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2/21/2016 to 2/29/2016
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February 29, 2016


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Letter to the Editor: Traffic
We are passionate online readers and repeat guests for the last seven years, each time for a month to six weeks. After this year’s vacation we also had enough with your trashy traffic in town and on roads around. It seems a cultural clash is finally happening on this island. The island’s problems are open for discussion: The local population wants to have and use their cars no matter how trashy and junk yard ready these cars might be and golf cart tourists seem to be just an unwanted obstacle. On the other side, tourists want tranquility and a vacation spot to get away from traffic, the dust and stress such traffic causes. Locals and officials might not quite realize how much money is at stake. Just keep in mind that many repeat guests are already staying away and that fewer and fewer first-time guests will be visiting in the future. The reputation of the island is on the line.

Wolfe’s Woofer: The Dentist
“Stop at the dentist’s office while you’re downtown,” Sherry said. “We don’t have a phone book and I don’t know how to get in touch with him. Get his number for me.” “Sure.” The dentist was with someone in his office when I got there but I could hear the conversation clearly. A lady asked, “Doctor, how much do you charge to pull a tooth?” “It’s usually about $125.” “What?!” the lady exclaimed. “That’s way too much. There must be someway you could do it cheaper than that.” “Well, if we don’t use anesthesia we can charge less. Numbing the pain is a big part of the expense. I could take about $40 off.” “That’s still $85 dollars,” she said. “That’s too much.

Police Report
Missing Persons: On Sunday, February 21st at about 5:30PM, 17-year-old Francisco Torres and Samir Perez, both of Avenida Langosta, Caye Caulker Village, left their house and went to Sip N Dip Beach Bar to socialize and they both have not been seen and heard from since. The clothing that they were last seen wearing and their description is unknown at this time.
Obtaining Property by deception: 58-year-old Dorothea Pineda, business owner of DFC area San Pedro Town reported that on Tuesday, January 19th at about 6PM she was at her business place located on Coconut Drive, when she asked her employee about ‘the shrimp delivery’, as she saw a note pad with a total of $380 and $280 being paid, leaving a balance of $100 for shrimps she had ordered.
Possession of Forged Document: A Transport Officer attached to the San Pedro Traffic Department visited the San Pedro Police Station and reported that on the Thursday, February 18th at about 3:57PM, he was at work at the San Pedro Transport Office, when 24-year-old Lester Enrique Orantes entered the transport office and handed over a laminated driver’s license to him for renewal.
Wanted Person: The San Pedro Police Department is asking for assistance in the capture of 30-year-old Alex Hernandez, Tour Guide and Bartender from the Orange Walk District. He is of Mestizo decent, 5 feet 6 inches in height, medium built, round face and light brown skin.

Doctor Love: Alcoholism and Mother-in-laws
Dear Doctor Love, I am 52 years old and I have been married for 14 years. Because of his alcoholism he is impotent so we have not had relations for over four years. When we even try he gets angry and frustrated and takes it out on me with verbal abuse. He has not been able to hold a job for years now so I am the breadwinner in the house. I come home from work and he spends his time putting me down and trying to make me feel worthless. I cry every night. What can I do? /s/ Nervous Wreck

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

SBDC Workshop: Time Management Workshop
Everyone starts with the same amount of hours - so why do we seem to get so much less done? An inability to manage time efficiently can leave anyone feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and unproductive. As workers we are expected to be at our very best, rested, alert and creative on daily basis. Goal: This workshop offers practical techniques that can be used immediately to gain control. Beneficiaries: Entrepreneurs, Business Owners and Managers. Presented By: Mrs. Vicky Heredia, Business Adviser, SBDCBelize, BELTRAIDE. WORKSHOP COST : $40.00. Location: BTEC Building. Workshop Date: March 3rd, 2016. Time: 9am to 12p. WORKSHOP COST : $40.00

April 9th Fundraiser SACNW
Hi neighbors! On Saturday, April 9, 2016 your South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch is holding an afternoon BBQ fun day at Caribe Island Resort beach front. There will be live music, grilled food & sides, silliness and an auction. The price will be a low, low $25 BZD and includes one drink. All owners and guests living and visiting the south end will be invited. That's where we need your help in guessing possible head counts.

Co-op Group sugar goes 100% Fairtrad
A collaboration between the Co-operative Group and Tate & Lyle Sugars will see the convenience retailer’s entire sugar range become Fairtrade certified. The move is set to drive more than £1m of benefits to smallholder sugar cane farmers and sugar growing communities of Belize over the next two years. The Group will be the first supermarket to offer a 100% Fairtrade branded and own-label sugar range, following a long-term investment by both brands. Brad Hill, Fairtrade strategy manager at the Group, said: “We were the very first retailer to sell Fairtrade sugar and, having switched our entire own-brand range to Fairtrade almost a decade ago, it’s great to complete the shift to Fairtrade across the entire sugar fixture. Supporting sugar farmers and communities around the world is vital, and this latest venture with Tate & Lyle Sugars comes at a particularly challenging time for cane farmers in Belize.”

Poets Corner: Judgment!
By Abdulmajeed k Nunez. Orosco vs the Attorney General is a living testament That while the Chief Justice lives in lavishment Delaying his judgment Is in itself punishment Is it because of fear of bashment? Or is it because this case will set precedent Or has he been instructed by the government He needs to make known his judgment! This matter was maligned in the media Some misinformed and Some spreading propaganda Some were indeed mischief maker Some even made the church God the father And some even made pronouncements as the vicar of the Lord Some manipulated the word Some came with ridiculous arguments I’ve never again heard The amendment to section 53 Is not an anomaly Many a countries have amended this law already Valuing the talkshow host as authority Is messing up our thinking ability Most if not all have no legal degree Orosco is seeking the amendment of four words “and any other or” yet he is being treated like scourge

Belize Bike Rally - Day 2
Looks like everyone is having a super time in Belize. Today is the last day of our Belize Bike Rally. Fido's Courtyard in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye will be the host of today's event headed to the island. This was the day most of the bikers came in to Belize and the day you got to hear the rumbling of the pipes and the heat of the burn at the Belize Bike Rally.

"Street Art Festival" in Belize City
Talented Belizean Artists display their work at the annual sidewalk chalk competition, held yesterday at the "Street Art Festival" in Belize City.

It took me sometime to write this one, but I knew one day that it had to be done. It is just about a simple brother, friend, colleague and brilliant mind that once walked the streets of Belize that helped me find my self, my words, my soul, and broadened my horizons about the world as we looked at it from little small Belize. He is the late Frank Adderley, and he left this life quite young but without leaving a deep impact on someone as myself. In culminating this Black History Month, it is an honor for me to write about someone that personal as Frank Adderley was to me. His depth for musical appreciation and philosophy drew me to his being while we attend High School at St. Michael's College. We connected immediately on those fronts because we were both young black Belizean thinkers quite early in our lives, and we were thirsty for knowledge the same way. But Frank took me outside of Belize through music to the international world beat arena where musical artists were the messengers of love, politics, and culture. We both studied thoroughly the spectrum of the dynamic African-American artists and musicians, and engulfed ourselves in vinyl records, Billboard magazines and anything we could find to quench our thirst for the world of music and philosophy around us.

Hstoric gathering of environmental technicians from Belize and Guatemala
The 25th of February marked a historic gathering of environmental technicians from Belize and Guatemala to put into effect the bi-national MOU signed between the two countries aimed at addressing cross border environmental matters. FCD congratulates and supports both Governments on this effort.

The Reporter

Street art festival round 5
Over 40 artisans and entrepreneurs gathered on Albert Street for the fifth instalment of the Street Art Festival, hosted by the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH). For the event, NICH blocked off Albert Street, from the end of Orange Street up to South Street just after Wesley church. The participants had booths selling various items such as jewellery, bags, and handicrafts, as well as foods, wines and snacks. There were children’s activities including graffiti using chalk on concrete and face painting. Live bands entertained passersby and patrons with music of various genres adding to the ambiance of the area. In the afternoon, the performance group Youth Advocacy Through Arts (YATA), treated the audience, primarily teenagers to its newest play “Deaf Chorus”; a play speaking on issues of gang violence among youth. Gregory Vernon, director of the Institute of Creative Arts at NICH, explained that they hold the festival in an attempt to trying to rejuvenate the downtown area, as well as promote local art and artists.

CARICOM focusing on youth violence
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is preparing to hold a regional forum focussing on youth crime and violence. The CARICOM Secretariat announced that the tow-day forum will be held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Georgetown, Guyana on 29 February 2016 to 1 March 2016. “The objectives of the Forum are: to sensitise CARICOM policy makers, the media and other stakeholders on the major elements of youth crime and violence and on the responses to break the silence.” The Secretariat said in a release this week. The secretariat added that sessions will also be used to share good practices with a view to replicating the lessons learned; to explore strategies for a multi-sectoral `whole of society’ response to the challenge and to examine the means for greater collaboration among institutions and development partners to sustain CARICOM’s response to youth crime and violence.

Jamaica Labour Party wins general elections
Andrew Holness is back in charge in Jamaica. He is set to be sworn in as the country’s new Prime Minister after his Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) toppled the People’s National Party (PNP) government, winning 33 of the 63 seats in Parliament in yesterday’s elections. Holness, who served as prime minister for a two-month period in 2011 when he succeeded Bruce Golding as JLP leader, will be joined in the House of Representatives by his wife, Juliette Holness, who captured the St Andrew East Rural seat in her first political outing. Despite her party’s loss, former prime minister Portia Simpson Miller also retained her seat. The poll was marked by a low voter turnout – 47.5 per cent – and its outcome was historic. It was the slimmest victory margin for any political party in Jamaica’s history.

The Belize Times

Shady! – Court rules that Barrow & Vega stole “Mek Mi Rich” concept
The Supreme Court slammed Belize Telemedia Limited led by Executive Chairman Anwar Barrow for practising shady business in a lottery game called “Mek Mi Rich” on Tuesday February 23rd 2016. Judge Courtenay Abel delivered his ruling in a civil matter in which BTL and the directors of “Mek Mi Rich”, or MMR, were accused of misappropriating the game concept from Belizean entrepreneur Curtis Swasey. Swasey told the Court that the “Mek Mi Rich” lottery draw model is his. He testified that in January 2012 he approached BTL marketing representatives and presented the concept for a lottery draw program which would be accessed exclusively by BTL customers through text messaging. Swasey called the game Super Slam Sunday. According to Swasey, he signed an Information Exchange Agreement with BTL representatives which contained a two-year period of non-disclosure in the event the agreement would be terminated. He said that he been in dialogue with BTL representatives on the program, providing training and preparing for implementation.

Presentation by Leader of the People’s United Party, Hon. John Briceño, to Galen University Students, Thursday, February 17, 2016. It’s great to be here with you at Galen in Beautiful Cayo — not only because this is my first presentation since becoming Leader of the People’s United Party, but also because I really like the energy I get when I am around young people–it’s contagious. I was once a high school teacher and every time I stepped on to the campus at Muffles College I felt a rush of optimism. I’m grateful for the warm hospitality you’ve shown me so far, including from senior administrators and faculty and now from all of you gathered here. Galen is a young and vibrant institution, and each of you will play a seminal role in how this institution grows in stature and prestige. More so, you will help to shape our nation in the generations to come. There is no better time for you to start thinking about how you want to build our nation than the present. As John Legend puts it: “we’re the generation that can’t afford to wait, the future started yesterday and we’re already late.”

Gapi Blames “Dean” for Papaya industry Collapse
Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega has blamed “Dean” for the collapse of Fruta Bomba and Belize Fruit Packers, the papaya subsidiary companies which provided jobs to Belizeans along the northern belt. Vega, in interviews this week, said the companies have been reeling from the disaster it faced when “Hurricane Dean” struck Northern Belize. Do you think there is any coincidence with Vega’s blaming of “Hurricane DEAN”? There couldn’t be. Hurricane Dean was almost eight years ago, under the former PUP Government. Couldn’t and shouldn’t the Government have done enough to assist the companies regain stability in order to save jobs? But we know why Vega blamed it on “Dean”. We know that in the north the UDP reps are fuming and furious at the lack of Government leadership which is seeing the UDP’s political capital fade by the day, and with a leadership race on the horizon we are not surprised Vega chose launch this subliminal attack.

Barrow’s 2016 Shylock Budget
The stage is being prepared for the Budget Debate 2016/2017. Draft estimates, recommendations and forecasts are being submitted by various HODs (Heads of Department) for consultation prior to the presentation by the Honorable Dean Barrow, possibly in March 2016. Undoubtedly, three factors will be the primary focus in the constructing of the 2016 budget: the resultant of several financial storms creeping to our shores, the compounding effects of climate change and trade liberalization on our Agro Industry; the “Banking Armageddon” which is the de-risking banking crisis; and our national debt. Subsidiary but important nonetheless are the social ills that continue to plague the jewel – poverty, inequality, joblessness, costly healthcare, crime and violence, and threats to national security. Many Belizeans are pre-empting a budget of shylock proportions with Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the UDP Government exacting its “pound of flesh” from the Belizean populace through various austerity measures and budget cuts. The recent announcing of the impending firing of some 1,300 teachers, the increase in fees at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and the cunningly introduction of some new taxes are signs of the WORST TO COME!

Think About It
One of the most important discussions on the Guatemalan claim to Belize and what we need to do was held on Friday 19th February 2016. It was sponsored by, of all people, the lawyers of Belize, AND, the Judges of our Supreme Court. They hold an annual get together each year called the Bench and Bar Conference. The “Bench” is legalese for the Judges and Magistrates because in Court they sit and preside from an elevated bench. The Bar is the next important position in a court. It is where the “learned” lawyers sit and stand as they assist the court in the interest of a lady called justice. In Belize, that lady is weak and weary and her measuring scales appear a bit unbalanced. The blind-fold over her eyes looks torn and tattered and she may be peeping at the persons before her, which she should never do. Never. But alas! This is broken Belize. Big respect is due to the President, Jackie Marshalleck and Executive of the Bar Association or what’s left of it after the unnecessary and petty attacks from the Prime Minister who has succeeded in mortally wounding an organization that had the potential to help educate Belizeans, although it never did.

A Time of Bliss
In the same way that Memorial Day opens the summer season for our neighbours up north, Benefactor’s Day heralds the arrival of our dry season. This holiday was initially given in honour of Belize’s biggest benefactor Baron Bliss and I thought it appropriate, timely and educational to republish this piece that I did several years ago. Baron Henry Edward Ernest Victor Bliss, JP was born in the Buckingham County of England on the 16th of February, 1869. His real surname was actually Barretts but was changed to Bliss just about the time that he acquired the title of fourth Baron of the former Kingdom of Portugal. That title was acquired through lineal descent from one Sir John Moore, who was a hero in the wars of that domain. In 1911 and at the prime age of 42, Baron Bliss was struck by paralysis and was for the remainder of his days, confined to a hand propelled wheelchair. By the time of his medical misfortune, Baron Bliss had amassed considerable wealth; enough to realize his dream of retiring to a life of seafaring and fishing. After replacing his first boat, which was commandeered for use during World War 1, Baron Bliss said goodbye to his native England and shoved off, making it clear that he never intended to return. As far as we know, Baron Bliss had no children but was married to Baroness Ethel Alice Bliss, with whom he settled a covenant before leaving and for whom he made a modest provision in his will. According to the Baron, his married life had been a happy one but records suggest otherwise. There is no record of the Baroness making any attempt to contact Bliss or of attending his funeral. She died in England in 1945.

The ship is sinking
In Belize, poverty and inequality have reached such an alarming level that the society as a whole is in crisis. The majority of Belizeans are living in survival mode. More and more families have become marginalized, vulnerable and dependent on the hand-outs of the ruling UDP politicos who have turned vote-buying into a norm in the “democratic” process of electioneering. Imagine then, what is happening now that the UDP ministers have resumed back into their holes and the country faces its worst economic crisis. Only the UDPs are surviving like royalty right now. You see them driving their fancy rides? Living in large mansion like homes? The crumbs from the national budget is doled out to the poor supporters just enough to keep them quiet. The teeming masses are threatened with the hammer of victimization and transparent intimidation if they dare step out of line; if they dare to raise their voices in protest. If they do, no more food pantry for them; no chance of getting a plot of land on which to build a little house or start a little farm. Just talk to the many Belizeans not only in Trio Village but right across the country from north to east and west too.

St. Martin De Porres wins district basketball champs
The St. Martin De Porres RC School girls and boys will represent the Belize District when the national primary schools basketball championship is held at Orange Walk Multi-Purpose Complex this coming Friday and Saturday, February 26-27; after both teams won the Belize District finals at Birds’ Isle last Wednesday. The Martin’s boys won the Belize District championship finals over Belize Elementary boys 39-23 with Elijah Gabourel scoring 16 pts and Lyndon Gentle added 11 pts. Evan Welch and Tyreck Solis scored 4pts apiece and Kentrel Marshall scored a bucket The St. Martin’s girls eliminated the city champs, the up-to-then undefeated St. John’s Anglican School girls 13-12 in the championship final. Martin’s Shantel Flowers top scored with 7pts.

Nissan Arana wins Sunday’s 120-Mile race
Nissan Edgar Arana of the Westrac Alliance Team won the 120-mile race to Mount Hope and back to Leslie’s Imports on the George Price Highway on Sunday, February 21. Top 10 Results: 1st Nissan Arana – Team Westrac Alliance – 4:57:21 2nd Brandon Cattouse – C-ray road Addikz – 4:57:34 3rd Ron Vasquez – Team Western Spirit – 4:57:42 4th Herman “Hijo” Requena – Team SMART 5th Ron Mckenzie – Team Westrac Alliance 6th Joel Vanegas – Team DigiCell 4G 7th Angel Tzib – Team BECOL Uprising 8th Quinton Hamilton – Unattached 9th Robert Lima Stewart – Team Western Spirit 10th Giovanni Lovell – Team DigiCell 4G

Compre girls win football championship
Western Zone football champs Belmopan Comprehensive School girls won the high school female football nationals hosted by St. John’s College high school at the MCC Garden over the weekend. In the championship final on Saturday afternoon, the Compre girls blew away Northern Zone champs, Corozal Community College girls 3-0 with Viviannie Pivarel scoring the 1st goal in the 1st half. After the break, Jayda Brown scored a 2nd goal; and Ana Arias scored the 3rd goal. In 3rd place on Saturday morning, the Southern Zone champs Independence High girls won 1-0 over SCA when Luz Acevedo scored a penalty late in 2nd half. On Friday, the Compre girls came back from a 1-0 deficit to spank the Independence High School girls 3-1. The CCC girls had to go to penalties to eliminate Central Zone champs, the St. Catherine’s Academy girls 4-2.

Fuel prices to increase
A late-afternoon press release from the Government of Belize has indicated that fuel price are once more in the rise. The release indicates that the Government has adjusted its tax structure to reflect international costs for crude oil imports. As a result, GOB is increasing its import duties for Premium Gasoline by 40 cents, Regular Gasoline by 30 cents and Diesel by $80 cents. GOB will also increase the price of fuel at the pumps for Regular and Diesel fuel. Regular is increasing from $7.61 per gallon to $7.98, while Diesel will increase from $6.52 to $7.52. Premium fuel will dip from $9.30 per gallon to $8.99 per gallon.

Fruta Bomba fires 123 workers as company closes
Life just got drastically harder for one hundred and twenty three workers who received the terrible news on Friday, February 19th that they no longer had jobs at Fruta Bomba Limited in the Corozal District. A week before, company executives confirmed that they will be closing their papaya farming and exporting operations in Belize due to unsustainable operational costs and little help from the Government. The company indicated that they would close in six months, and that its 250 employees would have to look elsewhere for jobs. The 123 workers terminated on Friday represent mostly field workers. In interviews this week, the clueless Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega suggested that the fired workers could probably find jobs in the sugar industry. Vega should know that the sugar industry is also barely surviving. How will 123 workers find jobs in an industry which almost closed down two years ago because of financial troubles?

Belize – The cost of Fruta Bomba’s Closure
The papaya industry had its origins with a project funded by the United States. With the assistance of USAID (United States Agency for International Development), a company called Belize Agribusiness Company (BABCO) was created in 1985. BABCO was successful agronomically but it was not able to set up a lasting marketing chain. In 1990, a former employee of BABCO who persisted was able to successfully grow the fruits in San Andres in Corozal. Marketing trials were carried out with J. R. Brooks, a marketing company based in Florida. Fruta Bomba was thus established as a subsidiary of Brooks Tropicals in Belize. Brooks Tropicals produces papaya in Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. Since then, Belize became the second largest exporter of papaya to the USA and Canada….second only to Mexico, and ahead of Brazil. This is a leadership position in a rapidly growing segment of tropical fruits….in large-value markets….with significant potential for long-term growth. Papaya is the fourth most important traded fruit in the world…behind banana, mango and pineapple. It only started getting popular over the last two decades, so it has much more to grow.

MY PERSPECTIVE – Men in the Equation
Belizeans remember keenly the threat of the EBOLA virus and about the refusal by authorities to allow a person suspected of being infected to disembark in our waters. It was a serious thing. Now there is the extremely serious ZIKA virus going around in Latin America, the Caribbean and Central America. Importantly, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have all reported confirmed cases of the virus. This is truly extremely serious business. In West Africa the incidences of Ebola have vastly been reduced, signalling the end of the epidemic there for now. But ZIKA looms large, and it is to be dreaded and prevented at all costs. Again, the mosquito is the vector, as it is for dengue and chikungunya. Many people do not even know they have been infected, and there is no vaccine. What is terrifying is that, although science has not positively confirmed this, the causal link between ZIKA virus and microcephaly is ‘strongly suspected.’ Babies being born with small heads and brains that have not sufficiently developed cause intellectual disability.

PUP Leader meets Corozal North & Corozal South West Executive Committees
On Tuesday, February 23rd, Party Leader Hon. John Briceño started his tour visiting key Party officials who form the machinery of the PUP. His first visit was to the Corozal North Executive and Corozal South West Executive Committee members. The Party Leader presented his plans to re-energise the Party and get it fully prepared for battle to take Belize back from the disastrous United Democratic Party. The Party Leader also listened to the concerns and suggestions of Committee members. The Party Leader was joined by the Party Chairman Henry C. Usher. The Leader will be visiting all 31 divisions as part of this tour.

Assad Shoman is the man who brought the idea of independence to Belize. He was the spark plug, the engine and the driver who finally steered our nation to political independence. Assad did not do it alone as he would be the first to admit, but without him it is unlikely we would have shuffled off our colonial shackles and reach nationhood. Thirty-five years after independence he is not even living in the country. He has taken up residence in the land of the great revolutionary, Fidel Castro. The thing is Belize needs its Assad Shoman once more as it is clear we need his help against the existential threat of Guatemala, whose claim to half our country and all of our future is becoming more real and urgent. I can’t remember when I first met Assad Shoman. I remember meeting his bosom buddy Said Musa. It was the morning after hurricane Greta. Evan X Hyde, myself and “Baby Allan” were going around the city surveying the aftermath. We eventually landed up either at Said’s home or at a club on North Front Street where Said’s law firm presently stands.

PUP Unity Is the Way
Johnny Briceno is the new Leader of the People’s United Party. In a peaceful, free, and fair National Convention in Belmopan on Sunday January 31st, the majority of close to 3,000 delegates supported Johnny for the leadership position. His team also won the other positions up for elections by large margins. Now that the convention is over, all Area Representatives, Standard Bearers, National Executive members, the leaders of the Marshalls, the Belize Youth Movement, and the Women’s Group, and all rank and file supporters of the People’s United Party should respect the decision of the delegates. We must work together in every possible way to make the party victorious in future polling especially the next general election. Unity was one of the main demands of the people across the length and breadth of the country as they were courted by the three candidates, who vied for leadership on January 31st. We are all tired of suffering as a result of losing all nine elections since 2008 largely due to party infighting. Magnanimous in victory, Johnny has stated that he will offer meaningful positions on the Party’s National Executive to both Francis Fonseca and Cordel Hyde, who also vied for the leadership. That will be done to ensure that those two gentlemen play a critical role in the rebuilding of the party. It is good to know that both individuals have accepted the offer.

“Quo Vadis” University of Belize?
I read with interest last week’s editorial in the Amandala which was written in response to an article that was penned by Dr. Dorian Barrow in The Reporter Newspaper a few weeks ago. The Editor expressed his disappointment that other educators had not joined in the debate. To provide some background on my “bona fides” to participate in the discussion I submit the following. I have worked in the Belize Educational System for 38 years unofficially and for 35 years officially. My involvement began as a pupil teacher at the age of 14 and I received my First Class Teachers Certificate at the age of 18. I was appointed Principal of a Primary school at the age of 18 and in 1968 I graduated from the Belize Teachers’ College as the Best All Round Student. After 7 years in the Primary School System I went on to teach at Wesley College, Lynam Agricultural College and Belize Jr. Secondary School #1(EP Yorke). After serving 11 years in the Secondary School System I was appointed Lecturer at the Belize Teachers’ College. In 1990 I completed a PhD in the Administration of Higher Education and was appointed Vice President of UCB where I served until 2000 when I left to pursue a career in Health Administration at the KHMH. To summarize, my experience consists of 5 years in the Primary Education level, 11 years at the Secondary Education level and 22 years at the Tertiary Education level.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Annual Street Art Festival held
Downtown Belize City played host to the fifth annual Street Art Festival organized by the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH). Albert Street, from Orange Street to South Street, was covered by booths selling various items such as jewellery, bags, and handicrafts, as well as food, wines and snacks. Featured children’s activities includes graffiti using chalk on concrete and face painting. Live bands performed for passersby and patrons with music of various genres, and in the afternoon, the performance group Youth Advocacy Through Arts (YATA), treated an audience, primarily teenagers, to a performance of its newest play “Deaf Chorus”; addressing issues of gang violence among youth.

International Sourcesizz

An Informed Traveler Is a Safer Traveler
“There’s a lot going on in the world,” said Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA, which sells travel insurance. “There’s a lot of noise out there about the dangers of traveling.” Yet we’re generally terrible at adjusting the volume. “How scared or not you are is an emotion, not a statistic,” said David Ropeik, a risk consultant and the author of “How Risky Is It, Really?” As fans of haunted houses will attest, risk and being scared are two different things. But Mr. Ropeik’s point is that in the battle between your gut and your brain, your gut will win. One way to make sensible choices as a traveler is to nudge your gut toward rationality by feeding it accurate information, which is easier said than done. Zika and terrorism are the latest high-decibel threats. But there are also some deafening silences. For example, you hear very little about the leading cause of nonnatural deaths among Americans abroad: motor vehicle accidents. According to the latest figures available from the State Department, 223 Americans died abroad in car, bus or motorcycle accidents between July 2014 and June 2015. Other causes of death (homicide, suicide and drowning) also far outweigh terrorism. Sixteen Americans died of “terrorist action” in that period, all but four in places you already know not to go: Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and Somalia.

Expat Insights Part IV: Food and drink, Mexico vs. Belize
For the last article of these series comparing life in Belize to Mahahual, Quintana Roo Mexico. I will talk about how superior Mexico is to Belize in anything that has to do with food & drink. As I said before, I lived in Belize for almost 2 years, and I have lived in Mahahual for the last 4 years. I lived in Corozal and Kich Pan Ha, Belize, and have traveled extensively through Belize. I get asked all the time about life in Belize, and which do I prefer the most, living in Mahahual or Belize. At the cruise ship port I talk to a lot of people who get off the boat at Costa Maya Port after their ship was in Belize the day before or so. I also encounter some tourists on their way to Belize, and they always ask me about it and what to expect. As I have written in earlier posts, people from USA and Canada are attracted to the fact that English is spoken in Belize and that makes a lot of them inquire about retiring there. But there are a lot of other factors in deciding where to retire on the Caribbean, and in this post I will address one of the main factors, Food & Drink. Today I am going to compare food and drink in Belize with Mahahual and Costa Maya.

Researchers Explore the Role of the Prehistoric Kayuko Mounds in Maya Royal Accession Ceremonies
Around the world and throughout history many rulers who’ve taken power have said their authority is ordained by God. In Europe it was called the divine right of kings and in China the mandate of heaven. Apparently people in the ancient Maya societies of Mesoamerica had a similar concept, though we don’t know what they may have called it. Some researchers working at a prehistoric site in Belize believe that a group of manmade mounds near a sacred cave were used in royal accession ceremonies by a king seeking approval of the deities. Archaeologists Holley Moyes , Mark Robinson, and Keith M. Prufer wrote in the February 2016 issue of the closed-access journal Antiquity: “The cave of Kayuko Naj Tunich is believed to have been the location of the accession ceremonies for the royal dynasty of the ancient Maya Uxbenká polity in southern Belize. Little is known, however, about the structures referred to as the Kayuko Mound Group that lie close to the cave. Excavations have now provided evidence for the date of this complex, and experimental research has estimated the labour costs involved in its construction. The results suggest that while both the mound group and the cave were involved in the celebration of royal accession, the former acted as a short-lived festival site in contrast to the enduring significance of Kayuko Naj Tunich.”


  • Visions February 28, 44min.

  • 6 Months Traveling in Mexico, Cuba, Belize & Guatemala, 4min.

  • Team Adventure Medical Kits - Day 4 Highlights MMAC Belize 2016, 2.5min. Highlights from Day 4 of the Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge in Belize.

  • Belize, 5min. Trip to Belize we took in January, 2016

  • 2015 Belize I San Ignacio, 3.5min.

  • 2006 BELIZE, 9min. Everette and I took our first exotic vacation...a business trip to Belize for 3 weeks in November of 2006 with 8.5 month old Anders. First night in Belize I announced to Everette that we were expecting our 9th baby!!

  • Dancing at Swinging Armadillo, Hopkins, Belize, 3min.

  • International dance Belize 2016, 4.5min.

  • Brian Holland (geologist in Belize), 6min. As seen on "Greatest Places on Earth...Belize Technology Report." Produced by Steve ODell. Including a conversation between Brian Holland & Cadet Henderson.

  • Belmopan Classic 2016 Champion - Joel Vanegas, 1min. Belmopan Cycling Classic is a 100 mile race hosted annually by The Cycling Federation of Belize. The race ordinarily runs from Belize City to Belmopan City and back, but this year it started and finished in Belmopan City after a going to Belize City.

  • Belize 2016 - Island Weekend Getaway with the Boys, 3.5min. Weekend vacation away from Belmopan City exploring the Ambergris and Caye Caulker islands with my friends.

  • Belize Birds and Lighthouse Reef 2016, 10.5min. Island Expeditions and Nat Geo Trip to Belize, Birdseyeview Lodge and Lighthouse Reef, Feb 2016.

    February 28, 2016


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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

    The San Pedro Sun

    Two suspects detained in Samantha Barrios murder investigation
    A week after the brutal murder of Honduran national Johana Samantha Mendez Barrios, the San Pedro Police Department continue their investigation in solving the crime. Barrios was killed inside her apartment by a single slash to her throat in the early hours of Tuesday, February 16th at the Boca Del Rio area. Since then, police have apprehended two suspects. According to Deputy Coastal Executive Assistant Superintendent, Henry Jemmott investigations regarding Barrios’ case have made significant progress. “We have detained two persons, for whom we’ve sent up fingerprint samples and different aspects to try and find out who committed this crime. We haven’t had the cooperation of the public to a certain extent in solving this crime and it is very alarming, because these rooms are very close to one another, and people are refusing to come forward and give us the statements that we need to actually put together a proper case in this matter,” said Jemmott.

    San Pedro Town Public Library offering services to the community
    The San Pedro Town Public Library, an extension of the Belize National Library Service and Information System, is committed to the promotion of an informed, aware and literate society that fosters our national development and cultural heritage. With this in mind, the library is constantly organizing events and activities for the benefit of the community. With a focus on our youth, the library hopes to reach out to all school children, encouraging them to take advantage of the services offered. According to San Pedro Senior Library Assistant Marlene Coral, the San Pedro Town Public Library will be featuring an entire series in 2016. The series being featured is titled ‘7th Heaven’, an American series from the 90’s which touches on many social and family issues such as bullying, drugs, cursing, vandalism, alcoholism, racism, etc. “It is a great family oriented series through which we hope that patrons may find meaningful entertainment. Though the library is targeting teens for this activity, it is appropriate for the entire family since the series features multiple characters of different ages,” said Coral. The library also has a variety of other activities aimed at specific age groups scheduled each month. The monthly schedule of activities is posted on the door of the library at the beginning of every month. These activities include different out-door movie nights, in-door films and discussions, early childhood development discussions, games and annual summer camps.

    Puro Tango delights San Pedro audience
    It’s not every day that tango comes to San Pedro Town, and it may have even been a first for our island when the famous dance ensemble, Puro Tango came to Ambergris Caye last weekend. Hailing from Columbia, the world-renowned troupe held performances on Saturday and Sunday evening, February 20th and 21st, at the Paradise Theater. Taking advantage of the opportunity to dress-up a bit and make a night out of it, island residents came out to enjoy the three-time world champion tango dancers. Featuring four dance couples blessed with grace and stunning dance moves, live music and beautiful Spanish ballads performed between dances, the evening offered something for everyone.

    Kent Gabourel wins Weekend Warriors Mount Hope Hills race
    Kent “Bob” Gabourel of the Kulture Megabytes team won the Weekend Warriors Cycling Club’ Mount Hope race, a grueling 40-mile hills climb from the Rockville junction to the Busman Arnold Hill at Mile 63 on the George Price Highway on Sunday morning, February 21. Bob won the A category, in which Daniel Cano of the Santino’s team finished 2nd and Bob’s teammate Preston Martinez took 3rd place. Jack Sutherland of the DigiCell 4G team was 4th, while Warren Coye and Kareem Flowers, both of the Santino’s team, took 5th and 6th place respectively. Steven Robinson of the Caribbean Tires team won the B category in 2:03:28, forcing Clarence Tesecum of the F.T.Williams team into 2nd place. Gilberto Acost of the Spinnaz team was 3rd, while Santiago Cus and Ryan Willoughby, both of the SMART Zoom team, took 4th and 5th places respectively. Robinson’s teammate Joe Mckoy finished 6th.

    Staple fish species population declining
    Seafood is a staple in San Pedro Town, with many visitors to the island looking forward to enjoying tasty fish platters. However, the increase in demand on the island has led to a decline in the population of certain marine species. Now, restaurateurs are voicing concerns over the difficulties in obtaining certain fish species that were once bountiful, such as grouper and snapper – top choices served in restaurants. Local restaurant owner have told The San Pedro Sun that fishermen are no longer bringing in enough grouper and snapper to sustain the demand. With customers demanding these specific species, restaurateurs are in a quandary over what to serve. The Sun attempted to get a clearer picture into the matter from Executive Director of MarAlliance, Dr. Rachel Graham. According to her the main problem is overfishing. Basically, “we’ve eaten the fish”.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Bikers invade San Pedro
    They are partying at Fido's Courtyard & Pier on their last day of the 2016 Belize Bike Rally "Meet in the Middle III". Come say Hello!!! Hey are a Happy Crowd.

    Prime Minister Barrow to Attend IDB Thirtieth Governor’s Meeting
    The Office of the Prime Minister informs the general public that Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow departed the country today, Saturday, February 27th, 2016 to attend the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Thirtieth Governors’ Meeting of the Central American Isthmus and the Dominican Republic Constituency to be held on February 29th, 2016 in Washington, D.C. in preparation for Inter-American Development’s Annual Meeting later this year. The Prime Minister is scheduled to return to Belize on Tuesday, 1st March, 2016. Upon the Prime Minister’s departure, Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Gaspar Vega, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment & Sustainable Development will act as Prime Minister, until Sunday, February 28th, 2016. Thereafter, Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security will act as Prime Minister until Prime Minister Barrow’s return to Belize.

    Osprey Rescue
    Juvenile Osprey got tangled on some fishing line that was dangling from the debris of its nest. Thanks to the heroic efforts of BEL workers along with wildlife rescuer Chris Summers, they managed to set it free, saving its life.

    National District Youth Council
    Good luck to all our Caye Caulker youth. Shine bright like a diamond... Monday is election day for the National District Youth Council. Five Ocean Academy students are running for council positions. These island youth have great ideas, leadership skills and a passion to become change makers for the district and the nation. We wish them, and all candidates from the District, the best of luck!

    Belize Gifts Relocates
    Belize Gifts has a new location on Burns Avenue. Across from Celina's. Same great selection of well priced souvenirs. Hot sauces and jams too.


    Belizean musical legends guitarist, Raymond Sosa, bassist Raymond Barrow, reggae artist Fredlocks, and keyboardist and bassist, Cayetano. The many Belizen musical artists came out in full force to bid farewell to their brother, friend, and musical associate and legend, Nelson Fuller.

    Eugene Adolphus: Legendary Belizean Artist of The Webb!
    Look who yours truly came across at the funeral services of the legendary Nelson Fuller today, the legenday Eugene Adolphus of the legendary Belizean band, The Webb. Adolphus who was the guitar player for The Webb, attended the funaral services today at the Belizean church in Los Angeles, God's Place of Refuge International of Pastor Kenrick Smart who is also a legendary Belizean artist of the Belizean based band in L.A., Dells & The Sensations. The funeral services of Nelson Fuller, the legendary drummer and musical artist of the 1970's Lord Rhaburn Combo, was widely attended today, February 27, 2016 by Belizean musical artists, athletes, friends, and associates from all walks of life in the Los Angeles Belizean Community who knew the outstanding Belizean artist as a man of distingusih character, love, and talent. Fuller passed away in Los Angeles last week after a long battle with diabetes related conditions.

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


    Guatemala threatens; GOB trembles; BTV stands firm
    Wil Maheia, founder of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV), released a video message today taking umbrage with an advisory from the Government of Belize calling on Belizeans not to go to a BTV-sponsored expedition on the Sarstoon River this weekend, following what appear to be threats from Guatemala’s military. The BTV announced on Monday, February 22, that it is organizing a trip to the Gracias a Dios border monument in southern-western Belize, “in commemoration of the fateful day when Belizeans were detained by Guatemalan Military a year ago when they went on an educational trip to the monument.” The BTV extended an invitation to the public and media to join them on the trip, slated for Saturday, February 27—but a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official says it is a bad idea that will only lead to “misadventure.” In a release issued today the Belize Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed “grave concern about the inherent danger in the course of such activity.”

    GSU fires into SUV carrying family of 4!
    Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) officers last night at about 7:00 fired into an SUV carrying a family of four. Luckily, they hit only one of the vehicle’s occupants – the driver of the vehicle, Roberto Chan, 28, of Paslow Falls, Cayo District. Besides Chan, travelling in the SUV on the Calla Creek road were his wife, Lupita, 24, and two children, one 6 years old and an infant 7 months old. Roberto, a vendor whose hand is crippled by a childhood injury, was hit in the right shoulder, but mercifully neither his wife or his children were hit. Amandala today spoke to Ana Guadalupe Rivera, who also goes by the name Lupita “Lupe” Chan, and she told us that at about 7:00 last night while they were driving on the road she heard two gunshots and saw her husband bleeding from the shoulder. She realized that he had been shot. Roberto stopped the vehicle, and some men came from the bushes wearing camouflage clothes. Lupita said that they appeared to be policemen in camouflage uniform. After they identified themselves as GSU, the officers took Chan from behind the steering wheel, put him in the passenger seat and drove him to the San Ignacio Hospital. After that he was taken to the Western Regional Hospital, where he has been admitted to ward, the bullet still lodged in his shoulder. Police processed the vehicle, but nothing incriminating was found.

    Sports Council leases part of MCC to Princess
    When the Princess Hotel and Casino (originally the Ramada Hotel) was constructed on Newtown Barracks it gobbled up public land that was used by hundreds of Belize City football players for workouts and pickup games. The hotel had a major parking problem from the beginning. The Princess Hotel and Casino has been experiencing a chronic shortage of parking space for its guests and patrons. In an effort to address its vehicle parking shortcomings the Princess has entered into a lease agreement with the National Sports Council, an agreement which has not been made public, to lease the front portion of the MCC Grounds, specifically to build a parking facility that could accommodate up to 80 cars. This afternoon recently appointed Sports Director Ritchel Dominguez told Amandala that the Sports Council is partnering with the Princess Casino, who will build the parking lot, and they have agreed to lease the space for $2,500 per month, “because as you know, Sports Council has no money.” Dominguez said the lease is for two years and there is no option in the lease for Princess to buy the 1,692 square meters of MCC’s land.

    Steve Harvey hosting Miss Universe in Belize?
    Steve Harvey, the famous American actor and comedian who last year hosted the Miss Universe pageant in Las Vega, but who initially announced the wrong winner, has perhaps gained even more fans for the way he has handled his momentary gaffe. Right after the pageant, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) tweeted a public invitation to Harvey, suggesting that he should host the Costa Maya pageant, organized out of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, this summer. Recently, Harvey said on his morning show, aired live out of Cayman, that he is hosting the next Miss Universe pageant in Belize. The guest for the show was Monyque Brooks, Miss Cayman. We checked with BTB director, Karen Bevans, last week after we listened to the clip from Harvey’s morning show, in which he repeatedly said that he would be hosting the international pageant in Belize. Bevans, who is currently in the US, told us that she would check with the BTB’s marketing agent in the US, and will update us. This evening, Bevans told us that she is in Miami and she intends to meet with the agents tomorrow, Friday, to find out what feedback they have gotten from Steve Harvey’s agents.

    Health Ministry braces for “a lean and mean year”
    The national budget is due to be presented in Parliament in the coming weeks. There will be much debate on the numbers, and especially on where the Government plans to spend $1 billion it will earmark for the various Ministries and to meet the final tier of salary increase for teachers and public officers. One critical Ministry is the Ministry of Health. Chief Executive Officer in that Ministry, Dr. Ramon Figueroa told Amandala that, “From the outset, we’ve been reminded at every occasion that next year is a lean and mean year.” Figueroa noted that they have had to cut their budget to fit within the assigned ceiling, and this has meant scaling back on medical supplies—an area which appears to have been abused in the past. Figueroa said that the budget process is “a very rigid and straightforward process,” and they were given a ceiling from last year of around BZ$120 million, including the budget for the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). The new budget would include the salary adjustment approved for KHMH workers, who were given an increase financed by a grant in this budget year from Central Government, which provides an annual subvention to the statutory body.

    National High School Football Champions 2016
    Four female (F) and four male (M) high school football zone champions from across the country converged at the MCC Grounds in Belize City last Friday and Saturday, February 19-20, for the National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) football championship, which was hosted this year by St. John’s College. The tournament had a simple knockout format, with losers on Friday playing for third place on Saturday, and Friday’s winners meeting for the championship on Saturday. In the female opener on Friday, Belmopan Comprehensive won, 3-1, over Independence High, with goals from Jayda Brown (2) and Ana Arias, while Karisha Coe scored for Independence High. Next was a male encounter, with Julian Cho Technical prevailing, 2-nil, over Sacred Heart College, on goals by Jarren Lambey and Justin Trapp.

    If not “Chow,” who scored BDF’s first goal on Sunday?
    Our apologies for the confusion following the report in our mid-week issue with the name of the scorer of BDF’s first goal on Sunday, when they were trailing Police United 2-nil at the MCC Grounds in Belize City. Our vision partly obstructed at the time by a cloud of dust in front of the southern goal at the MCC, we had assigned the goal to Leon “Chow” Cadle. A BDF fan called in to the Press Cadogan Sports Show on Krem Radio last night and said it was Ricky Ricketts that had scored that first goal for BDF; and today, BDF coach Jerome Serrano concurred that Rickets scored their first goal. But the official Premier League of Belize (PLB) game report, which came out on Wednesday near midday, has Kadeem Martinez scoring BDF’s first goal at the 80th minute. Kadeem had entered the game in second half to replace Mexican import William Briceno in midfield. After BDF had lost defender Orland Trapp to a red card at the 5th minute of play, Police United took the lead in first half through Devon Makin (36’), and increased their lead through Harrison “Cafu” Roches (63’), before the 10-man BDF mounted a comeback with Kadeem Martinez* (80’) and Harrison Tasher (87’) scoring, to secure the 2-2 draw.

    Excellence young player scored the first century in this year’s season
    Hello, cricket fans, wherever you may be! Thanks to Smart and Belikin for once again sponsoring this year’s cricket competition. Under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, the Harrison Parks 2016 Cricket Competition continued over the weekend with very exceptional games. I will first take you to Sandhill, where Excellence, who have won many championships, went there having some very young players to play against home team Bright Star. Excellence won the toss and, without hesitation, took to bat. The first two batsmen quickly started to put a licking on the bowling of Bright Star. For nearly three hours, Excellence batsmen punished the Stars. When the last wicket fell, after one batsman had given up his inning to facilitate a young player, the team had put up a huge amount of runs – 358. Andy Dominquez, Sr. took 6 of Excellence wickets. Eighteen (18) year old Vernon Stevenson top scored with 118 runs. He went in first and came out last. He is publicly praised by me for his brilliance. Keep up the good playing, sir! Andy Dominquez, Jr. batted 54 runs.

    Editorial: At the base of the pyramid
    It is hard to say whether the docility present amongst the trade and labor unions in Belize is attributable to superior politicking by the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) or inferior practice of same by the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP). Given all the accumulation of seriously negative economic indicators on the Belizean landscape, topped off this week by another cynical hike in fuel prices by the Ministry of Finance, it should be the case that there is visible dissatisfaction in the ranks of labor. Not so. There was a half-hearted stirring in a section of the Belize Communications Workers Union (BCWU), reference a lunch break meeting of BTL workers last week, but overall the organized Belizeans who will be most affected by the present and projected downturns in the Belizean economy may be characterized, on the instant, as wide awake in a dream. The question is why. Belize’s governance system is what is called a constitutional democracy, featuring national elections every five years or so which decide which political party will form the government and control public funds. The UDP has won three consecutive general elections – 2008, 2012, and 2015, and what seems evident is that the Opposition PUP has not been able to galvanize the working classes enough to win a majority of seats.

    From the Publisher
    Belize City has changed so much over the last four, five, decades. Migration to the United States has taken place from all the urban areas of the nation (Corozal Town, Orange Walk Town, San Ignacio/Santa Elena, Benque Viejo, Dangriga, Punta Gorda), but the change is most stunning in Belize City because the ethnic flavor of the old capital was so distinctly black back then. In these last four, five decades, the territory of Belize, formerly the colony of British Honduras, has moved from a time when the clear majority of the population was black to today, when blacks are definitely in the minority. Belize’s change in ethnic makeup was effected without any kind of social upheaval because black Belizeans were happy to move from Belize to the big cities of the United States – New Orleans, New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles, in the first instance, and afterwards Houston, Miami, and Atlanta. The masses of the Belizean people, especially those in Belize City, saw this place as primarily swamp (most of us didn’t know our own country), and even though the 1960s were a time of surging nationalism here, the evidence is that the majority of black Belizeans saw a better future for themselves over there in the big cities of the United States. This is real. During the 1960s and 1970s, and into the 1980s, most Belizean/Americans who reached a financial position where they could visit Belize for a holiday, did so during the September celebrations month. Christmas visits were always a big deal, but September was surely the bomb. Two, three decades ago a significant amount of the September energy shifted to Florida, one reason being that a lot of Belizeans had documentation problems and could not come home to Belize and return to America. There are big parties in September and October in Florida, where the Belizean/American nation, both documented and undocumented, can fly in from all the big cities and renew acquaintances.

    How free is the press in the Caribbean?
    “The basis of the rights of a journalist is based on freedom of expression which is the freedom of information – freedom of the press,” Andrew Smith, a lecturer at the University of Technology, Jamaica, this week told the approximately 68 media personnel who met in Barbados from 13 different CARICOM member states who were meeting for a two-day seminar. The seminar was hosted by Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice), and took place on February 23 and 24 at the Radisson Hotel in Barbados. Where there are rights, there are also responsibilities, Smith said. Further, Smith said that the media plays an essential role to keep the public informed on current events that tend to be of public interest. One of the things that we found to be common across the Caribbean that prevented the media from providing good information to the public was the lack of freedom of information, or in cases where there is a freedom of information law, it is a law without teeth.

    PUP officials to discuss high-ranking post for Cordel Hyde
    Four-time Lake Independence area representative, Cordel Hyde, who recently ran in the leadership convention for the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), will be offered a “meaningful” post on the party’s executive, according to the recently installed Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Johnny Briceño. It has been reported that Hyde would be offered a post as a senior deputy to Briceño; but Hyde told us today that it is premature for him to comment at this time, since “these things tend to be fluid.” According to Hyde, PUP officials have been having internal discussions, but “it is one thing to have a discussion and another thing to get it done,” he said. “John is the new leader, so he should have an amount of flexibility to get things done and shaping things the way he wants,” Hyde said. When we spoke with Briceño on the matter, and specifically reports of Hyde’s being made a senior deputy, Briceño said, “They seem to know more than I do…”

    Consumer prices up, as trade slumps in January 2016
    After seeing a decline of nearly 1 percent in 2015 consumer prices rose 0.4% for January 2016, while export earnings shrank by almost 30% according to reports which the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) released this week. The SIB said that imports also slumped, with reduced flows to the Commercial Free Zone, where cigarette imports were down by $8 million, and the Export Processing Zone, where shrimp feed imports fell by $3 million. Two of Belize’s main export sectors, crude and sugar, did well in January 2016, when earnings were compared to last January’s earnings, but earnings from bananas, citrus concentrate and shrimp had declined. According to the SIB, “Crude petroleum, which recorded no exports in January 2015, brought in earnings of over $3 million during the first month of 2016. “Despite fetching a lower price on the European market, sugar exports were buffered by sales to the Caribbean region, and grew from half a million dollars in January 2015 to almost $2 million, as the quantity of this product exported almost tripled in comparison to January 2015.” Meanwhile, earnings from animal feed exports doubled from $2 million to $4 million.

    Pump prices spike due to second hike in import duty
    Drivers who went to the service stations to refuel their vehicles this morning were hit with an increase in pump prices after Government decided, for the second time since December, to adjust the level of import duties charged on fuel—with the biggest increase being on diesel. Our calculations have determined that since the tax measure began to be implemented several weeks ago, the level of import duties has increased by 87 cents on regular gasoline, $1.05 on premium gasoline and $1.45 on diesel. Last month crude oil prices on the world market fell to their lowest since 2003, according to a CNBC report published Wednesday. The news station reported that prices are currently floating at around US$30 a barrel. The accompanying graph shows that prices have plummeted substantially since July 2014, when the basket reference price was at roughly US$107 a barrel.

    Mek Mi Rich and BTL lose in court
    Today, Supreme Court Justice Courtenay Abel torpedoed the national telecommunications giant Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and its co-defendant, Mek Mi Rich (MMR Production), when he ruled that the two companies had pirated the idea of lottery by SMS texting from the Corozal businessman Curtis Swasey, who prevailed in his civil lawsuit against both companies. The case is a first of its kind in Belize’s high court, as it involved intellectual property rights and the breach of a confidentiality agreement between BTL and Swasey, whose concept for lottery by texting appears to have been used by MMR, one of whose directors is Andre Vega, a son of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, and Andre Vega’s business partner, Sanjay Hotchandani. Swasey’s lawsuit sought to recover damages for BTL’s breach of the confidential agreement he had signed with the company. In Justice Abel’s view, however, Swasey was unable to quantify how much damage he had suffered from BTL’s breach of the agreement, and because he was unable to provide a specific amount of damages that he had suffered, the court awarded Swasey only $25,000 in damages. This damage award was based upon the amount MMR had paid BTL for the use of the lottery concept, which was meticulously laid out for BTL by Swasey, free of cost, over the two-and-a-half years that he had been in discussion with BTL and had provided them with floor charts and the other technical knowhow from IT expert Paul Elliot, who had worked with Swasey to perfect the concept of lottery using SMS texting.

    Convicted human trafficker, 64, spared prison time, ordered to pay over $70,000 forthwith
    A naturalized Belizean woman of Honduran origin, the first person to be convicted of human trafficking at the Supreme Court, was spared the minimum prison time of eight years stipulated by the Trafficking In Persons Act of 2013, but was ordered to pay over $70,000 in fines forthwith, by Supreme Court Justice Adolph Lucas, who sentenced her this afternoon. The convict, Estela Gonzalez, 64, sat in the prisoner’s dock leaning on her left side to hear in the Spanish, the court interpreter’s low voice repeating the words of Justice Lucas, as he read his judgment in the almost packed courtroom. On February 10, a jury of nine returned a guilty verdict in respect of one count of human trafficking against Gonzalez, who had turned a 15-year-old Honduran girl into a sex slave at her club, Temptation Bar, located around Mile 10 on the George Price Highway. The court held a mitigation hearing on February 18, during which two doctors, Dr. Fernando Cuellar and Dr. Javier Novelo, testified about Gonzalez’s failing health. Gonzalez is suffering from chronic diabetes and hypertension. The day before the mitigation hearing Dr. Novelo had treated her for an anxiety attack at the Belize Central Prison.

    The overkill of San Pedrano Frank Edwards
    Police are investigating the vicious death of San Pedro resident, Frank Edwards, 27 of the San Mateo area of San Pedro, who was found dead at his home with multiple gunshot wounds to his chest, stomach, neck and face. Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemott, Deputy Commander of San Pedro Police, said that various calibers of weapons were used in the shooting – .45, 9mm, and also a 12-gauge shotgun. Recovered from the scene were seventeen .45 auto expended shells; fourteen .9mm expended shells; two 12-gauge expended cartridges; one 12-gauge live cartridge; three .45 slugs; two .9mm slugs; and five pellets. The bullet-riddled body was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Morgue, where it awaits the mandatory post-mortem examination to certify the cause of his death. The murder occurred at about 7:30 Tuesday night at Frank Edwards’ home. Reports to Amandala are that he was at home with his family when there was a knock on the door, and the persons from outside shouted, “Police, open the door.” When he went to open the door, however, gunmen opened fire on him. When Edwards fell to the floor in the hall, the killers continued to shoot him, after which they ran out of the house and escaped in a boat that was waiting for them.

    FFB and district association “elections”/endorsements
    On Wednesday, February 17, the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) sent out a press release announcing the results of elections, which were actually endorsements, held in three different district associations – Belize District, Stann Creek District and Toledo District. We have refrained so far from publishing the names of those elected/endorsed, because there have been so many complaints, both verbal and written, across the country about the unfairness of the process, and in light of the fact that no less than the FFB President himself had been “suspended” by a majority of his own executive members because of their strong objection to the violations being perpetrated on the FFB Statutes and Electoral Code. We hope to cast no aspersions on the individuals elected/endorsed so far, but at this sports desk we await the verdict of FIFA and CONCACAF to see if this process that has occurred will be allowed to stand, or those elections/endorsements will be declared null and void, and the process has to be done all over again, as was the case back in 2011 and 2012 with the previous Dr. Chimilio led FFB administration.

    The Reporter

    Israel commits to supporting CARICOM development
    As the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) accredits a new Israeli envoy, the Middle-Eastern state has reaffirmed its commitment to assist CARICOM to achieve its ideals. Mordehai Amihai-Bivas, Plenipotentiary Representative of the State of Israel to CARICOM, said yesterday that CARICOM’s objectives were noble ones that were centered on people: full employment, development, health and education. “The true success of any nation will be measured by its ability to deliver on these goals, and the Caribbean Community has focused its efforts on helping its members achieve them. Israel has proven successes on all those fronts and is willing to share its experience and know-how with developing nations of the region,” he said at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown. Describing relations between CARICOM and Israel as “natural”, he noted that through the Israel Agency for International Development Cooperation, dozens of professionals from the region had advanced their training in agriculture, healthcare, education, alternative energy and sustainable development, over the past year.

    Belize Territorial Volunteers lead expedition to Sarstoon, despite warning
    Despite warnings from the Government of Belize, members of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV), are heading down the Sarstoon River to the Gracias a Dios border marker. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement on Thursday, warning the volunteers to not go on the excursion because of possible conflicts with the Guatemalan military forces who patrol the area. GOB also said that it would offer no protection to those who venture on the trip. BTV leader Will Maheia maintains that the border excursions are critical in asserting Belize’s sovereigty over the area, especially with the ongoing Guatemalan claim to Belize’s territory. Maheia also said that today, Saturday marks one year since some 40 Belizeans were taken out of the country and imprisoned by the Guatemalan military on a similar excursion.

    Discarded fetus found in Dangriga
    A Dangriga community is shaken this weekend, after they discovered a discarded fetus partially eaten by dogs. Dangriga police say they got a call just before 3 p.m. on Thursday, alerting them that the fetus was on the roadside. Police investigations revealed that the fetus was discarded in an overgrown lot on Pen Road in the Benguche area. It had been thrown there wrapped in a piece of cloth, reportedly set on fire, only to have the dogs find it later and remove it. Police took the fetus to the Dangriga hospital, where they determined that it was between six and seven months old. They contacted Dr. Mario Estradabran who will conduct a postmortem examination, the results of which will be released sometime next week.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    PUP demands further investigations into Mek Mi Rich and BTL relationship
    “The People’s United Party registers serious concern at what amounts to no less than a conviction of BTL, or persons acting on behalf of BTL, on charges of corruption,” the party said in statement issued late this week. The party goes on to register concern […]

    ATLIB football regionals kick off
    The Norman Broaster Stadium in the Cayo District is the main venue for the Association of Tertiary Level Institutions of Belize (ATLIB) football regionals in both male and female category. Ecumenical Junior College from Dangriga, Independence Junior College (IJC Predators), UB Junior College (UB Jaguars) […]

    BTV returns to Gracias a Dios one year after Guatemalan-capture incident
    Exactly one year ago, over 40 Belizeans were taken by Guatemalans military and held in custody while returning from an excursion to the Gracias a Dios border marker. Earlier this week the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a press release warning the Belize Territorial Volunteers […]

    Traffic accident sends two to Western Regional Hospital
    Two persons are listed in a stable but critical condition at the Western Regional hospital this morning after they were knocked off their motorcycle on the George Price Highway on Friday night. The accident occurred around 9 p.m. in the village of Camalote in the […]


    Mexican Pizza
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a hot skillet with cooking spray. Brown and crisp the tortillas on both sides. Reserve for later. Heat the refried beans. Place 2 of the browned tortillas on a sheet pan and spread half of the heated refried beans onto each tortilla. Place the remaining tortillas on top of the beans. Pour and evenly spread half of the enchilada sauce on top of each tortilla. Top each with half the tomato and 1/3 cup cheese, then sprinkle half the green onion on each. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Allow to sit a few minutes before cutting and serving.

    International Sourcesizz

    Surfing added to programme for 2017 Central American Games
    Surfing has been added to the programme for the 2017 Central American Games in Managua, Nicaragua, it has been announced. First held in Guatemala in 1973, the Central American Games is held on a four-year cycle the year following the Olympics. Seven nations compete: Panama, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras, Belize, and Guatemala.


  • Central America Adventure - Traveller Story, 25min. Finnish guy flew overseas for an adventure across Central-America. Here are the highlights and thanks to all the wonderful people who were part of this adventure!

  • UnBelizeable, 6min.

  • FISHING FOR WAHOO AND DORADO IN BELIZE, 5min. This day, we caught 14 dorado and 1 wahoo aboard Jolly Mon. It was a really rough and cold day where there was not one point in time on this trip where we were dry.

  • Baby Tarpon in Belize, 2min. Mangrove tarpon in Belize.

  • BELIZE 2016, 14min. Belize J-Term 2016 Cultural Analysis.

  • Garifuna group at Agri fair Belmopan, Belize 2015, 4.5min.

  • Belize 2016, 4.5min. A look at our Winter Break service trip to Belize!

  • 2016 Belize Bike Rally, 1.5min.

    February 27, 2016


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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

    The San Pedro Sun

    Breakfast Time for the Snowy Egret!
    Breakfast on the beach! This egret was enjoying a morning treat right on our shores!

    San Pedro High School boys win 3rd place at NSSSA football championship
    The San Pedro High School boys won 3rd place at the National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA), and hosted by St. Johns College at the M.C.C. grounds last Friday and Saturday, February 19-20. The Isla Bonita Boys dominated the Western Zone champions, the Sacred Heart College boys: 3-1 to win the 3rd place game on Saturday morning. Omar Ogaldez and Ashton Lopez led the San Pedro offensive, with team captain Luis Valdez as the midfield general creating plays for Luis Mencia and Melvin Guzman to advance the ball up the sidelines. Ryan Carbajal anchored the San Ignacio defense, and with the help of Iser Teul, Chris Martinez and Eaton Lisbey, they kep the isla boys off the scoreboard for the entire 1st half. In the 2nd half, the Isla Bonita Boys also won a penalty; and Luis Mencias blasted the equalizer past goalie Raheem Crawford: 1-1. Omar Ogaldez and Ashton Lopez kept on the pressure, and Omar scored a 2nd winning goal for Isla Bonita. Coach Alex Noralez introduced Francois Ruben to strengthen his defense, relieving Ogaldez to secure the victory. Ashton Lopez iced the victory cake with a third goal for the 3-1 win. Marvin Hernandez replaced Lopez to deny the Cayo boys any chance of a comeback!

    How do you spell community fun? B-I-N-G-O
    Not every Friday night consists of hitting the nightclubs or bars along the beach and scattered through town. In fact, for a lot of families looking to relax while being entertained, the San Pedro Lions’ Den is the place to be. What could possibly be the attraction, you may wonder? Well, it’s Bingo and BBQ time! From 7PM onwards, Lion Members tend to Bingo cards and call out numbers to those sitting attentively at their tables. Families, friends, visitors, all kinds of folks join in on the fun. Each game costs $2BZ, with a middle and final game costing $5 where you can win more. Depending on the size of the crowd each game can garner up to $100 or more, with the $5 games adding up to as much as $400! Drinks are served at the bar, as part of the fundraising of the evening, and if you are lucky enough, there is BBQ to enjoy: chicken, beans, coleslaw and hot tortillas make a hearty meal while you play your favorite Bingo card.

    No delays expected for Ambergris Stadium
    As part of his official tour through the country, Honorable Elodio Aragon Jr. Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports visited San Pedro Town where he joined Mayor Daniel Guerrero along with Deputy Gary Greif and Councillors Hector “Tito” Alamilla and Gabriel Nuñez. Christy Mastry from the Belize Infrastructure Limited and Augusto Blanco from AM Construction were also present at the meeting. The group conducted an onsite visit of the stadium, where great advances in the construction was evident. The vision of Belize infrastructure Limited for the project continues to be the same. Upon completion the stadium will include a regulation pitch, locker facilities, concession stands, bathroom facilities and a storage unit. Once completed, the field will be the only proper football pitch on the island and will benefit the development of the sport on the island. In addition the stadium will also be suitable for softball, running and track and field.

    Eight awarded at Red and White Gala
    Seven officers attached to the San Pedro Police Station and two island residents were honored during the annual Police Red and White Gala held in Belize City on Friday, February 19th. The Gala is held as a form of appreciation for outstanding police officers and community members across the country. The honorees from San Pedro included Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit Superintendent Sandra Bodden, Sergeant Raymond Berry, Police Constable (PC) Norman Coye, Woman Police Constable Arelee Young, PC Epifanio Bol, PC Arthur Anthony, business owner Juan Gomez and business owner Peter Lawrence. After the gala, The San Pedro Sun had the opportunity to speak with one of the awardees. Peter Lawrence is the owner of Caribbean Villas Resort and Pedro’s Inn, and was awarded for his outstanding contribution to law enforcement in San Pedro Town for the year 2015. “I was very pleased to be awarded. I think the police are doing a great job compared to a few years ago. I believe that the head of San Pedro Police Station are doing a wonderful job for San Pedro,” said Lawrence, who indicated that he will continue assisting the police in the future in any way he can. “Most people seem to not want to help the police. I think more business owners should step up to the plate and assist in the community. Without a doubt the police are doing a much better job than in the past.”

    Belize Bureau of Standards shows no tolerance for price gouging
    The Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) has been actively enforcing the recent price changes in both white sugar and grade “C” rice (70 percent whole grain and 30 percent broken grain). The price changes were made effective back in December of 2015, with white sugar retailing at a maximum price of 75 cents per pound and grade “G” rice retailing at a maximum wholesale and retail price of 80 and 90 cents per pound, respectively. But several stores are yet to adhere to these price controls, and has resulted in over 30 stores being prosecuted for failure to comply. To date, over 30,000 pounds of products, namely flour, grade “C” rice, white sugar and brown sugar have been confiscated due to over pricing. “We want the general public to know that we have been diligently trying to ensure that there is compliance with the price control regulations. So our officers have been engaged in market surveillance activities countrywide and the report we sent out basically was a status report on what has been done so far,” said Trejo. The case files of businesses caught price gouging have been sent to the Controller of Supplies for review and will thereafter be submitted to the office of the District of Public Prosecution for a final ruling.

    Isla Bonita hosts its first Science Fair
    On Wednesday, February 17th, Isla Bonita Elementary School (IBES) held their first annual Science Fair. School gates opened at 10AM, welcoming parents, friends and community members to view science projects developed by IBES’ upper division students. It was a great opportunity for the students to display their knowledge of the scientific curriculum while demonstrating their creativity and uniqueness. Students from standards four to six were divided into groups and tasked with creating an experiment or science based project. It was evident that all the groups were well versed in their material, as they presented projects varying from mechanics to chemical compounds. The Science Fair also served as a form of grading the students on the material they have covered throughout the school year without requiring a standardized test.

    Ambergris Today

    Two Detained for Murder of Honduran Woman in San Pedro
    She had only been living in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize for little over a year when Johanna Samantha Medez was murdered inside her apartment after her assailant cut her throat in what police say was a burglary attempt. While some progress has been made in the murder case, San Pedro Police have only detained two suspects. The police are awaiting the results of fingerprint samples of two people who have been detained as suspects for the murder. But Inspector Henry Jemmott says that island residents have not been enough cooperative to help them solve the crime. He states that neighbors are refusing to come forward with statements they need to put together a proper case. The Police is appealing to the public for assistance in the case to tie up loose ends and possibly charge someone for the crime. Up to now, with the help of some video footage, police have ascertained that someone was waiting for Johanna inside her apartment.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Lion's Club beach party fund raiser
    Have a fun day Sunday at the Lion's beach party fund raiser!

    The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) in collaboration with infoDev, a World Bank Group, will host a one day workshop with stakeholders to chart a way to foster an innovative entrepreneurship ecosystem in Belize. This workshop will bring together incubator managers, entrepreneurs, academia, government officials, the media, donors and investors to facilitate the development of a collaborative approach to build a sustainable ecosystem for entrepreneurship and innovation. The workshop will be held in the Dining Room on the ITVET. Campus, Freetown Road, Belize City on Monday, February 29th 2016 at 8:30 a.m. The workshop, entitled Accelerate Caribbean’s Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Development, is part of the Accelerate Caribbean Project, which forms part of a seven-year, $20 M Entrepreneurship Program of Innovation in the Caribbean, (EPIC). The objective of this project is to strengthen entrepreneurship and boost job creation across 14 CARICOM countries, including Belize. The project is designed by infoDev and implemented by IMC Worldwide.

    MR VEGAS performing live inside Caye Caulker Easter Fest 2016

    Health Fair at the Corozal Central Park
    It's always great when organizations and individuals promote health, good health practices and environmental awareness in our communities. Today, the Belize Adventist Junior College of Calcutta Village, Corozal spearheaded a well attended Health Fair at the Corozal Central Park.

    Belize Harley Davidson Bike Rally "Meet in the Middle" -"Encuentro a Medio Camino"
    Yesterday was day one of the the annual Belize Harley Davidson Bike Rally "Meet in the Middle" -"Encuentro a Medio Camino". Over 400 Bikers from all over the region (Mexico and Central America) are taking part. Block Party at Black Pearl Harley Davidson in Belize City was yesterday. Today the host will be the Princess Casino in Belize City with a Pool Party. On Sunday February 28th, Bikers leave for San Pedro, Ambergris Caye where they will be greeted and hosted at Fido's Courtyard. Remember that if you bought tickets, the raffle of the brand new Harley Davidson motorcycle will take place during the event.

    BEL vacancies
    Vacancies exist at Belize Electricity Limited for the post of Customer Care Representative in the Customer Care Department.

    Toucan soon to be released
    In care at BBR for 10 months, with just 4 more days to go before freedom in the wild. It's been a long road. Here's our story: Mindy was a baby when she got squashed by a girl who fell off her bike, breaking a wing in 2 places. Dr Philip Deshield pinned it and Mindy has made a perfect recovery. Mork came from a family in the same area, who saw a tv report on Mindy's struggles and didn't know it was illegal to have a pet toucan, so called BBR to give him up, although his wings had unfortunately been clipped.

    Annual Warden Meeting and Luncheon
    Today the Embassy's Consular Section belt its annual Warden Meeting and Luncheon. Ambassador Moreno welcomed the group at his home during the event. U.S. Wardens are an important resource to the American community living in Belize and often serve as the first point of contact for those who need Embassy assistance in local communities. We thank the Belize U.S. Ward ends for the great job they do!

    Garifuna Entrepreneurship Summit
    This week Ambassador Moreno met with three of our five delegates we sent to the Garifuna Entrepreneurship Summit , organized by the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala, in Livingston, Guatemala this week. Members of the Garifuna community from Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras have all come together to discuss individual obstacles and collaborate on entrepreneurship opportunities that transcend borders and improve their communities.

    U.S. Embassy Town Hall Meeting in San Pedro
    The U.S. Embassy is hosting a Town Hall Meeting for American Citizens living in San Pedro, Belize on March 4th at 11:00 am at the Blue Water Grill. At the meeting, we will introduce staff from the Embassy who provide assistance to U.S. citizens in Belize, discuss the services the U.S. Embassy provides, and answer questions you may have about our services. Topics include: security in Belize, voting overseas, hurricane preparedness, and information on renewing your passport via DHL. Limited consular public services will be offered (cash; exact change required): Adult U.S. passport renewal – BZ$220 or US$110 Please bring current U.S. passport, completed form DS-82, 2”x2” passport photo, clear copy of passport biographic data page Child U.S. passport renewal – BZ$210 or US$105 Please bring current U.S. passport, completed form DS-11, 2”x2” passport photo, clear copy of passport biographic data page, birth certificate + 1 photocopy, each parent’s ID + 1 photocopy. BOTH parents must be present if listed on birth certificate. Fee for first adult renewal after age 16 is BZ$270 or US$135. Notary services – BZ$100 or US$50 Lunch will be available for purchase.

    Channel 7

    FIFA has a new President
    Today in Zurich, Switzerland, representatives of 207 football nations casted a vote for the new President of FIFA, the world's governing body of football. They were there to elect a new president to fill the post at an Extraordinary Congress. That person will have the unenviable task to rebuild FIFA's reputation because the organization is going through a transition. It's trying to move forward from the biggest corruption scandal in football history, which happened under the watch of former President Joseph Sepp Blatter. He's dutifully served World Football for years, but despite his past achievements, his legacy is perpetually marred by the fact that he was the man in the driver's seat when corrupt deals were struck by his subordinates. 5 senior football executives started campaigning among the 207 nations. They were Bahraini Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, Swiss National Gianni Infantino, Jordanian Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, Frenchman Jerome Champagne, and South African Tokyo Sexwale. Sexwale dropped out of the race this morning, leaving the other 4 to battle it out.

    MCC As A Parking Lot
    The National Sports Council has entered a lease agreement with the Management of the Princess Ramada Hotel and Casino to use a portion of the MCC Grounds as parking space for its customers. Now, if you're wondering why the Sports Council is making such a decision, we were too. After all, the MCC is one of the premier football fields in the country. Today, we caught up with both the management of the Hotel, as well as the Council, and they told us that while it appears to be an imprudent decision, it's in the interest of the two parties: Ritchell Dominguez, Dir., National Sports Council: "We have been looking at our facilities, I say again and what happen is that we ask Princess to partner with us in making the place much safer and much more user-friendly. Because what happen is that Princess will be using it at night and we will be using it if we have a match during the day. Because what happen is that the land is sitting down. Princess is going to finance us to use the parking lot - we are lending it to them so that they will use it in the times that we are not using the parking lot and they will build the parking lot for us. So it's just a partnering with Princess and getting this project up and running.

    Maya Had An Emergency Landing
    Word went out yesterday that a Maya Island Air flight was forced to make a sort of crash landing on the unfinished runway, at the Belize City Municipal Airstrip. Well, the airline company released a statement today saying nothing so eventful happened. The company says, quote, "Maya Island Air Flight 222, captained by Chief Pilot Ali Urbina, departed Belize City to San Pedro via runway three zero. Seconds after takeoff he observed a power performance anomaly and decided to abort his flight. He maneuvered his aircraft for a right downwind approach to runway three zero. He landed safely and without incident. His return time was logged as 17:48. His seven passengers were boarded a few minutes after onto another Maya aircraft that landed in San Pedro at 18:25. The incident is being cooperatively examined by the Belize Department of Civil Aviation together with the technical department of Maya Island Air." End Quote.

    Police Seized Fake Driver Licenses
    The old Ministry of Transport Drivers licenses - they are what you might call "vintage" - the card is decades old they have that old school laminated look and don't have any special security features or watermarks. And that's why it wasn't very surprising when 24-year-old Lester Enrique Orantes entered the San Pedro Transport office last week with a fake - which he tried to renew! The transport officer examined it closely and concluded that the license - supposedly issued in Orange Walk - was false. San Pedro police investigated and found out that there is actually a ring of forgers, who make fake ones and then try to renew them - thereby exchanging the counterfeit for the real. Four people have been arrested in san Pedro and today Commissioner of Transport Crispin Jeffries told us that there are clear signs of forgery on the license. That includes a five digit number series, while the forged licenses they have scene carried 7 digits. Police continue to investigate.

    Coast Guard To The Rescue!
    The Coast Guard are reporting tonight that they rescued 4 civilians who were stranded at sea near Colson Caye. The captain of the vessel "Jah Real" started to experience engine failure, and try as he might, he couldn't get it started. He then radioed to the authorities for help, and the Coast Guard were then activated. A Quick Response Team, made up of Petty officers Daniel Sabido, Arthur Garbutt, Trevor Vasquez, and Seaman Osman Alcoser, moved off with haste to come to their aid. The vessel was located, and the Coast Guard brought them to mainland, where they landed safely.

    The Regional Youth Council's Perspective
    Earlier this week, we showed you our interview with a few of the members of the Brave and the Bold team, who want to be elected to National Youth Council. As we've told you, it's been tried before, where the Government has tried to put a structure in place to allow for the youth population, which makes up a significant part of the country's population, to be able to advise parliament on issues affecting youths. This time around, the Government is making an earnest attempt to ensure that this Council does not fail in its function again. They've been seeking the advise of the Caribbean Regional Youth Council, which is kind of like the youth version the CARICOM Heads of State. We spoke with the Chairman of the Caribbean Regional Youth Council about his role to oversee the installment of the Belize Chapter of the Youth Organization:

    Nuri's Insight Into Gang Culture
    Most people know him as the talk show co-host of Krem Television's morning show WUB, and if you have been following him even before that you'd know he also used to host the morning show at Love Television. But not everyone knows Nuri Muhammad for his intimate involvement in Youth Development in Belize. In 1993 he was the First Director of the Youth Department. From then he went on to take up several other posts in the youth development sector. His wealth of knowledge and experience working with at risk youths inspired him to write his latest book. This one is entitled "Insight into Gang Culture in Belize." We spoke to him at the Leo Bradley Library today during launch of his new book. Nuri Muhammed, Author: "The book is called "Insights" and I think the word indicates that it is a reflective look at the challenge that we face with youth crime and violence in this country. We tried to look at it over a spectrum of 25 to 30 yrs. so that we could see its generational issue as oppose to simply reporting it as various incidents that take place on a nightly and weekly basis. So the book is called "Insights into Gang Culture." Again, culture is an important aspect of looking at it because if we look at crime and violence simply as various incidents then it remains just a front page story or a nightly story on the news, but we look at it as a culture it then requires us to start looking at the depth of what is creating that nightly news and there is depth to it when we take the cultural approach."

    Dr. Hidalgo's Award In Intensive Care
    The KHMH got regional recognition last week when one its doctors, Physician Jorge Hidalgo, received 2 prestigious awards in intensive care medicine. While it's a recognition of the doctor himself, it's a major nod for the hospital to note that its intensive care unit has passed international standards with flying colors. Today, we spoke with Hidalgo about being the first Doctor in the Caribbean to receive this honor: Dr. Jorge Hidalgo, Awarded Intensive Care Honors: "Just last week I got Masters in Critical Medicine. The Master of Critical Medicine is conferred by the medical college of critical care and the path to get into the Masters is initially we need to be a fellow of the American College of Critical Care and to be able to join the fellowship, we need to be leading the critical care in 3 aspects criteria; 1) to be working in an intensive care unit, the head of the intensive unit at Karl Heusner. We developed that unit with Dr. Ariaga a couple years ago. However, since 2001 we opened the first intensive care unit in Belize at Universal Health Services, now Belize Healthcare Partners, but the first intensive care unit that was opened in the country and since then we are working dedicating to the Intensive care unit since then.

    Visitor Brought "Medical Marijuana"
    Medical marijuana, that's what an American tourist told police she had packed in her suitcase. 46 year old Stacey Ann Sanzobrin, from Michigan - where medical marijuana is legal - told police that the less than one gram of weed in her suitcase was what her doctor had prescribed. Airport screeners caught Sanzorbin and her husband because they carried a high scent of marijuana. Police believe that the couple had just smoked the weed which is why the smell was so strong when they passed authorities as they were about to leave. Police detained her overnight, and took her to court this morning where Sanzorbin pleaded guilty and explained to Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith about her prescription for medical marijuana, and said she had no idea it was illegal in Belize. She apologized and Chief Magistrate Smith decided against imposing a fine and told her, "You are cautioned and discharged." With that, Sanzobrin was free to go - and appeared shocked at the outcome.

    Remembering UBAD's History
    Today during black history month the United Black Association for Development, UBAD, celebrated its 47th anniversary. This association which heralded black pride, was formed in Belize during a state of flux in the nation and the original organization led several influential movements. But while those days are, as they say, 'History', the essence of the group, founded on the principle of ancestral pride, still remains engraved in what has now become a library catering specifically for black and indigenous youths in the community. The UBAD library center, situated above the offices of the Amandala newspaper, leads several educational programs for youths in the community.

    An MMA Delight
    The local Mixed Martial Arts scene has been kind of underground, but the promoters and fighters want to see the mainstream Belizean public embrace it like they do boxing, except with the kicking and the different submission moves. Some of the participants are new fighters, and one of them - who we met today - is not even 15. Tomorrow night, however, they are all men when they enter the cage to exchange gloves with Mexican fighters. For the second year since the local MMA's have been hosted, 5 amateur Belizean fighters will enter the ring to spar with 6 foreign fighters. The event is being hosted by the Body 2000 gym at the Biltmore Plaza. Local Coordinator Mark Neil told us more. Tickets are available event at Body 2000, Jadore Boutique, and LA Fashion for $20 dollars and is also available at the door for $25 dollars.

    Motorcycle Rally In Town
    You might have heard the distinctive sound of the revving of loud engines around the busy streets of Belize City today. It is quite an uncommon sound for most of us locals, but if you are a motorcycle enthusiasts you'd know that it is that time of the year again when the streets of Belize are overtaken with motorcyclists from all across the Americas. They come here for the annual "Meet in the Middle" Bike Rally. Emanuel Pech stopped in at the bikers' center on cemetery road today to check out what all the buzz was about. The Revving of motors, the thick leather jackets and the free spirited nature of people, all say that the annual Harley Davidson convention is back in Belize. For the past three years members of the Black Pearl Motorcycle Club, the first motorcycle clubs ever established in Belize, has been hosting this event in an effort to put Belize on the biking map. Nigel Espat- Member of Black Pearl Motorcycle Club: "We are taking over the city once again. It's our 3rd running of Belize Bike Rally and we are happy that it's growing. We are seeing our number improving every year. Yesterday we registered 225 bikes. That's a 4-time improvement over prior years. Usually on Thursday we might see 50-60 bikes. Yesterday we had 225. So we are expecting maybe something around 300-400 more coming in today. It is growing and we are glad for that." Several riders from Central America came for the event.

    Channel 5

    Benguche Residents Make Grisly Discovery
    A fetus believed to be between six and seven months, was pulled out from an overgrown lot in the Benguche area of Dangriga on Thursday afternoon. The unborn was reportedly [...]

    Maya Island Air Flight Makes Emergency Landing
    Maya Island Air Cessna Flight two, twenty-two with seven passengers on board was forced to abort its flight and make an emergency landing at the Municipal Airstrip just a couple [...]

    Coast Guard Rescues Four Fishermen Adrift at Sea
    A group of four fishermen, returning from camp near Colson Caye this morning, is lucky to have returned to safe harbor earlier today after drifting outside of the barrier reef.  [...]

    Princess Group Invests in the MCC Grounds
    The long neglected, long abandoned premier arena for football in Belize City is getting a new lease on life. Thanks to successive sports councils which seem to have been in [...]

    Dangriga Taxi-man Shot and Left for Dead
    A cab driver from Dangriga remains hospitalized at the KHMH tonight after being shot and left for dead along the Southern Highway on Thursday.  Darrel Lory, a well-known taxi man, [...]

    First City Council and Now SSB Goes After Yhony Rosado
    The vocal tour operator, Yhony Rosado, is having his own share of woes. He was on television recently making a public complain that he was being harassed over a new [...]

    Belizean Honor Student Called to the Bar
    A new attorney was called to the bar this morning; she is Shanidi Chell from Orange Walk Town who distinguished herself as an honor student at the Norman Manley Law [...]

    Transport Department Weighs in on Fake Licenses
    Since last week, News Five has been following reports of fake drivers’ licenses circulating in San Pedro. The Police in that municipality have made four arrests of persons who tried [...]

    Insights Into Gang Culture in Belize Launches
    Today, well-known activist and youth mentor Nuri Mohammed launched his book entitled “Insights Into Gang Culture in Belize” at the Leo Bradley Library. It’s a compilation of essays by Mohammed [...]

    7 Confirmed Zika Cases in Barbados
    In January of 2016, Barbados confirmed its first case of ZIKA virus. Today, there are seven confirmed cases. Our team, Duane Moody and Marleni Cuellar, in Barbados visited the Ministry [...]

    FIFA Has New President
    A new president was elected today to lead FIFA, the world football body. United Emirates Football Association’s General Secretary, Gianni Infantino won the first but had to go into a [...]

    PNP Goes Down in Jamaica Elections
    And on Thursday night, the Jamaica Labour Party defeated the People’s National Party and won thirty-three of the sixty-three seats in Parliament. Andrew Holness, the leader of the J.L.P.’s message [...]

    Bikers Converge on Belize City
    Since 2013 the Black Pearl Motorcycle Club has been coordinating the Belize Bike Rally, bringing together motorcycle aficionados from North, Central, and South America, hence the title “Meet in the [...]

    Belizean Movie Will Be Launched this Weekend
    If you’re one of those movie buffs who love gritty drama with a very real twist, you may want to take a look at a hit called Time is Money. [...]



    Dangriga Crime News; Baby Fetus Found
    Yesterday afternoon Police in Dangriga were called out after some residents made a gruesome discovery. We join our correspondent Harry Arzu who tells us about the discovery and more news from Dangriga. Last Sunday morning, Police were called out to Silk Grass Village in the Stann Creek District. According to Sergeant Wilfredo Perifino, the […]

    Taiwan’s President to Visit Belize
    Belize will be getting a Presidential visit in mid-March 2016 by MA Ying-Jeou, the Taiwanese head. Belize is one of several stops that the 65-year-old Taiwanese President will be making. President Ma Ying-Jeou will meet with Belize’s Prime Minister, Dean Barrow and will also be meeting with Guatemala’s recently elected President, Jimmy Morales as well […]

    Maya Land Rights Commission Holds First Meeting with Maya Leaders
    The first meeting that came out of the orders of the Caribbean Court of Justice ruling was held and described as being cordial in a release from the Maya Leaders of Belize. The meeting was held earlier today between the Toledo Alcalde Association/Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission. The Maya Land […]

    Opposition Party Speaks on MEK MI RICH and BTL
    Earlier this week we told you of the ruling by Justice Courtney Abel as it relates to the lawsuit taken out by Curtis Swasey against the Belize Telemedia Limited. Following that ruling from the court, the People’s United Party issued a release with the headline, PUP Denounces Shady Happenings in the People’s Company. The release […]

    Marijuana Laws to Be Amended
    Exactly one year ago a media session was called by the Decriminalization of Marijuana Committee in Belize City. In that session presentations were made on the findings and recommendations that were submitted to Cabinet for review on February 26, 2015. Cabinet has since reviewed the report and have taken the decision to amend the laws. […]

    Divers Pull Out from New River Search
    Since Monday, authorities in Orange Walk and members of the Belize Coast Guard have been in search of a man that reports indicate had gone into the New River but never came out. Since the search began the divers and search team had found the body of 21-year-old Carlos Reyes and their efforts continued in […]

    Coast Guard Rescues Four at Colson Caye
    Colson Cay is an island and is located in Stann Creek District and is known to be the ideal location for fishing enthusiasts. It is uncertain whether the four individuals rescued from that area today were on a fishing trip but the quick response by the team of Belize Coast Guard men has allowed the […]

    Local Pilot Aborts Flight to San Pedro
    Yesterday evening, seven passengers of Maya Island Air flight 222, experienced a scary takeoff. The plane was departing from Belize City on its way to San Pedro when the Chief Pilot, Ali Urbina started to experience some technical difficulties in the air. This evening, Maya Island Air sent a release explaining the matter stating “Seconds […]

    Allegations of Over-Pricing in Public Transportation
    Complaints within the transportation industry are nothing new, as commuters have unending concerns with the quality of the service they are forced to endure. Sandhill Villager, Paul McCulluck is not happy with the bus companies tonight. He says some of the bus companies are overcharging passengers who are leaving Belize City to go to Ladyville […]

    Three Days to Nat’l Youth Council Election
    The National Youth Council elections are only three days away. Today we spoke to some of the Belize District candidates aspiring for the post of president, vice president, secretary, and Public relations; Stafin Duncan is vying for the post of President. Tyesha Estrada is also seeking the presidency, she says she brings a level of […]


    Bound body found in Orange Walk Lagoon
    On Wednesday February 25, Orange Walk police were tipped off about a body of an unidentified male person seen floating in the Lamanai Lagoon located in the Village of Indian Church in Orange Walk . Reports are that sometime around 10:30 Wednesday morning, a tourist out bird watching, saw the body...

    GSU shoots father travelling with his family
    Of late, there have been numerous reports of armed men in police or camouflaged clothing posing as police in order to commit crimes. Could that be the reason why a father travelling with his family did not stop when he saw camouflaged men with guns on an isolated stretch of road? The problem is, tho...

    BDF uniforms stolen from PG Camp
    As we’ve said, there have been numerous reports of armed men in police or camouflaged clothing posing as police in order to commit crimes. Well, someone just stole a whole bunch of BDF boots and uniforms from the Punta Gorda Camp. On Wednesday the 24th February 2016 the Quarter Master in charge of ...

    GOB sued over malicious prosecution
    A civil suit against the government for malicious prosecution is close to wrapping up in the courtroom of Supreme Court justice Sonya Young. The matter is being brought by Sharim Baeza who is being represented by attorney Philip Palacio. Sharim Baeza, then 16-years old, was accused of abetment and c...

    Mexican villagers riot; Belizeans stranded at border
    Late Wednesday evening, February 24th, Belizeans shopping in neighboring Chetumal, Mexico were unable to return to Belize for several hours as Mexican residents living in the Border town of Subteniente Lopez rioted on the highway. The Belizeans were caught in the confrontation between residents and ...

    PUP discuss Cordel’s role in National Executive
    This morning in Belize City, PUP Leader Johnny Briceño chaired his first meeting of the National Executive since returning to the party’s top post following his January 31 victory in Belmopan. At Independence Hall, the party discussed the plan for the first 100 days of Briceño’s leadership, as expla...

    ComPol responds to International reports of Belize police inadequacies
    The murder of ABC news executive producer Anne Swaney in Belize in January of this year followed a previous murder of a Canadian film maker weeks before. It caused a serious black eye on Belize’s image as a tourist destination and prompted a press release from the Belize Tourism Board promising clos...

    The Reporter

    Marking UBAD’s anniversary
    Students, teachers, community activists and many others gathered at the Library of African and Indian Studies on Friday afternoon for an open day, celebrating the anniversary of the United Black Association for Development (UBAD). The event marked the 47th anniversary of UBAD’s formation, but also […]

    John Briceno calls national executive meeting
    John Briceno called the People’s United Party’s first National Executive meeting on Thursday, since he took over as the party’s new leader about a month ago. During the meeting Briceno presented his 100-day plan for the executive’s approval. PUP Chairman, Henry Usher shared with reporters […]

    Get rid of deadly Gill nets! They are ruining our fisheries
    Shocked at the evidence of sharks being slaughtered through gill-net fishing, Mar Alliance, a shark conservation non-governmental organization based on Ambergris Caye, has petitioned the government of Belize to ban the use of gill nets. The images showed fishermen with more than thirty sharks of […]

    Cops will impose stricter rules for 2016 Ruta Maya weekend
    Motorists who plan to use the stretch of the Philip Goldson Highway near the La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge route are advised that the police will enforce traffic regulations along this highway for the duration of the four-day race. During a press briefing on […]

    Shrimp industry back on track! 90 % of farms fully recovered
    The shrimp industry in Belize is on its way to recovery from a bacterial disease which threatened the industry in March last year.. The impacts were at first confined, but extremely high temperatures caused the bacteria to spread across all but one farm. . Alvin […]

    To Beat, or not to Beat! Students have mixed views
    Ingrid Fernandez/ Staff Journalist Six children age 10 to 12, from the Calvary Temple Primary School in Belize City participated in a debate to discuss the issue of corporal punishment in schools this week. The atmosphere was heated as both teams offered compelling points in support and against whether teachers […]

    World Bank gives $100 M to fight zika fever outbreak But virus could cost us billions
    The World Bank has pledged more than $100 million to support the fight against the Zika virus, a mosquito-borne disease that now threatens all of south and Central and North America. A bite from the Ades Egypti mosquito can bring on the Zica fever, which […]

    Caribbean countries discuss non communicable diseases
    By Benjamin Flowers This week, representatives from countries all over the Caribbean met in Port of Spain Trinidad and Tobago, to discuss the regional repose to rising incidences of non-communicable diseases (NCD)s. The two-day workshop, held at the Hilton Hotel, review the results of an expert evaluation of the 2007 […]

    Circle R Rice Done Right!
    Circle R Products, doing business as Belize Food Supply, has cleared itself of all allegations that it has been producing contaminated rice, by rival importer, Jack Charles. In a press release on Wednesday, Circle R said it makes sure that all its products are grown, […]

    Food vendor charged with Rockowski murder
    Toledo Police have arrested Roy Jones, 48, a food vendor of Cattle Landing village, Toledo, with the murder of Thomas Paul Rockowski, 69, an American recluse who lived alone. Rockowski was at his home alone in the Hopeville area of Punta Gorda, on the night […]

    Police looking for wanted man
    Belize Police are looking for man accused of obtaining property by deception”. Alex Hernandez, is a 30 year old Belizean Tour Guide and sometimes bartender originally of Orange Walk Town. He is being accused of obtaining property by deception during a fraudulent transaction that took […]

    Motorcycles crash! One rider dead!
    A rare head-on collision between two motorcycles last Saturday evening on the George Price highway has left one driver dead and the other in an induced coma. The crash occurred between miles 18 and 19 in Sand Hill village around 7:40 p.m.. Bernard Churchill was […]

    Public-sector agencies compete to boost customer satisfaction
    “The public sector is, collectively, the world’s largest service provider. Any incremental improvement in public services positively impacts millions of people. The first step to ‘delivering the customer promise’ is to know your customers and their needs”—Wim Oosterom. The quote above, taken from Wim Oosterom – a former Global Sector […]

    Fake OW drivers licenses surface in Isla Bonita
    Marion Ali – Assistant Editor Officials from the Orange Walk Transport Department and its Town Hall are trying to figure out how a number of old driver’s licenses were forged and reproduced, and surfaced in San Pedro town this week. The fake licenses, according to Orange Walk Town Mayor Kevin […]

    BTL and MMR in “SHADY” relationship, says Supreme Court
    The decision by Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel in the landmark intellectual property case of Swasey vs. Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and Mek Me Rich (MMR) Belize Ltd. took just over an hour to read out on Tuesday, February 22nd. It was in essence and in fact an overwhelming victory […]

    Money in ‘Minutos’ – $74,108 for Trafficking in Humans
    Despite the objections of Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl Lyn Vidal, convicted human trafficker Estela Gonzalez, 64, was fined Tuesday instead of confined for the crime which carried a sentence of 8 years. As Justice Adolph Lucas imposed fines totaling $74,108 on Gonzalez, representatives of her employer Raul Magaña slipped […]

    No one in the media has seen the new Coastal Management Plan, but we can say with some confidence that if it does not contain a strong statement to abolish the use of gill nets in Belizean waters, it is not a complete and comprehensive management plan, and the European […]

    Angry vendors block the border!
    Marion Ali – Assistant Editor Traffic at the northern border with Mexico was blocked on Wednesday and Thursday on the Mexican side of the border at the Subteniente Lopez entrance to Chetumal, effectively causing a massive bottleneck with traffic, and forcing the commute into and out of Belize to come […]

    Minor’s X-rated post on facebook highlights need for cyber laws
    Ingrid Fernandez – Staff Reporter Pornographic pictures alleging to be those of a High School Student from the Cayo area which appeared on a Facebook site this week, was formally denounced by the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Cyber Bullying. A collage of three pictures, two of which showed […]

    New Fuel Adjustment! Fourth time in two months
    Drivers can expect to pay more for gas at the pumps, following the latest price increase approved by the Government of Belize this week. On Tuesday, Cabinet approved adjustments to the import duty on fuel to compensate for what the Ministry of Finance described as […]

    Why Did the GSU Shoot Roberto Chan?
    As we go to press, San Ignacio Police are taking statements and conducting an investigation into an officer-involved shooting which occurred at around 7:30 last night. One of those statements, hopefully providing critical information, will be taken from Roberto Chan, 28, a bullet from a GSU-held gun lodged in his […]

    New book just launched in Belize
    Nuri Muhammad launched his new book, “Insights Into Gang Culture In Belize” a short while ago in Belize City. The launching took place at the Leo Bradley Library, where Muhammad and other guest speakers gave reflections about the publication’s content, and its relevance to Belizean […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    High pressure influence maintains a cool northerly airflow
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting variably cloudy and cool weather with little or no rainfall, except for a few periods of light rain along the South Coast. Winds will be blowing from the North-Northeast at 10-20 knots with occasional higher gusts […]

    BELTRAIDE to host entrepreneurship workshop
    The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) in collaboration with infoDev, a World Bank Group, will host a one day workshop with stakeholders to chart a way to foster an innovative entrepreneurship ecosystem in Belize. Starting at 8:30 a.m. inside ITVET’s dining room in Belize City on […]

    Three detained for Silk Grass stabbing
    Dangriga Police have detained three persons of interest from Silk Grass Village, Stann Creek District, who are pending investigation in connection to a stabbing incident which left 52- year-old Harrison Bowers in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). On Sunday, […]

    New FIFA President elected
    For the first time since 1974, a second round of voting was needed to determine a winner of the election for a new Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) President, but earlier today it was announced that 45-year-old lawyer, Gianni Infantino, has won by […]

    New book on youth, violence and gang culture launched
    Youth worker and media commentator Nuri Muhammad today presented his Insights into Gang Culture in Belize: Essays on Youth, Crime and Violence. It is his first-hand experience of working with a vulnerable segment of the population, which has evolved over a generation to something approaching […]


    Foodie Friday – Surf and Salad Recipe!
    First I saw the Grilled Pineapple Jicama salad, I thought well I love pineapple, jicama, and salad so the combination must be great, I also saw Grilled Shrimp Kebabs, after reading the description I had no reservations I was going in. I went to Chef Marco who was happy to explain to me how he and the team make these dishes. First up was the Grilled Pineapple Jicama Salad. Grilled Shrimp Kebabs: Drizzled with coconut- pineapple coulis (thick sauce made from pureed/strained fruits and vegetables), organic vegetable quinoa, and roasted herb potatoes. Now you see why I chose this after reading the description, sounds good doesn’t it?

    Best Belize Travel Photos of February 2016
    A picture is worth a thousand words; this is especially true for anyone who loves to document their trip through photos. Thanks to the advancement of smartphones with superb photo-taking capabilities, and the popular photo-sharing app, Instagram, you can share your adventures with the world easily. There are thousands of travel photos taken in Belize alone, and we’ve decided to search Instagram for some of the best pictures snaps taken in the country. Here’s our list of the ‘Best Belize Travel Photographs’ for this month:

    International Sourcesizz

    8 Fascinating Facts About How and Why America Created Liberia
    In 1816, the American Colonization Society (ACS) was created by Rev. Robert Finley (a former president of the University of Georgia) to appease two groups on opposing sides of the issue of the enslavement of Black people. In the early 1800s, the British were in the early stages of abolishing slavery and exiting the Atlantic slave trade. Finley and many whites from the elite class in the United States feared that the nation would follow the British with similar political action. One group of people (which included some abolitionists) wanted to give newly freed Black people an opportunity to return to Africa. The other side, which included slaveholders, did not foresee an integrated society and joined the ACS out of racist ideology. The American Colonization Society consisted of prominent American historical figures, including presidents James Monroe and James Madison. A nephew of George Washington, Bushrod Washington, was also involved. President Andrew Jackson was on the list as an organizer and politician Daniel Webster was involved as well. The irony here is that most of these men were part of the subjugation of Black people. Jackson was part of the slave-holding planter class, Webster was an enforcer and architect of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act, and Washington actively sold enslaved Black people. Abolitionist James Forten saw this and warned free Blacks to not trust these men.

    Las Vegas Taste of The Caribbean happening Saturday
    Members of Las Vegas Latin Caribbean community are preparing to host and showcase Latin Caribbean Cuisine on February 27 at Boulder Plaza, located in the Arts District in downtown Vegas. The event starts from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Las Vegas Taste of the Caribbean will showcase and introduce residents of the city, as well as its visitors, to one of the best hidden secrets of the city Las Vegas: Latin, Caribbean and West Indian cuisine from countries that include Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Belize, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Barbados, Mexico and Puerto Rico to name a few. The event, which will be held at an outdoor facility, will be free to the general public with purchase of the tasty and delicious regional food from the Latin Caribbean region.

    Caribbean Economies Experience ‘Mixed Fortunes’ In ‘Topsy-Turvy’ External Environment
    t Kitts and Nevis, Grenada and the Turks and Caicos Islands showed 4 percent growth, due to improved tourism arrivals and increased tourism related construction, while the region’s economic powerhouse Trinidad and Tobago grew by just 0.2 percent due to weaker oil and gas prices. That’s according to the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)’s Economic Review for 2015 and Outlook for 2016, delivered on Wednesday at its headquarters in Barbados. The report struck familiar themes and again pressed for urgent, meaningful policy reform in the region that includes labour market reform, private sector led-growth, deeper regional integration and governments to act primarily as efficient regulators. “We could say that 13 of the 19 borrowing member countries (BMCs), we would expect them to grow faster in 2016 than in 2015, but two of our stronger credits Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname will experience negative growth in 2016. Interestingly all of the service dependent economies should grow, even if marginally…” said CDB president Dr William Warren Smith, while explaining the downturn in the commodity-driven economies. He described Caribbean economies as being in recovery mode at a time of great uncertainty in what is emerging as a somewhat “topsy-turvy economic environment”.

    Central America's Top Festivals
    The La Ruta Maya tops the list. Just one week away. Lobster Fest, Cacao Fest and Costa Maya are also on the list. LRM picture courtesy of Danny Chung. Festivals don't always have to mean being knee-deep in mud listening to Coldplay in the rain with a warm beer. Across the world, gatherings of all size, descriptions and reasons take place, bringing together cultural traditions and modern-day passions.


  • Swimming with the sharks in Northern Belize, 1min. Located just inside the reef, to the south of Ambergris Caye in Belize is "Shark-Ray Alley". This popular dive site is home to Nurse Sharks and Southern Sting Rays.

  • Belize entry to marina by boat, 4min.

  • One of Belize's Remarkable Popular Carnival, 6min. One of Belize remarkable popular carnival takes place during the month of September, which basically is one long month of Belizeans celebrating their Independence.

  • Belize Sunsets with Nicole S. Cooper, 6min.

  • A tour of the island of Caye Caulker in Belize, 5min. A tour of Caye Caulker by land and sea.

  • Belize Marijuana Laws, 2min.

  • Creative Kaos Documentary, 76min. Creative Kaos, the documentary about the making of Kurse a di Xtabai, is now out on Youtube. It's actually better than the movie, and worth a watch. "Documentary of the making of Belize first feature length film, 2012 curse of the Xitabai, all mainly all local cast and crew, directed and co-produced by late Matthew Klinck and co-produced by me. Rest in Peace my Friend."

  • Scuba Diving in Belize, 6min. Scuba Diving highlights from Belize.

  • Spearing Lionfish in Belize and feeding them to the Sharks, 3min. Highlights of Lion fish hunting off Caye Caulker, Belize.

  • Tropic Air flight from San Ignacio to Caye Caulker, Belize, 2min. A 12 passenger plan in Belize from Maya flats to Caye Caulker.

  • Sid - Bikepacking Belize, 9min.

  • Snorkeling in Belize (Mesoamerican reef), 3min.

  • Belize San Pedro Ambergris Caye Island - THE EEL, 7min. New Horizons Dive Trip Belize 2016 Day 5 Dive 2 Miranda and the Eel Belize San Pedro Ambergris Caye Island.

    February 26, 2016


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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

    The San Pedro Sun

    Mayor’s and Minister’s approaching finals
    After seven weeks of football action, the Mayor’s and Minister’s Cup is nearing the finals. With just four weeks away from the championship game, these are the results from the games played this past weekend: Friday – Belize Pro Divers 2-1 Peace Makers, Progresso Boys 4-2 Searious Warriors, Saturday – Sky Energy 3-2 San Pedro Junior College, Veterans 2-2 Jokers F.C, Sunday – Ambergris Divers 16-0 PSG, Catrachos 6-0 San Mateo. Games continue this weekend, starting on Thursday at 7PM sharp at the Honorable Louis Sylvester Sporting Complex.

    Second blood drive of 2016 a success
    A total of fifteen usable pints of blood were collected during a blood drive that took place at the Washington University of Health and Science in San Pedro Town. The event took place on Saturday, February 20th and saw blood donors making their way to the University campus, where they donated the vital red fluid. The event was a collaborative effort of Projects Abroad, The San Pedro Belize Red Cross (SPBRC), and the Belize Blood Bank. Organizers were pleased with its success. After the first blood drive of the year held in late January, Projects Abroad in Belize requested an additional one due to the poor turnout. The SPBRC was happy to accommodate such request which was outside of their usual three-month time frame. Volunteers from the SPBRC, the Belize Blood Bank, Projects Abroad and even from the hosting University showed up early to welcome the generous donors. From 9AM to 3PM, people pulled up to the medical school to contribute to the worthy cause. At the end of the day, the blood collected was transported to Belize City for storage in an effort to increase the supply at the Belize Blood Bank. This blood can then be available for anyone in San Pedro that may have an emergency. Snacks and refreshments were provided to all donors.

    SP Police Constables undergo training
    Several police constables from the island were part of a refresher course aimed at improving the service they provide to the community. The training was held from Thursday, February 18th to Saturday, February 20th, and was led by inspector Dehanne Augustine, who is attached to the Caye Caulker Police formation. Officers were educated on how to effectively respond to certain situations, and they even received training in properly recording data. According to Inspector Augustine, the training is very important as it serves to polish officers’ skills so they can carry on with their daily duties in a more efficient manner. “The training once again reminds police officers of the proper procedures they should execute when encountering any situation. It is very important for them to know the procedures when dealing with minors, people with mental illnesses and also know how to record each detail of any investigation from the moment it happens. This will enhance a proper filing of data and as well keep the police on safe grounds when dealing with cases that may have judiciary intervention,” said Augustine during the presentation. The training also touched on proper police behavior and ways to deal with criminal incidents.

    CARDI continues to work in Belize’s Coconut Industry
    Belize’s Coconut Industry continues to grow with the assistance of the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and financing from the European Union (EU). Most recently, a workshop was held on Thursday, February 25th with CARDI scientists training coconut stakeholders in the “Production of Quality Coconut Planting Material”. These initiatives are being organized under the EU’s “Coconut Industry Development for the Caribbean” through the Geneva-based International Trade Centre (ITC) aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of small-scale coconut farmers. According to CARDI representatives in Belize, stakeholders have welcomed this initiative for its “potential to improve income and employment opportunities, food security, and the overall development of the Caribbean coconut sector.” The project creates cooperation between national and regional programs, improving access to advisory services for improved coconut production. Throughout 2016, scientists will also be interacting with key stakeholders in the coconut industry of all participating countries conducting activities related to mapping and characterization of local coconut plantations, strengthening producer and processing groups and developing appropriate technological packages for intercropping vegetables and fruits and rearing cattle and small ruminants under coconut trees.

    San Pedro Tiger Sharks net another home win
    The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) 2016 Season is heating up and hometown team the San Pedro Tiger Sharks are aiming for their third consecutive championship. With only one loss under their belt, our team remains steadfast in second place in the tournament. This past weekend, the Tiger Sharks showed their tenacity, claiming yet another big home win. Facing off were our Tiger Sharks who hosted the Belize City No Limit at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. At the end of the first quarter, San Pedro Tiger Sharks had a 17 – 15 lead, which they increased to 37 – 27 at the second quarter. Belize City No Limit was able to shrink the lead to 7 points going into the fourth quarter, but the home team was able to secure the win, 83 – 70. San Pedro Tiger Sharks was led by Caleb Sutton who had a game high of 30 points, while grabbing 8 rebounds. Ashton Edwards netted 15 points while Andrew “Bynum” Ortiz scored 13 points while grabbing 8 rebounds and Gene Myvett finished with 12 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds and 4 steals. With this latest win, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks now have five victories in the 2016 NEBL Season.

    Ambergris Today

    Commuting students in San Pedro
    Students of the San Pedro Roman Catholic School commute back to classes from RC Church after attending morning mass

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Cliff Wilson one of American Sailing Association's 2015 Instructors of the Year!
    Congrats to our own Captain Cliff for receiving the high distinction of being one of American Sailing Association's 2015 Instructors of the Year! This means that he is in the top rated 1.5% of the over 2,000 ASA certified instructors in the world. Way to go, Cliff!

    Three story tall double billboard in San Pedro
    So I will admit... faced with seemingly unrelenting development, at times I've worried about the overall "aesthetic" of our Isla Bonita. This morning those fears were quelled... Tropical? Quaint? Serene? I think they've nailed it. Nothing says "Welcome to our island" better than a three story tall double billboard... What's is it going to say? "The food was AWESOME - Stan from Dubuque" Sigh...

    Humpback whale sighting off Placencia
    A very rare sighting of 30+ft long humpback whale just a couple of miles offshore from Placencia. Possibly the whale became disorientated and lost, finding its way into the deep water channel leading to Big Creek port. It will be important to monitor its location and see if it is able to find its way back out to deep water and outside the reef.

    U.S. Embassy's Political and Economic Chief J. Nathan Bland visited Valley of Peace
    The U.S. Embassy's Political and Economic Chief J. Nathan Bland visited Valley of Peace recently along with representatives from UNHCR and Help for Progress. Valley of Peace, formed out of a collaboration between the Government of Belize, UNHCR, and the Mennonites, became a place of refuge in Belize in the 1980’s for over a thousand people fleeing the civil war in El Salvador. Today it is a thriving community and an impressive example of a successful resettlement community.

    Postponed until further notice, power interruptions previously scheduled for Orange Walk & Corozal Districts
    7:00am to 7:15am & 4:45pm to 5:00pm, Saturday, February 27 & Sunday, February 28.

    BEL Restores Power Supply following Countrywide Power Interruption
    Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) restored power supply to the country this morning, following an unplanned power interruption at 6:41am, due to a damaged insulator on the transmission system, near the Petville Area in the Orange Walk District. By 7:12 a.m. most of southern Belize had been restored using local generation sources. The North and West were restored between 7:38 a.m. and 7:52 a.m. while the Belize District, South and remaining areas were restored by 8:14 a.m. On Wednesday, February 24, portions of San Pedro Town and a portion of the Belize District also experienced unplanned power interruptions ranging two to three hours, as a result of weather conditions. In San Pedro, the power interruption was due to downed guy wires and in the Belize District, several high voltage lines were downed. BEL crews were promptly dispatched to assess and conduct repairs. A branch was also removed from high voltage lines, near Mile 3 on the George Price Highway.

    2016 Belize Bike Rally
    The Harleys are rolling in as 2016 Belize Bike Rally "Meet in the Middle III" 25-27 Feb 2016 kicks off today. Bikers will be in San Pedro on Saturday at Fido's Beach Bash. See you there!!

    2016 Belize Bike Rally "Meet in the Middle III" 25-27 Feb
    The 3rd Annual 2016 BELIZE BIKE RALLY "MEET IN THE MIDDLE" will be held in Belize City and San Pedro, Belize, Central America on 25, 26 & 27 February 2016.

    Kitchen, Dining Hall and Garden Opened at the San Francisco de Jeronimo R.C. School
    On Wednesday, February 24, 2016 Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development Hon. Gaspar Vega travelled to Pueblo Viejo Village in the Toledo District for the opening of a new kitchen, dining hall and garden at the San Francisco de Jeronimo Roman Catholic School. In his keynote address, Minister Vega noted the importance of the facilities in addressing the issue of childhood malnutrition, which is the highest in the Toledo District. He also made mention of his hope for more development in the area of health in Belize. Also in attendance at the opening was Mexican Ambassador to Belize H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez who congratulated the Ministry on its efforts to improve the conditions of child health and nutrition. The facilities were officially opened with a ribbon cutting done by Minister Vega and the Principal of San Francisco de Jeronimo R.C.School Mr. Stephen Sho. Minister Vega also toured the facilities along with the other officials from the Ministry and the primary school.

    Lou Bob Hodge and Dennis Mitchell TO APPEAR ONCAYE CAULKER
    Habanero's is proud to present the dynamic duo of Lou Bob Hodge and Dennis Mitchell Saturday Night!!! Reservations for dinner highly recommended. Come see two very talented musicians jammin on our deck!!!! Call 626-4911 to reserve!!! Walk ins always welcome if there's space!!! One of Dennis's last gigs so don't miss out!!!

    Harley Davidson Bikers
    While I was stranded at the Chetumal/Belize border earlier today,in the middle of a hightened protest, I took the opportunity to introduce myself and promote Belize to a bunch of Harley Davidson Bikers who are heading to Belize City for the Annual Belize Harley Davidson Bike Rally. The group of bikers are visiting from Cancun, Distrito Federal and other states in Mexico. They will be continuing their journey to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye with their bikes on board one of the local barges. I hope they enjoy the camaraderie ,our people and may they have a safe journey to the island. I know they will be looking out for the photos and article on the Corozal Daily so here it is! Welcome to Belize amigos Mexicanos!

    Corozal's District Youth Council Elections
    Let your voices be heard. This coming Monday February 29th is Corozal's District Youth Council Elections. Polling Areas will be all Department of Youth Services' Offices country wide. Please see flyer for the address of your DYS District Office.Corozal's office is located on the 2nd floor of Corozal Farmers Supplies and Dave's Photo studio. Polls will open at 9:00 a.m. and close at 6:00 p.m.

    Wine House Wine Tasting
    The Wine House is having a special J.P. Chenet wine tasting FRIDAY night. It'll be their 1st true wine tasting, and it starts at 7:00pm. They'll also have the icewine available.

    Belize Tourism Board

    Gang Resistance Education And Training (G.R.E.A.T) instructors
    Yesterday, Ambassador Moreno helped to welcome the 35 newest Gang Resistance Education And Training (G.R.E.A.T) instructors in Belize!!! To date a total of 125 police officers are already certified as GREAT Instructors in addition to the 35 officers being certified this week. A total of over 9,500 children have completed the program from primary schools countrywide. The G.R.E.A.T program seeks to assist youth to identify and avoid gang membership, prevent violence and criminal activity, and develop a positive relationship with law enforcement. This is accomplished by using a skills-based approach that addresses three domains of learning: cognitive, behavioral, and affective. The G.R.E.A.T program produces attitudinal and behavioral changes through a unique combination of skills training, cooperative learning, discussion, and role playing. Students are provided with many opportunities to model and practice relevant life skills. Once students have rehearsed these skills, they will be more likely to use them in real-life situations.

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
    The Big Short, Krampus, Open Season Scared Silly, Carol.

    Channel 7

    Police Identify Body Found In Lamanai Lagoon
    Yesterday we told you about the unidentified body which was discovered in the Lamanai Lagoon, in the remote Orange Walk District Village of Indian Church. Well, police report that they were informed about it just before 11 o'clock yesterday morning. When they arrived, they found the body of a man floating in the water. When they retrieved it, they observed that the hands and feet were tied up, and that there were bruises on the head. Tonight, police are no closer to identifying him, and because the body was in an advanced state of decomposition, it had to be buried after an on-sight autopsy. This evening, the Deputy Commander of Orange Walk Police, Inspector Nicholas Palomo, told our colleagues from CTV 3 News that his investigators only just learned the identity of the deceased to be 51 year-old Honduran Guido Urbina, a resident of Indian Church. Insp. Nicholas Palomo, Deputy OC - Orange Walk Police: "The body that was found floating on the Lamanai lagoon on yesterday's date was found to be that of one Mr. Guido Urbina. A Honduran national, age 51 and a resident of Indian Church Village. He was last seen alive on Saturday drinking along with three fellows from the village at a local village bar. All we know is that the body was found floating in the lagoon. However, a post mortem was conducted yesterday and at the conclusion of the post mortem, it was found that one bullet wound on the forehead of the person. There was an entry wound about 1 inch above the left eye and an exit wound right above the left ears. So the cause of death was a result of gunshot. Due to the advanced stage of decomposition, the body was buried at the Indian Church cemetery."

    Unidentified Youth Still Not Found; Presumed Down
    The Coast Guard Team which has been diving in the New River in Orange Walk has suspended their search for the retrieval of the body of the second young man who went missing after going swimming on Monday afternoon. The body of his friend, 21 year-old Carlos Reyes, was found on Tuesday after an intensive search. Right now, however, there is concern that this other young man may never be found and given the difficulty that the Coast Guard are having. We've been informed that because the Coast Guard's first 2 days have been met with no success, they've temporarily suspended their diving searches. We understand that the authorities are waiting for the body to surface on it's own, since it has been submerged for over 48 hours now. The Deputy Commander of Orange Walk tells the press that they have not given up on finding this still unidentified young man.

    Briceno's (2nd) First National Exec Meeting As Leader
    Today, John Briceno held his first meeting with the PUP New National Executive after been elected as party leader at the national convention 3 weeks ago. He's the new boss, and that means he's coming with his own agenda for what direction the party should be heading. As we told you, we had received credible reports that Briceno had created a senior position for Cordel Hyde within his Executive. That along with Briceno's first 100-day plan were discussed, and after the meeting, re-elected Party Chairman Henry Charles Usher briefed the awaiting press on a few items from the morning talks: "This morning we had our first meeting of the new national executive this morning. It was a very brief meeting, we had one main item on the agenda and that is the party leader's hundred day plan which he presented to the national executive for their approval and support. As part of that plan, the party leader listed a number of issues, including the reorganization of the secretariat. The reorganization and the restructuring and strengthening of the national executive and also his tour that he hopes to get done in all thirty-one constituencies within the first hundred days. Those were the main three items that he brought up and the national executive supported those positions and supported his plan."

    GSU Shot A Disabled Man
    Villagers in the West are up arms against the GSU for the alleged unjustified shooting of crippled vendor of Bullet Tree Village Roberto Chan. The incident occurred yesterday around 7 in the evening. Roberto was driving his wife and two children back home after visiting a friend in the Calla Creek Area, Cayo District. They were driving north towards Bullet Tree with their 6 year old daughter sleeping in the back seat and their 8 months old son sleeping on his mother's lap in the front passenger seat. But upon reaching an area they know to them as La Linea, they heard two gunshots and realized that Roberto was shot. The bullet came from back, went through the back of the drivers seat and hit Roberto in the right arm. Now what the GSU are saying is that they were conducting vehicular check points in that area when a Toyota 4 Runner, driven by Roberto Chan almost ran over one of their team members. However the family of Roberto Chan has an entirely different story. Here is what they said occurred. Roberto Chan, Claims unjustified GSU shooting: "I screamed and felt the shot. I told my wife to check the baby; my 6 year old and my 8 months children. I feel bad right now. My baby cry too much."

    PUP Says Corruption Between BTL/Mek Mi Rich
    On Tuesday, we told you how business man Curtis Swasey won his lawsuit against BTL and the owners of the Mek Mi Rich Lottery game. Justice Courtney Abel has ruled that the platform of lottery texting, which is what makes Mek Mi Rich profitable, was a concept stolen from Swasey, and that BTL leaked it to the directors of MMR Belize, Sunjay Hotchandani, and Andre Vega. Well, the Opposition People's United Party has come out swinging against both the Government controlled company and the Mek Mi Rich game owners. A statement from the PUP says, quote, "The People's United Party registers serious concern at what amounts to no less than a conviction of BTL, or persons acting on behalf of BTL, on charges of corruption. We are further concerned that no principal of BTL has come forward to announce an immediate investigation into the matter…Those at BTL responsible for stealing a concept and peddling it should be called out. At the very least, heads should roll." End Quote. The PUP then point to what they see as a clear political connection between BTL and Mek Mi Rich which they believe caused the breech in confidentiality that the judge has inferred.

    CDB's Take On De-Risking
    In the past few weeks you've been hearing a whole lot in the news about so called de-risking - where regional banks are ending their correspondent relationships with indigenous banks in the Caribbean. It's a legitimate crisis with far reaching implications for the business and banking sectors and yesterday at the CDB Annual Press Conference in Barbados, the Bank's senior brass said it will seriously affect economic growth:... Dr. Justin Ram - Director of Economics, CDB: "It's going to be a well-stifle uneconomic activity. Today, imagine private sectors trying to operate within the Caribbean and they can't actually get paid, or they can't actually get their funds out of the region? That's going to be a well hindrance to economic growth eventually. Either something that I believe we need to work on right now - we need to have a solution. We cannot wait." Dr. William Warren Smith - President, CDB: "This is a major threat hanging over our heads. Even at a time when we are saying that the solution for our countries as far as economic development is concerned is deeper integration and penetration into international markets. How do you do that if you can't move money back and forth from our countries to trading partners and vice versa?" Jules Vasquez: "Has anyone figured out who's the guy to talk to? I know Latin American leaders spoke to Obama himself at a summit. But has anyone figured out okay he is the guy we need to talk to?"

    CDB: Belize's 2015 Growth Above Average
    But despite the threat that de-risking poses to economic growth - the growth outlook for Belize in 2017 is above average. The CDB projects it at 2.7% - which is higher than the regional average - and higher than last year's anemic 2%. The Director of economics explained why:... Jules Vasquez: "Tell me why this relatively optimistic outlook for Belize in an otherwise down year?" Dr. Justin Ram - Director of Economics, CDB: "Well for Belize, you have to remember that last year they would have experienced some difficulty with respect to its agriculture sector. We don't see, we are hoping that some of those difficulties would not happen again this year. There is also significant investment in the public sector taking place. We see Belize making significant progress there. Driven as well by economic activity with respect to capital expenditure. We expect the agriculture sector as I said earlier to recover as well within Belize and that should be good. However, we do know that there are some risk. Remember the days of forecast and there are risk on the horizon. Most of all is respect to corresponding banking. For Belize this is real risk."

    Is Superbond Payment + BTL Compensation A Ticking Bomb?
    But the CDB report also mentions Belize's debt. At 80% of GDP, it is well above the 60% benchmark for sustainability. The report notes that in 2015 Debt/GDP ratios increased in The Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, St Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, and Belize. Now this comes before the entire compensation payment for the BTL acquisition, So we asked Dr. Ram, with the super bond step up and the BTL payout, is Belize facing a debt bomb in the coming years. Jules Vasquez: "Is it facing a sort of debt bomb probably in maybe 2017, 2018?" Dr. Justin Ram - Director of Economics, CDB: "I don't think that there is a debt bomb on the way for Belize, but in this current environment governments need to be prudent examine their overall revenue streams to ensure that they are sustainable. But even more importantly, that be prudent in the way it spends money to ensure that expenditure is actually giving the government and the people of Belize the highest economic returns possible." The step-up in bond payments begins in 2017.

    American Investers Claim Land Deal Con
    Owning your own piece of land - that's every Belizean's dream - and it's pretty much the same for those immigrants who want a piece of the jewel. But a group of Americans have been left with a bitter taste in their mouths and that empty feeling in their bankbooks after they say a developer bilked them of their life savings and never gave them title for the property they bought. On Saturday we met six investors who paid Darin Smith of Biospharms forty thousand US dollars for a title in his sub-development - only to find out it was never subdivided. And because of that they could never get title. Now, they're suing him, but decided to go public because they say the situation is going from bad to worse. We met 6 of these disgruntled landowners at their attorneys office on Saturday:.. Ellen Tan, Disgruntled Land Owner "Well I think Larry was the one who was on the website and we've been looking for a community that's involved like living on solar and fresh water and healthy living, organic farming. So we found Biospharms on the internet and then we were writing to them and Darren Smith was the one who was emailing us and invited us to come down. In October 2003 we came down to look at the farm here. This was our life savings. Our retirement that were trying to get away from the US, so we could have a simpler life here and we put all our money in here."

    Assad Shoman's Take On Sarstoon Dispute
    Border advocate Wil Maheia has been planning another trip down the Sarstoon River, which is to take place this weekend, but once again, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is imploring him not to do it. Maheia and the Belize Territorial Volunteers want to visit the trip to the Gracias a Dios border marker, and that will once again put him and the other Belizeans who take the trip in the crosshairs of the Guatemalan navy, who keep a very watchful eye of the River. A release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs cautions, "while there are no public areas in Belize where Belizeans are not permitted to visit, there are areas in the proximity of our western and southern borders which are prone to generate tensions between the citizens of the two countries, and, in the circumstances, the Ministry maintains its view that it is imprudent and potentially dangerous for the organizers of excursions of this type to expose innocent Belizeans to the risk of inadvertently coming into conflict with Guatemalans be they civilians or officials."

    Churchill Bernard Needs Financial Help
    On Monday we told you about the fatal motorcycle collision on the Phillip Goldson Highway that took the life of 27 year old Kareem Arnold. The other victim in the incident was 21 year old Churchill Bernard who received extensive injuries during the crash but survived- just barely. He continues to be closely monitored at the KHMH. The reports had it that Bernard was overtaking a van when he ran head on into Arnold. Investigators said Arnold's headlights were not working which, they say, could have been cause of the accident. But while of the victims died on the spot the other continues to fight for his life. Today the mother gave us an update on his condition. Joleen Burgess, Mother of RTA Victim: "Well, he was in an accident Saturday night. He was coming from church, dropped off his little cousin and was going back to my mother for his helmet and his slippers, because he was going to play football at the church, after they have an all-day church, they usually have little games after that and then he was coming back home when I got the message that he was in an accident." Emanuel Pech: "Talk to us about the feeling the family had when they found out about it?" Joleen Burgess, Mother of RTA Victim: "Hmm, I don't wish that on anyone. Because that's a terrible feeling - you just spoke to your son and a little bit after someone calls and tell you that your son is in an accident. Words I can't really explain it."

    Bailey Jailed For Weapon
    38 year old Eugene Bailey, a resident of 45 Holy Emmanuel Street, at the Belize Central Prison tonight after being taken to court for an unlicensed handgun. Police say that on that Bailey was on Santa Barbara Street standing next to a black Saturn car yesterday. That's when they approached him and informed that a search would be conducted on him. This search, said police, resulted in the discovery of a .38 special revolver with 4 rounds of ammunition in its chambers. Bailey was unable to produce a license for the firearm, so he was arrested and charged it. He was arraigned today on charges of keeping an unlicensed firearm and keeping unlicensed ammunition ammunition before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. Bailey pled not guilty to the charge, but he couldn't be granted bail. He was remanded into custody until April 25.

    Belizeans Stranded Because Of Mexico Riot
    Several Belizeans got stranded across the border in Mexico last night as a result of a heated protest at Subteniente Lopez, Quintaroo. Reports from the Mexican press said that more than 100 people blockaded the highway in front of the Secretaria de Marina - or the Navy office. The blockade lasted for about 4 and a half hours until about 8 pm Belizean time. The protest was sparked by a recent move by authorities to establish a rigorous checkpoint- a measure that was taken to combat drug trafficking and the trafficking of firearms. However the checkpoint, residents of that area said, was causing long unnecessary traffic delays- a major deterrent for visitors coming to the area. This in turn, protestors said, was causing the community significant financial loss. Up to 8:30 last night, a few Belizeans were still stuck across the border. Fortunately everyone made it safely back home. Political authorities promised to meet with the angry residents later this month. Only then the crowd slowly dispersed.

    Bel Outage
    BEL is reporting tonight that there was a black out that affected majority of the country this morning. A press release from the company says that there was "an unplanned power interruption (this morning) at 6:41am, due to a damaged insulator on the transmission system, near the Petville Area in the Orange Walk District. By 7:12 a.m. most of southern Belize had been restored using local generation sources. The North and West were restored between 7:38 a.m. and 7:52 a.m. while the Belize District, South and remaining areas were restored by 8:14 a.m." Areas of San Pedro and the Belize District still had power failure until BEL technicians were able to fix downed wires on the island, and make other repairs on the mainland.

    Accused Drug Traffickers Arraigned
    Two days ago we told you about the weed bust at the boom junction. According to police reports the MIT unit was conducting vehicle checkpoints when they saw a vehicle make a U turn, throw something out of the bag and head back to the direction they came from. Police set chase and brought the men inside the vehicle to the area where they threw the object. A quick search resulted in the discovery of 4261 grams of weed. Two men were arrested for the offence of Drug Trafficking: Kareem Flowers, and Elwin Evans. However when the men appeared before the courts later that day Evans told the magistrate that he was puzzled as to why he and Flowers would be charged for the same offence when bought men were in two separate vehicles. Magistrate Carlon Mendoza informed him that to prove his case he would need to retain an attorney. Both men were granted bail in the sum of $4,500 plus surety of the same amount. They are due back in court on April 25th when they are to receive full disclosure.

    Jerson Grinage Arraigned Again
    On Monday, we told you about 22 year-old Jerson Grinage, who was stabbed in the head, but who did want to press charges against his alleged attacker. We'll, it appears that the man who is believed to have been his attacker is actually his cousin, Ervin Fitzgibbon. Both men, residents of Mahogany Heights Village, ended up in a fight this weekend. Grinage allegedly pulled a bottle opener and tried to stab him with it. Police say that Fitzgibbon answered back with a pint bottle which cut Grinage across the head. Neither men wanted to press charge, but police eventually charged both with aggravated assault. They were arraigned earlier this week and they told the Magistrate that they don't know why police would press the case when neither of them wanted a court action. They've both pleaded not guilty, and they've been released on bail of $800.

    FIFA Elections: A New Football King
    Right now, football executives from all countries around the world are in Zurich, Switzerland. They're preparing for tomorrow's 2016 FIFA Extraordinary Congress when they'll vote to elect a new President. They're trying to decide on a suitable replacement for Joseph Sepp Blatter, the embattled President who resigned in the wake of the biggest corruption scandal in the football world. He's been banned from taking part in any FIFA activities for 6 years by the organization's ethics committee, and right now, the football nations are trying to put the unpleasant and embarrassing event behind them. 5 senior football executives have emerged as candidates who want Blatters job now that it's vacant. The international news organization, BBC put together this story examining each of the candidates: We'll have more from the FIFA elections tomorrow.

    The Upgrade Of A Pueblo Viejo School
    Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, travelled to the village of Pueblo Viejo in the Toledo District. While there, he, the Mexican Ambassador, and other Belize Government officials opened a new kitchen, dining hall and Garden at the San Francisco de Jeronimo RC School. Here's an excerpt of his keynote speech to the participants gathered: The Deputy Prime Minister also used the platform to note the upgrades that the Government have made possible to improve the lives of residents living in the remote areas of the Toledo District:

    Having Fun With Children's Rights
    While those children who attend San Francisco de Jeronimo will benefit from those upgrades at their school, Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simpliss-Barrow wants to make sure that all children know about their rights. She launched a new book today with the help of UNICEF Belize called "Having Fun with Rights: A Children's Rights Activity Book". She told the gathering today at the Bliss that the publication is fun, engaging and informative: The book targets children aged 8-11 years old and is designed to make the teaching of children's rights more interactive and enjoyable.

    Ladyville Tech's Pageant
    Tomorrow the Ladyville Technical High School is hosting its 2nd ever female pageant. 7 female students will compete against one another in areas of grace, posture, charisma, intellect, talent and beauty of course. Teacher Janine Carballo is coordinator this year's pageant. She says that the event could not have been timelier as they are currently celebrating the month of self-esteem. For the past few weeks the ladies have been running around trying to get their last minute preparations before the big pageant tomorrow at 7. This is also the first time that the school is intimately involving the community of Ladyville as the pageant is being held in a public park to make more accessible.

    Placencia Community Policing
    Officers from Placencia went out on a community policing effort, where they visited a family in Seine Bight Village. That house belongs the visually impaired resident, 67 year-old Martin Moreira, and 69 year-old brother, Paul. In an effort to help the elder gentlemen, the officers cleaned up their yard and home and donated a box of groceries. The team of officers were led by Inspector Dennis Miles, and they were supported by Southern Regional Commander Sr. Superintendent Ralph Moody. Also assisting the officers were members of the Seine Bight Village council and students from St Alphonsus Primary school also in that community. Placencia Police intend to make another surprise visit soon.

    Channel 5

    Cayo Police Investigate Shooting by G.S.U.
    There is an incredible story coming out of the West tonight, in which a man from Bullet Tree was shot by an officer of the Gang Suppression Unit. It happened [...]

    Who Stole Equipment from a BDF Base in PG?
    There was a serious breach of security at Fairweather Camp sometime overnight on Tuesday which resulted in the theft of various military uniforms and boots. On Wednesday morning, the Quarter [...]

    Lamanai Lagoon Floater Identified
    The partially decomposed body of a Honduran national was fished out of the Lamanai lagoon by Orange Walk police on Wednesday afternoon.  The severed remains had what appeared to be [...]

    M.F.A. Warns B.T.V. to Keep Away from the Sarstoon
    Almost exactly one year ago, thirty-seven Belizeans maneuvering the Sarstoon were detained by Guatemalan military, taken under tow and escorted to Livingston. In fact, this Saturday will be the anniversary [...]

    Will Cordel Hyde be New PUP National Deputy Leader?
    Since returning to Independence Hall as leader of the People’s United Party on February first, John Briceño called his first meeting of the national executive this morning. The upper echelon [...]

    Party’s Finances under Review by Executive
    While new opposition senators are yet to be named, a parliamentary caucus has been arranged for Monday during which it is expected that names will be fielded. The opposition can [...]

    Is There Bad Blood in the PUP South?
    Is there bad blood lingering among supporters of previous party leader, Francis Fonseca post the January thirty-first national convention?  Since Fonseca’s defeat, Toledo East Area Representative, Mike Espat has reportedly [...]

    Fishermen Given a Jail Pass for Illegal Fishing
    Two fishermen from Chunox, Corozal District, appeared for the second time in court for illegally fishing inside a natural monument. Marvin Patt, and his cousin Edison Patt were charged with [...]

    Eugene Bailey on Remand for Firearm Charges
    But thirty-eight-year old Eugene Bailey is on remand at the Belize Central Prison following arraignment in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on two gun related offenses on Wednesday. Police found [...]

    OWTC Distances Itself from Fake Drivers’ Licenses
    Fake cops and fake driver’s licenses; while the Belize Police Department grapples with the issue of impersonators perpetrating crimes in the name of the law, the Orange Walk Town Council [...]

    Belizean Students Speak About Life & School in Barbados
    More than seventy Belizeans are in Barbados studying at the UWI Cave Hill Campus. They are among thousands from the rest of the Caribbean and other countries.  Now, student life [...]

    Children’s Rights Activity Book Launched
    The Bliss Center in Belize City was over flowing this morning with children from various primary schools. The event was the launch of an activity book that will teach them [...]


    Body Of Swimmer Lost In The New River Still Not Found
    Tonight marks three days since the disappearance of an unidentified male individual in the New River.On Monday evening at around 5:30, 21 one year old Carlos Reyes along with a second unidentified male jumped into the New River but never reappeared.Following efforts by the Belize Coast Guard and local divers, the body of Reyes was recovered on Tuesday at around 11:00 in the morning. But despite many hours of incessant searching by the Belize Coast Guard, the body of the second individual was not found.Today when we spoke to Inspector Nicholas Palomo, second in command at the Orange Walk Police Formation, he told us that the identity of the second individual still remains a mystery and while the Coast Guard has called off the search, local divers are still working on locating the second body.

    Opposition Leader Presents Hundred Days Plan To Executive
    This morning the newly elected National Executive of the People’s United Party held their first meeting at the party’s headquarters in Belize City. According to party chairman Henry Charles Usher, the main item on today’s agenda was the one hundred day plan presented by Party Leader John Briceno to the executive for approval. Also included in the discussion was the restructuring of the national secretariat, the National Executive and a position for Cordel Hyde who contested the leadership position at the National Convention on January 31st.Henry Charles – PUP Party Chairman:“As part of that plan the Party Leader listed a number of issues including the reorganization of the Secretariat and the reorganization and the restructuring and strengthening of the National Executive and his tour that he hopes to get done in all 31 constituencies within the first hundred days, those were the main three items that he brought up and the National Executive supported those positions and supported his plan.”

    BTV Plans Commemoration Trip To Gracias A Dios
    This coming weekend will mark one year since over 30 Belizeans were detained by Guatemalan Military while on an expedition on the south of our country.Many of you may recall that on Saturday February 28th 2015, a group from the Belize Territorial Volunteers, while on a mission trip to place a plaque at the Gracias a Dios monument, was detained by Guatemalan Military. The group consisting of near 40 Belizeans mainly from Orange Walk were taken first to a Guatemalan outpost and later taken to Livingston, Guatemala. Although the group was returned safely back to Belize, the reason for their detention is still unknown.In commemoration of the event, the BTV planned another mission trip to the Sarstoon this coming weekend, but the news of the trip did not come as good news to the Ministry of Foreign affairs and the CEO of the Ministry has advised the group to desist from making their way to the Gracias a Dios monument. Today our news team received a video from the President of the Belize Territorial Volunteers, Will Mejia, where he is expressing his disappointment in the Government of Belize.

    Consumer Price Index Up By 0.4 Percent
    The prices of goods and services purchased by Belizean households increased marginally, by an average of 0.4 percent, during the month of January 2016, according to the latest release issued by the Statistical Institute of Belize.SIB’s latest statistics show that the all items Consumer Price Index stood at 103.2, up from 102.7 in January 2015. If we look at the Transport category, the report shows prices dropped by 3.3 percent despite an increase in the sub-category of Fuel.The average price of premium gasoline was up by 15.4 percent when compared to the same month last year, while regular was 7.7 percent higher. Diesel however, saw a decrease in its average price per gallon, declining by 9 percent during the period.Within the “Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages” category, the prices of food items saw an overall increase of 1.8 percent for January 2016. Higher prices were observed across all types of meats, eggs, fresh fruits, sugar and vegetables. Prices for Red Kidney beans, however, remained well below what they were in January of 2015, decreasing by 24.3 percent.

    Owners Of Bushy Lots Are Advised To Clean It Up
    As we speak the Orange Walk Town Council along with representatives from the Ministry of Health are carrying out a meeting at the Philip Alvarez Park with residents of Orange Walk Town.The meeting will serve two purposes, one…for residents to voice out their concerns to the council and two….for the public to get a better understanding of the Zika Virus which has been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization. To date Belize remains without any confirmed cases of the virus and the Ministry of Health and town council intend to keep it that.If we talk about the efforts the council is carrying out to keep the community Zika free, Mayor Kevin Bernard says they are advising property owners of busy lots to clear their land……or else.“It is not the onus of the Council to maintain people’s private properties; you have a property, you bought a property, it is your responsibility to maintain that property, it must be kept clean and it must be kept chopped and so I appeal to all those residence that have over grown lots, vacant lots, please go in and maintain your property, it is a health hazard, it creates a lot of rodents...”

    Fourth Murder Victim In Orange Walk Identified
    Orange Walk Police have identified the fourth murder victim for the district. This particular murder marked the second to occur in the village of Indian Church.As we told you yesterday authorities were informed of a body that was floating in the lagoon. When they arrived at the scene, they observed that the body was in half after apparently being eaten by crocodiles. The victim was seen with his hands bound and it is suspected that the he was tortured.Today we can tell you that fifty one year old Guido Urbina, Honduran national was shot to the head and he was last seen alive on Saturday in the company of three men from the Village of Indian Church. Reports are that the men were all drinking at a local bar. Inspector of Police, Nicholas Palomo, spoke to us about the results of the post mortem that was conducted late yesterday evening.

    Increase In Fuel Price Indication Of A Broke Government
    Last night we told you about the increase in fuel prices announced by Government despite that sharp decrease in price per barrel of crude oil in the global market. Based on GOB calculations, due to the increase on import duties on fuel the price for a gallon of regular gasoline saw an increase of thirty seven cents and now sells for eight dollars and five cents. Diesel saw a hike of one dollar and now goes for seven dollars and sixty cents per gallon. As for Premium that saw a reduction of thirty one cents and the gallon now sells for nine dollars and seven cents.But compared to the amount Belizeans need to pay now for regular and diesel fuel….the 31 cents reduction in Premium fuel seems insignificant. So why is GOB increasing the price of fuel when the barrel of crude in the world market is at an all-time low? That is a sign of cash strapped Government, says Leader of the Opposition John Briceno.Honorable John Briceno – Leader of the Opposition PUP:“One of the easiest way for them to increase taxes is to increase tax on the fuel, if all of us have to buy fuel we can’t do better and that is what it has been happening to us, the government is desperate for money and they are going to find any which way to be able to get that monies to satisfy their appetite for the Belizean tax dollars.”

    Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Against Trip To Gracias A Dios
    Late this evening the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a release in which they expressed concern in the inherent danger faced by the Belize Territorial Volunteers in their planned excursion on the Sarstoon River.According to the release, the Government of Belize is geared toward a peaceful resolution to Guatemala’s claim and trips to areas such as the Gracias a Dios Monument can generate tension between the citizens of both countries which the Ministry is intent in preventing.And while the Ministry reiterates that there are no public areas in Belize where Belizeans are not permitted to visit, they say there are areas in the proximity of our western and southern borders which are prone to generate tensions between the two countries. The Ministry stresses its view that it is irresponsible and potentially dangerous for the organizers of expeditions of this type to expose innocent Belizeans to the risk of coming into conflict with Guatemalans.


    Humpback Whale Spotted in Southern Belize
    Recent newscasts have included the slaying of sharks and other marine life when it comes to the use of gill nets. It is viewed by many as being cruel and insensitive to our ecosystem and there is currently a petition circulating to ban the use of gill nets and long lines. Tonight, however, we bring […]

    Having Fun with Rights; Special Envoy Launches Book #2
    Having Fun with Rights: A Children’s Rights Activity Book – it is the name of a publication that was launched this morning at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts in Belize City. Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis-Barrow is behind this publication that came following consultations with elementary students from Hummingbird School […]

    Military Uniforms Go Missing in Southern Belize
    Since last week we have been reporting of various incidents where individuals have been posing as police officers in an attempt to get firearms. In more bad news for security personnel, thief or thieves have made off with an assortment of BDF boots and uniforms from a storeroom at Fairweather Camp in Punta Gorda. According […]

    Body Found in Lamanai Lagoon
    The body of a man was found floating in the Lamanai Lagoon in Indian Church Village in Orange Walk, yesterday morning. The body was found by a villager who called the police. Police arrived at the scene and found fifty one year old Honduran national Guido Urbina. Love News spoke to Inspector Nicolas Palomo, Deputy […]

    Foreign Affairs Frowns Upon BTV’s Planned Trip to Gracias a Dios
    On Saturday, Wil Maheia, of the Belize Territorial Volunteers plans to make an expedition to the Gracias a Dios monument in commemoration of the fateful day when Belizeans were detained by Guatemalan Military a year ago. Today, we learnt that the CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sylvestre Lawrence called Maheia in an attempt to […]

    GSU Shooter Investigated By Police
    A man was shot by GSU officers last night; he has been identified as 28 year old Roberto Chan. According to members of the GSU, they were conducting a vehicle check point in an area known as La Linea when a Toyota almost ran over one of the officers and so they fired at the […]

    Goods and Services Go Up with Dangriga Recording Highest Rate of Inflation
    The cost of goods and services increased marginally, by an average of point four percent, during last month. This is according to the Statistical Institute of Belize, SIB, which further informed that its latest figures show that All-Items Consumer Price Index stood at 103.2, up from 102.7 when compared to January 2015. The price within […]

    Deaf Chorus Debuts at Arts Festival 2016
    The annual Street Arts Festival is set for this coming weekend in downtown Belize City. While there will be arts in various forms on display, we spoke with Joseph Stamp Romero who highlighted the theatrical presentation that will take place on Saturday evening near the intersection with Dean Street. According to Romero, it is a […]

    Sugar Production Lower than 2015
    The 2016 Sugar Cane Season is in its 12th week and last week the factory at BSI managed to grind fifty one thousand two hundred and ninety three tons of cane. This produced four thousand eight hundred and thirty six tons of sugar. Two and a half thousand tons of mud was extracted from the […]

    Theatre Arts in Belize
    Arts come in various forms ranging from painting to dance to music and poetry; there is also theatre art that has not taken much popularity in our country. Joseph Stamp-Romero has been known to be one of the key players in the theatre arts when it comes to writing scripts and directing stage plays. Romero […]

    The Guardian

    Dan of all Dans! - Cordel jumps elected PUP deputies to be National Deputy
    It may go down as the strangest thing amongst the strange things the PUP has done over the years, just to appease a special interest, but with the PUP they seem to be rewriting the script whenever we hear from them. However this latest move appears to be straight out of a Mafia Movie or out of Fool School. On 31st January this year they had a convention and Cordel the man who ran dead last of all eleven persons who contested the convention is now being touted by Johnny the Former New Leader to be his Senior Deputy Leader a.k.a. National Deputy Leader. In plain English, Johnny wants Cordel to be his second in command. In other words Johnny wants to place Cordel over all the other deputies who got more votes than even Johnny himself at the convention. If anyone were to be made Senior Deputy it should be Rodwell. He got the most votes at the convention and of all the deputies he has won the most elections. Rodwell is a THREE TERM REPRESENTATIVE. Now what signal is that sending to those persons who opposed him and whom he said he was extending the olive branch to? Much more, what is it saying to the general membership of the party from which the majority of the convention delegates came? We always knew Johnny was dense, but we never knew him to be this dense or has he taken leave of his senses and taken residence at the funny farm or maybe it could be that he is looking for a reason to resign as leader again so that he can have the distinction of being the only person to say he is two time FORMER LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION and the person who served the shortest term as leader of any political party anywhere in the world.

    58 thousand dollar fine for human trafficking - Special Envoy upset with freedom of convicted human trafficker
    Belize, like all Central American countries, has been struggling to combat the lucrative business of human trafficking. International treaties have been signed, laws have been changed and policies adopted to strengthen the country’s anti-human trafficking strategy. Unfortunately, this has done little to slow down the illicit and inhumane trading of vulnerable people. This is why the case against Honduran national, Estella Gonzalez, was so important to human rights activists in Belize and this is why they were so frustrated when a Supreme Court Justice released her with a fine after she was convicted of forcing a 15-year-old immigrant to perform sexual services for money. Naturalized Belizean Estella Gonzalez, 64, was convicted of the trafficking of a minor on February 10, 2016. She employed a 15-year-old undocumented female at her establishment on the George Price Highway, Temptation Bar. The minor told authorities that Gonzalez housed her at a residence in the Mile 8 community on the George Price Highway for the purpose of exploiting her as a prostitute. The conviction carries a sentence of eight years.

    Youths set to elect national leaders
    A number of active youth will be making their way to designated polling stations across the country on Monday, February 29, to elect their District Youth Councils, from which a Belize National Youth Council will be selected. Young men and women in the 18 to 26 age group are vying for posts of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Public Relations Officer of their respective District Councils. The campaigns are spirited and modernized with social media being the most accessed platform to reach voters. Voters are selected by youth groups registered with the Department of Youth Services. Each registered youth group was allowed to select two members as delegates for the district elections. The names had to be submitted by February 12 to allow candidates to have a two week window to make their pitch directly to voters. As mentioned earlier, most of the campaigning is being done on social media platforms. However, the Department of Youth Services is organizing youth rallies countrywide to give candidates an opportunity to address delegates in person. In Belize City, a parade and rally was held on Friday, February 19. The parade started in front of St. John’s College on Princess Margaret Drive, proceeded through the principal streets of the city and ended at the Battlefield Park for a rally. After a brief musical interlude, the candidates were given two minutes each to make their pitch to delegates in attendance.

    Equipment donated to improve data collection and analysis on violence against women and human trafficking
    The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), provided data gathering equipment valued at approximately BZ$184,000.00 to relevant government departments, including the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of National Security. The official handing over of the equipment took place on February 19, 2016 at the Raccoon Street Police Station in Belize City. The purpose of the equipment is to strengthen the capacity of those government units in charge of collecting and analyzing data on violence against women and human trafficking and ensure improved access to reliable data for programme planning and decision-making in this area. The hand-over of equipment takes place under the BA1 Project: Prevention of Violence Against Women, Human Trafficking and Femicide in Belize that falls under the Central American Security Strategy (ESCA,) which seeks to address at local, national and regional levels, risk factors of violence and protection mechanisms, focusing on violence affecting youth, armed violence, gender-based violence, smuggling of migrants and trafficking, drug use, and climate change.

    FFB madness again?
    In Belize we always hear the phrase “one step forward, two steps backward” and in football that seems to be the norm. About four years ago many Belizeans thought that Belizean Football had taken a turn for the better, but like many other things it seems it was not to be. A friend of ours who was maybe the most prolific goal scorer from the 1970’s and early to mid 1980’, told us that he hoped the present FFB President would prove him wrong and not become like the Former President, but now he is seeing history repeating itself in the FFB. Once again a storm appears to be brewing in football. It reminds us of the same storm that took place during the era under the Former President. Elections are due or should we say overdue for the FFB and the same games that kept the Former President in power for over ten (10) years appears to be at play again. The voting in the FFB according to the FFB statues are done by delegates. These delegates in a way are very much like the Senators appointed by the Churches, Business community and Unions. They should vote as per instructions of the people who appointed them. In effect it is like holding a proxy. Before an election those delegates should seek directions from the membership of the bodies they represent. For example the delegate or delegates representing the Belize District Football Association should convene a General Membership, where it’s membership will be asked to vote on who they would like their delegate or delegates to vote for at an FFB General Assembly. They would also elect the person or persons they would want to serve on their association.

    Fake Cop arrested
    Cameron Jerryson Slusher, 26, is at the Belize Central Prison on remand for aggravated assault upon a security guard who claims he was robbed by men pretending to be police officers. In a report to police, Security Guard Elmore Spencer, 26, said that at around 11 a.m. on Wednesday, February 17, he was performing security duties at Moon Superstore on Coney Drive when he was approached by three male persons who came in a black Toyota car. Spencer was standing in front of the store when two of the men exited the vehicle; one wearing a camouflage pants similar to that of the GSU along with a plain white t-shirt and a clipboard in his hand. The other man was wearing a black t-shirt with a combat pants and boots. He had a chrome shotgun in his hand. The men informed him that they were police officers and asked him if he had a security license for the firearm. Spencer told them that they would have to go to the office if they wanted to know that. According to Spencer, when he refused to co-operate the third man opened the door and said something to the man holding the gun. That was when they got into the car and sped off. Spencer was able to see the faces of the three men.

    Mahogany Heights men are charged with aggravated assault
    Two Mahogany Heights men who were engaged in a fight in their village were arraigned on Monday February 22 on separate charges of aggravated assault with a dangerous instrument. The first to be arraigned was Ervin Fitzgibbon who was charged with one count of aggravated assault upon Jerson Grinage for allegedly assaulting him with a bottle opener. The second person to be arraigned was Jerson Grinage, who was charged with the same offense of aggravated assault upon Ervin Fitzgibbon, allegedly with a dangerous instrument, being a broken pint bottle. In court, both men pleaded not guilty to the charge. They told Magistrate, Carlon Mendoza that neither of them wanted any court action so they don’t understand why the police charged them. They nonetheless pleaded not guilty were and were offered bail in the sum of $800 each plus one surety of the same. They were granted bail and are due back in court on April 22, 2015.

    Ryan Cole Takes Rap for Weed Found at Home
    Three people were cleared of drug charges on Tuesday, February 23, when Ryan Michael Cole, 21, took the rap for 156.9 grams of marijuana found at their Tibruce Street home. Acting upon information received, police searched a residence at #1108 Tibruce Street on Saturday, February 20, and found 156.9 grams of marijuana. As a result, the occupants present at the time were all arrested. They are Ryan Michael Cole, Conrad Lewis Cole, 24, Alex Thyler Broaster, 20, and Derrick Pineda, 25. The group appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Tuesday to face a charge of drug trafficking. In court, Ryan Cole chose to take the rap for the weed.

    Jorge Velasquez, to stand trial for rape of 12 year old girl
    Jorge Velasquez, 35, who was accused of raping a 12-year-old girl back in September of 2014, is behind bars on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he could not post bail granted by the Chief Magistrate on Wednesday, February 24. A preliminary inquiry (PI) took place before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith to determine if there is sufficient evidence to commit the case to trial. In court, Velasquez was represented by attorney Bryan Neal. Prosecutor in the case, Cpl. Christopher Smith, is relying on the statements of the victim, the child’s doctor and other witnesses.

    4 men busted with out of season lobsters
    The Belize Coast Guard on patrol on Crayfish Caye, Turneffe Atoll made a bust on Friday February 19. As a result of the bust they handed over three men and 243 lobsters to the Fisheries Department who promptly took the men over to the Magistrate's Court where they were charged. Fisheries prosecutor, Hampton Gamboa, escorted the three men, identified as 53 year old George Marin, a resident of #2807 Jesus Ken Street, Belama Phase 2 area; 24 year old Angel Tun, a resident and Electrician of Peter Ashdown Street, Belama Phase 2 along with 30 year old Raymond Petzold, a resident of #351 Belama Phase 2 area; where they appeared before Magistrate Deborah Rogers being jointly charged with one count of possession of lobster in the closed season. Initially all three men pleaded not guilty to the charge and bail was offered to them in the sum of $1,000 each plus one surety of the same amount.

    Another murder in San Pedro
    Police are investigating the killing of Frank Edwards Jr., 27 year-old fisherman from the San Mateo Area of San Pedro Town. Sometime around 9 last night a group of men arrived at his house one of whom had a shotgun and shot him. As he fell back into his house other men came up to him and opened fire on the injured Edwards. Reports are that he may have been shot as many as 40 times. The killers quickly ran off and made their getaway in a boat that was nearby. Police have so far detained two men in the killing and are looking for others in this recent homicide in San Pedro. Frank Edwards Jr. has a colorful past with numerous run-ins with the police where he was charged with numerous crimes including murder. Back in 2011 he was charged but acquitted in May of 2012 for the 2009 double murder of James Swan and Edward Gutierrez in San Pedro.

    Guatemalan welder found guilty of trafficking drugs
    On Friday February 19, Guatemalan national, Odilio Gutierrez was sentenced to 6 years in jail after he was found guilty of drug trafficking. The 29-year-old resident of the Jane Usher Boulevard area of Belize City was unrepresented when he appeared before Magistrate, Carlon Mendoza. There he wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the offenses of possession of a controlled drug with the intent to supply to another person or persons for the purpose of drug trafficking. For the offense he was fined 10 thousand dollars and remanded to prison for 3 years. If he fails to pay the 10 thousand dollar fine he will serve an additional 3 years in jail.

    Progress continues in Belmopan
    Belmopan, the capital city of Belize, continues to develop at a rapid pace and the City Council is doing an admirable job of keeping up the pace of infrastructure development with the pace of the municipality’s growth. The working relation forged between the four time sitting Area Representative and the first term Mayor has resulted in a merger of local and national resources which has galvanized the city’s infrastructure drive. Residents of Guatemala Street and surrounding areas are enjoying a newly paved street that received its second coating on February 20. Motorists and pedestrians can now forget the days of potholes and frustrating puddles. It could have been easy to forget about a street like Guatemala Street. Not because of the name, but because it is not in a population center. However, the Mayor and Area Representative promised residents both in Belmopan Central and rural that the city’s resources will stretch across the municipality. Residents of Nicaragua and Venezuela Street are also benefiting from that pledge.

    To Educate Attorneys
    Dear Editor: On Friday, February 19, 2016 Jacqueline Marshalleck, President of the Bar Association of Belize told Channel 7 News: "The conference is essentially to educate attorneys on the issue of the Belize/Guatemala dispute. I think there is an assumption because we are attorneys we are all comfortable and knowledgeable on international laws and the details of this dispute. There is an expectation I do believe by the public, since the dispute touches on legal affairs, that we will be able to advocate and explain and I think that that is a fair expectation of us as an association and as advocates. But in order to do that properly we need to have that information and we need to be properly educated ourselves, so that when we go out to assist perhaps in explaining or educating things to the general public, to our family, to our friends - that we make sure we don't provide wrong information or we miscommunicate something. Because we are picking it up from sources or places that may not necessarily be proper. So the idea is to put our attorneys in a position where they have access to persons who know about this topic in detail and in depth and hopefully they will learn from this experience and then be able to assist others."

    Fruta Bomba and Belize Food Packers fire 123 employees
    Brooks Tropicals the parent company for Fruta Bomba & Belize Food Packers Ltd., which is the sole papaya exporter from Belize, has terminated the services of 123 employees. The announcement was made on Friday February 19 and is part of the companies winding down of operations in Belize. The company had over 250 employees and over the next 6 months those will all be terminated. In a release from the Ministry of Labor and Local Government it states that, “The Ministry of Labour, is currently working closely with the management of the company and the affected employees, to ensure that the legal requirements under redundancy are complied with and most importantly that the wages and terminal benefits due to all employees by law are paid.” Earlier this month on February 9th, the companies began to lay off workers and the ministry says that it had already been engaged with workers to offer them advice to verify their payments.

    Belize Elementary’s Ethan Quan Wins Coastal Awareness Quiz Competition
    The Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute is hosting a series of activities across the country in celebration of Coastal Awareness Week, which was launched at Old Belize on Monday, February 22, under the theme “The Coast is ours… Let’s climate proof it!”. The first activity held for the week of February 22 to 27 was a primary school quiz competition. Students from across Belize City gathered at the Bliss Center to cheer on their schoolmates on Tuesday, February 23. The competition featured questions on the importance of the Belize reef system and its coastal zone; including three atolls, several coastal lagoons, mangrove forests, and over 300 cayes. There were also some general environmental questions included. At the end of the competition, Ethan Quan from Belize Elemenatry School proved that he was clearly more knowledgeable of the Coastal areas of Belize than his peers. Quan received $500 cash and a tablet for his victory.

    Government endorses the Belize Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan
    The Honorable Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister of Belize and Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development has announced the recent decision made by the government of Belize on February 9th 2016 to endorse Belize’s first National Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (“the Plan”). This announcement was made during the Deputy Prime Minister’s keynote address delivered at the Official Opening Ceremony for Coastal Awareness Week 2016 being implemented by the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute under the theme, “The Coast is Ours…Let’s Climate Proof-It!”

    Coastal Management now has Integrated Management Plan
    The Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI) opened Coastal Awareness Week on Monday, February 22, with the announcement that Cabinet has approved and is ready to push forward the National Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Plan. Belize has the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, stretching approximately 280 kilometer from the northern to southern borders of the country and those who depend on the reef system for their livelihood have been pushing for a comprehensive management plan since 1989. The Government of Belize has taken steps to protect and regulate the reef system and activities since stakeholders made their voices heard. Government passed the Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Act in 1998 to address issues such as rapid development, overfishing, and population growth. That act gave the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute the responsibility to develop an integrated management plan for the sustainable use of coastal resources. Designing this comprehensive plan has been an extremely tedious exercise and Government abandoned it from 2003 to 2008. A new administration revived the project in 2010 but by then much of the data had been lost and the dynamics in the industry had changed. The CZMAI had to start almost from scratch by holding a series of consultations with government agencies, non-governmental organizations, industry guardians, private sector representatives from business and tourism, community groups and indigenous communities.

    Hon. Frank Mena addresses D.Y.S. candidates
    Unfortunately, the youth of today has been blacklisted when it is only a minority of young people who are creating social disruption. Most youths are motivated and long to do well in everything they do, which means they could play a very important role in politics. To begin with, young people have different perceptions and a host of different ideas. By allowing them to voice their opinion, doors could be opened in propelling the Belizean political world forward. This is not only good for the Belizean society, but necessary for society on a whole. Which brings us to the National Youth Council, a youth governance body that aims to speak on behalf of the youths of Belize. Today rallies were held across the country in preparation for election of District Youth Presidents, Vice Presidents, Treasurers, Secretaries and Public Relations Officers come Monday February 29th, 2016. Here in Dangriga, it all started off with a march from the Drums of Our Fathers Monument to BTL Princess Royal Park. Stann Creek West UDP Standard Bearer Walter Garbutt, one of the three keynote speakers, was first in addressing the crowd and the 21 potential candidates. Garbutt said, “Youths are indeed the future. It’s not just a cliché, you are indeed the future and for those who are looking for a leadership role, look around you. Look in your community and you will identify some great leaders. To be a good leader you need to have patience.”

    Dangriga’s second phase of development
    Over the next 9 months Dangriga Town will see an increase in activity with the paving of a number of streets as well as the installation of drains across the town. The work comes as a result of Phase 2 of the Dangriga Municipal Development Project which is well under way. The work scope will include the paving of Gadsby Ramos Street and Trucking Boulevard from its intersection of Gadsby Ramos Street to George Price Drive. These highly trafficked streets will be paved with double chip and seal paving and at each intersections it will be triple chip and seal paving. Both streets will have drains, sidewalks, pedestrian crossings and speed bumps. Upon its completion it is expected that the drainage problem that plagues the area during the rainy season will be alleviated.

    Change in Import Duties and prices for fuel products
    Yesterday, the Ministry of Finance apprised the Cabinet of the continued, significant decrease in domestic crude oil production and the attendant slump in tax revenues and royalties, and made recommendations for immediate compensatory adjustments to the duties levied upon imported fuel products. Consequently, Cabinet approved the following adjustments, effective February 25, 2016, to the import duties: Increase of 40 cents per US Gallon on Premium Gasoline to $3.36 per US Gallon Increase of 30 cents per US Gallon on Regular Gasoline to $3.03 per US Gallon Increase of 80 cents per US Gallon on Diesel Oil to $2.72 per US Gallon The combined effect of this change, along with the downward change in the CIF prices of this recent fuel shipment, will result in new pump prices per US gallon (in Belize City) as follows: Premium Gasoline -$8.99 per US gallon Regular Gasoline - $7.98 per US gallon Diesel Oil - $7.52 per US gallon

    Newlyweds charged for celebratory marijuana
    A BDF Corporal and his wife were busted with 40.4 grams of marijuana in their Fabers Road home on Saturday, February 20, and charged with possession of a controlled drug. Corporal William Swan and Carmelita Games appeared in the Belize City Magistrates Court on Tuesday, February 23, where Games took the wrap for the drugs. According to police, based on information received they visited the couple’s home at #36 Faber’s Road Extension at around 5:10 a.m. on Saturday. The team of officers was from the Special Operation Unit, Strike Team and Canine Unit dog, Basco. The canine officer pointed the team to the couple’s bed. There the officers found a LALA Yogurt container which contained six parcels of marijuana. As a result, Swan and Games were arrested and charged.

    7 years for woman who plead guilty to burglary and theft
    Margarita Pech/Noralez, a 35 year old mother of a one month old baby pleaded guilty to burglary and theft on Monday February 22. As a result of her guilty plea she was sentenced to 7 years in prison. Noralez appeared before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser, where she was charged with burglarizing the home of Kelsey Musa. She was additionally charged for stealing from Dr. Martha Habet, a doctor employed with the KHMH. In court Noralez opted to plead guilty to both crimes and as a result was sentenced to 6 years in prison for burglary and a year for theft. On Monday February 15, 2016 Noralez was charged and arraigned for theft for which she was remanded to prison. On Monday February 22 she was brought down on a warrant for a burglary charge she picked up in 2015. That matter was set for trial.

    Daniel Rios to stand trial for carnal knowledge of 9 year old girl
    Twenty seven year old Daniel Rios, who is accused of having sex with a 9 year old child remains in custody at the Belize Central Prison after a preliminary inquiry against him concluded and his case was committed for trial at the Supreme Court on Friday February 19. Rios a resident of #276 Star Fish Crescent, Belama Phase 1 is accused of having sex with the 9 year old child on April 28, 2015. His Preliminary Inquiry took place on Thursday April 18 before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where there was no challenge to the police’s evidence. With that, Chief Magistrate Smith sent up the matter for trial at the Supreme Court in the April session. Prosecutor in the case, Cpl. Christopher Smith is relying on statements of as many as 9 persons including the minor and her mother who gave consent for her to be examined by a doctor.

    Roy Jones arrested for murder of American in PG
    Police have arrested and charged 48 year old Roy Jones for the murder of Thomas Paul Rockowski. The 69 year old American naturalized Belizean was killed in his home on Saturday 6th February in Hopeville village in Punta Gorda Rockowski was at home when he was attacked by three persons who forced their way into his home and stabbed him to the neck and chest. He managed to call the police and when they arrived they took him to the Punta Gorda hospital and later transferred to the KHMH where he died. Police have now arrested Roy Jones and they believe jealousy was the motive behind the killing. Two other persons who had been detained by police have since been released.

    Convicted of stealing a TV from his boss
    Twenty three year old Rocky Road resident, Kermick Adolphus Shabazz was sentenced to one year in prison after he pleaded guilty to theft and handling stolen goods. As a result Magistrate Carlon Mendoza imposed on him the one year prison term. Shabazz was accused of stealing a $225.00 LCD Panasonic TV and a remote valued $50.00,from his employer businesswoman, Pawan Thadani. In a report to police, Thadani, who owns a shop on the Phillip Goldson Highway reported to police that on February 18, 2016, at around 9:00 p.m., upon her arrival at her store noticed that her television was missing from her business. A statement was recorded and police investigation led to the arrest of Shabazz who at the time was an employee who took police to his home where they recovered the TV. Thadani positively identified the television to police as hers.

    Mar Alliance expresses concern over overfishing of sharks in Belize
    A shark conservation NGO, Mar Alliance this week posted pictures on Facebook raising an alarm over a large number of sharks which were being processed for meat near the Blue Hole and Half Moon Caye. The pictures posted show fisher folk cleaning 3 shark species including hammerhead and Caribbean Reef sharks at the Sandbore Caye and Hat Caye Lighthouse. According to the post there were at least 50 sharks landed at the sites. In Belize it is not illegal to fish for these marine animals however Oceana Belize’s Vice President, Janelle Chanona has expressed concern over the quantity of sharks which were being processed and the possibility that longlines and gill nets may have been used in capturing the sharks.

    Court says ‘MEK MI RICH’ was Curtis Swasey’s idea
    Corozal Businessman Curtis Swasey has won his fight against BTL and the proprietors of the Mek Mi Rich Lottery Game. The Supreme Court has ruled that lottery texting in Belize was his idea, and that Mek Mi Rich stole it. After weeks of hearings and back and forth trips to the court, Swasey made his case before Justice Courtney Abel that he signed a confidentiality agreement with Belize Telemedia Limited. Then, over the course of 2 years, he started to explain his concept of lottery texting. He wanted to use BTL’s SMS service to allow for the average Belizean to buy tickets with their credit for his game called Super Slam Sunday. He claimed that BTL had no idea of how it would work, and so he had to walk them through it step by step. He submitted email correspondences back and forth between himself and the technicians of BTL, in which they had an unending list of questions on what to do. Then, in 2014 the company terminated their business relationship with him, and then a few months later Mek Mi Rich was launched with his very same concept.

    Western Ballaz stops Belmopan Bandits in its track
    The National Elite Basketball League competition continued over the last weekend with five games on the schedule. On Friday February 19, at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town, Kurt Burgess, who played the first two years of the NEBL was making his first appearance as a visitor to the auditorium with his new team the Belmopan Bandits to take on the Cayo Western Ballaz. At the end of the game, the home team Cayo Western Ballaz prevailed with a 67-60 win over Kurt Burgess and the visiting Belmopan Bandits. The top scorers for the Cayo Western Ballaz were Elvis Usher Jr. with 17 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist and 3 steals; James Milton with 16 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist and a steal and Brandon Flowers with 11 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and a steal. For the visiting Belmopan Bandits, the top scorers were Jarrel Velasquez with 18 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists; Nick Brown with 12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals; Kyle Pascascio with 10 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals and Kurt Burgess who scored 5 points, grabed 13 rebounds, dished out 2 assists and a steal.

    Alberto Gonzalez Mindez and Rosa Elizabeth Del Toro Amaya win CADICA 10 Km Cross Country event
    The Belize Athletics Association in collaboration with the Central American Cross Country championship in Athletics (CADICA) hosted the X Central American Cross Country championship on Saturday February 20, 2016, at the Roaring River Gulf Course in Roaring Creek Village, Cayo District. In the 10 Km Open event in the male category, which saw the participation of 14 competitors, first place went to Alberto Gonzalez Mindez of Guatemala in a time of 31.51. The second athlete to cross the finish line was Mario Arturo Santizo Lara also of Guatemala in a time of 32.25. The third athlete to cross the line was David Alexander Escobar Castillo of El Salvador in a time of 33.04 and he was followed by Williams Alexander Sanchez Rivera also of El Salvador in a time of 33.43 and he was followed by Jose Enrique Calvo Solano of Costa Rica in a time of 34.06. Belize’s best finished came in the person of Ervin Hamilton who placed eight in a time of 40.50. The other Belizean competitors placed from ninth through fourteenth place. In the 10Km Open female category, first place went to Rosa Elizabeth Del Toro Amaya of El Salvador in a time of 37.52. The second runner to cross the finish line was Aldy Jimena Gonzalez Zuniga of Honduras in a time of 39.26, the third runner to cross the finish line was Monica Viviana Vargas Chaves of Costa Rica in a time of 41.27.

    27 thousand pounds of rice taken off the market
    The Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) is reporting that on the 11th of February it removed 27,571 pounds of rice from a business outlet in Belize City. The release states that a Notice of Detention was served on a rice producer because he was not complying with the proper packaging and labelling requirements for rice. While the release does not identify the producer, the Guardian has learnt this person to be Jacob Wahl from Ship Yard who was given several warnings as to the proper packaging of rice. He was given his final warning last week. The rice which was detained was packed in 100 pound bags which is in contravention of the regulations which specify that the maximum amount in which rice can be packaged is 20 pound bags.

    Ombudsman and Contractor General Sworn-In for New Terms in Office
    In a brief ceremony held on Monday, February 22 at the Belize House in Belmopan, Mr. Lionel Arzu and Mr. Godwin Arzu were sworn-in for their new terms as Ombudsman and Contractor General respectively, following the Prime Minister’s announcement of their re-appointments at the January 22nd Sitting of the House of Representatives. This marks Mr. Lionel Arzu’s second term as Ombudsman and Mr. Godwin Arzu’s third term as Contractor General. Both men were joined by their families as they took the oath of allegiance before the Governor General H.E. Sir Colville Young.

    Traffic wardens enhance their skill sets in Belmopan
    With much infrastructural work on the Nation’s Capital already underway, the Traffic Department within the Belmopan City Council is now enhancing the skill sets of its traffic wardens. These specially designated personnel, who ensure the smooth flow of traffic in Belmopan, have undergone two days of training at the Police Training Academy on both Saturday and Sunday of this past weekend. Lecturers for the two day course included Mr. Kevin Jones (Traffic Manager), who discussed the standard operating procedures of the Traffic Department, while Ms. Lucia Ellis addressed the wardens with a motivational talk. Mr. Emil Pulido based his talk on professional Development. A discourse on Public Relations and Road safety was given by Ms. Pamela Scott and Shantel Jacobs from the Belize Road Safety Project. Other lectures to the wardens were given by members of the Police Training Academy, which included topics on motor vehicles and road traffic, licenses & insurance, report writing, justifiable force and harm and the types of evidence acceptable by the court. The Belmopan City Council would like to extend congratulations to all the 12 traffic wardens who willingly attended the training.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Dismembered remains of a premature infant found in Dangriga
    Breaking Belize News has received disturbing information of the discovery of dismembered remains of a premature infant found on one of the streets of Dangriga earlier today. Information is sketchy but BBN was reliably informed that Dangriga police are currently investigating the matter. This […]

    Coast Guards call off search for missing person
    After three days of intense search, the Belize Coast Guard have called off the search for a second missing person who allegedly plunged into the New River late Monday evening. After several attempts of both surface and under water search, the coast guards were unsuccessful in […]

    Police help elderly men in Placencia
    Most of the time police officers are only featured in the news for allegations of brutality or for making arrests but a new strategy the Placencia Police are implementing, may change the public’s perception of law enforcement officers. In an effort to build community relations on […]

    Orange Walk Police identify body found in Lamanai Lagoon
    Police have identified the body found on Wednesday across the Lamanai lagoon in Indian Church Village as 51 year old Guido Urbina, an Honduran national who lived in the village. Police investigations so far have indicated that Urbina was fatally shot to the forehead. He […]

    Protestors in Chetumal briefly delay travelers again
    Up to midday today, Belizeans and travelers headed to Belize were once again stranded at the Subteniente Lopez area in Chetumal as community members in the area blocked the highway. Breaking Belize News understands that Belizeans and several bikers who were on their way to […]

    Who is behind fake Orange Walk Town drivers’ licenses?
    This week San Pedro police revealed that several persons approached the Town Council for the routine renewal of their drivers’ licenses from Orange Walk. Unfortunately for them, the documents turned out not to be genuine. Police have begun an investigation and narrowed their focus on […]

    Special Envoy releases kids’ activity book on children’s rights
    Our children are supposed to be innocent, but in modern times they have had to grow up far faster than they should. One aspect of that growth is becoming aware of the basic rights they have and are entitled to, as well as their responsibilities […]

    Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) to Sarstoon again, despite warning from Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    The Belize Territorial Volunteers have planned another trip to the Sarstoon River for this coming Saturday. The expedition is in commemoration of their trip to the Gracias a Dios border monument along the Sarstoon river last year. At that time, they were detained by Guatemalan military and […]

    Packed sports schedule for this weekend
    In the National Elite Basketball League this weekend, the first game on Friday night will see the undefeated Belize Hurricanes taking on Belmopan’s Bandits at Elementary Gym 9:00 p.m. and on Saturday in Dangriga, its Warriors will go up against Belize City’s No Limits at Ecumenical Auditorium 8:00 p.m. Also starting at 8:00 Saturday night, […]

    City Cops find weed and ammo
    The Southside Strike Team 3, Special Branch and K-9 Unit, all attached to the Belize City Police Department, conducted searches on Queen Charlotte Street yesterday morning, resulting in the discovery of weed and ammunition. In an abandoned lot on that street, officers found a […]

    People’s United Party seeks place for Cordel on National Executive following meeting
    The People’s United Party’s first National Executive meeting since January’s Special National Convention elections took place today in Belize City. While he was not in attendance, former candidate for party leadership Cordel Hyde is expected to be integrated at the senior level of the […]

    Belize Defense Force storeroom burglarized in Punta Gorda
    The Quarter Master in charge of equipment and storage at Belize Defense Force’s (BDF) Fairweather Camp in Punta Gorda (PG), reported to police yesterday that there was a burglary at the camp’s storeroom, sometime between 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday and 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday […]

    Cool and windy conditions prevail
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting variably cloudy and cool weather with light rain along the coast this morning, then decreasing this afternoon. Winds will be blowing from the North-Northwest at 15-25 knots with higher gusts and the sea state will be […]

    Is Belize’s vote in FIFA Congress valid?
    Football Federation of Belize President, Ruperto Vicente, votes in tomorrow’s FIFA election in Zurich, even though he has been suspended according to his Executive Committee, although he claims the suspension is not legal. FIFA and CONCACAF are yet to rule on the matter. As reported by […]

    Basketball and Football action continues
    Over the past weekend, starting on Friday night, games continued across the country as part of National Elite Basketball League’s season, which has already reached its halfway point with Belize Hurricanes dominating thus far. Western Ballaz secured a victory against Belmopan’s Bandits with a […]


    Light lunch and interesting conversation at Cocoblanca
    I was recently invited to attend the Belize Humane Symposium hosted by Saga Humane Society at CocoBlanca the Coco Beach restaurant. Since my mom is here on a one week visit and willing to do what ever was on my schedule that she was interested in, she was happy to join me. After Pilates class we got cleaned up and headed north to Coco Beach Resort. There were many new and also many familiar faces at the event. The groups came together to brainstorm, and share best practices on how they can all work smarter not harder. Importing and sharing of medication came up, as sometimes one group may be out of a particular medication and a different one has a surplus. Another interesting comment shared by the Cayo Humane Society is that they use high tech pet ID tags to help track dogs and get their info out to the public.

    Bacon-Wrapped Chili Shrimp
    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Set a wire rack over a baking sheet. Melt the butter with the chili powder in a small pan, stirring to combine. Divide the chili butter between 2 separate bowls. Wrap each shrimp in a half piece of bacon and skewer with a small skewer or large toothpick. Arrange the shrimp on the wire rack and brush with half of the chili butter (1 of the bowls). Bake until the bacon is cooked, 5 to 10 minutes. With a clean brush, brush on more chili butter from the second bowl. Serve on a big platter and sprinkle with sliced green onions. These can be taken out of the oven up to 1 hour before serving and kept warm. Brush on the second portion of chili butter right before serving.

    “Love Is a Losing Game” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
    In the previous edition I mentioned that Arsenal had an important Champions League game against Barcelona. I also mentioned that Rose and I get invited to join them when friends have a ‘no work today’ outing. And yesterday was one of those days. There’s a large number of Belizean’s on Ambergris Caye that avidly follow La Liga (the premier football league in Spain) . Predominantly though they are either Real Madrid or Barcelona fans with the majority (based upon my observations) supporting the latter. When Barca are playing the distinctive shirt is to be seen all over the island. So with so many Barca fans on the island I think they thought it would be good to have an Arsenal fan amongst them during the game to poke fun at and they saw me as ‘fit for purpose’ so I vitiated me to watch the game with them.

    1 In a heavy-bottomed pot, it can be a pressure cooker, place milk and cinnamon sticks. 2 When it begins to boil remove 1/2 liter of the milk and cool. You can help to cool it by placing it on top of some ice. 3 In a blender place the cooled milk and cornstarch and flour and liquefy. 4 Boil the milk that was left in the pot once more and add the blended milk. 5 Stir mixture until you can see the bottom of the pot. 6 Pour into a plate or platter made of clay. 7 Once cooled sprinkle cinnamon powder on top and with a napkin pat it on. 8 Place on table with squared pieces cut out so it can be easily served.

    International Sourcesizz

    Belize's Vicente arrives in Zurich to vote but his exco claims he has been suspended
    Football Federation of Belize President, Ruperto Vicente, voting in tomorrow's FIFA election in Zurich, has been suspended according to his Executive Committee, although he claims the suspension is not legal. FIFA and CONCACAF are yet to rule on the matter. A dispute between Vicente, who was elected FFB President in March 2012, and members of his Executive Committee has blown up over recent days with Vicente accused of disallowing candidates not loyal to him in upcoming district elections scheduled for March 13 and overstepping his authority in the decisions he and his General-Secretary Michael Blease, have been making. The dispute has gone legal with Vice President Sergio Chuc having called an executive committee meeting in order "to suspend (Vicente) as member and president of FFB." After some difficulties, the meeting was held with Vicente present and after a compromise could not be found the executive committee members claim Vicente was suspended due to his "ongoing documented history of engaging in and/or permitting improper activities in violation of FFB Statutes 2011," as well as the "improper manner in which District Association elections have been conducted in violation of numerous rules that govern the FFB and the FIFA Code of Ethics."

    Erika Scheibe, a sophomore biology major at The College of Idaho, gives a firsthand account of a recent C of I study abroad experience in Belize, where students accompanied Professors Chris Walser and Don Mansfield to learn about the subtropical ecosystems and culture of the vibrant Central American nation. I look out over a lush tropical landscape that I’ve only ever read about. In front of me in the thick Belizean air rolls an unceasing ocean of hills displaying every shade of green imaginable–lime, jungle, and emerald all enmeshed in one fluid landscape. A flock of rare, brightly hued scarlet macaws rest on their qualmwood tree above me, capturing my interest for hours. I spot a snowy egret flying by, its scintillating white feathers standing in sharp contrast against the dark greenery. In the distance, a black howler monkey bellows its evening call to neighboring troops. The fading sign that shepherds travelers towards the humid outdoors from the small Belize City airport describes Belize perfectly; “Welcome to Belize: Mother Nature’s best kept secret.” During Winter Term 2016, I had the opportunity to uncover these secrets by studying the ecology of Belize through guided jungle walks, snorkeling adventures, and my own independent research. After studying the ecology of Belize throughout fall semester, it was eye-opening to visit the small Central American country first-hand. Through The College of Idaho’s study abroad program, 15 students alongside biology professors Dr. Don Mansfield and Dr. Chris Walser had the opportunity to explore and learn about the vast jungle, savanna and cave ecosystems that make up Belize, as well as the coastal, reef, and mangrove ecosystems of the Caribbean.

    Incredible Blue Holes of the World: 1. Great Blue Hole, Belize
    Located off the coast of Belize, the Great Blue Hole lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef and is part of the larger Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The underwater sinkhole, which is over 400 feet deep, is a diver's dream—it's considered one of the top 10 diving sites in the world. Divers from all over the world travel here to dive in crystal-clear waters and see myriad species of marine life including, including Midnight Parrotfish and Caribbean reef shark, and spectacular coral formations.

    Researchers Explore the Role of the Prehistoric Kayuko Mounds in Maya Royal Accession Ceremonies
    Around the world and throughout history many rulers who’ve taken power have said their authority is ordained by God. In Europe it was called the divine right of kings and in China the mandate of heaven. Apparently people in the ancient Maya societies of Mesoamerica had a similar concept, though we don’t know what they may have called it. Some researchers working at a prehistoric site in Belize believe that a group of manmade mounds near a sacred cave were used in royal accession ceremonies by a king seeking approval of the deities. Archaeologists Holley Moyes , Mark Robinson, and Keith M. Prufer wrote in the February 2016 issue of the closed-access journal Antiquity: “The cave of Kayuko Naj Tunich is believed to have been the location of the accession ceremonies for the royal dynasty of the ancient Maya Uxbenká polity in southern Belize. Little is known, however, about the structures referred to as the Kayuko Mound Group that lie close to the cave. Excavations have now provided evidence for the date of this complex, and experimental research has estimated the labour costs involved in its construction. The results suggest that while both the mound group and the cave were involved in the celebration of royal accession, the former acted as a short-lived festival site in contrast to the enduring significance of Kayuko Naj Tunich.”

    Taiwan President to visit two Central America nations
    President Ma Ying-jeou is scheduled to visit two of Taiwan's diplomatic allies in Central America -- Guatemala and Belize -- in March, sources said Friday. On his March 13-19 trip, Ma will meet with Guatemala's new President Jimmy Morales, Belizean Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Saint Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Timothy Harris, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, and Saint Lucia Prime Minister Kenny Anthony, the sources said. Ma will also deliver a speech at the Central American Parliament, which is headquartered in Guatemala City, they said. Local press reports added that Ma will make transit stops in Houston and Los Angeles, but not in any citiy on the east coast of the United States.

    CDB predicts slower economic growth for region
    Caribbean governments have been urged to speed up legal and regulatory reform amid predictions of slower economic growth for the region, following last year’s mixed fortunes. The advice came yesterday from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) which said that overall growth remained sluggish. In its annual review of the performance of regional Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs), the Bank said the global economic difficulties of 2015, including the slowdown in China and its effect on markets elsewhere, had an overall negative impact on the region. The vulnerability caused by a heavy reliance on overseas markets, as well as the impact of natural disasters such as storms and drought particularly in Dominica and The Bahamas, stymied growth. In some BMCs, the reduction in Correspondent Banking Relationships (CBRs) threatened the financial systems and real economies. Recovery in the regional tourism market continued last year with most destinations seeing increases in visitor arrivals; and many reported higher numbers of the more lucrative stay-over visitors. Along with these positive trends, there was an uptick in tourism-related construction. As a result, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, and the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) each experienced growth of more than four per cent. For some of the larger countries, such as The Bahamas and Barbados, the positive tourism impact on growth was more modest.

    Commentary: Would the real tax havens please stand
    By Sir Ronald Sanders. “It is tantamount to an economic blockade”. That’s how Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, described the current withdrawal from Caribbean indigenous and offshore banks of correspondent relationships by US banks. His sentiments were echoed by Dean Barrow and Freundel Stuart, the prime ministers of Belize and Barbados respectively. The withdrawal of correspondent banking relations is the immediate cause for these strong observations made by the prime ministers, with the endorsement of all heads of government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), but it is not the only reason. The region’s financial services sector has been threatened since the mid 1990s, when the powerful nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) introduced its so-called ‘harmful tax competition initiative (HTCI)’. The HTCI was premised on the erroneous belief that companies and persons, domiciled in some of the OECD countries, were stashing hundreds of millions of taxable money in small jurisdictions in the Caribbean, Pacific and the Indian Ocean where there was either low or no taxation.

    UK expats – register to vote in the EU referendum
    Attention UK Expats! Almost 106,000 overseas electors registered to vote - three times the numbers that were on the register ahead of the previous general election in 2010. While this is a real improvement, it is still a fraction of the 5.5 million UK citizens estimated to be living overseas, and potentially eligible to vote at the EU Referendum. This means millions of UK citizens living overseas could miss out on their chance take part in the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union because they don’t know they are eligible to register to vote. That is why we are supporting the second ever Overseas Voter Registration Day to let UK residents overseas that many of them are eligible to vote and that it’s now easier than ever to take the first step by going online to register to vote. With the date of the referendum as yet unknown, we are advising UK expats to register sooner rather than later so you can be sure you are registered in time. Expats can now register online to vote in just a few minutes at In fact, thousands of expats have already taken advantage of the new system in order to register to vote.


  • Snorkeling Belize, 8min. Filmed just off the shores of Caye Caulker,Belize part of the second largest barrier reef in the world.

  • Cozumel & Belize 2016, 55min.

  • AMIGOS Diving The Blue Hole Belize, 4min. This Virtual Dive episode sponsored by Guest Divers Mario, Camila, Josefina Escudero and Carlos Huerta from Santiago Chile. Thanks for your support and for choosing Amigos Del Mar Belize as your dive vacation destination

  • Humpback whale sighting off Placencia, 1min. Okay, here it is. We saw this Humpback Whale inside the reef yesterday. Alfred Williams was guiding us and we spent an unbelievable 15 or 20 minutes with this gentle giant. A very rare sighting in these waters. Can't put into words how lucky we were.

  • Team Adventure Medical Kits - Day 3 Highlights MMAC Belize 2016, 1min.

  • Belize 2016, 5min. Fifteen of HHCA's upper school students and four leaders traveled to Belize for a mission trip with ROWKids. It was an amazing week and God transformed the lives of many of our students. The group spent time working at a local school doing construction, leading Bible studies, and loving students.

  • Shark Ray Alley Snorkeling in Belize, 3min. Saw lots of Nurse Sharks, Rays and Amberjacks while snorkeling over at Shark Ray Alley! The water was crystal clear! This video shot by a friend while I stayed in the boat with our kids because my son was bleeding after he put his hand in the water and got bit by a hungry Amberjack who mistook his finger for one of the sardines our guide was throwing in.

  • More snorkeling at Shark Ray Alley in Belize, 3min. 2nd half of the video with the nurse sharks, amberjacks, and rays while snorkeling shark ray alley off Ambergris Caye, Belize.

  • BELIZE. Blue Hole @ Long Caye Lighthouse Atoll, 3min. Belize, with pristine rainforest, rolling mountains and land steeped in ancient civilizations and modern cultures is protected offshore by an immense 190 mile long barrier reef: “The most remarkable reef in the West Indies” according to Darwin.

    February 25, 2016


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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

    The San Pedro Sun

    Unsustainable Shark Fishing is killing the Belize Marine Ecosystem
    The marine conservation community is in an outrage over the recent report of the gill net and long line fishing of sharks occurring near the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. Both MarAlliance and Oceana in Belize have expressed their discontent over the unsustainable practice which in drastically damaging our marine ecosystem. But in the fishermen’s defense, the practice is legal in Belize, as there are no laws against gill net or line fishing, or even fishing for sharks. In fact, the only shark species protected in Belize are Whale Sharks and Nurse Sharks, allowing other species such as Caribbean Reef Sharks and Hammer Heads to be legally killed. Reports surfaced on Sunday, February 21st, when MarAlliance posted on their social media page images of the shark massacre. The pictures posted represented a portion of a single day’s fishing with nets and longlines, and included at least 32 sharks representing three species, including the endangered great hammerhead and pregnant Caribbean reef sharks.

    Police suspect retaliation in murder of Frank Edwards Jr.
    Currently San Pedro Police have two persons in custody, and believe that Edwards’ murder was in retaliation to another murder of an islander exactly one year ago. According to official reports from the police, at about 8:50PM Edwards was inside his home along with family members when there was a knock on the door. Someone from outside shouted “Police” and as a result Edwards opened the door to find out what was happening. Without warning he was shot multiple times by his perpetrators who then quickly made their escape in a skiff through the lagoon area behind his house. Family members placed Edwards’ body in his boat and drove it to the dock on Tarpon Street were police found him. Upon investigation at the scene of the shooting, Police recovered (17) seventeen .45 auto expended shells, (14) fourteen .9mm expended shells, (2) two 12 gauge expended cartridge, (1) one 12-gauge live cartridge, (3) three .45 slug, (2) two .9mm slug and (5) five pellets from the scene.

    Ambergris Today

    Very windy night last night.... this from 9pm last night
    Power crews are working on completely restoring power to all areas of Ambergris Caye as the island experienced power failure due to faulty lines. Wind gusts exceeded 25mph and knocked down trees in some neighborhoods

    Police Suspect Retaliation in Latest Murder Case
    On Tuesday evening, February 23, 2016, at about 9:30p.m., San Pedro Police officers were called to Mr. Francisco Arceo’s dock located on Tarpon Street where they found the lifeless body of Frank Luis Edwards Jr. inside a 16-foot skiff. Edwards, 27-years-old Belizean fisherman, suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his chest, stomach, neck and face. His body was retrieved from the boat and taken to the San Pedro Polyclinic where he was pronounced dead on arrival at 10:06p.m. by resident doctor Renae Sersland. Police believe that the motive for the murder is retaliation for drug/murder cases in the past in which Edwards has been linked to. Frank is no stranger to the San Pedro Police Department and has been in and out of court in several cases, including the 2009 murder case of James Swan and Edward "Bro Lee" Gutierrez in which he and three other men were acquitted of murder and set free.

    Belize Dive Master Big Sexy Has Serious Bubble Ring Blowing Skills
    He is known in the diving world of Belize as ‘Big Sexy’, working as a dive master at Chuck and Robbie’s Scuba Diving & Instruction, one of the leading dive shops in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Famous for these bubbles, Big Sexy is constantly asked to perform this trick almost every day. His name is Turiano Vasquez Jr., but ‘Big Sexy’ stuck to him one day and now he is a well known dive instructors on the island – Everybody Knows Big Sexy!! He is fun, adventurous, entertaining and a very friendly guy. His outgoing personality helps make his diving tours a blast. David McNab and his family from Peterborough, Canada are frequent visitors to Ambergris Caye. He shares with us this great video and images he took while on a diving trip, showcasing Big Sexy blowing bubble rings at 60 feet below the surface. It is a really cool talent, don’t you think?

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    BELIZE FISHING REPORT: Week of February 14th – February 20th, 2016
    A good weather week with lots of great guests that had the lodge in a great mood. Orivi had the winter Bonefish Bonanza and had 10 guides reserved for a great group, lots of couples, lots of fun, Big thanks go out to Duber, Orvis’ host for the Bonefish Bonanza event, everything was smooth and successful.

    Princess Cruise Awards Chukka (Belize) Tour of the Season
    Staff from Chukka (Belize) attended an on-board ceremony on the Caribbean Princess on Thursday, February 11th to accept the award of the 2014/2015 High Volume Tour of the Season. The tour that won in this category is Chukka’s Lamanai Mayan Ruins, Mangrove River Cruise & Lunch. Chukka has been providing this tour to Princess cruise ships since 2012. This is the 3rd consecutive year that Chukka has won a Tour of the Season by Princess as part of its Western Caribbean itinerary awards recognition program. Princess Cruises also made notable mentions of several of the guides who provide guiding services for the Chukka tours in Belize. On hand to receive the award were members of Chukka Belize’s management team. Cruise Operations Manager, Idorine Vernon, says “We thank Princess for this recognition which would not have been possible without the hard work and effort of the tour guides on this tour and our transportation and meal service suppliers with whom we work as a team. We look forward to continue doing our best in providing safe and fun tours”.

    Maya Wedding Re-enactment at Santa Rita site
    History indicates that a Spanish sailor named Gonzalo Guerrero was shipwrecked in 1511, off the coast of Belize shortly after the New World Discovery. A great friendship grew between Guerrero and Nachanhan who was the Maya Ruler of Santa Rita, known as Old Chetumal. Eventually Guerrero married Nachanhan's daughter, and their children were considered the first Mestizo of Belize. Mestizo culture is defined as a mix of Spanish and Mayan ancestry, and larger populations are found in the Northern districts of Belize. On Saturday February 6, 2016, a reenactment of The Royal Wedding of Nachanhan's daughter to the Spaniard, Guerrero was presented at the Santa Rita Site in Corozal, Belize. The event was opened to the general public and was organized by the BTB, Centro Escolar Mexico, Corozal Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association and the National Institute of Culture and History. The idea is to make the Santa Rita Maya Temple a spiritual wedding garden,opening to newly engaged couples, persons renewing their vows or for those celebrating a milestone in their lives. Other highlights of the night included a portrayal of the cultural celebration with the hog head, a demonstration of the traditional Mayan Ball game ( Pitz ) which was played on stone courts at the temples. The objective of the game was to keep the ultimately passing it through high hoops that were suspended above the courts.

    2016 Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge- February 20-23, 2016
    Local and International Teams of four compete for 3 days and nights in an epic adventure. The challenge includes Mountain biking, trekking, orienteering, canoeing, rappelling and spelunking through the Maya Mountains and the Belizean Jungle, braving 220 miles of jungle trails, rapids, rivers, cave systems and waterfalls. This grueling competition showcases the very best of what Belize has to offer to nature and adventure lovers.

    Ruta Maya River Challenge 2016- March 4-7, 2016
    The Ruta Maya River Challenge, held annually in March, brings together 90-100 teams of professional and amateur paddlers from all over the world. It is the longest race of its kind in Central America consisting of 170 miles of paddling on the Belize River over the course of 4 days. The paddlers are challenged by currents, rapids, low areas that require them to physically carry their canoes for short distances and stronger winds as they approach the Caribbean Sea. The start of the race sees hundreds of locals and visitors trooping to the banks of the Macal River to watch the canoes pass and to cheer on their favourite teams. All teams consist of three members who must be aboard the canoe at the start of the race and no substitutes are allowed once the race has commenced.

    BPP Progressive Tourism & Environment Plan
    If it doesn't ban gill net fishing and implement the traditional fishermen recommendation, to protect our Fisheries from being raped by Guatemalans, then this initiative is futile. The BPP Progressive Tourism & Environment Plan is very clear: - Legislate the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Policy - Removal of the Ministerial discretion Provisions of the Fisheries Act Finalize Belize Fisheries Act Revision Project. We draw attention to: - Immediately banning gill net fishing in Belize’s waters. - To procure a fishing license, we will set up the system recommended by the southern commercial fishermen on September 5, 2013 at the Placencia Community Center and that is: - Defining a “Traditional Fisherman” as a born Belizean who has been fishing all their lives in Belize’s waters, and this tradition being passed down from at least 3 generations of born Belizean forefathers. - A Special committee of local traditional fishermen will be setup to proactively identify who all are current traditional fishermen. Anyone who does not make this list will have to go thru a vetting process by this committee, which will ultimately decide if they should get"traditional fisherman" status and thus a fishing license.

    The Honorable Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister of Belize and Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development has announced the recent decision made by the government of Belize on February 9th 2016 to endorse Belize’s first National Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (“the Plan”). This announcement was made during the Deputy Prime Minister’s keynote address delivered at the Official Opening Ceremony for Coastal Awareness Week 2016 being implemented by the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute under the theme, “The Coast is Ours…Let’s Climate Proof-It!” In his keynote address, Honorable Gaspar Vega stated that government’s decision to endorse the Plan is “a reaffirmation of this government’s commitment to fulfilling the national agenda for growth and sustainable development.” He further stated that government is fully committed to the implementation of the Plan, which “signals a pioneering step towards strengthening the governance of coastal resources through the strategic transition from sectoral management to a coordinated, cross-sectoral decision making regime”.

    Power interruptions Saturday February 27 & Sunday, February 28: entire Orange Walk & Corozal Districts
    7:00am to 7:15am & 4:45pm to 5:00pm, BEL to facilitate line maintenance by Comisión Federal De Electricidad (CFE).

    Toucans now relocated to release cage
    Their final stop before freedom in about 7 days. Belize Bird Rescue in action again... Bless 'em all!

    Corazon Creek Technical High School gets classrooms and science lab
    Through the U.S. Embassy's Military Liasion Office and the U.S. Southern Command’s (SOUTHCOM) Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP) we recently opened two classroom buildings with state of the art science lab and bathroom facility at the the Corazon Creek Technical High School in Belize. The construction of the classroom building serves two pruposes. It not only provides a good learning environment for students, but also serves as a shelter in times of disaster. The project also included retrofitting the building with the solar panels. The new school building was built to the highest standards of design and construction with minimal maintenance cost. The total value of these construction projects is just over BZ$1,090,000.

    January 2016 External Trade & Consumer Price Index
    During the month of January 2016, Belize’s total imports were valued at almost $131 million, falling by 7.5 percent or $10.7 million when compared to the $141.6 million imported in January 2015. The ‘Commercial Free Zones’ and ‘Export Processing Zones’ were among the categories recording the largest declines in imports. Purchases for the Commercial Free Zones diminished by almost $11 million, from $28 million to $17 million, mainly due to an $8 million reduction in the importation of cigarettes. The total value of Belize’s domestic exports for the month of January 2016 was $22.8 million, down 29.5 percent or $9.5 million from the $32.3 million recorded in January 2015. Marine products, which recorded the best performance among the major exports in January 2015, fell steeply in January 2016 from $12 million to $2.5 million, owing to a $10 million fall in shrimp earnings. Only a little over half a million dollars worth of shrimp was exported for the month, as the industry embarks on restocking its ponds. Earnings from banana exports shrank from $7.6 million to less than $5 million, as the exported volume for this product dropped by over a third. Additionally, orange concentrate sales declined from $5 million to $3.5 million, resulting in an overall $2 million drop in citrus exports for the month.

    The Belize Sea Goddess
    he Belize Sea Goddess is latest Living Sculpture in the Sea project by The Marine Foundation and is their first for Belize and in the Western Hemisphere. The Eco art reef is created in collaboration with Roberts Grove Beach Resort, Placencia and local environmental group, SEA, Southern Environment Agency and will be installed during National Reef Week in Silk Caye Marine Reserve on March, Saturday 12th. Designed by esteemed artist and Foundation’s founder, Celia Gregory and inspired by the ancient feminine symbol of fertility; the Sea Goddess was created with a local team. The artificial reef sculpture will become a living artwork, evolving over time, providing habitat for fish and coral and an emblem of nurturing and protection. This Collaborative project represents a positive and creative step in the protection of Belize’s marine habitat.

    esterday, the Ministry of Finance apprised the Cabinet of the continued, significant decrease in domestic crude oil production and the attendant slump in tax revenues and royalties, and made recommendations for immediate compensatory adjustments to the duties levied upon imported fuel products. Consequently, Cabinet approved the following adjustments, effective February 25, 2016, to the import duties: Increase of 40 cents per US Gallon on Premium Gasoline to $3.36 per US Gallon Increase of 30 cents per US Gallon on Regular Gasoline to $3.03 per US Gallon Increase of 80 cents per US Gallon on Diesel Oil to $2.72 per US Gallon The combined effect of this change, along with the downward change in the CIF prices of this recent fuel shipment, will result in new pump prices per US gallon (in Belize City) as follows: Premium Gasoline -$8.99 per US gallon Regular Gasoline - $7.98 per US gallon Diesel Oil - $7.52 per US gallon.

    CARICOM Election Observation Mission Team
    Ms. Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Officer, Elections and Boundaries Department, Belize, is leading the eleven member CARICOM Election Observation Mission Team, which began arriving in Jamaica on 21 February. The CARICOM Election Observation Mission mounted for Jamaica’s February 25 General Elections has hit the ground with meetings involving the country’s two major political parties – the ruling Peoples National Movement of Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller and the main opposition Jamaica Labour Party led by Andrew Holness. The Mission, in an Arrival Statement issued Tuesday, said it also plans to meet with other political parties, the Commissioner of Police, the Electoral Commission of Jamaica, the Chamber of Commerce, the media and civil society groups.

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to the Corozal House of Culture
    Keep up the great work.

    Aircraft Technical Records Clerk position open with Tropic Air
    Tropic Air is an innovative, fun and energetic company and we are looking for someone to join our team. Check out our open positions and send us your resumés. Input and update daily flight hours in the computer, Input/track daily time sheets and schedules for the maintenance department, Generate work packs and work orders, Maintain aircraft technical logbooks and associated aircraft records, Input completed work packs & work order in the computer, Prepare reports using available data, Clear communication with other departments within the company, Comply with daily office duties.

    District Youth Development Council Election
    Corozal - The following is a list of nominees for the District Youth Development Council Election to be held February 29th, 2016. Electronic voting will be conducted via the respective Department of Youth Services. For the Corozal District, here are the nominees and their positions. Corozal District:- PRESIDENT - 1. Teotisha Hall 2. Damari Tesecum 3. Benigno Lizama VICE PRESIDENT - 1. Ginelly Novelo 2. Mikael E. Gilharry 3. Dominique Vellos

    Spanish Lookout 2016 Business Expo
    The Spanish Lookout Business Expo is this Friday and Saturday, at Countryside Park. More than 100 businesses will be showing their wares. There will be food and drinks, and fun too.

    Global Trees Symposium
    The Global Trees Symposium is this Friday at University of Belize. They have an all star lineup of speakers. "All are invited to attend!"

    While the Belizean-American athlete racked up wins after wins here on the California cycling classics over the last year, will 2016 see the outstanding and incredible cycling phenom enter the most popular Central American Cycling Classic, the National Belize Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Race. Along with him and his younger brother, Corey Williams, who has peaked to his finest condition over the last year, and also has won some big races on the California cycling circuit even beating his older brother Justin on one occasion, will the Williams brothers be there to defend the Garland again for Belize and continue the Miguel Brothers story of a dynasty of family cyclists raised up to become champions of the road. As March approaches and the sweltering heat of Belize's dry season pushes out its ugly head, the challenge of Belize's Cross Country calls as the bugel can be heard blazing in the wee hours of the dawn. Bring it on!

    The Belize team from JG Black Book and the Belize Tourism Board presenting to agents in Chicago.

    Channel 7

    Notorious Island Figure Executed
    If you follow the news, you might remember the name Frank Edwards Jr. He's a 27 year-old fisherman from the San Mateo Area of San Pedro Town. He's also been in numerous run in's with the law, and he even got off a murder and a double murder. But, last night at a few minutes before 9:00, he couldn't escape a group of determined killers who hunted him down in his house for a merciless execution. Frank Edwards Sr., the father of the deceased, told 7News that he knows very little about what happened last night, but what he has been told is that Frank Jr. was inside his home with other family members when they heard a knock on the door. Someone from the outside shouted "Police!", and Edwards Jr. answered the door, thinking that he was going to meet police officers. He was greeted instead by a gunman wielding a shot gun who immediately unloaded the weapon on Edwards Jr. He fell back inside the house, and that's when other gunmen opened fire and released a hail of bullets. Some accounts are that he suffered as many as 40 gunshot injuries. After the attack, the gunmen ran out of the house and allegedly escaped on a getaway boat.

    Unidentified Body In Indian Church; Signs Of Violence Discovered
    About a month ago, we told you about the gruesome murder of 51 year-old Francisco Arrevalo, chairman of the remove Orange Walk Village of Indian Church. Well late this evening, Orange Walk Police had to return to that normally quiet village for yet another killing. The male victim remains unidentified at this time, and reports to 7News are that he was discovered across a lagoon in the Village, near to a resort. His body was discovered by a birdwatcher, and when the authorities went to investigate, they found that his hand was tied behind his back, a rope was around his neck, and there were what appeared to be stab wounds. Even More frightening than that is that parts of the victim's body was missing, and it is believed that it may have been eaten by wild animals, most likely crocodiles. When our colleagues at CTV3 News left the scene, police were still processing it, and we'll have more for you on this developing story tomorrow.

    Coast Guard Still Looking For The Other Drowning Victim
    And keeping it in the Orange Walk District, today, the Coast Guard resumed the search for the still unidentified youth who went swimming in the New River with his friend, 21 year-old Carlos Reyes, but never resurfaced. As we told you, there was a third young man who was with them, and he jumped in as well, but he noticed a crocodile lurking in the waters. He got out and tried to warn his other 2 companions, but he couldn't find them. After hours of search yesterday, the Coast Guard found the body of 21 year-old Carlos Reyes, but they had to suspend their efforts because it was getting too dark. Coast Guard divers searched for much of today as well, and they still couldn't find the body of the other unidentified young man. One of the divers discussed the difficulties they were facing: Coast Guard: "We resumed search about 8:30 this morning and we did both sides, we did surface searches in the canoe about 300 yards going down stream. We did both sides and come down the middle and then we did dives similar to how we did the surface search along both ends but so we didn't come up with anything. We break off for lunch after which we did another surface search a while ago."

    ComPol Discusses Fake Cops
    On Monday, we told you about the fake police officers, dressed in Khaki and Blue, who came upon two security guards and convinced them that an impromptu search was being conducted. The security guards suspected that something was amiss, but by that time, it was too late to put up any resistance, because by that time, the thugs had already pulled out a gun to threaten them with. The men then ran off with a licensed weapon, another gun belonging to a security firm. Well, while we had the opportunity today, we asked the Commissioner of Police about these incidents, and he told us that his officers are treating it with priority: Allen Whylie - Commissioner of Police: "It's a major concern, I had directed and I know we had sent out a press release in terms of advising businesses what to do. It is a great concern because if we have persons posing as police officers then it impacts negatively in terms of the general police officers going to execute their duties and I hope that people if they are in doubt they would call their nearest police station who should be able to confirm whether or not police officers had been dispatched to do any searches or any premises and that sort of thing. In other countries these things occur, we are investigating, we are trying to nip it but we had a number of persons detained and I believe that we may have charged one person."

    US Embassy Facilitated GOB On De-Risking Talks
    Last week, we gave you extensive coverage of the CARICOM Heads Of Government meeting held on the Placencia Peninsula, which Prime Minister Dean Barrow Chaired. A major part of those high level discussions was the threat that the de-risking phenomenon poses to bank indigenous to the Caribbean. A very extensive action plan has been passed by the CARICOM Heads of Government to try to tackle this problem, which is complex and has no quick fixes, and no easy resolution. In the meantime, the US Embassy in Belize has been observing the effects it has been having in this country. They've been working closely to try to assist the Belize Government in anyway it can to reach out to the relevant authorities in the US. Today, at another event, Ambassador Carlos Moreno told us that he and his subordinates have not been sitting on their hands while this issue unfolds: Reporter: "Have you been contacted by Belize or government in terms of ways of how the US embassy can intervene?" H.E. Carlos Moreno - US Ambassador: "Yes for the last 15 months our embassy has been working with the Bankers Association and Central Bank and with the Prime Minister and other aspects of government to resolve that by bringing together the regulators in Washington with the commercial banks themselves and with the representatives from the government of Belize to address that problem. I think we're making progress, we have very limited authority to tell the correspondent banks in the US is to what to do and how to manage their accounts but we hope that together in addressing specific issues that we're able to address this very critical issue that is so important to the Belizean economy. So we are there, we are working on getting people to talk to resolve the issue."

    CDB's Outlook On Caribbean Economies For 2016
    Today in St. Michael, Barbados, the Caribbean Development Bank held its annual news conference to review the economic performance of the region, and to discuss the bank's various interjections. Jules Vasquez was at the CDB Headquarters along with 20 other Caribbean journalists for the two hour press conference this morning. Bank President Dr. Warren Smith said there is guarded optimism about the performance of Caribbean economies in 2016:... Dr. William Warren Smith - President, CDB: "We could say that 13 of the 19 baring member countries in CDB's membership, we would expect that to grow faster in 2016 than they did in 2015. But two of our stronger credits, that is Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname will experience negative growth in 2016. So ladies and gentlemen I want to conclude that Caribbean economies are in something of a recovery mode and in my view that's fair comment except that this recovery is occurring at a time of great uncertainty in what is emerging as somewhat topsy- turvy external environment. Ladies and gentlemen let me conclude my presentation by saying simply that I am guardedly optimistic about 2016. Economic recovery remains fragile but we expect that countries will continue on an upward growth trajectory."

    CDB Satisfied With Belize's Road Safety Project
    The 2016 growth for Belize is projected to be 2.7%, up from 2% in 2015. It's far from runaway growth, but - performance wise - it does put Belize in the upper echelon of Caribbean economies. And maybe that's why - of 19 members countries - Belize is among the top three largest beneficiaries of CDB loans. For the CDB, the proudest among those is the road safety project focussed on the George Price Highway. President Smith told us they hope to use it as a model throughout the Caribbean:... Dr. William Warren Smith - President, CDB: "We are very pleased with the results that have come from that project and we feel that we can use it as a demonstration for the introduction of road safety projects in other Caribbean countries. Belize is a big country; we would also like to be able to deploy that kind of a project more in other parts of Belize." And they're already taking it to other parts of Belize -namely the Phillip Golden Highway - specifically between the Haulover Bridge and the Airport. That is set for a 13 million dollar overhaul which should start in just a few weeks. Project Director Daniel Best told us more:.. Daniel Best - Director, Project Dept. - CBD: "The George Price Highway is certainly a flagship project for the CDB; it is one that we are very proud of. We expect to see similar outcome, similar benefits to rubdown to this initiative. Since the George Price Highway project, the road safety project has been implemented. We have seen a 40% reduction in fatalities on that transit chord which phenomenal and we expect similar results on the Phillip Goldson Highway in that we will be improving road safety measures in terms of side walk, in terms of street lighting, in terms of signage on the roadway."

    Another Attempt At Getting Youths Into Central Government
    Last week Friday, we told you about this idea by Central Government to include representation from youth population in the country to have a say in the way country will be run. It's called the National Youth Council, and idea is that youths will chosen to be members of this body through a democratic process where delegates from Youth Advocacy organizations will be able to vote for which young person they think is a good leader. This Council will then be able to lobby and influence policy decisions made by the Cabinet and the House of Representatives. It's interesting idea to give youths a say in the policy decisions which affect them, but it's been tried before and met with failure. Well, the Barrow Administration believes that the time is right for yet another attempt and so aspirants have been going around campaigning to the delegates to be elected.

    Coastal Zone Awareness
    Right now, the Coastal Zone Management Authority And Institute are well on their way into celebrating Coastal Awareness Week. It's time where the CZMAI wants the country to think about how to protect and preserve the coast line so that it's beauty and financial worth continues, hopefully in perpetuity. On Monday, the CZMAI and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development held an opening ceremony to note it's importance: Chantelle Samuels - CEO, CMAI: "Today is a very special day for the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute. In the first instance we had our official opening of coastal awareness week 2016 which begins today February 22nd and runs through to Saturday February 27th. The theme for this year is The Coast is ours, Let's climate proof it. This theme is very timely; it's very relevant as we grapple with the adverse impacts of climate change. The everyday citizen will attest to the fact that we have period of rain when we would normally have dry season and vice versa and there are other climate change impacts that we are already experiencing. So this week really is to help us as a people and a government to look at viable options for climate adaptation as well as to look at what we can do to ensure that our coastal environment, our eco-systems remains resilient so we can better adapt to the impact of climate change."

    World Fuel Prices Down; Belize Prices Up
    World fuel prices are falling to record lows - but here in Belize, the more it goes down, the more government increases taxes! The Ministry of Finance announced today that effective tomorrow, the import duty on all fuels are going up. That means an increase of 40 cents per gallon on premium, 30 cents per gallon on regular, and 80 cents per gallon on diesel. So that means that effective tomorrow, the new pump prices will be, 8 dollars and 99 cents per gallon for diesel, seven dollars and 98 cents per gallon for regular, and seven dollars and 52 cents per gallon for Diesel. So, how does that compare with the old prices? Well for premium which is currently nine dollars and 30 cents a gallon, that;s actually going down. Regular, which is currently seven dollars and 61 cents per gallon is going up by 37 cents, while diesel jumps the most: that is currently at six dollars and 52 cents per gallon and it's spiking up by one dollars to seven dollars and 52 cents - a 15% increase. But Government says "don't worry, be happy" because, quote, "the Ministry (of finance) expects that there may be a substantial downward adjustment in the coming weeks.

    Federation Of Fishers Weighs On Shark Fishing
    Over the past couple of days we have been reporting on the use of gillnets to catch sharks and other sea products. The issue was brought up by Mar Alliance who alleged that the pictures they uploaded on facebook depicted a recent catch of sharks in Sanbore Caye that were done with the use of gillnets by a group of fishermen, some whom they allege were not licensed. Today the Belize Fisheries Federation has added their voice to that discourse saying and we quote, “The Federation...stands against the improper use of these gears….and questions if and when the Ministry will address this growing enforcement issues that is casing a black eye on the fisherfolk in Belize.” end quote. They also made note that the gears have been traditionally used for decades and is something that many of their members’ livelihoods depend on. The press release ended by calling on the Government NGO community and other stake holders to join in identifying mechanisms to address this growing problem.

    Growing Gang Resistant Youths
    Stay away from gangs, drugs, and crime, and stay in school. Those seem to be easy goals for any young person, but when you factor in peer pressure and poverty, it can become a challenge for a lot of young people living in marginalized neighbourhoods. So, that's why the Police Department, realizing the scope of the problem, launched its Gang Resistance Education and Training. 95 children have passed through the program which has been running for a few years, and today, we got to meet a few of the youths who graduated out. The Commissioner of Police and the US Ambassador to Belize told us that they see the benefits, and are excited to continue the initiative Allen Whylie - Commissioner of Police: "This was the third graduating class for the Belize Police Department with the 35 new officers who graduated today, we have approximately 150 officers trained in the Great Programme, we also have three international trainers and we have another constable who is about to complete his training and also be the fourth international trainer so the Great Programme is here to stay within the Belize Police Department, it is a very beneficial programme that has police officers going into the various schools and imparting their knowledge in terms of teaching young people, students how to resist peer pressure, how to handle peer pressure; how to deal with issues of gangs and drugs and a lot of the other social issues that normally affect young people."

    FFB President Vicente: Sec Gen Blease Good For Football
    By now, viewers may know very well that the Ruperto Vicente led Football Federation of Belize has erupted in a very public fight where his executive team, Cruz Gamez, Marlon Kuylen, and Sergio Chuc, tried to get him suspended. They think he's bad for football, and though it is being publized a few weeks before this executive's term ends, the reality is that they've been a house divided right after the 2012 elections 4 years ago. A big complaint that the 3 have against their president is that Vicente has allowed FFB Secretary General far too much authority to make decisions that only executive members ought to have. Some of those decisions, they say, haven't gone very well for the progress of football in Belize, yet the president still continues to allow him relatively free reign. We asked Vicente about that criticism last week Friday, and here's how he responded:

    Jasmine Alert Needs Your Support
    The Jasmine Alert Program is in its 4 year, and it's pioneer Patrick Menzies launched to activate the law enforcement might by releasing urgent bulletins to the nation for missing children. The Jasmine Alert was launched in 2012 in memory of Jasmine Lowe, who was brutally murdered in Cayo after being missing for several days. But the Jasmine Alert Program has been operating barebones. It's managers have run out of funding, and donors have been hard to come by. So, Executive Director Patrick Menzies is launching a fundraiser which he hopes you will buy into for a very important service which might be slowly withering. He talked about this fundraiser with us tomorrow: Patrick Menzies - Executive Director, Jasmine Alert: "The Jasmine Alert Programme started in July 31st 2012 and we had some help first few months from a few companies and that died off after 6 months. We have two individuals who have helped us off and on for a little while after but that's about it. This fund raiser we are doing is our first national fund raiser. We're doing a motorcycle raffle with Universal Hardware from Spanish Lookout. They have given us a very good deal to help us with the motorcycle situation..."

    Cops Discuss Mental Illness
    Several senior police officers from formations across the country met today with members of the Mental Health Department at the George Price Center in Belmopan. The main item on the agenda was to discuss matters that have to do with the arresting of persons with mental disabilities. Several times in the past police have failed to levy charges against an individual because of the person’s apparent mental instability. In 2014 a protocol on Mental Health was developed in the police manual to address this same concern. But as with everything, the protocol presented other problems. So today a meeting was convened to tighten up some of those loose ends on the mental health protocol of the police manual. Some of those comments and recommendations noted at today’s round table discussion will be taken up to the highest form of Government in the hopes of using it as a guide to develop a legal module for authorities in the law enforcement that find themselves in situations dealing with mentally ill persons.

    Cops Meet Gungulung Community
    Cops in Eastern Division South continue their routinely meet and greet sessions. Today they hit the Gungulung area of Belize City. We caught up with them at La Croix Boulevard and spoke to the South Side Commander Alden Dawson who told us that they are back in the Gungulung today because they have seen that their efforts in community policing in that area and others have been working. We note that recently the city activity has been relatively down. Since the start of the year there have only been three City murders. And only one of them was gun related. The police department continue to push their community policing agenda in other parts of the country to improve relationship with the general public.

    Eastern Division North's Officer Of The Month
    Today, the commanders of eastern Division North followed up on their ongoing push to recognize hardworking police by rewarding their officer of the month of January 2016. He’s Police Constable Alfredo Chavarria, and his police bosses say that he’s a model of what up-and-coming police officers should strive for.Here’s what his superiors told us: He’s a man of few words, but we take it that PC Chavarria focuses that and other energies into bettering his department.

    Rural Police Building Their On Station's Addition
    And From North to Rural Eastern Division, we found the police putting down their pens, handcuffs, guns, and other police equipment, and picking up a masonry’s trowel to lay blocks and mix cement. You’ve seen Top Cop Broaster, Dancing Broaster, Chef Broaster, Broaster the Trickster, and Secret Santa Broaster, but tonight you’ll meet Broaster the Contractor. He told us that he and his officers have taken it upon themselves to build an addition to the Ladyville Police Station to better serve the public. Here’s that interview:

    Channel 5

    Frank Edwards Jr. Gunned Down in San Pedro
    Frank Edwards Junior was accused of murdering James Swan and Eduardo Gutierrez and burying them in a shallow grave in 2009. He was also accused of killing a security guard [...]

    Two Detained for Murder of San Pedro Waitress
    Even as they investigate this murder, San Pedro Police are trying to close another. One week ago Honduran Johana Mendez Barrios was killed inside her apartment, her throat cut. Investigators [...]

    Body Found in Lamanai Lagoon
    There is a second murder to report. At news time tonight Orange Walk Police are at a site on the Lamanai Lagoon in the community of Indian Church, south of [...]

    Still No Sign of Missing New River Swimmer…Presumed Drowned
    The body of twenty-one-year-old Carlos Reyes, a resident of Coyocville, Trial Farm Village was fished out of the New River in Orange Walk Town on Tuesday morning.  Reyes is one [...]

    GOB Raises Import Duties on Fuel
    The new shipment of fuel is in, and the acquisition cost, or C.I.F., is down, which means that pump prices should automatically go down. But they won’t, because GOB has [...]

    Investigations Continue in Shooting Death of Belizean Woman in Inglewood
    Investigations continue tonight in the shooting death of a Belizean mother of three children who lived in Inglewood, California. Kisha Michaels was shot in her car by cops early on [...]

    SP Police Say Crime Down in that Municipality
    The murder in San Pedro last week, followed so shortly after by another Tuesday night – both violent – may give the impression that La Isla Bonita is becoming a [...]

    Four Arrested for Fake Drivers’ Licenses in San Pedro
    San Pedro Police are also investigating a widespread forgery ring – specifically fake Orange Walk drivers’ licenses. From what we’ve been able to determine, these persons purchase forged licenses, with [...]

    Decision in Keyren Tzib PI Reserved
    Female coastguard officer, Keyren Tzib, went back to court this morning. She is accused of manslaughter in the stabbing death of her boyfriend, Thythis Blancaneaux on July eighteenth, 2015 in [...]

    Velasquez Will Stand Trial for Rape of Minor
    Another preliminary inquiry took place today. Thirty-five year old Jorge Velasquez who in September 2014 was accused of raping a twelve-year-old girl is back behind bars at the Belize Central [...]

    Cameron Slusher alleged Fake Cop charged with Aggravated Assault
    There have been at least three recent cases of fake cops on the loose.  Today, a case came up in court which seems to involve the fake cops. Security officer, [...]

    CDB Holds 2016 Media Conference
    The Caribbean Development Bank held its 2016 media conference today at its headquarters in Barbados. President William Warren Smith opened the conference outlining the major issues that the Caribbean region [...]

    Observer Mission on Ground Preparing for Elections in Jamaica
    This Thursday, Jamaicans go to the polls to decide where Prime Minister Portio Simpson known as Mama P will remains as the P.N.P. Prime Minister or whether Opposition Leader Andrew [...]

    St. John Vianney Kids Get New Playground
    Primary school students at St. John’s Vianney Primary School were ecstatic this morning when they were allowed onto a new playground.  The swings, seesaw and slide are a donation from [...]

    Police Officers Complete GREAT Training
    The GREAT program funded by the U.S. government has become an important element in the work of the police department.  It first started in the City and has now spread [...]


    Orange Walk Records Its Fourth Murder, The Victim Is Tortured
    Today Orange Walk recorded its fourth murder for the year 2016. This morning authorities received an anonymous call at about 10:30 informing them about a body of an unidentified male person that was found floating in the Lamanai Lagoon located in the Village of Indian Church in Orange Walk. Reports to CTV3 News indicate that the body was discovered by a tour guide who was bird watching in the area this morning. Our news team travelled to Indian Church and when we arrived at the scene the body of the victim was being transported via a skiff to the other side of the lagoon. According to Inspector of Police, Nicholas Palomo, the body had multiple visible injuries which led authorities to believe that the individual was murdered and thrown in the lagoon approximately two to three days prior to the discovery. Nicholas Palomo – Inspector of Police: “The body was already severed in two from the waist down and from the chest up it was probably done by predators, the body however had on a blue jeans pants and a blue shirt with white lines, it appears to have some bruces, his two hands were bound with a yellow rope and as we speak right now the doctors will look after a post mortem and after it is done we will know exactly where and what other injuries the body has.”

    Belzie Coast Guard Continue To Comb The New River for Missing Male
    Today there is still no word on the second drowning victim that plunged into the New River on Monday evening and never resurfaced. According to reports, 21 one year old Carlos Reyes along with a second unidentified male jumped into the New River on Monday evening at around 5:30 but never reappeared. Following hours of continuous efforts by the Belize Coast Guard and local divers the lifeless body of Reyes was located yesterday at about 11:00 in the morning. Today at around 8:30 in the morning members of the Belize Coast Guard resumed their search for the second man but the surface and underwater searches proved futile. Seamond Castro- Belize Coast Guard “We resume search about 8:30 this morning and we did both sides, we did surface searches on the canoe about 300 yards went that way down stream and both sides coming down the middle and then we did dives similar to how we did the surface search along both ends.” Considering that nobody knows the identity of the second victim, many Orange Walkenos are speculating that only Reyes jumped in the river. According to Seamond Castro, if a second man did drowned his body is not in the area that they have combed.

    OWTC And Ministry Of Health To Hold Meeting With Residence
    As part of a project to continue engaging with the citizens of our town, the Orange Walk Town Council has organized a neighborhood meeting that will serve as a medium for residents to voice their concerns. One major issue that will be addressed at the meeting that will take place tomorrow at the Philip Alvarez Park is the global epidemic, Zika Virus. Members from the Ministry of Health will be available for questions and also to offer advice to residents on how to keep yards clean and minimize the breeding grounds for mosquitos, who are the vectors for the Zika Virus. Ian Cal- Orange Walk Councilor: “Our first neighborhood meeting this year to the Phillip Alvarez Park we are inviting the residents to come out and to express their concerns and their ideas as we are going to have members of the public health department there to speak more about the Zika virus that everyone has been hearing about we want to know as well and we will be there to answer any questions as well, the meeting will start at 7pm at the Phillip Alvarez park and we invite everyone to come out be there and voice your concerns as well.” Also present at the meeting will be the Mayor of Orange Walk and the Councilors who will be there to listen to the concerns of residents in order to work on a plan on how best to address those issues.

    Fuel Prices Increase Effective Midnight
    If your gas tank is running close to empty, our advice to you would be to full up before midnight because at one minute past 12:00, fuel prices will see a major increase.Today the Ministry of Finance issued a release where they indicated that the import duty on Premium Gasoline will be increased by forty cents to three dollars and thirty six cents per US Gallon.As for Regular Gasoline, the import duty will be increased by thirty cents to three dollars and three cents per US Gallon and the import duty for Diesel Oil will be increased by eighty cents to per two dollars and seventy two cents per US Gallon As a result of the above mentioned adjustments to the import duties of fuel, Belizeans will see new prices at the pumps. Here in Orange Walk the price of Premium gasoline will see a decrease of thirty one cents. So it will sell for nine dollars and seven cents. Regular gasoline will see an increase of thirty seven cents and goes from seven dollars and sixty eight cents to eight dollars and five cents. Diesel is increasing by a whopping one dollar and instead of six dollars and sixty cents, Orange Walkenos will now pay seven dollars and sixty cents per gallon.

    Renovation Of Streets Around Central Park Almost Completed
    The rehabilitation project for the Orange Walk Central Park carried out under the Belize Municipal Development Project under the umbrella of the Social Investment Fund and the Orange Walk Town Council, is today near completion with the upgrade and paving of South Park Street, North Park St and Lovers Lane. Today we spoke to Orange Walk Councilor Ian Cal who told us more about the final stages of the project. Ian Cal – Orange Walk Councillor: “I would ay it was about 80% complete in this area but just yesterday it received it second seal of chip seal and it is going to receive another third layer I would say in about two weeks’ time the final layer around the park and after that then you will start to see the line markings around the park around the street being completed, the drainage section also needs to be covered and what is left is a pedestrian ramp as well on the opposite side and the signs so I would say it was about 80% complete and give and take give it a month to be completely finalized.” The project is expected to be fully completed by the end of March.

    Windell Neal Formally Charge At Orange Walk Magistrate Court
    Last night we told you about Windell Neal, a resident of Lizarraga Avenue in Belize City who targeted employees of three business establishments here in Orange Walk Town with the intention of conning them into paying for seafood that was allegedly ordered by their employers. Today we can tell you that another business owner, this time of San Pedro Town, is accusing Neal of carrying out the same crime in that municipality. Fifty eight year old Dorothea Pinedo, reported to police that back in January she had observed a shrimp order of a total of $380.00 written on her employee’s note pad with a down payment of $280.00 leaving a balance of $100.00. But when Pinedo asked the employee about the date of the arrival of the shrimp, the employee informed her that a male of creole descent by the name of Brian Neal had walked in the building speaking on the phone. The employee was made to believe that Neal was talking to Pinedo who allegedly told him to collect $280.00.


    Belize’s Relations with CDB
    The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is a regional financial institution that was founded by way of an agreement in Kingston, Jamaica, signed on October 18, 1969. Just over three months after the signing, it came into force on January 26, 1970. Since then the Bank has been serving several countries including states and territories of the Caribbean region or non-regional states, which are members of the United Nations. Dr Warren Smith is the current President of CDB. Love News met up with him earlier this month as he was in Belize for the CARICOM event in Placencia. Dr Smith spoke to us on the role CDB has played in Belize particularly via the Development Finance Corporation. DR WARREN SMITH: “We like to think that we played a very important role in the reconstruction of the DFC. We know that the DFC had a little bit of a rocky history and we felt that it was important to have a financial intermediary in Belize that was focused on development issues. Belize is a very important client of the Caribbean Development Bank, you are also a shareholder of the Caribbean Development bank. So we provided technical assistance to the government of Belize to help them to do a study which would inform the restructuring of the DFC. In my opinion it was a good story, the bank was restructured, it is now in operation, my information is that it’s doing pretty well, it’s meeting the needs of the smaller medium enterprises here in Belize which is the dynamic sector for growth and development here and from our perspective it represents a good conduit for us so we can reach smaller medium enterprises here in Belize working through the mechanism of the DFC which has a very good appreciation of the local risks and also a very good appreciation of where you can get the best bang for your buck from a development perspective right here in this country.”

    Federation of Fishers Wants Alternative to Gill Nets
    The issue of gill net fishing has taken centre stage since the start of this week as photos of sharks being slain and other marine life being caught up in the use of the gill nets were brought to the forefront. Love News has heard from the Belize Game Fishing Association, OCEANA Belize and the Fisheries Department. Today, the Belize Federation of Fishers announced their position on the issue via a press release saying that while they appreciate the harm the use of the gill net brings about for the industry, they cannot support the ban of gill nets without a practical alternative in place. According to their release, in 1997 a petition to ban the use of gill nets was signed on the condition that an alternative be found. The release noted, however, that their request was marginalized particularly since there was not much by the way of organization of fishers. The release went on to note that many livelihoods depend on the fishing industry and thus the Belize Federation of Fishers sent out the call to the NGO community for collaboration in identifying ways to address the issue.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Protest in Chetumal delays border crossing for Belizeans
    Around eight Belize time (9 p.m. in Mexico) protesters and authorities reached an agreement and the road was reopened in the community of Subteniente Lopez in the southern part of Quintana Roo, Mexico, located outside of Chetumal. A protest there today caused significant delays for […]

    Free Zone woes hurt January imports, exports slump
    Belize’s trade outlook started with a thud in January, as the Commercial Free Zone’s woes impacted imports and performances of those major export industries excepting sugar tumbled. According to the Statistical Institute of Belize’s latest figures, while imports totaled more than $130 million, this is […]

    Marginal inflation recorded in January
    The Statistical Institute of Belize recorded a marginal increase of 0.4 percent in the Consumer Price Index for January 2016. Decreases were seen in the transport category despite an uptick in the fuel prices as compared to last January, primarily in international airfares. Consumers are […]

    Import duties up, fuel prices down for regular and premium gasoline
    Effective tomorrow, Thursday, the Government has approved adjustments in the import duties for gasoline of a total of a dollar and fifty cents for premium, regular and diesel gasoline, following a similar hike in December. However, changes at the pump may be confusing, as the prices you […]

    Frank Edwards Jr.’s murder suspected to be retaliation
    San Pedro’s Police Department believes the murder of Frank Louis Edwards Jr. at his home last night in the San Mateo area of that municipality, was an act of retaliation for some incidents the victim may have been involved with in the past. A […]

    Murder reported in San Pedro
    Police are investigating the murder of 27-year-old Frank Louis Edwards Jr., fisherman of San Mateo area, on Tuesday night. Edwards was shot multiple times when he opened his door to several persons, one of whom had called “Police” and knocked on the door. The […]

    Search continues for second man drowned in the New River
    At 8:30 this morning members of the Belize Coast Guard resumed their search for the second man believed to have drowned in the Orange Walk New River. Senior Chief for the Belize Coast Guard, Ariel Garidos, told Breaking Belize News that since this morning they had […]

    Missing men make safe return to Caye Caulker
    In reference to missing persons report made yesterday, Francisco and Samir Perez returned to Caye Caulker Village alive and well yesterday evening. The men were reported missing after going to a local bar in Caye Caulker to socialize and then not returning home since […]

    Security officer assaulted by “Fake Police”
    A 26-year-old Belize City mechanic, Cameron Jerryson Slusher, was charged by police for the offence of “aggravated assault” yesterday, in connection to an incident that occurred last week Wednesday. It was reported by a security officer yesterday that on February 17, around 11:00 a.m. […]


    Disease May Wipe Out World’s Bananas
    Bananas are at the sharp end of industrial agriculture’s chemical war on pests and pathogens. But even 60 pesticide sprays a year isn’t enough to keep the diseases at bay. It’s time to seek new solutions with little or no use of chemicals, working with nature, growing diverse crops on the same land – and breaking the dominance of the banana multinationals. Herbicides that control weeds are applied up to eight times a year, while bananas may be sprayed with fungicides from a plane more than 50 times per year in order to control Black Sigatoka, an airborne fungus. Catastrophe is looming for the banana industry. A new strain has emerged of a soil-borne fungus known as “Panama disease” which can wipe out entire plantations – and it is rapidly spreading around the world. Farmers in Australia, Latin America and across Asia and Africa all fear the worst. The fungus is almost impossible to stop or eradicate. It moves through soil, so contamination can be as simple as infected dirt travelling from one farm to another on the sole of a shoe, or as complex as soil particles blowing on the wind across long distances – even across oceans, in theory. Faced with huge losses to a global industry, many have called for a new strain of disease-resistant “super-banana”. However, this would be just another temporary fix. After all, the world’s most popular banana, the Cavendish, was itself the wonder fruit of its day, being introduced in the 1950s after an earlier strain of Panama disease destroyed its predecessor. The fungi simply adapted and fought back, though, until the Cavendish also became susceptible. Panama and other diseases will continue to do so until we seriously reform how we grow and market bananas.

    International Sourcesizz

    Belize The Hype!
    There’s a rainbow breaking through the overcast tropical clouds as dawn breaks 80km from the coast of Caye Caulker, a small island in the Caribbean Sea. I’m in Belize and I’m here for one reason: the Great Blue Hole. Lying near the center of the world famous Lighthouse Atoll, this diving icon is the largest submarine sinkhole on earth. Its measurements on paper alone are impressive enough – spanning a whopping 300m across and more than 124m deep – but laying eyes on this behemoth takes it to a whole new level. Entering through the break in the reef, just as Jacques Cousteau did all those years ago, the blue hole’s geological formation is clearly visible from the top deck of the Maera, the flagship of Belize Diving Services (BDS). Admittedly it’s not as clear as it would be from the air – as seen in all the postcards – but nonetheless, it is still uniquely identifiable. A total of 12 of us have made the two and a half hour journey from super laid-back Caye Caulker. Despite the BDS crew’s flawless navigation and stomach-lining cooked breakfast, it’s been somewhat of a bumpy ride due to unseasonable rain. However, once within the protected waters of the reef, all of us have the opportunity to contemplate the fact that we are about to tick off a dive which features near the very top of most divers’ bucket lists.

    Cape man cycles 13 miles after shoulder injury during Belize race
    Forty-eight athletes from nine countries convened Saturday on San Ignacio in Belize to participate in the Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge. The biannual four-day endurance race takes athletes through about 320 miles of terrain, cycling across pine ridges and jungles, rappelling down large cave systems and paddling down rivers, according to the race website. Bryan Greaser, a lawyer in Cape Girardeau, was one of those athletes. “I became interested in this race because it is part of the Adventure Racing World Series,” Greaser said. “With some of the best teams in the world coming here, you knew the race course and organization would be epic.” But the race didn’t go as he, or the rest of his team, had planned. Three men and one woman began the race that morning, but before the end of the day, the first member dropped out because of “major hip flexor issues,” Greaser said. “So the three men continued on as we transitioned from a 24-mile whitewater canoe paddle to bikes,” he said. Greaser recounted what happened next on his Facebook page. On Saturday evening, with only bicycle lights to guide them, Greaser went down a hill into a thick sludge rutted by the tires of vehicles that passed previously. His bicycle hit the ruts, and he crashed violently, hitting his head against the ground so hard, he nearly passed out. He also partly dislocated his shoulder. Though his pain was extreme, he could not stop. The crash occurred hours after the team transitioned to bikes. “Due to the remoteness of this country and lack of cell service, we had to ride our bikes back to race headquarters for about 13 miles with my dislocated shoulder,” Greaser said. The next morning, Greaser went to the emergency room, where he was told he had a partially dislocated shoulder, bruising of muscles, tendons and ligaments and a small hairline fracture around the shoulder socket. He could not continue the race.

    Rider students spend J-term studying abroad
    While some students relaxed during their winter break, perhaps binge-watching Netflix to avoid the chilly January air, four groups from Rider embarked on adventures overseas with faculty. Twelve students from the College of Business Administration traveled to Barcelona, Spain, with Dr. Eugene Kutcher III and Dr. John Donovan, both professors in management. The group had three days of cultural site visits including masterpiece basilica, park with some of Gaudi's most imaginative objects and architecture, benedictine monastery and Camp Nou, one of the largest soccer stadiums in the world and home of FC Barcelon. Staying in the western hemisphere, Dr. Jonathan Husch (GEMS) and Dr. Cindy Newman (Department of Marketing, Advertising, and Legal in Studies) escorted 16 students from tthe College of Business Administration and the College of Liberal Arts and Science to Belize. The group traveled to the Mayan sites of Xunantunich, Cahal Pech, Actun Tunichil and Muknal caves, and the coral reefs of Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. "This fall, students in the Nature Business class learned about the Mayan civilization, including its history and culture," says Husch. "Visiting Xunantunich and Cahel Pech allowed them to learn more about Mayan architecture, religion, and science, and to see first hand what they read and heard about in the course. I think it drove home the point of just how advanced and complex the Mayans were." The group also visited the National Assembly of Belize, the Belize Zoo, attended a lecture from the Forestry Management Department, and zip-lined through the tropical rain forest. Approximately 700 miles away from Belize, Dr. Marge O'Reilly-Allen (Accounting) and Dr. Ira Sprotzer (Business Law and Marketing) supervised a study tour of 12 students to Cuba. There, the group visited Havana and Varadero.

    Ocean acidification slowing coral reef growth, study confirms
    First scientific study on a natural coral reef shows the effect of acidification caused by global warming, rather than common factors in reef decline. Coral reefs are having their growth stunted by ocean acidification caused by global warming, new research has confirmed. For the first time, scientists conducted an experiment on a natural coral reef which involved altering sea water chemistry to mimic the effect of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The results provide strong evidence that ocean acidification linked to greenhouse gas emissions is already slowing coral reef growth, the team claims. Without “deep cuts” in greenhouse gas emissions, the world’s coral reefs may not survive into the next century, scientists say. Carbon dioxide is absorbed by the ocean where it reacts with seawater to increase acidity. If the water becomes too acid it dissolves away the calcium carbonate corals that molluscs and creatures such as crabs and lobsters need to build their shells and stony skeletons. Although previous studies have demonstrated large scale declines in coral reefs in recent decades, the reason for the trend has been harder to pinpoint.

    Maaike Plomp, Enriching the lives of rescued primates in Belize, Central America
    Wildtracks is a registered Belizean non-profit organization and focuses on the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of three endangered species in Belize: West-Indian Manatees, Yucatan Black Howler Monkeys and Geoffroy Spider Monkeys. The rehabilitation centre has three goals: (1) Help the Belize Forest Department and partner organizations end the illegal primate pet trade in Belize; (2) To prepare confiscated and rescued primates for reintroduction to the wild; (3) To develop and support conservation initiatives focused at increasing the viability of primate populations in Belize.

    Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, the largest tropical forest reserve in Mexico
    Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, the largest tropical forest reserve in Mexico, is a treasure trove of Mayan history in the heart of the Maya Forest. The ruins in the middle of Calakmul reserve’s 1.8 million acres of forests extend over 10 square miles – the remains of a city that was the powerbase of Tikal’s rival dating back to AD 364. Calakmul in Maya means “the city of two adjacent pyramids.” And the spectacular view of the surrounding jungle from the top of one of these massive pyramids extends into Guatemala and includes several archaeologically important ruins from the Mayan era. The Maya Forest, covers almost 15 percent of Campeche state in Mexico, and extends into Guatemala and Belize. The Calakmul reserve, slightly larger than Delaware, harbors jaguars, crocodiles, Baird’s tapir, and more than 230 bird species. The Conservancy began working in a new site in 2007: the Calakmul Sian Ka’an Corridor. This vast forested area links two biosphere reserves and is important for far-ranging animals such asjaguars and migratory birds. Here as in the community owned lands in Calakmul, the Conservancy recognizes that effective conservation can only be achieved if the needs and aspirations of local people are met. In this site, we are working with a new partner organization — the Organization of Forestry Ejidos of the Maya Zone (OEPF). Our shared goal is to conserve the forest while improving the income realized from forest activities.


  • Is Zika in Belize?, 5min. By now you've all heard of Zika. Is it in Belize? What are the risks and likelihood of contracting the virus? Here's a recap of our coverage on this topic in our most recent segment of Belmopan Weekly.

  • Diver demonstrates lost art of bubble rings, 45sec. He is known in the diving world of Belize as ‘Big Sexy’, working as a dive master at Chuck and Robbie’s Scuba Diving & Instruction, one of the leading dive shops in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Famous for these bubbles, Big Sexy is constantly asked to perform this trick almost every day. His name is Turiano Vasquez Jr., but ‘Big Sexy’ stuck to him one day and now he is a well known dive instructors on the island – Everybody Knows Big Sexy!! He is fun, adventurous, entertaining and a very friendly guy. His outgoing personality helps make his diving tours a blast. David McNab and his family from Peterborough, Canada are frequent visitors to Ambergris Caye. He shares with us this great video and images he took while on a diving trip, showcasing Big Sexy blowing bubble rings at 60 feet below the surface. It is a really cool talent, don’t you think?

  • Playing With Wild Stingrays, 1min. At Shark Ray Alley, Belize, these wild stingrays don't mind snorkelers. Despite their reputation as dangerous, they are more curious than aggressive. Who could resist playing with them when they act like this?

  • Surrounded By Sharks, 2.5min. Divers set out on a wall dive in Belize, expecting to see coral, fish and sea turtles. The group was surprised at the arrival of Bull Sharks and Reef Sharks with no fear of humans. Divers got a much closer view of their teeth than they bargained for.

  • San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi Ltd, 1min.

  • Aasher & Lauren Belize Wedding Film, 4min. Destination Wedding at Belizean Shores Resort, North Ambergris Caye, Belize.

  • Baron Bliss Memorial, 2.5min. In respect to the upcoming "Baron Bliss Day" Flying Eye Productions paid tribute to his burial place and took the liberty to showcase, in a quick glimpse, what Belize is about.

  • Missionary Trip to Belize, 12min.

  • Great Belize Cooking - Episode 3: Dangriga, 35min. Here is the third segment of our original show, Great Belize Cooking, with Chef Sean Kuylen. In this episode Sean goes back south to his hometown, Dangriga, one of his favourite spots where food is ethnic, enjoyable and authentic and teaches the meaning of words like "ereba", "rati" and "dani". He pairs up with Dangriga resident Cyril Sabal who will walk us through the history and making of that distinctively delicious cassava bread, a staple in the community. That’s one stop; Sean then goes on an adventure to fish fresh sea crab for a unique Garifuna dish that will also include shrimp, cassava and just the right amount of a thick coconut broth. And to add something sweet and delish, Sean makes his own version of dani, a dessert that is surely to complement our unique Great Belize Cooking with a dash of Garifuna flavour. Here is a peak look at a multi-course meal that will have any foodie salivating.

  • Belize 2005, 10min.

  • Off the grid homes in Carmelita Gardens - San Ignacio, Belize - Agrarian Urbanism, 3.5min. I recently visited the Carmelita Gardens community in San Ignacio, Belize. This development is in the early stages but the vision that Phil (owner) has is very unique and compelling. If your grandfather was going to design a town but he had a modern understanding of solar power, rain catchment, permaculture, architecture, off the grid focus... he would probably be building a community like this. The quality of the home that I visited in Carmelita Gardens was built beyond the typical Canadian or American standards. It was solid, had beautiful Belizean hardwood accents, a solar system setup so you get the benefit of no electricity bills (or Hydro as we say in Canada eh?).

  • Team Adventure Medical Kits - Pre-Race MMAC Belize 2016, 2min. Some pre-race thoughts from the team here at the Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge in Belize.

  • Team Adventure Medical Kits - Day 1 Highlights MMAC Belize 2016, 3min. Highlights from Day 1 of the Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge in Belize.

  • Team Adventure Medical Kits - Day 2 Highlights MMAC Belize 2016, 3min. Day 2 highlights from the Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge in Belize.

  • Belize 2015, 3min. Shot on a Hero 3+ Black Edition using an extension arm. Shot over a week last May off the coast of the Belize Cayes. By far and away the most incredible week of diving I've been lucky enough to experience. Sharks, rays, eels, turtles- you name it, I saw them. The biggest challenge was keeping the lens from fogging up, so this is the best footage I could get together. Hope you enjoy, and this gives you a reason to dive Belize.

    February 24, 2016


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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

    The San Pedro Sun

    Murder in San Pedro
    San Pedro Police have confirmed the second murder of 2016. A male identified as Frank Edwards was killed during a shooting incident in the San Mateo Area on Tuesday, February 23rd shortly before 9PM. Police are currently in the process of inspecting the scene as their investigation continues. Anyone with information on the matter is asked to immediately contact the San Pedro Police Station at 206-2022.

    The Unbelizeable MesoAmerican Reef
    How is it that our tiny country of Belize is blessed with so many treasures? You may think we are exaggerating when we boast that we have it all, proudly claiming that not only do we have stunning Maya archaeological sites, glorious jungles, misty mountains, gorgeous flora and fauna and the friendliest people you’d ever want to meet, but we are also home to the second-to-none MesoAmerican Barrier Reef system! Well, that might be a tiny exaggeration…we are second-to-one, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, but hey, that’s in another hemisphere! If you are lucky enough to fly along the coast of Belize, either to Ambergris Caye or south all the way to Punta Gorda, you will follow the coral chain of the MesoAmerican Barrier Reef System. The system stretches an impressive 700 miles from the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, along Belize, Guatemala and down through the Honduran Bay Islands. However, Belize has the distinct honor of being home to 80% of this system, and along with three offshore atolls, several hundred cayes, mangrove forests, coastal lagoons and estuaries it is collectively termed the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System. In 1996 the Belize Barrier System was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, something we are very proud of, and there are now seven protected areas within the reef.

    Ambergris Today

    Belizeans Push for Ban on Gill Net Fishing After Large Shark Killing
    Images of a large shark killing went viral on Belize’s social media scene all day yesterday, Monday, February 22, 2016. Mar Alliance, a non-government organization that monitors threatened marine wildlife, posted several disturbing images of a large kill of sharks in and near the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Blue Hole and Half Moon Caye at Lighthouse Reef Atoll. The group’s cry for the protection of these endangered and critically important marine creatures did not fall of deaf years as the support from Belizeans was evident in all comments condemning the brutal act. “The Jewels of Belize's marine heritage and tourism have been hit hard by several unlicensed fishers using the unsustainable fishing gears nets and long lines,” stated a release by Mar Alliance. “These pictures represent a portion of a single day's fishing with nets and long lines and include at least 32 sharks representing 3 species including the endangered great hammerhead and pregnant Caribbean reef sharks (and sources counted at least 50 sharks landed in the short space of time they were at the sites). The sharks were landed at Sandbore Caye and Hat Caye at Lighthouse.”

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Tragedy to triumph
    At 13 years old, while in Std 2, his mother committed suicide. That same year his father was sentenced to Hattieville jail for 19 years, and Rudy realized he was on his own. He moved to a farm on Guinnea Grass Road and lived in a room used for corn storage. He cooked his own breakfast and lunch on a fugon. To save on bus fare, he rode his bike from the farm on Guinnea Grass road to Orange Walk every day. No electricity, no running water, yet he stayed in school and graduated. I met Rudy through Jake Simon, a good friend and Peace Corp volunteer that worked in his village. Today I accompanied Rudy as guardian to receive a 6th form scholarship from Social Security Board. Rudy will study Agribusiness. Belize has fertile land he says, and he wants to produce, thereby reducing our dependency on imported agricultural products.

    FREE spays and neuters this week at Saga Humane...
    Please, for the sake of island health and unwanted puppies, spay and neuter your pets. It's FREE this week at Saga Humane Society! call 226-3266 for an appointment...

    Paint Party Events
    Come join us this Thursday to paint "Coconut Tree". A wonderful piece of paradise. The cost it $25 U.S. For new comers and $20 U.S. For members. See you there! February 25, 2016 2:00 PM

    Seagulls feast
    As ferries taking tourists back to their cruise ships churn up the water to expose food. It's a beautiful sight especially around sunset in the city.

    Washington Travel and Adventure Show
    Belize Tourism Board

    Belize Screen on the Green - DANGRIGA
    This Thursday, February 25, 2016 Dangriga will host the 2nd EVER Screen on the Green at the Slaughter House. Please join us at 7:00 pm for a screening of "Remember the Titans." The event is FREE and open to the public.

    Continued shark fishing w nets and longlines at Lighthouse Reef
    We apologize for bearing more bad news but shark fishing efforts continue and have apparently intensified at Lighthouse Reef. The previous post showed catches from one fishing day out of supposedly five days. If all fishing days equated the day for which we have a count of 50 sharks, then Lighthouse Reef Atoll lost ~250 sharks. In 5 days between 13-17 February. Yesterday and today the fishing continued and is expected to continue as this and the use of nets and longlines, even near reefs, is considered legal. Apparently not all fishers now need to have shark fishing licenses and many can work under one or two shark fishing licenses. This places into new perspective the 62 shark fishing licenses permitted by Fisheries for 2016 (Ramon Carcamo, Fisheries Officer, pers Comm). There is no indication that these fishers have CITES export permits from Fisheries for the regulated hammerhead products. And a CITES permit for these fished species cannot be given unless the Government can prove that the fishery is sustainable - and it's not. Moreover, Hammerheads are not supposed to be fished commercially per Belize's agreement with the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). This is a commercial fishery. The fishers continue to use nets and longlines with strobes to improve night-time captures of Caribbean reef sharks, endangered Hammerheads, mako and more. They are even catching gravid LOBSTER out of season.

    Sweet Cinnamon Churros with Dulce de Leche Dip
    1) For churros, preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line Cookie Sheet with Parchment Paper. Lightly sprinkle flat side of Large Grooved Cutting Board with flour. Unfold pastry onto cutting board; brush with 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the butter using Chef's Silicone Basting Brush. Sprinkle 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the sprinkle over pastry; lightly press into pastry using Baker's Roller®. Place Cookie Sheet, parchment-side down, over pastry. Invert both Cookie Sheet and cutting board; remove cutting board. Brush pastry with remaining butter; sprinkle with remaining sprinkle, lightly pressing into pastry.

    Habaneros on Caye Caulker closed Wednesday & Thursday this week
    Due to unforeseen circumstances Habaneros will be closed Wednesday and Thursday this week. We are doing a few renovations to the building and need a couple days to complete them. Sorry for any inconvenience but after 14 years the old girl (Habaneros Building) needs a little TLC. We will be back on Friday with smiling faces and Tommy and Valentino rocking Habs deck!!!

    The papaya industry had its origins with a project funded by the United States. With the assistance of USAID (United States Agency for International Development), a company called Belize Agribusiness Company (BABCO) was created in 1985. BABCO was successful agronomically, but it was not able to set up a lasting marketing chain. In 1990, a former employee of BABCO who persisted was able to successfully grow the fruits in San Andres in Corozal. Marketing trials were carried out with J. R. Brooks, a marketing company based in Florida. Fruta Bomba was thus established as a subsidiary of Brooks Tropicals in Belize. Brooks Tropicals produce papaya in Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. Since then, Belize became the second largest exporter of papaya to the USA and Canada, second only to Mexico, and ahead of Brazil. This is a leadership position in a rapidly growing segment of tropical fruits, in large-value markets with significant potential for long-term growth.

    Corozal power interruption
    Another Oooops moment from BEL! Power Interruptions from 7:00 a.m. to 7:15 a.m. & 4:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday February 27th and Sunday February 28th for the entire Corozal and Orange Walk Districts. Belize Electricity Limited to facilitate line maintenance by "Comisión Federal De Electricidad (CFE).

    Women's History Month
    Our History is Our Strength. Join us in paying tribute to the generations of women whose commitment to our community have proved invaluable to our society. Learning about women's tenacity, courage and creativity through the lens of photographer Karen Brodie.

    Channel 7

    Court: Mek Mi Rich Idea Was Stolen From Curtis Swasey
    For an entire year now, 7News has been following the case of Corozal businessman Curtis Swasey. He's the private citizen who said that the owners of the Mek Mi Rich gameshow stole his idea and got rich at his expense, and with the help of BTL. Well, the Supreme Court has vindicated him, by finding that indeed, the Mek Mi Rich concept of lottery texting is…his. That's the decision that Justice Courtney Abel handed down today after reviewing all the evidence presented to him. Viewers will remember that the cornerstone of Swasey's case was that BTL breeched the confidentiality agreement they had signed. He reasoned that they gave away information on his idea for his game called Super Slam Sunday to the principals of Mek Mi Rich, Sunjay Hotchandani, and Andre Vega, the son of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. Though there was no direct link - "no smoking gun" - to show that BTL gave away Swasey's information, he claimed in court there was enough circumstantial evidence to show the direct link between his game and Mek Mi Rich, and that BTL was the only link between the two. That meant that the judge had to draw the inference that only BTL could have given away his concept, and after weeks of deliberation, Justice Courtney Abel agreed with him.

    Two Youths Went Swimming; Never Resurfaced; 1 Found Dead
    Since last night, Coast Guard officers and residents of Orange Walk have been looking for the the bodies of 2 young men who went swimming in the New River. 21 year-old Carlos Reyes, of Trial Farm, and his friend, who has not been identified, went swimming yesterday in an area believed to be the territory of a crocodile. The young men jumped in, and a third young man was with them, but he noticed the crocodile and got out. He started looking around for his friends to tell them of the danger, but they never resurfaced. Some time this morning, after an intensive search, the authorities found Carlos Reyes' body. But after hours and hours of combing the river, they couldn't find the other young man. Our colleagues from CTV 3 News spoke with one area resident who tried to get them out of the water. Here's what she told them off camera:

    American Woman With Reported Belizean Ties Gunned Down In California
    Readers of the Amandala Newspaper may have picked up today's edition and noticed a headline that a woman from Inglewood California was killed in a police shooting this weekend. Well, we went looking, and we found this very controversial case of 31 year-old Kisha Michael, who was gunned down and killed. Here's the story on the latest from California's KTLA News 5's team on the ground: The Amandala Newspaper reports that she identifies herself as Belizean on her Google+ Social Profile.

    Convicted Human Trafficker Fined & Not Confined
    Sixty-four year old Estela Gonzalez, who was convicted of human trafficking on February 10, was spared a custodial sentence today by the trial judge, Justice Adolph Lucas. Instead of being in jail tonight, she has been ordered to pay just over $73,000 in fines and damages. To break it down, Gonzalez was ordered to pay a fine of $30,000 and restitution amounting to $28,520 to the Department of Human Services. She was also ordered to pay $15,000 to the victim for her suffering at Temptation Bar and $588 for her loss of income. Justice Lucas stipulated that all monies must be paid forthwith and it is understood that the monies are being paid right now. If Gonzalez defaults on payment of the $30,000 she will serve 1 year and if she defaults on the other payments it will be distress. Before he decided on the sentence Justice Lucas said he considered an assessment of the impact on the victim and the testimonies of Dr. Fernando Cuellar and Dr. Javier Novelo who said that Gonzalez is suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and urinary tract infection.

    Embattled FFB President Left For Switzerland
    Right now, the football community continues to wait for FIFA and CONCACAF to return a written verdict on whether or not Ruperto Vicente, the President of the Football Federation of Belize, is suspended. As we told you, there's been a very private fight happening within the FFB's Executive Committee, who say that Vicente's leadership of local football has not been in the best interest of the sport. More significant than that harsh criticism is the open accusation that he's leadership direction is similar to his predecessor, Dr. Bertie Chimilio, who was voted out of office after battling scandals of his own of allegedly fixing the District Association Elections. The accusation is that since Vicente has been manipulating the District Association, he's been positioning his sympathizers to win at that level, so that he could ensure his re election goes off without a hitch. Vicente, in response to the pressure from his Executive, have responded that these members have not contributed to the development of football as they should have as elected members over the last 4 years. He has also countered with his own accusation that his executive members, Sergio Chuc, Cruz Gamez, and Marlon Kuylen, have been trying to drag his name in the mud so that they can make a play for the presidency, a post he hopes to be re-elected to in the next few weeks.

    An Arrest For The Murder of American Belizean
    Police in Toledo have arrested and charged one man of Cattle Landing Village for the murder of 69 year old American Naturalized Belizean Thomas Paul Rockowski. He is 48 year old Roy Jones. The incident occurred on Saturday last two weeks around 9:25 pm in Hopeville, Punta Gorda. Investigators said that Rockowski was at his home reading when 3 persons gained entry through the screen door and attacked him. Rockowski was stabbed about 4 times: twice to the neck and twice to the chest. Rockowski managed to phone the police, but by the time authorities got there, the persons had already fled the area. Rocowski died the following night while undergoing treatment at the KHMH. As a result of the investigation police detained three persons including 48 year old Roy Jones, a Belizean Vendor of Cattle Landing Village. AOn Friday Police arrested and charged Jones for the murder and released the other two. According to authorities, what caused the vicious slaying of Rockowski was a case of jealousy. Rockowski came to Belize in 1973 from Boston Massachusetts. While here he was never married and never had any kids.

    Pregnant Mother Stole; Will Now Spend 7 Years In Jail
    Margarita Pech, a pregnant mother to be, is spending the second night of a 7 year prison sentence behind bars after she pleaded guilty to burglarizing a home and then stealing from a doctor at the KHMH in two separate crimes. Her version as to why she committed the crime is that she was coerced into doing it by thugs who allegedly threaten her life and the life her unborn child. The incident happened on May 29 of last year at a house on Eyrie Street. The owner reported to police that someone went into the house and stole an assortment of jewelry, and a toy computer. Then, a doctor reported to police that someone stole his wallet and personal documents on the same day that Margarita Pech went to seek treatment. Police investigated both reports, and they found surveillance footage which captured Pech in the act of committing both crimes. They also managed to recover some of the stolen jewelry from the burglary from Pech herself. She was then charged burglary for that incident, and theft for the stolen wallet.

    Belize Is Zika Free
    There's good news for Belize tonight on the Zika front. That's after CARPHA confirmed that the final two samples sent to Trinidad for testing came back negative. So that means that all three samples sent from Belize for Zika have returned negative. And while it's a good break, that's not the end of it. The CEO in the Ministry of Health says they will maintain heightened surveillance and more samples will be sent as soon as other suspect cases appear.

    A Tricky City Conman's Scheme In OW
    Last night, we told you about how a pair of still unidentified conmen managed to get a licensed firearm away from an on-duty security guard by pretending to be cops. Well, Orange Walk police are reporting that they have caught an alleged conman who was scamming people out of their money in Sugar City. He's Belize City Resident Windell Neal, and right now, he's facing criminal charges for the quite tricky - but simple - ploy. An office administrator reported to police that on Sunday, January 17, she was at the People's Stadium when she received a text message from a cell phone number. The person identified herself as her boss, and asked him to pay for some sea food her boss had allegedly ordered. Believing that this person was indeed her boss, this employee texted the conman and told him to show up at the Stadium where she was. Shortly after that, a dark-skinned man showed up, and collected $330 from her, by pretending to be the man that her boss had supposedly sent to pick up the money. When she verified with her actual boss, she realized that the text message conman had deceived her. 3 days later, a cashier from an electronics store in Orange Walk reported to police that a dark skinned man showed up to the business and convinced her that her boss sent him to collect money for sea food that the employer allegedly bought. She paid him $300, and he promised to return with the sea food, but he never did. She realized later that she too had been deceived.

    Boledo: The Superstition Of Number Predictions
    Last night you saw the first part of our extended feature on Boledo - where Courtney Weatherburne got a look inside those number books kept by only the most studied practitioners of the Boledo science. When we left you last night, Boledo predictor Press Cadogan was about to explain the strange alchemy of superstition, numerology and dream reading that he all maps out on a blackboard to get his boledo predictions. Here's how he explained all the connections to Courtney:… And while she's had expert insights and the deepest inside information, since she started working on the boledo story two months ago Courtney has spent over 30 dollars on boledo - and she hasn't won yet!

    Cayo Cops Got A Gun
    San Ignacio police that they seized a gun on Sunday night, and it's now off the streets. At around 9:30 p.m., the San Ignacio Special Branch and the Quick Response Team acted on intelligence and searched an open lot on St. Lucia Street, Santa Elena, in area known as Hot Point. There they found this .38 Taurus brand special revolver, with a wooden pistol grip. The weapon contained 4 live rounds of .38 ammunition, and an expended shell. The weapon was being hidden between several pieces of old zinc roofing. No one was in the area, and so, it was deposited as found property.

    MIT Caught Alleged Drug Traffickers On The Road
    Two men were arrested and charged today for the offence of drug trafficking after they were busted by the MIT unit. According to reports yesterday around 10 pm the MIT unit was conducting vehicular checkpoint on the Boom junction on the Phillip Goldson Highway when they observed a black Mazda pickup approaching the checkpoint. Upon reaching 50 yards away from the checkpoint the driver was seen throwing a black plastic bag out of the vehicle. The vehicle then made a u turn and made his way back to the direction he came. As a result police set chase. The driver Kareem Flowers and the passenger Elwin Evans were detained and escorted to the area they had thrown the object. A quick search of the area led to the discovery of 7 parcels of transparent plastic wrap containing cannabis which weighed a total of 4261 grams. Both Kareem Flowers and Elwin Evans were arrested for the offence of drug trafficking.

    Junior Buddy's 9th Birthday Party
    The Belize Zoo is known for throwing the biggest birthday parties for their animal friends. Especially when it comes to their very celebrated Jaguar called Junior Buddy. He turned 9 today and as usually his birthday was celebrated with much fanfare. Emanuel Attended the birthday celebration of Junior Buddy and has the following report. Last year the Belize Zoo had some 68 thousand visitors- a difference of 3 thousand visitors. The Belize zoo notes that 48% of the visitors are from local Belizeans.

    Fisheries Administrator Talks Shark Fishing
    A post on social media depicting the slaughter of some 32 sharks, including the endangered hammerhead, and a couple of allegedly pregnant female Caribbean Reef Sharks, sparked much public outrage. The post was made by conservation group MAR Alliance who used the images as a platform to launch their petition against the use of gillnets and longlines and to pressure Government to support equitable and sustainable fishing methods. Today we spoke to the Government representative in the Fisheries Department Beverly Wade who expressed her disappoint at the way the matter was handled. She says the Government has recently launched a National Sharks Working Group in which the director of MAR Alliance is an active member of. So she argues that if there was a concern on the part of Mar Alliance they should have brought it up through this avenue instead o broadcasting it on social media. Beverly Wade, Fisheries Administrator: "In a recent correspondence to the department for the renewal of that organization annual research license, there is a line there telling is that in the 2 primary areas where there been conducting research and where shark fishing is being done that population seems stable. This is coming from people who are actually out there carrying out the research. So it's not that the shark fishing is functioning in a vacuum somewhere. There is no argument that there is a need for us to look at probably more regulations for our shark fishery, but regulations have to also be based on sound information. Because it's not putting in regulations or putting in regulations. It is a matter of putting in regulations to address whether there is conservation targets or whether there is sustainable targets at the end of the day. It depends on what is the recommendations coming out in terms of how you move forward with a resource like this."

    FCD Discusses Milpa Clearings in Chiquibul
    Two weeks ago, we told you about the report from the Friends For Conservation and Development, the co-managers of the Chiquibul National Park, that 17 new clearings were discovered in the forest reserves, most likely made by Guatemalan milpa farmers. As conservationists, the FCD is recommending immediate action to arrest this deforestation, and so, while he was available yesterday, we spoke with the Executive Director about it. Here's what he told us: Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director - FCD: "This is sort of a reconnaissance that we do every year and it is done normally prior to the dry weather because that is the current sort of activities that would tend to occur over the many years. So this year as part of that we did an overflight and this happened about two weeks ago. We manage to confirmed that there are some 17-18 new clearings that have already taken place. We don't really know the acreage right now, because that can only be done through a ground reconnaissance, but there are 17 of the new clearings that we can observed at this present time." Daniel Ortiz: "What does that mean for the FCD? How worrying is that for you all?" Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director - FCD: "It is worrying because we certainly understand that as the dry weather is setting in and particularly that this will be a long dry weather. Then we can anticipate that if we don't really halt it or if we don't really put the interventions then 17 can multiply really fast. It can be 3,4,5 times, so we certainly can understand that the peak of the season for clearing is basically now on and so we can lose the acreage that we have been noting over the years which has amounted to in average it becomes about 200 acres or 200 hectares, which basically means over 500 acres every year. That is one that is pretty much scary enough as we are losing this forest right along the western border."

    Ya'axche Got Conservation Tips From High School Students
    In an effort sensitize young kids about the importance of wildlife protection and forest conservation, Ya'axche hosted their first ever BioBlitz event at the Golden Stream Watershed Ecosystem, a preserve located on the southernmost part of the Country. The 15,000 acre preserve is owned and managed by the conservation trust and is home to about 17 identified major ecosystems. The preserve makes a home for several species of mammals and several hundreds of species of birds, but on Friday last week the preserve turned into an interactive educational center for several primary school students of Toledo who were hosted by the Ya'axche group as they learned valuable wildlife monitoring techniques. The Ya'axche Executive Director told us more about the event. Christina Garcia, Ya'axche Executive Director: "We hosted approximately 114 students from different buffering communities' schools mainly Indian Creek, Medina Bank, Golden Stream and Trio Village. The importance of the activity today was really good because we've shared some of the work that we've been doing here in the Maya golden landscape. Students had the opportunity to really learn from our rangers, learn from the staff in terms of the monitoring that occurs within the protected areas that we managed. We do believe that these students are going to share the information with the adults, with their parents in terms of what they learn here today."

    Ombudsman Arzu Officially Sworn Back In
    Viewers may remember that in the January 22 House Meeting, Ombudsman Lionel Arzu's reappointment was opposed by the PUP's side of the Floor on the premise that he had not served the public adequately in his first term. The Prime Minister disputed that assertion strongly, and cited accolades that Arzu had received both at home and abroad for his efforts as the Ombudsman. In that meeting, the House affirmed that he should be re-appointed. Well, the Government of Belize confirmed yesterday that Arzu was sworn into office by Governor General Sir Colville Young. He and his family were received by the Governor General, and he took the oath of office yesterday. He's now officially starting his second term Also sworn in for his third term in office as Contractor General was Godwin Arzu. His re-appointment was also approved in the January 22 House Meeting.

    Benque Cops Charged Lewd Uncle
    Yesterday we told you about the indecent assault of a female minor in Benque Viejo. She is 12 and was sexually assaulted at her house while everyone was away. Today police in Benque say that they have arrested and charged the uncle for offence of sexual assault. However we cannot reveal the man's name for the protection of the child. Yesterday the child along with her mother reported to Benque police that her uncle forcibly performed oral sex with her against her will while alone with her uncle and her 3 year old sister.

    Channel 7 Receiving Training In Barbados
    We regularly report on workshops and trainings for teachers, police officers nurses and pretty much everyone with a social responsibility. But we don't usually report on - much less participate in many media workshops. But tonight our Jules Vasquez and Courtney Weatherburne are in Barbados along with 5 other Belizean media workers right now for a seminar on media and the law. A number of important topics will be discussed including confidentiality of sources, defamation in the context of law and the role and responsibilities of journalists. Today our team spoke to one of the presenters, Andrew Smith - a lecturer at the University of Technology in Jamaica. Smith spoke to us about journalist's rights and responsibilities and safety on the job We also spoke with 2 participants who discussed the specific challenges they face as professionals in their country and how this workshop can address those.

    Patron Acquitted Of Brawling Accusation With Restauranteur
    It made our newscast in July of 2014 when Darwin Heredia, the manager of a resort in Caye Caulker, was accused by a waitress in a Restaurant that he assaulted her while he was in her workplace. Well, Heredia is free of that accusation tonight. The incident supposedly happened on July 10, 2014 at Chops Restaurant and Bar, located on Newtown Barracks. The complainant, Martha Lopez, told police at that time Heredia and his companion, Shannon Martinez attacked her, and that Martinez allegedly threw a chair at her. Heredia was additionally accused of brawling with the on-duty security guard who was injured while trying to get the situation under control. Well, the complainant, Martha Lopez showed up to Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer's court room and told the court that she wants no further court action. As a result, that charge against Heredia has been struck out of court.

    Hattieville Police And Mahogany Heights Community
    Viewers are very familiar with the fact that in the second half of 2015, Eastern Division Police started to roll out their community policing initiative. But, because the press is based mostly in Belize City, you don't see much of the community policing work that these officers do in other parts of the country. Well, this weekend, Hattieville Police were in Mahogany Heights trying to work with the at risk youth in that community, to show them that they don't have to be adversarial with officers of the law. Yesterday, the Commander of the Hattieville Police Station told us how it went:

    ED North Awarded Their Hardworking Cops
    And while Eastern Division Rural police were focusing on trying to show the youths of Mahogany Heights to make the right choices, the Cops from Eastern Division North were awarding their officers who's been doing just that. Often times, the bad decisions that police make are highlights, and so, the good work that majority of the police do, mostly goes unnoticed. Well, on Friday Night, the police held a Red and White Gala event to celebrate the unsung heroes within the department. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, the Public Relations Officer for Eastern Division North told us that the event was a success: The number of awardees are too numerous to list off, but we intend post all of them on our internet transcript, for public consumption.

    Channel 5

    BTL & Mek Mi Rich Lose Landmark Case
    Telecommunications giant B.T.L. colluded with registered game show company Mek Mi Rich to steal entrepreneur Curtis Swasey’s concept and use it as their own. That’s the bombshell handed down by [...]

    Curtis Swasey Only Awarded $25,000
    So why did the Justice refer to the victory as Pyrrhic? Well…probably because even though Swasey won a total vindication on all his claims, he was only awarded twenty-five thousand [...]

    Will Companies Get Backlash from Justice’s Decision
    That’s the financial bottom line – not exactly a hard hit for B.T.L. or M.M.R. But what about the moral low ground where Justice Abel claims both B.T.L. and M.M.R. [...]

    One Man Still Missing in New River
    Two men plunged into the crocodile infested waters of New River, which runs through Orange Walk Town, on a whim on Monday evening. They would never surface again and this [...]

    Do you believe the government is financially bankrupt?
    And our question for tonight is: Do you believe the government is financially bankrupt? Yes or No? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post [...]

    Brothel Madam Fined for Trafficking in Humans
    On February tenth, sixty-four year old Estela Gonzalez of Temptation Bar, was convicted of Trafficking in Humans by a jury. The jury believed the sworn testimony of a fifteen year [...]

    Belizean Woman Shot by Cops in Inglewood
    A Belizean woman, identified as thirty one year old Kisha Michaels and a man were fatally shot early on Sunday morning in Inglewood, California. Michaels died instantly while the man [...]

    Belize Game Fishing Association Speaks Out Against Shark Kill
    Images of a recent shark kill near Lighthouse Reef have sparked public outrage about the continued use of gill nets.  While it is not believed that local fishermen are behind [...]

    K9 Unit’s Basco Sniffs Out Weed from BDF Couple
    This morning at the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser, a newlywed couple was read a single charge of possession of controlled drugs, being forty grams of cannabis [...]

    Stiff Fines Imposed for Drug Trafficking
    But another Belize City resident was imposed a stiffer fine of ten thousand dollars in the court room of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith for drug trafficking. Ryan Cole was [...]

    Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting his Niece is Charged
    A twelve-year-old minor was sexually assaulted at her home in Benque Viejo del Carmen over the weekend. Her parents and other family members left her home with her three-year-old sister [...]

    Is A City Council Employee on the Hot Seat for a Stolen Vehicle?
    There is a report tonight that a stolen vehicle has been found in the possession of a local politician in Belmopan who is employed at the City Council through the [...]

    Media Workshop on Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean gets underway in Barbados
    This morning in Barbados, a two-day media law workshop got underway. The seminar brought together sixty-eight representatives of media houses and civil societies from thirteen countries across the region.  The [...]

    Media Professionals Wants a Definition for Citizen Journalists
    One emerging concern expressed by media professionals at today’s seminar was the need to examine and define the role of the citizen journalist who are persons, who report, analyze and [...]

    Belizean Jaguar Treated to a Birthday Party
    Nine years ago Junior Buddy was born at the Belize Zoo on the George Price Highway. Today, he celebrated another milestone in the company of school children from the area. [...]

    Traditional Mayan Culture Kept Alive in the North
    The ancient Maya culture thrived primarily in parts of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras.   Originally considered primitive, the Mayas are now known to have had knowledge of science, art, architecture, [...]

    Chef Sean Kuylen cooks up his Version of Garifuna Cuisine
    Tonight, we air the third segment of our original show, Great Belize Cooking, with Chef Sean Kuylen. In this episode Sean takes us south to Dangriga, one of his favourite [...]


    PUP Party Leader Speaks On Uniting His Camp
    John Briceno, he was elected as the new leader of the People’s United Party on the 31st of January after a National Convention held in Belmopan. The Orange Walk Central Area Representative was elected under a platform of unity and hope. There is no doubt that as the new leader of the opposition Briceno has a huge task ahead of him. For one, he needs to lead the battle against a government which has not lost an election since 2008 and two…gain back the confidence of the Belizean people who practically lost all faith in the grand old party. In order for Briceno to carry out the second task, unity will play an integral role. Today as he appeared on the Despierta Belice morning show we asked him how united the party was 23 days into his leadership. Honorable John Briceno – Leader of the Opposition PUP" “All the meeting that I’ve had has been cordial, I have not met in person the Honorable Florencio Marin Jr. but we have spoken away keeping in touch, we were to go visit his constituency tomorrow but it has been determined that a Sunday is better for him because his constituency is spread out and he has a lot of people that works during the week so it going to be difficult to bring them from Sarteneja to wherever he want to hold his meeting but we have been talking that we are going to be working together...”

    Corozaleno Starts Production Of New Habanero Pepper Sauce
    Habanero peppers are among the hottest chili peppers in the world and despite the heat it brings to one’s taste buds it is a pepper that many crave in spicy recipes. Here in the North in the village of Paraiso Corozal, an entrepreneur is rising to the top with his habanero pepper sauce called Papanero Pickle Pepper Sauce. Sixty eight year old James Gegg, his wife and youngest son established the family business 11 months ago using two main ingredients, habanero peppers and Papaya fruit. James Gegg Producer Papanero pepper sauce: “I have been playing with this idea since per say five years ago and I’ve been experimenting and giving to my good friends and relatives to taste until they approve on the quality and the flavor and everything and this is where I came up with these and where everybody that has tried it are very happy with it and I am I business actually for eleven months now, my wife, my youngest son and myself, we are the producers, the manufacturers everything, I wish more people would support it because it is a national product and it is all natural, I don’t use any artificial, except I cook it at 200 degrees and that keeps it preserved in a sealed bottle for two years.”


    Search Efforts Continue for One Man in the New River
    The body of 21 year old Carlos Reyes was retrieved from the New River in Orange Walk Town sometime around eleven o’clock this morning. Reyes and another friend had gone swimming yesterday evening but did not resurface. An intensive search was launched by the Orange Walk Police Department with the help of the Belize Coast […]

    MEK MI RICH and BTL In ‘Shady’ Business
    The legal war for the Mek Mi Rich game show concluded today inside the courtroom of Supreme Court Justice, Courtenay Abel. Last year Corozal businessman, Curtis Dale Swasey took Belize Telemedia Limited and Mek Mi Rich to court for stealing his game show idea. Swasey told the court that he had developed an idea of […]

    Scammer Arraigned on Charge of Deception
    Police have found that a teenager of a King’s Park address was the mastermind behind several cases of deception around the country. Some weeks ago we told you of several business persons complaining that two persons were going to their business claiming that their employer had an outstanding balance for shrimps they had been provided […]

    John Briceno: We’re In For Hard Times in Belize
    In recent months there has been a series of national economic issues coming at the forefront with no direct or definitive solutions at hand. There has been the issue of correspondent banking and the regional implications and there have been the issue of sustainability in several areas of agriculture as well as the fall in […]

    PUP Welcomes Foreign Investments, Says PL Briceno
    Making waves in the news for some days was the issue of a twelve million US dollar loan to Santander Sugar from the Social Security Board. The decision by the SSB to lend the money met opposition from several pockets of society. In the case of the People’s United Party, John Briceno says the concern […]

    Vega Says Free Zone Woes are Due to Mexican Economy
    In 1994 the Commercial Free Zone came about in the Corozal District with the intention of attracting foreign investments and providing various activities including manufacturing, processing, packaging, warehousing and distribution of goods and services. Twenty two years later, there has been a sharp decline in the business activities that once flooded the zone. It is a […]

    FIFA and CONCACAF To End Stale Mate at the FFB
    Ruperto Vicente remains the President of the Football Federation of Belize. Last week, his Senior Vice President, Sergio Chuc along with Executive Members Marlon Kuylen and Cruz Gamez voted to have Vicente suspended from his post as President. They say he has been reckless in the day to day management of the FFB. They told […]

    What was the $65K Used For, Mr Vicente?
    Ruperto Vicente has also been accused of mishandling the funds of the Football Federation of Belize and handing out contracts to business persons without the input or authority of the three executives. A letter obtained by Love News shows that Vicente and FFB’s Secretary General, Michael Blease, approved the withdrawal of sixty five thousand dollars […]

    FFB President Says Division Existed from the Onset
    The election to elect a new President of FIFA takes place on February 26. FFB’s President, Ruperto Vicente is on his way to Switzerland accompanied by Executive Member Marlon Kuylen and Earl Trapp. It is expected that FIFA officials will determine whether or not the Executive of the FFB followed the proper procedures in suspending […]

    Allegations of Interference in Upcoming FFB Elections
    As we said, one of the key allegations that Sergio Chuc, Marlon Kuylen and Cruz Gamez are making against FFB president Ruperto Vicente and Secretary General, Michael Blease, is that they are interfering in the District Association elections. In Orange Walk, Ladrick “Madbull Sheppard complained last week that he has not been getting the information […]


    Motorcycles fatally collide in Sandhill
    A fatal collision between motorcycles took place on the Philip Goldson Highway on Saturday night. 27 year old Kareem Arnold of the Mitchell Estate section of Ladyville died in that accident, while 21-year-old Churchill Bernard, a mechanic of Fresh Pond, is in an induced coma at this time at the KHMH...

    Police lay charges for fight in Mahogany Heights
    Jerson Grinage, charged in the December 2015 aggravated burglary of the Burrell Boom home of Belize’s honorary consul to Lebanon, 77 year old Sarkis Abou Nehra, was involved in a scuffle on Saturday in Mahogany Heights with one Ervin Fitzgibbon and received stab wounds to the back of his head, foreh...

    Food Vendor Charged with Murder of US National
    A Belizean food vendor has been arrested and charged in connection to the murder of 69 year old Thomas Paul Rockowski. On the 19th of February, Dangriga Police formally arrested and charged 48 yar old Rye Jones of Cattle Landing for the murder of Thomas Paul Rockowski. Punta Gorda Police responded t...

    Fake Police officers back at it again
    Fake police officers held up two Security guards and took away a gun. 42-year-old Thelon Estherame of AAA Security reported that on the 20th of February, he was on duty at JL’s Quick Loan in Belize City along with his coworker, 31-year-old Hector Lauture, when they were approached by two male...

    Armed robbery in Belize City
    A business woman and her customer were held up in her store at gun point. 43-year-old Saida Ventura reported that at about 9:35 a.m. on Friday the 19th of February she was inside her business place – “Esmeralda’s Used Clothing” in Belize City attending to a male customer when a dark complexioned mal...

    Armed robbery in Independence Village
    Shop owners were held up and robbed by people in military camouflage jackets. On Saturday the 20th of February, 35-year-old Jose Angel Avendano, a Salvadoran Construction worker and owner of Kimberly’s shop in Independence Village, was with his wife inside their shop when they heard their dogs barki...

    Minor Sexually assaulted in Benque
    A 12-year-old female student of Benque was sexually assaulted by her uncle. On Saturday the 20th of February, the minor was at home watching television in the living room with her sisters, her father, and her uncle. After a while her sister went to the store and her father went out, leaving her, he...


    Inglewood, Calif. cops kill Belizean woman, 31
    Kisha Michael, 31, who has identified herself on her Google+ profile as a “Belizean woman with 3 handsome boys,” was gunned down in a double shooting which happened in Inglewood, California on Sunday morning. Affiliates of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which has been leading a “Black lives matter” campaign, vowed at a news conference held at the site of the shooting today to monitor the investigation from beginning to end. An NAACP civil rights activist, Najee Ali, said that the question to be asked is not whether Michael had a gun or not, but whether she was a threat to the officers accused of killing her. Kisha’s identical twin sister, Trisha Michael, said at the NAACP news conference that Kisha never owned a gun and she believes that the cops are not telling them the whole story. “She is a good mother. She changed her life. She had some run-ins with the police, but that don’t have nothing to do with her being gunned down,” Trisha said. She said that her heart is broken, and after having cried her heart out, there are no more tears.

    Mother, 35, gets 7 years for burglary and theft
    A Belize City woman who is the mother of a one-month-old baby son and who has previous convictions for crimes of dishonesty was sentenced to 7 years in prison this morning when she appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser and changed her “not guilty of burglary” plea to “guilty,” and also pleaded guilty to a recent theft charge. As Margarita Pech stood in front of Magistrate Fraser, she offered to show a picture of her son. “Before you left from here, I asked you where the cards [credit cards, social security card and other identification documents belonging to Dr. Martha Habet] are from out of the wallet,” Fraser said to the 35-year-old Pech. Pech replied, “Your honor, I plead guilty.” “Where are the cards?” Fraser asked again. “Your Honor, I disposed of them because I wanted to buy food for my baby,” Pech said in a low voice, as she fought to control herself from crying. “You are also charged with burglary and handling stolen goods,” Fraser told the accused woman. “Your Honor, me one never involved in that.”

    Man, 27, to stand trial for sex with girl, 9
    A 27-year-old man who allegedly had sexual intercourse with a 9-year-old girl will be tried in the Supreme Court when he is indicted on a charge of carnal knowledge. That is the result of a preliminary inquiry which concluded before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who ruled today that Daniel Rios has a prima facie case to answer to in the April Session of the court. Rios, a resident of 276 Star Fish Crescent, Belama Phase 1, is accused of having sex with the child in April of 2015. The prosecution is basing its case against Rios on statements given by nine persons, including the child and her mother.

    Two men missing after jumping into New River tonight
    Two men are missing after reportedly jumping into the New River behind the La Immaculada School in Orange Walk Town at about 7:30 tonight. Amandala was told that the two men were relaxing on Riverside Street when they jumped in to the river to take a swim. They did not resurface, however. Police began an initial search, but the effort was in vain. Inspector Nicolas Polomo, Deputy Commander of Orange Walk Police, said that it is not known why the men jumped into the river to swim tonight, because the water is dark and muddy, and is infested with crocodiles. He said that police have alerted the Coast Guard and are awaiting the professional divers of the unit, so that the area can be searched tomorrow.

    Beware! Counterfeit cops on the prowl
    Beware! Robbers posing as police officers are on the prowl in the city. On Saturday another gun was stolen by counterfeit cops, bringing to three the number of guns stolen recently from unsuspecting security guards. Thelon Estherame, 32, a Haitian AAA security officer, reported to police that around 2:20 Saturday morning he was on duty at JL’s Quick Loan, located on Douglas Jones Street, along with his coworker, Hector Lauture, 31, another Haitian AAA Security Officer, when they were approached by men dressed as, police officers. One of the counterfeit cops pointed a firearm at them and the other asked if they had their firearms. The security guards told them that they did not have any guns, but the fake cops searched them anyhow and stole a company-issue Taurus .38 Special revolver with serial number VG25202 from Estherame. The two bandits then ran down Douglas Jones Street and escaped into the surrounding area.

    Butchered sharks the result of gill net fishing
    Bloody images of butchered sharks went viral on social media today amid a campaign launched to petition the Government of Belize to ban gill net fishing, and to furthermore put an end to shark fishing in Belizean waters. Shark fishing is legal in Belize, and there are fishers licensed to fish for commercial sale both in Belize and abroad, where, on the high end, the fins could fetch nearly US$500 a pound, much more than the meat does. The reports indicate that much of the shark produce may he headed for the Guatemala marketplace. This morning, MarAlliance, a San Pedro based conservation NGO, posted 17 graphic images on Facebook showing the butchering of sharks landed at Sandbore Caye and Hat Caye at Lighthouse Reef for commercial sale. The pictures show 1 of 5 boats said to have been engaged in shark fishing at Lighthouse Reef between from February 13-17, 2016. Captioned “Shameful shark kill – World Heritage Lighthouse Reef Atoll,” the post says that, “We have just been alerted by many people to a large kill of sharks in and near the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Blue Hole and Half Moon Caye at Lighthouse Reef Atoll…

    Surprises in PLB Week 5
    It was a weekend of surprises in the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2015-2016 Closing Season Week 5. On Saturday night at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence, Placencia Assassins held the visiting Belmopan Bandits to a 0-0 draw. The Bandits, with Shane Orio in goal, was the favorite in this one, but Placencia is always tough to beat at home. The really big surprises came on Sunday. Yesterday, at the MCC Grounds in Belize City, visiting Police United got an early advantage, when outstanding BDF defender Orland Trapp was red carded at the 5th minute by referee Christopher Reid, after Trapp elbowed Police’s Guatemalan striker Elio Ramirez. A disappointed Trapp admitted his error, but explained after the game that he had retaliated due to Elio’s previous similar action against him. Police proceeded to take the 1-nil lead at the 35th minute when Devon Makin eluded two defenders in a dusty scramble in front of the southern goal after a pass from Ramirez and pushed it past Tevin Gamboa in goal for BDF.

    Proto Foundation U-13 and U-15 Five-A-Side football
    The Proto Foundation U-13 and U-15 Five-A-Side Football Tournament games continued at the Noel Ferguson Park near Cinderella Plaza over the past two weekends on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. February 12-13: On Friday night, February 12, U-13 action saw Kelly Street with a 2-0 win over Jungle, with Jallen and Aaron White netting a goal apiece. And in U-15, Maltus Bombers and Kenny’s FC drew, nil-nil. The planned official opening ceremonies for the tournament on Friday night were postponed. We met Proto Foundation President, Mark Usher, at the games on Saturday, and he confided that he was unexpectedly occupied at his job as an engineer in southern Belize. But the soft spoken Mark insisted that what was important to him was that the kids are playing, and the work of his Foundation, which also involves evening tutoring for members, is ongoing inside the Foundation building which borders the park bleachers. He showed us around the two adjacent class rooms, one for males and the other for females, each with its own bathroom.

    NEBL reaches mid-way point of regular season
    Ballaz beats Burgess’ Belmopan Bandits: Friday saw the return of Kurt “Chengo” Burgess to his old home town, San Ignacio, as Cayo Western Ballaz hosted Belmopan Bandits at the Sacred Heart College auditorium. Belmopan Bandits jumped out to an early 21-12 lead at the end of the first quarter, which they extended to 21 points in the second quarter, to take a 15 point lead into the locker room, 40-25. However, in the third quarter the home team made a huge run to cut that deficit to only 3 points, going into the fourth quarter. Cayo Western Ballaz’ defense and free-throw shooting sealed the 67-60 victory, in a huge game for both teams. Cayo Western Ballaz (3-3) was led by Elvis “Zui” Usher with 17 pts and 3 steals, complemented by his great defensive effort that sparked the comeback. James Milton finished with another double-double, tallying 16 pts and 10 rebs, while Brandon Flowers and Jamal Harris netted 11 and 9 pts, respectively. Belmopan Bandits’ (1-4) top scorer was Jarell Velasquez, who had the game high with 18 pts to go with 6 rebs and 5 assists. Nick Brown finished with 4 three-pointers to tally 12 pts, 4 rebs, 3 steals and 2 assists, while Kyle Pascascio finished with 10 pts and 5 rebs. Cayo Western Ballaz led in points off turnovers, 21-10, which was instrumental in their comeback, and they also dominated the paint, outscoring the Bandits, 38-18. All games can be followed live on our website at, with real time box scores while the game is being played. The website also has all game scores, box scores, players and teams’ statistics, along with standings for the season.

    Yabra Over-45 Five-A-Side Marathon on March 7
    In our community awareness program, we are putting together an Over-45 Five-A-Side Football Marathon at the Yabra Green on Monday, March 7 (“9th of March” holiday). Interested teams, managers and players can contact Peel Off at cell number 607-3030. 1st prize is $300.00 + 1 case beer; 2nd prize is $200.00; 3rd prize, $100.00; and Most Goals, $20.00. Registration: – $40.00. The tournament is sponsored by Councillor Phillip Willoughby. Six (6) teams: 8 players per team; each team play 5 games; the team with the most points wins.

    Farrakhan in 2016
    Minister Louis Farrakhan’s Savior’s Day 2016 address to the Nation of Islam, the larger African American community, and indeed the international black world, was broadcast on KREM Television on Sunday afternoon, February 21, which just happened to be the 51st anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X in New York City in 1965. Because of the public rift between the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, the Messenger of the Nation of Islam, and Malcolm, which existed at the time, and the climate of violence surrounding that disagreement, the Nation of Islam was blamed for Malcolm’s murder. As the decades have gone by, however, and as the plots of J. Edgar Hoover’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Hoover’s special operations group, Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO), have been exposed, with various documents having been declassified, a feeling has grown in the black community that there was federal involvement in Malcolm’s assassination.

    From the Publisher
    I’m writing the words below in the pre-dawn of Sunday, February 21, 2016. Today is the 51st. anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan. Malcolm’s autobiography, which I read in the winter of 1967 while at Dartmouth College, essentially changed my life, in that Malcolm made me understand the neighborhood where I had grown up in Belize City around Bolton Bridge. When British Honduras became a self-governing colony in January of 1964, one of the most important aspects of that constitutional adjustment was that the United States of America at that point began to consider Belize eligible for American foreign aid. Because of Belize’s becoming self-governing, yours truly became the recipient of the American State Department scholarship, between late 1964 and early 1965, which saw me flying to Dartmouth in late August of 1965. On November 22, 1963, United States President John Fitzgerald Kennedy had been assassinated by rifle fire in Dallas, Texas, whereupon his Vice-President, Lyndon Baines Johnson, was sworn in as president. A few days after Kennedy’s assassination, Malcolm X, the highest profile Minister in the Hon. Elijah Muhammad’s Nation of Islam, told a group of American reporters that Kennedy’s assassination was a case of “chickens coming home to roost.”

    Letter to the Editor: The Public Sector Workers’ Trust – a pie in the sky!
    Editor, Please allow me to respond to letters published in your periodical of February 7 and 14, 2016 concerning the subject of the Public Sector Workers’ Trust. The trustees of this instrument seem to be hiding in plain view behind a Government circular from responding to very important questions posed by some foremost beneficiaries of the negotiations leading to the questionable basis of and the implementation of this Trust. Union management exists to carry out the wishes of union members, not of Government. What was management instructed to negotiate for? If something else was proposed and accepted then management’s duty is to revert and convert the fruit of such negotiation to the nearest equal to what they were instructed to negotiate for. Did union members in 1996-1998 instruct management to negotiate benefits for all civil servants in perpetuity, when the pressing financial needs of officers then serving were upon them? The idea of a trust was proposed in the year (1996) of that membership.

    Drought and flood warnings issued for Caribbean
    There is a sharp contrast between drought and flood conditions, but it appears that an extended drought across our region could create flood concerns once the rains return in full force. This week the Barbados-based Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) called on regional countries to brace themselves for floods, as the drought conditions which have affected the region since late 2014 are expected to subside by the start of this year’s hurricane season. Whereas many other countries in our region continue to grapple with drought conditions and water shortages, heavy rains during the latter part of 2015 have eased drought conditions in Belize. However, Belize may get hotter and drier weather in the coming months. The institute reports that Belize has a 60% chance that its maximum temperatures will be above normal and a 45% chance that it will get less rain than normal for the period February to March 2016. Generally speaking, the warmer and drier conditions experienced across the Caribbean have been attributed to El Niño, the warming of the eastern equatorial Pacific which saw cyclone activity suppressed in the Caribbean basin and the Atlantic. However, as El Niño wears off and the Pacific cools, the Caribbean could be impacted, possibly by higher than normal rainfall and stronger cyclones, CIMH relayed.

    Bar discusses the Belize-Guatemala territorial differendum
    On Friday, February 19, the Bar Association of Belize held their annual conference at the Belize Biltmore Plaza. Jacqueline Marshalleck, the President of the Bar Association, stated, “The purpose of the conference is to educate attorneys on the issue of the long-standing Belize-Guatemala territorial claim in order that attorneys can advocate and explain the subject.” Marshalleck said the Bar is a statutory body, under the Legal Profession Act, Chapter 320 of the Laws of Belize, and that apart from representing the interests of our members, it allows us to be an advocate for other issues. Marshalleck said, “For example, [we can step in] where a citizen is affected by police brutality, although, of course, there is a procedure to deal with that issue. However, if that process is broken or not moving the way it should, that would be where we would be able to provide some level of assistance.” Among the presenters, at the conference were attorneys Assad Shoman and Eamon Courtenay. Shoman told the media, “Belizeans need to wake up, since the Guatemala issue, which has been around for some time now, is getting worse.” Shoman said that for the last few years Guatemala has been dictating what Belize should or should not do, and therefore, Belize needs to take back the agenda.

    Belizean rice must now be pre-packaged and labeled
    The days of being able to buy a pound of retail rice or 5 pounds of retail rice are over. Last week the Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) confiscated 27,571 pounds of rice, in marked 100-pound sacks, from the Belize City outlet of a rice producer in Shipyard, Orange Walk, on allegations that the enterprise was violating packaging and labeling laws introduced last year. Rodolfo Gutierrez, consumer protection liaison officer, told Amandala that rice must be prepackaged for retail sale and those packages are required to have both an expiration date and a manufacturing date. The new standards also require manufacturers to state the grade of the rice and the amount being packaged. There are also price restrictions based on the grade of the rice, since the Government controls the price of this basic staple. Gutierrez said that not only will the new requirements make life easier for consumers; it also makes enforcement easier. Gutierrez reiterated that the sale of loose rice is no longer allowed. The BBS recently found out that rice was being retailed at the market, and that is when it decided to go after the rice producer, who has promised to rectify the matter. Had he not done so, Gutierrez said, “…we would have disposed of it.” He said that they will, hereafter, remove any retail rice found on the market.

    FFB President Ruperto Vicente says his life was threatened
    Amidst the bad blood and power struggle within the executives of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB), the life of its president, Ruperto Vicente, reportedly has been threatened. Vicente confirmed to Amandala today that the threats were made on his life via text messages. He said that one of the messages read, “I can easily kill you.” Vicente said that he will report the threats to police, who have told Amandala tonight that so far, no report has been made to them about the matter. Vicente, who apparently, had not considered reporting the threats to police initially, said that he has been advised to report the matter. He said that his executive wants to overthrow him, but he is taking his time to deal with them. On Thursday, a meeting was called by FFB executives at the FFB Headquarters in Belmopan, where the main agenda was to suspend the president.

    George Domingo, PUP stalwart, dead at 46
    George Domingo, the longtime driver of former People’s United Party (PUP) Minister and former Leader of the Opposition Hon. Francis Fonseca, died sometime around 1:00 this morning at the Buttonwood Bay Medical Center. Domingo died from heart-related complications, said Lovett Griffith, a close family friend. Domingo was hospitalized on January 27 with a heart condition just a few days before the PUP held its National Convention in Belmopan, on January 31. Griffith said Domingo was in the process of making a lifestyle change. “He was trying to be healthy, but before he could make a good hold of that, he had some complications and had a heart attack. And those were the causes of his death.” Griffith added, “I know, regrettable for him, he could not partake in that historic event. His passion was to drive, and be a part of all the solidarity, that the People’s United Party found itself rebuilding lately.”

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    15 year old girl missing
    Belize City Police are asking for the public’s help to locate a missing 15-year-old high school student, Alexis Cardinez, who was last seen by her mother on Saturday, February 20. She was reported missing by her mother, 41-year-old Arlena Cardinez, who said she last saw […]

    $80,000 vehicle destroyed by fire
    A vehicle estimated at $80,000 was damaged by fire yesterday afternoon around 3:30 as its owner, 29-year-old Souad Assad Lindo was driving along the George Price Highway. Lindo, a Ladyville resident, said upon reaching mile 25 on the highway, she noticed smoke coming from the bonnet of […]

    Curtis Swasey wins judgment against BTL and Mek Mi Rich
    The man who says he invented a lottery texting program via short message service (SMS) that evolved into the television game show “Mek Mi Rich” is a little richer himself tonight. Belize Telemedia Limited and MMR Belize Limited, “Mek Mi Rich”’s producers were rapped in court by Supreme Court Justice Courtney […]

    Estella Gonzalez avoids jail on human trafficking conviction
    Sixty-four year old Estela Gonzalez, who was convicted of human trafficking on February 11, was spared a custodial sentence today by trial judge, Justice Adolph Lucas. Gonzalez was ordered to pay a fine of $30,000 and restitution amounting to $28,520 to the Department of Human […]

    Search for missing men in New River suspended
    The Belize Coast Guard has suspended operations for the recovery of a drowned man in the New River after divers began to feel exhausted. The Chief Operations Officer of the Coast Guard said he found it necessary to suspend at 3 this afternoon. Divers […]

    Well-known patties vendor charged for Punta Gorda murder
    In the wake of a grisly murder which took place in the Hopeville area of Punta Gorda (PG) Town on Saturday February 13, a local patties vendor, 48-year-old Roy Jones has been charged by police for the stabbing death of 69-year-old Thomas Paul Rockowski. […]

    Teen charged for scams in two municipalities
    Teenager Brian Neal faces multiple charges of obtaining property by deception in two separate cases in the North. Orange Walk police arrested the 19 year old for trying to scam another person in that municipality. But San Pedro Police say that Neal is also wanted for […]

    Caye Caulker men missing
    Two Caye Caulker residents have gone missing after leaving their home on Sunday evening to socialize at Sip N Dip Beach Bar, located on Avenida Hicaco and police’s efforts to locate them thus far, have been futile. 17-year-old Francisco Torres and Samir Perez left […]

    Benque man charged for sexual assault
    In reference to a report made on Sunday to Benque Viejo Police, 48-year-old Feliciano Merejildo Sutherland of Church Street in that municipality has been arrested and charged for the offence of “sexual assault”. © 2016, This article is the copyrighted property of Belize […]

    Police operations take gun and weed off the streets
    Police operations in areas of Belize City, Orange Walk and Cayo yesterday, netted a total of three and a half pounds of weed, as well as a 16 gauge shotgun, which were all deposited as “found property”. In the old capital, its South Side […]

    Minor stabbed multiple times in Dangriga
    A male minor and his mother visited the Dangriga Police Station on Saturday evening to report that around 3:00 p.m. that same day, while he waited for a haircut with other male persons at his friend’s house, he was stabbed with a screw driver. […]

    18-year-old detained for chopping incident
    Yesterday evening around 5:25, Belmopan Police responded to reports of a chopping incident in Valley of Peace Village, Cayo District, where upon arrival, they saw 43-year-old Salvadoran National Raul Salazar, suffering from a large chop wound. Initial investigation revealed that the victim and a […]

    FFB president defends administration ahead of crucial elections
    President of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB), Ruperto Vicente, has said his administration succeeded in spite of dissension among its executive committee. And as he seeks a second term in office amid allegations of mismanagement by three powerful members of the committee, Vicente […]

    One body retrieved from river; one still missing
    At around 10:38 this morning, the lifeless body of 21-year-old Carlos Reyes was retrieved from the New River in Orange walk Town, by divers who were called in to comb the river bed for the missing men. Since reports were made to police last night that two men […]

    Search continues for missing Orange Walk men
    Family members and members of the Orange Walk Police formation are out in full gear in search for two men that jumped in the New River a little after 6 yesterday evening and never resurfaced. According to credible sources three men were socializing of […]


    Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge
    Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge, an extreme endurance race that entails running, biking, canoeing, spelunking and certainly not limited to these, now joins Belize’s top races. It is now the longest race in Belize with over 300 miles spanning 4 days, a record previously held by Belikin La Ruta Maya at 180 miles in 4 days and followed by the Holy Saturday Cycling Classic at 130 miles in 1 day. This new adventure tests the human ability and pushes it to its very limits. It is unbelievable what the participants are put to do. This race is to be held every 2 years and covers an area of San Ignacio Town, Mopan River, Xunantunich, Macal River, El Pilar, rural farming areas, the Mountain Pine Ridge and the Chiquibul National Park. The Chiquibul National Park is a large broadleaf tropical forest covering an area of 423,000 acres and is home to some of Belize’s most beautiful wildlife like the Jaguar, Scarlet Macaw and large hard woods like the Mahogany and Cedars. They are all being affected by the treat of deforestation and poaching. Years of research by Friends of Conservation and Development (FCD) show that these animals are being smuggled into the neighboring country of Guatemala. Major areas of the forest is being destroyed for agricultural uses by those living within the adjacency zone of the Western Border. The losses of timber are in the millions and not the entire wood is being used, but simply that which can be carried on horse back. Small streams are even being redirected and dredged to allow for gold panning. The Maya sites in the area are also being looted for items that can be sold in the black market. Friends for Conservation and Development needed help to bring attention into the Chiquibul for awareness and to fund their projects, and one great way to do this is with tourism, as new areas will soon be accessible by the tour operators to take tourists. Another way is via the Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge.

    International Sourcesizz

    Seas Are Rising at Fastest Rate in Last 28 Centuries
    The worsening of tidal flooding in American coastal communities is largely a consequence of greenhouse gases from human activity, and the problem will grow far worse in coming decades, scientists reported Monday. Those emissions, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels, are causing the ocean to rise at the fastest rate since at least the founding of ancient Rome, the scientists said. They added that in the absence of human emissions, the ocean surface would be rising less rapidly and might even be falling. The increasingly routine tidal flooding is making life miserable in places like Miami Beach; Charleston, S.C.; and Norfolk, Va., even on sunny days. Though these types of floods often produce only a foot or two of standing saltwater, they are straining life in many towns by killing lawns and trees, blocking neighborhood streets and clogging storm drains, polluting supplies of freshwater and sometimes stranding entire island communities for hours by overtopping the roads that tie them to the mainland. Such events are just an early harbinger of the coming damage, the new research suggests. “I think we need a new way to think about most coastal flooding,” said Benjamin H. Strauss, the primary author of one of two related studies released on Monday. “It’s not the tide. It’s not the wind. It’s us. That’s true for most of the coastal floods we now experience.” In the second study, scientists reconstructed the level of the sea over time and confirmed that it is most likely rising faster than at any point in 28 centuries, with the rate of increase growing sharply over the past century — largely, they found, because of the warming that scientists have said is almost certainly caused by human emissions. They also confirmed previous forecasts that if emissions were to continue at a high rate over the next few decades, the ocean could rise as much as three or four feet by 2100.

    Tracing Slaves to Their African Homelands
    This is indeed inciting news. Historians like Nigel Bolland, Assad Shoman, and Aondofe Iyo have sought to demonstrate the diversity of African cultures in Belize and the fact that Mayas from Belize were taken to be enslaved in Cuba. DNA research promises new insights and supporting evidence....
    From Caribbean sugar plantations to the South Atlantic island of St. Helena, researchers are unlocking the long-kept secrets of enslaved peoples. More than twelve million people crossed from Africa to the New World as slaves. Historians know a good deal about the African ports where they embarked, the slave ships that carried them across the ocean, and the destinations of these enslaved peoples. But they know surprisingly little about where in Africa these masses of people originally came from. Now, thanks to recent advances in genetic techniques, scientists are filling in this important gap in the tragic African diaspora. “This will change our understanding of population and migration histories,” says Hannes Schroeder, a biological anthropologist at the University of Copenhagen. “What was just potential is now being fulfilled.” One example comes from a 17th century cemetery on the Dutch side of the Caribbean island of St. Martin. When archaeologists excavated the site in 2010, they noticed filed teeth in the skulls of two men and a woman. The three individuals were between 25 and 40 years old when they died in the late 1600s.


  • Another disorder linked to the Zika virus, 1min.

  • Meet the 2016 Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge Teams, 4min. Still going!

  • Vivek & Sonali Surprise Belize Engagement Film, 4.5min. Surprise engagement on the beaches of Victoria House Resort in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

  • Lion Fish Hunt in Belize at Turneffe Atoll, 5.5min. Our first kills and dinner.

  • Oceana outraged by recent shark kill in Belize, 2min. VP Janelle Chanona discusses the consequences of indiscriminate gill net fishing and implications for sustainable fishing.

  • Belize, 8min. Belize Snorkel trip

  • Eagle Ray Encounter - Belize, 1/2min. Ulrich encounters Spotted Eagle Rays on his first day SCUBA diving in Belize! Lighthouse Reef

  • Belize 2005, 10min.

  • Belize Veterinary Clinic, 8min. Members of the 719th Medical Detachment Veterinary Services, administer vaccinations to animals in Belize April 17-19, 2013. Veterinary professionals from the U.S. are providing free veterinary care to animals at multiple Veterinary Readiness Training Exercises throughout Belize as part of an exercise known as New Horizons. The VETRETES are designed to provide vaccinations to animals in several communities, while helping improve the skills of U.S. military service members.

  • Diving Belize!, 2.5min. Two dives off turneffe atoll three miles from the great blue hole

  • *Eating Gibnut in Belize, 1.5min. Trying the rodent gibnut, or paca, at a roadside stand in Belize.

  • Hopkins Mango Fest 2015 in Hopkins Village Belize, 3min.

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

  • Belize, 18min.

  • The Magic of Belize and Belize Yoga, 12min. Looking for a gorgeous place and an amazing adventure? Then come to Belize with Belize Yoga! Here's what the 2016 crew had to say!

  • Turneffe Flats Fly Fishing Lodge - Belize, 3.5min.

  • How to Apply for a U.S. Visa Online. It’s easier than ever!, 2.5min. Every year, millions of people are issued visas to travel to America, some for tourism, some to visit friends and family, some to study, some for medical treatment, some for business meetings and even some who just like to shop.

    February 23, 2016


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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

    The San Pedro Sun

    SP Food Bank explains membership criteria
    Speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Britney O’Daniel, one of the founders of the Food Bank gave details on what the criteria is all about. “First of all they need to come and apply; we have applications at the Lions Den where the Food Bank is located. At least one member of the family must have some sort of employment, have children under the age of 18 that live at home with them and there is also the exception when sometimes there are elderly family members living in the household who are not able to be employed,” said O’Daniel. The fact that someone needs to be working in the family, raised the question about single mothers who have no jobs and are with children to feed. According to O’Daniel the program was not meant to support a family for all the time, but to just assist them. Many people with a lot of children may only work a few days of the week or make a minimum salary which may not be enough to sustain everyone in the household. This is where the Food Bank helps families to meet their ends, especially in feeding their children. However, O’Daniel disregarded the comments about anyone being turned down during the weekly food distribution.

    San Pedro Red Cross reports successful fundraisers for February
    The Belize Red Cross San Pedro Branch (BRCSP) has been quite busy the last several weeks fundraising for their very worthy cause. From their weekly Trivia Game Night, to a blood drive, concerts, and even some Valentine’s Day fun, BRCSP has taken the opportunity to raise much needed funds to continue their work in the community. According to Laurie Norton of BRCSP, “the past two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity for the Belize Red Cross San Pedro Branch.” Activities kicked from Friday, January 29th with the weekly trivia game at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar where $150 was donated to BRCSP. The following day, Saturday, January 30th saw the first blood drive of the year being held. Although the number of units of blood collected was lower than hoped, every pint helps and is very much appreciated. The youth volunteers of the BRCSP also did a great job by raising another $300 during a dollar drive held simultaneously with the blood drive.

    Projects Abroad in Belize holds Health Fair in San Pedro Town
    Projects Abroad in Belize held their first health fair on the island on Thursday, February 18th at the Lions Den. The activity took place from 9AM to 4PM and provided very important information on health awareness. Some of the topics the fair touched on included HIV, hypertension, diabetes, nutrition, exercise and women’s health as well. Free blood pressure and glucose tests were also available at the health fair. According Kaitlin McWhorter, Acting Country Director of Projects Abroad in Belize, the fair is open to the entire community. There were posters in different areas of the Lions Den with information on different health topics. The sole purpose of the activity was to continue spreading the awareness of healthy living among the San Pedro community. Currently there are sixteen volunteers with Projects Abroad, of which eight are in the public health field. Some of the volunteers worked at different schools, while others also assist with the island’s Food Bank. According to McWhorter, they tried to spread around and help in the community as much as they can.

    Boat Manifest awaiting approval
    For years, concerned island residents and the San Pedro Police Department have being calling for the implementation of a mandatory boat manifest. A boat manifest is a document listing the cargo, passengers and crew being transported during a trip, and is instrumental in keeping entry and exit records of visitors to a location as well as in cases of emergencies. As one of the top destinations in the country, San Pedro is flooded daily with an influx of persons arriving either by boat or airplane. While both airplane services on the island are required to have a manifest, the water taxis seem to have been exempted from providing a manifest. In the past few months, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) commenced the process of implementing a boat manifest but it is yet to be approved and sanctioned by the Belize Port Authority (BPA).

    Ambergris Today

    Free Pediatric Services at Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic 2
    Sunday, March 6 San Pedro Dr. Otto Rodriguez PolyClinic 9:00AM-3:00PM Tuesday, March 8 Ladyville Community Center 9:00AM-3:00PM Wednesday, March 9 Maskall Health Center 9:00AM-3:00PM Thursday, March 10 Port Loyola Health Clinic 9:00AM-6:00PM Friday, March 11 Crooked Tree Health Center 9:00AM-3:00PM Children From Early Iinfancy To 21 Years Of Age Will Be Seen At These Clinics. For more information, please contact your closest Health Center or one of the following Friends of Pediatrics contacts: Mayra Singh - 610-4677 Lysette Eck - 610-5505

    OCEANA: A Love Letter to the Caribbean Sea from Belize
    Some of our earliest memories are of you, our beautiful Caribbean Sea. Carefree days; warm sand; beauty and abundance as far as the eye could see. Every year, we take a knee, hoping we are not forced to witness the power of your waters in storms and hurricanes. And every day, we give thanks to you for the air we breathe, the water we drink, the coasts you protect, the jobs you provide, the food you put on our tables. We dare not imagine a world without you…a world without our reef, without fish, without all the treasures that make us who we are: proud Belizeans. No matter where we live, we recognize the role you play in our personal health and in the global reality.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Shameful shark kill - World Heritage Lighthouse Reef Atoll
    We have just been alerted by many people to a large kill of sharks in and near the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Blue Hole and Half Moon Caye at Lighthouse Reef Atoll. The Jewels of Belize's marine heritage and tourism have been hit hard by several unlicensed fishers using the unsustainable fishing gears nets and longlines. These pictures represent a portion of a single day's fishing with nets and longlines and include at least 32 sharks representing 3 species including the Endangered great hammerhead and pregnant Caribbean reef sharks (and sources counted at least 50 sharks landed in the short space of time they were at the sites). The sharks were landed at Sandbore Caye and Hat Caye at Lighthouse. The sharks in the pictures were captured by a handful of fishers apparently working under only two shark fishing licenses and targeting Belize's marine jewel in the crown, Lighthouse Reef Atoll. These sharks were a mainstay of dive and snorkel tourism at the atoll and helped to support many local businesses that rely on tourism for their income. These dead sharks represented millions of dollars in lost revenue, not only to Belize's tourism sector and the many families and politicians they support, but also to coral reef ecosystem resilience, as these animals play a critical role in maintaining reef health.

    Belize’s first BPO Summit analyses strategy to improve business services sector
    Government and private sector officials from Belize converged at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City on Wednesday February 17th to discuss a new strategy to improve the country’s business services sector. The meeting, which was dubbed as the first BPO Summit in Belize was the brain child of the BelizeINVEST Unit of the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE). It provided participants the opportunity to examine the benefits of increasing the country’s business services and identify priorities for policy and institutional reform. Participants also agreed to revive the Business Outsourcing Association of Belize (BOAB), establish a standards framework and to increase the development and promotion of I.T education in Belize to foster value-added services.

    Ombudsman and Contractor General Sworn-In for New Terms in Office
    In a brief ceremony held today, Monday, February 22 at the Belize House in Belmopan, Mr. Lionel Arzu and Mr. Godwin Arzu were sworn-in for their new terms as Ombudsman and Contractor General respectively, following the Prime Minister’s announcement of their re-appointments at the January 22nd Sitting of the House of Representatives. This marks Mr. Lionel Arzu’s second term as Ombudsman and Mr. Godwin Arzu’s third term as Contractor General. Both men were joined by their families as they took the oath of allegiance before the Governor General H.E. Sir Colville Young.

    From commitment to action on safeguarding the integrity of Belize’s coastal and marine areas
    Today the Deputy Prime Minister of Belize Gaspar Vega, who is also the country’s Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, the Environment and Sustainable Development, announced the government’s endorsement and commitment to implement the Belize Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan. WWF welcomes this announcement by the recently elected administration, which will ensure better protection of Belize’s coastal and marine areas that are integral to the national economy. “The new government made an election promise to pass and implement this plan and appears to be keeping that promise,” said Nadia Bood, Mesoamerican Reef Scientist at WWF. “We expect that the plan will come into force within months, and that adequate resources will be allocated for its implementation and monitoring within the budget for the next fiscal year.” WWF, in partnership with the Natural Capital Project and Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute, has played a crucial role in helping design the government’s national integrated coastal zone management plan. It establishes a sustainable approach by quantifying and valuing coastal and marine resources, and enables the making of informed management recommendations based on ecosystems services provided through fisheries, tourism and coastal protection analyses.

    Scholarship Opportunities for Belizeans
    The Organization of American States in collaboration with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia herein offer Bachelor Degree scholarships tenable at the University for Information Science and Technology to be delivered in English. The offering includes full tuition, accommodation and airfare; notwithstanding awardees are responsible to cover costs not outlined in the attached document. The application process is online and outlined in (2) Scholarship application process. Application deadline has been established at April 30, 2016.

    Flea Market on Caye Caulker Feb. 28th!
    It's that time again. Get your Stuff ready!!!

    Belize gets down to Business: Minister Erwin Contreras talks trade opportunities with SoFla
    Belize was at the top of the business agenda this week, as Belizean Minister of International Trade Erwin Contreras stopped by at the Lauderdale Lakes Educational and Cultural Center for the “Doing Business in Belize” workshop. During a special meet and greet session with workshop attendees, the Minister outlined the nation’s many commercial and trading opportunities in renewable energy, agro-processing, tourism, and food and beverage production and packaging. The Minister also encouraged participants to attend the upcoming trade mission, hosted by the Miramar based Belize American Chamber of Commerce of Florida. The trade workshop, hosted by the Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development (OESBD), is part of a year-long series highlighting trading opportunities with many key partners of South Florida’s economy. Representative Hero Balani from the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (Beltraide) was on hand to update participants on the latest initiatives. He highlighted the country’s unique and respected reputation in the rapidly expanding fair trade and eco-label market.

    Discussion of plans for the paving of approximately 3.4 miles of the southern road in San Pedro
    On Wednesday, February 17, 2016, Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Deputy Mayor Guerrero, Councilor Severo Guerrero (Civic & Infrastructural Development) and Councilor Gabriel Nuñez (Housing & Planning, Public Utilities) met with Mr. Dennis Alfaro and Mr. Greg Pisarczyk, two of the primary investors of La Sirene Resort, Spa & Marina, to discuss plans for the paving of approximately 3.4 miles of the southern road. Surveying and consultation for this project will be taking place in the coming weeks.

    Cayo Youth Council Rally
    The Department of Youth Services had the Cayo District Youth Council Rally. Great showing. Great pictures. "Cayo District Pre-Election Rally and Parade!!!!"

    The Western Ballaz were victorious over the Bandits, with a final score of 67 - 60. Adma's Phototgraphy was there to get some vivid shots of the game. If you were at the game, you are in one of the 100's of pictures that are on the WB page. Ballaz fans are second to none! Congratulations, Ballaz!
    The Western Ballaz were victorious over the Bandits, with a final score of 67 - 60. Adma's Phototgraphy was there to get some vivid shots of the game. If you were at the game, you are in one of the 100's of pictures that are on the WB page. Ballaz fans are second to none! Congratulations, Ballaz!

    Channel 7

    Agricultural Minister Discusses Fruta Bomba Layoffs
    On Friday's newscast we told you about how the Papaya Export Company, Fruta Bomba, which is based in San Joaquin, Corozal, sent home 123 employees - half it staff in one day. The company is closing down it's Belize Operation because it's no longer profitable to for exporters to do business here. Now, mass lay-offs are never pleasant for the employer and the employees who have dedicated their lives to a company, which in this instance, has been operating in Belize for 22 years. But, it's happening right now in Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega's back yard, both as the Minister of Agriculture, and in the north, where he's viewed as the Ruling UDP Government's commander. So, today, while we had the opportunity, we asked him to comment on the situation. As viewers will remember, inside information to 7News is that a contributing factor to the company's decision to pull out was the trade difficulties it was having with this Government Administration. We asked the Deputy Prime Minister about that, and here's what he had to say:

    DPM Says 3 Other Villages Have The Same Land Problems As Trio
    While we had the opportunity, we asked Deputy PM Vega about the plight of some 30+ families living in Toledo Village of Trio. As we told you, they risk losing their homes and their farms because the current owner has demanded that they've squatting on his land. This Asian business man bought these large tracks of farm land which used to belong to the Thurton Estate. These families have been squatting on it - reportedly - for over 25 to 30 years, and they've cultivated it, even built their homes on it. They claim that successive Government Administrations promised them that the situation would be normalized. That never happened, and this current business owner has come forward to demand that they each pay him $20,000 for the piece of land that they're squatting on, or else they need to move. So, they are facing eviction, but these poor residents cannot afford to pay for the land. We're told that they've communicated their plight to Ministry of Natural Resources, which was being led by Deputy Prime Minister Vega. When we asked him about it today, he told us that while he doesn't remember the case specifically, he does know of 4 villages, including Trio, which is in this very same situation. Here's how he explained it:

    Cordel Will Be One Of John Briceno's Deputies
    PUP Leader John Briceno was elected three weeks ago, and word to 7News from multiple political sources is that he's ready to shake things up in his executive. The main change that sources tell us about is a move to install Cordel Hyde as a National Deputy Leader. Hyde challenged for the leadership, but garnered only 25% of the vote and came in third behind Briceno and Francis Fonseca. It was an all or nothing gamble for Hyde and he lost, but, now Briceno wants to bring the four term Lake I representative in to be his most senior deputy. As we understand it, Hyde would serve as a National Deputy Leader, in addition to the four existing regional deputy leaders. They are Rodwell Ferguson for the South, Jose Mai for the North, Julius Espat for the West, and Kareem Musa for the East. As National Deputy, Hyde would be senior to those four. But, it's only a proposal at this point, and it will take some doing for Briceno - who will need the approval of his National Party Council, where some feathers are sure to be ruffled. But word to us is that Briceno is determined to bring in Hyde to benefit from his popularity in the Belize District - where the PUP only currently controls 4 of 13 seats.

    Fake Cops Impersonated; Stole A Real Gun
    2 weeks ago, we told you about the con that thieves were running on unsuspecting residents of Belize City. They've been dressing up like police officers, and going into people's homes pretending to be conducting legitimate police business. Well on Saturday, they made off with the gun of a security guard who was on duty at JL's Quick Loan, located on Douglas Jones Street. Today, the Public Relations Officer from Eastern Division North described how the con-men did it: "In the early hours of Saturday morning, two security officers were on duty right here in Precinct 3 area at a business establishment when they were approached by these two persons that are impersonating officers. The description that they give is that they were dressed in uniforms that resemble our number working dress which would be blue and khaki. They are claiming that these persons questioned them and relieve them of a 38 revolver. I will disclose the serial number at another time. At this point in our investigation we see the dire need for the general public to assist us in trying to identify these persons. We have detained several individuals that we believe can help us in our investigation. But we would like for past victims to revisit the investigator that you made your report and see if you can help us to get rid of these impersonators and put them in a rightful place behind bars."

    Kareem Arnold Killed In Motorcycle Collision
    There was a fatal traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway on Saturday night between miles 19 and 20. It left one man dead, and another hospitalized. The victims are 27 year-old Kareem Arnold, the resident from Ladyville who perished, and 21 year-old Churchill Bernard, a mechanic from Fresh Pond. Police say that Churchill was riding a motorcycle, and he was trying to overtake a van. Unfortunately, he may not have seen Arnold, who was also on another motorcycle, who was coming from the opposition direction. They collided head-on, and the impact killed Arnold. The Commander of the Rural Eastern Division discussed the incident with the press this morning: "We had an unfortunate accident on the George Price Highway between miles 18 and 19 where two motorcycles collided. From our investigations we had one Churchill Bernard who was travelling from Ladyville to Biscayne area where upon reaching mile 19 he overtook a vehicle and collided head on into another motorcycle which was at the time ridden by Kareem Arnold. The investigation showed that the motorcycle that Kareem Arnold was on which was a black Meilun motorcycle had no headlight. We found a spotlight, a portable spotlight used on the forehead apparently believed to be worn by Mr. Arnold. We do not know at this time whether or not it was operational. Nevertheless that accident caused the death of Mr. Kareem Arnold and Mr. Bernard Churchill is at the KHMH in an induced coma at this time."

    Why The Mass Fishing Of Sharks?
    Sharks- the apex predators of the sea- are being hunted in Belizean waters. Yesterday Mar Alliance, a non-governmental advocacy organization, posted several pictures on social media depicting a number of sharks being harvested for their meat. The practice is not illegal in the country put the topic always tends to strike a sensitive nerve- especially when at such large scale. The post alleged that the pictures represented at least 32 sharks captured in areas near the Blue Hole and Half Moon Caye sometime last week. Among the carcasses were 3 shark species, including the endangered Hammerhead shark and several pregnant female Caribbean Reef Sharks. But while it is legal to fish for sharks in Belize, Mar Alliance claimed that only two of the group of men fishing for sharks were licensed.

    The Science Of Hitting The Boledo Jackpot
    If you follow the Sunday jackpot - as so many Belizeans do - you'll know that "68" was yesterday's first prize. And for most who buy their Boledo regularly, it's sufficient to know what number played. But, there's a whole other level to this numbers game - and it goes so deep into the study of numerology that's it's almost a science unto itself. And those scientists know, for example, that "68" hasn't played on a Sunday since 2004 - 12 whole years. That's the kind of deep knowledge and study of this numbers game that fascinates Courtney Weatherburne - and for the past month she's been understudying with the experts. Tonight we have part one of her two part series on this game of chance, that's woven into the very fabric of everyday Belizean life:

    Man Stabbed In the Head; Didn't Want A Court Case
    23 year-old Jerson Grinage, a resident of Mahogany Heights Village, had to be rushed to the KHMH this weekend after he was stabbed in the face in front of a Chinese Shop. He's one of the men who police have charged for that brazen home invasion of Diplomat Sarkis Abou-Nehra estate, just outside of Burrell Boom. He's gotten enough attention from the police, because of that case, which may be the reason why he didn't want any court action against the man who stabbed him. The cops from Rural Eastern Division told us more about it: "It happened near Annie's Shop, a Chinese establishment. It appears that the guys met at the area there and a feud ensued causing such injuries to occur."

    Police Will Charge Adolphus For The Shooting Of Concerned Citizen
    While the press had the opportunity, the Rural commanders were asked about the main suspect in the shooting of 52 year-old Jorge Lopez. You'll remember him as the good samaritan who stopped on a dirt road off the George Price Highway between miles 28 and 29. He thought he was helping out, but little did he know that the men were stopping him to rob him of his vehicle. That's after they'd just held up 2 tourists staying at the Belize Zoo's sister facility, known as the Tropical Education Center. These men shot him, and tried to kill him, but he fought them off, and chopped his attacker. The man believed to be the gunman he injured is 21 year-old Adolphus Palacio Jr., who is on remand at the Belize Central Prison on a slew of charges including armed robbery. Today, the Commander of Hattieville Police told us that he is expected to be charged for attempted murder for the attack on Jorge Lopez:

    Terrible Indecent Assault In Benque
    Police in Benque Viejo hope to lay charges to the uncle of a female minor who alleges that he forcibly performed oral sex on her last week. Investigators say that around 8:30 pm on Friday February 20th a 12 year old female student was watching television with her sisters in the living room while her father and uncle socialized in the same room area. Her mother was reportedly at work and her older sister went to the store, leaving only her, her father, her uncle and her 3 year old sister in the house. The minor told authorities that her father eventually went out. That is when her uncle reportedly threatened her and forcibly performed oral sex on her against her own will. Benque police are investigating and hope to lay charges soon.

    Coast Guard Rescued A Boat Full Of People
    Members of the Belize Coast Guard conducted a successful search and rescue operation over the weekend and brought to safety a group of 10 persons after their boat experienced mechanical problems. The distress call was made to the Coast Guard headquarters at about 1:45 on Sunday afternoon. The report was that a family was heading to one of the Cayes for a day of recreation when upon reaching an area between swallow caye and stakebank, East of Belize City, the vessel experienced steering failure and began to drift. As a result the Coast Guard was called out to assist. In no time the team of three coast guard officers located the distress vessel and towed the boat along with its 10 passengers safely back to harbor. Lieutenant Soberanis, The First Fleet Commander of the Belize Coast Guard told us that the three officers: Petty Officer Class 3 Anthony Sankey, Seaman Jessie Vellos and Seaman Grey are all going to be commended for their good work at pulling off a successful search and rescue operation.

    NICH Talks Artifact Preservation
    There are many different types of collectors: collectors of historical pieces, collectors of books, collectors of paintings, and many others. The list is wide and varied. However if there is one thing these collectors have in common is that they all must fight against the weathering of time to keep the pieces in their collection looking their best for as long as they can. Today the National institute of Culture and History under the auspices of the Museum of Belize hosted the start of a three day workshop that focused on just that- Risk Assessment in Collection Management. Or in other words, finding or creating the best conditions for pieces to stand the test of time. The workshop is a follow up initiative to the workshop held last year on the basics of conservation techniques and object handling. Rebecca Newberry, Conservation expert of the Science Museum of Minnesota led the workshop. Sherilyne Jones, the Director of the Museum of Belize and the Houses of Culture spoke to us about workshop and its relevance to Belize.

    Hon. Vega Will Look Into The Belize Harbor Phenomenon
    Two weeks ago, we told you about the strange phenomenon at Southern Foreshore in Belize City. The sea bottom has completely silted up - and what used to be sea bottom is now a filthy silt beach, pushing up against the sea wall. It's persisted for weeks - and residents of the area tell us they've never seen it like that. What's behind it? And what can be done to fix it? Today, while we had the opportunity we asked Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega about it, and he said he's going to look into it: Daniel Ortiz "We want to know the situation and is there any plan to deal with it because that's a major waterway." Hon. Gaspar Vega, Minister of Agriculture "I'm not aware of it. But since you mentioned it, I'll look into it." We'll keep following up to find out what measures the authorities will take to fix this problem in this major waterway.

    Keeping The La Ruta Maya Accident/Violence Free
    The Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge is about 2 weeks away, but the police from Rural Eastern Division have already starting making plans to ensure that the event is free of violence or traffic accidents. There are favorite spots that residents in the River Valley choose to view the progress of the canoe race as it comes passing by, and the cops have decided that they will have to manage the access that they can give to the public. Here's what the Rural cops are planning to do when the 3 day race passes by their jurisdiction: If the plan changes, we'll tell you so that you don't miss your favor canoe teams as they come speeding down the Belize River past your area.

    Channel 5

    Another Security Guard Gives Up His Gun to Fake Cops
    There are fake cops on the prowl in Belize City, and they’ve already gotten away with two weapons taken from security guards. The latest incident happened in the early hours [...]

    Three Men Detained While Police Seek Public Assistance
    Yearwood declined to provide information on the persons in custody, but Police sources tell us one of the detained men is related to a Police Officer, which could explain the [...]

    Notorious Gangster Dies in Motorcycle Collision in Sandhill
    Twenty-eight year old Kareem Arnold narrowly escaped death by bullet multiple times, and death by knife as recently as last month. But in the end death was persistent and caught [...]

    French Tourist Succumbs to Injuries Received in February 1st RTA
    A second person has succumbed three weeks after an accident on the George Price Highway which took the life of forty-two year old Egbert Ferguson on February second. Ferguson died [...]

    PG Police Arraign Vendor for Murder of American National
    Punta Gorda Police have made short work of the investigation into the murder of sixty-nine year old Thomas Paul Rockowski. The American National who lived alone was stabbed multiple times [...]

    Images of Sharks Caught in Gillnets Stir Major Outcry
    There is outrage tonight in the conservation community as well as in other sectors due to a recent large kill of sharks near the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the [...]

    Coast Guard Rescues Family Adrift at Sea
    A search and rescue operation, led by personnel from the Belize National Coast Guard on Sunday afternoon, ended with the successful return of a Belize City family of ten persons, [...]

    FFB President Leaves for Switzerland Amid Boiling Controversy
    he President of the Football Federation of Belize, Ruperto Vicente is traveling to Zurich, Switzerland on Tuesday where he will be participating in an election to vote for new leadership [...]

    FFB General Secretary Also Under Attack
    The trifecta, which includes First Vice President Sergio Chuc and Cruz Gamez, also has an issue with Michael Blease as General Secretary.  Not only is his role viewed as ineffective, [...]

    Career Criminal and New Mother Sentenced to Hard Time
    Margarita Pech/Noralez, the thirty-five year old mother of a one month old baby, who was remanded to prison a week ago was back in court today. Pech has a long [...]

    Another Heinous Crime Report – Uncle Allegedly Violates Niece in Benque
    There is another report on the sexual violation of a minor. A twelve-year-old female student claims that on Friday night at about eight-thirty, her uncle sexually assaulted her when she [...]

    Jerson Grinage Stabbed in Mahogany Heights Altercation
    Another notorious figure is recovering from injuries he received during a fight Saturday night in Mahogany Heights. Jerson Grinage was cut to the back of his head, to his forehead [...]

    Still No Attempted Murder Charge for Adolphus Palacio
    Two weeks ago there was a sensational incident in which two Canadian tourists were robbed at gunpoint just after they checked into the Tropical Education Centre on the George Price [...]

    Confiscated Rice Still in Lockdown
    On Friday, we reported the confiscation of twenty-seven thousand, five hundred and seventy-one pounds of rice.  The bulk grain was removed from a business in Belize City when it was [...]

    RED Police Institute New Controls for Ruta Maya River Challenge
    The much anticipated four day La Ruta Maya canoe race, from the Hawkesworth Bridge to Belize City, kicks off in just a little over two weeks. It’s a race which [...]

    Police Officers Cracking Down on Alcohol Use and Abuse
    In March 2014, as Belizeans celebrated the Ruta Maya River Challenge, three persons lost their lives in a terrible road traffic accident in Burrell Boom. One of them was a [...]

    Bangladeshi Nations Celebrate International Mother Language Day
    International Mother Language Day was celebrated in Belize City on Sunday, as members of the local Bangladeshi community paraded downtown.  It is a recognition of the sacrifices of martyrs for [...]

    Ombudsman and Contractor-General Sworn In
    The Governor General, Sir Colville Young, administered the oath today at Belize House in Belmopan, to put in effect the appointment of the Ombudsman and Contractor General. Lionel Arzu is [...]

    Jamaica to Hold Elections This Week
    Elections will be held in Jamaica this Thursday where the Jamaica Labour Party led by Opposition Leader Andrew Holness is going up against Prime Minister Portia Simpson of the People’s [...]

    Police Attempt Positive Intervention in Mahogany Heights
    As we’ve told you, the Rural Eastern Division is paying particular attention to the community of Mahogany Heights, near mile thirty on the George Price Highway. It’s traditionally been a [...]

    Weekend Sporting Activities with James Adderley
    Good evening I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. Things are heating up in the PLB this season and the city fans were witness to a monster inside the [...]


    Orange Walk Police Searches For Man Who Ran Away With Four Thousand Dollars
    And another man who is expected to be charged for obtaining property by deception as soon as he is caught by Orange Walk Police is 30 year old Orange Walk resident Alex Hernandez. Today police issued a wanted poster for Hernandez after he was accused of making good his escape with four thousand dollars in cash. Nicholas Palomo- Second in Command O/W Police: “Alex Hernandez posed as a money changer where he mentioned to someone that he could change Belize currency into US currency and h was handed over four thousand dollars and he ran away with the money so the person reported to the police and given a statement and now we are looking for this person and we believe that he is somewhere from the Orange Walk district.” The incident we understand took place on Key Hole Alley. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Hernandez is asked to contact the nearest police station. Hernandez is described as being of Mestizo decent, 5 feet 6 inches in height, medium built, has a round face and light brown skin.

    BBS Steps In On Price Gouging
    On January 1st, 2016 the cost of plantation white sugar was increased by 25 cents per pound and since then the Belize Bureau of Standards has been conducting increased market surveillance for Controlled Price of Goods throughout the entire country after receiving several complaints of price gouging. Last week the BBS issued a release where they indicated that they had visited a total of 150 stores nationwide with the main goal being to ascertain product availability on the market for consumers, to verify price compliance and to ensure that consumers are not unfairly treated by both suppliers and distributers. But despite the surveillance there are still several complaints being launched for price gouging. Here in the North consumers are still allegedly experiencing over pricing on the pound of sugar. Today we contacted, Consumer Protection Liaison Officer at the Bureau of Standards, Rodolfo Gutierrez, to find out if the bureau will conduct a second round of surveillance here in the North seeing that consumers are still being treated unfairly, here is what he said.

    Lionel Arzu Sworn In As Ombudsman
    During a sitting of the House of Representatives on January 22nd, Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow announced that Mr. Lionel Arzu and Mr. Godwin Arzu would both be re-appointed for another term as Ombudsman and Contractor General respectively and today, both men were officially sworn in at the Belize House located in Belmopan.Both men were accompanied by their families as they took the oath of allegiance before the Governor General H.E. Sir Colville Young earlier today. Mr. Lionel Arzu returns to serve as Ombudsman for a second term while Mr. Godwin Arzu takes up his third term as Contractor General.

    Man Accused Of Scamming Employee Faces Three Charges Of Obtaining Property By Deception
    Tonight Belize City resident Windell Neal of Lizzaraga Avenue is behind bars at the Orange Walk Police Station waiting to be arraigned for two counts of Obtaining Property by Deception.For quite some time now police have been receiving complaints of individuals going around colleting monies from employees for seafood allegedly purchased by their employers. The victims would pay the individual for the products only to later find out that it was all a scam after checking with their boss. Over the weekend one of those individuals believed to be Windell Neal struck again…this time though he was caught. The first victim was Geyse Sanchez, Belizean office administrator who was contacted by Neal via text message.

    Second Sample Send For Testing Comes Back Free Of ZIKA Virus
    The mosquito borne virus known as Zika has been a topic of major concern in many Central American countries and has been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization because of its association with microcephaly which is the condition in which babies are born with abnormally underdeveloped heads. But while the Zika Virus continues to plague neighboring countries, Belize remains free of the disease. Some weeks ago three suspected samples had been sent for testing at the CARPHA laboratories in Trinidad, of the three samples only one had been sent back, which was negative for the Zika virus. Late last week officials from the Ministry of Health received the second result which also came back negative. Today we spoke to Epidemiologist at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Russell Manzanero who told us more about the good news.


    GOB Has No Plans for the Papaya Industry; Opposition Leader Weighs In
    Last Friday we told you of the over one hundred workers who were laid off at Fruta Bomba and Belize Packers Limited. In our story we did tell you that the Labour Department has reached out to them expressing their willingness to help in ensuring that they receive their just exit packages. Today, we had […]

    Sandhill Accident Proves Fatal
    Twenty seven year old Kareem Arnold lost his life in a motorcycle accident on Saturday night. It happened at mile 19 on the Phillip Goldson Highway in Sandhill Village. When police got to the accident scene, two extensively damaged motorcycles were seen. Hipolito Novelo reports. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING “Kareem Arnold, a twenty seven year […]

    February 1 Accident Claims Second Victim
    February 22, 2016 at 5:45 PM On February 1, a road traffic accident on the George Price Highway claimed the life of Egbert Ferguson. One of the six tourists travelling in the minivan involved in the accident died on Saturday, due to cardiac arrest. Emilie Siman was a thirty four year old nurse who came on vacation to Belize with five […]

    Food Vendor Charged in Murder of American Retiree
    One person has been charged with murder in connection with a recent fatal stabbing incident in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG REPORTS “Deputy Commander of the Toledo Police formation inspector Clement Cacho spoke of the charge.” CLEMENT CACHO “In reference to the death of Thomas Paul Rokowski that occurred on the 13th […]

    Is Belize the 3rd Most Murderous Country??
    Belize has been dubbed as the third most murderous country in the world. What is also true is that in 2015 Belize recorded 119 murders, a decrease of four from 2014. Our neighbors like El Salvador and Honduras have reported murders in the thousands. Guatemala who placed below Belize at number five in the murder […]

    Briceno Prepares for 1st National Executive Meeting Under His Leadership
    On Wednesday, February 24, the People’s United Party is having their first National Executive meeting under the John Briceno leadership. It is a meeting that has a tall agenda ranging from the upcoming village council elections as well as other vacant posts that need to be filled. JOHN BRICENO “There are several issues that we […]

    PUP Senatorial Seats Up For Consideration
    Upon winning the seat of Party Leader for the PUP, John Briceno spoke of looking at all positions in the party and restructuring if necessary while strategically putting persons in place to speak on behalf of the party. One section that was mentioned was the Senatorial seats which are currently held by Anthony Sylvestre Jr., […]

    Petition Starts to Ban Gill Netting and Longlines is an online platform opened to persons and organizations around the world where they can lobby to their local decision makers for changes in their countries in various sectors. One such petition was launched over the weekend by Dr Rachel Graham of Mar Alliance to ban the use of nets and longlines. This petition […]

    Gillnetting: A Dangerous Activity for Marine Life
    Stakeholders, environmentalists and those involved in protecting our seas have been alert for some time now as it relates to the capturing of sharks for commercial purposes. It is an activity that OCEANA Belize has been lobbying against for some time and with a large kill of sharks that was uncovered at the Lighthouse Reef […]

    Robbers Play Cops …. Cops on Alert
    The Belize Police Department is asking the public, especially security officers to be on the lookout for fake police officers. This alert comes after another security officer was robbed of his firearm on Friday night. A forty two year old Security Officer of AAA Security Officer stationed at JL’s Quick Loan on Douglas Street is […]


    Trouble at FFB
    The situation at the Football Federation of Belize is in flux this evening as two sides of the Belize Football world poise for battle. On one side is embattled president Ruperto Vicente and his General Secretary Michael Blease, and on the other side is First Vice President Sergio Chuc and 2 other ...

    Trial for sex case involving 9 year old girl
    A preliminary inquiry in the Magistrate’s Court concluded with 27 year old Daniel Rios of Belize City being committed to trial in the Supreme Court on a charge of unlawful sexual intercourse. Rios is accused of a sex crime against a 9 year old girl on April 28, 2015, almost a year ago. Chief ...

    One of three plead guilty for lobster in closed season
    The lobster season is closed from February to June, but three fishermen took a chance and one of them wound up having to pay for catching the crustacean out of season. A Belize Coast Guard patrol near Crayfish Caye on Turneffe Atoll busted 53 year old George Marin; 24 year old Angel Tun; and 30 year...

    Ministry of labor advises terminated Fruta Bomba workers
    Brook’s Tropicals, which is the parent company for Fruta Bomba & Belize Food Packers Ltd., has officially informed the Ministry of Labour of its intention to close its growing and packaging operations in Belize, over the next six (6) months. As we have reported, this closure will result in the...

    Rice producer receives Notice of Detention
    The Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) in the Ministry of Trade, Investment and Commerce has served a Notice of Detention to a Rice producer. With the recent changes in the Belize Standard for Rice Specification on October 2015, the Bureau says that the producer has breached Section 10 of the Standard...

    National Youth Council Holds Rallies across the Country
    The National Youth Council is a youth governance body that speaks on behalf of the youths of Belize. On Friday 19th of February 2016, the National Youth Council held rallies all over the country in preparation for their election of District Youth Presidents, Vice Presidents, Treasurers, general s...

    Spelling Bee
    Eliminations were held all day today in Belmopan for the Coca Cola Spelling B competition which is now a formal part of the primary School annual schedule. Parents teachers students and their contestants gathered at the Our lady of Guadeloupe parish hall this morning and again this afternoon to...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Atlantic Bank to host home loans fair
    Join Atlantic Bank Belmopan Branch on March 12th, 2016 at the Belmopan Civic Center from 9:00 am till 3:00 pm and gain a better perspective on the home loan process. Atlantic Bank will partner with select businesses such as, Atlantic Insurance, Dreamworks, Ascon, Ceiba […]

    Two men missing in Orange Walk river
    A search is currently underway for two men who dove into the New River in Orange Walk Town near La Inmaculada School. According to reports, the men have not resurfaced and the police have since called in the Coast Guard to assist in the […]

    OCEANA renews call for gill net ban
    Since 1997, Belize’s fishermen and marine conservationists have been advocating for the banning of gill nets as a means of fishing, according to OCEANA Vice President, Janelle Chanona. Concerns have increased as it relates to the shark population in Belizean waters, as these king predators […]

    Coastal Awareness Week begins with Cabinet endorsement
    Coastal Awareness Week kicked off today in Belize City. It is an initiative of the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute, whose CEO, Chantalle Clarke-Samuels, said the emphasis this year was on “climate-proofing” the coast. Samuels also reported that the Cabinet decided to adopt an […]

    Margarita Pech given 7 years for separate thefts
    Margarita Pech, who pled guilty to theft last week and was remanded into custody, also pleaded guilty to burglary when she was brought today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Pech was sentenced to 6 years for burglary and 1 year for theft. The sentences are […]

    Trouble for families in Trio, Toledo?
    Families in the village of Trio, Toledo District, face potential expulsion after an unknown investor purchased the land which they occupy. It’s an unusual case and one the Government appears not to know much about. Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, formerly Minister of Natural Resources, […]

    Agriculture Minister comments on closure of Fruta Bomba
    123 workers exited Fruta Bomba factory in Corozal after the employer shut its doors on Friday, signalling the certain death knell of the papaya industry. Today Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega sympathized with the workers but said Government is limited in what it can do. He […]

    Police seek assistance to locate wanted man
    The Orange Walk Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance to locate 30-year-old Alex Hernandez of that district, who is wanted for the offence of “obtaining property by deception”. Hernandez is a tour guide and bar tender who committed the offence on Thursday, February […]

    Fatal motorcycle collision on Phillip Goldson Highway
    A collision of motorcycles on the Phillip Goldson Highway near Sandhill Village Saturday evening, resulted in the death of a 27-year-old male and the hospitalization of a 21-year-old. Around 7:40 p.m. police responded to an area between miles 19 and 20 on the highway where they saw 27-year-old Kareem […]

    Early morning robbery in old capital
    Salvadoran National and 43 year old owner of “Esmeralda’s Used Clothing” on Queen Street in Belize City, Saida Ventura, reported to police that on Friday morning around 9:35, an armed man entered her business place then stole cash and items to a total value […]

    Man accused of sexual harassment of niece
    A 12 year old resident of Benque Viejo Del Carmen and her mother, reported to police that on Friday night at her home, she was sexually harassed30 that night, her father and uncle were socializing, […]

    Gun and ammo found in Santa Elena
    San Ignacio Police’s Quick Response Team and the Special Branch yesterday morning in Santa Elena Town, Cayo District, recovered a gun with several rounds of ammunition. Around 9:30 a.m., officers working on information received, searched an open lot in the Hot Point area of town where […]

    Fair and mostly dry conditions exist
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize forecasts mostly sunny skies today and partly cloudy skies tonight with isolated showers. Winds will blow from the East at 5-15 knots and the sea state is choppy to moderate. High temperatures today are expected around 84 degrees Fahrenheit along the […]


    Rum Infusion – The new sensation at Charlie’s Bar
    Have you ever tried a Drink Infusion at Chaa Creek? If not you’re certainly missing out! Historically speaking I’ve never been a fan of fruity drinks, but this was different, very close to sorrel juice but not quite (“Obviously” some of you may be thinking but bear with me), the tangy flavors of the sorrel and pineapple contrasted eloquently against the fresh hints of the crushed mint leaves, never before has a drink been labelled as “relaxing” in my head as the fruit notes swirled calmly amidst the electrifying jolts of mint all brought to life by the brisk inhale of the club soda it was suspended in. Sorrell is common in the Caribbean and Central America for making a sort of sweet tangy Juice, and I’ve even seen some Guatemalan brands of Sorrell rum which made it all the more interesting that something which seemed so simple could achieve this fantastic blend. Sorrel pineapple infused Mojitos are officially my favorite drink of the year thus far, I’ll be back for more.

    Say YES to forever! at Victoria House, Belize
    Michael contacted me full of excitement… a good while before he asked the question.. he wanted simple and romantic… and this is exactly how it happened. Simple, at the end of the pier, following with a beautiful dinner of two at one of the nicest restaurants from our island, at Victoria House Resort. Needless to say she did not expected and her reactions were PRICELESS!

    Top 10 favorite high season pictures - and tune in this Sunday, 2/21 for Beachfront Bargain Hunt, featuring CBC!
    High season has been wonderful.....some rain, but clear blue water and plenty of sun! Our guests have been fantastic!!!! We wanted to share some of our favorite images from the last couple months. Guests have loved our new addition of the paddleboard (SUP). Please make sure you follow our facebook page for daily updates, and PLEASE tag your pictures from Caribbean Beach Cabanas or your Placencia fun under #caribbeanbeachcabanas, we'd love to feature your pictures on our site!

    How To Beat The Bank De-Risking Issue
    With the Belize bank de-risking issue in Belize, a lot of Belizean business owners are beginning to seriously worry about how they will receive and make payments to and from the United States of America, our main trading partner. Many Belizean business owners have been using PayPal as a way to recieve and send payments, especially Belizeans whom have been venturing into the tourism industry, and receiving credit card payments is critical in this sector. After talking to business owners across the country, I came to realize that many do not know of Payoneer. With a Payoneer account, it is akin to having a US Bank account, and your account is linked to a debit MasterCard that Payoneer sends to you via mail. It takes about 2 weeks to arrive in Belize. Now, this is not a magic bullet for making and receiving international payments - wire transfer is still the best and cheapest way - however, it is a viable alternative, especially for small business owners. PS: If you want to use an ATM, use Atlantic Bank, they don't charge rediculous ATM fees as the other banks here in Belize.

    International Sourcesizz

    FATF takes Panama off grey list but rampant money laundering continues
    The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has removed Panama from its so-called "grey list" of uncooperative jurisdictions. The FATF action, which took place at a Plenary Meeting in Paris, occurred after the organization concluded that needed reforms had been enacted. However, widespread money laundering, as well as terrorist financing, continues to exist in Panama City. There are neither money laundering prosecutions, nor suppression of the banking centre's constant movement of funds to sanctioned global terrorist organizations, including most of those operating the Middle East.

    This Map Shows Where Climate Change Will Hit Us the Hardest
    As global temperatures and sea levels rise due to climate change, the planet isn't changing in a uniform way. Some areas are more at risk for ecological collapse than others. Now a team of researchers have created a map identifying the most vulnerable areas on the planet. They analyzed temperature (marked in red on the map below), rainfall (blue) and cloud cover (green) from 14 years' worth of global satellite data. From the analysis of that data, the team figured out a brand-new metric to measure changes in vegetation cover and rainfall. They call it the "vegetation sensitivity index." It shows which areas of our planet are approaching a dangerous tipping point. Areas with a high index, and therefore a high vulnerability to climate change, are shown in red on the map below. More resilient areas are shown in green. Yellow patches fall somewhere in the middle.

    The Caribbean’s “Silent Debt Crisis”
    Barbados is the quintessential Caribbean paradise, a rum-soaked, sun-scorched bolthole for the rich and famous for over a century. It is also teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. The island was for decades one of the better-run statelets in the Caribbean, and remains one of the wealthiest. But the island’s tourism industry has struggled in the wake of the financial crisis, and a burst real estate bubble added to the economic toll. The country’s finances are now a mess, and government debts has now ballooned to over 100 per cent of gross domestic product – perilously high for a small island state – despite the authorities sacking the equivalent of 1 per cent of the island’s population from the public payroll. Including the National Insurance Scheme the gross debt-to-GDP ratio is about 137 per cent. Here are the IMF’s latest figures. But the woes of Barbados are by no means unique. The Caribbean region has slowly but surely become one of the most indebted in the world, with liabilities often far beyond what is safe for such small, open and undiversified economies.

    Weather and disease still hampering shrimp production in Central America
    Central America will not be sending much shrimp to the US in 2016. According to importers from the region, a number of countries are still suffering from the losses caused by disease and poor weather, and the prognosis for 2016 is flat. Most production in Honduras and Nicaragua is centered around the Gulf of Fonseca. The industry depends on seasonal rains to flush the bay and provide good water movement. However, last year the El Nino delayed the rains, and the result was poor water quality and disease, including EMS. Volume in this area was down about 20%, and little improvement is expected in 2016. Disease is still rampant, and El Nino is again expected to impact the seasonal rains. Belize, which produces on the Atlantic, has been dry for two years due to disease in the ponds. It is not clear how much restocking will occur this year. Guatemala produced almost no headless shell on shrimp last year, only 122,000 lbs. But they did produce 2.488 million pounds of peeled shrimp, suggesting that they are importing shrimp from elsewhere for processing.


  • A recap of the 27th CARICOM Intersessional, 26min. For our first episode of Belmopan Weekly for 2016!

  • Belize, 6.5min. Snorkeling and other fun in San Pedro

  • Ruta Maya Promo 2016, 20sec.

  • Environmentalists concerned over mass killing of sharks, 7min.

  • Belize Shrimp Farm, 3.5min.

  • BELIZE 2016 VLOG DAY 1// CROCODILE HUNTING!, 2.5min. Today is my first day in the country of Belize! I traveled most of the day and went crocodile hunting at night!

  • BELIZE 2016 VLOG DAY #2 // ZIP LINING THROUGH THE JUNGLE!, 2.5min. Today we learn to survive in the jungle, zip line, and cave tube!

  • BELIZE VLOG DAY 3// XUNANTUNICH RUINS!, 2min. Today we explore ancient mayan ruins and learn about butterflies native to Belize!

  • BELIZE 2016 VLOG DAY #5// SNORKEL AND SNUBA, 3min. Today I spend the day on the water snorkeling and sunbathing!

  • Belize Cahal Pech Experience!,14 min.

  • BELIZE :), 3.5min. All the best moments from the best week :) So grateful for all the good times, memories, and new friends. Thanks to everyone for making this trip so awesome :)

  • Where the hell is San Pedro, Belize? [Q&A], 2min. This time I answered a question which was asked a few times. Where the hell is San Pedro, Belize. I also went to the northern part of Ambergris Caye to take a walk with our dog Sammy.

    February 22, 2016


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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

    The San Pedro Sun

    What You Should Know About Zika Virus
    What is Zika Virus? Zika virus is spread by mosquitos, and can cause an infection known as Zika fever. Zika virus was first found in Asia and Africa. Since 2014, the virus has been spreading, and cases have now been found in Mexico, the Caribbean, and both Central and South America. So far there have been no cases in Belize. What are the symptoms? Zika fever symptoms are similar to the common cold. Symptoms include fever, rash, conjunctivitis (red eyes) and joint pain. Symptoms are mild and may last up to one week. 1 in 5 people infected with the virus actually become ill. Even though you may not have symptoms, you may still have the virus. Zika very rarely causes hospitalization. Death is extremely rare. Currently, there are no vaccines or specific treatments available for Zika.

    Wolfe’s Woofer: Cute Baby
    At the doctor’s office I ran into Mario, who used to work for me. “Hey, Mr. Dennis,” Mario said. “I’m bringing my baby in for a checkup. Did you ever see little Mario?” His wife was holding the baby up for me to see when the doctor came into the waiting room. “The baby looks just like you,” he said to Mario, as they disappeared into the examination room. A young mother with a baby was ahead of me on the waiting list. After Mario left the doctor came out to call her in. As they left I heard him say, “You sure do have a cute baby.” “Thank you,” the mother said.

    Police Report
    Drug Trafficking: On Sunday, February 14th at around 4:45PM, the San Pedro Strike Team were conducting a foot patrol in the airstrip area, near Maya Island Air Cargo Section when they saw 21-year-old Romario Mai of San Mateo Area riding away from Maya Island Air Cargo section on a black male frame 24" Beach Cruiser with a black and grey school bag on his back.
    Wanted: San Pedro Police are asking for assistance in the capture of Jamie Hope who is wanted by Belize City Police Department. If seen call 911, 206-2022 or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 0-800-922-8477.
    Wounding: On Wednesday, February 10th, 20-year-old Alexis Chavez, reported to police that on Tuesday, February 9th at about 3AM he was assaulted. He indicated that he was walking home alone after socializing with friends, and while on the back street in the San Juan Area, San Pedro Town he saw a male person of ‘red’ skin complexion, low dread hair type and medium build, who at the time was dressed in a grey shirt, and brown 3/4 dickies pants and who he only knows as Edwards “SHABBA”, hiding in the bushes nearby.
    Police note: San Pedro Police have indicated that while crime is still an issue in the island, efforts have been taken to keep it under control. Up to date there has been: 1 murder, 1 rape, 2 robberies, 3 burglaries, 11 thefts and 22 reported minor crimes. This records as a total of 41 reported criminal incidents in 2016. Police are asking for the community’s assistance in keeping the island safe. Persons are encouraged to report incidents immediately. The San Pedro Police Station can be contacted at 206-2022.

    Doctor Love: Had It and Partier
    Dear Doctor Love, I have been married for less than a year and I cannot seem to get along with my mother-in-law. She started giving me instructions before the wedding and has not shut up since. She got angry with me because I invited people I wanted and not those that she wanted. Then she started talking about me to the family to turn them against me. The only thing my husband ever says is that she means well. I don’t believe that for a minute. She wants to decide who our friends are and which church we will go to. I am pregnant with our first child and it is only going to get worse. Please tell me the best way to deal with this. /s/ Had It

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Wildlife - license is needed to hunt and sell
    Isn't it brilliant to note that cooks and street venues are not implicated in this Wildlife Order. Only the Hunters and the Vendors. I was originally on a panel to create such an order for the Belize Forestry Department, many years ago. Although our mandate was a lot more than one page. So, when you travel down the Northern Highway into Belize City you can stop and eat at food stands offering gibnut and deer out of season, and yet no government office makes a move to shut them down, fine them or halt the sales. Could the Forestry Dept. and the Police Dept. get together and enforce unilaterally. Of course not, why would they want to? I see trucks with carcasses of forty or fifty bodies piled high, out of season, heading up the Coastal Road. I also see truck loads of un-marked tree logs, sand and gravel, pick-up loads of stolen oranges from White Ridge, thatch palm leaves stacked up in their hundreds, pimento and bush sticks stuffed into box backs, people raping with no enforcement of regs., and yet never have I seen a Check Point on the road to officiate the passage of goods. Well, why would the GoB want to interfere with profit.

    Belize Sees Big Tourism Rebound
    After a sluggish peak tourist season, things were looking grim for tourism growth in Belize. But a strong summer season put the Caribbean destination into a strong position by the end of the year. Belize reported a 6.2 percent increase in tourist arrivals in 2015, according to the latest data from the Caribbean Tourism Organization. And while the country reported a 1.2 percent decline in the peak tourist season, it reported a significant 11.3 percent improvement in the summer season. The country saw a particularly strong increase in arrivals from the United States, with an 8 percent increase compared to 2014, which softened the blow of a 9 percent reduction in tourism from Canada.

    The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s Travel Channel Feature Highlights Belize’s Growth As A Premier Destination
    The Lodge at Chaa Creek's feature in a recent Travel Channel article also highlights why Belize’s tourist arrivals are expected to continue on an upward trend this year, according to Chaa Creek’s marketing administrator. The February 2016 Travel Channel article, "Belize’s 10 Best Jungle Lodges," featured Chaa Creek with the acknowledgement that “Many consider this to be the best lodge in Belize.” The article also explains some of the factors behind Belize’s continued growth as a one of the world’s most desirable travel destinations, according to marketing administrator Roberto Harrison. “It’s very gratifying to be acknowledged by such a popular and trusted travel authority as The Travel Channel, and I think it reflects well not only on Chaa Creek, but Belize in general. It also helps to explain why tourist arrivals increased last year, and why we’re confident of further growth this year,” Mr. Harrison said.

    SAGA Free Spay and Neuter
    Free and low-cost spay and neuter surgery appointments being taken now. Appointments available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday

    The Reporter

    Over 27 pounds of rice confiscated from local producer
    This weekend, the Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) informed that they served a Notice of Detention and confiscated 27,571 pounds of rice from a local producer for breaching new rice standards. The BBS issued new standards last October for rice labelling and packaging. However, according to the Bureau, rice is still being sold loosely in the market. This weekend a large amount of rice was removed from the producers for non-compliance of the new laws. According to the Bureau, the producer breached Section 10 of the Standards which stipulates the requirements for proper packaging and labelling. The business, located in Belize City, was given an opportunity to write to present their case in writing. The producer responded that they will reprocess the rice to meet the new standards of new packaging and labelling regulations.

    Ministry of Works issues notice of axle weight survey
    The general public is notified that an axle weight survey will take place in Benque Viejo del Carmen Town in front of the Cancha Marshalleck from February 22 to the 28th from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The survey seeks to gather preliminary information about the range of heavy axle loads borne by Belize’s main highways. The survey will study heavy construction and heavy transport vehicles and will be used to assist engineers to improving future highway design, improve the performance of routine and periodic maintenance. It will also be used to expand its database of vehicular axle weights. The Department cautions motorists to operate with maximum safety, driving carefully and being mindful of the people carrying out the surveys on the seven dates mentioned.

    Eastern Division police conducts coaching sessions with 4th form students
    This weekend, officers from the Eastern Division police formation engaged with fourth form students from the Anglican Cathedral College (ACC) in Crooked Tree. Facilitated by Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster, Deputy Commander of the Eastern Division, the session included more than 40 students. Broaster stated that the session covered topics about gang and street violence and aimed at equipping students with skills to counter violence. With the knowledge acquired at the sessions, Broaster stated that the fourth form students will be able to be “productive citizens and no one would lead them astray to do illegal stuff.” Understanding that unemployment is a problem that young people face in contemporary times, and is a direct link to violence and crime, Broaster stated. He said the sessions also equip students with knowledge to create their own employment.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Traffic accident on Bullet Tree Road
    There was a traffic accident on Bullet Tree Road. Breaking Belize News has confirmed that taxi driver, Alvin Popper lost control of his vehicle which caused it to flip while on its way to San Ignacio Town. According to our sources, the taxi was transporting two […]


    A Family Affair kind of Wedding at Las Terrazas, Belize
    Is well known already that Belize is a top World Destination Wedding…. and Jenna & Cooper decided to choose us to tie the knot. A tropical island, laid back wedding, filled with love & happiness surrounded by people close to their hearts… this was their dream wedding day and choosing fabulous Las Terrazas Resort was the topping of their day. A perfect location: Ambergris Caye, Belize, the most beautiful island in the world.. We were in the middle of a cold front, with heavy rain for days… we looked online and looked like we’ll have a wet day ahead… Personally, I consider rain the most romantic weather… and if will rain in your wedding day, that’s totally OK! At least, with me as your photographer :)

    “Got My Mojo Working” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
    Some mornings out on the veranda – the western, lagoon facing one – I take time out from reading The Times on my iPad and just sip my coffee (black and unsweetened) and I enter a state of cogitation (sounds like something that Mr Spock might do, doesn’t it. No. Oh well). These cogitative states have covered a myriad of subjects but just recently I’ve kept coming back to the same one. “What changes have I undergone since moving here coming up to four years ago?”. Well obviously there’s the physical changes. Advancing age – no matter how hard you try to fight it ((without the aid (sic) of cosmetic surgery and/or drugs ))- is one thing you just can’t beat. Well, not if you want to carry on living. So I’ve grown a few more grey hairs (not complaining though because I’ve still got it. Hair, that is). I’ve gained a few more lines in the face. I blame the sun for that though, not aging! I’m not as agile as I used to be. I can still touch the floor – keeping the knees straight of course – with my fingertips. But … I used to be able to do this with the palms of my hand. I can’t lift the weights I used to be able to carry very easily . My days of sprinting are long since gone. Oh, I’ve lost weight too. Weight with my slim (OK, skinny) frame that I could really have done without losing.

    Steak Taco Roll-Ups
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare baking sheet by putting aluminum foil to cover pan. This makes clean up super easy! Using cooking spray, lightly coat foil. Cut steak into small chunks, bite size. In a large skillet brown steak with taco seasoning, garlic and onion over medium-high heat until meat is browned. Don't over cook or it will be too chewy. Drain off any excess liquid. Add chilies, refried beans, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning. Mix well and cook until thickened. With tortilla flat on surface, sprinkle small amount of cheese onto torilla. Spoon 2-3 Tbsp. of the steak mixture on top of the cheese. Carefully roll tortilla up as you would a taquito, being careful to not over fill the tortilla, but rolling as tight as you can get it.

    Crock Pot BBQ Beef Roast
    Place the roast in the crock pot, slice in half if using a 4 qt. crock pot. Whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over the roast. Cook on low for 6 hours. Remove the roast and shred with two forks (it just falls apart), place in a serving dish and ladle some of the juice over the top before serving.

    Rio On Pools
    Make a Big Splash by Visiting Rio on Pools! Imagine stumbling into a huge pine forest within a land known for its palm trees and exotic flowers. That’s what you can expect on your way to an idyllic enclave of naturally-formed swimming pools fed by dramatic waterfalls hidden within this forest of evergreen trees. Visit Rio on Pools to indulge your inner spirit in an atmosphere of water, water everywhere, including streams that feed this aquatic oasis. If you long for a place to sun, splash, frolic and relax, this destination belongs near the top of your Belize itinerary. This diverse natural area is located in Cayo amid the evergreen trees and granite rock of Mountain Pine Ridge. Drive here yourself or book a tour via your resort concierge and let your tour guide handle logistics. Expect a grand time splashing in the pools, zipping over granite boulders and experiencing area waterfalls year-round. You’re going to stay perpetually wet anyway, so rain showers won’t spoil your fun. That stated, you could encounter muddy roads, so if you’re not a skilled driver, making this trip in a downpours could offer more adventure than you bargained for! Dare we again mention the wisdom of taking a guided tour? Whether your only goal is to visit Rio on Pools or you’re combining it with a stop at Caracol Mayan ruins, take the main road to the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve and you’ll encounter a parking lot and picnic site. If you reach Augustine Village, you’ve gone too far. Turn around, park and take a short hike to the pools.

    International Sourcesizz

    Severe droughts explain the mysterious fall of the Maya
    When the Spanish conquistadores sailed for Central America in 1517, their goal was to vanquish the resident Maya civilisation. But the colonists arrived to find that much of their work had been done for them. The Maya’s towering limestone cities – a classic feature of one of the ancient world’s most advanced societies – were already being reclaimed by the jungle. The question of how the Maya met their end is one of history's most enduring mysteries. The Maya people survived; they even managed to stage a long resistance to European rule. But by the time the Spanish made landfall, the political and economic power which had erected the region's iconic pyramids, and had at one time sustained a population of some two million people, had vanished. The marvels the Maya left behind have earned them an enduring mystique. But the way the civilisation met its end is every bit as curious. Apart from its dramatic scale, what makes the Maya collapse so striking is that, despite decades of study, archaeologists still cannot agree on what caused it. As with the Roman Empire, there probably wasn’t one single culprit for the Maya’s downfall. But the nature of their decline leads some researchers to believe that the Maya civilisation fell victim to a major catastrophe – one able to topple city after city in its wake. There are abundant theories about what finished off the Maya. There are the old favourites – invasion, civil war, collapsing trade routes – but ever since the first Central American ancient climate records were pieced together in the early 1990s, one theory has become particularly popular: that the Maya civilisation was ultimately doomed by a period of severe climate change.

    Correspondent banking a worry for CARICOM
    The economies of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states could be ruined if the issue of correspondent banking is not addressed at the highest level. Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart made this assertion as the 27th inter-sessional conference of heads of government of CARICOM came to a close on Wednesday in Placencia, Belize. In an interview on the sidelines of the summit, Stuart explained that regulators abroad, particularly in the United States, have determined that the Caribbean was now a high risk area for doing business, and as a result, have embarked on a policy of “de-risking”, which would involve the withdrawal of correspondent banking services from indigenous banks in the Caribbean. De-risking could lead to delinking CARICOM economies from access to the global payments and financial system, and would therefore have a severe impact on people’s ability to transfer remittances through money service companies.

    Mexican Congress Revising Entry Rules for Central Americans
    The Chamber of Deputies has made changes to Mexico's Migration Law that directly impact Central American citizens. With a change made to the Migration Law, now foreign visitors that arrive in or transit Mexico will be able to do so [remain] for up to seven days. [sic]* The Migration Affairs Committee … approved the amendment to the Migration Law, increasing the time a foreigner, characterized as a regional visitor, can remain in the country. The change to Article 52, Section III, of said regulation replaces the three days that foreigners had been authorized to stay in Mexico, under conditions of a visitor sojourn and endorsed by the Regional Visitor Card (TVR). The TVR is a migration tool designed to facilitate entry into Mexico by Guatemalan and Belizean citizens, and foreigners that reside permanently in those countries, enabling them to travel legally and freely to Campeche, Chiapas, Tabasco, and Quintana Roo as often as they want for up to three calendar days per occasion.


  • Mr. Peters Interview 2004, 8min. Peters Interview by Bilal Morris in LosAngeles 2004 about his first recording with Caye Records and working with Producer Patrick Barrow.

  • Belize, 3.5min.

  • BLUE HOLE BELIZE, 1.5min.


  • San Pedro Snorkeling at Hol Chan Shark Ray Alley - Ultimate Snorkelling experience in Belize, 2min. Just a short boat ride south of San Pedro of the World second largest Coral Reef system you will find Hol Chan Shark Ray Alley

  • monkey eating banana in Belize, 3min. Spider monkey's taking banana.

  • Belize, 5min. My life on board: Belize.

  • CCC Belize Missions 2005 2013 HD, 5min. A tour through photos of past missions to Belize.

  • Belize and Guatemala in 16 days, 10min.

  • Benque Marimba Youth Academy- celebrating Belize Day in Guatemala September 20th, 2015, 2min.

  • DISCOVER BELIZE NOW PREVIEWS, 8min. Chopper views over the Blue Hole, Turneffe Atoll, Snorkel Dive Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Snorkel Shark Ray Alley and not so common Manatee scenes.

  • Belize 2016 HD, 7.5min.

  • Belize 2016, 8min.

    February 21, 2016


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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

    The San Pedro Sun

    YJ Deli still operating on public land
    YJ Deli located at the corner of Black Coral and Angel Coral Street has apparently been allowed to operate on prime public land for free for well over three years now. Despite the many articles published by The San Pedro Sun, and to much public concern, the local municipality has allowed the owners to operate their for-profit business without paying rent. However, the days of free rent seem to soon be coming to an end as The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) is preparing to implement a plan of action. It is known that SPTC issued a letter of notice to the proprietors of the Deli to vacate the area by June 14, 2014. Nearly two years later, the Deli remains at the same location. Mayor Daniel Guerrero was questioned about the matter, and according to him he wants the Deli to move. “The plan is to move the Deli and start putting food booths, the proprietors have already been informed of the removal and the plan that we have and they have agreed. So when it happens, they will need to start paying a rental fee, to use the area,” said Guerrero. He emphasized that the building will be moved and be replaced with a food stand which the current proprietors of the Deli can rent.

    Teacher Education – Ministry of Education Setting High Standards
    o be a teacher is to undertake a phenomenal profession, which should be taken with pride, dignity and most importantly responsibility. The education of a nation demands that educators are equipped with the necessary pedagogies, methodologies, skills, knowledge and attitude to be an effective teacher. These, however; can only be attained through formal education where teachers are exposed to receiving the theoretical and practical forms of educational development. In the earlier days of schooling in Belize, the demand for teacher training was not as rigid as now. In those days, children were not exposed to the internet and other forms of technological media and gadgets which transcend and transfigure the cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains of an individual. It is therefore; imperative that teachers keep abreast with the 21st Century movement of technological awareness, and the many demands that challenge our education system today. It has then become necessary and important that proper training of our teachers and educators be done to meet the standards of a growing, dynamic, and evolutionary nation.

    Five-a-side Football action continues
    The San Pedro High School (SPHS) and Island Citizen Sporting Club (ICSP) Five-a-side Football Tournament continues its football action. Now in its eighth week, the tournament is reaching it’s midway mark. The most recent matches were played on Saturday, February 13th and Sunday, February 14th at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. Game 1: Bayern Leverkusen 2 – 2 Bayern Munich B; Game 2: El Pescadro 3 – 4 Bayern Munich A; Game 3: Victoria House FC 1 – 0 Caye Caulker Boys (by default); Game 4: Boca Bomber 2 – 2 Boca Jrs.; Game 5: Scorpions FC 8 – 3 Reef Sharks; Game 6:United FC 2 – 2 Island Pure. No matches will be played this coming weekend. Five-a-side action returns on Saturday, February 27th.

    SPTC and Ministry of Health unite for a Zika free San Pedro
    ith the recent Zika situation in the region, The San Pedro Town Council in conjunction with the Ministry of Health has embarked on a proactive approach to ensure that our island, as well as the entire country of Belize, remains Zika free. This plan of action is in accordance with the national plan of action that the Ministry of Health has embarked on. The San Pedro Town Council and the Ministry of Health are therefore encouraging all islanders to do their part to prevent all forms of mosquito-borne diseases and keep our environment and island clean. * Get rid of all water catchment that can be possible mosquito breeding sites; such as tires: old cans, coconut shells, old refrigerators, drums and soda caps. * Keep your yard and surrounding properties clean and free of garbage.

    Ambergris Today

    Coffee break on the Beach
    Can't beat this view

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Beach cleanup at the Phoenix
    Small but mighty beach clean up crew this morning. Phoenix staff members Abel and Eymar represented as usual. Big thanks for their constant support. We'll be back next Saturday, 8am, in front of The Phoenix, to get our beach clean up on.

    It is about participating, Congratulations to our Corozal Community College female Football Team.
    CCC's female football team wins second place at Nationals!! Congrats!!! You have made us proud!

    New Manatee Pool at Wildtracks
    Wildtracks Update: The new Manatee Pool construction continues - the pool is now taking shape, with all soil removal being completed by either the end of this afternoon, or more likely on Monday morning. The pool will be 35 ft long, 15ft wide and 6 ft deep - an urgently needed addition to the Wildtracks facilities. A huge thank you to the Wildtracks crew, with their shovels, pick axes and wheel barrows - we really appreciate you!! We're 86% of the way there for being able to complete the new manatee pool - but still have 14% to go...please donate if you are able to... we really appreciate the support...

    MMAC 2016 Begins
    The Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge started to day, from Cahal Pech. A run to Benque, canoe to Xunantunich, climb El Castillo, and then canoe to Branch Mouth, and that's just the first half of today. You can follow the teams here.

    Hierba Santa Concert
    Hierba Santa and the World Culture Band will be playing a free concert at the Cayo Welcome Center next Friday, starting at 7:30pm. The Mexican Embassy has teamed up with NICH to make this amazing concert happen! "La Embajada de México en Belice y el National Institute of Culture and History de Belice presentan al grupo mexicano "Hierba Santa" en el marco del Festival Artístico de la Calle, el próximo 26 de febrero en el Welcome Center de San Ignacio, Cayo, y el 27 de febrero en Albert Street de la Ciudad de Belice."

    FCD presents its Chiquibul Grisons
    Derric Chan (Team Captain), Gina Lovell, Boris Arevalo and Jose Sierra. All set for adventure challenge 2016 at 10:00 a.m. Cahal Pech. Best to our team!!!

    The Howard University Gospel Choir in Belize City

    Special patrol North of the island looking out for speeding drivers
    San Pedro Transport Department

    To my caye caulker peeps .. I had the worst scared today .. Unbelievable but they robbed us at about 4:30 this evening
    ever expected such fright the property of Tropical Paradise rest.. Me and my american friend ..No luck in finding the guy .. But be careful he came running up to us from behind and grab and he is still out there so warn everyone.. Police say they are looking .. I saw him well enough so i can identify him .. But no luck yet.. Just warning everyone to be real careful .. Daylight unbelievable.. Sad ..scary

    Maya Wedding Re-enactment at Santa Rita site


    Phillip Bowen, 22, sentenced to 7 years
    After the prosecution closed its case against Phillip Bowen, 22, a Belize City clothes vendor, and Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith gave him the option of making a dock statement or swearing on the Bible and giving evidence in his defense, or just remaining silent, Bowen chose to remain silent. He was then found guilty of all the charges – one count of robbery and two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm against two police constables. This morning after reviewing the evidence of his case, Smith sentenced Bowen to seven years in prison for the robbery conviction and two years for each count of aggravated assault. The sentences are to run concurrently, and therefore, Bowen, the father of one child, will only serve 7 years in prison. In his very brief plea for mitigation, Bowen told the court, “I’d like to ask for leniency, as this is my first offence.” “Leniency for what?” Smith asked the convicted man. “Did you have leniency for Mr. Holder that night?” Bowen said in a low voice,” It was not me!” “What, it wasn’t you?” Smith responded. “It was Shaggy?”

    DPP to review “powder-puff” sentence for burglary
    The offense of burglary carries a minimum prison sentence of 7 years under the most recent amendment to the law, but on Tuesday, Belize City Magistrate Deborah Rogers sentenced a repeat offender to six weeks in prison after he accepted responsibility for a burglary. Cecil “GI Joe” Franklin, 42, a resident of Pine Street who has previous convictions for crimes of dishonesty, was the recipient of an unusual judicial generosity after he accepted responsibility for a burglary that he allegedly committed on Friday, February 12. Franklin burglarized the home of James Copious and stole a number of household items valued at $258. Tanisha Flores, Copious’ girlfriend, reported to police that she was at home when Franklin entered their home as a trespasser and stole the items. Franklin stole a blue and black wire cutter valued at $60, a green wooden-handled rake valued $14, a black shovel valued at $24 and assorted tools, all to a total value of $258.

    DPP to prosecute Santa Cruz villagers
    The case of the Santa Cruz villagers who are being prosecuted on allegations that they had assaulted Rupert Myles, of Bella Vista, was called up today before Magistrate Emerson Banner, but the case, which began last year, has still not gotten off the ground. Latest reports to our newspaper are that the matter, which was being prosecuted by police, will now be prosecuted by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Cheryl-Lynn Vidal. The case of the Santa Cruz villagers is historic, and it is the first time, at least in the recollection of the DPP, that her office is dealing with a case of this magnitude, having 15 persons accused. Vidal explained to us why she is the one prosecuting the case. “The first is that the Commissioner [of Police], I am told, gave a directive that the matter was to be heard on indictment. I have never heard of a case of common assault going before a jury,” the DPP said.

    The Zika, dengue and Chikungunya trilogy sparks CARICOM/SICA action
    With the world’s attention now focused on Zika and its possibly devastating consequences, leaders in both Central America and the Caribbean have been meeting this week to discuss their plans of action for tackling not just this emerging disease—which is suspected to have infected over a million people in the Americas since it began spreading rapidly through the hemisphere last year—but also a reconsolidation of action targeted at a well-known pest – the mosquito vector, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, since it also transmits dengue and Chikungunya, already present across our region. Six of seven Central American countries and five of fifteen CARICOM countries have confirmed cases of Zika: 50 in Panama, 66 in Nicaragua, 105 in Guatemala, 10 in the Dominican Republic, 7 in Barbados, 6 in Suriname, and 5 in Haiti, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), which states that there has been Zika transmission reported across 28 territories in the Americas.

    CARICOM “ramps up” fight for banks being cut off by US
    Countries across the Caribbean are being impacted by the decision by foreign banks, primarily US banks, to cut their ties with indigenous banks in our region amid fear that they could face sanctions from their metropolitan authorities if tainted money passes through their banks. Belize has been grappling with the impacts of what has been called “de-risking” for years now, but the matter came into the public spotlight in 2015 when Belize Bank was cut off by Bank of America, a well-known US bank. The small Caribbean island of Montserrat has only two banks, and one of them finds itself in the same boat. In 2015 key players in the region stepped up their search for answers, and at their meeting held in Belize this week Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) decided that they would do everything they can to resolve the region-wide problem which threatens to cripple their economies. CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, told Amandala that the technical people had been working to address the problem long before the meeting in Placencia, Belize. The milestone reached this week means that CARICOM has “ramped up its action on the political front,” and meetings with officials in the US could begin within the next month or two.

    Laws in the works for marijuana decriminalization
    Laws for the decriminalization of marijuana, for possession of up to 10 grams, are in the works. Amandala is reliably informed that after Cabinet gave its nod for the legal drafting, the Attorney General’s Ministry began working on amendments to the Criminal Code which would remove criminal penalties in the event that persons are found with marijuana within what would become the new limit. Of note, though, is that Government is not moving to legalize marijuana use. Persons found with small quantities of marijuana would instead receive a fine through a sort of ticketing system. It is only in the event that the person fails to pay the fine that he or she would face incarceration. Former National Security Minister Doug Singh, who was integrally involved in preparing a white paper which has been reviewed twice by Cabinet, told Amandala that Cabinet had approved the recommendations which were unveiled to the press last year. Since the November elections, new members were added to Cabinet, and they were recently presented with the white paper.

    “Disheartened” and “disappointed” in FFB President
    There have been numerous reports in local football circles about members of the football family feeling let down by the current FFB administration, which replaced the unpopular Bertie Chimilio leadership back in March, 2012, declaring that it represented “a breath of fresh air” to football. Not all promises of the new FFB leadership have been kept; understandably, since it was left with an empty bank account by the outgoing executive. In fact, there have been many complaints, starting with the lack of accountability with the moneys raised from an enthusiastic public towards Belize’s participation in the CONCACAF Gold Cup back in 2013. Nobody is perfect, but what has really created open wounds for sincere football people is the current state of affairs regarding the election process for district association executives, the first step towards the FFB executive elections sometime in late March or early April of this year. One such terribly “disheartened” and “disappointed” football family member is former semipro player, Karl “Bullu” Tillett, who played during the 1990’s and early 2000’s with teams like Santels, Sagitun and San Pedro FC, before migrating to Houston, Texas, where he earned a degree in education and is presently a teacher at Raven High School.

    I question the legality of FFB recent actions towards the PLB!
    (Ed. Note: Addressed to his fellow Premier League of Belize (PLB) members, the writer agreed to share his emailed thoughts with other members of the football family. With the recent turbulence inside the FFB, we thought it relevant to document the course of events.) BELIZE CITY, Tue. Feb. 16, 2016–Gentlemen, I question not only the legality but the ethical standards of the FFB’s actions towards the PLB. The Premiere League of Belize (PLB), as a private organization and an affiliate member of the FFB (PLB Statutes: Article #1:1-3), is constructed to promote, improve and advocate for fair play in organized football in the country of Belize (PLB Statutes: Article #2 Objectives; a—c). The PLB, as a member of the FFB (FFB Statutes: Article #10; 10.1—10.3), enjoys the autonomy, of not only orchestrating its day to day affairs, but also advocating for improvements within the sport. As a result of such, the PLB, a substantive member, is allowed to take part in Congress, able to nominate candidates for all bodies of the FFB to be elected, and, more so, to exercise the 6 votes granted by FFB (FFB Statute: Article #12 Members Rights; a—f).

    Belize District Primary Schools Basketball Champs
    Today at Bird’s Isle, 8 teams, 4 male and 4 female, were present to play for the title of the Belize District Primary Schools Basketball Champions. The male teams were: Belize City 1st place, St. Martin De Porres, and 2nd place, Belize Elementary; Belize Rural 1st place, Hattieville Government, and 2nd place, San Pedro RC. Female teams were: Belize City 1st place, St. John’s Anglican, and 2nd place, St. Martin De Porres; Belize Rural 1st place, Burrell Boom Methodist, and 2nd place, San Pedro RC. Next week Friday and Saturday, February 26 and 27, St. Martin de Porres (male and female) will represent the Belize District at the National Primary Schools Basketball Championships in Orange Walk Town. The National Sports Council would like to thank all Belize District schools who participated in this year’s basketball tournament. We look forward for your participation in 2017.

    Tennis News – Youth Tournament
    A junior singles tennis tournament kicked off this past Saturday, February, at the Belize Pickwick Club Tennis Courts for Lime Green category, where the length of the full-size court is made smaller by 4 feet on each side to accommodate younger players. The top four juniors who proceeded to the semifinals were Alex Musa, Devesh Hukmani, Blake Lee and Nisani Mendez. Alex Musa overcame Nisani Mendez in a very close semifinal match, 4 games to 3, to make the finals; and Hukmani defeated Blake Lee, 4-0, to contend the finals. In the finals, Devesh Hukmani came back from a 2-love deficit to take the victory over Alex Musa, 4 games to 2. Congratulations to Marco Chi and Sofia Solano, who showed great improvement and readiness for the big court!! All junior players from all categories are encouraged to keep on playing, as several tournaments are coming up!!

    Easy Does It tells Police, “Not this time;” and Western Eagles lashes Bright Star
    Hello, you wonderful cricket fans! Under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, the Harrison Parks 2016 Cricket Competition got under way over the weekend with some very interesting matches. Let me take you to the village of Lemonal, the home of last year’s champion, Easy Does It. Team Police travelled there to start the season. Police team is the 2nd place divisional champ for last year under the management/captainship of Officer Howell Gillett. After arriving in the village, they started meeting and greeting friends of long ago. Even shaking hands with Orlando Banner, who had played with them last year, but decided to go back home this year. Well, time for game to start. Police took to bat first, and at the fall of the last wicket, 159 runs were put on the scoreboard. The batsman who helped to reach that score was captain Gillett, who top scored with 38 runs. If it was not for Herbert Banner, that performed so well in his bowling, taking 5 of Police batsmen’ wickets, maybe the score would have been different. That is a very defensive score if bowling is good.

    Editorial: Dorian recants
    A couple weeks ago Dr. Dorian Barrow wrote an article in The Reporter in which he called for the old Belize Teachers College to be separated from the University of Belize (UB) and returned to its individual institutional status. His argument was that the national university has failed to do an adequate job of training teachers to acceptable standards, but the statistics he presented to buttress his argument, which was that the Belize Teachers College in its time had done a better job of same, were not all that convincing. In his article, Dr. Barrow, who was the chief executive officer in the Ministry of Education at the time the national university was being established in the year 2000, and therefore a “big man”on both the University College of Belize (UCB) board and the UB board which succeeded it, confessed that he had supported the inclusion of Teachers College in the five-institution amalgamation of August 2000 which the University of Belize represented. Now, he was changing his mind. (The Government of Belize, led by then Prime Minister Said Musa, amalgamated the UCB, Belize Teachers College, Belize Technical College, the Bliss School of Nursing, and the Belize College of Agriculture to form UB.)

    From the Publisher
    In our editorial last Friday, February 12, 2016, we celebrated the 16th anniversary of the opening of the African and Indian Library, which was/is a dream fulfilled of the late Dr. Leroy Taegar. We did not mention in the said issue of our newspaper that Thursday night last week, February 11, 2016, there was an important and valuable show on KREM Radio which marked its 21st anniversary. This is the show called BELIZE MUSICIANS PAST AND PRESENT. It is hosted, indeed it was created, by the singer/songwriter, Tony Wright, and his deejay/engineer partner, J. C. Arzu. As a business venture, KREM Radio has not been a success. To my mind, there are several reasons for this. The main problem from the beginning in November of 1989 was the fact that the power structure in Belize could not conceive of (which is to say, “tolerate”) so much media power being concentrated in the hands of an organization which had a revolutionary past, a roots present, and an uncontrollable creativity. KREM Radio, from one perspective, was the political experiment of a few leaders in the People’s United Party (PUP), and those PUP leaders did not intend for KREM Radio to survive and succeed. The concept of the private radio station was to be used to assist in winning the September 1989 general election, is all, and so it did.

    Open letter to Mr. Rice Aflatoxin Expert
    Dear Mr. conscientious, self-proclaimed philanthropist, public health and nutrition expert; Your persistent, self-serving, Belizean rice-aflatoxin scaremongering is not in the best interest of the Belizean public. As a Belizean health professional, I feel a sense of responsibility to weigh in on this matter, and put things in perspective. My fellow Belizeans, the real threat to your health is not, and has never been rice aflatoxin-related (liver) disease. Our biggest food threat is our near wholesale abandonment of many healthy traditional food choices in exchange for the highly-processed foods found in supermarkets. “Soh I really noh like how you come da my country, mek latta money from my people by profiting from your highly-processed food enterprise, and pan tappa dat, yuh di persist and di try tek my people fi fool.”

    H.E. Irwin LaRocque reappointed CARICOM Secretary-General
    Dominica national, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, will serve a second term as Secretary-General of the CARICOM Secretariat. CARICOM Chairman, Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize, told the media when he made the announcement this afternoon that the vote to have LaRocque reappointed was unanimous. “I am as convinced as anyone else, and perhaps more so, that the Secretary-General has done an exemplary job… his commitment to reform, the changes he has already made along the lines of obliging the Secretariat and the Community to become more productive, more efficacious, are well known; and he’s done all this while remaining throughout extremely even-tempered [and] accessible—any head can get him at any time, including very early in the morning,” Barrow said.

    Toledo Maya alcaldes to discuss CCJ order Friday
    Maya leaders are due to meet this Friday to discuss the way forward in implementing an order of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) which requires the Government of Belize to work with the Maya to formally recognize Maya land rights, after a finding by the court that the Government of Belize had breached the right of Toledo Maya to protection of the law by failing to ensure that the existing property regime, inherited from the pre-independence colonial system, recognized and protected Maya land rights. After years of litigation, the parties in the Toledo Maya Land Rights case—the government, on the one hand, and the Toledo Maya, on the other—reached an agreement last year, during proceedings which the CCJ held in Belize on a consent order to chart the way forward in putting into effect structures to formally set up a framework for the demarcation of Maya lands in southern Belize. Last month the Government installed the Maya Land Rights Commission, headed by former Cabinet Minister, Lisel Alamilla, with E. Anthony Ross, QC, a legal expert originally from St. Kitts but operating out of Canada, serving as advisor.

    Social Security Board’s second annual tertiary debate
    On Friday, February 12, the University of the West Indies Open Campus and St. John’s Junior College debated, “Be it resolved that birthright citizenship in the US be abolished.” The debate was held at St. John’s Junior College and the moderator for the occasion was Dr. Leroy Almendarez. St. John’s Junior College, represented by Erin Garnett, Tori Lord, Renata Samuels, Martha Mejia, Kory Leslie and Sydney Medina, emerged victorious. Gayle Ozaeta, Communications Officer for Social Security Board, told Amandala that this is Social Security Board’s second annual debate among junior colleges. Ozaeta said that the idea for the debate came up at Social Security Board’s 34th Anniversary, where they were trying to come up with activities that would engage the community, and at the same time contribute towards national development. The tertiary debate seemed to fulfill those requirements. It proved to be such a big success that it was brought back by popular demand, Ozaeta said.

    San Pedro waitress, 23, dies after her throat is slit
    Tragedy struck a young Honduran woman who came to The Jewel to work to make a better life for herself and her 2-year-old baby, whom she is supporting in Honduras. Johanna Samantha Mendez Barrios, 23, was found at about 5:00 yesterday morning, Tuesday, with her throat slit in her apartment in the Parish Apartment Complex , located on Bonefish Street in the Boca del Rio area of San Pedro Town, where she have been living for the past 2 years. After slashing the woman, the attacker escaped with $500 from her room. Barrios, was taken to the San Pedro Polyclinic, where she was declared dead on arrival. She has since been taken to the morgue at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City, where she awaits a post-mortem to certify the cause of death.

    The Reporter

    Youths running for DYS Youth Council hold youth rally
    With the Department of Youth Services (DYS) Youth Council about to be implemented, the candidates are making their presence felt by holding a youth rally in every district this weekend. The elections that will take place on February 29 will fill the positions for President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Public Relations Officer. DYS went about selecting youth leaders who they found authentic, dedicated and with vision for the young people of Belize. The youth population of Belize comprises almost 70 percent. The Deputy Public Relations Officer for the Department of DYS states that is what having a Youth Council with youth leaders that understand the problems young people are facing today. The rally endorsing the candidates is significant said Saldano is to “ensure that youth leaders across the country understand the position they will no hold, understand the responsibility that comes with these positions.”

    $184,000 worth of equipment for Human Development and other departments
    The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) handed over equipment valued at $184,000 to different government departments on Friday in Belize City. The equipment, which was handed over at the Racoon Street Police Station, went to departments in the Ministries of Health, National Security and Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation. The equipment will help them strengthen their ability to collect and analyze data on violence against women and human trafficking, in their plight in dealing with prevention of violence against women. Access to reliable data is essential for decision making and to plan programs to abate these issues. The data collection resources will reinforce the departments to carry out these functions.

    The Belize Times

    Gaspar Vega sold a village! – Trio Villagers are being evicted by private land owner
    When the Ministry of Lands presided over by Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega was called a “hotbed of corruption” by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, we had no idea just how rotten it had become. Vega was eventually stripped of the land portfolio despite his all-too powerful stature in the UDP, and the skeletons have been piling out of the closet. There is yet another major controversy which points right to Vega’s term. This one involves the giveaway of almost an entire village to a foreigner. In 2014 South Korean national Sang H. Yin was sold 2,500 acres of land in the Toledo District. It appears the due diligence that normally takes place in the sale of lands was thrown out the window by the not-normal Minister because part of the land sold to Yin covers half of Trio Village and includes dozens of homes belonging to Belizeans. Those villagers are now staring at homelessness because Yin has told them they must vacate his property or purchase the land at $20,000 per parcel from him, or he will force them out. The village residents are mostly poor farmers who have been living on the lands for over twenty-five years.

    Fix Cinderella Plaza Mr. Mayor!
    Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley has been caught trying to run away from doing his job. In the rush to the general elections, Mayor Darrel Bradley and the Belize City Council spent somewhere between $50million and $60 million in pouring cement on streets in Belize City. Most of the money was spent on streets in the Caribbean Shores area, where Bradley had planned, months prior, to run for political office. This is a twisted story about one man’s ego that cannot be forgotten. In the rush to cement away Belize City, Mayor Bradley’s cement programme apparently overlooked Cinderella Plaza. This important traffic artery in Belize City is in a total mess. Some months before the November 4th election, the area was dug up as Ministry of Works hired engineers repaired the underground drainage. Once that was finished it was expected that the Plaza would be fixed up back again. After all, the area is an intersection for six major streets, including the always busy Freetown Road. But once it was covered with dirt, the area was abandoned.

    “Pay First” Policy adopted by KHMH
    The country’s only referral public hospital, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, has made a drastic policy shift from a public-led hospital to a for-profit one. Last week, hospital officials were on defense mode as they attempted to validate the imposition of new fees on the public. As of February 15th, Belizeans are paying more to access health care services. Non-emergency cases would go up by 150%, from $10 to $25 and physiotherapy clinic fees would climb by 100%, from $15 to $30. According to KHMH’s financial director, the $25 dollars represents 32% of the total cost which will now be met by the public, while the Government covers the remaining 68%. Based on those numbers, the total cost would be about $83. Our checks at private hospitals show that for non-emergency services, Belizeans pay between $40 and $60. The question is how are the fees at KHMH higher when the health care services at the private hospitals are more efficient and advanced?

    Honduran woman murdered in San Pedro
    It’s one of those rare occurrences when, under this Government, a rich company is defeated by the power of the people but this is what occurred last week when the Santander Sugar Group, a sugar-producing company with Guatemalan shareholders based in the Cayo District, folded to pressure mounted against a plan to use $12 million of workers’ money at Social Security Board to finance their project. SSB, it seemed, was prepared to hand over the money to Santander who needed the financing after one of their financiers copped out of a syndicated loan involving other financial entities including Belizean banks. The SSB Investment Committee approved the financing despite the workers’ representative on the Committee, NTUCB’s Rebecca Suazo, disapproving of it. Last week opposition flared with the NTUCB President Marvin Mora publicly declaring their disapprobation, followed by the Opposition People’s United Party challenging Santander to prove it’s soundness by accessing the funds elsewhere instead of the workers’ savings funds.

    Santander folds to Opposition pressure
    San Pedro Police are investigating the chilling murder of a young Honduran woman who had made “la isla bonita” her home. 22 year old Johana Samantha Mendez Barrios was murdered early Tuesday morning by an unknown assailant. Police found Barrios at the San Pedro health center, Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II, with a fatal cut wound on her neck. Barrios was taken to the health clinic by a friend who had found her stumbling outside her apartment, bleeding profusely. It is believed that Barrios was violently attacked inside her second-floor apartment located on Bonefish Street, in the Boca Del Rio Area. She had arrived home between 5am and 6am, after a night out, when she was attacked. Police believe the killer was a burglar who was already in the house.

    Open letter to Mr. Rice Aflatoxin Expert
    A MESSAGE TO MY FELLOW BELIZEANS … who understand the context of the “rice-aflatoxin” headlines that keep popping up in our local Belize news. Note that some things are best expressed in a language that only Belizeans would understand, i.e. our “social glue” … the Kriol language. February 15, 2016 Boston, Massachusetts Dear Mr. conscientious, self-proclaimed philanthropist, public health and nutrition expert; Your persistent, self-serving, Belizean rice-aflatoxin scaremongering is not in the best interest of the Belizean public. As a Belizean health professional, I feel a sense of responsibility to weigh in on this matter, and put things in perspective.

    A Financial Armageddon
    The Prime Minister of Belize has reportedly likened the current banking crisis facing Belize and the rest of the Caribbean Community as a “Financial Armageddon”. But one would not have thought so given the late start, at the beginning of the working week, of a Caricom Summit, or a talk shop, to discuss numerous issues affecting the Caribbean Community. Chief among them is the banking crisis in which American banks, due to stiff US banking regulations, cannot take the risk of having correspondent bank agreements with banks in the region that are perceived as being involved in money laundering and other illegal banking activities. The Governor of the Central Bank of Belize has been less dramatic than his boss saying instead that the Banking crisis “is more serious than climate change” and that it is one of the most serious threats to the region”(including Belize). The Armageddon and climate change analogies are both over-dramatized. But the point is taken: they are both man-made and, with due diligence, could have been avoided were it not for arrogance. Is it not the role of the Governor of the Central Bank to regulate and monitor the banking industry in Belize and to work with the Government’s Financial Intelligence Unit to monitor money laundering and other irregular banking activities?

    Corozal Free Zone is “dying”, says SSB Chairman Doug Singh – Belize’s economy more depressed than revealed by authorities
    Chairman of the Social Security Board Doug Singh has confirmed that Belize’s economy is in greater danger than the Barrow Administration is admitting. Belize’s economy is crumbling on multiple fronts. The correspondent banking crisis which could lead to a total disconnection from U.S. banks, with whom Belize makes majority of its business, is just the tip of the iceberg. Last week, papaya growers and exporters Fruta Bomba and Belize Fruit Packers, both subsidiaries of U.S. company Brooks Tropicals, announced that they were moving their operations out of Belize. Fruta Bomba, which is based in San Joaquin Village in the Corozal district, has been facing distress for some time. The working staff has been shaved down to barebones, and with the announcement last week, the remaining 250 employees are preparing to be out of jobs in a few weeks.

    Hate vs. Hope
    During the past eight years of the Dean Barrow regime, Belizeans have experienced a terrible deterioration in their way of life and standard of living. Week after week, month after month, the price of food and household items at the grocery shops and supermarkets rose higher and higher. But wages for workers remained stagnant. Then we were all hit below the belt when the Prime Minister broke his promise not to raise taxes. A 25% increase in GST was imposed. The second act of betrayal came with the increase in fuel prices Do we remember the Prime Minister’s solemn pledge in the House of Representatives that he would not allow the price of gasoline to go above $7.00 a gallon? This dire situation went from bad to worse. The health of the people was the first victim. NHI was suspended and even the primary care benefits offered during the PUP administration were severely cut back. Now people will have to pay more if they want to access health care at KHMH. The older folks – all our senior citizens who sacrificed for their children and the nation were on the second list of victims of this heartless Barrow regime. Over 1,500 lost their modest monthly pensions from Social Security.

    Waiting on the “Best” but…
    We’re waiting on the best. We were told its coming. In the meantime First Caribbean Bank packed up and left. We lost correspondent bank relationships. We lost our shrimp industry. We lost most of our banana production. We lost Fruta Bomba. Citrus export is plummeting. Farmers are struggling to survive. Oil is done. Petrocaribe is done. Sugar-cane is in trouble. The Commercial Free Zone is dying. The cost of everything continues to go up. Crime is spiralling AGAIN. Tourists are being targeted. We’re being blacklisted by everybody. GOB has raised taxes on fuel, punishing Belizeans. But Social Security wants to lend OUR money to Guatemalans.

    While UDP politicians live large, Belizeans struggle with hard times
    Why is it that everything in our country seems to be going wrong? Why is it that we seem to be going backwards instead of forward? Our politicians can drive the latest fancy SUVs with heated seats, just like politicians in first-world countries. Our politicians can live lives of plenty, and build homes all over the place, and maintain sweethearts, and throw posh parties and fly first class just like politicians in first world countries. But in everything else we are a struggling third-world country, far behind other countries. Our transportation system is a joke. Fifteen years ago we had comfortable buses with a ticket system and a regular schedule. Morning commuters used to get juice and johnny cakes and could watch a movie on the bus. Today travelling by bus is a nightmare. There is absolutely no system in place. Buses are in deplorable conditions and just reaching your destination without incident is a good thing. Schedules are a mess, with hundreds of commuters fighting to get home. There are not enough buses, no ticket system, no supervision, no regulation. Every bus at night is packed full of standees. Imagine if there would be an accident.

    St. John’s Anglican girls & St. Martin’s boys
    The girls of St. John’s Anglican School and boys of St. Martin De Porres RC School won the Belize District Primary Schools basketball finals at Birds’ Isle on Wednesday, February 17. The St. John’s Anglican girls won 13-1 against the St. Martin de Porres girls as Taliyah Hyde scored 4pts for St. John’s, and Shantel Flowers scored 9pts for St. Martins. The Belize Elementary won 3rd place 11-2 over the Muslim Community girls, led by Aaliyah Herbert scoring 7pts and Sanna Rowland scored 2pts. Bonnie Udoye scored the only basket for Muslim Community. The St. Martin’s boys won the city championship 25-22 over the BES boys. Martin’s Elijah Gabourel scored 13pts, Tyreck Solis 5pts; while Evan Welch and Lyndon Gentle scored 4pts apiece. BES’ James Courtenay scored 8pts, while Eric Williams added 6pts and Alex Ariola – 4pts.

    Dean Hemmans & Samira Pott – too fast to handle
    Dean Hemmans and Samira Musa Pott won the City Run Xpress’ “Fastest Mile”, organized in association with Karen Rosito/Nutrition for Health on the Marine Parade and Newtown Barracks to the finish at the BTL Park in Belize City on Saturday morning. City Run Xpress presented both 1st place winners in with a trophy and a gift bag from Dutch Lady and Seven-Seas courtesy the San-Cas Group. Men’s open 1st – Dean Hemmans (5:56) 2nd – Jaheed Smith (6:04) 3rd – Rasheed Pollard (6:05) Women’s Open 1st – Samira Musa-Pott (8:25) 2nd – Nicole Solano (9:01) 3rd – T’Jahrri Yearwood (9:44)

    Excellence & Western Eagles Open 2016 Cricket Tourney
    The Excellence Cricket Club from Double Head Cabbage and the Western Eagles from Rancho Dolores both posted big wins when the 2016 Harrison Parks cricket competition kicked off in Lords Bank and Sand Hill last Saturday. Excellence defeated the Central American Health Science University (CAHSU) Medicos 83-77. The Double Head eleven batted first and Earl Weir led, hitting 3 fours and a six to score 25 runs before he was caught, while Vernon Stephenson also hit a six to score 14 runs. Rydell Thompson scored 7 runs before he was run out and Andy Dominguez managed 6 runs before he was given Leg Before Wicket. Jawahar Bharath and Jaswath Rudraraju led the CAHSU defense, taking 3 wickets apiece, while Nanjeeph Yadav took 2 wickets. The CAHSU bowlers took the last 6 wickets for 7 runs to hold Excellence to 83 runs all out, even including 12 wides and 9 byes.

    Weed Views
    In a recent appearance on Krem’s Sunday Review, Chairman of the Social Security Board Doug Singh exploded a bombshell that proved the perfect “red herring” to his cause. Singh was there to answer questions regarding the twelve million dollar loan to Santander but wound up taking the conversation in a completely different direction. A new purpose has been found for the marijuana issue and look for it to be tossed around much leading up to the next general election; whenever it is called. Singh has already warned that while a proposal has been forwarded and was approved by cabinet that it might take several years for any real action to be taken. Look for such action to be timely and politically convenient. According to a 2010 Population Census, Belize population is comprised of over sixty percent young people, mostly under the age of 25 years old. In this age group in particular, support for address to the marijuana is high. These young people can either already vote or will be eligible to do so in the near future. Make no mistake, the benefits or detriments of marijuana use are of far less concern to these politicians than victory in an election. I have long made known my stand on this issue and that is that small amounts of marijuana should at the very least, be decriminalized. Alcohol is far more dangerous than weed and its use accounts for the deaths of thousands of people each year. It is suggested that cannabis kills nobody, although Willie Nelson once claimed that a friend of his died when a bale of cannabis fell on his head.

    MY PERSPECTIVE – Incredible Misogyny
    We are in the Season of Lent now. Just last week there were Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) in New Orleans, and Carnival in Rio de Janeiro and Trinidad. Trinidad J’Ouvert and Carnival Tuesday are loved, and are considered by many to be one of the greatest street celebrations anywhere. I have witnessed the excitement, the music, the pageantry of the event in Port of Spain and at the Queen’s Park Savannah where the huge music bands pass as thousands participate in “playing mas.” And I agree that it is hard to beat. Very sad news emerged on Ash Wednesday last week when the dead body of a reveller was discovered in the bushes at the Savannah by a homeless person. It was that of a woman who was clad in her Legacy Band carnival costume. The body had not yet been fully identified, nor all the circumstances surrounding the death brought to light, when Port of Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee got on his soapbox pontificating and decried the lewd and crude behavior of women at Carnival and, according to him, the vulgarity that takes place. He was referring of course to the mostly bikini costumes worn by women who play mas. He suggested that by dressing in a revealing costume and dancing, that somehow she was responsible for her own death. He intoned: “The woman has the responsibility to ensure that she is not abused.” (!!)

    Think About It
    A battle erupted between a Belizean mother and her former Guatemalan partner over their two year old child when all three were living in Guatemala. The mother brought her daughter to Belize while there was some sort of court case taking place in Guatemala. The father pursued the matter. First the Women’s Department or Human Development Ministry got involved by wrongly seizing the 2 year old from the mother in Belize. The matter ended up in the Family Court. So far, so bad. It now gets worse. The Family Court made a decision to take away the child from the mother and hand over the child to the father to be taken to Guatemala. There presumably the matter of the mom fighting for her little daughter may continue.

    Which Barrow collected $175,000 as Christmas Bonus?
    Reliable sources have shared with the BELIZE TIMES that a certain Barrow had the sweetest Christmas ever after collecting a huge Xmas bonus of $175,000 last year. Can you guess who it was? It may be a bit difficult to figure out. Not because the idea of one of the Barrows collecting such a grand load of money as bonus is hard to believe. On the contrary, the family members of Prime Minister Dean Barrow are known mini-millionaires. His Ex-wife Lois currently collects a huge salary paid by tax payers’ as Ambassador to New York and the United Nations. Tax payers pay her New York apartment rent, light bill and even grocery bill. Before this, she was hired and paid handsomely as a private attorney by the Barrow Government for cases that were at times straightforward litigation matters for the Attorney General’s Ministry to deal with.

    U.S. student drowns in Belize during science trip
    Tragedy struck a visiting delegation of students from Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A., when one of the visitors drowned while on a trip to Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary located in the outskirts of the Belize District. Tomari Jackson was supposed to celebrate his 15th birthday in Belize. He arrived over the weekend as part of travelling group of students from North Cobb High School in Atlanta. One day into the visit, however, the group experienced a terrible occurrence when they went to swim in the Sibun River. Jackson disappeared under water and it took various attempts by a diving team to find his body. As a result of the incident, the school cancelled the rest of the visit and the students returned home distraught. Managing Director of Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, Matthew Miller, has expressed condolences to the family of the student.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Mainly fair weather conditions over next couple days
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mostly sunny skies during the day time and partly cloudy skies tonight, with generally isolated showers. Winds will be blowing from the East-Northeast at 10-20 knots and the sea state will be choppy to moderate. High […]


    Many hands make light work
    Life has been whirlwind of activity for the San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross over the past few weeks. Our volunteers were kept busy so much that we had to reach out to Project Abroad and use some of their new arrivals who are here volunteering in Belize. In building the capacity of the island, we had our first blood drive of 2016 and are continuing to grow our Ambergris Caye Reserve. Our branch is continuously striving to make Ambergris Caye a safer place and very pleased to have received a donation of 4 CPR Manikins to help us with this ongoing goal. In addition to our regular monthly trivia fundraiser, we had Kelly McGuire and two other bars offer to do events for us.

    Caye Caulker
    Caye Caulker, a relaxed and popular island off the coast of Belize, is a small island inhabited by friendly locals (and many friendly dogs as well!). Should this island be added to your list? You better belize it! (lol) The locals are very friendly. You don't need to be worried about people pestering you too much to buy things. The beer is cheap ($2 USD a bottle) and food is every where! Honestly, it felt more like Jamaica than Central America. We had a great time on the island. After spending 4 nights there, we felt it was time to move on. It is a small island after all! Man was it hard to leave that water though...

    Yet another medical saga: Saved by my angels in Merida
    Well, as some of you may know — or may have surmised — I’ve been sick. Yet again. Last year started with a stent implant to unclog a very clogged artery. That went well, if rather more expensively than I had hoped. And I am proud to say the operation was done here in Belize by a talented cardiologist. Then in May I had a mysterious case of internal bleeding that sent me to the public national hospital in Belize City, Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, on a holiday weekend. It is an experience I shall cherish and never want to repeat again. The bleeding was stopped; the reason for it was never discovered. Then, at the end of 2015, I developed a serious prostate problem. I spent a couple of days in a private clinic in Belize City where the urologist made several observations: 1. It may need to be removed. 2. It may be cancerous. 3. Get it done in Merida, Mexico, not here in Belize. I took the doctor’s advice. I booked a flight to Merida, right after booking a consultation with a urologist. This was all made possible for two huge reasons: 1. My good friends Dennis and Tamara Rossi now live in Merida. 2. An amazing medical “concierge” named Teresita who serves as a guardian angel between the vast and sprawling Merida medical community and terribly confused and stressed medical tourists. Like me.

    International Sourcesizz

    CONCACAF embraces reforms in effort to save itself
    The regional football association CONCACAF said it has collectively embraced the proposals for reform from FIFA and member states will vote on the changes during the Extraordinary Congress later this month in Zurich. But a report by Reuters revealed that the association’s lawyers warned the members last Friday that if they don’t adopt the reforms they will risk more convictions, the freezing of accounts, the forfeiture of CONCACAF assets and even the end of the association. Most of the indicted officials in the massive FIFA corruption investigation by the US Department of Justice were part of either CONCACAF or CONMEBOL, the South American federation. Three of CONCACAF’s former presidents have been arrested, including the Cayman Islands’ Jeffrey Webb, who has been convicted of racketeering offences, and former general secretary Chuck Blazer, an American. Jack Warner, Webb’s predecessor, is still fighting extradition to the US from his native Trinidad, while Webb’s successor, Alfredo Hawit from Honduras, was arrested in December in Switzerland and was extradited to the US in January, where he pleaded not guilty to the bribery charges.

    Japan provide grants assistance to cotton industry in Belize
    The Government of Japan provides additional assistance to budding Sea Island Cotton industry, Belize. Cotton crop yields are much higher than any other agricultural product in Belize, including sugar cane, but cotton farming requires different kinds of equipment. The Japanese, who are knowledgeable in the harvesting and processing of cotton, has offered this kind of support, as well as the equipment to produce cotton. A year ago, Japan also assisted the industry, which was originally started in 1980 by a US company. The Japanese since 2000, has been managing the industry, through a cooperative called ICA. On Tuesday, Japan handed over two tractors worth $205,000 to ICA Belize, a local cotton growing company owned by Japanese-belizean businessman Kensuke Inoue, under the aegis of the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security projects of Japan. Benefiting cotton farmers with the potential to strengthen the relationship between both countries, the Embassy of Japan, wished the project success and said that Belize produces some of the best cotton in the world. The gifts complement an ongoing project, which Japan revived to benefit both countries. Japan’s demand for cotton far surpasses the world’s supply and Belize can earn much-needed cash by exporting the product. Belize’s weather conditions and soil quality bodes well for Belize’s ability to produce top quality cotton. In a productive year, the country can produce 30,000 pounds of dried cotton, which represents $160,000 in earnings from Japan and Europe. There are six local farmers in Buena Vista, Little Belize, Shipyard and Bomba who are involved in the project.

    Spooky Places You Don't Want To Visit
    Cave of The Crystal Maiden: The Cave of the Crystal Maiden was discovered in the jungle of Belize. Any place where you can see the bones of the dead, in the depths of a dark cave, deserves to be placed high on the creepy list. Archaeologists accidentally discovered this cave while exploring the outer areas of Actun Tunichil. In Actun Tunichil Muknal or “Cave of the crystal Sepulchre,” lies the remains of several human and animal sacrifices, including a young woman, whose bones are most likely over 1,000-years-old, and have been preserved due to calcite buildup. The result of the sacrifices is due to what is believed to be religious ceremonies. The questions that lead archaeologist, Holly Moyes and Discover Magazine, have been trying to answer since this discovery is “why would such a religious ceremony be performed in a dank, dark space of a cave?”

    World of the Maya: Jungle adventure takes travelers to Mayan sites
    Okay, so the world didn't end in 2012 — nor did the Maya ever say it would, despite the hype about their calendar. Over the past 10 years, I have visited a number of their enormous stone cities that extend over vast reaches of Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras and Belize. The most recent adventure found me with three good friends trekking over the vast Mayan cities of Tikal, Yaxha and the barely excavated and barely accessible Naranjo. Our journey began with a flight to Guatemala City and a day spent exploring the immense and well-tended Museum of Archaeology. With exhibits well explained in both Spanish and English, the greatest treasures of the Mayan world are housed there, defined by era. It's a "don't miss" venue for any who crave a cultural experience exceeding that of the mere tourist. The masterfully carved Jade Mask featured on the cover of the Sept. 1987 issue of National Geographic is appropriately protected there in a steel vault that would make Wells Fargo proud. In the Mayan world, the value of jade exceeded that of gold.



  • Caye Caulker, Belize, 5min. Haydn and I spent 4 nights on this lovely little island. We stayed at "Yuma's House" and had a great time! Because we were budget traveling, we decided to enjoy the island on our own! We rented bikes, hung out at the beach and tried out some new foods! Can you say relaxing???

  • Belize City 2016, 5min.

  • Landing in Belize City, 2min.

  • Belize Scuba Diving, 3.5min.

  • Belize Barrier Reef Snorkeling, 3min. Taken 4/25/15 in Caye Caulker, Belize along the Belize Barrier Reef.

  • Cain Fighting Marlin in Belize - Belize Fishing Charters, 5min. Jermain Cain a.k.a Bigfish fighter a Marlin - One of the many experience you can expect from Nauti By Nature

  • Belize 2016 Fun, 7min. agoNo views Belize - Ambergris Caye in 7 minutes.

  • Belizean kids got jokes!, 4.5min. My nieces lol playing San Pedro Belize.

  • 2016 Belize, 30 days in Belize in 40 seconds

  • Howard Gospel Choir is at St. Martin's in Belize City conducting a workshop with local youth, 1/2min. Check out how talented and brave the youth are in this community

  • See —and hear — the howler monkeys in the jungles, 1.5min.

  • A Puro Tango in Belize City, 14min. Performance at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts by group A Puro Tango. Friday, Feb. 19th, 2016

  • Belize Cultural Celebrations Volume 2: Carnaval, 15min. The Belize Cultural Celebrations Series is designed as a safeguarding tool for the purpose of building awareness, appreciation and care for Belize’s cultural heritage.

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