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3/1/2016 to 3/10/2016
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March 10, 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

Children are the spotlight at Belize’s Health Outreach
On Sunday March 6th, local doctors and nurses, along with affiliates from ‘Friends of Pediatrics Belize’ (FOP) and ‘Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters’ (CHKD) of Virginia USA, coordinated ‘Belize Outreach’ for the fifth consecutive year at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II. Over the years, physicians from CHKD and pediatricians of FOP have actively volunteered in child-centered care. Their commitment in Belize has directed them to embark upon rural areas as they offer their improved and convenient pediatric medical services. The accessibility of the outreach’s pediatric services had vast numbers of participants from all neighboring communities attending this event. The clinic’s building was full of patients from infants to twenty-one year olds benefiting from an assortment of medical screenings and treatment. Pediatricians and volunteers worked around the clock tending to all patients presents, the Belize Outreach 2016 accommodated everyone with quality assistance and was once again, a success.

Dean Barrow receives ‘Right Honorable’ Title
The Prime Minister of Belize now carries the title of ‘Right Honorable’, as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II appointed Dean Barrow as a Member of the Privy Council. Right Honorable Dean Barrow was appointed on Tuesday, March 1st and is the fourth Belizean to receive this distinction. The Privy Council is the mechanism through which interdepartmental agreements are reached on those items of government business which, for historical or other reasons, fall to Ministers as Privy Counsellors rather than as Departmental Ministers.

Another loss for the San Pedro Tiger Sharks
Week seven of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) 2016 Season brought much disappointment to San Pedro Tiger Sharks’ fans as the home team lost their match to the Cayo Western Ballaz. The Tiger Sharks faced off against the Ballaz on Saturday, March 5th at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium ending in a 61-58 defeat that sees them sliding down the tournament ladder from second to fourth place. However, there is still enough time in the season for the San Pedro Tiger Sharks to make their comeback and take the NEBL Championship for the third consecutive year. The latest round of games started on Friday, March 4th. In the first game, Belize City No Limit traveled up north to take on Orange Walk Running Rebels at the Orange Walk Multi-Purpose Complex. Both teams struggled as the game began, ending the first quarter even at 10 points apiece. Belize City No Limit led 32 – 31 at the end of second quarter, maintaining the one point lead going into the fourth quarter, 52 – 51. However, the Orange Walk Running Rebels was able to record their first home win of the season, 81 – 74 when the final buzzer sounded.

Ministry of Human Development confirms one persons fired in regard to Youth Hostel Fire
In Issue 47 Volume 25 of The San Pedro Sun, news was reported of a fire incident at the Princess Royal Youth Hostel located on Mile 21 of the George Price Highway, which claimed the lives of three teen-aged girls who were in solitary confinement. More than three months later, the Ministery of Human Development has finally completed their investigation and has confirmed that one employee has been fired as a result, and several others are facing disciplinary actions. And, while the lives of the three girls cannot be returned, the Ministry hopes that steps will be implemented to ensure a tragedy such as this never occurs again. According to Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Human Development, Judith Alpuche, protocol was breached when the girls were locked in a room without immediate supervision. “The investigation that we did was internal to us, because we needed to understand what went wrong and for our own clarity and for us to take the necessary actions as well. The processes that we’re talking about, are processes that have to do with disciplinary procedure. In our case, one person has been terminated because that was within the purview of the Ministry to do that. But there are other people who have to go through the public service process because they come in the domain of the Public Service. The report is completed, but we have been advised that there are certain processes that are still on going in terms of disciplinary actions that need to be taken, etc,” explained Alpuche. She explained that the Ministry of Human Development will be issuing a full report on the finding of the investigation and the names of those implicated in the near future.

Ambergris Today

Pic of the Week - Congratulations to Ruta Maya River Challenge Winners
It was a race against 60 other paddling teams who were in it for the glory of the first place trophy. But there was also over 180 miles of river terrain to cover before reaching the finish line. After four days of competition team Koop Sheet Metal took the coveted first place trophy in what has become the biggest sporting event in the country. La Ruta Maya River Challenge took place over the long holiday weekend and culminated on Monday, March 7, 2016. It is an amazing event to witness and even more so, participate. Congratulation Koop Sheet Metal and all the participants who crossed the finish line.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Atlantic Bank Notice
1. The official rate of 1.9825 will apply to the purchase (deposits) of all USD denominated checks. This will apply to both BZD and USD denominated accounts and also will apply to all credit card, loan, and another payments using USD denomination checks. 2. The official rate of 1.900 will apply to the purchase (deposits) of all USD currency notes whether deposited to BZD denominated accounts or to USD denominated accounts. This will apply to all credit card, loan at other payments using USD denominated currency notes. 3. Incoming wire transfers will be at the official rate of 1.9825 except those for credit to USD denominated accounts which will be at the rate of 1:1. Outgoing wire transfers: Those originating from BZD accounts: charges will increase from BZD$110.00 to BZD$150.00. Those originating from USD accounts: if destination is within USA, charges will increase from USD$70 to USD$90. If destination is outside the USA charges will increase from USD$80 to USD$100. Reactivation of business online tokens will now carry a fee of $40.

San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi is hiring!
VACANT POST: 2 porters and 1 Deckhand LOCATION: Caye Caulker REQUIREMENTS: Must be over 21, bilingual, willing to work flexible hours. NOTE: (Porters must be able to lift heavy objects, must possess excellent communication skill) ( Deckhand must have previous experience as deckhand,basic CPR certification and ability to swim is a plus) submit your application letter, resume, 2 recent reference, police record or in lieu, a receipt of payment for police record. to the main office located at 111 North Front Street Belize City or email Deadline for submission is March 31-2016

Celebrating Women
In celebration of Women's Month, the San Pedro House of Culture is proud to present an exhibition by female photographer KAREN BRODIE entitled "Celebrating Women." You are invited to the launch of the exhibition on Thursday, March 10th at 7:00 pm.

Over 50 producers from Orange Walk Town and surrounding villages met at La Inmaculada Credit Union Conference room on Friday, 4th March to obtain crucial information that will assist them to improve their services and raise the bar to compete globally. The meeting was in the form of a Trade Clinic, which was the first of its kind organized by EXPORTBelize, a unit of BELTRAIDE, with the aim to sensitize the private sector on regulations, requirements, export procedures and documentations and opportunities that exist under trade agreements in order to do business in the local and international market. The Trade Clinic included presentations from the Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS), the Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA), the Customs & Excise Department and the Directorate General of Foreign Trade. Topics included: Standards (labeling, CODEX, metrology, etc), Export Procedures, Trade Agreement Opportunities and Sanitary & Phyto-Sanitary Measures among many others.

In honour of National Heroes and Benefactors Day
Here a few photos from the wreath laying ceremony that took place on Monday, March 7th at the Baron Bliss Lighthouse in Belize City.

COMMUNIQUE: Government of Belize Press Office
--Meeting of the Senate - Friday, March 11th --Meeting of the Finance and Economic Development Committee - Monday, March 14th --Meeting of the Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee - Monday, March 14th

Ambassador Moreno Out and About
Ambassador Moreno recently met with director of Wildtracks, Paul Walker. Wildtracks is a non-profit manatee and primate rehabilitation centre. Paul took the Ambassador on a tour of their facility. In the background are a group of howler monkeys who are getting ready for release into the wild!

Circle of Life
Dolphin washes up on shore in Dangriga.

Benque HoC Lenten Events
Tnight, the Benque House of Culture is launching the 'Lenten Season - A Benque Tradition' exhibit. The Women in Art Fiesta is Saturday, March 12th, in Centennial Park. "Lenten Season - A Benque Tradition, join us for a learning and interactive forum followed by the opening of the Lenten Collective Photography Exhibition 2016.

Sustainable Tourism Program II
The Sustainable Tourism Program II kicked off yesterday. The program will support the improvement of the Las Cuevas archaeological site located at the Las Cuevas Research Station. We expect soon to have the appropriate guidelines in place with the Institute of Archaeology. FCD, however, is experimenting now the feasibility for visit to the immense caverns of the Chiquibul Cave System.

Gaspar Vega Resigns As Deputy Party Leader
We have received word from trusted sources that the Deputy Prime Minister of Belize, Gaspar Vega, has sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow, requesting that the Prime Minister approves his resignation as Deputy Party Leader of the United Democratic Party. Sources claim that Vega also stated in the letter that he will not be seeking re-election as Area Representative for Orange Walk North. There is no word as of yet but it is expected that the Prime Minister will strip Vega of his postion as Deputy Prime Minister as well. Second Deputy Party Leader, Erwin Contreras, is expected to be promoted to Deputy Party Leader and possibly Deputy Prime Minister of Belize. There is no word as to why Vega has suddenly decided to resign.

OAS offering scholarship opportunities to Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)
The Organization of American States (OAS), through the Department of Human Development, Education and Employment (DHDEE) and the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), through the OAS Partnerships Program for Education and Training (PAEC), are offering scholarships to qualified candidates of the Americas to participate in select masters degree programs.

Close to 1,500 residents of Maskall Village in Belize District Will Soon Have Easy Access to Quality Potable Water
A ground-breaking ceremony to kick-off Maskall Rehabilitated Rudimentary Water System Upgrade was held in Maskall Village today, Wednesday March 9, 2016. The implementation of the water project represents the unwavering commitment of the Government of Belize to address the basic needs of Belizeans, in the areas of water, sanitation and health. The water project is being financed by the Government of Belize at a cost of $999,494.96 through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank; so that residents of Maskall are provided with continuous supply of reliable quality potable water to meet their daily needs such as drinking, washing, bathing and cooking. The water project will entail the construction of a water tank with a 40,000 gallon capacity, a 10’ x 10’ pump house, installation of transmission and distribution lines.

Hon. Gaspar Vega Attends 34th United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation Regional Conference
he Deputy Prime Minister Honourable Gaspar Vega in his capacity as Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry led a delegation to the 34th United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean held in Mexico City from February 29th to March 3rd, 2016. The Conference which was opened by the President of Mexico, H.E. Enrique Peña Nieto focused on the challenges and prospects for food and nutrition security in the region and reviewed the measures that led to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and to the challenges faced towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. At the hemispheric conference Deputy Prime Minister Vega served as a panellist discussing the theme of “Challenges for Transforming the Rural Sector in Latin America and the Caribbean: Rural Territorial Development, Family Farming, Social and Economic Inclusion and Innovation”. Deputy Prime Minister Vega presented on the core issues from the Caribbean perspective with emphasis on Belize’s experience.

Bandits Celebrity Basketball
Pictures from the Celebrity Basketball Rematch. "Highlight of Bandits Celebrity Match 2016. It was a night of laughter, sportmanship and entertainment! Team Coca Cola vs Team Finesse !!!!! "

Conorquie’s Gun
Listening to breaking news on This weekend’s confrontation That lead to the discover of Conorquie’s gun I call on None Other than Sedi Elrington ‘Son of a gun’ Now that poachers were found With what is believed to be Conorquei’s gun After the shoot out with BDF patrol It’s clear to see this matter is out of PUDP control Elrington was not sure it was a Guatemalan This he said on national television Despite the tense situation Described in Inspector Hall’s letter to Police High command For upgrade in equipment and personnel in this situation For better precaution The report Elrigngton gave did not take this into consideration Nor did it correspond With that given by General Raymond Elrington's response was to appease Guatemala with his fork tongue

Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
Daddy's Home, Mockingjay, Snowtime! In the Heart of the Sea.

Channel 7

Breakup In Barrow-Country: Is Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega Stepping Down?
Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega is stepping down. Reliable reports from within the UDP tell us that Vega has communicated with the Prime Minister that he is stepping down as Deputy PM, and he has also reportedly written to the Party Secretariat saying that he will not offer himself as First Deputy Party Leader when the party has its convention in 11 days. Now, we stress: these are just reports and there is no confirmation from either Prime Minister Dean Barrow – who did not respond to our question via text message, or the Party Chairman Alberto August who is at a meeting in the UK, and told us he’s heard no such thing. Vega could not be reached for comment. But, multiple sources close to Vega confirm that he will step down – and plans only to serve out his term, meaning he would not contest his Orange Walk North seat where he is a three term representative. If there reports are accurate – and assuming it’s not some kind of ploy to gain some leverage internally – it would suggest a profound rift in the UDP and the Barrow Cabinet. Vega was effectively demoted when the UDP won its third term. He lost the all-powerful Ministry of Natural Resources, and was left only with the Ministry of Agriculture. We’ll keep following the story of what at this time remains an unconfirmed report.

Cruise Tourists Held Up In Altun Ha
An armed robbery in Altun Ha has authorities scrambling to find the culprits before the holdup turns into another tourist black eye. Why? The victims were a pair of cruise tourists and their guide, as we later found out from the officer in command of Belize Eastern Rural, the tourism police officers were lax in carrying out their duties. When the last tourist bus left, so did the tourism police, although the site had not been closed. According to police, two tourists were then robbed of items including 1 gold necklace and about $450 US Dollars in different denominations. They were on a private tour with one Clifford Hoare Belizean Tour Guide of Hattieville Village when the men accosted the tourists and tour guide. Assistant Commissioner Broaster told us more: "We received a report of a robbery at 110 in the Altun Ha site area where our police officers were dispatches. At this time initial investigation is revealing that there was a tour of 8 tourers, 6 of whom along with the tour guide went on a trail where they pick medicinal trees that leads to a pond near to Rockstone Pond when two dark skinned male persons came out and accosted them one with what appears to be a black 9 millimetre handgun and a machete. They were all relieved of their valuables and the two culprits made good their escape."

Did Omar Kill Christie Or Was He Acting In Self Defence?
5 years ago it made major news when 21 year-old Christie Carrasco, a resident of Orange Walk Town, was stabbed to death. Her common-law husband, Osmar Sabido, who is now 30 years-old has been in jail awaiting trial all that time. Investigators believed that he did it while in the throes of a jealous rage, and the family of the deceased accused him of actually intending to go as far as to burn the house down with her body in it. Today, he finally got his first day in court where he plans to plead self-defence. Justice Herbert Lord presided over the opening of his trial without jury where the prosecution called their first two witnesses to testify: Deon Faber and Handa Cambranes. Both told the court in great detail how they responded to the stabbing on the night of February 28, 2011. Cambranes gave the very emotional testimony of how she tried to keep Carrasco alive at the back of the police mobile while they rushed her to the Northern Regional Hospital. Faber told the court that he saw Sabido make a stabbing motion once in Carrasco’s direction, during the domestic incident.

Charges Upgraded Against Guate’s
Last night, we told you about the 2 Guatemalan men that the BDF exchanged gunfire with in the Cebada area of the Chiqubuil National Park. Well, these men are now facing additional charges more serious than the immigration offence they were remanded for. 56 year-old Luis Dias Alballeros - seen here - was charged along with 51 year-old Francisco Torres Sucup have been additionally charged with 1 count each of keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition. The BDF claim that Sucup came charging out of a hut armed with a 9mm pistol and fired at the BDF and FCD rangers. They shot him in the leg to subdue him. His companion, Luis Alballeros rushed out right after with a 12-gauge pump action shotgun, ready to fire on the patrol, but he realized that he was outnumbered, and surrounded, and so he surrendered without incident. For firing at the BDF soldiers, Francisco Sucup will face the additional charge of aggravated assault, and these men will be taken back to Magistrate’s Court for a second arraignment and a further prison remand date.

PM Says GOB Will Build Another Conservation Post
And increasingly, Guatemalans are encroaching upon that Cebada area. But they are being unintentionally funnelled there by Conservation Posts that the Government of Belize has put up in other areas along the border between Guatemala and Chiquibul. The Prime Minister explained to the house yesterday that it has forced his government to find money to put up more conservation posts:… "The way they operate is this, they have moved to another area so while in the area where we have the conservation post, there has been dramatic decrease in the way our forest cover is being utterly prejudiced. In the new area where the concentration of incursions is the situation has deteriorated. We were to have put a conservation post in that area as well; the problem is it’s inaccessible. So to get there we have to hack some sort of a road through the jungle that may cost as much as quarter of a million dollars in addition to the conservation post. But I'm here to tell you Mr. Speaker it’s not in the budget minister but I will find that quarter of a million dollars to build that third conservation post."

Mayor Defends Bhojwani Promenade
The mayor of Belize City apparently has a lot of making up to do to city benefactor Hans Bhojwani. Bhojwani donated two bandstands during the Zenaida Moya years. One was in Battlefield Park, the other in BTL Park. But, as is now well known Moya’s successor Darrell Bradley completely renovated those parks and rubbished the two bandstands. You might think that would be the end of it – right? Gift received, briefly used, and then refused, and reduced to rubble. But, it’s not that simple. As you might be able to tell while driving around Belize City, Hans Bhojwani likes to see his name in big letters – so for years now, he’s been demanding compensation from the city. Well, the mayor has conceded to putting up two signs on the Marine Parade re-naming the sidewalk the Bhojwani Promenade. We say “re-naming” because Moya first gave it that name, and then the Bradley council undid it. But now Bradley ahs to re-do it. The mayor told us today it was simply a good gesture to avoid a lawsuit:.. "We were written to by his attorney, we were in communication with them for a period of going now on to two years. Communications went back and forth, I met with the attorney on several occasions and the accommodation that was finally decided on is that, we have no issue in relation to the removal of the band stand because we understand that there was no personal reason for the removal but it had to do with the technical requirements of the various projects but in relation to the promenade itself; okay then you can put up two signs on either side of the promenade. The signs have a certain length, it is being supervised in terms of the work but you did make a contribution to the city at that time and we're trying to promote the involvement of the private sector to try to encourage private public sector partnerships; so if we could have a settlement where we put your name on a promenade then so be it."

Declining Fortunes At Freezone
For the next budgetary year, the Government is forecasting only moderate GDP growth due to a downturn in agriculture and oil production. But, there’s also a sharp downturn in business at the Corozal Free Zone. And that’s because tobacco sales have plummeted. As we have reported, a significant part of the business in the zone was importing dozens of containers of Chinese cigarettes and then smuggling them over to Mexico. But the Mexicans have been cracking down, and the man who ran the racket, Ernesto Alonso De Miguel, known as “El Espanol” was executed. Those events, and other factors have led to a downturn in Free Zone business, and simultaneously, banks have been forced to close their accounts with these cigarette importers. Yesterday, the Prime Minister said it was lamentable but inevitable: "We're all aware of the allegations, the charges that have been made in terms of contra-banding and the illegal export of the cigarettes to Mexico and the illegal importation of what supposed to be coming from let’s say China but according to various sources knock offs of the big boys. It is perfectly understandable thought that the banks would say, look we're going to bank anybody who is in the cigarette trade. It is a matter of the banks having the individual commercial banks, having to make sure that nobody with whom they are trying to do correspondent businesses will be able to say but you're infrastructure is faulty or you're business model or some of the people that you're banking immediately set off alarm bells ringing."

Barrow Bristles At US Money Laundering Report
And the US rang the alarm on Belize and a whole bunch of Central American and Caribbean countries last week when they released the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report. Belize and 10 other countries in the region were listed as countries of primary concern on the major money-laundering list. Yesterday, the Prime Minister bristled at the report’s conclusions:… "They say that, look as though this a demerit, this is a fault, government is encouraging the offshore sector, government in encouraging offshore banking; well they pretty much killed off the offshore banking with their withdrawal of correspondence services but what the hell is wrong with encouraging the offshore sector? You know these people after they do all sort of things to us, control commodity prices, and they tell you, you need to diversify. When you try to diversify in terms of services in terms of something like the offshore jurisdictions with trust, no matter how much you attempt to be squeaky clean, no matter legislatively try to set up all sort of; they just don't want you do to it. You go to the states and they tell you about bear shares but you can set up companies in Wilmington, I'm afraid there is a level of hypocrisy that is very upsetting but they're the big boys, they control and we just have to try our best. Ultimately they may well succeed in killing off the offshore sector as well but we are certainly not going to say uncle and certainly not Uncle Sam."

Barrow Can’t Complain About Judge’s Decision Re: Human Traffic
But that’s not the only report the US has blacklisted Belize on. We’re also listed as “Tier 3” country for human trafficking – one of 23 countries in that tier. That’s the absolute lowest rating and denotes countries whose governments aren’t making significant efforts to comply with minimum human traffic standards. And that’s why government was applauding from the sidelines when Estella Gonzalez was convicted of human trafficking in February. But after that instead of being sent to jail, the judge fined the 64 year old instead of confining her to jail. It caused public outcry, and a big headache for government which wanted a custodial sentence. But still, the Prime Minister told us that he can’t question the judge’s decision: Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "Well I'm happy there was a conviction because the Americans are always complaining about the lack of convictions. In terms of the sentence, I get the sense that the general populous feels that the sentence ought to have been far more severe. We have to respect the judge, there is and can be no suggestion that the leniency was provoked by anything other than his judicial consideration of all the circumstances. So I too would have wished is the sentence had been a little more punitive but I respect the judge."

Correspondent Bank Coming Through, Slowly
And “respect” is just what the Prime Minister and his Finance Team tried to get when they went to Washington and spoke to the US Treasury Department at the end of January. Strict US banking regulations have forced the top banks in the US to cut correspondent banking ties with three of the four major commercial banks in Belize. The Prime Minister and his team got a commitment from one major US Bank that they would be willing to open a correspondent portal with Belize’s Banks – but since then there hasn’t been much visible progress. He gave us an update yesterday: Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "We are in touch and just had an update from certainly the one bank that we were able to get the regulators in Washington to speak to and it would appear that they are certainly prepared to engage perhaps not full scale. It appears there might want to start small and then grow but it seems to me that we're making some progress."

Central Bank Reviewing Heritage Bank Loan To CPBL
One of the banks that is in a holding pattern for that correspondent connection is Heritage Bank. And they’ve also got Citrus Products of Belize Limited doing the same as that company waits for 5 million dollars in bridge financing to pay off farmers. The debts to the farmers have been mounting, and CPBL is well past due with payments. The Prime Minister explained yesterday that Heritage Bank has approved the loan, but the Central Bank has not. "The meeting is now is set for tomorrow as I understand it where it is absolutely certain that the board will have a forum and I think that the additional documentation that is required from Heritage by the Central Bank would have certainly be forth coming by the time the board meets tomorrow. I therefore hope and believe that the Central Bank will be able to approve the balance of the amount in terms of what CPBL originally applied for but which already has seen 3 and a half million dollars given over to CPBL."

Cordel, Come Een
Yesterday may have been budget day in Belmopan, but the most anticipated “reveal” was not the Prime Minister’s dollars and cents, it was how the PUP deck would be shuffled. We’re talking about the seating arrangements on the opposition bench which were re-arranged after the election of a new leader and executive. As we told you last week, the big stunner was that four-term Lake Independence Representative Cordel Hyde who holds no executive post was brought up to the number two spot, shoulder to shoulder with the party leader. We asked Briceno about it, and here’s how he explained the upgrade: "What we are attempting to do is we are trying to bring our best talent to the front and we all know that Cordel Hyde is one of them, he has a lot of talent and as you mention he's a 4 term representative. He along with Hon. Francis Fonseca and myself were in the front, the 3 of us ran to be the leader of this party on March 31st and as such I think that we need to give him that respect. We expect a lot from him and that is why we put him to the front."

Gaspar, Gong, Going, Going, Gone?
At the top of the news we told you about the unconfirmed report that Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega will be stepping down. Since then, we’ve been called by people in his camp who are confirming the report – but no one we spoke to had gotten it directly from Vega – who apparently is not taking calls. But, the reports consistently say that he will not seek re-election as Deputy Party Leader, and neither will he seek re-election as the Representative for Orange Walk North. The matter of Deputy Prime Minister is pretty much automatic for the Deputy Party Leader, as in – you can’t have one without the other. If the reports are accurate it’s indicative of a substantial rift in the Barrow Cabinet – the first public one since he took office in 2008, and we’ll keep following the story.

One of A Kind One Man Show
If you have taken an African American Literature or History class you’ve probably heard of Paul Robeson. He was a stellar athlete, actor and singer and he was also a civil rights activist – one of the leading voices during the Harlem Renaissance. Well, American actor and comedian Stogie Kenyatta celebrates Robeson’s life and creative spirit in his one man show entitled “The World is my Home: The Life of Paul Robeson.” And Kenyatta has brought that show here to Belize for the first time. Today we stopped in for his performance at the Bliss. Kenyatta has been touring this show for 15 years. He has traveled all around the world and played in London, Tokyo and several cities in the Caribbean. If you want to see the show you can catch it on Friday night at 6:00 at UB in Belmopan, or on Saturday night at 8 at the Bliss.

Maskall Making Strides For Water
Residents of the Maskall, mostly primary school children, today gathered at the grounds of what will soon become the site for the construction of the new village Water pump- an initiative that has been long overdue. Works have already begun but the ground breaking ceremony that was held today made official the commencement of this three part project. Present during the ceremony were executives of Social Investment Fund, and Government officials, including Area Representative Hon. Edmond Castro, who lives in the community, and Hugo Patt, the Minister of Rural Development. The Hon. Hugo Patt - Minister of State in the Ministry of Natural Resources: "I come from a village as well, I come from the village of Pachakan and I can certainly recall back in 2008 when we inaugurated the water system that we have there. Many of us, we would not realise the importance of how much we need the water. I have been hearing from Mr. King and the response of the children of what it is they need the water for. Many of us who have the privilege of have the necessary utilities in terms or water, in terms of light, in terms of having access to infrastructure; we would underestimate the importance of having water. I could recall going with my bucket to the closest stream to try to get some water. Many of time we stop and reflect and we look at how we've been growing and when we look at a government that is serious about the development of a particular community, that is serious about the development of its country and which care about its people, these are the type of development that we have to look at."

PUC Says BEL Can’t Get All
In a few months, the electricity rates you’re currently paying will increase by one or 2 cents per kilowatt hour. That’s because the Public Utilities Commission has approved a rate increase in their Full Tariff Review Proceeding. The last Mean Electricity Rate that the PUC approved was 35 cents per kilowatt hour. This time around it has approved a mean rate of 36.43 cents per kilowatt hour. That’s a 4.08% increase. Today, the Chairman of the PUC held a press conference to speak in detail about the justifications for the rate increase. It’s a bit technical, but here’s John Avery simplifying it so that you can understand that BEL must be allowed to continue making a reasonable profit: "They recommended a rate of 39.04 cents. The PUC approved a rate of 36.43 cents that is the mean electricity rate. As you will see from that, everyone doesn't pay the same rate. So based on that mean electricity rate the current rates they you're paying, the mean electricity rate is at 35 cents. So the 36.43 is a 4.08% increase on that; that is the situation. You will understand that 35 cents, the real reason for that 35 cents rate, a lot of that had to do with the fact that in previous years, we had overestimated the cost of power. In 2012 for example, he had some serious droughts and we had minimum production from BECOL. When BECOL produces less power, we lose our purchasing less power at their lowest rates. So when we have to purchase less from them, we pay effectively a higher rate. At that same year June the drought that was affecting Belize, affected Mexico so we had a higher rate for them also. That year we had to increase rates to 48.86 cents so that BEL could pay its bills. So based on what happened that year, we were kind of conservative in the estimates from the next couple years and so what happened is that last year, we realised that in the previous two years BEL received a lot more for the cost of power than what was actually spent."

Chan Pine Culture
The Village of Chan Pine Ridge in the Orange Walk District held its annual Agriculture and Trade Fair over the weekend. Residents of Chan Pine Ridge Village put up displays and made presentations depicting several aspects of their culture and of course agriculture. Area Representative Elodio Aragon said the fair is s staging ground for both culture and agriculture. The community has been hosting this event for the past 50 years.

Channel 5

Is Gaspar Vega Stepping Down?
Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega was not at Tuesday’s Budget Presentation in the House. And there is word that the DPM has dropped a bombshell. News Five has been reliably [...]

Tourists Jacked at Altun Ha
Eight tourists who came in on a cruise ship today and opted to visit the very popular Altun Ha Archaeological Site off the Old Northern Highway are probably regretting that [...]

‘Bounty’ Shot by the Police
Popular DVD salesman Jamal Young, better known as ‘Bounty’, remains hospitalized at the K.H.M.H., following an incident over the weekend during which he was allegedly shot in the foot by [...]

Family Mourns Murdered Bartender
Family and friends are grieving the untimely death of twenty-nine year old Edwin Ixpatac, a Cayo resident who was brutally beaten to the head and abdomen while in police detention. [...]

APB Issued for Two Suspects in Independence Murder
An all points bulletin has been issued by the Belize Police Department for two men who are on the run, following the weekend murder of a Mango Creek businessman.  Independence [...]

Free Zone Cigarette Traders on the Hot Seat
Atlantic Bank International has reportedly met with cigarette traders operating out of the Free Zone and has informed them that effective March fifteenth, their accounts will be closed. It’s a [...]

Is There a Light At the End of the Correspondent Banking Tunnel?
Where the dreaded loss of correspondent banking relationships is concerned, PM Barrow says there is little to report following the CARICOM Heads of Government meeting held in Placencia recently. Coming [...]

PM Barrow Says the US is Hypocritical
The derisking phenomenon is an offshoot of continued pressure from the U.S. to crack down on money laundering and other financial improprieties, real or perceived. The superpower feels that illegal [...]

Is Your Electricity Bill Going Up?
Is your electricity bill going up again in the months ahead?  This afternoon, the Public Utilities Commission held a press conference to make public its initial decision to increase the [...]

Consumers Will Get Benefits at Next Tariff Review
B.E.L.’s submission included a proposed increase in the Mean Electricity Rate from thirty-five cents per kilowatt hour to thirty-nine cents.   John Avery, Chairman, Public Utilities Commission “So at the [...]

Vanson Charged $10,000 for Drug Trafficking
In the court, Miguel Vanson, a first time offender, was imposed a mandatory non-custodial fine for drug trafficking of one hundred and sixty-two grams of cannabis which were found hidden [...]

Jane Usher Resident Arraigned for Burglary and Wounding
A resident of Jane Usher Boulevard, Belize City, was also before the court today for two criminal offenses. Thirty-seven year old Eldon Bevans was charged for burglary and wounding after [...]

P.U.P. Deputy Leader Julius Espat Says NO to the ICJ
Where does the People’s United Party stand on going to the International Court of Justice? It hasn’t been exactly clear. There are those who are obviously in favor of resolution [...]

P.U.P. Leader Explains New Seating Arrangements in the House
It didn’t make it into Tuesday’s news, since the 2016/2017 Budget took center stage, but was a significant political change on the Opposition side of the gallery. The expected change [...]

Immigration Minister of State Will Sign Passport Documents
Against the backdrop of the Budget, bills were passed which may have flown below the radar of first scrutiny, but they are significant. For example, one piece of Immigration legislation [...]

PM Barrow Says New Title is Okay, But He Didn’t Ask for It
And finally for political news tonight, we asked Prime Minister Dean Barrow about his new title of Right Honorable conferred on him recently. Generally it’s offered to government leaders in [...]

Maskall Residents Get New Water System
About fifteen hundred residents of Maskall Village, located on the old Northern Highway, will within a year have access to reliable potable water. The million dollar project will be funded [...]

IDB/BCC Conduct Citywide Survey
Latin America and the Caribbean is the second-most urbanized region in the world with eight out of ten people living in cities.  During the last sixty-four years, the region has [...]


GOB To Cash In 50 Million Dollars As A Result Of Increase In Fuel Products
During yesterday’s Budget presentation, Right Honorable Prime Minister Dean Barrow informed that the Government is factoring in 50 million dollars in additional recurrent revenue for fiscal year 2016-2017. This comes directly from the increase in import duty on fuel products implemented in December 2015 and then again in February 2016. While, the cost of fuel on the world market is currently at an all-time low, and that has significantly decreased the tax and royalty that Government collects from local oil production, it is not expected that the world market prices will remain low forever. PM Barrow was therefore asked if the import duty will be revisited if things change. Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize: “We will of course have to do our balancing act and perhaps take off some of the import duties that we put on. While none of us knows what’s going to happen and even the experts—and so you would concede that you and I are not—even the global experts seem to be unsure of when that inevitable rebound will take place. I’ve seen schools of thought that suggest that we haven’t hit the bottom yet and that prices could go as low as twenty dollars and they will not start to go back up before the end of certainly the calendar year. So if and when that does start to happen...”

Will Deputy Prime Minister Step Down From His Post?
Gaspar Vega will be stepping down as Deputy Prime Minister… longer wants to be the Deputy Party Leader of the United Democratic Party and he will not be seeking reelection as Area Representative for Orange Walk North in the next General Elections. Those are the unconfirmed reports coming out of the UDP camp tonight. Reports are that Vega made his decision known to the Prime Minister via a letter sent today. We understand that Vega has not been happy with his party since his portfolio was changed from Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment to Minister of Agriculture. Vegas former portfolio was awarded to Minister Godwin Hulse. It is not known what step the party will take next since Vega was to be endorsed as First Deputy Party Leader in the UDP’s upcoming convention set for March 20. We understand that in the letter Vega did mention to the P.M that he is committed to working with his successor to ensure a smooth transition and maintained his support for his UDP. It is also uncertain whether Vega will be stripped from his position as Deputy Prime Minister. We will have more on this story in tomorrow’s newscast.

Allegation Of Negligence Launched Against Corozal Community Hospital
Tonight the Corozal Community Hospital is in the hot seat as a couple is making allegations of negligence against the hospital after their 4 year old daughter began experiencing convulsions two hours after leaving the hospital. Zoila Botes and Josue Perez rushed their 4 year old daughter, Alexie Vasquez, to the emergency room around 10:00p.m on Sunday night suffering from high fever. The young girl was treated and released but two hours later while at home she began convulsing. Father Josue Perez: “Actually the little girl started to feel bad here and we took her to the hospital and when we arrive over there they asked us how old is the little girl and that is all what they asked and then from there the nurse asked the doctor what should he do so he came back and give her a shot, the little girl not even see the doctor, the doctor not even check the little girl, the nurse was the one the checked the little girl and she give here the shot and he told us that is it just wait thirty minutes and we waited thirty minutes so then we came back and check and then he told us that she is ok and she can go home and then when we came home two hours later the little girl start combulse.”

Murder Case Against Osmar Sabido Commences At The Supreme Court
Today the murder case against Osmar Alex Sabido officially commenced at the Orange Walk chapter of the Supreme Court as two witnesses for the prosecution were called to the stand this morning, Dion Faber and Hanna Cambranes. Many of you may recall the name Osmar Sabido as he was accused back on February 28th, 2011, of the murder of his girlfriend, 21 year old Christie Carrasco. Carrasco, who was described as a vivacious and young mother was killed just one day before the start of International Women’s Month in what was deemed to be a case of young love turned into domestic abuse. The 21 year old received two stab wounds, one to the chest and one to the abdomen and neighbors attested that her then boyfriend, Osmar Sabido was responsible for inflicting the fatal wounds.

Chief Of Staff Responds To Allegations Made Against CCH
In order to get the hospital’s side of the story, today we contacted Chief of Staff, Dr. Jorge Sajia, who contradicted the allegations made by the parents of four year old Alexie Vasquez. According to Sajia the staff treated the 4 year old the way they normally do in situations where it involves a young child and high fever, furthermore the child was fully evaluated by the medical officer on shift and released 30 minutes later. Dr. Jorge Sajia: “A gentle man came today Mr. Josue Perez, stating that he brought her child a four year old with high temperature and I was looking at the BHIS our health system and which referred to the patient that she did come in with thirty nine degrees Celsius, the patient was given immediate medical attention, was administered medication injected and the patient was evaluated thirty minutes after and given a full physical examination and concluded with tans elitists, I spoke to the doctor and the doctor told me that they explained it to the relative that the patient had a tinsels infection and she was discharged with a 37.8 Celsius which means that the fever was coming off and sent home with medications to go home, what we have to have in mind here is that any child under the age of five could have seizures because of fever and that is a fact.”

Belize Progressive Party Facing Political Challenges
As we reported yesterday, the Belize Progressive Party and the Belize Territorial volunteers along with the Northern Territorial Volunteers held a peaceful protest outside the National Assembly building while the 2016-2017 proposed budget was being presented inside parliament. The protest was held in demonstration of the group’s discontent of Guatemala’s claim to Belizean waters and also GOB’s poor response to the nationalistic problem. During the protest we spoke to various prominent voices on the battle to keep our sovereignty intact, one of which was Robert “Bobby” Lopez who voiced several difficulties that the group faces including financial hitches and how the group plans to overcome them. Bobby Lopez - member Belize Progressive Party: “We did put out an online petition and it continues to be there it will stay there, you can support monetarily, just one of these buses cost us five hundred dollars so there is a cost and we are spending a few thousand dollars today in posters in transportation, Belizeans who cannot be here and want to support contact us we will appreciate your donations it is going to be well accounted for it is going to be well spent so we are saying there is a role for every single Belizean we realizing that everybody cannot be here but we are going to stand up we are going to take the stand and say on your behalf, on behalf of the students, the teachers, all of them out there who can’t make it we will take a stand.”

Opposition Leader Speaks On Siting Arrangement At The House
Yesterday inside Parliament during the presentation of the 2016/2017 budget, there was a notable different seating arrangement in the Opposition side. Honorable Cordel Hyde was seated beside Opposition Leader Honorable John Briceño followed by former Leader Honorable Said Musa, then Deputy Leader for the North, Honorable Abelardo Mai and Deputy Leader for the South, Honorable Rodwell Fergusson. While some found it strange there is nothing extraordinary about it says Leader of the Opposition Honorable John Briceno. johnHonorable John Briceno – Party Leader of the People’s United Party: “What I wanted to do is to make sure that we bring in the people of the members of the National Assembly to be seated in such a way where they could be most effective, obviously we believe that Honorable Cordel Hyde could play a very important role in the debates and so are the two former party leaders Rt. Honorable Said Musa and Francis Fonseca and we also decided that we also need to bring in our deputy leaders given just recently elected and since they are recently elected to represent the seniority in the party and that is pretty much how we decided how to put the present seating arrangement in the house.”


Gaspar Vega Resigns as DPL
Is there trouble brewing within the ruling United Democratic Party? Reports to our news center are that Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega has sent a letter to the Prime Minister indicating that he will no longer serve as the Party’s deputy party leader. The UDP will be holding their convention on Sunday, March 20 at […]

Witnesses of Independence Murder Recounts Incident
A home invasion in Independence Village turn deadly when two mask men dressed in full black entered the home of Dwayne Logan and Donavet Burgess on Saturday night. Yesterday Love News spoke with Logan’s common law wife Donavet Burgess who recounted what transpired. DONAVET BURGESS “ Also in the home at the time of the […]

Freak Accident Kills Ovan Ferguson in Northern Belize
A man died yesterday evening in Orange Walk Town as a result of a traffic mishap along the Chan Pine Ridge/Yo Creek feeder road. Police say that one Reginald Rowley was driving a 1998 Mazda Pickup which was hauling trailer when Ovan Ferguson, fell out of the pickup truck and was crushed by the wheels […]

Beverly Castillo Gets Signing Rights at Immigration
Yesterday a Bill was tabled at the House of Representatives for its second reading. This Bill has to do with Minister of State particularly with Junior Minister Beverly Castillo. Castillo is the Minister of State under Minister Godwin Hulse in the immigration ministry and through this particular Bill she is given the authority to sign […]

Southern Villager Speaks of Guatemalan Settlers on Belize’s Territory
Wil Maheia of the Belize Territorial Volunteers brought up an important point last week. He pointed out that Guatemalan families have been illegally squatting in several villages in southern Belize. According to Maheia, more than five hundred Guatemalans have erected their houses inside these villages. During the protest yesterday, Reyes Chun of San Antonio Village […]

Potable Water for 24 of 27 Villages in BRN
Today residents of Maskal village witnessed the ground breaking for a Rehabilitated Rudimentary Water System Upgrade. The village has about two thousand residents that will be able to have easy access to quality potable water. The water system is to address the basic needs of residents, in the areas of water, sanitation and health. The […]

New Executive Appointed for Belize Bar Association
Yesterday the Bar Association of Belize held its annual General Meeting at which a number of topics were discussed and debated. And also coming out of that meeting was the election of the new executive committee. Attorney Pricilla Banner is now the President of the Bar while Senior Counsel Fred Lumor is the Vice President. […]

The March 6, 2016 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Is The Town Council Property Really For Sale? - Mayor Earl Trapp Updates Residents:
    building for San Ignacio and Santa Elena sits is up for sale, says Mayor Earl Trapp. The Council has already received at least one phone call from an interested buyer. The Mayor, Councilors and senior officials of the Council have scheduled a public meeting for Thursday, March 17, to inform residents of the plan and get feedback on the issue. Mayor Trapp says the building has been condemned as far back as 1992 and three or four engineers have come to the same conclusion. He says the building is “not safe for human use” and it has demoralized the staff of the council. “When it rains outside, it rains inside,” Mayor leaking roof and cracked up walls. “When a truck passes outside the entire building shakes. If you leave a ball on the floor it rolls to the other side of the room.” The building is leaning on one side by a slope of almost 11 inches. The only reason they have stayed in the building so long is because previous councils have not been able to secure the funds to do otherwise. The Mayor says he cannot subject the staff of the council to this kind of working conditions any longer. “I personally have came upon members of the staff meeting in a corner, organizing not to return to work because of the terrible condition the building is in.”
  • Esperanza Village Resident Loses His Licensed Firearm:
    Another dangerous weapon may be in the hands of dangerous elements after a resident of Esperanza Village lost his firearm on Tuesday March 1. According to police reports, 43-year-old Phillip Elvis Orellano, businessman of Esperanza Village, Cayo reported that on at about 4 p.m. on Tuesday his wife rented a red 2002 Mitsubishi Montero vehicle to a customer. Shortly after the customer left with the vehicle, Orellano realized that he had forgotten his license .380 Walther Pistol, serial number S130557 with 7 live rounds of ammunition. He claims that he left the firearm inside the glove compartment of the Mitsubishi Montero.
  • Road Near Camolte Village Under Inspection:
    Residents of Camalote Village and motorists travelling that part of the George Price Highway need to exercise extreme caution over the next week. The Ministry of Works and Transport issued a release to inform the general public that an axle weight survey for heavy construction and heavy transport vehicles is taking place in Camalote Village, Cayo District in front of the Community Center. The main purpose of this survey is to gather preliminary information regarding the range of heavy axle loads borne by Belize’s main highways that will be used to assist engineers in improving future highway design, improve the performance of routine and periodic maintenance and to expand its database of vehicular axle weights.
  • Last Undefeated Team Falls In NEBL Tournament:
    On Friday night, Smart Belize Hurricanes hosted Belmopan Bandits at the Belize Elementary School gym, in a rematch of a thrilling season opener. The home team jumped out to an expected lead, with an early 20 - 11 advantage at the end of the first quarter. At the half, Smart Belize Hurricanes was able to extend that lead to 12 points, going into the fourth quarter with a 63 - 58 lead. Belmopan Bandits was able to cut the lead to 2 points midway through the fourth quarter, and with great end-ofgame execution, secured a huge win for their team, claiming the 85 - 83 victory. American import, Nick Brown, was the top scorer for Belmopan Bandits (3-4) with 24 points to go with 6 boards and 3 steals.
  • Having Trouble With Your New Business?:
    Thursday, March 3, BELTRAIDE is hosting a workshop in collaboration with InfoDev, a World Bank Group, “to chart a way to foster an innovative entrepreneurship ecosystem in Belize”. During the workshop, managers, entrepreneurs, students, government officials, donors and investors will take part in Business Incubation Management (BIM) Training. A business incubator is a company that helps new and startup companies to develop by providing services such as management training, market information, office space, etc. Many great business ideas fail shortly after take off because they did not get the chance to have enough air under the wings. Business experts around the world will tell you that the most vulnerable time for a business is the infancy stage - the period of time in which the business is susceptible to numerous terminal conditions. Some businesses crash in the infancy stage because of unexpected and unbudgeted expenses. Others fail because they could not stay above water long enough for the business to start seeing a profit. There are several factors that can cause a business to fail in the early stages and the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) is hoping to provide protection for young entrepreneurs by introducing a business incubator.
  • Arson In Billy White Village:
    One family from the Cayo District has loss their home and all their belongings after a fire gutted a structure in the early hours of Sunday, February 28. San Ignacio Police responded to a house on fire at 1:38 a.m. on Sunday in Billy White Village. There they saw a yellow wooden structure measuring about 24x24 feet with zinc roof and standing about three feet off the ground completely destroyed by fire. The wooden structure was the property of 39-year-old Dimas Duarte of Billy White Village who reported that at around 12:50 a.m. he went to San Ignacio Police station to make a report about an individual who was causing him problems and while at the station he was informed by the police that his shop was on fire.
  • Billy White Village BDF Couple Free of Illegal Weapon Charges:
    BDF corporals Gerald and Lloida August, husband and wife of Billy White Village, were convicted of firearm and ammunition offences in February of last year. The couple were being accused of being in possession of guns and ammunitions that were stolen from the BDF Price Barracks compound on December 23, 2011. They were sentenced to seven years imprisonment each by Magistrate Nardia Morgan on February 23, 2015. Through their attorney, Leeroy Banner of Chebat and Co. Law Firm, the couple appealed the conviction and sentence. A group of Cayo residents had protested the case in May 2015 because the couple’s four children were left with an overwhelmed grandmother while they were in prison. Fortunately for all involved, Gerald and Lloida are now free after Supreme Court Justice Antoinette Moore upheld the couples appeal of illegal weapons convictions. Banner argued before Justice Moore that the accused did not get a fear trial since there was no attorney present for them during the trial.
  • PM Barrow Appointed As Member Of The Privy Council By Queen Elizabeth II:
    Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has announced that Prime Minister of Belize Hon. Dean Barrow has been appointed as a Member of the Privy Council. With this, the Prime Minister can now legitimately be referred to as the Right Honourable Dean Barrow. The announcement was published on the website of the Office of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on March 1, 2016.
  • Belize Elects First National Youth Council… Almost:
    A group of young talented community servants have been elected by their peers to serve on the country’s first National Youth Council. Six District Youth Councils were elected on Monday, February 29, and the group of representatives are waiting for two more members to complete the body that will represent the voice of seventy percent of the population. The final two members will be Stafin Duncan or Micah Goodin and Phillip Wade or Herman Sanchez. Duncan and Goodin finished tied in the race for President of the Belize District Youth Council. Wade and Sanchez finished tied in the race for treasurer of the Corozal District Youth Council. The Department of Youth Services has set March 14 as the date for runoff elections in both districts. Other races for President, Vice -President, Secretary, Treasurer and Public Relations Officer have been decided.
  • Real Madrid's James Rodriguez Fined After 124mph Police Chase:
    Colombian footballer James Rodriguez, 24, has been fined €10,400 ($11,300; £8,090) by the Spanish authorities for refusing to stop for police, Spanish media report. The Real Madrid star was caught speeding on New Year's Day on his way to training, and refused to stop. Police said he was driving at 200km/h (124mph), double the speed limit. The fine is for refusing to stop when police told him to pull over. The fine for speeding has yet to be announced.
  • Mexican Drug Lord El Chapo Guzman 'Requests US Extradition':
    The jailed Mexican drug lord, Joaquin Guzman, has asked to be extradited to the United States rapidly so he can receive better treatment in prison. His lawyer said Guzman had asked him to stop fighting his extradition because guards at his prison would not let him sleep. "El Chapo" Guzman was recaptured in January, six months after he escaped from prison. Prison authorities say he is woken and checked every four hours. Two US courts have requested Guzman's extradition on charges of drug trafficking in California, and murder in Texas.
  • Guatemalan Military Intercepts Belizean Sarstoon Excursion:
    The Belize Territorial Volunteers planned an excursion on the Sarstoon River for Saturday, February 27, to mark the one year anniversary of team members detention by Guatemalan authorities. This excursion was a disappointment from the beginning, however. The campaign that once had dozens of supporters from the North and South of Belize has dwindled to less than a handful. There were more news reporters at Wil Maheia’s excursion than there were supporters. Still, the lack of support did not deter the Leader of the Volunteers. Maheia set off for his citizens patrol of the Sarstoon and met up with officers of the Guatemalan armed forces at the mouth of the Sarstoon. The naval vessel, according to members of the press, acted as blockades to prevent the Belizean skiffs from entering into the Sarstoon. It is a situation that could have escalated out of control. However, the captains of the Belizean boats informed Maheia that they do not wish to cause trouble and a decision was made to turn around.
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The Star

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Murder trial for Osmer Sabido commences
The murder trial for Osmer Sabido, accused of killing his common-law wife Christie Carrasco on February 28th, 2011 started today before Judge Herbert Lord. The crown today called witnesses, Dyon Faber and Handa Cambranes to the stand. Cabranes gave her account of what transpired […]

Tropic Air continues to give back
Tropic Air Belize continued its nationwide #TropicGivesBack charitable fundraising campaign by giving to Caye Caulker on their second round of fund raising. The company handed $400 to “Arms of Love”, a cancer support group in Caye Caulker. Receiving the check was Enelda Rosado of […]

Football league heats up over the weekend
The Premier League of Belize had to postpone a game on Saturday night between the Police United FC and Wagiya FC. The other two weekend games were played as scheduled on Sunday. In Belmopan at the FFB stadium, the BDF FC won the Belmopan Bandits 1-0. […]

BEL, PUC haggle over increasing average electricity rates
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) says it is reviewing the Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC) Full Tariff Review Proceeding Initial Decision, which was delivered on March 7, 2016. In its submission, BEL explained that it had fully returned all previous cost of power savings to customers. As […]

Charged for attack at senior citizen’s home
Thirty-seven year old Eldon Bevans, a printer of Jane Usher Boulevard, Belize City, was charged with burglary and wounding when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. At first Bevans pleaded guilty to the charges. But when the facts were read to him he […]

Man guilty of stealing construction material
Thirty-eight year old Denbigh Neal, one of three men charged with handling stolen goods for a portion of $20,700 worth of construction material, pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared today before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. Neal was spared a custodial sentence. He was fined […]

OAS electoral mission commends Belize, wants re-registration
Four months after the United Democratic Party’s (UDP) 19 seat to 12 victory at general elections held on November 4, 2015, the Organization of American States’ (OAS) electoral mission has reported to the Permanent Council. At the OAS’s headquarters in Washington this morning, according to […]

Police quickly detain suspects in Altun Ha tourist robbery
A group of tourists from a cruise ship are leaving Belize with unpleasant memories after they were held up this afternoon at the Altun Ha Maya site along the Old Northern Highway. Tour guide from Hattieville, Clifford Hoare, and several tourists lost cash and other […]

Belize Bank Bulldogs paddle into winners’ row
This year’s La Ruta Maya challenge was fiercely competitive, with over 61 teams coming from all over the country to take part in the longest canoe race in Central America. The Belize Bank Bulldogs male and female teams, however, both finished in the top rankings […]

Male minor reported missing since early January
A 15-year-old Ladyville Village resident, Kirk Dennison, was reported missing by his mother, 43-year-old Sharon Conner, who told police that she last saw her son on the morning of January 4th before leaving for work. Conner stated that she left her son sleeping at around 7:30 a.m. and […]

Three men charged for theft of over $20,000 in material
Items valued at more than $20,000 were stolen from a compound on Eve Street in Belize City sometime over the weekend, belonging to businessman, 49-year-old Jianlin He. He reported to police that sometime between Friday and Tuesday morning, 1,000 cement blocks valued at $2,000, 450 steel rods valued at […]

Maskall gets upgraded water system
A press release issued earlier today, announced that there will be a ground-breaking ceremony in Maskall Village this afternoon to inaugurate its newly rehabilitated rudimentary water system that cost the Government of Belize $999,494.96 to complete. Made possible through a loan from the Caribbean Development […]

Gregory Williams found safe in Sarteneja
44 year old Gregory Williams, Senior, a former star for the Kremandala Warriors football team in the mid-1990s, was reported missing to Dangriga police last week after leaving his Rivas Estate home last Saturday, February 27, saying he was going for a walk. Williams’ […]

Friday night NEBL showdown
There was plenty action this past weekend in the National Elite Basketball Elite (NEBL) starting on Friday night. In San Ignacio the Smart Belize Hurricanes won the hosting team, the Cayo Western Ballaz with a score of 76-67. The Orange Walk Running Rebels also won their […]


Second best price, Rotary Club of Ambergris Caye and Tropic Air gives back
I go to San Pedro several times a year. One way that I combat the high cost of a Belize vacation is by keeping the airlines as honest as possible. The pricing model used by most international airlines is designed to confuse the customer as to what the flight should cost and then make them think that the fare is going up. This create an urgency to purchase now. One day it costs $750 to fly Belize from Philadelphia, the next day it might be $850. Every few weeks, the price drops to a very low price. We buy our plane tickets first and decide on the details of our Belize stay second. This method has only caused a panic once when we had trouble finding a room at our usual places on a March trip. This was a blessing because we found our new favorite place to stay. On one trip to Belize with my local dive shop, air prices had been tracking around $750 from Philadelphia. The shop owner asked me if I thought that was a reasonable price. I told him no and that he should wait. This was 6 months before the trip. The next week, the fare went to $850 and he called me to tell me that he had bought his tickets. He told me he was afraid it would go up even more. 3 weeks later my dive buddy and I bought our tickets for $503. This is how the airlines get you to buy expensive tickets. Confuse the traveler, then raise the prices. I use, and occasionally Google ITA. I review ticket prices almost daily when I am in the market. I also have price alerts set to go my email. I think this is a function of my profession as a financial advisor. The fare market is nearly as volatile as the stock market. If you are not to be taken advantage of by the airlines, you must monitor the prices. Some might say that I am just cheap, but does paying twice as much for 3 coach plane tickets to Belize really make your vacation any better? I would rather spend the money going fishing for the day than give it to an airline.

5 Stunningly Romantic Resorts in Belize!
Picking out a single place to be “romantic” can be difficult because let’s face it, real romance is spontaneous, energetic, they are moments in which you stop breathing and could almost count the times you felt your heart beat. Even though spontaneity is important we cannot forget that most famous of Hollywood phrases “Location! Location! Location!” because whether by the beach or in the rainforest, you need the place to be just right. Chabil Mar, Las Terrazas, Victoria House, Matachica, Robert’s Grove.

Portraits: The story of San Pedro women in 62 powerful chapters
In the two-and-a-half years that photographer Karen Brodie has lived in San Pedro, Belize, she has taken a lot of pictures. If you have attended any local events — like Garifuna Settlement Day, the Mothers Day celebration, Seniors Appreciation Day at the Lions Club, the Costa Maya Festival — then you have seen her prowling the edges with her camera, snapping away. More often than not, she is looking for interesting faces — proud faces, happy faces, strong faces, quiet faces, old faces, young faces — faces that tell a story without speaking a word. So, yes, she has quite a collection. So, you’d think that when Mito Paz, director of the San Pedro House of Culture, asked Karen to produce a show of her portraits of local women to celebrate National Women’s Month, she would say something like, “Sure! Piece of cake!” or “Easy peasy!” But that wouldn’t be Karen. It wasn’t the enormity of the task: 62 portraits of San Pedro women. It was finding the right 62 portraits. And those portraits each had to say something, had to tell a story. And each story needed to add to the larger story of the women of San Pedro and their influences and contributions to the island community.

International Sourcesizz

New genetics program helps Caribbean women minimize cancer risk
Caribbean women now have the ability to minimize cancer risk through a new genetics program that can help determine whether they are at risk for certain types of cancer. The program, at Tenet Florida’s Good Samaritan Medical Center led by Dr Elisabeth McKeen, medical oncologist, and Conni Murphy, a nurse practitioner with specialized training in cancer genetics, consists of a genetic screening process and counseling sessions. If you knew you had the genetic marker for a certain disease, would it make the difference to motivate you to change your lifestyle and get healthy? A growing understanding of human genetics holds the promise to dramatically change health care through customized preventative care and treatments. Preventive medicine is always the best and least expensive medicine. The results of genetic testing can help you make informed decisions about how to best manage your future healthcare. They may also assist your doctor in developing a personalized plan of care. For example, if it is determined that you are at risk for breast cancer, you may be advised to add breast MRIs to your routine screenings to aid in early detection.

NMSU students travel to Belize to study arthropods
Students in the New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences will travel to Belize for 10 days in March to study arthropods. The 10 students are enrolled in the tropical insect ecology course with Scott Bundy, who is an entomology professor in the Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science. “The students will compare the diversity of arthropods in a different habitat,” Bundy said. “I will also be teaching them how to sample insects in various habitats.” Bundy, who is also the director of the NMSU Arthropod Museum, is preparing the students by providing them with lectures regarding Belize’s people, history and habitat. “There is so much history in Belize,” Bundy said. “The students will appreciate the country so much more if they know about it before they make the trip.”

Central American countries battle Mexico for retirees
With more and more people retiring in the U.S. and Canada, there is stiff competition between Mexico and Central American countries hoping to attract some of them as residents. There are many affordable retirement spots that offer low cost housing, reasonable food prices and other intriguing amenities. Places where couples can live comfortably on $40,000 USD per year or less. More than 50,000 Americans receive Social Security and/or pension payments in Mexico, and places such as Mérida, Yucatán; San Miguel de Allende; Baja or Puerto Vallarta are becoming retirement meccas. Whether retirees want to rent or own, there are many new developments in these areas offering housing for every budget, and the professional real estate agent can help Expats find a great place to call home.

Caribbean countries urged to fully develop energy sector
Caribbean countries have been told that reducing energy costs will help the region improve growth and strengthen competitiveness. But at the same time, regional policymakers face conflicting objectives. On the one hand, investment in an effective energy reform strategy would have long-term benefits, while on the other, few countries have fiscal space to embark on ambitious investments to reform the energy sector. The situation confronting the region in its energy sector is discussed in a paper titled “Caribbean Energy: Marco Related Challenges’ written by a number of financial experts including the prominent Grenadian-born economist, Arnold McIntyre, and released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). They argue that the substantial decline in oil prices since mid-2014 does not obviate the need for energy sector reform. “The impact of the oil price decline is global, so it has not improved relative prices for the Caribbean compared with its trade partners. Moreover, competitiveness challenges are escalating, with the appreciation of the US dollar (expected to continue over the next few years with the normalization of US monetary policy) and the potential opening of Cuba to US tourism and trade.

OAS electoral mission to Belize presents report
The Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States (EOM/OAS) that observed the general elections in Belize on November 4, 2015, on Wednesday presented a report to the OAS Permanent Council highlighting the procedures and systems “that generated a generally inclusive and clean electoral process”. The mission commended the open lines of communication between electoral authorities and political parties throughout the pre-electoral period, as well as the improved methodology implemented for the tabulation and processing of results. The report, presented by the chief of mission, Jacinth Henry-Martin, included a series of recommendations addressing issues such as the participation of women and young persons, campaign financing, electoral management and voter registration. The mission also recommended taking measures to ensure greater integrity and confidence in the voters list, such as the comprehensive re-registration of voters, a review of the current electoral legal framework and the adoption of measures to enhance the neutrality of electoral administration.

Rolling Stones En Cuba
The Rolling Stones anuncia concierto (gratis) en La Habana, Cuba el próximo 25 de marzo


  • International Women's Day, 2min. International Women's Day was celebrated this week across the globe. Although this video was filmed for a British audience a few years ago, it is also relevant for Belize. We must never stop striving for equality for women. Excelente campaña hecha por Gran Bretaña para el Dia Internacional de la Mujer

  • Going Fishing Placencia 2016- Belize it, 13min. Hanging with my son Chris in Belize Feb 2016. We did some Rod/fishing, lobster trapping and spear/fishing and some island hoppin. -Experience Placencia- One of my most recent adopted homes.

  • Life Uncommon EPISODE 01 March 8th, 2016, 60min.

  • Great Belize Cooking - Episode 4: Cayo, 53min. Great Belize Cooking is the newest show produces by Great Belize Television - Channel 5. It is a travelling showcase of the different cultural foods and ingredients used within communities throughout the country of Belize.

  • Belize, 24min. Diving the Barrier Reef Belize.

  • Sustainability and Energy in Belize - JQ, 9min.

  • Ramon's Village, Ambergris Caye, Belize - Part 1, 5min.

  • Ramon's Village, Ambergris Caye, Belize - Part 2, 6min.

  • Making Belize Mayan ruins holiday, 44min. 7 Days in the Central American playland of Belize, visiting Belize City, San Ignacio and San Pedro, Mayan archaeological ruins, snorkeling and eating gibnut.

  • Belize Video of Pictures 2 2016, 15min.

  • Belize 2016 - Ramons Village, Diving and The Great Blue Hole, 7min.

  • Belize (Hopkin & San Ignacio), min. 5.5

  • Carnival Freedom Belize 2 Tank Scuba Dive 2016, 7min. Carnival Freedom 2 Tank Scuba Dive Excursion in Belize, February 23rd, 2016. Carnival uses Hugh Parkey as the dive shop for excursion which is a top notch dive provider and Belize Turneffe Atoll is a great dive site.

    March 9, 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

    Police Brutality suspected in the death of island bartender
    30-year old San Pedro bartender, Edwin Ixpatac died on Monday, March 7th after being on life support at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in Belize City. It was reported that Ixpatac had sustained injuries when he was detained by police on Thursday, March 3rd. As a result, three San Pedro Police officers, PC Jahisir Cob, PC Rommel Logan, and PC Reydel Teck have been officially charged with murder, while Sergeant Raymond Berry has been put on interdiction. The initial reports are that around 2AM on Thursday, March 3rd, San Pedro police responded to a call about a person struggling in the water near a resort just south of San Pedro Town. According to reports, police recovered Ixpatac from the water, who was intoxicated and had sustained injuries from washing against a sea wall. The report continues to say that Ixpatac was combative, and apparently kicked and struck at the officers who were assisting him. He was then taken to the San Pedro police station where he was detained overnight. The following day he was taken to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II in a critical condition. Due to this grave state, he was later transported to KHMH in Belize City, where a three days later he succumbed to his injuries. According to police, the sergeant in charge that night made a poor decision in not immediately taking Ixpatac to the polyclinic. Reports also indicate that Ixpatac had been abused while in custody.

    Ambergris Today

    Surviving Belize’s La Ruta Maya River Challenge Canoe Race
    There is an elite group of men who have a passion for the race and take on Belize’s Ruta Maya River Challenge for the glory of the first place trophy but there are also others who are in it for the glory of self-accomplishment and mere enjoyment. This is the case of two teams from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, who were not the youngest or fittest of all the contestants, but you can call them some of the bravest and inspiring. Six racers, Team ‘Hope We Finish’ (Dee Regis, Greg Lamb and Brittney O’Daniel) and Team ‘Reef Runners’ (Edwardo ‘Wayo’ Vasquez, Lisa Rusinek-Cyrier and Ronnie Cyrier) took on the gruesome four-day challenge to paddle over 170 miles and prove to themselves that no challenge is too great if they put their minds to it. "I’ve come up with a lot of stupid ideas, but this one takes the cake," commented Brittney O’Daniel to iTravel Belize on day three of the race. But guess what, she is ready to do it again next year, with better equipment and more prepared, of course.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    BBC Film The Blue Planet: Seas of Life @ The Truck Stop
    MOVIE NIGHT!!! In celebration of Reef Week Belize we'll be showing the BBC Film The Blue Planet: Seas of Life, at The Truck Stop. Movie starts at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free! Thank you in advance to our sponsor The Truck Stop! "Not just my reef, Its our way of life!"

    Members of the Belize Territorial Volunteers protest
    Members of the Belize Territorial Volunteers, Northern Territorial Volunteers and Belize Progressive Party are protesting outside of the National Assembly today. They are displaying their discontent with the recent Guatemalan incursion and how the Government of Belize has reacted to it.

    Ms. ACES 2016
    Ms. A.C.E.S. 2016 !!! Each contestant is representing a district. Come learn more about BELIZE. March 11, 2016 at ACES compound starting at 6:00 P.M. More exciting than ever! Come experience the fun and vote for your favorite contestant. Public votes count!

    Prime Minister's Budget Speech for Fiscal Year 2016/2017
    Mr. Speaker, I rise to move the second reading of the General Revenue Appropriation Bill for Fiscal Year 2016/2017. This is the inaugural budget in the recently won, historic, third consecutive term of the UDP Administration. And this edition, in like fashion as the previous eight budgets I have read, will-I believe-reassure general citizenry and particular stakeholders alike that the current and forecast state of the public finances of Belize are both sturdy and stable. There is, of course, a narrow political minority that reflexively opposes everything UDP. But impartial observers all agree that the sterling stewardship of the people’s money was foremost in the minds of the voters as they cast their ballots last November. Our consistent and long record of judicious financial management, Mr. Speaker, has produced an unbroken period of steady growth and optimal economic conditions. There is now a historical vindication of both our philosophy and our probity. Let us look at the facts, Mr. Speaker: First, there is an unmatched string of year on year increases to the size and diversity of the economy. And this has been complemented by the longest post-Independence period of low inflation, reductions in the cost of borrowing for both private and public sectors, and increases in revenue generation by the Government.

    Panel Presentation on: "Impact Climate Change has on Doing Business"
    The presentation takes place at the UB Auditorium in Belmopan City at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday March 9th, 2016.

    Arte con Voz de Mujer Exhibit
    Corozal House of Culture (NICH) Invites. You are cordially invited to the launch of the 6th annual Arte con Voz de Mujer Exhibit, showcasing our talented female artists of Corozal.

    La Ruta Maya Cultural Night 2016
    The La Ruta Maya Cultural Night was the best one yet. Ascenthium played at Bamboo Bar, and the New Sensation Band played at the CAYO Welcome Center during the La Ruta Maya Cultural Night.

    Cayo Destination Belize Visit
    The Belize Tourism Board is having a Destination Visit tomorrow, Wednesday the 9th, at 5:30pm, at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Everyone is invited to the event. "We encourage you to have representation at the event, as this will be an opportunity to hear from the Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation - Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., the Director of Tourism - Mrs. Karen Bevans, members of the BTB Board of Directors and BTB staff. In an effort to promote and build on our relationship, as we continue to make Tourism the pillar of our economy, the team is anticipating a relaxed and interactive gathering, aimed at getting your input, ideas and suggestions... As McNab Design Ltd. and The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) continue their countrywide sales and marketing of The New Destination Belize, we take this opportunity to introduce two new members of our sales team. Chantel and Patricia of Smarter Hospitality Solutions both join in our enthusiasm as we work towards creating Belize’s signature tourism publication, coming in September, 2016."

    Human Echolocation In Belize
    Three Blind People from Belize go on a journey they will never forget. They learn to "See With Sound" by tongue clicking, using Echolocation

    Hello, my name is Isaiah. I am a white front
    I live with my brother Jacob at Belize Bird Rescue. We were surrendered after a routine inspection from the Forestry Department. When I came to BBR, I had a lump above my left eye. I’m so glad it wasn’t anything serious! Dr Philip Deshield from Animal Medical centre managed to remove it for me – what a relief! All this stuff came out of it. He called it ‘cheese wizz’ but it didn’t look as yummy as cheese! The swelling has gone down and I don’t have to have antibiotics anymore. Our wings were clipped, but luckily they should grow back pretty soon. We’re both recovering pretty well. We’ll be able to join other white front babies this week and are planning on going back to the wild this time next year. It costs $80 a day for Belize Bird Rescue to feed me and my friends, which is just a small part of our road to a better life. If you would like to help to keep me and my friends happy and healthy, please follow the link in the comments to donate.

    The 18th La Ruta Maya 2016 - San Ignacio
    The 18th La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge kicked off today in San Ignacio, under the historic Hawkesworth Bridge, the oldest suspension bridge in Belize, Central America. What started off as a marketing campaign ended up being one of the biggest sporting events in Belize & Central America, and brought about environmental awareness.

    Paint Party Events
    Come paint with us "La Playa" at Crazy Canucks and have a blast. The price is $25 US and there's a discount for members. Hope to see you there! Starts On: March 10, 2016 2:00 PM

    Over 50 producers from Orange Walk Town and surrounding villages met at La Inmaculada Credit Union Conference room on Friday, 4th March to obtain crucial information that will assist them to improve their services and raise the bar to compete globally. The meeting was in the form of a Trade Clinic, which was the first of its kind organized by EXPORTBelize, a unit of BELTRAIDE, with the aim to sensitize the private sector on regulations, requirements, export procedures and documentations and opportunities that exist under trade agreements in order to do business in the local and international market. The Trade Clinic included presentations from the Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS), the Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA), the Customs & Excise Department and the Directorate General of Foreign Trade. Topics included: Standards (labeling, CODEX, metrology, etc), Export Procedures, Trade Agreement Opportunities and Sanitary & Phyto-Sanitary Measures among many others.

    BEL Comments on PUC’s Initial Decision for 2016-2020 FTRP
    Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) is reviewing the Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC) Full Tariff Review Proceeding Initial Decision, which was delivered on March 7, 2016. In its submission, BEL explained that it had fully returned all previous cost of power savings to customers. As a result, BEL requested an average Mean Electricity Rate (MER) of $0.3900 per kWh to improve service reliability and expand its service to over 200 communities. The PUC’s Initial Decision proposes a $57 million reduction in BEL’s projected cash requirements over the next four years, resulting in a MER of $0.3643 per kWh. The Company will review the details of the Initial Decision to determine which programs and services the PUC is proposing to cut in order to comply with this decision. BEL will formally respond to the PUC by March 22, 2016 as required by law.

    20,000 Strong Rally
    The 20,000 Strong rally is happening this Friday. They have a video out about the event, and there will be transportation available. Happy International Women's Day! "We ready! Unnu Ready?"

    Channel 7

    Budget Day In Belmopan Brings News Of Ballooning Deficit
    Today was budget day in Belmopan and coming right off a long weekend, the politics of the day seemed muted in the House of Representatives. Sure, there were a few protesters outside, but inside the chamber, the Prime Minister rolled through a budget that promised stability, not sugar plums. Jules Vasquez reports: Dubbed "Stability in a Time of Change" - Prime Minister Dean Barrow's ninth budget presentation was a study in conservative optimism: Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "At the current and forecast state of the public finances of Belize are both sturdy and stable." Stable doesn't mean growing by leaps and bounds - GDP growth is forecast at a modest 1.5 to 2.0, and the only thing really growing is the deficit which ballooned to 5% of GSP in the 2015 - 2015 fiscal year, and the wage bill which will surge to 400 million dollars in the new fiscal year. Bur Barrow was proud of three years of record wage increase for teachers and public officers:

    Briceno Blasts Budget
    But, despite the across the board increases for public officers and teachers - the Leader of the Opposition was not impressed. John Briceno said that the budget was even worse than he expected:.. Mike Rudon, CH5: "Is it as bad as you've expected?" Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "I think it's probably worse. I think that it's quite telling that the Prime Minister went from the "best is yet to come" to "Stability in the time of change." Obviously he has forgotten all the political rhetoric coming to the elections. First of all when we look at the overall numbers that we have, a record deficit. A deficit of over 5% of GDP and even the Prime Minister had to accept that norm - what is the accepted internationally and he is using the excuse of wanting to that he has to do to the interest of the people. We know that that's not really the case. The case is that they went into a spending spree so that they can win, or as some would say "buy the elections." So they bought the elections and now we have to pay for it."

    PM Says Briceno Insulted Electorate
    And while that's the formal debate in two weeks on the 22nd and 23rd of March, we asked the Prime Minister what he thought of Briceno's statement that he blew last year's budget to buy the election:... Jules Vasquez: "The Leader of the Opposition in his brief remarks said that it is in fact the price that you are paying for (his words) buying the election. How do you respond to that?" Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "Well I would think that the people of Belize might want to give him a stick licking. When you say that the government bought the election, you are basically saying that the government bought the people and I would think that that's an insult."

    GOB Wants 50 M From Fuel Import Duty
    Briceno also criticized the Prime Minister for increasing import duties on fuel. He said that higher gas prices slow down the economy. But, Government needs to raise 50 million in import duty from fuel to bolster tax collection. But what happens when the world prices for oil - which are near a historic low - rebound? Will government then bring back down the import duties? As consumers, we all know too well that prices and taxes only ever seem to go in one direction, and that's up. The PM told us today it is a balancing act: Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "If and when that does start to happen, in deed we will have to manipulate the import duty application some more. By then of course it would not be import duty, it will be excise. Part of what we are doing in terms of the removal of the RRD and we move to an excise regime on imported fuel and fuel products as well. But by the time we have to do that, if in fact we have to do it, I think we will be well on our way to making the target we've set for ourselves."

    Woman Kills Her Husband In San Pedro
    A Guatemalan woman, living in San Pedro, is being held by police and we she could be facing a murder charge. That's because on Sunday March 6th Alida Catzim fatally stabbed her husband, 43 year old Rommel Catzim. But the case is a little tricky because the couple reportedly had a history of domestic disputes. Police are unable to say much because of the sensitivity of the matter but what we found out on a visit to san Pedro today is that the couple, who had recently moved to the San Pedrito area were socializing outside of their apartment. Reports are that they were drinking. Then, for reasons which we could not confirm, an argument ensued which quickly escalated. Superintendent Sandra Boden, Officer Commanding San Pedro Police Formation told us more. "On Sunday March 6th about 9:30pm, police received information of a male person lying on a verandah in the San Pedrito area apparently motionless. Police visited the area where they observed a male person laying down in a pool of blood with several stab wounds and he appeared to be dead. He was taken to the San Pedro Polyclinic where he was pronounced dead on arrival. His identity was learnt to be Rommel Catzim, 43 years old, Belizean construction worker of San Pedrito area. Our initial investigations revealed that Mr. Catzim had an apparent domestic issue with his wife Alida Barrientos Catzim who is a Guatemalan national, where she allegedly inflicted the injuries to Mr. Catzim causing his demise."

    Man Killed In Front Of His Child
    A man was shot and killed in front of his 4 year old daughter in Back Landing, Independence. 48 year old Duane Logan went out into the village on Saturday night and returned home to his family at around 8. As soon as he was opening the door to his house 2 masked men crept up behind him and held him up. One of the men had a gun and the other a machete. Logan was forced inside and ordered to give up money and weed. When Logan refused to give up anything, the man with the machete took his common law wife in the bedroom where she was forced to hand over some money and jewelry. But that was not enough and one of the men shot Logan to the left side of his chest - right in front of his 4 year old daughter and 17 year old niece. The men then ran away. Police have detained 4 people but are still looking for 2 men - one from Back Landing and the other from Dangriga. Police told us Logan has a history of being a drug peddler in that area. Neither the common law wife, niece nor baby were hurt. We will follow up on this murder investigation tomorrow.

    Man Charged For Killing Wife
    35 year old Jairo Guerra has been charged for the murder of his common law wife , Maria Candelaria Chacon. As we told you, it all started when Guerra came home drunk last Thursday night. The neighbor told us she heard them arguing from that night but it's when she was awakened by Chacon's screams early Friday morning that she realized it was more than just a petty disagreement. The neighbor and her mother tried to bang the door open to save Chacon but Guerra had already beaten her badly, and chopped her to the head and neck. Guerra and Chacon had been together for 5 years. They had no children together.

    Trio of Cops For Murder
    Three police officers in San Pedro were charged for murder following the vicious beat down of Bartender 30 year old Edwin Ixpatac. At around 4 pm today three of them were shamefully paraded to the magistrate's court in Belize City where they were read charges of murder. They are Police Constables Reydel Teck, Romelio Logan, and Jahsimir Cob. But just what lead the Police Department to criminally charge three of their own? Emanuel Pech reports. 30 year old Edwin Ixpatac, a resident of Cayo began working as a bartender here at Caprice Bar and Grill a couple years ago. On a regular day he would be here serving drinks for guests at Holiday Hotel and other visitors who frequent this bar. Jonathan Garcia- Bartender, Caprice Bar and Grill: "All of us worked as a team and so we try to make everything go good throughout the day. He was a hard working person." And just what made him such an excellent worker? Well his four year old daughter was his biggest motivation.

    BDF Says Civilians Shooting In Chiquibul Was Justified
    On Friday, we told you about the shootout between a BDF patrol and 2 Guatemalans in the Chiquibul National Park. The BDF soldiers say they were forced to shoot one of the Guatemalans in self-defence. The BDF told us that this law enforcement team, which consisted of BDF soldiers and FCD Rangers, were in the Cebada area of the Chiquibul. They were conducting a patrol to destroy several marijuana plantations which had been detected on an overflight of the area. So, on Thursday, this joint-forces team went into the area on foot. They found the 2 plantations and destroyed the marijuana plants without incident. While traveling through the area, the officers came upon another field with a thatched shed, about 600 meters from the Western Border, and in Belizean territory.

    FIFA Bosses To Belize To Work Out Football Controversy
    3 weeks ago, we told you about the internal struggle in the Football Federation of Belize. FFB Executive members Cruz Gamez, Marlon Kuylen and Senior Vice President Sergio Chuc passed a motion to suspend President Ruperto Vicente. They accused him on making poor decisions for the progress of football, and manipulating the elections for the District Associations so that they could get their supporters elected. That was supposed to be part of a plot to get Vicente re-elected. Vicente responded by calling their accusations ridiculous, and that this was, from Vicente's perspective, a power play by the 3 to try to take away the presidency by force. He accused them of trying to drag his name in the mud so that the delegates of the FFB Congress would be doubtful of his integrity in the upcoming elections.

    BPP Blasts Barrow
    At the top of the news, we told you about the budget presentation in Belmopan. Well, while that was happening inside the house, the Belize Territorial Volunteers and Belize Progressive Party, were outside picketing the meeting. They were there to send a message to the Government that the diplomatic note of protest sent to Guatemala about the Sarstoon Showdown is not a sufficient response. They say that the Government has failed to respond adequately to the more aggressive profile of the Guatemalan Navy in the Sarstoon River. This morning, about 60 or so persons showed up on Independence Hill to demonstrate, and we spoke to one of the protesters: Robert "Bobby" Lopez, Protester: "It is important that Belizeans and myself as a Belizean stand up now. It reminds me of 1991 all over again when the both parties joined together to signed and support the maritime area act. That is exactly what we see happening and we see that after 35 years of Independence, our position has weakened. We went from recognized borders to adjacency zone to artificial border, now we have lost the Sarstoon. Next we lose Toledo and soon we lose our country. I think of Mr. Goldson also as a blind man being able to not see, but understand what was taking place 25 years ago with the maritime areas act. Now he stood up."

    PM Says “It’s Ridiculous”
    So the Barrow Administration remains under pressure for not responding adequately to the Sarstoon Showdown. Today we asked him to respond to the very pointed criticism against him:.. Jules Vasquez: "They had protesters out here today saying that you have acceded land. That you have acceded Sarstoon Island. You have acceded the Sarstoon. How do you respond to that?" Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "That's nonsense." Jules Vasquez: "However, occupation, the Guatemalans showed 10 days ago that in fact they can occupy that as they wish to repel any Belizeans who wish to visit there. Isn't occupation however, temporary an indication of possession?"

    New Rule For Immig. Min. Of State: The Castillo Clause
    And while talk of the budget and Guatemala dominated today's house meeting, one interesting piece of legislation caught our attention. It will allow the Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration Beverly Castillo to sign certain immigration documents with full ministerial authority. We asked the Prime Minister if this was "legit":... Jules Vasquez: "Are you crafting a law to in fact (I am no interpreter of laws), circumvent the express wish of the constitution that the powers vested in the minister." Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "No, because I am saying that we did this before, just not by way of legislation and we took advice and we've taken advice again and it's perfectly in order. Under the constitution for the minister of delegate some powers to a Junior minister by way of an instrument - that's revocable and so no, we are positive that all we are doing is putting it on a footing where those that had their reservations about doing it as it were administratively, can be comforted."

    More Weed Up North
    6 days ago, we told you about how Northern Cops made major drug busts which appeared to be flowing in through the northern border. Well tonight, Orange Walk Police are reporting that they've made yet another bust, and this one has led to an arrest and jail sentence. The bust happened last night at around 7:45. Acting on Special Branch intelligence, Orange Walk cops intercepted a two persons on motorcycle on Princess Diana Street in Orange Walk Town. They are identified as 35 year-old Genaro Pott and 51 year-old Fortunato Coye. They were ordered to stop, but instead they sped off. Police caught them and searched the bike. That's when they found 2.26 kilos of marijuana - about 6 pounds, and police then escorted them, the cycle, and the drugs to the police station.

    Million Dollar Baby Comes Home Healthy
    Just after the Christmas Holiday, we showed you Baby Gismael Aban, the newborn from Corozal who was born without the tube connecting his mouth to his stomach. That's normally a death sentence, but with the quick response of his physician in Corozal, the KHMH, and World Pediatric Project, he was flown out on a private jet to the Virginia Commonwealth University Hospital. While in Richmond, Virginia the doctors performed the life-saving surgery on him, and after 2 months of monitoring to make sure there were no complications, he was allowed to go home. He arrived in at the PGIA on Saturday night, and 7News was there for his healthy homecoming. Daniel Ortiz reports:

    Visiting Doctors For Pediatrics
    And while that was the highlight of the evening, there was more good news for the local doctors. A team of volunteer medical professionals also arrived on that flight with Baby Gismael. They're here to donate their time by providing medical services to patients in the rural areas all around the country. It's part of the program called Friends of Pediatrics, and Dr. Cecilio Eck told us how it will work: Dr. Eck and the Donors say that you should look out for the medical team's arrival in your area.

    Ruta Maya 2016 Was Grand
    The La Ruta Maya River Challenge 2016 ended yesterday. 61 teams began the arduous journey on Friday morning from the Hawkesworth Bridge in San Ignacio to the Swing Bridge in Belize City. It was a tough 4 days for these teams, even for the veteran paddlers, but no matter how tired and sore they were, they all pushed harder at the end. Channel 7 teamed up with host and producer Rhonda Crichton to air the last leg of race live yesterday. We have a short clip of those final seconds to the finish line as Oceana and Koop Sheet Metal go head to head for the win. We start off with that and go into interviews with both Oceana and Koop Sheet Metal. Here is how it went: Although OCEANA won yesterday, Koop Sheet Metal took first place for the entire race. The team members were Jerry Rhaburn, Jerry Cante and Hener Cruz. We also spoke with the 1st place winners for the Intramural and female category. Here is what they had to say about their win.

    Hon. Espat Doesn’t Want ICJ
    Last week, PUP Leader John Briceno announced to the media that the PUP would be revisiting its position on the ICJ. The party had taken a hardline against the ICJ during the latter stages of Francis Fonseca's tenure, but Briceno - who ahs always supported an ICJ solution wants to revisit that. Now he needs the support of his executive make it official. But, it seems he would definitely not have the support of his deputy leader Julius Espat who is not an ICJ advocate. Today we asked him about the difference between himself and his leader:... Hon. Julius Espat, PUP Deputy Leader: "I don't think the party has changed its position. The party is analyzing its position which is quite different. I haven't changed mine and that is that we don't believe that going to the ICJ at this point in time is the best thing for the country. That's my position and I will stay strong with that. I know we have a problem with the west with it. We have a problem in the south with it, because it touches our hearts quite closely and so people might say well it's all about Belizeans in general. Yeah, but if you live in west at the border and Cayo South, you have to understand is where a major part of the problems lies - the Chiquibul is in our area and the guys from the south have similar problems. So, I think it's a risk too for us to take and that we will have discussions and that's important."

    PM Says Guatemalans Shouldn’t Get Jumpy Over Chiquibul
    For his part the Prime Minister does support an ICJ resolution, but has left it as a vote of conscience for his party. We asked him whether Thursday's shooting of a Guatemalan civilian in the Chiquibul will ramp up hostilities with Guatemala coming less than a week after the Sarstoon Showdown. He said the western in Chiquibul and the southern border on the Sarstoon are two very different things:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "Are the confidence building measures, the protocols that govern what happens on the ground. There are no such facilities, no such arrangements with respect to the Chiquibul and that's the distinction. They, the Guatemalans must also be aware of exactly what's happening in the Chiquibul and know that in terms of the security patrols, there is always the possibility that something such as happened last week will happen. I can't rule of the possibility completely of people over there trying to make that connection that you suggested they might want to make, but I would feel pretty confident that those really in charge will immediately appreciate the distinction between Chiquibul and the Sarstoon."

    Waterloo Wants Berthing Facility
    In another bit of news from today's house meeting, the Prime Minister confirmed that the Ashcroft-allied Waterloo Group which currently runs the Port of Belize is interested in building a cruise ship berthing terminal at the Port of Belize - once they work out the siltation issues:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "Is that the Waterloo people PIL, has indicated that they have every interest in pursuing the possibility of doing to port. So while there is…yes…they want to do two things. They want to do sort of bulk …expand where they are so that they can do more bulk cargo and they want to do the actually cruise facility and it's not the question of never the twain shall meet. I gather that that's perfectly in order; it happens in other areas. So the only thing is the question of silting and how much dredging must be done. But it appears that since that place was originally dredged, there hasn't been much silting up that's taken place. So while Waterloo must get the right experts to be able to advice properly, preliminarily it does seem as though it is absolutely likely that the project will prove feasible."

    PM Didn't Push For "Rt. Hon."
    And finally from the house meeting - we asked the Prime Minister about his new title: Right Honorable. It means he's part of the Privy Council - and it's like being called up to the big leagues by the Queen herself. But usually Prime Minsters get it after they've earned two terms - while PM Barrow is on his third. He told us why it took longer:... "It came in my third and not my second, because I made no effort to acquire. Basically, once you win two, it's a kind of entitlement. But there is something that needs to be done and I did not do it, because for me it really is no big deal. I didn't do it this time neither. Unbeknownst to me, a member of the Belize High Commission in the UK went to the British unbeknownst to me. Otherwise things would have remained in the third term as they were in the second term."

    Spectacular Sight At Isidoro Beaton
    And our last item tonight is also out of Belmopan - but this one has to do with a football game. As was mentioned in the House of Representatives today the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in the Capital will have its grand opening next week. And from what we've seen of these night time pictures, the first full sized stadium in Belize with artificial turf is spectacular. But the really spectacular news is that the first game will be played against the champions from Honduras, Progresso featuring Belize's ace goalkeeper Woodrow West against The Belmopan Bandits featuring star goalie, Shane Moody Orio. The game is set for next Tuesday March 15th.

    Channel 5

    PM Barrow Presents His ‘Stability’ Budget
    The House of Representatives met in session this morning, and in short order there was the much anticipated presentation of the budget for fiscal year 2016/2017. It’s Prime Minister Dean [...]

    Petrocaribe Still Trickling In for Now
    Petrocaribe money played a very significant role in the spending which characterized the 2015/2015 fiscal year. The Barrow administration has taken significant and continuous flak for its spending of the [...]

    Citrus Industry Payroll Woes Should Be Resolved Soon
    Speaking on the adjournment in response to a question raised, the PM also spoke at length about a current crisis facing the citrus industry. In a release issued late last [...]

    P.U.P. Leader Says Budget is Worse Than Expected
    P.U.P. leader John Briceño has been openly forecasting that the budget would be a dismal one based on a variety of factors, including industries which seem to be falling and [...]

    Barrow Says Budget Reflects Investment and Not Overspending
    Not surprisingly, PM Barrow wasn’t impressed by Briceño’s preliminary analysis of his Stability budget. He says that it wasn’t about overspending to buy the affections of the people, but rather [...]

    3 San Pedro Cops Charged for Murder of Bartender
    In the prime tourism destination of San Pedro Ambergris Caye, two persons were murdered adding to the list of homicide statistics since the beginning of the year. A Cayo resident [...]

    Woman Detained for Fatally Stabbing Her Husband
    Domestic violence reared its ugly head again in a murder in San Pedro Ambergris Caye. Last Thursday, a woman from the Salvapan community in Belmopan was killed due to domestic [...]

    Home Invasion Leads to Murder in Mango Creek
    The third murder involved the fatal weekend shooting of an Independence resident following a home invasion on Saturday night.  Police in that southern community are trying to ascertain, if it [...]

    Attempted Suspension of F.F.B. President Will Not Stand
    Embattled F.F.B. President Ruperto Vicente’s ad hoc suspension has been ruled invalid.  A legal team representing FIFA flew into the country over the weekend and met with three executives from [...]

    Is it Business As Usual in the F.F.B.?
    Notwithstanding the disappointing outcome of Sunday’s meeting, Gamez told the media that they are all working in the best interest of football and will continue to serve under Vicente’s leadership.  [...]

    PM Barrow Says Waterloo Interested in Port Loyola Cruise Port
    Much cruise port speculation has been making the rounds after representatives of G.O.B. met with interested party Waterloo last week. Initial reports, unofficial, indicated that Ashcroft affiliated Waterloo was not [...]

    Guatemalan Shot in the Chiquibul
    There was an altercation in the Chiquibul last Thursday which resulted in the B.D.F. shooting a Guatemalan in the leg. Belize Defense Force and Friends for Conservation and Development rangers [...]

    Prime Minister on Fuel
    Barrow’s administration has come under fire for recently increasing the import duties on fuel. That action in effect caused Regular and Diesel pump prices to go up, even as the [...]

    Protesters Outside House Say Barrow Administration is Failed Leadership
    Outside the House this morning about seventy-five protesters from the Belize Territorial Volunteers, the Northern Territorial Volunteers and from Mayan villages down South protested what they say is failed leadership. [...]

    Prime Minister Says Allegation by Protesters is Nonsense
    Barrow says any claim that his government has ceded any part of Belizean territory is nonsense. The PM says that if Belize’s military and government responds in the way in [...]

    Festival of Arts Launched in Belize City
    The much anticipated Festival of Arts was launched this morning. It kicked off at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts for pre-schoolers of the Belize District. The show will [...]

    Koop Sheet Metal Wins La Ruta Maya Canoe Race
    La Ruta Maya canoe race in its 19th year reached another milestone in entertainment despite a mighty downpour just before Friday’s start from below the Hawkesworth Bridge in San Ignacio. [...]


    Belizean Woman Dies in Peten, Guatemala
    A Belizean couple was involved in a road accident on Friday night in San Benito, Peten in Guatemala. Love News understands that the 54-year-old Belizean woman was driving her personal vehicle to Flores, Peten and she and her husband were heading to a Church Revival when they were rear-ended by a Government vehicle which caused […]

    New Budget Figures Presented for FY 2016/2017
    This morning Prime Minister, Right Honorable Dean Barrow gave his eighth budget presentation. The Draft Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for Fiscal Year 2016-2017 is entitled “Stability in a Time of Change”. According to the Prime Minister, the 2016/2017 Budget targets a preliminary Primary Balance of One Percent of GDP and an Overall Deficit of […]

    Protestors Gather at Independence Hill as House Meeting Convenes
    While Prime Minister, Right Honorable Dean Barrow, was making his budget presentation, a number of Belizeans were picketing outside the National Assembly Building. Hipolito Novelo reports.

    PM Says Belize/Guatemala Issue to be Left to the Professionals
    The protestors dispersed before midday. Following the House Meeting, Prime Minister Dean Barrow shared his reaction to the protest. DEAN BARROW “You know these people have a claim, you know their claim is in a sense almost bizarre in terms of saying that the entire Sarstoon belongs to them, we completely reject that, we will […]

    JB Says Consultation is the Way to Go; Julius Says His Stance Remains on the ICJ
    The People’s United Party has not officially taken a firm position on whether or not to take Guatemala’s claim to the international court of justice. Party Leader John Briceno says that consultation needs to take place but Cayo South, Julius Espat, says his mind is made up. JOHN BRICENO “It’s not a matter of being […]

    BPP Circulates Their Solution to the Belize/Guatemala Issue
    The Belize Progressive Party has circulated a document entitled, Solutions to the Belize – Guatemala Territorial Dispute. The document begins by stating, quote, “The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is not Belize’s only option and it should not be tabled as Belize’s only option. The PUDP has done everything in their power to confuse Belizeans […]

    US Names Belize as One of Fourteen Money Laundering Nations
    The 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report has been released by the US State Department and there is a list of fourteen Caribbean countries named as major money laundering nations. In the document, a major money laundering country is defined as one whose financial institutions engage in currency transactions involving significant amounts of proceeds from […]

    Woman Kills Partner in their Home
    A man was stabbed and killed in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, reportedly at the hands of his common law wife. Police say they arrived on scene and found the body of Romel Catzin, a construction worker, lying face down in a pool of blood at the couple’s home. Investigating Officer, Superintendent Sandra Bodden, Officer Commanding […]

    Bartender Dies …. Was it at the Hands of San Pedro Police??
    A man from San Pedro Ambergris Caye has succumbed to injuries that he sustained after being beaten. On Saturday evening, Edwin Ixpatac (ISH-PA-TAC) reportedly had gone for a swim when a couple Police officers appeared on the scene and demanded that he come out of the water. Sometime after being detained by the officers, Ixpatac […]

    The Reporter

    Budget presentation; protest outside House
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow will present the 2016 National Budget during a Special Sitting of the House of Representatives today at the National Assembly building in Belmopan. On the agenda for introduction today is the Money Laundering and Terrorism (Prevention) Bill, 2016; as well as […]

    BELTRAIDE empowers 240 women with $790,000 seed capital for small businesses
    Some 240 women have received funding to start their own small businesses, through small grants totaling US$340,000 ($790,000) provided under the BA-1 project, “Prevention of Violence against women in Central America”. This was funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the International Organization for […]

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Belize Progressive Party calls on GOB to defend Belize
    The Belize Progressive Party (BPP) joined today’s protest on Independence Hill along with the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) and a handful of Belizeans demanding that the government take a more assertive position in dealing with the Belize-Guatemala territorial dispute. For their part, the BPP […]

    Man charged and sentenced for drugs
    An Orange Walk Town man has been charged and sentenced to prison for three years for drug trafficking. His charge and sentence follows his arrest on Monday night. Police report that about 7:45, with a tip from the Special Branch, officers intercepted a motorcycle on Princess Diana Street. […]

    23 year old was driving without a license, insurance when he crashed into House of Culture fence on 9th of March holiday!
    23 year old Darrell Gough escaped serious penalties for a series of traffic offenses occurring on Monday’s public and bank holiday. He was speeding, said police, and had no license and no insurance when he got behind the wheels of a Honda car where he ended up […]

    Ex-cop and partner acquitted of attempted corruption of an officer
    Back in 2012, GSU police had raided the home of John McAfee in Orange Walk. Police alleged that a number of persons tried to corrupt public officers in order to get information into the case against McAfee. One police officer, Darius Martinez, has since been […]

    Three San Pedro Police officers are arraigned for murder in death of San Pedro man
    Tonight three San Pedro police officers are on remand at the Belize Central Prison after being arraigned late this evening for the offense of murder. And relatives of the dead San Pedro bartender, 30 year old Edwin Ixpatac are planning to have a peaceful protest on […]

    PM presents 2016/2017 budget
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow, at this morning’s National Assembly House Sitting, presented government’s budget for the 2016/2017 fiscal year. This year’s projected budget is even bigger than last year’s. GOB is projecting a budget of 1,046,958,700. GOB has projected an overall deficit of $62.6 million […]

    Orange Walk man reported missing since last month
    A 77-year-old mother of Orange Walk Town, Aurora Rejon, reported to police that on February 24, her son, Miguel Rejon, 39, left home and has not been seen or heard from since. Miguel lived with his mother at their corner of Progress and Cinderella […]

    Police seize over 200 pounds of weed, find guns and ammunition
    On Friday morning around 10:25 in the Wagierale area of Dangriga, police searched an abandoned house and found three Aguila brand, 12 gauge cartridges inside and on the following day in the same area, officers found 322 grams of cannabis when they searched an […]

    Guatemalans busted with firearms and weed plantation in Chiquibul
    During a patrol about 600 meters away from the Belize-Guatemala border on Thursday of last week, members of the Belize Defense Force (BDF) along with Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) personnel, came across a marijuana plantation measuring approximately 100 meters squared. As the team approached the […]

    Belmopan Cops find over 6 pounds of weed
    Just after midnight yesterday, a search conducted by police on Agriculture Street in the Las Flores area of Belmopan, resulted in the discovery of 3,074 grams of cannabis in an abandoned lot. Equivalent to 6.8 pounds, the cannabis was found in a black plastic […]

    Weed found in Arenal Village
    Police in Arenal Village, Cayo District, recovered a bag containing 155.3 grams of cannabis after a Hispanic male dropped it and ran upon sight of officers on patrol last Thursday. At around 2:55 p.m. that day, officers saw the man, who was walking across […]

    Guatemalan caught with firearm in Chiquibul
    Guatemalan National, Elder Esduardo Espania Perez, 18, was detained by Belizean authorities in the Chiquibul National Park and is pending charges for an unlicensed firearm and six live rounds of ammunition. While conducting patrol near Caracol and Valentin Camp, police, along with Belize Defense Force […]

    Domestic dispute ends in murder
    On Friday morning around 5:52 in the Salvapan area of Belmopan, police discovered the badly cut and bleeding body of Maria Candelaria Reymundo, 45, who had been involved in a domestic dispute with her 35-year-old boyfriend, Jaird Jeremias Guerra. Reymundo was cut to the neck and right side […]

    Civil Aviation introducing new policy on drones
    The Department of Civil Aviation, along with the Customs Department and the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is in the process of finalizing a new policy on flying drones in and around Belize. According to Lindsay Garbutt, director of Civil Aviation, the agencies have been working on […]

    San Pedro man killed by common-law-wife
    A San Pedro man was pronounced dead yesterday afternoon at the island’s polyclinic after he was stabbed multiple times, allegedly by his 45-year-old wife, Alida Lily Barrientos De Catzim on Sunday night. Police visited the couple’s residence in the San Pedrito area on Sunday […]

    A dry and gusty southeasterly airflow prevails
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mostly sunny skies today and partly cloudy skies tonight with little or no rainfall. Winds will be blowing from the East and Southeast at 10-20 knots with occasional gusts and the sea state will be moderate, […]

    International Sourcesizz

    Ancient Shipwrecks Could Be Key To Forecasting Hurricanes
    A study of Spanish shipwrecks and tree-ring records revealed the period from 1645 to 1715 had the fewest hurricanes in the Caribbean, since 1500. The research was the first to utilize shipwrecks as a hurricane activity substitute. The University of Arizona-led study found that the period, also know as the Maunder Minimum, had the fewest numbers of Caribbean hurricanes - a 75 percent reduction. Lead study author Valerie Trouet explained that by fusing shipwrecks and tree-ring data, they were able to study past hurricane records and advance the information on hurricane variability. According to global climate models, hurricanes will become more intense with climate change. However, the current models have yet to make reliable regional hurricane predictions. Analyzing hurricane and climate correlations in the last 500 years could aid in predicting regional hurricanes better. "We found that in the years when many ships wrecked in the Caribbean, the trees in Florida Keys showed the same signal that trees show during hurricanes," said Trouet, an associate professor from the University of Arizona's Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research.

    Biofuel manufacturer to invest US$95 million in Jamaica by 2017
    As renewable energy demands increase globally, bio-fuel developer Benchmark Renewable Energy LLC has announced plans to develop a large-scale bio-ethanol operation in Jamaica. The company has confirmed that the project will include the development of an advanced bio-ethanol plant with production capacity of ten million gallons of ethanol fuel per year and three Megawatts (MW) of excess electricity to be delivered to the local grid. With projections of expanding production to 20 million gallons in the first few years of operations, Benchmark estimates that the project will require investments of approximately US$95 million. Chief financial officer of Benchmark, Juan Briceno, said the company chose Jamaica for the project due to the country’s familiarity with large-scale sugar cane production, which would be similar to the production of sweet sorghum -- a crop that is used to create bio-fuel.

    Regional officials gather in Guyana for electoral workshop
    Senior electoral officials, experts from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and representatives of other regional organisations have gathered in Guyana for a three-day discussion aimed at facilitating the sharing of experiences and good practices on election observation. About 40 participants from CARICOM member states, CARICOM Secretariat, United Nations, as well as some other regional and intergovernmental organisations are attending this electoral event co-organised by the CARICOM Secretariat and the UN. Hosted on the theme “Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections” (BRIDGE), the workshop opened on Monday morning in Georgetown. Delivering remarks were UN resident coordinator and UNDP resident representative, Khadija Musa, and deputy secretary-general, CARICOM Secretariat, Manorma Soeknandan. In the past 30 years, there has been dramatic increase in the number of countries around the globe that have elected to conduct periodic elections. Whilst this is an encouraging trend, Musa pointed out that, at same time, the complexity of the challenges facing elections and election observation has also continued to increase.

    Empire Strikes Back Against Belize?
    Last month, after years of studying the matter, the government of Belize took a big step toward cannabis decriminalization, with the cabinet formally handing recommendations made by the Decriminalization of Marijuana Committee over to the office of the Attorney General for final review. This means that the introduction of a decriminalization bill is almost certainly imminent. Sources say the proposed legislation would allow for persons in possession of 10 grams or less to face a fine or community service. The fine would be 15 Belizean dollars (US $7.50) per gram. The law would also be retroactive, expunging the records of those convicted in the past for possession within these limits. "Too many young people have this following them, those who are seeking jobs," explained former National Security Minister Doug Singh. So much for the good news. Just after this happy development made local headlines in Belize, the U.S. State Department released its 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR)—naming the country as one of 14 in Central America and the Caribbean believed to be “major money laundering” centers. The report, released March 5, admits that Belize is not a major regional financial center, but states: "The government of Belize continues to encourage offshore financial activities that are vulnerable to money laundering and terrorist financing, including offshore banks, insurance companies, trust service providers, mutual fund companies, and international business companies."

    College of Nursing Students to Volunteer in Belize During Spring Break
    UT Nursing students will spend their spring break volunteering in San Ignacio, Belize, during the College of Nursing‘s annual international health care trip. The college has been going on yearly medical missions since 2001 and has worked in partnership with International Service Learning health programs for the past five years to provide nursing students with a unique out-of-classroom experience. Lynn Blackburn and Karen Lasater, both clinical assistant professors in the college, will travel with eleven students to San Ignacio. The town is located in a remote and underserved area of Belize where homes often lack basic provisions such as electricity and water. “Our students will work with local physicians, nurses, and traditional healers to bring much-needed health education, medicine, and health care services to several underserved communities,” said Blackburn. “By engaging in these activities that address human and community needs, our students are able to develop a cultural competency and a global perspective not possible in the classroom setting.”

    For more than 100 years International Women’s Day (IWD) has celebrated the social, cultural, economic and political achievements of women. This year the theme for IWD is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”. From this year on IWD, the Gender In Fisheries Team known as GIFT (a team of researchers who share interests in gender in Caribbean small-scale fisheries research and development) is “stepping it up” by promoting the value of women in fisheries. For so long the role of women in fisheries has been undervalued and their activities remain invisible and not adequately documented. Furthermore the socio-economic contribution of women is underestimated. While fishing has been considered to be a male dominated industry, recent investigation on a global scale has shown that females may be in the majority, if supporting activities and post-harvest are taken into account. Acknowledging the diversity of roles that women play in fisheries, the GIFT presents five of the major roles of women in the Caribbean. TO UNDERSTAND THE TRUE VALUE OF FISHERIES IN THE CARIBBEAN, WE MUST APPRECIATE AND UNDERSTAND THE EQUALLY IMPORTANT ROLES THAT BOTH MEN AND WOMEN PLAY.


  • Belize 2014, 2.5min. Family Vacation featuring Belize & Mahogany Bay!

  • Sunset at The Split, Caye Caulker, Belize, 1/2min.

  • Ant Swarm - Black Rock Lodge - San Ignacio - Belize, 1min.

  • Chicken Drop San Pedro Belize, 4min. This is how they gamble in Ambergris Caye.

  • Belize Zoo, Jaribu Stork, 1min. Jaribu Stork in the Belize Zoo located approximately 25 miles south of Belize City.

  • GIANNI GOES - SAN PEDRO, BELIZE (Part 1), 5min. I filmed my whole trip to San Pedro, Belize. It's a little long so I am breaking it up into 3 parts. Here's Part 1

  • Guatemala Belize Voyage de noce fèv.2016, 5min. Voyage de noce réalisé grâce à la générosité de nos proches, avec un petit clin d’œil a notre cadeau de mariage: la basse cour

  • How to get to Secret Beach - San Pedro, Belize, 17min. How to get to Secret Beach in San Pedro, Belize Filmed in August of 2015 Went there in Golf Cart

  • RUTA MAYA 2016, 5.5min. 19th Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge

  • Testimonies of Belize Mission Trip Bob Phillips, 56min.

  • Belize 2016 dive, 5min.

  • Amazing Flavors in Belize, 2min. A few of our all natural products we make by hand in Belize.

    March 8, 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

    First teams arrive at the end of the Ruta Maya 2016 River Challenge!

    Edwin Ixpatac passes away
    It is with a very heavy heart that we report that Edwin Ixpatac has succumbed to the injuries he sustained on Thursday, March 3rd. Four San Pedro police officers are currently in custody pending charges of brutality and now possibly manslaughter. Our deepest condolences to his family and friends, we will miss his warm smile and soft-spoken ways.

    “Imagine Belize without Wildlife”— BFD launches campaign to highlight wildlife awareness
    One of Belize’s top attractions is its wildlife, nestled inside some amazing forests. The Belize Forest Department (BFD) is one of the leading government agencies that protects Belize’s natural resources and they are now preparing for a very important day. Every year on March 3rd, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), in conjunction with the United Nations (UN), celebrates “World Wildlife Day”. World Wildlife Day is a day when people acknowledge and appreciate the diverse forms of wild fauna and plant life, raising awareness of the benefits that their conservation provides. The BFD participates in this worldwide observation and will be launching a special campaign on the first day of the Ruta Maya River Challenge on March 4th. This year’s theme set by the UN is “The future of wildlife is in our hands,” but BFD has made their own subtheme to be “Imagine Belize without Wildlife.” In retrospect, the thought of how Belize would be without its national animals is hard to grasp. According to Minerva Gonzalez, a forest officer for the BFD, we are the only solution to this problem. “Our actions will determine the future of our animals.”

    Parents encouraged to get their children’s eyesight tested
    Students from a total of 10 schools in both Caye Caulker and San Pedro have benefited from the Lions Zone 59 Belize National Children Eye Screening Program. An essential test carried out on students between the ages of three and 14 years, the free eye screening helps to identify possible vision problems within our youth’s population. There are still many schools left to be screened by the program, and organizers are asking for the parent’s collaboration in signing consent forms, as a child will not be screened unless parents/guardians issue a consent approval. According to Chairman of the San Pedro Lions Eye Screening Program, Jan Brown, carrying out the eye screening test on children is essential in order to identify possible problems. The test indicates whether the child needs further consultations with an ophthalmologist and possibly eye glasses. “We have been very excited about doing this program. It is a service we are offering throughout the island which is beneficial to our children,” said Brown.Eye Screening SPRCS Lions-6

    Wife kills husband in domestic dispute
    A domestic dispute on Sunday, March 6th has led to the murder of one man in San Pedro. Reports are that Rommel Benedicto Catzim was fatally injured by his wife, Alida Lily Borrayo Barrientos de Catzim during an altercation at their home in the San Pedrito Area on Sunday, March 6th shortly after 9PM. Following the discovery of the body, police launched a full investigation where Barrientos de Catzim confessed to having inflicted the wounds which led to her husband’s death. According to Deputy of the Coastal Executive Unit, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott, police responded to the reports of domestic dispute in the San Pedrito Area at around 10:30PM. Upon arriving at the scene, police found the body of a male individual lying face down in a pool of blood on a veranda on the second floor of an apartment building. Closer inspection revealed that the victim had sustained two apparent stab wounds to the chest and back causing him to bleed to death. Inside the home was Barrientos de Catzim, who was apprehended and escorted to the San Pedro Police Station for investigation.

    New District Education Officer to improve SP education standards
    Education is a key element in the development and well-being of a community and country. Therefore, having well trained and experienced senior education officers adds tremendously to the development of our young generation. San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker have been placed under the watchful eye of District Education Officer, Nelma Jones, who has been addressing the issues at schools on the islands. It is expected that with her vast expertise in the educational sector, both islands will benefit immensely. Jones came to the cayes as a long standing educator with over thirty years of experience working in the field of education. Her experience in the educational field extends from primary and secondary levels up to the Ministry of Education. Jones also indicated that she was an adjunct lecturer for the University of the West Indies, St. John’s Junior College, and even the University of Belize. Since her arrival in San Pedro, Jones has experienced challenges in assisting with the many issues the local educational institutions are dealing with. “There are major issues which are not just happening on Ambergris Caye, but also in other parts of the country,” she said, “The cases of students being rebellious and getting in to trouble at school, is a situation we need to deal with, without blaming anyone.”

    Ambergris Caye beaches at risk; beach reclamation is the way to go!
    The beaches of Ambergris Caye are shrinking and with that comes the threat of keeping tourists and their dollars away. Many coastal residents on the island are becoming concerned about the changing weather patterns and rising seas which are eating away the shore. As a result, more and more residents are resorting to seawalls and jetties to combat the erosion. The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) recognizes that Ambergris Caye’s beaches support the lucrative visitor industry, and has begun efforts to enhance these valuable coastal properties from storm damages and erosion, including an extensive beach reclamation project in the Boca del Rio area. “Tourists come to San Pedro to see natural beaches and we will work together with everyone, especially the business owners, to make sure that we keep that natural image of our coastal areas,” said Mayor Daniel Guerrero.

    Ambergris Today

    La Ruta Maya River Challenge comes to an end. Belize City celebrates
    The scene downtown Belize City as La Ruta Maya River Challenge comes to and end. Four gruesome days of paddling downstream from mainland Cayo to coastal Belize.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    BBG Palm Celebration Tour
    The Belize Botanic Gardens have a special Palm Celebration Tour that will be ongoing through Palm Sunday. You can learn all about palms, from the scores of different varieties they have, to their huge amount of uses. "Visit the Palm Trail at Belize Botanic Gardens for an exclusive tour with specialist, Rudy Aguilar! From now through Palm Sunday. Palms are exotic, beautiful, diverse, useful and natives to Belize. Lunch, Guided Tour and Shuttle only $100 BZD PP. Call 824-3101. Maya Traditional Knowledge Tour and Tamales Making every Friday from 9am-12pm."

    Belize Fishing Report, Feb. 21- 27, 2016
    A fairly poor weather week but some remarkable catches by some beginning and experienced anglers. Kevin was the start permit player this week as he somehow got at least one permit 3 days in a row with his sweetheart Jamie cheering him on. Although Jamie did not land a permit she had some shots and out fished Kevin in the tarpon department!

    New Rainbow colored sign at Int'l Airport
    Love the rainbow. This sign implies much!

    Overall final results of the 2016 La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge (official)
    The Champs Koop Sheet Metal , Female Champs Belize Bank Bulldogs

    NEBL All Star Game
    The NEBL All Star Game will be on Saturday the 19th, at the UB gym. "A night of basketball that cannot be missed!!! Bring out the entire family to witness the best ballaz in Belize on one court. See you at the UB Gymnasium on Saturday, March 19."

    The Reporter

    PUP deputies to line front row in House
    At Tuesday’s Special Sitting of the House, the four People’s United Party (PUP) deputy leaders, who were either elected at the party’s National Convention in January or were appointed, will assume different seats. In his conversation with television reporters following a meeting with Prime Minister Dean Barrow last week, PUP Leader John Briceno said, “I have decided that all the deputy leaders are going to be seated in the front.” Briceno did not delve into details of the seating arrangements, but reports that Lake Independence Area Representative, Cordel Hyde, will now sit next to Briceno, suggesting a level of seniority even above former Prime Minister Said Musa or the four party deputies. Hyde has not yet been given a post on the PUP Executive, but Briceno had indicated from as early as the party’s convention day that Hyde would be offered a senior role when a position is created for him.

    La Ruta Maya river race ends in photo finish
    The three-man team for Programme for Belize out-paddled the Koop Sheet Metal team to cross the finish first, less than two meters ahead, at around 11:15 Monday morning, in the 19th annual La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge. The two teams came down the Haulover Creek for a couple miles along with four others, and at the final 50 yards nearing the finish at Bottom Dollar, downtown Belize City, Programme for Belize out-paddled Koop Sheet Metal to win $500, courtesy Smart. Westrack was third and the Belize Bank Bulldogs crossed the finish fourth, followed by the team from NICH in fifth, and BTL’s Cobb’s Arms in sixth position.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Koop Sheet Metal team wins River Challenge
    After one hundred and eighty gruelling miles of paddling by canoe down the Belize Old River, Koop Sheet Metal are the overall winners of the 19th La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge sponsored by Belikin. While rivals Programme for Belize won the final stage […]

    House meeting Tuesday; budget, finance bills to be read
    The House of Representatives meets on March 8 in Belmopan, and Prime Minister Right Honorable Dean Barrow is expected to read the General Revenue and Appropriations Bill, 2016, otherwise known as the Budget, at this sitting. However, there are two bills being presented for […]

    10 facts about Baron Bliss
    Today, March 7, is being observed as National Heroes and Benefactors Day, in lieu of the public and bank holiday Wednesday, March 9. It is, a day set aside to remember Belize’s greatest benefactor, Baron Bliss, and in recent years, the holiday has been […]

    Popular San Pedro bartender dies, police brutality suspected
    A popular San Pedro bartender, Edwin Ixpatac, died early this morning as a result of injuries sustained last Thursday and four San Pedro police officers, currently in custody on suspicion of brutality, now face possible manslaughter or murder charges for his death. According to […]

    Are Belizeans better off in 2016?
    Are you better off in 2016 than you were last year or the year before? Are you confident that things will get better as the year progresses? Do you believe that the cost of living will drop and gas prices will become cheaper and the […]

    Independence dominates highschool softball
    The Independence high school Invaders conquered the SSSSA Regional Softball competition yesterday at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium as they displayed their dominance in softball. The teams came out in full force as they raveled the pitch. Congratulations and good luck to the Invaders as […]


    “We’re Content in Belize…And Don’t Plan on Moving”
    Sue and George’s interest in Belize was piqued in 2010, while still living in Los Angeles. Sue read an AARP article about retiring in Belize and George watched an International House Hunters program about building a home there. George had long dreamed of building their ideal retirement home. But the Paolettis knew that it would be exorbitantly expensive to do so in Southern California. Having grown up in England, Sue hates rain. “When I researched Belize I discovered that the rainfall in Corozal in the north is only about 60 inches per year. So in February 2011, we took a two-week trip to Corozal,” she says. They had no intention of buying land on that very first trip, but two days before they were due to visit Corozal, they learned that a new subdivision had just opened, south of town. While in Corozal they checked out the property options. Sue says, “It was perfect for us. It was two miles out of town, on the bay, with one-third of an acre of land, and within our budget. We looked at each other, said ‘This is it’, knocked on the real estate agent’s door and asked ‘Where do we sign?’

    5 Things To Do At A Maya Site
    We have heard people say, “we are going to see the temples”, when they decide to go on a tour of an ancient Maya City. If thats the only things they are pursuing, we think they will miss the rest of the site. You see there are more than temples at these sights. There are palaces and stelae and ball courts and altars, just to name a few. None-the-less we want to challenge you to do these five things when you visit an ancient Maya City. 1. Think about your life as it is presently and realise that the people who built these cities were very much like us. Like us, they had to figure out how best to manage all things in their environment to make sure they survived. Whether they were kings or farmers. 2. Smell the aroma of the place. Interestingly, most ancient Maya Cities are found within jungle settings. There are moments when the aroma of the forest can uplift not only your olfactory but all the other senses we possess. Including memories of past moments.

    Elope and just say I Do! With Romantic Travel at Portofino, Belize
    Denise and Angel decided to elope and say “I Do”… and this was one of the most romantic weddings I ever photographed. Magic moments captured as I felt them… love… laughter… giggle… romance. I got them all. Enjoy!

    Traditions and Tropical Memories – Belize Weddings
    We remember, many years ago, living in London and seeing billboards for Caribbean destinations wondering if we’d ever be able to have a holiday in such a beautiful place and now, now we live and work here. Not only that but we get to share that with people who have traveled from all over the world to fulfill that very dream. Some come to elope. Some come to party. Quite a few bring their wedding traditions with them. The only difference is that they get to enjoy those traditions in beautiful Belize.

    Thank you, Facebook, for reminding me that my career is dead and I’m living in Belize
    This morning I was reminded that four years ago today, I walked away from the best job I’d ever had, after nearly 30 years with the same newspaper. Thank you, Facebook “On This Day” feature. And recently, Facebook reminded me that we moved to Belize exactly two years ago. Like a cat coughing up fur balls, Facebook now churns up fuzzy memories. Daily. If you are on Facebook, I’m sure you are getting the same thing. I recently relived my 2-12-12 marriage to Rose Alcantara through the many pictures I’d posted to Facebook back then. I recently re-experienced the death of an friend. I’ve seen pictures of my grandson Brody at birth, 1, 2, 3 and 4 years old. You never know what Facebook’s memories machine will come up with. And frankly, at my age, it is mostly a relief and nearly always surprising.

    International Sourcesizz

    Cultivating More than Veggies In Belize City
    Tucked away on a long street in Belize City, lies the first Urban Garden in the country. Belize, for all its lush landscape, actually imports a disproportionate amount of fresh fruits and vegetables. Which makes The Urban Garden for Food Security and Peace, more than an urban garden, it is also a project which aims to empower residents to not just eat healthily, but also locally while becoming independent of costly imports. After visiting their garden, we interviewed the principal gardeners/activist to learn more. E.C. When was the garden founded, was it the motivation of residents, city officials? UGFSP As children we always had backyard gardens so gardening is not a new concept to some of us. The Urban Garden for Food Security and Peace is a Belize Action Community project that seeks to grow both people and trees to mitigate poverty. This idea was extended to other organizations and individuals in 2006, when Belize began holding mutual improvement alliance meetings at Liberty Hall in Belize City. Many old and young people have participated so far and we continue to look for more organizations and people to step up to this task. In 2015 after a youth summit, where we had young adult youth leaders from 5 Central American Countries, we found several passionate young Afro Belizean adults who wanted to be a part of a program that could positively influence their social, economic and environmental ambitions for themselves and Belize. At this particular time food security and peace is of vital importance. All over the world and in Belize we are experiencing many diseases at alarming rates because of the food we eat that is harming the human body.

    Belize getting $20M, nationwide 4G LTE network
    The small Central American country Belize will soon be covered by a 4G LTE network being deployed by DigiCell, a subsidiary of Belize Telemedia Limited. Belize Telemedia Limited and DigiCell are both owned and controlled by the government of Belize. Privately-owned SMART is the only other mobile operator in Belize. The LTE network will support download speeds of up to 100 megabits per second, according to BTL, which pegs its investment at $20 million. Huawei is the sole vendor for this project. BTL executive committee chairman Anwar Barrow said Huawei “will bring significant experience and expertise to the project—not only during the implementation phase, but even after the initial LTE installation. They are charged with ensuring that the LTE service will work optimally, and that our BTL team members are fully trained to manage the new network on an ongoing basis.” He Ming, president of Huawei Technologies USA, said this project is indicative of the company’s emphasis on taking a customer-centric approach that goes beyond selling equipment to include “Huawei providing the latest training to the BTL team so they can ensure the ongoing quality of the network and the voice and data services delivered to their customers.”

    Citrus Products of Belize unable to pay growers
    Citrus Products of Belize Ltd. (CPBL) has reported that it is unable to meet the citrus growers’ fruit cheque payment for this week. This was revealed in a joint press release issued from the Belize Citrus Growers Association and CPBL. The release went on to say that this problem is as a result of CPBL’s application to Heritage Bank for working capital finance not yet being approved by the Central Bank of Belize. Kent Herrera, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of CPBL, told Amandala that the working capital is something they apply for annually. It is a short-term loan that is repaid within six months or at the end of, the crop period, Herrera said. The release continued: “The CGA has brought this matter to the attention of the relevant authorities, stressing the urgency of this situation and the human and economic hardship it is bringing to the workers, growers and the other industry stakeholders.” Henry Anderson, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Belize Citrus Growers Association, told Amandala that the impact this cash crunch will have is enormous. Anderson said that when tomorrow comes and these growers can’t get paid, they, in turn, will not be able to pay the harvesters, the delivery trucks and the like.

    The Remarkable O’Horáns
    Governor, president, senator, general, judge, hero, traitor, conservative, liberal, doctor, lawyer, scholar…. The O’Horán family was there through the entire tumultuous history of nineteenth-century Yucatán, deeply immersed, in so many important ways. This thoroughly Yucatecan family with a very un-Spanish name arrived in the Peninsula in 1760. Juan José de O’Horán y Ready was a native of the rural district of Aughane in County Cork, Ireland. He grew up in the Canary Islands, where his parents, John O’Horan and Jane Ready, moved when their son was young. Many ambitious Irish were emigrating during this period, and Spain and its American possessions were popular destinations. Juan de O’Horán quickly made himself at home in Campeche. In 1762, he married a local woman, María Gertrudis de Argüello y Monte, and they raised a family of seven children, three boys and four girls. Two of the sons, Tomás Antonio and Diego, made significant marks in history, about which we shall learn more. We know almost nothing of the middle son, Pablo, or of the daughters, Rita, Teresa, María Ana, and Juana Gertrudis. In 1850, now with the rank of colonel, Patricio led a noteworthy expedition that established his reputation. Leading a force of 700 men, Colonel O’Horán marched out of Tihosuco on June 27 and headed for Bacalar. Yucatecan troops had taken that remote, isolated fortress in the far southeast a year earlier in an effort to cut the Maya supply lines from Belize. But the garrison there, surrounded and besieged by the enemy, was now in a desperate situation.


  • Belize, 4min. 1st dive after being certified. Enjoying the Coal Reef off the coast of San Pedro, Belize.

  • Belize Card Trick, 3min. Leo does an amazing card trick for us guests at St. George's Resort!

  • 2015 Belize | San Pedro, 4min.

  • Hol Chan Reserve, Belize, 2min.

  • Scuba Diving Ambergris Caye, Belize- March 2016- Esmeralda, 7min.

  • Belize Herlindros Style 2016, 6.5min.

  • Esmeralda Canyons, Ambergris Caye, Belize February 29, 2016, 3min.



  • Belize's National People's United Party (PUP) official campaign song by Supa G Martinez, 4min.

    March 7, 2016


    Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

    Specials and Events

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

    The San Pedro Sun

    San Pedro police investigate abuse of local bartender; four officers placed on interdiction
    Around 2AM on Thursday morning, March 3rd, San Pedro police responded to a call about a person struggling in the water near a resort just south of San Pedro Town. According to reports, police recovered 30-year-old Edwin Ixpatac, a local bartender, from the water. Ixpatac was intoxicated and had sustained injuries from washing against a sea wall. According to police Ixpatac was combative, and apparently kicked and struck at the officers who were assisting him. Ixpatac was taken to the San Pedro police department where he was detained overnight. Later that day police carried an injured Ixpatac to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II. In grave condition, he was transported to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he is reportedly on life support. According to police the sergeant in charge that night made a poor discussion in not immediately taking Ixpatac to the polyclinic. Reports are that Ixpatac may have been abused while in custody as well. As such four San Pedro officers were immediately put on interdiction and are now in police custody in Belize City awaiting charges.

    Police Report
    On Thursday, February 25th at 5:30PM, acting on Special Branch (SB) intelligence, a joint team of SB and Gang Suppression Unit personnel conducted a search at the residence of 38-year-old Raymond Bradley and 33-year-old Phillipa Diego on Barracuda Street, Boca del Rio area. A thorough search was conducted in the premises which led to the discovery of a black plastic bag containing suspected Cannabis which was hidden inside a pipe. A total of 53 grams of suspected Cannabis was removed.

    Wolfe’s Woofer: A Sure Thing
    I was visiting a friend in the U.S. and every day I walked around for exercise. The sign in an office window said, Doctor John Bulwar. $500 for your treatment. If you are not cured you get back $1000. I know a sure thing when I see it so I walked in. When I saw how old the doctor was I knew for certain I would win some big money. I said, “Doctor, I’ve lost all taste in my mouth.” “Nurse!” he called. “Bring me a dropper of medicine from bottle 14 and put two drops on the patients tongue.” “A-a-c-c-h! This tastes like gasoline,” I said, when the drops hit my tongue. “Congratulations,” he said. “You’ve got your taste back. That will be $500.”

    Total Allowable Catch set for Queen Conch and Sea Cucumber
    In an effort to preserve the marine species Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) and Sea Cucumber (Holothuroidea), the Belize Fisheries Department has implemented Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for both fishing season. The Fisheries Regulations under Statutory Instrument number 54 of 2012 (Regulation 24A.1) has been amended by the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development in order to implement a set export quota for each species. This regulation has been put into play to safeguard diminishing populations of the species, and while it will not directly affect local fishers here in San Pedro, it will affect those who normally catch for exportation.

    Doctor Love: Teenage Love and Abusive Partners
    Dear Doctor Love, I am fifteen years old and I recently went to a giant party for my friend’s quinceaños party. There was a boy there that I have liked for a long time. My good friend who was with me told me that he kept staring at me all night long, but I was afraid to look. She says he did not ask me to dance probably because he was with a date but I think it is just because I am very average looking. Now, I think about him all of the time. I can’t tell if I am just infatuated or not. We have known each other for years and we have talked in the past. I could talk to him if I don’t freeze up because I like him so much. I keep thinking that maybe he is just shy and he actually likes me. What should I do? /s/ Unsigned

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Kings Park Thunderbird 4-H Club Garden Club needs help
    The Kings Park Thunderbird 4-H Club is looking for someone that is willing to volunteer their time in assisting the club in jump starting their garden project. Interesting persons can contact club President Ms. Keisha Baltazar at 6625474.

    First Friday Tres Cocos Trash Pick Up
    Thanks to so many recent donations, we were well armed with an array of trash picker uppers, which made this months effort so much easier!

    Art Exhibition and Book Fair on Caye Caulker March 13
    At Il Baretto in Oasi Apartment Rentals

    Ruta Maya
    It's a nice morning as racers get their gear ready for the next leg of racing which takes them from the village of "Double Head Cabbage" to "Burrell Boom Village." Estimated arrival in Boom is midday. Come on out and bring the family for a fun filled day. Good luck to all participants and happy racing.

    Million dollar baby Shamir Aban returns from the US tonight
    He underwent a successful surgery made possible through the efforts of World Pediatric Project and the KHMH. We happily welcome him home after being away for more than 2 months!

    Opening of Women's Week
    Opening of women's week. The women police officers and senior police officers of Belize Police Department Eastern Police Division's and Dept. Compol Blacket enjoying fellowship at Lake Independence Baptist Church. God bless you all.

    Day 3 Ruta Maya results
    Official Place, Class, and Times for this leg of the race Double Head Cabbage to Burrell Boom.

    The Reporter

    Guatemalan shot during crossfire with BDF soldiers in Chiquibul
    Another encounter between Belize Defense Force (BDF) soldiers on foot patrol in the Chiquibul National Park and Guatemalans late last week ended in one of the Guatemalans being shot. The intruder was shot in the leg during a crossfire with BDF soldiers late last week in an area known as Cebada, where Guatemalans have known to conduct illegal logging, poaching, and harvesting of Xate. He had to be brought out of the park by the soldiers for medical attention and police processing. It is expected that the Organization of American States (OAS) will intervene and gather details of exactly where and how the incident occurred and then provide both Belizean and Guatemalan governments with that information. Meanwhile, Belize has already sent a diplomatic note to Guatemala, protesting that country’s military reaction towards Belizeans who were intercepted and prevented from going to the Sarstoon last weekend.

    Annual Baron Bliss harbour regatta underway in Belize City
    The 88th Baron Bliss Harbour Regatta is currently taking place in the Belize City Harbour in front of the BTL Park on New Town Barracks. The event is open to all sail boat classes on a traditional triangular course. The history of the “harbour regatta” as it is called locally originated in memory of Belize’s greatest benefactor, Henry Edward Ernest Victor Bliss, after whom it was named, to honour his love for the sea. The regatta is just one of several taking place this weekend in honour of Baron Bliss. On Monday, the annual wreath-laying ceremony will take place, at his grave site at the Baron Bliss lighthouse at Fort George.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Football execs made procedural error in attempted suspension: FIFA
    While they had the power to suspend him, members of the Football Federation of Belize FFB’s executive should have left president Ruperto Vicente to call the meeting that would determine his fate. Representatives from Fifa and regional agency CONCACAF met for four hours yesterday […]

    University of West Indies stepping up Zika eradication with Regional Task Force
    The University of the West Indies (UWI) is not shunning from the challenge of Zika, but taking charge and addressing this disease by launching a new resource – the UWI Regional Task Force on Zika. Pro-Vice Chancellor, Graduate Studies and Research, University of the […]

    Punta Gorda residents alert following early morning robbery
    There was an armed robbery of Brads Store located on Main Middle Street in Punta Gorda Town this morning. Information to BMG is that two armed, masked suspects robbed the store and got away just before 8 in the morning. Police issued an advisory […]

    Well known Independence resident gunned down
    Dwayne Logan, a well-known Independence resident was fatally shot sometime last night by two masked men during an attempted robbery. According to a reliable source from within the Independence police formation, police suspect that Logan was involved in drug activity. Officials are presently investigating […]


    “We’re Content In Belize… And Don’t Plan On Moving”
    Sue and George’s interest in Belize was piqued in 2010, while still living in Los Angeles. Sue read an AARP article about retiring in Belize and George watched an International House Hunters program about building a home there. George had long dreamed of building their ideal retirement home. But the Paolettis knew that it would be exorbitantly expensive to do so in Southern California. Having grown up in England, Sue hates rain. “When I researched Belize I discovered that the rainfall in Corozal in the north is only about 60 inches per year. So in February 2011, we took a two-week trip to Corozal,” she says. They had no intention of buying land on that very first trip, but two days before they were due to visit Corozal, they learned that a new subdivision had just opened, south of town. While in Corozal they checked out the property options. Sue says, “It was perfect for us. It was two miles out of town, on the bay, with one-third of an acre of land, and within our budget. We looked at each other, said ‘This is it’, knocked on the real estate agent’s door and asked ‘Where do we sign?’ “After that trip we flew back to the U.S., sold our house and furniture, drove through Mexico and arrived in Corozal in January, 2012.”

    Blue Water Grill turns its charitable impulses toward the PolyClinic
    Every month the Blue Water Grill, here in San Pedro, Belize, picks a different fund-raising project and matches a certain amount of the funds raised from their guests. December through February, for example, were dedicated to raising funds to refurbish Boca del Rio Park’s playground equipment — and they collected $10,234 to make it happen. They recently raised funds similarly for playground equipment at Central Park in downtown San Pedro. This month, the popular restaurant has set a goal of $8,000 to buy a new electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) diagnostic machine for the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic, our only public medical facility on the island. Blue Water will match the first $2,000 raised and plans to continue this program into April if the whole $8,000 isn’t raised this month. This is huge.

    International Sourcesizz

    Albino whale “Gallon of Milk” makes second Mexican appearance
    A female albino whale affectionately known as “Gallon of Milk” made her first appearance in seven years in an annual whale census off Mexico’s Pacific coast. The gray whale made a surprise appearance in a video, as Mexico’s National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) was doing a routine whale count. And what may be more interesting than Gallon of Milk’s first sighting since 2009 is the appearance of a gray calf alongside her. That suggests that Gallon of Milk may have become a mother in the interim. “In the recent sighting, this time in the area known as Alambre Island in the Ojo de Liebre Lagoon, Gallon of Milk was accompanied by a calf that was completely gray, which must mean she has become a mother for the first time,” read a CONANP bulletin. Gallon of Milk is an unusual case among the whale species by virtue of her being an albino whale. The gene mutation albinism, which causes a lack of pigmentation in sufferers, is especially rare among marine mammals such as whales, though it is far more common in other types of mammals, as well as birds and reptiles.

    A few more countries will join the CCJ before the end of this year
    It seems that before the end of this year a few more countries will abolish appeals to the Privy Council and accept the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as their final court. Both the government and the opposition in Antigua and Barbuda have agreed to accept the CCJ as the final appellate court, but prefer the electorates to know more about the regional court before a referendum is held, and to this end a public education programme is organized for Thursday. Several top legal personalities including President of the CCJ, Sir Denis Byron, Sir David Simmons, former Chief Justice of Barbados, Caricom Secretary General Irwin La Roque, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne, will be among the resource persons at Thursday’s seminar which will be held at St Johns, the capital. So far only four countries, Guyana, Barbados, Belize, and Dominica have removed the Privy Council and accepted the CCJ as the final court, although the regional institution was inaugurated since April 2005 after 35 years of gestation. The idea of establishing the court was initiated by the Organization of the Commonwealth Caribbean Bar Association and in 1970 the Heads of Government of Caricom accepted the idea and slowly established the court. It is disappointing that Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago which were in the forefront are not yet members.

    Central American Megaflyover to Measure Impacts of Humans & Cows in Largest Remaining Rainforests
    Overflight will analyze widespread changes across Central American isthmus and examine status of largest five forests. With support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) have embarked on an ambitious plane-based survey to gauge the influence of humans and their livestock on the largest remaining forests in Central America. Dubbed the “Central American Megaflyover,” the project is gathering detailed images of the largest five remaining forest blocks in Mesoamerica in flights across six countries (Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama). The findings will inform, guide, and inspire conservation action on the ground to protect these natural treasures. The 5,000-kilometer (3100 miles) flight started on February 26th and will continue into the middle of March. An additional 3,000 kilometers (1900 miles) will be traveled overland. “What was once an unbroken corridor of biological wonders has become threatened by rapid deforestation and fragmentation– especially due to uncontrolled cattle ranching,” said Dr. Jeremy Radachowsky, Director for WCS’s Mesoamerica and Western Caribbean Program and a participant in the flyover. “However, each of Mesoamerica’s five largest forests are still larger than several U.S. states. We hope to gather vital data on the region’s last wild places and gain insights on how to conserve these remaining landscapes, the irreplaceable wildlife they contain, and the services they provide to local people and all of humanity.”


  • Rare albino whale and calf filmed off Mexico coast, 1/2min. Marine biologists have spotted a rare albino whale off the coast of Mexico. The majestic white mammal, nicknamed "Gallon of Milk" because of her white sheen, was first seen by the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas in 2009.

  • Belize, 7min. Ambergris Caye, Belize vacation February 2015.

  • Belize 27 fev- 5 mars 2016, 2min. San Pedro

  • Royal Caribbean Cruise Family Vacation 2015, 8min. This was our first Royal Caribbean Cruise family vacation ever. We shared it with another great family/friend of ours that showed us everything there is to know when vacationing through a cruise line. We had a blast at many levels and visited Belize and Cozumel, Mexico in the process. What an unbelievable experience to have shared with our friends. We would certainly recommend and try it again in the near future…

  • Scuba Diving Tackle Box Canyon with Reef Sharks- Ambergris Caye, Belize- 02/2016, 6.5min.

  • Will Maheia speaks on Guatemalan Incursion into Belize on Feb 27 2016, 15min. On Saturday, February 27th, 2015, exactly one year ago, 37 Belizeans were unlawfully detained by Guatemalan military while in Belizean territorial waters. On Saturday, February 27th, 2016, in commemoration of the first anniversary of said incident, “armed” Guatemalan military vessels unlawfully entered Belizean territorial waters and blocked ” unarmed” Belizean civilians from the free use and enjoyment of the Belizean side of the Sarstoon river.

  • New River, Belize, 1.5min. On the way to the Lamanai Ruins in Belize and stopped to take a look at a Morelet crocodile.

  • Blue Hole Belize, 2.5min.

  • San Pedro and Caye Caulker BELIZE, 3min. A week in San Pedro and Caye Caulker

  • BELIZE 2016, 3min. Scenes & Memories from Belize

  • Nassau Grouper Spawning Aggregation, 1/2min. This species is critically endangered and is a vital resource to local fishers. A closed season (Dec. - Mar.), min./max. size and closed areas for spawning are in place to allow sustainable use of the species. WCS Belize has just completed it's 2016 surveys at the NE Point of Glover's Reef Atoll. Despite some poor weather the team manged to dive on 7 occasions around the full moon periods in January and February down to 130 ft. However, peak numbers were again down with a daily maximum of 300 fish recorded. Hooks, line and underwater light attractors are evidence of illegal fishing occuring at the site. Several grouper were freed from such gear after being tangled around coral. However, a vessel with Nassau grouper was apprenhended by the Belize Coast Guard early this month. We trust that the laws of Belize will be strictly applied to the poachers so that the resource may be sustainably extracted by those who follow the law.

    March 6, 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

    Take advantage of dental services at San Pedro Smile Dental Clinic
    The free dental checkups and cleanings for island children and adults continues. The San Pedro Smile Dental Center at Holy Cross Anglican School encourages all parents and guardians to bring their children between the hours of 8AM and 3PM for dental service. Professional dental surgeons and dental assistants have volunteered their time to provide this essential service to the community, hoping to improve dental health in Ambergris Caye one smile at a time. March 14th – 15th at the Holy Cross Anglican School Smile Dental Clinic: Service provided by Susan Kloosterboer, Dr. Adina Ness, Heidi Peterson and students Madison College School of Health Education March 16th – 17th at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II: Service provided by Susan Kloosterboer, Dr. Adina Ness, Heidi Peterson and students Madison College School of Health Education March 16th – 17th at the Holy Cross Anglican School Smile Dental Clinic: Service provided by Dr. Staci Blaha and Dr. Joanne Brown May 4th – 6th at the Holy Cross Anglican School Smile Dental Clinic: Service provided by Dr. Hal Soloman

    Mayor’s and Minister’s Cup Tournament heading to plays off
    It’s the eight week of the Mayor’s and Minister’s Cup, and with just three weeks before the grand finale, the first team to qualify for the play off has already been announced. Football fanatics were again present at the Louis Sylvester Sporting Complex this past weekend, where they enjoyed six amazing games. The results are as follows: Thursday – Belize Pro Diver 6-2 San Mateo Catrachos 4-1 PSG Saturday – Ambergris Divers 1-1 Veterans Jokers F.C 5-3 Sky Energy Sunday – Progresso Boys 6-1 San Pedro Junior College Peace Makers 4-3 Searious Warriors There are no games scheduled for this weekend, but the action continues from Monday this week with another set of heated games. The schedule is as follows:

    San Pedro High School introduces their two teams for Sagicor challenge
    Every year, secondary school students from across the country are challenged with the creative test to come up with original scientific solutions for common problems affecting their communities. Known as Sagicor Visionary Challenge, the test brings students together in an annual national competition featuring their talents. From the many projects seen in previous challenges, it is safe to say that Belize has the potential of producing great scientists and inventors in the near future. As many teachers at the San Pedro High School (SPHS) can confirm, this is the thought as the school prepares two teams to represent Ambergris Caye in this year’s challenge. The five -member group Papaya Power is using the papaya plant, known for its succulent fruit. Jennessa Sierra, one of the group members, indicated that the high cost of medical care has led them to the idea of creating products from this plant in order to provide natural, low- cost medicinal products. “The papaya fruit and its seeds have many healing properties that people may not know of. Our project will include teas, beverages made of papaya for the nourishment of the body. It will not be the usual shake that you can make at home, this will be more pure and natural since we will not use any other sugars or foreign substances other than just the papaya,” said Sierra.

    Improper disposal of garbage is affecting the island’s wildlife
    The consequences of improperly disposed garbage can be far reaching. Beyond the unsightly appearance, littering can affect in ways you least expect, like marine wildlife, terrestrial animals and even birds. Yes, even the feathered creatures that barely set foot on the ground cannot escape the threat of garbage. Birds build their nest from loose debris and other material they can find. They do not sort out what they are taking with them, as long as it is good enough to build their home. An osprey family that built its nest on the very top of a BEL tower never imagined that its offspring almost did not make it when it was ready to leave the nest. According to Chris Summers from the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES), he had just returned from the San Mateo area, after setting a small croc trap, when he became involved with the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) crew in the rescuing of a juvenile osprey. The bird was tangled on some fishing line that was dangling from its nest.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Calvin on Caye Caulker needing hlp
    I have just been speaking to Dora, Calvin's wife. He is going to have a very serious surgery on tuesday and will of course be unable to work for a while. They would be so grateful for any financial help you can provide. You can leave your donations here at Stressless Tours (opposite Roses) or you can contact Dora directly on 6070704

    MR VEGAS performing his hits live inside Caye Caulker Easter Fest
    On Saturday, March 26, 2016. Early bird special on tickets for $50 available at Raggamuffin Tours in Caye Caulker and KREM Office in Belize City.

    The Astounding Revelation of Caye Chapel's Luxury Golf Course Project
    Travelers and tourists all over the globe are being frantic in visiting the country of Belize that has been known for having over 450 offshore islands that provide great outdoor activities for the whole family. The place is truly a tourist destination but that is not the reason for its recent popularity. The public is stunned by the news that golf legend Greg Norman is adopting and will be re-designing the Caye Chapel Golf Course as part of their huge proposed development project on the island. Greg Norman a professional golfer and a full-time entrepreneur is a renowned golf player for being the #1 ranked golfer in the Official World Golf Ranking in the 1980’s and 1900’s. Aside from his fame with golf, he is also entitled from having a great reputation in designing numerous golf courses all over the globe. That is just the start, with his enormous talent. He has been planning to build a world-class golf course on Caye’s Chapel that already has an 18-hole golf course. With his undoubtful fame and social status, Belize officials are thrilled as they believe that his project can bring huge benefits to the islands tourism industry. Although Greg Norman’s revelation is still on the move, travelers and tourist should explore the island for a weekend getaway as the whole family can spend some time playing and discovering the beauty of the island.

    Expedition to Cocoa Branch in Stann Creek district
    Our Botanical Team with the support of Caves Branch Guides will be heading to "explore the unexplored", going to the 3 weeks long expedition to Cocoa Branch in Stann Creek district. We are proud to have 2 leading experts: Bruce Holst, Director of Botany from Selby Gardens in Florida and Dr.Steven Brewer, Plant ecologist. Why are we going there? As Dr. Brewer said: "From my perspective, the importance of the expedition rests on the fact that we will be botanizing in an area that is a key gap in biodiversity surveys in Belize. The core of the area we will be surveying is the only significant location of a type of limestone (Paleozoic carbonates) that is at least 150 million years older than the limestone that covers so much of Belize. It is surrounded by igneous rock, so this is also an incredible opportunity to compare vegetation on very different rock types, in a remote and rugged landscape that is perhaps one of the least impacted by humans in modern times. "

    San Pedro, Ambergris Caye represented at La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge
    ITravel Belize spotted the two teams paddling hard at the beginning of the race. All the best to: Dee Regis, Brittney O’Daniel, Greg Lamb & Lisa Rusinek-Cyrier, Ronnie Cyrier, Wayo Vasquez.

    Belizean to Attend IFLA World Library and International Congress 2016
    Belizean librarian, author, poet, and mother of 2 Felene Cayetano will be attending the IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2016 as an International Fellow. The IFLA 2016 National Committee, through generous donations from the North American library community, offered full fellowships to librarians from outside North America (U.S. and Canada) to attend the IFLA 2016 Congress in Columbus, Ohio. Cayetano was recently in Guyana for an intense fiction editing and publishing workshop. You can read about it here.

    PRESS RELEASE WHEREAS, on Saturday February 27th, 2015, exactly one year ago, 37 Belizeans were unlawfully detained by Guatemalan military while in Belizean territorial waters, and; WHEREAS, on Saturday February 27th, 2016, in commemoration of the first anniversary of said incident, “armed” Guatemalan military vessels unlawfully entered Belizean territorial waters and blocked ” unarmed” Belizean civilians from the free use and enjoyment of the Belizean side of the Sarstoon river, and; WHEREAS, our Belizean government has downplayed such aggression and unlawful entry by the Guatemalan military; The Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) now hereby calls on all Belizeans from the Rio Hondo to the Sarstoon, to participate in a peaceful and energetic picketing of the sitting of the House of Representative on Tuesday March 8th, 2016 at 9 a.m. Please Belizeans, make every effort to attend.

    Day 1 Ruta Maya leaders list

    Unofficial Day 2 Ruta Maya leaders list

    La Ruta Maya 2016 Start
    Kenny Lamb got some excellent pictures of the start of the La Ruta Maya. "Start of the race in the Western town of San Ignacio, Belize at 7AM under the historic Hawksworth Bridge."

    It was a very exciting fundraiser today, March 5, 2016, at the fundraising event for the Williams brothers, Justin and Corey Williams. Belizeans in the Los Angeles Belizean Community came out to the event to support their Cross Country Champion, Justin Williams. The most impressive thing for me was that while this was going on, the brothers were riding a cycling classic in Los Angeles, and putting in work on the bike. It is now official that Justin Williams will defend his Cross Country Championship along with his brother, Corey who paced the race for him last year. It is also known already that Corey's role will be the same in this year's race, and that he will be coming to work hard, and put his brother in the front again.

    If you are interested in studying in the U.S. You should stop by the EducationUSA Reference Center at the Leo Bradley Library in Belize City. They have everything you need to get your search and applications started. Check out the services they offer.

    "Carvana De La Risas"
    Laughter is the best medicine, especially when with family. Rain didn't stop this crowd from what was a night of belly laughs at the "Carvana De La Risas" Tour. With Letty Eiley,

    National Heroes and Benefactors Day
    Why do we celebrate National Heroes and Benefactors Day? Who are our patriots? Come and learn at our National Heroes and Benefactors Exhibit - March 9 2016. Punta Gorda. The exhibit will then tour the country.


    O/W NTV Will Support Will Mejia On Sarstoon Issue
    Last night we informed you about the Belize Territorial Volunteers’ decision to organize a picketing that will be taking place on Tuesday at the sitting of the House of Representatives in Belmopan. This decision came about as a result of the group describes as Government’s failure to assist Belizeans in terms of providing protection and security for those who travelled on Saturday to visit the Gracias a Dios monument but were denied entry by the Guatemalan military on the Sarstoon. Yesterday in a press release, the Northern Territorial Volunteers also expressed their displeasure with the way Government handled the situation once more especially when it comes to the incursion of the Guatemalan Military in Belizean waters. Today President of the NTV, Geovanni De La Fuente told CTV3 News that the group will also be joining BTV in Belmopan and anyone wishing to stand in unity with BTV and NTV are more than welcome.

    Police Removes Hand Gun From Street
    During a search conducted in an abandoned lot on the Belize Corozal Road yesterday at around 5:30 in the evening, Orange Walk Police seized a .38 special, Amado Rossi Brand hand gun. The pistol bearing serial number 763551 was found wrapped in a black plastic bag and since no one was in the area at the time of the finding, the gun was taken to the Orange Walk Police station where it was labeled as found property.


    Guats taking over southern Belize?
    Since Saturday reports have surfaced that fishers from Guatemala have set up illegal camps on the northern bank of the Sarstoon River well inside Belizean territory. Belize Territorial Volunteer (BTV) founder, Wil Maheia, has said that Belizean authorities have done nothing to address the problem. Today, when we contacted the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security, Ret’d Colonel George Lovell, he told us that he had not been informed of the illegal dwellings, but he did undertake to look into the matter. In speaking with journalists about incursions by Guatemalans into Belize, Maheia also spoke of incursions along the western border in Toledo in the Columbia forest and near the Maya village of San Vicente. According to Maheia, he got a call two days ago reporting that Guatemalans are pushing across the border in the village of Dolores, where they have been developing pastures. He said that there has not been any response to stop those incursions. While he called out the Government of Belize, he also called out the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA), asking them to “jump onboard with this issue…” and to take a stand.

    Who’s responsible for Los Lagos’ crumbling streets and clogged drains?
    The low and middle-income housing project that a People’s United Party (PUP) Government created in Los Lagos more than a decade ago has been flourishing – all 250 houses are occupied, but infrastructural maintenance has been woefully lacking on the part of the United Democratic Party (UDP) Government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow. In the run-up to the November 4, 2015 general elections, millions of Petrocaribe dollars were spent on maintenance and upgrading of infrastructure all across the country, but it appears that not a dollar was spent on the communities of Los Lagos, Fresh Pond, and Mahogany Heights. The security booths in Los Lagos and Fresh Pond have fallen into disuse and are now relics of a bygone era. The entrance to Los Lagos, with its impressive two-lane boulevard, tells the tale of years of neglect, as giant potholes, which are everywhere in sight, definitely pose a risk to vehicles and even pedestrians and cyclists. Amandala spoke to the Belize Rural Central area representative, Hon. Beverly Castillo, two weeks ago, and she indicated that she would speak to the relevant personnel at the Ministry of Works. Since that conversation, however, nothing has been done on the ground in Los Lagos. On Monday this week, Amandala asked Hon. Castillo what the position was regarding the terrible street conditions in Los Lagos.

    BTV calls for Sarstoon protest at House meeting Tuesday
    The Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) is planning to stage “a peaceful and energetic picketing” at next Tuesday’s sitting of the House of Representatives against the manner in which “our Belizean government has downplayed” what the BTV describes as “aggression and unlawful entry by the Guatemalan military” on February 27, 2015, when 37 Belizeans were unlawfully detained by Guatemalan military in Belizean waters, and on February 27, 2016, when Belizeans on an excursion to mark that first incident were blocked by armed Guatemalan military from venturing to the Belize side of the Sarstoon River. BTV member Patrick Rogers, Leader of the Belize Progressive Party (BPP), said that they filed for a permit today to hold the protest, and they are also working on a strategy to help mobilize protestors next Tuesday. The last picketing on the Belize-Guatemala issue took place when the newly elected Guatemalan president, Jimmy Morales, visited Prime Minister Dean Barrow at his Coney Drive office in Belize City last November. Morales had said, in pre-election campaign remarks, that the loss of Belize would be the most deplorable event in his country’s history. Rogers and BTV founder, Wil Maheia, were among the five persons who picketed after having received very short notice of Morales’s visit.

    $$$ shortage in Belize’s citrus industry
    Citrus Products of Belize Ltd. (CPBL) has reported that it is unable to meet the citrus growers’ fruit cheque payment for this week. This was revealed in a joint press release issued from the Belize Citrus Growers Association and CPBL. The release went on to say that this problem is as a result of CPBL’s application to Heritage Bank for working capital finance not yet being approved by the Central Bank of Belize. Kent Herrera, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of CPBL, told Amandala that the working capital is something they apply for annually. It is a short-term loan that is repaid within six months or at the end of, the crop period, Herrera said. The release continued: “The CGA has brought this matter to the attention of the relevant authorities, stressing the urgency of this situation and the human and economic hardship it is bringing to the workers, growers and the other industry stakeholders.” Henry Anderson, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Belize Citrus Growers Association, told Amandala that the impact this cash crunch will have is enormous. Anderson said that when tomorrow comes and these growers can’t get paid, they, in turn, will not be able to pay the harvesters, the delivery trucks and the like.

    2016/2017 national budget goes to the House on Tuesday
    After a special session of Cabinet on Thursday the proposed billion-dollar budget for the year 2016/2017 to finance Government’s operations for the new fiscal year, including the payment of a final tier of salary adjustments to teachers and public officers, is slated to be tabled in the National Assembly on Tuesday, March 8. The subsequent budget debate will be held on Tuesday, March 22 and Wednesday, March 23, while the Senate should consider the new budget at its meeting slated for Tuesday, March 29. Belizeans are always curious whether the proposed national budget will come with new tax measures. Just last week the Government of Belize increased import duties at the fuel pumps, raising the levy on gasoline and diesel for a second time since December 2015.

    35th Annual Belmopan Cycling Classic, fine tuning for Cross County
    It was the last major, “name brand” race before the highly anticipated Holy Saturday Cross Country, and the 35th Annual Belmopan Cycling Classic, which took place under overcast skies and light north drizzle on Sunday, February 28, and provided a useful gauge to assess riders’ and teams’ state of fitness and preparation for the “Big One.” In fact, for the first time ever, the Belmopan Cycling Classic was actually finished where it started, in the capital city of Belmopan. After taking the 50-mile journey to the old capital, the Elites, Under 23 and Masters categories traversed Central American Boulevard, over the Belcan Bridge, and circled the flag monument roundabout, before retracing their path back onto the George Price Highway, and on to Belmopan, to complete the 100-mile journey. The Juniors/Youth and Females went only as far as Gracie Rock, before returning to Belmopan, for a 60-mile trek.

    Bandits arrest Police, 2-nil, at Norman Broaster
    Defending champions Police United FC suffered their first loss of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2015-2016 Closing Season yesterday evening at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio, where still undefeated arch-rivals Belmopan Bandits FC, who are in a tight race with them for the coveted Champions League berth this year, dealt Police a stunning 2-nil defeat. The game was shown live on TNC television station. Bandits capitalized on a mis-cue by Police defender Byron Usher, whose deflection of a Bandits cross goal pass, rolled invitingly into the path of advancing Bandits midfielder Amilton Filho, who calmly drove the ball to the open left side beyond the reach of a diving Jamie Brooks in goal for Police; 1-nil, Bandits at the 38th minute. The icing on the cake for Bandits came at the 78th minute from the penalty spot, where Marlon “El Matador” Meza converted, after referee Christopher Reid awarded a second yellow card to Police sweeper Frank Lopez for a foul tackle inside the eighteen. The second yellow card equaled a red ejection for Lopez, who will miss the next Police outing.

    2nd Annual Boom Run 2016 a success
    The 2nd Annual Boom Run took place on Sunday, February 28, and included three races, namely: Boom Circle, 10K, and 15K. All races started simultaneously at Castleton Entertainment Park in Burrell Boom Village at 6:00 a.m. and ended there. The Boom Circle went east of the park, made a circle around the Methodist school, headed to Camp Oakley, and turned back to the park. The 10 K went in the same route, but continued up 1.5 miles west of the turning point for the Boom Circle; and the 15 K went the same route, but continued 1.5 miles west of the end of the 10 K. A total of 85 persons, male and female, registered for one or other of the races, with 52 completing their respective events. They came from the Police, Coast Guard, BDF, Wesley College, as well as from the Belize River Valley, Sandhill and Belize City. Top finishers were: 15K: Female – 1st Jereen Chun, 2nd Shaurdi Reyes; Male – 1st Justin Baptist, 2nd Elio Tzub, 3rd Albert Davis. 10K: Female – 1st Rasheeda Cunningham, 2nd Loretta Garbutt, 3rd Jamie Usher; Male – 1st Calistro Saki, 2nd Frederick Gordon, Jr., 3rd Jerome Belisle. Boom Circle: 1st Wendy Gillett, 2nd Marsha Wills, 3rd Ashanti Martin; Male – 1st Wallace Cucul, 2nd Ellise Flowers, 3rd Niall Gillett.

    Primary school basketball Nationals, Skills Challenge and All Star Games
    The National Sports Council, which is in charge of primary school sports competitions countrywide, added a new twist to this year’s basketball Nationals, which included the six (6) female and male district champion schools. Not only did the two-day tournament produce a female and a male primary school national basketball champion team; but the gathering of players from across the country along with fans present for the occasion got a special treat this year, as the organizers also conducted an individual Skills Challenge, as well as a showcase All Star Game, in both female and male categories. All games were played at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex in Orange Walk Town. At the beginning of the tournament on Friday, the schools were separated into Division A and Division B, with 3 schools each; and after a single round robin of games on Friday, the female and male semifinals and finals, third place and championship matches were all played on Saturday. The Skills Challenge followed, and the event culminated with the exciting All Star games. In an interesting coincidence, all six district champion schools provided both the female, and male champion teams for their respective districts.

    Cricket Corner
    A pleasant day to all cricket fans! Under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, and with the kind sponsorship of Belikin and Sprite, the Harrison Parks 2016 Cricket Competition continued over the weekend with some very excellent and heart breaking games. Let’s go to Rancho Dolores first, where last year’s champs, Easy Does It, traveled there to go up against the home team, Western Eagles. Both teams had not lost a game yet. So it was believed that this would be a very exciting game. The Eagles took to bat first. Well, it was not easy for the Eagles, as batsmen started to fall one after the next in quick order under the stiff bowling of Herbert Banner. In less than two hours, all wickets fell, for a very small score of 39 runs. Dirk Sutherland top scored with 17. Herbert Banner took 7 wickets. Both teams agreed to continue through lunch break. Well, at the fall of one wicket, Easy Does It surpassed the Eagles score. Malcolm Reynolds scored 15 runs. Most of Eagles’ batsmen were bowled out for nothing.

    Editorial: Thin edges of wedges
    When we were children and expressed a wish to taste the seemingly harmless “rumpopo” which the adults were sipping, the old people would say to us, no, explaining that this rumpopo would be the “thin edge of the wedge.” Since rumpopo had a small amount of alcohol in it, the feeling was that it would amount to introducing us children to alcohol, and perhaps such an introduction would be the beginning of a love affair with alcohol which would lead to no good. In those days five and six decades ago, alcohol was the drug of choice, a legal choice, amongst the people of Belize, and its deadly effects could be observed daily in the disturbed behavior of our neighbourhood alcoholics. The old people explained that a wedge, usually made of wood, had two edges – a thin one and a fat one. If you could get the thin edge of the wedge introduced into some opening where you wished to create greater separation, then the chances were good that you could drive in the rest of the wedge, up to the fat edge, and create the desired separation. In our mid-week editorial, we were furious about two incidents which may have seemed harmless in themselves to some people, especially strangers to Belize. One was the announcement of a parking lot for the Princess Hotel and Casino inside the MCC Grounds, and the other was the entry of the Guatemalan military into the Belizean portion of the Sarstoon River on Saturday morning and their proceeding to prevent the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) from travelling up the Sarstoon to the Gracias a Dios border marker. We were furious because these were, to our vigilant minds, clearly “thin edge of the wedge” incidents.

    From the Publisher
    In the UBAD movement and the UBAD Party, the Guatemalan claim was always a big issue. It was, in fact, less than a year after the sinister Seventeen Proposals were officially released that the United Black Association for Development (UBAD) was founded, on February 9, 1969. It is said that modern party politics began in Belize with the establishment of the anti-colonialist People’s United Party (PUP) in September of 1950. The pro-British National Party (NP) was organized to fight the PUP in 1951. In 1958, the NP and a Honduran Independence Party (NIP), led by two former PUP leaders – Philip Goldson and Leigh Richardson, came together to form the National Independence Party (NIP), which lasted until September of 1973, when the United Democratic Party (UDP) was formed. On the night of May 29, 1972, the young people of Belize City who were from PUP and NIP families were united as they had never been before, and have never been since, under the banner of the UBAD Party. But there were events which took place on that very same night which set the stage for the unraveling of the unity of the UBAD Party, basically along PUP and NIP lines.

    Letter to the Editor: Glenda defends Manuel
    Following a change in leadership of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), new senators are being appointed to occupy the three designated seats in Parliament when it meets again on Tuesday, March 29, 2016, the day when the new national budget is to be considered. Opposition Leader Hon. Johnny Briceño told Amandala today that all three persons—Eamon Courtenay, SC, a former minister of Government; Valerie Woods, wife of former Attorney General Godfrey Smith; and Paul Thompson, who ran for the PUP in the Albert Division in last November’s elections—have accepted the offer. Courtenay, he said, would lead for the Opposition in the Senate. A letter was sent to the Governor-General this morning advising him of their selection, Briceño furthermore said.

    Wendy Auxillou writes the BTB
    Dear BTB: Will there ever come a day when I can pay my hotel taxes online? I can pay the water bill, electric bill, cable bill, internet bill, telephone bill and pretty much every other bill for my small “mom and pop” place online … from anywhere in the world … except my bill to you. Could you kindly move from out of the Stone Age and into the 21st century? There has got to be a better way. Sincerely, Very frustrated micro-hotelier, Wendy Auxillou

    Chester moves up
    Attorney and Senior Superintendent of Police, Chester Williams, Commanding Officer of Belize City Police Southside, has been promoted to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police. The announcement was made yesterday at a police press briefing held at the Raccoon Street Police Station. The promotion was made retroactive since July 2015, making it a substantive and confirmed rank, and also making him ready for the next promotion, which is to that of Deputy Commissioner. ACP Williams said that the rank was long overdue. Mr. Williams, who was admitted to the Bar in 2015 and is now an attorney after five years of study at the University of the West Indies, was appointed Commanding Officer of Southside Belize City police in July 2015.

    BPP “…here to stay!” — Paco Smith
    At a press conference today at the headquarters of the Belize Progressive Party (BPP), Patrick Rogers, Party Leader, said that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) may not be the best means to solve the Belize-Guatemala dispute, for fear that Belize may have to give up land. The United Nations (UN) Security Council would be a better option, Roger said, since any settlement by the UN Security Council would be done with our “territorial integrity” remaining intact. Rogers spoke at a BPP press conference today which listed the party’s accomplishments since the establishment of the party on October 1, 2015. Wil Maheia, BPP Deputy Leader said, “We want to make sure that we do not lose a square centimeter or a blade of grass.” Maheia went on, “It is getting worse; it is not getting better.” For example, he said, “There are more Guatemalan fishermen within Belizean waters.” Belizeans are unable to traverse the Sarstoon River and as Belizeans we should be able to move freely in our country, Maheia said.

    Guatemala: A state of land grabs
    The concerns about the massive land grab of Belize, whether it be up to the Sibun River, or the entire 8,867 square miles of land in addition to sea territory, are serious. The oligarchy of Guatemala has made a habit of usurping land from those to whom it belongs, for hundreds of years. When Spain colonized the territory – made up of differing regions of towering green mountains, wet lowlands and thick forest – the millennium-old communities living there resisted the genocide, slavery and land theft with tenacity. The resistance of the Indigenous was so fierce colonizers expressed frustration at being unable to overcome them. Dictatorships then ruled over the land with the force of the infamous European arrival (that began in the Americas in 1492), and dictatorships continued to reign for almost all of Guatemalan history. The majority Indigenous population of over 20 different Mayan nations, the Xincaand the Garinagu all have well recorded histories of rebelling against the enslavers who had arrived to plunder resources, export wealth to Europe, and create a local, mostly European-descended ruling class. Not only Spanish but others arrived to colonize. In the late 1800’s the Germans expanded mostly in the form of coffee plantation barons also responsible for massacres (including their descendants’ orchestration of the 1978 Panzos massacre), and USA-based multinationals such as the United Fruit Company and mining conglomerates that produced nickel used for weaponry. All terrorized the local population and were expert at violently displacing people from their ancestral homes and destroying the natural environment. The Guatemalan ruling class facilitated these land grabs.

    BEL refinances $25 mil worth of debentures

    New PUP senators to be installed in time for budget debate

    Albert Solis, 24, remanded on sexual assault charge
    A resident of Maskall, a village in the northern Belize District, was remanded to prison this morning after he was arraigned on charges of sexual assault and wounding. Albert Solis, 24, appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who read the two charges to him. The allegations against Solis are that on February 28, in Maskall he beat a 30-year-old woman and touched her private parts. The woman sustained cut wounds to the left side of her face and had abrasions to the left side of her vagina. The court prosecutor, Corporal Christopher Smith, objected to bail on the ground that the offense has become prevalent and that the complainant and the accused live in the same village and, if granted bail, the accused might interfere with the complainant.

    Deshane McDougal, 24, remanded to prison for sex with girl, 14
    24-year-old man was remanded to the Belize Central Prison this morning after he was arraigned on a charge of unlawful sexual intercourse before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. Deshane McDougal, 24, was not required to enter a plea, because the offence of unlawful sexual intercourse is indictable. If the Crown can establish that it has a prima facie case against McDougal after a preliminary inquiry is held at the Magistrate’s Court, his case will be sent to the Supreme Court for trial. The allegation against McDougal is that on January 12, he had sex with a 14-year-old girl. The girl, accompanied by her mother, reported the matter to police.

    Briceño meets Barrow: Sarstoon invasion, banking woes, and crime discussed
    Belize-Guatemala relations—and more specifically the recent reports of incursions by Guatemalan military on the Belize side of the Sarstoon River—was the highlight of talks held on Wednesday, March 2, 2016, between Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Opposition Leader Johnny Briceño, who was appointed a month ago after winning the People’s United Party’s leadership race. Earlier this week the People’s United Party announced its decision to set up a Belize-Guatemala advisory group, amid fury over actions taken on Saturday by Guatemala’s military to block Belizeans, led by the Belize Territorial Volunteers, from visiting the Sarstoon Island, which is within Belizean territory as recognized on international maps. “We have expressed great concern that the Guatemalan navy was there to stop any Belizean who wanted to access the island that is clearly within our territory,” Briceño told us. Furthermore, the PUP signaled its willingness to engage the Barrow administration on the Belize-Guatemala issue. The members of the advisory group, who have all served as Foreign Ministers in Belize, would advise the party on the way forward, the Opposition Leader added.

    Former mayor ordered to pay more compensation to his accident victims’ family
    This morning, three Court of Appeal Justices heard an appeal brought by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions against a Supreme Court trial judge’s sentence imposed upon former Orange Walk Town mayor, Ravell Gonzalez, who had knocked down and killed two persons in a traffic accident in June 2008. The trial judge, Justice John “Troadio” Gonzalez, had imposed a fine of $4,000 for each death, and $1,000 compensation to the families of the victims after a jury of four men and five women found Gonzalez guilty on August 3, 2015. President of the Court of Appeal, Mr. Justice Manuel Sosa, in delivering the decision after both sides had made submissions, said, “The application for leave to appeal is allowed and the application is treated as the appeal which is allowed. The court orders as follows: The order of the trial judge is set aside and we substitute for it the following; the respondent is to pay a fine of $8,000 within two years of today’s date. He is to further pay the sum of $10,000 in compensation to the family of Markita Lopez. That also is payable within two years from today’s date; in default of either payment, 9 months in prison.” Justice Sosa noted, however, that $9,000 has already been paid into the registry of the court below and is treated as part payment of the above-mentioned sum of $18,000.

    Jamal Jackson, 31, arraigned for WPC shooting
    A Belize City man who allegedly fired at a police mobile on Monday night, hitting a woman police constable in the head and on her finger, was remanded to prison after he was arraigned on possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition charges this morning. With his feet shackled in chains and his hands chained behind his back, Jamal Jackson walked slowly as the court orderly escorted him to the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith for his arraignment. Smith read the two firearms-related offences, for which bail cannot be granted at the Magistrate’s Court and Jackson pleaded not guilty to “kept unlicensed firearm (a .9mm Glock pistol) and kept unlicensed ammunition (nine .9mm rounds)” for which a gun licensed has not been granted. The Chief Magistrate read the accompanying police facts of the charges and told Jackson, “This seems to be an open and closed case. You still want to waste my time and plead not guilty?” Jackson, 31, a resident of Supal Street replied, “Not guilty, your honor.”

    The Reporter

    Paediatric mission coming to Belize
    Twelve doctors from the United States are arriving in Belize today, Saturday, to conduct a special one-week paediatric mission throughout the Belize district. The doctors, coming from Virginia, will offer diagnostic and referral services, through a program coordinated by World Paediatric Project, and the local non-governmental organization, Friends Of Paediatrics. The team will start on Sunday in San Pedro, break for the March 9 holiday on Monday and resume on Tuesday at the Ladyville Community Center. On Wednesday they visit the Maskall Health Center; Thursday, they move to the Port Loyola at the Port Loyola Health Clinic, and on Friday the head for the Crooked Tree Health Center. All the clinics start at 9:00 a.m. Khandice Tillett, Belize project manager for the World Paediatric Project explained that the team is seeing patients free of charge and will not turn away any patient, despite the size of the workload. “If there are 100 patients, they will see 100. If there are 200 they will stay until the work is finished. They’re here to work, not vacation, so people just need to come out,” Tillett said.

    Belize Zoo holds “year of the monkey” fundraiser
    The Belize Zoo held a special fundraiser, on Saturday, in collaboration with the embassy of the Republic of China Taiwan, and Travellers Liquors. The three parties gathered at the at Travellers Heritage Museum, at 2 ½ miles Philip Goldson Highway, Belize City, to hold an auction, where the proceeds from all the sales will go directly to renovating and upgrading the veterinary clinic and commissary for the Zoo. Founding Director of the Belize Zoo, Sharon Matola, explained that the facility, which serves over 15,000 visitors annually, has been operating since the late 1980’s and was in need of repairs. “Belize needed a place for the people of Belize to get to know and appreciate their wildlife and that’s what kept me here,” Matola said. “Back when I started in the 1980’s the George Price Highway wasn’t paved yet but people came. And when you think about it, where else would they have seen a jaguar or tapir at that time?” The Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan), His Excellency Benjamin Ho, to assist with the effort, donated five Chinese painting prints portraying the year of the monkey, as well as three bottles of Kaoliang Liquor in decorated porcelain bottles.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Soccer player busted with cannabis at western border
    Breaking: Information reaching Breaking Belize News is that a national and Verdes Football player was busted with a little more than 10.5 lbs of cannabis. BNN was made to understand that the player was travelling alone in his vehicle at the time of the […]

    Man critical after hit and run accident
    A hit and run accident on the Phillip Goldson Highway last night in the area of Santa Elena Road in Corozal District, has left one cyclist in a critical condition at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). The man, identified as Valerio Gilharry, a […]

    Belmopan mother viciously chopped to death; partner faces charges
    Belmopan Police say they expect to charge the man who allegedly killed 45 year old Maria Candelaria Chacon Reymundo early on Friday morning, later this weekend. The mother of 8 was viciously murdered inside her home on Panama Street in Salvapan, allegedly hacked to […]

    Dangriga man goes missing for a week
    44 year old Gregory Williams, Senior, a former star for the Kremandala Warriors football team in the mid-1990s, has been reported missing to Dangriga police. Williams was last seen leaving his Rivas Estate home last Saturday, February 27, saying he was going for a […]

    Protest Note Sent to Guatemala
    The Government of Belize has sent a diplomatic protest note to Guatemala about last weekend’s Sarstoon showdown between the Guatemalan Military and the Territorial Volunteers. Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington made the point that even though the language will be calm, the Belize […]

    High speed chase leads to crash in Belize City
    Police have reportedly detained two persons following an apparent traffic mishap caused by a high-speed chase this afternoon on Mahogany Street in front of the police sub-station. We understand that police were chasing a black vehicle down Mahogany Street when the vehicle crashed into […]

    Second leg of La Ruta Maya canoe race
    At around 7:00 yesterday morning from beneath Cayo’s Hawkesworth Bridge, 61 teams of paddlers set off on the annual La Ruta Maya canoe race, en route to Banana Bank through the Macal River. Although the number of teams is a little less than last […]

    Relatively moist conditions to continue
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting generally cloudy skies with a few showers and periods of rain over most areas. Winds will be blowing from the Northeast at 5-15 knots and the sea state will be light chop – choppy. High temperatures […]

    Belize named as major money laundering country
    Belize has once again been listed in a US report as being a major money laundering nation for the proceeds of narcotics trafficking. Belize, however, is just one of 14 Caribbean nations named by the US as “major money laundering” countries in the 2016 […]

    Guatemalan poachers believed to be connected to Danny Conorquie’s death
    Belize Defense Soldiers (BDF) in the Chiquibul area came under fire from Guatemalan poachers yesterday, and though details have been scarce, one source is now suggesting there may be a connection to the murder of Special Constable Danny Conorquie in 2014. According to reports […]


    A Maya River Route Becomes A Race
    There is a river that starts its life in the mountains of Belize from a spring. That spring decided a million years ago that it will find a way through the mountains of a land that later hosted Paleoindians, Archaic people, Proto Maya, Maya people and todays contemporary Belizeans. It ripped its way; it climbed; it pushed; it tore through all barriers it found in its path – cleared all things to the granitic floor that it decided to make its bed. This river, called the Macal River, is one of two that meet two and a half miles north of San Ignacio and Santa Elena towns (twin towns), and start the longest river in the country called the Belize River. It must be highlighted that the country of Belize may have gotten its name from the name the original Yucatec maya called that river: “Baltiz”, which means “muddy water”. Every year for over 10 years there is a race that happens on this river. Its called the “La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge”. Its amazing! Do not miss it next year. It all happens on the weekend of the ninth of March every year and you too can be a part of it!

    And after the ultimate Belize adventures, the Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge 2016 has come to an end. Throughout this experience, we witnessed first-hand the unexplored beauty that makes our Belize a "one-of-a-kind" Jewel. Above all, there were loads of inspirational teamwork to help each person get to the finish line! From the beginning of the race… …to canoeing through the rapids on the Macal and Mopan Rivers …trekking at Xunantunich Maya ruin …to San Ignacio Town

    International Sourcesizz

    Museum events in spring
    Museum of Science, Boston: Spectacular visuals capture the underwater world of coral reefs and the accompanying ecosystems in A World Underwater: The Reefs of Belize, scheduled for Thursday, March 24 from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. at the Charles Hayden Planetarium in Boston Museum of Science. Through striking photography, Keith Ellenbogen and Allan Adams of MIT document an underwater journey to Glover's Reef Research Station in Belize, providing context to the efforts to conserve the Mesoamerican reef ecosystem. The program is recommended for grades 5 to 12.

    Belize at 35 Exhibit
    'Belize 35' is celebrating the 35th anniversary of Belize's independence, and is on display at the Art Museum of the Americas. It showcases works by Belizean-American artists Karl Villanueva and Santiago Cal. There's one neat piece with George Price riding a tapir. "Cal’s 15-foot-long, untitled installation is entirely carved from wood and contains an elevated pathway with a row of 35 tapirs, the piglike national animal of Belize. In the piece, a meditative George Cadle Price is riding the tapir in front."

    MMAC Finale 2016
    The Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge, the longest race in Belize, spanning over 300 miles in 4 days, was last week. The SIRH has a nice article with all the winners of the race. The next one is scheduled for 2018. There are 1000's of pictures on the MMAC page. "Congratulations to the winners of The Maya Mountain Challenge 2016. Thank you to all of the racers, donors, volunteers, sponsors and spectators that made the 2016 Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge was an incredible success!"

    Belize Zoo
    The Belize Zoo: Home to Former Movie Stars! Once upon a time, film producers specializing in documentaries about life in tropical forests chose Belize as their favorite destination. Critters now living in the Belize Zoo were once “stars” of these documentaries, but after film crews completed their projects, some of the animals had become so habituated to humans, they could no longer live in the wild. In 1983, film crew members plus Belize animal lovers carved out a zoo home for these animals and since then, animals who have been orphaned, rescued or rehabilitated enough to join the family have come to live here, too. It’s fun to see this unique zoo and a visit is guaranteed to delight kids of all ages. Belize’s version of what a zoo should look and feel like won’t match your previous experiences. While the animals you view are in enclosures, don’t be surprised to see animals who “visit” from the outside to do what all social beings do: hang out with like-minded creatures, steal some food and thrill visitors. What species are you most likely to see? Some will be familiar; raccoons, snakes and squirrels, but you may never before have seen exotic species who make their homes here, like tapirs, gibnuts, coatimundis, jaguars and other exotics, plus gorgeous birds in every rainbow color. First, if you’re a fan of the humane treatment of animals, you will be impressed by the way this little zoo is run. It’s not fancy and it’s not huge, but this zoo has a different vibe than any zoos you’ve seen in the past. The aforementioned visits from jungle animals who linger nearby to commune with the zoo’s inhabitants makes this one unique facility. From quiet, spellbinding species to loud-mouthed black howler monkeys who aren’t shy about chatting up their relatives on the periphery of the zoo, the variety of animals you’ll see is impressive. For the best of all experiences, take the Belize Zoo’s night tour to see nocturnal residents awake and alert. The zoo compound is situated on 29-acres of savanna, but all of the action happens at the zoo’s epicenter, located just 29 miles from Belize City. Any time you like! The zoo is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Zoo residents don’t take vacations nor do they mind bad weather. Take the George Price Highway from Belize City if you’re driving, but your best bet is booking a tour through a resort like Cahal Pech. They can handle all details, including transport and a guide to make your visit enjoyable and relaxing.


  • Belmopan Weekly! Edition 3, 2016, 30min.

  • Belize in 10 Days, 2min. Xunantunich is featured, as is Chaa Creek, and all its attractions. "A lot can happen in a 2 week adventure traveling around Belize. Some of which I can highly recomend like an ATV execution through the jungle with Chaa Creek Resort or an adventure snorkeling on Caye Caulker. What a great time exploring the outdoors of this great nation and being immersed in the rich, diverse culture."

  • Lamanai Archaeological site tour from Belize City, 8min.

  • Belize Zoo, 6.5min. Belize Zoo, featuring Junior Buddy Jaguar encounter

  • Diving in Belize 2016, 11min.

  • Gumbo Limbo Jungle Resort Belize review, 3min. Gumbo Liimbo is a small off-grid resort located in the Cayo district of Belize near San Ignacio.

  • Belize Part 1, 3min. This covers the first few days of the trip where we stayed at Black Rock Lodge, near San Ignacio. We visited a lot of Mayan temples (Caracol, Tikal, Xunantanich), canoed through caves, zip-lined through the canopy, saw lots of cool wildlife - had an amazing time!

  • Belize Part 2, 3min. This covers the middle of the trip in Caye Caulker, we were there for a few days to celebrate Tracey's birthday which we did in style by flying over the Great Blue Hole - which was amazing. Really loved Caye Caulker, such a great place to be.

  • Belize Part 3, 2min. This was just the last couple of days of the trip, including Lamanai and Birds Eye View Lodge.

  • Belize, 8.5min. December 2015.

  • Belize 2016, 14min.

  • Scuba Diving Belize 2016, 16min.

  • Belize Zip Line, 8min. Zip-lining in Belize.

  • Ambergris Caye, Belize, min. A few days snorkling and enjoying the sun on Ambergris Caye. From Making Belize 02/16.

  • Diving Belize 2016, 5min.

  • El Pescador Fishing Resort in Belize, 9min. A quick video of our week long excursion here. Read the text about the trip for more specifics.

  • TELL GUATEMALA TO LEAVE BELIZE ALONE! (PART ONE), 10min. Since the last crisis on August 16, 2015 where the Guatemalan Navy blockaded the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) from entering the Sarstoon River, and to access the Belize side of the Sarstoon Island, another Guatemalan Navy blockaded the BTV again in another trip up the Sarstoon River in route to the Sarstoon Island on February 27, 2016. Just a few months into the presidency of the newly elected Guatemalan president, Jimmy Morales, who had promised a more cordial relationship between Belize and Guatemala in the age old territorial dispute between the two nations, the crisis on the Sarstoon River continues and escalates to a new level. The Belizean government has sent a new note of protest to the Guatemalan government whose Navy was clearly inside Belizean territorial waters in their blockade of the BTV on Saturday, February 27, 2016.


  • View of Caye Caulker from the Air, 1min. I never tire of flying to the cayes of Belize. The view of breakers on the reef and the islands are often spectacular, weather permitting. Take a peek at what Caye Caulker looks like when you fly by. I took this video during a short flight, on a hazy February day. But you can still see the waves breaking on the reef, beyond Caye Caulker...

    March 5, 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

    Football Action at Five-a-side Tournament
    Five-a-side action is nearing its ends as the San Pedro High School (SPHS) and Island Citizen Sporting Club (ICSP) Football Tournament heads into its ten round nearing the first elimination. The most recent set of games saw some teams struggle while others just dominated. As always, fans come out to the Angel Nuñez Auditorium to cheer on and support their favorite teams. Sunday, February 28th: Game 1: (under 11) El Pescador FC 4 – 0 Bayern Leverkusen; Game 2: (under 11) FC America 7 – 1 Beyern Munich B; Game 3: (under 11) Inter de Millan 9 – 1 PSG; Game 4: (female) Spice Girls 0 – 1 Blue Ocean Sands Girls; Game 5: Los Dorados FC 8 – 2 Empire FC; Game 6: San Juan FC 5 – 6 Island Pure FC; Game 7: United FC 1 – 0 We Them Boys; Game 8: Pro Divers FC 6 – 5 Reef Sharks FC. No matches will be played this coming weekend.

    Belize defeats Mexico during MMA Showdown
    Belize took on Mexico on Saturday, February 27th during a seven round Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Competition. Held at the Belize Biltmore Plaza and hosted by Body 2000, the showdown featured MMA fighters from across the country of Belize as well as from the Mexican institutions of PriMMAtes in Chetumal and Campeche’s XFM. Among the Belizean representatives were members of Dawson’s Pit Fighters which operates out of San Pedro Town and members of Prevail MMA Club in Belize City. While MMA is still relatively new to Belize, our local fighter still managed to keep the win at home, defeating the Mexicans 7-1.

    The National Institute of Culture and History launches new cultural video
    Guillermo “Mito” Paz, director of the San Pedro House of Culture began the event by briefly thanking everyone for attending the official launching and commending the students for being there. This was followed by a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem performed by students of the San Pedro Roman Catholic School. Welcoming the attendees was NICH’s Senior Research and Education Officer Selene Solis. She also presented a colorful poster depicting images of Carnivals, which comes with the video. Solis reminded the students that the carnival tradition in our country shows the colors of the cultures that everyone represent. The video highlighted images of the carnival in San Pedro Town and Caledonia Village, Corozal. Solis hopes that by introducing the video to young students, the tradition will continue and it will alleviate the concern about it disappearing one day.

    The San Pedro Sun introduces new staff members
    The San Pedro Sun is pleased to present two new members of its staff: Noel Mattu and Chelsea Hall. We ask the community to welcome them both as they work hard alongside us to positively contribute to the island newspaper. Noel Mattu, Office Manager, Sales and Marketing: Born and raised in the Corozal District, Noel has always had a strong affinity for the arts. With the desire to constantly be learning, he took on the computer sciences at Belize Adventist Junior College. Chelsea Hall, Reporter: Originally from Corozal, Belize, Chelsea was raised in the United States from the age of two and adopted the American dream. She was always a great contender when it came to school. At the age of 15, she determined her own destiny and established that she wanted to become a journalist as her career.

    SHINE lanches 2016 Capital Campaign
    During an informal and informative reception held at Mahogany Bay Village, the organizers of On Eagles Wings Ministries (OEWM) Belize and SHINE Girls Club outlined their vision for building a SHINE Center on Ambergris Caye. Invited guests mingled with those who have undertaken the task to bring the center to fruition, discussing goals and ways to achieve them. As the program has grown, the need has certainly been felt for a permanent location to host the girls through their 6-week empowerment courses. Beyond the young women’s need for a space to interact and feel secure, there is also a need to provide a safe haven for abused women and children, and victims of human trafficking, amongst other issues. There is no place on the island offering shelter to the displaced that have made the difficult decision to leave their abuser. As such, the numbers who do in fact walk away to begin a better life are marginal.

    Ambergris Today

    Ruta Maya River Challenge has begun
    Early Bird team made it to San Ignacio for the start of the Ruta Maya Race, Belize's biggest sporting event. Seems like everybody is here.

    San Pedro High Take On Sagicor Visionary Challenge Again
    Two teams from San Pedro High School’s Academic Department have once again entered the Sagicor Visionary Challenge taking place March . A challenge that encourages secondary and high school students to develop effective, innovative and sustainable solutions to the challenges facing them. Their challenge consists of finding a problem affecting the community and coming up with a solution through their science background. The teams at San Pedro High have identified two main problems affecting the community of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye which they have pinpointed to be the hygiene/skin care solution and Nutrition Cleanse. In order for them to accomplish their goal and the requirement of promoting the project by educating primary schools in the community and at the same time carry out both project plans at San Pedro High and the community, the Science Department is requesting assistance from the community.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    McGregor Battles it out vs Nate Diaz & Holly Holms vs Merisha Tate
    Battle for a Title belt !! Who's it gonna be ? Come find out here at Feliz at 7pm for the prelims!! We shall see you here. Saturday March 5th!

    Fabulous Images of La Ruta Maya
    Images from this morning's race at the start and at the construction of the new bridge area.

    Benque Archaeological Reserve Inauguration
    Benque's new Archaeological Reserve was inaugurated yesterday. The CTGA got some pictures too.

    FCD public outreach
    The FCD educator in Belize is centering its public outreach on two topics: Beauty of Chiquibul and River Conservation. In February alone, he presented Beauty of Chiquibul to 952 students in the Cayo District.

    Benque Women in Art Fiesta
    Women in Art Fiesta Schedule 2016! Make it a Date Saturday March 12th, 2016

    The 18th La Ruta Maya 2016 - San Ignacio
    The 18th La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge kicked off today in San Ignacio, under the historic Hawkesworth Bridge, the oldest suspension bridge in Belize, Central America. What started off as a marketing campaign ended up being one of the biggest sporting events in Belize & Central America, and brought about environmental awareness.

    Sunshine Charity Fashion Show
    Happy and Grateful to be apart of The Sunshine Charity Fashion Show benefiting The Sunshine Scholarship Foundation of Belize. Thank you to all the organizers, models, boutiques, press and friends for making this event happen. Hope to see you all on the beach and making a splash at the pool party! At Corona Del Mar in San Pedro, Today!

    Caribbean Growth Forum
    Representatives from 14 Caribbean countries came together in Belize City, from Monday, February 29 to Wednesday, March 2, to take stock on key lessons learned from the hundred reform actions implemented through the Caribbean Growth Forum, and announce a Communique to move forward on their pro-growth agenda. During the meeting, countries discussed and agreed on how to create result-based roadmaps to accelerate reforms and help track the implementation of actions linked to these reforms in the areas of investment climate, skills and productivity, and logistics and connectivity. “Belize is proud to host this meeting. This is an extraordinary opportunity for Caribbean nations to build on the results achieved so far by the Caribbean Growth Forum and enhance the competitiveness of our respective countries.”

    Upcoming Free Pediatric Services in San Pedro
    Don't forget that this Sunday, March 6, the Friends of Pediatrics Belize will be at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for consultations. Don't miss out on this great opportunity!

    Women in Art Fair 2016
    The 2016 Women in Art Fair is next Saturday, March 12th, at the Cayo Welcome Center. Thanks, NICH!

    2016 La Ruta Maya Training
    Humorous article about training for La Ruta Maya. Cayo spots are all over the article, from Log Cab-Inns to Bamboo Bar. ""What do all of these things have in common? Auto repair, meat pies, Guinness, canoe accidents, metal shops, street meat, markets, new friends, jalapeno margaritas, multiple injuries, breakfast burritos, Patrick Warrior, cookies, pizza, Belikin, roulette, penny slots and paddling……. All of these (and much, much more!) were part of our 3 day 'training' weekend in Cayo to prepare for La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge!

    Celebrity Basketball Rematch
    The Celebrity Basketball Rematch is tomorrow night at the UB gym, starting at 7:00pm. "It's almost here! The Celebrity Basketball Rematch goes down THIS SATURDAY, March 5th at the UB Gym! Come on out and cheer on your fave celebrities as they battle for this year's championship title! Who will it be???"

    Channel 7

    Crossfire in Chiquibul; BDF Shoots Guat Civilian in Leg
    There's been another shooting in the Chiquibul Forest - no one was killed but a BDF soldier shot a Guatemalan civilian yesterday. Reliable reports reaching 7News tonight say that a BDF patrol came under fire, and they returned fire, injuring one. At this time, the Belize Defence Force is not releasing any information because the top brass has to get a debriefing and the members of the BDF patrol haven't recorded their statements yet. What we've learned is that the incident happened yesterday in an area of the Chiquibul known as Cebada. The BDF were conducting a patrol when they came upon 2 men near the Western Border, about 1 kilometer inside Belizean territory. Preliminary information is that the men were cultivating marijuana inside Belize.

    Mother of 8 Hacked To Death In Salvapan
    A mother of 8 was viciously murdered this morning in Belmopan. Police found 45 year old Maria Chacon's body inside her home on Panama Street in Salvapan. Reports are that she got in a terrible fight with her common law husband and he allegedly hacked her to death. But this is not the first time he has attacked her. I traveled to Belmopan today to find out about the history of violence that led to Chacon's death. Courtney Weatherburne reporting It's on this scorched homemade stove that Maria Candelaria Chacon fried plantains. She would wake up early every morning to make plantain chips, then she would package them and go out to sell. Chacon was happy because she had gotten a fresh stack of plantains to fry this morning. But she didn't get to them because she was murdered right inside her rented room. Chacon had a fight with her common law husband last night and it only got worse this morning. A neighbor told us off camera that around 5:30, she was awakened by a commotion.

    Cops Says Husband Will Be Charged This Weekend
    Police expect to charge the common law husband who allegedly killed Maria Candelaria Chacon. He's been in custody since morning and the cops also have the machete she was killed with. The officer commanding Belmopan gave us the latest in the investigation:... Supt. Howell Gillett, OC - Belmopan: "The investigation as you may well know that it just occured this morning. So we are still in the initial stages of the investigation and in deed we have the husband in custody. He is in custody and certain admissions were made. We have a machete in our custody and we believe it could likely be the murder weapon. We have that in our possession also. There was a problem at the home and noises were heard and the neighbors might have seen some of what had happened. We will likely proffer charges sometime over the weekend."

    One Fired For Youth Hostel Tragedy
    It's one of the worst tragedies we've ever reported: In November of last year, 3 teenaged girls perished in a fire at the Youth Hostel. An investigation was immediately launched into the various breakdowns in protocol that left the girls locked in a wooden building which no one could open. Tonight, almost four months later, there are still more questions than answers but we can at least confirm today that, as a result of that internal investigation, one person has been terminated. And according to CEO of that Ministry, more are still in line to receive further disciplinary actions. Judith Alpuche, CEO, Min. of Human Development: "The investigation that we did was internal to us because we needed to understand what went wrong and for our own clarity and for us to take the necessary action as well. The processes that we're talking about, are processes that have to do with disciplinary procedure. In our case, one person has been terminated because that was within the purview of the ministry to do that. But there are other people who have to go through the public service process that they come in the domain of the public service commission and so those are the processes. The report is completed. what we have been advised though is that there are certain processes that are still on going in terms of disciplinary actions that need to be taken etc. so the advice that we're getting is that we need to ensure that these processes are completed before we can come forward publicly. "

    CEO Not Happy With Human Traffic Decision
    When 64 year old Estella Gonzalez was convicted of human trafficking in February, she became Belize's first conviction for that widespread offence. When she went to court for sentencing, her attorneys asked for leniency citing Gonzalez's multiple health problems. The judge agreed to fine her 75 thousand dollars, and not confine her to prison. Today we spoke to CEO in the Ministry of Human Development Judith Alpuche, who said she was aghast when she learnt about the court ruling on Estella Gonzalez. "We're very disappointed, because this was a hard fact case. We certainly from our perspective know the pain and the suffering that this young woman went through. She was incredibly brave in ensuring that she was a witness that sat on the stand for many days in search of justice, in helping others to get that conviction."

    Caught With Conch, Men Taken To Court
    Yesterday, we told you about the 4 fishermen that the Fisheries Department caught with just under a thousand illegal fisheries products, including a little over 800 juvenile conch. Well they are 31 year old Freddy Cortez, 21 year old Yadir Vargas, 49 year old Cipriano Flores along with 18 year old Ricky Teck. Tonight all 4 men are out of bail. They were arraigned late yesterday evening on the charge of possession of undersized conch, and each were separately charged for a small portion of the conch, which the Fisheries Department claims they took ownership of. But in court, they told the sitting magistrate that the fisheries products weren't theirs, and they pleaded not guilty to that. After that, they were released on bail.

    Internal Beef In PUP Belmopan Constituency
    Jason Patrick Andrews was the PUP Candidate for Belmopan - but now committee members are accusing him of cleaning out the constituency office. They've made a complaint to police about all the stuff he took - they say it was donated to the office, while he seems to think it was donated to him. The items include a water cooler, a laptop computer, a flat screen TV and other items. Belmopan police today confirmed that a report was made a few weeks ago, but the officer commanding told us he's handling it with some level of discretion:... Supt. Howell Gillett, OC - Belmopan: "The police always like to be in the middle of everything. Its politics. I don't want to go into any details more than to say that yes report has been received at Belmopan Police Station and we are dealing with it through civil means. I believe that as the commander here in this formation, what we are doing is the best way forward. It's been dealt with internally and I believe we will have a resolution very shortly. I am personally involved and I believe, with the experience that I have dealing with these matters, I believe that very soon we will have a complete resolution to the issue."

    Data Paying Off For BTL
    As we told you two nights ago, BTL is embarking on a major investment with the new 40 million dollar 4GLTE switch. It's a necessary investment because the present 4G System is congested after experiencing explosive growth in the past year. And that's because phone users are increasingly shifting their usage preference to data. And it's beginning to pay off for BTL, whose revenue had been sagging because fewer phone calls are actually being made. Instead phone users are now spending that same money on data, and at Tuesday's press conference, BTL Executive Anwar Barrow said the company's revenue was showing strong growth:.. Anwar Barrow, Chairman, Exec. Committee - BTL: "Our revenues this year are going to be up substantially. I wouldn't want to say exactly how much, but we are closing our financial year at the end of this month and we've had a significant uptake in revenues after 6 years of decline. We've had a complete turn around there. So, a big part of that turn around has been possible because of the 4G network and our ability to connect people on that network." BTL's financial year ends at the end of March - and shareholders will see the accounts and get their dividends at the annual general meeting in September.

    US Ambassador Not Impressed With Debates
    Taking a turn now to US politics, Donald Trump is the frontrunner for the Republican Party nomination in the US Presidential Election. Just the thought of that, has the establishment of America's Grand Old Party…well…you could say they are shaking in their boots. The US Ambassador is a Democrat, so he doesn't have a dog in the Republican fight - but speaking with us yesterday in Benque Viejo he did tell us that he feels the debates have sunk to a new low - and that's due in no small part to Donald Trump:… Ambassador Moreno was nominated by US President Barack Obama to head the Belize mission.

    Ladrick Gets A Run
    Two weeks ago we told you about Ladrick Shepard, the Orange Walk politician who said he was being blocked from running for President of the Orange Walk Football Association. Well, it seems his complaint was heard because a release sent out by the FFB Secretariat says that Sheppard has been approved to contest the election. He will run for Chairman against Carlos Umana. The election will be held on Sunday March 13, at La Immaculada R.C. School.

    A Maya Site For Benque Viejo
    Benque Viejo has some of the richest Mestizo traditions in Belize - but if you want to experience mayan grandeur, you have to head a few miles east, to Xunantunich. That premier Mayan site with the magnificent El Castillo structure is the pride of Succotz Village. Well, now Benque has its own Mayan site. Now, it's not Xunantunich - but was we found out yesterday, it is a part of it. Jules Vasquez has the report:... Benque Viejo Town now has its own Maya site. Xunantunich in the nearby village of of Succotz still casts a long shadow - but here a few miles away, Benque is holding its own with more than just the sweet sounds of the Marimba Youth Academy. Hilberto Rancharan, Mayor, Benque Viejo: "The Benque site has been restored. A temple among and within the town isn't that special enough?" Dr. John Morris, Director of Archaeology, NICH: "We said, 'look, you know there's an archeological site right in the middle of Benque that we want to preserve. We can do some work here, let's come together apply for some funds and this will attract people who come here' and not only people who come to Xunantunich but people coming to Benque will have an area to go to."

    Seeds For Safety
    240 Women from all across the country have received seed grants to start up their own businesses. This was an initiative done under the BA1 project- a regional effort geared towards the prevention of violence against women through empowerment. The project is an initiative led by the Government of Belize and BELTRAIDE in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration, the United Nations Population Fund, and the Central American Integration System. Originally over 300 women were taken up by the program and trained in business and life planning but only these 240 women graduated and are now being assisted with a $500 US dollar grant. Today they were honored with a symbolic handing over of the grant. Judith Alpuche, CEO, Min. of Human Development: "This is one component or one activity of this project that has gone on for a bit more than a year now. We're on the last stages of it and it really focuses on economic empowerment for women. Economic empowerment is both a prevention and intervention strategy for gender based violence. The idea is and studies bear this out - that if women are financially stable, if they can stand on their own two feet, so to speak, they will be less vulnerable to being victims of gender based violence. And also it's an essential tool to help them to get out of situations."

    Protest Note Sent
    On Tuesday, we showed you our interview with Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington. He discussed what exactly will be in that protest note to Guatemala about the weekend Sarstoon showdown between the Guatemalan Military and the Territorial Volunteers. He made the point that even though the language will be calm, the Belize Government will still be forceful in their protest of the actions taken by the Guat Navy. Well, it seems that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has done just that. This photo, which has been attached to the protest note, looks to be the direct positioning of the boats at the Mouth of the Sarstoon last week Saturday. In the top, sitting in Belizean waters, you can see the two boats from the Territorial Volunteers. Right at the entrance, in the form of a blockade, you can also see 3 Guatemalan Vessels, one of which is squarely in Belizean territorial waters. The other looks to be in neutral waters, and the third is in Guatemalan waters.

    BPP Will Join Deputy Will
    But that is no appeasement for territorial activist and third party politician Wil Maheia. He's going to Belmopan to protest on Tuesday. And the Belize Progressive Party - of which Maheia is deputy leader say they have his back. The party issued a release today saying it confirms its participation in what it calls a non-partisan event. The release ends by saying, quote, "The BPP joins our territorial volunteers in condemning Guatemala's de facto seizure of Belizean territorial waters in the Sarstoon." End quote.

    Sharim Takes On The Cops
    Today in the Supreme Court, Justice Sonya Young presided over the end of the evidence taking phase of a civil suit brought by 28 year-old Corozal Resident Sharim Baeza. He's suing the Government of Belize and a retired cop for what he believes was malicious prosecution against him. Back in 2003, almost 13 years ago, Sharim Baeza's father, 34 year-old Wilfredo Baeza, was killed at their home in Corozal; he had been shot in the head. Police accused the young Sharim - who was only 16 years-old at the time - of conspiring with his stepmother to hire his two older brothers to kill his father. He was then arrested and charged with Abetment and Conspiracy to commit murder. He was tried in October 2006 before Justice Troadio Gonzalez, and the cornerstone of the prosecution's case against him was that he supposedly gave a caution statement in which he confessed to the crime. He was convicted in that trial and sentenced to life in Prison, but his attorneys appealed to the Court of Appeal. They won that appeal, and a retrial was ordered.

    La Ruta Maya: A River Runs Through It
    The 2015 edition of the La Ruta Maya race started at 7:00 this morning under the Hawkesworth Bridge. 61 teams - a little less than last year - paddled off at the start - down the Macal River headed for Banana bank. 49 miles later, Koop sheet metal was the first to reach Banana Bank and are currently holding the lead. Tonight the teams are camped out at there and head off to Double Head Cabbage at dawn tomorrow. Channel 7 will have live coverage when the race enters Belize City for the finish on Monday morning at around 11:00.

    Street Art Sayonara
    And as we close before this first long weekend of 2015, we take a clip form last weekend's Street Art Festival. Monday will be Heroes and Benefactors day, and certainly one of the cultural heroes' has to be Pen Cayetano and here he is performing with the Original Turtle Shell Band.

    Channel 5

    A Guatemalan Poacher is Shot South of Chiquibul Forest
    There is a confirmed report tonight of a Guatemalan national being shot in an area south of the Chiquibul known as Cebada.  Brigadier General David Jones told News Five earlier [...]

    A Mother of 7 is Hacked to Death by Her Common-law Husband
    Domestic violence has been the cause of several murders in 2015. Tonight, there is a report of a femicide in which the life of a forty-five year old woman of [...]

    Foreign Minister Elrington Says Belize has no Defense Guarantee
    In an extended and exclusive interview this morning with Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, we touched on a long list of pressing issues in respect of the Sarstoon waters in southern [...]

    A Diplomatic Note is Sent to Guatemalan Government
    This morning, we also asked about the diplomatic note that was to be dispatched to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Guatemala, in light of the incursion in the Sarstoon [...]

    What’s the Latest on Independent Investigation into Deadly Youth Hostel Fire?
    On November seventh, 2015 a fire broke inside one of the buildings at the Princess Royal Youth Hostel at mile twenty-one and a half on the George Price Highway. Three [...]

    Illegal Guatemalan Settlements Popping Up in Belize
    There are reports of new Guatemalan settlements popping up in areas of southern Belize. Those are in addition to others in the Chiquibul where xateros and gold-panners operate within the [...]

    Is Burning Down Their Structures a Solution to the Problem?
    The issue of illegal settlements was raised with the Foreign Minister. His response was that Belize is likely to continue to rely on the O.A.S. to assist in the removal [...]

    Maya Leaders Alliance Weighs in on Continuing Incursions in the South
    Program Coordinator for the Maya Leaders Alliance, Pablo Mis, has also weighed in on the ongoing issue.  Despite all efforts to notify relevant authorities of any incursions, it requires a [...]

    What’s Sedi’s Take on O.A.S. Involvement? Is Belize Getting Needed Support?
    Does the government support the re-internalization of the territorial dispute?  The P.U.P. has made that recommendation given the current situation in the south where the Guatemalan military appears to be [...]

    BA1 Project Rolls Out Seed Capital to 240 Belizean Women
    “Opportunities, Risks, and Victories: Women carving their own images on Belize’s canvas” – it’s the theme for a project ceremony held today at the Radisson that empowers women into achieving [...]

    C.E.O. Judith Alpuche Explains BA1 Project Process
    The symbolic handing over ceremony held today signals the success of stage one of the project, which is being carried out by the Government of Belize through the Women’s Department, [...]

    UWI Hosts ZIKA Symposium
    A few weeks ago, the University of the West Indies (UWI) marshaled a task force consisting of its best medical practitioners and experts for the express purpose of fighting the [...]

    Multimillion Dollar Education Project Launched in the North
    The University of Belize, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports and the European Union today launched a two-year project at the Corozal Junior College to [...]

    4 Fishermen Arraigned for Possession of Undersized Conchs
    On Thursday, we reported on a group of fishermen that was busted with over one thousand undersized conchs.  The men were onboard a vessel which was located south of Belize [...]

    Ruta Maya 2016, Koop Sheet Metal Dominates First Leg of Annual Race
    This morning at the foot of the Hawksworth Bridge in San Ignacio, sixty teams of paddlers gathered on the Macal River to commence. The annual La Ruta Maya Challenge.  It [...]



    La Ruta Maya 2016 – Day One
    The 19th running of the Belikin La RUta Maya Challenge got underway this morning from San Ignacio, Cayo District. Here is a snapshot of the 180-mile race down the Belize River.

    Domestic Dispute Leaves Woman Dead
    A domestic dispute turned fatal in western Belize. Angelica Cruz has the story.

    Cattle Disease Crisis Ongoing; Livestock Owners Advised
    A notice coming out of the Belize Agricultural Health Authority is strongly advising cattle owners to get their livestock vaccinated against rabies if they haven’t been vaccinated within the last year and to also get them vaccinated against Blackleg if they haven’t been vaccinated within the last six months. The notice comes about following the […]

    Accused Aide in Murder Case Acquitted; Arresting Officer Now Goes to Court
    The civil suit brought by 28- year-old, Sharim Baeza, against the Retired Superintendent of Police, Eugene Fuentes, Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie and the Attorney General’s office wrapped up today in the court room of Justice Sonya Young. The case has its root in the 2003 murder of 34 year old Wilfredo Baeza- the father […]

    Hostel Investigation Completed; Results Unrevealed
    Shadisha Arnold, Anna Carlos and Elizabeth McKoy are the names of the three teenagers that perished in a fire at the youth hostel on November 28 of last year. An investigative report was to be submitted in January of this year and apparently, it has been completed but nothing has been released to the media […]

    CEO Alpuche Disappointed in Outcome of Human Trafficking Case
    Last month 64-year-old, Honduran national Estela Gonzalez was found guilty of human trafficking. Gonzalez escaped jail time and was instead given a fifty thousand dollar fine to pay. Two doctors gave testimonies that Gonzalez is suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and urinary tract infection which were taken into consideration and thus she […]

    A Seat for Cordel Hyde at the PUP Executive Table
    The People’s United Party has spent the last few weeks getting its house in order under the new leadership of John Briceno. There are still some vacant seats on the party’s National Executive which Briceno says he has gotten the green light to restructure. With this restructuring in mind, it begs the question whether there […]

    PUP Wants Re-registration and Redistricting Done
    Yesterday we told you of the various committees that are being formed in the People’s United Party. One committee we did not mention was the one that will be tackling and lobbying for re-registration of the electorate and re-districting of the constituencies. Other committees being formed are the Legal Team, the Economic Development Team as […]

    Plans to Picket at Next House Sitting
    After Belize Territorial Volunteer’s (BTV) encountered Guatemalan vessels in Belizean waters, leader of BTV Wil Maheia has decided to demand the attention of the Government in a different fashion. He has decided to picket at the next Sitting of the House and is inviting members of the public to join him as Government officials gather […]


    Hon. Dean Barrow Appointed as a Member of the Privy Council
    Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has announced that Prime Minister of Belize Hon. Dean Barrow has been appointed as a Member of the Privy Council. With this, the Prime Minister can now legitimately be referred to as the Right Honourable Dean Barrow. The announcement was published on the website of the...

    Shots fired during attempted robbery in Belize City
    Shots were fired on Wednesday evening in Belize City. Thankfully, no one was injured. According to reports, it was an attempted robbery of Vega’s Distributors. Sometime around five p.m on Wednesday March 2, Vega’s Distributors of Benque Viejo del Carmen, Cayo was in Belize City on Central American B...

    CPBL delays payment to growers pending approval of loan facility
    The citrus industry has been rocked by news that producer company Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL) will not be able to pay this week’s payroll to growers, pending the Central Bank of Belize approving an application made to Heritage Bank in December for 10 million Belize dollars in working ca...

    Ex-Mayor loses appeal on traffic case
    Ravell Gonzalez, the former Mayor of Orange Walk Town, lost the appeal of his conviction by a jury of two counts of causing death by careless conduct upon a 2 year old child, identified as Martita Lopez, and a family friend, Manuel Coto. The aspiring attorney is now on the hook for more in court fin...

    Government Must Return $2.8 Million to Coye Family
    The Government of Belize must return 2.8 million dollars of the more than 3 million which was seized from the Coye family back in 2008. Melanie Coye was convicted of money laundering in late July of 2012, but appealed in 2014 and won. The Coyes have been trying to get back their money which was se...

    18 Pounds of Weed near Corozal Free Zone
    There was a hefty drug bust in the North on Tuesday. A joint operation involving customs, coastguard and B.D.F. personnel on Tuesday night, near the Corozal Free Zone, led to the arrest of a Cuban national, forty-three-year-old Waldo Bernal Pol. Police say Pol and another man were seen in the area a...

    San Ignacio resident charged with Drug Trafficking
    28 year old Jeffery Navarette of San Ignacio has been arrested and charged for the offence of Drug Trafficking. On Wednesday the 2nd of March, a passenger bus was stopped and searched on the Phillip Goldson Highway in front of the Sandhill Police Station. Navarette had on a knapsack which was...

    The Reporter

    Woman chopped to death during domestic dispute
    A woman was beaten and chopped to death during a domestic dispute early Friday morning in Belmopan. Maria Candelaria Reymundo, 45, was at home on Panama Street with her common-law husband, Jairo when sometime around 5:00 a.m. neighbours heard a commotion coming from the house […]

    PAHO/WHO develops new test for confirming Zika infections
    To aid in Zika virus control efforts, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) has set new guidelines on how to identify a case of infection. PAHO/WHO is working with the Arbovirus Laboratory Network (RELDA) and has already agreed on new guidelines using a […]

    Last 2 samples sent for testing negative for H3N2 virus
    Lab results from samples taken from two of three persons who died suddenly in January after suffering from respiratory-related issues have returned from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad and Tobago, testing negative for the presence of the H3N2 virus. Director of Health […]

    KHMH doctor now a master of critical care
    Staff RTeporter Dr. Jorge Hidalgo, head of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), has increased his qualifications by earning a Master’s degree in Critical Care Medicine from the American College of Critical Care (ACCC). Hidalgo received his award at a ceremony […]

    Chetumal checkpoint lifted; roadblock cleared
    After two days of traffic interruption at the Chetumal entrance outside the Navy office (Secretaria de Marina), last Wednesday and Thursday, the municipal government of Subteniente Lopez, Quintana Roo decided to lift a checkpoint for travelers entering and exiting Mexico through that zone. After merchants […]

    PUP weighs in on Guetemalan incursion
    The People’s United Party this week condemned the recent incursion of the Guatemalan military into Belizean territory and called on the government of Belize to take a strong stance against it. Eamon Courtenay, member of the PUP ‘s newly appointed Guatemala Advisory Committee, explained that when the […]

    Belize City Council implementing new security measures after Albert Street Shooting
    The Belize City Council (CitCo) is considering new security measures after armed robbers targeted CitCo security personnel in the Albert Street shooting where a female cop was shot to the head earlier this week. The individuals who were held at gun point on the pavement, […]

    Mexican trade mission meets with local counterparts
    A Mexican trade mission, comprising businessmen in the construction industry, is scheduled to meet with their counterparts in Belize on Tuesday, to share information on the scope of their products and services. Seven companies from the Chetumal area are expected to be represented during the […]

    CDB grants UB $800,000
    The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), has allocated $800,000 from its Special Fund Resources, to grant to the University of Belize (UB) for infrastructural development. President of UB’s Faculty and Staff Association, Harryson Flowers told the Reporter that a committee has been formed to look at […]

    Woman Police Officer shot in robbery attempt on Albert Street
    Woman Police Constable Sheneah Caliz was shot to the head on Monday night as police officers encountered an armed robbery in progress on Albert Street, Belize City. Caliz, 27, a WPC attached to the Traffic Support Unit from Precinct Three was in a Traffic Police […]

    American Model drowns at Hopkins Bay Resort
    An American model, 32-year-old Tiffany Karhanek drowned while on vacation with her 65-year-old husband at the Hopkins Bay Resort, last Saturday. Karhanek arrived in Belize on February 26 from Miami and drowned the following day during a kayaking trip with her husband. The husband, Micheal […]

    Forged Drivers Licenses trigger security measures in Belmopan
    The Department of Transport is in the process of improving the security features on driver’s licenses issued by its various branches. The department is also working to speed up the process to standardize licenses, with one set of security features , formatting and stamp. The […]

    Thief robs cable company of almost $10,000
    An armed thief held up and robbed Southern Cable Company in Dangriga of almost $10,000 in cash on Monday afternoon, along with a laptop and a cell phone. Officer Commanding the Dangriga police formation, Superintendent Roy Joseph told the Reporter that the receptionist at the […]

    BPP In It For the Long Haul…Opens Central Headquarters!
    The Belize Progressive Party (BPP) didn’t exactly make a big splash in 2015 General Elections, garnering exactly 1.63% of votes, but the alternative party says that it’s sticking around. Commemorating just over 100 days in office, on Tuesday, leaders of the BPP signed a 10 year lease on its first […]

    Briceno names new PUP Senators
    People’s United Party (PUP) Leader, John Briceno has replaced the party’s three Senators who were appointed under former leader, Francis Fonseca. The new Senators-elect are Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay; former Belize Tourism Board (BTB) Director Valerie Woods, who is the Country Representative for Chukka Caribbean […]

    NEAB does not support marijuana decriminalization
    The National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB), this week, declared that it does not support the government of Belize’s decision to decriminalize marijuana. Pastor Lance Lewis, NEAB president, said that decriminalization was a major topic of discussion at the Association’s Annual General Meeting which gathered […]

    CPBL can’t pay citrus growers
    The Citrus Products of Belize Ltd. (CPBL) has fallen behind in payments to citrus growers again. CPBL had fallen behind in its payments for two weeks before growers got paid last week, but is once again late in payments. The Citrus Growers Association (CGA) […]

    GOB snatches Coye family’s $3.2M… Supreme Court says give it back!
    The Government of Belize is going through an admitted financial lull, and a decision handed down in the Supreme Court yesterday certainly will not be welcome. On Wednesday afternoon, after a short session in chambers with attorneys for Melonie Coye and the Commissioner of Income Tax; Justice Courtney Abel ruled […]

    Cops intercept more than 34 lbs of weed
    In less than 24 hours, Orange Walk police and the Customs Department seized over 34 pounds of high-grade marijuana, presumably coming from Chetumal, Mexico destined for Belize City, this week. The bust was made in two separate operations. On Wednesday around 3:19 p.m. two officers […]

    We find ourselves in disagreement with those who say Belize does not have the laws needed to go after people who use social media for publishing vulgar and scurrilous material about persons. The existing law against libel and slander can work equally well for the social media as it does […]

    Laws of Belize get an upgrade
    After seven years of preparation, the Government of Belize has officially published the latest edition of the Substantive Laws of Belize. The latest edition, the Laws of Belize Revised Edition 2011, represents the state of the law up to December 31 for that year, including […]

    EU funds project to fight domestic violence in the Caribbean Read more: EU funds project to fight domestic violence in the Caribbean
    A team of Caribbean and United Kingdom experts, headed by Professor Adele Jones from the UK’s University of Huddersfield, in partnership with The Sweet Water Foundation in Grenada, has been awarded €400,000 (US$439,409) from the European Union (EU) to implement a new project on preventing domestic violence in the Caribbean. […]

    Taiwan’s President Ma Ying Jeou to pay official visit to Belize
    President Ma Ying Jeou of Taiwan is set to pay an official visit to Belize this month, as he completes his last term in office. President Ma’s visit will take place on March 16 and 17, as part of a farewell tour to the United […]

    The Belize Times

    Guats Take Over Sarstoon – Sedi’s damning admission
    Foreign Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington has made a damning admission that Guatemala has taken over the Sarstoon Island and Sarstoon River, which form part of Belize’s territory in Southern Belize. Elrington confessed in media interviews this week, after Guatemala’s military once again blocked a group of Belizeans who were travelling to the Sarstoon Area on Saturday, February 27th, that Guatemala’s “…position is consistent, they claim the area and therefore they think they are protecting their territory”. Sedi’s admission is the clearest indication that the Foreign Ministry and Barrow Administration are fully aware that the Guatemala military is not only encroaching on Belizean territory, but also that Guatemalan military is enforcing Guatemalan law on our land. This law enforcement has meant that Guatemala prevents any Belizean vessel or national from going onto Sarstoon River. They threaten to use military force. Elrington’s admittance is a serious national concern. Not only because of the meaning of the words uttered but also because in the face of Guatemala’s aggression, which has been going on ever since the Barrow Administration took office and which intensified in July last year, the Barrow Administration has not seriously defended Belize’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

    PUP Rejects Guatemalan Claim to Sarstoon
    On Saturday 27 February 2016, the Foreign Minister of Guatemala, Carlos Raul Morales, claimed, in Guatemalan media, that all of the Sarstoon River is Guatemalan territory. That is false and provocative. Based on reliable reports, it is clear that on the 27 February 2016 a Guatemalan military vessel entered Belizean territorial waters. This was an egregious violation of Belizean sovereignty and a breach of international law. The People’s United Party categorically rejects the false claim by Foreign Minister Morales, and strongly condemns the provocative and illegal acts by the Guatemalan Navy. The PUP calls on the Government of Belize to immediately deliver a strongly worded Diplomatic Note to Guatemala rejecting the spurious claim by Foreign Minister Morales, and to recall our Belizean Ambassador to Guatemala for urgent consultations. We further call for an urgent ministerial meeting between Belize and Guatemala at the Organisation of American States to adopt measures that reduce tensions whilst fully respecting Belize’s territorial integrity.

    GSU shoot disabled father of 2 near Guat border
    GSU shot 28-year-old Roberto Chan in the back of his right shoulder as he drove his wife Lupe, and their 2 children home in his white Toyota 4-runner after visiting a friend on the road to Santa Rosa near the Guatemalan border at about 7:15 last Wednesday evening, February 24. Roberto, a vegetable vendor, and Lupe say they were unaware of any danger until two shots rang out and one bullet broke the back windshield, went through the driver’s seat and hit Chan in his right shoulder. Unable to drive, he pulled up while Lupe screamed at the gunmen to stop shooting because they had children in the car. The bullet could have easily hit Chan or Lupe in the head. Mercifully their 6 year old daughter had dozed off, lying flat on back seat, while Lupe cradled their 7-month old son in her arms. Lupe says they believed they had been attacked by bandits who had come across the border, until they saw the green camouflage uniforms of the GSU in the lights of their vehicle. Roberto said there was no road block or police vehicle on the road as they passed, and the GSU had come out of the bush behind their vehicle after they had passed and opened fire.

    Opposition Leader addresses land concerns in Trio Village
    Opposition Leader John Briceño met on Sunday, February 28th with the chairman and residents of Trio Village to discuss their concerns over land ownership. The villagers are being threatened with homelessness after finding out that the land they have been living on for years was sold to South Korean national Sang Yin in 2014. Yin is reportedly urging the residents to leave the land if they cannot pay $20,000. The village residents are mostly poor farmers who have been living on the lands for over twenty-five years. Now they have no one to turn to, as the Government has clearly favoured the foreigner and his money from the start.

    Elizabeth Pridgeon: PCSD is a not-for-profit corporation, run by a group of volunteers, who seek to protect and respect the natural environment along the entire length of the Placencia Peninsula. Established in 2006, PCSD now has a strong following of active members from all three villages of the Peninsula (Placencia, Seine Bight and Maya Beach) alongside an avid group of interested people who follow the organisation’s invaluable work from further afield. A grass-roots environmental group of this nature is a critical force in the sustainable and appropriate development of any tourist area in Belize, and as such it is guaranteeing the livelihoods of future generations of the Peninsula. This week’s Nation Builder is therefore the PCSD as an organisation, and its Board of Directors in particular. PCSD has multiple objectives, all of which it actively ensures it fulfils. The organisation circulates information to local residents (and other interested parties) about environmental and developmental issues of contemporary importance on the Peninsula, ensuring that dubious developmental plans cannot be ‘slipped’ through the approval process without the majority of residents being made aware of the implications. Numerous such occasions could have caused mass-destruction of the native habitats without the prompt and proactive involvement of PCSD. Controversial issues, such as Placencia North International Airport, the Robert Trent Jones II Golf Course and Placencia Marine have been vociferously contested, a campaign which has been continuously led by PCSD.

    Think About It
    The ongoing battle between Guatemala and Belize entered another round on Saturday 27th February 2016, at the Sarstoon River. It was another victory for Guatemala. And another discouraging defeat for Belize. For the last three rounds, this February, last August and last July, Belize had thrown no punches and in return was given a barrage of left jabs and upper-cuts to the face and chest. Belize staggered away humiliated. Guatemala is way ahead on points and Belize is once again looking like a loser. Wil Maheia and a small band of his territorial volunteers announced their intention to be in Sarstoon River and possibly visit the Gracias A Dios border marker. It was one year ago that Guatemala illegally entered Belize and as promised by Guatemala their militarily took away a Belizean vessel with dozens of Belizeans and kept them overnight at Livingston, Guatemala. This Saturday they again, with military might, prevented Wil Maheia and his volunteers from travelling on what is now the former Belize side of the Sarstoon River. The Volunteers had been warned repeatedly by the Belize government not to go. The Belize government has messed up the match between itself and Guatemala. Apparently, they are taking instructions from their coaches and sponsors, who unfortunately have a stake in Guatemala winning the fight. So Belize is going along with wrong advice and needs to seek new coaches and trainers.

    On Red-herrings & Belize State of Affairs
    As Belize prepares for perhaps its most challenging budget exercise ever, an age old political football has been thrown into play. Last Saturday, members of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) attempted to travel up the Sarstoon River for a ceremony at the Gracias a Dios Falls. As noted in the excerpt from the treaty above, Gracias a Dios is one of the definitive points of reference for Belize’s border with neighbouring Guatemala. The BTV was hoping to commemorate the anniversary of an occasion where 37 or their group had been detained and carted off to Livingston for an unplanned visit to the Guatemalan town. As fate would have it, the BTV never made it past the mouth of the Sarstoon River since they were met by a military blockade of Guatemalan ships reportedly well within our waters. As per normal, our Foreign Minster blamed the BTV accusing them of inciting trouble. This Guatemalan issue is a powder keg with a fuse that’s getting shorter and more dangerous. Since 2011 when a few patriotic Belizeans led by firebrand activist Wil Maheia formed themselves into what is now the BTV, the group has been making regular trips to the border. They have been attempting to clear and properly demarcate some areas and more importantly, to bring attention to the aggressive behaviour of Guatemala’s military, some peasants and her political hierarchy. Recently-elected President Jimmy Morales had made it clear even before assuming leadership that one of his goals was to pursue the claim to Belize.

    Editorial: From Rio Hondo to Old Sarstoon?
    This UDP Government has completely sold out to Guatemala. The Government of Belize has openly and unapologetically surrendered control of Belizean territory to Guatemala. Sarstoon Island is located on the south end of Belize’s territorial map. The UDP Government is compelled to inform the Guatemalan military before it does anything on Sarstoon Island, even if it is just to carry out a coast guard visit. We have seen the video footage of “boat races” involving BDF vessels and Guatemalan navy boats, as Belize’s military attempts to conduct patrols of our border points. We have seen the UDP Government’s handling of the situation. More and more, the feeling is as if Sedi and his boss have banded against Belizeans. None of them want Belizeans on or near Sarstoon Island, it appears. Over the weekend, the Belize Territorial Volunteers group came again under aggression by Guatemala’s military during a trip to the Sarstoon Area. The group wanted to go to the Gracia a Dios border marker.

    Carmelita Jrs & Blackwater win in O.Walk U-19 football
    Carmelita Juniors and Blackwater enjoyed big wins in the Orange Walk Town Council’s under-18 football tournament; while Vibes Alive and Crystal posted wins in the under-15 tournament at the Orange Walk Technical High School field on Saturday afternoon. In Game 1, the Orange Walk Central Stars ‘A’ schooled the Blackwater Eagles: 3-zip with goals scored by Jesse “Beast” August, Alexis Chan and Alfredo Gongora. In Game 2, a single strike by Joan Bull was enough to give Vibes Alive the 1-zip win over Orange Walk Central “B” Stars.

    St. Martin de Porres girls win national basketball champs
    The St. Martin De Porres RC School girls defeated the Cayo district champions, the girls of St. Francis Xavier RC School of Esperanza Village, 16-4 to win the primary schools basketball nationals held at the Orange Walk Multi-Purpose Complex over the weekend. For St. Martin’s Shantel Flowers scored 11pts while Cherish Wade added 5pts. The Martin’s girls won 15-8 over Holy Family School girls from Hopkins, Stann Creek to advance to the nationals. The Cayo girls had eliminated the Orange Walk girls 11-6. For 3rd place Stann Creek won 11-4 against Orange Walk; led by Shendra Casimiro with 6 pts and Leandra Ramos scored 4pts. Orange Walk’s Isabella Baeza scored 4pts.

    Joel Vanegas sweeps Belmopan Cycling Classic
    Team DigiCell 4G’s Joel Vanegas rode a record-breaking pace in the 35th annual Belmopan Cycling Classic over the 100 miles on the George Price and Hummingbird Highways to the finish line in front of the A&R Center on Queen Elizabeth Boulevard on Sunday. Top 10 Elites 1st Joel Vanegas – Team DigiCell 4G LTE – 3:53:03 – $1,000 prize & trophy 2nd Giovanni Lovell –Team DigiCell 4G LTE – $700 prize & trophy 3rd David Henderson Jr. – Team Benny’s Megabytes – 3:53:39 – $500 prize 4th Nissan Arana – Team Westrac Alliance – $300 prize 5th Richard Santiago – Team DigiCell 4G LTE – $150 prize

    Eulogio de Enrique Modesto Samos
    Enrique Modesto Samos, J.P. nació el 15 de Julio del 1946, falleció a la edad de 69. En sus propias palabras “todo el Benque celebra mi cumpleaños porque 15 de Julio es la feria del Benque”. A la edad de 20 años fue cuando conoció y se enamoró de Dalia Asaeta con quien se casó a la edad de 21 años. Es matrimonio trajo 2 hijos y 2 hijas, Dalia Juanita, Jose Enrique, Rafael y Crystal Samos, 6 nietos, Alarice, Nailah, Elijah, Zahira, Rafael Jr y Carlito. Don Tito, como lo conocían su familia y sus numerosos amigos siempre fue orgulloso de sus hijos, los 2 hijos doctores, y las dos hijas cosmetólogas. Estudio en la escuela Monte Carmelo y por ser muy inteligente lo brincaban de clases sin terminar el año escolar. Luego estudio contabilidad por correspondencia. Finalmente estudio otro curso de contabilidad en Nova Scotia, Canada.

    Precedent in Guatemala
    There is an important event and much drama unfolding in our neighbor country Guatemala. It started just a few weeks ago, on February 1st to be exact. Of course for proponents it took much, much longer for commencement to actually be made. I am talking about the rape and crimes against humanity trial of ex army officers, a case brought to Court by eleven women who were systematically raped, sexually abused, and enslaved at the military base of Sepur Zarco in the southeast in the 1980s. The horrendous human rights abuses against these indigenous women occurred during Guatemala’s long armed conflict, in which thousands upon thousands of indigenous persons were brutalized and killed by the military. A comprehensive history of the why and the how of Guatemala’s civil conflict has, I believe, yet to be written, and the United States has a lot to answer for, but that is really for another time.

    PUP Leader visits Southern PUP Executive Committees
    PUP Leader Hon. John Briceño has intensified his nationwide tour of PUP committees, visiting leaders and supporters. On Friday, February 26, Hon. Briceno held a meeting with the PUP Executives of Stann Creek West and Dangriga. On Saturday, February 27, Hon. Briceño met with the Executives for Toledo East and Toledo West along with their Area Representatives Hon. Oscar Requena and Hon. Mike Espat.

    Belize is in serious trouble
    Every week things get worse in Belize on every level. Every week it gets harder to make ends meet. Every week we see more and more evidence that this UDP government only cares about a few rich friends and family members. The rest of us can go to hell and they couldn’t care less. All over the world fuel prices have gone down. In Belize they keep going up. This week the UDP shafted us again. The latest shipment of fuel came in and we were supposed to get a big break at the pumps. But the government decides that we don’t deserve a break and they raise import duties on fuel WAY UP – AGAIN. So instead of prices going DOWN, they went UP. How much more of this can we take? Diesel went up by $1.00. Our public transportation system is already in shambles with operators grumbling that they are barely surviving. Commuters are forced to ride on deteriorating buses with onion-skin tires, breaking down all the time, because the margin of profit in the industry is so small that operators can’t pay taxes, salaries, fuel and upkeep. But the fat cats in government don’t care. You think you’d ever see Dean Barrow riding a Tillett’s Bus to Orange Walk, or taking a Shaw Bus to Belmopan?

    Corozal – The Best Is Yet to Come!!
    Dear Editor, As a resident of Corozal Town I am very worried with the recent closure of the Fruta Bomba/Fruit Packers companies in Corozal and the recent banking situation and other business issues at the Corozal Free Zone. At the height of the industry, Fruta Bomba and Belize Fruit Packers employed approximately 1000 persons and the Free Zone at its peak also employed as much as 3,000 workers. It is now the reality that we have lost the jobs in the Papaya Industry as Fruta Bomba/Belize Fruit Packers has announced its closure and has already terminated most of its employees. With the recent banking issues and the incompetent management of the Corozal Free Zone, more employees are being terminated and or advised that they will be working less hours/days. This is translating to a major part of our workforce being underemployed. If the low price for sugar cane is added to these two issues, the employment picture gets real bleak for Corozaleños.

    Call to a national protest!!
    Dear Belizeans, The Sarstoon incident with the Belize Territorial Volunteers has impacted and shamed my sense as a Belizean. The BDF, the Coast Guard, the Police and any other official body which protects our national integrity has been SHAMED and “slapped” by the Guatemalan authorities. The FREE access to our national waters has been blocked by a foreign authority. Our National Anthem has been embarrassed – humiliated – disgraced and discredited. In national protest to our GOB authorities – for ineffective diplomatic results – I call on all Unions, Radio Stations and Media Houses specifically the TEACHERS UNION that for the next month our national anthem is not sung by our children, nor played by radio stations. How can any Belizean sing the national anthem – where it says from the Sarstoon to the Rio Hondo – with pride and dignity when we are embarrassed, shamed and “slapped on the face” by not having the privilege as citizens of this our jewel to travel our own waters????

    Mutiny in the UDP
    There is mutiny in the United Democratic Party. The UDP held a National Party Council meeting on Saturday but it turned out to be more of a bashing exercise against their leader Dean Barrow whose leadership is getting weaker by the day. The BELIZE TIMES has learnt that the ruling Party is slowly breaking into factions, with loyalties switching without mercy. Gaspar Vega has his crowd. Patrick Faber has his too. John Saldivar is also picking up steam but his attention is squarely on football at the moment. Saldivar was still able to get his minions to attend the Party Council meeting and they sent a strong message to Dean Barrow. His crowd was joined by Faber supporters who, we understand, attempted to pass a motion demanding Barrow to step down before the next election.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Soldiers involved in shootout near Caracol
    Reports reaching our newsroom are that late last night, members of the Belize Defense Force were engaged in a shootout with a group of Guatemalan pouchers near the Caracol Archaeological Site in the Cayo District. Unconfirmed reports are that one of the Guatemalan poucher […]

    Guyana hosts 29th Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) on Youth and Culture
    The 29th Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) on Youth and Culture opened on Thursday in Guyana and sees the participation of Regional Ministers of Youth and Culture, ministry officials, representatives of regional and international organizations and CARICOM Youth Ambassadors. The week began […]

    Alleged drug traffickers arraigned in Orange Walk
    The three alleged drug traffickers caught in a police stakeout on Wednesday afternoon appeared in court on Thursday. Michael Requena, 24, Alrick Smith, 30, both from Ladyville and Keith Patrick Flowers, 24, from Belize City appeared before Judge Marlene Moody on the charge of ‘drug trafficking’. The trio […]

    Ministry says Estella Gonzalez should have been jailed
    The actions of Estella Gonzalez, who held a teenager in “slavery” conditions at her George Price Highway bar and forced her to have sex for money, should have condemned her to prison despite her health issues, Human Development CEO Judith Alpuche told reporters today. Justice […]

    One terminated, others to be disciplined in youth hostel fire case
    CEO in the Ministry of Human Development Judith Alpuche has confirmed that one worker at the Youth Hostel on the George Price Highway was fired and others face discipline following the deaths of three teenage girls last November in a fire at the facility. A […]

    Southern Secondary School Sports Association (SSSSA) regional softball competition
    On Saturday March 5th at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, high-schools from down South will challenge each other to make it to the Southern Secondary School Sports Association (SSSSA) national level starting at 9:00 a.m. In the Female category, Stann Creek Ecumenical High from Dangriga, George Town […]

    Basketball and Football Weekend Excitement
    Cayo’s Western Ballaz will start off the exciting long weekend hosting the Belize Hurricanes tonight at 9 inside the Sacred Heart Auditorium. Also at 9 tonight Belize No Limit will play in Sugar City against Orange Walk Running Rebels, while down South, Dangriga Warriors will host Belmopan Bandits. Then on […]

    Belizeans travel to Japan as part of exchange program
    This month four Belizeans will travel to Japan as part of the exchange program “Juntos”, a Japanese Friendship Ties Program with Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Cecy Castillo, Christa Hulse, Donghoon Choe and Raphael Martinez will act as ambassadors during the trip “to promote […]

    Murder reported in Belmopan
    A woman was murdered this morning in Belmopan. Our reports say it took place around 5:30 in a rented apartment on Panama Street, and the perpetrator was a man who either beat or chopped her to death. Information to us suggests the male was behaving in an […]

    Kidney Association of Belize plans activities for World Kidney Month
    March is World Kidney Month and the Kidney Association of Belize will kick off activities on Saturday with its third Annual Kidney Walk and Raffle in Belize City. President Mrs. Ruby Nicholas and administrator Kirk Lainfiesta say the raffle will raise funds for the Association’s activities on […]


    LIVE BLOG: The La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge 201
    Over the years the race grown to see up to and over 120 unique canoes in competitions with notable mentions like BATSUB and the Belize Bank, Pine Lumber and Coop Sheet Metal teams all vying for that coveted first place. Winning isn’t everything, however, as anyone who has paddled from start to finish will proudly say “I survived La Ruta Maya River Challenge!” and proud they should be! So as has been done since 1998, on the 18th anniversary of La Ruta Maya, 60 teams lined up under the Hawkesworth in hopes to paddle their way ahead to the finish line in Belize City on Monday, carrying with them all the excitement and long awaited fun. So to all the teams, good luck, and have a safe, fun filled weekend! This blog is live and will be updated over the course of the competition with the latest photos and statistics.

    La Capitana Pontoon Boat
    What do you do when you live on Ambergris Caye and want to take a local vacation? We needed a change in scenery from the white sandy beaches and coconut trees. After all, just how much sailing, snorkeling and languishing in the Caribbean waters can you take? So, we decided to head to the mountains of mainland Belize to hang out in the jungle with the monkeys and the toucans! Ironically, what was the first thing we wanted to do when we got there? Why get on a boat and play in the water of course! But this river experience promised to be far different from the standard island fare. While staying at Martz Farm Treehouses and Cabanas Ltd in the Cayo District, we were excited to learn that one of the many adventures they had to offer is their signature La Capitana Pontoon Boat tour on the nearby Macal River. Years ago, we had kayaked the same stretch of river before the Vaca Dam was completed in 2010, and we were eager to see how the area had changed. Now, this section of the river has transformed into a lazy tributary, perfect for a pontoon boat tour. What better way to weave through the lush jungle landscape and dramatic cliffs that border the river while exploring waterfalls and playing in the cool mountain water? We couldn’t get our swimsuits on fast enough!

    Palapa Bar Jam Rant
    Longtime tacogirl reader Gary Bowline had this to say about the new Jam. “The Palapa Bar has made Boca del Rio the place to go now for live music. Scott and Jodie have done a fantastic job of remaking the old Wet Willy’s into a great place for food, drinks and Jack is building a vibrant live music scene.” After having gone four times for live music there, I agree with Gary. The new Palapa Bar and Grill is breathing new life into the face of the ever changing music scene on Ambergris Caye. So far I have been there three times for Jam and once to see the current house band Dennis Wolfe and the Swingers. It’s pretty much a guaranteed good time, and with amazing traveling musicians coming together to play with great local talent and the house band, it gets people dancing – hence the reason Dennis picked Swingers as part of the band name.

    International Sourcesizz

    A Comedy Team in Mexico Takes the Law Into Its Own Hands
    Acting on a tip from a disgruntled neighbor, two comedians dressed as drag queens confronted parking officers in broad daylight. The pair wanted to know why the officers, who so ruthlessly enforced parking limits, had never so much as given a warning to the local fruit salesman, whose battered Ford Explorer sat illegally parked all day, every day, in the upper-class neighborhood of Polanco. “So apparently, this car is protected by the god of fruits,” yelled Arturo Hernández, the founder of the Supercívicos, an activist group of comedians whose mission is to embarrass the bad actors of Mexican society with punishing humor. “My, what healthy corruption we have going on here,” he said. The comedians, who brought a camera crew with them, had every intention of making a scene. One of the officers laughed in response, until she was reminded that the video would be uploaded and watched by, at last count, nearly 200,000 people. “Don’t tell me that,” she said, dropping her head. Bad behavior in Mexico, like many places, often goes unpunished. In the most serious example of this, some estimate that 98 percent of killings here go unsolved. More minor infractions — like illegal parking, refusing to throw out garbage and public nuisances — are typically endured with an admirable resolve. But a group of Mexicans is embracing a new way of enforcing the fragile rule of law: public shaming. Epitomized by the Supercívicos, an assortment of urban dwellers, activists and even government officials have taken up the habit of embarrassing illegal parkers, corrupt police officers and bad neighbors who often get away with misbehavior.

    Janice Roberson enjoys mission trip to Belize
    Janice Roberson enjoyed traveling to Belize Feb. 13, through the organization “Fishers of Men International Missions.” This is a non-profit organization formed to spread the love of Jesus Christ in the country of Belize. This organization believes by first meeting the physical needs, through medicine and construction, a better platform is created to meet the spiritual needs. This particular trip was designated for medical and dental treatment. Over 50 people consisting of dentists and others from various work backgrounds joined together for a week of service. Over 1,200 patients with medical and dental needs were seen. Their focus was to assess the needs of children and adults of all ages and administer the needed care. Upon seeing the patients, they wanted to show love and compassion and spread the gospel of Christ. Janice stated that her task was to sterilize instruments. This job assignment allowed her to visit the dental stations to console a frightened child or sing “Jesus Loves Me” with a group having to hold down a child getting first time dental care. Janice saw patients getting dentures for the first time and seeing their bright smile was very fulfilling. She received many hugs.

    Canopy Watch International
    Share the canopy, save the forest. An interesting blog written by a professor/friend discussing central american forest canopy ecology and conservation. The forest canopy has been likened to an undiscovered continent, a last frontier escaping exploration. It is also the greatest warehouse of biodiversity on the planet. The difficulty of climbing or seeing into the canopy means that we know relatively little about this realm. Also, how do we inspire an appreciation for something, or a desire to conserve it, when it is out of reach, out of sight, and largely out of mind? In the 21st century as biodiversity is being erased from the planet faster than ever, it is essential that we establish connections between the forest canopy, science, and public involvement. Canopy Watch International is dedicated to making forest canopies worldwide a target for science, education, and conservation. We seek to inspire curiosity and passion for one of Earth’s last unexplored spaces by taking our audience to the forest canopy via the sharing of videos, sound files, and conversations. We highlight scientific questions on our website and actively pursue and promote scientific research on the ecology of canopy systems. We conduct canopy expeditions as a way to share our excitement for the canopy, and attract international attention to this unique realm. Last, we take people into the tree tops so they can appreciate life at the top of the world.

    Getting SMART about Wildlife Crime
    From Laos to Belize, forest personnel use the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) to more efficiently anticipate and combat wildlife crime. Judging by his army green forester’s uniform, baseball cap emblazoned with a tiger head on the front and WWF panda logo on the side, and wildlife law enforcement experience, you wouldn’t think Jampel Landhep grew up shooting endangered animals. When he was five years old, Landhep began hunting with his father, a Bhutanese poacher who scrupulously trained him in identifying wildlife signs and setting traps. Four years later, however, after killing a serow – a Himalayan goat-antelope – calf and its anguished mother, the ranger’s father cried and prayed in repentance, and taught little Landhep nonviolence toward animals instead. After high school, the boy trained to become a ranger and put his father’s lesson into practice. Since 2011, he’s been atoning for his family’s poaching legacy by patrolling Bhutan’s Royal Manas Park, where he’s been using the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) over the past three years to enhance wildlife law enforcement. In the tool’s first oceanic deployment, SMART has helped Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) field and office staff collaborate to counter illegal fishing in Belize’s Port Honduras Marine Reserve (PHMR). “SMART is helping rangers prove to management the work we do,” says one PHMR ranger. “We have seen the areas that need more patrols and we are able to present more valuable data.”

    Two Studies Strengthen Links Between the Zika Virus and Serious Birth Defects
    The Zika virus damages many fetuses carried by infected and symptomatic mothers, regardless of when in pregnancy the infection occurs, according to a small but frightening study released on Friday by Brazilian and American researchers. In a separate report published on Friday, other scientists suggested a mechanism for the damage, showing in laboratory experiments that the virus targets and destroys fetal cells that eventually form the brain’s cortex. The reports are far from conclusive, but the studies help shed light on a mysterious epidemic that has swept across more than two dozen countries in the Western Hemisphere, alarming citizens and unnerving public health officials. In the first study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that 29 percent of women who had ultrasound examinations after testing positive for infection with the Zika virus had fetuses that suffered “grave outcomes.” They included fetal death, tiny heads, shrunken placentas and nerve damage that suggested blindness.

    US names fourteen major money laundering countries in the region in latest report
    Fourteen nations in the wider Caribbean have been named by the US as “major money laundering” countries in the 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) released by the US State Department on Wednesday. A major money laundering country is defined as one “whose financial institutions engage in currency transactions involving significant amounts of proceeds from international narcotics trafficking". Belize is not a major regional financial centre; however, it has a substantial offshore financial sector. Belize is a transshipment point for marijuana and cocaine, and human trafficking is a concern. There are strong indications that laundered proceeds are increasingly related to organized criminal groups involved in the trafficking of illegal narcotics, psychotropic substances, and chemical precursors. The government of Belize continues to encourage offshore financial activities that are vulnerable to money laundering and terrorist financing, including offshore banks, insurance companies, trust service providers, mutual fund companies, and international business companies.


  • Nelson Fuller Funeral Sevice, 35min.

  • Cast and Producers of Belizen Film 'Time is Money, 22min. On Open Your Eyes...

  • Kidney Association of Belize on Kidney Walk 201, 29min. On Open Your Eyes...

  • Snorkeling in Belize, 7.5min. Black Bird Resort. Belize.

  • Snorkel con tiburones, mantas raya y tortugas (Belize), 1.5min.

  • Dark Cave Swim Through Belize, 1min.

  • Squirrel Cuckoo - JP - Belize, 1/2min. have approached a squirrel cuckoo with my cellphone...

  • Ruta Maya Day 1, 4min.

  • Bruk it Down Miss Jenny!, 28min.

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington on Sarstoon Situation, 50min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • Dr Theodore Aranda Garifuna History Session I Lecture 3, min.

  • Palapa Jam Rant, 6.5min. Feb 3rd 2016 Fifth Jam/open mic night at the New Palapa bar location (Old Wet Willy's). Thurs nights from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

  • Belize 2016, 3.5min. A week of snorkeling, bug bites, sunsets, research and new friends.

  • The Caribbean Crew, 4min.

    Honduras, Belize, Mexico.
  • placencia juggling fire in Belize, 4min. juggling on a beautiful beach in Belize.

  • Welcome to Hamanasi Resort in Belize!, 2min. See what adventures and pleasures await you at Hamanasi, your ideal Belize resort. In one video our staff takes you to the reef, and the rainforest, and shows you the 5 star service we are famous for. The only thing better is to experience it in person!

  • Tikal tour from Belize, 6min. Tour of the Tikal Archaeological site in Guatemala from San Ignacio, Belize

  • Cahal Pech, Belize - San Ignacio, 4.5min. A walk around Cahal Pech in San Ignacio, Belize From Making Belize 02/16.

  • La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge Launch 2016!, 3min. The La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge Canoe Race launched today March 4th, 2016 from under the historic Hawkesworth bridge in San Ignacio, Cayo.

  • Belize - Goff's Caye Snorkel Excursion (2014), 1.5min. Jace Dasher along with family ( Charlie Dasher, Shane Dasher, Diane Dasher & John Dasher visit Belize, and the island of Goff's Caye - snorkeling excursion.

  • BELIZE 2003, 37min.

  • Carnaval 11 Jan 2016, 16min. Carnaval: A Pre-lenten Festivity in Northern Belize

    March 4, 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

    Mexican construction suppliers seek Belize market
    The San Pedro tourism industry is constantly growing and expanding with new hotels springing up everywhere, and this new expansion might well benefit from new technologies and materials offered by five construction suppliers from Chetumal, who participated in a trade mission to Belize on Tuesday, March 1. Breaking with the popular hispanic tradition of: “En martes no te cases, ni te embarques” (Never get married on a Tuesday, nor embark on a trip), some 15 representatives of five major construction companies from Chetumal met with over 30 Belizean construction contractors, engineers, architects and suppliers during a business forum organized and hosted by the Mexican Embassy at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City Tuesday morning. Mexican Ambassador H.E. Carlos Quesnel Melendez was on hand to welcome the delegation; which included “Aceros Lamasi”, the company which supplied the steel for the construction of the Institute of Mexico in Belize City. The company’s foreign sales and wholesale representative, Lic. Maria Del Caribe Rueda Lopez, led their delegation, offering the company’s line of construction steel materials, which included steel bars, beams, I-beams for columns, steel sheeting and other fastenings for the rapid construction of a modern building that can withstand the forces of nature. The company also supplies the “Sika” brand of sheetrock panels, adhesives, surface coatings and finishes to complete a state of the art building to international standards in matter of weeks, rather than months.

    BTV Expedition greeted with a blockade from the Guatemala Armed Forces
    Tensions at Sarstoon River remain high between Belize’s and Guatemala’s armed forces. Even with the ongoing construction of the joint Belize Coast Guard (BSG) and Belize Defense Force (BDF) Forward Operating Base (FOB) at the mouth of the river, Guatemalan armed forces still venture into Belizean water, imposing their territorial claim and driving away Belizeans who they deem to be ‘trespassing’. Most recently, Guatemalan forces blocked the Belize Territorial Volunteers’ (BTV) trip to Sarstoon River on Saturday, January 27th, which is an area within Belizean Territory. This is not the first time Guatemalan forces do such a thing, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is finally taking action. Maheia indicated that Guatemalan authorities do not respect Belizean territory or its people. “There were like five Guatemalan military boats. They didn’t only have one or two people on it; some of these boats had up to 15 people on it. So of course, its human being, human nature – it’s very intimidating what they did. They tried to push our boats towards our military outpost. But the minute we tried getting into it, they’ve blocked us clearly inside Belize waters again. So, I mean right now as a Belizean we cannot even access our own military base without having to check in with the Guatemalans. I just find that this is very disappointing. Clearly they are undermining us. But clearly we can’t give up. This is Belize and we have to fight for ever. So I think that we cannot give up,” said Maheia.

    Community Observes Child Stimulation Month Once Again
    It’s that time of year where crayons or anything imaginable can turn into real-life. It is Child Stimulation Month and nothing is better than commemorating the significance of education by kicking it off with a festive parade. The theme “Early Childhood Development: The Foundation to a Brighter Belize” has set the tone for this school year. All preschool institutions country wide dedicate the month of March to the enlightenment their students with many entertaining activities. According to Lea Miron, teacher at San Pedro Pre-School, “Our students have a month full of different activities, such as sports day, movie day, reading out loud and more. Like they say, all children are smart, but at their own pace.” Who says that education has to be dull and boring? “It is always important to make learning fun,” said Miron. From balloons, costumes, and even the San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School’s drum corps have taken learning to another height.

    Free Pattern Making Classes to be held in San Pedro
    The long years of studying template creation in sewing and fashion design can now be a thing of the past. It may sound unreal but acclaimed Lutterloh system guarantees to eliminate the long hours of training. Those wanting to learn can enjoy a free Pattern -Making class on Saturday, March 5th, at the San Pedro House of Culture. Classes will be available at 5PM and 6PM, and according to the organizer, one hour will be more than enough to master the job. The classes are open for beginners and experts, and according organizer Frank Lutterloh, a lot can be learned. During the one day event on the island, participants will be able to learn how to make their own custom-fit patterns no matter what their measurements are. There will be demonstrations on how to make vests in minutes to fit volunteers at the classes.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    Mildred Cannon's Potato Salad with Durkee Sauce
    Made this yesterday.... yummmmm... I halved the total amount, tweaked the spicing, and seriously increased the amount of Durkee over the original recipe which can be found here ... A classic recipe complete with Ms. Mildred's secret ingredient...Durkee's Famous Sauce, a popular tangy sandwich spread has been around for over 100 years! It was even served in the Lincoln White House! Peel and dice the potatoes Bring salted water to a boil in a large stock pot. Toss the potatoes into the boiling water. Boil until tender, approximately 11-12 minutes. Chill in cold bath to stop the cooking. While the potatoes are boiling, bring a smaller sauce pan of water to a boil. Boil eggs. Once the eggs are done, take them out of the water and set them aside.

    Incredibly sweet dog found, now at SAGA
    Incredibly sweet young female dog followed a nearby guest home to Mata Grande area last night. No collar. Torn right ear. I tried to foster her for the night but she got out and went to another house ..... She is at Saga now.

    The Placencia Breeze March 2016
    Pg 3 BTIA news Pg 6 2016 Placencia Sidewalk Art Festival / Greta Leslie T-Shirt Logo Designer Pg 9 Rotary Club Annual Auction / Reef Week Events Pg 10 Placencia Sailing Club Pg 11 Point of View - Bitters / Chili Cook Off / St. John’s Thank You / IHS Student Lunch Pg 13 Placencia Humane Society / Rotary Club Scholarship Pg 14 Sidewalk Art Festival Pictures Pg 15 & 18 Placencia BTIA members Pg 16 & 17 Placencia Peninsula Map Pg 21 Events & Calendar / Save the Date Pg 24 Beating Cancer through Music Pg 26 Community Corner Pg 27 Swan Villas’ Art Competition / Creature Feature - Monkey Shines Pg 30/31 Paid Listings

    National Agriculture and Trade Show 2016
    The National Agriculture and Trade Show Committee under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, the Environment and Sustainable Development hereby announces the dates for the National Agriculture & Trade Show to be held April 29th, 30th and May 1, 2016. The Committee advises that reservation and sale of concession stands, food stalls, open spots and commercial booths will commence on March 4, 2016 at the office of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, the Environment and Sustainable Development – Market Square old lands building in the City of Belmopan between the hours of 9:00 am to 4 pm. Previous holders of concession stands, food stalls, open spots, and commercial booths who participated at the 2015 National Agriculture & Trade Show are also advised that they must make arrangements for the renewal of their lease by April 15, 2016.

    Hon. Dean Barrow Appointed as a Member of the Privy Council
    Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has announced that Prime Minister of Belize Hon. Dean Barrow has been appointed as a Member of the Privy Council. With this, the Prime Minister can now legitimately be referred to as the Right Honourable Dean Barrow. The announcement was published on the website of the Office of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on March 1, 2016. This comes after the Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow’s appointment to his third term as the Prime Minister of Belize. Rt. Hon. Barrow was first elected Prime Minister in 2008, followed by his consecutive wins in 2012 and 2015.

    20,000 Strong Women's Rally
    March 11th, 2016

    2016 CCRIF Scholarships
    Applications for the 2016 CCRIF Scholarships are hereby invited from individuals who are citizens of CARICOM member countries and/or CCRIF member countries in the Caribbean1. Eligible programmes include one-year Masters-level courses in the following areas which are available at eligible regional universities** or at universities in the United Kingdom/ United States/Canada: (Catastrophe) Risk Management, Property/Casualty Insurance, Meteorology, Other hazard/disaster related disciplines. Eligible programmes also include an MBA with a Major in risk management and/or insurance or a related field.

    Miss Nils passes away
    We are sad to report that Miss Nils, one of the legendary ladies of the Roots in the Sea documentary, has passed. Another Hicaquena called home. R.I.P. Miss Nils.

    Corozal Town Council Employee sacked of day's Tax Deposit
    Corozal Police have indicated to the media that earlier this week a Corozal Town Council employee was readily pillaged of his deposit bag while on his way to a routine deposit at the bank. The employee was robbed of an undisclosed amount of tax monies but Corozal Police assert that the amount could be anywhere between $7,000 to $15,000.

    Spanish Lookout Commercial Expo 2016
    From - Today, 9:33 AM The Spanish Lookout Business Expo was this weekend, and Rumors Resort was there to get some pictures. They got some great pictures from above. "If you’re the type who appreciates fantastic bargains on items for construction/ gardening, automotive, and foods, then the Spanish Lookout Commercial and Industrial Expo is certainly something you’d want to start marking down on your calendar for the next event."

    Upcoming BTB tour guide courses
    Please secure your spaces now for the upcoming tour guide courses for 2016 by contacting the institutions and persons listed below.

    Car park by Sylvestre Sports Complex now open
    We would like to inform the public that the car park located in front of the Hon. Louis Sylvestre Sports Complex, is now open for long term parking free off charge. Please use this car park if you are going to park all day, this will free up parking in town for short term parking. San Pedro Traffic Department

    CARICOM Youth Ambassadors Vice-Dean, Belizean Ms Tarun Butcher is urging optimum participation of young people in the activities of the Caribbean Community. Ms Tarun was addressing Regional Ministers of Youth and Culture, Ministry officials, representatives of regional and international organisations and CARICOM Youth Ambassadors at the opening of the 29th Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) in Guyana, Thursday.

    Scholarship Opportunities!!! Take Note Corozal!
    The Organization of American States (OAS), through the Department of Human Development, Education and Employment (DHDEE) and the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), through the OAS Partnerships Program for Education and Training (PAEC), are offering scholarships to qualified candidates of the Americas to participate in masters degree programs below.

    Having Fun with Rights Launch
    Having Fun with Rights had its release party. Thanks, Special Envoy Belize! "Having Fun with Rights: A Children's Rights Activity Book was launched today at the Bliss! Photos coming soon!"

    Clean-up campaign in Arenal
    Arenal is one of the 19 communities targeted for a healthier Mopan River. Garbage continues being a trans-border issue. FCD’s educator led a community clean-up campaign in the village.

    Channel 7

    A Zinc Fence Between Leader Briceno and The Old Guard?
    Tuesday March 7th, that's the date for first house meeting in John Briceno's second go as leader of the opposition. But this time, the often-accommodating Briceno looks like he's playing hardball with his party's old guard. He already turned down old guard favourite Lisa Shoman who wanted to stay on as a Senator - and on Tuesday in the house, he's putting what you might call a zinc fence between himself and the old Guard. And by zince fence, we mean Cordel Hyde. Reports to 7News say that the seating arrangements for the opposition bench have been finalized, and it's a shocker: the four term Lake I Representative - who is not on the PUP executive - is going to take the seat right beside Briceno - while Francis Fonseca and Said Musa will then be seated after Hyde. Now, that second seat right after the leader is usually reserved for a former leader or a deputy leader; it's a mark of respect and seniority. But, Briceno, who did say he would find a meaningful place for Cordel Hyde is putting him in the second seat - suggesting a sort of de-facto deputy. The actual deputies, four of them will be seated after Said Musa. Now, the arrangement of seating on the opposition bench in the house of representatives is mostly political trivia for deep insiders, but it does give a very clear indication of the balance of power, as to who's in play and who is not.

    Why Did NICH Do The Deal With Bradley Paumen?
    American Tour Operator Bradley Paumen - his name hasn't been in the news for a few weeks now - but for a while there in January and February, he dominated the headlines. After all, it's not everyday that one of the largest tour operators in the country gets accused of orchestrating an elaborate murder conspiracy and lands up in jail on remand for it! But, Paumen is out on bail and back to operating his business - and he does so in partnership with NICH - which gave him exclusive rights to use two caves which are part of an archaeological reserve. Of course getting to the caves involved the trespass on Michael Modiri's land - which is the cause of all the criminal confusion. But what is the NICH side of the story? Today, after weeks of trying to get a comment, we got a chance to ask the NICH President Diane Haylock and the Director of the Institute of Archaeology Dr. John Morris about it. We caught them at another event in Benque Viejo and here's how Morris explained the approach to the contract:..

    Will Diane Be Moving On?
    But, back now to Diane Haylock. Persistent rumours for the last 6 weeks or so say that her time as President of NICH could be coming to an end. There is a new minister who's been actively recruiting new members for the NICH Board - and reports suggest he might also be shopping for a new president. Today we asked Haylock squarely about those rumours:... Jules Vasquez: "Is it true that is rumored that there is a new minister of state in youth and culture and person may have intensions for another president? You've been president of NICH for 8 years. Are you moving on as president?" Diane Haylock, President - NICH: "I'm on my way for 8. Jules, I cannot answer that question. I really don't know." Jules Vasquez: "Might you be tipped for an ambassadorial post in maybe Taiwan?" Diane Haylock, President - NICH: "There is as of rumor floating around town?" Jules Vasquez: "What is your presence? We know that you are a favorite of the Prime Minister. So you can't be treated likely." Diane Haylock, President - NICH: "For me that's not an issue until there is something to talk about."

    Meheia And Volunteers Will Protest At House
    At the top of the news we told you about the opposition seating for the House of Representatives next week Tuesday, but while that's playing out inside, outside the house, Wil Maheia and the Belize Territorial Volunteers will be picketing the meeting. Maheia and the volunteers don't believe that the Government's response to the aggressive tactics of the Guatemalan Navy in the Sarstoon River is enough. So, they're calling all Belizeans who feel the same to join them on Independence Hill. But, he might not get the support of the 39 Mayan communities in the south. That's because they say he misspoke this weekend when he suggested that illegal Guatemalans have been welcomed freely into Mayan Communities, without the same level of strict scrutiny that non-Mayan Belizeans are subjected to. The Program Coordinator for the Maya Leaders Alliance told us via phone today that Maheia's suggestion that Guatemalans are allowed into Mayan communities is completely wrong:

    Trio Charged For weed, Bailed
    Last night we showed you the major weed bust that Orange Walk police made. They caught 16 pounds of weed coming down from the north. The marijuana was stuffed inside the panels of a Cadillac Escalade. Police believe the Escalade was being escorted by a Mercedes sedan. Today, the three men in two vehicles were taken to Orange Walk Magistrate's court to be arraigned for drug trafficking. They are: Alrick Smith, Keith Patrick Flowers and Michael Requena. They were taken to court this afternoon, where they were represented by attorney Dickie Bradley. They were bailed for twenty thousand dollars each. The marijuana is compressed and police believe that it originated in Mexico. They had intelligence that Smith and others would be bringing it down from the north.

    PM Barrow Ascends To Privy Council
    All members of the national assembly, 12 Senators and 31 Representatives carry the title "Honourable" before their names. But only two living Belizeans are called "Right Honourable": they are Manuel Esquivel and Said Musa. George Price was also "Right Honourable." All of them are multi-term Prime Ministers. Well, only one PM was left out of that club: Prime Minister Dean Barrow, and, now in his third term, he's "Right Honorable" too. The Government Press Office made it official today. A release says "Queen Elizabeth the Second has appointed Prime Minister Barrow as a member of the Privy Council." With this, he will now be called Right Honourable Dean Barrow - and that's even after he retires from politics. The appointment was announced on the website of the Office of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom two days ago. Typically the designation "Right Honourable" is conferred after a prime minister has served two terms - usually ten years, but Barrow did his two terms in just 7 years - so, we imagine the old Queen is just catching up.

    DPP Says Ravell Should Pay More, Court Agrees
    In June 2008, Ravell Gonzalez, who was Orange Walk's Mayor at the time, knocked down and killed two people on the northern highway. He was arrested and charged with 2 counts of causing death by careless conduct for the deaths of Manuel Coto and his 2 year-old toddler Martita Lopez. He was tried and convicted last year in the Supreme Court, and Justice Troadio Gonzalez imposed fines to a total of $8,000, and compensation to the family of the 2 year-old toddler who was killed. Well, Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl Lynn Vidal didn't think that justice was served with that sentence, and so she appealed the case yesterday before the Court of Appeal. After making her case to the judges, the Appeal Court agreed. They set aside the Supreme Court sentence and ordered him to pay a new fine of $8,000 and $10,000 in compensation to the family of the victims. He must pay the fine and compensation over a period of 2 years. If he defaults on payment he will serve 9 months.

    More Conch Caught
    Yesterday, we told you how the Coast Guard and the Fisheries Department caught 3 men fishing illegally in an area near Glovers Reef. Well, Fisheries officers were back out on their patrols yesterday, and they came upon a boat which had just over a thousand undersized conch. Today, the Department's Conservation Compliance Unit's Supervisor told us what drew the officers' attention to this boat: Hampton Gamboa, Supervisor, Conservation Compliance Unit: "Yesterday morning at about 10:50 thereabout, fisheries officers conducting patrols from Belize City here to Emily, Caye Glory, Long Caye and farther south, came across a sailboat near Alligator Head Caye, south of Belize City and while searching the vessel, a sailboat, they observed a number of parcels of undersized or what appears to be undersized conch. So the officers on the patrol started to do a check of individuals by weighing them and with the first bag that they sorted out, the entire bag was undersized. Hence, officers continued with their inspection of the vessel and came across more parcels and they ended up detaining five fishermen for one thousand, forty individual conch."

    Bradley Roe Gets Free
    In January, it made news when the heir to the Roe Group of Companies, 25 year old Bradley Roe was busted allegedly with .02 grammes of cocaine. Well, today he was set free after the test on the substance came back negative for cocaine and heroin. That's right. Prosecutor, Sgt. Claude Pitts conceded to not having any evidence to prove the charge for possession of cocaine so he withdrew the charge and Magistrate Carlon Mendoza told him he was free to go. Roe was represented by Attorney, Liesje Barrow-Chung. Bradley Roe was supported by a number of family members today in court including his father, Adrian.

    Contraband Clothing?
    Two Belizeans were arrested in Mexico this morning for attempting to smuggle three large bundles of clothing. Mexican authorities say that around 3:30 this morning they noted two individuals inside a red Toyota van with Belize taxi plates acting suspiciously. The men are described in a Mexican newspaper report only as 36 year old Cristobal N, and 32 year old Cesar N, both residents of Corozal. The men were travelling on the main Highway in Chetumal when upon reaching the entrance to the community of Ucum which is near the Rio Hondo, the police pulled them over. When they were informed that a search would be conducted, police say that the men began acting nervous. That's when the federales came upon the three large plastic bags which contained an assortment of clothing. The men were asked for documentation to prove that they were transporting the goods legally but they could not provide any. As a result both Cristobal and Cesar were escorted to the customs Department in Subteniente Lopez to be prosecuted for the offence.

    Cotton Pickin' Good!
    In early February we told you about the grant from the Government of Japan to develop the Belize Sea Island Cotton Industry Limited. At that time, just like us, you were probably saying, "wait, which sea island cotton industry?" Well there is one and it is actually rated the best in the world. So how do Belizean cotton growers produce such high quality cotton? And what makes it so sought after? We traveled north today to find out. Courtney Weatherburne reports. Inoue told us that they plant the seeds in early July, harvest the cotton in November and then there is the full production in January. There are only about 20 workers at his factory and farm in the North.

    Cash Flow Crisis in Citrus Industry
    This afternoon, the Belize Citrus Growers Association released a public statement that the Citrus Products Belize Limited, the company which buys the oranges from the Farmers, owes farmers 2 outstanding pay cheques. Well, the Association is noting that CPBL has been working on a loan from the Heritage Bank to cover the payroll, but it's still being processed at this time. No one knows for sure when the loan, said to be a several million dollars, will be fully approved, but the CGA notes that its farmers need to be paid for their produce urgently. According to the CGA, the CPBL remains uncertain when it will get the money.

    What Is The Weight On The Road?
    You might not think of it, but Belize's narrow highways take quite a load with all the heavy trucks that traverse them. But how heavy is that load? That's what the Ministry of Works and Transport is trying to find out with an axle load survey. They were doing it today in front of the Community Center in Camalote village. They're trying to find out how much weight the highways carry daily and that data will be used to assist engineers in improving future highway designs, to improve routine performance and periodic maintenance. The survey began yesterday and will continue on until next week Thursday the 10th of March.

    PUP Flip-Flop-Flip On The ICJ
    Last year the Francis Fonseca Leadership of the PUP "did a 180" ICJ and told its supporters to say no to the ICJ. That was a little before the campaign season for the General Elections, and the position at the time was that the PUP was saying no to the ICJ if the Barrow Administration was the one managing the process. Well, now that John Briceno is now the leader of the Party once again, the PUP had done yet another 180% turn. It looks like a flip-flop, but yesterday, Briceno told the media that the party has returned to its position of going to the ICJ, a position which it held while it kind of originated while in Government: "We will certainly be revisiting that position. That is why we have asked some of the most talented people, some of the most experienced people when it comes to the Belize/Guatemala issue differendum, to advise us as a party and that is why we have appointed the 5 former foreign ministers that work under a PUP government - to form a team to be able to work with us and to advise us a way forward. So we are certainly going to be looking at that and so see what is the position that we are going to take as a party. But again, I want to reiterate that when it comes to the Belize/Guatemala issue, that should not be political, that we need to work together, we as the opposition with the government to be able to find a peaceful resolution."

    Belize Times Tax Woes
    And while Briceno has to clear up the confusion on the ICJ issue, it appears that he also has to figure out what to do with the Belize Times Newspaper. The paper has been operating in the red for years, and photographs we saw today suggest that the Belize Times owes the Government of Belize ten's of thousands of dollars in General Sales Tax. There is no date to say exactly when the arrears are owed, which, as seen here, are listed at over $39,800, and this one which says almost $4,000 is owed. This note says that the proprietors of the Belize Times received numerous notes, and this final notice says that the arrears have not been cleared. The personnel from the GST, as noted here, is recommending court action against the PUP managers of the Belize Times for failing to pay General Sales Tax.

    Jackson Gun Was Stolen
    In the past two nights we've told you all about the alleged armed robber Jamal Jackson who is accused of shooting a woman police constable in her head. He's been charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license and attempted murder but Ladyville police say that the gun he was caught with is also stolen from their village. It was reported stolen in September of 2015 and he has been charged for handling stolen goods. Police say that Jackson led them to the gun after they caught him.

    Belize Law Enforcement Takes On Global Challenge
    From Baker City in Oregon, USA to Las Vegas Nevada is 120 miles. That is about the same distance from Belmopan to Corozal through Boom. Now it's already a long and tedious stretch in a vehicle, so imagine how that it is on foot!! That's what the Baker to Vegas, B2V annual foot race is all about. It is one of the most prestigious law enforcement relays in the world that sees thousands of participants. This year Belize law enforcement was invited to participate. So for the past five months, personnel from police departments, BDF, Coast Guard, and Customs have been on some strict and brutal workout routines in preparation for this event - which is now only a couple weeks away. We stopped by at the Marion Jones stadium today as the team- dubbed the "Belize Protectors" held one of their daily training sessions. They are fund raising and another event is coming up this weekend. The committee will be selling Belize Protectors t-shirts at the annual La Ruta Maya challenge and the public is being invited to buy a t-shirt or two, in support of the team.

    Agric' In April
    The Agriculture and Trade Show is one of the biggest national events of the year. Thousands flock to the event ANNUALLY. The show won't happen for another two months, but for an event like this, organization is key. That is why the Ministry of Agriculture is already advising business owners to secure their spots for the event. Starting tomorrow, March 4th, the reservations and sale of concession stands, food stalls, open spots and commercial booths will commence at the office of the Ministry of Agriculture in Belmopan. This fair itself starts on Friday April 29th, and will conclude on Sunday May 1st.

    A Cattle Caution
    Vaccinate your cattle now! That's the strong advice to farmers coming from BAHA which sent out a public advisory today about the cattle diseases Rabies and Blackleg. It is particularly being recommended for cattle which have not been vaccinated for rabies in the last year and for cattle who have not been vaccinated for Blackleg in the last six months. Farmers are being advised to use the seven-way Blackleg vaccine which is available in all farm supply stores. If still in doubt farmers are also being encouraged to seek additional information with livestock or with registered veterinarians.

    German Tailoring In Belize
    A tailor from Germany traveled all the way from his home country to teach Belizeans how to sew patterns- with finesse. Frank Lutterloh is holding workshops at a fabric store on Albert Street, and, best part is, it's free! He told us more about this event and why, if you are a tailor or a seamstress, you wouldn't want to miss it. He's holding sessions all day tomorrow and on Saturday at Mikado.

    The Beautiful Southerners
    It's 2 weeks away but the Stann Creek Ecumenical High School is already making the media rounds to try to convince the residents of Dangriga and the surrounding communities to come out and support the 6 high school beauties who are participating in the Miss Ecumenical Pageant. It's the pageant's third year, and the teacher who's planning it brought the contestants all the way from Dangriga to Belize City just to get them on TV. She told us more today: The Pageant takes place on Thursday, March 17 on the High School's compound.

    Channel 5

    Alrick Smith and 2 Others Are Arraigned in Sugar City for Drug Trafficking
    Three men arrested and charged by Orange Walk Police on Wednesday afternoon were today arraigned in Magistrate’s Court on charges of drug trafficking. They were found with a high grade [...]

    Former Orange Walk Mayor Appears Before Appellate Court
    In June 2008, then Mayor of Orange Walk Town Ravell Gonzalez knocked down and killed two persons near Rhaburn Ridge on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Manuel Coto was pushing a [...]

    5 Fishermen Charged for Over One Thousand Undersized Conch
    There’s another bust to report tonight and it involves conch. The Fisheries Department seized a large quantity of illegally harvested seafood, following a search conducted on a vessel south of [...]

    Belizean Smugglers Busted in Chetumal
    Two alleged smugglers from Belize were arrested in Chetumal after they were caught along the bank of the Rio Hondo with multiple packages of clothing, tightly compressed in black plastic [...]

    What’s the Deal with Pensioners Not Receiving Monies from UK?
    Imagine you’re a retired pensioner in Belize, collecting your monthly check. It’s your only income. That’s what you use to buy groceries, to pay your rent or mortgage, to pay [...]

    …Heritage Bank’s Managing Director Explains
    So what’s behind this crisis for pensioners early in the New Year? Well, there are only two things in banking that have changed significantly and recently – one is the [...]

    Right Honorable Dean Barrow
    Dean Barrow is the fourth Prime Minister of Belize to be named to the Privy Council. The announcement was made in London by Queen Elizabeth so it means that the [...]

    A Cash Flow Problem Looms Over the Citrus Industry
    There is brewing concern in the citrus industry tonight after growers were informed via a Citrus Growers Association release that payroll in the immediate future is uncertain. Here’s the situation [...]

    Is Heritage Bank Impacted by De-risking?
    The issue of the loss of correspondent banking has been affecting the way business is done in Belize and elsewhere in the Caribbean. Earlier today, Steve Duncan, the Managing Director [...]

    Transition from FCIB to Heritage Bank is Relatively Smooth
    One month ago, First Caribbean International Bank closed its doors for the last time in Belize. The operation and assets of that bank were taken over by Heritage Bank, previously [...]

    BTV to Protest Sarstoon Incident at House Meeting
    It’s been over a year since thirty-seven Belizeans on an expedition to the Sarstoon were escorted by Guatemalan military to Livingston, Guatemala. The first anniversary of that event was to [...]

    A Minor is Raped by Her Brother-in-law in Toledo
    Police report tonight another case of sexual assault of a minor from Bella Vista Village, Toledo. A young girl, who was allegedly violated at the age of fifteen, has only [...]

    Outgoing Taiwanese President to Visit Belize in March
    Taiwan’s Outgoing President Ma Ying Jeou is scheduled to visit the Jewel on March sixteenth and seventeenth, as part of a farewell tour of three countries, including the United States, [...]

    Belize’s Relationship with Taiwan Discussed
    Since his election as President of Taiwan in 2008, Belize has shared a cordial relationship with his administration, resulting in scholarship and economic opportunities, as well as cultural exchange programs.  [...]

    Pediatric Mission Planned for Belize District
    A group of twelve doctors from the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Virginia, U.S.A. is visiting Belize this weekend for a pediatric mission across Belize District. It’s the [...]

    Baker to Las Vegas, Belize Prepares to Take on the Challenge
    A team of law enforcement athletes from Belize will be making their first appearance at the Challenge Cup/Baker to Vegas Relay in the U.S.  They will be competing among eight [...]

    Agric Show is Set for Late April
    The agric show, which usually draws huge crowds to the showground in Belmopan, will be held on April twenty-ninth, thirtieth and May first this year. Preparations are in full swing [...]

    Healthy Living: Sugar Tax for Healthier Living in Barbados
    Diabetes, Hypertension, Heart Disease and Cancer…these are all diseases that have become a mega priority worldwide. They’re classified as NCDs – non communicable diseases – or diseases that are not [...]


    Former UDP Mayor Loses Traffic Accident Appeal
    Last year former UDP Mayor of Orange Walk Town Ravell Gonzalez was convicted of 2 counts of causing death by careless conduct after he knocked down and killed Martina Lopez, a two-year-old, and Manuel Coto on June 15th, 2008, at mile 35 on the Phillip Goldson Highway near Rahbrun Ridge. Gonzalez was fined $4,000 for each count and he was ordered to pay $1,000 to the family of the victims. The decision was appealed by the by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lyn Vidal and upheld today by the Belize Court of Appeal who set aside Gonzalez’s sentence and ordered him to pay a fine of $8,000 and $10,000 in compensation to the family of the victims. Gonzalez was ordered to pay the fine and compensation over a period of 2 years or in default he will serve 9 months in prison. Gonzalez was represented by attorney Tricia Pitts Anderson and the DPP was assisted by Crown Counsel Sheneiza Smith.

    PUP Officially Announces Appointment Of New Senators
    In a press release issue this afternoon the People’s United Party official announced the appointment of their new senators. As mentioned by Party Leader John Briceno yesterday, Eamon Courtenay, Valerie Woods, and Paul Thompson will now represent the Opposition as senators. In the release the PUP took the opportunity to recognize and extend their gratitude for the sterling work of former Senators Lisa Shoman, Patrick Andrews and Anthony Sylvestre. The new Senators of the People’s United Party will be officially sworn in at the first occasion of a meeting of the Senate in the very near future says the PUP.

    Accused Drug Traffickers Granted Bail
    Yesterday we told you about the operation carried out by the Orange Walk Police Formation that yielded over 14 pounds of marijuana. Police received intelligence of a vehicle coming from Corozal, headed towards Orange Walk which was suspected to be transporting drugs from across the Mexican Border. Yesterday at around 3:30 police intercepted the vehicle believed to be transporting the drugs, a gold Cadillac Escalade being driven at the time by twenty four year old Michael Requena of a Ladyville address. Requena was ordered to stop by police as he approached the roundabout near Pucte Villas on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Also inside the vehicle was 24 year old Keith Patrick Flowers, who was just deported from the US after spending time in jail for the offence of kidnapping. Following about 100 yards behind the gold Cadillac Escalade was a black Mercedes Benz which was being driven at the time by 30 year old Alrick Smith, who is well known to Orange Walk Police after he was charged with drug trafficking back in December of last year. The vehicle was also believed to be transporting drugs.

    Real Issues Needs To Be Battled At The House, Says Leader Of The Opposition
    Leader of the Opposition John Briceno met yesterday with Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow in Belize City where a number of national issues were discussed including the current correspondent banking relationships faced by Belize and the long standing territorial dispute between Belize and Guatemala which has escalated to Belizeans being blocked from entering the Sarstoon River by Guatemalan Authorities. The most recent case witnessed on Saturday last by the Belize Territorial Volunteers. Also at the top of the agenda was the behavior of parliamentarians in the House of Representatives. Now we all know that to date the level of discourse in the House is negative. In fact we can safely say that none of the national issues are dissected and Belizeans now prefer to just tune out instead of watching or listening to the back and forth. The next House of Representatives is expected to reconvene on Tuesday March 8th. Hopefully, after the discussion held with the P.M, Belizeans will witness a higher level of debate, says Briceno.

    PUP Appoints A Number Of Committees
    Earlier this week the People’s United Party announced the formation of the Belize/Guatemala Advisory Committee which former Foreign Minister Eamon Courtenay forms a part of. Apart from that committee the party also set up a team that will look at registration and redistricting and a legal team. Honorable John Briceno – Leader of the People’s United Party: “Re-registration is a must it has been twenty years since the last registration was carried out so I have asked the Honorable Kareem Musa to deal with that and he has graciously accepted and he is going to set up his team to look at that issue, w also setting up a group of legal team, we have a legal advisor which is Anthony Sylvester Jr. but we believe that there are many issues that we need to look at but for instance propose bills that the government that will present to us we want a team of lawyers to look at it, we want to look at clinics, we want to look at if there is going to be any challenges with the government on any issue so we want to get a group of lawyer that we can depend on.”

    Two Corozaleno Detained Arrested In Chetumal Quintana Roo
    Two Belizean men said to be from the Corozal District were arrested yesterday In Chetumal Quintana Roo in the community of UCUM by elements of the State Police after they were found in possession of several bales of clothing suspected to hail from the from the Corozal Commercial Free Zone. According to reports published by Diario Respuesta, authorities were on routine patrol when they noticed two individuals who were traveling aboard a red Toyota minivan, with licence plates CZL D-00524, behaving suspiciously. The individuals identified as 36 year old Christopher Cano from Concepcion Village in Corozal and 32 year old Cesar Campos Gonzalez of San Victor Village also of Corozal, were asked to stop the vehicle but instead of coming to a halt they tried to flee. Authorities however, managed to catch up with them and a search of the vehicle led them to three bales of clothing for which the individuals could not provide a receipt of purchase or any document to prove the legal entry of the clothing.


    PM Dean Barrow Earns Title of ‘Right Honorable’
    The title, Right Honorable has been bestowed upon Belize’s Prime Minister, Dean Barrow through an appointment to the Privy Council. The announcement came via a release from the Office of the British Prime Minister on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. Prime Minister Dean Barrow was appointed by the Queen of England at the advice of the […]

    Central Bank Delays Money for Citrus Growers
    The citrus industry in Belize is one that employs hundreds of workers and thus contributes greatly to the government’s revenue. Tonight, we can tell you that there is trouble in the land of oranges and grapefruits and with an estimated forty to forty five thousand acres dedicated to the citrus trees, if immediate attention is […]

    De-Risking?? … Cigarette Importers …. Corozal Free Zone
    For some time now, we have been hearing about the effects of derisking and its implications on the Belizean economy. Love News learnt that it is affecting cigarette traders in the Corozal Free Zone. Executive Chairman Gregory Gibson spoke on the matter. GREGORY GIBSON “We have noted some slow down, I’m sure that has to […]

    A Look at the Corozal Free Zone
    Political observers, specifically from the People’s United Party, have voiced concerns in regards to the Corozal Free Zone. In our interview with Leader of the Opposition yesterday, John Briceno made reference to the Free Zone as he spoke on economic development. Briceno says there are concerns with the zone and if Government does not address […]

    Economic Development Team for the PUP
    John Briceno is thirty two days into his leadership of the People’s United Party and since then we have told you of the tour of the thirty one electoral divisions that he has embarked on. We have told you of the three new Senators to be nominated as well as the ongoing restructuring of the […]

    Nat’l Territorial Volunteers Express Solidarity to the BTV
    The Northern Territorial Volunteers have expressed their solidarity with the Belize Territorial Volunteers. In its release, the NTV expressed their disappointment with Government’s response to the actions of the Guatemalan military last Saturday on the Sarstoon. The NTV says quote “the incursion into Belizean Territory on February 27th by the Guatemalan armed forces is the […]

    A Legal Team for the People’s United Party
    Earlier we told you of the Economic Development Team that the People’s United Party is in the process of creating. There are several other teams and committees in the making including a legal team. Party Leader John Briceno spoke on the mandate of the party’s legal team. JOHN BRICENO “We are setting up a group […]

    Punta Gorda Has New Police Commander
    There is a new officer commanding the Toledo Police Station. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details.

    Injured on the Job at ESSO; Limited Help from Social Security or Former Employer
    Forty five year old Sheldon Dennison was on our newscast last year. He told us the story of being a worker at the Esso, which is now known as Puma Energy, on Caesar Ridge road. He worked maintenances on oil tanks. He had to stop working at Esso in 1993 because he was injured on […]

    Major Conch Bust Near Alligator Head Caye
    There was a major conch bust that took place by the Fisheries Department yesterday in the area of Alligator Head Caye just south of Belize City. The members of the department were patrolling the area when they happened upon a sailboat containing undersized conch. Hampton Gamboa, Fisheries Officer spoke to the media on the incident. […]


    Professionals address climate change in urban areas
    A group of professional associations have partnered with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (CCCCC) to agree on and present solutions for building urban resilience to climate change. The Belize Association of Planners (BAP); the Association of Professional Engineers of Belize (APEB); and ...

    COLA says Ashcroft rejected Port Loyola project; wants Stake Bank back on table
    Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) has been keenly following developments regarding the establishment of a cruise port docking facility for the Belize District. In January they called out the Government for seeming to change its stance from its days in Opposition on the Luke Espat-...

    Police have new rules for treatment of witnesses
    For more than 15 years police had been operating under the Judges’ Rules, a manual on conducting investigations and taking proper statements from witnesses. But many of these statements were not allowed into evidence as a result of alleged torture, coercion or other improper behaviour by police offi...

    Cayo Resident lost weapon in rented vehicle
    A Businessman of Esperanza village rented out a car to a customer without taking his 9mm pistol out of the glove compartment. 43-year-old Phillip Elvis Orellano, a businessman of Esperanza Village reported that on Tuesday the 1st of March, his wife rented out a red 2002 Mitsubishi Montero to a custo...

    Southern Cable Network worker robbed at work
    A cashier of Southern Cable Network in Dangriga was held up and robbed at work. On Monday the 29th of February, 19-year-old Dianie Munoz, a cashier for Southern Cable Network in Dangriga was at work alone and was robbed. Sometime around 12:50pm, a dark complexion male person with a handgun forced h...

    One and a half pound of weed found in Salvapan
    Four people were arrested on the 1st of March as a result of a drug bust. On Tuesday the 1st of March around 8:52 am, a search was conducted in the Salvapan area at the home of Lucilla Ramos. One and a half pounds of weed were found in the house. In the house at the time were Eric Garcia, Lillian Ra...

    Quick Police Response leads to discovery of stolen items
    Quick police response led to the discovery of a stolen 9mm pistol and ammunition. On Monday the 29th of February, A resident of roaring creek village reported that his licensed 9mm pistol with three magazines containing live rounds were stolen from his residence. Quick and decisive police action res...

    The Guardian

    The Belize Athletics Association invites all athletes and track enthusiasts once again to be a part of a National Track and Field Championship event. The event will be hosted at the Marion Jones Sports Complex on the 12-13 March, 2016. All athletes 16 years and older can participate in the events. Registration forms can be obtained from and returned to the BAA via email ( or from our Facebook page (Belize Athletics Association). Cost of registration is $10.00 per athlete. Events will include: 100m 200m 400m 800m 1500m 4x100m 4x400m Long Jump Triple Jump High Jump Javelin Shot put Discus

    PUP leader sacks senators
    While the Leader of the Opposition finds himself trying to clear the PUP out of a financial mess in which it was left by Francis Fonseca, Johnny is taking no time out and is doing a complete house cleaning. He started the task by appointing his surrogates to the top positions of his party a couple of weeks ago and he has been meticulous in his house cleaning. On Wednesday he announced that even the senators were not safe from his purging. He unceremoniously sacked Jason Andrews, Anthony Sylvester and even Lisa Shoman. He replaced them with Eamon Courtenay, Paul Thompson and Valerie Woods. The replacements were being rumored for a few days now and the removal of Andrews and Sylvester came as no surprise. These two are considered intellectual lightweights who had been kept as senators not for their contributions to the Senate discussions but for their allegiance to Francis Fonseca, the former PUP leader. The sacking is doubly hard for Sylvester who was the go to guy whenever there were frivolous and inconsequential matters which the PUP wanted to take the courts. We understand that he is most upset over his removal and he is telling anyone who cares to listen that he will resign from the PUP. He apparently believes that his contributions during these dark days of the PUP should have at least earned him the staying power in the Senate.

    Johnny has to pay Francis Fonseca’s debts - Belize Times going to court for not paying GST
    Johnny Briceno has just retaken the leadership of the PUP and once again he will have to take on financial burdens which made him not only complain in his last tenure but also made him resign. One of those bills which the New Old PUP Party leader will have to pay off is a mounting debt which is owed the government of Belize by way of GST. The Guardian is reliably informed that the Belize Times has been delinquent in paying its GST taxes from as far back as February of 2010. Between that period of time up to February 2011 the PUP party’s newspaper collected GST and did not pay it in to the department. When penalties and interest are added to the amounts owed it comes up to $3,908.72. But that is not the end of it for non-payment of GST as for the period of July 2014 to December 2015 the newspaper collected an additional $32,034.52. Add interest and penalties and the amount goes up to a staggering $39,881.74 for that period. All told the PUP party organ owed $43,790.46 to the GST department. What makes the debt disturbing is the fact that the monies were actually collected on behalf of the government but were never paid in.

    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.

    Four Belizeans to travel to Japan for exchange program
    Four Belizeans have been selected to participate in the Juntos Program, a Japanese Friendship Ties Program with Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in March 2016. The participants, who were selected from among 60 applicants, comprise two (2) male and female candidates of diverse cultural and professional backgrounds. They are Ms. Cecy Castillo, Ms. Christa Hulse, Mr. Donghoon Choe and Mr. Raphael Martinez. The candidates will act as Belizean ambassadors during their two-week exchange in Japan where they will fulfill the two objectives of the program: (1) to promote further understanding of the Japanese society, history, culture, politics and foreign policy; and (2) to deepen the relations between Japan and the LAC. The participants met with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hon. Wilfred Elrington on Tuesday, March 1st, sharing their expectations for their upcoming trip.

    Maheia taunting Guatemalans again
    The “Border Activist” and failed politician, Wil Maheia, has gone to the Sarstoon River to once again overheat tensions at the Sarstoon River, all the for sake of what he maintains is nationalism. He led a small group of civilians, mostly consisting of journalists, on another expedition to the mouth of the Sarstoon. There, they encountered resistance from the Guatemalan Military who had vessels positioned as if to block their path. It happened on Saturday, February 27, about an hour or so after Maheia and the small group left from Punta Gorda Town on a quest to visit the Gracias A Dios border marker. That would have taken them on a trip through the Sarstoon River, but as soon as they arrived at the mouth of the River, they encountered a sort of blockade. 5 Guatemalan military vessels were moored there, and they refused to move to allow Maheia and his 2 civilian vessels to travel past. Most fortunately, the captains of the Belizean boats counseled Maheia that it is not prudent to force a confrontation between themselves at the Guatemalan military, and he eventually listened to wiser judgment than his.

    BELTRAIDE developing incubators to support new businesses
    Many great business ideas fail shortly after take off because they did not get the chance to have enough air under the wings. Business experts around the world will tell you that the most vulnerable time for a business is the infancy stage - the period of time in which the business is susceptible to numerous terminal conditions. Some businesses crash in the infancy stage because of unexpected and unbudgeted expenses. Others fail because they could not stay above water long enough for the business to start seeing a profit. There are several factors that can cause a business to fail in the early stages and the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) is hoping to provide protection for young entrepreneurs by introducing a business incubator. From Monday, February 29, to Thursday, March 3, BELTRAIDE is hosting a workshop in collaboration with InfoDev, a World Bank Group, “to chart a way to foster an innovative entrepreneurship ecosystem in Belize”. During the workshop, managers, entrepreneurs, students, government officials, donors and investors will take part in Business Incubation Management (BIM) Training. A business incubator is a company that helps new and startup companies to develop by providing services such as management training, market information, office space, etc.

    Seventh Annual Kids Cups held in Belmopan
    Sporting activities in Belmopan are being revitalized thanks to the local governing bodies. The Belmopan City Council in collaboration with the Belmopan Football Association held its 7th Annual Kids Cups opening ceremony on Saturday 27th February 2016 at the Mae Gordon Park. All participating teams, which include 10 U-13, 10 U-15 and 4 female teams were at the opening. Belmopan’s Deputy Mayor Jacklyn Burns addressed the gathering along with Councillor Angel Pastrana, who is in charge of Sports. Also joining in the opening celebrations was Mr. Marlon Tillett, who is the Chairman of the Belmopan Football Association. Mr, Shane Orio, who is the goalkeeper of the Belmopan Bandits football team, was also in attendance to give support to our younger players. After the ceremony a parade ensued to the Devon Beaton Football Field, where a kick off was held at 12:45 p.m. The Belmopan City Council takes this opportunity to thank all the dedicated coaches who give of their time to the Simeon Lopez Kid-Youth-Female Cups 2016.

    Carmelita Sporting Facilities get Facelift
    The Honorable Elodio Aragon Jr. keeps demonstrating that he is indeed “the man for the job” as he continues to expend energy and resources to improve the quality of life of Belizeans, especially his constituents in Orange walk East. This past Sunday February 28, Hon. Aragon placed yet another stud in the developmental fabric of Orange Walk East. Residents of Carmelita Village came out to witness the inauguration of two new bathroom facilities and new bleachers for the football field. The upgrade in Carmelita also included the complete refurbishment of the Bill Jones Sporting Complex and the painting of the Basketball Court which was also retrofitted with new backboards and rims. This improvement, in a village that is very active in sports, was greatly anticipated by its residents. In the past the village of Carmelita had no true representation and was in effect neglected in all aspects. This came to an end when Honorable Elodio Aragon Jr. was elected to represent them and he has been adamant in ensuring that the needs of the people of Orange East are met.

    Telethon officially launched in Benque Viejo del Carmen
    A telethon under a Sustainable Child Friendly Initiative was launched on Monday of this week at the Cancha Marshalleck in Benque Viejo del Carmen. The telethon is part of a unique Child Friendly Initiative that is now being developed in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund UNICEF, the United Nations Development Program UNDP, the Mayor’s Association, the Government of Belize and the Ministry of Local Government, which intends to improve the lives of the children in Benque Viejo as well as the other Municipalities around the Country. In attendance for the telethon were students from the Howard Smith Nazarene, the Mount Carmel and the Seventh Day Adventist Primary Schools. Sitting at the head table on Monday morning were members from the Child Advisory Board, composed of representatives from the various primary and secondary high schools in Benque Viejo. This Child Advisory Board is headed by Amy Wade and is facilitated by the Technical Steering Committee. So far the Child Advisory Board in Benque has met for five times to voice their opinions on what are the needs of children from that area.

    Trouble where art thou?
    For the better part of the last 3 years, Wil Mehia and a dwindling small group of rabble rousers have been making trips to the Sarstoon, for what appears to be the sole reason of stirring up trouble with the Guatemalan military that illegally patrols the river in what is clearly Belize' s territorial waters. Now Guatemala is our neighbor from the west and south and they have been claiming a part of our country for years and as a people we have always said we will try to settle the claim through diplomacy and not through war. For the obvious reason being that they have military might over us. It would be foolhardy for us to ask our young men and women to take up arms and fight a war where they would be slaughtered by the much more powerful, better prepared and equipped Guatemalan military. In effect what Wil and his group have been doing is like putting their hands in a jaguar's mouth just because the Jaguar is in their yard. One of these day the Jaguar is going to bite them. Something we have noticed with these trips Wil and his group take is that PUP presence is always in Toledo whenever these trips occur and this time it was no different. On Saturday the Leader of the PUP just happened to be on the ground in the Toledo district, just like last year when the then leader was in Big Falls Toledo for a failed People's Assembly. As to whether one thing has anything to do with the other, you the Belizeans will have to decide that. What we do know is that there was no advance notice that the PUP leader would be in Toledo last weekend. It appears as if though it was not a planned visit but was only organized last week after the PUP Thursday meeting. Johnny it seems, is facing strong opposition in his party already and he needs to drum up support and he is starting in the south, in the backyard of two persons who did not support him in his leadership bid. What better way to do so than with the ANTI-GUATEMALAN song and dance.

    Yhony Rosado fails to pay Social Security contributions
    One cannot be allowed to act as if they are above the law and claim victimization when the law clamps down on them. This seems to be the modus operandi of regular news contributor, Yhony Rosado. He has been in trouble for fighting in the tourist zone, operating a business without a trade license, and now failure to pay Social Security contributions for employees of his tire shop, Econo Tires. Each time he is faced with accusations, he claims that he is being victimized for speaking out against the Government. This kind of act must not be allowed to continue. Many people in society like Rosado. Some say he is a very nice person who is not afraid to express his opinion. Other than his competitors in the tourism industry, it is hard to find someone willing to speak ill of Rosado as a person. However, they will tell you that Yhony is someone who likes to have his cake and eat it too. He does things his way, even when his way is the wrong way. Some gravitate to that type of behaviour but even those who like the character can admit that unlawfulness cannot be tolerated.

    MCC gets a new parking facility
    As a result of a memorandum of understanding signed between the National Sports Council and the Princess Casino, the MCC grounds will have a new parking facility. The new parking lot will have 83 spaces for vehicles to park in and comes after discussions were held between the management of the Casino and the National Sports Council. Minister of State in the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Hon. Elodio Aragon, who toured the works which started last week, explained to the Guardian that the parking lot is an initiative that will benefit both the casino as well as the MCC grounds. He explained that a memorandum of understanding was signed between the two where the casino will invest up front, 60 thousand dollars into the MCC grounds which will see a parking area built on the ground. In exchange, the casino will be allowed to use the facility but they will pay the National Sports Council a monthly rental of $2,000. The agreement really has it that the casino is to pay $2,500 dollars a month but for 5 years that figure will see the Sports Council using $500 a month to pay back for half of the $60,000 being invested.

    Couple charged for 0.9 grams of Crack Cocaine
    Kimberly Marin, 34, took the rap for 0.9 grams of crack cocaine after police arrested and charged her along with her common-law-husband, Alexander Moir, for the substance which was found inside their home. Police reported that at around 8:20 a.m. on Thursday, February 25, officers conducted a search at the couple’s home in Grant’s Alley when they found crack cocaine on the ground at the entrance of their bathroom. Marin and Moir were at home during the time of the search; therefore, they were both arrested and charged with drug possession. The couple appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza on Thursday and Marin pleaded guilty to the charge, while Moir pleaded not guilty. In court, Moir wanted to speak on behalf of his wife when Magistrate Mendoza asked her what she was doing at home with the crack cocaine. She chose not to answer the question and Moir could not speak on her behalf since he had already pleaded not guilty to the charge.

    Chief Magistrate exercises leniency
    Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith has a reputation in both Belize and Jamaica of being an extremely tough judge. There are rare occasions; however, when she exercises extreme leniency for non-violent offenses. In other words, Chief Magistrate Smith does have a heart. The most recent beneficiary of that rare exercise of leniency is American visitor, Stacey Ann Sanzobrin, 46. According to police, at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 25, officers at the Phillip Goldson International Airport were notified that a couple passing through the screening machine had a strong smell of marijuana. The officers approached Stacey Ann Sanzobrin and her husband, Stephen Leonard, in the departure area of the airport and informed them that a search would be conducted. During the search, an officer found stick of weed inside a Marlboro cigarette pack that was tucked in Sanzobrin’s pink carry on bag. As a result, the Waterford Michigan resident was arrested and charged with one count of possession of a controlled drug, 0.7 grams of marijuana.

    Big weed bust in Corozal and Orange walk
    A joint forces patrol consisting members of the Coast Guard, Customs, and BDF soldiers has led to the detention of a Cuban, and the seizure of just over 8 kilograms of marijuana. The patrol was on the move last night at the Santa Elena Border when they saw three suspicious men behind the Corozal Free Zone. They set chase, and the men fled the scene, abandoning several strange packages. The security forces were only able to catch one man who was in the area at the time of the chase, 42 year-old Cuban National Waldo Eugenio Bernal Pol. When police cut open the packages, they discovered that they all contained marijuana, with a combined weight of 18 1/4 pounds. Waldo Eugenio Bernal Pol has been handed over to the Immigration Department, because the police aren’t sure that he’s one of the men who abandoned weed and fled. Meanwhile Orange Walk police have managed to seize 16 more pounds of Marijuana after detaining 2 vehicles traveling from Corozal to Orange Walk town.

    Joel Vanegas won 35th Annual Belmopan Cycling Classic
    The Cycling Federation of Belize in collobration with the City Council of the City of Belmopan sponsored the 35th Annual Belmopan Cycling Classic on Sunday 28th February, 2016. The event started in the City of Belize travelled the George Price Highway into Belize City around the Round-about- at the Belcan Bridge junction back out to the George Price Highway to the City of Belmopan for the conclusion. At the end of 3:53:03 teammates Joel Vanegas and Giovanni Lovell crossed the finish line finishing 1st and 2nd respectively. They were then followed by David Henderson of Benny’s Megabytes Elite who took 3rd place and he was followed by Nissan Arana of Westrac Alliance who finished 4th and he was followed by Richard Santiago of Digicell 4G Elite Cycling Team who finished 5th. The other top finishers in the Elite category included Ron Vasquez of Western Spirit Cycling Team, Tarique Flowers of Benny’s Megabytes Elite, Robert Liam Stewart of Western Spirit Cycling Team, Erwin Middleton of Digicell 4G Elite Cycling Team and Angel Tzib of BECOL Uprising Cycling Team respectively.

    Belmopan Bandits traps the Smart Belize Hurricanes in their track
    The National Elite Basketball League competition continued over the weekend with four games played across the country. On Friday 26 February, 2016, at the Belize Elementary School Gymnasium, the visiting Belmopan Bandits pulled off the biggest upset of the 2016 campaign when it upended the previously unbeaten Smart Belize Hurricanes by the score of 85-83 to hand it they first defeat of the season. The Belmopan Bandits were led by Nick Brown who scored 24 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, dished out an assist and had 3 steals; he was promptly assisted by Jarrel Velasquez with 17 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal and Kurt Burgess who scored 15 points along with 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals in leading the Belmopan Bandits to the victory.

    Belmopan Bandits new leaders of the Closing Season competition
    The Premier League of Belize Closing Season Tournament continued over the weekend with a three games on the schedule. However, only two games were played as the game that was scheduled for the MCC Grounds was postponed because of the weather. On Sunday 28th February, 2016, at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the previously unbeaten and national defending champions Police United was halted by the most likely team in the competition, the Belmopan Bandits, by the score of 2-0. The Belmopan Bandits was able to get onto the scoreboard when Amilton Filho scored his team’s 1st goal of the game in the 38th minute of play to give the Belmopan Bandits a 1-0 lead.

    Have you ever had to ask for mercy? Maybe rent day came, and the money was not there, or you borrowed money and you could not pay it back on the due date. Some may have been in court for traffic offences, and had to ask the magistrate for mercy. Jesus told a story in Matthew chapter 18, from verse 23: "Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought before him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt." The servant asked for mercy saying, "Be patient with me, and I will pay back everything." The king took pity on him, cancelled the debt, and let him go.

    Year of The Monkey Celebration Fundraiser
    The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan), in collaboration with the Belize Zoo and Travellers Liquors Ltd, is pleased to invite the general public to attend the “Year of the Monkey Celebration” Fundraiser on Saturday, March 5th, 2016 at 3:00PM - 6:00PM at Travellers Heritage Museum, 2 ½ Mls. Philip Goldson Highway, Belize City. The Embassy is pleased to partake in such a worthy cause. In countries all over the world, zoos play an important part in education and conservation. They are used not only to protect endangered animals but as well to rehabilitate or increase populations of species that are on the decline. Secondly, zoos are a main tourist attraction and provide the safe environment for tourists to see animals in their natural habitat. Last but not least, zoos play an important role in education especially for children. The year 2016 is the Year of Monkey, which is a time for new inventions and new endeavors that are destined to succeed under the Monkey’s influence. The Monkey is a smart, wily and vigilant animal and symbolizes energy and versatility. On the individual level, the Monkey increases communication, humor and wit, helping us get through stressful times with grace and ease. For businesses, it can bring luck and prosperity, as business flourishes and risk tend to pan out. Daring to be different can lead to success.

    ‘Griga kicks off 2016 child stimulation month
    Teaching is a demanding job that requires comprehensive knowledge of subject content, age-specific education, and many varied skills such as patience, leadership, and creativity, just to name a few. Preschool children learn mainly through play and interactive activities. Preschool teachers capitalize on children’s play to further language and vocabulary development using storytelling, rhyming games, and acting games. To improve social skills teachers have the task of getting the children to work together on various projects and introduce scientific and mathematical concepts, such as showing the children how to balance and count blocks or how to mix colors when painting. Contrary to popular belief, teachers dowork! There are some of us who ascribe to this myth that teachers are babysitters. Teachers for the most part are partially responsible for educating our future leaders – the children. Because after all, in the words of the old African proverb, it takes a village to raise a child. That was more evident today as hundreds of pre-school aged children,kindergarteners, parents and teachers took to the streets in a parade for the start of Child Stimulation Month 2016.

    Coconut nurseries in Belize to receive a boost
    A training exercise was held on Thursday of last week at the Pesticide Control Board in Central Farm for 40 farmers as part of a Regional Project to boost coconut production. Farmers were able to learn about the pre-nursery and nursery procedures for growing coconuts as well as the multi-uses of this traditional product. This latest information exchange makes Belizean farmers the beneficiaries of a European Union financed project, “Coconut Industry Development for the Caribbean” through the Geneva-based International Trade Centre (ITC). The project is aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of small-scale coconut farmers by identifying market opportunities, creating synergies between national and regional programs and improving access to advisory services for improved coconut production. The Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) had been contracted by the ITC to implement the project activities in nine CARIFORUM member countries. These benefiting countries are Belize, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. In Belize CARDI will be spending an estimated Bz. $40,000.00 on coconut nurseries as well as training farmers in integrated pest management.

    Quota set for Sea Cucumbers and Conch
    In accordance with the Fisheries (Amendment) Regulations under Statutory Instrument number 54 of 2012 (Regulation 24A.1) the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development hereby informs fishermen and the general public of the following: 1. The Total Allowable Catch (TAC) / Catch limit for the Conch season 2015/2016 has been set at 800,000 pounds. 2. The Total Allowable Catch (TAC) / Catch limit for the Sea Cucumber has been set at 300,000 pounds.

    Seed Capital for women who were once victims
    The Government of Belize, through the Women’s Department, Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation and the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Central American Integration System (SICA), is pleased to celebrate the achievement of 240 women recipients of seed capital grants, totaling USD340,000, as a part of the BA1 project, “Prevention of Violence against women in Central America”. The project has taken place in seven countries in which over 3, 500 women who were victims or at risk of violence, femicide and trafficking in persons, have been awarded seed capital grants to either start or enhance their small businesses. In Belize, 319 women received micro-enterprise development and life skills training through the Small Business Development Centre (SBDCBelize) and the Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC).

    Downtown transforms for Street Art Festival
    The Belize City Street Art Festival is an event now marked on the calendars of students and masters of various art forms. According to Karen Vernon of the Institute of Creative Arts, the festival was created to build a national forum for artists to enable them to showcase their talent and products on a national arena. The sixth annual Street Art Festival was held on Albert Street in Belize City on Saturday, February 27. Judging from various reviews, it was another huge success. A steady flow of Belizeans and foreigners made their way out to enjoy the entertainment and view the art pieces on display. Albert Street was blocked off from the Belize Bank to the Bank of Nova Scotia. Tents were set up across the stretch featuring the works of various artists. There were a wide range of art works including: jewelry, painting, sculptures, fashion, tattoos and a food court. The Child Advisory Board of the Belize City Council, made up of young students, provided over a thousand kites for kids. The children were also able to get their faces painted and participated in games throughout the afternoon.

    Married BDF corporals free of Illegal weapon charges
    BDF corporals Gerald and Lloida August, husband and wife, are free tonight after Supreme Court Justice Antoinette Moore upheld the couple’s appeal of illegal weapons convictions. Gerald and Lloida were convicted of keeping illegal firearm and ammunition in February of 2015. The couple was being accused of being in possession of guns and ammunitions that were stolen from the BDF Price Barracks compound on December 23, 2011. They were sentenced to Banner argued before Justice Moore that the accused did not get a fair trial since there was no attorney present for them during the trial. Even though they had sought representation, no attorney was present on the day of the trial. Magistrate Morgan still proceeded with the matter and Banner argued that the Magistrate did not assist them during the trial. The final submission by Banner is that Magistrate Morgan did not give a reason for her judgment; therefore, the court cannot say how she concluded that his clients were guilty.

    Police Officer convicted of murder is free after appeal
    Police Constable Alpheus Parham, who was convicted of killing a detainee at the Caye Caulker Police in May of 2010, is now a free man after the Court of Appeals overturned his conviction and decided not to order a retrial. The incident occurred on May 9, 2010. At about 5:20 p.m. that Sunday, Alex Gough was detained and escorted to the Caye Caulker Police Station for disorderly conduct and assaulting a police officer. It all started at Lazy Lizard bar where Gough was drinking and later got into an altercation. Police were called to defuse the situation. However, eyewitnesses say that when police arrived on the scene one of them roughed up Gough and punched him in the face. A friend of his explained that an officer said, “Watch what will happen to you when you reach the station.” Reports are that when Gough arrived at the station he continued to make noise and act disorderly. Parham went to the cell block area and confronted him. PC Federico Tush, who was the diarist at the time, reported that he heard a loud bang. Shortly after, Parham exited the cell block, handed over his weapon and left the station. When Tush checked the cell he saw Gough in a sitting position bleeding from a single gunshot wound to the forehead. Parham was arrested and charged on Monday, May 10, 2010.

    Woman police constable shot in the head
    Twenty seven year old Woman Police Constable 1845 Sheneah Caliz who is attached to the Traffic Support of Precinct Three in Belize City was hospitalized on Monday February 29th after she was shot. Police report that they responded to shots being fired sometime around 7:54 p.m. on that night on Albert Street in front of Scotiabank. Investigations revealed that Caliz was inside a police mobile travelling on Albert Street when reaching the intersection of Bishop and Albert Street a man of dark complexion wearing a rag over his face was seen searching another man who was on the pavement in front of Scotia Bank while another man stood behind them. Upon seeing the police, the man who was standing up fired several shots at the patrol vehicle shattering the windshield and injuring Caliz who suffered gunshot wounds to the head and left palm.

    Charged for fishing in the Great Blue Hole
    Marvin Patt, 23, and his cousin Edison Patt, 21, are free after being fined $1,500 each for fishing in the Blue Hole Natural Monument. The cousins from Chunox Village were caught fishing illegally in a natural monument for the second time over the weekend. The men were convicted in 2010 for fishing inside the Half Moon Caye Natural Monument. The duo appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza on Thursday, February 25, where they were jointly charged with one count of illegal entry into a natural monument, and one count of fishing inside a natural monument, the Blue Hole. They wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the charges. Magistrate Mendoza explained to the men that the penalty for these offenses carries a fine as high as $20,000. However, since they saved the court time, he fined them $500 for illegal fishing and $1,000 for illegal entry into the monument. They must pay the fine by April 23, 2016 or serve five months imprisonment.

    Woman claims physical and sexual assault by Ex
    Maskall resident, Albert Solis, 34, is behind bars after his ex-girlfriend, 30, reported to police that he beat her up, forced her into a room at a bar and sexually assaulted her on Sunday, February 28, 2016. The incident occurred in the village of Maskall. The woman reported that she visited a bar in the village, which is run by her ex-father-in-law, and while she was there socializing her ex-boyfriend arrived. The woman told police that he forced her into a room upstairs of the bar and put a beating on her. The woman claims that he punched and kicked her numerous times to the body. After he was through, he inserted his penis into her private parts. The woman was examined by a doctor who observed her with cut wounds to her neck and abrasions to her private parts. He classified her injury as wounding.

    Chief Magistrate exercises leniency
    Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith has a reputation in both Belize and Jamaica of being an extremely tough judge. There are rare occasions; however, when she exercises extreme leniency for non-violent offenses. In other words, Chief Magistrate Smith does have a heart. The most recent beneficiary of that rare exercise of leniency is American visitor, Stacey Ann Sanzobrin, 46. According to police, at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 25, officers at the Phillip Goldson International Airport were notified that a couple passing through the screening machine had a strong smell of marijuana. The officers approached Stacey Ann Sanzobrin and her husband, Stephen Leonard, in the departure area of the airport and informed them that a search would be conducted. During the search, an officer found stick of weed inside a Marlboro cigarette pack that was tucked in Sanzobrin’s pink carry on bag. As a result, the Waterford Michigan resident was arrested and charged with one count of possession of a controlled drug, 0.7 grams of marijuana.

    Wesley College females maintains lead in high schools softball competition
    The Central Region Secondary Schools Softball competition continues at the Rogers Stadium. On Tuesday 1st March 2016, in the male competition game played, Edward P. Yorke High School defeated Sadie Vernon Technical High School by the score of 26-10. The winning pitcher was Devon Jones and the losing pitcher was Derrick Menzies. On Monday 29th February, in the female competition, Ladyville Technical High School won over St. Catherine Academy by the score of 5-0 via the forfeiture route. The winning pitcher was Elma Wade and the losing pitcher was Kendice Armstrong. On Saturday 27th February, in the female competition, Ladyville Technical won over Gwen Lizarraga High School via the default route. Meanwhile, in the male competition, Gwen Lizarraga High School defeated Sadie Vernon Technical High School by the score of 10-0. The winning pitcher was Devonte Middleton and the losing pitcher was Derrick Menzies.

    St. Martin De Porres girls and boys won the national primary schools basketball championship
    The National Primary Schools Basketball Championship was played over the weekend of February 26 and 27 at the Orange Walk Multi-Purpose Complex in Orange Walk Town. On Saturday 27th February, 2016, in the girls championship game played, St. Martin De Porres School from Belize City defeated St. Francis Xavier from the Corozal District to capture the National Primary Schools Basketball Championship. In the third place game, Holy Family RC School from Hopkins Village in the Stann Creek District defeated Louisiana Government School by the score of 11-4. Meanwhile, earlier in the morning in the semi-final round, St. Martin De Porres School won over Holy Family Roman Catholic School by the score of 15-8 to earn the first spot in the championship round. In the second semi-final game, St. Francis Xavier from the Corozal District defeated Louisiana Government School by the score of 11-6 to earn the second and final spot in the championship round.

    Belize City Primary Schools Softball competition begins
    The 2015-2016 Belize City Primary Schools Softball Competition commenced on Monday 29th February, 2016, with two games on the schedule. This school year competition will see the participation of 7 schools in the girls’ competition and 9 schools in the boys’ competition. The schools that are participating in the girls’ competition are Wesley Upper School, St. Luke Methodist School, St. John Vianney School, Buttonwood Bay Nazarene School, Central Christian School, Muslim Community School and St. John’s Primary School. Meanwhile, the schools that are participating in the boys’ competition are St. Mary’s Primary School, Holy Redeemer School, Salvation Army School, Calvary Temple School, Wesley Upper School, St. John’s Primary School, Buttonwood Bay Nazarene School, Central Christian School and St. Luke Methodist School. In the girls’ game played, St. Luke Methodist School defeated Buttonwood Bay Nazarene School by the score of 14-1. The winning pitcher was T Ann Downs and the losing pitcher was Varinia Wilson.

    Belize Athletics Association to hold National Track & Field championships
    The Belize Athletics Association invites all athletes and track enthusiasts once again to be a part of a National Track and Field Championship event. The event will be hosted at the Marion Jones Sports Complex on the 12-13 March, 2016. All athletes 16 years and older can participate in the events. Registration forms can be obtained from and returned to the BAA via email ( or from our Facebook page (Belize Athletics Association). Cost of registration is $10.00 per athlete. Events will include: 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 4x100m, 4x400m, Long Jump, Triple Jump, High Jump, Javelin, Shot put, Discus.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    BAHA advises cattle producers to vaccine animals in wake of disease crisis
    An advisory issued by the Belize Agriculture and Health Authority (BAHA) “strongly recommends” cattle producers to vaccinate their animals for Rabies and Blackleg as the industry faces a “disease crisis” nationwide. Farmers are asked to immediately vaccinate their cattle against Rabies if they have […]

    Shooting reported in Belize City
    Around five o’clock Wednesday afternoon, there was a shooting on Central American Boulevard. Two gunmen attempted to rob a salesman from Vega’s Distributors of Benque Viejo del Carmen, Cayo. The salesman was exiting his vehicle on Central American Boulevard when two would-be robbers approached […]

    People’s United Party reshuffles Senate members
    Senators Lisa Shoman, Patrick Andrews and Anthony Sylvestre are stepping aside after several years representing the People’s United Party in the upper chamber. The party confirmed by press release today the appointments, as soon as the Senate next meets, of Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay; […]

    CPBL delays payment to growers pending approval of loan facility
    Today citrus producer company Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL) announced it will not be able to pay this week’s payroll to growers, pending the Central Bank of Belize approving an application made to Heritage Bank in December for 10 million Belize dollars in […]

    Businessman denies trafficking weed stash in groceries
    Was a Cayo businessman taken in by a friend who wanted him to transport groceries to his female partner, among which marijuana was hidden? That is the explanation of 28 year old Jeffrey Navarrete, who appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith this morning. Police […]

    Belizeans detained in Mexico for contraband
    Mexican authorities have detained two Belizeans who are being accused of contraband. Linea de Fuego Chetumal, a news outlet based in that city reports on their Facebook page that the men, 36 year old Cristobal Cano and 32 year old Cesar Campos Gonzalez were […]

    Bradley Roe beats drugs charge
    Police say they found .02 grams of alleged cocaine on the person of 25 year old Bradley Roe, son and heir to the Roe Group of Companies in January. But whatever substance was in fact found, the forensics laboratory in Ladyville has confirmed it was […]

    Ex- O.W. Mayor loses appeal on traffic case
    Ravell Gonzalez, the former Mayor of Orange Walk Town, lost the appeal of his conviction by a jury of two counts of causing death by careless conduct upon a 2 year old child, identified as Martita Lopez, and a family friend, Manuel Coto. The aspiring attorney is […]

    Belize Barrier Reef gets visionary integrated management plan
    The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has lauded the adaptation of the first Integrated Coastal Zone management plan—a blueprint for sustainable use of the rich marine resources of the Barrier Reef. UNESCO calls it a second major step forward in getting […]

    Right Honorable Dean Barrow now a member of the Privy Council
    The Prime Minister (PM) of Belize can now be referred to as Right Honorable Dean Barrow after Queen Elizabeth the second appointed him a member of the Privy Council as stated in a press release issued earlier today. This announcement has been published on […]

    Man busted with weed in passenger bus
    San Ignacio resident, 28-year-old Jeffery Navarette was charged by police for “drug trafficking” yesterday morning after being found with more than a pound of weed. Navarette was inside a passenger bus when officers searched it at a checkpoint in front of the Sandhill Police […]

    Belize City Police find weed on Kraal Road
    Belize City Police’s Strike Team South, K-9 Unit and Special Branch searched an open lot on Kraal Road yesterday morning, which yielded almost 400 grams of weed. Around 8:15 a.m., the team discovered a small black plastic bag in the lot, containing 396 grams […]

    Toledo man impregnates underage sister-in-law
    A 15-year-old female resident of Bella Vista Village in the Toledo District, in the company of her father, reported to police that in August of last year, she had sexual intercourse with her brother-in-law on two occasions. The minor, originally from San Jose Village […]

    Michael Salazar signed to Major League Soccer
    Belizean football player and member of the country’s team that represented Belize in the 2013 Gold Cup, 23-year-old Michael Salazar, will be playing his first game in the Major League Soccer (MLS) this Saturday when his new team, Impact Montreal, will take on the […]

    Orange Walk Police net 16 pounds of weed in stake out
    Orange Walk Police have charged three men for drug trafficking following a successful operation held around 3:20 yesterday afternoon in the outskirts of Orange Walk Town. The men, Ladyville residents: Alex Smith, Michael Requena and Keith Flowers of Belize City were caught with 16 pounds of marijuana […]

    A relatively moist northeasterly airflow will dominate our weather the next couple of days
    The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting sunny skies with a few cloudy spells today and partly cloudy skies tonight. A few showers will occur mostly along Southern coastal areas this morning and tonight, then over inland areas this afternoon. Winds will be […]


    9 English Words that mean something different in Belize!
    Have you ever walked in on a conversation, the type that doesnt pause when you arrive, and find that you can almost understand what they’re saying. It’s not the accent, nor is it that the words are unfamiliar, but the context of it all is lost upon you. Chances are that if you’ve been to Belize then it’s happened once or twice, so for those of you who always wondered what that belizean guy jested at the other, heres 9 common words that mean something different in Belize: “Tea”: Example sentence: “Yuh sick? Drink some tea man.” (So its technically the same thing, but revered here) English: “You’re sick? Have some tea.” “Ting”: Example sentence: “Pass mi di ting from ova soh!” (You’re expected to understand exactly what “ting” they’re referring to and where it is.) English: “Hand me that thing from over there” “Tree”: Example sentence: “Bring tree.” (Not to be confused with bringing an entire tree.) English: “Bring three” “Teef”: Example sentence: “how yuh suh teef!” (A rhetorical question which under no circumstances should be answered!) English: “Why do you like to steal so much?” “Lick”: Example sentence: “Yuh want a lick or wat?” or “He tek wa licking!” (Also, in the even worse pluralized context, “Come here, I wa lick up yuh.”) English: “Do you want me to hit you?” or “He took a beating”

    Colombian-Style Fried Chicken (Pollo Frito Apanado)
    In a small bowl, combine salt, black pepper, cumin, mustard and paprika. Rub the mixture onto the chicken. Place in a large baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 5 hours or overnight. In a 6-quart deep sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil to 375 F on a deep-frying thermometer. Preheat an oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. o make the batter: In a bowl, combine the flour, milk, salt, paprika, cumin, black pepper and eggs and mix well. Dip the chicken into the batter. Place the bread crumbs on a plate. Dredge the chicken in the bread crumbs, shaking off the excess and set on a plate.

    Nothing beats Carnaval in San Pedro, but this is a fair second place
    And no burning of Don Juan Carnaval, that fiery finale and act of atonement before that chastened trudge to Ash Wednesday and weeks of denial leading up to Easter’s resurrection and the renewal of our souls. For all its religious roots, Carnaval is one hell of a party. My reason for missing it all is pretty pedestrian — recovering from surgery. Carnaval is one of my favorite island celebrations, especially watching the kids, armed with squirt bottles of paint (and sometimes eggs, despite the ban) chasing each other up and down Front Street and through Central Park. So carefree and innocent and messy! That is why I was delighted when my friend Dion from the San Pedro Sun invited me to the premiere of a little movie on Carnaval in Belize at the Paradise Theater on Wednesday. The film is only the second in a series from the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) which focuses on Belize celebrations. The first looked at the Garifuna people’s Settlement Day celebration. The film was made by the Institute of Social & Cultural Research, a branch of NICH, over the course of three years visiting Carnaval here in San Pedro and the more pageantry-oriented Carnaval celebrated in parts of Corozal, specifically the village of Caledonia.

    Mornings like these answer the question: ‘Why Belize?’
    It could only be one of two things: She was either simultaneously brushing her teeth and talking or doing the 20-minute coconut oil swirl (which yields shiny white teeth and healthy gums). Either way, aware that Rose is a well-bred lady who never talks with her mouth full, this seemed kind of important. Like little Timmy following Lassie to the well, I ran behind Rose to the balcony. It was the sunrise. Simply majestic. The big canvas was doing it again: How often do you get a horizon so huge that it holds two, three and four different cloud formations at once? Seriously? Kind of often. For sunsets, too.

    Scarlet Macaws, humpback whale sightings, new yoga classes, and what else to do in Placencia this week!!
    It has been a thrilling week in Placencia!! We had a once in a blue moon sighting in Placencia this past week....this poor humpback whale got a bit off course and ended up inside the reef wall! Maybe he decided that it was time for some warmer waters....thanks to Annelise for taking pictures and doing her part to inform the right people to get the whale back on course! Many people got to experience as long as a half hour of boating next to the whale!! High season is in full swing and it has not disappointed!!! Here are some recent photos I found....if you want to get excited for your trip, do yourself a favor and type #placencia into google. You will hit on all the photos that tourists and locals have recently are some of my favorites from Instagram!

    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 snaps taken in the country. Here’s our list of the "Best Belize Travel Photos" for the month:

    Cut Your Expenses in Half and Live Well in Sunny Belize
    “I never, ever want to go through another cold, Canadian winter again,” says Sue. Sue, 49, and her husband, Steve, 54, left Toronto, Canada, for Ambergris Caye, Belize in September 2012. “We love the weather in Belize, with sun and the warm temperatures all year round,” says Sue. “We certainly don’t miss the rat race of our past life in Toronto, and the crazy pressure to always follow the latest trends, and spend all our time working just to buy more ‘stuff.’ We may not make the money we did back in Canada, but we happily get by with less.” Sue and Steve estimate that their cost of living has dropped 50% in Belize. And they also have a wonderful recreational life. “We love being out on the water,” says Sue. “The aquamarine color of the Caribbean is my absolute favorite, and the island looks most beautiful when seen from just offshore. We’re lucky enough to have a couple of friends with boats, so we get out to the reef, to snorkel, or around Ambergris Caye on a regular basis.

    The February 28, 2016 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

    This Week's Stories:

      Orange Walk police are reporting that they have caught an alleged conman who was scamming people out of their money in Sugar City, Orange Walk. He is Santa Elena resident Windell Neal. 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 she didn’t recognize. The person impersonated her boss and asked her to pay for some seafood. 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.
    • GSU Officers Shoot Paslow Falls Family:
      An entire family from the Paslow Falls area of Bullet Tree Road is traumatized after a run in with officers of the Gang Suppression Unit on Wednesday, February 24. Ana Rivera, 24, of Paslow Falls area, reported to police that just after 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday she was traveling towards Belize City with her husband, Roberto Chan, 28, and their children. The family was in their white Toyota 4 Runner vehicle travelling on the Santa Rosa Road and just as they were approaching an area known as La Linea, she heard two gunshots. Rivera immediately turned to check on her children. fortunately they were unharmed. However, when she looked at her husband, she saw blood running down from his right shoulder.
    • Editorial: Back In Love Again!:
      Being away from the hustle and bustle of Belize City for almost 15 years somehow changed my perspective on a city where I was born and raised, a city I once loved. On the occasions I managed to drop in, it would be for a couple hours at a time, during which I went about my shopping being very guarded and somewhat scared. Purse clutched tight against my chest, chain tucked into my clothing, heart racing constantly, always expecting to be jacked, and mauled, harassed, anything bad period. Daily news reports would always give the impression that the city is one of the worst places to grow up, to walk the streets, to hang out, to simply exist, especially the South Side! For years I allowed those reports to mar my judgement. I didn’t want to be in the city longer than necessary, worse of all I stayed completely clear of South Side Belize City. I didn’t want my children attending any functions, I worried about family members left behind, I simply feared Belize City.
    • Gas Price Goes Down Despite Increase in Duty:
      Motorist who visited the gas station on Thursday, February 25, were happy to find out that gas prices had gone down for Premium and Regular Gasoline. On Thursday Premium gasoline went to eight dollars and ninety-nine cents, down thirty-one cents from the previous price of nine dollars and thirty. Regular gasoline now stands at seven dollars and ninety-eight cents, down thirty-two cents from eight dollars and thirty cents. Therefore, it was a joyful day at the pumps across the country. However, that joy was accompanied with a sense of disappointment when they learnt that the price could have been even lower. On Tuesday, February 23, the Ministry of Finance apprised the Cabinet of the continued, significant decrease in domestic crude oil production and the slump in tax revenues and royalties. The Ministry made recommendations for immediate compensatory adjustments to the duties levied upon imported fuel products.
    • Consumer Prices Increase Marginally In January:
      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. The Statistical Institute of Belize’s latest statistics on consumer prices show that the All Items Consumer Price Index stood at 103.2, up from 102.7 in January 2015. Prices within the “Transport” category 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 same month last year, while that of regular was 7.7 percent higher. Only diesel saw a decrease in its average price per gallon, declining by 9 percent during the period. The decline in diesel prices, combined with a 39 percent decrease in international airfares, served to offset the increases observed in the other types of fuel during the month.
    • Police Remove Drugs And Firearm Off Santa Elena Streets:
      In recent weeks, Cayo police have increased searches of hot spots in the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena to take illicit materials off the streets. At about 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 21, police conducted a search in an open lot in the Hot Point area, St. Lucia Street in Santa Elena Town. The search was based on information received. This led to the discovery of a black .38 Special Revolver Taurus brand pistol with brown wooden pistol grip and serial number VG961440. The pistol contained four live rounds of .38 ammunition and one .38 expended shell. It was concealed between some old zinc. No one was in the immediate vicinity; therefore, the firearm and ammunition were labeled and deposited as found property. However, several persons have been detained pending investigations.
    • NEBL Reaches Mid-Way Point Of Regular Season:
      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.
    • Youths Election For Cayo District:
      A group of young people from the Cayo District will be electing a group of their peers to represent their voice on national issues on Monday, February 29. The District Youth Councils will be elected across the country on Monday. For Cayo, the polling station is at the Department of Youth Services office at #28 Peter August Street in Santa Elena Town. This is upstairs of the Post Office. 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. 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.
    • Belizeans Stuck in Chetumal Due To Riot:
      Belizeans travel to Chetumal daily for business, shopping and leisure activities. Rarely do they encounter difficulties because the municipality is now primarily a “tourism town” and Belizeans spend millions of dollars there each year. Wednesday, February 24, 2016 was one of those rare days when Belizeans experienced difficulties in Chetumal, inderectly. As Belizeans were making their way home, they were blocked by protestors staging a demonstration against law enforcement authorities. Unconfirmed reports are that residents of the Subteniente Lopez community have been complaining for weeks about unreasonable checkpoints set up in the area that result in extremely long lines for motorists trying to get home after a long days work. Reports are that it sometimes take up to an hour and a half to get pass a one mile stretch due to traffic backed up by an “unnecessary and unwanted” checkpoint. Residents started a petition that was signed by thousands of supporters. That petition was presented to local authorities but no response was given. By Wednesday, residents had taken all they could and an adhoc protest was launched.
    • Johnson & Johnson Hit With $72m Damages In Talc Cancer Case:
      A jury in the US state of Missouri has ordered Johnson & Johnson (J&J) to pay $72m (£51m) to the family of a woman who claimed her death was linked to use of the company's Baby Powder talc. Jackie Fox from Birmingham, Alabama died of ovarian cancer last year, aged 62, having used the talc for decades. Her family argued that the firm knew of talc risks and failed to warn users. J&J denied the claim and is said to be considering an appeal. Researchers say links with ovarian cancer are unproven. A company spokeswoman said: "We have no higher responsibility than the health and safety of consumers, and we are disappointed with the outcome of the trial.”
    • 12-Year-Old Sexually Assaulted By Uncle:
      Police have arrested and charged 48-year-old Feliciano Merejildo Sutherland of Church Street, Benque Viejo Del Carmen Town for the crime of Sexual Assault upon a 12-year-old female minor. The student accompanied by her mother reported that sometime around 8:30 p.m. on Friday, February 19, she was at home with her sisters, father and uncle in the living room area watching television. Her mother was at work, her older sister went to the store and her father later went out. She was left at home with her uncle and 3-year-old sister. At this time, her uncle threatened her and then forcibly performed oral sex on her against her will. Police investigation led to the arrest of Sutherland.
    • Launch of Having Fun with Rights: A Children’s Activity Book:
      The Special Envoy for Women and Children with support from UNICEF Belize launched the publication, “Having Fun with Rights: A Children’s Rights Activity Book”, at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts this morning. The book targets children aged 8-11 years old and is designed to make the teaching of children’s rights more interactive and enjoyable. Activities based on situations that may occur within homes, at school or in social settings are used to make the material relatable while encouraging the children to think, rather than simply memorizing information.
    • Ministry Warns Heavy Transport Vehicles of Delays in Benque:
      The Ministry of Works and Transport issued a release to inform the general public that an axle weight survey for heavy construction and heavy transport vehicles is taking place in Benque Viejo del Carmen Town in front of the Cancha Marshalleck. The main purpose of this survey is to gather preliminary information regarding the range of heavy axle loads borne by Belize’s main highways that will be used to assist engineers in improving future highway design, improve the performance of routine and periodic maintenance and to expand its database of vehicular axle weights.
    • Nigeria Team Rewarded After 30-Year Wait:
      The Nigeria squad that won the first Fifa Under-16 World championship have been rewarded after a 30-year wait. New Nigeria president Muhammadu Buhari has made good on a promise to reward the players after the 1985 tournament when he was the military head of state. Nduka Ugbade, captain of the team who beat West Germany 2-0 in the final in Beijing, told BBC Sport: "I have finally received my money. "I am extremely delighted that our president has fulfilled his promise." Buhari had promised the players a house, stock in the central bank and a scholarship and other incentives after their success but soon after he was ousted by another military regime and the country's government never fulfilled his pledges.
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    The Star

    International Sourcesizz

    From Crooked Tree to duPlooy's Jungle Lodge
    We returned home from Belize this past Saturday, and feel very grateful for the opportunity we had to travel and bird there In my column last week, I mentioned birding at Bird's Eye View Lodge at Crooked Tree Lagoon. One day we walked from the lodge to an oak-pine savannah habitat. One of the species of trees growing in this unique habitat is the Caribbean pine, which is very similar in appearance to the ponderosa pine trees we have here in the Central Highlands of Arizona. It was so interesting to observe how, as we transitioned from a tropical habitat to the oak-pine habitat, the variety of birds changed dramatically. It was fascinating to see bird species in this habitat that are the same species we observe in the ponderosa pine forests around Prescott. One of the bird species we saw was the acorn woodpecker, with its characteristic 'clown' face, and its unique behavior of creating granaries to store acorns. We also saw Grace's warblers, chipping sparrows and dusky-capped flycatchers in this area-just as we do here in Arizona. Needless-to-say, I was totally fascinated by this experience. I was in a very different part of the world, with a similar habitat, and I was seeing the exact same bird species. This experience was repeated throughout the day as we visited other areas within walking distance of the lodge.

    Making A Difference: Woodland Family Dental
    It was a humanitarian mission that's making a difference for the children of Belize. Doctor Dan Larscheid and his co-workers were back at work this week in Duluth caring for a steady stream of patients. Last week the Doctor and his staff were also hard at work thousands of miles away in Belize. "I've always wanted to do some sort of humanitarian give back," said Dr. Dan Larsheid of Woodland Family Dental. The San Pedro Smile Center was founded by a friend of Dr. Larsheid. The average Belizean makes just fifteen dollars a day, leaving dental care beyond the reach of many families. "San Mateo is actually below sea people there build their home on stilts and they have no yards...for landfill they use--sadly enough refuse and garbage to fill in their yards," said Dr. Larsheid. Determined to make a difference, a retired dentist from Minnesota built the smile center. Dr. Mark Johnson recruits friends and volunteers to help provide regular dental care to the children who attend one of San Mateo's catholic schools.

    Central American Megaflyover to Measure Impacts of Humans & Cows in Largest Remaining Rainforests
    With support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) have embarked on an ambitious plane-based survey to gauge the influence of humans and their livestock on the largest remaining forests in Central America. Dubbed the “Central American Megaflyover,” the project is gathering detailed images of the largest five remaining forest blocks in Mesoamerica in flights across six countries (Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama). The findings will inform, guide, and inspire conservation action on the ground to protect these natural treasures. The 5,000-kilometer (3100 miles) flight started on February 26th and will continue into the middle of March. An additional 3,000 kilometers (1900 miles) will be traveled overland. “What was once an unbroken corridor of biological wonders has become threatened by rapid deforestation and fragmentation– especially due to uncontrolled cattle ranching,” said Dr. Jeremy Radachowsky, Director for WCS’s Mesoamerica and Western Caribbean Program and a participant in the flyover. “However, each of Mesoamerica’s five largest forests are still larger than several U.S. states. We hope to gather vital data on the region’s last wild places and gain insights on how to conserve these remaining landscapes, the irreplaceable wildlife they contain, and the services they provide to local people and all of humanity.”

    A Caribbean banking agency in the US?
    Caribbean governments, indigenous banks and offshore banks located in the Caribbean are extremely concerned about the withdrawal of correspondent relations from Caribbean banks by banks in the United States (US). Caribbean Heads of Government at a meeting in Belize in February made their concern very clear. The Caribbean Association of Banks have done so in separate statements. Their sense of alarm arises from the fact that, if all correspondent banking relations are withdrawn, the region will be isolated from the rest of the world and will be unable to carry out the most basic of bank transactions. In many Caribbean countries there has been a steady decline in such correspondent banking relations, and there is no sign of an early abatement.

    The issue of the loss of correspondent banking has been affecting the way business is done in Belize and elsewhere in the Caribbean. Earlier today, Steve Duncan, the Managing Director of Heritage Bank spoke to News Five about the impacts being caused by the severing of relations by U.S. banks. The Government has led a high-level delegation to the US to speak with federal regulatory agencies, but in terms of establishing ties with new, large and stable international banks there is little to report. In fact, government is now looking at smaller banks. It’s a crisis so large that it occupied a major part of the discussion at the recent CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in Placencia. Duncan told us that they’re doing what they can, but there’s no easy or quick fix. Steve Duncan, Managing Director, Heritage Bank: “It certainly has impacted the services. I think the banks recognizing the potential, the implications and the impact it could have on how we do business have been working on this assiduously for quite some time. We’ve made some adjustments, some alternative arrangements so that the impact to the society is not as great. However there is some impact and it continues to play out. We’re certainly in no way back to normal, but the banks have been able to find ways to get things done to make sure that transfers can still take place and that type of thing. So we’re working on it. I think the public expects us as bankers to get it done. We can’t expect the public out there to go and do this. That’s not what they do. So we have no choice as bankers to keep pushing at it, to try and sort it out because they expect us to do it. I think we’ve come a long way in kee…

    Honduras indigenous rights activist Berta Caceres killed
    Award-winning Honduran indigenous rights activist Berta Caceres has been killed in the western town of La Esperanza. Two men entered Ms Caceres' home on Thursday and shot her dead, Hugo Maldonado, of the Honduran Committee for the Defense of Human Rights, said. Her mother said Ms Caceres had been killed "because of her struggle" for indigenous and environmental rights. Ms Caceres had told police she had received death threats. A member of the Lenca indigenous group, she was one of the founders in 1993 of the National Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH). The United Nations' Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, said she had heard the news of Ms Caceres's "dastardly" killing with "deep sorrow". "It is highly probable that her assassination is linked with her work in protecting the human rights of the Lenca indigenous peoples to their lands and territories," Ms Tauli Corpuz said. Ms Caceres's brother Gustavo said she had always confronted things "head on" but that she had never carried a weapon because "her voice was her weapon". He asked Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez to investigate her murder and punish those responsible.


  • Belize Progressive Party Press Conference March 1, 2016, 64min.

  • Black Bird resort . Turneffe Atoll. Belize, 6min.

  • Belize Sunrise Timelapse, 12sec. 3/3/2016 Ambergris Caye, Belize sunrise.

  • Benque Archaeological Reserve Grand Opening, 1/2min. We are here at the Benque Archaeological Reserve gearing up for the site's grand opening. Check out the Benque Marimba Youth Academy as they provide entertainment for the launch!!!

  • Spotted: On the Road, 1min. How to stop locals from speeding down your street. Maybe we should try some of these, then drivers might respect the speed limits.

  • American Way - Road Warrior - Belize, 3min.

  • Maya route 2012 (Mexico - Guatemala - Honduras - Belize), 33min.

  • On the way at the Maya-route, Mexico, Guatemala Honduras and Belize, 17min. In this videopresentation you are seeing pictures that not could be used in the other presentations about the roundtrip of the Mayaroute. So you will see: Merida, along the Gulf of Mexico to the south, Copán Ruinas, Livingston, Flores Playa del Carmen and other themes like flowers and children etc..

  • Opportunities, Risks, and Victories: Women carving their own images on Belize's canvas, 6.5min. Opportunities, Risks, and Victories: Women carving their own images on Belize's canvas. Project B.A.1.

  • Belize Diving, 4min. Scuba diving the Belize Barrier Reef near San Pedro!

  • Honeymoon in Belize - Hopkins Village, 22min. We stayed right outside a small village called Hopkins Village on the coast of Belize. During our stay at the Jaguar Reef we visited the Mayan ruins of Cahal Pech and Xunatunich, went kayaking on the Sitee River (and later on a bioluminescence tour - though it doesn't turn out on camera!) and finally ended with a snorkeling trip in the ocean. It is a beautiful, peaceful country with very friendly people and wonderful vistas - but bring your bug spray!

  • Supa G Maria, 6.5min. Much Love To All My Belizean Girls, My Girls From Dangriga, Cayo, Independence, Punta Gorda, Sugar City, Belmopan, Belize City, Hopkins, Corozal, Benque, .

    March 3, 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

    Annual international Bike Rally 2016 comes to San Pedro
    February ended with quite a bang, as the third annual Belize Bike Rally, under the theme, ‘Meet in the Middle,’ took place in both Belize City and San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. The event was held from Thursday, February 25th through Saturday, February 27th, and saw hundreds of Harley Davidson enthusiasts come out to enjoy the bike show and meet the many bikers. Organized by Belize Black Pearl Motorcycle Club, the show had bikers hailing from North, Central, and South America. The rally culminated with a beach rock concert at the Fidos Restaurant and Courtyard in San Pedro Town. This year the event was bigger than previous ones, due to the many local clubs that have been popping up all over the country. The motorcades in Belize City featured a number of popular brands and the rumble of the bikes drew the attention of many bike enthusiasts. Nigel Espat, member of Black Pearl Motorcycle Club, explained that similar rallies are held throughout the Americas, but the one in Belize is unique. Belize’s location, geography and multilingual environment offers a one- of- a kind experience for the visiting road warriors.

    Sunshine Scholarship Foundation to host charity fashion show
    The Sunshine Scholarship Foundation is hosting its third fundraiser on Saturday, March 5th at Corona Del Mar Hotel. The fundraiser is in the form of a Fashion Show scheduled to begin from 4PM. The theme of the Show is “FashioSunshine Foundationn Glam Slam” and all proceeds will go towards providing island children with educational scholarships. There will be lots of raffles, prizes and surprises throughout the night. Admission charges are $20 for adults and $10 for children under the age of 12. Tickets can be purchased at the following locations: Island Time Beach Bar and Grill, Caye Cofee, Divas and Dudes, Sunrise Realty, Time Out Beach Bar, Corona del Mar Hotel, Island Gear, and Flowers Salazar Associates LTD. Everyone is invited to come out and support a worthy cause. For more information contact Eve Dirnback at 623-9962 or Joy Flowers at 610-0048.

    Aiesha Moriera and Andrew Novelo are the islands top spellers
    It was time to spell again as the Ministry of Education, Bowen and Bowen Limited and Ambergris Caye Elementary School hosted the 22nd annual National Coca Cola Spelling Bee Zone Eliminations. Top spellers from eight primary schools from across San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker Village participated in hopes of representing Zone 5 at the Regional Tournament to be held in Belize City. The Zone 5 Eliminations took place on Thursday, February 25th at the San Pedro Lions Den, with 16 bright contestants testing their spelling skills. But after four rounds, it was Aiesha Moriera from New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School (NHSDA) and Andrew Novelo from La Isla Cariñosa Elementary School (ICES) who took the honors. The final round would decide the top two spellers as well as an alternate. Unable to properly spell their two given words in the round and eliminated were Lupita Aldana and Mariano Calderon. This left Andrew Novelo, Aisha Moriera and Ninel Pacheco to complete for the top places. In the end it was Aiesha Moriera who rose as the winner, correctly spelling all words given to her throughout the tournament. In second place was Andrew Novelo, who only missed one word in the entire tournament. Taking third place and an opportunity to represent Zone 5 at the District Elimination if one of the two top contestants cannot attend, was Ninel Pacheco who only misspelled two words in the entire competition.

    Ambergris Today

    Flashback - The Little Clinic that Could
    Back in 1975 when the San Pedro Lions Club was chartered, one of its first big projects was to build a clinic and equip it with a resident doctor and registered nurse. Three years later this building was completed with the sweat and blood and skills of the Lion members. The San Pedro Lions Clinic opened its doors with Dr. Otto Rodriguez R.I.P and Nurse Burns R.I.P. attending to the health needs of the community of San Pedro. At the time it was the greatest thing to happen to San Pedro. The Lions soon expanded the clinic facility and added a second floor to this building which served as living quarters of the resident doctor. Most important, the Lions gave this service free of cost and only asked for a ten dollar contribution to help make ends meet. Due to the tremendous success of this health clinic, the Lions then boldly moved on to initiate the construction of the present day Poly Clinic which then received the aid and collaboration of government that is now in charge of staffing and administration. It can safely be said that good health services exist in San Pedro thanks to the vision and passion of the Lions Club.

    Belize Launches Carnaval Promotional Video for Cultural Preservation
    The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) through the Institute for Social and Cultural Research (ISCR) launched the premiere viewing of ‘Belize Cultural Celebrations Video Series Volume 2: Carnaval’. The material was launched on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at 9:00a.m. at the Paradise Theater, where each participating school/institution in attendance received copies of the promotional material after the viewing. This is the second in a series of educational and promotional materials which highlight Belize’s local cultural heritage highlighting the pre-Lenten festivity of Carnaval. Launches in Caledonia Village, Corozal Town and Orange Walk Town took place on the 7th, 8th and 9th of February, at the Caledonia RC School, Corozal House of Culture, and Banquitas House of Culture. The video and accompanying poster are being distributed in San Pedro, as well as several communities in Northern Belize including Corozal Town, as this cultural event was widely practiced in Mestizo communities across Belize, especially those in the north.

    Sunshine Scholarship Foundation Hosting Fashion Show Fundraiser
    The Sunshine Scholarship Foundation is hosting its third fundraiser on Saturday, March 5, 2016, at Corona Dell Mar. Gates open at 4p.m. and the show begins at 6p.m. Adult tickets are $20.00 and $10.00 for children under 12. The theme for the show is Fashion Glam Slam! There will be raffles, prizes and surprises, All proceeds to the foundation for scholarships

    BTL To Launch "Full Nationwide" 4G LTE In Belize With Huawei
    Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), under the banner of its DigiCell Mobile brand, and its telecommunications vendor-partner Huawei Technologies, announced on Tuesday, March 1, 2016, the roll-out of its nationwide 4G LTE network, expected for launch in December of this year. The installation of DigiCell's brand new 4G LTE mobile network throughout Belize will position BTL to be the first and only telecommunications provider to have this high speed mobile service throughout the country – and at speeds and quality that will ultimately be superior to that of any provider within the country, or elsewhere throughout the Caribbean & Central American region.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    The Ministry of Works, Transport hereby informs the general public that an axle weight survey for heavy construction and heavy transport vehicles will take place in Camalote Village, Cayo District in front of the Community Center. The main purpose of this survey is to gather preliminary information regarding the range of heavy axle loads borne by Belize’s main highways that will be used to assist engineers in improving future highway design, improve the performance of routine & periodic maintenance and to expand its database of vehicular axle weights. We apologize in advance for inconveniences in the form of minor delays for heavy construction and heavy transport vehicles. We encourage all motorists to obey the rules of the road, to drive with caution and to be mindful of those involved in carrying out the axle weight survey from 2nd to 10th March, 2016.

    Western Ballaz Host Hurricanes
    The Western Ballaz will host the Hurricanes this Friday. The game starts at 9:00pm. "Hurricane can't hit inland. SHC is 'THE' hurricane shelter!"

    FCD congratulates all the 14 teams that finished the Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge
    The race, documented in cameras, will serve to highlight the beauty of the Chiquibul-Maya Mountains. Our gratitude goes to Doug and Julia Crystler for making this race possible in Belize.

    Have you been to the EducationUSA Reference Center in Belize City yet? If not they might just come to you! Today the Education USA Reference Center and the National Library Service made history! Advisors from the center made their first school visit to Wesley College and talked about opportunities for studying in the United States. Advisors were welcomed with much enthusiasm and appreciation for imparting beneficial knowledge! Tomorrow we will be at Nazarene High School to continue our journey in educating students about Higher Educational opportunities in the U.S.A.!

    University of Belize Opportunities Fair
    U.S. Embassy staff recently attended the University of Belize Opportunities Fair on February 25 and talked with students from U.B. and area high schools about the student visa process and opportunities for studying in the United States.

    San Pedro Sailing Club fundraising event
    Your presence would be greatly appreciated at our fundraiser event on Sunday March 13th, 2016, 11am at Caribbean Villas Hotel. There will be sailing, raffles, a silent auction, a coin drive (please bring your spare change)food and drinks on sale. This will be fun for the whole family. Please support this worthy cause. We are seeking donations for raffle prizes and the silent auction packages. Please email us at : or call Amanda at 622-2820 to find out how you can support the club. Thank you and we hope to see you there!

    BA1 Seed Capital Dispersal
    The Government of Belize, through the Women’s Department, Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation and the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Central American Integration System (SICA), is pleased to celebrate the achievement of 240 women recipients of seed capital grants, totaling USD340,000, as a part of the BA1 project, “Prevention of Violence against women in Central America”. The project has taken place in seven countries in which over 3, 500 women who were victims or at risk of violence, femicide and trafficking in persons, have been awarded seed capital grants to either start or enhance their small businesses. In Belize, 319 women received micro-enterprise development and life skills training through the Small Business Development Centre (SBDCBelize) and the Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC).

    The latest edition of the Substantive Laws of Belize, the Revised Edition 2011, is now available. This publication consolidates the Substantive Laws (Acts) of Belize made at any time up until December 31, 2011. Each set consists of a package containing the following: 18 Volumes -1 to 15B (packaged in 2 boxes) – B5-sized printed booklets on white bond paper (side-stapled); 1 CD-ROM –searchable PDF format, menus with hyperlinks, indexing for keyword search, bookmarks. They are available for sale at the office of the Attorney General’s Ministry (AG’s Ministry), Second Floor, East Block, Independence Plaza, Belmopan (special delivery arrangements may be discussed), tel. 822-2504, 822-0519 – E-mail “”. The process of updating the laws is a continuous one, and supplements bringing the laws further up-to-date will be supplied in a timely manner, on terms to be advised. Payment Arrangements The cost per set is $5000.00.

    Four Belizeans to Travel to Japan for Exchange Program
    Four Belizeans have been selected to participate in the Juntos Program, a Japanese Friendship Ties Program with Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in March 2016. The participants, who were selected from among 60 applicants, comprise two (2) male and female candidates of diverse cultural and professional backgrounds. They are Ms. Cecy Castillo, Ms. Christa Hulse, Mr. Donghoon Choe and Mr. Raphael Martinez. The candidates will act as Belizean ambassadors during their two-week exchange in Japan where they will fulfill the two objectives of the program: (1) to promote further understanding of the Japanese society, history, culture, politics and foreign policy; and (2) to deepen the relations between Japan and the LAC.

    Belize to host Caribbean Growth Forum meeting
    Next week, representatives from 14 Caribbean countries will come together in Belize City to take stock of key lessons learned from the 100 reform actions implemented through the Caribbean Growth Forum, and announce a communiqué to move forward on their pro-growth agenda. "Belize is proud to host this meeting. This is an extraordinary opportunity for Caribbean nations to build on the results achieved so far by the Caribbean Growth Forum and enhance the competitiveness of our respective countries,” said Tracy Panton, minister of state – ministry of economic development, petroleum, investment, trade and commerce, government of Belize. During the meeting, countries will discuss and agree on how to create result based roadmaps to accelerate reforms and help track the implementation of actions linked to these reforms in the areas of investment climate, skills and productivity, and logistics and connectivity.

    Upcoming Internship Opportunities!
    We are excited to announce three new internship opportunities through Belize Study Abroad at Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary: SOCIAL MEDIA INTERNSHIP SOCIAL IMPACT MEASUREMENT AND ANALYSIS INTERNSHIP BIOLOGY, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & ECOLOGY INTERNSHIP Want an chance to immerse yourself in the unique and diverse environments and cultures of Belize? Want to share your skills, creativity, drive, and passion to work on the ground in community settings to contribute to meaningful projects? Follow the link below to learn more & Like, Share and Tag your friends to spread the word!

    Paradise Theater playing this weekend
    Sisters, Alvin, Victor Frankenstein, Room.

    Channel 7

    Cop Shooting Robbers Were Targeting City Council's Tax Roll
    Last night, we showed you how 27 year-old Woman Police Constable Shaneah Caliz was injured in a foiled armed robbery attempt. That’s because a thief panicked and opened fire on the police mobile which pulled up on a robbery in progress. Police today charged 31 year-old Jamal Jackson for the crime, and we’ll get to his criminal charges a little later. But, first, we tell you about whom he was trying to rob. They were two security personnel contracted by the Belize City Council, who were making a night deposit at Scotiabank on Albert Street. They were depositing cash and cheques from trade licenses and property tax payments. It was quite a bit of money because March is a major financial period for the Council, because annual fees are due form business and property owners. The robbers might have known this, but they were late, because the security guards had already deposited the money when they were held up at gunpoint. Today, we spoke with Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley about the robbery attempt which ended when a woman constable was shot in the head. He says that the scary event reinforces the need for a roll-out of a new payment system for trade licenses and property taxes:

    National Leaders Meet
    In early February when we spoke to the freshly sworn in PUP party leader John Briceno, he said that his first order of business was to meet with his parliamentarians to discuss the restructuring of the party. But another important order of business was to meet with the Prime Minister – and he did so this morning. Briceno told us it was a courtesy call but he still took that opportunity to discuss some pressing national issues. Hon. John Briceno - PUP Party Leader: "It is more of a courtesy visit since I've been elected as the new leader of the PUP and also as the leader of the opposition, I think that it is important for both of us to meet and to discuss some of the important issues that are confronting our country. Of course the one that comes to mind is the issue of the Sarstoon incident that took place over the weekend. I pointed out to the Prime Minister that we in the PUP want to be fully engaged with the government when it comes to issues of national importance and the Belize Guatemala referendum is certainly one of them."

    PUP Leader Names Senators-Designate
    So now that the courtesy call to the Prime Minister has been checked off the to do list, it is back to party matters. One that we have been following for some time now is the appointment of senators. The existing slate: Lisa Shoman, Patrick Andrews and Anthony Sylvester were only put there as placeholders after the general elections – until the PUP could elect a new leader. Now that new leader, John Briceno has settled upon the three persons he will appoint to the upper house. This evening he discussed their strengths. "As the new leader I have been tasked to able to try to reach out to as many people as we can to be able to come up with a good team in the Senate. I have spoken to former foreign minister Eamon Courtenay and asked him to be our lead in the Senate and he has graciously accepted..."

    Did Briceno Leave Lisa Behind?
    Now as you heard in Briceno’s interview, he believes this new senatorial line-up will be active and strong in defending the party – but they’ll have big shoes to fill when it comes to the formidable Lisa Shoman. Some observers wonder whether the party wouldn’t have done well to keep her on in the senate where she excelled in the parliamentary cut and thrust. Briceno told us this was not an easy decision but that he needed to give other people a chance in the senate. Hon. John Briceno - PUP Party Leader: "Our party is full of talented people, we need to able to give opportunity to other people; but that does not mean that Lisa is not going to be working for the party. She's a part of this very high powered team, the Belize Guatemala team that is made up of all former PUP foreign ministers and she is going to be a part of that. I believe and I expect that she is going to play a key role in that committee and they are going to be other things that we are going to be asking of Lisa. Don't believe that is the last you've heard or going to see of Lisa Shoman."

    Lining Up The Parliamentary Seating
    From senators to the parliamentary seating arrangement….Briceno was very guarded in his response to this question but he did say that so far he has decided to place all 4 deputy leaders on the front bench. Hon. John Briceno - PUP Party Leader "As far as I can tell you right now because obviously I have to discuss it with my parliamentarians. I have decided that all the deputy leaders are going to be seated in the front; that’s as much as I can tell you at this moment." Those deputy leaders are Rodwell Ferguson, Jose Mai, Kareem Musa and Julius.

    What "Key Position" For Cordel Hyde?
    So now while the PUP line up in the House of Representatives is pretty much set – Briceno now has to get things organized inside the party. There are several vacant positions on the national executive, and Briceno is right now meeting with various “politicos” to see if he can fill those posts. Senior among all those is Cordel Hyde. Briceno has said on more than one occasion that Hyde will assume a key position in the party – but just what is that position? This evening Briceno told us he is still trying to figure out what that role will best suit Hyde. Hon. John Briceno - PUP Party Leader: "At the last national executive meeting, one of the items that was discussed in the executive was the restructuring of the executive. There are certain post that were not filled in, that are open and some that were left open because of the election; for instance Honourable Kareem Musa, he was the deputy communications director but now he is a deputy leader, so that position is open. So I spoke to the executive..."

    OW Police Make Major Intel. Based Weed Bust
    Tonight marijuana is streaming out of northern Belize – and it’s clear that some kind of Mexican connection is fuelling the link. We start with a dramatic drug bust this afternoon outside of Orange Walk near the Mameyal curve. Police were waiting for two vehicles with Belize license plates which came heading south, an Escalade and a Mercedes Sedan. Reports say the vehicles tried to elude police – but they were caught and impounded at the Orange Walk Police station where the cops hit the jackpot with a sizeable weed bust. The drugs were stuffed in hidden panels on the Escalade. Inspector Nicholas Palomo told CTV-3 more:… The weed weighed 16 pounds and charges for drug trafficking will be brought tomorrow. The well-known Alrick Smith who was in the Mercedes was seen telling police that they have no reason to hold him because there was no weed in that vehicle.

    Weed Runners Ran Off, Left 18 lbs. Behind
    But that is only part of the weed picture on the north tonight. Last night the Customs Department intercepted a major marijuana move apparently coming out of the Corozal Free Zone. Between 7:45 and 8:00 last night, Customs Officers saw three men bounding over the free zone fence near the Las Vegas Casino. They also hurled two backpacks over the fence. They dashed off when they saw law enforcement approaching and customs retrieved the bags. They found 18 and one quarter pounds of marijuana inside. The three men escaped into the bushes and could not be found. One man was found in the area, a lone Cuban – but police believe he didn’t have anything to do with the weed and was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He has been turned over to the Immigration Department. So, in total that is 34 and one quarter pounds of marijuana intercepted in the north in less than 24 hours. Police are investigating to see if there is a connection between the two busts. They do believe the weed is coming across from Mexico.

    Honduran Fishers Caught With No "Papeles"
    A Team of Coast Guard officers also caught 3 men fishing illegally near Glovers Reef. Those men, 48 year-old Belizean Grevil Franklin, and Hondurans, 37 year-old Miguel Angel Miranda and 34 year-old Marco Antonio Castillo were fishing without any kind of permit. Today, we found Hampton Gamboa, the supervisor of the Fisheries Department’s Conservation Compliance Unit, at the Magistrate’s Court preparing to prosecute them. He told us more about the arrest: Hampton Gamboa - Supervisor, Conversation Compliance Unit: "Yesterday about midday, Belize Coast Guard on patrol out at Clover's Reef atoll at the north part of Clover's Reef atoll came across a black fishing commercial vessel which when they board had on two Honduran occupants and a Belizean occupant. So Coast Guard proceeded by detaining everyone after finding a Nassau Grouper which season is closed for at present and also for the fact that two of the fishermen didn't have a valid fishing license. Coast Guard personnel handed over these individuals to fisheries officers at Middle Caye out at Clover's Reef who then brought in these guys yesterday evening about after 5. So at present we are court to bring charges against these individuals for non-compliance with the fisheries regulation as it relates to conducting fishing in Belize without valid fisher folk license."

    Diplomat Will Try To Get Back Stolen Truck
    3 weeks ago, we told you about the very brazen Benque Viejo carjacking in which Assistant Superintendent Selwyn Tillett, the Commanding Officer for Orange Walk Police, was car jacked. 2 Hispanic men pointed a gun at him, and took the keys for his son-in-law’s white 2014 Mazda Pick up truck. A few hours later, it was found in Guatemala, in an area known as Camalote, which is about 10 miles from Melchor. Well, the truck is still in Melchor and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been activated to retrieve it for the Tillett family. Diplomat Said Guerra is on the job and he went to meet the judge in Melchor. Guerra has learned that the truck is impounded in Santa Elena Peten.

    Link Road Will Connect George Price and Phillip Goldson
    Yesterday we told you about the major upgrade to the 3.5 mile stretch of road between the Haulover Bridge and the Airport junction. That project is for 13.5 million dollars. But there is an even bigger project in the pipeline. Government has earmarked loan funds to push a road from 8 miles on the Western Highway to the Airport on the Northern Highway. This link road as it is called would give easier access to the international airport for those coming in from the west. At next Tuesday’s House Meeting, Government will bring a motion in the House to accept a loan of some $11.78 million US dollars from the OPEC Fund for International Development to build the road. The loan from OPEC will cover 87% of the total costs of the civil works component of the project. It is being called the Airport Link Road Project.

    Darrell Defends Darin
    6 days ago, we showed you the American Investors who said that businessman Darin Smith, of Biospharms deceived them into paying 40 thousand US dollars for a piece of land on his subdivision located in Los Tambos, Cayo. They have accused him of promising to give them title for land that they’ve paid for, but that he has never delivered. We tried exhaustively to reach Smith and his attorney, Mayor Darrell Bradley but they never responded. But today when we finally got a chance to ask the Mayor about it. He told us that his client, Darin Smith, vigorously rejects their allegations, and that he will strenuously defend against the civil suit that these Americans have brought against him: Darrell Bradley - Mayor of Belize City: "We live in a society of laws. The complaints that were raised by those persons is the subject of ongoing litigation, so that their recourse is a civil action in the Supreme Court which they have filled. They have retained council; they have served my client Mr. Smith with the claim documents."

    Waterloo - is Cruise Port A Bridge Too Far?
    Waterloo – that’s the name of the Ashcroft Allied company which is the receiver for the Port of Belize. And that’s also the company, which would spearhead the construction of a cruise ship berthing facility at the Port of Belize – if such a project were to ever get off the ground. Last word was that Waterloo was considering the investment – but now the activist group COLA says they’ve already decided against it. COLA – which has been consistently in favour of Mike Feinstein’s Stake Bank Project – says in a release, quote, “Government has been left with mud in its eye…the Ashcroft group sources say is not interested in investing in a cruise port at the site. Yesterday we asked Investment Minister of State Tracy Taegar Panton about it and she said as far as she knows – the proposal has not been rejected:… Emanuel Pech: "We’ve heard talks about Belize port; it has been on the news for quite some time recently as of last week when we understand that Waterloo company which is part of the Ashcroft Alliance met in Miami to discuss matters about the port. Has there been any feedback that has gotten back to the Ministry of Investment, if so what's the talks there?"

    Briceno Braces For Bad Budget
    Earlier in the news you heard all about the PUP’s plans for the National Assembly. Those arrangements will come into play next week when the house meets for the biggest day on the parliamentary calendar – the presentation of the revenue and appropriations bill – what we all call “the Budget.” John Briceno will lead the opposition charge against that budget – and today he told me he expects a paltry post election package which will spell suffering for regular folks and stagnation for the business sector:… Hon. John Briceno - PUP Party Leader: "We went a binge before the elections and they are suffering a massive hangover and unfortunately that hangover, all of us are feeling that hangover. The government I believe they do not have, they ran out of funds, they've spent all the monies of the PetroCaribe. The oil is such as a low price that whatever we get from BNE its very little and the economy is almost stalling. We have problems in citrus, we have problems in banana, we have problem in shrimp, we have problems in sugar. We know what is going to happen with in papayas, shutting down and now even having problems with the Commercial Free Zone in the north where Atlantic Bank has announced that they will not business with any companies that are selling cigarettes. So that's going to put a serious problem for these business people."

    Cable Company Jacked
    A cashier was robbed of over $12,000 dollars in Dangriga. On Monday afternoon around 12:50, 19 year old Dianie Munoz was at her workplace: the Southern Cable Network Office. A man dressed in black clothes, a cap and sunshades forced his way inside the office and held her up at gunpoint. He then stole $9,905 in cash, one Laptop computer and an I-Phone. Police have not detained anyone as yet.

    Preparing For Rising Waters
    Today, a group of technocrats from 9 municipal governments around the country, along with the Belize Association of Planners, the Associations of Professional Engineers and Architects of Belize got together to discuss climate change in the context of urban development. They’re trying to change the conversation on climate change from being all about science to thinking more about human habitation. These professionals want to talk about how the coastal communities of Belize can better prepare for the effects of climate change by constructing more resilient buildings and homes. We stopped by: Darrell Bradley - Mayor of Belize City: "It’s a forum organised by the Belize Planners association, Ms. Carolyn Trench-Sandiford and the various associations regarding planners and the real topic is to discuss urban resilience to climate change. I love the opportunity here to get together, stakeholders under the hospices of the discussion of climate change because it is a very really threat to our society in terms of the minister's remarks as he said that climate change is a present and pressing risk, more especially for developing countries and especially for countries like Belize which depend on coastal community. I personally have a stake in this because I am the mayor of Belize City and Belize City is inundated by water, so it’s in our interest to participate in activities and forums like this to engage with dialogue. I think it is very important that the discussion be based on research and analysis that would guide and inform policies and planning strategies."

    Squatters On the Sarstoon
    Since Monday, we’ve been telling you all about the Saturday expedition that Wil Maheia led back to the Sarstoon. He intended to go to the Gracias A Dios border marker, but the Guatemalan Navy formed a blockade at the entrance of the Mouth of the Sarstoon River, and that – combined with some rough weather - stopped them from passing. That’s caused its own controversy, but there’s another element of the story. While the Belizeans were on the way the Sarstoon, they came upon several makeshift camps along the coast a short distance away from the mouth of the river. That’s clearly in Belizean territory. And, as viewers will remember, that also its the very same vicinity that our Daniel Ortiz went splashing around in the thick mud, chasing fishermen for a chance to speak with them. Well, Maheia says that because nothing has been done to curb this illegal behaviour, these fishermen have gotten more brazen and they’ve started to set up camps along the Beach side. That’s squatting and according to Maheia, this escalation needs to be curbed immediately:

    Equipment Handed Over
    Two weeks ago, the United Nations Population Fund, donated over $184 thousand dollars’ worth of information gathering equipment to the Ministries of Health and National Security. The gear is part of an effort to curb violence against women. Today police invited us to their headquarters at Queen Street Police Station to see the distribution of these new pieces of equipment to the different police branches. We spoke to Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood and Sergeant Martha Rhys, Head of the Family Violence Unit of the Eastern North Division. They said that a matter as serious as family violence, is everyone’s concern. Police formations countrywide received equipment.

    "Easy Japanese-y" For Foursome
    Four Belizeans have been chosen to be a part of “Juntos”, a Japanese foreign exchange program with Latin-America and the Caribbean. They are Cecy Castillo, Christa Hulse, Donghoon Choe, and the Police Department’s very own Raphael Martinez who will all travel to Japan this month. During their two week stay, they are tasked to deepen relations between the both countries. The four were selected from 60 applicants. They met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Belmopan yesterday to share their expectations for the upcoming trip. This is the first time that Belize is participating in this Japanese foreign exchange program.

    BPP Gets A Headquarters
    The Belize Progressive Party failed to get 2% of the popular vote in the last general elections. But the third party is determined to carve out a lasting place for itself on the Belizean political landscape. And to do that –it has to have a headquarters, just like the PUP and the UDP. And that’s what they inaugurated yesterday on Vernon Street in Belize City. The new Headquarters is the property of party leader Patrick Rogers. His party will lease it from him for 500 dollars a month for 10 years. With all that apparent inside trading, we asked if it is an arm’s length transaction:.. The BPP says it plans to start a newspaper and a radio station as well.

    Channel 5

    Breaking News: Late Afternoon Shooting in the City
    Around five o’clock this afternoon, there was a shooting on Central American Boulevard. Two gunmen attempted to rob a salesman from Vega’s Distributors of Benque Viejo del Carmen, Cayo. The [...]

    Government Must Return $2.8 Million to Coye Family
    A long and traumatic journey which began on New Year’s Eve 2008 and included a conviction for money laundering, jail time, countless trips to Court and even a death is [...]

    Melonie Coye Opens Up About Painful Legal Drama
    As we told you, the journey has been a painful one. In 2013 then accused money launderer Michael Coye passed away from a heart attack. He suffered from a diabetic [...]

    Opposition Leader on Sarstoon Debacle
    This morning P.U.P. Leader John Briceño met with Prime Minister Dean Barrow at his office on Coney Drive in Belize City. It was a courtesy visit, but it comes at [...]

    John Briceno Clarifies PUP Demand for Ambassador Alexis Rosado’s Recall
    In a release from the P.U.P. issued on Monday, there was a call for the recall for consultations of Ambassador Alexis Rosado who is based in Guatemala. Foreign Minister Wilfred [...]

    A Cuban National is Busted with 18 Pounds of Weed Near Corozal Free Zone
    The Belize Coastguard made a bust today up north which ended in the detention of forty-three-year-old Waldo Bernal Pol, a Cuban national. Pol is in police custody tonight, for almost [...]

    Alrick Smith and Two Others Nabbed for Drug Trafficking in Orange Walk
    Orange Walk Police are reporting a drug bust of five kilos of marijuana in town this afternoon. Acting on intelligence Police stopped a Cadillac Escalade and found the stash of [...]

    Accused Cop Shooter Jamal Jackson Arraigned in Court
    Thirty-one-year old Jamal Jackson, one of two suspects in an attempted robbery of a Nova Scotia Bank night deposit, made two trips to the court today. This morning he was [...]

    Coastguard and Fisheries Haul in Illegal Fishermen from Glovers Reef
    While police and the Belize Coastguard made drug busts up north, the Fisheries Department also successfully conducted a bust at sea. Illegal fishing continues in Belizean waters despite all efforts [...]

    An Interagency Approach to Fighting Illegal Fishing
    Images of a recent shark kill prompted outcry from conservationists as well as from fisher folk. There are various challenges facing the fishing industry, including the use of gill nets [...]

    PUP Leader on Need for OAS at Belize/Guatemala Border
    It’s been widely publicized locally and regionally that the O.A.S. is running out of money, and the office at the adjacency zone may have to close its doors. Most Belizeans [...]

    New Slate of Senators for the PUP
    Today Briceño made the announcement of new Senators who will replace Lisa Shoman, Patrick Andrews and Anthony Sylvestre in the National Assembly. All three had remained in that position in [...]

    Will There be More Civil House Meetings in the Near Future?
    As we told you, all those matters of national importance were discussed by Briceño and the Prime Minister this morning. But outside of that, the leaders also discussed the level [...]

    At Long Last Marion Jones is Opened to the Public!!
    The Marion Jones Sporting Complex is getting some attention. Forgive us if we seem unduly excited about it, but it’s gotten to the point where anything positive done to enhance [...]

    …FIFA-certified Football Pitch at Marion Jones in the Pipelines
    And there’s more good news. In 2015 just days before elections there was a ceremony to announce that the Mexican government was pumping five million dollars into the facility. That [...]

    Are Caneros in the North in Dire Straits?
    The 2016/2017 Budget will be presented on Tuesday, and the Opposition has been predicting that it will be anything but uplifting and inspiring. Today P.U.P. leader John Briceño stuck to [...]

    Meet and Greet on Cleghorn Street
    This afternoon, officers assigned to Eastern Division North were in the area of Freetown Road near Douglas Jones Street where they were pressing flesh with residents and business owners in [...]

    BA1 Donates to Domestic Violence Unit
    A donation of data gathering equipment valued at roughly one hundred and eighty-four thousand dollars has been handed over to the ministries of health and national security, including the Belize [...]


    Briceno Pays Courtesy Call to Prime Minister
    This morning just before ten o’clock, Leader of the Opposition, John Briceno paid a courtesy call upon Prime Minister Dean Barrow at the Whitfield Tower on Coney Drive in Belize City. According to Briceno, there were several topics discussed in this meeting which is part of his 100-day agenda as the recently elected Party Leader […]

    PUP to Revisit Stance on Going to the ICJ
    On July 24, 2015 the People’s United Party under the leadership of Francis Fonseca, issued a release to the media, saying that the party has decided to not support the taking of the ICJ issue to a referendum. About two months prior to that release, Fonseca had stated that the PUP is saying no to […]

    Party Leader Changes PUP Senators
    Upon Francis Fonseca’s announcement of resignation of the Party Leader post, he did make note that the three Senators he had appointed under his leadership would remain as caretakers for the People’s United Party until a new leader is chosen. John Briceno emerged as that new leader and in the last few weeks discussions have […]

    PUP Wants Ambassador Home for Consultations
    Earlier this week the People’s United Party sent out a release on the Belize/Guatemala issue. That release read, in part, quote, “The PUP calls on the Government of Belize to immediately deliver a strongly worded Diplomatic Note to Guatemala rejecting the spurious claim by Foreign Minister Morales, and to recall our Belizean Ambassador to Guatemala […]

    Jackson Charged for Shooting Police Officer
    Thirty-one year old Jamal Jackson, A resident of Supal Street, has been charged for kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license. Jackson is accused of firing at a women police officer 27-year-old Woman Constable 1845 Sheneah Caliz on Monday night. Police believe he used a glock 9 millimeter pistol to do so. Jackson pled […]

    Four to Japan on Friendship Program
    Among 60 Belizean applicants, four have been chosen to participate in the Juntos Program this year. Cecy Castillo, Christa Hulse, Donghoon Choe and Raphael Martinez were chosen to travel to Belize to represent the country in the Juntos Program, a Japanese Friendship Ties Program with Latin America and the Caribbean. The four Belizeans will be […]

    995 Grams of Marijuana Listed as Found Property
    On Monday morning, the Gang Suppression Unit was on St. Jude Street in Belize City conducting operations. Officers searched an open lot and found 871 grams of cannabis among some plantain tree. No-one was in the immediate area at the time of the discovery therefore; the cannabis was labeled as Found Property. The drug is […]

    Trio Caught at Spawning Site with Nassau Grouper
    Two Honduran nationals and a Belizean went to court today after they went fishing at a SPAG site at Glover’s Reef. The men had no fisher folk license, no work permit, no seaworthy certificate and no license for the fishing vessel they were in. Belize Coast Guard personnel approached the vessel and uncovered a Nassau […]

    Cuban Found with Marijuana Near Free Zone
    The Belize Coast Guard was on a joint patrol with the Customs and the Belize Defense Force last night at around nine o’clock in the area of the Corozal Free Zone when they came across two men in the area. Reports are that the two men began fleeing upon sighting the patrol just behind the […]


    Plenty of weed in Gold Escalade! Orange Walk Police are currently searching two vehicles with Belize City licenses plate for drugs, ammunition or firearm. Both vehicles were traveling from Corozal to Orange Walk and upon reaching the Bypass by the Establo Restaurant they saw the police. The drivers of the vehicles tried to evade being searched by police and as such drove off. That is when cops shot at the vehicles forcing the drivers to stop, according to residents of the area. In the gold Escalade police found several packages of what is believed to be compressed cannabis.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    Firearms charges for alleged robber and cop shooter
    31 year old Jamal Jackson of Supal Street faces charges of keeping a firearm and ammunition without a gun license. Jackson, police say, led them to the Glock 9 millimeter pistol with 9 rounds of ammunition in its magazine which was used to shoot Woman Police […]

    Ministry of Human Development hands over equipment to Family Violence Unit
    The law enforcement agency responsible for dealing with domestic situations, the Family Violence Unit of the Belize Police Department’s Eastern Division, today received $184,000 worth of electronic equipment from the Ministry of Human Development in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA. The data gathering equipment received […]

    Child Stimulation Month emphasizes talking to your child
    Since 1984, Belize has been celebrating Child Stimulation Month, a chance for the Jewel’s youngest citizens to experience more of the world around them. Every March, pre-schoolers interact with their community through trips, visits from adult leaders and activities such as culture and sports day […]

    Fishermen caught with endangered species out of season
    Three fishermen, two Honduran nationals and one Belizean, were charged with fisheries offences when they appeared today before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza: 48 year old Belizean, Grevil Franklin Lara, and Honduran nationals, 37 year old Miguel Angel Miranda and 34 year old Marco Antonio Castillo Vasquez, […]

    Professionals address climate change in urban areas
    A group of professional associations have partnered with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (CCCCC) to agree on and present solutions for building urban resilience to climate change. The Belize Association of Planners (BAP); the Association of Professional Engineers of Belize (APEB); and the Association of […]

    John Briceño meets with P.M.
    Returned leader of the People’s United Party, Honorable John Briceño has meeting with the PUP executive committees in the different constituencies nationwide. Today, he met with Prime Minister Dean Barrow. One of the matters discussed was the latest incursion of the Guatemalan military into Belize’s […]

    Corozal Police bag 18.25 pounds of weed
    A joint operation held by the Customs Department, Belize Defence Force (BDF) and the Coast Guard on Tuesday night behind the Corozal Commercial Free Zone led them to 18 ¼ pounds of marijuana. That operation was conducted without the police around 9:00 in the night behind a chain link […]

    Orange Walk police arrest 3 men for almost 15 pounds of weed
    Orange Walk Police are processing three persons detained after an operation conducted around 3:20 this afternoon led officers to the discovery and confiscation of several kilos of marijuana. Authorities intercepted a gold Escalade at the Mameyal Curve located between San Jose Village and Orange Wlak Town, in […]

    Could a third-party ever win an election in Belize?
    The political landscape in Belize, like many other places in the world, is dominated by a two-party democratic system where the two major parties exchange power back and forth as citizens grow weary of one and restores the other to office. In the 35 years […]

    COLA insists Port Loyola cruise port proposal is rejected
    Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) has been keenly following developments regarding the establishment of a cruise port docking facility for the Belize District. In January they called out the Government for seeming to change its stance from its days in Opposition on […]

    Minor to be charged for dismembered fetus found
    After the shocking news of a fetus being found by a dog in Dangriga broke last Thursday, a thorough investigation was launched by that municipality’s police formation, which has led to the discovery that a minor was responsible for this horrific incident. According to […]

    Armed robbery in Dangriga nets thief over $12,000
    More than $12,000 was lost in an armed robbery at Southern Cable Network’s office in Dangriga on Monday afternoon, when a dark complexion male entered and held up 19-year-old cashier, Dianie Munoz. Munoz told police that she was inside the office on Court House […]

    Esperanza Village businessman loses firearm accidentally
    A business man from Esperanza Village, Cayo District, Elvis Orellano, 43, reported to San Ignacio police yesterday that around 4:00 p.m., his wife rented a Mitsubishi Montero to a customer and forgot to take out his licensed nine-millimeter pistol containing seven live rounds from […]


    Teacher Susie Hyde worked with her class at Corozal Methodist School yesterday in the hot sun at their school that faces the beautiful Corozal Bay to make this banner to enter it in a competition today. Best of wishes to Teacher Susie and her class!!!

    Shrimp Fajitas
    Heat oil in a saucepan and add onion and sweet pepper and sautee until onion is translucent. Remove onion and sweet pepper from oil and place shrimps in the oil and sautee, turning constantly. As soon as you see Shrimp is turning pink return onion and sweet pepper to pan and mix if you like. You may keep them separated, if you wish. Warm flour tortillas and place shrimps, onion and sweet pepper on flour tortillas, roll and enjoy.

    March 2, 2016 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

    This Week's Stories:

    • BELIZE AND GUATEMALA, Sarstoon Expedition Sparks Mixed Reaction:
      On Saturday, February 27, 2016, a small delegation led by Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) Leader Wil Maheia ventured on yet another expedition to Sarstoon Island, this time to commemorate the anniversary of a previous expedition which had resulted in a number of Belizeans being detained overnight by Guatemalan authorities. A heavy presence by the Guatemalan Military prevented the Belizean contingent from making its way to the Island which is firmly within Belize’s territory. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs while doing its best in advance to discourage the expedition, nevertheless acknowledged that the Guatemalan Military appeared to have violated Belize’s sovereignty by entering our territorial waters without permission, and expressed its intention to send a diplomatic note of protest to the Guatemalan Government and the OAS.
    • Prime Minister & Opposition Leader:
      sign of political maturity, Opposition Leader John Briceno met with Prime Minister Dean Barrow Wednesday morning, March 2, 2016 in the P M’s Belize City Office. They discussed a number of national issues, including Belize-Guatemala relations, the Sarstoon situation, the Economy, De-risking/Correspondent Banking and Crime. Both leaders agreed in principle to work in national unity to address these issues for the good of the People and Nation of Belize.
    • Chester Williams Promoted, New Assistant Commissioner of Police:
      He has received many accolades of late for the leadership demonstrated as a senior member of the Belize Police Force. And now, Chester Williams has received a well-earned, much-deserved promotion from Senior Superintendent to Assistant Commissioner of Police. After years of police work, rising up through the ranks, he returned home in the middle of 2015 with a law degree and was placed in charge of Eastern Division South. With a heavy emphasis on community policing, he quickly made his mark as the crime situation in what was the most murderous part of the country improved remarkably within the last six months of 2015 under his command. Speaking of his promotion, Williams, remarked, “I am very pleased to have been promoted to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police. I remain the Officer Commanding South-Side Belize City, and pledge to continue to do my best in preserving law and order on this side of the city, with a view to make the citizenry feel safe in their respective neighborhoods. I thank the Minister of National Security, Honourable John Saldivar, and the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Allen Whylie, for entrusting me with the responsibility I currently have, and for my long-deserved promotion.”
    • Editorial: Who’s Right - Who’s Wrong:
      The latest Sarstoon expedition by the Belize Territorial Volunteers, the provocative response by the Guatemalan Military, and the mixed reaction from Belizean diplomats past and present, highlight once again the need for National Unity on the Belize-Guatemala Territorial Dispute and efforts to resolve it. In our view, the words and actions of Belizeans on all sides of this issue are wellmeaning and motivated by patriotism. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, while questioning the wisdom of the series of expeditions by the Belize Territorial Volunteers, acknowledged in a press conference on August 19, 2015, “Their decision arose from feelings of patriotism that are not just commendable but inspirational.” Our acquaintance with Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington and our knowledge of his personal historical record on the Belize-Guatemala issue convinces us his mission of mutual friendship and peaceful resolution is derived from a degree of nationalism that is no less passionate.
    • Transformation, Isidoro Beaton Stadium:
      The Isidoro Beaton Football Stadium in Belmopan is nearing completion, and it is already a beauty to behold. The spectacular image above was captured at night and shared through social media by Honourable John Saldivar, Area Representative for Belmopan. It shows the stadium with its synthetic surface and professional lighting already installed. The upgrading of the Isidoro Football Stadium is one of several projects which form part of the Government’s nationwide investment in Sports Infrastructure. The contract for this project was awarded back in February of 2015 to a Santa Elena based firm, Pedro R. Lizarraga & Sons, headed by General Contractor Mr. Pedro Lizarraga. Other projects nationwide include the construction in Belize City of an innovative, well equipped state-of-the-art Arena and Cultural Complex at the location of the Old Civic Center on Central American Boulevard, which will serve not just the residents of Belize City but the entire country; construction of a new Multi- Complex Auditorium and upgrading of Carl Ramos Football Stadium in Dangriga; and construction of a new Multi-Complex Building in Punta Gorda.
    • FIFA President Gianni Infantino Marks First Day In The Office With Star-Studded Match:
      New FIFA president Gianni Infantino has kick-started his reign with a friendly football match. Past World Cup stars and two current players, Kelly Smith of Arsenal Ladies and Julia Simic of Wolfsburg, were invited to join Infantino and FIFA staff on his first day in office for the informal kick around. The Swiss-Italian was elected on Friday, ahead of Bahraini Sheik Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, to become only the ninth president in FIFA’s 112-year history. The 45 year-old, previously General Secretary of European football’s governing body UEFA, inherited an organisation in disarray. However, Infantino had insisted that FIFA’s reform package would close the door on a chapter of pain at world football’s governing body and usher in an era of joy.
    • ukMontreal Impact Signs Belizean Michael Salazar:
      The Montreal Impact announced on Tuesday the signing of forward Michael Salazar, the club’s second selection at the 2016 Super Draft (24th overall), upon receiving his International Transfer Certificate. “We are pleased to have signed Michael to our club,” said Impact technical director Adam Braz. “He is someone who integrated well with the group during our preseason camp. He has impressed the staff with his performance on the field, as well as his strong work ethic and willingness to learn.” Salazar, 23, distinguished himself in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, earning the Cup’s Lower Division Player of the Tournament honours and finishing tied for the lead with four assists while scoring three goals in four games.
    • New Riding Mower for San Ignacio:
      On February 16, 2016, Minister of State for Youth and Sports, Honourable Elodio Aragon was in San Ignacio, Cayo where he handed over a much-needed riding mower to the Sports Council in that western municipality. Speaking of the equipment handed over, Minister Aragon says, “This equipment, which is not cheap as we ensured we got the bigger engine, will go a long way in maintaining the facilities in San Ignacio. Just a month ago, they also received a motorcycle. Slowly we are working to make a difference in sports countrywide. Congrats to our new National Sports Director, Mr. Dominguez, and his staff that are working to make things happen. I’m confident things will only get better in sports, and I ask for the communities to get involved at all levels.”
    • Aragon & Figueroa, Cayo Sports Working Tour:
      While in San Ignacio, Minister of State for Youth and Sports Hon. Elodio Aragon took the opportunity to visit sporting facilities in the area along with the Area Representative for Cayo North, Hon. Omar Figueroa and Director of the National Sports Council Ritchell Dominguez. They visited the Victor Galvez Stadium, where they discussed plans for the promotion and development of sports in the communities throughout the constituency. Honourable Elodio Aragon later commented, “We are a hundred percent behind him because only by working with the community can we get sports moving.”
    • Rejuvenation at Youth Ministry, Hon. Elodio Aragon At The Helm:
      The new Minister of State with responsibility for Youth, Sports and Culture, Honourable Elodio Aragon, has really made his presence felt in the short three months and a half since he was appointed immediately following the November 4, 2016 general Elections. Highly motivated, the Minister of State and his team from the Ministry and the Departments which fall under his command have been moving around the country assessing the work being done and identifying what else needs to occur for the development of Youth and Sports throughout our communities .
      Minister of State with responsibility for Youth and Sports, Honourable Elodio Aragon, recently attended the CODICADER (Consejo Del Istmo Centro-Americano de Deportes y Recreación) Reunion in Nicaragua along with representatives from Central America. There they discussed matters relating to the CODICADER Games which will be played in Belize in the month of July, 2016. Upon his return, Honourable Aragon remarked, “Things are shaping up and Belize will host football, basketball, volleyball and ping pong. A lot more has to be done with regards to fund raising, logistics and preparations. This event will see well over 1,000 participants in Belize for four days of competition.”
    • A Walk Through Dangriga, Authored By Mayor Francis Humphreys & Ifasina Efunyemi:
      On Monday, February 15, 2016, the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) and the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) launched a publication entitled “A WALK THROUGH DANGRIGA”. It is the third publication in the ‘Walk Through’ series which features key landmarks and heritage sites in the various municipalities of Belize. Mayor Francis Humphreys and Ifasina Efunyemi, two well-known educators in Dangriga, are co-authors of the manuscript. The book was edited and produced by the Institute for Social and Cultural Research (ISCR), a branch of NICH. ‘A WALK THROUGH DANGRIGA’ traces the development of historic locations and sites of memory within the town. The information was compiled using oral history, documentary sources, accompanied by photographs dating from the late 1890’s to the present.
    • Jamaica Labour Party Wins Tight Race in Polls Marked by Low Voter Turnout:
      Andrew Holness returned the favour, handing Portia Simpson Miller’s People’s National Party (PNP) its first one-term government Thursday in the country’s 17th general election that ended with the tightest majority in Jamaica’s history — 33 - 30 seats. The polls will be memorable for the low voter turnout — barely more than one-third of the electorate. But they also sent a message to politicians that Holness acknowledged in his acceptance speech at Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) headquarters in Kingston last night. “I know from my travels around Jamaica that you wanted to change the Government, but I also picked up from going around the country that you want to change the way that Government works,” Holness told cheering supporters. “And so, from this platform, I make the commitment to you that your new Government will not be Government as usual. We don’t take it that we have won a prize. We have been given stewardship of the country, and we stand to be held to account for our stewardship,” he said. “We know that the cost of victory is accountability. The cost of victory is the responsiveness of the Government that we will form. The cost of victory is to keep the commitments that we have made. “We are under no illusions as to the ability of the Jamaican people to hold their Government to account,” he added.
    • IMPACT Justice Holds Media Workshop in Barbados:
      Members of the media and law students from across the Caribbean region, 68 of them, attended a two-day workshop in Bridge Town, Bardados, hosted by Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice), a project funded by the Canadian Government. The workshop, conducted on February 24 and 25, 2016 at the Radisson Aquatica Resort, Barbados, is part of the project’s Public Legal Education Component. Topics covered included, the Rights of Journalists; Confidentiality of Sources; Defamation in the context of Media Law; Online Reporting; Parliamentary and Government reporting; and Reporting on Family Matters and Gender Issues.
    • CARICOM Secretary General Gets Second Term:
      CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque has been re-appointed to a second term of office. CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow, made the announcement during the Closing Press Conference of the CARICOM Heads of Government Inter-sessional Meeting in Belize, Wednesday, February 17, 2016. The Secretary-General’s initial five-year appointment ends in August, and Heads of Government decided to deal with the matter of his reappointment now because they felt the next meeting in July is too close to the August expiration date, the Chairman told the media.
    • Insight into Gang Culture in Belize:
      Well known Belizean Television and Radio Talk Show host, Nuri Muhammad has just launched a new book. Titled “Insights into Gang Culture in Belize”, the book was inspired by Nuri’s intimate knowledge and extensive experience working with at risk youths. In an interview with Channel Seven News, Nuri Muhammad explained, “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 years, so that we could see its generational issue as opposed 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’.
    • When and How Do We Draw the Line?:
      The Belize-Guatemala Dispute and efforts to resolve it is an issue that transcends partisan politics and requires national unity. If there’s one class of persons in our community that has the training, discipline and incentive to reach across political lines, it is our attorneys. On Friday February 19, 2016, attorneys of opposite persuasions, all persuasions and no persuasion came together at their Annual Law Conference, and the top issue on their agenda was the Belize-Guatemala Dispute. President of the Bar Association, Jacqueline Marshalleck, explained, “The Belize-Guatemala Dispute certainly has its diplomatic elements, but it also has its legal elements. I think that as the discussion becomes more public and the education exercise progresses, the Bar Association and attorneys at large will generally be expected to comment or assist people in understanding the process. There will be questions about the Court and what should happen, and I think there is an assumption that because we are attorneys that we know and that we have all the answers.
    • GREAT Program scores Great Success:
      The Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) Program, funded by the United States, has become a key component of the overall strategy by the Belize Police Force in its fight against crime. It started off in Belize City and has now expanded to the districts. The latest group of police officers to receive training under the program includes 35 men and women, and they will be deployed countrywide to work with children and youths to help steer them away from a culture of gang violence and crime. The graduation ceremony was attended by United States Ambassador in Belize, Carlos Moreno, who commented, “The Great Program is a program that the embassy has been supporting for at least the last 5 years. We’ve trained over 130 officers to work in the schools. The officers are assigned to particular schools where they interact with the youths and encourage them to stay away from gangs.
    • New Strategy for Business Services Sector:
      Government and private sector officials from Belize converged at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 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 BelizeINVEST, a division 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 IT Education in Belize. The strategy was developed in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat and had as its main objective to assess the potential for higher-value IT Enabled Services (ITES) and to establish the framework for an industry standard in preserving and continuing to develop the country’s outsourcing industry. Through this partnership, OCO Global was contracted to develop key documents, such as a Comprehensive Outsourcing Strategy Action Plan and a BPO Standards Framework and Road-map for Implementation, which will serve as the mechanisms for the successful execution of the framework. The study was conducted through various visits to Belize in engaging key public and private stakeholders.
    • Swear-in of Ombudsman and Contractor General:
      In a brief ceremony held Monday, February 22, 2016 at 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 Sitting of the House of Representatives on Friday January 22, 2016. Both men were joined by their families as they took the oath of allegiance before the Governor General, H.E. Sir Colville Young. This is Mr. Godwin Arzu’s third term as Contractor General. It is Mr. Lionel Arzu’s second term as Ombudsman, he having held that position since January 2013. The re-appointment of the Ombudsman had sparked some debate in the National Assembly upon the announcement by the Prime Minister on January 22, 2016.
    • Vital Statistics discusses Vital Issues:
      The Vital Statistics Unit, which is responsible for registering births, deaths and marriages, held a meeting on Thursday February 18, 2016 to emphasize the importance of birth registration and to evaluate the registration system in Belize. Registrar General Velda Flowers, explained, “This morning what is happening is the launching of this bottleneck analysis that was conducted by Miss Patricia Holness, a consultant from Jamaica. This effort came about as a result of the partnership we have with UNICEF and OAS in order to try and ascertain and address the issue of the 6% non-registration of persons born in Belize. Currently Belize has about 94-95% of all persons born in Belize registered and this effort was put in place to try and close that gap, that 6% gap that currently exists.” The consultant from Jamaica, Patricia Holness, emphasized, “It is very important that birth registration be taken seriously in any country. And, a mother, as you just said, bonds with her child; but then that child has to be a citizen. That child has to live in the country and reap the rewards of being a citizen. So the government of that country needs to know that this is a citizen for whom we must care and also to ensure that all that goes with citizenship will go to that child.”
    • CARICOM Development Fund in BELIZE:
      When CARICOM Heads of Government meet, as they did in Belize two weeks ago, those meetings are always supplemented and supported by a number of sessions involving the technical experts from the regional body and the various member countries. One of those persons who came to Belize for the Twenty-Seventh Intersessional Meeting was the executive head of the CARCOM Development Fund (CDF), which is funding a number of very important projects in Belize, including rehabilitation of the Phillip Goldson Highway and the Haulover Bridge. Chief Executive Officer of the CDF, Mr. Rodinald Soomer, in interview with the local media, elaborated, “Belize happens to be the first country that met the requirements to access resources under the fund. We signed the first country assistance program with Belize towards the end of 2010 and we started activities with Belize in early 2011. We are now towards the end of the program with Belize; we’ve approved a portfolio of projects totalling just over 6 Million US Dollars.
    • Helping ‘Seenagers’ to Live Longer:
      On Thursday, February 18, 2016, the National Council on Aging held a workshop in Belize City addressing issues affecting older persons throughout the country. Speaking with the media at the opening, Executive Director of the council, Ix-Chel Poot, explained, “Some of the specific areas we are looking at today, we’ve talked about normal aging, we are looking at how to collaborate and how to get all the organizations together working as one and moving forward in one voice. So there is a lot of planning that will be taking place. We will be looking at the situation of older persons across Belize. So that all the branches are up to date and abreast of what’s happening with older persons and the population that they are serving. They are looking at things like the Older Persons’ Act; how do we maintain the safety of our older persons and the care of our older persons. Last year, the National Council on Aging along with BTEC had a care-givers training here in Belize. We’ve been working with the YWCA, having care-givers’ training in Belmopan. So we are looking at building a capacity, a resource of persons who are able to be in the community to work with older persons in such a way.”
    • Preventing Crimes Against Women:
      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 today, 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 analysing data on violence against women and human trafficking and ensure improved access to reliable data for programme planning and decision-making in this area.
    • Belize Gets Down To Business, Minister Contreras Talks Trade Opportunities With SoFla entrepreneurs:
      BELTRAIDE Representative Hero Balani, OESBD Economic Development Specialist Paola Isaac Baraya and Belizean Minister of International Trade Erwin Contreras. 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.
    • Elevating & Upgrading Bomba Access Road:
      As Area Representative for Belize Rural North and Minister of National Emergency Management, Hon. Edmond Castro has undertaken a flood mitigation project in the Maskall-Bomba area. The project entails the elevation of the access road from Maskall to Bomba village with a number of cement culverts across the ‘Quashy Banner’ Creek. The area had been plagued by seasonal flooding which severely affects accessibility to and from Bomba, thereby inconveniencing residents of the village and farmers in the general area. The project is being funded with monies secured by Hon. Edmond Castro through the Government of Belize. It is well underway and should be completed in a couple weeks. The residents and farmers of the area are happy for the project and are expressing tremendous gratitude to their Area Representative, Hon. Castro, and to Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow for making the funds available to improve and transform their community and lives. Honorable Edmond Castro says he and the government intend to carry out several similar projects throughout the constituency prior to the start of the next Hurricane Season on June 1, 2016 to mitigate flooding which occurs on an annual basis.

    International Sourcesizz

    New Dallas-Merida nonstop flights launch today
    Thursday March 3 marks an important air connectivity milestone, as Merida will be linked to Dallas, Texas with a new option from American Airlines. With this new direct route, which will provide round-trip nonstop service five days a week, Yucatan will add to its international air options that already include flights to Miami, Houston, Toronto, Italy, Cuba and Belize. “With this new route, American Airlines now will have 21 destinations in Mexico, operating 120 flights daily between the two countries,” said Art Torno, international senior vice president of the airline.

    Regional meeting mulls economic obstacles
    Economic growth in the Caribbean will continue to experience roadblocks once it’s the region’s air transport sector and sea port operations, among other important areas of business, continue to lag behind the region’s developmental objectives. This was one conclusion when private sector and civil society organisations met in Belize earlier this week to discuss reforms to drive the development process in the Caribbean. One document tabled by organisers of the annual Caribbean Growth Forum (CGF) was a 2015 Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) study of regional airlines which pointed to, among other things, “bad financial decisions...such as by Caribbean Airlines (CAL) in a short period over 2010/11.” Another, commissioned by the World Bank (WB), pointed to shortcomings in port operations throughout countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). The Forum is an initiative of the WB, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and CDB.

    17 Caribbean, Latin American Nations Named As Major Drug Producing Or Transit Countries
    Seventeen Caribbean and Latin American nations have been named by the U.S. as “major illicit drug producing and/or drug-transit countries.” According to the 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) from the U.S. State Department released Wednesday, Mar. 2, 2016, the 17 were identified and notified to Congress by the President of the United States on September 14, 2015, consistent with section 706(1) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act. Belize: Belize was identified as a major transit country for illegal drugs destined for the United States from source countries in South America. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the drug routes are predominately maritime and via air and smuggler move at night using the hundreds of cays to conceal their movement via vessels that include container ships to more common small “go-fasts” vessels, which can utilize their small profile, and powerful motors to evade law enforcement. Belize has no air defense systems and limited capability to monitor aircraft at night.

    Road Warrior: The Un-Belize-able Edition
    14th Annual Road Warrior Contest Winners head to Belize! Our 14th Annual Road Warrior Contest winners head to Belize for some life-changing adventure: zip-lining through the rain forest, climbing ancient Mayan ruins, swimming with sharks and a whole lotta rum. Standing on a wooden platform 200 feet above the Belizean jungle, the emerald tops of swaying palm and mangrove trees stretch from the surrounding area to the border of Guatemala and beyond. Two silver zip-line cords reach into the rain forest and disappear. The tour guide asks for a volunteer, and Emily Williams Knight doesn’t hesitate. She hooks up, sits back in the harness, grabs the pulley and pushes herself off the platform, whipping into the foliage. Her delighted scream rises above the sound of howler monkeys and howling people. For Emily and the four other winners of American Way’s annual Road Warrior Contest, this year’s trip to Belize starts at Calico Jack’s Village on a zip-line excursion that winds through more than 3,200 feet of private jungle reserve in western Belize. It’s a first-time experience for these five winners, who beat out more than a thousand entrants: Luis Ayala from Austin, Texas; Becky Ahlgren Bedics from Fishers, Indiana; Andrew Bolt from Miami; Emily Williams Knight from Southlake, Texas; and Eric Nunziato from San Diego.

    14th annual Road Warrior contest
    From the footsteps of the Mayans to bare feet in the sand, our 14th annual Road Warrior contest winners shared un-Belize-able experiences.


  • Dolphins in Belize, 1min. We were treated to a surprise show from some playful dolphins on the way back to San Pedro from The Blue Hole.

  • RDA Belize, 16min. Tyler Wine of Real Deal Advisors Visits Belize.

  • Pine Lumber, 7.5min. Pine Lumber with Miss Reyes

  • Belize Cultural Celebrations Volume 2: Carnaval, 16min. The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) through the Institute for Social and Cultural Research (ISCR) launched the premiere viewing of ‘Belize Cultural Celebrations Video Series Volume 2: Carnaval’. The material was launched on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at 9:00a.m. at the Paradise Theater, where each participating school/institution in attendance received copies of the promotional material after the viewing.

  • Carnival Magic Cruise With Friends!!! May of 2015, 14min. My friends and I needed to get away from life for 7 days!!! No cell phone, and all of our problems left behind. This was a western caribbean cruise the went to Cozumel, Belize, and Honduras. It was a blast!!!! We each payed about $700 Total for the trip. All meals paid for. We did not sign up for any excursions, but there was still plenty to do at the ports.

  • Reset Retreat - Mini Photo Slideshow - Hopkins, Belize, 4min. Reset Retreat is an exclusive women’s yoga and wellness retreat that combines personal growth with incredible experiences. It is a place where you can come to disconnect from the world and reconnect with yourself. Take a look at the experience we shared this February in adventuruous and culturally rich Hopkins, Belize. Join us on the next Belize Retreat this November!

  • Cool fish diving in Belize, 1min.

  • Belize (Caye Caulker), 13min. I'm in Belize this week and enjoy every moment of it. My first stop is the Island of Caye Caulker. where I stay at Dirty MC'nasty hostel and when on a snorkel tour. got to swim nurse shark and sting rays.

  • Scuba diving reef canyon in Belize, 1.5min.

    March 2, 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

    Ambergris Today

    Belize at 35, Independence Anniversary Exhibit at Art Museum of the Americas
    Belize 35 A big banner illustrating a sculpted faithful man, Belize’s Founding Father, George Cadle Price sitting on top of the symbolic national tapir carved by Sculptor Santiago Cal and the signature colorful letters that reads “Belize 35” is what boasts the entrance at the Art Museum of the Americas in Washington, D.C. With this beautiful banner it is enough to lure you inside the room that hosts an extensive amount of pictures that hang from the very white pristine walls with such charm and pride. Once you make your way in you will find yourself indulged in the sequence of events that occurred that very historical day on September 21, 1981 captured by fellow Belizean Photojournalist Karl E. Villanueva, as well as beautiful pieces of wood-work carved by Sculptor Santiago Cal.

    Child Stimulation Month 2016
    March signals the commencement of Child Stimulation Month. Pre Schools around the country prepare a month-full of activities that are geared at stimulating the children's minds to their upmost potential. Today, all pre schools on the island joined in a parade that kicked off Child Stimulation Month.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    First Friday Of March Trash Pick Up: Paradise Theater / Tres Cocos Area
    Friday, March 4at 9 AM - 11 AM. Please join us Friday, March 4th, 9 am at the Paradise Theatre (just north of the bridge) as we conduct our monthly road and beach clean up. Locals, expats and tourists are all invited to help out and show some Isla Love! Please be there by 9:00 am :-)

    The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) in collaboration with infoDev, a World Bank Group, hosted a one day workshop with stakeholders to chart a way to foster an innovative entrepreneurship ecosystem in Belize. This workshop, which was held at the ITVET Dining room in Belize City on Monday February 29th, brought together incubator managers, entrepreneurs, academics, government officials, the media, donors and investors to facilitate the development of a collaborative approach to building a sustainable ecosystem for entrepreneurship and innovation. The workshop, entitled ‘Accelerate Caribbean’s Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Development’, is part of the Accelerate Caribbean Project, which forms part of a seven-year, $20M 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.

    To further improve the conservation, management and sustainable use of the Sea cucumber, the Belize Fisheries Department is implementing a new policy to strengthen the process for the issuing of export licenses. The new policy requires eligible organizations and individuals wishing to obtain a 2016 Sea cucumber export license to fill out and submit an application form along with a project proposal with details of the operation to the Fisheries Administrator. Eligibility: An organization or individual is eligible to submit an application for a 2016 Sea cucumber export license if he has a processing facility that is currently certified by Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA). Applicants will be required to provide evidence of a valid BAHA certificate. Guidelines for preparation of project proposal: An organization or individual wishing to submit an application for a 2016 Sea cucumber export license is required to contact the Fisheries Department for a Sea cucumber export license application form and a Sea cucumber project proposal submission form. All information requested in the application form and project proposal submission form must be provided.

    Quotas for Conch and Sea Cucumbers, 2016
    In accordance with the Fisheries (Amendment) Regulations under Statutory Instrument number 54 of 2012 (Regulation 24A.1) the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development hereby informs fishermen and the general public of the following: 1. The Total Allowable Catch (TAC) / Catch limit for the Conch season 2015/2016 has been set at 800,000 pounds. 2. The Total Allowable Catch (TAC) / Catch limit for the Sea Cucumber has been set at 300,000 pounds. The Sea Cucumber season will open from May 1st to June 31st, 2016. Note: Once the catch quota for any of the aforementioned fisheries is realized, even if is before June 31st 2016 then the fishing season will be officially declared closed. For any further information, kindly contact the Belize Fisheries Department at 224-4552 or 223-2187.

    Corozal Youth Council Elections
    Congratulations to President Damari Dammy Tesecum. It is about winning but most important it is about participating, engaging in the process and working together as one people. Congratulations to all winners and participants of the Corozal Youth Council Elections. Official Results for Corozal District! President - Damari Dammy Tesucun, Vice President - Dominique Vellos, Secretary - Immer Campos, Treasurer - ( We have a tie between two candidates Herman Sanchez & Phillip Wade Jr.), Public Relations Officer - Digna Ramirez.

    PATTERN MAKING CLASS at the San Pedro House of Culture
    March 5. 4pm. Learn how to make custom-fit patterns designs. Professional instructor from Germany. Free classes. Only one day in San Pedro. Limited space available. Register with Brenda at the San Pedro House of Culture

    BTL To Launch "Full Nationwide" 4G LTE In Belize With Huawei
    Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), under the banner of its DigiCell Mobile brand, and its telecommunications vendor-partner Huawei Technologies, today announced the roll-out of its nationwide 4G LTE network, expected for launch in December of this year. The installation of DigiCell's brand new 4G LTE mobile network throughout Belize will position BTL to be the first and only telecommunications provider to have this high speed mobile service throughout the country – and at speeds and quality that will ultimately be superior to that of any provider within the country, or elsewhere throughout the Caribbean & Central American region. The term "4G LTE" refers to the Fourth Generation, Long Term Evolution mobile technology that allows for data speed bursts surpassing 100 Megabytes per second (Mbps), alongside reduced latency and improved stability and capacity. Huawei Technologies, also present at the today's press conference, has been selected as the vendor for the LTE network. Huawei is a global leader in mobile technology with over 240 4G LTE deployments worldwide. Overall, Huawei wireless networks are used by more than 500 mobile operators worldwide, serving more than 2 billion customers.

    Paint Party Events
    Join us this Thursday to paint "Hut on the Beach". We will be having a delightful time with this masterpiece! The price is $25 U.S. For regular and a discount for members. Don't miss it and see you there! March 3, 2016 2:00 PM

    Ministry of Health Clean Up Campaign in Belize City
    March 5th and 6th!

    Northern Softball Regionals 2016
    Don't miss the Northern Softball Regionals 2016, taking place on Friday, March 4, and Saturday, March 5 at the Hon. Louis Sylvestre. Only $2 admission. There will be food and soft drinks on sale. Friday, March 4th - starting at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 5th - starting at 9 a.m.

    Belizean Boil Up
    This is a Belizean Kriol recipe. Kriols descend from the African slaves of the English and Scottish woodcutters that settled in Belize in the 17th century, and this dish has strong African elements, from the vegetables used to the practice of combining ingredients in a stew.

    Belize Police Dept: Easter Holidays
    Message from Inspector Dehanne Augustine.

    Ministry will contact OAS and Guatemala on blockage of Sarstoon
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform the general public that Belize's security forces witnessed on Saturday, 27th February, 2016 an increased state of alertness by the Guatemalan Armed Forces in the Sarstoon River who appeared intent on blocking entry of Belizean civilians into the Sarstoon River from the Bay of Honduras. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will raise its concern with the Republic of Guatemala and the Organization of American States on this matter, and will continue to actively seek the adoption of confidence building measures for the area, pending a definitive resolution of the dispute arising from Guatemala's claims.

    Meet Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Clyde Williams
    Upon his appointment Williams says " I must say that I am very pleased to have been promoted to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police. I remained the officer Commanding South side Belize City and pledge to continue to do my best in preserving law and order on this side of the city, with a view to make the citizenry feel safe in their respective neighbourhoods. I thank the minister of National Security Mr John Saldivar and the commissioner of police Mr Allen Whylie for entrusting me with the responsibility I currently have and for my long deserved promotion."

    BEL Opens $27.5 Million Series 7 Debenture Offer
    Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) today opens its $27,500 million Series 7 Debenture Offer, which will earn a highly competitive interest rate of 6% per annum for twelve years, through to 2028. The subscription cost per debenture is $100 for a minimum of one debenture. Proceeds from this debenture offer are being used to refinance the Company’s Series 2 and 4 Debentures and also to redeem existing debentures held by Debenture holders who choose not to invest in the new offering. The public is advised that first preference to subscriptions for Series 7 Debentures will be given to holders of Series 2 and 4 Debentures through to March 11. Thereafter, any remaining Debentures, will be made available for subscription by the public until March 31, 2016 when the offer closes.

    Cayo Youth Council Results
    Congratulations to the new Cayo District Youth Council. Best of luck! Ricky Cunil - President, Raven Galvez - Vice President, Josselyn Balona - General Secretary, Chantae Guy- Treasurer, Shantel Jacobs - Public Relations Officer.

    The legendary Belizean musician, artist, cyclist, and promoter, Patrick Barrow relayed to yours truly these classic and historic photographs of Belize's most celebrated sporting arena, the MCC Grounds. This was MCC in the 1960's when cycling races around the track use to take place, and aspiring Belizean cyclist, like Barrow himself were part of the team of riders that competed against each other in the historic sporting arena. Apart from football, softball, cricket, and Track & Field that once brought Belizean fans to their feet in roaring applause for their Belizean star athletes, The Garden, as it was called is a priceless piece of real estate that by no means should be abandoned and sold off into private hands. If that is the case, we Belizeans at home and abroad should feel insulted that Belize's best sporting facility that once produced some of the best athletes in the world, that beat some of the best in the world, that defeated some of the best in the Caribbean, Central America and the United States, should be put up for a price.

    Channel 7

    Woman Constable Shot In Head By Robbers
    Last night four shots rang out in the heart of downtown Belize City - in front of Scotiabank, not far from Brodies. It happened at 10 minutes to eight when police rolled up on 2 men who were in the act of robbing a security guard. What happened next was a shocker: instead of fleeing, the armed robber opened fire on police at close range - hitting a female officer in the head. It happened just down the street from our studio and 7News was first on the scene - same time as police who swarmed the area. Jules Vasquez has the story:... Last night at 7:50, three police constables, a male and two females were inside this police mobile was on patrol on Albert Street when the three officers inside pulled up on a robbery in progress outside Scotiabank. A gunman had accosted a man making a night deposit - and was trying to rob him on the ground. The robbers didn't expect the police to appear and opened fire - you can see the two bullet holes in the windshield, and the shattered glass on the street is from the drivers' side window.

    Foreign Minister Says "Definitely Maybe" To Guatemalan Incursion
    Last night, we brought you the Sarstoon Showdown on Saturday in which 5 Guatemalan navy vessels formed a blockade and prevented border Activist Wil Maheia from entering the Mouth of the Sarstoon. Maheia says the Guatemalan military entered Belizean territorial waters, and enforced their control, which is a violation of International law. He's joined by members of his Belize Progressive Party, and from the Opposition, PUP in denouncing actions of the Guatemalans. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Government aren't so quick to condemn Guatemala, and Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington told the press yesterday that the BDF report is that only 1 Guatemalan military vessel may have entered into Belizean territory. Since there are no confidence building measures in the Sarstoon, there can be no official verification if the Guatemalan's actually incurred in Belizean waters. Elrington told us that Belize will be sending a diplomatic note of protest to the Government of Guatemalan.

    Wil Vs. Wilfred
    As you've heard, since last year August, the Government has pointed fingers at Wil Maheia and the Territorial Volunteers as the cause of all the tension over the Sarstoon River. The Prime Minister has gone on record acknowledging their well-intentioned show of nationalism, but he's also asked them to cease and desist because it does more harm than good. Well, at a press conference hosted by his Belize Progressive Partytoday, Maheia reiterated that he and other like-minded nationalists are not going to stop, despite this latest showdown: Wil Maheia - Leader, Belize Territorial Volunteers: "I have absolutely no dislike for my neighbors. But my neighbors have got to play by the rules. They have got to respect our borders. My neighbor who lives next to me, I like him, but he cannot come into my yard and cut down what tree he wants. That is the bottom-line." Wil Maheia - Leader, Belize Territorial Volunteers: "It's about to get hotter. Because we will not be deterred and combative? I don't think we are combative. No weapons, not even a machete was in out boat when we went. So I don't think we go there in a combative mode. We go there because as Belizeans I believe that every Belizean have the right to move in every part of this country and our borderline, according to the 1859 treaty states that our border is at the midpoint, deepest point of the Sarstoon River including the Sarstoon Island. So I don't think that we are combative and I don't think that we are the type of organization that promote violence. I have never ever taken any weapon with me on any of our expeditions."

    Diplomatic Note, Will It Be Direct?
    So, as you heard, the Foreign Minister repeated once again that Belize will be sending a strong note of diplomatic protest to Guatemala. Now, that was the promise made the public last year August when the first showdown happened between the Territorial Volunteers the Guatemalan Navy. A month later, PUP Senator Lisa Shoman revealed that protest note which she described as "weak kneed", and stressed that Guatemala's response was much more forceful. So, today, we asked Elrington just exactly what will be in this new protest note: Daniel Ortiz: "What is forceful in diplomacy in specifically writing these diplomatic notes?" Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs: "The language of diplomacy is normally referred to as the gentleman's language you know and the language is very different from that type of language that you hear being used in the streets and in the bars and when people have quarrel. You can say in a very forceful way using very nice language what you have in mind. And the diplomats have a particular way of crafting these messages which conveys quite forcefully although people who are not necessarily acquainted with the legalese as it were of diplomatic language or the formality of diplomatic language or think that they may not be forceful enough. These documents are crafted by the officials in the ministry of foreign affairs who have copious years dealing with this kind of thing. They are the experts on it and I don't seek to second guess them."

    Is Adjacency Office Closing?
    Last year, Prime Minister Dean Barrow told the media that his government would work to convince their Guatemalan counterparts of a need for confidence building measures in the Sarstoon. That's so that the Organization of American States' Benque Office in the Adjacency Zone could be called on to verify whenever there are confrontations on the Sarstoon, such as the 2 which have happened between the Guatemalan Navy and the Belize Territorial Volunteers. But, instead of increasing vigilance, the OAS Adjacency Zone Office may end up having none at all! That's if the office is forced to close due to a lack of funding from the international community who are committed to seeing Belize and Guatemala reach a peaceful resolution to the territorial claim. Yesterday, Former PUP Foreign Minister Eamon Courtenay told the media that the office might to be in peril if certain actions are not taken in time:

    BTL: 40 Mil For 4GLTE
    BTL 4G - for many phone users saying that name is almost like a curse word - and that's because of the system's unreliability, its slowness and the overall congestion. Well the antidote to all that is 4G LTE - that LTE means long term evolution and it promises speeds of anywhere between 50 MEGS and 100 MEGS - that's at least 20 times faster than the speeds you are currently getting on 4G. But, don't get all hyped up yet - the service won't roll out until the end of the year. Today BTL held a press conference at the Hour Bar to announce the deal with Chinese telecom giant Huawei to purchase the 4g LTE switch. Chairman of the Executive Committee Anwar Barrow says they want to BTL to go from the second slowest to the third fastest bandwidth provider in the region: Anwar Barrow, Chairman, Exec. Committee - BTL: "What we are doing with LTE is really launching a round-year plan to bring the country into a more competitive standpoint and our objectives is to be top three within the region by 2020. Right now we are as a country at number 25 out of 27 and our ambition is to be within the top 3 by 2020."

    Caribbean Growth Forum
    Yesterday you heard us talk about the efforts on the part of BELTRAIDE to foster a healthy business environment in the country. Well the efforts are not only being made locally but also regionally. Today members of the Caribbean Growth Forum met at Radisson, in Belize City, to start part 2 of this initiative that is focused on developing a proper investment climate. Emanuel Pech reports. Today's conference was part of a three day forum to take stock of key lessons learned from the reform actions implemented as part of the Caribbean Growth Forum over the past three years.

    Faber Committed To Youth Elections
    The results for the National Youth Council elections are in. But before we get into the results, we spoke to Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture Patrick Faber today about the elections and he expressed his deep connection with this idea of youth participation. Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education: "From what I've been hearing apparently we had a very good process and I wish to point out that this entire process in fact was conceived, delivered by the young people. I want to salute the Department of Youth Services because what they've done is phenomenal and it is because if proper planning. So some years ago we decided we are going to put together the policy, we are going to put together the registration process where groups can register and be a part of the activities and we are going to empower the young people so that they themselves can take the lead in terms of youth work in this country and I will tell you, I have been absolutely bubbling over with pleasure to see how the young people themselves have taken this opportunity given to them by the government and how they've been able to run with it. It is phenomenal. I know that it is not going to be a perfect road, that there are going to be hiccups. In fact you see that we have a tie here in the Belize District for the presidency. I am told that there will be a bi-election in that regard and there was a tie at one of the other posts out district as well. But this is solely their initiatives. They are being guided by the department and of course by those who are trained in youth work from the region. We are grateful for that assistance, but I am ecstatic that the young people themselves are leading that charge."

    Youth Leaders Chosen
    In the Corozal District Damari Tesucum has been elected for President, while Dominique Vellos has won the seat for Vice President. Immer Campos was chosen for Secretary, and Digna Ramirez has been chosen for Public Relations Officer. The Treasurer's seat has ended in a tie between Phillip Wade Jr. and Herman Sanchez. In the Orange Walk District Joshua Carrillo has been chosen as President, and he will be joined Joslin Alvarez who was endorsed as the Vice President, since there was no one else who ran against her. Katy Magana was elected as Secretary, along with Delia Toledano, who was the only person who ran for Treasurer. Makeda Anderson has been chosen as the Corozal Public Relations Officer. In the Cayo District, Ricky Cunil was chosen as President, and he had to outdo 6 other presidential candidates. Raven Galvez had to defeat 7 other opponents for the Vice President's seat, while Josselyn Balona was elected as the General Secretary. Chantae Guy was chosen as the Treasurer, and Shantel Jacobs became the 5 member of the Cayo Chapter to be elected as Public Relations Officer.

    Faber Says Youth Election Does Need Tweaking
    So now that the elections are (almost) over what will be done to improve the process the next time around? We asked Faber about the criticism that only a very small percentage of the youth population actually voted in this year's election - as few as 94 persons in the Belize district. Well Faber told us that is something they will have to address. Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education "What the department did was asked for the registration of youth groups and that was something that was new. So I was very pleased at the youth awards to see how many groups exist now as compared to year or two years ago. So it's a growth process and yes while in this registration process we might still not have captured all groups that are having young membership. Next year we hope that that number will grow. As we go on that it can truly be a representation of all the young people in this country."

    Work Begins On Major Road Project
    The northern highway between the Haulover Bridge and the airport - It is one of the most trafficked and one of the most dangerous stretches of road in the country. But, very shortly, work will commence on the 3.5 mile stretch of road with the purpose of making it 'safe.' The contract for those works was signed last year with CISCO Construction Limited at some $13.5 million dollars. That works out to almost 4 million dollars per mile, and, so, with works scheduled to start as early next week, we spoke to the Contract Manager for CISCO Construction who gave us an overview of what all the works will include. Arsenio Burgos, Contracts Manager - CISCO: "What the objective of the road rehabilitation is basically 3 parts: one of them is the safety component and the safety basically is being achieved by widening the road. The road is being widened from 7 meters which is roughly 24 feet wide to 34 feet wide. An example of what that is, if you get off on the airport access road, when you get off from the highway into the airport access road, you see that wide road that's there? That is the new width that this road will be. The second thing that's being done is if there is protection of the road itself, there is quite a bit of what they called river revetment work being done on this job.."

    Chester Missed The Memo
    In September of 2014, after a very violent 24-hour span which saw 4 murders, Prime Minister Dean Barrow held a press conference where he said that he didn't see why police were always running to the DPP for advice. He urged police to lay charges when they had evidence to speed things along. And that wasn't just any old urging; he is, after all, the Prime Minister, a former Attorney General and a ranking Senior Counsel. And so six days later, the police senior command sent out a directive telling commanders, quote: "The Practice of consulting the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions as to whether to charge a person for murder or any other crime must cease forthwith." Well, newly promoted Assistant Commissioner of police and trained attorney Chester Williams said he never got the memo and he consults with the DPP religiously:... ACP Chester Williams, OC - Southside ED: "Even though I am an attorney I consult with the DPP on many issues. I just spoke to her this morning before you arrived on an issue. Myself and the DPP have a very cordial and respectful relationship. We communicate every so often when the need arises. I don't know about the memo. I have not seen it. I don't know if it happened before I came. I don't know. But like I said I have a respectful relationship with the DPP. Her office is one that is constitutionally created. She has certain responsibilities as the DPP and as an officer of the Court I respect her constitutional duties and authority and I am not going to do anything to circumvent those responsibilities."

    Confessors On Camera
    But, now Williams is a leading light of Police Minister Saldivar's anti crime drive - and also a major defender of Police Commissioner Allen Whylie. "The Commissioner's Rules" replaced "The Judge's Rules" at the start of this year and those rules lay out to police very clearly what can and cannot be done with suspects and detainees. One of the new rules is that statements - especially confessions - must be recorded with the utmost care - so that they are not thrown out in court. That could mean recording them on camera. Williams explained:.. ACP Chester Williams, OC - Southside ED: "There is a video recording room at Queen Street Police Station where all confessions are recorded and the reason for that is to show the court with a view to satisfy the court that any confession obtained from an accused person, was obtained freely and without the use of force, threat or oppression. So we believe that that in itself will reduce the amount of allegations or if I may say reduce the amount of confessions that are being thrown out the courts, because the court believe that the confessions were obtained either by the use to force or oppression. So we welcomed that new vision."

    Zika Clean Up
    There was an extensive cleanup campaign in the city over the weekend. As we reported health officials met with the Belize City Council in early February to discuss the threats of the Zika Virus and what the council's role is in keeping Belize Zika free. Now while there are no confirmed cases of Zika in Belize, the team must still protect against other diseases such as Dengue. So both the Central Health Region and the City Council assumed their roles by organizing a cleanup campaign in areas known as high risk for transmission of Dengue. Those areas include Central American Boulevard area, Mahogany Street, Tibruce Street and Haulover Creek. After the two days of cleanup, the team pulled away 16 truckloads of waste from these areas. They plan on organizing another cleanup campaign for next weekend.

    ACES Want Damages
    Two years ago, we told you how the Court of Appeal upheld a ruling from the Supreme Court that the Government had to pay damages to the American Couple, Vice and Cherie Rose, for the destruction of their ACES Facility just outside of Punta Gorda Town. That's after Villagers from San Marcos formed a Mob and torched their home and the American Crocodile Sanctuary. Those Mayan villagers believed that the couple had somehow hidden the missing children Benjamin and Onelia Rash on the ACES compound. It was a big win in court for the ACES co-founders win because a higher court has ruled that the Security Forces should have done more to stop the mob from torching the Rose Property. Well, it's been almost 2 more years since that Court of Appeal ruling, and just over 5 years since the arson of the Crocodile Education Sanctuary, and still the Rose couple has not been paid that compensation for their losses.

    Man Jailed For Sexual Assault of 8 Year Old
    25 year-old Randy Dominguez, a resident of Biscayne Village, is spending the first night of a 3 year sentence after he was convicted of 2 counts of sexual assault on an 8 year-old girl. The child testified that in June 2014, Dominguez fondled her. She also recounted to the Chief Magistrate that on another occasion, she was using the bathroom when Dominguez came into the bathroom and assaulted her. Another witness testified to the court that she heard the child cry out, and when she went to investigate, she saw child sitting on the bed exposed with Dominguez in the room. In his defence, Dominguez gave an unsworn statement in which he denies committing the offence. After considering all the evidence, the Chief Magistrate found Dominguez guilty, and sentenced him to spend 3 years in jail for each count of sexual assault. Both sentences are to run concurrently, and so, he will spend a total of 3 years.

    Mexicans On A Mission
    Last year, Government was on a fast track to get as many infrastructural projects off the ground, many of them in time for elections. So, with an appetite for construction, the Mexican embassy thought it just right to host a trade mission at the Mexican institute in Belie City specifically catering to those with an interest in hardware materials. Over 30 different local construction companies attended the event that lasted up until midday today. The Mexican Embassy says it will continue to host these trade mission events to strengthen business relationships and build new ones between the Mexican and Belizean private sectors.

    Child Stimulation A Major Part OF Education
    "The wheels on the bus" and "Humpty Dumpy" those are just 2 of the many favorite nursery rhymes. But they are more than just fun songs to entertain kids - these jingles are an integral part of a child's early development. And, to celebrate early childhood development month, an opening ceremony was held at the Memorial Park this morning followed by a parade through the city streets. After singing along with the kids on stage, Minister of Education Patrick Faber told us about the importance of parent and teacher involvement in early childhood development. Now in order for kids to be engaged and enthused at that early age, they must have trained and fully equipped teachers to guide them. Faber also discussed the teacher licensing and how it contributes to improved education for these kids.

    GSU Gets 1 Ki Of Gang Weed
    The Gang Suppression Unit Conducted an operation yesterday that, all told, led to the seizure of nearly a kilo of weed - more than two pounds. The first discovery was made around 10 in the morning when the GSU conducted an operation on St. Jude Street in Belize City. They searched an open lot and discovered 871 grams of cannabis hidden among some plantain trees. No one was around the immediate area but authorities suspected that the drugs to belonged to members of the Backa Town Gang. Later that same day, around 7:30 pm to be exact, members of the GSU led another operation, this time in Linda Vista Street, Belize City. There they searched another opened lot and discovered about 124 grams of Cannabis underneath a fence. Just like before, no one was in the vicinity when the search was conducted and the drugs were labeled as found property. However authorities suspected that the drugs belonged to the BLC gang that controls that area.

    With You In Roswell
    Tonight Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams was all over the news - at the start, in the middle, and now at the end. But you probably hadn't seen him on here for like a month before that - and that's because Williams along with nine other police officers and a magistrate were in Roswell, New Mexico for an FBI Training. No, he didn't learn about those aliens in area 51 - but he did learn about leadership. Williams explained:... Police from St. Kitts and Antigua also attended.

    BEL's Big Money Debenture Draw
    The Banks are flush with money - what's called excess liquidity - and they don't want depositors money. That's caused low interest rates on savings - so money managers might want to look at BEL to put their money. The power company today opened its series 7 Debenture Offer. They are offering 27.5 million dollars in debentures at an interest rate of 6% per annum for twelve years. The minimum buy-in? It's set at $100 dollars for a minimum of one debenture. BEL says it will use the proceeds from this debenture to refinance the Company's Series 2 and 4 Debentures. The offer is opened now, and closes on March 31, 2016.

    Channel 5

    A Woman Police Constable is Shot in the Line of Duty
    Woman Police Constable Sheneah Caliz is alive tonight after being shot in the head by a robber caught in the act. Caliz and two other officers were on routine patrol [...]

    Would-be Robber Turns Weapon on WPC Caliz
    Jamal Jackson is no stranger to the Police. He was charged for the 2010 stabbing murder of a security guard at the Belize Biltmore Plaza but was acquitted in 2015 [...]

    Assistant ComPol Chester Williams Comments on Conviction Rate
    Jackson is only one of many persons who have been charged for murder and then acquitted. While the conviction rate in Belize is not a matter of public record, the [...]

    Will Charges be Brought Against Mother of Aborted Fetus?
    A criminal investigation conducted by Dangriga police, following the gruesome discovery of a fetus on Thursday, will likely give rise to charges being levied against a minor, as well as [...]

    BPP Says Government is Spineless When it Comes to Guatemala
    The Belize Progressive Party, formed last year just before general elections, continues to maintain that it is a feasible option to the two mass parties which have dominated electoral politics [...]

    Do you think Belize has lost the Sarstoon to Guatemala?
    And our question for tonight is: Do you think Belize has lost the Sarstoon to Guatemala? Yes or No? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 [...]

    How Many Guatemalan Vessels Were There in Belizean Waters?
    The blockage on Saturday by the Guatemalan navy of the B.T.V. expedition continues to cause public outrage because there is a growing sentiment that Belize has lost the Sarstoon. Almost [...]

    Foreign Minister Says Relationship with Guatemala Remains Cordial
    Visits to the various border points, particularly in the area of the Sarstoon River, according to Elrington, only serve to arouse Guatemala’s hostility.  The entire issue of the impact of [...]

    Suspected Fake Cops Released Without Charge, Police Vigilance is Up
    One week ago three persons were detained by Police on suspicion of being involved in a fake cop racket. Perpetrators actually managed to get guns off two security guards in [...]

    BPP Secures Lease for New Headquarters
    The B.P.P. did not do spectacularly well in the 2015 general elections, but the Party was present and accounted for. According to leader Patrick Rogers, it is all part of [...]

    Feasibility Study for Belize City Cruise Port is Underway
    In mid-January, Prime Minister Dean Barrow went on record, during an exclusive interview with News Five, to say that he was giving serious thought to the idea of a major [...]

    Randy Dominguez is Convicted of Sexual Assault of Minor
    There were three cases of sexual abuse, one ended in a conviction. A resident of Biscayne, Belize District, is serving his first night of a three-year sentence imposed upon him [...]

    Communications Specialist Shares His 2 Cents on State of Local Media
    We have aired various reports from Barbados where media personnel from across the Caribbean converged for a two-day media law seminar last week. The seminar was a component in the [...]

    Julius Gittens Says Media Must Be Inclusive When it Comes to Social Issues
    Gittens also spoke of the influence of the media as it relates to social issues. His recommendation is that the media must be accessible to everyone. The media, he says, [...]

    Mexican Trade Mission Introduces Construction Material to Belizean Market
    A mission from Chetumal is in Belize promoting its goods, services and ideas in the area of construction. Today they met with Belizean contractors and businessmen who may be interested [...]

    Belize Joins 11 CARICOM Countries in Advancing Pro-growth Agenda
    Even though there are economic differences, ministers from Caribbean countries have signed on to a development agenda. The agreement was signed today during a Caribbean Growth Forum held at the [...]

    Evangelical Association Says No to Marijuana Decriminalization
    The decriminalization of marijuana, specific quantities of the drug, is a topic that is once again at the forefront of public discourse.  The issue was raised on Monday by the [...]

    NEAB Says Alcohol is also a Serious Issue Facing Youths
    According to President Lance Lewis, while alcoholism is an issue youths are facing, it was not discussed at today’s gathering.  The concern with decriminalizing marijuana, says Lewis, is a more [...]


    Police Detains Three Persons Of Interest In Murder Of Honduran National
    Last week, on February 24th to be specific, Orange Walk recorded its fourth murder for 2016. Police were called out to the Lamanai Lagoon located in the Village of Indian Church, where the body of an unidentified male person was found floating in the water. The body which had several visible injuries was later identified as that of fifty one year old Guido Urbina, Honduran national that was residing in Indian Church. Investigations in the case later revealed that Urbina was last seen alive in the company of three men who were all socializing at a local bar.

    BPP Response To Minister Of Foreign Affairs
    During a press conference this morning, the Belize Progressive Party addressed the latest incident involving the Belize Territorial Volunteers who were denied entry into the Sarstoon River by Guatemalan military over the weekend. Deputy BPP Leader, Will Mejia, who is also BTV leader, responded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs request for the maintenance of Belize’s sovereignty to be left to the professionals. He also addressed what is next for the Belize Territorial Volunteers. Will Mejia - Deputy Leader Belize Progressive Party: “Let’s define professionals because if they are professionals to handling it they have been handling this for so long and in my opinion they have continued to mishandle the situation, as long as what we have here 8866 square miles which encompasses the total territorial area of Belize, we will never be told where we can go and where we can’t go, my neighbors had got to play by the rules, the had got to respect our borders, my neighbor who lives next to me I like him but he can’t come in my yard and cut down what tree he want ok and that is the bottom line.”

    Pre-Schoolers Celebrate Childhood Simulation Month In Corozal
    An early education is an early investment in the future, and educators take that very seriously. Today marked the kickoff of Child Stimulation month celebrated every year in March. This year the month is being celebrated under the theme “Early Childhood Development, the Foundation for a Brighter Belize.” In Corozal Town 30 out of 37 preschools within the Corozal District participated in the first activity of the month as pre-schoolers…accompanied by their teachers and parents marched along the main streets of Corozal. Similar to educators here in Orange and across the country, teachers in Corozal Town will be kept busy throughout the month of March says childhood education officer for Corozal, Maria Correa.

    Corozal And Orange Walk Has New District Council
    Yesterday country wide the Department of Youth Services held elections for District Youth Council. Up for grabs was a seat for President, Vice President, Secretary, Public Relations Officer and Treasurer.The voting commenced at 9:00 in the morning and closed at 6:00 in the evening and today the results were revealed. For president a total of 66 votes were cast naming Damari Tesucum as the new president for the District Youth Council with 29 votes, trailing behind was Benigno Lizama with 22 votes and Theotisha Hall with 13 votes.Dominique Vellos was named Vice President with 30 votes, the other two candidates Mikael E Gilharry and Ginelly Novelo got 20 votes and 14 votes respectively.

    President Of IDB Advise To Finance Ministers To Take Advantage Of Low Oil Prices
    Yesterday we told you about the trip that Prime Minister Dean Barrow took to Washington to attend the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Thirtieth Governors’ Meeting of the Central American Isthmus and the Dominican Republic Constituency. Today Honduran news page ‘La Tribuna’ reported that president of the Inter -American Development Bank (IDB), Luis Alberto Moreno, yesterday urged finance ministers of the region to take advantage of positive situations that offers the drop in oil prices to improve productivity and increase fiscal efficiency, which many of the countries present are not doing. Moreno advised ministers present about the opportunities to take advantage of the low oil prices, saying quote “We must use this environment to forge policies to achieve growth, stability, employment and equity in the medium and long term” end quote

    CZL Town Council Messenger Robbed Of Undisclosed Amount Of Cash
    Details are still sketchy but CTV3 News has been able to confirm with Corozal Police that yesterday while making a routine deposit at the bank, the messenger of the Corozal Town Council was robbed of an undisclosed amount of cash. While reports to CTV3 News indicate that some $15,000 was in the bag when it was grabbed form the hands of the messenger, police would only tell us that the money stolen is somewhere between $7,000 to $15,000. We understand that Mayor Hilberto Campos is out of the country. We’ll have more on this story in tomorrow’s newscast.

    Man Who Plunged Into The New River Still Missing
    One week has passed since 21 one year old Carlos Reyes along with a second unidentified male plunged into the New River and never resurfaced. Today Orange Walk police are still uncertain of the identity of the second man believed to have drowned. According to Orange Walk police while the search has been suspended, they are no closer to discovering his identity as no one has come forward to place a missing person report. After so many days in the water police believe that the body may never be discovered. Since the incident occurred on Monday of last week there have been many assumptions as to the truth behind the occurrence. Many believe that there was never a second body to be found but police say they are following statements and evidence in the case that indicate that there was in fact a second individual who jumped into the river.

    BPP Experince Problems As To Resister As A Political Party
    For some time now the Belize Progressive Party has been trying to register the BPP as an official party but they have been encountering a number of obstacles. Today the party’s leader, Patrick Rogers, spoke about the difficulties they have been facing in their quest. “Right now as we are speaking we cannot even register the name BPP because our laws do not govern political parties so we’ve opted to go the route of a cooperative we will be registering as a cooperative the first that sits over there will come into the cooperative the least agreement is going to fall into the cooperative hands and in this way is not about Patrick owning the assets it is about a cooperative called the BPP because there is not laws to register as a political party and they want us to register as a friendly society which we are not a friendly society so we opted to do our due diligence to ensure that when we register as a cooperative that they will give us our name Belize Progressive Party because there is not law that says we can’t use Party in our name.”


    BTV blocked by Guatemalan army boats in Belizean waters
    The Belize Territorial Volunteers, despite disapproval from Ministry of Foreign affairs, ventured to the apparently controversial Belizean territory on the Sarstoon on Saturday February 27. The plan was to travel to the Gracias Adios Border Marker as a commemoration to last year’s event when t...

    NEAB Holds historic first meeting
    The National Evangelical Association of Belize held its first AGM after officially formulating the new association late last year. This was after the Belize Evangelical Association suspended all non Belize City pastors, leaving behind a handful of Belize City pastors under that banner. Most of those...

    Camalote Accident
    About 7pm Friday, 26 February our news team was called out to the scene of a traffic accident on the George price Highway in Camalote Village, Cayo District. When we arrived police had already cordoned off about 200 yards of the highway, blocking traffic on both sides , and debris from several vehic...

    Murder in Dangriga
    On Friday the 26th of February, we reported on the stabbing incident that left 52 year old Harrison Bowers in a critical condition. On the 22nd of February, Bowers, a Belizean Business man succumbed to his injuries. He was suffering from cut wounds to the fingers, chest and the abdomen. Police have ...

    Arson case in San Ignacio
    A shop in Billy White Village San Ignacio was completely destroyed by fire. On Sunday the 28th of February at 1:37 a.m. San Ignacio Police responded to a house fire in Billy White Village where a yellow wooden structure with zinc roof was completely destroyed by fire. The wooden structure was the pr...

    Constable convicted of manslaughter set free on appeal
    The Court of Appeal has freed Police Constable Alpheus Parham, found guilty a year ago of a charge of manslaughter in the shooting death of Alex Goff, who he shot to death in a detention cell at the Caye Caulker Police Station on May 9, 2010. Justices President Manuel Sosa, Murillo Ducille and Minne...

    OCEANA People’s Referendum
    On Monday February 29th, OCEANA held its 4th anniversary of the ‘People’s Referendum’. More than twenty nine thousand Belizeans voted on the issue of whether or not they wanted offshore drilling activities to be conducted in Belizean waters and when the count was in, over 96% of ...


    Guatemala annexes the Sarstoon!
    Armed Guatemalan military stopped Belizeans on Saturday morning from even entering the Sarstoon River—an act which is being described by the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) as a “provocative and illegal act by the Guatemalan Navy.” Wil Maheia, founder of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV), reported that at about 10:00 a.m. while traveling in very cool weather through choppy seas, a group of Belizeans who were planning on taking an educational excursion to the Gracias a Dios border marker in southwestern Belize were forced to abandon their mission when they saw armed Guatemala military approaching them. “Guatemala has embarked on a dangerous and confrontational course; we reject it,” said Opposition Leader Johnny Briceño. In recounting what transpired on Saturday, Maheia told Amandala that between 15 to 20 Belizeans, including media personnel, went on the expedition, but the furthest they got was north of the Belize forward operating base (FOB) and somewhat south of the Temash River, where, he said, Guatemalan gunboats moved to cut them off.

    Dog on prowl finds fetus
    At about 4:30 Thursday evening a dog prowling the Benguche area of Dangriga Town was seen with a human fetus dangling in its mouth. The fetus was later reported to be about 7 months. People who saw the dog carrying the fetus shouted at it, causing the dog to drop the grisly find on the street. It then ran away. Police were quickly called and they took the fetus to the Southern Regional Hospital for a post-mortem examination to be conducted by Dr. Mario Estradabran and his team for more details and information on the baby. Police investigation led to a woman who has been detained and put in the custody of the Human Services Department pending directives to be made by the Director of Public Prosecutions. The dog’s owner told police that one of his dogs escaped out of his yard and was roaming in the neighborhood when the neighbors saw it pull something out of the bushes. The horrified neighbours saw a baby’s foot dangling out of the dog’s mouth and shouted at the animal. They then rushed to see what it was, and saw that it was a human fetus wrapped in a white cloth.

    Female cop dodges death from robber’s bullet
    A Woman Police Officer escaped death at about 8:00 tonight on Albert Street when a bullet fired by a robber grazed her head. The gunman fired at her as she came out of a police mobile unit to check with two security guards who had stopped them in front of Scotiabank on Albert Street. The robber was about to jack a deposit bag from the two security guards, who had come on a motorcycle to make a deposit into the deposit box. After firing at the police mobile unit, the gunman then ran from the area empty-handed. The WPC was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where she is being treated for the gunshot injury. Police are looking for the gunman.

    Homeless man found dead in pickup on Cemetery Road
    A homeless man known as Danny, who hangs out at the corner of Cemetery Road and Euphrates Avenue, was found lifeless in the cab of a pickup in which he usually sleeps and which is usually parked on Cemetery Road in front of Kevin’s Store. Danny, 60, originally from Trinidad, was found by his friend, Eric Pandy, at about 1:00 this afternoon. Eric awaits the post-mortem exam to certify the cause of death. Pandy told Amandala this afternoon that at about 10:00 last night, Danny was drinking the rum known as “Red top,” and he was drunk and falling down. Pandy helped Danny cross the street in front of the store at the corner of Euphrates and Cemetery Road, and helped him into the pickup cab so that he could go to sleep. After making sure that he was OK, Pandy went home.

    Nuri provides insights into gang culture in Belize
    Inter-gang warfare continues to be a problem in the old capital, Belize City, despite attempts to get rival factions to enter into a truce. The first such truce was called on February 18, 1995, when 14 Belize City gangs entered a peace agreement called the Bird’s Isle Gang Truce, which was organized by the Conscious Youth Development Program (CYDP). Nuri Muhammad, KREM TV manager, has published a new book, Insights into the Gang Culture in Belize. Speaking at the launch of his book at the Leo Bradley Library in Belize City on Friday morning, Muhammad said that the problem is deeply entrenched, but had we caught the problem 25, 30 years ago, when we started to see this new trend, things would have been different today. Back in the early 80s, Belize’s jail had about 50 people but by the mid-80s the jail was so filled up that authorities were thinking of moving it from Gabourel Lane in Belize City to Hattieville, because the old jail could not hold the amount of males the new gang culture was generating.

    Court of Appeal frees cop convicted of manslaughter
    The Court of Appeal opened its first session for the year this morning and heard the first criminal appeal, that of Alpheus Parham v The Queen. Parham, a police special constable, was indicted for murder in the Supreme Court, but a jury of 6 men and 6 women had found him not guilty of murder but guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter in the death of Alex Goff, 31, who died from a gunshot to the forehead while he was detained in the Caye Caulker Police Station on May 9, 2010. Following his manslaughter conviction last February, Parham was sentenced to 10 years in prison by Supreme Court Justice John Troadio Gonzalez. It is against that conviction and consequent sentence that Parham’s attorney, Simeon Sampson, SC, had filed his appeal. As the hearing came to an end after almost two hours, the President of the Court, Hon. Mr. Justice Manuel Sosa, announced that the court was setting aside Parham’s conviction. Justice Sosa then told Parham that he was free to go home.

    WW/Chief Sunday Race results for February 14, 21 and 28
    February 14: This Weekend Warrior (WW)/Chief Sunday Race started at 8:00 a.m. from Leslie’s Imports to Northern Highway via Boom Junction and back, for 50 miles. Top finishers were: 1st place – Dean Belisle (Bel-Cal, 2:15.11); 2nd Kareem Flowers (Santino’s, st); 3rd Warren Coye (Santino’s); 4th Preston Martinez (Kulture Megabytes); 5th Kirk Sutherland (Digicell-4G); 6th Gilroy Robinson (Santino’s); 7th Dean Boyce (FT Williams, 1stt “B” rider); 8th Santino Castillo (Santino’s); 9th Manuel Esquiliano (Truckers Posse); 10th Jeff Montzingo (Invitee); 11th Jack Sutherland (Digicell-4G); 12th Andrew Brown (Megabytes); and 13th Daniel Cano (Santino’s). 6 riders did not finish. Race #3 of the current WW series of 5 races went from Rockville junction to Busman Arnold Hill, for 40 miles, for the “A” & “B” riders, which started at 8:30 a.m.; while the “C” riders rode from Democracia junction.

    Winners of the 35th Annual Belmopan Cycling Classic
    For the first time ever, the Belmopan Cycling Classic, now in its 35th year of running, actually finished where it started in the capital city of Belmopan. After taking the 50 mile journey to the old capital yesterday morning, the Elites, Under 23 and Masters categories traversed Central American Boulevard, over the Belcan Bridge, and circled the flag monument roundabout under overcast skies and drizzling north rain, before retracing their path back onto the George Price Highway, and back to Belmopan, to complete the 100 mile journey. The Juniors/Youth and Females went only as far as Gracie Rock, before returning to Belmopan, for a 60 mile trek. In the big Elite/U-23/Masters race, 48 started and 41 finished, with Joel Vanegas (Digicell-4G) taking top honors, followed by teammate Giovanni Lovell (Digicell-4g), both clocking 3:53.03. They were followed 36 seconds later by a group of 10.

    Last undefeated team falls in NEBL tournament
    Belmopan Bandits stuns Smart in the Hurricane Shelter: On Friday night, Smart Belize Hurricanes hosted Belmopan Bandits at the Belize Elementary School gym, in a rematch of a thrilling season opener. The home team jumped out to an early 20-11 advantage at the end of the first quarter; and at the half, Smart Belize Hurricanes was able to extend that lead to 12 points, going into the fourth quarter with a 63-58 lead. Belmopan Bandits was able to cut the lead to 2 points midway through the fourth quarter, and with great end-of-game execution, secured a huge win for their team, claiming the 85-83 victory. American import Nick Brown was the top scorer for Belmopan Bandits (3-4) with 24 pts to go with 6 boards and 3 steals. Jarrel “Bird” Velasquez tallied 17 pts, 6 rebs and 3 assists, while Kurt “Chengo” Burgess finished with a double-double with 15 pts and 10 rebs, with 4 assists and 2 steals. Stephen “Muerte” Williams and Kyle Pascascio chipped in with 12 and 11 pts, respectively. Dangriga Warriors hosted Belize City No Limit on Saturday night at the Ecumenical College in Dangriga Town, in an attempt to even their regular season meetings. The Warriors jumped out to an early 21-14 first quarter lead, which they never relinquished, maintaining a double digit lead most of the game, to seal the 81-67 victory.

    City Boys/Kraal Road visit Caye Caulker in Poor & Famous youth football exchange program
    As part of our club’s efforts to make a difference in our youths’ lives in regards to our football program, the next team lined up for the Caye Caulker U-17 program was City Boys/Kraal Road, who traveled to Caye Caulker for a football exchange on Sunday, February 21, in a game that was 40-40 (40 minute halves) against the Caye Caulker/Tsunami Adventures U-17 squad. We had a better turnout from the village fans to see their youths perform, and the game ended up 2-1 in favor of Caye Caulker/Tsunami Adventures U-17 over City Boys/Kraal Road U-17. Fabian Tush put Caye Caulker in front at the 8th minute, before Keron Sutherland scored a beautiful “chilenas” off a throw-in to tie things up, 1-1, at the 28th minute. The game remained tied until 3 minutes before the long whistle, when Enrique Ramos got the game winner for Caye Caulker.

    Editorial: Dr. Esquivel’s legacy: Mr. Barrow’s party
    At this newspaper, we remember the two administrations (1984-89, and 1993-1998) of the first United Democratic Party (UDP) Prime Minister, Dr. Manuel Esquivel, for three things. One was the spraying of Belize’s marijuana fields with the deadly herbicide called paraquat; the second was the sale of the southern half of the “common grounds” we once called the Newtown Barracks for the building of the Ramada Hotel, which later became the Princess Hotel and Casino; the third Esquivel memory we have is the vindictive smashing of the largest industry to emerge in the last quarter century on Belize City’s Southside – semi-professional basketball. When Dr. Esquivel made all these decisions which have impacted so negatively on the roots black community in Belize City, he was surrounded by a large amount of people in Cabinet who looked like roots black. At all material times, Dr. Esquivel’s Cabinet featured the Hon. Dean Barrow, Belize’s now three-time Prime Minister, who is the eight-time area representative for the Southside’s Queen’s Square. Both of Dr. Esquivel’s Cabinets included the Hon. Hubert Elrington, who represented the Southside’s Lake Independence. All of Mr. Barrow’s three Cabinets have included Hubert’s younger brother, Wilfred, who also served time briefly in the second Esquivel Cabinet (1993-1998). The Hon. Michael Finnegan, who is the UDP’s six-time area representative for the Southside’s Mesopotamia constituency, has served in all three Barrow Cabinets. Hon. Patrick Faber is a four-time UDP area rep in the Southside’s Collet division, and Hon. Boots Martinez is the four-time UDP area rep for Port Loyola. Both Mr. Faber and Mr. Martinez have served in all three Barrow Cabinets.

    From the Publisher
    Since the change of government from People’s United Party (PUP) to United Democratic Party (UDP) in February of 2008, I’ve been careful, sparing, in analysis and criticism of the Opposition PUP. One of the reasons for my relative caution was my experience in the period between late 2003 and early 2004. The then Opposition UDP was quite weak at the time, and I remember offering some analysis/criticism, it being the case that our political system benefits from a strong Opposition. A ranking UDP area representative, now Cabinet Minister since 2008, wrote in the UDP newspaper in scathing rebuke of my comments, essentially saying their party didn’t need any advice from me and did not appreciate any offered. That UDP leader was right. Belize’s two major political parties are each much more powerful than the country’s leading newspaper in every respect you can think of, except that of credibility. We Belizeans cherish our constitutional democracy, flawed as it is, and the two major political parties, national and organized, are the two most important structural elements of that democracy. The free press/media adds a valuable icing to the cake of constitutional democracy, but the electoral politicians and the two major parties are bigger players in the game.

    Belizean serving in Botswana
    Dear Editor, Few Belizeans have the privilege to visit the continent of Africa. Christophe Engleton, a 31-year-old son of The Jewel is blessed to be in Botswana working for the Peace Corps in Botswana as a Local Government Volunteer with the Government of Botswana for two years to help fight the HIV epidemic in Africa. His mother, Lucia Ellis from Unitedville, and his extended family of San Ignacio, Belize are excited for his experience, which began in August 2015. Christophe was working at St. Ignatius Evening Division, Santa Elena-San Ignacio, as the Information Technology teacher prior to his move to Botswana. In preparation for the work he and the other participants underwent rigorous training in Botswana culture and language. The country experiences winter during the months of May–August and summer in November–February. Christophe says that living conditions are comfortable and volunteers must live within the means provided by the Peace Corps. He is one of the few born Belizeans who have served in the Peace Corps.

    IMPACT allowed journalists an opportunity to sharpen their skills and strengthen their ties
    A two-day seminar which sought to educate the regional media on legal matters, held at the Radisson Hotel, came to an end on Wednesday, February 24. The seminar was an initiative of Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean, IMPACT Justice, which is based at the Faculty of Law Institute at the University of the West Indies, Cavehill Campus in Barbados. At the end of the seminar, students were given certificates for their participation. The certificates were presented by Walter Bernyck, Head of the Cooperation, Government of Canada. He said, “The rights and responsibilities that the media have, continue to evolve even now, further into the digital platform. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that the media understand their role and the responsibility which come along with it, especially with information traveling faster now than ever before, since 70% of the world’s adult population has a smart phone.” Velma Newton, Regional Project Director of Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean, IMPACT Justice, told Amandala “It started in 2014 and is funded by the Canadian government to a total of CAN $19.2 million, and the object is to improve access to justice for the citizens of the Caribbean Region, and the project will last for five years.”

    Amid shark fishery debate, fishers oppose “cold turkey” ban of gill nets
    During the Lenten season, Catholics traditionally eat fish as a substitute for meat on Fridays, and the demand for fish to satisfy this religious tradition in neighboring countries, particularly in Guatemala, is blamed for increased pressure on the shark fishery in Belize at this time of the year. On Monday, a Facebook post showing 17 images of sharks being butchered went viral, and the post by MarAlliance was followed by a petition calling for a ban on the preferential gears used to snag sharks in Belizean waters. The matter has sparked a fierce debate, with local fishermen cautioning that any hasty action could cost them their livelihoods. Speaking with the media on Tuesday, Fisheries Administrator Beverly Wade explained that the local shark fishery is a very small fishery. Wade said that for the last three years an average 60 fishers, the majority of them from Belize City, Dangriga and the Independence area, have been licensed, and production has been stable at around 25,000 pounds of shark. “What I think is unfortunate about this situation is when you actually take the fishermen’s information and parade them on social media like they are common criminals when they are not,” Wade said.

    Friday’s UEF Open House
    On February 26th at the Library of African and Indian and Studies located at 3304 Partridge Street on the Kremandala Compound, the UBAD Educational Foundation (UEF) hosted a 6 hour-long celebration of the 47th anniversary of the inception of the United Black Association for Development (UBAD), the 16th year anniversary of the opening of the Library, and the end of Black History Month. From 1:00pm to 7:00pm the organizers opened the door to the public to share the space, UEF programming, the history of UBAD and UEF and to facilitate discussion. Participants included community members from educational and from activist backgrounds. In attendance were students from local schools; recently graduated youth; former UBAD officer and breast-feeding consultant Penelope Casasola; Principal Librarian Joy Ysaguirre from the National Belize Library Services; Felene Cayetano, who heads the National Heritage Library in Belmopan; members of the Belize Coalition for the Human Rights of African Descendants (BCHAD); wise elders including Myrna Pandy, Sandra Kebeh Felix; visiting U.S. educators Phil and Remel Moore; social and environmental activists Candy and George Gonzalez; leadership from Dorothy Menzies Child Care Center; Amandala assistant editor Adele Ramos; Sean Taegar, poet and younger son of Dr. Leroy Taegar, for whom the Library’s Institute of Learning is named; Tracey Flores from RESTORE Belize; media partners and others. Assata Marin, a volunteer at the Library, helped with preparations for the day.

    Coast Guard suspends search for missing New River swimmer
    After 4 days of an intense search and recover operation carried out by Orange Walk Police, the Belize Coast Guard, and volunteers to find the body of an unknown man who had jumped into the crocodile-infested waters of the New River near Orange Walk Town on Monday evening and had disappeared, the search was ended today. The operation was halted by the Coast Guard because the search mission was proving to be fruitless. Inspector Nicolas Palomo, Deputy Commander of Orange Walk Police, reported that three days had elapsed without them finding the body. Volunteers and policemen are on a river watch to retrieve the body if and when it floats to the surface. It is strongly believed, however, that the body will not be found because it had been devoured by the crocodiles. Palomo said that no one has made a missing person report to police, so the identity of the man remains unknown.

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    BEL opens offer of $27.5 MM Series 7 Debenture
    The Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) today announced its opening of a $27.5 million Series 7 Debenture offer at a subscription cost of $100 each to earn a six percent interest rate for 12 years through to 2028. Interested persons are being advised though that […]

    Orange Walk preschools kick off Child Stimulation Month
    This morning hundreds of children, accompanied by their parents paraded the main streets of Orange Walk Town as they kicked off activities in observation of Child Stimulation Month held every year in March. Under the theme “Early Childhood Development, The Foundation of for a Brighter […]

    Cleanup effort successful in Belize City
    A cleanup campaign in the areas of Central American Boulevard, Mahogany Street, Tribuce Street and Haulover Creek this weekend, which are all in Sanitary Zone 4 of Belize City, resulted in the removal of over 16 truckloads of waste material. It was a joint effort […]

    BTL goes LTE
    2017 will see Belize – all of Belize – covered by a 4G LTE network from the state-owned company, Belize Telemedia Limited. At its official kickoff today at the Hour Bar Conference Room, BTL’s executives announced not only better speeds and coverage but a commitment […]

    Randy Dominguez sentenced to 3 years for sexual assault on 8 year old child
    Randy Dominguez, 26, a Biscayne resident will serve three years in prison on two counts of sexual assault. He was caught with his zipper down, pants half way down, and an erection while his young victim was found with her underwear and pants half way […]

    Two games played in football league over the weekend
    Two games were played in the Premier Football League this weekend since the match between Verdes FC and BDF FC had to be postponed due to rain on Sunday. The first game saw Placencia’s Assassins defeating Wagiya on Saturday night in a 1-0 ballgame […]

    Hurricanes handed their first loss over the weekend
    There was an upset in the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) on Friday night when the seemingly unbeatable Smart Belize Hurricanes, lost to Belmopan’s Bandits on their home court in Belize City by two points. That game ended with a final score of 85-83, […]

    Daniel ‘Danny’ Jimenez is our player of the week
    Born in the town of San Ignacio in the Cayo District, 27-year-old Daniel Jimenez has grown to become one of the most recognized football players in Belize today, playing for the Police United FC currently and the country’s national team, the Jaguars, from he was […]

    Lady officer shot to the head, one detained
    Twenty-seven-year-old Woman Police Constable Sheneah Caliz attached to the Traffic Support Unit at Precinct Three in Belize City is listed in stable condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after receiving a gunshot to the head and one to the left palm last night. […]

    Phase two of CGF opens with renewed commitment to sustainable growth
    12 Caribbean countries have endorsed a commitment to sustainable growth during the first day of the Caribbean Growth Forum, being held in Belize City. Representing Belize at the Forum is Minister of State for Economic Development, Investment, Trade, Commerce and Petroleum Tracey Taegar-Panton; Prime […]

    Orange Walk preschoolers celebrate stimulation month
    Students from 24 preschools in Orange Walk District marched around town this morning as part of the opening ceremony for a month filled with activities in commemoration of this year’s stimulation month. This years the theme is, “Early Childhood Education, the Foundation for a Brighter […]

    Fair weather expected for the next 24 hours
    Mainly fair weather is expected over the next 24 hours or so followed by a slight increase in moisture. The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mostly sunny skies today and partly cloudy skies tonight with only isolated showers. Winds will be blowing […]


    Lobsterfest in Belize
    This annual seafood bacchanal is no ordinary celebration. Lobsterfest is an official summer kickoff event coinciding with the first lobster harvests that continue through February 15th. The wildly popular nationwide event turns Belize into one big homage to crustaceans celebrated in three areas: Caye Caulker, San Pedro and Placencia. Bring your appetite. Is it possible to grow weary of eating this delicacy? No way. With winter a passing memory, Belize’s tourist influx has slowed down so there’s plenty of room to spread out and relax, fork in hand. Chefs at restaurants, resorts and small cafes roll out signature lobster dishes and the vast array of recipe twists will impress you. Grab your share of beach time and make new friends at any of the festivals. If you long to escape stress, lobster-themed street fests, parties, concerts and “gastronomic debauchery” will put an end to any winter blues still lingering in your head. San Pedro holds a week-long event (June 15th to 26th) that starts with a kick-off party and ends with a huge fiesta. Throughout the week, eat, drink and show up at as many bars and eateries as your constitution can handle. The Caye Caulker Lobsterfest is scheduled to take place between July 1st and 3rd, so if you’ve only got a short time to indulge, prioritize these dates. Placencia Peninsula’s Lobsterfest is also a weekend affair to be staged between June 24th and 26th. Placencia’s legendary mega-beach party is the biggest draw of all. Can’t decide which one’s for you? Take them all in. How else can you decide which satisfies your appetite so much you’ll return in 2017 and beyond?

    International Sourcesizz

    Program on Belize set for March 14 at the Bridgewater Library
    Somerset Naturalists: will present "New World Tropics – Belize," on Monday, March 14, from 7:30-9 p.m. Becky and Phil Witt will present a nature-oriented travelogue of one of their favorite areas in the New World Tropics--Belize. Situated a relatively short flight away on the east coast of Central America, Belize serves as a meeting spot for species from both North and South America. Visitors in winter can see both the North America warblers there for the winter and South American species, such as toucans, all in the same day. See images of tropical rainforests, Mayan ruins, and birds. Guests are welcome. The program is free.

    Venezuela to print - much - larger denomination bills as inflation soars past 180%
    Venezuela's government will begin printing larger-denominated bank notes sometime this year, a top finance official said, as runaway inflation has eroded the value of the nation's biggest bill to less than a U.S. dime on the black market. Central Bank President Nelson Merentes' comments in an interview Monday with The Associated Press were the first confirmation that Venezuela is preparing to print larger bills, something that had been rumored for months. Market economists have said bigger bills will only accelerate inflation that last year hit 181 percent — the highest in the world.


  • Spider Monkey Encounter - Belize, 2min. This happened to us on a trail at Chan Chich Belize.

  • Creating Economic Opportunities in Northern Belize, 3min. Last year, the Belize Red Cross and the American Red Cross provided initial support to 38 beneficiaries, in order to help them diversify their income sources. We went back to the communities 8 months later to interview program participants. Here is what a few of them told us...

  • Making a Fishy Friend While Diving in Ambergris Caye, Belize, 1min. We're used to curious fish, while scuba diving. But, this little guy was so friendly! I think he wanted to come home with us!!

  • Belize 2016, 54min. Ambergris Caye/Belize City/Orange Walk February 2016.

  • Dolphin Play Belize, 2min. A large pod of spinner dolphins decided to honor us with a visit on our way back to Ramon's Village after our dive day at the Blue Hole in Belize. Estimated at over 100 strong, they played off of the bow and wake of the boat for over 15 min.

  • Second Edition of Belmopan Weekly!!, 32min.

  • Countdown to the Ruta Maya River Challenge!, 1min. Counting down to the big race...The Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge 2016- March 4 to 7.

  • Belize Field Trip, 5min. from Jason Turley

  • Belize Parasail, 5.5min. Fido's Dock, San Pedro

  • Snorkeling in Belize | The Gabe Show, 3min. Here's a short film of snorkeling in Belize. We found a sea urchin, sand dollar, sea star, lion fish, stingray and a bunch of coral reefs. Belize is the second largest barrier reef in the world!

  • Scuba Diving Belize, 7min. Highlights of scuba diving Believe from the Aggressor Fleet's Sun Dancer II. 27 dives on Lighthouse Reef, Turneffe Atol, Half moon Caye and other dive sites. Highlights compressed into a 6 minute video.

    March 1, 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

    New license plates in Town!
    Have you noticed the beautiful new license plates that golf carts and vehicles are proudly wearing around town? They do look good, and The San Pedro Traffic Department (SPTD) has them available for anyone who would like to replace their current plates. The SPTD is working with a new supplier, and their designs are fresh and colorful. If anyone would like to replace their old license plate with the new one, they can do so for a minimal fee of $15 but there is no obligation to replace your current plate. The SPTD is located on the first floor of the Town Board building on Barrier Reef Drive.

    Saga Humane Society celebrates World Spay/Neuter day along with Symposium
    Every February 23rd, different humane societies around the world, celebrate “World Spay/Neuter Day. On Ambergris Caye, the Saga Humane Society, besides offering free spays /neuter services to the general public, also held their first symposium with other humane societies from across the country in an effort to create a more united and strong humane organization countrywide. The service was mainly to target owners who cannot afford the surgery, while at the same time reduce the population of canines and cats on the island. To make the free surgeries possible, Saga teamed up with three veterinarians who kindly volunteered their services “We have the help of doctors Orlando Baptist, Samantha English, and Melody Whitten, who are doing the surgeries between the hours of 9AM to 5PM. So far, many people are taken advantage of the service and we have been busy spaying and neutering pets,” ended Lima. In order to increase the amount of pets getting neuter, the free surgeries were extended until Friday, February 26th.

    San Pedro bids farewell to NEMO Coordinator Jeromey Timrose Augustine-Cayetano
    On Wednesday, February 24th, National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) Coordinator Jeromey Timrose Augustine-Cayetano led the final Emergency Operation Committee (EOC) meeting here in San Pedro. After over seven years of service as island coordinator, Augustine-Cayetano will be moving on to tackle the position of Central Regional Coordinator and work out of Belize City. Members of the EOC along with San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) members and the media gathered at the SPTC conference room to discuss the transition and bid farewell to Augustine-Cayetano. Taking over Augustine-Cayetano’s responsibility while a new island coordinator is assigned, will be Frank Panton, who is well acquainted with the responsibilities of NEMO. “In terms of holding over, we do not know who will be taking over or when the person will come on board. So I have discussed with Panton, who agreed to be the interim until that person comes to San Pedro,” said Augustine-Cayetano. He can be contacted at 628-2542. Once another person is assigned and a new office established, NEMO will be sending out a release to inform the public.

    New X-Ray machine installed at Ambergris Hope Clinic
    A brand new, state-of-the-art X-Ray machine has been installed at the Ambergris Hope Clinic. The sophisticated piece of equipment will not only serve the general public at the clinic, but it will also assist the Hyperbaric Chamber located onsite. Abner Bacab, manager of the Hyperbaric Chamber at the clinic, welcomes the addition to their medical facility. “Having an X-Ray machine will definitely enhance the services offered at the clinic. For any severe injuries that may require x-ray examinations before they can be treated, they can now be done here in San Pedro at our facilities,” said Bacab.

    Ambergris Today

    Pic of the Week - Magical Dolphin Encounters in Belize
    They used to be a rate sight in Belize, but dolphin encounters have become more common lately. But then comes this unique opportunity of being at the right place at the right time. Picture it - the sun is about to set, you get ready to take that golden moment of the sunset and BAM! Two dolphins spring out of the water and celebrate the amazing sunet along with you. It all happens in the wild in Belize. - photo by Sebastian Young

    Shoutout to Manelly's on their new sign.
    Looks Awesome!!

    Children’s Rights Activity Book Launched in Belize
    The Special Envoy for Women and Children with support from UNICEF Belize launched the publication, “Having Fun with Rights: A Children’s Rights Activity Book”, at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts on Thursday, February 25, 2016. The book targets children aged 8-11 years old and is designed to make the teaching of children’s rights more interactive and enjoyable. Activities based on situations that may occur within homes, at school or in social settings are used to make the material relatable while encouraging the children to think, rather than simply memorizing information. The book also places significant focus on the responsibilities that accompany each of the rights to foster positive behavioral habits and promote child-appropriate responsibilities, particularly within households.

    Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

    NICH Culture in Motion FY 2014 2015

    Training Teachers for English/Arts Program: Is online education a good thing for Belize?
    Last week U.S. Fulbright Scholar Dr. Susan Catapano conducted a training for 25 University of Belize Teachers focused on the English/Arts Program. The training discussed how to prepare and begin online teaching.

    The U.S. Embassy has an opening for a Foreign Service National (FSN) Security Investigator position
    BASIC FUNCTION OF THE POSITION: - Conducts routine and complex criminal investigations involving the production, sale and/or use of counterfeit documents for the purpose of human smuggling and/or human trafficking. - Builds relationships with middle to high level GOB officials, develops criminal cases and work with these contacts to bring criminal charges against document vendors, human smugglers and human traffickers in accordance with Belizean and U.S. laws. - Will coordinate with the Embassy’s Consular Fraud Prevention Unit to build cases against individual subjects and criminal enterprises that produce, sell or use counterfeit documents for the purpose of fraudulently obtaining U. S. visas and illegal entry into the U.S. - Gives official statements on behalf of the U.S. and be required to testify in court, if needed.

    Belize to Host Caribbean Growth Forum Meeting Fourteen Caribbean countries renew their commitment to sustainable growth
    Next week, representatives from 14 Caribbean countries will come together in Belize City to take stock on key lessons learned from the hundred reform actions implemented through the Caribbean Growth Forum, and announce a Communique to move forward on their pro-growth agenda. “Belize is proud to host this meeting. This is an extraordinary opportunity for Caribbean nations to build on the results achieved so far by the Caribbean Growth Forum and enhance the competitiveness of our respective countries,” said the Honorable Tracy Panton, Minister of State - Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade & Commerce, Government of Belize. During the meeting, countries will discuss and agree on how to create result based roadmaps to accelerate reforms and help track the implementation of actions linked to these reforms in the areas of investment climate, skills and productivity, and logistics and connectivity.

    The Organization of American States (OAS), through the Department of Human Development, Education and Employment (DHDEE) and the Syracuse University College of Law are offering scholarships to qualified candidates of the Americas to participate in its Master of Laws program. Programs: Master of Laws (LL.M.) in American Law Program for Foreign Law Graduates Language: English Modality: Onsite in Syracuse, New York, United States Benefits: 50% reduction of tuition fee as offered by Syracuse University A one-time allowance to the top ranked candidates as offered by the OAS Scholarship deadline: May 31st, 2016

    I have received an email from a person in Turkey looking for his sister by the name of Esra Ozbek. She was/is on the island since sometimes last week. I might have come in contact with her but I am unsure, even though her name rings a bell.I might have had contact with her because of diving. Her brother is asking for assistance in locating her because she called sometime on Saturday, acting strange, according to her brother and he needs to know her status. Please share this along and if any one can let me know asap, I would gladly appreciate it.

    La Ruta Maya Cultural Night 2016
    Ascenthium will be playing at this year's La Ruta Maya Cultural Night! This Thursday, March 3rd, at the Cayo Welcome Center. The fun starts at 7:00pm.

    Belize Screen on the Green
    Last Friday, the U.S. Embassy and the Belmopan City Council joined forces to launch the third annual Belize Screen on the Green movie series program. To celebrate three years of successful movie screenings the Police Drama Club and Senior Steps gave special performances. Please join us next month for the movie, "A League of their Own."

    Belize Cultural Celebrations Video Series Volume 2: Carnaval
    It is with great pleasure that the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) through the Institute for Social and Cultural Research (ISCR) invites you to the launch and premiere viewing of our ‘Belize Cultural Celebrations Video Series Volume 2: Carnaval’. This is the second in a series of educational and promotional materials which highlight our local cultural heritage. We have decided to launch the video and accompanying poster in San Pedro, as well as several communities in Northern Belize including Corozal Town, as this cultural event was widely prac-ticed in mestizo communities across Belize, especially those in the north. Although it has only survived in a few communities, we hope that this material will spark interest in, and encourage others to support local initiatives for cultural promotion.

    Channel 7

    Another Sarstoon Showdown - Foreign Minister Brushes It Off
    There was another incident with Guatemala in the disputed Sarstoon River this weekend - and tonight, it is causing major political and diplomatic waves. As we told you last week, Wil Maheia and the Belize Territorial Volunteers organized a trip to the Gracias a Dios monument to mark the one-year anniversary of Belizeans being detained by the Guatemalan Military on the Sarstoon. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned strongly against it, but the Volunteers were undeterred. They set out on Saturday only to encounter a Guatemalan navy that was determined to drive them off. They blockaded the river, and did so while coming over to the Belize half of the Sarstoon. The volunteers group turned back- and no one was hurt. But the encounter has left a deep impression in the national psyche - because the message is Belizeans can't go into the Sarstoon. Today Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington said he was relived no one was hurt:...

    Saturday's Scene On Sarstoon
    Of course, that was then, this is now - where the Guatemalans are taking effective occupation of the Sarstoon - even if it means parking a navy vessel on the Belzie side of the river. Here's exactly how it looked on Saturday:... Bright and Early on Saturday morning, Border Activist Wil Maheia and members of the press arrived at the docking location. They intended to make a trip to Gracias A Dios, and that meant travelling through the Sarstoon River. On this particular day, there were a number of Belizean military men also making preparations to go to sea, but don't be mistaken, they were not going to accompany the Belizean civilians on this trip. The Government, seeing the danger of such an action, had warned, and Maheia had ignored. Wil Maheia - Leader of Sarstoon Expedition: "Well today as you know it's one year today since the 37 Belizeans were captured or detained or held hostage by the Guatemalan military. It was right in this same area. Clearly as you can see we are on the Belize side. So today, we can't let that go, something that happened so drastic in our history - we couldn't let that go unnoticed. So the purpose of today's trip is to remember that Guatemalans came into Belizean territory and detained Belizeans or held them hostage."

    PUP Says GOB Must Engage Guatemala Differently
    And now the PUP has reacted strongly to the intimidating encounter - and remarks made simultaneously by the Guatemalan foreign Minister in Prensa Libre. Carlos Raul Morales re-stated the Guatemalan claim to all of Belize - which the PUP calls "provocative." Today former PUP Foreign Minister Eamon Courtenay commented to the media:... Eamon Courtenay, Former Foreign Minister: "Party Leader Hon. John Briceno has taken to the national executive at its meeting last week Thursday his proposal for the appointment of a committee chaired by Former Prime Minister Said Musa of all former foreign ministers of the PUP who are alive and the national executive approved that. So Hon. Said Musa will chaired that committee, the others members are as you would expect Godfrey Smith, myself, Lisa Shoman and Assad Shoman. Our function is to advise the party on Belize/Guatemala matters. That has to do the full range of things and I know for a fact that the Hon. Said Musa was consulted over the weekend on the development and the release that was put out today, other members of the committee was consulted before it was put out. So our responsibility is to advise the leadership of the party on the entire range of Belize/Guatemala issues."

    65 Year Old Says He Was Sleeping While Young Wife Drowned In Kayak
    Another American tourist drowned this weekend, this time it's in Hopkins village. California residents 65 year old Michael Karhanak and his wife 32 year old Tiffany Karhanak were staying at the Hopkins Bay Resort. The couple went kayaking on Saturday but something went wrong and Tiffany drowned. The police were called out to the scene around 5:40 Saturday evening when her husband and a few locals carried her body out of the sea. Karhanak told police that he dozed off and when he woke up he found his wife's body floating in the water. Now police are still investigating and recording statements to find out what exactly happened on that kayak trip. The post mortem was done yesterday and it certified the cause of death as drowning. We contacted the BTB but they directed us to the Hopkins Bay Resort. We called the resort but we were told the manager was out for the day. According to Tiffany's facebook page she is a model. We will keep following this story.

    Victim of Burglary/Stabbing Succumbs
    Silk Grass resident Harrison Bowers died on Saturday evening, 6 days after being stabbed in his home. The incident happened on Sunday February 21st. Bowers had left his home that Sunday morning around 9:15 when a man broke into his house. The burglar thought he would have enough time to raid the house but Bowers came right back and that's when the man attacked and stabbed Bowers several times. Bowers was pierced through his chest, arms and stomach. He was taken to the Southern Regional Hospital then later transferred to the KHMH where he died on Saturday the 27th. Police had charged Enrique Depaz with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm but those charges were upgraded to murder today. Police say Depaz is not known to them and that it was a burglary turned murder.

    Cycle Accident Victim Never Recovered From Coma
    21 year old Churchill Bernard was involved in a motorcycle collision on the Phillip Goldson Highway last weekend. 27 year old Kareem Arnold died on the spot, but Bernard survived. He was transported to the KHMH in a coma from which he never woke up. When we spoke to the mother last week she told us that her son had undergone a successful surgery. The family fundraised 3 thousand dollars to pay his medical bills. But unfortunately those funds will now have to be used to cover funeral costs instead of medical bills. This morning at around 1:00, the 21 year old passed away. The family says that Bernard passed away when his lungs collapsed. The grieving family was reluctant to speak with us but they wished to thank the people that supported them during the fund raising campaign.

    Man Found Dead In City; Friends Claim Alcohol Could Be Cause
    One of the busiest streets in down town Belize City - Orange Street, was blocked off after 2 this afternoon. Authorities locked down the area as CIB personnel processed what looked to be a crime scene. A 58 year old man had been found dead inside a white Toyota pickup truck in front of Old Navy Store near the junction with Euphrates Avenue. Around 2:30 a thick crowd of onlookers had formed waiting to see who the victim was. Some minutes after 3 the body of a Hispanic man was carted out in a police mobile; and while the cause of death is something for the coroners to determine, close friends of the deceased believe he died in his sleep from excessive drinking. Eric Pandy, Friend: "I told him Danny be careful. He drinks too much. He takes too much alcohol and I told him to please stop drinking too much. He said no." Emanuel Pech: "Do you think that's what caused his death?" Eric Pandy, Friend: "Well it could be, because lots of people die from drinking of alcohol."

    Cop Who Killed Detainee Gets Free After Six Years
    A cop who was originally charged for murder, then convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years for it is a free man after the Court of Appeals overturned his conviction. Former Constable Alpheus Parham was convicted of killing Alex Goff on May 9, 2010, in the cellblock at the Caye Caulker Police Station. Goff was a detainee and was making a lot of noise when Parham went to check on him. 5 minutes later a gunshot was heard and Goff was found dead, with a gunshot wound to his forehead. Parham testified that it was a case of self-defense. He appealed on the grounds that the trial judge had failed to properly direct the jury on the issue of self-defense. The Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lyn suggested the Belize Court of Appeal order a retrial. But the Court of Appeal decided to quash Parham's conviction and sentence and set him free. Parham was represented by attorney Simeon Sampson. He had served 6 years in jail.

    Incubating Business
    With financial assistance from the World Bank and, technical support from Accelerate Caribbean, BELTRAIDE is hoping to make the next step in developing the right environment for entrepreneurial development. They hope to achieve this by designing what's called an incubator. Not the kind that babies are kept in; but an incubator for business. That is the subject of a three day workshop with stakeholders at the ITVET compound in Belize City where we found out more about this incubator: Sophia Muradyan, Infodev, World Bank Group: "The main topic for today and for the next 3 days of our engagement here in Belize is incubation. Because for us, business incubators is one of the core activities that support entrepreneurship and young entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship and support entrepreneurship is one of the key subjects of the World Bank and Innovation and entrepreneur practice, because for us they are of the key drivers for economic growth, for competiveness, for productivity and I think all of these topics are very actual in the Caribbean and in Belize specifically."

    Lost Her Lease To New Landowner
    Belize City resident Ovetta Gill finds herself tonight battling for a piece of land she intended to someday build her home on. She has a piece of land, in the Saint Martin De Porres Area of Belize City. She's been paying lease fees to the Lands Department since 2011, and she showed us receipts to prove that is up-to-date with her commitments on the lease contract. This weekend however, she found someone filling her land with clay. It appears that someone else now has a claim to the land, something that the Lands Department didn't communicate to her. She tells us that she stopped the men doing the work and went to clarify, and that's when she found out that apparently, the Department canceled the lease. She came to our office to explain the distress she's under, and she claims that the Department is chancing her out of the land. Here's her account:

    Judge Showed Mercy For Man Hungry Shoplifter
    Today a man got off a theft charge when he told the court that he stole a can of sausage because he was broke and hadn't eaten for two days. Emmanuel Gusman was charged with the theft of a can of salami sausage from William Supermarket on Sixth Street in Belize City. It happened on Saturday and today he went before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, where he pled guilty to the charge. But the Chief was lenient when she simply cautioned and discharged him. Before he was allowed to go free, Chief Magistrate Smith gave him a stern warning not to come back to her court.

    Dangriga Cab Driver Shot In Jaw
    Dangriga police still do not know why taxi driver Darrel Lory was shot at on Thursday evening. Lory was driving along the Southern Highway in his taxi when someone shot at his vehicle. Lory was hit to his jaw. Around 4:45 residents saw him on the side of the road and rushed him to the hospital where he is in a critical condition. His green taxi was found on the side of the highway with 2 bullet holes in the driver's side window. Police have no one detained and are still trying to find out if and why Lory was the target.

    DOB to IDB
    Prime Minister Dean Barrow travelled to Washington DC on Saturday to attend the IDB's Thirtieth Governors' Meeting of the Central American Isthmus and the Dominican Republic which was held today. This is in preparation for the larger, annual meeting later this year. The Prime Minister returns tomorrow.

    The Belmopan Classic Was Wet
    The Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic is the biggest event on Belize's Annual Sporting Calendar - and in the weeks leading up to the big race, Belize's elite cyclists participate in a number of test races to get the riders in optimal condition. The Belmopan Cycling Classic is an important lead up event - and at 102 miles it gives a good reading of which riders are truly ready for the road. This year, apart from all those miles they also had to deal with the rain - and so did our camera-man Codie Norales who teamed up with Kwame Scott to put together this race report:..

    Youth Elections Has Promise, Raises Issues
    Last week, we gave you extensive coverage on the Government's attempt to once again include the youth population in the process of policy making. That's the National Youth Council, and today, the Department of Youth Services officiated elections in the 6 districts for young men and women offering themselves to take on one of 4 political posts. From the persons elected in these District chapters, a group of executive leaders will be chosen to head the National Youth Council. Today's elections marked the furthest step that this idea of youth in Government has reached. Today, we stopped by and spoke with one of the officials from the Department of Youth Services: As you heard in our interviews with a few of the Belize District aspirants, they conceded that this election process only allows a very small fraction of the youth population to choose the youth leaders they want to advocate for them. Today, while we had the opportunity, we asked the representatives of the Department of Youth Services about this appearance of exclusion in such an important democratic process. Here's how she answered that question:

    OCEANA, Lest We Forget
    Exactly 4 years ago, tens of thousands of Belizeans took part in what was billed as "The People's Referendum" on offshore oil exploration. 96% of the nearly 29 thousand voters were against offshore oil exploration. It was only a symbolic gesture, since the referendum had no binding effect on government, but the message was clear - and, in time, the government has cooled off on the prospect of offshore drilling. Still, annually during reef week, Oceana takes this time to remember that accomplishment. Belize Vice President Janelle Chanona told us why it is important for them to keep remembering this day. Janelle Chanona, VP Oceana Belize: "I think certainty we all as a people need to pause on February 29th to acknowledge just such a dramatic out-pouring and demonstration of democracy and healthy democracy and seeing a way forward in terms of a process that allows all of us a participatory role, allows our voices to be heard whether we all agree or we choose points to disagree on."

    OCEANA On Leo D Cap
    Blackadore Caye has been getting a lot of attention since Hollywood superstar Leonardo DiCaprio bought the island with the intention of turning into the ultimate eco-resort. His commitment to the environment is well known, in fact, when he won his best actor academy award last night, he used his time in the spotlight to talk about climate change. So with all this happening on the international stage, what do local conservation groups think about Blackadore? Here's what Jannelle Chanona says about it: Janelle Chanona, VP Oceana Belize: "Well we monitored it closely and certainly I have to tell you that looking at the response from the San Pedro community especially, from the fishermen out there that say look this is going to have a negative effect. Certainly, I can tell you without any hesitation that OCEANA stands with the Belizeans on this and it's not about who is involved in this development, but its making sure that whatever project is proposed - you saw what position we took with Puerto Azul. It wasn't about who was involved in that project either. We have to begin to look at these development projects as a whole and again, make a collective decision so that what happens tomorrow is not something that impacts Belizeans and our uses and our benefits of our natural resources." At this time the project continues to be discussed in a series of public consultations.

    Channel 5

    BTV’s Expedition to Gracias A Dios Thwarted by Guatemalan Navy!!
    The first anniversary of an expedition in 2015 which ended in confrontation between the Guatemalan Navy and the Belize Territorial Volunteers to the Sarstoon Island was commemorated over the weekend. [...]

    Turnout for BTV’s Upstream Trek is Dismal
    The Government sent out a release prior to the Belize Territorial Volunteers’ anniversary expedition to Gracias A Dios. As you know now, the expedition only reached the mouth of the [...]

    What is the Prensa Libre Saying About Belize?
    While the Belizean media observed the Guatemalan military to be well within Belizean territory, the Guatemalan press says the reverse. An article in Prensa Libre on Saturday boldly declares that [...]

    PUP Fires Off Stern Release on Guatemala’s Sarstoon Island Claim
    The People’s United Party weighed into the debate today with a very strongly worded release and position. It made reference to an assertion by Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales [...]

    Guatemalan Encroachment – A Clear Violation of International Law
    Footage taken on Saturday in the Sarstoon clearly shows Guatemalan military vessels way inside Belizean territorial waters. In fact, some images show one naval craft in the foreground, while the [...]

    Foreign Minister Elrington on BTV’s Sarstoon Mission
    Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, in the wake of what transpired along the Sarstoon River on Saturday, has indicated that government will be lodging another protest note to Guatemalan officials in [...]

    Government of Belize to Lodge Another Protest Note to Guatemalan Officials
    A recently published article in Prensa Libre of a written account provided by the Guatemalan foreign ministry says that the Belizean delegation was fended off peacefully.  According to a translation [...]

    Sedi Elrington Says Recall of Ambassador Alexis Rosado is Most Ridiculous
    The Foreign Minister also responds to a call from the P.U.P. for the recall of Ambassador Alexis Rosado.  Elrington scoffs at the notion calling it ridiculous.  A recall, he says, [...]

    A Silk Grass Man is Charged with Murder
    A resident of Silk Grass Village has been indicted for murder after initially being arraigned last week on charges stemming from a brutal attack on fifty-two-year-old Harrison Bowers.  According to [...]

    FFB President is Back from Zurich, What’s the Latest at the Federation?
    Ruperto Vicente is back in Belize from Switzerland following the election of Gianni Infantino as the new FIFA President. The F.F.B. President left town while controversy and tension bubbled and [...]

    FIFA Delegation Headed to Belize to Resolve Federation Dispute
    Legal opinions on a local level and as well from CONCACAF are due back this week, while a delegation from FIFA should be visiting Belize soon to try to get [...]

    A New President of FIFA, A New Chapter in Football
    As we told you Vicente is back following elections in which Italian Gianni Infantino was elected President after two rounds of voting. Two hundred and nine countries are members of [...]

    Will FFB’s Financial Status Improve in the Near Future?
    So will we see concrete big changes in football coming out of Infantino’s election as President? The F.F.B. has suffered from chronic empty pocket syndrome which has affected its ability [...]

    PC Alpheus Parham is Freed of Manslaughter Charge
    Police Constable Alpheus Parham has been on remand since May 2010 when he allegedly shot a man detained at the Caye Caulker Police Station. Alex Goff was in lockdown for [...]

    SMART Signs Agreement with Formula Telecom Solutions
    A brief statement from SMART issued today announces that it has entered into an agreement with Formula Telecom Solutions, a provider of convergent billing, charging, customer care and policy control [...]

    Guatemalan Journalist Documents Territorial Dispute After Visiting Belize
     A sensational video was also released over the weekend to coincide with the expedition of the Belize Territorial Volunteers to southern Belize. It presents the Guatemalan version of the historic [...]

    A Bike Rally Through the Streets of Belize City
    Belize City was invaded by international bikers on Saturday. The revving of the engines and the energy of the riders was felt through the principal streets of the City. Actually, [...]

    Weekend Sporting Activities with James Adderley
    Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. The Belmopan Bandits with 2 wins from 6 outings rolled into B.E.S. Gym Friday night here in Belize City to [...]


    Corozaleno Injured In Traffic Accident
    A traffic accident on the Xaibe road in the Corozal District yesterday left one person injured. The incident played out at about 7:35 last night and when police arrived at the scene they observed a white 250 Chevrolet pick-up with license plate number CZL C-03806 over turned on the left hand side of the road and a post that holds a transformer broken into two. About 80 feet away from the scene in a pasture, authorities observed 23 year old Belizean laborer of Altamira Corozal, Ian Nugent suffering from a cut wound to the left eye and abrasion to both hands. Nugent complained of body aches and was transported to the Corozal Community hospital, where he is currently under observation. While police have not been able to ascertain whether or not Nugent was driving the pickup truck, what they do know is that the vehicle was t raveling towards Xiabe when tis driver lost control and collided into the lamppost causing it to break in two. As a result of the impact the pickup was extensively damaged.

    PUP Calls For Recall Of Ambassador Of Belize To Guatemala
    Going back to the issue of the long standing territorial dispute and what took place over the weekend when Guatemalan authorities inside Belizean waters prevented a BTV expedition of 20 from passing through the Sarstoon River, today the People’s United Party issued a release where they are condemning the words of Guatemalan Foreign Minister, Carlos Raul Morales, who claimed the Sarstoon River in its entirety as Guatemalan territory via a press release issued to Guatemalan media on Saturday February 27th, calling his words “False and provocative.” The opposition has also called on the Government of Belize to carry out a series of actions in response with the incident that occurred at the mouth of the Sarstoon on Saturday. Eamon Courtenay, a member of the PUP’s recently established Belize-Guatemala Advisory Committee spoke on the recommendations from the Opposition.

    District Youth Council Elections Conducted Country Wide
    The Department of Youth Services here in Orange Walk hosted the District Youth Council elections earlier today. The voting commenced at 9:00 in the morning and while the delegates prepared to cast their vote, we were able to speak to Youth Development Officer, Glenda Diaz Gordon, who told us about the importance of hosting the elections. “It’s important to us because young people represent the majority of Belize’s population, it is important for young people to be partners in their own development; people complain every day that young people are not involved in the process, this department is providing a platform for them to do just that, we have every commitment to work with the young people, district councils are youth led, the role of this department is to provide technical support as well as financial support but the council will function independent of the department that will enable them to speak out and function independently from what we do at the department. The district councils will ensure that the views and the concerns for young people in this case Orange Walk District are heard and they are responsible to advocate for programs and we want young people themselves to act as leaders and to carry out these functions as well.”

    Corozal Elects Youth District Council
    In Corozal, the Department of Youth Council also held election for the Youth District Council. This council says Anny Palacio, Oversite Committee Officer, will advocate for today’s Belizean youth, taking into consideration the issues they face on a daily basis. “It actually happens every two years but what is different this year is the electronic system which will be done where they kids come and they vote through the electronic system which is, you might way it can’t have a spoilt ballot or anything like that there is no error and it is also a part of us encouraging our youths to know that when you are casting your vote you are casting a power to help develop your country, after we have found out later on tonight who are the winners they will form what we call a National Youth Council and they will get together to vote for a National Executive in Belize and those people are going to be the sights, the ears and the eyes for all young people across the country hopefully meeting with the ministers, meeting with all the stakeholders to assist them to ensure that youths are heard, their problems are solved and that they are known as the future leaders of this country.”

    Guatemala Minister Of Foreign Affairs Says Sarstoon Belongs To Guatemala
    While its worrying enough that the group was blocked from continuing their trip to Belizean territory by the armed Guatemalan military what should also be of great concern is what the Guatemalan press is reporting. According to a news article in la Prensa Libre, Guatemalan Army troops avoided on Saturday that a group of Belizeans invade the Sarstoon Island, which according to the report is part of Livingston in Guatemalan Territory. The report states that the Guatemalan Military participated in the operation that sought dialogue with the occupants of the boats to determine their migratory situations and make them available to the authorities, but when the group noticed the presence of the Guatemalan authorities they fled and returned to Belizean waters.

    Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Weighs In The Sarstoon Issue
    The incident that occurred over the weekend between members of the BTV and armed members of the Guatemalan Military has created much to talk about and today the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also issued a two paragraph release in which they acknowledge the fact that Belize's security forces witnessed Guatemalan Armed Forces in the Sarstoon River who were determined on blocking entry of Belizean civilians into the Sarstoon River from the Bay of Honduras. The Ministry also makes their intent on raising their concern on the occurrence with the Republic of Guatemala and the Organization of American States known. The Ministry also reiterates their continued efforts to seek the implementation of assurance building measures for the area, pending a final resolution of the dispute arising from Guatemala's claims.

    BPP Calls on GOB To Defend Belize's Sovereignty
    Yesterday we reported that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a press release expressing their grave concern about planned trips to the western and southern borders of Belize due to the fact that these are key areas in which there is constant tension between citizens of Belize and Guatemala. The Ministry believes that these excursions that are organized are quite risky for many Belizeans. Today the Belize Progressive Party responded to the Government’s release and expressed their dissatisfaction with the statement that was made by GOB. The BPP stated that they stand in solidarity with the Belize Territorial Volunteers and believes that as Belizeans, we should all be able to travel freely within the full 8,867 square miles of our nation without having to feel any fear.

    FIFA Has A New President
    Today a new President for the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, FIFA was elected in Zurich where over 207 member countries casted their votes including Belize represented by Ruperto Vicente. The election was unlike any since for the first time since 1974, a second round of voting was needed to determine a winner of the election but in the end it was announced that 45-year-old lawyer, Gianni Infantino, won the position of FIFA president by 27 votes with a total of 115 votes. Coming in second after Infantino in the race was Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa, who was the favorite to win. This election came after several FIFA officials including former president of FIFA, Sepp Blatter stepped down, after corruption scandals emerged and arrests were made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) last year.


    PUP Calls for Urgent Attention to the Belize/Guatemala Issue
    The People’s United Party came out swinging at the Government of Belize and in particular, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In its release the PUP says quote “This was an egregious violation of Belizean sovereignty and a breach of international law”, end of quote. The People’s United Party categorically rejects the specious claim by Guatemalan […]

    Guatemalan Newspaper Accuses BTV of Wanting to Invade Sarstoon Island
    For its part the Guatemalan press has taken its own spin on what transpired this past weekend. Prensa Libre, the newspaper with the second-widest circulation in Guatemala, is reporting that Maheia along with all those who went on the trip this Saturday, wanted to invade Sarstoon Island. According to Prensa Libre, they got that information […]

    Man Lies Critical Following Traffic Incident
    Two men received bodily injuries as a result of a road traffic accident that occurred on Friday night on the George Price Highway. The accident happened in the Village of Camalote in the Cayo District and it involved a motorcycle and a red pickup truck. One of the persons involved was forty two year old […]

    American Woman Drowns in Belize Waters
    A 32-year-old housewife of Los Angeles, California is dead following a drowning incident in southern Belize. Tiffany Karhaneck and her husband were in Belize on vacation and were staying at the Hopkins Bay Resort on since Friday, February 26. On Saturday evening, the couple rented a kayak from the resort at around five o’clock and […]

    Ten Fishermen Rescued on Rough Seas
    Late Friday evening, a distress call was received by the Belize Coast Guard and as a result a team was dispatched to the area near Caye Glory, located in the Stann Creek District. At that location they found that ten persons including the captain, Alvaro Trejo, were aboard a vessel that experienced engine failure. Around […]

    Former Cop Gets Freed by Court of Appeals
    Former police constable Alpheus Parham, who was charged with murder but was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years, was set free today by Belize’s Court of Appeal. Parham was convicted of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Alex Goff which occurred on May 9, 2010 in the cellblock at Caye Caulker Police Station. […]

    Dead Man Found Inside Pickup Truck
    This afternoon, a man was found dead in the back seat of a pickup truck on Orange Street in Belize City. Shop vendors in the area say that three to four men usually sleep inside the pickup truck every night, and that they are heavy drinkers. One of the men sleeping inside the truck was […]

    Tourist Draws Analogy of Belize/Guatemala with Russia/Ukraine
    Earlier in our newscast we shared with you the Belize Territorial Volunteer’s expedition. An American couple was part of the trip to Sarstoon River. Judy Bergsma and her husband have been traveling to Belize for many years now. She has an education background in environmental science. After the trip, Bergsma shared her views on the […]

    BTV: Guatemalans Conduct Unsustainable Fishing in Belize’s Waters
    According to Wil Maheia of the Belize Territorial Volunteers, Guatemalan living along the Sarstoon River on Guatemala’s side of the border often cross the border to conduct illegal fishing activities. He says that some Guatemalans are squatting along Belize’s coast. WIL MAHEIA “

    Workshop Focuses on Entrepreneurship and Financial Independence
    Entrepreneurship is the focus of a workshop that is underway in Belize City. Betraide is working along with InfoDev, and the World Bank Group. Today’s workshop is to continue the work of developing and fostering an innovative entrepreneurship ecosystem in Belize using business incubators. Love News spoke to Lejia Melanie Gideon, General Manager, Enterprise and […]


    Attempted murder in Silk Grass Village
    There was an attempted murder in Silk Grass which has left a 52 year old man suffering from multiple chop wounds. The incident occurred on February 21st in Silk Grass Village, Stann Creek District . Police gave an update in that case...

    Taxi driver shot in Dangriga
    Also in the south, a taxi Driver was shot in Dangriga. Harry Arzu has the story on that incident as well as an update into police’s investigation on the fetus found wrapped in a plastic bag on a Dangriga street on Thursday....

    BTV to take commemorative trip to Sarstoon
    Almost one year ago, February 28th, 2015, thirty seven Belizeans visiting Belize’s southernmost border were held by Guatemalan military against their will and taken to the Guatemalan municipality of Livingston. Most of the group were from the Orange Walk District and were members of the North...

    NEAB Holds Meeting
    The National Evangelical Association of Belize, not to be confused with the Belize City group of pastors known as the Evangelical Association of Belize, is getting ready to hold its first AGM on Monday Feb. 29th in Belmopan. The recently formed association is already focusing on important issued af...

    Yhony Rosado taken to court by Social Security
    Remember Econo Tires shop? Three weeks ago we reported that owner Yhony Rosado Sr.’s issues with the Belize City Council over granting trade licenses had just been resolved, allowing him to operate. Now it is apparently the Social Security Board’s turn, as Rosado is accused of failing to keep a regi...

    Nuri Muhammad looks at gangs in Belize
    Belize’s lost generation is the subject of a new book launched in Belize City this morning at the Leo Bradley Library. Called “Insights Into Gang Culture in Belize: Essays on Youth, Crime and Violence,” it is a collection of first-person essays by Nuri Muhammad, who has decades of ...

    Jasmine Alert raising funds for volunteer training
    It has been three years since the tragedy of Jasmine Lowe. For viewers who don’t remember, 13 year old Jasmine Lowe was kidnapped in front of a taxi stand in Santa Elena and found dead some days after on a feeder road. After this tragedy, the Jasmine Alert Foundation was formed, with its goal being ...

    Breaking Belize NewsPJ

    GOB to protest the Guatemalan incursion into Belizean waters
    “We will lodge a protest and a strong protest to the Guatemalans saying that we do not countenance that kind of activity where they are coming into our waters,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington of the encounter between the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) […]

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs speaks on BTV trip
    As we reported on Saturday, a group of 14 led by the Belize Territorial Volunteers were prevented from traversing the Sarstoon River by Guatemalan military authorities. This evening the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it will, quote, “raise its concern with the Republic of […]

    Police investigate Sunday night traffic accident
    Corozal Police are investigating a traffic accident that happened on Sunday. Police have reported that sometime after 7:00 Sunday night, someone was driving a white 250 Chevrolet pickup heading to Xaibe Village when he/she lost control and collided into a lamppost. The impact broke […]

    Alleged mental patient charged over marijuana
    Tonight, an alleged mental patient who police claim they busted over the weekend with over 100 grams of marijuana and is now charged with drug trafficking, is out on bail pending the outcome of a psychiatric evaluation now order by the court. Emerson Francisco […]

    BDF Corporal and wife win appeal over firearms charge
    Gerald and Lloida August, husband and wife, are free tonight after Supreme Court Justice Antoinette Moore in the Belmopan Supreme Court heard their appeal late Friday evening and ruled in their favour. The couple were convicted of keeping firearms and ammunition reported stolen from […]

    Constable convicted of manslaughter set free on appeal
    The Court of Appeal has freed former Police Constable Alpheus Parham, found guilty a year ago of a charge of manslaughter in the shooting death of Alex Goff, who he shot to death in a detention cell at the Caye Caulker Police Station on May […]

    Guatemalan military forces Belize Territorial Volunteers to abort Sarstoon trip
    The Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) led30 Saturday morning but their trip was cut short as five Guatemalan vessels met and obstructed their passage at the mouth of […]

    Fire destroys shop in Billy White Village
    While making a report at the San Ignacio Police Station yesterday afternoon, 39-year-old businessman of Billy White Village in the Cayo District, Dimas Duarte, was informed by officers that his shop was on fire. The wooden structure with zinc roof, along with its contents […]

    Dangriga Police investigating shooting incident
    Dangriga Police are currently investigating a shooting incident that hospitalized 28-year-old taxi man, Darel Laurie on Thursday, February 25, when he was shot to the left lower jaw area. Officers visited the Southern Regional Hospital at around 5:22 that evening and learned that a […]

    Dangriga Police seize over a pound of weed
    In three separate searches conducted00 and 9:00 a.m., a total of 537 grams (1.2 pounds) of cannabis was found. First on Mangrove Street, officers searched an empty lot in which they found 148 grams, […]

    Leonardo DiCaprio addresses climate change after Oscar win
    Collecting his first Academy Award on Sunday night as Best Actor for “The Revenant,” actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio said he hoped audiences would heed what the film said about “man’s relationship with the natural world”, according to the Guardian (UK). “Climate change is […]

    Ladyville teen missing
    The public’s assistance is being sought to locate missing 18-year-old Ladyville resident, Jonathan Dominguez, who left home on Thursday night and has not been seen since. Dominguez was reported missing by his mother who said he left home en route to a friend’s residence […]

    Belize City man charged for drug trafficking
    Yesterday morning while on vehicle patrol in Belize City, police stopped and searched 35-year-old Emerson Francisco on Freetown Road, finding on his person, 136 grams of cannabis. Around 9:00 a.m., Francisco’s back pack was opened by the officers who saw a red plastic bag […]

    La Ruta Maya is coming!
    Friday, March 4 is the start of the Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge. The 17th edition sees hundreds of canoeists paddling the Belize and Macal Rivers from San Ignacio to Belize City, commemorating ancient Maya civilization’s legacy. The festivities begin with a […]

    Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret no more?
    Belize looks set to shed its old tag of “Mother Nature’s Best Secret”, according to TravelPulse’s Brian Major. More than 340,000 overnight visitors, a majority from the United States, visited Belize in 2015, the highest total in the country’s history according to the Belize […]

    Four teams to represent in ATLIB Nationals
    Over the weekend, four teams, both male and female from four different tertiary level educational institutes participated in the annual Association of Tertiary Level Institutions of Belize (ATLIB) Regionals for football at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio. The teams that participated are: Ecumenical […]

    Good weather on the horizon
    The National Meteorological of Belize is calling for a northeasterly airflow that is supporting a decrease in moisture. The 24 hour forecast is for cloudy skies with sunny breaks today and partly cloudy tonight. Showers will be isolated. Winds will blow to the Northeast at […]


    “Reach Out I’ll Be There” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
    Now I’m sure that some of you (actually now I think about it , probably many of you) think that all I do out on the veranda – the western, lagoon facing one- in the early morning hours is drink black, unsweetened coffee and play around with my iPad. You do, don’t you. Well I do up to a point. But I do other things too. I enjoy the stillness and quiet although both are ‘broken’ by the sounds of birds chirping ,or a breeze rustling the leaves of the trees, or the sound of a vehicle as it passes the front gate. Or the barking of a dog as it scares off what it considers to be a potential invader of its territory (sometimes that dog is Ziggy). But I also have thoughts about things I want to do in the days,weeks and months ahead. A sort of loose (well, extremely loose) form of planning. Some time ago (I’m unable to be more precise because I’m beginning to lose a real comprehension of time) when I was sitting there – thinking about nothing in particular – I noticed that the railings were showing distinct signs of wear and tear. Or, to give a more technical description, the humidity and salt had ‘got to them’. I got up and grabbed my camera and took a walk around.

    Belizean Hot Cross Bun
    1. Measure 1/2 cup warm water into a large bowl. Stir in 1 tsp sugar and active dry yeast. Let stand 10 minutes, then stir well. 2. Meantime, combine milk and margarine in a saucepan. Heat over low heat until liquid is warm and margarine melts. 3. Stir in 1 cup sugar and salt. 4. Add liquid to dissolved yeast. 5. Add ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, vanilla, 2 eggs and 1 1/2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. 6. Stir in an additional 3 1/2 cups (about) flour to make a soft dough. 7. Turn out onto lightly floured board: knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. 8. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk. about 1 hour.

    Art Festival along Placencia's Historical Sidewalk
    It was never intended to become anything huge when organizers of the Placencia Sidewalk Art Festival planned the first one; 13 years later the touristic village in the peninsula is fully booked for the weekend of the festivities. The first Sidewalk Art Festival was held in 2003, recognizing local artistic talent and helping to develop new ones. Today it is a major event that draws visitors from around the world with participating artists from all over Belize. The perfect setting for the festival is Placencia’s historical sidewalk that runs through the center of the village and lined with picturesque homes, coffee shops, hotels, guest houses, restaurants and bars. The Guinness Book of World Records has recognized the sidewalk as the narrowest street in the world, already a tourist attraction in itself. Start your day by having breakfast at one of the quaint restaurants along the sidewalk as you slowly witness the sidewalk come to life with artist setting up shop and the music playing. All fuelled up you can start your leisurely stroll on the sidewalk to admire all the art, keeping a keen eye on that ONE piece that you will fall in love with and purchase. From painters, sketch artists, photographers, sculptors, basket weavers, jewelry makers, clothes designers, wood carvers, slate carvers, glass workers and even graphic designer, the sidewalk comes alive with color, music and art as the two-day festival brings together artists from around the country to set up their displays under tents, alongside verandas, hanging from palm trees and spread on the ground.

    Cycling Competition in Belize and International Winners
    Cycling at 170 beats per minute, your heart is pounding with heat, fatigue and pain at an unbearable level. It’s basically HELL on wheels. Cyclists may not fully understand what’s happening to them when they start slowing down. It’s often a result of cycling limiters or maladies such as bonking, fatigue, and cramping in one output – PAIN! Despite the fact that in cycling, limiters often refers to weaknesses that can adversely affect your health and performance, cyclists have a common understanding that when you cross that finishing line, the glory and appreciation of your hard work is the first to rush through and cannot be mistaken for anything other than success. In Belize, there are several races that define cycling in our country. There’s the Krem New Year’s Cycling Classic, the Valentine’s Day Cycling Classic and the Annual Cross Country Cycling Classic. They carry a long line of winners including legends like Kenrick Halliday, Matthew Smiling, Charles & Michael Lewis, Ernest Meighan and many others. While the legends set the bar high for cycling in Belize, most have never ventured out of the country to participate in the sport that they so love. In the past two (2) years, however, this has changed. Cycling in Belize has been spiraling in a positive direction as young talented riders are taking the local sport to an international level.

    International Sourcesizz

    CARICOM explores new platforms in fight against youth crime, violence
    Each year, approximately 200,000 youths aged 10 to 29 die, and many more sustain serious injuries because of violence across the world. Youth violence is a global challenge that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) knows only too well: its young people are both the main perpetrators and victims. But CARICOM is accelerating its fight. Its most current initiative is a two-day youth forum in Georgetown, Guyana. The forum begins on Monday, with an opening ceremony to be chaired by CARICOM Secretariat director for human and social development, Myrna Bernard. Guyana’s vice president and minister for public security, Khemraj Ramjattan, will deliver the address. The forum, funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the government of Spain, is an outcome of the two-year CARICOM/Spain Project: Youth on Youth Violence in the Caribbean. This project which aims to reduce youth on youth violence, particularly in schools, is now being piloted in five member states: Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago.

    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.

    Netherlands foreign minister to discuss ties between Dutch islands and CARICOM
    ies between the Dutch islands and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will be discussed at the Kingdom of the Netherlands level, according to a report of the Kingdom delegation activities in late September in New York during the 70th General Assembly of the United Nations. The Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders sent the report to the Dutch House of Representatives on Friday. Currently, Aruba, Curacao and St Maarten have observer status with CARICOM. During the UN meeting, Koenders, together with the Aruban prime minister, Mike Eman, and the then prime minister of St Maarten, Marcel Gumbs, spoke with CARICOM officials.

    Is Belize Officially On the Mainstream Tourism Radar?
    Once-sleepy Belize has witnessed at-times explosive visitor growth, changing this previously small-scale travel destination into one increasingly on the radar for a wider scope of travelers. In 2015 Belize hosted 341,125 overnight visitors, a 6.2 percent increase over 2014 and the highest total in the country’s history according data from Belize Tourism Board (BTB) officials. Sixty-three percent of the visitors originated in the United States, Belize’s largest market. BTB officials attribute the country’s strong 2015 arrivals growth to the addition of new service into Belize’s Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA). Southwest Airlines and COPA Airlines launched new flights to Belize in October and December of 2015 respectively, boosting overnight visitor totals. The new flights created a late-year arrivals surge, say BTB officials. After an “unsteady” first and second quarter, Belize posted seven consecutive months of arrival increases. The highest increases occurred during the last four months of 2015.

    JJC Veterinary Technology Students Head to Belize
    On Feb. 27, 10 JJC students embarked on the learning experience of a lifetime through the Veterinary Medical Technology Belize Study Abroad program. The program introduces students to key topics in wildlife medicine in Central and South America, while teaching wildlife conservation, zoo medicine, and wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. In addition to classroom time at the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic, students work hand-in-hand with veterinarians to care for the area’s tropical inhabitants. Read on for first-hand accounts of daily life for veterinary technology students in Belize.

    News from The Maya Forest and El Pilar
    With each opportunity I have to present Ronald Nigh and my new book, The Maya Forest Garden, there has been an increasing awareness of the contradictions between the exalted ancient Maya and the vilified milpa cycle. With the remarkable photography of Macduff Everton as the backdrop, we have been able to show an alternative view, showing that what has been cast aside as slash and burn is really renew and restore. Our most recent presentation was last week in Belize. Set in the Belize City bookstore Image Factory we were able to get full coverage for the event. Our Belize team was featured on the morning shows of Love Television and Channel 5, and the event was fully covered by Love TV. National evening news highlighted the accomplishments: LoveFM, Channel 5 and Channel 7. Presenters at the event opened with a Maya blessing, Ki’ki’t’aan, spoken in Mayan by the Master Forest Gardener Alfonso Tzul and translated by Master Forest Gardener Narciso Torres.

    Amazon Cancels Mad Dogs Over Creative Differences With Creators
    Amazon will not be going forward with another season of its dark comedy Mad Dogs after one season, co-creator Shawn Ryan tweeted over the weekend. But apparently it's not because the bro-down in Belize wasn't performing well or there was no plan for a second season. Instead, the demise came down to good old-fashioned creative differences. Ryan posted a series of tweets explaining his side of the story, saying that he and co-creator Cris Cole—who created the original British version that the series was based on—met with Amazon Studios head Roy Price and others to lay out his and Cole's vision for Season 2. Apparently, Price didn't like what he heard and wanted the series to go in a different direction. When the two sides couldn't agree, everyone decided to let it stand as a one-and-done miniseries, as was originally intended.

    Florida Manatee Population Reaches Record Highs
    One of the first species listed as endangered on the 1972 Endangered Species Act, the Florida manatee population now numbers more than 6,300. James Powell loves manatees. A native of Crystal River, Fla.—“the Mecca for manatees,” as he calls it—Powell began studying them as a high school student in the 1960s, learning alongside seminal manatee researcher Daniel Hartman. In the early ’70s, Powell worked on a manatee-themed episode of The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau, called The Forgotten Mermaids. Now, as a Mote scientist and the founder and executive director of Sarasota’s Sea2Shore Alliance, Powell remains fascinated by the large, slow-moving marine mammals. “They are such a docile and curious creature, it’s very endearing,” he says. “Back in the ’70s, there was a female named Lavalier [in Crystal River]. She would wait for me to get in the water and follow me around. It was like being greeted.” Not every encounter is peaceful. “Females can be followed around by 20 or more suitors. I’ve been clobbered when I’ve unintentionally found myself in the middle of the mating herd,” he says. “It can be disconcerting being surrounded by 10 tons of amorous manatees.”

    Fairtrade sales hit by sugar price plummet despite double digit growth in certain categories
    The value of UK Fairtrade sales dropped by €127m last year due to falling demand for cane sugar but the Fairtrade Foundation says it is remaining cautiously optimistic for 2016 as sales of Fairtrade coffee, cocoa, tea and wine all grew. The foundation attributed the overall drop in sales from €2.16bn (£1.7bn) to €2bn (£1.6bn) to the collapse in the price and market for cane sugar due to changes in EU market regulations, which saw volume sales of Fairtrade sugar plummeting by 36%. As predicted by the certification organisation in a report last year , this was delivering “an effective triple whammy” of reducing cane farmer’s livelihoods, reduced impacts for Fairtrade farming communities and much more cheaply available sugar at a time of national concern over obesity, the organisation said. The sugar cane industry provides up to 40% of all exports from Guyana and 25% from Belize and Fiji, and researchers have raised concerns about the effect the EU sugar reform will have on the livelihoods of sugar cane growers and producers in developing countries, no longer able to compete with cheap European sugar.

    Three Fantastically Affordable Countries You Haven't Considered
    There's a good chance that if you are reading this – in your native language – that you reside somewhere in the developed world. The cost of living in many western and developed nations is cost-prohibitive for many who reside in other countries, and a variety of factors now make it more difficult for people to immigrate than in past decades. This discrepancy in cost can be difficult for some, but the average traveller can take great advantage of this phenomenon to explore new locales, try new foods and experience a whole new way of life. Today, we'll discuss three very affordable countries for your next vacation or extended stay that you probably haven't considered just yet.

    This is What Happens to Belly Fat and Blood Sugar When You Eat 2 TBSP of Coconut Oil
    oconut oil is one of the only foods you could legitimately call a “superfood.” Coconut oil is also of the most controversial foods on the market right now. There are 3 types of people you meet when you mention coconut oil: 1.) The person who will NEVER touch it because it contains saturated fat and they have been lied to believe that this fat causes heart disease (they are wrong) 2.) The person who sees the benefits, but is scared to eat because it’s too high in calories and they have been led to believe that all calories are created equal (they are wrong) 3.) The person who literally uses it for EVERYTHING (they are right) In this article I will prove to you why you should eat at least 2 Tbsp. of coconut oil every day to lose weight, boost your health, and feel amazing.


  • Belmopan Weekly, Edition #2 of 2016, 32min.

  • Scholarly Impact through the UCF REU Site in Community GIS and Citizen Science in Belize, 1min.

  • Travel Time with Linda Cooper takes us to El Secreto in Belize, 3min. Host Linda Cooper takes us to Belize to the exclusive El Secreto resort on her "Travel Time with Linda" travel feature. Voted one of the Top 50 Best New Hotels in the World by Conde Nast, El Secreto is a barefoot luxury experience.

  • Trampoline at Sandy Point in Ambergris Caye, Belize, 15sec.

  • Belize Jungle and Jaguar cave Zipline, 4min.

  • Mariko Wallen: Snorkel Guide and Coral Restorer, 4min.

  • Reset Retreat Photo Slideshow - February 2016 - Belize, 11min. Reset Retreat is an exclusive women’s yoga and wellness retreat that combines personal growth with incredible experiences. It is a place where you can come to disconnect from the world and reconnect with yourself. Take a look at the experience we shared this February in adventuruous and culturally rich Hopkins, Belize.

  • My Wife Is A Badass Zipliner, 1min. While on holiday with the kids in Belize, we persuaded my wife to come with us on a breathtaking zipline tour high above the rainforest canopy. Experience the thrill as you join Kristy on her ride through the wilderness.

  • Turtle vs BurrFish, Caye Caulker, Belize, 3min.

  • Caye Caulker Belize, 7min. Caye Caulker is a small limestone coral island off the coast of Belize in the Caribbean Sea measuring about 5 miles (8.0 km) (north to south) by less than 1 mile (1.6 km) (east to west). The town on the island is known by the name Caye Caulker Village.

  • Un-Belize-able, 13min.

  • 2015, 12-31, Snorkeling Mexico Rocks, Ambergris Caye, Belize, 4min. Tuff E Nuff tours.

  • A Glimpse of Belize HD, 4min. Learn about the natural beauty of Belize of for next vacation. Did you know Belize is the only English speaking Central America country along with Spanish, French Creole? Belize has some of the best scuba diving in the world.

  • SAN PEDRO, BELIZE diving - December, 2015; dolphins!, sharks; Hol Chan Marine Park; Ambergris Caye, 16min. The star of this show is 40 seconds of dolphin footage, beginning @ 1:30. There were a good number of sharks on these dives, including the ever-present nurse sharks and some reef sharks. I caught the elusive silhouette shot of sharks above me @ 2:50. Among others, there's a nice green turtle @ 7:30: some close ups of spotted eagle rays @ 9:45, some pretty four-eyed butterflyfish @ 14:40, and a happily-posing spotted drum @ 14:50.

  • Diving with nurse sharks Belize, 1min.

  • Belmopan Bandits Win Over Belize Hurricanes Game Highlights, 10.5min.

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