Recent Belize News
2/1/2016 to 2/10/2016
Click here to return to
Today's Belize News

February 10, 2016


FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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


The San Pedro Sun

Belize’s Ambassador to Mexico Presents Letter of Credence to Haitian President
His Excellency Oliver del Cid, Ambassador of Belize to Mexico, presented his Letter of Credence to President Michel Martelly of the Republic of Haiti in a ceremony at the National Palace on 5th February, 2016. Recognising the importance of this event as a strong step in further strengthening bilateral relations, President Martelly and Ambassador del Cid expressed their countries’ commitment to furthering their ties of friendship and collaboration. Ambassador del Cid also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Haiti, the Hon. Duly Brutus, and made a floral offering at the Haitian National Pantheon Museum in memory of the Heroes of the Independence of Haiti.

Ambergris Today

Miss Colombia Loses Miss Universe Crown Again at San Pedro Carnaval
Parody of the Miss Universe 2015 crowning mishap, one San Pedro Carnaval Comparsa group stood out on the second day of celebrations in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Doña Flora Ancona’s bevy of queens from around the world took the Steve Harvey, Miss Colombia and Miss Philippines debacle to the next level of hilarious entertainment. Also providing high level of laughter was the San Pedro AIDS Commission Comparsa that poked fun at Bowen & Bowen Distributors for their shortage of Belikin Beer around the country during the holidays. Costumes adorned with Belikin bottles and beer products from outside the country, including the favorite Mexican beers made for a fun comparsa. Never failing to make an appearance was the men’s group (The Barbies) whose drag presentation and sing-along tunes kept the crowds fully entertained. Once you hear the song, you don’t stop singing for the rest of the evening and well into the following day.

CARNAVAL FLASHBACKS
Drop by the San Pedro House of Culture to enjoy a whimsical exhibit about the history of Carnaval on Ambergris Caye. There are lots of pictures show how it was celebrated long time ago when San Pedro was just a small fishing village.

Tropic Air Gives Back To Dangriga Red Cross
Tropic Air has announced the first month’s results of its 2016 nationwide #TropicGivesBack charitable fundraising campaign. For every ticket bought at the month’s selected station, $1 will be donated to an organization chosen by our staff stationed in that community. January was the chosen month for Dangriga, with Caye Caulker for February, and Belmopan for March. As part of the airline's largest charitable fundraiser of the year, Tropic Air business partners, staff and customers joined efforts and raised $500 for the Dangriga Red Cross. A check was presented to the organization on Thursday, February 4th. "Every year, our staff and customers, come together to raise much needed funds for a variety of charities with the joint goal of making a lasting impact," said John Greif III, Tropic Air’s president. "We also encourage our customers to join in giving to the causes that they are passionate about,” he went on to say. “Through the #TropicGivesBack Donation program, we are honored and privileged to support the work of the Dangriga Red Cross, and we couldn’t think of a better way to contribute to their efforts in the community,” said Steve Schulte, Tropic Air CEO. “We thank our Employees for giving their time to volunteer around Belize, and we thank our Customers for the wonderful response to this program, which made the donation possible.”

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Belize's Ambassador to Mexico Presents Letter of Credence to Haitian President
His Excellency Oliver del Cid, Ambassador of Belize to Mexico, presented his Letter of Credence to President Michel Martelly of the Republic of Haiti in a ceremony at the National Palace on 5th February, 2016. Recognising the importance of this event as a strong step in further strengthening bilateral relations, President Martelly and Ambassador del Cid expressed their countries’ commitment to furthering their ties of friendship and collaboration. Ambassador del Cid also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Haiti, the Hon. Duly Brutus, and made a floral offering at the Haitian National Pantheon Museum in memory of the Heroes of the Independence of Haiti.

CARNAVAL 2016 - COMPARSAS DAY 2
Monday, February 8th, the second day of Comparsas and Painting. Featured on our pictures are the Comparsas of the San Pedro AIDS Commission under the theme "Quiero chupar, pero no hay cerveza", inspired by the Belikin shortage in San Pedro. Mrs. Flora's Group depicted the Miss Universe scandal where the wrong winner was announced. They danced the streets with their colorful and elegant dresses, each with their sash on. Making their appearance, were the Barbo's. The all male group danced through the streets of town, dressed in drag, celebrating the Carnaval tradition. Lastly, the Black N White Charikanari Dancers also took the streets where they uniquely fuse the Garifuna culture and the Carnaval tradition to an exciting performance. What are we to expect on the last day? Don't miss it! Go out and witness these groups!

Rotaract Club of the Year 2016
Congratulations to the Rotaract Club of Benque Viejo! They won Rotaract Club of the Year for 2016. President Astrid Salazar will be the country representative. Keep up the great work! "We are PROUD to say that we WON CLUB OF THE YEAR FOR BELIZE!!! Excellent work Rotaractors!!! We will now represent Belize at the Bidistrict Conference in Panama in May. We also congratulate OUR President, ASTRID SALAZAR, for being elected as COUNTRY REPRESENTATIVE (COR) for ROTARACT BELIZE for the incoming Rotary Year starting July 1, 2016."

Traditional comparsas of Carnaval de San Pedro
The San Pedro House of Culture presented all the popular traditional comparsas at the opening of the Carnaval Photographic Exhibition in San Pedro.

Belize Embassy in El Salvador- Avianca Airlines
Ambassador Celie Paz Marin of The Belize Embassy in Salvador in collaboration with Avianca Airlines, promoted Belize Tourism to a select group of Salvadoran Travel Agents and Travel Industry partners at the Hotel Sheraton Presidente in El Salvador today February 9, 2016. Ambassador Paz Marin stated that El Salvador has a large Market of vacationers that travel internationally especially during the months of August, December and Easter time. With the availability of quick affordable flights to Belize through Avianca, Belize can greatly benefit from this market in El Salvador. The Belize Hotel Association was called upon by the the Embassy, to assist by providing special rates for hotel rooms that could be packaged with airfare on Avianca. Several BHA members promptly forwarded their promotional rates to the Embassy, while the Belize Hotel Association sent printed copies of the 2016 Hotel Guides, the digital version in Spanish on BHA Flash drives, and a variety of promotional items for giveaways.

Close of Lobster season in Belize
The Lobster Season closes in Belize, on Monday, February 15, 2016 and reopens on Tuesday June 14, 2016. This time is given annually to allow the lobster populations to breed. During this period, it is illegal to fish, posses, buy or sell any lobster and lobster products. As a result lobster dishes will not be available, on any restaurant menus between these dates. On Valentines Day ( February 14) , indulge your loved one with a special Lobster Dinner because it will be a few months until the season reopens and the tantalizing LOBSTER FESTS commence. These open air, beach festivals are the highlights of the opening of the Lobster Season in June.

Belize Humane Symposium
In Honor of World Spay Day. Saga Humane Society invites you to spend a day of Humane conversation and learning. Topics to include Humane Education, Spay/Neuter, BAHA, permits, regulations and VAB. Tuesday, February 23, noon to 2pm at Coco Blanca at Coco Beach Resort

Press Release from the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture - National Sports Council
The Honourable Elodio Aragon, Minister of State, Ministry of Education, Youths Sports and Culture received the visit of Her Excelllency, Ana Hazel Escrich, Secretary General of the Central American Social Integration Secretariat (SISCA). During the visit, Minister Aragon and H.E. Escrich discussed mutual areas of the SISCA Regional Agenda such as Regional Youth Development Programs and the proactive participation of Belize in CODICADER (Consejo del Istmo Centroamericano de Deportes y Recreación). In July 2016 Belize is slated to host the CODICADER Games in fives sports disciplines: Chess, Athletics, Softball, Football and Basketball at the Primary level. SISCA has expressed its support to the Ministry in the area of sports equipment and technical expertise for the success of hosting the games.

Order your bags of compost soil now for only $15 per bag
Free delivery within San Ignacio/Santa Elena. Can deliver to other parts of the country at cost. Call 662-4577 or inbox us here at Belize Soils Ltd.

Commentary: The United Democratic Party convention in Belize will bring no change
By Wellington C. Ramos. On March 20, 2016, the United Democratic Party (UDP), which is currently governing the country of Belize, will be having a national convention for some of their leadership positions. The positions of party leader, deputy party leader, party chairman and first deputy party chairman are available to be contested. The leader of the party is the current sitting prime minister, Dean Barrow, who made it clear that he is stepping down as leader at the end of this term in 2020. The deputy leader is Gasper Vega from the Orange Walk North constituency, who has been in that position for many years now. The chairman of the party is Alberto August from Cayo District, who has been instrumental in making the party victorious in winning many elections since he assumed that office. My gut feeling is that nobody will be challenging any of these individuals for their positions and, if they were to be challenged, their challengers will lose at the convention. Why? Because most of the members of the United Democratic party are happy that their party just got elected in November for a third consecutive term, which is rare for a party in Belize’s political history. The former elected representative from Lake Independence, Mark King, who just overwhelmingly lost his seat to a popular PUP politician Cordel Hyde, has indicated that he would like to seek the post of party chairman. I would strongly advise him not to make that mistake because he will lose again and will anger many UDP, which could affect his future with his party.

COROZAL ART IN THE PARK
This Saturday February 13th, 2016. Bring out the entire family.

Western Ballaz Defeat No Limit
The Western Ballaz defeated the No Limit this weekend. The final score was 80 to 59. The Ballaz are now in 3rd place in the league. Kenny Lamb was there to get some great pictures. They have 100's of pictures from Fan Appreciation night on their page.

The Legendary Don Juan Carnaval
Who was the infamous Don Juan de Carnabal? What kind of person was he? A legend? A villain?

Channel 7

Zika & The Plan to Keep It Out of Belize
The Ministry of Health has activated its national plan to keep Belize Zika free. Today Health Professionals held a sensitization meeting at the Inspiration Center to discuss the possible threats of Zika. On Monday, The World Health Organization declared an international public health emergency after an outbreak of the virus has been confirmed in 26 countries of the America's - but Belize is not one of them. Still, it's all around us, in Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala. And so, although, Belize presently has no confirmed cases of Zika, three samples have been sent for testing, and Director of Health Services Dr. Marvin Manzanero told the media today that they have initiated their response plan and have engaged all health regions across the country. Of course, ZIKA is spread by mosquitoes and a major component of any response has to be vector control. Chief of Operations in the Vector Control Program also highlighted key geographical areas of concern in Belize.

Safe Sex and Zika
But, it's not just mosquitoes, health officials also discussed the possibility of the virus being sexually transmitted. This is after someone from Texas was reportedly infected with Zika after having sex with someone who had just travelled from Venezuela. The Centers for Disease Control has issued a warning for men who have traveled to Zika-affected areas to abstain from sex with their partner -especially if she is pregnant. Today health professionals issued that same warning to Belizeans. Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Dir. of Health Services: "The recommendation I guess would be we want to have protected sex. We were asked earlier this morning to put any particular precautionary messages outside. I guess we can continue to try to engage people in terms of condom use. I am not so sure how effective we will be in terms of zika, because I don't know if we have been effective in HIV for example, in promoting condom use. So I don't know if zika would be any trigger for people to start using condoms as a means of protection or as a means on contraception, which is what is being documented. I think our message will be sexual transmission is a possible form of getting zika. If you have been in an area where zika is documented, but I don't know if we will implement specific measures beyond the messages that we can share."

The Microcephaly Threat
But while there is only that one Texas case so far with sexual transmission, the greatest risk - as you heard earlier - is to pregnant women. Specifically, Zika has been linked to a terrible birth defect called microcephaly, which causes babies heads and brains to stop growing to full size. In Brazil where the Zika outbreak is the most aggressive, 4,000 cases of microcephaly have been reported. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control in the US has issued a first-of-its-kind travel advisory for Zika, asking pregnant women to consider postponing their visits to countries where the virus has been detected. But Manzanero told us that more thorough research and testing needs to be done to confirm if Zika is directly linked to Microcephaly.

How To Stay Zika Free
Now you have heard what the Ministry's plan is to address Zika and the other health complications associated with the virus, but what can you do to protect yourself from getting infected? That was the main message of today's meeting. Health Surveillance Representative Dr. Natalia Largaespada- Beer told us that the public also holds the responsibility to prevent the spread of the virus. Dr. Natalia Largaespada-Beer, MCH Survellance: "One of the take home messages, to team that was at the meeting earlier, the planning session is prevention. There is nothing we can do once a person is bitten by the mosquito with the zika virus. But there is a lot we can do to prevent that to happen." "For pregnant women, what we are recommending is, or women that wants to become pregnant, the recommendations are to use clothing that can cover the majority of the body parts during the day and in the night. To avoid being bitten by the mosquitoes, the use of repellents. There are specific names of repellents that persons need to look at. Keep the yard clean. That is nothing new. We have to keep the yards free to breeding sites. Use of bed net. Not only in the night. It is recommended now if you take a nap in the day, sleep under a bed net to avoid being bitten by these mosquitoes that circulate during the day. And most importantly for women and for their partners or other family members - to avoid traveling to communities with confirmed case of active transmission of the zika virus."

Rice War Stalls?
Since last week we've been reporting on the allegation that Belizean rice - the same kind you eat every day - could be contaminated. That's what importer Jack Charles reportedly told BAHA to look into last week. We say reportedly because BAHA, and the Ministry of Health have denied any knowledge of a complaint from Charles, while the Ministry of Agriculture said it is a matter for government's lawyers - and Charles himself only said that he would have something newsworthy for us on Monday. That was yesterday, and nothing was forthcoming; and there was also nothing today - last word from him this evening was that he would make a public disclosure on Wednesday.

How I Survived A Gun to the Head
Last night, we told you about the two Canadian tourists who were robbed by 2 armed men who then shot a man and tried to kill him so that they could use his vehicle as a getaway. Well tonight, a little more is known about the attack in which the Canadians, 75 year-old Stephen Temple and 65 year-old Cynthia Fredrick, were held up in their room at the Belize Zoo's Tropical Education Center, located between miles 28 and 29 on the George Price Highway. The men then fled the scene of the crime on foot, and stopped the first vehicle which came down the dirt road. That happened to be 52 year-old Jorge Lopez. Last night you heard a little of his story in Spanish - tonight we have the gripping firsthand account in English:... For the very first time since its doors were opened back in 1994, there was an armed robbery the Tropical Education Center. Celso Poot, Operations Manager - Belize Zoo: "A little after 4pm yesterday evening, two of our guests staying in one of the guest houses came over to the office and reported to the manager working at that time that they were just robbed at the guest house. Apparently, two mask men entered their house and held them at gun point and robbed them of their personal belongings."

69 Slaying Still Unsolved
Police still haven't confirmed if the knife found at 69 bar in Teakettle is the murder weapon. They say they hope to get the results by the end of this week. As we told you, Chinese bar owner Zhijiang Zhang was slashed and stabbed to death early Saturday morning. Police believe the masked robber got into the bar through the 3rd floor window. He struck one of the female workers on her head with a gun and then went downstairs after Zhang. Another female worker emerged out of a room to help Zhang but she was shot in the leg. The culprit then cut and stabbed Zhang after he lost the gun's clip in a struggle with Zhang. Today police told us that they have released all 12 female workers, and are looking for one more person. Also police told us that about $600 was found at the scene but they can't confirm how much money had been stolen. The woman who was shot in the leg was released from the KHMH yesterday. We will keep following this case.

Vision-ing Yabra
40 years ago, it used to be that the area called "Yabra" - was like the end of Belize City. Since then, the city has fanned out into the swamps, and "Yabra" is now more like off center to the city. And now some American planners want to make it a model community. These consultants are experts from The American Planning Association, a non-profit NGO which specializes in improving communities in the US. The head of the delegation is Justin Moore, a New York City Department of City Planning, and he and his other colleagues landed in at the PGIA this afternoon. Shortly after arriving in Belize, 7News got a chance to meet with the APA consultants, and we spoke to them about their mission for the place known as "Yabra". Here's what they told us: Justin Moore, American Planning Organization: "We are here to look at the Yarborough neighborhood and the waterfront re-development potential. Really looking comprehensively at the city, not only redevelopment, but transportation, social, cultural, social issues, infrastructure and long term resiliency and sustainability for the city." "This first team is really looking at the lay of the land and understanding what the issues of stakeholders area and we'll come back with multiple experts; so people from different backgrounds and different types of expertise later in the year and where we'll do more detailed recommendations."

Clinics Now Cost More At KHMH
The price that you pay at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for some services is going up. That's right, starting next week it will cost 150% more to get non-emergency services at the KHMH. A notice went up on the hospital door informing the general public that starting on the 15th of February, all clinic fees will now be $25 dollars. We phoned the public Relations officer at KHMH to ask him about this price change and he told us that the increase in clinic fees is a necessary adjustment to keep up with the rise in health care prices. Tillett also noted that despite the increase, patients will still be paying only 36% of the actual cost of the services. We understand that there are other price changes taking place in areas such as the physiotherapy unit. This is to come into effect in March.

Killed Two Men, Home Defender Got Time Served
A man was freed yesterday in Orange Walk after he was sent to jail for killing two men in 2014. In April of that year Edson Johnson, now fifty-three, was arrested and charged for the murder of twenty three year old Saul Garcia and twenty four year old Luke Cox. Johnson shot the two men after he caught them stealing on his property on the outskirts of Carmelita Village, Orange Walk. They had torn off the electrical wires, removed the zinc roof, sheet rack and had taken other items from the buildings on the farm on his property. The two were sprinting towards an escape vehicle when Johnson caught up with them and fired several shots in their direction fatally wounding both men. It was argued in court that Johnson was only protecting his property; nonetheless he was slapped with conviction of six years in prison after the court ruled that he had used excessive lethal force. But CTV-3 in Orange Walk reports that yesterday after 18 months in prison Johnson's sentence was reduced to one year. However, due to the time already served behind bars, CTV says Johnson was released immediately.

Nah Not Prosecuted
In July of 2014, Carlton Flowers accused Police Constable Elvin Nah of shaking him down for $400 dollars - so that he wouldn't be charged for two small bags of weed. It happened on San Pedro after Nah searched a golf cart Flowers was driving and found four grammes of weed. The constable was charged for extortion but the charge was struck out today by Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, when complainant, Carlton Flowers, failed to appear when the trial was set for its final adjournment. Nah was represented by attorney Anthony Sylvestre.

Guate-Milperos Moving In To Chiquibul
The Friends for Conservation and Development, FCD, is reporting tonight that it did a fly-over tour of the Western Flank of the Chiquibul National Park last week and found 17 new clearings made by Guatemalan milpa farmers. The FCD is concerned that this activity has started up once again, and may progress rapidly if left unchecked as the dry season starts to set in. They're recommending the activation of patrols and operations to suppress the advance in the clearing of primary forests in the areas affected. The major areas of impact are noticeable on the northern section of the Caracol Archaeological Reserve and on the southern region of the Chiquibul, known as the Cebada area. The Guatemalans are being warned with an information campaign through radio stations in the villages near the border. These citizens are being reminded of the penalties if they are caught in the Chiquibul clearing forests for milpa farms.

Cycling Association Responds To Kaya Controversy
For the past week we have been following the case of elite female cyclist Kaya Cattouse who made a facebook stink about the cycling federation. Kaya alleged that the federation was discriminating against her and other female cyclists by excluding them from the upcoming Digicell Valentine's Tour. The vice president of the cycling federation told us yesterday that the entire matter was blown way out of proportion. Today he visited our offices where he hoped to set the record straight once and for all. He says it all started with the annual cycling calendar that was released to all cyclists in January 4th. Orson Butler, VP, Belize Cycling Federation: "She went back to the same point again and explained why is it that they don't have for the female when the female cross country is before and I explained the same thing that I explained a little while to you just now, that the female competition doesn't have international competition. So the federation sees it best to have a tour for the elite, but at that same moment I explained to her they have an event later on the year for the female which is a tour. Because the federation is seeking a race to go internationally. So we believe it's going to be best to have the tour for female and juniors around that time. So that they are in better condition to face that type of competition. Well Kaya's response at that time was "well you know I have to write my thing on facebook." I told her be very careful of what you write and that was it."

Ebony Smothered By Dust
Residents of Ebony Street in Belize City are making a public plea to the City Council and the Government to remedy a situation that is smothering them in thick clouds of dust. Residents told us that the situation only got worse when the Chetumal Street Bridge was opened to the public. The city council used to send a truck to water the street, but it has been a while since the water truck has been around. And, in the meantime, residents say the situation is getting so out of hand that it now poses a health risk: Jose Sosa, Concerned citizen: "This is happening for the past 3, 4, 5 years. But it has gotten worse now with that bridge that got fixed. Because it's like every 2 minutes, every 2 -3 seconds vehicles pass here and its big trucks, buses, BEL truck - all of those trucks brings lots of dust. If you see everywhere, you will see the dust." Emanuel Pech: "What are some of the things you have to deal with on a daily basis?" Jose Sosa, Concerned citizen: "The dust. What how I am living - everything is dusty. That's how my vehicle look. What how everything looks - dusty. You can't even hang clothes outside because it gets dusty. In fact it's not healthy at all. In 2016 middle town, this not a back street, nor village - this is middle of a city and look on the road."

The Mestizo Carnaval
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the First Day of the Lenten Season, an important observance for Christians. But where there is Lent, there is also Carnival - in countries all across the world. In Belize, our Carnival is in September, but the Mestizo in Corozal and Orange Walk have an observance called Carnaval. The Institute of Social and Cultural Research today released the second part of its Belize Cultural Celebrations Series, which features the study of Carnaval. That happened today, and we have a short excerpt of their report on this Mestizo cultural mainstay. Here's what NICH found out: If you would like to see the rest of the documentary, it will be posted on NICH's YouTube Channel, and their website. It will also be shown on Channel 7 later this week. And….It will be handed out to schools across Belize to be used in social studies class on the history and cultures of Belize.

Baby Nina Gag Order
The custody battle for Baby Nina made national headlines in November of last year, and we followed her case when it went to court in December. But, when a child's future is in the balance, too much publicity can be a bad thing - and that's why the judge decided that all sides would be bound by a gag order. And so when the case went to court today - no one could tell us anything. We do know that it has been adjourned to Friday and that 2 year old Nina remains in foster care.

One Last Look From Haiti's Martelly
Haitian President Michel Martelly may have left office on Sunday with no replacement yet named, but before he did that, he accepted the credentials of Belize's Oliver del Cid, the Ambassador of Belize to Mexico. A press release says that Martelly and Ambassador del Cid expressed their countries' commitment to furthering their ties of friendship and collaboration. The Embassy of Belize in Mexico, is now accredited as Belize's Non-Resident Embassy to Haiti, and also serves as Non-Resident High Commission to Jamaica.

Channel 5

Santander Applied for S.S.B. Loan to Bridge Shortfall in Consortium Loan
The airwaves have been consumed with the news that mega-million dollar sugar-cane production and milling facility, Green Tropics, has been given a twelve million dollar loan from the Social Security [...]

$12 Million from S.S.B. Approved, But Not Disbursed to Santander
Singh reiterated that the Board cannot even look at an investment until the Investment Committee recommends it after due diligence. That was done, and the Board of Directors reviewed it [...]

Belizean Banks Invested U.S. $54 Million in Green Tropics Project
We’re not sure the breakdown of monies invested into the Santander facility has ever been public knowledge. The project has been sold repeatedly as a hundred and fifty million dollar [...]

Family Court Hears Case of Baby Nina Barrera Perez
The unfortunate jurisdiction matter of baby Nina Barrera Perez, adjourned since December, was before Magistrate Dale Cayetano at the Family Court today. As very brief background, two year old Nina [...]

Shooting Victim Jorge Lopez Recounts Nightmarish Experience
On Monday, we told you about the disturbing armed robbery of a Canadian couple just a few hours after they checked into the Tropical Education Center on the George Price [...]

Should S.S.B. Grant Multimillion Dollar Loan to Santander?
And tonight’s question is: Do you support the granting of a multi-million dollar loan from the Social Security Board to the Guatemalan company, Santander? Send your comments and responses using [...]

Health Officials Confirm Belize is Zika Free
Health officials today revealed that so far, Belize is free of the Zika virus unlike many countries in Central America and the Caribbean. Samples have been sent for testing at [...]

Belize City Mayor Prepares for Zika…Just in Case
A zika national preparedness plan is being rolled out. So is the Belize City Council, which acts as the body which manages any emergency within its municipal jurisdiction through the [...]

BBA Yanks Plus TV’s On-Air Broadcasting License
Tonight there is disturbing and significant news coming out of Belmopan and it involves our colleague media house Plus Television in that municipality. News Five has been able to confirm [...]

Decomposing Body Found in Dangriga
Late word to News Five is that Dangriga police are at mile six on the Hummingbird Highway where the decomposing body of a man has been found. There are few [...]

S.S.B. Chairman Clarifies Loans to Companies Allegedly Linked to John Zabaneh
In June 2015, the S.S.B. approved loans to Meridian Enterprises Limited and Diverse Development Limited in the amount of millions of dollars. Both are companies allegedly affiliated with U.S.-vilified banana [...]

Municipal Bond Performing Well…But No Plans to Refloat
In November 2012 Mayor Darrell Bradley did the unprecedented. He launched his twenty-million dollar municipal bond to finance a massive infrastructure project in the city. Today he told us that [...]

Troy Hyde Will Stand Trial for Murder
After more than a year on remand and a number of adjournments, Troy Hyde accused of the murder of George Street’s Kareem Lopez, aka “Robbery” learnt today that he will [...]

San Pedro Police Officer Walks Off Extortion Charge
Tonight a police officer from the San Pedro is free from a charge of extortion after his accuser, a San Pedro resident, did not show up to court. Calvin Flowers [...]

Visiting Urban Planners Focus on Yarborough Community
Currently a high profile visiting team of urban planners is in Belize City. The experts from the American Planning Association are here at the invitation of the Belize City Council [...]

Planners Will Incorporate New Design With City’s Master Plan
The group of experts will take a comprehensive look at the area including social issues, unemployment and violence.   Justin Moore, Urban Designer/Planner, American Planning Association “In urban planning and [...]

A Weekend Favorite on Episode 2 of Great Belize Cooking
Great Belize Cooking … Episode Two airs tonight at eight o’clock and you can’t afford to miss this new segment. Master chef Sean Kuylen will be featuring an all time [...]

CTV3

Ambassador Of Belize to Mexico Presents Credentials to President Of The Republic Of Haiti
On Friday last His Excellency Oliver del Cid, Ambassador of Belize to Mexico, presented his Letter of Credence to President Michel Martelly of the Republic of Haiti in a ceremony at the National Palace.Recognizing the importance of this event as a strong step in further strengthening bilateral relations, President Martelly and Ambassador del Cid expressed their countries’ commitment to furthering their ties of friendship and collaboration.Ambassador del Cid also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Haiti, the Hon. Duly Brutus, and made a floral offering at the Haitian National Pantheon Museum in memory of the Heroes of the Independence of Haiti.

Volume 2 Of The Belize Cultural Celebrations Series Launched In Corozal
Yesterday the Corozal House of Culture saw the launching of Volume 2 of the Belize Cultural Celebrations Series titled Carnaval a Pre-Lenten Festivity in Northern Belize. The aim of the video is to preserve our Belizean traditions. According to Senior Research and Education Officer for the National Institute for Culture and History, NICH, and the Institute of Social and Cultural Research, Rolando Cocom, the video is the result of several years of hard work and it will be accessible to schools and the general populace via DVD’s and Internet.“Today is the launching of our second in the series of Belize Celebrations called Carnaval, a northern festivity, it is an exciting time for us and it comes after several years of hard work, it began in 2011 when we branch into the social and cultural research began the process of recording information, speaking with community members in Caledonia and as progressively expanded into Corozal town and into San Pedro and also Xaibe."

Belize Prepares To Host CODICADER Games
Yesterday Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture Elodio Aragon, met with Secretary General of the Central American Social Integration Secretariat (SISCA), Ana Hazel Escrich during her visit to Belize. The topic of discussion was SISCA’s regional agenda and preparations for the upcoming Consejo del Istmo Centroamericano de Deportes y Recreacion (CODICADER) primary school games which Belize will host in the month of July 2106 our country will be hosting in the month of July in five areas of sport disciplines: Chess, Athletics, softball, football and basketball at the primary school level. During the meeting Escrich, on behalf of SISCA, pledged her support to Minister Aragon for assistance with sports equipment and technical expertise to ensure that the games be a huge success.

Constable Beats Extortion Wrap
Tonight a Police Constable from the San Pedro Police Formation is free from a charge of extortion after the complainant failed to show up in the court hearing. In July of 2014 Police Constable No 1308 Elvin Nah was arrested and charged with extortion after 32 year old resident of San Pedro, Calvin Flowers accused Nah of requesting a sum of $400 in exchange for his freedom and no charges to be levied against him after he was allegedly caught with 4.0 grams of marijuana. According to the accuser he paid the police officer the sum asked to him but later went to file the report which resulted in the detention of Nah.

Court Issues Gag Order To Lawyers In Baby Nina's Case
The case of Baby Nina Barrera Perez was before Magistrate Dale Cayetano this morning at the Family Court. Baby Nina is the child who was brought by her Belizean mother, Analiz Guttierez from Guatemala. The matter had been taken through Guatemala courts by Ernesto Barrera, the Guatemalan father. Authorities in Guatemala then sought the intervention of the Human Services Department in Belize who seized the child from Gutierrez and placed her in foster care. The case was in the Belize courts last December and the ruling was to be handed down today. Arguments were heard from all three sides, the mother, the father and the Human Services Department. They are being represented respectively by attorneys Marcel Cardona; Kevin Arthurs and Melissa Balderamos-Mahler. Because it’s a family matter, all sides were reminded that no aspect of the case can be discussed in public by the legal representatives. We have since learned that the decision will be handed down on Friday.

LOVE FM

Due Diligence Done on SSB Loan to Santander
The news of the 12 million dollar loan to Santander by the Social Security Board has garnered much attention and feedback on social media since we aired it on our news last Thursday. Some are saying that the monies should be used for greater benefits to contributors while others are upset that the monies approved […]

Health Officials Speak ZIKA
Health officials held a morning session discussing the ZIKA virus, its epidemiological profile, regional situation and national response. Following that three hour discussion, the media was briefed on the current situation as it relates to the virus in Belize. According to Dr Marvin Manzanero, the Director of Health Services, three samples have been sent out […]

Public Hearing Scheduled on BEL’s Application for Tariff Review
The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) received a submission of Full Tariff Review Proceeding from Belize Electricity Limited on January 22. The PUC is conducting a public hearing tonight which includes a presentation by BEL. Love News spoke to Olga Urbina Gough who is the Public Relations and Consumer Affairs officer at PUC who explained what […]

Clinic Fees Go Up at KHMH
Just over three years ago in November 2012, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital implemented a ten dollar consultation fee for the men, women and children who sought appointments with the specialists at the hospital. Come Monday, February 15, the consultation fee will go up one hundred and fifty percent, meaning, those who utilize the hospital’s […]

Fruta Bomba and Employees Run Into Hard Times
A few days ago our newsroom received reports that several employees of Belize Fruit Packers Company Limited were terminated because its sister the company, Fruta Bomba, was experiencing low production due to several economic factors. Today we confirmed that 38 employees had to be terminated and Fruta Bomba will not be producing a large amount […]

Sarteneja Farmers Learn From Taiwanese Mission
A group of farmers from the Corozal District concluded a visit to Central Farm. Correspondent Fem Cruz was there and has the story. FEM CRUZ “An estimated thirty farmers from Sarteneja Village in the Corozal District travelled early this morning to Central Farm for a farmer’s field trip. According to Barry Palacio, District Agriculture Coordinator […]

Chicago Team of Urban Planners in Belize to Tackle Yarborough
A group of urban designers and city planners are in Belize from the American Planning Association and Community Planning and Technical Assistant Teams (CPAT). The team is in Belize to start a survey plan in order to redevelop neighborhoods in Belize. The survey project is in collaboration with the Belize City Council and the Inter-American […]

Policeman Walks Free from Extortion Charge
A charge of extortion against police constable Elvin Nah was struck out today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, when the complainant, Carlton Flowers, failed to appear and the trial was set for its final adjournment. The incident occurred on July 6, 2014, in San Pedro Town. According to the allegation, Nah searched a […]

PlusTV

Chinese businessman chopped to death; waitress shot in the leg
There was a murder in Teakettle on Saturday morning where a businessman was chopped to death and a waitress shot in the leg. It happened at 69 Bar which is located between miles 52 and 53 on the George Price Highway in Teakettle Village. Interestingly, 69 Bar was a topic of discussion on Christian R...

Shooting on Kraal Road Belize City
There was a shooting in Belize City this weekend. On Sunday February 7 at around 5:30, shots were fired on Neal’s Pen Road where 42-year-old Austin Garbutt of Belize City was shot to the right ankle. Police say that Garbutt was standing on Neal’s Pen Road when a male person approached and fired seve...

Jack Charles promises “bombshell” over local rice on Tuesday
All concerned are very tight-lipped, but it appears a new front has opened in the effort by importer Jack Charles to get his cheaper Guyanese rice into Belize. Charles today confirmed to us that has sent a complaint to the Ministry of Agriculture about possible contamination of the local rice supply...

Accused drug mule pleads guilty in court; police say they trailed him before bust
28 year old Orbin Lenin Reyes today began a three-year jail sentence for drug trafficking after pleading guilty in the Magistrate’s Court. The Honduran national, who was busted with 16 and a half pounds of “high-grade” marijuana from Oaxaca, Mexico, valued at nearly 50 thousand Belize dollars, claim...

Tourists robbed near Belize Zoo
A visiting couple was robbed at gunpoint at the Tropical Education Center at Mile 29, George Price Highway, but due to timely intervention by a passing motorist, police were able to catch at least one suspect who now faces charges. With the details here is Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster, offi...

Road Traffic Accident leads to drug bust
A road traffic accident led to a drug trafficking arrest. On Friday 5th February 2016, at around 12:15 a.m., police visited a “Road Traffic Accident” between miles 16 and 17 on the Phillip Goldson Highway where they saw 34-year-old Roland Rivers of a Belize City address sitting in a Burgundy Ford Es...

Resident complains about noisy bar in neighborhood
Liquor bars in residential areas have always caused problems between the operators of those establishments and the residents of the neighborhood who have to endure the sounds, sights, and smells. One bar presently in that predicament is Chan’s Restaurant and bar which has been operating in the San M...

Amandala

Owner of 69 Bar stabbed to death
Zhi Jiang Zhang, 52, the owner of 69 Bar, located on the George Price Highway in Teakettle, Cayo District, was killed in his business establishment on Saturday morning. Inspector Octavio Victorin, Officer in Charge of Roaring Creek Police Station, in meeting with the media, said he did did not want to reveal too much information for fear of jeopardizing their investigation; however, he was able to share some of what transpired. Victorin said that they were called out to 69 Bar at approximately 2:00 a.m. on Saturday; there, they observed the lifeless body of Zhi Jiang Zhang, with seven stab wounds to various parts of his body. Zhang’s throat had also reportedly been slashed. Zhang was taken to the Western Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. His body was then transported to the hospital’s morgue, where it will undergo a post-mortem, Victorin said.

Vacationing Canadians victims of armed robbery
Stephen Hemple, 75, and Cynthia Fredrick, 65, both Canadian retirees, came to Belize on vacation and had checked into the Tropical Education Center, located at Mile 28 at the George Price Highway, at 11:00 a.m. Sunday morning. A few hours later, however, at approximately 3:30 p.m., they were held up by two men, one of whom had a gun, and robbed of their belongings. Celso Pott, operations manager for the resort, said that they were unaware of the incident even though at the time there were other guests and staff present. Pott said that Fredrick went outside to take pictures and it was then that she encountered the robbers, who took her back to her cabin, where they reportedly took her and Hemple into a separate room, and stole their belongings. A police report stated that the two Canadians were robbed of one iPhone 4 valued at $400; one iPhone 4S, valued at $400; two cameras valued at $350 each; two mini iPods valued at $400, and one large iPod tablet valued at $600 – all of which were valued in Canadian currency.

SSB approves $12 mil loan; SSB and Belize banks financing bulk of Santander investment
The Belize Social Security Board (SSB) has approved a BZ$12 million loan to Santander Farms, which operates, among its subsidiaries, Green Tropics in Belize. Since the SSB proposes to release the money from its BZ$450 million fund, the loan will be open to public scrutiny for the next few weeks, before any move can be made to finalize the proposed lending to the Spanish-owned company, whose parent company, Santander Group, also operates a wealthy international bank. SSB chairman, Douglas Singh, told Amandala that these kinds of investment opportunities don’t come around too often. He told us that the banks are paying the SSB as little as 3% of deposits, down by about half when compared to what they used to earn at the banks 5 years ago, when interest rates were better. Singh said, by contrast, that the Santander loan would be offered at 8% for the first two years, and 7% for the remainder of the 10-year agreement. Although questions have been raised as to whether SSB money should be lent to foreign investors, Singh said that under law, SSB is allowed to assign 18% to 20% of its portfolio to foreign investment. Singh, who noted that it is not unusual for SSB schemes to make foreign investments, said that two Social Security schemes from the Caribbean had actually invested in Belize’s Super-bond.

Heart disease is #1 killer among Belizeans
Last week, we reported that roughly 1,500 Belizeans have lost their lives to violent crimes since 2000. Homicides remain among the leading causes of death in Belize, ranking 3rd in 2012 and 4th in 2014. The statistics for 2015 are still pending. Although violent deaths often grab the headlines, however, a Belizean is more likely to die from heart disease than by the gun. The sinister silent killer, heart disease, persistently takes the top spot as the leading cause of death in Belize, just as it does in the USA. Next is cancer and then diabetes. HIV/AIDS is also one of the leading killers in Belize. The prevalence of cancer in Belize was recently highlighted with the celebration of World Cancer Day. Laura Longsworth, president of the Belize Cancer Society, told News 5 that, “2013, ’14, ’15… there are approximately two hundred new cases every year of cancers… [and] you have cancer deaths and that can range anywhere from one hundred and sixty to two hundred deaths.”

John Briceño sworn in as Leader of the Opposition
The newly elected leader of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), Hon. John Briceño, was sworn in this morning at a ceremony at Belize House by His Excellency Sir Colville Young, Governor General of Belize. The PUP elected its new leader at a special National Convention on Sunday, January 31, and Hon. John Briceño, the Orange Walk Central area representative, emerged victorious out of the three-man race to lead the PUP, after its former leader, Hon. Francis Fonseca, resigned in the wake of the party’s defeat at the polls in the November 4, 2015 general elections. Briceño campaigned for leadership on the slogan “Ready to Lead; Ready to Win.” He had resigned his leadership position in October 2011, just months before the March 2012 general elections.

New charges for Belize Bank customers
Banks make their money by means of interest charges on loans, but also through fees charged for services. Belize Bank customers, who used to be able to withdraw money from ATMs or over-the-counter at no charge, are now required to pay for those services, based on what a bank official calls the “user-pay policy.” Although the bank’s online ATM page says, “Use your Belize Bank VISA Debit Card to withdraw cash free of charge day or night…”—that is no longer the case. Customers are now being informed that if they want to use the ATM, they would have to pay 50 cents each time they do, and $1.00 each time they withdraw money from inside the bank. We are informed from another source that the ATM transactions alone could net the bank at least $32,000 a month, or almost $400,000 a year.

CSSSA football finale: SCA vs Gwen Liz, Wesley vs ACC
The semifinals: The best-of-2 games semifinals series in the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) high school football playoffs came to a dramatic end on Friday at the MCC, where both the female and male games went to overtime, the former even to penalties, before a series winner was decided. The semifinals started on Monday of last week at 3:00 p.m., when SCA won, 3-0, over Wesley in the females, and Wesley males dropped Ladyville Tech, 2-1. On Tuesday, the females of Gwen Liz and Ladyville Tech played to a 0-0 draw; while in the male match-up, SJC edged ACC, 3-2, with goals from Carlos Guerra (2) and Erick Rodriguez. ACC goals were by Christian Ancona and Darrell Flowers. The same teams would clash again in game 2 of their semifinal series on Thursday and Friday.

PLB update – Week 3 and 2 back matches completed, 1 back match remaining
After a rocky start to its Closed Season 2015-2016, with only 1 game played on the opening weekend, and 2 games played the following week, the Premier League of Belize (PLB) is finally approaching full gear in its competition, with 2 back matches played last Thursday, February 4, and a full slate of Week 3 games played this past weekend. First, let’s record the official details on the Week 2 games played on January 30 and 31. On Saturday, January 30, at Norman Broaster Stadium, it was Police United, 4-2, over Wagiya. For Police United, Darren Myers (12’), Danny Jimenez (58’), Harrison Roches (84’) and Devon Makin (86’); and for Wagiya, Jacinto Bermudez (7’) and Donnel Arzu (15’). And on Sunday, January 31, at the MCC Grounds, BDF and Belmopan Bandits played to a 0-0 draw. Only 1 back match remains for the PLB to catch up with its season schedule, and that game takes place on Wednesday of this week. See upcoming back match and Week 4 schedule below:

Editorial: Batten down the hatches!
In old maritime lingo, sailors would speak of battening down the hatches. This referred to a vessel’s crew making preparations for a storm by securing those sections of the craft which were exposed to high winds and rough seas. Late last year our columnist Bill Lindo spoke of hard times to come in this 2016. We don’t know how seriously our readers took him, but at this newspaper’s editorial desk it appears to us that Belizeans would be wise to be more careful than reckless in their money management and financial projections. We are still seeing the fallout in Belize from the period of excessive optimism during “growth economics” between 1998 and 2004. The Belizean public sector during growth economics featured a lot of government borrowing at commercial rates and the Belizean economy was awash in liquidity. Many Belizeans made decisions with respect to home ownership which were not all that realistic, and in fact proved unsustainable when Belize’s illusionary growth was exposed as more political rhetoric than real expansion. In 2016 we are still seeing pages and pages of advertisements for banks which are trying to dispose of homes whose owners defaulted on mortgages they took on during growth economics.

From the Publisher
I am one of those Belizeans who is disappointed in Godwin Hulse, but I am not angry at him. My personal feeling is that the good Senator felt he was getting older, he had all these bright ideas and proven abilities, and he realized that he needed political power in order to accomplish anything of real substance. The thing is, he had a phobia about subjecting himself to all the mud-slingings and character assassinations which are routine in Belize’s electoral politics: he, therefore, could not bear the thought of political candidacy and the abuse which accompanies such a candidacy. Godwin was a couple years behind me at St. John’s College. In my mind over the decades, I’ve always linked him with the one Alex Scott as younger students at Landivar who were “gung ho” about their studies and were always comparing notes after exams and quizzes. But when I consulted my archival copy of the 1965 Mangrove (the St. John’s College yearbook), I saw that in 1965 Godwin was in 4A and Alex was in 3B. They must have been together in a science class, such as physics or chemistry, where it was possible, if I remember correctly, for students from different classes to take the same course.

Raising the bar of excellence in education
There are presently far more trained teachers than there were eight years ago and those numbers are expected to increase since the Ministry of Education is making it mandatory that teachers possess a full license in order to teach in the classroom, Hon. Patrick Faber said at a press conference at the Belize Biltmore Plaza on February 3. Many teachers who did not have a full license were given a provisional license and numerous opportunities and incentives to further their education were provided in order to facilitate their efforts to get a full license; therefore, by 2017 when the provisional licenses expire those teachers are expected to have the necessary qualifications to obtain a full license, Faber said. The Ministry, in Faber’s view, is simply enforcing what the Education Training Act says:

LIFE steps in to assist senior citizens of the Southside
Senior citizens age 61 years and up living in Belize City’s Southside will now benefit from the efforts of a new organization called L.I.F.E. (Living Independently in Full Existence), which is founded and headed by Sister Carlette Gentle, and headquartered on 11 Casuarina Street, Belize City. The aim of the organization is, by means of a referral mechanism, to help seniors of the area in five vital areas that will impact their health and well-being. The five forms of assistance these seniors will receive are food assistance, social support, housing assistance, medical care, and assistance with transportation. Gentle told Amandala that seniors who need to be fed daily and do not have the means to find food will be linked to food programs or food sources like the Mercy Kitchen Food on Wheels Program, that feeds the elderly and shut-ins at their homes daily.

Korean businesswoman, charged with perversion of justice, released on $75,000 bail
A Korean businesswoman with investments worth millions of dollars in New York City and Belize, and who was charged for perversion of justice along with Bradley Paumen and others, was released on $75,000 bail, and had to sign over property documents to the court after Supreme Court Justice, John “Troadio” Gonzalez, made the order this morning. The Crown’s primary objection to the granting of bail to Hyang Chong Park was that she is a flight risk, Crown Counsel Kilreu argued in the prosecution’s objection to bail. Present in the court for the hearing were members of Park’s family and the non-resident Korean Ambassador to Belize, who is based in El Salvador. Justice Gonzalez expressed in open court the difficult position the court faces when it grants bail to foreign nationals who flee the jurisdiction of the court, “which can only do so much,” given, that bail, after all, is a person’s right.

Calamity at Altun Ha
The cruise tour of an American tourist who came to Belize on the cruise ship Caribbean Dreams on Thursday was aborted after he fell off the Altun Ha archaeological site when he lost his balance, while climbing the A1 structure of Altun Ha at about 1:30 Thursday afternoon. Bryan Goeders, 36, of Iowa, USA, fell off the steps to an area below, from a height of about 35 feet, and landed face-down. As a result, Goeders suffered massive body injuries and was rushed to the Belize Medical Associates hospital in a critical condition. Goeders suffered abrasions to the forehead, dizziness, nose bleeding and throat pains. A further examination conducted on him at the hospital found that he had suffered a broken jaw, bruised lungs and a crushed liver, and he had bleeding in the brain. Representatives of the Belize Medical Associates told Amandala that Goeders was flown back on Saturday via air ambulance to a medical facility in the U.S.

John Briceño sworn in as Leader of the Opposition
The newly elected leader of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), Hon. John Briceño, was sworn in this morning at a ceremony at Belize House by His Excellency Sir Colville Young, Governor General of Belize. The PUP elected its new leader at a special National Convention on Sunday, January 31, and Hon. John Briceño, the Orange Walk Central area representative, emerged victorious out of the three-man race to lead the PUP, after its former leader, Hon. Francis Fonseca, resigned in the wake of the party’s defeat at the polls in the November 4, 2015 general elections. Briceño campaigned for leadership on the slogan “Ready to Lead; Ready to Win.” He had resigned his leadership position in October 2011, just months before the March 2012 general elections.

The Reporter

Credentials for Haitian President
Ambassador of Belize to Mexico, Oliver Del Cid, presented his letter of credence to the President of the Republic of Haiti at the National Palace this week. Del Cid met with Haitian President, Michel Martelly to present his credentials in a ceremony that took place on February 5. Martelly and Del Cid expressed their countries’ respective commitment to furthering the bilateral relations that exist between both nations. The government of Belize considers this a “strong step” in furthering Haitian and Belizean collaboration. Del Cid also met with Minister of Foreign Affairs and worship of Haiti, Duly Brutus, at the Haitian National Pantheon Museum, established in memory of the Heroes of the Independence of Haiti, where he made a floral offering.

Punta Gorda police seek missing girl
A 14-year-old Punta Gorda girl has been missing from Sunday and police are asking the public for assistance in locating her. Doreen Rosa, a Belizean student from #91 West Street, Punta Gorda, Toledo reportedly left home on Sunday in the company of a female friend on the way to Big Falls village to do homework. She was last seen in Seine Bight on Sunday. Rosa left home wearing a yellow strapped blouse, gray short pants and a pair of white slippers. She stands at five feet two inches and weighs about 130 pounds. Anyone with knowledge of her whereabouts is asked to immediately contact the nearest police station.

Tropic Air gives donation to Dangriga Red Cross
Tropic Air and its partners donated $500 to the Dangriga Red Cross this week as part of the airline’s ‘#TropicGivesBack’ charitable campaign. The Red Cross donation is just the first of Tropic Air’s 2016 initiative. “Every year, our staff and customers, come together to raise much needed funds for a variety of charities with the joint goal of making a lasting impact,” Tropic Air President, John Greif III said. Tropic Air Chief Executive Officer, Steve Schulte said that through the initiative the company seeks to show its support for the work the Dangriga Red Cross is doing in the Southern Districts. He also mentioned that the initiative was a combined effort between the employees who volunteered their time and responsive customers who made donations. Schulte said Tropic Air encourages its customers to donate to causes that they are passionate about.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Second constable beats extortion case
Tonight another interdicted police officer hailing from the San Pedro Police Sub formation is free from a charge of extortion after a San Pedro resident had accused him of extorting the sum of $400 from him back in July 2014 on San Pedro but […]

Minister Aragon meets regional officials to discuss sports in Belize
Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture Elodio Aragon, along with members of the National Sports Council, met with Secretary General of the Central American Social Integration Secretariat (SISCA), Ana Hazel Escrich during her visit to Belize yesterday. The topic of […]

Troy Hyde to go on trial for murder of Kareem Lopez
The trial for Troy Hyde, accused of the murder of Kareem “Robbery” Lopez 13 months ago, has been fast-tracked for the April session of the Supreme Court. Lopez was shot multiple times on Central American Boulevard on the night of January 3, 2015 at […]

Belize still free of Zika; Ministry of Health holds sensitization meeting
The Ministry of Health says that so far Belize continues to be free of the Zika virus.Three samples have been sent to the regional public health laboratory in Trinidad and Tobago. One has been returned negative for Zika as well as chikungunya and dengue fever; […]

Post-mortem done on St. Margaret man
A post-mortem examination conducted yesterday on the body of 30-year-old Salvadorian national, Jose Pedro Menjivar Murcia, resident of St. Margaret Village in the Cayo District, determined his cause of death to be “acute respiratory failure, bilateral severe bronchopneumonia, comatose state and blunt force traumatic […]

Police seek missing 14-year-old Punta Gorda girl
Police are seeking public assistance in locating 14-year-old Doreen Rosa, a student and resident of #91 West Street, Punta Gorda (PG) Town who has been missing since Sunday, when she was last seen in Seine Bight Village. Rosa reportedly left home with a female […]

Police operation in Punta Gorda nets half pound of weed and ammo
A joint operation conducted in the Toledo District yesterday by police, customs personnel and the K-9 Unit, resulted in the discovery of ammunition and more than half pound of cannabis. From 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the team searched areas in Punta Gorda Town […]

High pressure ridge maintains cool airflow
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mainly fair and cool weather today and then clear, cold weather tonight. No rainfall is expected. Winds will be blowing from the North-Northwest at 10-20 knots and the sea state will be moderate. High temperatures today […]

Blogs

Maya Land Rights & Governance: the Conejo and Santa Cruz Lawsuits
In a potentially precedent-setting step with far-reaching implications, the Maya indigenous villages of Conejo and Santa Cruz will soon file claims in the Supreme Court of Belize, asserting that the government of Belize has failed to recognize, protect, and respect Maya customary land rights. These villages, along with others of southern Belize, assert legal rights to the lands they and their ancestors have traditionally used and occupied, and that these rights are protected by the Constitution of Belize. The claimant villages of Conejo and Santa Cruz are represented by attorney Antoinette of the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program (IPLP) at the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law. Professor Anaya and his associates have been successful at pursuing the claims of indigenous peoples in various countries, and they have represented the Maya people of Belize in their successful petitions before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and United Nations human rights bodies. Anaya’s work on the Belize case has been supported by the efforts of students participating in his International Human Rights Advocacy Workshop, a 2-3 credit law course. Through this workshop, students researched issues for the lawsuits, helped to draft the pleadings, and developed educational materials highlighting the internationally recognized rights of the Maya people, their current situation and the purpose of the lawsuit. Several of these students have traveled to Belize to collect affidavits, communicate with clients and the Belizean local counsel, and coordinate efforts within Belize.

Resilient Communities with Cristina Coc
Cristina Coc discusses issues with Alec Baldwin and Aaron Sherinian at Earth To Paris. Giving voice on an international platform to indigenous peoples of Belize as they talk about climate change and its solutions. Governments have the responsibility to set the framework for action … but the energy and innovation really happens at the local and regional level.

Year of the Monkey
The Chinese New Year festival is centuries old and is celebrated from China to many other countries as far south as Malaysia and the Philippines. Chinese all over the world, including here in San Ignacio, Santa Elena and all over the country of Belize, continue to honor their customs, traditions and beliefs. Although the Chinese use the Gregorian calendar, the Lunar calendar is also widely used, especially in traditional activities intertwined with superstition as it determines lucky days. Today I observed, like many other Belizeans, that a group of Chinese men from the Western Chinese Association, were visiting all the Chinese-owned restaurants and shops. As they entered the premises, fire crackers where lit, creating an instant loud noise. The Chinese lion started dancing across the parking lot into the store. It danced, moved its mouth and blinked its eyes as it interacted with the owner of the establishment. The owner then either gave the lion a small red envelope or placed the envelope on the counter and the lion appeared to eat it while dancing. The lion then danced out of the store and moved on to the next business establishment. The Chinese, very much so like Belizeans, are superstitious people. In fact, they are like most people in South and Central America, as well as the Caribbean. In the southern United States, we see lots of areas where people talk about different spiritual beings and myths. It seems to disappear but then reappears further north, when they talk about Mothman and Bigfoot. The Chinese talk about the “nian” which is a mythological creature resembling a lion. It is a large feline beast, sometimes shown with or without horns. As the myth goes, this beast lives under the sea or in the mountains. Every so often, it comes out to consume people, but prefers children. The villagers quickly figured out that the Nian is afraid of noise and the color red, so therein we have the birth of several traditions.

International Sourcesizz

Local Man Helping Bring Water to Belize
About three months ago as Tim Albert sat in church, he knew what he had to do. When a fellow member of the congregation asked if anyone wanted to participate in a missions trip to Belize, the Eldon man knew it was time to step up. Albert, the Production Manager at the Ottumwa Water Works, thought he could bring his experience and education to a country in desperate need of better drinking water resources. He not only has 16 years under his belt with the Water Works but also holds a degree in Water Environmental Technology. “We are so blessed in this country and we take so many things for granted,” said Albert. “When we landed you could tell this was a different place.” The trip was organized by Gaither Evangelistic Ministries (GEM). GEM is a missions organization headed by Randy Gaither. Gaither has served as a pastor and as an evangelist ministering around the world. Some of the things GEM does around the world are to establish and construct new churches, spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, feed the hungry, provide medical care for the sick, build and staff pre-schools, and provide education programs. No sooner had Albert landed in Belize than he was already trying to restore drinking water to an entire village called More Tomorrow. He had also realized that his cell phone didn’t work, although his provider had assured him that it would. This meant he was unable to speak with his family back home while he was on the trip. Therefore, he decided to journal each day so he could remember the experiences to bring home and share with others.

Top 10 Travelers’ Choice Hotels for Romance in the world:
Planning a romantic Valentine's Day getaway? You could book your stay in one of the world's most romantic hotels. Travel site TripAdvisor has unveiled its list of the most romantic hotels in the U.S. and throughout the world - and the destinations are likely to make you swoon. The site says the list was compiled from millions of travelers' reviews and opinions. Data was gathered during a 12-month period from couples who reviewed the locations. 7. Coco Plum Island Resort – Coco Plum Cay, Belize: Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average rate of $271 per night. Most affordable month to visit: April ($212)

5 Tax Mistakes Made by Rich People
People who develop the skill to earn, invest and create a large net worth still make tax mistakes. From failing to understand tax-loss-harvesting rules to a lack of knowledge about international investing laws, these errors cost rich people both money and time. Following are five key tax mistakes rich people need to avoid if they want to hold on to their wealth. 1. Investing Overseas Without Understanding the Tax Consequences. 2. Not Using Charitable Giving Opportunities to Lower Taxes. 3. Lack of Awareness About Investing Tax Laws. 4. Missing the IRA Required Minimum Distribution (RMD). 5. Attempting to Avoid Probate and Multiplying Your Tax Bill.

Fortis’ $11.3B Acquisition of ITC Holdings Marks Foray into U.S. Regulated Markets
Canadian utility Fortis wants to acquire ITC Holdings Corp., the largest independent electric transmission company in the U.S., to benefit from “low-risk” regulated power markets. The deal valued at about $11.3 billion will allow Fortis to enter the U.S. regulated power market overseen by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), providing a “unique, highly diversified, low-risk regulated energy transportation platform,” said Barry Perry, Fortis’ president and CEO, on February 9. “The predictable returns of a transmission business, with no commodity or fuel exposure, are very compelling,” he said. Fortis owns regulated utilities that serve more than three million customers across Canada, the U.S., and the Caribbean. It also owns hydro generation assets in British Columbia and Belize.

Fortis Inc extends reach into U.S. with US$11.3B deal for power-line operator ITC Holdings Corp
Low-key Fortis Inc. created a big splash Tuesday with a friendly offer to buy U.S. electricity transmission company ITC Holdings Corp., driven by the prospect of capturing infrastructure growth opportunities in the United States. If approved by U.S. regulators, the US$11.3 billion cash-and-stock deal would propel the combined entity to the status of the 13th-largest North American utility, with an enterprise value of US$42 billion, the two companies said in a statement. Newfoundland-based Fortis is the country’s largest utility owner, with operations across its home province, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. Over the past decade, the St. John’s-based company has been steadily expanding its footprint to Belize, Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos.

Fortis Announces Change to its Board of Directors
Fortis Inc. (TSX:FTS) ("Fortis" or the "Corporation") today announced that its Board of Directors has accepted, with regret, the resignation of Mr. Paul J. Bonavia as a director of the Corporation. Mr. Bonavia resigned in order to remain in compliance with the rules of another entity of which he is a director. These rules would not permit Mr. Bonavia to serve as a director of Fortis following the announcement by the Corporation today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire ITC Holdings Corp. "We want to thank Paul for his invaluable contribution to the company. His thoughtful leadership and insightful perspective during his limited tenure on our Board have been invaluable," said David G. Norris, Chair of the Board of Fortis. "We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours." The Board of Directors and Fortis would like to extend their thanks and appreciation for the service of Mr. Bonavia.

Is Fortis Inc a Sell? The Stock Declines Again
The stock of Fortis Inc (TSE:FTS) is a huge mover today! The stock decreased 10.25% or $4.24 on February 9, hitting $37.14. About 7.09 million shares traded hands or 844.02% up from the average. Fortis Inc (TSE:FTS) has risen 4.15% since July 6, 2015 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 14.56% the S&P500. The move comes after 5 months negative chart setup for the $10.50B company. It was reported on Feb, 10 by Barchart.com. We have $33.80 PT which if reached, will make TSE:FTS worth $945.00M less. Out of 8 analysts covering Fortis Incorporated (TSE:FTS), 5 rate it “Buy”, 0 “Sell”, while 3 “Hold”. This means 63% are positive. $33.84 is the highest target while $28.8 is the lowest. The $31.86 average target is 20.27% above today’s ($37.14) stock price. Fortis Incorporated was the topic in 10 analyst reports since August 4, 2015 according to StockzIntelligence Inc.

Zika: Can fish help stop the spread of the virus?
Some communities in El Salvador think they hold the key to stopping the spread of the Zika virus... President Obama is asking the US Congress for more than $1.8bn in emergency funding to tackle the spread of the Zika virus. The World Health Organisation has predicted there could be up to four million cases this year. Some communities in El Salvador think they hold the key to stopping the spread of the Zika virus, as Katy Watson reports.

New technology for shrimp farming in Panama
Disease in shrimp farming has cost the industry many billions of dollars in the past ten years. In Central America there have been billions of dollars in losses to shrimp farms in the countries of Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and Panama from a viral disease known as White Spot disease (Mancha Blanca) which infected Central America during the late 1990s. In Panama this virus decreased production by 90%, costing over US$100 million in three years. A new disease known as early mortality syndrome or "EMS" currently causes $1 billion in shrimp mortality in Asia every year. EMS outbreaks occur during the first 30 days of production in shrimp ponds and can cause up to 70% in losses. Mexico has lost 20, 000 metric tons due to recent disease problem and in some areas hardest hit, production has been reduced by 80%. In 2013, EMS was predicted to travel south to Central America as it is caused by a virulent form of bacteria already present in the environment which is infected by a specific virus. This combination of bacteria and virus is what causes EMS. However, there is a viable and profitable solution. New technology created by Panamanian resident and aquaculture scientist, Dr Bill McGraw, will provide a biosecure, zero water exchange system for growing shrimp that has a zero percent chance of being affected by any disease currently decimating many areas of shrimp farming in Central America and throughout the world. Over $20 million has been spent in continuing research over the past 25 years in the US and overseas, working with the company Spirit Sustainable Resources International, with headquarters in Texas.

Videos

  • Ziplining in Belize, 3min. Jaguar outpost canopy zipline tour in Belize. Tour from Norwegian Dawn cruise. Tour operated by Chukka. Shot with a GoPro Hero+

  • Maya 2005 - Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, 46min.

  • Our First Cruise Vacation Part 6: Belize City, 6min. We are going our first Caribbean cruise vacation. We are very excited. We are going with Carnival Cruise line and it departs from Miami Port. This stop is Belize City, Belize.

  • Chinese lion dance in Cayo, 1min.

  • Garden Show Feb 9, 31min. The Garden Show with the Belize Botanic Gardens. Hosted by Rudy Aguilar.

  • San Pedro Carnaval Day 2, 6min. Parody of the Miss Universe 2015 crowning mishap, one San Pedro Carnaval Comparsa group stood out on the second day of celebrations in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Doña Flora Ancona’s bevy of queens from around the world took the Steve Harvey, Miss Colombia and Miss Philippines debacle to the next level of hilarious entertainment.

  • These sexy ladies are out in full force for the last day of El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro!, 1.5min.

  • Hay Habanero with Flora Ancona's Comparsa Group..., 2min.

  • A true show of culture with Black and White Garifuna Center Comparsa Group..., 2min. Their punta is just amazing!

  • Las Flores del Carnaval have taken to the street of San Pedro for the last day of El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro, 2.5min. The San Pedro AIDS Commission definitely showed off the creativity this year!

  • Steve Harvey's blunder continues trending in Belize as a parody of The Miss Universe 2015 Pageant during the San Pedro Carnaval highlights festivities, 3.5min.

  • Belize & Costa Rica ‘15, 3min.

  • Maya Leaders Alliance of Southern Belize, Belize - Equator Prize 2015 Winner, 6min.

  • Making our way through Belize and Guatemala!!, 9min.

    February 9, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    The Carnaval fun continues! Check out the The San Pedro AIDS Commission Comparsa's presentation: Chupar Cervesa!

    The Black and White Garifuna Center Comparsa!

    Flora Ancona's Comparsa present Steve Harvey's mishap at the Miss Universe Pageant.
    Garifuna group in San Pedro gets ready for the Carnaval comparsas tonight!

    The humorous Cholo's Barbies doing their thing!
    Can you believe these beauties are all men?

    CG Esthetics: New location, new services
    2016 is bringing much change to one of San Pedro’s premier beauty and esthetic service provider: CG Esthetic. Not only does the beauty salon have a new location, but it also boasts a variety of new services. From your classic hair styling, color, waxing, make-up, manicure, pedicure and facial packages to the newly added massage and acupuncture treatment booths, CG Esthetics caters to all your needs. Since December 15, 2015, CG Esthetics is now located on Seagrape Drive, just two blocks south of Pedro’s Inn. According to owner Carole Goudreau, the new location is more spacious and gives each customer a more intimate, personal feel. Check out CG Esthetics on Seagrape Drive, from Monday to Friday, 10AM to 6PM, and on Saturdays from 10AM to 1PM. For more information on all the services offered and/or to schedule an appointment, call 626-2451 or email carolegoudreau@gmail.com.

    Kelly McGuire and SP Red Cross: unBelizeable Fundraiser
    Award-winning singer/songwriter Kelly McGuire is celebrating his birthday in Belize by hosting a series of concerts on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. McGuire’s tour includes four concerts in which he is teaming up with the San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross and the Wheelchair Foundation from California. The purpose is to raise funds to provide wheelchairs to Belizeans in need on Ambergris Caye. From the first concert so far, concert goers have generously donated almost $1,000BZ towards the cause. The aim of the Foundation is to bring in 260 wheelchairs to the country later this year. The concerts began on Saturday, January 30th and Sunday, January 31st, with the first performance at the Island Time Bar and Grill and the second at The Dive Bar. The third concert was held on Wednesday, February 3rd at Captain Morgans. All performances took place from 2PM to 5PM and many supporters and fans came out to listen to McGuire’s hits. The crowd was delighted with songs from his “Boat in Belize” album, which was named album of the year in 2008 by the Academy of Texas Music. He also shared some of his most recent singles from his “King of the Island” album.

    MarAlliance conducts Sports Fish Studies
    On Saturday January 31st MarAlliance, the non-profit marine research organization led by Dr. Rachel Graham conducted a full day of studies based around recreational fish species at the 2016 Captain Morgan’s Wahoo Tournament. The study, which began in 2014, aims to partner with fishermen to gather more information and build the national and regional database. According to Dr. Graham, this study is currently the first of its kind in Belize, as there are no records or information available on these fish. The study being done allows Dr. Graham and her team to expand the fisheries database as it relates to the diversity of game fish and the demographics on the various species often targeted in sports fishing throughout the MesoAmerican Reef and the Western Caribbean. Information gathered included measurements; otolith extraction and small samples which will allow the determination of several key factors including age and growth rate, reproduction, habitat preferences, species accumulating toxins and contributing factors, seasonal preferences, food web dynamics, and the diet of these recreationally important fish species.

    El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro: Day One
    San Pedro Town’s most colorful and fun tradition started on Sunday, February 7th under the theme “Bailando a Todo Color”. The annual El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro – The Great Carnaval of San Pedro is a long standing island tradition that brings three days of laughter and joy. A traditional celebration in honor of the commencement of the 40-day Lenten Season, San Pedro Carnaval is equal to no other festival in the country. Residents and visitors enjoy a variety of fun activities from the traditional comparsas dance groups and painting to the new additions of street parties. Sunday was the first day of the festivities as saw Color Powder and Foam Party at Central Park hosted by DJ Debbie and DJ Karma.

    Island school students benefit from eye screening via the Lions
    The Lions Zone 59-Belize National Children Eye Screening Program continued this week in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. The program provides free eye screening tests for children between the ages of 3-14 on the various schools on the island. It first started in November of 2015, with the first screenings at Holy Cross Anglican School. On Tuesday, February 2nd and Thursday, February 4th, The Island Academy, Holy Cross Anglican School, Little Angels Pre-School and ABC Pre-School participated in the program. Over 600 students were registered to have their eyes tested and vision needs addressed. On Friday, the team visited the schools in Caye Caulker an additional area assigned to the San Pedro Lions Club. The other area assigned to the Club is the entire Corozal District, which has 11,000 of the 15,000 registered children that need the screening. The program has the permission of the Ministry of Education office in San Pedro to carry on with the screenings on the schools. In order for children to take part in the eye test sessions, parents must give approval for the child to take the test. All children from the four schools had their parental approval for the screenings. The San Pedro Lions Club encourages all parents and schools to take advantage of this free and reliable program which can help detect any abnormalities in children’s eyes. This gives ample of time so the issue can be addressed, and possible permanent damage or even blindness can be avoided.

    Fulbright Scholar Dr. Susan Catapano to assists Ambergris Caye students
    After more than ten years without a Fulbright Scholar, Belize is once again hosting a professional attached to this international educational program. The Fulbright Program is an initiative of competitive, merit-based grants for international education exchange for students, scholars, teachers and other professionals founded by the United States in the 1940’s. Dr. Susan Catapano, from the University of North Carolina Wilmington USA was officially introduced as the scholar for Belize in mid January via the U.S. Embassy social media account. She then met with Ambassador Carlos Moreno and Deputy Chief of Mission Galanek to discuss her projects in Belize. Since then, Catapano had been working with the University of Belize supporting their early childhood program made possible through a European Union Grant. Catapano is highly involved in improving literacy and through her research, has been able to point out what the right procedures are for students to have an interest in reading and learning at the same time. “My students and I have noticed that few of the books that children read in San Pedro are related to their lives. If the books they are reading do not relate to them, then it will not make sense to them and the focus of learning can be lost. So we started writing books for them a couple years ago, we have actually published 22 books which are all about San Pedro and other places in Belize,” said Catapano. She mentioned that some of the content in the books have been a collaborative input from the children themselves, who are happy when they get to see the finished book.

    Ambergris Today

    San Pedro Carnival Comparsas Day 1

    San Pedro Carnaval 2016
    Music, paint and entertaining street dancers – it’s the beginning of Carnaval in San Pedro. On Sunday, February 7, 2016 the island came to life as many enjoyed one of the most traditional celebrations on the island.

    Tourist Seriously Injured After Fall from Belize Maya Temple
    On Thursday, February 4, 2016, 36-year-old Brian Gooders was hospitalized after he lost balance atop the Maya temple when he tried to retrieve his fallen sunglasses. As he bent over to pick it up, he tumbled an estimated 35 feet to the ground sustaining injuries including a broken jaw, bleeding in the brain, facial injury and lacerations, serious neck trauma, nose bleeding, crushed liver and bruised lung. Manager of Chukka tour company, Valerie Woods, told the media that Gooders had left the tour group he was in at the archeological site, indicating that he would not participate in the climb. What he eventually did was an unsanctioned and unaccompanied climb of the A-1 temple and fell.

    Carnaval Fun Kicks off in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
    Music, paint and entertaining street dancers – it’s the beginning of Carnaval in San Pedro. On Sunday, February 7, 2016 the island came to life as many enjoyed one of the most traditional celebrations on the island. Islanders and travelers surrounded the streets to witness some of the funniest Comparsas (street dancing groups) enjoying their laugh-out-loud lyrics, dance routines and outfits. Two groups hit the streets with their most awaited performances full of energy, kicking off Carnaval just right.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Mermaids Are Real! Caye Caulker Ocean Academy Fundraiser
    Our fundraiser at The Split for the Caye Caulker Ocean Academy has definitely been one of the highlights of our Belize Mermaid Retreat! Thank you to everyone who came out and donated! We hope you love the photos as much as we do! Feel free to share and tag yourselves.

    SBDCBelize Costing and Pricing Workshop
    Presented By: Mr Omar Castillo. The specific objectives of the training are to enable participants to: Better understand the importance of costing and pricing Acquire information about techniques used to calculate costs Acquire information on how to adequately price a product a service Participate in exercises that allows them to engage in costing and pricing Acquire the skills and knowledge to participate or facilitate in the costing and pricing of their product or service. Expected outcome: Competent individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively calculate cost of producing their product and service and to implement pricing that will allow their business to be profitable. Workshop Date: February 11th, 2016 Time: 9 am to 12 noon FEB SPECIAL!!!! Cost: $30.00. WORKSHOP LOCATION: ITVet Campus - Freetown Road (BTEC Building), Belize City, Belize Tel: 223-3195 or email: sbdc@belizeinvest.org.bz

    HON. HUGO PATT VISITS SAN PEDRO TOWN
    On Thursday, February 4, 2016, Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Deputy Mayor Gary Greif and Councilors: Hector, Gabriel, Flora and Severo, welcomed Hon. Hugo Patt, Minister of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development, and his team, which included the offices of the San Pedro Town Council. Hon. Hugo Patt and his team were on an official tour, where they were visiting all the municipalities throughout the country with the intention of building and further fostering a strong working relationship between all municipalities and his ministries. At the meeting, Mayor Daniel Guerrero officially welcomed Hon. Patt and his team to San Pedro and expressed his gratitude towards the Minister for his efforts in visiting San Pedro Town. He also expressed that he wishes that both of them work together to continue with the development of San Pedro, since it is the main tourist destination of the country of Belize. The Councilors present also had the opportunity to discuss a few matters of their interest with Hon. Patt and his team.

    Hon. John Briceño takes oath of office
    At 10:00 this morning Hon. John Briceño took the oath of office, administered by Governor General Sir Colville Young. Briceño is now the constitutional leader of the Opposition in Belize.

    CARNAVAL 2016 - COMPARSAS DAY 1
    Sunday, February 7th, was the first day of Comparsas and Painting. Featured on our pictures are the Comparsas of the San Pedro AIDS Commission as the Hawaiians, Mrs. Flora Ancona's Group as the Tourists and the Black N White Charikanari Dancers.

    Up & Down Challenge 2016
    The Up and Down Canoe Challenge, which hit both the Macal and the Mopan rivers, was Sunday. Everyone's getting ready for the La Ruta Maya next month. "RF&G Up & Down Challenge 2016 By Belize Canoe Association"

    Belize River Valley Ecotourism Expo 2016
    This year's Belize River Valley Ecotourism Expo will be on the 19th and 20th of February. There will be fun for the entire family. It starts at 9:00am. Call the Community Baboon Sanctuary at 245-2007 for more information. "Community Baboon Sanctuary Women's Conservation Group proudly presents the Belize River Valley Eco Tourism & Commerce Expo! SAVE THE DATE - FEB 19TH & 20TH!"

    SAN PEDRO Carnaval 2016
    Day One pics from San Pedro Carnaval 2016

    Channel 7

    Chopping Murder At Teakettle Brothel
    The owner of 69 Bar in Teakettle was murdered over the weekend. Police got the call around 2 Saturday morning. They found 52 year old Chinese businessman Zhijiang Zhang with 7 cut wounds to his body and a female worker with a gunshot to the leg. Police say it was a robbery turned murder. We found out more today. 69 Bar - a business usually buzzing with activity is now closed down, abandoned. Neighbors say Chinese businessman Zhijiang Zhang opened the bar about a year ago but later on, they realized that the house - concealed by these overgrown bushes was more than just a hangout spot. Voice of Neighbor: "It says 69 Bar. But everybody knows from the time you mentioned 69, everybody knows it's not a bar, it's a place where they pay for sex, sexual favors. Everybody knows that." Every night, up until the very early hours of the morning - men are seen going in and out of the brothel, drinking and fighting in the yard. Saturday morning was no different…until the police arrived and found Zhang inside - dead.

    Honduran Was Moving Weed In Weight
    On Saturday at around noon, Ladyville police made a major drug bust. They caught a Honduran with almost 17 pounds of marijuana. But, 25-year-old Orbin Lenin Reyes wasn't a regular drug peddler - police believe he was moving weed from Mexico to southern Belize. They caught him at the mile ten, bus shed on the Northern Highway where he had fifteen packs of compressed marijuana in his backpack. Today, the commander of rural eastern division told us more about the significance of the bust:... Sr. Sup. Edward Broaster, O. C. Eastern Rural: "On Saturday we had a anti-drug operations in the Ladyville area, where we intercepted one Orbin Reyes who was bringing 16.5 pounds of wahaca cannabis from Orange Walk to Ladyville. We observed him alight the bus where we went in and made the arrest, found him with the knapsack containing the said cannabis. This was a targeted lead intelligence operation. We've been observing Mr. Reyes for a while in other criminal activities. The drug we believe came from Mexico and was heading to Honduras."

    Mother And Son Remanded
    Orange Walk Police arrested two persons over the weekend for the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. On Saturday afternoon at 2:30, the Orange Walk Quick Response Team searched the residence of well-known seamstress Mavis Wade on Saint Peter Street. Present during the search were a mother and son: Mavis Wade and student Steven Hyde. Police dug into a stack of books on top of a computer table. The books had been carved out from the inside creating a space to conceal a weapon. The cops found a 9 mm Browning pistol and 13 bullets inside a white sock and fifty two .38 live rounds. Police arrested and charged both mother Mavis Wade and her son Steven Hyde for Kept Firearm without a gun license and kept ammunition without a gun license. Today in court they were both remanded to prison until their next court date.

    Big Guns In Town
    Last week we told you about the big guns that city police found in an apartment building on the northside. At the time they told us they didn't want to release the photographs because they were hoping to make an arrest. Well, that didn't happen, and over the weekend they sent his picture showing that the Colt .45 pistol, with five gold plated rounds, and a Glock 40 caliber pistol, also with gold plated rounds were found under a staircase in an abandoned building.

    Coconut Complaints
    Many who commute to and from the city are familiar with the quarter mile stretch between Travellers Bar and Brodies where fresh coconut water can be bought from a bevy of vendors. But, they sell right on the side of the road, which is a traffic hazard, so recently the City council began enforcing a 10 feet off the road requirement for all coconut water vendors. We note that there were over a dozen of them along the quarter mile stretch before the new regulations began to be enforced; now we are told there are only about 7 or 8 of them currently operating. It was a necessary improvement some of those who stayed told us. But at the same time others say that all the shifting around has caused them to lose quite a lot of their cliental. Viviana Menjivar is one of them. She has had her stall for about 8 months now and claims that business has never been slower since they moved her business across the road. Viviana Menjivar, Coconut Vendor: "City Council moved us like 4 times already." Emanuel Pech: "Since you've been in the business." Viviana Menjivar, Coconut Vendor: "Since we open the business yes."

    Crazy Tourist Robbery At Tropical Education Center
    Yesterday around 4 p.m., a Canadian couple was robbed at gunpoint while they were staying at the Belize's Zoo's Tropical Education Center. Now, to be very specific, the armed encounter did not happen the Belize Zoo, located at Mile 29 on the Highway. It happened at the Tropical Education Center, which is a sister facility to the Zoo, but which is located at about a mile away. Today, the Police Commander of Rural Eastern Division, Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster, briefed the press on the information that they have at this time. Sr. Sup. Edward Broaster, O. C. Eastern Rural: "We had a robbery at the Tropical Butterfly area at mile 29 on the George Price Highway, where one Steven Temple, 75 years old and one Cynthia Fedricks, 65 years old were robbed by two dark-skin male persons. As a result of that one Jorge Lopez who was coming in his red pickup attempted to render assistance and he was shot, not before he inflicted a chop wound to one of the suspects who is at the KHMH under police guard at this time. Our investigation is ongoing right now and more than likely we will have the suspect who is at the hospital charge for robbery, aggravated assault and what have you."

    Briceno, Back At The Helm
    When John Briceno was elected as PUP party leader eight days ago, there was some question s to whether he could rope in the support from a majority of his colleagues in parliament to become leader of the opposition. It should be automatic for any party leaders - but the majority of parliamentarians had supported Francis Fonseca in the leadership race, so there was some question as to whether they would switch over to Briceno. They did so last week as the party closed ranks after the divisive convention. And so today, for a second time, Briceno was sworn in as leader of the opposition. Courtney Weatherburne was there:.. John Briceno and his family arrived at the Belize House a bit after 10 in his polished Prado. He stood outside, greeted a few supporters and police officers - appearing almost reluctant to go inside. But after his chit chat he and his family finally strolled into the Belize House for the short ceremony. Inside - instead of a large spirited crowd of supporters like those at the convention - he greeted by a small very composed, almost tense group. The all looked on in silence as the new leader of the opposition took his oath

    Where Will Cordel Fit?
    Now to inspire unity within the party and hopefully be victorious for the next general elections - there needs to be a strategy. Well, an integral part of that strategy is the popular Cordel Hyde. As you heard at last week's PUP press conference, Briceno will find a place or role for both former party leader Francis Fonseca and Lake Independence Area Representative Cordel Hyde. Today when we asked him about Hyde's role, he wasn't specific but what he was clear is that Hyde is indispensable to reshaping and refreshing the PUP. Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "I've always said that the Hon. Cordel Hyde has to play a critical role in the rebuilding and the re-strengthening of the party as we move to get to Belmopan in the next election. I have met with him and he is here with us today and I am very pleased that he has joined me in this very important occasion. It goes to show his commitment to the work that we have ahead of us. We are going to be finding ways on how we can use him to the maximum of his abilities. We all know that he has a lot of talent and abilities and that he has a way to connect with people."

    Ysaguirre Frowns On SSB Loan To Santander
    The Social Security Board has agreed to lend 12 million dollars to the Santander group - and it's raised some eyebrows. Some say that Santander is a private investment and shouldn't use local resources, while others say the fund's money shouldn't be exposed to that kind of risk. But, the Governor of the Central Bank has a different take on it. Santander has already gotten a syndicated commercial loan - with several banks - local and international - putting together to make that loan. And so, Santander's indebtedness became - what is called - of systemic importance because if the company fails, it could pose a risk to the banking system. And that's where Social Security came in. They are not regulated like a bank - so their 12 million dollar loan to Santander did not have to get Central Bank approval. And that's why the governor of the central bank, appearing yesterday on KREM TV's Sunday Review with Ya Ya Marin Coleman said they need to be cautious:..

    Briceno Comments on Loan
    Today, we asked the leader of the opposition about it - and he said caution is the key:.. Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "I just like to make 3 points. 1) That we always support foreign direct investment. The Santander group has made a massive investment in Belize and we need to recognize that and support that. By extension that investment that they have done has already created a lot of jobs and can bring in more foreign currency into our country. I want to make that very clear. Secondly. when it comes to the loan from Social Security for twelve million dollars to Santander Group, the first thing that comes to mind is how secure is that loan. We have to make sure that we can protect the workers' money because that twelve million dollars belongs to all of us who pay Social Security. We need to ensure that it is properly protected…that there are assets that are going to guarantee that loan, that God forbid something goes wrong that the twelve million dollars is properly secured and that workers do not lose a cent of their hard-earned money."

    Man Who Ran Checkpoint, Ran Into Trouble
    At the top of the news, we showed you that drug bust that the Rural Eastern Division Police made which they say has elements of transnational narcotics smuggling. Well, this weekend, Rural cops happened on another drug trafficking run when the alleged trafficker ran a checkpoint in Sandhill and crashed his vehicle while trying to escape from police. The Rural Commanding Officer discussed the incident with us this evening: Sr. Sup. Edward Broaster, O. C. Eastern Rural: "On the 5th February at about 12:15am, one Roland Rivas managed to elude the mobile interdiction team check point and crashed into a lamp post in the Sandhill area where our rural rapid response team went and accosted him and discovered marijuana and un-custom beers. The vehicle has been extensively damaged and Roland Rivas has been charged for the possession of marijuana that was found."

    Kim + Kaya Kumbaya
    The last we heard about female cyclist Kaya Cattouse is that she had "lawyered up" and her attorney Lisa Shoman had fired off a letter to Cycling Federation of Belize - who had threaten to fine and suspend her for a series of facebook postings. Cattouse was complaining about the Digicell Valentine's Tour only including elite male cyclists. Now the issue has gotten the attention of the special envoy for women and children, Kim Simplis Barrow. Today, she issued a release saying, quote, she "stands in solidarity with Belize's female cyclists in light of the recent decision to cancel their participation in the upcoming Digicell Valentine's Cycling Tour…allowing only the male elite cyclists to participate in this annual event, which previously included female riders, highlights the gender inequality that continues to be rampant in sports in Belize." End quote. The release further stated that Miss Barrow, quote, "calls on the Belize Cycling Association as well as all other sporting associations to take deliberate actions to develop women's sport in Belize." The release ends by saluting Kaya Cattouse and the other female cyclists who are quote, "breaking down barriers" in a male dominated sport. We contacted the Vice President of the association who told us via a telephone conversation that the matter has been blown way out of proportion. He said that it has nothing to do with gender based discrimination; It was simply a matter of logistics.

    HPV Vaccine, A Real Solution
    World Cancer day was observed last week Thursday. And, as a part of that, the Belize Cancer Society put together a 30 minute documentary focusing on the risks of cervical cancer. It is one of the most prevalent cancers in Belize, but also one of the most preventable because there is a vaccine. Here's more:… That documentary airs in its entirety later on tonight on Channel 7.

    Channel 5

    Chinese Bar Owner Murdered in Teakettle
    A Chinese bar owner was brutally slashed to death at his place of business in Teakettle in the Cayo District, early Saturday morning. Fifty-two year old Zhijuang Zhang was closing [...]

    Canadian Tourists Robbed at Gunpoint
    There was another sensational crime this weekend, in which two Canadian tourists were held hostage by armed robbers who then shot a man while stealing his vehicle to make their [...]

    John Briceño Sworn in as Leader of the Opposition
    At ten this morning, P.U.P. Leader John Briceño was sworn in as the Constitutional Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives. The new leader will have an enormous [...]

    Will Cordel Hyde be Appointed Senior Member of National Executive?
    Briceño was joined at the swearing in by Cordel Hyde, formerly an opponent for leadership of the P.U.P.  The parallel campaigns of both men were cordial and never traversed into [...]

    New P.U.P. Senators Will Be Appointed Soon
    Early on in his interview Briceño may have been a little ambiguous on the planned changes in the party, especially where senators are concerned. But eventually he would confirm that [...]

    Briceño Questions S.S.B. Loan to Santander
    The recent announcement of a twelve million dollar S.S.B. loan to the Guatemalan owned Santander Group is raising eyebrows. The company, headquartered in the Cayo District, is near completion of [...]

    Does G.O.B. Favor Foreign Entitles over Local Interests?
    And while Briceño acknowledges the investment by the group, he questions the policy of Government…lending millions to a foreign company while refusing to lend to Belizeans.   John Briceño, P.U.P. [...]

    Cordel Hyde Says the P.U.P. Will Unite
    So in the wake of a less than amiable convention in some quarters, will the grand old party be able to overcome the pervasive division which has characterized it even [...]

    Ladyville Police Make Significant Marijuana Bust on Passenger Bus
    Honduran national, Orbin Reyes, who is an off and on resident of Orange Walk Town, claims he was used as a mule to transport over fifteen pounds of weed into [...]

    Domestic Altercation Ends in Injuries and Charges
    A domestic dispute between a woman and her ex-common-law husband did not end well for both. The man was pepper sprayed and cut with a knife, while the woman is [...]

    ABC7 Report Bashes Belize for Violence against Tourists
    There have been numerous incidents of violence against visitors which do not augur well for the tourism industry and serve to discourage potential visitors to Belize. As recent as this [...]

    Special Envoy Supports Kaya Cattouse
    Kaya Cattouse, the well-known female cyclist, has been threatened with suspension and fine by the Belize Cycling Federation for comments she posted on her Facebook page. Today, Cattouse received major [...]

    House of Shotokan Excels in Mexico
    This past Saturday, students from the House of Shotokan Karate Academy competed and won in an International Taekwondo Championships in Chetumal, Mexico. The tournament was organized by Black Belt Taekwondo [...]

    No Apologies for Loss of Teacher Jobs
    Education rules to come on stream in the new academic year will likely lead to the loss of jobs of about a thousand three hundred primary and high school teachers.  [...]

    M.O.E. Says They Offered Opportunities to Teachers
    The Belize National Teachers Union supports licensing and says that over the years; teachers were constantly reminded that to keep their jobs, they have to have to obtain the appropriate [...]

    How Many Teachers Will Be Affected By Reform?
    Approximately five hundred primary and eight hundred high school teachers will be directly affected by the reform of the education system.  But there are some exceptions. Teachers who are in [...]

    Basketball, Football and Cycling in Sports Monday
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sport Monday.   It was a full schedule of PLB football over the weekend and we caught up with yesterday’s match-up between [...]

    CTV3

    Honorable John Briceno Weighs On Position Of Cordel Hyde
    After the honorable Briceno took the oath as the new leader of the opposition in a ceremony that took place at the Governor General’s House in Belmopan City, the media took the opportunity to ask him about the position of the Hon. Cordel Hyde, who was present at the swearing in today, in the national executive. In previous statements Briceno made it clear that he intended to find a place for Hyde in the PUP executive team and today he told us that position still stands. “I have always said that the Honorable Cordel Hyde has to play a critical role in the rebuilding and the re-strengthening of the party s we get to move to Belmopan in the next Election, I have met with him and he is here with us today and I am very pleased that he has joined me in this very important occasion, it goes to show his commitment to the work that we have ahead of us we are going to be finding ways on how we can use him to the maximum of his abilities, we all know that he has a lot of talent and his abilities and that he has a way to connect with people and that he is going to be playing a very important role, a very critical role in us in preparing the message that we want to present to the people, the policies that we want to present to the people to make sure that all Belizeans feel that they are a part of the work that we do and that they all believe that they have something at stake.”

    Leader Of The Opposition Weighs In Santander Issue
    On Friday we told you about the loan of 12 million dollars that Santander Sugar Mill may be receiving from the Social Security Board. The multi-million dollar loan that was approved last week brought about many questions and concerns and today at the swearing in of the new leader of the opposition in Belmopan, the media took the opportunity to ask the Honorable John Briceno to weigh in on the matter. Briceno says that the has three main concerns when it relates to this matter “Just want to make three points: one is that we always support foreign direct investments, the Santander Group has made a massive investment in Belize and we need to recognize that and support that and by extension that investment that they have done has already created a lot of jobs and can bring in more foreign currency into our country so I want to make that clear but secondly when it comes to the loan of Social Security for 12 million dollars to the Santander Group, the first thing that comes to mind is that how secure is that loan we have to make sure that we can protect workers money because this 12 million dollars belongs to all of us that pays Social Security and we need to ensure that it is properly protected...”

    Carmelita Resident Accused Of Double Murder Get Sentence Reduction And Sent Home
    Tonight fifty three year old Edison Johnson is back at home with his family after being incarcerated for one year and ten months at the Kolbe Correctional Facility after he was charged with two counts of murder. After being sentenced to six years back in 2014, Johnson reappeared in court earlier today and this time, his previous sentence was reduced to one year, however, due to time served already Johnson was released immediately. On April 11th 2014, Johnson had shot and killed two men at his farm located in the outskirts of Carmelita Village after he caught them stealing on his property. Twenty three year old Saul Garcia and twenty four year old Luke Cox had removed the zinc from the roof, sheet rack, tore out the electrical wires and had also taken other items from both of the buildings that were on the farm. The two robbers had only returned to take the remaining sheets of zinc when Johnson caught up with them and fired shots causing both men to run.

    ABC7 News Gives Black Eye To Belize
    The murder of American National Anne Swaney on January 14th 2016 continues to give a black eye to Belize pounding the Tourism Industry. The murder of the ABC7 Chicago Executive Producer on the grounds of the Nabitunich Resort in San Jose Succotz, Cayo, attracted attention nationally and internationally so much so that even the FBI got involved in the case. But to date Belize Police has been unable to charge anyone for Swaney’s murder and the US is not happy about the route the investigation has taken or at least her colleagues at AB7 Chicago aren’t happy. And that made that clear when they released this following report. As mentioned no one has been arrested for Swaney’s murder.

    Honduran National Charged For Drug Trafficking Claims He Was Set Up
    On Saturday morning at around 11:45, The Rural Eastern Division of the Belize Police Department conducted a search on the George Price Highway which resulted in a major drug bust. Twenty eight year old Honduran national, Orbin Lenin Reyes was travelling from Orange Walk to Belize City in a Tillett bus and had just stepped out on miles 8 and 9 when he was approached by police. The search resulted in the discovery of fifteen compressed packs wrapped with tape containing cannabis. The compressed packs amounted to a total of fifteen pounds of marijuana. Reyes appeared in court today before Magistrate, Deborah Rogers where he plead guilty for Drug Trafficking, however, Rogers alleged that he was ‘set up’ as he was told that he would be paid $100.00 if he had taken the bag to Belize City. Reyes was sentenced to three years in prison.

    Mother And son Remanded To Prison For Firearm And Ammunition Offences
    Tonight a well-known seamstress from Orange Walk Town and her son are behind bars at the Kolbe Correctional Facility after they were charged for firearm offences. At about 2:30 on Saturday afternoon, police visited the home of Mavis Wade, Belizean seamstress of #25 Saint Peter Street and carried out a search which led to the discovery of a 9mm CZ-83 Browning pistol with the serial number filed off. The firearm was found on a computer desk, inside a book that was cut out in the middle forming the shape of a square. During the raid police also discovered a white sock containing thirteen bullets along with 52 .380 Brand live rounds.

    LOVE FM

    Concerns Arise over $12M to Santander
    On Thursday, February 4 we brought you the story of the twelve million dollar loan that Social Security Board has approved for Santander, an up and coming sugar mill in western Belize. Since we aired the story, it has been garnering some reaction from the public and has been discussed on various local shows. One […]

    Bar Owner Murdered and Employee Injured in Weekend Incident
    Belmopan Police believe that robbery was the motive of a murder that occurred in Teakettle Village this past weekend. Love News spoke with Officer in Charge of Roaring Creek, Inspector Octaviano Victorin. OCTAVIANO VICTORIN “It was around the hours of 1:50 and 2:00 am on Saturday the 5th day of February. Police were called to […]

    ABC7 Chicago Makes Erroneous Statements on Belize
    Following the murder of Anne Swaney in western Belize on January 15, Belize has been taking some hard hits on the international scene as a crime ridden country. The negative publicity, however, stands out from ABC7 who Swaney worked for. In an article dated as recent as Friday, February 5, ABC7 Eyewitness News referred to […]

    AGM Held for JPs and Supreme Court Commissioners
    The National Association of Justices of the Peace and Commissioner of the Supreme Court, held their fifteenth annual general meeting on Sunday morning. Attorney General Vanessa Retreage was the guest speaker. She spoke of the number of new applicants applying to be Justices of the Peace. VANESSA RETREAGE “In recent years there has been increase […]

    Regional Commanders Meet in Belmopan
    The regional commanders of the Belize Police Department held their monthly meeting today in Belmopan where several assessments on how to combat crime was carried out. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports. FEM CRUZ “

    Ambassador Eric Sanchez Goes to UN’s ECOSOC Youth Forum
    The Economic and Social Youth Forum also known as the ECOSOC Youth Forum took place last week at the United Nations’ Headquarters in New York, USA. The two day event had representation from Belize via the Minister of Youth, Elodio Aragon and Youth Ambassador, Eric Sanchez. The event featured discussion on how young people can […]

    Missing Boy Found
    Police have located a 14-year-old boy whose mother had reported him missing over the weekend in Dangriga. According to Isani Higinio, she sent her son, George Zuniga to the store to buy nails on Wednesday evening but he didn’t return. She says she believes that he may have gotten upset after she had hit him […]

    Special Envoy Bats For Kaya on Female Inclusion
    The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow, came out in defence of female athlete Kaya Cattouse. Last week we reported that the Cycling Federation of Belize had sent a stern warning letter to Cattouse for her remarks she made on Facebook about the Federation and this weekend’s Digicell Valentine’s Cycling Tour. Kaya […]

    PlusTV

    PUP Leader says Barrow failed to get real help on banking issue
    After being sworn in as leader of the People’s United Party (PUP), John Briceno took questions from the press. He first addressed the matter of correspondent banking relations. Suggesting that Prime Minister Dean Barrow had “failed” in his trip to Washington, D.C. to get real help to address the situation, Briceno said that Belize needed to reach out to its regional brothers and sisters to address an issue that hits high and low alike.

    American tourist in critical condition after falling from Mayan ruin
    An American national is listed in a critical condition after he fell off a Mayan Ruin in Belize. The accident occurred at Altun Ha inLucky Strike village in the Belize District. The 36 year old American national arrived into the country on Thursday February 4 via Carnival Dream Cruise and went to th...

    FECTAB rails against Dark Night/ Institute of Archaeology deal
    This morning the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB), the umbrella grouping of smaller tour operators which has consistently stood against the larger players in the industry, returned to the warpath with grave allegations made against one of those rivals, Dark Night Cavetubi...

    Santender approaches SSB for 12 million dollar loan
    The company was introduced to Belize as Green Tropics; a foreign investment that government said would see the expansion of the sugar industry in the West of Belize and provide much needed economic activity and employment opportunity. But after Spanish Financial powerhouse Santender invested some 50...

    Huang Park gets bail for abetment charge
    Fifty-seven year old Korean national Huang Park, who was remanded to prison on a charge of abetment to pervert the course of justice, was released on a bail of $75,000 today which was granted by Justice John Gonzalez. The bail was offered on the condition that she surrenders all of her property docu...

    Belizean music video nominated for international awards
    If you are an avid PlusTv viewer, then you have surely seen “Giant Slayer” music video by Belizean artist Mervin Budram, but just in case you don’t know what we are talking about, here is a little peek: The video was shot by Belizean Stephen Usher and has now been nominated for two awards in the A...

    Dental Clinic courtesy Rotary Club
    Over the past week, the Rotary club of Dangriga held a series of medical clinics for the children of the South, in particular Hopkins village. The outreach, courtesy of the Rotary Club of Edmonton, took the form of a Dental Clinic set up at the Holy Family RC School , which allowed hundreds of child...

    BPP tours Toledo
    The Belize Progressive Party visited the Toledo District as a part of its country wide tour leading up to the upcoming village council elections. As a part of that visit, BPP’s Campaign manager, Robert Lopez, issued a video statement recorded at the garbage dump in Punta Gorda. A few weeks ago when...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    John Briceño sworn in as opposition leader
    The Honorable John Briceño was sworn in as Leader of the Opposition by the Governor General today during a ceremony in Belmopan at Belize House. Among those present to observe the proceedings was Briceño’s family and Friends and parliamentarian Honorable Cordel Hyde of Lake […]

    Belizeans react to “biased” ABC report
    A report published What Tourists aren’t being told” has stirred reaction from the Belizean public as many consider the piece biased. The report is filed three weeks following the murder of ABC web producer, Anne Swaney, and while it quickly […]

    Happy Chinese New Year 2016!
    If you were surprised today by the sound of loud firecrackers you may have discovered it came from a Chinese home or business establishment. The reason – it is the Chinese New Year! 2016 is the year of the Monkey, according to the Chinese […]

    Police have motive for 69 Bar killing
    Police believe that the murder of 52-year-old Zi Jian Zhang, owner of “69 Bar” in Teakettle Village, was part of a robbery attempt. Zhang had been socializing with a female worker of the establishment after the close of business when they were attacked. Zhang was […]

    Special Envoy backs women cyclists in Federation dispute
    The Special Envoy for Women and Children has come out in solidarity with professional cyclist Kaya Cattouse who on social media earlier this month decried the Cycling Federation’s decision not to include the female and junior cyclists in their 2nd anual Digicell Valentine’s Tour. Her […]

    Belize Bank implements new fees for cash transactions
    Belize Bank Limited on January 28th implemented a cash withdrawal fee that has some customers displeased. Today when we called to check on it we were told that notices of the implementation of the new fee were placed inside every branch and was set up […]

    Orbin Reyes pleads guilty, claims he was set up
    28 year old Orbin Lenin Reyes today began a three-year jail sentence for drug trafficking after pleading guilty in the Magistrate’s Court. The Honduran national, who was busted with 16 and a half pounds of “high-grade” marijuana from Oaxaca, Mexico, valued at nearly 50 thousand […]

    Tourists robbed but saved by passing motorist
    A visiting couple was robbed at gunpoint at the Tropical Education Center at Mile 29, George Price Highway, but due to timely intervention by a passing motorist, police were able to catch at least one suspect who now faces charges. Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster, officer […]

    Police find over 14 pounds of weed in drunken driver’s car
    Shortly after midday on Friday, police responded to a road traffic accident between miles 16 and 17 on the Philip Goldson Highway, where they made the discovery of 14 pounds of cannabis inside an extensively damaged Ford Escape vehicle. The driver, 34-year-old Roland Rivers, was seen […]

    Honduran found in Belize with almost 17 pounds of weed
    A Honduran national, only in Belize for a period of 21 days, was stopped and searched by Ladyville police at a bus stop on Saturday morning, when a total of 16.75 pounds of cannabis was found inside his knapsack. The man, 25 year old Orbin Lenin Reyes, […]

    New Opposition Leader sworn in
    This morning newly elected People’s United Party (PUP) leader, John Briceño was officially sworn in as the leader of the opposition in Belmopan by Govern General Sir. Colvin Young. This comes after the Orange Walk Central Area Representative was victorious in the January 31st PUP National Convention.

    Orange Walk Police seize nine-millimeter pistol
    On Saturday February 6th, Orange Walk police confiscated a nine-millimeter CV-83 Browning pistol from a residence in that town. The Formation’s Quick Response Team searched the house of Mavis Wade, a Belizean seamstress on #25 Saint Peter’s Street and found the weapon hidden in a stock of books.

    Tropic Air donates $500 to Dangriga Red Cross
    A press release from Tropic Air issued earlier today, served to announce a $500 donation to Dangriga’s Red Cross branch as the start of the company’s ‘Tropic Gives Back’ charity campaign. The cheque was presented to the Red Cross on Thursday February 4, made possible through efforts from Tropic’s business partners, staff and customers, who contributed by purchasing flight tickets, of which a dollar was put toward the fund. Each month a different station will be chosen where tickets purchased will help to put money aside for a charitable institution in that municipality, with Caye Caulker having been selected for the month of February and Belmopan for the month of March.

    Cool and relatively dry conditions to prevail
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting variably cloudy and cool weather today, becoming clear and cold tonight. Little or no rainfall is expected. Winds will be blowing from the North-Northwest at 10-20 knots and the sea state will be choppy to moderate.

    Blogs

    Day One of Carnaval in San Pedro: Bring Out the Plastic Wrap, the Kids and the Paint
    After a day of drizzly cold rain, yesterday was the most gorgeous day on Ambergris Caye. For the very first day of Carnaval. Three days of parties and painting leading up to Lent. I headed into town early to take a look at the pre-festivities. Day One there would be music and kids running amock with painting and eggs (ILLEGAL) and fun. The New Sensations Band (they are GOOD!) was setting up and the Belizean staple – THE WALL OF SPEAKERS.

    Dreaming of Tropical Islands in the Sun…
    My wife, Suzan Haskins, and I do a lot of traveling. So we often find ourselves on the way to places. We find ourselves in airports. In taxis and shuttles. In planes and buses. In snow-bound cities and towns for holidays and family functions. I deal with these situations the same way a lot of people I know deal with them. In my mind, I go back to the island. That’s why I can sit in the middle of a restless crowd at the boarding gate of a flight that’s already been delayed twice with the prospect of missing my connection or having to spend the night in an airport hotel with my eyes closed and a big smile on my face. Suzan and I spent a lot of time on a lot of islands even before we started working for International Living. Back in the day, we were avid scuba divers. We lived for gin-clear water during the day and palapa bars at night. Most of our vacations were spent that way, and we vacationed on some of the most beautiful tropical islands on the planet.

    NOW OPEN AT GRAND CARIBE BELIZE – THE BEACH BASKET!
    With a focus on providing service to our guests here at Grand Caribe, as well as Northern Ambergris Caye residents – the Beach Basket provides your one stop shop for just about whatever you’re looking for – INCLUDING Cash-Withdrawal!! There’s a full complement of groceries and frozen goods, including but not limited to, cleaning supplies, imported rice, canned goods, pasta, snack goods, deli meats, a wide selection of cheeses and crackers, wines, and even liquor. The Beach Basket is home to over 60 bottles of fine wine as well as a wide variety of local and imported rums. Choose from wine brands like: Undurraga, Piper Heidsieck, Freixenet, Beringer Founders, Alamos, Lindemans, Lazo, Calvet, Bollini, Santa Margherita, Kim Crawford, Nederburg, Rene Barbier, Heitz and Luis Felipe Edwards, to name a few.

    Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
    There’s nothing in the Caribbean that matches the bio-diversity found in this expansive, lush corner of Belize. The CBWS preserve is home to mile-upon-mile of indigenous flowers, trees and plants in an environment that is so hospitable the region even has its own “moisture regulation” system that’s a perfect mix of rain, temperature and slight winds. Since tropical rainforests like this one are disappearing at alarming rates, a visit here gives you opportunities to see nature as it was thousands of years ago-—perhaps before mankind roamed the earth. The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is located about 20 miles south of Dangriga and can be reached by taking the Southern Highway. If you’re in close proximity to the area’s Maya Center Village, you’re just about six miles away. The dirt road from the Southern Highway extends for six miles isn’t paved, so if you drive, you’ll need a car capable of tackling rugged terrain. Use public transport if you can. Buses from Belize City and Dangriga Town get you to Punta Gorda Town and the Maya Village Center, then hike into the park. If you’re coming from a distance, grab a Maya Island Air or Tropic Air flight for the 20-minute trip to Dangriga. Taxis and tour companies are also viable options. First, the ideal way to experience this wildlife paradise is to book accommodations on premises rather than staying elsewhere so you’re in the midst of the action. Housing is rather primitive (think summer camp as a kid). The facility sleeps 24 people and has toilet facilities. Alternately, bring camping gear and a camping permit. During your visit, see Chucil Baluum, a Classic Period Mayan ceremonial site, Victoria Peak at an elevation of 3,675 feet and as many trails as time allows. Include visits to swimming areas, waterfalls, pine forests and the newest trail of all: The Outlier. The right guide can morph an already fascinating visit into an extraordinary one.

    Ready, Set, Wait
    We haven't broken ground yet for the pool or pool house, as the contractor and his crew are still working on the remodeling project for Dave and Dianna. However, there have been a few things happening here in preparation for the big day. First and foremost, our building permit was approved by the Ranchito Village Council. YAY! The other piece of business that gotten taken care of was amping up, so to speak, our breakers and breaker box outside. A real beauty, no? The extra breakers will allow power to be run from David's shop to the pump house. We also opted to have a weatherproof, lockable box. The other box had no cover, no lock, was rusting, and filled with a variety of dead insects and geckos. Now the breakers are protected from the elements and can't inadvertently turned off.

    International Sourcesizz

    Belize’s IFSC warns of fake regulation claims
    One of the major financial services regulators – Belize’s International Financial Services Commission (IFSC) warned that the Arab Gold Bank Ltd. is falsely claiming to be registered in Belize. On its website the IFSC notes that the Certificate of Incorporation on the bank’s website is a complete forgery and it is not registered neither with IFSC, nor with any other competent authority in Belize to conduct any type of banking or trading activities. In conclusion the IFSC warns that all persons should take note and exercise extreme caution. On its website the Arab Gold Bank promises 100% guaranteed profit and daily payment of dividends. It offers investment in currencies, gold, oil and equity with four types of investment deposit plans: VIP Diamond shares, Gold stocks, Silver stocks and Bronze share, with net profit varying from 203.9% to 118.4% for investments with a 182-day duration. The company has agents in Oman, Saudi Arabia and Algeria. The Arab Gold Bank also offers a Ponzi scheme, dubbed “Marketing Commission for Life System”, in which the attracting of other investors brings additional profits from 1 to 7%.

    De-Risking the Caribbean
    De-risking: Between Rock and Hard Place in the Caribbean. The correspondent banking system in Latin America and the Caribbean has recently been facing increasing pressure, so much so that institutions like the World Bank and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) have issued consultative reports on the brewing crisis in these emerging markets. Because much of the world’s cross-border capital flows are in US dollars, most Caribbean banks maintain what are called “correspondent accounts” in American banks. This allows them to exchange U.S dollars and handle other financial transactions in the United States. Without the accounts these banks would have limited access to foreign financial markets, thus severely hampering their ability to service client accounts without opening up a branch in the States.

    Take A Gander At Leonardo DiCaprio's Private Island
    A decade ago, Leonardo DiCaprio bought an island in Belize – in part because he’s a Hollywood megastar and that’s what megastars do, but also because he planned to build the world’s first eco-restorative resort to repair the eroding coastline, over-fished waters and deforestation. Leo first discovered the island, called Blackadore Caye, while vacationing nearby in 2004. “It was like heaven on earth,” he told The New York Times. The new resort, constructed in partnership with Paul Scialla, will feature all the usual trappings of a luxury hideaway – sprawling villas, infinity pools, impeccably Instagram-able sunset views – with a decidedly green spirit. According to the website, the development will be “completely powered by renewable energy and designed to increase the biological health of species on the island and in the waters around it.” Guests can focus on personal health and wellness while elsewhere, restoration programs are conducted and a research station studies climate change and habitat impacts.

    Venezuela shopping centres halve opening times as crisis bites
    Shopping centres in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, say they will be halving their opening times to four hours a day. The move will allow them to comply with government energy rationing. Ministers says a severe drought caused by El Nino has brought 18 of the country's hydro-electric dams to critically low water levels. A spokesman for the country's retail association said the drop in working hours would have an impact on jobs. The state energy corporation (Corpoelec) had wanted cuts twice a day, between 1pm and 3pm and then again between 7pm and 9pm. The retail association, The Chamber of Venezuelan Commercial Centres (Cavececo), said it had made an alternative proposal: that shops should open late at 12:00 and close at 19:00 saving five hours of energy use daily.

    Caribbean experiences build Latin American expertise
    The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) subregional headquarters for the Caribbean has applied its experience in the Caribbean towards building the disaster assessment capacity in Peru’s National Center for Estimation, Prevention and Disaster Risk Reduction (CENEPRED). Since May 2015, ECLAC Caribbean has supported the efforts of CENEPRED to become a forerunner in the field of disaster risk reduction, since Peru remains one of the most vulnerable countries across Latin America to disasters. It is estimated that over the past 15 years there have been 59 disasters in that South American country, causing 3,565 deaths, and affecting more than 8.5 million people.

    Birds, fish return to Havana Bay after a decade thanks to successful cleaning effort
    The return of fish and marine birds to Havana Bay is an indication that Cuban authorities have managed to reduce pollution there by 50-60 percent over the past 10 years, experts quoted by official media reported Sunday. Havana Bay, which covers 2 square miles and has an average depth of about 30 feet, for years was considered to be one of the most contaminated zones in the Caribbean due to industrial and community waste from the Cuban capital being dumped there via several rivers and other channels. In 1998, authorities launched the GTE-BH cleanup program for the bay and the port that opens onto it that included identifying the sources of waste water and chemicals flowing into it. The program found that 124 industries were "aggressively" dumping waste into the bay and developed plans to reduce their polluting activities.

    Videos

  • Belize Coral Model, 12sec.

  • Guatemala and Belize in 212 seconds, 3.5min.

  • Pederson’s cleaner shrimp, 1/2min. A Pedersen's cleaner shrimp waits for fish to clean. This is a female and you can see her eggs inside her transparent abdomen.

  • School and Library Project in Belize, 5.5min. This video was created by Don Hambridge of Charlottetowne Media. Don's daughter is a Meredith student who traveled to Belize.

  • Chef Sean Kuylen on Great Belize Cooking, 18min.

  • Rotary Club of Belize Sunrise Mardi Gras Ball, 21min.

  • Belizean music video nominated for international awards, 4min.

  • Inauguration Santa Anna Water System, 2min. Belize Social Investment Fund Inaugurates Santa Anna Water System, Belize Central America

  • Trip to Isla Marisol, 1.5min. Boat ride to Isla Marisol

  • Manatees of Belize, 1min. A quick glimpse of some curious Manatees we encountered on our Monkey River Tour in Belize

  • BELIZE, CENTRAL AMERICA, 2min. A bit of gopro footage from snorkeling in Belize in Central America.

  • MVI Tracking the howler monkeys on Monkey River, Belize, 3min. Amazing howler monkey yells! Trekking through the Belize jungle along Monkey River with our guide, Percy. You can here Percy howl to the monkeys and hitting the tree trunks with his machete. At the end of the video the monkey is blurry but the howler monkeys yells are amazing!

  • Caye Caulker, Belize 2016, 5min. Belize trip 2016.

  • San Pedro Belize Carnaval Street Dancing Day 1, 5.5min. Carnaval Fun Kicks off in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye - Music, paint and entertaining street dancers – it’s the beginning of Carnaval in San Pedro. On Sunday, February 7, 2016 the island came to life as many enjoyed one of the most traditional celebrations on the island.

  • Honeymoon Day 2 - Belize - Crystal Cave Tubing, 1.5min. Day 2 of our Honeymoon was in the Central American Country of Belize. After the tender to the port we took a little bus ride through the city and then about an hour to the cave. Our bus guide, Big Bruce, gave us a nice history of the areas we were passing through during the ride. Of the 7 day cruise this was by far the best meal I ate.

  • Two franchise players takes Belize Hurricanes home against San Pedro, 9min. Faron Louriano and Darwin Leslie were clutch down the stretch to run down and overtake the Tiger Sharks in the last 4 seconds of the game. SHOW MORE

  • Defend Blackadore Caye, 1min. Leonardo DiCaprio and his team of corporate "environmentalists" want to build overwater structures in a conservation zone designated to protect fly-fishing species, their nursing grounds, and in turn the livelihoods of fly-fishing guides who depend on the health of the area. This is not only an action in violation of Belizean law, but an action without regard for those fly-fishermen. The Environmental Impact Assessment for the project has only one sentence in 430+ pages which discusses fly-fishing. Unfortunately, the single sentence which writes that "a few" fishermen use the area undermines the economic and cultural importance of the waters surrounding Blackadore. We decided to seek out "a few" of the fishermen who do use the area, and here's what they had to say:

    February 8, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Letter to the Editor: Great service at The Palms
    Letters-to-the-EditorDear Editor, This past week our family came here to dive. We were staying at The Palms and appreciated so much that the manager sent golf carts to the airstrip to meet us. There were 3 heavy dive bags plus miscellaneous gear. We just want to give credit where credit is due to very efficient and courteous reception we received as guest of The Palms on this amazing caye.

    Wolfe’s Woofer: Number Two
    “It’s been one of those days,” my friend Bob said. “This morning I sent my yard man to the store for thumbtacks and he came back with Tampax.” “Joe Miller used to play guitar with me,” I told him. “He always said Belize is not a Third World country. It’s a Third Word country. We use so many languages that we all understand about every third word we say to each other.” Bob laughed and then he said, “Hey, you’re coming to my anniversary party; Right?” “Your second year anniversary? I wouldn’t miss it.” “Will you do me a favor?” Bob asked. “Sure. Anything you need.”

    Letter to the Editor: ACES thanks for assistance for Charity Gala
    Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES) would like to thank everyone who helped make the Ball Gowns & BBQ Charity Gala & Art Auction a huge success! Thanks to the incredible generosity of so many, our 1st Annual Ball Gowns & BBQ Gala was a night to remember and will be a bright spot on Ambergris Caye’s social calendar for years to come! Ambergris Caye Elementary School raised over $15,000 in much-needed operating and scholarship funds. Also, thanks to a generous matching grant every dollar raised at the event itself will be matched in support of ACES efforts to combine excellence and affordability in education on Ambergris Caye. We were delighted to have our tickets sell out well before the event and to see the ladies of San Pedro get into the spirit of the night with sequins and glamour galore, the gentlemen at their side sporting Hawaiian shirts and tropical linen (even the occasional panama hat could be seen among the crowd). With the gorgeous company and the rum punch flowing it could only be a great night in San Pedro!

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Conservation community plans exciting events for Reef Week 2016
    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. The week’s anchor event, the Reef Fair at the BTL Park in Belize City, will feature interactive games, giveaways and the exciting finish of the Women’s Cross Country being organized by the Belize Cycling Federation. The fair is set to open at 11AM on Sunday, March 13th 2016. Every year, the Belize Barrier Reef contributes a billion dollars in goods and services to the local economy via shoreline protection, tourism and fishing.

    Belize Lobster Season To Close Feb 14th
    The 2015- 2016 lobster Belize season is slowly coming to a close. The season opened on June 1, 2015 and lasted 8 1/2 months. It will close February 14, 2016. Fisheries and government officials place a moratorium on lobster fishing for 3 1/2 months to allow the species to spawn and replenish. During the closed season, possession or consumption of lobsters is illegal. The fines increase if your illegal lobster is undersized. We respectfully request that all citizens refrain from harvesting lobsters during the closed season. It is the only way we can be assured of having lobsters to harvest for generations to come.

    Movie Night Tonight on Caye Caulker
    Tonight, Monday, is Movie Night with the MERMAIDS at the outdoor Bondi theatre on Front Street. 6:30pm is The Little Mermaid followed by 8:30pm Splash. $12 tickets and $6 residents/students - all proceeds will support Caye Caulker's high school Ocean Academy.

    Rotary Duck Race 2016
    The 2016 Belize Duck Race was Saturday and they have the list of winners out. Congratulations to Felipe Flores on winning the $10,000 prize! "WINNING TICKET NUMBERS FOR THE BELIZE DUCK RACE 2016 All winners will be contacted. Also feel free send an email to belizeduckrace@rotarybelmopan.org if you see your number below. Congratulations to all! On behalf of the Belize Duck Race Team we thank everyone who supported us by adopting a duck or as a Sponsor."

    The Reporter

    Mother and son arrested for unlicensed firearm
    Police have arrested a seamstress from Orange Walk, and her son for having an unlicensed firearm and accompanying ammunition. The Orange Walk police’s Quick Response Team reported that they searched the home of Mavis Wade at #25 Saint Peter Street Orange Walk Town on Saturday, in the presence of Wade, and her son Steven Hyde, who is a student. While searching one of the rooms, police found a stack of books on a computer table. Those books had a square-shaped hole cut into the centre where the firearm was kept. Officers retrieved a nine millimetre CZ-83 Browning pistol with the serial number filed off. Police also discovered 13 bullets inside a white sock and 52 .380 brand live rounds.

    CTO says Zika shouldn’t ruin travel plans
    Despite the recent outbreak of the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) maintains that the virus is no reason for visitors to avoid the regions. The CTO this week released a list of ten reasons why you shouldn’t cancel your trip to the Caribbean because of the Zika virus, and has been actively promoting the dissemination of the information contained in the list. The CTO explained that: the virus is mostly concentrated in Brazil and South America, around 200 suspected cases in the Caribbean; the World Health Organization (WTO) has issued a no-travel warning due to Zika; and that there is still much about the virus that has been unconfirmed. “The WHO itself has stated several times that it has no proof of a link between Zika and microcephaly. In fact, there is other research that suggests there is no link and that there are other causes of the suspected rise in cases in Brazil. There are also no reported cases of microcephaly linked to Zika outbreaks in other countries or regions,” the CTO said.

    The Belize Times

    “We Will Unite” – New PUP Leader Hon. John Briceño sounds the battle cry
    Newly-elected People’s United Party Leader Hon. John Briceño called for unity and a re-commitment to the Party’s social justice values and philosophy rooted in service to the people, as he addressed supporters at the swearing-in of the newly-elected members of the National Executive held at Independence Hall, the Party’s Headquarters on Queen Street on Wednesday, three days after convincingly wining a spirited convention to decide who will be the next leader. “I am promising the Party members and this nation that the People’s United Party is united. It’s strong and it is ready to take over the Government. We need a government that has ability, has experience, has a vision for Belize, and that can only happen with a government of the People’s United Party. And there is hope to believe in the P.U.P., to believe in Belize and God willing we are going to form the next government of Belize,” declared the Party leader. The PUP is on the right track, to the grave disappointment of the critics and the cynics. Flanking the leader at the event were former PUP leader Hon. Francis Fonseca and Deputy Leader from the West, Hon. Julius Espat, two giants in the PUP.

    “We Will Unite” – New PUP Leader Hon. John Briceño sounds the battle cry
    Newly-elected People’s United Party Leader Hon. John Briceño called for unity and a re-commitment to the Party’s social justice values and philosophy rooted in service to the people, as he addressed supporters at the swearing-in of the newly-elected members of the National Executive held at Independence Hall, the Party’s Headquarters on Queen Street on Wednesday, three days after convincingly wining a spirited convention to decide who will be the next leader. “I am promising the Party members and this nation that the People’s United Party is united. It’s strong and it is ready to take over the Government. We need a government that has ability, has experience, has a vision for Belize, and that can only happen with a government of the People’s United Party. And there is hope to believe in the P.U.P., to believe in Belize and God willing we are going to form the next government of Belize,” declared the Party leader. The PUP is on the right track, to the grave disappointment of the critics and the cynics. Flanking the leader at the event were former PUP leader Hon. Francis Fonseca and Deputy Leader from the West, Hon. Julius Espat, two giants in the PUP. Their presence on Wednesday signalled support for Hon. Briceño and it is clear that with the convention being over, divisions have been put aside and the Party will move forward.

    Cold blooded murders in Orange Walk
    Orange Walk Police are still searching for a suspect who murdered two teenagers in cold blood on Monday afternoon. 19 year old Elrindo “Jun” Matura Jr. and 17 year old Rene Antonio Acevedo were shot dead by a lone gunman, a short distance from their homes on Gristock Street. The two teenagers and a third person were socialising outside the Matura’s residence when a male individual approached them along the street riding a bicycle and called for Erlindo. The Police say the man was inquiring about where to buy marijuana in the neighborhood. It is reported that Erlindo and the individual chatted for a short while on the street, before the man walked a short distance and turned around with a firearm in his hand, aimed at Rene. The man fired several shots. Erlindo and Rene were both shot while the third teenager was able to run away and escape harm.

    Faber ready to fire 1,300 Teachers
    Minister of Education Patrick Faber has announced one of the Barrow Administration’s retrenchment plans for 1,300 Belizeans. Faber declared that as of March 15th, teachers who have not met the full requirements to obtain a full teacher’s license will no longer have jobs at the Ministry. The announcement done at a press briefing on Wednesday, February 3, 2016 took teachers, principals and school administrations by total surprise. There has been no prior announcement of an ultimate deadline for teachers to comply with the requirements for their full licenses. The understanding among education stakeholders is that teachers will be given sufficient time to meet the criteria. Many have done so while others are in the process of being in compliance. Tertiary education is not affordable in Belize under this Government, and incentives offered by the Ministry are politically-not available to all.

    Belizeans suffer under Barrow
    Do you know how much Petrocaribe money is left? Let me tell you. Out of more than $350M borrowed in the past three years, $15M or even less is left. Do you know how much G.O.B. repays in debt every year? Let me tell you. G.O.B. has to find more than $100M every year to pay back for money it borrowed and spent. It is plain to see that the Barrow Government had an agreement all along with Fortis just before elections? Let me tell you. The people of Belize had to pay Fortis more than $60M for Dean Barrow’s wrong-headed appropriation of that company. Plus he had to give Fortis back 1/3 of B.E.L control. Do you know about the UDP Government’s secret agreement with Lord Ashcroft just before elections? Let me tell you. The people of Belize had to pay Lord Ashcroft more than $160M for Dean Barrow’s illegal appropriation of that company. PLUS…Dean Barrow had to agree to pay Lord Ashcroft back an additional amount based on the share value of B.T.L., to be determined by an arbitration panel. That decision is due any day now, and attorneys say it could be as much as an addition $200M.

    Think About It
    The People’s United Party has a new leader. He has the experience and been there and done that in the politics of Belize. The Hon. John Briceno emerged from the National Convention on Sunday as the winner in a three man race to lead the party from its long battle of in-fighting and disunity. Johnny competed with Hon. Francis Fonseca and Hon. Cordel Hyde, and received 1,122 votes out of 2700 delegate votes. Unity and dynamic leadership must be two of the key components of Johnny’s renewed leadership of the party. The organs of the party such as the Youth Movement, the Women’s Group, the Marshalls, the Constituency Committees must be reorganized and infused with new blood. The important media agents, the BELIZE TIMES and Vibes, the Party Radio/TV news needs new programming and additional hosts focusing on education, entertainment and particularly on capturing the attention of the young generation.

    A time to heal
    Belmopan was blue this past Sunday as delegates from across the nation converged to select a new leader for the grand old party. The last contested convention for the PUP was held in March of 2008 after former leader and Prime Minister Said Musa had stepped down following a loss in the General Elections of earlier that same year. In that convention, Johnny Briceño had defeated Francis Fonseca but that was a close contest. Mark Espat, who had already done considerable damage to the party, was initially nominated as a candidate, but he later withdrew and threw his support behind Briceño. Johnny pulled off the victory and went on to head the party for the next three years. He stepped down in 2011 and following a brief interim stint by Mark Espat, Francis Fonseca was endorsed as party leader at a convention in October of 2011. This time around, the contest was again between Johnny and Francis but Cordel Hyde, who had put a resounding whipping on Mark King in Lake Independence, made it interesting by also deciding to throw his hat into the ring. Cordel is extremely popular, in particular in the city, and many people believed that he had a more than decent chance of winning. The weeks leading up to the convention was tense and had all the excitement and drama of a General Election. At the end of a long hectic day of voting at Compre High School in the capital, the majority of delegates decided that they wanted to give Johnny Briceño another opportunity to lead the party.

    Barrow fails!
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow had no good news to share with the Belizean public and in particular the business community, about his recent mission to the United States to discuss with officials of the Obama Administration ways of mitigating the correspondent banking crisis crippling Belize. Barrow’s mission was a total failure and the best he got from Uncle Sam were supposed “assurances” that there is “nothing wrong with the Belize jurisdiction”. The Prime Minister was running in circles as he tried to convince the media that the U.S. banks’ de-risking of Belize’s banks is some kind of mistake. While he did mesmerize some of the news reporters with his half-cooked excuses, the Belizean public and business community are not fools. It is not true that there is “nothing wrong with the Belize jurisdiction”. Barrow needed to check with the U.S. State Department who are the ones who sign off on the annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR). President Barrack Obama reviews the reports and approves the designation of countries based on how grave their situations are. In the case of Belize, in the last report released in 2015, the country was classified as a “Major Illicit Drug Producing, Major Drug-Transit, Major Money Laundering” jurisdiction.

    SCA girls & Wesley College boys lead football playoffs
    The undefeated St. Catherine Academy girls and Wesley College boys are leading the Central Division high school football competition into the playoffs. The SCA girls have 4 wins, while the Wesley boys have 7 wins as they entered the playoffs. SCA won over the Wesley College girls on Monday afternoon, with goals by Kelsie Moss, Wareyni Gillett and Renisha Martinez. The Wesley College boys entered the playoffs, defeating the Ladyville Technical High School boys on Monday with goals by Nathan Oliva and Kermit Sutherland, while only Kenroy Allen scored for Ladyville.

    City Boys win 2016 U-15 football champs
    The City Boys won the 2016 Belize District Football Association’s (BDFA) Under-15 football championship finals: 3-2 in a penalty shootout against the Hattieville River Side Boys. In regulation time, the game ended 2-2 and 3-3 in overtime at the MCC Garden on Sunday. City Boys’ Akeem “Bib” Sutherland scored the 1st goal and Kyle Samuels scored a penalty for City Boys to lead: 2-0 at the half. Hattieville’s Mario Rivera scored after the break, and Michael Robinson scored Hattieville’s 2nd goal to tie 2-2 at the end of regulation.

    Jaguars are male & female volleyball champs
    The Lady Jaguars won 2-0 over long-time rivals Moen Stars to win the 2016 the national female volleyball championship finals at the Orange Walk Multipurpose Complex over the weekend. The Lady Jaguars’s Shantel Arnold, Tichele Solis, Zaire Garbutt, Maurissa Williams and Kay-de Vaughn scored kills on plays set by Tanesha Encalada and libero Tisha Solis to win 25-13, 27-25. The Belmopan girls placed 3rd after winning the Orange Walk Servivors 25-17, 25-8. Meanwhile, the Jaguars male team won 2-1 over the hosts, the Orange Walk Bad to win the 2016 national male volleyball championship finals.

    Lucillo Teck gives thanks – Supporters pledge a total of $12,175.00 in one day telethon organized by KREM
    Mr. Lucillo Teck on whose behalf Krem Radio and Television mounted a telethon to raise funds to help him pay his legal cost to Barrow & Williams Law Firm says a grateful and sincere thanks to the Belizean public. Mr. Teck on January 12, 2016 appeared on Krem Television soliciting funds to be able to defray his legal cost incurred as a result of his case against the Belize Sugar Industry Control Board (BSICB) represented by Barrow & Williams. This he did so as to mandate that the sugar cane grinding season for 2014-2015 be declared open since this was being used as leverage to force cane farmers to sign an agreement with BSI/ASR that was not beneficial to the farmers. This caused much economic hardship to the farmers who demanded that the government appointed and controlled SICB do it job and set the date and not side with the manufacture to the detriment of the farmers. At the end of the day in court it was Lucillo Teck alone against the Minister of Natural Resources, SICB, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) and BSI/ASR. Before the case could conclude the grinding season was opened after farmers became divided and under duress singed the agreement that has resulted in serious repercussions for them now.

    Hiding CORRUPTION in the Dark – Belize blocks Transparency International for 8th Year
    For the eighth consecutive year the Barrow Administration has denied the international watchdog group, Transparency International, the opportunity to evaluate the level of corruption in Belize. It appears that Prime Minister Dean Barrow is afraid of any scrutiny that would shed light on the serious transgressions committed by his Government. Every year Transparency International reveals its global corruption index, to indicate which countries operate under a democratic and accountable system or where corruption is rampant. This index is a serious measuring stick for investors and economic analysts. Belize has not been included in the indices since 2008, because the Barrow Administration has flatly denied Transparency International access to Government and country data for the agency to carry out its annual review of corruption.

    Moody’s Predicts Collapse of Credit Card Services
    The crisis in correspondent banking services in Belize will intensify and could almost cause the collapse of credit card services in the country, according a report issued to investors by Moody’s Credit Rating Service on Tuesday, February 2nd. Belize began losing correspondent banking ties with major United States banks such as Bank of America in mid-2015 as U.S. banks, under pressure from the Obama Administration which imposes heavy fines on banks who are linked to money laundering and terrorism, carried out a “purging” of overseas bank clients. According to Moody’s, U.S. banks see Belize as a huge risk. “Although domestic banks appear to be in full compliance with FATCA and international banking standards, large banks with US dollar operations face heavy fines under the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) initiatives if they are found to be involved in transactions deemed illicit. Their risk/return analysis is stacked heavily against doing business in Belize given the threat of large fines by US regulators,” explained the report. Moody’s indicated that the effects will be far-reaching and long term.

    Police investigate Belize City shooting
    On Wednesday the 3rd day of February 2016 about 7:12 p.m., police visited the KHMH where they saw 26-year-old Benua Andrews of Belize City suffering from two gunshot injuries to chest. Also seen was 26-year-old Tyron Myers also of a Belize City address suffering from gunshot injury to the left knee, right thigh and left elbow. Initial investigation reveals that on Wednesday, the 3rd day of February about 6:48 p.m., both Andrews and Myers were standing at the corner of Marigold Lane and Jasmine Street when male person approached and fired several shots at them causing their injuries. They are presently listed as stable.

    PUP Leader Hon. John Briceno’s Message to Belizeans!
    I want to thank the supporters of our People’s United Party for the opportunity to serve as their leader. I promise to continue to work hard everyday for our Party and our Country. I especially thank all those who offered themselves as candidates to serve on our Party’s National Executive and look forward to working closely with everyone as we revitalize our Party. Sunday’s convention was in itself a victory for our beloved PUP and marks the start of our campaign to energize the PUP and renew our commitment to the aims and objectives of our Party. I invite everyone to join us as we move forward, confident that together we can do great things. The People’s United Party has and always will be about the betterment of our nation and about service to others. Join me and together let us work in the spirit of our creed sharing the responsibility to build a Belize that works for everyone, where opportunity, fairness and justice can prevail over selfishness and injustice. I truly believe that the PUP is the best hope for Belize.

    Cycling President tries to muzzle well-known female cyclist
    Is Belize City Councillor Dion Leslie the Cycling Federation President or Emperor? It appears Leslie crowned himself king and ruler of all his subjects. As king he can order them to shut up and what to say when they speak. Or so he thinks. The BELIZE TIMES has obtained a copy of a letter sent by Leslie to well-known female cyclist, Kaya Cattouse, in which he threatens to fine and suspend her from the Federation if she continues posting comments on social media which he doesn’t like. “…you have written comments on social media regarding your displeasure on decisions of the C.F.B., you have been verbally advised to cease and desist by Executive members,” said Emperor Leslie scroll, “failure to cease will result in a fine and suspension”.

    Congrats to New PUP Leader
    Dear Editor, Big congratulations to Hon. John Briceño and his team elected to serve the PUP stronghold during this tenure. I know they will do a good job, and a big thanks to Hon Francis Fonseca also for guiding the Party when all thought that our Party was doomed. The rebuilding process starts now and anyone who says they support PUP need to chip in any way. Listening to Marshall and G. Mike on the air about a membership drive is an excellent idea. Party supporters can pay at least $10.00 a year for support. Another idea is for the Party to host an Annual Ball, catering to about 500 plus guests with a special guest speaker. If one charges $100.00 per person one would raise about $50,000.00 or more. This would help in running the expense of the Party especially the media outlets and Independence Hall. But I know Hon John. and his team will find away.

    PUP Mayor Kevin Bernard: “it’s time to unite”
    Dear Editor, At 10:15pm Sunday night John Briceño was officially returned as the new Leader of the People’s United Party. To share a hard-fought victory with his was his entire slate – new Chairman Henry Charles Usher, new Deputy Leader for the South Rodwell Ferguson, new Deputy Leader for the North Jose Abelardo Mai and new Communications Director Anthony Mahler. It was a good victory for these generals of the People’s United Party, but it was a GREAT victory for the many thousands of our supporters countrywide. Hon. Julius Espat stated last night that this process to select a leader, with voting from almost 3000 delegates, is a historic one…the first for any Party in Belize. The people have spoken…loudly. Now it’s time to put differences aside and to support the PEOPLE’S CHAMPION.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Belize City man wins Rotary Duck Race
    After the ducks crossed the finish line in Cayo yesterday evening, a lucky Belize City winner was called and told that his one crossed first, earning him a cash prize of $10,000. 81 other persons also received smaller prizes for their participation in the Belmopan Rotary Club’s annual duck race, which is a fundraising event that provides finances to help the club carry out its charity work.

    Tributes in Belize City and Orange Walk mark Bob Marley’s 71st birthday
    This weekend a pair of organizations are marking the 71st birthday of Jamaican reggae legend Bob Marley. On Saturday there was a concert organized in Orange Walk by the Charitable Roots Foundation to support a young cancer patient. It was held at the East Sports Center and featured Eljai, a Belizean-born reggae musician out of the United States. This evening in the Old Capital at Birds Isle, Dara Cyber Home Theater presents the fourteenth annual tribute and food drive to support Joel Dara Robinson’s feeding program which operates out of his Dunn Street home.

    Blogs

    Belize in April
    April is the best month to visit Belize, preferred by many visitors because the large crowds of Easter and Spring Break have begun to taper off. With plenty of warm sunny weather and fewer crowds, April is a fantastic time to visit Belize. Whether you’re interested in exploring Maya ruins, swimming with whale sharks, tubing down a river through a series of caves or simply enjoying a lovely holiday in a tropical paradise, there’s plenty on offer in Belize in the month of April. Belize Events and Festivals in April San Jose Succtoz Fiesta – The small village of San Jose Succotz in Cayo District holds a yearly festival in April in honor of its patron saint. Lagoon Reef Eco Challlenge – On April 24-25 Ambergris Caye is home to a special kayak race featuring two-man teams competing to be the first to circumnavigate the island. With fabulously warm temperatures, April is a wonderful time to visit Belize. Make the most of swimming with whale sharks, diving, and snorkeling in the comfortably warm waters of the Caribbean or simply take the opportunity to relax on a beach. April is when temperatures start to heat up, with highs around 85°F (29°C) and warm nights that average about 76°F (24°C). April is also characterized by “Iguana Rains”, brief, cooling rain showers that wash away excess humidity.

    Carnaval, One of San Pedro’s Most Unique Holidays, Starts Today! A Few Tips…
    Mardi Gras or Carnival, the holiday is celebrated around the world. The festivus of eating, drinking and naughtiness before the beginning of Lent. Different places do different things…we all know about the celebration in New Orleans or in Rio (Brazil attracts 70% of its tourists during this week alone!) but in San Pedro, it’s been going on for decades and it is totally unique. Here is the full schedule. On a very chilly Friday night – the House of Culture did a photo exhibition…I wanted to go but COLD! Here is last year’s…stop by this week and check it out. They have some amazing and hilarious photos. And descriptions of the history and traditions. And Don Juan Carnaval. Last night was cancelled due to rain but today IT BEGINS with the little kids painting in the afternoon and starting around 4pm…comparsas dancers. Groups, often cross dressing, that dance for donations and just…fun.

    Flan
    This traditional Mexican dessert recipe is prized for it's simplicity. If you've never made flan before, now is the time to try this recipe. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. You will need 6 ramekins or other specialty flan cook ware and a large baking pan to put them in. Pour 1 cup sugar in warm pan over medium heat. Constantly stir sugar until is browns and becomes caramel. Quickly pour approximately 2-3 tablespoons of caramel in each ramekin, tilting it to swirl the caramel around the sides. Reheat caramel if it starts to harden.

    International Sourcesizz

    BELIZE’S IFSC INCREASES MINIMUM CAPITAL REQUIREMENT FOR FOREX BROKERS TO $500,000
    The Belize financial regulator, the International Financial Services Commission (IFSC), has increased the minimum requirement for initial capital for financial and commodity-based derivatives brokers to $500,000, according to the latest version of the licensing regulation. The change affects brokers of forex, futures, options, contracts for differences (CFDs), interest rates, shares, and stocks. Prior to the hike, the required capital was a minimum $100,000. Companies that are yet to be registered and licensed in Belize will need to meet the new requirement, while those who already hold a license will have a period of two years to hike their capitals. Furthermore IFSC has increased the annual licence fee from $5,000 to $25,000. Belize is known as an offshore destination for financial service providers, where the regulation and licensing requirements are not as strict as in other countries. Incorporation costs are also significantly lower there. Many forex brokers choose to register and be regulated in Belize since the provision of a license there requires them to meet fewer and softer criteria and to comply with less strict rules and requirements than if they registered in other countries. In fact, the IFSC rather relies on self-regulation of the companies.

    10 reasons you shouldn’t cancel your Caribbean trip over Zika
    The spread of the Zika virus in the Americas, including countries in the Caribbean, and the possible link to birth defects such as microcephaly (babies with small heads) have left many people – especially pregnant women – wondering whether they should cancel their holidays to the region. The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and individual countries have advised their pregnant citizens not to, and some airlines and cruise lines are offering refunds and/free penalty-free changes. But the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) say there is no reason to panic or to put travel plans on hold. Here are 10 reasons why, based on a list of Frequently Asked Questions the two have put out.

    Videos

  • Morning Matters of the Day, 58min.

  • Honeymoon San Pedro, 5.5min.

  • Feeding a Jaguar... Belize Zoo, 10.5min. The Belize Zoo Jaguar Experience. Junior Buddy is a rescue cat at the The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center

  • Driving Through Christo Rey, Belize, 5min. More great sights from our detour.

  • Roadtrip 2016 Belize, 3.5min. Highlights of our trip to Belize in January including visits to Tikal National Park in Guatemala, cave exploration at Barton Creek Cave, and enjoying the coast of Hopkins

  • Turneffe Flats, Belize, 3.5min.

  • Another Day of School in Belize, 3.5min. My Family and me had another uneventful today was just another warm day of school at the San Pedro High School. I also get an appointment for educating our puppy Sammy. I hope you guys enjoy the video and give it a thumbs up.

  • Belize Video, 14min.

    February 7, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    First blood drive of the year hosted by SP Red Cross
    On Saturday, January 30th, the San Pedro Belize Red Cross (SPBRC) held its first blood drive of the year. It has been an ongoing collaboration with the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II and the Belize Blood Bank, as SPBRC strives to build the island’s blood supply. Even though the blood drive was not as successful in comparison to previous, a total of nine usable pints of blood were collected. A single pint of blood can save up to three lives, therefore it is important to come together as a community and provide this important resource. Eight volunteers along with several others behind the scenes showed up at the Polyclinic early to help with the endeavor. From 9:30AM to 3PM several text messages went out in call for support and even though many events took place simultaneously on Saturday, the SPBRC is pleased with the response they received. The blood collected was transported to Belize City for storage in order to keep a full supply on hand at the Belize Blood Bank available for anyone in San Pedro that may experience an emergency. Snacks and refreshments were provided to all those who donated blood.

    Five-a-side Football Tournament’s latest results
    The San Pedro High School (SPHS) and Island Citizen Sporting Club (ICSP) Five-a-side Football Tournament is in its sixth round of games and will soon be heading into its first eliminations. The last set of games was held on Saturday, January 30th and Sunday, January 31st at the Angel Nunez Auditorium. No matches will be played this coming weekend. Five-a-side action returns on Saturday, February 13th.

    Long time volunteers return to Smile Dental Clinic
    For 11 years, Dr. Alex Willis has been a volunteer at the Smile Dental Clinic at Holy Cross Anglican School, and from Monday, February 1st to Thursday, February 4th he was back at it again. This time Dr. Willis brought a friend, Dr. Steve Sudderth, and both provided free dental care to close to a hundred students at Holy Cross. Assisting the doctors in their four days of service were their wives, Dental Assistants Vickie Sudderth and Nancy Willis.

    Over 100 bags of garbage collected from North Ambergris Caye
    San Pedro Sagebrush Community Church organized a clean-up campaign for Northern Ambergris Caye which saw the collection of an astounding amount of garbage. Held on Saturday, January 30th, with close to 50 persons participating, the clean-up efforts saw the collection of more than 100 bags of garbage. The clean-up campaign was organized by the church’s Guest Services Team who are on mission here in San Pedro. Participants gathered in front of the Paradise Theater from 8PM. Equipped with 50-gallon garbage bags, the group collected garbage from both the road side and beach area from the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge up to Belizean Shores Resort. From there, the group drove up to the Secret Beach in the Grand Belize Estate Area where they continued to collect garbage. “This was probably where we got most of our trash, the area was filled with garbage,” indicated one of the clean-up participants.

    Belize Bank implements new fees for cash transactions
    Belize Bank Limited (BBL) has recently implemented new cash withdrawal fees and customers are not happy. The fee is $1 for direct cash withdrawal and $0.50 for ATM cash withdrawals. These charges came into effective on Thursday, January 28th and BBL costumers have raised several complaints on the new charges. “I recently went to withdraw money through the ATM and before discharging the money a pop up appeared asking me to confirm a 50¢ charge for withdrawal. This is getting ridiculous! Every time we go to the ATM they will be charging us 50¢. And then it is $1 when you go inside the bank and wait in line to use the teller to withdraw. We don’t even have free access to our own money now,” said a concerned citizen to The San Pedro Sun.

    Doctor Love: Saddened and Last Chance
    Dear Doctor Love, I am in my late thirties and divorced. I have been seeing a man for five months who is also divorced and has two children from his first marriage. We have reached the point where we are spending almost every week end together. Last week he told me he does not feel as strong for me as I do for him and we should probably see other people. I do feel very strong for him but I think his problem is that he got burned really badly when his wife left him and he can’t get over it. I would do anything to keep him but I don’t know how. Please help. /s/ Saddened

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    SUPER BOWL BIG SCREEN OIL WRESTLING, Kama Lounge San Pedro, Belize
    Sunday, February 7at 4 PM - 11 PM. PRE PARTY OIL WRESTLING UNLIMITED LOCAL RUM DRINKS $50 during GAME Time ONLY

    Taste Belize Tours visited Urban Gardens for Food Security and Peace
    What an exciting week! Taste Belize Tours visited Urban Gardens for Food Security and Peace on 38 Zericote Street in Belize City. We are impressed and motivated to support positive grassroots initiatives like these across Belize. The garden is reaching out to local schools and at risk youth and producing delicious organic food. We will back and doing more to support and we hope others will join us!

    Paint Party Events
    Come join us this Thursday at the Crazy Canucks Bar where we will be painting the lovely "Stained Glass Mermaid". Please bring a sharpie marker along with you. Regular cost is $25 U.S. and there is a certainly discount for members. See you all there on Thursday! February 11, 2016 at 2:00 PM

    Santa Rita Maya Wedding Re-enactment postponed
    Oooops! Due to inclement rainy weather, the Santa Rita Maya Wedding Re-enactment scheduled for today Saturday, February 6th, has been POSTPONED until further notice. Please hold on to your tickets and look out for the new date via radio, TV and social media. Stay dry and safe!

    Juan Carnaval 2016
    Due to the wet weather we will be presenting Juan Carnaval 2016 today Sunday February 7th - same times ...same places...5pm caravan on the principal streets and 8pm stage presentation. See you out there!!

    BEL continues repairs on substation transformer that supplies portion of Corozal District
    Critical testing of equipment to be carried out following repairs. Power supply expected to be restored by 8:00 a.m., Sunday, Feb 7 to Pueblo Viejo, Saltillos, Copper Bank, Chunox, Orchid Bay, Sarteneja and Joseito & Dominguez Layouts.

    Sawdust Tapestry Call
    Benque is famous for its annual cultural event of making sawdust tapestries. If you want to create one, now is the time to sign up. "Sign up! Take ownership, select your area,be a part of the 2016 elaboration of Carpets!"

    Belize Fishing Report January 24th – January 30th, 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. Dick was the tarpon guru to start the week and in an unusual event, Junior landed a tarpon right in front of the lodge! A few other bites, a bunch of follows and who knows how many shots were made. Keeping your cool while face to face with a tarpon takes some practice!

    Unexpected death of Rene Dario
    We are very saddened by the unexpected death of Rene Dario Ical, one of our Zipline guides. Our heartfelt condolences to Rene's family and to all those who's life he touched. He was very special and will be missed. He passed away while on his motorbike in an unfortunate accident. He lived life to the fullest and now he will rest in peace. We'll miss you Rene. Sad day today as I lose a close friend and fellow birder. My condolences to his Dad, Mr. Pedro Ical. I trained Rene Dario Ical at Bocawina Rainforest Resort, where we both did bird surveys in remote locations. The legacy he leaves behind? A strong spirit of adventure and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Those trails will never be the same without you..

    Carnaval Photographic Exhibition
    The San Pedro House of Culture opened their Carnaval Photographic Exhibition on Friday, Feb. 5th. Unfortunately, due to the weather not many were able to attend but the HOC went all out to showcase costumes, songs and photos of the Good Old Carnaval de San Pedro. Here we see Mr. Guillermo "Mito" Paz as Don Juan, welcoming those who attended.

    Amandala

    De-risking could substantially hurt Belize economy: Moody’s
    Since early last year, the alarm was sounded that the decision taken by US banks to cut off their relations with Belize banks could have dire consequences, and that was underscored in a report recently released by Moody’s Investor Service, a well-known international agency. Dubbed “Loss of Correspondent Bank Services Compounds Existing Economic and Fiscal Challenges,” the report, authored by a team of Moody’s analysts: Jaime Reusche, VP-Senior Analyst; Mauro Leos, VP-Sr. Credit Officer; and Anna Snyder, Associate Analyst, warns that although de-risking would not likely lead to a trade collapse, it could, nevertheless, have a major impact on Belize’s economy. It added that, “Of the five domestic banks in Belize, only two smaller banks, Scotiabank and Atlantic – would retain correspondence with other top-tier banks for US dollar transactions, including wire transfers, bank drafts, letters of credit, bank guarantees, and credit card transactions.” “The loss of correspondent banking services initially only affected Belize’s (Caa2 stable) offshore banks but has spilled over into the domestic banking sector and could have a strong negative impact on tourism, trade flows and overall economic activity,” the report said. Significant disruptions could consequently impact Belize’s tourism, trade and cross-border investment flows, Moody’s detailed.

    No judgment yet for Gapi and Monchie!
    This morning, the Chief Justice of Belize, Hon. Kenneth Benjamin, was scheduled to hand down his ruling in the slander case brought by Orange Walk North area rep and Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Gaspar “Gapi” Vega, against Ramon “Monchie” Cervantes, his rival and PUP standard bearer during the November 4 general elections, but when representatives from the city’s media houses arrived at the Supreme Court shortly before 9:00 a.m., the usual kind of activity associated with the case was absent from around the court building. There were no signs of Vega’s supporters, who have been making the trip to Belize City in support of him, and neither were there any Opposition People’s United Party supporters for Cervantes. The final submissions in the case were made on November 22, 2015, and Chief Justice Benjamin had indicated that he would have handed down his ruling on December 22, 2015. The ruling, however, was pushed back to today, Thursday, February 4.

    Two Lake I men survive gun attack
    Benua Andrews, 26, and Tyrone Myers, also 26, both of the Lake Independence area, survived a murderous barrage of gunshots at about 7:30 last night, Wednesday. Andrews and Myers told police that they were standing in a yard at the corner of Marigold Lane and Jasmine Street when a lone gunman came up and fired about 10 shots at them. The gunman then ran into Marigold Lane and disappeared. Police say that Andrews was shot in the chest and Myers was shot in the left knee, right thigh, and left elbow. The men were rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital by a BERT ambulance, and were admitted in a critical but stable condition.

    Belize asks Venezuela for 1.5 million barrels of fuel for 2016
    Belizean consumers used almost 50 million gallons of fuel in 2015, with the bulk of that being sourced from Venezuela under the PetroCaribe accord. Despite a change in political administration in Venezuela last year, Belize has not suffered any cutbacks. This is according to John Mencias, deputy chairman of APBEL, the joint partnership between Belize and Venezuela which handles fuel purchases for Belize. “The fuel keeps coming,” Mencias said. Whereas the country imported 1,043,658 barrels of fuel from Venezuela in 2015, it has asked for 40% more fuel for 2016 – a total of 1,464,000 barrels, Mencias informed. The projection is that Belize will need to import 510,000 gallons of regular gasoline, 810,000 barrels of diesel, and 144,000 barrels of “jet A” grade kerosene over the 12-month period. The last shipment arrived late January and a new shipment is due to arrive tomorrow, Friday, February 5, said Hernan Herrera, commerce and supply manager of APBEL. It is expected that once that fuel reaches the pumps, the price per gallon will be even lower than the price on the last shipment, as world market prices have continued to fall. The price of regular gasoline in Belize City is $7.68 on the gallon, down from $8.20. The December price for premium gasoline, imported from the US market, continues to hold at $9.30 a gallon.

    PetroCaribe account down to $15 mil
    Financial Secretary Joseph Waight disclosed to the press this week that PetroCaribe funds are down to BZ$15 million, a drastic reduction following a decline in world market prices by about half, plus major expenditures which the Government made from the funds last year. In his New Year’s Message, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dean Barrow, said that among the challenges that would confront his administration in 2016, the most pronounced would be the reduction in PetroCaribe flows. “With the dizzying fall in oil prices, we expect to get much less from these Venezuela loan funds than we did in 2015. And already 2015’s intake was only half of 2014,” Barrow said. Today, an official source in the Ministry of Finance indicated that whereas the Government had received around US$2 million monthly last year, this year, it is down to US$1 million monthly. The money is received under an arrangement which allows the Government to defer half of the payments for fuel imported from Venezuela under a 25-year financing agreement and instead keep the portion of revenues from local fuel sales to finance its programs. The other portion has to be paid within 90 days.

    PUP leader John Briceño and his new National Executive sworn in
    In the wake of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) convention on Sunday, January 31, this morning, the party’s headquarters at Independence Hall came alive with supporters and parliamentarians who gathered for a swearing-in ceremony of the newly elected PUP leader, Hon. John Briceño, and his team of national executives. The new PUP executive is made up of four Deputy Leaders — Hon. Kareem Musa, for the East, Hon. Julius Espat for the West, Hon. Jose Abelardo Mai for the North and Hon. Rodwell Ferguson for the South. There were no contested conventions for Musa and Espat, while Mai and Ferguson won their position in Sunday’s national convention, on Briceño’s slate. Mai defeated Hon. Florencio Marin Jr., the powerful area representative for Corozal South East, and Ferguson defeated Hon. Mike Espat, the area representative for Toledo West. The post of National Campaign Manager is filled by Victor Espat, who was unchallenged at Sunday’s convention. Ramon Cervantes, Jr., is the new treasurer; he was also unchallenged for his post.

    Lady Jaguars (female) and Jaguars (male) are Belize National Volleyball Champions
    After 23 competitive matches over two days at the OW Multipurpose Complex, champions were determined. After round robin play on Saturday, defending men’s champion, Toledo King Scorpions, and the previous champion, Belmopan Blingz were ranked top in their pool and won the bye directly to the semi-final on Sunday. In the quarter final, Jaguars won over SQ Dragons, and home team, OW Bad News, won over Corozal Massives, to play against Toledo and Belmopan, respectively. After completing the women’s first round, the semi-finals were set with defending champions Moen Stars (1st seed), who went undefeated, vs OW Servivors, and Lady Jaguars vs Belmopan Bandits. On Sunday morning, the men’s semi-finals featured Toledo Scorpions vs Jaguars in a highly anticipated male match. Jaguars overcame Toledo, 25-19, 25-23, to advance to the final against OW Bad News, who had pulled it off in the deciding set over Belmopan Blingz, 25-18, 14-25, 15-12. In the women’s division semi-finals, Moen Stars won over OW Servivors, 25-6, 25-8, and Lady Jaguars won over Belmopan Bandits, 25-16, 25-17, to set up the perpetual final between Lady Jaguars and Moen Stars.

    Cricket Corner – Marathon in Lemonal
    Under the auspices of the National Cricket Association, the Harrison Parks Cricket Competition 2016 kicks off with a Marathon to be held in the village of Lemonal on Saturday, February 6, and Sunday, February 7, starting at 10:00 a.m. sharp on both days. Captains are asked to register their teams on those days. Failure to do so will prevent them from playing in the regular season that is expected to start on Saturday, February 13. As this year’s season begins, I must mention that last year there were a lot of misunderstandings between players, fans and officials of games. It would be greatly appreciated if players conduct themselves in such ways that their family and friends could follow suit. This game is played in these areas to allow us to meet friends or find new ones. Let your conduct speak for you.

    C-Ray Saturday Race Series 2016 – Week 3 results
    On Saturday morning, January 30, the C-Ray Cycling Club Saturday Race Series continued with the third race of the series. The field continues to grow every week. Alliance Cycling Team and the Choto brothers of C-Ray Cycling Team, all the way from Cayo, were present at the start line. A total of fifty cyclists lined up in six different categories: 28 Elite, 1 Female, 5 Category 4/5, 12 Juniors, 3 40-years+, and 1 50-years+. The course changed slightly this week. The race started, as usual, in front of Ready Call, turned at the Hattieville round-about, turned again at the junction with Philip Goldson Highway, and finished in front of CDS Gas Station. This week was definitely the fastest of the three weeks, clocking 28 minutes at the Hattieville round-about, and 54 minutes at the other end. Averaging 26.4 miles per hour, the race clocked a total time of 59 minutes 40 seconds.

    Editorial: Power inside the PUP
    A lot of things happened inside the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) between late October and November of 2011. First, the PUP Leader chosen by a leadership convention in March of 2008 to replace the reigned Rt. Hon. Said Musa (Fort George), Hon. John Briceño (Orange Walk Central), himself resigned. Briceño was replaced on an Interim Leader basis by Hon. Mark Espat (Albert); Espat was subsequently endorsed for the substantive post of PUP Leader by 30 of the 31 electoral constituencies, the only nay vote coming from Arthur Saldivar of Belize Rural North. Espat, after an 11-day period as Interim Leader, then withdrew himself from leadership candidacy, and the said Saldivar, Mike Espat (Toledo East), and Julius Espat (Cayo South) offered themselves as leadership candidates. Finally, behind closed doors, an unknown executive cartel of the PUP which did not present itself to the party or the Belizean public, announced that the Hon. Francis Fonseca (Freetown) had been chosen as the new PUP Leader. Francis Fonseca quickly retooled the national party executive, replacing Mark Espat and Hon. Cordel Hyde (Lake Independence), the two Senior Deputy Leaders who had supported Briceño at the March 2008 leadership convention and had been appointed by him to those executive positions, with a “five pack” of Deputy Leaders which included Mike Espat, Julius Espat, Hon. Florencio Marin, Jr. (Corozal Southeast), Dolores Balderamos-Garcia (Belize Rural Central), and Carolyn Trench-Sandiford (Collet). At that point in time, late 2011, the PUP had only six area representatives, elected in 2008, in the House. These were Francis Fonseca, John Briceño, Said Musa, Mark Espat, Cordel Hyde, and Florencio Marin, Jr.

    From the Publisher
    In a sense, the neoliberal capitalist philosophy begins from the premise that man is a basically selfish creature. If we accept this premise, it follows that any social, political, and economic system which is based on a denial of this fundamental aspect of the human being, will be less successful than a system which accepts man as he is and allows, yea encourages, him to operate instinctively, or as his nature prescribes. In the neoliberal world, the individual is exalted, and the operative, concomitant system of so-called free market democracy assumes that once individuals are allowed and encouraged to operate without a lot of social or governmental restrictions, then such a system will produce wealth, in the form of goods and services, and such wealth will inevitably spread to the masses of the people, thus benefiting them. An antithesis to the individualistic, capitalist thesis developed over the centuries which declared that the state, or the government, had the responsibility to protect the masses of the people from excessively “gifted” or greedy individuals, in order to ensure that the wealth of the nation-state was available for the sustenance of the masses.

    Drought to shift from northern to southern Belize
    Last year, the drought concern was mostly for northern Belize, but in the months ahead, a portion of southern Belize should be on the alert . Cumberbatch said that there is no drought concern for Belize up to April 2016, but the extended 12-month forecast anticipates a drought watch for the southwestern and central coastal areas of Belize during the latter part of the year. She said that a national climate forum was held last year with representatives from the agriculture, tourism and health sectors, to warn them of the anticipated drought—which was intended to help with putting in place interventions to mitigate the drought’s impacts. “Because of the excessive rainfall that occurred in October and November of 2015 the drought situation has eased off over the entire country through to March of 2016. In the long-term, there is still concern for drought in south of the country during the end of June 2016,” said the Met Service, in an online summary.

    National 2016 budget to be drafted this month
    There is a lot of curiosity over what the 2016 budget will look like, as the new financial year begins to appear on the horizon. The national budget now exceeds a billion dollars, with the bulk of the funds going towards recurrent spending such as salaries. Of note is that the new budget for 2016-2017—originally forecasted at BZ$1.04 billion, a shade smaller than the $1.07 billion approved last year for 2015-2016—should include the third and final tier of salary adjustments the Government promised to teachers and public officers. In 2014, teachers and public officers got a 6% raise and last year, they received another 8%. The third adjustment will be worked out after the budget year ends on March 31, when the Government will know how much, if any, excess revenue it earned that it can split with workers, under a 50-50 arrangement. In the days ahead, the Ministry of Finance will accelerate work to put together the budget. It is currently awaiting final submissions from the various government ministries, which it hopes to receive by the end of the week.

    Despite spike in homicides for January, Belize can become a safer place in 2016
    With 12 murders reported by the Police Department for the month of January 2016, including the stabbing murder of Mariano Castillo reported over the weekend, the year is off to a very bad start. In fact, the month’s murder tally is the third highest ever recorded in Belize for that specific month. Although January 2005 saw a record 14 murders, the year 2005 saw far less murders than had been reported in Belize over the past 10 years, with a total tally of 81. This makes the point that a bad start to the year does not have to equate with a bad finish. When 13 murders were reported in January 2013, the year finished with 99, breaking the triple-digit trend which began in 2010. The year before, 2012, had actually seen a record-high 145 homicides—but only 4 of those had occurred in January.

    Home sweet home, after lockup in Mexico
    Two Belizean men are home free after they were released from a jail in Chetumal, Mexico, where they have been since February 2013, on charges of drug trafficking. Police said that yesterday, Ermilindo Vasquez and Hugo Casanova, after being released from jail yesterday, were taken by Mexican police to the Belize northern border today, where they were handed over to the Belize police, who, after doing checks to ensure that the two men were not wanted for any offenses in the Belize, were released from custody. Casanova went home to be reunited with his family in Corozal, and Vasquez went to his family in Orange Walk Town. Mexican police say that on February 7, 2013, the two men were busted during a sting operation at the home of a well known drug dealer in Chetumal and southern Mexico.

    Daniel Anderson, 31, walks from murder charge
    Supreme Court Justice Adolph Lucas this morning ruled to acquit accused murderer Daniel Anderson, 31, of the June 2010 murder of Joyce Mitchell, 19, who was shot in the head as she sat on her sister’s car in front of their home on Sibun Street. The trial was without a jury. In acquitting Anderson, Justice Lucas said that the prosecution had failed to prove the case against him. “The Crown did not discharge the burden (of identification) to the requisite standard. I have no other recourse but to find the accused not guilty of murder,” Justice Lucas said at the conclusion of his judgment. Justice Lucas ordered Anderson to stand up. “I find you not guilty of murder. Go and try to sin no more,” he said.

    Two teens shot to death in Orange Walk Town
    Two Cristock Street, Orange Walk Town teenagers were shot and killed at about 4:30 Monday afternoon — their bodies left sprawled on the road in front of one of their homes. Erlindo Matura, 19, was shot in the upper left side of his chest and back, and died almost immediately, while his friend, Rene Acevedo, Jr., 16, was shot in the back of the head. Their friend, another minor, managed to escape the killer. Orange Walk police told Amandala today, Thursday, that they know who they are searching for, but have not found him yet. Matura and Acevedo were transported to the Northern Regional Hospital, where they were pronounced dead on arrival. The three friends were at Acevedo’s home, when a man rode up on a bicycle to the yard and called for Matura. Matura came out of the house onto the road to talk to the man. His two friends, Acevedo and the minor, followed him to see what the man wanted.

    Ladyville residents “happy with Serrano’s Bus Service”
    Hernan Serrano has been given a permit since January 15 to operate two buses between Belize City and Ladyville; his two buses don’t go all the way to Lord’s Bank as do the other bus lines, Haylock Bus Service and Ramos Bus Service, however. Serrano’s Bus Service run is apparently very much welcomed by the residents of Ladyville, who said that prior to the Serrano runs their needs were not being met. Amandala spoke with a few of the passengers; a man who was on crutches said, “This is the transport I use now,” and noted that it is very convenient, since the villagers don’t have to walk to the highway to wait for a bus. Another passenger told Amandala that having another bus on the road alleviates the congestion (which necessitates that a lot of passengers be standees) that occurs on the buses, and this new run allows them to ride “comfortably”.

    The Reporter

    Another tourist mishap
    Belize has recorded another unfortunate incident involving a tourist suffering harm, this time at the Altun Ha archaeological site. Reports are that a cruise passenger, American national Bryan Goeders, had to be flown out of the country for further treatment on Saturday, after falling from the Altun Ha Mays temple on Friday. Goeders, who had only been in country for a few hours, was booked on a tour of the site with Chukka, and declined to climb the site. After his group of over 40 people had gone ahead, however, Goeders decided to climb the temple, but lost his balance trying to pick up his sunglasses, which had dropped from him. He fell 35 feet and landed face-first, causing a crushed liver, abrasions to the forehead, dizziness, nose bleeding, throat pains, a broken jaw, bruised lungs, and bleeding to the brain. Chukka Tours Director Valerie Woods, maintains he was not on a sanctioned climb, and that the other tourists were in no danger.

    BPP calls for proper garbage disposal in Toledo
    The Belize Progressive Part (BPP) is calling on the Government of Belize and the residents of the Toledo district to address an ongoing problem with garbage disposal, which mars the beauty of the jungle. Robert Lopez, campaign manager for the BPP, in a report compiled from an ongoing countrywide, said that the roadsides in Toledo were littered with everything from garbage to dead animals. He said that it was a Punta Gorda garbage truck responsible for dumping the trash in the area. “This is the most pristine of the districts of Belize with a thriving jungle,” Lopez said. “Belizeans we have to do better than this.” He called on the government to establish a proper waste disposal site in the area, to avoid the unsightly incident. Lopez, on his tour also questioned the government’s decision to place a Belize flag monument two kilometres inside Belize’s territory at the village of Jalacte, instead of at the established border point between Belize and Guatemala.

    FECTAB takes issue with NICH
    The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB), held a press conference on Saturday morning to publicly voice its discontent with the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH). FECTAB representatives met at the Radisson Fort George Hotel, to address several concerns, including: seemingly preferential treatment to foreign-owned tour companies, the need for more meaningful infrastructure at the Nohoch Che’en Archaeological Site, and what they feel is disrespect by public officials. FECTAB said that NICH imposes rules on their operators that other companies, such as Chukka and Dark Knight Cave Tubing are exempt from. These include the eight-persons-per-tour-guide rule. They also added that the government has changed the name of an entire cave system to accommodate a foreign operator. “They changed the name now from whatever it was called before to Dark Knight Cave System,” FECTAB said.“

    Quake shakes Taiwan
    A magnitude-6.4 earthquake shook southern Taiwan early Saturday, the United States Geological Survey said. At least 126 people were rescued from a 17-story residential building that collapsed in Tainan, the media office of the Tainan municipal disaster response center told CNN. A total of 26 people were hospitalized. Seven people at a market were also transported to hospitals. The building has 60 apartments and it was unclear how many people were trapped inside, Li Bomin, an official from Tainan City Fire Department, told CNN earlier. More than 100 rescuers were at the scene, he said.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    When it Comes to Corruption, Why Can’t Belize be more like Denmark?
    Year after year, Denmark is ranked among the least corrupt countries in the world. This year is no different. Transparency International has once again ranked Denmark as the world’s least corrupt country over the last year. In contrast, Belize is absent from the list […]

    San Pedro boat owners recover stolen vessel
    The owners of a boat that was reported stolen yesterday from Grand Colony Dock near San Pedro Town, contacted Belize Media Group a short while ago to extend their gratitude for an article written, as the boat was found at the south side of […]

    National unity needed
    There are some issues that require national unity and transcend partisan politics. It’s long been agreed that the Belize-Guatemalan territorial dispute and efforts to resolve it, is one such issue as it threatens the very existence of our nation as we know it. ‘De-risking’ […]

    Rotary Duck Race under way
    The Rotary Club’s annual Duck Race officially got under way about half an hour ago when hundreds of rubber ducks were thrown into the Macal River. Each duck is marked and the owner of the one that crosses the finish line first, with the […]

    BSI/ASR demonstrates mechanical harvesting to farmers
    The Belize Sugar Industry, BSI/ASR in collaboration with the Sugar industry Research and Development Institute, (SIRDI) held a session with sugar cane farmers to demonstrate mechanical harvesting. While stakeholders in the industry agree that this harvesting system is definitely a part of the future, […]

    Murder at ’69 Bar’ in Teakettle
    After contacting the Belmopan Police Department, Belize Media Group was able to confirm that a man was murdered and a woman shot to the leg at ‘69 Bar’ in Teakettle Village this morning but details of the incident are still not being released as […]

    Tourist in recovery after fall from Altun Ha temple
    American tourist Brian Gooders has been flown out of Belize for further treatment but appears to be out of danger after an incident at the Altun Ha Mayan site on Thursday in the Belize District. The 36-year-old had to be hospitalized after he lost balance […]

    Blogs

    Ambergris Caye: Best Spring Break Destination in Belize
    Located just a quick hours by air from the United States, the gorgeous tropical nation of Belize is a unique destination for people wanting to experience the ultimate spring break. One destination in particular, the island of Ambergris Caye, has all the ingredients for a wonderful spring break vacation. Spring break opportunities on Ambergris Caye include both exciting activities on land and in the sea as well as plenty of delicious food, sunny beaches, and lovely cocktails made from local rum and fresh tropical juices. The largest island in Belize, Ambergris Caye (pronounced “key”) is the country’s premiere vacation destination. With close access to the majestic Belize Barrier Reef, there’s plenty of sailing, swimming, snorkeling and diving opportunities. The mainland is only a hopper flight or a boat ride away, and you can take an adventure tour in a day and be back to enjoy the island’s many restaurants, bars, and live music to relax the night away.

    Visiting Ambergris Caye in February? Do not miss the Fiesta De Carnaval
    February is a fantastic time to visit Ambergris Caye in Belize as the island ushers in the season of Lent with exuberant Carnaval festivities. The streets of San Pedro fill with parades, music, and locals competing in special group dances called comparsas. One particularly fun local tradition involves flour fights and body painting. The main streets in town are closed so locals can have fun painting one another in brightly colored water-soluble paint. The multi-day festival also hosts art exhibitions, and locals and visitors alike can compete in several different categories for best watercolor painting. Another popular tradition is the Mardi Gras-type parades where locals march through the streets singing silly and raucous songs to the beat of live music. Carnaval in San Pedro is a great place to let your freak flag fly as lots of men take advantage of the festivities to dress up in wildly colorful women’s outfits. For children, there’s also a special pinata party. Live entertainers sing silly songs including parodies of popular favorites. Carnaval ends with a huge celebration that includes a comical ceremony known as Juan Carnaval. For more than 100 years, locals read out the purported will of the apocryphal figure of Juan Carnaval and then burn him in effigy in order to ward off bad luck for the following year.

    Issue #30 of The BELIZE AG REPORT is online here!

    Homemade Health – Essential Oils
    Last summer I had the privilege of staying with a friend who is particularly gifted in the nursing healing arts and complementary therapies. I know a little about aromatherapy but she practices it every day. Her favorite method is to add essential oils to coconut oil (cold-pressed) and use it for massage oil. I found her massage oil to be very helpful for swollen joints, so much so that I became intrigued and decided to learn more. Pure essential oils have been pressed or distilled from the leaves, bark, roots, and other aromatic portions of a plant, yielding highly concentrated compounds. What I didn’t realize is that they can be used with therapeutic benefit for a great number of illnesses and diseases. Digging deeper I learned that essential oils are used for not only treatment of stress and anxiety; they are being used with success in the treatment of cancer, pain, and for many other problems. Here are a few significant findings. *“Cancer starts when the DNA code within the cell’s nucleus becomes corrupted,” says Immunologist Mahmoud Suhail. It seems some essential oils have a re-set function, correcting the DNA code.

    To The Editor
    Did you know that minimum wage in Mexico is close to 1/3 of minimum wage in Belize? This fact is the key to understanding the challenges that farmers face in Belize. Imported produce grown more cheaply in countries with a lower minimum wage competes unfairly with produce grown locally. Farmers in Belize suffer the same consequence in competition with imports from Mexico. The great appeal of agro-chemical farming is largely due to the savings in labour. Farmers can simply spray rather than pay more workers to do the job by hand. In this way they can somewhat compete in both the world and local market by cutting the cost of production. This is where local organic farmers peel away the endemic veneer of false economy that oppresses growers the world over. The organic farmer uses labour rather than cheap agro-chemicals, which are specifically priced to target and entice farmers according to their local economy, making “agri-business” chemical farming the most economical choice. These chemicals, and the corporations that produce them, most often have their roots in chemical warfare applications from way back in the 1940’s. As wartime dissipated in the 1950’s and 60’s these corporations had to find new applications for their products, and locked on to food production as a more stable market, introducing everything from preservatives to chemical farming applications, and everything in between, in the process of profit. Now we can rarely read a food label that does not contain unpronounceable ingredients about which we have little information, and no education. So how does all this affect our local market here in Belize? Belizean farmers must compete directly with the cost of Mexican imported produce, which is generally as much as 70% cheaper, and represents approximately 50% or more of the fresh fruit and vegetables in the fresh food open air markets in Belize.

    Stormy Weather
    Where were you late afternoon on 28 September? Do you know the reason for that tremendous thunder storm that dumped 55 mm (over 2 inches) of rain in just 45 minutes around Belmopan? Don Thompson’s Weather Analysis web site, www.weathertricity.blogspot.com, explains that the earth was hit by an intense burst of radiation from the sun. Belize was on the outer edge of this strike. The graphic on his web site shows the extent of the hit; South America was hit the hardest although it extended west to Africa and north to the Caribbean. He further explained, “There was a high pressure ridge down the east coast of the Yucatan into Central America. It looks like a line of cells got trapped under the ridge. The one over northern Belize at 5PM local, suddenly exploded and within minutes became a violent thunderstorm directly over Belmopan. The city power was interrupted 3 times. By 8 PM the whole storm system was gone.

    Young Grove Management Under Huanglongbing (HLB) Scenario In Belize
    The challenge facing citrus growers today is how to bring into production young citrus trees under the heavy infestation of Huanglongbing (HLB) and Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). As infected orchards become unproductive, the decision to replace them with new ones is challenging. It is now six years since HLB was detected in Belize and there is an accumulated experience with the disease. The following are important guide lines on how to protect the new groves and minimize the infection rate with HLB. The first priority for citrus growers is to join the coordinated Area-wide Integrated Management System (AIMS) to suppress the Asian citrus psyllid population. A combined effort by everyone is more effective than individual control at the farm level. Participating in AIMS ensures the use of selected insecticides which are applied in March/April and October/November within a three week interval by all citrus growers to suppress the population of the psyllid throughout the industry. This will help to reduce the psyllid population to a low level and in the long term will allow new plantings to come into production and thus maintain low incidence of HLB. The second guideline is high density plantings: a higher number of plants per acre in the first four years. This will contribute significantly to early accumulated yields, reduce the time for recovery of investment and reduce the rate of infection.

    Corn That Says “No” To GMO
    In the modern world where large agriculture companies are gaining ground with GM (genetically modified) corn seeds, non-GM growers have been in an increasingly difficult situation from GM pollen drift. This pollen can drift over four miles in the wind and once it lands in a non-GM field, that corn becomes tainted with the GM variety. Once contaminated, the farmer typically gets a lower price, and for specialty food grade and organic corn the price can be as little as half what it would have been. However, one bright spot is that a few plant breeders have found a way to develop non-GM corn varieties that “say no” to the GM pollen when it comes blowing its way. Blue River Hybrids in Ames, Iowa U.S.A., is the leading company that offers this type of seed, known as PuraMaize, for Midwest U.S. farmers. Blue River describes PuraMaize as a natural gene system which impedes pollination from GMO traited and blue corn pollen. It is naturally bred into Blue River corn hybrids, giving organic farmers a powerful tool to combat contamination from neighboring fields. Corn hybrids that contain the PuraMaize gene complex have the ability to recognize and favor pollen that also contains the PuraMaize gene complex. During pollination, the pollen grains move down the silk channel trying to fertilize the potential kernel. A PuraMaize corn plant will quickly accept like pollen from other PuraMaize plants and slow the pollen of a foreign plant, like GMO or blue corn. The foreign pollen can’t win the race down the silk channel and is unable to contaminate the PuraMaize plant.

    Energetic Agriculture – Pesticides & Healthy Crops
    Late last year a farmer from Blue Creek in Orange Walk asked me how to effectively deal with aphids and mites in his crops. This was a hard question to answer. It took me several months of research to find the answer. The answer is so simple it spins the mind. I knew part of the problem, but not the entire solution. From my previous research and 3 years of experiments, nutrition appeared to be part of the cause of this pest problem for farmers. I had also known that nitrogen was also part of the problem. Nitrogen in two forms is used in agriculture — ammonia and nitrate depending upon the stage of growth of the plant. All plants need nitrogen for their development but a major problem in agriculture is the mind-set of farmers. If a crop needs say 100 lbs./acre of ammonia, most farmers will put more than 100 lbs. because they believe that more is better. Biology, chemistry and physics are precise. Nitrogen should not be needed in quantities of more than 40 lbs./acre for corn crops in Belize if the other minerals are in balance.

    Soil Inoculants – Nutrient Uptake, Water Use, Disease Resistance
    Understanding soil biology is important for keeping agricultural systems healthy and productive. Living soil is complex and includes creatures that cannot be seen with the naked eye, such as bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes, protozoa and nematodes, as well as familiar creatures such as insects and earthworms. One teaspoon of a healthy soil can contain billions of bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms. This community of organisms is bound together in a food web that affects the chemical and physical properties of soils. We care about these properties because they also affect plant growth and health. Practices such as adding manures or composts to soil, planting cover crops and rotating crops are all aimed at rebuilding and maintaining soil organic matter, recycling and retaining nutrients, and controlling soil disease and pest levels. These practices are usually associated with increased beneficial soil microbial diversity and abundance. While there are examples of soil inoculants that successfully improve plant growth and crop yields (Table 1), their commercial production and use are still in their infancy. The success of a particular inoculant depends on direct and indirect effects on the desired plant species and interactions of the inoculants with the entire exiting soil biota land. Variation in soil physical and chemical properties, such as texture and acidity, also affect the success of inoculants.

    Beyond The Backyard – Tropical Pioneers
    Two trees that could be confused at a distance and have a lot in common are the trumpet tree and the balsa tree. Both arrived in my garden uninvited but the more I study them my respect increases.They are both fast growing indigenous jungle plants that play a very important role in the eco system. Cecropia named after the mythical first king of Athens Cecrops may have about 25 species in Belize of the family Urticaceae. Perhaps the most common is Cecropia peltata called the umbrella tree, embauba, trumpet tree, guarmo, yarumo and kooche as it is everywhere you look. It has been a seriously studied jungle weed due to its interdependency with biting Azteca ants who colonize its hollow stalks and feed exclusively on the muellerian food it provides. In Central America the leaves are also important food to howler monkeys, tapir, deer, sloths, birds,and bats plus a nesting place for chachalacas and an egg depository for the Cecropian Orion or stinking leaf wing butterfly. When the leaves are salted cattle will eat with gusto.

    Why Sulfur?
    Although elements, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, usually referred to as NPK, are the major considerations for fertile soil by farmers, sulfur should be considered the fourth major nutrient in terms of the amount required. Most crops use between 40 to 90% as much sulfur as phosphate. Corn, sorghum and rice use around 35% as much sulfur as phosphate; citrus and sugarcane, about 50%, but cabbage and onions, 90 to 110%. There is a difference between sulfur and sulfate. Sulfur is an element, S; sulfate is sulfur combined with oxygen, SO4. When you compare phosphate, P2O5, with sulfur you should use the sulfate form of the element to obtain an accurate comparison. Although soils are tested for the elements, it is the sulfate form broken down in the soil that the plant uses. And the higher the phosphate level the more sulfur is needed because phosphate is more stable than sulfate in soil; it doesn’t leach away as sulfate does and is more readily absorbed.

    The Soils Of Belize By District/Region – The Belize District – East To West
    My last article introduced the soils of the Belize District along and from the sea coast. This article is a further exploration of these soils extending westwards into the Cayo District as these soils are related to the course of the main agents of formation, the southern Belize and Sibun Rivers. We go from swamps to elevations of about 200 ft that have been formed by the Belize River in the north and the Sibun River, including the Caves Branch tributary, in the south. A major characteristic is the presence of relatively large and minor lagoons, creeks and streams. As the elevation rises the containing lowland pine ridge gives way to broken ridges interspersed with areas of broadleaf forest on undulating lands going to the west. Phosphorous is generally deficient. These soils of the lower Belize River Valley, on the eastern seaboard, are mangrove swamps and do not have a true coastline. The soils are mucky and in many areas are impacted by a high water table that has saline intrusions.

    Both Soils & Crops Need Boron
    More often than not, the soils we receive to be analyzed for growing all types of crops are deficient in several micronutrients, but the one that requires constant vigilance to assure the greatest success is boron. Like nitrogen and sulfur, boron can be leached from the soil. So just as is true concerning sulfur, it is necessary to test for boron content and generally expect it to be required to correct the soil accordingly from year to year. Although it should be, boron is not usually considered as a necessary addition for growing most crops including corn, soybeans, wheat, vegetables and even pasture. Without adequate boron more nitrogen is needed in order to produce the same amount of growth. Consequently, it needs to be present in sufficient amounts as plants begin to grow and throughout the growing season. Apply boron to your land based on need as established by a reliable soil test, not by guessing whether it is or is not needed.

    The Tropic Rice Part Of “Rice And Beans”
    The seeds of the rice plant are the grain that we eat in our rice and beans meal. Like most grains, the seeds have to be threshed to remove the hulls. In the old days this was done by swathing or bundling the stalks together and beating them in troughs manually. But not in Spanish Lookout where Tropic Rice uses the latest technology to mill rice. Paddy rice, as the grain coming to the mill is called, has to have only 12 – 13% moisture for milling. Sample paddy rice is tested for moisture and quality; the price to the farmer depends on both. The first stop in the mill is a holding bin. The rice is unloaded and from there it goes through a pre-cleaner, and then to a paddy husker where the rice husks are removed and discarded. Next is the paddy separator, which removes the kernels that didn’t husk from the brown rice. Rice to be made into white rice then goes through an abrasive whitener that removes the bran from off the kernel, after which it enters the polisher where the rice is brought to its natural whiteness using clean water and gently rubbing the kernels. Brown rice bypasses the whitening and polishing processes.

    Silicon’s Role In Rice Production
    Silicon (Si) is the second most abundant element of the Earth’s crust after oxygen. It has long been neglected by ecologists, as it is not considered an essential nutrient for plants. However, research in recent years shows that it is beneficial for the growth of many plants, including important crops such as rice, wheat and barley. For instance, Si enhanced the resistance against pests, pathogens and abiotic stresses such as salts, drought and storms. Silicon might, thus, play a crucial role in the development of sustainable rice production systems with lower or zero input of harmful pesticides. Researchers from the interdisciplinary LEGATO project on sustainable rice production looked in more detail at the cycle of plant-available Si in contrasting regions of Vietnam and the Philippines to provide insights on the importance of this element in rice production.

    Bird Watch – From My Perch
    Chiquibul Adventures – Watershed Awareness, Solitaire Canyon River Expedition. With the aim of further exploring and understanding the Chiquibul National Park, the Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) and Mountain Equestrian Trails (MET) completed another exploratory expedition on an un-explored river in the western jungles of the park during the month of August. Jim Bevis shares the essence of the team’s experience: We entered the crystal clear river with inflatable kayaks at a remote location on the western base of the Maya Mountain Massif. The purpose of the expedition was to explore the downstream and photograph points of interest in the 14 miles stretch for a period of five days. Soon after casting off from the north side of the river, we entered a rugged and beautiful steep walled limestone canyon, where in places the swift and turbulent floodwaters of many millennia had cut deep and smooth into the polished limestone walls. The upper part of this river was somewhat shallow in places and much of the first day was spent dragging our kayaks through and over basketball-sized “boulder gardens” to the next pool of deep water.

    Reminiscing With Joe Friesen Sr., Cattleman Par Excellence
    Of all the families who moved to Belize from Chihuahua, Mexico in 1958 one of the largest families was the Peter Friesen family. Joe, who is the second oldest of 11 children was 6 years old when his family moved from Manitoba, Canada to Mexico and 16 when they moved to Spanish Lookout.As a pioneer in the developing country Joe’s father, Peter Friesen,did lathe work and made his own machinery for whatever he needed. They settled in Spanish Lookout on lands along the Belize River. At the time, it was in bush with many cohune trees and much bamboo. Rather than bring cattle from the 7,000 ft elevation area they left in Mexico, they purchased Brahman-type cattle from local sources, such as Eduardo Juan, Trinidad Juan, Negroman {Ranch} and the Delafuentes. Beginning in 1964, Joe began marketing cattle, a trade he would carry on for over 40 years until 2004, when he would turn things over to his sons. In the mid 60’s, Joe sold 2 head per week, from his farm and from others in Spanish Lookout, for which the farmers received 11 cents/lb live wt for good cows, and 14 cents/lb live wt for the best steers – all local type Brahman.

    What Do ppm & ppb Quantities Really Mean?
    Descriptions of minute quantities, parts per million (ppm) or parts per billion (ppb), can be difficult to grasp. How can we practically relate to one part per million or one part per billion? One ppm is one part per 1,000,000, equivalent to one drop of substance diluted into 50 liters. In an analogy to time, one ppm is equivalent to 32 seconds of one year. One ppb is one part per 1,000,000,000, equivalent to one drop of substance diluted into 250 fifty-five gallon (200 l) drums – that is one drop into 13,750 gallons! In time, that would be 3 seconds out of a century. Many common synthetic-based pesticides’ Maximum Contamination Levels (MCL) are figured in single digits of parts per billion, ppb, which hints at their intense toxicities. Synthetic poisons are much more concentrated than “botanical” poisons (those derived from natural botanical substances). Charles Walters points out: “… it would take a tractor-trailer load of botanicals to disturb, say, a water main, whereas a quart of Paraquat would do maximum damage.”

    The Southern Pine Beetle Is Speaking To Us!
    You would think that as an environmental advisor to the United Nations I would be a better steward of our planet, but alas I grew up in Texas where tree huggers are hard to find and in only the past ten years have I lightened my footprint on the world. No matter where you stand on global warming, you have to admit the planet is heating up. Whether this is a cycle in our globe’s very long history, which has become very warm and very cold many times, or this is the last big heat up created by man’s ignorance to his surroundings, I will leave to each of our readers. I will probably get a sigh of relief from many of you when I tell you this article is not about melting glaciers, but something much smaller…..The Southern Pine Beetle (SPB) (Dendroctonus frontalis). Dark brown to black in color, and approximately 1/8th inch long with a unique rounded rear end, the SPB belongs to the largest order of insects, Coleoptera, and family Scolytidae. It has a life cycle of 35-60 days; that’s six generations per year capability and has increased with the temperature. In natural forest situations, pine beetles prepare the way for ecological succession by selectively removing mature, stressed or damaged pines. Consequently pine beetle infestations often begin on damaged trees, but the beetles quickly reproduce and move to other surrounding trees. As beetles bore into bark, the tree tries to protect itself by exuding pitch, resulting in the formation of characteristic pitch tubes. Weakened trees may not be able to produce sufficient pitch flow to prevent colonization and when beetle populations are high, the number of beetles attacking trees may be so large that even healthy trees cannot withstand infestation.

    Lemon Grass
    The typical variety of lemon grass grown in Belize, Cymbopogan citratus, is commonly known as “fever grass” as a traditional remedy to reduce and alleviate symptoms of fever. Lemon grass is a perennial plant that grows in large clusters of long thin green leaves and produces a pleasant lemony, citrus aroma when crushed. It has a slightly pungent, but delicate lemony flavor with undertones of mint and ginger to season food, especially tea, soups, curries and salads. Stalks and bulbs of the plant are commonly used as an ingredient in Asian and Indian cuisine. As a gardening aid in tropical gardens it is used as a companion plant. Many Belizeans have lemon grass plants growing as an attractive decorative and useful plant in their home gardens. There are more than fifty varieties of lemon grass; not all are used for culinary, medicinal or agricultural purposes. Lemon grass is indigenous to India and tropical regions of the Asian continent, including Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. It is also commonly grown and used in Central America, Java, Madagascar, China, West Indian islands and Zambia and other warm tropical climates. It grows year-round in all tropical countries and can successfully be grown indoors in cold climates. Mature plants resemble common field or “cattle grass” and generally grow from about two to four feet in height. Plants do not flower or produce seeds; they are propagated with portions of the root of the plant. Once established, lemon grass usually grows wild via underground rhizomes. It is an easy plant to grow and requires little care beyond a sunny location and watering in the dry season.

    Dairy Products At Home: Mozzarella & Ricotta Cheese
    The cheeses for this cheese-making workshop are mozzarella and ricotta. These are cheeses presumably invented in Italy but now prized all over the world, the second being a byproduct of the first. Mozzarella is the gooey topping for lasagna, pizza, and other Italian dishes which everyone likes so much. Here in Central America, mozzarella makes itself at home on enchiladas or quesadillas, with its famous melting quality. It’s not easy to fit into a new culture, but if we were all so friendly and likable, sacrificing ourselves for the benefit of others, it would be much easier, more like… melted cheese. Here is a simplified recipe which has evolved in my kitchen through the natural selection of shortcuts inherent to that environment. Recipes generally call to acidify sweet milk with citric acid, but milk that is naturally sour needs no acidification, so I just use a blend of sweet and sour milk. It may be whole or skimmed, or some of each. To make hard cheeses, you will need rennet, which can be purchased in liquid form from Western Dairies in Spanish Lookout. To make it easier to measure small amounts, I put mine in a dropper bottle. You need ¼ tsp to 4 gallons of milk, or 6 drops to a gallon. Stir in the rennet and let the milk set. In less than an hour, your milk will curdle, or become a solid rather than a liquid. The curd is ready to cut when you can cut into it with a knife and it makes a ‘clean break’, being of cutting rather than pudding consistency.

    World Food Day At Mopan Technical High School In Benque Viejo
    World Food Day was organized in 1979 and promoted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to combat poverty and eradicate hunger world-wide; it is now observed in almost every country of the world. October 16, 2015 was the date of forums held and attended by millions of people around the globe. Belize held the event one week later on October 23, 2015. The theme of the 2015 World Food Day was: “Soil Protection and Agriculture: Breaking the Cycle of Rural Poverty”. Mopan Technical High School provided the venue and it was a showcase for the teachers and students of the school who provided tours of their healthy gardens and gave vibrant seedling plants to all who visited their booth.

    Pro-Organic Belize On The Grow!
    The seeds for Pro-Organic Belize (POB) group were planted at a symposium “Sourcing Healthy Food in Cayo” which was held at Maya Mountain Lodge in November 2014. Following this well-attended event, POB paired up with the San Antonio Cayo Organic Growers Association (SACOGA) to cultivate a growing relationship with the goal of having organic produce for sale at the San Ignacio open air market on Saturday mornings starting in December 2014. SACOGA now has a permanent booth at the market, run by Abdias Mesh, the founder and director of SACOGA and takes orders for fresh organic produce each week for pick-up on Saturday morning (see ad below). POB and SACOGA have developed a participatory guarantee system (PGS) of organic certification which is based on that of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM). The mission statement of POB is “To support and promote the San Antonio Cayo Organic Growers Association and other organic initiatives in Belize.”

    Ag Briefs
    Neal Kinsey will return to Belize to again deliver his Introductory Soil Fertility Course on February 8th, 9th ,10th, 2016 at UB Central Farm. There may be a soybean field day after the course. Second Annual Christmas Plant Sale to benefit the Belmopan Humane Society. Saturday December 5 –Blue Moon Restaurant @the roundabout in Bmp. 10am-4pm. For Sale: plants & cuttings, poinsettias, palm trees, Christmas decor. Enter the raffle to win a completely decorated tree ready to plug in and light up your home or business! Worms that eat styrofoam: A Beihang University professor and his doctoral student, and a Stanford University professor co-authored a study, just published in Environmental Science and Technology, showing that mealworms, the larval form of the darkling beetle, can digest Styrofoam and produce a biodegradable waste. What do you do when the supply of bananas exceeds the demand and the price to the grower gets reduced too low to pay laborers in the harvest period? Look for alternative ways to industrialize the raw material! How about banana flour? The initiative to produce banana flour is still in its experimental stage in Paraguay.

    Agriculture Prices At A Glance

    International Sourcesizz

    Belize’s IFSC issues warning against Arab Gold Bank Ltd
    Belize’s financial regulator. the International Financial Services Commission (or IFSC), has issued a warning regarding a retail investment firm called Arab Gold Bank Ltd operating from website https://arabgoldbank.co. Arab Gold Bank Ltd offers trading and investment schemes in commodities and forex. According to the IFSC, Arab Gold Bank Ltd holds itself out to be registered in Belize, even posting on its website a Belize Certificate of Incorporation (see above). However the IFSC notes that the Certificate is a complete forgery, and Arab Gold Bank Ltd is not licensed by the IFSC or any other competent authority in Belize.

    New direct flight Mérida – Havana coming in May
    It has been confirmed that on May 2016, Mexican air carrier Aeromar will reinstall a direct flight between Mérida, Yucatán and Havana, Cuba. This flight adds to the growing local air connectivity that now links “La Ciudad Blanca” with destinations such as Milán, Italiy; Toronto, Canada; Houston and Dallas Fort Worth, Texas; Miami, Florida and Belize City. The historic relation between Cuba and Yucatán goes back a long way. But in terms of air connectivity, the last time there was a direct flight, was back in the 1990s when extinct Mexicana de Aviación, used to have a Mexico City – Mérida – Havana flight, three times a week. Nowadays, if you want to travel from Mérida to Havana, you need to go to Mexico City and then take either an Aeromexico or Cubana de Aviación flight; despite the short distance between the peninsula and the island.

    Videos

  • CARICOM YOUTH AMBASSADOR PROGRAM (Belize), 1min. Did you wonder how voting for the National Youth Council of Belize will be done? Here is Sabreena N Daly PR person for the Department of Youth Services Explaining how Voting on February 29th, 2016 will take place.

  • Cruise 2014, 4min. Probably should of made this waaay back but anyways surprise video. From Florida to Honduras, Belize, Conzumel and Costa Maya.

  • Where Wise Men Fish: Belize, 5min.

  • PMDG 737 takeoff and climb from MZBZ - Belize City, 4min.

  • You better Belize it!, 5min.

  • Fly Fishing Bonefish in Belize, 3min. Fishing with Ken Coc of Chasin' Tail guide service in Caye Caulker Belize. Working with the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust to collect data on the bonefish to help preserve the fishery.

  • Big Permit Fishing in Belize, 6min. Fishing with Chasin' Tail Guide Services for Permit Out of Caye Caulker, Belize

  • Belize Video, 8min.

  • Belize Creole Drumming, 5min.

  • Arrive in Belize, 9min. My holiday in Belize deep in the Jungle

  • Belize - Firsts adventures, 11min. have some fun in Belize.

  • MADE IN BELIZE BEACH PARTY, 1min. BRINGING BELIZEANS TOGETHER BY MUSIC . THE OFFICIAL AD FOR THE EVENT.

    February 6, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    San Pedro Tourism Stakeholders introduced to the new Destination Belize
    The official visitor’s magazine of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), Destination Belize is on a country wide tour promoting the 2016-2017 publication scheduled for release on September 2016. On Tuesday, January 2nd, the Destination Belize team was in San Pedro, where they met with tourism stakeholders to promote advertisement packages on the publication as well as discuss the new destination of the magazine. For 15 years, Destination Belize has been one of the leading forms of promoting Belize’s tourism industry. According to Creative Director at McNab Publishing in charge of the Destination Belize, Tanya McNab, this edition will not only feature the printed magazine but also an interactive travel website with an integrated destination marketing approach. “Wanting to modernize Destination Belize and its components, the BTIA found it imperative to collaborate with a team of technologically savvy creatives to rebrand, restructure, and completely revamp the publication. McNab Publishing took on the challenge to transform Destination Belize into a brand that is engaging, accessible, and valuable to both the audience and advertisers with a strong online presence that can resume its rightful place as Belize’s premier publication. The rebranding of Destination Belize will include the signature magazine, a pocket edition, a QR and poster campaign, an e-book, an app and social media presence,” said McNab.

    SPJC to host ATLIB National Volleyball Championships
    The 2015 Association of Tertiary Level Institutions of Belize (ATLIB) Regional Volleyball Tournament was held on Saturday, January 30th in Corozal Town. Female and male volleyball teams from the several junior colleges in northern Belize participated, including the San Pedro Junior College (SPJC) Male Volleyball team. At the end of the tournament, SPJC edged out their competition, earning the privilege to represent the north, along with the Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College (CEMJC) Female Volleyball Team at the ATLIB National Volleyball Championships. SPJC and CEMJC will be representing the north at the ATLIB National Volleyball Championship scheduled to take place on Sunday, February 7th here in San Pedro Town at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium starting at 9AM. The other male and female teams competing at the Championship are University of Belize (UB), Sacred Heart Junior College (SHJC) and Saint John’s College Junior College (SJCJC). Everyone is invited to come out and support their SPJC volleyball team!

    The San Pedro Sun announces annual Valentine’s poetry contest
    It’s Valentine’s Day and romance is in the air! Each year The San Pedro Sun holds its annual Valentine’s Day Poetry Contest and we are asking you, our readers to help us pick the winners! All poems submitted to The Sun will be posted on our popular Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SanPedroSun shortly after they are submitted. Winning poems will be chosen based on the number of “likes” they receive by you, our loyal fans! Poets can submit their master pieces to spsun@sanpedrosun.com, deliver them to The San Pedro Sun office at 63 Barrier Reef Drive suite #202, or mail them to P.O. Box 35, San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Deadline for submission is no later than 5PM on Wednesday, February 10th. Online voting ends Thursday, February 12th at 10AM, and the winners will be announced in the Friday, February 12th issue of The San Pedro Sun.

    2016 Jerry Jeff Walker “Camp Belize” fans enjoy La Isla Bonita and donate to the community
    The annual migration of Jerry Jeff Walker music fans has come and gone, and as usual their generous hearts (and wallets) have benefitted worthy community causes while they were here. Every January music lovers and musicians from around the world flock to San Pedro for the annual sold-out Jerry Jeff Walker (JJW) “Camp Belize” concerts that are held at Fido’s Courtyard. This year the “camps” ran from January 17 through the 23rd and the 24th through the 30th. Although the crowd of more than 300 people over the two-week period flock to San Pedro to attend the concerts of the legendary singer-songwriter JJW, they also come to enjoy camaraderie in our Caribbean ambiance, playing music together at various jam sessions at favorite local bars and spending their hard-earned cash on recreational fun, such as diving, snorkeling, mainland day trips and catamaran tours. Jerry Jeff Walker Fido's Camp Belize-2Some of that cash also goes to benefit community-based service organizations here in San Pedro.

    San Pedro Tiger Sharks chomp on Cayo Western Ballaz
    The San Pedro Tiger Sharks have claimed their second win in the 2016 National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) Tournament. Now in the third week of the tournament, the Tiger Sharks have defeated both of the western basketball teams. Their most recent victim was the Cayo Western Ballaz, who fell against the Tiger Sharks in a 71-59 point match at their own home court. The Tiger Sharks are definitely off to a good start hoping to claim the NEBL Championship for the third consecutive year. Next up, The Belize City No Limit will face off against the Belmopan Bandits at Bird’s Isle basketball court in Belize City on Friday, February 5th at 9PM. Also facing off on Friday at Dangriga Warriors and Cayo Western Ballaz at the Ecumenical High School auditorium in Stann Creek Town at 9PM. On Saturday, February 6th, Independence Thunderbolts will host the Orange Walk Running Rebels at the Independence High School auditorium at 8PM. The final match of the weekend will be a home match from the San Pedro Tiger Sharks, who will take on the Smart Belize Hurricanes at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium at 9PM. Everyone is asked to come out and support the Tiger Sharks!

    Belize and Mexico strengthen relations with several new agreements
    Ambassador Quesnel Melendez went on to highlight the nine new agreements signed by Belize’s Foreign Minister Hon. Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington during his visit to Mexico in July 2015, and four others he subsequently signed; as well as four more the Mexican government hopes to conclude negotiations for and sign this year. Of special interest for Belize’s tourism industry is a study of the uses for Sargassum in the Caribbean, undertaken by the Center for Research and Development in Port, Coastal and Marine Engineering (CIDIPORT) of the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas (UAT). UAT also entered into an agreement for academic cooperation in research projects on climate change with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (CCCCC) in Belmopan. These include studies on environmental vulnerability and sustainable development, early warning systems and coastal ecology.

    Ambergris Today

    BTB Donates Vehicles to Belize Tourism Police
    On February 3, 2016, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) donated three (3) 2015 Mazda BT-50 pickup trucks to the Belize Police Department, for the dedicated use of Tourism Police Unit’s (TPU) transportation needs in fulfilling its mandate to address the needs of the tourism industry. Present for the handing over were Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. – Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon. John Saldivar – Minister of National Security, and Mr. Allen Whylie – Commissioner of Police.

    Eternal Rest for Genaro Nuñez
    It is with profound sorrow and respect that Ambergris Today, on behalf of the entire community of San Pedro, says goodbye and celebrates the life of Don Genaro Nuñez who passed on to be with his Creator on February 4, 2016. Tio Genaro leaves behind respectable families as Emerita Nuñez, Graniel, Diana Nuñez Halliday, Ilva Nuñez Castillo, Alice Nuñez Ochaeta, and Christino Nuñez. He was a founding member of the fishing cooperative and an active producing fisherman for over 30 years. Don Genaro ran his own business, Alice Store and Saloon, where he made innumerable friends due to his good service and outgoing personality. Mr. Nuñez was invited to become a Justice on the Peace, an honorary post he executed with distinction. Don Genaro will be remembered as caring father, a loving granddad, a joyful great grandfather, a friend who a always stretched out his hands of support; someone who offered his shoulders for friends to cry their and receive caring support.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Accelerate Caribbean hosts Business Incubation Management Training in Belize
    The Accelerate Caribbean training program focuses on strengthening the knowledge and skills of professionals in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The Business Incubator Management training will be delivered by infoDev certified trainers with experience working in Latin America and the Caribbean. Participants can be current or future incubator managers and staff members as well as representatives of incubator stakeholders, economic development agencies, and other organizations active in supporting the development and growth of enterprises. The day is designed to be practical, collaborative and interactive. During the three-day course you will learn how to: Manage and grow your own incubator in a sustainable manner; Monitor, evaluate, and benchmark your incubator’s performance against local and international competitors; Adapt and apply the key principles of technology commercialization through incubation.

    Passing of Mr. Genaro Nuñez
    Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to extend its deepest condolences to the Nuñez family & friends on the passing of Mr. Genaro Nuñez. May his soul rest in peace. Mr. Genaro was the father of our Transport Supervisor, Mr. Cristino Nuñez and grandfather to our Senior Accountant, Mr. Castillo.

    Voice of the West 2016
    Congratulations, Bernard, Marion, and Joshua! They won at the 14th annual Voice of the West Elocution Contest, which was held at Hode's last night. Bernard and Joshua are attending Sacred Heart College, and Marion is at BCS. "The Voice of the West Elocution Contest last night was a great success with well prepared high school students sharing their talents and views. Here's the list of the winners and generous sponsors. Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen for the 14th year!."

    Oceana Cayo Human Banner
    Everyone is invited to participate in Oceana Belize's Valentine's Day Human Banner project, which will be at the low lying bridge on Wednesday, February 10th, at 4:00pm. "You are invited to participate in Oceana's Valentine's Day Human Banner! Let's join together to show love and appreciation for our resources. Date: February 10th, 2016 @ 4pm Location: Macal River"

    AMAZING NIGHT AT DRAMA BRAWL
    courtesy of Restore Belize and Joseph Stamp Romero....IT WAS AWESOME!!! Maud Williams High, Sadie Vernon and Nazarene were grrrreeeat competitors! Joseph Stamp Romero, you are a GENIUS that Belize must realize... The brawl was real fantastic!!!

    SJCJC Career day 2016

    Bi-national watershed program
    FCD’s Environmental Educator runs the bi-national watershed program. To do so he works with communities to maintain the rivers cleaner. At Arenal village, school students helped keep their riverside free from garbage.

    Santa Rita Maya Wedding Re-enactment
    Organizers of the Santa Rita Maya Wedding Re-enactment confirmed to the Corozal Daily this evening, that two additional Maya Cultural presentations will be performed during the re-enactment at the Santa Rita site tomorrow Saturday February 6th, 2016. These include the " Biale del Cochino or Hog Head Dance" by the Centro Escolar Junior College and the "Ek Balam Poktapok" team from Yo Creek, Orange Walk District.

    Valentine's Eve Celebration
    It's February, and that means Valentine's Day is almost here. The Wine House is celebrating with a concert and dinner buffet on Saturday the 13th, and specials on wine all this month. "Come enjoy and participate. Special Valentine's Day Promotion"

    Sponsor the “CHIQUIBUL GRISONS” on the Maya Mountain Adventure Race
    o sponsor our team call FCD office at 823-2657, we have raised $1500.00. We need $5000.00 to compete among world series champions. Helps us protect nature.

    Channel 7

    Bail For Alleged Korean Conspirator
    Today one of the persons charged for her part in the alleged Bradley Paumen murder conspiracy applied for bail before Justice John Gonzalez at the Supreme Court in Belize City. She is Korean National Hyang Chong Park of New York - and she's been locked down ever since she landed in the country last week Wednesday. Police say she played a role in the wider conspiracy against her ex husband, Michael Modiri in February of 2015. The charge against her is perversion of justice. And while everyone else in the group of four has gotten bail - her case is the most complicated because she lives in New York and is considered a flight risk. But, today Park who has been a regular visitor to Belize for the past 15 years, was granted bail of $75 thousand dollars - despite objections from the prosecution. Attorney Dickie Bradley presented her bail application in court today - and he spoke to us outside the courtroom:...

    Customs Caught Contraband In Carmelita
    For weeks we've been reporting on vegetables - mainly local farmers in Orange Walk stuck with fields lined with carrots they couldn't sell. That brought into focus the larger issue of legally imported vegetables, which the Ministry of Agriculture has to balance against local production. But, contraband also plays a huge role in the market dynamics - especially because the Mexican vegetables are more attractive than the locally produced ones. And the Customs Department saw proof of that before dawn this morning when a large Ford van loaded with five to six thousand pounds of assorted vegetables was busted in Carmelita Village. Here's what happened: Customs got word that the van had moved off from one of the 16 or so illegal landings along the Rio Hondo river in Orange Walk. Customs set up to capture the van on the northern highway, but it sped up, jumping the speedbump in Carmelita at mile 40. That's when the back wheel blew out most likely due to the massive weight in the van.

    Cruise Tourist Tumbles At Altun Ha, Fractures Neck
    A cruise tourist took a major fall today at Altun Ha. 32 year old Brian Golders who came to Belize on the Carnival Dream was climbing structure A-1 when his sunglasses fell, and he bent over to pick it up. That's when he lost balance and fell an estimated 35 feet to the ground, face first. He suffered major facial injury and lacerations, and serious neck trauma. He was rushed to Belize Medical Associates where he is at this hour. We are told he is sedated but stable with a fracture to the neck, but with no major damage to his spine, or legs. He is expected to be flown out to the United States via air ambulance in the next hour. He was part of a group of 48 tourists on a Chukka Tour and Director Valerie Woods told us today that Golders was not on a sanctioned climb. He told the tour guides he would not climb, but instead stay on the ground with his family and shop. After that he went unaccompanied to structure A-1 and fell.

    Rice War 2 Update, Jack's Got "'Em Spooked!
    Both the Director of BAHA, Emir Cruz and the Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero say they don't know anything about the complaint importer Jack Charles has made regarding locally produced rice. And the CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture, Jose Alpuche had no comment at all. That level of executive dodging suggests to us that Jack Charles is unto something big - but we don't quite know what it is just yet. What we do know is what one senior source in the Ministry of Agriculture told us on the condition of anonymity. He said that Charles has sent them a complaint about contamination of the local rice supply with some kind of fungus. The extent and certainty of this so-called contamination is not known - but Charles has told us we should expect some news on Monday.

    Kayla Comes Home, Free From Guatemalan "Gaol"
    From a Guatemalan jail to home in Ladyville, that's what the last 24 hours has been like for Belizean Kayla Sanchez who managed to dodge jail time in Guatemala. She was accused of stealing a cell phone in Melchor. Guatemalan Police charged her for aggravated robbery, but the savvy diplomat Said Guerra convinced the authorities that the police made an error with the charge. Aggravated robbery is an offence where a defendant is accused of using force, such as with a weapon, to steal from a victim. Ambassador Guerra pored over the charge documents and picked up on a wording error in the police report. Her charge was downgraded, and because the Peten Magistrate was receptive to Ambassador Guerra's intercession on Sanchez's behalf, Sanchez went from facing a possible 6 months in jail, to getting off completely without having to face a criminal trial. This evening, Guerra spoke with us via telephone and he told us that when he was activated to come to Sanchez's aid, he was expecting the very worst:

    Trading In Machetes For Machines in Cane Country?
    2 months ago, we told you about the unexpected low prices that the cane farmers would get for their sugar cane during the 2015-2016 Crop Cycle. That's because the European market prices for sugar are down, and it is beyond the control of the millers, Belize Sugar Industries Limited, and their majority shareholder, American Sugar Refineries Limited. Well, you the local consumer, are taking a whopping 50 % price increase in sugar to make up some of the shortfall. But, while that increase is this year's fix, the coming years also look dire because in Europe Beet Sugar will be allowed to complete equally with sugar cane. So, to compete, the cost of production has to go down - and, ideally, that could mean replacing all those machetes with machines. The Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute, better known as SIRDI, invited the press to take a look at the new way to harvest cane, and 7News was in Orange Walk to see it for ourselves. Daniel Ortiz reports:

    Cane Crop "Mud-Up"
    Apart from streamlining the harvesting process, the use of these mechanized harvesters could have another major benefit, the reduction of the amount of mud that BSI has to deal with while trying to grind the cane. As viewers will remember, this season had a tough start because of the volume of muddy cane that the farmers were delivering, and right now, the mill has ground 16% less cane that last year's at this time. Today, we spoke with one of BSI's consultants who say that mechanizing the harvesting process could help to reduce the amount of mud entering the factory right now due to manually harvested sugar cane. Modesto Ulloa - International Consultant, ASR/BSI: "Rain is the sugarcane grower's worst enemy during the harvesting season. It's a best friend during the planting season because the crop requires moisture to germinate and also moisture to grow. But during the harvesting season we want cool and dry weather. So when we have a rain event like this we have 2 options; one option would be to fold and to stop delivering cane which is in the case of Belize its complicated because we already have more cane than the capacity to process or we continue to push on cutting cane under wet conditions and that's when we need to implement some kind of best harvesting practices.

    FECTAB Calls For Level Playing Field At Nohoch Che'en
    For weeks now we've been reporting on the Bradley Paumen murder conspiracy. And that has brought the whole issue of Nohoch Che'en into focus. That's the cave system formerly known as Cave's Branch where about a dozen tour operators ply their trade. The allegation has been - and we saw this for ourselves - that NICH is very strict when enforcing standards for the local tour companies, but totally lax when doing so for the foreign owned tour companies. Bradley Paumen's Dark Night is one of those foreign owned operations - and today FECTAB held a press conference to demand that NICH institute a level playing field:... David Almendarez - Fantasea Belize: "This is what we have subjected the others to. While you give another man a cave system and you give him the artefacts, you subject us to be like this and then you say we have no right to make no noise on our land. If you are going to put a check point for us, the local and Belizean people, your brothers and sisters who you are put to protect, put a check point at Dark Night Cave System. Make sure it's accessible for all Belizeans. We want to make sure that everybody is paying the adequate park fees. You can't have a company collecting government's money. Nowhere in the world that is being done. We want access to all cave systems. No longer should nobody own any cave and say no Belizeans who are tour guides who are trained to do a cave system, cannot do a cave. Those days are done. We want equality for everybody."

    FSTV's Strict Code of Silence
    FECTAB also had a thing or two to say about the foreign owned Fort Street Tourism Village. As we've been reporting, the management of the village has been bringing down the hammer on tour operators and restaurant owners inside the village. Industry observers say it is a move by management to consolidate its operations with a single business partner - at the expense of other local companies. Yohnny Rosado today told the press that he was invited inside the village - but he couldn't agree to their enforced code of silence:... Yohnny Rosado - Cavetubing.com: "There are many tour operators inside that they cannot take it anymore. I am telling you they are calling me right now after this press conference "Yohnny, we need to do this, we need to do that." Jules, you should understand they signed a paper that if they see their face in this press conference - done. In fact I got the contract last year. I just needed to sign and pay and I was going to be a member inside. But they gave me the contract about 15 pages and one page alone is to keep silent.

    Yohnny Tired of NICH, But Not Tired of Tires
    And while Yohnny Rosado didn't go inside the Tourism Village, he has gone back inside his tire shop. As we told you last week Tuesday, the city council closed down his "Econo Tire Shop." Rosado alleged that there was a malicious intent behind it all. He concedes that he doesn't have a full trade license but he showed us a receipt which demonstrates he has paid a down payment towards his trade license. Still, for the past 8 months that he had been operating he received no hassle from the city council. But a few days after he got back up on the media, his business was closed down. Two days later his tire shop opened back for business. So how did that happen? Here is how Rosado explained it. Yohnny Rosado - Econo Tires Shop: "Very hard to believe, but actually my son was the one that they close on his face and he was the one that went in there because I was doing another job. He was the one that went in there to find out what's going to happen with the business, if it going to remain closed until we the actual certificate and they told him go right ahead, open the business and we will deal you all later on."

    Mameyal Mash-Up
    Just before news time yesterday there was a traffic accident that happened near the notoriously dangerous Mameyal curve between miles 59 and 60 on the Northern Highway. It happened at around 6:30 pm when Francisco Javier Corado who was on a motorcycle crashed into a white Toyota Four Runner driven by 30 year old Ivan Patt of San Narciso Village. Corado was overtaking a vehicle when the collision occured. Corado was taken to the Northern Regional Hospital, while Patt has been served with a notice of intended prosecution.

    Another Sugar City Shooting
    Gun violence continues to spike in Orange Walk Town. On Monday we told you about the brazen double murder that claimed the life of Rene Acevedo Jr. and Erlindo Matura jr. Police are yet to make an arrest for it, but before they close this case, the cops have another shooting to solve. Fortunately, the victim in this case survived. At 2:10 this morning 34 year old Enrique Rodriguez was arriving at his home on San Francisco Street, Orange Walk Town when two men double riding on a bicycle with hoods on their heads passed by and fired several shots in his direction. Three of the shots caught him in the leg. He managed to get himself to the hospital for treatment. Police continue to investigate.

    Museum of Belize is 14
    Today the museum celebrated its 14th anniversary. As usual, primary school kids were invited to celebrate with balloons and cupcakes but the Director of the Museum Sherilyne Jones told us that she hopes these kids will take away something meaningful from the tour. Sherilyne Jones - Director, Museum of Belize & Houses of Culture "As we celebrate our 14th anniversary it's important that we invite these kids because the museum has to remain relevant and engaging and also create unique visitor experiences. So while we are celebrating 14th and like you said we normally have an open day where we invite our kids. We give them activities tied into the exhibitions and displays that they see. And we will also be showing them images of our history throughout the 14 years where we were to where we've come. I hope that when leave here they remember something important, something historical, something cultural that really resonates with them even if it's the insects if they saw something cool and then they can take that to their families and say I went to the Museum of Belize today and I saw something cool. For museums to survive in our society we have to be engaging. We have to be innovative especially with the onslaught of social media. So how do we incorporate social media, innovative ways to get and engage our visitors?"

    Cyclist Kaya "Lawyers Up"
    Yesterday we told you how the Cycling Federation had suspended elite female rider Kaya Cattouse. That's after she blasted the Federation on Facebook, when she found out that the Digicel tour would not have a female category. The Federation wrote a sharp letter warning her to cease and desist or else face a fine and suspension. Well today she snapped a letter right back at them - and this one is from Senior Counsel Lisa Shoman. Shoman warns the Federation, that it quote, "issued this letter in complete and utter disregard of my client's right to Natural Justice". Shoman goes on to point out that the Federation did not say exactly what "behavior" the federation was complaining about. The letter ends by saying and we quote, "CFB failed to observe and honor the right of Ms. Cattouse to a fair hearing prior to coming to a determination…the Federation has acted in a manner that is unreasonable…and…in my opinion, the determination made against her by the CFB is therefore null and void." We now await the Federation's response.

    OW Pulls For Bob Birthday Bash
    The 14th Annual Bob Marley Tribute is here again and there will be 2 shows to celebrate it - one in Orange Walk and one in the city. The first show is tomorrow in Orange Walk at the East Sports Center. Omar Ayuso from Charitable Roots Foundation came to our studios this afternoon to tell us more about the event. He says it's all about reviving the Legacy of Bob Marley and at the same time giving back to the community. We also spoke with the featured Belizean Artist Eljai about his new single. The proceeds of this event will go to 14 year Shawn Bowden who is battling cancer. Gates open at 6 tomorrow night.

    Dara For The People
    So if you won't be able to make it to Orange Walk tomorrow, you have a chance to be a part the tribute on Sunday in Belize City. Kwame Scott from Dara Cyber and Feeding Program gave us a little taste of what to expect on Sunday. The show starts at 6 Sunday night at the Bird's Isle. They will also be showing the Super Bowl on the big screen.

    The Art Of Breathing
    Scientists tell us that we take about 24 thousand breaths a day - and with all that - you'd think we know well enough how to breathe. But yoga master Michelle Williams says there's a lot more to it than that. She's brought in what's called a Reiki instructor to teach what's called breath work. We spoke to Lorraine Meyer who told us about the countrywide workshops they are doing: Workshops will be held in Belize City, in Ladyville and in Placencia throughout this week. To find out more about how you can sign up you can call Michelle Williams at 610-0882.

    A Tempting Tango
    A world class Tango Dance company called A Puro Tango is getting ready to perform for public in 4 day event. These professionals dancers have been in many different countries, and in two weeks time, they want to entertain you with the Tango, which originated in the South American Countries of Argentina and Uruguay. Today, one of the performers visited our studio extra early to try to convince the public to come out and experience their very first performances in Belize. Here's what she told us about the upcoming event: Her fellow performers will arrive in Belize on Wednesday, February 17, and we hope to take you behind the scenes for a peek at their rehearsal. You can get tickets at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts.

    Channel 5

    Huong Chong Park Gets Supreme Court Bail
    Huong Chong Park, a Korean woman charged along with American Bradley Paumen, Lisburn Anderson and Jahangir Abadi last Wednesday, is the last of the bunch to be freed on bail. [...]

    Attorney Dickie Bradley Says Charge Will Never Stand Up in Court
    As Bradley stated, Justice Gonzalez at one point in court clearly contemplated holding all Park’s assets in-country as bail. Just before granting bail, he was handed documents which represented a [...]

    Cyclist Kaya Cattouse Fires Back At CFB through Her Attorney
    On Thursday night, we brought you coverage of a brewing storm between elite female cyclist Kaya Cattouse and Cycling Federation of Belize President Dion Leslie. On Tuesday, Leslie wrote Cattouse [...]

    FECTAB Rails at NICH and B.T.B.
    The association comprised of small tour guides and operators, Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize, has stated that it will continue to ramp up the pressure on Government, NICH [...]

    David Almendarez Claims Small Operators Are Unfairly Regulated
    Almendarez and members of FECTAB have maintained that small operators are being unfairly treated while big companies get all the perks. They cite the many safety rules and structures which [...]

    Yhony Rosado Calls on G.O.B. to Help Small Operators
    As he does at every conference and every opportunity, small tour operator Yhony Rosado of Cave-tubing.com called on government to act on their behalf. He claims that the livelihood of [...]

    Yhony Rosado’s Tire Shop Back in Business
    Yhony Rosado’s tire shop on the Phillip Goldson Highway is back open. On January twenty-sixth Econo Tires was closed down by City Council employees over some confusion about a trade [...]

    14 Pounds of Weed in Vehicle Wrecked by Drunken Driver
    A Belize City man is lucky to be out on bail tonight and luckier to be alive after he got drunk and slammed his red Ford Escape into a tree [...]

    RED’s Rapid Response Team Finds Weed in Bermudian Landing
    Hours after that, officers from the Rural Eastern Division’s Rapid Response Team found another cache of weed. At about nine-thirty, they conducted searches on several male persons hanging out at [...]

    Sr. Supt. Chester Williams Fires Back at Attorney Oscar Selgado
    On Thursday, we interviewed attorney Oscar Selgado, representing accused murderer and sex offender Bert Vasquez. Selgado claimed on national television that his client will walk because Police have absolutely no [...]

    Belize City Man Arraigned for Drug Trafficking
    Today in court, Mark Lopez, a resident of Faber’s Road, Belize City was arraigned on a single charge of drug trafficking for ninety-four grams of cannabis. He appeared before Magistrate [...]

    Will Cane Cutters Be Replaced by Mechanical Harvesting?
    In the months of the sugar crop, thousands of laborers are employed in fields to plant and cut cane.  The practice is as old as the history of the local [...]

    Mechanical Harvesters Will Mean Less Mud
    To assist with the development of the strategic plan for the industry, ASR has brought in sugar consultant Modesto Ulloa. Ulloa’s role is to bring new ideas and technology to [...]

    Dara Hosts 14th Annual Bob Marley Tribute and Food Drive
    Humanitarian Dara Robinson is hosting another fundraising event to help the many children that benefit from his feeding program. On Sunday at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City, the fourteenth [...]

    Who Jacked a $100,000 Vessel in San Pedro?
    Brazen thieves made away with a thirty-five-foot boat on the island of San Pedro. The boat was stolen on Thursday morning from the Grand Colony Dock; it belongs to Island [...]

    Belizean Featured for Fight Against Cancer
    World Cancer Day was celebrated on Thursday; the news in Belize is that a staggering number of persons are affected with cancer and that figure is on an upward trend. [...]

    LOVE FM

    American Tourist Falls From Maya Temple in Belize
    An American national is listed in a critical condition after he fell from atop the Altun Ha Maya site in Lucky Strike Village, Belize District. 36-year-old, Bryan Goeders came into Belize yesterday on the Carnival Dream cruise ship and had opted to go on a tour with Chukka Tour Company to Altun Ha. Just before […]

    Innovation in the Sugar Industry via Harvester
    The agricultural department of the Belize Sugar Industries Limited hosted a Mechanical Harvesting Pilot demonstration in Orange Walk this morning. The idea is to persuade small and big cane farmers that mechanical harvesting is a method best used to harvest sugar cane. Hipolito Novelo reports.

    The Problem of Mud and Sugar
    For week eight of the sugar cane crop season, more than three hundred thousand tons of cane has been ground and more than thirty thousand tons of sugar has been produced. This is about ten thousand tons less when compared to the same time period last year. And while the sugar production is low, the […]

    Monies Owed to BSI Retirees
    Our newsroom recently received the copy of a letter sent to Orange Walk South area representative, Jose Mai by Austin Waight, a retiree of BSI/ASR. Waight who worked at BSI for thirty years wrote on behalf of all BSI/ASR retirees. He says quote, “we were given a gratuity of four thousand dollars and a small […]

    Will Machine Replace Manual Labor at Tower Hill?
    Earlier we mentioned the mechanical harvester that BSI/ASR and SIRDI are informing cane farmers about. While it is a method of harvesting sugar at a more effective and efficient rate, there are concerns. The immediate concern that arose is job risk. Will the new machine take away the job of the hundreds of cane cutters? […]

    Revers Crashes Into Tree In Attempt to Flee Police
    Just after midnight last night there was an accident at mile 16 on the Philip Goldson Highway involving a burgundy Ford Escape SUV. Upon arrival at the scene, officers attached to the Ladyville Police Station found that the vehicle had crashed into a tree after the driver was escaping from police officers. Reports are that […]

    Korean National Granted Bail on Abetment Charge
    Fifty-seven year old Korean national Huang Park, who was remanded to prison on a charge of abetment to pervert the course of justice, was released on a bail of seventy five thousand dollars which was granted by Justice John Gonzalez. The bail was offered on the condition that she surrenders all of her property documents […]

    Marijuana in Bermudian Landing
    Members of the Rural Rapid Response team were in the village of Bermudian Landing this morning at around nine thirty when they came across some men hanging out at a shop in the village. Whilst the authorities came up empty handed on that search, further search in the immediate area led to a black plastic […]

    Does NICH and Dark Knight Have Exclusive Deal?
    The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB) has come back to the media to express their concerns over a number of issues. Once again the Federation is against what they feel is preferential treatment towards the cave tubing company, Dark Knight owned by Bradley Paumen. Today they spoke of a contract signed with […]

    Cruise Tourism Association Makes Demands to Government
    At FECTABS’s press conference, the members had a list of what the association is demanding from the government. These include fair treatment, safety procedures, access to all caves and ramps for handicapped visitors. Co-Executive of FECTAB David Almendarez expanded on their wants.

    PlusTV

    Tourism Police Unit receives new vehicles
    The Ministries of National Security and Tourism have collaborated to equip the Tourism Police Unit with 3 new Mazda pickup trucks, solving a longstanding need for mobility there. Its head, Inspector Carla Gamboa, was especially grateful for the donation. Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie said duri...

    Two shot in Lake I
    A pair of Belize City men are in the hospital recovering from injuries sustained when a gunman opened fire on them last night in the Lake Independence area of Belize City. The shooting occurred sometime before 7 pm when a lone gunman opened fire on a group of men who were hanging out at the corner ...

    Toddler drowns in bathtub
    Tonight the family of a 1 year and two month old baby girl is mourning her sudden and unfortunate death. Reports are that the child drowned in a bathtub at the family home in Camp 51, Indian Creek village, Orange Walk District. Reports are that around 10:15 yesterday morning the baby, Adanetta Blatz...

    Tourism Minister says they did nothing wrong on Paumen
    The Bradley Paumen saga’s many tentacles stretch to no less than four Ministries – Works, Natural Resources, Tourism and the Prime Minister’s own office. The American businessman now accused of abetment to murder after a dispute with a business rival that went against him in court prompted him to al...

    Belizeans accused of drug trafficking free from jail
    Earlier this week, two Belizean men incarcerated in Mexico for drug trafficking offenses were released from Chetumal Prison. They are Hugo Cassanova from Corozal and Ermelindo “Melin” Vasquez from Orange Walk. The pair were escorted to the Northern Border by Mexican immigration officials and were to...

    Ministers propose solutions against crime
    Today Minister of National Security John Saldivar and Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Manuel Heredia Jr. were grilled on the ongoing crime situation, which has hurt Belize in two dimensions. With 13 murders reported in January and two more to date, Belize has had a poor start to the year in t...

    Bert Vasquez back in court
    Bert Vasquez is back in the news because he is back in court. Vasquez remains on remand for the murder of 13 year old Jasmine Lowe but that is not the only charges that have been levied against him. Back in June of 2012, he was arraigned for 11 counts of common assault for inappropriate contact he a...

    Rangers Training Camp
    Every year it gets a little more dangerous for rangers to guard and protect Belize’s rainforest treasures from Guatemalan poachers. With the Chiquibul so close to the border with Guatemala, and fearless illegal loggers, gold panners and xate collectors constantly attempting to extract our natu...

    The Reporter

    FECTAB takes issue with NICH
    The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB), held a press conference on Saturday morning to publicly voice its discontent with the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH). FECTAB representatives met at the Radisson Fort George Hotel, to address several concerns, including: seemingly […]

    Quake shakes Taiwan
    A magnitude-6.4 earthquake shook southern Taiwan early Saturday, the United States Geological Survey said. At least 126 people were rescued from a 17-story residential building that collapsed in Tainan, the media office of the Tainan municipal disaster response center told CNN. A total of 26 people were hospitalized. Seven people […]

    Drunken drug trafficker crashes into tree
    A Belize City man crashed into a tree on Friday morning, in a failed attempt to avoid police capture. Responding to reports of an accident, police picked up Ronald Reyes, of 7017 Antelope Street Belize City, at around 12:15 a. m., having crashed his burgundy Ford […]

    Baby Brenae Clings to Life after Tragic Accident
    The worst nightmare of any parent is unfolding at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), and has been since last Friday. Brenae Timmons, 3, lies in an induced coma while doctors wait for the swelling in her brain to subside. She yawns and moves her arms and legs, but following […]

    Zika goes global
    The World Health Organization (WHO), this week, declared the Zika virus outbreak a global health emergency. The WHO decided to sound the alarm on Monday, after experts met to examine the patters observed in the way the virus has been spreading. Countries such as Brazil, have already […]

    Stem cells could cure type 1 diabetes scientists say
    Scientists in the United States have used stem cells to create a treatment which could potentially cure type one diabetes. Several universities, including Harvard University, used stem cells to create insulin-producing cells which when used in animal trials shut down the effects of Type one Diabetes. The […]

    Why is it important to protect Half Moon Caye?
    The recent detention of eight men fishing in restricted no take zones outside of protected fishing areas, brings to light why it is important to protect conserved areas such as Half Moon Caye. The Belize Audubon Society (BAS), that manages seven conservation sites in Belize […]

    Regional service provider coalitions discuss way forward
    The Belize Coalition of Service Providers (BCSP), this week, shared some of the results emerging from the strategic meeting of the Caribbean Network of Service Coalitions (CNSC). Belize’s representative at the meeting, Orson Elrington, explained on Wednesday that the two-day meeting was to finalize the CNSC’s upcoming […]

    The BPP tells GOB to better the economy, cut your salaries by half
    The Belize Progressive Party (BPP) made three suggestions to the government, this week, which it feels would help to improve the conomic climate of the country. “Cutting your [ministers] salaries and benefits by 50 percent,” is the first suggestion. The party said cutting unnecessary spending, […]

    PetroCaribe countdown begins
    Belize’s access to PetroCaribe funding draws close to its end, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight reported this week. “We’re down to $15 million,” Waight said Tuesday. “We had compensation payments to make, and commitments and we borrowed a little out of it as well.” Waight added […]

    President Ma Ying Jeou promotes peace at Taiping Island
    With regard to President Ma Ying-jeou’s trip to Taiping Island Jan. 28 to inspect the island and celebrate the Lunar New Year with personnel stationed there, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs states the following: (1) Whether from the perspective of history, geography, or international law, the Nansha (Spratly) Islands, Shisha […]

    New leader to promote ‘Strength in Unity’
    John Briceño was elected the People’s Unity Party leader in a national convention on Sunday. The victory was sweet for Briceño as he has contested and won the position twice in his political career. The first time, he contested the seat against former party leader, the Francis Fonseca, and the […]

    Mennonite baby drowns in tub of water
    A one-year-old Mennonite baby drowned in a tub of laundry water in the Indian Creek village in Orange Walk on Wednesday morning. Around 10:25 a.m. on Wednesday, baby Aganetha Blatz was found by her brother, lifeless in a tub of water and clothes. The family […]

    2 men shot in murder attempt on Jasmine Street
    Two men were shot while standing at the corner of Marigold Lane and Jasmine Street in Belize City on Wednesday night. Police say that around 6:48 p.m. on Wednesday, 26-year-old Benua Andrews and 26-year-old Tyron Myers were standing at the corner when a male person […]

    Tourist drowns while snorkeling at Hol Chan
    An American tourist died while on a snorkeling tour at Hol Chan Marine Reserve this week, making him the third American to die while on vacation in the country in three months. Jeffrye Thomas Bartl, 58, his brother and two other friends were on a […]

    Two teenagers gunned down in Orange Walk
    Two teenage boys were shot and killed in broad day late Monday afternoon, leaving Orange Walk town shaken and police with little information. Nineteen-year-old Erlindo Matura Jr. and 17-year-old Rene Antonio Acevedo were standing in front of Matura’s house along with another minor on Monday […]

    The woman that brought light to her whole village
    The village of Santa Teresa in Toledo is a remote village in Southern Belize. It is 35 miles away from Punta Gorda town and an hour drive from the Jalacte Highway cutoff through a rocky road. The village, that consists of about 70 families living […]

    Editorial
    Elections to determine new leadership, and a new direction for the People’s United Party were held last Sunday in Belmopan with far-reaching results. Mr. Johnny Briceño, emerged the winner by a modest margin over Mr. Francis Fonseca and Mr. Cordel Hyde. But he not only won as Party Leader. His […]

    Experts suggest ‘de-risking’ alternatives
    By Alexis Milan Editor The Prime Minister, along with his team of financial advisors, returned to Belize this week, following meetings with banking regulators in the United States regarding the current ‘de-risking’ problem and indicated that one solution on the table is partnering with smaller banks. During the visit, Prime […]

    PUP’s executive sworn in
    The ten-member team that now forms the executive of the People’s United Party (PUP) was sworn in at the party’s Independence Hall headquarters on Queen Street on Wednesday. All five that were elected joined the five that were previously appointed, to take their Oath of […]

    Over 1000 teachers could be canned!
    Teachers who are not holders of a teaching license could find themselves without a job at the end of the school year, according to the Ministry of Education. Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, flanked by high-ranking ministry officials and the President of the Belize National […]

    NICH presents ‘A Puro Tango’ musical group
    The National Institute for Culture and History (NICH), in collaboration with the entertainment company, World Wide Arts is presenting the entertainment act “A Puro Tango” on February 18-19 2016 at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts.  Oksana Kordiyaka, coordinator and cultural promoter of World Wide […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Boat stolen in San Pedro
    A boat was stolen from the Grand Colony Dock near San Pedro Town yesterday morning around 12:40, belonging to ‘Island Divers Belize’ and was used to take tourists out to sea on diving expeditions. The 35 foot long Pelican boat with canopy, twin Yamaha 200 horsepower engines, oxygen units, life jackets and other items, valued at approximately $100,000, is being sought by its owners who use it daily to conduct business around San Pedro and are asking for the public’s assistance in locating it.

    Social Security Board gives Santander $12M loan
    A loan of $12 million from the Social Security Board (SSB) has been approved and is now in the publication stage before it is completely formalized, then handed over to Santander, which will use it to further develop its mill in the Cayo District. Chairman of the SSB, Doug Singh, explained in an interview that Santander is investing US $142 million to establish a sugar factory, as well as purchase acres of land in Cayo, with US $50 million coming from their equity investments and the other US $96 million being obtained through loans from Belize Bank, Atlantic Bank, Heritage Bank, regional banks and a bank in Washington DC.

    Cold front setting in
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting cloudy skies with a few showers and periods of light rain mostly over the South and some coastal areas. Winds will be blowing from the North-Northwest at 10-20 knots and the sea state will be moderate […]

    Blogs

    Top 5 “Can’t Miss” Belize Events of 2016
    When thinking of top vacation destinations, Belize should be one of the countries that appear on your list. This beautiful jewel offers a wide variety of activities and locations for adventure seekers, or those simply looking for a relaxing getaway. Belize is a country known for hosting various events year-round and we’ve compiled a concise list of “Can’t Miss” Events for 2016: La Ruta Maya (March 3 – 7). Chocolate Festival of Belize (May 20 – 22). Lobster Fest (San Pedro: June 15- 25, Placencia: June 24- 26, Caye Caulker: July 1-3). International Costa Maya Festival (August 4 – 6). Belize Carnival Road March (September 17).

    Relleno Negro
    Clean and season Chicken. (Set aside) Cut up onions and crushed garlic. Heat frying pan and add 1 tsp fat. Season ground Steak with onions, garlic, oregano leaves and apasote leaves. Place meat mixture in frying pan. Fry until well done. Turning frequently. Remove from heat and add raw eggs. Mix well. Stuff seasoned Chicken with ground meat. Putting in a whole egg after each portion of ground meat is inserted. Continue until all ground meat and eggs are used up. Sew up Chicken. Boil Chicken in sufficient water to cover up Chicken. Add black recardo to 1 cup water. Mix to soften. This gives the colour. Turn Chicken frequently to cook properly. Chicken can be removed from liquid and browned in the oven (serve with liquid from pot). Serve with some tortillas

    Monkey River Tour
    A Monkey River adventure takes travelers deep into the land of Howler Monkeys, primates so loud, they could never hide from predators without giving themselves away. To visit their neighborhood, you’ll first have to journey from Placencia (if you are vacationing in Placencia Peninsula) to Monkey River Village by boat, passing mangrove swamp and other exotic scenery that includes wild flowers, scaly critters and (if you’re lucky) manatees, since these gentle marine mammals make their homes here among mangrove-filled estuaries. Since the monkeys stick around 12 months of the year, humans eager to see them can show up in Belize year-round, too. Given river access that’s required to get to your destination, it stands to reason that if there’s flooding during the green season, the trip could be a bit more thrilling, but that doesn’t mean tours are cancelled just because it rains! No worries about parking. There’s not a single car in the village which has only two streets, so it’s impossible to get lost in Monkey River Village. You can also get here by taking a 15-mile boat ride to the mouth of the Monkey River and then hike to the village. The most highly-recommended way to take a Monkey River Tour is to book a registered tour guide who is well-versed in the area’s animals, people and landscape. Wear hiking shoes to avoid surprises and long pants to protect you from bug bites and thorns. If you intend to swim in the river, bring a suit and don’t leave your sunglasses, sunscreen and hat back at your resort in your excitement. You’ll travel by boat and by foot through forest and along trails to reach Howler Monkey nirvana where you can let loose frustrations by howling at the simians. Travelers tell us that shouting at monkeys is better than therapy and these primates never send a bill!

    Fabulous Finn Opens Fabulous Finn & Martini – The Newest Hot Spot in San Pedro
    If you live in San Pedro or just follow the SanPedroScoop, you know Finn “Kardashian”. We’ve followed his travels through Central America 2 summers ago and then SE Asia last year. Finn is fabulous, hysterical, endlessly entertaining and…well…just Finn. After 10 years charming at Rojo Beach Bar, he has opened his own spot – Finn & Martini. The spot he’s been dreaming of…now let’s see how Finn likes being the boss. Last night was the “soft opening” – a full kitchen will be opening during the next few weeks – and the place was packed. As early as 6:30pm. But Chef Marvin and his food truck, “El Jefe” might have a little something to do with that. Everything was Fin-tabulous. From the drinks to the restrooms… They are located just south of the High School – across from Annie’s Pastries. It’s hard to miss.

    International Sourcesizz

    PAHO calls for political commitment and more resources to fight zika in the Americas
    More resources are urgently needed to fight the spread of the zika virus in the Americas and the apparently related increase in microcephaly and other complications, the director of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) told ministers of health on Wednesday in a meeting convened by the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), in Montevideo, Uruguay. All countries in the Americas need to allocate new resources to step up mosquito control efforts, prepare their health services for an increase in demand, carry out public education campaigns and track the spread of Zika and increases in suspected complications of the virus, including microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. “This work will require tangible and explicit support from the highest political levels,” Dr Carissa Etienne told ministers of health at the meeting.

    Dangers in Paradise: What Belize tourists aren't being told
    The ABC7 I-Team reports on dangers in paradise and crime threats to tourists following the murder of our ABC7 colleague Anne Swaney three weeks ago. The I-Team traveled to Central America after Anne was killed. This stretch of winter into Spring Break is a popular time for Chicagoans to head south. But the I-Team has found dangers in paradise that you won't see in the travel brochures - including Belize, which has one of the highest murder rates in the world. In Central America, Belize is one of the fastest-growing destinations for Americans. Last year, a record quarter-million flew off to their rich beaches, offshore diving spots and inland jungles, teeming with wildlife along great hiking trails and meandering rivers. It was the emerald hills of western Belize that attracted ABC7 web producer Anne Swaney. She was staying at an equine lodge last month when someone attacked her and dragged her body into the Mopan River. But our colleague wasn't the only American killed recently in Belize. In the very same district where Anne was murdered, northern Indiana native Paul Signorino and an American friend were killed in a machete and gun attack last May. Last fall, a man from Washington D.C was stabbed to death in his seaside hotel room; another U.S. national was attacked and killed on his farm; and a Canadian film producer was stabbed in the doorway of the home where he was staying. The Belize murder rate is third highest in the world - more than twice the homicide rate of Chicago and higher than any U.S. city.

    Belize is paradise for adventure travellers
    If you’re going on an adventure trip to Belize, be prepared to learn about conservation and become ecologically aware. Private tour groups and university study-abroad programs based in Belize are also moving beyond basic ecological awareness to create environmental education experiences that focus on maintaining and replenishing conservation areas. The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, a diverse and unique stretch of coral, lines the entire coast of the country. There are slow yet steady improvements, especially with the introduction of new environmental laws. Protection of the reef is taken very seriously here. Poaching or fishing endangered species in the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, can land you in prison. Private tour operators that focus on activities around the reef act as educators and protectors. Companies such as Island Expeditions offer tourists a chance to be part of unobtrusive travel, explore the barrier reef by sea kayak, paddle to colourful snorkel sites, and learn about the species they encounter and what role they play in the ecosystem.

    Caribbean Islands Battle Zika in Effort to Save Tourist Season
    The Caribbean is tackling the mosquito-borne Zika Virus on many fronts in an attempt to safeguard the upcoming tourist season. The Caribbean Regional Public Health Agency, known as CARPHA, is heading the charge and stressing the need to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds. Saint Lucia, an island nation with a population of around 175,000, has no confirmed cases of Zika, but the country's chief medical officer says health officials are concerned about the potential impact on pregnant women if the virus reaches its shores. “It can have some unwanted effects, particularly on the unborn child in pregnant women and sometimes after persons have recovered, the paralysis it can cause," said Dr. Merlene Fredericks. "It is important for us to continue taking the same precautions that we took for Dengue Fever and for Chikungunya. Ensure that we get rid of the mosquito breeding places."

    Videos

  • Bobby Lopez Reports from Toledo, 5min. Robert "Bobby" Lopez, Campaign Manager of the Belize Progress Party, went on a working visit to the beautiful district of Toledo, Belize. Here is his report on pollution and the potential dangers of our porous borders. Can this be one of the reasons we are having a spike in narco trafficking and criminal elements in Belize?

  • Snorkeling in Belize, 2min.

  • DOD 101204845, 2min. Members of the U.S. Southern Command and Belizean government officials work together to complete coordination for medical readiness exercises (MEDRETES) in villages around Corozal, Belize. The MEDRETES are part of the NEW HORIZONS exercise. NEW HORIZONS is an annual exercise that provides U.S. military members an opportunity to train for overseas deployment and gives U.S. and partner nation military engineers, medical personnel and support staff the opportunity to train together.

  • DOD 101249914, 2min. Exercise NEW HORIZONS Belize 2014 Belizean contractors and U.S. Air Force 820th RED HORSE Squadron complete preparations for engineering sites in Belize. Members of the Belizean Defense Force, U.S. Air Force 820th RED HORSE Squadron and the U.S. Marines Marine Wing Support Squadorn 472 will build additional classrooms and medical clinic in the cities of Belmopan, Hatteville, and Belize City.

  • Representatives of the Ministry of Health and PAHO on Belize's Plan for Zika, 34min.

  • Representatives of the Belize Cancer Society and BFLA on World Cancer Day, 28min.

  • Belize, 3.5min. #HSadventures in Belize

  • Museum of Belize, 4.5min.

  • Morning Matters at Guanacaste Park, 58min.

  • Morning Matters ar B.T.L Park, 58min.

  • Morning Matters with Dale, 58min.

  • Boosting Domestic Cooperation in the Fight Against Money Laundering, 7min. Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and Customs & Excise Department Signed a Memorandum of Understanding to Boost Domestic Cooperation in the Fight Against Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism & Customs Fraud

  • Mike & Katy Belize Wedding Film, 3min. Destination wedding at El Secreto Resort, North Ambergris Caye, Belize. by Jose Luis Zapata

  • Drone Belize, 15sec.

  • Belize 2016, 3.5min. Turneffe Island Belize 2016.

    February 5, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    BTB hosts Belize media partners to casual mixer
    On Saturday, January 30th, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) held a Media Mixer to share the industry’s 2015 accomplishments and insights with Belize’s media partners. From noon to 4PM, members of the media and BTB gathered at the conference room at Hour Bar in Belize City in an effort to strengthen their relationship leading into 2016. The casual event was officiated by BTB Marketing and Public Relations Manager, Noriko Gamero. Both Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, Karen Pike and Director of BTB, Karen Bevans addressed those in attendance. BTB took time to share accomplishments in the tourism industry made in 2015 as well as plans for improving tourism in 2016. The event also saw an interactive discussion between the media and BTB Directors as well as several giveaways. Media houses represented at the mixer included: The San Pedro Sun, My Beautiful Belize, Ambergris Today, Channel 7 News, The Reporter, Amandala Press and Love FM.

    IDB issues grant to improve Regional tourism health in the Caribbean
    Belize is among six Caribbean countries that will benefit from an $800,000US Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) grant aimed at the development and implementation of a Regional tourism health information, monitoring and response system. The grant was signed on Wednesday, January 27th at a ceremony in Trinidad and Tobago and will benefit the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. The grant is being issued following the recent pandemics these tourism dependent countries have experienced, and is expected to build safety and environmental standards within the tourism industry of each respective country. The countries benefiting from the grant have in one way of the other, been affected by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), H1N1 flu virus (swine flu), Chikungunya and, now, Zika virus. This has led to the urgent need of a monitoring and response system, as these are travel related illnesses which need to be addressed in order to support the tourism sector. It is IDB’s goal that with this grant, the countries adopt comprehensive and effective health and environmental sanitation practices.

    Improving literacy at Holy Cross Anglican School
    Even though English is the official language of Belize, many still struggle in the pronunciation of the language. Children with Spanish speaking parents commonly face the most literacy issues while in school. For the past week, Monday, January 25th to Friday, January 29th, an American retired teacher has been providing reading lessons to challenged Holy Cross Anglican Primary School students. Julie Bigaouette has been providing this invaluable service to island children for the past three years, teaching them the proper pronunciation of words and improving their reading skills. Bigaouette encourages all teachers to try to identify what the needs of their students, as this makes it easier to find approaches to assist them. “Even some of the students in the upper standards are still reading at a primary level and that can be very discouraging. By the time they are finishing school, they recognize that they are not able to read most of what is given to them and this diminishes their self-esteem. We as teachers need to help reaffirm all children of their potential and validate what they do well. We need to make each child know they are valuable in a class, as well as teach other children to be kind and considerate of one another,” said Bigaouette.

    Ambergris Caye basketball teams top Belize Rural Basketball Eliminations
    On Thursday, January 28th, the National Sports Council hosted the Belize Rural Basketball elimination tournament for Zone 5, which includes Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye. A series of amazing games for both male and female teams took place at the San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS) compound where four primary schools competed for the coveted title to represent the zone at the district finals next month. The different schools participating in the tournament were SPRCS, Isla Bonita Primary School, Caye Caulker Roman Catholic, and Holy Cross Primary School. The last match of the tournament in the male division saw SPRCS boys dominating the Caye Caulker boys with a final score of 38-13. With these results, Ambergris Caye will be proudly represented at the district finals by Holy Cross Primary School female team and the SPRCS male team. In the female division, Holy Cross and SPRCS were the only female teams and they played two games. Holy Cross defeated the SPRCS girls in both matches, ending the first 8-3 and the second 3-2. Holy Cross girls will be heading to the district finals.

    Week 5 of Mayor’s and Minister’s Cup
    The last games for the Mayor’s and Minister’s Cup for the month of January brought much entertainment to the football fanatics who once again came out to support their favorite teams. Games for this coming weekend have been postponed until the following weekend starting Friday, February 12th, 7PM sharp at the Honorable Louis Sylvester Sporting Complex.

    US Currency Control green lights Belize banks
    Belizean banks are completely compliant with United States’ federal banking regulations to prevent money-laundering and any illicit movement of funds which may be used to finance terrorism; U.S. authorities at the Office of the Controller of Currency (OCC) Thomas Curry and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) assured Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow during his visit to Washington D.C. last Monday to Saturday, January 25-30. This was important good news for foreign investors in Belize seeking to repatriate profits to U.S. banks. Prime Minister Barrow’s mission was to resolve the difficulties banks in Belize were having in maintaining correspondent banking relationships with U.S. banks to handle U.S. currency transactions. His delegation included Central Bank Governor Glenford Ysaguirre, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight and Ambassador Mark Espat, who was part of the negotiating team who worked out a solution to the Super-bond payments.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Discrepancy between male and female bicycle riders
    Last week Kaya C. Cattouse made these comments on her personal fb page: she then received the letter below!! We are living in a country where we are discouraged to speak up!! 1. Digicell Valentine Tour. Sounds nice chu? The tours are coming back to our cycling calendar. Way to go CFB! Way to go Digicell! Or at least that's what I would say if I were a MALE ELITE cyclist. Female and Junior category aren't "tour worthy"...we have to be satisfied with a one day race. I'm starting to wonder now if DIGICELL is partnering with the federation and discriminating agaisnt riders based on thier age and gender.

    Department of Youth Services, Job Preparedness Training
    The Department of Youth Service’s (DYS) Youth Enterprise/Job Creation Unit is presently conducting a Job Preparedness Training for twenty five youth between the ages of 17 – 29 years. The main objective of the training is to empower these young people with the necessary skills and knowledge to become marketable to join the work force. A total number of ten (10) sessions are being conducted. The various topics include: Skills Identification, Work Ethics, Conflict Resolution Management in the Workplace, Resume Writing, Interviewing Skills, Mock Interviews and how to work along with HIV infected persons in the workplace. The other component of the training is to continue mentoring these young people and procure placements for them or assist them in returning to school where necessary, or engage them into other skill trainings such as those offered at ITVET.

    Western Ballaz Host No Limit
    The Ballaz are playing back to back Thursday night, travelling to Dangriga on Friday, and then hosting the No Limit on Saturday. Saturday is Fan Appreciation night too. Go Ballaz! "FAN APPRECIATION NIGHT - THIS SATURDAY - Lowered entrance prices - Kids enter free - Adma's Photography taking pictures of fans with players - Free beer with parking ticket - 3 BEERS for $10 - $2 horns - 25 FREE horns Bring out the entire family to SHC's Auditorium this Saturday as we show our appreciation to all our fans for your continued support."

    Carnaval: A Pre-lenten Festivity in Northern Belize
    Volume 2 of the Belize Cultural Celebrations Series set to be released soon.

    Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge 2016
    The Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge (MMAC ) has taken on a life of its own. What started as a typical adventure race production has developed into a testament of one of the last truly unspoiled corners of the world. On our first trip to Belize in Februa The Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge will be held on February 14th of 2013. Please check out the website to learn more about registration.

    Paradise Theater this weekend!
    Superbowl this Sunday on the big screen free entry... Spotlight, Steve Jobs, Aladdin, Our Brand is Crisis.

    San Pedro “Light the Night” Cancer Awareness Walk
    The San Pedro Cancer Society held its annual “Light the Night” Cancer Awareness Walk tonight in commemoration of World Cancer Awareness Day.

    St. Herman's Blue Hole Park Upgrades
    On January 14, 2016, PACT visited St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park to look at the completed activities under our medium grant project entitled “Enhancing St Herman’s Blue Hole National Park (SHBHNP) through new infrastructure, mapping and management plan”. The main purpose of this project was to upgrade and install much needed infrastructure for the protected area with the aim to improve visitor experience. Additionally, a Management Plan for St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park (SHBHNP) was developed to guide the conservation priorities of the protected area. Demarcation and mapping of the Park was also carried out through this project.

    TRIBUTE TO MAURICE WHITE: THE SPIRIT OF A MUSICAL GENIUS!
    (A Belizean Legends musical expose for Black History Month) I had told myself many years ago growing up in Belize that since I was so powerfully influenced by the musical genius of the awesome African-American musician, producer, and artist, Maurice White, that music would not be the same when he stopped making and producing them. And it was truly so since Maurice had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and disappeared from the music industry since the late 1980's. Here was someone that I didn't even personally know but who changed my life and outlook about music and even more than that. When the American band Earth, Wind & Fire came on the scene in the early 1970's my first hearing them in Belize was through an A-Track that my brother Nelson Morris had brought back to Belize from Chicago, 10 years after his migration from Belize in 1961, the year I was born. I didn't know my brother, being born the same year he left, just as how I didn't know anything about the United States of America and its talented black population that has given it its musical art forms of Gospel, Jazz, and Rhythm and Blues. So when Nelson came home with all that music from the shores of the U.S. it was like an introduction for me to the senior member of my parents household as well as an introduction to the sound of Maurice White and Earth, Wind & Fire through an incredible six track collection of some of the most touching music I had ever heard at 12-years old called Head To The Sky.

    MIT's Underwater Conservation Photography Class
    Faculty, WCS staff and support staff from the US and Belize at Middle Caye last week.

    Consular Tip: Your child might not need a visa interview
    Children who are 13 years old or younger might not need an interview if they • Were born in Belize and hold a Belizean passport • Have parents/legal guardians who both hold Belizean Passports, and • Have at least one parent/legal guardian who holds a valid visa or is renewing his/her visa at the same time as the child

    Channel 7

    Rice War 2?
    BAHA used the long arm of the law to slap down importer Jack Charles the first time around - but information to 7News is that another rice war could be on the horizon - and this one could come right down to that plate of rice and beans you had for lunch today. A senior official in the Ministry of Agriculture has told 7News that government's lawyers are dealing with a complaint brought by Jack Charles. But it's not about importing Guyanese rice; this time, it's about the quality of Belizean rice - the same one we all eat everyday. Our information says that Charles has found that local rice could be contaminated with harmful fungi - and that is the basis of this new complaint. The Director of BAHA would not return our calls our texts asking for a comment. Apparently, Charles is getting back at government, after they banned his Guyanese rice alleging that it was of inferior quality or that it did not meet health and safety standards. We called Charles today and he only told us to look out for some major developments on Monday of next week.

    When Will Bert Vasquez Have His Day In Court?
    The name, Bert Vasquez, has gone mostly unreported for the past 3 years, but back in June and July 2012, he made national headlines after he was arrested and charged for the murder of 13 year-old Jasmine Lowe. It culminated in hundreds of residents of the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena camping out in front of the Police Station to him being detained, charged and criminally arraigned. Well, since then, he's been on remand waiting for his day in court, but apart from that murder charge, he's facing 2 other cases where he's been accused of sexual offences. He went to court today for an adjournment before the Supreme Court, where it was to be decided when exactly he'll stand trial for the first of the 2 sex crimes accusations. He has a new attorney, Oscar Selgado, who is taking over from Simeon Sampson, and this morning before that Supreme Court hearing, he granted the press an interview. He updated on his client's criminal trials:

    Two Men Shot, Not Fatally
    There was a shooting last night in Belize City's Lake Independence area. It left 2 Belize City men, 26 year-old's Benua Andrews and Tyron Myers, hospitalized at the KHMH. At around 7:12 p.m., police showed up at the hospital and found Andrews, who been shot in the chest, and Myers, who was suffering from gunshots to the left knee, right thigh, and left elbow. Today, Precinct 2 Police briefed the media about the information they have at this time on the shooting: Sgt. Roberto Novelo, NCO - CIB Precinct 2: "Wednesday 3rd day of 2016 around 7:12pm, police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw Benua Andrews, 26 year of age of Belize City suffering from an apparent gunshot to the left and right side of the chest. Also seen was 26 years old Tyron Myers, he was suffering from apparat gunshot to the left elbow and left knee and right thigh. Initial investigations revealed that both were standing at the corner of Jasmine and Marigold Lane when a male person approach them and fired several shots towards their direction causing the initial injuries. Subsequently they were transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they are in a stable condition. We are presently continuing the investigation and we are following certain leads. We have one person detained at this time who we believe can assist us in the investigation."

    Northside Cops Find High Powered Weapons in Gang Turf, Hold Out For Arrest
    Belize City northside police found two high-powered firearms - but tonight they say they aren't releasing pictures until they make an arrest. The 40 and 45 caliber weapons were found in this apartment building on Handyside Street sometime this morning. Those are prohibited firearms, but police aren't declaring them as found property right now because they are first trying to lift some fingerprints off them. That's because intelligence says the guns are linked to the nearby Majestic Alley gang. The guns were found concealed in a stairwell, which is used by many people in the apartment building.

    A Tec-9 In A Tiny Village
    Orange Walk Police also made a gun seizure today. They received accurate intelligence, and at around 1:30 this afternoon, they went to an area in San Pablo Village in the Orange Walk District. They canvassed the location and found a black plastic bag under a rotten log. When they opened it, they found this black 9mm Tec-9 semi-automatic pistol. Since they couldn't tie it to anyone, it was deposited as found property.

    From Melchor Jail To Freedom For Kayla
    Since Monday, we've been telling you about the plight of 25 year-old Belizean Kayla Sanchez who was arrested in Melchor, Guatemala. Well, due to the successful intervention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she has been released without any conviction, and after the transfer documents are complete, she'll be allowed to come home. As we told you, she was detained this weekend in Melchor for the theft of a cellular phone. She was then arrested and charged with aggravated robbery due to a report that she was found with a knife. Because of that knife, which is taken as a sign of aggression, she got into more serious trouble, and she was risking 6 months of jail time if she was convicted. After spending 3 nights inn Guatemalan state prison at San Benito, Peten, she was taken before the Chief Magistrate who has jurisdiction for the Department of Peten. By that time, Foreign Affairs Diplomat Said Guerra had been on the ground personally interceding on her behalf. She had a difficulty with the language barrier, and he took over as advisor and translator. Before today's hearing, he met with the Guatemalan Chief Magistrate and successfully convinced him that Kayla was not violent or aggressive, and so the nature of the crime should be downgraded. That argument was successful especially due to a confusion in the wording of the police report related to the topic of the knife she was allegedly caught with.

    Kaya Speaks Up For Lady Cyclists
    Kaya Cattouse is a well-known elite Belizean cyclist. But, tonight, she's up in arms with the Cycling Federation of Belize. That's because she is alleging sexual discrimination on the part of the federation and one of its biggest sponsors - BTL. It all started with a stinging post on Facebook regarding the upcoming Digicell Valentine Tour. Kaya posted, and we quote, "The tours are coming back to our cycling calendar. Way to go CFB! Way to go Digicell! Or at least that's what I would say if I were a MALE ELITE cyclist. Female and Junior category aren't "tour worthy"….I'm starting to wonder now if DIGICELL is partnering with the federation and discriminating against riders based on their age and gender." End quote. Kaya continued with her angry tirade by threatening to convince her fellow riders to switch to SMART.

    Frank Vasquez Verdict Pending
    A judge will decide whether Byron James killed Frank Vasquez. James is accused of killing Frank Vasquez in May of 2012. Vasquez was shot multiples times to the head, shoulder, back and mid-section. His sister testified saying that she saw James riding away after her brother was shot. But James's attorney, Oscar Selgado submitted that she saw James from a distance and added that there was no identification parade conducted by the police. The trial concluded yesterday and the prosecutor is Kileru Awich. Justice Troadio Gonzalez has reserved his ruling for next week at a date to be announced. James remains on remand at the Belize Central Prison.

    Trio Villagers In Land Stress
    Right now, a large number of Villagers from Trio in the Toledo District are in distress. They risk losing their homes and their farms because the current owner of the land they've been squatting on has showed up demanding that they move or pay for it. We understand that it is large tracts of farm land, which used to belong to the Thurton Estate, but has been acquired by a Chinese businessman. The villagers have been staying there for over 20 years - some of them claim that they've been there for 25 to 30 years. They've cultivated the land and built their homes on it. These same residents say that successive Governments have promised to regularize the situation on by acquiring they land on which they are squatting, and giving them access to titles for it. But, that never came, and the Chinese businessman has now showed up, and we're told he's telling them that they either need to pay him 20 thousand dollars in compensation, or else, they have to move.

    Baby Drowned In Bathtub
    A one-year-old infant drowned when she fell into a bathtub that was filled with water. The incident occurred at a home at Camp 51 in the village of Indian Creek Orange Walk. Reports are that around 10:15 yesterday morning the child wandered inside the laundry room where a large bathtub was located. She fell inside and drowned. Her older brother would later find her dead inside the bathtub. Orange Walk Police say they are not suspecting any foul play and are categorizing it as an unfortunate accident.

    BTL Working Through Its Difficulties
    Just a couple weeks after BTL slashed its calling rates, hitting an all-time low of 47 cents…bam! There entire short code system went down. That meant thousands of customers were unable access simple services like checking their credit balance, buying bundles, and other essential services that sustain the mobile experience. Today there system is back online, or at least partially. Today we spoke with Gale Malic, the Senior Public Relations Representative at BTL, who gave us an update on the status of their short code system. Gale Malic-Ozeata, Senior Public Relations Representative - BTL: "Our shorts codes are back up as of Monday afternoon. We notified our customers via social media pages, we sent them a text blast. We also did call in to the radio shows to let them know that most of short codes are working. The ones that they use the most, which are the 135, the *22 and *20 to check your credit and add credit. Our *100 for the 100 ways promotion; the *767 to buy and check text bundles and also the *932 to but the 2G plan. The *638 to buy the night shift plan too. So all those are working. So what were able to do in a span of one week, we were able to restore on the servers that went down that supports these short codes. We have a second server currently down which we are working on to restore and we hope to have that restored by the end of next week."

    Belize Survivors Playing a Part In Global Cancer Awareness
    World Cancer Day is being observed today and the focus is on awareness and prevention. Belize is playing its part in the global coverage by being featured in a video produced by the World Health Organization. IT features stories from Jamaica, the Philippines, Uganda and Belize - and here is an excerpt: You can see the entire video later tonight on Channel 7.

    Higher Standards For The Lower Court
    In this year's Ceremonial Opening of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin told the nation that the Magistracy Department would have a complete overhaul with the roll out of a new Criminal Procedure Rules. It's a document in the making for a number of months, and we've been informed that it has since been rolled out since the second half of January 2016. It's an extensive document which will bring sweeping changes to the way the court handles criminal cases, and if it is followed strictly, there will be a marked difference in the resolution of criminal trials in the lower courts. It introduces the electronic recording of trials for transcript and transparency, and for the filing of documents from attorneys electronically. It considerably shortens the number of adjournments that a case can have, which is usually misused either by the police or the defense attorneys, and causes cases to drag on for years.

    Mersey Coming To Belize
    A British navy ship will visit Belize from February 6th to 9th. The HMS Mersey is on Atlantic Patrol and crew will conduct joint training with the Belize Coast Guard and BDF in boarding operations and gunnery drills. The ship will also host a crisis planning exercise with the BDF, Coast Guard and Belize Red Cross. The Commanding Officer is quoted as saying that his sailors will also, quote, "enjoy some rest and relaxation on Belize's beautiful beaches." The Mersy is also taking part in the operation Trade Winds 2016 in June and will conduct counter-narcotics patrols with the US Coast Guard.

    Collision in Cane Country
    A traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway just before news time tonight left one man injured. The incident occurred near the notoriously dangerous Mameyal Curve and it involved a motorcycle and a white Toyota Four Runner. We understand that the driver of the motorcycle was transported to the Northern Regional Hospital suffering from multiple injuries. Unconfirmed reports are that the Four Runner was travelling towards Corozal Town when the driver of the motorcycle, who was traveling in the opposite direction, collided into him.

    Channel 5

    2 Men Shot in Southside Belize City
    Two men were shot  on Wednesday night in south side Belize City just before seven o’clock, shattering a period of relative quiet on the streets since the beginning of the [...]

    OW Police Recover Tec-9 Submachine Gun
    Orange Walk was once known as Rambo Town, back in the days when drugs and violence had overtaken that northern community. It has not quite reached that point yet, but [...]

    Mysterious Deaths at the K.H.M.H. Linked to Influenza Virus?
    Six persons died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital between October 2015 and January 2016 due to unknown illnesses. The hospital, however, believes the deaths may be related to the [...]

    Vega Vs Cervantes Adjourned Again
    Gaspar Vega versus Ramon Cervantes Junior and Fiesta FM – the anxiously awaited decision in that sensational libel and slander suit was to be handed down today by Chief Justice [...]

    Baby Brenae Remains Critical at the K.H.M.H.
    Three year old Brenae Timmons remains in an induced coma at the K.H.M.H. The child was badly injured last Friday when a heavy metal gate fell on her near the [...]

    CFB Threatens to Suspend Kaya Cattouse
    Well known cyclist and sports enthusiast Kaya Cattouse has been threatened by Cycling Federation of Belize President Dion Leslie. In a letter sent to Cattouse Tuesday, Leslie accuses her of [...]

    Statistics on Cancer in Belize
    On this World Cancer Day, the news is not good. The Belize Cancer Society says the number of deaths due to cancer is staggering and it doesn’t include deaths by [...]

    Bert Vasquez Awaits Hearing for Sexual Offences
    Accused murderer and sexual predator Bert Vasquez was in Court today. Vasquez was accused of the murder of young Jasmine Lowe in 2012, but he is also accused of sexually [...]

    Attorney Oscar Selgado Says Vasquez Will Walk on Murder Charge
    While Vasquez is accused of violent and heinous sexual offences, by far the more serious charge is for the murder of Jasmine Lowe. Lowe’s decomposed body was discovered days after [...]

    Byron James Awaits Decision in Murder Trial
    Earlier this week, Daniel Anderson was acquitted of the murder of Joyce Mitchell in a trial by judge without jury. Today, a second murder trial by judge alone concluded before [...]

    20 Years of Challenges and Achievements at the K.H.M.H.
    The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is turning twenty-one and in these two decades it has been in the spotlight for its own share of ups and downs. The hierarchy of [...]

    K.H.M.H. Explains Mass Casualty Experience for Accidents
    Hattieville resident Egbert Ferguson lost his life while undergoing surgery on Tuesday morning at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The forty-seven year old had been transported to the hospital following [...]

    Doctor Recovering From Brutal Attack During Home Invasion
    In late January, thirty-seven year old Ian Blair was stabbed to death while he visited Nicaraguan Doctor Marcos Rugama at his home on Simon Lamb Street, Belize City. Three thieves [...]

    Mahogany Heights Residents Collaborating With Police for Change
    Today, officers from the Rural Eastern Division were in the community of Mahogany Heights, located in La Democracia. They were joined by members of the Community Oriented Policing Program because [...]

    Residents Need Electricity at the Education Center
    The residents of Mahogany Heights are also looking for a Good Samaritan to assist in the community. It’s not asking for much…just electricity in a small building. It’s actually the [...]

    Indian Creek Toddler Drowns in Tub
    On Wednesday there was a tragic incident in the community of Indian Creek in the Orange Walk District. A toddler left inside a home apparently toppled into a bowl of [...]

    Healthy Living: Integrative Breathwork, a Meditation Exercise
    Meditation exercises are becoming more and more mainstream. The popularity of the practice has been reinforced by scientific evidence proving its various benefits and personal testimonials of high profile athletes, [...]

    CTV3

    Motorcycle Collides Into 4Runner, One Person Injured
    A traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway just before news time tonight left one man injured. The incident occurred near the Mameyal Curve and it involved a motorcycle and a white Toyota Four Runner. We understand that the driver of the motorcycle was transported to the Northern Regional Hospital suffering from several injuries. Unconfirmed reports are that the driver of the white Four Runner was travelling towards Corozal Town when the driver of the motorcycle, who was traveling in the opposite direction, collided into him.

    Case Of One Year Old Baby Drowned In Bathtub Remains Open
    Yesterday we told you about the tragic death of a one year old baby girl who drowned in her family home in the Community of Indian Creek, in the Orange Walk District. As mentioned before 1 year old Adanetta Blatz was left to play inside her yard yesterday sometime around 10:15 when she allegedly wondered into the laundry room located inside the family home where a bathtub filled with water was found. The baby apparently fell into the tub and could not get out and subsequently drowned, her motionless body was later found by her 16 year old brother who tried to resuscitate her to no avail. Yesterday we reported that police did not suspect any foul play and are categorizing the tragic death as an accident. Today when we spoke to Officer Commanding the Orange Walk Police Formation, Selvin Tillett, he told us that the case remains open and under investigation.

    High Caliber Weapon Found In San Pablo Village
    Today at around 1:30 pm the Orange Walk police formation visited the outskirt of San Pablo Village where upon searching an empty lot they seized a black 9mm Luger Model Teck-9 that contained a magazine with nine 9mm Luger Brand live rounds. Today Officer Commanding the Orange Walk Police Formation, Selvin Tillett, told us more about the operation. Selvin Tillett- Officer commanding the Orange Walk Police Formation: “The Orange Walk Police visited the outskirts of San Pablo village in the Orange Walk district and search an empty lot where police found a black plastic bag under a rotten log and when police opened the black bag they noticed a black 9mm rugger model, tech 9 serial number unknown containing a magazine with nine live millimeter live rounds, no one was found in the area so the fire arm was labeled as found property.”

    Cased Against Larios Postponed
    Weeks ago we reported on the tragic traffic accident that claimed the life of one year old Genesis Teresa Medina from the Village of San Estevan in Orange Walk. 28 year old Eliseo Israel Larios, the man who was behind the steering wheel of the vehicle that knocked down baby Genesis was scheduled to return to court today after he was given bail in the sum of $5,000 at his last court case in December of last year. Larios is being charged with manslaughter by negligence, driving a vehicle with an alcohol concentration above prescribed limit, failure to report an accident, failure to stop and render aid, causing death by careless conduct and driving without due care and attention. The case against Larios was today adjourned until March 21st 2016.

    Medical Mission Offers Free Services To Nortenos
    Medical services in Belize tend to be very costly and half the time low income families can’t even afford to receive medical treatment at private clinics much less pay for a surgery. Luckily from time to time Belizeans benefit from free medical services offered by medical missions who come from abroad. In the line-up is the New Horizon Medical Mission who arrived in Belize last week and since then the first team has been offering free surgeries at the Corozal Community Hospital. According to leader of the group, Pastor John Kirby, so far surgery has been performed on 300 persons.Leader Pastor John Kirby: “The outcome was really great, there were lots and lots of patients coming, we saw over a hundred and twenty patients that were considered for surgery out of the Corozal hospital and we also saw a hundred and seventy patients in the Orange Walk Hospital, they heard the news that we were doing surgeries, from those three hundred people that we saw we were going to do at least seven different surgeries and they will be from everything from people who have issues from their hands not moving right, doing repetitive motions to trigger fingers to scar revisions and we also going to be doing like major neck masses that were taking off in surgery and so doing a lot of things for people not to get so sick repetitively and be healed up.”

    Juan Carnaval Tradition Kept Alive In Corozal Town
    Carnival is a Christian festive season that occurs before the Christian season of Lent. The main events typically occur during February or early March and it involves a public celebration and/or parade combining some elements of a circus, masks and public street party. Pope Gregory the Great decided that fasting would start on Ash Wednesday. The whole Carnaval event was set before the fasting, to set a clear division between the pagan and the Christian custom. It was also the custom during Carnaval that the ruling class would be mocked using masks and disguises. In the Christian tradition the fasting is to commemorate the 40 days that Jesus fasted in the desert according to the New Testament and also to reflect on Christian values. Carnival was in its full glory in Europe by the fourteenth century. It lasted up to the sixteenth century, and then it made its way to Belize. In Corozal part of the Carnival Culture still remains but according Coordinator for the Corozal House of Culture, Deborah Wilkes, the tradition is slowly dying along with its main character, Juan Carnival. In order to keep the tradition alive the House of Culture is planning an event for the 6th of February.

    Baby Girl Drowns In Bathtub
    Tonight the family of a 1 year old baby girl is mourning her death after she drowned in a bathtub inside the family home in the village of Indian Creek, in the Orange Walk District. Reports are that around 10:15 this morning the 1 year and 2 months old baby girl was left to play in her yard located in Camp 51 of Indian Creek. But all indications are that the toddler wondered inside the family laundry room, where a large bathtub filled with water was located. Apparently the child fell into the tub and could not get out and subsequently drowned. According to Orange Walk Police, the motionless body of the baby was discovered by her brother and police do not suspect any foul play and are categorizing the tragic death as an accident.

    LOVE FM

    SSB Approves 12Million Dollar Loan to Santander
    The company, Santander formerly known as Green Tropics may be benefitting from a twelve million dollar loan from the Social Security Board for further development of the mill located on the George Price Highway in the Cayo District. The loan was approved last week and is in the publication stage where members of the general […]

    Shooting in Lake-I; Duo Hospitalized
    Last night two men standing at the corner of Marigold Lane and Jasmine Street were shot. Two twenty six year old males have been admitted to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and are reportedly in stable conditions. Sergeant Hilberto Novelo gave the details on the shooting. HILBERTO NOVELO “Police visited the KHMH where they saw […]

    Attorney Positive on Bert Vasquez’ Trial
    Accused murderer Bert Vasquez was back in court today. Vasquez is facing three charges including the murder of 13 year old Jasmine Lowe which occurred back in June of 2012. Vasquez is also facing two other charges related to sexual offences. One of those charges is being dealt with by Justice Adolph Lucas. A trial […]

    Toddler Drowns at Home
    A one year old baby drowned in Indian Creek Village in the Orange Walk District. According to reports, the toddler died yesterday after was left alone to play. Police arrived on the scene and found the lifeless body of the little girl. Love News spoke with Officer in Charge of Orange Walk Police, Assistant Superintendent […]

    Military Sub-Machine Gun found in Northern Belize
    Orange Walk Police discovered a firearm yesterday. However, the firearm that was found is not the normal type of gun the department is accustomed to finding. Police found a TEC 9 semi-automatic fire arm which is a smaller version of a military submachine gun. Inspector Nicholas Palomo, Deputy Officer in Command at Orange Walk spoke […]

    Fuel Prices Adjust
    The cost of fuel decreased earlier in the week. Regular fuel decreased by forty cents and is now seven dollars and sixty eight cents per gallon. Diesel decreased by forty three cents and now sells for six dollars and twenty seven cents. Premium gasoline saw no change.

    World Oil Prices and Pump Prices in Belize
    Fuel prices at the pumps have gone down recently in Belize and continue to drop worldwide per barrel. While it is good news for drivers and vehicle owners, it does decrease the available monies from the PetroCaribe program as explained by Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight. JOSEPH WAIGHT “The price of oil has fallen dramatically. Consequently […]

    Fin Sec Speaks on the Country’s Debt
    Since the PetroCaribe came into being under the Barrow administration, many figures have been thrown out regarding the country’s overall debt and additional debts with PetroCaribe. Earlier this week, the Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight told the media just what our debts look like. JOSEPH WAIGHT “The super-bond is half our payment. It’s half our debt […]

    BEL’s Arbitration Settled; BTL’s Pending
    Following the nationalization of the electric and telephone companies in Belize, the Government of Belize have since concluded the arbitration settlement for the Belize Electricity Limited while the arbitration settlement for the Belize Telemedia Limited remains outstanding, as explained by Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight. JOSEPH WAIGHT “BEL has been settled. There was a settlement agreement, […]

    Belize Celebrates World Cancer Day 2016
    Today is being observed as World Cancer day. The Belize Cancer Society was formed in 1996 which makes it twenty years in existence. The Cancer Society utilizes this day to launch their yearly activities as well as to bring awareness of the disease to society. Love news spoke to Laura Longsworth President of Belize Cancer […]

    The Guardian

    Zika Virus now a major concern in Belize
    Belize’s Ministry of Health and others are ratcheting up their activities in preparation for the Zika Virus now raging in the Americas. A committee composed of the Epidemiology Unit, the Central Medical Laboratory, the Maternal and Child Care Unit and the critically important Public Health and Vector Control Departments met on Tuesday morning of this week at the Ministry of Health in Belmopan to look at preliminary measures on vector and clinical surveillance, as the Zika Virus, a member of the flavivirus family, wreaks havoc outside of Belize’s borders. The Zika Virus is spread by the female Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which also spreads dengue and chikingunya. As the mode of spread, the female mosquito drinks the blood of an infected person; they can then infect subsequent people they bite. The virus was first found in a monkey in the Zika forest near Lake Victoria, Uganda, in 1947, and has historically occurred in parts of Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Island. Only until last year has the Zika Virus come under new scrutiny and investigation by virologists and other scientists across the globe.

    Big fight for leader of the Opposition in National Assembly
    The People's United Party went through the process of electing a New (old) leader on Sunday January 31. For the PUP they billed it as a process of reformation and change of guard but the reality is that nothing has really changed in the PUP. All those who contested the election, bar none, are actually carry overs from the 1998-2008 era (the worst era in Belize's history.) Going into the convention, Francis Fonseca, the former leader of the PUP was very clear and was always vocal about the fact that he controlled a majority of the PUP representatives in the house. After the convention, even though he was resoundingly defeated, he still has that bragging right. In fact, the PUP parliamentarians continue to support Fonseca as their leader which has now sent the PUP into a talespin. That was evident immediately after the convention when Channel 7's Jules Vasquez, point blankly asked Requena, the Toledo West Area Representative if he would support Briceno and he was non committal in his answer. It would have been expected that his answer should have been an outright yes, but in the PUP, while there is a leader, the Cappo's do not necessarily have to follow or even respect him.

    Correspondent Banking problem being fixed
    Financial imperialism is when large developed countries dominate developing (weaker) countries by pushing international policies or issuing private directives that steer the flow of international trade/wealth in their favour. This has been done in the past by implementing trade embargos or restrictions, currency control and uneven trade policies. Many learned people in the Caribbean region believe that the United States’ strict regulations in the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) campaign is simply another method used by the super power to exercise economic sovereignty over the West. Belize has set up a plan to prevent economic Armageddon in the wake of Bank of America’s termination of correspondent banking relationship with Belize Bank and other similar developments in the sector. Prime Minister Dean Barrow; Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight; Governor of the Central Bank, Glen Yssaguirre; and Economic Ambassador, Mark Espat; were joined in the United States by Belize’s Ambassador Pat Andrews on a mission to hold meetings with several financial regulatory agencies from January 25 to January 29. The goals of the mission were simple: one, to get a clear understanding of the federal government’s position on the large banks’ termination of relationships with Belizean banks, and two, to get an understanding of how the federal government’s regulations have influenced the decisions of those large banks.

    Born to Loose!
    Many years ago before the deep water port was built in Port Loyola, imported goods were brought onshore by barges, those goods were then landed and stored at the customs warehouses known as Queen’s Bonded Warehouse, at the same location where the Tourist Village is now located. After those goods were cleared they made their way to their owners, mostly stores and shops. The goods were mostly transported by either mule and cart, a few Bedford or Austin trucks or bicycle-carts. The bicycle-carts were used for hauling the smaller goods and also to transport household goods to homes around what was known as Belize Town at the time. Most of those transports had names, usually the names were catchy and either related to a product, the name or nickname of a person or some part of our rich and colorful culture. There was this one popular bicycle-cart named BORN TO LOOSE. It must have been named so after a very popular song at the time, that was recorded by Ray Charles. The actual name of the song was “Born to lose”. Like with many other things the word LOSE was changed to LOOSE to get a completely different meaning. The gentleman that owned the bicycle-cart was no looser or loser though, quite the opposite he earned good money by the standards back then.

    Belize participates in International Youth Forum
    Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr. and CARICOM Youth Ambassador Eric Sanchez participated in this year’s International Youth Forum on Sustainable Development on February 1st and 2nd, 2016. This Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum was held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York under the auspices of the ECOSOC President His Excellency Mr. Oh Joon. The theme of the forum was “Implementing the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Moving from Commitments to Results”. H.E. Joon listed unemployment, poverty, climate change, and inequality as issues needing to be addressed through a cross-cutting and interconnected approach. In plenary sessions, Minister Aragon stated that Belize is finalizing its National Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy (GSDS) which mainstreams the United Nations Post-2015 Sustainable Development Framework. The GSDS identifies clear policy aims together with subsidiary goals and targets to achieve a national vision comprising of a strong economy featuring optimal national income and robust growth, a resilient society, healthy environment, citizen security and good governance.

    Belizean arrested in Melchor
    Kayla Sanchez, a 25 year-old Belizean, remains detained in Peten, Guatemala, and she is awaiting a criminal hearing before a judge from that country. She’s being accused of going into Melchor De Menchos, Guatemala and stealing a cellular phone. Information to the press is that she went over to that town between Saturday, January 30, and Sunday, January 31. While she was there, she was reportedly cornered by a group of Guatemalan residents of the town in the Central Park area. They say that she stole a cellular phone, and was trying to pry it open with a knife. Fortunately, Guatemalan Police officers observed a commotion in the park, and intervened before their attempt at citizen’s arrest turned into a mob which tried to hurt her.

    Multiple separate accidents on Belizean roadways, one man dies
    Egbert Ferguson, a 47 year-old resident of Hattieville Village, has died as a result of injuries he suffered in a traffic accident he was involved in between miles 17 and 18 on the George Price Highway. It happened on Monday, February 1, sometime after 3 p.m. Ferguson was driving a grey 2-door Ford F-150 pick with extended cab. He was traveling with 44-year-old Daisy Olivera of Belize City and two minors as his passengers. They were heading from the direction of Belmopan to Hattieville, and for some still unknown reason, they crashed head on into a grey Toyota Hiace Van. The van belongs to the company, Cavetubing.Bz, and the tour guide, Rogelio Reyes, was driving 6 French Tourist for a visit to the Lamanai Maya Site. All 11 persons suffered varying degrees of injuries, but Ferguson was the most seriously injured. He passed away at around 4 a.m. on the next day, Tuesday. He leaves behind 19 children for which he was the main provider. He made a living selling juice and fudge in Belmopan.

    Daniel Anderson acquitted of murder
    The trial against Daniel Anderson, 32, for the murder of 19-year-old Joyce Mitchell, who was shot to death on the evening of Thursday, June 17, 2011, came to an end on Thursday, January 28, 2016. He was facing a trial without jury and his fate was decided by Justice Adolph Lucas on Tuesday, February 2. Justice Lucas ruled that the prosecution did not meet the burden of proof to convict Anderson of murder because of numerous discrepancies in witness statements and testimonies. According to word on the streets, the intended target of the execution on the night in question was Mitchell’s brother but she was sitting on the trunk of a car in front of their home when the gunman unleashed a spray of bullets in that direction. Police investigation led to the arrest of Anderson who was positively identified by Mitchell’s relatives.

    Rupert Avila Admits to Stealing over $11,000
    IT Technician, Rupert Avila, 34, is lucky to be free from prison after he pleaded guilty to stealing over $11,000 from Belize City businessman Ricardo Gongora. Allegations are that on Saturday, January 30, he stole 21- one hundred dollar notes and 185 fifty dollar notes from a gas station on the Phillip Goldson Highway owned by Ricardo Gongora. According to Avila, he got a job at Gongora’s business place and while executing that job he needed to clean up the network cable so he took out some garbage to throw into the dumpster. When he emptied out the bin he noticed that there was money inside. Avila said he was frightened when he saw the money in the garbage so he placed it inside a vehicle he had access to at the time. He didn’t get a chance to tell his supervisor about the money because shortly after he found it the police came to the compound and found him in possession of the cash inside the vehicle.

    Salvadoran caught living in Belize illegally
    Salvadoran national Blas Antonio Contreras Andrade, 41, is spending time at the Belize Central Prison after he pleaded guilty to living in Belize illegally and was unable to pay a thousand dollar fine. Andrade was busted by a team of Immigration Officers on Monday, February 1, and asked to produce identification and immigration documents to explain his status in Belize. Andrade could not do so and as a result the officers escorted him to their office in Belize City where he was charged with the offense of failure to produce a visitor’s permit.

    Isidoro Beaton Field already getting “Wows”
    The Isidro Beaton Football Stadium is more than seventy percent complete and its beauty can no longer be concealed behind curtains of construction activity. The stadium is being renovated to world class standards at an initial estimated cost of $3.5 million. However the scope of works has been expanded and the massive beauty that will be the pride of Belmopan may actually end up being the pride of the entire country. “I have never seen such a green field,” said one commenter who saw images from the Hon. John Saldivar’s Facebook page. The structure will include home and guest locker rooms, V.I.P. and press boxes as well as concession area. |

    Department of Youth Services, job preparedness training
    The Department of Youth Service’s Youth Enterprise/Job Creation Unit is presently conducting a Job Preparedness Training for twenty five youth between the ages of 17 – 29 years. The main objective of the training is to empower these young people with the necessary skills and knowledge to become marketable to join the work force. A total number of ten (10) sessions are being conducted. The various topics include: Skills Identification, Work ethics, Conflict Resolution Management in the workplace, how to work along with HIV infected persons in the workplace, Resume writing, Interviewing skills and Mock Interviews. The other component of the training is to continue mentoring these young people and procure placements for them or assist them in returning to school where necessary or engage them into other skill trainings such as those offered at ITVET.

    Next to last
    At 10:15pm on Sunday night John Briceño was officially declared as the new Leader of the People’s United Party. Joining him in the victory was the returning Chairman Henry Charles Usher, new Deputy Leader for the South Rodwell Ferguson, new Deputy Leader for the North Jose Abelardo Mai and new Communications Director Anthony Mahler. The elections results were not really close as indicated by the numbers. There are some very revealing things that are glaring about the results though. The major one being that Francis who lost in a three way race for leader lost by 208 votes. The 208 is 5 votes less than the 213 delegates who did not vote. So the question is had they voted would Francis have won? Let’s take a closer look at the actual numbers to see how the various candidates did. There were 2971 eligible delegates of which 2758 voted. There were 213 delegates who did not vote. Below is the way the numbers played out.

    Hon. Frank “Papa” Mena visits PG public officers
    Quite often constituents as well as public officers, complain of being ignored or taken for granted after elections. In some cases that turns out to be true for the most part, but this UDP government is working diligently in demystifying that misguided conclusion. It is the rant of everyday Belizeans about public officers not being in the “real world.” However, the question that begs to be answered is, would we survive in the “real world” without the assistance of these same public officers? The public in general, every so often looks down upon these courageous people and believe they are omnipotent. It is mythological to believe that at the snap of a finger public officers could change the world. The very next time you want a passport, birth certificate, land title and all the other things that Public Officers provide, think about the daily pressures they endure.

    Multi-Institutional park ranger training ends
    From the 26th of January to 1st of February, a Park Ranger Tactical Rescue Medic Training was conducted at Tapir Camp, Chiquibul National Park for Park Rangers. Since the increase of park rangers in the Chiquibul, and understanding the environmental challenges faced, FCD has taken a proactive move to sharpen the skills of park rangers. Unlike the first year training program, this time FCD was pleased to have four Forest Officers of the Belize Forest Department and two park rangers from the Institute of Archaeology participate on the one week training. The course consisted of rescue and first aid, navigation, use of firearms and patrol skills. Special guests including Ambassador Stuart Leslie from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Dr. Candy Gonzales from the Belize Environmental Law and Policy also imparted presentations on the Confidence Building Measures and National Protected Areas Systems Act.

    New Water System for Santa Anna, Toledo
    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.

    SICA member states meet to address emergency health issues associated with the Spread of Zika Virus
    On Tuesday, February 2, 2016, officials from the Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs of Belize participated in a regional videoconference organized by the Government of Honduras, current Presidency Pro-Tempore of the Central American Integration System (SICA), to discuss the regional health implications from the Zika virus. The objective of the meeting was to coordinate regional positions and actions to ameliorate the number of infections and agree on a sustained action plan to work towards the eradication of the Zika Virus. The Pan-American Health Organization has committed to providing all its resources to assist the region in its response to eradicate the Zika Virus and its possible correlation to microcephaly that has been affecting newborn babies of mothers infected with the virus. Research is also being conducted to ascertain a possible link to the Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

    President Ma Ying-jeou’s trip to Taiping Island
    With regard to President Ma Ying-jeou’s trip to Taiping Island Jan. 28 to inspect the island and celebrate the Lunar New Year with personnel stationed there, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs states the following: (1) Whether from the perspective of history, geography, or international law, the Nansha (Spratly) Islands, Shisha (Paracel) Islands, Chungsha (Macclesfield Bank) Islands, and Tungsha (Pratas) Islands, as well as their surrounding waters, are an inherent part of ROC territory and waters, and the ROC enjoys all rights over these islands and their surrounding waters in accordance with international law. This is indisputable.

    Time running out on tail dragging teachers
    The Ministry of Education on Wednesday, February 3, proved once again that teachers are the only stakeholders in the education sector who will always get a pass for late or incomplete assignments. Teachers have been urged by the Government of Belize to secure their qualifications for Teacher’s Licenses since the Education Act was passed in 2000. More than 15 years later, hundreds of teachers in our classrooms are still not qualified to teach. This cannot be allowed to continue, says the Ministry of Education. As part of its plan to improve quality and relevance under the Education Sector Reform Strategy, the Ministry of Education has set a goal to have one hundred percent trained teachers in the classrooms across Belize. The Ministry of Education made its intentions clear from the inauguration of this Administration when it lifted the ban on paid study leave. The ministry reinforced its position with the passage of an amendment to the Education Act in 2010 and informed all stakeholders of its intention to enforce requirements for teacher training and licenses for individuals in the classroom. For teachers who did not have qualifications for a license, a five year provisional license was issued on June 30 2011 for them to remain in the classroom. During this five years they were expected to further their education and take lessons in pedagogy in order to meet qualifications for a license.

    Kareem Smith shot and charged with firearm assault
    Kareem Smith, 27, also known as Flash, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm upon Corey Sebastian. Smith, a resident of Holy Emmanuel Street and brother of notorious Brandon “Battery” Smith, was released from the Karl Heusner Memorial and escorted to the Belize City Magistrates Court on Friday, January 29. He had to be treated by doctors at the Hospital after he was shot in what police believe was a failed execution attempt. The shooting happened on Sunday, January 24, at around 12:15 p.m. at a house, which is located at the corner of Pitts Alley and Castle Street. The man who shot him, whose name has not been released to the media, told police that he was socializing at the house at the time when he saw one of his friends running in. This man told police that his friend, who is over at this house regularly, was being chased by Smith, who he says was armed with a gun.

    Three from Abou Nehra’s robbery now charged for murder
    Brandon Baptist, 30, John Grinage, 27, and Sheldon Grinage, 25, are back behind bars after they appeared in the Belize City Magistrates Court on Monday, February 1, to face a murder charge. The three men were just released on bail about a month ago after they were charged with aggravated burglary for the home invasion of Lebanese Consul, Sarkis Abou Nehra, in December. Now, they are being accused of killing 32-year-old George Town Village resident, Mariano Castillo. Mariano Castillo was stabbed whilst socializing with friends and relatives just after midnight on Saturday, January 30. According to police, Castillo was walking on Mahogany Street Extension with his common-law-wife and two other persons at aproximately 12:35 a.m. when he was allegedly approached by John Grinage, Sheldon Grinage and Brandon Baptist of Police Street.

    Woman charged with theft of borrowed bicycle
    A crippled woman was dragged before the court on Thursday, January 28, after a man claimed she stole his bicycle. Kimberly Anne Lauriano, 29, pleaded guilty to one count of theft when she appeared before Magistrate Deborah Rogers. She told the court that she borrowed the bicycle and the owner, John Morgan, later accused her of theft when the bike was stolen from her at Friendship Restaurant. Lauriano was arrested and charged with one count of theft. She was held overnight in lock down at the Belize Central Prison and appeared unrepresented in court. She wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the charge with an explanation. Lauriano said that on Tuesday, January 26, she borrowed the bike to go buy at Friendship restaurant because she cannot walk. She told the court that she locked the bike by its wheel but it was not there when she came out of the restaurant.

    The Brawling Continues
    Let’s face it: many of us made a huge mistake in foretelling that Hon. Francis Fonseca would emerge victorious as PUP Party Leader last Sunday 31 January at their convention in Belmopan. In our defense, however, we have to state that all indicators pointed in this direction, i.e. the open support pledged by several PUP standard bearers and the fact that Hon. Hyde would have diluted the votes that may have otherwise gone to Hon. Briceño. Imagine the size of the spread if Hyde had stepped down! Then again, from now on its best I leave all predictions to the better informed, especially as it concerns the People’s United Party. Really and truly, then, congratulations are in order to the new PUP Party Leader; he did what most thought was not possible, and with his full slate to boot. What now seems impossible is the cry for unity in the PUP, no matter how much lip service they give the word. But before I go there, let me share what some UDP supporters are commenting: they would have preferred Fonseca at the helm of the PUP since this would have given the UDP an extra edge in the next Generals.

    Dangriga Warriors squeak pass the Belmopan Bandits
    The National Elite Basketball League competition continued on Saturday 30 January, 2016, with two more games on the schedule. At the UB Gymnasium in Belmopan, the visiting Dangriga Warriors squeak passed the host team the Belmopan Bandits by the score of 68-63 in winning its first game of the 2016 campaign. The top scorers for the Dangriga Warriors were Edgar Mitchell with 16 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal; James Ewing with 15 points, 13 rebounds, and a steal and Macario Augustine with 11 points, 17 rebounds and an assist. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Belmopan Bandits were Kick Brown with 20 points, 5 rebounds and a steal; Kyle Pascascio with 12 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist and 1 steal and Geovanie Lennan with 11 points and 9 rebounds. The competition will continue this coming weekend with 5 games on the schedule.

    Digicell Valentine’s Cycling Tour
    The Cycling Federation of Belize in partnership with Digicell will be sponsoring the Annual Digicell Valentine’s Cycling Tour which will commence on Thursday 11th February to Sunday 14th February, 2016, for Elite, U-23 and Masters. Meanwhile, the female and Jr. /Youth riders will compete only in the Valentine’s Road Race Classic that will be held on Sunday 14th February. The Valentine’s Cycling Tour will commence on Thursday 11th February with stage 1, which is a 40 miles Road Race that will commence at 6:00 am from Leslie’s Imports to Mile 21 and then back to Leslie’s Imports.

    St. Catherine Academy and Wesley College top seeds into the high school football playoffs
    The Central Region Secondary Schools Football Competition entered its playoffs round with two games on Monday 1 February, 2016, featuring St. Catherine Academy the top seed into the female playoffs and Wesley College the top seed into the male playoffs. In the female playoffs game one, St. Catherine Academy (1) defeated Wesley College (4) by the score of 3-0. The goals for St. Catherine Academy were scored by Kelsie Moss, Warani Gillett and Renisha Martinez. In the male competition playoffs game one, Wesley College (1) defeated Ladyville Technical High School (4) by the score of 2-1. The goals for Wesley College were scored by Nathan Oliva and Kermit Sutherland. For Ladyville Technical, the goal was scored by Kenroy Allen.

    Central Region high schools softball competition opens
    The Central Region Secondary Schools Softball Competition opened on Monday 1 February, 2016, with 7 schools participating in the female competition and with 6 schools in the male competition. The schools that are participating in the female competition are Anglican Cathedral College, Edward P. Yorke High School, Gwen Lizarraga High School, Maud Williams High School, Ladyville Technical High School, St. Catherine Academy and Wesley College. Meanwhile, the schools in the male competition are Edward P. Yorke High School, Gwen Lizarraga High School, Maud Williams High School, St. John’s College, Sadie Vernon Technical and Wesley College. In the female game played on Monday 1 February, St. Catherine Academy defeated Anglican Cathedral College by the score of 15-7. The winning pitcher was Kendrce Armstrong and the losing pitcher was Lynece Seguro.

    Belizeans to perform at New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
    The Ambassador of Music, Jamal ‘Shyne’ Barrow is pleased to announce that several Belizean artists will be performing at this year’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage festival. The Garifuna Collective, Wageirale Drummers, Bredda David & Tribal Vibes, Sweet Pain with Chico Ramos and Supa G, Talla Walla vibrations and TR Shine will be showcased inside the Belize Pavilion and on two Festival stages outside the Pavilion. The 2016 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival will celebrate 46 years of musical and cultural history at this year’s star-studded New Orleans event of the year.

    WORDS OF LIFE with Barry Fraser
    One concern of our Government is the alleviation of poverty. It is a continuing challenge. Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want.” (Mark 14:7) We all know people who are less well off than us, and it’s our duty to help them when we can. If we can’t help them materially, we can encourage them, and pray for them. In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 5, verse 3, Jesus promised, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” To be “poor in spirit” is to be empty in the depths of our being. We feel helpless and discouraged because of our situations. It is at times like this when we need God the most! We can either feel separated from God, or we can choose to grow closer to him through prayer.

    Community worker from Benque Viejo Del Carmen gets prosthetic leg
    A highly gifted resident from Benque Viejo del Carmen, Ricky Cunil, recently received a prosthetic leg to aid him in his involvement in many community related projects. His assistance came via a US based organization, Hope International with special coordination from Manuela Lue of Energy for Life Program and Milagro Garel of the World Pediatric Project. Ricky Cunil wishes to thank the individual efforts that have assisted him with fund raising events such as Gilberto Guerra, from Piccadilly Charity in order to give Project Hope a donation for them to help someone else. He also wants to thank the Community Policing Unit of San Ignacio, which provided transportation to Belize City for the follow up visit in January.

    Football Champion of Champions crowned in Orange Walk
    The Champion of Champions football competition organized and hosted by Honorable Elodio Aragon Jr., Area representative for Orange Walk East and Minister with responsibility for sports came to an end on Sunday January 31. The Champion of Champions is played among the winners of the three different Cup tournaments organized by the UDP Representatives in the following divisions: Orange Walk East which is the Aragon’s Christmas Cup; North which is the Vega’s Cup and South which is the Lupe Magana’s Cup. This game was played in the beautifully reconstructed Louisiana Field in the Orange Walk East Division. The competition is hard fought and attended by lots of fans from both Corozal and Orange Walk Districts. Since its revival in late 2012 football has been growing by leaps and bounds in Orange Walk and certainly rebounding to its glory days when football matches were attended by hundreds of fans. There is no doubt that under this government and under Hon. Aragon as the Minister responsible for sports we will see the resurgence of football as one of Belize’s top sports.

    High schools’ football regular competition ends
    The Central Region Secondary Schools Football Competition regular season end on Saturday 30 January, 2016, with two games on the schedule. On Saturday 30 January, in the first of two games played, Wesley College defeated Ladyville Technical High School by the score of 5-0. The goals for Wesley College were scored by Kenyon Lewis (2), Shamar Thompson and Janel Babb with a goal each, while an auto goal by Alfredo Franco of Ladyville Technical gave them the 5-0 victory. In the final game of the regular competition, St. John’s College and Anglican Cathedral College played to a 0-0 draw. On Friday 29 January in the only game played in the male competition, Ladyville Technical High School defeated Belize High School by the score of 9-0. The goals for Ladyville Technical High were scored by Deidron Baptist (3), David Solorano (2), Elan White, Lashon Wade, Kenroy Allen and Eric Gomez.

    Police United wins on Saturday
    The Premier League of Belize Closing Season Tournament for 2016 continued on Saturday 30 January out at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town between the defending national football champions of Belize the Police United and Wagiya FC. The visiting Wagiya FC took an early lead in the game when Jacinto Bermudez scored the 1st goal of the game in the 7th minute of play to give his team a temporary lead. The lead was short lived for Wagiya FC as the Police United was able to penetrate the defence which allowed Darren Myers to score the Police United 1st goal of the game in the 12th minute of play to tie the score at 1-1. The competition will continue this coming Thursday 4 February, with 2 games on the schedule.

    More charges for Bradley Paumen, the net cast wider as more are charged
    American Tour operator Bradley Paumen was released on bail for a second time after spending 6 days in prison. He and 3 others: mechanic, Lisburn Anderson; Belmopan businessman, Jahan Abadi, and Korean American Hyang Choing Park have been charged by Belmopan police with the offences of the perversion of justice, and conspiracy to pervert justice. All 4 are accused of trying to plant a .22 rifle and 150 live rounds of ammunition in Michael Modiri’s vehicle in April 2015. Hyang Choing Park, is former common-law wife of Michael Modiri, and police are accusing her of being involved in the plot to set up her ex. Park was charged for hiring policeman Solomon Mas, to act as her hitman. Abadi is accused of facilitating a key to get into Modiri’s vehicle so that the weapon and ammunition could be planted.

    Car washer gets 7 years for burglary
    Car washer and handyman of the Amara Avenue area, Richard Anthony Escalera, 32, was caught breaking into Lion’s King Night Club on its surveillance camera and as a result a quick trial resulted in him being sentenced to seven years imprisonment for burglary. Escalera appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza on Tuesday, February 2, and pleaded guilty to a single charge of burglary after he was presented with a strong case against him. In a report to police, Nilda Floriselda Velasquez said that between the hours of 3:35 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, January 31, her business place, Lion King’s Night Club, was broken into and a number of items were stolen. Police investigation into the matter led to Escalera who was seen on surveillance camera footage. Escalera entered the business place and stole $120 worth of cigarettes, one black smart cellphone valued at $200 and a litre of Absolute vodka valued at $90, all to a total of $410.

    Julian Cowling accused of burglarizing E. P. Yorke High
    Julian Edward Cowling, 26, is out on bail after he was charged for the burglary of Edward P. Yorke High School. Magistrate Deborah Rogers released the resident of Sunray Avenue on a bail of $1,000 plus one surety of the same amount after he pleaded not guilty to one count of burglary. Cowling was arraigned on Thursday, January 28, on two criminal charges: burglary and handling stolen goods. Allegations being made against him is that on Wednesday, January 27, 2016, he broke into the Edward P. Yorke High School’s Cafeteria and stole a case of chocolate, a pack of chips, assorted soft drinks, snacks, water, exercise books, a geometry set, construction supplies, assorted juices and prepared meals. In all, he allegedly made off with $957 worth of goods. Police say that Cowling took them to his home and handed over various items reported stolen from the burglary with a total value of $304.55.

    Get home how you can!
    Around 5:30 pm on Sunday when the buzz around the Belmopan Comprehensive School ground started to sound like Francis was about to go down in defeat at the hands of Johnny and some may say at the hands of Johnny/Cordel, (we think those persons may be right on target too , because he took the votes that Francis would have got from those persons who would have chosen Francis over Johnny had it been a 2 man race); the buses started to roll out. Many of the delegates and other people who had been bused to Belmopan to support Team Francis were left stranded in Belmopan. Apparently their sin was that they had pulled a switch on Francis and his slate by changing uniforms. Some literally changed uniforms. The recruiting took place in plain view for all to see. Some people collected from both sides and if one notices we don’t say three sides because more and more we are convinced that there were TWO sides but 3 candidates. We have spoken to several people who told us that they were left in Belmopan and had to hitch rides with friendly forces. Two Belize City young men in particular that we spoke to said they rode an Orange Walk bus to the Boom cut-off, where they were picked up by a UDP friend whom they had called just after leaving Belmopan with the promise that they would pay for gas if he would pick them up.

    Broad daylight double murder in Orange Walk town
    Two families living on Gristock Street in Orange Walk Town are trying to recover from the tragic loss of their loved ones. two teenaged boys, 19 year-old Erlindo Matura and 17 year-old Rene Acevedo both juniors - were gunned down and slain in a street-style, brazen broad-daylight murder. It happened at around 4:30 p.m. on Monday, February 1. Both young men were in the company of another young man, and they were walking on the street. They were reportedly heading to a friend’s house to pick up movies to watch on DVD. That’s when an assailant, who may be acquainted with the boys, pretended to get information from them. He reportedly rode up to the 3 and asked them where he could buy marijuana. The victims reportedly responded to his question, and that’s when the young man went a short distance away. As soon as all 3 were had dismissed him as non-threatening, he pulled out a weapon and started firing hitting Erlindo Matura first. He shot Matura in the face, back and chest, while the other young men tried to flee.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Two games played in Premier Football League
    Two games were played tonight as the Premier Football League of Belize continued its schedule with Verdes FC taking on the BDF team in Cayo’s Norman Broaster Stadium and down South, Wagiya took a 3-0 beating. In the first game, Verdes defeated the BDF […]

    Fired air traffic controllers “would have compromised safety”
    This week we learned of a situation at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA), where four air traffic controllers were recently terminated, for an unusual reason. Our understanding is that the four failed their appraisal test, which if they had passed would have led […]

    Financial Intelligence Unit says it has learned lessons from Titan but it will still appeal
    The offices of Titan International Securities at the Matalon Building on Coney Drive were raided in September 2014 and its principals, Rohn Knowles and Kelvin Leach, arrested as part of a U.S. probe into securities fraud to the tune of billions of dollars. While […]

    Redone Belize City Airstrip will feel like Airport
    The Belize City Municipal Airstrip has long acted as “little brother” to the Philip Goldson International Airport in Ladyville, serving as a key transport hub for tourists and Belizeans flying into and out of the Old Capital to other destinations. The Government broke ground […]

    Round two of consultations planned for Blackadore Caye
    American actor Leonardo DiCaprio is leading a plan to turn his privately-owned island, Blackadore Caye, into an eco-friendly luxury resort. DiCaprio’s plans call for a restorative island resort – increasing the biological health of the species on the island and in the waters surrounding it. […]

    Is Norwegian Cruise Line exclusivity right and proper?
    The Belize Island Holdings Facility Development Act was passed through both houses of the National Assembly several days ago. Among its more controversial provisions is the granting of a 25-year exclusive contract to Norwegian Cruise Line, parent of Belize Island Holdings, for the operation of […]

    Bert Vasquez returns to court
    Belize City resident Bert Vasquez has been accused of multiple crimes, including alleged child molestation in Cayo, multiple alleged abductions in the Belize District, and most sensationally, the murder of 13-year-old Jasmine Lowe back in June of 2012. The school girl had gone missing in her uniform […]

    Two shot in Lake I
    A pair of Belize City men are in the hospital recovering from injuries sustained when a gunman opened fire on them last night in the Lake Independence area of Belize City. The shooting occurred sometime before 7 pm when a lone gunman opened fire on a […]

    Deportee from LA fined after failing to report to GSU
    Persons accused of criminal charges out on bail and deportees from outside Belize, especially the United States, share one thing in common: they must report to local authorities on a regular basis. A recent deportee from Los Angeles, California, who is gainfully employed and turning his […]

    Byron James tried for murder of Frank Vasquez
    Byron James was tried this week for the murder of Frank Vasquez which occurred at around 10:30 p.m., on May 9, 2012 on Neal’s Pen Road, Belize City. The trial was held without jury before Supreme Court Judge, Troadio “John” Gonzalez. The deceased was shot multiple times […]

    Belize Progressive Party calls on government to save the economy
    The Belize Progressive Party (BPP) has called on the government to implement certain strategies to improve the economy by cutting public sector spending while taking some of the pressure off tax payers. According to the BPP, “the rich cannot get richer at the expense and […]

    Reported accident in Orange Walk
    Breaking reports reaching our newsroom suggest that shortly before 1:00 this afternoon, a student was knocked down by a Belize Telemedia Limited owned truck. Details of the incident are still limited but our reporters are on the scene and more information will be published […]

    Belize City police find gun and ammo
    After being called to an area near the Euphrates Avenue Basketball Court last night around 8:00, police saw a motorcycle on the ground with a gun magazine beside it and learned that a male person was seen running form the area with a firearm. […]

    Two shot on Jasmine Street, none dead
    Two 26-year-old Belize City men are listed in stable condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after a shooting incident last night around 6:48, left them both with multiple gunshot wounds. Police responded to the KHMH shortly after 7:00, where they saw Benua […]

    Gradual increase in moisture today
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting cloudy skies at times with a few showers mainly along the coast this morning, then over most areas this afternoon. Winds will be blowing from the East-Northeast at 5-15 knots and the sea state will be […]

    Blogs

    Easter Winds Come Early Washing Over Seawalls & Bringing Back The Sargasso
    Here’s my run down: Drier/sunnier/cooler season –> humidity picks up and Easter winds –> HOT HUMID SUMMER (rain at night for the most part) –> HOT HUMID FALL (rain more likely) –> Repeat. In just two days, the island went from sunny and calm to sunny still…but the winds! Gusts up to 25 mphs throughout the day combined with high tides really brought the water and the sea grass in. Sailing appeared great. Zipping right along. And down on the easement just south of me, the sargasso had all washed right back in… This morning, the winds have died significantly and Windfinder is predicting a “cold front” this weekend….with some rain, winds from the north and dipping temperatures.

    International Sourcesizz

    The Atlantic Ocean Is Acidifying at a Rapid Rate
    Over the past 10 years, the Atlantic Ocean has soaked up 50 percent more carbon dioxide than it did the decade before, measurably speeding up the acidification of the ocean, according to a new study. The paper published Saturday in the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles, “shows the large impact all of us are having on the environment,” Ryan Woosley, of the University of Miami, said in a statement. “Our use of fossil fuels isn’t only causing the climate to change, but also affects the oceans by decreasing the pH.” Burning oil, coal, and natural gas for energy and destruction of forests are the leading causes of the carbon dioxide emissions driving climate change. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen from 355 parts per million in 1989 to just over 400 ppm in 2015. Decreasing pH in seawater can harm the ability of shelled organisms, from microscopic coccolithophores to the oysters and clams that show up on our dinner plates, to build and maintain their bony exteriors. Researchers reported last year that acidification is also threatening to wipe out large populations of phytoplankton, tiny ocean plants that are at the base of food webs that support fish, dolphins, whales, and other marine life.

    Paint Party Events. Paint N Splash
    Reef Series week 4. Join us this week to paint a beautiful underwater scene. Everything you need is provided step by step direction, paint, brushes, smocks, canvas and a pre sketched canvas for those who want one. Price is $25u.s per person. Discount applies to our Members. February 4, 2016, 2:00 PM

    Videos

  • An Agritourism Trip to Belize, 7min. The artfully sustainable Spanish Creek Rainforest Reserve cultivates noninvasive bamboo, and sources rainwater and food from its 2,000 acres to create a true haven in the rainforest. Tucked between a second-growth rainforest and a wildlife sanctuary in Belize lies the haven of Spanish Creek. Here, Mark Ellenby and Sol Tucker have created a 2,000-acre reserve—including a solar-powered farm cultivating one of the largest growths of noninvasive bamboo in all of Central America. Ellenby shares with GLP Films how he and his team practice pesticide- and herbicide-free farming to create a finca that is completely self-sustainable. Water comes from the rain and food is grown on the land, including the fruitful orchards of avocado, banana, plantain, passion fruit, and mango trees. Travelers, volunteers, and villagers from Rancho Dolores are encouraged to stop by the Spanish Creek Rainforest Reserve and learn about the property’s pioneering agroforestry, agritourism, and conservation efforts. Of course, there’s always time for leisure: guides offer crocodile safaris, trail walks, canoeing, horseback riding, or simply relaxing beneath one of the bamboo palapas. “We always have this belief,” said local Belizean and tour guide Raymond Reneau, “the forest is not ours: it’s for our children.”

  • Snorkeling in Belize, 2min.

  • Under the sea in Belize, Caye Caulker, 1.5min.

  • Wildtracks End Of The Year 2015, 3.5min. Wildtracks has put together a video highlighting all the wonderful accomplishments they've had over 2015. Worth a watch. 4 troops were successfully released this year Thanks, Wildtracks! "Wildtracks is reviewing the 2015 year - and is sharing the year's stories. Thank you to all Wildtracks supporters, whether volunteering their time or contributing funds to ensure that these endangered species can return to the wild. We couldn't achieve theses successes without you!"

  • Belize, 18min.

  • Sanctuary Belize, 3min.

  • Belize Technology Report epi 2, 60min. As seen on the "Greatest Places on Earth" TV series. Produced by Steve ODell. Technical direction by Cadet Henderson. Special thanks to the Belize Film Commission.

  • T Rex in Belize 2016, 5min.

  • Slickrock Belize, 3min.

  • Snorkeling dans la région de Caye Caulker, au Belize (8 mai 2015), 1.5min. Une vidéo de ma journée de snorkeling dans la région de Caye Caulker, au Belize, le 8 mai 2015.

  • Bike Ride in Rain Forest of Belize, 5min. Bicycle ride stop at the big Mahogany tree with the tour guide explanation.

  • San Pedro Belize rough landingto flight, 1min.

  • Chicken Sh*t Bingo aka Chicken Drop - San Pedro, Belize, 1min. When I heard this was going down tonight I had to attend! There are multiple rounds and strict rules but the gist of the game is hold a chicken, move it around in big circles, move it up and down, "fluff" or blow gently on their tuckas and then set them down on the game board and hope the chicken poops on your number (or like this chicken did and go across two numbers at once 9 & 100) the lucky winner(s) has to take tissue and wipe off their number and take it to the bar to claim their winnings! People chant, scare, call and feed the chicken to entice them closer to their number. First for everything and I even saw a big chicken take down a huge cockroach!

    February 4, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Carpe Diem lands 1st place at 2016 Wahoo Tournament
    On Saturday January 31st, Captain Morgan’s held their 2016 Annual Wahoo Tournament. The competition kicked off at the crack of dawn, and saw the entry of 13 vessels setting out to open seas in hopes of landing the winning fish and capturing the grand prize. Teams had 12 hours to fish and catch the most Wahoo and at the end of the day it would be Carpe Diem who would claim ultimate victory. The tournament definitely required the skill and expertise of each seaman, as the wahoo proved to be a challenging catch. While several teams managed to capture wahoo of various proportions, Carpe Diem of San Pedro Town, captained by Enrique Marin and anglers Bill Toonen, Bob Toonen, and Dan Decaster trumped the competition with four massive wahoos that totalled 150.25 lbs, claiming the first place grand prize of a $10,840.00. Second prize went to Team Reef Shark III from Caye Caulker, captained by Dominik Novelo and anglers Chang Lee, Daniel Smith and Efraine Novelo. Their three wahoos averaged a total of 107.95lbs and landed the Caye Caulker team a second place cash prize of $5,070.

    All is set for the Carnaval Celebrations
    El Gran Carnaval de San Pedro is right around the corner and this year, festivities are being held under the theme “Bailando a Todo Color”. Scheduled to take place from Sunday, January February 7th through Tuesday the 9th, Carnaval has been a long standing tradition for the island, commemorating the beginning of the Lenten Season. Each year the event is highly anticipated by both locals and visitors to the island. As such, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has organized several activities to go along with the traditional painting and comparsas (dance) group presentations. Activities in honor of Carnaval will commence from Friday, February 5th with a photo exhibition being organized by the San Pedro House Culture. Everyone is invited to visit the San Pedro House of Culture on Angel Coral Street at 7PM to enjoy photographs of San Pedro’s past Carnaval celebrations. The celebration will continue on Saturday, February 6th with the Carnaval Fiesta Block Party. With live dance and musical presentation and lots to eat and drink, the block party starts at 8PM at Central Park.

    SICA Member States Meet to Address Emergency Health Issues Associated with Spread of Zika Virus in the Region
    On Tuesday, February 2, 2016, officials from the Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs of Belize participated in a regional videoconference organized by the Government of Honduras, current Presidency Pro-Tempore of the Central American Integration System (SICA), to discuss the regional health implications from the Zika virus. The objective of the meeting was to coordinate regional positions and actions to ameliorate the number of infections and agree on a sustained action plan to work towards the eradication of the Zika Virus. The Ministry of Health has engaged in a country-wide campaign of spraying and assisting in the removal of possible stagnant water that are breeding grounds for the Aedes aegypti mosquito that is also a carrier for Dengue fever, Malaria, and Chikungunya. The Ministry is also finalizing the national preparedness and response plan to combat the Zika virus.

    Ambergris Today

    Belize Joins Plan of Action to Address Zika Emergency in the Region
    On Tuesday, February 2, 2016, officials from the Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs of Belize participated in a regional videoconference organized by the Government of Honduras, current Presidency Pro-Tempore of the Central American Integration System (SICA), to discuss the regional health implications from the Zika virus. The objective of the meeting was to coordinate regional positions and actions to ameliorate the number of infections and agree on a sustained action plan to work towards the eradication of the Zika Virus.

    Belize Sets New Laws for Commercial Fishing, Moving to Managed Sustainable Practices
    With the country looking at a decline in the fishing industry, dwindling supply of fish and marine products and the effects of overfishing, the Belize Fisheries Department is looking into implementing a Fishing Managed Access Program that will secure fishing grounds and empower fishermen to secure sustainable fishing practices. What this means is that commercial fishermen will be required to obtain a fishing license that will allow them to fish in selected fishing zones pertaining to where they live and prevent them to infringe on other fishermen’s work zones. This practice will ensure what fishermen have their own areas that will provide for them and will not create the overfishing of marine life in specific areas of the country. The Fisheries Department is moving away from open access fishing practices that allows anybody to fish anywhere in the country to the implementation of a managed access program that will limit their fishing zones but also ensure that each fisherman’s zone is protected from others who are not allowed to fish in.

    25 Years Ago - The Good Old Days…Fist Fight and Politics
    In the good old and peaceful days of San Pedro there were disagreements and disputes, of course. These usually ended in a "plieto a putazos" or fist fight. At times there were more bitter fights in a bar and these led to fist fights, but often times a bottle was broken on someone's head. If friends were present at the bar, a brawl would ensue and many bottles would be hurled and equal number of heads cracked. But never was the broken bottle used to stab or inflict larger wounds on the enemy. And never was a knife used, much less a machete. The men of the village never went to a bar with knives in their pockets and absolutely guns were never used in our GOOD OLD DAYS. IN THE GOOD OLD DAYS, politics was in the ‘back burner’. You never heard of political campaigning or people slandering their fellow villagers. There was never anyone hustling and buying votes and never those expensive rallies with free rum and lots of propaganda. No, when an election was approaching, the area representative would visit one day and walked down the front and back streets greeting people. He would be hugging the ladies and reminding the villagers to go out and vote.

    Unpredictable Weather in Belize, High Winds Cause Beach Erosion
    The cold fronts brought unseasonably cold weather to Belize in January, when most people expect them in December, if any! And now as February rolls in, strong and gusty winds are prevailing, weather condition that is normally expected in March during Easter.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    SICA Member States Meet to Address Emergency Health Issues Associated with Spread of Zika Virus in the Region
    On Tuesday, February 2, 2016, officials from the Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs of Belize participated in a regional videoconference organized by the Government of Honduras, current Presidency Pro-Tempore of the Central American Integration System (SICA), to discuss the regional health implications from the Zika virus. The objective of the meeting was to coordinate regional positions and actions to ameliorate the number of infections and agree on a sustained action plan to work towards the eradication of the Zika Virus. The Pan-American Health Organization has committed to providing all its resources to assist the region in its response to eradicate the Zika Virus and its possible correlation to microcephaly that has been affecting newborn babies of mothers infected with the virus. Research is also being conducted to ascertain a possible link to the Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

    National Executive members of PUP take oath
    The National Executive members of the People's United Party took their oath at Independence Hall this morning. Former Party Leader Francis Fonseca was in attendance.

    San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi PHOTO CONTEST ALERT!
    Share a picture/Selfie below ,of anything representing our company; boats, logos, employees etc! Best Pictures wins a group ticket for 4 pax to Caye Caulker! that's 4 round trip to Caye Caulker guys!! now that's a Deal!

    National Agriculture & Trade Show 2016
    We are pleased to announce our 2016 dates which will be from April 29 to May1. Make sure you come out to the best show of the year in Belize! The National Agriculture & Trade Show Grounds is the venue for Belize's premier annual agriculture & trade exposition. The grounds include general display areas, a rodeo, stables, and a main stage area for entertainment. The venue is avaliable for rental for other events.

    Agents from Bogota Colombia get a familiarization tour of the Country
    The Belize Tourism Board partnered with Copa Airlines to give these agents from Bogotá Colombia a familiarization tour of the Country. These participants were excited to explore and learn about Belize, they are now prepared to inform more travelers about Belize and what we have to offer.

    Full Moon Concert in San Ignacio Feb. 20
    Mark the date!

    Destination Barranco Village
    Barranco Tour Guide open for business. I booked a Destination Barranco Tour and what I got was a whole nother story. The history of Barranco village told from the cemetery...with the Ancestors listening and watching. Alvin then took us through an impressive educational tour of the village that ended at Watina with a sumptuous meal of hudut. I am so very proud of Alvin for offering this unique view of our historical village, and strongly recommend this "Destination Barranco Tour" to all visiting (natives or not). I am truly impressed.

    South Ambergris Caye Neighbourhood Watch General Meeting w/Mayor Danny
    The South End has a very special opportunity to ask San Pedro Mayor Daniel Guerrero questions. He will be joining our meeting at 7:00 pm, February 10th at Lone Star Grill and Cantina to discuss the new road project. You are welcomed and encouraged to ask the Mayor anything you would like to know, but please, to ensure an orderly meeting, submit your questions in advance. We will not accept questions at the meeting, so please. . . . Reply to this email with the question you would like to ask. Submit your questions by Saturday evening. I will compile the questions and we will get the best use of the Mayor's valuable time.

    Chaa Creek’s New GM Carries On A Family Tradition Of Belizean Hospitality
    The Lodge at Chaa Creek has a new general manager, and, in keeping with the popular Belizean eco-resort’s unique history and evolution, Bryony Fleming Bradley is a member of its founding family, born and raised at Chaa Creek. In January 2016 Ms Bradley took over the GM position of the family business from her mother, Lucy Fleming, who, with husband Mick, started Chaa Creek as a small farm on the banks of Belize’s Macal River in the late 1970s. The Flemings opened Chaa Creek as one of Belize’s first eco resorts in 1981, just as Belize achieved independence from Great Britain. Beginning with a few one-room, thatched-roofed cabins built from materials found in the surrounding jungle, Chaa Creek’s friendly, family ambience and green philosophy struck a chord with travellers, and the resort grew in leaps and bounds over the years, Ms Bradley recalled.

    Puppy Bowl
    Come cheer for your favorite team while helping out the Saga Humane Society! Want to watch the Puppy Bowl before the big game? Only place in town to catch it on the big screen is at the Sandbar San Pedro with Saga Humane Society friends. Party starts at 3PM

    Mayor Daniel Guerrero and his wife had dinner with travel agents from Colombia, Ecuador and Peru
    Mayor Daniel Guerrero and his wife, along with Deputy Mayor Gary Greif with his girlfriend had dinner with travel agents from Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. With the introduction of Copa Airlines non-stop service to Belize from Panama, San Pedro is now an attractive travel destination for South American tourists. This is part of the ongoing effort between the Government of Belize and the private sector to minimize the length of the "slow season."

    San Pedro Carnaval 2016
    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.

    Lionfish Derby
    Caye Caulker’s 1st Lionfish Derby! Organized to create a local supply and demand and a continued effort to remove Lionfish from our Sea. The Captain’s meeting will be at the Community Center at 5pm on the 12th of Feb. Event kicks off at 7AM on Feb 13 at Barrier Reef Sports Bar.

    Kelly McGuire bringing down the house at Captain Morgans Retreat today in San Pedro Pedro, Ambergris Caye

    Power interruption 8:00am to 1:00pm, Monday February 8, portion Cayo & Belize Districts
    All areas along George Price Highway from Mile 30 to its junction with the George Price Boulevard at Mile 46 in Belmopan, including La Democracia, Mahogany Heights, Franks Eddy, More Tomorrow, St. Matthews and Cotton Tree. BEL to install utility poles carrying high voltage lines & conduct other development works on power distribution system in the area.

    FCD Ranger Training Program
    The FCD has finished another Ranger Training Program. Congratulations Felix and Emiddio! "Two IA Park Rangers have successfully participated in and completed the FCD's Ranger Training Program. Mr. Felix Cruz from our Caracol staff and Mr. Emiddio Cruz from the ATM staff are now equipped with skills that should assist them in carrying out their duties at these respective archaeological reserves. Congratulations to Felix and Emiddio!"

    Art Wit Wordz
    The Wildfire Art Gallery is kicking off another great art exhibit: Art Wit Wordz. They'll celebrate with wine and chocolate on Sunday, February 7th, starting at 4:00pm.

    Beltraide Upcoming Training Sessions
    Empowering throught knowledge for a vibrant music industry in Belize.

    The story of Peli the Brown Pelican in Belize
    A woman called about a pelican that had been hanging out by her dock for three days or so. She'd been feeding him bread, but she had a sense something was amiss. She called Belize Bird Rescue. We returned Peli to the area of Belize City where we found him. (S)he was eager to get as much distance from us as possible as quickly as possible. (S)he dropped the fish Jerry used to lure him/her out of the carrier and passed by the fish Jerry threw in her proximity. We asked friends in the area to be on the alert for Peli and to notify us if (s)he was seen. No sighting reports were received which we considered a good sign. Video. More pics.

    Channel 7

    Bail For Bradley
    After spending 6 days in prison on remand, American Tour Operator Bradley Paumen is out on bail tonight. His attorneys convinced Justice Antoinette Moore that he should not remain in jail while the prosecution prepares its case against him. He’s facing additional charges for the perversion of Justice, and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. He was arraigned in Belmopan on those charges last week where he, Lisburn Anderson, and businessman Jahan Abadi stand accuses of trying to plant a .22 rifle and 150 live rounds of ammunition in Michael Modiri’s vehicle, which allegedly happened in April 2015. He was remanded on Thursday because the Magistrate, Albert Hoare, did not entertain any applications for bail that evening. That first day in jail then progressed steadily until today, almost one week later, when his attorneys were granted an audience before Justice Moore.

    Tourism Minister Speaks On Dark Night Debacle
    So Bradley Paumen is out on bail tonight – and his many employees who’ve been to court to back him up should be breathing a sigh of relief. Contrary to what the BTB told us – Dark Night still has tours with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. And while Paumen is a licensed tour operator, is the BTB sanctioning a tour that involves trespass on private property? That’s what Michael Modiri says, and that land dispute is supposedly behind one of the biggest murder conspiracies we’ve ever reported on. We asked the Minister if this does entire debacle damages the image of Belize as a responsible tour destination. Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. - Minister of Tourism: "In particularly you know that matter is in the courts. I don’t know the nuts and bolts about that, I know that Mr. Paumen had invested substantially in Belize and I have seen his project, I believe it is a wonderful project. What happened there other ministries are involved in that directly from the ministry of tourism, I don't believe it is anything that has to do directly with the tourism industry that really stir up this thing to happen. Any license that is done, there is a format that we use where by you have to have your police record and everything; even our local tour guides, they have to produce a police record and other things which will ensure that the vetting committee that does this thing are fully conscious that this person is in the proper form to operate."

    Taking Measures To Safeguard Tourism
    2015 was a Great year for Tourism in Belize, where there was substantial growth especially during the last quarter of the year. BTB hopes to maintain those high figures for the year 2016 and hopefully increase it. But the year didn’t start well for the tourism industry. First there was the murder of Canadian film director Matthew Klinck, then there was the slaying of American Anne Swaney. In addition to that, tour operator Paumen has been charged for abetment to murder. So, what is Cabinet’s response to those events that threaten to contaminate Belize foreign exchange bread basket? Today we had a chance to speak with the Ministers of Tourism and National Security – and here’s what they told us: Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of National Security: "These are what can be considered isolated incidents against tourists but we do take them very seriously because even one incident if taken out of proportion can affect the product that we offer here. So we're been doing what we can to make the people know especially our potential visitors that these two incidents were random incidents, that its not a trend, it is not anything we believe will continue and of course the police department will continue to work in collaboration with the tourism industry, tourism board to make sure that we continue to keep Belize as a safe destination for tourists."

    Briceno Consolidates Leadership Early
    John Briceno was elected as the PUP Leader in a convention on Sunday – and since then he has been moving swiftly to consolidate his leadership by meeting with his adversaries within the party, squashing whatever beef they have and inviting them on-board. Today, he hoped to put that new-found unity on display when the new executive was sworn in at party headquarters. 7News was there:.. Henry Usher - Chairman, PUP: "It is time for us to get to work for our people and for our country. We must stand united behind our leader.” And today as they took the oath of office, one sensed a possibility that the long divided PUP possibly could come together as one. Hon. John Briceno - PUP Party Leader: "Everywhere we went, in every village in every community, town or city, we heard the same cry, we need to unite. And today I am promising the party members and this nation that the People United's Party is united, it's strong and it’s ready to take over the government in Belmopan." (Applause)

    ZIKA: Confounding Health Experts
    There is a major update on the Zika Virus: it can be sexually transmitted. The US Center for Disease Control confirmed 1 such case so far in Texas. Now, as we have reported the virus has spread throughout Latin America and the Caribbean and travel warnings have been issued for pregnant women for 14 countries including all of Belize’s neighbors – Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. That was after the virus was linked to brain damage in babies. But this virus is spreading so rapidly so that the World Health Organization declared a global emergency. And now, even more so with this latest find. We have a clip from CNN News in which they further discuss this case where Zika was sexually transmitted and the other concerns associated with the virus.

    Education Minister Reviews Sector
    From health to education: today Education Minister Patrick Faber today held an Education press conference to review and evaluate Belize’s educational system – What has been accomplished and What still needs to done? In his speech at the Biltmore, Faber began with the major achievements in education. Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education: "In 2008 we had 4 key policy objectives. First was to start strong ensuring that every child starts school ready to learn and focus; focused on increasing access to pre-school education, focused on addressing the preventative health care needs of children. It focused on school feeding." "The second of those policy objectives was to build stamina, ensuring that we get and keep young people in school for more years of learning by reducing barriers to access and retention of students in secondary school and what we did was providing that $300 subsidy to reduce cost to a barrier in accessing and help them stay in school. We levelled the playing field in terms of financing of secondary schools based on their total student enrolment while factoring the academic and socio-economic needs of such students; the new financing formula."

    Teachers' Provisional Licenses About To Expire
    While all those initiatives and policies among many others are major improvements, there is one area that has been a concern for many years and that’s teacher licensing. That was at the top of today’s agenda. Although there has been a steady increase of teacher training over the years, many teachers are still not licensed to teach but are still in the classrooms. Well, that is going to change. Those teachers without a full license risk losing their jobs. Minister Faber reminded those teachers of the Education Training Act. Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education: "Section 29:7 said at a teacher in possession of a license other than a full licenses shall not be eligible for temporary employment on probation as a prerequisite for appointment but shall be eligible for temporary employment for a period not exceeding 5 calendar years to allow the teacher to acquire the necessary qualifications for a full license in accordance to this act and rules made under this act. Section 29:9 said a teacher who fails to acquire the necessary qualifications for the full license within the period prescribed in this section shall have his services terminated and that teacher shall not be eligible for further employment at any school or institution unless or until he acquires at his own expense the necessary qualifications for a full license. So today we are publicly informing that begun really over 15 years ago with the passage of the education rules of 2000; we're finally followed up with the memorandum issued by the chairperson of the TSE in 2011 as it relates to the requirements for being eligible for continued employment if you hold a provisional license to teach. The provisional license gives a person 5 years in which to acquire the necessary qualifications for a full license and failure to do so within the allotted time should have rendered holders of such licenses ineligible for continued employment."

    Temp Teachers, If Necessary
    Now there are a lot of teachers with a provisional licenses – over 500 at the primary level and about 800 at the secondary level. So, those who do not fit the criteria for the special permit, and who did not complete any training after all this time, do stand to lose their jobs.. but how will the ministry fill all those vacancies? Faber said they will be able to fill those posts with qualified teachers Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education: "There are about 500 plus teachers who hold a full license, meaning they are qualified teachers but are not employed in the teaching profession here in Belize at this time. And so some people may have seen me put out on Facebook page that I'm looking for teachers who are fully qualified but can't find a job, this is your break. We are asking teachers who are in that category, they are not in service, they are looking for a job and the people who are in the classrooms without the training are holding up your job. To tell you that you are seeking that job by visiting our district centres, visiting the various management and putting in your applications; whatever application processes they have and of course informing. Ms. Casey we would have to make some kind of opening on the website where they can submit and we create a registry, that's our intention."

    BNTU Says It's About Time For Teachers' Licenses
    Now for those of you teachers who are completely caught off guard with this announcement – President of the BNTU Luke Palacio says you shouldn’t be because they have repeatedly warned teachers about these regulations. Now he will do all he can for those teachers who couldn’t for some reason access training but for those who knew and just refused to get qualified – well, you’re on your own. Luke Palacio - President, BNTU: "We have been keeping our teachers up to date in terms of reminding them at all our meetings that we hold, seminars every occasion we have we said to them remember if you have a provisional license, the rules are clear. The rules are clear that after 5 years you must get the necessary training to upgrade your license from a provisional license to a full license. So they are aware, we ensure that we sit on different committees be it with ministry, be it with management so that we can mitigate to a certain extent what has transpired here. As a matter of fact, in some of the recommendations that have been made, the BNTU is very instrumental in ensuring that all our teachers who would be affected will not be affected negatively in totality because for instance we insisted that person who qualify for service benefit that even if their license would have expired that they will be given their service benefit."

    Is NCL Exclusive OK?
    The Stake Bank Project which was thought to be a sure thing towards the ending of last year is now on an indefinite hold. Even after a bill was passed in the House of Representatives, not even an act of parliament could produce common ground between Government and Developer Mike Feinstein. The Prime Minister said that Feinstein was requesting the impossible - a 25 year exclusivity contract for the Belize District. The Prime Minister said that Feinstein’s request contradicted the judge’s ruling in a lawsuit that he initiated against the Fort Street Tourism Village. But now there are reports that NCL’s Harvest Caye Project down south has received an exclusivity contract. So, how does that work? We asked the Minister of Tourism about it today. Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. - Minister of Tourism: "You know there was a challenge by Mr. Feinstein and the court had decided that there cannot be any exclusivity for that but when they speak about an exclusivity it means to say that if you give someone; when in that 25 years it cannot be altered or renewed and in the case of that one with FSTV, I believe that they had given an exclusivity then renewed and altered and so that is what is. But in the case of NCL that was given before this ruling came to court and I can assure you that once that 25 years expires; I would probably not be around but it shouldn't be renewed again. That is what we call exclusivity, a onetime thing and that's it."

    Civil Aviation Layoffs
    While speaking with Tourism Minister Heredia we asked him about the rumblings within the civil aviation department – which he is also the minister of. Reports are that at least 4 air traffic controllers were terminated. The reasons we were told was that they failed their appraisals- a test designed to promote them, not to determine if they will keep their jobs. We asked Heredia about it today: Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. - Minister of Tourism: "That municipal airstrip when completed supposed to be one of the best municipal airstrips in the country. It is estimated to cost probably 17 million dollars at the end with running lights, with an apron; no other airstrip has an apron. This will be almost similar to the international airport but a little smaller. I believe it will be more modern than the international airport. If you look around now they are working on the fencing, will be well fenced, it will have a huge parking area, hot mix parking area with security if you want to travel somewhere and leave your vehicle it will be very safe over there for a minimal fee. So we're trying to do not only Belize City but all out airstrips. Fencing them, making sure they are to at least the minimum standards; again looking into safety and making sure our tourist and our local people can get the best service."

    When Will Municipal Project Finish
    Keeping it on the topic of aviation, we asked the Minister about the Municipal Airstrip project. In December 2012, government broke ground but over three years alter, construction still isn’t finished. Today Minister Heredia gave us an update on the works. Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. - Minister of Tourism: "That municipal airstrip when completed supposed to be one of the best municipal airstrips in the country. It is estimated to cost probably 17 million dollars at the end with running lights, with an apron; no other airstrip has an apron. This will be almost similar to the international airport but a little smaller. I believe it will be more modern than the international airport. If you look around now they are working on the fencing, will be well fenced, it will have a huge parking area, hot mix parking area with security if you want to travel somewhere and leave your vehicle it will be very safe over there for a minimal fee. So we're trying to do not only Belize City but all out airstrips. Fencing them, making sure they are to at least the minimum standards; again looking into safety and making sure our tourist and our local people can get the best service."

    PUP Cagey On Village Councils
    As we showed you at the top of the newscast, new PUP leader John Briceno has hit the ground running – but he’s not about to run into a brick wall come March and April when village council elections will be held. IT could be a costly undertaking for the rebuilding PUP – and today Briceno was cautious in addressing it: Hon. John Briceno - PUP Party Leader: "We're looking first at village council elections which I believe should start in March, which likely will start in April since the UDP, they are going to be having their national convention to the end of next month; so one of the first things that we are going to do is that we have to do an analysis of the village council. I think we have about 193 villages in the country. Me, I believe that we should try to minimize politics in village councils."

    PUP Leader Calls PM Barrow Trip To Washington A Failure
    But Briceno was not so cautious in speaking about the Prime Minister and his finance team’s recent trip to Washington. As we told you, the PM travelled to Washington to meet senior officials from the US Treasury Department. Briceno called the trip “a disaster:…” Hon. John Briceno - PUP Party Leader: "We know that the prime minister took it upon himself to go to Washington to try to solve it and unfortunately for us, he failed and I'm not in any way rejoicing that he failed. The problem is that this is an issue that is bigger than Belize and we believe that it has to be done regionally, that we need to unite together with our sister countries in CARICOM and in Central America so as one block we can meet with the United States to address this issue. We are concerned about the people when you can't pay your credit card, you can't get monies, US dollars to be able to if you have to go abroad to get medical attention; if you can't be able to send monies for your children that are abroad studying for tuition and board. These are the day to day issues that concern us."

    Ranger Training
    Rangers from the Friends for Conservation and Development have completed a 1 week skills training. It was conducted at the FCD’s Tapir Camp, and had the participation of FCD rangers, four officers from the Forestry Department, and 2 park rangers from the Institute of Archaeology. They were instructed in the areas of rescue and first aid, navigation, firearms use, and patrol skills. Special guests, such as Diplomat Stuart Leslie from the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s Referendum Unit, and Dr. Candy Gonzales from the Belize Environmental Law and Policy, gave presentations on the confidence building measures, and the National Protected Areas Systems act.

    Late Evening Shooting
    Three men were shot in Belize City half an hour ago. It happened on Jasmine Street in the Lake Independence Area. We know that all three were taken to the hospital, and we are told they were not fatally wounded. This happened in PIV turf. A vehicle that was in the yard was riddled with bullet holes. We’ll have more on this tomorrow.

    When Is Kayla Coming Home
    On Monday, we told you about 25 year-old Belizean Kayla Sanchez who was arrested in Melchor. She has been charged with aggravated robbery for the theft of a cellular phone. Well, for the past 2 nights, she’s has been on a remand at a Guatemalan Prison in San Benito, Peten, a facility very much like Belize’s Central Prison. Foreign Affairs diplomat Said Guerra has been on the case ever since she was arrested by the Guatemalan police, and right now he’s in Peten. He’s trying to get her home, or at the very least, to see that she has a fair trial before a court. She has still not been arraigned before a Guatemalan judge, and that is expected to take place tomorrow. The problem right now is the language barrier, because Sanchez does not speak enough Spanish to understand what is happening. Said Guerra will remain in Peten until she is taken before the judge, and it is expected that he will act as her interpreter and advisor.

    FIU Teams Up With Customs
    It’s a regulation the world over – those travelling with more than ten thousand US dollars in cash have to declare it at every border or point of entry. In Belize, that process is very involved, with the traveller having to go to the Financial Intelligence Unit, and then to the airport or border crossing. But now, thanks to a new memorandum of understanding between customs and the FIU, travellers can go directly to the airport or border. Director of the FIU Joy Grant explained how it will work:… Joy Grant - Director, FIU: "Prior to this signing, if you were planning on taking more than what's stated in the law that you can take out without approval, you had to come to the FIU first to get the approval. Due to negotiations on both sides, we have now agreed that the customs and excise department will be able to give that permit at the border points." Victor Recinos - Comptroller, Customs: "Making reporting easier will make the person that wants to do legitimate trade have life a little bit easier. The cumbersome procedures cause a lot of delays in the business world. If we can minimize that, allow you carry legitimate business, reporting efficient as possible, it will also start pointing out those who want to go into illegitimate activities."

    Lessons Learned From Titan
    And while we had the Director of the FIU in a question and answer session, we asked her about the recent case with Titan Securities – where government was found liable for 8.8 million dollars in damage. The government will appeal, but Grant told us there were lessons learned from that episode:.. Joy Grant - Director, FIU: "Well certainly you learn by what you've done and what we did at the FIU, we went through the judgement line by line. Especially where it referred to the FIU specifically and we would certainly look at a situation like this if it arose maybe more depth and some things you would do differently, certainly." Grant was not the director of the FIU when Titan’s offices were cleaned out…

    Hon. Heredia Bullish On Blackadore
    Blackadore Caye, an island located just about 7 miles west of Ambergris Caye, has made our news before. That is because Hollywood superstar Leonardo D’Caprio bought the island and has the vision of turning it into an eco-friendly luxury resort. In theory, the resort will be designed to increase the biological health of the species on the island and in the waters surrounding it- a restorative island resort. Last month, the first EIA consultation was held. And although the project has eco friendly labeleld all over it, there is still widespread concern of the effects the over-water structures might have on the surrounding marine environment. We spoke to the Minister Tourism about it. Although the Minister did not give us a date, the next public consultation is scheduled to take place in a few days. The Developers of the project hope to open the resort by 2018.

    Thanks, Tourism!
    The Ministry of Tourism handed over three vehicles today at the headquarters of the Belize Eastern North Division. The three Mazda pickups will be specially assigned to the Tourism Police Unit. The value of the donation is valued at over $200 thousand dollars, and while three vehicles might seem like not all that, the Minister of Tourism says this is just one of several initiatives they are undertaking to enhance the quality of visits to the country. Assistant Commissioner of Police Desiree Phillips commander of the Eastern North Division and Minister John Saldivar were on hand to receive the donations. One of the vehicles will be assigned to the tourism village in the city, another will be assigned to conduct rural patrols of the tourism destinations and the third will be assigned to the San Ignacio formation to be deployment to Caracol and to conduct spot checks in that area.

    Canal Side Shooting
    Last night police responded to the report of shots fired on East Canal between Dean And Prince Street – which is just up the street from our studio. Police scenes of crime technicians processed the scene, but today the cops told us that shots were fired, but there is no complainant, and thus, no case.

    Channel 5

    Bradley Paumen Gets Bail
    The relief on Bradley Paumen’s face was clear this afternoon as Justice Antoinette Moore granted him Supreme Court bail. Paumen has spent seven nights behind bars awaiting a process which [...]

    Mechanic Lisburn Anderson Out on Bail
    Another man who spent seven nights behind bars with Paumen is Lisburn Anderson. He also received bail today from Justice Moore in the sum of fifteen thousand dollars and two [...]

    Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia on Bradley Paumen
    As we said, Bradley Paumen was before the courts this afternoon in Belmopan and secured bail for a slew of charges relating to a murder for hire plot he allegedly [...]

    P.U.P. National Executive Sworn In
    The new National Executive of the People’s United Party under the leadership of John Briceño was sworn in this morning at Independence Hall on Queen Street. A former minister and [...]

    Assets Will Be Put in Trust for the P.U.P.
    Today’s swearing in was done at Independence Hall, the traditional and emotional home of the People’s United Party. But emotion aside, the assets of the Party, including Independence Hall, the [...]

    1300 Teachers May Lose Their Jobs
    For years, the issue of the teachers training has been on the drawing board at the Ministry of Education. According to recent figures, only about forty percent of primary school [...]

    Hugo Casanova and Melin Vasquez Are Back in Belize
    Belizeans Milin Vasquez and Hugo Casanova were serving time behind bars in neighboring Chetumal since February 2013. They were arrested when they were busted at the house of notorious Mexican [...]

    Minister John Saldivar Talks About Murder Rate
    There have been fifteen murders since the start of the New Year. In January alone, there were thirteen; and since the start of the month, a double homicide in Orange [...]

    Minister Heredia Supports Harvest Caye Project
    A twenty-five-year exclusive contract has been awarded to Norwegian Cruise Lines for the controversial southern cruise port at Harvest Caye. The matter was taken to the House of Representatives at [...]

    Blackadore Caye Project Supported By G.O.B.
    Hollywood Actor Leonardo Di Caprio is planning to build a massive and impressive resort at Blackadore Caye in San Pedro which he hopes to open in 2018. Plans for the [...]

    $17 Million Municipal Airstrip Almost Completed
    The Belize Tourism Board reported last week that tourism numbers for 2015 were impressive with growth in airport arrivals. These numbers are expected to grow even further this year. This [...]

    How Will the P.U.P. Finance Operations?
    Earlier we told you about the swearing in of John Briceño as the new leader of the P.U.P.  Briceño confirmed that following his round of meetings post-Convention victory, he has [...]

    The Next Challenge for the P.U.P. is Village Council Election
    The first real test of the P.U.P.’s strength, unity and energy will come in just a matter of weeks – Village Council elections. Briceño acknowledged the challenges facing the party [...]

    Loss of Correspondent Bank Relationships Has Severe Economic Impact
    Moody’s Investors Service has just concluded a visit to Belize; the correspondent banking issue was at the centre of discussions with major players. The report issued at the end of [...]

    FIU/Customs Department Sign MOU to Strengthen Domestic Enforcement
    This afternoon in Belize City, the new Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit Joy Grant and Comptroller of Customs Victor Recinos signed a memorandum of understanding intended to strengthen domestic [...]

    Belmopan Resident Succumbs To Injuries from RTA
    On Tuesday, Egbert Ferguson succumbed to injuries sustained in a traffic accident between Miles seventeen and eighteen on the George Price Highway. Tonight we can report that there is another [...]

    Ministry of Tourism Donates Vehicles to Ministry of National Security
    Crime has been affecting Belize as a tourism destination. The Ministry of Tourism is hoping to undo any fear of crime that would dissuade potential visitors to the Jewel. This [...]

    LOVE FM

    Moody’s Warns of Economic Impacts to Belize Due to De-Risking
    A local delegation led by Prime Minister Dean Barrow returned home a few days ago after having meetings with the Comptroller of Currency; the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) and the US Department of Treasury in an effort to see how best the correspondent banking issue can be handled in order to minimize the economic […]

    Customs and FIU Team Up on Anti-Money Laundering Strategy
    The Financial Intelligence Unit is seeking to improve their investigative functions with the help of the Customs and Excise Department. This afternoon, the two agencies signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will make the reporting of the international transportation of currency and monetary instruments. Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit, Joy Grant says while they […]

    Health Officials Organized to Attack ZIKA
    Yesterday we told you of the development confirmed by the Centre for Disease Control as it relates to the ZIKA virus and its transmission through sexual activity. We also told you of the statement by the World Health Organization, declaring the ZIKA virus a global public health emergency. Today, the local authorities in Belize issued […]

    PUP’s Party Leader and National Executive Sworn In
    For the second time in eight years, the Honorable John Briceno was sworn in as the leader of the People’s United Party. The swearing in ceremony took place at Independence Hall in Belize City and was conducted by Sam Waight, who once served as the Area Representative for Cayo South for the period 1979 to […]

    Briceno’s Campaign Revealed Issues Faced by Voters
    Following the official swearing in ceremony this morning of the PUP’s National Executive and its Party Leader, Honorable John Briceno addressed the gathering at Independence Hall where he spoke of his campaign leading up to Sunday’s convention. JOHN BRICENO “I want to thank everybody that participated on Sunday’s convention. As the chairman rightly stated that […]

    Briceno Speaks on Issues to Be Tackled
    It has only been three days since John Briceno has taken over the reins of the People’s United Party and while it will take some time to settle down at the Secretariat, considering that majority of the equipment and some office furniture were removed on Monday, Briceno already has a list of issues he wants […]

    Moving Forward with the Assets and Funding of the PUP
    Some weeks ago leading up to the PUP’s Convention, one of the points we were querying was that of the assets of the People’s United Party, namely, Vibes Radio, the Belize Times and Independence Hall which are currently privately owned. Under the previous Briceno leadership, he was being pressured to buy the assets for as […]

    Education Ministry Buckles Down on Teachers’ Licenses
    The Ministry of Education held a press conference this morning to discuss key policy objectives in the education and training sector that will be affecting teachers with provisional teaching license across Belize. The ministry has requested that all teachers with provisional license, further their studies and apply for a full teacher’s license since their new […]

    Mexico Sends Vasquez and Cassanova Back to Belize
    Love News has confirmed that Belizeans Melin Vasquez and Hugo Casanova are already on Belizean soil. The two men had been detained back in February 2013 in Mexico at the home of notorious drug figure Carlos Cabanas Catzin who is known to his enemy as “El Monstro”. The Mexican navy found a huge amount of […]

    Paumen Saga Involves Ministry of Natural Resources
    The man accused of master minding the murder plot of his business partner is out on bail tonight. Fifty eight year old American Tour Operator Bradley Paumen was ordered to pay twenty five thousand dollars to the court to secure his bail. Justice Antoinette More ordered that he surrender all his travel documents and report […]

    PlusTV

    Double Murder in Orange Walk
    A double murder occurred yesterday evening in broad daylight in the town of Orange Walk. Police say that at 4:52 p.m. on Monday 1st February they visited Gristock Street in that municipality where they saw 17-year-old Rene Antonio Acevedo lying in the middle of the street with a gunshot wound to the...

    Hattieville Trafffic Accident turns fatal
    Yesterday Monday February 1, we told you about the traffic accident that occurred on the George Price Highway just outside Hattieville. Police have issued more information on the accident which happened just before 4 p.m. between miles 17 and 18 on the George Price Highway. The incident involved a g...

    Belmopan Woman knocked down by motorcycle dies
    Yesterday in our newscast we told you about 86 year old Irma Celiz who was clinging to life after being knocked down by a motorcycle. Unfortunately, early this morning at around 2 o’clock, she succumbed to her injuries. The elderly woman was crossing the San Martin Road near St. Mary Street in Belmo...

    Vehicle flips on George Price Highway
    There was another traffic accident on the highway this morning. It happened around 9 o’clock this morning when 52 year old Derrick Satchwell was driving his red Dodge Caliber on the George Price Highway. Somewhere around mile 7, Satchwell lost control of the vehicle which caused it to flip and lan...

    Another cyclist gets hit on highway
    A cyclist was hit by a vehicle while riding on the Philip Goldson Highway. Early this morning, between miles 6 and 7 on the Phillip Goldson Highway, 52 year old Nelson Hemsley, a Belizean driver was driving a white ford pickup. In front of him was a cyclist, 62 year old Loyden Foreman, who was trave...

    Tourist drowns while snorkeling
    There was a drowning of another American tourist in San Pedro on Monday February 1st. 58-year-old, Jeffrey Thomas Bartl died during a snorkeling trip. According to police, Jeffrey Bartl, his brother Clayton and two other friends all went on a snorkeling tour with Ambergris Divers at Hol Chan Marine...

    Case of ex-open vote worker concludes in court
    The Supreme Court today finished hearing a case that could have impact on the employment of so-called “open vote workers”, those who work for Government, but not under formal contract or in a permanent capacity in the Public Service. The trial took place starting last Thursday before Madam Justice ...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Shooting in the old capital; two injured
    Unconfirmed reports reaching our newsroom indicate that two persons were shot. BMG was made to understand that the incident played out on Jasmine Street in Belize City. Our reporter is currently following this latest incident. More will be posted shortly. © 2016, www.breakingbelizenews.com. This article […]

    The Central American Integration System moves to action as Zika virus continues to spread
    The Zika outbreak continues to spread, as reports are that at least four more countries have reported infections in the Americas since Monday. Belize is the only country in Central America that has not reported any case of Zika, but the country does not have […]

    Minister of State Elodio Aragon represents Belize in Youth Forum
    Earlier this week Belize’s Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Elodio Aragon Jr. joined regional youth delegates, Ministers of Youth, representatives from the permanent Missions of Member States to the United Nations (UN), UN Major Group for Children and youth […]

    Johnny and new PUP execs sworn in
    Guess who’s back! Four years after stepping down as party leader of the People’s United Party (PUP), Juan Antonio Briceño, known to all as Johnny, has returned to the driver’s seat at Independence Hall. This morning, he and the new members of the party’s national […]

    Belize Bank inaugurates new San Ignacio branch
    The Belize Bank recently inaugurated and opened its new San Ignacio branch at 21 Burns Avenue, just down the street from its original location, marking the end of service at the 16 Burns Avenue location which had an outstanding 27 year history of service and excellence. The […]

    Financial Intelligence Unit signs cooperating agreement with Customs Department
    This afternoon Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) Joy Grant and Comptroller of Customs Victor Recinos signed a memorandum of understanding intended to strengthen domestic cooperation in the fight against money laundering and terrorism. The MOU is planned to facilitate the reporting of international […]

    Belmopan police arrest 19-year-old for accident that killed another
    In reference to a traffic accident which occurred on January 31, Irma Celiz succumbed to her injuries sustained at around 1:55 a.m. yesterday morning at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Belmopan police have since arrested and charged 19-year-old Maya Mopan area resident, Jose Coc […]

    Entrepreneur loses $70,000 investment in fire
    It is estimated that a fire at La Gabara Cool Spot yesterday afternoon, which completely destroyed the structure, cost damages amounting to $70,000, but fortunately no one was injured. Orange Walk Police responded to the scene located on Trial Farm Village’s riverside and saw the […]

    Six arrested for less than 4 ounces of weed
    Six persons were arrested and charged for ‘possession of controlled drugs with intent to supply’ and ‘possession of controlled drugs’ yesterday morning after a police search at their residence, yielded 105.7 grams of cannabis. Officers searched the home of 20-year-old Akeem Alexander Guzman on […]

    San Ignacio police find half pound of weed
    A police search in an open lot on Dalia Street, San Ignacio Town yesterday morning, resulted in the discovery of more than half a pound of cannabis that was found in three separate plastic bags under a garbage bin. The find of exactly 240 […]

    Pickup driver dies of injuries sustained in collision Monday
    In the aftermath of a traffic accident that happened Monday afternoon between miles 17 and 18 on the George Price Highway, 47-year-old Egbert Manfield Ferguson succumbed to his injuries at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital yesterday morning around 7:50. Ferguson was the driver of […]

    OCEANA praises Washington’s opposition of offshore drilling
    A press release from OCEANA issued earlier today, announced that Washington D.C., United States, became the largest city in the world to formally oppose offshore drilling and seismic air gun blasting this morning when its city council voted unanimously to do so, joining a […]

    Queen Street Police Station receives three new Mazda Pickup Trucks
    Hon. John Saldivar, the Minister of National Security, along with Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism, Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie, and Assistant Commissioner of Police Dezerie Phillips, Officer Commanding Eastern Division North, today presided over a Handing over Ceremony for three new Mazda […]

    The sky is the limit
    Banking Sector Challenged But Optimistic By Delroy Cuthkelvin It is no secret that the banking sector in Belize is facing some unprecedented challenges these days with ‘de-risking’ measures being taken by International banks, particularly in the United States. It is a situation that threatens the correspondent banking arrangements […]

    Blogs

    Human Behavior and Sustainability
    Fixed human behavior tendencies have blocked action toward a sustainable future. Despite over 50 years of effort by scientists and environmentalists, the future of the human endeavor can no longer be taken for granted. This is due primarily to our nature. We have failed to realize our own behavior patterns are the root cause of our predicament and have mistakenly believed that mountains of evidence would make the difference. For decades scientists have produced evidence describing the serious environmental threats we face. Their work has failed to ignite a significant public response because our message has not been delivered in a manner that addresses the drivers of human behavior. We now understand humans are confronted with subconscious behavior tendencies that served us well at an earlier period, but still remain in our incomplete evolutionary development. At our present stage of intellectual development, lingering malevolent social constructs, especially capitalism and economic growth, impede our ability to move forward on environmental issues. Humans have the most highly developed brain of all living species. The cognitive part of the brain is responsible for our remarkable progress in technology and science. By contrast, when human relationships induce conflict or stress, the limbic and reptilian parts of the brain dominate, overriding rational cognitive thought processes. The innate survival instincts so essential in the past still tend to overwhelm our unique reasoning capacity. Emotional factors such as fear and anger hamper rational thinking. We overestimate the human intellectual capacity when the cognitive process is undermined by our regression to subconscious influences.

    7 Amazing Romantic Destinations for Valentine’s Day
    With miles of beautiful beaches, miles of pristine rainforest, and your choice of luxury resorts to spend intimate time with your special someone, Belize is the perfect place for a romantic getaway. Below are 7 Amazing Romantic Destinations for Valentine’s Day: Hopkins Village, Caye Caulker, Orange Walk, San Ignacio, Ambergris Caye, Placencia, Waterfoot Caye.

    Chicken and Dumpling Casserole
    Place the chicken in a pot and cover with water. Cover and cook over medium heat for 1 hour. Remove chicken from pot, save the water, and let cool. Shred the chicken and place in the bottom of a 11x7 baking dish. Whisk together the flour, milk and butter, pour over the chicken. Whisk together the broth, soup, salt and pepper, pour over the casserole, DO NOT STIR.

    Donas Rellenas de Mermelada
    Para realizar unas riquísimas donas rellenadas de mermelada, lo primero que debemos hacer es echar el agua, la levadura y el azúcar en un bol. Removemos y dejamos reposar durante cinco minutos. Aparte, echamos la harina en otro recipiente y en el centro hacemos un agujero para incorporar los huevos, la mezcla de agua, levadura y azúcar que teníamos reservada, la nuez moscada, la sal y la mantequilla. Mezclamos con las manos hasta obtener una pasta homogénea y esponjosa.

    International Sourcesizz

    City College students and faculty travel to Belize for ecotourism
    Winter break is often used by students and professors alike to unwind from the last semester. They visit family members for the holidays and perhaps pick up a few more hours at work to make some extra money. David Wyatt, a City College biology professor, broke that trend this winter break.. Wyatt led a trip of students and observers on a privately funded trip to Belize from January 4 – 16. “I am the one that designs and oversees the trip. I design it so the casual traveler doesn’t have to worry about anything; all food and lodging is provided for in the cost,” Wyatt said. “We stay in field stations, not resorts. I make sure it’s affordable for everyone. This trip is not a class by any means and the itinerary I provide is not required.” Wyatt has been to Belize 11 times in the past 16 years and loves bringing other adventurers along to share his love of Belize. The highlight of this last trip for Wyatt was bringing along two entomologists, scientists who study insects, who helped out with the trip and taught the group as much as they could on the insects of Belize.

    Desert Foothills Chapter, Arizona Archaeological Society presents guest speaker Jaime Awe February 10
    The Desert Foothills Chapter (DFC) of the Arizona Archaeological Society (AAS) is pleased to announce Dr. Jaime Awe an expert in western Belize cave archaeology and Mayan culture as a lecturer on February 10t Doctor Awe was born in San Ignacio Town of the Cayo District in Belize. A graduate of St. John’s Junior College in Belize City, he was awarded a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours and a Masters Degree in Anthropology at Trent University in Ontario, Canada. In 1992, he completed a Ph.D. in Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology at the University of London, England. Between 1990 and 2000, he was a professor of Archaeology at Trent University in Canada and at the University of New Hampshire. In the summer of 2000, he returned to Belize to direct major conservation projects at Caracol, Xunantunich, Cahal Pech, Altun Ha, Cerros, Lubaantun and Lamanai. Tales from the Dark Side: Cave Archaeology in Western Belize and its Implications for the Decline of Maya Civilization by Dr. Jaime Awe. 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.

    Top Incentive Destinations Part 4
    Because I do incentive travel programs for some of my clients, I thought I’d share with you some highlighted destinations for 2016 for the incentive and/or leisure traveller. Belize: While we do not see a lot of demand for Belize yet in the corporate travel world, it is expected to change as clients continue to challenge us in looking for new destinations to discover. According to some colleagues, it’s practically one foot in Central America and the other dipped in the Caribbean Ocean. Interesting Fact: Belize is home to the second-longest barrier reef in the world, jungles with wildlife and the mysterious Mayan ruins.

    Videos

  • Come take a flight in Tropic Air’s flight simulator, 1min. Tropic Air, the airline of Belize, has the only Redbird CRV flight simulator in the country and region. Our flight simulator is used to keep our pilots trained as well as offer a flight program for pilots interesting in flying with us in Belize. We also offer this to the public who would like to know what it is like to fly one of our planes. For details, check out our blog: tropicair.com/en/come-fly-with-tropic-air/

  • Placenia Beach Belize Las mejores playas del mundo, 4min.

  • The Scouts Association of Belize, 23min.

  • Exploring an Underground Waterfall in Belize, 2min. Robin Esrock investigates Belize's Cave Branch as he ticks off the Great Global Bucket List.

  • 1st Dive Belize, 17min.

  • Wahoo Winners Tell the Fish Story, 8min. Congrats to Team Carpe Diem Captained by Enrique Marin. Bill Toonen speaks on behalf of the team.... Post Tournament San Pedro Wahoo Challenge Jan 30 2016

  • Our friend in San Pedro, Daniel Nuez with a green moray...., 1/4min.

  • Belize Log Booms, 1min.

  • BSI ARS WEEKLY CROP REVIEW 2016 - WEEK 8, 3min.

  • HON. JOHN BRICENO SWORN IN AS LEADER OF THE P.U.P, 9min.

  • Human Wildlife Conflict, 4min. Great video about the human wildlife conflict. Shot by Daniel Velazquez and narrated by Giselle Rodriguez, it's a great little video that shows some of what the Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic does. "It is our duty to help each other in helping wildlife. Wildlife is protected by law."

  • Belize, 5.5min. Volunteering, and adventures that took place in Belize.

  • Belize Adventure!, 4min. We Tackled the muddy roads, steep stairs, deep caves, and corals reefs of San Ignacio, Caracol, Caves Branch, Caye Caulker, and Ambergris Caye.

  • Ambergris Caye, Belize Diving, 8min. Diving with sharks and thru and lengthy tunnel.

  • Belize 2016, 3.5min. UNCW trip to Calabash Caye Field Station in Belize. From seining to snorkeling, we did it all.

  • San Ignacio Fire fighters - Belize 2016, 2min. Attending at a house fire with the fire fighters of San Ignacio, Belize.

  • DJ Castro "The Ladies Choice" Belize B-day Tour 2k16, 8min. DJ Castro celebrates his Birthday as he tours performing at clubs in Belize with Belizean Artist Tanya Carter!

    February 3, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Over the water calm at Oasis Spa, San Pedro
    While we live in paradise, there are still every day stresses that we deal with. To properly relax before the hectic deadlines hit, I indulged in a massage and cleansing facial. I made the quick trek on the dock in front of Fido’s, ready to be pampered and coddled! Jessica, my appointed massage therapist, showed me to the room where I’d be hopefully zoning out. Once down to my swimsuit, I was ready for some blissful moments. With refreshingly scented oils, a gentle touch on especially tender parts, and deeper massage on my tired muscles, I was soon knocked out, only awaking when my aching weight-lifter’s biceps felt the strength of Jessica’s fingers. She stayed in the gentle zone, working on relaxing me instead of pummeling my muscles into submission. That was very much appreciated! :)

    Renewal of Effluent Licence
    The Department of the Environment (DOE) would like to take this opportunity to inform the general public, particularly company and business owners producing effluent, that the renewal of Licences to Discharge Effluent is due on April 1, 2016. Companies and businesses are hereby being reminded of the need to comply with the Environmental Protection (Effluent Limitations) Regulations, Chapter 328 of the Subsidiary Laws of BelDepartment of environmentize, as amended in 2009, especially as it relates to Section 14.

    Ambergris Today

    Pic of the Week - What Goes Up...Stays Up!?
    Do you want to elevate your house?? Or even move it?? Like a giant Jenga puzzle the Mennonites meticulously and patiently work on elevating this house to make it a two storey building. Belizeans with low homes who at some point decide to make their house a two storey building and construct a business on the first floor acquire the services of Mennonites who have become experts at the craft. They can even MOVE your house to a different location, if it is small enough to transport through the streets. It's an amazing and interesting process to witness.

    7th Annual Tribute To Bob Marley
    Reggae icon Bob Marley is remembered by island residents in a two day event full of entertainment and art displays by local Belizean artists at the Central Park. Mark your calendars - February 13th and 14th, 2016 for the 7th annual Tribute to Bob Marley Concert. Organized by Irie Belize Promitions, the event commemorates Bob Marley’s life and significant contributions to the music industry.

    Flashbacks - Early Days Of Tourism in San Pedro
    At the right of this Flashback Picture is the towering first three story hotel on the Island, Sea Breeze Hotel belonging to the late Seferino Paz Sr. Directly in front is the Ambergris Lodge and across the street is Fido's Hotel. Both Sea Breeze Hotel and Fido’s Hotel had partnered into the Coral Beach Chain of local hotels. To the extreme left is Big Daddy's, that has "been there done that" as far as entertainment goes from the early days of San Pedro. Now nestled between all these hotels and bars is the Roman Catholic Church. Believe it or not this solemn church and the high energy entertainment spots have always managed to maintain a good and respectable relationship. Big Daddy's, in days gone by, would suspend its dance at midnight in respect for the midnight mass Christmas and New Year's Eve. Fido's would also hold on to its entertainment until 10 p.m. for the church service to proceed. It is admirable that rock and roll music and solemn spiritual hymns can go on so well with conscientious scheduling. Anything is possible in San Pedro, La Isla Bonita. That is why we are the No. 1 Island in the World.

    Belize Issues Flu Season Advisory as Related Deaths Investigated
    Flu season is here and it is evident that a lot of people are getting sick with flu-like symptoms really fast. Most people have been blaming the abrupt changes in weather as a series of cold fronts have passed over the country in the last few weeks, but officials in the Ministry of Health are closely investigating the sudden death of at least six people over the past few months who displayed flu-like symptoms. Last week, Belize’s Ministry of Health 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. The advisory comes at the heels of deaths that have been reported at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City, reportedly caused by respiratory distress commonly associated with pneumonia.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    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.

    Renewal of Effluent License
    The Department of the Environment (DOE) would like to take this opportunity to inform the general public, particularly company and business owners producing effluent, that the renewal of Licences to Discharge Effluent is due on April 1, 2016. Companies and businesses are hereby being reminded of the need to comply with the Environmental Protection (Effluent Limitations) Regulations, Chapter 328 of the Subsidiary Laws of Belize, as amended in 2009, especially as it relates to Section 14. These regulations basically establish that it is illegal to dispose of effluent (waste water) without a licence or written permission from the DOE. In this regard, companies and businesses can now complete an application for renewal of their Licence and submit it to the DOE, along with the payment of the $500.00 fee for the period 2016/2017. Payments can be made at the nearest treasury or sub treasury to Government Account Number 23328/11718/120/15, and proof of payment forwarded to the DOE office, along with the application. Early application of your Licence to Discharge Effluent will ensure proper inspection of these facilities and quick issuance of the Licence to Discharge Effluent.

    BELTRAIDE PARTICIPATES IN SJCJC CAREER FAIR
    As part of its efforts to connect and network with business departments at various high schools and tertiary level educational institutions, The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (Beltraide) actively participated in this year’s St. John’s College Junior College (SJCJC) Career Fair, which was held at the SJCJC’s Student Center on Tuesday, 2 February in Belize City. Over 500 students had the opportunity to learn about Beltraide’s services offered through its various units, which include BelizeINVEST, EXPORTBelize, the Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC), the Small Business Development Centre Belize (SBDCBelize). Beltraide is a statutory body under the auspices of the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce and its mission is to enhance Belize’s prosperity by fostering investor confidence, entrepreneurship, business growth and innovation.

    Domestic Cooperation Strengthened
    Government of Belize Press Office

    Super Bowl Chili Weekend in Corozal
    What's going on at Corozal this weekend? It's a touch down...Super Bowl Chili Weekend this Sunday February 7th at Scotty's Crocodile Cove Bar & Grill. Chili Cook Off during the game. Doors open at 2:00 P.M. Chili Dogs, Chili Fries, Chili Burgers & Chili Bowls will be sold beside regular menu. Come and enjoy yourselves with family and friends.

    Power interruption 8:00am to 2:00pm, Wednesday February 3, Belize City
    Belama Phase 1 & 2. BEL to replace utility poles carrying high voltage lines in area.

    ATLIB Regional Volleyball Tournament
    The 3 Cayo schools dominated at the ATLIB Volleyball Regional tournament last week. Congratulations to UB and SHJC for taking 1st and 2nd place in both the men's and women's categories. They'll be going to San Pedro this weekend to play at the ATLIB National Volleyball Tournament. Thanks to Galen University for the pictures. "With the win the Galen Lady Eagles finished in 3rd place behind Sacred Heart JC and UB. The top 2 teams will advance to Nationals. 1st UB 2nd SHCJS 3rd Galen 4th Ecumenical JC 5th IJC"

    Belize Duck Race 2016
    What could you do with $1,000,000? That is a great question. This year's Belize Duck Race is this Saturday, February 6th, at the Hawkesworth Bridge. They have a little video out highlighting last year's event. Good luck!

    Deploying Geolocators
    Spent the past week in the coldest parts of Belize, just when a massive cold front was passing over the country. Not only amazed at our natural beauty, but working with some pretty special species. We were deploying Geolocators on Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers so that we start understanding their wintering ecology in Belize and the rest of Central America.

    The Consortium for Belize Educational Cooperation (COBEC) Winter Conference 2016
    Serious about studying in the U.S.? Get the facts and discover new possibilities at the COBEC college fair happening in Belize today in Belize City and Thursday in Placencia.

    Channel 7

    Brazen Double Murder Decoded
    Last night's headline was about the stunning, broad-daylight, double murder which happened in Orange Walk Town just before 5:00. We only had sketchy details on the incident that stunned Orange Walk Town. Well, tonight, we have much more, about the killing of 2 teenagers, Rene Acevedo and Erlin Matura. Here's the story: At around 5 p.m. yesterday, residents of Gristock Street in Orange Walk crowded along the police cordon to see two of their neighbours lying lifeless on the road. 17 year-old Rene Acevedo Jr. and 19 year-old Erlindo Matura Jr. were gunned down and killed execution style by a gunman who lured them into a conversation to get their guard down. It's the kind of thing no family would want to find out. But, Maria Matura ran out of her house shortly after hearing the gunshots. She found her son, Erlindo Jr., dying where he'd collapsed on the road. That image will forever be with her, that moment when he took his last breath. Maria Matura - Mother of Erlindo Matura Jr.: "I just ran outside. When I ran outside I just see my son out there on the road lying down with gunshots already dead. He was face up. He was bleeding. He didn't die instant. He just took one breathe, smiled and die on my hands. That's what I saw out there. But I couldn't believe he was already gone. I didn't believe that my son was dead."

    Collision Involving 11, One Died
    Last night we showed you the major collision at mile 17 on the Western Highway between a tourist van and a pickup truck. It involved 11 people - and tonight one of them, the driver of the pickup, Egbert Ferguson is dead. Police say Ferguson swerved into the lane of the oncoming van and caused the massive head on collision. Six French tourists and a driver were in the van, while Ferguson had three passengers, a woman and two minors on board. All of them suffered injuries, but when we got to the scene yesterday, emergency technicians and fire department personnel were cutting Ferguson out of the pickup's driver's seat where he had been crushed. Today Inspector Rochelle Chan, the Commander of Hattieville police station told the media about the accident: Insp. Rochelle Chan, OC - Hattieville: "Based upon information we have received and the investigation and based upon statements recorded and witnesses, it appears that the Ford pickup seems to have drift into the other lane causing a head on collision with the tourist van and that might have been the cause. What was the cause of it, I would know as yet. The vehicles have not been inspected so that we could determine as to what would have been the actual caused."

    Owner Of Tour Van Laments Loss
    We also spoke to Vitalino Reyes - the owner of the van which was transporting the French Tourists. His company, Cavetubing.bz was hired by a group of 6 French women to take them on a tour to Lamanai. They were returning to cavetubing.bz headquarters in Caves Branch yesterday at 3:50 when the collision occurred. Today Reyes shared his regrets:... Emanuel Pech: "Sir, does this affect your business?" Vitalino Reyes Sr. - owner, cavetubing.bz: "Well in one way it will affect my business yes, but the other way we sad to say, but we feel more I would say strong because our vans are new, they are comprehensive, passenger liability, they have full insurance and my company have a full insurance to any accidents. We are not into accidents, but that happens, so we are ready for anything that would happen. But it's very sad to see something like this. Because these people are on vacation and they do not expect any accidents, but we do not have any control on that."

    Elderly Cyclist Sandwiched, But Survived
    There was another traffic accident this one on the Phillip Goldson Highway, fortunately this one was not fatal. Sometime around 9:00 this morning, 62 year old Loyden Foreman a resident of Buttonwood Bay Belize City was riding his bicycle on the Northern Highway between miles 7 and 8 when he was knocked down. Foreman was riding behind a vehicle when it suddenly stopped. That's when a pickup which was coming from behind, hit Foreman - launching him into the air. He was rushed to the KHMH via ambulance where he was treated and then later released. Authorities classified his injuries as abrasions. Police have since served Hemsley with a notice of intended prosecution.

    Senior Educator Satchwell's SUV Slipped, Flipped
    As we reported earlier when we spoke to Hattieville Commander Rochelle Chan, he was at the sight of another traffic mishap. This one occurred between mile 7 and 8 on the George Price Highway about quarter to 9 this morning. Police don't have the details of how the incident occurred and the driver of the vehicle 52 year old Deryck Satchwell, of Belmopan, was reluctant to speak with us. However we gather that he was coming from Belmopan heading towards Belize City when he lost control of his vehicle, a red Dodge Caliber, and overturned on the right side of the road. Satchwell - who is a senior official at the Ministry of Education - was very lucky to walk out of the wreckage unscathed. We understand he was alone when the vehicle flipped.

    Well-Known Fireman Flipped
    And before we could call it a day, we received information of another traffic accident. That is three in just one day within the Belize District. This one is also within the jurisdiction of the Belize Eastern Rural Division. According to authorities it happened sometime around 4:30 pm near mile 25 on the Western Highway. The driver 38 year old fire man Benisford Matura lost control of the pickup as a result of loose gravel on the highway. The vehicle, a white Mitsubishi attached to the Belize City fire department, received damages to the left side. Matura escaped without injury. As a result of the string of road mishaps that occurred today authorities are reminding drivers to exercise caution when on the road. Inspector Chan Commander of Hattieville Police also offered a few words of caution to passers-by who might stop and render assistance.

    Baby Brenae: Long Road To Recovery
    There is a long road ahead for Baby Brenae - the three year old whose head got crushed by a falling gate. When we spoke with the family this afternoon, they told us another round of tests were done today to try and determine the extent of the brain damage. Baby Brenae is still in an induced coma and doctors are monitoring her very closely because she still has fluid in her brain. It is a very critical case but the family remains hopeful. As we told you last night, a large iron gate fell on 3 year old Brenae Timmons in the compound of the Lake Independence Library on Mahogany Street. It happened on Friday evening around 6:20. Brenae's father Bernard Timmons works at the library and his wife took Brenae to wait until he got off work. Brenae was playing inside for most of the evening but ran out with another child to play in the yard. That's when the gate fell on Brenae - crushing her skull. We're hoping for her full recovery and we'll keep following the case.

    Trial Without Jury Results In Acquittal
    Last week, we told you about Daniel Anderson - Justice Adolph Lucas was deliberating his fate in a trial without jury. He was charged with the murder of 19 year old Joyce Mitchell. Well, tonight after almost 6 years on remand, he is a free man because he was acquitted of the charge by Justice Adolph Lucas. Justice Lucas said he was not satisfied with the identification evidence. Mitchell, who resided on Sibun Street, was shot and killed on June 17, 2010, while she was sitting on the trunk of her sister's car, which was parked in front of her house. A lone gunman rode up on a bicycle and fired several shots at Mitchell and some others who were in front of the house. Prosecutor Shanice Lovell relied on a statement that was given by Mitchell's sister, Julie Mitchell, in which she identified Anderson as the shooter. But, Julie was not available to testify because she is out of the country.

    58 Year Old Minnesota Snorkeler Drowns
    A 58 year old American tourist from Minnesota, Jeffrey Thomas Bartl drowned at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve while he was on a snorkeling tour. Bartl, his brother Clayton and two other friends went snorkeling with Ambergris Divers at the reserve yesterday morning with tour guide Alfredo Trejo. However some15 minutes into the snorkeling tour tour guide Alfredo Trejo noticed that Jeffery was not responding to his calls and had his head submerged under water. The guide immediately swam to him and saw that he was not breathing. Police say he immediately called for the park rangers' assistance who took Jeffrey out of the water and began administering CPR. They rushed Jeffery to the San Pedro Polyclinic where he was pronounced dead on arrival at around 10 am. The body was transported to the KHMH where a post mortem examination classified the cause of death as "Asphyxia due to drowning." In a press release the Belize Tourism board expressed sympathies to the family and friends of Jeffery Bartl. Authorities have not indicated if Jeffery suffered from any medical condition that could have contributed to his drowning. Bartl is the second American tourist who has passed away during a snorkeling expedition since the start of this year.

    Court For Copper Bank Men Caught With Conch
    Yesterday, we told you about the 8 men that the Fisheries Department busted on a sailboat with undersized conch on Sunday. Well, this evening, 5 of them were arraigned before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. They are 27 year-old Gilbert Perez, 18 year old Nelson Delacruz, 27 year old Alvaro Delacruz, 22 year old Rodwell Tzul and a 17 year old minor all of Copper Bank, Corozal. They were charged with fisheries offences because they were allegedly caught with 610 undersized conch. They were caught on the sea in the Harry Jones Channel, near the Turneffe Atoll. The four adults pleaded not guilty to the charge, and the 17 year-old minor told the court that he was the one who was in possession of all the conch. The court informed the defendants that the minor would be treated differently due to his age, and that's when vessel owner Gilbert Perez changed his plea to guilty.

    Fighting For Her Workers' Rights
    It was another day in court today for former open vote worker Melissa Tucker. Tucker is suing the Government of Belize for unjustly firing her after 17 years of service. Tucker was hired as a Open Vote Worker and held the post of School Health Coordinator for all those years but, she was terminated in 2013. The only explanation she was given is that she was grossly insubordinate and that she needed to leave. But Tucker isn't settling for that at all. She says that the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance should have authorized her appointment and sent the relevant information to the Public Services Commission in 2006 - securing her job. But according to Tucker that was never done and now she is left fighting for her rights and dignity as a worker. Today after the court session, she and her attorney Magali Marin Young told us what came out of today's trial and what their contentions are in this case. Melissa Tucker, suing the Government of Belize: "I felt that at 2013 when they decided to terminate me that it was unfair and it was an injustice. I also want to have attention reflected on the open vote workers regulations. While public officers under this set of regulations do have some benefits when it comes to dismissal and discipline. It's totally left up to the really the whim of the executive and so I brought the claim against them in 2014."

    Trio Charged For Murder
    In last night's newscast we told you about the murder of 32 year old Stann Creek resident Mariano Castillo. On Friday night Castillo was hanging out with his common law wife, Kamisha Roches on Police Street when her ex-boyfriend - John Grinage - showed up and threatened Castillo. Castillo and Roches decided to go home but Grinage along with his brother and Bandon Baptist stopped them on their way. The men attacked Castillo and he was stabbed in his stomach. He ran after he was struck and fell on the side walk on Mahogany Street. He died shortly after. Now we told you that John Grinage, Sheldon Grinage and Brandon Baptist were not charged with murder but we want to correct that - all 3 WERE charged with murder and they are now only pending charges for aggravated burglary and theft. Police say they have no updates on this case and still won't say - as we have been told - that this murder was as a result of a messy love triangle.

    MCC: Don't Blame RJB
    For the past few weeks we've been reporting on the urgent works at the MCC Grounds to bring Belize City's Premier Football pitch up to a usable standard. But, we've been wondering how the field ended up in such bad condition after more than a hundred thousand dollars was spent on it just two years ago. Contractor Romel Berges of RJB Construction says don't blame him. He was awarded a $132,000 dollar contract in April of 2013, but the scope of works was primarily to level the field with a 2% slope. He says the grass and the drainage were not included in his project and the sports council said it would follow up with that independently.

    OW Cops Caught Half Pound Of Weed
    Orange Walk police are reporting tonight that they've seized half a kilo of marijuana in an intelligence driven operation. The bust was made on Friday night just before 8:00 in the Village of San Felipe, and the Orange Walk Police commander shared the details with the press: Since the police could not tie the drugs to anyone in the area, it was deposited as found property.

    Car Battery Thief Came Under Fire
    Stealing car batteries - it's a common plague in many neighborhoods - but one car battery thief got way more than he expected when a car owner fired on him on Saturday morning. It happened in the area of St. Charles Street near the Municipal Airstrip. At 6:00 am, the car thief, whose name police have not released, was circling the neighborhood in a white Suzuki scouting for car batteries to steal. But when he was operating on St, Charles Street - one car owner caught him in the act and fired four shots from a licensed weapon. He didn't hit the battery thief, but he scared him so badly that when the thief jumped into his Suzuki to make an escape he ran right into the drain. From there the thief ran away on a foot, right into the arms of a passing police patrol vehicle on Princess Margaret Drive. They saw him acting suspiciously and detained him. The vehicle was impounded later that morning.

    The Importance Of Being Hard Working
    Work ethic: that's what the coordinator of the At Risk Youth training hopes to teach 26 young people. This is the second week of training at the Youth Department office and the group has covered a wide range of topics. These include preparation for a job interview to proper conduct at the workplace. But beyond just learning key tips on how to get and keep a job , coordinator Marlene Hernandez told us these skills also translate to their personal development. It's a 10 week training at the Youth Department. They will form a youth group after the training to support each other as they enter the workforce. There is also a business training at the Youth Department for those who want to start their own business.

    Briceno Swears In New Executive, Where Will Cordel and Francis Fit?
    Tomorrow, John Briceno and the new PUP executive will be sworn in at the PUP Headquarters. He is joined by a full slate, most of them his loyalists, but some of them from the Fonseca Camp. But, Briceno will have to figure out how to bring all camps together - and he says he will also find a place for two big men not on the executive: that's Cordel Hyde and Francis Fonseca, who both ran for leader and lost. On Sunday night, Briceno said there is a place for them - but he didn't say where that place would be:.. Jules Vasquez: "Is there space for Cordel Hyde somewhere in this new leadership you hope to create? We know that he gamble for the leader and lost and there are no spaces open otherwise." Hon. John Briceno, PUP Party Leader: "Certainly, as I've always said that Cordel has to play a critical role in the rebuilding of the PUP in us putting together a winning team and we are going to find a space for Cordel, a meaningful space and the same thing goes for the Hon. Francis Fonseca. We are going to reach out to him. He took over the party 4 years ago and worked hard."

    Stole From A Shipyard Safe
    A shipyard man says his stepson stole 15 grand from him. 58-year-old Johan (Yohan) Bueckert, of Camp #9 in Shipyard Village, Orange Walk told police that between the first of December 2015, and the end of January, 2016, someone went into his metal safe and helped themselves to fifteen thousand dollars. Police have detained his 19 year old stepson, Cornelius Wieler pending charges. PUMA Gas station at mile 2 on the northern highway also reported a case of big money theft. On Saturday, 3 technicians were in the gas station office servicing the computers and printers when over eleven thousand dollars went missing from an envelope in the office. The thieves left two thousand behind. Police immediately searched the Mitsubishi Montero owned by one of the technicians, Antonietta Gillett and $11,350.00 was found under the front passenger seat.

    Channel 5

    2 Youths Gunned Down By Lone Gunman
    Two young men from Orange Walk Town are the most recent victims of gun violence. A brazen gunman, still on the lam, opened fire on seventeen year old Rene Antonio [...]

    OW Police Find Drugs and Ammunition
    Also in Orange Walk, officers have been conducting anti-drug operations on a weekly basis. On Monday morning, a search in some bushes on Savannah Street in Orange Walk Town led [...]

    Daniel Anderson Walks Free
    There was an acquittal today in a trial by judge without jury. Thirty-two year old Daniel Anderson of Belize City walked out of court as a free man following his [...]

    Has Belize Received Value for the Petrocaribe Funds Already Spent?
    And our question for tonight is: Do you believe the country has received value for the Petrocaribe funds already spent? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to [...]

    Egbert Ferguson Succumbs to Injuries Sustained in Monday’s RTA
    Tonight we report on four accidents that occurred on both main highways; of the four, one was fatal. On Monday afternoon, just before four o’clock, a pickup truck driven by [...]

    Police Investigate RTA at Mile 7 on the Phillip Goldson Highway
    Aside from the fatal accident that claimed the life of forty-seven year old Egbert Ferguson, there were three other accidents today alone on the Phillip Goldson and the George Price [...]

    Drivers in Two Separate RTAs Escape Injuries
    There was a third accident this morning just after nine on the George Price Highway, which happened at about the same time as the RTA on the Phillip Goldson Highway. [...]

    Open Vote Case Concludes in the Supreme Court
    The Supreme Court today finished hearing a case that could have impact on the employment of so-called “open vote workers”, those persons who work for Government, but not under formal [...]

    Claimants Says Open Vote Workers Regulations Violate the Constitution
    Not only is Tucker seeking judicial review of the termination; she has filed separately a challenge to the Open Vote Workers Regulations of 1992. Tucker and attorney Senior Counsel Magali [...]

    P.S.U. Says Workers’ Status Must Be Regulated
    The case has also caught the attention of the Public Service Union, whose president, Eldred Neal, attended this morning’s arguments. He told us that the case points to the need [...]

    P.U.P. Leader John Briceño Will Be Sworn in Tomorrow
    John Briceño and the members of the new National Executive of the People’s United Party will be sworn in at Independence Hall on Wednesday morning. Briceño was elected Party Leader [...]

    Only $15 Million in Petrocaribe Funds Left
    Between 2012 and 2015, when just the word Petrocaribe was enough to inspire poetry, song and euphoric frenzy, Government’s coffers were said to be bulging with hundreds of millions. The [...]

    G.O.B. Nervous About Pending Telemedia Arbitration Ruling
    According to Waight, a payment of fifty million dollars is due in a few weeks time. That’s cause for anxiety, but there’s another financial storm looming. When Prime Minister Dean [...]

    FCD Graduates Second Cohort of Rangers
    On Monday, the second Friends for Conservation and Development Ranger training program concluded at the Chiquibul. The week long program was conducted in collaboration with the Institute of Archaeology and [...]

    LOVE FM

    Double Homicide Under Investigation in Orange Walk
    Two teenage boys were shot to death yesterday afternoon in the Pasadita area of Orange Walk Town. Nineteen year old Erlindo Matura and seventeen year old Rene Acevedo Junior were on Gristock Street when an unknown gunman approached them firing several shots. There was a third person, a 16 year old minor who managed to […]

    Ferguson Succumbs After Highway Collision
    Police has issued a statement on the accident that took place on the George Price Highway on Monday evening. A van carrying seven tourists and a pickup truck with four Belizeans collided around mile seventeen. The driver of the pickup truck, Egbert Ferguson died this morning. Inspector Rochelle Chan, Officer in Command at Hattieville told […]

    Elderly Man Survives Highway Accident
    A man was knocked down this morning around nine twenty on the Phillip Goldson Highway in Ladyville. The accident occurred between miles six and seven. Sixty two year old Loyden Foreman of Buttonwood Bay was riding his bicycle on the highway when he was hit by a vehicle. It appears that a white truck driven […]

    American Tourist Drowns at Hol Chan Reserve
    American national fifty seven year old Jeffrey Bartle lost his life in Belize yesterday. The Belize Tourism Board confirmed that Bartle died while at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. He was snorkeling and this evening Deputy OC of San Pedro Police Inspector Henry Jemott, told Love News that Bartle drowned. HENRY JEMOTT “The post mortem […]

    Central Bank Governor Says Belize Is Compliant with Money Laundering Regulations
    In a 2015 report of international narcotics control strategy, Belize was one of seven Caribbean countries that were listed as a major money laundering country. In the report, the US Government noted that Belize’s encouragement of the growth of offshore financial activates is making the country vulnerable to money laundering through offshore banks, insurance companies, […]

    Titan Case – An Example of A Costly Compliance
    A recent judgement has put the Government of Belize in a debt, 9 million dollars deeper. In the latter part of 2014, the United States Department of Justice had accused several offshore securities trading companies in Belize of scamming the US Government of one billion dollars in taxes. One of those companies was Titan International […]

    PM Says US Authorities Have No Reason to Mislead
    Yesterday we brought you the highlights of the press conference led by the Prime Minister of Belize surrounding the outcomes of his meetings in Washington DC as they relate to correspondent banking between the US and Belize. In essence, Prime Minister Barrow returned with no concrete solution to the banking challenges in Belize when it […]

    Terminated Government Employee Files Lawsuit
    Melissa Tucker filed a lawsuit against the government. Tucker alleged that she had been working at the Ministry of Education for seventeen years until she was terminated in 2013. She was a School Health Coordinator as well as the School Feeding Coordinator. Tucker disagreed with her termination because she believed that the ministry cheated her […]

    Canadian Travelers Warned of Caribbean Destinations Including Belize
    Residents of Canada are being urged via a notice to exercise a high degree of caution when they are visiting several Caribbean destinations. The travel advisory for three Caribbean destinations was issued by the Government of Canada in latter January followed by additional warnings for four other countries in the region. The advisory with a […]

    ZIKA Virus Can Now Be Sexually Transmitted
    Reports coming out of the Centre for Disease Control and several international media outlets are that the transmission of the ZIKA virus has gone from being a disease gotten from a species of the Aedes Egypti mosquito to a disease that can now be had through sexual transmission. According to the Washington Post the first […]

    Amandala

    Out on bail, back in jail for murder
    Three men who were released on Supreme Court bail in connection with the December home invasion of Lebanese diplomat Sarkis Abou Nehra, 77, who lives in Burrell Boom, are back in prison, remanded on a murder charge. Brandon Baptist, 30, Sheldon Grinage, 25, and his sibling, John Grinage, 27, all residents of Police Street, were arraigned in court this morning before Magistrate Deborah Rogers for the murder of Mariano Castillo, 32. Castillo, a resident of Georgetown, south Stann Creek District, was fatally stabbed in Belize City on Saturday, January 30, after he got into an altercation with the three accused men. Police reported today, Monday, that they visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) on Saturday, around 12:50 a.m., where they saw Castillo suffering from a stab wound to the abdomen.

    Belize delegation discusses banking woes with US regulators
    Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow returned to Belize on Sunday after leading a high-level delegation to Washington, DC, USA, last week to confront what he had previously described as an “existential threat” to Belize’s banking sector, because banks in the US which have been helping to facilitate money transfers for Belize continue to sever relations with Belize. Bank of America began pulling out last April, and Community Federal Savings Bank, a smaller bank which had been facilitating some local banks with transactions, including credit card settlements, has given notice that it will soon sever relations with the Belize banks. Our reports are that three banks, the Belize Bank, Heritage Bank, and Choice Bank (an offshore bank), could be affected, but the banks continue to pursue alternative arrangements.

    John B in 2008, John B in 2016!
    The sprawling Belmopan Comprehensive High School campus was the battleground for a historic People’s United Party (PUP) national convention to elect a new PUP leader out of a three-way race. Hon. Francis Fonseca, the Freetown area representative who had resigned from the post of PUP leader in the wake of the PUP’s general election defeat, was the first to announce a slate of candidates who campaigned under the slogan: “Forward with Francis,” after he had announced his surprise re-entry into the race for party leader. Hon. Cordel Hyde, whose historic performance in the November 4 general elections cast him as the undisputed general of his Lake Independence constituency, campaigned without a slate of candidates under the theme: “We will be there for you.”

    Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence gate falls on toddler
    Brianna Timmons, a 3-year-old toddler, is fighting for her life in the Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after a heavy iron gate in front of the Lloyd Coffin Preschool on the Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence compound on Mahogany Street, fell on her head, at about 7:00 Friday night. Reports to Amandala are that the toddler escaped from her mother, who was in the library of the school (reportedly to visit her husband who works at the library), and went to the gate. The toddler then, along with other children, began to play and “ride” the gate, pushing it forward and backwards, rolling it on its wheels, and the gate came out of its containing bracket and fell on the child.

    Catching up with high school football at the MCC, playoffs start today
    The playoffs are here already in the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) high school female (F) and male (M) football tournament which kicked off on January 7 at the MCC Grounds. Since there are still no lights at the MCC, kickoff time is 3:00 p.m. for the first of two playoff games, 1 female and 1 male, which are scheduled for today. But first, we have some catching up to do, because our last report concerned games played way back on Wednesday, January 20. For the record, here are results of games played since then: Thursday, January 21: (M) Wesley clobbered Maude Williams High, 15-3, with goals from Deandre Pitter (4), Kenyon Lewis (4), Shemar Thompson (2), and Kermin Sutherlan, Devon Davis, Shakeem Richards, Darnel Grey and Jalen Babb with 1 each; while for Maude Williams, Tyrell Estrada, Jaheem James and Tylon Dyer got 1 apiece.

    CSSSA high school softball competition under way at Rogers Stadium
    The Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) 2015-2016 high school softball competition got under way this evening at Rogers Stadium with one game being played, where the females of SCA defeated Anglican cathedral College (ACC) by a 15-7 score. Winning pitcher was Kendice Armstrong; the loser was Lynece Seguro. There are 7 female and 6 male high schools in this year’s competition. They are: FEMALES (F) – Anglican Cathedral College (ACC); Edward P. Yorke (EPY); Gwen Lizarraga High (GLH); Maude Williams High (MWH); Ladyville Technical High (LTH); St. Catherine Academy (SCA); and Wesley College (WES). MALES (M) – EPY; GLH; MWH; St. John’s College (SJC); Sadie Vernon Technical (SVT); and WES. Games begin at 4:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday; and on Saturday, the first game starts at 9:00 a.m.

    2 games only in Week 2 of PLB Closing Season 2015-2016
    Only 2 of the 3 scheduled games were played over the weekend in Week 2 of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Closing Season 2015-2016. The official report has not arrived yet from the league secretariat, but reliable sources have Police United coming from behind to defeat the young upstarts, Wagiya, by a 4-2 margin at the Norman Broaster Stadium on Saturday night. And at the MCC Grounds on Sunday afternoon, home standing BDF and visiting Belmopan Bandits, featuring Belize national team goalkeeper Shane Moody-Orio in goal, played to a 0-0 draw. The scheduled Saturday night game at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium between Placencia Assassins FC and Verdes FC did not take place, and will reportedly be played as a back match later. Verdes’ season opener against BDF FC last Sunday, January 24, was also postponed, so they now have 2 back matches pending.

    Greater parity in league as NEBL teams make key roster additions
    Tiger Sharks continues to dominate Ballaz On Friday night, San Pedro Tiger Sharks traveled out west to take on their rivals, Cayo Western Ballaz, at the Sacred Heart College auditorium in San Ignacio Town. The defending champions, San Pedro Tiger Sharks remained undefeated, as they handed Cayo Western Ballaz their second consecutive loss of the season. The home team jumped out to an early 15 point lead at the start of the second quarter, but San Pedro was able to close the first half on a 14-3 run, to shrink Ballaz’ lead to 35-31, going into intermission. San Pedro dominated the third quarter, holding Ballaz to only 9 pts, as the visiting team took control of the game and maintained a double-digit lead throughout the second half, to seal the 71-59 victory. Upcoming weekend games Friday at 9:00 p.m. – Dangriga Warriors vs Cayo Western Ballaz at Ecumenical College Friday at 9:00 p.m. – Belize City No Limit vs Belmopan Bandits at Bird’s Isle Saturday at 8:00 p.m. – Independence Thunderbolts vs Orange Walk at Independence High School Saturday at 8:00 p.m. – Cayo Western Ballaz vs Belize City No Limit at Sacred Heart College Auditorium Saturday at 9:00 p.m. – San Pedro Tiger Sharks vs Smart Belize Hurricanes at San Pedro High School Sunday at 3:00 p.m. – Dangriga Warriors vs Orange Walk at Ecumenical College All games can be followed live on our website at nebl.sportingpulse.net, 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.

    editorial: Johnny’s great victory
    Although he gained just a little over 41 percent of the total votes cast by 2700 plus delegates at Sunday’s leadership convention of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), Hon. Johnny Briceño, the area representative for Orange Walk Central, won a great victory for himself, his slate, and his Orange Walk base. When you consider all the intensity involved with this campaign and convention, and all the issues and history in play, it will take weeks to get a complete sense of exactly what it was that took place in Belmopan on Sunday. So. We told you in our editorial page last week that this convention would be a historic exercise in political democracy in Belize. There were more than four times as many delegates appointed by the PUP’s 31 electoral constituencies to make the leadership choice as had ever made such a decision in major party history in Belize. In fact, in March of 2008 Mr. Briceño had won a much smaller such PUP convention, defeating Hon. Francis Fonseca, the Freetown area representative, by a narrow margin of 330 votes to 310. On Sunday, Johnny received 1125 votes, while his opponents, Mr. Fonseca, who was the incumbent Party Leader, and the Lake Independence area representative, Hon. Cordel Hyde, received 918 and 673 votes, respectively.

    No charges for man who chopped his friend to death
    The Director Of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has declared self-defense in the case of two friends who became involved in a machete fight while drinking, leading one to fatally chop the other, while the survivor was admitted to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in a critical condition. Jose Alfredo Villeda, 48, of San Pedrito, San Pedro, was released from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital last week to recover at home, while his friend, Sergio Giovanni Uribio, 35, also of San Pedrito, has since been buried. No charges will be levied against Villeda, because, according to the DPP, it was a case of self-defense. The incident occurred at about 1:10 Saturday afternoon, January 16, in San Pedrito at Villeda’s home. Police reported that the men were socializing when they became involved in an argument, which escalated into a machete fight, during which Uribio got a machete and chopped Villeda, but Villeda retaliated, chopping Uribio.

    Belize to launch national campaign, as WHO declares Zika emergency
    World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Margaret Chan, this morning declared Zika to be an international public health emergency, particularly in light of “the recent cluster of microcephaly cases and other neurological disorders reported in Brazil, following a similar cluster in French Polynesia in 2014.” WHO officials explain that their concerns are because of a possible link between Zika and microcephaly (a birth defect characterized by shrunken heads and brain damage)—and not Zika itself. In rare cases, Zika is thought to have also resulted in Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system, and which, in severe cases can lead to paralysis.

    Mexicans release two norteños nabbed in 45-kilo cystal meth bust
    Two Belizeans who had been facing major drug trafficking charges in Mexico have been freed of the charges and sources on the local front indicate that the two men are expected to be transferred to Belize this week. Reports out of Chetumal were that back in February 2013 the men were among 8 persons detained after a Mexican Marines raid yielded 45 kilos of crystal meth, said to have been valued at around US$1 million, at the home of Carlos Cabañas Catzín, aka “El Monstruo,” on Benito Juarez Avenue in Chetumal. The men are Ermelindo Vázquez of Orange Walk and Hugo Casanova of Corozal, who was last year cited by Mexican authorities in connection with a double murder in Mexico in 2013, in which a pregnant woman and her husband were murdered.

    Kidney Association of Belize raises $18,000
    Today at the Belize Healthcare Partners facility, the Kidney Association of Belize held a raffle through which they were able to raise $18,000, and they say that they intend to make the raffle an annual event. A total of ten prizes were raffled today: the first prize, which went to BEL Social Club, was a liposuction procedure, sponsored by the Belize Healthcare Partners; the second prize, which went to Josh Guy, is a round trip to the USA courtesy of United Airlines; and the third prize, which went to Harry Flowers, is a two-night stay for two at the Placencia Hotel. Ruby Nicholas, president of the Kidney Association of Belize, said that the purpose of the raffle was to raise funds to assist some of the 105 dialysis patients who are in need of treatment; the others are receiving treatment otherwise, he said.

    Belize and Guatemala move to implement 13 Placencia accords
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs today confirmed reports that officials of Belize and Guatemala had held a meeting last Friday, January 22, to discuss the road ahead in advancing bilateral relations between both countries and to reactivate the Belize-Guatemala Joint Commission – the body tasked with implementing a set of confidence-building measures previously agreed to by the parties back in 2005. The meeting came about a week after Guatemala’s recently installed president, Jimmy Morales, spoke in his inaugural address about advancing bilateral partnerships with Belize, as well as resolving the territorial, insular and maritime differendum between the countries. The Guatemalan delegation was led by Foreign Minister, Canciller Carlos Raúl Morales Moscoso, while the Belize delegation was led by Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington, and included CEO Lawrence Sylvester; Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala, Alexis Rosado; and Ambassador Stuart Leslie of the Referendum Commission and Belize’s Boundaries Unit. The delegations met at the OAS office near the Belize-Guatemala border.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Tourist dies while snorkeling in Belize
    While on a snorkeling tour at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve near San Pedro Town yesterday morning, a 58-year-old American National of Minnesota, Jeffrey Thomas Bartl, drowned just 15 minutes into the trip, before a tour guide could have rendered assistance to save his […]

    Mid-afternoon blaze destroys palapa structure
    Fire officials at the Orange Walk Fire Department are investigating the cause of a fire that gutted a palapa structure around 2:50 p.m today. According to officials at the department, fire fighters responded to the fire call and found an open deck, palapa covered area […]

    Daniel Anderson acquitted of murder of Joyce Mitchell
    Daniel Anderson, charged with the murder of Joyce Mitchell, was acquitted of the charge today by Justice Adolph Lucas in a trial that was without jury. Justice Lucas said he was not satisfied with the identification evidence. Mitchell, who resided on Sibun Street, was shot […]

    UDP congratulates Briceño; their convention will not be contested
    Following Sunday’s result in the People’s United Party’s contested national convention, among the first to congratulate new leader John Briceño are his rivals in the United Democratic Party. Prime Minister Dean Barrow was first off the block on Monday during his press conference – hailing the “democratic convention” held by […]

    Court concludes case of ex-open vote worker suing Government over termination
    When is a public officer not a public officer? Apparently, when they are an open vote worker. Such is the conundrum in which former Ministry of Education employee Melissa Belezaire Tucker finds herself – “either fish or fowl,” in the phrase of her attorney Senior […]

    Copper Bank fishermen guilty of fisheries offenses
    Tonight 3 of 5 fishermen busted with over 600 uncleaned but market processed undersized conch must find over $15,000 in cash to pay the Belize City Magistrate’s Court (Government of Belize) after they pleaded guilty to various offenses. This evening, Fisheries Department Prosecutor, Hampton Gamboa, rushed […]

    No-one charged yet for OW double murder
    Orange Walk Police still don’t have a motive behind the late afternoon shooting that claimed the life of two teenagers in Orange Walk town yesterday. Today police continued their investigation following all leads and say they have an idea of who they are looking for. […]

    Fair and dry conditions to prevail
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mostly sunny skies during the day and partly cloudy skies tonight. Little or no rainfall is expected. Winds will be blowing from the East-Southeast at 10-20 knots with occasional higher gusts and the sea state will […]

    Man arrested for stealing 15 grand from step-father
    A report made by 58-year-old Johan Bueckert of Camp #9 in Shipyard Village, Orange Walk District, resulted in his stepson, 19-year-old Cornelius Wieler being detained, pending charges for the offense of ‘theft’. Bueckert told police that sometime between December 1st 2015 and January 31st […]

    Orange Walk police find shotgun cartridges and weed
    Working on information received yesterday morning, Orange Walk Police searched in a bush near Savannah Street and found thirteen 16-gauge cartridges, as well as 10.1 grams of cannabis. The search was conducted at 10:45 a.m. and the items, discovered in a transparent plastic bag, […]

    Traffic collision results in 11 injured, no fatalities
    A traffic accident between miles 17 and 18 on the Philip Goldson Highway yesterday afternoon around 3:50, resulted in 11 persons being injured when a Toyota passenger van carrying tourists and a Ford F-150 pickup truck, collided head on, landing one, Emilie Siman, in […]

    Belize missing from Corruption Perception Index again
    Transparency International recently released its latest Corruption Perception Index (CPI), where each country’s perceived level of corruption is ranked based on several indicators and once again Belize is conspicuously absent from the list. The last time Belize made an appearance on the Transparency International […]

    Orange Walk Police to hold briefing on double homicide
    Orange Walk Police will conduct a press briefing this morning regarding investigations of the latest double homicide that happened yesterday evening. The victims were identified as Erlindo Matura and Rene Asevedo. © 2016, www.breakingbelizenews.com. This article is the copyrighted property of Belize Media Group. Written […]

    The February 3, 2016 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

    This Week's Stories:

    • Break or Breakthough? PM’s Intervention To Avert Banking Crisis:
      De-risking by international US banks and the consequent loss of correspondent banking arrangements is the number one issue currently confronting Belize. Having just returned home from a trip to the United States where he headed a high level delegation to resolve the matter, Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow summoned the media to a press conference to update the nation on what was achieved and what the current situation is. The Prime Minister informed that he and his delegation met with top officials from the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), specifically, Mr. Thomas F. Curry; the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); and the Secretary of Treasury, Mr. Jacob Lew. PM Barrow says they all indicated they are pleased that Belize is doing what it can to address the issues that the regulatory measures are intended to combat, including money laundering and financing of terrorism. He said they indicated they are satisfied that Belize is a safe jurisdiction and will clearly communicate that to US banks seeking to do business with domestic banks in Belize.
    • 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, Deane 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.
    • Shoulder to Shoulder, Strength to Strength:
      The Belize Defence Force has added 80 new soldiers to its ranks. Pass-out ceremonies were held for the new intake on Friday January 29, 2016 at the BDF Headquarters at Price Barracks, Ladyville, on the eve of the 38th anniversary of the force’s formation. The soldiers who make up intake number 61 underwent four months of rigorous training. Guest speaker for the pass-out ceremony was Minister of National Security Honourable John Saldivar, who congratulated the men and women for having successfully completed the arduous course of training.“Recruit Intake 61 started off with a total of 120 recruits, but by the second week of training, that figure had gone down by 30. In the subsequent weeks, several more recruits who could not cope with the training dropped out and hence today there are only 80 recruits passing out. Give them a round of applause for their survival! Recruit training by design and intention is tough, both mentally and physically, and only the strongest will survive,” Honourable Saldivar remarked.
    • Editorial: Summoning The Spirit of 2009:
      The threats and challenges confronting the domestic financial sector, as it pertains to de-risking and loss of correspondent banking, are real and potentially disastrous to the nation and its economy. But, as Prime Minister Dean Barrow has emphasized in the National Assembly, press conferences and interviews with the local media, it is important that we NOT exaggerate the magnitude of the actual harm being done. We must also be realistic and truthful, as the Prime Minister was back in 2009 when he informed the nation that the global recession had hit home. As the PM indicated back then, we would enter with eyes wide open and successfully navigate our way through the turbulent waters of economic recession without swallowing the bitter pill of the IMF. Against the global backdrop of protracted, economic contraction and negative growth, our endurance and recovery was remarkable.
    • Johnny Is Back!:
      In a special convention in Belmopan on Sunday, January 31, Hon. John Briceno captured leadership of the Opposition People’s United Party, a position he had voluntarily relinquished prior to the 2012 General Elections. Briceno garnered 1,125 votes, defeating incumbent Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca who received 918 votes, and Hon. Cordel Hyde who got 673 votes. Henry Charles Usher was retuned as Party Chairman. Other executives elected were Jose Abelardo Mai as Northern Deputy Leader, Rodwell Ferguson as Southern Deputy Leader, and Anthony Mahler as Communications Director
    • "The Sky is the Limit!” Banking Sector Challenged but Optimistic:
      It is no secret that the banking sector in Belize is facing some unprecedented challenges these days with de-risking measures being taken by International banks particularly in the United States, a situation which threatens the correspondent banking arrangements that have been in place over the years. Notwithstanding, even as the Prime Minister and his Financial team travelled to the United States to resolve the matter, local bankers at home were expressing optimism about the prospects or Belize’s financial sector. One such person is Lyndon Guisseppe, Chairman of Belize Bank Limited. Guisseppe, who had accompanied the Prime Minister on an earlier trip to the United States to take up the issue with executives from the Bank of America, expressed optimism last week as he spoke with reporters from the local media, optimism about the future of his own bank and the overall prospects for Belize’s banking sector.
    • Belize Chairs CARICOM High Commissioners Meeting:
      This past Thursday, January 28, 2016, CARICOM Heads of Missions in London held their first meeting of the New Year, 2016. The meeting, chaired by Belize, was held at the High Commission of Guyana in London. Guest of honour at the meeting was newly elected Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Baroness Patricia Scotland, who is yet to be officially sworn in to her new post. She will officially take up the office on April 1, 2016 as the sixth Secretary-General since the Commonwealth Secretariat was established in 1965. Her appointment has been hailed as a true breakthrough for gender equality in the Commonwealth.
    • New Water System for Santa Anna - Toledo:
      Minister of Economic Development Hon. Erwin Contreras and Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Hon. Hugo Patt were main speakers at inauguration ceremonies on Friday, January 29 for an upgraded and expanded Water System in the village of Santa Anna in the Toledo District. At a cost of over half a million dollars, the project was financed by the Government of Belize through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). It entailed construction of a 20,000 gallon elevated storage tank, a 10 by 10 foot ferroconcrete pump house, a chain link fence for security, installation of a new 5 HP Submersible Pump, a liquid injector chlorinator unit, 13,000 feet of transmission and distribution lines and 91 water meters.
    • Mayors Association Meets in Punta Gorda:
      The Mayors’ Association of Belize convened this past Friday, January 29, 2016 in Punta Gorda, hosted by the Mayor of that municipality, Fern Gutierrez. Mayors representing other municipalities were Francis Humphreys of Dangriga, Khalid Belisle of Belmopan City, Earl Trapp of San Ignacio-Santa Elena, Heraldo Rancharan of Benque Viejo, Daniel (Danny) Guerrero of San Pedro Ambergris Caye, and Darrell Bradley of Belize City. The Meeting was also attended by the new Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Honourable Hugo Patt, Chief Executive Officer in that Ministry, Kerry Belisle, and other officials having to do with Local Government and Rural Development
    • Ombudsman’s Reappointment Sparks Parliamentary Debate:
      He has held the position for three years, since January 2013, and at the last House meeting held on Friday January 22, 2016, Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow announced the Government’s intention to reappoint Ombudsman Lionel Arzu for another year. The Prime Minister introduced a motion for the reappointment effective January 1, 2016. Once approved by the House of Representative and Senate, it would be forwarded to the Governor General for the reappointment to be effected. And it was approved by the House and Senate, but not before for some strong opposition and debating. In the House of Representatives, it was the Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca who took issue with the proposed reappointment. Fonseca stated, “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.
    • “A Force To Reckon With”, Belize Coast Guard - Ten Years and Growing:
      A force to be reckoned with – that’s how Admiral John Borland described the Belize Coast Guard which he commands. The admiral was speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday January 19, 2016, the purpose being to review the Belize Coast Guard’s progress and effectiveness after ten years of existence, particularly over the past year (2015), and to offer some insight and details about the goals and plans for 2016 and beyond. “The year 2015 marked some significant achievements in the development of the Belize [National] Coast Guard. The coast guard celebrated its tenth anniversary which symbolized ten years of existence and contribution to the safety, security and protection of Belize. The Coast Guard also reached the end of its medium-term strategy for development and operations. We are now in long-term strategy which will take us to 2020. The Coast Guard grew from a strength of 50 in 2005 when we started, to 320 in 2015; but more significantly, over the last two years, since 2012, the Coast Guard grew from a strength of 120 to 320,” Borland recounted.
    • Belize’s Latest Tourism Statistics:
      month ago, in his 2016 New Year’s Message, Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke of the nation’s economic performance in 2015, stating, “It is in Tourism that our prospects continue to shine brightest.” That statement was supported by the latest statistics just released by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) which show that 2015, notwithstanding a wobbly start, turned out to be a record-breaking year, as the number of arrivals in both overnight and cruise tourism continued to grow considerably. In December alone, there was a total of 39, 977 overnight visitors. There was a very small reduction of one percent in the cruise sector, with a total of 957,975 passengers coming onshore in Belize. At a press briefing on Wednesday, January 27, 2015, BTB’s Marketing and Public Relations Manager Noriko Gamero commented on the figures: “We went up 6.2 percent in overnight arrivals. The last seven months saw a positive increase, with the last couple of months showing extraordinary numbers.
    • Temporary Senator for Labour Sworn In:
      The position of Senator representing Labour has been filled, at least temporarily, by prominent, long-time unionist, Elena Smith. She was sworn in at the Senate Meeting on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 as the Senator representing the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) and Civil Society. Speaking with the media, Smith commented, “My role is just that, to represent the Trade Unions and Civil Society. It is for me to sit with them when the Bills come that we can discuss and come up with a position, so that when I come to Senate meetings, I can give the position of NTUCB and Civil Society. At this point, thank you for your congratulations. At this point, the initial appointment is temporary until the Civil Society and the NTUCB can come up with a procedure for identifying our Senator.”
    • US PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES BEGIN:
      US PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES BEGIN The process to elect a new President for the United States of America officially kicked off Monday, February 1, 2016 with the Iowa Caucus. On the Republican side, Texas Senator Ted Cruz (28%) was victorious, beating out Donald Trump (24 %) who came second. Marco Rubio (23%) had a strong third place finish. He is certainly now the establishment candidate to watch going forward especially since polls indicate he is the most electable Republican for President. In a triumphant and optimistic speech Monday night, Senator Rubio declared, “In America there are only two ways forward for us now; we can either be greater than we’ve ever been or we can be a great nation in decline... Now the moment has arrived for this generation of Americans to rise up to the calling of our heritage…We will embrace all of the principles that made America great and we will apply them to the unique challenges of this century."
    • MCC Grounds - Marion Jones - Motorcycles, Sports Minister and Director On The Ball:
      In the new term of this Dean Barrow administration, Orange East Area Representative Elodio Aragon has been named Minister of State with responsibility for Youth and Sports. Coming from a district with a strong sports culture, Aragon brings great enthusiasm to that Ministry. The new Director of the National Sports Council, Ritchel Dominquez, also being a person from the North with an impressive track-record of involvement in the organization and promotion of sports, the energy of the new leadership combination is already being felt and making a palpable difference. One of the urgent matters being immediately tackled is that of the MCC Grounds where the much-needed rehabilitation works have not been going particularly well. The new Minister of Sports and his team have quickly jumped on the ball, determined to resolve the matter as promptly as possible.
    • Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management:
      The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) in partnership with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) are seeking to strengthen and sustain national resilience through prioritized targeting of the most vulnerable communities. In efforts to promote and enhance resilience at the national level, it is vitally important to accurately measure the level of exposure faced by communities in light of disasters. To address this issue, the CDEMA and IFRC are hosting a Strategic Targeting Methodology (STM) workshop in Paramaribo, Suriname from January 26th – 29th, 2016. Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Ronald Jackson, Executive Director of CDEMA said, “The importance of this event cannot be over-stated as we are well aware that communities are the first to be adversely affected by disaster events, especially if they are highly vulnerable. CDEMA is promoting the strengthening of community resilience as a critical plank in national development strategies.”
    • Belize-Guatemala Joint Commission Reactivated:
      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.
    • Massive Investment in Education:
      On January 27, 2016, after two years of meaningful consultation, Phase 2 of the Belize Education Sector Reform Project was launched by the Ministry of Education. The main focus of this phase is the expansion of education infrastructure to accommodate and provide adequate access for students at all levels. (Phase one had concentrated on sharpening and fine-tuning the policy direction of the Ministry and Education System). Phase two, in other words, will concentrate heavily on the construction of new school buildings countrywide. A total of 35 new schools will be built countrywide. This will include 22 pre-schools, 5 primary schools, and 8 secondary schools. The entire investment is worth US$40 Million and is being financed mainly with a loan of US$35 Million from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and an input of $8.5 Million by the Government of Belize (GOB).
    • Road To Seaside Paradise Paved, Inauguration of Upgraded Hopkins Access Road:
      Inaugurated on Thursday January 21, 2016 was the newly upgraded and paved Hopkins Access Road, connecting the Southern Highway with the scenic seaside village of Hopkins in the Stann Creek District. The reconstruction and paving of the road (6.7 Kilometers or 4.5 miles total length) was financed at a cost of $7,026,727.59 BZD with $5,652,101.16 being provided by the European Union (EU) and the remaining $1,374,626.43 financed by the Government of Belize (GOB). A joint Press Release from the Government of Belize and the European Union says the completion of the road project facilitates and provides goods and trade and generate employment opportunities, notably bed and breakfast businesses, resorts, bus owners, taxi drivers and other businesses, resulting in significant bridges to double lane, two (2) swale drainage structures of 100 metres each, traffic signs & road marking.
    • Socio-Economic Transformation in the South:
      On Thursday January 21, 2016 the Government of Belize in partnership with the European Union officially inaugurated the upgraded Punta Gorda Market in Toledo District. Financing for the Punta Gorda Market Project was divided into two components with a contract price of $975,936.89 BZD. The European Union provided $844,063.17 and the Government of Belize bridged the remaining $131,873.72. The project included the refurbishment of the existing market to accommodate 11 new individual stalls and reconstruction of the Civic Centre with 12 new stalls and bathrooms for Fruit & Vegetable vendors. Another outstanding feature of the market project is that the design of the existing layout was improved to accommodate the Arts & Craft and Food vendors.
    • conPARLIAMENT ADDRESSES CRITICAL ISSUES. De-Risking and the Loss of Correspondent Banking:
      One of the most notable exchanges in the House Meeting of Friday January 22, 2016 was on the pressing issue of de-risking and correspondent banking. The matter was raised by first-time Opposition member, Honourable Kareem Musa, Area Representative for Caribbean Shores, which is the constituency with the greatest concentration of business people involved in commerce and industry. For the Government side, the response came from Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow himself, who is also the Minister of Finance. In introducing the issue, Honourable Kareem Musa remarked, “Mr. Speaker, it’s no doubt an issue that affects businessmen and businesswomen 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 about the purchase of goods from the United States and elsewhere, and I am speaking about the use of credit cards.
    • PARLIAMENT ADDRESSES CRITICAL ISSUES, Cruise Tourism and Docking Facility - Exclusivity and Desirablity:
      In a House Meeting which featured limited sparring, the only other issue that was significantly contentious was that of cruise-ship terminals to be built. On this issue, the main pugilist on the Opposition side was Toledo East Area Representative Hon. Mike Espat, and again the counter-punching came from Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow. The exchange developed out of a piece of legislation introduced from 2015 having to do with tax and duty exemptions for Norwegian Cruise Line in their construction of a cruise-ship port at Harvest Caye in the South, that piece of legislation known as the Belize Island Holdings Facility Development Bill. The Bill having already been passed, the Toledo East member, Honourable Mike Espat nevertheless registered his disapproval, on the adjournment, with the tax breaks and exclusivity granted: “We just passed a bill on the cruise terminal in the south and I believe that when that bill came first to the House, we did not agree on that 25 years exclusivity that they are giving that particular company, and in the meantime we have had maybe 2 other Belizean companies that did not get any favour with this government.

    Blogs

    Snapshots Around Ambergris Caye and My Favorites Around Belize
    This morning is WINDY…the windows to the south are rattling away. A great place to check on weather NOW on Ambergris Caye is SanPedroWeather. A favorite sign in town at the Roman Catholic School. But that is not my topic. Here are snapshots that I’ve taken around Ambergris Caye and some FABULOUS ones taken around the country by others on Instagram. My favorite social media outlet of all… The weather has been absolutely gorgeous – with last week’s “cold front” making the air crisp (about 60% humidity) and the temperature low. Highs around 78. Perfect for parasailing.

    Slow Cooker Garlic Chicken
    1 Spray 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In small bowl, stir broth, wine and cognac; set aside. 2 In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken pieces evenly with salt and pepper. Add to skillet; cook 5 minutes, turning once, until golden. Place chicken in slow cooker. 3 Add garlic to drippings in skillet; cook over medium heat 1 minute, stirring constantly, until garlic begins to brown. Stir in broth mixture, scraping skillet to loosen brown particles. Boil 2 minutes or until sauce is reduced to about 1 cup. Pour sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with thyme.

    Pineapple Chicken Wings
    HEAT oven to 400°F. PLACE wings in 13x9-inch pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 30 min. DRAIN pineapple, reserving 1/4 cup juice. Mix barbecue sauce, pineapple and reserved juice. Add to chicken; stir to evenly coat chicken. BAKE 30 min. or until chicken is done and sauce is thickened.

    International Sourcesizz

    Nursery installed at El Cruzadero
    With financial support from the British Embassy in Belize, a nursery has been installed at El Cruzadero, Peten with the aim of reforesting areas nearby the Mopan River. This initiative brings together 19 communities from Belize and Guatemala to protect the shared water resources.

    Provost’s Lecture: Reforming a Belizean prison
    Driving up to Belize Central Prison for the first time was a bit scary for 12 UIndy students and the professors guiding them. “There were inmates in orange jumpsuits cutting the grass with machetes,” says Amanda Miller, associate professor of Sociology. “That was an eye-opening experience for me, at least.” But after three days of work in the heat and noise of the 1,500-inmate compound – the only correctional facility in the small Central American nation – the student researchers came away with enthusiasm, experience and more than 60 hours of recorded interviews with 36 prison employees and administrators. The result is an encouraging story about how a nonprofit organization, by most accounts, turned a squalid human warehouse into a professionally run institution focused on rehabilitation. Whiteacre and Miller organized the project as a Spring Term trip in May 2014, and the challenge was accepted by 10 undergraduates and 2 grad students from various disciplines. Their goals were to capture an oral history from a unique place and time, learning interview techniques all the while, and also to survey the staff about changes that have taken place since 2002, when local Rotarians formed the nonprofit Kolbe Foundation and took over management from the central government.

    Caribbean must not lose sight of debt stranglehold
    The debt remains a major impediment to economic growth because it has deprived our governments of the ability to use fiscal policy to promote growth. By now, it must be immediately obvious that everything has to be done to reduce the debt, because it is inadvisable to be burdened by such a stifling level. Conventional wisdom in the economics profession is that when the debt stock is over 75 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) the debtor country cannot grow its way out of debt. Several Caribbean countries are already in this debt trap. Jamaica leads with a debt/GDP ratio of 130.5 per cent in 2014 (now reduced by a little over 20 per cent), followed by Barbados at 108.5 per cent, Grenada at 99.1 per cent, Antigua at 96.4 per cent, The Bahamas at 82.4 per cent, St Vincent at 79.4 per cent, St Lucia at 78.4 per cent, St Kitts at 78.0 per cent, Belize at 77.3 per cent, and Dominica at 74.1 per cent. This represents a considerable slippage in debt sustainability.

    Videos

  • 2016 Caribbean Cruise- Belize Snorkeling, 4min. This was our snorkeling adventure on the reef in Belize in Jan 2016. We cruised on the Norwegian Jade to Cozumel, Belize and Honduras.

  • Las Terrazas Belize, 7min.

  • World of Wild Trailer, 2min. The World of Wild trailer. Some of the footage was shot at the Green Iguana Conservation Project.

  • From Alaska to Belize Full HD, 7min.

  • Belize Coral Reefs, 3.5min.

  • Belize Wall Dive, 3.5min. Wall dive on Belize Turneffe reef. Black tipped reef shark. 4K video shot with GoPro Hero4 and Flip4 filter kit

  • Belize Diving, 3.5min. 4k GoPro Hero4 video of SCUBA diving Turneffe Reef in Belize off the Aggressor III liveaboard.

  • Jerry Jeff Walker 2016 in Belize, 4.5min.

  • Wojciech Cejrowski - Boso przez wiat - BELIZE - cay film, 22.5min.

  • Eretmochelys imbricata - Hawksbill turtle, 1/4min. Conservation status: Critically Endangered!! A healthy population lives at Glover's Atoll, Belize thanks to strong regulations and excellent habitat.

    February 2, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    One drowns in snorkeling tragedy at Hol Chan
    The San Pedro Police Department has reported a drowning incident that occurred on Monday, February 1st at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. According to the report, Jeff Bartl 58-year-old American National from Minnesota, USA, was snorkeling within the Reserve, when he drowned. Bartl was transported to San Pedro Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II, where he was pronounced dead on arrival at 10AM. Even though a postmortem examination is to take place at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City, heart attack has been unofficially ruled as the main cause of death.

    Sexual exploitation and sexual assault against children remains a major concern
    In recent years, more and more cases of sexual exploitation and sexual assault against children are being reported in Belize, and San Pedro Town is no different. The San Pedro Police Department and Department of Human Development are frequently receiving reports and prosecuting cases involving these crimes against our most vulnerable in society. Even though many cases are brought to light, and victims receive the necessary care, there are still several cases that go un-reported. As such, authorities are appealing to the general public to assist in the fight against sexual exploitation and sexual assault against children.

    Honorable John Briceño elected PUP Party Leader
    Honorable John Briceño, Area Representative of Orange Walk Central, has regained leadership over the People’s United Party (PUP). Briceño was elected as Party Leader during the PUP’s National Convention held on Sunday, January 31st in Belmopan City. The position of party leader was being contested by Briceño, Honorable Francis Foseca and Honorable Cordel Hyde following Fonseca’s resignation after the November 2015 General Elections. The decision was made 2,758 party members who exercised their democratic right to select the PUP Executive Body.

    Municipal Public Parking coming to SP
    The SPTC hopes 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, will be encouraged to use the municipal parking lot to reduce traffic congestion in the downtown area. 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.

    Work on Phase 2 of Police Barracks resumes
    Nearly two years since construction first started, two companies have joined forces to complete phase two of the San Pedro Police Barracks. After an extended hiatus, construction has resumed to complete the long-awaited two story building. Once finished, the new housing should improve the living conditions of our current police officers, and may even mean more officers on the island. The building in question has been the subject of many stories printed in The San Pedro Sun. From the original contractor declaring a shortage of funds, to delays due to medical issues and a lack of volunteer support, to questions regarding appropriation of funds donated by both the Ministry of National Security and the local business community, the barracks remain unfinished.

    Fishing Managed Access Program Consultation to be held in San Pedro
    Fishing Managed Access Program commenced on January of 2016, ending open access fishing across Belize’s marine ecosystems by licensed commercial fishermen. The program is being implemented in every coastal community in the country, with each area forming a Community Managed Access Committee. In San Pedro Town, the first consultation under the Fishing Managed Access Program will be held on Wednesday, February 3rd at 6:30PM at the Lions Den, where the committee is expected to be formed. Under the program, Belize fishing grounds will be divided into nine fishing zones, out of which San Pedro commercial fishermen will be allowed to fish in two of the zones. The division of the fishing grounds will allow the Belize Fisheries Department to better regulate fishing laws and protect the marine environment. Each committee will be responsible for reporting illegal activities and self-policing their designated fishing zones.

    Ambergris Today

    35 New Schools for Belize Under Caribbean Development Bank Program
    Belize will see the addition of 35 new schools around the country that is set to benefit 5,300 students at the pre-primary, primary and secondary levels. This comes from a program that is being launched by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) in Belize. The new schools will include 178 classrooms and laboratories, as well as relevant sanitary and administrative spaces. The project will also fund the outfitting of each school with furniture, equipment and technology to enhance the students’ learning environment. “The schools will be built on government land and that the infrastructure will be the property of the government, but that we are wide open to engage our church partners in forming management agreements for some of these schools where it is identified that this is possible,” commented Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, to Channel 5 News in Belize City. “There might be some areas where we might well say government management of this school is best and we will do that. But we are not in any way breaking up the church state system.”

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Grand Opening: Advance Dental Care, CAYE CAULKER
    Caye Caulker now has it's own dental clinic. I for one will be using this frequently. There's so many things wrong with my teeth, lol. This is such an advancement for Caye Caulker. Congratulations to the dentist and to the village. Grand Opening: Advance Dental Care CAYE CAULKER Wednesday February 3rd at 9 am Schedule an appointment with us at: 615-0707

    Carnaval Photographic Exhibition
    Join us for the opening of the Carnaval Photographic Exhibition and a presentation of the Traditional Comparsas. Friday, February 5at 7 PM, San Pedro House of Culture

    Boca's Big West Challenge
    Happy anniversary, Boca's! They are celebrating their 1st year of deliciousness with the Big West Challenge. You'll get 7 minutes to eat their Big West burger, fries, and a milk shake. If you finish it in time, you get it free, and you get a shirt. Challenge accepted! They are also having a raffle on Valentine's Day. You can get a ticket with every purchase you make between now and then. "Think you can handle it? Come on over to Boca's on February 13th or 14th and accept the challenge!"

    Scarlet Macaw Guardian Program
    Want to help save the Scarlet Macaws? Now's the time to sign up for The Scarlet Macaw Protection Program, which runs from April to August. Protect the Chiquibul! "The Scarlet Macaw Protection Program is a conservation initiative between the Wildlife Institute (WI), the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic (BWRC) and Friends for Conservation & Development (FCD). The purpose of the Scarlet Macaw Protection Program is to support a specific Scarlet Macaw population in the Chiquibul Forest; which is under heavy poaching threat. The conservation strategy is to remove chicks from nest sites that are under heaviest threat of poaching, and for which security provision is most prohibitive. Chicks are reared with the aim to be reintroduced into the wild. As veterinary interns, your primary objective is to provide husbandry and medical care to Scarlet Macaw chicks."

    A Puro Tango
    February 18 & 19 at The Bliss in Belize City and February 20 & 21, in San Pedro... Catch this great live show - A Tango Puro!!

    Confidence Building Measures in Chiquibul
    Ambassador Stuart Leslie in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs imparts a presentation on the Confidence Building Measures to trainees in Chiquibul. Ambassador Leslie is one of 3 Chiquibul Champions awarded at the FCD 2015 AGM.

    NOTICE TO TOM GREENWOOD AND FECTAB:
    For the past 23 years, I have grown Ian Anderson's Caves Branch from a most rustic 'camping ground' to what it is today.. What is it today ?.. recognized as one of the "Top 10 Adventure Lodges in the World" and Number 8 in the "Top 100 Exotic Destinations in the World". I have openly opposed to Cruise Tourism and have never competed in any way for the Cruise Tourism dollar. I have never competed with Tom Greenwood and member tour operators of FECTAB .. to date. However, although I have always minded my own business and did my own thing on our own property, never, not ever competing with any other tour operator, Inland or Cruise, I have been continually abused by verbal lies both in print and on T.V. for over 20 years by Greenwood and FECTAB.

    Media Mixer 2016, Belize Tourism Board

    February 2016 Placencia Breeze
    Pg 3 BTIA news Pg 6 An Artist’s Inspiration / History of Placencia Art Festival Pg 9 Community & Placencia Police Pg 10 BTIA Harvest Caye Press Release Pg 11 Point of View / Lobster Season Pg 13 Placencia Humane Society Pg 14 Whale Sharks Pg 15 & 18 Placencia BTIA members Pg 16 & 17 Placencia Peninsula Map Pg 21 Events & Calendar / Save the Date Pg 26 Community Corner Pg 30/31 Paid Listings

    Channel 7

    Daylight Double Murder In Orange Walk
    There was a stunning broad daylight double murder in Orange Walk Town this evening. It happened at about fifteen minutes to five on Cristock Street in the Pasadita area of Orange Walk Town. Not much is known at this hour as police are scrambling to try and contain any retaliation. What we do know is that three men were shot on the street, two of them died on the spot while the other victim ran off injured but alive. At this time, police are not sharing information and not giving names of the victims, as they try and process a crime scene unlike any other that the town has seen recently. We'll have more on this tomorrow.

    Major Collision On Western Highway
    A pickup crashed into a tourist van this evening on the western Highway at mile 17. It happened on a straightway where the pickup rammed head on into the tourist van. The fire department had to cut the pickup's driver out of the seat. No one was killed - but 6 tourists were in the tourist bus and we saw a number of them leave on a stretcher. No one was killed, and we'll have more for you on this accident tomorrow.

    Briceno Returns As PUP Leader
    There is a new PUP Leader tonight. John Briceno was re-elected as leader at the PUP National Convention yesterday in Belmopan. 7News was there from beginning to end and Jules Vasquez has the story:... The victory walk out of the Belmopan Comprehensive high school compound at nearly 11:00 pm, may have looked easy enough for the newly elected John Briceno executive, but it came after a long and grueling campaign culminating in a day of intensive work. Where John Briceno was fully and energetically engaged throughout, right on the front line freely engaging with his opponents Hon. John Briceno, PUP Party Leader: "I am very confident. But as we all know those that are in politics as long as I have been, we know that you don't know the results until you count the votes. So, today what we've been doing is making sure that we take out all the delegates that have pledge their support for us and to make sure they come in and vote as early as possible."

    Man Stabbed In Jealous Dispute
    A man was stabbed to death over the weekend in the city. It happened on Mahogany Street Extension around 12:30 Saturday morning. 32 year old Mariano Castillo was heading home with his common law wife when he was attacked by 3 men. 2 of them held Castillo down while the other stabbed him in his stomach. Castillo's common law wife, Kamisha Roches witnessed everything. Today she told us off camera what she saw and also explained the background to this entire ordeal. On Friday night, Kamisha Roches and her common law husband Mariano Castillo were hanging out at her father's house on Police Street. Roches got off work late that night and just wanted to de-stress after a hard week. But instead of relaxing and spending time with family, an unwelcomed guest kept lurking around her father's house. It was Roches' ex- boyfriend John Grinage.

    Mother Says Son Was Peacemaker, Not Killer
    Still on this city murder, Brandon Baptist's mother Denise Flowers is enraged that police even charged her son. Today Flowers told us that her son is innocent and that he was only trying to quell the altercation. She told us that it's the common law wife Roches who is behind this mess. We also asked Roches about this and she says that's not the case. Denise Flowers, Mother of Brandon Baptist: "As far as I know according to what I am hearing that he went to path this thing. He ended up in this thing. To me I feel like the law, the police is not being fair in life. When it comes to Brandon Baptist, like the police have a problem with him - like he is the biggest and baddest man in Belize. If he did a crime, you all could charge him. Not because that you all (the police) don't like him, they should bring him down like this. The police knows what's going on. They know that this thing is a love triangle and they know that Brandon Baptist did not kill anybody. They know that for a fact and they know who the killer is. They need to get their investigation straight. They need to hold that certain young lady and question her, because she is a part of it."

    Melin And Casanova Coming Home After Mex Meth Bust
    In February of 2013, it made headline news when Belizeans Ermelito "Milin" Vasquez of Orange Walk and Hugo Casanova of Corozal were caught allegedly smuggling the drug Crystal meth in Mexico. They were caught in a Chetumal home along with a notorious Mexican Drug Dealer. It was 100 pounds of "Meth", so the expectation was that they would be locked up in Mexico for a while. But three years later, reports say they have been set free and are coming home after clearing up some immigration issues. A Mexican news report we have seen says they were acquitted. Apparently, they got off on a technicality, because the arrest was made without a warrant.

    B'zean Caught In Melchor For Alleged Cell Phone Theft
    Tonight, 25 year-old Belizean Kayla Adriana Sanchez is being held in a Guatemalan Prison, located in San Benito, Peten. She's being accused of committing an aggravated robbery to steal a cellular phone. Information to 7News is that she went to Melchor this weekend, and somewhere in the Central Park in that Guatemalan Town, she was surrounded and detained by a group of residents who say that she stole a cellular phone. Luckily the police saw the commotion and immediately took her into custody before the citizen's arrest turned into a mob. We understand that she was supposedly caught with the cellular phone and a knife, which she was trying to use to pry open the device. The Belizean Ministry of Foreign Affairs was notified after she was detained and diplomat Said Guerra has been doing his very best to make sure that she is not mistreated. The police in Melchor wanted to transfer her from Melchor to Flores, Peten last night, but Guerra intervened and insisted that they wait until today to transfer her. She was supposed to appear before a judge in Flores, Peten, but our information is that she never got her arraignment.

    Third Tourist Snorkeling Death In 3 Months
    Tonight there is another tourist snorkeling death to report - the third in three months. This one happened within the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, where a male tourist was on a snorkeling tour of the reserve. The BTB says it cannot release the name of the tourist until they have confirmed that his family was notified. We note that there was no cruise ship in town today - so unlike the previous two drownings, this was not a cruise tour - he was an overnight tourist. We'll have more on this tomorrow.

    PM Back From Washington With Banking Fix, Kinda
    It's been making the news regularly, that the Belize banking sector has been under pressure after the tier 1 banks in the US started terminating their correspondent banking relationships with the Belizean banks. It's something that all the smaller countries in Central America and the Caribbean face because of the stricter enforcement of global regulatory standards on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism. The technocrats in the financial sector tell us that these large banks have done a sort of cost-benefit risk analysis. Because the profit they make from doing business with Belizean banks is almost negligible when compared to their daily traffic, they've determined that it is not beneficial to continue to do business with banks in small jurisdictions. Prime Minister Dean Barrow was in Washington DC to meet with several of the top financial regulations to try to intercede in what could be an impending crisis which could cripple the country's economy.

    Will PUP Parliamentarians Make Briceno LOO?
    Earlier we showed you how John Briceno was re-elected as leader of the PUP - his second go at the post. His first was from 2008 to late 2011- when he encountered significant, sustained resistance from the old guard. Now, a little more than four years later, Briceno finds himself in the a position where he has to look to many of those same old guard representatives to support him as Leader of the Opposition. That is a post which is spate and apart from party leader - and the constitution requires that the leader of the opposition must have the support of a majority of the parliamentarians. In the PUP, that would be 7, but on the face of it, Briceno only has three. So will the others who supported Fonseca in the convention help him? We asked Oscar Requena who lost in his bid for chairman:.. Jules Vasquez: "Will you be able to support him as leader of the opposition? Because we know that he does not have a majority of the PUP representatives, the representatives in the House of Representatives as a part of his camp." Hon. Oscar Requena, Toledo West Representative: "My brother I am not going to comment on that at the moment." Jules Vasquez: "But even if the delegates of the party were to say..." Hon. Oscar Requena, Toledo West Representative: "That's a matter for the parliamentarians. The parliamentarians are going to meet and discuss that and certainly after this Hon. John is going to convene a meeting and the course is going to be determine."

    Petrocaribe Peters Out?
    Today, While the press had the opportunity, we asked the Financial Secretary to give a brief outlook on the country's current ability to manage its debts while factoring in the downsizing of monies coming in from Petrocaribe. Here's how that conversation went: Mike Rudon, Ch5: "Where are we at this point?" Joe Waight, Financial Secretary: "We are down to about 15 million dollars. Remember we have compensation payments to make and commitments coming out of it and we borrowed as well." Mike Rudon, Ch5: "In terms of repayment. Not only for Petrocaribe, but governments' debts on a whole. What is the figure in terms of repayment every year?"

    Gate Falls On 3 Year Old
    3 year old baby Brenae Timmons is in an induced coma at the KHMH after a gate fell on her and crushed her. It happened on Friday evening around 6:20 in the compound of the Lake Independence Public Library. We have been in constant contact with the parents all day to and they said they couldn't leave the hospital to give us an interview because they had to monitor their daughter's condition. But the father, Bernard Timmons - a librarian at the same public library spoke with us over the phone. He said that he was at work when his wife and their baby Brenae went to the library around 4. They were all supposed to leave together. Timmons told us that Brenae was playing inside the library with another little girl all evening. But after a little while the girls ran outside to play.

    A Full Day At Half Moon Caye For Artists
    This weekend the advocacy organization, Oceana Belize hosted a trip to Half Moon Caye and the Blue Hole Natural monument. It wasn't about raising awareness, or highlighting some issue that these 2 national parks are facing. They took a group of Belizeans out there simply to try to inspire them to create art. At first glance it might look like just a pleasure trip, but Oceana told us that it's integral to their upcoming reef week. Our News team tagged along and Daniel Ortiz has that story:

    GSU Got Gun
    The GSU is reporting some key seizures this weekend. First, on Friday night, they found 10 live rounds of nine millimeter ammunition on Banak Street. It had been left next to an old green van that was parked on the road side. On Sunday, afternoon at 1:30, the unit responded to shots fired on Mahogany Street in front of Mckeasy Meats. A search was conducted in the yard of an abandoned house where they found a 9 millimeter pistol, with a magazine loaded with (9) live 9mm rounds of ammunitions. A further search also led to the discovery of a black plastic bag containing 128 grams of weed, which was stuck on a tree.

    Fisheries Makes Major Conch Bust
    The Fisheries Department has organized a week long training for its staff. The main focus of the training is to educate fisheries officers on fisheries laws and update them on current changes in fisheries management. The training began yesterday and the coordinator Hampton Gamboa told us more about some of the specific areas that will be discussed in the training. And it so happens the staff got to enforce what they learnt at the training. Yesterday evening around 6 fisheries officers caught 8 fishermen on a sailboat with a large catch of undersized conch. Gamboa told more about this major bust. Fisheries officers caught 967 undersized conch - both unprocessed and undersized market cleaned conch were among this bust. The 8 fishers will be taken to court and fined.

    PM Welcomes Back Briceno
    At the top of the news we showed you the newly elected leader of the PUP, John Briceno. Prime Minister Dean Barrow jousted with him many times in his first stint as leader from 2008 to 2011. So how does he feel to have Briceno back in his political crosshairs? That's what we asked him today: Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "I want to congratulate Mr. Briceno for becoming the new leader of the PUP and the new leader of the opposition and I want to congratulate the PUP for having held what clearly was a democratic convention."

    Titan Crackdown Was Proof According to PM
    While we were questioning the Prime Minister on another topic, he brought up the issue of the Titan Securities case for which his government has been ordered to pay almost 9 million dollars in damages to Rohn Knowles and Kelvin Leach. He said that he mentioned it to one of the financial regulators to make the point that Belize is not sitting on its hands in trying to combat money laundering: Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "I was at pains to point out to Secretary Lew much we in fact do cooperate. How much we are part of the global infrastructure that sees things like mutual legal assistance, treaty signed with the US. How much we act upon their request when they say that went documentation or they want people in this jurisdiction dealt with against whom they have indictments pending and that in doing so we from time to time get into trouble such as has happened with Titan whereas judge has ordered us to pay almost 9 million dollars in consequence of trying to cooperate as part of the international system. He did make the point that they too from time to time get judgements in which they don't agree. And we left it there."

    Nada Mas on Modiri
    One final item from the Prime Minister tonight, we asked him about the Michael Modiri lawsuit which he won against the Ministry of Natural Resources. It's a public embarrassment for the Barrow Government because a judge has found that the acquisition of land for tour operator Bradley Paumen was for a private, not public purpose. When we asked the Prime Minister about it 10 days ago, he said that he was unable to comment because he was not familiar with the case. Today, we asked again, and he told us that in his view, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega has adequately accounted for the Government's actions in that acquisition. Here's that back and forth:

    Channel 5

    John Briceño is the New P.U.P. Leader
    The People’s United Party held its leadership Convention on Sunday in Belmopan. Three candidates were vying for the post – Francis Fonseca, John Briceño and Cordel Hyde. The winner would [...]

    Briceño’s Slate is Victorious over Fonseca’s Slate
    But while all eyes were on the leadership race, both John Briceño and Francis Fonseca also fielded slates for the positions available. Those were Chairman, Deputy Leader North and South [...]

    High-Level Delegation Returns from Washington
    With the loss of some existing correspondent bank relationships, the country is facing what Prime Minister Dean Barrow has called an existential threat and a potentially huge crisis. To stave [...]

    FDIC Promises an Intervention of Sorts
    The delegation then met with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, another regulatory body which regulates banks that are chartered by states and have not joined the Federal Reserve System. According [...]

    G.O.B. Will Seek Relationships with Smaller Banks
    The delegation also met with the Secretary of the Treasury. PM Barrow says the message from that quarter was the same – that there is nothing wrong with the Belize [...]

    2 Teens Gunned Down in Orange Walk
    At around four-thirty this afternoon, two teenagers were gunned down on Cristock Street in Orange Walk Town. Minutes ago, the bodies were still on the ground while investigators scoured the [...]

    3 Men Charged for Weekend Murder in Belize City
    There’s another murder to report for which three men charged in the home invasion of Sarkis Abou Nehra are prime suspects. This weekend in Belize City, thirty-two year old Marian [...]

    10 injured in Major Collision on the George Price Highway
    There was a head on collision this afternoon at about four-thirty at mile eighteen on the George Price Highway. Two vehicles, a pickup truck and a van transporting six tourists [...]

    2 Tourists Die in Separate Incidents
    But while the tourists in the vehicular accident were slightly injured, that wasn’t the case for two other visitors to Belize. On Sunday, twenty-seven year old Australian tourist Patrick Leslie [...]

    The Notorious Melin Vasquez and Hugo Casanova Released
    Two Belizeans, Milin Vasquez from Orange Walk Town and Hugo Casanova from Corozal District have been in a Mexican jail since February 2013 after they were allegedly busted by Mexican [...]

    Lisburn Anderson Will Get Bail Hearing on Wednesday
    Lisburn Anderson is the mechanic who Police believe delivered payment to a hit-man on behalf of American Bradley Paumen. Anderson has been charged for that crime, and was released on [...]

    Baby Brianna Critical After Freak Accident
    There was a freak accident on Saturday evening on Mahogany Street in Belize City. Sometime around six-thirty that day, a metal gate near a newly built perimeter fence at the [...]

    Fisheries Department Makes Major Undersized Conch Bust
    The Fisheries Department is reporting a huge bust in undersized conch made on Sunday evening. Officers were on routine patrol in the Turneffe Atoll when they came up on the [...]

    Conch Bust Kicks Off Enforcement Training Course
    The timing of the bust by enforcement officers could not have been scripted better, since it comes at the onset of a stakeholder training on enforcement and compliance.   Hampton [...]

    Belizean Detained for Stealing in Guatemala
    A Belizean was arrested in Melchor de Mencos over the weekend and was scheduled to be processed in court today, but we cannot confirm that that has occurred. Twenty-five year [...]

    Patrick Faber Congratulates New P.U.P. Leader
    Minister of Education Patrick Faber convened the media today at the ITVET Compound on Freetown Road, Belize City. It was a pre-event to the launch of an education conference on [...]

    Faber Will Go For U.D.P. Leadership Post in 2020
    The United Democratic Party will also be holding a national convention in March. But unlike the P.U.P., there will be no elections since at the close of nominations on Friday; [...]

    Zika Declared an International Public Health Emergency
    Turning to a health issue that has been making international headlines.  The World Health Organization today declared the Zika virus and its suspected link to birth defects an international public [...]

    Sporting Highlights with James Adderley
    Good evening I’m James Adderly and this is Sports Monday.   The MCC Grounds was the scene yesterday where the PLB presented the showdown between the Belize Defence Force making [...]

    CTV3

    Belizeans Released From Mexican Prison After Close To Three Years
    Ermelindo Vasquez, resident of Orange Walk Town and Hugo Casanova of Calcutta Village in Corozal Town, were released after spending more than two years incarcerated in a Mexican prison being charged with drug trafficking. Viewers may recall that on February 7th 2013, well known businessman Ermelindo Vasquez aka Melin and Hugo Casanova were detained by Mexican Navy during a sting operation where they busted a drug house in Chetumal where the two men were present. The bust yielded a total of 45 kilograms of the synthetic drug known as crystal meth valued at that time at one million U.S dollars. As a result of the bust, Vasquez and Casanova were arrested and were being charged with the offence of ‘being in possession of methamphetamines with the intention to sell.

    Orange Walk Police Confiscates 12 Pounds Of Marijuana
    The Orange Walk Police Formation Quick Response Team conducted a search on Friday at about 7:45 p.m. in the Village of San Felipe, in a bushy area located approximately 2 to 3 miles from the village. The search led to the discovery of a black jumbo garbage bag containing 8 black in color plastic bags with green leafy substances suspected to be Cannabis. Since no one was in the area at the time of the search, police took the bag to the station where it was weighed. The bag contained a total of 12lbs of Cannabis and was labeled as found property. This morning at about 11:12, authorities were called out to an area located on Savannah Street here in Orange Walk Town where they found twelve 16 gage cartridges that were buried under some bushes. Given that no one was in the area, the cartridges were also labeled as found property. As a result of the aggressive anti-drug, firearm and traffic campaign, police arrested and charged a total of five persons for possession of controlled drugs, seven persons for traffic offences and a total of six individuals for driving under the influence of alcohol.

    Prime Minster Discusses Correspondent Banking Crisis
    As we had reported some days ago, Prime Minister Dean Borrow along with the governor of the Central bank of Belize, Glenford Ysaguirre and financial secretary, Mr. Joseph Waight travelled to Washington D.C to meet with key banking officials regarding the problem being faced by the Belizean banking sector as it relates to the correspondent relationships and the recent de-risking. De-risking simply put is the action taken by US banks, under pressure from US regulatory agencies, cutting off correspondent relations with Caribbean indigenous and offshore banks unilaterally and with very little notice in fear of receiving multimillion dollar non- compliance fees. Today in a press conference to discuss the outcome of the trip taken to discuss the de-risking movement, Prime Minister Dean Borrow said that he was assured by officials from the Comptroller of Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Secretary of the Treasury that the withdraw of correspondent banks was not because of any pressure from the U.S regulators directing them to withdraw from correspondent relationships with Belizean Banks or even because of anything that Belize has done, but it is because for these banks the risk of tainted transactions that would cost billions if found outweighs the benefits of doing business with a small jurisdiction such as Belize.

    Prime Minister Congratulates The New Leader Of The Opposition
    Today the Prime Minister of Belize held a press conference where he discussed the correspondent banking crisis with the media, we’ll talk to you about that in few. But first here is what the Prime Minister had to say when the media asked him to share his thoughts on the PUP’s National Convention. We tell you off the bat he was very candid in offering his congratulations to the new Leader of the Opposition. “I want to congratulate Mr. Briceno for becoming the new leader of the PUP and the new leader of the opposition and I want to congratulate the PUP for having held what clearly a very democratic process.”

    Newly Elected Deputy Leader Asks For UNITY Within The Party
    During the National Convention yesterday Orange Walk South Area Representative Jose Abelardo Mai went up against Corozal South East Area Representative Florencio Marin Junior for Deputy Leader of the North. Rodwell Ferguson faced Mike Espat for Deputy Leader of the South and for Communications Director Anthony Mahler went against Dolores Balderamos. At the end Mia won with 1342, Rodwell Ferguson with 1558 and Anthony Mahler won Communications Director with 1485 votes. While all three have different roles to play in the party there is one thing they have in common, they all want unity.

    Another Meilum Motorcycle Stolen In Orange Walk
    Fifty year old Idelfonso Ku reported to police that on Saturday night at around 9:00, he decided to park his red 150 Meilun Motorcycle bearing license plate OW-MC-0856 on San Martin Street in the Village of Trial Farm while he ran some errands. But upon Ku’s return at about 2:20 a.m., his motorcycle was missing. Police have not yet been able to recover the cycle but are currently investigating the issue.

    LOVE FM

    New Banking Relations Sought in the US, Says PM
    With uncertainty looming in Belize’s banking sector, Prime Minister Dean Barrow hosted a press conference this morning to report on the outcomes of his meetings last week in Washington DC. Renee Trujillo has that story.

    Prime Minister Committed to Fixing Banking Sector
    Earlier we told you that the Belize delegation led by Prime Minister Dean Barrow to Washington DC last week had met with the US Comptroller of Currency, Thomas Curry and the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation). Another meeting held was with the US Department of Treasury. Prime Minister Dean Barrow reported that out of that […]

    John Briceno Takes Back PUP’s Leadership
    John Briceno is back at the helm of the People’s United Party. He emerged victorious yesterday during a special convention in Belmopan, Cayo District. Renee Trujillo has the story.

    Factors of the PUP: Cordel’s Future; Leader of the Opposition Seat; Unity
    With John Briceno now taking over control of the People’s United Party, much is being expected but the main thing that the supporters are hoping for is unity. During the course of yesterday evening when it was clear that the Briceno slate was in the lead, we spoke to some of the candidates on the […]

    Toddler Gets Injured After Iron Gate Falls
    Three year old Brianna Timmons is at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after a ten foot iron gate fell on her on Friday night. Love News understands that the three year old’s mother had gone to the library at Lloyd Coffin pre-school off Mahagony Street in Belize City to look for her husband who works […]

    Woman Recovers After Being Hit by Motorcycle
    An elderly woman is hospitalized after being hit by a motorcycle. We hear more in this report from correspondent Fem Cruz. FEM CRUZ “

    Jealousy Suspected to Be Motive in Murder Case
    Could it have been that jealousy that was the root cause of a stabbing incident that claimed the life of thirty two year old Mariano Castillo? That is what investigators are trying to figure out. Castillo’s common law wife believes that it is the reason he was viciously stabbed on Friday night. Castillo was on […]

    Technician Begs for Leniency After Stealing 11K
    Thirty-four year old Rupert Avila, a technician charged with the theft of eleven thousand three hundred and fifty dollars, pled guilty to the charge when he appeared today before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. Avila said he made a wrong decision and he asked that the court be lenient on him because he is the sole bread […]

    Highway Collision Injures Eleven Persons
    A traffic incident at mile seventeen and a half on the George Price Highway has reportedly sent several persons to the KHMH with various degrees of injuries. When we arrived on the scene we learnt that fortunately there were no fatalities. We can also report that the accident involved a tourist van carrying six persons […]

    Mexican Journalists Calls Free Zone Fire Arson
    Mexican news papers are reporting that the recent fire at the Corozal Free Zone was as a result of arson. According to Dario Repuesta, six groups focusing on contraband in the Free Zone are at war with each other. The newspaper says that authorities believe that the fire that burn down the P and P […]

    The Reporter

    Man wanted by police for burning down brother’s house
    Jeovannie Mejia, an Orange Walk resident from Otro Benque Street is wanted since Thursday night for arson. The fire was reported at around 9:13 p.m. in the Petville area, between San Estevan and Orange Walk Town. Mejia’s brother, Andy Leroy Mejia stated that his brother set fire to the house after having gotten into an argument with their father. The Fire Department could not save the house and it burnt to the ground. By the time the police arrived at the scene, Mejia had escaped and is now wanted by for arson, according to Officer in Charge of the Orange Walk police station, Nicholas Palomo. Palomo stated that they do not believe the family is abetting the arsonist by hiding him, and have no leads of his whereabouts at the moment.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Belizeans released from Mexican prison
    A Mexican Judge, Reynaldo Piñon Rangel, has released four persons who were arrested and charged for ‘possession of methamphetamine with the intent to supply’, among them, two Belizeans, for lack of evidence against them. They are Fabiola Juárez López, Rosa Patricia Morales Olán, and Belizeans: […]

    Two killed in late evening Orange Walk shooting
    Two men have been shot dead on Cristock Street in Orange Walk town sometime around 5:00 this evening. Police have confirmed that two men were killed after shots rang out. A third man, who is believed to have been shot as well, is being sought by authorities […]

    Orange Walk police find 12 pounds of weed
    At around 7:45 p.m. on Friday evening, January 29, police in Orange Walk District made the discovery of 12 pounds of cannabis which was deposited as “found property” since no one was in the area at the time of the search. The find was […]

    Orange Walk Police seek stolen cycle
    Orange Walk Police are investigating the theft of a Meilun Motorcycle, which went missing sometime between 9:00 p.m. on Saturday night and 2:20 a.m. yesterday morning, while its owner, 50-year-old Idelfonso Ku of the Marcus Canul area was running some errands. Ku told officers […]

    Belize City cops find gun and ammo
    A pistol along with five live rounds of ammunition was deposited as “found property” by police on Saturday evening when the items were found in an empty lot on Central American Boulevard. Around 6:55 p.m., officers searched the yard and found a silver and […]

    Two men pending murder charges for Saturday morning stabbing
    Belize City police have arrested two male persons pending charges of murder after a stabbing incident in the wee hours of Saturday morning, claimed the life of 32-year-old Stann Creek resident, Mariano Castillo. Around 12:50 a.m., police were dispatched to the Karl Heusner Memorial […]

    Prime Minister says U.S. assured Belize over correspondent banking
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow says those officials which he spoke to on his recent visit to the United States have assured him that Belize’s banking sector does not face any pressure from U.S. regulators directed to their banks to withdraw from correspondent banking relationships with local banks.

    Three men arrested for stealing $11,000 from gas station
    Three persons have been jointly charged for theft in Belize City after stealing more than $11,000 cash from inside a Puma Gas Station, located at mile 2 on the Philip Goldson Highway, late Saturday evening. The gas station’s manager reported to police that sometime […]

    Burglary in Camalote, shotgun stolen
    An elderly American National reported to police yesterday afternoon that his property in Camalote village, Cayo District, was burglarized and an assortment of items, including a 12-gauge shotgun with 6 live round were stolen. 77-year-old Ray Jordan of South Carolina, told officers that he […]

    International Financial Services Commission issues advisory over two illegally operating companies
    A release issued today by the International Financial Services Commission (ISFC), which is Belize’s biggest financial services regulator, served to warn the public against two financial firms that have been operating illegally in the country, not being licensed under the ISFC. The first firm […]

    Belize: The opposition returns to its constitution
    The People’s United Party (PUP) currently serves as Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition in Belize, after losing the November 4, 2015 general elections to the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP), who won 19 of the 31 seats in the House of Representatives. The PUP constitution […]

    PUP release convention results
    The People’s United Party (PUP) has released the full results of yesterday’s Special National Convention elections. The race for Party Leader saw John Briceño receive 1125 votes; Francis Fonseca, 918; and Cordel Hyde, 673. For Deputy Party leader of the South, Mike Espat, with 1044 votes, lost to Rodwell […

    Blogs

    Ambergris Caye: A Walk Down South on A Gorgeous Sunday Afternoon
    Yesterday the “cold front” ended and the wind switched back from the north (brrrr….) to the east. Sun, puffy pinkish clouds, a good breeze…a perfect afternoon for a walk. I’d been south just a bit the day before for my first 2016 Kelly McGuire show and I thought I’d explore more. Here’s his full calendar so you can catch a show while he’s here. Get ready for many many photos of coconut palms – I became slightly obsessed with the patterns of holes bore into them on my walk. Can woodpecks be this meticulous? The dock at LOVELY Victoria House. And the bar…if you are in the mood for a gorgeous lunch…this is the spot. And the view in front of Island Time Bar. They are building a huge seawall in front of this property and Royal Caribbean Resort. And they are going to need an insane amount of sand to fill it.

    Sopa Casera de Pollo
    Para hacer una riquísima sopa casera de pollo, lo primero que debemos hacer es pelar y lavar todas las verduras. También prepararemos la carne, limpiándola muy bien. Introducimos todos los ingredientes, menos la sal, en una cacerola lo suficientemente amplia y los cubrimos con agua. Ponemos la cacerola a fuego medio y, cuando comience a hervir, bajamos un poco el fuego y dejamos que se vaya haciendo el caldo, que estará listo en unas dos horas, aproximadamente.

    Cinnamon Sugar Soft Pretzel Sticks
    Warm the oven to 200 degrees and then turn it off. Boil a quart of water and put it into a shallow pan on the lowest oven rack. Put the two loaves of frozen bread dough on a greased jelly roll pan and place the pan into the oven. Allow the dough to thaw and rise for 2-4 hours. Using a kitchen shears, cut each loaf of dough into about 14 sticks. Mix together the baking soda and the warm water. Dip the dough sticks into the baking soda and water solution. Place the pretzel sticks on a silicone mat on a baking sheet (or a just grease the baking sheet). Bake the pretzel sticks at 425 degrees for 7-9 minutes or until golden brown. Mix together sugar and cinnamon. Dip the pretzel sticks into the melted butter and then roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

    PHOTO GALLERY: Photos of Caye Caulker – Belize
    Caye Caulker is a small, beautiful laid-back island lying within the 185-mile-long Belizean Barrier Reef. It’s one of Belize’s most popular travel destinations. Located just one hour by high-speed ferry from Belize City, the island makes an easy weekend get-away for city residents as well as international visitors. Known as Belize’s more budget island, Caye Caulker has accommodations in all price ranges, from hostels and camping on up to luxurious small hotels. The island is quite developed, with a small town full of restaurants, shops, tourist offices, bars, hotels and even a post office, bank and several ATM machines. Golf carts are used on the hard-packed sand roads instead of cars, which makes traffic somewhat quieter, though there’s always a steady flow of vehicles around the island. Despite all that, Caye Caulker somehow manages to retain a slow-paced, low-key tranquil atmosphere. Maybe all the charming wooden buildings and cheery bright colors have something to do with it. Or maybe it’s primarily due to the Belizean people’s generally calm, go-slow attitude towards life.

    24 Tips for Keeping Costs Low in Belize
    Last week I wrote about how much it costs to travel in Belize on a tight budget, showing that this Central American country is not nearly as expensive as most people would have you believe. In fact, I estimate that Belize is well within the means of all but the most shoe-string budget backpackers. So if you’re a budget traveler exploring Central America, go check out my post on Belize costs here. As a follow-up to that article, in this post I offer 2 dozen tips for keeping costs low in Belize. There are probably more ideas floating around from other travelers’ experiences, so if you have any other advice or suggestions, feel free to add them to the comments section below. To get started, following is the advice I can offer after exploring Belize for one full month in January, 2016: 1. Arriving in Belize from Guatemala, you can save a big chunk of money by crossing the border in northern Guatemala near Tikal over to San Ignacio, Belize vs. arriving from Livingston, Guatemala on the Caribbean coat. At the crossing near Tikal/San Ignacio, there’s no exit fee for leaving Guatemala and buses cost just a few dollars either side of the border.

    International Sourcesizz

    Breaking Belize News Socks It To Belize Telemedia Limited
    Breaking Belize News, one of the country’s most popular blogs, took the opportunity to skewer the company, saying that if you aren’t offering better prices and better customer service, you aren’t in the game. We must ask ourselves a few important questions: Did Belizeans lose in the nationalization of BTL because of these technologies that are changing the communications landscape in Belize? We invested millions in outdated technology, when technological trends are showing that communications are moving towards affordable wireless. With all these millions invested we are still paying very high rates. Will all the infrastructure BTL owns become obsolete? How can Belizeans be prepared for globalization when we do not possess the necessary skills to be competitive, especially in technology, where telecommunication is the link to just about every piece of technological development in the world? In conclusion, if BTL wants to remain a relevant and profitable telecommunications company in the future, it must realize and embrace the fact that telecommunications is the backbone of any developed and developing nation, and it has to take into consideration some very important factors such as: Speed, reliability, affordability, the fact that over 80% of internet access is done via mobile devices, and superb customer service. Competition will only get stronger.

    Jamaica confirms first case of zika virus
    The ministry of health has confirmed one case of the zika virus in Jamaica. The patient, who has now recovered is a four year old child. The child began showing symptoms on January 17, 2016, after earlier returning to Jamaica from travel to Texas in the United States. The child was investigated at the Bustamante Hospital for Children and samples sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for testing on January 26, 2016. The ministry received the positive zika virus test result from CARPHA late Friday afternoon.

    Pirate football streams are dangerous for users - study
    That's where all our bandwidth goes... New research shows that pirate football streaming sites are putting the devices and personal privacy of their users at great risk, reports BBC News. Researchers say the most popular sites attract more than 8 million visits per month. They studied thousands of streams and found that up to half planted malicious software on users' devices through forced ads and other deceptive techniques. The study analysed over 5,000 aggregator domains and found that almost 25 percent of live streams originate from the servers hosted in Belize. More than 60 percent of the streams originate from the media servers provided by only five companies located in Belize, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Canada.

    Canada Urges High Degree Of Caution For Several Caribbean Nations
    Canadian travelers are being urged to “exercise a high degree of caution” when travelling to several Caribbean destinations. Updated travel advisories to some three Caribbean island destinations were issued by the Government of Canada late last week while warning to “exercise a high degree of caution” were issued between January 19th and 20th for four other countries in the region. On January 28th, Suriname was listed as a nation where travelers should “exercise a high degree of caution” while the same label was slapped on to St. Lucia and Haiti a day earlier, on January 27th. Travelers to Haiti are urged to “exercise a high degree of caution due to high crime rates in various parts of the country and ongoing political tension” while travelers to St. Lucia are warned to “exercise a high degree of caution limited medical resources, generally poor road conditions, unreliable public transportation, and moderate crime rates.” Travelers to Suriname are urged to “exercise a high degree of caution due to moderate to high levels of crime, as well as the possibility of demonstrations and unrest.” The caution was also issued for Guyana, the Dominican Republic and Belize on January 19th and Jamaica on January 20th where travelers are all urged to “exercise a high degree of caution due to the high level of violent crime.”

    Caldwell Students Serve in Remote Villages in Belize
    Seven Caldwell University students spent part of their winter break serving in remote villages in southern Belize, Central America. They helped repair schools and churches in the town of Punta Gorda and in the Mayan villages of Dolores, Santa Cruz and Pueblo Viejo. Katlyn Houtz, a junior and an education and psychology major, said highlights for her were working in the school in Dolores where they assembled the framing for dividing walls for classrooms and having the opportunity to get to know the principal. “I loved her story,” said Houtz, explaining that the teacher grew up in a village and was very good at mechanics and engineering but her father wanted her to become a teacher. She was able to attend high school and college, which is not the norm for females. Now that principal is focused on making education more readily available to girls.

    From Cayo to Saputo:Belizean Forward Michael Salazar and His Path to the Montreal Impact
    Earlier this January, Michael Salazar was anxiously sitting in the audience for the 2016 MLS Superdraft at the Baltimore Convention Centre, waiting for his name to be called. Seats were emptying as one whole round passed and 23 players had their names called by Major League Soccer teams. The Montreal Impact was now on the clock with the 24th pick, looking to make their next selection. The 23-year-old wasn’t the only nervous member of the Salazar family that day. His mother, who had flown in from his native Belize, also had a hard time staying seated. “She was waiting and waiting, for a second she thought I wasn’t going to get called at all,” Salazar said. MLS vice president Todd J. Durbin then walked up to the podium. “With the fourth pick of the second round of the MLS Superdraft, the Montreal Impact select, from the University of California Riverside, forward Michael Salazar.”

    Videos

  • The Hydrous Belize 2016, 2.5min. In January 2016, The Listwin Family Foundation hosted our team to conduct preliminary analysis of coral reefs in Mexico Rocks marine reserve in Ambergris Caye, Belize. The Caribbean was once home to the most pristine coral reefs in the world, but unfortunately local stressors such as pollution combined with global climate change has changed many of these reefs to a shadow of its former beauty. Later this year, we hope to empower local stakeholders with design thinking and technology to help them monitor and manage their own resources.

  • Belize Underwater, 3min. Diving adventures in Belize. Dive sites include Tuffy Cut, Mermaid's Lair, Esmarelda Canyon, Half Moon Wall, Lion's Den and of course the Great Blue Hole.

  • Flying into Ambergris Caye, Belize, 1min. view of the island from above

  • Belize 1 30 16, 8.5min.

  • Belize, 3min.

  • Belize SCUBA Break - Christmas 2015, 8.5min. A video sequence and soundtrack chronicling a thoroughly fabulous few days of SCUBA off the Belize Barrier Reef over 2015 Christmas break. A beautiful reminder of what 50m visibility looks like at 30m, and what it's like diving a shorty wet suit in 29*C waters in mid-December.

  • WOP Highlights: Belize Water Services and Contra Costa Water District (USA), 3.5min. The WOP between Belize Water Services Ltd. (BWS) of Belize and Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) of the United States was established for a duration of 12 months in order to promote a safety culture at BWS and improve worker safety.

  • SAN PEDRO WAHOO CHALLENGE "TEAM MAJIK", 10min. Captain Morgans San Pedro Wahoo Challenge featuring Team Majik Aboard a 28' Wahoo Edition Powered by Yamaha 250 4s. Captained by Emmanuel Samos; Team Anglers- Roger Hoilman, Tom Manzi, Art Torres and Nestor Davis- Produced by Michael Davis, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye - Discover Belize Now!

    February 1, 2016


    FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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


    The San Pedro Sun

    Letter to the Editor: Air Pollution due to Traffic
    Dear Editor, We have been watching the local news about unhealthy air pollution in Beijing-China, New Delhi-India and other crowded cities. We visited San Pedro for a week. While driving our rental golf cart from the Southern part of the island into San Pedro, we experienced the air pollution on the Main Street. Unfortunately, we were caught behind a large truck and had to breathe the exhaust fumes all the way into town and the dust is created. We believe that the beauty of this island should be preserved by enforcing certain restrictions on vehicles. Also, the roads would not be so damaged if the larger vehicles were restricted from the main road. Because of this, we tried our best not to venture into town often. Also, as tourists, the speed of vehicles overtaking the golf cart made trips into town stressful. The opposite of what we would expect for an island that thrives on tourism. We chose Ambergris Caye because of its location and the ease of access to town. We are sadden because the next trip we plan, it may be worse as it tries to compete with modern tourism standards. The beauty and serenity should be maintained and preserved to ensure the longevity of this amazing place. Third-world traffic conditions are not what we expected for an island vacation. Please forward my concerns to your Health Department. We would love to see Ambergris Caye thrive, but keep true to the island culture.

    Wolfe’s Woofer: Hearing Aid
    "You need to go get your hearing checked,” Sherry said. “You don’t hear even half of what I say to you.” “Huh? Just joking, my dear.” She said, “You’re going to Belize City tomorrow so why not stop in for a hearing examination? You’ve been playing music in front of loud speakers for forty-five years and it must have done some damage to your ears.” In Belize City the doctor asked, “What seems to be the problem with your hearing, Mr. Wolfe.” “I don’t really have a problem,” I said. “It’s the people talking to me that have the problem.”

    Letter to the Editor: Biking Hazard
    Dear Editor, We love to bicycle ride while on vacation. This is the reason we only book vacations 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.

    Doctor Love: Lonely and Straight
    Dear Doctor Love, Over the past three years my neighbor and I have become very close. Some times he cooks for me and has dinner waiting when I get home. He also goes out and rents movies on DVD for us to watch. We have never had any physical relations because he is never quite sober and I refuse to be intimate with a drunken man. I finally called it to an end because even though he says he loves me, he has never been able to stop drinking. I do miss him a lot. What should I do? /s/ Lonely

    SPBTIA to work with taxi associations and the SPTC in standardizing cab services
    On Thursday, January 21st the San Pedro Belize Tourism Industry Association (SPBTIA) held their first meeting of the year. At the meeting, SPBTIA president Melanie Paz stated that their first goal for the year is to work with local taxi associations and Mayor Daniel Guerrero in developing a standardization plan for taxi services on the island. “Our taxi drivers are the goodwill ambassadors of the island. They are the first people tourists meet when arriving here, and it is essential that the experience is a good one,” commented Paz. “We [SPBTIA] want to work with the taxi associations in identifying how and where improvements can be made, and in turn, bring this to the Mayor for consideration. We can work together in establishing a standardization of service that is agreeable to everyone,” she concluded. Comments and suggestions were discussed throughout the interactive meeting, with the taxi association members enlightening the group to the many challenges they face. Commission competition, the deluge of golf cart companies on the island, cab owners who don’t even live in San Pedro and others who own fleets were just a few of their concerns. “These are issues we needed to be aware of,” commented President Paz, “I am so glad we are learning about this.” Paz urged the cab associations to work together in compiling a list of concerns that need to be addressed. “This is the first step in assessing what needs to be done in order to develop a standardization plan.

    More dentists, healthier smiles
    Another group of volunteers were at the Smile Dental Clinic at Holy Cross Anglican School from Monday, January 25th to Friday, January 29th. Dr. Paul Roggow, Dr. Steve Bender, Dr. Mike Haddow, Linda Roggow, Sue Bender, Rick Bigaouette and Julie Bigaoutte provided free service to students and residents, improving their dental hygiene and brightening their smiles. All residents are invited to take advantage of the dental services being offered. Dental health is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. Below are the following dates and location for the dental program:

    Local environmentalists weigh in on Blackadore Caye Project
    After a public consultation was held on January 14th in San Pedro regarding the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the development at Blackadore Caye, local environmentalists have been left with many questions and concerns. A number of local biologists on San Pedro were glad to share with The San Pedro Sun their expertise and professional opinions on the multi-million-dollar “eco-project” spearheaded by Hollywood celebrity Leonardo DiCaprio. The San Pedro Sun contacted the Blackadore Caye project management team for a statement and on January 27th they submitted the following. “The development of Blackadore Caye is focused on restoring the island and serving as a localist project that supports the community and country through employment and supply chain. Prior to this recent EIA submission, the development of Blackadore Caye received a fully approved EIA for a project of similar use, but significantly greater size, density and overall impact to the environment of the island. Ownership made the conscious decision to substantially reduce the density of the project and target a goal of maintaining 50% of the island for restorative and conservation purposes. With this change, Ownership intended to maintain open transparency with the public by submitting for a new EIA approval, rather than amending the prior approval. In furthering this goal, it is our intent to work closely with the various stakeholders in this project, including the fishermen’s communities, NGOs, the National Government, San Pedro Town Board, HOLCHAN, the Reserve Management Organization, and the Tour Guide Association in the implementation of this development. We have collected a considerable amount of data on the ecology of the island, including fish and bird populations that we will share with relevant organizations.

    UDP National Convention set for March 2016
    The United Democratic Party (UDP) is gearing up for their National Convention set for Sunday, March 20th. The convention will serve to elect the party executive body and is to be held at the Ecumenical College Auditorium in Dangriga Town. So far, there are no official persons in the running for the available position of Party Leader, First Deputy Party Leader, Second Deputy Party Leader, National Chairperson and Vice Chairperson. Interested members had up to Friday, January 29th at 5PM to submit their application to contest any of the available positions. At this convention, current Prime Minister and Leader of the UDP, Honorable Dean Barrow, will not be contesting the position of party leader again, as he is planning to retire in the coming years. “We’re having a convention next month which is not really the convention; it’s sort of an interim convention. We are going to try to get a dispensation from that national convention in March, which is the supreme organ of the party, so that we do not have to hold another convention in two years’ time.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Caye Caulker Lobsterfest 2016
    The dates for Lobsterfest 2016 on Caye Caulker have been announced...

    Quad Copter donated to FCD
    Richard Pyshorn of Survival Wisdom hands over Quad Copter donated by SkyCap UK. Many thanks to Steve Roest and the team.

    Amandala

    Bradley Paumen, American investor, in more legal trouble
    This afternoon there was a marathon legal squabble in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court over the arraignment of American investor Bradley Paumen and three others, as the state brought new charges of perversion of the course of justice and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. The four persons charged are Bradley Paumen, his mechanic, Lisburn Anderson, Paumen’s ex-wife Juan Chon Park, and Johan Abaddi, a Belmopan businessman. The charges laid against the four are conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, and perversion of the course of justice. Paumen and Anderson, who are facing charges of abetment to commit murder, were recently released on Supreme Court bail.

    27-year-old Skeleton Town man shot to death
    A Corozal Town resident, Paul Massam, 27, who lives in Skeleton Town, was shot multiple times as he stepped out of his house, and was declared dead on arrival at the Corozal Town Hospital. Police said that Massam was shot three times — twice in his head and once in his palm. The incident occurred at about 8:30 this morning. Massam was walking out of his house into his yard when a lone gunman walked into the yard and shot him. The gunman then escaped in a car that was waiting for him on a street not far from the victim’s house Police are looking for three individuals who they believe can help them with the investigation.

    Cordel, Johnny or Francis? 3,000 delegates to decide
    Three thousand delegates of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) are expected to converge on the nation’s capital, Belmopan, on Sunday, when, for the first time in 8 years, they will get a chance to vote in a national leadership convention for top posts in the party. We understand that voting should run from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Belmopan Comprehensive School, with results expected a few hours after delegates would have had a chance to cast their votes. The last time PUP delegates had a chance to select a leader by voting was in March 2008, when about 650 delegates voted and chose Johnny Briceño, by a margin of only 20 votes, over Francis Fonseca.

    3 charged with cook’s murder
    Around 1:40 a.m. Wednesday, a pair of burglars entered the home of Dr. Marcos Christopher Rugama Miranda, located at 6 Simon Lamb Street, from where they stole a flat screen television after leaving one man dead in a bedroom and Dr. Rugama with stab wounds in the center of his chest. Rugama was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and admitted in a stable condition, but Ian Robert Blair, 37, who resides on Lizarraga Avenue but was visiting Dr. Rugama when the two dark-complexioned burglars invaded the home, died of the stab wounds the robbers inflicted on him. Today, police have charged three men in connection with the incident. Late this evening, Thursday, at 6:25 p.m., police issued a press release saying, “ARREST — Reference aggravated burglary/murder sent in police incident report dated 28.01.16. Police have arrested and charged 18-year-old Windell Thurton of #89 Freetown Road; 21-year-old Max Orosco of #103 New Road; and 19-year-old Byron Flowers of #846 Consuelo Street jointly with the crimes of murder, aggravated burglary, attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm.”

    Irregularities reported in final deal between FirstCaribbean and workers
    The road to a settlement agreement between CIBC First Caribbean and the Christian Workers Union, which represents a majority of staff, has been a rocky one, and Amandala is reliably informed that as the bank prepares to shut down its offices in Belize tomorrow, Friday, the deal has been signed—but, reports say, with major irregularities that have some workers feeling jilted in the process. Information to Amandala is that CWU vice president Basil Brannon signed the deal last Friday, January 22, after he was reportedly misled into thinking that union president, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, who was on leave until last Friday, had agreed for him to sign on her behalf. When we contacted Brannon today to discuss the matter with him, we were advised that he was not available and he did not return our call. Last week, we reported to you that FirstCaribbean workers had been paid a 2% salary increase for 2014 and 2015, after the chief staff reps who liaise with the CWU brokered a compromise deal with management.

    Caribbean fights to shield its US$29 bn tourism industry from Zika
    The countries surrounding Belize have all reported confirmed cases of the Zika virus, and so have four of our CARICOM sister nations. In fact, Belize is one of only two Central American countries which have not yet confirmed a case of Zika virus infection in its population, but tourism stakeholders here are just as concerned over the financial cost of the disease, following the release of upgraded travel alerts to US tourists, who make up the bulk of visitors to our region. In this vein, the Caribbean has embarked on an aggressive campaign to fight not just the virus—but also the adverse economic impact it can have in our region. “We can never let our guard down where infectious diseases are concerned, and that is particularly so in our tourism-dependent Caribbean region,” said Dr. C. James Hospedales, Executive Director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), in a news conference held in Trinidad and Tobago on Monday.

    Trenches closed at MCC, BDF vs Bmp Bandits looks good for Sunday
    This evening, around 5:30 p.m., we visited the MCC to see the situation with the reported closing of the trenches near the sidelines (see picture above), and it does appear to us that Sunday’s game between BDF and Belmopan Bandits is more than “tentative.” Except for the official green light by inspecting referee Christopher Reid, which should have taken place today, but may have to be done tomorrow, all indications are that Belize City fans will finally get to see Premier League football action again.. (The last PLB game at the MCC was August 30, 2015, when BDF hosted Placencia Assassins in the PLB Opening Season 2015-2016.) BDF players were just leaving the field after workout when we arrived, and we caught up with coach, Gregory “Paisa” Cantun and his assistant, Jerome “JeJe” Serano, who confirmed, that their team is ready to play at the MCC on Sunday. Game time is 3:30 p.m., and it will be BDF FC hosting Belmopan Bandits FC.

    Two overtime games in CYDP Peace Cup finals
    The MCC Grounds looked like “old times” on Sunday, January 24, where hundreds of fans, including our fine ladies in all their regal splendor, adorned the bleachers, and inspired the young men to give two exciting football performances, with both the 3rd place and championship games going into overtime before a winner was declared for the CYDP Peace Cup 2015-2016. There was maximum security from the Police Department, and it also helped that all the games of the CYDP Peace Cup tournament were FREE. The third place opener ended 3-3 in regulation between Kelly Street and last year’s champ, Tut Bay, with Kelly Street emerging 4-3 winners on a goal by Francis “Franco” Andrews in the second overtime period. 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.

    C-Ray Saturday Race Series 2016 – Week 2
    The C-Ray Cycling Club Saturday Race Series continued over the weekend, Saturday, January 23. Forty-one cyclists lined up in six different categories – 17 Elite, 1 Female, 8 Category 4/5, 9 Junior, four 40years+ and two 50years+. The race finished in 57 minutes and 12 seconds, averaging 24.6 miles per hour, making it 1 minute and 28 seconds faster than week #1. At 6:00 a.m., all 41 cyclists were ready to go at the start line, properly dressed in their thermal wear to manage the 62 degree “cold” weather on the Boom – Hattieville by-pass road. At the sound of the whistle, George Abraham was the first to launch an attack; the race speed went up rapidly to 30+ mph for the first half mile of the race. George would try again and again, until finally he managed to get away with Brandon Cattouse. They were quickly tracked by the Smart Team who was out there in numbers, 5 men to be exact. As soon as they were caught, George attempted to make a run again. As he got out of the saddle to attack, his chain broke and his right foot flew out the pedal. He tried to bring himself back upright, but ended up hitting the pavement to the left, sliding into the middle of the road, causing everyone in the peleton to start playing “Dodge the George.” Thankfully, everyone managed to get around the spill. Veteran cyclist Kenroy “Smokes” Gladden stopped and rendered assistance to his friend, helping him to get into the C-Ray vehicle, which transported him to the KHMH.

    Sunday’s significance
    When the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) enters a leadership national convention on Sunday in Belmopan, the exercise will constitute the supreme decision-making body of the 65-year-old party. Sunday’s leadership convention may arguably be the most democratic exercise ever in the history of the PUP. There will be at least four times more delegates choosing the PUP Leader than the amount of delegates who chose the Party Leader, on separate occasions, in 1996 and 2008. It may well be, in fact, that Sunday’s convention will be the most democratic exercise ever in the history of major political parties in Belize, and it be even be the most democratic exercise ever in the history of the settlement of Belize. There are romanticists, dare we say apologists for white supremacy, who have pointed to the vote in June 1797 which decided to defend the settlement by a 65 to 51 margin as some kind of primitive people power in the settlement. But that vote was taken by white slavemasters and a few free colored people of substantial property. There were thousands of slaves in the settlement who did not participate in the vote.

    From the Publisher
    They say that in the United States, more than half the marriages end in divorce. The situation became so bad, and the likelihood of marriage failure became so great, that the always innovative Americans came up with something called a pre-nuptial agreement. The pre-nuptial agreement was supposed to mitigate against the possibility down the road of a terribly messy divorce involving vicious custody battles for the children and deadly disputes over moneys and properties. The thing about the pre-nuptial agreement was that it was so incongruous when you considered how romantic the climate was supposed to be before the wedding vows. After all, bottom line about marriage it was absolutely to be consecrated in an atmosphere of enchanted, exhilarating love, and the storybooks always said that “they lived happily ever after.” So why would you need a pre-nuptial agreement to, essentially, prepare for the worst when it was supposed to be all good?

    “Yes, Channel 7, it is the end of the world.”
    Dear Editor, Channel 7 Television ran a news story this past Monday, with the headline, “Gay Cruise Came to Belize – World Didn’t End.” As a broadcaster, I would say that is a clever, catchy headline, however Channel 7 and all the rest of us need to understand that it really is the end of the world. We are Belize; we are NOT America. With the decision last year by the US Supreme Court to make same-sex marriage the law of the land in the US, it is more urgent than ever that we let the world know that we are Belize – because America is beginning to experience the “Last Days” judgment of God. The US Supreme Court may be known as “supreme” in America – but NOT in Belize. The Constitution of Belize begins with this statement: “WHEREAS the people of Belize- (a) affirm that the Nation of Belize shall be founded upon principles which acknowledge the supremacy of God, faith in human rights and fundamental freedoms, the position of the family in a society of free men and free institutions, the dignity of the human person and the equal and inalienable rights with which all members of the human family are endowed by their Creator;”

    Hon. Cordel Hyde is the man our people want for PUP Leader
    Editor Amandala Sir, Hon. Cordel Hyde’s video: “Cordel Hyde for PUP Party Leader” has had a breaking record of well over 74,000 views, over 1,600 likes and over 165 shares so far. That is proof that he is by far the most popular candidate in the PUP Party Leader race. In the 2015 General Elections there were 67,566 persons who voted PUP. The vast majority of people agree that roughly about 65% of PUP’s who voted in the said elections are today supporting Cordel for Party Leader. Cordel’s charisma, positive vibes and his genuine love for people, especially the less fortunate and the poor, has made him the most popular and most acclaimed candidate today. He has filled the hearts with hope. His heart beats at the same rhythm of the people’s heart, while their aspirations are in tune and the same. He is the candidate that the majority see as the only man capable to change and restore the PUP. He will reform, renew and revitalize the party. The business community and private sector are willing to guarantee financial support to him because of his antecedents of honesty and transparency.

    Education Reform Phase II at a tune of $70 million
    Today was the official launch of the Belize Education Sector Reform Project Phase II at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel. The Minister of Education, Hon. Patrick Faber, said that in the second phase 35 new schools will be built: 22 pre-schools, five primary schools and eight secondary schools, and these schools are expected to accommodate 5,300 students. Deidre Clarendon of Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) said that CDB is facilitating Belize with a loan of US$35 million to assist with its educational reform. Clarendon said, “The government of Belize has recognized that education is the transformational vehicle for economical growth and development and this project exhibits the country’s understanding of the critical role of basic education in that process.” Faber said that phase I and phase II of the Belize Education Sector Reform Project were focused on three policy objectives. Two of these objectives — improving the “quality and relevance of education at all levels” and increasing student achievement by strengthening the governance of the system, were addressed in phase I of the project, said Faber.

    Consumer prices down in 2015, but meat prices spike
    A reduction in world crude prices and fuel costs resulted in an 8.7% decline in consumer fuel prices in Belize during 2015—offsetting price increases experienced on the home front for basic food commodities, such as meats, particularly ground beef, which rose by almost 20% from $5.00 a pound to $5.99 a pound. Overall, though, consumer prices fell by about a penny on the dollar during 2015, with prices falling in December by 0.7% over last December, according to information released today by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB). For the year 2015, the average national inflation rate was negative 0.9 percent. During that month, fuel prices were comparatively lower than the same time last year. According to the SIB, “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.” The SIB added that 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.

    Belize’s exports lowest since 2009, while imports hit new record
    External trade statistics just in, indicate that Belize’s export sector experienced a depressed year in 2015, with total exports down to $535.33 million—the lowest since 2009. Meanwhile, the country’s import bill hit a new record, at roughly $2.1 billion for 2015. Belize experienced its fourth consecutive decline in annual export earnings since 2012, which correlates directly with a fall-off in earnings from crude oil sales, which hit its peak in 2010. The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), in its latest trade bulletin, informed that “plunging world prices resulted in a 64 percent drop in the country’s crude petroleum earnings from $102 million in 2014 to $36 million for the year 2015.” In fact, there was no crude petroleum exported in December 2015, compared to almost $7 million in exports of that product in the same month of 2014.

    Cruise port exclusivity in Belize – a thing of the past
    Currently, there is only one port for cruise tourists in Belize – that is the Belize City port operated by the Belize Tourism Village, but a second port is due to be added in southern Belize, possibly in late 2016 or 2017, by Norwegian Cruise Lines at Harvest Caye. What seems clear is that the era of exclusive deals for Belize’s cruise sector has come to an end after Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel ruled decisively on the matter last October. Abel had ruled against the exclusive arrangement between the Fort Street Tourism Village (FSTV) and the Government of Belize in a challenge lodged by Michael Feinstein, an original partner in the tourism port who has since developed a model for a cruise port at Stake Bank, offshore Belize City. Even though the court has struck down the exclusivity clauses, Feinstein recently backed down from his plans after reports that the Government is pursuing talks with the Ashcroft group for another cruise port in the Belize City area – a resurrection of an old idea to build a cruise port at Port of Belize.

    “Fish Right, Eat Right”
    “To the average Belizean, savoring seafood is a national pastime…it is also by paying homage to the hardworking fishermen who brave the open seas every day to satisfy our hunger for the best seafood. The Belizeans dishes are special; there is just some extra special, crunchy, tasty delectableness in that whole fried snapper, sere, hudut and panades that make it finger-licking good.” Alyssa Carnegie, communications director of Oceana, remarked at the launching of a local brand “Fish Right, Eat Right.” “Moving forward, the onus is on you, the consumer, not only to enjoy those delicious meals, but to enjoy it responsibly by insisting that your source complied with fisheries regulations”, she said. Oceana in Belize, Nature Conservancy, the Fisheries Department, the Wildlife Conservation Society, Environmental Defense Fund, the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) and the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) are embarking on a campaign to ensure that responsible consumption and fishing practices are adapted. Today at Hour Bar, they launched their local brand “Fish Right, Eat Right,” under which they will be promoting this new initiative.

    Bus passenger pistol-whipped
    A passenger travelling in a crowded bus from San Ignacio to Belize City had the shock of his life when a man entered the bus through the back door when the bus stopped on the highway to pick up a passenger, beat him in the head with what a passenger said appeared to be a gun, jumped out through the back door and escaped into the bush. The passenger was rushed to the San Ignacio Hospital, where he was treated and released shortly after. He is now recovering at home. The conductor of the bus reported that he did not see the attacker come on the bus, but when he saw the passenger after the commotion, he realized that he was bleeding from the head. Police were informed that a passenger had been shot in a bus in Esperanza village, and as a result, San Ignacio police responded. On a West Line bus heading to Belmopan, they saw Conrad Thomas leaning on a seat on the arms of a female, and he was unconscious.

    US Capital asks GOB to extend oil exploration contract
    The oil exploration contract for US Capital Energy expired on January 21, 2016, but Amandala is reliably informed that the company has asked the Government of Belize whether it can renew its petroleum concession—at least for another year. When we asked Alistair King, US Capital Energy’s representative in Belize, about the possibility of the company pursuing an extension to its contract, he told us that although they had asked the Government to consider it, no decision has yet been taken. King said that their directors are still considering it, and they are negotiating. He added, though, that crude prices are expected to hit a low of US$17 a barrel – which would be a factor that will be taken into account when the company determines how it will proceed.

    Elena Smith is new Senator for unions and civil society
    The newest appointee to the Senate is trade unionist Elena Smith, who was formally sworn in when the Senate met on Wednesday at the National Assembly in Belmopan for its first sitting for 2016. Asked how she plans to go about discharging her duty as Senator for both the civil society and trade unions, who may at times hold opposing views, Smith—who served for 8 years as president of the Belize District branch of the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU)—told Amandala that, “…at the end of the day, I am there to look out for the good of the entire group that I serve, that I represent and so I cannot go based on people’s emotions. I have to look at whatever is put in front of me objectively, because I myself have to offer some kind of position as a senator.”

    MOU Signed to Improve Coordination for Sustainable Fisheries in the Western Central Atlantic Region
    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 27 January 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 5-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.

    Man pleads guilty to handling stolen license stickers
    A Belize City man who was facing a charge of burglary pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods and had the burglary charge against him withdrawn when he appeared this morning with his attorney before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith for trial. The Belize City Traffic Department was burglarized in March last year and a number of license stickers were stolen. A video surveillance camera showed a security guard entering the building and after investigating the incident, police charged Glenroy Reynolds with one count of burglary. Today in court, however, Reynolds and his attorney, Christelle Wilson, accepted responsibility for a lesser charge of handling stolen goods, and the court prosecutor withdrew the burglary charge against Reynolds, who maintained that he did not burglarize the Traffic Department office. Following a mitigation plea from Wilson, who pointed out to the court that Reynolds was a first-time offender, Reynolds was spared prison time and was fined $1,000, which he has to pay by August 31; if he defaults, he will have to spend six months in prison.

    The Reporter

    Man wanted by police for burning down brother’s house
    Jeovannie Mejia, an Orange Walk resident from Otro Benque Street is wanted since Thursday night for arson. The fire was reported at around 9:13 p.m. in the Petville area, between San Estevan and Orange Walk Town. Mejia’s brother, Andy Leroy Mejia stated that his brother set fire to the house after having gotten into an argument with their father. The Fire Department could not save the house and it burnt to the ground. By the time the police arrived at the scene, Mejia had escaped and is now wanted by for arson, according to Officer in Charge of the Orange Walk police station, Nicholas Palomo.

    John Briceno is new PUP Leader
    John Briceno is the new Leader of the People’s United (PUP). Briceno, who spoke to the media only minutes ago, said it is time to unite the party in order to win elections. He said he will reach out individually to Francis Fonseca and Cordel Hyde to mend fences and to take the party forward. He added that it is time they all put their differences aside and to start to unify the PUP. If there needs to be a National Party Council meeting to weed out those whose intention is not to work in unity, he said, there will be that assembly. Meanwhile, Rodwell Ferguson was also elected as Deputy Party Leader, representing the party’s Southern Caucus. As well, Henry Usher was returned as the Chairman and Anthony Mahler is the new Communications Director. Counting ended shortly after 9:00 p.m. at the Belmopan Comprehensive College with the results for Deputy Party Leader, representing the Northern Caucus. Abelardo Mai took that position. Outgoing Communications Director, Myrtle Palacio gave the results.

    Counting of ballots starts for new PUP leader
    Counting has begun on ballots cast today for a new People’s United Party (PUP) Leader, with a turnout of about 2,758 of a possible 2,971 delegates. The elections began at 9:00 a.m. and ended at 4:00 p.m., after PUP extended the voting process by an hour at the Belmopan Comprehensive College in Belmopan. Preliminary indications are that while counting will not be finished for about another hour, John Briceno holds onto a comfortable lead thus far, with Francis Fonseca in second place and Cordel Hyde next. PUP Communications Director, Myrtle Palacio informed the media about an hour ago that because the voting was for five different positions, the counting will last longer.

    Fishermen to now pay $20,000 fine for fishing in protected areas
    An amendment on the Forestry Act has increased security for protected areas, by increasing the payable fine for violations from $500.00 to $20,000. Amanda Acosta, executive director of the Belize Audubon Society (BAS) stated that the regulation should help lessen the number of fishermen daring into conserved areas to fish. She stated that the Society suggested the new fine as they noticed that fishermen were apathetic to the $500.00 fine since they were making a lot more out of merchandise they took from protected areas. As of now, the demarcated areas are within the Barrier Reef and no fisherman is allowed to fish outside of them. Acosta explained that the idea is for there to be a marine creatures spill-over. Although fishing at large takes place within the Barrier Reef, the overflow of fishes that come from the protected areas supply it with an abundance of creatures from which fishermen can take.

    PUP National Convention underway in Belmopan
    The People’s United Party (PUP) is holding its National Party Convention at the Belmopan Comprehensive School in Belmopan. Three of the party’s heavyweights, including two former leaders, namely Francis Fonseca of Freetown and John Briceno of Orange Walk Central, are contesting, along with Lake Independence Area Representative, Cordel Hyde. There are also other members vying for vacant positions, including those of Deputy Leader and Chairman. The last PUP National Convention was held in Dangriga in 2010.

    Belize ended 2015 with low inflation, says SIB
    The cost of living in Belize closed off 2015 being lower than it was the year before, according to the latest data from the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB). On Wednesday, the SIB released the “December 2015 Consumer Price Index”, which measures the change in prices for various goods and services in Belize. The data showed that for December 2015, average costs were 0.7 percent (70 cents) lower than they were in 2014. The SIB attributed the decline to lower fuel, Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), and electricity costs. “Within the category of “Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels” an increase of 2.2 percent in home rental prices overshadowed a 20 percent decline in electricity rates and a steep drop in the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas,” the SIB said. The average price for a 100 pound cylinder fell from $109.26 in December 2014 to $83.88 in December 2015, a decline of 23 percent. During the same period, the average price per gallon of all three types of fuels remained lower than they were in December 2014.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Fatal stabbing in Belize City
    There was a stabbing after midnight Friday night near the Complex Building in the Lake Independence area of Belize City. Although we have tried, we have been unable to get any information from Police on how the incident unfolded. All we can confirm so […]

    3 year old accidentally crushed by gate
    Tragedy has hit a young couple whose 3-year-old daughter, Brianna Timmons, was crushed by a heavy iron gate on the front of the Lloyd Coffin pre-school compound off Mahogany Street in Belize City. The frightening incident happened on Friday night just before 7 when […]

    Belize Defense Force gets new soldiers, operating bases
    Belize’s national army, the Belize Defence Force, has its ranks grown by eighty to over 1,500 men and women after a full passing out ceremony took place on Friday in Price Barracks, Ladyville. While according to Minister of National Security John Saldivar, more than […]

    John Briceno returns to leadership of the People’s United Party
    In the race for party leader of the People’s United Party, Johnny Briceno has triumphed over rivals Francis Fonseca and Cordel Hyde, returning to leadership of the party he stepped away from five years ago. Like his rival Hyde, Briceno has been preaching a […]

    Prime Minister returns from Washington, to host press conference
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow returns today from Washington where he and his delegation met with US Government and banking officials to resolve the crisis caused in Belize by derisking. This involves the bigger US Banks who have been severing ties with banks in Belize […]

    People’s United Party Convention complete; counting underway
    Voting as of this hour in the People’s United Party Special National Convention is complete and counting is underway. Almost 3 thousand delegates were eligible to vote for a party leader, four deputy party leaders, a chairman, a treasurer, a national campaign manager, and […]

    PUP Special National Convention underway in Belmopan
    Almost 3 thousand delegates are eligible to vote in today’s special National Convention of the People’s United Party. As of this evening at the Belmopan Comprehensive School off the Ring Road, the party will have an undisputed leader, selected by its members. But in only one case would […]

    Belize Media Group had excellent 2015 – here’s what’s ahead in 2016!
    Your Belize Media Group is committed to being Belize’s number one online source of news and information. In 2015 you came to us first for news about the general elections, crime, the economy, tourism, weather and sports. More than 2 million persons visited our website […]

    Blogs

    Kelly McGuire’s Birthday Week(s) Kicks off On Ambergris Caye With a Full House
    Texas singer and award winning songwriter, Kelly McGuire, has been to Ambergris Caye quite a bit. So many times that he has written an album called “Boat in Belize” (2007) and then “King of the Island” (2011). Every year, he comes down to celebrate his birthday with all of San Pedro. And yesterday, ON THE MOST GORGEOUS DAY, I headed down to Island Time Bar & Restaurant for his second show of Belize 2016.

    February In Belize: Events Galore
    It’s hard to pick the busiest month of the year in Belize…and while Christmas week may be the busiest week of the year, February may be the busiest in terms of a month of solid events and visitors. The weather is absolute perfect. There are festivals all over Belize.

    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.

    Rice with Chicken a la Margarita (Arroz con Pollo a la Margarita)
    HEAT 2 Tbsp. dressing in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken; cook 4 min. on each side or until browned dam on both sides. Get it out of the pan. ADD pepper and onion in skillet; cook and stir 5 min. or until crisp and tender. Add broth, rice, cumin and remaining vinaigrette; stir. Bring to boil. Put the chicken on top and cover the pan. Cook over medium-low heat to maintain a gentle boil for 25 to 30 min. or until chicken is done (internal temperature reaches 165 º F) and rice soft. Remove from heat. Let stand covered 5 min. Sprinkle the dish with cilantro.

    The San Ignacio Market
    Located on the banks of the Macal River, the market in San Ignacio is a truly unique opportunity to experience Belizean life. Farmers, traders, and vendors from all walks of Belizean life gather together to sell their wares. Don’t be surprised to hear a blend of German, English, Spanish, Creole and the Mayan tongue as everyone from Mennonite farmers to indigenous craftsmen use the San Ignacio Market to sell their delicious local fruits, vegetables, medicinal herbs, and handmade clothing. Cayo District is home to a number of different local cultures, including old rite Mennonites who moved to Belize from Europe, indigneous Maya, native Creole peoples, and Spanish-speaking Mestizos. These groups use the Saturday market in San Ignacio as a meeting place, exchanging gossip and news while selling their homemade goods. A trip to the market gives visitors a chance to see Belize at its best, a harmonious blend of different cultures and traditions all on display in one colorful and lively marketplace setting. Visitors can arrive at the market via canoe or other watercraft directly at a marked landing as the market is situated just adjacent to the banks of the Macal River. Visitors coming from overland will easily be able to spot the market as it is right next to the football stadium. The official address for the market is Savannah Street in San Ignacio.

    International Sourcesizz

    Belize’s watchdog issues Cease & Desist orders against FXPrivate, MT Capital Partners
    The International Financial Services Commission of Belize (IFSC) has issued warnings and Cease & Desist orders against two companies offering Forex services: FXPrivate and MT Capital Partners. The watchdog notifies the public that MT CAPITAL PARTNERS LTD. is not and has never been licensed by the International Financial Services Commission of Belize (IFSC) to engage in FX advisory services, or in any other international financial services. The entity was dissolved on January 13, 2016 and is no longer on the International Business Companies Register of Belize, the Commission explains.

    Latin American and Caribbean economies face slower growth this year
    Latin American and Caribbean economies will grow just 0.2 percent in 2016, according to new projections made in early January by the Chile-based Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). In its annual report, “Preliminary Overview of the Economies of Latin America and the Caribbean 2015,” the commission reiterated its call to the countries of the region to involve more investment and productivity in order to stimulate growth. As in previous years, external conditions have variable effects in the region, which will again show marked differences in 2016. ECLAC predicts that Central America is expected to grow around 4.3 percent; South America’s GDP will shrink by minus 0.8 percent, mainly due to the expected contractions in Brazil (minus 2.0 percent) and Venezuela (minus 7.0 percent); while the English-speaking Caribbean will grow 1.6 percent.

    New Weapon to Fight Zika: The Mosquito
    Every weekday at 7 a.m., a van drives slowly through the southeastern Brazilian city of Piracicaba carrying a precious cargo — mosquitoes. More than 100,000 of them are dumped from plastic containers out the van’s window, and they fly off to find mates. But these are not ordinary mosquitoes. They have been genetically engineered to pass a lethal gene to their offspring, which die before they can reach adulthood. In small tests, this approach has lowered mosquito populations by 80 percent or more. The biotech bugs could become one of the newest weapons in the perennial battle between humans and mosquitoes, which kill hundreds of thousands of people a year by transmitting malaria, dengue fever and other devastating diseases and have been called the deadliest animal in the world. “When it comes to killing humans, no other animal even comes close,” Bill Gates, whose foundation fights disease globally, has written.

    Feather forensics: scientist uses genes to track macaws, aid bird conservation
    When a massive road project connected the ports of Brazil to the shipping docks of Peru in 2011, spanning the South American continent, conservationists predicted widespread impacts on wildlife living along the route that stretches almost 5,500 kilometers (about 3,400 miles). Roads are a well-documented source of habitat fragmentation, interfering with access to available habitat for many terrestrial and tree-dwelling species. However, it wasn’t clear whether or not birds are able to fly over these barriers. George Olah, a biologist from the Australian National University, set out to see if they can.

    Videos

  • Belize Video, 2min.

  • Shark Ray alley Belize, 10min. Swimming with the sharks and rays.

  • Belize 2015 Teaser: From Caye caulker to the jungle of Belmopan, 2min. From diving in Caye Caulker to expedition in the deep Jungle of Belize, here is the teaser of my last trip to Belize. Special Thanks to Frenchie's Diving, Caye Caulker, & Yache Jungle camp (maya guide adventure), Belmopan.

  • Belize December 2015, 13min. Silvia and Jeremy return to Belize: Placencia and San Ignacio.

  • Belize 2015 - Barrier Reef Diving, 13min.

  • BELIZE BARRIER REEF, 12min. DIVE SPOTS CAYE CAULKER MARINE RESERVE, GREAT BLUE HOLE, HALFMOON CAYE, LONG CAYE, TURNEFFE ATOLL

  • Blue Hole Belize, 7min. 3 great dives in Belize, including the Blue Hole and Shark Alley.


    Click here to return to
    Today's Belize News


    Commons Island Community History Visitor Center Goods & Services
    Search Messages CIG Info


    Copyright by Casado Internet Group, Belize