously attacked.

    Cotton Tree man charged for drugs and ammo
    On Tuesday January 19th, around 8:30 a.m., 44-year-old Roy McCarthy was stopped by Belmopan police while acting suspicious upon seeing the officers on Oriole Street where he was informed that a search on him was going to be done for any firearm and drugs. Officers discovered a black plastic bag with cartridges and green leafy substance consistent of cannabis weighing in at .3 grams.


    Why Develop a Community Vision for Sustainability?
    Many organizations not only lack a vision, but they are unaware of the power that a vision produces. And not so surprisingly, many individuals haven’t thought about their lifetime purpose; they don’t have a vision, either. Corporations make the common mistake of equating a mission statement with a vision, and individuals often believe that setting a goal is the same as defining a vision. We have all seen organizations whose purpose we never quite understood; we know they are out there, in our community, doing something – but we’re not quite sure what. They may have a purpose we could learn about, but we’ve never taken the time to do so; it’s always been more effort than it was worth. If we got closer to these organizations, we might be surprised to learn that even some of their own members aren’t entirely sure of the organization’s goals; they only know about a specific project they are working on at that moment. Very often, these organizations end up slipping quietly away; they lose their momentum, they lose their funding, and finally, the organization is gone, with no one really noticing much.

    The Indonesian Authorities herein offer a one year non-degree scholarship to study (onsite) language, art, music or craft. The offer includes living expenses, book allowance, local transport, medical expenses and pocket money. Sixth Form and High School students are encouraged to apply. Feel free to confer with the Regional Language Center at the University of Belize to receive English speaking certification (substitute for TOEFL). Applicants will need endorsement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NEMO Building, Belmopan. The application deadline has been established at February 19, 2016 given it must arrive at the Indonesian Embassy, Mexico City a week later. For more information contact Mr. Percy Lewis at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    Sweet Red Pepper Jelly
    Place all the peppers in a food processor and pulse until chopped finely. Transfer the chopped peppers to a large pot with the remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling and continue to boil for about 15-18 minutes, stirring constantly. Skim any foam which accumulates at the top and remove from stove element. While the jelly is still hot, ladle it into hot jars, leaving a ¼ inch headspace. Screw on lids and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

    International Sourcesizz

    Ambergris Caye: A Top Caribbean Retirement Spot
    This part of Belize is welcoming, friendly and authentic... Ambergris Caye, Belize, is a small island in the Caribbean surrounded by turquoise waters and skirted along its eastern side by the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. Living on Ambergris, you could wake each morning to the sound of waves lapping gently onto the white sand beaches just outside your window and the faint crash of the ocean farther out breaking against the coral reef. Belize is English-speaking, has a stable government and is part of both the British Commonwealth and Caribbean Community and Common Market. Ambergris Caye is the largest of Belize's 200 or so cayes and 35 miles long. The reef runs up to and touches the island in the northeast at a rocky point. Ambergris Caye's heart is San Pedro Town, which is home to a big and growing community of expats and foreign retirees and also an increasingly bustling tourist destination with the restaurants and nightlife that those realities suggest. In addition, the island is enjoying one of the biggest publically funded investments in infrastructure in its history, including an ambitious road building project to allow better access to the relatively untamed northern half. Also under construction is the island's first mixed-use sports and athletics facility, and Belize's prime minister has announced plans for the country's second international airport at the northern end of Ambergris.

    Honduras Agrees to International Help to Fight Corruption
    Honduras on Tuesday became the second Central American country to accept international help to fix a broken judicial system and fight government corruption, two problems that have ravaged Honduras and the region for decades. At an event in Washington, D.C., Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez signed an agreement with the head of the Organization of American States—a regional group mostly financed by the U.S.—establishing the Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras, or MACCIH for its Spanish initials. The mission will be staffed by international prosecutors, judges and legal experts who will provide advice and supervision in criminal cases to try to improve justice in a country with one of the highest murder rates in the world, and where only 4% of murders are solved, according to government data. The body—paid for by the OAS—will select and certify a group of local prosecutors and judges who will investigate and prosecute corruption networks. It will be led by Juan Jiménez, a former Peruvian prime minister and justice minister who will report directly to OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro.

    Belize police pursuing other angles in murder of Chicago journalist
    A Belize police spokesman says nothing was found on a person of interest to tie him to last week's killing of Chicago online executive producer Anne Swaney, reports CBS Chicago. The spokesman said at this point police are looking at other angles, reports the station. An autopsy on the body of Swaney, 39, a U.S. tourist found dead in western Belize has determined that she was strangled to death. She died from "asphyxia due to compression of the neck area, throttling and blunt force traumatic injuries to the head and neck," according to the post-mortem report prepared by Dr. Leyden Ken on Friday night. Swaney worked for ABC-channel 7 in Chicago. Her body was discovered Friday morning floating face-down in the Mopan River, which flows into Belize from Guatemala. A Guatemalan man was initially taken into custody after he was seen near the Mopan river where Swaney was found dead in the water. He told authorities he was fishing. Belize police charged him with illegal entry into the country and he's been sentenced to six months in prison.

    Las Vegas jury convicts Belize family in theft of government money
    A brother and sister from Belize have been convicted by a federal jury in Las Vegas of multiple felony counts for using false identities to steal nearly $300,000 in unemployment funds and other government benefits. Frederick Vernon Williams, 35, and his sister Jacqueline Louisa Gentle, 27, were convicted Friday following a 10-day trial in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge James Mahan. Two other family members from Belize — Frederick Williams' wife, Denise Allison Williams, 36, and his other sister, Carolyn Shelmadine Willis-Casey, 40 — were convicted of fraud during the trial for their lesser role in the scheme to steal unemployment money. "The defendants used false identities and lied on passport applications to steal federal benefits from multiple agencies, including the departments of Labor, Agriculture, Education, Health and Human Services, and the Social Security Administration," Nevada U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said Wednesday.

    Beyond The Beach: Foodie-Lovers' Agritourism, Spa-Like Luxury In Belize
    "Agritourism" — visiting a working farm or other agribusiness to learn about or partake in day-to-day activities — is one of the fastest-growing markets in the travel industry. Wine tasting or visiting a pick-your-own berry farm are established forms of agritourism. Belcampo Belize Lodge takes the notion a step further, providing a luxurious place to stay in the middle of the farm Belcampo sits on a hilltop five miles inland from the fishing village of Punta Gorda in southern Belize, not far from the Guatemalan border. The resort -- which includes a main lodge and 16 suites set along the hillside -- is in the midst of a vast rainforest, home to a host of animals, including howler monkeys, tapirs, jaguars and more than 250 bird species, such as the keel-billed toucan, slaty-tailed trogon and brown-hooded parrot. Several hundred acres of jungle below the lodge have been cleared to make way for Belcampo's organic farm, where 50 varieties of fruit and vegetables are grown, and pigs, chickens and lambs are raised. More than 80 percent of the food that's served at Belcampo is harvested from the farm, and it's served fresh; as Chef Renee Everett put it, "99.9 percent of the veggies we serve were in the ground this morning."

    Art Museum of the Americas to Present Belize Exhibition in Honor of 35th Anniversary
    The OAS AMA | Art Museum of the Americas in partnership with the Permanent Mission of Belize to the OAS presents an exhibition celebrating the 35th anniversary of the nation's independence. For this exhibition, sculptor Santiago Cal and photojournalist Karl Villanueva commemorate the 35th anniversary of Belize's independence. Belize 35 is exemplary of AMA's mission of highlighting artwork promoting human rights, democracy, and peace as core values of the Organization of American States, in support of the autonomy of nations as well as the global cooperation under which each nation may thrive. Cal's "Untitled" is one of two installations that the artist is contributing to Belize 35. It includes as its subject matter Belize's first Prime Minister, George Cadle Price along with symbolic national elements such as the tapir, the national animal. According to the artist, the tapir's mannerisms and dignity are consistent with Belizean identity as a peaceful nation. Belizean curator Yasser Musa describes "Untitled" as "imagination at full throttle, casting a sculptural illustration specifically for an Art Museum of the Americas exhibition commemorating Belize's 35th Independence...George Price, the father of Belizean Independence, deep in prayerful contemplation, guides his bands of Tapirs travelling the meandering green line that is the international southern border between Belize and Guatemala - River Sarstoon. The river is a current flashpoint electrified political fence. Cal's metaphor is sharp and precise and speaks both to the aspirations of the Belizean people at the moment of Independence and the haphazard realities of Belize today thirty- five years on."

    The underwater life: Try snorkelling in Mexico, French Polynesia & Belize
    Looking for a little more excitement this vacation? Here it is served on a platter our edition today lists adventure sports that should be on your bucketlist. It is time to push your limits, here are some sports you should try: - Head to Hol Chan Marine Reserve in Belize due to the close proximity of San Pedro, snorkellers can see lots of marine life. In waters as shallow as 5 feet, large schools of jacks, groupers, snappers and barracuda abound. Along each side of the cut grow healthy stands of corals and seagrass in shallow water, perfect for the beginner snorkeller.

    Review: On ‘Mad Dogs,’ an Amazon Series, Male Bellicosity Rules
    “American men, you love to fight,” a supporting female character observes in the very male dark-comic thriller “Mad Dogs,” whose 10-episode first season debuts Friday on Amazon Prime. She’s not wrong, as judged by television’s continuing fascination with middle-aged male bellicosity. In HBO’s coming “Vinyl,” testosterone and cocaine fuel a 1970s record executive through a midlife and career crisis. Showtime’s Wall Street drama, “Billions,” treats money as expression of male potency; it’s a show so macho that its alpha-dog hedge-fund wizard, Axe, shares a name with a body spray. In “Mad Dogs,” male angst goes on holiday. Four American men travel to Belize to visit a wealthy college pal, Milo (Billy Zane), for a 40-somethings-gone-wild getaway at his lavish oceanside villa. There’s an aggressive edge to his invite, a determination to show how much better he’s done than his friends: the cautious financial planner Cobi (Steve Zahn), the irresponsible Lex (Michael Imperioli), the family man Gus (Romany Malco) and the embittered Joel (Ben Chaplin).

    ‘Mad Dogs’ and Americans
    Puerto Rico, standing in for Belize, looks amazingly bright and sunny in Amazon’s manic, unpredictable, and compelling new series “Mad Dogs.” The long green grass has a neon quality, and in the night scenes, in the moonlight, the gently rippling water looks seductive. The cinematographer is clearly in love with the place. But this is no happy travelogue, and — given the high level of local menace and corruption portrayed on the show — the Belize tourism groups are probably going to hate it. This paradise will be lost, suddenly and brutally, and so will the vestiges of youth that the show’s middle-age characters are clinging to. In “Mad Dogs,” things go from bad to worse, and then a few more steps from worse to worst, a little like they did in “Fargo,” as the fall of one calamity knocked the next one down like a set of dominos. Actually, the show, whose first season is available on Friday, reminds me most of all of “Deliverance,” where men naively head straight into the heart of darkness. “Mad Dogs” is about the myths of masculinity, as they fall apart and men are forced to become simply human.

    TV Review: ‘Mad Dogs’
    “Mad Dogs” starts off as a lark — four guys head to Belize to visit a longtime friend, whose success has allowed him to buy a beachfront villa and enjoy a laid-back lifestyle. But their buddy’s life is not stress-free, as it turns out, and the group holiday quickly turns into a collective nightmare. Unfortunately, the experience of watching “Mad Dogs” contains echoes of what the characters experience. Despite a strong cast, the Amazon drama quickly devolves into a series of tiresome squabbles, mistakes and annoyances. Perhaps this version, adapted from a British program, would have been better off as a film. Ultimately, it’s difficult to picture anyone wanting to binge-watch a 10-episode show that ends up being quite predictable. Director Charles McDougall wrings the maximum potential from the show’s locations (though the story is set in Belize, “Mad Dogs” was shot in Puerto Rico).

    Welcome to the Jungle: Slash gets a ‘Tree’ Guitar
    Saul Hudson was eager to see his new guitar, but he wasn’t expecting manna from heaven. After all, Hudson, better known as Slash, is the celebrated former Guns N’ Roses guitarist who’s owned some of the finest instruments in his neck of the rock ’n’ roll woods, from big-name vintage acoustics—a Martin D-18, Gibson J-200, and Guild D-100—to a string of signature Les Pauls. What more could he want? “I thought, ‘OK, let’s get this over with: I’m going to open the case and be happy and surprised and then we can move on,’” Slash says with a laugh. “When I picked it up, I was completely humbled. It was a shock-and-awe moment. It changed everything I’d ever thought about acoustic guitars leading up to that point,” Slash continues, with a boyish wonder that betrays the reverence a head-banging kid might have for Slash himself. “It was the most amazing acoustic guitar I’d ever played or heard.” The figured mahogany that makes up the back and sides of Slash’s guitar was floored, too—some 50 years ago, when it tumbled to the floor of a forest in Central America. There’s an old philosophical riddle that asks, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one’s around to hear it, does it make a sound?” In the case of the Tree, a 500-year-old hunk of wood that once towered 100 feet and had a massive base ten feet in diameter, the answer is a resounding yes—a thousand times over. Discovered a little more than ten years after it was chopped down in 1965 and left in a ravine in the Chiquibul Jungle of what is now Belize, the Tree has been making beautiful sounds for decades in the form of boutique guitars crafted at shops including Forsland’s JOI, as well as Santa Cruz, Bedell, Greenfield, Froggy Bottom, and even the Big Two acoustic makers, Taylor and Martin.


  • Is Zika in Belize?, 5.5min.

  • Belize Pack A Pound Program - Chaa Creek Sustainable Tourism, 3min. Our Pack A Pound team went out to the small village of Progresso in western Belize to deliver school supplies to the kids at Progresso Government School. We were greeted by happy kids and a willing principal.

  • KAYTHANKS BELIZE, 3min. Mumsie and I went on a cruise last year. One of our stops was the beautiful Belize. I wish I had more time to explore such an incredible place.

  • Belize It!, 5min. Fun in, around, and all over Belize.

  • Dragonfly Migration in Belize 1-10-2016, 17sec. This dragonfly migration (heading north) was witnessed from a beach in Hopkins, Belize on 10 January 2016. There were thousands of dragonflies going by for about a half hour, and some Monarch butterflies were mixed in with them. A little Internet research revealed that dragonflies have an even longer migration than Monarch butterflies, and it takes several generations of dragonflies to complete the annual loop.

  • We Pet Sharks in Belize!, 2min. We visit San Pedro, Belize, go snorkelling in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, and pet nurse sharks!

  • Glimpse Belize, 4min. Channel 23 Belize

  • Mexico and Belize!, 3min.

  • Matthew Klinck moments 2012, 3min. Matthew doing what he did best, make movies and inspire people to make movies, in the little time he was in Belize he inspired and train so many young people to make films, i was very lucky to have collaborated with Matthew. Here are clips of him working on his first training and film project we did in 2012,you can view full documentary on Matthews vimeo page Make Belize Films, Creative Kaos.

  • Belize Jan 2016, 5min.

  • Belize & Placencia, 4.5min.

  • Belize 2016, 7.5min.

  • TRAVEL BELIZE, 6min.

  • Belize, voyage d'une vie ... 2013, 4min. C'est une vidéo qui me tient particulièrement à cœur, Elle a été très dure à monter et j'ai attendu 3 ans avant de revoir ces images... Ce voyage marque la fin d'une époque et le début d'une autre. Je tenais à l'immortaliser par le montage vidéo. Et il nous a beaucoup ému. J'espère que la vidéo vous plaira. Pensez à mettre la HD et le grand écran, ça vaut le détour.

  • Belize Zoo, 10min. Brief look at the famous Belize Zoo.

  • Swimming with Sharks in Belize! (day 4/4), 3.5min. Caye Caulker, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Coral Gardens, Shark & Ray Alley

  • $10 Lobsters in Caye Caulker Belize (Day 1/4), 4min. Here's our first day spent in Caye Caulker, Belize.

  • Flying Over the GREAT BLUE HOLE in BELIZE (Day 2/4), 3.5min.

  • Cave Tubing on an Underground River in Belize (day 3/4), 2.5min.

  • Belize 2011, 2.5min.

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